Feb 8, 2024; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen on the Pac McAfee show on radio row at the Super Bowl 58 media center at the Mandalay Bay resort and casino. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Bills QB Josh Allen celebrates 28th birthday with WR intros

Bills quarterback Josh Allen celebrated his 28th birthday on Tuesday by slinging passes to supporting cast members and introducing himself to new wide receivers.

Buffalo enters the seventh season with Allen under center with a number of changes in the program, specifically the wide receiver depth chart. Gabe Davis left in free agency and Stefon Diggs was traded to the Houston Texans.

Allen has passed for 22,703 yards with 167 touchdowns in his career while embracing becoming the face of the franchise. When the Bills flipped a considerable portion of the roster in the offseason — in part due to Allen’s market-aligned pay consuming 22.4 percent of the salary cap — head coach Sean McDermott challenged Allen to dig further into a leadership role.

“Tremendously impressed, proud,” McDermott said of Allen’s growth. “The type of person he is. The type of character he possesses. The things that he is — like most franchise quarterbacks probably — has to do, beyond the field. And how he handles those things, to me, that’s what I’m most proud of.”

Signed as a free agent after winning two Super Bowls with the Chiefs, Marquez Valdes-Scantling is still getting to know Allen. But his initial takeaway had nothing to do with Allen’s rocket launcher for a throwing arm.

“Josh is normal,” Valdes-Scantling said. “One of the best quarterbacks in the league might have an ego. But the best thing is, Josh is a normal dude.”

The Bills also added Keon Coleman with the No. 33 pick in the draft, giving Allen a pair of 6-foot-4 targets to help ease the loss of the reliable Diggs. Allen said he can sense Coleman has plenty of tools to work with before he ever takes the field.

“He can move and he can jump,” Allen said.

Allen said the 29-year-old Valdes-Scantling and fellow veteran newcomer Curtis Samuel are very good leaders in the wide receiver room and Coleman has shown the willingness to study and learn.

“It’s a fun process to get to know some of these guys on and off the field. Get to know their body language, where and how to throw the football. That’s the fun part,” Allen said.

–Field Level Media

Dec 2, 2023; Charlotte, NC, USA; Florida State Seminoles wide receiver Keon Coleman (4) makes a catch against the Louisville Cardinals in the second quarter at Bank of America Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

Bills, Chargers pick receivers to open Round 2 of draft

One day after offense dominated the first round of the NFL draft, the Buffalo Bills and Los Angeles Chargers selected a pair of wide receivers back-to-back to start the second round Friday night in Detroit.

The Bills used the first pick of Round 2 (No. 33 overall) to select Florida State wide receiver Keon Coleman. It marked the first selection of the draft for the Bills, who hope that Coleman will provide quarterback Josh Allen with a deep threat after the team traded wideout Stefon Diggs to the Houston Texans earlier this month.

The Chargers picked Georgia wide receiver Ladd McConkey moments later with the 34th overall pick. McConkey also could fill a void after Los Angeles sent veteran Keenan Allen to the Chicago Bears last month.

Four of the next five picks were defensive linemen. The Atlanta Falcons took Clemson’s Ruke Orhorhoro, the Washington Commanders drafted Illinois’ Johnny Newton, the Tennessee Titans turned to Texas’ T’Vondre Sweat and the Los Angeles Rams nabbed Florida State’s Braden Fiske.

The only team that did not beef up its defensive line in that five-pick stretch was the New England Patriots, who drafted Washington wide receiver Ja’Lynn Polk at No. 37 overall. The 6-foot-1, 203-pound receiver will team up with rookie quarterback Drake Maye, whom the Patriots took at No. 3 overall on Friday night.

Four consecutive cornerbacks went off the board in picks No. 40-43. The Philadelphia Eagles started the run by drafting Cooper DeJean, an All-American out of Iowa whom many had projected as a first-round pick.

The next three picks were Alabama’s Kool-Aid McKinstry to the New Orleans Saints, Georgia’s Kamari Lassiter to the Texans and Rutgers’ Max Melton to the Arizona Cardinals.

Texas’ Jonathon Brooks was the first running back to be selected this year. The Carolina Panthers picked Brooks at No. 46 overall after he rushed for 1,139 yards and 10 touchdowns in 10 games with the Longhorns in 2023.

Another Longhorns skill player, wide receiver Adonai Mitchell, went to the Indianapolis Colts at No. 52. Mitchell, who hauled in 11 touchdowns among his 55 catches last season, will pair with second-year quarterback Anthony Richardson in Indianapolis.

The Detroit Lions, the host team of the draft this season, selected a cornerback for the second day in a row. The Lions chose Missouri cornerback Ennis Rakestraw Jr. at No. 61 one day after they tabbed Alabama cornerback Terrion Arnold at No. 24 in Round 1.

The San Francisco 49ers closed out the second round by selecting Florida State cornerback Renardo Green. He was the third Seminoles player to be selected in the second round, joining Coleman and Fiske.

–Field Level Media

Aug 14, 2021; East Rutherford, New Jersey, USA; New York Jets offensive tackle Mekhi Becton (77) laughs during the second half against the New York Giants at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

Jets activate OT Mekhi Becton, DE Carl Lawson, TE C.J. Uzomah

The New York Jets activated tackle Mekhi Becton, defensive end Carl Lawson and tight end C.J. Uzomah from the physically unable to perform list on Tuesday as they opened camp in Florham Park, N.J.

The trio had been placed on the PUP list last week, but Tuesday’s move signals they are ready to go at the start of camp.

Becton sustained a dislocated right kneecap and MCL sprain in Week 1 of the 2021 season. He struggled to recover and it ultimately ended his season.

The 11th pick of the 2021 draft reportedly ballooned to nearly 400 pounds while injured. But the Jets listed him at 363 pounds in a news release Tuesday and NFL Network reported that the team was pleased with his fitness when he reported to camp.

Becton, 23, was the Jets’ starting left tackle before his injury and could return to the role this season.

Lawson, 27, signed a three-year, $45 million deal with the Jets before the 2021 season but has yet to play a snap for them after sustaining a torn Achilles tendon during joint practices with the Green Bay Packers in August 2021.

Before that setback, Lawson tallied 20 sacks in his first four NFL seasons with the Cincinnati Bengals (2017-20).

Uzomah, 29, went to the Super Bowl with the Bengals last season but was playing hurt after he sustained an MCL sprain during the AFC Championship Game. Uzomah signed a three-year, $24 million deal with the Jets in free agency.

Offensive tackle George Fant (knee) remains on the PUP list, and running back Tevin Coleman was placed on the active/non-football injury list.

The Jets also signed quarterback Chris Streveler, wide receiver/returner Rashard Davis and offensive lineman Isaiah Williams. They also released receiver DJ Montgomery, cornerback Craig James and offensive lineman Dru Samia on Tuesday.

–Field Level Media

Dec 26, 2020; Detroit, Michigan, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Antonio Brown (right) catches a pass for a touchdown against Detroit Lions cornerback Justin Coleman (27) during the second quarter at Ford Field. Mandatory Credit: Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports

Reports: Lions plan to release CB Justin Coleman

The Detroit Lions are planning to release high-priced cornerback Justin Coleman in upcoming days, multiple outlets reported on Thursday.

Coleman is entering the third season of a four-year, $36 million deal. He is slated to earn $8.95 million in salary in 2021.

Coleman, who turns 28 on March 27, is scheduled to count $11.029 million against the salary cap in 2021, according to spotrac.com.

Coleman has 84 tackles and one interceptions in 27 games (16 starts) during his two seasons with the Lions.

Overall, he has played six NFL seasons, including his first two with the New England Patriots followed by two with the Seattle Seahawks. He has 211 tackles and four interceptions in 79 career games (29 starts).

Coleman returned both of his interceptions in 2017 for Seattle for touchdowns. The following season, he returned a fumble for a score for the Seahawks.

–Field Level Media

Feb 2, 2020; Miami Gardens, Florida, USA;  San Francisco 49ers running back Tevin Coleman (26) against the Kansas City Chiefs during Super Bowl LIV at Hard Rock Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

49ers RB Coleman exits with knee injury

San Francisco 49ers running back Tevin Coleman sustained a knee injury during the first quarter of Sunday’s game in Seattle and was questionable to return.

Coleman, who was just activated off injured reserve on Saturday, started the game and rushed three times for 20 yards in his first appearance since spraining his knee in Week 2.

He left the game after a 12-yard run with 5:42 remaining in the opening quarter.

The 49ers were already shorthanded in the backfield with Jeff Wilson and Raheem Mostert nursing injuries.

Undrafted rookie JaMycal Hasty replaced Coleman and scored his first NFL touchdown, a 1-yard run that gave the 49ers a 7-6 lead over the Seahawks midway through the second quarter.

Coleman, 27, gained 724 yards from scrimmage and scored seven TDs in his first season with San Francisco in 2019.

He rushed for 2,340 yards and 18 touchdowns and caught 92 passes for 1,010 yards and 11 scores in four seasons with the Falcons (2015-18).

–Field Level Media

Dec 8, 2019; New Orleans, LA, USA; San Francisco 49ers quarterback Nick Mullens (4) before their game against the New Orleans Saints at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Mandatory Credit: Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports

Shanahan expects QB Mullens to start for 49ers

San Francisco coach Kyle Shanahan said Nick Mullens likely will be the 49ers’ starter Sunday against the New York Giants.

Jimmy Garoppolo is dealing with a high right ankle sprain suffered in last weekend’s 31-13 victory over the New York Jets.

“I’ll be surprised if Jimmy gets back later in the week,” Shanahan said Wednesday, per the San Francisco Chronicle. “Nick is ready to go. He got a lot of playing time with us in 2018, and that prepared him for moments like this.”

Mullens, 25, completed 8 of 11 passes for 71 yards with one interception in relief against the Jets. In 2018, he was 3-5 as a starter and completed 64.2 percent of his throws for 2,277 yards with 13 touchdowns and 10 picks.

Shanahan also said running back Tevin Coleman is headed to injured reserve with a knee sprain that is expected to keep him out of the lineup for at least four weeks.

Coleman, 27, has rushed 18 times for 30 yards and has three catches for 34 yards this season. The former Atlanta Falcon gained 724 yards from scrimmage and scored seven TDs in his first season with the 49ers in 2019.

Garoppolo, Coleman, running back Raheem Mostert (MCL sprain) and defensive end Dee Ford (back) did not practice Wednesday.

Nick Bosa, the No. 2 overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft, is out for the season with a torn ACL that he sustained Sunday.

Some good news for San Francisco was the limited participation of All-Pro tight end George Kittle in Wednesday’s practice. Kittle missed the win against the Jets with a sprained left knee.

–Field Level Media