Jameis Winston

NFC Notes: Bears, Floyd, Redskins, Pryor

Bears coach John Fox says linebacker Leonard Floyd is going to miss some time, but he would not commit to putting Floyd on injured reserve when speaking to reporters on Monday (Twitter link via Rich Campbell of the Chicago Tribune). That’s because the team believes that he does not have a torn ACL, so a return later in the year is still possible. All in all, it’s good news for Floyd after he was carted off the field in Sunday’s loss to the Lions.

Here’s more from the NFC:

  • Redskins wide receiver Terrelle Pryor is getting arthroscopic surgery on his ankle, a source tells Mike Jones of the Washington Post (on Twitter). Doctors should have a better idea of his recovery timetable after he goes under the knife. Pryor, a big free agent signing, has yet to really shine in Washington. To date, he has 20 catches for 240 yards with one touchdown in nine games.
  • Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston‘s shoulder was re-evaluated today and he is not ready to return, head coach Dirk Koetter tells reporters (Twitter link via Jenna Laine of ESPN.com). Winston will be out this week against the Falcons, but doctors will check him out next week.
  • Cardinals coach Bruce Arians says Blaine Gabbert will start again this week (Twitter link via Darren Urban of AZCardinals.com). The plan, he says, is to stick with him until Drew Stanton is totally healthy. Gabbert completed 22-of-34 of his passes for 257 yards with three touchdowns and two interceptions, both occurring late in the game. He did a solid job overall, but the Cardinals wound up falling short and falling to 4-6 on the year.
  • Packers defensive lineman Kenny Clark suffered a high-ankle sprain on Sunday, a source tells Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (on Twitter). The injury does not appear to be a season-ender, but he may miss multiple games.

Ronald Darby Issues Statement On Jameis Winston

The Uber driver who has accused Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston of groping her in March 2016 has said that she and Winston were alone in her vehicle at the time of the alleged incident, whereas Winston’s representatives say there were several people in the car, and that Winston was in the backseat. Now, Eagles cornerback (and Winston’s former collegiate teammate) Ronald Darby has spoken out on Winston’s behalf, as Adam Schefter of ESPN.com reports.

Jameis Winston (vertical)

Darby, whom the Eagles acquired in a trade with Buffalo this offseason — but who has only suited up for one game this season due to an ankle injury — issued a statement this morning indicating that he was one of the other passengers in the vehicle. He said:

“I felt the need to come forward and clarify some inaccurate accounts of the evening of March 13, 2016 when myself, a friend and Jameis Winston took an Uber ride in Arizona. There were three of us in the car, not just one as has been reported. Myself and Jameis were in the backseat. I am confident that nothing inappropriate in nature happened in the car that evening and Jameis did not have any physical contact with the Uber driver. The accusations are just not true.”

Darby and Winston were teammates at Florida State in 2013 and 2014, and both were selected in the 2015 draft (Winston, of course, was the first overall pick in that draft, while Darby was taken with the 50th overall selection). And, as Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk observes, this marks the second time that Darby has witnessed an incident that resulted in Winston’s being accused of sexual misconduct. Darby was in Winston’s apartment the night Winston was accused of sexually assaulting a fellow FSU student in 2012.

Schefter also reports that the NFL has still not informed the NFL Players Association that there is now an investigation of one of its players, which the league is required to do. While everyone knows that the investigation has been launched, and the league’s informing the NFLPA of the same is largely just a formality, the fact that it has not been done is an inauspicious start to what many expect will be another messy, drawn-out process.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

NFC Notes: Winston, Wilson, Lane, Saints O-Line

We now know that the NFL is investigating an incident regarding Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston and an uber driver from last year. The female uber driver claimed that the former number one overall pick groped her during a ride, but Winston has denied those allegations. but adding onto this story, Steve Wyche of NFL.com reports in a Twitter video, that the 23 year-old signal caller will not go on the exempt list because no charges have filed as of yet.

However, it might not be long until the quarterback faces suspension from the league, according to Roy Cummings of Florida Football Insiders. Cummings says that while Winston may avoid suspension for the rest of the year because the investigation could take some time, but notes that sexual assault allegations have resulted in missed time in the past. The writer points to when Ben Roethlisberger was suspended for four games back when he faced similar charges in 2010.

The story is still unfolding, so while Winston’s playing outlook is in flux given his current injury, this situation adds an unexpected twist to his 2017 season and perhaps even in 2018.

  • Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson shed some light on the jaw injury that he suffered vs. Arizona last Thursday in a session with the media today. The signal caller said that while he wasn’t concussed in the game, his jaw injury forced him to undergo some drastic treatment in the days after, according to Bob Condotta of The Seattle Times.  Condotta relays that Wilson was forced to wear a mouthguard and could not eat solid foods for the three days following the midweek contest. “Basically, the game was on Thursday, so Friday, Saturday, Sunday, and Monday, I was pretty sore,” he said. “Tons of ice and treatment and all of that, so I feel good now. … the first two-and-a-half, three days, I couldn’t really eat anything. I was just doing smoothies and all that kind of stuff.” While the injury does sound painful, it looks like Wilson is going to tough it out for Monday night’s game vs. the Falcons.
  • While Wilson will remain in the starting lineup, another team leader in Richard Sherman will miss the rest of the season. With that news finally settling in for Seahawks fans, Condotta also passes along that cornerback Jeremy Lane will replace him in the defensive backfield (Twitter link). Lane was notably rescinded in the Duane Brown trade because he failed the Texans physical, and now finds himself as a key cog to Seattle staying afloat in a competitive NFC playoff picture.
  • The Saints have been one of the hottest teams in football winning their last seven games after dropping their first two at the start of the regular season. A big reason for this has been the emergence of arguably the league’s best 1-2 backfield punch that includes veteran Mark Ingram and rookie Alvin Kamara. However, Joel Erickson of the New Orleans Advocate notes that the team has been helped by some notable early returns on their offensive line. Erickson states that three of the team’s starting lineman have returned sooner than expected, including guard Larry Warford, center Max Unger and left tackle Terron Armstead. Warford returned this past Sunday from an abdominal strain, missing only two games, Unger progressed ahead of schedule from offseason Lisfranc surgery and Armstead’s return was premature after suffering a torn labrum. All three lineman have helped the Saints offense change it’s identity to a more ground and pound style, which has been on full display in the past seven weeks.

NFC Notes: Winston, 49ers, Cards, Pryor

The woman who accused Jameis Winston of groping her in an Uber vehicle in 2016, via Buzzfeed report earlier today, said only she and Winston were in the car at the time. But Winston’s representatives assert there were several people in the car, with the Buccaneers quarterback sitting in the backseat, NFL.com reports. Winston’s statement pointed to there being multiple passengers in the vehicle as well. Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (Twitter links) listened to the voicemail an Uber representative sent Winston, with the phrase “you or someone else in your vehicle engaged in inappropriate behavior” used. This led to Winston being banned from Uber but also has the third-year passer’s representatives saying there were more people in the car than the accuser’s account suggests.

Here’s the latest from the NFC.

  • The knee sprain Drew Stanton suffered will lead to the Cardinals starting a third quarterback this season. Bruce Arians said Blaine Gabbert will start Sunday against the Texans, marking the first time since October 2016 Gabbert will have started a game. Josh Weinfuss of ESPN.com notes it will be a game-time decision for who will be Gabbert’s backup. Stanton, who sprained a knee against the Seahawks, being healthy enough to be an in-case-of-emergency option will make him the No. 2. If not, recently signed Matt Barkley will serve as the backup. This marks the second time in four seasons the Cardinals have needed to start three quarterbacks. This happened in 2014, when Carson Palmer, Stanton and Ryan Lindley opened with that playoff-qualifying team’s first unit.
  • John Lynch said the 49ers don’t need to see Jimmy Garoppolo start a certain number of games in order to make a judgment about him for the future. The rookie GM the franchise’s view of the longtime Patriots backup has been enhanced by Garoppolo’s first few weeks in San Francisco despite him not seeing game action yet. “We know what we like about Jimmy Garoppolo. And that’s only been strengthened by the time that’s he’s been here,” Lynch said (via Matt Maiocco of NBC Sports Bay Area). “We’re just going to let these things play out. People have had all these ideas about why we got Jimmy. We got Jimmy because we think he has big-time ability at the quarterback position. And we believe so much – to get where we need to get – you have to have a franchise quarterback. We think he’s got that ability. Whether that happens, when that happens, we’ll see. But we certainly like his future with the 49ers.”
  • Both Terrelle Pryor and Jordan Reed will miss the Redskins‘ Week 11 against the Saints, and Pryor’s ankle injury looks like one that could shelve him for multiple weeks. Pryor will see Dr. James Andrews about his ankle, Master Tefatsion of the Washington Post reports (on Twitter). Signed to a one-year contract, Pryor has been demoted from Washington’s first unit and now hopes he can return this season — one that’s doubled as a grim contract year. Center Spencer Long will also miss Washington’s game in New Orleans.
  • On the subject of less-than-ideal contract years, Ziggy Ansah will miss a second straight game with a back injury, Michael Rothstein of ESPN.com reports. Injuries have limited the Lions defensive end for the past two seasons and figure to be a key part of the discussion once his contract expires after 2017. He has four sacks — all coming in two games — this season.
  • Mike Remmers experienced a concussion protocol setback this week and will miss the Vikings‘ Week 11 game against the Rams, Chris Tomasson of the St. Paul Pioneer Press reports. Andrew Sendejo will also miss Sunday’s game, the safety being out due to groin and hamstring pain. Rashod Hill and Anthony Harris will respectively replace the ailing duo in Minnesota’s starting lineup.

