Daniel Fells

Giants Notes: JPP, Beatty, Fells

The latest on Big Blue before the Giants take on the Eagles tonight..

  • Jason Pierre-Paul will report back to the Giants on Tuesday and allow his hand to be re-examined by team doctors, sources tell Ralph Vacchiano of the New York Daily News. However, there are some in the organization who doubt JPP’s hand has healed enough for him to be cleared to return to the field, another team source tells the Daily News. When the Giants looked at JPP’s hand on September 7th, the damage was much worse than expected, so some team officials aren’t all that optimistic about the upcoming evaluation.
  • Giants left tackle Will Beatty, who has yet to play this season due to a torn pectoral muscle, could practice early this week, according to NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport (on Twitter). Beatty’s injury was a huge blow for the Giants, who used their first-round pick in this year’s draft on a tackle in an effort to solidify their offensive line. Beatty was one of the league’s more effective left tackles in 2014, grading as a positive contributor as both a run- and pass-blocker, according to Pro Football Focus. PFF ranked him 14th overall out of 84 qualified players at the position.
  • Giants tight end Daniel Fells has now been given an optimistic prognosis, as Rapoport writes. After nearly three weeks in the hospital battling an aggressive MRSA infection, sources say his scans and cultures have come back “looking good” and there is a real chance he’s released from the hospital this week. Furthermore, doctors now believe that they’ll be able to save Fells’ foot. Still, he’s unlikely to ever return to football given the damage his foot has sustained.

East Notes: Bills, Taylor, Fells, Jets, Dolphins

The Bills signed quarterback Josh Johnson earlier today for depth purposes, but before they did, they looked into re-signing Matt Simms, who was with the team in camp, says Vic Carucci of the Buffalo News (Twitter links). Simms, who knows the Bills’ playbook, would’ve been Buffalo’s preferred option, but he’s currently on the Falcons’ practice squad and thinks he has a better future in Atlanta, so he turned down the opportunity, says Carucci.

Why did the Bills need another quarterback in the first place? Carucci (Twitter link) hears that Tyrod Taylor is “hurt pretty bad,” noting that the team considered the passport status of potential QB additions, in advance of a Week 7 trip to London. According to Jason La Canfora of CBSSports.com (Twitter link), Taylor could miss multiple games due to a sprained MCL, which figures to open the door for EJ Manuel to start.

As the Bills wonder whether they should have kept Matt Cassel, let’s check in on several other items from out of the NFL’s East divisions….

  • Doctors treating Giants tight end Daniel Fells for his MRSA infection are increasinly more optimistic that Fells won’t lose his foot, sources tell Dan Graziano of ESPN.com. Fells remains hospitalized, and multiple reports have indicated that his NFL career is likely over, but it sounds as if a combination of surgical procedures and antibiotics have improved his outlook over the last few days.
  • The Jets almost certainly won’t be able to extend both Muhammad Wilkerson and Sheldon Richardson, and “every indication” is that the team would prefer to lock up Richardson if he stays out of further trouble, according to Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News.
  • Multiple people around the NFL that have spoken to Jason Cole of Bleacher Report (video link) suspect the Dolphins will pursue a high-profile head coach for the permanent job after the season. Cole identifies Mike Shanahan as one notable potential target for Miami.
  • Former 49ers and Dolphins running back LaMichael James – who now goes by LaMike James – is working out on Wednesday for the Cowboys, tweets Ross Jones of FOX Sports.

Cole’s Latest: Payton, Fells, Lions, Cowboys

Saints head coach Sean Payton is “intrigued” by the idea that teams like the Dolphins and Colts could pursue him after the 2015 season, a source tells Jason Cole of Bleacher Report (video link).

That doesn’t mean Payton would leave New Orleans, or that he’d be able to get out of his contract even if he wanted to. However, Cole notes that there are some questions surrounding the ownership situation in New Orleans – presumably a reference to the Benson family’s legal drama – and Payton also may not be able to rebuild the Saints around Drew Brees quickly enough to compete again before Brees reaches the end of his career.

Payton’s situation will be one worth keeping an eye on over the next few weeks and months, as we wait to see how the season plays out in New Orleans, Miami, Indianapolis, and elsewhere. In the meantime, Cole has published several more video reports on noteworthy topics, so let’s dive in and round up the highlights…

  • A weekend report indicated that Giants tight end Daniel Fells was at risk of losing his foot due to an MRSA infection, and Cole suggests that the issue has been even more serious than that, calling it “life-threatening.” While Fells is in good shape for the time being, he has undergone several procedures and had parts of his foot removed already, according to Cole, who says the tight end’s playing career is over.
  • After a blowout home loss to the Cardinals, several Lions players expressed concern about the relationship between the team and head coach Jim Caldwell, says Cole. Per Cole, some Lions players were dissatisfied with the way Caldwell handled the aftermath of last Monday night’s loss to the Seahawks, when he didn’t appear to fight hard over the fumble call that cost the team the game. For what it’s worth, Caldwell said today that the club isn’t making changes to its coaching staff this week (Twitter link via Tim Twentyman of DetroitLions.com).
  • Citing two sources, Cole reports that Matt Cassel is “highly likely” to be the Cowboys‘ starting quarterback in Week 7, following the team’s bye.
  • The Chiefs are split on whether Knile Davis or Charcandrick West will be Jamaal Charles‘ primary replacement going forward, assuming the star running back is indeed out for the season. According to Cole, head coach Andy Reid prefers West, since his running style is similar to Charles’, but Davis has plenty of support within the organization from those who believe he’s a better overall back than West. We heard this morning that Kansas City is also bringing in veteran back Ben Tate for a workout tomorrow.

