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Report: Julius Thomas Expected To Need Surgery; Could Miss 4-5 Weeks Monday, August 31, 2015 | Time: 3:33 PT |  Reported by ESPN.com
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The Facts: According to ESPN's Adam Schefter, Thomas is expected to need surgery on tendon in his finger and is expected to miss 4-5 weeks.
Diehards Line: Thomas will get a second opinion on Tuesday. We'll follow up as needed but those drafting now should keep this in mind when considering Thomas' value.
It's Official: Martavis Bryant's 4-Game Suspension Announced By Steelers Monday, August 31, 2015 | Time: 2:51 PT |  Reported by Steelers.com
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The Facts: Bryant has been suspended without pay for the first four games of the 2015 regular season for violating the NFL Policy and Program for Substances of Abuse.
Diehards Line: Bryant will be eligible to return to the Steelers’ active roster on Friday, October 2 following the team’s October 1 game against the Baltimore Ravens. He is eligible to participate in all preseason practices and games. Steelers GM Kevin Colbert issued the following statement: "We are disappointed in Martavis’ actions that has led to his four-game suspension. It is a disappointment to our entire organization as well as our fans, but we will continue to support Martavis during his suspension. It is very unfortunate his actions have put our team in this situation to begin the year, but we are confident he will learn from his mistake and return in excellent shape in Week 5." In the meantime, the team will lean more heavily on Markus Wheaton as the starter opposite Antonio Brown. They'll also hope rookie Sammie Coates can help fill the void.
It's Official: Kirk Cousins The Redskins 2015 Starter Monday, August 31, 2015 | Time: 11:56 PT |  Reported by Profootballtalk.com
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The Facts: After saying for months that Robert Griffin III was his quarterback, HC Jay Gruden reversed course today, saying that Cousins is the starter -- and will remain the starter, meaning Griffin has no chance to unseat him. "Kirk Cousins will be the starter for 2015, moving forward," Gruden said. "It's Kirk's team."
Diehards Line:Of course, as Profootballtalk.com's Mike Florio notes, Gruden has changed his mind about his starting quarterback several times during his year and a half as Washington’s coach, so no one should be surprised if either Griffin or Colt McCoy ends up starting at some point. Gruden insisted that he thinks he has three good quarterbacks. “Robert’s done some great things, no question. We have total faith in all three of them,” Gruden said. “We just feel like Kirk has earned the right to be the starting quarterback in 2015.” Gruden said the team does not plan to release Griffin, has he has not decided whether Griffin will be the second-string quarterback, or whether McCoy will be second and Griffin third. All he’ll say for sure is that Cousins is the starter, and will remain the starter.
No Settlement On Tom Brady Case; Judge Will Rule This Week Monday, August 31, 2015 | Time: 10:44 PT |  Reported by NFL.com
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The Facts: No settlement was reached in talks between the NFL and lawyers for Brady at a New York Federal court horse Monday morning.
Diehards Line: Judge Richard Berman engaged the two sides in settlement talks for weeks, but he quickly announced Monday that those talks are over. Berman announced publicly that no decision in the case will come Monday, but it could come as early as Tuesday or Wednesday. The public portion of the case is now closed. The public portion of the hearing lasted only four minutes on Monday before Berman sent everyone home for the day. Brady was suspended four games on May 11 after a report by Ted Wells, an investigator contracted by the league, asserted Brady's connection to the deflation of footballs used in the AFC Championship Game. Goodell upheld the suspension on July 28. Stay tuned. We'll soon know when and/or if Brady will have to serve it.
Bills Releasing Fred Jackson Monday, August 31, 2015 | Time: 9:24 PT |  Reported by the Buffalo News
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The Facts: According to Buffalo News staffer Vic Carucci, the Bills have released RB Fred Jackson as part of their roster cut to 75.
Diehards Line:We'll be following up on this one, but assume Karlos Williams is now LeSean McCoy's primary backup until further notice. Also assume other teams will be interested in Jackson.
Reports: Kirk Cousins Will Start Week 1 For Redskins Monday, August 31, 2015 | Time: 8:58 PT |  Reported by ESPN.com
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The Facts: The Washington Redskins have named Cousins as their starting quarterback for their regular-season opener, team sources told ESPN's Dianna Russini.
Diehards Line:The Redskins' coaching staff informed the players that Cousins will start against the Miami Dolphins in Week 1 on Monday morning, sources told Russini. The Redskins' decision to start Cousins comes amid turmoil surrounding quarterback Robert Griffin III, who missed Saturday's preseason game because of concussion symptoms. According to USA Today's Tom Pelissero, Griffin won’t re-take his concussion test until next week, clearing the way for Cousins to start the first regular season game. Cousins completed 20 of 27 passes for 190 yards, a touchdown and an interception Saturday in Washington's 31-13 victory over the Baltimore Ravens. Cousins, 27, has started nine regular-season games over his first three seasons in the NFL.
