NFL News & Analysis

Latest NFL News & Rumors: Wednesday, September 14

Englewood, CO, USA; Denver Broncos safety Justin Simmons (31) during mini camp drills at the UCHealth Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Denver Broncos Lose S Justin Simmons To Thigh Injury

  • Simmons was placed on injured reserve, meaning he’ll miss at least four games. Head coach Nathaniel Hackett said the injury happened in the first half of Monday night’s game, but Simmons was able to play through it. 
  • Simmons has been one of the most durable players in the league, playing over 1,000 snaps in each of the past four seasons. He's missed a total of six snaps during that span (playing in 99.86%).
  • The Pro Bowler earned a 74.0 overall grade during Monday night’s contest. Denver will likely turn to second-year safety Caden Sterns to take his spot for the time being. 
  • The Broncos also signed former Vikings and Eagles safety Anthony Harris to their practice squad on Wednesday as potential insurance.

Green Bay Packers WR Allen Lazard Returns To Practice

  • Lazard did not practice last week due to an ankle injury and missed Sunday’s game against the Minnesota Vikings. He officially was limited today.
  • The Packers are expecting Lazard to take a big step forward this season after the departure of Davante Adams and Marquez Valdes-Scantling.
  • The offense struggled to get things going Sunday with Sammy Watkins, Randall Cobb and rookies Christian Watson and Romeo Doubs all getting 35-plus snaps.
  • Lazard had his best statistical season last year with 40 catches, 513 yards and eight touchdowns. His career-high PFF grade came in 2020 (72.4).

Detroit Lions RB D’Andre Swift Sits Out Practice

  • Swift is dealing with an ankle injury that he apparently suffered late in the fourth quarter of Sunday’s loss to Philadelphia. 
  • Swift is coming off the best performance of his young career, rushing for a career-high 144 yards on 15 carries. He earned an 82.3 grade, the best among all running backs. 
  • DT Michael Brockers (knee), OT Taylor Decker (calf) and C Frank Ragnow (groin) also did not practice Wednesday.
  • The Lions will host the Washington Commanders in Week 2 at Ford Field.

San Francisco 49ers TE George Kittle Remains Out Of Practice

  • Kittle did not practice last week due to a groin injury and missed Week 1 against the Chicago Bears. He did make the trip to Chicago and was optimistic about playing, but the team decided to hold him out.
  • Veteran Tyler Kroft started in Kittle’s absence and caught one pass on two targets for nine yards. Ross Dwelley and Charlie Woerner also got some action, each playing 19 snaps.

Los Angeles Chargers Officially Rule Out WR Keenan Allen for Thursday Night

  • Allen left Sunday’s win over the Las Vegas Raiders in the first half with a hamstring injury and did not return. 
  • The injury is not considered serious, but a quick turnaround did not help his chances. 
  • Allen had four receptions for 66 yards before leaving the game. He earned an 82.1 PFF grade.
  • Josh Palmer projects to see more targets come his way alongside Mike Williams. Deandre Carter, who had 64 receiving yards and earned a 90.4 PFF grade in Week 1, is another name to keep an eye on.
  • Meanwhile, J.C. Jackson (ankle) is listed as questionable after not playing last week. On the other side, the Chiefs will be without kicker Harrison Butker, who was ruled out due to his own ankle injury. Matt Ammendola will be elevated from the practice squad to kick for Kansas City.

Baltimore Ravens RB J.K. Dobbins Returns To Full Practice

  • Dobbins was limited all of last week and did not play in the season-opener against the New York Jets.
  • The former second-round pick missed all of last season after tearing his ACL in the Ravens' final preseason game in late August.
  • As a rookie in 2020, Dobbins finished with the 13th-best rushing grade (81.6) among running backs. He totaled 805 rushing yards and nine touchdowns on 134 carries.
  • Kenyan Drake got the start for Baltimore in Week 1 and played 33 snaps (59%). He took 11 carries for 31 yards. Justice Hill saw 11 snaps (20%), while Mike Davis saw seven (12%). Both backs had two carries each.

Jets To Stick With QB Joe Flacco in Week 2

  • Head coach Robert Saleh left the door open for a potential quarterback change when he spoke to local media Monday.
  • Flacco completed 37-of-59 passes for 307 yards with a touchdown and an interception during Sunday’s loss to Baltimore. He earned a 67.7 overall grade.
  • “There was a comedy of errors that just led to what looked like a bad performance by him,” Saleh said. “Now, it wasn't his best performance, but I don't think it was as bad as people think.”
  • The Jets will be without Zach Wilson (knee) until at least Week 4. Mike White has been serving as Flacco’s backup.
  • The Jets travel to Cleveland to take on the Browns in Week 2.
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