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#pounditThursday, October 29, 2020

Football

Andy Dalton suffers concussion after vicious head shot from Jon Bostic

Jon Bostic Andy Dalton

Dallas Cowboys quarterback Andy Dalton left Sunday’s game against Washington with a concussion after he was on the receiving end of a ruthless hit.

Dalton was trying to scramble for a first down deep in Dallas territory when he took a brutal head shot from Washington linebacker Jon Bostic. Dalton had clearly gone into a slide, but that didn’t stop Bostic from launching his shoulder and helmet at Dalton’s head.

Dalton laid motionless on the turf for a couple of seconds after the hit. He was immediately removed from the game, and Bostic was flagged for unnecessary roughness and ejected. Here’s another angle of the play:

Bostic will almost certainly be fined for the play and should be suspended. That’s the exact type of head-hunting hit the NFL has been trying to get rid of for years.

With Dalton and Dak Prescott both injured, rookie seventh-round pick Ben DiNucci took over for the Cowboys. Dallas was trailing 22-3 at the time, and Dalton was seen earlier in the game ripping into his offensive line on the sideline.

Video: Andy Dalton rips into Cowboys’ offensive line on sideline

The Dallas Cowboys appear to be teetering on the brink of disaster, and even Andy Dalton knows it is time for them to start showing more urgency.

Dallas got off to another horrific start in Sunday’s game against Washington. Following a second-quarter drive where the Cowboys were unable to get anything going, Dalton was seen on the sideline ripping into his offensive line.

Dalton got barely any pass protection in the first half. Ezekiel Elliott wasn’t much help, either, as the star running back got absolutely destroyed while trying to pick up a third-down blitz.

The Cowboys are falling apart both on and off the field. Their defense is historically bad, and some players anonymously bashed the coaching staff this week. Dallas may still be alive in the NFC East because the division has been so bad, but they appear to be getting worse by the week.

Jags’ Ryquell Armstead to miss remainder of season due to COVID-19

Ryquell Armstead

Jacksonville Jaguars running back Ryquell Armstead has not played this season after he contracted the coronavirus, and that is the way it is going to stay.

Armstead is not expected to play at all in 2020 after being hospitalized twice with complications from COVID-19, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports. He has suffered from a variety of symptoms including significant respiratory issues.

Armstead, 23, has been placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list twice this season. The second time was near the start of the regular season, and Jaguars coach Doug Marrone said at the time that Armstead would “be out a while.”

Schefter adds that Armstead is expected to return to playing next season at full strength.

Armstead was slated to take on a significant role with Jacksonville this season following the departure of Leonard Fournette. Undrafted rookie James Robinson slid in as the starting running back instead and has rushed for 362 yards on 85 attempts.

Mike McCarthy unveils shocking formula for Cowboys to win division

Mike McCarthy

Mike McCarthy is trying to hold things together in his first season as head coach of the Dallas Cowboys, but fans should not be concerned about the team’s slow start. After some serious number-crunching and in-depth research, McCarthy has figured out a formula for winning the NFC East that just might work.

Prior to Sunday’s game between the Cowboys and Washington, NFL Network’s Kim Jones said McCarthy shared some of his research this week that shows that once a team gets to four division wins, that team is more likely to win its division.

For those of you who aren’t as analytically advanced as McCarthy, we’ll try to break it down for you a bit more. Basically, McCarthy is saying that you have a better chance of winning your division if you win more games within the division.

Jerry Jones needs to give this man a raise.

McCarthy knew he would be facing a lot of pressure as head coach of the Cowboys. He was reminded of that when some of his own players anonymously ripped his staff this week. Fortunately, McCarthy used that as motivation to research the best way to win the NFC East. The Cowboys should be feeling as confident as ever in Week 7.

Patriots reportedly interested in trading for WR again

Bill Belichick

The New England Patriots acquired a wide receiver at the trade deadline last season in a move that did not pan out at all, but that does not mean Bill Belichick will be any less aggressive this year.

The Patriots are interested in acquiring a play-maker prior to next week’s deadline, according to Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports. They understand that their wide receiver corps has been an issue this season, with Julian Edelman clearly showing signs of his age and N’Keal Harry still not emerging as a true vertical threat.

Cam Newton has repeatedly said he is happy with the receivers the Patriots have on their roster, but there’s no question the group has been inadequate. Edelman currently leads the team in receptions with only 20. New England’s tight ends have also combined for only six catches all season.

The Patriots faced similar issues last season, and they tried to address them by trading a second-round pick for Mohamed Sanu at the deadline. Sanu never carved out a significant role for himself and was released back in September.

La Canfora mentions Adam Thielen as one possibility for the Patriots. The veteran is owed an average of $16 million per season for the next four years, and the Minnesota Vikings are 1-5 and nowhere near playoff contention. New England has the salary cap flexibility to take on a contract like Thielen’s.

Newton has said all the right things since he signed with the Patriots, and that continued after last week’s embarrassing loss to the Denver Broncos. While he will never admit it publicly, he would almost certainly be ecstatic if New England acquired a big-name receiver.

Will Jets trade Sam Darnold before deadline?

Sam Darnold

The New York Jets are well on their way to securing the first overall pick in next year’s NFL Draft. If that happens, they may no longer have use for Sam Darnold. Does that mean a trade is on the horizon?

