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NFL News and Notes: Injuries Dominate The League

Week 2 came and went and sadly took a couple of potential Hall-of-Fame quarterbacks out. Both Drew Brees and Ben Roethlisberger were forced to leave their games after sustaining injuries that could keep them out for the foreseeable future.

For Brees, he had to leave after tearing a ligament in his thumb. After having surgery, the New Orleans Saints quarterback will likely be out for the next six weeks. Despite the extended time out, the Saints do not intend to put him on the injured reserve as that would mean he would be out for at least the next eight weeks.

It will definitely be interesting to see how the Saints can fare without their star quarterback. In his absence, it currently appears Teddy Bridgewater will be taking over under center.

For Roethlisberger, the news isn’t as good. He suffered an elbow injury that will put him out for the year. Some have wondered if Big Ben, who is currently 37, could call it a career after this injury; however, it appears he would like to return.

Still, for this season, the Steelers will have to look a different direction, going to Mason Rudolph as their quarterback. It will be interesting to see if the Steelers, who likely envision themselves as postseason contenders, ultimately look outside of the organization to find a replacement.

The Antonio Brown Saga Continues On

And just like that, the Antonio Brown era in New England is over. The Patriots announced that they released the wide receiver after just one week with the team. After what has been quite a tumultuous several months for Brown, the recent dismissal is related to one of his accusers. The accuser says that Brown has texted her threatening messages, some of which were taken as screenshots by her lawyer and sent to the league office.

Apparently, Patriots’ owner Robert Kraft and coach Bill Belichick were upset enough by this that they felt it was time to move on.

Brown had received a $9 million signing bonus for signing with the Patriots, which is likely to be disputed between the two, likely leading to another battle for the wide receiver. Regardless, it doesn’t appear that he will be receiving game checks anytime soon, at least from the Patriots.

The league has said that it would not stop him from signing with another team nor playing while it looks into the allegations, but it appears that most teams are wary of the wide receiver at this point as no one has stepped up.

It is undeniable that he is a Hall-of-Fame talent on the field. In his one game with the Patriots, Brown went for 56 yards on four receptions and a touchdown. His highest season in terms of receptions (136) and yards (1,834) was in 2015, and his best season in terms of touchdowns was in 2018 (15). The real interesting thing to see is whether Brown ever makes it onto the field again.

Sadly, if accusations are accurate, he has shown some very unsettling behavior and may have bigger things in his life to address than the football field. For now, though, the Steelers, Raiders and now the Patriots seem to be happy moving on from him.

Charlton Released, Quickly Claimed

The Dallas Cowboys released 2017 first-rounder Taco Charlton on Wednesday. For the Cowboys, the defensive end could just never get things going. In two seasons, he had played in 27 games with 46 tackles, four sacks and a fumble recovery.

Still, with other options available (including Robert Quinn returning from a two-game suspension), the Cowboys ultimately decided to part with Charlton. They tried to initially find a trade partner but were unable to work anything out.

That doesn’t mean that there isn’t interest in Charlton. In fact, in a twist of irony, the Miami Dolphins claimed the defensive end, and he will be available to play on Sunday when the Dolphins play the Cowboys. Granted the Dolphins were the only team who put a claim in on him (as most did not want to pay the $3 million owed to him over the next couple seasons, but Miami felt he was worth the gamble.

Given that he has struggled to stay on the field with injuries, if he can, there still may be some gains that Charlton can make to be a productive NFL player.

Browns Place TE Njoku On IR

The Cleveland Browns placed David Njoku on injured reserve, meaning, best-case scenario, the tight end will have to miss at least the next eight weeks. Njoku broke his wrist in Week 2 against the Jets, and it appears that it will take a good amount of time to recover. Still, with no surgery expected, he could still return later this season.

This season, through two games, Njoku had four receptions for 37 yards and a touchdown. Last season, he played in all 16 games, with 56 receptions for 639 yards and four touchdowns.

While he may not be an elite tight end, he has certainly been a nice option for Baker Mayfield. In his absence, it is expected that Demetrius Harris, Ricky Seals-Jones and Pharaoh Brown could fill in at tight end.

Bears’ Kicker Hurt In Weight Room

For just a glimmer of a moment, Chicago Bears fans forgot the name Cody Parkey, as their new kicker, Eddy Pineiro, nailed a game-winning field goal in Week 2 to finish the win against the Denver Broncos. At that moment, any kicking controversy seemed to be over.

Unfortunately, that may have been short-lived. Matt Nagy, Chicago’s head coach, has reported that Pineiro hurt his knee in the weight room and is now questionable for Monday Night Football against the Washington Redskins.

It is called a minor injury, and he very well could take the field, but it certainly looks like Bears fans will once again have to hold their collective breaths as they hope to be able to trust their kicker.

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