Mike Florio talks with former NFL QB and current NBCSN NFL analyst Shaun King about the recent criticism of Mike Shanahan’s decision to keep Robert Griffin III in the game knowing the QB’s knee was ailing. King says Shanahan was right to play RGIII in and if the Redskins had won the game, the media’s dialogue about the injury would be radically different.This video is no longer available. Click here to watch more NBC Sports videos!
PFT Live: Did Shanahan make the right choice?
Cowboys rookie running back Ezekiel Elliott’s visit to a marijuana store in Seattle ahead of last week’s preseason game against the Seahawks drew a rebuke from Cowboys owner Jerry Jones that appears to have made an impression on Elliott.
Jones said “it’s just not good” for Elliott to be at the store and taking pictures with fans even if he didn’t buy or use marijuana during his visit. On Monday, Elliott said that he understands why Jones feels his sightseeing made for bad optics.
“I was curious,” Elliott said, via the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. “I didn’t think I was doing anything wrong. I wasn’t breaking any laws or anything. It was a bad decision. It was something I shouldn’t have done. But I know now. … You definitely got to think of the perception of things before you actually do certain things. It may not seem like a big deal to you yourself but there is a bigger picture. It’s definitely a learning experience about the scrutiny. You just got to be careful and not give anyone a chance to say anything.”
Visiting stores selling legal products isn’t usually the sort of thing that leads to scrutiny of players from the league or teams, but Ed Werder of ESPN reported that there’s concern about a “pattern of disturbing behavior” around Elliott. If that’s the case, one would hope that domestic violence allegations leveled against Elliott are at the forefront rather than the way he chose to explore Seattle before the game.
The four current players implicated last December in the Al Jazeera documentary regarding PED use (Clay Matthews, Julius Peppers, James Harrison, and Mike Neal) have submitted to interviews. So what’s next?
The expectation from the players’ perspective is that all four will be exonerated quickly, in the same way Peyton Manning was. That’s also the way the wind currently is blowing at 345 Park Avenue, where the private message continues to be that this all could have been quickly taken care of in March, if the players had merely agreed to talk.
Will it be quickly taken care of in August? The players, through the NFL Players Association, feared that the NFL secretly had other evidence beyond the claims of former Guyer Institute employee/intern/whatever Charles Sly, or that the league would follow the interviews with a request that the players produce their phones.
For now, there’s no indication that the NFL plans to move in that direction. Given that Sly necessarily was discredited by the finding in the Peyton Manning investigation suggests that Sly will be discredited as to the others, too. If not, the investigation and disciplinary process will hover over the start of the 2016 season, if not beyond.
Several coaches have chosen to talk about the Colin Kaepernick situation in San Francisco. Patriots coach Bill Belichick has chosen not to.
“We’re really focused on what we do and getting ready for the Giants, improving our football team,” Belichick told reporters on Monday. “We’re not here to talk about political commentary or ideology and all of that.”
And that was that. No follow up, no alternative approach, no tiptoeing-on-eggshells effort to get the Wizard to deviate from his initial position.
Belichick’s father was a renowned scout at the Naval Academy, and Bill was a fixture on the Annapolis campus as a boy. His opinions, if he’d express them, could be intriguing.
On one hand, refusing to stand for the national anthem can be seen as a sign of disrespect to the military, and to the country. On the other hand, it can be viewed as the exercise of one of the basic freedoms for which thousands have died.
For now, no one knows where Belichick lands on that spectrum. Chances are we never will.
The Packers are blessed with enough offensive options that their backups get more attention than some teams’ starters.
And they got two guys they haven’t seen enough of back on the field Monday.
Janis has been out since Aug. 10 with a broken hand, and was practicing with a large club-type cast on. While that complicates the life of a person who catches things for a living, Janis would be able to take part in special teams with such an apparatus.
Hundley has only played in one preseason game, but unlike Aaron Rodgers, that wasn’t on purpose. He’s been bothered by an ankle injury throughout camp that has left most of the reps they were planning to give him in the hands of undrafted rookies Joe Callahan and Marquise Williams.
The Packers also announced the first six of their cuts. They released defensive tackle Demetris Anderson, cornerback Randall Jette, wide receiver Jamel Johnson, linebacker Derrick Mathews, punter Peter Mortell and wide receiver Ed Williams.
The cuts have started in Detroit ahead of Tuesday’s deadline to get to 75 players.
