Sam Darnold

AFC East Notes: Gronkowski, Darnold, Folk, Dolphins

It’s no secret that the Patriots have been searching for a weapon to replace the production they received from now retired tight end Rob Gronkowski. Wide receivers Josh Gordon and Antonio Brown both looked like solutions at various points earlier in the season, but neither remain on New England’s roster. However, it appears the team’s owner Robert Kraft still hopes to get Gronkowski back on the field.

When Gronkowski was cleaning out his locker after announcing his retirement in March, Kraft told him the team would remain hopeful that he would return late in the season for another playoff run, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com. While it has been known that the organization hoped Gronkowski would change his mind, no one had reported Kraft’s involvement.

Rapoport notes in his story that, according to sources, Gronkowski remains content with his decision, but if he wants to return this season he has to decide soon. The deadline for retired players to return during the season and play is November 30. New England will obviously plan ahead without him, but they surely will be hoping for a change of heart.

Here more from around the AFC East:

  • Kicker Nick Folk has meshed into the Patriots locker room well, according to Mike Reiss of ESPN.com. Folk already knew the man he replaced, Stephen Gostkowski, and offensive lineman Joe Thuney and Ted Karras. All four had been enrolled in some of the same classes as they worked toward master’s degrees in past offseasons. Folk was signed after Gostkowski suffered a torn labrum in his left hip. Reiss also notes that Folk suffered the same injury in 2009 and could offer Gostkowski valuable insight during his recovery.
  • Jets quarterback Sam Darnold is “taking charge” in the locker room, according to Rich Cimini of ESPN.com. After Darnold’s poor performances against both the Jaguars and Patriots, he has become more assertive in meetings with the coaching staff. Cimini reports that Darnold had previously been very deferential to head coach Adam Gase, but now offers feedback and his own opinion more readily.
  • NFL draft experts and scouts were watching this weeks game between LSU and Alabama closely. The Dolphins sent an especially large contingent, which included two scouts and general manager Chris Grier, according to ESPN.com’s Adam Schefter. Miami has long been tied to Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa through the #Tank4Tua trend. However, even if Miami does have the top pick in the draft, some experts are beginning to place LSU’s quarterback Joe Burrow above Tagovailoa. It appears Miami’s top brass got an up-close look at both players on Saturday.

Ravens Tried To Trade For Jamal Adams

Jamal Adams is staying with the Jets, but not for a lack of interest. Before the deadline, the Ravens tried to swing a trade for the Pro Bowl safety, Adam Schefter of ESPN.com tweets

[RELATED: Jets Hold On To Le’Veon Bell]

Ultimately, the two sides couldn’t come to terms. It was a similar story for the Cowboys, who also engaged in an aggressive pursuit of Adams before the bell rang.

Speaking of the Cowboys: They were willing to part with a first-round pick as part of a Minkah Fitzpatrick-type package, David Moore of the Dallas Morning News (on Twitter) hears. The Steelers acquired Fitzpatrick for a first-round pick and also agreed to exchange third-day draft choices. That’s what the Cowboys were looking to do, but they were not willing to venture into Jalen Ramsey territory, which means coughing up two first-round picks, plus a fourth-rounder.

The 1-6 Jets worked the phone lines in recent days with hopes of parlaying their best talent into future draft capital. Even after dealing defensive lineman Leonard Williams to the Giants, they were nowhere near satisfied: quarterback Sam Darnold and defensive tackle Quinnen Williams represented their only untouchable players, Ralph Vacchiano of SNY (on Twitter) hears.

The Jets will move forward with Adams, running back Le’Veon Bell, wide receiver Robby Anderson, and the other notable names they had at the start of business on Tuesday. Ultimately, Jets GM Joe Douglas wasn’t able to completely dismantle the team he inherited, but that ultimately might be for the best.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Injury Notes: Ryan, Darnold, Dickson, Doctson

It doesn’t sound like Matt Ryan will be out for long. Falcons coach Dan Quinn said the veteran quarterback will start when the team returns from a bye in Week 10 (via Michael David Smith of ProFootballTalk.com). The coach also said Ryan would likely play this weekend if the team had a game.

Ryan suffered an ankle injury that forced him to miss Sunday’s game, the first time he’s been forced out of the lineup in a decade. The quarterback missed a pair of games during the 2009 season due to turf toe.

With the Falcons sitting at 1-7, it wouldn’t be shocking if the Falcons were a bit cautious with Ryan. On the flip side, the organization gave the quarterback more than $100MM in guaranteed money last year, and the veteran has still been plenty productive this season.

