Shaquill Griffin

Injury Notes: Eagles, Jacobs, Steelers, Hawks

Afflicted with injuries to their receiving corps for most of the season, the Eagles will be severely shorthanded on this front in their win-and-in game Sunday. In addition to Nelson Agholor missing another game, Zach Ertz is not ready to return. Carson Wentz‘s top target will miss Week 17 due to back and ribs injuries. Ertz left the Eagles’ Week 16 win, leaving second-year tight end Dallas Goedert as Wentz’s most proven target.

Here is the latest from Philadelphia and other contending teams’ injury situations going into the regular season’s final Sunday:

  • While the Eagles are stripped of their top three wide receivers and their premier tight end, Jordan Howard will return. The fourth-year running back missed Philadelphia’s past six games due to a shoulder injury. The Eagles’ leading rusher when the injury surfaced at the midseason point, Howard will rejoin a backfield that’s seen more from Miles Sanders and some contributions from Boston Scott.
  • Moving to another playoff hopeful’s running back situation, the Raiders will be without Josh Jacobs on Sunday in Denver. The team declared Jacobs out, meaning he will miss a third game in his past four. Their offensive rookie of the year candidate is battling a shoulder malady and a skin condition, the latter prompting him to undergo a minor surgery this week. Jacobs missed Week 14 and Week 16 due to a shoulder injury. Free agent-to-be DeAndre Washington has filled in well for Jacobs, amassing 202 scrimmage yards in those two games. The Raiders need to win and receive another Sunday of good fortune to make the playoffs.
  • One of the teams the Raiders need to lose Sunday will be shorthanded on the ground as well. James Conner will miss the Steelers‘ regular-season finale, joining Pro Bowl center Maurkice Pouncey in that regard. After missing a chunk of Pittsburgh’s season with a shoulder injury, Conner is now dealing with a quad problem. Pouncey is down due to a knee ailment.
  • Most of the non-Marshawn Lynch Seahawks news this week centers around the players who will not be available Sunday night, but the team will have some key players back in uniform. Jadeveon Clowney and Shaquill Griffin missed Seattle’s past two games but will be on the field in Sunday’s de facto NFC West championship game against San Francisco. Clowney is still battling the core issue that he initially played through but one that’s caused him to miss time.
  • The 49ers placed another defensive lineman on IR. Defensive tackle Jullian Taylor will end his season on the injured list because of an ACL tear sustained in practice this week, Matt Maiocco of NBC Sports Bay Area notes. A 2018 seventh-round pick, Taylor played in six 49ers games this season. Defensive linemen Taylor, Ronald Blair, D.J. Jones and Damontre Moore reside on San Francisco’s IR list.

Extra Points: Beckham, Luck, Browns, Hawks

On Day 1 of the true NFL offseason, here’s the latest, beginning with a difference from Odell Beckham Jr.‘s 2017 situation in which the Giants’ star pass-catcher currently finds himself.

  • Beckham hasn’t joined 2014 draft-class peers Khalil Mack, Aaron Donald and Taylor Lewan in holding out. He showed up for Giants minicamp and said he would be there for training camp. His standing in the organization may be on the rise, too. One new Giants coach told SI.com’s Albert Breer that Beckham “has been awesome” to the new personnel in the building. Breer said the perennial Pro Bowl wideout will have more people in the organization going to bat for him during these negotiations than was the case last year. The talks, though, aren’t progressing at this point.
  • This offseason’s gone much more smoothly for Andrew Luck than his initial post-shoulder surgery months did. Breer notes the Colts quarterback made it about 5 1/2 months in 2017 before enduring setbacks, ones that ultimately erased his ’17 season. Now, Luck is throwing again, having privately participated in a post-minicamp workout Friday, per Breer. While Luck still has some significant obstacles to navigate, the Colts’ new coaching staff isn’t concerned about his timeline. The team, though, will give Luck days off during training camp, Breer reports, and organize his reps like they’d be distributed during the regular season.
  • One reason the Browns opted for Denzel Ward over Bradley Chubb, who they had rated alongside one another on the non-quarterback sector of their draft board: a belief in third-year defensive end Emmanuel Ogbah. A Sashi Brown-era investment, Ogbah played well before breaking his foot last November. The new-look Browns are high on Ogbah having a strong season opposite Myles Garrett, Terry Pluto of cleveland.com notes.
  • Byron Maxwell‘s enjoyed an up-and-down career, but as of now, he’s the favorite to start opposite Shaquill Griffin for the Seahawks, Brady Henderson of ESPN.com notes. He will be playing the same spot he did in Super Bowl XLIX, right cornerback, after the team moved Griffin to Richard Sherman‘s old left corner position. Maxwell’s experience on the right side was one of the reasons the Seahawks relocated Griffin, Pete Carroll said.
  • Western Michigan cornerback Sam Beal is eligible for the supplemental draft, and ESPN.com’s Adam Schefter already posited he could be the highest-drafted player in this summer event since Josh Gordon went in the 2012 second round. Scouts have also raved about Beal, with Tony Pauline of DraftAnalyst.com reporting evaluators he spoke to assigned a first-round grade to the defender. While this grade was contingent on his entering the regular 2019 draft, a team figures to give up one of its 2019 selections in order to draft Beal in the supplemental event. Offensive lineman Isaiah Battle was the last player chosen in the supplemental draft; the Rams used a fifth-round pick on him in 2015.

NFC West Notes: Seahawks, Woods, Peters

The Seahawks have dealt with multiple injuries on the defensive side this season. Marquee performers like Richard Sherman, Kam Chancellor and Cliff Avril have all been ruled out for the year and in the case of Avril and Chancellor, their overall football careers could really be in jeopardy.

Bob Condotta of The Seattle Times writes in a column, with the help of former NFL agent Joel Corry, how he expects the team will handle a few of these injury situations from a cap point of view in 2018. The most complicated of the group seems to be Chancellor, who’s contract runs through the 2020 season. By simply retiring, the strong safety would alleviate a lot of Seattle’s cap problems, but he’s unlikely to do that given all the money that’s left for him to make. Condotta notes that if the safety was inactive to start the season, he would still make a guaranteed $6.8MM if he remains on the roster by February 10, 2018. With this in mind, it seems likely that the front office would opt to wait things out to see how the soon-to-be 30-year-old responds next year given the salary cap situation. However, unlike Chancellor, Avril is likely not to be back with the Seahawks on his current deal given that the team can save $7.5MM if he were released or retires. Seattle could look to bring him back on a lesser, more incentive-rich contract if he were to be released.

The piece adds some more in-depth cap information as well, and is really a good deep dive into how the Seahawks will handle some of their trickier contract situations given that they are right up against the cap at the moment.

  • On more positive Seahawks injury news, head coach Pete Carroll spoke positively about the chances starting defensive backs Earl Thomas and Shaquill Griffin would be able to play Sunday, reports Brady Henderson of ESPN.com“He’s fine,” Carroll said of Thomas. “He had something we just tended to yesterday, a sore foot, and that was it. Not a big deal.” The star safety was listed as questionable on Thursday, but looks to be on track to suit up this weekend. Griffin missed last week’s game against the 49ers with a concussion, but he will be back too, according to Henderson.
  • Breakout Rams wide receiver Robert Woods was sidelined for the team’s win over the Saints last week and will most assuredly be out for Week 13 as well. However, head coach Sean McVay told reporters this afternoon that he’s “shooting for” Woods to return by December 10, although the young coach did clarify that the more likely return date would be a week later than that, tweets Aiden Gonzalez of ESPN.com. Woods has been a real impact free agent for LA, especially in recent weeks, as he’s recorded 20 catches and four touchdowns in the last three games he played. Without the 25-year-old receiver, the Rams will more heavily rely on Sammy Watkins, Cooper Kupp and Josh Reynolds.
  • The Cardinals officially agreed to a contract extension with defensive tackle Corey Peters earlier in the day. Now we are learning more about the specific finances of the new deal looks like. The 29-year-old defensive lineman will earn $12MM over three years with $7.25MM being paid in total guarantees, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (Twitter link). Rapoport adds that Peters’ deal also includes a $2.75MM signing bonus and incentives that could add another $1MM to the total value of the contract.

NFC Notes: Griffin, Stafford, Forbath, 49ers

The Seahawks defense continues to take hits on the injury front as the team has now learned that starting cornerback Shaquill Griffin has been ruled out for Sunday’s game vs. the 49ers with a concussion, according to Gregg Bell of The News Tribune (Twitter link). Bell adds that lineman Oday Aboushi will miss the matchup with a shoulder injury as well, so Seattle will once again have to expose backups to expansive playing time.

