In a somewhat surprising move, the Colts made the decision to decline S Malik Hooker‘s fifth-year option this offseason. Hooker’s dealt with injuries so far and has yet to put together a full 16-game season in three years. But the Colts also believe there’s more Hooker can tap into and they want to see him do it before making more of a commitment.
“I believe in Malik Hooker and I think he’s going to have a great year,” Colts DC Matt Eberflus said via 1075 The Fan’s Kevin Bowen. “I think he was on his way last year to doing that, I really do. I said before, if you looked at his work patterns during the course of training camp, the early part of the season, all the way through the middle part of the season, he was working his tail off. It was paying, in terms of playing the run, in terms of running through tackles, angles. (Safety coach) Alan Williams did a great job with him being that guy early on and in the middle of the season. Now, he’s just got to be more conssitent and finish it off. It’s just about consistency. We believe in Malik and we believe he can do it.”
- Per Andrew Walker of the team website, Colts GM Chris Ballard says one of the points of emphasis for the team in training camp will be setting up the competition between UDFA K Rodrigo Blankenship and returning K Chase McLaughlin: “We’re gonna have to find ways to make sure that we create enough competition in pressure situations for both McLaughlin and Blankenship. Frank and (his) staff have a plan for it, but that’s going to be an interesting one to watch.”
- The Athletic’s Zak Keefer says the writing is on the wall and the Colts won’t bring back longtime K Adam Vinatieri in 2020.
- Colts HC Frank Reich said again that he thinks TE Trey Burton is “going to have a really productive year.” Burton broke out with Reich on the Eagles in 2017. (Stephen Holder)
- The Jaguars plan to stay at 90 players on the roster for now and practice in two groups, per John Reid of the Florida Times-Union.
- Jaguars placed TE Charles Jones and CB Parry Nickerson on the COVID-19 list.
- Jaguars activated CB Josiah Scott from the COVID-19 list. (NFLTR)
- Per Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle, the Texans did not sign TE Geoff Swaim or LB Kyle Emanuel after hosting them for visits and physicals, but both remain in consideration for roster spots.
- Texans DT Eddie Vanderdoes has asthma and will be classified as a high-risk opt-out. He’ll receive a $350,000 stipend in 2020. (Jeremy Fowler)
- Texans hired Geoff Kaplan as their infection control officer and Ray Clarage as facility hygiene coordinator, which are two newly-created positions in response to the global pandemic. (Wilson)
- Per Erik Bacharach of the Nashville Tennesseean, Titans QB Ryan Tannehill said the team is focusing on taking care of business without DE Vic Beasley: “Honestly, I didn’t find out about it until yesterday. I’m aware of it but it doesn’t affect our day-to-day here at the facility… we can’t let it affect things here in the building.”