Tagged in: quarterback

Dak Prescott undergoes surgery on right thumb as Dallas Cowboys prep for QB’s absence

Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott had surgery on his right thumb Monday afternoon, and sources continue to believe he will miss six to eight weeks as he goes through rehabilitation.

Given that timeline, Prescott is looking at a return date of Oct. 30 vs. the Chicago Bears at the earliest, but it’s more likely to be Nov. 13 versus the Green Bay Packers in Mike McCarthy’s return to Lambeau Field.

Prescott suffered the injury in the fourth quarter of the Cowboys’ 19-3 loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers after his hand twice hit the hand of linebacker Shaq Barrett. After a screen pass to Ezekiel Elliott, Prescott went to the sideline because he could no longer grip the ball.

After the game, Prescott said, “I was told it was much cleaner than it could have been.” He visited with the team’s hand specialist, Dr. Thomas Diliberti, on Monday and had the surgery soon thereafter. “You know Dak’s personality, I mean, he would’ve had the surgery last night if they would have allowed it,” McCarthy said. “That’s the way he’s wired.”

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The Cowboys now have to figure out how to win without Prescott while he recovers, starting with Sunday’s matchup versus the Cincinnati Bengals with Cooper Rush as their starter. The Cowboys are 5-7 in games without Prescott in his career, although Rush won his first career start last year against the Minnesota Vikings, throwing for 325 yards and two touchdowns.

He completed 7 of 13 passes for 64 yards after replacing Prescott against the Buccaneers.

“I think the biggest thing is especially at the quarterback position because obviously the importance of it, is don’t overreact to it,” McCarthy said. “… Because at the end of the day, we’ve got to make sure we’re giving the players the tools to win the game on Sunday. The nice thing about Cooper is Cooper’s been in our system, knows our system inside and out. We won’t be in that position of trying not to do too much or vice versa. Cooper gives us the ability to keep playing.”

McCarthy acknowledged there is an emotional challenge the Cowboys will have to deal with in losing their leader.

In 2020, Prescott suffered a compound fracture and dislocation of his right ankle that knocked him out for the season, and the Cowboys lost their first four games without him.

“Definitely going to be tough, but being in the NFL, that’s all a part of this game,” running back Tony Pollard said. “It’s a 100 percent injury rate so guys get injured, so we just have to make up for it. Everybody has to lock in, continue doing what they’ve been doing and just focus on doing their job the best that they can.”

McCarthy stated the Cowboys are looking to add a third quarterback to the roster with Will Grier on the practice squad and ready to assume the No. 2 role in Prescott’s absence. He has started two games in his career, both with the Carolina Panthers in 2019.

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Tom Brady expected to play Saturday in Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ preseason finale

Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady is expected to play in Saturday’s third and final preseason match match the Indianapolis Colts.

Coach Todd Bowles did not say it outright, but when asked Thursday if Brady will play, he responded, “Everyone who is healthy will play.”

Brady, who returned this week from an 11-day absence to tend to “personal issues,” is healthy and practiced in full Thursday, as well as Monday and Tuesday, with a veteran day on Wednesday. He took his usual number of reps and looked strong and focused.

It will mark the first time Brady has played this preseason, the first time he’s lined up with wide receiver Julio Jones in a game and the first time he’ll stand behind a remade interior offensive line featuring second-year center Robert Hainsey and rookie left guard Luke Goedeke in live action.

“It’s important for game continuity,” Bowles said of seeing Brady with the starters. “We have some new guys on the O-line. We have some new guys at receiver. So other than having practiced together, we need to see ’em in a game with certain situations and just the flow of it. No matter how long it is, we just need to see it.”

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Bowles stated he’s not concerned about Brady’s level of conditioning after such a prolonged absence, nor is he concerned that Brady didn’t have enough time to build up chemistry with Jones, wide receiver Russell Gage or tight end Kyle Rudolph.

“He missed 11 days, but he wasn’t playing in the first two [games],” Bowles said. “He’s fine with everything. We know his condition and it’s fine. He’s getting back with the guys. He’s throwing the ball and we’re good. I think it was built up before we left.

“It’s just having everybody intact, practicing at the same time. You know, his days would’ve fallen the same day Julio was off and obviously Mike [Evans] being injured — we didn’t have a full slate there either, but they got to see a lot of things from the side and got to talk a lot. And I think the chemistry’s good.”

The starting left guard position remains unclear, but Bowles said Goedeke, who is competing with Nick Leverett for the job, will get the start.

Goedeke struggled last week versus the Tennessee Titans with two holding calls, and he surrendered a sack.

The fifth, sixth and possibly seventh — if the Bucs choose to keep seven — wide receiver positions after Evans, Jones, Chris Godwin and Russell Gage are also up for grabs, with Tyler Johnson, Jaelon Darden, Scotty Miller, Breshad Perriman, Deven Thompkins and Jerreth Sterns all competing for those remaining spots.

As for Brady, whose mid-training-camp break was unprecedented in the NFL for any uninjured player, let alone a seven-time Super Bowl-winning quarterback, Bowles said he wouldn’t have given him the time off if it wasn’t absolutely necessary.

“If it wasn’t a situation, that we hadn’t talked about it, and it wasn’t important, I wouldn’t have done it,” Bowles said.

“I have that kind of relationship as well do the coaches with a lot of the players and they all have private things that they come to us with. It just came to light more than the others. And we won’t sway away from that. We don’t give nobody breaks just to take breaks.”

When healthy, Brady has participated in at least one preseason game every year since he was drafted in 2000. The only preseason he did not take part in was in 2008 when he was a member of the New England Patriots and was dealing with foot and ankle injuries.

Godwin, who has been practicing with the team for three weeks and started 11-on-11 work for the first time since suffering a torn ACL in Week 15, is not expected to play, although the coaching staff has been encouraged by his progress.

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Carolina Panthers name Baker Mayfield as starting QB for Week 1 vs. Cleveland Browns

Baker Mayfield insists this is not a “redemption year,” but he will make his first start at quarterback for the Carolina Panthers versus the team that gave up on him.

The Panthers on Monday named Mayfield the starter for the Sept. 11 opener against the Cleveland Browns, who moved on from the first pick of the 2018 draft after trading with the Houston Texans for Deshaun Watson.

Watson will not play in the opener after being suspended by the NFL for the first 11 games for violating the league’s personal conduct policy, so it will be Mayfield against Jacoby Brissett.

Mayfield won what the Panthers described as an open competition against 2021 starter Sam Darnold, although league sources said the job was his to lose all along.

“When we started the process, we said we were looking at three things,” coach Matt Rhule said. “No. 1, mastery of the offense; No. 2, situational football excellence; and No. 3, moving the ball and getting guys involved.

“Baker has made a lot of improvement, a lot of growth in all three areas in a short amount of time.”

Mayfield stated last week during joint practices versus the New England Patriots that he wasn’t worried about when the decision would be made.

“I’ve said it before, the locker room and the organization is going to go as the QB room goes, and as long as we’re leading correctly and we’re supporting each other, good things are going to happen,” Mayfield said. “So we’re not worried about when that’s going to happen, just trying to get better each day.”

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Mayfield never lost confidence after Cleveland gave up on him.

“It’s not a redemption year,” he said. “I know what I’m capable of. I’m not trying to prove anything to anybody else. I’m just trying to lead this locker room the best I can and win a bunch of ballgames.”

Carolina hopes to get the 2020 version of Mayfield, who went 11-5 and won a playoff game for the Browns with 26 touchdowns to only eight interceptions. The 2017 Heisman Trophy winner struggled to a 6-8 record last season with 17 touchdowns and 13 interceptions while dealing with an injury to his non-throwing shoulder.

The Panthers started looking to upgrade at quarterback almost immediately after the 2021 season, when Darnold went 4-7 as the starter. They were among four teams aggressively going after Watson, who at the time had 24 lawsuits of sexual misconduct filed against him.

When Watson signed with the Browns, the Panthers explored the possibility of trading for Mayfield around the draft before adding Ole Miss quarterback Matt Corral in the third round. The holdup was Cleveland’s unwillingness to the majority of Mayfield’s 2022 salary of $18.9 million.

That changed in early July when Cleveland agreed to pay $10.5 million of the contract, leaving the Panthers $4.58 million after Mayfield agreed to take a $3.5 million cut with the potential to earn that back in incentives.

Being named the starter is the first step in reaching those incentives, 70% of the snaps, according to a league source.

Mayfield wasn’t handed the job immediately. He and Darnold split repetitions evenly through the first three weeks of training camp.

But as Mayfield quickly learned offensive coordinator Ben McAdoo’s system, it became apparent he was going to earn the job. Even McAdoo, who rated Mayfield the sixth-best quarterback in the 2018 draft and had questions about Mayfield’s ability to run a pro-style offense, was won over early.

