One of Tom Brady’s favorite targets over the past few years in New England has been battling back from an ACL injury. However, his comeback is on hold after Julian Edelman has tested positive for performance enhancing drugs (PEDs) and is being suspended for four games by the NFL.
And, his suspension at the beginning of the upcoming season means that both the Jaguars and the Dolphins will play games against the AFC defending champions without one of their stars.
First, the Patriots wrapped up their three day mini-camp on Thursday and Edelman (shown above in a practice two weeks ago) was practicing with the team.
In typical Patriots fashion, the news did not break until after the players and coach Bill Belichick had left and were unavailable.
Here was a report post practice Thursday from Kim Jones of the NFL Network in Foxboro about the situation:
— NFL Network (@nflnetwork) June 7, 2018
Edelman tore the ACL in the third preseason game of last year at Ford Field in Detroit. Prior to that, injury, he is had three seasons in the last four with at least 90 catches and caught for at least a thousand yards in two of them. The Patriots won the Superbowl twice during that stretch with Edelman having caught the winning fourth quarter TD pass in Superbowl XLIX (49) against the Seahawks in February of 2014.
And, with fellow wide receiver Danny Amendola having left in free agency in March to come to Miami this makes New England even more short-handed with veteran security blanket pass catchers that Brady would prefer.
The Patriots open with the Houston Texans at home in week one. Then will play at TIAA Bank field in Jacksonville in an AFC Title Game rematch with the Jaguars home opener in week two. After playing the Lions the following week, New England will then host the Dolphins in their first division game of the year at Gillette Stadium week four.
So unless the remote chance of a successful appeal to wipe out the four-game suspension or at least reduce it happens, Edelman will miss all of those games.
He was slated to make $5.5 million and now has lost 1/4 of that due to the four week suspension and the CBA rules.
Jaguars LB Telvin Smith enjoyed going against another Nole Wednesday
The Jaguars traveled to the “Great White North” for two practices with the Vikings starting on Wednesday and a guy who was eager to be out there for college allegiance reasons was LB Telvin Smith.
Smith a Pro Bowler a year ago and a defensive leader, not only got the chance to go against an opponent other than the Jags offense in practice. He also got the opportunity to be on the field with former FSU and now second year Vikings running back, Dalvin Cook.
— #DUUUVAL (@Jaguars) August 15, 2018
“It was great seeing new competition. Being able to go against they (sic) backs. Obviously, (Latavius) Murray, Dalvin Cook, good backs in this league. Great looks to be going against. They’re going to push us. It was good,” Smith said.
On the FSU reunion that also included former Seminole DB Xavier Rhodes too,
“It was great just to get back on the field and see Xa (Rhodes) back out there, to actually be on the field with Dalvin and to actually compete against him… To get out here. To watch him work. It was good work. It’s always good to team up with guys who fought under that spear (FSU).”
Cook appears to be fully healed from an ACL injury suffered early last season. And runs like this one in their preseason opener at Denver on Saturday night more than demonstrated that:
Dalvin Cook owners will be sweating this out all season.
— Justin Barlow (@FFcouchcoach) August 12, 2018
Murray is more of the” between the tackles” pounding runner, who the Vikes had hoped to use in tandem with Cook, until Cook’s season was unexpectedly cut short.
Back to the discussion with Smith from Wednesday and being asked how much he keeps in touch with Rhodes and Cook during the year?
“They my enemies during the season. So, you know, it’s a “check on’em,” but at the end of the day I gotta check on these guys in the Teal (his Jags teammates.”
Obviously, Smith and his Jacksonville teammates will get to “Check on” Cook for real Saturday afternoon at U.S. Bank Stadium.
Jaguars Jalen Ramsey fuels more controversy with article comments
It’s becoming more and more obvious that Jalen Ramsey is a growing headache for the Jaguars.
The real question becomes, will his play in 2018 live up to the aggravation and frustration, he’s regularly causing? This comes three days after the team suspended him for “conduct unbecoming a Jaguar” for his behavior after teammates Dante Fowler and Yannick Ngakoue had an altercation at the end of practice.
Now, an extensive and rhetoric heavy interview that Ramsey did with GQ Magazine and GQ.com, posted online Wednesday morning. And you have to believe that when Jaguars VP of football Tom Coughlin, and coach Doug Marrone were made aware of the article/Ramsey’s comments, they were fuming.
