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ProFootballTalk: Which Patriot gets the blame?
Veteran Giants cornerback Leon Hall suffered a concussion during the first quarter of Saturday night’s Jets-Giants preseason game.
Hall signed with the Giants earlier this month. He previously played exclusively for the Bengals, who drafted him in the first round in 2007.
The Giants also announced that rookie linebacker B.J. Goodson was being evaluated for a concussion.
The Colts got shoved around in the first half of Saturday night’s preseason game by the Eagles, who took a 17-3 lead into halftime.
Colts quarterback Andrew Luck completed 13-of-18 passes for 134 yards but was sacked three times. The Colts were able to move the ball but couldn’t sustain drives and scored only in a short-field situation, settling for three points after a Darius Butler interception.
“We didn’t do the job we should have done protecting our quarterback,” Colts coach Chuck Pagano said on the team’s preseason broadcast. “Guys have to man up and block their guys.”
The Colts ran the ball nine times for just 13 yards. The Eagles scored on a Josh Huff run and a Sam Bradford fade to Dorial Green-Beckham, who’s playing his first game for the Eagles after being acquired in a trade with the Titans.
The Colts also didn’t score a touchdown with Luck and the starters in last week’s preseason game vs. the Ravens.
With the Tavon Austin extension official, a debate already has begun regarding whether the Rams are paying the 2013 first-rounder too much.
“Tavon has been an integral part of our offense and special teams since we drafted him in 2013,” coach Jeff Fisher said in the press release announcing the deal. “It is important to our organization to retain players we’ve drafted and invested in, and Tavon is an example of that. We’re excited for him to continue his career with the Rams.
The release points out that Austin and running back Todd Gurley each had 10 touchdowns last year, the first time two members of the Rams have landed in double digits since running back Steven Jackson and receiver Torry Holt in 2006. Austin has 19 touchdowns for his career: nine receiving, seven rushing, and three on punt returns.
The release doesn’t mention Austin’s other stats, possibly because it’s harder to justify a four-year, $42 million extension by pointing to them. He had 473 receiving yards in 2015, 242 in 2014, and 418 in 2013, along with rushing yards of 434 in 2015, 224 in 2014, and 151 in 2013.
That’s an average of 377 receiving yards per season and 269 rushing yards per season. Throwing in 313 average punt-return yards and 144 average kickoff-return yards, Austin has averaged 1,103 all-purpose yards per year in his career. Still, he has only 646 yards from scrimmage each year, on average.
Does that add up to a four-year, $42 million contact? Maybe not, based on the raw numbers. But considering that Austin hasn’t had much help — and that he definitely hasn’t had high-quality quarterback play — the Rams apparently think that the best days are coming for Austin, and that getting him for $10.5 million per year in new money is a lot cheaper than what it would have cost in 2018.
By the second drive, Butler was out with an ankle injury.
Two weeks from the season opener, it’s bad timing for Butler and worse for the Colts. They’re already without starting cornerback Vontae Davis until at least October, and fellow starter Patrick Robinson has been dealing with a groin injury. Butler was one of just four Colts cornerbacks who suited up for Saturday night’s preseason game.
The team announced that Butler is done for the game. There likely won’t be another update on his status until at least later tonight.
Veteran Ravens tight end Ben Watson suffered a torn Achilles tendon on the first play of the Ravens-Lions preseason game Saturday night and will miss the 2016 season.
The Ravens signed Watson in March. He played the last three seasons with the Saints and had a career-best 74 receptions last season.
The team announced the injury not long after Watson was taken to the locker room.
Watson, 35, is a veteran of 12 NFL seasons. He’s also played for the Browns and Patriots, who drafted him with the final pick of the first round in 2004.
The Ravens had hoped Watson would catch a bunch of passes once he developed chemistry with quarterback Joe Flacco, who made his preseason debut Saturday night. Flacco is recovering from a torn ACL.
Though Watson was the most experienced and durable tight end on the roster — Watson only missed one game the last four seasons — the Ravens are deep at the position with Crockett Gillmore, Dennis Pitta and Maxx Williams.
49ers coach Chip Kelly told reporters Saturday that quarterback Colin Kaepernick’s decision not to stand for the national anthem does not affect Kaepernick’s place on the depth chart or any other football matters.
Kelly knew questions about Kaepernick were coming when he talked with reporters Saturday. Earlier in the day, Kaepernick told NFL Network he is “not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses Black people and people of color.”
If Kaepernick wants to continue to not stand for the anthem, Kelly won’t try to change his mind.
“It’s not my right to tell him not to do something,” Kelly said.
Kaepernick also didn’t stand for the anthem during prior preseason games, and Kelly said “he has the right to express his feelings.”
The NFL starts handing out real fines before the players are receiving real paychecks.
Players are paid their base salaries in 17 installments during the regular season, so it’s not until Week One that the money will be taken out of their paychecks.
In the case of Hyder, whose salary this year is $450,000, the fine would represent almost 70 percent of his per-game salary. However, the NFL has an appeals process that allows players to cap any fine at 25 percent of weekly salary. So if Hyder makes the Lions’ roster, his actual fine will be $6,617, which is 25 percent of his weekly salary.
Simon’s base salary is $1.67 million, so he’ll be on the hook for the full fine.
The Rams don’t have many offensive weapons. One of the few they have will be sticking around for a while.
PFT has confirmed that receiver Tavon Austin, the eighth overall pick in the 2013 draft, has agreed to terms on a four-year extension.
It’s a four-year extension, worth $42 million. Per a league source with knowledge of the situation, Austin’s true guarantee if he’s on the roster next March will be $25 million.
He was due to make $2.14 million this year and $12.2 million next year, under the fifth-year first-round option. In all, it’s a six-year deal worth more than $56 million.
The deal also includes an incentive package that will pay Austin significantly more, if/when he generates the kind of numbers over the course of a full season that he has generated in flashes through his first three seasons.
Can he generate big numbers over the course of a full season? If running back Todd Gurley continues to improve and quarterback Jared Goff is the real deal, it will be easier for the Rams to get more out of Austin. At times last year, the offense consisted primarily of pushing the ball forward with Gurley and finding ways to get the ball in Austin’s hands in space with a collection of average-at-best quarterbacks.
Bears backup quarterback Connor Shaw needs surgery after suffering a broken leg in Saturday’s preseason game vs. the Chiefs.
Bears Coach John Fox told reporters the team will know more about the extent of the injury after Shaw has surgery. He was injured when he was hit by Rakeem Nunez-Roches of the Chiefs while making a pass.
The Bears claimed Shaw via waivers earlier this summer — and had company in wanting to secure Shaw’s rights.
Shaw signed with the Browns as an undrafted rookie in 2014 and spent the season on the practice squad before being promoted to start the season finale. He spent last season on injured reserve.
Maybe the Patriots will soon be leaking that they’ll be cutting Terrance Knighton, so that they can trade him.
The veteran defensive tackle didn’t play in Friday night’s preseason game against the Panthers. Knighton, who played last year in Washington, didn’t sound happy about the development.
“I prepared myself to play,” Knighton said, via Jeff Howe of the Boston Herald. “I just didn’t play. I don’t know. You’ve got to ask the coaches. I’m 100 percent healthy. I prepared myself to play a lot of football tonight. It didn’t happen. It is what it is. I’m not asking why or anything. I’m just going to show up to work tomorrow and take it a day at a time.”
If Knighton’s name is included in the reduction of the roster from 90 to 75 (on Tuesday) and then to 53 (by next Saturday), he’ll leave with a $250,000 signing bonus and a workout bonus of more than $100,000. He also would be an unrestricted free agent, able to pick his next destination, if he’s cut.
A trade becomes possible because his salary is only $900,000, with a $300,000 incentive package.
“It’s disappointing because I’ve played a lot of ball in this league, seen a lot of things, but I’m not going to make too much of it,” Knighton said. “It is what it is. Whatever happens, happens. If I’m here, I’m here. If I’m not, I’m not. I’m just taking it a day at a time really.”
He’ll only need to take it another seven days or so before knowing his fate with the Patriots.
The Redskins made 10 roster cuts Saturday as they prepare for two mandatory roster cutdowns this week.
Waived by the team were offensive tackles Al Bond and Cody Booth; linebackers Shiro Davis and Ejiro Ederaine; cornerback Jeremy Harris; linebacker Willie Jefferson; running back Kelsey Young and wide receivers Valdez Showers, Dez Stewart and Jarvis Turner.
All were college free agents who had signed with the Redskins over the last two years.
All teams must trim their rosters to 75 by Aug. 30 and to the regular season size of 53 by next weekend.
Jets WR Brandon Marshall says that rookie WR Robbie Anderson “has that wow factor.”
Ravens QB Joe Flacco will play on Saturday for the first time since suffering a season-ending knee injury in 2015; “I think the big thing about preseason is always getting back out there and getting oiled up and part of that is playing well,” Flacco said. “I think a big part of going into the first game of the season is confidence in what we have and how we’ve done in live games.”
Browns coach Hue Jackson let P Andy Lee hear it for giving a half-hearted effort to make a tackle on a punt return; “We’re out there to play,” Jackson said after the game. “If there’s another guy that has the ball, your job is to go get it.”
Steelers S Shamarko Thomas still talks to Troy Polamalu several times per week; “He is a bigger brother to me,” Thomas said. “A father figure. It is him guiding me and mentoring me. Any question I have he is there for me.”
The Chiefs continue to discuss the possibility of selling the naming rights to Arrowhead Stadium.
Good news? Support for the Chargers stadium bill has increased nine points. Bad news? They’re still 27 points short of the mark.
The Panthers have a fairly long list of banged-up players.
Lost in the redemption of this year’s second-round pick of the Buccaneers is the fact that last year’s first-round pick keeps getting better and better.
Cardinals coach Bruce Arians likes having the team’s training camp at its stadium.
The 49ers have traded cornerback Kenneth Acker to the Chiefs in exchange for a future draft pick.
The 49ers’ release on the trade noted that Acker must pass a physical before the trade is finalized. ESPN reported that the pick sent to Kansas City was a seventh-round pick in 2018.
Acker was a sixth-round pick of the 49ers in 2014 and started 13 games last season. He spent his entire rookie season on injured reserve.
Acker played in 15 games last season and had three interceptions.
The Dolphins have cut 11 players as they move toward the 75-man roster limit.
The biggest name of the bunch is cornerback Brandon Harris, a 2011 second-round pick of the Texans who has had a disappointing NFL career and still has never started a regular-season game.
Players placed on waivers were linebacker Akil Blount, center/guard Ruben Carter, wide receiver A.J. Cruz, long snapper Ryan DiSalvo, wide receiver Matt Hazel, tight end Gabe Hughes, kicker Marshall Koehn, cornerback Al Louis-Jean, guard Vinston Painter and wide receiver Brandon Shippen.
All 32 teams have until Tuesday at 4 p.m. ET to trim their rosters to 75 players.
If Week Three of the preseason is the week that most resembles the regular season, the Bears’ offense is not in good shape. Then again, the Bears’ offense didn’t look good in the first two weeks of the preseason either.
In today’s game against the Chiefs, Bears starting quarterback Jay Cutler completed just six of his 15 passes, for 45 yards, and was sacked twice for a loss of 20 yards. The Bears didn’t score a point until third-string quarterback Conor Shaw threw a touchdown pass late in the fourth quarter.
Today isn’t the first disappointing preseason performance for the Bears’ offense, which was shut out in a 22-0 loss to the Broncos in the first week of the preseason. The Bears looked a little better in the second preseason game, a 23-22 loss to the Patriots.
Cutler and the starters won’t play next week, so their preseason is over. They’ll have to look a lot better in the regular season or else the Bears are headed for a third consecutive last-place finish.