jags announce trent baalke as new general manager
The Jacksonville Jaguars announced the hiring of Trent Baalke as their new general manager on Thursday.
Baalke was named the interim general manager when Dave Caldwell was fired in November and will take on the full-time role. He was also the GM for the San Francisco 49ers 2011 to 2016, with some winning under his belt -- something the Jags aren't quite used to.
The challenge for Baalke will be to recreate the culture in Jacksonville and potentially start the transition from a "losing team" to a "winning one." Baalke will have a lot to work with (and high expectations) with new head coach Urban Meyer and (probably) quarterback Trevor Lawrence.
dwayne haskins visiting pittsburgh
Former Washington Football Team and 2019 first-round pick Dwayne Haskins is visiting the Pittsburgh Steelers on Thursday. An interesting potential home for him.
Haskins was let go (I'll put it nicely) by Washington earlier this season, after a mix of not playing well and a video surfacing of him partying mask-less ended up being the final straw. Haskins also visited with the Carolina Panthers.
Pittsburgh has an opening at third-string quarterback, with Ben Roethlisberger and Mason Rudolph taking up the top two spots. Devlin Hodges and Josh Dobbs are likely no more (not dead, just out of Pittsburgh). Haskins is a guy with a lot of baggage that will probably get him a low-type deal -- low risk if he doesn't work out, high reward if he ends up genuinely turning over another leaf and proving people wrong. I'm in the camp that this is the perfect opportunity for Haskins to learn something from his time in Washington and salvage his career if he wants to.
UPDATE: Haskins is expected to sign with Pittsburgh. How about that.
eagles hire nick sirianni as head coach
The Philadelphia Eagles have found their head coach. Former Indianapolis Colts offensive coordinator Nick Sirianni gets the nod in Philly.
Sirianni has spent the past three seasons with the Colts as their offensive coordinator. The Eagles fired Doug Pederson at the end of the 2020 season after attempting to tank (don't act like this isn't the real reason). The only remaining head coach opening in the NFL is the Houston Texans, and ain't nobody wanna go there. Let's be honest.
derek carr's groin injury is 'significant'
Las Vegas Raiders quarterback lasted only 11 plays in Thursday night's loss to the Los Angeles Chargers before pulling his groin and heading to the locker room. Head coach Jon Gruden said in his post-game press conference that the injury is 'significant' and we should expect Carr to be sidelined for some time. The Raiders have the Miami Dolphins coming up next, and backup QB Marcus Mariota will likely start.
The next game for Las Vegas is December 26, meaning Carr has a little over eight days to get up to speed. I'm going to go out on a limb and say he sits.
drew brees will start against chiefs on sunday
After missing four games with broken ribs and a punctured lung, New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees will be getting the start this week against the Kansas City Chiefs. The team cleared him to return to practice this week, indicating that he had a chance to play. This big (or, if you're like me, the only good game this week) game just got a little bigger, as each team is playing for home-field advantage during the playoffs. It's also not out of line to dub this one a potential Super Bowl preview.
julio jones is out, again
If you're playing the Julio Jones drinking game, you're probably drunk by now. The Atlanta Falcons wide receiver will miss yet another game this week due to a hamstring injury that has lingered and kept him out of two of the past three games. Jones still has a chance to play in the final two games, although I'm not sure what the point of that would be.
matthew stafford out of practice again, not ruled out (yet)
Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford has missed three straight practices this week, and the team is still unsure of his status for this weekend's game against the Tennessee Titans. Interim head coach Darrell Bevell said Stafford would travel with the team, as his rib injury has been feeling better than earlier this week. Backup QB Chase Daniel will get the start if Stafford can't go.
49ers to stay in Arizona through week 17
The San Francisco 49ers have played their past two home games in Arizona, and they'll remain there through Week 17. Santa Clara County, where the 49ers' stadium and facility are located, extended their contact sports ban through January 8. The Niners play at the Dallas Cowboys this weekend and host the Seattle Seahawks in Arizona the following week.
Alex Smith is out this week
Washington Football Team quarterback Alex Smith injured his calf during last week's game and will not play in Sunday's game against the Seattle Seahawks. Smith hasn't practiced all week. Backup-to-the-backup QB Dwayne Haskins will start in his place. Haskins was benched after the first four games of the season, and it feels like we're stepping into a time portal at this point.
The Green Bay Packers and the San Francisco 49ers are still set to play Thursday night, despite a handful of positive COVID-19 tests, and both teams missing huge chunks on offense.
For the Packers, running back AJ Dillon tested positive this week and is out. Running back Jamaal Williams and linebacker Kamal Martin were listed as Dillon's "close contacts" and are also out.
Kendrick Bourne tested positive this week on the Niners' side, and offensive lineman Trent Williams, wide receivers Brandon Aiyuk and Deebo Samuel were his "close contacts."
The NFL has proven that they'll do their best to get these games off regardless of who is playing them. They could sign Bob from the deli counter at the grocery store to play QB and the NFL will not bat an eye.
"Should be a fun one," I say as I pour wine into my eyeballs.
With starting quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo sidelined with an ankle injury, less-handsome backup QB Nick Mullens is set to start Sunday's game against the New York Giants.
The word on the street is the team hopes to have Garoppolo back next week, as his ankle injury isn't as bad as originally thought. But they also don't want to put him out on that godforsaken turf, that has had so many complaints.
After a tough Sunday, the San Francisco 49ers are bunking at The Greenbrier in West Virginia this week before heading back up to New Jersey to play the New York Giants this weekend. They clearly need some help, so they are flying defensive end Ziggy Ansah to join them for another visit, with the hope to sign him.
The Niners lost both Nick Bosa and Solomon Thomas with knee injuries yesterday, so they need all the help they can get at this point. I'd expect to see Ansah in a uniform and on the field on Sunday.
A total surprise - the San Francisco 49ers are putting cornerback Richard Sherman on injured reserve, meaning he will miss at least three weeks.
Is there some curse against the Niners?
During Sunday's loss to the Arizona Cardinals, there was no sign of injury, and nothing happened to Sherman that would indicate one. It appears to be one of those 'lingering' issues that the team is just being cautious about. But it has to be severe enough to warrant a move to injured reserve.
The team better hope Sherman can be available as soon as possible (after three weeks) because they are decimated by injuries at the moment. The good news? San Fran plays the New York Jets this week.
We've seen the videos on Instagram.
Even though he hasn't played in an NFL game in a year, San Francisco 49ers left tackle Trent Williams made sure to stay in shape. And then some.
Plenty of raves have been coming out of Niners camp about Williams, so he's under pressure to show up big time. It makes it easier if he's ten pounds of muscle heavier.
The San Francisco 49ers signed tight end Jordan Reed on Monday, raising some questions because the guy is injured more often than not (sorry, but it's true). General Manager John Lynch was asked about this, as one does, and gave your typical answer:
I mean, obviously. Or else you wouldn't have signed him.
The problem with Reed, is he can be good when healthy -- but the dude is never healthy. He also has a history of concussions, and let's face it, in football that is not the type of injury history you want to have. I'm all for giving guys a chance to become "not hurt all the time," as I like to call it, but I also cringe every time they get tackled.