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Injuries: Lucky Whitehead to have surgery on foot

Lucky Whitehead might need to go back to being called "Rodney" after his string of decidedly unlucky breaks.

The New York Jets receiver and kick returner will have surgery on his broken foot, an injury he sustained earlier this week in practice, coach Todd Bowles told reporters Wednesday. Bowles added that it's possible that Whitehead could return this season.

Whitehead landed with the Jets in late July after being waived by the Dallas Cowboys following a wild couple of weeks. First, the 25-year-old had his dog kidnapped. Then, Whitehead's identity was used following a theft at a convenience store, which he wasn't a part of, leading police to falsely accuse him of the crime before apologizing.

On the field, Whitehead was an upgrade on kick returns over Jalin Marshall, who is suspended for the first four games of the season. The timeline for Whitehead's return means he'll likely miss at least one game to start the season.

The Jets also waived/injured safety Doug Middleton, who suffered a torn pectoral muscle in New York's preseason opener, and signed wide receiver Kenbrell Thompkins. Middleton played in four games last season, taking snaps on both defense and special teams.

Here are the other injuries we're monitoring on Wednesday:

  1. The receiving corps is growing in Pittsburgh. With Martavis Bryant inching closer to a full-blown return, the Steelers took third-year receiver Sammie Coates off of the physically unable to perform (PUP) list. Coates, who celebrated the birth of his son on Tuesday, had been sidelined with a knee injury since late July and did not participate in training camp.

Meanwhile, center Maurkice Pouncey returned to practice in pads after missing siginificant time with a leg injury.

  1. Denver Broncos coach Vance Joseph told reporters that wideout Emmanuel Sanders left practice after falling on his shoulder. NFL Network's James Palmer noted that Joseph didn't sound worried about the injury.
  1. David Njoku told reporters he intends to make his Cleveland Browns debut against the New York Giants on Monday. The rookie tight end missed Cleveland's preseason opener with back soreness, but returned to practice last Saturday.

The Browns also announced that offensive linemen Joel Bitonio (knee) and Cameron Erving (calf) will not play in Cleveland's second preseason game and their return to the field will be evaluated on a week-to-week basis. Both Bitonio and Erving suffered injuries during Tuesday's practice.

  1. Prince Amukamara sat out practice again and is day-to-day, coach John Fox told reporters. The Bears starting cornerback left Monday's practice with a hamstring injury and has yet to return to action.
  1. The Carolina Panthers saw the return of their second-round rookie. First-year wideout Curtis Samuelparticipated in full pads after sitting out the bulk of training camp with a hamstring injury.
  1. Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Paul Richardsonreturned to practice after suffering a minor AC joint sprain in his shoulder in Seattle's first preseason game.
  1. Indianapolis Colts wide receiver Phillip Dorsett was back on the practice field. Dorsett has been nursing hamstring injuries for months and sat out Indianapolis' preseason opener. The wideout is expected to play Saturday night in Dallas.
  1. Dallas Cowboys coach Jason Garrett told reporters that rookie tight end Rico Gatherswill enter the concussion protocol after suffering a hit during Tuesday's practice.
  1. Donavin Newsom has landed on injured reserve. San Francisco 49ers general manager John Lynch announced the news just over one week after the linebacker suffered a concussion in practice. Newsom spent two nights in the hospital after suffering the injury.
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