Drake London leaves with knee injury

Atlanta Falcons Training Camp
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Falcons rookie receiver Drake London caught a 24-yard pass from Marcus Mariota on the opening drive, but he won’t see any more action against the Lions.

London left the game with a knee injury and will not return tonight, the Falcons announced.

London bounced up and ran off after safety DeShon Elliott tackled him, but the team’s medical staff was looking at London’s knee afterward.

London missed the final four games of USC’s 2021 season with a broken ankle but was fully healthy by the time the Falcons drafted him in the first round.

He caught 88 passes for 1,084 yards with seven touchdowns in 2021, leading the Pac-12 in receptions and was earning Pac-12 offensive player of the year despite not playing the full schedule.

The Falcons scored on their first drive, going 82 yards on 12 plays with Mariota running it in for a 6-yard touchdown. The Lions scored on both of their drives to take a 10-7 lead early in the second quarter.

John Harbaugh disputes Tyler Linderbaum has Lisfranc injury

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Ravens coach John Harbaugh disputed a report that Tyler Linderbaum is dealing with a Lisfranc injury. Harbaugh said the rookie center has a soft-tissue injury in his foot.

“It’s a different ligament,” Harbaugh said Monday of Linderbaum’s injury, via Jonas Shaffer of the Baltimore Sun. “So he’s had the Lisfranc before. There’s no separation. There’s no Lisfranc sprain, per se. That’s my understanding. I’m not a doctor, but I play one in press conferences, as you know. But that’s what I was told.”

NFL Media reported Linderbaum was diagnosed with a Lisfranc sprain, but Harbaugh said “it’s not a serious thing.” The Ravens expect Linderbaum to miss 1-2 weeks.

Linderbaum played through a Lisfranc injury at Iowa.

“We want it to be right and healed, so it’s going to take a little bit of time, but it’s not a Lisfranc,” Harbaugh said.

The Ravens are counting on Linderbaum, the No. 25 overall selection, to start at center for them this season.

Giants rookie Marcus McKethan tears ACL


Giants rookie offensive lineman Marcus McKethan tore his anterior cruciate ligament in Friday’s practice. The team announced Saturday it has placed him on season-ending injured reserve.

The Giants drafted McKethan with a fifth-round selection, one of three offensive linemen drafted by the team this spring.

He was spending most of his time as a backup at right guard, though he also had taken snaps at right tackle. His injury puts yet another dent in the team’s depth along the line.

Offensive tackle Matt Gono left the team to have his neck examined for a possible career-ending injury.

On Friday, the Giants added veteran tackle Will Holden as a replacement for Gono.

Skyy Moore returns to practice after tweaking hip Tuesday

NFL: MAY 26 Kansas City Chiefs OTA Offseason Workouts
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Chiefs rookie receiver Skyy Moore left practice early Tuesday. He later was diagnosed with a hip injury.

Moore, though, was back at practice Wednesday.

He walked up the hill under his own power to the indoor practice facility after being injured instead of riding in a cart. Moore later addressed his early departure on social media.

“I’m okay,” he wrote.

The Chiefs made Moore a second-round choice to help replace Tyreek Hill, whom they traded to the Dolphins this offseason.

Moore made 95 receptions for 1,292 yards and 10 touchdowns last season for Western Michigan.

David Ojabo signs rookie contract, the last of the NFL’s 262 picks to sign

NFL Combine
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And then there were none.

The last of the NFL’s 262 draft picks signed his deal Tuesday. The Ravens announced second-round selection David Ojabo now is under contract, ending his holdout.

Ojabo is recovering from a torn Achilles tendon at Michigan’s Pro Day in March. But since he hasn’t signed his deal, he will have to rehab away from the team facility.

In 2021, he had 11 sacks and five forced fumbles in 14 games.

He played for Ravens defensive coordinator Mike Macdonald at Michigan.

Seahawks activate Tyreke Smith from PUP, sign Antonio Valentino

NFL: DEC 12 Seahawks at Texans
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The Seahawks activated rookie outside linebacker Tyreke Smith from the active/physically unable to perform list. The team announced Smith passed his physical.

Smith, a fifth-round pick out of Ohio State, missed the first three practices of camp with a hip injury. He instead worked with trainers on the side.

Smith totaled 55 tackles, seven sacks, and 10 tackles for loss in four collegiate seasons.

The Seahawks also made a move Monday to add depth to their interior defensive line. They announced the signing of rookie defensive tackle Antonio Valentino.

Valentino, who went undrafted out of Florida this year, initially signed with the Giants. New York waived him earlier this spring.

Valentino spent his first four seasons of college at Penn State, appearing in 40 games and recording 51 tackles, 12.5 tackles for loss and six sacks. Valentino joined the Gators as a graduate transfer in 2021, starting eight of 12 games played and recording 23 tackles and three tackles for loss.

