Eagles’ Jenkins, Bausby raise fists during anthem

Eagles’ Jenkins, Bausby raise fists during anthem

On the first full night of the NFL preseason, two Philadelphia Eagles players raised their fists Thursday during the playing of the national anthem.

Safety Malcolm Jenkins, a longtime advocate on social issues, and defensive back De’Vante Bausby both held up their fists while standing on the sideline with their teammates before the game against the visiting Pittsburgh Steelers. Defensive end Chris Long put his arm on Jenkins’ back, a sign of solidarity he began last season.

After a 2017 season in which the NFL struggled with the split national reaction to players using the anthem as a time for social statements, with President Donald Trump weighing in heavily on the topic, the league instituted a new policy banning on-field anthem protests.

However, the NFL put the new rule on hold when it began engaging the NFL Players Association in talks over how to best convey social-justice messages. The discussions have yet to produce a unified solution.

Jenkins tweeted Thursday afternoon, “Before we enjoy this game lets take some time to ponder that more than 60% of the prison population are people of color. The NFL is made up of 70% African Americans. What you witness on the field does not represent the reality of everyday America. We are the anomalies…”

Previously, Jenkins had called Jerry Jones a “bully” after the Dallas Cowboys owner announced that all players on his team would be required to stand for the anthem.

“There’s always this kind of, speaking out of both ends from the league, (like) we support our players but then you put in a policy to take away their voices,” Jenkins said last month. “Hopefully you’ll have the majority of owners speak out on whatever side of this that they actually stand.

“When you have owners like Jerry Jones who speak so strongly and who has drawn his line in the sand and has been very vocal about it, and you’ve had other owners be very quiet, Jerry Jones is now the voice of NFL ownership. So unless you have some other owners come out with some definitive statements and support, they’re going to allow Jerry Jones to push the narrative of not only NFL owners but the NFL as a whole.”

–Field Level Media

Jets’ Crowell questionable; Johnson, Skrine likely out

Jets' Crowell questionable; Johnson, Skrine likely out

New York Jets running back Isaiah Crowell is questionable for Sunday's game against the Indianapolis Colts, while cornerbacks Trumaine Johnson and Buster Skrine are doubtful and out, respectively.

Crowell, who set a Jets record with 219 rushing yards (on just 15 carries) last

Jets’ Crowell questionable; Johnson, Skrine likely out

New York Jets running back Isaiah Crowell is questionable for Sunday’s game against the Indianapolis Colts, while cornerbacks Trumaine Johnson and Buster Skrine are doubtful and out, respectively.

Crowell, who set a Jets record with 219 rushing yards (on just 15 carries) last week, has an ankle injury that kept him out of Wednesday’s and Thursday’s practices before a limited session on Friday. He ranks third in the NFL in rushing yards (390), second in yards per carry (6.8) and tied for second in rushing touchdowns (five).

Johnson, who joined the team on a five-year, $72.5 million deal in March, missed last week’s game with a quad injury and appears likely to miss his second contest Sunday. Skrine was concussed against the Broncos last week and will not clear protocol in time to face Indianapolis. Darryl Roberts would join Morris Claiborne as a starting cornerback if Johnson can’t play, with Parry Nickerson and Juston Burris in line for nickel snaps.

Joining Crowell as questionable are safeties Marcus Maye (ankle/foot) and Doug Middleton (hamstring), with linebacker Kevin Pierre-Louis (foot) doubtful.

Maye has been limited and questionable each of the last two weeks, but he has played in both games, his first contests of the year. He notched a half-sack and a 104-yard interception return against Denver on Sunday.

–Field Level Media

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Vikings RB Cook taking patient approach with injury

Vikings RB Cook taking patient approach with injury

Minnesota Vikings running back Dalvin Cook said his ailing left hamstring is improving after being listed as questionable for Sunday's game against the Arizona Cardinals.

The second-year pro has played in just three of the Vikings' five games due to the ailment.

Vikings RB Cook taking patient approach with injury

Minnesota Vikings running back Dalvin Cook said his ailing left hamstring is improving after being listed as questionable for Sunday’s game against the Arizona Cardinals.

The second-year pro has played in just three of the Vikings’ five games due to the ailment.

He certainly has learned to be patient while dealing with the situation.

“That’s the tricky thing with these hamstrings,” Cook told reporters. “It’s more of a ‘feel’ thing, and I’m just trying to feel through it each and every day.”

Cook has averaged just 2.7 yards per carry while rushing for 98 yards on 36 carries.

He was hopeful of enjoying a productive campaign after a tear of the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee ended his rookie season after four games.

But not being healthy has changed his mindset.

“I think at this point, it’s not a ‘prove’ thing,” Cook said. “We’re winning games and we’re getting better each and every week. It’s just about me getting healthy and going out there and being able to help my team. Going out there 80 percent, 70 percent, I’m not going to be able to help my team like that.

“We have a bunch of guys at 100 percent that can help my team win football games. At this point, it’s just me getting 100 percent so I can be out there and be who I am so I can be explosive.”

Minnesota ruled out left tackle Riley Reiff (foot) and three other players — defensive end Tashawn Bower (ankle), safety Andrew Sendejo (groin) and defensive end Everson Griffen (mental health).

Not having Reiff is a big blow, but Vikings coach Mike Zimmer was pleased with how things went after the standout exited last Sunday’s game against the Philadelphia Eagles. Rashod Hill moved over to left tackle, and second-round pick Brian O’Neill entered at right tackle.

“I thought they did pretty well,” Zimmer told reporters. “O’Neill battled really well, did some good things and then honestly Rashod when he went over there, his technique was probably a little bit better.”

–Field Level Media

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Colts’ Hilton out; Ebron, Leonard, Hunt questionable

Colts' Hilton out; Ebron, Leonard, Hunt questionable

The Indianapolis Colts' injury list remains long, as five active players were ruled out for Sunday's game against the New York Jets and six more were listed as questionable on Friday's injury report.

Wide receiver T.Y. Hilton (chest, hamstring) will miss his second

Colts’ Hilton out; Ebron, Leonard, Hunt questionable

The Indianapolis Colts’ injury list remains long, as five active players were ruled out for Sunday’s game against the New York Jets and six more were listed as questionable on Friday’s injury report.

