Book: Brady mulled 2018 divorce from Belichick

Patriots face growing list of issues heading into bye week

 

 

A new book about New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick gives the latest glimpse into his allegedly rocky relationship with star quarterback Tom Brady.

 

According to “Belichick: The Making of the Greatest Football Coach of All Time,” by ESPN writer Ian O’Connor, Brady had a tough time deciding whether to return to the Patriots this season.

 

“If you’re married 18 years to a grouchy person who gets under your skin and never compliments you, after a while you want to divorce him,” a source told O’Connor after the 2017 season. “Tom knows Bill is the best coach in the league, but he’s had enough of him. If Tom could, I think he would divorce him.”

 

Late last season, multiple media outlets reported about a rift between Brady and Belichick, reportedly over the team’s treatment of Brady’s personal trainer, Alex Guerrero. The Patriots reportedly banned Guerrero from the sideline, took away his office at Gillette Stadium and no longer allowed him to fly with the team.

 

Guerrero reportedly has been back in the team’s good graces this season.

 

O’Connor wrote of Brady’s offseason decision-making, “But in the end, even if he wanted to, Brady could not walk away from the game, and he could not ask for a trade. The moment Belichick moved (Jimmy) Garoppolo to San Francisco, and banked on Brady’s oft-stated desire to play at least into his mid-forties, was the moment Brady was virtually locked into suiting up next season and beyond. Had he retired or requested a trade, he would have risked turning an adoring New England public into an angry mob.”

 

The book also alleges that Brady was unhappy about Belichick’s response to the Deflategate scandal.

 

A close friend of Brady told O’Connor, “I thought Bill handled it terribly, especially when it involved a guy who’d done everything to help your career as a coach, and you hung him out to dry.”

 

Belichick, 66, had a 36-44 record in five seasons as the Cleveland Browns coach before starting his legendary run in New England. Since taking over in Foxborough in 2000, he has a 215-75 regular-season mark with the Patriots.

 

He and Brady have reached eight Super Bowls, winning five championships.

 

–Field Level Media

NFL notebook: Flacco doubtful vs. Bengals

NFL notebook: Flacco doubtful vs. Bengals

Joe Flacco was listed as

NFL notebook: Flacco doubtful vs. Bengals

Joe Flacco was listed as doubtful on Friday’s injury report as the Baltimore Ravens’ quarterback mystery continues, two days prior to Sunday’s game against the Cincinnati Bengals.

Flacco didn’t practice all week because of a hip injury, while rookie Lamar Jackson returned to practice on Friday after sitting out a day due to illness. Robert Griffin III took all the practice snaps on Thursday.

“There will be a quarterback starting. I can guarantee that,” Ravens coach John Harbaugh told reporters, partly in jest. “And, every play, there will be at least one quarterback on the field.”

Harbaugh said Flacco could play despite not practicing.

–Green Bay Packers tight end Jimmy Graham has a broken thumb, multiple outlets reported.

Graham had the thumb examined on Friday to determine the extent of his injury. The 31-year-old left Thursday’s 27-24 loss to the Seattle Seahawks in the second half after making one catch for 13 yards.

The Packers haven’t confirmed the injury or released a timetable for his return.

–Los Angeles Chargers defensive end Joey Bosa is expected to be a game-day decision on Sunday against the Denver Broncos.

Bosa, who has missed the entire season with a foot injury, was listed as questionable on Friday’s injury report. He returned to practice on Wednesday for the first time since training camp.

Tight end Antonio Gates (knee) also is listed as questionable. Cornerback Trevor Williams (knee) will miss the game.

–Denver Broncos left guard Max Garcia will miss the rest of the season after tearing his ACL in Thursday’s practice, head coach Vance Joseph confirmed.

Garcia didn’t miss a rep Thursday, but he was taken for an MRI after feeling discomfort in the knee afterward.

“It was really weird,” Joseph said. “I watched practice from the last play back to the first play, and he didn’t miss a down. The play he was injured on, I saw it. It was kind of a slip. It was no big deal.”

–Suspended linebacker Mychal Kendricks has rejoined the Seattle Seahawks, coach Pete Carroll told reporters.

Kendricks, 28, will practice next week but cannot play until Dec. 10 against Minnesota.

As a result of his guilty plea to federal insider trading changes, the league suspended Kendricks for eight games for violating the NFL’s personal conduct policy. He faces up to 25 years in prison when he is sentenced Jan. 24.

–Philadelphia defensive tackle Timmy Jernigan could play for the first time this season on Sunday when the Eagles take on the New Orleans Saints.

“Still optimistic, we’ve got to get through today and tomorrow obviously with him and see where he’s at,” Eagles coach Doug Pederson said. “It’s just a matter of day-by-day and getting through the practice and seeing where he’s at.”

Jernigan returned to practice last week for the first time since having surgery in April to repair a herniated disc in his back.

–Atlanta Falcons linebacker Deion Jones (foot) will not play Sunday against the Dallas Cowboys, despite being activated from injured reserve earlier this week.

Head coach Dan Quinn said Jones, who hasn’t played since Week 1, is close but not yet ready to play. Kicker Matt Bryant (hamstring) will play for the first time since Week 6.

–The Detroit Lions will be without wideout Marvin Jones (knee) and tight end Michael Roberts (shoulder) against the Carolina Panthers.

Jones did not practice this week after sustaining a bone bruise in his knee on Sunday. Cornerback Darius Slay (knee) is expected to play.

–Washington Redskins left tackle Trent Williams is questionable to face the Houston Texans as he recovers from surgery to repair a dislocated thumb.

Also questionable is kicker Dustin Hopkins (groin). Running back Chris Thompson (ribs) and wideout Jamison Crowder (ankle) remain out after not practicing all week.

–The Tampa Bay Buccaneers will be without linebacker Lavonte David (knee), defensive end Vinny Curry (ankle), running back Ronald Jones (hamstring) and defensive backs Justin Evans (toe) and M.J. Stewart (foot) against the New York Giants.

Curry and Jones practiced on a limited basis Thursday and Friday, while none of the others practiced this week.

–The Cincinnati Bengals placed tight end Tyler Kroft on injured reserve and signed linebacker Brandon Bell off the practice squad.

Kroft, who has four catches for 36 yards in five games (two starts) this year, hasn’t played since hurting his foot in Week 5. Cincinnati is already without Tyler Eifert for the season.

–Field Level Media

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Packers’ McCarthy discusses job status with Packers struggling

Packers' McCarthy discusses job status with Packers struggling

Packers’ McCarthy discusses job status with Packers struggling

One day after the Green Bay Packers lost a crucial road game to the Seattle Seahawks to fall under .500 with just six games left in the regular season, head coach Mike McCarthy was forced to publicly address his job security.

McCarthy faced the local media Friday on the heels of the Packers dropping to 4-5-1 by losing 27-24 at Seattle, hurting Green Bay’s playoff hopes in a competitive NFC.

McCarthy, who turned 55 last week, is in his 13th season leading the Packers’ sideline. During his tenure, Green Bay has made the playoffs nine times and won a Super Bowl. But McCarthy’s Packers have never missed the postseason two years in a row, something that could happen unless the team immediately gets hot.

For McCarthy, tied with New Orleans’ Sean Payton as the longest-tenured head coaches in the conference, facing late-season questions about his employment status is new territory.

“That’s the job,” McCarthy told reporters. “That’s the way this business has gone. I’m not going to get into comparables, but at the end of the day that’s part of the job responsibility of the head coach.

“We set a standard here the past 12 years, and it’s our responsibility to play to that standard. That’s the way we approach it, but that’s a blanket, general evaluation. There’s obviously more that goes into that. But at the end of the day, there’s so much that goes into each and every game throughout a seven-day period — obviously we’re on a 10-day stretch here — and that’s really where the energy has to focus.”

Green Bay is 0-5 on the road this season and must next take on their NFC North rival Minnesota Vikings next Sunday — again away from Lambeau Field. If the Packers lose in Week 12, the noise will get louder.

“I don’t think you can tune it out. That’s the old days. That’s when you had newspapers,” McCarthy said of hearing surrounding speculation on whether his job may be in jeopardy. “But I think today’s world, everything is accessible, everything is instant. I’m sure they’re all aware. I think the bigger challenge is when you’re having a lot of success.

“I think negativity is an unfortunate part of this business driven by the externals, but that’s the business we’re in.”

–Field Level Media

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Rams take in fresh air, mountains ahead of game vs. Chiefs

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (AP) — This was a respite for the Los Angeles Rams but certainly no vacation.

The team kept its plans to train at the Air Force Academy and stay at the posh Broadmoor Hotel in the Rocky Mountain foothills even after the NFL moved their Monday night showdown with the

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (AP) — This was a respite for the Los Angeles Rams but certainly no vacation.

The team kept its plans to train at the Air Force Academy and stay at the posh Broadmoor Hotel in the Rocky Mountain foothills even after the NFL moved their Monday night showdown with the Kansas City Chiefs to the Los Angeles Coliseum because of a frayed football field at Mexico City’s Azteca Stadium.

The primary benefit shifted from altitude acclimation to getting away from the wildfires back home and doing some midseason team bonding.

“It’s been a little bit wild for sure, but with that being said, there’s a lot more people dealing with a lot worse than what we’re dealing with right now,” quarterback Jared Goff said. “We’re the lucky ones and we’re having a good time out here in Colorado.”

The deadly wildfires that are surrounding the Rams’ training complex back home affected some players and coaches directly and some indirectly.

“I personally wasn’t affected, but I look at my teammates as family,” Ndamukong Suh said. “So, we all have to deal with it in some form or fashion.”

The trip to Colorado also allowed the Rams (9-1) to do some midseason bonding, something tight end Rob Gronkowski said helped the Patriots refocus down the stretch last season after they spent a week at the academy ahead of their game against the Raiders in Mexico City.

Rams coach Sean McVay said he reached out to Patriots coach Bill Belichick for some tips about how they handled the week away in the Rocky Mountains.

“Anybody like a Bill Belichick, if they’re able to give you a perspective, it’d be silly not to listen and try to apply it,” McVay said.

The Rams will fly home Saturday after what was actually a business trip.

“The Broadmoor’s great. I haven’t played any golf,” defensive coordinator Wade Phillips said. “I’ve got a lot of friends here, but I haven’t really seen anybody because we’ve been working. It’s a work trip … we’re getting ready to play a game.”

McVay said training in Colorado won’t be a waste even though the game now will be played at sea level.

“With all the things going on right now, I think there’s some guys that, at the time, wouldn’t have been able to get back into their houses,” McVay said. “There’s a lot of things that we were doing here. One of them was, obviously, to get ready for playing in the elevation and different things like that. It does still serve you well to train in these environments.

“So, it’ll help us out. Then really, we looked at it as another chance to kind of get away before the bye week, continue to connect as a team where there’s not any real distractions.”

That bonding may be the ultimate benefit of their brief trip.

“If anything, the last week has really made you appreciate the perspective that this gives you,” McVay said. “What’s so special about football is the brotherhood that you share with the teammates, the coaches, the rapport and just the camaraderie. There’s nothing like it.

“To be able to go through some of these things, to also know that when you’re going through real life adversity outside of football, that you have a support system, you have people that care about you unconditionally — that’s what’s real.”

McVay said he took in the picturesque mountains, the fresh air and the amenities of the Broadmoor, but “I really haven’t had a chance to get out and explore. We’re in the midst of game planning and things like that, but I know our players have enjoyed it.

“They got a chance to go to the Nuggets-Rockets game the other night. I think it’s been a great getaway for the team to be together and kind of bond.”

Notes: WR Cooper Kupp underwent knee surgery this week. “It went really well,” McVay said. “He called right afterward and he was in great spirits and I know if anybody’s going to attack the rehab process the right way it’s going to be Cooper Kupp.”

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Suspended Kendricks rejoins Seahawks

Suspended Kendricks rejoins Seahawks

Suspended linebacker Mychal Kendricks has rejoined the Seattle Seahawks, coach Pete Carroll told

Suspended Kendricks rejoins Seahawks

Suspended linebacker Mychal Kendricks has rejoined the Seattle Seahawks, coach Pete Carroll told reporters on Friday.

Kendricks, 28, will practice next week but cannot play until Dec. 10 against Minnesota.

As a result of his guilty plea to federal insider trading changes, the league suspended Kendricks for eight games for violating the NFL’s personal conduct policy.

Kendricks went to training camp with the Cleveland Browns but was released after the team learned he had been accused of illegally profiting more than $1.2 million through insider training. The Seahawks later picked him up, and in three games with Seattle before his suspension, he made 15 tackles to go with two sacks and a pass breakup.

Kendricks faces up to 25 years in jail when he is sentenced Jan. 24.

–Field Level Media

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Chargers DE Bosa is questionable for Broncos

Chargers DE Bosa is questionable for Broncos

Los Angeles Chargers defensive end

Chargers DE Bosa is questionable for Broncos

Los Angeles Chargers defensive end Joey Bosa is expected to be a game-day decision for the team’s game against the Denver Broncos on Sunday.

Bosa, who has missed the entire season with a foot injury, was listed as questionable on Friday’s injury report. He returned to practice on Wednesday for the first time since training camp.

Tight end Antonio Gates (knee) also is listed as questionable. Cornerback Trevor Williams (knee) will miss the game.

Receiver Keenan Allen (hip, finger) was a limited practice participant on Friday and was removed from the injury report.

Bosa, 23, injured his left foot during a practice on Aug. 7, and it has been slow to heal. He later suffered a setback and was placed in a cast before advancing to a walking boot.

Bosa posted a career-best 12.5 sacks and forced four fumbles while earning Pro Bowl honors last season.

He was the NFL’s Defensive Rookie of the Year in 2016 when he had 10.5 sacks in 12 games.

–Field Level Media

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Broncos OL Garcia (ACL) out for season

Broncos OL Garcia (ACL) out for season

Denver Broncos

Broncos OL Garcia (ACL) out for season

Denver Broncos left guard Max Garcia will miss the rest of the season after tearing his ACL in Thursday’s practice, head coach Vance Joseph confirmed Friday.

Garcia didn’t miss a rep Thursday, but was taken for an MRI after feeling discomfort in the knee afterward.

“It was really weird,” Joseph said. “I watched practice from the last play back to the first play, and he didn’t miss a down. The play he was injured on, I saw it. It was kind of a slip. It was no big deal.”

Garcia was already filling in for starter Ron Leary, who was lost for the season in October with an Achilles injury.

Center Matt Paradis is also out for the year with a broken leg, leaving the Broncos thin along the offensive line.

Billy Turner figures to replace Garcia at left guard, as Elijah Wilkinson steps in at right guard with Connor McGovern moving to center.

Linebacker Brandon Marshall missed Friday’s practice with a knee injury and was ruled out for Sunday’s game at the Los Angeles Chargers. Safety Dymonte Thomas (ankle) is the only other Bronco ruled out, with running back Royce Freeman, wideout DaeSean Hamilton, cornerback Bradley Roby and safety Darian Stewart expected to return.

–Field Level Media

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Bengals hold out hope WR Green could play vs Ravens

CINCINNATI (AP) — The Bengals are leaving a slight possibility that receiver A.J. Green could play Sunday at Baltimore even though he hasn't practiced the last two weeks because of a toe injury.

Green initially was listed Friday as out for the game, as anticipated. Cincinnati later did an about-face and listed him

CINCINNATI (AP) — The Bengals are leaving a slight possibility that receiver A.J. Green could play Sunday at Baltimore even though he hasn’t practiced the last two weeks because of a toe injury.

Green initially was listed Friday as out for the game, as anticipated. Cincinnati later did an about-face and listed him as doubtful, giving him a slight chance to play. The offense struggled without him during a 51-14 loss to the Saints last week.

The Bengals (5-4) need a win against the Ravens (4-5) to stay in the playoff chase.

Cincinnati ruled out linebacker Preston Brown with an injured right knee. Linebacker Brandon Bell was signed off the practice squad, and tight end Tyler Kroft went on injured reserve with a foot injury.

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Smoke from wildfire forces Raiders indoors for second day

ALAMEDA, Calif. (AP) — The Oakland Raiders practiced at an off-site facility for a second consecutive day Friday as thick smoke from California's deadly wildfires blanketed the Bay Area.

Much like they did a year ago when similar conditions arose due to fires in Northern California, players and coaches were bused to an

ALAMEDA, Calif. (AP) — The Oakland Raiders practiced at an off-site facility for a second consecutive day Friday as thick smoke from California’s deadly wildfires blanketed the Bay Area.

Much like they did a year ago when similar conditions arose due to fires in Northern California, players and coaches were bused to an indoor gym at the former Alameda Naval Air Station for practices Thursday and Friday.

Although the Raiders were forced to scale back their workouts as a result, coach Jon Gruden was mostly pleased with how things went under the circumstances.

“It’s like an indoor ice rink that was transformed into a soccer field,” Gruden said. “We didn’t have much room to get the splits and get the routes but I’m not going to make any excuses. We’re not the only people dealing with adversity right now. It was either that or get nothing so I’m really pleased with the players, the coaches and the preparation that we were able to get in.”

Smoke has filled the sky in Northern California for more than a week and the air quality has been at dangerously unhealthy levels in recent days.

The Raiders will get a break from the conditions with road games each of the next two weeks. They play Sunday in Arizona and are in Baltimore to face the Ravens on Nov. 25.

“We have to deal with what we have to deal with,” Gruden said. “We got a lot of reps in. We are confident that they know what to do. We just have to trust that they’ll go out there and perform at the highest level possible.”

The Raiders have lost five straight games and are 1-8 overall. Offensive coordinator Greg Olson said that the fires have helped keep things in perspective.

“Our hearts go out to all the people who lost lives and property, and certainly to all the first responders.” Olson said. “For us, yeah, we are missing a practice. We are missing the ability to go outside, but for other people it’s changing their lives or has changed their lives. Nobody here on this team has lost lives or property, so we are fortunate in that regard.”

Right guard Gabe Jackson has tried to remain indoors as much as possible to avoid the smoke-filled air.

“From being here to going home I haven’t spent much time outside,” Jackson said. “You’re always concerned about what’s going on around you, especially the people that’s affected, but at the same time you have to do what you have to do.”

Notes: Wide receivers Jordy Nelson (knee) and Martavis Bryant (knee) did not practice and are out for Sunday’s game. . Cornerback Gareon Conley (groin) is questionable.

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Lions rule out Jones for game against Carolina

ALLEN PARK, Mich. (AP) — The Detroit Lions have ruled wide receiver Marvin Jones out of Sunday's game against Carolina because of a knee injury.

It will be only the second missed game for Jones in the past three-plus seasons. Panthers receiver Torrey Smith will also miss the game with a knee injury.

ALLEN PARK, Mich. (AP) — The Detroit Lions have ruled wide receiver Marvin Jones out of Sunday’s game against Carolina because of a knee injury.

It will be only the second missed game for Jones in the past three-plus seasons. Panthers receiver Torrey Smith will also miss the game with a knee injury.

Detroit tight end Michael Roberts (shoulder) and defensive tackle A’Shawn Robinson (ankle) are also out. Defensive linemen Ziggy Ansah (shoulder) and Damon Harrison (shoulder) are questionable.

Jones has 35 catches for 508 yards and five touchdowns this season. He became even more important to the Lions when they traded receiver Golden Tate last month.

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Steelers have capable fill-ins for injured linemen

PITTSBURGH (AP) — The Pittsburgh Steelers will be without key starters on their offensive and defensive lines when they face the Jacksonville Jaguars on Sunday.

Right tackle Marcus Gilbert will miss his fourth straight game with a knee injury, while defensive end Stephon Tuitt has been ruled out with an elbow injury. Second-year

PITTSBURGH (AP) — The Pittsburgh Steelers will be without key starters on their offensive and defensive lines when they face the Jacksonville Jaguars on Sunday.

Right tackle Marcus Gilbert will miss his fourth straight game with a knee injury, while defensive end Stephon Tuitt has been ruled out with an elbow injury. Second-year player Matt Feiler will fill in for Gilbert as he has the past three weeks, while nine-year veteran Tyson Alualu is set to replace Tuitt.

“I think you just always have to be ready and be prepared when you do get opportunities to play more,” Alualu said. “You just have to make sure there’s no drop-off when someone goes out, especially with it being Tuitt because we all know what he’s capable of and what he’s done.”

Gilbert has only played 13 of the team’s last 25 games after missing just three games the previous two seasons.

It will be Feiler’s fifth start of the season and sixth of his career. He has already started four games this season. The first came in Week 3 against Tampa Bay, the Steelers’ first win of the season, when Gilbert sat with a hamstring injury.

“I’m just trying to stay ready because you never know when they’re going to need me,” Feiler said. “I’ve just been preparing like I have been every week like I’m going to be playing.”

The Steelers have won all four times Feiler has started at right tackle, including the last three games. Those wins were part of a five-game winning streak that has helped the Steelers climb atop the AFC North after a 1-2-1 start.

The Steelers have averaged 424 yards of total offense the previous three weeks, including 140 on the ground. James Conner, third in the league with 771 rushing yards and 10 touchdowns, has rushed for more than 100 yards in two of the last three weeks. Conner will play Sunday after leaving last week’s win against Carolina with a concussion.

“Every lineman wants to run-block and kind of push other guys around,” Feiler said. “We’ve been clicking. We’ve been staying on the field longer and keeping our momentum. It’s a lot of fun.”

Alualu will get the start against Jacksonville, a city where he spent his first seven seasons before signing with the Steelers.

The Jaguars shocked the Steelers on the road, 30-9, last season and did it again in the playoffs, winning 45-42 in Pittsburgh before falling to New England in the AFC Championship game.

Leonard Fournette rushed for 290 yards and five touchdowns in those two games against the Steelers. He missed six games because of injury this season before returning last week during a loss at Indianapolis. The Jaguars have lost five of those six and are 3-6, last in the AFC South.

“Their record doesn’t show how hard they’re playing,” said Alualu, who has exchanged texts with former teammates. “The guys in the locker room are still fighting. We have to understand that we’re going to get their best.”

During the win streak, the Steelers’ defense has allowed an average of 269 yards of total offense, including 70 on the ground. In their first four games, they gave up an average of 418 yards, including 115 rushing.

Tuitt, who has appeared in all nine games, is key part of Pittsburgh’s pass rush, which is tied for second in the league with 31 sacks. Tuitt has 32 tackles, three sacks, four tackles for loss and 11 quarterback hits.

Alualu hasn’t reached the quarterback yet this season, but he finished with a career-high four sacks mainly in a reserve role in 2017.

“It’s a good problem to have when you have good depth,” Alualu said. “That’s always helpful.”

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Seahawks get crucial win to stay in NFC playoff conversation

RENTON, Wash. (AP) — For the Seattle Seahawks to have a say in the NFC playoff picture, they had to get past Green Bay. A loss would have likely proved too much to overcome with games remaining against Carolina, Minnesota and Kansas City.

So Pete Carroll celebrated Thursday's win in the way everyone would have

RENTON, Wash. (AP) — For the Seattle Seahawks to have a say in the NFC playoff picture, they had to get past Green Bay. A loss would have likely proved too much to overcome with games remaining against Carolina, Minnesota and Kansas City.

So Pete Carroll celebrated Thursday’s win in the way everyone would have expected. He rode Seattle’s waterfront Ferris wheel.

“It’s a wonderful ride. Everyone should do it,” Carroll said Friday.

The Seahawks’ 27-24 win over Green Bay snapped a two-game losing streak and created a path to where the postseason is now at least a realistic opportunity for Seattle. There are still challenges ahead, but Seattle is now in the conversation.

“To be in it right now, we’re not where we want to be record-wise, but we’re fighting,” said tight end Ed Dickson, who caught the winning touchdown pass from Russell Wilson with 5:08 remaining.

Seattle’s path to the postseason is relatively straightforward because of the way its schedule is structured. Five of the Seahawks’ final six games are against NFC teams. Three of those are against San Francisco, twice, and Arizona, who have combined records of 4-15 going into this week. The other two NFC opponents are Carolina next week and Minnesota in Week 14, the two teams directly in front of the Seahawks in the wild-card race.

So while Seattle doesn’t have complete control of its playoff fortunes, it will have a say in whether it can stay in the race into the final weeks of the regular season. And it’s why knocking off the Packers was so crucial.

“Doug (Baldwin) and I were talking about going back to 2015. We were 4-5, I think it was, and we got on a hot streak,” Wilson said. “This is one game, we have a lot of games to go. We have a tough game ahead of us. Just a reminder of where we’ve been and where we’ve gone and how we’ve done it before.”

That run Wilson referenced from 2015 was based largely on a passing offense that erupted in the final two months of the season. Seattle won six of its final seven games that season, scoring 29 or more points in each victory with Wilson throwing 24 touchdown passes and one interception during the seven-game span.

A passing explosion like that isn’t likely to happen this time. But something could happen on the ground as Seattle continued to show it can run the ball with any of its three running backs.

The Seahawks rushed for 173 yards against the Packers, their eighth straight game running for at least 100 yards as a team and the seventh straight game topping 150 yards. Last week against the Rams, Seattle used a healthy dose of Wilson’s legs when he rushed for a season-high 92 yards to complement the first 100-yard game of Rashaad Penny’s rookie season.

Against the Packers, it was a combo of Penny, Chris Carson and Mike Davis as the closer. Carson had 83 yards on 17 carries; Penny had 46 yards, including a highlight 30-yard run in the first half; and Davis had just one carry until Seattle’s final drive when he had three carries for 16 yards as Seattle picked up two first downs to close out the game.

“It might frustrate some people like we can’t make up our mind but I feel really comfortable with how we’re doing this,” Carroll said. “Some games it will go in a different direction like we’ve seen, but it’s great to have that kind of flexibility. They all have characteristics and attributes that help us.”

NOTES: Carroll was unclear about the status of LB K.J. Wright and his lingering knee problems. Wright couldn’t finish last week’s game against the Rams due to issues stemming from surgery he had in August. He was inactive Thursday. “We’re trying to get his knee confident to where he can get back and stay back. We’re going to take our time, whatever time it takes to check that out,” Carroll said. … LB Mychal Kendricks will be able to rejoin the team in practice next week, but won’t be eligible to play until Week 14 against Minnesota. Kendricks was originally suspended indefinitely after pleading guilty to federal insider trading chargers, but had the suspension reduced to eight games.

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On hot seat? Packers’ McCarthy focuses on getting road win

GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) — Mike McCarthy knows his job is on the line.

The Green Bay Packers' 13th-year head coach acknowledged he is aware that the team's 4-5-1 record has led to questions about his future.

But he insisted he and the team are focused on next week's pivotal NFC North matchup

GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) — Mike McCarthy knows his job is on the line.

The Green Bay Packers’ 13th-year head coach acknowledged he is aware that the team’s 4-5-1 record has led to questions about his future.

But he insisted he and the team are focused on next week’s pivotal NFC North matchup with the Vikings in Minnesota, and not the uncertainty surrounding his job security.

“That’s the job. That’s the way this business has gone,” McCarthy said Friday. “We set a standard here the past 12 years, and it’s our responsibility to play to that standard. That’s the way we approach it.”

The 27-24 loss in Seattle on Thursday left the Packers 0-5 on the road and third in the division behind the Chicago Bears (6-3) and the Vikings (5-3-1). A seemingly softer portion of the schedule follows next week’s showdown with Minnesota, but a loss in that game could put the Packers in a hole too deep to climb out of.

McCarthy has had teams rally late in seasons past, including in 2016, when quarterback Aaron Rodgers famously said the team could “run the table” over the final six weeks. After starting 4-6, the Packers won eight straight games to win the NFC North and advance to conference title game, in which they fell to the Atlanta Falcons.

That was Green Bay’s fourth NFC championship game under McCarthy, who led the 2010 team to the Super Bowl title. His Packers made the playoffs in eight consecutive seasons before missing the postseason last year, when Rodgers missed nine-plus games with a broken right collarbone.

“I have great confidence. I’ve been in this position before, so I have confidence in how we do things,” McCarthy said. “You have to react — there’s no doubt about that — but you can’t overreact. So, you’ve just got to stay in tune with the specifics and the details of why we’re not getting it done in those situations.”

The Packers have lost three of their last four games, despite being in position in the fourth quarter to win on the road against the Rams, Patriots and Seahawks.

“We’re not going to turn on each other or nothing. We love each other and we stick together as a team,” defensive back Tramon Williams said. “Is it frustrating? Yes, it’s very frustrating to come out on these types of losses when you know you should be winning these games.”

Against the Seahawks, the Packers had a 21-20 lead with 9 minutes left and were facing third-and-5 at Seattle’s 12-yard line when Rodgers was sacked, forcing them to settle for a field goal to make it 24-20.

Seattle responded with a 75-yard touchdown drive. When Rodgers missed an easy third-down throw on the ensuing possession, McCarthy opted to punt on fourth-and-2 with 4:20 to go. Green Bay never got the ball back.

“It’s tough losing on the road. It’s tough losing by one possession. Obviously, I’m frustrated, not just by the last throw but some other stuff that we could’ve done better out there,” Rodgers said. “This is an important, obviously, six-game stretch left. I still believe we have a lot to play for.”

McCarthy said Friday that he still felt it was a “solid decision” to punt in that situation, and that his decision not to challenge a 34-yard Russell Wilson-to-Tyler Lockett completion that set up the go-ahead touchdown was based on not having a clear replay to look at in the coaches’ booth. But he acknowledged both calls were open to second-guessing.

“Frankly, those are the kind of decisions that keep all of us up,” McCarthy said. “Now that I’m standing here and I know what the result is of them running out the clock, you go, ‘Oh, yeah, I wish I would’ve went for it on fourth-and-2.'”

“My first reaction was to go for it,” he added. “But we talked it over game management-wise and that’s the decision I made.”

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Pair of Titans’ starters in Conklin, Morgan back vs. Colts

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — The Tennessee Titans are getting a pair of starters back for their trip to Indianapolis on Sunday.

Right tackle Jack Conklin has been cleared from the concussion protocol after missing last week's win over the Patriots, while outside linebacker Derrick Morgan is set to return after practicing fully the

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — The Tennessee Titans are getting a pair of starters back for their trip to Indianapolis on Sunday.

Right tackle Jack Conklin has been cleared from the concussion protocol after missing last week’s win over the Patriots, while outside linebacker Derrick Morgan is set to return after practicing fully the past two days after missing the last three games with an injured shoulder.

Wide receiver Taywan Taylor will be a game-time decision after missing last week’s game with a left foot hurt in Dallas. Taylor said he did some different mobility exercises and feels a lot better.

Only running back David Fluellen (knee) is ruled out against the Colts (4-5). Left guard Quinton Spain (ankle) and wide receiver Tajae Sharpe (ankle) also are questionable for the Titans (5-4).

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Chargers list Bosa as questionable for Sunday vs. Broncos

COSTA MESA, Calif. (AP) — Los Angeles Chargers defensive end Joey Bosa and tight end Antonio Gates are listed as questionable for Sunday's game.

Coach Anthony Lynn said Friday that Bosa remains a game-time decision but that he looked good in team and individual drills after missing two months due to a bone

COSTA MESA, Calif. (AP) — Los Angeles Chargers defensive end Joey Bosa and tight end Antonio Gates are listed as questionable for Sunday’s game.

Coach Anthony Lynn said Friday that Bosa remains a game-time decision but that he looked good in team and individual drills after missing two months due to a bone bruise to his left foot. Bosa has been listed as limited on the practice report this week.

Gates did not practice Wednesday or Thursday due to a knee injury but was a limited participant Friday.

Wide receiver Keenan Allen (finger/hip) is expected to play after being listed as limited the past two days. Mike Williams was a full participant Friday after being limited on Thursday.

Cornerback Trevor Williams (knee) is out for Sunday’s game.

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FANTASY PLAYS: Key fantasy questions for NFL Week 11

A look at some key fantasy football questions going into Week 11:

WHICH UNDER-THE-RADAR PLAYERS HAVE THE BEST CHANCE FOR A BIG GAME THIS WEEK?

Giants QB Eli Manning has a juicy Week 11 matchup against the Buccaneers, who have given up multiple TDs to QBs in seven of nine games. Other Giants you should

A look at some key fantasy football questions going into Week 11:

WHICH UNDER-THE-RADAR PLAYERS HAVE THE BEST CHANCE FOR A BIG GAME THIS WEEK?

Giants QB Eli Manning has a juicy Week 11 matchup against the Buccaneers, who have given up multiple TDs to QBs in seven of nine games. Other Giants you should consider starting this week include wideout Sterling Shepard and tight end Evan Engram. The Bucs can’t stop WRs and TEs, and have yielded the second-most fantasy Points Per Game (FPPG) to both positions.

You can stick a fork in the Raiders. They’re done and should be targeted in fantasy football every week. The Cardinals, their Week 11 opponent, have a rookie and veteran that have the potential of having a big game against them.

Christian Kirk is averaging just under seven targets per game over the past four weeks. Despite his quiet Week 10 against the Chiefs, he had averaged just over 65 receiving yards in his previous four games. He’s an excellent route runner with good hands and should be considered a trade target in dynasty leagues.

Larry Fitzgerald slumped badly earlier this season but he’s averaging just under 10 targets over the past four weeks and has 23 receptions and two TDs during that time frame.

The Raiders have surrendered multiple TDs to the WR position in seven straight games. Tight end Ricky Seals-Jones has a good matchup against the silver and black. Tight ends have caught 18 passes and scored four TDs against Oakland over the past three weeks.

Ravens RB Alex Collins could be a sneaky play against the Bengals, who’ve given up 13 total TDs to RBs this season. QB Joe Flacco’s Week 11 status is not known (hip) and if either Lamar Jackson or Robert Griffin III start in his place, the Ravens might lean on their running game a bit more.

ANY GOOD BUY LOW OPTIONS TO FOCUS ON AS TRADE DEADLINES APPROACH?

Corey Davis, WR, Titans: The Titans averaged just over 15 points per game for the first seven weeks of their season. They’ve averaged 31 points over the past two weeks and Davis has averaged 10 targets and 90.5 receiving yards during that time. Davis is fourth with eight targets inside the 10 this season. With the Titans offense finally showing some life, look for Davis to continue to have some upside.

Sony Michel, RB, Patriots: For many fantasy owners the bloom may be off the rose when it comes to Michel, but the Patriots have shown that when he’s healthy they’re going to give him the ball. He averaged just over 22 carries, 4.72 yards per carry and scored four TDs from Week 4 to Week 6. Fantasy football playoffs take place from Week 14 to Week 16 in most leagues and he faces the Dolphins in Week 14 and the Bills in Week 16. Both have been very friendly to the run.

ANY RECOMMENDATIONS FOR TRADE TARGETS BASED ON REST OF SEASON SCHEDULES?

Cam Newton, QB, Panthers: Newton has scored the eighth-most fantasy points among QBs this season and has future matchups against the Buccaneers, Browns, Saints and Falcons. The Browns are 17th in FPPG allowed to QBs, but the other three teams are in the top 4 in points allowed to the position.

Emmanuel Sanders, WR, Broncos: Sanders has scored the 11th most fantasy points among WRs. With the Broncos trade of Demaryius Thomas to the Texans, Sanders will continue to be heavily targeted in the passing game. He still has favorable matchups against the 49ers, who’ve yielded 14 TDs to WRs and the Browns, who’ve allowed the seventh most FPPG to WRs this season. In Week 16, which is usually championship week in fantasy football, Sanders will have a very favorable matchup against the Raiders. In addition, Phillip Lindsay, RB for the Broncos, should also take advantage of Denver’s soft schedule down the stretch and should also be considered a trade target.

WITH COOPER KUPP OUT FOR THE REST OF THE SEASON IS THERE A RAMS WR THAT COULD TAKE ADVANTAGE OF HIS ABSENCE?

His target share is tough to predict, but look for Josh Reynolds, who has big-play potential, to play some of his reps out of the slot, where he’ll absorb some of Kupp’s targets. In his last game with Kupp on the sidelines he caught three passes for 42 yards, but two of those catches were for TDs.

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Falcons’ Deion Jones out, Matt Bryant active for Dallas

FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. (AP) — Falcons middle linebacker Deion Jones is still not ready to play and will be inactive Sunday against Dallas.

Kicker Matt Bryant had a good week of practice and will be on Atlanta's game-day roster after missing the last three games with a sore right hamstring.

Coach Dan Quinn

FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. (AP) — Falcons middle linebacker Deion Jones is still not ready to play and will be inactive Sunday against Dallas.

Kicker Matt Bryant had a good week of practice and will be on Atlanta’s game-day roster after missing the last three games with a sore right hamstring.

Coach Dan Quinn ruled Jones out after Friday’s practice but hopes he will be ready when Atlanta plays Thursday at New Orleans. Jones returned to the active roster this week after spending two months on injured reserve with a broken right foot.

“He’s certainly close,” Quinn said. “We were able to give him more reps as the week went on. He’s been working in the pass game for a while. This week he got really involved in the run game and taking guys on and the power that goes with it.”

