News and Notes from the National Football League Following Week 4
Here is a look at the National Football League News and Notes following Week 4:
Edelman, Ingram Set to Return
New England Patriots wide receiver Julian Edelman and New Orleans Saints running back Mark Ingram highlight the list of players who are eligible to return in week five of the NFL season. Edelman and Ingram are just two of nine players who will be rejoining their respective teams after serving a four-game suspension this season.
Edelman will make his first appearance with the Patriots since the 2016 season after missing the entire 2017 season with a torn ACL. Ingram’s return to the Saints lineup will give quarterback Drew Brees another weapon on the offensive side of the ball. Cincinnati Bengals linebacker Vontaze Burfict is the most notable defensive player set to return this week.
Jameis Winston Named Starting Quarterback
Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Dirk Koetter announced that Jameis Winston to resume his role as starting quarterback in week six. The Buccaneers have a bye this week but will resume play against the Atlanta Falcons with their former first-round pick under center. Winston entered the week four game against the Chicago Bears at halftime but struggled in his return.
Winston began the season serving a three-game suspension for personal conduct issues, and the Buccaneers were forced to start Ryan Fitzpatrick. Fitzpatrick led the team to an impressive 2-0 start, but struggled in his previous two games, both losses, to earn the benching. Dirk Koetter told the media that his plan all along was to start Winston in game five against the Falcons.
Le’Veon Bell Eyes Steelers Return
Pittsburgh Steelers running back Le’Veon Bell told ESPN that he plans to return to the team this season. Bell is eyeing a week 7 or 8 return to the Steelers, and still has hopes of signing a long-term deal with the team. The Steelers have a bye in week 7, before hosting the Cleveland Browns in week eight on October 28.
Bell has been away from the team as he continues to refuse to sign his franchise tender, but has been staying in football shape in anticipation of a return this season. Bell, 26, has averaged 128.9 total yards per game since joining the NFL which is the highest ever for an NFL player in his first five seasons in the league. Pittsburgh has gone 1-2-1 in their first four games this season, and find themselves in a tie for last place in the AFC North with the Cleveland Browns.
Earl Thomas Breaks Leg, Out For Season
Seattle Seahawks All-Pro safety, Earl Thomas, suffered a broken leg in the Seahawks 20-17 win over the Arizona Cardinals in week four. As Thomas was being carted off the field he gave the “middle finger” towards the Seahawks sideline in response to what has been an ongoing contract dispute. Thomas will miss the remainder of the 2018 regular season, and his long Seahawks career is likely over.
Before Sunday’s game, it was reported that the Seahawks were trying to work out a trade for Thomas, and that the Kansas City Chiefs were a likely destination. Kansas City was expected to send a draft pick to the Seahawks in return for Thomas, but will now have to find another player to help shore up their defensive issues in the secondary.
Seahawks Owner Diagnosed With Lymphoma
Seattle Seahawks owner Paul Allen announced on Monday that he has been diagnosed with non-Hodgkins Lymphoma. Allen was initially diagnosed with this disease in 2009, but appeared to have beaten the illness. The co-founder of Microsoft has been the owner of the Seahawks since 1996, and also owns the Portland Trail Blazers in the NBA. The Seahawks won the 2013 Super Bowl under the guidance of Allen.
Fournette Out Indefinitely
Jacksonville Jaguars running back Leonard Fournette is out indefinitely after aggravating a right hamstring injury. Fournette initially hurt his hamstring during the 2018 season opener, but was able to play through the injury. After aggravating it again on Sunday, Fournette underwent an MRI and the tests didn’t show any significant damage.
Jaguars head coach Doug Marrone did not specify how long Fournette was expected to be out, but Jacksonville is hesitant to put their offensive start on short-term IR. If Fournette was placed on IR then he could not be on the active roster for a minimum of eight weeks.