There has been increased chatter in recent weeks about the Jets potentially trading Darnold. According to Ian Rapoport of NFL Media, that is not going to happen prior to next week’s trade deadline. However, New York could explore possible trade options for Darnold during the offseason.

Darnold has been inconsistent at best through his first three NFL seasons. Tthe former third overall pick is still just 23, however. Until he plays in a different offense and for a different head coach, there will probably be no way for teams to get a true feel for Darnold’s potential.

It seems highly unlikely that the Jets would pass on Clemson star Trevor Lawrence if they pick first in the 2021 NFL Draft. That is why there’s an assumption that Darnold is on borrowed time in New York. Though, one former Pro Bowler thinks Lawrence should do everything he can to avoid being drafted by the Jets.

Antonio Brown can only earn incentives with Bucs if this happens

Antonio brown

Antonio Brown signed a one-year deal with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers this week that includes both individual and team incentives, but Brown cannot earn one without the other.

ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported on Sunday that the maximum value of Brown’s contract with Tampa Bay is $2.5 million. Brown will earn around $1 million in base salary and roster bonuses. He gets a $750,000 bonus if the Buccaneers win the Super Bowl and can earn three $250,000 bonuses for receptions, yardage and touchdowns. However, the Bucs must make the playoffs in order for Brown to earn any incentive at all.

The structure of the deal could be an attempt by the Bucs to get Brown to not only perform but also buy into a team mentality. Tampa is loaded with pass-catchers now with Brown, Mike Evans and Chris Godwin. Even if Brown finds himself wanting the ball more, he’s not going to earn any incentives unless the team performs well as a whole.

Brown’s contract carries very little risk for the Bucs. If the Pro Bowler’s streak of off-field issues continues, the team can simply release him without losing much. Should Brown play like he did in 2018 and not become a headache, he’ll be a steal for Tampa.

Report: Jimmy Garoppolo’s future with 49ers not secure

Jimmy Garoppolo

The San Francisco 49ers signed Jimmy Garoppolo to a massive contract extension less than two years ago, but they apparently are still not convinced that he is a franchise quarterback.

The Niners will have paid out all of the guaranteed money on Garoppolo’s contract by the start of the 2021 league year, which means they will have the option of releasing him next season and avoiding his roughly $26 million salary for the next two years. Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports reported on Sunday that the 49ers are keeping their options open.

“It’s wait and see,” on source told La Canfora. “He’s still under evaluation. It could go in a few different directions, and is it possible he’s not the guy next year? That’s fair. I don’t think that’s lost on anybody.”

Another source who has worked with Kyle Shanahan wonders if the coach will find it necessary to tie up nearly $30 million in salary cap space on Garoppolo.

“Kyle thinks he can turn almost anyone into a star,” the source said. “He’s had a lot of success with a lot of different guys and the salary structure on that team has changed dramatically the last few years. He’s not a guy who thinks he needs a $30 million a year QB to win. And they aren’t exactly gushing about the guy that they have now.”

Garoppolo has dealt with numerous injuries since he became a full-time starter, including his recent ankle sprain. La Canfora was told there was a difference of opinions regarding the extent of that injury, which could signal that there is disconnect between Garoppolo and the 49ers.

Garoppolo played poorly in San Francisco’s loss to the Kansas City Chiefs in the Super Bowl last year. His play otherwise has been inconsistent. This isn’t the first time we have heard a report that management is not sold on the quarterback.

Sean Payton responds to Michael Thomas trade rumor

Sean Payton

New Orleans Saints coach Sean Payton had a pretty firm response to rumors that the team could be open to trading wide receiver Michael Thomas.

On Saturday, reports emerged stating that the Saints could be willing to move Thomas under the right circumstances. Not long after, Payton used his Twitter account to issue a firm response to that story.

That’s a pretty firm and speedy denial. It also makes sense. Even if the Saints are frustrated with Thomas right now over his recent behavior, he’s one of the best and most productive receivers in the NFL. Plus, he’s a little over a year removed from signing a long-term contract. The Saints would have to absorb a significant cap hit if they did trade him.

Though this didn’t go nearly as far, it’s not the first bit of trade-related drama Payton has had to quiet this season.

Giants stars allegedly appear on video partying without masks

Daniel Jones

Two New York Giants stars could find themselves in significant trouble after a video made its way around social media depicting them partying at a club without masks.

On Friday, a New York City man who goes by the name DJ Lugghead posted a video to his Instagram account that shows him partying with Giants quarterback Daniel Jones and running back Saquon Barkley. According to Darryl Slater of NJ Advance Media, none of them were wearing masks, and the event appeared to be indoors.

The video has since been deleted, as has a screen recording of it that spread on social media. However, a picture of DJ Lugghead with Jones and Barkley that was also deleted was archived on social media.

After deleting the videos and pictures, DJ Lugghead claimed on Twitter that they were “from last year.” A man claiming to be DJ Lugghead repeated that claim in an email to NJ Advance Media. The email also claimed that the bar where the video was recorded, Common Ground in Manhattan, “isn’t even opened.” The bar’s website, however, states that it is open for outdoor and limited indoor dining.

The Giants are certainly aware of the video and are likely investigating privately. If the video is old, then there’s no problem. If it’s from Friday night, both Jones and Barkley could face discipline for violating the league’s safety protocols. That’s despite the fact that Barkley is currently awaiting surgery for a torn ACL.

The league has not been shy about punishing such violations. They won’t be here either, though more information is definitely needed.