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Injury Updates: Rams, Matthews, Giants, Engram

There’s still no official word on when Rams outside linebacker Clay Matthews will return to action, but a realistic return date for him would be after the team’s bye week, head coach Sean McVay told reporters. That would line the veteran up for a Week 10 return on Nov. 10 against the Steelers, restoring one of the Rams’ defensive stars for a second-half push.

While Matthews’ busted jaw heals up, the Rams will face the 49ers in an intrastate matchup on Sunday.

Here’s more on some notable injuries from around the NFL:

  • Giants tight end Evan Engram is dealing with a sprained MCL, a source tells’s Adam Schefter (on Twitter). It’ll be a challenge for Engram to play against the Patriots on Thursday, Schefter hears, which would leave the club with Rhett Ellison, Garrett Dickerson, and Kaden Smith at TE. Meanwhile, wide receiver Sterling Shepard is out and running back Saquon Barkley is considered unlikely to play.
  • 49ers fullback Kyle Juszczyk suffered an MCL injury on Monday night against the Browns, a source tells’s Tom Pelissero (on Twitter). The team should know more after an MRI on Tuesday. Juszczyk may not be a household name, but he’s a key part of SF’s offense.

49ers To Re-Sign Jordan Matthews

Jordan Matthews will head back to San Francisco. The recently released wide receiver will re-sign with the team and take Jalen Hurd‘s roster spot, per Mike Garafolo of (on Twitter). The 49ers are placing Hurd on IR.

Hurd has been dealing with a back stress fracture, suffered in San Francisco’s first preseason game, and will now be out until at least December. He will join wideout Trent Taylor on the 49ers’ IR list. The 49ers used a third-round pick on Hurd this year, but he’s yet to debut.

Matthews signed with the 49ers early in the offseason but did not make the team. He participated in multiple workouts during the regular season’s audition circuit but did not sign anywhere.

The sixth-year wideout has not been able to re-establish his previously promising career track since being traded from Philadelphia to Buffalo in 2017 but stands to join former Bills teammate Marquise Goodwin, along with Dante Pettis and rookie Deebo Samuel, as notable 49ers receivers. A former second-round pick, Matthews is still just 27. He eclipsed 800 yards in a a season from 2014-16, doing so in both Chip Kelly and Doug Pederson‘s offenses.

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Rams’ Clay Matthews Suffers Broken Jaw

Rams linebacker Clay Matthews suffered a broken jaw last night against the Seahawks, head coach Sean McVay told reporters. He’ll miss 4-6 weeks of action, leaving L.A. without one of its defensive stars. 

[RELATED: Rams Sign Jachai Polite To Practice Squad]

Matthews, 33, was bumped by younger players in Green Bay, but the Rams happily scooped him up with a two-year deal worth up to $16.75MM. Through five games this year, Matthews has rewarded their confidence with six sacks, including one takedown against Seattle.

It’s an undoubtedly frustrating situation for Matthews, who has been largely durable throughout his eleven-year NFL career. That’s part of what helped Matthews earned six Pro Bowl nods through his ten seasons in Green Bay and he seemed on pace for a seventh before this setback.

The Rams, at minimum, will be without Matthews for games against the 49ers, Falcons, and Bengals. After that, they have a bye week, so Matthews could theoretically return for Week 10 and miss only three games. If his estimated worst case scenario is accurate – and if he’s not placed on IR – Matthews should be back no later than the team’s Week 12 game against the Ravens.

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Vikings Work Out Jordan Matthews

After falling short of making the 49ers’ 53-man roster, Jordan Matthews is attempting to catch on elsewhere. The veteran wideout auditioned for two NFC teams this week, with the Vikings giving him a look Friday after a Tuesday Saints tryout, Field Yates of tweets.

The Vikings, who recently placed Josh Doctson on IR, also worked out receivers Deontay Burnett and Tanner Gentry, per’s Courtney Cronin (on Twitter).

Only four receivers reside on Minnesota’s active roster. The two backups are currently Chad Beebe and seventh-round rookie Olabisi Johnson. It would be logical for the Vikes to make a move at receiver before the Saturday afternoon transaction deadline.

