Flak jackets: they’re not just for war anymore.
Yes, though the National Football League is openly boastful of its attempts to “make the game safer," yet another one of its stars likely wouldn’t be able to play in Week 7 without the protection of a bullet-proof vest.
Like Tony Romo and Michael Vick before him, Trent Richardson (ribs) is planning to wear armor against the Colts, but also somehow insists he’s currently pain-free.
"In my mind I'm ready for Sunday," Richardson said. "I'll be ready to play whole game. … I don’t feel (any pain) right now. It’s day to day, though. I’m feeling pretty good.”
Richardson is clearly going to play, but if the bullet-proof vest is any indication — again, something most famous for, you know, stopping bullets — he’s not going to be anywhere near 100 percent.
Thankfully, that might not matter against a run defense that just allowed one of the flukiest performances of the season. With six teams on bye, Richardson can still be penciled in as an RB1 despite his need for a flak jacket.
In A Jam With Jimmy
Alas, no bullet-proof vest can cure what ails Jimmy Graham. And what’s ailing Graham is beginning to sound like a high-ankle sprain.
It appeared Graham had avoided a dreaded high-sprain when he managed to play through his ankle injury in New Orleans’ Week 5 win over the Chargers, but the fact that he wasn’t able to practice Wednesday coming off the Saints’ bye week is an exceedingly poor sign.
Interim-interim coach Aaron Kromer said Graham looked good working on the side, but he wouldn’t have been working on the side had he made the kind of progress he needs to make to be full-go this weekend.
It’s too early to rule Graham out for Week 7, but what once looked like a slam dunk in him playing is now a 20-foot jumper that’s still in the air and could easily miss. Graham’s status will be updated this afternoon.
Bowe’s K.C. Days Gone With The Wind?
Kansas City: it’s a land of wonder. However, it’s considerably less awesome if you’re playing under the franchise tag for an awful team with question marks at coach, GM and quarterback that’s made no effort to sign you to a long-term extension.
That’s why it's hardly surprising that Dwayne Bowe reportedly wants out of the Paris of the Plains, and "very badly" at that.
Yahoo’s Jason Cole sort of hinted (but sort of didn’t) that the Chiefs and Dolphins are mulling a possible swap. Stocked with both an extra second- and third-round pick in next spring’s draft thanks to the Vontae Davis and Brandon Marshall trades, the Dolphins have more than enough ammunition to make a big-time move.
It’s just that these sorts of trades almost never happen in the NFL, let alone in the middle of the season. Trading Bowe would make a great deal of sense for the Chiefs. He has no desire to re-sign, and he’d cost a fortune under a second franchise tag.
But barring a Carson Palmer-level desperation offer, they’ll likely wait things out until the offseason, where their front-office picture should achieve clarity and things can be more thoroughly thought out. Tagging Bowe ahead of a trade is perhaps the most likely course of action.
Garcon Not Close To A Return?
Things have gone from bad to worse for Pierre Garcon, who essentially went from being a last-minute scratch for Sunday’s loss to out indefinitely.
"We're going to hopefully give him a little time, get that thing healed," coach Mike Shanahan said Wednesday. "How long it'll take, I don't know: one, two days, two, three weeks, I really don't know. But he's a tough guy."
Garcon can be safely ruled out for Week 7, but it’s Week 8 and beyond that’s the question. Garcon admits he initially rushed back too quickly, and like Greg Jennings, he could now find himself sitting for weeks as a slow-healing injury crawls toward 100 percent. Owners need to be prepared for another month of questions about their would-be WR3.
The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel’s Bob McGinn asked a scout a question: for both the near and long term, whom would you prefer at quarterback? Matthew Stafford, Jay Cutler or Sam Bradford?
His answer? Bradford. It’s a surprise, of course. Bradford’s star has dimmed considerably since his excellent rookie campaign. However, his play has also improved dramatically on his lost 2011.
He’s standing taller in the pocket, learning to live without Danny Amendola and has as many touchdowns through six games this season as he did in 10 in 2011.
How much Bradford’s awful offensive line, shoddy receiver corps and carousel of offensive coordinators has permanently stunted his development remains to be seen. But the elite arm talent is still there. Hold Bradford in your Dynasty league.
Running Back Quick Slants: Ahmad Bradshaw missed Giants practice with a recurrence of his long-time foot issues. He’ll supposedly be back this afternoon, but it’s a wake-up call for any owner who wasn’t buying the “sell-high” talk. … Rashard Mendenhall (Achilles) didn’t practice. Mendenhall is supposedly day-to-day, but he’s already trending toward a game-time decision. … Brandon Bolden (knee) was held out of Wednesday’s practice. His status is very much a concern. … DeMarco Murray (foot) didn’t practice, and almost certainly won’t play Sunday. … Adrian Peterson (ankle) was held out as a pure precaution.
Quarterback/Receiver/Tight End Quick Slants: Aaron Rodgers (calf) was limited in Wednesday’s practice, but is in no danger of missing Sunday’s game. … Brandon Lloyd (shoulder) is absent from the Week 7 injury report. Life under Bill Belichick: limited when you’re fine, absent from the injury report when you’re nicked. … Laurent Robinson (concussions) still isn’t practicing. … Jerome Simpson (back) was a full-go, and is on track to return Sunday. … Mario Manningham (shoulder) is questionable for tonight’s game, but expected to play. … Martellus Bennett (knee) is absent from the injury report. … Jake Locker (shoulder) resumed practicing, but won’t return until Week 8 at the earliest.
Depressing Stat of the Week: Tom Brady has more rushing touchdowns than LeSean McCoy. Perhaps that’s a bigger issue than the departed Juan Castillo’s defensive scheme.