Redskins QB McCoy out for season with broken leg

Redskins QB McCoy out for season with broken leg

Redskins quarterback Colt McCoy fractured his right fibula during Washington’s 28-13 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles on Monday, coach Jay Gruden confirmed postgame.

The injury thrust 32-year-old journeyman Mark Sanchez, who was signed Nov. 19 and last played at the end of 2016, into the lineup. Washington lost starter Alex Smith to a compound fracture in his right leg on Nov. 18 against the Houston Texans.

“This is a tough blow,” Gruden said of McCoy’s injury. “Losing Alex is one thing, a great leader, great quarterback. Put in a lot of time with him. Colt finally gets his golden opportunity and he gets kicked in the leg and breaks it. Heartbroken for both of those guys, really. …

“Those two guys are two tough-minded, tough people. Great competitors. If I had my money down, I’d imagine they’ll both be back somehow, some way.”

McCoy was hurt when his leg collided with Eagles safety Malcolm Jenkins while he was sacked to end the first quarter. McCoy finished the drive, throwing two short passes to help Washington to a 44-yard field goal. He then left and was initially ruled questionable to return while going to the locker room for X-rays.

The team officially ruled McCoy out during halftime.

McCoy, 32, completed all four of his passes for 50 yards Monday. In parts of three games this year, he went 34 of 54 for 372 yards, three touchdowns and three interceptions.

NFL Network reported two weeks ago that McCoy’s contract included playing-time incentives that could let him hit free agency this offseason, but the injury appears to rule out that possibility.

Sanchez went 13 of 21 for 100 yards with an interception Monday.

“It was a tall task, no doubt,” Sanchez said of taking over just weeks after joining the team. “But there’s no excuses to make. You just do your very best. I’m grateful for the opportunity.

“I was praying for an opportunity and I thank God for an opportunity. You just never want it under these circumstances. So with respect to Alex and Colt, I’ve got to do my very best to play well and help rally this team and figure out a way to win.”

–Field Level Media

Chiefs, Mahomes can lock up West with win over Chargers

Chiefs, Mahomes can lock up West with win over Chargers

Chiefs, Mahomes can lock up West with win over Chargers

An unexpected toss with his left hand, a no-look pass to a crossing receiver and — most importantly — a run toward home-field advantage in the AFC playoffs.

All that and so much more has defined record-setting Patrick Mahomes as a first-year starter in the NFL this season. Yet the Kansas City Chiefs quarterback must be on top of his game again Thursday night when the streaking Los Angeles Chargers look to tighten the West Division race.

Kansas City (11-2) last weekend qualified for the playoffs for the fifth time under sixth-year coach Andy Reid, using a madcap rally Mahomes engineered Sunday to hold off the Baltimore Ravens 27-24 in overtime. But after burning the NFL’s top defense entering the game for 377 yards passing and two touchdowns, the no-look pass was all the rage.

Hey, it’s always something radical with Mahomes.

“I worked with him real hard on that. I built that right into the offense,” Reid cracked. “He has a knack for that. He is comfortable doing it. This is the NFL and he is doing it. That’s something to do it in practice, but when you start throwing it in a game against the No. 1 defense in the National Football League, that is a little different.”

Confidence oozes from Mahomes, whose plus-32 touchdown-to-interception mark leads the NFL along, as do his 43 touchdown passes and 45 completions of 25-plus yards. The Chiefs average 437.5 yards and 36.2 points per game, along with 6.86 yards per play, all of which lead the league.

“I have built that chemistry with guys like D-Rob,” Mahomes said of Demarcus Robinson, recipient of the no-look pass, “through training camp and through last year. I know that the guys are going to know what I’m thinking and trust that they are going to keep running the route the same way. Then, I put the ball out there for them.”

Los Angeles (10-3) will counter with pressure off both edges from defensive ends Melvin Ingram and Joey Bosa. Bosa was injured and missed the first matchup, a 38-28 Week 1 win for the Chiefs to account for Kansas City’s one-game lead over the Chargers.

Los Angeles has won nine of its last 10 games, including three straight. Its only road defeat was against the crosstown Rams.

Kansas City, however, has won 20 of its last 21 against AFC West rivals and is looking to secure a third consecutive division title. A better divisional record gives the Chiefs the tiebreaker over the Chargers should Los Angeles win Thursday.

Veteran quarterback Philip Rivers is having an exceptional season for the Chargers but may need to come up even bigger against the Chiefs. Running backs Melvin Gordon (knee) and Austin Ekeler (neck) are dealing with injuries. Two rookies who have combined for 32 carries, Justin Jackson and Detrez Newsome, are next in line.

“It’s important to just get back to being healthy,” said Michael Badgley, a rookie kicker who set a Chargers record with a 59-yard field goal while going 4 for 4 Sunday in a win over Cincinnati. “Get back in there, go through all of our recovery, and it will be a short week, so a big mental week.”

The Chiefs also must deal with injuries to offensive threats.

Speedy receiver Tyreek Hill limped through a heel injury against the Ravens but is expected to be available. Another receiver, Sammy Watkins (foot) is likely out. Running back Spencer Ware (shoulder) is also hobbled.

–Field Level Media

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Rams place RB Brown, CB Hatfield on injured reserve

Rams place RB Brown, CB Hatfield on injured reserve

Rams place RB Brown, CB Hatfield on injured reserve

The Los Angeles Rams placed running back Malcolm Brown and cornerback Dominique Hatfield on injured reserve Tuesday.

Brown injured his collarbone during the NFC West champions’ 30-16 win at Detroit earlier this month. He has rushed for 514 yards in four seasons as Todd Gurley’s backup, including 43 carries for 212 yards and five catches for 52 yards and a touchdown in 2018.

Hatfield needs surgery after injuring his left ankle in Sunday’s 15-6 loss at Chicago. The second-year player and Los Angeles native saw most of his action on special teams this season.