The Lions announced that 10 players have been dropped from the roster and that long snapper Jimmy Landes has been placed on injured reserve. That group includes the previously reported release of veteran offensive lineman Geoff Schwartz.
Tight end Matthew Mulligan and cornerback Crezdon Butler joined Schwartz as vested veterans given their release on Monday. Mulligan, a blocking specialist, signed with the team in April while Butler has played 45 games for eight teams since 2010, including eight with the Lions last season.
Placing Landes on injured reserve with a shoulder injury means Don Muhlbach will be handling the team’s snapping for another year.
Kicker Devon Bell, wide receiver Quinshad Davis, guard Chase Farris, defensive end Deonte Gibson, defensive end Louis Palmer, cornerback Rashaad Reynolds and defensive end Quanterus Smith round out the list of former Lions. Detroit now has 78 players on the roster.
On Thursday night in Orlando, Dolphins defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh suffered an ankle injury. On Monday, he had an opportunity to provide an update regarding his condition.
Asked about the severity of the injury, Suh said, “You’ll have to ask coach.”
Asked whether it’s affecting him at all, he provided a two-word version of the same answer: “Ask coach.”
Teams aren’t required to disclose injury information in the preseason, and players never are. For Miami, the first obligation comes in advance of the Week One game at Seattle.
Sometimes, a team’s approach to injury information creates conflict with the players, who would prefer that fans and media would be aware of an excuse for poor performance. Teams prefer to keep the target off the injured area and otherwise to keep the opponent in the dark, as much as possible.
The Broncos are trying to find a way to get quarterback Mark Sanchez off the roster while getting something back in return, but they need to drop to 75 players by Tuesday whether they can trade him or not.
They started the process of getting there on Monday by parting ways with 11 players, leaving them with four more moves to make before the deadline.
Safety Brandian Ross and wide receiver DeVier Posey are the most experienced of the group. Ross has played 45 games with the Raiders, Dolphins and Chargers since the start of the 2012 season while Posey caught 22 passes in 26 games for the Texans after they drafted him in the third round of the 2012 draft.
The other players let go are tight end Manasseh Garner, safety Antonio Glover, defensive lineman Calvin Heurtelou, tackle Cameron Jefferson, nose tackle David Moala, wide receiver Durron Neal, linebacker Darnell Sankey, linebacker Frank Shannon and offensive lineman Mathu Gibson.
The Ravens’ depth at tight end took a major hit when Benjamin Watson was lost for the season with a torn Achilles.
But they’re getting closer to getting some of it back.
Pitta’s been out since breaking his finger Aug. 1 in a practice fight with a teammate. Of course, that’s just the latest injury Pitta’s trying to come back from, as he’s played three games the last two seasons because of hip problems. Williams has been out with an undisclosed injury.
With Pitta on the shelf and most of their receivers of note recovering from something, it’s been hard for Joe Flacco to build up much of what you’d call timing with his targets in the preseason. But he and Pitta have played together enough that it shouldn’t be a long-term problem.
PFT has learned, via a league source, that the Broncos are trying to trade the 2009 first-round pick now that they have settled on Siemian as their starter. Rookie Paxton Lynch is the other quarterback on the depth chart and is seen as the ultimate choice to start after Denver selected him in the first round this year.
Should they fail to move Sanchez in a trade, there’s a good chance that the Broncos will release Sanchez before Tuesday’s deadline to get to 75 players. Sanchez has $1 million of his $4.5 million base salary guaranteed, which means the team would save $3.5 million in both money and cap space if they did cut him loose.
If they don’t cut Sanchez before Week One, the entire salary will be guaranteed because Sanchez is a vested veteran and the Broncos will owe the Eagles the seventh-round pick they conditionally agreed to fork over in the trade for Sanchez. The Broncos might also be on the hook for the full $4.5 million if Sanchez were to get injured in Thursday’s preseason finale, so he might not get on the field even if the Broncos haven’t decided his fate before the cut to 75 takes place.
Defensive lineman Cullen Jenkins will be remaining in the NFC East.
According to multiple reports, Jenkins, who played for the Giants the last three seasons and was with the Eagles for the two years before that, has agreed to a one-year deal with the Redskins. Reports on Monday morning had Jenkins headed to Washington for a workout with the team.
Jenkins had 26 tackles and three sacks in 16 games and 13 starts for the Giants last season and has been a starter for much of the last decade while with the Giants, Eagles and Packers. He has been a useful pass rusher on the interior of the line for all three teams and has 47.5 sacks since entering the league in 2004.
