Mike Florio answers fan tweets and calls from PFT Planet, including evaluating the New York Jets offseason, the sustainability of a potential NFL franchise in London and which teams will look to pursue signing recently-cut running back Chris Johnson.
PFT Planet: Where will CJ2K land?
Freeman suffered a concussion early in last week’s loss to the Colts. Rookie Tevin Coleman would be the starter if Freeman can’t play Sunday.
The 6-4 Falcons have lost three straight and are trying to stay in the NFC wildcard race.
Freeman is fifth in the NFL with 764 rushing yards and leads all runners with 9 touchdowns.
Cowboys owner Jerry Jones has confirmed what was widely expected: Tony Romo is out for the season.
Jones said this morning on 105.3 The Fan that Romo will not play again until 2016.
If there’s any good news from the Cowboys’ perspective, it’s that Romo has a hairline fracture in his clavicle and will not need surgery. It appears that Romo’s clavicle injury isn’t as severe this time around as the Week Three clavicle injury that forced him to miss seven games this season.
But that’s of small consolation. The Cowboys, who got off to a promising 2-0 start, saw their season derailed by Romo’s first injury, and saw any faint hope of a playoff run ended by Romo’s second injury.
Now the Cowboys just have to wait until next year. And Jones has to see if he can find a better backup quarterback than Matt Cassel, so that if Romo gets hurt again in 2016, it won’t mean the Cowboys’ season is over.
It’s Black Friday, a term that originated within the retail industry as an expression of the stress and dread the workers experience on the biggest shopping day of the year. Thanks to a little Chamber of Commerce P.R. spit-and-polish, it’s now sold to the public as a good thing — the day on which businesses go from being in the red to being in the black.
Which overlooks the reality that any business that spends nearly 11 months of the year in the red isn’t going to stay in business much longer.
As the sports talk radio business goes, Black Friday is one of the best days of the year, with three high-profile NFL games to dissect and another 13 to go in a weekend with plenty of postseason implications. Starting at 12:00 p.m. ET, PFT Live on NBC Sports Radio will devote three hours to the NFL action that was and that soon will be, with visits from Panthers linebacker Luke Kuechly, Lions receiver Golden Tate, Cardinals running back Chris Johnson, and former Patriots great Troy Brown.
So join us via Sirius 213, XM 202, NBCSportsRadio.com, the easy-to-use NBC Sports Radio app, and any of the many terrestrial affiliates throughout the country.
The Bengals swapped one first-rounder’s roster spot for another Friday.
Dennard suffered a shoulder injury last Sunday against the Cardinals, and he’ll need surgery to repair the damage. Their 2014 first-round pick, Dennard was making his first career start, and leaves them thin in the secondary.
Ogbuehi, their 2015 first-rounder, started practicing earlier this month, as he recovers from the torn ACL late in his final college season.
Revis suffered a concussion during last week’s loss to the Texans.
The Jets have lost four of five to slip to 5-5.
Earlier this week, Jets coach Todd Bowles said it would be “a bonus” if the team had Revis available. His absence from Friday’s practice might confirm that bonus isn’t coming.
At 4-6, the Redskins are on the outside looking in at the playoff race in the NFC and they know that there’s only one way to change that positioning.
They need to end a five-game losing streak to the Giants when they host their NFC East rivals on Sunday afternoon. Redskins players say that the team’s coaches have been drilling the importance of this week’s game during practice all week and coach Jay Gruden isn’t downplaying the significance in his public comments either.
“It’s a one-game season,” Gruden said, via ESPN.com. “If we have any desire at all to play 17, 18 or 19 games we have to take care of business Sunday. That’s the most important thing. We’ve got to get their best effort physically and mentally. It’s got to be their best focus of the season, not far, not even close. I think the guys are revved up.”
It’s hard to argue with Gruden’s take. Dropping a second game to the Giants would leave the Redskins two games and a tiebreaker behind in a divisional race, leaving them in need of a lot of wins and a lot of luck to change the standings. Thanks to the Thanksgiving developments for the Cowboys and Eagles, a Giants win would also push Tom Coughlin’s team to the doorstep of a division title with five games left to play so you’d imagine that everyone will be revved up come kickoff.
Eight years ago today, Washington safety Sean Taylor died at the age of 24. He had been shot by intruders into his Miami home, where Taylor and his girlfriend and young daughter were sleeping.
Earlier this year, the fifth and final defendant accepted an 18-year prison term for his role in the crime. The shooter received a 60-year sentence, and the mastermind of the burglary that ended in Taylor’s death was sentenced to life behind bars.
