Source: 49ers trade Kenneth Acker to Chiefs

The San Francisco 49ers have traded cornerback Kenneth Acker to the Kansas City Chiefs, according to a league source.
He’s a former sixth-round draft pick from SMU.
As a junior, Acker made 128 tackles and six interceptions with a defensive touchdown.
Acker had a stress fracture in his left foot and was placed on injured reserve.
Acker had three interceptions and 58 solo tackles with eight pass deflections in his second NFL season.

Ex-FSU QB De’Andre Johnson to be featured in 2nd season of ‘Last Chance U’

You may not remember De’Andre Johnson, but get ready to find out a lot more about him via Netflix. Johnson was a freshman quarterback at Florida State when he was seen on video punching a woman in a bar. He was dismissed from the program shortly thereafter. Johnson now is at East Mississippi Community College, which […]

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Browns trade Barkevious Mingo to Patriots

The Cleveland Browns traded outside linebacker Barkevious Mingo to the New England Patriots in exchange for a fifth-round draft pikc.
The Browns now own Philadelphia’s 2017 first-round pick, Tennessee’s 2017 second-round pick, New England’s 2017 fifth-round pick, Indianapolis’ 2017 seventh-round pick and Philadelphia’s 2018 second-round pick. Cleveland has conditionally surrendered its 2017 fourth-round pick to Philadelphia and its 2017 sixth- or seventh-round pick to San Francisco.
Mingo, a first-round draft choice in 2013, appeared in 46 games with 16 starts. He logged 99 career tackles, seven sacks, one interception, 16 passes defensed and one fumble recovery.

Frustrated Chargers withdraw offer to holdout first-rounder Joey Bosa

The San Diego Chargers have withdrawn their contract offer to holdout first-round pick Joey Bosa, a sign of their growing frustration.
Here is their full statement:
Our contract discussions and offers to the representatives of Joey Bosa have been both fair and structurally consistent with the contracts of every other Chargers player.
Our offer included:
 

  • An initial signing bonus payment that is larger than any player in the League has received in the last two drafts.

 

  • More money in this calendar year than every player in this year’s draft except one (QB Carson Wentz).

 

  • The largest payment and the highest percentage of signing bonus received in the first calendar year of any Chargers’ first-round selection since the inception of the current Collective Bargaining Agreement (2011).

 
We gave Joey’s representatives our best offer last night, which was rejected today.  The offer that we extended was for Joey to contribute during all 16 games and beyond.  Joey’s ability to contribute for an entire rookie season has now been jeopardized by the valuable time he has missed with his coaches and his teammates. Since Joey will not report at this time, his ability to produce not just early in the season, but throughout the entire season, has been negatively impacted.
 
As a result, we will restructure our offer since Joey will be unable to contribute for the full 16 game season without the adequate time on the practice field, in the classroom, and in preseason games.
 

