Chiefs could get Houston, Sorensen on field vs Cardinals

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — The Chiefs could be getting some much-needed help for their ailing, leaky defense when linebacker Justin Houston and safety Daniel Sorensen are expected to play against the Arizona Cardinals.

Houston has missed four straight games after hurting his hamstring, while Sorensen was added to the active roster this week after landing on injured reserve in training camp with a broken leg.

Wide receiver Sammy Watkins practiced Friday for the first time this week after dealing with a foot injury, while Cam Erving was back on the field after dealing with an illness.

Those four were listed as questionable on the final injury report, along with Anthony Hitchens, who has bruised ribs, and fellow linebacker Frank Zombo, who has a hamstring injury.

Safety Eric Berry is doubtful with a heel injury. Center Mitch Morse remains out with a concussion.

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Seahawks get crucial win to stay in NFC playoff conversation

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Chargers list Bosa as questionable for Sunday vs. Broncos

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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FANTASY PLAYS: Key fantasy questions for NFL Week 11

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Falcons’ Deion Jones out, Matt Bryant active for Dallas

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

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

Coach Dan Quinn

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Ravens QB Flacco doubtful for Bengals

Ravens QB Flacco doubtful for Bengals

Joe Flacco was listed

Ravens QB Flacco doubtful for Bengals

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

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

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

Harbaugh said Flacco could play despite not practicing.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

–Field Level Media

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Reports: Broncos OL Garcia out for season

Reports: Broncos OL Garcia out for season

Denver Broncos

Reports: Broncos OL Garcia out for season

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

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

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

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

Billy Turner figures to replace Garcia at left guard.

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

–Field Level Media

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Packers TE Graham suffers broken thumb

Packers TE Graham suffers broken thumb

Green Bay Packers tight end

Packers TE Graham suffers broken thumb

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

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

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

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

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

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

–Field Level Media

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Packers TE Graham having thumb examined

Packers TE Graham having thumb examined

The Green Bay Packers are

Packers TE Graham having thumb examined

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

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

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

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

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

–Field Level Media

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Jamon Brown is giving a big lift to Giants’ offensive line

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) — A reclamation project off the waiver wire is galvanizing the New York Giants' beleaguered offensive line.

Just two weeks ago, Jamon Brown thought he was without a job. He was released by the Los Angeles Rams on Oct. 31 after spending the better part of four years with

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) — A reclamation project off the waiver wire is galvanizing the New York Giants’ beleaguered offensive line.

Just two weeks ago, Jamon Brown thought he was without a job. He was released by the Los Angeles Rams on Oct. 31 after spending the better part of four years with the team. Brown, a guard for the Rams who started all 16 games and a playoff game in 2017, was on the waiver wire.

“That was definitely disappointing,” Brown said. “I didn’t see it coming.”

Brown had signed a $2.5 million, four-year contract with the Rams after being selected in the third round by the team out of Louisville in 2015. He earned a starting spot as a right guard with the Rams in 2017 after missing most of his rookie season with a fractured right leg.

In July, however, Brown was suspended for the first two games of the 2018 season after violating the NFL’s policy for substance abuse. He would not comment on what banned substance he used.

When the season began, Brown was replaced by Austin Blythe as the starter at right guard for the Rams and he never regained his spot.

“It was all very disappointing, the way it went down,” Brown said. “I never got the opportunity to make things right.”

As part of a numbers crunch, after the Rams acquired defensive end Dante Fowler Jr. in a trade with the Jacksonville Jaguars, Brown was released.

At the same time, the Giants’ offensive line was in turmoil. The problems began when former first-round pick Ereck Flowers was released after a move to right tackle from left tackle didn’t pan out.

One free-agent signing, tackle Nate Solder, hasn’t lived up to the four-year, $62 million contract he signed in the offseason. Center Jon Halapio broke his right ankle and lower leg in the second week of the season. Free agent Patrick Omameh didn’t perform well and was released.

Amid the upheaval, the Giants took a chance on Brown, a 6-foot, 340-pounder.