Wide receiver T.Y. Hilton (chest, hamstring) will miss his second consecutive game, and joining him will be tight end Jack Doyle (hip), defensive lineman Denico Autry (hamstring), safeties Clayton Geathers (concussion, neck) and right tackle Denzelle Good (not injury related). Doyle has not played since Week 2, while Geathers’ injury could be serious, according to head coach Frank Reich. Good has been away from the team since the death of his brother in South Carolina last Tuesday.

Questionable for Sunday’s game are tight end Eric Ebron (shin, quad, ankle, knee), center Ryan Kelly (calf), linebacker Darius Leonard (ankle), defensive tackle Margus Hunt (knee), newly signed safety Mike Mitchell (pectoral) and cornerback Arthur Maulet (hip). Ebron, who leads NFL tight ends with five touchdowns this season, practiced in full on Friday after missing Wednesday and Thursday.

Leonard, a rookie second-round pick, dressed last week because the Colts did not have 46 healthy players but did not play. He got in a full session Friday after being limited on Thursday. Leonard leads the NFL in tackles and is tied for third in tackles for loss (seven), two back of the league leader, Hunt (nine).

Hunt and Kelly each sat out Wednesday and Thursday before getting a limited session on Friday.

One player who will be playing is left tackle Anthony Castonzo, who will make his season debut after missing nearly two months with a recurring hamstring injury. Castonzo joined Leonard in dressing but not playing last week.

The Colts also placed safety Matthias Farley (shoulder, groin, wrist) on injured reserve, elevating tight end Mo Alie-Cox from the practice squad to fill his roster spot.

A former VCU basketball player, Alie-Cox was on the active roster earlier this season and notched one catch for 17 yards against the Houston Texans in his only game of action.

–Field Level Media

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Packers kicker Crosby looks to bounce back after awful game

GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) — Mason Crosby survived one of the worst seasons of his career by putting together five of his best.

The veteran Green Bay Packers kicker isn't looking at what happened in 2012, when he made just 21 of 33 field-goal attempts, as a pathway to bouncing back from a

GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) — Mason Crosby survived one of the worst seasons of his career by putting together five of his best.

The veteran Green Bay Packers kicker isn’t looking at what happened in 2012, when he made just 21 of 33 field-goal attempts, as a pathway to bouncing back from a nightmarish performance last week at Detroit.

Crosby missed four field goals and an extra point, those 13 lost points looming large in a 31-23 loss Sunday. He had never missed more than two kicks in a game in his 12-year career.

“I look at what happened on Sunday as I’m lumping it into one kick, one entity,” Crosby said Friday. “That was a game, that was a moment, that I couldn’t have ever imagined happening, but it did happen and I can learn from it. I don’t reset, I don’t go looking for things. It’s more, all right, get back into it. What am I going to do better this week? How am I going to improve?

“So far this week, it’s been good getting out at practice, hitting the ball, trusting that I’ve done this for 12 years in the NFL and a long time before that. What went down on Sunday is unacceptable for the career I’ve had, but it did happen and I’m going to be better off because of it.”

That’s what the Packers are counting on heading into Monday night’s game against San Francisco.

The Packers didn’t bring in any veteran kickers for a workout this week. Just like in 2012, they’re banking on Crosby’s body of work.

“You talk about hitting a bump in the hit, I mean, he hit a boulder, for God’s sake,” coach Mike McCarthy said. “He’s the same guy. He’s working at it. Personally, you root for a guy like Mason because he exemplifies what a Green Bay Packer is. He’ll be back to normal.”

Change has become the new normal for Crosby.

From 2010 through 2015, Crosby had the same snapper (Brett Goode) and holder (Tim Masthay). This marks the third consecutive season with a new operation, with Green Bay drafting JK Scott in the fifth round to handle the punting and holding and Hunter Bradley in the seventh to handle the snapping.

Bradley has had a few off-target snaps, but the snapper-holder combination wasn’t to blame on any of Crosby’s five missed kicks.

“I just couldn’t find the line,” Crosby said. “The ball wasn’t going through. I’m not going to overreact, overthink on it. The biggest disappointment for me was not doing my job in helping this team win. I need to make those kicks to help this team win. Honestly, whenever that happens, that’s what I feel the most is letting my teammates down.”

Special teams coordinator Ron Zook likes what he has seen this week.

“I think he’s probably a little bit more zoned-in,” he said. “Mason has always been a pro since I’ve been around him. I’m not one bit worried about him.”

NOTES: QB Aaron Rodgers was a full participant in practice after aggravating his injured left knee when tackled by Lions LB Christian Jones on the opening possession. “Kind of a step back to last week, the beginning of the week,” Rodgers said. He wore a new, lighter brace in that game and hopes he’ll be able to wear it again against the 49ers. … RT Bryan Bulaga (knee) and backup Jason Spriggs (ankle) were added to the injury report as limited participation. If Bulaga plays against San Francisco, he’ll line up next to RG Byron Bell, who has taken over that position for Justin McCray, who started the first three games. “Been consistent. He has a lot of experience,” coach Mike McCarthy said.

___

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Jets’ Crowell looks to build off record-setting performance

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. (AP) — Isaiah Crowell kept hitting the holes cleared by the New York Jets' offensive line and ran.

And, ran some more.

All the way into the franchise record books.

Crowell rushed for a whopping 219 yards on just 15 carries in the Jets' 34-16 victory over Denver last Sunday,

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. (AP) — Isaiah Crowell kept hitting the holes cleared by the New York Jets’ offensive line and ran.

And, ran some more.

All the way into the franchise record books.

Crowell rushed for a whopping 219 yards on just 15 carries in the Jets’ 34-16 victory over Denver last Sunday, setting the team mark for yards rushing in a single game.

“Every time I got the ball, it was like at any given time, it could be a big play,” Crowell said Friday. “That really was because of my offensive line. I feel like they did their part, so I’ve got to credit them.”

Big rushing performances are usually the product of great O-line play. But Crowell also deserves some kudos for his big day.

After all, he became the fourth player in NFL history to run for 200 or more yards on 15 or fewer attempts, and his 14.6-yard average was the highest by any player with at least 15 carries.

