With the regular season quickly approaching, there are more and more injuries to keep track of and developments in contracts.
From another significant quarterback injury to the latest on Antonio Brown’s helmet saga, we take a look at all the news happening around the league.
Three things that matter
Panthers QB Cam Newton is injured … again
Cam Newton’s health is once again in question after he went down with a foot injury Thursday during the Panthers’ 10-3 preseason loss to the Patriots. He was seen after the game in a walking boot and underwent futher evaluation Friday. General manager Marty Hurney said Friday that the team is “cautiously optimistic” Newton will be ready to start the regular season opener despite the setback.
“Cam Newton has a mid-foot sprain in his left foot, and we are cautiously optimistic he will be ready for Week 1,” Hurney said (via The Athletic).
Newton was hampered last season with shoulder pain, which resulted in surgery during the offseason and more speculation during training camp as to whether the franchise quarterback will fully be healthy to start the season. Now there are even more questions.
Packers, Raiders played preseason game on shortened field
Mark this one as unusual news: The Packers and Raiders were forced to play Thursday’s preseason game in Winnipeg on an 80-yard field due to safety concerns of where the Canadian Football League goal posts are usually planted. Each 10-yard line served as the goal line. Field workers were trying to cover the holes with a square of artificial turf in each end zone, however, it would not stay down and there were concers over player safety.
— Paul Gutierrez (@PGutierrezESPN) August 22, 2019
After the game, Raiders coach Jon Gruden said he had no problem with his players playing in that condition and claims it was ultimately the Packers’ decision to shorten the field.
“The field, I don’t know (what) that was all about,” Gruden said (via NBC Sports Bay Area). “We thought the field was perfectly fine. … I’m not going to make a big deal about the field. We like the field. We thought the field was perfectly ready to roll. You’d have to ask Green Bay about that.”
It should be noted the Raiders walked away with a 22-21 win.
Preseason injuries continue
Preseason injuries are unavoidable, but more and more are happening as the regular season approaches. In addition to Cam Newton’s foot issue, Broncos rookie quarterback Drew Lock could start the season on injured reserve after he sprained his thumb in the Broncos’ preseason loss to the 49ers last week. Denver coach Vic Fangio told reporters Lock will not play or practice for at least the rest of the preseason.
Among the other injuries worth monitoring: Packers first-round pick Rashan Gary left during Thursday’s game with a neck injury, but he assured fans there’s no reason for concern. He wrote on social media: “I’m well, thank you for your prayers and concern!”
Additionally, Redskins tight end Jordan Reed is in concussion protocol for at least the fourth time in his career after taking a hit from Falcons safety Keanu Neal during Thursday’s preseason game.
Two things that don’t matter
Giants QB Daniel Jones shines again, but Eli Manning is still starting
Daniel Jones is certainly making a name for himself as he continues to shine during the preseason, but coach Pat Shurmur put to rest the speculation as to who the starting quarterback will be when the season opens. It’s a familiar name, and one that is consistently repeated: Eli Manning.
Even though Jones is 25 for 30 for 369 yards and two touchdowns for a whopping 140.1 rating, fourth in the NFL through three preseason games, Shurmur reiterated: “Eli’s our starter, and we’re getting Daniel ready to play.”
Shurmur, however, didn’t completely shut down the idea of Jones earning the starting job.
“I’ve said it all along: Daniel, when it’s his time to play, he’s gonna be ready,” Shurmur said (per New York Daily News). “And we’re gonna continue to get him ready, and we’ve got a couple weeks left before we play Dallas.”
The Giants open the regular season Sept. 8 against the Cowboys at AT&T Stadium.
Antonio Brown’s latest helmet grievance hearing is over
The helmet saga in Oakland could be coming to an end soon. Antonio Brown’s second grievance concluded Friday and a ruling is expected next week, according to NFL Network.
Brown’s first grievance was denied by an arbitrator earlier this month. He missed the start of Raiders training camp as a result of an ongoing dispute with the NFL over his helmet. Brown wanted to wear his old helmet, which is no longer on the NFL’s approved list, and reportedly threatened to quit if he couldn’t. But he has since participated in practice wearing a certified helmet.
Raiders coach Jon Gruden said earlier this week that Brown is “all in and ready to go.”
One video you have to see
Remember that 55-yard field goal Carli Lloyd made at Eagles practice earlier this week? Well, the U.S. women’s national team star said she’s already received inquires from the NFL.
After the video went viral she said: “I’ve definitely got some people talking. Anything is possible but right now, I’m strictly a soccer player and we’ll see what the future holds.”
Carli Lloyd says she has “definitely gotten some inquiries” from football teams after hitting a 55-yard field goal this week. “Anything is possible,” she adds.
— Grant Wahl (@GrantWahl) August 23, 2019
Friday’s tweet of the day
Former Browns offensive tackle Joe Thomas sent out a series of tweets weighing in on Ezekiel Elliott’s contract negotiations with the Cowboys and what he thinks Elliott should earn. The interesting part, though, is the fact that Elliott retweeted it, which may be an indication of what he’s looking for in a deal.
Interesting that, after a period of silence, Zeke RTd this below – a sign of what he and his reps are looking for in their next deal. https://t.co/zsMxNwVY1Q
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) August 23, 2019