NFL Nation: Dominique Jones

Bills Camp Report: Day 7

July, 26, 2014
Jul 26
10:15
PM ET
PITTSFORD, N.Y. -- A daily review of the hot topics coming out of Buffalo Bills training camp:
  • The Bills held Fred Jackson out of Saturday night's practice as he recovers from a lower leg injury. It's not considered serious and he isn't expected to miss much time. On the other hand, tight end Tony Moeaki is expected to miss "significant" time with a hamstring injury, according to coach Doug Marrone. It shouldn't keep Moeaki out for all of training camp, but the feeling is that his return might take a few weeks. With Chris Gragg still working his way back -- he was hospitalized for heat-related symptoms earlier this week -- the Bills signed tight end Dominique Jones on Saturday. The Bills waived offensive lineman Mark Asper to make room. Jones is a hefty 270 pounds and is built like a fullback. He's a different style player than Moeaki or Gragg.
  • We documented the offensive line's struggles in Saturday night's third-down drill earlier, but the issues weren't relegated to that portion of practice. When the offense reconvened for 11-on-11 work later, the results weren't much better. EJ Manuel's first series included a handoff to Anthony Dixon, a sack, a scramble, a pass batted down and an option run that ended in Manuel being stopped in the backfield by safety Da'Norris Searcy. His next set of reps started with a sack, then continued with a handoff, a completion to Marquise Goodwin, another handoff, and a throwaway on a rollout. It wasn't pretty, and all the blame can't go on the offensive line. There were a few plays in which I believed Manuel could have gotten rid of the ball and driven it downfield instead of waiting, tucking and running.
  • Saturday night featured the first live tackling drill of training camp. The 11-on-11 session featured a heavy dose of the running game, with Ronnie Wingo and Bryce Brown taking the majority of the carries. Wingo ran hard Saturday night. He has an uphill battle to make the 53-man roster but could get a heavy dose of touches in the preseason. Meanwhile, cornerback Ron Brooks and wide receiver Robert Woods collided on a pass route in the live tackling drill, with Brooks staying down on the field for several moments. He later returned to practice.
  • Undrafted rookie linebacker Jimmy Gaines received some first-team reps in team drills in place of Nigel Bradham, who stepped in with the second team for some parts of the drill. Gaines made his presence known on one play, diving to break up a Manuel pass to Brown in the flat. The Bills are trying to piece things together after losing Alonso for the season, and Gaines is the latest player in the mix. The favorite, and the most experienced of the bunch, remains Bradham.
  • For the second consecutive night, the Bills pushed practice a little longer -- to about 2 hours and 45 minutes -- and added a 7-on-7 red-zone drill at the end. Manuel received four reps, with the following results: a touchdown catch by Sammy Watkins (first down), a scramble to the pylon (second down), a catch by Woods out of bounds (third down), and scramble to the pylon with a defensive penalty (first down). Thad Lewis then stepped in for another four snaps, missing Kevin Elliott on two passes before connecting with Marcus Easley and Brown for back-to-back touchdowns. Given the Bills' struggles in the red zone last season, that phase of the game seems to appropriately be a point of emphasis this training camp.

Chiefs again make TE contingency plans

December, 5, 2013
12/05/13
2:13
PM ET
KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Few endeavors have been more hazardous this season than playing tight end for the Kansas City Chiefs. They're planning on playing Sunday against the Redskins in Washington without starter Anthony Fasano, who has a concussion.

Alford
Fasano
Offensive coordinator Doug Pederson said the Chiefs would activate 270-pound Dominique Jones off their practice squad in time for Sunday's game to take Fasano's place. Jones played last season and early this year with the Indianapolis Colts.

"He's a guy who's been here," Pederson said. "He's got some experience. He's going to have some opportunity to play this weekend and we're looking forward to getting him out there and still using our two tight-end sets."

The Chiefs went to training camp with Fasano, Tony Moeaki and rookie Travis Kelce as their tight ends. Fasano missed four games earlier in the season with knee and ankle injuries. Moeaki injured his shoulder during the preseason, was waived and only this week was healthy enough to sign with the Buffalo Bills.

Kelce injured his knee during the preseason and is out for the season.

The Chiefs added Sean McGrath at tight end at the start of the regular season. He has played in all 12 games.

Pagano explains Irsay game ball

October, 22, 2013
10/22/13
5:00
PM ET
INDIANAPOLIS -- Indianapolis Colts Chuck Pagano had options on who to give the game ball to after their victory Sunday over Denver.

Quarterback Andrew Luck for his four touchdowns -- three throwing and one running. Linebacker Robert Mathis, who sacked Peyton Manning twice. Stanley Havili for causing a turnover on special teams.

But Pagano decided owner Jim Irsay deserved the ball.

