Can you believe it’s already Week 3!? Let’s get into some of the latest news and storylines heading into the weekend before the Steelers and Browns kick off this week’s slate of action tonight.
Justin Herbert Practicing
Justin Herbert was at Chargers practice today doing some work six days after he suffered fractured rib cartilage. Herbert was seen twisting and stretching during warmups. According to Bridget Condon, Herbert only participated in drills where he handed the ball off in the portion of practice that was open to the media.
Condon also reported that a source inside the Chargers building told her that Herbert was in the facility on Tuesday lifting weights, watching film, and throwing.
This is excellent news for the Chargers, who host the Jacksonville Jaguars on Sunday. Herbert was injured during the fourth quarter of last Thursday night’s contest with the Kansas City Chiefs but stayed in the game and was able to drive the Chargers down the field for a late touchdown despite looking like *any* movement was a labor at specific points of the drive.
Herbert and the Chargers came up short against the Chiefs at Arrowhead, but they led most of the game and showed that the race for the AFC West title would include Herbert and the Chargers. Herbert completed 33 of 48 passes for 334 yards, three touchdowns, and one costly interception that flipped the game’s landscape.
This throw by Herbert in the fourth quarter, just one play after he appeared unable to scramble for a wide-open first down due to the rib injury was one of the nicest throws you’ll see all season, especially considering the circumstances.
Herbert isn’t the only Charger nursing injuries. Wide receiver Keenan Allen (hamstring) was also limited in practice on Wednesday and cornerback J.C. Jackson (ankle) and center Corey Linsley (knee) did not participate. Right tackle Try Pipkins III (ankle) was also limited.
A Sean Payton Return?
You had to know that Sean Payton wouldn’t be gone from football for good just yet. According to the long-time Saints head coach, it’s only taken him two weeks into his first NFL season without a headset in some time (save for the suspension) for him to miss it.
In a recent episode of the New Orleans Football podcast with Nick Underhill and Mike Triplett, Payton said that he would indeed consider a return to coaching in the near future if the right situation arose:
“That’s a good question … I would say this; I’m really enjoying what I’m doing right now more, maybe, than I thought. If the right situation presented itself, I would definitely be interested. There’s no utopia, if you will when it comes to teams, but if I felt like it was the right situation, I would have an interest in that. That all being said, that could come in a year, that could come in two years. In the meantime, you get immersed in what you’re currently doing right now. You want to be good at it and not just doing it, so I’ve just been focused on that.
“But I said this over the weekend that this weekend’s game versus Tampa was the first time that I had some version of FOMO. I was jealous of everyone that was there, including random Bruce Arians on the sideline.”
Cowboys Work Out a Trio of QBs
With Dak Prescott sidelined for the foreseeable future, Cooper Rush and Will Grier (practice squad) are the only two quarterbacks in the building. So, Dallas held workouts for three quarterbacks on Wednesday, according to Wednesday’s NFL personnel notice. Case Cookus, J’Mar Smith, and Reid Sinnett were the signal callers that the Cowboys took a look at.
Cookus has spent time with the Giants, Broncos, Vikings, and Raiders. He also played for the Philadelphia Stars of the USFL. Smith is another USFL vet (Birmingham Stallions) who spent time in the NFL (New England), and Sinnett has spent time with Tampa, Miami, and Philly.
If any of the three lands with Dallas, they’ll be depth additions for the practice squad until Dak returns.
Aidan Hutchison Dealing With Injury
Lions pass rusher Aidan Hutchison is dealing with a hamstring injury that kept him out of Detroit’s practice on Wednesday. The Lions’ second-overall pick in the 2022 NFL Draft logged three sacks in the first half of the Lions’ win over Washington last Sunday.
Kenny Golladay Confused by Lack of Snaps
The Kenny Golladay drama in the Meadowlands continues this week with Golladay telling SNY that he disagrees with the lack of snaps coming his way and said he “came here to play.” Regarding the two snaps that Golladay saw on Sunday, he said that he “didn’t like the decision whatsoever.”
Golladay, who signed a four-year, $72 million deal with the Giants prior to the 2021 season caught 37 passes for 521 yards last year.
More from Golladay on the lack of playing time:
“I’m preparing like I’m going to be playing, but who knows,” Golladay said. “The GM, head coach, all these coaches keep saying, ‘you do everything right; you handle yourself the right way.’ It’s a little confusing.”
When asked whether or not he might demand a trade if the situation stays the same, Golladay said that “there’s a lot of football left” and that he’s not going to “get into all that” at this point.
- Steelers safety Damontae Kazee has been suspended three games for violating the NFL’s substance abuse policy. Kazee was placed on injured reserve with a wrist injury ahead of Week 1.
- After Joe Flacco turned back the clock with a solid performance against the Cleveland Browns this week, the Jets are now 1-1 and a little closer to getting Zach Wilson back. Ian Rapoport reported on Wednesday that the Jets are eyeing a Week 4 return for Wilson.
- The Browns will be without Jadeveon Clowney when they take on the Pittsburgh Steelers tonight on Thursday Night Football.
- The NFL was not happy with the extracurricular activities between the Buccaneers and Saints this past weekend, and it sent a memo to Bruce Arians to let him know that there will not be any more of that kind of behavior tolerated by the league. Mike Evans was suspended (and the suspension was upheld on Wednesday) for this Sunday’s game against the Packers for what the NFL deemed instigating behavior in the melee between the two sides.
- The Raiders added some help on the offensive line, trading for Patriots tackle Justin Herron on Wednesday.
- Here are the NFL’s Players of the Week for Week 2:
- Rams tight end Bryce Hopkins has also been suspended for three games for violating the league’s substance abuse policy, according to the NFL’s personnel report released Wednesday. Hopkins can return to the Rams roster on October 10 after the Rams’ Week 5 contest with the Cowboys.
- The 49ers are brining in some help in the backfield, adding Marlon Mack to the active roster as they deal with injuries to Elijah Mitchell and Tyrion Davis-Price.
- Jameis Winston is dealing with an ankle and back injury this week: