Cowboys’ Chidobe Awuzie To Miss Time

Cowboys starting cornerback Chidobe Awuzie will miss multiple games with a hamstring injury, per a club announcement. Awuzie has not been placed on injured reserve, but that would be the logical move if he’s sidelined for three or more games.

[RELATED: Jared Veldheer Turns Down Cowboys, Retires]

Awuzie went down late in the Cowboys’ win over the Falcons, adding another name to the team’s already lengthy injury list. Already, the Cowboys have cornerback Anthony Brown and linebackers Leighton Vander Esch and Sean Lee on IR. Brown hit the IR list just as fellow corner Jourdan Lewis returned to action and Awuzie’s absence marks yet another hit to the secondary.

In the interim, the Cowboys will likely turn to recent call-up Brandon Carr for support at corner. Ideally, the Cowboys wanted the veteran at safety, where he backed Darian Thompson and Daryl Worley.

On the plus side, rookie cornerback Trevon Diggs returned to the practice field after missing some time with a shoulder injury. They’ll need the Alabama product more than ever given the Cowboys’ injuries on the defensive side of the ball.

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Seahawks To Meet With Snacks Harrison

Damon Harrison won’t retire after all. The former All-Pro defensive tackle is slated to meet with the Seahawks next week, according to a source who spoke with ESPN.com’s Adam Schefter (on Twitter). The 31-year-old has also drawn interest from the Bears, Packers, and Bengals. 

[RELATED: Seahawks’ Bruce Irvin Done For Year]

Harrison made his name as a fierce run-stuffer with the Jets before signing a lucrative free agent deal with the Giants in 2016. Then, he was shipped to Detroit midway through the 2018 campaign, where he became the first defensive lineman to appear in 17 games during an NFL regular season. But, even as he was putting in overtime, Harrison was unhappy. Last year, he openly contemplated retirement.

I came into [2019 training] camp in shape, but during the first three weeks of camp I think I kind of worked myself out of shape because I wasn’t doing anything,” Harrison said in April. “That was a time where, to be honest with you, we were trying to facilitate a trade. I was hell-bent on getting out of there.”

The Lions released Harrison from his one-year, $11MM deal in February, and we haven’t heard his name mentioned since. Now, he’s ready to play. With four clubs interested in his services, it sounds like Snacks is on the verge of making his return. The Seahawks – who lost Bruce Irvin for the year and have most of their starting defensive linemen on the injury report – could certainty use the help.

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Vikings To Sign Todd Davis

The Vikings have agreed to sign linebacker Todd Davis, according to NFL.com’s Tom Pelissero (on Twitter). Financial terms of the deal are not yet known, but it’ll be a one-year pact for Davis and the Vikes.

Davis stood as one of the Broncos’ longest-tenured players up until his release in early September. The Broncos opted for extra cap space over the veteran, but he was still productive in 2019. Last year, he notched a career-high 134 tackles, tying him for eighth on the NFL leaderboard.

Interestingly, Davis has largely been off the radar since he was released by Denver three weeks ago. His former head coach Gary Kubiak – who now serves as the Vikings’ offensive coordinator – will be happy to welcome him to Minnesota.

The Vikings could use an experienced player like Davis, particularly in the wake of Anthony Barr‘s season-ending pectoral injury. Despite all of their defensive talent, the Vikings are 0-2 after opening the year with losses to the Packers and Colts. It won’t get any easier this week, as they take on the 2-0 Titans on Sunday afternoon.

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Lions Meet With Jabaal Sheard

Jabaal Sheard will meet with Lions brass on Thursday, according to ESPN.com’s Adam Schefter (on Twitter). If he signs, he’ll reunite with old Patriots pals Matt Patricia and Bob Quinn

[RELATED: Lions Place G Joe Dahl On IR]

Sheard never quite lived up to his potential as a game-changing pass rusher, but he has averaged over five sacks per season over the course of a mostly-durable nine-year NFL run. At this stage in his career, he profiles as a quality rotational edge player. For what it’s worth, he hasn’t had gaudy sack totals in a while — the 8.5 sacks he compiled as a rookie in 2011 remain a career high.

The 31-year-old has spent the last three years with the Colts, where he was quietly solid. In 2018, for example, he played the most snaps (813) of any defensive lineman on the team, racking up 5.5 sacks and 13 quarterback hits in the process. Pro Football Focus graded him as the No. 36 edge defender in the NFL that year, the highest ranking of any Colts pass rusher on the ’18 squad.

Sheard’s last deal paid him $25.5MM over the course of three seasons. This time around, he’d likely come at a much cheaper rate.

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Jets’ Joe Flacco Cleared For Full Practice

Joe Flacco‘s hopes of a Week 3 return turned out to be realistic. The veteran quarterback received medical clearance to participate fully in the Jets’ Wednesday practice, per Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News (on Twitter).

While next to nothing has gone right for the 0-2 team this season — one riddled with injuries on offense — the Jets’ one-year Flacco contract looks set to give Sam Darnold a veteran backup for 14 games (health-permitting, at least). Flacco has not played since Week 8 of last season. He underwent neck surgery this offseason but received an opportunity to join former Ravens exec Joe Douglas with the Jets.

This will be the first season Flacco enters as a backup. A starter with the Ravens for 10 1/2 seasons and with the Broncos for the first half of the 2019 campaign, the former Super Bowl MVP has started all 171 games in which he has appeared. A hip injury ended Flacco’s Ravens QB1 run and began Lamar Jackson‘s ascent, and Flacco has searched for a fit since.

The Jets acquired Flacco after drafting James Morgan in the fourth round. It will be the 35-year-old veteran set to take snaps in the event of a Darnold absence this year. Darnold has missed time in each of his two NFL seasons. A foot injury cost him three games in 2018, and a mononucleosis bout sidelined him for three contests last season.

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Cards Add Jaron Brown To Practice Squad

After stops in two other NFC West cities, Jaron Brown will make his way back to Arizona for another Cardinals opportunity.

The Cards added their former five-year wide receiver contributor to their practice squad Wednesday. Brown spent the past two seasons with the Seahawks and was with the 49ers briefly during their most recent training camp.

Teams are permitted to carry up to six players with unlimited NFL experience on their 16-man practice squads this season. Brown has seven years’ worth of experience, with his most notable work coming with the Cardinals.

Brown, 30, played for each of the five Bruce Arians-led Cardinals teams. The former UDFA worked as a depth player until 2017, when he started eight games and posted career-high marks with 31 catches for 477 yards. Brown caught nine touchdown passes between the 2017 and ’18 seasons.

The 6-foot-3 pass catcher will join wideouts Andre Patton, JoJo Ward and A.J. Richardson on the Cards’ taxi squad.

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Broncos Place Mark Barron, DeMarcus Walker On IR

The Broncos’ IR list is filling up. Mark Barron and DeMarcus Walker will join the likes of Von Miller, Courtland Sutton and A.J. Bouye on Denver’s injured reserve, Vic Fangio said Wednesday.

Barron has yet to make his Denver debut; a hamstring injury has kept the veteran linebacker off the field. Walker, a fourth-year defensive end, suffered a calf injury in the Broncos’ Week 2 loss to the Steelers. Both players are eligible to return in Week 6.

While the Broncos have been hit harder than just about any team with injuries this season — with four of the six former Pro Bowlers on their roster currently unavailable — they are not placing Drew Lock on IR. The prospect of Lock returning before Week 6 induced the team to keep its starting quarterback on its 53-man roster, Fangio said. Lock, however, could be out for close to six weeks. But the Broncos will go with three active-roster QBs for the time being. They agreed to terms with Blake Bortles on Tuesday; he will join Jeff Driskel on the roster.

Denver signed Barron after releasing Todd Davis. The former was set to work as passing-down linebacker alongside Alexander Johnson. Those plans are on hold. The Steelers released Barron earlier this year, doing so a year after the Rams made the former first-round pick a cap casualty.

Walker beat out Christian Covington for a roster spot this year, after showing some promise down the stretch last season. The Broncos drafted Walker in the 2017 second round. Although Walker has not quite lived up to his draft slot — particularly in his first two seasons — Fangio and Co. kept the Vance Joseph-era investment around as a depth player. The team now has Walker and 2019 third-round D-lineman Dre’Mont Jones on IR.

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Raiders To Place Richie Incognito On IR

Although Richie Incognito avoided an Achilles tear, he will not return to the Raiders’ starting lineup for a while. The Raiders are placing the veteran guard on IR, Field Yates of ESPN.com tweets.

Incognito left Monday night’s game with an Achilles injury and will be out until at least Week 6. The Raiders moved rookie John Simpson into Incognito’s left guard spot against the Saints, pointing to the fourth-round Clemson product making a Week 3 start.

The Raiders gambled on the polarizing Incognito in free agency last year and were rewarded when the experienced blocker helped the team form one of the league’s top offensive lines. The Raiders then extended the 37-year-old guard through the 2021 season.

