John Elway Rolls Dice With Quarterback

The Denver Broncos sent off Peyton Manning in a grand fashion by capping off his storied career off with a Super Bowl victory. Manning was a shell of himself in the game, throwing for 0 touchdowns and only 141 yards. However, a win’s a win and Manning will go down as one of top quarterbacks of all-time and ended his career with a storybook ending.
It’s no secret that the Broncos won with a fantastic defense, great game planning, and playing mistake free football. When Peyton retired, it opened the door for the next Broncos quarterback to help lead the team back to the Super Bowl. There were a few candidates available: Brock Osweiler, Colin Kaepernick, and Ryan Fitzpatrick. Instead, John Elway chose to sign Mark Sanchez and draft project quarterback Paxton Lynch.
The Broncos may have the biggest drop off in quarterback for a Super Bowl defending champion, since – well – the Broncos. History has a funny way of repeating itself. John Elway carried the Denver Broncos to a 14-2 record and beat the Atlanta Falcons in Super Bowl XXXIII in his final season. How did they fare the next year? Brian Griese was at the helm for 6-10 record for the Broncos that year.
The Broncos clearly thought Osweiler was a good enough quarterback to play for them since they offered him a contract. The Broncos reportedly offered their former quarterback a contract worth $45 million, with about $15-16 million paid per year, and a guaranteed $30 million. The biggest offer of $72 million over four years, with $37 million guaranteed came from the Texans. Since they did offer a contract, John Elway clearly wanted to bring the young quarterback back, but had a set price and wasn’t going to go over it.
Trade talks between the Broncos and 49ers picked up this offseason for Kaepernick, but talks died down before the draft. Again, this indicates that Elway was interested in bringing quarterbacks in. Ryan Fitzpatrick also was in search for a new home this season and an already-made team like the Broncos would have been a perfect fit, but the two never were reportedly talking.
John Elway must have great confidence in his defense again since he decided to defend his title with either Mark Sanchez, Trevor Siemian, or Paxton Lynch. Sanchez is the most experienced of the three, having bright spots with the Jets early in his career, but on Monday Coach Gary kubiak named Siemian the starter
Is John Elway trying to outsmart himself? Does he think any quarterback can just come and play with this Broncos team and they will still win? It’s a risk and storyline that will play out this entire season. Osweiler and Kaepernick aren’t All-Pro quarterbacks, but there was a reason why Elway was interested. Instead, he is rolling his dice with Siemian, and Sanchez if that doesn’t work out. It will be a very interesting year in Denver.

Arkansas creates ‘House of Cards’-themed senior poster for 2016 season

Arkansas’ Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium could also be referred to as the “House of Hogs” this fall. For its 2016 senior poster, the Razorbacks were inspired by popular Netflix series “House of Cards” for their seniors’ theme. Excellent senior poster from the @ArkRazorbacks @RazorbackFB team! Awesome work always comes from the Razorbacks! — Poster Swag […]

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Giants re-sign Will Beatty

The New York Giants have re-signed offensive tackle will Beatty.
Beatty has started 63 games for the Giants.
He’ll back up Ereck Flowers at left tackle.
“I’m feeling a lot of emotions right now,” Beatty said. “It’s just good to be back amongst my teammates and players. I just feel like I’m coming home. Then again, walking through the doors, there’s a lot of changes. A lot of things aren’t the same. It’s that same house that just got remodeled feel. It feels good, but you have to figure out where everything is now. It’s just being here after spending all these years with the Giants, I’m excited to be back. I still have a lot of work to do, a lot of good ahead of me. I’m just taking it one day at a time looking forward to the future.”
Beatty tore his pectoral in 2015 and had surgery. He then tore his rotator cuff and had surgery again.

