NFL notebook: Mahomes (knee) practices fully

NFL notebook: Mahomes (knee) practices fully

Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes was a full participant in practice on Wednesday for the first time since dislocating his right kneecap last month.

Coach Andy Reid said before practice that Mahomes would be more involved, but added the reigning league MVP wouldn’t play in Sunday’s game at the Tennessee Titans “unless it’s safe to do so.”

During the portion of Wednesday’s practice open to the media, Mahomes remained second through individual drills behind veteran Matt Moore, who has started the last two games.

Mahomes suffered the injury in a 30-6 victory at Denver on Oct. 17. He was expected to be sidelined three to six weeks. Thursday will mark three weeks since Mahomes was injured.

–Though he has missed the past two games — and most of a third — due to an ankle injury, Arizona Cardinals running back David Johnson pronounced himself fit.

Regarding his status for Sunday’s game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Johnson repeated his statement in case there was any doubt. “I’m definitely playing. I’m definitely playing,” said Johnson, listed as a full practice participant Wednesday.

–Apparently tired of hearing about how bad he and the Chicago Bears are playing, starting quarterback Mitch Trubisky hopes to eliminate that noise by turning off the TVs at Halas Hall, the team’s practice facility.

Trubisky, 25 is taking most of the heat after the Bears (3-5) took their fourth straight loss to fall into last place in the NFC North. In seven starts this season, he has passed for 1,217 yards with five touchdowns and three interceptions.

–Rookie Dwayne Haskins is expected to remain the Washington Redskins’ starting quarterback when they return from their bye to face the New York Jets in Week 11, multiple outlets reported.

–Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan, sidelined with an ankle sprain, returned to practice. Also back at practice was cornerback Desmond Trufant, who missed the past three games with turf toe.

–An MRI on Jets running back Le’Veon Bell revealed no structural damage to his knee or ankle. Bell didn’t practice Wednesday, and coach Adam Gase said Bell was sore, but the running back should be ready for Sunday’s game against the New York Giants.

–Los Angeles Rams wideout Brandin Cooks is making a second visit to a specialist in Pittsburgh and will miss at least one more game as he remains in concussion protocol, coach Sean McVay said.

–Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver A.J. Green did not practice, casting doubt on his expected return to the lineup Sunday against the Baltimore Ravens. Coach Zac Taylor said Green experienced discomfort during a walkthrough and sought treatment on his injured left ankle.

–Giants tight end Evan Engram said he won’t play Sunday against the Jets due to his sprained left foot. The Giants have a bye next week, giving Engram ample time to recover before a Nov. 24 game at the Chicago Bears.

–The Oakland Raiders’ offensive line could remain short-handed, as right tackle Trent Brown (knee) and center Rodney Hudson (ankle) are listed as questionable for Thursday night’s home game against the Los Angeles Chargers.

–Strong safety Andrew Sendejo returned to the Minnesota Vikings, who claimed him off waivers. Sendejo, a 10-year veteran released Tuesday by the Philadelphia Eagles, previously played for the Vikings from 2011-18.

–Giants wideout Sterling Shepard visited a Pittsburgh neurologist, and there is a chance he could end up on injured reserve due to concussions, according to SNY.

–The New Orleans Saints got good news on the injury front, as quarterback Drew Brees (thumb), tight end Jared Cook (ankle) and wide receiver Tre’Quan Smith (ankle) practiced in full while running back Alvin Kamara (ankle, knee) was back in practice on a limited basis.

–Dallas Cowboys defensive tackle Daniel Ross, who is on injured reserve, was arrested following a traffic stop in Frisco, Texas, on charges of possession of marijuana and unlawful possession of a weapon.

–Field Level Media

MVP candidates clash as Texans visit Ravens

MVP candidates clash as Texans visit Ravens

For all

MVP candidates clash as Texans visit Ravens

For all the razzle-dazzle that Baltimore Ravens second-year quarterback Lamar Jackson brings to the table, one factor that acolytes and critics alike tend to overlook is his ability to steward an efficient ship.