Cowboys rookie Matt Waletzko injures shoulder

NFL: JUN 02 Dallas Cowboys OTA Offseason Workouts
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Cowboys rookie offensive tackle Matt Waletzko will miss some time after injuring his shoulder in Thursday’s practice, David Moore of the Dallas Morning News reports.

No surgery is required for Waletzko at this time. He will rehab for the time being and see what it looks like later in camp.

The Cowboys drafted Waletzko in the fifth round with the selection they obtained from the Browns in the trade of Amari Cooper.

“We’re still looking at his shoulder injury,” coach Mike McCarthy said, via Moore. “Once we get to next week we’ll have a better handle on it.”

The Cowboys already were thin behind starters Tyron Smith and Terence Steele at tackle, so the team might have to seek some short-term help.

Charlie Kolar to undergo sports hernia surgery

NFL Combine
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Ravens rookie tight end Charlie Kolar will undergo sports hernia surgery early next week, coach John Harbaugh announced Thursday.

Harbaugh said it was a lingering injury from college that Kolar previously had surgery to repair.

“We’ll get it cleaned up now,” Harbaugh said, via Ryan Mink of the team website. “Would have loved to have gotten it cleaned up earlier, but we didn’t really have it earlier. I think he thought he could manage it, but it’s gotten to the point where it needs to get fixed.”

The fourth-round selection will miss significant time.

Ravens receiver Rashod Bateman had a similar surgery in mid-August last year to fix a college injury, and he missed the first five games.

Kolar was one of two tight ends the team drafted. The Ravens also made Isaiah Likely a fourth-round choice. Kolar was the 128th overall choice and Likely the 139th.

Likely already has stood out for the Ravens, catching a long touchdown from Lamar Jackson in Tuesday’s practice.

Kolar made 168 receptions for 2,181 yards and 23 touchdowns in his career at Iowa State. That includes 62 catches for 756 yards and six touchdowns last season.

Colts remove Eric Johnson from non-football injury list

NFL: JUN 07 Indianapolis Colts Minicamp
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When the Colts placed Eric Johnson on the active/non-football injury list earlier this week, General Manager Chris Ballard said he didn’t expect the defensive tackle’s stay on the list to be long. It wasn’t.

The Colts removed Johnson from the list Thursday, the team announced.

Johnson tweaked his back while working out on his own during the summer break.

The team made Johnson a fifth-round choice this spring out of Missouri State. He will compete for playing time on the interior of the defensive line behind DeForest Buckner and Grover Stewart.

Ravens’ second-rounder David Ojabo is NFL’s last unsigned draft pick

NFL Combine
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And then there was one. . . .

The Seahawks’ signings of draft picks Kenneth Walker III (second round) and Coby Bryant (fourth round) has left only one NFL draft selection unsigned. Ravens rookie outside linebacker David Ojabo has not agreed to terms.

The second-round choice did not report to training camp Tuesday.

The league’s other 261 draft selections have signed.

At least three 2022 second-round selections have signed contracts with guaranteed money in the fourth year of their deals. It is unknown whether negotiations over guaranteed money in the final year of hte deal is the reason Ojabo hasn’t signed.

The No. 45 overall choice, is slotted to make some $7.9 million in his rookie contract.

Ojabo is recovering from a torn Achilles tendon at Michigan’s Pro Day in March. But since he hasn’t signed his deal, he will have to rehab away from the team facility.

In 2021, he had 11 sacks and five forced fumbles in 14 games.

Cade Otton signs rookie deal

NFL: MAY 13 Tampa Bay Buccaneers Rookie Minicamp
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The Buccaneers wrapped up their draft class signings, getting tight end Cade Otton under contract. The team previously signed the other seven members of the draft class as Bucs rookies reported to camp Saturday.

The Bucs made Otton a fourth-round selection out of the University of Washington.

Otton had ankle surgery last year and did not take part in practices in the Bucs’ offseason program as a result, but the team’s medical staff has cleared him for training camp.

He spent five seasons at UW, appearing in 39 games. Otton totaled 91 receptions for 1,026 yards and nine touchdowns.

Otton earned first-team All-Pac-12 honors for his performance during the 2020 season. He also was one of eight semifinalists for the 2020 John Mackey Award, given annually to college football’s top tight end.

The Bucs are replacing Rob Gronkowski and recently agreed to a deal with veteran Kyle Rudolph to join a tight end group that also includes Cameron Brate, Codey McElroy and sixth-round pick Ko Kieft.

Logan Hall agrees to terms with Bucs

NFL: MAY 25 Tampa Bay Buccaneers OTA Offseason Workouts
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The Buccaneers’ rookies report to training camp Saturday, and second-round choice Logan Hall will be there.

The defensive lineman agreed to terms with the team on Friday night, Tom Pelissero of NFL Media reports.

That leaves only fourth-rounder Cade Otton without a deal as six other draft selections previously signed their four-year rookie deals.

Hall was the 33rd overall choice and the highest-drafted player without a contract.

Hall totaled 97 tackles, 19.5 tackles for loss and seven games in 34 games at the University of Houston.