Mayfield kept his flamboyant personality under control throughout camp, selecting his words carefully and talking with great respect for Darnold and the competition between them.

Wide receiver Rashard Higgins, who played the past four seasons in Cleveland with Mayfield, laughed early in camp at the thought that that would continue for long.

“He’s just holding it in right now,” Higgins said. “But when it comes out, it’s going to come out. May God be with you when it comes out.”

Perhaps that will happen now that Mayfield has been named the starter and begins preparing for the Browns. “Baker, I’ve seen big trash talk, and he’s usually got a lot of F-bombs in there,” Higgins said. “I don’t know when it’s going to come out, but it’s going to come out.”

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Joe Burrow makes training camp debut for Cincinnati Bengals, participates in several drills

For the first time in training camp, Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow practiced. Nearly three weeks after he had his appendix removed, Burrow donned his orange No. 9 jersey and participated in several drills throughout Sunday’s practice.

All of his work in team drills came in a 7-on-7 period that was more strenuous than coach Zac Taylor expected.

“We talked about doing two reps in 7-on-7,” Taylor said after practice. “And then he took 10. That’s how it goes sometimes.”

Previously, Burrow’s most notable work during practice occurred last Monday when he did some light tosses during an impromptu walkthrough.

On Sunday, Burrow decided to extend his limits.

Burrow took the entirety of the reps during that 7-on-7 drill. That also eased the workload on the rest of the team’s quarterbacks following Brandon Allen’s concussion in last Friday’s preseason game versus the Arizona Cardinals.

Burrow’s most notable passes were two long completions — one to veteran receiver Trenton Irwin and the other to rookie Kwamie Lassiter II. Bengals wide receiver Ja’Marr Chase, who watched the bulk of Burrow’s throws during that 7-on-7 period, said having the team’s star quarterback took what the defense was willing to allow as the quarterback brought positive energy to practice.

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“It’s funny because every pass he threw today, I was calling it out before he threw it,” Chase, who also played with Burrow at LSU, said. “I think I still know him perfectly fine.”

The third-year quarterback wasn’t the only key player to make significant progress Sunday.

Wide receiver Tee Higgins participated in team drills for the first time. Rookie Cordell Volson also took over as the team’s starting left guard with Jackson Carman out.

Cincinnati is looking to replicate last season’s success that featured a Super Bowl run that Burrow spearheaded. The top overall pick in the 2020 draft completed 70.4% of his passes for 4,611 yards, 34 touchdowns and 14 interceptions as the Bengals played for the Lombardi Trophy for the first time in 33 years.

The Bengals have been hesitant to release any firm timetables for Burrow’s practice acclimation following the appendectomy July 26. Taylor said he was uncertain on when Burrow will return to full participation.

But he was with his teammates Sunday. It was the first time that Burrow, new tight end Hayden Hurst and all the returning players from last year’s Super Bowl run practiced together since organized team activities.

Said Higgins: “As soon as we got in the huddle I said, ‘Uh oh. We’re back.'”

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Trey Lance on being named San Francisco 49ers’ starting quarterback

While San Francisco 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan’s definitive declaration that this team now belongs to quarterback Trey Lance might have come as news to outside observers, it was just another day at the office for Lance himself.

“Honestly, the only difference is I was hoping you guys would stop asking me about it all the time,” Lance said Thursday. “For me, it wasn’t really a moment or anything like that. I’ve been excited. I’ve been preparing to play since the day I got here, since the day I got drafted. So, obviously excited for this year but nothing has really changed this whole offseason.”

Shanahan made that statement Tuesday, the day the Niners reported for the start of this year’s training camp. And though it had long been expected that Lance was ready to step in as the starter, Shanahan had previously declined to say it in such certain terms.

But with training camp’s arrival and the pending departure of incumbent starter Jimmy Garoppolo, who has passed a physical as he recovers from right shoulder surgery, nobody had much reason to further delay the unavoidable.

After taking all of the reps with the starting offense in the offseason program, Lance arrived at this camp knowing that the job was his and that every practice is a chance to prepare to lead a team that has Super Bowl aspirations.

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For right now, the objective for the Niners is to reinforce the fundamentals of Shanahan’s offense before turning an eye toward some of the additional skills — such as running — that Lance brings to the table.

