For many, Tuesday was a much-anticipated day that promised change. Of course, I’m referring to the NFL’s trade deadline. As has been the case in many years, the deadline was much hyped but ultimately a disappointment.
The Patriots and Dolphins pulled off the rare inter-division trade as Miami sent WR Isaiah Ford to New England for a future day three pick. The Patriots are missing WR Julian Edelman and other pass-catchers, namely WR N’Keal Harry, have been disappointments. Ford does not seem like an obvious upgrade over players like Jakobi Meyers or Damiere Byrd. With DeVante Parker, Preston Williams and Jakeem Grant, Ford was simply depth in Miami.
The only other trade of the day also involved the Dolphins as they acquired RB DeAndre Washington from the Chiefs. Washington was expendable after Kansas City added RB Le’Veon Bell. On Tuesday, the Dolphins got bad news on starting RB Myles Gaskin, which led to the deal.
Gaskin Out Multiple Weeks
Dolphins RB Gaskin has quietly been one of the most surprising players of the season, establishing himself as the team’s clear lead back through the first half of the season. Gaskin is the RB17 on the season, easily beating out the pair of backs Miami acquired last offseason. The Dolphins traded for RB Matt Breida and signed RB Jordan Howard, but holdover Gaskin stole the job from both, making Howard a healthy scratch the past few weeks.
Now, Gaskin is expected to miss at least the next three weeks with a sprained MCL and will likely land on the injured reserve list. With Gaskin out, Breida is expected to see the bulk of the work but both Howard and the newly-acquired Washington should see some work.
Dalton to COVID List
After last week’s pitiful showing for rookie QB Ben DiNucci, the Cowboys were eagerly anticipating the return of veteran QB Andy Dalton to the lineup, despite how disappointing he had been in earlier action. Instead, they got more disappointment as Dalton was placed on the COVID-19 list and is reportedly dealing with symptoms of the virus. That puts him out for Week Nine, if not longer. Instead of sticking with DiNucci, NFL Network reports the Cowboys will instead start either Garrett Gilbert or Cooper Rush against the Steelers in Week Nine. Gilbert is considered the favorite, but against one of the best defenses in the league, it probably doesn’t matter.
Packers Backfield Woes
The Packers backfield has been thin for a couple of weeks, with starting RB Aaron Jones missing time with a calf injury. After the news from earlier in the week, there now has to be a real concern for how the team manages the position ahead of their Thursday night tilt against the 49ers. On Monday, rookie RB AJ Dillon was placed on the COVID-19 list and fellow RB Jamaal Williams, the team’s starter the past two games, was close behind, labeled as a “close contact” to Dillon. Both backs are now out for Week Nine. The Packers are reportedly pessimistic about Jones’ status as he was limited in Tuesday’s practice. If Jones can’t go, that would leave Green Bay with just Dexter Williams, currently on the team’s practice squad, and Tyler Ervin, who is more of a slot receiver than running back.
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49ers Injury Issues
The 49ers have been seemingly cursed by injuries all season. Nick Bosa has missed nearly the entire season. The backfield has seemingly featured a different starter each week, with RB Raheem Mostert dealing with multiple injuries. Both QB Jimmy Garoppolo and TE George Kittle missed time early in the season and suffered injuries in Week Eight that threaten the remainder of their year. Things got even worse yesterday as the team prepares for their Thursday matchup against Green Bay. Even two days prior to the game, the Niners ruled out WR Deebo Samuel (hamstring) and RB Tevin Coleman (knee). Coleman returned to the field last week, but aggravated the injury and will miss “a little bit of time,” according to HC Kyle Shanahan. That leaves rookie RB JaMycal Hasty as the projected lead back against the Packers along with RB Jerick McKinnon being mixed in, despite his “tired legs.”
AB Back in Action
Week Nine will feature the return of WR Antonio Brown as his suspension has ended and he was activated by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Bucs’ HC Bruce Arians was asked about what to expect from Brown in his debut and unsurprisingly, he was quite vague. Arians said, “It could be 10 plays, it could be 35 plays.” With WR Chris Godwin still banged up and Brown reportedly in great shape, I’ll take the over on 35 plays. Paired once again with QB Tom Brady, as he was a year ago, for one week at least, expectations will be very high for Brown for the remainder of the season.
The Titans released veteran LB Vic Beasley and veteran CB Johnathan Joseph. ... Patriots rookie TE Devin Asiasi was placed on the injured reserve. ... Detroit placed LB Jarrad Davis on the COVID-19 list. … The 49ers waived WR Dante Pettis. … Broncos GM John Elway tested positive for COVID-19.