NFL Nation: Kelvin Sheppard

The Miami Dolphins (7-6) will travel to face the New England Patriots (10-3) Sunday in an important game for both teams.

Here is Miami's official injury report for Thursday:

Did not practice: DB Walt Aikens (illness), LB Koa Misi (hamstring, knee), LB Jelani Jenkins (foot), LB Jonathan Freeny (hamstring), G Nate Garner (illness)

Limited practice: TE Charles Clay (hamstring, knee), CB Cortland Finnegan (ankle), LB Chris McCain (ankle), CB Jamar Taylor (shoulder), DT Anthony Johnson (ankle)

Full practice: DE Dion Jordan (ankle), TE Dion Sims (neck), S Jimmy Wilson (hamstring)

Analysis: The Dolphins were without starting linebackers Misi and Jenkins for the third consecutive day. Head coach Joe Philbin rarely goes with players who cannot practice during the week, so chances do not look good for those players Sunday against the Patriots. Backup linebackers Jason Trusnik and Kelvin Sheppard could see a lot of playing time. Miami also had two new additions to the injury report Thursday. Aikens was not present due to an illness, and Johnson was limited after presumably suffering an ankle injury in practice. Johnson was on crutches in the locker room Thursday.

Analyzing McShay mock 4.0: Colts 

April, 10, 2014
Apr 10
12:15
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ESPN NFL draft analyst Todd McShay posted his 2014 mock draft Insider earlier on Thursday.

As you’ve been reminded every time you hear the name “Trent Richardson,” the Indianapolis Colts do not have a first-round pick because of their trade with Cleveland to acquire the running back last September.

Colts' performance-based pay

March, 25, 2014
Mar 25
7:30
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ORLANDO, Fla. -- Nine Indianapolis Colts players received performance-based incentives for more than $100,000 each during the 2013 season. Linebacker Jerrell Freeman and offensive line Hugh Thornton both earned more than $218,000.

The incentives are based off playing time and a player’s base salary. Veteran backup quarterback Matt Hasselbeck received only $827.05 out of the $3.46 million which teams are allotted. The money usually benefits minimum-salaried free-agent signings and players on their first NFL contracts who end up playing a lot.

Here’s a breakdown of the top-10 performance bonuses on the Colts.

LB Jerrell Freeman $248,772.35

OL Hugh Thornton $218,167.75

WR T.Y. Hilton $162,808.35

FB Stanley Havili $132,945.28

TE Jack Doyle $128,223.40

DE Ricardo Mathews $118,490.40

LB Cam Johnson $109,230.89

WR Griff Whalen $101,056.36

LB Kelvin Sheppard $100,435.98

LB Mario Harvey $92,307.29

Here’s a breakdown of the bottom-10 performance bonuses on the roster.

WR Reggie Wayne $6,651.65

TE Dwayne Allen $5,711.86

C Khaled Holmes $4,695.54

TE Justice Cunningham $3,913.60

OL Donald Thomas $3,384.86

K Adam Vinatieri $2,738.82

RB Robert Hughes $2,618.30

RB Kerwynn Williams $2,494.16

OL Thomas Austin $1,816.86

QB Matt Hasselbeck $827.05
There’s a strong opinion from many, myself included, that the interior part of the offensive line and receiver are areas the Indianapolis Colts should look to address in the draft, free agency or trade.

Linebacker is another area of concern for the Colts.

Jerrell Freeman has had an incredible past two seasons, Robert Mathis dominated last season, Erik Walden didn’t live up to expectations after the Colts signed him last offseason and Pat Angerer, who lost his starting job before having his season end with a knee injury, is a free agent. Kelvin Sheppard replaced Angerer in the starting lineup and finished with 62 tackles.

The Colts, as you’ve known for the past five months, do not have a first-round pick at the moment. Their first pick will be in the second round at No. 59 overall. Their front office and coaching staff will be at the scouting combine at Lucas Oil Stadium later this week.

Here’s a breakdown of the top inside and outside linebackers, according to Mel Kiper Jr.

Inside linebackers

1. C.J. Mosley, Alabama
2. Chris Borland, Wisconsin
3. Shayne Skov, Stanford
4. Preston Brown, Louisville
5. Max Bullough, Michigan State
6. Yawin Smallwood, Connecticut
7. Jordan Zumwalt, UCLA
8. Glenn Carson, Penn State
9. Avery Williamson, Kentucky
10. Andrew Jackson, Western Kentucky

Outside linebackers

1. Khalil Mack, Buffalo
2. Anthony Barr, UCLA
3. Ryan Shazier, Ohio State
4. Dee Ford, Auburn
5. Kyle Van Noy, BYU
6. Trent Murphy, Stanford
7. Carl Bradford, Arizona State
8. Telvin Smith, Florida State
9. Lamin Barrow, LSU
10. Adrian Hubbard, Alabama

Kiper has Mosley and Mack projected to go in the first round of his most recent mock draft .
Training camp competitions for the Indianapolis Colts are not shaping up the way general manager Ryan Grigson and coach Chuck Pagano likely imagined them.

As Phillip B. Wilson points out in his blog at the Indianapolis Star, injuries are already having an impact.

Brandon McKinney is on IR with a continuing knee problem, so nose tackle looks like it’ll belong to Aubrayo Franklin and Josh Chapman, with Ricky Jean Francois able to help. What we thought could be a pretty good battle might be sorted out already.

Rookie right guard Hugh Thornton was expected to challenge incumbent Mike McGlynn, but Thornton has a boot on his right foot and has not practiced yet.

Pat Angerer is on PUP, meaning the second inside linebacker spot isn’t as much of a competition as it might be later, with Kelvin Sheppard apparently outranking Kavell Conner by so much that Wilson doesn't even mention Conner.

Rookie center Khaled Holmes might still give Samson Satele a fight at center, but Holmes had an ankle issue at USC and injured the same ankle on Tuesday.

Running back is still very interesting. Provided Ahmad Bradshaw is back to himself in time for the regular season, I’m not sure his presence on PUP with a still-healing foot hurts the competition at the spot. It might actually help. We know Vick Ballard will be second at worst, and it seems likely Kerwynn Williams will be fourth. The extra snaps could allow the staff maximum opportunity to gauge Donald Brown and Delone Carter.

While having virtually everyone good to go the first week of camp is ideal, camp injuries are inevitable. Maybe Thornton and Holmes don't miss much at all. Perhaps some of these guys will emerge in relative short order and still get into position battles the way we envisioned.

But if guys who are on the field now like McGlynn, Sheppard and Satele perform consistently well, they’ve got a chance to get a tight grip on jobs before their competition even takes the field.
The Colts traded outside linebacker Jerry Hughes to Buffalo for Kelvin Sheppard, who started 15 games last season as the middle linebacker in Buffalo's 4-3 defense.

Indianapolis sees him as an inside guy in their system. So they now look four deep for their two inside spots with Jerrell Freeman, Kavell Conner, Pat Angerer and Sheppard.

Robert Mathis is the starter at the rush outside spot, with Erik Walden on the strong side. First-round pick Bjoern Werner is now the third outside linebacker.

The trade is a swap of two relatively recent high picks.

Hughes was a first-rounder for Indianapolis in 2010. He didn't really fit as the third end in the 4-3 and last season he didn't take off in the new 3-4 the way the team had hoped he would.

Sheppard was a third-rounder in 2011 out of LSU.

Bills don't have a ball at informal workout

May, 23, 2011
5/23/11
3:33
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ELMA, N.Y. -- The only footballs that exchanged hands were when long-snapper Garrison Sanborn fired a few through his legs.

Other than that, about 30 Buffalo Bills conducted a workout sans pigskin Monday morning at Sahlen's Sports Park in the bucolic suburbs. The Bills staged their first mass gathering of the labor stoppage, but merely getting together was more important than the practice.

"When you add a ball to the mix it just brings out the competitiveness and aggressive nature in us," Bills safety and team NFL Players Association representative George Wilson said. "We're just moving at a slow pace."

Several key players were there, including quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick, running back Fred Jackson, receiver Lee Evans, safety Jairus Byrd and three-fifths of last year's starting offensive line.

Injuries were on the minds of most players. Going too hard and getting hurt could put seasons or contracts in jeopardy. Any player injured while not working out under the supervision of the team could be placed on the non-football injury list and could be forced to repay bonus money.

"You have to be smart about it," left tackle Demetrius Bell said. "Don't go out there too hard and hurt yourself. Get a good sweat, get your work in and get off the field."

As long as the lockout wears on, offseason routines are being disrupted. At this time last year, all four AFC East teams had held their rookie camps. The New York Jets held three organized team activities by this point, and the Miami Dolphins had conducted two. The Dolphins staged last year's mandatory minicamp May 28. The others were in mid to late June.

Workouts such as the one the Bills are participating in this week help keep the players focused on football.

"We're accustomed to coming in, getting breakfast, getting taped, having the typical warm-up," Wilson said. "The routine is out. But being pros and being at this level, we have to be able to know what we need to do to be ready.

"The trust is there. I truly believe that after the season we had a year ago, the guys are working to get that bitter taste out of their mouths. We definitely want to have high expectations to be more competitive and put ourselves in position to have one of those playoff spots.

"They say championships are won in the offseason because of the work that you put in, the closeness of the team. But the good thing about this is all 32 teams are experiencing this. All 2,000-plus players have to endure the same plight. So it's all about who handles this lockout the best and once it's all over, who gets ready the fastest."

Two draft picks, linebacker Kelvin Sheppard and defensive back Da'Norris Searcy, showed up. But Wilson wouldn't let them take part in drills for insurance purposes.

"I'm not allowing them to get on the field during any of the agility or conditioning or anything," Wilson said. He noted the rookies could extract usefulness from "putting faces with names, getting more acquainted with guys from their position."

Buffalo continues D upgrade in third

April, 29, 2011
4/29/11
9:17
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ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. -- The Buffalo Bills drafted a third straight defender, adding Louisiana State inside linebacker Kelvin Sheppard with the 68th pick Friday night.

Why the Bills took him: The Bills already have addressed each level of their defense with a lineman (Marcell Dareus), a defensive back (Aaron Williams) and now a linebacker, a position that was thin last year. Sheppard is considered a smart and emotional leader, and he might need that kind of passion to overcome limitations as a sideline-to-sideline tackler.

How it affects the roster: Veteran linebackers Paul Posluszny and Akin Ayodele are free agents. Sheppard could contribute immediately.

Scouts Inc. says: Good communication skills. Quickly reads keys and reacts. Do not see many false steps from him. Has improved his discipline and rarely got fooled by misdirection or play-action in 2010. Flashes ability to sniff out draws and screens. Shows awareness to go for the strip when wrapping up ball carriers. ... Is technically sound with his hands and will almost always take on blocks properly. He is tough and fearless, but he does not have explosive upper body power. He rarely shocks the blocker with initial pop and he has some trouble disengaging from bigger blockers.

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