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Buffalo Bills smart to protect Justin Zimmer on practice squad

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It was smart for the Buffalo Bills to protect Justin Zimmer for Week 2.

The Buffalo Bills announced the four players they were protecting on their practice squad for Week 2 and it should be no surprise that defensive tackle Justin Zimmer was one of the four. After the way he played against the New York Jets, the Bills should make sure this defensive tackle stays in Western New York.

In addition to Zimmer, the Bills also protected cornerback Dane Jackson, center Jordan Devey, and linebacker Andre Smith. The four players were all logical choices considering the positions they play and any of these four could be added to the active roster for Week 2.

However, Zimmer is the one that stands out the most especially because of how much, and how well, he played in Week 1. Prior to this past week’s game, Zimmer has played in three career games and had five total tackles and one tackle for loss in 39 career snaps.

In the game against the Jets, Zimmer played 16 snaps, which was 29% of the defensive snaps, and had four total tackles including one tackle for a loss. He was explosive from the interior of this defensive line and was constantly disrupting plays.

The absence of Vernon Butler really gave Zimmer a chance to show what he is able to do and that he could be a key piece to this rotation if the need arose. In this clip from Daniel Jeremiah, Zimmer is in the middle breaking through the line and stopping Le’Veon Bell in the backfield.

It will be interesting to see if Vernon Butler is able to return from injury for this week’s game against the Miami Dolphins. However, if he is unable to the Buffalo Bills may elect to just add Justin Zimmer to the active roster considering they do still have an open roster spot after placing Josh Norman on the injured reserve.

Next: Coaches showing confidence in Josh Allen as a passer

Regardless of what the Buffalo Bills elect to do, there is no question that Justin Zimmer made a great impression in Week 1 and could play a role on this defense this year.

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Chicago Bears: 3 Free agent running backs to consider signing to replace Tarik Cohen

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Chicago Bears (Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images)

The Chicago Bears lost Tarik Cohen in Week 3 and will need to replace him

The Chicago Bears are one of only seven teams that is still undefeated. When you look at the other teams on the list, the Bears are clearly the weakest link. Guess what? That does not matter. Teams can only play the schedule they are dealt. Even an ugly win in the NFL is still a win. If the Bears only go .500 the rest of the way they will see a 9-7 record. Needless to say, the fact the team is still undefeated is pretty impressive — especially with how the three games played out.

Despite no losses in the record column through the first three weeks, the Chicago Bears suffered a significant loss in Week 3 when Tarik Cohen went down with a knee injury. It was confirmed the next day that he tore his ACL.

Some might also say that the Bears lost Mitch Trubisky on Sunday as he was benched for Nick Foles. That loss could be viewed as a good thing or a bad thing depending on how you view the quarterback position. The thing is, all that matters is the Bears keep finding ways to win. Then the hope is the team continues to build and find its way into becoming a consistent contender on both offense and defense.

Tarik Cohen had seen his snap percentage decrease this season. This is telling since he just signed a contract extension. Throughout the first three weeks, Cohen had only played on 36 percent of the Chicago Bears offensive snaps. He has not seen that low of snaps since his rookie season. Now, it is possible his snap count could have increased, but that’s not happening now with his knee injury. Instead, the Bears will need to find a replacement Cohen’s snaps.

As of right now, the Bears are claiming they are confident they’ll be able to stay in-house to take Tarik Cohen’s snaps. Does this mean the team will lean more on Cordarrelle Patterson? Will Ryan Nall find his way into the lineup more often? What if instead, the team activates Riley Ridley and they actually use wide receivers to play Cohen’s receiver role instead? The other option is activating Artavis Pierce who the team protected on its practice squad.

That said, what if the team decides to go outside of its house? Here are a few running backs that the team should consider signing if Patterson, Nall and any of the wide receivers seem to fall short on what the Chicago Bears need from Cohen’s replacements.

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Colts: Indy possibly getting reinforcements at right time after slew of injuries to stars

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The Colts are getting healthy in other areas after being decimated elsewhere.

Almost all teams in the NFL are feeling the effects of a delayed start to training camp and canceled preseason, as a legion of players have gone down with injuries through the first three weeks.

The Colts fall right under that category. Running back Marlon Mack and safety Malik Hooker were both lost for the year with a torn Achilles. Unfortunately, they weren’t the only players on Indianapolis who sustained serious injuries. Wide receivers Parris Campbell (knee) and Michael Pittman Jr. (calf) have both undergone surgery (or will undergo surgery) and will be sidelined indefinitely.

To say the Colts cannot afford to watch another key player go down would be an understatement, but fans will be thrilled to hear that reinforcements could be on the way for their Week 4 clash against the undefeated Chicago Bears.

According to head coach Frank Reich, Indianapolis is expected to see three players — cornerback Rock Ya-Sin (illness), tight end Trey Burton (calf) and defensive tackle Sheldon Day (knee) — return to the practice field this week.

“Rock (Ya-Sin) will be back at practice this week,” Reich told reporters on Monday. “We’ll evaluate him. I’m not sure status as we go, but at some point he’ll be back to practice this week. We’ll see and we’ll be optimistic and hopefully we can get him going. Trey Burton and Sheldon Day – same thing. They are eligible to come back. We’ll get them back at practice, evaluate how they’re doing and make the roster decisions from there.”

A return to practice obviously doesn’t finalize their status for Week 4, but this disclosure truly couldn’t have come at a better time for the Colts.

Leading up to Sunday’s game against the Jets, Reich revealed that Ya-Sin had a procedure done to address a non-football illness. There were next to no details provided and this latest update suggests Indy will continue to keep them under wraps. Xavier Rhodes and TJ Carrie have performed tremendously in the 2019 second-round pick’s absence and his impending return will only make their lives easier.

Burton, meanwhile, suffered a calf injury in the latter stages of training camp and was ultimately placed on injured reserve to start the season after further testing. It remains to be seen if he’ll be cleared to face his former team, but a return to practice bodes well for his chances to do just that. Remember, he was set to be a focal point of the offense once a upon a time.

Mo Alie-Cox seems to have locked down the No. 1 tight end spot in light of his stellar start to the season — he has 10 receptions for 181 yards and a touchdown — so Burton will likely spell him when he needs a breather and rotate with Jack Doyle in two TE sets.

Then, we have Day, who missed most of camp after undergoing a knee procedure late in the offseason and was placed on the injured reserve list to start the year. The Indianapolis native will provide some much needed depth on the interior defensive line as starters DeForest Buckner and Grover Stewart have both played over 90% of the defensive snaps so far.

After weeks of seemingly endless discouraging news on the injury front, Colts fans finally have a reason to feel good about a Reich video conference. We’ll continue to provide updates on Ya-Sin, Burton and Day throughout the week, but this was definitely a step in the right direction for all three of them.

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Chiefs vs. Ravens: Eric Fisher’s touchdown among top 6 plays

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The Kansas City Chiefs gave fans plenty of highlights

Despite being underdogs by every ESPN analyst…

and the sportsbooks…

…the Kansas City Chiefs defeated the Baltimore Ravens 34-20 in impressive fashion, by dominating the other assumed AFC superpower in an early season showdown that could prove vital for the lone bye week in the postseason.

Patrick Mahomes completed 31 of 42 attempts for 385 passing yards, 4 touchdowns through the air and another on the ground. Oh yeah, he also reached the 10,000-yard passing mark faster than any other quarterback in NFL history (his 34th game).

When Mahomes plays like that, their is always going to be plenty of highlights, so we best not waste time! Here are our favorite plays from a thrilling night of Chiefs football.

6. Lamar Who?

Patrick Mahomes puts the Chiefs on the board—and puts them ahead for good—with his first touchdown of the night, in surprising fashion.

Side note: This is the third regular season game that Mahomes has rushed rushed for one touchdown and thrown for at least three more.

5. Real Big Fish

Everyone loves a big man touchdown—wait, Big Man Touchdown—and Eric Fisher is going to remember this moment for the rest of his life. Also, this wasn’t just fun on the field. This was also an important touchdown that put the game out of reach for a Ravens team that was creeping back into it.

As many analysts noted, Eric Fisher is the first number one overall pick to catch a touchdown since Keyshawn Johnson.

4. You Never See It Coming

Anthony Sherman takes a shovel pass and shocks us all—including the Ravens defense.

This is a brilliant example of how impossible it can be to defend an Andy Reid offense. The defense has a nearly perfect rush, the secondary keeps to their assignments in the end zone, but you just can not account for everything—especially a Sausage screen play.

3. A Defensive Play!

Chris Jones was a talking point for the Ravens before the game. It turns out they were right.

Chris Jones acquainted himself well with Lamar Jackson and the backfield of the Ravens, forcing Lamar out of the pocket often and being a nightmare when he got close to the reigning MVP. He had two sacks and two forced fumbles.

2. The Jet takes off

This downfield strike to Mecole Hardman was a thrilling way to go into halftime.

Mahomes vs. the blitz on Monday night: 17 completions on 20 attempts, 240 passing yards, 3 touchdowns, a 156.3 QBR. He is already the best in the league, but it is starting to become a matter of being the best to ever do it.

1. Perfect

Mahomes to Hill, of course.

This is insanity. This is perfect. This is precision unlike anything the league has seen.

This is Patrick Mahomes.

High enough so Peters can not get it, low enough as to not overthrow Tyreek. Beautiful arch, great grab by ‘Reek, the perfect result.

Also, Hill has a touchdown grab in each of the first three games of the season, putting him on pace for 16 touchdowns. More impressively is how different all three of those touchdowns happened.

Next: Changes abound in Week 3 Power Rankings

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