WFT News: Several WFT WRs have big opportunity if Curtis Samuel misses Week 1; Derwin James says ‘you’ve got …

Sports

Hogs Haven 09 September, 2021 - 11:12am 10 views

Who is Austin ekeler backup?

Justin Jackson is listed as Ekeler's backup on the Chargers' depth chart. Pro Football FocusChargers' RB Austin Ekeler sits out of practice with hamstring injury, status for Week 1 unknown | NFL News, Rankings and Statistics

Star linebacker talks traditions, awards, and the return of fans in 2021

While fans were largely unable to witness their favorite players in person, they still had games to watch at home, a blessing during a time of isolation for many.

Major brands got in on the action as well with Pepsi launching their “made for football watching” campaign. Now, with fans returning, one of the top game-day staples in America is partnering with NFL players to keep the party going, even as it makes its way back into stadiums.

“It’s been great to work with Pepsi,” Buccaneers linebacker Devin White told me in a conversation ahead of the team’s Week 1 match-up against the Dallas Cowboys. “...football and Pepsi (are) two of the greatest things in the world, so I’m glad that I could team up with them.”

Pepsi has found a way to make it more about commercials though. Not only do they have some of the favorite faces and talents from around the league involved, but those athletes are also giving something fans can carry into their own game-day traditions.

For White, it’s his lemon pepper wings. Something he got excited about, just mentioning it.

Of course, fans are looking to get back into stadiums this year, and Buccaneers fans who missed out on seeing their Super Bowl squad in person are especially excited. They aren’t the only ones, either.

“I’m very excited to have fans back in the stadium,” White said. “...fans make it even more of a game just because of the camaraderie. Just the loudness (on) third downs, getting them up on their feet, having home field advantage...it has a major impact on the game within itself.”

White is always ready to play. While he believes fans make the games better, he knows he has a job to do, and he’s there to do it no matter how many people are in the house to witness it firsthand.

Commonly referred to as ‘motor’ is turned all the way up for a player like White, and it’s one of the reasons he’s become a fan favorite and media focus in less than three year’s time. In a recent episode of the Locked On Bucs Podcast, James Yarcho even went as far as to predict White would be the 2021 NFL Defensive Player of the Year.

“I approach it in the manner that I know I’m a player that’s capable of winning awards like that,” White said when I asked him about season goals like that one in particular. “Also, just trusting my coaches and just trusting the scheme that I play in that it’s going to present the opportunity to go make big-time plays.”

Plays, highlights, wins, and losses. Fans make up one-third of what I call the entertainment triad of football. Without them, you, it just felt like something was missing in 2020.

Fans won’t be missing anymore, and Thursday night Raymond James Stadium is set to be packed for a regular-season game more than it has been in my seven years covering the team. Talk about exciting.

On and off the field Buccaneers fans have a tendency to become connected to their favorite players, and recognizing this communal atmosphere, Pepsi took their involvement a few steps beyond even enlisting White as a face of this year’s outreach message.

Today, Pepsi Stronger Together is donating 2,000 meals from local restaurants Bubbaque BBQ, Harpoon Harry’s, Datz, and Grove to thank workers at HCA Brandon Regional, Advent Wesley Chapel, and Baycare St. Joseph Main Hospitals in the Tampa Bay area.

On September 10th, they’re hosting the final stop of their Coastal Conservation Ops tour with Force Blue conducting a community beach clean-up effort and removing marine debris and ghost gear at Anna Maria Island.

Football is back, and the efforts to connect the game to its fans, and their communities, are stronger than ever.

For more on this story and all things Tampa Bay Buccaneers, follow us here at Bucs Nation and listen to James Yarcho and me on the Locked On Bucs Podcast!

Read full article at Hogs Haven

What Rivera said about Curtis Samuel's early exit from practice

NBC Sports 31 December, 1969 - 06:00pm

Well, what happened on Wednesday sure seemed like it'll prevent Samuel from achieving that goal.

The wideout started going through individual drills with his fellow position mates to begin practice in Ashburn, but on one fairly relaxed route, he clearly felt something he wasn't hoping to feel and ended up removing himself from the proceedings. 

Here's footage of the discouraging sequence:

Samuel was then spotted talking with head trainer Ryan Vermillion, who tried to help Samuel stretch a bit before eventually escorting him to the side field that he's spent a lot of time on during the summer. 

Afterward, coach Ron Rivera provided a short update about Samuel's health in a presser.

"What we'll do is continue to monitor him, see how he is tomorrow," Rivera said. "He came out, warmed up, wasn't quite feeling as well as we hoped he would, so we'll just continue to monitor him and see how he is tomorrow."

Washington's last practice of the week that is open to the media will take place on Thursday. Samuel was officially listed as a "DNP" on the squad's injury report and he was the only player on the report.

