Every week throughout the season, we’ll be bringing you the latest NFL news and rumors here in the PFN Insider Notebook. Today, we provide the latest updates on wide receivers Michael Gallup and Jerry Jeudy, George Kittle’s path to returning, and the latest on Rondale Moore and when he is expected to return.
NFL news and notes notebook: Michael Gallup trending in the right direction
Gallup is on track to return as soon as Monday night against the New York Giants, according to a league source. He’s working hard to make his season debut this week after tearing his ACL last season. After missing the first two games of the season, Gallup has participated fully in practice with no restrictions.
Because Gallup initially waited a bit longer to have his knee repaired last year, it allowed the muscles around the knee to strengthen, and that patience paid dividends with a speedy and complete recovery.
“Everything is being determined by how he feels,” a league source said. “He’s had a great rehab and it’s going in the right direction. He had a good surgery and he’s worked very hard at his rehab.”
Dallas Cowboys head coach Mike McCarthy told reporters Gallup is ready to play physically, and he’ll simply have to adapt to game speed again.
“I hope he plays,” McCarthy said.
The Cowboys aren’t worried at all about Gallup’s long-term health. It’s simply a matter of timing and feel about putting him back on the field. Should he play this week, it’s expected to not be a full-time workload as he works his way back in. Should Gallup not play this week, it certainly will next week, but league sources expect the Cowboys to play him against the Giants.
Gallup caught 35 passes for 445 yards and two touchdowns on 62 targets across nine games before he got hurt last season. Over the last two years, he’s had 94 catches, 1,288 yards, and seven touchdowns.
Gallup was signed to a five-year, $57.5 million contract with a maximum value of $62.5 million that includes a $10 million signing bonus and $27 million guaranteed.
Jerry Jeudy getting better fast
Denver Broncos wide receiver Jerry Jeudy injured his ribs against the Houston Texans, leaving the game. Fortunately, Jeudy avoided a serious injury, and he’s already back in full pads working on the side while listed as not practicing the past two days.
It’s a strained ligament and sprained sternum with no fracture of the rib area, per a source.
“There’s a shot Jerry plays this week,” a source said of Sunday night’s game against the San Francisco 49ers. “The injury could have been a lot worse. He’s improving.”
The qualifier: If Jeudy doesn’t participate at all this week in team drills, it’s regarded as less likely he’s out on the field one week after getting hurt.
George Kittle on path to return
San Francisco 49ers star tight end George Kittle’s serious groin injury has improved to the point where he’s on track to make his return this week, according to a league source. Kittle has practiced for two consecutive days with no setbacks, an encouraging sign after missing the first two games of the season with a Grade 2 groin strain.
The 49ers have been leaning on tight ends Ross Dwelley, Charlie Woerner, and Tyler Kroft. Kroft, however, has a sprained medial collateral ligament and is out for the next few weeks.
The 49ers play the Denver Broncos on the road in the third game of the season followed by a Monday night game against the Los Angeles Rams.
One of the top tight ends in the game, Kittle missed three games last season due to a calf injury but still caught 71 passes for 910 yards and six touchdowns. The three-time Pro Bowler has previously injured his foot, knee, and hamstring.
Signed to a five-year, $75 million contract as the highest-paid tight end in the NFL, Kittle caught seven passes for 108 yards in last year’s postseason, including a touchdown in the NFC Championship. For his career, Kittle has 335 catches for 4,489 yards for 20 touchdowns.
Kittle became the first TE to lead the NFL in yards after the catch with 870 yards. He owns the record for the most receiving yards in his first three seasons by a tight end with 2,945. Kittle also holds franchise records for most receiving yards in a game by a tight end, most catches by a tight end in a season, and was the first TE in 49ers history to exceed 1,000 receiving yards.
Rondale Moore iffy, Andy Isabella good to go
Since Moore got hurt in practice, the hamstring injury he sustained running a route has prevented him from practicing. A league source described the hamstring pull at the time of the injury as serious enough he could be sidelined for multiple weeks.
Moore has yet to practice this week and is regarded as day-to-day by coach Kliff Kingsbury. Meanwhile, a source said that Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Andy Isabella is feeling a lot better after missing a game with a back injury sustained in the weight room and is expected to play this week.
The Cardinals are already without DeAndre Hopkins, who continues to serve his six-game suspension for violating the NFL’s performance-enhancing drug policy. They’ve been leaning on Marquise “Hollywood” Brown, Greg Dortch, and tight end Zach Ertz in the meantime.
Dortch has stepped up, leading the team with 11 catches for 118 yards on 13 targets. He has one touchdown while Brown has 10 catches for 111 yards and a touchdown on 17 targets. Ertz has 10 catches for 89 yards and one score on 10 targets. A.J. Green, meanwhile, has been utilized sparingly with five catches for 29 yards on 11 targets.