“We knew that he was a starter on a team that won 11 games last year,” Giants coach Pat Shurmur said. “He’s a big man, a really big man. We liked what we saw in Jamon.”

When the claim on Brown became official, the Giants were on their bye week. So Brown flew to New Jersey and met with Shurmur and team officials. He worked out for a couple of days, then headed back to Los Angeles to clean out his apartment.

“I got a lot of frequent flier miles,” Brown said.

The Giants resumed practice last week and Brown was learning the offense. He practiced as if he were going to play.

Sure enough, on Saturday before the game with the San Francisco 49ers, Omameh was let go. Brown slid in as the starter in the game in California. That meant Brown flew back and forth across the country four times in two weeks.

“It’s really crazy how that all turned out,” Brown said. “I’m still learning the Giants’ way. I’m learning everything I can. This is definitely a great opportunity for me.”

Brown was part of the line that gave Eli Manning time to throw, allowed only one sack provided room for sensational rookie Saquon Barkley to run. More important, the Giants won 27-23 on Monday night for their second win in nine games.

“I thought he did a good job,” Shurmur said of Brown. “I thought he did some of the things that we thought he could do. I think that’s a settling force for the quarterback when he’s pretty certain that the interior of the pocket’s going to be firm.”

Brown will start at right guard when the Giants host the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday. He tweaked his ankle during Friday’s practice, but the team did not list him on the injury report.

“I’m going to bring energy,” Brown said. “I think I can be reliable because I’ve been doing this awhile. I’ve experienced my times of success.”

NOTES: The Giants listed no injuries after Friday’s practice. Brown (ankle), LB Alec Ogletree (ribs), CB Antonio Hamilton (hip), FB Eli Penny (back) and S Curtis Riley (shoulder) all practiced fully, so the team is 100 percent healthy for a second straight week. … Another reclamation project, WR Corey Coleman, whom the Giants picked up after he was waived by three teams this season, will more than likely remain the main kickoff return specialist. Coleman had three returns for 92 yards, including a 51-yarder, against the Niners.

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Broncos lose guard Max Garcia to knee injury

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

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

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

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

The result was devastating: a torn anterior cruciate ligament.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Ain’t too many guys left ,” he said.

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

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

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

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

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

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Jags turn to former Giants starting OT Flowers vs Steelers

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) — The Jacksonville Jaguars are down to their fourth left tackle, starting a player they signed off the streets against Pittsburgh on Sunday.

Coach Doug Marrone says former New York Giants first-round draft pick Ereck Flowers will start in place of Josh Walker, who missed practice all week because of

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) — The Jacksonville Jaguars are down to their fourth left tackle, starting a player they signed off the streets against Pittsburgh on Sunday.

Coach Doug Marrone says former New York Giants first-round draft pick Ereck Flowers will start in place of Josh Walker, who missed practice all week because of a foot/ankle injury. Walker was listed as doubtful on the injury report Friday. Flowers and Walker alternated series last week at Indianapolis.

Walker was filling in for Josh Wells, who started four games after Cam Robinson tore a knee ligament in Week 2.

The Jaguars (3-6) also could be without another starting offensive lineman. Right guard A.J. Cann (hamstring) is listed as questionable. Nose tackle Marcell Dareus (triceps) also is questionable. Dareus has started all nine games.

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AP source: Broncos lose guard Max Garcia to knee injury

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. (AP) — Denver Broncos left guard Max Garcia is out for the season because of a torn knee ligament, a person with knowledge of the injury said.

The person spoke on the condition of anonymity to The Associated Press because coach Vance Joseph was at practice and wouldn't be addressing the

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. (AP) — Denver Broncos left guard Max Garcia is out for the season because of a torn knee ligament, a person with knowledge of the injury said.

The person spoke on the condition of anonymity to The Associated Press because coach Vance Joseph was at practice and wouldn’t be addressing the media until later. An MRI Friday revealed a tear of the anterior cruciate ligament.

