Patriots TE Rob Gronkowski will need a fourth surgery on his right forearm that he initially broke in November. Gronkowski has had a lingering infection in the injured forearm for weeks. The Pats are hoping that this is the final procedure Gronk will need on his right arm.This video is no longer available. Click here to watch more NBC Sports videos!
ProFootballTalk: Will Gronk miss season opener?
The Packers announced a series of roster moves on Tuesday that leaves them with 76 players on the roster.
It appears the final move to get to the 75-man limit has come via a trade. The Bills announced that they have acquired linebacker Lerentee McCray from Green Bay for an undisclosed 2018 draft pick.
McCray signed with the Packers in April after playing 24 games with the Broncos over the last two seasons. The Bills have lost linebackers Reggie Ragland and IK Enemkpali for the season and first-round pick Shaq Lawson is out indefinitely with a shoulder injury.
There’s been no word from the Packers about the trade at this point. The Packers did announce that they released wide receiver Harvey Binford and placed tight end Kennard Backman, running back John Crockett, center Jacob Flores, tight end Mitchell Henry and guard Josh Walker on injured reserve.
The Panthers traded for veteran punter Andy Lee on Monday, which made one of the team’s cuts on Tuesday an easy decision.
Veteran punter Mike Scifres has been released after getting hurt last week and setting the wheels in motion for the Lee trade. General Manager Dave Gettleman said Tuesday that the team felt they couldn’t go into the season with rookie Kasey Redfern as their punter and that led him to deal Redfern and a 2018 fourth-round pick for Lee.
“To have a team like this and to go into a season with a rookie punter is really rolling the bones,” Gettleman said. “Through conversations in the office, we decided to take a shot. Andy Lee is a Pro Bowl punter. People talking about checking boxes? Well, that’s a huge box to check. He’s an outstanding holder as well as a great punter, and it was just something we felt we needed to do.”
The Panthers also released defensive end Rakim Cox, safety Trenton Robinson and wide receiver LaRon Byrd on Tuesday and placed cornerback Leonard Johnson on the reserve/non-football injury list. That leaves them with 74 players, which either gives them a roster spot to fill or a head start on the cut to 53 players this weekend.
The Bears have made the final roster moves needed to get the team to the 75-man limit on Tuesday and they are headlined by a pair of expected trips to injured reserve.
The team placed center Hroniss Grasu and quarterback Connor Shaw on I.R. due to injuries they suffered this summer. Grasu tore his ACL early in August, forcing the Bears to turn elsewhere for a starter in the middle of the offensive line after he held down the job down the stretch last season.
Shaw broke his leg against the Chiefs last week on a hit that he called “cheap BS” after the game. Coach John Fox said after the injury that he thinks Shaw has a bright future with the club and he’ll try to fulfill that expectation next year.
Defensive end Dion Jordan has been cleared to make his return to the practice field by the NFL, but his knee hasn’t allowed that to happen this summer and we’ll be well into the regular season before it can happen.
Jordan has been placed reserve non-football injury list by the Dolphins, which means he won’t be allowed to practice or play for the team for at least the first six weeks of the season. Jordan had knee surgery before being conditionally reinstated from his suspension by the league.
He’ll be joined on that list by linebacker Zach Vigil, who was placed on the NFI list on July 29 because of a back injury. Vigil played in all 16 games last season and had 18 tackles and a blocked punt to show for his efforts.
The two moves leave the Dolphins with 75 players on their active roster ahead of Tuesday’s deadline to get to that number.
The Cowboys will be without quarterback Tony Romo for the start of the regular season, a state of affairs they’ve grown more familiar with than they’d like over the years.
Painful though it has been for the Cowboys, Romo’s missed time pales in comparison to that of linebacker Sean Lee. Lee has never played all 16 games in a season, which makes his absence from practice since last Thursday’s game against the Seahawks a worrisome trend for a defense that’s already missing pieces they expected to play a major role.
Cowboys coach Jason Garrett said Tuesday, via multiple reports from Dallas, that Lee has been dealing with a knee injury and that he had an MRI Monday to evaluate the extent of the issue. Lee had arthroscopic surgery on his knee during the offseason and missed all of the 2014 season with a torn ACL.
Garrett said the results were positive for the Cowboys and that the team doesn’t believe it will be a long-term injury that costs Lee time in the regular season. History says the knee or some other body part will provide further cause for concern about Lee’s condition this season, but, for now, it looks like he’ll be on the field when the games count.
One of the most-discussed moments of Week One of the NFL season will be the national anthem before the Monday night 49ers-Rams game, when Colin Kaepernick is expected to continue his protest and remain seated while other players are standing. But that moment won’t be televised.
ESPN told Richard Deitsch of Sports Illustrated that it normally does not show the national anthem for the late game of the Week One Monday Night Football doubleheader and won’t show it this year either.
That decision is a mistake. Just because the national anthem isn’t ordinarily shown doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be shown when there are extenuating circumstances, and in this case there are certainly extenuating circumstances. Telling the story of that game will include showing Kaepernick, showing the other players, and covering any reaction Kaepernick gets from the fans, positive or negative.
Kaepernick’s stance has thrust the national anthem into the national news. ESPN should allow viewers to see that news being made.
When the Titans released quarterback Zach Mettenberger this offseason, there were teams other than the Chargers who wanted him.
Today, the Chargers decided they no longer did.
According to Michael Gehlken of the San Diego Union-Tribune, the Chargers have waived Mettenberger as part of their first cuts to 75.
Mettenberger played for Chargers offensive coordinator Ken Whisenhunt in Tennessee, but not particularly well. He was 0-10 as a starter there, though that had as much to do with the Titans as Mettenberger.
The Bengals and Giants each put in waiver claims on Mettenberger in May, and it will be interesting to see if anyone has any interest in him this time around.
The Jaguars once used the second pick in the 2013 NFL Draft on Luke Joeckel, hoping he’d become their left tackle of the future.
Now, he’s the left guard of the present.
According to Mark Long of the Associated Press, Jaguars coach Gus Bradley said he’s decided to start free agent acquisition Kelvin Beachum at left tackle and Joeckel next to him at left guard in the regular season opener.
Neither of them will play in the preseason finale.
The Jaguars didn’t pick up the fifth-year option on his rookie contract, which would have cost them $11.9 million. That means Joeckel’s entering a contract year, at a new position.
Issues of expectations and pride aside, it’s also going to be interesting to see if Joeckel is any good at playing guard. There were a few moments Sunday against the Bengals when he looked overwhelmed and/or ended up on the seat of his pants. But he was lined up across from star defensive tackle Geno Atkins, and he does that to people sometimes.
Joeckel was clear this offseason he wanted to win his old job back, but today’s announcement makes it clear he didn’t.
Of the various things 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick’s said during a lengthy media availability on Sunday, the one that resonated the most with many (including me) entailed the comparison of legally-required training for those who are supposed to keep us safe to those who are supposed to keep us looking presentable.
“There is police brutality,” Kaepernick said. “People of color have been targeted by police. So that’s a large part of it. And they’re government officials. They’re put in place by the government so that’s something that this country has to change. There’s things we can do to hold them more accountable, make those standards higher.
“You have people that practice law and our lawyers and go to school for eight years, but you can become a cop in six months and don’t have to have the same amount of training as a cosmetologist. That’s insane. Someone that’s holding a curling iron has more education and more training than people that have a gun and are going out on the street to protect us.”
It was an eye-opening claim, one that I had decided on Monday to research: In California, where Kaepernick lives and works, does a cosmetologist have more training than a police officer?
Before I could actually start the project, I received the letter to the 49ers and the NFL from the San Francisco Police Officers Association, and I noticed that the wide-ranging response to Kaepernick’s assertions did not include a challenge to his facts regarding police versus cosmetology training. Which told me that Kaepernick was factually correct; otherwise, the SFPOA would have pointed it out.
Indeed, he was correct. Police officers in California must attend (either before being hired or upon hire) an 888-hour Basic Police Academy, which requires roughly six months to complete. Cosmetologists in California have a 1,600-hour training requirement before they can even take the test required to secure a license.
Regardless of anyone’s opinions regarding the manner in which Kaepernick chose to express his concerns, it’s fair to ask the question of whether the persons on the front lines of law enforcement, making life-and-death decisions regarding themselves and others in the heat of the moment, have sufficient training, education, and overall fitness for this critical job. If they do, great. If they don’t, then improvements are required.
Even though the vast majority of police officers fulfill their obligations professionally, honorably, fairly, and appropriately, some don’t — and the mere fact that they wear the uniform and display the badge doesn’t make them immune from criticism, scrutiny, and ultimately consequences for failing to meet or exceed the standards that apply when deciding whether to protect themselves by using deadly force.
Veteran defensive tackle Sammie Lee Hill doesn’t have a team at the moment.
If he finds one soon, he’ll miss a month of action.
According to Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network, Hill has been suspended four games for violation of the league’s substance abuse policy. The suspension is apparently for a missed test as opposed to a failed test.
Of course, since the league hasn’t announced the suspension, someone has again breached the confidentiality of the substance abuse program with the help of one of their employees.
Hill started at nose tackle for the Titans last year, but other than a visit with the Seahawks, there hasn’t been much reported interest in the 29-year-old, who spent his first four seasons with the Lions.
The Saints haven’t been happy with the play of their offensive line this summer, which is the impetus behind several developments in New Orleans.
The team is giving 2015 first-round pick Andrus Peat a look at left guard after he failed to impress on the other side of the line, leaving Tim Lelito and Senio Kelemete to take their competition to the right side. All three will be in action on Thursday as coach Sean Payton said the team will play their starters for at least some of the first quarter of Thursday’s game against the Ravens.
“We’re going to play a lot of our guys early on in this game, and I think it’s important that those guys get work at those positions,” Payton said, via the New Orleans Times-Picayune. “So, our plan early in the first quarter is to play our starters and then make a transition at some point. There’ll be a handful of players who we’ll continue to give more snaps to, and [Peat] would be a candidate along with the right guard position. A lot of it will just be dependent on kind of the numbers and where we’re at at the start of the second quarter.”
Should the Saints still find their guards lacking, they could turn to veteran Khalif Barnes. Payton announced Tuesday that Barnes, a 2005 third-round pick by the Jaguars, has signed with the team after spending the last seven years with the Raiders. He has experience as both a guard and a tackle.
Brandon Tate has been the primary kick and punt returner for the Bengals for most of the last five seasons, but he won’t be continuing that streak in 2016.
The Bengals announced Tuesday that they released Tate as they made the cut to 75 players. Tate joined the Bengals on waivers in 2011 and has played in every one of the team’s games over the last five years. He averaged 9.2 yards per punt return, scoring one touchdown, and 24.3 yards per kickoff return while also catching 33 passes.
In addition to cutting Tate, the Bengals placed rookie defensive tackle Andrew Billings on injured reserve. Billings had surgery to repair a torn meniscus this month and will have to make another attempt at winning playing time in 2017.
Defensive tackle Brandon Thompson will start the year on the physically unable to perform list, which leaves him ineligible to play or practice in the first six weeks of the year, and wide receiver Mario Alford was waived/injured to round out the team’s moves.
The Lions got to today’s 75-man roster deadline, by parking a couple of guys who hadn’t practiced yet this season anyway.
Via Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press, the Lions placed tight end Brandon Pettigrew and wide receiver Corey Fuller on the reserve/physically unable to perform list, which will keep them off the field for at least the first six weeks of the regular season.
Pettigrew tore his ACL last December and isn’t ready to contribute yet. Even with Eric Ebron hopeful for the opener, with Andrew Quarless suspended the first two games of the regular season, the Lions are extremely thin at tight end at the moment.
Fuller is coming off foot surgery. The Lions also released cornerback Brandon McGee, who was signed last week, getting them to the 75-man limit.
The Browns released linebacker Paul Kruger and traded punter Andy Lee on Monday, continuing the offseason theme of clearing out players acquired under previous regimes ahead of Hue Jackson’s first season as coach.
With veterans leaving the team, the Browns are left with a fairly inexperienced group of players in line for significant playing time during the regular season. That group has had some high points in the first three preseason games but the bright spots have been intermittent, which likely made Jackson’s decision about whether to play his starters in Thursday’s preseason finale a pretty easy one.
“I think we need to play them,” Jackson said, via ESPN.com. “I think we need to get better as a football team.”
Jackson didn’t say how much any of the players will play against the Bears, but it’s hard to argue with his opinion that the team needs as much work as it can get before the start of the regular season.
The deadline to get to 75 players falls on Tuesday afternoon, but there won’t be any last minute sweating in Tampa because the Bucs are already there.
Dye hurt his hamstring in the team’s game against the Browns last Friday, ending his bid for a second year as a backup receiver and kick return option. Dye had 11 catches for 132 yards and a touchdown in 10 games last year and had one catch for 20 yards in preseason.
His departure leaves the Bucs with 10 receivers, many of whom will be on field this Thursday trying to grab spots on the lower rungs of the depth chart.
Hale signed with the team in July and was trying to convert to the offensive line after playing defensive tackle at Ohio State.