Jeff Driskel

Broncos To Start Brett Rypien Vs. Jets

In what will seemingly become an increasingly difficult sell as a nationally televised game, Thursday’s Broncos-Jets clash will include another different Denver quarterback. The matchup between the winless teams will feature Brett Rypien calling signals for the Broncos, Vic Fangio confirmed Tuesday.

Rypien, who replaced Jeff Driskel in the Broncos’ Week 3 loss to the Buccaneers, will become Denver’s ninth starting quarterback since Peyton Manning‘s retirement. Fangio said Driskel may see time against the Jets, per Mike Klis of 9News (on Twitter), but the Broncos are trying one of their other backups while Drew Lock continues his rehab effort.

Since Manning’s retirement, the Broncos have used Trevor Siemian, Paxton Lynch, Brock Osweiler, Case Keenum, Joe Flacco, Brandon Allen, Lock and Driskel as starters — the most in the NFL since 2016. Rypien, a second-year UDFA out of Boise State and nephew of former Super Bowl MVP Mark Rypien, went 8-for-8 in garbage time against the Bucs. He started four seasons for the Mountain West’s Broncos outfit, throwing 90 career TD passes at Boise State.

The injury-plagued Broncos signed Blake Bortles last week but were unlikely to use him for a short-week game. Should Lock need the estimated five- or six-week timetable to recover from his rotator cuff strain, it represents a decent bet Bortles will see time — given his experience edge on Rypien and Driskel. Rypien, at least, will play behind a more experienced right tackle than Driskel did. Longtime Bucs starter Demar Dotson will take over for the injured Elijah Wilkinson, Fangio said.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Broncos Expected To Sign QB Jeff Driskel

Jeff Driskel is expected to sign with the Broncos, reports Mike Klis of 9News in Denver (via Twitter).

The 49ers bailed on Driskel after selecting him in the sixth round of the 2016 draft, but he ended up finding a home in Cincy. He spent three-plus years as one of Andy Dalton‘s backups, and he started five of his nine appearances in 2018.

He was let go by the Bengals last September, but he ended up catching on with the Lions, where he started three games filling in for Matthew Stafford. Driskel finished the campaign having connected on 59-percent of his passes for 685 yards, four touchdowns, and four interceptions. He also added 151 rushing yards and one score on 22 carries.

In Denver, he’ll be backing up starter Drew Lock. It’s uncertain how the organization will proceed with veteran Joe Flacco.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Jeff Driskel Expected To Have Strong Market

Lions backup quarterback Jeff Driskel is expected to have a “plump” free-agent market for his services, according to Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press. Birkett notes that as the NFL becomes more open to dual-threat quarterbacks, Driskel’s skill set has become more desirable to NFL teams.

The former Florida quarterback appears well-positioned to secure a backup job after vagabonding around the league since the 49ers selected him in the 6th round of the 2016 NFL Draft. After failing to make the 49ers 53-man roster, the Bengals claimed him off waivers and he served as depth in Cincinnati behind Andy Dalton and A.J. McCarron.

Following the 2017 season, McCarron signed with the Bills and Dalton became the primary backup behind Dalton. In 2018, Driskel began contributing in sub-packages where the team utilized his athleticism. An injury to Dalton allowed Driskel to make five starts as well. He finished the season completing 105 of 176 passes for 1003 yards, 6 touchdowns, 2 interceptions, with 130 rushing yards on 30 carries.

Last season, with the Lions, Driskel was the first to step in for Matthew Stafford after his injury. He made three starts before a hamstring injury of his own ended his season. He completed 62 of 105 passes for 685 yards, 4 touchdowns, and 4 interceptions with 151 rushing yards on 22 attempts.

Lions To Sign Sloter, Place Driskel On IR

2:04pm: Instead of placing Stafford on IR, the Lions will slide Driskel to their injured list, per Yates (on Twitter). Driskel started three games for the Lions in place of Stafford this season but missed Detroit’s Thanksgiving Day game with a hamstring injury. Although Driskel got in three limited practices this week, he will nevertheless end up on IR. Sloter and Blough are now the only healthy quarterbacks on the Lions’ roster.

1:55pm: Kyle Sloter will head back to an NFC North franchise. The Lions will sign the former UDFA quarterback off the Cardinals’ practice squad, Field Yates of tweets.

This will give Detroit four quarterbacks on its active roster. While it could be a precursor to a Matthew Stafford IR trip, no such move has been made yet. Stafford, Sloter, Jeff Driskel and David Blough will reside on the Lions’ 53-man roster.

Shortly after teams finalized their rosters in early September, the Lions scheduled a Sloter workout. But he instead opted to join the Cardinals’ practice squad. Nearly three months later, Sloter will head to Detroit.

Sloter spent two seasons with the Vikings, who plucked him off waivers from the Broncos after his strong 2017 preseason as a rookie UDFA. The Northern Colorado alum, however, could not beat out Sean Mannion for Minnesota’s backup job this year. The Cardinals signed him to their practice squad shortly after the Vikings cut him.

Stafford has missed the past four Lions games, giving way to first Driskel and then Blough. Stafford has objected to being shut down early, but with the Lions now well out of contention at 3-8-1, it would not make much sense to redeploy their franchise centerpiece this season. The 31-year-old passer is dealing with fractured bones in his back.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Lions QB David Blough Expected To Start Thursday

Lions quarterback David Blough is expected to make his first career start tomorrow in place of Jeff Driskel, a source tells Jeremy Fowler of ESPN. Driskel is not expected to be able to play through a hamstring injury that’s been causing him problems.

Blough will be the third different player to start under center for the Lions. Driskel stepped in for franchise quarterback Matthew Stafford when he went down with an injury of his own. The Lions do not have another quarterback on their roster, which means tight end (and collegiate quarterback) Logan Thomas will serve as the team’s emergency backup.

An undrafted free agent out of Purdue, Blough, originally signed with the Browns. However, as roster cuts approached, the Lions agreed to swap conditional draft picks in exchange for the rookie signalcaller. Unlike Driskel, Blough is not a mobile quarterback (he ran a 4.9 40-yard dash during the draft process), and will have to rely on his skills as a pocket passer to take down the Bears.

In his first career start, Blough will be going up against one of the better defenses in football (Bears) on one of the biggest stages of the year (Thanksgiving). The pressure and bright lights will be on and he will get a chance to make an impression.

Minor NFL Transactions: 9/17/19

Here are Tuesday’s minor moves:

Detroit Lions

Los Angeles Chargers

New Orleans Saints

Philadelphia Eagles

San Francisco 49ers

Lions Worked Out QB Jeff Driskel

Quarterback Jeff Driskel had his first workout. ESPN’s Field Yates reports (via Twitter) that the 26-year-old auditioned for the Lions.

The 2016 sixth-round pick had spend that majority of his career with the Bengals, playing behind Andy Dalton and A.J. McCarron during his rookie and sophomore campaigns. He finally got a shot to play in 2018, and despite going 1-4 as a starter, he managed to put up solid numbers. Driskel ultimately appeared in nine total games last year, completing 59.7-percent of his passes for 1,003 yards, six touchdowns, and two interceptions. He also added 130 rushing yards and two scores (along with four fumbles) on 25 carries.

Driskel was beat out by fourth-round rookie Ryan Finley during the preseason, leading to the veteran being released from the IR with an injury settlement.

With Matthew Stafford earning big bucks as the starter, the Lions are still rostering a worthy backup in Josh Johnson. Driskel could potentially earn a role on the practice squad, or the team could move on from third-stringer David Blough.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Minor NFL Transactions: 9/11/19

Here are Wednesday’s minor moves:

Chicago Bears

  • Released from IR via injury settlement: TE Dax Raymond

Cincinnati Bengals

Cleveland Browns

  • Released from IR via injury settlement: OL Kyle Kalis

Denver Broncos

Detroit Lions

Indianapolis Colts

  • Promoted from practice squad: S Rolan Milligan
  • Released from IR via injury settlement: LB Ahmad Thomas

New York Giants

  • Released from IR via injury settlement: WR Alex Wesley

Philadelphia Eagles

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Bengals Trim Roster To 53

The Bengals announced their final 53-man roster. One of the moves will be, as expected, placing Darqueze Dennard on their reserve/PUP list. Dennard now must miss at least the first six games of the season. This comes after the Bengals re-signed their former first-round pick on a one-year, $5MM deal. The team knew Dennard needed a post-signing knee surgery, but the arthroscopic procedure was performed several months ago.