Here's Pagano's explanation:
"I think he earned it. What I told the team, I don't think I'd be standing here today without the support of Jim Irsay and what I went through and what he did for me and what he did for my family. The way he feels about his team and the way he feels about his players, past and present, is what I said. He would do anything. The guy has a heart of gold. When he talks about faith, family and football, it does not bury. It's in that order. Again, he will do anything and everything for anybody in this organization and that locker room, players that have been here in the past, players that are here now. He gives us every opportunity, everything we need, to be successful and to win on the field. Coaches, players, it doesn't matter. He's the best there is in the National Football League. It was just a way for us to thank him for his support."


Irsay was heavily criticized by some for his comments in the USA Today article that ran early last week on how he wants to build the franchise in the post-Manning years. Irsay got the last laugh -- and the game ball -- after the Colts beat the Broncos.

  • The Colts released tight end Dominique Jones from the active roster Tuesday, opening up a roster spot. Filling the spot with a receiver is obviously an option. The Colts also released fullback Robert Hughes.
  • INDIANAPOLIS -- Health wasn't supposed to be a problem for the Indianapolis Colts. Their biggest issue was how they would protect quarterback Andrew Luck.

    But both are now problems for the Colts less than three weeks into the regular season.

    Starting running back Vick Ballard, the team’s best blocker at the position, went down with a season-ending knee injury on Sept. 13. That was followed by starting guard Donald Thomas having his season end with a torn quad against the Miami Dolphins on Sunday. And when you think it couldn’t get any worse, coach Chuck Pagano, who seemed bothered by the latest development, announced that starting tight end Dwayne Allen would require season-ending hip surgery.

    Three starters -- all responsible for helping protect the franchise -- done for the season because of injuries in less than a week.

    “Like Donald, like anybody we’ve lost at this point, it makes you sick,” Pagano said. “Injuries are part of this game. We all understand that, we know that.”

    Allen injured his hip when he collided with Oakland safety Tyvon Branch while attempting to catch a pass across the middle of the field in the Sept. 8 game against Oakland.

    Allen originally thought the injury wasn’t severe, but concern grew when Pagano classified him as day-to-day during his Monday news conference.

    “We were all hoping it would be something with time and with rest and he would come around,” Pagano said. “He’s a tough, tough, tough kid, and playing through the foot injury, the sprain. Once we got (the hip) evaluated, what the doctors saw in there and what needed to be done, for the long term, the big picture (surgery is) the right thing to do."

    Allen told ESPN.com on Sept. 5 he considered himself one of the best tight ends in the league because of his ability to catch and block. That responsibility now falls on the shoulders of Coby Fleener, with Dominique Jones and Jack Doyle backing him up. Fleener is known for his catching -- when he’s not having mental lapses -- but the reason Allen moved ahead of him on the depth chart last season is because of his blocking skills.

    As I pointed out in Wednesday’s “QB Watch,” Luck is on pace to be sacked 56 times this season. He was sacked four times against Oakland and three times against Miami.

    “We’re very confident,” Pagano said when asked about Fleener's increased role. “We all saw why we took Coby where we took him, what he can do last week. He played an excellent football game, not only in the pass game, he blocked well. He’ll continue to do that. He knows his role. It’s obviously going to expand now.”

    Offensive coordinator Pep Hamilton has constantly talked about having a balanced offense, but he may have to tinker with that philosophy and let Luck pass the ball more with three-receiver sets.

    That, of course, depends on whether Luck has enough time to get the ball off.

    “You have to almost be a little bit, not cold-blooded, but like that really stinks and we have to move on as a team now,” Luck said. “I think those guys understand that. The guys who are going to fill in for them understand that, and it’s going to be a collective unit on offense to stay on track.”

    TE Dwayne Allen downgraded to doubtful

    September, 14, 2013
    9/14/13
    3:05
    PM ET
    INDIANAPOLIS -- All indications point to the Indianapolis Colts not having their starting tight end for Sunday’s game against the Miami Dolphins.

    Allen
    The Colts downgraded tight end Dwayne Allen to doubtful Saturday afternoon because of an injured hip. The decision to do that isn’t surprising because Allen did not practice all week. He was supposed to go to the team’s facility and test his hip out Saturday. Allen got injured in the second half of the Sept. 8 game against the Oakland Raiders.

    Coby Fleener will start at tight end with Dominique Jones and Jack Doyle being the backups if Allen doesn't play.

    Running back Vick Ballard is out for the rest of the season after injuring his knee in practice Thursday.

    It’s never good to lose players, especially starters, but the timing of Ballard’s knee injury and Allen’s likely absence comes right before the Colts face a Miami defense that had six sacks against Cleveland in Week 1.

    Ballard was perfect in blocking assignments against the Raiders, and offensive coordinator Pep Hamilton talked about Allen’s blocking ability during the preseason.

    Colts could be without TE Allen on Sunday

    September, 13, 2013
    9/13/13
    6:35
    PM ET
    INDIANAPOLIS – Lost in Friday's news of running back Vick Ballard's season-ending injury is word that the Indianapolis Colts could also be without starting tight end Dwayne Allen for Sunday’s game against the Miami Dolphins.

    Allen didn’t practice this week because of a hip injury, which happened in the third quarter against the Oakland Raiders.

    “The injury that he suffered to the hip is coming around, but it hasn’t come around as quickly as we thought it would,” Colts coach Chuck Pagano said. “It didn’t make any sense to push the envelope and put him out there to practice.”

    Allen is expected to test his hip Saturday to see if he’ll be able to play against a Dolphins team that had six sacks against Cleveland last weekend.

    Allen’s second season hasn’t started the way he envisioned. He missed the entire preseason with a foot sprain, and now he’s dealing with the hip problem.

    Dominique Jones will be the second tight end behind Coby Fleener if Allen doesn't play.

    Besides Allen, starting linebackers Jerrell Freeman (quadriceps) and Erik Walden (hamstring) and backup linebacker Kavell Conner (ankle) are listed as questionable on the team's injury report.

    Kick returner/receiver David Reed is out Sunday due to a quadriceps injury.

    Observation deck: Colts-Bengals

    August, 29, 2013
    8/29/13
    11:39
    PM ET
    CINCINNATI -- No Andrew Luck. No Reggie Wayne. No Cory Redding. No Antoine Bethea or Robert Mathis, either.

    In what’s the biggest yawner of the preseason because starting players rarely play, the preseason finale against the Cincinnati Bengals was all about borderline players trying to make one final impression on front office officials and the coaching staff before the 53-man roster has to be set by Saturday evening.

    Here are other observations from the Indianapolis Colts’ 27-10 loss to the Bengals:
    • Third-string quarterback Chandler Harnish played for all but the first two series of the game. He didn’t do anything to help his case to play behind Luck and Matt Hasselbeck. But that’s not surprising, because Harnish struggled the entire preseason. Harnish started 2-of-6 but managed complete six of his next seven passes to finish 8-of-13 for 55 yards and a touchdown. He was also sacked twice. Harnish’s best bet is that he’ll be brought back to be the team’s practice-squad quarterback.
    • Rookie running back Kerwynn Williams took advantage of Ahmad Bradshaw not playing and Vick Ballard getting only a handful of snaps to be the lone bright spot on offense. The seventh-round pick rushed for 92 yards on 18 carries. Williams will likely be the fourth running back on the depth chart. He’ll also be the team’s primary kick returner. "He's got the heart of a lion," coach Chuck Pagano said. "He's produced really every week and made big plays. He's put enough out there so you have to give it some heavy consideration."
    • Safety Larry Asante followed up his 48-yard interception return for a touchdown against Cleveland last weekend by getting a sack and also recovering a fumble in the first half. Asante had a game-high 13 tackles. He had only four tackles total in the first three preseason games. Asante's play the past two games keeps him in the mix to make the roster as one of the safeties.
    • Receiver/kick returner David Reed, acquired from Baltimore on Aug. 21, left the game with a concussion.
    • Linebacker Caesar Rayford stood at his locker still in his pads mad at himself long after the game. The rookie seemed to be in a good position to make the team with a team-high five sacks heading into Thursday. But he wasn't pleased that he didn't close out the preseason the way he wanted to. He had only two tackles against the Bengals, with one of the tackles being in the open field. Rayford did enough early in the preseason to earn a roster spot.
    • Linebacker Daniel Adongo, the rugby player attempting to play football for the first time, didn’t play during the preseason because Pagano wasn’t comfortable putting him the game. That didn’t stop a press box announcer from saying Adongo had a special-teams tackle in the first half. A No. 46 got the tackle for the Colts, but it wasn’t Adongo. It was tight end Dominique Jones. Jones later caught a touchdown pass from Harnish.
    What’s next: The Colts open the regular season against the Oakland Raiders at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis on Sept. 8.
    Click here for the complete list of Indianapolis Colts' roster moves.

    Most significant move: I didn’t expect they were doing anything with Dwight Freeney, but his $19 million salary had stirred up a new round of rumors that the Colts could let him go. He’s on the team, and there were no real cuts of note aside from the team’s most senior player, long-snapper Justin Snow. It’s not as if they were so deep there was no room, but the Colts held on to several players who weren’t drafted -- tight end Dominique Jones, offensive tackle Ty Nsekhe, linebackers Mario Addison and Mario Harvey and long-snapper Matt Overton.

    Onward and upward: The Colts kept both Drew Stanton and rookie Chandler Harnish as backups to Andrew Luck. I understand that Stanton’s been with the Colts through Bruce Arians' installation and there is value in that. But last season showed the value of a decent backup quarterback. If Luck gets hurt and the Colts need an alternative, I suspect there are some guys who just became available who qualify as more talented. General manager Ryan Grigson should have insight into one of them, Mike Kafka, who was released by Philadelphia. Grigson was hired by the Colts from the Eagles personnel department.

