NFC Notes: Long, Newton, 49ers, Giants

As if the Rams‘ season wasn’t already off to a bad enough start, with the team coming off a blowout loss at home and struggling to find a healthy and competent quarterback, the club received more bad news today. Per head coach Jeff Fisher, defensive end Chris Long will have surgery this week and will miss at least “a few” games (Twitter link).

Long left Sunday’s contest against the Vikings with an ankle injury, and according to Adam Schefter of (Twitter link), the veteran pass rusher could miss the next eight to 10 weeks. That would seem to make him a candidate for the IR list with the designation to return, and according to Jim Thomas of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the Rams will indeed use that spot for Long (Twitter link). That would make him eligible to return to practice after six weeks and to game action after eight weeks.

As we wait to see what can go wrong next in St. Louis, let’s round up a few other Wednesday items from around the NFC….

  • According to Cam Newton, the Panthers have yet to approach him about a contract extension, which isn’t his focus right now anyway, tweets Joseph Person of the Charlotte Observer. There was some speculation this week that the decision to restructure Charles Johnson‘s contract could mean the club would explore an extension for Newton sooner rather than later.
  • After cutting LaMichael James, the 49ers don’t intend to add a third running back to their roster this week, tweets Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee, passing along a comment from coach Jim Harbaugh. It looks like San Francisco will head into Sunday’s contest with the Bears with Frank Gore and Carlos Hyde as its only active halfbacks.
  • Giants punter Steve Weatherford won’t require surgery, but he does have torn ligaments in his left ankle after being hit during a kick on Monday night, writes Conor Orr of It’s not clear if Weatherford will be forced to miss the team’s Week 2 game, but according Ralph Vacchiano of the New York Daily News (via Twitter), the Giants have reached out to the agents for some free agent punters to put them on “standby,” just in case.
  • Joel Corry of takes a look at some huge contract extensions signed within the last year and determines how soon teams could reasonably get away from them, if necessary. Among the deals examined by Corry: Colin Kaepernick‘s with the 49ers, Jay Cutler‘s with the Bears, and Jimmy Graham‘s with the Saints.
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