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David Garrard hoping Rams call him after Sam Bradford injury

David-GarrardThe St. Louis Rams were dealt a major blow over the weekend when Sam Bradford suffered another torn ACL that will keep him out for the entire 2014 season. Veteran backup Shaun Hill appears in line to step in as the starter, but there have been reports about the Rams exploring possible trades. David Garrard thinks they should also scan the free agent list.

Garrard, a 36-year-old who hasn’t appeared in a regular season game since he was with the Jacksonville Jaguars in 2010, is hoping Jeff Fisher and company give him a call.

Can’t blame a guy for trying, right? Garrard was with the New York Jets last year but didn’t see any action. There’s virtually no chance that the Rams give him a call. If they were going to go down the unemployed veteran road, they’d probably be more likely to look at someone like Kyle Orton.

H/T Andrew Brandt

Stevan Ridley on roster bubble with Patriots?

Stevan RidleyThe New England Patriots have a lot of depth at running back, which makes sense for a team that rarely ever employs a feature runner. Stevan Ridley is New England’s best rusher between the tackles, but his tendency to fumble has landed him in Bill Belichick’s doghouse several times. Could it also cost Ridley a roster spot?

On Monday morning, Mike Reiss of ESPNBoston.com posted his latest projections for the Patriots’ 53-man roster. Ridley was not on the list, as Reiss predicts the Patriots will keep four running backs — Shane Vereen, Brandon Bolden, and rookies James White and Jonas Gray.

The Patriots are always good for a surprise, and we’ve had our antenna up at this position since early July. If there’s a surprise, we’ll play a hunch at this spot with Stevan Ridley, whose low snap total Friday (11 snaps) in a “dress rehearsal” game caught the eye.

It does seem that Belichick always cuts one big name before the regular season, so it certainly wouldn’t be a shock if he sent Ridley packing. The former LSU star put the ball on the ground once again during a preseason game against the Philadelphia Eagles, though it’s possible his knee was down. Still, it showed more ball security issues from a player who lost three fumbles on 178 carries last season and fumbled four times the year before.

Ridley is just 25 and has ripped off some runs that prove he has what it takes to be one of the better power backs in the NFL. He knows that his next fumble will likely leave him benched or released, which can’t be good for his confidence. Maybe a change of scenery would help.

Chris Johnson toots his own horn amid strong preseason

Chris-Johnson-JetsChris Johnson is entering his seventh year in the NFL and has never rushed for less than 1,000 yards in a single season. That is an impressive feat for any running back, but Johnson has been frustrating to watch since he eclipsed the 2,000-yard mark in 2006. He quickly went from being the best back in the NFL to the most infuriating.

Johnson, who will turn 29 next month, has looked very sharp over the last two preseason games. He rushed for 63 yards on 10 carries against the Bengals and 42 yards on nine totes against the Giants, giving him an average of 5.53 yards per carry during that span. And CJ sure is confident.

“That’s just what some people say, but people in this game know,” Johnson told the NY Daily News when asked about his recent decline. “I’ve never been a guy who’s had under 1,000 yards. There’s a thousand backs out there that wish they could rush for 1,000 yards. And I’ve done that every year of my career. So, it is what it is.”

The issue is Johnson could have been so much more than just a 1,000-yard guy. He has tremendous speed and talent, but he has a tendency to show up when he pleases and loaf the rest of the time. Rex Ryan has done a solid job of taking pressure off Johnson by stressing that the Jets will use a running back committee.

“Yeah, we got a couple backs here, but once the games start…” Johnson said. “Get a couple carries. If it goes good or if it don’t go good, that doesn’t mean that you’re not going to be in the game no more. You’re still going to be in the game throughout the whole game. It’ll work (itself) out.

“I won’t say that I’m not one of the best running backs in the league. But it’s not about trying to see who’s the best running back on this roster or who’s the best running back in the league. It’s about trying to win.”

As our friend Evan Silva reminded us, Johnson looked even better last preseason. He battled a knee injury throughout much of the season, but he still ultimate wound up disappointing. Of course, Johnson blames the Titans’ predictable playcalling for his struggles in 2013.

Bottom line? I wouldn’t trust Johnson in fantasy football or in real life. If he proves me wrong, good for him.

Sam Bradford reportedly out for season with torn ACL

Sam Bradford knee

Stop us if you’ve heard this before: Sam Bradford is out for the season with a torn ACL.

ESPN’s Chris Mortensen reports that Bradford is out for the season after an MRI revealed the quarterback tore the ACL in his left knee.

Bradford exited Saturday night’s Rams-Browns preseason game after getting hit and taken down. It hardly looked like he was hit with any force, but whatever happened was enough to re-injure his knee.

Bradford suffered a season-ending knee injury last season and was recovering from surgery to repair the torn ACL in his left knee. Shaun Hill will now be the starting quarterback in St. Louis, which is probably just how they drew it up before the season.

In five NFL seasons, Bradford will have missed 32 of 80 possible games (including the entire upcoming season he’s about to miss). Things have just not worked out well for him or the Rams.

Jets starting CB Dimitri Patterson didn’t show up for game, has gone ‘AWOL’

Dimitri-PattersonNew York Jets cornerback Dimitri Patterson was not present during Friday night’s preseason game against the New York Giants, and the team has no idea why.

Acccording to Rich Cimini of ESPNNewYork.com, Patterson’s absence on Friday was “unexcused” and neither Rex Ryan nor any other member of the Jets organization was informed that he would not be showing up. The 31-year-old veteran was reportedly frustrated with leg injuries recently, but Ryan said he is not seriously injured and gave no indication that he is unhappy.

Patterson’s agent Drew Rosenhaus said he was unsure of why Patterson missed the game but told Pro Football Talk that he will return to the Jets on Sunday.

The Jets are already extremely thin at cornerback and were expecting Patterson to be a starter. It’s incredibly rare that an NFL player would just not show up for a game without informing anyone. Hopefully everything is OK with Patterson.

Joe Theismann: Kirk Cousins has played ‘much better’ than Robert Griffin III

Robert-Griffin-RedskinsIf Robert Griffin III and Kirk Cousins were battling for a starting job in the preseason, Cousins would probably be in the lead. In three games thus far, Cousins has completed 35-of-54 passes for 370 yards, four touchdowns and only one interception. Griffin, who played just one series in the first preseason game, has completed 13-of-20 passes for 141 yards, no touchdowns and two interceptions.

Some beat writers have even claimed that Cousins is outplaying RG3 during practice drills, though there has been some dispute there. But on Saturday night, Joe Theismann — who works for the Redskins Broadcast Network — said Cousins is outplaying Griffin and it isn’t close.

“Let’s stop beating around the bush,” Theismann during the fourth quarter, per Dan Steinberg of DC Sports Bog. “Kirk Cousins has played much better at the quarterback position than Robert Griffin III has. Now, Robert is learning to work out of a pocket. He doesn’t look as smooth or as comfortable throwing the football. I mean, your eyes will tell you everything you need to know.”

[Related: RG3 calls out doubters on Twitter]

While Cousins has had more opportunities, he has made more of them than RG3 has made of his. Cousins looks far more comfortable throwing the football than Griffin, though many would argue that Griffin’s speed makes him more dangerous. Theismann believes head coach Jay Gruden should evaluate the situation carefully.

“It’s going to be a decision that Jay Gruden is going to have to make,” he said. “Right now, Robert Griffin III is his quarterback. Now, if there was a quarterback competition, it wouldn’t be a competition. Kirk Cousins would be the man I believe he would have to go to, because of the efficiency with which he has run [the offense]. Now Kirk, like I said, is basically a drop-back quarterback. I see Andy Dalton in Cincinnati, I see Kirk Cousins that way.”

The important thing for RG3 is that the preseason means nothing. Cam Newton had an atrocious preseason with the Carolina Panthers his rookie year before lighting the NFL on fire during a record-breaking season. If Griffin struggles through the early part of the season and can’t stop turning the ball over, Gruden will have a tough decision to make.

Peyton Manning gets penalty for taunting DJ Swearinger after Wes Welker hit

Peyton-Manning-DJ-Swearinger-penaltyPeyton Manning was assessed a 15-yard penalty for taunting in the Denver Broncos’ preseason loss to the Houston Texas on Saturday. Yes, that Peyton Manning, and he had a pretty good reason.

Wes Welker suffered yet another concussion after he was drilled over the middle of the field by DJ Swearinger. The Texans safety led with his shoulder, but he made direct contact with Welker’s head and drew a penalty for unneccessary roughness. Manning got in Swearinger’s face shortly after the hit when he tossed a touchdown pass to Emmanuel Sanders in Swearinger’s direction.

“I’m obviously concerned about Wes and never like seeing him come out of the game with a potential blow to the head,” Manning said when asked about his penalty, via Nicki Jhabvala of The Denver Post. “He had one of those last year that kept him out a while. Fifteen yards with five seconds left in the half — it can’t hurt you that much, right?

“I think if you’re going to get one, that’s a good time to get one.”

We’d be willing to bet Manning won’t get another one for the rest of the season, and probably even his career.

Welker suffered two concussions last season, so any head injury for the 33-year-old is very frightening. He’ll be evaluated by the Broncos medical staff and could wind up missing some time in the regular season, even with two weeks to recover before Week 1. We don’t blame Manning for being upset.

GIFs via Bro Bible, Cork Gaines