Nick Foles

Injury Notes: Foles, Ansah, Badgley

Nick Foles, who remains out indefinitely due to a broken left clavicle bone that was suffered last week against the Chiefs, had surgery this past Monday. During the procedure, Foles had plate and screws utilized while fixing the clavicle to ensure long-term health, and a source said it was a clean, straight-forward break, according to NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport.

In preparation for his return, Foles will have multiple scans before setting foot on the field, with all parties wary of a re-break. Assuming everything heals properly, he’ll begin practicing the week before the Houston game in Week 9, then have the bye, then be back with the Jaguars Week 11.

Filling in for Foles is rookie Gardner Minshaw, who was named the league’s Rookie of the Week for his admirable performance against the Chiefs last week. Minshaw will remain the starter for the foreseeable future.

Lets’ check out some more injury notes from around the NFL:

AFC Notes: Jaguars, Patriots, Randall

The Jaguars will be without several players on Sunday against the Texans, Michael DiRocco of ESPN recaps on Twitter. S Ronnie Harrison is listed as questionable with an ankle injury. CB A.J. Bouye, WR Marqise Lee, DE Yannick Ngakoue and LT Cam Robinson have all already been ruled out of the contest.

Last week, Jacksonville lost starting QB Nick Foles, who suffered a broken left clavicle in Week 1 and has been placed on injured reserve. The franchise’s collective health has put a damper on what should have been a bounceback year for the Jags. As the team carries on in Houston, let’s take a look around the AFC:

  • The Patriots worked out several players ahead of their game against the Dolphins, a source tells Nick Underhill of The Athletic (Twitter link). OT Caleb Benenoch, NT Carl Davis, DT Willie Henry, DB Josh Jones and DB Adarius Pickett worked out for New England.
  • Browns S Damarious Randall has been ruled out of Monday’s game, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (Twitter link). Randall showed up to Cleveland’s facility with a concussion and was placed in the concussion protocol.
  • A.J. Green, who injured his ankle during the Bengals‘ training camp, is out of his walking boot and feels like is he ahead of schedule in his recovery, as Tyler Dragon of the Cincinnati Enquirer relays. “I’m only six weeks out and I’m already walking,” Green said. “You never know what the next two weeks or three weeks are going to bring to where I can start back putting on shoes and actually running and doing some on the field stuff. You never know.”

AFC South Rumors: Foles, Texans, Colts

The current plan for Nick Foles involves a return in November. The Jaguars‘ high-priced free agent addition is out until at least Week 11 due to the broken clavicle he suffered Sunday, and Jeremy Fowler of ESPN.com notes (via Twitter) Foles is loosely targeting that week for his return. This would be welcome news for the Jaguars, but they will have to get through eight games without their experienced passer. Gardner Minshew fared well against the Chiefs, completing 22 of 25 passes for 275 yards and two touchdowns, but he’s a sixth-round rookie. Jacksonville also traded a fifth-round pick for Josh Dobbs. These two represent the team’s quarterback options at this point.

Here is the latest from the AFC South:

  • Another avenue the reeling Jags took in an attempt to patch up their quarterback solution post-Foles involved a Texans passer. The Jaguars contacted then-Texans practice squad QB Alex McGough, presumably offering a roster spot, this week, Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle tweets. However, the Texans thwarted their division rival’s attempt by promoting McGough to their active roster. McGough now resides behind Deshaun Watson and A.J. McCarron.
  • Bill O’Brien called Nick Martin, who signed a three-year extension worth $33MM this week, “one of the leaders” of the Texans. “[Martin] is one of the leaders of our team, smart, tough, dependable,” the coach said (via Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle). “Had to in the past deal with some injuries. Played good on Monday night, want him to be a Texan. We all felt like best move for Nick and our team.”
  • In extending Martin in advance of Week 2, the Texans deviated from recent regimes’ rule of no in-season extensions, Wilson notes. The GM-less franchise turned to senior VP of football administration Chris Olsen to finalize Martin’s deal. Previously, both Rick Smith and Brian Gaine avoided in-season re-ups.
  • Former Packers first-round pick Datone Jones remains on teams’ radars. The Colts worked out the defensive lineman this week. Jones has been on the in-week workout circuit for a bit now. He played in one Cowboys game last season and caught on with the Jaguars before camp. The 2013 first-rounder did not make the team but has now worked out for the Colts and Redskins this week.

