Upon Further Review: Carson Wentz's rise, Patrick Mahomes' interception woes and Brian Flores' head-scratching decisions
Carson Wentz seems to have found his stride in his last few games with the Colts, and Patrick Mahomes is seeking to get back in sync with the Chiefs.With performances that have helped Indianapolis win two of its last three games, Wentz more closely resembles the player that the coach Frank Reich recalled from their days together in Philadelphia when the quarterback ranked among the most promising young players in the NFL.
GREEN BAY – The Green Bay Packers made a low-risk gamble signing veteran Jaylon Smith to a minimum-wage deal on Oct. 7, hoping to see if the former Dallas Cowboys standout had anything left and could help strengthen the defense and the locker room culture.
Four weeks later, the Packers have pulled the plug on the tryout.
The Packers informed Smith on Tuesday that he was being released, a person with knowledge of the move told the USA TODAY Network, confirming an ESPN report that first broke the news. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to disclose personnel moves before they became official.
Bucs DT Vita Vea's high school RB highlight video is a must-watch
Vea played at Milpitas High School in Northern California and served as a running back and defensive lineman. As a senior, he rushed 47 times for 578 yards and 11 touchdowns. He had 19 sacks, according to his MaxPreps page. It makes you wonder why they didn’t feed him the ball more based on how unstoppable he was!Vea played defensive line at Washington in college and with the Bucs. The 2018 No. 12 overall pick is listed at 6-foot-4 and 347 pounds. He must have put on a ton of weight upon arriving at Washington.
In the four games in which he was on the 53-man roster, Smith played in two of them and logged a total of 27 snaps. When he was inactive for the Arizona Cardinals game Thursday night, it led to speculation that he might not be around much longer.
The Packers have been doing well with De’Vondre Campbell as their No. 1 inside linebacker and Oren Burks and Krys Barnes sharing the No. 2 spot. Burks is better spreading out in space either to cut off outside runs or drop into coverage and Barnes is better playing between the tackles and defending against inside runs.
Green Bay Packers receiver Davante Adams tests positive for COVID-19, could miss key game vs. Cardinals
Wide receiver Davante Adams and defensive coordinator Joe Barry both tested positive for COVID-19 on Monday, possibly leaving them out for a key game.With just three days to prepare for a Thursday night game at the 7-0 Arizona Cardinals, the Packers learned that wide receiver Davante Adams and defensive coordinator Joe Barry likely won’t be attending the game because of COVID-19-related issues.
Video: Will the Cowboys take the top spot in the NFC? (Yahoo! Sports)
NFL'S BIGGEST DISAPPOINTMENTS: Chiefs, Browns among biggest letdowns in 2021
Besides probably feeling secure at the position, the Packers may soon need Smith’s roster spot.
With his release, they are at 50 players. It’s almost a certainty that wide receiver Davante Adams will be activated off the COVID-19 list this week, and it’s possible that left tackle David Bakhtiari will come off the physically unable to perform list and wide receiver Marquez Valdes-Scantling will be activated from injured reserve.
If all those things happen, the Packers will be at the roster limit of 53.
Valdes-Scantling (hamstring) practiced for the first time since the injury Monday and Bakhtiari (knee) has been practicing for the last two weeks. The Packers don’t have to make a decision on whether to activate them for the Kansas City game until Saturday.
Aaron Rodgers' reaction to hit on Thursday Night Football became an instant meme
Fox captured an instantly-memed shot of a bewildered Aaron Rodgers on the ground after getting hit (deemed roughing the passer) on a touchdown pass.But on that play, the first of Rodgers' two touchdown passes to Cobb on the night, the facial expression after Rodgers took a late hit (yes, it was called a roughing the passer penalty) had the internet on fire.
The Packers are still waiting to find out whether cornerback Jaire Alexander (shoulder) and outside linebacker Za’Darius Smith will be able to return this season. Both are on injured reserve.
Alexander has been rehabbing, and while the Packers are pleased with his progress, they won’t know for sure about his status until he is healed. Smith is coming off back surgery and after rehabbing at home rejoined the team this week. However, his return isn’t imminent, and he will have to be cleared by the medical staff before he can start practicing again.
30. Dolphins (29): They've got the worst defense in the league and have run the ball fewer than anyone else. So why do we keep asking Brian Flores about QB Tua Tagovailoa? Maybe it's time to broker a trade for Khalil Mack ... or at least Larry Csonka.
29. Jaguars (28): Dec. 15, 2019 -- the last time Jacksonville allowed fewer than 20 points. Oct. 27, 2019 -- the last time Jacksonville allowed fewer than 20 points at home.
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28. Jets (31): Count us among among those who owe QB Mike White an apology after assessing him among the league's worst backups. The question now is: How long will he remain among the league's starters?
25. Panthers (27): They currently find themselves in the NFC playoff field even though Carolina hasn't put together a good performance since September. Maybe new CB Stephon Gilmore can change that Sunday if he can provide sufficient dirt on the incoming Patriots.
