NFL Wire News

NFL notebook: Jones set to start at QB for Steelers


The Sports Xchange

Landry Jones is preparing to start for the Pittsburgh Steelers but will do so in the shadow of the team’s franchise quarterback.

Ben Roethlisberger plans to wrap his injured knee and participate fully in Wednesday’s practice. Coach Mike Tomlin said Tuesday that Jones is preparing to start.

“He’s the one that’s healthy,” Tomlin said.

Roethlisberger is recovering from a sprained medial collateral ligament and bone bruise. If he practices without limitations and is cleared medically, Tomlin would not stand in the way of his return.

—Sam Bradford has been woefully inconsistent through the Philadelphia Eagles’ first six games of the 2015 season, but head coach Chip Kelly made it clear Tuesday that he is not considering replacing Bradford with backup Mark Sanchez.

“Sam is our quarterback,” Kelly said. “We have full confidence in Sam.”

Bradford, who has missed most of the past two years with ACL tears in his left knee, is 28th in the league in passing (80.0). He is 30th in third-down passing with a 48.5 rating.

—Quarterback Tyrod Taylor is pushing to start Sunday’s game when the Buffalo Bills and Jacksonville Jaguars square off in London.

Taylor missed the Bills’ loss last week with a sprained medial collateral ligament in his left knee. Taylor was injured Week 5 in a win over the Tennessee Titans. He said the injury has “progressed each and every day.”

The Bills began last week’s game without Taylor (knee), running back Karlos Williams (concussion) and wide receiver Percy Harvin (hip). During the game, they lost receivers Sammy Watkins (ankle) and Marquise Goodwin (ribs) and offensive tackle Seantrel Henderson (concussion). On defense, tackle Kyle Williams (knee) went down in the fourth quarter, joining safety Aaron Williams (neck), who is on short-term injured reserve.

Watkins, Harvin and Kyle Williams will be absent this week and Goodwin was placed on injured reserve.

—Offensive tackle Jordan Mills signed with the Bills and wide receiver Marquise Goodwin was placed on injured reserve.

Mills started 29 games for the Chicago Bears in 2013 and ’14. He was signed to the Detroit Lions’ practice squad on Sept. 17.

The Bills signed wide receiver Titus Davis to the practice squad.

—Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant plans to test his surgically repaired foot running routes in practice on Wednesday and Thursday. If he advances through both workouts without setbacks, Bryant could play Sunday for the first time since Sept. 13.

Bryant had surgery on Sept. 15, two days after he injured his foot in the regular-season opener against the New York Giants.

Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said Tuesday in a radio interview with 105.3 The Fan that Bryant will have his status determined by the medical staff. Gauging his response to cutting and breaking in his routes is a key factor. Bryant returned to practice on a limited basis last week, but it was also his first week participating in weight-bearing rehab. His conditioning level is another unknown.

—Cleveland Browns quarterback Johnny Manziel, praised for months for being a changed man after spending 70 days in rehab during the winter, could face discipline from the NFL if found to be in violation of the personal conduct policy during last week’s traffic stop.

Manziel was stopped by police in a traffic incident last week and now faces discipline from the Browns and possibly the NFL. Manziel was arguing with his girlfriend, Colleen Crowley, who accused him of hitting her “a couple times.”

Manziel admitted to drinking, but the police determined he was not intoxicated. No charges were filed, but the incident is a concern to the Browns because partying last year is what led Manziel to check himself into the rehab unit in Pennsylvania in late January.

—The Browns signed linebacker Jayson DiManche to their active roster from the practice squad of the Kansas City Chiefs.

Running back Shaun Draughn was waived to create a roster spot and the Browns signed tight end Brian Leonhardt to the practice squad and released defensive back Ty Zimmerman from the practice squad.

—New York Giants defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul will be re-evaluated by the New York Giants on Wednesday, according to a report.

Pierre-Paul is coming to New York from his Florida home and will meet with team doctors and officials to assess the progress of his right hand that was damaged during a fireworks accident in July, reported Tuesday.

Giants coach Tom Coughlin said Tuesday that was no news on Pierre-Paul, who came to New York last month to meet with the team before returning to Florida to continue his rehabilitation.

—Giants tight end Daniel Fells is out of the hospital after nearly three weeks of treatment for MRSA.

Fells entered Hackensack University Medical Center on Oct. 2 — two days before the Giants played the Buffalo Bills — and was diagnosed with the life-threatening, antibiotic-resistant bacteria that kills thousands every year. He suffered an ankle injury earlier in the season, but the Giants were uncertain how his foot became infected. There were reports last week that the foot would be amputated to prevent the infection from spreading.

The 32-year-old Fells won’t return this season after he was placed on injured reserve and likely will not be able to resume his football career.

—The Atlanta Falcons signed linebacker Philip Wheeler and released safety Charles Godfrey.

Wheeler spent the past two seasons with the Miami Dolphins and started 20 of 31 games he played in, posting 164 total tackles, including 118 solos. He began his career with the Indianapolis Colts in 2008 and had 141 tackles in 61 games and 24 starts. In 2012, Wheeler signed with the Oakland Raiders and started all 16 regular-season games, finishing with 109 tackles, three sacks and two forced fumbles.

Godfrey started his career with the Carolina Panthers as a third-round draft pick in 2008 and spent six years there before signing as a free agent with the Falcons in 2014.

—New Orleans Saints linebackers coach Joe Vitt sufferded a torn Achilles tendon and a broken wrist at his New Orleans-area home while attempting to chase a man and a woman trying to steal cars.

Vitt was walking through his kitchen about 4 a.m. Saturday when he noticed a shadow outside. When he went to investigate, he saw a woman attempting to steal a neighbor’s car and a man inside of his. The 61-year-old gave chase on foot but tripped and was unable to catch the fleeing suspects, who have yet to be identified. Vitt’s injuries necessitated a trip to a local hospital.

—The Seattle Seahawks waived cornerback Crezdon Butler, put linebacker Brock Coyle on injured reserve with a designation for return, re-signed center Lemuel Jeanpierre and activated fullback Derrick Coleman to the 53-man roster on Tuesday.

Coleman, 25, was suspended form the team indefinitely after he was arrested in a vehicular assault investigation following a hit-and-run accident last Wednesday in Bellevue, Wash. He was released from jail on Friday while awaiting a decision on whether or not procecutors will press charges against him.

—The Minnesota Vikings placed defensive tackle Shamar Stephen on season-ending injured reserve and signed defensive tackle Kenrick Ellis to the active roster on Tuesday.

Stephen sustained a toe injury in the Vikings’ 16-10 victory over the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday. His left foot was in a walking boot earlier this week.

—The Indianapolis Colts promoted safety Dewey McDonald to the active roster from the practice squad, waived inside linebacker Amarlo Herrera and cornerback Shaun Prater and released quarterback Alex Tanney from the practice squad on Tuesday.

—The Washington Redskins signed running back Mack Brown and released linebacker Nico Johnson from the practice squad on Tuesday.

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