Paul Kruger joins Saints

The New Orleans Saints are signing veteran pass rusher Paul Kruger.
Kruger was cut two days ago by the Cleveland Browns.
Kruger, 40, was considered by the Saints in 2013 when he signed a five-year, $40.5 million contract with the Browns.
“He still affects the passer. You see a pressure player. He rushes with power,” Saints coach Sean Payton said of Kruger on Tuesday. “I think you see a high motor and a guy that plays extremely strong.”
Kruger had 4 1/2 sacks in 2013, 11 in 2014 and 2 1/2 in 2015.
“My experience has been amazing and I will miss wearing a Browns #99,” Kruger wrote on Twitter. “Although completely miss handled, unfortunate and absolutely the wrong decision to release me I do wish the Browns and especially my teammate brothers great success.”

Vikings quarterback Teddy Bridgewater suffered dislocated knee, torn ACL

Minnesota Vikings quarterback Teddy Bridgewater suffered a dislocated knee and a torn anterior cruciate ligament during a non-contact drill at practice.
“Teddy suffered a complete tear to his ACL and other structural damage,” the team said in a statement Tuesday evening after Bridgewater had a magnetic resonance imaging exam. “Fortunately, there appears to be no nerve or arterial damage. Surgical repair will be scheduled within the next few days. Although the recovery time will be significant, we expect Teddy to make a full recovery. I would like to thank all of the medical professionals and our athletic training staff for all of their help today. Teddy has already displayed the attitude needed to overcome this injury and attack his rehab.”
Shaun Hill is the new starter.
“Today is a disappointing day,” Vikings coach Mike Zimmer said. “The No. 1 thing is Teddy is such a great kid,” Everyone loves him.”
Zimmer shut down practice early.
“We’re gonna grieve today and be upset about it,” Zimmer said. “It’s more about our feelings for Teddy and for him as a person and getting better than it is about anything else. Teddy’s a great kid, and he’ll be back as soon as he possibly can, if it is real bad. But we’re going to keep fighting.”

Monday Morning MD: No medical reason for Tony Romo to retire

Tony Romo is not too old or too fragile. The Cowboys quarterback is not injury prone. Medically, when his compression fracture heals, he will be cleared to play and will not have increased risk for long-term problems or further injury.
Sure, Romo is 36 years old, but Tom Brady is 39. Yes, the Dallas signal caller has now had his fourth fracture since 2014. However, it would be unfair to say his body is too ancient to play football. 36 may be the tail end of a football career, but medically, weak bones or osteoporosis are decades away.
The L1 vetebral body compression fracture suffered Thursday is unlikely related to his previous back issues. Disc surgery is typically performed at a much lower level (L4-5 or L5-S1). Transverse process fractures are located to the back and side (posterolateral) of the spine, while this break is located in front (anterior). Details on his previous cyst surgery are sketchy but I still don’t see the relationship to the current injury. When healed, Romo’s back will not be physiologically weaker or prone to injury.
There is not an underlying weakness in Romo’s body. Anyone who has a 300 lb defender jump forcibly on a flexed spine would suffer these same injuries. In 2014, the same year Romo suffered, transverse process spine fractures, 23 year-old Baylor QB Bryce Petty had the same injury. Certainly, the then collegiate QB’s bones were not weak. Both returned after one missed game.
Likely the two clavicle fractures and now second spine fracture does not happen out of his fragility, but there may be another reason. Romo has always been among the best at creating a big gain out of a broken play. Now, his continued desire to extend plays versus his decreased ability to avoid big hits is catching up to him.
I wrote last year that Romo has to learn to protect his left collarbone and not take similar hits. At this point, it may be time to resist his natural temptations to create something out of nothing and throw the ball away. The Cowboys clearly need him, going 1-11 last season without their star player.
With his 2014 spine fracture, he recovered quickly and missed only one game. No way a fracture heals in two weeks but a transverse process fracture doesn’t have to heal, as it is not structural. The compression fracture is structural and there is no way to rush back from this injury. No surgery or kyphoplasty will be needed. No brace or special therapy either, just time.
Romo will definitely miss the season opener and should take a minimum of six weeks to return. If hit in a similar fashion, a compression fracture can progress to a burst fracture with potential injury to the spinal cord or nerves. No one can be allowed to take that risk. Once healed, the risk of paralysis or permanent injury is no greater than normal.
Romo could resume throwing in a few weeks, but the earliest I see him playing and being exposed to a hit is six weeks. In 2007 with the Panthers, David Carr only missed a couple of weeks with his compression fracture but admitted he wasn’t at full strength until much later.
Of course Romo could decide to retire, but if he does, it won’t be because he couldn’t pass a physical or was risking further damage. No one can question his toughness. How many other people can say that they walked off the field on two separate occasions with spine fractures?
MMMD 1: Paucity or plethora of injuries?
Some journalists have gotten the erroneous impression of 2016 being a good injury year a few days ago. The reality is that injuries are near the average.
Up until this weekend, we just didn’t have as many big name stars injured. Now with Romo injured and the parade of Achilles and ACLs continuing, within a day, the chorus has now come that this may be a bad injury year including calls to modify the preseason.
MMMD 2: John Harbaugh calls to change preseason
The Ravens head coach’s preference is for no preseason games at all to avoid injury. Harbaugh states that coaches can evaluate and ready players through practice and scrimmages. He also wants to add meaningful games.
While noble to try to find a way to decrease injuries, this would not do it. Injuries happen in practice and scrimmages as well. Adding regular season games certainly would also increase injury.
My long-standing proposal has been to eliminate one preseason game and add a second bye week, keeping the total length of players time the same. Having a week’s rest early and later in the season would be positive for player health. Paring Thursday games with a bye week would eliminate playing on four days rest. An added week of televised opportunities Sunday, Sunday night, Monday night and Thursday night games would boost revenue as well.
MMMD 3: Unusual in-game injury report
Last week we discussed how pre-game injury reporting was going to become more confusing this year. Sunday night, the Bengals broke form and went out of their way to give more than the typical cursory information.
All teams are required in-game is to give a body part and a status. When A.J. Green injured his knee, the team released more than that. Instead of the usual “knee – questionable (or out)”, the Bengals tweeted Green’s right knee as “reported as not serious”.
This helped calm fans worry. After the game, Green said he “banged knees”. I bet fans wish all teams would be this forthcoming with injury information.
MMMD 4: Achilles tears continue
Ben Watson TE Ravens tore his Achilles tendon. Brandon Oliver RB Chargers had a classic eccentric load Achilles rupture as well that was well documented with HD video. This is another example of how obvious some diagnoses are off publicly available images.
Achilles tears continue to be the second most common season ending injury to ACL tears. As players get bigger/faster/stronger, the size of the Achilles remains essentially the same. It is the strong muscle that overcomes the tendon to cause a tear.
MMMD 5: Preseason injury rundown
Bengals RB Cedric Peerman has a forearm fracture that will need surgery and is likely to be 6-12 weeks for return, making him an IR candidate and possible return.
The fear by video is Cardinals DB Mike Jenkins has an ACL tear. I hope my eyes deceive me here.
Ravens RB Kenneth Dixon has a mild MCL sprain. While media have said 4-6 weeks for return, I am hoping for 2-4 weeks.
Colts G Jack Mewhort does not have an ACL tear despite initial reports to that effect but will still miss some time.
Bears backup QB Connor Shaw has a tibia and fibula fracture and likely had immediate rodding surgery.
Steelers OT Marcus Gilbert hyperextended his elbow and is seeking a second opinion. As a lineman he should be ok for the season to play with a brace. By video, Steelers DE Cam Heyward had a mild high ankle sprain. Being seen in a boot but putting full weight on it is a good sign for Week 1 appearance.
Redskins RB Keith Marshall has a strained elbow and I fear ligament damage, but won’t need surgery and will return in weeks. LB Ryan Kerrigan has a groin strain. RB Matt Jones has a previous mild AC sprain and I expect a Week 1 return.
Tyler Eifert just started jogging and is targeting a Week 4-6 return and may be a PUP candidate.
Falcons S Keanu Neal will miss 3-4 with a “clean up” knee scope.
Rams WR Pharoh Cooper is said to be out several weeks. By video, he suffered a left AC joint sprain on a spectacular catch Saturday vs Broncos.
Texans LT Duane Brown with a torn quad is not expected to he ready for season and likely will be on PUP. Meanwhile C Nick Martin had ankle surgery and his season is over.
Patriots TE Rob Gronkowski is back practicing.
Bears OT Kyle Long has a torn labrum. Offensive lineman can play with a shoulder harness, unless the labral tear is in the more unusual posterior location.
Ravens WR Breshad Perriman is finally practicing.
Chiefs LB Tamba Hali is off PUP now.
Packers WR Jordy Nelson has been off PUP but is only doing individual drills and not full go yet.
MMMD 6: Eddie Lacy cutting his hair?
Hair is considered part of the body. Although tacking a player from behind by grabbing his hair is just as dangerous as a horse collar tackle, it is not illegal.
After just such a tackle, Lacy is considering cutting his hair. The Packers running back is not worried about the pain of losing some hair but rather the safety of his legs.
In this era of health and safety, I am surprised the competition committee has not outlawed pulling a player down from behind by any means, including hair.
MMMD 7: ProFootballDoc scorecard
One can never be perfect and I will definitely call my initial Tony Romo assessment a mistake. I didn’t see the injury when it happened as I was at the 15th annual Taste at the Cove fundraiser. Although when I saw the injury video the next morning, it had me worried about compression fracture. However; by then it was reported that Romo did not have X-rays at the stadium. I read too much into the fact that team doctors did not get films at the game. Dallas has a spine surgeon as one of it’s regular team doctors. I am right about it not being related to previous injuries, but the bottom line is this is an error in video diagnosis.
Brandon Oliver’s Achilles rupture was fairly easy and a classic example for the eccentric load injury.
Connor Shaw does indeed have a tibia and fibula fracture and had immediate surgery with a rod.
Ravens RB Kenneth Dixon did indeed have a MCL sprain.
These take the previous 20-0 record to 23-1 or 95.8%.

