Dolphins’ Will Fuller To Miss Week 2

Will Fuller‘s Dolphins debut is again on hold. For a second straight week, the veteran wide receiver will miss a game for a non-injury-related reason.

The Dolphins will be without their new deep threat against the Bills due to what Brian Flores called a personal matter. Fuller missed Miami’s Week 1 game because of a PED suspension that is now complete. The recently signed pass catcher practiced Wednesday but was absent for Thursday and Friday’s Dolphins workouts.

He has my support. Things happen,” Flores said, via ESPN.com’s Marcel Louis-Jacques. “When they happen, they’re not part of normal every day, it’s a surprise from that standpoint. He’s dealing with it.”

After five seasons with the Texans, Fuller signed a one-year, $10.6MM deal with the Dolphins. Absences have plagued the talented receiver throughout his career, however. Sunday will be Fuller’s 29th missed game since coming into the league a 2016 first-round pick. Injuries caused Fuller’s run of absences from 2016-19. He began serving a six-game PED ban in Week 13 of last season.

Fuller is coming off his best season. Despite playing in just 11 games, he totaled a career-high 879 receiving yards and eight touchdown catches (also a career-best total) in his final Houston slate. How the Notre Dame product builds on that this year will determine if he can land a long-term contract from the Dolphins or another team as a 2022 free agent.

Miami made Fuller a key piece of its offseason receiver revamp effort. After rolling out a shorthanded receiving corps last season, the Dolphins signed Fuller and drafted Jaylen Waddle sixth overall. They also have Albert Wilson back from a 2020 opt-out. The team will not see this trio and DeVante Parker together until at least Week 3.

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NFL Practice Squad Updates: 9/17/21

Here are Friday’s practice squad decisions:

Atlanta Falcons

Dallas Cowboys

  • Placed on practice squad IR: WR Osiris Mitchell

New Orleans Saints

Washington Football Team

Titans Add Ryan Santoso To Practice Squad

Ryan Santoso will be with a third team in less than a month. After being traded from the Giants to the Panthers, the young kicker agreed to a practice squad deal with the Titans on Friday. Tennessee cut offensive lineman Christian DiLauro from its P-squad to make room.

This will be a return trip. The Titans gave Santoso his first game experience in 2019, bringing him in amid a turbulent kicking season. Santoso, however, was not one of the four Titans to attempt a field goal that year. The Titans used him as a kickoff specialist during his previous Nashville stay, which lasted three games.

The Panthers quickly cut bait on the third-year specialist, who made both his field goal attempts but missed an extra point in the team’s 19-14 Week 1 win over the Jets. Zane Gonzalez is now in place as Carolina’s kicker.

Tennessee also ditched its Week 1 kicker, Michael Badgley, and promoted its previous practice squad specialist — Randy Bullock — to its active roster. Santoso, 26, will now be in place behind Bullock.

A former Minnesota Golden Gopher, Santoso brings an interesting skill set that gives him additional appeal for a practice squad slot. The 26-year-old specialist has extensive punting experience as well, serving as the Big Ten program’s punter as a junior and senior. Santoso’s last season as a full-time kicker came in 2015. He has only worked as a kickoff man and a placekicker in the pros.

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49ers Discussed Trade For Vikings’ Cameron Dantzler; Richard Sherman Still On Radar

After entering the season with a thinner cornerback depth chart than they featured in recent years, the 49ers have needed to make multiple additions over the past several days.

Josh Norman and Dre Kirkpatrick are now on San Francisco’s roster, with injuries — most notably Jason Verrett‘s ACL tear — moving the team to add veterans. The 49ers have been in discussions to keep bolstering their corner corps, with The Athletic’s David Lombardi reporting Richard Sherman remains on the team’s radar (subscription required).

The 49ers and Sherman still have mutual interest in a reunion, according to Lombardi. Sherman, 33, played the past three seasons with the 49ers but has run into off-field trouble. A July arrest brought five misdemeanor charges for the former All-Pro, who had been on a few teams’ radars this offseason. This marks Sherman’s first known connection to a team since the arrest.

Initially, the 49ers and Sherman agreed to part ways ahead of free agency. But Sherman did not land anywhere in free agency. In May, the prospect of Sherman returning to San Francisco surfaced. The Raiders, Saints and Seahawks also held discussions with the acclaimed defender. Norman and Kirkpatrick’s arrivals notwithstanding, Sherman would help the 49ers further address a key need. After missing Week 1, outside corner Emmanuel Moseley is doubtful for San Francisco’s Week 2 tilt in Philadelphia with a knee injury.

These issues also prompted the 49ers to look to the trade market. The team inquired about Vikings corner Cameron Dantzler, Lombardi adds. Minnesota made the 2020 third-round pick a healthy scratch in Week 1. Dantzler started 11 games as a rookie but is now behind offseason additions Patrick Peterson and Bashaud Breeland. For now, the Vikings are holding off on a Dantzler deal. The 49ers then moved to Kirkpatrick, whom they auditioned earlier this year.

With Kirkpatrick and Norman in place as stopgaps, San Francisco’s cornerback spot certainly stands as a situation to monitor early in the season.

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Saints To Be Without 7 Assistants Due To COVID-19 Protocols

Following reports earlier this week of several Saints assistants testing positive for COVID-19, the team announced which coaches will miss their Week 2 game due to the NFL’s coronavirus protocols.

Run-game coordinator and tight ends coach Dan Roushar, offensive line coach Brendan Nugent, wide receivers coach Curtis Johnson, running backs coach Joel Thomas, assistant special teams coach Phil Galiano, offensive assistant Declan Doyle and offensive analyst Jim Chaney will not be with the team for its Week 2 game against Carolina.

