East Rumors: Pouncey, Elliott, Pats, Eagles

Mike Pouncey has played in each of the Dolphins‘ three games this season after missing 11 2016 contests. But he gave a sobering glimpse into his future in the NFL, with the hip injury he suffered last season looking like a seminal setback. The perennial Pro Bowl blocker said the length of his career will be determined by how his hip holds up, adding that he will need hip-replacement surgery in the next “five to 10 years.””

[My hip] always feels tight. … I don’t have a normal hip,” Pouncey said, via Adam Beasley of the Miami Herald. “We’ll see. I can’t predict the future. I’m listening to a doctor tell me. I feel right now; I don’t need [a replacement]. But we’ll see.”

This process would end Pouncey’s career, but for now, the 28-year-old blocker continues to anchor Miami’s line. He spent the offseason recovering from the hip malady and continues to operate on a partial practice schedule, taking Thursdays off — a pattern Pouncey sees continuing for the foreseeable future. The seventh-year player is signed through the 2020 season.

Here’s the latest from several East Coast teams (and the Cowboys).

  • Monday’s Ezekiel Elliott-vs.-NFL battle is expected to produce a decision within the next two weeks, Todd Archer of ESPN.com reports. While the Cowboys running back isn’t sure he will venture to New Orleans where his legal team and the NFLPA will represent him in this saga’s latest courtroom chapter, the Fifth District Court of Appeals could free him up to play the rest of the season or reinstate his six-game suspension. Neither side is interested in a settlement, however.
  • The Patriots have given up the most points through four games thus far. Usually supporting Tom Brady with an upper-echelon defense, the Pats should be discussing a Jimmy Garoppolo trade to bring in some help to capitalize on the 40-year-old starter’s closing dominance window, Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports writes. New England held onto its backup quarterback despite interest this offseason, and La Canfora notes a Malcolm Butler trade wouldn’t bring in what a Garoppolo shipment would. That said, the Pats have just $5.4MM in cap space — so any defender help they could be targeting would probably have to be on a rookie contract, as Garoppolo ($1.17MM cap figure) is. La Canfora suggests the 49ers, armed with several rookie-deal defenders and no long-term quarterback answer, as a fit for this hypothetical scenario. A deal of this sort would also need to involve a Garoppolo extension, since he’s months away from free agency.
  • Jake Elliott is making a strong case to supplant the injured Caleb Sturgis as the Eagles‘ full-time kicker, Reuben Frank of CSNPhilly.com writes. Signed off the Bengals’ practice squad, Elliott hit four more field goals in the Eagles’ win over the Chargers after his 61-yard game-winner last week. Frank notes Elliott already has two 53-plus-yard field goals in two games. Sturgis has three in 30 Philly contests. A fifth-year veteran, Sturgis remains on the Eagles’ 53-man roster and is rehabbing a hip flexor strain.
  • Jim Tomsula‘s impact is already being observed in Washington, John Keim of ESPN.com notes. Redskins defenders have told Keim about the former 49ers head coach’s presence leading to an improved defensive line. Washington hired Tomsula as its D-line coach this year, and he’s helped a unit that lost starters Chris Baker and Ricky Jean-Francois in the offseason. Tomsula spent eight seasons as the 49ers’ defensive line coach before his one-season stay as the franchise’s HC. He did not coach last season.
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