Extra Points: Falcons, Browns, Carson

Some assorted notes as we wrap up this Monday night:

  • The Falcons will audition safeties on Tuesday in the wake of Keanu Neal‘s season-ending injury, head coach Dan Quinn announced. Neal suffered a torn Achilles during Sunday’s loss, and the team turned to Kemal Ishmael for the rest of the game. While Quinn didn’t disclose any names, Eric Berry, George Iloka, and T.J. McDonald are among the top free agents at the position.
  • The 1-2 Browns currently rank 26th in the league with 16.3 points per game, but head coach Freddie Kitchens isn’t ready to hand over play-calling duties. Kitchens made it clear to reporters that he’ll continue to call plays this weekend against the Ravens. “You can write that if you want to, but that’s not even feasible,’’ Kitchens said (via Mary Kay Cabot of Cleveland.com). “That’s not being considered. No, it’s not…it’s not going to happen.” As Cabot writes, Kitchens “dismissed the notion that serving the dual roles of head coach and playcaller are too much for him,” and he scoffed at the suggestion that offensive coordinator Todd Monken could handle the duties.
  • JP Finlay of NBC Sports Washington believes that Redskins offensive guard Brandon Scherff is likely heading towards free agency. Finlay writes that the front office never made an enticing offer to the 27-year-old, and despite Scherff’s Pro Bowl pedigree, the organization is wary of paying him more than $13MM per season. On the flip side, Finlay says the organization could always use the franchise tag on the lineman if they want to retain his services.
  • Seahawks running back Chris Carson has three fumbles through three games, but the team will continue to rely on the 25-year-old. Head coach Pete Carroll told Pro Football Talk’s Curtis Crabtree that the team will play the back as he works through his case of the yips. “Because we do believe in him, we’re going to continue to show him that,” Carroll said (via PFT’s Charean Williams). “He’s a terrific football player, and we want to make sure and maintain that level of play from him, so we’ll work at it and work with him on it.” Carson has compiled 159 rushing yards and one touchdown on 45 carries this season.

Injury Notes: Big Ben, Massie, Rankins

Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger underwent elbow surgery today, reports ESPN’s Adam Schefter (via Twitter). The veteran is expected to be ready for the 2020 season. This optimism is similar to what we heard yesterday when we learned about Big Ben’s impending surgery.

Schefter adds that Roethlisberger had surgery on his right elbow. The operation was done by Dr. Neal ElAttrache (in consultation with team physician Jim Bradley) in Los Angeles. ESPN’s Rob Demovsky notes (on Twitter) that this is the same surgeon who operated on Aaron Rodgers collarbone back in 2017.

“Once Ben returns to Pittsburgh, he immediately will begin working with the Steelers’ medical staff on his rehabilitation, and he is expected to make a full recovery and return to the field for the 2020 NFL season,” the Steelers said in a statement (via Schefter).

We learned yesterday that the procedure would repair a muscle tear, and it didn’t involve any ligaments or tendons. Roethlisberger is expected to begin throwing by the spring, and it sounds like he should be good to go come next season.

Let’s check out some more injury notes from around the NFL…

  • Bears right tackle Bobby Massie was forced to sit out tonight’s game against the Redskins due to a bout with vertigo, reports Mike Garafolo of NFL Network (via Twitter). The illness apparently popped up today, and it’s uncertain if this is a temporary or long-term issue for the 30-year-old. After starting each of his 46 games during his first three seasons in Chicago, Massie added another two starts to his resume this season.
  • On Saturday, the Packers placed offensive guard Lane Taylor on the injured reserve with a biceps injury, and we now have a bit more clarity on his outlook. Demovsky reports (via Twitter) that the 29-year-old will ultimately need surgery on his left bicep. While the veteran could return from the injured reserve in late November, the operation may sideline him for the rest of the season. Taylor started a pair of games this season before suffering the injury.
  • There’s a chance that Saints defensive tackle Sheldon Rankins sees this field next Sunday night, but Nick Underhill of The Athletic tweets that the 25-year-old is more likely to return in Week 5 or Week 6. The 2016 first-rounder has yet to play in a game this season as he recovers from his Achilles injury. After compiling a career-high eight sacks during the 2018 regular season, Rankins suffered the injury during the divisional round of the playoffs.

NFL Practice Squad Updates: 9/23/19

Today’s practice squad moves:

Indianapolis Colts

Miami Dolphins

Minor NFL Transactions: 9/23/19

Here are today’s minor transactions:

Atlanta Falcons

Carolina Panthers

Chicago Bears

New York Jets

Oakland Raiders

San Francisco 49ers

LS Jon Condo Announces Retirement

Jon Condo is calling it a career. The veteran long snapper announced on Twitter that he’s decided to retire.

“After serious thought I’ve decided it is time to hang the cleats up. I’m thankful for the opportunity the 49ers gave me but realized after yesterday’s game that I am not 100% committed to playing this game and it would have been unfair to the organization to continue playing.