Let’s check out some more injury notes from around the NFL…

  • We heard earlier today that Sam Darnold was set to play through his thumb injury, and the Jets quarterback elaborated on the issue. Darnold referred to the ailment as a “pain-tolerance thing … I should be fine,” according to ESPN’s Rich Cimini. Coach Adam Gase previously said that this is an injury Darnold will have to play through for the rest of the season.
  • Seahawks tight end Ed Dickson will practice this week, coach Pete Carroll told reporters (via ESPN’s Brady Henderson). Carroll added that Dickson is unlikely to make his season debut on Sunday The veteran has missed the first half of the season as he’s recovered from a knee injury. With Will Dissly out for the season, the offense will surely welcome back the tight end.
  • Vikings wideout Josh Doctson is set to return from injury this week, he told Darren Wolfson of 5Eyewitness News in Minny (via Twitter). The Redskins released the former first-rounder back in September, and he caught on with the Vikings soon after. The 26-year-old didn’t get into a game with Minnesota before landing on the IR with a hamstring injury.
  • Ravens cornerback Tavon Young underwent neck surgery, according to coach John Harbaugh (via Jeff Zrebiec of The Athletic on Twitter). Young suffered a neck injury prior to the season and was placed on IR. The 25-year-old signed a three-year, $25.8MM extension with Baltimore back in February. Meanwhile, rookie cornerback Iman Marshall returned to practice on Monday.

Latest On Jets’ C.J. Mosley

The Jets will be without linebacker C.J. Mosley for the next five or six weeks, head coach Adam Gase told reporters (Twitter link via Kimberly Jones of NFL.com). For now, the veteran will try to avoid surgery, but he’ll be re-evaluated towards the end of his estimated recovery timetable to determine next steps. 

The Jets inked Mosley to a five-year, $85MM deal this offseason. So far, that deal hasn’t panned out. Thanks to a groin injury, Mosley missed every game from Weeks 2-6. He returned for the Jets’ Week 7 drumming at the hands of the Patriots, but that only made the issue worse.

Now, the four-time Pro Bowler is looking at another extended absence. At minimum, he’ll miss games against the Dolphins, Giants, Redskins, Raiders, and Bengals. It’s possible that he’ll be back to face the Dolphins in a second matchup between the AFC East’s worst teams, but the Jets could opt to keep him on the sidelines if they are completely out of the playoff picture.

Mosley’s contract pays him an average of $17MM/year with $51MM guaranteed in total. Practically speaking, the aggressive cash flow of the deal will not allow the Jets to escape the deal until sometime after the 2021 season, when they can release Mosley to save $15.5MM against $3MM in dead money.

In some positive Jets news: quarterback Sam Darnold is expected to play through his left thumb injury. That means he’ll be under center for the Jets’ Sunday afternoon contest against the Dolphins in Miami.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

AFC Notes: Dareus, Broncos, Green, Chiefs, Darnold

Marcell Dareus will undergo surgery today to repair a core muscle injury, sources tell Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (Twitter link). The defensive lineman is expected to miss 4-6 weeks for Jaguars.

Here’s more around the AFC:

  • Broncos coach Vic Fangio said it was “possible” that CB Bryce Callahan will miss the rest of the season, Nicki Jhabvala of The Athletic tweets. Callaham underwent stem cell treatment on his foot last month and the original projection was 4-to-6 weeks.
  • A.J. Green did not practice today for the Bengals and isn’t expected to play against the Rams in London, Ben Baby of ESPN.com tweets. LT Cordy Glenn will also not play in the contest.
  • DE Frank Clark (neck), DT Chris Jones (groin), LB Darron Lee (illness) and CB Kendall Fuller (thumb) all missed practice for the Chiefs today, Herbie Teope of Kansas City.com tweets. Patrick Mahomes is practicing again for the second-straight day.
  • Sam Darnold was limited in practice today, Brian Costello of the New York Post relays (Twitter link). Darnold was a non-participant for the Jets on Wednesday because of a toe ailment.

AFC East Notes: Jets, Mosley, Fitzpatrick

C.J. Mosley was one of the biggest free agent signings of the offseason. The Jets poached the inside linebacker from the Ravens for a record-setting contract. His career in New York has struggled to get underway due to injuries. Playing in just his second game of the season on Monday against the Patriots, Mosley re-aggravated his groin injury.

According to Rich Cimini of NFL.com, the organization is concerned about Mosley’s health. Head coach Adam Gase told reporters that “It might be more than the groin.” In fact, Gase’s comments suggested there is a certain level of uncertainty and that doctors are in the middle of a “deep dive” into his health.

