Chargers Rumors

Chargers’ Tyrod Taylor Has Punctured Lung

A Chargers team doctor accidentally punctured quarterback Tyrod Taylor‘s lung just prior to Sunday’s game while administering a pain-killing shot, sources tell ESPN.com’s Adam Schefter (Twitter links). Taylor was preparing to play through broken ribs before matters were made worse by the complication. 

Taylor is now looking at an extended absence and doctors have advised him to stay home “indefinitely,” according to Schefter. Rookie Justin Herbert — who was thrust into action against the Chiefs — is now slated to start against the Panthers on Sunday. Odds are, Taylor will need even more time to heal after that point.

The NFLPA is looking into the matter, Schefter hears. Meanwhile, Chargers head coach Anthony Lynn insists that Taylor will resume his role as the team’s starter once he’s able to return to the field. For what it’s worth, the Bolts pushed the defending champs to overtime on Sunday with Herbert under center. If he’s able to keep up the good work, the Chargers could be looking at a tricky situation when Taylor is finally cleared.

Taylor, 31, was a three-year starter for the Bills between 2015 and 2017. During his 2015 Pro Bowl campaign, Taylor averaged 8.0 yards per pass, threw 20 touchdown passes, six interceptions and ran for 568 yards. All in all, he owns a career 23-21-1 record as a starter. Taylor is historically safe with the football: among quarterbacks with at least 1,000 attempts since 2015, Taylor ranks third in interception percentage.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

NFL Practice Squad Updates: 9/22/20

We’ll keep track of today’s taxi squad moves here:

Arizona Cardinals

  • Signed: OL Rick Leonard

Atlanta Falcons

Baltimore Ravens

Chicago Bears

Cincinnati Bengals

Cleveland Browns

Denver Broncos

  • Signed: LB Deyon Sizer

Detroit Lions

Green Bay Packers

  • Released: LB Greg Roberts

Indianapolis Colts

Jacksonville Jaguars

Los Angeles Chargers

Minnesota Vikings

New York Giants

New York Jets

San Francisco 49ers

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Chargers Not Ready To Bench Tyrod Taylor

Whether “100%” will be how the Bolts justify keeping Herbert in the lineup or not, it would seem difficult for the team to give the job back to its bridge starter. The Chargers drafted a quarterback in the first four rounds for the first time since 2006 and saw him throw for 311 yards in an overtime loss, making it entirely possible Taylor is benched again. The Browns sidelined Taylor after three starts in 2017.

Tyrod Taylor could be on the verge of being benched in September for a second time in three seasons. A chest injury he was battling caused Justin Herbert to be called upon Sunday, and NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport and Mike Garafolo report Taylor received a pregame injection to the area (Twitter link). Complications ensued, prompting Chargers HC Anthony Lynn to call on Herbert. While the No. 6 overall pick fared better than could be expected, given the lack of offseason prep time, Lynn has not named him the Chargers’ Week 3 starter. The fourth-year coach said he will turn back to Taylor when he is “100%” recovered from the chest setback.

Whether “100%” will be how the Bolts justify keeping Herbert in the lineup or not, it would seem difficult for the team to give the job back to its bridge starter. The Chargers drafted a quarterback in the first four rounds for the first time since 2006 and saw him throw for 311 yards in an overtime loss, making it entirely possible Taylor is benched again. The Browns sidelined Taylor after three starts in 2017.

Justin Herbert Starts At QB For Chargers

The NFL debut of Justin Herbert is coming in unexpected fashion. Just moments before kickoff, the Chargers announced the rookie first-rounder would be making his first career start.

In an unusual situation, normal starter Tyrod Taylor apparently injured his chest during pregame warmups and needed to be pulled. That meant the sixth overall pick of April’s draft was suddenly thrust into his first real action without being prepped for it against the defending Super Bowl champion Chiefs.

He certainly didn’t look overwhelmed initially, scoring a touchdown on his first pro drive. There’s no word yet on how serious the injury to Taylor is, but we’ll be sure to pass on word to you shortly. Taylor entered the season as the starter, but it was likely only a matter of time before the Oregon product took over anyway.