The Rams also promoted rookie linebacker Trevon Young from the practice squad. Young, a sixth-round pick out of Louisville, has played in two games this season.

Los Angeles (11-2) hosts Philadelphia (6-7) on Sunday night.

–Field Level Media

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Mahomes’ jersey from Rams classic reportedly fetches $36K for charity

Mahomes' jersey from Rams classic reportedly fetches $36K for charity

Mahomes’ jersey from Rams classic reportedly fetches $36K for charity

Patrick Mahomes may have come out on the losing end in the Kansas Chiefs’ wild shootout with the Los Angeles Rams last month, but one move he made with some memorabilia from that game is certainly a winner.

The second-year quarterback and NFL Most Valuable Player contender sent the jersey he wore Nov. 19 in the 54-51 classic to auction, where it reportedly sold for $36,150. What’s more, according to The Action Network’s Darren Rovell, the proceeds are going to aid in California wildfire relief efforts.

Both the Rams and Chiefs honored first responders to the fires throughout the Week 11 Monday night game, with the Rams handing out more than 3,000 complimentary tickets to first responders. The two biggest November fires, the Camp Fire in Northern California and Woolsey Fire in Ventura and Los Angeles counties, are responsible for nearly 90 deaths and the loss of 100,000 structures.

Mahomes has taken the league by storm in his first season as a full-time starter. His 4,300 yards and 43 touchdowns lead the league, and he also tops the NFL in touchdown percentage (8.9) and yards per attempt (9.7).

The Chiefs are 11-2 and hold a two-game lead in the race for the No. 1 seed in the AFC playoffs. The biggest threat to Kansas City actually comes from its own division, as the Los Angeles Chargers sit at 10-3. The Chargers visit the Chiefs on Thursday night.

–Field Level Media

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Texans look to bounce back vs. Jets, Darnold

Texans look to bounce back vs. Jets, Darnold

The Houston Texans went

Texans look to bounce back vs. Jets, Darnold

The Houston Texans went from 0-3 to first place in the AFC South Division, a nine-game winning streak making them one of the hottest teams in the NFL.

That streak came to a crashing halt in a three-point loss at home to the Indianapolis Colts last weekend.

Now Houston gets a chance to rebound from its first loss in two-and-a-half months Saturday afternoon when it visits the New York Jets.

The Texans head to East Rutherford still holding a two-game division lead over the Colts and Tennessee Titans with three weeks remaining. While Houston visits the 4-9 Jets, the Colts host the Dallas Cowboys — owners of the NFL’s longest current winning streak at five games — while the Titans visit the New York Giants.

During their winning streak, the Texans won five games by a touchdown or less and led at halftime of each game. On Sunday, they spent much of the game trying to rally only to come up short.

DeShaun Watson finished 27 of 38 for 267 yards with a touchdown pass, his 7-yard strike to DeAndre Hopkins with 2:37 left moving the Texans to within 24-21. But an offside penalty against Jadeveon Clowney on third-and-1 with two minutes remaining gave the Colts a first down and killed the Texans’ chances at completing the comeback.

In reality, the Texans’ inability to protect Watson (five sacks) did them in. Pass protection has been one of Houston’s biggest issues of late with opponents sacking Watson 20 times in his last five games.

“We didn’t play well as an offense, it is always going to be the quarterback, the head coach,” Houston coach Bill O’Brien told the media after his team’s first loss since a 27-22 setback against the Giants on Sept. 23. “I totally understand that but it just wasn’t very good as an offense. We were not able to get into a rhythm; our first-down offense was terrible. It was awful.”

Now the Texans will hope to correct everything against a team coming off a rare win thanks to some late-game clutch plays by rookie quarterback Sam Darnold.

“You let him escape, you let him start making plays, you’re going to be in a bind,” O’Brien said of the Jets’ first-round pick. “You got to stop the run. So, it’s a big challenge, but I know our guys are excited for it and we’ve got to have a good week here.”

The Jets were eliminated from the playoffs before taking the field in Buffalo last week but halted a six-game losing streak with a thrilling 27-23 victory thanks to Darnold’s first game-winning, fourth-quarter drive.

Darnold missed the previous three games because of foot sprain sustained Nov. 4 in Miami — a 13-6 loss in which he was intercepted four times. He briefly left the game against the Bills in the first half but returned and capped the comeback with a nine-play, 61-yard drive culminating in Elijah McGuire’s 1-yard run on fourth down with 1:17 remaining.

“It’s great for his first game back,” Jets coach Todd Bowles said on a conference call Monday. “Obviously, he was confident before the fourth-quarter comeback. But it just helps him, it just helps him be himself a little more, which he’s comfortable with being anyway, but that’s really all it does for him.”

Darnold finished 16 of 24 for 170 yards and highlighted by his first game-winning drive with a 37-yard pass to Robby Anderson that put the ball on the Buffalo 5-yard line.

“As a kid, you dream of converting two-minute drives and going down there and scoring,” Darnold told the media after the game. “To be able to score a touchdown and put the ball in their hands at the end of the game was awesome.”

Darnold actually nicked up his foot again at Buffalo and was limping on the game-winning drive. Bowles said he expects Darnold to play Sunday.

The Jets are 5-2 in seven all-time meetings with the Texans.

–Field Level Media

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Vikings fire OC DeFilippo

Vikings fire OC DeFilippo

The Minnesota Vikings fired first-year offensive coordinator John DeFilippo, the team announced Tuesday.

Vikings fire OC DeFilippo

The Minnesota Vikings fired first-year offensive coordinator John DeFilippo, the team announced Tuesday.

The move comes after the Vikings’ 21-17 loss to the Seattle Seahawks on Monday night, the team’s third defeat in its past four games. The Vikings finished the game with 276 yards of total offense, managing just 61 in the first half. It was the fourth time in the past five games that the Vikings have finished with less than 300 yards total offense.

Quarterbacks coach Kevin Stefanski has been elevated to interim offensive coordinator and will take over play-calling duties for the Vikings.

The Vikings entered November with a top-10 offense but have dropped to 17th after Monday night’s loss.

Head coach Mike Zimmer had been critical of DeFilippo’s play-calling recently, saying that the Vikings have not been committed enough to the running game. Running back Dalvin Cook rushed 13 times for 55 yards against the Seahawks, just the second time this season Cook has had more than 10 carries.

The Vikings (6-6-1) are vying for a wild-card spot and play host to the Miami Dolphins on Sunday.

The Vikings hired DeFilippo in February to replace Pat Shurmur, who left to become the head coach of the New York Giants.

DeFilippo spent two seasons as quarterbacks coach with the Philadelphia Eagles and was previously offensive coordinator of the Cleveland Browns.

–Field Level Media

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Report: Chargers RB Gordon unlikely vs. Chiefs

Report: Chargers RB Gordon unlikely vs. Chiefs

Report: Chargers RB Gordon unlikely vs. Chiefs

Injured running back Melvin Gordon is not expected to be in uniform Thursday when the Los Angeles Chargers visit the Kansas City Chiefs in a momentous AFC West matchup, the NFL Network reported.

Gordon sprained his medial collateral ligament on a hit by Arizona Cardinals defensive tackle Robert Nkemdiche in Week 13 and remains sidelined.

NFL Network reported Tuesday that Gordon and his primary backup, Austin Ekeler, would likely miss the showdown at Arrowhead Stadium.

Gordon has 802 rushing yards and 44 catches for 453 receiving yards and 13 total touchdowns on the season in 10 games played.

Ekeler (neck, concussion) would be replaced by rookies Justin Jackson and Detrez Newsome if he’s also unable to return.

Chiefs running back Spencer Ware did not practice Monday due to a hamstring injury. Ware replaced Kareem Hunt, who was released by the Chiefs, as Kansas City’s top back two weeks ago.

Chiefs wide receiver Tyreek Hill (ankle) said he plans to play Thursday.

–Field Level Media

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Controversy surrounds Seahawks’ key FG block

Controversy surrounds Seahawks' key FG block

Controversy surrounds Seahawks’ key FG block

The Minnesota Vikings were deprived of three points Monday night when Seattle Seahawks linebacker Bobby Wagner apparently used illegal means to block a fourth-quarter field goal attempt.

Wagner put his hands on two teammates as he leaped over the offensive linemen en route to swatting down a 47-yard field goal try by Minnesota’s Dan Bailey.

Former NFL officiating chief Mike Pereira, now a TV analyst for FOX, tweeted, “Lots of talk about the Wagner block. The wording in the rule book is NEW this year and is clear. The new wording states, ‘May not place a hand or hands on a teammate or opponent in an attempt to jump through a gap to block an opponent’s kick or apparent kick.’ Case closed. Foul.”

Referee Brad Allen tossed a penalty flag on Wagner but subsequent changed his mind and said no foul had been committed.

Had the penalty been enforced, the Vikings could have chosen to take the three points, cutting their deficit to 6-3 with 5:46 remaining, or they could have taken a 15-yard gain on the fourth-and-9 play, giving them a first down at the Seattle 14-yard line.

Wagner didn’t admit to any wrongdoing after the game, which Seattle won 21-7.

“I tried to time it up; I got over it and made the block,” Wagner said, according to ESPN. “I’m an athlete, so I have just got to jump over people. It’s not that big of a deal.”

Minnesota coach Mike Zimmer said, “You’re not supposed to be able to pull guys down, if that’s what they did. Quite honestly, I didn’t see it. I didn’t see what happened. I was told what happened.”

Bailey also didn’t see Wagner’s leverage move.

“Obviously I was kind of out there in the middle of it,” Bailey said, according to the Saint Paul (Minn.) Pioneer Press. “From my understanding of that rule, he can jump over, he just can’t use leverage or whatever they call it. Sometimes that’s the way it goes.

“Obviously the most disappointing thing was not getting three points there. That would’ve really helped our team. Just have to try to knock the next one through.”

Seahawks coach Pete Carroll praised special teams coaches Brian Schneider and Larry Izzo for Wagner’s successful block.

“They came to me and said, ‘Hey look, we think we have something,'” he said. “That was a great find by those guys. …

“We practiced all week with Bobby jumping over the guys; never touched anybody. I don’t know what happened in the game, but that’s the way he was doing (it). He was able to clear the line of scrimmage without touching anybody, and that was the plan.

“Very few people could do that, but he had pulled it off beautifully during the week, and that’s what the officials called. But I know that there’s some controversy about that.”

–Field Level Media

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Seahawks stop Vikings in defensive struggle

Seahawks stop Vikings in defensive struggle

Chris Carson rushed for

Seahawks stop Vikings in defensive struggle

Chris Carson rushed for a touchdown and Justin Coleman returned a fumble 29 yards for a score, both in the final three minutes, as the Seattle Seahawks defeated the visiting Minnesota Vikings 21-7 Monday night.

Sebastian Janikowski kicked two field goals as the Seahawks (8-5) won their fourth in a row and extended their lead in the race for the NFC’s first wild card to 1 1/2 games over the Vikings (6-6-1). Minnesota lost for the third time in four games.

The Seahawks rushed for 214 yards, including a 40-yard scamper by quarterback Russell Wilson on Seattle’s lone touchdown drive. Carson’s 2-yard run with 2:53 remaining gave Seattle a 14-0 lead. Carson finished with a game-high 90 rushing yards on 22 attempts.

On the Vikings’ second play from scrimmage after Carson’s touchdown, Jacob Martin sacked Kirk Cousins and the ball popped loose. Coleman recovered it and racing down the sideline for a score.

Minnesota’s only touchdown came on a 6-yard pass from Cousins to Dalvin Cook with 1:10 left.

The Vikings had 276 yards of total offense — 2 more yards than the Seahawks’ total. Cousins completed 20 of 33 passes for 208 yards, and Cook rushed for 55 yards on 13 carries.

Wilson connected on 10 of 20 passes for 72 yards.

After Janikowski kicked his second field goal of the game, a 35-yarder to make it 6-0 with 13:22 remaining in the game, the Vikings used a 48-yard pass from Cousins to Stefon Diggs to finally reach the red zone.

Minnesota got a first down at Seattle’s 4-yard line. Latavius Murray rushed for 2 yards before Cousins’ pass toward the back corner of the end zone was long. Cook rushed for 1 yard on third down, setting up fourth-and-goal. Cousins’ pass over the middle for tight end Kyle Rudolph near the back of the end zone was knocked away by Seattle safety Bradley McDougald.

The Vikings attempted a field goal on their next possession, but Dan Bailey’s 47-yard try was blocked by Bobby Wagner.

After a scoreless first quarter, the Seahawks got a 37-yard field goal from Janikowski with 14:11 left in the second, capping a 13-play, 70-yard drive.

Seattle moved into the red zone again in the final two minutes of the first half but came up empty, as Minnesota linebacker Eric Kendricks intercepted a pass that Wilson was trying to throw away after losing his footing.

The Seahawks played without their top wide receiver, Doug Baldwin, who was sidelined due to a hip injury.

–Field Level Media

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NFL notebook: Raiders fire GM McKenzie

NFL notebook: Raiders fire GM McKenzie

Reggie McKenzie is done as Raiders general

NFL notebook: Raiders fire GM McKenzie

Reggie McKenzie is done as Raiders general manager, reportedly eschewing the opportunity to maintain his role through the end of the regular season in Oakland.

The team said in a statement: “We are grateful for everything Reggie has done for this organization as a player, executive and member of the Raider family. … The Raiders will immediately begin a search for a new front office executive and will have no further comment until that process is complete.”

Coach Jon Gruden, in the first year of a 10-year, $100 million contract, and McKenzie reportedly have differed greatly in player evaluation and their vision for the roster going forward.

ESPN and NFL Network reported that McKenzie held a meeting with the Raiders’ scouting department on Monday morning to inform them he was fired and would not accept the offer to stay in the role until January.

–Journeyman quarterback Josh Johnson unseated Mark Sanchez for the starting job with the Washington Redskins.

Johnson will start this week against the Jacksonville Jaguars as the reeling Redskins look to avoid a fifth consecutive loss.

“We’ll get Josh ready to go,” said coach Jay Gruden, who worked with Johnson in 2008 with Tampa Bay and in 2013 with Cincinnati. “Fortunately he’s been around me for a while and can handle the terminology, and he did a good job moving around.”

–Buffalo Bills running back LeSean McCoy is day-to-day with a hamstring injury, and linebacker Matt Milano had surgery to repair a broken fibula, coach Sean McDermott announced Monday.

McCoy was scheduled to undergo an MRI after getting hurt Sunday early in the Bills’ loss to the New York Jets, but he appears to have a chance to play in Week 15.

–Miami Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill is sore from the ankle injury he sustained just before halftime Sunday but appears to be OK, coach Adam Gase said.

Tannehill missed two plays after being sacked against the New England Patriots but returned in the second half.

–Arizona Cardinals defensive tackle Robert Nkemdiche is headed to injured reserve with a knee injury that will require surgery, coach Steve Wilks announced.

Wilks declined to offer more details on Nkemdiche’s injury, and it is unclear how serious the surgery is.

–Redskins tight end Jordan Reed has a toe sprain and might not play again this season.

Jay Gruden said there is “a level of concern” about Reed’s injury, which could keep him out a few weeks, with three games remaining in the regular season.

–Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Tyreek Hill avoided serious injury on Sunday and is considered day-to-day, ESPN reported. Also, coach Andy Reid suggested safety Eric Berry (heel) could make his season debut on Thursday against the Los Angeles Chargers but added that the situation is very fluid.

Hill fought through a heel injury in the Chiefs’ win over the Baltimore Ravens, totaling eight catches for 139 yards, including a game-saving, 48-yard gain on fourth-and-9 to set up the tying touchdown in regulation.

–Leonard Fournette’s sideline spat with fans during Jacksonville’s Thursday night loss to the Tennessee Titans in Nashville came after a fan yelled a racial slur at Fournette, Jaguars coach Doug Marrone said.

A video released Monday morning by TMZ showed Fournette yelling at a fan, and Marrone said he asked Fournette about the exchange later Monday. Fournette told him a fan used a racial slur, Marrone said.

Asked if there were witnesses to support Fournette’s claim, Marrone replied, “I trust the player.”

–Field Level Media

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Quinn: Falcons failed to meet expectations

Quinn: Falcons failed to meet expectations

Atlanta Falcons: Coach Dan Quinn isn't

Quinn: Falcons failed to meet expectations

Atlanta Falcons: Coach Dan Quinn isn’t hiding from the fact that the Falcons (4-9) are one of the biggest disappointments in the NFL. “As we’re sitting here at Week 15, we have four wins,” Quinn told reporters. “So you’d better believe we’re evaluating everything and doing anything to get it right.” Atlanta has dropped its past five games. Early-season injuries began the team’s derailment, but mistakes and inconsistent play have continued the decline. “As we’re going through it, from players to staff to everything, we want to make sure we look at the body of work and get clear, concise evaluations on everybody,” Quinn said. “When you’re standing where we’re at, it’s not what you want to do, but that’s part of it and what we’re looking at for sure. If you’re clearly at four wins during this time, then we have not met expectations.”

Carolina Panthers: A once-promising campaign has disintegrated with five consecutive setbacks. Carolina has gone from battling the New Orleans Saints for the NFC West lead to being an outsider in the NFC wild-card chase. “Things happen,” veteran defensive end Julius Peppers said. “Your plans don’t always work out how you want them to.” That is certainly true with the Panthers, but Peppers said the team still has a positive vibe. “To be honest with you, I don’t feel like there is a loss of confidence or anything,” Peppers said. “We’re just not putting a good product on the field.” Meanwhile, widedout Devin Funchess, who is slated for free agency after the season, played in just 32 of 72 snaps Sunday in Carolina’s loss to the Cleveland Browns and has just three catches over the past three games. Rookie DJ Moore played 66 snaps vs. the Browns and second-year pro Curtis Samuel played 58.

New Orleans Saints: The offense came to life by scoring 25 points over the final 19-plus minutes Sunday in the Saints’ 28-14 victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers after a slump of more than 6 1/2 quarters. New Orleans scored just 13 points during its funk — a stunning development for a team that averaged 41 points over its previous five games while scoring at least 30 in each. “A lot of people expect us to come out and be perfect, but that’s just not reality,” Saints running back Alvin Kamara told reporters. “You know, people make mistakes. We may start slow sometimes. But it’s not when adversity hits, it’s how you respond to it. And I think this team responds well to adversity.”

Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Receiver Mike Evans is on pace to break the club’s single-season receiving yardage mark that was set in 1989. Evans has 1,207 yards and needs to average just 72 yards over the final three games to surpass the record set by Mark Carrier (1,422). Evans has three of the team’s nine 1,200-yard campaigns, including his career best of 1,321 yards in 2016. Earlier this season, Evans broke Carrier’s franchise record for most career receiving yards. Carrier had 5,018. Evans, 25, is now at 5,786. Despite Evans’ strong campaign, Tampa Bay has lost eight of its past 11 games after a 2-0 start.

–Field Level Media

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Cardinals giving no thought to sitting Rosen

Cardinals giving no thought to sitting Rosen

Arizona Cardinals: Despite a

Cardinals giving no thought to sitting Rosen

Arizona Cardinals: Despite a completely devastated offensive line and others going down with injuries right and left, the Cardinals do not intend to sit quarterback Josh Rosen. To the contrary, they want him to get as many reps as possible. “To sit him, I don’t think it’d be advantageous to do that,” head coach Steve Wilks said, adding that he doesn’t see Rosen developing bad habits. “(Playing) is an opportunity for him to continue to grow.” Wilks remains optimistic about what he’s seen from the rookie. “You can see the potential and the things he is capable of doing,” he said. “…He has the qualities and the skillset. The inconsistency is there, but a lot of it is not just him, it’s the personnel and that falls back on us as coaches to put those guys in position to be successful.”

Los Angeles Rams: L.A.’s defense wasn’t the problem in a 15-6 loss at Chicago on Sunday night, but NFL sack leader Aaron Donald was kept awfully quiet by the Bears. Donald had just one QB hit (his fewest in a game since Week 6) and went sackless for just the second time since Week 3. According to ESPN Analytics, Donald won on just 18 percent of his pass-rush snaps after entering the week having won on a league-high 43 percent of rushes this season. Despite the quiet night, though, Donald still leads the league in sacks (16.5) by three, tackles for loss (20) by three and quarterback hits (33) by six.

San Francisco 49ers: The much maligned 49ers’ defense shined in Sunday’s win over the Broncos, holding Denver to 3.9 yards per play and stopping the Broncos on 13 of 15 third downs. But San Francisco’s turnover luck remains missing, as the 49ers failed to recover any of the Broncos’ four fumbles. Through 13 games, the Niners still have just five takeaways, five fewer than any other NFL team and a figure that seven teams have totaled in a single game this season. The fewest turnovers forced in NFL history is 11 by the 1982 Baltimore Colts, who played only nine games in a strike-shortened campaign. The 2006 Washington Redskins have the fewest takeaways (12) in a 16-game season.

The Seattle Seahawks are hosting the Minnesota Vikings on Monday Night Football.

–Field Level Media

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Chiefs’ Reid marvels at Mahomes’ no-look pass

Chiefs' Reid marvels at Mahomes' no-look pass

Chiefs’ Reid marvels at Mahomes’ no-look pass

Denver Broncos: After a crushing loss to the 49ers on Sunday, head coach Vance Joseph was critical of quarterback Case Keenum for not attacking downfield more often against San Francisco’s zone-heavy defense. “Yesterday he was a little cautious with the ball,” Joseph said. The bottom line is we got three weeks to play and he’s got to make more plays, and sometimes taking some chances allows you to make more plays. …I want Case to be more aggressive, especially down the seams over those Cover-3 defenses. That’s where the soft spots are, so he’s got to be aggressive down the seams and not worry about making mistakes.”

Kansas City Chiefs: After watching the film, head coach Andy Reid sounded even more impressed by Patrick Mahomes’ no-look pass that had the NFL world buzzing on Sunday. “I’ve worked real hard with him on that,” a deadpan Reid began before cracking a smile. “We build that right into the offense.” Jokes aside, Reid praised Mahomes, noting he froze Ravens safety Chuck Clark with the look-off. “It’s something to do in a practice, but then you start throwing it in a game, and a game against the No. 1 defense in the National Football League, that’s a little different,” Reid said. “You gotta have tremendous confidence in what you’re doing there. … I haven’t seen a lotta guys do that. I was around (Brett) Favre, he did some amazing things that way, Donovan (McNabb) and those guys, but no… that umm… No, not quite like that.”

Los Angeles Chargers: Three days before a showdown at Kansas City, the Chargers’ running back situation is in limbo. Head coach Anthony Lynn told reporters Melvin Gordon is “getting better” but will work off to the side of practice this week as the Chargers are unlikely to go full-speed on a short week. Austin Ekeler, meanwhile, sustained a stinger Sunday but avoided concussion protocol, though his availability for Thursday remains unclear. “He’s a tough kid and he’s been working through these stingers for a while,” Lynn said. “If he can play, he’ll play, but right now I don’t really know.” Seventh-round rookie Justin Jackson is next in line for carries. He had 15 carries for 120 yards and a touchdown in Weeks 12-13 but was held to just 12 yards on seven carries Sunday.

Oakland Raiders: Head coach Jon Gruden distanced himself from the firing of general manager Reggie McKenzie on Monday, despite previous reports that Gruden had taken over personnel decisions from McKenzie and planned to bring in his own front-office leader after the season. Gruden said he does not know yet whether he’ll be involved in the team’s search for a new general manager. “I know (owner) Mark (Davis) is going to accumulate a list of names and candidates, and I’m sure we’ll discuss those people later this week, but right now I don’t have any idea,” Gruden said. He added that he’d like to have influence in personnel matters moving forward. “I think any coach wants input, let’s be honest,” he said. “I’ve had input here. I had input on the draft picks we made when I was here with Al Davis. I had some input on the draft this year. … I would like to be involved for obvious reasons.”

–Field Level Media

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Outlook of Henry’s season changed with epic performance

Outlook of Henry's season changed with epic performance

Outlook of Henry’s season changed with epic performance

Houston Texans: The team’s nine-game winning streak is over and veteran cornerback Johnathan Joseph didn’t necessarily see it as a bad development. “I hate to lose, but probably was the best thing for this team to lose that game,” Joseph said of Sunday’s 24-21 loss to the Indianapolis Colts. The way Joseph sees it, a long string of victories makes players forget the pain and torture of losing. “I think it’s a learning experience,” Joseph said. “Sometimes you think that winning is easy. I’m not saying that. That’s what we were doing as a team, what I think, to go on a nine-game winning streak to make history. Sometimes you get that little lapse going on.”

Indianapolis Colts: Star receiver T.Y. Hilton had a season-best 199 receiving yards against the Texans to post his club-record 11th game of 150 or more receiving yards, snapping a tie with Hall of Fame member Marvin Harrison. Hilton made five first-down catches and caught nine of the 12 passes in which he was targeted by quarterback Andrew Luck. “T.Y. does some things very special. He does some things that not many other people can do,” Luck told reporters. “So we saw some opportunities through film that we thought we could take advantage of. Once we got that first one, it was like ‘Ok, yeah, here we go, let’s get it.'” Hilton is 14 yards away from his fifth career 1,000-yard receiving season.

Jacksonville Jaguars: Leonard Fournette’s underwhelming season continued in last Thursday’s 30-9 loss to the Tennessee Titans when he had just 36 rushing yards on 14 carries — his long gain was 7 — and caught two passes for 5 yards. Fournette has just 350 yards in six games this season while twice injuring a hamstring and also missing a game due to suspension for an incident in a game against the Buffalo Bills. A TMZ-released video displayed Fournette yelling at a fan during the loss to the Titans and coach Doug Marrone said he asked Fournette about it and was told the fan used a racial slur. Fellow running back T.J. Yeldon said he heard the use of the slur.

Tennessee Titans: One game has changed the outlook of Derrick Henry’s season. The stellar contest against the Jaguars in which Henry gained a franchise-record 238 yards and scored four touchdowns — including tying Tony Dorsett’s NFL mark with a 99-yard scamper — is overshadowing the fact he didn’t even reach 60 yards in any of the first 12 games or have a run longer than 16 yards. “I just had to look myself in the mirror and overcome it,” Henry said. “Continue to work, continue to get better. I never made an excuse for myself, but just had to keep chopping down wood.” Titans coach Mike Vrabel indicated Henry (712 yards) can expect a lot of carries in the cold December weather.

–Field Level Media

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Patriots’ Belichick: Loss ‘starts with me’

Patriots' Belichick: Loss 'starts with me'

Buffalo Bills: In Bills'

Patriots’ Belichick: Loss ‘starts with me’

Buffalo Bills: In Bills’ history, just four players have rushed for 95 yards in three consecutive games: Fred Jackson, Hall of Famers Thurman Thomas and O.J. Simpson, and now rookie quarterback Josh Allen, according to The Buffalo News. He’s also the leading rusher on the team this season with 490 after missing a month of the season. And head coach Sean McDermott said that isn’t ideal. “We’ve got to be able to protect the quarterback and run the football,” McDermott said Sunday. “I know when your quarterback is your leading rusher week in, and week out, it’s not a healthy thing.”

Miami Dolphins: The Dolphins (7-6) are in a four-way tie with Baltimore, Indianapolis and Tennessee for the final AFC wild-card berth, and the oddsmakers have chimed in on their chances. The Dolphins’ three remaining games are against Jacksonville at home and on the road against Minnesota and Buffalo. According to the Sun Sentinel, the website FiveThirtyEight put the chance at 20 percent for the Dolphins. The sports betting site Action Network said its simulations show a 13 percent chance. Before beating New England on Sunday, the chances were in the single digits. They still aren’t mathematically eliminated from winning the AFC East: the sites put their chances at 1 percent and 2.3 percent, respectively.

New England Patriots: The final play of the game Sunday that sealed the win for the Dolphins is being called the Miami Miracle. It could be called the Foxborough Failure, too, head coach Bill Belichick implied on Monday. He addressed the decision to put tight end Rob Gronkowski in for safety Devin McCourty on the play, an improbable 69-yard touchdown. “It starts with me. We have to play better situational football. We’ll work to try to achieve that,” Belichick said Monday in his conference call. He said the line of scrimmage was too far for a Hail Mary, and that Gronkowski would have been well suited to catch the “deep, long throw” that was expected. That play wasn’t the only reason for the 34-33 loss, he said. “I think there were a lot of things that could have been better in the entire game. I think the game was a lot more than that play, but certainly that play wasn’t a good one for us.”

New York Jets: The Jets are 4-9 and tied for last place in the AFC East. The Houston Texans are 9-4 and atop the AFC South. But Texans coach Bill O’Brien has a ton of respect for the Jets, their opponent Saturday. “I would say that Jamal Adams is one of the best players we’ve played against all year,” O’Brien told the New York Post on Monday of the safety. “I’ve been watching him now all morning and started watching him last week. He’s a great football player.” And he also had kind words for rookie quarterback Sam Darnold. “I really like Sam. I liked him coming out in the draft. I think he’s got good poise. He’s got a really good arm. He’s accurate. He’s smart. I think he can extend plays. I think he’s an excellent young quarterback. I think the young quarterbacks in the league right now, it’s really an exciting time. Sam’s definitely a part of that.”

–Field Level Media

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Chiefs’ Hill day-to-day; Berry could play Thursday

Chiefs' Hill day-to-day; Berry could play Thursday

Chiefs’ Hill day-to-day; Berry could play Thursday

Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Tyreek Hill avoided serious injury on Sunday and is considered day-to-day, ESPN reported Monday.

Hill fought through a heel injury in the win over the Baltimore Ravens, totaling eight catches for 139 yards, including a game-saving 48-yard gain on fourth-and-9 to set up the tying touchdown in regulation.

“My foot’s bad,” Hill told NBC’s Peter King afterward. “Our people did a tremendous job wrapping my foot. I was still feeling my heel, but at the same time, I knew that man, if you want the W, if you want to be a great receiver, this is your moment to make plays.”

Head coach Andy Reid did not have any specific injury updates on Monday morning, as players were given time to sleep in on a short week as they prepare for Thursday night’s game against the Los Angeles Chargers, but he did indicate Hill could play Thursday.

“I’m sure he was sore this morning,” Reid said. “If I was a betting man, I’d probably say he’ll play. He loves to play the game, so…”

Meanwhile, Reid suggested safety Eric Berry (heel) could make his season debut on Thursday but added that the situation is very fluid.

“He was getting better as [last] week went on, and we’ll just see how it goes here the next couple days,” Reid said. “There’s a chance. I’m literally taking this day by day and we’ll just see how the thing goes.

“…Trust me, it’s killing him not to be out there.”

Reid also indicated that Berry’s injury is a matter of more than just pain tolerance, as was reported on CBS’s broadcast on Sunday.

Berry has been listed as questionable to play in each of the last two weeks after returning to practice in Week 13 for the first time since August. He has yet to be a full participant in a practice this season.

–Field Level Media

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Pederson defends call not to go for 2

Pederson defends call not to go for 2

Pederson defends call not to go for 2

Dallas Cowboys: National reports Sunday said the Cowboys had tried to lure tight end-turned-broadcaster Jason Witten out of the “Monday Night Football” booth and back to the field at AT&T Stadium. On Monday, Witten said he’s happy what he’s doing and also that the Cowboys just don’t need him. “There’s nothing there,” Witten told The Dallas Morning News. “Look, I’m enjoying where I’m at. Those guys are red-hot. They don’t need to change a thing with the way they’re playing and the way that defense is playing. They’re in good shape and so am I.” Head coach Jason Garrett denied the report Monday, saying, “There is no truth to that story.” Witten retired in April to become the MNF analyst, following Jon Gruden’s return to the NFL.

New York Giants: As the Giants struggled to a 1-7 start this season, there were calls for the team to move on from Eli Manning as the starting quarterback and replace him with rookie Kyle Lauletta. The resurgent Giants, now 5-8, have enjoyed success with Manning the past few weeks, but in a blowout victory over Washington on Sunday, fans got a glimpse at Lauletta when he replaced Manning. He entered the game in the fourth quarter, threw an interception and finished the game 0-for-5 passing. What did head coach Pat Shurmur think? “I don’t think there was enough there to evaluate how he did,” Shurmur told reporters. “Would have liked to see him get a couple more completions and not throw that interception, certainly.” Shurmur added: “I fielded enough questions regarding Kyle Lauletta, that those of you that were interested in seeing him, hopefully you got a chance to see what you were looking for.”

Philadelphia Eagles: The Eagles are 5-for-5 on two-point-conversion attempts this season, so why did they kick the extra point to tie rather than go for two and a chance at a regulation-time win against the Cowboys Sunday night? “I got a report on this,” head coach Doug Pederson said in his news conference Monday. “I can’t off the top of my head think of exactly the numbers, but everything was in favor of going for one. And with Dallas having a minute and 39 seconds I think left with two timeouts, it changes.” When prodded by a reporter to further explain his decision in the 29-23 loss that put his team two games behind Dallas in the NFC East, Pederson defended the choice. “I understand what you’re saying,” he said. “Again, with two timeouts and all four downs and we hadn’t really stopped them — we can spin this thing a hundred different ways. I mean, I don’t know. I still stand by my decision.”

Washington Redskins: Don’t tell Josh Johnson — now Washington’s fourth starting quarterback of the season — that nothing good can come from playing video games. According to reports Monday, just eight days ago he was playing in a charity basketball game in Oakland, Calif., when the Redskins called him about assuming the backup duties to Mark Sanchez. As a 32-year-old journeyman quarterback who hadn’t been on an NFL roster since 2014, he didn’t exactly know all he should about his new team. So how did he learn all of their names in a crash course? By playing “Madden” of course. Johnson has this week to get to know them even better. He’ll take the first-team reps after outplaying a benched Sanchez in Sunday’s 40-16 loss to the Giants.

–Field Level Media

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Jaguars’ Marrone: Fan used racial slur at Fournette

Jaguars' Marrone: Fan used racial slur at Fournette

Jaguars’ Marrone: Fan used racial slur at Fournette

Leonard Fournette’s sideline spat with fans during Thursday night’s loss to the Tennessee Titans in Nashville came after a fan yelled a racial slur at Fournette, Jacksonville Jaguars head coach Doug Marrone said Monday.

A video released Monday morning by TMZ showed Fournette yelling at a fan, and Marrone said he asked Fournette about the exchange later Monday. Fournette told him a fan used a racial slur, Marrone said.

Asked if there were witnesses to support Fournette’s claim, Marrone replied, “I trust the player.”

Fournette declined to address the matter with reporters, citing his agent’s advice, but fellow running back T.J. Yeldon agreed with his teammate’s account and added that there wasn’t just one slur.

“Did I hear it? Yeah,” Yeldon said. “All the running backs and people on the offensive side were hearing the exchange. They were heckling at us all game, at him and all of us all game.

“All night. All night. All day they was calling us racial slurs, all game.”

In the first part of the video, Fournette is standing close to the front row of the seats and can be heard saying, “Listen, you’re too old for that. I will beat your a–.”

Two people then come over and pull him away from the group. Later in a different video clip, Fournette can be heard yelling from the team’s bench, while Yeldon looks on.

“Facts, you’re too old for that,” Fournette yells. “You’re too old for that. Chill out. I’m not worried about you. You want to come down here? I’ll whoop your a–.”

The Titans won the game 30-9 as Fournette finished with 36 yards on 14 carries. It was the running back’s first game back after serving a one-game suspension for leaving the bench and fighting with Buffalo Bills defensive end Shaq Lawson in Week 12 in Buffalo.

–Field Level Media

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Redskins TE Reed’s season could be over

Redskins TE Reed's season could be over

Redskins TE Reed’s season could be over

Washington Redskins tight end Jordan Reed has a toe sprain and might not play again this season, head coach Jay Gruden told reporters Monday.

Gruden said there is “a level of concern” about Reed’s injury, which could keep him out a few weeks, with three games remaining in the regular season.

Multiple outlets reported Reed sustained both a toe injury and a foot sprain in the first quarter of Sunday’s loss to the New York Giants. NFL Network reported Reed was scheduled to have a precautionary MRI on Monday and his injury isn’t believed to be major, but it still could end his season.

Reed has battled injuries throughout his career, particularly to his toes, and he had surgery on both big toes this offseason. He has yet to miss a game this season, though he has started only eight of 13 contests and played just 60.6 percent of the offensive snaps, his lowest mark since 2014.

The 28-year-old has 54 catches for 558 yards and two touchdowns on the year. He has caught a career-low 64.3 percent of his targets after topping 74 percent in each of his first five NFL seasons.

Reed has missed 28 games because of injury in his career, including 10 last year.

–Field Level Media

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Packers’ Philbin ready for challenge camp

Packers' Philbin ready for challenge camp

Chicago Bears: Still only

Packers’ Philbin ready for challenge camp

Chicago Bears: Still only months into their coach-QB relationship, Matt Nagy and Mitchell Trubisky are finding their way through rough patches by learning to identify the same solution to gray areas that emerge during the game. “We talk about things being black, white or gray. When things are gray, making sure our eyes go to the same spots. That’s part of molding our identity into this offense. We’re getting there. There’s so many different variables that go into each play.” Nagy said the play of the defense Sunday night against the Rams showing Trubisky it will have his back if he makes a mistake could be a turning point. “On both sides, when you’re playing well or not playing well … next play,” Nagy said.

Detroit Lions: No update was provided by coach Matt Patricia on Monday’s conference call regarding the status of defensive end Ziggy Ansah. Ansah, who battled shoulder issues all season, left Sunday’s win at Arizona with a recurrence of the injury. Patricia has not been keen on releasing information about injuries, especially as it relates to Ansah, and fell back on his canned reply that there will be an update if Ansah is in position to help the team. It’s likely, if not probable, than Ansah could have played his final snap for the Lions on Sunday. He’ll be a free agent again and after the Lions invested $17.143 million in Ansah with middling results — seven games, 12 tackles, 4.0 sacks — a split is a strong possibility.

Green Bay Packers: Interim coach Joe Philbin won his debut on Sunday but there were a few memorable defeats along the way. In the first 1:04 of the game, Philbin tossed challenge flags on two plays — and lost them both, leaving him without a challenge for the rest of the first half. That opening drive ended with Atlanta scoring a touchdown, and leading to a temporarily deflated Philbin. “We’ll do some challenge education during the course of this week,” Philbin said. “Certainly looks like I need it.” In reality, Philbin had a good record using challenges as head coach of the Dolphins, save for a memorable moment in preseason 2015 when he challenged hoping officials would declare a rushing touchdown. Instead, the replay offered the opportunity to see Miami running back Damien Williams fumbled the ball out of the endzone for a touchback.

Minnesota Vikings: The Vikings were in action at Seattle on Monday.

–Field Level Media

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Raiders fire GM McKenzie

Raiders fire GM McKenzie

Reggie McKenzie is done as Raiders general manager,

Raiders fire GM McKenzie

Reggie McKenzie is done as Raiders general manager, reportedly eschewing the opportunity to maintain his role through the end of the regular season in Oakland.

“We are grateful for everything Reggie has done for this organization as a player, executive and member of the Raider family,” the team said in a statement. “We wish the best for Reggie, June and the entire McKenzie family.

“The Raiders will immediately begin a search for a new front office executive and will have no further comment until that process is complete.”

Head coach Jon Gruden, in the first year of a 10-year, $100 million contract, and McKenzie reportedly have differed greatly in player evaluation and their vision for the roster going forward.

ESPN and NFL Network reported that McKenzie held a meeting with the Raiders’ scouting department on Monday morning to inform them he was fired and would not accept the offer to stay in the role until January.

The writing on the wall was revealed with midseason comments from Raiders owner Mark Davis, who responded to questions about the future structure of the front office by saying Gruden “isn’t going anywhere” but not nailing down McKenzie’s role or status.

Gruden brought in players he favored and traded away two-time Pro Bowl selection Amari Cooper as well as Khalil Mack, the 2016 Defensive Player of the Year and a two-time, first-team All-Pro. McKenzie, named Executive of the Year in 2016, used first-round picks on both players.

In the offseason, there were rumors that Bruce Allen, who previously worked with Gruden in Tampa Bay as well as during his first stint in Oakland, would join him with the Raiders.

Allen is the president of the Washington Redskins, but fans and media have been calling for owner Daniel Snyder to replace Allen when the season ends.

The Raiders won their third game of the season Sunday.

–Field Level Media

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