Here's a look at some of the top rumors for Wednesday, Sept. 2:
After seeking a second opinion on his injured ankle, Indianapolis Colts defensive lineman Arthur Jones appears to be headed for an extended absence. NFL Media's Ian Rapoport reports Jones will need surgery to repair torn ligaments in his ankle, noting that "at best," Jones will be placed on short-term injured reserve, which would rule him out through at least Week 8. Rapoport added that Jones could go straight to injured reserve and miss the whole season if joint damage is discovered during surgery. The news is a huge blow to the Colts' already suspect run defense, which has fallen apart in a few blowout defeats recently, including January's 45-7 AFC Championship loss to the New England Patriots. Jones signed a hefty deal with Indianapolis in March of 2014 but missed seven games with a high-ankle sprain and started just three in his first season with the team. Indy's D may lean on Kendall Langford -- a 2015 free-agent signee -- heavily, but the Colts don't appear to have any obvious answers at the moment.
Among those who were surprised by the Buffalo Bills' decision to release longtime running back Fred Jackson might have been head coach Rex Ryan and his staff. Tim Graham of the Buffalo News heard from two sources that GM Doug Whaley "went rogue" in cutting Jackson. Graham later specified that Whaley received owner Terry Pegula's support to make the move but did not provide a heads-up to many in the team's football operations. As the chief personnel decision-maker, Whaley didn't overstep his authority here, but it's concerning to see a GM who isn't working closely with his head coach on a relatively big decision. Ryan has made it clear that he wasn't pleased with his lack of influence in personnel decisions at the end of his New York Jets tenure. The relationship between Ryan and Whaley should be watched closely moving forward.
The Bills' backup quarterback situation also bears monitoring, as it appears Buffalo wants to keep just two quarterbacks. WGR 550's Sal Capaccio reports the Bills are "having internal debate" on whether or not they should cut Matt Cassel, who was acquired from the Minnesota Vikings this offseason for a fifth- and seventh-round pick (the Bills also received a sixth-rounder). Meanwhile, Vic Carucci of the Buffalo News reports that "multiple NFL personnel people" expect EJ Manuel to be kept and Cassel to be cut because of the former's support from Whaley. Considering Whaley drafted Manuel -- who many thought was a second- or third-round talent -- 16th overall in 2013, it's no surprise the QB would have Whaley's support, but Manuel has been a huge disappointment thus far. The Bills could regret releasing an experienced veteran in Cassel if starter Tyrod Taylor suffers an injury. Still, if Buffalo is confident enough in Manuel, the team could save $4 million by cutting Cassel and put that money toward an extension for defensive tackle Marcell Dareus.
The status of Seattle Seahawks safety Earl Thomas has been murky throughout training camp, but it now seems Thomas will be ready for Week 1. Head coach Pete Carroll said he thinks Thomas is "going to be ready to go, as ready as we can get him at this point," according to the team's official website. With Byron Maxwell now in Philadelphia, Jeremy Lane recovering from a pair of serious injuries and Kam Chancellor still holding out, Thomas' presence would be huge for Seattle's Legion of Boom secondary. If Chancellor misses regular-season games, there could be hiccups early as safety Dion Bailey and cornerback Cary Williams settle into their roles, but Thomas is the most important piece here. If he's fully healthy, Seattle's pass defense should still be stingy, if not at the elite level of recent years.
Philadelphia Eagles linebacker Kiko Alonso missed last week's preseason game with tendinitis in his knee, but coach Chip Kelly said Tuesday he wasn't sure whether or not the discomfort was in Alonso's left or right knee. Zach Berman and Jeff McLane of the Philadelphia Inquirer report that the tendinitis is indeed in Alonso's left knee, which was surgically repaired in the summer of 2014 after Alonso tore his ACL in offseason workouts. While Berman and McLane note that Alonso considers the tendinitis to be common after a torn ACL, any soreness that could keep Alonso out of a game doesn't bode well for his future. The Eagles also have Mychal Kendricks, DeMeco Ryans and rookie Jordan Hicks at inside linebacker, but they obviously would prefer to have Alonso on the field after acquiring him from the Bills for LeSean McCoy this spring.
As the Green Bay Packers look to replace wide receiver Jordy Nelson (torn ACL), they "likely" will add a veteran receiver before the regular season starts, according to Tom Silverstein of the Journal Sentinel. Silverstein suggests that could mean bringing back a former Packer like James Jones, Jarrett Boykin or Jeremy Ross, if any is among his team's final cuts at the end of the week. We'd expect any addition to have little impact upon the production of Randall Cobb and second-year wideout Davante Adams, although Jones could potentially steal some targets in the red zone if he returns to Green Bay. More worthy of fantasy owners' attention should be third-round rookie Ty Montgomery, who seems to be the likely No. 3 wide receiver in what should still be an excellent passing attack.
Packers QB Aaron Rodgers didn't sound like a fan of the preseason after Nelson tore his ACL against the Pittsburgh Steelers. Rodgers expanded on those thoughts Tuesday to Alex Marvez of Fox Sports, suggesting that preseason games are even more watered down than fans think. Rodgers also told Marvez that he hopes the Packers won't play in next year's Hall of Fame game, which could happen because Brett Favre will almost certainly be among those who are inducted. Rodgers' position is understandable, and it's shared by many of the players around the league, but a shorter preseason schedule doesn't seem imminent. Rodgers' opinions probably won't be taken into account when the NFL is picking its Hall of Fame game participants either -- the Packers could be an ideal choice to help the league kick off the season.