Garcia apparently was injured during Thursday’s practice, although he finished the workout and wasn’t listed on the team’s injury report.

The Broncos (3-6) travel to Los Angeles on Sunday to face the Chargers (7-2). Denver already was down two starters on the offensive line after losing left guard Ronald Leary (Achilles) last month and center Matt Paradis (broken ankle) in the last game.

Now, Billy Turner will move over to left guard, between scuffling left tackle Garett Bolles, who leads the league in holding calls for the second straight season, and Connor McGovern, who will make his first start at center Sunday.

Second-year pro Elijah Wilksinson is also making his first NFL start, at right guard next to right tackle Jared Veldheer, who missed a month with a knee injury before returning to action in Denver’s last game, against Houston on Nov. 4.

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Eagles DT Jernigan could return vs. Saints

Eagles DT Jernigan could return vs. Saints

Eagles DT Jernigan could return vs. Saints

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

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

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

The Eagles must decide by Nov. 26 whether to activate Jernigan from the non-football injury list and add him to the 53-man roster. If they do not, he will not be allowed to play this season.

Jernigan, 26, tallied 29 tackles and 2.5 sacks and started 15 games in his first season in Philadelphia in 2017. He added two tackles during the postseason for the Super Bowl LII champions.

He spent the previous three seasons with the Baltimore Ravens, who selected the Florida State product in the second round in the 2014 NFL Draft.

Pederson also said tight end Richard Rogers, who was also recently returned from injured reserve, is in the same boat as Jernigan.

Adding either or both would require the Eagles to make room on the roster. Cornerback Ronald Darby, who suffered a season-ending ACL injury recently, would be an obvious candidate.

Pederson was more confident in the return of right tackle Lane Johnson, who sat out last week with an MCL sprain, and cornerback Sidney Jones, who has missed three games with a hamstring injury.

“He’s a lot closer, he’s had a really good week of practice, feels a lot better health-wise,” Pederson said regarding Johnson’s status. “I would expect him to (play), yes.”

–Field Level Media

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When things go sour in the NFL, QBs often are changed

When things go sour, an NFL team's fan base often points to two people: the guy calling plays on the sideline, and the man behind center trying to execute them.

As we get deeper into the 2018 schedule, the futures of some coaches could be tied to how their quarterbacks have struggled —

When things go sour, an NFL team’s fan base often points to two people: the guy calling plays on the sideline, and the man behind center trying to execute them.

As we get deeper into the 2018 schedule, the futures of some coaches could be tied to how their quarterbacks have struggled — or outright flopped.

Doug Marrone and Blake Bortles in Jacksonville? Perhaps.

Vance Joseph and Case Keenum in Denver? Possibly.

John Harbaugh and Joe Flacco? Could be.

Then again, each of those coaches could keep their jobs and have new QBs in 2019. And we know Jon Gruden isn’t going anywhere in Oakland, though Derek Carr might head elsewhere.

Nor is Pat Shurmur, despite a discouraging first year in the Jersey Meadowlands, likely to leave the Big Apple. But the status of a 37-year-old Eli Manning is in more doubt.

It would be a surprise to see Adam Gase out in Miami. Considering how much he has been out of the lineup in his seven-year career, it would not be a stunner to see Ryan Tannehill depart the Dolphins.

Let’s take a look:

NEW YORK

Manning is not a washed-up has-been. His arm remains strong, his knowledge of the game is irreplaceable, and he has three enviable options in Odell Beckham Jr., Saquon Barkley and Evan Engram.

What he doesn’t have is anyone who can block with any regularity. Manning is about as mobile as Shurmur, maybe less so, and when he doesn’t get the necessary time to set himself, he’s not likely to find a comfortable place to throw.

Yes, it’s time for the Giants to look for a replacement, but not necessarily someone to take over next year. How about finally improving perhaps the worst offensive line in the league and seeing what Manning can do behind it?

Otherwise, Carr could wind up an option as Gruden keeps wheeling and dealing.

DENVER

Keenum has another year to go on the deal he parlayed his best career season (in Minnesota) to get with QB-desperate Denver. Cutting him will cost a $10 million cap hit, so unless John Elway can work a trade for that prohibitive contract, Keenum figures to be back with the Broncos.

The cupboard is bare behind him, especially after Chad Kelly got himself arrested and then released. Plus, Keenum once again has had to learn a new offense, and he’s had some knee issues.

Elway could be enticed to add a veteran who has won a Super Bowl, as he did with Peyton Manning (did someone say Flacco?), but only if he can deal Keenum.

BALTIMORE

Flacco, who’s had a better (but not great) season than in recent years, is bothered by a hip injury. And his eventual replacement, Lamar Jackson, was chosen in the first round of April’s draft.

The massive contract Flacco earned after winning the 2012 championship as Super Bowl MVP was extended in 2016 and he is signed through 2021. But the Ravens can open up $10.5 million in salary cap space by releasing Flacco, 33, after the season, with a potential savings of $18.5 million if they designate him as cut after June 1, which would damage his value elsewhere.

He won’t command the same kind of money on the open market, but he will command attention for his strong arm, solid leadership, willingness to play hurt, and, well, a pedigree that rarely reaches free agency with a few good years left.

Gase in Miami certainly would like a QB who can get on the field regularly.

MIAMI

Brock Osweiler is the 19th starter since Dan Marino ended his Hall of Fame career. None has been a star, though Chad Pennington could have been had his shoulder not been so brittle.

Gase would seem to be tied to Tannehill, who has played in five games this year, none last season, because of injuries. When healthy, Tannehill helped get the Dolphins to the playoffs as a wild card in 2016, Gase’s first year in Miami. Then he was hurt for the postseason.

Gase has been something of a QB guru in other stops, so a young guy who can stay in the lineup might be appealing. Or maybe a 20-something needing a change of scenery such as Jameis Winston or Bortles.

TAMPA BAY

Perhaps the most puzzling case of all because Winston, the top pick in the 2015 draft, should be a slam dunk as the future. He isn’t.

Winston is due $20.9 million next season, the final year of his rookie deal. That’s way more than he is worth, and though the Bucs picked up his fifth-year option, they could release him in ’19 and not owe him anything; 2019 is guaranteed only in case of injury, which is why some speculate Winston may not play again this year.

He comes with lots of talent, but still lacks maturity. He has had off-field issues and was suspended for the first three games this season.

Do the Bucs want to start over at the position, knowing Winston’s potential remains sky high?

JACKSONVILLE

Convinced after coming oh-so-close to making the Super Bowl that Bortles could be their franchise guy, the Jaguars signed him to a three-year, $54 million contract that includes a $16 million salary in 2019. So there would be $16.5 million in dead money if he is cut.

And, like Keenum, the numbers for a trade likely are prohibitive.

But folks in Jacksonville believe, despite the current 3-6 mark, that the Jags are built to win soon. Maybe not with the struggling Bortles, however.

This history team boss Tom Coughlin has with Manning adds some intrigue, but a move for a veteran to replace Bortles might target someone younger and more mobile.

OAKLAND

Gruden has publicly backed Carr, but it’s difficult to gauge if that support is strong or even real. Given his maneuvers to redo the Raiders, it appears with Gruden no one is safe.

Gruden would love to find a Rich Gannon clone, maybe a Flacco or even a Nick Foles. And cutting Carr would create only $7.5 million in dead money, hardly prohibitive.

Then again, Gruden has three first-round selections in the 2019 draft. Using one on a quarterback makes a lot of sense.

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AP Pro Football Writers Josh Dubow and Arnie Stapleton, and Sports Writers Tom Canavan, Steven Wine, Mark Long, Fred Goodall and David Ginsburg contributed.

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How ‘Bout Them Cowboys? New book examines America’s Team

Gary Myers has covered Jerry Jones longer than any pro football writer, so it seemed logical and natural to write a book about the owner of the most valuable franchise in the world.

"How 'Bout Them Cowboys?" (Grand Central Publishing) is an in-depth look at America's Team, still the most popular in the

Gary Myers has covered Jerry Jones longer than any pro football writer, so it seemed logical and natural to write a book about the owner of the most valuable franchise in the world.

“How ‘Bout Them Cowboys?” (Grand Central Publishing) is an in-depth look at America’s Team, still the most popular in the NFL even though it hasn’t reached a Super Bowl in 23 years and isn’t likely to this season.

Myers was with the Dallas Morning News when Jones bought the team in 1989 and cleaned house. Now a radio host at WFAN in New York, Myers remembers it well — and tells it entertainingly and informatively in his book.

“I was taken aback when he got weepy —real tears — when he started talking about how he put himself at risk financially to buy the Cowboys in 1989,” Myers says. “He said he asked his doctor why recalling that period of his life made him so emotional and was told it was a traumatic experience for him. Even so, seeing this multi-billionaire in tears caught me by surprise, to say the least.”

There’s a lot in Myers’ book that could catch readers by surprise. Such as:

—Jones admits he’s still bitter about the circumstances that led to his divorce with Jimmy Johnson, who coached the Cowboys to the 1992 and ’93 NFL titles. And Myers reveals “Troy Aikman has still not forgiven Johnson for leaving him. A few years ago, they were having a beer together, when Aikman said to Johnson, ‘We could have been Brady and Belichick.'”

—The Hall of Fame party Jones threw for himself in Canton, Ohio in 2017 cost $8 million and included a two-hour concert by Justin Timberlake. One of the invited guests was Roger Goodell.

“I have a picture in my book of Jones having a drink with Goodell and Jon Bon Jovi at the party,” Myers says. “Five days later, Goodell called Jones to tell him he was suspending Ezekiel Elliott for six games. Jones is convinced Goodell showed up at the party knowing he was going to suspend Elliott (who was also at the party), but did not want to ruin Jones’ weekend. Instead, he ruined his season.”

Jones has said Goodell previously told him he would not suspend Elliott and to this day he feels betrayed. Goodell has emphatically said he did not tell Jones that.

There are dozens more such intriguing and often-unrevealed stories in “How ‘Bout Them Cowboys?” Myers had five hours of one-on-one interviews with Jones and, he jokes, actually got in at least seven questions.

ALABAMA REUNION

Julio Jones, Amari Cooper and Calvin Ridley cover most of a decade’s worth of leading receivers at Alabama. They’ll be on the field as players together for the first time when Cooper and the Dallas Cowboys visit the Atlanta Falcons and the veteran/rookie duo of Jones and Ridley.

Jones is a two-time All-Pro, Cooper made the Pro Bowl his first two seasons, and Ridley leads all rookies with 500 yards receiving. Oh, and they each won a national championship at Alabama. In fact, Ridley won two.

“A lot to like about them,” Cowboys coach Jason Garrett said. “Certainly they were trained very well at Alabama, probably really good players going there, developed to become great players coming out of there. And they’ve definitely shown that at this level.”

Cooper wasn’t supposed to make this Alabama connection when the season started: Oakland wasn’t on Atlanta’s schedule. But the Cowboys traded next year’s first-round draft pick for him in hopes of having a new No. 1 receiver after letting Dez Bryant go in a cost-cutting move during the offseason.

“I’m cool with both of those guys,” Cooper said. “None of us played together, so none of us have been on the field together. So that’ll be really cool to go out there and be on the same field.”

CAM’S WINE

Panthers quarterback Cam Newton said if wasn’t an NFL quarterback he’d want to be a sommelier. Newton has recently developed a love for wine— and cigars — although he said his recognition of most wines is “terrible.”

“I picked up a hobby that I really enjoy,” said Newton. “I think I’m on sauvignon blanc right now, really light wine, and a good mild smoke.”

Rudy Patino, who works as a food service provider for the Panthers, is a resident wine expert and Newton said he’s learned some things from him about the hobby.

“I feel like if I had a gift of a hidden talent, outside of playing an instrument, I would want to be a sommelier,” Newton said. “Those senses that you have. … For those who don’t know it, it’s being able to distinctively tell what type of wine it is, where it’s from and everything about wine by just the taste, the look and pretty much the feel of the wine. It’s just pretty cool to come across a person on a day-to-day basis that knows what they’re talking about. It’s just like playing football. It’s an ongoing thing that you have to constantly keep taking your nose and taste buds through.”

Newton said he if was to create his own wine he would call it “Boogie Down.”

“As in boogie down your esophagus,” Newton said with a smile.

BRITISH TRAINING

USA Football will lead the training of more than 1,000 football coaches across Britain in 2019. USA Football, a member of the U.S. Olympic Committee and the sport’s national governing body, will drive education for British American Football Coaches Association members, spanning school-based to adult programs.

British coaches will receive USA Football in-person training and online course work. More than 10,000 U.S. school districts and youth programs combined enrolled in USA Football-developed coach education this season, including nine of the country’s 10 largest school districts.

“Our sport’s community is truly a global family,” said BAFCA President Wayne Hill of Birmingham, England. “We love the game as much as Americans do, and teaming up with USA Football is a historic point for the sport here. Much like in the States, what’s taught and played today is not your father’s gridiron — it’s done a lot smarter, but is just as much fun. This partnership enables us to deliver a smarter, safer game for our athletes through coach education.”

Organized football is played on six continents spanning approximately 70 countries, a figure that has nearly doubled in the past 10 years.

GREEN EAGLES IN BIG EASY

The Philadelphia Eagles will be wearing their home green jerseys at New Orleans on Sunday. What’s that all about?

A bet.

In March, coaches Doug Pederson of the Super Bowl champion Eagles and Sean Payton of the Saints made the wager, which was revealed during the summer for the American Century Championship celebrity golf tournament at Lake Tahoe, Nevada. Pederson has a much better golf game than Payton and finished 32nd at the tournament, while Payton was 77th. Pederson had offered strokes or points in the Modified Stableford scoring format, but Payton turned them down.

Payton made a $5,000 donation to Autism Challenge in Philadelphia as part of the bet.

“Well, it is our home jersey. It is our home color,” Pederson says. “And so we are excited to wear that. We’ve done it a lot this year on the road, wearing our home greens on the road. So you know it’s something that our guys enjoy.”

When Pederson made that bet, did Payton say the Saints would go with their color rush, or a white jersey?

“He didn’t say one way or the other,” Pederson adds. “I would imagine it would be the whites, but he did not say.”

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AP Pro Football Writers Barry Wilner, Schuyler Dixon and Rob Maaddi, and Sports Writers Brett Martel and Steve Reed contributed.

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Ravens hope to take what Bengals’ defense keeps giving

Ravens hope to take what Bengals' defense keeps giving

The Cincinnati

Ravens hope to take what Bengals’ defense keeps giving

The Cincinnati Bengals are playing historically bad pass defense.

The Baltimore Ravens aren’t sure which one of their quarterbacks will try to take advantage of that when they host their AFC North rivals Sunday.

The Bengals rank last in the NFL in passing yards allowed and have yielded more than 500 total yards in each of their last three games, which had never been done before in the Super Bowl era.

They have allowed 158 points over the last four games, including a 51-14 drubbing at the hands of the New Orleans Saints last week.

That led Cincinnati coach Marvin Lewis to fire defensive coordinator Teryl Austin this week and take over the defensive play calling himself.

Baltimore’s quarterback situation has been shaken up by injuries.

The Ravens rank ninth in the NFL in passing offense, but starting quarterback Joe Flacco might not be available because of a hip injury. Making matters cloudier is that rookie No. 1 draft choice Lamar Jackson, next in line behind Flacco, joined him on the sideline at practice Thursday because of illness.

That left just Robert Griffin III as a healthy quarterback. Griffin, who was out of the NFL last season, hasn’t started a game since 2016 when he was with the Cleveland Browns.

