Sep 25, 2022; Charlotte, North Carolina, USA; New Orleans Saints wide receiver Jarvis Landry (5) runs with the ball against the Carolina Panthers during the first quarter at Bank of America Stadium. Mandatory Credit: James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports

Saints WR Jarvis Landry (ankle) expected to return vs. Steelers

Receiver Jarvis Landry is expected to return from an ankle injury when the New Orleans Saints visit the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday.

Landry has missed the past five games due to the injury. He was a limited practice participant all week and didn’t receive a status designation on Friday.

The five-time Pro Bowl selection was injured during the Week 3 contest against the Carolina Panthers. He attempted to play through the injury against the Minnesota Vikings before being sidelined for more than a month.

Landry, who turns 30 on Nov. 28, has 15 receptions for 168 yards this season in his first season with the Saints. Overall, he has 703 catches for 7,766 yards and 37 touchdowns in nine NFL seasons with the Miami Dolphins (2014-17), Cleveland Browns (2018-21) and New Orleans.

The Saints ruled out five players for the game against Pittsburgh: running back Mark Ingram II (knee), cornerback Marshon Lattimore (abdomen), center Erik McCoy (calf), guard Andrus Peat (triceps) and linebacker Pete Werner (ankle).

Listed as questionable for New Orleans are defensive ends Marcus Davenport (calf) and Tanoh Kpassagnon (illness) and safeties Marcus Maye (abdomen) and P.J. Williams (illness).

–Field Level Media

Sep 25, 2022; Charlotte, North Carolina, USA;  New Orleans Saints quarterback Jameis Winston (2) throws the ball against the Carolina Panthers during the second half at Bank of America Stadium. Mandatory Credit: James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports

Saints’ Jameis Winston back at practice; Michael Thomas sits

Quarterback Jameis Winston returned to practice for New Orleans on Wednesday but Michael Thomas was among a host of Saints — including all three starting wideouts — sidelined in the first practice of the week.

Both Winston (back, ankle) and Thomas (foot) missed the Saints’ past two games with their respective injuries. Winston was reportedly playing through four fractured vertebrae before being sidelined.

Andy Dalton has gone 1-1 as the starter in place of Winston.

While Winston was listed as limited in practice, six other players joined Thomas on the did-not-participate list: WRs Deonte Harty (foot), Jarvis Landry (ankle) and rookie Chris Olave (concussion), cornerback Marshon Lattimore (abdomen), defensive end Payton Turner (chest) and tackle Calvin Throckmorton (hip).

Thomas, Olave and Landry all start for the Saints. Tre’Quan Smith and Marquez Callaway were the only healthy wideouts on the 53-man roster at practice Wednesday. Landry also missed last week’s game.

Saints head coach Dennis Allen wouldn’t make any predictions on whether Winston will be back under center this week against visiting Cincinnati.

“It’s another step in the right direction,” Allen said.

Winston is 1-2 as the starter this season, completing 63.5 percent of his passes for 858 yards. He has four touchdowns against five interceptions.

Dalton has thrown for 423 yards, with two touchdowns and one pick in two games.

–Field Level Media

Oct 2, 2022; London, United Kingdom; New Orleans Saints quarterback Andy Dalton (14) celebrates in the fourth quarter against the Minnesota Vikings during an NFL International Series game at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. The Vikings defeated the Saints 28-25. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

QB Andy Dalton to start for Saints vs. Seahawks

Veteran quarterback Andy Dalton will start Sunday for the New Orleans Saints against the Seattle Seahawks, with Jamies Winston still battling injuries.

Winston hasn’t practiced all week due to back and ankle ailments.

Dalton started last week against the Minnesota Vikings in London, with the Saints losing 28-25. But the 34-year-old Dalton was 20-for-28 passing for 236 yards and a touchdown.

“I thought Andy did a nice job. He performed well in the game, and in the second half we got into a pretty good rhythm offensively,” coach Dennis Allen said Friday. “That’s why Andy’s here. He’s a proven vet.”

In his 12th season, Dalton has a 77-70-2 record as a starter with the Cincinnati Bengals, Chicago Bears, Dallas Cowboys and Saints.

Dalton won’t have Michael Thomas to throw to for the second straight week, with Allen declaring Thomas out with a foot injury. Fellow wideout Jarvis Landry was limited in practice this week with an ankle injury and is questionable, but Allen said he thinks Landry will play.

The Saints (1-3) and the Seahawks (2-2) met last season in Seattle, with the Saints winning 13-10.

–Field Level Media

Oct 24, 2021; Nashville, Tennessee, USA;  Tennessee Titans wide receiver Julio Jones (2) splits Kansas City Chiefs free safety Tyrann Mathieu (32) and defensive end Michael Danna (51) during the first half at Nissan Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Steve Roberts-USA TODAY Sports

10 sign-now free agents still available

Only a few shopping days remain for teams scrambling to fill needs ahead of the 2022 NFL Draft.

But the cupboard isn’t bare, especially for those with the budget to sweeten the pot for some of the best available veterans on the market.

Here are the top 10 free agents still standing six weeks into the 2022 league year:

10. WR Julio Jones
Age: 33
Credentials: Two-time All-Pro, 2010s All-Decade Team
Best Fit: New England Patriots

We’re not here to suggest the old Julio Jones might return. He’s a 220-pounder who could flash as a second or third option and deliver a game-changing play on occasion. Teams that aren’t confident there is a solution in the 2022 draft could come knocking.

The light barely flickered in Tennessee with 31 catches in his only season with the Titans.

Bill Belichick has turned aging receivers into valuable pieces before, and the Patriots are a team with WR concerns.

9. DT Larry Ogunjobi
Age: 27
Credentials: 21.5 career sacks
Best Fit: Jacksonville Jaguars

A priority for the Chicago Bears in the 2022 free agent class, their deal with Ogunjobi didn’t stick because of a failed physical. He started 16 games last season and has been a starter for the Browns and Bengals with the skill set to play all three downs.

If the price is right, there are a dozen teams Ogunjobi can help. He turns 28 in June.

8. RB Melvin Gordon
Age: 29
Credentials: Two-time Pro Bowler
Best Fit: Buffalo Bills

If there’s one thing the Bills can improve on the offensive side by adding another veteran, running back depth is a consideration. With no bell-cow back, Gordon could be part of the existing rotation and relative Old Reliable in a backfield still reliant on quarterback Josh Allen to move the sticks.

7. Edge Jadeveon Clowney
Age: 29
Credentials: Former No. 1 overall pick, three-time Pro Bowler
Best Fit: Dallas Cowboys

Nine sacks last season showed Clowney can get to the QB when blockers are focused elsewhere — Myles Garrett — and Dallas can create pressure on the other side. The Cowboys subtracted Randy Gregory and might be able to score Clowney on a shorter deal and relative discount. But there’s also a point at which Clowney might not be an upgrade over a cheaper, healthier developmental-type prospect.

6. OT Duane Brown
Age: 37
Credentials: One-time All-Pro, Five-time Pro Bowler
Best Fit: Denver Broncos

Following Russell Wilson isn’t the worst plan for Brown, who fits the scheme and could play on the right side, where the Broncos don’t have a proven veteran. Or he could be called into rescue duty on the left side, where Garett Bolles was an All-Pro in 2021 but has to show it in a new scheme after a rocky four seasons prior.

5. TE Rob Gronkowski
Age: 33
Credentials: Four-time All-Pro, 92 career TDs
Best Fit: Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Gronk is no guarantee for even half the regular season. But he’s reliable, proven as Tom Brady’s go-to in big games and undeniably carries the clutch gene TB12 wants on his side.

The questions are whether the Bucs want to invest elsewhere or wait until September to assess Gronkowski’s desire to play.

4. WR Jarvis Landry
Age: 29
Credentials: Five-time Pro Bowler, two 100-catch seasons
Best Fit: Indianapolis Colts

Dumped by the Browns, Landry was essentially replaced (again) when Cleveland traded for Amari Cooper. The previous regime brought in Odell Beckham to be the Batman to Landry’s Robin.

Gander at the depth chart of the Colts and even the most grandiose projections for Michael Pittman Jr. as the lead receiver for Matt Ryan don’t cover the lack of talent at the position. Landry could be a security blanket for Ryan, who also could use a true No. 1 tight end.

If not the Colts, Aaron Rodgers and the Packers wouldn’t mind having another reliable set of hands with Davante Adams gone to Vegas.

3. DT Akiem Hicks
Age: 32
Credentials: Size-strength combo to play multiple roles
Best Fit: Los Angeles Chargers

Hicks hogs blockers and is best in a rotation. His size and strength allow him to be used in a 3-4 or 4-3 front and a team with consistent edge rushers could get a steal considering Hicks devours single blocking against interior offensive linemen.

Reality might have set in with just seven games played last season and durability can’t be ignored, but for an almost-there defense like the Chargers, Rams or Bengals, Hicks’ energy and impact is potentially profound.

2. WR Odell Beckham Jr.
Age: 29
Credentials: Two-time All-Pro
Best Fit: Green Bay Packers

A swing-and-miss last season by the Packers in a bid to sign Beckham Jr. shouldn’t shift the team’s interest, especially given the predicament of the depth chart. Beckham Jr. tore his ACL in the Super Bowl and his previous return was slower than expected, so factoring in a late-season return is part of the bigger picture.

