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NFL News and Notes: Questions About Luck’s Availability

In the midst of Week 2 of the NFL preseason, we are just a couple of weeks away from games counting for real. As teams continue to evaluate and trim their rosters, they are also dealing with injuries, filling glaring holes on their teams and keep their players both fresh and content. With that in mind, let’s take a look at some of the news stories that have come out of the league over the last week.

Will Luck Be Ready For Week 1?

There has been speculation over whether Andrew Luck’s leg would keep him out of Week 1 of the regular season, and it appears that Frank Reich is affirming that he could be questionable. According to Mike Garafolo, it appears that it would take a significant progression for Luck to make the Week 1 start. Despite that, it appears that the Colts feel comfortable in knowing what has caused the issues in the calf and appear set to be able to treat it.

Last year, Luck was 430 for 639 for 4,593 yards, 39 touchdowns and 15 interceptions in 16 games. While he has shown signs of brilliance over his brief career, he has also shown signs of wear and tear, as he played just seven games in 2015 and didn’t play at all in 2017. Still, with Luck on the field, the Colts are significantly better, so they will hope that if he does have to miss time that it will be short-lived. In his place, Jacoby Brissett would likely take over the starting role.

Brown Returns To Camp

It certainly has not been the smoothest start to Antonio Brown’s tenure with the Oakland Raiders, but it seems that things are starting to smooth out. Initially, Brown had issues with his feet, which essentially were frostbitten after not wearing the proper footwear into a cryotherapy session. After that, Brown had threatened to retire from the NFL if he were not allowed to wear his preferred helmet. After filing a grievance and having an arbitrator rule against him, it appears that he is going to let it go and move on.

Technically, he is still trying to find a way to be able to wear his helmet (the NFL said he could wear it if he could find a newer model of it), but he also is reporting to Raiders camp, where he hopes to become engaged with his new team and offense. Last season with the Steelers, Brown caught 104 receptions for 1,297 yards and 15 touchdowns (the highest total of his career). Still, his welcome was pretty worn out with Pittsburgh, and he will look to start anew with the Raiders at age 31.

Gordon Reinstated By NFL

The case of Josh Gordon in the NFL has been beyond a frustrating one. On the one hand, you have a young man that is immensely talented and always had the potential to be one of the best at his position. On the other hand, Gordon has battled personal demons with substance abuse, an issue that got him suspended indefinitely back in December. After filing for reinstatement a couple of weeks ago, though, it appears that Gordon will be back on the field for the New England Patriots.

This is a huge boost for Tom Brady and Bill Belichick as Gordon immediately bolsters the wide receiving corps for New England. Last season, in 11 games for the Patriots, he had 40 receptions for 720 yards and three touchdowns. Gordon will look to build off of that season while also trying to stay clean and on the right path. Gordon’s best season came back in 2013 when the then-22-year-old had 87 receptions for 1,646 yards and nine touchdowns for the Cleveland Browns. While the Patriots do not need him to be a superstar at that level, if he can stay on the field and produce, it will certainly help the Super Bowl champions in their quest to repeat.

McCown Returns For Another Season

One of the things that the Philadelphia Eagles have found to be a necessity over the last couple of years is a good backup quarterback. With starting quarterback Carson Wentz somewhat of an injury risk, backups (primarily Nick Foles) have gotten ample playing time. In fact, a couple of seasons ago, it was Foles and not Wentz who led them to a Super Bowl championship. With Foles gone, though, the Eagles had been looking at players like Nate Sudfeld and Cody Kessler, but on Saturday, it appears that they found their guy.

The Eagles, according to Adam Schefter, have signed quarterback Josh McCown to serve as their backup. Initially, McCown had announced his retirement after last season, but it appears that the Eagles were able to convince the 40-year-old to come back for one more season.

Last season, with the Jets, McCown played in four games, throwing 60 for 110 completions for 539 yards, one touchdown, and four interceptions. He is just a couple of seasons removed from his best year, though, when he threw for 2,926 yards and 18 touchdowns versus nine interceptions in 2017 with the Jets. McCown’s deal will pay him $2 million that could escalate to over $5 million with incentives. The $2 million is guaranteed.

Rivers To Play Out Final Year Of Contract

There has been speculation that the Los Angeles Chargers and Philip Rivers could try to work out an extension but, according to Ian Rapoport, that does not appear to be the case. Instead, the quarterback will play out his final year on his contract and then negotiate at the end of the season. Rivers is certainly not young in age as he starts the season at 37, but that also has not diminished his value. Last season, Rivers threw for 4,308 yards on 347 of 508 passing (68.3 completion percentage). He also had 32 touchdowns versus 12 interceptions.

While Rivers has certainly had a successful, possibly even Hall-of-Fame-type career, a Super Bowl has still eluded him. Last season, after getting the fifth seed in the AFC, the Chargers were able to beat Baltimore in the wild card round before losing to the eventual Super Bowl champion New England Patriots, 41-28, in the divisional round. Still, after finishing the regular season 12-4, the Chargers should be poised for a good season again assuming that they can stay healthy and that they can get running back Melvin Gordon back in camp as he is currently holding out as he looks to get a new contract.

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