Derwin James, who has missed the entirety of the 2019 season while on reserve and recovering from a stress fracture in his foot, is expected to return to the team shortly. The three-month recovery timeline given at the time of his surgery in August is wrapping up, and the safety sounds like he's prepping for a late-season return to the field. "I'm feeling well, feeling better, getting better every day," James told NFL Network's Lindsay Rhodes on Tuesday's edition of NFL Total Access. "Just taking it day-by-day. It's real close, real soon. I can say that. So just taking it day-by-day. Working hard to get back out there." Asked whether he expects to be back on the active roster for Los Angeles' Week 13 game against the Denver Broncos, Jones responded with a smile. Chargers coach Anthony Lynn told reporters on a conference call Tuesday that James will play once he is medically cleared by team doctors regardless of the Chargers' record. "If we got healthy players as good as DJ, if he can play, he's gonna play," Lynn said, per Southern California News Group. "We're not tanking, guys. We're 4-7. Last time I checked we have five games left." The Chargers finish their 2019 campaign with games against Denver, Jacksonville, Minnesota, Oakland and Kansas City, teams with a combined record of 28-24. A Pro Bowler and first-team All-Pro in his rookie season in 2018, James was supposed to be the secondary lynchpin of a Chargers defense already bolstered by Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram in the front seven. His August setback was a disappointing development for all who enjoyed his play in 2018, but especially the Bolts. James' potential midseason addition to Los Angeles' middle-of-the-road pass defense would surely help. But whether his return, when it comes, is enough to propel a Chargers charge into the postseason is an entirely different matter.
The Portland Trail Blazers have Carmelo Anthony in the fold at last. The team announced the signing today, with president of basketball operations Neil Olshey saying the following: "Carmelo is an established star in this league that will provide a respected presence in our locker room and a skill set at a position of need on the floor." According to ESPN's Marc Spears, Anthony is expected to start and play about 20 minutes . Portland plays at New Orleans on Tuesday night Anthony, 35, holds career NBA averages of 24.0 points (44.9% FG, 34.7% 3-PT, 81.1% FT), 6.5 rebounds, 3.0 assists and 1.0 steals in 1,064 games (1,056 starts) over 16 seasons with Denver, New York, Oklahoma City and Houston. Talk of Anthony heading to Portland surfaced late last week. Citing a "totally different" approach to the game, Anthony took to YouTube on Monday to explain his decision to join the Trail Blazers, and how he continued to prepare for an opportunity even as his career hung by the thinnest of threads. "I always kept my eye on Portland," said Anthony, who will wear No. 00 with the Blazers. "It just didn't work out at other times. But now it seems like a perfect opportunity. I just look at that team and say, 'This is what I can bring, this is where I can help.' It can only work if all parties see it the same way. "What happened before is the past; I can't dwell on that. I learned from that. This happened at a point of time in my life where I do have a lot of clarity and understanding of different situations, just life. My approach is totally different."
In all honesty, I get why Brady isn't happy -- even with just one loss on the season. The Patriots should've throttled the Eagles, whose defense ranked 18th in scoring, 16th in passing and 25th in the red zone entering last weekend's game. Instead, the Patriots totaled less than 300 yards and had fewer than 20 points in a game for the second time this season -- the first was Week 4 vs. the Bills. Their struggles on third down and in the red zone continued, as the Pats converted just five of 16 third downs and hit paydirt on one of three red-zone trips. They entered the game ranked tied for 21st in red-zone offense, having converted just 50 percent of their red-zone appearances. The offense looked out of sorts throughout Sunday's game, and Brady had one of his worst games in memory: 26 of 47 for 216 yards (a minuscule 4.6 yards per attempt) with zero touchdowns, zero picks and a 67.3 passer rating. The 14-time Pro Bowler had 14 first-half incompletions -- the most of any game in his 20-year career. When asked after Sunday's game what will get the Patriots' offense back on track, Brady replied, "I don't think it matters what I think. It matters what we do." Well, I didn't see the Pats do much on Sunday. In addition to New England's aerial issues, the ground game was stagnant, totaling 74 yards on 22 carries (3.4 yards per attempt). The offensive struggles certainly provide cause for concern. Now is the time of the season when teams really start to identify who they are, and it's no secret that New England leans on its top-ranked defense, which Brady has acknowledged several times in 2019. Many teams, including New England, have gone on to win the Super Bowl with a dominant defense leading the way. But this offense has no identity. We're 11 weeks into the season and I still have no idea what to make of this Pats attack.
No lines are longer than 80 characters, TYVM. Other specified properties aren't being scored automatically at this time so this is not necessarily good news...