Eagles

NFL Notes: Jets WR Quincy Enunwa out for season with bulging disc

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NFL Notes: Jets WR Quincy Enunwa out for season with bulging disc

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- The New York Jets will be without their top wide receiver for the season.

Quincy Enunwa will be placed on injured reserve with a bulging disk in his neck that will likely require surgery, with a recovery time of 6 to 9 months. Coach Todd Bowles said Monday that Enunwa will seek a second opinion, and the injury is not considered career-threatening.

"They said it wasn't, but going forward, we'll see," Bowles said. "They said he should come out OK."

Enunwa, projected as the Jets' No. 1 receiver, was hurt Saturday night during practice at MetLife Stadium. Bowles said the injury initially appeared similar to the one that held Enunwa out during spring workouts.

With Brandon Marshall and Eric Decker cut during the offseason, it appeared Enunwa would be given the opportunity to lead an inexperienced receiving corps. He has 80 career catches for 1,172 yards and four touchdowns over two seasons.

"He was a big part of it," Bowles said of Enunwa's role on offense. "Our young guys are just going to have to grow up fast" (see full story).

Dolphins: Landry investigated for possible battery
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. -- Miami Dolphins wide receiver Jarvis Landry is being investigated for possible domestic battery, officials said Monday, an allegation the player's girlfriend called a fabrication.

A spokesman for the Broward County State Attorney's office said Monday in an email the allegations were under review and no decision has been made on whether Landry will be charged.

The case was recently referred to prosecutors by the Fort Lauderdale Police Department. A heavily-redacted police report is dated April 1, but Landry's girlfriend said in a statement released by his sports management firm the incident occurred in March.

Estrella Cerqueira, who is the mother of Landry's daughter, said in the statement that the couple had a "vocal disagreement" but that she never felt physical threatened and that nothing violent took place. She said someone else she did not identify called police.

"I would like to make it very clear that Jarvis would never, ever do anything to harm me or anyone else," Cerqueira said.

"Jarvis and I are happily raising our beautiful daughter and I would like to make a plea to the media that they refrain from spreading this completely false story," she added (see full story).

Jaguars: Albert reportedly reverses course on retirement
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- A person familiar with the situation says Jacksonville Jaguars left tackle Branden Albert has changed his mind about retiring and asked to return to the team.

The person spoke to The Associated Press on the condition of anonymity Monday night because neither side has publicly discussed details about Albert's potential return.

The 32-year-old Albert surprised coach Doug Marrone last week by walking into his office and saying he planned to retire. Albert abruptly quit after three training camp practices in which he looked out of shape and past his prime.

It was never clear why Albert chose to walk away after nine NFL seasons. It's equally unclear why Albert wants to return. Under the collective bargaining agreement, the Jaguars had the option to seek a prorated portion of Albert's $8.5 million signing bonus even though Miami paid it in 2014.

Browns: Osweiler to start preseason opener
BEREA, Ohio -- Brock Osweiler has risen from trade throw-in to preseason starter.

The Browns' never-ending quarterback saga has produced yet another surprise.

Cleveland coach Hue Jackson picked Osweiler over Cody Kessler, rookie DeShone Kizer and Kevin Hogan to start Thursday's exhibition opener against the New Orleans Saints in what will be an important stage in a QB competition that's midway through its second week, with no end in sight.

Jackson said he chose Osweiler primarily because he's got NFL experience and he wants to give both Kessler and Kizer more playing time.

"It's best for me to trot Brock out there, see if he can go lead this offense and lead the team and in the process keep getting these young guys more reps," Jackson said following Monday's practice. "They just need to play. DeShone needs to play more. Cody needs to play more and Kevin needs to play more, and I thought this is the way to do it" (see full story).

NFL: DT Wilfork retires with BBQ advertisement
Former New England and Houston defensive tackle Vince Wilfork announced his retirement from the NFL in a barbecue commercial on Monday, a fitting farewell for a big guy who loved to eat.