Matthews, who topped 800 yards in each of his first three seasons, has not been able to replicate the production of his first Eagles stay. He failed to surpass 300 yards during his Bills season in 2017 and finished with exactly 300 in 14 Eagles games last season. Were Matthews to find a gig this season, it would only be his age-27 campaign.

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Jets Waive Rashard Robinson

On Friday, the Jets waived cornerback Rashard Robinson. Pink slips were also handed to wide receiver Stacy Coley and defensive lineman Charles Tapper

[RELATED: Jets Sign 16 Undrafted Free Agents]

The Jets acquired Robinson prior to the trade deadline in 2017 and gave up a 2018 fifth-round choice in the deal. Robinson went on to appear in 16 games for the Jets between ’17 and ’19, but tallied just nine tackles in total.

The Jets still need veteran help at the cornerback position, but they were unwilling to keep Robinson around at a paltry $2MM cap hit. By cutting him, the Jets will take that entire obligation off of the books.

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FA CB Rashard Robinson Banned 10 Games

The Jets cut Rashard Robinson in May, and a clearer picture as to the possible reason for that move emerged two months later. The NFL suspended the free agent cornerback 10 games on Wednesday, Field Yates of tweets.

This marks Robinson’s second suspension. He began his 2018 season in October because of a four-game substance-abuse ban to start it. The former fourth-round 49ers pick has not participated in a visit or a workout since the Jets waived him.

I would like to to take this opportunity to apologize and take full responsibility for the 10-game suspension I have received from the National Football League. I have no one to blame for my actions,” Robinson said in a statement (Twitter link). “I will work during my time away to better myself and be ready to contribute when I am eligible this coming season.”

The Jets gave up a fifth-round pick at the 2017 trade deadline to acquire Robinson from the 49ers, and the LSU alum played in 16 games for the franchise over the next two seasons. Robinson has started 15 games, but 13 of those came as a 49er. He registered eight tackles in 10 2018 contests, playing mostly special teams.

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Browns’ Rashard Higgins Wants Extension

Browns wide receiver Rashard Higgins could receive some significant interest on the open market this offseason, but the young wideout is making it clear he wants to stay in Cleveland. “I want to be in Cleveland, no other team. Tell (John) Dorsey, Tell Lonzo (Alonso Highsmith) to get it done”, Higgins said this week at the Super Bowl, according to Mary Kay Cabot of

Dorsey, the Browns’ GM, said last week that the team had talked to Higgins’ representatives about a new contract, and it sounds like the interest is definitely mutual. Higgins is only scheduled to be a restricted free agent anyway so the Browns could match any offer he receives from another team, but it doesn’t seem like it’ll get to that point.

Higgins’ agent Michael Swensen told Kay Cabot “we’re getting there”, meaning a deal could be close. The Browns drafted Higgins in the fifth round out of Colorado State back in 2016. They cut him before the 2017 season, but quickly re-signed him. He didn’t do much as a rookie, but showed signs of progress last season before breaking out in 2018.

This past year he caught 39 passes for 572 yards and four touchdowns in only 13 games, and showed a nice rapport with rookie quarterback Baker Mayfield. With Jarvis Landry entrenched in the slot, Higgins should have an opportunity to start outside next year. Higgins sounded excited to help turn around the Browns, raving about Mayfield, new coach Freddie Kitchens, and the organization in his comments to Kay Cabot. At this point it would be surprising if he’s not locked up by the time free agency rolls around in March.

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Browns To Tender Rashard Higgins

The Browns will tender restricted free agent Rashard Higgins, according to GM John Dorsey (via Mary Kay Cabot of The Plain Dealer). However, Dorsey did not indicate whether the Browns will employ the first- or second-round tender to cuff the wide receiver. 

[RELATED: Teams Interested In Browns’ Duke Johnson]

The first- or second-round tender will determine what pick a team would have to give the Browns if they were sign him. The first-round tender in 2019 is worth $4.407MM and the second-round tender is worth $3.095MM. It stands to reason that the second-round tender would be enough to scare away interested teams, even though this year’s wide receiver group in both free agency and the draft is underwhelming.