The anniversary comes two days before Giants safety Landon Collins plays his first game on Taylor’s home field in Maryland.
“When I go out there and do warm-ups and stuff, I just want to look at the memory of him and his name up there,” Collins said, via Newsday. “It’s going to be fantastic and it’s going to be a dream come true to be on the field he played on.”
Idolized by Collins, Taylor was beloved by teammates like Clinton Portis and Santana Moss. If Taylor had lived, he likely would still be playing — and he probably would have already cemented his status as a Hall of Famer.
The Ravens officially brought running back Justin Forsett’s season to an end on Friday.
Forsett broke his arm when Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald slammed him to the turf during last Sunday’s Ravens victory and the Ravens have now formally added him to injured reserve. Forsett ends the year with 641 yards and two touchdowns on 151 carries and another 153 yards on 31 catches. He’s signed for the next two seasons with base salaries of $3 million.
Forsett’s roster spot will be filled by defensive end Brent Urban, who was placed on injured reserve with the designation to return at the start of the regular season. Urban, a fourth-round pick in 2014, tore his biceps during training camp.
Coach John Harbaugh said earlier this week that Urban would be activated, but that he wasn’t sure if the lineman would be in the lineup for Monday’s game against the Browns.
“He’s done a really good job,” Harbaugh said, via the Baltimore Sun. “He’s worked hard, he looks good. It’s going to be exciting to see him in real action at some point in time, and see how he does because he hasn’t played that much. But he’s practiced very well.”
Urban actually hasn’t played at all for the Ravens in the regular season. He missed all of 2014 with a knee injury so he’ll be making his NFL debut when he does get the nod from Harbaugh.
And yet, he remains confident.
The veteran quarterback might have to fill in for Romo the rest of the season after a left shoulder injury knocked him out, as the Cowboys await test results today.
“I have a lot of confidence in myself,” Cassel said, via Charean Williams of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. “I have a lot of confidence in this team. It’s about getting back to work.”
Any time would be a good time to start. Dallas was 0-7 during Romo’s first injury absence, and Cassel hasn’t won a start since the 2014 season-opener for the Vikings. But the Cowboys acquired him in a trade with the Bills because he was a better option than Brandon Weeden, who was subsequently cut and claimed by the Texans.
“That’s part of what you embrace when you become a quarterback is you’ve got to step in, and obviously Tony’s been a leader here for 13 years of his career, and now it’s time,” Cassel said. “If it’s that situation, then I have to step up and try fulfill that role in some way. Obviously, you don’t replace a guy like Tony Romo, but at the same time, you’ve got to be you, and hopefully the guys rally around you, and you move forward.”
The Cowboys are 6-16 without Romo since he took over the starting job in 2006, but they’re looking for any positive they can find.
“Obviously, Matt’s got some experience in our offense now and did a nice job when he got back in,” offensive coordinator Scott Linehan said. Cassel did go 13-for-19 for 93 yards and a touchdown in the fourth quarter, but that was after the game was out of reach.
They’re also going to have to find a new backup, and may promote Kellen Moore from the practice squad.
Another blowout loss has upped the volume on talk about Chip Kelly being somewhere other that Philadelphia next season.
That talk has centered on both the fact that the Eagles’ 4-7 record after Kelly reshaped the team this offseason may make the team want to make a change and the possibility that Kelly may want to head elsewhere in either the NFL or college ranks. One member of Kelly’s staff says that the latter won’t be the reason why Kelly isn’t with the Eagles next season.
“Chip isn’t going anywhere,” defensive coordinator Bill Davis said, via NJ.com. “Nope. I promise you that. … Absolutely [committed]. Not kind of committed. All-in committed. I know it. He is a fighter. He don’t run.”
Davis doesn’t make the call on whether Kelly stays or not, obviously and the question may not come down to Kelly’s desire to run as much as owner Jeffrey Lurie’s desire to push. Davis’s defense hasn’t done much to eliminate that possibility and any current predictions about where Kelly will be in 2016 will be moot if the team keeps failing on the field they way they have in the last two weeks.
The fourth Thursday in November carries with it plenty of traditions. This year, Bears receiver Alshon Jeffery perhaps started a new one.
Early in the second half of Chicago’s win at Lambeau Field, Jeffery lined up offside. Grossly offside. So far offside that it’s reasonable to wonder whether Jeffery has an inner-ear disorder.
Making the blunder even more egregious was the fact that the ball was positioned just short of the Chicago 35 yard line, but Jeffery’s left leg was clearly beyond it.
