Here are the latest news and notes from the National Football League:
Le’Veon Bell Still A No-Show
One of the biggest stories this year has been the absence of star running back Le’Veon Bell. Holding out for either an extension or a trade, Bell has stayed away from the team, and forfeiting game checks in the process. Rumors have swirled that he plans on returning for the Steelers’ week 8 game, but with them currently on bye, it does not appear that he will be returning this week according to Adam Schefter. It will be interesting to see how the Steelers handle this situation.
On the one hand, Bell has been one of the best running backs in the leagues for the last several years, but James Conner has been fantastic this season and has made the sting of Bell’s absence quite a bit less. It will be interesting to see if the Steelers try to trade Bell before the end of the month, or if they welcome him with open arms. Either way, though, it appears the question marks will remain for at least another week.
A Couple Big Names Hit The Injured Reserve
A couple big names hit the injured reserve this week when the New Orleans Saints put wide receiver / return man Ted Ginn Jr. on the injured reserve and the Atlanta Falcons put running back Devonta Freeman on it.
For Ginn, he has been battling a knee injury that now may force him to miss the season. Technically he can return after eight weeks, but part of that will depend on how his recovery goes and whether he ends up needing surgery. On the season, he had 135 yards receiving and 2 touchdowns on 12 receptions.
Another name put on the injured reserve was Devonta Freeman. He just struggled ot get right this season as he has dealt with knee, foot and groin issues this season. Like Ginn, it is possible that he could return later this season after he recovers from groin surgery. With the eight weeks off, that would put him back around week 14. In his absence, the Falcons will look to Tevin Coleman and Ito Smith to solidify their backfield.
Ryan Tannehill Out For Foreseeable Future
It appears that Ryan Tannehill will not be returning to the starting lineup in the immediate future. The Dolphins announced that he will likely be out at least the next couple games, if not longer. It is believed that he will be able to avoid surgery, making it likely that he could play again this season, but it is questionable as to how quickly he will be able to recover.
If Brock Osweiler plays the way he did last Sunday against the Bears, Miami Dolphins fans may not overly mind Tannehill’s absence. In a 31-28 overtime win, Osweiler went 28 for 44 with 380 yards passing, 3 touchdowns and 2 interceptions. It is unlikely he will be able to keep that type of productivity, but if he can, he may hold the job for more than a couple weeks.
October 30th Trade Deadline Quickly Approaching
With under two weeks until the trade deadline, there is starting to be some buzzing around the league of some potential players who might be on the trading block. To give context, the National Football League is not often a league of trades. Unlike the MLB and the NBA, the NFL rarely sees the mega trades and generally does not hype the deadline as much as other leagues. Still, the occasional noteworthy player can be traded so it is always interesting to see what teams might be willing to sell a piece or two.
One player that is believed to possibly hit the market is Browns’ quarterback Tyrod Taylor. Since losing his starting role to Baker Mayfield, there have been rumblings that he may not be happy as the backup quarterback and may prefer a trade elsewhere.
For the Browns, the big question is whether there is a market for him or not. With most teams having a quarterback in place, the belief is most teams would likely also see Taylor as a backup. More importantly, his pedigree would likely not fetch much in the trade market, possibly making it even less enticing for the Browns to swing a deal.
According to Ian Rapoport, one player who is likely to not be moving is the Cardinals’ cornerback Patrick Peterson. After getting embarrassed by the Broncos Thursday night 45-10, it is likely that the 1-6 Arizona Cardinals will likely look to sell on some of their pieces, but it does not seem like Peterson will be one of them.
Not Much Going Right For Jon Gruden In Oakland
Trade your best player in the form of Khalil Mack before the season even begins….check! Start the season 1-6 and look abysmal in the process….check! Get your team a huge fine? Apparently that is a check, too. After signing a 10 year, $100 million contract, Jon Gruden has had a tough go of it thus far in Oakland, and he added to his embarrassments this week when it was reported that the team had been fined $20,000 for an issue with an injury report earlier in the month.
Basically, offensive guard Kelechi Osemele had been listed as questionable prior to their week 5 game against the Chargers. The problem, though, was that not only was Osemele injured, but he didn’t even make the trip to Los Angeles for the game. That is a big no-no in the league, and Jon Gruden’s Oakland Raiders get to chalk up another frustration on an already long season.