Chris Crouse contributed to this report.

Jaguars To Place Nick Foles On IR

The Jaguars will not have their well-paid free agent quarterback for at least two months. Doug Marrone confirmed Nick Foles underwent surgery Monday. He will head to IR.

While no definitive timeline exists for the first-year Jaguar, Mike Garafolo of NFL.com notes (via Twitter) this is not expected to be a season-ending injury. The Jags hope Foles will return later in 2019. Foles suffered a broken left clavicle against the Chiefs, sending sixth-round rookie Gardner Minshew into action in what became a two-score loss.

Foles has experience with this type of malady. He suffered a clavicle break in 2014, leaving an Eagles-Texans game that season on Nov. 2. He did not return that year (and did not return as an Eagle until 2017). Per IR rules, Foles cannot come back to game action until at least Week 11. The 30-year-old passer must miss eight weeks, but since the Jags have a Week 10 bye, their Nov. 17 date with the Colts in Indianapolis would be the earliest target date for their starting quarterback.

Jacksonville traded a 2020 fifth-round pick for Pittsburgh backup Josh Dobbs on Monday. Dobbs is expected to play behind Minshew, at least for the time being, per NFL.com’s James Palmer (Twitter link). Minshew completed 22 of 25 passes for 275 yards and two touchdowns.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Jaguars’ Nick Foles Out Indefinitely

Jaguars quarterback Nick Foles suffered a broken left clavicle against the Chiefs, the team announced. There’s no timetable for his return, but this figures to be a lengthy absence for the club’s new signal caller. He’ll go under the knife on Monday and, after the operation, doctors should know more about his status moving forward.

Foles’ debut wound up lasting less than one quarter. Early on, Chiefs defensive tackle Chris Jones broke through the O-Line and slammed Foles to the ground, where he suffered the injury. Foles’ ball was caught by DJ Chark for a touchdown, but the club was forced to turn to sixth-rounder Gardner Minshew on the next drive. The Jaguars went on to lose 40-26 without Foles, and it didn’t help that they also lost linebacker Myles Jack along the way following his ejection.

For now, Minshew projects as the club’s starter for next week’s game against the Texans, as he is the only QB on the active roster. His backup, in all likelihood, will be practice squad member Chase Litton.

The Jaguars inked Foles to a four-year, $88MM deal in March, including $50MM+ in guarantees. The club, of course, still has high hopes for the 30-year-old and one-time Super Bowl MVP.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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 ESPN.com’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 AZCardinals.com 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.

Contract Details: Foles, Tate, Crowder, Desir

Let’s take a look at the details of a few recently-signed NFL contracts:

Free Agency Notes: Foles, Jaguars, Saints

Nick Foles is going to be a Jaguar. The Super Bowl MVP agreed to terms on a four-year deal with the Jaguars, with a base value of $88MM. While Foles cashed in, he didn’t have much of a choice on where to go. There were “no significant other suitors” for Foles’ services on the open market, according to Mike Garafolo of NFL Network (Twitter link). In the video posted to his account. Garafolo explains that Jacksonville was essentially bidding against themselves, but didn’t mind overpaying.

Garafolo reports the Jaguars wanted to pay Foles more than they had to, so that he would have the immediate credibility in the locker room of being the unquestioned starter. The Jags thought it would’ve sent the wrong message if they had lowballed Foles and tried to pay him something in the $15MM range, and that it would’ve diminished Foles’ standing. Having Foles being able to step in and manage all the large personalities in their locker room is very important to the team, Garafolo notes.

Here’s more from around the league on a very busy first day of free agency:

  • Broncos cornerback Bradley Roby is “getting a lot of interest” from teams, according to James Palmer of NFL Network (Twitter link). Palmer reports that the competition for Roby seems to have narrowed down to the Texans, Browns, Steelers, 49ers, Raiders and Broncos. Everything we’ve heard recently has indicated Roby will be walking in free agency, so it would be a bit of a surprise if he returned to Denver. A 2014 first round pick, Roby has been a solid player but has never quite lived up to his draft status. He started 15 games for the Broncos last year.
  • Texans defensive lineman Christian Covington isn’t ruling out a return to Houston, but the team plans to let him test the open market, according to Aaron Wilson of The Houston Chronicle. Wilson reports that Covington is expected to have a “healthy market” in free agency. Covington has been a bit player for the Texans the past four seasons, but did have a career-high 3.5 sacks in relatively limited action last season.
  • The Saints are “still hoping” to retain Mark Ingram, but they aren’t going to break the bank to do it, according to Dan Graziano of ESPN.com. Graziano writes the Saints won’t be willing to pay much more than the $4MM they gave Ingram last season. A split could make sense for both sides if Ingram is looking for a raise and New Orleans is looking to give Alvin Kamara even more touches.

