ProFootballTalk: Fitzgerald talks ‘different’ Arizona QB
With the trade deadline four days away, a couple of teams are sniffing around the possibility of trading for Browns tackle Joe Thomas.
Per a source with knowledge of the situation, two teams have been exploring the potential move. However, there is no indication that a trade will be finalized, or even that tangible trade talks will happen between now and 4:00 p.m. ET on Tuesday.
Thomas has a base salary of $8.3 million for 2017. Prorated from Week Nine through Week 17, Thomas is due to make $4.39 million over the balance of the season.
This means that whoever trades for Thomas, who is under contract through 2018, will need to have $4.39 million in cap space — or that the team will have to restructure the contract to chop down the cap number.
It’s unclear which teams are exploring a possible run at Thomas. PFT reported over the weekend that the Giants, Seahawks, Cardinals, and Vikings each have some degree of interest, with the Patriots interested only if the Browns slide into fire-sale mode and are willing to essentially give him away.
The Browns, per a source with knowledge of the situation, want a second-round pick for Thomas. Coach Hue Jackson, however, has said that Thomas won’t be traded.
Then again, Jackson isn’t the G.M. or the owner.
Miller had a shoulder issue in last Monday night’s loss at Denver. He was a limited participant in practice Thursday and Friday.
Alfred Blue has been the Texans’ No. 2 running back. Blue has 30 carries on the season; Miller has 136. With 581 yards, Miller comes into the weekend as the NFL’s fifth-leading rusher.
Miller was injured in the first quarter in Denver. Though he returned to the game, he and Blue split carries the rest of the way.
Now that Jaguars owner Shad Khan said he wasn’t making any coaching changes at the moment, it’s safe for head coach Gus Bradley to follow suit.
A day after an embarrassing loss to the Titans which dropped his record to 14-41, Bradley told reporters he wasn’t going to make any changes to his coaching staff.
Via Ryan O’Halloran of the Florida Times-Union, Bradley’s answer to a simple question about the possibility of changes to his staff was: “No.”
The Jaguars could certainly justify offering someone up, even if it wasn’t Bradley. They’re 2-5 and the offense has failed to make any strides after showing potential last year.
They punted on all five possessions in the first half, and trailed the Titans 27-0 at the break. They’ve only scored 47 points in seven first halves this season. There were also more penalties, after they lost control and had two players ejected last week.
Bradley said they had a “good team meeting today. . . . There’s never an excuse for not playing with great effort and we will not and cannot tolerate the lack of discipline or playing under control.
“It was a very honest meeting. They clearly know the expectations and what’s ahead of them.”
And for the next nine weeks at least, they’ll have the same cast of coaches in front of them.
An interesting week for Broncos linebacker DeMarcus Ware could end with his return to the lineup against the Chargers.
Ware’s week started on a down note when he returned home from the team’s Monday night win to find that his house had been burglarized. Things started turning up from there, though.
Thanks to images captured on his home security cameras and the work of the Denver Police Department, arrests were made and Ware’s property was returned. Ware also made it back onto the practice field for the first time since breaking his forearm in the second week of the regular season. Ware is listed as questionable to play against the Chargers after continuing to work on Thursday and Friday.
Cornerback Aqib Talib is also questionable after returning to practice on Friday. A back injury kept Talib from practicing earlier in the week, but the practice return bodes well for the Broncos’ chances of having a key piece of their secondary on hand.
Center Matt Paradis and linebacker Brandon Marshall are also questionable for the Broncos.
The Colts are getting one key contributor back this week, but are losing a member of the defense they can scarcely afford.
He hasn’t played since a shoulder injury in Week Two against the Broncos.
On the other hand, they’re going to be without defensive lineman Kendall Langford, who had knee surgery in August and had a recent setback.
Coach Chuck Pagano said the decision was made to “shut him down,” to give Langford time to heal. A key run defender, Langford had appeared in 135 consecutive games.
Broncos running back C.J. Anderson declared his knee surgery a “super success.” But it remains to be seen when he’ll be ready to return to action.
Per a source with knowledge of the situation, Anderson will miss anywhere from two to eight weeks as he recovers from arthroscopic surgery to repair the meniscus in his knee. Per the source, it’s impossible at this point to be more specific.
Anderson opted for a repair, with the torn meniscus sutured together, in lieu of a cleanup, with the goal of preserving cartilage and avoiding bone-on-bone contact in the affected knee. A cleanup would have allowed Anderson to return quickly, but it could have laid the foundation for more problems later.
The Broncos now have to decide whether to put Anderson on IR, which would shut him down for eight weeks and, essentially, make him unavailable through the end of the regular season.
Titans running back DeMarco Murray hit a brief snag on his way to 123 rushing yards and a touchdown against the Jaguars when he pulled up short after a 13-yard gain near the end of the first half.
Murray went to the locker room before the half concluded, but the issue wasn’t serious enough to keep him from returning for the second half and continuing to find success against the Jacksonville defense. While Murray finished the game without further issue, the team still wanted to make sure all was well on Friday.
Coach Mike Mularkey said that Murray is getting an MRI on his toe Friday and that the team doesn’t expect the test will turn up anything serious.
That’s a plus for the Titans because Murray has made the Titans look wise for trading for him this offseason. Murray has 756 yards on 160 carries, which leaves him with more yards than he had all of last season for the Eagles and with a 4.7 yards per carry average that’s on line with the one he posted while running for 1,845 yards with the Cowboys in 2014.
The Panthers activated Leonard Johnson from the non-football injury list on Friday, putting him on track to make his 2016 debut after recovering from a torn Achilles.
