pixel 1
header
Friday, October 18, 2019

Football

Saquon Barkley participates in individual drills, could return Sunday

Saquon Barkley Giants

It’s too early to say for sure, but this could be the week for New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley.

Barkley participated in individual drills on Monday, according to Ralph Vacchiano of SNY, and has a decent chance of playing Sunday when the Giants host the Arizona Cardinals.

It’s not a huge surprise considering Pat Shurmur floated the possibility of a Week 6 return before it ultimately didn’t happen. Barkley also recently posted a hype video suggesting he was on the verge of a return.

Barkley had two 100-yard games to start the season before going down with his injury in Week 3. It may take him a little time to get back up to speed, especially if the Giants don’t play him on every snap initially, but there’s no reason to think he’ll have lost a step.

Sam Darnold seemed to find the Cowboys’ defensive scheme quite predictable

Sam Darnold

The previously winless New York Jets jumped out to a big lead against the Dallas Cowboys in Sunday’s game and never looked back in grabbing their first victory of the season, and it sounds like quarterback Sam Darnold wasn’t exactly shocked.

Speaking after the game, Darnold fairly accurately described the Cowboys’ defensive scheme, adding that “they do it every single week.”

“They just kind of did what they do,” Darnold said, via Jon Machota of The Athletic. “They do it every single week. They just play one-high (safety), occasionally two-high, and they like to stop the run. I knew that I had to throw the ball today to have success, and we did that.”

Obviously, the Cowboys aren’t going to throw wild looks at opponents just for the sake of it, but it’s not exactly a great sign that Darnold seemed to know exactly what he’d face and got it. Detractors will suggest that this is evidence that coach Jason Garrett’s systems on both sides of the ball are too easy to plan and prepare for. One former player certainly thinks that, though it’s admittedly a player with an ax to grind.

Texans OT Tytus Howard reportedly suffered partially torn MCL in Week 6

Houston Texans logo

The Houston Texans collectively held their breath on Sunday afternoon as first-round offensive lineman, Tytus Howard, went down with what was originally feared to be a torn ACL.

“It may have looked worse than it really was,” Texans coach Bill O’Brien said after the game. “Hopefully, we can get him back at some point.”

The good news for both Howard and the Texans is that the rookie did not suffer a season-ending torn ACL, but did suffered a partially torn MCL that will likely keep him sidelined for a substantial amount of time, albeit not the remainder of the year.

After Howard was carted off in the third quarter of Sunday’s game against the Kansas City Chiefs, he was replaced by Roderick Johnson, who will likely remain in that role until Howard returns.

In six games this season, Howard had taken 302 offensive snaps, allowing just one sack while being penalized three times. His 61.8 Pro Football Focus grade is middle of the pack when it comes to offensive tackles.

Terrell Owens rips Cowboys’ Jason Garrett following loss to Jets

Things were looking good in Big D over the first three weeks of the 2019 regular season, which saw the Dallas Cowboys dominate en route to a 3-0 start that had the hype train revved up like it was the early 1990s.

But tougher competition ushered in a two-game losing streak that Dallas aimed to put the brakes on in Week 6 as they came upon what many assumed would be an easy win against the New York Jets.

Things didn’t go as planned however, as the Cowboys struggled for much of the game and came up short on a two-point conversion attempt that would have tied the score with under 1:00 remaining, instead sending Dallas to their third consecutive loss and a .500 record.

After the humiliating defeat, former Cowboys wide receiver Terrell Owens, who has never been shy about sharing his criticisms, took aim at the franchise and, perhaps more specifically, head coach Jason Garrett.

Owens has targeted Garrett in the past, including a 2018 rant that argued the head coach was misusing and mistreating quarterback Dak Prescott.

If the Cowboys continue to struggle, Jerry Jones may have no other choice but to part ways with Garrett, which will certainly draw a loud and interesting response from Owens.

Odell Beckham facing lawsuit over accident involving BMW rental car

Odell Beckham Jr Browns

Odell Beckham Jr was not the driver of a luxury BMW at the time it was involved in a serious accident roughly two years ago, but the star wide receiver could still be on the hook for the damages.

A company called Celebrity Motors has filed a lawsuit against Beckham claiming they let the then-New York Giants star borrow a 2017 BMW 650XG that only he was authorized to drive. The lawsuit, which was obtained by TMZ, states that Beckham let his friend Blake Anderson drive the $100K car, and Anderson wrecked it while cruising along in the Lincoln Tunnel in New York on Oct. 27, 2017. Anderson is said to have “carelessly” cut across several lanes of traffic in an attempt to exit the tunnel, at which point he struck another car and caused $38K in damage.

Lexington Insurance Company, which is the insurance company representing Celebrity Motors, claims Beckham is responsible for the damages since his friend has no experience driving a car with “this kind of power” and has multiple traffic violations on his driving record. However, the company claims Beckham had an “oral agreement,” which could make all of that difficult to prove.

Beckham, of course, signed a $95 million contract extension last year. He also wore an insanely expensive luxury watch during a game earlier this year, so he should have no problem covering the bill if he loses the suit.

Bucs DC Todd Bowles said Kyle Allen presented more challenges than Cam Newton

Kyle Allen

Kyle Allen has played extremely well for the Carolina Panthers since taking over for Cam Newton, which has led to questions about whether Newton will be relegated to a bench role even when his foot injury is fully healed. One person who might recommend that the Panthers stick with Allen is Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive coordinator Todd Bowles.

Rich Eisen of NFL Network says Bowles told him in a pre-broadcast meeting last week that the Bucs were having more trouble preparing to face Allen than they had scheming against Newton in Week 2. He said a lot of that had to do with Carolina’s offense spreading things around more with Allen.

Bowles probably meant that more as a compliment to Allen than a knock on Newton, but it says a lot. The Panthers have not lost a game since Allen took over for Newton, and the former undrafted free agent has thrown seven touchdowns and no interceptions. He has an impressive passer rating of 106.6 and is consistently putting the Panthers in position to win.

A report from over the weekend indicated Allen may keep his starting job even when Newton is healthy, and Bleacher Report’s Mike Freeman says there is a feeling around the league that Newton’s days in Carolina could be numbered.

For what it’s worth, Panthers head coach Ron Rivera gave away very little about the team’s future plans following Sunday’s blowout win over Tampa. He really doesn’t have to, because winning is all that matters in the NFL. If the Panthers keep winning games, they are going to stall Newton’s recovery from a foot injury as long as possible.

Tom Brady won’t attempt to lure Rob Gronkowski out of retirement

If former New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski wishes to remain retired, veteran quarterback Tom Brady isn’t going to attempt to convince him otherwise.

Appearing on WEEI’s “The Greg Hill Show” on Monday morning, Brady said that he’s happy for Gronk and his post-retirement life, adding that he has no plans to lure the tight end back to Foxborough.

“I love that guy. I’m so happy that he’s enjoying his time, his life. He seems to really be doing a lot of great things. He knows how I feel about him. I want what’s best for him. He’s the only person that can make those decisions. I don’t lobby for those things,” Brady said matter-of-factly.

“I have a great relationship with him. He’s given a hell of a lot to our team already over a long period of time, and I think people should be very appreciative for what he’s brought to the team and what he’s brought to the region. I think he’s just a very special guy. He’s at a different phase of his life.”

Brady’s approach is in stark contrast to that of team owner Robert Kraft, who said prior to a Thursday night game against the New York Giants that Gronk has yet to officially file his retirement paperwork and that he’s still “hoping” and “praying” for a return.

Gronk himself has not closed the door on a potential return, but for right now, he’s living the good life, getting healthy and finding a bevy of post-playing career opportunities.