The Packers have placed Davante Adams on the COVID-19 list, per a club announcement. It’s not immediately clear whether Adams has tested positive for the virus, but defensive coordinator Joe Barry entered quarantine after testing positive earlier today.
Adams’ status for this week is now in doubt, pending tests. The Packers face the undefeated Cardinals on Thursday night, so the wide receiver has a very short window to clear protocol. Per league rules, he’ll need to pass two COVID tests on back-to-back days if he is asymptomatic.
Adams went off for six catches, 76 yards, and one touchdown against Washington on Sunday. For the year, he has 52 receptions for 744 yards and three TDs.
“Any time that you have any cases, you’re always a little bit concerned about that,” said head coach Matt LaFleur after disclosing Barry’s status. “But the majority of our guys are vaccinated, so there’s a little bit different protocol with that. I don’t think in terms of being at close contact with any of our players, I don’t think that’s a real concern of ours right now. But we’re still waiting to hear back from the league before we get clearance on anything.”
As of this writing, Adams and Barry are the only Packers players known to be in protocol.
Urban Meyer‘s first year as the Jaguars’ head coach/lead decision-maker has gone rather poorly. The team is 0-5, and Meyer has generated extensive off-field headlines. But the Jags are sticking with their sought-after HC, for now.
Shad Khan is not yet mulling a quick about-face on Meyer, but Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports notes many in the organization believe enough damage has occurred that will leave the owner no choice but to abandon this experiment after one season. The Jaguars’ London game is Sunday, creating a window for the franchise to reassess ahead of its Week 7 bye. Meyer said last week he would not resign.
The first-year NFL HC had encountered adjustment issues before the Ohio controversy earlier this month. Players and Jags coaches expressed confusion about Meyer’s temperament and decision-making before the season began. Meyer’s most recent run of bad press — centered on his decision not to travel back to Jacksonville from Cincinnati with the team and the ensuing video captured of him at a bar that weekend — led to more frustration among Jaguars players and staffers. Jags players are “laughing at” Meyer, one league source told La Canfora, who adds a team staffer called Meyer’s recent actions “pretty gutless.”
Khan issued a statement deeming Meyer’s actions inexcusable, and the team is still looking into them. Jaguars players and coaches did not know Meyer would not be on the team plane back to Jacksonville until he failed to show up for the flight, Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk adds. Meyer said last week he had informed GM Trent Baalke about his plans to remain in Ohio post-Week 4 “way in advance.” But his decision continues to produce considerable fallout and has affected his standing with the team.
Meyer did not address his staying in Ohio after the Jags’ Week 4 loss, or the subsequent bar video, with the team until the following Wednesday. He canceled a Monday team meeting before discussing the issues. Once Meyer did meet with the team, coaches and some Jaguars core players were dissatisfied with the explanation, JLC adds. This came before the Jags endured their fourth double-digit loss of the season, a 37-19 defeat against the Titans. The Jaguars have now lost 20 consecutive games, marking the second-longest skid in NFL history (behind only the 1976-77 Buccaneers, who lost their first 26 games).
More on Meyer’s plate: the NFLPA is still investigating his comment on players’ COVID-19 vaccination statuses being considered when trimming the team’s roster to 53 players, La Canfora offers, adding that this process could well drag into 2022. While other teams likely factored vaccination statuses into their roster equations, Meyer saying the quiet part out loud expanded his growing list of controversies.
Amid what is expected to be a lengthy stretch without starter David Montgomery, the Bears may also be without their second-string running back in Week 6. Damien Williams is now on the team’s reserve/COVID-19 list.
Williams’ Thursday placement on the coronavirus list will make his suiting up against the Packers on Sunday a difficult task. Vaccinated players can return after a positive test if they receive two negative COVID tests 24 hours apart. Unvaccinated players who test positive are shut down for 10 days. Williams tested positive, Pro Football Focus’ Doug Kyed tweets.
This development will likely force the Bears to give the ball-carrying keys to rookie Khalil Herbert. The sixth-round pick logged just three carries in Chicago’s first four games but split time with Williams against the Raiders, taking 18 handoffs and gaining 75 yards.
Williams was a COVID-19 opt-out last year, skipping the Chiefs’ 2020 season. He had previously been effective after stepping in as a starter post-Kareem Hunt in Kansas City, but the opt-out ended his run with the team. The Chiefs cut Williams earlier this year, leading the 29-year-old back to the Bears.
Through five games, Williams’ rushing total sits at 137 yards. He has added two touchdowns this season. Williams expressed hesitation on being vaccinated in June, though he said he expected to do so at some point. His October vaccination status is unclear.
The Bears briefly entertained the prospect of trading standout defensive lineman Akiem Hicks, but they reconsidered and brought the former All-Pro back for his sixth season in Chicago. Shortly after free agency began, the Bears gave Hicks permission to find a trade partner. Nothing materialized, but the Chargers were monitoring this situation through the preseason, according to ESPN.com’s Jeremy Fowler (ESPN+ link). Hicks, 31, has a history with Bolts HC Brandon Staley, who was on the Bears’ defensive staff — as outside linebackers coach — under Vic Fangio from 2017-18. The 11th-year veteran’s contract expires at season’s end. Should the Bears falter against a tough October schedule, Hicks could be a name to watch as the Nov. 2 trade deadline approaches. The $7MM-plus left on his 2021 salary would be a difficult accommodation for most teams, but that number will drop closer to $5MM by the deadline. A groin injury sidelined Hicks in Week 5, but he remains on the Bears’ active roster.
