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Monday, October 22, 2018

Football

Report: Kenny Stills has groin strain, deepening Dolphins’ WR crisis

The Miami Dolphins are facing a real wide receiver crisis with Kenny Stills reportedly sustaining a groin strain.

According to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com, Stills strained his groin late in Sunday’s loss to the Detroit Lions. While not a hugely severe injury, it is significant enough that the Dolphins, who have a short week and play Thursday against the Houston Texans, face a real uphill battle to have him ready for that game.

Without Stills, Miami is down to three healthy receivers. Danny Amendola and Jakeem Grant are the prominent ones, but the third is DeVante Parker, the subject of trade rumors and a player whose agent just put the organization on blast publicly. That’s an awkward situation, and the Dolphins find themselves in a very tight spot at the position right now.

Tom Brady praises growing connection with Josh Gordon

Josh Gordon

New England Patriots wide receiver Josh Gordon got a coveted endorsement from Tom Brady on Monday.

Brady praised Gordon in his weekly interview with WEEI, praising the wide receiver and talking about a growing confidence in the connection they have.

The catch that Brady was responding to a question about was one of the best of the weekend, and shows Gordon’s pure talent has never waned. The receiver went for 100 yards on four catches Sunday against Chicago, and he’s getting plenty of targets from Brady. That’s obviously an excellent sign, and it sounds like everyone involved believes there’s even more upside there.

Le’Veon Bell reportedly still absent from Steelers on Monday

The Pittsburgh Steelers’ bye week is over, but Le’Veon Bell is still absent from the team.

According to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com, Bell was not with his Pittsburgh teammates when they reported Monday morning for the fresh week, and the wait goes on another day, at least.

When does it end? Likely by Week 10, but not yet. It may be another week, as Bell does have some incentive to stay away if he wants to protect himself from injury while also avoiding a potential trade. Whatever the case, this looks less and less likely to be the week of his long-awaited return.

Dolphins WR Albert Wilson could miss rest of season with hip injury

Miami Dolphins logo

Albert Wilson played the role of hero for the Miami Dolphins in their dramatic Week 6 win over the Chicago Bears, but there’s a chance we may not see another explosive play from the wide receiver this season.

Wilson suffered a hip injury during Sunday’s loss to the Detroit Lions, and his agent Drew Rosenhaus said it is possible he could miss anywhere from a few weeks to the remainder of the year.

The Bears had the Dolphins on the ropes in Week 6, but Wilson scored touchdowns of 43 and 75 yards in the fourth quarter to help force overtime. Miami then nearly gave the game away on a horrible goal line fumble, but they held on to win thanks in large part to Wilson’s impact.

With Ryan Tannehill already on the shelf with a shoulder injury and Wilson now out, the injuries are piling up for the Dolphins.

Jaguars players prefer to move on from Blake Bortles?

Blake Bortles

The Jacksonville Jaguars have one of the worst offenses in football, and that finally cost quarterback Blake Bortles his job in the second half of Sunday’s loss to the Houston Texans. But will he go back to starting in Week 8?

It doesn’t sound likely.

As Ian Rapoport of NFL Media notes, the feeling is that Jaguars players would “welcome a change at quarterback” going forward.

Bortles has thrown five interceptions and lost three fumbles in the past three games. He’s not protecting the ball, and his poor performance has allowed defenses to focus on the run and dare Bortles to beat them in the passing game. With Leonard Fournette still nursing a hamstring injury, the Jaguars have been even easier to stop.

Cody Kessler is a backup quarterback for a reason, but sometimes a change is needed. We know Jacksonville has the defensive personnel to make a deep playoff run, but they need their offense to stop putting them in such terrible positions. The scene that unfolded in the locker room after Sunday’s game has to be a major concern for head coach Doug Marrone. If he doesn’t make a change at QB, the season could spiral out of control.

15 biggest disappointments of NFL Week 7

Mitchell Trubisky

NFL Week 7 featured some close games, excitement, and even a handful of meltdowns. The latter category is inevitably going to lead to some disappointments, and a lot of good teams were left wondering what was going on. There were also game-changing mistakes, including one missed kick from one of the most reliable kickers in the league.

Here are the 15 biggest disappointments of NFL Week 7.

Dallas Cowboys’ special teams

Against all odds and despite more road struggles, the Cowboys looked all set to tie their game against the Washington Redskins as time was set to expire in regulation. Down three, they lined up for a 47-yard field goal that would have sent the game to overtime, but long snapper L.P. Ladouceur was called for a snap infraction before the kick, backing kicker Brett Maher up to 52. His kick curved at the last moment and hit the upright. It may well have been good from 47. The call was controversial, but ultimately cost them a chance at the game.

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DeAndre Hopkins shades Jalen Ramsey after win over rival

DeAndre Hopkins

DeAndre Hopkins got the last word in whatever rivalry he has with Jalen Ramsey.

Hopkins’ Houston Texans beat the Jacksonville Jaguars 20-7 on Sunday. Hopkins was asked about his rivalry with the Jags cornerback after the game, and he had a strong response. He jabbed Ramsey over their recent head-to-head record.

The Texans are only 3-2 against the Jags since Ramsey joined the team, though Bill O’Brien is 7-2 against Jacksonville, as Aaron Reiss pointed out. That still doesn’t change how much we enjoyed Hopkins’ “scoreboard” response.

Hopkins had 3 catches for 50 yards and a touchdown in the game.

Who remembers when Ramsey made all sorts of headlines before the season for his comments on quarterbacks around the league? That feels like so long ago. Ramsey sure hasn’t done a lot of talking the past few weeks.