Bengals Acquire CB Trey Flowers On Waivers

Sports 14 October, 2021 - 03:26pm 5 views

Is Russell Wilson on IR?

Wilson is allowed to since the Seahawks have not put him on the injured reserve, which means that for now, he is free to take part in as much practice as his injury allows. The Seattle TimesSeahawks QB Russell Wilson will ‘do everything he can possibly do’ in practice, Pete Carroll says

No teams in your favorites yet.

The hype that came with the NFC West was inevitable, really.

It started in the offseason, when the Los Angeles Rams made a blockbuster trade for quarterback Matthew Stafford and the Arizona Cardinals added big names such as defensive end J.J. Watt and wide receiver A.J. Green to a mix that already included quarterback Kyler Murray, receiver DeAndre Hopkins and outside linebacker Chandler Jones.

Add in the San Francisco 49ers, the 2019 NFC champions, getting healthy over the offseason and the star power of quarterback Russell Wilson and coach Pete Carroll for the defending division champion Seattle Seahawks, and we knew this season had potential. And it has been fun, starting with the division going a combined 7-1 over the first two weeks (the loss was in overtime, by the way) and the Cardinals entering Week 6 as the league's sole undefeated team.

These storylines prompted FiveThirtyEight to wonder if the NFC West is best division in NFL history. While that will play out eventually, we know that a) the NFC West can ball and b) that it's shifted 180 degrees from where it was in 2010, when the Seahawks became the first team in NFL history to win a division with a losing record.

ESPN reporters Josh Weinfuss (Arizona Cardinals), Lindsey Thiry (Los Angeles Rams), Nick Wagoner (San Francisco 49ers) and Brady Henderson (Seattle Seahawks) answer the most pressing questions in the division:

Thiry: FiveThirtyEight's argument the NFC West could be the best division in NFL history has passed the eyeball test through five weeks, but moving forward it seems disputable given that Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson is sidelined indefinitely and 49ers quarterbacks Jimmy Garoppolo and Trey Lance are also dealing with injuries. Nevertheless, all four teams have greater than a 25% chance to make the playoffs, putting the entire division in the postseason ahead of 17 other teams, according to ESPN's Football Power Index.

Wagoner: So far, yes. The division was a Seattle late-game meltdown against Tennessee from becoming the first in NFL history to start the season 8-0, proving the strength of the group when playing other NFC divisions and the AFC. The Cardinals are the NFL's only undefeated team and the Rams have a win against the defending Super Bowl champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers. In addition, the in-division games have mostly been hotly contested. The West already looked tough, but the Cardinals' emergence has taken it to another level.

Henderson: Well, it's got more combined wins than any other division, and the league's lone unbeaten team. So ... yeah. We'll see if the Seahawks can stay afloat and avoid dragging things down. Hard to argue this hasn't been the best division so far.

Weinfuss: Murray has been pretty good. That was sarcasm. Murray is one of the best in football right now. He's the co-favorite with the Buffalo Bills' Josh Allen for MVP according to Caesars sportsbook. Statistically, he's one of the top quarterbacks in the game. He's a conundrum for defenses because of his ability to run, sidestep, stop, cut, and then throw every type of pass in the book. There isn't much he can't do physically. As long as he stays healthy, which was the issue last season during Arizona's 3-6 finish, Murray will continue being one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL.

Thiry: Stafford is delivering exactly what was expected when L.A. completed a blockbuster trade for the veteran quarterback during the offseason. Stafford's arm, understanding of the defense and ability to throw under pressure has enabled coach Sean McVay to open the playbook, including explosive throws downfield the Rams lacked in recent seasons. Through a 4-1 start, Stafford has passed for 1,587 yards, the third-most in the NFL and the fourth-most by any player during his first five games with a team in NFL history. He has completed four passes for 40-plus air yards, despite having five such completions last season with the Detroit Lions. And according to Stafford, even better days lie ahead. "We'd love to be 5-0," he said after a 26-17 Week 5 win over division rival Seattle. "But we are where we are, and I think the fun thing is being 4-1 and knowing that my best game of football hasn't been played yet."

Wagoner: The 49ers have the most complicated quarterback dynamic in the league, not just the division. Coach Kyle Shanahan has stuck by his word that Garoppolo will be the starter, with rookie Lance getting situational snaps. Lance made his first start against Arizona when Garoppolo was dealing with a right calf injury. Lance flashed the dual-threat ability Garoppolo simply doesn't have, leaving many to wonder if he increases San Francisco's upside. Barring another injury, it seems Garoppolo will return as starter after the Week 6 bye, but it remains to be seen for how long. If the sagging offensive production (and the accompanying slow starts) continue, Lance's time will come. That's especially true if the Niners don't get their season pointed in the right direction.