Jackson has passed and dashed his way near the top of the NFL Most Valuable Player leaderboard while helming an offense that leads the NFL in rushing (197.2 yards per game) and ranks ninth in passing efficiency (101.3 rating). The latter is aided by the former, and the Ravens’ ability to run the ball with impunity is derived from their consistency in scoring touchdowns on opening possessions.

Baltimore (7-2), set to host the Houston Texans (6-3) on Sunday at M&T Bank Stadium, has scored on eight of nine opening possessions this season, including six touchdowns. Establishing early advantages feeds into the Ravens’ ability to commit to their punishing rushing attack.

“(It is) really important,” Ravens coach John Harbaugh said. “We talk about starting sharp. We want to be on point. We want to be focused. It’s both sides of the ball. Obviously, anytime you can get the lead, that’s an advantage. We want to get the lead. We want to keep the lead and extend the lead, if we can. So, I really think our guys have done a good job of that.

“It kind of goes (back to) what I said before, with the guys and the preparation, being on point and coming out and being ready to play. That’s really important.”

The Texans, sixth in the NFL in yards per play (6.08), aim to strike a similar run-pass balance despite star quarterback Deshaun Watson at the controls. Central to the Texans’ efficiency is ball security, and Watson has an interception rate (1.7) that ranks 15th among 34 qualified signal-callers.

Watson continues to advance by executing the finer points of his job. In consecutive wins over the Raiders and Jaguars, Watson passed for 480 yards and five touchdowns while completing 73.1 percent of his attempts and without tossing an interception. An offensive line beset by injuries surrendered just four sacks over 67 passing attempts, enabling Watson to establish a rhythm.

Of course, finer details aren’t driving the MVP conversation for either Jackson or Watson. Both have amassed enough dynamic plays to bloat any highlight reel, and whoever performs best on Sunday could carve an advantage over the signal-caller stewarding the losing team.

“It’s cool, I guess,” Watson said of the MVP chatter. “The only thing I can really control is performing on the field, and then everything else is to the voters and whoever decides on that decision. I don’t get too much caught up in that. My ultimate goal is trying to win as many games as I can to get to that ultimate goal.

“That MVP stuff is going to take care of itself. If it’s deserving for me, then I’ll do it, but if not, then best to whoever wins that award.”

At this stage, Watson, like Jackson, is certainly deserving of consideration. Fans, NFL media and players recognize everything both Jackson and Watson offer as exceptional talents. The hype is real.

“He dope,” Ravens cornerback Marcus Peters said of Watson. “He’s an excellent quarterback. You’ve got to give him respect.”

Both teams made mid-week additions. The Ravens added veteran D-linemen Justin Ellis and Domata Peko to reinforce an injured group up front, while the Texans claimed former first-round cornerback Vernon Hargreaves off waivers from Tampa Bay.

–Field Level Media

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Foles, Brissett to return as Jaguars battle Colts

Foles, Brissett to return as Jaguars battle Colts

Foles, Brissett to return as Jaguars battle Colts

Welcome back, Nick Foles. You too, Jacoby Brissett.

The return of the Jacksonville Jaguars’ and Indianapolis Colts’ starting quarterbacks injects extra juice into Sunday’s AFC South battle at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis.

Foles will make his first start since Week 1, when he sustained a broken clavicle while throwing a touchdown pass in the first quarter of a loss to Kansas City. Brissett is back after missing last week’s 16-12 home loss to Miami with a knee injury suffered during a 28-26 defeat Nov. 3 in Pittsburgh.

Without Foles, Jacksonville (4-5) at least managed to tread water. Rookie Gardner Minshew threw 13 touchdown passes and just four interceptions after Foles’ injury, establishing himself as a viable option for the long run, whether that’s in north Florida or somewhere else.

While the Jaguars are occupants of the division cellar, they still possess playoff hopes. And no one knows better than Foles the meaning of having a chance. After all, he did take Philadelphia on a surprise Super Bowl run after Carson Wentz’s season-ending injury two years ago, and helped rally the Eagles by going 5-1 down the stretch in 2018 and won a wild-card game last year at Chicago.

“To be back in a situation where we have an opportunity to make a run, that’s all we can ever ask. I’m grateful and happy to be back with those guys,” Foles said.

Besides getting its veteran starter back under center, Jacksonville has had a week off to get healthy after enduring a 26-3 beating from Houston on Nov. 3 in London. The addition of Foles gives a team with a powerful running back in Leonard Fournette, as well as developing young receivers, a veteran who knows about winning big games.

“More is on the line,” Foles said of playing in November and December. “Offenses and teams and cultures have been developed. Each year a team develops a culture. That’s the biggest challenge of stepping back in there and just playing football.”

By that standard, Brissett should have an easier time finding a rhythm. All he’s missed is a game and a half. But that was enough time for the Colts to fall behind Houston in the division race.

Last week’s defeat to Miami was one of the most puzzling results of the year in the NFL. Even with backup Brian Hoyer under center, Indianapolis (5-4) was a double-digit favorite. But Hoyer’s first start in two years was an unmitigated disaster, as he was just 18 of 39 for 204 yards with three crushing interceptions.

Brissett, who through eight games is completing a career-best 64.8 percent of his passes for 1,649 yards with a 14-3 touchdown-interception ratio, was a full participant at Wednesday’s practice. That’s a threshold that second-year coach Frank Reich said he would have to pass in order to play this week.

“I know his knee feels a lot better today than it did five days ago,” Reich said.

Not as certain is the status of wide receiver T.Y. Hilton, the team’s leading pass catcher with 32 receptions. Hilton (calf) has missed the last two games and wasn’t able to practice on Wednesday.

This is the teams’ first meeting of the year. They will play again in the season finale at Jacksonville.

–Field Level Media

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Panthers ready for visit from improved Falcons

Panthers ready for visit from improved Falcons

After what the

Panthers ready for visit from improved Falcons

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

–Field Level Media

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Texans claim former Bucs CB Hargreaves

Texans claim former Bucs CB Hargreaves

The Houston Texans claimed former Tampa Bay Buccaneers cornerback Vernon Hargreaves

Texans claim former Bucs CB Hargreaves

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

–Field Level Media

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NFL notebook: Gase’s job safe for 2020

NFL notebook: Gase's job safe for 2020

New York Jets CEO

NFL notebook: Gase’s job safe for 2020

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

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

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

–Indianapolis Colts quarterback Jacoby Brissett will return from a knee injury to start Sunday against the Jacksonville Jaguars, barring a setback.

Brissett practiced in full Wednesday after being limited all three days last week and sitting out the Colts’ 16-12 loss to the Miami Dolphins on Sunday.

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

The Detroit Lions, Washington Redskins and Atlanta Falcons also will be represented, and the Denver Broncos and Dallas Cowboys reportedly will have someone in attendance.

–San Francisco 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan told reporters that starting left tackle Joe Staley will miss at least a couple of weeks with a broken finger and that the likelihood of tight end George Kittle playing Sunday against Arizona seems slim.

In addition, running back Matt Breida will reportedly miss one to two weeks because of a sprained ankle.

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

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

–Seahawks wide receiver Tyler Lockett was scheduled to return to Seattle on Wednesday after spending two nights in a Bay Area hospital, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported. Team owner Jody Allen provided a plane to fly Lockett back to Washington, Schefter said.

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

–Detroit quarterback Matthew Stafford did not practice as the Lions began preparing for a Sunday visit from the Dallas Cowboys. Stafford was held out of last weekend’s game in Chicago after tests on his ailing back revealed that his injury was more serious than previously thought.

–Atlanta Falcons tight end Austin Hooper is expected to be out “about a month” with an MCL sprain in his knee, NFL Network reported. Coach Dan Quinn told the media that Hooper is a “long shot” to play Sunday at Carolina.

–Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver John Ross was cleared to practice and designated to return from injured reserve. He has been sidelined with a shoulder injury he sustained Sept. 30.

–The Houston Texans claimed former Tampa Bay cornerback Vernon Hargreaves off waivers. The former first-round pick (11th overall in 2016) was waived by the Buccaneers on Tuesday, two days after he was benched for what coach Bruce Arians deemed a lack of hustle.

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

–Cleveland defensive end Olivier Vernon was ruled out of the Browns’ Thursday game against the visiting Pittsburgh Steelers. Vernon, 29, is nursing a knee injury that also forced him to miss last week’s game.

–The Browns signed defensive end Bryan Cox, the son of the former three-time Pro Bowl selection by the same name. Linebacker Malik Jefferson was waived to make room on the roster.

–Field Level Media

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Colts’ Brissett expected to start vs. Jaguars

Colts' Brissett expected to start vs. Jaguars

Indianapolis Colts quarterback Jacoby Brissett will return

Colts’ Brissett expected to start vs. Jaguars

Indianapolis Colts quarterback Jacoby Brissett will return from a knee injury to start Sunday against the Jacksonville Jaguars, barring a setback.

“Jacoby, we’re anticipating, will practice full today,” head coach Frank Reich told reporters before practice Wednesday. “And as long as he practices full today and gets through today the way we expect, then he’ll be starting in the game.”

Brissett indeed practiced in full after being limited all three days last week and sitting out the Colts’ 16-12 loss to the Miami Dolphins on Sunday. Reich said he would follow up with the quarterback to make sure everything felt all right.

“We’ll check that box and say barring any setbacks the rest of the week he’ll be the starter,” Reich said. “I know his knee feels a lot better today than it did five days ago.”

Brissett, who was hurt in Week 9 at Pittsburgh, has 1,649 passing yards, 14 touchdowns and three interceptions in eight starts this year. Fill-in starter Brian Hoyer threw three interceptions in the loss to the Dolphins.

Meanwhile, Colts wideout T.Y. Hilton remained out of practice with a calf injury. He has not played since Week 8 against Denver.

Rookie receiver Parris Campbell (hand) also remains out, but veteran Devin Funchess (clavicle) returned to practice for the first time since landing on injured reserve following Week 1.

Funchess wore a no-contact jersey and has not been fully cleared yet, per Reich. The team has three weeks to either activate him to the 53-man roster or keep him on IR for the rest of the season.

The 25-year-old had three catches for 32 yards in the opener before getting hurt. He joined the Colts on a one-year, $13 million contract in free agency in March.

–Field Level Media

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49ers likely down 3 offensive starters this weekend

49ers likely down 3 offensive starters this weekend

49ers likely down 3 offensive starters this weekend

Suddenly, the losses just keep coming for the San Francisco 49ers.

Two days after his team suffered its first loss of the season to Seattle on Monday night, 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan on Wednesday told reporters that starting left tackle Joe Staley will miss at least a couple of weeks with a broken finger and that the likelihood of tight end George Kittle playing Sunday against Arizona seems slim.

In addition, running back Matt Breida will reportedly miss 1-2 weeks with a sprained ankle.

Staley broke his leg in Week 2 and missed the 49ers’ next six games. He returned to the field on Monday but fractured and dislocated a finger in the 27-24 overtime loss to the Seahawks. According to Shanahan, Staley underwent surgery on the finger and will “probably be out a couple weeks.”

After playing in all 16 games for five consecutive seasons from 2011-15, Staley has missed at least one game in three of the last four seasons — sitting out 10 games over that span.

As for Kittle, the knee and ankle injuries that kept him out of the Seattle game look like they will keep him off the field in Santa Clara, Calif., again this weekend. Kittle originally sustained the injuries on Halloween, against the Cardinals in Arizona.

The third-year tight end has 46 grabs for 541 yards and a pair of touchdowns this season, after setting a single-season NFL record for tight ends with 1,377 yards last season.

It was originally reported that Shanahan confirmed to Arizona media that Kittle would not play, but the 49ers later clarified Shanahan’s statement to indicate there is a plan in place should the tight end miss the game, but the 49ers are not yet ruling him out.