Here is some more news from around the AFC East:

  • Jets starting quarterback Sam Darnold is limited and limping after a toe nail removal procedure, according to Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News. The report notes that the operation does not put Darnold at risk of missing any upcoming games, but the injury will limit him in practice. Darnold returned to action in Week 6 after missing over a month recovering from mononucleosis.
  • In a separate tweet, Cimini noted that there was no sign of offensive lineman Kelechi Osemele at Jets practice today. When Gase was asked the organization’s stance on Osemele, he refused to comment. Osemele has been refusing to practice with a shoulder injury that it appears the team believes he can play through. The team has since fined him and this case could very well be headed towards a grievance. Regardless, a recent update from Pro Football Talk has reported that Osemele plans to proceed with shoulder surgery this week.
  • The Dolphins hapless season has had few storylines worth following. However, after stepping in for young quarterback Josh Rosen, Ryan Fitzpatrick put up a strong performance against a very good Bills defense. Head coach Brian Flores told reporters that Fitzpatrick earned another start, according to Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald. Going forward, Fitzpatrick will prepare to play the Steelers next week on Monday Night Football.

Jets’ Sam Darnold Cleared To Play

Excellent news for the Jets, Sam Darnold, and Darnold’s spleen – the quarterback has been cleared to play for Sunday against the Cowboys, per an official club announcement. 

With that, Darnold will make his long-awaited return. The QB has been out of action since Week 1 with mononucleosis, rending him too weak to lift a pencil (at least, that’s what they say about mono) and too prone to serious spleen injury. He’ll return to the Jets just in the nick of time – the Jets are 0-4 under new head coach Adam Gase and are already dangerously close to putting themselves out of playoff contention.

These Jets aren’t built for a Super Bowl run, but Gang Green is at least hoping to take a step in the right direction this year. Even without Quincy Enunwa, the Jets may have enough offensive firepower in Darnold, running back Le’Veon Bell, and other key pieces to make some noise and brush up to the .500 mark. They’ve also got a stockpile of defensive talent, though they’ll need some better luck on the injury front in order to capitalize.

After Dallas, the Jets will have a second showdown with the Patriots, followed by games against the Jaguars and Dolphins.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Jets QB Sam Darnold Won’t Play Vs. Eagles

The Jets will be without quarterback Sam Darnold for a while longer. They were hoping for him to be cleared in time for this week’s game against the Eagles, but head coach Adam Gase says he won’t be able to play. 

[RELATED: No Timetable For Jets’ C.J. Mosley]

Darnold has been out with mono, which has badly affected his energy and potentially would put his spleen in jeopardy if he were to take the field. In the meantime, the Jets have turned to Luke Falk, a young and inexperienced QB. His last start dropped the Jets to 0-3, though that’s not necessarily his fault – there are problems abound in New York.

Darnold, the No. 3 overall pick in 2018, went 4-9 as a starter last year. He completed 57.7% of his throws in the Jets’ rocky offense and, so far, has only played in one game this season. In that losing effort against the Bills, he completed 28 of 41 passes for 175 yards with one touchdown.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

QB Notes: Darnold, Allen, Bears, Colts

Previously targeting Week 5 for his return from mononucleosis, Sam Darnold did not hit a key checkpoint Monday. Doctors did not clear the Jets quarterback for full work Monday, Rich Cimini of ESPN.com notes. This scuttles some momentum for a Darnold return against the Eagles. Adam Gase said Darnold remains a “question mark” as to his Week 5 availability. While Cimini adds the second-year passer received partial clearance and can begin doing some non-contact work, he points out Gase did not sound optimistic about having Darnold back for the Jets’ next game. This points to Luke Falk receiving another start, with recently promoted backup Mike White being the Jets’ QB2 against the Eagles. Falk completed 12 of 22 passes for 98 yards and an interception against the Patriots.

Here is the latest from some quarterback situations around the league:

  • The Bears have yet to announce anything on Mitch Trubisky‘s injury, but Adam Schefter of ESPN.com tweets the team may be without its starting passer for a bit. Trubisky’s MRI revealed a dislocated left shoulder and a slight labrum tear, per Schefter, who adds the third-year QB is unlikely to face the Raiders in London. Trubisky is not expected to need surgery. Chase Daniel has proven to be a capable fill-in, having piloted the Bears to two wins in relief of Trubisky in the past two seasons. Trubisky missed two games with a right shoulder malady last season.
  • As expected, Josh Allen is going through the Bills‘ concussion protocol. Sean McDermott said backup Matt Barkley will prepare this week like he will start against the Titans. With the Bills having a Week 6 bye, it would make sense if the improving team held its starter out this week.
  • Chad Kelly made his way back to the Colts after initially being waived. Now on Indianapolis’ practice squad, the 2017 Mr. Irrelevant will still make a fair amount of cash in his third NFL season. Kelly will earn $33K per week, Mike Chappell of CBS4 tweets. That comes out to around $570K for the season. The NFL’s practice squad minimum is $8K weekly. Kelly is back on the developmental track, serving as the Colts’ de facto third-string quarterback behind Jacoby Brissett and Brian Hoyer.

Injury Notes: Brees, Saquon, Green, Sam, Hill

Here are the latest injury notes from around the league as Week 4 gets underway: