Would a Healthy Andrew Luck Even Make the Colts Playoff Contenders?

hi-res-5ece1cac4f894fdf1bac7caba1e16b42_crop_north

The Indianapolis Colts can’t make the playoffs without Andrew Luck—that’s pretty clear. The possibility only slightly increases with Luck in the lineup.

The team’s personnel—especially the defense and skill positions—is filled with question marks, though you wouldn’t know it from general manager Chris Ballard’s recent comments.

“I think we’re sitting on a sleeping giant. I really do,” Ballard proclaimed, per Andrew Walker of the Colts’ official site.

The Colts are coming off a 4-12 campaign and have a new coaching staff (after being dumped by their chosen candidate) and a quarterback who hasn’t thrown a full-sized football in over 500 days. Optimism needs to be tempered no matter how excited the franchise is about the possibilities.

“I’m really excited to work with [Luck],” new offensive coordinator Nick Sirianni said, per the Goshen News’ George Bremer. “He’s a sharp guy, off-the-charts intelligence, football IQ. So what a guy to be able to work with. And obviously the sky’s the limit when we have a quarterback of his caliber.”

A few promising signs emerged for the Colts nfl jerseys cheap nike in the last month, starting with Luck’s recovery from 2017 offseason shoulder surgery.

“He’s doing good,” Ballard said of Luck, per Walker. “Strongest I’ve seen him, both mentally and physically.”

The Colts have been down this road before. They expected their signal-caller to be ready for the start of the 2017 campaign, but he didn’t play a snap before being placed on injured reserve in November.

An injured player becomes part of the forgotten during an extended layoff. Luck’s presence has always loomed over the organization, but his overall talent and what he means to the team must be re-evaluated. Will he return from nfl nike jerseys cheap shoulder surgery like Drew Brees did in 2006, or will his career path closely follow Chad Pennington’s?

The first overall pick entered the league as the closest thing to a perfect prospect. His combination of size (6’4″ and 240 pounds), athleticism, arm talent, intelligence and polish made him the most sought-after quarterback in the last 25 years.

Luck has fallen short of expectations because of injuries, and how he responds will show his mettle.

“I mean, look, we’re sitting on a unique human being; what he stands for [is] everything we want to stand for,” Ballard said. “Really, one of the growths that I’ve seen in Andrew—I mean, Andrew is very talented, and he’s been talented his whole life. And we’re really getting to see some of his internal grit right now to get over a hump that was very difficult to do.”nike nfl jersey cheap

Quenton Nelson’s selection with the sixth overall pick will become the foundation upon which Luck and the Colts can stand. Nelson is the closest thing to a surefire draft pick. He developed into a dominant force for the Notre Dame Fighting Irish, and his highlight reel, even as an offensive lineman, is the stuff of legend.

With Nelson nestled between Anthony Castonzo cheap nfl jerseys nike and Ryan Kelly, the left side of the Colts offensive line is settled. The right is far more fluid.

Second-round pick Braden Smith is the favorite to start at right guard, while the organization recently signed eight-year veteran Austin Howard to compete at right tackle.

The potential pitfalls of inexperience along the interior and replacing nike nfl jerseys for cheap three starters could have a negative effect despite the overall talent upgrade. Mistakes will be made. Hopefully, Luck won’t pay the price again.

David Johnson Has Big Plans for 2018

hi-res-c3f38677297d9e40b201f07883307c05_crop_exact

In 2016, Arizona Cardinals tailback David Johnson topped 2,000 yards from scrimmage and scored 20 touchdowns in a breakout performance. Last year, the only thing that broke was Johnson’s wrist—in the first game of the season.cheap customized nfl jerseys

To say that Johnson has big plans for his return is an understatement.

While appearing on NFL Network’s Good Morning Football recently, Johnson said he set his sights on a select club in 2018.

“My goal is still 1,000 [yards] rushing and 1,000 receiving,” he said.

The 26-year-old is attempting to join Roger Craig of the San Francisco 49ers (1985) and Marshall Faulk of the St. Louis Rams (1999) as the only tailbacks in NFL history to have at least 1,000 yards rushing and 1,000 yards receiving in the same season. He came up just short in 2016, rushing for 1,239 yards and adding 879 more on 80 catches.cheap nfl custom jerseys

New Cardinals head coach Steve Wilks has been impressed by what he’s seen from Johnson so far.

