Joey Bosa

Joey Bosa To Return Today

It appears that Chargers star defensive end Joey Bosa will finally make his 2018 debut. Bosa has been dealing with a bone bruise all season long, but after returning to the practice field earlier this week, the third-year pro will finally see game action as the Bolts host the division rival Broncos this afternoon. ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports that his source would be “shocked” if Bosa does not play today (Twitter link).

Ian Rapoport of NFL.com hears the same thing, and he tweets that the number of snaps Bosa receives today will of course depend on how he feels. But Schefter noted that Bosa was part of the Chargers’ regular defensive rotation during practice, so he may even see close to a full workload.

In any event, Bosa’s return should be a huge boost to the 7-2 Chargers, who are still in the race for the AFC West title and who are certainly in the driver’s seat for a wildcard spot if nothing else. It is also particularly timely in light of the fact that Los Angeles just lost starting linebacker Denzel Perryman for the rest of the season.

In his first two NFL seasons, Bosa racked up a combined 23 sacks and 111 tackles. The Bolts have the former No. 3 overall pick under contract through 2019 and will control him through at least 2020 via the fifth year option. He earned Pro Bowl honors last season and will further aid a pass rush that has still been pretty productive in his absence. The Chargers’ pass defense is the eighth-best in the league, per Football Outsiders’ advanced metrics, and the team has compiled 26 sacks, which is the 10th-highest total in the league.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Chargers’ Joey Bosa Returns To Practice

Joey Bosa could be nearing a return to the field. The star linebacker joined the Chargers for practice on Wednesday, albeit in a limited capacity. Bosa still may need time time to get in football shape, but it’s a positive development. 

[RELATED: Chargers’ Denzel Perryman Done For Year]

Bosa, 23, has been sidelined with a bone bruise all year long. Initially, doctors were hopeful that he would be able to suit up for Week 9, but the injury took longer than expected to heal.

The Chargers ranked third against the pass last season thanks in large part to Bosa, but they’ve somehow managed to stay afloat without him. The Bolts are 7-2 with their only losses coming against the Rams and Chiefs, two of the very best teams in the NFL.

In his first two NFL seasons, Bosa racked up a combined 23 sacks and 111 tackles. The Bolts have the former No. 3 overall pick under contract through 2019 and will control him through at least 2020 via the fifth year option.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

AFC Notes: Gordon, Melvin, Marshall, Bosa

Josh Gordon has run afoul with a new team. The Patriots plan to discipline the oft-embattled wide receiver during tonight’s Bills game, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com reports (on Twitter), with tardiness at the root of the trade acquisition’s latest issue. New England will play without Gordon for a period of time tonight, around a quarter or “several series,” per Rapoport. Gordon showed up late to the Patriots’ facility on Sunday before the team left for Buffalo, Jeff Howe of The Athletic tweets. After Gordon rides the bench to start the game, Rapoport adds he’ll return to his normal workload tonight. This benching is part of the team’s effort to manage and work with the 27-year-old wideout, one who had rampant trouble in Cleveland on this and other off-field fronts. If Gordon was on a low-tolerance policy with the Patriots, this doesn’t help his cause.

Here’s the latest from the AFC on trade deadline eve:

  • Bruce Irvin and Karl Joseph are believed to be on the trade block during the Raiders‘ rebuild, and, perhaps unsurprisingly based on the way his season’s gone, so is cornerback Rashaan Melvin. The recently signed corner was a healthy scratch against the Colts on Sunday, and Tom Pelissero of NFL.com notes (video link) Melvin is available for a trade. Melvin signed a one-year, $5.5MM deal but drew Jon Gruden‘s public scrutiny after complaining about his role on the Raiders and the coaching staff’s style earlier this season. Melvin, 29, was a well-regarded Colts starter at this point last season and almost certainly will not be part of the 2019 Raiders.
  • Broncos plans to trade Brandon Marshall, if that was ever the case, look to have hit a snag. The longtime Denver starting linebacker now has a bone bruise in one of his knees and will likely miss time because of it, Denver7’s Troy Renck tweets. Marshall, whose contract makes him far from a lock he’ll be on next year’s Broncos, surfaced in trade rumors over the weekend. One of the handful of Denver starting defenders left over from Super Bowl 50, Marshall has been a full-time starter since 2014. He signed an extension in 2016, but that deal includes a $9MM cap number next year. Rookie Josey Jewell has played well in part-time duty as well, and the Broncos could get an early look at the fifth-round pick as a starter if Marshall is forced to miss time.
  • Joey Bosa could make his season debut on Sunday. At least, the Chargers haven’t ruled it out. Anthony Lynn said it was possible Bosa plays in Week 9, per Eric Williams of ESPN.com. Lynn said Bosa was getting closer. He’s missed seven Bolts games this season because of a bruised left foot, an injury he aggravated before Week 1. Lynn added he’s not ruling Melvin Gordon out, either.
  • The Texans followed through with their scheduled Brice Butler workout on Monday, Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle tweets. In addition, Houston auditioned quarterback Brogan Roback, cornerback Craig Mager and wide receivers Amba Etta-Tawo and Steven Mitchell.

AFC Notes: Bell, Jags, Bosa, Michel

The Steelers are still hopeful that they can trade Le’Veon Bell and net a third-round pick or better in return before Tuesday’s deadline, per Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports. Bell, as we heard earlier this week, does not want to be traded, and given that he would need to sign his franchise tender before he can be dealt, he holds all the cards in that regard. La Canfora tweets that Bell (predictably) balked at returning to the Steelers on the exempt list, so there are still plenty of moving pieces to keep an eye on before this situation is finally resolved.

Now let’s take a quick swing around the AFC:

  • Blake Bortles played decently for the Jaguars during their loss in London today, but we heard earlier this week that the fifth-year pro is on a short leash after he was benched during last Sunday’s loss to the Texans. However, Albert Breer of TheMMQB observes that Bortles still took the lion’s share of first-team reps in practice this week (though Cody Kessler did get a few, as anticipated), so it does not appear that there is a quarterback competition at the moment.
  • La Canfora writes that the Jaguars were very much interested in Kirk Cousins last offseason and were prepared to offer him a significant free agent contract and move on from Bortles. However, they were not willing to meet the $30MM-per-year figure that Cousins ultimately got from the Vikings (they hoped to land him for something in the $20-24MM range). Instead, of course, they gave Bortles a pay-as-you-go, team-friendly extension, which allows the club the flexibility to move on this offseason if it so chooses.
  • Jaguars RB Leonard Fournette is expected to return to the field for Jacksonville’s Week 10 matchup on November 11 against the Colts, per Schefter.
  • It does not appear as if the Chargers will get Joey Bosa back for their November 4 matchup against the Seahawks, as they had been hoping for some time. Although Bosa is making progress, Schefter writes that he is not “anywhere near ready to play right now.” It is unclear when Bosa will make his much-anticipated return to the field, but the wait will carry until at least the second week of November.
  • Sony Michel returned to practice for the Patriots yesterday, per Mike Reiss of ESPN.com. While Michel will not play in the team’s Monday night contest against the Bills tomorrow, he may be ready to go against the Packers next week. Reiss adds that New England could promote Kenneth Farrow from the taxi squad for tomorrow’s game in order to give themselves three healthy backs.
  • The relationship between Browns HC Hue Jackson and OC Todd Haley is not improving, and one of the two could be relieved of his duties in short order.

West Notes: Broncos, Bosa, Henry, Seahawks

Yesterday, 28-year-old Brittany Bowlen publicly confirmed her interest in one day becoming the Broncos‘ controlling owner. As Nicki Jhabvala of The Athletic tweets, however, Bowlen’s interest had been known for some time, yesterday just marked the first time she went public with her feelings. Jhabvala also confirms that, if Bowlen does not become the controlling owner, the Pat Bowlen Trust will likely sell the club to an outside buyer.

