Monday, August 31, 2015, 8:29pm
Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers was a limited participant in practice Monday, two days after heading into the locker room early after hitting his throwing hand on a defender late in the second quarter of the Chargers' preseason game against the Seahawks.
Rivers handed off a few times during the portion of the workout open to the media but didn't throw in positional drills. Kellen Clemens was at quarterback in Monday's practice.
Coach Mike McCoy said Rivers' limited participation wasn't because he hit his right hand Saturday.
Rivers had his hand X-rayed Saturday and said after the game that the X-rays came back negative.
DeVante Parker lined up across from a defensive back and ran his routes full speed for the first time since June, when he needed a screw replaced in his surgically repaired left foot.
The Dolphins have long targeted the Sept. 13 season opener at Washington as the return date for their 2015 first-round pick, and Monday the rookie receiver began testing out the stability his foot, which he initially injured during his senior season at Louisville.
Parker ran routes on his own after practice Monday, which was a positive sign. His hesitation when cutting hard on the foot backed up coach Joe Philbin's statement that Parker still has plenty of work to do on his route running.
"I watched some of the route timing, and it looks like it's been a while since he ran routes," Philbin said. "He looks good. He's moving well. He's working on the timing, the rhythm of the play and splits and depth. That's extremely valuable for him at this point."
After showing flashes in OTAs, Parker began training camp on the physically-unable-to-perform (PUP) list, but he was taken off it two weeks ago. He began jogging last week. Monday's practice was the first time he was running while doing football activity, but it's unclear just how active he was because reporters couldn't watch the entire practice, the story said.
Monday, August 31, 2015, 8:24pm
He had two catches for 24 yards on five targets Saturday night. Graham has played 52 preseason snaps, and he's been used as a run blocker 36.5 percent of the time. The results have been mixed.
On an early Marshawn Lynch 3rd-and-1 carry, the Seahawks didn't generate any kind of push, and Graham let a defender slip past him as the run was stopped short of a first down. He did a good job on Robert Turbin's 7-yard run in the first.
But in the third, Graham looked like he was unsure of which defender to block, and a defensive lineman went right past him in the red zone to drop Turbin for a 7-yard loss. In other words, Graham appears to be a work in progress as a run blocker.
If the Seahawks can keep Graham on the field in running situations, it will only help to open the passing game for play-action passes which is where Graham could thrive.
Two NFL sources told ESPN.com the Raiders moved away from Richardson. Oakland gave Richardson $600,000 in guaranteed money this offseason after Indianapolis cut him. Richardson, 25, was the No. 3 overall draft pick by Cleveland in 2012.
Richardson missed the first portion of Raiders training camp because he was dealing with pneumonia. He didn't run well this preseason, finishing with 19 yards on five carries in a 30-23 loss to Arizona on Sunday.
Thomas was tied with Rob Gronkowski as the #1 TE through 10 weeks (in standard formats), but suffered an ankle injury which limited him to just five catches for 66 yards as he appeared in four of his team’s final seven games. He has considerable talent as a pass-catcher, but this is a huge system downgrade from Denver to Jacksonville. He'll no longer enjoy the benefits of playing in a Peyton Manning-led offense and will instead be relying on Blake Bortles to deliver the ball. He's also dealing with a finger issue which is going to require surgery and a 4-5 week recovery, so it appears that he'll miss the first three games at least. Move him down your draft boards.
Initial roster cuts brought a slightly somber mood to Dove Valley Monday morning, but receiver Emmanuel Sanders' return to practice revived the scene.
Sanders missed all but one practice since initially suffering a mild hamstring injury on Aug. 6.
Coach Gary Kubiak said last week that the team planned to be cautious with Sanders, but he expected him back at full practice this week.
Bell, who had been recovering from knee and Achilles injuries, had been on the physically unable to perform list. On Saturday, he had indicated he was close to returning, adding that he and the doctors would play it by ear whether he would be activated this week.
Bell is coming off a year in which he rushed for a career-high 860 yards. He will join a backfield that includes rookies Ameer Abdullah and Zach Zenner along with Theo Riddick and George Winn. Adbullah figures to be a big part of the passing game but Bell should see a lot of the early down work.
Monday, August 31, 2015, 4:25pm
Chicago Bears backup quarterback Jimmy Clausen suffered a concussion on Saturday when he got hit by Cincinnati Bengals outside linebacker P.J. Dawson while attempting to slide late in the fourth quarter of the Bears’ 21-10 loss at Paul Brown Stadium.
Immediately following the game the Bears announced that Clausen did not have a concussion, but that prognosis changed when the No. 2 quarterback experienced delayed symptoms.
“He does have a concussion,” Bears coach John Fox said. “So you’re not confused, during the game he was cleared on the on-field prognosis, and then he had symptoms so he’s been classified with a concussion. He’ll go into that protocol."
Clausen also missed Week 17 of last year because of a concussion.
Martavis Bryant's second-year leap will be put on hold to start the NFL season.
The Pittsburgh Steelers receiver has been suspended four games for violating the NFL Policy and Program for Substances of Abuse after his appeal was denied Monday, the team announced.
Sources informed of the situation told NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport that Bryant's suspension is for multiple failed marijuana tests.