“It hasn’t been like that since high school,” a smiling Crowell said. “In high school, I think I ran for 300 yards or something like that and five touchdowns in a playoff game, but not since then. Each level, you progress and the talent level progresses, so it hasn’t been like that since then.”

Crowell broke the Jets record of 210 yards rushing previously set by Thomas Jones in 2009. He was selected the AFC offensive player of the week and also won the league’s weekly award for FedEx Ground Player of the Week.

That’s quite a week for Crowell, and one that will be tough to top Sunday against Indianapolis.

“When you do something like that, you’re kind of unsure like, dang, how’d that happen?” Crowell said. “You’ve just got to move forward and try keep progressing as you go and just know that every game is not going to be like that.”

Crowell has been nursing an ankle injury this week, and is listed as questionable on the Jets’ injury list. He sat out practice Wednesday and Thursday, but returned on a limited basis Friday — a promising sign. Still, coach Todd Bowles said the running back would be a “Sunday decision” as to whether he’ll play.

After scampering all those yards last weekend, it’s no wonder Crowell’s ankle is a bit sore.

“We’ll work him out Sunday and see where he’s at,” Bowles said.

It’s expected that Crowell will be ready to roll by the time the game kicks off. Whether he’ll come anywhere close to the performance he had last Sunday is another story.

He had 21 yards on three carries in the first quarter. On his first handoff of the second quarter, Crowell ran for a 77-yard touchdown that was the second-longest scoring run in team history — 1 yard shy of Bruce Harper’s record set in 1983.

Crowell has scored on runs of 77 and 62 yards in his first five games with the Jets, joining Leon Washington as the only players in team history to have two TD runs of 60 yards or more.

He had a 54-yard run in the third quarter, giving him nine plays of 50 yards or more to lead NFL running backs in that category since 2015.

As he approached the team mark late in the game, running backs coach Stump Mitchell pulled him aside to let him know he was on the verge of something special.

“He was like, ‘You can get it since you’re so close,'” Crowell recalled. “That’s what I was chasing. When I did get it, he told me and I was happy about it, but it wasn’t like a goal or anything. It just happened.”

The mark was set on his final carry of the game, a 36-yard run in the fourth quarter.

The performance also wiped away some of the controversy surrounding Crowell the previous few weeks .

He was fined $13,369 by the NFL and scolded by Bowles after he wiped the football against his backside after scoring a touchdown at Cleveland — where he spent his first four seasons — two weeks ago. Crowell cashed in on that mistake, though, getting an endorsement deal from a company that makes toilet paper alternatives for men.

With the type of game he had last Sunday, surely there were some more off-field opportunities to pad the bank account, right?

“I prefer to not talk about my endorsements,” Crowell said after a big chuckle.

Despite the gaudy final rushing total, Crowell insists he isn’t spoiled to the point where anything less than 200 yards now is just an OK game.

“Nah, because I know that was like an amazing game,” he said. “You can have 50 yards and as long as you win the game, it was a good game. You could have a bad game, but did enough to help your team win so that’s really what it’s all about.”

___

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Chiefs’ Houston doubtful; Thomas fractures leg

Chiefs' Houston doubtful; Thomas fractures leg

Kansas City Chiefs outside linebacker Justin Houston is doubtful to face the New England Patriots on Sunday night, and wide receiver De'Anthony Thomas re-fractured his left leg during Thursday's practice, the team announced Friday.

Head coach Andy Reid told reporters earlier in the week

Chiefs’ Houston doubtful; Thomas fractures leg

Kansas City Chiefs outside linebacker Justin Houston is doubtful to face the New England Patriots on Sunday night, and wide receiver De’Anthony Thomas re-fractured his left leg during Thursday’s practice, the team announced Friday.

Head coach Andy Reid told reporters earlier in the week it was “a stretch” for Houston to play in Foxborough after he pulled his hamstring in Week 5. Also listed as doubtful is safety Eric Berry — who hasn’t played or practiced since early August due to heel soreness — while outside linebacker Tanoh Kpassagnon is questionable with an ankle injury.

Thomas got stepped on in a “freak accident” during Friday’s practice and fractured the same leg he broke in the 2017 season finale. He had surgery to have a rod inserted after the initial break last year, but he is not expected to need surgery for the new break.

Thomas, 25, has been primarily a gadget player in Reid’s offense, lining up at wide receiver and occasionally running back. He had three catches for 29 yards and a score along with one rush for 6 yards through five games. He has also served as a punt and kick returner at times, taking his only punt return 48 yards this year.

With Houston and Kpassagnon ailing, the Chiefs signed outside linebackers Frank Zombo — who spent five years on the team before being cut Sept. 1 — and Nate Orchard, a former second-round pick of the Browns, earlier this week.

The Chiefs also have depth concerns at safety, as Eric Murray was ruled out for Sunday with an ankle injury. Rookie Armani Watts (core muscle surgery) was placed on injured reserve earlier this week, leaving Ron Parker and Jordan Lucas as the only healthy safeties on the roster.

–Field Level Media

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Rams WRs Cooks, Kupp set to play Sunday

Rams WRs Cooks, Kupp set to play Sunday

Los Angeles Rams wideouts Brandin Cooks and Cooper Kupp each practiced in full on Friday and remain on track to clear concussion protocol in time to play Sunday at the Denver Broncos.

Head coach Sean McVay said it's "looking positive" for both

Rams WRs Cooks, Kupp set to play Sunday

Los Angeles Rams wideouts Brandin Cooks and Cooper Kupp each practiced in full on Friday and remain on track to clear concussion protocol in time to play Sunday at the Denver Broncos.

Head coach Sean McVay said it’s “looking positive” for both players to be cleared Saturday, barring setbacks.

Cooks and Kupp each left Week 5’s game against the Seattle Seahawks with a concussion, but both returned to limited practices on Thursday before going full on Friday.

“I feel amazing,” Cooks told reporters Friday. “It’s just one of those things that’s part of the game. Things happen. It’s unfortunate, but it’s how you respond. And it’s been a great week of just preparing and getting back to football. It’s been great.”

