NFL / NCAA Football Injuries and Suspensions

NFL / NCAA Football Injuries and Suspensions

Seahawks S Hill lands on injured reserve

Seahawks S Hill lands on injured reserve

The Seattle Seahawks placed strong safety Delano

Seahawks S Hill lands on injured reserve

The Seattle Seahawks placed strong safety Delano Hill on injured reserve Tuesday due to a fractured hip.

Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said Hill sustained a non-displaced fracture during the team’s Sunday win over the Arizona Cardinals.

“He’s got a crack in his hip that he can get around on it, but he’s not going to be able to play with that,” Carroll told reporters.

Free safety Tedric Thompson is slated to return to the lineup Saturday for the Seahawks’ NFC wild-card game against the Dallas Cowboys. Bradley McDougald will move back to strong safety with Hill out.

Thompson started 10 games at free safety this season. He missed the past two games with chest and ankle injuries.

Seattle re-signed receiver Malik Turner from the practice squad to fill the roster opening. Turner has two catches for 20 yards in six games this season.

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Steelers put K Boswell on IR, sign McCrane

Steelers put K Boswell on IR, sign McCrane

Steelers put K Boswell on IR, sign McCrane

The Pittsburgh Steelers placed struggling kicker Chris Boswell on Injured Reserve and signed Matt McCrane to replace him for the regular-season finale, the team announced on Friday.

Boswell made just 13 of 20 field-goal attempts through the first 15 games of the season. He made 43 of 48 extra-point tries.

The team didn’t list an injury designation when adding him to the list.

McCrane will handle kicking duties against the Cincinnati Bengals in Week 17.

McCrane played for the Arizona Cardinals in the preseason as an undrafted free agent out of Kansas State, but didn’t make the regular season roster. He played in three games for the Oakland Raiders, making 5 of 9 field-goal tries and all five of his extra point attempts. He returned to the Cardinals for a Week 11 game against the Raiders and was perfect on three extra points.

Earlier this month, the Steelers brought in McCrane and fellow free agent kicker Kai Forbath to, if nothing else, put pressure on Boswell. Afterward, coach Mike Tomlin announced he was sticking with Boswell through the end of the season.

The Steelers (8-5-1) are still alive for the playoffs heading into Sunday’s game. They need a win or tie against the Bengals and for the Baltimore Ravens (9-6) to lose to the Cleveland Browns to win the AFC North and get the No. 4 seed in the AFC. A Steelers win coupled with a Colts-Titans tie would land Pittsburgh the final wild-card berth.

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Chargers rule RB Ekeler (neck) out against Ravens

Chargers rule RB Ekeler (neck) out against Ravens

Running back Austin

Chargers rule RB Ekeler (neck) out against Ravens

Running back Austin Ekeler won’t play Saturday when the Los Angeles Chargers meet the Baltimore Ravens, the team announced.

Ekeler, who has been recovering from a concussion and a neck injury, had been listed as doubtful. The team said Friday he had been downgraded to out.

Ekeler has been a key contributor for the Chargers, who already have clinched a playoff spot but are trying to overtake Kansas City for the AFC West title. In 13 games, he’s gained 900 total yards from scrimmage and scored five touchdowns.

The Chargers signed Ekeler, 23, as an undrafted free agent in 2017. He’s complemented starter Melvin Gordon, who missed the past three games with a knee injury but has practiced all week and is expected to play Saturday.

Wide receiver Keenan Allen left last week’s game against the Chiefs with a hip pointer injury. He is listed as questionable but also expected to play.

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Broncos place veteran CB Harris (leg) on IR

 

Denver cornerback Chris Harris will not return from a broken leg this season,

 

Denver cornerback Chris Harris will not return from a broken leg this season, with the Broncos placing the veteran on injured reserve Wednesday.

 

Harris suffered a fractured fibula during a 24-10 victory at Cincinnati on Dec. 2, but two straight losses without his services have knocked the Broncos (6-8) out of playoff contention.

 

Harris, 29, finished his ninth season in Denver three interceptions, one sack and 49 tackles in 12 games.

 

The three-time Pro Bowl selection returned an interception 53 yards for a touchdown in a Week 7 win against Arizona, his fourth career pick-six.

 

The Denver Post reported that the Broncos have signed cornerback Craig Mager, the Chargers’ third-round pick in 2015 who was released by Los Angeles in late September.

 

Mager appeared in 24 games (10 starts) with the Chargers from 2015-18, registering one interception and 39 tackles.

 

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Dolphins place RB Gore on IR, sign DT Norton

Dolphins place RB Gore on IR, sign DT Norton

Dolphins place RB Gore on IR, sign DT Norton

The Miami Dolphins have placed running back Frank Gore on injured reserve and have signed defensive tackle Kendrick Norton, the team announced Wednesday.

Gore suffered a left ankle injury Sunday in Miami’s 41-17 loss to the Minnesota Vikings when he was tackled on a run in the first quarter. While he was able to make it to the sidelines, later he was carted to the locker room and missed the rest of the game.

Gore, a 14-year veteran, had not missed a game since 2010, when he appeared in 11 games for San Francisco. In 14 games this season, Gore had gained 722 yards on 156 carries.

Norton, a seventh-round pick by Carolina in the 2018 NFL draft, spent the last 15 weeks on the Panthers’ practice squad. The 21-year-old was a standout at the University of Miami, where he totaled 84 tackles and five sacks. Norton is the son of Oakland Raiders defensive coordinator Ken Norton and the grandson of late former heavyweight champion Ken Norton Sr.

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Report: Lions placing RB Johnson on IR

Report: Lions placing RB Johnson on IR

Detroit running back Kerryon

Report: Lions placing RB Johnson on IR

Detroit running back Kerryon Johnson’s season is over, with ESPN reporting Wednesday that the Lions will place the promising rookie on injured reserve.

Johnson has not played since spraining his left knee in the Lions’ 20-19 victory against Carolina on Nov. 18. The decision to place him on IR comes with the Lions being officially out of the playoff race.

A second-round pick in 2018 out of Auburn, Johnson rushed 118 times for 641 yards (5.4-yard average) and three touchdowns and caught 32 passes for 213 yards and one score in 10 games with seven starts.

Johnson’s 101-yard effort in a Week 3 upset against New England was Detroit’s first 100-yard rushing performance since Reggie Bush in 2013. In Week 7, Johnson rushed for a season-high 158 yards in a victory at Miami.

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Short-handed Giants activate WR Latimer from IR

Short-handed Giants activate WR Latimer from IR

The

Short-handed Giants activate WR Latimer from IR

The New York Giants activated wide receiver Cody Latimer from injured reserve Wednesday and placed cornerback Antonio Hamilton on the list with a quadriceps injury.

Latimer’s return is timely with receivers Odell Beckham Jr. (quad) and Russell Shepard (ankle) both questionable for Sunday’s road game against the Indianapolis Colts.

Latimer appeared in four games before going on IR with a hamstring injury in mid-October. He caught six passes for 108 yards.

A second-round draft pick in 2014, Latimer played his first four seasons with the Denver Broncos and registered 35 catches for 445 yards and three touchdowns in 45 games from 2014-17.

Hamilton played in 13 games in his first season with the Giants and contribute nine tackles.

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Bills place LB Milano, CB Johnson on injured reserve

Bills place LB Milano, CB Johnson on injured reserve

Bills place LB Milano, CB Johnson on injured reserve

The Buffalo Bills placed starting linebacker Matt Milano and rookie cornerback Taron Johnson on season-ending injured reserve Tuesday.

Milano had surgery Monday to repair a broken left fibula, suffered in the final minutes of Sunday’s 27-23 loss to the New York Jets.

The second-year player finished the season with 78 tackles, three interceptions, three fumble recoveries and one sack.

Johnson, a fourth-rounder in 2018, had surgery last week for a shoulder injury that bothered him most of the season. He had 42 tackles and one interception in 11 games.

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Lions put Ansah (shoulder) on IR

Lions put Ansah (shoulder) on IR

Lions put Ansah (shoulder) on IR

An injury-plagued season is now an injury-shortened season for Ziggy Ansah.

The Detroit Lions on Tuesday announced they have placed the veteran defensive end on injured reserve with a shoulder injury. The team did the same with tight end Michael Roberts and his injured shoulder.

To replace them on the roster, the Lions signed tight end Jerome Cunningham and offensive lineman Leo Koloamatangi from their practice squad.

Ansah, 29, has had a lost season while playing on the franchise tag. He hurt his shoulder after 19 snaps in Week 1 and did not play again until Week 9, though he has been effective (four sacks, seven quarterback hits) during his seven games on the field. Ansah is scheduled to hit free agency in March.

Roberts, 24, has nine catches for 100 yards and three touchdowns in eight games this season, his second since being drafted in the fourth round in 2017 out of Toledo.

The Lions are 5-8 and in last place in the NFC North. They play at Buffalo this Sunday before closing out the season at home against Minnesota on Dec. 23 and at Green Bay on Dec. 30.

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Titans place RT Conklin, TE Smith on injured reserve

Titans place RT Conklin, TE Smith on injured reserve

Titans place RT Conklin, TE Smith on injured reserve

The Tennessee Titans placed right tackle Jack Conklin and tight end Jonnu Smith on injured reserve with knee injuries on Tuesday.

Both starters were injured during the Titans’ 30-9 victory against the Jacksonville Jaguars last Thursday.

Smith, who took over for injured three-time Pro Bowl selection Delanie Walker, finishes his second NFL season with 20 catches for 258 yards and three touchdowns in 13 games.

Conklin, the Titans’ first-round pick (eighth overall) in 2016, was limited to nine games this season after starting all 16 games in each of his first two campaigns.

Veteran Dennis Kelly is expected to replace Conklin, and Anthony Firkser will step in for Smith. Tennessee also signed free agent offensive lineman Austin Pasztor and added tight end Cole Wick from the San Francisco 49ers’ practice squad.

With three games remaining, the Titans are one of four AFC teams tied at 7-6 and chasing a wild-card berth in the playoffs.

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Cowboys RG Martin (knee) to have MRI Monday

Cowboys RG Martin (knee) to have MRI Monday

Dallas Cowboys

Cowboys RG Martin (knee) to have MRI Monday

Dallas Cowboys right guard Zack Martin will have an MRI on Monday after leaving Sunday’s game against the Philadelphia Eagles with a left knee injury, owner Jerry Jones told reporters after the game.

Jones said the team is concerned about Martin, but added initial tests showed no structural damage.

Martin, who sprained the MCL in the same knee earlier this season, went down early in the fourth quarter and headed straight to the locker room. He did not return and was replaced by Connor Williams.

Williams struggled in pass protection, as Fletcher Cox collected a half-sack, two quarterback hits and an additional sack that was nullified by penalty over the remainder of the game, but the Cowboys won in overtime.

Martin, 28, has yet to miss an NFL game through nearly five full seasons, earning Pro Bowl nods in each of his four campaigns and two first-team All-Pro selections.

Williams, a second-round rookie, began the season as the starter at left guard but did not get his job back after having arthroscopic knee surgery in November. Xavier Su’a-Filo has started the last five games at that spot.

The Cowboys have been without All-Pro center Travis Frederick — who is not expected to return this year — all season as he recovers from Guillain-Barre syndrome. All-Pro left tackle Tyron Smith had missed the last two games with stinger issues before returning on Sunday.

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Report: Titans TE Smith (MCL) out for year

Report: Titans TE Smith (MCL) out for year

Report: Titans TE Smith (MCL) out for year

Tight end Jonnu Smith suffered a season-ending MCL injury in the Tennessee Titans’ win over the Jacksonville Jaguars on Thursday night, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter.

Smith was hurt while blocking on running back Derrick Henry’s historic 99-yard touchdown run.

Taking over for injured starter Delaney Walker, Smith has 20 catches for 258 yards and three touchdowns this season.

Having caught passes in seven straight games, Smith didn’t see any passes come his way in Thursday’s 30-9 victory.

Right tackle Jack Conklin is also expected to miss time after suffering a knee injury against the Jaguars, according to NFL insider Ian Rapoport.

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Report: Chiefs WR Watkins out until playoffs

 

The Kansas City Chiefs could be without wide

 

The Kansas City Chiefs could be without wide receiver Sammy Watkins for up to three more weeks, according to a Kansas City Star report on Friday.

 

Watkins has missed three of the last four games with a foot injury and reportedly re-injured the foot in Thursday’s practice. He’s expected to miss Sunday’s game against the Baltimore Ravens and be evaluated week-to-week after that.

 

NFL insider Ian Rapoport reported that Watkins is likely out until the start of the playoffs.

 

In 10 games this season, Watkins has 40 catches for 519 yards and three scores.

 

Free-agent wide receiver Kelvin Benjamin was signed on Thursday, two days after being waived by the Buffalo Bills.

 

Kansas City leads the NFL in scoring (37 points per game) and yards per play (7.03). Tyreek Hill leads all Chiefs receivers with 1,119 yards and has scored 11 touchdowns.

 

Benjamin, a first-round pick in 2014, was released after struggling to fit in with the Bills, making just 39 receptions for 571 yards and two touchdowns in 18 total games with the club. He has 23 catches for 354 yards and one score in 12 games this season.

 

Benjamin was drafted by the Carolina Panthers and had 1,008 yards as a rookie and 941 in 2015. He was traded to Buffalo midway through the 2017 campaign.

 

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Giants place S Collins on IR with shoulder injury

Giants place S Collins on IR with shoulder injury

Giants place S Collins on IR with shoulder injury

The New York Giants on Thursday officially placed safety Landon Collins on injured reserve, ending the two-time Pro Bowl selection’s season.

Collins suffered a partially torn labrum in his shoulder last Sunday in the Giants’ overtime win over the Chicago Bears and will reportedly undergo surgery.

The club signed defensive back Kenny Ladler from the practice squad to take Collins’ spot on the roster. Ladler has six tackles in five games this season. The club also signed punter Brock Miller to the practice squad.

While denying Wednesday the team had made a decision on whether to shut Collins down, Giants head coach Pat Shurmur lauded Collins’ grit.

“In a sport where toughness is required, Landon Collins has a lot of it,” Shurmur told the media.

Collins, 24, is scheduled to become a free agent after this season. This is his second straight season cut short by a December trip to injured reserve. He missed the 2017 season finale after suffering a broken arm.

Collins has led the Giants in each of his first three seasons, and his 96 tackles this season are tops on the team.

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Reports: Broncos fear WR Sanders ruptured Achilles

Reports: Broncos fear WR Sanders ruptured Achilles

Denver Broncos wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders was helped

Reports: Broncos fear WR Sanders ruptured Achilles

Denver Broncos wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders was helped off the field Wednesday with what the team fears is a ruptured Achilles.

According to multiple reports, Sanders was in significant pain and was taken for tests on the injury.

The Broncos would place more of the receiving burden on rookie Courtland Sutton without Sanders this week against the San Francisco 49ers and cornerback Richard Sherman.

Sanders, 31, was on pace for his fourth career 1,000-yard season with 71 receptions for 868 yards and four touchdowns in 2018.

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Panthers QB Newton limited with shoulder injury

Panthers QB Newton limited with shoulder injury

Carolina Panthers quarterback

Panthers QB Newton limited with shoulder injury

Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton was limited due to a shoulder injury on Wednesday but is expected to play Sunday.

Head coach Ron Rivera provided few details on the injury, only briefly summarizing by saying “we’ll see what the doctors say.”

Newton threw four interceptions in a Week 13 loss at Tampa Bay to the Buccaneers that puts the Panthers’ playoff hopes in peril. If Newton is hurt, the offense would change radically.

At 6-6, the Panthers are four games behind the division-leading New Orleans Saints.

Newton has seven touchdowns and six interceptions in the past three games.

NFL Network reported Newton expects to deal with the shoulder injury for the remainder of the season.

The Panthers face the Cleveland Browns on Sunday before two games with the Saints, split by a date with the Atlanta Falcons.

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Redskins sign QB Johnson, put three on IR

Redskins sign QB Johnson, put three on IR

Redskins sign QB Johnson, put three on IR

The Washington Redskins made a slew of moves on Wednesday, including placing three players on injured reserve and signing veteran quarterback Josh Johnson.

Cornerback Quinton Dunbar (shin), wideout Trey Quinn (ankle) and guard Jonathan Cooper (biceps) are all out for the rest of the season after landing on injured reserve.

Quarterback Colt McCoy fractured his right fibula during Washington’s 28-13 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles on Monday, ending his season and pushing the Redskins to sign Johnson. The Redskins lost starter Alex Smith to a compound fracture in his right leg on Nov. 18 against the Houston Texans.

McCoy’s injury leaves veteran Mark Sanchez as the starter.

Johnson was a fifth-round pick by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2008 and played in 26 games there, five of them starts. He also had stints with the Cleveland Browns, Cincinnati Bengals and San Francisco 49ers, but was rarely used.

Johnson, 32, last played in 2013 and has an 0-5 career record as a starter, completing 96 of 177 passes for 1,042 yards and five touchdowns in his career.

The Redskins also signed three other free agents: defensive end Marcus Smith, guard Zac Kerin and center Demetrius Rhaney to replace the trio placed on the IR Wednesday.

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Dolphins TE Derby placed on IR

Dolphins TE Derby placed on IR

Dolphins TE Derby placed on IR

If the Miami Dolphins hope to continue their playoff push, they will have to do it without tight end A.J. Derby.

Derby, who has dealt with a foot injury for most of 2018 while playing in only four games, became the 11th member of the Dolphins to be placed on injured reserve this season.

Announcing the move Tuesday, Miami also claimed former University of Miami cornerback Dee Delaney off waivers.

Derby last played against the Green Bay Packers on Nov. 11. The fourth-year player finished 2018 with three catches for 48 yards and one touchdown.

Delaney spent the 2017 season with the Hurricanes, then was signed as an undrafted free agent by the Jacksonville Jaguars, working with their practice squad and joining the active roster this season. He was waived Monday as the Jags made room for running back Leonard Fournette, who is returning from a one-game suspension.

Delaney becomes the sixth cornerback on the roster this season for the Dolphins, who have a 6-6 record and a chance to earn an AFC wild-card playoff spot.

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Steelers RB Conner to miss game with ankle injury

Steelers RB Conner to miss game with ankle injury

Steelers RB Conner to miss game with ankle injury

Pittsburgh Steelers running back James Conner will miss Sunday’s game against the Oakland Raiders due to a sprained left ankle, coach Mike Tomlin announced Tuesday.

Conner was injured during the fourth quarter of Sunday night’s game against the Los Angeles Chargers and the team initially thought the injury was minor.

But medical tests revealed a more serious injury to the ankle, leading to the diagnosis of a sprain.

“James Conner’s injury is probably a little more significant than we initially thought,” Tomlin told reporters. “He’s got an ankle sprain, not a contusion, and so he’ll be out this week.”

The Steelers will certainly miss Conner, who has rushed for 909 yards and 12 touchdowns and caught 52 passes for 467 yards and one score.

Rookie Jaylen Samuels figures to get most of the work against the Raiders. The fifth-round pick had two carries for five yards against the Chargers and three receptions for 20 yards, including a 10-yard touchdown.

Overall, Samuels has 12 carries for 31 yards this season and seven receptions for 54 yards and two touchdowns.

Samuels was primarily a tight end in college at North Carolina State and caught 201 passes for 1,851 yards and 19 touchdowns. He rushed the ball 182 times for 1,107 yards and 28 touchdowns.

Pittsburgh-area reporters asked Samuels on Monday if he had ever been the main running back in a game.

“Have I ever been a true runner?” Samuels said. “No. I have never been like a true running back who gets like 20 carries in a game. But if that presents itself, I am ready for whatever. I am down for whatever tasks.”

The Steelers also have Stevan Ridley in the mix. The eight-year veteran has rushed for 56 yards on 18 carries this season and last touched the ball on Nov. 8.

Pittsburgh also promoted running back Trey Edmunds from the practice squad and placed receiver Justin Hunter (shoulder) on injured reserve. Edmunds had 48 yards and one touchdown on nine rushes for the New Orleans Saints in 2017.

Conner became the Steelers’ main back due to Le’Veon Bell’s holdout from the team.

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Redskins QB McCoy out for season with broken leg

Redskins QB McCoy out for season with broken leg

Redskins QB McCoy out for season with broken leg

Redskins quarterback Colt McCoy fractured his right fibula during Washington’s 28-13 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles on Monday, coach Jay Gruden confirmed postgame.

The injury thrust 32-year-old journeyman Mark Sanchez, who was signed Nov. 19 and last played at the end of 2016, into the lineup. Washington lost starter Alex Smith to a compound fracture in his right leg on Nov. 18 against the Houston Texans.

“This is a tough blow,” Gruden said of McCoy’s injury. “Losing Alex is one thing, a great leader, great quarterback. Put in a lot of time with him. Colt finally gets his golden opportunity and he gets kicked in the leg and breaks it. Heartbroken for both of those guys, really. …

“Those two guys are two tough-minded, tough people. Great competitors. If I had my money down, I’d imagine they’ll both be back somehow, some way.”

McCoy was hurt when his leg collided with Eagles safety Malcolm Jenkins while he was sacked to end the first quarter. McCoy finished the drive, throwing two short passes to help Washington to a 44-yard field goal. He then left and was initially ruled questionable to return while going to the locker room for X-rays.

The team officially ruled McCoy out during halftime.

McCoy, 32, completed all four of his passes for 50 yards Monday. In parts of three games this year, he went 34 of 54 for 372 yards, three touchdowns and three interceptions.

NFL Network reported two weeks ago that McCoy’s contract included playing-time incentives that could let him hit free agency this offseason, but the injury appears to rule out that possibility.

Sanchez went 13 of 21 for 100 yards with an interception Monday.

“It was a tall task, no doubt,” Sanchez said of taking over just weeks after joining the team. “But there’s no excuses to make. You just do your very best. I’m grateful for the opportunity.

“I was praying for an opportunity and I thank God for an opportunity. You just never want it under these circumstances. So with respect to Alex and Colt, I’ve got to do my very best to play well and help rally this team and figure out a way to win.”

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Titans CB Malcolm Butler cleared from concussion protocol

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Tennessee cornerback Malcolm Butler has been cleared from the NFL's concussion protocol and is expected to play Sunday when the Titans host the New York Jets.

Butler suffered a stinger in Monday night's 34-17 loss to the Houston Texans, and he was limited on Wednesday and Thursday while in

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Tennessee cornerback Malcolm Butler has been cleared from the NFL’s concussion protocol and is expected to play Sunday when the Titans host the New York Jets.

Butler suffered a stinger in Monday night’s 34-17 loss to the Houston Texans, and he was limited on Wednesday and Thursday while in the concussion protocol. Butler practiced fully Friday.

“Malcolm cleared protocol, so he should be available,” coach Mike Vrabel said after practice.

Butler, who signed a five-year, $61 million contract in the offseason, has been inconsistent this season and been used recently as the third cornerback with Adoree’ Jackson and Logan Ryan starting.

“My mental toughness has been tested to the fullest (this year), but I think I’ve handled it and I think I’ve responded,” Butler said. “I’m not giving in. I’m still working hard and playing hard and I’m going to finish strong.”

Only safety Dane Cruikshank (knee) and running back David Fluellen (knee) did not practice Friday and are out against the Jets.

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Giants LB Olivier Vernon struggling after ankle injury

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) — When the New York Giants started playing games in the preseason, it seemed linebacker 0livier Vernon was going to have a monster season in coordinator James Bettcher's new 3-4 defensive scheme.

Every time the ball was snapped Vernon disrupted plays. He stopped runs and got sacks and pressures

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) — When the New York Giants started playing games in the preseason, it seemed linebacker 0livier Vernon was going to have a monster season in coordinator James Bettcher’s new 3-4 defensive scheme.

Every time the ball was snapped Vernon disrupted plays. He stopped runs and got sacks and pressures on opposing quarterbacks.

A couple of days before the preseason finale against New England, Vernon suffered a high sprain to his left ankle, and his season has turned into a major disappointment.

The seven-year veteran missed the first five regular-season games and didn’t return to action until a start against the Eagles on Nov. 11. The Giants were 1-4 at that point and things only got worse as New York dropped the next three games heading into its bye.

While Vernon played well against the Eagles, he has not done much statistically this season. He has one sack, 10 tackles and six quarterback hits in six games. Against Tampa Bay on Nov. 18, he was flagged for three penalties in a span of one snap: two neutral zone violations and a roughing the passer.

It’s not what is expected of a player making $17 million this season, the second-highest salary on the team.

“You work hard before every season coming up and it’s just one little bump in the road, and all I can do right now is just the normal game plan, be out there for my team and make the plays that come to me,” Vernon said Friday after the Giants (3-8) practiced for Sunday’s game against the NFC North-leading Chicago Bears (8-3).

Vernon insists he is 100 percent healthy, although he said getting back into football shape has taken time. He was able to do some cardio work while hurt, but it took time to get his legs back.

The Giants have missed him in the pass rush. They have 14 sacks this season, second lowest in the league. Vernon’s one sack is on pace to be a career low. He had 3 1/2 in his rookie season of 2012 with Miami. In his previous two seasons with the Giants he had 15, including 6 ½ last year despite missing four games with another ankle injury.

“He’s just like every player on our team,” coach Pat Shurmur said. “Just keep battling, keep playing to make a difference. He can be a disruptive force, we all know that.”

Shurmur said Vernon has been making plays. He is just not getting the sacks.

Vernon notes that Sunday will be a test because the Bears are playing well. They are not making mistakes and are forcing turnovers. They even won last week with veteran quarterback Chase Daniel starting for Mitchell Trubisky, who was sidelined with a shoulder injury.

Trubisky was limited at practice this week and is doubtful for Sunday. Daniel is expected to start at MetLife Stadium.

“One thing is you just have to get back there, you have to make him feel the pressure and kind of force them into making errors,” Vernon said. “We know he can make plays with his arm, and he can also make plays with his feet as well. They have a lot of fast, skilled guys out there that just can make plays when it’s needed.”

If Vernon does not start making big plays, the Giants might consider releasing him. He signed a five-year, $85 million contract in 2016 with $52 million guaranteed. He will carry a cap hit of $19.5 million in each of his final two seasons.

“Right now I’m focusing on the Bears and whatever happens, happens,” he said. “All I can do is focus on what I have to do.”

NOTES: TE Evan Engram (hamstring) and LB B.J. Goodson (neck) have been ruled out for Sunday’s game. Rookie LB Lorenzo Carter (hip) is questionable.

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Chargers RB Gordon, LB Mebane out for key game vs. Steelers

COSTA MESA, Calif. (AP) — Los Angeles Chargers running back Melvin Gordon and linebacker Brandon Mebane have been ruled out for Sunday night's key AFC showdown in Pittsburgh.

Neither player has practiced this week.

Gordon, who is sixth in the NFL in rushing, sprained the MCL in his right knee during Sunday's 45-10 win over

COSTA MESA, Calif. (AP) — Los Angeles Chargers running back Melvin Gordon and linebacker Brandon Mebane have been ruled out for Sunday night’s key AFC showdown in Pittsburgh.

Neither player has practiced this week.

Gordon, who is sixth in the NFL in rushing, sprained the MCL in his right knee during Sunday’s 45-10 win over Arizona. Austin Ekeler is expected to get the start in place of Gordon.

Mebane will miss his second straight game while dealing with what coach Anthony Lynn says is a family issue. Mebane is fifth on the team in tackles (43) and has one sack. Damion Square is likely to get the start.

Los Angeles (8-3) has also listed wide receiver Tyrell Williams (quad) and offensive tackle Joe Barksdale (non-injury related) as questionable.

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Jets place left guard James Carpenter on season-ending IR

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. (AP) — The New York Jets have placed left guard James Carpenter on the injured reserve list with a shoulder injury, ending the season for one of the team's most reliable players.

Carpenter had started in 58 straight games since signing with the Jets as a free agent in 2015

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. (AP) — The New York Jets have placed left guard James Carpenter on the injured reserve list with a shoulder injury, ending the season for one of the team’s most reliable players.

Carpenter had started in 58 straight games since signing with the Jets as a free agent in 2015 until missing New York’s 27-13 loss to New England last Sunday. Spencer Long moved from center to left guard, and Jonotthan Harrison took over in Long’s spot. It appears that will be the plan moving forward.

The 29-year-old Carpenter was a first-round pick by Seattle out of Alabama in 2011. He played his first four seasons with the Seahawks, including winning a Super Bowl in 2014.

The Jets also announced Wednesday that they have promoted offensive lineman Ben Braden from the practice squad.

Running back Mark Thompson was signed to the practice squad. He was signed by Baltimore as an undrafted free agent in the spring out of Florida.

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Lions return specialist Agnew back at practice after injury

ALLEN PARK, Mich. (AP) — Detroit Lions return specialist Jamal Agnew is returning to practice after sitting out since Week 5 because of a knee injury.

The team removed him from the reserve-injured designation on Wednesday.

Agnew was an All-Pro last season and returned two punts for touchdowns. The Lions also have played

ALLEN PARK, Mich. (AP) — Detroit Lions return specialist Jamal Agnew is returning to practice after sitting out since Week 5 because of a knee injury.

The team removed him from the reserve-injured designation on Wednesday.

Agnew was an All-Pro last season and returned two punts for touchdowns. The Lions also have played him at cornerback and on offense.

He is averaging 27.8 yards on kickoff returns and 5.6 on punt returns this season. Agnew also has made seven tackles.

The Lions (4-7) host the NFC West-leading Rams (10-1) on Sunday.

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Vikings place S Sendejo on IR

Vikings place S Sendejo on IR

The Minnesota Vikings placed starting strong safety Andrew

Vikings place S Sendejo on IR

The Minnesota Vikings placed starting strong safety Andrew Sendejo on injured reserve, the team announced Tuesday.

Sendejo injured his groin Oct. 7 in the Vikings’ 23-21 win over Philadelphia and hasn’t been on the field since.

The Vikings moved cornerback Craig James from the practice squad to the 53-man roster and signed cornerback Jalen Myrick to fill the practice squad spot.

Anthony Harris has settled into the starting spot in Sendejo’s place.

Sendejo, 31, has been with the Vikings since 2011 after spending the 2010 season in Dallas. He has 371 tackles in 95 career games and is under contract with the Vikings through the 2019 season.

James was an undrafted free agent signed by the Vikings in May. He was released in final cuts in September and was signed to the practice squad six weeks ago.

–Field Level Media

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Titans CB Butler in concussion protocol

Titans CB Butler in concussion protocol

Titans CB Butler in concussion protocol

Tennessee Titans cornerback Malcolm Butler is in the NFL’s concussion protocol, one day after suffering a stinger, coach Mike Vrabel said during a press conference on Tuesday.

Butler was injured late in the first half during Monday night’s loss to the Houston Texans.

“One thing with the league and the concussion protocol, when you report a stinger, they check you for any concussion-like symptoms,” Vrabel said. “He initially gets placed in protocol when he gets a stinger, then you progress through. As soon as you get a stinger, you go to see the independent (neurologist).”

Whether Butler can play in Sunday’s game against the New York Jets will be determined later in the week.

Butler, 28, has just one interception in 11 games with the Titans. He is in the first season of a five-year, $61 million deal.

–Field Level Media

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Vikings place starting safety Andrew Sendejo on IR

EAGAN, Minn. (AP) — The Minnesota Vikings have placed safety Andrew Sendejo on injured reserve, ending his season after a groin injury limited him to only five games.

The 31-year-old Sendejo, the fourth-longest tenured player on the team, latched on with the Vikings in 2011 as a special teams player and has started

EAGAN, Minn. (AP) — The Minnesota Vikings have placed safety Andrew Sendejo on injured reserve, ending his season after a groin injury limited him to only five games.

The 31-year-old Sendejo, the fourth-longest tenured player on the team, latched on with the Vikings in 2011 as a special teams player and has started 58 games over the past six seasons. He has been a fixture in the starting lineup next to Harrison Smith since 2015.

The move was made on Tuesday, when the Vikings promoted undrafted rookie cornerback Craig James from the practice squad to the active roster. James played two years at Minnesota before finishing his college career at Southern Illinois. One of his teammates with the Gophers, cornerback Jalen Myrick, was signed to the practice squad for a second stint this season.

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Steelers tight ends McDonald, Grimble dealing with injuries

PITTSBURGH (AP) — The Pittsburgh Steelers will have their depth at tight end tested with Vance McDonald and Xavier Grimble both dealing with injuries.

Coach Mike Tomlin said Tuesday that McDonald has a hip issue while Grimble is in the concussion protocol. McDonald could be limited early in the week as the Steelers

PITTSBURGH (AP) — The Pittsburgh Steelers will have their depth at tight end tested with Vance McDonald and Xavier Grimble both dealing with injuries.

Coach Mike Tomlin said Tuesday that McDonald has a hip issue while Grimble is in the concussion protocol. McDonald could be limited early in the week as the Steelers (7-3-1) prepare for a visit from the Los Angeles Chargers (8-3).

Grimble, the third-string tight end after McDonald and Jesse James, had a critical fumble at the goal line in a loss at Denver on Sunday. Tomlin added linebacker Bud Dupree has a pectoral injury that could make his status uncertain.

Pittsburgh right tackle Marcus Gilbert could practice this week after missing the past five games with an ankle injury. Defensive end Stephon Tuitt could also return after missing two weeks because of an elbow injury.

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Vikings CB Rhodes avoids serious injury

Vikings CB Rhodes avoids serious injury

Minnesota Vikings

Vikings CB Rhodes avoids serious injury

Minnesota Vikings cornerback Xavier Rhodes escaped with a minor hamstring injury after many feared a serious injury Sunday night, coach Mike Zimmer announced Monday.

“Thankfully it’s very, very mild,” Zimmer said Monday. “As far as the TV doctors, their reporting is very erroneous.”

The latter comment likely referred to former NFL head athletic trainer David Chao, who wrote he was worried — based on video of the injury — that Rhodes had his hamstring muscle pulled off his pelvis, which would have required season-ending surgery.

Instead, Rhodes appears to have a chance to play Sunday at the New England Patriots.

Rhodes has often battled cramps during his career, but he has missed a total of only three games since taking over as a full-time starter in 2014. He has one interception and six passes defensed in 10 games this season, missing Week 8 against the New Orleans Saints.

Undrafted rookie Holton Hill took over Sunday after Rhodes went down during the Vikings’ 24-17 victory over the Green Bay Packers.

–Field Level Media

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Cardinals release Smith, Benwikere; Bynes to IR

Cardinals release Smith, Benwikere; Bynes to IR

The Arizona Cardinals released veteran right tackle Andre

Cardinals release Smith, Benwikere; Bynes to IR

The Arizona Cardinals released veteran right tackle Andre Smith and cornerback Bene Benwikere on Monday, a day after both players struggled in a 45-10 loss to the Los Angeles Chargers.

“I’m not really in the business of trying to send messages or trying to be subliminal in any way,” head coach Steve Wilks said. “I’m very direct in my approach and the things I say. If you’re not doing it our way, if you’re not giving us the best opportunities to win football games, number one, you won’t be on the field and if it gets to that point, we’ll move on. That’s what we did.”

The Cardinals also placed linebacker Josh Bynes (thumb) and kicker Phil Dawson (hip) on injured reserve, while promoting kicker Zane Gonzalez off the practice squad and claiming tight end Darrell Daniels off waivers from the Seattle Seahawks. The team still has two open roster spots.

Smith, 31, signed a two-year deal in free agency in March and started eight games at right tackle, allowing three sacks and committing one penalty. The 10th-year veteran has 93 career starts.

Wilks announced seventh-round rookie Korey Cunningham will start on the right side moving forward, saying the youngster earned the opportunity by holding up as a fill-in left tackle for D.J. Humphries the last two weeks. Humphries is expected to return soon, but swing tackle John Wetzel is out for the year with a neck injury.

Benwikere, 27, started the last eight games for Arizona after joining the Cardinals on a one-year deal in March. He has one interception and four passes defensed this season.

Bynes, 29, is second on the team in tackles (75) and also has five tackles for loss, five passes defensed and two sacks in 11 starts this season. He had played all but 10 snaps this year before getting hurt Sunday. No other Arizona linebacker has played more than 65.6 percent of the snaps.

Dawson, 43, made 5 of 8 field-goal attempts and all 15 PATs this season, his 20th in the NFL.

Gonzalez, 23, was released by the Cleveland Browns in September after making just 2 of 5 field-goal attempts and 3 of 5 extra-point attempts in two games. He joined Arizona’s practice squad last week.

Daniels, 24, did not catch a pass in nine games (two starts) with the Seahawks this season. He has three career catches for 26 yards, all with the Indianapolis Colts in 2017.

–Field Level Media

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Bengals’ Andy Dalton out for season with thumb injury

CINCINNATI (AP) — Andy Dalton is out for the rest of the season with an injured thumb on his passing hand, another significant blow to a Bengals team that has fallen apart in the past month.

Dalton reached for a fumbled ball and had someone land on his right hand during a 35-20

CINCINNATI (AP) — Andy Dalton is out for the rest of the season with an injured thumb on his passing hand, another significant blow to a Bengals team that has fallen apart in the past month.

Dalton reached for a fumbled ball and had someone land on his right hand during a 35-20 rout by the Cleveland Browns on Sunday, Cincinnati’s fifth loss in its past six games.

Just like that, a season that started with so much promise has turned into a nosedive .

Cincinnati (5-6) is without its quarterback or much hope that things will get much better down the stretch. The Bengals put Dalton on injured reserve after he had more tests and medical opinions Monday about the best way to get the thumb healed.

It’s the same thumb that Dalton broke while making a tackle on an interception return against the Steelers in 2015. He missed the last three regular-season games and an 18-16 loss to the Steelers in a first-round playoff game at Paul Brown Stadium.

Jeff Driskel will start for the Bengals the rest of the way, getting his first chance to lead the team in his third NFL season. The Bengals claimed quarterback Tom Savage off waivers from the San Francisco 49ers as a backup on Monday.

“The more you get out there and the more you play well, the more confidence you are going to get in yourself and the people around you,” Driskel said Monday.

Dalton completed 62 percent of his passes for 2,566 yards with 21 touchdowns, 11 interceptions and a passer rating of 89.6, the third-highest of his eight-year career.

Even with Dalton, the Bengals weren’t doing much except losing.

After a 4-1 start that boosted them atop the AFC North, the Bengals have lost five of six and fallen to third place. It’s their worst stretch since 2016, when they went 1-5-1 over the middle of the schedule and finished 6-9-1, ending their streak of five straight playoff appearances.

After Dalton got hurt on Sunday, Driskel came in and threw his first career touchdown pass and ran for another as the Browns went conservative with a big lead. Cleveland threw the ball only four times in the second half and played softer on defense. Driskel was 17 of 29 for 155 yards.

Coordinator Bill Lazor said Monday that Driskel has shown his ability to lead the offense in his limited opportunities.

“I think guys see it, and that’s the important part,” Lazor said. “You can’t talk them into feeling good about somebody; they’ve got to earn it. And he’s earned it every day in practice and in the preseason games.”

With Driskel running the offense, the Bengals had five false-start penalties — each by a different player — and one more for an illegal shift in the fourth quarter. Driskel thinks that working with the starting offense in practice this week will fix the problems.

“The more time you are able to get in and out of the huddle with those guys, hear the cadence, say the cadence, it’s just beneficial,” he said. “I don’t think it helps coming off the bench.”

With five games left and Dalton hurt, the Bengals are facing a big challenge.

“They’ve got to do it,” coach Marvin Lewis said. “They’ve got to dig out.”

INJURY UPDATE

Cornerback Tony McRae suffered a concussion in the third quarter. The medical staff strapped him to a backboard and wheeled him off the field, concerned he might have a spinal injury. Lewis said Monday that McRae had a concussion but no spinal injury.

HUE’S GAME BALL

Lewis didn’t have anything to say about Browns safety Damarious Randall handing the ball to Hue Jackson after he intercepted one of Dalton’s passes on Sunday.

“I don’t want to comment on somebody else’s player,” Lewis said.

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Bengals’ Dalton out for season with thumb injury

CINCINNATI (AP) — Andy Dalton is out for the season with a thumb injury suffered in the Bengals' latest loss.

Dalton hurt the thumb on his passing hand when he tried to recover a fumble in the second half of a 35-20 rout by the Cleveland Browns on Sunday. He was placed on

CINCINNATI (AP) — Andy Dalton is out for the season with a thumb injury suffered in the Bengals’ latest loss.

Dalton hurt the thumb on his passing hand when he tried to recover a fumble in the second half of a 35-20 rout by the Cleveland Browns on Sunday. He was placed on injured reserve after more tests on Monday.

Jeff Driskel will start for the Bengals the rest of the way, getting his first chance to lead the team in his third NFL season. The Bengals claimed quarterback Tom Savage off waivers from the San Francisco 49ers as a backup.

The Bengals (5-6) have lost five of their past six games, falling to third in the AFC North.

Dalton broke the same thumb while making a tackle on an interception return in 2015.

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Arizona’s Humphries, Williams, Bucannon out against Chargers

TEMPE, Ariz. (AP) — Arizona Cardinals left tackle D.J. Humphries, wide receiver Chad Williams and linebacker Deone Bucannon have been declared out of Sunday's game at the Los Angeles Chargers due to injuries.

Humphries has an ongoing knee issue, Williams an ankle injury and Bucannon a chest injury. Safety Rudy Ford (heel) also

TEMPE, Ariz. (AP) — Arizona Cardinals left tackle D.J. Humphries, wide receiver Chad Williams and linebacker Deone Bucannon have been declared out of Sunday’s game at the Los Angeles Chargers due to injuries.

Humphries has an ongoing knee issue, Williams an ankle injury and Bucannon a chest injury. Safety Rudy Ford (heel) also won’t play against the Chargers.

Kicker Phil Dawson (right hip) is listed as questionable after missing last weekend’s loss to Oakland. If Dawson can’t play, the kicker probably would be Zane Gonzalez, signed to the practice squad this week. Safety/nickel back Budda Baker, who sat out the Raiders game, is listed as questionable for the Chargers with a knee injury.

Also on the long list of questionable participants are left guard Mike Iupati (back), defensive tackle Robert Nkemdiche (calif), defensive tackle Corey Peters (heel/back), defensive tackle Olsen Pierre (ankle) and tight end John Phillips (knee).

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Bengals place LB Brown on injured reserve

Bengals place LB Brown on injured reserve

The short-handed Cincinnati Bengals defense lost another key member Tuesday

Bengals place LB Brown on injured reserve

The short-handed Cincinnati Bengals defense lost another key member Tuesday when starting middle linebacker Preston Brown was placed on injured reserve.

Hardy Nickerson is expected to take his place, and the Bengals signed free-agent defensive end Kasim Edebali in a corresponding move.

Brown finishes the season with 42 tackles in seven games (missing three) and two interceptions, a year after tying for the NFL lead with 144 tackles while with the Bills. He never missed a game for Buffalo.

The fifth-year player was signed to a one-year deal with Cincinnati, his hometown team, before sustaining a nagging ankle injury in the season opener. He hasn’t played since the Nov. 11 game against the New Orleans Saints when he injured his right knee.

–Field Level Media

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Bears QB Mitchell Trubisky listed as doubtful vs Lions

LAKE FOREST, Ill. (AP) — Chicago Bears quarterback Mitchell Trubisky was listed as doubtful Wednesday for the Thanksgiving Day game in Detroit against the Lions.

Trubisky suffered a right shoulder injury in the fourth quarter of Sunday night's 25-20 win over the Minnesota Vikings.

If he can't play, the Bears will turn to backup Chase

LAKE FOREST, Ill. (AP) — Chicago Bears quarterback Mitchell Trubisky was listed as doubtful Wednesday for the Thanksgiving Day game in Detroit against the Lions.

Trubisky suffered a right shoulder injury in the fourth quarter of Sunday night’s 25-20 win over the Minnesota Vikings.

If he can’t play, the Bears will turn to backup Chase Daniel, who has not started or played extensively in an NFL game since 2014.

At 32, Daniel is the oldest player on the Chicago roster and hasn’t thrown more than two passes in a season since 2014 in Kansas City. He does have extensive knowledge of the Bears’ offensive system run by former Chiefs assistant and current Chicago head coach Matt Nagy.

Earlier this week, Chicago offensive coordinator Mark Helfrich said he saw no reason for play-calling to be altered should Daniel play.

“They’re not that significantly different,” Helfrich said. “Certainly, you’re going to tailor things to one person or another absolutely, but within the same structure. We’re not going to change the offense if something happens. You can’t do that.”

The Bears (7-3) have won four straight games. Detroit (4-6) is coming off a win over Carolina after three straight losses.

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Seahawks linebackers in flux with Wright sidelined by injury

RENTON, Wash. (AP) — For the second time this season the Seahawks are having to find an option at weakside linebacker with K.J. Wright is sidelined due to injury.

Wright has missed seven of Seattle's 10 games played this season due to a knee injury that surfaced during pregame warmups of the team's

RENTON, Wash. (AP) — For the second time this season the Seahawks are having to find an option at weakside linebacker with K.J. Wright is sidelined due to injury.

Wright has missed seven of Seattle’s 10 games played this season due to a knee injury that surfaced during pregame warmups of the team’s preseason game in Minnesota in August. Wright had surgery shortly after and missed the first six weeks of the season as setbacks in his recovery slowed his return to the field.

The knee issue again sidelined Wright during the team’s loss to the Los Angeles Rams and kept him out of the Thursday night victory over the Green Bay Packers.

“He’s still working to get back,” head coach Pete Carroll said Tuesday.

Barkevious Mingo started in place of Wright against the Packers before being replaced after just one defensive series by Austin Calitro. Calitro also replaced rookie Shaquem Griffin in the team’s opener against Denver.

Mychal Kendricks was then signed and started the next three games for Seattle before the league imposed an eight-game suspension for a guilty plea in an insider-trading case. While Kendricks returned to practice Tuesday, he’s ineligible to play for another two weeks while serving the final stretch of his suspension.

Meanwhile, it’s uncertain whether just rest and rehab will be enough to get Wright back on the field in the coming weeks.

“We’re going to find out. We don’t know,” Carroll said.

The Seahawks are going with Calitro this week for their matchup against the Carolina Panthers. The undrafted rookie has started three of 10 games played for Seattle this year in relief of Wright, with 22 tackles, a pass defended and a half sack of Aaron Rodgers last Thursday against the Packers.

“We’re gaining experience as we go,” Carroll said. “Austin has done a nice job when he’s had his chances. He’s still a young player so there’s stuff to learn and all but he’s done a nice job, particularly in the physical side of hitting and tackling and all.”

Calitro will likely keep the gig until either Wright or Kendricks are able to return.

“We just have to understand it’s kind of a next man up,” middle linebacker Bobby Wagner said. “Everybody kind of knows I trust everybody that’s been in the position. Austin is in it right now. We have a lot of confidence in him.”

Kendricks is eligible to play against the Minnesota Vikings on Dec. 10.

“It’s great for Mychal in particular;” Carroll said of having Kendricks back at practice. “He needs to get going and doing some stuff that’s positive and all of that. He had a really good experience with us before. We loved him playing for us.”

Notes: RB J.D. McKissic was designated to return from injured reserve and returned to practice Tuesday. McKissic injured his foot in the preseason and was placed on injured reserve following roster cuts in early September.

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Bears QB Mitchell Trubisky day to day with shoulder injury

LAKE FOREST, Ill. (AP) — Chicago Bears quarterback Mitchell Trubisky is day to day with a right shoulder injury as the team prepares for Thursday's game against the Detroit Lions.

Bears coach Matt Nagy said the injury would prevent Trubisky from practicing Tuesday, and the team does not have a practice on Wednesday.

LAKE FOREST, Ill. (AP) — Chicago Bears quarterback Mitchell Trubisky is day to day with a right shoulder injury as the team prepares for Thursday’s game against the Detroit Lions.

Bears coach Matt Nagy said the injury would prevent Trubisky from practicing Tuesday, and the team does not have a practice on Wednesday. The injury is not considered serious, but it could keep him out of the Lions game.

The Bears did not announce the injury Monday until an injury report came out after a news conference.

Trubisky was listed on the Monday injury report as “did not practice.” No actual practice was held Monday, but the NFL requires teams to release an injury report on Mondays if they play on Thursday.

Trubisky was injured on a fourth-quarter play on Sunday night against Minnesota while sliding. Trubisky was hit on the left shoulder by Vikings safety Harrison Smith, and came to a stop with his weight on his right shoulder.

Chase Daniel is Trubisky’s backup, and hasn’t thrown a regular-season pass since 2016. He hasn’t had more than two throws in a season since he was with Kansas City in 2014.

Daniel, 32, is 1-1 as an NFL starter and has completed 51 of 78 for 480 yards with a touchdown pass and an interception. He also played for the New Orleans Saints, Chiefs and Philadelphia Eagles.

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Vrabel says Mariota suffered ‘stinger,’ not injury to elbow

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Titans coach Mike Vrabel says Marcus Mariota suffered a "stinger" and that is what knocked the quarterback out of their loss against the Colts, not an injury to his elbow.

The Titans announced during the 38-10 loss that Mariota had hurt his elbow, the same injury that knocked him

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Titans coach Mike Vrabel says Marcus Mariota suffered a “stinger” and that is what knocked the quarterback out of their loss against the Colts, not an injury to his elbow.

The Titans announced during the 38-10 loss that Mariota had hurt his elbow, the same injury that knocked him out of the opener. Mariota didn’t return after being sacked for the fourth time in the final seconds of the first half.

Vrabel said Monday that the injury was a stinger with Mariota evaluated by an independent neurologist. The coach says now they need to see how Mariota is with a second opinion possible but are hopeful Mariota feels good enough to play Monday night in Houston.

Tennessee defensive coordinator Dean Pees also is returning to Nashville on Monday after spending a night in an Indianapolis hospital. Vrabel says all tests on Pees, 69, came back positively without saying what issue caused the coordinator to be taken to a hospital early in the game.

Vrabel says Pees will rejoin the team after taking Monday off and will work “bankers’ hours.”

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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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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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Broncos lose guard Max Garcia to knee injury

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. (AP) — Left guard Max Garcia showed up at the Denver Broncos' headquarters Friday with a sore left knee, something that initially seemed like a minor annoyance for a team preparing for two big offensive line changes already.

With right guard Connor McGovern preparing for his first NFL start at center

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. (AP) — Left guard Max Garcia showed up at the Denver Broncos’ headquarters Friday with a sore left knee, something that initially seemed like a minor annoyance for a team preparing for two big offensive line changes already.

With right guard Connor McGovern preparing for his first NFL start at center and Elijah Wilkinson set to make his first pro start at right guard, Garcia went for an MRI.

The result was devastating: a torn anterior cruciate ligament.

Garcia is the third starting offensive lineman the Broncos have lost this season, joining guard Ronald Leary (Achilles) and center Matt Paradis, who had surgery on his broken right leg earlier this week.

“It’s been a tough year for us O-linemen,” left tackle Garett Bolles said. “It’s a shame to see three guys that are really close to me go down, but at the same time I know that we have guys behind them that have stepped up to the plate and are going to smack a home run.”

Garcia’s injury further staggered a team that’s trying to salvage a season featuring four one-score losses, including to the league’s two 9-1 teams the Rams and Chiefs, by a combined seven points.

“It was really weird, I watched (Thursday’s) practice from the last play back to the first play and he didn’t miss a down,” coach Vance Joseph said. “So, the play he was injured on, I saw it, it was kind of a slip. It was no big deal. He finished up practice.”

Joseph said Billy Turner, who started four games at right tackle when Jared Veldheer was out with a knee injury, will start at left guard Sunday when the Broncos (3-6) visit the Los Angeles Chargers (7-2).

This will mark the Broncos’ sixth different lineup on the O-line this season, but Joseph said it won’t affect the game plan.

“I thought leaving camp that we had the best line that we’ve had around here in a while as far as depth and as far as guys who can play” multiple positions, Joseph said. “It happens. It’s football. We’ve got Billy Turner playing the left guard with Eli playing the right guard along with Mac playing the center, so I’m comfortable. Let’s go play.”

He said recently signed seven-year veteran center Gino Gradkowski will be active Sunday along with rookie swing guard Sam Jones.

“Ain’t too many guys left ,” he said.

Through every combination the Broncos have run the ball with success as rookies Phillip Lindsay and Royce Freeman have rushed for 900 yards and seven touchdowns with veteran Devontae Booker adding 144 yards, a touchdown and a team-high 5.8-yard average.

What they’ve had trouble doing is protecting quarterback Case Keenum, who has 11 touchdowns and 11 turnovers and has been sacked two dozen times.

Still, offensive coordinator Billy Musgrave has been reluctant to reduce his use of three-receiver sets that put more pressure on the thinning O-line.

The turnstile hasn’t helped Bolles, a 2017 first-rounder, refine his raw game after playing just one season of major college football.

“It’s been hard having different lineups. I’ve had five different lineups, so it’s been frustrating,” Bolles said. “But it doesn’t matter who’s next to me, they’re going to make me better, I’m going to make them better and you’ve just got to roll with the punches and work out the kinks.”

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Lions put TJ Lang on injured reserve with neck injury

ALLEN PARK, Mich. (AP) — The Detroit Lions have put guard T.J. Lang on injured reserve with a neck injury.

The Lions announced the move Wednesday. They also signed cornerback Mike Ford to the active roster from the practice squad and signed safety David Jones to the practice squad.

Lang has missed three

ALLEN PARK, Mich. (AP) — The Detroit Lions have put guard T.J. Lang on injured reserve with a neck injury.

The Lions announced the move Wednesday. They also signed cornerback Mike Ford to the active roster from the practice squad and signed safety David Jones to the practice squad.

Lang has missed three games this season, including last weekend’s loss at Chicago. The 31-year-old lineman is in his second season with the Lions after playing eight with Green Bay.

Lang signed a three-year deal with Detroit before the 2017 season, returning to his home area. He was born in Royal Oak, went to high school in Bloomfield Hills and went to college at Eastern Michigan.

Detroit (3-6) has lost three straight, and the Lions have yielded 16 sacks in the past two games.

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Chargers officially place Perryman on IR, promote Johnson

COSTA MESA, Calif. (AP) — The Los Angeles Chargers placed linebacker Denzel Perryman on injured reserve Tuesday with a knee injury and promoted linebacker Tre'von Johnson from the practice squad.

Perryman injured the lateral collateral ligament in his left knee during the first quarter of Sunday's 20-6 win over Oakland. The fourth-year linebacker

COSTA MESA, Calif. (AP) — The Los Angeles Chargers placed linebacker Denzel Perryman on injured reserve Tuesday with a knee injury and promoted linebacker Tre’von Johnson from the practice squad.

Perryman injured the lateral collateral ligament in his left knee during the first quarter of Sunday’s 20-6 win over Oakland. The fourth-year linebacker started every game this season and was second on the Chargers with 51 tackles going into the Raiders game.

Johnson had been signed to the Chargers practice squad on Oct. 9 after he began the season on Seattle’s practice squad. He spent most of last season on Dallas’ practice squad before being promoted to the roster for the Cowboys’ final game.

Los Angeles (7-2) has won six straight going into Sunday’s game against Denver (3-6).

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Chargers LB Denzel Perryman out for season with knee injury

COSTA MESA, Calif. (AP) — Los Angeles Chargers linebacker Denzel Perryman will miss the rest of the season because of a knee injury.

Coach Anthony Lynn said Monday that Perryman injured the lateral collateral ligament in his left knee during the first quarter of Sunday's 20-6 win against Oakland.

Perryman, who has started

COSTA MESA, Calif. (AP) — Los Angeles Chargers linebacker Denzel Perryman will miss the rest of the season because of a knee injury.

Coach Anthony Lynn said Monday that Perryman injured the lateral collateral ligament in his left knee during the first quarter of Sunday’s 20-6 win against Oakland.

Perryman, who has started every game at inside linebacker this season, was second on the Chargers with 51 tackles going into the Oakland game. He was drafted in the second round in 2015 and is in the final year of his contract.

Hayes Pullard and Kyle Emanuel, who both saw 16 snaps against Oakland, are in the mix to move into Perryman’s starting spot. Los Angeles (7-2), which has won six straight, hosts Denver this week.

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Jaguars center Brandon Linder injures knee, out for season

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) — Jacksonville Jaguars center Brandon Linder will have season-ending surgery on his right knee.

Linder injured his knee in Sunday's 29-26 loss at Indianapolis, and coach Doug Marrone said Monday the team captain will be placed on injured reserve.

A third-round draft pick from Miami in 2014, Linder will have

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) — Jacksonville Jaguars center Brandon Linder will have season-ending surgery on his right knee.

Linder injured his knee in Sunday’s 29-26 loss at Indianapolis, and coach Doug Marrone said Monday the team captain will be placed on injured reserve.

A third-round draft pick from Miami in 2014, Linder will have missed 27 games in five years. He signed a five-year contract worth $51.7 million in July 2017. It included $24 million guaranteed.

Linder also is the team’s third offensive lineman — second starter — to land on injured reserve. Left tackle Cam Robinson tore a knee ligament earlier in the season and was placed on IR. Robinson’s backup, Josh Wells, landed on IR with a groin injury.

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LA Rams WR Cooper Kupp has torn knee ligament, McVay says

THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. (AP) — Los Angeles Rams receiver Cooper Kupp is out for the season after tearing a ligament in his left knee.

Coach Sean McVay on Monday confirmed the injury for Kupp, who led the Rams in yards receiving last season.

Kupp was hurt on a noncontact play during the Rams'

THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. (AP) — Los Angeles Rams receiver Cooper Kupp is out for the season after tearing a ligament in his left knee.

Coach Sean McVay on Monday confirmed the injury for Kupp, who led the Rams in yards receiving last season.

Kupp was hurt on a noncontact play during the Rams’ 36-31 victory over the Seattle Seahawks. An MRI exam confirmed a torn ligament for Kupp, who already missed two games last month with a different injury to the same knee.

Kupp has been a key contributor to Los Angeles’ high-octane passing game in both of his NFL seasons. He has 40 catches for 566 yards and six touchdowns this season, providing Jared Goff with a reliable target in the slot.

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Eagles’ Darby out for season with torn ACL

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Eagles cornerback Ronald Darby has a torn ACL and will miss the rest of the season.

Darby was injured in the second half of Philadelphia's 27-20 loss to Dallas on Sunday night.

The Eagles already lost safety Rodney McLeod to a season-ending knee injury. Starting cornerback Jalen Mills and starting

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Eagles cornerback Ronald Darby has a torn ACL and will miss the rest of the season.

Darby was injured in the second half of Philadelphia’s 27-20 loss to Dallas on Sunday night.

The Eagles already lost safety Rodney McLeod to a season-ending knee injury. Starting cornerback Jalen Mills and starting nickel cornerback Sidney Jones didn’t play against the Cowboys because of injuries.

Mills isn’t expected to return this week, but Jones is a possibility.

The Eagles (4-5) visit New Orleans (8-1) next.

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3 Dolphins offensive linemen questionable for Green Bay

DAVIE, Fla. (AP) — The Miami Dolphins could be without three injured starting offensive linemen Sunday at Green Bay.

Guard Ted Larsen (neck) is doubtful, and left tackle Laremy Tunsil (knee and ankle) and right tackle Ja'Wuan James (knee) are questionable. All three were limited in practice Friday, as they have been all week.

Defensive

DAVIE, Fla. (AP) — The Miami Dolphins could be without three injured starting offensive linemen Sunday at Green Bay.

Guard Ted Larsen (neck) is doubtful, and left tackle Laremy Tunsil (knee and ankle) and right tackle Ja’Wuan James (knee) are questionable. All three were limited in practice Friday, as they have been all week.

Defensive end Charles Harris (calf) was ruled out for the fourth game in a row. Linebacker Kiko Alonso (ankle) was added to the injury report after missing practice and is listed as questionable.

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Steelers RT Gilbert out for 3rd straight week

PITTSBURGH (AP) — Pittsburgh Steelers right tackle Marcus Gilbert will miss his third straight game while dealing with a knee injury.

The Steelers made Gilbert inactive for Thursday night's game against Carolina. Matt Feiler will start in place of Gilbert.

Pittsburgh will also be without reserve nose tackle Dan McCullers, who is dealing with an

PITTSBURGH (AP) — Pittsburgh Steelers right tackle Marcus Gilbert will miss his third straight game while dealing with a knee injury.

The Steelers made Gilbert inactive for Thursday night’s game against Carolina. Matt Feiler will start in place of Gilbert.

Pittsburgh will also be without reserve nose tackle Dan McCullers, who is dealing with an ankle injury. Quarterback Mason Rudolph, wide receiver Justin Hunter, safety Marcus Allen, cornerback Brian Allen and offensive lineman Zach Banner are also inactive for the Steelers.

The Panthers will be without wide receiver Torrey Smith, who will sit out a third straight week due to a knee injury. Jarius Wright will start in place of Smith.

Carolina center Ryan Kalil will play despite skipping practice on Tuesday with an ankle injury.

Cornerback Josh Hawkins, running back Cameron Artis-Payne, linebacker Andre Smith, guard Brendan Mahon, defensive end Bryan Cox Jr. and defensive end Marquis Haynes are also inactive for the Panthers.

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