The Chargers signed Jones to a one-year deal earlier this month as a potential replacement to Stevie Johnson, lost for the season with a meniscus tear in his right knee that required surgery.
Pittsburgh’s high-ceiling offense will go through 2016 without the services of suspended wideout Martavis Bryant, while all-world running back Le’Veon Bell will serve a three-game ban to start the year. The latter looked good running and cutting in last weekend’s long-awaited return to the field. In Cincinnati, losing Hue Jackson as the team’s offensive coordinator puts Andy Dalton back in the spotlight. Can he still play at the MVP level he operated at for much of last season? Can Bengals rookie wideout Tyler Boyd make up for the loss of Marvin Jones and Mohamed Sanu? The Ravens have put last year’s injury-plagued disaster behind them, but Baltimore’s roster can’t match what the balanced Steelers and Bengals bring to the table.
While some players have come out in support of Kaepernick and his right to protest, other players are livid with Kaepernick, including one of his ex-teammates.
Vikings offensive lineman Alex Boone, who spent five seasons as Kaepernick’s teammate in San Francisco, says that the 49ers quarterback needs to show some “f—— respect.”
“It’s hard for me, because my brother was a Marine, and he lost a lot of friends over there,” Boone said, via USA Today. “That flag obviously gives (Kaepernick) the right to do whatever he wants. I understand it. At the same time, you should have some f—— respect for people who served, especially people that lost their life to protect our freedom. And I get that he can do whatever he wants. But there’s a time and a place. Show some respect, and that’s just how I feel.”
Boone also called it shameful that Kaepenick didn’t stand.
“You see all these pictures of these veterans that have no legs, and they’re standing up in a wheelchair,” Boone said. “I had a brother that served, and he lost friends, and I know how much it means to him. It’s shameful.”
Boone’s brother J.J. is a marine who once served in Iraq.
“We’re out here playing a game, making millions of dollars,” Boone said. “People are losing their lives, and you don’t have the common courtesy to do that. That just drove me nuts.”