Falcons put DE Shelby on IR

Falcons put DE Shelby on IR

The Atlanta Falcons placed defensive end Derrick Shelby on injured reserve with a lingering groin injury, the team announced on Wednesday.

The team promoted defensive back Ryan Neal to the active roster and signed running back Jeremy Langford to the practice squad.

Shelby has been limited to seven games (three starts) and has just 10 tackles for the season.

The Falcons’ defense is already without starting safeties Keanu Neal (ACL) and Ricardo Allen (Achilles) for the season. Shelby is the seventh player to go on injured reserve for the Falcons this season.

Middle linebacker Deion Jones (foot) was activated from injured reserve earlier this month but has yet to play.

The Falcons host the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday.

–Field Level Media

Packers place RB Jones (knee) on injured reserve

Packers place RB Jones (knee) on injured reserve

The Green Bay Packers placed

Packers place RB Jones (knee) on injured reserve

The Green Bay Packers placed running back Aaron Jones on injured reserve and signed wide receiver Allen Lazard from the Jacksonville Jaguars’ practice squad on Tuesday.

Jones, 24, suffered a sprained MCL in his right knee during Sunday’s 24-17 loss at Chicago.

The second-year player finishes the season with 133 carries for 728 yards and eight touchdowns, all team highs and career highs. The 2017 fifth-round pick out of UTEP leads the NFL with an average of 5.5 yards per carry and added 26 catches for 206 yards and one touchdown.

Lazard, a 6-foot-5 rookie from Iowa State, signed with Jacksonville in May as an undrafted free agent. He has spent the entire season on the Jaguars’ practice squad.

In 48 games in college, he finished as the Cyclones’ career leader in receptions (241), receiving yards (3,360) and 100-yard receiving games (12). He was a two-time All-Big 12 First Team selection.

–Field Level Media

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Rams waive All-Pro return specialist Cooper

Rams waive All-Pro return specialist Cooper

Rams waive All-Pro return specialist Cooper

The Los Angeles Rams on Tuesday announced they have waived All-Pro return specialist Pharoh Cooper.

A fourth-round pick in the 2016 NFL Draft, Cooper has missed 10 weeks this season due to an ankle injury and played in only five games. He returned 13 kickoffs for 277 yards (21.3 average) and two punts for 12 yards and did not catch any passes.

Cooper, 23, earned All-Pro honors and made the Pro Bowl in 2017 while leading the NFL in kickoff-return average (27.4) and finishing second in punt-return average (12.5). He returned a kickoff 103 yards for a touchdown in the Rams’ Oct. 15 win at Jacksonville last season.

As a wide receiver, Cooper caught 25 passes for 190 yards in 31 games with the Rams.

No corresponding roster move was announced.

–Field Level Media

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Redskins S Nicholson arrested, charged with assault

Redskins S Nicholson arrested, charged with assault

Washington Redskins safety Montae Nicholson has

Redskins S Nicholson arrested, charged with assault

Washington Redskins safety Montae Nicholson has been charged with assault and battery as well as being drunk in public, according to multiple reports.

According to a report by the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office in Virginia, deputies were called to a local retail and residential development around 2 a.m. Tuesday morning to break up a fight. They found two victims, a man and a woman, who were reportedly assaulted by Nicholson, 23, and 24-year-old Sydney A. Maggiore.

What apparently started as a verbal altercation escalated into a physical fight, according to police. Authorities determined that Nicholson assaulted the man and Maggiore assaulted both the man and the woman, per reports. Police reportedly believe Maggiore may have used a bottle as a weapon against the female, and both victims were taken to the hospital for treatment.

Nicholson was released on $2,500 bail, while Maggiore is still being held. She was reportedly charged with malicious wounding as well as assault and battery and was not granted bail.

The Redskins released a statement Tuesday from spokesman Tony Wyllie following the arrest: “We are aware of the arrest of Montae Nicholson. We are gathering more information and will not comment until we have further details.”

Nicholson, a fourth-round draft pick in 2017 out of Michigan State, is in his second NFL season. He has 41 combined tackles and one pass defended in 14 games this season.

–Field Level Media

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Texans release WR Coates

Texans release WR Coates

The Houston Texans on Tuesday released wide receiver

Texans release WR Coates

The Houston Texans on Tuesday released wide receiver Sammie Coates.

Coates, 25, played primarily on special teams and caught one pass for 12 yards in 12 games. He has 29 career receptions for 528 yards and two touchdowns.

Coates thanked the organization in a tweet.

“Thank you Houston!! Good luck to y’all guys!”

Coates played for the Cleveland Browns in 2017 but Cleveland waived him in March. The Pittsburgh Steelers drafted Coates in the third round in 2015 and he played two seasons with the club.

–Field Level Media

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Report: Cardinals release CBs Johnson, Rollins

Report: Cardinals release CBs Johnson, Rollins

The Arizona Cardinals are releasing cornerback

Report: Cardinals release CBs Johnson, Rollins

The Arizona Cardinals are releasing cornerback Dontae Johnson, NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo reported Tuesday.

The 2018 season has turned out to be a lost one for the fifth-year veteran, who was signed by Arizona on Nov. 27 but never played a game for the team.

Johnson played in 63 of 64 possible games in four seasons with the San Francisco 49ers, making 16 starts in 2017. He signed with the Seattle Seahawks as a free agent in the offseason but the team released him in late September after he suffered a groin injury earlier in the month. The Buffalo Bills signed him and he played in one game — a 37-5 loss to the Indianapolis Colts on Oct. 21.

The Bills cut him nine days later.

The Cardinals also released cornerback Quinten Rollins, Garafolo reported. Rollins spent three seasons in Green Bay but the team waived him off of injured reserve in early September. The Cardinals signed him Nov. 27 but he never played in a game for Arizona.

–Field Level Media

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Bills put RB Murphy (elbow) on season-ending IR

Bills put RB Murphy (elbow) on season-ending IR

The

Bills put RB Murphy (elbow) on season-ending IR

The Buffalo Bills on Tuesday placed running back Marcus Murphy on injured reserve and signed wide receiver Victor Bolden off the San Francisco 49ers’ practice squad.

Murphy dislocated his left elbow in the second quarter of Sunday’s 14-13 victory against Detroit. The fourth-year player made his first NFL start against the Lions, rushing 11 times for 35 yards before the injury.

Murphy carried 52 times for 250 yards and caught 11 passes for 26 yards this season. He also averaged 24.9 yards per return on kickoffs.

Bolden was used mostly on special teams during his second season with the 49ers. He caught one pass for 10 yards against Arizona in Week 5.

–Field Level Media

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Rams sign veteran RB C.J. Anderson

Rams sign veteran RB C.J. Anderson

The Los Angeles Rams announced Tuesday they have

Rams sign veteran RB C.J. Anderson

The Los Angeles Rams announced Tuesday they have signed veteran running back C.J. Anderson.

The move comes one day after Rams coach Sean McVay told reporters that starting running back Todd Gurley is dealing with knee inflammation. The condition caused Gurley to miss some time during Sunday night’s 30-23 loss to Philadelphia — the Rams’ second in a row and third in six games.

