It’s crunch time for the NFL. There are only a few precious days before the start of the season this September 9, and the last-minute scramble to create winning teams is now taking place. Across the league, as everyone still wonders what’s going to happen if COVID-19 continues to spread and the first game has already been relocated, this week is going to see a lot of movement.
The Saints Make a Few Changes
The New Orleans Saints take on the Green Bay Packers in their season opener, but the game won’t be played in either New Orleans or Green Bay. It had to be moved to Jacksonville after Hurricane Ida barreled through Louisiana like a 350-pound linebacker. The Saints are dealing with a number of injuries ahead of their September 12 game and have now brought in two defensive tackles, Jaleel Johnson and Montravius Adams, to shore up the defense. The team is also re-signing wide receiver Chris Hogan and backup QB Trevor Siemian. It’s being reported that Siemian could be the backup to Jameis Winston, while Hogan is expected to help out during Michael Thomas’ absence due to injury.
The Tennessee Titans have decided that Chris Jones isn’t pulling his weight. The cornerback made it to the very end and, even though the team has five players on its Reserve/COVID-19 list, it decided to send him away. This makes room for someone else to step in, but the Titans haven’t hinted at who might be a target.
The 49ers Look To Bounce Back
The San Francisco 49ers didn’t have the season they had hoped for last year and want to turn things around this year. The team has brought in an experienced veteran to help, signing cornerback Josh Norman to a one-year contract. He was one of the elite corners throughout his career and he, like the 49ers, is trying to come back to life. His contract is reportedly worth as much as $2.5 million.
The Las Vegas Raiders will now be on the lookout for someone to fill Tanner Muse’s spot. The linebacker was just waived, after having been picked in the third round of the NFL Draft in 2020. He missed all of last season due to a toe injury, however, and the Raiders have determined that he isn’t a good fit moving forward. Perhaps they’ll take a look at Jones.
COVID-19 Causing Issues on Some Teams
Several teams are dealing with COVID-19 problems that will be felt well into the season. The New York Jets put Jamison Crowder on its Reserve/COVID-19 list last Friday after he tested positive, despite being vaccinated. The wide receiver could make it back in time for the team’s Week 1 game against the Carolina Panthers, but that still remains to be seen.
The Miami Dolphins have added offensive tackle Austin Jackson and tight end Adam Shaheen to its Reserve/COVID-19 list. The Dallas Cowboys are down a man, as well, as starting right guard Zack Martin was put on the team’s Reserve/COVID-19 list yesterday. According to Chris Mortensen of ESPN, a number of team coaches and executives are “nervous about COVID-19 testing today with the number of players who visited their former college teams’ opening games (and social gatherings) this past weekend.”