It’s unclear who will be joining him at cornerback against the Cardinals. The Panthers have listed James Bradberry, Robert McClain and Daryl Worley as questionable to play. Bradberry has missed the last two games with a toe injury, but practiced this week and coach Ron Rivera said he saw more reps on Friday.
That makes four straight games on the sideline for Butler and it will be the same situation for left tackle Michael Oher, who has been ruled out again with a concussion. Mike Remmers will remain on that side while Daryl Williams fills his customary spot at right tackle.
Mangold has not practiced this week due to an ankle injury. Bowles told reporters Thursday “it [didn’t] look good” for Mangold’s chances of playing Sunday.
Mangold has only missed four games in his 11-year career. The Jets list Wesley Johnson as their backup center on their unofficial depth chart.
Skrine has a knee injury. Seferian-Jenkins is battling an ankle injury.
Bowles had already ruled out rookie linebacker Darron Lee, right tackle Brent Qvalue and linebacker Bruce Carter. After missing last week’s game, defensive end Muhammad Wilkerson will be listed as questionable, as will offensive tackle Ryan Clady.
The Falcons have enjoyed good play from running backs Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman this season, but they’ll need to come up with a different approach out of the backfield against the Packers this weekend.
Coleman has been ruled out due to the hamstring injury that’s kept him from practicing this week. His absence has left things pointed in that direction for several days and the Falcons have added Stevan Ridley and Terron Ward to the roster to go with Freeman this weekend.
Falcons coach Dan Quinn also said that defensive end Dwight Freeney is going to be a game-time decision due to the quad injury that kept him from practicing on Wednesday and Thursday this week. Vaughn McClure of ESPN.com reports that Freeney was on the field with his helmet at the end of practice after being absent during the earlier portion of the workout that was open to the media.
The NFL has shown its personal conduct policy has teeth, suspending a convicted assaulter six games.
Of course, the assaulter is a former Rams and Patriots practice-squader who hasn’t been employed in the league since the Rams cut him in June.
According to Tom Pelissero of USA Today, the league suspended free agent wide receiver J.J. Worton for six games effective Oct. 10, which would make him eligible to return on Nov. 22.
Of course, to do so, someone would have to be interested in the former Central Florida wideout.
Worton received probation after being convicted of three assault and battery charges. He was accused of touching two women indecently at a bar and then punching a man who confronted him about it.
The Patriots cut him shortly after the arrest, though the Rams brought him back to camp this offseason.
The Bengals won’t have any game-time decisions to make before their game against the Redskins kicks off on Sunday.
The biggest injury concern on the roster this week has been left tackle Andrew Whitworth, who suffered a concussion against the Browns last Sunday and opened the week in the concussion protocol. Whitworth steadily progressed in his practice participation as the days passed, however, and got in a full session on Friday.
Whitworth doesn’t have an injury designation for the game, which means he’s on track to play. Whitworth has plenty of company in that regard.
Every player on the Bengals’ 53-man roster was a full participant on Friday and no one has been listed as questionable, doubtful or out for the game. That’s unusual for this point in the season and the good health is something the Bengals surely hope will help them move to 4-4 heading into their bye week.
Last week, the Bills allowed running back LeSean McCoy to play through a hamstring injury. That turned out to be a bad idea, as McCoy aggravated the injury during the loss to the Dolphins.
This week, the Bills will have McCoy rest his hamstring.
McCoy is officially listed as doubtful for Sunday’s game against the Patriots. Players who are listed as doubtful almost never end up playing, and it seems extremely unlikely that the Bills would risk yet another setback to one of their most important players.
In McCoy’s absence, the Bills will give Mike Gillislee plenty of carries. Gillislee has looked good in limited action this year, averaging 6.2 yards a carry.
The Eagles are smack dab in the middle of a three-game stretch against opponents with extra time to prepare to face them. And their head coach isn’t griping about it.
“It doesn’t bother me,” Doug Pederson told reporters on Friday regarding the prospect of playing the Vikings, Cowboys, and Giants after their bye weeks. “You know, I don’t make the schedule.”
Those who did make the schedule have added an extra layer of difficulty for the Eagles.
Then again, they beat the Vikings, whose 5-0 momentum may have been disrupted by the emerging from the bye a week ago. The Eagles, who had their break after three straight wins to start the season, may have lost a little of their sparkle, too.
“I would rather have continued to play 3-0 and not have a bye, either, so it kind of works the other way for us,” Pederson said. “But it is what it is at this point, and we just got to handle them one game at a time. For us, it’s about just maintaining the momentum and just keep building off of last week and keep playing and fighting. You know, it’s challenging because, again, three of these teams are coming off their break. But we don’t put a lot of emphasis in that.”
It’s the right approach. There’s nothing the Eagles can do other than get ready for each game, hopeful that the same disruption to their three-game streak and the Vikings’ five-game streak will apply to the Cowboys’ five-game streak and, next weekend, the Giants’ two-game streak.
At a time when the NFL’s trying to figure out why fewer households are watching their product, the White House pointed out one of the problems — the product may not be as good as it has been.
President Barack Obama did an interview on SiriusXM Shade 45’s “Sway in the Morning” show, and when asked for a Super Bowl pick, underscored something others have noticed.
“At this point, you’d have to put your money on [Tom] Brady again,” Obama said of the Patriots quarterback, via Mike Reiss of ESPN.com. “I don’t see any real strong teams. Seattle and Patriots have a rematch [from the 2014 season]. That’s my call.”
Of course, when the Patriots won that Super Bowl, Brady skipped a chance to visit Obama at the White House.
It will be interesting to see if Brady makes the next trip in case Obama’s prediction is correct, particularly if his “good friend” doesn’t win the upcoming election.