“There’s certain plays you have to get good at just to succeed in this league and to move the ball,” Shanahan said. “And then what can Trey do differently than we’ve had? I do believe Trey is a threat to run at any time, so knowing that he is a threat to run at any time, that definitely changes things. That gives another element that defenses have to worry about.”

Lance’s first two days of practice as the confirmed starter have come with some ups and downs.

On Wednesday, he took 16 snaps in team drills, operating mostly from the pocket and appearing to be in control as he completed 5 of 7 passes during team drills.

On Thursday, Lance had a few more hiccups, including an interception he threw right to free safety Jimmie Ward and a couple of misfires to open targets that fell incomplete.

Lance was pleased with how the offense rebounded, and he drew large cheers from fans when he scrambled for a long run down the left sideline and again when he found receiver Brandon Aiyuk between two defenders on a deep out late in the session.

Despite the miscues, Lance stated he felt like Thursday was better than Wednesday, though he acknowledged the turnovers have to stop (the offense had three other interceptions in addition to Lance’s).

If nothing else, Lance can move forward confidently knowing he’s free to make and learn from mistakes without looking over his shoulder.

“Last year I was definitely in a different spot mentally, I would say,” Lance said. “Just feeling a lot more confident this year coming in knowing what I’m doing, knowing the offense a lot better, knowing the guys a lot better, having been around this organization and coaching staff for a year, I think it will be a great thing.”

As for Garoppolo, he has been in the building and continuing his throwing program but is not attending practice as the Niners seek a trade partner for him. Lance said he saw Garoppolo on Tuesday and Wednesday.

“It’s nothing weird at all,” Lance said. “I’ve never had anything I could possibly say that’s bad about Jimmy. He’s been a big brother to me since the day I came in, and he could have made things hell for me last year. He didn’t. He helped me out with everything so I’m super excited to see him healthy, I’m super excited to see him throwing again and super excited to see what he does.”

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San Francisco 49ers give Jimmy Garoppolo’s agents permission to seek trade

The San Francisco 49ers have given Jimmy Garoppolo’s agents permission to seek a trade involving the veteran quarterback, sources told ESPN’s Adam Schefter.

Garoppolo, who is recuperating from offseason surgery on his throwing shoulder, has been cleared to start practicing as the Niners prepare for the start of training camp next week, a team source told Schefter.

The Niners are still expected to exercise caution this summer with Garoppolo, who underwent the surgery in March — a procedure that delayed San Francisco’s efforts to trade him.

Niners coach Kyle Shanahan acknowledged in May that Garoppolo was “most likely to be traded” but then noted that a trade was “not a guarantee.”

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Second-year quarterback Trey Lance has worked as the starter during San Francisco’s offseason program while Garoppolo, who has been the Niners’ starter since late in the 2017 season, has spent most of his offseason rehabbing in Southern California. Garoppolo was excused from the team’s mandatory minicamp in early June after not taking part in the team’s offseason conditioning program.

Veterans are planned to report to Niners training camp Tuesday.

Garoppolo, 30, is entering the final season of his contract and is scheduled to count $26.95 million against the 2022 salary cap. That deal involved a no-trade clause for the 2021 season only, and the 49ers have the right to trade him to any team of their choosing.

An acquiring team would take on a $24.2 million salary if it traded for Garoppolo right now, but that salary is not guaranteed and interested teams could potentially work with him on a contract extension that knocks down the salary number in exchange for guarantees.

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Houston Texans settle claims vs. team in relation to sexual misconduct allegations involving Deshaun Watson

The Houston Texans have reached settlements with 30 women who made claims or were prepared to make them against the NFL organization for its alleged role regarding sexual misconduct allegations against Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson in massage sessions, the attorney for the women, Tony Buzbee, said in a statement Friday.

One of the 30 women already had filed a civil suit against the Texans in June, blaming the team of “enabling Watson’s behavior.” Buzbee said that case is among those being settled.

Buzbee said terms of each of the 30 settlements are confidential.

“We were shocked and deeply saddened when we first learned of the allegations against our then franchise quarterback in March 2021,” Texans owners Janice McNair, Hannah and Cal McNair said in a statement Friday.

“Although our organization did not have any knowledge of Deshaun Watson’s alleged misconduct, we have intentionally chosen to resolve this matter amicably. This is not an admission of any wrongdoing, but instead a clear stand against any form of sexual assault and misconduct.

