Category Archives: NFL

Texans claim CB Vernon Hargreaves off waivers

The Houston Texans claimed former Tampa Bay Buccaneers cornerback Vernon Hargreaves off waivers Wednesday, the team revealed.

Hargreaves was released by the Bucs on Tuesday after he was benched last weekend for what coach Bruce Arians deemed a lack of hustle. “He didn’t look like he was hustling to go in for a tackle,” Arians said when asked about Hargreaves, who surrendered a 55-yard catch to Andy Isabella at the beginning of the third quarter against the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday. “He was chasing somebody across the field, and he wasn’t running fast enough.”

It is the latest move by the Texans to bolster their secondary. They got Gareon Conley from the Oakland Raiders on Oct. 21 in exchange for a third-round pick. Conley was selected in the first round of the 2017 draft; Hargreaves was a first-round pick in 2016.

Hargreaves, 24, joins a secondary that has been dealing with injuries for much of the season.

Veteran cornerback Johnathan Joseph has been playing through shoulder and neck injuries, and cornerback Bradley Roby has missed the Texans’ past three games with a hamstring injury. Rookie corner Lonnie Johnson also missed Week 9 with a concussion.

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The Texans have allowed 277.3 passing yards per game, which ranks 29th inthe NFL.

Hargreaves, the 11th overall pick in 2016, was the Bucs’ top cornerback heading into this season.

Although he posted an interception in Week 1 and made a game-saving tackle on Christian McCaffrey on a goal-line stand in Week 2, Hargreaves, who was expected to be a leader, appeared to lack focus at times.

The Texans also waived cornerback Briean Boddy-Calhoun from the active roster. Hargreaves has a lot of work to do. His effort last Sunday for his former team was unacceptable. This is made obvious by the fact that the team cut him for it. His play has also been quite a rollercoaster over his three-plus year career. However, if Houston uses him correctly they could reap major benefits from an extremely low-risk move.

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Colin Kaepernick to workout Saturday, NFL invites teams

NFL teams were on Tuesday invited to join a private workout by Colin Kaepernick, the former San Francisco quarterback who ignited controversy by kneeling during the US national anthem to protest in opposition to racial injustice.

Kaepernick’s protests triggered a political firestorm in 2017 — after the quarterback had left the league — when US President Donald Trump described players who knelt during the US anthem as “sons of bitches” who should be sacked.

He has not played since opting out of his 49ers contract at the end of the 2016-2017 season and has been repeatedly ignored by teams in the years since.

In 2017 he filed a grievance versust the NFL alleging he was being unfairly denied employment, a case that was settled in February.

He has continued to train in the hope of being able to keep his readiness to play and the NFL-arranged workout

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“I’m just getting word from my representatives that the NFL league office reached out to them about a workout in Atlanta on Saturday,” Kaepernick wrote.

“I’ve been in shape and ready for this for 3 years, can’t wait to see the head coaches and GMs on Saturday.”

The workout will take place at an undisclosed location in Atlanta. Clubs that don’t attend in person will have access to video of the session. The event will be closed to media.

Kaepernick, who led the 49ers to the 2013 Super Bowl, played his last match on January 1, 2017, in the 49ers’ loss to the Seattle Seahawks. During that season, in which the 49ers were 2-14, Kaepernick threw 16 touchdowns and had four interceptions. He rushed for 468 yards on 69 attempts. He opted out of his contract after the season and has been a free agent since.

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49ers fall to Seahawks

Despite a spirited, fourth-quarter comeback and a wild overtime period, the San Francisco 49ers experienced their first loss of the season Monday night at Levi’s Stadium, a 27-24 overtime beat at the hands of the Seattle Seahawks and quarterback Russell Wilson.

And with that, the 1972 Miami Dolphins could celebrate again, as they still the last NFL team to win a Super Bowl with a perfect record.
With the defeat, the Niners became the final team to lose a game this season, dropping to 8-1. They also became just the third team to win its first eight games and lose its first one in overtime in the Super Bowl era, according to ESPN Stats & Information research.

