Skip to content

Week 14 injury report roundup

Carolina Panthers v San Diego Chargers Getty Images

Over the course of the week, there are a lot of posts about the most prominent injured players but we know that you might not see all of them and that some others may fall through the cracks. As a result, we’ll comb through all the injury reports every Friday afternoon so that there’s one stop for all the news from every team playing on Sunday.

Vikings at Ravens

Vikings quarterback Christian Ponder (concussion) wasn’t cleared, so Matt Cassel will start. Cornerback Josh Robinson (chest) and tight end Kyle Rudolph (foot) are also out. Running back Adrian Peterson (groin) is questionable, as is safety Jamarca Sanford (ankle). Linebacker Elvis Dumervil (ankle) missed practice all week and is doubtful to play for the Ravens. Defensive end Chris Canty (shoulder) and cornerback Lardarius Webb (abdomen) are both questionable, but cornerback Jimmy Smith (concussion) should play.

Colts at Bengals

The Colts will be without defensive tackle Ricky Jean Francois (foot) and offensive lineman Jeff Linkenbach (quadricep). Linebacker Kavell Conner (ankle), guard Hugh Thornton (neck) and cornerback Gregory Toler (groin) are all questionable. Guard Kevin Zeitler (foot) is listed as questionable, but is expected to play. The same goes for the seven players listed as probable.

Falcons at Packers

Tight end Tony Gonzalez (toe) is questionable again for the Falcons although there is again little doubt that he’s playing. Quarterback Aaron Rodgers (collarbone) remains out for the Packers, but center Evan Dietrich-Smith (knee, ankle) has a chance of playing after being listed as questionable.

Browns at Patriots

Browns quarterback Jason Campbell (concussion) is going to start while Brandon Weeden (concussion) is out. Linebacker Tank Carder (shoulder), tight end MarQueis Gray (hamstring) and linebacker Craig Robertson (knee) are all questionable. Wide receiver Aaron Dobson (foot) and tackle Marcus Cannon (ankle) are both out for New England, who also have 10 players listed as questionable.

Raiders at Jets

It’s a long injury list for the Raiders. Safety Tyvon Branch (ankle), guard Mike Brisiel (ankle, knee), linebacker Kaluka Maiava (ribs, calf), running back Darren McFadden (ankle), wide receiver Denarius Moore (shoulder), running back Jeremy Stewart (ankle, knee) and safety Usama Young (neck) have all been ruled out. The team is hopeful that running back Rashad Jennings gets the green light after suffering a concussion on Thanksgiving. The Jets are in better shape. Wide receiver Stephen Hill (knee) is questionable, but everyone else on the team is healthy enough to play.

Lions at Eagles

Lions cornerback Darius Slay is doubtful after hurting his knee in practice this week. Running back Reggie Bush (calf) is questionable and expected to play, as is cornerback Chris Houston (foot). Linebacker Najee Goode (hamstring) and safety Earl Wolff (knee) have been ruled out for the Eagles.

Dolphins at Steelers

The Dolphins won’t have cornerback Jamar Taylor (hamstring), but are holding out hope for cornerback Dimitri Patterson (groin) and running back Daniel Thomas (ankle). The Steelers expect to have running back Le’Veon Bell (concussion), linebacker LaMarr Woodley (calf) and guard David DeCastro (knee) in the lineup. Defensive end Brett Keisel (foot) is out, however, and left tackle Kelvin Beachum (knee) is doubtful to play.

Bills at Buccaneers

The Bills are quite healthy for the 14th week of the season, with just wide receiver Marquise Goodwin (calf) and defensive tackle Kyle Williams (achilles) listed as probable. Wide receiver Vincent Jackson (hamstring) leads a list of four questionable Buccaneers with defensive end Da’Quan Bowers (knee), defensive tackle Gary Gibson (calf) and wide receiver Chris Owusu (hamstring) rounding it out.

Chiefs at Redskins

The Chiefs will not have left tackle Branden Albert (knee), tight end Anthony Fasano (concussion, knee) and linebacker Justin Houston (elbow) in the lineup this weekend, but the team is otherwise healthy. Safety Reed Doughty (concussion, shoulder), safety Brandon Meriweather (chest), tight end Jordan Reed (concussion) and running back Darrel Young (hamstring) are questionable for the Redskins, but linebacker London Fletcher (ankle) is set to play.

