J.J. Wilcox

Falcons S J.J. Wilcox Tears ACL

The Falcons have dealt with extensive injury trouble at the safety position recently, and they lost one for the season on Monday.

J.J. Wilcox agreed to an Atlanta deal in April but may end up never putting on a Falcons game uniform. Wilcox suffered a torn ACL on the first day of Falcons training camp, as Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets. Although he had a second opinion scheduled, head coach Dan Quinn confirmed that it is indeed a season-ender (via Will McFadden of AtlantaFalcons.com). The team has placed Wilcox on the reserve/injured list.

Wilcox’s injury comes after a season that saw the Falcons lose both starting safeties — Keanu Neal and Ricardo Allen — to season-ending maladies in September. A former Cowboys starter who has played a depth role with the Steelers, Jets and Colts, Wilcox was expected to compete for a Falcons backup job this season. A full-time Dallas starter from 2014-15, the 28-year-old defender played 138 snaps last season.

Despite this early setback, the Falcons still boast experience at safety. Because of the injuries to Neal and Allen last season, backups Damontae Kazee and Sharrod Neasman received extensive work in 2018. Kazee graded as a top-20 safety, per Pro Football Focus. Both he and Neasman remain on the roster.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Falcons Sign J.J. Wilcox

On Monday, the Falcons announced the signing of safety J.J. Wilcox to a one-year deal. Wilcox, 28, played for both the Colts and Jets in 2018.

Wilcox hooked on with the Jets in June of last year and appeared in five games before being released in October. Later on, he saw time in two regular season games with the Colts, plus one playoff contest.

His most notable run came with the Cowboys, where he started 38 games as a safety and recorded 212 tackles, 15 pass defenses, five interceptions, and three fumble recoveries across four seasons.

This year, the Falcons will return safeties Ricardo Allen, Keanu Neal, Damontae Kazee, and Sharrod Neasman. They’ve also added Chris Cooper and Afolabi Laguda, but Wilcox will fight for his spot and playing time in camp.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Colts Sign J.J. Wilcox

The Colts signed free agent safety J.J. Wilcox, according to a team announcement. In related moves, the club placed linebacker Skai Moore (neck) and defensive lineman Al Woods (foot) on injured reserve. 

Wilcox, 6’0″, 212-pound veteran, has 75 career games to his credit with the Jets (2018), Steelers (2017) and Cowboys (2013-16). He didn’t do much for the Jets in his five games this season, but he’ll look to rebuild his stock for a Colts team that is pushing to make the playoffs.

Woods, 31, left the Titans in March of 2017 to sign with their divisional rival. This is the final year of his two-year, $5MM deal, so it’s possible that he has played his final game for Indianapolis. Before the foot injury, Woods appeared in all 14 games (eight starts) for the Colts and tallied 24 tackles, a tackle for loss, and one pass defensed.

If the Colts can top the Giants and Titans in the next two weeks, they’re nearly guaranteed a spot in the postseason. These injuries may thin out their defense a bit, but they’re still one of the hottest teams in the league at this juncture.

NFL Workout Updates: 11/13/18

Here’s the latest from the workout circuit. All links go to NFL reporter Howard Balzer’s Twitter account, unless otherwise noted.

Arizona Cardinals

Detroit Lions

Indianapolis Colts

Jacksonville Jaguars

New Orleans Saints

New York Jets

Oakland Raiders

Tennessee Titans

NFL Workout Updates: 11/6/18

Today’s workout updates, with all links going to veteran NFL reporter Howard Balzer’s Twitter account unless otherwise noted:

Arizona Cardinals

Cleveland Browns

Denver Broncos

  • LB Christian Kuntz

Green Bay Packers

Indianapolis Colts

Miami Dolphins

New England Patriots

Oakland Raiders

  • T Roubbens Joseph (Twitter link via Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle)

San Francisco 49ers

Seattle Seahawks

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Washington Redskins

NFL Workout Updates: 10/29/18

Here’s the latest from the workout circuit. All links to veteran NFL reporter Howard Balzer’s Twitter account, unless otherwise specified.