Sources: Rams signing Tavon Austin to contract extension

The Los Angeles Rams are signing veteran wide receiver Tavon Austin to a contract extension that will be announced Saturday night, according to league sources.
Austin is a multi-dimensional former first-round draft pick who was an All-American from West Virginia.
He was playing under a four-year, $12.751 million rookie deal that included a $7.653 million signing bonus.
Austin caught 52 passes for 473 yards and five touchdowns last season.
He rushed for 434 yards and four touchdowns.
He had a punt return for a touchdown too.

Tony Romo has broken bone in his back, out 6-10 weeks

Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo suffered a broken bone in his back and could miss six to 10 weeks.
He suffered the injury, a compression fracture of his L1 vertebra.
He won’t require surgery.
“We don’t believe that to be the case at all,” Cowboys coach Jason Garrett said when asked if Romo’s season was in jeopardy. “Again it’s not related to the other back issues that he’s had (and is) very specific to the hit he took the other night at the game. And he came out and he was lobbying to go back in.
“We decided to not have him go back in, and then he actually felt fine after the game. Then he woke up on Friday morning and didn’t feel so good and (the back) stiffened up on him, and that’s when we did the MRI. And that’s what we found.”

49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick refuses to stand for national anthem

San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick is taking a stand.
He refused to stand during the national anthem due to his feeling that the United States is mistreating racial minorities.
“I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color,” Kaepernick told NFL Network. “To me, this is bigger than football and it would be selfish on my part to look the other way. There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder.”
The 49ers issued a statement about Kaepernick sitting on the bench during the national anthem against the Green Bay Packers.
“The national anthem is and always will be a special part of the pregame ceremony,” the statement said. “It is an opportunity to honor our country and reflect on the great liberties we are afforded as its citizens. In respecting such American principles as freedom of religion and freedom of expression, we recognize the right of an individual to choose to participate, or not, in our celebration of the national anthem.”
Kaepernick said he didn’t tell the team about his plans.
“This is not something that I am going to run by anybody,” he said. “I am not looking for approval. I have to stand up for people that are oppressed. … If they take football away, my endorsements from me, I know that I stood up for what is right.”