Titans at Broncos

Tight end Craig Stevens (concussion), tackle David Stewart (shoulder), tight end Delanie Walker (concussion) and wide receiver Damian Williams (hip) are all listed as questionable for the Titans. Defensive end Derek Wolfe (illness) is out for Denver, who also listed cornerback Champ Bailey (foot) and kick returner Trindon Holliday (shoulder) are questionable.

Rams at Cardinals

Rams tackle Jake Long was cleared after last week’s concussion, but center Scott Wells (leg) is out. Cardinals quarterback Carson Palmer (right elbow) is a game-time decision, although coach Bruce Arians said he’s confident that Palmer will play.

Giants at Chargers

Defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul (shoulder) and cornerback Corey Webster (ankle) are both out for the Giants while cornerback Trumaine McBride (groin) is questionable. Linebacker Jarret Johnson (hand) and wide receiver Eddie Royal (toe, chest) are questionable for San Diego, who should have tackles D.J. Fluker and King Dunlap in the lineup.

Seahawks at 49ers

It will be another week without cornerback Brandon Browner (groin) and wide receiver Percy Harvin (hip) for the Seahawks. Quarterback Tarvaris Jackson (illness) was listed as questionable, as were 49ers guard Mike Iupati (knee) and tackle Joe Staley (knee). Cornerback Tarell Brown (ribs) is also questionable for San Francisco.

Panthers at Saints

The Panthers will be without guard Chris Scott (knee), but defensive end Charles Johnson (knee) and running back DeAngelo Williams (thigh) are both expected to return to the lineup. The Saints haven’t ruled anyone out and will make decisions this weekend about defensive tackle Brodrick Bunkley (ankle), safety Rafael Bush (ankle), linebacker Keyunta Dawson (calf), defensive end Glenn Foster (knee) and tackle Zach Strief (ankle).

Permalink 2 Comments Feed for comments Latest Stories in: Arizona Cardinals, Atlanta Falcons, Baltimore Ravens, Buffalo Bills, Carolina Panthers, Cincinnati Bengals, Cleveland Browns, Denver Broncos, Detroit Lions, Features, Green Bay Packers, Indianapolis Colts, Kansas City Chiefs, Los Angeles Rams, Miami Dolphins, Minnesota Vikings, New England Patriots, New Orleans Saints, New York Giants, New York Jets, Oakland Raiders, Philadelphia Eagles, Pittsburgh Steelers, San Diego Chargers, Seattle Seahawks, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Tennessee Titans, Top Stories, Washington Redskins
yo

Eagles not concerned about Smallwood’s history

Zz02OTkyYTExMDg5Zjk4ZjhjNzBjY2JiM2ZjODcyNjcyMg== AP

The Eagles have devoted a fifth-round pick to a running back who brings plenty of baggage to the NFL.

As explained by Eliot Shorr-Parks of NJ.com, the Eagles aren’t concerned.

Wendell Smallwood, a former West Virginia tailback, faced an allegation of witness intimidation in a second-degree murder case two years ago. His friend pleaded guilty, and the charge that Smallwood tried to convince a witness to change testimony was dropped.

Smallwood also has a history of posting social-media messages containing racial and homophobic slurs.

I don’t believe anything I said. I’ve grown,” Smallwood told reporters after his selection, via Josh Paunil of PhillyMag.com. “I’m sorry if I offended anyone.”

“We are aware of the social media statements Smallwood made. We don’t condone them,” Eagles executive V.P. of football operations Howie Roseman said, per Shorr-Parks. “We have no doubt or concern about what kind of person Smallwood is.”

Roseman explained that the team’s research led to the conclusion that there would be no issues in the future with Smallwood. If there are, somebody is going to be saying, “I told you so.” Here’s hoping no one ever has a reason to say that about Smallwood.

 

Permalink 3 Comments Feed for comments Back to top

Colts “progressing well” on “complicated contract” for Andrew Luck

Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck (12) throws a pass in the first half an NFL football game against the San Francisco 49ers in San Francisco, Sunday, Sept. 22, 2013. (AP Photo/Ben Margot) AP

Colts owner Jim Irsay said late last month that he’d like to have a new contract for quarterback Andrew Luck wrapped up before the fireworks went off to celebrate July 4, but he’s backing off that date as a milestone to watch in talks for a new deal.

Irsay discussed the status of contract talks while talking to the media on the final day of the draft and said that there’s been progress toward an agreement. Irsay expects the deal to get done, but said that he’d be happy getting it done during camp or the preseason if that’s how long it takes.

“Talks are progressing well. We have made progress,” Irsay said, via ESPN.com. “I mentioned Fourth of July before. I don’t think that marker is something that needs to be watched as an indicator. We should be able to come to a deal. Until you do, we still have ground to cover. There’s no question about that. It’s a complicated contract. It’s one that has to work both ways to make sure we’re able to field a great football team. … There are times when you get to camp, you’re into the preseason, you can still get something done.”

Luck is in the final year of his rookie contract and has a $16.155 million salary. Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco currently has the highest annual average for quarterbacks at a bit more than $22 million and one of the complications is surely where Luck will rank on that front as well as in guaranteed money in relation to his peers.

Permalink 5 Comments Feed for comments Back to top

Cowboys draft basketball player Rico Gathers

KANSAS CITY, MO - MARCH 10:  Rico Gathers #2 of the Baylor Bears cheers on his team during a game against the Texas Longhorns in the second half during the quarterfinals of the Big 12 Basketball Tournament at Sprint Center on March 10, 2016 in Kansas City, Missouri. Baylor won 75-61. (Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images) Getty Images

No college football experience? No problem for the Cowboys on Day 3 of the draft.

In the sixth round, the Cowboys pulled the trigger on a high-risk, high-reward prospect: Rico Gathers of Baylor, who didn’t play college football but played on Baylor’s basketball team. The 6-foot-8, 275-pound Gathers wasn’t viewed as an NBA prospect, but he has the kind of natural athleticism NFL teams look for in tight ends, and he says he’s committed to putting in the hard work necessary to make the transition to football. In Dallas, he’ll learn from one of the best in the business in Jason Witten.

Cowboys owner and General Manager Jerry Jones hasn’t been afraid to take chances in this year’s draft. He used the fourth overall pick on Ezekiel Elliott, a very good running back who plays a position that some people think just doesn’t carry Top 5 value in today’s NFL. He then used his second-round pick on Notre Dame linebacker Jaylon Smith, who was a phenomenal college player but is recovering from a very serious knee injury. And now he’s taken Gathers with a late pick.

Gathers was an excellent rebounder at Baylor, and now the Cowboys are hoping he can go up and get some footballs, too.

Permalink 14 Comments Feed for comments Back to top

Dolphins trade cornerback Jamar Taylor to Browns

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - NOVEMBER 29:  Devin Smith #19 of the New York Jets catches a touchdown pass against Jamar Taylor #22 of the Miami Dolphins in the second quarter during their game at MetLife Stadium on November 29, 2015 in East Rutherford, New Jersey.  (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images) Getty Images

We have our first trade involving a veteran player in this year’s draft.

Cornerback Jamar Taylor has been traded from the Dolphins to the Browns, Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reports. The deal was for an exchange of seventh-round picks, with the Dolphins moving up in the last round.

There had been no previous reports that the Dolphins were looking to move Taylor or that the Browns were looking to acquire him, but apparently the Cleveland regime thinks there’s a place for him on the Browns’ defense, and the Dolphins weren’t sure he’d make their roster this year.

Taylor was a second-round pick of the Dolphins in the 2013 NFL draft who played in 12 games for the Dolphins last year, starting six.

Permalink 16 Comments Feed for comments Back to top

Derek Watt drafted by Chargers, could face big brother J.J. this season

MADISON, WI - SEPTEMBER 26: Derek Watt #34 of the Wisconsin Badgers runs with the football during the second half against the Hawaii Rainbow Warriors at Camp Randall Stadium on September 26, 2015 in Madison, Wisconsin. (Photo by Mike McGinnis/Getty Images) Getty Images

The 2016 draft is rolling toward its conclusion and one of the names to come off the board in the sixth round carries with it the prospect of an interfamily collision in Week 12.

That’s when the Texans host the Chargers and we could see the Watt brothers butt heads during the game. You’re likely familiar with the work of Texans defensive end J.J. Watt and he was been joined as an NFL draft pick by his brother Derek on Saturday afternoon.

The Chargers took Derek Watt with the 198th overall pick. He followed his brother to Wisconsin, but landed on the other side of the ball as a fullback that lined up as a tight end/H-back at times as well. Watt caught 15 passes during the 2015 season and also saw a lot of time on special teams.

He’ll probably need to keep doing that to stick around the NFL long enough to set up the chance to block his brother while trying to open running room for former college teammate Melvin Gordon.