Henderson: It's not good in Seattle. But under the circumstances, it could be much worse. ESPN's Adam Schefter reports there's a strong chance Wilson can return in as few as four weeks. That stretch includes the Seahawks' bye as well as two winnable games -- Sunday night at the Pittsburgh Steelers and Oct. 31 at home vs. the currently winless Jacksonville Jaguars. A Monday night game against the New Orleans Saints in between will be more difficult. But backup quarterback Geno Smith is competent enough and the schedule is favorable enough to think the Seahawks have a chance at emerging from that three-game stretch at 4-4. They'd need their defense to show up and running back Chris Carson to stay healthy -- he missed last week with a neck injury -- so the Seahawks can lean on the running game and take the pressure off Smith.

Thiry: Inconsistency for the Rams. A week after an emotional 34-24 win over the Buccaneers, the Rams suffered a significant letdown in a 37-20 loss to the Cardinals. At times, the offense, defense and special teams appear to be Super Bowl-caliber units, with Stafford completing highlight-reel throws and the defense standing strong at the goal line, but each phase has also been prone to letdowns and therefore the team has had to grind out what players described as ugly wins in Indianapolis and Seattle. For the Rams to achieve their full potential and forge a deep playoff and Super Bowl run, they must consistently prepare week-to-week and develop the ability to play consistently in all three phases throughout a game.

Wagoner: The 49ers, mired in a three-game losing streak, have had many issues, but most of them seem to fall under the disappointing offensive performance umbrella. The dominant Super Bowl defense of 2019 isn't around anymore, meaning the offense needs to make up the difference. So far, that hasn't happened. The Niners are still moving the ball fairly consistently but are lacking big plays (their 15 plays of 20-plus yards are tied for 27th in the league) and have been getting off to painfully slow starts. In the four games after Week 1, the Niners have scored a combined 21 first-half points. No matter who is at quarterback, the Niners need more from everyone on the offense, Garoppolo and Lance included.

Henderson: It's Wilson's injury for the Seahawks, but we'll get to that in a second. Because unless Seattle can fix its broken defense, it won't matter how long it takes Wilson to get back. The Seahawks have allowed at least 450 yards in four straight games. According to ESPN Stats & Information, that's the longest streak in team history and tied for the longest in NFL history. The issues are across the board: problematic cornerback play, an underperforming pass rush, not enough takeaways and not enough impact plays from Jamal Adams, who isn't blitzing as often. Seattle's defense got off to another historically bad start last year, and it lasted longer than this one has before it did a 180 around midseason. The impetus was the pass rush getting going. The Seahawks have as much firepower as last year, which suggests they can pull off another turnaround. But if Smith is going to have any chance at keeping them alive, it can't wait until midseason. It has to happen now.

Weinfuss order of finish: Cardinals, Rams, Seahawks, Niners. The Cardinals won't just win the division -- they'll be one of the top two seeds in the NFC.

Thiry order of finish: Cardinals, Rams, 49ers, Seahawks. The Cardinals will win the division. It remains a somewhat risky pick, given Kliff Kingsbury's squad started hot last season before collapsing through the second half of the schedule. Murray is playing terrific with another season of experience and the defense has tightened up.

Wagoner order of finish: Rams, Cardinals, 49ers, Seahawks. The Rams and Cardinals reach the postseason but don't be surprised if the third-place finisher here does, too.

Henderson order of finish: Cardinals, Rams, Seahawks, 49ers. The Seahawks will get Wilson back and fix their defense in time to at least make things interesting down the stretch.

Read full article at

It’s difficult to envision a Seahawks defensive turnaround like we saw in 2020

The Seattle Times 14 October, 2021 - 06:32pm

After Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson injured his finger on Thursday against the Los Angeles Rams, 'Hawks head coach Pete Carroll called his QB "one of the great healers of all time."

Wilson seems set on proving his coach correct.

The seven-time Pro Bowl quarterback was back at Seahawks practice Wednesday, though he was officially listed as a non-participant due to the injury to his right middle finger, which required surgery on Friday.

"He was great," Carroll said, via the team website's John Boyle. "He knows his job is to help Geno [Smith] and get him ready. …If he can figure out a way how to compete at that, he's doing it. He's already starting to listen to the game plan, he's figuring out where it fits, he's going to prepare just like he's playing. His plan is to stay as sharp and as fresh as he possibly can."

