NFL News: Player News and Updates for 5/20/14
NFL Updates: Johnson, Buccaneers, Off-Season Schedule and More
May 20, 2014
Now that we’ve made a dent in the workweek, we can kick back a little bit and check out what’s headed our way in the upcoming NFL season. Even though kickoff is still pretty far away, there are plenty of headlines to wade through. Here’s a look at what’s happening around the league right now.
Andre Johnson, WR, Houston Texans: Remember all that chatter about a potential trade this off-season involving the Texans’ disgruntled WR Andre Johnson? Well, you can forget about that happening, if the most recent reports are to be believed.
With Houston trying to rebuild their offense (and their defense, too, but we digress), Johnson is more important than ever to their efforts. The team will be trying to bring along their new draft pick Tom Savage this year, and Johnson’s knowledge and game-breaking ability will prove invaluable to his development.
We wouldn’t completely rule out a trade, especially if the Texans get the proverbial offer they can’t refuse, but it’s sounding like Johnson will be staying put--whether he likes it or not.
USA TODAY Sports
Charles Sims, RB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Ever since the Bucs drafted West Virginia product Charles Sims a couple of weekends back, it’s raised some questions about what his particular role will be, and how it will affect the dynamic of the Tampa Bay backfield.
Well, it looks like we’ve got some answers, straight from the mouth of new head coach Lovie Smith. He recently made some comments about Sims, saying that he and the coaching staff really liked him for his hands and his ability to run routes out of the backfield. That sentiment makes it seem like Sims will be primarily a third-down back, spelling incumbent No. 1 Doug Martin (who, for the record, is pretty good at catching passes as well).
Sims will have to outperform both Mike James and Bobby Rainey to move up that depth chart, but we can envision him carving out a role on third downs or in obvious passing situations. As a result, expect Martin’s touches to drop noticeably this year.
Julio Jones, WR, Atlanta Falcons: It’s been a while since we’ve checked in on Jones, so let’s see how he’s coming along. We got an update on his status yesterday from Falcons head coach Mike Smith, who said that his star WR wouldn’t be doing much during the team’s conditioning program.
Jones has been on the shelf since Week 5 last season, when he suffered a foot injury that ended his campaign after the subsequent surgery. His absence was felt for the remainder of the year, as the Falcons stumbled to just four wins.
That said, Jones is reportedly ahead of schedule in his comeback and should be okay for training camp. We’ll keep you posted.
Week 1 Schedule: Now that the schedules have been released, we can start looking forward to the on-field action as we warm up for the 2014 campaign. Here’s a look at the first week of the season, which begins September 4.
Thursday, September 4, 2014:
8:30 PM ET:
Green Bay Packers at Seattle Seahawks (NBC)
Sunday, September 7, 2014:
1:00 PM ET:
New Orleans Saints at Atlanta Falcons (FOX)
Minnesota Vikings at St. Louis Rams (FOX)
Cleveland Browns at Pittsburgh Steelers (CBS)
Jacksonville Jaguars at Philadelphia Eagles (CBS)
Oakland Raiders at New York Jets (CBS)
Cincinnati Bengals at Baltimore Ravens (CBS)
Buffalo Bills at Chicago Bears (FOX)
Washington Redskins at Houston Texans (FOX)
Tennessee Titans at Kansas City Chiefs (CBS)
New England Patriots at Miami Dolphins (CBS)
4:25 PM ET:
Carolina Panthers at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (FOX)
San Francisco 49ers at Dallas Cowboys (FOX)
8:30 PM ET:
Indianapolis Colts at Denver Broncos (NBC)
Monday, September 8, 2014:
7:10 PM ET:
New York Giants at Detroit Lions (ESPN)
10:20 PM ET:
San Diego Chargers at Arizona Cardinals (ESPN)
NFL Off-Season Key Dates: We’re now back to full-on anticipation mode for the 2014 campaign. Here’s a look at some of the noteworthy dates from this off-season period that should keep us occupied until the league kicks off again.
Important 2014 Dates Remaining:
July 24: Training Camp Opens
September 4: First Game of the 2014 Season
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