NFL Investigating Bucs QB Jameis Winston

An Uber driver alleges that she was groped by Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston in March of last year, Talal Ansari of BuzzFeed News has learned. In a letter to the alleged victim, lead NFL investigator Lisa Friel indicated that an investigation is underway. Jameis Winston (Vertical)

The League has been informed that you may have been the victim of such a violation perpetrated by Tampa Bay Buccaneers player Jameis Winston,” the letter reads. “The league takes allegations of this nature very seriously and has opened an investigation into this matter.”

The female driver, identified only as Kate, says that she picked up Winston early on a Sunday morning. His friends placed him in the front seat, even though he was the only passenger. Kate agreed to take Winston to get fast food and the quarterback, she says, placed his hand on her crotch while they were waiting at the drive-thru.

Meanwhile, a Winston’s representative, Russ Spielman, issued a statement denying the allegations:

We categorically deny this allegation. It is our understanding the Uber driver was unable to identify the specific individual who allegedly touched this driver inappropriately. The only reason his name is being dragged in to this is that his Uber account was used to call the ride.”

An Uber spokesperson issued a statement as well, indicating Winston is “permanently banned” from using the app.

The behavior the driver reported is disturbing and wrong,” the statement read (via Greg Auman of the Tampa Bay Times, on Twitter). “The rider was permanently removed from the app shortly after we learned of the incident.”

Winston has since released a statement on the matter. The third-year Bucs quarterback does not deny he was in the car at that point but said he was not the person in the front seat at the time this alleged incident occurred.

(Buzzfeed’s story) falsely accuses me of making inappropriate contact with this driver. I believe the driver was confused as to the number of passengers in the car and who was sitting next to her,” Winston said (via Twitter). “The accusation is false, and given the nature of the allegation and increased awareness and consideration of these types of matters, I am addressing this false report immediately. At the time of the alleged incident, I denied the allegations to Uber, yet they still decided to suspend my account.

I am supportive of the national movement to raise awareness and develop better responses to the concerns of parties who find themselves in these types of situations, but this accusation is false. While I am certain I did not make any inappropriate contact, I don’t want to engage in a battle with the driver and I regret if my demeanor or presence made her uncomfortable in any way.”

Buccaneers coach Dirk Koetter told reporters that the team will soon release a statement on the matter. The franchise has since done so.

We are in the process of obtaining further information regarding today’s media report,” the team said in a statement. “We take these matters seriously and are fully supportive of the investigation that is being conducted by the NFL.”

Winston has encountered trouble on this front before. While at Florida State, the quarterback was accused of rape in 2012. However, Tallahassee, Fla., police did not charge him with a crime in connection with that alleged incident. In 2016, Winston settled a civil suit with his accuser.

No police report was filed by this latest accuser with the Phoenix or Scottsdale, Ariz., Police Departments, Jenna Laine of ESPN.com reports.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Injury Notes: Winston, Freeman, Fuller, Hurns

We heard yesterday that Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston could miss “an extended period” of time as he recovered from a shoulder injury. However, head coach Dirk Koetter was still adamant that the franchise signal-caller would take the field again this season.

“Again, (the plan we adopted) was for Jameis to rest for two weeks and then we’re going to see where he’s at,” Koetter said (via Roy Cummings of Florida Football Insiders). “We’ve talked to multiple doctors (about it) and that’s what the plan is.

 “And I know that Jameis plans on playing again (this year). And there’s been no discussion between Jason and myself of him not playing again so that would all be something that would have to come up in the future.’’

Let’s take a look at some more injury notes from around the NFL…

  • Falcons running back Devonta Freeman is unlikely to suit up for next Monday’s game against the Seahawks, reports ESPN.com’s Adam Schefter (via Twitter). Freeman suffered his second concussion of the season this past weekend, although Schefter notes that the player isn’t expected to miss multiple games. The 25-year-old has compiled 515 rushing yards and five touchdowns this season.
  • Cowboys linebacker Sean Lee may be forced to shut it down for several weeks. NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport reports (via Twitter) that the defender is unlikely to play this week or during the team’s Thanksgiving contest against the Chargers. Head coach Jason Garrett confirmed that Lee may miss several games, noting that “it might be some time” before he returns (via Charean Williams of ProFootballTalk.com).
  • Texans wideout Will Fuller suffered a cracked rib during his team’s loss to the Rams this weekend, according to Rapoport (via Twitter). Fortunately, the second-year player didn’t experience extensive damage and may only miss a single game. The 23-year-old has been a touchdown machine this season, hauling in seven scores.
  • We learned last week that Bengals running back Jeremy Hill‘s season was over, and it sounds like it was the player’s decision to be placed on the injured reserve. Head coach Marvin Lewis said it was Hill who ultimately opted for the ankle surgery, which resulted in him landing on the injured reserve (via Rapoport on Twitter). The former second-rounder has compiled only 116 rushing yards on 37 carries this season, a far cry from his 1,124-yard performance in 2014.
  • Jaguars wideout Allen Hurns suffered a right ankle injury against the Chargers on Sunday, and coach Doug Marrone doesn’t see him taking the field this weekend. “Yeah, I don’t anticipate him playing this week,’’ Marrone said (via Cummings). “I would say yes (in terms of him missing this week), but I wouldn’t know (about his availability) after that.’’ As Cummings points out, Hurns absence could force the team to finally play wideout Dede Westbrook, who is eligible to be activated off of the injured reserve.

Injury Notes: Winston, Jones, Montgomery, Freeman, Brissett

Despite putting an end to their five-game losing streak this afternoon, the Buccaneers did it without their starting quarterback Jameis Winston. The former first overall pick was expected to miss “a couple of weeks” with a shoulder injury, but general manager Jason Licht admitted during the team’s pre-game show that their franchise signal caller may actually miss more time than that, according to Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times (Twitter link).

“There is no time line on this, Licht said. “This may be an extended period.” Stroud did relay that Licht revealed his quarterback had no new damage to his shoulder, which is certainly encouraging news for his potential return.

However, while Ryan Fitzpatrick is 1-0 as a starter this season, it’s been a disappointing campaign for a Tampa Bay squad that was expecting to be playoff contenders after barely missing the postseason a year ago. Apart from the injury, Winston himself has not shown the development many thought he would in his third-year in the league. The 23 year-old has continued to turn the ball over this season (6 INT, 5 fumbles) and has accumulated a career-worst QBR of 41.3 in 8 games this season.

  • The Packers lost two running backs in today’s win over the division rival Bears. Ty Montgomery left the game with an apparent rib injury, according to Rob Demovsky of ESPN.com. While not ideal, it’s an ailment we’ve seen him overcome earlier in the season. But while his outlook remains unclear, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com hears that fellow back Aaron Jones looks to have a sprained MCL. Rapoport reports that the rookie will undergo an MRI on Monday, but has likely avoided a serious injury, even though he may miss a few weeks regardless. Third-string running back Jamaal Williams finished out the contest, but look for the team to add more depth to the position during this coming week.
  • Rapoport also passes along that Falcons running back Devonta Freeman was forced into concussion protocol during the first quarter of today’s game vs. Dallas. One of the best running backs in the NFL last year, Freeman has taken a step back along with the entire Atlanta offense in 2017. Predictably, Tevin Coleman got the bulk of the carries after Freeman left the game, and would be in line for major work in the team’s Monday night tilt vs. the Seahawks next week should Freeman not clear concussion protocol before then.
  • The Colts suffered a concussion scare of their own when starting QB Jacoby Brissett appeared lightheaded after a big hit during today’s tilt with the Steelers. However, the second-year signal caller didn’t miss much playing time after he supposedly cleared concussion testing during the team’s subsequent defensive series. But in a twist, Brissett wasn’t available for postgame comments because he was experiencing concussion-like symptoms after the close loss, according to Mike Chappell of Indy Sports Central on Twitter. The Colts have since released a statement on their own Twitter account indicating that Brissett passed two concussion tests during the contest, but then started to experience side effects after the game. It seems like a murky situation at the moment, but at the least add this development to a number of other instances this season where there was at the least some confusion regarding the NFL’s concussion protocol.