“He looked outstanding today,” Wilks told reporters Tuesday after the first OTA. “It’s good to have him back out there. Just flying around and the things that he’s doing right now is pretty exciting.”nfl jerseys cheap nike

To be fair, the tailback doesn’t have especially good odds of meeting his goal. An awful lot of things will have to go right, including the health of both Johnson and the majority of the offensive linemen in front of him.nike nfl jerseys cheap

But it’s not like Johnson tore an ACL or popped his Achilles. He didn’t suffer an injury that will negatively impact his speed or agility. And by breaking his wrist on the first weekend of last season, he inadvertently gave himself the maximum amount of time to recover before taking the field in a game that counts.nfl nike jerseys cheap

Can Saquon Barkley Possibly Succeed as a Rookie?

Saquon Barkley will make his Giants debut at rookie camp on Friday and Saturday. Here are a few bold predictions about what will happen: cheap nike nfl jerseys china

• We will hear that he looks great. Or “sharp,” because that’s the word us media types tend to use to describe rookies running around in compression shorts during noncontact practices.

• He will “say all the right things.”

• Head coach Pat Shurmur and others will tell us how excited they are about what Barkley brings to the Giants.

Rookie camp, after all, is a glorified debutante ball for a No. 2 overall pick like Barkley. It’s a chance to make a positive first impression and set the tone for a successful rookie season.

But what will a successful rookie season mean for Saquon Barkley, who comes at an extremely high cost—the Giants reportedly shunned trade offers for the second overall pick, according to Ryan Dunleavy of NJ Advance Media—nike nfl jerseys for cheap and with stratospheric expectations?

That’s easy, you say. A successful rookie season for a running back is all about the numbers.

Barkley can succeed by gaining about 1,300 yards from scrimmage, scoring a dozen touchdowns and adding around 50 catches. That production will win some games and also silence those Moneyballers that Giants general manager Dave Gettleman mocks by typing on his imaginary laptop, right?

Did you spot our trap with those numbers?nfl jerseys nike cheap

Those were Trent Richardson’s statistics from his rookie season, when he gained 1,317 yards from scrimmage in 2012 (950 rushing, 367 receiving), caught 51 passes and scored 12 total touchdowns. Richardson started regressing badly late in that season, was traded early the next year and hasn’t taken an NFL regular-season snap since 2014. Now he’s an all-time bust and a cautionary tale about drafting running backs too high.

Richardson averaged just 3.6 yards per carry as a rookie, a sign that his raw totals weren’t what they seemed to be. So, how about this as the definition of a successful rookie season: 1,300 scrimmage yards, some receiving value, double-digit touchdowns and 4.8 yards per carry? That’s a high-impact rookie season, isn’t it?

Those numbers come from Todd Gurley’s rookie year in 2015. Gurley, who the Rams selected at No. 10 overall that year, is no bust;nfl nike jersey cheap  heck, he was the Associated Press Offensive Player of the Year last season. But Gurley followed up his strong rookie season with a disappointing 885 rushing yards, 3.2 yards per carry and six touchdowns in 2016.

The Summer of Boogie: Pelicans’ Top Offseason Priorities and Potential Targets

hi-res-cdcf05cc914f311f3e9f716a6cd1557b_crop_north

The New Orleans Pelicans’ ability to rally and reshape themselves after DeMarcus Cousins’ Achilles tear helped them score their first playoff-series victory of the Pelicans era—and, more importantly, of Anthony Davis’ career.

But it also cast a fascinating cloud of uncertainty over their offseason, which started after Tuesday’s series-ending 113-104 loss to the Golden State Warriors at Oracle Arena.

If they could sweep the Portland Trail Blazers nike nfl jersey cheap  and take a semifinal tilt from the champs without Cousins, what does (or should) that mean for his impending free agency?

He’s the second-most talented player on the roster, but perhaps his absence created more favorable on-court conditions for Davis. Plus, Achilles tears present tricky recoveries for any player, let alone one carrying 270 pounds on a 6’11” frame.

This was always going to be the Summer of Boogie in the Big Easy, but the narrative has changed. What seemed like a no-brainer decision to route several Brink’s trucks his way has now given way to conversations about offering him a much cheaper and shorter contract than anticipated.

“The Pelicans have broached internally the idea of offering Cousins a two- or three-year deal at less than the max, per sources familiar with the discussions,” ESPN’s Zach Lowe reported. “I would not expect that to go over well with Cousins’ camp.”cheap nfl jerseys nike

The Cousins conundrum is by far the biggest obstacle New Orleans needs to clear this summer. But there are also other free agents to re-sign or replace, a late-draft dart to throw in June and tricky roster-building puzzles to solve so this 48-win season becomes a springboard to something greater and not the peak of the Pelicans’ powers.nike nfl jerseys for cheap

New Orleans already has at least $92.8 million on next season’s books. Considering the NBA projects a $101 million salary cap and $123 million luxury tax, the Pelicans have virtually no wiggle room even before they start spending.nfl jerseys nike cheap

That’s an issue considering all the spending New Orleans must do over the coming months.

Cousins isn’t signed. Neither is Rajon Rondo, their starting point guard and fourth-most utilized player in the postseason. Same goes for Ian Clark, cheap nike nfl jerseys china who paced Pelicans reserves in playoff minutes, and Jordan Crawford. Darius Miller, who led the club with 147 triples, has a non-guaranteed salary. Cheick Diallo, Emeka Okafor and DeAndre Liggins have partial or non-guarantees.

RB Mike James’ Request to Take Marijuana as a Painkiller Denied by NFL

hi-res-60b124336574d954695cbf58aa500483_crop_north

The NFL denied a request by free-agent running back Mike James to use marijuana, rather than prescription opioids, as a painkiller.

“I am hopeful that I’ll be able to keep playing football,”custom nfl jerseys  James told Steve Politi of NJ.com. “It is a game that I love very dearly. I know right now I’m doing something that makes some people uncomfortable, and that I’m going against the establishment to push for a change in the way they look at this medicine. I know there’s a greater purpose here for a lot of guys in this league who I consider family members.”

James, 27, spent the entire 2017 season on injured reserve with a concussion. He was on the Detroit Lions’ roster but did not play after August.

Marijuana is on the NFL’s banned substances list. Repeated positive tests can lead to suspensions or expulsions from the league. James has never been suspended for a positive test.

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell has been pessimistic about the use of marijuana.customized nfl jerseys

“I think you still have to look at a lot of aspects of marijuana use,” Goodell said on Mike and Mike in 2017 (h/t Los Angeles Times). “Is it something that can be negative to the health of our players? Listen, you’re ingesting smoke, so that’s not usually a very positive thing that people would say. It does have an addictive nature. There are a lot of compounds in marijuana that may not be healthy for the players long term. All of those things have to be considered.”

James said he wants to be known as a pioneer for marijuana use in the NFL as a painkiller.nfl custom jerseys cheap

“I hear it all the time from retired players who say, ‘I was so scared to say something when I was playing,'” James said. “We are the engine that drives this league. If we can’t get onto the field with a less harmful medicine and we can’t live our life after football, how are we going to tell our kids to play this game?”cheap custom nfl jerseys

Bucks’ Thon Maker Credits Kevin Garnett For Improved Play vs. Celtics

thon-maker

Is Kevin Garnett the Milwaukee Bucks’ new secret weapon? Bucks center Thon Maker suggested as much Tuesday when he credited the NBA legend for his improved play in his team’s first-round playoff series against the Boston Celtics, according to ESPN’s Nick Friedell. Not only has Garnett worked out the Bucks at various points this season, he also posted a personal hype video on Instagram that is motivating Maker to raise his game. “He posted it on his Instagram, and somebody showed it to me,”nfl cheap jerseys nike  Maker said after the Bucks’ shootaround, per ESPN. “And then I watched it and I sent it back to him and told him how motivational it was and said I liked it. So then we started talking.” Maker played just one minute in the Bucks’ losses to the Celtics in Games 1 and 2, missing both of his field-goal attempts and grabbing only one rebound. Garnett then posted the video last Wednesday. Maker responded with 22 points, 7 rebounds and 10 blocks in 55 combined minutes in Games 3 and 4. His improvement was instrumental in the Bucks winning both contests and evening the series at 2-2. Maker expanded on the crucial psychological lessons he learned from Garnett. “The biggest thing is having that attack mindset on both ends of the floor,” Maker said. “With him, he doesn’t care who you are in front of him if you’re playing against him. On the defensive end, (defending) your shot and protecting your teammates. The biggest thing when it comes to your teammates, him dealing with his teammates, was always touching a guy, telling him, ‘Stay up,’ keeping the guys positive. “And then on the offensive end, just getting everybody involved, but also looking to attack because his man would be back. That’s what he was telling me: ‘If your man is back, shoot it. And tell them, How dare you back off?’” Garnett bonded with the Celtics in 2007, the moment he arrived in Boston that summer. His key role on the Celtics’ 2008 NBA championship-winning squad and subsequent title-contending teams made him a favorite among just about everyone connected with the organization. Many of these folks might ask: “So what gives, KG? Can you knock off the inadvertent Buck assistance for a little while?”nfl nike jerseys for cheapnike nfl jerseys wholesale cheap

Raiders Rumors: Amari Cooper’s 5th-Year Contract Option to Be Picked Up

hi-res-39d14deeefa4d843b8406df279422bbf_crop_north

The Oakland Raiders reportedly will pick up wide receiver Amari Cooper’s fifth-year contract option for 2019, according to Josina Anderson of ESPN.

That option will pay him $13.9 million for the 2019 season, china nfl jersey wholesale

A 2015 first-round pick, Cooper looked the part of a true No. 1 wide receiver over his first two seasons. As a rookie, the Alabama product registered 72 receptions for 1,070 yards and six touchdowns.

He followed up that Pro Bowl-caliber performance by logging a career-high 83 catches for 1,153 yards and five scores in Year 2.
china wholesale nfl jerseys
However, Cooper regressed in 2017 despite finding paydirt seven times.

With the offense out of sync seemingly all season long, Cooper stumbled his way to 48 receptions for 680 yards. All told, he topped 100 yards in a game twice and managed more than five receptions in a single outing.

As it turns out, Cooper may have been playing hurt despite missing just two games. nfl jersey wholesale china

“He would never say it to you, but I’ll say it to you to have his back,” quarterback Derek Carr said, according to SiriusXM NFL Radio’s Eddie Borsilli. “That man was out there giving anything he could and honestly, a lot of guys probably wouldn’t have played with what he had.”

Now in the fold through at least 2019, Cooper figures to be a prominent piece of the Raiders’ new scheme. authentic nfl jerseys china wholesale

“He’ll be the focal point of our offense,” head coach Jon Gruden told reporters in February, according to NBC Sports Bay Area’s Scott Bair. “… He has tremendous quickness. He’s smart, versatile and he’s a gamer. He likes the bright lights, and he’ll be the headliner in our offense.”

Heyman | Mark Reynolds has deal with Nationals

The Washington Nationals have a deal in place with infielder Mark Reynolds, sources tell FanRag Sports. Reynolds played mostly first base for the Colorado Rockies last season. Reynolds hit .267 with 30 home runs, 97 RBI and 82 runs scored in Colorado last season, but went the entire offseason without a deal.
cheap nike nfl jerseys wholesale
The Nationals are currently playing Ryan Zimmerman at first base but he’s off to a slow start this season. The veteran came into Thursday with a .111 batting average and one home run. While Nats people say they aren’t worried about Zimmerman, he’s off to a slow start after barely playing in spring training for unknown reasons.

Zimmerman and Reynolds were teammates at the University of Virginia.USATSI_10294760cheap nike nfl jersey

Washington also has Matt Adams on the roster. He’s hitting .211 with a pair of home runs so far this season.

Reynolds has a career slashline of.237/.329/.455 in his 11 MLB seasons. The Nationals came into Thursday with a 6-6 record.

Jon Heyman is an MLB Insider for the FRS Network, the home for his breaking news, information and his weekly Inside Baseball column on FRS Baseball cheap nfl nike jerseys china . Heyman also has been an insider at MLB Network since the channel launched in 2009. Heyman previously worked for CBS Sports, Sports Illustrated, Newsday in New York and Sporting News, among other outlets. Heyman is a graduate of Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism. The Santa Fe, New Mexico native grew up in Cedarhurst, New York, on Long Island.
Florida is replacing Indiana and will face West Virginia in the 2018 Jimmy V Classic buy nike nfl jerseys cheap at Madison Square Garden, multiple sources told FanRag Sports.

