Mike Florio and Tom Curan take a look at the New England Patriots and speak about how they will fare now that Rob Gronkowski is out for the rest of the playoffs. Curan also discusses whether or not Gronkowski was healthy enough to play against the Texans in the first place. Will Wes Welker be on the Patriots next season? What will another Super Bowl loss do to Tom Brady’s legacy?This video is no longer available. Click here to watch more NBC Sports videos!
PFT Live: Can Patriots survive without Gronkowski?
Rams Coach Jeff Fisher told reporters Sunday that Rams rookie wide receiver Pharoh Cooper has a shoulder injury and “will miss a few weeks.”
With two weeks until the season opener, that probably means Cooper will miss at least some time in the regular season. Cooper was injured during the Rams’ preseason game Saturday night in Denver.
Cooper has two catches for 30 yards and a touchdown this preseason. An early entry to the 2016 draft, Cooper went to the Rams in the fourth round, at pick No. 117.
Fisher also said cornerback E.J. Gaines has a quad strain and is likely to miss some time.
A.J. Green gave the Bengals and Bengals fans a scare in the first quarter of Sunday night’s preseason game in Jacksonville when the Pro Bowl wide receiver limped off with what appeared to be a non-contact knee injury.
Trainers looked at Green’s right knee, but the Bengals quickly announced the injury was nothing major and that Green could have returned if it had been a regular season game.
In the third quarter, Green did a sideline interview with NBC’s Michelle Tafoya and said he’s not worried about the knee.
“I think I came down on it…just banged knees,” he said. “I’m fine. It sucks because I wanted to play a little bit longer.
“It’s not serious at all. I’m fine now.”
The Bengals have had a miserable preseason on the injury front. It’s highly unlikely any of the team’s starters will play in the preseason finale as the Bengals try to get healthy — and keep their starters away from further potential harm.
Bengals running back Cedric Peerman immediately left the game and was treated on the sideline after being dragged down by his left arm by Jaguars cornerback Davon House in the second quarter of Sunday night’s game.
Trainers placed an air cast on Peerman’s arm.
Peerman went to the Pro Bowl as a special teams player last season. He’s been with the Bengals since 2010 and hasn’t missed a game in three seasons.
Monday’s PFT Live gets rolling, as it always does, at 6:00 a.m. ET on NBC Sports Radio. Then, as it now does, the show slides to NBCSN at 7:00 a.m. ET.
As part of the enhanced exposure, we’re trying to give the audience a question to ponder every day. With Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo expected to miss 6-10 weeks, here’s Monday’s question.
Garropolo, in the event you’ve been out of the country for the past several months, will start the first four games of the season in place of Patriots quarterback Tom Brady.
Answer the poll question below, drop a comment or two below that, and then tune in on Monday. Guests include former 49ers assistant (and former Browns and Jets head coach) Eric Mangini, Rodney Harrison of NBC’s Football Night in America, and NBC Sports Medicine Analyst Mike Ryan.
At a time when plenty of coaches and other league personnel believe that the new touchback rule will result in more, not fewer, kickoff returns, a separate question arises regarding the manner in which teams whose coaches, General Managers, and/or owners have spots on the Competition Committee will adjust.
The committee currently consists of Falcons president Rich McKay, Giants co-owner John Mara, Cowboys executive V.P. Stephen Jones, Packers president Mark Murphy, Ravens G.M. Ozzie Newsome, Texans G.M. Rick Smith, Bengals coach Marvin Lewis, Cardinals coach Bruce Arians, Broncos G.M. John Elway, and NFL senior adviser Tom Coughlin (awkward, given Mara’s presence on the committee).
Already, Jones has admitted that he’ll have the “conversation” with coach Jason Garrett about ensuring that the adjustment of the touchback from to 20 to the 25 has the desired effect. And the Bengals, led by Lewis, have been kicking it deep on Sunday night in Jacksonville.
When the games that count begin, it’ll be interesting to see how the Falcons, Giants, Cowboys, Packers, Ravens, Texans, Bengals, Cardinals, and Broncos handle both kicking off and opting to take a knee. If the rule change boomerangs, it ultimately makes the committee look bad for believing that the change would reduce the so-called “most dangerous play” in the game. The most dangerous play becomes a little less dangerous if the teams with representatives on the Competition Committee deliberately ignore the question of whether it makes more sense to kick it short and/or to try to run it out from the front of the end zone.
The top priority for preseason play continues to be this: Stay healthy enough to play in the regular season.
On Sunday night in Jacksonville, a pair of key Bengals failed to stay healthy.
Cornerback Adam Jones and receiver A.J. Green each have suffered leg injuries in the team’s Week Three preseason game against the Jaguars. The injury to Jones happened prior to the start of the game, in a innocuous-looking drill near the sideline. After backpedaling, Jones came up limping. He is out of uniform and not playing.
Green suffered a leg injury during the game itself. He tried to keep playing after developing a noticeable limp, before exiting the game.
The Bengals only needed three plays to turn a turnover into a touchdown in Sunday night’s preseason game vs. the Jaguars.
The Bengals have dominated on both sides early. They moved into Jaguars territory on their second series too before stalling due to penalties.
The Chiefs made eight roster cuts Sunday as they move towards Tuesday’s deadline to trim their roster to 75 players.
Waived by the team Sunday were wide receivers Seantavius Jones and Kashif Moore; defensive backs Bryce Cheek and Malcolm Jackson; defensive lineman Niko Davis; linebacker Jonathan Massaquoi and offensive linemen Drew Nowak and Curtis Feigt.
Massaquoi was a fifth-round pick of the Falcons in 2012 and has played in 39 career games. Nowak has prior experience with the Seahawks and Jaguars, and Jones played in three games for the Saints last season.
Final cuts to the regular season roster size of 53 are due by Sept. 3.
The Texans are a couple of weeks away from their first regular season game with Brock Osweiler at quarterback and the team is happy with the way things have gone in the preseason.
Assuming he sits on Thursday, Osweiler closed out the exhibition season by going 11-of-13 for 146 yards and a touchdown against the Cardinals in a 34-24 victory. One of the incompletions was a drop by rookie wide receiver Will Fuller, who had a good day otherwise with three catches for 67 yards and a touchdown.
Osweiler also had success throwing to Braxton Miller and DeAndre Hopkins before handing the offense over to Tom Savage in a game that left coach Bill O’Brien feeling good about the man the Texans signed to run his offense.
“I thought Brock went in there and managed the offense well,” O’Brien said. “Made some good throws. I was pleased. He’s made a lot of progress. Improved every day. Easy guy to coach. Pleased with where he is right now.”
Osweiler’s done better each week during the preseason and said after the game that his confidence is growing every time out, which is the kind of trajectory you’d expect to see from a player gaining a better understanding of the offense. Should that trend continue, the Texans will like their chances of opening the year with a home win over the Bears.
Colin Kaepernick has suddenly become the most controversial player in the NFL because of his refusal to stand for the national anthem. But there may be another issue that could cost him his job in San Francisco: He’s not a very good quarterback.
Jay Glazer said on FOX that the 49ers are deeply concerned with Kaepernick’s decline as a player, which started last season when he struggled before getting benched, then got even worse this offseason when he lost significant muscle mass when he couldn’t work out following multiple surgeries.
“Regardless of politics or not, he has a very, very big uphill battle to make this team,” Glazer said. “I’d be shocked if he’s on the 49ers by the time this season ends. It has nothing to do with political views whatsoever. He lost a ton of weight this offseason, had three surgeries, couldn’t work out, lost that double threat, that size-speed ratio. No political views, he just hasn’t been effective. He’s regressing as a player. I’d be shocked if he’s on this roster by the end of this year. He may not be on it in the next two weeks.”
Kaepernick’s contract guarantees him an $11.9 million salary this season, and ordinarily a player with an $11.9 million guaranteed salary isn’t going to get cut. But if the 49ers really think Kaepernick has regressed to the point where they’d be better off with Blaine Gabbert starting and Christian Ponder and Jeff Driskel backing Gabbert up, then they can save a little money by cutting Kaepernick and hoping he signs with another team, as they would be able to reduce that $11.9 million by the amount of Kaepernick’s salary with a new team.
So there are football reasons that the 49ers might want to get rid of Kaepernick. At this point, they probably wish they had done so before this weekend’s non-football controversy.
He’ll need to prove his effort level somewhere other than Philadelphia. Randle, whose inconsistency and perceived inattention to detail were problems during his years with the Giants, was among the players cut from the Eagles roster on Sunday as they dropped to 73 players.
He wasn’t the only veteran receiver bounced in the cutdown. Chris Givens was also given a pink slip, leaving both veterans out of work months after signing with the Eagles. Jordan Matthews, Josh Huff, Dorial Green-Beckham, Nelson Agholor and Paul Turner are among the nine wideouts still on the roster.
The Eagles also parted ways with long snapper John DePalma, cornerback Randall Evans, offensive lineman Andrew Gardner, defensive tackle Mike Martin, safety Nick Perry and cornerback Denzel Rice. Linebacker Joe Walker and defensive end Alex McCalister were both placed on injured reserve.
All teams have to be down to 75 players by Tuesday’s deadline, leaving the Eagles in position to add players while other teams are dropping them in the next couple of days.
Quarterback Colin Kaepernick’s decision not to stand during the playing of the national anthem before games this year was the main topic in the 49ers locker room on Sunday as Kaepernick provided further explanation for that decision.
Kaepernick pointed to police brutality against people of color and said people are “not being held accountable” for their actions. He also criticized both of the major party candidates for president — “You have Hillary [Clinton] who’s called black kids, black teens ‘super predators.’ You have [Donald] Trump who’s openly racist” — while speaking for about 20 minutes on Sunday.
“Ultimately it’s to bring awareness and make people realize what’s really going on in this country,” Kaepernick said, via Cam Inman of the San Jose Mercury News. “There are a lot of things that are going on that are unjust, people aren’t being held accountable for, that’s something that needs to change. That’s something, that, this country stands for liberty, freedom, justice for all. And it’s not happening for all right now. … I’ll continue to sit. I’m continue to stand with the people that are being oppressed. To me this is something that has to change, and when there’s significant change and I feel that that flag represents what it’s supposed to represent and this country is representing people in the way that it’s supposed to, I’ll stand.”
Kaepernick also addressed one of the frequent criticisms of his stand by saying that his decision to sit during the anthem is not a sign of disrespect for those that have served the United States in the military.
“I have great respect for our men and women that fought for this country,” Kaepernick said. “I have family, I have friends that have fought for this country. And they fight for freedom. They fight for liberty and justice, for everyone. And that’s not happening. I mean, people are dying in vain because this country is not holding its end of the bargain up as far as giving freedom and justice and liberty to everybody. It’s something that’s not happening. I’ve seen videos, I’ve seen circumstances, where men and women that have been in the military have come back and been treated unjustly by the country they fought for, and have been murdered by the country they fought for. On our land. That’s not right.”
Kaepernick’s meeting with the media came after 49ers players held a meeting that saw Kaepernick address his teammates. Center Daniel Kilgore said he “took offense” to Kaepernick’s actions before Friday’s game, but after listening to his teammate said “I do stand with Kap when he says enough is enough against crime, violence, discrimination and racism.”
Others are sure to continue to share their disagreements with Kaepernick’s point of view as they have over the last few days, which is their right just as it is Kaepernick’s to be on the other side of the issue. That’s something worth appreciating about this country wherever you might fall on the spectrum.
In Sunday’s Cardinals-Texans game, Houston linebacker John Simon made an athletic play on a screen pass, tipping the ball, catching it, and exploding for a long return to the end zone for a score. The more significant moment from a play in an otherwise insignificant preseason game came immediately after the interception.
Texans defensive lineman Devon Still, drafted by the Bengals months after Palmer decided he no longer was playing for the team, applied a helmet-to-helmet hit on Palmer as he lunged to make the tackle of Simon. The hit sent Palmer’s helmet flying.
(A current Bengal would say Palmer simply should have just run his ass back to the sideline.)
Even when a quarterback decides to try to make a tackle after a turnover, he can’t be hit in the head or neck area or with the helmet. The move, which didn’t draw a penalty flag on Still, will likely nevertheless result in a fine being imposed.
Palmer’s sideline demeanor suggested that he chipped a tooth on the play. Coupled with a pair of interceptions in limited work, Palmer’s 2016 isn’t starting much differently than his 2015 ended.
The Jets stashed wide receiver Devin Smith on the reserve/physically unable to perform list, and cut 11 guys to get their roster down to 78 prior to Tuesday’s deadline to get to 75.
Smith wasn’t ready after tearing his ACL last December, but he didn’t look ready before then, either. The 2015 second-rounder only caught nine passes as a rookie.
Smith will miss the first six weeks of the regular season before he can be activated.
The Jets also released linebacker Deion Barnes, tackle Jesse Davis, center Kyle Friend, defensive lineman Shelby Harris, guard Jarvis Harrison, kicker Ross Martin, defensive lineman Helva Matungulu, running back Lache Seastrunk, tight end Jason Vander Laan, wide receiver Kyle Williams and running back Terry Williams.
The good news for the Cardinals starting offense on Sunday is that they found the end zone for the first time in the preseason.
The bad news is that David Johnson’s touchdown run was sandwiched between a pair of Carson Palmer interceptions. Vince Wilfork tipped a ball that wound up in Andre Hal’s hands to end the first Arizona possession of the game and set up a Houston touchdown.
Interception No. 2 came on a great play by Texans linebacker John Simon to tip an attempted screen into the air before corralling it and rumbling 59 yards for a touchdown. That poor outcome was made worse when Palmer was drilled by Texans defensive lineman Devon Still after a futile attempt to stop Simon. The hit to the head left Palmer without a helmet and members of the Texans medical staff were looking at Palmer on the bench after Drew Stanton took over at quarterback on the next possession.
That’s likely the last that we’ll see of Palmer this preseason. If so, he’ll end the exhibition season 12-of-22 for 139 yards with three interceptions, two of which were returned for touchdowns. That line doesn’t wipe out memories of the NFC title game as opening night against the Patriots draws closer.