Three Potential Landing Spots for Greg Hardy

As the regular season draws closer, one big name free agent is still sitting on the open market, defensive end Greg Hardy.  Despite his struggles, which include lackluster play during his one season in Dallas and his continued misbehavior on and off the field, which he has been in counseling to deal with, Hardy is still a 28-year old with 40 sacks in his career (27 of which came in his last two full seasons) in a pass happy league that craves pass rushers.  
Despite that, the Cowboys let him walk, the Redskins decided not to take a flier on him after another season-ending injury to linebacker Junior Gallette and there hasn’t been much of a market for him to this point.  While things can certainly change in a hurry thanks to injuries or teams seeing that their current crop of sack artists don’t quite live up to the hype, there are three spots right now that make sense for Hardy and his potential suitor.
First up are the Jacksonville Jaguars.  Despite having a defensive-minded coach in Gus Bradley, the Jaguars only mustered 36 sacks last season (ranked 20th in the league).  It’s true that last year’s first round pick Dante Fowler is back from injury, but if he isn’t 100 percent or gets injured again, the Jags will be in need of help off the edge.  They’ve already had Hardy in for a fact finding workout, but they don’t have immediate plans to sign him.  The Jags have an offense poised to score a lot of points, but they need to be able to stop teams too.  With their sack numbers seemingly tied to the health of Fowler, Hardy makes sense here.
Next up are the Buffalo Bills, whose putrid sack total of 21 ranked them 31st in the league.  Head Coach Rex Ryan and his brother, Defensive Coordinator Rob Ryan, certainly wouldn’t shy away from a controversial player, especially if they thought he could help.  After all, Ik Enemkpali was signed by the Bills after he was released by the Jets following his cold-cocking of Geno Smith. The Bills are also dealing with key injuries to top draft picks Shaq Lawson and Reggie Ragland, further weakening an already suspect defense.  Looking at the team on paper, Hardy’s potential for disrupting offensive backfields is sorely needed in Buffalo.
Finally, you have a team that is always a dark horse candidate, but really shouldn’t be with their history of taking fliers on players others thought were washed up physically or mentally; the New England Patriots.  It usually doesn’t matter who they bring into the fold, with the way the team is run, everyone on the roster ends up doing things the “Patriot Way” very successfully.  Randy Moss was seemingly done after two sub-par years in Oakland, but then came to the Patriots in 2007 and caught 98 passes for almost 1,500 yards and 23 touchdowns.  Corey Dillon wore out his welcome in Cincinnati, but came to the Patriots in 2004, rushing for almost 1,700 yards and 12 touchdowns. While the Patriots 49 sacks last year were second best in the league, 12.5 of those were traded to the Arizona Cardinals in the form of Chandler Jones.  With nobody else in double digits, the Pats could find a spot for Hardy.
While it may take some time, the NFL is a league of many second chances (if you can still play) and Hardy is likely to get his.

My conversation with ‘Last Chance U’ star Brittany Wagner

With her Southern charm firmly in place, Brittany Wagner this summer became the face of junior college football. The unquestioned star of the acclaimed Netflix documentary “Last Chance U,” Wagner won over the hearts of viewers who watched the six-part series as swiftly as she did East Mississippi Community College players she advised who were […]

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Monday Morning MD: New injury reporting rules will cause confusion