Buccaneers To Rest Jameis Winston

The Buccaneers will be without starting quarterback Jameis Winston for a bit. On Monday, head coach Dirk Koetter announced that the team will be shutting him down for “a couple of weeks.” Jameis Winston/Ryan FItzpatrick (vertical)

Winston first suffered a sprained AC joint in his throwing shoulder during the preseason. At multiple times during the season, he has re-aggravated the injury. The latest instance forced him out of Sunday’s game against the Saints.

While Winston is sidelined, Ryan Fitzpatrick will serve as the Buccaneers’ starter. First up for the Harvard product is a showdown with his former team, the Jets. After that, Fitzpatrick is looking at a likely start against the Dolphins and, potentially, a showdown with the Falcons.

Winston and Fitzpatrick are the only quarterbacks presently on the roster, so the Bucs will probably look to add another QB in the coming days. Ryan Griffin would seem to be a likely candidate for promotion from the practice squad.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

NFC Notes: Lions, Bucs, Cowboys, Seahawks

Tight end Eric Ebron is the biggest name being floated around by the Lions with the trade deadline looming, according to Kyle Meinke of MLive.com. General manager Bob Quinn has been aggressive since assuming the job nearly two years ago, and even pulled off a midseason deal in 2016 when he traded Kyle Van Noy to the Patriots, Meinke notes. A first-round pick out of North Carolina in 2014, the athletic tight end was expected by many to have a breakout campaign following a career year in 2016 but that has not been the case. Ebron has tallied more than two catches in a game just once this season but still possesses freakish physical traits that could lead a team to take a shot on the fourth-year pass catcher. Ebron is signed through 2018 and is due to earn $8.25MM next season.

Here’s more from the NFC:

  • Jameis Winston reinjured his shoulder against the Bills in Week 7, Buccaneers head coach Dirk Koetter confirmed in an interview with SiriusXM NFL Radio (Twitter link). “[Jameis] was doing better, he played very well, especially in the second half against Buffalo,” Koetter said. “We did have that one sack-fumble in the first half, and he did kind of reinjure it, and so that’s what led to him not throwing on Wednesday or Thursday this week.” Despite missing two days of practice, Winston took all reps on Friday and will start vs. Carolina in Week 8.
  • The Cowboys are not looking to move any of their receivers, team vice president Stephen Jones said in a radio interview with 105.3 The Fan (Twitter link). Jones added the team has not specifically been asked about Cole Beasley‘s availability in a trade. After posting a career-high 75 catches in 2016, Beasley has hauled in just 16 grabs in the team’s first six games this season. It also doesn’t bode well for the slot receiver’s future in Dallas that the team drafted Ryan Switzer, a near carbon copy of Beasley, in the 2017 NFL Draft. Beasley is signed through 2018 and is due to make $3.25MM next season.
  • The Seahawks are paying Dion Jordan $7.2K and Malik McDowell $5K per week while the two are on the NFI list, tweets Joel Corry of CBS Sports. Though a team doesn’t have to pay a player on the NFI list since the injury occurred away from the field, Seattle was able to come to terms with the two defenders. Jordan returned to practice this week, so the team has three weeks to activate him to the 53-man roster or he will not be eligible to play again this season. McDowell is still out indefinitely.

Bucs QB Ryan Griffin Returns To Practice

Buccaneers quarterback Ryan Griffin has returned to practice this week, according to Greg Auman of the Tampa Bay Times (Twitter link). Griffin is currently on injured reserve as a result of the sprained AC joint he suffered during the preseason.Ryan Griffin (vertical)

Tampa Bay carried Griffin through to its initial 53-man roster before placing him on IR, which means he’s allowed to return to the field following an eight-week absence. As such, Griffin can be activated as early as October 30, the day after the Buccaneers’ Week 8 contest against the Panthers. Tampa has a three-week window during which it can place Griffin on its active roster, meaning the deadline to so is November 8.

Griffin, 27, was tendered at the original level as a restricted free agent earlier this year but subsequently agreed to a one-year extension through 2018 that reduced his base salary for the 2017 campaign. Since entering the NFL as an undrafted free agent out of Tulane in 2013, Griffin has spent time with the Saints’ practice squad and Tampa Bay’s active roster, but has never appeared in a professional game.

If and when he’s activated, Griffin will serve as the Buccaneers’ third quarterback behind Jameis Winston and Ryan Fitzpatrick. Speaking of Winston, he’ll start for Tampa against the Bills on Sunday despite suffering a minor AC joint sprain in Week 7, as Auman writes in a full piece.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.