Viewed as a potential player who could replace offseason trade chip Gabe Jackson, Simpson instead saw time opposite Jackson in New Orleans. Pro Football Focus rated Incognito as one of its better guards last season, viewing him as an elite pass-blocking guard, and again had him off to a good start in 2020. Prior to Incognito missing the 2018 season amid more off-field trouble, he went to three straight Pro Bowls as a member of the Bills.

Las Vegas will fill Incognito’s roster spot with Patrick Omameh, a veteran guard who has made 57 career starts in eight NFL seasons. The Raiders added Omameh to their practice squad ahead of their Week 2 game.

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AFC East Notes: Patriots, Jets, Jones

The Patriots may have the top bargain at the quarterback position this season, with Cam Newton making league-minimum money (plus incentives) on his one-year deal. This reality would not be unfolding had Tom Brady come to terms with the Patriots on an extension ahead of the 2019 season. Prior to the Pats and Brady agreeing on an in-name-only extension that allowed him to become a free agent in 2020, the team made its legendary passer a two-year, $53MM extension offer, Jeff Howe of The Athletic notes (subscription required). The number here is notable, considering it would have represented a raise for Brady on a through-2021 commitment. While Brady was seeking an extension similar to the one Drew Brees had signed with the Saints in 2018, he almost certainly landed a better deal — two years, $50MM fully guaranteed — with the Buccaneers this March.

Although the Pats were prepared to consider Brady counteroffers in February and March of this year, Howe adds Brady’s camp did not make one. A previous report indicated, however, the Patriots did not make a strong effort to re-sign Brady this year — a strategy that rubbed the free agent passer the wrong way.

Here is the latest from the AFC East:

  • Following his 397-yard passing performance against the Seahawks, Newton has firmly re-established himself as an extension candidate. Given his injury history, however, the Patriots would probably like to see if their new QB1 can hold up for a full season or at least for most of it before beginning contract talks. Newton said during a recent radio interview an extension is “literally the last of my worries,” per WEEI.com’s Ryan Hannable. The 31-year-old quarterback also indicated he did not want to become mired in a back-and-forth negotiation with the Pats when he signed in June, leading to his incentive-laden deal. Were Newton to stay healthy this season, however, a negotiation would seemingly commence and end with the former MVP signed to a deal more lucrative than his 2015 Panthers extension.
  • The Dolphins will be without Byron Jones against the Jaguars. Miami ruled out its high-priced free agent acquisition, who landed on the injury report with Achilles and groin issues. Jones left the Dolphins’ Week 2 game against the Bills in the first quarter. This will only be his second missed game since arriving in the NFL in 2015.
  • More wideout injury trouble for the Jets. They will be without Breshad Perriman for a game or two with an ankle ailment, Adam Gase said this week. Gang Green is already down Jamison Crowder and Denzel Mims. Crowder is not certain to return in Week 3, and Mims must reside on IR through Week 4.
  • Le’Veon Bell dropped a considerable amount of weight this offseason, coming into this season at 210 pounds. With a CBS broadcast indicating Bell lost 24 pounds, this would have placed the former All-Pro at 234 last year — above his listed playing weight. Bell’s conditioning was a concern within the organization, Rich Cimini of ESPN.com notes. Bell is currently on IR and almost certainly in his final season as a Jet.
  • The Patriots have asked second-round rookie Josh Uche to morph from college pass rusher to all-around linebacker, according to Mike Reiss of ESPN.com. Perhaps this developmental role resulted in Uche being a healthy scratch in Week 1, with the Pats having third-round linebacker Anfernee Jennings active over him. Uche has yet to play this season; he was inactive because of an ankle injury in Week 2. The ex-Michigan Wolverine, however, is off the Pats’ injury report ahead of their Week 3 game against the Raiders.

Jaguars To Place K Josh Lambo On IR

The Jaguars will need a fill-in kicker for the foreseeable future. They are placing Josh Lambo on IR, Doug Marrone said Wednesday. Lambo will miss at least three games due to a hip injury.

The former Chargers kicker has been in place as the Jags’ field goal man since the 2017 season, when he replaced Jason Myers. Lambo has missed time due to an injury in the past, finishing the 2018 season on IR because of a groin injury. The Jags signed Kai Forbath that season.

Brandon Wright will kick for the Jags on Thursday against the Dolphins. The Jaguars signed Wright as a UDFA out of Georgia State this year and stashed him on their practice squad. This will be Wright’s first NFL action.

Jacksonville will also be without starting center Brandon Linder against the Dolphins. The team ruled Linder out with a knee injury he sustained against the Titans.

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