Player News

Date: Team: Pos:

The St. Paul Pioneer Press' Chris Tomasson reports Vikings FS Harrison Smith has a Grade 3 high-ankle sprain and may miss the remainder of the season.

A Grade 3 high-ankle sprain is the worst kind of sprained ankle one can endure. Surgery isn't out of the question, but for now the Vikings are taking it week to week, according to Tomasson. Smith has been battling the ankle issue all season long but keeps aggravating it. He's done so at least three times now and was on crutches after last Thursday night's loss to the Cowboys.
Dec 6 - 10:49 PM

Rams signed GM Les Snead to a two-year extension through 2018.

As we noted over the weekend, both coach Jeff Fisher and Snead received extensions before the season. Fisher was hired in 2012 and handpicked Snead as his right-hand man. It's anyone's guess as to how much control Snead actually has over the roster, but the two definitely work hand-in-hand. Fisher deserves much more blame for the Rams' lack of progress, but the Snead-Fisher regime has whiffed on a ton of draft picks despite having 16 top-75 picks over the past five drafts. They also handed Tavon Austin one of the worst contracts in recent memory this summer, giving him a four-year, $42 million extension in August. Snead and Fisher are tied at the hip. If one goes, the other will likely join him.
Dec 6 - 9:15 PM

Colts OLB Robert Mathis (biceps) believes he has a "good shot" at returning for Week 14.

Mathis describes his injury as a "minor tear." Mathis hasn't been making a huge impact this season, but the Colts' undermanned defense will take all the help it can get.
Dec 6 - 7:01 PM

The NFL has told the Cowboys suspended DE Randy Gregory won't be allowed to return to practice on Wednesday.

Gregory's status is confusing, but he's apparently suspended through Week 15. It's unclear if a new ban will then kick in. What we do know is that Gregory probably won't be playing football any time soon.
Dec 6 - 6:58 PM

Free agent RB Bernard Pierce worked out for the Broncos on Tuesday.

The Broncos went with Justin Forsett instead. Pierce has struggled even for workouts after being cut by the Jets in mid-August.
Dec 6 - 6:02 PM

Free agent QBs T.J. Yates and Sean Renfree worked out for the Broncos on Tuesday.

The Broncos have expressed optimism on Trevor Siemian's (foot) Week 14 status, but this indicates a level of concern. Yates broke into the league with coach Gary Kubiak, and would be a sensible one-week emergency option behind Paxton Lynch and Austin Davis.
Dec 6 - 6:00 PM

NFL suspended Packers DT Mike Pennel four games for violating the league's substance-abuse policy.

Pennel had been facing a 10-game ban, but sued the league over a technicality. This is the settlement. It's Pennel's second four-game suspension of 2016. The run stopper can return for the playoffs if the Packers qualify. Pennel will be a restricted free agent in the offseason.
Dec 6 - 5:24 PM

Seahawks signed S Jeron Johnson.

He'll provide depth at the back end of the defense with Earl Thomas on injured reserve. A 2011 UDFA, Johnson spent 2011-14 with the Seahawks, so he knows coach Pete Carroll's system well.
Dec 6 - 5:20 PM

Ryan Fitzpatrick has been benched.

Bryce Petty will start the final four games of the season after coming on in relief of "FitzMagic" on Monday evening. It appears second-rounder Christian Hackenberg will be the next man up if Petty gets injured. Fitzpatrick was legitimately good in 2015, but reverted to his old ways this season, playing an absurd brand of streetball that resulted in far too many turnovers. Fitz thinks he's Brett Favre, but he's really a poor man's Chad Pennington. Now 34, Fitz should be a useful backup/spot starter for someone in 2017, but it's extremely unlikely he will enter Week 1 with a starting job.
Dec 6 - 4:52 PM

The Jets have no plans to play No. 51 overall pick Christian Hackenberg down the stretch.

The second-rounder will only see playing time if Bryce Petty gets hurt. A team with quarterback problems would normally try to contrive any possible reason to get a second-rounder on the field, but Hackenberg isn't close to ready. It's quite possible he never will be. Hackenberg was a bad player in college, and an immense stretch as a day-two pick.
Dec 6 - 4:38 PM

Bucs promoted WR Josh Huff from the practice squad.

Chip Kelly's teacher's pet is a special teams ace, but could be thrust into snaps on offense considering how thin Tampa's receiver corps has become. Huff was waived by the Eagles last month after being busted for drunk driving.
Dec 6 - 4:10 PM

Texans CB Johnathan Joseph has been diagnosed with two cracked ribs and a bruised lung.

It would seem Joseph is doubtful for Sunday's critical divisional showdown with the Colts. Now 32, Joseph has remained a near every-down player this season, and is a critical part of the Texans' solid pass defense. His absence would be a huge break for the Colts.
Dec 6 - 4:05 PM

The Detroit Free Press doesn't believe Dwayne Washington's ankle injury is serious.

Specifically, it's "not too serious." It's good news, but the Lions still covered their bases Tuesday by signing Joique Bell. Perhaps he's avoided a high-ankle sprain, but Washington is looking mighty questionable for Sunday's game against the Bears. If Washington sits, Zach Zenner should be the Lions' primary option between the tackles.
Dec 6 - 3:57 PM

NFL suspended Colts ILB D'Qwell Jackson four games for violating the league's policy on performance-enhancing substances.

No word yet on whether Jackson is claiming it was Adderall. The suspension runs through the end of the season. Jackson has not been performing at a high level, but it's a big blow all the same. Jackson is an every-down player for a team with zero depth to speak of. The Colts will have to mix and match as they try to eke out a playoff berth in the soft AFC South. Jackson would be eligible to return for the postseason if the Colts qualify.
Dec 6 - 3:49 PM

Raiders SS Karl Joseph's injury is to his left big toe.

Someone "fell on it" in Sunday's win over the Bills. Joseph thinks he has a "shot" to suit up Thursday night against the Chiefs, but it's sounding very unlikely. Nate Allen is the next man up on the depth chart.
Dec 6 - 3:43 PM



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