The rest of the Rams’ roster is expected to suit up except for kicker Greg Zuerlein, who practiced on a limited basis but is still a week or two away in his recovery from a groin injury.

The Broncos will be without starting right tackle Jared Veldheer (knee) and third cornerback/punt returner Adam Jones (thigh).

–Field Level Media

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Dolphins LT Tunsil clears concussion protocol

Dolphins LT Tunsil clears concussion protocol

Miami Dolphins left tackle Laremy Tunsil cleared the concussion protocol on Friday and is expected to play when the team hosts the Chicago Bears on Sunday.

Tunsil was listed as questionable on Miami's Friday injury report. He was a full practice participant on

Dolphins LT Tunsil clears concussion protocol

Miami Dolphins left tackle Laremy Tunsil cleared the concussion protocol on Friday and is expected to play when the team hosts the Chicago Bears on Sunday.

Tunsil was listed as questionable on Miami’s Friday injury report. He was a full practice participant on Friday after being a limited participant on Wednesday and Thursday.

Tunsil and quarterback Ryan Tannehill (passing shoulder) were among nine Dolphins listed as questionable, with veteran defensive end Cameron Wake (knee) listed as doubtful. Tannehill was a limited participant in Friday’s practice after being a full-go the previous two days, but it’s unclear if he’s in danger of missing the game.

Tunsil suffered the concussion in the first quarter of last Sunday’s loss to the Cincinnati Bengals and tried to play through it. But when he began experiencing headaches in the third quarter, he reported it to team trainers and was removed from the game.

He said the concussion was the first of his career.

“It’s a part of the game,” Tunsil told reporters on Friday. “People get concussions, and I’m glad it wasn’t that bad, and I’m glad I’m out of the protocol, and I’m looking forward to playing the Bears.”

Tunsil and his linemates are looking forward to the challenge of slowing down Bears star Khalil Mack, who will primarily line up on the opposite side of Tunsil. But there will certainly be occasions where the two will be squaring off against one another.

“Khalil Mack is a great player, obviously everybody knows that,” Tunsil said. “I’m looking forward to that matchup.”

Meanwhile, Wake (knee) will likely miss his second straight game after not practicing all week.

“It’s just one of those things where we’re being very cautious,” Miami coach Adam Gase told reporters. “We do not want to lose him longer than what we already have right now.

“We’re just trying to make sure that everything is right and that he’s ready to go and we’ve got him for the rest of the year. That’s really the best answer I can give you because he’s an older player that if you rush him back and you have any kind of setback and lose him longer, now that’s going to be a bigger issue.”

Other players listed as questionable were outside linebacker Chase Allen (foot), defensive end Andre Branch (knee), tight end A.J. Derby (foot), receiver Jakeem Grant (shoulder), cornerback Bobby McCain (knee), safety T.J. McDonald (foot) and receiver DeVante Parker (quadriceps).

–Field Level Media

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Giants’ Shurmur: ‘We believe in Eli’

Giants' Shurmur: 'We believe in Eli'

New York Giants head coach Pat Shurmur told reporters on Friday that the team is not considering benching quarterback Eli Manning.

"No," Shurmur said firmly when asked if a change at quarterback is on the table. "We believe in Eli."

Manning

Giants’ Shurmur: ‘We believe in Eli’

New York Giants head coach Pat Shurmur told reporters on Friday that the team is not considering benching quarterback Eli Manning.

“No,” Shurmur said firmly when asked if a change at quarterback is on the table. “We believe in Eli.”

Manning threw an interception on the second play from scrimmage in Thursday night’s 34-13 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles and finished 24 of 43 for 281 yards. Much of his yardage came in garbage time or on short throws to running back Saquon Barkley (nine grabs, 99 yards), and 11 of his completions were behind the line of scrimmage.

Manning was sacked four times and hit 13 times, but per ESPN, he posted a QBR of 9.0 (out of 100) when not pressured, compared to 0.7 when pressured.

“I know I can play better,” he told reporters Friday. “I didn’t play well last night and I’ve got to make better decisions, just get back to doing my job.

The 37-year-old ranks 20th in quarterback rating (90.9), 22nd in yards per attempt (7.2) and 27th in average pass length (7.0) among qualified passers. He told reporters after Thursday’s game that he remains confident in himself, saying, “I know I can play.”

Shurmur was asked Monday about reports that some players in the locker room are losing confidence in Manning.

“I don’t know where that came from,” Shurmur said. “Nobody’s ever said that to me.”

Shurmur declined to speculate if rookie fourth-rounder Kyle Lauletta would get an opportunity to play later this season, saying, “we’re not talking about a quarterback change yet,” but he did clarify that Lauletta is splitting practice reps equally with Alex Tanney, who has dressed as the backup in every game this season.

“We’re developing him behind the scenes just like we would any rookie,” Shurmur said of Lauletta. “Aside from putting him in a game, he’s getting all of the work he can get.”

Lauletta told reporters he’s always preparing himself to play but added, “Eli’s the guy.”

Shurmur also demurred when asked about the idea that the Giants could regret not drafting a quarterback with the No. 2 overall pick in April, which they used on Barkley with quarterback prospects Sam Darnold, Josh Allen and Josh Rosen all on the board.

“The idea that Saquon Barkley was a mistake?” Shurmur asked. “I don’t see the logic in that. And I just told you that I believe in Eli.”

The Giants are 1-5 for the second consecutive season, but Manning said there’s more optimism for this team than the one that finished 3-13 last year.

“It’s tough, it’s very tough,” Manning said. “You don’t like being in this situation, but I think it’s different from last year because last year we were banged up, lost a bunch of players and it was hard to kind of see the bright side of it. Whereas this year, you see a bright side. It can get better.”

–Field Level Media

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Falcons’ Freeman, Jarrett, Shelby out vs. Bucs

Falcons' Freeman, Jarrett, Shelby out vs. Bucs

The Atlanta Falcons will be without running back Devonta Freeman and defensive tackle Grady Jarrett this Sunday against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, head coach Dan Quinn confirmed.

Freeman missed Weeks 2-4 with a knee injury and returned for Week 5, but he did

Falcons’ Freeman, Jarrett, Shelby out vs. Bucs

The Atlanta Falcons will be without running back Devonta Freeman and defensive tackle Grady Jarrett this Sunday against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, head coach Dan Quinn confirmed.