There has been speculation about Gurley’s health for several weeks now as his workload has decreased and he has not looked as explosive as he did earlier in the season.

Gurley has eclipsed 20 carries only once since the end of October and has scored only seven touchdowns in the last seven games, compared to 14 in the first seven games of the season. His primary backup, Malcolm Brown, is out for at least the rest of the regular season and the only other healthy running back currently on the roster is undrafted rookie John Kelly.

Anderson, 27, has 3,155 rushing yards, 883 receiving yards and 25 total touchdowns in 67 career games over six seasons. He spent the first five years of his career in Denver, where he won a Super Bowl in 2015. He also made the Pro Bowl in 2014, rushing for 849 yards and adding a career-high 324 through the air with 10 touchdowns. His lone 1,000-yard season came in 2017.

The Carolina Panthers signed Anderson to a one-year contract this offseason after the Broncos cut him. He played in nine games with the Panthers, starting one and collecting 104 yards on 24 carries and catching one pass for a 24-yard touchdown.

Carolina cut him on Nov. 13. The Raiders then signed Anderson on Dec. 5, but released him a week later.

–Field Level Media

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Panthers QB Newton laments shoulder issues

Panthers QB Newton laments shoulder issues

Carolina Panthers quarterback

Panthers QB Newton laments shoulder issues

Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton opened up about his sore shoulder after Monday night’s loss to the New Orleans Saints, saying that it hasn’t gotten better – or worse – and that he just doesn’t “have the strength, from the range of motion.”

“It is what we expected it to be. … The same way. It’s not getting better, it’s not getting worse. It is what it was, just a lot of soreness and tension in the joints,” Newton told reporters during his postgame comments.

“It doesn’t matter how much you push,” Newton said. “Ice, anti-inflammatories you take … I mean, trust me, I did it. Acupuncture. Massages. It’s just not been a time that (a) night has gone by without me getting some type of work done on my arm.

“We just don’t have the strength, from the range of motion,” Newton said.

Newton completed 16 of 29 passes against the Saints for just 131 yards and an interception while not looking comfortable throwing the ball. The loss was the Panthers’ six straight.

Newton first appeared on the injury report in Week 8. In Monday’s game, he skidded passes in front of receivers, missed multiple targets short and wide, and generally never found a strike zone.

“You work on the range of motion, and then come game time, you never know how it’ll kind of play out,” Newton said. “You try to stay under 25, 30 throws, but if it’s past that, or if you get hit on it, or you have to run, or you get tackled and you fall on your shoulder, certain things happen. That’s the game of football.”

Newton has just two touchdowns against six interceptions in December and a passer rating of 94.2 for the season.

–Field Level Media

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Ray Rice speaks out against domestic violence, says ‘I’m done with football’

Ray Rice speaks out against domestic violence, says 'I'm done with football'

Ray Rice speaks out against domestic violence, says ‘I’m done with football’

Former Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice, whose name has resurfaced since video emerged last month showing Kareem Hunt pushing and kicking a woman, spoke publicly on Tuesday, saying he is done with football and that he would be willing to speak with Hunt.

The NFL placed Hunt on the commissioner’s exempt list hours after TMZ published the video on Nov. 30, and a few hours later the Kansas City Chiefs cut the running back.

The Ravens cut Rice in 2014 after two videos surfaced, the first showing him dragging his unconscious fiancée Janay Palmer out of an elevator, and the second showing him punch Janay in the face in the elevator, knocking her out. Rice has not played in the NFL since.

Speaking with Janay, now his wife, on “CBS This Morning,” Rice, 31, talked about his life in the years since his banishment from the league. And he made it clear he is not speaking out in an effort to get back into the NFL.

“Well, see that for me, is something that I understand why it was being said early on about, you know, is this a ploy to get back into football,” Rice told CBS’ Gayle King. “I’ll be the first one to say it. I don’t have to retire to tell you I’m done with football. The pressure I was under of being a star — that was the person I hated the most.”

The couple married in March 2014, shortly after Ray Rice was charged with aggravated assault against Janay. King asked Janay Rice why she remained with Rice after the assault and why she has yet to see the video of the assault.

“I know it’s hard for people to understand,” Janay Rice said. “And I’m not here to force people to understand. It was never a thought whether I was going to leave or not, because I knew that that wasn’t him in that moment. This is somebody I’ve known since I was 15 years old. I knew that we had work to do, and I was willing to move forward and put in the work.”

When asked if he deserves a second chance of football, Ray Rice bluntly replied, “No. I didn’t deserve another chance.” Instead, he said, he got his second chance with his wife.

According to the CBS report, the NFL confirmed that Ray Rice works with the league on its domestic violence education program. Among other topics Ray Rice covered:

On his life before the assault on Janay and the subsequent fallout:

“One of the underlying issues for me was — I never wanted to ask for help. Football, for me, was my counseling. It was my therapy. It was my psychologist. It was everything.”

On the NFL’s efforts to address domestic abuse, including the current cases of Hunt and Reuben Foster:

“They’re trying to do the right thing … I know they are working with groups to try to get more of an understanding. And they’re doing the work. … I know the NFL … they’re not trying to push — they’re not trying to push people who do bad things or abuse against women. They’re not trying to push those guys on the field.”

On whether he would be willing to speak to Hunt:

“I would love to help anyone that’s willing to go the long haul.”

–Field Level Media

Ted works more on the business side of National Football Post while contributing the occasional article. He graduated with honors in Marketing and Economics from Seattle University. A lifelong fan of Boston sports teams and avid cyclist Ted can be found on one of Seattle’s bike paths when not watching sports.

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Panthers S Reid hit with another random drug test

Panthers S Reid hit with another random drug test

Panthers S Reid hit with another random drug test

Carolina Panthers safety Eric Reid late Monday tweeted out a notice from the NFL of yet another drug test, his seventh in 11 weeks with the team.

“Number 7 … ‘Random,'” Reid tweeted after the Panthers’ game against the New Orleans Saints, a 12-9 loss.

The notice was taped to Reid’s locker.

It’s the sixth random drug test and the seventh overall since Reid signed with the Panthers on Sept. 28. Reid’s first drug test was mandatory as part of his physical to join the Panthers. Reid doesn’t believe there’s anything random about the subsequent six tests.

“I’ve been here 11 weeks, I’ve been drug-tested seven times,” Reid told reporters after the game. “That has to be statistically impossible. I’m not a mathematician, but there’s no way that’s random.”

ESPN reported last month that the NFL Players Association is looking into Reid’s allegation that the NFL is targeting him with non-random drug testing.

Teammate Torrey Smith chimed in after the latest notice Reid received.

“7 in 11 weeks…this is some BS…including at least 2 after the game which is the worst one smh This ain’t random,” Smith said via Twitter.

Based on the collective bargaining agreement, drug testing is conducted by an independent laboratory — without the NFL or NFLPA’s involvement — with players’ names chosen at random by a computer.

Reid also said he has never failed a test. Failed tests warrant more frequent testing tied to tiered penalties for further failed tests.