Wilson is reportedly zeroing in on a Week 10 (Nov. 14 at the Packers) return and it's hard to argue that's not realistic considering he had a helmet and red jersey on and was leading quarterbacks through conditioning drills on Wednesday, according to local beat writers. Wilson's right hand had a sizable bandage and was often tucked in a hand warmer.

Wilson has yet to be placed on injured reserve, which would require him to miss a minimum of three games, and Carroll didn't clarify if a move to IR is forthcoming.

"We don't have to do that yet," Carroll said, via the team website. "And so we're figuring it out. We're going to use all of the days that we need to make a really good choice here."

Seattle has until Saturday to place Wilson on IR for the Steelers' game to count as one of the three games he's mandated to miss.

Geno Smith is set to start on Sunday night against the Steelers.

The Seahawks have quarterback Jake Luton on their practice squad and added QB Danny Etling to the practice squad on Wednesday, as well. Placing Wilson on IR would open up a roster spot, perhaps for Luton to back up Smith.

If Wilson's not placed on IR by this weekend, conventional wisdom would lead to him not heading there as it would guarantee him not returning by Week 10.

For now, perhaps Wilson's just lending his leadership to the squad for as long as possible.

Nonetheless, Wilson was back with his teammates Wednesday and taking some steps forward on the road to recovery.

"Russ had a very successful surgery, we're really happy with all the reports, and we don't have any timelines for you at all right now," Carroll said. "He's in really good spirits, really active today as much as he could be around us and all of that. Really happy for the results of the initial part of it."

Pete Carroll Seahawks Wednesday Press Conference - October 13

Seattle Seahawks 14 October, 2021 - 06:32pm

Geno Smith, the Seahawks' loyal backup QB, finally gets his shot at a most critical juncture

The Athletic 14 October, 2021 - 06:32pm

Kadarius Toney let his emotions get the best of him this past Sunday.

It’s normal for that to occur with a young player, but it’s best not to make the same mistake twice.

Unfortunately, Toney will need to go up against Rams defensive back Jalen Ramsey, a notorious smack talker who will likely try to get Kadarius to commit that same error (which could obviously lead to another ejection).

Does Toney understand this and realize keeping his cool will be crucial Sunday afternoon?

“I mean, he’s probably got a target on him just because of what happened last week,” fellow wide receiver Sterling Shepard said of Kadarius, per “He knows that and I mean everybody has talked to him. He’ll be fine. Jalen likes to talk — everybody knows that around the league. We’re not going to shy away from anything. We’re going to play our game and we’re going to do what we do, no matter who’s out there. That’s that.”

Prior to the ejection, Toney put together his best game as a pro, catching 10 balls for 189 yards. He broke the record for the most single-game receiving yards by a rookie, previously set by Odell Beckham Jr., who had a 185-yard game for the Giants back in 2014.

The @Giants' Kadarius Toney (189 yards) broke Odell Beckham Jr's record (185 yards) for most receiving yards in a game by a rookie!

— NFL on ESPN (@ESPNNFL) October 10, 2021

The first-round draft pick will need to step up against the Rams this Sunday due to the expected absence of Kenny Golladay. The No. 1 receiver and prized free-agent acquisition injured his knee against Dallas and shouldn’t be participating.

As for Shepard, the sixth-year receiver is expected to partake in the meeting with Los Angeles after missing the last two games with a hamstring injury. Darius Slayton, who also missed the last pair of games with the same type of health issue, may return as well.

Bengals land Tre Flowers off waivers from Seahawks

Cincy Jungle 14 October, 2021 - 03:31pm

The Bengals land a potential starting cornerback.

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Flowers, weighing in at 6-foot-3 and 203 pounds, is a fourth-year player out of Oklahoma State who was originally a fifth-round pick of the Seahawks in 2018. He played in 47 career games (40 starts) over four seasons in Seattle while recording 202 tackles, two sacks, three interceptions, 16 pass deflections, five forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries.

After starting in the first three games this season, Flowers did not log a defensive snaps over the last two games but did play 31 special teams snaps. After he was waived Wednesday, head coach Pete Carroll revealed that Flowers asked for his release recently.

Flowers currently has a PFF grade of 52.9, which is actually 10.3 points higher than Eli Apple’s 42.5 grade. So while Flowers may not be someone you want playing heavy snaps, it is possible he’ll be an upgrade over Apple, who has been a major liability within the Bengals defense thus far.

Pete Carroll says Tre Flowers did not ask for his release. Says it was just time for a change.

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