D.K. Metcalf

Jason La Canfora On Brown, Steelers, Eagles

The NFL’s collective bargaining agreement is set to expire in two years, but Jason La Canfora of CBSSports.com gets the sense than an extension will be struck before its expiration, which would mean no strike or lockout. One high-ranking league source tells JLC that a deal could even be reached prior to the start of the 2020 season, though an NFLPA source cautioned that things are still in their infancy.

Here’s more from JLC:

  • The Raiders and Eagles are the team’s to keep an eye on in the sweepstakes for Steelers star Antonio Brown, JLC hears. The Titans, he says, have nothing going on with the Steelers right now and the Redskins’ front office is divided on AB, even as owner Dan Snyder pushes for a deal. The Saints and Seahawks also discussed AB internally, but don’t appear to be moving forward with the pursuit.
  • Talent evaluators tell JLC that they are iffy on the talent of this year’s wide receiver class. “You might as well trade for AB or OBJ, because this is a bad draft for receivers,” one exec said. “I don’t care who ran what, this is not a good group.” JLC asked that particular exec about extraordinary athlete D.K. Metcalf as well, but he was not impressed by his fluidity or natural catching ability.

Latest On Ole Miss WR D.K. Metcalf

Ole Miss wide receiver D.K. Metcalf has been cleared for all football activity with no limitations, as Adam Schefter of ESPN.com tweets. The projected first-round pick underwent neck surgery last October, but it sounds like his issue will not hinder his draft stock. 

Already, Metcalf has begun training for the draft combine and he will participate in all activities once he arrives in Indianapolis. There may be some rust to shake off, but he has roughly one month before things get underway on Feb. 26.

Metcalf’s true freshman season ended after just two games thanks to a broken foot, but he returned in 2017 to average 16.6 yards per catch and score seven touchdowns. In 2018, he was averaging 21.9 yards per grab and notched five TDs in seven games before he was shut down for the season. His injury history will be a concern, but he’s still expected to be among this year’s top draft prospects.

He’s raw, but there’s a lot of upside because he’s so big and talented,” an NFL scout told Yahoo Sports last year. “He’ll probably go in the second round because he’s so talented. He’s going to kill workouts, and he’s a good kid and football is important to him. I’d be shocked if the health checks out if he lasts past the second round.”

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Ole Miss WR D.K. Metcalf To Enter NFL Draft

Ole Miss wide receiver D.K. Metcalf is going pro. The redshirt sophomore will enter the NFL draft, even though a neck injury ended his 2018 season prematurely. 

I had a month to weigh my options,” Metcalf told Pete Thamel of Yahoo Sports. “I prayed to God and told Him to put the right decision in me. After meeting with Coach [Matt] Luke, they did everything they could to give me the right information, and I made my choice.”

Metcalf’s true freshman season ended after just two games thanks to a broken foot, but he returned in 2017 to average 16.6 yards per catch and score seven touchdowns. This year, he was averaging 21.9 yards per grab and notched five TDs in seven games before he was shut down for the season.

His injury history will be a concern, but he’s still expected to be among this year’s top draft prospects.

He’s raw, but there’s a lot of upside because he’s so big and talented,” an NFL scout told Yahoo Sports. “He’ll probably go in the second round because he’s so talented. He’s going to kill workouts, and he’s a good kid and football is important to him. I’d be shocked if the health checks out if he lasts past the second round.”

Metcalf says he’ll be ready to fully participate in all football activities on Jan. 22. If he can prove that he’s healthy, the son of former NFL lineman Terrence Metcalf could find himself in the first round mix.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Injury Notes: Fins, Falcons, Cowboys, Browns

The Dolphins have already ruled out quarterback Ryan Tannehill for their Week 7 contest against the Lions, and the NFL is now investigating how Miami handled reporting Tannehill’s shoulder injury in Week 6, as Cameron Wolfe of ESPN.com reports. Tannehill was a full participant in both Wednesday and Thursday practice last week, but was limited on Friday before being inactive against the Bears on Sunday. The league will often look into such cases where injury designations present something of a question mark; some clubs are subsequently fined, others are cleared, tweets Tom Pelissero of NFL.com. Without Tannehill available, Miami will once again deploy Brock Osweiler, who threw for a career-high 380 yards against Chicago.

Here’s more injury news from around the NFL:

  • Falcons running back Devonta Freeman will undergo surgery on Thursday to repair his groin injury, per Vaughn McClure of ESPN.com (Twitter link). Freeman’s recovery timeline isn’t yet clear, but reports yesterday did indicate that Freeman — who was placed on injured reserve Tuesday — could return later this season. Because he’s now on IR, Freeman must miss at least eight games before coming back. Various health issues have limited Freeman to just two games this season, during which he averaged 4.9 yards per carry on 14 touches. With Freeman unavailable, Atlanta will turn to a tandem of Tevin Coleman and Ito Smith in its backfield.
  • Tavon Austin is getting a second opinion on his groin injury in the near future, and the Cowboys will wait to hear that diagnosis before deciding on an injured reserve move, tweets Clarence Hill of the Star Telegram. Austin, who Dallas acquired from the Rams earlier this year, has lined up at both receiver and running back this season, managing seven receptions and six rushes on the year. If Austin is placed on IR, the Cowboys will continue to lean on an uninspiring group of pass-catchers that includes Allen Hurns, Michael Gallup, Cole Beasley, and Deonte Thompson. Dallas would need to find a new punt returner, as Austin has handled all but one of the club’s punt returns.
  • Browns linebacker Joe Schobert will be sidelined for “a little while” as he deals with with a hamstring injury, head coach Hue Jackson told reporters, including Mary Kay Cabot of Cleveland.com (Twitter link). Losing Schobert for any amount of time is devastating for Cleveland, as he’s played nearly every snap on defense while ranking as a top-10 linebacker league-wide, per Pro Football Focus. With Schobert down, the Browns will likely deploy Christian Kirksey and Jamie Collins as their nickel linebackers. Cleveland’s linebacker depth already took a hit earlier this week when James Burgess was placed on injured reserve.
  • Turning to the college game, Ole Miss receiver D.K. Metcalf will miss the remainder of the season after suffering a neck injury last weekend, according to Nick Suss of the Clarion-Ledger. Metcalf is a redshirt sophomore, so he could potentially enter the 2019 draft if he so chooses. But given his injury, Metcalf may choose to head back to school in order to put more highlights on tape. Per Suss, Metcalf is viewed as a potential Day 2 pick.