The 2014 NFL season is approaching fast, and rumors are swirling around some of the biggest names in the sport as each team begins its training camp.
With Josh Gordon appealing his suspension, Mike Pouncey’s recovery taking longer than expected and Jairus Byrd possibly ready for training camp, there is serious chatter surrounding the NFL.
Here are the latest rumors from around the league.
Josh Gordon Appealing Suspension?
Last season, Cleveland Browns wide receiver Josh Gordon racked up 87 catches for 1,646 yards and nine touchdowns, but he is now facing a one-year suspension for failing a drug test this offseason.
In a report from ESPN’s Adam Schefter, Gordon is going to appeal the decision:
Cleveland Browns star wide receiver Josh Gordon will appeal his one-year suspension in a meeting with NFL officials on Aug. 1, a league source told ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter.
Gordon, who is facing a yearlong ban after a failed drug test earlier this offseason, will file the appeal in New York, the source told Schefter.
Gordon’s situation was made even more difficult due to his arrest in early July for driving while impaired, via ESPN, and his run-in with the law will not help his case. The receiver has the speed and size to be a top star, but he must clean up his off-field activity.
Cleveland is trying to build for the future, and Gordon was going to be the No. 1 receiver moving forward. Instead, Miles Austin and Nate Burleson will be expected to carry the load if the suspension is upheld.
Whether it’s Brian Hoyer or Johnny Manziel under center, Gordon has put his team in a bad position once again.
Mike Pouncey Out Longer Than Expected?
One of the most dominant centers in the NFL is Miami’s Mike Pouncey, but the Dolphins could be without the 25-year-old for half the regular season as he recovers from hip surgery if the reports are correct.
According to Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald, the initial timetable was likely incorrect, and Pouncey could miss the first eight games of the year:
Well, a source familiar with the center's surgery and recovery says it's more likely he will miss four months (from the time of surgery June 23). That would carry the rehab process through September and into late October.
"Eight weeks is probably what we're looking at," the source said today.
This is terrible news for an offensive line that has been filled with controversy and was almost completely rebuilt this offseason. Adding franchise left tackle Branden Albert via free agency and Ja'Wuan James via the draft bolstered the tackle spots, but the middle of the line is thin.
Without Pouncey, backup Sam Brenner will likely take the starting role and would be flanked by unproven guards Shelley Smith and Dallas Thomas. While the outside spots are strong, Miami will have trouble running the ball between the tackles.
For running backs Lamar Miller and the newly signed Knowshon Moreno, that is bad news.
Jairus Byrd Injury Recovery on Schedule?
The New Orleans Saints completed a blockbuster signing this offseason when they brought in safety Jairus Byrd via free agency, but the former Buffalo Bills star underwent back surgery this offseason to alleviate an issue that had the team concerned for his long-term health.
In a report from Mike Triplett of ESPN.com, the recovery process is going well, but the team will likely ease him back into action as training camp progresses:
New Orleans Saints safety Jairus Byrd's recovery from back surgery has gone as expected this summer, according to a league source. Byrd is expected to be healthy enough to participate in training camp, though it’s unknown if he will be limited when the Saints begin practicing Friday at the Greenbrier resort in West Virginia.
This is great news for a New Orleans team that was destroyed at times in the secondary. Byrd is a three-time Pro Bowl safety who has made a name for himself being a ball hawk. In the NFC South, Byrd will have the chance to shine.
During his five-year career, Byrd has amassed 22 interceptions, deflected 33 passes and forced 11 fumbles. With his ability to play in zone or man coverage against the pass and step up against the run, Byrd is the versatile player the Saints needed in the secondary.
As long as he continues to recover well, Byrd will be a major difference-maker for New Orleans.
*Stats via NFL.com.