Take a look at our NFL News and Notes for Friday September 28, 2018:
Mayfield/Rosen To Get Starts In Week 4
After lackluster starts from their opening day quarterbacks, the Cleveland Browns and Arizona Cardinals have decided to move onto their rookies, Baker Mayfield and Josh Rosen. For the Browns, Mayfield is the reason why they got their first win in almost two years, as he came in last week’s game against the Jets to lead the Browns to a 21-17 victory.
After coming in for an injured Tyrod Taylor, Mayfield went 17 of 23 for 201 yards. Hyped all season after being the number one overall pick, and being highlighted in the HBO show, Hard Knocks, Mayfield finally got his chance last week. In week 4, against the Oakland Raiders, he will get his next chance to prove he is the real deal.
For the Cardinals, they also gave their rookie quarterback a bit of playing time last week, but their quarterback did not have near the success. After Sam Bradford had thrown for only 157 yards and 2 interceptions, the Cardinals went to Rosen late in the game trying to overtake a vaunted Chicago Bears defense. Rosen went 4 of 7 for 36 yards, but also added an interception in an eventual 16-14 loss. With Bradford having been ineffective thus far and the Cardinals off to such a poor start (0-3), it probably doesn’t hurt to give their rookie a shot.
Alshon Jeffery Cleared For Contact
The Philadelphia Eagles may be getting a big offensive weapon back soon in the form of wide receiver Alshon Jeffery. He was cleared for contact, a big step in terms of getting back on the field. He had bee doing some individual work, but could only participate in non-contact drills. Jeffery, who had offseason shoulder surgery, would be a welcomed target for Carson Wentz and the defending Super Bowl Champs. Last year, Jeffery had 57 receptions for 789 yards and 9 touchdowns.
Rob Gronkowski Almost Traded In The Offseason
Can you imagine Rob Gronkowski playing in Lions’ blue? Apparently, it almost happened. Per reports by Adam Schefter and Ian Rapoport, it sounded as if the Patriots almost traded the star tight end prior to the draft to the Detroit Lions. It fell through, though, when Gronkowski himself threatened to retire if her were traded. When recently asked about it, Gronkowski didn’t seem to dispel the rumors as he said, “Tom Brady is my quarterback.”
Le’Veon Bell On Trade Block
This certainly is not how the Steelers envisioned their season starting. Between a 1-1-1 start, a seemingly disgruntled Antonio Brown and Le’Veon Bell being a complete no-show through three weeks, the Steelers offense, considered by some to be one of the best in the league, has had their fair share of concerns. For Bell, he may not be calling Pittsburgh home for too much longer.
Reports have come out indicating that the Steelers may be willing to trade the star running back. Despite his absence this season, the Steelers will still be holding out for a decent return given that if they simply lose him as a free agent at the end of the year, there would be draft pick benefits associated with it; thus, if they don’t get what they want, they will simply hold onto him. Reports indicate that the New York Jets, amongst other teams, may have already expressed interest.
Colin Kaepernick Won’t Be Returning To The 49ers Despite Injured Garoppolo
Unfortunately for the 49ers, Jimmy Garoppolo’s season is over as he suffered an ACL tear. In his absence, C.J. Beathard will be taking over under center. Still, the 49ers are looking for a backup and have hosted players ranging from Tom Savage to Kellen Clemens. One player that won’t be getting a tryout, though, is Colin Kaepernick. The controversial quarterback, who has not received any looks due to his controversial kneeling during the national anthem, would seem like a possible fit, but head coach Kyle Shanahan has said the team has not discussed bringing him back.
Panthers Sign Eric Reid
While Kaepernick remains unemployed, another player who has been associated with both Kaepernick and the national anthem protests just signed with the Carolina Panthers. Safety Eric Reid has signed a one year deal with the Panthers after they had to put safety Da’Norris Searcy on injured reserve. At only 26, Reid could be a nice pick up, especially after he had 7 interceptions in his first two seasons in the NFL.
Aqib Talib and Rex Burkhead Hit IR
The LA Rams lost one of their best cornerbacks when they placed Aqib Talib on the injured reserve with an ankle injury. Facing surgery, the Rams are hoping that he may be able to return later in the season. Another cornerback, Marcus Peters, was also banged up after week 3, but he was active Thursday night against the Minnesota Vikings.
The Patriots also had to place a couple on the IR as both Rex Burkhead and linebacker Ja’Whaun Bentley both found themselves there. For Burkhead, he had already been dealing with concussion issues and in week three, he had to leave the game with a neck injury. This season, Burkhead was the Patriots leading rusher with 86 yards on 24 carries. He also had 3 receptions for 31 yards. His absence opens the door for rookie Sony Michel to take over for most downs in the backfield.