ProFootballTalk: Bradford’s future hangs in the balance
On Wednesday’s PFT Live, Broncos safety T.J. Ward made the case for his team having the best defense in the NFL. So we’ve decided to put it out to a vote on Thursday’s PFT Live.
Cast a ballot below, and then add a comment below that — including any and all complaints about teams included and excluded from the list of finalists.
Then tune in at 6:00 a.m. ET for the three-hour tour of the National Football League. The first hour airs only on NBC Sports Radio. The next two are simulcast on NBCSN.
Guests include Falcons running back Devonta Freeman, who’ll face the Panthers on Sunday.
Palmer’s advice for Goff includes maximizing his time on the sideline and studying for Sundays knowing he won’t be a backup or a spectator for long.
“You have a chance to watch how you prepare as a starter, how you go about your business as a starter, especially if you’re coming from a very non pro-style offense,” Palmer said Wednesday. “Seeing how offenses prepare, seeing the different pressures you’re going to see and the different defenses you’re going to see…it’s tough if you’re not ready and you get thrown in there. If you struggle it can linger, so I think it’s important.”
The Bengals made Palmer the No. 1 overall pick in the 2003 draft. He spent his entire rookie season watching from the sideline before taking over in 2004. Goff, the No. 1 pick in this year’s draft, is currently waiting behind Case Keenum.
Palmer said he understands every situation is different and said that while Goff waits, he needs to make sure he’s improving and mastering the offense.
“There’s such a fine line between throwing a guy in there, making him play…and he knows he’s going to go in and struggle because the team is not good like some guys have been,” Palmer said. “The Rams are different. That’s a very good team. They don’t need to throw a rookie in there and him learn on the run and the team suffer.”
High ankle sprain? Big deal. MCL sprain in the other leg? So what?
Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson has shrugged off both injuries to fully participate in practice on Wednesday.
The development is an encouraging sign regarding Wilson’s potential availability for Sunday’s game at the Jets.
Running back Thomas Rawls (fibula) didn’t practice. Limited were tight end Jimmy Graham (knee), tight end Nick Vannett (ankle), guard Germain Ifedi (ankle), receiver Tyler Lockett (knee), and linebacker Mike Morgan (hip).
The good news for the Texans, if there can be any on the day three-time defensive player of the year J.J. Watt landed on IR, is that linebacker Brian Cushing could be back in the lineup, as soon as Sunday.
Cushing has returned to practice, two weeks and three days after injuring his MCL.
“It’s really good to get him back,” coach Bill O’Brien told reporters. “He looked good today. Moving around and looks like he’s ramping it up to be able to play in the game.”
O’Brien was noncommittal regarding whether Cushing will play against the Titans.
“The expectation is that he’s going to practice tomorrow and we’re going to see where that is,” O’Brien said. “Then he’ll practice Friday and we’ll see where that is.”
“[J]ust a lot of hard work,” Cushing said when explaining his ability to return so quickly. “I didn’t want to believe it would be four to six [weeks]. I’m not saying I’m all the way back yet. I’m not saying for sure what I’m doing, but I know I practiced today. I know I felt good. I’m happy about the progress, that’s for sure. I’ve been hurt too much in my career, in my opinion. It’s something that I don’t want to do anymore, or want to be, so anything I can do to get back and get out there as soon as I possibly can and be healthy and be effective, I’ll do. Just excited to be back out there with the guys.”
Cushing said there’s a “possibility” he’ll play Sunday, but that they’re “taking it day by day.”
The Texans may be a little hesitant to put Cushing back on the field so quickly, after what happened to Watt. But Cushing said that, structurally, his knee is “great.” If so, there’s no reason for Cushing to not play.
Veteran running back C.J. Spiller will sign with the Seahawks, per multiple reports.
The Saints cut Spiller earlier this month. The Seahawks have been hit hard by injury at the running back position, so taking a flyer on Spiller makes sense.
Spiller, 29, played for the Saints last season after five seasons in Buffalo. He has 12 rushing touchdowns and eight receiving touchdowns in his career.
The Seahawks are planning to be without injured starter Thomas Rawls for a few weeks, so Spiller will probably get a chance to play on third downs behind Christine Michael while he catches up with the offense.
The Dolphins released wide receiver Justin Hunter on Wednesday.
The Dolphins play in Cincinnati Thursday night. The timing of Hunter’s release indicates the Dolphins need a roster spot due to injury or other circumstances and could promote someone from their practice squad.
Hunter was released by the Titans in early September and claimed by the Dolphins. He played in one game this season and did not record a reception.
The disappointing Jets tenure of Dee Milliner has now officially come to an end.
Milliner, the former No. 9 overall pick in the draft, was waived/injured before the start of the regular season, and when he cleared waivers he went to the Jets’ injured reserve list. Now the Jets have waived him off their injured reserve.
That means if any team wants Milliner, he can be claimed on waivers. If he goes unclaimed he’ll become an unrestricted free agent and can play this season, assuming he’s healthy enough to do so. If he had stayed on the Jets’ injured reserve he wouldn’t have been able to play this year.
An excellent cornerback at Alabama, Milliner was a big disappointment in the NFL. He may still have a chance to catch on somewhere else, but he’s now officially done as a Jet.
The Cardinals and Rams will square off this Sunday and the Rams have added a former member of the Arizona secondary to their roster ahead of the game.
Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle reports that the Rams claimed safety Marqui Christian off of waivers on Wednesday, a day after the Cardinals dropped him as part of a series of transactions. The Cardinals said the move was due to the need to bring in another punter while Drew Butler is recovering from ankle and Achilles injuries.
