The Detroit Lions added to their offensive depth Monday with the signings of tackle Kevin Haslam and tight end Cameron Morrah.
Haslam has appeared in 10 games over the last three seasons for the Jacksonville Jaguars and San Diego Chargers. He started three games for San Diego last season before being released in May. He was claimed off waivers by the New England Patriots and eventually released by the team last week.
Morrah was a seventh-round draft pick of the Seattle Seahawks in 2009 and appeared in 27 games over three seasons with the team. He missed all of the 2012 season while recovering from a toe injury. Morrah was signed by the San Francisco 49ers earlier this offseason before being released in June. Morrah caught 16 passes for 194 yards in his three years with the Seahawks.
To make room on their roster, the Lions waived tackle Austin Holtz and waived/injured linebacker Cory Greenwood.
Redskins starting nose tackle Barry Cofield exited Monday’s exhibition game vs. Pittsburgh with an injury, the club said earlier on Monday night.
According to Redskins radio reporter Rick “Doc” Walker, and via Chris Russell of ESPN 980 in Washington D.C., Cofield’s injury is a broken right hand. (Walker originally said it was Cofield’s left hand but later corrected his report, according to Russell, and Walker tweeted to that effect as well.)
Per Russell, who cited a report from Walker, Cofield does not believe the injury is a major one.
Cofield, 29, has started all 32 regular-season games since joining Washington in 2011. Chris Neild and Ron Brace are the next two nose tackles on the club’s depth chart.
Minnesota Vikings first-round draft pick Sharrif Floyd is expected to miss the remainder of the preseason after having a procedure performed on his left knee.
According to Mark Craig of the Minneapolis Star Tribune, Vikings’ head coach Leslie Frazier said the procedure wasn’t an arthroscopic surgery and merely called it a minor procedure. Frazier said Floyd will not play this week against the San Francisco 49ers and probably won’t play in the preseason finale against the Tennessee Titans next week.
Floyd initially injured his knee in the Vikings’ preseason opener against the Houston Texans last week.
The Redskins had an uncomfortably familiar moment Monday night in their first home game since their playoff loss to the Seahawks when their starting quarterback had to exit the game with an injury.
The starter was Kirk Cousins not Robert Griffin III, the injury was to his foot instead of his knee and it was a preseason game, but otherwise the difference is negligible.
Cousins has been diagnosed with a sprained foot and there’s no timetable yet for his recovery or return. Albert Breer of the NFL Network reports that Cousins’ sprain is located in the middle of the foot, which has led to extended absences for several players in the past. Again, there’s no timetable but it seems like a good bet that Rex Grossman will be starting the team’s third and fourth preseason games.
The odds might not be as good, but there’s also a chance that Grossman’s the guy backing up Robert Griffin III when the Redskins start the regular season against the Eagles.
With his fake dead girlfriend fading from memory, rookie linebacker Manti Te’o is still dealing with a very real injury.
Per the Associated Press, the Chargers second-round pick has removed the walking boot from an injured foot. However, Te’o still isn’t practicing.
“He will be out there when he is ready to go,” said Chargers coach Mike McCoy, who has matched his football knowledge with a mastery of the obvious.
Te’o, who was injured during San Diego’s preseason opener, isn’t expected to play when the Chargers face the Cardinals.
“The saying goes you don’t know what you got until it’s gone and it’s only been a week and a half and I’m already itching to get back on the field,” Te’o said.
“I’m getting all the mental reps, I’m taking the practice script with me and watching what plays are going and trying to play the plays in my head. Even though I’m not in there physically, I’m just as much in it mentally.”
That last sentence could apply to Te’o in multiple ways. For now, though, the main focus is football, and it’ll be interesting to see what he can do when he gets back to 100 percent.
Running back Daryl Richardson only played four snaps in the team’s second preseason game.
It wasn’t because he’s falling out of favor with the coaching staff, though. It’s because the team has already seen all that they needed to see from Richardson to know that he’d be in the backfield when the offense opens up the season against the Cardinals. That was coach Jeff Fisher’s explanation at a Monday press conference that confirmed where things have been heading for some time.
“From a starting standpoint, yeah, I think Daryl would probably take the first snap against Arizona,” Fisher said.
It doesn’t hurt that Isaiah Pead won’t be available Week One because of a suspension, but Fisher made it clear that Richardson wasn’t starting by default. Fisher has said that he doesn’t anticipate having a bell cow back, so Pead should still see a good amount of work. Being the first guy up always has its advantages, though, and Richardson looks like a good fit for the overall move toward more spread looks after the acquisitions of Tavon Austin and Jared Cook.
Things got off to an ominous start when running back Le’Veon Bell left with an injured foot after the first series of the game and they only went downhill from there for the Steelers starting offense.
The unit, which remained on the field for the entire first half except for a change from Ben Roethlisberger to Bruce Gradkowski at quarterback, turned the ball over three times and saw Redskins linebacker Ryan Kerrigan wreak havoc along the line of scrimmage. Kerrigan pressured Roethlisberger a few times, scored a touchdown after picking off an attempted pass to the flat and then stripped Gradkowski on a later sack.
Running back Jonathan Dwyer also fumbled for the Steelers after running into tight end David Paulson and getting stripped of the ball as he tried to regain his footing. They also lost fullback Will Johnson to a rib injury when he was hit by safety DeJon Gomes on a play that was flagged for a hit on a defenseless receiver.
While there were mistakes on several fronts, the play of the offensive line should be the most concerning to the Steelers moving forward. Dwyer had a few strong runs, but the biggest pass plays while Roethlisberger was in the game came as the quarterback did his trademark job of extending the play despite pressure seeping through the protection. There were also four penalties on offensive linemen to round out a performance that is sure to make for an uncomfortable film session later this week.
“Operation Patience” was the message on Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III’s t-shirt before Monday night’s game against the Steelers.
“Operation Grossman” may be the Redskins’ motto for the rest of the preseason.
Kirk Cousins, starting in place of Griffin for the second straight game, went down to the ground and grabbed his right foot after being tackled by Steelers linebacker Lawrence Timmons while trying to run out of bounds in the second quarter. He was taken to the sideline, where trainers removed his shoe and started their examinations.
Rex Grossman replaced Cousins and would presumably remain in the game for the rest of the half at the very least if Cousins doesn’t recover. Pat White is the only other quarterback currently on the Redskins roster, which could mean a job opportunity for a currently unemployed signal caller if Cousins isn’t able to play for the rest of the preseason.
UPDATE 8:58 p.m. ET: The Redskins have announced that Cousins’ return is questionable with a right foot injury.
Just when the litany of off-field issues regarding seemingly mild-mannered Broncos linebacker Von Miller seems to be as odd it can get, it gets a little odder.
According to 9news.com, Miller’s name appears on a witness list in a quintuple-murder case.
Miller faces no accusations of wrongdoing. He is listed as someone who could testify about the “prior events” and “attire” of Dexter Lewis, who is charged with killing five people last October inside Fero’s Bar and Grill. Miller is identified as a “possible acquaintance” of a friend of Lewis.
The Broncos told 9news.com that the team is aware of the possibility that Miller will testify. The Broncos have been told Miller had no direct involvement in the murders.
Still, for a guy who not long ago could boast launching a poultry empire as his biggest quirk, things have gotten very unusual very quickly for Miller.
Last week, we were told that the decision on when Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III will play will be made by coach Mike Shanahan, with input from Dr. James Andrews. As owner Daniel Snyder tells it, Dr. Andrews will have even greater influence than that.
Per Lisa Salters of ESPN, Snyder said the decision will be made by Dr. Andrews.
It could be a distinction without a difference. Obviously, if Shanahan isn’t comfortable playing Griffin it won’t matter if Andrews provides the green light. But Snyder’s comment implies that, from Shanahan’s perspective, clearance from Andrews will be the controlling factor in the decision-making process.
Meanwhile, Griffin seems to be ready to play. He told Salters he can do everything that he did last year.
In three weeks, we’ve got a feeling that Griffin will get a chance to prove it.