Los Angeles escaped with a narrow victory over the Bengals in Week 1, but Taylor didn’t play too well and failed to move the offense consistently. If Herbert plays well today against Kansas City he probably won’t be relinquishing the job regardless of Taylor’s health.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Minor NFL Transactions: 9/19/20

Here are Saturday’s minor moves. There are many, as teams take advantage of the rule change allowing 55-man rosters ahead of regular-season games. Teams can dress 48 players for games this season, up from 46.

Arizona Cardinals

Buffalo Bills

Carolina Panthers

Chicago Bears

Dallas Cowboys

Denver Broncos

Detroit Lions

Green Bay Packers

Houston Texans

Indianapolis Colts

Jacksonville Jaguars

Kansas City Chiefs

Los Angeles Chargers

Los Angeles Rams

Minnesota Vikings

New England Patriots

New York Giants

Philadelphia Eagles

San Francisco 49ers

Seattle Seahawks

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Tennessee Titans

Washington Football Team

NFL Practice Squad Updates: 9/19/20

Recent practice squad notes from around the league:

Buffalo Bills

Carolina Panthers

  • Signed: WR Hakeem Butler
  • Released: S T.J. Green, T Aaron Monteiro

Chicago Bears

Cleveland Browns

Jacksonville Jaguars

Las Vegas Raiders

Los Angeles Chargers

Miami Dolphins

New Orleans Saints

Pittsburgh Steelers

  • Signed: OL Brandon Walton

Of course, the big news here surrounds Callaway. Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle reports (via Twitter) that the wideout has earned an additional four-game suspension for violating the league’s substance-abuse policy. This means he’ll be eligible to return to the field in Week 8.

Callaway will continue to sit on the Dolphins’ practice squad suspended list, per Charean Williams of ProFootballTalk.com. The 23-year-old will still be allowed to attend meetings, but he can’t practice with the squad until his suspension ends.

The talented wideout out of Florida fell to the Browns in the fourth round of the 2018 draft thanks in part to a 2016 four-game suspension from former head coach Jim McElwain. Callaway immediately contributed in Cleveland, hauling in 43 receptions for 586 and five scores during his rookie campaign. However, the receiver was suspended for the first four games of the 2019 season after violating the substance-abuse policy, and he underwhelmed in the four games following his return (eight receptions, 89 yards).

He was slapped with a 10-game ban late last year, and the suspension was supposed to last through the third week of the 2020 season. Thanks to the latest suspension, Callaway won’t see the field through the first seven weeks of the season.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Chargers C Mike Pouncey Out For Season

The Chargers will be without their veteran center for the entirety of the 2020 season. GM Tom Telesco announced Thursday Mike Pouncey plans to undergo surgery to repair a hip injury.

Pouncey will go under the knife at some point in September, and the procedure will prevent him from playing this season. The Bolts will place Pouncey on IR and promote fullback Gabe Nabers to their 53-man roster.

For arguably the NFL’s most injury-prone team, this represents a major setback. Both Pouncey and Pro Bowl guard Trai Turner missed the Chargers’ opener, and Pouncey joins All-Pro safety Derwin James in being out for the season. Starting linebacker Drue Tranquill also suffered a broken ankle against the Bengals.

For Pouncey, it looks like a crossroads moment. The former Dolphins starter missed 11 games last season due to a neck injury last season. He was medically cleared to return this summer, but the hip troubles that the Florida alum experienced with the Dolphins continue to plague him. During the 2017 season, Pouncey said he will at some point early in his post-playing life he will need a hip replacement.

Still, the former first-round pick rebounded in his first Bolts season to make the Pro Bowl. The Chargers then signed Pouncey to a one-year extension, but his contract expires after the 2020 slate. Pouncey, 31, stands to head into free agency a major question mark.

