The San Francisco 49ers are on a bye this week, and both quarterbacks are having injury issues. Perfect timing? Head coach Kyle Shanahan thinks starter Jimmy Garoppolo should be ready to go by Week Seven, when they take on the Indianapolis Colts. "I think he'll be ready to go next week when we get back. That's the plan. I know he's doing a lot better than he was last week."
Rookie quarterback Zach Wilson and the New York Jets in general are struggling so far this season. New head coach Robert Saleh is making his point (while at the same time doing something he shouldn't) by comparing him to one of the best in the game right now: Buffalo Bills QB Josh Allen. "It's not easy being a rookie quarterback, never has been, never will be. Josh Allen the first five games of his rookie year, the numbers were the same as what our guy is going through. I know it can be frustrating sometimes, but it's going to start clicking. It's a rollercoaster ride and you have to take the good with the good, and the bad with the bad."
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The Chicago Bears have made their second-best decision regarding the quarterback position since drafting Justin Fields in April. Fields was named the starter by head coach Matt Nagy (if you believe him, anyway) on Wednesday not only for Week Five, but moving forward.
In something that absolutely not a single person saw coming, Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger is struggling this season and that's putting it nicely. He agrees, which is the first step in admitting there's a problem. "I need to be better. I need to fight through and figure out how to make better decisions, how to make better throws, be a better football player. That's why I said I'm not going to quit. I'm not doing that. I'm not giving up on this season. No one in the building is." Okay, but maybe you should.
San Francisco 49ers starting quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo injured his calf during Sunday's game and sat out the first half. He didn't practice Wednesday, but isn't yet ruling himself out of Sunday's game against the Arizona Cardinals. When asked if he would still be hurting this weekend if he takes the field, he said, "I'd be battling through it probably. We'll take it day by day. It hurts, but it is what it is at this point. I'm not going to put anything in stone yet."
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After a horrible loss in Week One, just as I predicted (not to brag), Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers bounced back in a huge division win against the Detroit Lions. While many people started to wonder aloud whether Rodgers "had it" any longer, was "mentally retired," etc. Rodgers is more than happy to shut everyone up for at least a week.
New England Patriots rookie quarterback Mac Jones has been somewhat effective in the first two weeks of his professional career, but much of that is thanks to short throws. Is Jones struggling to move the ball downfield? Not so fast, he says. "I wouldn't say that. I think it goes back to just me sticking to my rules, and there's sometimes when the defense takes plays away, and that's why we play. I mean, they are good on defense, too. At the same time, I feel like you take the three or four plays, or whatever it may be, whether it is in practice or a game, and you re-watch them, and you're like, 'OK, I probably could've thrown that one.''
Offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels also said there are no training wheels on Jones. "It’s not like he’s not throwing downfield … It’s just there’s certain times when it’s the right time to do it and certain times where it’s not. And I’ve got to continue to work hard myself to try to provide our offense with opportunities to do that if it presents itself."
After swapping quarterbacks this offseason, the Detroit Lions are 0-2 and probably not where they want to be. New QB Jared Goff agrees with this but is also optimistic. (For what it's worth, he played better than I thought he would last night, at least in the first half.) "I believe in the guys we have here. I believe in Dan. I believe in the staff...We believe this is a new regime and a new energy in the building. It's still early. Obviously, 0-2 is not where we want to be, but a lot of room to improve and a lot of wins to be had down the line."
Stop me if you've heard this before, but Ben Roethlisberger is injured. Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin said on Tuesday that Roethlisberger is dealing with a pectoral injury. There is no word yet on whether it will affect his status for Week Three's game, but it's something to watch throughout practices this week.
The San Francisco 49ers haven't lost a game yet, and they also haven't started their rookie QB yet. They don't need to, but I've been telling you that for weeks now. Starter Jimmy Garoppolo is doing just fine, and head coach Kyle Shanahan has said all summer that he looks the best he's ever seen him. This week's compliment: Garoppolo's footwork. "He can sit there flat-footed and just throw completely from his core with the way his upper body turns and the way his hip turns. He can make almost every throw. But Jimmy, as far as his footwork, I think his is the most consistent, he best he's been at it since I've been with him."