The NFLPA filed a collusion grievance on Reid’s behalf in May alleging that NFL owners colluded to keep Reid from being signed, in response to his protests during the national anthem. Reid, a 2013 Pro Bowler, was an unrestricted free agent from March until Sept. 28, when the Panthers signed him after an injury to Da’Norris Searcy.

–Field Level Media

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FLM All-32: Team-by-team NFL notes

FLM All-32: Team-by-team NFL notes

AFC EAST

FLM All-32: Team-by-team NFL notes

AFC EAST

Buffalo Bills: While his team sits at 5-9 and he continues to rely on young players who bring little fanfare, coach Sean McDermott actually believes such reliance is proof his plan is working. “It’s really the type of culture we’re trying to build where I can walk into the team meeting room on Wednesday morning and say, ‘Hey, Player X has earned the right to be brought up to the active roster,'” McDermott said during his Monday news conference, noting he played six undrafted rookies Sunday. “And the players, I think they really get a lot of motivation out of that and take pride in that because they know what type of culture we’re trying to build and that you’ve got to earn things here.”

Miami Dolphins: With veteran Frank Gore likely out the remainder of the season with a foot injury, Dolphins coach Adam Gase has some evaluating to do at running back these last two games. One back likely to get more carries is rookie Kalen Ballage. After rushing for a total of 11 yards in his first nine games, Ballage broke out with 123 yards — including a 75-yard score — against the Vikings. But don’t count Gase among those surprised. “That long run he had, that’s how he runs every day (at practice),” Gase said. “That’s how he finishes every day. … When he gets a carry with the offense, he finishes in the end zone.”

New England Patriots: The Patriots have surrendered at least 150 yards rushing five times this season and are 1-4 in those games. That includes the last two games, both losses. But don’t expect Bill Belichick to place a renewed emphasis on stopping the run as the postseason approaches. “Look, each week you try to defend whatever the offense your opponents do — running game and passing game, situational football, third down, red area and everything else,” Belichick said during his weekly conference call. “So, what you do is a function of what they do, and that’s really more of a week-to-week thing for us. Whatever the league trends are or aren’t, I don’t really know that it matters. … It doesn’t really matter what the whole league does.”

New York Jets: While the Jets on Saturday hit double-digit losses for the third straight season and fourth time in five seasons, this offseason is sure to be different with rookie quarterback Sam Darnold providing the franchise plenty of hope for the future. Coach Todd Bowles may not be around to see Darnold develop beyond this season, but he offered his take on a key to Darnold’s success, and it’s not necessarily his arm. “He got out of the pocket and made some plays. He gave us a chance to try and win the ball game,” Bowles said during a conference call on Sunday. “He’s getting comfortable, he’s making plays with his feet and he’s finding the open areas.”

AFC NORTH

Baltimore Ravens: Safety Eric Weddle gets to see former teammate Philip Rivers before Christmas, but he’s not in much of a festive move about the Ravens drawing one of the AFC’s best teams — the Los Angeles Chargers — given the rest disparity. “It’s obviously a disadvantage,” Weddle said of the schedule working against Baltimore, with the Chargers having 10 days between Week 15 and Week 16 games. By comparison, the Ravens enter Saturday’s game on less-than-normal rest. “We’re going to use this as motivation,” Weddle said. “It’s stacked up against us. We’re going to be the underdog. No one is going to think we’re going to win. This just adds to the game. Would we like to have 10 days to prepare for one of the best teams in the league? Of course, but we don’t.”

Cincinnati Bengals: Another key skill position player is likely done for the season. Wide receiver Tyler Boyd has a sprained MCL and needs at least two weeks to recover. With only two games remaining, he’s a candidate for injured reserve, where he would join quarterback Andy Dalton and wide receiver A.J. Green, though head coach Marvin Lewis said no decision has been made yet. Boyd reached his goal of becoming the first Cincinnati wide receiver to reach 1,000 yards in a season not named Green since Chad Johnson did it in 2009. Now, he’s looking at bigger targets to knock down in 2019. “Hopefully I get into the Pro Bowl. I’ve been working my tail off each and every day,” Boyd said.

Cleveland Browns: Interim head coach Gregg Williams said he believes the Browns are shaking the losing culture that has defined the franchise since returning to the NFL in 1999. But he prefers players focus on the next day, instead of the next milestone on the schedule. At 6-7-1, the Browns are still barely alive in the playoff chase. “I would say that our guys understand there is a good young team in there,” Williams said. “We have to continue to focus on week after week after week on don’t look ahead. Do not look ahead. That is when things start to maybe become more distractions that we were just talking about.”

Pittsburgh Steelers: First-round safety Terrell Edmunds and the Steelers kept Tom Brady & Co. without a touchdown in three red-zone opportunities and without a point in two goal-to-go situations on Sunday, which the rookie said was all part of the mindset implanted by the defense early in the week. “It was like a playoff game for us,” Edmunds said. “We just lost three games in a row. We just have to come together as a team, come together on Tuesday, and keep it going.”

AFC SOUTH

Houston Texans: Running back D’Onta Foreman could make his season debut when the Texans play the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday. Foreman is 13 months removed from his last NFL carry after suffering a torn Achilles but has been progressing in practices. Another factor is that starter Lamar Miller departed last Saturday’s game against the New York Jets with an ankle injury and he may turn out to be a game-day decision. Houston coach Bill O’Brien knows what we wants to see from Foreman should he be active against the Eagles. “Obviously, good vision,” O’Brien told the media Monday. “Good knowledge of how the play’s being blocked, decisive running, continuing to improve in his knowledge of pass protection. Just good, solid play. Take care of the ball, No. 1.”

Indianapolis Colts: Indianapolis is one of the hottest teams in the NFL with seven wins in eight games and is one of three 8-6 teams — along with the Baltimore Ravens and Tennessee Titans — fighting for an AFC playoff spot. Sunday’s 23-0 victory over the Dallas Cowboys was a dominating performance on both sides of the ball and has the franchise hopeful of reaching the postseason for the first time since 2014. “We’re playing great football,” receiver T.Y. Hilton told reporters. “Right now you’re either the train or you’re on the tracks. Right now we’re rolling, so you better get on the train.” Quarterback Andrew Luck professes to be hearing none of the playoff chatter. “We don’t live in holes, but I haven’t heard talk about it all and that’s not a lie,” Luck said.

Jacksonville Jaguars: A season of high expectations continues to be miserable for the Jaguars and veteran defensive end Calais Campbell said the preseason optimism makes the hard fall hurt even worse. “This is as bad as it gets,” Campbell told reporters. “I truly believed we were capable of winning a Super Bowl this year, and we underachieved at the highest level. It’s all bad. That’s hard to deal with sometimes. But at the end of the day, you have to take it for what it’s worth and try to learn from it.” Campbell said the season isn’t entirely lost because there are lessons can be learned. “They’re going to learn tough lessons,” Campbell said. “Hopefully, we can use this kind of season to give us that motivation going forward. I guess if there are any positives to take it’s that there are a lot of lessons to be learned that can be beneficial to this team going forward.”

