Philip Rivers could miss Week 16, Darrelle Revis ponders future, and other NFL news
In Carolina, Cam Newton practiced for the first time since his car wreck.
Philip Rivers built his reputation in the NFL on a number of things. He tore his ACL during a divisional-round playoff game, had secret surgery, and played in the AFC championship game one week later. He wears a fancy bolo tie after the San Diego Chargers win a game. And he talks trash to Jay Cutler so NFL fans don’t have to. He’s a sports super hero that everyone can relate with.
However, despite evidence to the contrary, Rivers isn’t invincible. According to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, the quarterback sat out Wednesday’s practice with chest and back issues that could potentially sideline him for San Diego’s game against the San Francisco 49ers on Saturday.
Rivers has taken an incredible amount of abuse this season due to an injury-plagued supporting cast, including many along the offensive line. The Chargers have used five different centers this year, and they’ve burned through nearly as many tailbacks and receivers. As a result, Rivers has been knocked around a lot. Yet somehow he keeps getting back up and gutting it out. With his history of playing injured, it will almost take seeing it to believe Rivers won’t be out there.
Darrelle Revis ponders future with New England
When the New England Patriots added Darrelle Revis this offseason, they signed him to a de facto one-year deal. The All-Pro cornerback counts just $7 million against the salary cap this season, but will account for a $25 million cap charge if he is still on the roster at the start of 2015. Accordingly, the Patriots must either restructure the deal or release him this offseason. Revis understands this, and according to NJ.com, doesn’t know what to expect.
“I don’t know what my future holds,” Revis said. “Right now, my focus is on next week.”
What makes Revis’ status especially intriguing is the expected availability of Rex Ryan, his head coach when he played for the New York Jets. The two have long been fond of each other, and should Ryan land a head coaching position, it would not be surprising if he brought his favorite cornerback aboard. That said, a return to the Patriots isn’t out of the question, either, especially with the success Revis and the Patriots are having this season.
Cam Newton practices for first time since car wreck
Cam Newton’s health was thrust into question recently when he was involved in a serious car accident. While the quarterback escaped with only two transverse process fractures in his lower back, the accident could have been far worse. In the immediate aftermath, many questioned whether he should play again this season. While that decision has yet to be made, Newton did return to practice on Wednesday, according to the Charlotte Observer.
Newton’s injury has been compared to the one Tony Romo suffered earlier this season. Romo missed a week before returning to play. The Panthers sat Newton out last week in favor of veteran Derek Anderson. While Newton’s status this week remains unknown, he’s at least getting closer to a return.
Dominique Easley lands on injured reserve
The knock on rookie Dominique Easley during the draft process was his history of knee injuries. During his time at the University of Florida, the defensive lineman tore the ACL in each of his knees. He also suffered a meniscus tear in his right knee. Concerns about his injuries caused him to nearly slide out of the first round altogether. In need of pass rushers, the Patriots took a gamble on Easley.
Unfortunately, Easley suffered another serious knee injury before the end of his first professional season. The team announced he will spend the rest of the year on injured reserve.
To replace Easley’s spot on the 53-man roster, the Patriots signed tight end Steve Maneri who spent time, on the team’s practice squad and with the Kansas City Chiefs. New England also added free agent quarterback Garrett Gilbert to the practice squad.
Painkiller lawsuit against NFL dismissed
While the NFL’s longstanding issues with concussions remain the most visible threat to the league, it also faces growing concerns regarding the use of prescription painkillers. For years, NFL medical staffs allegedly administered drugs like Toradol without adequately revealing the potential risks of those drugs. As a result, the NFL was sued by a group of former players including Richard Dent, Jim McMahon and Marcellus Wiley. However, according to NBC Sports, that case has been dismissed.
In his explanation of the decision to dismiss, U.S. Judge William Alsup asserted that the league’s collective bargaining agreement preempted the lawsuit. However, Alsup wrote that, “In ruling against the novel claims asserted herein, this order does not minimize the underlying societal issue.” Though the league evaded liability in this instance, it still has a PR battle wage over the public’s concerns with player safety.