23. Eagles (23): Two weeks ago, they ran the ball once before halftime. Sunday, they ran it 46 times with three guys getting at least a dozen carries. Guess which game they won ...
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22. Broncos (20): End of an era with a saddened Miller departing Denver. But the draft picks he returns -- a second- and third-rounder next year -- could be the currency Broncs need to make a run at (once again) addressing the quarterback position in a more significant manner.
19. Colts (17): Sunday delivered a crushing season sweep from Tennessee. Monday delivered news of Derrick Henry's injury and showed home games against the J-E-T-S and J-A-G-S next on the schedule. Way too early to count Indianapolis out.
18. Seahawks (22): The update on injured QB Russell Wilson? Per Russ himself, "No more pin. Time to Win." Update on the schedule? Seattle enters its bye week -- good timing for Wilson -- but heads to Lambeau Field on the other side. Tough place to win, pin or no.
17. Vikings (15): They keep getting close ... but aren't accruing sufficient cigars, even with all four losses by seven or fewer points. Matters won't get easier with DE Danielle Hunter down for the count with a torn pectoral muscle.
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16. Browns (14): In positive news, DE Myles Garrett is on pace to collect 22.3 sacks -- an impossible figure to achieve and also slightly shy of Michael Strahan's single-season record of 22.5. But if Garrett heats up, he just might get to 22.6.
14. Chiefs (13): Aside from continued failures to protect the ball or run it with much efficacy against a bad team, they looked great. Now let's see how that translates with Kansas City's next three against first-place teams (Green Bay, Las Vegas, Dallas) before the defending AFC champs arrive at a much-needed bye.
13. Titans (6): They've clawed their way to the AFC's best record. Unfortunately, without injured All-Pro RB Derrick Henry, it won't last. Tennessee has banked enough equity to hang on for another AFC South crown but hard to view this team as anything more than a one-and-done playoff squad.
12. Saints (12): They've clawed their way to within a half-game of the division lead and have a solid grip on the NFC's second wild card. Unfortunately, with turmoil under center in light of QB Jameis Winston's season-ending knee injury, such positioning will be tough to maintain. Best case, hard to view this team as anything more than a one-and-done playoff squad.
9. Patriots (21): It's a weird résumé, though one that's significantly improved with a 54-point outburst and road win over the Bolts in past two weeks. New England is also THIS close to a 7-1 record ... though it SHOULD be 7-4 once Week 12 and a date with some old friends from Tennessee rolls around.
8. Bengals (8): A defense that had been underrated all season then gives up its most points and yards of 2021 ... against the Jets. The NFL is inexplicable -- more so when you consider Cincinnati is just a few plays from being 8-0.
5. Cowboys (4): A burgeoning quarterback controversy threatens to tear this team ... kidding. Kidding. Dallas doesn't face a team with a winning record until Week 12 (Las Vegas) and should be commended for conservatively managing QB Dak Prescott's calf injury with the NFC East crown just about in the bag.
4. Buccaneers (3): Yes, bad loss to New Orleans, a team Tampa Bay can't beat -- when it doesn't really count for all that much. Whatever. The Bucs were also 6-2 at this point in 2020 and currently possess the league's No. 1 passing offense, most decorated quarterback and coolest head coach. They're fine ... and the week off will do the older guys some good.
3. Cardinals (1): The '72 Dolphins are safe ... and so, too, might some current teams be given Arizona has likely lost DE J.J. Watt (shoulder) and might not have the best version of Murray (ankle) or WR DeAndre Hopkins, whose hamstring limited him to 13 snaps in Week 8, for some time.
2. Packers (5): Since that 35-point loss in Week 1, Green Bay's won seven straight -- best in the league. And though losing TE Robert Tonyan to a knee injury is a blow, the Pack is getting key contributions from the likes of RB AJ Dillon and CB Rasul Douglas -- players who showed last week this team can also run the ball and play a little defense -- with All-Pro LT David Bakhtiari en route. Plenty of firepower around Rodgers going into his first showdown with fellow former MVP Patrick Mahomes.
1. Rams (2): Who's the best team in the NFL? Pick a name out of a hat, especially among the NFC's trio of 7-1 squads. However only one of them is leading the league in sacks (25), and that was before the acquisition of Denver OLB Von Miller, who has more career sacks (110.5) than anyone else in the NFL right now. And you can bet Tom Brady, Kyler Murray, Dak Prescott and Aaron Rodgers would rather try to outgun Los Angeles QB Matthew Stafford than hope to sidestep some combination of Miller, Aaron Donald and Leonard Floyd.
This article originally appeared on Packers News: Green Bay Packers release former Dallas Cowboys linebacker Jaylon Smith after two games
Prevea Health ends partnership with Aaron Rodgers following comments about COVID-19 vaccination .
Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers was dropped as spokesman of a health provider after false claims about COVID-19 vaccines and protocols.The announcement comes after Rodgers publicly made a series of misleading and false claims about COVID-19. Rodgers tested positive for COVID-19 on Wednesday, and due to his unvaccinated status will not be able to get back on the field for a minimum of 10 days.