Tom Brady, NFL Meeting With Judge Again Monday Monday, August 31, 2015 | Time: 8:42 PT |  Reported by Profootballtalk.com
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The Facts: On Monday, the NFL and Brady return to court for a third — and presumably final — hearing regarding the legality of the four-game suspension imposed in May on Brady. While Judge Richard M. Berman has done his best to try to push the two sides toward a settlement, there's no indication that any progress has been made.
Diehards Line:Then again, there’s no reason to make progress in advance of Monday’s in-court proceedings, where Judge Berman once again will try to twist arms. As PFT's Mike Florio points out, it’s a deadline-driven business, and there’s no deadline like appearing in court before a judge who will be issuing a ruling soon, absent an agreement. The NFL and NFL Players Association have jointly requested that Judge Berman issue a ruling by September 4, six days before the Week 1 game between the Steelers and Patriots. Judge Berman hasn’t promised a decision by then, possibly hoping that the uncertainty will push the two sides closer together. Stay tuned.
MRI Reveals Minor AC Sprain For Randall Cobb Sunday, August 30, 2015 | Time: 4:05 PT |  Reported by Profootballtalk.com
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The Facts: Following up on the previous item. ... Cobb, who injured his shoulder in last night's game against the Egales, went for further tests on Sunday and Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reports that he has been diagnosed with a "minor" AC joint sprain.
Diehards Line:It’s a better outcome than the broken collarbone Cobb initially feared, but he can’t be assured of playing against the Bears in Week 1. As PFT notes, players have missed good chunks of time with similar injuries — Redskins wide receiver DeSean Jackson hasn’t played at all in the preseason after spraining his AC joint early in training camp — and it will take some time before the Packers will have a clear idea about his status. If Cobb can’t play, the Packers would start their season without both of their top wideouts since Jordy Nelson is out with a torn ACL. Barring any additions from outside the organization, Davante Adams, Jeff Janis and Ty Montgomery would likely be the top three receivers in their absence.
Report: Football People Ready To Move On From RG3; Ownership Isn't Sunday, August 30, 2015 | Time: 4:04 PT |  Reported by ESPN.com
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The Facts: High-ranking Washington Redskins front office officials and coaches want to move on from quarterback Griffin, but are meeting resistance from team ownership, per team and league sources. The Redskins even have had trade conversations about Griffin with a handful of NFL teams, per sources, but have found no interest and it remains unclear if ownership would allow Washington to trade him, per team and league sources.
Diehards Line: But ESPN's Dianna Russini and Adam Schefter report it is becoming increasingly apparent that Griffin has lost his starting quarterback job and, depending on the events and conversations in the coming days, possibly his roster spot. GM Scot McCloughan was hired this past offseason to build and rebuild the team, so he looms as a possible "X" factor in any big personnel decision that involves Griffin as teams trim their rosters from 90 to 53 players over the next week. But even if ownership prevails and convinces other football people within the organization to keep Griffin, he is not expected to hold on to his starting quarterback job. The Redskins are determined to start a different quarterback than Griffin on opening day against the Miami Dolphins, and Griffin's time as the starter now appears over. The more significant question is whether his time in Washington also is.
X-Rays Negative; More Tests To Come, But Randall Cobb's Injury Isn't Season-Ending Sunday, August 30, 2015 | Time: 11:17 PT |  Reported by ESPN.com
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The Facts: It doesn't look like the Packers lost their second Pro Bowl receiver in less than a week. Unlike the knee injury Jordy Nelson suffered six days earlier, the shoulder injury that knocked Cobb out of Saturday's 39-26 preseason loss to the Philadelphia Eagles does not appear to be season-ending. "No, I don't think we're in that area at all," Packers coach Mike McCarthy said.
Diehards Line: Cobb was injured on the team's third play from scrimmage against the Eagles. He appeared to land on his right side while attempting to catch a pass from quarterback Brett Hundley along the sideline. He was initially examined in the bench area by team physician Dr. Pat McKenzie. Shortly thereafter, he was taken to the Lambeau Field locker room for further examination. Cobb initially feared he broke his collarbone, but tests showed that was not the case. Cobb is scheduled for additional tests Sunday. He wouldn't say whether he thinks he will be available for the Sept. 13 season opener at Chicago. "You know, we're taking it day by day right now," Cobb said. "We'll see come (Sunday) what more we find out, and we'll go from there. ..." Stay tuned.