This group of coaches is fully vaccinated, according to Sean Payton. New Orleans’ recent run of COVID-19 issues also included Michael Thomas, who tested positive earlier this week. Thomas was already on New Orleans’ reserve/PUP list and is out until Week 7. As a result of these positive tests, Saints players will be required to be tested daily — regardless of vaccination status — and wear masks at the team’s facility until the NFL permits the team to exit the heightened protocols, NFL.com’s Kevin Patra notes.

The Saints’ virus issues do not quite match the Browns’ from late last season, when several staffers missed Week 17 and Kevin Stefanski missed the team’s wild-card game. And the Saints staffers’ vaccinations make this development a lesser concern than last season’s virus cases on coaching staffs. But it is certainly notable as the NFL begins its second season since the pandemic began.

Saints Place Marcus Davenport, Kwon Alexander On IR

Two Saints defensive starters will be sidelined until at least October. The Saints are placing Marcus Davenport and Kwon Alexander on IR, Field Yates of ESPN.com tweets.

Neither Davenport nor Alexander practiced this week due to shoulder and elbow injuries, respectively. They will not be able to return until New Orleans’ Week 5 game.

While Davenport was believed to have suffered a pectoral muscle strain in Week 1, the Saints listed the fourth-year defensive end on their injury report with a shoulder ailment. Davenport’s injury is not expected to keep him out especially long, but the Saints will nevertheless save a roster spot by moving him to IR.

The Saints moved Davenport back into their starting lineup to start this season, after having let Trey Hendrickson walk in free agency. Hendrickson signed with the Bengals, leaving Davenport an opportunity to re-establish himself opposite Cameron Jordan. Davenport registered a sack and two QB hits in the Saints’ dominant Week 1 win over the Packers. The Saints picked up Davenport’s fifth-year option in May.

Alexander worked his way back from a December Achilles tear to be ready in time for the Saints’ opener, but this continues a rough run of health for the former Buccaneers standout. Alexander suffered a torn ACL in 2018, though he still landed a nice contract from the 49ers. However, the veteran linebacker sustained a pectoral muscle tear in his first 49ers season. Alexander’s latest malady stands to increase second-year linebacker Zack Baun‘s workload, The Athletic’s Larry Holder tweets. The 2020 third-round pick played 23 defensive snaps in the team’s opener.

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Patriots Plan To Place K Quinn Nordin On IR

Nick Folk should soon be in position to stick around as the Patriots’ kicker for the foreseeable future. The Pats are planning to place rookie kicker Quinn Nordin on IR, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets.

An abdominal injury will lead to Nordin’s IR stay. The Michigan product did not kick in New England’s opener, with the team promoting Folk from its practice squad. Nordin managed a limited practice Thursday but did not work out Friday. This is not expected to be a season-ending injury, per Rapoport, who adds November will be a return goal.

Despite being the Patriots’ primary kicker over the past two seasons, Folk still resides on New England’s taxi squad. That status will change ahead of the team’s Week 2 game against the Jets. The Pats elevated Folk before last week’s game. He made all three of his field goal tries in the Week 1 loss to the Dolphins. New England initially added Folk in 2019, after Stephen Gostkowski‘s injury halted his 14-season tenure, and re-signed him this offseason.

New England added Nordin as a UDFA this offseason. Nordin led the Big Ten in field goals made as a freshman, connecting on 19, and remained the Wolverines’ top kicker through his senior year.

Raiders’ Josh Jacobs To Miss Week 2

The Raiders will be down another member of their starting offense for their Week 2 game against the Steelers. After losing Denzelle Good for the season, the team ruled out Josh Jacobs for Sunday’s matchup.

Jacobs missed practice throughout the week due to toe and ankle injuries. The toe issue emerged before Las Vegas’ opener; the ankle problem surfaced on this week’s injury reports.

The two-time 1,000-yard rusher appeared on the Raiders’ first injury report of the season but played against the Ravens. Jacobs scored two touchdowns in the Raiders’ Monday victory. Jacobs played 15 games last season, doing so after finishing his rookie season on IR due to an ankle ailment.

Kenyan Drake, whom the Raiders gave a two-year deal worth $11MM, stands to move into the team’s starting lineup. Drake spent the past two seasons as the Cardinals’ starting back. Playing on the transition tag last season, the former Dolphins draftee gained 955 rushing yards (4.0 per carry). Jon Gruden, however, said recent pickup Peyton Barber will pick up some of the slack as well. The Raiders added Barber after Washington released him ahead of this year’s roster cutdown deadline.

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Chargers Place Bryan Bulaga On IR

The Chargers have placed starting tackle Bryan Bulaga on the injured reserve list, per a club announcement. To take his place on the roster, they’ve added guard/tackle Michael Schofield III.

Bulaga spent ten seasons in Green Bay, up until 2020 when he joined the Bolts. The 32-year-old stepped into the right tackle role last year, starting in all ten of his games. He resumed his role for Week 1, but his hip flexor hasn’t cooperated.

It’s just more discomfort than anything. The MRIs are negative,” head coach Brandon Staley said recently (via the Associated Press). “We’re trying to give him adequate rest and the mobility recovery that he needs so he can go into this game feeling good.”

The 12th-year pro has battled injuries throughout his career, though he did manage 16 games in 2019 and 14 in 2018. The Chargers hope he’ll be back soon and healthy in the long-term as well. His three-year, $30MM deal runs through the 2022 campaign.

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