Permalink 3 Comments Feed for comments Back to top

Bills sixth-rounder Kolby Listenbee calls himself NFL’s fastest man

MINNEAPOLIS, MN - SEPTEMBER 3: Kolby Listenbee #7 of the TCU Horned Frogs carries the ball against the Minnesota Golden Gophers during the game on September 3, 2015 at TCF Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images) Getty Images

New Bills rookie Kolby Listenbee isn’t lacking for speed. Or confidence.

Listenbee, a wide receiver from TCU whom the Bills chose in the sixth round of the NFL draft, declared in his first talk with Buffalo media that he believes he’s the fastest player in the NFL.

That might be a bit of an overstatement. Listenbee ran well at the Combine, clocking a 4.39-second 40-yard dash, but that was tied for the eighth-fastest this year, certainly not the fastest time of any current NFL player.

Listenbee, however, says he was running at the Combine while recovering from a sports hernia. And he was a good runner on the TCU track team, so he certainly has the speed to back up his confidence.

As a senior last year, Listenbee caught 30 passes for 597 yards, an outstanding 19.9-yard average, and scored five touchdowns. He also saw occasional action as a kickoff returner. The Bills hope he’ll keep using that speed in the NFL.

Permalink 8 Comments Feed for comments Back to top

Lions draft first QB since taking Stafford first overall in 2009

during the college football game at Michigan Stadium on October 17, 2015 in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Getty Images

The Lions have drafted a quarterback for the first time since taking Matthew Stafford first overall in 2009 and they didn’t have to look far to find him.

Detroit ended the longest current drought without picking a quarterback by selecting Jake Rudock with the 191st pick in the draft. Rudock played a few miles down I-94 from the Lions in 2015 while quarterbacking Jim Harbaugh’s first Michigan team to a 9-3 regular season record and a 41-7 Citrus Bowl romp over Florida.

Rudock was mentioned as a possible target for the Lions in the pre-draft process when General Manager Bob Quinn talked about it being “good football business” to bring in a young quarterback. That’s a deviation from recent years in Detroit, where Dan Orlovsky is back for another year behind Stafford.

Rudock only spent one year in Ann Arbor, but gained a lot of experience in the Big 10 during two years as a starter at Iowa. He showed steady improvement during his year under Harbaugh and the Lions will hope that a dose of Jim Bob Cooter can keep the needle moving in the right direction.

Permalink 6 Comments Feed for comments Back to top

Browns drafting wide receivers (copy, paste, repeat)

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - FEBRUARY 05:  NFL head coach Hue Jackson attends the New Era Style Lounge at The Battery on February 5, 2016 in San Francisco, California.  (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images for New Era) Getty Images

The Browns drafted wide receiver Corey Coleman in the first round Thursday night.

Saturday, the Browns drafted a bunch more wide receivers. They started in the fourth round with Ricardo Louis of Auburn and continued in the fifth with Jordan Payton of UCLA and Rashard Higgins of Colorado State.

Also in the fourth, they selected Seth Devalve of Princeton, who’s listed by some as a wide receiver but is 245 pounds and is probably a tight end. This newest new Browns regime has a completely different strategy from past regimes, and it will make for a crowded receiver room when the rookies report for minicamp in two weeks.

Ray Farmer drafted one wide receiver in his two years as Browns general manager: Vince Mayle in the fourth round last year. Mayle was cut at the end of the preseason.

Prior to Mayle, the Browns had not selected a wide receiver in the regular draft since 2012. The Browns drafted currently suspended wide receiver Josh Gordon in the supplemental draft in 2012.

With Gordon suspended for all but five games over the past two seasons, the Browns haven’t had a No. 1 receiver. Travis Benjamin had a big year in 2015 but left for the Chargers in free agency. So, Coleman and Company will try to find snaps alongside veterans Brian Hartline and Andrew Hawkins, ongoing project Terrelle Pryor, holdover (for now) slot receiver Taylor Gabriel and Darius Jennings, who got some snaps late last season.

Permalink 17 Comments Feed for comments Back to top

Moritz Boehringer goes to Vikings in sixth round

ChULSQBWwAATqEz

Moritz Boehringer got his first exposure to the NFL in Germany by watching a video of Adrian Peterson online when he was 17.

Now they’re going to be teammates with the Vikings.

Boehringer started playing the sport and became a wide receiver in the German league, impressed scouts and then landed on the draft radar with an impressive pro day workout at Florida Atlantic University earlier this year. The Vikings made Boehringer the first player drafted directly from Europe with the 181st pick.

The selection came shortly after Boehringer appeared on NFL Network and talked about the Vikings being his favorite team. Mike Mayock said that Vikings coach Mike Zimmer should call him so he could talk up Boehringer and Zimmer did give Mayock a buxz a short time later.

