Skip to content

Pierre Garcon still limited by torn ligament in foot

Atlanta Falcons  v Washington Redskins Getty Images

Washington Redskins wide receiver Pierre Garcon is still feeling pain in his injured right foot.

Garcon returned to practice this week after missing the last four games with a torn ligament in his right foot. The Redskins held an additional practice on Monday following their bye week that was the first change Garcon has had to test his injured foot. He’s been listed as a limited participant on the Redskins’ injury report the last two days.

According to Mark Maske of the Washington Post, the injured toe is still bothering him.

“It’s gotten a little bit better,” Garcon said. “But when you go back to running on it, you can feel pain.”

Garcon said earlier this week that he is going to try everything possible to avoid season-ending surgery. According the Maske, the specific injury Garcon has is a plantar plate tear that involves a torn ligament near his second toe.

Garcon has played in just three games and has eight catches for 153 yards and a touchdown for the Redskins.

Permalink 5 Comments Feed for comments Latest Stories in: Home, Philadelphia Eagles, Rumor Mill, Washington Redskins

Colts launch virtually impossible $500,000 game day weather challenge

Lucas Getty Images

Earlier this year, the Rams offered a paltry $100,000 to the fan who accomplished the virtually impossible task of exactly predicting the team’s 2014 regular-season schedule.  The Colts have given fans an equally (if not more) unrealistic chance of winning five times as much money.

From now through August 7 at 12:01 p.m. ET, fans can guess the kickoff temperature for all four preseason and 16 regular-season games, along with whether the roof will be open for the team’s home games.  Anyone who nails all 30 variables will be eligible to win the $500,000.

If more than one person gets everything right, they’ll share the money.  If no one gets the kickoff temperatures and the open/close decision right for all games, no one wins the $500,000.

Here’s our prediction:  No one will get all the variables right.

So why not offer a lot more than $500,000?  Make it $5 million.  Hell, make it $50 million.  The insurance premiums can’t be all that expensive for what amounts to a 20-ball lottery ticket with a range of roughly 20-to-30 possible winning numbers for the first half of the games and a range of roughly 30-to-60 potential winning numbers for the second half of them.

Then again, why even assume a miniscule additional risk for something that will get plenty of buzz when the grand prize is only $500,000?  After all, we’ve written a post about it, which is exactly what the Colts want us and others to do.

Here’s the caveat we’ll add:  It’s an obvious ploy to generate attention, and the rules are designed to make it incredibly hard to win.  Just like the Rams’ contest.

So in other words, it’s a scam.

Permalink 0 Comments Feed for comments Back to top

Monday morning one-liners

Brian Quick AP

Bills offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett is excited about what 2014 has in store for the team.

G Dallas Thomas has his sights set on a starting job with the Dolphins.

How will Will Smith fit in at defensive end for the Patriots?

Previewing the Jets’ special teams units after the offseason coordinator change.

A look at how the tight end group will shake out with the Ravens.

Bengals QB A.J. McCarron squeezed a wedding in before the start of training camp.

Trent Dilfer did not care for Maurice Carthon, who was the Browns’ offensive coordinator when Dilfer was with the team.

The Steelers website introduces you to TE Rob Branchflower.

Said Texans LB Whitney Mercilus of his new role this season, “It’s definitely showing my versatility and being instinctive on the field.”

Colts WR Hakeem Nicks put an engagement ring on the finger of model Ariel Meredith.

The Jaguars want G Zane Beadles to be a leader.

Blidi Wreh-Wilson vs. Coty Sensabaugh is the battle to watch at cornerback with the Titans.

Broncos CB Aqib Talib is feeling good heading into training camp.

If you want to sing the national anthem at a Chiefs game, this may be your lucky day.

A few quick facts about Raiders DL Pat Sims.

Better health could lead to more improvement on the Chargers offensive line.

The Cowboys may go from on DeMarcus to another at right defensive end.

How many defensive linemen will make the Giants’ 53-man roster?

Eagles S Earl Wolff set a goal of six interceptions on the season.

Will the Redskins be a better tackling team next season?

A look at the Bears’ offensive line heading into training camp.

Lions RB Reggie Bush got hitched over the weekend.