Ravens head coach Jim Harbaugh said Flacco could play Sunday even if he doesn’t practice, as long as he’s healthy enough by game time.

“He’s got experience. He’s a smart guy. He knows how to prepare,” Ravens offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg told the Baltimore Sun. “I don’t see any reason why he wouldn’t play really well without any practice.”

Both teams are in desperate need of a win. Baltimore (4-5) is coming off a bye, and Cincinnati (5-4) has lost three of four.

The Bengals won the first meeting, 34-23, in Cincinnati in the second week of the season.

In that game, Flacco completed 32-of-55 passes for a season-high 376 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions. He was sacked four times and lost a fumble.

Jackson has seen limited action as a change of pace to Flacco’s traditional pocket passing. The rookie has completed 7 of 12 passes for 87 yards and one touchdown, and he has rushed for 139 yards and one touchdown on 28 carries.

In the first meeting, Jackson played six snaps – three at quarterback and three at wide receiver. He rushed two times for 6 yards.

“We know when Joe’s in there he’s going to stand in that pocket and try to do deep passes down the field and checkdowns,” Bengals linebacker Preston Brown told Cincinnati.com.

“That’s all you’ve really got to worry about: deep passes, checkdowns and crossing routes. But with Lamar in, you never know what you’re going to get,” Brown said.

Lewis said he has more on his mind than who winds up playing quarterback for the Ravens.

“Lamar is going to be a good, young player in the NFL,” Lewis told Cincinnati.com. “We spent a lot of time with Lamar (before the draft), but right now it’s about us, and that’s important.”

The Bengals have injury issues of their own. Pro Bowl wide receiver A.J. Green, who had three touchdown catches in the first meeting, could miss his second consecutive game because of a toe injury. Running back Joe Mixon (knee) was limited in practice Thursday.

–Field Level Media

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Bears, Vikings to battle for NFC North control

Bears, Vikings to battle for NFC North control

Bears, Vikings to battle for NFC North control

Six years have passed since the Chicago Bears enjoyed first place this late in the season.

Now, Chicago (6-3) wants to stay there. But a tough test awaits Sunday night against the visiting Minnesota Vikings (5-3-1), who are looking to win their second straight NFC North title with a strong second half.

Vikings coach Mike Zimmer is busy as he plans for an opposing offense led by first-year Bears coach Matt Nagy.

“There’s no way you can practice every one of their plays — they’ve got 800 of them for every game,” Zimmer said in comments published by the Chicago Sun-Times.

Nagy replied with a tongue-in-cheek denial.

“It’s more like 750,” he joked, according to the Sun-Times.

The matchup pits strength against strength: Chicago’s offense against Minnesota’s defense.

Chicago ranks No. 5 in the NFL with 29.9 points per game thanks in large part to a significant improvement by quarterback Mitchell Trubisky in his second season.

Trubisky is the NFC Offensive Player of the Week after completing 23 of 30 passes for a career-high 355 yards and three touchdowns last week in a 34-22 win over Detroit.

Meanwhile, Minnesota’s defense ranks No. 5 in the NFL in fewest yards allowed. The Vikings have 20 sacks in their last five games, and defensive end Danielle Hunter is second in the league with 11 1/2 sacks this season.

“Danielle is a great athlete,” Zimmer told reporters this week. “Great length, strong, physical, but he’s improved on just being reactive. He just lets it rip now, and that’s what makes him good.”

Vikings defensive tackle Sheldon Richardson takes pride in his team’s tenacity on defense.

“TV-wise, it’s probably boring,” Richardson said in comments posted on the Vikings’ website. “Guys don’t want to sit there and watch an 8-7 game, but those games (are) fun for us.”

The opposite matchup also will be intriguing as the Vikings’ offense takes on the Bears’ defense.

Minnesota ranks 12th in the league with 374.3 total yards per game. Quarterback Kirk Cousins has steered the offense with 2,685 passing yards (seventh in the NFL) and a passer rating of 102.2 (ninth in the NFL). His top target, Adam Thielen, needs only 53 receiving yards to crack the 1,000-yard barrier on the season.