Buffalo Bills

Indianapolis Colts

New York Giants

Seattle Seahawks

Tennessee Titans

Washington Redskins

NFL Workout Updates: 10/17/18

Today’s workout updates, with all links going to veteran NFL reporter Howard Balzer’s Twitter account:

Cleveland Browns

Green Bay Packers

Houston Texans

Indianapolis Colts

New England Patriots

New York Giants

Washington Redskins

Jets Release S J.J. Wilcox

The Jets have released safety J.J. Wilcox, per a team announcement. The move will make room for the return of cornerback Rashard Robinson, who has been activated after serving his suspension.

Wilcox and the 49ers were on the one-yard line of talks this past summer before the safety bailed to ink a one-year, $1.25MM deal with the Jets. Wilcox was drawn to the Jets because of Todd Bowles and the opportunity provided by Rontez Miles‘ torn meniscus, but he didn’t do a whole lot for Gang Green during his five-week stay. After totaling just three tackles, Wilcox is being placed back on the curb.

The six-year veteran played his best football with the Cowboys after they selected him in the third-round of the 2013 draft. After four years in Dallas, he signed a free agent deal with the Bucs in 2017, but he was shipped to the Steelers before he could ever wear red and pewter in live action.

Robinson served a four-game suspension to start the season and practiced with the Jets last week on a roster exemption. The cornerback appeared in six games for the Jets last year after coming over in an October trade with the Niners.

AFC East Notes: Jets, Wilcox, Edelman

Earlier this month, the 49ers thought they had a deal with free agent J.J. Wilcox. However, the safety backed out of the agreement at the last minute in order to sign with the Jets. Ultimately, Wilcox says it was an easy call for him to make.

It was a three-way decision. It was the 49ers, the Jets and my family,” Wilcox said (via NewYorkJets.com). “We came to a decision that it was best to come here. It was an opportunity that was un-turn-down-able and you’ve just got to take it.

Wilcox indicated that the presence of head coach Todd Bowles was a significant factor in his decision. Wilcox and Bowles first became acquainted with each other during his pre-draft process. Although Bowles’ Cardinals did not draft him in 2013, Wilcox said he gained a great deal of respect for Bowles and liked the idea of playing for a former safety.

He was a defensive-minded coach, he played the position,” Wilcox said. “When you look at that kind of stuff, you want to go to a guy that knows your position who knows how to make players into great players.”

After signing a one-year, $1.25MM deal with the Jets, Wilcox is now set to be one of the team’s top reserve safeties in the wake of Rontez Miles‘ knee injury.

Here’s more from the AFC East:

  • Julian Edelman should learn the outcome of his appeal rather soon, but it’s hard to say exactly when that will happen, as Mike Florio of PFT writes. The Patriots wide receiver is fighting a four-game ban for a violation of the PED policy and the appeal reportedly got underway on Monday. The CBA dictates that the arbitrator must deliver a ruling within three business days of the completion of the hearing or receipt of the transcript, whichever comes later. Hypothetically, if the transcript is received by the arbitrator on Friday, June 29, a ruling could come down by Thursday, July 5. If the suspension sticks, Edelman will miss games against the Texans, Jaguars, Lions, and Dolphins.
  • The Jets‘ belief in Eric Tomlinson probably factored into their decision to let Austin Seferian-Jenkins walk in free agency, Brian Costello of the New York Post writes. The Jets are hoping that Tomlinson’s blocking – along with the play of Jordan Leggett, Neal Sterling, and Chris Herndon – will get the job done. Tomlinson also flashed receiving skills in a limited sample last year, so he could be a factor in the passing game as well.

AFC East Notes: Patriots, Rowe, Jets

The Patriots‘ final roster could include a sixth cornerback, as Doug Kyed of NESN.com writes. Right now, he expects the Pats to roll into the season with Stephon Gilmore, Duke Dawson, Jonathan Jones, Jason McCourty, and Eric Rowe as their top five cornerbacks.

However, J.C. Jackson is also making a strong case and has been getting more reps in the starting defense than Rowe this offseason. Keion Crossen and Ryan Lewis have also looked sharp and Cyrus Jones‘ return ability should keep him in the conversation. The only corner who seems to be out of the conversation is Jomal Wiltz, an Iowa State product who spent last year on New England’s taxi squad.

Here’s more from the AFC East: