Joe Schobert

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.

Browns Notes: Jackson, Coleman, Ogbah

Compared to the management strategies of most of their NFL contemporaries, the Bengals have shown considerable patience with Marvin Lewis. He’s entering Year 15 in Cincinnati in search of the franchise’s first playoff win in 26 years. But a scenario where Lewis is gone by 2018 opens the door for speculation about the revival of the Hue Jackson succession plan that once existed in the Queen City. The Browns brought Jackson in to shepherd one of the league’s most memorable rebuilding efforts after the aforementioned Cincinnati plan never materialized, but the franchise having shown little patience with coaches since rebooting opens the door to questions about if Jackson would take over the Bengals next year if given the opportunity. The AFC North crew at ESPN.com’s NFL Nation is not buying into it, however.

Jeremy Fowler acknowledges it’s an intriguing proposition and said Jackson would be “foolish” not to consider it, but he expects the former Bengals OC to stay in Cleveland. This is all contingent on the new Browns front office showing patience and not firing Jackson, and Katherine Terrell notes this opportunity probably doesn’t come to fruition, writing that the Jackson-replaces-Lewis window closed after he ventured to northeast Ohio.

Here’s the latest from Cleveland.

  • The Browns made a first-round investment in Cameron Erving in 2015, but it hasn’t worked out as the team hoped. J.C. Tretter signed and will take over at center, and the Browns shuttled Erving to right tackle. But he might not be the leader in the clubhouse to take over there. Second-year tackle Shon Coleman looks like the frontrunner to start here come training camp, Dan Labbe of cleveland.com notes. With teams are increasingly putting top pass rushers across from right tackles, Labbe writes this position battle could throw a wrench in the major financial commitment the Browns made to fortifying the interior of their line this offseason. A 2016 third-rounder out of Auburn, Coleman played in seven games but started none as a rookie. Erving started at left tackle for two full seasons at Florida State before moving inside and entering the NFL at center. Erving finished last season at right tackle, and this forthcoming battle with Coleman figures to be a key point in his career.
  • Now that Myles Garrett is in the fold, Carl Nassib looks like a second-unit player, per Labbe. Defensive line coach Clyde Simmons recently referred to Emmanuel Ogbah as a “classic left end,” which points to the 2016 second-rounder having a natural spot there in Cleveland’s new 4-3 look opposite the more pass-rushing-geared Garrett. Nassib, a third-round choice, would compete for time behind them. That might not be as open and shut as it seems, with Desmond Bryant and Nate Orchard stationed at end as well. Bryant also could fit as a tackle, having played both with the Raiders. The 6-foot-7 Nassib recorded 2.5 sacks last season.
  • Joe Schobert started four games in Ray Horton‘s 3-4 scheme as a rookie, but Gregg Williams‘ 4-3 look might not have much room for the linebacker. Now that the Browns are going to play more nickel sets, Schobert won’t be seeing much time since cornerstone ‘backers Jamie Collins and Christian Kirksey will function in those roles. Labbe writes that Schobert’s primary role this season will be on special teams.

Minor NFL Transactions: 6/24/16

Today’s minor moves:

  • The Browns announced that they have signed outside linebacker Joe Schobert, a fourth-round draft pick. As shown on our running list, third-round defensive end Carl Nassib stands as Cleveland’s only unsigned draft choice from this year’s class of 14 picks. According to Over the Cap, Schobert, a Wisconsin product, is in line for a four-year deal worth roughly $2.974MM, including a signing bonus of about $634K.
  • The Rams have waived wide receiver J.J. Worton, according to Greg Auman of the Tampa Tribune (Twitter link). Worton was an undrafted free agent out of UCF, and signed with Los Angeles at the beginning of May. The club has also waived linebacker Matthew Wells, per Jenna Laine of ESPN.com (Twitter link). Wells originally inked a futures deal back in January.