The other game of the doubleheader is Oklahoma against Notre Dame.new nike nfl jerseys cheap

Official dates and times are yet to be determined.

The Jimmy V Classic is always held during the first two weeks of December.

Atlanta Falcons

The Atlanta Falcons took a slight step back during the 2017 campaign after falling to the New England Patriots in Super Bowl LI. Even so, the Falcons feature one of the league’s deepest rosters with young and exciting talent at numerous positions. nfl jerseys cheap nike The goal is to retake the NFC from the Philadelphia Eagles, and the Falcons have the talent to do so after fortifying a few positions.

Defensive Interior

Grady Jarrett developed into one of the league’s best, albeit underappreciated, defensive tackles. Jarrett is a consistent disruptive presence, who formed one half of a strong duo alongside Dontari Poe. Poe only signed a one-year deal during the previous nfl nike jerseys cheap free-agency period, though, and he’s drawn plenty of interest from other teams, per Tony Pauline of DraftAnalyst.com. As a result, the Falcons need to add a significant presence alongside Jarrett. An individual with Poe’s combination of size (346 pounds) and athleticism isn’t necessary. However, a defensive tackle stout at the point of attack should balance the nike nfl jersey cheap  play of the smaller and quicker Jarrett. b0266f56e018f91170d65ebc51dcd2f0_crop_exact

Guard

Wes Schweitzer started all 16 games last season after Chris Chester retired cheap nfl jerseys nike . The Falcons have two options: Either the coaching staff wants to see Schweitzer start one more year, expecting him to improve upon last season’s effort, or the front office decides the position can and should be upgraded. The 24-year-old blocker performed well in stretches, only to provide inconsistent overall play. Also, left guard Andy Levitre turns 32 in May, and he’s entering the last year of his contract. nike nfl jerseys for cheap

Slot Receiver

Julio Jones and Mohamed Sanu are a fantastic one-two punch. However, the Falcons are expected to lose Taylor Gabriel to the Chicago Bears in free agency, per Patrick Finley of the Chicago Sun-Times. Gabriel is an explosive target out of the slot,nfl jerseys nike cheap  even though offensive coordinator Steven Sarkisian didn’t know exactly how to use him. Very few present the same type of speed or ability to create after the catch as the 27-year-old. Veteran options Andre Roberts and Justin Hardy remain on the roster, but neither presents the same type of home run ability.

Cleveland Browns: Sign a Veteran Safety

Cleveland Browns general manager John Dorsey took an aggressive approach leading up to the new league year. Through trades and reported deals, the front office addressed shallow roster spots with players who have yet to leave their mark on the NFL or need a fresh start.cheap nfl jerseys nike

According to the Akron Beacon Journal’s Nate Ulrich, the Browns plan to utilize Damarious Randall at safety—a position he played in college at Arizona State. The 25-year-old lined up in various spots during his tenure with the Green Bay Packers but primarily took the field as a cornerback.db7aa195dd627c128bbd4c4952094789_crop_exact

The Browns should sign a veteran cover safety in case the experiment with nike nfl jerseys for cheap Randall goes awry. He’s registered 10 interceptions over the past three seasons, which suggests center field shouldn’t pose an issue, but the front office needs an alternative on the roster as insurance.

There’s constant discussion about wideout Dez Bryant’s $16.5 million cap hit after an average year in which his team needed him to produce numbers similar to the 2012-14 campaigns.

Nonetheless, it’s fair to talk about the drop-off between a healthy Tony Romo and Dak Prescott in his second season. Analysts will say the 29-year-old can’t separate as he has in the past, but it’s fair to temper expectations with a less experienced quarterback who’s still developing as a pocket passer.cheap nike nfl jerseys china

Bryant hasn’t produced a 1,000-yard season since 2014, but he’s still worth keeping on the roster as Prescott goes through his career progression.

The front office may not like Bryant’s salary with the return on their investment so far, but releasing him outright, which would new nike nfl jerseys cheap leave $8 million in dead money, per Over the Cap, isn’t the best solution. Team brass should restructure the deal and monitor his chemistry with Prescott in their third season together.