Month: November 2018

Buccaneers Place O.J. Howard On IR

The Buccaneers have placed tight end O.J. Howard on IR, according to Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times (Twitter link). The tight end suffered foot and ankle injuries in Sunday’s 38-35 loss to the Giants and those issues will require extra time to heal. 

With that, Howard’s second season as a pro will end with 34 catches for 565 yards and five 5 touchdowns. On the plus side, the injury is not expected to hurt him in the long run, so he should be ready to participate in practices next summer.

The Howard injury should mean an uptick in targets for fellow tight end Cameron Brate. Brate has shined in the past, but he has recorded just six grabs for 45 yards and no touchdowns in the past three games.

Head coach Dirk Koetter badly needs Brate to step up in Howard’s absence. The team’s 3-7 record has Koetter on the hot seat and he’ll need a strong finish in order to save his job.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Broncos Release Adam Jones

The Broncos have released cornerback Adam Jones. The veteran disclosed the news himself on social media and Tom Pelissero of NFL.com (Twitter link) has confirmed the transaction. 

Well ,Denver it was good,” Jones wrote on Instagram. “Thanks for the opportunity!!!! On to the next.

Jones, 35, hooked on with the Broncos late in the preseason. At the time, the Broncos saw him as a strong No. 4 cornerback and punt returner, but he hasn’t quite lived up to expectations. He’s done after seven games and ten punt returns for just 25 yards in total.

The Bengals declined Jones’ 2018 option earlier this year and he didn’t draw a ton of interest afterwards. Despite his past accomplishments, Jones was limited to just nine games with the Bengals in 2017 and didn’t fare particularly well on 299 defensive snaps. Pro Football Focus assigned Jones the worst mark (47.1) of his entire career, framing him more as a punt returner than a reliable corner.

Given his age and dropoff in performance, this could be the end of the line for Jones in the NFL.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Bengals Place Preston Brown On IR

The Bengals placed linebacker Preston Brown on injured reserve, per a team announcement. To fill his spot, the club signed defensive end Kasim Edebali

Brown missed the club’s Week 11 game against the Ravens with a leg injury and it turned out to be a season-ender. The 26-year-old will finish out the year with 42 tackles, two sacks, and four passes defensed in seven starts.

Brown led the league in tackles in 2017 while playing the third-most defensive snaps (1,180) of any linebacker in the NFL. Despite his success with the Bills and a near-perfect attendance record, he wound up settling for a one-year free agent deal with the Bengals in March. Brown was hoping to use that deal as a platform to a big payday in the 2019 offseason, but he’s back to square one after an underwhelming year in Cincinnati.

Edebali, a fifth-year pro, spent the first three seasons of his career with the Saints, before bouncing around between the Broncos, Lions, Rams, and the Saints once again in 2017. He has 61 career games and eight sacks to his credit.

The Bengals’ defense has not lived up to expectations this year and ranks just 27th in defensive DVOA, according to Football Outsiders. Brown wasn’t setting the world on fire before his injury, but losing him surely will not help matters.

The 5-5 Bengals will face the Browns without Brown on Sunday afternoon.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Eagles Activate DT Timmy Jernigan

The Eagles have activated defensive tackle Timmy Jernigan from the NFI (Non-Football Injury) list. To make room, they’ve waived fellow defensive tackle T.Y. McGill

Jernigan has been on the NFIO list since undergoing back surgery in May, but he returned to the practice field earlier this month. After a 48-7 drumming at the hands of the Saints, the Eagles can certainly use the help.

Jernigan, 26, started in 15 games for the Eagles last year plus the entirety of their Super Bowl run. In the regular season, Jernigan notched 29 total tackles, 2.5 sacks, and nine tackles for a loss.

The fifth-year pro will look to keep the 4-6 Eagles in the playoff fight upon his return. He’ll also look to secure his future in Philadelphia. After his operation, the Eagles pushed Jernigan to alter the remaining three years on his four-year, $48MM extension. Those seasons are now team option years with no guaranteed money.

Jernigan’s 2018 debut may come against the Giants on Sunday afternoon. It stands to reason that he will come off the bench in his first game back, offering support to Fletcher Cox and Haloti Ngata.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Dolphins’ Ryan Tannehill To Play On Sunday

Ryan Tannehill will return to start for the Dolphins on Sunday against the Colts, coach Adam Gase tells reporters. Tannehill has missed the last five games with a right shoulder injury, but he looked sharp enough in Tuesday’s practice to get the nod. 

Brock Osweiler had a few impressive moments as the fill-in, but the team ultimately went 2-3 without Tannehill in the lineup. Tannehill had his own ups and downs under center before the injury, but he ultimately represents the Dolphins’ best option as they push to get into the playoff mix.

The Dolphins’ 31-12 loss to the Packers before the bye was disheartening, but they’re still alive at 5-5. A win over the Colts would take them over the .500 mark while dealing a blow to another 5-5 Wild Card hopeful. After that, the Dolphins face the Bills, Patriots, Vikings, Jaguars, and Bills (again) to close out the year.

