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#pounditSunday, October 2, 2022

Football

Report: Panthers concerned about new Christian McCaffrey injury

Christian McCaffrey rushes

Nov 7, 2021; Charlotte, North Carolina, USA; Carolina Panthers running back Christian McCaffrey (22) with the ball in the third quarter at Bank of America Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

Christian McCaffrey’s health is once again in focus after the Carolina Panthers running back showed up on the injury report Wednesday.

McCaffrey did not practice due to a thigh injury, and there appears to be some concern about the running back’s status. Jonathan Jones of CBS Sports, a former Panthers beat writer, reported that this issue is seen as more serious than some other nagging injuries that have landed McCaffrey on the injury report this season.

McCaffrey has shown up on the injury report so frequently that he’s made jokes about it. Thus far, he has been able to play through everything, but it sounds like there is a real risk that things may be different this week against the Arizona Cardinals.

McCaffrey played in just ten games total in 2020 and 2021. Carolina had been a bit conservative with him so far in 2022, and the 26-year-old has put up 243 yards and a touchdown on 50 carries.

Eli Manning explains what he meant with his Russell Wilson joke

Eli Manning in a coat and tie

Feb 5, 2016; San Francisco, CA, USA; New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning during the Walter Payton man of the year press conference at Moscone Center in advance of Super Bowl 50 between the Carolina Panthers and the Denver Broncos. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Eli Manning is trying to smooth things over following a joke he made about Russell Wilson’s contract during Monday’s telecast.

Both Wilson and the Denver Broncos offense struggled mightily on Sunday against the San Francisco 49ers, which was a topic of discussion during Monday’s ManningCast of the Giants-Cowboys game. At one point, Manning joked that the Broncos should have paid punter Corliss Waitman $235 million instead, considering how excellent he was and how often he was called into duty.

On Tuesday, Manning argued that he was not trying to be critical of Wilson with the comment, and he was simply making an “outrageous joke.”

“No, I don’t think we’re trying to be critical. I think we always try to support the guys that are in the game,” Manning told Michael McCarthy of Front Office Sports. “I think sometimes, ‘Hey, it’s live TV.’ I never try to take a real shot at somebody. I think that was obviously a very outrageous joke — because a punter had 10 punts. Nothing against Russell. He’s going to do great.”

Manning can say that he thinks Wilson will be great while simultaneously admitting that it was a pretty vicious joke. Sure, it’s a joke that plenty of others might have made, but it certainly could not be construed as supportive.

This isn’t the first time Manning has arguably gone a bit too far on the ManningCast. As he said, however, this is how live television will be sometimes.

Bill Belichick offers Mac Jones update in funny video

Bill Belichick smiles at a press conference

Mac Jones is dealing with a significant ankle injury heading into Sunday’s game against the Green Bay Packers. While the assumption is that he will not play, anyone who has followed the New England Patriots over the years knows Bill Belichick is not going to share anything concrete about his quarterback’s status until he absolutely has to.

Belichick was asked several questions about Jones on Wednesday. He did not rule the former first-round pick out for Sunday, though he did acknowledge that veteran Brian Hoyer will start if Jones cannot. Belichick also said Jones has “made a lot of progress in the last 48 hours.”

As he often does, Belichick repeated the same phrase over and over while being bombarded with questions. CBS Sports shared a funny video that counted how many times the 70-year-old coach said “day-by-day.”

That was reminiscent of Belichick’s famous “we’re onto Cincinnati” press conference.

Tests on Monday revealed that Jones has a severe high ankle sprain. ESPN’s Adam Schefter said the injury is one that would result in surgery for many people, but Jones and the Patriots are still discussing options. Jones is said to be seeking a second opinion, and one rumor claimed he and the team are at odds.

If Jones does, indeed, have a significant high ankle sprain, he is likely to miss several games. The question is how many, and we are almost certainly not going to get a definitive answer from Belichick.

Matt Flynn trolls Aaron Rodgers over play-calling claim

Aaron Rodgers smiles

August 12, 2022; Santa Clara, California, USA; Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (12) smiles before the game against the San Francisco 49ers at Levi’s Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Matt Flynn had one of the best games for a backup quarterback in NFL history nearly a decade ago, and he does not want Aaron Rodgers taking any credit for it.

