When the New York Giants offense takes the field on Sunday against the Green Bay Packers in their wild-card game at Lambeau Field, there is a good chance that Paul Perkins is standing behind quarterback Eli Manning as the starting running back. There is also a good chance he’s nervous.
Perkins was handed a starting role in the regular-season finale on the road against the Washington Redskins. All he did was become the first Giants running back to rush for 100 yards in a game this season. The rookie had 102 yards on 21 carries despite admitting he was more nervous for the game than other since high school.
Given the way things have unfolded and the progress Perkins has made -- he’s increased his yardage total each of the past six games and shown improvement with his blocking -- it’s hard to imagine he won’t be starting against the Packers. If it’s not broken, don’t fix it, the story said.
Brock Osweiler will be the starting quarterback for the Houston Texans in their AFC Wild Card game against the Oakland Raiders, head coach Bill O'Brien said Tuesday. Osweiler replaced Tom Savage, who left their Week 17 game against Tennessee with a concussion.
Savage had previously unseated Osweiler as the starter late in the season. Brandon Weeden will dress as the backup if Savage doesn't clear concussion protocol, O'Brien added.
For the first time in the Super Bowl era, it appears a rookie quarterback will be making his first start in an NFL playoff game.
According to NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport, the Oakland Raiders are moving forward with "the expectation that" Connor Cook is their projected starter for Saturday's matchup against the Houston Texans. Matt McGloin suffered an injury to his trapezius muscle in a season-ending loss to the Broncos and will not be ready.
Cook, in relief, completed 14 of 21 passes for 150 yards, a touchdown and an interception. McGloin was 6 of 11 for 21 yards. Some even felt that Cook looked like the better QB.
We've got some ESPN drama on the Jimmy Garoppolo trade rumor mill.
It started last week when ESPN's Adam Schefter said that he believed the "starting point" for the New England Patriots backup quarterback would be a 1st-round pick and a fourth-round pick.
"I could be wrong ...and I might be low on the 1 and the 4. ... I will promise you that they're getting minimum first round pick for Jimmy Garoppolo, promise you," Schefter said.
Trade rumors for Garoppolo, who has one year left on his contract, will only heat up from here as we get closer to the offseason. There are a number of QB-needy teams in the NFL right now, and this year's draft class has been considered one of the weaker ones in recent years -- at least in terms of top-tier quarterbacks available.
Philadelphia Eagles rookie cornerback Jalen Mills came clean with reporters on Monday and said he hit the rookie wall in Week 5. From injury rehab to the pre-draft process and then right into the NFL grind, his energy was sapped by mid-October.
Carson Wentz insists he avoided the crash, and in fact felt more in the flow in the season's latter stages. But as he sat in front of the assembled media on Monday, he looked like a young man ready to hibernate.
"It's been a lot of fun, learned a lot," he said of his first season in the pros, "but definitely been physically and mentally taxing."
The 24-year old plans on shutting it down for a while. He says he'll "fight the urge to touch a football here for at least three to four weeks maybe -- at least."
That right arm logged a lot of miles, as Wentz set a franchise record with 607 pass attempts.
At his peak, Kendall Wright was a top NFL receiver, pulling in 94 catches for 1,079 yards in 2013.
He’s moved steadily downhill since then and the 20th pick of the 2012 draft was a healthy scratch for the Tennessee Titans in their finale, which he seems certain was his last game with the franchise.
His 29 catches ranked fifth on the team and were the fewest of his career.
The current Titans regime saw Wright as a slot receiver, but the team used three wide receivers on fewer snaps than any team in the NFL. The story pointed out Wright is likeable guy who can make some electric plays as he did for the Titans in the wins over the Browns and Jaguars. But he can be complicated and it all came to seem like too much work to make things go with him heavily involved.
Broncos quarterback Trevor Siemian missed a game this season after suffering an injury to his left, non-throwing shoulder and he’ll be taking care of lingering issues related to that injury this offseason.
Siemian said Monday that he will have surgery this week. Siemian said the operation is not a “major thing” and he’s expected to be fine in time for the start of offseason work in a few months.
“It’s optional surgery,” Siemian said, via KUSA. “It really only bothers me when I work out but I figure I’m going to have to keep working out for a while so I’m getting it fixed.”
Siemian missed one other game with a foot injury and ended his first year as a starter completing 59.5 percent of his passes for 3,401 yards, 18 touchdowns and 10 interceptions. General Manager John Elway said quarterback isn’t his biggest concern of this offseason thanks to the presence of Siemian and Paxton Lynch, but didn’t rule out exploring other options after missing the playoffs.
Cincinnati Bengals tight end Tyler Eifert looked no worse for wear as he made his way out of the facility on Monday morning. Dressed in sweats and carrying a bag from his locker, he didn't look like a person who had just gone through back surgery mere days before. But while Eifert may be only 26, surgery and rehab have become a routine part of his life.