Wilfork tweeted a video showing him un-taping his ankles, hanging up his cleats and grabbing grilling tongs. The video then shows the 35-year-old defender dancing, cooking ribs and smoking a cigar while wearing his trademark overalls.

"No more cleats," he says. "I'm moving on to smoke meats, fellas. Peace out. I'm outta here. Later."

The video ends by noting that "Vince's Farewell Tailgate" will take place Sept. 7 in New England. The defending Super Bowl champions open the season that Thursday night against Kansas City.

Wilfork played 13 NFL seasons, including the last two in Houston. He said earlier this summer he was contemplating retirement after the Texans declined to offer him a new contract.

Wilfork was drafted by New England in 2004 and anchored the Pats' defense line for 11 seasons. He was named to five Pro Bowls and helped the Patriots win two Super Bowls.

Eagles-Giants predictions

Eagles-Giants predictions

The Eagles will have to press on without MVP candidate Carson Wentz and turn to Nick Foles.

Foles will get the chance to keep things going against a lowly Giants team in Week 15.

We’ll get our first glance of the offense without Wentz as the Eagles (11-2) visit the New York Giants (2-11) Sunday afternoon (1 p.m./FOX).

Can Foles get a win on the road and inch the Eagles closer to home-field advantage throughout the playoffs?

Our experts provide their predictions:

Reuben Frank (12-1)
Let’s be honest, the Eagles could run Matt McGloin, Matt Barkley or Aaron Murray out there Sunday afternoon and get out of East Rutherford with a win. This is the perfect first opponent for Nick Foles to make his first start of the year. Foles, 15-9 as the Eagles’ starter, has thrown just 69 passes over the last two years and is sure to have some rust as he begins the task of replacing Carson Wentz. Who better to knock the rust off than the lowly Giants? They’re 29th in the NFL in offense, 32nd in defense and playing out the string under a lame-duck interim coach. The Giants are 2-11, they’ve scored 10 offensive TDs in their last eight games and they’ve lost games this year by 10, 10, 14, 16, 17, 20 and 34 points. The Eagles won’t need a 61-yard Jake Elliott field goal this time. If Barkley were starting, I’d pick Eagles 20-7. If Murray were starting, I’d pick Eagles 17-7. If McGloin were starting I’d go 9-7 Birds. But with Foles? This one won’t be close. 

Eagles 30, Giants 7

Dave Zangaro (10-3)
The Giants are a complete mess. So no matter what you think of Foles or the Eagles' chances of winning it all after losing Wentz, they won't drop this game. 

Foles should be more than good enough to beat the NFL's second-worst defense. And there's a real chance for the Eagles to rally around their backup quarterback. I listened to a radio interview with Jeff Hostetler earlier this week and the one thing he said stood out about his magical Super Bowl run in 1990 was the support of his teammates. He said his fellow Giants really rallied around him. That's what Foles needs to happen. 

The Eagles have overcome injuries all season, but losing Wentz is by far the biggest obstacle to overcome. In many ways, he was the reason they were able to overcome all those other blows. Can they make a run without him? Well, a lot of it depends on Foles, but the rest of the team will really need to play mistake-free football because Wentz won't be there to hide those blemishes anymore. 

Oh yeah, back to this game. The Eagles are gonna win. 

Eagles 30, Giants 13

Derrick Gunn (10-3)
What a mess the Giants are right now. GM Jerry Reese fired! Head coach Ben McAdoo fired! Future Hall of Fame QB Eli Manning sits for a game and then resumes his starting role. Their offense can't score (15.3 points per game — which is 31st in the league), and their defense, which was the heart of this team in 2016, is nothing more than a distant memory. The Giants' D is 32nd overall in yards allowed, 31st in passing yards allowed, 31st in run defense and 27th in points allowed. 

The Eagles are quickly getting over the loss of Wentz, who was having an MVP season. This should be a walk in the park for the Birds even without Wentz, but you won't hear the players say that. They have a lot of respect for their wounded division foe, and as that old saying goes, "On any given Sunday." If Dallas was able to put up 30 points on the G-men, then surely the Birds can do that. You should be able to go holiday shopping by halftime.

Eagles 34, Giants 13

Ray Didinger (11-2)
The Eagles face a steeper challenge now with Wentz gone. Yes, Foles can move the offense, but he can't do all the things Wentz can do. It will be up to the coaches to draw up a game plan that is a fit for Foles. It will start with a heavy dose of the run, which is fine since the Giants are allowing 130 yards per game on the ground (31st in the league).

Jay Ajayi is becoming a bigger part of the offense — he had 15 carries for 78 yards against the Rams — so look for him to get a lot of work Sunday. For Foles to be effective, the offensive line has to play better than it did the last two weeks. The best way to protect Foles is to control the ball on the ground and let him work the passing game off play action. It's a simple formula, really.

At 2-11, the Giants are playing out the string under interim head coach Steve Spagnuolo. I expect the Eagles defense to come out inspired and swarm all over Eli Manning and the undermanned New York offense. The Eagles may not score their customary 30-plus points but they will score enough to get the win and secure that playoff bye.

Eagles 24, Giants 13

Andrew Kulp (11-2)
Not sure how Foles will fare in his first start, but he's probably better than soon-to-be 37-year-old Eli Manning at this point. That and the Giants are trash.

Eagles 27, Giants 20

Corey Seidman (8-4)
This week’s prediction isn’t as easy it should’ve been, for obvious reasons. 

Gotta remember, however, that the Giants are a depleted team down their top two receivers and best cornerback. I think Nick Foles does enough to win and the Eagles play ball control. The defense should force many a three-and-out against Eli Manning, who gets the ball out rapidly but often for gains of three yards. 

Eagles 20, Giants 9

Nick Foles' impressive mark as Eagles starter at home

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Nick Foles' impressive mark as Eagles starter at home

Eagles Milestone Watch just isn't quite as much fun without Carson Wentz, is it?

But you know what? There are still some pretty cool statistical plateaus to look for Sunday when the Eagles face the Giants at MetLife Stadium and through the rest of the season.

Let's take a look!

• Nick Foles has won eight straight starts at home, which is two shy of the longest home winning streak by an Eagles quarterback since 1950. Donovan McNabb won 10 starts over the 2004 and 2005 seasons, Randall Cunningham won nine straight from 1991 through 1993 and Foles (2013-14) and Carson Wentz (2016-17) won eight straight. Rodney Peete (1995-96) and Bobby Thomason (1953-54) had seven-game home-winning streaks.

• Even though he's played only five games in an Eagles uniform, Jay Ajayi has already had three games with both 75 or more rushing yards and a yards-per-carry average of at least 5.0. With one more game with 75 yards and a 5.0 average, Ajayi would join Brian Westbrook, Wilbert Montgomery and LeSean McCoy as only the fourth running back in Eagles history with four such games in a season.

• The Eagles have scored 30 or more points in eight of their first 13 games. One more 30-point game ties the franchise record of nine set in 2014.

• The Eagles are averaging 176 rushing yards per game and allowing 88 rushing yards. They're on pace to become only the third team in NFL history to gain 2,250 rushing yards while allowing fewer than 1,150 rushing yards. The others are the 1941 Bears and 1969 Cowboys.

• Finally, this: Brent Celek, who could be approaching his final three games with the Eagles, has 4,973 career receiving yards, all in an Eagles uniform. With 27 more yards, he will become the eighth player in Eagles history with 5,000 receiving yards and only the 12th tight end in NFL history with at least 5,000 receiving yards all with the same team. The only other players with at least 5,000 yards all in an Eagles uniform are Pete Retzlaff (7,412), Mike Quick (6,464), Hall of Famer Pete Pihos (5,619) and Bobby Walston (5,363).