Lynn Bowden Jr.

Dolphins Activate Kyle Van Noy From Reserve/COVID-19 List

SATURDAY: Van Noy’s most recent close contact with a coronavirus-stricken person must have come several days ago. The Dolphins activated the linebacker off their reserve/COVID-19 list Saturday, putting him on track to play in Week 10. Van Noy’s final coronavirus test of the week must come back negative Sunday morning in order for him to suit up against the Chargers, but this will certainly help an improved Dolphins defense. Wilkins remains on the team’s reserve/COVID list.

THURSDAY: The Dolphins may be without two key defenders against the Chargers on Sunday. The team placed Christian Wilkins and Kyle Van Noy on its reserve/COVID-19 list.

While the Dolphins removed rookie Lynn Bowden Jr. from the COVID list on Thursday, practice squad wide receiver Matt Cole landed on it as well. A Dolphins staffer tested positive for the coronavirus last week. It is not known if Wilkins and Van Noy’s Thursday designations are related to that case. Van Noy’s placement stems from contract tracing, Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald tweets.

Unless Wilkins and Van Noy last came in contact with someone who tested positive prior to Tuesday, they will be forced to miss the Dolphins’ Week 10 game. The NFL requires high-risk close contacts to isolate for five days. This would certainly affect Miami’s hopes at winning a fifth straight game.

A 2019 first-round pick, Wilkins has been a Dolphins starter for two seasons. Van Noy followed Brian Flores from New England, signing a four-year, $51MM contract this offseason. Van Noy has recorded two sacks and 33 tackles this season.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

AFC West Notes: Chiefs, Sutton, Raiders

Clyde Edwards-Helaire will make his NFL debut Thursday night, doing so without the benefit of preseason carries. The Chiefs brought back both Darrel Williams and Darwin Thompson to serve as his backups, but the defending Super Bowl champions considered a somewhat higher-profile RB2 option. A year after the Chiefs scooped up LeSean McCoy following his Bills release, they had interest in Adrian Peterson, Jeremy Fowler of ESPN.com tweets. Peterson, who played under Eric Bieniemy from 2007-10 when the current Chiefs OC was the Vikings’ running backs coach, was interested in a Chiefs deal as well, per Herbie Teope of the Kansas City Star (on Twitter). COVID-19 testing and the team’s first game being on Thursday night nixed a potential partnership, Fowler adds. Peterson signed with the Lions on Sunday.

Ahead of the Chiefs kicking off the 2020 season in less than an hour, here is the latest from the AFC West:

  • The Broncos have already lost their best defensive player for the season, in all likelihood, with Von Miller opting to undergo an ankle surgery that will require a months-long recovery process. They now have their top offensive talent dealing with an injury. Courtland Sutton went down during practice Thursday, suffering what an MRI determined to be an AC joint sprain, Mike Klis of 9News notes. While Sutton will be classified as day-to-day, the third-year wideout’s right shoulder malady has his status in doubt for the Broncos’ Monday-night opener against the Titans.
  • The Chiefs made a few mid-level moves to bolster their depth chart this year, from re-signing wideout Demarcus Robinson and backup quarterback Chad Henne to adding offensive linemen Kelechi Osemele, Daniel Kilgore and Mike Remmers. Kansas City, however, does enter the season with a thin cornerback group thanks to Kendall Fuller‘s Washington return and Bashaud Breeland‘s four-game suspension. GM Brett Veach confirmed the team considered signing a veteran early in camp but saw enough from fourth-round rookie L’Jarius Sneed and young replacement options Rashad Fenton and Antonio Hamilton to stick with the status quo, per Adam Teicher of ESPN.com (on Twitter).
  • Lynn Bowden Jr.‘s Raiders tenure not lasting until Week 1 represented one of this summer’s more surprising developments, but the team viewed the third-round pick as ineffective on the field and a potential red flag off it. A lack of explosiveness contributed to the Raiders shipping Bowden to the Dolphins, according to The Athletic’s Vic Tafur, who adds the team was also concerned about the Kentucky product’s off-field approach — particularly after the team’s move to Las Vegas (subscription required). The Raiders ate Bowden’s $985K signing bonus to send the gadget player to Miami.

