First, Davis channeled the outspoken reaction to his fine into a charitable cause. He announced Tuesday that he has raised more than $30,000 in sales of “Man of God,” “Woman of God” and “Child of God” headbands for St. Dominic Hospital in his home state of Mississippi. Davis also announced on social media that he won his appeal with the NFL over the fine, which occurred in Week 3, and that he will be donating the money he won back to St. Dominic, as well.
“That means yall helped me turn a $7,000 negative into an almost $40,000 positive benefiting people who truly need it!!!” Davis wrote in an Instagram post. “Do y’all see how that worked?? Let’s gooooo. That’s crazy!”
Davis did not wear the headband again in Weeks 4 or 5, telling NOLA.com that he didn’t know that headbands counted as a uniform violation, but that the message was “something that’s important to me so I’m just trying to figure out a way to still turn it into a way he can get glory from it.”
The NFL fines players for wearing “personal messages” on their uniforms — which has been the case since the days of Jim McMahon’s infamous headbands with the Chicago Bears. However, the NFL did begin a “My Cause, My Cleats” program in 2016, which allows players to promote causes that are important to them with decorated cleats from Weeks 13-15.
Davis, 30, quickly became a respected leader and captain in New Orleans after joining the team in free agency last year. And he has been leading the Saints’ pregame motivational chants in place of Drew Brees during Brees’ absence over the past three weeks because of thumb surgery — after asking for Brees’ blessing.
The two teamed up this past Sunday for a throwback to the chant Brees used during the 2009 Super Bowl season. Davis, who began his career with the New York Jets and Cleveland Browns, is also a member of the NFL Players Coalition and has also been heavily involved in social justice reform in both New York and Louisiana.
Janoris Jenkins expected to join playoff-contending team soon
Although he is not on an NFL roster Sunday, there is every reason to believe that former New York Giants cornerback Janoris Jenkins will be playing as soon as next weekend, and likely for a playoff contender, league sources told ESPN.
The bigger questions are whether Jenkins will clear waivers Monday or Tuesday, and how much money he will make.
If Jenkins clears waivers Monday as an injured player — he has been nursing a minor ankle injury — he would revert to the Giants’ injured reserve list. But the Giants also could waive him off it, which they would be expected to do, meaning Jenkins would go on waivers a second time from Monday to Tuesday.
League sources believe that a playoff contender that has a need at cornerback, such as the Houston Texans or Kansas City Chiefs, could put in a claim or try to sign him after he clears waivers, according to sources. Any team that claims Jenkins would owe him two weeks of salary at $597,000 per week — just under $1.2 million for the remainder of this season, along with a 2020 contract that is scheduled to pay him $11.25 million.
For now, Jenkins doesn’t know whether he will clear waivers Monday, clear waivers Tuesday, be claimed by another team or have his choice of teams to sign with on Tuesday.
But the belief is that despite nursing an ankle sprain, Jenkins could be in a new locker room and back on the field as soon as next weekend.
The Giants waived Jenkins on Friday, two days after he made an inappropriate remark to a fan on Twitter. Jenkins called a critical fan a “retard” when taking exception to questioning about why the stats Jenkins was using to showcase his effectiveness weren’t contributing to victories.
Jenkins said Thursday that the usage of the word was “slang” that is “just part of my culture.” Giants coach Pat Shurmur met with Jenkins on Wednesday and said in a statement Friday that Jenkins’ refusal to admit that what he did was wrong led to his release.
ESPN’s Jordan Raanan contributed to this report.
Sources — Steelers RB James Conner (shoulder) expected back vs. Bills
Pittsburgh Steelers running back James Conner, who has been sidelined by an injury to the AC joint in his right shoulder, is expected to play Sunday night against the visiting Buffalo Bills, sources told ESPN’s Adam Schefter on Saturday.
Listed as questionable on the team’s injury report, Conner hasn’t played since a brief appearance against the Cleveland Browns on Nov. 14.
Conner injured the AC joint during the final two minutes of a win against the Miami Dolphins on Oct. 28. He was wrapping up his best game of the season: 145 yards and a touchdown on 23 carries.
Conner missed the next two games against the Indianapolis Colts and Los Angeles Rams before trying to play against the Browns, but Conner realized after a quarter that his body wasn’t ready. He left the game after just five carries for 10 yards.
“I just wasn’t ready to come back,” he said at the time. “I just tried to fight through it, but I wasn’t able to.”
Conner has missed the past three games, wins against the Cincinnati Bengals, Browns and Arizona Cardinals, with rookie Benny Snell Jr. taking over in Conner’s absence. Snell rushed for 98 yards against the Bengals, 63 yards against the Browns and just 41 yards last Sunday against the Cardinals.
Information from ESPN’s Brooke Pryor was used in this report.
Dolphins WRs DeVante Parker, Albert Wilson clear concussion protocol
Parker suffered a concussion in the second quarter of Sunday’s 22-21 loss to the New York Jets. He did not return after hitting his head on the ground following a difficult catch along the sideline.
Albert Wilson was cleared from the concussion protocol as well, meaning the Dolphins will have their two starting receivers back Sunday.
Parker’s return comes after he agreed to a four-year contract extension on Friday evening that is set to keep him in a Dolphins uniform through 2023. The extension is worth up to $40 million with an $8 million signing bonus and more than $20 million guaranteed, according to a source.
Parker and Wilson practiced throughout the week, donning red noncontact jerseys as limited participants Wednesday and Thursday before being upgraded to working the full session with those restrictions Friday.
The Dolphins’ offense has centered around Parker since Preston Williams went on injured reserve in early November.
Parker has a career-high 882 receiving yards and six touchdowns this season, and maybe most importantly he hasn’t missed a game yet for the first time in his NFL career.
Wilson has 26 catches for 154 yards and one touchdown in a season that has been slowed by multiple injuries.
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