That's what he's facing again this offseason. It's frustrating for Eifert, who hates the "injury prone" label but can't escape it lately.
"I can’t control when I get hurt. it’s annoying when I get labeled 'injury prone' because I just go out and play," Eifert said. "I play hard and, you know, I’ve had some bad breaks."
The story outlines all of Eifert's injuries in his short career. Eifert missed eight games this year and missed 27 regular-season games due to injury to start his career. The back injury that ultimately ended his season early was one he had been fighting all year. Eifert thought he could push off surgery, but as the season went on, the pain became too much. There's no doubt Eifert is a red zone threat and one of the better fantasy TE plays week-to-week, but injuries are a concern.
Citing two sources, the Buffalo News' Tim Graham reported Monday that Watkins will need to undergo another surgical procedure on that foot.
This is the opposite of a report we had earlier today that said Watkins was going to avoid foot surgery. Watkins' foot issues began in the offseason when he broke his foot and had surgery to repair it, which was reported in May. He recovered in time for the regular season but was shut down in September. He returned in late November, but eclipsed 100 yards in only one game. It's worth noting that Bills offensive coordinator Anthony Lynn revealed in early December that Watkins was playing despite a broken bone. So, pain tolerance appeared to be the biggest issue.
One day after Matt McGloin left Oakland's season-ending loss early with a shoulder injury, coach Jack Del Rio doesn't know who his starting quarterback will be come Saturday.
"We'll see how the week goes," Del Rio told reporters Monday. "Between Connor Cook and Matt (McGloin), we'll see who can get the most reps and who we feel the most comfortable putting in the game."
Del Rio confirmed that McGloin got an MRI and defined his status as "just sore."
NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported that the Raiders are not optimistic about McGloin playing against the Texans, but have not ruled him out. In other news, the team has signed free agent Garrett Gilbert to the practice squad, and the signal caller could be active for the playoff game.
Jets running back Matt Forte had arthroscopic knee surgery on Friday, coach Todd Bowles said. Doctors performed the scope to repair Forte's ailing right knee, which had a torn meniscus.
Forte said earlier this season he had been playing the majority of the year with the injury. Eventually, the pain became too much. The Jets put Forte on the season-ending injured reserve late last week.
Bowles indicated Forte should be healthy come spring, when the Jets begin their offseason conditioning program. The team doesn't have an official timetable yet, though.
Murray said he suffered a torn plantar plate Oct. 27 in a Thursday night win over the Jacksonville Jaguars. The plate is the ligament on the ball of the foot connected to the toe.
Murray said the injury impacted his ability to plant and explode. He said rest is the assigned treatment for the toe now.
Doctors could never provide Josh Doctson with a good answer, leaving him to rest ... and ponder a season-gone-wrong while looking ahead. It’s all he could do, thanks to the tendinitis in his left foot that has plagued him since May.
But Doctson said he already notices a difference in his foot. And he remains confident what sort of player he can be when healthy.
“Like I was at TCU, for sure, no doubt,” Doctson said.
Doctson missed most of training camp because of the injury, then returned for the first two games. He was inactive for the next four as the Redskins hoped a month of rest would help. However, he was placed on injured reserve before Week 7.
The NFL's annual wave of firings has -- so far -- spared anyone of note in Indianapolis. Colts coach Chuck Pagano doesn't expect that to change.
"No," Pagano said when asked Monday if there was any doubt about returning for next season.
"This is just based on your confidence?" asked a reporter.
"I just look at things and it's always half full," Pagano said. "And I don't have any reason to believe why I wouldn't be."
Still, Pagano confirmed that he has yet to meet with team owner Jim Irsay, who told NFL.com last month that it would be "unlikely for any changes to occur," with the caveat that he still planned to "sit down and thoroughly vet the season." The Colts haven't made the playoffs the last two season.
David Johnson is OK.
The Pro Bowl running back will not need surgery after suffering a scary-looking left knee injury during Sunday’s finale against the Rams in Los Angeles.
Johnson sprained his MCL, an injury similar to the one suffered by safety Tony Jefferson the week before in Seattle. He will not play in the Pro Bowl while rehabbing the injury. But he will be fine long-term after about six to eight weeks.
“Great news,” Johnson said.
He did watch the replay, and admitted there was a “tremendous amount of relief” once he knew for sure he didn’t have significant damage. The injury cost Johnson a chance at a couple of records he sought: Gaining 100 yards from scrimmage in all 16 games in a season, and reaching 1,000 yards receiving. Johnson had 44 total yards before his first quarter injury, including 38 receiving. He had needed 159 yards receiving to reach 1,000.