Now let’s take a look at some more news and notes from the league’s west divisions:

  • Chargers DE Joey Bosa will make his debut on November 4 against the Seahawks, per Adam Schefter of ESPN.com. That is the return date that the team has been targeting for some time, and Bosa will obviously provide a huge boost to the team’s pass rush and playoff aspirations.
  • The news is not as good for Chargers TE Hunter Henry. Although there was some hope that Henry could return to the field this season, despite the fact that he tore his ACL in May, Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports reports that the odds of that happening are quite slim.
  • La Canfora confirms a report from earlier this week that the Seahawks will eventually be sold in the wake of Paul Allen‘s death. Allen, who has no heirs and who did not intend to pass on the team to a specific person, did make plans and stipulations just the same. The NFL is reserving comment at this time and will allow the Seahawks to make Allen’s plans public when they choose to, but sources expect that the transfer of the team — likely for a price exceeding $2.3 billion — will take a similar course as the eventual sale of the Bills after Ralph Wilson‘s passing. In that case, Wilson had put a framework in place for the Bills to remain in Buffalo, and the team was ultimately sold to Terry Pegula, who already had strong ties to the region.
  • 49ers sixth-round draft pick Marcell Harris was cleared to begin practice this week, the team announced, making him eligible to return as early as Week 9 against the Raiders. The strong safety was placed on IR after the team’s final cutdown, but the team left open the possibility that he could play this year. The Niners must activate him before Nov. 7 for him to be eligible to play. If he does play this year, it will snap an inactive streak that has been ongoing since he suffered a torn Achilles at Florida.

Ben Levine contributed to this post.

Chargers’ Joey Bosa Likely Out Until Week 9

It’ll be a while before the Chargers get defensive end Joey Bosa back in action. On Wednesday, Bosa told reporters that he likely will be out at least until his team’s bye week, which is Week 8. That timetable would put Bosa in line for a Week 9 return when the Chargers face the Seahawks on Nov. 4. 

Bosa had his cast removed this week and was expecting good news after having his protective boot removed. Unfortunately, he’s still experiencing instability in a major tendon, which means that he’ll need some more time to heal up.

The Chargers ranked third against the pass last season thanks in large part to Bosa, and they’ve clearly missed him in 2018. The Chargers are 1-2 after failing to provide adequate pressure against Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes and Rams QB Jared Goff.

The good news for the Chargers is that their schedule gets significantly easier starting this week when they take on the Jimmy Garoppolo-less 49ers.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Extra Points: Mahomes, Chiefs, Chargers, Bosa, Lions, Snead, NFL Draft

Patrick Mahomes is the talk of the NFL. He’s led the Chiefs to a 3-0 record and has been nearly flawless, tossing 13 touchdowns and zero interceptions. Now, more details are coming out about how Mahomes landed in Kansas City, and Terez Paylor of Yahoo Sports has an insightful piece about the Chiefs’ process.

 Chiefs GM Brett Veach, at the time the team’s assistant GM, reportedly became infatuated with Mahomes in the months leading up to the draft. As a scout with the Eagles, he had banged the table for Andy Reid to draft Fletcher Cox, DeSean Jackon, and LeSean McCoy, so Reid trusted his judgment. Veach hounded Reid for months about his love for Mahomes and eventually won the coach over. The whole story is well worth a read and is full of interesting nuggets. It sounds like the Chiefs have the right leadership in place to be a force in the league for years to come.

