The Latest: Bears are off to a fast start

The Latest on the NFL’s first Sunday of the regular season (all times EDT):

9 p.m.

The Chicago Bears are off to a fast start.

A defense reinforced with pass-rushing linebacker Khalil Mack has forced the Green Bay Packers to punt on their first two drives.

Chicago quarterback Mitchell Trubisky is outplaying counterpart Aaron Rodgers. Trubisky completed his first seven passes, looking quite comfortable in new coach Matt Nagy’s offense.

Trubisky has also scored on a 2-yard run. The Bears have a 10-0 lead early in the second quarter.

The Packers had 24 yards of total offense, but minus-3 through the air, after the first quarter.

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8:30 p.m.

It didn’t take long for new Bears linebacker Khalil Mack to get pressure against the Packers.

Mack didn’t start but came in on the fourth play of the game’s opening drive. He got pressure on second-and-10 on Packers right tackle Bryan Bulaga on his first play. Quarterback Aaron Rodgers threw the ball away on third-and-10 and the Packers were forced to punt.

Chicago acquired Mack in a blockbuster trade with Oakland last week.

It was scoreless early in the first quarter.

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7:55 p.m.

Three-time Pro Bowl tight end Delanie Walker has been carted off the field after hurting his lower right leg, the third key starter the Titans have lost in a lightning-delayed game against Miami.

Walker caught a 15-yard pass and hurt his right leg when T.J. McDonald tackled him late in the fourth quarter. A trainer covered Walker’s leg with a towel, and a cart quickly was brought out.

The Titans already had lost two-time Pro Bowl Taylor Lewan to a concussion and quarterback Marcus Mariota was sidelined by an injured elbow.

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6:55 p.m.

The Titans and Miami Dolphins are playing again after their second delay for lightning in the area, and the injuries are adding up for Tennessee.

The teams have had two separate delays combining for 3 hours, 59 minutes before resuming the third quarter with 6:47 left at 6:55 p.m. in a game that kicked off at 1 p.m. local time.

Fox-TV announced on the broadcast that it was providing limited coverage due to lightning in the area when the game resumed.

Tennessee resumed without two-time Pro Bowl left tackle Taylor Lewan because of a concussion.

The delay didn’t help Marcus Mariota whose pass was intercepted by Miami linebacker Kiko Alonso on the first play after restarting. The Titans replaced him with Blaine Gabbert for the next series, and Mariota is questionable to return with an injured elbow.

This already is the longest NFL game since the 1970 NFL/AFL merger before play resumed for the second time.

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6:45 p.m.

Tyreek Hill has scored three touchdowns for the Kansas City Chiefs.

Hill scored on a 1-yard shovel pass from Patrick Mahomes after Los Angeles’ JJ Jones fumbled a punt deep in Chargers’ territory. Hill also has touchdowns via a punt return and another reception has opened up a 38-20 lead on the Los Angeles Chargers in the fourth quarter.

He also has 168 receiving yards, the second most by a Chiefs receiver in an opener according to Pro Football Reference. Carlos Carson had 173 against New Orleans in 1985.

— Joe Reedy reporting from Los Angeles

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6:38 p.m.

The Dolphins-Titans game is now the longest since the 1970 NFL-AFL merger. And they haven’t even resumed play yet following a second delay for lightning.

The game started at 1 p.m. and was halted for nearly two hours late in the first half. The second delay midway through the second quarter also has lasted almost two hours.

The longest previous game since 1970 was a Bears overtime victory against the Ravens in 2013 that took 5 hours, 16 minutes.

Players have started to return to the field. The Dolphins lead 7-3.

— Steven Wine reporting from Miami Gardens, Florida

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6:37 p.m.

Seattle wide receiver Doug Baldwin has been ruled of the second half against the Denver Broncos with a right knee injury.

Baldwin was hurt late in the first quarter when a Denver player he was attempting to block rolled over his leg. He walked off under his own power and came back briefly before leaving the game for the day.

Baldwin missed all of August with a left knee injury but returned for the season opener. He was targeted on one play Sunday but had no catches before leaving in the first half.

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6:28 p.m.

Panthers tight end Greg Olsen has returned to the sideline in street clothes and is on crutches with his right foot in a boot.

It’s the same foot that Olsen broke last year, costing him to miss nine games.

