NFL news and notes: Jets to delay Darnold decision, Smith returns to practice
After weeks of quarterback headlines, one team's kicker injury has proven to be significant as well.
But we will also evaluate the progress other injured players have made in this edition of NFL news and notes.
Three things that matter
Jets could delay Darnold decision
The second-year quarterback practiced on Wednesday for the first time since being diagnosed with mononucleosis last month, but the New York Jets may not reveal this week's starter until Sunday. Jets head coach Adam Gase was optimistic Sam Darnold could play, but will keep the Philadelphia Eagles guessing for now.
"I like our odds better than what they've been," Gase told reporters before practice. "Last week, if we would've been playing again, I would've said it's very low. I like the fact that things have looked and progressed in the right direction. But I don't know what that 5 percent is. There's some grey still there."
Darnold has yet to be cleared for contact, but that could change as early as Friday after he participated in non-contact drills. In the meantime, backup Luke Falk is staying warm in case he needs to start again.
Smith reappears after mysterious absence
The star linebacker returned to practice after a mysterious absence kept him off the field on Sunday and away from the Chicago Bears early this week. But his status for Sunday's game in London is less certain even though he told reporters he plans to play.
"We'll see," Bears coach Matt Nagy said.
Roquan Smith was a surprise inactive just before Sunday’s win over the Minnesota Vikings for a "personal issue," and it was rumoured he had not been acting like himself around the team facilities in recent days. It marked the first game he has missed since being drafted in the first round in 2018, though he appears ready to get back on track after entering Week 4 with 24 tackles this season.
Barkley seen running at practice
The second-year running back showed off his superhuman skills as he took a significant step in his high ankle sprain recovery by running at practice, giving hope that he could return ahead of schedule.
"Some people's doctors had him at eight weeks. Not my doctors," New York Giants coach Pat Shurmur told reporters.
Saquon Barkley avoided surgery and the injured reserve list, and did not appear to have "any sort of limp or limitation" at any point of Wednesday's training session.
Two things that don't matter
Gostkowski needs season-ending surgery
New England Patriots kicker Stephen Gostkowski was placed on injured reserve and reportedly is dealing with a hip injury that will sideline him for the rest of 2019, though he is expected to be rehabbed by the 2020 season.
News of the procedure comes hours after it was reported that New England were looking to work out free agent kickers amid Gostkowski's struggles. The 35-year-old has missed four extra points and a field goal over the last three weeks, though he has hit 7 of 8 field goals this season.
Ramsey still absent from Jaguars
Disgruntled cornerback Jalen Ramsey has not practiced since the Jacksonville Jaguars' victory over the Tennessee Titans on September 19 and remains away from the team for various reasons, from injuries to the birth of his second child. Jacksonville coach Doug Marrone did not reveal any new updates.
"Talking to Jalen today, basically it's a day-to-day type thing," Marrone said.
Meanwhile, Jaguars quarterback Gardner Minshew was a limited participant in Wednesday's practice because of the knee injury he suffered in Sunday's win over the Denver Broncos.
One video you have to see
Cleveland Browns running back Nick Chubb had no shame against the Baltimore Ravens.
Wednesday's tweet of the day
Arizona Cardinals veteran Larry Fitzgerald paid special tribute to owner Bill Bidwill, who died Wednesday, aged 88.
The NFL family lost a pioneer today. Bill Bidwill loved the Arizona Cardinals and the great State of Arizona. He paved the way for so many by being on the forefront of giving minorities the opportunity to thrive as coaches and executives in the NFL. (1/2) pic.twitter.com/xJmmwhft4T— Larry Fitzgerald (@LarryFitzgerald) October 2, 2019