    What’s next: Every player who is not a vested veteran is subject to waivers. And as the worst team in the NFL last season, the Colts still retain the first pick in the waiver order. That means they will get anyone they claim, so long as the claim comes with a corresponding roster move. That means guys who are feeling good tonight might still be in position to turn in their playbooks Saturday, or in the days to follow. Grigson could do a lot of work to upgrade the last five spots on his roster. Or more. I’d expect some turnover on the offensive line, in the secondary and perhaps at linebacker and quarterback.
    Quick storylines and thoughts from the three preseason games I didn’t attend Thursday night.

    Houston beat Minnesota 28-24


    • Trindon Holliday had his third return touchdown in four preseason games. He’s surely locked up a spot by now. If the Texans were to let him go, he’d get snatched up in a second by someone looking for a big boost to the return game. Maybe he’s finally got it all together.
    • Rashad Butler, who lost out on the starting right tackle job, is done for the year with a torn triceps, which could mean the Texans are in the market for a backup swing tackle in case something happens to left tackle Duane Brown or right tackle Derek Newton.
    • DeVier Posey impressively bounced off a couple tackles on his impressive 80-yard catch and run touchdown, a nice play from the guy who had the quietest preseason of the team’s three young receivers.
    Indianapolis beat Cincinnati 20-16


    • Per Mike Chappell of the Indianapolis Star: They are 2-2 in preseason for first time since 2004. “Since 2005, they are 7-27 in games that don't count and are hard on the eyes.”
    • The leading passer, rusher and receiver for the Colts from this game will all likely be cut Friday. Chandler Harnish would have to prompt the Colts to keep a third quarterback. Deji Karim is the fifth running back. And Kris Adams seems more like a practice squad candidate.
    • Semi-alarming stats if it was a meaningful game: Ten penalties for 80 yards, something the Colts won’t be able to afford very often. Three fumbles, which are too many. A total of 36:47 on defense, which is too much. Eight punts in 14 possessions, also too many.
    • Will the two guys who missed tackles for the Bengals on the 42-yard TD by Dominique Jones that provided the winning margin even be in the league this year? Who know? Jones is going to be the Colts third tight end, at least at the start.
    Jacksonville beat Atlanta 24-14


    • The Jaguars ran 45 times for 225 yards and got especially big nights from Keith Toston and Jalen Parmele accounted for 127 of the yards. How much credit they get for their yards against lower ranking Falcons defenders is hard to know. That helped the Jaguars hold the ball for 35:30, a great possession advantage.
    • Blaine Gabbert finished the preseason 36-for-59 for 355 yards, three touchdowns, no interceptions and two sacks. That adds up to a 95.0 passer rating. He had a clumsy fumble in the first game and a toss off the fullback at the start of this one. But the killer mistakes were way down.
    • Why did Laurent Robinson slow down when he was open and Gabbert put a good deep ball on him early? The two still have timing to work out. But that looked to be more about the receiver than thrower to me.
    ANDERSON, Ind. -- There is a lot of room at the back end of the Colts’ roster.

    It’ll be no surprise for them to be turning over spots 48, 49, 50, 51, 52 and 53 well into the season depending on what general manager Ryan Grigson and his scouting staff can find and what the coaching staff tells Grigson it needs.

    Grigson
    Grigson
    And pedigree won’t mean a lot as they search. As well as the world is scouted, players can be found.

    Ty Nsekhe is a 6-foot-8, 325-pound, 26-year old rookie offensive tackle. He’s played with the Corpus Christi Sharks of af2 and the Dallas Vigilantes, Philadelphia Soul and San Antonio Talons of the AFL.

    Tight end Dominique Jones looks to rank third on a team that will use multiple tight ends. He went to Shepherd University and played for the Reading Express of the Indoor Football League and the Sacramento Mountain Lions of the United Football League.

    “You’re only as good as the back end of your roster,” Grigson said Monday. “That’s why we will scour the CFL, the Arena League. That’s why our energy is going to be on digging under every rock and in every crack. We have so many spots to improve on and to develop. You can find talent in a lot of places. You just have to look really, really hard.

    “You have to have the courage to actually sign those guys from places that might make some people scratch their heads. You have to have enough, what we call eye confidence, to come to me and say, ‘Grigs, look at this guy. I think this guy can play,’ no matter what league he’s in, no matter if he’s in the arena 9 league. They are all over the place. And we’re going to keep looking and digging.”

    I don’t know what kind of chance Nsekhe has.

    But Jones is involved in what the Colts are doing and on a team that will likely need four tight ends, and it won’t be a surprise if he’s one of them.

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