“I would also like to thank all of the organizations who believed in me throughout my career and gave me the opportunity to compete. 

“I’m at the point in my life where my focus has shifted and I realize the most important thing for me is being mentally and physically healthy for my 3 young children and wife.”

The 2005 undrafted free agent out of Maryland ended up putting together a 15-year career that saw him appear in 181 total games. During his career, Condo had stints with the Cowboys, Patriots, Raiders, Falcons, and 49ers. During his tenure in Oakland, Condo earned a pair of Pro Bowl nods.

After appearing in only four games last season, the 38-year-old joined the 49ers last week. The team had initially turned to Colin Holba as they looked to replace the suspended Kyle Nelson, but the team ended up replacing the former sixth-rounder with Condo. The veteran went on to play in Sunday’s win over the Steelers.

Head coach Kyle Shanahan told reporters that he was notified of Condo’s decision this morning. ESPN’s Nick Wagoner tweets that the team is expected to sign a long snapper in the next 24 hours.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Jets’ Sam Darnold To Return Week 5?

Jets quarterback Sam Darnold is “trending in the direction” to return to the field in Week 5, head coach Adam Gase announced. The only question, perhaps, is whether the Jets’ season will still be salvageable by the time he recovers from his bout of mono. 

[RELATED: Jets Doubt Trumaine Johnson’s Commitment]

The Jets, now 0-3, will have a bye week before taking on the Eagles, who are presently 1-2, in Week 5. For now, Luke Falk will run the offense in practice.

The Jets were, predictably, outclassed by the Patriots on Sunday. Still, Gase did not place the blame on the shoulders of Falk, so he’s a good bet to stay on the roster, even if Darnold is strong enough to lift a pencil or football.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Patriots Place James Develin On IR

James Develin‘s season could be over. On Monday, the Pats placed the fullback on injured reserve. 

[RELATED: Antonio Brown To Go Back To College]

Develin suffered a neck injury, which may end his year after just 58 offensive snaps through two games. Jakob Johnson was called up from the practice squad prior to Sunday’s win over the Jets, so he figures to pick up some of the workload moving forward.

Per league rules, teams can only bring two players back from IR. Already, the Patriots have tackle Isaiah Wynn and N’Keal Harry parked off of the 53-man roster, so the odds aren’t necessarily in Develin’s favor.

Develin signed his first NFL contract with the Bengals, but he has played all of his NFL downs with the Patriots. Save for the 2015 season he lost to injury, Develin appeared in every regular season game for the Pats between 2013 and 2018. In 2017, he earned his first career Pro Bowl nomination. In 2018, he inked a two-year contract extension, taking him through the 2020 season.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Seahawks Cut Jachai Polite

The Jets took a lot of heat for cutting third-round rookie Jachai Polite before the start of the season. They’re not looking quite as foolish now. On Monday, the Seahawks released the pass rusher from the practice squad. 

Polite, who racked up eleven sacks during his final season at the University of Florida, went unclaimed after the Jets cut him in late August. His natural ability is undeniable, but his overall maturity has been questioned. It’s possible that his penchant for tardiness reared itself again in Seattle, pushing him out of the picture.

Polite’s rudeness resulted in $100K in fines during his short time with the Jets. Despite all the hiccups, it stands to reason that he’ll get another taxi squad opportunity soon.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Cardinals Release Michael Crabtree

The on-again, off-again saga between the Cardinals and Michael Crabtree is off. Again. On Monday, the Cardinals announced the release of the veteran wide receiver. 

Crabtree’s run in red lasted just three games and two appearances (he was inactive Week 1 against the Lions). Initially, he was set to be a veteran security blanket for Kyler Murray, but he never synced with the offense. Meanwhile, Damiere Byrd and KeeSean Johnson have stepped up their respective games.

The Cardinals can probably stand pat at WR since they had seven receivers active for their loss against the Panthers. Still, they’ll lose out on some cash here as Crabtree’s $500K signing bonus and $1.75MM salary were both locked in.

Crabtree, 32, posted just 54 receptions off of 100 targets with Baltimore last year. He’s still looking to reprise his best work from previous years, including his 1,000-yard season with the Raiders in 2016.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Eagles’ Ronald Darby To Miss Time

The 1-2 Eagles will try to fly without Ronald Darby for a little while. The cornerback suffered a hamstring injury on Sunday and is expected to miss at least a few games, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (on Twitter) hears. Meanwhile, based on what Mike Garafolo of NFL.com (on Twitter) is hearing, he wouldn’t be surprised if Darby misses “about a month or so.” 

The Eagles will need all of the defensive firepower they can get, particularly if their offensive woes continue. If they’re willing to get aggressive – and Howie Roseman usually is – there’s a cornerback by the name of Jalen Ramsey who is on the trade block.

Darby, 25, registered four interceptions across 17 games for the Eagles in 2017 and 2018. Before the injury bug bit him yet again, he added another INT to the resume in Week 2 against the Falcons.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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