We’ve compiled a list of players who were placed or activated from the reserve/COVID-19 list today. In some instances (including Christian McCaffrey and Travis Etienne), players activated from the list remain on IR:
The Rams are now up to 25 players on the reserve/COVID-19 list. While the organization will surely activate some players prior to Sunday’s game against the Seahawks, they’ll still have a long list of absences for the contest. Cornerback Jalen Ramsey and wideout Odell Beckham are among the other Rams players who were already stashed on the list.
Yesterday, commissioner RogerGoodell said the NFL wasn’t planning on postponing or cancelling any upcoming games. The Browns and WFT are among the other teams that are dealing with more than 20 players on the COVID list.
Derek Carr left Thursday night’s AFC West matchup early because of what Jon Gruden called a “significant” groin injury. The veteran Raiders quarterback’s rest-of-season status can be considered in doubt. Carr is facing a 10- to 14-day return timetable, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com notes. This puts his availability for next week’s pivotal Dolphins game in question, though Rapoport adds Carr will push to return for what could be an elimination game against another fringe AFC contender. Carr has not missed a game due to injury since 2017. The former MVP vote-receiving passer has only missed two regular-season games in seven years. Marcus Mariota played well in relief of Carr on Thursday, and Carr’s status going into next weekend stands to give the Dolphins some extra work due to the differences in the Raiders QBs’ skill sets.
Here is the latest from the West divisions, moving first to another team’s quarterback situation.
Drew Lock has shown some potential as a long-term answer this season — including last week in Charlotte — but ranks 28th in QBR and has thrown 13 INTs in 10 games. The Broncos sat out this year’s veteran QB market, but Troy Renck of Denver7 notes the team is likely to bring in a veteran to compete with Lock (or potentially replace him) next year. A similar batch of vets — Andy Dalton, Cam Newton, Jameis Winston — on track to be available again would qualify as competition, and the Broncos were also high on Sam Darnold in 2018. A trade for Matthew Stafford, a scenario Renck mentions, would be to replace Lock. The Broncos have used four different Week 1 starting QBs since Peyton Manning‘s retirement, moving from Trevor Siemian to Case Keenum to Joe Flacco to Lock.
Sean McVay is not ruling out an Andrew Whitworth regular-season return, and it sounds like the Rams having their left tackle back for the playoffs is realistic. “Andrew is doing great,” McVay said. “He continues to amaze me. He’s somebody we could potentially really push to have him play whether it’s the (Week 17) Cardinals game or next week. If we’re fortunate enough to get an opportunity to play after the regular season, I think that’s the goal, but nothing’s guaranteed for us.” Whitworth suffered MCL and PCL tears Nov. 15 but was believed to be ahead of schedule on his recovery timetable.
A Rams positive COVID-19 test resulted in offensive lineman Bobby Evans and safety Nick Scott landing on the reserve/COVID list; they will miss Week 15, McVay said (via ESPN.com’s Lindsey Thiry, Twitterlinks). The Rams also held starting center Brian Allen and rotational pass rushers Justin Hollins and Ogbonnia Okoronkwo out of practice Friday, though McVay expects the latter trio to play Sunday.
The 49ers‘ Arizona arrangement will extend through season’s end. Santa Clara county extended COVID-19 restrictions that have prevented the 49ers from playing at Levi’s Stadium, but the Cardinals will permit their division rival to use the stadium for their Week 17 game against the Seahawks, Nick Wagoner of ESPN.com notes. The 49ers will also be in Glendale next week but will do so as the road team against the Cardinals.
October 20th, 2020 at 12:55pm CST by Andrew Ortenberg
After rookie Sam Sloman missed another extra point on Sunday Night Football, it looks like the Rams are making a kicking change. Los Angeles is signing veteran Kai Forbath off Chicago’s practice squad, the team announced Tuesday.
In the corresponding roster move the team placed outside linebacker Ogbonnia Okoronkwo on injured reserve, meaning Sloman is still on the roster for now. The Rams will have Forbath compete with Sloman, Mike Garafolo of NFL Network tweets, so it doesn’t sound like he’s going anywhere at the moment. With the Rams contending in the NFC, they clearly felt like they couldn’t wait on a rookie’s development. Forbath, who has extensive experience, was also on the Panthers’ practice squad earlier this year.
The 33-year-old spent the last few games of 2019 as the Cowboys’ kicker, making all ten of his field goal attempts and all ten of his extra points. His last full-time gig was in 2017 when he was the Vikings’ kicker for all 16 games. Before that he had stints with the Saints and Washington. He doesn’t have the strongest leg, but for the most part he’s pretty accurate and dependable. Rams coach Sean McVay was with him in Washington for a few seasons, so there’s familiarity here.
The Rams, of course, let Greg Zuerlein walk in free agency this past offseason after having him as their kicker for the past eight years. Okoronkwo is a 2018 fifth-round pick from Oklahoma who had been playing a real role on defense this season. Through five games he had been playing around 30 percent of the defensive snaps, picking up one sack. McVay said he expects Okoronkwo to miss 4-6 weeks.
October 19th, 2018 at 7:21pm CST by Andrew Ortenberg
The Buccaneers made a major change this week, firing much-maligned defensive coordinator Mike Smith and replacing him with Mark Duffner. The Bucs’ defense had picked up right where they left off in 2017, and had been an absolute sieve, leading for calls to fire Smith for weeks now. While Bucs fans will be happy that anyone other than Smith is calling the defense, some in Tampa Bay’s locker room apparently were hoping the team would go in a different direction for their interim coordinator.
There “was strong support by the players for Bucs DL Coach Brentson Buckner to take over the defense”, according to Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports (Twitter link). It’s notable that the team apparently didn’t go with the players’ first choice, and it will be interesting to watch how things play out with Duffner. His first test will be stopping Baker Mayfield and the Browns this Sunday.
Here’s more from the NFC:
Speaking of the Buccaneers, rookie first round pick Vita Vea will make his first ever start this Sunday, according to Greg Auman of The Athletic (Twitter link). Vea, the talented young defensive tackle from Washington, will start because Gerald McCoy is missing the game due to injury.
While Dallas’ lack of pass-catchers has been one of the biggest storylines in the NFL this year, it doesn’t sound like the Cowboys will be adding outside receiving help anytime soon. Owner Jerry Jones downplayed speculation they’d go after a veteran receiver, saying it’s “hard to do at this juncture, to bring in a position that needs the coordination that you have to have with the quarterback” and adding that “the farther you go into the year, then the harder it is to think about bringing a player in”, per Jon Machota of Dallas News. While Jones insisted the organization is “confident in the personnel that we have here”, it still wouldn’t be surprising if they were ultimately aggressive in the trade market.
Rams rookie fifth round pick outside linebacker Ogbonnia Okoronkwo hasn’t been able to see the field this year as he’s been sidelined with a foot injury, but could be making his return soon. Okoronkwo has been practicing with the team, and the Rams will decide soon when to bring him back according to Lindsey Thiry of ESPN. The Rams’ pass-rush has been lacking this year, and Okoronkwo could potentially provide a big boost. Thiry reports that Rams coach Sean McVay is high on the young edge player.