“We hope that today’s resolution will provide some form of closure to the parties involved, our fans and the Houston community at large. As an organization, we will now turn our focus to the future and doing what we can to ensure respect for all.” In June, Watson settled 20 of 24 lawsuits accusing him of sexual misconduct when he played for the Texans. He has been accused by 25 women in civil lawsuits of actions ranging from sexual assault to inappropriate behavior during massage sessions. One of those lawsuits was dropped after the judge ruled the petition had to be amended with the plaintiff’s name.

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Buzbee did not reveal the identities of the six other women who were prepared to file claims against the Texans.

“I will have no further comment on the allegations or the Texans’ alleged role, other than to say that there is a marked contrast in the way in which the Texans addressed these allegations, and the way in which Watson’s team has done so,” Buzbee said in his statement Friday.

Two grand juries in Texas declined to pursue criminal charges against Watson earlier this year. Watson has maintained his innocence. The Texans traded Watson to the Browns in March after the first grand jury announced it would not indict him.

NFL disciplinary officer Sue L. Robinson, who was jointly appointed by the NFL and NFL Players Association, is currently weighing whether Watson violated the NFL’s personal conduct policy.

Watson had a three-day hearing before Robinson in late June, and sources told ESPN’s Dan Graziano that the league has been arguing for a suspension of at least a year.

If Robinson does issue a suspension, Watson will have the option to appeal the penalty to NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, according to the league’s 2020 collective bargaining agreement.

The New York Times reported in June that Watson booked appointments with at least 66 different women over 17 months, from fall 2019 through spring 2021.

The list of 66 includes the 24 women who have filed lawsuits against Watson; a woman who sued Watson but then withdrew the complaint; two women who filed criminal complaints against Watson but did not sue him; at least 15 therapists who issued statements of support for Watson at the request of his lawyers; at least four therapists contracted with the Texans; five women identified by the plaintiffs’ lawyers during the investigation for their lawsuits; and at least 15 other women whose appointments with Watson were confirmed through interviews and records reviewed by the Times.

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Jadeveon Clowney re-signed with Cleveland Browns so he could play again with Deshaun Watson

Jadeveon Clowney admitted Thursday that he ultimately decided he would be re-signing with the Cleveland Browns once he knew quarterback Deshaun Watson was headed to Cleveland, too.

“I thought I played well here last year, and I feel like I can get better and pick off from what I did last year,” the defensive end said when listing the reasons he returned to the Browns.

“Then my boy came here, Deshaun.”

Clowney is coming off a breakout season with the Browns after signing a one-year deal last year. Playing opposite All-Pro pass rusher Myles Garrett, Clowney concluded with nine sacks; both Garrett and Clowney ranked in the top four in the NFL in pass rush win rate.

“Me and [Garrett] did some good things together,” Clowney said as the Browns completed their final minicamp practice at FirstEnergy Stadium.

“We got along well. We played well together. We fed off each other. We’re going to do the same thing this year, even better. … We got a good thing going from last year. We want to keep it going this year.”

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What tipped the scales for Clowney, though, was the chance to play again with Watson, his former teammate with the Houston Texans.

“I was all about where my boy Deshaun was going,” Clowney said. “I just wanted to go play with him and see what I can do with him again.”

The Browns traded for Watson in March, sending three first-round picks to the Texans.

A source told ESPN that Clowney spoke to Watson the week of the trade while Watson was still considering joining the New Orleans Saints, Carolina Panthers or Atlanta Falcons and that, in their conversation, Clowney gave Cleveland and the Browns a strong endorsement.

“I told him if he goes [to Cleveland], then I will follow him over here,” Clowney said. “That’s what it came down to.”

It is still unclear when Clowney will actually get to play with Watson, though. Watson is facing 24 active civil lawsuits from women who have accused him of inappropriate sexual conduct during massage sessions.

Although two grand juries in Texas declined to pursue criminal charges against Watson earlier this year, the NFL is investigating whether he violated its code of conduct and the league interviewed the quarterback in person last month as part of its investigation.

At the league’s spring meeting, commissioner Roger Goodell said that he thought the NFL was nearing the end of its investigation but that he couldn’t give a timeline for when a ruling might be made. Watson has maintained his innocence, reiterating Tuesday that he never “harassed” or “disrespected” or “forced” any woman.

Clowney said he isn’t worried that a potential Watson suspension could derail Cleveland’s season.