Here’s more from around the league:

  • Chargers star pass-rusher Joey Bosa will get the cast taken off his foot later today according to Adam Schefter of ESPN (Twitter link). While it’s a positive development for Los Angeles, Schefter cautions he still isn’t expected back until “sometime next month.”
  • Earlier this week the Lions re-signed veteran cornerback DeShawn Snead, and now the details are in. The contract is for just the veteran’s minimum, but will cost the Lions $2.3MM this season due to the dead money that came from cutting him the first time according to Chris Burke of The Athletic (Twitter link).
  • Virginia Tech has dismissed defensive lineman Trevon Hill from the team, an item of note for NFL draftniks. It’s “major draft news” according to Tony Pauline of DraftAnalyst.com (Twitter link), who writes that Hill was “one of the better edge rushing prospects in the nation.”

Injury Notes: Wentz, Bosa, Mariota

Ian Rapoport of NFL.com reports that Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz could be cleared for contact this week, and that may put him on track to make his 2018 debut in Week 3, as was suggested last Sunday. But Rapoport says the team is in no rush to have Wentz return to game action, because it is more concerned about the next 10 to 15 years, not the next 10 to 15 minutes. As such, if the Eagles need to keep Wentz out longer to make sure he is fully recovered from his torn ACL and LCL, they are fully committed to doing so.

However, Adam Schefter of ESPN.com reports that Wentz is indeed on track to be back under center for the Eagles against the Colts next week, and he suggests that Philadelphia will have no issue in deploying Wentz as soon as he is cleared for contract.

Now let’s take a look at a few more reports concerning injuries to some of the league’s biggest names:

  • This is not much of a surprise given a report from earlier this week, but Schefter reports that Chargers DE Joey Bosa is expected to be sidelined until at least October. Bosa is continuing to rehab his foot with the hope that the swelling goes down and the foot stabilizes, but surgery is still very much in play if that does not happen.
  • Titans QB Marcus Mariota has not yet regained complete feeling in his fingers, per Rapoport (Twitter link). Schefter adds (via Twitter) that Mariota is still unable to grip the football normally as a result, which means that Blaine Gabbert may be starting under center for Tennessee for at least Week 2.
  • Jaguars RB Leonard Fournette is unlikely to play against the Patriots today, per Schefter, but it sounds as though Fournette is making good progress in his recovery from the hamstring injury he suffered last week. Even if the second-year back is unable to suit up today, he could be back in action next week.
  • Rapoport confirms (via Twitter) a report from Tuesday that Panthers TE Greg Olsen is hoping to return much sooner than was originally anticipated when he fractured his foot in the team’s season-opening win over the Cowboys. Rapoport says that Olsen hopes to be back on the field in four to five weeks, and he will have the foot — the same one he broke last year — reevaluated after the season.
  • We received a status update on Packers QB Aaron Rodgers earlier today.

AFC Injury Notes: Titans, Ben, Berry, Bolts

Marcus Mariota experienced difficulty gripping the ball after suffering a Week 1 elbow injury, but he could well return for the Titans this week. However, he doesn’t appear to be at full strength. Blaine Gabbert stands to see time as well as an apparent result. Mike Vrabel said he expects to use both of his quarterbacks against the Texans, via Jim Wyatt of TitansOnline.com (on Twitter). Mariota hasn’t made much progress since his injury in Tennessee’s opener and was still experiencing tingling in his throwing arm as of Wednesday, per Terry McCormick of TitanInsider.com, making this an interesting situation for a Titans team with playoff aspirations. If Mariota fails to progress by Sunday, it wouldn’t be hard to envision the Titans sitting him. Gabbert filled in for an injury-ransacked Cardinals team last season, making five starts (including a 12-7 win over the Titans). He completed 11 of 22 passes in a loss to the Dolphins last week.