Rodgers made his weekly appearance on “The Pat McAfee Show” Tuesday. One of the things he was asked about is the importance of offensive play-calling and whether he has ever thought about becoming a coordinator someday. Rodgers laughed and said that is actually something he has done before when he assumed play-calling responsibilities for the Packers in Week 17 of the 2011 season.

That was the game when then-head coach Mike McCarthy decided to rest his starters because the Packers were 14-1. Flynn started in place of Rodgers and threw for 480 yards and six touchdowns in a game against the Detroit Lions. The yardage still stands as a Packers record for most passing yards in a single game, though Rodgers matched it two years later.

Flynn, who was not played in the NFL since 2015, caught wind of Rodgers’ comments and decided to troll the reigning MVP. He joked that he audibled out of most of the plays Rodgers called in that game.

Rodgers also praised Flynn for playing an incredible game. You can hear the full comments below, but beware that the clip contains inappropriate language.

Flynn’s huge game was a big reason he signed a three-year, $20.5 million contract with the Seattle Seahawks after that season. He ended up back with the Packers in 2013 after Rodgers went down with an injury. Though he never lived up to the expectations that he created with his 480-yard performance, Packers fans will never forget that game.

Jets announce big QB news ahead of Steelers game

Robert Saleh looks on

Feb 2, 2020; Miami Gardens, Florida, USA; San Francisco 49ers defensive coordinator Robert Saleh during Super Bowl LIV against the Kansas City Chiefs at Hard Rock Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Jets are looking to get back on track after a tough loss to the Cincinnati Bengals, and Zach Wilson will be on the field when they attempt to do that.

Jets head coach Robert Saleh announced on Wednesday that Wilson has been cleared to return from his knee injury. The former No. 2 overall pick will start Sunday’s game against the Pittsburgh Steelers as long as he does not experience a setback.

Wilson injured his knee during New York’s first preseason game against the Philadelphia Eagles. Tests revealed that he suffered a bone bruise and torn meniscus. He underwent arthroscopic surgery, and Saleh told reporters at the time that Wilson would not return before Week 4. That timeline proved to be accurate.

Joe Flacco has started the first three games of the season for the Jets. The results have been mixed, with the Jets going 1-2. Flacco has completed 58.7 percent of his passes for 901 yards, five touchdowns and three interceptions.

Wilson struggled as a rookie last year. The former BYU star threw 9 touchdowns compared to 11 interceptions in 13 games. The Jets are hoping for much better results from him in his second season.

Realistic date for Dak Prescott return revealed

Dak Prescott in a helmet

Aug 26, 2017; Arlington, TX, USA; Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott (4) smiles while on the field before the game against the Oakland Raiders at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott appears to be making a rapid recovery from the thumb surgery he had earlier this month, but he still has some significant hurdles to clear before he can return to the lineup.

Prescott recently got the stitches removed from his right thumb. While Cowboys owner Jerry Jones has said he is optimistic Prescott will be able to return in the next week or two, Ian Rapoport of NFL Media reported on Wednesday that Dak only has an “outside shot” to play in Week 5 against the Los Angeles Rams.

By that timeline, the earliest Prescott would be back is probably when the Cowboys face the Philadelphia Eagles on “Sunday Night Football” in Week 6. The team may also use extra caution with Prescott now that they have won both of their games with Cooper Rush as their starter.

Jones said earlier this week that there is still one big question remaining with Prescott’s recovery. Initial reports indicated that Prescott could be out 6-8 weeks, but Jones has been far more optimistic than that.

Colt McCoy did not seem thrilled about putting on Texas Tech gear

Colt McCoy on the practice field

Jun 6, 2022; Tempe, Arizona, USA; Arizona Cardinals quarterback Colt McCoy (12) during OTA workouts at the teams training facility. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Texas Tech pulled off a thrilling overtime upset against Texas on Saturday, and the result temporarily turned Colt McCoy into one of the saddest Red Raiders fans you will ever see.