Freeman missed Weeks 2-4 with a knee injury and returned for Week 5, but he did not practice this week while battling a bone bruise in his foot and a groin injury. Jarrett will miss his second straight game with an ankle injury.

Also out will be defensive end Derrick Shelby, who was limited all week with a groin injury. He has missed the last three games due to the same injury.

Tevin Coleman has led Atlanta’s backfield in Freeman’s absence, with 324 total yards and two scores on 73 touches this season. Rookie fourth-rounder Ito Smith has chipped in 80 yards and two scores on the ground plus eight catches for 67 yards.

Jarrett has yet to tally a sack this season in four games.

The Falcons’ defense is already without safeties Keanu Neal (ACL) and Ricardo Allen (Achilles) for the season, while linebacker Deion Jones (foot) remains a few weeks away from being eligible to return from injured reserve.

–Field Level Media

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Panthers TE Olsen expected to play Sunday

Panthers TE Olsen expected to play Sunday

The Carolina Panthers should have tight end Greg Olsen back on the field for their Week 6 matchup against the Washington Redskins, barring a setback.

"As of right now, yes,'' head coach Ron Rivera said Friday about starting Olsen, who is officially listed

Panthers TE Olsen expected to play Sunday

The Carolina Panthers should have tight end Greg Olsen back on the field for their Week 6 matchup against the Washington Redskins, barring a setback.

“As of right now, yes,” head coach Ron Rivera said Friday about starting Olsen, who is officially listed as questionable but practiced in full on Thursday and Friday.

Olsen has been out since suffering a fractured right foot in Week 1 and had participated in a limited practice on Wednesday.

“He ran around really well, so we’re pretty excited about it,” Rivera said.

Olsen, who practiced most of last week, said earlier in the week that taking contact would be the next step in his comeback. Olsen, who suffered the same injury in 2017, said a screw inserted during a 2017 surgery is what’s holding his foot together at this point. He ran routes and ramped up his physical activity last week without a setback.

Rivera noted that Thursday’s practice took place in pouring rain and that the team would be monitoring how the foot responded to playing on a softer surface.

“I think that put a little bit more stress on the foot, too, so we’ll see how it is tomorrow morning,” said Rivera. Friday’s session, the first without rain this week, went well, giving him a great chance to play.

Olsen has said he most likely will need surgery after the season, but hopes his foot will hold up for the rest of 2018.

Following Olsen’s injury in the season opener against the Dallas Cowboys, he said he hoped to return within four to five weeks. The 33-year-old avoided surgery and injured reserve — unlike in 2017, after he sustained the initial Jones fracture — making him eligible to play whenever the team deems him ready.

Olsen was limited to seven games by his injury last season and struggled when on the field, totaling just 17 catches for 191 yards and one touchdown. He had two grabs for 33 yards in Week 1 this year before going down.

“I’m confident I’ll be better when I first come back and play a game than I was those first couple of games when I came back last year,” Olsen said Friday.

–Field Level Media

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Jags sign ex-Giants OT Flowers; Wells to IR

Jags sign ex-Giants OT Flowers; Wells to IR

The Jacksonville Jaguars signed former New York Giants offensive tackle Ereck Flowers and placed left tackle Josh Wells on injured reserve, the team announced Friday.

Flowers, the ninth overall pick in the 2015 draft, was waived on Tuesday after the Giants couldn't

Jags sign ex-Giants OT Flowers; Wells to IR

The Jacksonville Jaguars signed former New York Giants offensive tackle Ereck Flowers and placed left tackle Josh Wells on injured reserve, the team announced Friday.

Flowers, the ninth overall pick in the 2015 draft, was waived on Tuesday after the Giants couldn’t find a team who would trade for him. He appears likely to take over the starting job on Blake Bortles’ blind side after the Jaguars lost their first two options to injury.

Wells had been starting at left tackle since Cam Robinson went down with a torn anterior cruciate ligament in Week 2, but he picked up a groin injury against the Kansas City Chiefs last week. According to an NFL Network report, the team is optimistic Wells could return later this season.

Flowers, 24, started 46 of 48 possible games at left tackle from 2015-17, but he was moved to the right side this season after the Giants gave Nate Solder $15.5 million annually — a record for an offensive lineman at the time — to play left tackle. Flowers started the first two games this season at right tackle before being benched for 2017 undrafted free agent Chad Wheeler.

Flowers’ base salary of $2.4 million was fully guaranteed, and the Giants owed him about $1.7 million over the rest of the season, but offset language in his contract will remove his Jaguars salary — presumably the league minimum — from that obligation.

It’s unclear if Flowers will start Sunday against the Dallas Cowboys. Josh Walker, a fifth-year pro who has yet to start an NFL game, replaced Wells at left tackle during Week 5.

–Field Level Media

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Texans QB Watson officially questionable

Texans QB Watson officially questionable

Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson is officially questionable with a chest injury after being limited in practice all week, though most expect him to suit up against the Buffalo Bills on Sunday.

"Do I think he will play? I'll let the injury report give you

Texans QB Watson officially questionable

Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson is officially questionable with a chest injury after being limited in practice all week, though most expect him to suit up against the Buffalo Bills on Sunday.

“Do I think he will play? I’ll let the injury report give you the most updated information, but he’s been able to do some things in practice,” head coach Bill O’Brien told reporters Friday.

O’Brien declined to answer if Watson will be a game-time decision, but did say the quarterback has shown “good” mobility this week.

Watson, who was battered last Sunday against the Dallas Cowboys, told reporters earlier this week he “for sure” planned to play against Buffalo. He threw the ball during an open portion of Friday’s practice after not doing so Thursday.

If Watson cannot go, backup Brandon Weeden would see his first action since the 2015 season.

“He can spin the ball, really knows our offense,” O’Brien said of Weeden, who has spent significant time working with the first team at practice this week. “Good guy, good teammate. He understands how to approach every day like a pro.”

Wide receiver and former quarterback Joe Webb, who has played only special-teams snaps this season, would be the third option if needed.

The Texans officially ruled cornerback Aaron Colvin and linebacker Brian Peters out with ankle injuries. Neither practiced this week.

