Washington Redskins interim coach Bill Callahan told reporters Wednesday that left tackle Trent Williams did not pass his physical today and was unable to practice due to "discomfort with his helmet and the fitting of it."
Callahan said that the team will take Williams' situation day by day, adding that he believes the discomfort from the helmet stems from Williams' offseason surgery to remove a growth on his head.
"I don't know all the specifics yet, but all I know is that the helmet, he wasn't comfortable," Callahan said. "A little discomfort in there. I'm sure it would be a part of the acclimation period of getting him back on the field. That was where it was going to begin."
Williams ended his season-long holdout on Tuesday following the NFL's trade deadline and was reported to be at the team facility Wednesday morning.
Confusion about Williams' health status emerged Wednesday as NFL Network Insider Ian Rapaport was told by team sources that Williams' medical visit went well and he was healthy enough to practice. But that turned out not to be the case when Callahan met with reporters hours later and said Williams helmet was causing issues leading to the failed physical.
When asked if Williams would need a specialized helmet, Callahan said: "I'm going to leave that to the trainers and the doctors and the equipment manager, and see if they can all get together and formulate a plan of action and go forward from there."
Callahan said he did not currently have a timeline for when Williams will be tested again, but he said that he is "hopeful" that Williams will be able to play this season.
"I've got a lot of respect for Trent, and what he's achieved here and what he's done," Callahan said. "I look at it through the eyes of the player. I've seen the sacrifices that he's made. The work that he's put in when he's here and playing. He's one of the more elite offensive linemen I've ever had the privilege to coach, and I've been fortunate to have been around a lot of them. He has all the ingredients, tools, traits, whatever you want to call it, he has that. He has that makeup, he has that skill set to be really good in this league, and he has been. He's proved that."
The Redskins announced Wednesday they've been given a roster exemption for Williams. He will not take up a spot on the 53-man roster while the exemption is in place.
Arena Football One has shut down all local business operations and services for all six of its teams, potentially signifying the end of one of the longest-running indoor football operations in the United States due to financial difficulties.
In a statement released Tuesday, the league office said it is still searching for ways to continue operations in the future, but also acknowledged it is laying off employees.
"These closures have resulted in the elimination of various staff positions and is a direct consequence of the current financial constraints facing the AFL, which include extensive legacy liabilities and a recent multimillion dollar litigation filed against the league by an insurance carrier that provided coverage for the AFL between 2009 and 2012," the league said in a statement. "Those liabilities, which are all related to prior league operations, severely constrain the league's ability to expand and operate."
The litigation that spurred the move was filed against Arena Football One by National Union Fire Insurance Company two weeks ago in New York Supreme Court in an effort to compel arbitration, alleging the league did not pay insurance premiums when National Union was the insurer from 2009 to 2012.
The suit alleges Arena Football One owes National Union over $2.4 million.
If the petition of arbitration is declined by a court, National Union has requested it be viewed as a complaint for breach of contract by the court, potentially leading to a lawsuit. The next appearance date for the petition is Dec. 18.
Six teams remained in Arena Football One for the 2020 season: Albany, Atlantic City, Baltimore, Columbus, Philadelphia and Washington.
The Arena Football League was initially founded in 1987, but financial issues forced it to suspend operations in 2009. It returned as Arena Football One, a rebranding that promoted a more modest economic model, the following year. It was so successful at one point that it created a developmental league, af2, which ended up in more minor league markets throughout the United States.
It also spawned several smaller, less-successful leagues that crop up around the United States yearly.
It was a league known for big-name owners, including for a time Jerry Jones, Lynn Swann, Gene Simmons of the band KISS, Motley Crue's Vince Neil and rock star Jon Bon Jovi. It's also known for launching the career of eventual Hall of Famer Kurt Warner. Ex-Washington coach Jay Gruden was also an Arena League alum.
Teams cycled in and out of the league throughout its existence, and it had as many as 19 teams during its heyday in the 2000s until the first play stoppage after the 2008 season.
The league is still holding out hope it can continue in some form in the future, perhaps this season.
"The AFL will continue to push ahead with efforts to identify solutions to address the aforementioned financial constraints," the statement released by the league said. "We have not yet made the final determination that it will be necessary to suspend all league operations, but we expect that decision to be made within the next few weeks.
"Should we not be able to move forward, we will issue information about all applicable refunds at that time. We are exploring every possible avenue to continue bringing AFL football to our fans, including further evolutions to the current business model, and are engaging with prospective investors and supports who are interested in seeing the league continue to grow."
Arena Football One is the second well-known minor league football outfit to shut its doors this year. The Alliance of American Football, which began its first season in February, shuttered midway through the season in April because of financial concerns.
The XFL, another outdoor startup league financed by WWE chairman/CEO Vince McMahon, is scheduled to begin play in February.
- JJ Watt Done for the year with a Torn Pec.
- Redskins want to trade Josh Norman and Trent Williams (Finally). I think they will have trouble dumping Norman and it will be interesting to see what they can get for Williams this late in the trading season. Rumor is that the Buc's are also willing to part with OJ Howard for a 1st rounder as well.
- Leonard Williams was traded from the Jets to the Giants for a 3rd and a 5th that goes to a 4th if the Giants resign Williams at the end of the year. Williams is expected to get $10 million in free agency next year so he'd get the Giants a 3rd round compensatory selection if he walks. This is the first ever trade between the Giants and Jets so it is historic.
- Teams are trying to get Hopkins from the Texans but it will cost.
- Kenyan Drake is now a Cardinal. The Dolphins also traded the hot dog vendor in section 32 to the Packers for a parking attendant to be named later.
- I would expect to see a trade or two coming out of the Bengals and Broncos in the next 24 hours as both teams look towards the draft to solve their problems.
- MNF Mic'D Up Segment Is In Trouble: Both the Steelers and the Dolphins declined to participate in ESPN’s Monday Night Football “Mic’d Up” segment this week after a controversy last week when Jets quarterback Sam Darnold wore a microphone and was shown saying he was “seeing ghosts” in an ugly loss to the Patriots. “The ‘Monday Night Mic’d’ segment won’t be part of the Dolphins-Steelers game. We approached both teams but they declined. We are already pursuing options for next week’s game,” ESPN said in a statement to John Ourand of Sports Business Journal. ESPN still plans to have players “Mic’d Up” in the future, just as long as they can find players who are willing to do it. Jets coach Adam Gase said after last week’s game that he’ll be hesitant to allow the Jets to participate in the future, and the Steelers and Dolphins may be showing that other teams figure there’s nothing to gain from it.
- Bears will stick with Mitch T, so expect another L.
- And Bill Belichick has walked back his comments about not coaching into his 70s, so the league has that to look forward to. Bill is currently 67.
SUNDAY, OCT. 27
Seattle Seahawks vs Atlanta Falcons
1 p.m. ET (FOX) | Mercedes-Benz Stadium (Atlanta)
It's remarkable that the NFL's second-most efficient passing attack is primarily built on D.K. Metcalf's three routes and improvisations between Russell Wilson and Tyler Lockett. It's even more remarkable that it should be plenty against a Falcons pass defense that sinks lower and plays softer by the week. This Falcons roster isn't that different or that much worse on paper than the one that made the Super Bowl, but the book is out on how to beat them, and coach Dan Quinn is out of counter moves. I'm not even sure these Seahawks are that good -- they've won once decisively, lost twice decisively and prevailed in four nail-biters. This isn't the week we're going to find out how good they are, however, whether Matt Ryan plays or not.
Indianapolis Colts vs Denver Broncos
1 p.m. ET (CBS) | Lucas Oil Stadium (Indianapolis)
The Colts have yet to win or lose a game by more than one score, with this week marking a prime opportunity for their first comfortable win. The Broncos' white flag trade of Emmanuel Sanders to the 49ers indicates that John Elway is already looking to 2020 despite playing a quarterback whose supporters mostly look to 2012. That doesn't mean they'll get blown out. The Colts' defense played with more cohesion a week ago with Justin Houston, Jabaal Sheard, Denico Autry and Darius Leonard finally all playing together on a sound front seven. Still, this isn't a playmaking group, and the weekly growth in Jacoby Brissett's game doesn't mean the Colts will score 30 most games. Look for a lot of long, slow drives by both teams and a close Colts win, same as it ever was.
Tennessee Titans vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers
1 p.m. ET (FOX) | Nissan Stadium (Nashville, Tenn.)
Ryan Tannehill played the best game by a Titans quarterback all season in his first start of the year. He actually attempted tight-window throws against the Chargers, allowing Tennessee's underrated wideouts (hello, A.J. Brown!) to make the plays they are capable of. That's especially relevant this week against a Bucs defense that stuffs the run, but is among the league's worst at defending mid-range passes. Titans defensive coordinator Dean Pees and his veteran secondary, on the other hand, are experts at confusing the league's lesser, mistake-prone quarterbacks. Who knew that the final answer to the Marcus Mariota-Jameis Winston debate would turn out to be Ryan Tannehill?
New Orleans Saints vs Arizona Cardinals
1 p.m. ET (CBS) | Mercedes-Benz Superdome (New Orleans)
The plan is for Drew Brees to return on Sunday. Whether the Saints could win the game without him is irrelevant: Drew Brees plays if he's ready, no matter how many Twitter hot-take lemmings with zero medical information think the team should save him until after the bye week. Teddy Bridgewater left on a high note, but it seems unfair for Brees to miss out any longer on the support of the best Saints defense and offensive tackle tandem of his career. When Marshon Lattimore shuts down Larry Fitzgerald on Sunday, whom will Kyler Murray have left to throw to?
Los Angeles Rams vs Cincinnati Bengals
1 p.m. ET (CBS) | Wembley Stadium (London)
Let's hope that the Rams' win in Atlanta allows Sean McVay to build on what his team does well. That is playing with tempo and throwing the ball with abandon to three excellent wide receivers. That is not handing it off to Todd Gurley, who doesn't even try to make defenders miss in the secondary when he has a chance for a big play. I want to see more of rookie runner Darrell Henderson and I suspect Rams coaches agree. The good thing this week is everything should work for Los Angeles vs. Bengals coach Zac Taylor in his Rams reunion. While Cincy's had awful injury luck, Taylor is reaching depths on both sides of the ball that Marvin Lewis never saw in his 16 seasons at the helm.
Philadelphia Eagles vs Buffalo Bills
1 p.m. ET (FOX) | New Era Field (Orchard Park, N.Y.)
The Eagles' three-game road swing is shaping up as a season-crushing disaster if they can't win in Buffalo. If they can't stop the run and play mediocre up front on offense, what is their identity? Philadelphia keeps cutting players a day after starting them (Zach Brown, Orlando Scandrick) and benching once-promising options like Sidney Jones. These are signs of a team in tumult. Facing Josh Allen should help the Eagles' sagging secondary, although the Bills have done a credible job staying aggressive with the pass despite Allen's uneven play. Allen's running ability also helps the Bills stay second in red-zone touchdown percentage. This is a coin-flip game, but I'm taking Philly because a team that trails in the fourth quarter at home to both the Bengals and Dolphins is overdue to get picked off.
Los Angeles Chargers vs Chicago Bears
1 p.m. ET (FOX) | Soldier Field (Chicago)
Nearly everything Chargers defensive coordinator Gus Bradley has tried this season hasn't worked. The same is true for Bears offensive guru Matt Nagy, who is still looking for his first 300-yard game. Something has to give in a matchup of teams that are hoping they've already hit bottom but won't know until Sunday. At least the Chargers finally have some good injury news. Left tackle Russell Okung will return against a Bears defense that hasn't looked the same without Akiem Hicks. Pass rusher Melvin Ingram returned to practice and could help Joey Bosa, who is coming off his best game in an impressive season. With Hunter Henry balling out each week, the Chargers are inching closer to resembling the team they arrived in camp with. I don't trust Chicago whatsoever as a heavy home favorite because the offensive problems go far beyond injuries.
Detroit Lions vs New York Giants
1 p.m. ET (FOX) | Ford Field (Detroit)
The promise of the unknown often exceeds reality. Daniel Jones' numbers (6 touchdowns, 7 picks, 5 fumbles lost, 18 sacks taken) look Eli-esque after five starts, with his glorious debut getting further in the rearview mirror. The Giants' offense is averaging 12 points per game since that Bucs win, with Jones' worst performance coming last week after finally getting Saquon Barkley and Evan Engram on the field together. The Lions' season also looked a lot more fun before losing running back Kerryon Johnson to injured reserve and allowing at least 430 yards for three straight bend-but-also-break games. That leaves me with the one known positive in this game as the decisive outcome: Matthew Stafford throwing glorious deep passes to his Inspector Gadget-like wideouts.
Jacksonville Jaguars vs New York Jets
1 p.m. ET (CBS) | TIAA Bank Field (Jacksonville, Fla.)
The Jaguars' defense has fallen off, especially without Jalen Ramsey. But defensive coordinator Todd Wash and his front-line trio of Calais Campbell, Josh Allen and Yannick Ngakoue are not the ideal opponents for a Jets offense struggling to protect. Offensive line play starts with coaching, and is boosted by quarterbacks who recognize where pressure is coming from and get rid of the ball. It's safe to say that's not the strength of Sam Darnold or Adam Gase's staff right now, and the Jaguars defense should set up Gardner Minshew with some short fields. If they get to 4-4, the Jaguars' looming quarterback decision will get a little tougher.
San Francisco 49ers vs Carolina Panthers
4:05 p.m. ET (FOX) | Levi's Stadium (Santa Clara, Calif.)
I'm not picking against the 49ers until this potentially historic defensive line faces a quality front or a veteran quarterback able to mitigate their awesome power. Panthers coordinator Norv Turner is nothing if not resourceful, but he isn't working with either. Carolina's offensive line hasn't communicated or protected well all season, a problem exacerbated by playing a green quarterback like Kyle Allen. In a battle of creatively schemed running games, it's been wise to give the edge to the team coached by a Shanahan for roughly the last 35 years.
Houston Texans vs Oakland Raiders
4:25 p.m. ET (CBS) | NRG Stadium (Houston)
The Raiders are eighth in offensive efficiency despite using Trevor Davis, Keelan Doss and Hunter Renfrow as their top three receivers with Tyrell Williams still out. That's a testament to Josh Jacobs, Jon Gruden's play-calling and an offensive line that could be the league's best when Trent Brown returns. Facing the Texans' defense is no longer a tough matchup. J.J. Watt remains elite, but Whitney Mercilus is fading while being asked to play nearly every snap. The already-shaky Houston secondary will now feature Raiders cornerback Gareon Conley, last seen getting toasted in Green Bay last weekend before one of the most disrespectful trades ever. ("Here's our player: Use him against us Sunday, please.") I can't pick a Raiders upset when Deshaun Watson is playing the best ball of his career, but I can pick a closer, higher-scoring shootout than the consensus expects.
New England Patriots vs Cleveland Browns
4:25 p.m. ET (CBS) | Gillette Stadium (Foxborough, Mass.)
The Baker Mayfield-Odell Beckham Jr. connection has underwhelmed through six games. OBJ is averaging 8.1 yards per target, significantly less than that of Jarvis Landry or even Ricky Seals-Jones. That's a result of poor timing from the duo, poor throws from Mayfield and a surprising amount of catchable passes Beckham hasn't come down with. I'm fascinated to see how Freddie Kitchens and Mayfield will attempt to fix the issue in Foxborough, especially with Beckham likely to draw Stephon Gilmore plenty. New England's heavy press-man-coverage approach should be susceptible to big plays, but the Pats haven't faced an offense explosive enough to take advantage of their aggression. This Browns offense is fully capable of spiking for one week and resetting expectations after a shaky start, but I don't trust their coaches, players or defense to handle all the situational-football pressure Bill Belichick and Tom Brady apply in a surprising thriller.
Green Bay Packers vs Kansas City Chiefs
8:20 p.m. ET (NBC) | Arrowhead Stadium (Kansas City, Mo.)
Green Bay's continued offensive ascent in this new era of Peak Aaron Rodgers does not. I don't believe the Chiefs defense is fixed because of one great night in Denver, although the return to practice of defensive tackle Chris Jones this week is promising. Blitzing Rodgers every snap like the Chiefs did to Joe Flacco last week won't work, but Andy Reid relying on his three-headed rushing attack against a Packers defense that is increasingly porous on the ground could give Matt Moore a fighting chance. To put it another way: The NFL should allow games to be flexed into future weeks just to avoid missing the only Mahomes-Rodgers matchup on schedule until 2023.
UPDATE: The Chiefs announced on Friday that Mahomes and Jones will not play on Sunday.
MONDAY, OCT. 28
Pittsburgh Steelers vs Miami Dolphins
8:15 p.m. ET (ESPN) | Heinz Field (Pittsburgh)
If the Steelers don't allow Mason Rudolph to throw the ball past the line of scrimmage against one of the worst defenses of the last 30 years, it may never happen. Then again, it may not be necessary. James Conner finally looked like his 2018 self in Pittsburgh's win before the bye and T.J. Watt's All-Pro play should cover up Stephon Tuitt's season-ending injury for now. Steelers fans -- and beat writers -- are surprisingly optimistic about this team's playoff chances, a sanguine narrative that should survive another week.
As we all know, the Patriots cheat. All of the time. Bill likes to manipulate the rules so he can show that he knows them better than everyone else.
Josh Gordon's designation to injured reserve earlier this week was a bit of a surprise. Having a serious injury that required weeks or even month of recovery is what typically merits placement on IR. But not for Josh Gordon, who reportedly was on track to be fully recovered from his lingering injury soon. It was also discovered that Gordon would then be released from the team once he had fully recovered, allowing any team in the league to try and coerce Gordon to their organization.
Something didn't add up. It still doesn't.
But as Patriots head coach Bill Belichick explained during his Friday morning press conference, the decision to place Gordon on IR came down to two factors: 1) his health 2) roster management.
"That's a conversation for later," Belichick said when asked if the team would part ways with Gordon once he is healthy. "He's not healthy right now."
"Look, we're not going to carry 10 receivers...at some point, something has to happen," said Belichick when asked if N'Keal Harry's potential addition played a part in Gordon's designation.
While seven is the exact number of wide receivers the Patriots would have had - assuming Harry is back soon and Gordon was still on the active roster - that's still a larger amount of receivers than New England typically likes to carry at this point in the season. Offensive line in particular is a position that could use a few more heads this year, so carrying a bevy of wideouts isn't smart if you're trying to manage the roster correctly.
The Patriots will now roll on with a WR room that includes Julian Edelman, Mohamed Sanu, Phillip Dorsett, Jakobi Meyers, Gunner Olszewski, and hopefully N'Keal Harry when is eligible to return after Week 9.
Dave here. The free version of Weebly, which we use, only allows people with "Moderator" status to post articles, our regular members cannot post anything, as they could with Disqus. Right now, the only people who can post any content are nhguy, Landsnark and myself. nhguy and I have been talking, and we both feel like we could use some help.
As such, the entire Chatters network of sites is looking for additional contributors. This includes NFL Chatters, NCAA Chatters, Patriots Place, MLB Chatters and Garbage-Time.
You wouldn't be expected to post threads on every single Chatters site, you could focus on one subject if you like. We are looking for 2-4 additional people at this time. If you would like to volunteer, we will need your email address, so contact the address found in the "Contact Us" link at the top of the page with your Disqus name, the Disqus ID (the bit with the ampersand) and email address. (Please don't publish your email in a Disqus comment, unless you want everyone in the community to have it.)
No article, just my thoughts on a few NFL related subjects. - Dave
1. I have seen multiple articles over the last few days state that Tom Brady is preparing to "move on" from the New England Patriots, based on things Adam Schefter said in the NFL Pregame show before their MNF game against the Jets.
“Let’s boil this down to the basic facts once again, let’s look at some simple things: Has he put his home for sale? Yes. Has his trainer put his home for sale? Yes. Has he set up his contract to void after this season to become a free agent? Yes. So, if he’s selling his home and his trainer is selling his home and he’s voiding his contract? What does that tell you? He’s setting up to move on.”
OK. And? I guess this really depends on what we mean by "moving on". Tom Brady is 42 years old. Schefter wants us to look at some "simple things". Well, the simple explanation is that while these "facts" COULD theoretically mean Brady is playing on exploring Free Agency, it's much more likely, at least it seems to me, that he has decided to hang it up after this season, Super Bowl or not.
Why on God's green Earth would a future HOF QB who is going to be 43 before the next season starts, who has only ever known success in New England, with multiple Super Bowl rings, EVER want to start over with a new team? It makes no sense at all. Players either sign with teams during free agency because of the money, or because they think it gives them a better chance at winning a title. Neither of which applies to Tom Brady. If Brady and the Patriots don't sign a contract extension, it's because Tom informed Bob Kraft he was done. PERIOD.
2. The Detroit Lions just traded Safety Quandre Diggs and a 7th rounder to Seattle for a 5th rounder.
Lots of Detroit Lions fans and players are pissed about this...but I am not one of them. Diggs was a really good safety. WAS. This year though, he has been absolutely useless. He also carries a fairly heavy salary cap number for being so useless. The Lions freed up cap space by getting rid of a player who isn't performing.
3. Detroit Lions RB Kerryon Johnson is going on IR, dammit. I'm gonna be honest...this whole balanced attack thing Detroit was gonna do under new OC Bevell was kind of dependent on Kerryon being healthy. The Lions depth at RB is not great. Rather than try to pretend they are still going for balance, by running the ball for 1 yard gains multiple times a game, I say fuck it. Your star RB is gone, time to let your star QB have some fun. Don't even pretend you aren't one dimensional, revel in it. Make it your goal to get Matt Stafford 5,000 passing yards and 50 TDs. Just air that shit out.
4. Two, if not three former Heisman trophy winning QBs will be out of a job with their current teams by the end of the year. Looking at you, Jameis, Marcus and Cam...
5. Jim Harbaugh isn't jumping back to the NFL. These rumors pop up every year, it's old news.
Author of one of the NFL's most indelible images as he raced toward the end zone to score on a Super Bowl XI interception, Raiders legend and Pro Football Hall of Famer Willie Brown has passed away at the age of 78.
A cornerback who played 16 seasons -- four to begin his career with the Denver Broncos and the final 12 with the Raiders in Oakland -- Brown was a nine-time Pro Bowler, five-time All-Pro selection and 1984 Hall of Fame enshrinee.
Across a decorated career that saw him play in a pair of Super Bowls for the Raiders, Brown terrorized quarterbacks to the tune of 54 career interceptions. The mark currently sits in a tie for 21st all-time, with his 39 while playing for the franchise tied for tops in the team's history next to Lester Hayes.
There was no Brown interception and perhaps no other interception in NFL chronicle as memorable as his in Super Bowl XI, however. Brown perfectly read a pass into the flats and never looked back, sprinting along the opposing sideline as a close-up perfectly read his run to the end zone and immortality. It was the exclamation point of the Raiders' first Super Bowl title, an emphatic 32-14 win in the Rose Bowl that closed out a 16-1 season for Oakland and one of the most overlooked all-time great teams in league lore.
As memorable as the close-up and Brown's determined expression was, the call by Oakland play-by-play man Bill King made it an unforgettable moment in NFL history.
"He looks and throws ... intercepted by the Oakland Raiders Willie Brown at the 30, 40, 50 ... he's going all the way! ... Old Man Willie! ... Touchdown Raiders!" King bellowed.
The Patriots won easily against the Jets on Monday night and have a historically good point differential through seven games, but that’s not stopping them from making a move to add talent to the team.
According to multiple reports, the Patriots have agreed to a deal with the Falcons that will send wide receiver Mohamed Sanu to New England. Those reports peg the compensation going back to Atlanta as a second-round pick.
Sanu, who played at Rutgers with the McCourty brothers and Pats assistant Steve Belichick, has been mentioned as a potential Patriots trade target at other points in the past. He has 33 catches for 313 yards and a touchdown this year and caught at least 59 passes in each of his first three seasons with the Falcons.
He’s also thrown touchdown passes in the last two seasons and has thrown for four touchdowns over the course of a career that started in 2012. Such versatility is always prized in New England and Sanu’s consistency as a receiver should be welcome for a unit that’s had a lot of players on and off the roster at various points this year.