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The GOAT himself, Josh Rosen, got a chance to audition for his new team, the Atlanta Falcons, on Sunday (how ironic) and did about as good as one can do with only three days of practice. After the game, Rosen was highly transparent in how his career has been up to this point with bouncing around on different teams and about how he knows he doesn't have many chances left and needs to make the most of it while he still can. "You just get an opportunity, you got to seize the moment, and it was kind of, it was a little bit refreshing, to kind of get out on the field and kind of half know the offense and just kind of let go and play football and have fun with it like you did back in Pop Warner. At times I felt a little bit like a chicken with my head cut off running around, but I thought it was fun. Could have cleaned up a lot of stuff but overall thought it was a productive night."
San Francisco 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan is straight-up fucking with everyone again by rotating both starting quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo and rookie Trey Lance in and out of their last preseason game on Sunday. While it seems to most people that doing that during the regular season, Shanahan is still leaving room for other teams to think they'll be doing just that. "We've got two guys who can play, and we've been doing it in practice a little bit, wanted to do it out there in the game, and it's always going to be an option."
Speaking of Lance, it was announced late on Monday evening that he will miss about seven days (or a week, whichever timeframe you're into) after he jammed his finger on someone's helmet during Sunday's game. Lance has a "small chip," but he's not highly concerned about it. "I'll see how it feels [Monday] for sure. I think we'll be able to tell a little bit more. But yeah, not too worried about it at all."
Detroit Lions backup quarterback Tim Boyle may have taken himself out of the backup competition for 2021. Boyle suffered a thumb injury on Friday that will require surgery. David Blough is the other backup option for Detroit. As for when Boyle will be back, they're not sure.
Goff, meanwhile, has high hopes for his new team this season. "I don't know what the stat is, but every year there's new teams in the playoffs. Every year there are teams that were in the playoffs last year that aren't. Why not us?" Well, I can think of a few reasons, but I like the high hopes.
Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield played well in Sunday's exhibition game, but he's ready to move onto the real stuff. "I know our guys are ready. They're itching to go. We can feel that how close it is. Just all that preparation you put in throughout the offseason, and ever since you lost to the Chiefs in January, we've been working to this point right now, and I think our guys are ready to go."
The starting quarterback position is still up in the air for the New England Patriots, and while it's assumed that Cam Newton will be out there Week One, the team has also rallied around rookie Mac Jones. "Not many rookie quarterbacks have ever gotten the reps and the opportunity that he has, and he has embraced it full-on, head-on," Brian Hoyer said. "He goes out there every day and does the best that he can and has earned the respect of his teammates, which I think is huge, especially being a young guy with a team with a lot of veteran guys who have played here."
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Cam Newton was pretty much a lock for the New England Patriots' starting quarterback job, and then this week happened. Long story short, Newton didn't quite follow COVID-19 protocols and was required to stay away from the team for the week, which gave all reps with the starting team to rookie Mac Jones. Jones has been taking the reins in practice and is currently breathing down Newton's neck for the starting role. This will be something to keep an eye on.
The savior of the Atlanta Falcons' quarterback position is here, hallelujah. Josh Rosen has signed with the team, and should be in line as the best QB on the team in no time. Head coach Arthur Smith agrees with me, saying he expects Rosen to play in the final preseason game. "That's only the fair thing to do. We signed him. We have to figure out this backup quarterback spot. So, you'll see him play at some point Sunday night." Challenge accepted.
Tom Brady may be more like us, after all. After winning the Super Bowl with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in February, Brady underwent knee surgery to repair a torn MCL. Brady spoke about his recovery from surgery this week, detailing the process. "When you miss time and you don't continue to train the way you're capable of training, it's tough because your body wants to, you know, it feels like, 'OK I get time off.' And then you get your body going again, it's hard."
After being questionable to start the 2021 season, it seems like Carson Wentz is trending in the right direction for the Indianapolis Colts' opener. Wentz returned to practice earlier this week from foot surgery, and so far, so good. The next step? Going through a practice without any restrictions.
The inevitable happened. Trevor Lawrence has been announced as the Jacksonville Jaguars' starting quarterback, which pretty much everyone knew was going to happen. Lawrence was, of course, asked about how he felt about the situation. "I'm really excited for the opportunity; I'm grateful for it. It doesn't really change anything though. We still have the same task in front of us."
Joe Burrow will finally be making his debut since tearing his ACL late last season. While I assumed Burrow wouldn't see any preseason action due to protecting his health behind that horrid offensive line, Burrow should play in the Cincinnati Bengals' final preseason game. And that's okay with him.
San Francisco 49ers fans wanted you to believe all along that there was a quarterback competition, but as it turns out (and like I told you all along), there really hasn't been one at all. Head coach Kyle Shanahan said as much, without really naming his starter, which he honestly doesn't even have to do. "I've got a pretty good idea," he said. "I've always had a pretty good idea, but there's a lot of days between now and then, at every position."
big story: Ravens trade orlando Brown Jr. to kansas city
The Baltimore Ravens are sending their Pro Bowl offensive tackle Orlando Brown Jr. to the Kansas City Chiefs in a long-awaited trade that has seemed inevitable for months. Brown aired to the world that he was a LEFT tackle, and the writing was on the wall ever since then.
Here are the trade details:
The Ravens get some picks, and Brown likely wasn't going to sign there next season anyway when he became a free agent, so it's beneficial for them to get something for him now. However, trading a Pro Bowl player (a young one) to one of their biggest rivals and, in turn, making them even better is ... questionable for me. I'll leave it at that.
Going forward, the Ravens have significant holes in their offensive line, which is concerning considering their offense is exceptionally reliant on that position being solid. They'll likely sign former Pittsburgh Steelers OL Alejandro Villanueva in May, draft some younger linemen, and hope everyone stays healthy. On the optimistic side, Baltimore could pick up another Pro Bowler with one of those draft picks used in this trade, but that's to be determined.
small story: Browns exercise baker Mayfield's fifth-year option
This is important because it's an extreme rarity for Cleveland Browns quarterbacks. How rare?
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big story: hulu is the new home for nfl redzone
My dad has had Direct TV for YEARS, for one reason and one reason only: The NFL Sunday Ticket package, which includes NFL Redzone. My favorite invention of all time is probably Redzone. And now it has a new home -- Hulu. The NFL and the streaming service reached a multi-year agreement today, which will bring my favorite invention to Hulu + Live TV subscribers.
Also, the platform is also including NFL Network year-round, meaning subscribers will have access to all NFL Network shows, such as Good Morning Football. They'll be available just in time for the NFL season, on August 1.
small story: jordan reed retires
Tight end Jordan Reed officially announced his retirement today, despite a comeback-worthy season last year with the San Francisco 49ers. Reed also didn't do too horribly for himself with the Washington Football Team before suffering from various concussions.
Those concussions were what eventually led to his retirement, he told ESPN.
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big story: alex smith hangs up the cleats
Veteran quarterback and inspiring success story Alex Smith announced his retirement today. After a devastating leg injury in 2018 threatened not only his football career but his overall health, Smith returned to the field last season with the Washington Football Team. Smith also spent time with the San Francisco 49ers and the Kansas City Chiefs.
This is the correct decision for Smith by a mile. While I can't overlook his inspiration and the aspiration to return to what he loves doing to prove himself right, I also can't be alone in saying that I covered my eyes whenever someone came near him on the field. We all knew he was one injury away from never walking again.
That being said, Smith is an intelligent football player, is relatable, and has the knowledge to go into a new field -- coaching, perhaps? The Jacksonville Jaguars would be a top spot for that to occur, with Urban Meyer running the show over there.
You can see Smith's full announcement, which was posted on Instagram, here.
small story: bengals unveil new uniforms
If you're into this sort of thing (I am not) the Cincinnati Bengals unveiled their new uniforms today. Honestly they don't look that different to me, but if I had to pick one, I'm going with those all-whites. Clean.
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