Los Angeles moved guard Dan Feeney to center against Cincinnati, sliding contract-year lineman Forrest Lamp back into its lineup at guard. Lamp has failed to live up to his second-round billing thus far but may now have a key opportunity in a contract year.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

2020 NFL Cap Space, By Team

Cap management has been extra complicated in the NFL this year. After ~70 NFL players opted out of the 2020 season, teams were left with holes and plenty of available dollars to fill the gaps. At first, the ongoing uncertainty over next year’s salary cap had teams nervous about large-scale commitments. Now, it seems like we’re getting back to business as usual.

Recent deals for Saints star Alvin Kamara, Vikings running back Dalvin Cook, Rams cornerback Jalen Ramsey, and others demonstrate the league’s long-term confidence. In turn, we’ve seen cap figures change dramatically in September.

Here’s the rundown of each team’s estimated cap space for the 2020 season, via Over The Cap:

  1. Cleveland Browns – $33.4MM
  2. New York Jets – $28.6MM
  3. Dallas Cowboys — $27.5MM
  4. New England Patriots – $26.3MM
  5. Washington Football Team – $25.8MM
  6. Denver Broncos – $25.7MM
  7. Jacksonville Jaguars – $25.2MM
  8. Philadelphia Eagles – $20MM
  9. Detroit Lions – $18MM
  10. Miami Dolphins – $16.7MM
  11. Baltimore Ravens – $14.2MM
  12. Los Angeles Chargers – $11.8MM
  13. Cincinnati Bengals – $11.6MM
  14. Arizona Cardinals – $11.4MM
  15. Indianapolis Colts – $11.3MM
  16. San Francisco 49ers – $11.2MM
  17. Pittsburgh Steelers – $10.9MM
  18. Chicago Bears – $9.9MM
  19. New York Giants – $9.6MM
  20. Houston Texans – $9.6MM
  21. Tennessee Titans – $9.4MM
  22. New Orleans Saints – $8.8MM
  23. Green Bay Packers – $8.7MM
  24. Los Angeles Rams – $7.7MM
  25. Las Vegas Raiders – $7.4MM
  26. Carolina Panthers – $6.9MM
  27. Kansas City Chiefs – $6.6MM
  28. Buffalo Bills – $6.5MM
  29. Seattle Seahawks – $6.2MM
  30. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – $3.7MM
  31. Atlanta Falcons – $3.3MM
  32. Minnesota Vikings – $2MM

Chargers Work Out RB Bilal Powell

Longtime Jets running back Bilal Powell made a trip to Los Angeles on Tuesday. The Chargers worked out the veteran, Field Yates of ESPN.com tweets.

The Bolts also auditioned younger backs as well, with Tom Pelissero of NFL.com noting Jordan Scarlett and Brian Herrien took part in the Tuesday running back workout (Twitter link). Ex-Chargers running back Troymaine Pope also participated in the audition, per the Houston Chronicle’s Aaron Wilson (on Twitter).

Powell re-signed with the Jets in 2019, doing so after suffering a severe injury in 2018. The nine-year veteran has resided in free agency since March. The Chargers, however, have a potential opening at this position. Justin Jackson is dealing with a quadriceps injury.

Chargers HC Anthony Lynn was the Jets’ running backs coach during Powell’s first five years with the team. Powell, 31, mostly served as a complementary back in New York but played with the Jets from 2011-19. He submitted three seasons with 900-plus yards from scrimmage from 2013-17. Powell played in 13 Jets games last season, totaling 262 scrimmage yards.

The Panthers drafted Scarlett in the 2019 fifth round out of Florida, while Herrien went to training camp with the Browns this year. A veteran UDFA who made his NFL debut in 2016, Pope played 14 games with the Bolts last year.

The Chargers have Austin Ekeler entrenched as their starter, and fourth-round rookie Josh Kelly rushed for 60 yards and a touchdown against the Bengals in Week 1.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Minor NFL Transactions: 9/15/20

Today’s minor moves:

Atlanta Falcons

Cincinnati Bengals

Dallas Cowboys

Houston Texans

Los Angeles Chargers

New York Giants

Philadelphia Eagles

Pittsburgh Steelers

Tennessee Titans