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Saturday, September 21, 2019

Blog

Jordan Reed could reportedly be ‘weeks’ away from returning to action

The Washington Redskins will not have tight end Jordan Reed this week, and it sounds like it may stay that way for a while.

Reed has been ruled out for Monday’s game against the Chicago Bears, and has not played since suffering a concussion against the Atlanta Falcons in an Aug. 22 preseason game. Now, one team source told JP Finlay of NBC Sports Washington that Reed could be “weeks” from returning to action.

The Redskins have been publicly tight-lipped on Reed’s status. He has practiced in spurts and spent some time on the practice field Wednesday, but is clearly not close to passing the protocol. In fact, the team was initially hopeful that he wouldn’t miss meaningful games, but that was obviously far too optimistic.

The 29-year-old tight end caught two touchdowns in 2018, and caught 17 scores over a two-year stretch in 2015 and 2016. He has never played a full 16-game season since entering the NFL in 2013.

Report: Jalen Ramsey not close to being traded

Jalen Ramsey

The Jacksonville Jaguars are not close to trading Jalen Ramsey.

According to Ian Rapoport of NFL Network, the Jaguars have “no deal in the works” involving Ramsey. There is also a growing belief that the longer the Jaguars resist trading Ramsey, the more likely it is he will stay with the team despite the fact that he is maintaining his trade demand.

It may well be that the Jaguars just don’t want to trade Ramsey, as some have suggested. They may be willing to wait it out and trust that they can win the 24-year-old defensive back over again. Their asking price is said to be very high, and they aren’t really motivated to move him, but someone is going to have to give in at some point.

James Blackman said ‘not again’ after leaving with leg injury

Florida State logo

Florida State quarterback James Blackman left Saturday’s game against Louisville after suffering a leg injury in the third quarter.

Florida State had a second-and-8 play three minutes into the quarter and about three Cardinals players converged on him for a sack. Blackman went down and was writhing in pain.

Blackman had to be helped off the field.

“He goes into the tent shaking his head, and I heard him say ‘not again,'” ESPN’s sideline reporter said of Blackman.

Blackman was 11/14 for 127 yards prior to exiting with the injury. He was replaced by former Wisconsin quarterback Alex Hornibrook. The way the redshirt sophomore reacted to his injury indicates the matter could be serious.

Charles Woodson ’embarrassed’ by Michigan

Charles Woodson

Charles Woodson is one of the most famous Michigan Wolverines of all time, and is the school’s most recent Heisman Trophy winner. He’s still invested in his school, and when he says something about them, it’s probably worth paying attention to.

So it’s not a great sign when Woodson, an analyst on Fox’s studio crew for the game, said he was “embarrassed” by the state of the program after the team’s 35-14 loss at Wisconsin on Saturday.

It’s easy to understand where Woodson is coming from. Michigan lost by 21, and frankly, that margin still flattered them. It was 28-0 Wisconsin at halftime, and the Badgers put up 487 yards of total offense, with 359 of those coming from the run game. To make matters worse, the blowout loss comes on the heels of a bye week, which means the Wolverines had two weeks of prep time after a narrow escape at home against Army and still got run over. It also adds to Jim Harbaugh’s mediocre record against top-tier opponents during his tenure at Michigan. Most of these issues were visible last season, but haven’t improved enough.

The Wolverines were considered College Football Playoff contenders before the start of the season, but they’ve already lost once before the end of September. It’s reasonable to say that they might have to win out to make that happen. That would mean winning at Penn State while holding serve at home against Notre Dame and Ohio State. With how they’ve looked this season, that looks like an increasingly tall order.

Report: Moises Alou considered ‘strong candidate’ for Padres’ job

Padres logo

The San Diego Padres aren’t waiting long to identify potential candidates for their newly-open managerial position.

According to Jon Morosi of MLB.com, longtime MLB outfielder Moises Alou is considered a “strong candidate” for the job if he’s interested in it.

The 53-year-old Alou would certainly be a bold and risky choice. He serves as a special assistant in the San Diego front office, so he has familiarity with the organization. He’s also a baseball lifer who played 17 years in MLB. However, he has no managerial experience at any level. His family does, though; his father, Felipe, spent 14 years managing in the majors.

The Padres will be hunting for a new manager after announcing the firing of Andy Green on Saturday. Alou is the first name to emerge, but he won’t be the last.

Baker Mayfield: Browns ‘expect’ to end playoff drought

The Cleveland Browns aren’t backing away from their high expectations even after a shaky start.

