The time has come. It is genuinely my Super Bowl.
To my delight, the New York Jets announced that Joseph Vincent Flacco will start at the quarterback position in Week 1. Who do they play, you ask? Why, his old team! The Baltimore Ravens!
ALLEGED starting quarterback Zach Wilson had knee surgery three weeks ago, making a return by Week One unlikely. The Jets wouldn't say which QB would be under center until Wednesday, but it appears Baltimore prepared for their former Super Bowl winner all along. Stakes will be high, but leave it to Flacco to keep emotions under wraps as he takes on a once-in-lifetime revenge game at Metlife on Sunday.
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It's what we've all been waiting for. While there has been no formal announcement from the team, quarterback Mitchell Trubisky is listed as the No. 1 QB on the Pittsburgh Steelers' depth chart to start Week One.
The starting role was always Trubisky's to lose since Pittsburgh signed him to a two-year, $14.58 million contract this offseason. But, while Trubisky took most of the first-string reps this summer during training camp, it was suspected perhaps rookie (and only first-round QB selected in this year's draft) Kenny Pickett could overtake the role. Instead, Pickett is listed as No. 3 on the Steelers' first depth chart, behind Mason Rudolph, for some reason.
How long will the depth chart stay this way? It's a fair question. Head coach Mike Tomlin could announce otherwise before the Steelers' first game on Sunday against the Cincinnati Bengals. If Trubisky struggles during the season, do they throw the keys to the rookie? I think Pickett will start a game this season before Rudolph, should they reach that point. But for now, it's wait and see.
New York Jets right tackle Mekhi Becton is likely out for the 2022 season, after suffering a knee injury during Monday's practice. The team is calling it a fractured knee cap, which sounds terribly painful (and terribly confusing as to why they weren't initially concerned yesterday when it occurred).
Becton was a first-round pick in 2020 and hasn't had much good luck since then. Becton missed the 2021 season after suffering a knee injury in the Jets' season opener.
We all remember when Tom Brady was fined $10,000 for sliding and purposefully ("accidentally," according to him) kicked Ed Reed in the leg, right? Well, it appears he may have done it again. Brady slid during a scramble in Monday night's Tampa Bay Buccaneers win against the New York Giants, and as he slid, Brady raised his leg right into Giants DB Xavier McKinney's lower leg. So, what do you think? Accident or on purpose?
The Baltimore Ravens were able to squeeze out a win on Sunday without starting quarterback Lamar Jackson, and it looks like he'll be well enough to be under-center next week. Head coach John Harbaugh said, "he felt good today. I don't know how good. But he feels much better today, from what I was told." So have we figured out WHY the Ravens made him travel to Chicago in the first place? Let me know.
I can't believe I'm saying this, but Kirk Cousins has been the main reason for the Minnesota Vikings' success this season. (Before you ask me if 5-5 is considered "successful," they're currently in playoff position and have had back-t0-back wins. Baby steps.) Cousins has been taking more shots downfield, and it's been paying off. Of course, head coach Mike Zimmer wouldn't mind if Cousins continued to do more of that. "I want Cousins to keep doing it like he's doing it. He can't second-guess himself."
This season, Washington Football Team quarterback Taylor Heinicke was thrown to the wolves as the starter after Ryan Fitzpatrick was injured. Through an up-and-down season, Heinicke is currently on the "up" trajectory. Head coach Ron Rivera acknowledged that Heinicke has continued to grow throughout the season. "What we want from that position is a guy that can manage it and then make plays when he needs to. And this is what this guy does. He's smart. He understands the game. He's just a guy that, again, has only had 11 starts, and we'll see how it continues to go." Heinicke is totally gonna trick Washington into not drafting a quarterback again, isn't he?
After Aaron Rodgers' COVID fiasco, there's another roadblock in his way: an injured toe. Rodgers has said it's a little worse than turf toe, and it's pretty painful. However, Rodgers plans to play through the injury, as it's likely his last season with the Green Bay Packers.
Heavy sigh. On Tuesday, the New York Jets announced that rookie QB Zach Wilson was cleared to start on Sunday against the Houston Texans. That's good for them because they don't have many other options. After being listed as close contacts, the Jets put both Joe Flacco and Mike White on the COVID-19 reserve list. Don't say it.
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Russell Wilson is medically cleared to return this week for the Seattle Seahawks and of course he had to announce it himself. Wilson posted this video on Twitter, indicating that himself and his finger should be ready to take on the Packers in Week Ten.
Green Bay Packers backup quarterback Jordan Love didn't have the best Sunday, and it began (or continued) to spark questions of if Love is genuinely the Packers' future. Head coach Matt LaFleur isn't blaming Love for having to be ready at the last minute. "I thought Jordan, I was really proud of the way he played. He hung in there; he was taking hits and delivering the ball. I thought he did a really good job."
There is a new New England Patriots controversy among us. Quarterback Mac Jones appeared to twist Carolina Panthers defensive end Brian Burns' ankle after a sack. However, head coach Bill Belichick says he thinks Jones was just trying to pursue the ball and didn't intentionally twist Burns' ankle. I tend to side with Belichick, even though the video does look kinda bad. Jones later agreed, saying he was just trying to make a tackle on Burns.
Detroit Lions backup Tim Boyle is being designated for return from injured reserve and should practice this week. With the way things are going for the Lions (and specifically, starter Jared Goff), it's not out of the question to wonder if we could see Boyle (or fellow backup David Blough) on the field soon.
Carolina Panthers quarterback Sam Darnold suffered a concussion and shoulder injury last week and went for an MRI on Monday to check on the status of the same shoulder. Darnold did not have his best day Sunday, and head coach Matt Rhule was not committing to Darnold yet in Week Ten.
Zach Wilson is expected to practice this week for the New York Jets, but his status is still very much up in the air. Mike White is looking more like the assumed starter (although that could change in the coming days), as head coach Robert Saleh says they don't want to rush Wilson back too soon.
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