Higgins caught 39 passes for 572 yards and four touchdowns in 13 games. More importantly, he developed a nice rapport with rookie quarterback Baker Mayfield in the second half of the season. With Jarvis Landry entrenched in the slot, Higgins should have an opportunity to start outside next year.

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Rishard Matthews Retires From NFL

This is the end of the line for longtime NFL wide receiver Rishard Matthews. On Monday, the veteran announced his retirement from football. 

It was cool being a professional football player and getting to play a kids game for work,” Matthews wrote on Instagram. “I will always be a fan of the best sport in the world but for me that kids game no longer exist [sic].

Matthews, a Dolphins seventh-round pick in 2012, spent four years with Miami before moving on to the Titans. After making some noise with the Fins in 2015, he enjoyed a breakout campaign with the Titans in ’16, leading the team in receptions (65), yards (945) and receiving touchdowns. He once again paced Tennessee the following campaign before being released in 2018.

Matthews leave the game with 230 receptions for 3,160 yards and 21 touchdowns.

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Saints Release WR Rishard Matthews

Rishard Matthews‘ Saints tenure will end shortly after it began. After signing the former Dolphins, Titans and Jets wideout in June, the Saints released Matthews on Saturday, Field Yates of tweets.

The team used the reserve/left squad designation to make the move. Matthews has not been able to land on his feet since a 2018 injury sidetracked his career. He managed just five receptions for 24 yards last season, splitting time with the Titans and Jets.

A seventh-round pick by Miami in 2012, Matthews enjoyed a breakout campaign with the Titans in 2016, leading the team in receptions (65), yards (945) and receiving touchdowns. He again paced Tennessee the following campaign before being released in 2018.


Saints Sign Rishard Matthews

The Saints have signed wide receiver Rishard Matthews, according to the NFL’s transactions wire. To make room, the team waived fellow wide receiver Travin Dural

The Titans granted Matthews’ request for release in late September after he grew frustrated with his lack of playing time. He hooked on with the Jets in October, but posted just two catches for 13 yards before landing on injured reserve.

Prior to that, Matthews was the Titans’ leading receiver for two seasons. And, prior to that, he had something of a breakout season with the Dolphins in 2015.

Matthews isn’t the only ex-Jet to join the Saints’ WR group. The Saints also added Chad Hansen earlier this week, giving them a baker’s dozen of receivers on the 90-man roster.

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NFL Suspends Jets’ Rashard Robinson

Jets cornerback Rashard Robinson has been suspended without pay for the first four games of the regular season for violating the NFL’s substance abuse policy. He’ll be eligible to return to the active roster on October 1 after the team’s Week 4 contest against the Jaguars. In the interim, he’ll be allowed to participate in all preseason practices and games.

The Jets acquired Robinson in a pre-deadline trade in 2017, giving up a 2018 fifth-round choice in exchange for the former fourth-round pick. Robinson appeared in six games but recorded just two tackles.

Robinson’s suspension stems from a December incident in which he was pulled over by cops and found to have marijuana-laced candy in his possession. Apparently, that was not the cornerback’s first instance of off-the-field trouble. The 23-year-old reportedly also had an “embarrassing and troubling incident” on a Niners team flight in 2017. He had words with SF coaches in the midst of that outburst, and that prompted the team to ship him to New Jersey.

Robinson’s first game with the Jets in 2018 – if he sticks on the roster – will be against the Broncos on October 7.

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Jets CB Rashard Robinson Facing Charges

Jets cornerback Rashard Robinson was charged with drug possession following a December arrest, as Manish Mehta of the Daily News writes. Robinson no-showed his court date on Monday, Darryl Slater of hears, and he is now scheduled to appear in front of a judge on Jan 29. If he does not show up at the end of the month, an arrest warrant will be issued. Rashard Robinson (vertical)

The Jets acquired Robinson in a pre-deadline trade this year, giving up a 2018 fifth-round choice in exchange for the former fourth-round pick. Robinson appeared in six games but recorded just two tackles.

Police say that they found a marijuana-laced candy in Robinson’s possession after pulling him over for careless driving. Apparently, this is not the cornerback’s first off-the-field incident. Mehta hears that the 22-year-old (23 in July) had an “embarrassing and troubling incident” on a Niners team flight in 2017. He also had words with SF coaches, an outburst that prompted the team to ship him east.

