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News around the AFC: Aaron Rodgers to return to practice, Colts RB Jonathan Taylor’s thumb surgery, and more

Your weekly roundup of news in the AFC from SB Nation blog sites

Los Angeles Chargers v New York Jets Photo by Elsa/Getty Images


Indianapolis Colts (via Stampede Blue)

Report: Colts RB Jonathan Taylor will undergo thumb surgery and miss at least a few weeks

Colts running back Jonathan Taylor is reportedly headed to Los Angeles to undergo thumb surgery and will miss at least two to three weeks of action.

“According to The Athletic’s James Boyd, Indianapolis Colts star running back will undergo thumb surgery performed by Los Angeles based surgeon Steven S. Shin, and the hope is that he’ll be able to return after two to three weeks of recovery”

Report: Ex-Colts LB Shaquille Leonard will continue free agency tour with Eagles

Former Colts All-Pro linebacker Shaquille Leonard will visit another NFC East contender as a free agent.

“According to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, fresh off his Tuesday visit with the Dallas Cowboys, former Indianapolis Colts All-Pro linebacker Shaquille Leonard will continue his free agency tour with another NFC East contender”

Houston Texans (via Battle Red Blog)

Texans claim Eagles DE Derek Barnett, cut kicker Matt Ammendola

Derek Barnett was drafted by the Philadelphia Eagles in the first round of the 2017 NFL Draft.

“Barnett, 27, has played in just nine games since the start of the 2022 season after tearing his ACL in Week 1 of last year. He played in the season opener last year and appeared in eight games for the Philadelphia Eagles this season. He last played in Week 8 against the Washington Commanders before being cut earlier this week.

In a corresponding move, the team cut kicker Matt Ammendola, who missed two field goals in the Texans’ loss on Sunday against the Jacksonville Jaguars. Ka’imi Fairbairn remains on injured reserve due to a quad injury, which means the Texans currently do not have a kicker on the roster just six days away from playing the Denver Broncos.”

The Houston Texans abandoned the run and it cost them Sunday’s game.

OC Bobby Slowik turns his back on ground game.

“With the AFC South lead on the line, and a chance to sweep Trevor Lawrence and the Jacksonville Jaguars, Houston Texans offensive coordinator Bobby Slowik chose to throw the ball early and often. Even though the game was never really out of reach for the Texans.

Over the last two weeks, running back Devin Singletary has gained 262 yards on 52 carries. Yesterday he was given the ball exactly six times and managed to grab a sad 18 yards.”

Tennessee Titans (via Music City Miracles)

Titans rookie OT Jaelyn Duncan thrives in first career start

Have the Titans found a potential solution to their offensive tackle woes?

“Duncan’s blocking responsibilities were split into 29 pass blocking-snaps, and 24 run-blocking snaps, according to Pro Football Focus. Duncan was credited with allowing three pressures, two quarterback hits, and one hurry. Duncan didn’t give up a sack, but he was whistled for a penalty. PFF assigned him a pass-blocking grade of 47.1, and a run-blocking grade of 69.4. The latter represents a season-high grade for the former Maryland standout.”

Will Levis showcases franchise QB tendencies in victory over Panthers

Will Levis continues to look like a quarterback the Tennessee Titans can build around

“Tennessee Titans rookie quarterback Will Levis looked like a franchise quarterback throughout Sunday’s 17-10 victory over the Carolina Panthers. Levis was especially effective in the first half. All in all, Levis completed 18-of-28 passing attempts for 185 yards, zero touchdowns, and zero interceptions.”

Is Mike Vrabel trying to force his way out in Tennessee

It could prove to be an interesting offseason for the Titans

“Greg Bedard of the Boston Sports Journal wrote a story yesterday once again linking Mike Vrabel to the New England Patriots, but this time there were more details about Vrabel’s relationship with Tennessee Titans’ general manager Ran Carthon. Bedard says in the article that the NFL had a “heavy hand in owner Amy Adams Strunk hiring Carthon.” That is something that I hadn’t seen anywhere else. It’s because of the hiring of Carthon that Vrabel could be looking to force his way out of Tennessee according to Bedard.”


Miami Dolphins (via The Phinsider)

Rapoport: Miami Dolphins expected to sign pass rusher Jason Pierre-Paul off of New Orleans Saints practice squad

Jaelan Phillips injury leads to Jason Pierre-Paul signing for Miami.

“The move comes just days after the team received confirmation that their own young pass rushing star Jaelan Phillips was lost for the season with a torn Achilles tendon he suffered during Miami’s Black Friday game against division rivals, the New York Jets.

The Dolphins also put in a claim for recently released veteran EDGE player Derek Barnett — formerly of the Philadelphia Eagles — however, the Houston Texans had a higher waiver priority and were awarded the 27 year-old.”

New England Patriots (via Pats Pulpit)

Patriots reportedly re-signing third quarterback Will Grier to practice squad

The West Virginia product cleared waivers from the 53-man roster on Monday.

“The New England Patriots are re-signing Will Grier to the practice squad, as first reported Tuesday by ESPN’s Adam Schefter.

