Ortiz’s view, naturally, is less equivocal. “Things didn’t end up the way things should be,” he says of Rodriguez’s departure from the Yankees. “To be honest with you, there’s a problem between that organization and its players, I believe. I don’t even think Jeter is happy with them, you know what I’m saying? Now you would be like, hold on, Derek Jeter is not happy with the Yankees? What’s going on.
The lesson: There’s more than one way to support your young quarterback. The Jags are 3-2 and all alone in first place with the Rams coming to town Sunday. And they haven’t poured resources into amping up Bortles’ arsenal; Allen Robinson’s injury only made matters worse there. Instead, they’ve taken all the pressure off of him with their run game and defense.
Jacksonville drafted Leonard Fournette and Cam Robinson this year, and paid Chris Ivory last year, and they now lead the league in rushing. They’ve stocked the defense with high picks and premium free agents, and that’s finally paying off—they posted 10 sacks in their opener against the Texans, and picked Ben Roethlisberger off five times last week in Pittsburgh.
Los Angeles hopes to follow in the footsteps of the 1992 Chargers, who started 0-4 and rebounded to make the playoffs. The opposing fans that have filled the StubHub Center since the Chargers’ arrival aren’t making that challenge any easier to overcome.
“We’re known for being tough, northern people,” says Adam Thielen, the Vikings receiver who grew up in Detroit Lakes, Minn., in the northwest part of the state. “But you’re striving to get to the Metrodome and play for state championships.”
Danny Amendola, New England Patriots, knee, (Q), 1 p.m. ET: Amendola is known for making fairly regular appearances on the injury report, so this comes as little surprise. A hyperextended knee caused him to sit out practice on Wednesday, but he was able to return to limited work on Thursday and Friday.