There’s also the benefit of getting multiple seasons on a three-year deal that could be backloaded for health and performance.

1. S Tyrann Mathieu
Age: 29
Credentials: Three-time All-Pro
Best Fit: New York Giants

Mathieu remains a heart-and-soul chess piece and Wink Martindale could employ him in a dozen ways if the Giants can hit on other needs in the draft.

His price was an issue in a split with the Chiefs. If Mathieu agrees to a shorter deal with less guaranteed money, he could be a steal.

–By Jeff Reynolds, Field Level Media

Nov 28, 2021; Baltimore, Maryland, USA;   Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield (6) looks towards the bench during the game against the Baltimore Ravens at M&T Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Browns activate Baker Mayfield, Jarvis Landry from COVID list

The Cleveland Browns activated Baker Mayfield and four others from the reserve/COVID-19 list Friday.

Mayfield, fellow quarterback Case Keenum, wide receiver Jarvis Landry, cornerback AJ Green and defensive end Ifeadi Odengibo are available for Saturday’s game when the Browns (7-7) visit the Green Bay Packers (11-3).

Mayfield and Keenum were both unavailable for Monday night’s 16-14 loss to the Las Vegas Raiders. Third-stringer Nick Mullens completed 20 of 30 passes for 147 yards and a touchdown.

Mayfield, 26, has completed 62.8 percent of his passes this season for 2,603 yards with 13 touchdowns and seven interceptions in 12 starts.

Keenum, 33, has passed for 286 yards and one touchdown in six appearances (one start) this season.

Landry, 29, has 38 catches for 397 yards and one touchdown in nine starts this season.

Green, 23, has 15 tackles, three passes defensed and one fumble recovery in nine games.

Odengibo, 27, has played in only six games and has six tackles and one fumble recovery.

–Field Level Media

Oct 17, 2021; Denver, Colorado, USA; Denver Broncos quarterback Teddy Bridgewater (5) reacts in the fourth quarter against the Las Vegas Raiders at Empower Field at Mile High. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

Broncos QB Teddy Bridgewater, OBJ set to play on ‘TNF’

Denver Broncos quarterback Teddy Bridgewater is set to play against the Cleveland Browns on Thursday night despite being banged up.

Bridgewater has been listed as questionable all week with a foot injury he sustained in last week’s game. He was seen limping at practice this week.

On the other sideline, Browns wide receivers Odell Beckham Jr. and Jarvis Landry are both active. Landry was on short-term injured reserve and hasn’t played since Week 2. Both will be essential for backup quarterback Case Keenum, getting the start in place of Baker Mayfield, out with a left shoulder injury.

Beckham injured his shoulder on a tackle last week.

Landry suffered an MCL sprain in the first quarter of a Week 2 win against the Houston Texans. The injury snapped his streak of 111 consecutive games with at least two receptions.

Browns starting right tackle Jack Conklin (knee) has been ruled out. Blake Hance gets the start at RT. With Nick Chubb ruled out and backup running back Kareem Hunt on IR, both with calf injuries, D’Ernest Johnson gets the start behind Keenum.

Bridgewater has started every game this season, completing 70.2 percent of his passes for 1,514 yards, 10 touchdowns and four interceptions.

Broncos offensive tackle Garett Bolles (knee) was listed as questionable but is active. Safety Caden Sterns (illness) was also questionable against Cleveland but is active.

–Field Level Media

Dec 14, 2020; Cleveland, Ohio, USA; Cleveland Browns wide receiver Jarvis Landry (80) runs with the ball after a catch as Baltimore Ravens cornerback Marcus Peters (24) and linebacker Tyus Bowser (54) defend during the second half at FirstEnergy Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

Browns WR Landry: Ravens CB Peters ‘cowardly’ for spitting

Cleveland Browns wide receiver Jarvis Landry offered his take on a video clip showing Baltimore Ravens cornerback Marcus Peters apparently spitting in his direction in Monday’s game.

“He’s a coward,” Landry said Thursday. “I think he knew that maybe behind my back he’d do things like that, but to my face, he wouldn’t.

“Now I know. Everybody knows the type of player he is, the type of person he is.”

Landry did not know Peters spit in his direction during the game. The incident happened at the end of the first quarter. Landry learned of Peters’ actions only after seeing video replays.

“I won’t lose sleep,” Landry said. “But definitely going to make it another game to remember.”

Landry caught six passes for 52 yards in the game. The Ravens beat the Browns, 47-42, in the wild Monday night game between division rivals and potential AFC wild-card playoff opponents.

Landry, asked if he was concerned about the COVID-19 protocol breach by Peters, passed on the medical question.

“If there’s a protocol for being a man, that sure ain’t it right there,” Landry said.

–Field Level Media