Tagged in: LSU

New York Jets coach Robert Saleh not ready to rule out Zach Wilson for Week 1 after QB’s knee surgery

A third-round pick out of LSU in 2020, Lewis was a returning starter on an offensive line that added left tackle Charles Cross in the draft with the ninth overall pick as well as center Austin Blythe in free agency. Seattle also drafted Abe Lucas in the third round to compete at right tackle.

Lewis had drawn a strong review from coach Pete Carroll earlier this summer. He was preparing for his third season as a starter and his second at left guard after playing right guard as a rookie.

Phil Haynes replaced Lewis on Thursday night. Carroll had said earlier in training camp that Haynes was having a strong enough summer to “push” veteran Gabe Jackson on the right side, and that Haynes gave the team what Carroll considered three starting-caliber guards.

Wilson flew back from Los Angeles on Wednesday night and was back at the team facility by Thursday morning. He’s “already walking” and looking forward to initiating his rehab, according to Saleh.

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The calendar is working against Wilson, who tore his meniscus and suffered a bone bruise last Friday night in a preseason game versus the Philadelphia Eagles.

The Jets open the season in 24 days against the Baltimore Ravens.

The initial timetable was two to four weeks, and there was no additional damage discovered in the arthroscopy, sources said.

But the Jets are planning to be careful with their second-year quarterback, who got three weeks of practice last season before returning to the lineup after spraining his PCL in the same knee — and that was a non-surgical injury.

“We’re going to do right by him in terms of making sure he’s 100% healthy,” Saleh said.

Even though Wilson avoided a season-ending injury, the time lost will be a setback. He will miss preseason matches versus the Atlanta Falcons and New York Giants, plus joint practices against those teams.

Wilson, 23, the No. 2 overall pick in 2021, is an inexperienced quarterback who needs as many practice reps as possible. He struggled last season, losing 10 of 13 starts and throwing only nine touchdown passes with 11 interceptions.

“If you want to get good at football, you have to play football. You have to practice football,” offensive coordinator Mike LaFleur said.

“That can’t happen for him, obviously. So he’s going to go and he’s going to attack it the best way he knows how. He went through this last year, unfortunately. He knows what to do, what to watch, what to say and what to do in the meetings. He’s going to make the most of the situation, just like we all will.

“The show goes on, right?”

In Flacco, 37, the Jets have a 14-year veteran and Super Bowl XLVII MVP for the Ravens. But Flacco has struggled in recent years, having lost 14 of his past 16 starts. Next on the depth chart is Mike White (three career starts).

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Jacksonville Jaguars WR DJ Chark fractures left ankle

Thursday’s game did not get off to an ideal start for the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Wide receiver DJ Chark Jr. was carted off the field due to an ankle injury suffered during the team’s first drive. He incurred the setback when he was blocking during a running play and got rolled up on as the action went his direction.

The Jaguars revealed he was ruled out for the remainder of the match.  Chark had seven catches for 154 yards and two touchdowns in the first three games, which were all Jacksonville losses.

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The LSU product was a Pro Bowler in 2019 with 73 catches for 1,008 yards and eight touchdowns in a breakout effort after the Jaguars selected him with a second-round pick in 2018.

He was solid again in 2020 with 706 receiving yards and five touchdowns and figured to be a key piece in the team’s offense this year as rookie quarterback Trevor Lawrence adjusted to the NFL.

However, look for the combination of Marvin Jones Jr. and Laviska Shenault Jr. to see more targets while Chark is sidelined. 

It’s unclear at this point if the injury is season ending.

If it is, it could be the last game Chark plays for the Jaguars. He was in the final year of his rookie contract.

Chark missed a month of camp and preseason after having surgery to repair a broken finger on his right hand. He said recently the plate they placed in his hand still remains and the finger does still bother him at times.

The Jaguars also lost starting right guard A.J. Cann to a knee injury in the second quarter.

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Bengals release Andy Dalton after drafting Joe Burrow

The Cincinnati Bengals reportedly released quarterback Andy Dalton on Thursday, per ESPN’s Adam Schefter.

Cincy drafted LSU quarterback Joe Burrow, the reigning Heisman Trophy winner, with the first overall pick in the 2020 NFL draft last week.

Dalton threw for 3,494 yards, 16 touchdowns and 14 interceptions in 2019. As the season wore on, the writing was on the wall regarding his future in Cincinnati.

The Bengals benched Dalton for their Week 10 matchup with the Baltimore Ravens, which proved to be a 49-13 loss. They were 0-8 by that point, so it made sense to give Ryan Finley, the team’s fourth-round pick last year, a few starts to see if he might be Dalton’s long-term successor under center.

Following three consecutive defeats, Cincinnati turned back to Dalton for the rest of the year.

The 32-year-old spoke of how his demotion made him approach the game a little differently.

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“It feels good,” he told reporters in November. “Just as a player who has started basically every chance I’ve been able to without being hurt, it gives you a different perspective being on the other side. I’m glad to be back out playing. I feel I can help us win, so I’m excited to be going these last five games.”

The Bengals’ 33-23 victory versus Cleveland Browns in Week 17 had an air of finality. Fans cheered Dalton off the field as he walked back to the locker room, and he said after the home match he knew it might have been his last game with the team.

Cincinnati is in need of a reboot after going 2-14 in 2019. The team’s selection of Burrow was forecast for months beforehand, and now the path is clear for him to take over the starting job as a rookie.

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Joe Burrow ready to compete to be Bengals’ starting QB

The Cincinnati Bengals have their next franchise quarterback. And the duty ahead of him could not be any clearer.

Months of speculation concluded Thursday night when the Bengals selected former LSU standout Joe Burrow with the first overall pick in the NFL draft. With this year’s event taking place virtually because of the coronavirus pandemic, Burrow celebrated with his family and put on a Bengals hat from his home in Athens County, Ohio.

Shortly after Cincinnati officially added Burrow, Bengals coach Zac Taylor stated the QB will be expected to compete for the team’s starting job. Cincinnati’s new quarterback also had the same understanding.

“That’s exactly how I expect to do it as well,” Burrow stated during a teleconference with local reporters. “I’m going to come in and compete and try to be the best player I can be.”

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Burrow is coming off a historic season at LSU during which he threw for an FBS-record 60 touchdowns as he led the Tigers to a national championship.

He also completed 76.3% of his passes and won the Heisman Trophy.

He inherits a team with an unsure future at the starting quarterback spot. Veteran Andy Dalton, who has been the team’s primary starter since he was drafted in 2011, is entering the final year of his contract. Dalton’s $17.7 million salary will put the Bengals over the cap limit.

Taylor didn’t want to go as far as naming Burrow as the team’s Week 1 starter. Taylor said one of the biggest challenges for Burrow and the rest of the incoming rookie class is adapting to the speed in the NFL, even for players such as Burrow who played at college football’s highest level.

Burrow is the 318th No. 1 overall pick in NFL, NBA, NHL, MLB, WNBA and MLS history. But he’s the first to win national player of the year and a national title, and break a single-season NCAA record in his final college season.

Burrow stated he isn’t worried about being burdened by the pressure of leading the Bengals back to playoff success.

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