One imagines the Vikings were already considering Boehringer, who makes for a big target at 6’4″ and 225 pounds. He ran well at the pro day workout, so there’s a lot of raw material to work with. With four years of football experience in Europe, raw might not be a strong enough word so it’s up in the air where things will go from here.

That doesn’t make the story any less enjoyable on a Saturday afternoon.

[Photo credit: Vikings on Twitter]

Permalink 38 Comments Feed for comments Back to top

Ravens take Navy quarterback Keenan Reynolds

ANNAPOLIS, MD - DECEMBER 28:  Keenan Reynolds #19 of the Navy Midshipmen rushes the ball against the Pittsburgh Panthers in the third quarter of their 44-28 win during the Military Bowl at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium on December 28, 2015 in Annapolis, Maryland.  (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images) Getty Images

After a great college career at Navy, Keenan Reynolds is getting his chance in the NFL. And he won’t even have to leave Maryland.

The Ravens chose Reynolds, the former Navy quarterback, in the sixth round at Pick 182. He was announced as a wide receiver, and that’s where he’s expected to play in the NFL.

It’s unclear at the moment whether Reynolds will be able to commit himself fully to football right away. His obligations to the Naval Academy mean he could be pressed into full-time military service for as long as five years, although last year the Pentagon allowed another football player, Patriots long snapper Joe Cardona, to play a full NFL season while doing work for the Navy in the offseason.

Reynolds is the NCAA’s all-time record holder in touchdowns, so his college football pedigree is great. It’s unclear how well he’ll be able to transition from a run-first quarterback in Navy’s option offense into a slot receiver, punt returner or anything else the Ravens want him to do. But he has earned a chance in the NFL.

Permalink 12 Comments Feed for comments Back to top

Chiefs add Kevin Hogan, reportedly tried for Paxton Lynch in first round

PASADENA, CA - JANUARY 01:  Quarterback Kevin Hogan #8 of the Stanford Cardinal runs in an 8 yard touchdown in the first quarter against the Iowa Hawkeyes in the 102nd Rose Bowl Game on January 1, 2016 at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California.  (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images) Getty Images

After the Broncos traded up to take quarterback Paxton Lynch in the first round of the draft, Lynch’s agent Leigh Steinberg said in an interview on 104.3 The Fan in Denver that the Chiefs joined the Cowboys as teams that tried to land his client.

The Chiefs had the 28th pick in the first round and traded out of that spot after the Broncos snagged Lynch at No. 26. General Manager John Dorsey didn’t say whether that was the case, but said, via ESPN.com, they made the deal because a couple of players they targeted were off the board.

Kansas City did get a quarterback in the fifth round of the draft when they selected Kevin Hogan of Stanford with the 162nd overall pick. Hogan was the starter for the Cardinal for most of the last four years and finished his college career with a 65.9 completion percentage and 75-29 touchdown-to-interception ratio.

Hogan, who also ran for 15 touchdowns, doesn’t have the biggest arm and may have a ceiling as a game manager, but there are worse traits to build a career as an NFL backup around. Aaron Murray and Tyler Bray will likely battle to back up Alex Smith in 2016 with Hogan as the No. 3 to start his time as a professional.

Permalink 8 Comments Feed for comments Back to top

Jason Licht didn’t want to risk missing out on Roberto Aguayo

PASADENA, CA - JANUARY 01:  Place kicker Roberto Aguayo #19 of the Florida State Seminoles kicks a field goal in the first quarter against the Oregon Ducks during the College Football Playoff Semifinal at the Rose Bowl Game presented by Northwestern Mutual at the Rose Bowl on January 1, 2015 in Pasadena, California.  (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images) Getty Images

The Buccaneers made Roberto Aguayo the first kicker to get drafted in the second round since 2004 on Friday night when they traded the 74th and 106th, which was acquired when they dropped two spots in the first round, picks to the Chiefs for No. 59.

It’s unusual enough to see a kicker get picked in the second round that General Manager Jason Licht’s decision would be questioned even if he hadn’t traded up to do so. After he did, he explained why the team was so aggressive about bringing Aguayo into the fold.

“Taking Roberto — the importance of special teams is paramount,” Licht said, via Pewter Report. “When you get a chance to get the best kicker in the history of college football, I didn’t want to risk it. I wanted to take him. I have a lot of confidence in him; I like the way he’s wired. I like the body of work that he’s put out there, obviously. A great kicker can be the difference in several games. I’ve been around some great ones: Adam Vinatieri, [Stephen] Gostkowski. Those guys are invaluable. We obviously took him, we used a pick to go up and get him. So we feel very confident about it. We needed to be bold there and we were.”

Aguayo went 69-of-78 on field goals — he was perfect inside 40 yards — and never missed an extra point in three years at Florida State, so he has the kind of resume you’d like to see when drafting a kicker at any point. That won’t stop the Bucs from hearing criticism from bucking conventional wisdom about their move for Aguayo, but it makes it easier to understand why the team was so adamant about leaving Chicago with him in the fold.

Permalink 18 Comments Feed for comments Back to top

Ronnie Stanley takes issue with Schefter’s Tunsil report

Zz1mMzQ1NWVhMmUzYWFhYjk4NTkyMDY1ZGY1YmYzYjMyZQ== AP

Ravens left tackle Ronnie Stanley, the sixth pick in the 2016 draft, has faced some criticism for the perception he won’t always roll up his sleeves and rumble. On Saturday afternoon, Stanley has done just that, albeit on Twitter.

In the wake of a report from ESPN’s Adam Schefter that the Ravens would have taken Laremy Tunsil over Stanley but for the gas-mask-and-bong video that surfaced right before the draft began, Stanley said this: “Hey Adam, you’re wrong.”

Stanley obviously cares about the report because it creates the impression that he was viewed as a fallback to Tunsil, propelled to the sixth pick only by Tunsil’s bizarre misfortune. Which suggests that the Ravens have told Stanley that he was their guy, regardless of the video.

Even if Tunsil really would have been the pick.

Permalink 15 Comments Feed for comments Back to top

Broncos land Devontae Booker in fourth round

SEATTLE, WA - NOVEMBER 07:  Running back Devontae Booker #23 of the Utah Utes rushes against the Washington Huskies on November 7, 2015 at Husky Stadium in Seattle, Washington.  (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images) Getty Images

The Broncos brought back C.J. Anderson and Ronnie Hillman in free agency, which means their top two running backs from last season will be back in 2016.

They added a new face to the mix in the fourth round on Saturday afternoon when they drafted Devontae Booker with the 136th overall pick.

Booker thrived as both a runner and receiver at Utah over the last two seasons and it wasn’t hard to find rankings that put him above several of the six backs that went ahead of him in the draft. Booker did tear his meniscus late last season and he’ll turn 24 next month, which might account for why he was still around late in the fourth round.

The Broncos are obviously comfortable with Anderson and Hillman, but a healthy Booker could work himself into the rotation by September if that versatility carries over to the professional ranks.

Permalink 2 Comments Feed for comments Back to top

Carl Nassib goes from walk-on to round three

Zz1hZmVjN2U1NWUwZmM4ODQ2YTYyY2YxN2E0YmI4NjliMw== AP

Three years ago, Ryan Nassib entered the NFL as one of the top quarterback prospects in the draft. He surprisingly slid to round four. At the same time, defensive end Carl Nassib was an unknown walk-on at Penn State.

On Friday, the younger Nassib ended up being drafted a round higher than his older brother.

The decision of the Browns to make Carl Nassib the 65th overall pick represents the culmination of an amazing journey from a kid who never gave up on his NFL dream. Perhaps no one is more amazed than his former college coach, Bill O’Brien.

“I can remember one story where he came and basically . . . I questioned how important football was to him,” O’Brien said last November, when Nassib was having a breakout season with the Nittany Lions. “He said to me, ‘Football is really important to me. I’m going to play pro football,’ and I said to him, ‘Are you kidding me?’ You need to be concerned about playing at Penn State. Forget about pro football.'”

Nassib reflected on O’Brien’s advice after being selected by Cleveland.

“I always had dreams of playing in the NFL since as long as I can remember,” Nassib said. “A lot of people did not agree with that and that never deterred me from my dream. Bill O’Brien told me what he thought so I just kept working my hardest and never let that phase me.”

As Nassib’s hard work has led to success, he has apparently worked even harder. Which means he could be working harder still now that he’s in the NFL.

“Earning a scholarship was incredible,” Nassib told reporters on Friday. “When I earned my scholarship, it really motivated me to let everybody that I was the real deal. It was a great experience at Penn State. I could not have asked for anything more from Penn State.”

The Browns will be asking for plenty from Nassib, a draft pick that the front office opted to use instead of trade.

Permalink 3 Comments Feed for comments Back to top