NFL and College Football Articles

NFL and College Football Articles

Dalton-led Bengals knock off Jets after 0-11 start

Dalton-led Bengals knock off Jets after 0-11 start

Dalton-led Bengals knock off Jets after 0-11 start

The Cincinnati Bengals earned their first win of the season Sunday afternoon, when Andy Dalton returned to the starting lineup and threw for 243 yards and one touchdown in a 22-6 victory over the visiting New York Jets.

The win ended the longest season-opening losing streak in franchise history for the Bengals (1-11) and ensured they would not join the 2008 Detroit Lions and 2017 Cleveland Browns as the only teams to go winless over a 16-game season.

It was also the first win for first-year head coach Zac Taylor, who received a Gatorade bath in the final minute.

The Jets (4-8) not only had a three-game winning streak snapped but also made the wrong kind of history Sunday, when they became the first NFL team to lose twice to teams that were 0-7 or worse entering the game. The Miami Dolphins were 0-7 before beating New York 26-18 on Nov. 3.

Dalton finished 22 of 37 for 243 yards and a touchdown. Auden Tate had four catches for a team-high 66 yards.

The Jets scored first on a 42-yard field goal by Sam Ficken with 9:08 left in the first quarter, but the Bengals took control soon after. Cincinnati collected four sacks — including three by defensive end Carlos Dunlap — and never allowed New York to enter the red zone.

Dalton, who sat the previous three games in favor of rookie Ryan Finley, put the Bengals ahead for good with his 17-yard touchdown pass to Tyler Boyd with 1:12 remaining in the first quarter. Randy Bullock’s first field goal, a 24-yarder, extended the Bengals’ lead to 10-3 a little less than six minutes into the second quarter.

Joe Mixon rushed for a 5-yard touchdown with 1:48 left to give Cincinnati its first double-digit lead of the season before Ficken booted a 39-yard field goal just before time expired in the half.

The Bengals collected their first safety since the 2006 season when Jets offensive tackle Kelvin Beachum was whistled for holding in the end zone with 5:46 left in the third to make the 19-6. Bullock kicked a 47-yard field goal with 1:15 remaining in the period.

Jets quarterback Sam Darnold was 28 of 48 for 239 yards. Robby Anderson collected seven catches for 101 yards.

The loss marked the second time the Jets have lost to a team that entered 0-10 or worse. The New Orleans Saints were 0-14 before earning their only win of the 1980 season by edging New York 21-20 on Dec. 14.

–Field Level Media

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Jags’ Minshew replaces turnover-prone Foles at halftime

Jags' Minshew replaces turnover-prone Foles at halftime

Jags’ Minshew replaces turnover-prone Foles at halftime

Gardner Minshew replaced Jacksonville quarterback Nick Foles at the start of the second half Sunday with the Jaguars trailing the visiting Tampa Bay Buccaneers 25-0.

Foles was 7 of 14 for 93 yards with one interception and two lost fumbles in the first half. His turnovers led to 22 Buccaneers points.

Minshew was 2 of 3 for 16 yards on the first possession of the second half before Jacksonville punted.

MInshew, a rookie out of Washington State, started eight of the Jaguars’ first nine games before being replaced by Foles, who reclaimed the starting job for Week 11. Foles had been on injured reserve after suffering a broken collarbone in Week 1.

The mustachioed Minshew entered Sunday having completed 61.2 percent of his passes (188 of 307) for 2,285 yards, 13 touchdowns and four interceptions.

Foles, the MVP of Super Bowl LII with the Philadelphia Eagles, reportedly was given the highest guarantee ($50.125 million) in franchise history when he signed with Jacksonville as a free agent in the offseason.

–Field Level Media

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Vikings WR Thielen ruled out vs. Seahawks

Vikings WR Thielen ruled out vs. Seahawks

Vikings WR Thielen ruled out vs. Seahawks

Minnesota Vikings receiver Adam Thielen was downgraded to out for Monday night’s game at the Seattle Seahawks due to his hamstring injury, the team announced Sunday.

Thielen will miss his third straight game and fourth in the past five due to the injury he initially suffered against the Detroit Lions on Oct. 20.

There was hope Thielen would return this week and the Vikings listed him as questionable on Saturday. He was a limited practice participant on Friday and Saturday.

But Thielen expressed concern when asked if he could play if the hamstring wasn’t fully healed.

“Probably not, no, just because I know that if you’re not 100 percent, you’re just going to come out five plays into the game anyway,” Thielen said. “The biggest difference from a hamstring from a different injury is you can play through pain with other injuries. As I found out quickly with a hamstring, if you’re feeling any pain, eventually it’s just not going to work.”

Thielen has 27 catches for 391 yards and six touchdowns in eight games this season for the Vikings (8-3).

The Vikings also ruled out defensive tackle Jalyn Holmes (not injury related) on Sunday. Holmes has played in five games and has just one tackle.

Minnesota linebacker Ben Gedeon (concussion) was previously ruled out against the Seahawks (9-2).

Safeties Harrison Smith (hamstring) and Anthony Harris (groin) and defensive tackles Linval Joseph (knee) and Shamar Stephen (knee) are listed as questionable for the Vikings.

–Field Level Media

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Titans score two late TDs to sink Colts

Titans score two late TDs to sink Colts

Titans score two late TDs to sink Colts

Tye Smith returned a blocked field goal 63 yards to snap a fourth quarter tie, and Ryan Tannehill added his second touchdown pass two minutes later, as the visiting Tennessee Titans rallied Sunday for a 31-17 win over the Indianapolis Colts.

Tennessee (7-5) won for the fifth time in six games, avenging a September home loss to the Colts (6-6), and moved within a half-game of Houston for first place in the AFC South. The Texans host New England on Sunday night.

With the game tied at 17, Adam Vinatieri tried a 46-yard field goal to put Indianapolis ahead. But Dane Cruickshank surged through the right side to snuff the kick, and Smith sprinted untouched to the end zone with 5:02 left. It was the second field-goal attempt blocked by Tennessee in the game.

Logan Ryan intercepted Jacoby Brissett on the Colts’ second play after Smith’s return. Three plays later, Tannehill hit Kalif Raymond off play-action for a 40-yard scoring strike with 3:02 remaining, sealing Indianapolis’ fourth loss in five games.

Tannehill went 17 of 22 for 182 yards and two touchdowns, playing to a quarterback rating of 131.3. The Titans are 5-1 since he supplanted Marcus Mariota as the starter after a Week 6 shutout loss in Denver.

Brissett completed 25 of 40 passes for 319 yards with a touchdown and two interceptions. His score came on the game’s first possession, as he found tight end Jack Doyle for a 21-yard connection with just 3:57 elapsed.

Tannehill answered back with a touchdown drive of nearly six minutes, tying the score at 7 when he hit Adam Humphries for a 13-yard score. But Indianapolis took a 10-7 edge to the half when Vinatieri kicked a 28-yard field goal with 6:07 left in the second quarter.

Nyheim Hines’ 1-yard run upped the Colts’ lead to 17-7 with 10:23 remaining in the third quarter, but Derrick Henry scored on a 13-yard run with 5:52 left. Ryan Succop followed up with a 31-yard field goal after Brissett was picked by Kevin Byard, tying the game at the 4:26 mark.

Henry rushed for 149 yards on 26 carries, his third straight 100-yard game.

–Field Level Media

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Report: Texans’ Watt eyes playoff return from pec injury

Report: Texans' Watt eyes playoff return from pec injury

J.J. Watt's season might

Report: Texans’ Watt eyes playoff return from pec injury

J.J. Watt’s season might not be over after all.

The Houston Texans’ star defensive end was considered to be done for the season after suffering a torn pectoral muscle in late October. He even took to Twitter to write: “This game can be beautiful and it can also be brutal. Absolutely gutted that I won’t be able to finish the season with my guys and give the fans what they deserve.”

But NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported Sunday that his sources say Watt’s rehab is going “incredibly well” and that the Texans are saving their final injured reserve/designated to return spot for Watt.

With Houston at 7-4 and leading the AFC South heading into Sunday’s home game against the New England Patriots, “there is real optimism from all parties that he can return for the playoffs,” Rapoport wrote.

Watt, 30, was injured while making a tackle during an Oct. 27 game against the Oakland Raiders. The three-time NFL Defensive Player of the Year has 24 tackles, 20 quarterback hits and four sacks this season, leaving him four shy of 100 sacks for his career.

Teams can bring back two players from injured reserve each season. The Texans earlier activated tight end Jordan Thomas from IR.

Watt was limited to three games in 2016 due to a back injury and five games in 2017 with a knee injury. He returned in 2018 to play in all 16 games, notching 16 sacks and 25 QB hits to earn his fifth first-team All-Pro nod.

–Field Level Media

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Balanced Vikings return to Seattle for MNF rematch

Balanced Vikings return to Seattle for MNF rematch

Pete Carroll is a big fan of the Minnesota

Balanced Vikings return to Seattle for MNF rematch

Pete Carroll is a big fan of the Minnesota Vikings’ offense.

The Seattle coach will get a first-hand look at the unit Monday night, when the Seahawks (9-2) play host to the Vikings (8-3) in a key NFC matchup.

“They’re really well-balanced,” Carroll said. “A real commitment to the running game shows up. They have a style that we really appreciate, because they do run the football and try to play ball-control football with their short passing game.”

In fact, the Vikings have the most balanced offense in the NFL, running the ball on 50.15 percent of their plays.

Running back Dalvin Cook ranks second in the league in all-purpose yards (1,472), third in rushing yards (1,017) and fifth in touchdowns (11).

This will be the second straight season in which the teams have met on MNF in Seattle. The Seahawks won 21-7 last year, Minnesota avoiding the shutout with a touchdown in the final two minutes.

That game led to the Vikings’ offensive transformation.

Minnesota called 35 pass plays and 21 runs in that game, and head coach Mike Zimmer fired offensive coordinator John DeFilippo shortly after the team’s red-eye flight back to the Twin Cities had landed.

“I just did what I thought was best at the time,” Zimmer said this week.

Kevin Stefanski was named the interim coordinator and got the full-time gig in the offseason.

“He’s grown a lot (with) the way the offense has evolved and the way we”re trying to attack defenses, communication with the players,” Zimmer said.

Cook has perhaps been the biggest beneficiary, as the Vikings rank fourth in the league in rushing this season after being No. 30 in 2018.

“Everybody got what they wanted to do,” Cook told The Pioneer Press of St. Paul, Minn. “That was Coach Stefanski’s game plan. That’s what we wanted to do. That’s what we’ve got to execute, but I think things have been different since (Stefanski) has stepped in.”

The Vikings have won six of their past seven games to pull even with Green Bay in the NFC North. Quarterback Kirk Cousins has thrown 18 touchdowns and just one interception during that stretch.

The Vikings had a bye last weekend after rallying from a 20-point deficit to defeat Denver 27-23 the previous week. Cousins was 29 of 35 for 319 yards and three touchdowns in that game.

“I am pleased, yep,” Cousins said. “I think it’s been a real positive the way we’ve run the football, the way we’ve protected, the way we’ve thrown the ball.”

Cousins downplayed the suggestion that the turning point came after the loss to Seattle last year.

“There are so many moments you can point to, and I’m sure for people who love to create a narrative, that’s fun to talk about,” he said.

The Seahawks, who are coming off a 17-9 victory at Philadelphia, enter the weekend a game behind San Francisco in the NFC West.

Rashaad Penny, Seattle’s first-round pick in the 2018 draft, rushed for a career-high 129 yards, including a clinching 58-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter.

With Chris Carson having fumbled seven times, the most in the league by a running back, Penny might see more of the ball Monday as the Seahawks try to emulate Minnesota’s balanced attack.

“Rashaad did great. I’m really fired up for that,” Carroll said. “We need his explosiveness. He continues to show up. He has had the real home run type of style of play. We’ve got to give him chances to bring that to us.”

–Field Level Media

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Eagles RB Howard ruled out vs. Dolphins

Eagles RB Howard ruled out vs. Dolphins

Philadelphia Eagles running back Jordan Howard

Eagles RB Howard ruled out vs. Dolphins

Philadelphia Eagles running back Jordan Howard has been ruled out for Sunday’s road game against the Miami Dolphins, the team announced.

Howard has been nursing a shoulder injury since rushing for 82 yards and a touchdown against his former team in the Eagles’ 22-14 victory over the Chicago Bears on Nov. 3.

The 25-year-old leads the team in carries (119), rushing yards (525) and rushing touchdowns (six).

Rookie Miles Sanders has shouldered the load in the two-game absence of Howard, totaling 23 carries for 101 yards.

Also on Saturday, the Eagles (5-6) promoted Josh Perkins from the practice squad with fellow tight end Zach Ertz nursing a hamstring injury. Ertz, who was limited in practice on Friday, is listed as questionable to face the Dolphins (2-9).

Philadelphia also activated cornerback Cre’Von LeBlanc from injured reserve and waived defensive tackle Albert Huggins.

LeBlanc sustained a foot injury on the first day of training camp in July.

–Field Level Media

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Giants place LS DeOssie on injured reserve

Giants place LS DeOssie on injured reserve

The

Giants place LS DeOssie on injured reserve

The New York Giants placed long snapper Zak DeOssie on injured reserve, the team announced Saturday.

The Giants promoted Colin Holba from the practice squad to take DeOssie’s roster spot ahead of Sunday’s game against the Green Bay Packers in East Rutherford, N.J.

DeOssie, who is nursing wrist and knee injuries, was responsible for a bad snap that led to a 42-yard missed field goal by Aldrick Rosas in New York’s 19-14 setback against Chicago on Sunday.

“I think in the Jets game (on Nov. 10), he got banged up a little bit,” Giants coach Pat Shurmur said on Friday. “He was just fighting through it being a tough guy.”

DeOssie, who is in the final year of his contract, has played in 199 career games with the Giants since being selected by the team in the fourth round of the 2007 NFL Draft. He has served as a team captain for nine straight seasons, but he could have played his last game with New York.

The 35-year-old DeOssie joins quarterback Eli Manning as the lone remaining members left on New York’s roster after the franchise’s past two Super Bowl championships.

Holba, 25, has played in 13 regular-season games with the Jacksonville Jaguars (2017) and San Francisco 49ers (2018-19).

–Field Level Media

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Kitchens’ shirt choice could rile Steelers

Kitchens' shirt choice could rile Steelers

The Pittsburgh Steelers got some more

Kitchens’ shirt choice could rile Steelers

The Pittsburgh Steelers got some more bulletin board material for inspiration as they prepare to host the Cleveland Browns on Sunday.

A photo of Browns coach Freddie Kitchens wearing a brown T-shirt with the phrase “Pittsburgh started it” emblazoned in orange made the rounds on social media Friday night, referencing the fight between the two teams on Nov. 14 that resulted in an indefinite suspension for defensive end Myles Garrett.

ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported that a Browns spokesperson said Kitchens’ children gave him the shirt “as a joke.” He wore it when he joined his family in seeing the Mister Rogers biopic, “A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood.” While he wore a jacket over the shirt, his jacket was unzipped far enough for moviegoers to see the shirt.

The Browns told Schefter that Kitchens hadn’t planned or it to be seen and “understands it’s not a good look.”

Friday was Kitchens’ 45th birthday.

Fred Rogers, the subject of the movie was a beloved resident of Pittsburgh, and a Steelers source told Schefter that Kitchens’ choice of apparel could be viewed as another act of disrespect toward the city.

The fight between the teams broke out at the end of the game, and Garrett ripped the helmet off the head of Steelers quarterback Mason Rudolph and swung it at him. In all 33 players and both teams were fined a total of $732,422.

Sunday’s game is a crucial matchup for both teams as they seek to keep their AFC wild-card hopes alive.

–Field Level Media

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Flores: Dolphins to attend Kaepernick workout

Flores: Dolphins to attend Kaepernick workout

Flores: Dolphins to attend Kaepernick workout

The Miami Dolphins plan to have a representative in attendance for free-agent quarterback Colin Kaepernick’s workout this weekend, coach Brian Flores announced Wednesday.

Flores told reporters that the team still is finalizing who will attend Kaepernick’s workout in Atlanta on Saturday, however.

The first-year head coach also stopped short of saying whether the 32-year-old Kaepernick would have a place on the Dolphins’ roster.

“I don’t have a crystal ball. It’s hard for me to say,” Flores said, via the South Florida Sun-Sentinel.

“We like our quarterback situation right now. We’re going to do our due diligence. I would say anytime we could add a good player, we try to do that. We want to do that. But there’s a lot of moving parts to that.”

Ryan Fitzpatrick, 36, has thrown for 1,364 yards with eight touchdowns and as many interceptions in eight games this season for the Dolphins (2-7), who host the Bills (6-3) on Sunday (1 p.m. ET).

Second-year quarterback Josh Rosen, who was acquired from Arizona in the offseason, has thrown for just 567 yards with one touchdown and five interceptions in six appearances with Miami.

As for other teams’ interest in Kaepernick, Dallas Cowboys coach Jason Garrett said during his Wednesday press conference that he was not certain if the team will be represented at Kaepernick’s workout.

“I’m not really in tuned to that situation very much,” Garrett said. “We have personnel people who evaluate all guys who have an opportunity to hopefully help our team.”

Teams were informed by the league on Tuesday that Kaepernick will do on-field work and be available for an interview, and all 32 teams are invited. Video of both also will be made available to clubs.

In six seasons with the San Francisco 49ers, Kaepernick appeared in 69 games and completed 59.8 percent of his passes for 12,271 yards with 72 touchdowns and 30 interceptions. He added 13 rushing touchdowns.

Kaepernick, who last played in the NFL in 2016, began kneeling during the national anthem before games that season as a protest of racial injustice. He opted out of his contract the following offseason to become a free agent but went unsigned.

He settled a collusion grievance against the NFL in February, with the payout reported to be worth less than $10 million.

–Field Level Media

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49ers’ Sherman: Radio host had ‘valid’ point on Ravens’ Jackson

49ers' Sherman: Radio host had 'valid' point on Ravens' Jackson

49ers’ Sherman: Radio host had ‘valid’ point on Ravens’ Jackson

San Francisco 49ers cornerback Richard Sherman said Thursday that suspended team radio host Tim Ryan’s comments regarding the color of Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson’s skin relative to the color of a football at the mesh point of backfield fakes “was a valid point.”

“I know Tim personally and listened to the dialogue and saw it written, and honestly, I wasn’t as outraged as anybody else,” Sherman told reporters, adding that Ryan had apologized to the team for his comments. “I understand how it could be taken under a certain context and be offensive to some.

“But if you’re saying, ‘Hey, this is a brown ball, they’re wearing dark colors and he has a brown arm,’ honestly, we were having trouble seeing the ball on the field. … Technically, it was a valid point. But you can always phrase things better and not say ‘his black skin,’ but I’ve had a relationship since I got here, and he’s never been anything but a great guy and a professional and a guy who takes his job seriously.”

On Monday, the day after the 49ers’ 20-17 loss at Baltimore, Ryan made his comments on KNBR radio when talking about Jackson’s play-action and read-option fakes. Jackson rushed for 101 yards in the game.

“He was really good at that fake, Lamar Jackson, but when you consider his dark skin color with a dark football with a dark uniform (the Ravens wore black jerseys), you could not see that thing,” Ryan said. “I mean you literally could not see when he was in and out of the mesh point, and if you’re a half step slow on him in terms of your vision forget about it, he’s out of the gate.”

The 49ers announced Wednesday that Ryan would be suspended one game, and Ryan said in a statement he regretted his words.

Sherman said Thursday that Ryan’s point about fakes was accurate.

“It was 100 percent an issue,” Sherman said. “It’s the way (Ryan) presented it. That’s why it wasn’t offensive, because what he was saying was a great point. It has been that way since any zone-read scheme. The mesh point is a tough point of contention. So you add a dark jersey to it, and it’s going to make it even harder. But obviously you can always phrase it better.

“… I don’t think anybody in this locker room is taking it offensively or anything. He has apologized and we know his character, so hopefully this can blow over and we can move past it.”

Jackson is 63 yards shy of setting a single-season record for rushing yards by a quarterback, a record set by Michael Vick (1,039) in 2006.

The 49ers visit the New Orleans Saints this week.

–Field Level Media

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Browns DE Vernon ruled out vs. Steelers

Browns DE Vernon ruled out vs. Steelers

Cleveland Browns

Browns DE Vernon ruled out vs. Steelers

Cleveland Browns defensive end Olivier Vernon was ruled out of Thursday’s game against the visiting Pittsburgh Steelers.

Vernon, 29, is nursing a knee injury that also forced him to miss Cleveland’s 19-16 victory Sunday over the Buffalo Bills.

He has registered 23 tackles, three sacks and a forced fumble in eight contests for the Browns (3-6).

Safety Eric Murray will miss his third consecutive game after undergoing knee surgery.

Tight end Ricky Seals-Jones (knee) and offensive tackle Kendall Lamm were listed as questionable after both players were elevated from limited to full practice participation on Wednesday.

As for the Steelers (5-4), fullback Roosevelt Nix (knee), running back Benny Snell (knee) and wide receiver Ryan Switzer (back) have been ruled out for Thursday’s game.

Cornerback Joe Haden (illness) is considered questionable to face his former team.

Running back James Conner wasn’t listed on the status report after missing the last two games with a right shoulder injury. He sustained that injury in the waning moments of a 27-14 victory against the Miami Dolphins on Oct. 28.

Without Conner in the lineup, the Steelers averaged a season-worst 1.6 yards per carry on 27 attempts in a 17-12 win against the Los Angeles Rams on Sunday.

Conner, 24, has 97 carries for 380 yards and four touchdowns in seven games this season, one year removed from reaching the Pro Bowl with 973 yards and 12 scores.

–Field Level Media

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Jets to stick with Gase in 2020

Jets to stick with Gase in 2020

New York

Jets to stick with Gase in 2020

New York Jets CEO Christopher Johnson is sticking with Adam Gase as head coach for the 2020 season.

Johnson said Wednesday he informed the team last week that the franchise had already decided to enter next season with Gase as its head coach. The Jets are 2-7 in 2018 and in last place in the AFC East.

“We are not where we thought we would be,” Johnson said in an impromptu press conference Wednesday. “It’s exceedingly frustrating. But I’m here watching this team, by the way every day, and coaches, every day, getting better. The thing that’s been so encouraging is there’s never been a moment of fingerpointing. There’s never been a moment where somebody casts blame on somebody else.

“With that I want to assure you there will be no changes in coaches. Adam has the trust of this team. He has the trust of Sam (Darnold). He has Joe’s (general manager Joe Douglas) trust. He has my trust. He’s a good man. He’s a good coach.”

Gase was hired as head coach prior to the season after being fired by the Miami Dolphins.

The Jets scored a season-high 34 points and beat the New York Giants last week.

Johnson allowed for a shift in front office structure when the general manager who hired Gase, Mike Maccagnan, was fired in May. Gase was instrumental in the team hiring professional ally Douglas as general manager.

“We’re just getting started,” Johnson said.

Several players said after beating the Giants they were happy for Gase, 41.

“He’s great,” Darnold said. “There’s no flinch in him. I think that kind of ripples throughout the team. When you’ve got a head coach that’s just going to continue to work no matter what the circumstances are, no matter what people are saying about him, that’s a really good thing.”

–Field Level Media

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Report: Seahawks’ Lockett leaves hospital, returns to Seattle

Report: Seahawks' Lockett leaves hospital, returns to Seattle

Seahawks

Report: Seahawks’ Lockett leaves hospital, returns to Seattle

Seahawks wide receiver Tyler Lockett was scheduled to return to Seattle on Wednesday after spending two nights in a Bay Area hospital, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported.

Team owner Jody Allen provided a plane to fly Lockett back to Washington, Schefter said.

Lockett was taken to Stanford Medical Center on Monday night after a contusion on his shin swelled up, leading Seattle’s’ medical staff to fear he had sustained a more serious injury. He was injured during the Seahawks’ overtime win against the San Francisco 49ers.

It is unclear when the injury occurred. Lockett received the kickoff in the final seconds of the game and took a knee. He did not play in overtime and was carted off the field during the extra period.

He is expected to take part in the Seahawks’ next game on Nov. 24 at Philadelphia. The Seahawks (8-2) have a bye this weekend.

Coach Pete Carroll said Tuesday that Lockett would spend a second night in the hospital for “precautionary reasons.”.

“He’s better than he was (Monday night), and our people think that he’s going to be fine to play next week.”

Lockett, 27, was Seattle’s third-round selection in the 2015 NFL Draft. He has emerged as the team’s No. 1 wide receiver and has 62 receptions for 793 yards and six touchdowns. In his career, he’s played in 73 games (49 starts). He has 256 receptions for 3,574 yards and 25 touchdowns.

–Field Level Media

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A year later, Kuchar says he learned from caddie controversy

A year later, Kuchar says he learned from caddie controversy

A year later, Kuchar says he learned from caddie controversy

Matt Kuchar returned to Mexico this week as the defending champion of the Mayakoba Golf Classic, still defending — and explaining how he made amends for — his actions in the 2018 tournament.

As a reminder, Kuchar’s win at the Mayakoba was his first in almost four years. But he was roundly criticized when he paid local caddie David “El Tucan” Ortiz just $5,000. Tour caddies typically get 10 percent of the winner’s share of the purse, which in this case was nearly $1.3 million.

Kuchar later sent Ortiz an additional $45,000 and made donations to local charities. The golfer’s regular caddie, John Wood, was unable to make the trip to Mexico.

In the pre-tournament news conference in Playa del Carmen, Mexico, on Tuesday, Kuchar addressed the situation.

“I know what happened post tournament with David is something I’m not proud of, made some headlines that certainly I’m definitely not proud of, but I’ve done my best to make amends, to make things right with David, to do things right by the community,” Kuchar said, per Golf.com. “…I’ve tried to use this opportunity to learn from mistakes, to grow, to try to learn and be better.”

He and Ortiz have made up, Kuchar said.

“I’m proud of being able to make the amends like I have with David and the community, and certainly very excited to get this week started and off to hopefully a good start here,” he said.

One of the worst parts, he said, was the impact it had on his family — especially his grandmother.

“That was a tough thing on me and my family, but it was really tough when I heard from my grandmother and she’s reading headlines about her grandson,” he said. “I think I’ve always tried to make her proud. I’ve got kids of my own, you try to set a good example. I’m disappointed in myself. It’s a moment I’m not proud of.”

Kuchar, 41, is ranked No. 22 in the world. He begins his title defense at the Mayakoba on Thursday at 7:50 a.m. ET, paired with Tony Finau and Mexico’s favorite son, Abraham Ancer.

–Field Level Media

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Reports: Texans claim former Bucs CB Hargreaves

Reports: Texans claim former Bucs CB Hargreaves

The Houston Texans claimed former Tampa Bay Buccaneers cornerback Vernon

Reports: Texans claim former Bucs CB Hargreaves

The Houston Texans claimed former Tampa Bay Buccaneers cornerback Vernon Hargreaves off waivers on Wednesday, the team announced.

The former first-round pick (11th overall in 2016) was waived by the Bucs on Tuesday, two days after he was benched for what head coach Bruce Arians deemed a lack of hustle on a long catch-and-run by the Arizona Cardinals.

Hagreaves, 24, led all Buccaneers cornerbacks in defensive snaps (582, 92.2 percent) this season before being let go. He had four pass breakups and one interception — returned for a touchdown — in nine games, all starts.

A Florida product in his fourth season, Hargreaves battled injuries the last two seasons, being limited to 10 total games (eight starts) from 2017-18. In 35 career games (33 starts), he has 19 pass breakups and two interceptions.

In the spring, the Buccaneers picked up Hargreaves’ fifth-year option on his rookie contract, which would be worth $9.954 million in 2020. That remains intact, although the money is guaranteed only for injury.

Houston released cornerback Briean Boddy-Calhoun to make room on the roster. The 26-year-old played in one game for the club and had a sack and forced fumble.

The Texans have been in flux at the cornerback position much of the season.

They released slot man Aaron Colvin in September after just one game in his second year of a four-year, $34 million contract. Starter Bradley Roby hasn’t played since Week 6 due to a hamstring injury, and the team traded a third-round pick to Oakland in October for Gareon Conley, who has started both games since arriving in Houston.

–Field Level Media

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Lions QB Stafford (back) not practicing

Lions QB Stafford (back) not practicing

Detroit quarterback

Lions QB Stafford (back) not practicing

Detroit quarterback Matthew Stafford did not practice on Wednesday as the Lions began preparing for Sunday’s visit from the Dallas Cowboys.

Stafford was held out of last weekend’s game in Chicago after tests on his ailing back revealed that his injury was more serious than previously thought.

Stafford attended Wednesday’s practice, which was held indoors due to heavy snowfall in the area. He “lightly tossed a few footballs” but was not in shells when practice began, according to mlive.com. He was officially listed as a non-participant, with hip and back ailments, on the team’s injury report.

Jeff Driskel worked with the first-team offense Wednesday and would likely make his second straight start if Stafford is unavailable.

Driskel completed 27 of 46 passes for 269 yards with one touchdown and one interception in Sunday’s 20-13 loss to the Bears at Soldier Field.

Stafford, 31, said on Monday he’s not considering being shut down for the rest of 2019 and felt he made the best decision he could on his status for last week.

“I think I made the right decision,” he said. “… My thinking is to try and be out there as soon as I possibly can to help us win.”

Stafford had started every game under center for the Lions since the start of the 2011 season, a string of 136 consecutive starts. This year, he has passed for 2,499 yards with 19 touchdowns and five interceptions in eight games.

–Field Level Media

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Texans claim former Bucs CB Hargreaves

Texans claim former Bucs CB Hargreaves

The Houston Texans claimed former Tampa Bay Buccaneers cornerback Vernon Hargreaves

Texans claim former Bucs CB Hargreaves

The Houston Texans claimed former Tampa Bay Buccaneers cornerback Vernon Hargreaves off waivers on Wednesday, the team announced.

The former first-round pick (11th overall in 2016) was waived by the Bucs on Tuesday, two days after he was benched for what head coach Bruce Arians deemed a lack of hustle on a long catch-and-run by the Arizona Cardinals.

Hagreaves, 24, led all Buccaneers cornerbacks in defensive snaps (582, 92.2 percent) this season before being let go. He had four pass breakups and one interception — returned for a touchdown — in nine games, all starts.

A Florida product in his fourth season, Hargreaves battled injuries the last two seasons, being limited to 10 total games (eight starts) from 2017-18. In 35 career games (33 starts), he has 19 pass breakups and two interceptions.

In the spring, the Buccaneers picked up Hargreaves’ fifth-year option on his rookie contract, which would be worth $9.954 million in 2020. That remains intact, although the money is guaranteed only for injury.

Houston released cornerback Briean Boddy-Calhoun to make room on the roster. The 26-year-old played in one game for the club and had a sack and forced fumble.

The Texans have been in flux at the cornerback position much of the season.

They released slot man Aaron Colvin in September after just one game in his second year of a four-year, $34 million contract. Starter Bradley Roby hasn’t played since Week 6 due to a hamstring injury, and the team traded a third-round pick to Oakland in October for Gareon Conley, who has started both games since arriving in Houston.

–Field Level Media

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Report: Saints LG Peat out 6 weeks

Report: Saints LG Peat out 6 weeks

Report: Saints LG Peat out 6 weeks

The New Orleans Saints will be without starting left guard Andrus Peat for six weeks after he had surgery Wednesday on his broken arm, ESPN reported.

Peat left Sunday’s loss to the Atlanta Falcons shortly before halftime, holding his right arm at his side. He was replaced by Will Clapp, who — along with the rest of the Saints’ offensive line — struggled to protect Drew Brees.

The Falcons racked up six sacks after entering with just seven all season. Defensive tackle Grady Jarrett had 2.5 sacks and five quarterback hits.

Peat, 26, had started all nine games this season entering Sunday, allowing two sacks and committing three penalties, per Stats Perform.

He missed three regular-season games last year and then broke his fibula in the postseason. Nonetheless, he was named to his first Pro Bowl in 2018. Now in his fifth year after being drafted 13th overall in 2015, Peat has yet to play all 16 games in a season.

Clapp has two starts this season, but only as a sixth offensive lineman. He has played 161 snaps overall, allowing 1.5 sacks and committing two penalties.

The Saints have started the same five offensive linemen for all nine games this season.

–Field Level Media

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Report: Falcons TE Hooper out a month

Report: Falcons TE Hooper out a month

Report: Falcons TE Hooper out a month

Atlanta Falcons tight end Austin Hooper is expected to be out “about a month” with an MCL sprain in his knee, NFL Network reported Wednesday.

Asked about the report, head coach Dan Quinn told the media that belief was “not from our building,” but he did say Hooper is a “long shot” to play Sunday at Carolina.

Hooper was hurt late in Sunday’s win at New Orleans, after catching four passes for 17 yards and a touchdown. It was his fourth straight game with a score, giving him six on the season and tying him for the league lead among tight ends with Houston’s Darren Fells.

Hooper, 25, is also tied with Kansas City’s Travis Kelce for the most receptions (56) among tight ends. His yardage total (608) ranks second, behind only Kelce.

A third-round pick out of Stanford in 2016, Hooper is in the final year of his rookie contract and drew some buzz as a possible trade target before the October deadline.

In his fourth season, he has 195 catches for 2,065 yards and 16 touchdowns in 55 games (26 starts).

Quinn also said running back Devonta Freeman is a longshot to play on Sunday. NFL Network reported on Monday that Freeman will miss two weeks with a foot sprain.

–Field Level Media

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Prescott looks to guide Cowboys past Lions

Prescott looks to guide Cowboys past Lions

The Dallas Cowboys have become

Prescott looks to guide Cowboys past Lions

The Dallas Cowboys have become increasingly reliant on the right arm of Dak Prescott, and for good reason.

Prescott is completing his throws at a career-high 68.3-percent rate. He’s averaging 308.6 yards per game and has already thrown for 18 touchdowns, five shy of his career best for a season.

The Detroit Lions also have an accomplished quarterback having a career season in Matthew Stafford, but he has been ruled out with a back injury for Sunday’s contest against the visiting Cowboys. Stafford’s streak of 136 consecutive starts ended when he sat out a 20-13 loss at Chicago last weekend due to broken bones in his back.

The Cowboys (5-4) also lost on Sunday, falling to Minnesota 28-24 despite a big game from Prescott, who passed for 397 yards and three touchdowns. It was his second consecutive three-touchdown performance.

Prescott has completed 40 passes that have gone for 20 or more yards.

“He’s playing with conviction and confidence,” Cowboys coach Jason Garrett said. “We’re calling some of those things, trying to give those guys an opportunity to win down the field. Protection has been really good, allowing those routes to develop down the field and for Dak to see them. All of that contributes to it, and those big plays matter.”

Lions coach Matt Patricia has noticed on film that Prescott has also become a smarter quarterback.

“He’s doing a great job at the line of scrimmage,” Patricia said. “He’s changing plays, he’s making audibles, he’s making adjustments based on what he’s seeing from the defense. His post-snap read of a coverage is a lot better. He’s doing a really good job of deciphering some of those looks he’s getting and really taking advantage of the skill players he has out there.”

Top target Amari Cooper sliced through the Minnesota secondary for 11 catches, 147 yards and a touchdown. But the Cowboys didn’t have good balance, as Ezekiel Elliott was held to 47 yards on 20 carries, snapping a streak of three straight 100-yard games. Elliott, who received a record contract extension just prior to the season opener, is averaging 4.4 yards per carry and has scored six touchdowns.

Detroit’s offense can be dynamic when its top players are healthy, but that’s not the case. Not only is Stafford injured, but top running back Kerryon Johnson is on injured reserve with a knee injury. Ty Johnson was injured against the Bears, however he was cleared from concussion protocol on Saturday.

Jeff Driskel started in place of Stafford in Chicago and passed for 269 yards and a 47-yard touchdown to Kenny Golladay. Driskel was also intercepted once, sacked twice and scrambled for 37 yards.

“I was really pleased with Jeff and the way he played in the game,” Patricia said.

Golladay has made the most of his 38 receptions, averaging 18.3 yards per catch while scoring eight touchdowns.

“He makes a lot of plays down the field,” Garrett said. “He’s big, he’s athletic, he’s talented, and he’s very good at going up and getting the football.”

The Lions (3-5-1) have lost five of their last six games, with all but one decided by seven points or fewer.

“These games have all been really competitive, really tough mentally and physically,” Patricia said. “Our guys are doing a great job of grinding all the way through that. There are a lot of situations where we’ve seen teams in the past that just mentally can’t do that every single week. Each game is coming down to maybe one or two plays.”

For the Cowboys, the offensive line is banged up. Right tackle La’el Collins (knee, back) was limited in Friday’s practice and is listed as questionable to face Detroit. Offensive guard Connor Williams underwent minor knee surgery and won’t play Sunday.

–Field Level Media

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Surprising Dolphins set for rematch with Bills

Surprising Dolphins set for rematch with Bills

Sunday's matchup between the

Surprising Dolphins set for rematch with Bills

Sunday’s matchup between the Buffalo Bills (6-3) and the host Miami Dolphins (2-7) should be easy to decipher.

After all, the Bills beat the Dolphins 31-21 in Buffalo on Oct. 20, and they are favored by a touchdown to do it again on Sunday — while sitting four games better in the standings.

But it’s not quite that simple. While Dolphins management signaled a rebuilding season by selling off current assets for future draft picks, Miami’s players certainly have not given up.

That has been evident the past two weeks, as the Dolphins defeated the New York Jets 26-18 on Nov. 3 and the Indianapolis Colts 16-12 on the road this past Sunday.

“We are starting to come together,” first-year head coach Brian Flores said of Miami’s surprising two-game win streak after an 0-7 start. “Being able to overcome adversity is part of playing in the NFL, and we’re doing that at a higher level now.”

The Dolphins are also getting healthier, starting with standout safety Reshad Jones, who has missed four straight games due to cracked ribs. Jones was limited in practice this week but said he expects to play on Sunday.

Jones should provide a big boost to a secondary that has taken two big blows this year — the trade of safety Minkah Fitzpatrick to the Pittsburgh Steelers and the season-ending knee injury sustained by cornerback Xavien Howard, a 2018 Pro Bowler who tied for the NFL lead with seven interceptions last season.

Miami’s revival has been led by graybeard quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick, who turns 37 on Nov. 24. He was Buffalo’s starter from 2009 to 2012, posting a 20-33 record during those years.

Fitzpatrick began this year as Miami’s starter and got benched in favor of Josh Rosen, only to regain his position. Since returning as Miami’s starter, Fitzpatrick has tossed six touchdowns with four interceptions and a 2-2 record.

Buffalo counters with a quarterback on the other side of the NFL age scale — 23-year-old Josh Allen, who was the Bills’ first-round pick (seventh overall) last year.

Allen is 11-9 in two years as Buffalo’s starter, completing 56.1 percent of his passes. He has thrown 20 touchdown passes and 19 interceptions, including 10 and seven, respectively, this season.

Allen has boosted his completion percentage from 52.8 as a rookie to 59.9 in his second season, but the offense hasn’t been clicking on all cylinders.

The Bills rank 25th in the NFL in scoring average (19.3), and, despite Allen’s strong arm, he has failed to complete a pass that traveled at least 30 yards in the air.

“If I could pinpoint the problem, I would probably be hitting (deep passes),” Allen said. “I don’t know if I’m super anxious about underthrowing the ball and risking an interception. The ball comes out, it feels good, and it carries a bit further than I think. It’s something I will continue to try to improve.”

Sunday’s game will be a homecoming for a couple of Bills starters who played for the University of Miami: running back Frank Gore and right guard Jon Feliciano. Gore and defensive tackle Jordan Phillips are former Dolphins, and rookie running back Devin Singletary played at nearby Florida Atlantic University.

–Field Level Media

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Jets, Redskins meet, looking for elusive win

Jets, Redskins meet, looking for elusive win

The Washington Redskins and New York

Jets, Redskins meet, looking for elusive win

The Washington Redskins and New York Jets are going nowhere fast. But at least they both have some idea as to who will be leading them for the foreseeable future.

A pair of teams angling for a top-10 draft pick will meet Sunday afternoon, when the Redskins host the Jets in a nonconference matchup.

The Jets snapped a three-game losing streak last Sunday with a 34-27 win over the New York Giants in the quadrennial battle between the Big Apple area’s football teams. The Redskins were off last week following their third straight defeat, a 24-9 loss to the Bills in Buffalo on Nov. 3.

The win over their co-MetLife Stadium tenants improved the Jets to 2-7 and eased the heat up a bit on embattled first-year head coach Adam Gase. The club’s slow start “earned” Gase comparisons to the standard for poor Jets coaches, Rich Kotite, who went 4-28 in his two years with the team in 1995-96.

On Wednesday, Jets CEO Christopher Johnson made it clear he will not make a coaching change, either during this season or afterward.

“I want to assure you there will be no changes in coaches here,” Johnson told reporters. “Adam has the trust of this team. He has the trust of (quarterback) Sam (Darnold). He has (general manager) Joe (Douglas’) trust. He has my trust. He’s a good man, he’s a good coach.”

Even before Johnson’s comments, the Redskins (1-8) were far more likely of the two teams to be looking for a new coach. Jay Gruden was fired following an 0-5 start, and interim head coach Bill Callahan, who is occupying the top position for the first time since 2003, is not expected to be a serious candidate for the full-time position.

But Callahan answered one burning question in the nation’s capital Monday, when he said rookie quarterback Dwayne Haskins will remain the team’s starter for the remainder of the season.

“I’m really excited,” Haskins said Wednesday. “I’ve worked really hard to get to this point.”

Haskins made his first start against the Bills in place of Case Keenum, who was sidelined with a concussion. His task Sunday will be the same as it was in Buffalo: To somehow get the Redskins into the end zone.

The Redskins haven’t scored a touchdown in their last three games, the longest drought in the franchise’s 88-year history. Rookie wide receiver Terry McLaurin has Washington’s most recent touchdown, a 33-yard catch from Keenum in the second quarter of a 17-16 win over the Miami Dolphins on Oct. 13.

After a 9-0 loss to the San Francisco 49ers on Oct. 20, the Redskins were limited to three Dustin Hopkins field goals in each of the losses to the Minnesota Vikings and Bills.

The Jets may be limited on offense, as well, Sunday. Running back Le’Veon Bell, who has been battling rib and knee ailments, did not practice Wednesday due to an illness and wide receiver Robby Anderson, the top deep threat for Darnold, was limited due to back and shoulder injuries. Linebacker C.J. Mosley (groin) did not practice and is expected to miss his eighth game of the season.

Redskins wide receiver Paul Richardson (hamstring) and running back Chris Thompson (toe) were both sidelined Wednesday. Thompson will likely miss his fourth straight game.

–Field Level Media

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Panthers ready for visit from improved Falcons

Panthers ready for visit from improved Falcons

After what the

Panthers ready for visit from improved Falcons

After what the Carolina Panthers knew would be a challenging stretch, their return to NFC South competition is going to bring its own obstacles.

That’s because the Atlanta Falcons, who are fresh off a surprising result, are visiting for Sunday afternoon’s game at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, N.C.

“They’re coming off a big win,” Panthers coach Ron Rivera said. “They’ve struggled this year. They’ve found their footing.”

That came when Atlanta went on the road and stunned NFC South leader New Orleans 26-9 last week.

The Panthers (5-4) hold second place in the division, and they need to make the most of a rash of games against division opponents, two each against Atlanta and New Orleans.

“We’ve got seven games left. In those seven games, we play our divisional rivals (four times),” Rivera said. “We have the opportunity to control our own destiny as we go forward.”

Now the Falcons (2-7) have a rare good vibe after snapping a six-game losing streak.

“It has been a while since we’ve had a lead,” coach Dan Quinn said. “For us, it was the best example of all three phases staying connected. … I was pleased to see the aggressiveness. I was pleased to see the toughness of the team.”

With Cam Newton deemed out for the rest of the season, the Panthers have been able to turn more decisively to Kyle Allen at quarterback. He has made eight career starts, including the last seven games this year.

“He’s young, let’s not forget,” Rivera said. “We’re going to go through some growing pains. He’s going to give us everything he can.”

Rivera said Allen generally has done good things, though there might have been situations last week at Green Bay where he tried to do too much in a 24-16 defeat.

There is a growing comfort level and familiarity with Allen taking snaps.

“The biggest thing is his decision-making has started to speed up,” Rivera said. “That’s a benefit to the offense.”

Quinn said it appears that Allen is capable of making all the throws and shows a willingness to put the ball in tough spots. Some of Allen’s receiving targets have emerged with more production, so the Falcons are cognizant of DJ Moore and Curtis Samuel.

“They’ve really added speed,” Quinn said. “These guys can make a ton of plays.”

The Falcons aren’t sure about the status of running back Devonta Freeman and tight end Austin Hooper because of injuries, with Quinn saying it would be a long shot for either to play. Brian Hill could fill in for Freeman.

“He has earned that respect and trust (of teammates),” Quinn said of Hill. “… If it goes to that, he’s definitely ready.”

Another option at running back could be Kenjon Barner — whose career includes two stints with the Panthers — though he has only two carries this season.

Atlanta will want to see what can be produced in the rushing attack because Carolina ranks 29th in the NFL by giving up 136.7 yards per game on the ground, and dead last with 5.17 yards per carry permitted. On the flip side, the Panthers have posted a league-high 36 sacks.

“Probably the biggest thing we’re looking for is that everyone is where they need to be,” Rivera said of stopping the running game.

The Panthers could have issues in the secondary, as their top three cornerbacks — James Bradberry (groin), Donte Jackson (hip) and Ross Cockrell (quad) — all sat out Wednesday’s practice.

Atlanta quarterback Matt Ryan missed Wednesday’s practice as he continues to work to 100 percent after an ankle injury a few weeks ago, but he is expected to practice later in the week and play Sunday.

The Falcons have won the last three meetings and six out of seven against Carolina. This is Atlanta’s second game of five in a row against NFC South opponents.

–Field Level Media

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Vikings’ Thielen (hamstring) misses practice

Vikings' Thielen (hamstring) misses practice

Vikings’ Thielen (hamstring) misses practice

Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Adam Thielen sat out practice Wednesday due to a hamstring injury that has hampered him for three weeks.

Thielen didn’t play Oct. 24 against the Washington Redskins and last Sunday against the Dallas Cowboys. In between, he started against the Kansas City Chiefs on Nov. 3 but appeared in just seven plays and didn’t catch the lone ball that was thrown his way.

The Vikings are preparing for a home game against the Denver Broncos on Sunday, and then Minnesota will have its bye the following week. Even so, coach Mike Zimmer said he isn’t giving consideration to resting any of his injured players this week with the intention of getting them an extended break.

“When guys are healthy, they play,” Zimmer told reporters.

Thielen, 29, has 27 catches for 391 yards and six touchdowns this year. He was selected to the Pro Bowl each of the past two years, topping 1,200 receiving yards both seasons.

Vikings guard Josh Kline (concussion), defensive tackle Shamar Stephen (knee) and nose tackle Linval Joseph (knee) also were non-participants in practice Wednesday. Safety Andrew Sendejo (groin), cornerback Trae Waynes (ankle), and center Brett Jones (knee) were limited practice participants.

–Field Level Media

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Saints stop Falcons, clinch NFC South title

Saints stop Falcons, clinch NFC South title

Taysom Hill scored

Saints stop Falcons, clinch NFC South title

Taysom Hill scored two touchdowns, and Wil Lutz kicked four field goals as the visiting New Orleans Saints clinched the NFC South championship by beating the Atlanta Falcons 26-18 on Thursday night.

Hill, a backup quarterback who plays a variety of roles, deflected a punt to set up his touchdown reception from Drew Brees, and he replaced Brees on a third-down play that produced his rushing touchdown.

The Saints (10-2) won their third consecutive division title by avenging a 26-9 home loss to the Falcons 18 days earlier.

Brees had relatively modest statistics, completing 18 of 30 for 184 yards, but that was more than enough thanks to Hill’s big plays and the Saints defense, which created three turnovers and sacked Matt Ryan nine times.

Ryan, playing without injured top receiver Julio Jones, completed 35 of 50 for 312 yards and two touchdowns. However, he threw interceptions to rookie defensive lineman Shy Tuttle and rookie defensive back C.J. Gardner-Johnson.

He also fumbled in the fourth quarter when hit by Marcus Davenport, and Vonn Bell recovered for New Orleans.

The victory kept New Orleans within one loss of NFC West leader San Francisco (10-1) for the top spot in the conference. The 49ers, who visit AFC North-leading Baltimore on Sunday, visit the Saints on Dec. 8.

The Saints led 17-9 at halftime and extended the advantage on Lutz’s 47-yard field goal late in the third quarter.

Lutz added a 42-yarder and a 45-yarder in the fourth quarter before Ryan threw a 13-yard touchdown to Russell Gage with 3:26 left.

The Falcons (3-9) recovered an onside kick, and Youngshoe Koo kicked a 43-yard field goal before they recovered another onside kick. They finally turned the ball over on downs at the Atlanta 48.

At the end of the game’s first possession, Hill tipped a punt by Atlanta’s Ryan Allen, and the Saints gained possession as the New Orleans 30.

Four plays later, Brees threw a 3-yard touchdown pass to Hill to produce the only points in the first quarter.

Ryan threw an 18-yard touchdown pass to Jaeden Graham, but Koo missed the extra point, leaving New Orleans with a 7-6 lead.

Lutz kicked a 22-yard field goal, Hill ran 30 yards for a touchdown, and Koo booted a 45-yard field goal to leave the Saints with a 17-9 lead heading into halftime.

–Field Level Media

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NFL roundup: Saints clinch NFC South title

NFL roundup: Saints clinch NFC South title

Taysom Hill scored two touchdowns

NFL roundup: Saints clinch NFC South title

Taysom Hill scored two touchdowns and Wil Lutz kicked four field goals as the visiting New Orleans Saints clinched the NFC South championship by beating the Atlanta Falcons 26-18 on Thursday night.

Hill, a backup quarterback who plays a variety of roles, deflected a punt to set up his touchdown reception from Drew Brees, and he replaced Brees on a third-down play that produced his rushing touchdown.

The Saints (10-2) won their third consecutive division title by avenging a 26-9 home loss to the Falcons 18 days earlier.

Brees had relatively modest statistics, completing 18 of 30 for 184 yards, but that was more than enough thanks to Hill’s big plays and the Saints defense, which created three turnovers and sacked Matt Ryan nine times. Ryan completed 35 of 50 for 312 yards and two touchdowns but he threw two interceptions.

Bills 26, Cowboys 15

Josh Allen threw for 231 yards and a touchdown, completing 12 straight passes at one point, and the defense checked Dallas after an opening touchdown drive in Buffalo’s win in Arlington, Texas.

Buffalo (9-3) tightened its grip on a playoff spot and moved within 1 1/2 games of AFC East leader New England, which plays at Houston on Sunday night.

Dallas (6-6) now is a half-game ahead of Philadelphia in the NFC East. The Eagles visit Miami on Sunday.

Bears 24, Lions 20

Mitchell Trubisky passed for 338 yards and three touchdowns, including the go-ahead, 3-yard score to David Montgomery with 2:17 left, and Chicago spoiled a surprisingly strong NFL debut from David Blough.

Montgomery rushed for 75 yards on 16 carries and caught two passes for 12 yards. Anthony Miller caught nine passes for 140 yards, while Allen Robinson hauled in eight for 86 yards and a touchdown for the Bears (6-6), who have won two in a row.

Blough, a third-string quarterback, passed for 280 yards and two touchdowns before getting picked off on the team’s final possession. Kenny Golladay had four receptions for 158 yards and a 75-yard touchdown for the Lions (3-8-1), who have lost five straight and eight of nine.

–Field Level Media

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Report: Giants to place LS DeOssie on IR

Report: Giants to place LS DeOssie on IR

The

Report: Giants to place LS DeOssie on IR

The New York Giants are expected to place long snapper Zak DeOssie on injured reserve, Mike Garafolo of NFL Network reported.

DeOssie, who is nursing wrist and knee injuries, was responsible for a bad snap that led to a 42-yard missed field goal by Aldrick Rosas in New York’s 19-14 setback against Chicago on Sunday.

The 35-year-old DeOssie, who is in the final year of his contract, has played in 199 career games with the Giants since being selected by the team in the fourth round of the 2007 NFL Draft.

DeOssie joins quarterback Eli Manning as the lone remaining members left on New York’s roster after the franchise’s last two Super Bowl championships.

The Giants (2-9) have long snapper Colin Holba on the practice squad if they need to make a move prior to Sunday’s game against the visiting Green Bay Packers (8-3).

–Field Level Media

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Patriots sign K Forbath, release Folk

Patriots sign K Forbath, release Folk

The New

Patriots sign K Forbath, release Folk

The New England Patriots released kicker Nick Folk after he underwent an appendectomy earlier this week, the team announced on Friday.

Replacing him on the roster ahead of Sunday’s game against the Houston Texans is free agent kicker Kai Forbath.

Forbath, 32, has yet to play in the NFL this season after appearing in three games with the Jacksonville Jaguars in 2018, going 4 of 5 on field-goal attempts. Forbath was the Minnesota Vikings’ full-time kicker in 2017.

Rookie punter Jake Bailey, who kicked field goals in high school, has handled the Patriots’ kickoffs for the past seven weeks.

It is the second time this season the Patriots have needed a replacement at kicker after Stephen Gostkowski (hip) was placed on season-ending injury reserve. They previously signed Mike Nugent but released him after a month, during which he made 5 of 8 field-goal tries and 15 of 16 extra-point attempts.

Folk went 7 of 9 on field-goal tries and 3-for-3 on PATs for the Patriots since he was signed Oct. 30.

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Day pulls out of Presidents Cup with back injury

Day pulls out of Presidents Cup with back injury

Former

Day pulls out of Presidents Cup with back injury

Former World No. 1 golfer Jason Day has withdrawn from the International team in the Presidents Cup due to a back injury.

International team captain Ernie Els tabbed Byeong Hun An of South Korea as the replacement for the Australian, who said he was practicing in California when he aggravated the injury.

The Presidents Cup begins on Dec. 12 at The Royal Melbourne Golf Club in Australia from Dec. 9-15.

“I’m quite disappointed I won’t be coming home to play in either the Australian Open in Sydney or the Presidents Cup the following week in Melbourne,” Day said via a statement.

“I was quite looking forward to both events. I had been prepping all week in Palm Springs when I was injured. Frustratingly, I’ve been through back problems before and my medical team decided it best to shut down all practice and play.

“Therefore, I wanted to inform Golf Australia as well as provide Ernie as much time as possible to best prepare our International Team for Royal Melbourne. I look forward to playing at home in the near future. My best to all the competitors in Sydney and my teammates in Melbourne.”

Day had been selected by Els as one of his at-large picks despite being winless since early 2018. The 32-year-old managed just one top-10 finish after the Masters last season.

“We were eager to have Jason as part of the team at Royal Melbourne and his experience will be missed,” Els said in a statement. “The good news is that there were a number of strong and qualified players available to choose from when I made my captain’s selections. To have someone as steady and talented as Ben An puts us in a great position to succeed. Ben played extremely well this fall and throughout the year and he will fit in nicely on this team.”

An gives the International team two golfers from South Korea along with Sungjae Im, who was the PGA Tour rookie of the year.

“I’m sorry to hear that Jason has been forced to withdraw from the International Team and I wish him a speedy recovery. It was a huge surprise to receive a call from Ernie who told me that I was in the team,” An said.

“It has been a goal of mine all season to be on the International Team and I am honored to play in my first Presidents Cup. I’m looking forward to joining Ernie and the rest of the team in Melbourne and, more importantly, contribute to the International Team’s goal to win the Cup.”

— Field Level Media

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Redskins LB Kerrigan to miss first game of NFL career

Redskins LB Kerrigan to miss first game of NFL career

Washington Redskins

Redskins LB Kerrigan to miss first game of NFL career

Washington Redskins linebacker Ryan Kerrigan will miss the first game of his NFL career this weekend, interim coach Bill Callahan announced Friday.

Kerrigan, who has started in 139 consecutive regular-season games, has been ruled out of Sunday’s road tilt against the Carolina Panthers (5-6) due to a concussion.

The 31-year-old Kerrigan has collected 24 tackles, 4.5 sacks and a forced fumble this season in 11 games for the Redskins (2-9).

Kerrigan has recorded 435 tackles, 89.0 sacks, 26 forced fumbles and three interceptions since being selected by Washington with the 16th overall pick of the 2011 NFL Draft.

The Redskins also ruled out wide receiver Paul Richardson, who is nursing a hamstring injury.

–Field Level Media

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Report: Broncos QB Lock in line to start vs. Chargers

Report: Broncos QB Lock in line to start vs. Chargers

Report: Broncos QB Lock in line to start vs. Chargers

Denver Broncos rookie quarterback Drew Lock is in line to come off injured reserve and start Sunday’s game against the Los Angeles Chargers, NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported Friday.

Per Rapoport, Lock has taken first-team reps all week and is expected to replace Brandon Allen, who has started Denver’s last three games after the season-ending injury to Joe Flacco.

Lock has been on injured reserve since spraining his throwing thumb in the preseason. He was designated to return two weeks ago, allowing him to practice and opening a three-week window to be activated to the 53-man roster.

Allen, who was claimed off waivers on Sept. 1 from the Los Angeles Rams, has posted a 1-2 mark over the last three games for the Broncos (3-8).

Allen completed 10 of 25 passes for 82 yards and an interception in Sunday’s 20-3 loss to the Buffalo Bills.

In all, the Broncos’ offense generated just 134 yards in Buffalo, the lowest output in a game since 1992 and the first time under 200 total yards since 2003.

Lock was drafted 42nd overall in 2019 out of Missouri, where he completed 56.9 percent of his passes for 12,193 yards and 99 touchdowns across four seasons.

–Field Level Media

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Chargers activate safeties James, Phillips

Chargers activate safeties James, Phillips

The Los Angeles Chargers activated

Chargers activate safeties James, Phillips

The Los Angeles Chargers activated starting safeties Derwin James and Adrian Phillips from injured reserve on Saturday.

The Chargers have played without James all season, and Phillips broke his right arm in Week 2.

James was selected first-team All-Pro as a rookie last season after collecting 105 tackles, 3.5 sacks, 13 passes defensed and three interceptions. He was drafted 17th overall out of Florida State in 2018.

James underwent surgery on Aug. 22 in which a new screw was inserted in his right foot after an old screw — from an operation while at Florida State — bent during a training camp practice.

Phillips, 27, also was a first-team All-Pro in 2018 for his contributions on special teams.

He played 16 games (seven starts) and made 94 tackles, intercepted a pass and defensed nine others.

Also Saturday, the Charges promoted wide receiver Jalen Guyton to the active roster. In corresponding moves, defensive tackle T.Y. McGill and safety Shalom Luani were waived, and receiver Geremy Davis was placed on injured reserve.

The Chargers (4-7) play at the Denver Broncos (3-8) on Sunday.

–Field Level Media

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Steelers’ Conner doubtful, Smith-Schuster out vs. Browns

Steelers' Conner doubtful, Smith-Schuster out vs. Browns

Steelers’ Conner doubtful, Smith-Schuster out vs. Browns

The Pittsburgh Steelers will be without wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster and likely running back James Conner for Sunday’s home game against the Cleveland Browns, multiple media outlets reported on Friday.

Smith-Schuster cleared concussion protocol this week but a knee injury will force him to miss his second straight game. For the season, Smith-Schuster has 38 catches for 524 yards and three touchdowns in 10 games.

Conner returned to practice the last two days but has been listed as doubtful to play against the Browns due to a shoulder injury.

If inactive to play Sunday, Conner will miss his second consecutive game and fourth in five weeks. He has rushed for 390 yards and four touchdowns on 102 carries in eight games. He also has 30 receptions for 242 yards and two TDs.

The Browns (5-6) visit the Steelers (6-5), who are three games behind the first-place Baltimore Ravens in the AFC North.

— Field Level Media

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Report: Pryor in stable condition after stabbing

Report: Pryor in stable condition after stabbing

Free agent wide receiver Terrelle Pryor

Report: Pryor in stable condition after stabbing

Free agent wide receiver Terrelle Pryor was stabbed early Saturday morning in Pittsburgh by a woman he is being charged with assaulting, according to a report by WPXI.

Pryor, 30, reportedly was stabbed in the shoulder and chest in the early hours overnight at his apartment in the Heinz Lofts complex. After initially being reported in critical condition, the former wideout has been upgraded to stable and is expected to survive after undergoing surgery.

Pittsburgh police have a woman in custody, identified as 24-year-old Shalaya Briston. Per the WPXI report, she faces charges of criminal attempt homicide and aggravated assault, with Pryor being charged with simple assault.

WPXI cited the police complaint in saying officers acted on a domestic disturbance call at 4:15 a.m. and found a trail of blood from Pryor’s apartment to the elevator and eventually to his car in the parking garage. The police report states that detectives found a semi-automatic Glock pistol inside Pryor’s car.

The report further stated that Pryor was driven to University of Pittsburgh Medical Center by Briston and two other women at approximately 4:30 a.m.

The former Ohio State quarterback, who has played for five teams since entering the league as a quarterback in 2011, was released by the Jacksonville Jaguars in September.

Pryor had 16 total receptions in eight games last season while playing for the Buffalo Bills and New York Jets. He had 1,007 receiving yards in 2016 with the Cleveland Browns. He has seven career receiving touchdowns.

–Field Level Media

Read More 193 Words

Report: Pryor in critical condition after stabbing

Report: Pryor in critical condition after stabbing

Free agent wide receiver Terrelle Pryor

Report: Pryor in critical condition after stabbing

Free agent wide receiver Terrelle Pryor was stabbed Friday night in Pittsburgh and is in critical condition, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter.

Pryor, 30, reportedly was stabbed in the shoulder and chest sometime overnight at his apartment in the Heinz Lofts complex.

Pittsburgh police have an unidentified woman in custody, according to Pittsburgh’s Action News 4.

The former Ohio State quarterback, who has played for five teams since entering the league as a quarterback in 2011, was released by the Jacksonville Jaguars in September.

Pryor had 16 total receptions in eight games last season while playing for the Buffalo Bills and New York Jets. He had 1,007 receiving yards in 2016 with the Cleveland Browns. He has seven career touchdowns.

–Field Level Media

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NFL notebook: Patriots QB Brady limited in practice

NFL notebook: Patriots QB Brady limited in practice

Though they remain atop the AFC

NFL notebook: Patriots QB Brady limited in practice

Though they remain atop the AFC East with a 10-2 record, the New England Patriots continue to experience setbacks. The latest involves 42-year-old quarterback Tom Brady, who was limited in practice Thursday due to toe and right elbow injuries.

Brady’s toe ailment reportedly is a new development, but his limited participation is a step back from Wednesday, when he was listed on the injury report as a full participant.

Among the Patriots on Thursday’s injury report, only center Ted Karras (knee) and defensive lineman Byron Cowart (head) were listed as non-participants. On Sunday, the Patriots host the Kansas City Chiefs in a battle of top contenders for the AFC title.

A week ago the flu bug contributed to 17 players landing on their final injury report before the road game against the Houston Texans, which the Patriots lost 28-22.

–Pittsburgh Steelers running back James Conner said that he will miss Sunday’s game against the Arizona Cardinals as he continues to battle a shoulder injury.

Conner also told reporters that he isn’t sure when he will return. The game against Arizona will mark the third straight and fifth in six games that Conner has missed since being injured against the Miami Dolphins on Oct. 28.

Meanwhile, wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster missed another practice with a knee injury and will likely miss his third straight game.

–Although Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Adam Thielen did not practice, head coach Mike Zimmer likes his chances of playing Sunday against the Detroit Lions.

Thielen has missed three straight games and four in the past five due to the hamstring injury he initially sustained at Detroit on Oct. 20. Trying to come back against Kansas City in Week 9, he managed only six plays before returning to the sideline in the first quarter.

Also missing practice Thursday was offensive tackle Riley Reiff, who sat out the second half of Monday night’s game against the Seattle Seahawks after sustaining a concussion.

–Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield was back at practice after a one-day absence to rest his bruised right hand.

Mayfield hit his hand on the helmet of Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker Bud Dupree after he completed his throwing motion late in the first half of Sunday’s 20-13 loss before returning in the second half. He passed for 196 yards, with a touchdown to Kareem Hunt and an interception.

–Denver Broncos linebacker Von Miller told reporters he has an MCL sprain and could miss his second straight game when they visit the Houston Texans on Sunday.

Last week against the Los Angeles Chargers, the seven-time Pro Bowl selection sat out the first game he had missed since the 2013 season.

–The Jacksonville Jaguars placed star linebacker Myles Jack on season-ending injured reserve with a knee injury.

A second-round pick out of UCLA in 2016, Jack missed the first game of his four-year NFL career in last Sunday’s 28-11 loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Jack, 24, finishes the season with 66 tackles and one interception in 11 games.

–Colts kicker Adam Vinatieri has battled knee pain all season, but he will await results from medical tests before determining his status for Sunday’s road game against Tampa Bay.

The 46-year-old is in the midst of the worst season of his career. As insurance, the Colts claimed kicker Chase McLaughlin off waivers from the San Francisco 49ers on Wednesday.

–Dallas Cowboys starting nose tackle Antwaun Woods is facing charges of marijuana possession and evidence tampering, police said, after he was arrested during a traffic stop Tuesday night in Frisco, Texas.

The 26-year-old was charged with possession of more than 2 ounces but less than 4 ounces of marijuana. Police also cited Woods for possession of drug paraphernalia. He is no longer in custody.

–Colin Kaepernick’s passes from his November workout in Georgia have not helped him to land an NFL job, but did help a wide receiver who caught some of those throws.

The Washington Redskins signed wide receiver Jordan Veasy to their practice squad after the Cal product had tried to give Kaepernick a boost.

–The Kansas City Chiefs placed Darrel Williams on injured reserve with a hamstring issue, ending the running back’s season.

Defensive back Alex Brown was moved from the practice squad to the 53-man active roster, while wide receiver Gehrig Dieter was added to the practice squad.

–Redskins running back Adrian Peterson is one of eight finalists for the NFL’s Art Rooney Sportsmanship Award, which goes to the player who most exemplifies outstanding sportsmanship on the field.

The other finalists are Jaguars defensive end Calais Campbell, Chargers linebacker Thomas Davis, Colts receiver T.Y. Hilton, Patriots special teamer Matthew Slater, Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford, 49ers offensive tackle Joe Staley and Los Angeles Rams safety Eric Weddle.

–The Cardinals claimed tight end Dan Arnold off waivers from the New Orleans Saints. In a corresponding move, Arizona placed defensive lineman Jonathan Bullard on injured reserve.

–Field Level Media

Read More 756 Words

Report: Browns S Burnett has torn Achilles

Report: Browns S Burnett has torn Achilles

Cleveland Browns

Report: Browns S Burnett has torn Achilles

Cleveland Browns safety Morgan Burnett likely has a torn Achilles, an injury that would knock out the veteran for the rest of the season, according to an NFL Network report.

Burnett came away with the injury in Thursday’s victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers and will undergo an MRI to confirm the diagnosis on Friday.

If lost for the year, it would be a significant blow to a Browns defense that is also expected to be without defensive end Myles Garrett for an extended period of time. A suspension is expected after Garrett struck Steelers quarterback Mason Rudolph with his own helmet in the closing moments of Thursday’s game.

Burnett, 30, in his first season with the Browns, has 41 tackles, two sacks and an interception in eight games this season. His interception came in Thursday’s 21-7 victory.

The defense had recently helped the team recover from a four-game losing streak by giving up 23 total points in consecutive victories over the Buffalo Bills and Steelers.

Over his 10-year career, Burnett has 788 tackles, 9.5 sacks and 10 interceptions in 121 games (112 starts). He played eight seasons with the Green Bay Packers after he was a third-round draft pick in 2010 and played last season with the Pittsburgh Steelers.