Raiders Trade RB Lynn Bowden Jr. To Dolphins

We’ve got a bit of an unusual trade to pass along. The Raiders are trading rookie running back Lynn Bowden Jr. and a sixth-round pick to the Dolphins in exchange for a fourth-round pick, Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reports (Twitter link).

It’s pretty rare for a third-round pick to get traded before ever playing a game for the team that drafted them, so the Raiders must not have liked something about Bowden. Especially to give him up for considerably less draft capital than they spent. The Kentucky product’s home was searched by the DEA back in June, although he was never arrested, and it’s unclear if that caused him to fall out of favor with the organization. As Rapoport points out, it’s the same fourth-round pick they’re getting back that they just traded to Miami last week in exchange for Raekwon McMillan.

As for Miami, it’s a nice low-risk pickup considering they have an unsettled backfield and could use all the young talent they could get. They’ve apparently had their eye on Bowden for a while, as Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald tweets that the Dolphins “loved” him before the draft and had a top-30 visit with him scheduled before it was canceled due to COVID-19.

As of right now the Dolphins are set for a timeshare in their backfield with Jordan Howard and Matt Breida. Bowden should compete for snaps right away, and he also has value as a return specialist. He’s an elite athlete, as he even started at quarterback for a while for Kentucky after a couple of injuries. The Raiders had said they planned to use him in a versatile utility role, and it’ll be very interesting to see what Brian Flores’ staff comes up with for him.

 

AFC West Notes: Chiefs, Mahomes, Raiders, Broncos

Patrick Mahomes could be the NFL’s first $200MM player if he takes full advantage of his leverage, Joel Corry of CBSSports.com writes. However, Corry suggests that the Chiefs star should be less fixated on that figure and more focused on a similarly lucrative three-year extension. With a shorter deal, the quarterback could land an even bigger payday, thanks to the expected rise in revenue from the addition of a 17th regular season game.

There’s also been lots of chatter about a clause in the later years of Mahomes’ deal that would tie his contract to the salary cap as it escalates. It doesn’t seem out of the question for the NFL’s brightest star, but Corry isn’t sure if the Chiefs will be willing to set a radically new precedent in the game.

The salary cap percentage clause would be a game-changer, but I’d imagine that it’s in the realm of possibility for Mahomes, especially after Kirk Cousins secured a fully-guaranteed deal with the Vikings.

Here’s more from the AFC West:

  • Raiders newcomer Nick Kwiatkoski will play middle linebacker in the Raiders 4-3 scheme, according to Scott Bair of NBC Sports. Kwiatkoski played on the inside of the Bears’ 3-4 layout and defensive coordinator Paul Guenther believes that he can be the team’s field general at the position. Kwiatkoski – signed for three years thanks to his $21MM deal – will be joined by fellow free agent addition Cory Littleton.
  • Raiders rookie Lynn Bowden Jr. had his home searched by the DEA this week, but his agency says that the running back was not arrested or charged afterwards (via Tashan Reed of The Athletic). Barring league discipline, the Raiders plan to open the year with Bowden as one of their supporting tailbacks behind starter Josh Jacobs. Devontae Booker, Jalen Richard, and Rod Smith are also on hand. On the field, Bowden has impressed – he ran for nearly 1,500 yards at Kentucky last year with an eye-popping average of 7.9 yards per carry.
  • After the departure of safety Will ParksBroncos defensive back Alijah Holder says he’s ready to step up for whatever role he’s assigned. “I’m a quick learner and wherever they put me, I’m going to learn the position,” Holder said (via Ryan O’Halloran of the Denver Post). “In dime, I feel I could take on that role. In practice last year, I played dime and nickel so I’m pretty familiar with most of the stuff. I really would love the chance to play dime if [defensive coordinator Vic Fangio] if goes that way.”