Here’s the latest on the AFC injury front heading into Week 2:

  • A higher-profile AFC passer does look to be in better shape going into Week 2. Ben Roethlisberger practiced fully on Friday, Mike Tomlin said (via ESPN’s Adam Schefter, on Twitter), pointing him toward being available in Sunday’s Steelers-Chiefs tilt. An elbow malady caused Big Ben to miss practice on Wednesday and Thursday. Joshua Dobbs would start against Kansas City if Pittsburgh’s franchise passer can’t go.
  • When Mariota and/or Gabbert take snaps Sunday, they’ll do so with second-string tackles. Jack Conklin won’t be ready to debut, and Taylor Lewan is out as well after suffering a concussion, McCormick notes.
  • Eric Berry‘s ninth NFL season remains on hold while he battles a heel ailment. The All-Pro Chiefs safety did not practice on Friday and is doubtful to suit up in western Pennsylvania on Sunday, per Andy Reid (via Brooke Pryor of the Kansas City Star, on Twitter). Berry’s battled this heel trouble, on the opposite foot of the torn Achilles he suffered in September 2017, for over a month.
  • As expected, Joey Bosa is out for the Chargers-Bills game Sunday. Right tackle Joe Barksdale won’t suit up, either, ESPN’s Eric Williams tweets. A knee injury’s affecting Barksdale. Sam Tevi is likely to start for the Bolts at right tackle. Second-year defensive end Isaac Rochell replaced Bosa as a starting defensive end last week.

AFC West Notes: Bolts, Holton, Henderson

Beginning their second year in Los Angeles, the Chargers are in an interesting spot. They have perhaps as talented a roster as they’ve possessed since their late-2000s run of AFC West titles but play in a soccer stadium and carry likely the NFL’s smallest fan base. The NFL gave Dean Spanos the option of leaving San Diego for L.A. in 2016, and he exercised it once the Bolts’ bid to secure public funding for a downtown stadium failed. But some owners were disappointed Spanos took the league up on the San Diego exit strategy, author Mark Leibovich writes in his new book, “Big Game: The NFL In Dangerous Times” (via Tom Krasovic of the San Diego Union-Tribune). Some of the owners were displeased with the efforts he put forth to land a new stadium deal in San Diego, Leibovich writes, adding this contingent of power brokers were “miffed” the Chargers owner turned the situation into “a towering embarrassment.”

This is an interesting stance considering the NFL gave the Chargers L.A. dibs before the Raiders, but now that the Bolts moved, they don’t appear to be thriving in their new market. That could have been expected given their lack of history in Los Angeles compared to the Rams or Raiders. Krasovic adds some around the league wonder if Spanos will sell the Chargers a few years into their stay at Stan Kroenke‘s Inglewood stadium in believing the franchise’s value will have peaked by then.

Here’s the latest from the AFC West:

  • Joey Bosa‘s official diagnosis is a bone bruise on his left foot, Eric Williams of ESPN.com tweets. The Chargers defensive end is not expected to need surgery, with rest and rehab being the current plan to get the stalwart pass rusher back on the field. He’s not expected to play against the Bills on Sunday, and Anthony Lynn wouldn’t be surprised if he missed more games.
  • Another day, another interesting move from Jon Gruden. The Raiders recently brought back wide receiver Johnny Holton, a backup who played in 31 games for Jack Del Rio‘s final two Oakland teams, but they’re going to try him as a cornerback, OC Greg Olson said (via the Las Vegas Review-Journal’s Michael Gehlken, on Twitter). These type of moves are rare but not unprecedented. That said, Holton — currently on the Raiders’ practice squad — has never played cornerback at any level, per Vic Tafur of The Athletic (via Twitter). A UDFA out of Cincinnati, Holton caught nine passes for 218 yards and three touchdowns last season.
  • The Broncos cut ties with Carlos Henderson, potentially for good, by removing him from their practice squad on Thursday. Vance Joseph said (via Troy Renck of Denver7, on Twitter) this was strictly a football decision and wasn’t related to the 2017 third-round pick’s suspension or his absence from training camp. Only four Broncos 2017 draftees — Garett Bolles, DeMarcus Walker, Jake Butt and Chad Kelly — remain on the active roster. Two others (cornerback Brendan Langley and return man Isaiah McKenzie) are on the practice squad. Henderson has to play in a regular-season game.