–Field Level Media

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Kaepernick to work out for NFL teams on Saturday

Kaepernick to work out for NFL teams on Saturday

Kaepernick to work out for NFL teams on Saturday

Quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who last played in the NFL in 2016, will have a private workout for teams on Saturday in Atlanta.

Teams were informed by the league that the 32-year-old Kaepernick will do on-field work and be available for an interview, and all 32 teams are invited. Video of both also will be made available to clubs.

According to ESPN, the league sent a memo to the teams that read: “Earlier this year, we discussed some possible steps with his representatives and they recently emphasized his level of preparation and that he is ready to work out for clubs and be interviewed by them. We have therefore arranged this opportunity for him to work out, and for all clubs to have the opportunity to evaluate his current readiness and level of interest in resuming his NFL career.”

Kaepernick, who began kneeling during the national anthem before games in 2016 as a protest of racial injustice, settled a collusion grievance against the NFL in February, with the payout reported to be worth less than $10 million.

He opted out of his contract with the San Francisco 49ers after the 2016 season — the team reportedly was ready to release him — and has not played since.

Last month, Kaepernick’s representatives released a two-page statement “to address the false narratives” regarding his efforts to join an NFL team.

Among the details, the statement said no team has offered Kaepernick a job or brought him in for a workout since the 2016 season. It noted that the Seattle Seahawks brought Kaepernick in for a visit, but did not work him out, and that no other team has interviewed or visited with the quarterback “despite other false statements in the media to the contrary.”

Kaepernick’s representatives said their client had been working out five days a week for three years and has not demanded a specific salary. They said at the time they had reached out to all 32 NFL organizations “with little to no response from teams about an opportunity.”

Kaepernick spent six seasons with the 49ers after being a second-round pick in the 2011 NFL Draft. He played in only three games as a rookie, then started 58 games over the next five seasons. He has completed 1,011 of 1,692 passes for 12,271 yards, 72 touchdowns and 30 interceptions in 69 career games.

He also has rushed for 2,300 yards and 13 scores, averaging 6.1 yards per attempt.

–Field Level Media

Read More 341 Words

Colts work out 4 kickers amid Vinatieri’s struggles

Colts work out 4 kickers amid Vinatieri's struggles

With Adam

Colts work out 4 kickers amid Vinatieri’s struggles

With Adam Vinatieri enduring arguably the worst season of his prolific 24-year career, the Indianapolis Colts worked out four kickers on Tuesday.

Elliott Fry, Greg Joseph, Mike Nugent and Nick Rose participated in the workouts, according to multiple reports.

Vinatieri is the NFL’s all-time leader in scoring (2,656 points) and made field goals (596).

But the 46-year-old has missed two extra point attempts and three field goal tries in the last three games. For the season, he has made only 14 of 20 extra points and 14 of 19 field goals.

This is the second time this season the Colts have worked out possible replacements for the three-time All-Pro and four-time Super Bowl champion.

Vinatieri missed five kicks in the first two weeks of the season, and the team auditioned six kickers, but ultimately stuck with the veteran.

–Field Level Media

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Golf Glance: Kuchar set to defend in Mexico

Golf Glance: Kuchar set to defend in Mexico

Golf Glance: Kuchar set to defend in Mexico

Field Level Media’s Golf Glance provides weekly news and storylines from each of the major North American golf tours.

PGA TOUR

LAST TOURNAMENT: WGC-HSBC Champions (Rory McIlroy); Bermuda Championship (Brendon Todd)

THIS WEEK: Mayakoba Golf Classic, Nov. 14-17

El Camaleon Golf Club, Playa del Carmen, Quintana Roo, Mexico (Par 71, 7,017 yards)

Purse: $7.2M (Winner: $1.296M)

Defending Champion: Matt Kuchar

FedEx Cup leader: Lanto Griffin

TV: Thursday-Friday, 1-5 p.m. ET. Saturday-Sunday, 2-5 p.m. ET (Golf Channel).

NOTES: Chris Kirk makes his return to the Tour after taking a break to address alcohol abuse. … Mexico native Abraham Ancer has finished in the top 25 each of the past two years. He is one of six players from Mexico in the field. … El Camaleon will be playing host to its 13th Tour event. Nine of the previous 12 winners have been at least 33 years old. The only non-U.S.-born player to win the event was Graeme McDowell in 2015. … Griffin, Todd, Joaquin Niemann and Sebastian Munoz are seeking to become the first two-time winners on Tour this season. … Kuchar seeks to successfully defend a title for the first time on Tour.

BEST BETS: Jason Day (+2200 by DraftKings) was recently named to the International Team for next month’s Presidents Cup. He beat Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy and Hideki Matsuyama in the Japan Skins competition, but did not post a T20 in two events on the Asia swing. … Danny Lee (+5000) finished runner-up last year and is coming off a solo second and T10 on the Asia swing. … Billy Horschel (+2000) tied for 24th at the WGC-HSBC Champions after a T6 at the ZOZO Championship and is one of the more accomplished players in a field that lacks a top-15 player. … Viktor Hovland hasn’t secured his first Tour win, but has been remarkably consistent since turning pro last summer. He enters as one of the co-betting favorites at +2000 along with Horschel and Tony Finau, the top-ranked player in the event at No. 16.

NEXT TOURNAMENT: The RSM Classic, Sea Island, Ga.

LPGA TOUR

LAST WEEK: TOTO Japan Classic (Ai Suzuki)

THIS WEEK: OFF.

NEXT TOURNAMENT: CME Group Tour Championship, Nov. 21-24

CHAMPIONS TOUR

LAST TOURNAMENT: Charles Schwab Cup Championship (Jeff Maggert; Scott McCarron won Charles Schwab Cup)

THIS WEEK: OFF.

NEXT TOURNAMENT: PNC Father Son Challenge, Dec. 5-8

–Field Level Media

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Woods commits to play as host of Genesis Invitational

Woods commits to play as host of Genesis Invitational

Tiger

Woods commits to play as host of Genesis Invitational

Tiger Woods is looking ahead to 2020 by committing to play in The Genesis Invitational, the Feb. 13-16 event in which he’ll serve as tournament host.

The tournament, which will be played at Riviera Country Club in Pacific Palisades, Calif., near Los Angeles, is the first he has announced on his 2020 schedule. Previously known as the Genesis Open, its status has been elevated by cutting the field from 144 to 120 players with a hike in prize money from $7.4 million to $9.3 million.

The winner of the event will receive a three-year PGA Tour exemption instead of the usual two.

With the tourney’s status falling in line with events attached to two of the game’s legendary players — the Arnold Palmer Invitational and the Jack Nicklaus-hosted Memorial Tournament, Woods is pleased with the distinction.

“It’s an honor for us to be in the same category as Jack Nicklaus and Arnold Palmer,” Woods said in a statement. “Those are two legends of the game. For us to have that type of elevation, all the things we want to have happen for the tournament are going to happen.”

Woods, a Southern California native, did not play in the PGA Tour’s Los Angeles-area event from 2007-2017, and he has never won at Riviera in 13 attempts. He tied for 15th last season, when J.B. Holmes erased a 4-shot deficit going into the final round to earn his fifth career PGA Tour victory.

Woods, 43, tied Sam Snead’s PGA Tour record of 82 career titles by winning the inaugural ZOZO Championship in Japan late last month. It’s not known if The Genesis Invitational will be Woods’ first chance to break the record. He often opens his PGA Tour golfing calendar at the Farmers Insurance Open in late January at Torrey Pines in La Jolla, Calif.

–Field Level Media

Read More 247 Words

49ers WR Sanders (ribs) is day-to-day

49ers WR Sanders (ribs) is day-to-day

San

49ers WR Sanders (ribs) is day-to-day

San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders sustained cartilage damage in his ribs during Monday night’s 27-24 loss to the Seattle Seahawks, head coach Kyle Shanahan announced Tuesday.

“He’ll be day-to-day and probably end up being a game-time decision,” Shanahan said of Sanders, who had an MRI exam on Tuesday morning after X-rays at Levi’s Stadium on Monday night proved to be inconclusive.

The 49ers’ next game is Sunday at home against the Arizona Cardinals.

Sanders tried to play through the injury sustained early in the game but went to the locker room soon after the second quarter started and did not return, finishing with two catches for 24 yards.

Acquired from the Denver Broncos on Oct. 22, Sanders, 32, has 13 catches for 161 yards and two touchdowns in three games with the 49ers.

Through seven games this season with the Broncos, Sanders had 30 catches for 367 yards and two touchdowns. The 10th-year veteran spent the last five-plus seasons with the Broncos, totaling 404 receptions for 5,361 yards and 28 touchdowns across 78 games, earning Pro Bowl honors in 2014 and 2016 and winning Super Bowl 50 after the 2015 season.

The 49ers (8-1) are hurting for receivers after also losing tight end George Kittle, who was a pregame inactive Monday due to knee and ankle injuries. According to Shanahan, Kittle’s status is unchanged.

“They’re our two best playmakers, so it definitely takes a toll,” Shanahan said after Monday’s loss. “We knew that coming in with George, we kind of realized that was going to happen today. And Emmanuel was out there battling, had that happen with his ribs. He tried to go a few more series longer but he had to go out. Other guys came in and some guys stepped it up at times. We just didn’t have the consistency there.”

The 49ers also announced Tuesday that defensive lineman Ronald Blair is out for the remainder of the season after sustaining a torn ACL in his right knee. The fifth-year player made 21 tackles and three sacks in a key reserve role over nine games.

–Field Level Media

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NFL notebook: All 32 teams invited to Kaepernick workout

NFL notebook: All 32 teams invited to Kaepernick workout

NFL notebook: All 32 teams invited to Kaepernick workout

Quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who last played in the NFL in 2016, will have a private workout for teams on Saturday in Atlanta.

Teams were informed by the league that the 32-year-old Kaepernick will do on-field work and be available for an interview, and all 32 teams are invited. Video of both also will be made available to clubs.

According to ESPN, the league sent a memo to the teams that read in part: “Earlier this year, we discussed some possible steps with his representatives and they recently emphasized his level of preparation and that he is ready to work out for clubs and be interviewed by them.”

Kaepernick, who began kneeling during the national anthem before games in 2016 as a protest of racial injustice, settled a collusion grievance against the NFL in February, with the payout reported to be worth less than $10 million.

–The Cleveland Browns benched wide receiver Antonio Callaway on Sunday because he arrived late to the stadium, ESPN reported.

Cleveland.com reported that Callaway was tardy because he parked in a different lot than usual at FirstEnergy Stadium. The second-year wideout participated in pregame warmups, but was ruled inactive and did not play in Cleveland’s 19-16 win over the visiting Buffalo Bills.

“I don’t know if he’d gotten the message or not, but I’m not wavering,” coach Freddie Kitchens said to reporters, confirming it was a one-game benching.

–Despite having an X-ray on his shoulder after the New York Giants’ loss to the Jets on Sunday that was just another in a series of the 2-8 team’s disappointments, running back Saquon Barkley plans to keep playing despite all the rumors regarding his status.

“The mindset of sitting me out and resting me for the rest of the season is beyond me,” Barkley said via ESPN, which cited a source for the X-ray report. “I do not agree with it, and it won’t happen. I’m going to keep going until I can’t go anymore.”

He finished with a career-low 1 yard on 13 carries against the Jets.

–The NFL revamped its schedule, moving two San Francisco 49ers games to prime time.

The first comes Nov. 24, when the 49ers’ home game against the Green Bay Packers becomes the Sunday night matchup on NBC. The other is on Dec. 21., when the Los Angeles Rams play at San Francisco in an NFC West tilt starting at 8:15 p.m. ET.

–The Baltimore Ravens made some adjustments to their defense, signing veteran free-agent defensive tackle Justin Ellis, while cutting cornerback/punt returner Cyrus Jones and placing defensive lineman Daylon Mack on injured reserve, according to two NFL Network reports.

Ellis, 28, played the last five seasons with the Oakland Raiders, but was cut by the team in October.

Jones, 25, appeared in eight games (one start) for the Ravens this season. Mack, 22, is in his first season out of Texas A&M.

–The Jets placed right guard Brian Winters and tight end Chris Herndon on injured reserve.

Winters left Sunday’s 34-27 victory against the Giants after re-dislocating his shoulder, while Herndon departed after fracturing a rib.

The team signed linebacker B.J. Bello and cornerback Kyron Brown to the active roster.

–49ers wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders sustained cartilage damage in his ribs during Monday night’s 27-24 loss to the Seattle Seahawks, head coach Kyle Shanahan announced.

“He’ll be day-to-day and probably end up being a game-time decision,” Shanahan said of Sanders, who had an MRI exam on Tuesday morning after X-rays at Levi’s Stadium on Monday night proved to be inconclusive.

Sanders tried to play through the injury sustained early in the game but went to the locker room soon after the second quarter started and did not return, finishing with two catches for 24 yards.

–With Adam Vinatieri enduring arguably the worst season of his prolific 24-year career, the Indianapolis Colts worked out four kickers.

Elliott Fry, Greg Joseph, Mike Nugent and Nick Rose participated in the workouts, according to multiple reports.

Vinatieri, 46, is the NFL’s all-time leader in scoring (2,656 points) and made field goals (596) but has missed two extra point attempts and three field goal tries in the last three games.

–The Carolina Panthers signed cornerback Corn Elder off the Giants practice squad and waived guard Bryan Witzmann.

Drafted by the Panthers in 2017, Elder spent that season on injured reserve, then played 13 games for Carolina in 2018, making three tackles.

Witzmann, 29, signed with the Panthers on Sept. 23, four days after he was cut by the Miami Dolphins.

–The Cincinnati Bengals released linebacker Preston Brown, who joined the Bengals in 2018 as an unrestricted free agent on a one-year deal.

Injuries limited Brown, 27, to just seven games last season, but in 2019, he started eight of nine games for the Bengals (0-9).

–The Tampa Bay Buccaneers waived former first-round draft pick Vernon Hargreaves.

Coach Bruce Arians benched Hargreaves in the third quarter of Sunday’s game against the Arizona Cardinals over what he perceived as a lack of hustle on a 55-yard catch by Arizona rookie receiver Andy Isabella.

–Former NFL quarterback Zeke Bratkowski, who threw for 65 touchdown passes over a 14-year career, died at his Florida home on Monday. He was 88.

His death follows that of former Packers quarterback Bart Starr by almost six months. A member of the Packers Hall of Fame, Bratkowski was Starr’s backup during Green Bay’s glory days of the 1960s.

–Field Level Media

Read More 836 Words

Mayfield wants crowd to quiet down when Browns have ball

Mayfield wants crowd to quiet down when Browns have ball

Mayfield wants crowd to quiet down when Browns have ball

Quarterback Baker Mayfield told reporters that he wants the fans to keep quiet when the Cleveland Browns are on offense.

Mayfield’s reasoning? Well, Mayfield lamented an offside call on 4th-and-goal from the 3-yard line during the second quarter of Cleveland’s 19-16 victory over Buffalo on Sunday. Offensive tackle Chris Hubbard was whistled for a false start, causing the Browns to elect to kick a field goal instead of go for a touchdown.

“We believed we had a good call,” the 24-year-old Mayfield said on Sunday, per Cleveland.com. “It was just our crowd noise seemed to be a little loud when we needed it to be quiet, which is strange at a home game.”

Mayfield didn’t change his tune two days later, as he dismissed the notion that he was addressing Bills fans who attended the game in Cleveland.

“No, it wasn’t that,” Mayfield said. “It was just the fact that when we’re on offense, we need it to be quiet. It might’ve ruffled some feathers, once again that’s OK, but when we’re on offense on a critical down, we need to be able to have silence in our home stadium. It’s got to be an advantage for us, and then when they get the ball, it’s got to be really loud. It’s just basic football.”

Mayfield won’t have long to wait to hear how the crowd responds as the Browns (3-6) host the Pittsburgh Steelers (5-4) on Thursday (8:20 p.m. ET).

–Field Level Media

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Bengals WR Ross cleared to practice, return from IR

Bengals WR Ross cleared to practice, return from IR

Bengals WR Ross cleared to practice, return from IR

Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver John Ross was cleared to practice and designated to return from injured reserve, the team announced Wednesday.

Ross has been sidelined with a shoulder injury he sustained during the Bengals’ 27-3 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sept. 30.

The 23-year-old will be eligible to play against the Cleveland Browns on Dec. 8.

Ross was enjoying a fast start to the season after disappointing through two years since being selected ninth overall by Cincinnati in the 2017 NFL Draft. He recorded 16 catches for 328 yards and three touchdowns in four games.

The speedster did not catch a pass in three games during his rookie season in 2017. He finished with 21 catches for 210 yards and seven touchdowns last season.

–Field Level Media

Read More 69 Words

Browns sign DE Cox, waive LB Jefferson

Browns sign DE Cox, waive LB Jefferson

The

Browns sign DE Cox, waive LB Jefferson

The Cleveland Browns signed defensive end Bryan Cox, the team announced Wednesday.

Cox is the son of the former three-time Pro Bowl selection by the same name, who also served as an assistant coach with the Browns from 2009-10.

Linebacker Malik Jefferson was waived to make room for the younger Cox, who was signed by the Carolina Panthers as an undrafted free agent in 2017. Cox, 25, recorded 18 tackles in 19 career games with the team before being released on Nov. 8.

The move to add Cox could provide depth for Cleveland with defensive end Olivier Vernon sitting out the past two games with a knee injury.

Jefferson, 22, made one tackle in nine games with the Browns (3-6), who host the Pittsburgh Steelers (5-4) on Thursday (8:20 p.m. ET).

–Field Level Media

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Dolphins, others to attend Kaepernick workout

Dolphins, others to attend Kaepernick workout

Dolphins, others to attend Kaepernick workout

The Miami Dolphins plan to have a representative in attendance for free-agent quarterback Colin Kaepernick’s workout this weekend, coach Brian Flores announced Wednesday.

Flores told reporters that the team still is finalizing who will attend Kaepernick’s workout in Atlanta on Saturday, however.

The first-year head coach also stopped short of saying whether the 32-year-old Kaepernick would have a place on the Dolphins’ roster.

“I don’t have a crystal ball. It’s hard for me to say,” Flores said, via the South Florida Sun-Sentinel.

“We like our quarterback situation right now. We’re going to do our due diligence. I would say anytime we could add a good player, we try to do that. We want to do that. But there’s a lot of moving parts to that.”

Ryan Fitzpatrick, 36, has thrown for 1,364 yards with eight touchdowns and as many interceptions in eight games this season for the Dolphins (2-7), who host the Bills (6-3) on Sunday (1 p.m. ET).

Second-year quarterback Josh Rosen, who was acquired from Arizona in the offseason, has thrown for just 567 yards with one touchdown and five interceptions in six appearances with Miami.

As for other teams’ interest in Kaepernick, Dallas Cowboys coach Jason Garrett said during his Wednesday press conference that he was not certain if the team will be represented at Kaepernick’s workout.

“I’m not really in tuned to that situation very much,” Garrett said. “We have personnel people who evaluate all guys who have an opportunity to hopefully help our team.”

ESPN’s Ed Werder, however, cited a source as reporting that the Cowboys intend to send one representative to the workout.

Detroit Lions coach Matt Patricia said Wednesday that his team would have someone on hand, while Atlanta coach Dan Quinn said the same for Kaepernick’s workout, which is being held at the Falcons’ facility.

The Washington Redskins also will be represented, a team spokesman said, while Mike Klis of KUSA reported that the Denver Broncos will have a scout at the workout.

Teams were informed by the league on Tuesday that Kaepernick will do on-field work and be available for an interview, and all 32 teams are invited. Video of both also will be made available to clubs.

In six seasons with the San Francisco 49ers, Kaepernick appeared in 69 games and completed 59.8 percent of his passes for 12,271 yards with 72 touchdowns and 30 interceptions. He added 13 rushing touchdowns.

Kaepernick, who last played in the NFL in 2016, began kneeling during the national anthem before games that season as a protest of racial injustice. He opted out of his contract the following offseason to become a free agent but went unsigned.

He settled a collusion grievance against the NFL in February, with the payout reported to be worth less than $10 million.

–Field Level Media

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NFL schedule changes: 49ers get 2 prime-time games

NFL schedule changes: 49ers get 2 prime-time games

NFL schedule changes: 49ers get 2 prime-time games

The NFL revamped its schedule on Tuesday, moving two San Francisco 49ers games to prime time.

The first comes Nov. 24, when the 49ers’ home game against the Green Bay Packers becomes the Sunday night matchup on NBC after originally being scheduled for 4:25 p.m. ET on FOX. The Seattle Seahawks’ game at the Philadelphia Eagles moves from Sunday night to 1 p.m. ET on FOX.

The NFL also announced its Week 16 schedule for the weekend of Dec. 21-22.

Saturday’s games on Dec. 21 will feature a triple-header on NFL Network, capped by the Los Angeles Rams’ game at San Francisco in an NFC West tilt, starting at 8:15 p.m. ET.

Here are the updates:

Week 12 (November 24)

–Green Bay at San Francisco moves from 4:25 p.m. ET on FOX to 8:20 p.m. ET on NBC

–Seattle at Philadelphia moves from 8:20 p.m. ET on NBC to 1 p.m. ET on FOX

–Carolina at New Orleans moves from 1 p.m. ET on FOX to 1 p.m. ET on CBS

–Miami at Cleveland moves from 1 p.m. ET on CBS to 1 p.m. ET on FOX

WEEK 16 (December 21-22)

–Houston at Tampa Bay has been scheduled for Dec. 21, at 1 p.m. ET on NFL Network

–Buffalo at New England has been scheduled for Dec. 21, at 4:30 p.m. ET on NFL Network

–Los Angeles Rams at San Francisco has been scheduled for Dec. 21, at 8:15 p.m. ET on NFL Network

–Detroit at Denver has been scheduled for Dec. 22, at 4:05 p.m. ET on CBS

–Oakland at the Los Angeles Chargers has been scheduled for Dec. 22, at 4:05 p.m. ET on CBS

–Field Level Media

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Bears LB Smith leaves with pec injury

Bears LB Smith leaves with pec injury

Chicago

Bears LB Smith leaves with pec injury

Chicago Bears linebacker Roquan Smith left Thursday night’s game against the Dallas Cowboys with a pectoral injury and was ruled out by the team.

Smith was injured during the first quarter and headed to the locker room for evaluation.

The second-year-pro entered the game with 98 tackles, two sacks and one interception.

The Bears were already without Danny Trevathan, who sat out his fourth straight game with a left elbow injury. Nick Kwiatkoski started in Trevathan’s place, and Kevin Pierre-Louis entered to replace Smith.

Chicago’s defense was also without defensive tackle Akiem Hicks and cornerback Prince Amukamara entering the game.

–Field Level Media

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