Tennessee Titans: Running back Derrick Henry set a franchise record with 408 rushing yards over a two-game span, surpassing legendary Hall of Famer Earl Campbell (405 in 1980) from the club’s Houston Oilers’ era. Henry had just 474 yards through 12 games before suddenly emerging as a force. Tennessee coach Mike Vrabel said Henry’s “confidence is through the roof.” Another factor may be that the 24-year-old Henry has fresh legs after averaging just 10.7 carries through the first 12 games before averaging 25 over the past two. “I think that Derrick has to be 23, 24 years old, so I hope that his legs stay fresh,” Vrabel said. “I see how hard (he works). He is one of our offseason award winners for how hard he trained in the offseason, and the amount of work he puts in. So I know he is in great condition.”

AFC WEST

Denver Broncos: The Broncos (6-8) are officially out of playoff contention, but they still have a milestone to play for. The team hasn’t had back-to-back losing seasons since 1971-72, a streak it would keep alive with wins over the Raiders and Chargers over the final two weeks. “Absolutely,” head coach Vance Joseph told the media Monday when asked if that’s a goal. “We want to win. These next two games are important for us to finish the right way. That part is very important to me. It’s about winning. That’s what it’s about. It’s not about losing, it’s about winning. That’s very important to our football team and our coaches.”

Kansas City Chiefs: Eric Berry’s return to the playing field for the first time since the 2017 opener was without setbacks, but the team will remain patient in increasing his snaps. “He’ll continue to increase time and we’ll see how that disperses out there and what the plan will be for this coming week,” head coach Andy Reid said. “The positive was that he came out feeling good. He was sore — he hadn’t played in a long time.” Meanwhile, right guard Laurent Duvernay-Tardif is “not ready yet” in his recovery from a spiral fracture in his leg that required surgery, but Reid said he still has a shot at returning sometime this season.

Los Angeles Chargers: The Chargers emerged from Thursday night with not only a victory over the Chiefs, but also nine days to prepare for the Baltimore Ravens. The extra time was ideal, head coach Anthony Lynn said, given the schematic complexity of the Ravens’ offense. “You’re playing a team that is really unconventional compared to what we’ve seen all year with that rushing attack, so many schemes and the way they’re using their quarterback,” Lynn said. “They’re using their quarterback like a running back. It makes it difficult for a defense. You have to be disciplined, you have to be in your gaps. There’s a lot to prepare for.”

Oakland Raiders: With a legal dispute ongoing between the city of Oakland and the Raiders, Sunday’s game against the Broncos could be the last game the Raiders ever play at the Oakland Coliseum. Head coach Jon Gruden, who coached in the stadium for four years from 1998-2001, will miss the environment. “Just raging in the Black Hole,” Gruden recalled of his favorite memories. “Rocking and raging down there after the Steeler game in Week 14, after a lot of wins over the years. Seeing a lot of the old highlights of great Raider teams, I get excited. I get emotional about it, and hopefully we get it all resolved so we can continue to play there.” The Raiders’ home in 2019 remains unclear as they await moving into a new stadium in Las Vegas in 2020.

NFC EAST

Dallas Cowboys: While five straight wins lifted the Cowboys to the top of the NFC East, did they also help Dallas get a little too cocky? That question was asked of head coach Jason Garrett at his weekly news conference Monday following his team’s 23-0 loss at Indianapolis, but that’s not the way he sees it. “I think the best thing we’ve done here over the last five weeks is we understand the challenges of the game and I think we’ve been mentally tough over the course of these last five games” Garrett said. “… We just didn’t do what we needed to do to win the game yesterday. Period. … It’s really as simple as that.” He later added: “Ultimately (the Colts) ran the ball too easily in the game.”

New York Giants: Despite his team officially eliminated from playoff contention, Giants head coach Pat Shurmur said quarterback Eli Manning will start Week 16 at the Indianapolis Colts, avoiding the temptation to start fourth-round rookie Kyle Lauletta. “I think we’re going to try to put the player in that gives us the best chance to win,” Shurmur said. “We’ll see if that involves Kyle. … Eli playing QB I think gives us the best chance to win.” The coach also indicated the team isn’t in a hurry to move on from Manning, whom Shurmur said he still believes has “years” left as an NFL starter. “Yeah (I want Manning back in 2019),” Shurmur said. “I want all our players to be back. I believe experience matters.”

Philadelphia Eagles: A day after Nick Foles led the Eagles to a road win against the Los Angeles Rams, coach Doug Pederson announced the Super Bowl MVP will get the start again in Week 16. Carson Wentz remains out with a back injury but will not yet be placed on injured reserve, Pederson said while discussing his team’s approach toward the Houston Texans next weekend. “It will be Nick (starting). Where Carson is health-wise and just another week of rest for Carson will help him. So we made the decision to go forward with Nick. We will not put Carson on IR.” Wentz has a fractured vertebra that might require three months of rest to fully heal.

Washington Redskins: The Redskins not only broke a four-game losing streak Sunday but also kept their playoff hopes alive. And they did it despite quarterback Josh Johnson making his first start since 2011. One thing that may have helped Johnson settle in was a piece of advice coach Jay Gruden gave him before the game: “Calm down.” But why did Gruden think Johnson needed to calm down? “I saw him playing catch and he threw one 180 miles an hour at the guy and almost killed him,” Gruden said. “So yeah, I told him to relax, calm down and then everything’s going to be fine. But he’s got a lot of poise for a guy who just got here and a lot of confidence.”

NFC NORTH

Chicago Bears: A division title in hand doesn’t mean Bears head coach Matt Nagy is ready to back off the accelerator. The Bears could still be as low as the No. 4 seed in the NFC depending on the results of the final two games. “Right now, we’ve got to win,” Nagy said Monday. Winning could come with its challenges as linebacker Aaron Lynch (elbow) and safety Eddie Jackson (ankle) are down with injuries. Nagy said the team is hopeful neither injury is season-ending, but there are no expectations yet for their Week 16 status.

Detroit Lions: Players are not using the term spoiler, but the Lions are geared up for Minnesota — a division opponent that whipped Detroit 24-9 and sacked quarterback Matthew Stafford 10 times last month. “If you love to play this game, every time you go out there is another opportunity to do the best you can,” linebacker Christian Jones said. “We still have a lot to play for. We all want to finish strong.” Offensive tackle Taylor Decker said the Lions want to win to fight through “growing pains” and establish an identity moving forward.

Green Bay Packers: Outside linebacker Clay Matthews said the Packers will keep fighting despite falling out of playoff contention with Sunday’s loss at Chicago. “I don’t think anybody anticipated having a losing season. It is what it is,” Matthews said. “We’re that close to having this whole thing flipped, but that’s all you can say in hindsight. We just haven’t done enough. We haven’t made those few plays that usually turn the game in our favor.”

Minnesota Vikings: Simplifying the offense was a goal of head coach Mike Zimmer’s when he made a change at offensive coordinator last week, elevating quarterbacks coach Kevin Stefanski to the play-calling role. Zimmer liked the result Sunday — 220 rushing yards and 41 points in a win over the Dolphins — but said not to oversell what happened in the build up to Week 14. “We ran like one play 10 times but with 10 different variations, so sometimes that’s what it is too,” Zimmer said Monday. “You format it differently and you get them in different looks so they can’t key on one thing, but you’re basically running the same play.”

NFC SOUTH

Atlanta Falcons: Tevin Coleman rushed for a career-best 145 yards in Sunday’s win over the Arizona Cardinals to at least temporarily pump life into the team’s sagging running game. Coleman’s big outing boosted the Falcons out of the cellar of the NFL rankings — they are now 31st at 90.7 yards per game — and may prompt Atlanta to decide to make a bid to retain his services. The fourth-year back’s contract runs out after the season, and receiver Julio Jones hopes the team brings him back. “I mean, he’s an amazing running back,” Jones said of Coleman. “He doesn’t get the credit he deserves, but he’s one of the best backs in the league, by far. His speed, his vision, everything about him.” Coleman has rushed for a career-best 704 this season while Devonta Freeman — the NFL’s third-highest paid back — has been limited to two games due to various injuries. Meanwhile, rookie back Ito Smith will go on injured reserve to have knee surgery, meaning even more work for Coleman in the final two weeks.

Carolina Panthers: Host the New Orleans Saints on Monday night.

New Orleans Saints: Visit the Carolina Panthers on Monday night.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Rookie defensive tackle Vita Vea flashed his potential with nine tackles in Sunday’s loss to the Baltimore Ravens after accumulating just 12 in his first 10 NFL appearances. The 12th overall pick injured a calf muscle early in training camp and missed the entire preseason as well as the first three regular-season games. That left him behind in conditioning, and then he was initially overwhelmed by how fast the game is played in the NFL. “I think now I’m just comfortable with it,” Vea told reporters. “The game’s slowed down for me. Just getting back in the flow of things.” Coach Dirk Koetter was impressed with what he saw from Vea against the Ravens. “Vita is really starting to play exactly like we watched on his college tape,” Koetter said during a press conference. “He’s playing violent, he’s running to the football, getting off blocks so much better and making plays laterally as well as just knocking the line of scrimmage back.”

NFC WEST

Arizona Cardinals: Most first-year head coaches have plenty of job security, but many have questioned whether Steve Wilks will be back after the Cardinals fell to 3-11 with another blowout defeat on Sunday. CBS Sports reported Sunday that Wilks’ job is in jeopardy, and the Arizona Republic said Monday his firing “seems a foregone conclusion.” Various reports have also suggested general manager Steve Keim’s job could be in jeopardy. Keim signed an extension through 2022 in February, but he has since pled guilty to extreme DUI, and the roster fell apart this season, with several recent draft classes disappointing. Keim has been with the Cardinals since 1999, working his way up after starting as a regional scout. Arizona won 34 games during his first three seasons on the job, reaching the NFC Championship in 2015.

Los Angeles Rams: Once coasting at 8-0, the Rams are 3-3 since, and their two-game losing streak has suddenly created the possibility that they could miss out on a first-round playoff bye. Holding the tiebreaker from their meeting in Week 14, the Chicago Bears would jump the Rams in the standings by winning out and getting one loss from L.A. Linebacker Dante Fowler Jr. told reporters the importance of getting the bye makes Sunday’s matchup at the Cardinals a huge one. “We gotta play it like it’s our last game and play like it’s a must-win game,” Fowler said. “… We know what’s in front of us. We’ve just got to go take it.” The Rams close the season at home against the 49ers.

San Francisco 49ers: On the practice squad before the season, Nick Mullens continues to impress head coach Kyle Shanahan, who was asked Monday if he planned to get C.J. Beathard any work in the final two games. “Nick deserves to be in,” Shanahan said. “Nick’s played very well, and he’s gotten better as he’s gone. I thought yesterday was probably Nick’s best game, especially the way he finished it in that fourth quarter. … He’s done too good of a job. We’d love to get C.J. more playing time, but Nick’s earned it and I’m not taking him out.” Looking forward to next year when starter Jimmy Garoppolo will be healthy, Shanahan is excited about his quarterback trio. “It’s neat when you have some choices that you believe you can win with,” he said. “I think we’ve got three guys in our building that give us a chance to win.”

Seattle Seahawks: The Seahawks emerged from Sunday’s overtime loss at San Francisco with a few key injuries, but they could be getting reinforcements for Sunday night’s game against the Kansas City Chiefs. Head coach Pete Carroll said linebacker K.J. Wright (knee) will return to practice this week, though it’s unclear if he’ll play for the first time since Week 10. “He’s going to practice this week, so we’ll see how he does,” Carroll said on 710 ESPN Seattle. “He looked fine last week in the amount of work that we gave him.” Right guard D.J. Fluker (hamstring) also has a chance to return, which would be a major boost after replacement Jordan Simmons went down with a knee injury that Caroll said “is going to be an issue.”

–Field Level Media

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Saints pull out low-scoring win over Panthers

Saints pull out low-scoring win over Panthers

Saints pull out low-scoring win over Panthers

The New Orleans Saints scored a fourth-quarter touchdown, and that was enough for a 12-9 victory against the Carolina Panthers on Monday night in Charlotte, N.C.

Drew Brees completed 23 of 35 passes for 203 yards and an interception for the NFC South champion Saints (12-2), who overcame glitches on offense throughout the game. New Orleans would wrap up home-field advantage in the NFC playoffs by registering one win in the last two weeks of the season.

Carolina (6-8) has lost six straight games and clings to slim playoff hopes.

Panthers quarterback Cam Newton, who has had a sore shoulder, finished 16 of 29 for 131 yards and one interception.

Alvin Kamara’s 16-yard run with 12:12 remaining was the only touchdown of the game for the Saints, who trailed 7-6 before that play. However, Brees threw an interception on the two-point conversion attempt, with rookie cornerback Donte Jackson making a return of about 100 yards for a two-point defensive score.

The 11-play, 84-yard touchdown drive included a 17-yard run by backup quarterback Taysom Hill.

Once New Orleans forced a punt on Carolina’s ensuing possession, the Saints chewed up more than seven minutes. The march included Kamara’s 3-yard run on fourth-and-1 from the Panthers 14-yard line on the final play before the two-minute warning.

However, when Tommylee Lewis picked up what would have been a game-clinching first down, he fumbled the ball out of the end zone with 1:44 left.

The Panthers, who had exhausted their timeouts, moved the ball only 19 yards before turning it over on downs.

The teams will meet again in less than two weeks in the regular-season finale.

The Panthers opened the scoring with a trick play when running back Christian McCaffrey connected with tight end Ed Manhertz for a 50-yard touchdown pass on a fourth-and-2 snap late in the first quarter.

The Saints scored field goals on their next two possessions, with Wil Lutz converting from 46 and 24 yards.

The score remained 7-6 through the end of the first half even though both teams threatened.

The Saints had the ball near midfield at the two-minute warning, but Brees’ pass was intercepted by James Bradberry on a ricochet.

The Panthers reached the New Orleans 13 before Newton was intercepted in the end zone by Eli Apple.

Carolina moved inside the New Orleans 20 in the third quarter before receiver DJ Moore fumbled on a rushing play.

The Saints finished their road slate with a league-best 7-1 record.

–Field Level Media

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Will Cardinals bring back Wilks, Keim?

Will Cardinals bring back Wilks, Keim?