McCoy, who was a star quarterback at Texas, made a bet with the members of the Arizona Cardinals organization who are Texas Tech alumni. Since his Longhorns lost, McCoy had to dress head-to-toe in Red Raiders gear at the Cardinals’ team facility on Tuesday. Check out how thrilled he was about it:

The bet obviously did not include any stipulations about wearing the rival’s colors proudly.

McCoy was a four-year starter at Texas from 2006-2009. He was the Big 12 Offensive Player of the Year in 2009 and a two-time Heisman Trophy finalist.

Texas Tech defeated No. 22 Texas in a thrilling 37-34 overtime game in Lubbock. The win was Texas Tech’s first over the Longhorns since 2017.

Bills add former All-Pro cornerback

Xavier Rhodes looks over

The Buffalo Bills’ secondary has suffered significant injuries, so the team has called in some reinforcements.

Free agent cornerback Xavier Rhodes visited with the Bills on Tuesday. According to NFL Media’s Mike Garafolo, Rhodes is signing with the team.

Rhodes, 32, was a first-round pick by the Vikings in 2013 out of Florida State. Current Bills defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier was his head coach in Minnesota at the time.

Rhodes made the Pro Bowl in 2016, 2017 and 2019 with Minnesota. He was also named All-Pro in 2017.

Rhodes spent the last two seasons with the Indianapolis Colts. He had 39 tackles and an interception in 13 games with the Colts last season.

Buffalo is dealing with injuries to cornerback Dane Jackson, cornerback Christian Benford and safety Jordan Poyer. On top of that, Micah Hyde is out for the season with a neck injury, and Tre’Davious White is on injured reserve. They are a thin unit.

Colts owner reveals when Seahawks might be sold

Jim Irsay in sunglasses

Photo Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

The Denver Broncos were the most recent NFL team to undergo a sale. Current Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay thinks the Seattle Seahawks will be next up on the block.

Irsay spoke with Bloomberg for their “Business of Sports” show. The Colts owner said he envisions the Seahawks being sold some time in 2024.

The Seahawks are not currently for sale, but they are being run by Jody Allen, the sister of late former Seahawks owner Paul Allen.

Irsay believes there will be a strong demand to buy the Seahawks.

“I know where franchise values are going,” Irsay said on the show. “And one thing we do know is there’s a high interest out there for people that fell short of the Broncos. There’s some really great people that are capable but the problem now is finding people that have the net worth that can actually buy a team. It’s very difficult.”

The Broncos were sold for $4.65 billion in June. Irsay thinks the values of NFL teams will only go higher. He even thinks anything under $8 billion for the Broncos was a steal.

The Seahawks likely will not be sold until after May 2024. The owners would have to pay a 10% fee to the state of Washington if the team were to be sold before then.

Odell Beckham Jr. has 1 big complaint about Sterling Shepard injury

Odell Beckham Jr. in a blue jersey

Jan 17, 2022; Inglewood, California, USA; Los Angeles Rams wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. (3) reacts before a NFC Wild Card playoff football game against the Arizona Cardinals at SoFi Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Odell Beckham Jr. had a big complaint after watching Sterling Shepard go down with a non-contact knee injury on Monday night.

Shepard on Monday suffered a torn ACL in his left knee. The knee injury comes less than a year after Shepard suffered a torn Achilles’ tendon in his left leg.

Beckham, who teamed with Shepard on the New York Giants from 2016-2018, was upset after seeing his former teammate go down.

Beckham blamed the injuries on the playing surface at MetLife Stadium.

“Just get rid of it all the fkngether (sic) bro,” Beckham wrote. “Billions made off this game I can’t understand why we can’t play on grass. That shxt (sic) is rough. Prayers up for my brother. Shxt (sic) just hurt my heart.”

MetLife Stadium uses FieldTurf, which is a brand of artificial turf. There have long been questions and suspicion that injuries occur more commonly on artificial turf rather than real grass.

Beckham suffered an ankle injury in 2017 with the Giants and quad injury the following season. He suffered a torn ACL in 2020 with the Browns. He is currently recovering from a torn ACL suffered in the Super Bowl with the Rams.

Beckham knows everything Shepard has been going through and all about the surgery and rehab he has ahead. He feels badly for a reason.