Jenkins will join a Redskins defensive line group that currently includes Ricky Jean-Francois, Kedric Golston, Chris Baker, Stephen Paea, Kendall Reyes and 2016 fifth-round pick Matt Ioannidis on the top two lines of their depth chart.
Andrus Peat made a few starts at left guard during his rookie season and he could be moving back there in his second NFL season as well.
Peat, who was drafted in the first round after playing left tackle at Stanford, has been starting at right guard this summer, but coach Sean Payton isn’t happy with the way the offensive line has been playing in the preseason. That includes Peat, which left Payton to suggest that flipping sides might be part of the solution.
“He hasn’t played very well over on that right side, so we’ve got to keep looking and pay close attention to it,” Payton said, via the New Orleans Times-Picayune. “I was hoping that we were able to put him in one spot. I know what he can do well, and we’ve got to find a way to be at a high enough level inside. And I think we can get that done. … Peat’s played a lot of snaps a year ago. I expect him to be better. Now, it might be more over on the left side. We’ve moved him around enough, and we’ve got to settle in on where we feel like this player’s going to play, whether it’s the right or the left side.”
Tim Lelito and Senio Kelemete have been competing for the left guard job and the disappointing overall results could have the Saints sifting through players cut elsewhere in hopes of finding the right mix up front this year.
The Eagles cut two veteran wide receivers on Sunday, which didn’t come as much of a surprise to anyone who had followed the disappointing performances of Rueben Randle and Chris Givens over the summer.
The team might have thought twice about parting ways with both players if they had doubts about Jordan Matthews being ready to return in time for the regular season, but it doesn’t appear things will play out that way. Coach Doug Pederson said Monday that Matthews, who has been sidelined with a knee injury, is ready to practice and will get some reps in 7-on-7 drills during the team’s practice session.
“He’s on track and doing a great job with his recovery and should be ready to go next week,” Pederson said, via Philly.com.
It doesn’t sound like the team plans to play Matthews in the preseason finale and rookie quarterback Carson Wentz will also sit out the game. Pederson said one of Wentz’s injured ribs has healed, but the other is only at 60 percent and Wentz said, via Mike Garafolo of NFL Media, that he is “a no go for this week.”
It may be a while before Wentz gets another chance to play, especially if Sam Bradford and a healthy Matthews form a strong connection in the early part of the season.
The NFL wants NBC’s top team of Al Michaels and Cris Collinsworth for Thursday Night Football, with a caveat. Due to scheduling conflicts, a pair of the NFL Network-only Thursday night games will be handled by Mike Tirico and Doug Flutie.
NBC made the announcement on Monday, a limited exception to the Thursday night contract that CBS has employed from time to time. For example, Jim Nantz and Phil Simms didn’t work last year’s ketchup-and-mustard game between the Rams and Buccaneers.
Tirico also will host Football Night in America on Sundays from the site of each game, with Bob Costas becoming the stadium-site host of Thursday Night Football.
It all gets starting in 10 days, when the Panthers face the Broncos from Denver to start the 2016 NFL season. Three days later, NBC has the Patriots-Cardinals game to cap the first Sunday of the season.
The Jets have four quarterbacks but will almost certainly keep only three on the 53-man roster. The odd man out will be either Geno Smith or Bryce Petty. Obviously, the Jets would prefer to trade one of them than release one.
But would any team give anything up for Smith or Petty? According to Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News, the Jets have fielded inquiries from teams with a need at quarterback. Those teams are interested in Smith first, and Petty to a lesser extent.
Ryan Fitzpatrick is entrenched as the Jets’ starter, while Christian Hackenberg’s job is safe as a second-round pick. Petty has played better than Smith in the preseason, which would seem to put Smith’s job in jeopardy.
It’s unlikely that the Jets would get much for Smith in a trade, but some team looking for an experienced backup might be willing to give them a conditional seventh-round pick. That’s better than nothing, and nothing is all the Jets end up with if they cut Smith.
The Lions are clearly going younger on the offensive line, and General Manager Bob Quinn isn’t afraid to cut bait on guys he’s recently signed.
The former Giants, Chiefs, Vikings and Panthers guard has battled injuries in the past, but he’s healthy now and ought to find work soon.
The Lions just traded for guard Brandon Thomas yesterday, giving them another option inside.
Schwartz was signed by Quinn this offseason, but the first-year Lions G.M. has also traded wide receiver Jeremy Kerley and cut running back Stevan Ridley, both of whom were signed this offseason as well.