Connect with us

NFL

Panthers RB Christian McCaffrey youngest to join Madden 99 club

Published

on

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Christian McCaffrey’s acrobatic and lightning-quick moves have been compared by opponents to those seen on video games, so it should come as no surprise the Carolina Panthers running back now is a member of the exclusive Madden 99 club.

The 23-year-old McCaffrey, on pace to break Chris Johnson’s single-season record for total yards from scrimmage, on Thursday was presented a plaque for becoming the youngest player to obtain the 99 rating.

The only other running backs to achieve that rating were Johnson, Barry Sanders, Marshall Faulk, LaDainian Tomlinson and Adrian Peterson.

That McCaffrey grew up playing Madden and remains a big fan of video games made the award that much more special for the eighth pick of the 2017 draft.

“This means a lot,” McCaffrey told the team website. “It’s really cool. I played Madden my whole life. Getting a 99, to be in that company means a lot. It’s definitely very humbling.”

McCaffrey has a chance to join some of the legends of the real NFL if he keeps up his current pace. He joined Herschel Walker in last weekend’s loss to Atlanta as the only player in NFL history with 2,500-plus yards rushing and 2,000-plus receiving yards in his first three NFL seasons.

Earlier this year, he joined Hall of Famer Jim Brown as the only players in NFL history with 150-plus total yards from scrimmage and a touchdown in six of their first eight games of a season.

With 1,578 yards from scrimmage — a league-best 1,059 yards rushing and 517 receiving — McCaffrey is on pace for 2,524 yards. That would break Johnson’s 2009 mark of 2,509 yards.

McCaffrey last weekend became the first player in NFL history to rush for at least 1,000 yards and have at least 500 yards receiving in the first 10 games of a season.

He’s trying to become the third player in NFL history to have 1,000 yards receiving and rushing in the same season. The other two were Roger Craig and Faulk.

“It’s in his DNA to make that happen,” Craig told ESPN earlier this year. “He’s built for it. His day will come.”

Asked after the 29-3 loss to Atlanta how it felt to be mentioned in the same breath with so many NFL legends, McCaffrey simply said, “I just want to win.”

The Panthers (5-5) travel to New Orleans (8-2) on Sunday needing a win to stop a two-game skid and get back in the running for a wild card spot with only six games remaining.



Source link

NFL

Chiefs regroup after starters Damien Williams, Laurent Duvernay-Tardif opt out – Kansas City Chiefs Blog

Published

on

The Kansas City Chiefs thought they had two advantages over most of their competition heading into training camp, one being startling continuity for the salary-cap era and the other a high-scoring offense led by quarterback Patrick Mahomes.

Those advantages might still be there, though not in the abundance they were before the calendar turned to August. Two offensive starters, running back Damien Williams and guard Laurent Duvernay-Tardif, opted out of playing this season amid the coronavirus pandemic, dealing the Chiefs a blow.

“It hurts,” tight end Travis Kelce said. “The guys that we have in that locker room can fill that void. I honestly believe that. We have an unbelievable roster, and I’m excited to see how this group molds together.”

There’s no reason to believe the two player losses will unravel everything the Chiefs have going for them. Eighteen starters still return from the Super Bowl LIV win over the San Francisco 49ers. That familiarity could provide an edge in a season without offseason practice and preseason games and with an abbreviated training camp.

But Williams was the Chiefs’ leading rusher last season and a Super Bowl star. He ran for 104 yards against the 49ers and scored the final two touchdowns in the fourth quarter of the 31-20 victory.

The Chiefs also lost their second-leading rusher, LeSean McCoy, who left as a free agent. They did draft LSU’s Clyde Edwards-Helaire in the first round, but their veteran running backs have a total of five NFL starts among them.

The Chiefs already had big expectations for Edwards-Helaire as a rookie. Now he must deliver.

In an illustration of just how important he is to the Chiefs this season, a defensive player, linebacker Anthony Hitchens, said, “Our job [on defense] is to get him ready for Week 1: show him different looks, practice hard, try to strip the ball out, playing tight coverage on him.”

The Chiefs also lost Stefen Wisniewski to free agency, so they need starters at both guard positions. They had to mix and match along the offensive line last year. Injuries forced them to start five different line combinations.

So between free-agent additions Kelechi Osemele and Mike Remmers, part-time 2019 starters Andrew Wylie and Martinas Rankin and young players in Nick Allegretti and Lucas Niang, the Chiefs have plenty of candidates.

The Chiefs won’t have as much time to sort through the possibilities as they usually do.

“The older guys, the more they play, the easier it is to mesh them together,” tackle Mitchell Schwartz said. “Obviously, [Osemele] has had an awesome career and Remmers has had a really good career too. Those are guys who understand fits and understand how to play with people, next to people. So that’s not something I’m too worried about.”

Source link

Continue Reading

NFL

Giants lose third opt-out player with CB Sam Beal’s decision

Published

on

The New York Giants took another hit at a position of concern when cornerback Sam Beal decided to opt out of the 2020 NFL season.

According to the NFL’s daily transaction wire, linebacker Josiah Tauaefa was also removed from the reserve/COVID-19 list one day after being placed on it.

Beal becomes the third Giants player to take the opt-out route, joining offensive tackle Nate Solder and wide receiver/kick returner D’Mari Scott. Under the agreement reached between the NFL and NFLPA, players had the option of opting out of the upcoming season without penalty by 4 p.m. on Thursday. The opt out is irrevocable.

The Giants already had question marks at cornerback prior to Beal’s decision. Cornerback DeAndre Baker is on the commissioner’s exempt list and faces charges of armed robbery and aggravated assault with a firearm. He is unlikely to play another snap with the Giants.

Baker was a first-round pick last year. Beal was a third-round supplemental pick out of Central Michigan in 2018 who missed his entire rookie season with a shoulder injury. He played in six games with three starts last season and finished with 25 tackles and one pass defended. He missed the season finale with a shoulder injury.

Beal, 23, was expected to be in the mix, along with second-year cornerback Corey Ballentine, for a starting spot opposite offseason acquisition James Bradberry. Rookie fourth-round pick Darnay Holmes also appears to be in serious contention for the job.

Beal’s absence now leaves the Giants with an obvious void and a lack of depth. A source indicated recently — even before Beal’s opt out — that the team was searching for cornerback help on the waiver wire or via free agency. Among the options on the open market are veterans Logan Ryan, Aqib Talib and Dre Kirkpatrick.

New coach Joe Judge has firsthand experience with Ryan and Talib from their time in New England. Ryan appears to be the most likely option, especially since the Giants will gain $13.55 million in salary-cap space from Solder’s decision to sit out the 2020 NFL season.

Source link

Continue Reading

NFL

Growing frustrated by suspension, Cowboys’ Randy Gregory lashes out, says he’s ‘doing everything right’ as he aims for reinstatement

Published

on

Dallas Cowboys defensive end Randy Gregory took to social media Wednesday to say he is being treated unfairly by the NFL as he attempts to be reinstated from an indefinite suspension.

“I really miss playing football and being a player in the NFL,” Gregory wrote. “I’m doing everything that is asked of me and I’m in great shape physically, mentally and emotionally but I’m being held back from furthering my career because of Covid and testing. I’ve been ready to play and test for months but still have gotten little to no help to resolve my reinstatement. I’m asking more questions than I’m getting answered. It’s amazing that the powers that can keep passing the buck and also use this pandemic as a way to prevent me from joining my team. Telling me to just sit and wait in limbo over things I can’t control, all the while doing everything right off the field is unfair and flat out wrong!!!”

A request for comment from the NFL regarding Gregory’s status has been made.

Gregory applied for reinstatement in March, according to sources. Last month ESPN reported his attempt to return had not been denied but he was not cleared to return either and sources said there was some optimism he would be allowed around the team in some fashion even if he could not practice.

Gregory is on an indefinite suspension for multiple violations of the league’s substance-abuse policy dating to his rookie year in 2015.

Under terms of the new collective bargaining agreement, players can no longer be suspended for a positive test for marijuana, but because he was penalized under the old system he would still need to be welcomed back by commissioner Roger Goodell. A player can continue to be suspended for missing tests or not taking part in a care plan.

Gregory missed all of last season after playing in 14 games in 2018 and finishing with six sacks, which was second on the team. He missed 30 of 32 regular-season games in 2016 and ’17 because of suspensions. He has played in only 28 of a possible 80 regular-season games in his career.

The Cowboys selected Gregory in the second round in 2015 and have stood by him, including agreeing to an extension with him last year that was ultimately blocked by the league. The team had a short-term extension for Gregory blocked last year by the league because of the suspension.

Earlier this offseason, pass-rusher Aldon Smith was conditionally reinstated by the NFL after multiple suspensions that have kept him off the playing field since 2015. Smith has passed numerous tests within the last year and has agreed to a strict after-care program.



Source link

Continue Reading

Trending