In an interview for NBC’s Football Night in America pregame show, quarterback Baker Mayfield told NBC Sports’ Mike Tirico that Browns players “expect” to lead the franchise to the playoffs for the first time since 2002.

“That’s what the guys in this locker room expect,” Mayfield said, via Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk. “And I don’t think we can wrap our minds around what it would mean for this town until it actually happens. And so I think that benefit of being a little naive about it, it’s taking it one week at a time. Knowing where we want to go, what our expectations are and what we have to do get there. But then don’t look up until it’s there. And don’t look up ’til you’re done and to see what you’ve created and that culture that we would have at that point and the energy that the fans would have.”

The Browns are 1-1, but Mayfield has thrown four interceptions to two touchdowns, so it’s safe to say improvement is expected. The quarterback has been leaning into the hype all season long, for better or worse. He wants everyone to feel confident and he’s not changing his tune now.

Watch: Ole Miss loses after disastrous clock management, bad officiating

Ole Miss logo

The Ole Miss Rebels were both unlucky and incompetent late in Saturday’s loss to the Cal Golden Bears.

Down eight points with the ball at the Cal three, the Rebels had third and goal with no timeouts and 22 seconds to get the ball in the end zone. Quarterback John Rhys Plumlee found receiver Elijah Moore at the goal line, but the referees ruled him down short of the goal line. They also didn’t stop the clock to review the play despite the fact that it was not remotely clear whether Moore got in or not.

With no timeouts and fourth down, Mississippi couldn’t spike the ball, so Plumlee rushed to the line of scrimmage and tried to run a quarterback sneak. He was stuffed, and the Golden Bears escaped with the road win.

Ole Miss did not seem to have a plan when their third down play was stopped short with the clock still running. They probably assumed that if they fell short on that play, it would come as the result of an incompletion, and they’d have time to set something else up. It’s also inexcusable that the referees didn’t look at the third down play, as it certainly seemed possible that Moore crossed the plane.

Padres fire manager Andy Green

Andy Green

The San Diego Padres’ lack of improvement in 2019 has cost manager Andy Green his job.

General manager A.J. Preller announced Saturday that the Padres have fired Green as they head toward another losing season that saw them fall out of playoff contention early.

Green was in his fourth year as the Padres’ manager. He was 274-366 over that span, though the Padres only began investing in talent toward the end of his tenure. After the addition of Manny Machado this season, San Diego started 45-45, but underperformance from highly-paid players and injuries to key contributors led to a 25-38 record since then.

The Padres’ job is one worth watching this offseason. The new manager will inherit an offense led by Manny Machado, a young star in Fernando Tatis Jr., a quality farm system, and a team that seems to have some willingness to move toward contention, meaning a bigger, more established name may be Green’s replacement.

Wisconsin RB Jonathan Taylor treated for cramps, questionable to return

Standout Wisconsin running back Jonathan Taylor left Saturday’s game and was treated in the medical tent early in the second quarter.

While there was no obvious play where Taylor got hurt, Fox cameras caught him walking with a slight limp on the sideline. A few moments later, he was seen heading to the medical tent, and was replaced by a committee of Garrett Groshek and Nakia Watson for the team’s first drive of the second quarter.

Fox reporter Jenny Taft said Taylor was being treated for cramps and was being given fluids. He was considered questionable to return. He was having a mammoth day before leaving the game, having gone for 143 yards and two touchdowns in the first quarter.

Taylor’s Michigan counterpart also seemed to be dealing with some sort of physical issue during the game.

Michigan RB Zach Charbonnet a non-factor amid knee injury rumors

Michigan logo

Michigan Wolverines running back Zach Charbonnet’s first quarter usage Saturday did nothing to dispel chatter about a possible knee injury.

During the week, rumors flew that Charbonnet had aggravated a previous knee injury and would miss time. These rumors didn’t come from any official source, but persisted throughout the week. Eventually, former offensive lineman Jon Jansen, who maintains close ties to the Wolverines program, refuted the stories.

Chatter about Charbonnet’s status intensified during the first quarter of Saturday’s game against the Wisconsin Badgers, however. Though listed as a starter, Charbonnet didn’t see the field until a 3rd down play with 3:06 left in the quarter, a play on which he did not touch the ball. One tell that something was amiss was when Charbonnet wasn’t on the field when the Wolverines had the ball inside their own 10, a clear running situation.

There’s still no clarity here, but Charbonnet’s usage suggests something is off. It’s bad news for a team that has already dealt with other key minor injuries this year.