In his five games this season, Tannehill has thrown for 972 yards, eight touchdowns, and five interceptions.

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Colts Place CB D.J. Killings On IR

The Colts placed cornerback D.J. Killings on injured reserve and waived cornerback Arthur Maulet, according to a team announcement. The Colts already plucked offensive lineman Josh Andrews from the Eagles’ practice squad to fill one roster spot, but they have one more vacancy left to fill.

Killings was promoted to the 53-man roster from the practice squad last week, but an ankle injury limited him in practice. It turns out that his ankle injury is severe enough to rule him out for the remainder of the season.

It’s a frustrating turn of events for Killings, but he’s been here before. He lost his 2015 season at UCF to injury but bounced back in the next season to start in all 13 games. He recorded 42 tackles, three tackles for a loss, one sack, and 11 pass break-ups in his final year on campus, leading to a healthy amount of interest following the 2017 draft. Killings will now set his sights on the 2019 season when he’ll look to see his first live action in the NFL.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Broncos To Sign OT Cyrus Kouandjio

The Broncos have agreed to sign offensive tackle Cyrus Kouandjio, as Mike Klis of 9News tweets. Kouandjio was with the Broncos last year and started their final game at right tackle, so the team is familiar with what he has to offer. 

Kouandjio worked out alongside several other offensive lineman on Tuesday and looked sharper than the rest of the pack. He’ll bolster the offensive line after the loss of Max Garcia, who is done for the year with a torn ACL.

Denver’s offensive line has been decimated by injury this year and the loss of Garcia was just the latest blow. Before that, guard Ronald Leary went down with a Achilles tear in mid-October and starting center Matt Paradis suffered a fractured fibula in early November.

Kouandjio showed some promise with the Bills, but he was waived in 2017 after an odd off-field incident in which he was found partially undressed in a field near the scene of a car accident. The former second-round pick now has an opportunity to showcase himself ahead of free agency in the spring and restore his stock.

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Latest On Redskins QB Alex Smith

Quarterback Alex Smith will need 6-8 months to recover from the broken leg he suffered on Sunday, according to head coach Jay Gruden. It’s far from ideal, but the injury is not expected to threaten his career, and that’s good news considering the gruesome nature of the break. 

When Smith went down against the Texans, his broken bone actually punctured his skin, as Adam Schefter of ESPN.com tweets. The 34-year-old will face a lengthy and painful rehab process, but the timeline estimated by doctors would put him in line to suit up for training camp in 2019.

The injury sounds like a career-ender to the layman, but as Dr. David Chao writes for the San Diego Union-Tribune, the bone puncturing the skin merely increases the likelihood for infection. Smith underwent immediate surgery to lessen the chance of that happening, however, and modern medicine should take care of the rest.

Thanks to the four-year contract extension he signed in 2018, Smith is under contract with the Redskins through the 2022 season. The 34-year-old is set to carry a $20.4MM cap number in 2019 and his $16MM base salary will be fully guaranteed by remaining on the roster on the fifth day of the 2019 league year.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Eagles CBs Maddox, Douglas Suffer Injuries

The Eagles’ secondary continues to be hit hard by injuries. Cornerbacks Avonte Maddox and Rasul Douglas both suffered knee injuries in Sunday’s 48-7 loss to the Saints, but as Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets, the maladies are not as bad as initially feared. 

The exact nature of Maddox’s injury is not immediately clear, but it is not believed to be a season ender. Instead, he is week-to-week, and Douglas is presumably in the same boat after his knee injury was deemed to be only a sprain.

In any event, the Eagles can ill afford more injuries in the secondary. The Eagles just lost star corner Ronald Darby for the season and Jalen Mills has missed the last two games with a foot injury. Mills’ status for Sunday against the Giants is murky and the same goes for Sidney Jones after he tweaked his hamstring, so the Eagles could be forced to draw from a group led by Chandon Sullivan, Cre’Von LeBlanc, and De’Vante Bausby.

No matter how things shake out, it stands to reason that the Eagles will sign at least one new corner this week.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Colts To Sign Josh Andrews

The Colts are expected to sign center/guard Josh Andrews off the Eagles’ practice squad, according to Mike Garafolo of NFL.com (on Twitter). Starter Ryan Kelly is likely to miss time with a knee injury suffered on Sunday, so Andrews will provide them with depth in the interim.

Kelly went down in the fourth quarter of the Colts’ 38-10 win over the Titans on Sunday. It’s especially unfortunate since Kelly may be in the midst of his best season to date. The former first-round pick ranks as Pro Football Focus’ No. 8 center in the NFL and has started in all ten of the Colts’ games so far. Meanwhile, the 5-5 Colts kept their playoff hopes alive with the win over the Titans and have a chance at the postseason if they finish strong over the final six games.

Andrews, 27, entered the league as a UDFA with the Colts in 2014. He has 16 games of experience between 2015 and 2016, but has not seen live action in the last two years.