Extra Points: McCoy, Hue Jackson, CJ2K

Chargers head coach Mike McCoy says he’s not concerned about job security, as ESPN.com’s Eric D. Williams writes.

I’m taking this job one day at a time like I do every day,” McCoy said. “I just keep plugging away every day and put great plans in, week in and week out. And I take it one day at a time here.”

The Chargers are 21-22 under McCoy, and 1-1 in the postseason. The Bolts have struggled of late, losing 11 of their past 15 dating back to last season. McCoy has one year left on his deal beyond 2015 and it’s far from a certainty that he’ll get to coach through the end of that contract.

Here’s more from around the NFL:

AFC East Notes: Richardson, Jets, Dolphins

Jets defensive lineman Sheldon Richardson has been labeled a menace, but he doesn’t see himself as a villain, Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News writes.

I want to set a good example,” Richardson said. “I made a few mistakes. I’m not a bad person. I just made two bad choices in my life.”

Richardson was clocked at 143 mph during a high-speed chase, with a legally registered handgun and a 12-year-old relative in the car. The star defensive lineman says that the incident does not define him as a person and he is working with the team psychologist to help him move beyond the arrest.

Here’s more out of the AFC East:

  • Richardson, 25 on Sunday, says he’s aware that both he and Muhammad Wilkerson are not going to get the paydays they seek from the Jets. “We both understand the situation,” Richardson said of the unlikelihood that he and Wilkerson will get big paydays from the Jets. “It’s his hometown. If he gets it and I don’t — I got one more year left. You never know what happens after that. I wouldn’t mind him staying in his own hometown. If I get the boot, then so (be it)… but you never know. Mo’s having a Pro Bowl season right now. His resume is going to be a little bit cleaner than mine.” Wilkerson fought for a long-term extension in the offseason but the two sides were unable to come to terms on a deal.
  • Dolphins wide receiver Rishard Matthews suffered multiple fractured ribs yesterday against the Jets, a source tells Rand Getlin of NFL.com (on Twitter). At this time, there’s no clear timetable for his return. Matthews, who is in a contract, has had a surprisingly strong season in Miami. The 26-year-old has hauled in 43 catches for 662 yards and 4 touchdowns across 11 games this year.
  • The Patriots worked out wide receiver/return specialist Damaris Johnson and running back Terrence Magee, as Mike Reiss of ESPN.com tweets.

Rams Owner Meets With Missouri Governor

Governor Jay Nixon met with Rams owner Stan Kroenke on Monday at Rams Park, multiple sources tell Jim Thomas of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Kroenke is set to attend a key NFL owners meeting in Dallas on Tuesday, so the timing of the meeting is very interesting and could be an indication that Kroenke is warming up to staying in St. Louis rather than relocating to Los Angeles.

To Thomas’ knowledge, today’s powwow may be the first time that Kroenke and Nixon have met face-to-face on anything related to relocation to Los Angeles or the St. Louis stadium project. One source said that Kroenke wanted to make sure he had a “complete understanding of things” before he met with his colleagues in Texas. Ostensibly, the Rams owner was looking for an update on the current status of the St. Louis stadium plan and the financing of the stadium.

For months now, it has seemed that Kroenke is intent on taking his team back to Los Angeles, regardless of what the city of St. Louis might be able to offer. Recently, we learned that Kroenke was willing to “help” the Raiders and the Chargers reach deals with their respective host cities in an effort to take them out of the running for relocation to L.A. Meanwhile, people within the NFL expect the relocation fee to be $500MM+ for any team going to Los Angeles.

Dave Peacock, co-chair of the St. Louis stadium task force, was also at Rams park, though it’s not believed that he took part in the meeting, Thomas writes.

Minor NFL Transactions: 11/30/15

Here are Monday’s minor signings, cuts, and other transactions from around the NFL:

  • The Seahawks promoted defensive tackle A.J. Francis from the practice squad, as Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle tweets.
  • The Patriots have released wide receiver Chris Harper following Sunday night’s muffed punt, as Tom E. Curran of CSNNE.com tweets.
  • The Cowboys waived running back Trey Williams, as Todd Archer of ESPN.com tweets.
  • The Giants are signing guard Adam Gettis off of the Raiders‘ practice squad, a person with knowledge of the situation told Jordan Raanan of the Star-Ledger. The Giants are short on offensive lineman, so Gettis will help provide the Giants with some much-needed depth.

Earlier updates:

  • In advance of Monday night’s game against the Browns, the Ravens have promoted guard Kaleb Johnson and wide receiver Daniel Brown from their practice squad, the team announced today in a press release. To make room, Baltimore cut wide receiver Chuck Jacobs and placed tight end Chase Ford on injured reserve with a shoulder injury. Johnson, in particular, could play a role tonight, since the club doesn’t have many healthy offensive linemen left on the roster.
  • The Bills are releasing linebacker A.J. Tarpley, according to Sal Capaccio of WGR550 (Twitter link). Tarpley, who recorded his first career NFL sack on Sunday, looks like a candidate to join the team’s practice squad if he clears waivers. Per Joe Buscaglia of WKBW (Twitter link), Buffalo also placed defensive end Alex Carrington on injured reserve, officially ending his season after he tore his quad tendon.
  • The Eagles have signed interior offensive lineman Barrett Jones off the Bears‘ practice squad, waiving offensive lineman Julian Vandervelde in the corresponding move (Twitter link). Given the history between the Eagles and Vandervelde, who has now been cut four times by the club since the start of September, it may just be a matter of time until he finds himself back with Philadelphia.
  • The Buccaneers have signed linebacker Adarius Glanton from the Panthers‘ practice squad, waiving safety Kimario McFadden, according to a press release from the team. With Kwon Alexander facing a four-game suspension and Bruce Carter having left Sunday’s game to be evaluated for a concussion, linebacker depth was a priority for Tampa Bay.
  • The Bengals waived linebacker Sean Porter from the physically unable to perform list today, tweets Coley Harvey of ESPN.com. Porter returned to practice for Cincinnati earlier this month, but the team apparently determined there was no place for him on the 53-man roster.

Practice Squad Updates: 11/30/15

Today’s practice squad moves from around the NFL:

Chicago Bears

  • Signed: C Cornelius Edison (Twitter link via Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune)

Cincinnati Bengals

Kansas City Chiefs

  • Signed: OL Daniel Munyer (Twitter link via Terez A. Paylor of the Kansas City Star)

Philadelphia Eagles

Tennessee Titans


Chris Johnson Suffers Fractured Tibia

The Cardinals have learned that star running back Chris Johnson suffered a fractured tibia on Sunday, according to Jay Glazer of FOX Sports (on Twitter). Johnson will be be out for an extended period of time, but it’s not immediately clear exactly how long he will be sidelined. As Arizona looks ahead to Week 13, one has to imagine that Johnson’s regular season could be over and that could spill over into postseason territory as well.

Early reports on Sunday indicated that suffered a left knee injury, but it turns out that his injury happened below the knee. So far in 2015, the 30-year-old has enjoyed a resurgence that few imagined could be possible over the offseason. In 11 games (9 starts) for the Cards, Johnson has rushed for 814 yards and three scores off of 196 carries.

Last season for the Jets, Johnson ran for just 663 yards, the first time in his career he recorded fewer than 1,000 yards in a season. However, he averaged a respectable 4.3 yards per carry for Gang Green in 2014. Meanwhile, the ground game was a weak spot in Arizona last season, as the team’s leading rusher, Andre Ellington, totaled just 660 yards, averaging 3.3 yards per carry.

In October, the Cardinals went on record saying that they would look into an extension for CJ2K.

AFC Notes: Gronk, Hightower, Broncos, Bengals

After checking in on a few items from out of the NFC earlier this afternoon, let’s shift our focus to the AFC and round up the latest….