Grier, 28, had been waived from the organization’s 53-man roster last weekend to make room for the promotion of offensive tackle Conor McDermott. He subsequently went through unclaimed to become a free agent.”

Buffalo Bills (via Buffalo Rumblings)

AFC Playoff Picture: Instead of 7th, Bills fall out of Wild Card position after loss to Eagles

The Bills could have been in playoff position, but couldn’t seal the deal.

“In the AFC East, the Bills are three games behind the Dolphins. It still may be Buffalo’s best path to the playoffs. Miami hasn’t beaten a team with a winning record (except Buffalo), so even if they beat the Commanders , Titans, and Jets to get to 11 wins, they could still lose to the Cowboys, Ravens, and Bills. If Buffalo wins the rest of their games, they would also be 11-6 and make the postseason. Big if, but maybe the best way in a convoluted AFC Wild Card race.”

New York Jets (via Gang Green Nation)

Aaron Rodgers to return to practice for the Jets

The future Hall of Famer suffered an Achilles injury in the season opener.

“At this point in time, it seems unlikely that Rodgers will actually see the field for any further game action this season. He is attempting to come back from a very serious in record time, and the Jets’ current situation would not make the risk worth it. This is a team that has fallen out of the Playoff race and seems unlikely to get back into the mix in the next three weeks. It also isn’t clear Rodgers will even be in condition to play by the end of these three weeks.”


Kansas City Chiefs (via Arrowhead Pride)

Chiefs add Ekow Boye-Doe to the active roster

The homegrown product has found a spot on the Chiefs’ 53-man roster.

“Boye-Doe spent training camp in St. Joseph, pushing to make the active roster with nine preseason tackles. He ultimately was cut at the 53-man roster deadline but stayed with Kansas City as a member of the practice squad.

In other Tuesday transactions, Kansas City waived wide receiver John Ross from the reserve/retired list. Ross reportedly wants to try to make another NFL comeback after failing to do so with the Chiefs.”

Denver Broncos (via Mile High Report)

D.J. Jones a big part of Broncos’ defensive resurgence

In his first career fumble recovery, the Broncos’ 305-pound lineman was mad he didn’t get a “scoop and score.”

“Blowing up the Browns’ backfield, Jones scooped a bobbled hand off and landed on the ball at Cleveland’s 20-yard line.”

Los Angeles Chargers (via Bolts from the Blue)

Los Angeles Chargers Squander First-Half Defensive Performance in 20-10 Loss to Baltimore Ravens

The Los Angeles Chargers put together one of the best defensive performances they’ve had all year in the first half of their Sunday Night performance against the Baltimore Ravens, giving us a clue on what could have been this season.

“In all honesty, it’s surprising that the matchup was that close at all. While the oddsmakers figured before the game that it was about a three-point matchup, the Ravens won out in a number of key categories – they earned more total first downs, converted more often in the red zone, gained more yards per play, finished with more total rushing yards and decisively won the turnover battle.”

Las Vegas Raiders (via Silver and Black Pride)

Raiders waive safety Roderic Teamer after arrest for DUI

Backup and special teams player didn’t play against Kansas City

“Las Vegas Raiders backup safety and special teams player Roderic Teamer was reportedly arrested for drunk driving in Las Vegas on Sunday morning, according Las Vegas television stations KLAS-TV.”


Cincinnati Bengals (via Cincy Jungle)

Bengals announce Joe Burrow has successful wrist surgery

The road to recovery begins.

“Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow underwent successful wrist surgery on Monday to repair ligament damage, the team announced.”

Baltimore Ravens (via Baltimore Beatdown)

David Ojabo underwent season-ending ACL surgery; Tyus Bowser is dealing with an ‘angry knee’

The Ravens will officially be without one of their pass rushers for the rest of the year but could get another back at some point.

“Baltimore Ravens Head Coach John Harbaugh provided injury updates on a pair of outside linebackers. Harbaugh announced second-year pro David Ojabo underwent season-ending surgery to repair a partially torn ACL. Also, Tyus Bowser is still working his way back from a knee flare-up that occurred during the summer, but could still play this season.”

Pittsburgh Steelers (via Behind the Steel Curtain)

Steelers sign WR to practice squad, release S Jalen Elliott

Pittsburgh adds an athletic wide receiver.

“The Steelers announced a roster move on Tuesday, adding wide receiver Jacob Copeland to their practice squad and releasing safety Jalen Elliott in a corresponding roster move.”

Cleveland Browns (via Dawgs by Nature)

Browns DE Myles Garrett injury update on Monday

Positive news for the Browns best defender

“The biggest concern was for DE Myles Garrett who struggled to put a shirt on, said he heard a pop in his shoulder and had his left arm in a sling following the game.

On top of Garrett, WR Amari Cooper left the game with a rib injury, QB Dorian Thompson-Robinson was unable to finish with a concussion and DT Jordan Elliott was knocked out of the contest with an ankle injury.

Browns fans can breathe a small sigh of relief as HC Kevin Stefanski informed reporters today that Garrett was day to day”