Breida sustained his injury Monday night. In nine games this season, Breida has 542 yards on 109 carries with a touchdown both rushing and receiving. Raheem Mostert will likely see more work in Breida’s absence.

–Field Level Media

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Surprising Dolphins set for rematch with Bills

Surprising Dolphins set for rematch with Bills

Sunday's matchup between the

Surprising Dolphins set for rematch with Bills

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

–Field Level Media

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Jets, Redskins meet, looking for elusive win

Jets, Redskins meet, looking for elusive win

The Washington Redskins and New York

Jets, Redskins meet, looking for elusive win

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

–Field Level Media

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Vikings’ Thielen (hamstring) misses practice

Vikings' Thielen (hamstring) misses practice

Vikings’ Thielen (hamstring) misses practice

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

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

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

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

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

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

–Field Level Media

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Stafford remains uncertain as Cowboys visit Lions

Stafford remains uncertain as Cowboys visit Lions

The Dallas Cowboys have become

Stafford remains uncertain as Cowboys visit Lions

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

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

The Detroit Lions also have an accomplished quarterback having a career season in Matthew Stafford, but his status looks shaky at best as the Lions prepare to host the Cowboys on Sunday. Stafford’s streak of 136 consecutive starts ended when he sat out a 20-13 loss at Chicago last weekend due to broken bones in his back.

Stafford did not practice on Wednesday, and it’s unclear if he will do so later in the week.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Detroit’s offense can be dynamic when its top players are healthy, but that’s not the case. Not only is Stafford injured, but top running back Kerryon Johnson is on injured reserve with a knee injury. Ty Johnson sustained a concussion against the Bears, which leaves the Lions with the combination of Paul Perkins and J.D. McKissic in the backfield.

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

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

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

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

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

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

For the Cowboys, the offensive line is banged up. Three starters missed Wednesday’s practice — guards Zack Martin (back, ankle, elbow) and Connor Williams (knee) and right tackle La’el Collins (knee, back). Williams underwent minor knee surgery and won’t play Sunday.

–Field Level Media

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Reports: Texans claim former Bucs CB Hargreaves

Reports: Texans claim former Bucs CB Hargreaves

The Houston Texans claimed former Tampa Bay Buccaneers cornerback Vernon

Reports: Texans claim former Bucs CB Hargreaves

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

–Field Level Media

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Report: Saints LG Peat out 6 weeks

Report: Saints LG Peat out 6 weeks

Report: Saints LG Peat out 6 weeks

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

–Field Level Media

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Report: Falcons TE Hooper out a month

Report: Falcons TE Hooper out a month

Report: Falcons TE Hooper out a month

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

–Field Level Media

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Lions QB Stafford (back) not practicing

Lions QB Stafford (back) not practicing

Detroit quarterback

Lions QB Stafford (back) not practicing

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

–Field Level Media

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Report: Seahawks’ Lockett leaves hospital, returns to Seattle

Report: Seahawks' Lockett leaves hospital, returns to Seattle

Seahawks

Report: Seahawks’ Lockett leaves hospital, returns to Seattle

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

–Field Level Media

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Dolphins, others to attend Kaepernick workout

Dolphins, others to attend Kaepernick workout

Dolphins, others to attend Kaepernick workout

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

–Field Level Media

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Browns DE Vernon ruled out vs. Steelers

Browns DE Vernon ruled out vs. Steelers

Cleveland Browns

Browns DE Vernon ruled out vs. Steelers

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

–Field Level Media

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A year later, Kuchar says he learned from caddie controversy

A year later, Kuchar says he learned from caddie controversy

A year later, Kuchar says he learned from caddie controversy

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

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

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

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

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

He and Ortiz have made up, Kuchar said.

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

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

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

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

–Field Level Media

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Bengals WR Ross cleared to practice, return from IR

Bengals WR Ross cleared to practice, return from IR

Bengals WR Ross cleared to practice, return from IR

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

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

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

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

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

–Field Level Media

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