Here is the latest from the West divisions:
Staying on the trade front, the Broncos received inquiries on their two contract-year corners — Kyle Fuller and Bryce Callahan — along with Ronald Darby. The veteran defenders came up in talks leading up to the season, but new Denver GM George Paton set a fairly high asking price. The Broncos sought a third- or fourth-round pick in a deal for one of their vets, Fowler adds, scuttling talks. The Saints made a strong push for Fuller, which came months after New Orleans’ aggressive pursuit of Denver’s No. 9 overall pick — which was used to take Patrick Surtain II. While Denver has made multiple deadline deals in recent years, involving receivers Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders, it would likely take a tumble out of contention for the team to deal from its corner surplus.
The Cardinals are likely to be without Chandler Jones as they attempt to move their unbeaten run to 6-0. While vaccinated players who test positive for COVID-19 can return after two negative tests 24 hours apart, Kliff Kingsbury said Jones is experiencing symptoms and that it would be “a stretch” for him to play against the Browns, via SI.com’s Howard Balzer (on Twitter). Jones is vaccinated. News of the veteran pass rusher’s positive test circulated Tuesday, creating a narrow window for him to recover in time.
Arizona will also be without center Rodney Hudson. The acclaimed O-lineman is battling a rib injury, and Kingsbury declared him out Wednesday. Seventh-year pro Max Garcia will step in for the Cards’ Pro Bowl snapper.
Pete Carroll said Tre Flowers did not request to be waived, Condotta adds (via Twitter). The Flowers transaction went through Wednesday, so a claim would surface by Thursday afternoon — if a team is to claim the fourth-year cornerback. The Seahawks have used former second-round pick Sidney Jones in Flowers’ place in the past two games.
Veteran offensive lineman Ty Sambrailo may be walking away from football. The Titans placed the seventh-year tackle on their reserve/retired list Tuesday.
Sambrailo, 29, re-signed with the Titans this offseason. However, he will follow both Kevin Johnson and Abry Jones — both of whom 2021 free agency additions — in landing on the team’s retired list.
A former second-round pick, Sambrailo has been with the Titans since 2020. He filled in as a starter for the injured Taylor Lewan last season and started for the Titans in Week 2 of this year. The former Broncos and Falcons O-lineman has played in 71 career games, making 19 starts. Sambrailo suffered a knee injury that ended his 2020 season, however, and began Tennessee’s training camp on the PUP list.
The Titans gave Sambrailo a one-year, $1.9MM contract earlier this year. The Falcons gave him a three-year, $14.25MM deal but cut the Colorado State alum two years into it. Sambrailo was inactive for the Titans’ Week 5 game Sunday.
Trent Brown has not played since Week 1 due to a calf injury. The Patriots’ right tackle starter is now guaranteed to miss at least three more games; the team placed Brown on IR Saturday, Field Yates of ESPN.com tweets.
Since his first stint with the Patriots ended, Brown has been unable to stay healthy. He did make the 2019 Pro Bowl, becoming the rare right tackle invitee that year, but played in just 11 games. Last year, a calf injury in Week 1 sidelined him before multiple stints on the Raiders’ reserve/COVID-19 list wrecked his season.
The Patriots reacquired Brown for a Day 3 pick but have not been able to deploy him much. As part of a redone contract, Brown is only signed through the end of this season. The 6-foot-8 blocker’s value has taken a major hit since the Raiders gave him a four-year, $66MM deal early in free agency two years ago.
In addition to Brown’s extended absence, the Patriots are set to be without three other offensive line starters against the Texans. Left tackle Isaiah Wynn and guards Shaq Mason and Michael Onwenu are out. Mason is injured but not on IR; Wynn and Onwenu are on the team’s coronavirus list. This will leave center David Andrews as New England’s lone first-string O-lineman available Sunday in Houston.
The Jaguars have placed D.J. Chark on the injured reserve list following his ankle fracture. They’ve also done the same with offensive lineman A.J. Cann (knee injury) while activating offensive tackle Walker Little from the COVID-19 list.
Chark’s ankle bent backwards in last week’s game against the Bengals. Afterwards, he was unable to put weight on his leg and ultimately had to be carted off the field.
Chark, a former second-round pick, enjoyed a breakout campaign in 2019, finishing with 1,028 yards from scrimmage and eight touchdowns. His numbers took a step back in 2020, and through the first three games of the 2021 campaign, he hauled in only seven receptions for 154 yards and two touchdowns. There’s no word yet on his timetable, but it’ll be a while before he retakes the field. In the meantime, Trevor Lawrence will feed to top receivers Marvin Jones and Laviska Shenault.
Cann has spent his entire career with the Jags, serving as a starter in each of his seven seasons. He’s hardly missed time along the way, but his Thursday night injury left him with no other choice.
Now at 0-4, the short-handed Jaguars will try their luck against the Titans this week.