Jalen Ramsey keeps it real: "I'm just me, unapologetically. I don't really care… God didn't make me to be on this Earth by myself. Somebody gonna like me. So if a couple people don't like me, I'm not tripping. I am good." https://t.co/YD62P7v5an
— Clay Skipper (@SkipperClay) August 15, 2018
Ramsey began to rant in the Q and A on quarterbacks, including ones that Jacksonville will be playing this season
On Ben Roethlisberger (Week 8)
“Big Ben [Roethlisberger], I think he’s decent at best… It’s not Big Ben, it’s [Antonio Brown]. Big Ben slings the ball a lot of the time. He just slings it, and his receivers go get it. He has a strong arm, but he ain’t all that. I played him twice last year, and he really disappointed me. He’ll be in the Hall of Fame and all that.”
On Bills rookie Josh Allen (Week 9)
“I think [Buffalo Bills draft pick Josh] Allen is trash. I don’t care what nobody say. He’s trash. And it’s gonna show too. That’s a stupid draft pick to me. We play them this year, and I’m excited as hell. I hope he’s their starting quarterback. He played at Wyoming. Every time they played a big school—like, they played Iowa State, which is not a big school in my opinion because I went to Florida State, and he threw five interceptions, and they lost by a couple touchdowns or something like that.✞ He never beat a big school. If you look at his games against big schools, it was always hella interceptions, hella turnovers. It’s like: Yo, if you’re this good, why couldn’t you do better? He fits that mold, he’s a big, tall quarterback. Big arm, supposedly. I don’t see it, personally.”
Ramsey did have respect in the article for upcoming opponents Deshaun Watson of Houston (twice) and Carson Wentz of the Eagles,
“Deshaun Watson, he’ll be the league MVP in a couple years. One hundred percent. There’s not even a debate about that. Him and Carson Wentz, for every year starting now until five to ten years, it’s gonna be them two. They’re that good.”
He went on to rip Joe Flacco and Matt Ryan, but praise others, including his own QB Blake Bortles in the article.
He also praised new Vikings QB Kirk Cousins, as “a winner. He’s a hell of a competitor.”
However, in the dynamic of this week, the team is in Minnesota without Ramsey, and Fowler, too, holding practices Wednesday and Thursday. His teammates will play Cousins and the Vikings Saturday afternoon.
However, even though he’s not present, you have to believe that Ramsey’s comments will have him front and center on Wednesday and beyond.
The challenge for the Jaguars is can they minimize what Ramsey is doing negatively off the field and have it not be an issue as the “real football” gets going in September.
Jaguars coach Marrone says little about Fowler and Ramsey suspensions
Two days after training camp emotions boiled over into a near fight between defensive line mates Dante Fowler and Yannick Ngakoue, coach Doug Marrone was the first to “sort of address” the situation. A situation that has led to the one week suspension of Fowler and teammate Jalen Ramsey, as the Jags prepare to practice with the Vikings and then, play them on Saturday night.
Watch as head coach coach Doug Marrone addresses the media. https://t.co/AodxxX6qDB
— #DUUUVAL (@Jaguars) August 14, 2018
Marrone was definitely guarded in the Q and A:
“I have spoken to both players. And obviously, those conversations are private.”
He was pressed on whether Fowler received the one week suspension and not Ngakoue, because Fowler had been the aggressor Sunday?
“I am not going to comment on that… I know that everyone has to ask it. But, again, those decisions are internal and it’s team violations. And those are private.”
When asked whether he was concerned that Fowler and Ngakoue couldn’t “co-exist” in the defensive line room, etc.,
“I don’t expect that, with any of our players.”
Marrone further outlined that Fowler and Ramssey will stay behind, when the team leaves later Tuesday.
“We’re in Minnesota, they (Fowler and Ramsey) won’t be with us there… They are not with us and they will be back on Monday.”
Ramsey is being disciplined for yelling at reporters, specifically Florida Times-Union writer Phillip Heilman, on Sunday while they filmed the altercation between Fowler and Ngakoue. Heilman later wrote about it and posted the video.
Ramsey then sent a now deleted tweet that basically threatened Heilman for having done so.
It’s clear that Fowler is on thin ice. This is obvious, because the team, with the decision coming from the top and VP of Football Tom Coughlin, decided not to pick up the fifth year option on his rookie deal. And even went so far as to publicly challenge Fowler to stay out of trouble and play hard in 2018.
The NFL has already suspended Fowler for the opening game with the Giants due to his no contest plea to assault and battery charges stemming from a July 2017 altercation in a St. Petersburg apartment complex parking lot.
And now, you have what happened Sunday, where it wasn’t just a no-name offensive player having a problem with Fowler. It was a defensive teammate who is around him the meeting rooms, locker room, etc. more than anyone. That’s a real issue.
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