“We’ve got a good defense, we can hold it together,” he said. “We did good last year, and we were banged up on offense all over the place and our defense played well for what we had going on. … We’re going to be all right.”

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Longtime NFL quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick announces retirement

Ryan Fitzpatrick, the enigmatic quarterback out of Harvard who brought his “FitzMagic” to the NFL for nine teams spanning 17 seasons, revealed his retirement Thursday, a source confirmed to ESPN.

Fitzpatrick, popular throughout his career with his teammates and known for his prolific beard, made the announcement in a text message to his former teammates.

Fitzpatrick, 39, suffered a season-ending hip subluxation in the second quarter of the Washington Commanders’ season-opening loss to the Los Angeles Chargers in September and had to undergo arthroscopic surgery.

He had signed a one-year, $10 million deal with Washington in March 2021. In 17 seasons, Fitzpatrick started 147 games, throwing for 34,990 yards and 223 touchdowns with 169 interceptions.

He started his career as a seventh-round draft pick of the St. Louis Rams in 2005, and he also played for the Cincinnati Bengals, Buffalo Bills, Tennessee Titans, Houston Texans, New York Jets, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Miami Dolphins and Washington during his career.

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He started games for all nine teams, which is an NFL record among quarterbacks.

Fitzpatrick, however, never made the playoffs during his career.

Fitzpatrick spent the most years of his career and started the most games in Buffalo, going 20-33 in 53 regular-season starts over four seasons with the Bills from 2009 to 2012. In 2010, despite not beginning the year as the starting quarterback, Fitzpatrick threw for 3,000 yards, becoming the first Bills quarterback to do that in a season since J.P. Losman in 2006.

He ultimately was unable to latch on as a long-term starter with the Bills, enduring a nine-year stretch of losing seasons. In his Bills career, he threw 80 touchdown passes and had 64 interceptions.

While his time in Buffalo is long gone, Fitzpatrick has persisted a favorite among Bills fans. He attended the team’s AFC wild-card playoff victory over the New England Patriots in January, watching from the stands and posing shirtless in freezing temperatures and strong wind.

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Tyreek Hill ‘very confident in my quarterback’ as Miami Dolphins WR bonds with Tua Tagovailoa

Dolphins wide receiver Tyreek Hill has only caught passes from Tua Tagovailoa for a month, but already has high praise for his new quarterback.

Hill told reporters during his introductory news conference in March that he knew Tua was “one of the most accurate quarterbacks in the NFL,” and expanded on that statement after Tuesday’s OTA practice.

“At first, I thought it was going to be something crazy — the ball going all over the place, but Tua actually has probably one of the prettiest balls I’ve ever caught in my life,” Hill said. “It’s very catchable. Tua is a very accurate quarterback. That’s all I’m going to say.”

Miami traded five draft picks, including first and second-round picks in the 2022 draft, to the Kansas City Chiefs in exchange for Hill back in March, before immediately signing him to the most lucrative contract in NFL history for a wide receiver — a four-year, $120 million extension with $72 million guaranteed.

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Despite being teammates for barely more than two months, Hill has already had Tagovailoa’s back on multiple occasions, counting earlier in May when a practice video depicted a seemingly underthrown ball by Tagovailoa went viral, amassing nearly 7 million views on Twitter.

Hill responded the next day by posting a video of several deep passes from Tagovailoa to Dolphins receivers.

“I just feel like football is all about confidence and I’m very confident in my quarterback,” Hill stated. “So I just feel like if I’m able to help him get all the confidence in the world and push other guys to push that confidence into him, then the sky’s the limit for the guy because he’s a heck of a talent, has crazy arm strength, arm talent.

“We’re all excited just to watch him sling the ball each and every day.”

Tagovailoa has received praise from Dolphins coach Mike McDaniel for his play and work ethic throughout this offseason, and was named the team’s practice player of the day last week.

McDaniel told reporters Tuesday that he was impressed by Tagovailoa’s instincts at the position.

“I’ve seen a guy that’s attacking the moment, a guy that really likes to play football,” McDaniel said. “You hear people describe a quarterback’s instinctiveness. … I didn’t quite know what that meant. Now I have a better idea of what that meant, but I still don’t have a better way to describe it besides instinctiveness.

“But you can tell the player has played the position for a long time and that he thinks about the game of football through the lens of the quarterback position. I’ve been very excited about his development as far as the offensive plan and being the starting quarterback for the Miami Dolphins.”

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