Rob Demovsky of ESPN.com thinks Packers WR Jordy Nelson will get a contract extension before G.M. Ted Thompson.

Vikings RB Adrian Peterson tried out a different sport with the MLB All-Star Game in town.

Getting a handle on the Falcons defensive tackles.

The most memorable Panthers play of last season was the one that beat the Saints in late December.

The center competition is one reason to get excited about Saints training camp.

Remembering some impressive past training camp performances by Buccaneers players.

The Cardinals have said goodbye to their “interview tree.”

WR Brian Quick needs to solidify his spot on the Rams roster.

The 49ers website shares some photos from the farewell to Candlestick Park.

Who will return punts for the Seahawks in 2014?

Permalink 0 Comments Feed for comments Back to top

Bruce Irvin’s hip feeling better, but no sure thing for camp

Bruce Irvin AP

For a team with a Super Bowl trophy in its hands, the Seahawks haven’t had many issues to deal with this offseason.

And one of their biggest concerns appears to be dissipating.

According to Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times, it appears defensive end/linebacker Bruce Irvin is recovering well from hip surgery in June.

Irvin tweeted out the latest update as eloquently as possible: “Rehabbing sucks! But man my hip feels 100 times better!”

Previously, he was viewed as the Seahawks player who might need more time and might not be ready for training camp.

“Bruce is going to be up against it a little bit,” head coach Pete Carroll said earlier this summer. “He’s had a fantastic recovery already and he is going to work his butt off to get back. But we are going to have to wait and see.”

If he’s well, he could compete for a starting linebacker job with Super Bowl MVP Malcolm Smith. Of course, the best use is probably to move him around and to take advantage of his pass-rush ability.
But before they can do that, he has more rehabbing ahead of him, which he apparently does not enjoy.
Permalink 0 Comments Feed for comments Back to top

Donte Whitner: Browns shouldn’t cut Josh Gordon

Cleveland Browns v Minnesota Vikings Getty Images

Browns safety Donte Whitner has heard people say the Browns should cut Josh Gordon, who was recently arrested for DWI and is facing a one-year suspension for violations of the NFL’s substance abuse policy. And Whitner thinks those people are wrong.

Whitner says that what Gordon needs is support from the Browns, not for the team to cut him loose.

“It’s a big blow to us. I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t, it’s not a big blow,” Whitner said on SiriusXM NFL Radio. “But the thing is, we have to rally around him. I know all the things people say — ‘he should be cut, he should be this’ — he shouldn’t. He’s a 23-year-old kid. He made some mistakes. A lot of people’s 20-year-old sons make mistakes. We have to help him, and that’s the bottom line. We have to help him collectively. It’s not going be one person that helps him, it’s not going to be two people that help him. I’m talking about from the front office, the coaching staff, the players and his whole family. We have to help him not only for football purposes, but for life purposes to get his life in order.”

Unless Gordon’s appeal is successful, he won’t play for the Browns until 2015 at the earliest. But Whitner believes that whenever the NFL says Gordon can play, he should play for the Browns.

Permalink 1 Comment Feed for comments Back to top

Joe Montana teases what could be a new football video game

Montana

With LeBron James announcing his decision to return to Cleveland, Friday would have been the perfect day for a bad-news dump.  From Hall of Fame quarterback Joe Montana came on Friday some confusing news that ultimately could be very good news for the many football fans who have grown weary of the same-old Madden franchise.

Montana twice tweeted an image of himself in video-game form, wearing a uniform that doesn’t match the colors or logos of any current NFL team.  The tweets each contained the hash tags “youvewaitedlongenough” and “joemontanafootball16.”

The tweets are being widely interpreted as a tease for a new generation of the old Joe Montana Football game from the Sega Genesis system.  Because EA holds the exclusive license for NFL video games, it’s unlikely that a new version of the Joe Montana game would have NFL team names and logos and current player likenesses.  Which means that, even if the game plays better than Madden, most fans won’t be inclined to buy it.

If the game is good enough, maybe the developer will be able to get the NFL’s attention.  The league previously told PFT that the EA hammerlock lasts a couple more years.  Perhaps a superior product will result in a partnership with the league that would make more money for everyone — and that would make fans looking for an upgrade to the Madden game very, very happy.

Permalink 0 Comments Feed for comments Back to top

Ray Rice remains on deck for a suspension

ray-rice Getty Images

With the latest off-field incident for the Ravens happening this weekend, one of the team’s various 2014 arrests should result in a specific impact on the upcoming football season soon.

Running back Ray Rice has visited the league office in the wake of the resolution of assault charges involving the woman who would become his wife.  Eventually, discipline will be imposed, most likely in the form of a suspension.

Rice will have appeal rights.  To the Commissioner, who’ll make the decision in the first place.

The absence of a history of off-field incidents will help Rice.  The fact that he struck a woman will hurt him, especially if the Commissioner has seen the surveillance video of the punch that knocked out Rice’s wife.

In the end, a multi-game ban should be the assumption.  Anything less than that would be a surprise, especially since the NFL has been making a conscious effort in recent years to increase its concentration of female fans.

The sooner the Ravens know, the sooner they can make plans for however many weeks they’ll not have Rice on the roster once the regular season begins.

Permalink 11 Comments Feed for comments Back to top

Browns are getting a new mascot

Bulldog Getty Images

Like many teams, the Browns will have a mascot.  Unlike many teams, Cleveland’s mascot won’t take off his suit when it’s time to go home.

Per Chris Fillar of 92.3 The Fan in Cleveland, Browns V.P. of marketing Kevin Griffin said that the Browns will use a live bulldog as the team mascot this season.  His name will be “Swagger.”

Given the owner’s propensity for replacing key employees, it’s unknown whether Swagger will simply be fired if he doesn’t fulfill his duties to the satisfaction of management — or whether Swagger will be taking a one-way ride to Euthanasiaville.

No pressure, Swagger.  No pressure at all.

Permalink 61 Comments Feed for comments Back to top

Bills stadium report delayed

Ralph Wilson Stadium AP

A report identifying potential sites for a new Bills stadium had been expected to be released on Friday.  It wasn’t.

Per the Associated Press, the target for the release of the report has moved to the end of the month.

The delay, according to the AP, resulted from the significant volume of information to be processed.  One option continues to be the current home of the team — Ralph Wilson Stadium.

“I’ve said all along the one thing we cannot do is take off the table Ralph Wilson Stadium,” Erie County executive Mark Poloncarz told the AP.  “We’re investing $130 million there, one of the reasons it was done was not only to make it good for the next five to ten years, but many years thereafter.  After the investments we’re doing now it’s going to be a different stadium and when people go there this fall they’re going to realize that it’s still very viable to have ‘the Ralph’ as the home of the Bills.”

Regardless of the potential options identified by the L.A. firm hired to prepare the report, the new owner will have a major say in what ultimately happens.  Especially since the lease allows the Bills to exit with a buyout clause after the 2019 season.  And since the lease expires after the 2022 season.

While few expect the Bills to move to a place like L.A., the threat of a move could be the primary catalyst for whatever the new owner wants.  No one will know what the new owner wants until we know who the new owner is.

Permalink 12 Comments Feed for comments Back to top

New owner likely will mean new key employees in Buffalo

Trump Getty Images

As both training camp for the Bills and the official process of selling the franchise prepare to open at nearly the same time, Tim Graham of the Buffalo News points to the only virtual certainty currently surrounding the team.

After the new owner arrived, a bunch of people will get fired.  Regardless of whether the owner is the guy with the “You’re fired!” catch phrase or someone else.

That’s the way it works in the NFL.  New owner hires new people.  The new owner’s people.  Hand picked through a vision for constructing a football operation that would include any of the current executives and/or coaches only as a coincidence.

The folks running the Bills know it.  They also know that the only way to save their jobs is to win the mob, putting together a team so strong that the fans would revolt if the new owner implements a new approach right away.

Regardless of what they say when explaining the move, that’s really why the Bills gave up a first-round pick and a fourth-round pick to move up five spots with the Browns for potential impact player Sammy Watkins.  It’s also why the Browns two years ago moved up one spot for Trent Richardson and burned a second-round pick in the supplemental draft on receiver Josh Gordon.  The powers-that-be knew that a new person would soon be holding ultimate power over the operation, and that anything other than a dramatic improvement in the team’s fortunes would result in pink slips flying like confetti in the ticker-tape parade that neither the Bills nor the Browns have ever had in the Super Bowl era.

The mandate for the Bills’ brass is to win enough games that the new owner won’t want to risk incurring the wrath of the fan base.  Even then, change is inevitable, unless the Bills become a consistent contender so potent that the new owner adopts a new vision based on not fixing that which ain’t broke.

Permalink 27 Comments Feed for comments Back to top

DeBartolo scores last touchdown at Candlestick Park

DeBartolo AP

The stadium that became best known for the exploits of the team owned by Eddie DeBartolo, Jr. closed its doors on a touchdown scored by DeBartolo himself.

Via Daniel Brown of the San Jose Mercury News, DeBartolo scored the game-winning touchdown at the flag football game that closed out Candlestick Park, giving former 49ers a 45-40 win over a team of All-Stars in a flag football game.

“Trust me. I was as nervous as you were,” quarterback Joe Montana told DeBartolo after the two-yard completion won the game and dropped the curtain on the legendary venue.  Per Brown, DeBartolo sneaked onto the field for the decisive score.

As the modest crowd — estimated at 30,000 by Brown and at 25,000 by Vic Tafur of the San Francisco Chronicle — chanted “Ed-die!,” DeBartolo found a microphone.

“It was an honor being your owner,” he said.  “But it was an even bigger honor to be your friend.”

Per Tafur, Montana threw three touchdown passes for the 49ers, and Steve Young added one.  But Young also threw a pair of Matt Schaub-style pick-sixes to former NFL safety Robert Griffith, prompting boos from the crowd and cries of “We want Joe”!

Quarterbacking the All-Stars were Dan Marino, Drew Bledoe, and Dave Krieg.  They used iPads on the field to help call plays.  It didn’t always work too well; former 49ers safety Tony Parrish intercepted them three times, returning one for a touchdown.

The 49ers will christen their new Santa Clara stadium this season, hosting Super Bowl 50 there in early 2016.

Permalink 52 Comments Feed for comments Back to top

The Jets land at No. 19 in PFT’s preseason power rankings

Geno Smith, Michael Vick AP

The Jets said goodbye to their previous would-be savior at quarterback early in the offseason when they parted ways with Mark Sanchez, a move that cut ties with the good and bad of his four years as the team’s starter while making the key to a successful 2014 season all the more obvious.

The Jets need a consistent and reliable quarterback if they are going to be a consistent playoff participant and they aren’t sure if they have one. The hope is that Geno Smith can build off a rough rookie season thanks to the push he’ll receive from Michael Vick this summer, but it’s hard to find too many strong predictions that things will play out that way.

There’s more certainty about the quality of the offensive talent around the quarterbacks this year, though. Adding Eric Decker, Chris Johnson and Jace Amaro gives the Jets a much deeper group of options at skill positions to go with a defense that did a very good job on the way to last year’s 8-8 record. Even a modest bump in production at quarterback would give the Jets the right to think about the playoffs, so the pressure is on for those trying to provide it.

For now, though, the jury is out and that leaves the Jets in pretty much the same middle of the pack position they were in to end last season. Our PFT panel has voted them into the 19th spot on our preseason power rankings, but we want to know what you think as well. Check out the preview and then cast your vote below.

Permalink 45 Comments Feed for comments Back to top

Jim Leonhard has had conversations with the Packers about 2014 season

Atlanta Falcons v Buffalo Bills Getty Images

The Packers drafted Ha Ha Clinton-Dix in the first round this year, but they may not be done adding at safety.

Former Bills, Ravens, Jets and Broncos safety Jim Leonhard wants to continue playing this season and the Wisconsin native told WQOW that he has spoken to his home state’s team about donning their uniform.

“It would mean a lot, but we’ve had a lot of conversations with teams, Green Bay being one of them,” Leonhard said, via CheeseheadTV.com. “They’re a great organization, I’d love to play for them but it hasn’t worked out up to now. You never know what can happen in the future, but we’ll see. They’re a great organization and it’s always fun to see the fans and have a lot of family that follows them closely.”

