NFL News: Player News and Updates for 9/3/13
2013-09-02 11:00:00 EDT
The countdown stands at two days. The 2013 NFL season kicks off with the Ravens and Broncos on Thursday, and there’s plenty to talk about between now and then. That said, let’s take a closer look at some of the ongoing storylines around the league and see what we can be expecting from some of the players around the league. Here’s the latest.
E.J. Manuel, QB, Buffalo Bills: Tomoritem will be a big day in Manuel’s young NFL career. The team is expected to make the final decision on whether or not he’ll start Week 1 against New England then, and if he’s not quite ready to go they’ll have to rely on undrafted rookie Jeff Tuel.
The good news is that Manuel has been practicing this week (he split reps with Tuel yesterday), and he’s looking pretty solid after his minor knee surgery (that happened August 18). If we had to guess, we’d say he’ll be ready to go, but given all the QB issues the Bills have had this off-season, you can bet they’ll be extra careful with their new rookie.
Mark Sanchez, QB, New York Jets: Is Sanchez’s injury a major deal? If you believe the rumors, that’s quite possible. A report emerged yesterday that claimed the Jets’ incumbent starter would be out for around a month, which is a great deal longer than initially believed. There had been some hope that he’d be able to take the reins in Week 1, but that seems to be out of the question–even though the team hasn’t officially named rookie backup Geno Smith the opening-week starter.
On a related note, the team added much-maligned ex-Bitemn Brady Quinn to the roster yesterday in an attempt to bolster the quarterback depth.
Carson Palmer, QB, Arizona Cardinals: Fans and pundits alike will be watching the NFC West very closely this season; it’ll be an incredibly competitive division. Specifically, the dynamic between Palmer and new head coach Bruce Arians will be of particular interest. It’s been a while since the Cardinals have had a reliable signal-caller, and likewise it’s been a while since Palmer has had a reliable receiving corps. He said he was “excited and optimistic” about the team this season during an interview yesterday, a confidence which has carried over to the team and fans.
The only thing potentially slowing the Cardinals’ improved passing attack is their less-than-ideal offensive line, which will get a stout test against an improved Rams defense in Week 1. St. Louis tallied 52 sacks last season, and a poor performance could set a sour tone for the Cardinals’ season.
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Terrelle Pryor, QB, Oakland Raiders: Let’s finish off our quarterback quartet today by taking a look at the depth chart situation in Oakland. According to reports, the Raiders have named Pryor their starting QB for Week 1, which will be a Sunday game against the Colts. The move dethrones Matt Flynn as the team’s No. 1, capping off a very interesting and unexpected battle that’s been raging all preseason.
Flynn must be getting used to this backup thing: he’s only started one game since 2011–a blistering six-touchdown performance in place of Aaron Rodgers in Green Bay. After that, he was signed by Seattle, where he lost out to Russell Wilson for the starting gig there. Meanwhile, Pryor will get the start after an improbable run that began with his selection in the third round of the 2011 supplemental draft. He produced 32 points on 14 drives with the offense in the preseason.
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