Sean McVay says Todd Gurley is “feeling great”

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There’s been speculation about the health of Rams running back Todd Gurley‘s knee since last season, but coach Sean McVay says Gurley will prove he’s fine on the field.

McVay told Jimmy Kimmel that Gurley has taken it slow this offseason because the Rams had a plan for keeping him healthy, and the expectation is that Gurley will be good to go.

“He’s good. I think he’s feeling great,” McVay said of Gurley. “One of the things about Todd is, great competitor. I think he’s earned the right to be able to have the plan we had this offseason. I can’t wait to get him back going and I know he’s ready to go and it’s going to be fun for the Rams this year.”

The good news for the Rams is that they found last year that McVay’s offense works well without Gurley, as they had two blowout victories when Gurley missed the final two games of the regular season. The Rams’ offense should be great again no matter how Gurley’s knee is doing.

Louisiana judge allows suit against NFL over Rams-Saints missed call to continue

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A Louisiana judge allowed a lawsuit against the NFL seeking damages over the errant pass interference no-call late in the NFC Championship game in January.

According to Kevin McGill of the Associated Press, Louisiana Civil District Court Judge Nicole Sheppard also ruled that attorneys for the plaintiffs can request documents from the NFL and and question league officials, including Commissioner Roger Goodell and members of the officiating crew that worked the game.

“The purpose of the lawsuit is not to get some minuscule amount of money. They won’t even notice that,” plaintiff attorney Antonio LeMon said. “It’s to get at the truth.

Rams cornerback Nickell Robey-Coleman obliterated Saints receiver Tommylee Lewis before Drew Brees‘ pass had reached its intended target. However, no flag was thrown on the play and the Saints were forced to kick a 31-yard field goal instead of getting a fresh set of downs at the Rams 6-yard line with less than two minutes to play. There was ultimately enough time remaining for the Rams to drive for a tying field goal that forced overtime, where the Rams won to advance to the Super Bowl.

The case is seeking only $75,000 in damages, which keeps it below a threshold that would risk the case being moved to a federal court. LeMon said any funds awarded would be donated to charity as they are seeking information from the league about how the incident was handled and if officials were disciplined.

“I want their personnel files. I want their gradings. I want their notes from the game,” he said.

LeMon said the NFL informed them of their intent to appeal the ruling.

A prior lawsuit attempting to levy an injunction against the NFL to force the game be replayed from the point of the missed call ahead of the Super Bowl was nixed by a federal judge in January.

Chiefs lead the way with Vegas win totals

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Camps open soon (the Broncos already have started practicing), and the folks in Vegas have adjusted their projected over-under win totals for 2019.

The Chiefs currently lead the way with 12, followed by the Patriots at 11.

The Rams and Saints are next at 10.5, followed by the Chargers, Eagles, and Colts at 9.5

The Bears, Packers, Vikings, Browns, Steelers, and Cowboys land at 9, with the Falcons, Ravens, Seahawks, Texans just behind them, at 8.5

Next are the Titans, 49ers, Jaguars, and Panthers at 8, the Jets at 7.5, the Broncos at 7, the Lions, Bills, Buccaneers, and Washington at 6.5, the Giants, Bengals, and Raiders at 6, and the Cardinals and Dolphins at 5.

I personally like the over for the Jaguars, Eagles, Seahawks, and Lions, and the under for the Saints. But what the hell do I know?

Broncos cutting Nathan Jacobson to sign David Williams

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The Broncos are waiving offensive lineman Nathan Jacobson to make room for the signing of running back David Williams, Ryan O’Halloran of The Denver Post reports.

Jacobson earned a contract with a post-draft tryout in May.

A native of Milan, Italy, he played high school football in the state of Washington before continuing his career at UNLV. Jacobson started two games as a freshman at UNLV before becoming the full-time right tackle his final three seasons.

But the Broncos needed the spot for Williams, whom they drafted in the seventh round last year.

The Broncos waived Williams out of the 2018 preseason but signed him to their practice squad the next day. The Jaguars signed Williams off Denver’s practice squad Oct. 9.

He played six games for Jacksonville and had eight carries for 36 yards. The Jaguars cut Williams on May 10.

Report: Todd Davis will miss 3-4 weeks with partial calf tear

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Broncos linebacker Todd Davis didn’t last long in the opening practice, but he will return before the season opener.

Davis was carted off Thursday, and an MRI later revealed a partial calf tear, Tom Pelissero of NFL Media reports. Davis is expected to miss three to four weeks.

“It was the very last [number] one rep I had of the whole day. The very last play,” Davis said, via Mike Klis of Denver’s 9News. “I went to plant and run towards the ball. The ball was thrown, and I just felt something kind of pull in my calf. Nothing major happened.’’

Davis, 27, started all 16 games last season and played 78.2 percent of the defensive snaps. He made 114 tackles, seven pass breakups and an interception.