The Bears also have star power on defense in the form of pass-rushing linebacker Khalil Mack. He is coming off his second multi-sack performance of the season and has excelled in seven games this season with seven sacks, four forced fumbles and an interception returned for a touchdown.

Chicago is 4-1 at home. Minnesota is 2-1-1 on the road.

–Field Level Media

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Justin Tucker repeats as AP’s best kicker

Justin Tucker stunned everyone with a miss.

The Baltimore Ravens' two-time All-Pro kicker is so good that nobody could believe it when he sliced a game-tying extra point wide right in a 24-23 loss to the Saints last month.

It was Tucker's first career miss after nailing 222 straight.

Despite the shank, Tucker

Justin Tucker stunned everyone with a miss.

The Baltimore Ravens’ two-time All-Pro kicker is so good that nobody could believe it when he sliced a game-tying extra point wide right in a 24-23 loss to the Saints last month.

It was Tucker’s first career miss after nailing 222 straight.

Despite the shank, Tucker was voted the top player in the league at his position for the second straight year by a panel of 10 football writers for The Associated Press.

“With the best numbers in NFL history despite kicking in the Northeast and outdoors, is there any question Tucker tops this list?” said New York-based writer Barry Wilner.

Tucker, the most accurate kicker in league history at 90.1 percent, received 92 points in a 10-points-to-one-point system with six of 10 first-place votes.

The next three were the same as last year’s rankings. New England’s Stephen Gostkowski, Greg Zuerlein of the Los Angeles Rams and Indianapolis’ Adam Vinatieri finished in that order.

Gostkowski received 79 points, including one first-place vote, and appeared on every ballot along with Tucker and Vinatieri.

“Gostkowski is consistent, clutch and deadly accurate,” said New York-based Dennis Waszak Jr. “He replaced Adam Vinatieri in 2006 and the Patriots’ kicking game never missed a beat.”

Zuerlein, who received 63 points, has a powerful leg and is 26 of 45 (57.7 percent) from beyond 50 yards in his career, though the Rams don’t need to call him much any longer because they find the end zone quite often.

“‘Greg the Leg’ can deliver from long range with the best of them,” San Francisco-based Josh Dubow said.

Vinatieri set a pair of NFL records this season, surpassing Hall of Famer Morten Anderson for most points and most field goals. The GOAT turns 46 on Dec. 28 and is in his 13th season with Indianapolis after 10 years in New England, where he helped the Patriots win three Super Bowls by making game-winning kicks in the final seconds in two of the wins.

Vinatieri received 55 points and a first-place vote from Simmi Buttar.

“Doesn’t matter how old he is. He’s got the most points ever in NFL history. Case closed,” said Buttar, who is based in New York.

Wil Lutz finished fifth, one point behind Vinatieri. He is 19 of 20 on field goals for the Saints. Lutz got a pair of first-place votes.

“He’s come through when called upon for a field goal, and he’s limiting opponents in the return game by consistently sending kicks into the end zone,” Nashville-based Teresa Walker said.

Carolina’s Graham Gano was sixth with 39 points. Kansas City’s Harrison Butker was seventh with 35 points. Jason Myers of the New York Jets was eighth with 25 points. Buffalo’s Stephen Hauschka came in ninth with 22 points. San Francisco’s Robbie Gould edged Pittsburgh’s Chris Boswell for 10th. Boswell is second behind Tucker on the all-time accuracy list at 87.7 percent.

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The rankings:

1. Justin Tucker, Ravens

2. Stephen Gostkowski, Patriots

3. Greg Zuerlein, Rams

4. Adam Vinatieri, Colts

5. Wil Lutz, Saints

6. Graham Gano, Panthers

7. Harrison Butker, Chiefs

8. Jason Myers, Jets

9. Stephen Hauschka, Bills

10. Robbie Gould, 49ers

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