It’s unclear the extent of the injury.

— Steve Reed reporting from Charlotte, North Carolina.

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5:25 p.m.

Panthers three-time Pro Bowl tight end Greg Olsen has been taken to the locker room in the second quarter with a foot injury.

The team has announced he will not return.

Olsen missed nine games with a Jones fracture in his foot last year.

Olsen had been questionable coming into the game with a back injury. He left after two receptions for 33 yards.

— Steve Reed reporting from Charlotte, North Carolina

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4:55 p.m.

There’s another lightning delay stopping the game between the Tennessee Titans and Miami Dolphins.

Their game was stopped for one hour, 57 minutes with 71 seconds left in the first half before play resumed. Titans cornerback Malcolm Butler just intercepted Ryan Tannehill in the end zone and ran the ball back to the Tennessee 32. Officials then stopped play with 6:47 left in the third and Miami up 7-3.

The Dolphins walked slowly off the field.

The stoppage might cool things down. The stoppage came only a few plays after three players received unsportsmanlike conduct penalties for taunting as a result of a fracas between the Dolphins and Titans, which began after Tennessee tackle Taylor Lewan appeared to be knocked out briefly.

Lewan was hurt at the end of interception return by Reshad Jones in the third quarter. Lewan was running toward the sideline when he was hit to the ground. The Titans and Dolphins traded shoves and taunts.

Penalized were Jordan Phillips and Bobby McCain of Miami, and Dion Lewis of Tennessee. The penalties offset. Lewan went to the locker room.

— Steven Wine reporting from Miami Gardens, Florida

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4:40 p.m.

Los Angeles Chargers right tackle Joe Barksdale has been carted back to the locker room with a knee injury.

Barksdale suffered the injury near the end of the Chargers’ third offensive drive of the first quarter. He is questionable to return.

— Joe Reedy reporting from Los Angeles

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4:35 p.m.

Patrick Mahomes has thrown his first touchdown pass as Kansas City’s starter, giving the Chiefs a 14-3 lead over the Los Angeles Chargers.

With a big helping hand from Tyreek Hill on his second TD of the game.

Mahomes threw a short pass to Hill, who went 57 yards for the score. Hill caught the pass at the Chargers 47 and eluded a diving tackle by Jahleel Addae as he found a seam up the left sideline. It is Hill’s second touchdown of the first quarter after he had a 91-yard punt return.

Mahomes, who was the 10th overall pick in the 2017 draft, was 3 for 3 for 68 yards.

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4:30 p.m.

Titans quarterback Marcus Mariota is back in the game after leaving for a play early in the third quarter against the Dolphins.

Mariota appeared to injure his right hand when hit by defensive lineman William Hayes after handing off. Mariota was treated by a trainer, walked off the field and was replaced by Blaine Gabbert with Miami leading 7-3. Gabbert threw incomplete on third down. Mariota returned for the start of the Titans’ next series, and he was intercepted.

That was the second of injuries over three plays for Tennessee. Adoree Jackson hurt his right shoulder at the end of a punt return out near midfield and went to the locker room. Jackson is questionable to return.

— Steven Wine reporting from Miami Gardens, Florida

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4:15 p.m.

The Kansas City Chiefs put up their first points of the season very quickly.

Tyreek Hill took a Drew Kaser punt 91 yards for a touchdown just a minute and 57 seconds into their opener against the Los Angeles Chargers.

Hill fielded the punt near the right hash mark, then quickly found an opening near the left sideline and was gone. It is Hill’s fourth punt return for a touchdown in 32 games over three seasons.

The Chiefs lead the NFL in punt returns for TDs since 2013 with seven.

— Joe Reedy reporting from Los Angeles

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4:10 p.m.

It didn’t take long for the Kansas City Chiefs to get their first points of the season. Tyreek Hill took a Drew Kaser punt 91 yards for a touchdown a minute and 57 seconds into their opener against the Los Angeles Chargers.

Hill fielded the punt near the right hashmark but quickly found an opening near the left sideline and was gone. It is Hill’s fourth punt return for a touchdown in 32 games over three seasons.

The Chiefs lead the league in punt returns since 2013 with seven.

4:10 p.m.