It would seem that cornerbacks Byron Maxwell and Jeremy Lane will get the starts on the outside, with either rookie Ethan Pocic or third-year lineman Mark Glowinski filling in for Aboushi at right guard.

Seattle’s roster looks a whole lot different without the likes of Griffin, Richard Sherman and Kam Chancellor in the starting lineup, which has contributed greatly to the Seahawks up-and-down sort of season. The team still has an outstanding defensive line and is right in the thick of the playoff race, but is currently facing a lot of adversity as it continues to lose quality players as the season wears on.

  • In what was a tremendous show of resiliency on Thanksgiving, Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford actually finished the game after he suffered what looked to be a serious leg injury. However, even though the talented QB was able to return, you can clearly see that he is not 100% in a video posted to Instagram by Davie Birkett of the Detroit Free Press, depicting Stafford hobbling away after his postgame press conference. It remains to be seen whether Stafford can continue to play in the weeks to come, but we should learn more about the overall severity of the injury next week.
  • Vikings kicker Kai Forbath apparently cut his foot on the nullified block field goal, but should not miss any time moving forward, according to Chris Tomasson of the St. Paul Pioneer Press (Twitter link). Forbath had been one of the best kickers in the league up until the last few weeks when he missed two field goals against the Rams and suffered the aforementioned blocked kick yesterday.
  • The 49ers are as expected not in playoff contention this year, but still await some key decisions on potential free agents at season’s end. Eric Branch of the San Francisco Chronicle, looked at six impending free agents who could be on the way out after the 2017 season is over. Branch noted running back Carlos Hyde, safety Eric Reid, center Daniel Kilgore, defensive end Aaron Lynch, defensive lineman Tank Carradine and cornerback Dontae Johnson as all guys that seemed primed to test the open market. There are a variety of factors that go into these decisions, but it’s interesting to see how the team may approach these players in the final six weeks of the season given their impending free agency.

Seahawks Wrap Up Draft Class

The Seahawks have locked up the entirety of their 2017 draft class by signing third-round defensive backs Shaquill Griffin and Delano Hill, according to Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times (Twitter link).Delano Hill (Vertical)

Griffin and Hill were selected within with five picks of each other, as Griffin — a UCF product — came off the board with the 90th overall selection while Hill, a Michigan alum, went at No. 95. Griffin, specifically, could see action early in his rookie campaign as incumbent corner DeShawn Shead recovers from a torn ACL. Hill, meanwhile, could act as insurance if Earl Thomas‘ rehab from a broken leg takes longer than expected.

Here’s an overview of Seattle’s entire 2017 rookie crop:

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

NFL Draft Rumors: Guards, Foreman, Griffin

Here’s a look at some interesting NFL Draft buzz, via DraftAnalyst.com’s Tony Pauline:

  • The general belief is that this year’s offensive line crop is weak, and that will lead to some of the better prospects in this year’s class to be overdrafted. Right now, it seems like as many as three guards could be taken in the first round. Dorian Johnson of Pittsburgh is generally regarded as this year’s best guard with Indiana’s Dan Feeney behind him. If a third guard sneaks into the first round, it’ll be Forrest Lamp of Western Kentucky, multiple insiders tell Pauline. Lamp played left tackle for the Hilltoppers but he is commonly projected to guard or possibly center.
  • Texas running back D’Onta Foreman of Texas has been running in the low-to-mid 4.5s in the 40-yard-dash, a solid time for a 235-pound RB. Pauline believes that he is an underrated pass-catcher and can offer more than just his powerful downhill running skills.
  • Central Florida cornerback Shaquill Griffin is ready to run “an elite time,” trainers tell Pauline, which means clocking in under 4.35 seconds in the 40-yard-dash. At 6’1″, Griffin also has the height to succeed as an NFL cornerback.
  • In other draft news, Texas Tech quarterback Patrick Mahomes II has received a second-round grade from the league’s advisory committee. This comes on the heels of talk that he could be in the mix as a top three overall pick.
  • Last week, we learned that Ole Miss QB Chad Kelly will not be among the players invited to the combine.