Arizona Cardinals: Most first-year head coaches

Will Cardinals bring back Wilks, Keim?

Arizona Cardinals: Most first-year head coaches have plenty of job security, but many have questioned whether Steve Wilks will be back after the Cardinals fell to 3-11 with another blowout defeat on Sunday. CBS Sports reported Sunday that Wilks’ job is in jeopardy, and the Arizona Republic said Monday his firing “seems a foregone conclusion.” Various reports have also suggested general manager Steve Keim’s job could be in jeopardy. Keim signed an extension through 2022 in February, but he has since pled guilty to extreme DUI, and the roster fell apart this season, with several recent draft classes disappointing. Keim has been with the Cardinals since 1999, working his way up after starting as a regional scout. Arizona won 34 games during his first three seasons on the job, reaching the NFC Championship in 2015.

Los Angeles Rams: Once coasting at 8-0, the Rams are 3-3 since, and their two-game losing streak has suddenly created the possibility that they could miss out on a first-round playoff bye. Holding the tiebreaker from their meeting in Week 14, the Chicago Bears would jump the Rams in the standings by winning out and getting one loss from L.A. Linebacker Dante Fowler Jr. told reporters the importance of getting the bye makes Sunday’s matchup at the Cardinals a huge one. “We gotta play it like it’s our last game and play like it’s a must-win game,” Fowler said. “… We know what’s in front of us. We’ve just got to go take it.” The Rams close the season at home against the 49ers.

San Francisco 49ers: On the practice squad before the season, Nick Mullens continues to impress head coach Kyle Shanahan, who was asked Monday if he planned to get C.J. Beathard any work in the final two games. “Nick deserves to be in,” Shanahan said. “Nick’s played very well, and he’s gotten better as he’s gone. I thought yesterday was probably Nick’s best game, especially the way he finished it in that fourth quarter. … He’s done too good of a job. We’d love to get C.J. more playing time, but Nick’s earned it and I’m not taking him out.” Looking forward to next year when starter Jimmy Garoppolo will be healthy, Shanahan is excited about his quarterback trio. “It’s neat when you have some choices that you believe you can win with,” he said. “I think we’ve got three guys in our building that give us a chance to win.”

Seattle Seahawks: The Seahawks emerged from Sunday’s overtime loss at San Francisco with a few key injuries, but they could be getting reinforcements for Sunday night’s game against the Kansas City Chiefs. Head coach Pete Carroll said linebacker K.J. Wright (knee) will return to practice this week, though it’s unclear if he’ll play for the first time since Week 10. “He’s going to practice this week, so we’ll see how he does,” Carroll said on 710 ESPN Seattle. “He looked fine last week in the amount of work that we gave him.” Right guard D.J. Fluker (hamstring) also has a chance to return, which would be a major boost after replacement Jordan Simmons went down with a knee injury that Caroll said “is going to be an issue.”

–Field Level Media

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Titans RB Henry passes Campbell’s two-game mark

Titans RB Henry passes Campbell's two-game mark

Houston

Titans RB Henry passes Campbell’s two-game mark

Houston Texans: Running back D’Onta Foreman could make his season debut when the Texans play the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday. Foreman is 13 months removed from his last NFL carry after suffering a torn Achilles but has been progressing in practices. Another factor is that starter Lamar Miller departed last Saturday’s game against the New York Jets with an ankle injury and he may turn out to be a game-day decision. Houston coach Bill O’Brien knows what we wants to see from Foreman should he be active against the Eagles. “Obviously, good vision,” O’Brien told the media Monday. “Good knowledge of how the play’s being blocked, decisive running, continuing to improve in his knowledge of pass protection. Just good, solid play. Take care of the ball, No. 1.”

Indianapolis Colts: Indianapolis is one of the hottest teams in the NFL with seven wins in eight games and is one of three 8-6 teams — along with the Baltimore Ravens and Tennessee Titans — fighting for an AFC playoff spot. Sunday’s 23-0 victory over the Dallas Cowboys was a dominating performance on both sides of the ball and has the franchise hopeful of reaching the postseason for the first time since 2014. “We’re playing great football,” receiver T.Y. Hilton told reporters. “Right now you’re either the train or you’re on the tracks. Right now we’re rolling, so you better get on the train.” Quarterback Andrew Luck professes to be hearing none of the playoff chatter. “We don’t live in holes, but I haven’t heard talk about it all and that’s not a lie,” Luck said.

Jacksonville Jaguars: A season of high expectations continues to be miserable for the Jaguars and veteran defensive end Calais Campbell said the preseason optimism makes the hard fall hurt even worse. “This is as bad as it gets,” Campbell told reporters. “I truly believed we were capable of winning a Super Bowl this year, and we underachieved at the highest level. It’s all bad. That’s hard to deal with sometimes. But at the end of the day, you have to take it for what it’s worth and try to learn from it.” Campbell said the season isn’t entirely lost because there are lessons can be learned. “They’re going to learn tough lessons,” Campbell said. “Hopefully, we can use this kind of season to give us that motivation going forward. I guess if there are any positives to take it’s that there are a lot of lessons to be learned that can be beneficial to this team going forward.”

Tennessee Titans: Running back Derrick Henry set a franchise record with 408 rushing yards over a two-game span, surpassing legendary Hall of Famer Earl Campbell (405 in 1980) from the club’s Houston Oilers’ era. Henry had just 474 yards through 12 games before suddenly emerging as a force. Tennessee coach Mike Vrabel said Henry’s “confidence is through the roof.” Another factor may be that the 24-year-old Henry has fresh legs after averaging just 10.7 carries through the first 12 games before averaging 25 over the past two. “I think that Derrick has to be 23, 24 years old, so I hope that his legs stay fresh,” Vrabel said. “I see how hard (he works). He is one of our offseason award winners for how hard he trained in the offseason, and the amount of work he puts in. So I know he is in great condition.”

–Field Level Media

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Raiders’ Gruden recalls Oakland Coliseum memories

Raiders' Gruden recalls Oakland Coliseum memories

Denver Broncos: The

Raiders’ Gruden recalls Oakland Coliseum memories

Denver Broncos: The Broncos (6-8) are officially out of playoff contention, but they still have a milestone to play for. The team hasn’t had back-to-back losing seasons since 1971-72, a streak it would keep alive with wins over the Raiders and Chargers over the final two weeks. “Absolutely,” head coach Vance Joseph told the media Monday when asked if that’s a goal. “We want to win. These next two games are important for us to finish the right way. That part is very important to me. It’s about winning. That’s what it’s about. It’s not about losing, it’s about winning. That’s very important to our football team and our coaches.”

Kansas City Chiefs: Eric Berry’s return to the playing field for the first time since the 2017 opener was without setbacks, but the team will remain patient in increasing his snaps. “He’ll continue to increase time and we’ll see how that disperses out there and what the plan will be for this coming week,” head coach Andy Reid said. “The positive was that he came out feeling good. He was sore — he hadn’t played in a long time.” Meanwhile, right guard Laurent Duvernay-Tardif is “not ready yet” in his recovery from a spiral fracture in his leg that required surgery, but Reid said he still has a shot at returning sometime this season.

Los Angeles Chargers: The Chargers emerged from Thursday night with not only a victory over the Chiefs, but also nine days to prepare for the Baltimore Ravens. The extra time was ideal, head coach Anthony Lynn said, given the schematic complexity of the Ravens’ offense. “You’re playing a team that is really unconventional compared to what we’ve seen all year with that rushing attack, so many schemes and the way they’re using their quarterback,” Lynn said. “They’re using their quarterback like a running back. It makes it difficult for a defense. You have to be disciplined, you have to be in your gaps. There’s a lot to prepare for.”

Oakland Raiders: With a legal dispute ongoing between the city of Oakland and the Raiders, Sunday’s game against the Broncos could be the last game the Raiders ever play at the Oakland Coliseum. Head coach Jon Gruden, who coached in the stadium for four years from 1998-2001, will miss the environment. “Just raging in the Black Hole,” Gruden recalled of his favorite memories. “Rocking and raging down there after the Steeler game in Week 14, after a lot of wins over the years. Seeing a lot of the old highlights of great Raider teams, I get excited. I get emotional about it, and hopefully we get it all resolved so we can continue to play there.” The Raiders’ home in 2019 remains unclear as they await moving into a new stadium in Las Vegas in 2020.

–Field Level Media

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Simplified offense energizes Vikings

Simplified offense energizes Vikings

Chicago Bears: A division title in

Simplified offense energizes Vikings

Chicago Bears: A division title in hand doesn’t mean Bears head coach Matt Nagy is ready to back off the accelerator. The Bears could still be as low as the No. 4 seed in the NFC depending on the results of the final two games. “Right now, we’ve got to win,” Nagy said Monday. Winning could come with its challenges as linebacker Aaron Lynch (elbow) and safety Eddie Jackson (ankle) are down with injuries. Nagy said the team is hopeful neither injury is season-ending, but there are no expectations yet for their Week 16 status.

Detroit Lions: Players are not using the term spoiler, but the Lions are geared up for Minnesota — a division opponent that whipped Detroit 24-9 and sacked quarterback Matthew Stafford 10 times last month. “If you love to play this game, every time you go out there is another opportunity to do the best you can,” linebacker Christian Jones said. “We still have a lot to play for. We all want to finish strong.” Offensive tackle Taylor Decker said the Lions want to win to fight through “growing pains” and establish an identity moving forward.

Green Bay Packers: Outside linebacker Clay Matthews said the Packers will keep fighting despite falling out of playoff contention with Sunday’s loss at Chicago. “I don’t think anybody anticipated having a losing season. It is what it is,” Matthews said. “We’re that close to having this whole thing flipped, but that’s all you can say in hindsight. We just haven’t done enough. We haven’t made those few plays that usually turn the game in our favor.”

Minnesota Vikings: Simplifying the offense was a goal of head coach Mike Zimmer’s when he made a change at offensive coordinator last week, elevating quarterbacks coach Kevin Stefanski to the play-calling role. Zimmer liked the result Sunday — 220 rushing yards and 41 points in a win over the Dolphins — but said not to oversell what happened in the build up to Week 14. “We ran like one play 10 times but with 10 different variations, so sometimes that’s what it is too,” Zimmer said Monday. “You format it differently and you get them in different looks so they can’t key on one thing, but you’re basically running the same play.”

–Field Level Media

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Garrett: Cockiness not Cowboys’ problem vs. Colts

Garrett: Cockiness not Cowboys' problem vs. Colts

Dallas Cowboys: While five straight wins lifted the

Garrett: Cockiness not Cowboys’ problem vs. Colts

Dallas Cowboys: While five straight wins lifted the Cowboys to the top of the NFC East, did they also help Dallas get a little too cocky? That question was asked of head coach Jason Garrett at his weekly news conference Monday following his team’s 23-0 loss at Indianapolis, but that’s not the way he sees it. “I think the best thing we’ve done here over the last five weeks is we understand the challenges of the game and I think we’ve been mentally tough over the course of these last five games” Garrett said. “… We just didn’t do what we needed to do to win the game yesterday. Period. … It’s really as simple as that.” He later added: “Ultimately (the Colts) ran the ball too easily in the game.”

New York Giants: Despite his team officially eliminated from playoff contention, Giants head coach Pat Shurmur said quarterback Eli Manning will start Week 16 at the Indianapolis Colts, avoiding the temptation to start fourth-round rookie Kyle Lauletta. “I think we’re going to try to put the player in that gives us the best chance to win,” Shurmur said. “We’ll see if that involves Kyle. … Eli playing QB I think gives us the best chance to win.” The coach also indicated the team isn’t in a hurry to move on from Manning, whom Shurmur said he still believes has “years” left as an NFL starter. “Yeah (I want Manning back in 2019),” Shurmur said. “I want all our players to be back. I believe experience matters.”

Philadelphia Eagles: A day after Nick Foles led the Eagles to a road win against the Los Angeles Rams, coach Doug Pederson announced the Super Bowl MVP will get the start again in Week 16. Carson Wentz remains out with a back injury but will not yet be placed on injured reserve, Pederson said while discussing his team’s approach toward the Houston Texans next weekend. “It will be Nick (starting). Where Carson is health-wise and just another week of rest for Carson will help him. So we made the decision to go forward with Nick. We will not put Carson on IR.” Wentz has a fractured vertebra that might require three months of rest to fully heal.

Washington Redskins: The Redskins not only broke a four-game losing streak Sunday but also kept their playoff hopes alive. And they did it despite quarterback Josh Johnson making his first start since 2011. One thing that may have helped Johnson settle in was a piece of advice coach Jay Gruden gave him before the game: “Calm down.” But why did Gruden think Johnson needed to calm down? “I saw him playing catch and he threw one 180 miles an hour at the guy and almost killed him,” Gruden said. “So yeah, I told him to relax, calm down and then everything’s going to be fine. But he’s got a lot of poise for a guy who just got here and a lot of confidence.”

–Field Level Media

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Falcons face decision on RB Coleman

Falcons face decision on RB Coleman

Falcons face decision on RB Coleman

Atlanta Falcons: Tevin Coleman rushed for a career-best 145 yards in Sunday’s win over the Arizona Cardinals to at least temporarily pump life into the team’s sagging running game. Coleman’s big outing boosted the Falcons out of the cellar of the NFL rankings — they are now 31st at 90.7 yards per game — and may prompt Atlanta to decide to make a bid to retain his services. The fourth-year back’s contract runs out after the season, and receiver Julio Jones hopes the team brings him back. “I mean, he’s an amazing running back,” Jones said of Coleman. “He doesn’t get the credit he deserves, but he’s one of the best backs in the league, by far. His speed, his vision, everything about him.” Coleman has rushed for a career-best 704 this season while Devonta Freeman — the NFL’s third-highest paid back — has been limited to two games due to various injuries. Meanwhile, rookie back Ito Smith will go on injured reserve to have knee surgery, meaning even more work for Coleman in the final two weeks.

Carolina Panthers: Host the New Orleans Saints on Monday night.

New Orleans Saints: Visit the Carolina Panthers on Monday night.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Rookie defensive tackle Vita Vea flashed his potential with nine tackles in Sunday’s loss to the Baltimore Ravens after accumulating just 12 in his first 10 NFL appearances. The 12th overall pick injured a calf muscle early in training camp and missed the entire preseason as well as the first three regular-season games. That left him behind in conditioning, and then he was initially overwhelmed by how fast the game is played in the NFL. “I think now I’m just comfortable with it,” Vea told reporters. “The game’s slowed down for me. Just getting back in the flow of things.” Coach Dirk Koetter was impressed with what he saw from Vea against the Ravens. “Vita is really starting to play exactly like we watched on his college tape,” Koetter said during a press conference. “He’s playing violent, he’s running to the football, getting off blocks so much better and making plays laterally as well as just knocking the line of scrimmage back.”

–Field Level Media

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NFL notebook: Foles to start again for Eagles

NFL notebook: Foles to start again for Eagles

NFL notebook: Foles to start again for Eagles

Nick Foles will make another start for the Philadelphia Eagles after leading a 30-23 upset of the Los Angeles Rams on Sunday night, coach Doug Pederson announced Monday.

Carson Wentz remains out with a back injury but will not yet be placed on injured reserve, Pederson said of the Eagles’ approach to Week 16 against the Houston Texans.

Wentz has a fractured vertebra that might require three months of rest to fully heal.

Foles finished 24 of 31 for 270 yards and an interception Sunday as the Eagles put up 30 points in a game for just the second time this season.

–The New York Giants were officially eliminated from postseason contention Sunday, but coach Pat Shurmur said Monday he would start quarterback Eli Manning again in Week 16 at the Indianapolis Colts.

Shurmur didn’t rule out the possibility of fourth-round rookie Kyle Lauletta seeing more action, but he was clear the Giants won’t just be evaluating talent for the future. The coach also indicated the team isn’t in a hurry to move on from Manning, whom Shurmur said he still believes has “years” left as an NFL starter.

Asked if he wants Manning back on the roster in 2019, Shurmur replied, “Yeah. I want all our players to be back. I believe experience matters.”

–Miami Dolphins running back Frank Gore is expected to miss the remainder of the season after being carted off the field Sunday due to a sprained left foot.

Further tests revealed the extent of the sprain, and ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported that the 35-year-old is not expected to play again this season.

–Kansas City Chiefs coach Andy Reid confirmed that cornerback Kendall Fuller had surgery to repair a wrist injury, but contrary to previous reports, Reid said Fuller may not miss any time at all.

On Friday, NFL Network reported that Fuller, 23, was to undergo surgery and likely miss time with a fractured wrist, an injury he played with Thursday in a one-point loss to the Los Angeles Chargers.

–Eddie Jackson appears to have escaped major injury, Bears coach Matt Nagy told reporters, after the safety went down late Sunday in Chicago’s win over the Green Bay Packers.

Nagy said Jackson, who sprained his right ankle, and outside linebacker Aaron Lynch, who hurt his elbow, were both having more tests done Monday on their injuries. Nagy added, “I don’t think either one of them is season-ending.”

–Things appear to be trending up for Los Angeles Chargers tight end Hunter Henry and running back Melvin Gordon as they recover from knee injuries.

Henry, who has spent all year on the physically unable to perform list after tearing his ACL on May 22, practiced Monday for the first time since the injury, opening a three-week window in which he can be activated to the 53-man roster.

Gordon plans to play Saturday against the Baltimore Ravens after missing the last two games with knee sprain. He was limited in practice Monday.

–Tennessee Titans cornerback Logan Ryan is out for the season with a broken leg.

Ryan, 27, announced the news himself on Monday morning in a social media post shared across multiple platforms. In his second season with Tennessee after four years with the New England Patriots, Ryan posted 76 tackles and 4.0 sacks in 2018.

–Carolina Panthers tight end Greg Olsen confirmed on Instagram that he underwent an operation to repair the ruptured plantar fascia in his right foot. “Surgery went well and I am on my way towards a full recovery,” he wrote. NFL Network reported that the surgery was performed last week. Olsen has been on injured reserve since Dec. 5.

–Packers wide receiver Randall Cobb was placed in the concussion protocol after getting injured Sunday against the Bears, ESPN reported. Cobb, who sat out six games with a hamstring injury earlier this season, has produced 356 yards and two touchdowns on 37 catches this year.

–Jacksonville Jaguars safety Ronnie Harrison, who became a starter after the team cut Barry Church last week, was placed on injured reserve because of a left knee injury. He was hurt Sunday in the first quarter against the Washington Redskins.

–San Francisco 49ers cornerback Ahkello Witherspoon will be placed on season-ending injured reserve due to a posterior cruciate ligament sprain in his right knee. Moore recorded seven tackles and defended two passes this season.

–Field Level Media

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Ravens use schedule as motivator again

Ravens use schedule as motivator again

Baltimore Ravens: Safety Eric Weddle gets to see former

Ravens use schedule as motivator again

Baltimore Ravens: Safety Eric Weddle gets to see former teammate Philip Rivers before Christmas, but he’s not in much of a festive move about the Ravens drawing one of the AFC’s best teams — the Los Angeles Chargers — given the rest disparity. “It’s obviously a disadvantage,” Weddle said of the schedule working against Baltimore, with the Chargers having 10 days between Week 15 and Week 16 games. By comparison, the Ravens enter Saturday’s game on less-than-normal rest. “We’re going to use this as motivation,” Weddle said. “It’s stacked up against us. We’re going to be the underdog. No one is going to think we’re going to win. This just adds to the game. Would we like to have 10 days to prepare for one of the best teams in the league? Of course, but we don’t.”

Cincinnati Bengals: Another key skill position player is likely done for the season. Wide receiver Tyler Boyd has a sprained MCL and needs at least two weeks to recover. With only two games remaining, he’s a candidate for injured reserve, where he would join quarterback Andy Dalton and wide receiver A.J. Green, though head coach Marvin Lewis said no decision has been made yet. Boyd reached his goal of becoming the first Cincinnati wide receiver to reach 1,000 yards in a season not named Green since Chad Johnson did it in 2009. Now, he’s looking at bigger targets to knock down in 2019. “Hopefully I get into the Pro Bowl. I’ve been working my tail off each and every day,” Boyd said.

Cleveland Browns: Interim head coach Gregg Williams said he believes the Browns are shaking the losing culture that has defined the franchise since returning to the NFL in 1999. But he prefers players focus on the next day, instead of the next milestone on the schedule. At 6-7-1, the Browns are still barely alive in the playoff chase. “I would say that our guys understand there is a good young team in there,” Williams said. “We have to continue to focus on week after week after week on don’t look ahead. Do not look ahead. That is when things start to maybe become more distractions that we were just talking about.”

Pittsburgh Steelers: First-round safety Terrell Edmunds and the Steelers kept Tom Brady & Co. without a touchdown in three red-zone opportunities and without a point in two goal-to-go situations on Sunday, which the rookie said was all part of the mindset implanted by the defense early in the week. “It was like a playoff game for us,” Edmunds said. “We just lost three games in a row. We just have to come together as a team, come together on Tuesday, and keep it going.”

–Field Level Media

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