“You’re always disappointed when you don’t win, especially when we felt we had a number of chances,” Shanahan said. “I was very proud of our guys. I thought we competed very hard. Guys left it all out there. I know guys are hurting right now. I thought all three phases played hard. I thought our defense played unbelievable. I thought the offense played hard as they could but made way too many mistakes to be able to pull out a win in that game.”

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On a night when the Niners turned the ball over three times and allowed five sacks and 10 quarterback hits, they still had their chances to win the game. None was more tailor-made for a storybook ending than kicker Chase McLaughlin’s 47-yard field goal attempt in overtime.

More than the rare defensive miscue, the Niners’ offense struggled to take care of the ball and protect quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo.

San Francisco entered the game without tight end George Kittle(knee/ankle), and wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders departed in the second quarter with a rib injury that will require an MRI on Tuesday morning.

More than maintaining an undefeated record, a win Monday would have put the Niners firmly in control of the NFC West division. Instead, Seattle now sits just one game back in the loss column and holds the early tiebreaker.

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Lions QB Matthew Stafford out with broken bones in back

Matthew Stafford’s streak of consecutive starts came to an end, with broken bones in his back sidelining the Detroit Lions’ quarterback for Sunday’s game versus the Bears in Chicago.

Doctors will not allow Stafford to play, despite the fact that he was practicing and throwing 60-yard passes on Friday. He is now contemplated week-to-week with the back injury, with one source telling ESPN that he could be out “this week or three weeks.” Jeff Driskel will start Sunday in his place.

The injury brings an end to Stafford’s impressive streak of 136 consecutive regular-season starts, the sixth longest for a quarterback in NFL history. The last time someone other than Stafford started at quarterback for the Lions was Shaun Hill in Week 17 of the 2010 season.

Stafford’s injury dates back to last season, but he has been playing through the pain. Doctors insisted on further testing that revealed the extent of the damage in his back. When asked about the injury on Wednesday, the quarterback said he was “fine.” He was listed as questionable on the injury report and practiced every day on a limited basis this week.

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Stafford is fourth in the NFL with 2,499 passing yards. Driskel started five games for Cincinnati last season, where he completed 59.7 percent of his passes for six touchdowns and two interceptions.

Stafford, who also has had a hip injury, is no stranger to back issues. Last season, he played through the fracture of one of the bony protrusions that extend from each vertebrae. This injury is not, he said last week, related to that, and he was planning to start yet another game. Only Philip Rivers, with 218, has more consecutive starts among active quarterbacks, and the streak is a matter of pride and competitiveness. 

Signed by the Lions in September, Driskel started five games for the Cincinnati Bengals last season, completing 59.7 percent of his passes and throwing for six touchdowns.

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Setback may delay A.J Green´s season debut for Bengals

Bengals coach Zac Taylor uttered the words everyone in Bengal-land has been waiting to hear:

“I do think A.J. will play this week.”

That would be A.J. Green, the team’s best player who has been out all year with an ankle injury. An hour and a half later, when practice started, Green was not at practice.

“It came after the walkthrough,” Taylor said. “He went and got some treatment. It just didn’t feel great, so we held him out of practice today. Now, we’ll go just by day-by-day.

“We felt good about the progress he was making. That’s why I said what I said. I didn’t feel like he could practice today. We’ll get through tonight and see where it’s at (Thursday).”

He injured his ankle in the first practice of training camp this year.

That injury required surgery, as well. It was expected that he’d miss four to six weeks at that point. We’re up to 13 weeks.

Coming off an ankle injury, the question isn’t about straight-ahead running so much as cutting – the key to running good routes. But, at the press conference, Taylor said Green was progressing on that.

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“A.J. has gotten better every single day I’ve seen him,” Taylor said. “I think he’s making great progress. I don’t want to get too specific. But he’s getting confident, and we’re getting confident.

Then whatever happened Wednesday happened.

“He’s been making great progress this week,” Taylor said. “(Last) Wednesday was a good day. Monday was a good day. Now, he’s getting back into the fold. We’ll have a good plan in place for him on Sunday.”

Green, 31, has  played in only one game since Oct. 28 of last year. He was limited to nine games by a right foot injury last year. He missed three games with the injury and then re-injured it in his first game back – that required season-ending surgery.

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Panthers QB Cam Newton placed on IR with foot injury

Any hope the Carolina Panthers had of seeing former MVP quarterback Cam Newton returning has now flown out the window, with the team having declared they’ll move him to injured reserve with a foot injury that’s sidelined him for most of the season.

Newton sought out additional medical guidance recently when he visited renowned foot specialist Dr. Robert Anderson in Green Bay last week, in the hopes of determining why he’s seen no progress in the rehabilitation from his Lisfranc injury.

Surgery was an alternative from the outset, but Newton opted to forego it with the hopes of a natural heal, which hasn’t gone his way.

It is still undetermined if he’ll now decide to go under the knife — the door on his 2019 season now closed due to the injured reserve designation — which would give him a chance to recover and strengthen his foot in time for 2020.

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Of course, his return to the Panthers may be likely, but isn’t guaranteed, and will in large part be determined later on; and the play of backup Kyle Allen over the remainder of this year will sway the decision in one way or the other.

Newton played in just two games this season and struggled in both due to the pain in his foot, throwing for no touchdowns and an interception on a combined 50 for 89 passing. When healthy, he still one of the best quarterbacks in the league, and he’ll have an opportunity next year to prove that is still the case.

Time will tell if that opportunity will be in Charlotte, but Newton has no plans on hanging up his cleats for good.

“He’s one of the fiercest competitors I’ve been around during my 20-plus years in the league,” Hurney said. “At this time, we have decided that the best decision to reach the goal of bringing the foot back to 100 percent is to place Cam on injured reserve.”

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Dolphins lose WR Preston Williams for rest of the season

Preston Williams was one of the brightest gems the Miami Dolphins revealed during the first year of their rebuild. Now, his first NFL season has come to an end.

Williams — who emerged as an undrafted rookie free agent to lead the Dolphins in receiving this season — suffered a left knee injury Sunday that ended his season, coach Brian Flores said on Monday.

“It’s a big loss for us,” Flores said. “I talked to him [Monday] morning. He’s done an incredible job. He came to us as a free agent and has really grown over the last six, seven months.

“I was devastated for the kid, and he was as well,” Flores added. “But I told him this is just a bump in the road. He’ll be back.” Williams suffered the injury, which is reportedly an anterior cruciate ligament tear, while returning a punt during the fourth quarter of Miami’s 28-16 win over the New York Jets on Sunday. He planted his left leg into the field to make a move before being taken down by a Jets player near the opposing sideline.

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He ended the game with five catches for 72 yards and two touchdowns before limping over to the Dolphins sideline and being carted off the field with a towel draped over his head — in what may have been the most disappointing note in Miami’s first win of the season.

The Dolphins identified Williams as a player that could stretch the field and emerge as a No. 1 receiver in the midst of their rebuild.

His role expanded to handling punt return duties from Dolphins receiver and speedy return specialist Jakeem Grant.

Now, his rookie season will end with a lengthy rehabilitation process likely ahead of him.

Flores did not have a timetable for Williams’ potential return. “If he attacks his rehab and training like he did from the time he got here, he’ll be just fine,” Flores said.

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Joe Flacco to miss 4-6 weeks due to neck injury

Denver Broncos quarterback Joe Flacco is estimated to miss four to six weeks with a neck injury, according to Adam Schefter of ESPN.

Schefter noted surgery is not viewed as a need, though Flacco will receive a pair of additional medical opinions to determine the best course of action.

Flacco will land on injured reserve because of a herniated disk. NFL Network colleague Ian Rapoport previously mentioned IR was “strongly” being considered

On Monday, head coach Vic Fangio ruled Flacco out of the team’s Week 9 game against the Cleveland Browns on Sunday. Brandon Allen—who was claimed off waivers from the Los Angeles Rams on Sept. 1—will start in Flacco’s place.

Denver’s bye falls in Week 10, perhaps limiting the amount of game action Flacco will miss. In his first year in Denver, Flacco has completed 65.3 percent of his passes for 1,822 yards, six touchdowns and five interceptions. He has led the team to a 2-6 record through the first half of the season.