All others on the roster are expected to play, including wideouts DeAndre Hopkins (foot), Will Fuller and Keke Coutee, who were limited all week. Fuller and Coutee have hamstring injuries.

–Field Level Media

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49ers apologize to Kaepernick for photo omissions

49ers apologize to Kaepernick for photo omissions

The San Francisco 49ers apologized on Friday for initially leaving former quarterback Colin Kaepernick out of a photo gallery that displayed exploits of previous games against the Green Bay Packers.

The 49ers were celebrating their history against the Packers -- who they play

49ers apologize to Kaepernick for photo omissions

The San Francisco 49ers apologized on Friday for initially leaving former quarterback Colin Kaepernick out of a photo gallery that displayed exploits of previous games against the Green Bay Packers.

The 49ers were celebrating their history against the Packers — who they play on Monday night — on the team website with dozen of photos but none included Kaepernick, who led San Francisco to playoff victories over Green Bay after the 2013 and 2014 seasons.

That omission has since been changed.

“Unfortunately there were a handful of obvious misses in this gallery posted by our website team and we appreciate them being brought to our attention,” the 49ers said in a statement. “The 49ers organization has tremendous respect and gratitude for the contributions Colin made to our team over the years.”

The lack of Kaepernick photos stood out since he enjoyed some memorable performances against Green Bay.

Kaepernick rushed for an NFL quarterback-record 181 yards in a playoff victory on Jan. 12, 2013; passed for 412 yards in a season-opening win in 2013 and led the 49ers on the decisive scoring drive in a playoff triumph on Jan. 5, 2014.

“We have fond memories of those games and that should have been displayed on our website,” the 49ers said. “This oversight does not properly reflect the appreciation our ownership and this team have for Colin.”

Kaepernick began kneeling during the national anthem in the preseason prior to the 2016 campaign to protest social injustice. He opted out of his contract following the season and hasn’t been signed by any club over the past two seasons. He has an active collusion grievance against the league contending owners have conspired to keep him from being signed.

When the 49ers recently lost starting quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo with a season-ending knee injury, San Francisco coach Kyle Shanahan wasn’t interested in considering Kaepernick’s return and said he didn’t fit the team’s style of offense.

–Field Level Media

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Steelers prepare for another physical battle with Bengals

PITTSBURGH (AP) — Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster just wants to move on from last December's physical primetime meeting with the Cincinnati Bengals.

But the second-year wideout thrust himself into one of the fiercest rivalries in the NFL last season with a memorable block against Bengals linebacker Vontaze Burfict. Smith-Schuster was reminded

PITTSBURGH (AP) — Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster just wants to move on from last December’s physical primetime meeting with the Cincinnati Bengals.

But the second-year wideout thrust himself into one of the fiercest rivalries in the NFL last season with a memorable block against Bengals linebacker Vontaze Burfict. Smith-Schuster was reminded of the hit prior to Sunday’s game at Cincinnati.

“I didn’t want to talk about it,” Smith-Schuster said. “I knew you guys were going to want to talk about this and make something out of it, but I am just trying to get a “W” this weekend, that’s it.”

Last December, Smith-Schuster delivered a punishing blindside block on Burfict, the Steeler agitator, who ended running back Le’Veon Bell’s season in 2015, and injured quarterback Ben Roethlisberger and receiver Antonio Brown in the same playoff game at Cincinnati later that year.

Smith-Schuster got a 15-yard penalty for the block and another penalty for taunting when he stood over Burfict after the hit. He also was given a one-game suspension.

Burfict served a four-game suspension to open the current season. He returned to the lineup last week without incident and helped the first-place Bengals beat Miami.

Smith-Schuster said he’s not concerned about Burfict or the Bengals seeking revenge on Sunday.

“I’m just worried about the game, playing focused and playing with my teammates,” Smith-Schuster said. “It’s the AFC North and the rivalry is very strong. It’s physical and it’s going to be a tough game.”

Last December’s game featured a combined 20 penalties for 239 yards, including a team-record 173 yards by the Bengals. It was also the game where Steelers LB Ryan Shazier sustained a life-altering spinal injury following a tackle.

“There were a lot of emotions on both sides of the ball, obviously with Shazier and what I did,” Smith-Schuster said. “But it’s just a physical game. That’s what you’re going to get out of it.”

Brown sustained a concussion and was knocked from the game by safety George Iloka – no longer with the Bengals — following a touchdown reception. The score helped Pittsburgh overcome a 17-point deficit and win its sixth straight in the series on a last-second field goal.

“They’re always trying to get the best of us, either physically, after the play or during plays,” Brown said. “That’s why they call it the jungle because you have to go in there and be ready to win.”

Brown met with the media for the first time Friday since two lawsuits were filed against him stemming from an incident at a Florida apartment complex last spring.

Ophir Sternberg is seeking damages against Brown, claiming objects thrown by Brown from the 14th floor of an apartment building in April came close to striking Sternberg’s father and 22-month-old son. A second lawsuit filed by the owner of the apartment building is seeking more than $15,000 in damages from Brown.

“I can’t discuss pending litigation,” Brown said. “I just look forward to my day in court.”

Brown told police that the incidents occurred after a gun and $80,000 were stolen from his apartment. Brown said in a statement a day earlier that the lawsuits contained “false claims” against him.

“It comes from being successful, it comes from being in the spotlight, it comes from having fame,” Brown said on Friday. “If I was a nobody, (the media) wouldn’t be here speculating to begin with.”

Brown said he’s focused on the Bengals this week.

“I’m a professional and I know what I’m here for,” Brown said. “I’m trying to win football games. It’s Cincinnati week … it’s a big week for us. Being in this position comes with a lot of distractions and you have to be able to narrow your focus and that’s what I’m able to do.”

NOTES: Steelers’ S Morgan Burnett (groin) will miss his fourth straight game, while WR Darrius Heyward-Bey (ankle) will miss his second straight. LB L.J. Fort (ankle) is doubtful. LB Vince Williams fully practiced this week after missing against Atlanta with a hamstring injury.

