Wentz still waiting for medical clearance to play
The Associated Press
PHILADELPHIA — Carson Wentz still hasn’t been medically cleared for contact, though Eagles coach Doug Pederson won’t rule out the quarterback for the season opener against Atlanta on Thursday night.
Pederson again told reporters in a testy exchange Sunday that he doesn’t want to publicly reveal whether Wentz or Nick Foles would be the starter when the defending Super Bowl champions host the Falcons.
“I don’t want to put my game plan out there for everybody to see it and read it and teams can scheme,” Pederson said. “It just doesn’t make a lot of sense.”
Wentz is returning from surgery last December to repair two torn ligaments in his left knee. Foles was the Super Bowl MVP in Philadelphia’s 41-33 win over New England.
Wentz didn’t play in the preseason and only recently returned to full practice, so it seems obvious that he’s going to miss at least the first game.
“We’ve got a lot of days left,” Pederson said.
Running back Jay Ajayi has returned to practice after missing time. Left tackle Jason Peters and veteran returner/running back Darren Sproles are expected to play after sitting out the preseason while continuing their recovery following season-ending knee injuries last season.
Pederson isn’t concerned about players being rusty.
“They’ve practiced,” he said. “They’ve been in our practices. Practices are a lot tougher sometimes than games are. We’ve seen everything we need to see.”
Denver Broncos: John Elway cut ties with his biggest draft bust Sunday when he waived quarterback Paxton Lynch less than 24 hours after including him on the Denver Broncos’ 53-man roster. Lynch was jettisoned after the Broncos were awarded fellow third-year quarterback Kevin Hogan off waivers from Washington. Elway said he and coach Vance Joseph “met with Paxton this morning and informed him that it’s best for everyone to make this move. We appreciate all of Paxton’s hard work as a Bronco, and we wish him well in the future.” Elway once viewed the athletic but raw Lynch as a future franchise quarterback, moving up in the 2016 NFL draft to select the University of Memphis star with the 26th overall pick in the first round. Case Keenum will be the starter with Chad Kelly as the backup.
Cleveland Browns: Defensive linemen Carl Nassib was released by the Cleveland Browns over the weekend. A 2016 third-round pick out of Penn State, Nassib had a memorable appearance on HBO’s “Hard Knock” this summer when he offered financial advice to teammates with some colorful language. He started 12 games and recorded three sacks for Cleveland last season.
San Francisco 49ers: San Francisco 49ers running back Jerick McKinnon will miss the entire season after tearing the ACL in his right knee on the final play of practice Saturday. McKinnon took part in his first day of team drills since injuring his right calf Aug. 9 before going down with a much more significant injury. The 49ers were counting heavily on McKinnon this season after signing him to a four-year, $30 million contract in free agency. The 49ers now have three healthy running backs on the roster in Matt Breida, Alfred Morris and Raheem Mostert. McKinnon spent four years mostly as a backup in Minnesota. He has rushed for 1,918 yards with an average of 4.0 yards per carry, has 142 catches for 984 yards, and has scored 12 touchdowns.
San Diego Chargers: Tight end Antonio Gates has re-signed with the Los Angeles Chargers for his 16th season. The Chargers announced a one-year deal Sunday with Gates, the leading receiver in franchise history. The Chargers bade farewell to Gates in April, saying they wouldn’t bring back the 38-year-old tight end. The Bolts’ plans changed in May when starting tight end Hunter Henry tore a knee ligament during offseason workouts and was lost for the season. Gates’ 30 receptions last season were his fewest since his rookie year in 2003. He still set the NFL career record with his 112th touchdown reception as a tight end.
New York Giants: In a surprising move, the New York Giants released backup quarterback Davis Webb on Sunday. That leaves inexperienced Kyle Lauletta and Alex Tanney behind Eli Manning who, of course, never has missed a game because of injury in his career. New York also released vested veterans guard John Jerry and defensive back William Gay. Webb, a 2017 third-round draft choice who did not play in a regular-season game, was expected to be Manning’s backup. Webb had an inconsistent performance in three preseason games, but was included on the roster when cuts to the NFL roster maximum of 53 were made Saturday. Gay, a 12-year veteran, had two five-year stints with the Pittsburgh Steelers sandwiched around a single season with the Arizona Cardinals. He has played in 176 consecutive regular-season games, plus 15 postseason contests.
Detroit Lions: Quarterback Jake Rudock is back with the Detroit Lions after being signed to their practice squad. The Lions waived Rudock, out of Iowa, as they cut their roster down to 53 players by Saturday’s deadline. That move paved the way for Matt Cassel to be the team’s backup quarterback behind Matthew Stafford.