The Falcons (4-5) will face the Cowboys (4-5) with a defense that ranks third worst in yards allowed and fourth worst in scoring. Strong safety Keanu Neal’s season ended in the opener, and free safety Ricardo Allen was lost for the season two weeks later.

Bryant, the franchise career scoring leader, was a full participant in practice for the second straight day. Quinn said the Falcons have no immediate plans to cut Giorgio Tavecchio, who is 5-for-5 on field-goal attempts with a pair of 50-yarders. Tavecchio will not be active Sunday but will stay on the roster in case the 43-year-old Bryant has a setback.

Friday’s injury report listed receivers Calvin Ridley (elbow) and Mohamed Sanu (hip), linebackers De’Vondre Campbell (calf), Foyesade Oluokun (elbow) and Bruce Carter (knee) and safety Damontae Kazee (shoulder) as full participants. Defensive end Derrick Shelby was limited with a sore groin.

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Ravens QB Flacco doubtful for Bengals

Ravens QB Flacco doubtful for Bengals

Joe Flacco was listed

Ravens QB Flacco doubtful for Bengals

Joe Flacco was listed as doubtful on Friday’s injury report as the Baltimore Ravens’ quarterback mystery continues, two days prior to Sunday’s game against the Cincinnati Bengals.

Flacco didn’t practice all week because of a hip injury, while rookie Lamar Jackson returned to practice on Friday after sitting out a day due to illness. Robert Griffin III took all the practice snaps on Thursday.

“There will be a quarterback starting. I can guarantee that,” Ravens coach John Harbaugh told reporters, partly in jest. “And, every play, there will be at least one quarterback on the field.”

Harbaugh said Flacco could play despite not practicing.

Flacco has passed for 2,465 yards and 12 touchdowns against six interceptions this season.

The quarterback drama comes at a time when the Ravens (4-5) have lost three straight games and four of their last five.

Jackson, the Ravens’ first-round pick, was removed from the injury report after practicing on Friday. He is 7-of-12 passing for 87 yards and one touchdown and could be in line for his first NFL start.

“Very diligent, very smart, very aware quarterback,” Harbaugh said of Jackson. “He sees the game well, and then now all the process that goes into just training that eye has been valuable. So, we have seen improvement, and in practice, he looks good.”

Griffin has started 40 regular-season games but his most recent one was the season finale for the 2016 Cleveland Browns. He has been inactive for all nine games this season.

“They brought me here to be a pro. They brought me here to help this team if need be,” Griffin told reporters. “If my number is called, I’ll be able to go out there and lead this team.”

Offensive lineman James Hurst (back) and outside linebacker Tim Williams (ankle) have been ruled out. Listed as questionable are safety Tony Jefferson (thigh), offensive tackle Ronnie Stanley (ankle) and cornerback Tavon Young (ankle).

–Field Level Media

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Reports: Broncos OL Garcia out for season

Reports: Broncos OL Garcia out for season

Denver Broncos

Reports: Broncos OL Garcia out for season

Denver Broncos left guard Max Garcia will miss the rest of the season after the team discovered he had suffered a torn ACL, according to multiple reports.

Garcia practiced Thursday, but was taken for an MRI after feeling discomfort in the knee afterward.

Garcia was already filling in for starter Ron Leary, who was lost for the season with an Achilles injury.

Center Matt Paradis is also out for the year with a broken leg, leaving the Broncos thin along the offensive line.

Billy Turner figures to replace Garcia at left guard.

Linebacker Brandon Marshall missed Friday’s practice with a knee injury, putting his availability for Sunday’s game against the Los Angeles Chargers in doubt.

–Field Level Media

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Packers TE Graham suffers broken thumb

Packers TE Graham suffers broken thumb

Green Bay Packers tight end

Packers TE Graham suffers broken thumb

Green Bay Packers tight end Jimmy Graham has a broken thumb, multiple outlets reported Friday.

Graham had the thumb examined on Friday to determine the extent of his injury.

The Packers haven’t confirmed the injury and haven’t released a timetable for his return.

Graham, 31, left Thursday’s 27-24 loss to the Seattle Seahawks in the second half after making one catch for 13 yards.

The five-time Pro Bowl selection has 34 catches for 452 yards and two touchdowns this season, but he has been limited to one catch in three of the last four games.

Lance Kendricks, Marcedes Lewis and Robert Tonyan figure to see more time if Graham is sidelined. Tonyan, a rookie from Indiana State, caught his first career pass Thursday night — a 54-yard reception from Aaron Rodgers for a touchdown.

–Field Level Media

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Packers TE Graham having thumb examined

Packers TE Graham having thumb examined

The Green Bay Packers are

Packers TE Graham having thumb examined

The Green Bay Packers are concerned tight end Jimmy Graham might have a broken thumb, according to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport.

Graham will have the thumb examined on Friday to determine the extent of his injury.

Graham, 31, left Thursday’s 27-24 loss to the Seattle Seahawks in the second half after making one catch for 13 yards.

The five-time Pro Bowl selection has 34 catches for 452 yards and two touchdowns this season, but has been limited to one catch in three of the last four games.

Lance Kendricks, Marcedes Lewis and Robert Tonyan figure to see more time if Graham is sidelined. Tonyan, a rookie out of Indiana State, caught his first career pass Thursday night – a 54-yard touchdown reception from Aaron Rodgers.

–Field Level Media

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