Christian was a fifth-round pick by the Cardinals in April. He starred at Division II Midwestern State and was named the top small college defensive player last year, but hasn’t played in the regular season as it appears the leap in levels to the NFL has been a big one.
He may have some insight into the Cardinals that the Rams could find useful over the next couple of days, however.
Chargers defensive end Joey Bosa was listed as a limited participant in Wednesday’s practice due to a hamstring injury.
That means it’s a new week but the same story for Bosa, who’s still trying to get healthy enough to make his NFL debut.
The No. 3 pick in last year’s draft participated his first practice in pads last week but was ultimately held out of last weekend’s game. Bosa missed almost all of training camp and the preseason due to a contract dispute, then was injured in his first practice back.
The Chargers host the Saints on Sunday.
Two days after offensive lineman Alvin Bailey was arrested for operating a vehicle while intoxicated, it’s unclear whether the Browns will take action against him for it.
“We will see,” coach Hue Jackson told reporters on Wednesday. “Obviously, this is a league matter. Those kind of things that happen, I’m not very excited about it at all. There will be consequences for it, but we have to follow league protocol as far as that is concerned. We will do what we feel is right.”
Alcohol offenses fall under the NFL’s exclusive jurisdiction, via the substance-abuse policy. A first offense generally results in a two-game suspension.
While teams can’t fine players accused of DUI or suspend them without pay, players can be released for arrests (like the Bucs did last week with tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins), they can make them inactive on game day, and they can choose not to play them, even if they are active.
So will Bailey play on Sunday against Washington?
“You will find that out on Sunday,” Jackson said.
The Browns may have a separate problem in this case. Bailey reportedly told police he drank on the team flight back from Miami. Nine years ago, however, the NFL banned teams from providing alcohol on team flights.
There’s currently no evidence the team provided alcohol to Bailey or any other player. However, there’s also no evidence that Bailey or any other player snuck a bottle of booze or a six-pack of beer onto the charter, either.
If Tom Coughlin eventually will be getting back into coaching in 2017 (or sooner), there’s no current effort in Buffalo to make that happen.
Both Coughlin’s current employer (the NFL) and Coughlin’s agent (Sandy Montag) have denied a report that emerged over the weekend indicating that Coughlin had met with Bills owners Terry and Kim Pegula.
“This meeting did not happen,” NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy told PFT via email on Wednesday.
“I do confirm that a meeting did not occur,” Montag told PFT via email.
The Bills opted to say nothing, citing a “longstanding practice not to respond to media posts based on rumors.” While accounts of the Coughlin-Pegula meeting may have begun as rumor, Sal Maiorana of the Rochester Democrat & Chronicle reported that a meeting occurred.
The fact that the Bills scored an unlikely win over the Cardinals likely contributed to the fizzling of the rumor/report. But if the Bills struggle again, talk of Coughlin could resurface. Regardless of what happens in the future, the NFL and Coughlin’s agent have been unequivocal: No meeting happened.
Nothing changed on that front over the last two days and Carroll confirmed Wednesday that Wilson will be working with the rest of the team after going through a morning walkthrough. The quarterback added a sprained MCL to an ankle injury during last Sunday’s victory over the 49ers, but, as reported by Sheil Kapadia of ESPN.com, he has been working with a physical therapist who has been living in his house this week.
Carroll said Wilson is feeling well at this point in the week.
“He’s upbeat and feeling good,” Carroll said, via Curtis Crabtree of PFT and 950 KJR. “We’ll know more after today.”
Carroll went on to say that he would be surprised if Wilson doesn’t play, something that’s supported by the fact that the team opted against working out any quarterbacks who could join Trevone Boykin as options in the event Wilson isn’t in the lineup.
When the Dolphins face the Bengals in Cincinnati on Thursday night, four players will definitely not be playing.
Ten other Dolphins are listed as questionable, including receivers Jarvis Landry (shoulder) and DeVante Parker (hamstring), safety Reshad Jones (knee), tight end Dion Sims (ankle), and tackle Branden Albert (ankle).
In a Wednesday conference call with Buffalo media, Edelman was asked whether he has spent time this week practicing at quarterback.
“It’s a team policy that we’re not allowed to talk about where we’ve been practicing, but I can tell you that what we have been doing has been tough because of the opponent, the Buffalo Bills and coach [Rex] Ryan, and what he does, he does so much,” Edelman said. “It’s one of those things where we have to really tap in in the classroom and bring it to the grass in practice and translate that into regular drills, team drills, and all those types of things because we know it’s going to be against a tough opponent this week.”
Asked later by Ryan himself (who identified himself as Walt Patulski of the Buffalo News) whether Edelman will play quarterback this week, the receiver said, “I’m going to do whatever the coaches ask me to do. If they ask me to go out and give a glass of water to someone on the sideline, I’m going to do that with a smile on my face if it helps our team win. You can ask coach [Bill Belichick] that one.”
Ryan had a smile on his face, because Edelman didn’t realize Ryan was the one posing the questions.
Bengals Pro Bowl tight end Tyler Eifert’s return will likely wait at least another week.
The Bengals are listing Eifert as doubtful for Thursday night’s game vs. the Dolphins. Eifert had returned to practice last week.
Eifert had ankle surgery last spring after being injured in the Pro Bowl. Last week marked the first time he had practiced in a team setting.
Safety Derron Smith, who has a chest injury, is listed as questionable.