Daniel Fells Could Have Foot Amputated

Giants tight end Daniel Fells, who was placed on IR last week with a staph infection, is in danger of having his foot amputated, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com. Fells has been hospitalized for over a week and was moved to an intensive care unit on Friday. He has since been moved to a private room to permit a nurse to focus solely on his care.

Fells is battling a Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) infection that has required five surgeries to date, and Rapoport notes that more surgeries are coming as doctors attempt to save Fells’ foot. Per Rapoport, Fells was given a cortisone shot to treat toe and ankle injuries, and after a week of ankle and foot pain, Fells’ had a temperature of 104 degrees and was taken to the hospital by his wife on October 2. It was then that doctors diagnosed him with an MRSA infection, which is resistant to many antibiotics. And if the possibility of losing his foot was not bad enough, there is also the concern that the MRSA has penetrated the bone and could travel to the blood, which would put Fells’ life in jeopardy.

While the football-related aspects of this injury of course take a backseat, it should be noted that the Giants have worked to prevent the further spread of MRSA by scrubbing their locker room, training room, and meeting rooms. They have also consulted with several infectious disease specialists, per a report from ESPN.com.

Fells, who turned 32 last month, is in his second year with the Giants. While he wasn’t used much as a receiver in 2014, he did reach the end zone four times on his 16 overall receptions. He also recorded six receptions in the early going this season before being sidelined. Needless to say, his football career is very much in doubt at the moment. Over six plus seasons with the Rams, Broncos, Patriots, and Giants, Fells has tallied 114 receptions for 1,334 yards and 12 touchdowns.

Minor NFL Transactions: 10/7/15

Let’s round up Wednesday’s minor transactions from around the league:

  • Will the ninth time be the charm for Andre Fluellen? As Tim Twentyman of DetroitLions.com details, the Lions have signed the veteran defensive lineman for his ninth different stint with the team. Given all the time he has spent in Detroit, Fluellen obviously knows the Lions’ defensive system, so he’ll help provide depth in the middle with Tyrunn Walker on IR and Haloti Ngata hurting as well.
  • We heard on Monday that tight end Daniel Fells was headed to the Giants‘ injured reserve list due to a staph infection, and the team made that move official today, confirming it in a press release. New York promoted wide receiver Myles White to its active roster from the practice squad to get back up to 53 players.
  • The Bears have elevated defensive back Demontre Hurst to their active roster, the team announced today (via Twitter). Hurst is the second practice squad to get a promotion this week, as the club parted ways with punter Spencer Lanning and linebacker John Timu.
  • The Buccaneers have re-added linebacker Orie Lemon to their 53-man roster, according to a team release. Lemon takes the roster spot vacated by defensive end Josh Martin, who was waived/injured by Tampa Bay.
  • The Texans have reached a three-week injury settlement with linebacker Mike Mohamed, removing him from their IR, reports Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle. The agreement allows Mohamed to sign with another team in three weeks, though he can’t return to Houston for nine weeks.

Giants To Place Daniel Fells On IR

11:31am: The Giants have confirmed that Fells will be placed on injured reserve due to a staph infection in his ankle, tweets Dan Graziano of ESPN.com.

9:15am: Giants tight end Daniel Fells was hospitalized over the weekend, dealing with a foot infection that required multiple surgeries, a source tells Jordan Raanan of NJ.com. The foot injury is expected to end Fells’ season, according to Raanan and Ian Rapoport of NFL.com, who first tweeted that Fells underwent unexpected surgery and will likely land on IR.

Fells, who turned 32 last month, is in his second year with the Giants. While he wasn’t used much as a receiver in 2014, he did reach the end zone four times on his 16 overall receptions. He also recorded six receptions in the early going this season before being sidelined.

With Jerome Cunningham having also dealt with some injury issues this season, the Giants have been quite thin at tight end behind starter Larry Donnell. The team promoted Will Tye from its practice squad to back up Donnell in Week 4, but if Fells heads to the injured reserve list, New York may decide to pursue outside help to fortify the position.

As for Fells, it’s possible he has played his last game with the Giants. He’s eligible for free agency after the season, so we’ll have to see how he recovers from his foot problems before assessing whether or not the team would be interested in re-signing him for the 2016 season.

Giants Re-Sign Daniel Fells

THURSDAY, 8:44pm: The Giants have officially re-signed Fells, the team confirmed today in a press release.

WEDNESDAY, 4:18pm: Free agent tight end Daniel Fells is returning to New York, having agreed to terms with the Giants on a one-year deal, reports Jordan Raanan of NJ.com (via Twitter).

Larry Donnell emerged as the Giants’ No. 1 tight end and top pass catcher at the position in 2014, but Fells earned his fair share of playing time as the No. 2 option, and graded as a much better run blocker than Donnell, according to Pro Football Focus (subscription required).

Feels, 31, didn’t match the receiving numbers he posted in previous years in St. Louis and Denver, but he also caught 16 balls from Eli Manning for 188 yards and four touchdowns.

It’s the third notable roster move reported today for the Giants, who also agreed to sign defensive tackle Kenrick Ellis and restructured guard Geoff Schwartz‘s contract.

NFC Notes: Giants, Durant, Washington, Floyd

“It seems everyone in the free world with an interest in football wants to know why the Giants didn’t draft a tight end and what they’re going to do to shore up the position,” writes Giants.com Senior Writer/Editor Michael Eisen. However, Eisen says GM Jerry Reese likes his two young, developmental tight ends (Adrien Robinson and Larry Donnell) and wants to see what the team has in veterans Kellen Davis and Daniel Fells and rookie free agent Xavier Grimble before addressing the position.

In other NFC news and notes…