With the Burgundy and Gold set to open the season this Sunday against the Chargers and then quickly turn around for a matchup with the Giants the following Thursday, it's natural to wonder whether Rivera and co. are considering putting the pass catcher on short-term injured reserve. 

Doing so would mean Samuel could be more patient in his rehab — a rehab that has spanned months at this point — and be eligible to play again in Week 4 if he's in a better place physically.

Rivera, though, didn't want to publicly discuss that option yet.

"I don't want to speculate on that, I don't want anybody thinking that's what we're going to do," Rivera said.

If Samuel were unable to suit up versus Los Angeles, both Dyami Brown and Cam Sims would see more snaps on the outside for the offense. Adam Humphries, meanwhile, would be heavily involved out of the slot.

"You feel really good about who Cam Sims is, without a doubt in my mind," Rivera said. "Dyami is a guy who can run and is a big play waiting to happen."

Washington's receiving corps has improved an enormous amount over what it was in 2020, even without Samuel in the mix.

Samuel, though, is skilled enough to elevate the group another tier or two when compared to the rest of the league on his own, but for that to happen, he has to be at 100 percent. Obviously, that isn't the case right now. Kickoff is set to take place at 1 p.m. on Sunday. Coverage begins with Washington Football Kickoff live on NBC Sports Washington and the MyTeams app at 12 p.m. and Washington Football Postgame Live immediately following the game.

How To Watch: Chargers at Washington - Who's Healthy?

Sports Illustrated 09 September, 2021 - 02:37pm

"If Curtis plays, great, and if he doesn't, great, because we have a lot of confidence in the other guys," Rivera said.

While the NFC East champions are back in action, the team has a more difficult path this season than last, as Washington faces four reigning division champs (Buffalo, New Orleans, Kansas City, and Green Bay) in the first seven weeks of the season. Washington's first matchup doesn't start easy, either, as it'll be going up against the Chargers "hot" offense, with reigning Offensive Rookie of the Year quarterback Justin Herbert, star running back Austin Ekeler, and star wide receiver Keenan Allen. 

If Washington wants to win this Sunday, the front seven will need to disrupt Herbert and the secondary must take advantage of Herbert's mistakes while under pressure. More importantly, Washington's offense needs to to figure out its identity under quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick. 

Washington's offense needs fewer three-and-outs and more well-spent time on the field, so the defense doesn't have to "carry" the team. 

Washington last played the Los Angeles Chargers in 2017, where the burgundy and gold took away a 17-point loss. Washington last defeated the Chargers eight years ago, when the Chargers were still located in San Diego.

When: Sunday, September 12, 1 p.m.

Where: FedEx Field, Landover, Maryland

Television: CBS

Radio: The Team 980/WMAL 105.9

Stream: NFL Game Pass

Name to watch - QB Ryan Fitzpatrick: 17 years in the NFL and now on his ninth NFL team, Fitzpatrick will be making his regular-season debut as starting quarterback in Washington. While he made a few "wow" throws in the preseason, he still has much chemistry to build with his new offense. He needs to play smart on the field and not hurt his team with turnovers. If so, Washington's potential on offense could turn out to be very explosive - even if Samuel cannot go.

How To Watch: Chargers at Washington - Who's Healthy?

Yahoo Sports 09 September, 2021 - 02:37pm

"If Curtis plays, great, and if he doesn't, great, because we have a lot of confidence in the other guys," Rivera said.

While the NFC East champions are back in action, the team has a more difficult path this season than last, as Washington faces four reigning division champs (Buffalo, New Orleans, Kansas City, and Green Bay) in the first seven weeks of the season. Washington's first matchup doesn't start easy, either, as it'll be going up against the Chargers "hot" offense, with reigning Offensive Rookie of the Year quarterback Justin Herbert, star running back Austin Ekeler, and star wide receiver Keenan Allen. 

If Washington wants to win this Sunday, the front seven will need to disrupt Herbert and the secondary must take advantage of Herbert's mistakes while under pressure. More importantly, Washington's offense needs to to figure out its identity under quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick. 

Washington's offense needs fewer three-and-outs and more well-spent time on the field, so the defense doesn't have to "carry" the team. 

Washington last played the Los Angeles Chargers in 2017, where the burgundy and gold took away a 17-point loss. Washington last defeated the Chargers eight years ago, when the Chargers were still located in San Diego.

When: Sunday, September 12, 1 p.m.

Where: FedEx Field, Landover, Maryland

Television: CBS

Radio: The Team 980/WMAL 105.9

Stream: NFL Game Pass

Name to watch - QB Ryan Fitzpatrick: 17 years in the NFL and now on his ninth NFL team, Fitzpatrick will be making his regular-season debut as starting quarterback in Washington. While he made a few "wow" throws in the preseason, he still has much chemistry to build with his new offense. He needs to play smart on the field and not hurt his team with turnovers. If so, Washington's potential on offense could turn out to be very explosive - even if Samuel cannot go.