But the Bears won the game. So here’s hoping that, on every Thanksgiving from this point forward, an offensive player in one of the three games lines up so far offside that it looks like a bad PhotoShop effort.
Red Bryant was traveling Wednesday like a lot of people. But he has headed away from family, and back to work.
The Cardinals signed the veteran defensive tackle to fill the roster spot created with outside linebacker LaMarr Woodley was placed on injured reserve.
“I had made up my mind that I thought I wouldn’t play this season, and I thought I would try to come back next year,” Bryant said, via Kent Somers of the Arizona Republic. “So for the Cardinals to give me this opportunity this late in the season, I hope I can take advantage of it.”
The former Seahawks and Jaguars defensive tackle was cut by the Bills prior to the start of the regular season, and hadn’t latched on since. The Cards are banged up on their defensive line, with Cory Redding and Frostee Rucker dealing with ankle injuries which could keep them out.
Woodley had been playing with a chest injury in recent weeks, but suffered a torn pectoral last week against the Bengals. He’ll be replaced in the starting lineup by rookie Markus Golden, who was playing his spot in passing situations anyway.
The Dolphins soon will embark on a season-ending stretch of home games that will drag season-ticket holders to Sun Life Stadium four times in 29 days. During that “holy crap we have to go back there again to justify the money we already spent?” stretch, the season-ticket holders will have to decide whether to commit to doing it all over again in 2016.
Per Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald, the Dolphins want season-ticket holders to renew their vows by December 18.
A lot will happen immediately after the season ends, including the hiring of a new coach and (possibly) the hiring of a replacement for G.M. Dennis Hickey, who hasn’t been fired yet but could be.
“It seems to me that they clearly do not want season ticket holders to see what they are going to do next year before the renewal deadline,” a season-ticket holder told Salguero via email. “I think fans would be interested in hearing why they sent renewals this early, with such an early deadline.”
Season-ticket holders also complained about a price increase. The team told Salguero that 54 percent of the seats will be priced lower in 2016. Which means, of course, that up to 46 percent of the seats will cost more next year.
Between the price hike, the deadline, and the upcoming cluster of potentially meaningless late-season games, it’s hardly the best approach for ensuring that season-ticket holders will commit for 2016. With plenty of good seats always available at Sun Life Stadium, why should they do anything until they at least know who the coach will be?
To say Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers hasn’t looked like his old self recently would be accurate, but with one major caveat: The decline in Rodgers’s production has come mostly on passes to wide receiver Davante Adams.
Over the last three weeks, when Rodgers throws to Adams, he’s 15-for-35 for 129 yards with no touchdowns and one interception. That’s a completion percentage of 42.9 percent, an average of 3.7 yards per pass, and a passer rating of 41.2.
Over the last three weeks, when Rodgers throws to anyone other than Adams, he’s 58-for-103 for 618 yards with five touchdowns and no interceptions. That’s a completion percentage of 56.3 percent, an average of 6.0 yards per pass, and a passer rating of 90.2.
In last night’s loss to the Bears, Adams had a couple of big drops. Rodgers didn’t throw Adams under the bus after the game, but Rodgers did say they need to get on the same page. Packers coach Mike McCarthy was a little more direct about the problems Adams is causing in the offense.
“Didn’t have a very good day today,” McCarthy said when asked about Adams. “The consistency we’re getting in certain areas needs to pick up.”
Asked about the interception Rodgers threw, McCarthy suggested that Adams was to blame.
“It’s a basic route. It didn’t look like it was a very good route,” McCarthy said.
As a second-round draft pick last year, Adams didn’t have a huge role in the offense, but the Packers’ passing game was so efficient that they didn’t need him to do much. This year, with Jordy Nelson injured, the Packers are throwing to Adams more frequently, and Adams isn’t producing. And that’s the biggest difference between last year’s Packers and this year’s Packers.
Previewing the matchup between the Patriots offense and the Broncos defense.
Said Ravens coach John Harbaugh of QB Jimmy Clausen’s history with offensive coordinator Marc Trestman, “Yes, that’s a good point. It’s part of it. Certainly, they’ve been together, and he knows Marc’s concepts. That’s a plus.”
What should the Browns be shopping for on Black Friday and beyond?
The Raiders’ road to a playoff spot is a challenging one.
Thanksgiving brought some good results for the Giants.
It was another rough day for the Eagles defense.
The Bears were happy with how their defensive game plan played out on Thursday night.
A call for Packers coach Mike McCarthy to resume offensive play calling.
Christmas music has arrived in the Falcons locker room.
Thursday may have been the Panthers’ last day as an underdog this season.
What accounts for the defensive improvement for the Buccaneers?