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Lack of takeaways leads to 49ers losses

SANTA CLARA, Calif. (AP) — When it comes to stopping opposing offenses from moving the ball, the San Francisco 49ers defense has fared all right early this season.

When it comes to generating the game-changing takeaways that so often determine who wins in the NFL, no team has been worse so far.

There

SANTA CLARA, Calif. (AP) — When it comes to stopping opposing offenses from moving the ball, the San Francisco 49ers defense has fared all right early this season.

When it comes to generating the game-changing takeaways that so often determine who wins in the NFL, no team has been worse so far.

There are many reasons why the 49ers are off to such a disappointing start with one win through five games, with the season-ending knee injury to quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo the most notable.

But a defense that has generated a league-low three takeaways for the fewest total for the franchise after five games since 1977 is a major reason why.

“We just have to find a way, that’s all it comes down to,” cornerback Richard Sherman said. “Takeaways are kind of more of a ball bounces your way, you get tips sometimes. Last week, we limited them pretty good. We have to be more violent in tackling and can’t miss when the quarterback throws into coverage.”

Turnovers often come because of the pass rush and the 49ers have struggled there with no consistent edge rusher. They rank in the bottom half of the league in both sacks and quarterback pressures despite allowing the ninth fewest yards per play at 5.31.

The only takeaways so far this season have come when Sherman recovered a fumble in the opener at Minnesota, Cassius Marsh recovered one after a strip sack by Elijah Lee against Detroit in Week 2 and Antone Exum had a pick-six on the third play from scrimmage two weeks ago against the Chargers.

The team has generated no turnovers in the 113 plays on defense since then.

“We’ve had our opportunities this year,” defensive coordinator Robert Saleh said. “There’s an old cliche saying that, ‘Catch the ones that are thrown to you.’ We’ve had our opportunities, especially early in the year where I think we’ve dropped about three or four interceptions this year. We’ve gotten the ball out. We’re taking shots at the ball. There’s great intent. Takeaways come in bunches, they do. … I know it’s a result-oriented business, but the result is a product of the process that you go through within every play, within every day. If we keep attacking the ball the way we have and the D-Line keeps pressing the pocket and getting after the quarterback, I’m very confident that eventually they’ll come.”

Trying too hard for turnovers can back fire, however. On the first play of a loss to Arizona last week, free safety Adrian Colbert jumped up in coverage anticipating a throw over the middle to Larry Fitzgerald.

Instead, Cardinals rookie Josh Rosen targeted Christian Kirk deep and the play turned into a 75-yard touchdown because cornerback Ahkello Witherspoon didn’t have the deep help he expected from Colbert on the play.

The Cardinals gained just 145 yards the rest of the game but it proved to be enough in a 28-18 victory, especially because the defense provided no short fields for the offense, which began each of its 13 drives inside San Francisco’s 40-yard line.

“When people feel like they need to do more than what they’re being asked to do, that’s when bad things actually happen,” Saleh said. “Right now, that first play, and A.C. will tell you, he’d love to have that play back, but the way they responded after that play and the way they came out and played and executed the defense all the way through, I thought was really good on their part to remain composed and to continue to fight all the way through the game.”

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Eagles got their swagger back against the Giants

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — The champions got their swagger back.

After a pair of tough losses, the Philadelphia Eagles rebounded with a dominant performance on the road against a division rival and dismissed talk of a Super Bowl hangover.

Carson Wentz and Co. aren't going anywhere. They proved it in a 34-13 victory over

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — The champions got their swagger back.

After a pair of tough losses, the Philadelphia Eagles rebounded with a dominant performance on the road against a division rival and dismissed talk of a Super Bowl hangover.

Carson Wentz and Co. aren’t going anywhere. They proved it in a 34-13 victory over the New York Giants on Thursday night. The Eagles (3-3) are still frontrunners in the NFC East, and they’re determined to make another long run.

“Having let a couple games slip through our hands, and this is what I love about the team, the players don’t panic,” coach Doug Pederson said Friday. “The players are resilient. The players know. Players are smart. You guys are around them. They understand what’s going on. They see it. They hear it. They read about it. They see it on television. And then as coaches, we point stuff out.”

Several of the team’s weaknesses were exposed during the first five weeks, especially in consecutive close losses to Tennessee (26-23 in overtime) and Minnesota (23-21). The offensive line had trouble protecting Wentz. The defensive line couldn’t get enough pressure on quarterbacks. The secondary gave up a lot of yards passing.

But they put it all together against the struggling Giants and showed flashes of the team that dominated the NFC on its way to winning the Super Bowl last season.

“When I talk about ownership, the guys have to take it upon themselves to make the necessary changes to fix,” Pederson said. “Our behavior has to change, right? Our standards have to change just a little bit. They have to elevate just a little bit. And I can stand up here and talk to the team until I’m blue in the face, but until they realize it, until they take ownership of it, until they sort of embrace it, it probably won’t change.

“And what I saw the last couple of weeks is they’re saying and doing the right things. They’re showing up to practice every day. They’re not complaining about a short week. They’re not making excuses for injury. And that’s what our culture has established. That’s what a veteran sort of led team can establish, and they’ve embraced that, and they’ve risen to the challenge, and I think they’d had enough, and quite honestly, they rose to the occasion last night and played well in all three phases.”

Now the Eagles have a few extra days of rest to prepare for a home game against Carolina in Week 7. It’ll give players more time to heal from injuries.

Nine-time Pro Bowl left tackle Jason Peters left the game with a biceps injury. Pederson said the medical staff is still evaluating the extent of his injury but the early indication is positive.

Cornerback Sidney Jones is week-to-week after he sustained a hamstring injury.

Veteran running back Darren Sproles missed his fifth straight because of a hamstring injury and he could return next week. The Eagles lost Jay Ajayi for the remainder of the season after he tore an ACL against the Vikings.

Wendell Smallwood (18 carries for 51 yards) and Corey Clement (11 carries for 43 yards, one touchdown) handled primary running duties. Personnel boss Howie Roseman could make a deal before the October 30 deadline.

“Both these guys are determined runners. They run hard. They run aggressive. They’re really good backs for us,” Pederson said. “A lot of confidence in both of those guys, and what they do, very versatile. And it’s just two guys that really take their job serious and feel like they have to prove something every single day, and that’s what you want out of your players, that they’re out there proving themselves over and over because it just makes them better and it makes us better as an offense. I’ve been real encouraged by both those guys.”