Devin White ready for Bucs Nation to be back in Raymond James Stadium

CBS Sports 09 September, 2021 - 08:00am

Star linebacker talks traditions, awards, and the return of fans in 2021

While fans were largely unable to witness their favorite players in person, they still had games to watch at home, a blessing during a time of isolation for many.

Major brands got in on the action as well with Pepsi launching their “made for football watching” campaign. Now, with fans returning, one of the top game-day staples in America is partnering with NFL players to keep the party going, even as it makes its way back into stadiums.

“It’s been great to work with Pepsi,” Buccaneers linebacker Devin White told me in a conversation ahead of the team’s Week 1 match-up against the Dallas Cowboys. “...football and Pepsi (are) two of the greatest things in the world, so I’m glad that I could team up with them.”

Pepsi has found a way to make it more about commercials though. Not only do they have some of the favorite faces and talents from around the league involved, but those athletes are also giving something fans can carry into their own game-day traditions.

For White, it’s his lemon pepper wings. Something he got excited about, just mentioning it.

Of course, fans are looking to get back into stadiums this year, and Buccaneers fans who missed out on seeing their Super Bowl squad in person are especially excited. They aren’t the only ones, either.

“I’m very excited to have fans back in the stadium,” White said. “...fans make it even more of a game just because of the camaraderie. Just the loudness (on) third downs, getting them up on their feet, having home field advantage...it has a major impact on the game within itself.”

White is always ready to play. While he believes fans make the games better, he knows he has a job to do, and he’s there to do it no matter how many people are in the house to witness it firsthand.

Commonly referred to as ‘motor’ is turned all the way up for a player like White, and it’s one of the reasons he’s become a fan favorite and media focus in less than three year’s time. In a recent episode of the Locked On Bucs Podcast, James Yarcho even went as far as to predict White would be the 2021 NFL Defensive Player of the Year.

“I approach it in the manner that I know I’m a player that’s capable of winning awards like that,” White said when I asked him about season goals like that one in particular. “Also, just trusting my coaches and just trusting the scheme that I play in that it’s going to present the opportunity to go make big-time plays.”

Plays, highlights, wins, and losses. Fans make up one-third of what I call the entertainment triad of football. Without them, you, it just felt like something was missing in 2020.

Fans won’t be missing anymore, and Thursday night Raymond James Stadium is set to be packed for a regular-season game more than it has been in my seven years covering the team. Talk about exciting.

On and off the field Buccaneers fans have a tendency to become connected to their favorite players, and recognizing this communal atmosphere, Pepsi took their involvement a few steps beyond even enlisting White as a face of this year’s outreach message.

Today, Pepsi Stronger Together is donating 2,000 meals from local restaurants Bubbaque BBQ, Harpoon Harry’s, Datz, and Grove to thank workers at HCA Brandon Regional, Advent Wesley Chapel, and Baycare St. Joseph Main Hospitals in the Tampa Bay area.

On September 10th, they’re hosting the final stop of their Coastal Conservation Ops tour with Force Blue conducting a community beach clean-up effort and removing marine debris and ghost gear at Anna Maria Island.

Football is back, and the efforts to connect the game to its fans, and their communities, are stronger than ever.

For more on this story and all things Tampa Bay Buccaneers, follow us here at Bucs Nation and listen to James Yarcho and me on the Locked On Bucs Podcast!

Chargers RB Austin Ekeler (hamstring) sits out Wednesday practice

NFL.com 08 September, 2021 - 06:39pm

Five days ahead of the Los Angeles Chargers' season opener against the host Washington Football Team, a potentially major injury concern has popped up.

Bolts standout running back Austin Ekeler did not practice Wednesday due to a hamstring injury, per the team's injury report.

At practice, Ekeler, who's entering his fifth NFL season, was seen working off to the side with trainers, but did not take part in the open period.

Ekeler, 26, dealt with a hamstring injury last year that cut his season six games short, so it's certainly a situation to monitor as the the Chargers face a formidable Washington defense on Sunday.

Behind Ekeler in the Bolts' running backs room are Justin Jackson, Joshua Kelley and Larry Rountree III.

The 2020 campaign was Ekeler's first with Los Angeles in which he took on the RB1 tag as Melvin Gordon had moved on to the Broncos. Ekeler met sky-high expectations with 933 scrimmage yards and three total touchdowns in the aforementioned 10 games.

The days ahead will tell if Ekeler has another lingering hamstring ailment to worry about or if he'll hit the 2021 season running against the Football Team.

Sports Stories