NFL rumors roundup

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Here's a look at some of the top rumors for Friday, Sept. 4:

  • ESPN's Dan Graziano has reported that New York Giants defensive end Jason Pierre Paul plans to return to the Giants next week, and play at some point early in the season. The bizarre saga that has been JPP's offseason began when the D-lineman injured his hand in a fireworks accident. From there the Giants were kept mostly in the dark regarding his recovery, as they waited for Pierre-Paul to sign the franchise tag the team placed on him prior to the incident. If and when Pierre-Paul signs his franchise tender, he will count against the Giants' final 53-man roster. So how will he affect New York's decision process as the Giants make their final cuts? Might some of their bubble players be affected by his return?

  • Duke Ihenacho has secured the starting strong safety job in the Washington Redskins' secondary, according to Mike Jones of The Washington Post. Ihenacho was battling with Jeron Johnson for the starting job. Ihenacho joined the Redskins last season after being cut by the Denver Broncos, but had his season come to an abrupt end due to a foot injury that landed the San Jose State product on injured reserve. With both starting safety positions locked up, the depth chart behind Ihenacho and free safety Dashon Goldson remains unresolved. How does the rest of Washington's roster project for the 2015 season?

  • Miami Dolphins rookie running back Jay Ajayi cracked a rib during Thursday's preseason loss to the Buccaneers, according to Adam H. Beasley of The Miami Herald. The back was having his best performance of the preseason, rushing for 66 yards on nine carries, before being pulled from the game. This is yet another setback in what has been a difficult training camp for the rookie. Ajayi has missed practice time with a hamstring injury, following a slide in the draft due to durability concerns. Where does the rookie project on Miami's 53-man roster?

  • According to ESPN's Vaughn McClure, it still remains unclear whether rookie running back Tevin Coleman will push for the Atlanta Falcons' starting running back job. Coleman finally got the Atlanta run game on track Thursday with 56 yards on eight carries against the Baltimore Ravens, including a 26-yard scamper. Coleman and starting running back Devonta Freeman have both been hindered throughout the preseason with hamstring injuries. It remains to be seen how the handoffs will shake out for both running backs this season, but it looks like a healthy combination of Coleman and Freeman could be lethal for the Falcons.

  • The Giants have cut yet another tie with their last Super Bowl victory from four seasons ago. ESPN's Dan Graziano reports that the Giants have released popular punter and 10-year veteran Steve Weatherford. The Giants traded a conditional 2016 seventh-round draft choice to the Pittsburgh Steelers for punter Brad Wing to replace Weatherford. The Giants saved $1.325 million in salary-cap space this year by releasing Weatherford, who was scheduled to make $2.175 million this season. Weatherford's play had declined in recent years, but his three punts within the 10-yard line in Super Bowl XLVI against the Patriots will still remain his lasting legacy as far as New York fans are concerned.