Jaguars To Sign Nick Foles

This has felt like a foregone conclusion for over a week, but the Jaguars will sign free agent quarterback Nick Foles, per Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (via Twitter). And it is a huge deal, as RapSheet tweets that the former Super Bowl MVP will land a four-year, $88MM pact from Jacksonville. Mike Garafolo of the NFL Network adds that the deal maxes out at a whopping $102MM (Twitter link), but Adam Schefter of ESPN.com tweets that “only” $50.125MM is guaranteed.

After months of discussion as to how the Eagles would handle Foles’ contract, Philadelphia elected to not hit him with the franchise tag once he bought his way into free agency. Teams like Jacksonville who were interested in Foles did not really engage the Eagles in trade talks prior to that decision, as they never expected Philly to tag him in the first place.

The Giants were also rumored to have some interest in their former division rival, but the Jags seemed to be the clear favorites all along. Jacksonville’s quarterback situation has long been a hot topic of conversation, especially after the Blake Bortles extension predictably backfired. And in case you couldn’t hear it over all of the rejoicing in Florida, we just learned that Bortles has been cut.

Foles, 30, spent the bulk of his career as a backup, but wound up as the Super Bowl MVP following the 2017 season in one of the best feel-good stories of the century. He was once again called upon in 2018 as Carson Wentz was sidelined by injury. He went 4-1 in his five starts and completed 72.3% of his passes, his highest mark in any of his NFL seasons. He also threw for seven touchdowns against four interceptions.

He is not perfect by any means, but he should be an improvement over Bortles, and despite a recent batch of cost-cutting moves, the Jags hope that their core is strong enough to make another run at the playoffs after a disappointing 2018 campaign.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Mutual Interest Between Nick Foles, Jaguars

As the Combine winds down, the Jaguars are entering the final pre-free agency week as the unquestioned clubhouse leaders for Nick Foles.

Mutual interest exists between the Super Bowl LII MVP and the Jags, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com notes (video link). Jacksonville was not ready to trade draft capital for Foles, likely because of a limited market for the veteran quarterback, but has been viewed as the favorite since Philadelphia’s tag-and-trade scenario did not come to fruition.

With other teams not nearly as connected to the free agent-to-be, the Jags may be set to receive a discount. They are internally preparing a Foles offer, Jeff McLane of Philly.com notes, and the expectation is they will be able to sign him for a below-market deal (at least, in terms of veteran starters). However, Rapoport expects the deal to be north of what the Broncos gave to Case Keenum last year, envisioning this pact will eclipse $20MM per year.

While any starting-QB-level deal will put the Jags up against the cap, considering they hold the least cap space in the league (current $2MM-plus over the salary ceiling), the team needs a starter. The team’s Blake Bortles extension predictably backfired, and if the Jaguars cut the sixth-year passer and do not designate him as a post-June 1 release, they are going to take a $16MM-plus dead-money hit this year. If Jacksonville does make Bortles a post-June 1 departure, it cannot use any of the funds created from the transaction until June. The team may need the modest $4.5MM in cap savings a Bortles release creates to afford Foles in March.

However, the Jaguars are shopping Malik Jackson and Carlos Hyde, pointing to releases in the event no one wants to take on these contracts. Cuts of Jackson and Hyde would free up nearly $16MM in space. Marcell Dareus was a cap-casualty candidate, but the former top-five pick restructured his deal. The team also picked up Calais Campbell‘s option. This further points to Jackson being the odd man out, a scenario he expected.

Foles was paid better than Keenum as an NFC backup the past two seasons and obviously became one of the most famous backup quarterbacks in NFL history. His non-Philadelphia stays have not produced much, most notably his St. Louis stint leading to Keenum replacing him as the Rams’ starter and Foles considering retirement before joining the Chiefs. But former Eagles QBs coach John DeFilippo is now in Jacksonville as OC. That may give Foles the best opportunity to thrive outside of Philly.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.