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NFL News and Notes

In very sad news, Miami Dolphins defensive tackle Kendrick Norton was involved in a car crash earlier this week. While Norton survived the crash and was recently upgraded from critical to stable condition, the defensive tackle had to have his left arm amputated at the site of the crash in order to get Norton free. Just 22 years old, Norton was drafted by the Carolina Panthers in 2018 before the Dolphins signed him from their practice squad.

Gregory To File For Reinstatement

Randy Gregory has certainly had a checkered past. In fact, since he was drafted in 2015, he has had four suspensions for violating the NFL’s substance abuse policy. Gregory, claiming that he is clean now and would like another chance, played in 14 games last year after being suspended for all of 2017. Last season, with the Cowboys, he had 25 tackles, six sacks, two forced fumbles, and one fumble recovery. While the league has made no decision, it appears that he has the support of the Cowboys to return. Still, with his past of multiple failures, it is not unwarranted to be skeptical as to whether he could actually make the most of another opportunity.

Bengals’ Top Pick To Miss Season

While the Cincinnati Bengals certainly were not seen as a postseason contender this season, they did take a bit of a blow this week as it was announced that their first-round pick, offensive tackle Jonah Williams, would miss the season. Williams underwent surgery on his left shoulder and will likely be put on injured reserve in the near future. With his injury, the Bengals will likely move Cordy Glenn back to tackle and possibly Christian Westerman to left guard.

Elliott Will Not Be Suspended

Despite being investigated by the NFL for his role in a Las Vegas incident where he could be seen knocking down a security guard, Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott will not be suspended. Elliott apologized for his behavior on social media and intends to move forward. This is not the first time that he has been investigated as he had trouble with the league office for a possible domestic violence incident in 2017. While he was suspended for that incident, Roger Goodell and the league did not feel that this incident warranted punishment. Last season, for the Cowboys, Elliott played 15 games, rushing for 1,434 yards on 304 attempts. He had six rushing touchdowns while adding 567 yards and three additional touchdowns through the passing game. Elliott is poised for a big year this upcoming season, assuming health, as the Cowboys offense certainly looked more exciting down the stretch, especially having acquired Amari Cooper. With weapons in the passing game, it may open up the running lanes a little more.

Mariota Still The Starter … For Now

Ever since the Tennessee Titans acquired Ryan Tannehill, questions have swirled about who the team’s starter at quarterback would be, Tannehill or the incumbent, Marcus Mariota. Consistently, Mike Vrabel has answered the question the same way, that Mariota, as it stands now, is his quarterback. Still, given Mariota’s struggles last year, the debate is understandable. For many Titans fans, the idea of replacing Mariota is intriguing, even if Tannehill would likely be only marginally better. In their careers, Mariota is 27-28 while Tannehill is 42-46.

Last year, with the Miami Dolphins, Tannehill played in 11 games, going 5-6 with 176 completions in 274 attempts for a .642 completion percentage and 1,979 yards. He had 17 touchdowns versus nine interceptions. Tannehill’s best season was probably in 2014 when he went 8-8 and threw for 4,045 yards with 27 touchdowns, 12 interceptions, and a .664 completion percentage.

For Mariota last year, he went 7-6 overall and was 228 for 331 for 2,528 yards and a .689 completion percentage. While those numbers don’t look awful, he only had 11 touchdowns versus eight interceptions in those 13 games that he started. His best season was 2016 when he went 8-7 and threw for 3,426 yards, 26 touchdowns, and a .612 completion percentage while only throwing nine interceptions. Regardless of his starting status, it may not take much for him to get the boot out of the starter’s role in favor of Tannehill.

Manning Not Ready To Move On

While it appears that his team, the New York Giants, is preparing to move on from Eli Manning, it doesn’t appear that the veteran quarterback is ready to do so. Manning recently told Rod Walker of that he is not rushing to retire and wants to continue playing as long as he feels he can “hang with these guys.” The Giants picked the apparent heir to Manning in this year’s draft, selecting Daniel Jones sixth overall. Despite that, Manning is still expected to take the helm of the Giants, at least to start the season. Last year, Manning went 5-11 for 4,299 yards, 21 touchdowns, and 11 interceptions while completing for 66 percent of his pass attempts. Whether he wants to continue being a starter or would be satisfied holding a clipboard down the road remains to be seen, but for now, Eli is still enjoying life in the NFL.

Bruschi Suffers Stroke

Sadly, Tedy Bruschi, one of the main defensive stalwarts of the New England Patriots as they started their dynasty run, suffered another stroke this week. This is not Bruschi’s first stroke, as he suffered one in 2005 as well. That stroke, when Bruschi was just 31 and still in the NFL, was a mild one as he played for four more seasons after suffering it. Still, any time that someone suffers a stroke, it is scary, and it is very fortunate that Bruschi noticed the warning signs and got help early. In his career, Bruschi had 1,063 tackles, 30.5 sacks, 17 forced fumbles, seven fumble recoveries, and 12 interceptions.

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