Colt McCoy

NFC East Notes: Cowboys, Redskins, Eagles

The Cowboys may be without their top wide receiver when they face the Eagles in a key NFC East battle on Sunday night. Amari Cooper left Sunday’s loss to the Jets after only three snaps due to a quadriceps injury, and while the issue isn’t getting any worse, it could derail his availability for Week 7, according to Todd Archer of ESPN.com (Twitter link). Despite missing nearly all of Week 6, Cooper still ranks fifth in the NFL in receiving yards (515) and is tied for second with five receiving touchdowns. Cooper hasn’t practiced this week, another indication that he’ll be either out or limited for Dallas’ showdown with Philadelphia.

Here’s more from around the NFC East:

  • Redskins quarterback Alex Smith has undergone an astounding 17 surgeries on his broken right leg, as Thom Loverro of the Washington Times writes. Last December, a report indicated Smith had gone under the knife six times, so either that report was inaccurate, or Smith has undergone an additional 11 surgeries this calendar year. Ben Standing of The Athletic caught Smith throwing with team officials at Fedex Field on Monday, an encouraging sign. Smith, who was confined to a wheel chair for four months post-surgeries, indicated as recently as June that he wants to play in the NFL again.
  • Under interim head coach Bill Callahan, the Redskins are making a number of changes, and the club is feeling more upbeat as a result, per Ian Rapoport of NFL.com. One such change was making quarterback Colt McCoy a healthy scratch against the Dolphins on Sunday, reports Albert Breer of TheMMQB.com. McCoy, who started Washington’s Week 5 loss to the Patriots, is possibly viewed as former head coach Jay Gruden‘s “guy,” per Breer, which may have played a role in his inactive status. McCoy joined the Redskins in 2014, the same year as Gruden.
  • Eagles cornerback Ronald Darby returned as a limited practice participant on Wednesday, tweets Mike Kaye of NJ.com. Darby has missed Philadelphia’s past three games after suffering a hamstring injury against the Lions in Week 3. The Eagles can use all the help they can get at cornerback — they’ve given up the most touchdowns to wide receivers of any team in the NFL (11), and only the Buccaneers have allowed more yardage to opposing wideouts.

Redskins Notes: Gruden, Haskins, Williams

This morning, the Redskins did what everyone expected and fired head coach Jay Gruden. The move follows a 33-7 loss to the Patriots, dropping Washington to 0-5 on the season. Besides his disappointing record, there also seemed to be a disconnect between the front office and the sixth-year coach; Gruden reportedly wasn’t a fan of the team’s decision to select quarterback Dwayne Haskins with the No. 15 overall pick.

Needless to say, it’s been a busy day in Washington, and there have a been a number of additional Redskins notes since this afternoon:

  • Nobody likes to lose their job, but it sounds like Gruden isn’t beating himself up over the firing. NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport tweets that the now-former head coach was expecting the move and is doing fine. Rapoport also notes that the firing allows the organization to be completely transparent about their head coaching search (as opposed to be covert if Gruden was still on the sideline).
  • During his presser earlier today, team president Bruce Allen deferred to interim head coach Bill Callahan when asked if Haskins would now start under center. The coach later told reporters that the first-rounder is not a candidate to start right now (via NFL Network’s Mike Garafalo on Twitter). The coach did say that they’re currently evaluating the health of Case Keenum and Colt McCoy, but it sounds like one of the veterans will start against the Dolphins on Sunday.
  • Allen was also asked about the status of offensive lineman Trent Williams, who continues to sit out. The executive told reporters that “there’s been no dialogue with any other team” regarding a trade, and Allen also said the team isn’t actively shopping the veteran. Today’s head coaching move also didn’t move the needle when it comes to a potential return for Williams; a source told ESPN’s Dianna Russini (Twitter link) that the 31-year-old “doesn’t have any plans of returning to the Redskins anytime soon.”
  • We hate to rub dirt in the wound, but ESPN’s Adam Schefter points out (on Twitter) that the Redskins’ coaching staff once consisted of Kyle Shanahan, Sean McVay, and Matt LaFleuer. The three current head coaches (with the 49ers, Rams, and Packers, respectively) currently have a combined 2019 record of 10-3.

Redskins To Start Colt McCoy Vs. Patriots

Dwayne Haskins will have to wait at least a little while longer. On Friday, head coach Jay Gruden announced that Colt McCoy will get the start against the Patriots, rather than first-round rookie Dwayne Haskins or veteran Case Keenum.

