After an eventful Week 4 that featured a close Bills win in Baltimore, new injuries, and the New England Patriots losing yet another QB, we are onto Week 5. This week features an inter-division matchup between the Miami Dolphins and New York Jets, the Buffalo Bills facing the Pittsburgh Steelers, and the New England Patriots facing a fun Detroit Lions team. Let’s get into some news and notes around the AFC East.
AFC East Standings
- The Bills released WR Tavon Austin from the practice squad yesterday at his request, according to Sal Capaccio. Austin wanted a better chance to get on the field.
- The Bills quickly filled his spot on the practice squad by signing speedy WR Jaquarii Roberson.
- Yesterday, Jordan Poyer (ribs) and Tremaine Edmunds (hamstring) did not practice.
- Kenny Pickett will make his first career start this week against the No. 1 ranked Bills defense. The last rookie to beat a No.1 ranked defense in his first career start was Ben Roethlisberger in 2004.
- The Dolphins face a division rival this week without starting QB Tua Tagovailoa. Instead, well-traveled backup Teddy Bridgewater will make his first start for the Dolphins in a game that Miami needs to win to retain first place in the AFC East.
- Bridgewater’s presence on the field is a sigh of relief for the Dolphins.
“To have not only his past history, but everything he’s done in the building, it’s a huge, humongous deal… The whole [quarterback] room is better because they have Teddy.”Dolphins HC Mike McDaniel on Teddy Bridgewater (vIA ADAM BEASLEY)
- The Dolphins DB injuries will continue to affect them this week. According to McDaniel, CB Byron Jones is not ready to come off the PUP list. He also said Jones’ recovery from off-season ankle surgery hasn’t gone as smoothly as they had hoped.
- In addition to Jones, CB Xavien Howard is still day-today with his groin injury. His status for this week’s game is still uncertain.
New England Patriots
- The Patriots will most likely be without QB Brian Hoyer this week, who was absent from practice yesterday. With Hoyer likely out, and Mac Jones not 100%, the Patriots signed Garrett Gilbert to the practice squad to give them some depth behind rookie Bailey Zappe.
- The Patriots also added some OL depth, signing OT Marcus Cannon to their 53-man roster. Cannon was with the Patriots from 2011-2020 before being traded to the Houston Texans in 2021.
New York Jets
- The Jets look to get more help on their OL this week, with OT Duane Brown returning to practice after suffering a shoulder injury. This opens up a 21-day window for the Jets to activate Brown, and they hope to do so by Sunday’s divisional game.
- HC Robert Saleh says OL Max Mitchell is “probably out” and LB Quincy Williams is doubtful.
- Jets rookie CB Sauce Gardner will face WRs Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle this week. But Gardner says he’s ready for the test.
“This is what I dreamed about coming to the NFL. The goals that I have for myself, like Rookie of the Year, All-Pro, Pro Bowl, all that type of stuff, I’ve got to go against guys like that [Hill and Waddle] in order to be recognized. It’s a great opportunity. Me and D.J. [Reed] and the rest of the secondary was talking about it. It’s a great opportunity to show the world what we can do.”Sauce Gardner on facing Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle (via brian costello)
Featured Image: Jeffrey T Barnes/AP