Rams’ Alec Ogletree Could Be Out For Season

Rams linebacker Alec Ogletree suffered a right ankle injury in Sunday’s win over the Cardinals and will require surgery. As a result, he could miss the rest of the season, according to ESPN’s Nick Wagoner. The best-case scenario for Ogletree, it seems, would be a late-season return.

“The doctors still have some discussions, and we still have to do MRIs and things like that,” said head coach Jeff Fisher. “There’s potential right now for [him to go on injured reserve with the] designation for return, but we’ll have to see.”

If the Rams slap the designated label on Ogletree, he’ll be eligible to return eight weeks after he undergoes surgery.

Prior to his injury, Ogletree had 10 tackles against Arizona and an impressive 42 for the season. The 24-year-old, whom the Rams selected in the first round of the 2013 draft, entered the NFL with back-to-back 100-tackle seasons. Whether he returns later this season or not at all, his loss will be a significant one for the 2-2 Rams.

Extra Points: Browns, Bears, Rex, Eagles

Browns wideout Dwayne Bowe signed for $9MM guaranteed during the offseason and was expected to upgrade a receiving corps in desperate need of help. That didn’t happen through the first three weeks of the season, though, as the former Pro Bowler went without a catch in the opener and then missed the next two games because of a strained hamstring. Nevertheless, the ninth-year man entered Sunday’s game against San Diego brimming with confidence.

“I can’t wait to go out there and showcase my talent and be a ringleader for the guys and go out there and bring home a win,” Bowe said, per Mary Kay Cabot of the Cleveland Plain-Dealer.

Bowe got back on the field in Week 4, but he once again failed to catch a pass. Quarterback Josh McCown, who completed passes to eight different teammates, targeted Bowe just once. The Browns lost, 30-27.

Here’s more on the Browns and a few of their counterparts from around the NFL:

  • After the Bears dealt linebacker Jared Allen to Carolina earlier this week, fellow LB Willie Young asked Chicago for a trade, according to Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio. Young played defensive end in the Bears’ 4-3 scheme last year and had 10 sacks. They switched to a 3-4 this season, forcing him to shift to linebacker, and he’s currently without a sack. Young doesn’t believe he’s a fit for the Bears’ defense anymore, and if the team agrees, Florio writes that it should grant his request and send him elsewhere.
  • The Bills turned in a horrendous performance in their 24-10 loss to the Giants on Sunday, especially with respect to discipline. Their 17 penalties gives them 57 for the year, the most any team has had through the first four weeks of the season since 2005, per ESPN’s Mike Rodak. Head coach Rex Ryan wasn’t upset with his team, however. Contrarily, he said he was “proud” of how the Bills played. “Can you play a lot smarter? Absolutely,” Ryan continued. “But I’ll take a team that can fight over a team that won’t — that will sit back and take it — any day of the week. And bring on the next team.”
  • Much of the dialogue regarding the Browns this year has centered on the quarterback position – whether they should start McCown or Johnny Manziel. That shouldn’t be the case after Week 4, writes Bud Shaw of the Northeast Ohio Media Group. Shaw believes McCown’s sensational Sunday output (32 of 41 for 356 yards and two touchdowns) should be enough for him to keep the No. 1 job going forward. A better performance from Cleveland’s defense, which allowed 438 total yards (358 passing), could’ve helped earn the team a win and improve to 2-2 instead of drop to 1-3.
  • The Eagles’ Chip Kelly was a successful coach during his first two NFL seasons, leading the team to back-to-back double-digit-win seasons and a playoff berth. Now, after the Eagles gave him full control over their roster, Kelly looks like both a coach unable to adjust to how other clubs are game planning against Philly and a football czar who built a highly flawed team, opines Mike Freeman of Bleacher Report.
  • Eagles right tackle Lane Johnson suffered a left knee injury during their 23-20 loss to Washington on Sunday and will have an MRI on Monday. Johnson said he re-injured his MCL, and Jeff McLane of the Philadelphia Inquirer speculates that it’s a sprain (Twitter link).