Mike Maccagnan‘s Jets have rolled the dice on players with iffy track records in the past, but they might not have patience with Robinson given his lack of on-field performance.

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Rashard Mendenhall Retires

Free agent running back Rashard Mendenhall is retiring, reports ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter.

Mendenhall, 26, spent his first five seasons with the Steelers, then started 13 games last year for the Cardinals, rushing for 687 yards and eight touchdowns.

A first-round draft pick from Illinois in 2008, Mendenhall totaled 4,236 yards and 39 touchdowns in his six-year career. He surpassed 1,000 yards rushing in the 2009 and 2010 seasons.

Mendenhall hinted at retirement in a February 25 column for Huffington Post: “And as I write this, today is the day that the journey is over and I am fully at peace. Eagerly looking to a new way, which lies ahead.”

PFR’s Luke Adams ranked Mendenhall in the second tier of free agent running backs.

Rams Interested In Clay Matthews?

The Rams could be a potential landing spot for Clay Matthews, according to Ian Rapoport of (video link). The long-time Packers star is set to join another club for the first time in his career, and Los Angeles is the first club with reported interest.

We learned at the beginning of the 2018 campaign that Green Bay was prepared to let the 32-year-old linebacker (33 in May) hit free agency. And although Matthews produced just 3.5 sacks in 2018, he still graded out as an above-average edge defender, per Pro Football Focus’ advanced metrics. Plus, he is one year removed from a very strong 2017 campaign, when he recorded 7.5 sacks and graded out as one of the better pass rushers in the league.

The double-digit sack seasons appear to be in the rear-view mirror, but Matthews clearly has something left in the tank as a situational pass rusher. The Rams have a couple of members of their front seven who are capable of getting to the quarterback (see, Aaron Donald, Dante Fowler), and Matthews would further enhance a unit that ranked in the middle of the pack in sacks last season.

Matthews has six Pro Bowl bids and one First Team All-Pro nod to his credit, though he hasn’t received either honor since the 2015 season.

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Browns Discussing Deals With Rashard Higgins, Breshad Perriman, Greg Robinson

The Browns signed former first-round picks Greg Robinson and Breshad Perriman on low-cost, one-year deals in 2018. They are interested in longer-term partnerships.

John Dorsey said (via Mary Kay Cabot of discussions with both players’ representatives are ongoing, along with RFA-to-be Rashard Higgins.

Robinson said recently he wants to stay in Cleveland. The former No. 2 overall pick has not come close to living up to that draft slot but did start the final eight Browns games at left tackle, replacing rookie UDFA Desmond Harrison in the team’s first post-Joe Thomas season. Pro Football Focus graded Robinson as its No. 63 tackle (out of 80 full-time qualifiers) this season.

Sometimes you have to be a little patient with guys like that. You have to earn their trust,” Dorsey said of Robinson. “He did everything he was asked and everything we thought he would since we signed him in late June.”

Added after a dismal Ravens stay, Perriman averaged 21.3 yards per catch with the Browns. Two of his 16 receptions went for touchdowns. While Perriman’s stock is nowhere near what it was coming into the league, the oft-injured wideout played well down the stretch with Cleveland. He recorded two two-catch, 75-plus-yard games in the Browns’ final four contests. If retained, Perriman would fit in as an auxiliary weapon alongside Jarvis Landry and Antonio Callaway.

Although Higgins was a Sashi Brown-era investment, he may figure into Dorsey’s plans — either on a tender or longer-term pact. The former fifth-round pick enjoyed his most productive season in 2018, hauling in 39 passes for 572 yards and four touchdowns. While Higgins was the Browns’ fourth-leading receiver, each of those figures represented career-high marks.

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49ers Trade CB Rashard Robinson To Jets

The 49ers made their second deadline deal in two days, this time agreeing to send cornerback Rashard Robinson to the Jets, Ian Rapoport of tweets. The Jets gave the Niners a 2018 fifth-round pick in exchange, a source tells Manish Mehta of the Daily News (on Twitter). Rashard Robinson (vertical)

Robinson, a fourth-round pick last year, has started seven games for San Francisco this season. The Jets are hurting in the secondary presently, but the 22-year-old corner is under contract through the 2019 season. So, this represents a possible long-term piece for Gang Green.

The LSU product has started 13 games over the past two seasons. He’s deflected eight passes, forced a fumble and intercepted a pass during his sophomore NFL campaign. Robinson, though, ranks among Pro Football Focus’ worst-graded corners this season. This could be a short-term depth addition and a long-term developmental project.

New York is currently dealing with injuries to Morris Claiborne and Buster Skrine, making this an interesting way to go about patching up a secondary.

Eagles Sign Jordan Matthews

The Eagles reunited with wide receiver Jordan Matthews, according to a team announcement. To make room, the Eagles have placed veteran Mike Wallace on IR. 

[RELATED: Carson Wentz To Start In Week 3]

Matthews worked out for the Eagles on Tuesday – his first audition since the Patriots released him in August. Although he was not productive with Buffalo last year, the Eagles have seen what Matthews can do when he is fully healthy and in the right system. He enjoyed three 800-plus-yard seasons with Philly, two in Chip Kelly’s offense and the third — a 73-reception, 804-yard campaign in 2016 — under Doug Pederson. His totals in 2016 were a close second to Zach Ertz among Eagles receivers.

Wallace, meanwhile, suffered a broken fibula last week. The injury is not necessarily a season-ender, so he could be a candidate to return from IR in eight weeks or more.

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Latest On WR Jordan Matthews

The injury settlement for Jordan Matthews with the Patriots carries no cap amount associated with it, as Field Yates of tweets. That may be an indication he’ll be healthy in time for the start of the regular season. 

The Patriots released Matthews after he tweaked his hamstring in practice. Given his potential, it was speculated that Matthews’ injury was rather serious, but that might not be the case at all. After being officially released from IR on Tuesday, Matthews is free to sign with any club, and it might not be long before he can actually audition for teams.

Dez Bryant is the free agent wide receiver everyone is talking about, but Matthews is four years younger and arguably has more upside. Once healthy, Matthews could hold appeal for teams like the Browns who are looking to shore up their depth at wide receiver.

Injuries limited Matthews to ten games and just 282 yards last year, but he’s not far removed from impressive production with the Eagles. Matthews nearly hit 1,000 yards receiving in 2015 and had a respectable 73/804/3 line in 2016.

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Rams To Sign OLB Clay Matthews

Clay Matthews will be returning to southern California. The USC product and longtime Packer linebacker will sign with the Rams, Ian Rapoport of tweets. Via some uniform art, Matthews confirmed his decision (on Twitter).

The Rams and Matthews agreed on a two-year deal, Adam Schefter of tweets. This deal will max out at $16.75MM, according to’s Mike Garafolo (on Twitter). While it’s unlikely Matthews’ base salary surpasses $8MM, Ian Rapoport notes he was one of the Rams’ top free agency targets (Twitter link). With one of the linebacker’s homes located within minutes of the Rams’ training facility in Thousand Oaks, Calif., this seems like a convenient landing for the free agent sack artist.

More lucrative offers came Matthews’ way, per Garafolo, who adds staying close to home was a priority for the 11th-year linebacker. After entering last season with significant issues at outside linebacker, the Rams now have Matthews and Dante Fowler early in this offseason.

Matthews finished last season with a career-low 3.5 sacks. He saw his Packers job essentially given to younger pass rushers, with Green Bay replacing its Matthews-Nick Perry setup and going with a Preston SmithZa’Darius Smith combination. Rams rumors emerged last week, and the soon-to-be 33-year-old edge rusher is set to be a key part of Los Angeles’ pass rush.

The former USC Trojan and L.A.-area high school standout went on to record 83.5 sacks with the Packers, en route to six Pro Bowls. While those honors came between 2009-15, the Packers’ all-time sack leader working as a pass-rush specialist in L.A. would be interesting. Matthews, who collected a Super Bowl ring eight years ago, follows Eric Weddle to the defending NFC champions’ defense.

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