Leonhard played all 16 games for the Bills last season, starting seven times and picking off four passes. The Packers have Morgan Burnett back from last year to go with Clinton-Dix and Micah Hyde, who has made the move from cornerback, so there’s not a particularly pressing need for another safety. That explains why nothing has worked out up to now and why Leonhard, who is also an experienced punt returner, may have to look elsewhere if he’s going to play in 2014.

Permalink 33 Comments Feed for comments Back to top

Brian Hoyer isn’t thinking about what his teammates do off the field

Brian Hoyer AP

After LeBron James announced he’d be returning to the Cleveland Cavaliers on Friday, Browns quarterback Brian Hoyer tweeted that he appreciated that James wrote that “everything is earned” for athletes in Northeast Ohio.

It wasn’t hard to see why such a thought would resonate with Hoyer, who is trying to remain ahead of Johnny Manziel as the starter in Cleveland. On Saturday, Hoyer again mentioned James when told Daryl Ruiter of 92.3 The Fan that he’s not looking for “anything to be handed to me” and that he’s looking forward to competing against Manziel. He also said that he hasn’t been paying attention to any of Manziel’s off-field exploits.

“Not really. I’m not really focused on my teammates, what they do in their off life so that’s none of my business,” Hoyer said. “They can make those decisions on their own. All that matters is that we come back ready to go for the season.”

Hoyer said his knee is totally healthy after last year’s torn ACL and that he’s been throwing to Browns receivers Andrew Hawkins and Charles Johnson during the time off before training camp in order to be as sharp as possible when his competition with Manziel heats up later this month. He’ll need to be to remain on top of the depth chart and it’s clear that Hoyer isn’t taking that spot for granted.

Permalink 56 Comments Feed for comments Back to top

E.J. Manuel: I’m stronger than I was last year

EJ Manuel AP

It’s shaping up to be a big year for Bills quarterback E.J. Manuel.

Injuries kept him from practicing fully leading up to his rookie season and then cost him six games during the season, leaving the Bills unsure whether their 2013 first-round pick could be the long-term starter that they have been looking for in Buffalo. With a new owner coming soon, there’s a chance that the front office and coaching staff could be shaken up so Manuel will have to offer more convincing evidence that he can be that guy during his second season or run the risk that the franchise will start looking in other directions.

Manuel says that he has more confidence in himself as he moves toward the 2014 season and that he’s learned some things about staying healthy that leave him feeling like a stronger player than he was a year ago.

“I think that’s one thing I had to learn to be smart when I take off with the football. Instead of trying to get an extra three yards, either step out-of-bounds or slide. Those are all of the nuisances I had to learn,” Manuel said, via the Bills website. “Obviously, I didn’t want to go down with an injury because I’m a competitive player. I go hard each and every time I step on the field. It just so happened that I had to come down with an injury. I moved past it. Thankfully, I am 100 percent healthy right now. I feel like I’m stronger than I was last year, so I’m looking forward to moving on.”

There were some shaky reports about Manuel’s play during the spring, particularly when it came to accuracy, and Manuel says he’s been working on developing chemistry with new wideouts Sammy Watkins and Mike Williams. The hope is that increased familiarity will help Manuel’s passes find their target more frequently because anything less will leave the Bills with bigger questions to answer next offseason.

Permalink 31 Comments Feed for comments Back to top

Rams are 20th in PFT’s preseason power rankings

Jacksonville Jaguars v St. Louis Rams Getty Images

The St. Louis Rams are no longer one of the worst teams in the NFL.

The Rams won just 15 games in five seasons between 2007 and 2011 but have risen back into the middle class of the league over the past two seasons. St. Louis has won seven games in each of the last two years but has yet to mount a true challenge against the Seattle Seahawks or San Francisco 49ers for control of the division. The Arizona Cardinals even usurped the Rams as the biggest threat to the Seahawks and 49ers in 2013.

We have the Rams ranked 20th in the league as teams close in on their reporting dates for training camp. Sam Bradford’s performance will go a long way toward determining the fate of the Rams this season and whether St. Louis will be in the quarterback market again next spring.

Our full Rams preview is located here. Tell us in the poll below if you feel the Rams deserve the ranking we gave them heading into the season.

Permalink 11 Comments Feed for comments Back to top