Demaryius Thomas

Injury Notes: 9/20/19

Here are the latest significant injury-related notes from around the league:

  • Marshall Newhouse, whom the Patriots signed last week, will serve as the club’s starting left tackle until Isaiah Wynn returns, per Doug Kyed of NESN.com (via Twitter).
  • As expected, Eagles wide receiver DeSean Jackson will not play in Week 3, but the club is still optimistic about the availability of Alshon Jeffery and Dallas Goedert, as Eliot Shorr-Parks of 94WIP.com tweets.
  • Buccaneers LB Devin White will not play this weekend, per Greg Auman of The Athletic (Twitter link).
  • Giants wide receiver Sterling Shepard is out of the concussion protocol and will play in Week 3 per Jordan Raanan of ESPN.com (via PFT). Rookie QB Daniel Jones will be making his first start, so Shepard’s presence will be especially helpful.
  • The Seahawks are getting closer to full strength, as both WR David Moore and defensive end Ezekiel Ansah are expected to play in Week 3, per Curtis Crabtree of Pro Football Talk. We had already heard that Ansah was likely to make his Seattle debut this weekend, but Moore’s return is earlier than expected, even after we learned at the end of August that he would avoid IR.
  • Top Jets defenders C.J. Mosley and Quinnen Williams are not expected to play this week, as Rich Cimini of ESPN.com tweets. The Week 3 outlook is also bleak for WR Demaryius Thomas and LB Jordan Jenkins.
  • Tyler Kroft‘s Bills debut may be put on hold for awhile longer. Kroft was a full participant in Wednesday’s practice, but as Josh Alper of Pro Football Talk writes, Buffalo HC Sean McDermott told reporters that Kroft injured his ankle in Thursday’s practice and will undergo further evaluation.

Jets Notes: Darnold, Mosley, Bell

Sam Darnold will miss this Sunday’s contest against the Browns after being diagnosed with mononucleosis and the quarterback could miss extended time, as Rich Cimini of ESPN.com relays. The risk of contagion is high with the infection and the Jets have quarantined Darnold so that he would not spread it to any of his teammates.

Trevor Siemian, who signed with the Jets this offseason, will start in Darnold’s place. Siemian is 13-11 as a starter, all of which from his time with the Broncos.

It’s unclear how many games Darnold will miss, though with New York’s bye coming in week 4, it would be surprised if we saw him on the field before then.

Here’s more from New York:

  • Brian Costello of the New York Post hears from a former NFL team physician that Darnold could miss four-to-six weeks with the ailment. “With this diagnosis of mono, an injured-reserve stint is not off the table,” Dr. David Chao said. “I’m not saying he’s going on injured reserve but this starts at four to six weeks. Any four-to-six-week injury puts IR in the conversation.”
  • LB C.J. Mosley and DL Quinnen Williams did not practice this week and are officially out for Monday’s game against Cleveland, Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News tweets. Mosley is dealing with a groin injury while Williams has a bad ankle.
  • Le’Veon Bell is dealing with an injured shoulder and is officially questionable for Monday’s game, per the team’s Twitter feed. New addition Demaryius Thomas is also among the players who may not play in the game.

Patriots Trade Demaryius Thomas To Jets

The Patriots have traded wide receiver Demaryius Thomas to the Jets, according to ESPN.com’s Adam Schefter (on Twitter). In exchange, the Jets will send a 2021 sixth-round pick to New England. 

It’s a rare intra-divisional trade for two teams that have a storied history together. But, after the Patriots used draft capital to strengthen their offensive line in August, they were eager to recoup some ammo. Meanwhile, head coach Adam Gase was eager to reunite with Thomas, who was among the league’s best receivers during their time together in Denver.

Thomas is now on to his fourth team in the past year after being traded for the second time in 2019. The first swap saw him traded from the Broncos to the Texans just prior to the 2018 trade deadline. Now, after a cup of coffee with the Pats, he’s on to the Jets.

The Jets believe that Thomas can help them move the chains, even though he’s clearly not the player that he once was. The Patriots, meanwhile, will have the services of newcomer Antonio Brown, one of the game’s greatest receivers of all-time.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Patriots Give Demaryius Thomas Raise

One of a few teams to release a vested veteran over the weekend rather than expose a non-vested player to waivers, the Patriots re-signed Demaryius Thomas in advance of Week 1. The defending Super Bowl champions will give the 10th-year veteran a raise as well.

The Pats increased Thomas’ base salary from $1.2MM to $1.5MM, Field Yates of ESPN.com tweets. While this is minimal compared to what Thomas entered last season earning, the Patriots now have two Pro Bowlers (Thomas and Josh Gordon) and a Super Bowl MVP in their receiving corps.

Thomas entered last season in the fourth year of his five-year, $70MM deal he and the Broncos hammered out at the 2015 franchise tag deadline. The 31-year-old talent may now be a week-to-week proposition, depending on how he looks, health-wise. The Pats have not been shy about cutting veteran wideouts over the past two years, and Thomas’ status may be tenuous if/when N’Keal Harry comes off IR.

The 2010 first-round pick spent much of Patriots camp on the active/PUP list but was activated in time for a seven-catch, 87-yard, two-touchdown showing in the team’s final preseason game. Thomas suffered his severe Achilles injury in Week 16 of last season and said no other teams expressed interest. The four-time Pro Bowler, who posted 677 yards and five touchdown catches in 2018, will have a chance to prove he can still contribute.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Patriots Re-Sign WR Demaryius Thomas

Demaryius Thomas didn’t leave New England long enough for the team to even miss him. On Monday morning, the Patriots and Thomas agreed to a new one-year deal, Adam Schefter of ESPN.com tweets.

[RELATED: Patriots Place Harry On IR]

This was likely the plan all along. The Patriots wanted to place rookie N’Keal Harry on injured reserve while leaving the door open to his return in the second half of the season. That would not have been possible had they placed Harry on IR over the weekend. So, instead, they cut Thomas, placed Harry on IR on Monday, and re-signed Thomas moments later.

Thomas isn’t the player he once was, but he did show glimpses of his old self in preseason. In the Pats’ preseason finale, he caught seven passes for 87 yards and two scores.

Patriots To Bring Back Demaryius Thomas?

The Patriots cut free agent signee Demaryius Thomas yesterday, but Mike Reiss of ESPN.com says the door is open for Thomas to re-sign with the team. Indeed, Reiss says “there is an expectation” that Thomas will return to New England.

The longtime Broncos star is on the back nine of his career, but his strong route running could make him a productive role player in the Pats’ precision offense. He is still working his way back from an Achilles tear that he suffered in December, and he played in the Patriots’ preseason finale Thursday, his first game action since the injury. He looked good against fringe NFLers, compiling seven catches for 87 yards and two scores.

Reiss suggests that New England’s decision to release Thomas allowed the team to keep punt returner Gunner Olszewski, who, unlike Thomas, would have had to clear waivers if he had been cut. The move also allowed the Pats to include rookie wideout N’Keal Harry on the initial 53-man roster, which will make him eligible to return later in the season if he is forced to go on IR. Harry has been sidelined since suffering an injury in the preseason opener.

But if the Pats do want Thomas back, they could have some competition. A source tells Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk that the Broncos — whose WR depth chart is generally very green — are interested in a reunion.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Patriots To Release Demaryius Thomas

Demaryius Thomas did not end up making the Patriots’ 53-man roster. The defending Super Bowl champions will release the veteran wide receiver, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets.

The Pro Bowl wideout played in New England’s fourth preseason game after being activated from the Pats’ active/PUP list. But he will return to free agency.

Thomas caught seven passes in the Pats’ preseason finale, which admittedly was scattered with far less experienced cover men, but Rapoport notes the 31-year-old target is still working back to full strength. Thomas tore his Achilles in December of last season and, like former Broncos teammate Emmanuel Sanders, spend the offseason rehabbing that tendon.

The Pats guaranteed Thomas just $300K; the nine-year veteran said he did not receive much interest elsewhere. His preseason performance could entice a team to bring him aboard, but for the time being, the former Super Bowl starter is unattached.

Patriots Notes: Andrews, Thomas, Harris, Roberts

We learned earlier this evening that Patriots center David Andrews was hospitalized due to blood clots in his lungs. Fortunately, there’s some good news on that front, as Jim McBride of the Boston Globe tweets that the lineman has been released from the hospital.

Andrews is expected to miss a significant amount of time, with the initial report indicating that the lineman’s season is in jeopardy. This would be a significant loss to the Patriots’ line, as the 27-year-old has been the team’s primary center since 2015.

Some more notes out of New England…

  • Wideout Demaryius Thomas told reporters (including ESPN’s Mike Reiss) that the Patriots were the only team to express interest in him this past offseason. After tearing his Achilles following a trade to the Texans, the 31-year-old ended up inking a one-year deal with New England this offseason. He finished last season with 59 receptions for 677 yards and five touchdowns.
  • The Patriots waived both DE Keionta Davis and WR Maurice Harris this past weekend, and veteran NFL reporter Howard Balzer tweets that the duo were cut with the injury designation. The two ended up clearing waivers are have now been placed on the injured reserve. Harris initially seemed like a lock to make the Patriots roster, but the team’s sudden receiver depth left him without a spot.
  • Rookie running back Damien Harris was injured during the Patriots preseason win on Thursday, and the team is apparently eyeing some reinforcement at the position. NESN.com’s Doug Kyed tweets that the team worked out former Washington State running back James Williams today. The undrafted free agent has already had stints with the Chiefs and Colts.
  • Reiss points to linebacker Elandon Roberts as a potential trade chip, noting that the fourth-year player has only played 14 defensive snaps this preseason. While the 25-year-old normally doesn’t cover kickoffs, the team may show him off for potential suitors during the team’s preseason finale. Reiss wonders if the Lions and former Pats defensive coordinator Matt Patricia could be a fit.

East Rumors: Cowboys, Patriots, Copeland

The Jaylon Smith extension tethers the emerging linebacker to the Cowboys through the 2025 season, and Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk notes the deal will give 24-year-old standout $19MM fully guaranteed at signing. Both this figure and Smith’s AAV ($12.5MM) place him sixth among off-ball linebackers, giving this pact a win-win feel for the Cowboys and a player who recovered from a serious injury to move into lucrative extension position.

Smith will be 30 by the time this contract expires but will only be 27 by the time the guarantees stop in 2022. The deal contains a $5.17MM base salary for 2020, which is fully guaranteed, and a $7.2MM base for 2021. This contract includes injury guarantees for both Smith’s 2021 and 2022 base salaries — $7.2MM and $9.2MM, respectively — and those become full guarantees on the fifth day of each year. Additionally, the deal contains a $500K de-escalator, Florio adds. This will take effect if Smith fails to show for 90% of Dallas’ offseason workouts.

The Cowboys still have the same four key UFAs-to-be as they did to start the week — Dak Prescott, Amari Cooper, Byron Jones and La’el Collins — and Ezekiel Elliott remains a holdout. But the team checked off a key piece of its complicated contract checklist in locking down Smith, who would have been a 2020 RFA.

Here is the latest from the East divisions:

  • More good news for the Patriots‘ wide receiver situation. Demaryius Thomas came off the active/PUP list, Mike Reiss of ESPN.com tweets. This marks a key step for the former Pro Bowler. Thomas is not a lock to make New England’s 53-man roster and can no longer be stashed on the team’s reserve/PUP list to start the season. With Thomas unlikely to play in New England’s fourth preseason game, he has a short time to prove he belongs on the final roster. But the Pats taking him off their PUP list leads NESN.com’s Doug Kyed to project the 31-year-old target will be one of the 53-man unit’s receivers.
  • Josh Gordon‘s return obviously strengthens the Pats’ receiving corps, but it will make their roster crunch more difficult. Gordon, Thomas, Julian Edelman, N’Keal Harry, rookie Jakobi Meyers, Phillip Dorsett and Maurice Harris will not all be on the Pats’ 53-man roster, and Ben Volin of the Boston Globe looks to have Harris on the wrong side of the bubble (Twitter link). The former Redskins auxiliary cog signed with the Pats in free agency and impressed early in camp, but he’s dealing with a leg injury presently. The recent developments involving higher-profile players may push him back to free agency.
  • Brandon Copeland issued a denial in knowingly taking a banned substance, via Instagram. While this could be expected, given how post-PED fallouts usually unfold, the Jets linebacker is out four games. This further thins out the Jets’ edge defender crew, which was already a weak spot for the AFC’s Big Apple franchise. Copeland registered five sacks last season.

Patriots Notes: Thomas, Michel, Gronk, Wynn

Demaryius Thomas is not a lock to make the Patriots’ 53-man roster and may well begin the season on the reserve/PUP list. The Patriots started that process Sunday by placing the Pro Bowl wide receiver on their active/PUP list, which applies to players not healthy enough to begin participating in training camp. The Pats used the same designation for Sony Michel, Field Yates of ESPN.com tweets. Michel will certainly be part of the 2019 Patriots and is recovering from offseason knee surgery. Thomas tore an Achilles in December, joining longtime receiver teammate Emmanuel Sanders in that regard. The latter, however, is further along in his recovery, having not started Broncos camp on the PUP list.

Here is the latest out of New England:

  • Patriots third-round pick Yodny Cajuste underwent quadriceps surgery before the draft and landed on the defending Super Bowl champions’ reserve/NFI list, Mike Reiss of ESPN.com tweets. As is the case with the active/PUP list, players can come off this list at any point during camp. Cajuste figures to mix in as a swing option for the Patriots as a rookie.
  • If Rob Gronkowski does follow through on a comeback, might the Patriots be wise to assure him blocking responsibilities will be limited? While the future Hall of Famer was a plus blocker for his position, Jim McBride of the Boston Globe suggests the Pats use Gronk as a hybrid-type player that does not have the same kind of in-line role he previously held. The 30-year-old icon has slimmed down this offseason, one that has reportedly not featured much in the way of strength work.
  • Deatrich Wise and Nate Ebner will join Thomas and Michel on the Pats’ active/PUP list, Reiss tweets. A third-year defensive end, Wise has not missed a game in two seasons.
  • Isaiah Wynn, however, will not appear on the Pats’ active/PUP list, Reiss adds (via Twitter). The 2018 first-round pick missed all of his rookie season due to a torn Achilles’ tendon. Suffering the injury before last season began, Wynn is expected to suit up when the Patriots convene for their 2019 camp and line up as New England’s starting left tackle.
  • The Pats do not appear to have an open spot at quarterback, with Reiss noting Brian Hoyer will stick as Tom Brady‘s top backup and rookie Jarrett Stidham is likely assured of a roster spot as the team’s latest developmental QB project. This puts 2018 seventh-round pick Danny Etling on the verge of again falling short of a spot on the team’s active roster. But he may have an outside shot as a Taysom Hill-like role, per Reiss. While the Purdue and LSU alum never rushed for more than 200 yards in a season in college, Reiss points to his 86-yard touchdown run during 2018 preseason play as a sign this outside-the-box notion could work. The Patriots probably aren’t too eager to take Brady off the field, however.