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Injuries are not something the 2008 first-round pick had to deal with early in his career.

He started the first 122 regular-season contests, never missing a game until Year 8. He missed just six games through 10 seasons, with all six coming in 2015.

However, the 34-year-old has had to deal with injuries the past two seasons.

Flacco, then with the Baltimore Ravens, started the first nine games of the 2018 campaign before a hip injury sidelined him. By the time he was healthy enough to play again, rookie Lamar Jackson had seized the starting job on his way to leading the Ravens to the AFC North crown.

For the second consecutive season, an injury has kept Flacco out of action. And now, his season may be in jeopardy. Flacco has two years and $44.5 million remaining on his contract beyond 2019. Denver obtained the Super Bowl XLVII MVP from Baltimore in March in exchange for a 2019 fourth-round pick.

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David Johnson not ready to play Thursday

Although he had been listed as questionable throughout the week, an Arizona Cardinal is reportedly out for the team’s Thursday night matchup with the San Francisco 49ers.

According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter on Thursday, Cardinals starting running back David Johnson is not estimated to play.

The report coincides with an earlier one last Saturday that said Johnson would not only miss the Week 8 matchup versus the New Orleans Saints, but the team’s home game versus San Francisco as well.

This will be Johnson’s second consecutive game missed as the running back has dealt with ankle and back injuries throughout most of the season. In seven games, he’s recorded 300 yards and two scores on 77 rushing attempts, while catching 30 of his 41 targets for 315 yards and three touchdowns.

Johnson leads the team in rushing yards and attempts and only trails backup Chase Edmonds in scores (4).

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With Edmonds already officially ruled out, that leaves a running back room consisted of newly acquired Kenyan Drake, who came over in a trade on Wednesday, and Alfred Morris and Zach Zenner, two running backs signed a little over a week ago.

Before going down with a hamstring injury, Edmonds was enjoying his best season as a pro, rushing for 295 yards and four touchdowns on just 58 carries. He also caught 12 balls for 105 yards and a TD.

In Edmonds and Johnson’s absence, Drake would most likely be the one to carry the load. The former Miami Dolphin rushed for 174 yards on 47 carries in six games (two starts) played this season and added another 174 yards on 22 receptions. In his career, Drake’s ran the rock 333 times for 1,532 yards and nine scores, while catching 116 receptions for 936 yards and six touchdowns.

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Rams trade C Aqib Talib to Miami Dolphins

The Los Angeles Rams have traded injured cornerback Aqib Talib and a fifth-round pick to the Miami Dolphins for an undisclosed future draft choice.

The 33-year-old Talib is on injured reserve with a rib injury.

The 12-year veteran defensive back played in eight regular-season games last year and five more this year, making just one interception and struggling with injuries in both of his seasons with the Rams. But he came back last year to start all three playoff games for Los Angeles, including the Super Bowl.

Talib will be an unrestricted free agent this winter after playing out the six-year, $57m deal he signed with the Denver Broncos, with whom he acquired the Super Bowl four seasons ago.

The Rams (5-3) have traded both of their starting cornerbacks this month, and they have already parted ways with three of their four secondary starters in last season’s Super Bowl. The fourth, safety John Johnson, is on injured reserve.

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Los Angeles shipped cornerback Marcus Peters to the Baltimore Ravens two weeks ago to clear room to acquire Jalen Ramsey from Jacksonville. This trade of Talib might have been made to free up salary cap room for another deal or to sign Ramsey to a contract extension.

The Rams are in their bye week after back-to-back victories. They play at Pittsburgh next weekend.

The winless Dolphins (0-7) could use secondary help, but Talib isn’t eligible to return until Week 15 and might not be healthy then.

Miami’s 2018 Pro Bowl cornerback, Xavien Howard, was placed on injured reserve Tuesday with a knee injury that bothered him in recent weeks.

Talib has played for Tampa Bay (2008-12), New England (2012-13), Denver (2014-17) and the Rams (2018-19) in his 12-year career. He originally entered the NFL as a first-round pick (20th overall) by Tampa Bay in the 2008 NFL draft.

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