Steelers rookie running back Le’Veon Bell missed the first preseason game because of a left knee injury and then was in and out of practice last week for the same reason, but he healed up enough to make the start at running back on Monday night against the Steelers.
Bell didn’t last long before heading back to the trainers. Bell carried the ball four times on the Steelers’ first offensive drive, but Jonathan Dwyer was on the field with the offense for the Steelers’ second possession.
Bell, meanwhile, was on the bench getting looked at by trainers. The Steelers announced that Bell was done for the night because of a right foot injury a short time later, ending his first NFL game action almost as quickly as it started.
The fear for the Steelers entering the game had to be that Bell would aggravate his knee injury again. Now they’ve got something completely different to worry about in regard to the man they’ve installed at the top of their depth chart at running back.
The Colts have shown a willingness to sign players from other professional football leagues in G.M. Ryan Grigson’s time running the front office.
They have done it again.
On Monday, the Colts announced the signing of wide receiver Maurice Williams, who most recently played in the Arena Football League.
Williams, 25, played with the Orlando Predators and Cleveland Gladiators in 2013. He also played defensive back and returned kickoffs in the Arena League.
Williams played collegiately at Pittsburgh, according to his biography on the AFL’s website.
When news surfaced this morning that Broncos linebacker Von Miller is facing a six-game suspension for violating the NFL’s substance-abuse policy, we noted that something out of the ordinary must have taken place: Usually, a first suspension under the league’s substance-abuse policy is for four games, while a second suspension is for a full year. A six-game ban would represent an unusual middle ground.
Now we have some idea of the unusual circumstances that may have led to the NFL planning to give Miller more than the normal four-game ban for a first suspension. Adam Schefter of ESPN reported that when Miller went to give a urine sample to the drug tester, it was spilled. When Miller then came back later to give the drug tester another urine sample, that sample was found to be diluted.
It’s possible, of course, for those things to happen innocently. Someone could drop a bottle of urine accidentally, and a player’s urine could be diluted simply because he drank a lot of water. But the NFL makes clear that a positive drug test isn’t the only way to violate the substance-abuse policy. Failing to produce a testable sample when asked to submit to a drug test can also be considered a violation.
That’s something Miller should have known, because one of his teammates, D.J. Williams, was suspended six games last year under similar circumstances. The league said Williams twice provided a substance other than human urine for his drug tests, then was seen attempting to pour something from a bottle hidden in his waist band into his urine sample.
Now Miller is facing a similar accusation, and may face the same six-game suspension.
Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III has a mission. And his marching orders are to not march.
Welcome to “Operation Patience,” the message displayed on the T-shirt worn by Griffin during pregame warmups on Monday at FedEx Field.
The message undoubtedly arises from the ongoing tension between the team and the player regarding whether he’ll play in the preseason. The next question will be whether the team will clear Griffin to play in Week One of the regular season, three weeks from tonight against the Eagles.
Video displayed by ESPN during Monday Night Countdown shows Griffin moving explosively and fluidly on his surgically-repaired knee. He’s fast, he’s agile, and he’s apparently every bit as skilled as he was before injuring the knee during the 2012 season.
And now his biggest challenge will be to wait until the right time to show what he can do during a football game.
Bills linebacker Nigel Bradham was charged with marijuana possession after a traffic stop on Saturday in Tonawanda, New York.
The Tonawanda News reports that Bradham was pulled over at 2:01 a.m. for a window tint violation, and the officer who pulled him over smelled marijuana and asked where the drugs were. According to the police report, Bradham initially denied having any drugs, but when the officer asked again, Bradham opened the glove compartment, pulled out a plastic bag and admitted it contained marijuana.
According to the report, the amount of marijuana was too small to arrest and jail Bradham, so he was only issued tickets, one for possession of a small amount of marijuana and one for a window tint violation.
The Bills released the typical statement that teams usually release when players face off-field issues.
“We are still in the process of gathering the facts surrounding this report and will reserve comment until we have completed that process,” the statement said.
A fourth-round pick out of Florida State last year, Bradham had a promising rookie season, playing in all 16 games and starting the last 11. He has also started both preseason games this year.