The intent of new injury reporting rules is to provide clarity. Instead, the changes are likely to provoke more confusion. If the NFL wanted to make injury reporting more transparent, the new system is likely to have the opposite effect and cloud the issue.
Previously, injury reporting was broken up into “Probable”, “Questionable” and “Doubtful”. These words essentially corresponded with “75%”, “50%” and “25%”. Now the “Probable” category has been removed and “Questionable” and “Doubtful” has been redefined. It is like changing a traditional “A, B and C” grading system to “pass and low pass”. There is less delineation of injury grades.
Instead of 50-50, “Questionable” will now mean “uncertain whether the player will play”. “Doubtful” now means it is “unlikely the player will participate”. “Out” still means the player will not play as that designation does not change.
For practice designations, “Out” will no longer be used. The practice categories of the new policy make sense. “Full”, “Limited” and “Did not participate” are easy to understand practice designations.
Certainly the new definitions make injury designations more vague. As it is, only the body part and status is listed. No side or specific diagnosis is required. Now the status becomes murkier with the removal of a category.
Essentially, the old probable and questionable categories are now combined into one. It seems to me the new system will have teams listing anyone in doubt to be questionable. The new rule explicitly states “if there is any question concerning a players availability for the game, he should be listed as ‘Questionable’”. Now anyone with a 50-50 chance of playing is lumped with someone who is 99% certain to play.
Teams will be incentivized to liberally use “Questionable” as anyone not listed who doesn’t play puts a club at risk for possible discipline. The move to list more players as “Questionable” was already happening. Now the rules justify it even more often.
A new cottage industry will be created. Information on the “questionable” players will be at even more of a premium. The 90-minute inactive list release will take on higher importance. Perhaps the real motivation of this is to create ratings for the pregame shows.
As a fan, I am not in love with the new changes, which provide less specific information. On the other hand, as an injury analyst, I think this is going to be good for my twitter handle as fans, fantasy players and gamblers seek more specific information on their own.
MMMD 1: ACL tears continue at high rate
There are 17 ACL ruptures to date this league season. Torn ACLs through all of preseason 2015, 2014 and 2013 were 25, 22 and 31. With week 2 preseason games just concluded, the league is on track to hit the average in the mid 20s.
The new CBA limited contact has not lowered ACL tears since it is primarily a non-contact injury. With the high tempo of practices, one can argue that introduces more high-speed cutting activity, which puts ACLs at risk.
MMMD 2: Dion Lewis 2nd surgery
The Patriots running back recovering from a torn ACL was rumored to be coming of PUP soon. Instead, he had additional surgery.
The only good news is that the procedure is not directly related to the ACL, but instead is a “cleanup”. Having follow up surgery after an ACL is not uncommon and is usually related to associated scar tissue, meniscus tears or articular cartilage damage.
Lewis is eligible for Reserve/PUP come the regular season since the team placed him on Active/PUP at the start of training camp despite practicing in June. At least the early news is the set back does not involve an ACL re-tear and there is a good chance to return later this season.
MMMD 3: Alex Okafor decides to play without surgery
The Cardinals linebacker had previously torn his distal biceps tendon and had surgery which cost him the season. Now in a contract year, Okafor will try and avoid surgery and play through the injury.
Typically, proximal biceps tendon tears near the shoulder do not need to be fixed, but ruptures distally near the elbow do. Okafor has experienced the surgical route before, I hope the non-surgical option goes well for him.
MMMD 3: What headaches?
Ladarius Green denied headaches have been keeping him from practice and insisted it was his ankle injury. Last week, we discussed the Steelers only big free agent signing and the controversy.
Despite being reported to be in the concussion protocol, Green now denies the headaches. Medical personnel cannot come out and clarify the truth due to HIPAA privacy laws so we will just have to wait and see what happens.
MMMD 4: J.J. Watt uncertain for first two games
Texans head coach Bill O’Brien acknowledged that Watt may miss the first two games of the season. This would break his perfect streak of never missing a game in his NFL career.
When he first had back surgery, I indicated the procedure was relatively simple, but the rehab was difficult. The disc is about five inches deep in the back and that means a deep dissection through core muscles making for a long recovery. I hope the defensive player of the year can come back to form quickly.
MMMD 5: Preseason injury rundown
Jamaal Charles is off PUP and practicing. I am expecting a productive year as he ran for a career high 1506 yards coming off his previous ACL surgery.
Jordy Nelson is back practicing after a stint on PUP for the presumed patellar tendonitis in the other non-ACL knee. Packers may have been smart to get this better to avoid a nagging injury.
Steve Smith, Sr. is off PUP and soon starting practice for his 16th NFL season. Normally, Achilles ruptures can end careers for a wide receiver in his thirties, but not for this 37 year-old.
Larry Fitzgerald is already back practicing after a mild MCL sprain. Seems his missing time was truly a preseason precaution.
Tyrann Matthieu is off PUP and practicing. He overcame a previous multi-ligament knee injury, so this isolated ACL should be easy for him to overcome.
Matt Jones was said to have a “slight” AC joint sprain. Normally this is a 0-2 week injury if mild. Caution, he did leave the stadium with a sling which is not always needed for low grade shoulder separations.
Breshad Perriman feels like déjà vu. Last season a PCL injury teased fans for a return that never happened. This year a “partial” ACL is the culprit and as of yet no timetable for return.
MMMD 6: Texans permanently switch to artificial grass
There have been many complaints about the seams in the natural grass due to pallets in Houston. Now it has been decided to permanently switch to artificial surface and this presumably includes for Super Bowl LI.
Interesting that the switch was made for safety. Typically, grass fields are safer than field turf. Although, the new sport grass is clearly better than the old astroturf for injury. In this case, it wasn’t the surface of the natural grass that was the problem, it was the connections of the patchwork field that caused issues.
MMMD 7: ProFootballDoc scorecard
We haven’t tallied right or wrong in awhile. Soon we will have plenty of access to video with the regular season. In the meantime, previous predictions about Jordy Nelson and Julio Jones minor injuries were correct. Add in Watt likely missing time and Lewis’ knee scope not related to ACL. This takes the previous record from 16-0 to 20-0.

A difficult ‘goodbye’ and an exciting ‘hello’

For the first time… ever, I’ll have a full-time job outside of the radio industry.  Today, I begin overseeing content at GridironNow. I’ll continue working with our Managing Editor Mike Huguenin to produce the best daily content from our contributors and writers.  I’ll be helping with GridironNow’s social media, sales and promotional efforts, keeping an […]

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