News and Views
The Facts: Coutee is questionable to return after suffering a hamstring injury in the first half against the Jaguars.
Diehards Line: Coutee has been dealing with a hamstring injury since August, although he was removed from Friday's injury report after working on a limited basis all week despite the injury. ... We'll follow up as needed.
The Facts: Michel has a knee injury, per the team. He did not return.
Diehards Line:Michel was carted to the locker room with the injury, which came on a twisting tackle that turned the rookie's knee at a severe angle and he fumbled the ball. He appeared to be in immediate/significant pain after being hit and twisted to the ground. We'll follow up as needed.
The Facts: Bills’ RB LeSean McCoy will not return today due to a head injury.
Diehards Line: McCoy left in the first quarter of Sunday's game against the Indianapolis Colts to be evaluated in the locker room. The injury comes with Derek Anderson making his debut for the Bills at quarterback in the wake of Josh Allen's elbow injury. McCoy has rushed for 243 yards in five games this season. Chris Ivory takes over as the Bills' lead back today.
The Facts: The Jaguars made a trade for a running back, but they have no plans to trade for a quarterback. Despite public calls for them to do acquire a quarterback and questions about whether they actually will, the Jaguars are not considering a trade for a signal-caller, sources familiar with the team's thinking tell ESPN.
Diehards Line: In recent weeks, there have been suggestions and speculation that Jacksonville could be willing to deal for a quarterback to complement or even supplant Blake Bortles. But they will not be making a trade for Eli Manning, Tyrod Taylor, Nick Foles or any quarterback who has been connected to a trade rumor, according to league sources. Jacksonville hosts the Houston Texans on Sunday before traveling to London to play the Philadelphia Eagles next week before getting to its bye week. The Jaguars think they can get to their bye week in the thick of the AFC South race, and they will have some added and necessary time to rest up for the stretch run that starts Nov. 11 at Indianapolis.
The Facts: The Denver Broncos have been listening to offers for Thomas, league sources tell ESPN.
Diehards Line: A handful of teams have reached out to Denver to see if the Broncos would be willing to part ways with the five-time Pro-Bowler, who was a first-round pick in 2010, and Denver has not rebuffed those advances to date, according to sources. The same is not true of Emmanuel Sanders, who some teams have expressed an interest in, according to sources. Denver has not been interested in listening to teams who have called about Sanders. Thomas, however, appears to be different. Thomas is 30 years old, at the end of the prime of his career, and Denver knows it has a young receiver in Courtland Sutton who is ready for more playing time. This doesn't mean that the Broncos will deal Thomas, but they have listened to teams and will continue listening leading up to the NFL's Oct. 30 trade deadline.
The Facts: Even though the Raiders have been adamant to teams that they want a first-round draft pick in exchange for Cooper, one team that has done an inordinate amount of due diligence on him in recent days is the receiver-needy Dallas Cowboys, league sources tell ESPN.
Diehards Line: The Cowboys have been calling around to people who know the 24-year-old Cooper, gathering as much information as they can about him as they mull whether to make a move for the former first-round draft selection, according to sources. And the Cowboys are not alone; the Raiders have heard inquiries on Cooper from, among others, the Washington Redskins and Indianapolis Colts, according to a league source. But of all the teams that need wide receivers, the most intriguing is Dallas, and it would not be the first time that Cowboys owner Jerry Jones has dealt for a receiver before the league's trade deadline.
The Facts: Steelers owner Art Rooney II, asked if he's surprised the Bell saga lasted as long as it has, replied simply: "Yes," Rooney said. "Yes, I am."
Diehards Line: The mystery surrounding the franchise running back could be ending this week, with Bell potentially returning to the team as early as Monday. Except Bell hasn't told the team he's definitely coming back, and until he does, it's status quo. One facet, though, is becoming clearer: Bell appears increasingly likely to remain on the Steelers until 2019. Rooney said as much in a conversation with NFL Network this week before exiting the league meetings in New York City. "I expect him to be a member of the team going forward," Rooney told NFL Network's Ian Rapoport, in response to a question about trade talks ahead of the Oct. 30 trade deadline. "That's my expectation." Pittsburgh shopped Bell earlier in the season, and remain open to it. But by now, they know the reality is that Bell will almost certainly sign whenever he does, rejoin the team, form a 1-2 punch with James Conner, then walk in the offseason. Based on Bell's current contract and the inability of a new team to negotiate a deal to lock him up long term, this was always the likeliest option. And Rooney seems resigned to it.
The Facts: Gronkowski is not expected to play against the Bears but he is expected back next week at Buffalo on Monday Night Football, a source tells ESPN's Adam Schefter.
Diehards Line: In case you missed it, Gronk didn’t fly to Chicago with his teammates, and he was officially ruled out early Sunday morning. Gronkowski hasn’t missed a game this year, and he played all of last week’s 43-40 win over the Chiefs. However, he has had multiple back surgeries during his football career. We'll be following up as needed in coming days.