Cincinnati is also placing Jonah Williams on its PUP list instead of season-ending IR. While the first-round tackle was believed to be set to miss the season, this move is a way of retaining a chance he can recover. Williams would revert to IR if he cannot recover from the shoulder injury he sustained this offseason.

Here’s the full list of the Bengals’ moves to meet the 53-man limit:

Placed on Reserve/Injured list:

Placed on the Reserve/PUP list:

  • CB Darqueze Dennard (sixth-year player, Michigan State; knee injury)
  • OT Jonah Williams (rookie, Alabama; shoulder injury)




  • G Alex Redmond (third-year player, UCLA, suspended for four games)

All of the waived players, except for Core, will be practice squad eligible if they clear waivers.

Extra Points: Foles, Driskel, Butt, Cardinals

After a rough year with the 2015 Rams, Nick Foles nearly retired. That turned out to provide astonishing benefit to the Eagles, who won Super Bowl LII thanks largely to Foles’ virtuoso performance. But going into the 2017 season, Foles had retirement on his mind again. Injuries at the time prompted Foles to inform at least one Eagles teammate, Brandon Graham, he planned to retire at season’s end (video link via’s Tim McManus). Fortunes changed for the 30-year-old passer, who piloted four playoff wins since considering another early NFL exit. The Jaguars guaranteed him $50MM in March on a four-year, $88MM contract. This will be Foles’ eighth NFL season.

Ahead of preseason Week 2, here is the NFL’s latest:

  • Jeff Driskel is not a lock to make the Bengals‘ 53-man roster, with fourth-round rookie Ryan Finley progressing toward the QB2 role. On Tuesday, the team experimented with its 2018 backup as a wide receiver, Jay Morrison of The Athletic notes (subscription required). Driskel would still prefer to play quarterback, but Finley will work with Cincinnati’s second-stringers in the team’s second preseason game. Zac Taylor approached Driskel on Tuesday about taking reps at receiver, per Morrison. Driskel played quarterback at Florida and Louisiana Tech; he was also a late-round Red Sox draft pick in 2013. He rushed for 130 yards last season (5.2 per scramble).
  • Attempting to return to the Broncos‘ 53-man roster after a third ACL tear, Jake Butt spent most of camp sidelined because of another setback. But he made it back to 11-on-11 drills Tuesday, Mike Klis of 9News notes. Despite Austin Fort‘s season-ending injury, the Broncos still have three other tight ends — Noah Fant, Jeff Heuerman and Troy Fumagalli. But the latter, a 2018 fifth-rounder who missed all of last season, worked as an H-back/fullback on Tuesday. Vic Fangio said Fumagalli could fit in there while Andy Janovich recovers from a pectoral injury. This would be a way for the Broncos to roster four tight ends.
  • Despite A.Q. Shipley and Mason Cole listed as co-starters at center on the Cardinals‘ depth chart, the former is expected to earn his job back. The 33-year-old is a “virtual lock” to be Arizona’s first-string snapper in Week 1, Kyle Odegard of notes. Cole has also worked at guard, pointing to an interior swing role for the team’s 2018 starting center. Shipley, the Cards’ center starter from 2015-17, missed all of last season due to an ACL tear but was given a one-year, $1.6MM extension during his recovery.
  • Browns defensive end Chad Thomas dodged a scare in a recent practice. The second-year defender was carted off the Berea, Ohio, practice field Monday and hospitalized. But the Miami product was quickly released and diagnosed with a neck sprain.
  • Buccaneers wide receiver Bryant Mitchell was not as fortunate. He suffered a torn left Achilles’ tendon in the team’s preseason opener, Greg Auman of The Athletic tweets. A three-year Edmonton Eskimo, who posted 867 receiving yards in 2018, Mitchell caught on with the Bucs in May.