49ers defensive line coach: Drake Jackson is the whole package

San Francisco 49ers Rookie Minicamp
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The key to the 49ers defense might be whoever lines up opposite Nick Bosa. The team got contributions from Samson Ebukam, Arden Key, Charles Omenihu and Jordan Willis last season, especially late in the year, and Ebukam, Omenihu and Willis return.

The 49ers, though, used a second-round choice on Drake Jackson, who has a chance to win the starting job.

49ers defensive line coach Kris Kocurek is high on Jackson.

“He’s the whole package,” Kocurek said, via David Lombardi of TheAthletic.com. “We had a combine interview with Drake early on in the process. Bendy dude. He’s got some slipperiness to him. Change of direction, a knack for winning one-on-one in pass rush. A player that should be ascending.

“He was asked to do a lot of things in college, and we’re going to try to narrow it down, try to let him do what he does best — set the edge in the run game, make plays sideline-to-sideline with effort, that type of mentality. Then, once it’s time to sack the quarterback, win one-on-one.”

The 49ers anticipate whoever lines up opposite Bosa will see one-on-ones since Bosa faced the most double-teams of any NFL edge rusher in 2021.

Jackson started for USC three years and left the Trojans with 103 tackles, 25 tackles for loss, 12.5 sacks, two interceptions, two forced fumbles and a fumble recovery.

Jalen Tolbert realizes the “special opportunity” he has this season with Cowboys


The Cowboys traded Amari Cooper to the Browns and lost Cedrick Wilson to the Dolphins in free agency. Michael Gallup tore an ACL on Jan. 2, so he could miss the start of the season.

That leaves a large void in the Cowboys’ receiving corps.

They signed James Washington and drafted Jalen Tolbert in the third round. The team is counting on both players to help replace Cooper and Wilson, who combined for 113 receptions for 1,467 yards and 14 touchdowns last season.

“I’m definitely excited for the opportunity that’s in front of me and just being able to go and compete and continue to do the thing that I love,” Tolbert said on SiriusXM NFL Radio, via the Dallas Morning News. “A lot of people aren’t blessed to be able to play after college, and so I definitely have a special opportunity, and I’m looking forward to it.”

Tolbert got to work with Dak Prescott during the offseason program. He also accompanied the quarterback and several other new teammates to the University of Miami earlier this month for a throwing session.

“We’ve been able to build I would say, at least a stepping stool for quite a few points of chemistry,” Tolbert said.

Everything has sped up for Tolbert since he arrived in Dallas. He even had to adjust to the quarterback calling plays in the huddle.

But Tolbert has a mentor in Lamb, who caught 74 passes for 935 yards and five touchdowns as a rookie in 2020.

“Yeah, I’ve definitely talked to [Lamb] and some of those guys about what they did their rookie year and [Lamb] being at my position, was able to give me some tips,” Tolbert said. “More so just taking it one day at a time, because overall my rookie year will be my longest year. And so, take it one day at a time. It is definitely a blessing and a perfect opportunity for you and the team. So just continuing to grow and not really thinking about the timeline, but just thinking about the work that you’re putting in and opportunities that you have to you go chase, you know, a Super Bowl.”

Aaron Rodgers: The rookie receivers definitely look the part


The Packers traded Davante Adams to the Raiders and lost Marquez Valdes-Scantling to the Chiefs in free agency. Adams and Valdes-Scantling combined for 149 receptions for 1,983 yards and 14 touchdowns in 2021.

The Packers signed veteran Sammy Watkins and drafted Christian Watson, Romeo Doubs and Samori Toure. The rookies are expected to play a big part in replacing Adams and Valdes-Scantling.

“Physically, they definitely look the part. All three of them,” Rodgers said on The Pat McAfee Show on Tuesday, via Zach Kruse of USA Today. “All of them have physical gifts.”

Watson (6-4, 208) and Doubs (6-2, 204) obviously are “bigger” than Toure, a seventh-round choice, as Rodgers noted, but the defending league MVP said the 6-1, 191-pound wideout “got a lot of stuff to him.”

Rodgers hasn’t had much time with the rookies yet after skipping the voluntary offseason work. He participated only in the mandatory minicamp.

But Joe Barry’s defense will test the Packers’ passing game in training camp, preparing the young wideouts for what they should expect when the season starts.

“It’s going to be great. There’s no better teacher for them than going up against our top three corners,” Rodgers said, “so those guys will get a real quick initiation into the NFL.”

Rodgers predicted it could be “a long training camp for the offense,” but knows that will only make the offense better prepared.

He didn’t use the R word — r-e-l-a-x — as he once made famous, but that’s essentially what Rodgers wants Packers fans to do in August as the rookies get a crash course.

“Let’s, everybody, take a nice, deep, long breath,” Rodgers said. “Trust the training camp time we have. Trust the coaching staff. Trust the relationships. Trust the guys in the room, like Allen Lazard and Randall Cobb and Sammy Watkins to help these guys out.”