  • The MRI on Rob Gronkowski‘s knee revealed only a minor knee strain, according to Jeff Howe of the Boston Herald (Twitter link). The star tight end will likely be good to go in a week or two, which is great news for the Patriots.
  • The Patriots also got relatively good news on linebacker Dont’a Hightower, who is week to week with his knee injury, per Dianna Marie Russini of ESPN.com (Twitter link). Russini adds that Hightower will be re-evaluated within the next few days.
  • The Broncos suddenly have a contracts problem on their hands for 2016, according to Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk, who notes that the team will only be able to rely on the franchise tag to retain one of Brock Osweiler and Von Miller. Osweiler has won his first two starts as a Bronco, but it seems a little too early to assume he’s worthy of a significant investment. After five more regular season games and at least one playoff contest, Denver should have a much better idea of Osweiler’s value.
  • The Bengals worked out six defensive backs today, including cornerback Bradley Fletcher, tweets Nick Wagoner of ESPN.com. According to Aaron Wilson of the National Football Post (Twitter link), cornerback Chykie Brown was also a part of that group. With Darqueze Dennard out for the season, and other members of the secondary banged up, Cincinnati seems to be keeping an eye out for possible depth additions.

NFC Notes: Kelly, Kaepernick, Carter, Packers

Responding to a Monday report that suggested he met recently with USC officials, Eagles head coach Chip Kelly adamantly denied that such a meeting took place, telling reporters he has had “no contact” with USC or other colleges, as Jeff McLane of the Philadelphia Inquirer tweets.

Kelly had made a habit in the past of shooting down this sort of report, even when it’s hard not to believe that the report is true — for instance, he claimed this spring that he hadn’t had trade talks involving any of his players during the first day of the draft. In this case though, I’m inclined to believe that the details of today’s story – that Kelly met with USC officials in Philadelphia on Friday – are off. Still, it seems unlikely that Kelly or his agent have never spoken to anyone from USC at all, even if it was just to politely turn down an inquiry.

In any case, Kelly isn’t going anywhere for now. As we wait to see if he can get the Eagles back on track after a disastrous Thanksgiving loss, let’s check out some others notes out of Philadelphia and the rest of the NFC….

  • We’ve heard recently that the Eagles‘ struggles this year actually reflect relatively well on former GM Howie Roseman, who lost control of personnel decisions after the 2014 season. According to Mike Garafolo of FOX Sports, perception is shifting outside the Eagles’ building as well, with talk around the league suggesting that Roseman could draw interest elsewhere this winter. As Garafolo writes, it’ll be a delicate situation for owner Jeffrey Lurie, who has a good relationship with Roseman and will likely make an effort to keep him if other clubs come calling.
  • According to Jason Cole of Bleacher Report (video link), the 49ers were able to track how much time players spent studying game plans and plays on tablets assigned by the team, and found that Blaine Gabbert studied about four to five times more than Colin Kaepernick did. While Kaepernick’s lack of preparation was an area of concern for the team, players aren’t thrilled with teams’ ability to track their studies, arguing that it may take some players less time than others to learn the same things. According to Cole, there’s a chance the NFLPA could take up the issue with the league.
  • Having been placed on IR with the designation to return in September, Lions cornerback Alex Carter won’t be activated to the 53-man roster and will remain on IR for the rest of the year, tweets Tim Twentyman of DetroitLions.com. Carter, selected in the third round by Detroit back in May, will have to wait until 2016 to make his NFL debut.
  • Quarterback Aaron Rodgers admits the Packers need to improve their preparation on offense after losing four of five games, but denied that the club has reached the point where a players-only meeting is required, writes Rob Demovsky of ESPN.com. During NBC’s Thanksgiving telecast, Cris Collinsworth alluded to the club holding a players-only meeting, but Rodgers said no such meeting happened.