Davis also is expected to play a big role in Vic Fangio’s defense this season.

“Todd, I feel like he is one of the most vocal leaders on this team, not just the defense,” Broncos linebacker Bradley Chubb said, via quotes distributed by the team. “Sometimes last year in the game, I’m like, ‘Hey Todd, what I got right here?’ And he just always knows what he’s doing, always reliable, always making the right calls, and he’s a huge part of the defense.”

Broncos expected to sign David Williams

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The Broncos are expected to sign running back David Williams if he passes a physical, Mike Klis of Denver’s 9News reports.

Denver made Williams a seventh-round choice last year.

The Broncos waived him out of the preseason but signed him to their practice squad the next day. The Jaguars signed Williams off Denver’s practice squad Oct. 9.

He played six games for Jacksonville and had eight carries for 36 yards.

The Jaguars cut Williams on May 10.

Packers will wear blue-and-gold uniform in Week Three

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The Packers announced Thursday they will wear their “historic third jersey” in Week Three against the Broncos at Lambeau Field.

The jersey is a re-creation of Green Bay’s blue-and-gold look from 1937-48. Those teams won two of the Packers’ 13 championships.

The Packers have worn the throwback four times previously. They are 2-2 in the blue and gold.

Green Bay beat the Chargers in 2015 when it debuted the look. The Packers lost to the Cowboys in 2016 and to the Ravens in 2017 in the blue-and-gold before shutting out the Bills 22-0 last year.

Joe Flacco: John Elway is the man in Denver, but hopefully I have a place


John Elway is “the man” in Denver, and every quarterback who has come since him, aside from maybe Peyton Manning, has played in his shadow.

Joe Flacco grew up watching Elway win two Super Bowls for the Broncos, including a Super Bowl MVP performance. Flacco has a Super Bowl ring and Super Bowl MVP award of his own.

He would like to join Elway and Manning in bringing a title to Denver.

First, though, Flacco has to get accustomed to playing for and in front of Elway.

“You don’t think about it,” Flacco said, via Nicki Jhabvala of “A lot of that stuff, you don’t think about it in that way. For me, I grew up watching John Elway. So while we’re kind of colleagues now, and we’re sharing the same field, there’s still a little bit of that little kid in you like, ‘Oh, man, John Elway is standing right next to me.’ So you try to act as normal as possible and shoot the breeze and just act like you’re a normal person.

“I think it’s a really cool opportunity, to be honest with you. Listen, I know John is the man around here. Hopefully, there’s room for a couple more people.”

Cardinals place Dante Booker on PUP list

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Rookies have reported to Cardinals camp and one member of that group landed on the physically unable to perform list on Thursday.

The NFL’s daily transaction report brings word that linebacker Dante Booker has been placed on the list. Booker won’t be able to practice with the team until he’s activated and is eligible to be activated at any time.

Booker signed with the Cardinals after going undrafted out of Ohio State in April and is the only rookie in the team’s linebacking corps. Injuries limited Booker’s playing time while in Columbus and the school credited him with 74 tackles, nine tackles for loss and an interception in 48 games spread over five seasons.

Veteran members of the Cardinals report to camp next week and they may make some additions to the PUP and non-football injury lists at that point.

Marquise Brown among Ravens rookies on non-football injury list

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The Ravens’ first-round draft pick isn’t ready to go just yet.

Rookie wide receiver Marquise Brown has been placed on the Ravens’ on the non-football injury list to start camp. Brown had Lisfranc surgery in February (Brown actually did suffer the foot injury playing football, but the non-football injury list also encompasses players who came into the offseason recovering from an injury suffered the previous season.)

Brown isn’t the only rookie on the list: Ravens third-round linebacker Jaylon Ferguson fifth-round defensive tackle Daylon Mack and underafted wide receiver Jaylen Smith are also on the non-football injury list. Undrafted offensive tackle Patrick Mekari is on the Physically Unable to Perform list.

Going on these lists at the start of camp often just means the player isn’t physically ready to complete a full practice as well as the team’s conditioning test. It’s not a reason to think they won’t be ready when the season starts.

Albert Haynesworth begins dialysis while testing of potential kidney donors proceeds

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Former NFL defensive lineman Albert Haynesworth is moving closer to getting the kidney he needs.

Via Jim Wyatt of the Titans’ official website, Haynesworth has provided an update regarding his health situation on Facebook.

“First and foremost I want to thank each and everyone that prayed and supported me during this new ordeal, you guys are amazing,” Haynesworth said. “I want to also say I love you guys that are willing to give me a kidney [there] are no words that can describe my feelings for this blessing.

“Now for the update, today I started my first dialysis treatments outside the hospital. I’m feeling better than the previous post since the great hospital staff of Williamson Medical pulled more than 12 [pounds] of fluid from in and around my lungs.