[RELATED: Gruden Didn’t Want Haskins]

Keenum has been slowed by a foot injury and Haskins didn’t look ready for primetime in his NFL debut against the Giants. Enter McCoy, a known commodity in Washington who is coming back from multiple leg surgeries.

McCoy took all the first-team reps in practice this week, and Gruden is not exactly in love with Haskins, so this does not come as a shock. By far the longest-tenured quarterback on Washington’s roster, McCoy has been a Redskins backup throughout Gruden’s five-plus-season stay.

Following Alex Smith‘s November 2019 injury, McCoy was given the call. However, midway through his second start, he suffered a broken leg that required months of rehab. The former third-round pick made four starts in 2014 but sat behind Kirk Cousins and Smith until the latter’s gruesome injury. Six Redskins passers have seen action since Cousins’ 2018 free agency defection.

This will mark a third straight week in which the Patriots are tasked with defending a backup quarterback. They faced the Jets’ Luke Falk in Week 3 and, in a tight game against the Bills, ran into Matt Barkley after Josh Allen was knocked out of last week’s contest. The Pats have allowed one offensive touchdown all season.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Redskins Tight-Lipped On QB Situation

Dwayne Haskins finally made his highly anticipated NFL debut earlier Sunday, coming on in relief of Case Keenum in the Redskins’ loss to the Giants. Even though head coach Jay Gruden made the decision to bench Keenum, somehow the quarterback situation has gotten even less clear heading into Week 5. 

Speaking after the game, Gruden said that Keenum’s foot injury factored into his decision to pull him, according to Josh Alper of ProFootballTalk.com. Gruden also declined to name a starter for next week’s game against the Patriots. While that’s not too unusual, there are huge implications here. Reports of dysfunction in the building have been rapidly leaking out, as Gruden’s relationship with owner Dan Snyder and team president Bruce Allen has apparently deteriorated.

We also just heard that Gruden and the coaching staff thought Haskins would be better off redshirting his entire rookie year, so it sure sounds like his hand was forced by management. It was reported before the game that Haskins would relieve Keenum if he struggled, so it wasn’t a huge surprise. Haskins struggled mightily in his debut and threw three interceptions, and Gruden didn’t sound too enthusiastic about having to play him.

As such, it seems like there’s a real chance the team could go back to Keenum, especially with Gruden saying the foot injury played a part. However, Gruden might not get the chance to make the call. Just yesterday it was reported that Gruden could be fired by the team if they lost to the Giants, which they obviously did in ugly fashion.

There’s also a possibility that Colt McCoy could take over under center after Haskins’ disastrous performance. McCoy was listed as the team’s starter earlier in the offseason, but his recovery from a 2018 leg injury kept him sidelined until just recently. McCoy returned to practice this past week, and could get a crack at the starting job given the state of his competition. If Gruden is going to be fired, then it would likely happen tomorrow.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Latest on Dwayne Haskins, Redskins’ Coaching Staff

There was some chatter Saturday suggesting that Redskins head coach Jay Gruden could be coaching for his job against the Giants this afternoon, but Dianna Russini of ESPN.com reports that no Washington coaches were informed by team execs or ownership that they will be fired if they lose against New York today (Twitter link). That may or may not mean anything, but since Gruden’s seat gets hotter by the day, these types of reports are worth monitoring.

However, Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports confirms that the relationship between the coaching staff and the front office, headed by team president Bruce Allen, has become untenable. And differences in opinion over roster construction are just the beginning. Per La Canfora, the organization wants Gruden to part ways with defensive coordinator Greg Manusky, but Gruden refuses to consider any changes to his staff.

But it seems inevitable that Gruden, at least, will be looking for a new job in 2020. Manusky will likely be gone too, but La Canfora says team brass is high on first-year OC Kevin O’Connell, so he may stick around. If Gruden were to fired be mid-season, offensive line coach Bill Callahan may serve as the team’s interim HC. Gruden, meanwhile, may join his brother Jon’s staff with the Raiders.

As we have been hearing, another source of contention between the Redskins’ coaching staff and front office/ownership is rookie QB Dwayne Haskins. La Canfora writes in a separate piece that many members of the coaching staff — including Gruden — and people close to Haskins believe that it would be best for the Ohio State product to redshirt his entire rookie year, especially given the state of Washington’s O-line and the club’s general dearth of offensive talent. But owner Dan Snyder may be inclined to throw Haskins into the fire sooner rather than later, while Gruden views playing Haskins as a last resort. Although Gruden’s fate with the Redskins is likely sealed, the disagreement between him and Snyder over Haskins may hasten his departure.

As for today, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets that Case Keenum will get the start, and Haskins will be his backup. Colt McCoy, who recently returned to practice, will be inactive, though the Redskins did consider dressing all three signal-callers. Despite Gruden’s reservations about playing Haskins, Rapoport hears that if Keenum should struggle against the Giants’ defense, Gruden may feel compelled to send in his rookie signal-caller (video link).

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

NFC East Notes: Haskins, Cooper, Jeffery

Could the dawn of the Dwayne Haskins era be upon us? Redskins starting QB Case Keenum is dealing with a foot injury and did not practice today, which could force Jay Gruden to turn to one of his backup signal-callers when his team takes on the Giants this weekend. John Keim of ESPN.com notes that Colt McCoy, who hasn’t taken part in a full practice since August 11, participated in the team’s walk-through today, but Gruden wants to see him plant and push off before he thrusts him back into action. 

Haskins, the 15th-overall pick in the 2019 draft, is Washington’s QB of the future, and Gruden did not rule out the possibility of turning to the Ohio State product this weekend. However, Gruden does expect Keenum to be ready to go, which means Redskins fans may have to wait a little longer for their first regular season glimpse of Haskins.

Now for more injury-related items from the NFC East:

  • A brief scare for the Cowboys, as WR Amari Cooper left practice early today with a right ankle injury. However, Todd Archer of ESPN.com says the team does not believe it’s a serious issue and expects Cooper to see his normal workload against the Saints on Sunday night.
  • Eagles WR Alshon Jeffery was a full participant in practice today, as Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets. That obviously suggests that he’ll play in tomorrow night’s key matchup with the Packers. Philadelphia could certainly use him, as the team is at risk of falling to 1-3.
  • The Giants are still short-handed at wideout, as receiver Russell Shepard has been diagnosed with a foot sprain, per Rapoport (via Twitter). Shepard’s availability for Week 4 is in doubt.

NFC East Rumors: Long, Redskins, Cowboys

Let’s look at the latest from the NFC East, starting with how the Eagles attempt to fill the void Malik Jackson‘s injury created.

  • Jackson going down wounded one of the NFL’s top defensive lines, and it prompted Doug Pederson to address whether or not the Eagles and Chris Long had been in contact. The defensive end retired, in part because there would not be as much playing time to go around this season. But even with Jackson’s injury, Pederson said the Eagles were focused on adding a defensive tackle, Jeff McLane of the Philadelphia Inquirer tweets. “We’re pretty deep at D-end right now so just the D-tackle spot,” Pederson said. The Eagles signed former Dolphins starter Akeem Spence to help on their interior. Jackson has worked as a 4-3 end, 4-3 tackle and 3-4 end but was a tackle in Philadelphia’s scheme.
  • The Redskins have declared Jonathan Allen out for their Week 2 game. He suffered an MCL sprain Sunday and is considered week-to-week, per NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport (on Twitter). There is a chance Allen returns for Week 3 or Week 4, with ESPN.com’s John Keim classifying this as a grade 1 sprain (Twitter link). The third-year defensive end missed 11 games as a rookie but re-emerged with a 16-game 2018 season.
  • Moving to a third NFC East team’s defensive front, Taco Charlton has yet to reward the Cowboys for their first-round investment in him two years ago. Despite Robert Quinn being suspended, the Cowboys made Charlton a healthy scratch against the Giants. A trade would not surprise Pro Football Talk’s Charean Williams, with the veteran Cowboys reporter noting the team may still be looking for a safety. The Cowboys are the only known team to contact the Dolphins on now-available Minkah Fitzpatrick.
  • Washington placed Derrius Guice on IR earlier Friday but will not make that move with Colt McCoy. The backup quarterback is progressing to the point a return in advance of Week 4 is realistic, Keim tweets. Dwayne Haskins served as Case Keenum‘s backup Sunday; a McCoy return may shift Washington’s first-round passer to a more developmental role. McCoy also figures to work as a mentor-type figure for the young quarterback.
  • Sterling Shepard remains in the Giants‘ concussion protocol and will miss Sunday’s game against the Bills. The Giants also have Cody Latimer listed as questionable. New York brought back T.J. Jones this week and is set to deploy its lowest-profile receiving corps since the midseason games Shepard and Odell Beckham Jr. missed in 2017.

NFC Notes: Inactives, Peterson, Evans, Jones

Adrian Peterson will not suit up vs. the Eagles today, as Ian Rapoport and Mike Garafolo of NFL.com report. Redskins coach Jay Gruden has made it clear that Derrius Guice will be the starter and handle most of the rushing work.