Kicker Notes: Scobee, Brindza, Sturgis

Some nuggets regarding three kickers who had terrible showings in Week 4 of the NFL season:

  • Although recently released Josh Scobee missed four kicks in four games with Pittsburgh – including two in its 23-20 loss to Baltimore on Thursday – he’s drawing interest from around the league. Three teams have reached out to him, tweets CBS Sports’ Jason La Canfora, who notes that Scobee will need a few weeks to recover from a quad strain.
  • Buccaneers kicker Kyle Brindza has missed seven kicks (five field goals, two extra points) over the last two weeks, and ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports (via Twitter) that he’s likely to find himself on the unemployment line in the coming days.
  • Like Brindza, Eagles kicker Caleb Sturgis could also be looking for work soon. Sturgis, whom the Eagles signed this week to replace the injured Cody Parkey, had an ignominious debut Sunday in the team’s 23-20 loss to Washington. Sturgis missed a pair of 33-yarders (including a point after) and might not be in an Eagles uniform come next Sunday, per Marc Narducci of the Philadelphia Inquirer.

Joe Philbin’s Fate To Be Determined Soon

Dolphins head coach Joe Philbin should be worried about his job status, which could be determined Monday, Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk reports.

The 1-3 Dolphins are amid a three-game losing streak that started in Week 2 against the lowly Jaguars. They’ve lost back-to-back games at the hands of two AFC East rivals – the Bills and Jets, respectively – by a combined score of 68-28. At 0-3 against AFC opponents, the Dolphins’ once-high playoff hopes now appear bleak.

The Dolphins are going into a bye week, which means now would be as good a time as any to make a coaching change. The problem, Florio writes, is that they’re lacking an obvious in-house replacement. Offensive coordinator Bill Lazor and defensive coordinator Kevin Coyle, like Philbin, are under fire. That could open the door for special teams coach Darren Rizzi to take over on an interim basis, per Albert Breer of NFL.com (Twitter link).

If team owner Stephen Ross does jettison Philbin in favor of Rizzi or anyone else, he won’t suffer a significant blow financially: Philbin is only signed through 2016, so a buyout wouldn’t serve as much of an obstacle for Ross.

NFC South Notes: Roddy, Brees, Brindza

Falcons receiver Roddy White is the franchise’s career leader in receptions, yards and touchdowns, but his role in their offense has dwindled significantly this year. White finished without a catch in Week 2, which snapped a streak of 130 straight games with a reception. He also went catchless in Week 3 and was quiet again Sunday, grabbing two passes for just 8 yards in Atlanta’s 48-21 drubbing of the Texans. The 33-year-old isn’t upset about his nearly nonexistent production, however, as the Falcons are 4-0.

“No complaints from me. We are winning. We’ve just got to continue to do what we’ve been doing and try to get better every week,” White said, according to Michael Cunningham of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

More from the NFC South:

  • Saints quarterback Drew Brees, who missed last Sunday’s loss to Carolina with rotator cuff and shoulder capsule injuries, will play tonight against Dallas and is close to full strength, head coach Sean Payton believes. “I’d say fairly close (to 100 percent) or we wouldn’t play him,” said Payton, per Evan Woodbery of NOLA.com. “He’s had a good week. I know he’s got a lot of confidence in what we’re doing and a lot of confidence in his ability to throw it down the field. It really was that simple.”
  • Brees elaborated on his health issues (via ESPN’s Mike Triplett): “Basically what the doctor told me was the cuff muscles at times will just shut down if they’re inflamed. They’re basically telling the body, ‘I’m injured. I need time to heal, I’m not going to work until the inflammation goes away.’ It wasn’t a pain thing. I mean, it hurt, but that wasn’t the issue. It was just functionality. I did strength exercises all last week. The tough part was with the balance between resting it, getting the inflammation out of it and, at the same time, strengthening it.”
  • Buccaneers rookie kicker Kyle Brindza has had back-to-back miserable weeks, going just 2 for 7 on field goal attempts and 2 of 4 on extra points. He hit 1 of 3 field goal tries and missed a PAT in Sunday’s 37-23 loss to Carolina. For what it’s worth, though, head coach Lovie Smith stuck by him after the game. “We’re not going to start kicking people off in the press conference after the game,” Smith said, according to Joe Person of The Charlotte Observer (Twitter link).

Bears’ Will Montgomery Breaks Fibula

Bears center Will Montgomery broke his fibula in his team’s 22-20 win over the Raiders on Sunday, according to Adam Jahns of the Chicago Sun-Times (Twitter link). The injury occurred on the Bears’ first drive of the game, and left guard Matt Slauson subsequently took over for Montgomery at center.

It’s currently unknown how much time Montgomery will miss, head coach John Fox said.

“As far as timeframes, I don’t know yet,” Fox stated, per Jahns.

