NFL notebook: Brown calls Steelers losses ‘unacceptable’
Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown said Thursday that his frustration on the sideline during Sunday’s game and his tweet toward a critic on Monday came from his desire to win.
Meeting with reporters for the first time since the team’s 42-37 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs, Brown made it clear he does not want a trade, but rather for his team to start performing at the level it has previously.
“We were losing the game… we haven’t won a game yet,” Brown said. “For me, as a Steeler, that’s unacceptable. I’m not on the sideline begging for the ball or making statements like you guys (the media) make. I’m pissed off. We’re losing, we suck. …We ain’t winning. You’re damn right I’m pissed off.”
Brown was seen on the sideline during the second half of the Chiefs game in an apparent argument with offensive coordinator Randy Fichtner. On Monday, Brown replied to a critical tweet from former Steelers PR staffer Ryan Scarpino — suggesting Brown wouldn’t be as productive without Ben Roethlisberger — with the words “Trade me let’s find out.” However, Brown was clear Thursday the he doesn’t want a trade.
–Jacksonville Jaguars running back Leonard Fournette said he plans to be back in the lineup Sunday against the Tennessee Titans.
Fournette did not play because of a hamstring injury last week, as the Jaguars beat the Patriots 31-20 to move to 4-0 in games without Fournette. He left the Week 1 win over the New York Giants with a strain and said he felt a pop.
“That team is talented,” Fournette said of the Titans. “We respect their D-line. It’s going to be a fistfight once again, like it always is.”
–Baltimore Ravens linebacker C.J. Mosley returned to practice, just a week after getting carted off the field against the Cincinnati Bengals with a left knee injury.
Mosley avoided ligament damage and was diagnosed with a bone bruise, which appears unlikely to keep him out much more than a week, if that. He appeared to practice only on a limited basis Thursday, keeping his status for Sunday’s game against the Denver Broncos unclear.
Defensive coordinator Don “Wink” Martindale said Mosley’s injury, which happened on the first series in Cincinnati, was difficult to bounce back from within the game. “That set us off balance a little bit, just like it would be if, I guess, your computers crashed or something right in the middle of a story that you’re writing,” he told reporters.
–Four key offensive pieces missed Indianapolis Colts practice for the second day in a row, raising questions about their availability for Sunday’s game against the Philadelphia Eagles.
Wide receiver T.Y. Hilton (quad), left tackle Anthony Castonzo (hamstring), tight end Jack Doyle (hip) and running back Marlon Mack (foot, hamstring) all sat out Wednesday and Thursday. Hilton, who has missed just eight of the team’s 143 snaps through two games, said Wednesday his injury is “nothing to worry about,” but questions will remain if he does not get in at least a limited practice Friday.
Castonzo has yet to play after sustaining a pair of setbacks — the most recent coming last week — since he initially hurt his hamstring during training camp. Mack made his season debut last season after a preseason hamstring injury, but he picked up a foot issue in the game. Doyle has missed just seven snaps through two weeks.
–Atlanta Falcons wideout Julio Jones remained sidelined at practice with a calf injury, though he deemed the absence precautionary after the muscle tightened in Sunday’s win over the Panthers.
Running back Devonta Freeman (knee), defensive ends Takk McKinley (groin) and Derrick Shelby (groin), and linebacker Corey Nelson (calf) also missed practice for the second consecutive day.
–Kansas City Chiefs safety Eric Berry remained out of practice with a heel injury, suggesting he will miss his third straight game.
Despite optimism he could practice this week, Berry has yet to practice this year and missed the first two games with a “doubtful” designation on the injury report. The Chiefs’ defense currently ranks last in yards allowed, 31st in yards per play allowed and 29th in points allowed.
–New York Giants defensive end Olivier Vernon and cornerback Eli Apple remained sidelined from practice, putting their availability for Sunday’s game against the Texans in doubt.
Vernon has been out since late August with a high-ankle sprain and has yet to return to practice. Apple picked up a groin injury Sunday night against the Cowboys before missing the team’s first two sessions of this week.
Tight end Evan Engram (ankle) practiced on a limited basis for the second straight day.
–Philadelphia Eagles running backs Darren Sproles and Jay Ajayi remained sidelined from practice.
Sproles hasn’t practiced in more than a week with a hamstring issue that kept him out of Sunday’s loss in Tampa Bay. Ajayi missed most of the first half of Sunday’s game with a back issue before returning. He has logged just 51 snaps (33.8 percent) through two games this season.
–Detroit Lions cornerback Darius Slay sat out for the second day in a row with a concussion.
With the second missed session, Slay appears unlikely to progress through the league’s concussion protocol in time to play Sunday night against the New England Patriots.
–Tampa Bay Buccaneers first-round defensive tackle Vita Vea returned to practice for the first time since July.
Vea was carted off the field after going down in a training-camp practice with a calf issue. It is uncertain if he will be able to make his NFL debut Monday night against the Steelers, but the Bucs could use help at defensive tackle after injuries to Mitch Unrein (injured reserve, concussion) and Beau Allen (foot).
Meanwhile, cornerback Brent Grimes (groin) expects to play against the Steelers after missing the first two games of the season.
–Former NFL cornerback Vontae Davis knew walking away from the game he played since his childhood in Washington, D.C., was the right thing to do, and he told Domonique Foxworth of The Undefeated he looks back with no regrets.
“I feel great. I haven’t felt like this in … ” Davis paused, “well, in my whole life.”
At halftime of the Buffalo Bills’ 31-20 loss on Sunday, Davis announced his retirement from the NFL. A two-time Pro Bowl selection and 10-year veteran, he signed a one-year contract with the Bills in the offseason.
–The ex-girlfriend of Bills running back LeSean McCoy is offering a $20,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of the person who broke into McCoy’s house and assaulted her in July, her attorneys announced.
Cordon is scheduled to hold a news conference Friday in Georgia, where the incident occurred, to discuss why she is convinced McCoy was involved in the July 10 home invasion.
“While Mr. McCoy maintains that he has been very forthcoming with his teammates and with his coaches, he has not provided any information whatsoever to the City of Milton Police, or assisted in the criminal investigation in any way, which will be discussed at [Friday’s] press conference as well,” her attorneys said, per ESPN.
–The Dallas Cowboys are the most valuable NFL franchise on Forbes’ annual list for the 12th year in a row.
The team is now valued at an estimated $5 billion, up 4 percent from last year, according to the magazine. The Cowboys are the first pro sports team to reach the $5 billion mark, even though they haven’t reached the Super Bowl since 1996.
The New England Patriots, winners of five Super Bowls since 2002, come in second on the list with a value of $3.8 billion. The Los Angeles Rams made the biggest jump in value — 7 percent to an estimated $3.2 billion — to reach No. 4. Rounding out the top five were the New York Giants (No. 3, $3.3 billion) and the Washington Redskins ($3.1 billiion).
–Aaron Rodgers returned from a knee injury, and now he’s back on the stump for State Farm in an agent vs. agent spot that will include multiple iterations this season.
While the Packers quarterback battled a serious knee injury Week 1, the opening spot of his new commercial series sets up Rodgers’ big-screen sports agent against his State Farm insurance agent.
Rodgers’ NFL representative is actually David Dunn, who helped the Pro Bowl passer score a contract extension worth more than $134 million, is not in the TV spot. Actor David Haydn-Jones, recently of CW series “Supernatural,” plays Rodgers’ agent, Gabe Gabriel.
–As expected, Denver Broncos quarterback Case Keenum returned to practice after missing Wednesday’s session with a sore left knee.
Head coach Vance Joseph told reporters Wednesday the team held Keenum out despite the signal-caller wanting to practice, and that he fully expects Keenum to play Sunday at Baltimore.
–Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald returned to a limited practice after missing Wednesday’s session.
Head coach Steve Wilks already said he expects Fitzgerald, who sustained a hamstring injury late in Sunday’s loss to the Rams, to play against the Bears this week.
–Field Level Media