AFC Notes: Colts, Jaguars, Texans, Titans

     

Colts

  • The Athletic’s Stephen Holder believes the Colts will try and get QB Chad Kelly to the practice squad. 
  • Holder notes the Colts freed up roster space for RB Jordan Wilkins by cutting FB Roosevelt Nix.
  • Holder points out with some injury concerns at tight end the Colts could look to make a waiver claim in that area this weekend. 
  • Holder thinks Colts DT Sheldon Day could be a candidate to start the season on injured reserve with the goal of returning later. While DE Kemoko Turay is also dealing with an injury, Holder adds there’s more hope he’s ready for Week 1. 
  • At linebacker, Holder says it will be tight for the final spot between Jordan Glasgow and 2019 fifth-rounder E.J. Speed.
  • Holder believes Colts K Chase McLaughlin has won the starting job over UDFA K Rodrigo Blankenship.
  • Colts HC Frank Reich said the team had big plans this offseason to install a two-back offense but the lack of practice time killed that and Nix’s chances at a roster spot: “We just never got there. In Rosie’s defense, it was about the lack of an offseason.” (Holder)

Jaguars

According to one report, the final straw for the Jaguars and RB Leonard Fournette was when some players went to management to say they were sick of Fournette. However, that players probably wasn’t RB Chris Thompson or his position group, as he says they thought Fournette was joking when he told them the news. 

“It just was a weird day,” Thompson said in an interview on SiriusXM NFL Radio via Pro Football Talk, “weird just vibe at practice just having something like that happen so quick. It was just a shock, I think, more so than anything for everybody.”

Texans

  • ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler reports the negotiations between the Texans and QB Deshaun Watson are not particularly close right now. 
  • Fowler says Watson will want to sign for a much shorter length than the 10-year extension Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes signed for, which complicates negotiations.
  • However, Fowler expects the two sides to make a big push to get the deal done before Week 1 a week from Thursday. 
  • The Athletic’s Aaron Reiss says it appears Texans WR DeAndre Carter has won the backup slot receiver job against WR Keke Coutee.
  • He adds Coutee’s best hope of sticking to the roster might be if Houston puts fifth-round WR Isaiah Coulter on injured reserve to start the season. 
  • Reiss thinks Texans C Greg Mancz could be cut because he has no other guarantees on his deal and Houston has other options at backup center. 
  • Texans DT P.J. Hall is a decent candidate for the practice squad, per Reiss, and likely started too far behind to make the active roster. 
  • Texans CB Phillip Gaines is another veteran who likely won’t make the team after missing a fair amount of time due to injury. 

Titans

Titans’ DT Jeffery Simmons is looking much stronger and faster as he approaches his sophomore season in the NFL and HC Mike Vrabel is taking notice.

“I think he’s feeling better physically,” Vrabel said, via Jim Wyatt of TennesseeTitans.com. “I think that his effort has been outstanding. We talked about it. When you track the GPS and you see the guy’s mileage in practice, and maybe how fast they were going, to be able to see a guy 315-320 that’s running 18 miles an hour is pretty impressive. He was just chasing 30 or 40 yards downfield on a screen, just playing with effort and trying to get his conditioning in, and so, that was something I think that maybe stood out early on.

“I think just his maturity level just in all phases of our program, watching him work and watching him lead. That’s been something that’s really exciting for me to watch, his maturity level. His leadership with DaQuan Jones in that room as well as on our defense. That’s been really positive, and obviously we’re excited about what he can bring as a player. But it’s all the other stuff, his studying, his understanding of our defense and our system, and I really think he’s been a great leader for that room and the effort in which he’s practiced with.”

Simmons himself said that physically he feels like a completely different player than he did a year ago as a rookie.

“I know I am moving around pretty good, and my body is feeling good,” Simmons said. “I am feeling great, and now I am getting ready for Week One vs. the Broncos. And that is my main focus: How can I keep getting better as a player, and as a teammate? … I am just trying to stay focused, and do what I can.

“I have been told since college ball when a team sees defensive linemen, big guys running to the ball like that, teams get wary, “Can we really throw screens?,” And it’s not just me. It is the whole defensive line, and the whole team running to the ball. … If a leader is doing that, of course, the other guys will follow. (My main thing) is, “How can I take the next step in my game? Running to the ball is taking another step in the game. That is something I take a lot of pride in, running to the ball because you never know what may happen. Every snap on the field I want to go full tilt, I want to be the best that I can be. I want to be the best Jeffery Simmons that I can be.”

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