Montgomery, 32, is in his first year with the Bears. He saw extensive action the last four seasons in Washington and Denver, respectively, making 40 starts. He started the first four games of 2015 for Chicago.

East Notes: Philbin, Coyle, Murray, Patriots

Despite falling to 1-3 after today’s loss to the divisional rival Jets, Dolphins head coach Joe Philbin said he plans to retain defensive coordinator Kevin Coyle, according to Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald (Twitter link). Of course, Philbin himself might not be around for much longer, and even if does stay on, the call on Coyle’s status might not fall to Philbin.

Here’s more from Miami and the rest of the NFL’ two East divisions:

  • Rumors have swirled that Philbin could be fired if the Dolphins lost in London today, but now that they have, Philbin still didn’t express any worries about his fate, writes James Walker of ESPN.com. “We still can’t panic,” Philbin said. “It all seems like the walls are closing in on you. We all realize that. So we gotta look at things and be honest about where we are, what we’re doing well and what we’re not doing well.”
  • One reason that Philbin’s job might be safe is that the Dolphins lack a viable candidate to take over on a interim basis, per Salguero in a separate piece. Neither the offense nor the defense has played well enough where it would make sense to elevate Coyle or OC Bill Lazor to the top job, and no one on Miami’s staff has any head coaching experience. Linebackers coach Mark Duffner and assistant offensive line coach Jack Bicknell Jr. each have led teams at the collegiate level, however.
  • DeMarco Murray ran for 36 yards against Washington today, more than tripling his season total entering the contest, but the Eagles running wants more work. “No, I’m not. I don’t think I am,” Murray told Zach Berman of the Philadelphia Inquirer (Twitter link) when asked if he was getting enough touches. Murray did allow that he knew he signed up for something of a timeshare with the Eagles, but still expects to see the ball more.
  • In his latest notes piece, Ben Volin of the Boston Globe looks at how several teams — including, notably, the Patriots — have taken to trading for players rather than finding similar free agents. Since the preseason ended on September 4, notes Volin, there have been 17 NFL trades — four more than the past four years combined. We at PFR certainly won’t complain about the uptick in player movement.

PFR Originals: 9/27/15 – 10/4/15

The original content and analysis produced by the PFR staff during the past seven days:

  • Zach Links rounded up the best of the football blogs in the latest edition of Pigskin Links.
  • In our Community Tailgate series, we post topics for discussion and encourage readers to voice their thoughts in the comments section. This issues discussed by Luke Adams last week:
    • Which winless team will turn things around? (link)
    • Will the Bears keep trading away players? (link)

Week In Review: 9/27/15 – 10/4/15

The headlines from the past week at PFR:

Key News:






NFC Notes: Cousins, Welker, Patterson, Rams

Connor Orr of NFL.com (via colleague Albert Breer) says Washington is fully committed to Kirk Cousins as its long-term starter under center. As head coach Jay Gruden says, “We’re all sticking by the plan and we’re showing Kirk that we have confidence in him. And hopefully it pays off and he’ll get better every game.” As Orr writes, the team never made such a statement about Robert Griffin III, who remains an “organizational window dressing.”

Now for some more links from around the NFC:

  • After trading Chris Givens to Baltimore in exchange for a future seventh-round draft pick, the Rams have an open spot on their roster. Per Nick Wagoner of ESPN.com, RB Trey Watts is eligible to return from suspension after today, and he would be the logical choice to fill that spot (Twitter link).
  • Wes Welker was very impressive in his recent workout with the Giants, and if Big Blue does not generate much production from the slot against Buffalo today, Gary Myers of The New York Daily News says the team may sign Welker to a contract, despite the obvious health concerns.
  • Vikings WR Cordarrelle Patterson has not had much opportunity to live up to his promising 2013 rookie campaign, when he hauled in 43 receptions for four touchdowns and added three rushing touchdowns and two kickoff return TDs to his final tally. However, given the injuries to Charles Johnson and Jarius Wright, Chris Miller of The Star Tribune writes that Patterson may finally get a chance to prove to head coach Mike Zimmer that he can be a productive member of the team’s offense.
  • With the Saints having traded Akiem Hicks to the Patriots last week, Evan Woodbery of NOLA.com looks at who might replace Hicks at defensive end, pointing to Bobby Richardson and Tavaris Barnes as linemen who could see more playing time.

NFL News & NFL Rumors