The 6-foot-4 wideout with a 4.42 seconds 40-speed was a big-play machine in 10 games as a rookie. He led the NFL with a 21.1-yards-per-catch average. Bryant finished with 26 receptions for 549 yards and eight touchdowns in just 306 regular season snaps.
Bryant was slated to open the season in three-receiver sets behind All-Pro Antonio Brown and Markus Wheaton -- who've flashed during the preseason. Bryant's big-play ability was one reason the Steelers have been mentioned as a candidate to lead the NFL in offensive production in 2015. Wheaton will at least get a four game bump in value while Bryant is out. Sammie Coates could see more time with Bryant suspended.
The Carolina Panthers added a new face to their depleted receiving corps.
NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport reported Monday the Panthers traded for Seattle Seahawks receiver Kevin Norwood, per a source informed of the deal. Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle first reported the news.
The Seahawks initially planned to cut the 2014 fourth-round pick out of Alabama, before finding a trade partner in Carolina.
The 6-foot-2, 199-pound Norwood appeared in nine regular season games last season in Seattle after foot surgery knocked him out of training camp and the preseason. The wideout finished with 102 yards on nine catches. He had just two receptions this preseason for 18 yards.
In Carolina, Norwood will join a struggling, banged up receiving crops. With Kelvin Benjamin (ACL) out and first-round pick Devin Funchess nursing a hamstring injury, the Panthers receivers have been a big disappointment in the preseason. Norwood will wrestle for a roster spot with Corey Brown, Jerricho Cotchery, Ted Ginn Jr., Brenton Bersin, Jarrett Boykin and Mike Brown, among others.
Monday, August 31, 2015, 2:33pm
This is starting to sound like a broken record, but Panthers wide receiver Corey Brown had two more drops that stood out. The first happened on the first play of team drills. The second occurred later in the left corner of the end zone when Brown got two hands on a high pass from Cam Newton and lost the ball as he hit the ground.
These came after he dropped four passes in Friday night's 17-16 loss to New England and two the week before against Miami. Brown worked with wide receivers coach Ricky Proehl on a few things before practice. One was attacking the ball instead of waiting for it to come to him as he did against the Patriots.
There remain a few kinks to work out there. When Brown caught a pass later in practice, he cradled it to the ground like he was making a fair catch on a punt.
Ever since Kelvin Benjamin went down, the Panther WRs have struggled with either drops or injuries, including rookie Devin Funchess who is expected to be the team's top WR in terms of fantasy production. We have Brown ranked second among Panther WRs but the drops aren't a good sign at least in terms of trust with Newton.
Jameis Winston may be going into the season with a limp.
The Buccaneers quarterback said that he's been dealing with a sprained ankle, but says it isn't bothering him.
"Pain is temporary," Winston told the media Monday. "I really don't focus on that at all. I played last year at Florida State with a sprained ankle, so that's the least of my worries. My job is to go out there and play quarterback and fight for the team."
Offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter confirmed that Winston is feeling the effects of an ankle sprain, but Tampa Bay fans shouldn't be worried.
"It's affecting him a little bit," Koetter added, "but he'll be ready to go. ... It's not anything he can't play on. Even in practice, Jameis, you can't keep him out."
Winston rolled his ankle in Tampa Bay's second preseason game against the Bengals, but still played meaningful minutes against the Browns on Saturday. Winston may not be 100 percent healthy by his rookie debut against the Titans in Week 1, but all indications are his sprained ankle won't hamper him too much.
Coach Chuck Pagano said on Monday that Hilton is in the league’s concussion protocol after reporting symptoms of the injury following Saturday’s game against the Rams. He was subsequently evaluated by team doctors and will be monitored in the coming days. Hilton had three catches for 44 yards during the game and was probably unlikely to play in this week’s preseason finale even without the head injury.
There’s no way to guess whether Hilton will be cleared in time to face the Bills in Week 1, but having two weeks to get it leaves time before the Colts will have to seriously ponder alternatives in the offense. Youngsters Donte Moncrief and Phillip Dorsett would be next in line to step up. We have Dorsett as the Colts WR3 so he could get a huge boost in fantasy value if Hilton misses time.
Parker, who had foot surgery in the summer, practiced for the first time Monday since coming off the physically-unable-to-perform list. The rookie receiver did light running and worked on the side with a trainer in previous practices.
"When I run, my foot is feeling pretty good so I’m just glad about that," Parker said in the locker room before practice. "Having no pain in it is a good thing. It’s a start."
It is still unknown if Parker will be ready for Week 1 of the regular season. He has been impressive throughout the offseason and the Dolphins are eager to see if it translates on to the field. He stock has fell a bit but owners are still taking a chance in later rounds.
Monday, August 31, 2015, 2:16pm
Chiefs tight end Demetrius Harris, who practiced on Sunday for the first time with the Kansas City Chiefs this season because he was waiting for his broken foot to mend, said he's prepared to play some in Thursday night's final preseason game in St. Louis.
It's going to be longer than that before the Chiefs get the full benefit of Harris' return.
"It's going to be several weeks I think with a guy that is coming off an injury, who hasn't practiced," offensive coordinator Doug Pederson. "Now, he's run routes and he's done some things that way but it's one thing to run routes on air versus [against] bodies on defense. It's going to take some time. We can't rush him back, either. We've got to continue to monitor that progress as we go."