After an eventful off-season for the AFC East, we finally get to see these teams in action this week. After the division added the likes of Von Miller and Tyreek Hill, the Miami Dolphins are finally ready to compete with the Buffalo Bills. So, what’s going on around the division prior to Week 1?
According to GM Brandon Beane, Jordan Poyer (arm) is trending in the right direction to play Thursday night against the Rams. Poyer hyperextended his elbow, causing him to miss most of the summer, and left fans wondering if he would play Week 1.
After suffering a lower-body injury, WR Isaiah McKenzie was back at practice as a full participant on Sunday. A good sign of his availability for Thursday night’s matchup.
Rookie CB Kaiir Elam was listed as a starter on the team’s first official depth chart, next to third year Corner Dane Jackson.
Dolphins second year pass-rusher Jaelan Phillips drew high praise from teammate Terron Armstead recently.
“Huge fan of ‘JP’ (Jaelan Phillips) too… The things that he’s done, especially in the last two weeks, you can see the game starting to slow down for him. Athletically, he’s a freak.”Terron Armstead on Jaelan Phillips (Via his press conference)
The Dolphins are expecting a big year from third year QB Tua Tagovailoa, and being voted as a team captain reflects their expectations for him.
“The way we approach it here is that the players vote for who they want to represent them as captain… and seeing how it was, it was a point system, and the resounding highest point winner was Tua. I think it says everything. I think that’s incredibly important.”HC Mike McDaniel on Tua’s Captaincy (via his press conference)
New York Jets
Jets HC Robert Saleh isn’t concerned about Zach Wilson missing reps this summer. Saleh isn’t ready to rule Wilson in or out for Week 1 as he recovers from meniscus surgery. If he can’t go, Joe Flacco will be the presumed starter against the Baltimore Ravens.
“Anytime you miss reps, whether you’re a quarterback or a two-tech, it doesn’t matter… Playing football is the best way to get better. Zach is doing all in his power to stay as close to where he needs to be, and I expect him to catch up quick. He’s in every meeting and I expect him to pick up where he left off. I’m not concerned about Zach.”Robert Saleh on Zach Wilson’s Week 1 availability (via NewYorkJets.com)
Jets teammates can’t stop raving about rookie DL Micheal Clemons, who has had a very good summer. Clemons figures to see a good amount of reps early on this year.
“He’s a monster, man. I love his work ethic, how he runs to the ball every play. He gives like 300 percent every day.”Kwon Alexander on Micheal Clemons (via NY Post)
The Jets recently restructured LB C.J. Mosley’s contract over the weekend, creating $11.9M in cap space.
The Dallas Cowboys, Seattle Seahawks, Minnesota Vikings, and Carolina Panthers called the Jets last week about WR Denzel Mims, only to be turned away by a high asking price, per Connor Hughes. Hughes added that the Jets were asking for a fourth round pick in a trade.
New England Patriots
On Sunday, the Patriots restructured TE Jonnu Smith’s contract to create $5M in cap space.
According to Andrew Callahan of The Boston Herald, the Patriots received several calls from teams interested in WR Kendrick Bourne. However, none of the conversations gained any traction.
LB Anfernee Jennings had a strong preseason, totaling 12 QB pressures, which was tied for third-most among all defenders, according to PFF. That performance should help the former third round pick, who is going into year three in the league.
The Patriots are a little weak at CB this year, with Malcolm Butler being released off of IR, and JC Jackson leaving in free agency. Rookies Marcus Jones and Jack Jones should get a considerable amount of playing time now with the lack of depth at the position.
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