Injury Updates: Gronk, Pouncey, Carrington

In the wake of the Patriots‘ first loss last night, initial reports indicated that Rob Gronkowski‘s knee injury may not be as serious as it initially looked, and recent reports have continued to suggest as much. According to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (Twitter link), the New England tight end is unlikely to miss more than one game, and perhaps won’t even miss any time. Mike Garafolo of FOX Sports tweets that the club’s initial diagnosis is a “relatively minor non-ACL sprain.”

Still, the results of Gronkowski’s MRI aren’t in yet, so the Patriots won’t breathe easy until they get confirmation of their initial diagnosis. For now though, it looks like the club may have avoided a worst-case scenario for the star tight end, since his reaction to the hit on his knee had most of us expecting a season-ending injury.

Let’s round up a few more injury updates from across the NFL….

  • Another AFC East injury not as serious as initially feared? Mike Pouncey‘s foot ailment, according to Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald (Twitter link). Rapoport tweets that the Dolphins center has a minor foot sprain, and that it’s not believed to be a Lisfranc injury. Still, the Dolphins are expected to search for help at center, per Salguero, who tweets that Samson Satele “should probably pick up the phone.”
  • The Bills didn’t get good news on defensive end Alex Carrington, who tore his quad tendon and is undergoing season-ending surgery today, according to Rapoport (Twitter link). It’s the latest blow to a Buffalo defensive line that was already missing Kyle Williams – who is out for the year – and Mario Williams on Sunday.
  • Rapoport also provides an update on Ben Roethlisberger, tweeting that, while the Steelers quarterback placed himself in the concussion protocol, he may not have suffered a concussion on Sunday, and could be cleared for Week 13.
  • 49ers tight end Garrett Celek is out indefinitely due to a high ankle sprain, writes Matt Maiocco of CSNBayArea.com. Celek, who has caught 19 balls for the team this year, went down with the injury in the first quarter of Sunday’s game against the Cardinals.

Coaching Notes: USC, Payton, Fisher, Fins

It wasn’t an NFL coaching job, but the USC head coaching position was expected to have an impact on the NFL, since a number of the school’s potential candidates were current coaches or coordinators around the league. However, the Trojans announced today (via Twitter) that interim coach Clay Helton will become the team’s permanent head coach going forward, meaning that Chip Kelly and other coaches around the NFL can be crossed off the list.

It sounds like USC did reach out to Kelly to gauge his interest before deciding to move forward with Helton though. According to FootballScoop.com (Twitter link), USC officials met with Kelly last week, but the Eagles head coach prefers to remain in the NFL. Similarly, USC checked in on Raiders head coach Jack Del Rio, who told the Trojans he’s not leaving Oakland, tweets Tim Kawakami of the San Jose Mercury News.

Here are a few more coaching-related items from around the league:

  • Jason La Canfora of CBSSports.com believes that the Saints should “go ahead and start sniffing around” for teams that may be interested in giving up a draft pick or two for head coach Sean Payton, since this winter looks like a good time for an overhaul. La Canfora identifies the Browns, Colts, Dolphins, and Titans as teams that might have interest in Payton, and suggests that the draft pick return could be “substantial.”
  • Having lost four games in a row, Jeff Fisher‘s Rams are in a downward spiral, and Nick Wagoner of ESPN.com believes it’s time for the team to make coaching change at season’s end.
  • Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald (Twitter link) hears that the decision to fire offensive coordinator Bill Lazor was made by Dolphins interim head coach Dan Campbell, who had “shown signs of displeasure” with the offense during the club’s last few games.
  • The Giants could have taken a commanding lead in the weak NFC East division with a win over Washington on Sunday, but the fact that the team couldn’t get it done puts head coach Tom Coughlin on the hot seat, writes Ralph Vacchiano of the New York Daily News.
  • Several weeks ago, with his team scuffling along at 2-5, head coach Bill O’Brien didn’t exactly look safe in Houston. Four wins later though, Texans owner Bob McNair is giving O’Brien credit for the team’s success, telling Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle, “I think he’s doing a fine job.”

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