Some of Peterson’s teammates aren’t happy that he’s a healthy scratch, according to Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk. The future Hall-of-Famer is regarded by some as the best back on the team and many members of the Redskins believed that come week 1, the question would be how many carries Guice would be taking away from Peterson and not whether Peterson would be suiting up.

Washington gave Peterson a $1.5MM signing bonus and another $1MM to re-sign with the club this offseason. No word if the team has plans to trade or release him.

Here’s more from the NFC:

  • TE Jordan Reed is among the other inactives for the Redskins, John Keim of ESPN.com tweets. QB Colt McCoy will also not suit up.
  • Mike Evans and Devin White will both play for the Buccaneers today, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter (Twitter link). The pair were listed as questionable heading into the contest will illnesses.
  • CB Byron Jones won’t start for the Cowboys today, Schefter adds in a separate tweet. Jones will play, but he’ll be limited as he is still recovering from offseason hip surgery.
  • RT Marcus Gilbert will not play for the Cardinals today, as Darren Urban relays on the team’s website. Gilbert is nursing a knee injury.

Colt McCoy To Miss Regular-Season Time?

Signs are pointing toward Case Keenum piloting the Redskins’ offense when the season begins. With Dwayne Haskins still in developmental mode, Colt McCoy‘s injury setback will point Keenum toward taking a fourth team’s snaps in four years.

Listed as the Redskins’ starter on their first depth chart this year, McCoy missed the team’s second preseason game and now is without a firm return timetable. Jay Gruden acknowledged (via ESPN.com’s Adam Schefter, on Twitter) Sunday his longtime backup may miss multiple games this season. At the very least, it appears McCoy is a ways away from coming back.

The broken leg he suffered took most of the offseason to surmount, and McCoy has yet to completely clear the final hurdles of this journey. McCoy visited foot specialist Dr. Robert Anderson recently about his right leg, with John Keim of ESPN.com tweeting the issue continues to be McCoy’s inability to push off of that foot without pain. Gruden said he will not put the veteran passer back out there until he is absolutely ready.

Keenum took the Week 1 snaps for the 2016 Rams and 2018 Broncos and played most of the way for the 2017 Vikings in what was easily his most successful season. McCoy has been with the Redskins since Robert Griffin III was ahead of Kirk Cousins on the depth chart. The former Texas standout received one start last season, following Alex Smith‘s injury, but broke his leg during that game. One season, at $3MM, remains on McCoy’s contract.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

NFC East Notes: Redskins, Cowboys, Giants

It’s unclear if Colt McCoy ever had a realistic chance to serve as the Redskins‘ starting quarterback in 2019, but his continued recovery from a broken leg has deprived him of even getting the opportunity. McCoy won’t play in Washington’s second preseason game after experiencing leg soreness, head coach Jay Gruden told reporters (link via Charean Williams of Pro Football Talk). Additionally, McCoy has no timeline for a possible return, meaning he’s certainly a candidate to miss regular season time. Trade acquisition Case Keenum looks like the favorite to start for the Redskins, with 2019 first-round pick Dwayne Haskins likely to act as Keenum’s backup, at least to open the year.

Here’s more from the NFC East:

NFC East

  • The Cowboys have a quandary on their hands: how to pay Dak Prescott, Ezekiel Elliott, and Amari Cooper? Prescott, for his part, is reportedly targeting Russell Wilson‘s $35MM yearly salary, but none of Dallas’ trifecta has set a deadline for negotiations with the club’s front office. Vice president of player personnel Will McClay admits fitting all three on the Cowboys’ books could prove difficult, but says the club is in a good position. “It makes it challenging, but it’s a good challenge because we follow the recipe that we’ve used to get these young players,” McClay told Jon Machota of The Athletic. “Now we have to figure out if we can pay them because they are good enough. It’s just to keep that thing going and trying to find young talent.”
  • After getting handed a four-game suspension for taking what he claims were fertility drugs, Giants wideout Golden Tate is considering a lawsuit against the doctor who originally prescribed the drugs, as Williams writes in a separate piece. Tate, who self-reported his violation after realizing the active ingredient in the medication was on the NFL’s banned substance list, will lose salary and signing bonus, while his 2020 guarantees are also expected to void. The veteran pass-catcher appealed his ban but was formally denied earlier this week.
  • Tate will be forced to give back some of his salary and signing bonus as a result of his suspension, and the annual average of his contract will be reduced commensurately. While that reduction could theoretically affect the compensatory pick the Eagles will receive in exchange for losing Tate as a free agent, Jimmy Kempski of the Philly Voice explains while Philadelphia is unlikely to be altered.