“Now for my new family (donors), Vanderbilt will be sending you blood tests that you take to a lab then send it back to Vanderbilt. After that, they will give you further instructions. Oh yes for my new family member (donor) that is picked your medical expenses will be covered under my insurance and for time missed for work [there] are grants that Vandy will direct you to so you can get compensation for giving this precious gift to me. I don’t know the amount but I seriously doubt it will make you rich FYI.”

Haynesworth made a public plea last week for a kidney. The effort sparked hundreds of calls and offers from potential donors. One of them soon will be giving Haynesworth a kidney.

Raiders waive Saeed Blacknall, sign De’Mornay Pierson-El

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The Raiders signed free agent receiver De’Mornay Pierson-El, the team announced Thursday.

They waived receiver Saeed Blacknall in a corresponding move.

Pierson-El played for Salt Lake Stallions in the Alliance of American Football League. He made 36 receptions for 414 yards and one touchdown, leading the team in receiving in the eight games before the league folded.

Pierson-El also spent some time in Washington after signing as an undrafted free agent and had a short stint with the Montreal Alouettes in the Canadian Football League.

He played four seasons at Nebraska, making 100 catches for 1,309 yards and 11 touchdowns in 43 games.

Blacknall spent most of last season on the Raiders’ practice squad. He signed a futures contract in January.

Tyrone Crawford enters diversion program to resolve arrest for bar incident

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Cowboys defensive lineman Tyrone Crawford has resolved criminal charges arising from an incident that occurred in March. He’ll now await punishment from 345 Park Avenue.

Via ESPN, Crawford has agreed to enter a diversion program as the settlement of the allegations made against him in connection with a bar fight in Panama City, Florida.

Crawford ultimately was charged with unlawful assembly, a misdemeanor. The charge will be dismissed if/when Crawford successfully completes the diversion program.

Diversion programs have become a common tool for resolving criminal charges; however, entry into a diversion program does not exempt the player from scrutiny under the Personal Conduct Policy. Five years ago, Ray Rice entered into a diversion program to resolve charges that, one the video of the incident emerged, ended his career.

Saints place Carl Granderson on did not report list

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The Saints placed defensive end Carl Granderson on the did not report list as the team’s rookies opened training camp Thursday. They also placed receiver Emmanuel Butler on the non-football injury list.

Granderson is serving a six-month jail sentence in Wyoming.

Earlier this month, Granderson agreed to plea no contest to one count of sexual battery and one count of unlawful contact with a recommended sentence of one year of unsupervised probation and a mental evaluation. But the district court judge rejected that part of the deal and ordered him immediately to begin serving jail time.

Granderson isn’t expected to play this season, and the Saints likely fill his spot on the 90-player roster in the coming days.

Butler signed with the Saints as an undrafted free agent out of Northern Arizona, where he had two 1,000-yard receiving seasons.

Will Falcons, Julio Jones do a deal?

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Grady Jarrett? Check.

Deion Jones? Check.

Other guy named Jones who is slightly more important to the team? No check yet.

The Falcons have taken care of significant business this week, signing two key defensive players, but still no business has been done between the Falcons and one of their most significant players, receiver Julio Jones.

He has been jostling for a big-money deal for more than a year, but he still hasn’t gotten one. In 2018, a holdout was avoided by an eleventh-hour Band-Aid along with a presumption that, come 2019, the situation would be addressed with a new, long-term contract.

Training camp opens in three days, and Jones previously has said he won’t hold out. But he based that vow on the vow that was made to him by owner Arthur Blank.

Mr. Blank gave us his word. . . . That’s golden,” Jones said earlier this month. “[Blank’s] word is that it’s going to get done. . . . There’s no stress on my end. I’m not thinking about it.”

He may be thinking about it plenty if the deal ultimately offered by the Falcons is less golden than Jones expects it to be. Indeed, it’s one thing to intend to sign a player to a contract; it’s another to commit to giving the player what we wants. And it remains unclear what Jones wants, other than: More.

Jones seems to be sensitive to the fact that fans resent players who play hardball to get paid, even though players have no equity, experience limited careers, and endure all of the physical risks. Fans never get mad at teams for squeezing players, but fans hate it when players squeeze teams. Upside-down as that concept may be, Jones seems to be keenly aware of it, while nevertheless attempting to get what he deserves: More.

For the Falcons, the challenge becomes paying Jones more but not so much more that they’re paying for more than what he currently can do. Teams don’t pay for past performance, but in this case that’s precisely what Jones may want — a correction to what has been a below-market deal in recent years, even if that means the Falcons will within the next year or two (or sooner) conclude that they’re paying more than they should be paying for a guy whose best days as a player may be behind him.

For now, a holdout may end up being in front of him, if the Falcons don’t literally put in front of him the kind of more that will get Jones sign his name and move forward.