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Browns rookie WR Willies breaks collarbone, out indefinitely

BEREA, Ohio (AP) — Browns rookie wide receiver Derrick Willies broke his collarbone in practice and will miss several games.

Willies got hurt during Friday's workout as the Browns went through final preparations for Sunday's game against the Los Angeles Chargers. The injury is a costly one as Willies was filling in for

BEREA, Ohio (AP) — Browns rookie wide receiver Derrick Willies broke his collarbone in practice and will miss several games.

Willies got hurt during Friday’s workout as the Browns went through final preparations for Sunday’s game against the Los Angeles Chargers. The injury is a costly one as Willies was filling in for Rashard Higgins, who is also sidelined with a right knee injury sustained in last week’s win over Baltimore.

Willies replaced Higgins in the fourth quarter against the Ravens and turned a short pass from Baker Mayfield into a 39-yard gain in overtime to help set up Cleveland’s game-winning field goal with 2 seconds left.

An undrafted free agent from Texas Tech, Willies finished with three catches for 61 yards. He was expected to get more playing time this week with Higgins out.

Damion Ratley will likely be active Sunday to replace Willies. Ratley does not have a catch this season.

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Bengals’ Boyd would love to beat hometown Steelers for once

CINCINNATI (AP) — Hines Ward was Tyler Boyd's favorite Steelers player while he grew up in Clairton, Pennsylvania. He loved how No. 86 made the tough catches in the biggest games and helped Pittsburgh win two Super Bowls during his 14 seasons.

"He was my guy," the Bengals receiver said. "Everything about him

CINCINNATI (AP) — Hines Ward was Tyler Boyd’s favorite Steelers player while he grew up in Clairton, Pennsylvania. He loved how No. 86 made the tough catches in the biggest games and helped Pittsburgh win two Super Bowls during his 14 seasons.

“He was my guy,” the Bengals receiver said. “Everything about him was good. He was quick, aggressive, he was smart, just a guy that everyone looked up to in the Pittsburgh area.”

Boyd got to know the Steelers when he went to Pitt, which shares Heinz Field with the Steelers. Instead of being drafted by them in 2016, he wound up going to the rival Cincinnati Bengals, who were looking for a slot receiver to complement A.J. Green.

Boyd immediately redirected his goal toward beating his beloved black-and-gold team. So far, he’s 0-for-4.

The Bengals (4-1) have dropped six straight to the Steelers (2-2-1), a streak that’s the talk of the town as Pittsburgh arrives for a game Sunday at Paul Brown Stadium. Boyd has played in three of the games. All three times, he has walked off the field watching thousands of Steelers fans twirl their Terrible Towels — a scene he once enjoyed.

“I haven’t beaten them once, so that would mean everything to me,” Boyd said. “Just with all my friends and family and fans coming to watch, I can start bragging a little and talk a little noise and stuff.”

So far, there’s been little to talk about.

Boyd had his best game against the Steelers as a rookie. He caught six passes for 78 yards in the second game of the season, a 24-16 loss in his return to Heinz Field. He also had a decisive fumble. He caught a pass at the Pittsburgh 33-yard line and was stripped by James Harrison. Pittsburgh recovered with 1:50 left, ending the Bengals’ comeback attempt.

Boyd had two catches for 13 yards in the rematch at Paul Brown Stadium, a 24-20 Steelers win .

Last year, Boyd suffered a knee injury and missed a 29-14 loss at Pittsburgh . He had two catches for 15 yards in a 23-20 loss to the Steelers at Paul Brown Stadium. Thousands of Steelers fans twirled their towels as Pittsburgh ran off the field after Chris Boswell kicked a 38-yard field goal on the final play.

The scene was familiar to Boyd, who attended a handful of Steelers games as a youth.

“They were all loud and crazy, so I’m expecting that,” Boyd said. “But a lot of games get like that at some point in the game. I think we’ll do a better job of keeping them quiet this game.”

The Bengals are counting on significant contributions from Boyd, who is having his best season. He leads the team with 30 catches — Green is second with 26.

Boyd knows many of the Steelers from his playing days at Pitt, when they used the same stadium.

“When we were at practice, me and James (Conner) always talked to (Mike) Tomlin and Le’Veon (Bell) and AB (Antonio Brown),” Boyd said. “I would ask AB how he would work a route in certain coverage, just little things like that.

“I had a good relationship with those guys when I was at Pitt. It’s fun to play against them now.”

NOTES: Running back Giovani Bernard was ruled out Friday with a knee injury, the second game in a row he’ll miss. … Tight end Tyler Kroft also is out with a foot injury. … Center Billy Price will miss his fourth game with a partially torn ligament in his right foot. … Cornerback William Jackson (knee), receiver John Ross (groin) and offensive tackle Cedric Ogbuehi (wrist) are listed as questionable.

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49ers apologize for leaving Kaepernick photos out of gallery

SANTA CLARA, Calif. (AP) — The San Francisco 49ers are apologizing for initially leaving Colin Kaepernick out of a photo gallery celebrating the team's history against the Green Bay Packers.

The team posted dozens of photos on its website of past games against the Packers before the teams meet again Monday night without

SANTA CLARA, Calif. (AP) — The San Francisco 49ers are apologizing for initially leaving Colin Kaepernick out of a photo gallery celebrating the team’s history against the Green Bay Packers.

The team posted dozens of photos on its website of past games against the Packers before the teams meet again Monday night without initially including any of Kaepernick.

The 49ers say in a statement that “unfortunately there were a handful of obvious misses in this gallery” and “we appreciate them being brought to our attention.”

Kaepernick set an NFL record for quarterbacks by rushing for 181 yards in a playoff win against Green Bay on Jan. 12, 2013. He threw for 413 yards in a season-opening win against the Packers in 2013, and led a winning drive to win a playoff game in Green Bay on Jan. 5, 2014.

The team later added photos of Kaepernick to the gallery. This is the first photo gallery the team has run this year but pictures of Kaepernick were included in all seven photo galleries posted on the website last year.

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