The Tennessee Titans and Miami Dolphins finally are getting back to their game in full sunshine after a nearly 2-hour delay for lightning in the area.

Officials suspended the game at 2:13 p.m. ET with 1:11 left in the first half and the Titans on offense. Miami has a 7-3 lead.

The teams were poised to return after only an hour only to have lightning in the area push back the restart until 4:10 p.m.

The opener for the NFL season featured a 45-minute delay to the first kickoff between the defending Super Bowl champion Eagles and Atlanta Falcons in Philadelphia.

Weather in Charlotte also has pushed back the opening kickoff between Carolina and the Dallas Cowboys. Kickoff has been pushed back 10 minutes until 4:35 p.m.

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3:30 p.m.

It’s already Josh Allen time for the Buffalo Bills.

Nathan Peterman has been pulled from his third NFL start after failing to mount any offense for the Bills against the Baltimore Ravens.

Peterman was yanked with Baltimore leading 40-0 in the third quarter. He was 5 for 18 for 24 yards with two interceptions.

He was replaced by Allen, the seventh overall pick in the 2018 draft. The Bills traded up five spots to draft him at the highest spot Buffalo has ever selected a quarterback.

Allen drove the Bills for a field goal on his second series.

— Dave Ginsburg reporting from Baltimore

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3:20 p.m.

Seattle Seahawks safety Earl Thomas will start against the Denver Broncos just four days after ending his holdout after it failed to produce a new contract or a trade.

Thomas made it through his first week of practice with no issues after holding out of training camp while seeking an extension or a trade. His deal expires after the 2018 season.

He’ll start in place of Tedric Thompson at free safety.

The Seahawks activated Thomas to their 53-man roster Saturday when they placed cornerback Dontae Johnson on injured reserve. He hurt his groin during practice last week.

Johnson was expected to start at right cornerback. The Seahawks didn’t announce who would start in his place, rookie Tre Flowers or veteran Neiko Thorpe.

— AP Pro Football Writer Arnie Stapleton reporting from Denver

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3:19 p.m.

New England Patriots running back Jeremy Hill has been ruled out against Houston after suffering a knee injury early in the second half.

Hill’s injury occurred on a second-down play with 12:09 remaining in the third quarter that ended in a Patriots’ turnover, with tight end Rob Gronkowski fumbling the ball near midfield after reeling in a 25-yard catch from Tom Brady.

He was helped off the field and evaluated in the medical tent before returning to the locker room. He had four carries for 25 yards and was credited with a partial punt block late in the first half.

The 25-year-old joined the Patriots in free agency this past offseason after spending his first four NFL seasons with Cincinnati.

New England led 21-6 at the time of Hill’s injury.

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3:12 p.m.

Never one to shy away from a fashion statement, Panthers QB Cam Newton wore brown cleats with a silver “sheriff’s star,” taking on a very old Western theme during pre-game warmups against the Cowboys.

Newton can’t wear the cleats during the game, but is allowed to wear what he wants to pre-game warmups.

— Steve Reed reporting from Charlotte, North Carolina

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3:05 p.m.

The Tennessee Titans and Miami Dolphins are expected to resume their game after a 77-minute delay because of lightning in the area.

The teams went to their locker rooms while play was suspended with Miami leading 7-3. First, the game was expected to be resumed at 3:10 p.m., and that now has been pushed back to 3:32 p.m. local time.

The game will resume with 1:11 left in the first half and the Titans on offense. Halftime is to be shortened to 6½ minutes.

— Steven Wine reporting from Miami Gardens, Florida

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3:00 p.m.

Joe Flacco has just thrown his third touchdown pass, and he’s made sure to hit each of the free agent receivers the Ravens signed during the offseason.

Willie Snead caught a 13-yarder in the third quarter to make it 33-0 over Buffalo. Flacco previously connected with newcomers John Brown and Michael Crabtree.

— Dave Ginsburg reporting from Baltimore

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2:55 p.m.

For the first time in franchise history, the Carolina Panthers have their team logo painted at midfield of Bank of America Stadium.

New owner David Tepper made the decision to use the Panthers black and blue logo after purchasing the team in July from Jerry Richardson, the team’s founder and first owner.

The Panthers always had the NFL “shield” at midfield —per Richardson’s orders— since they began play as an expansion franchise in 1995.

The Panthers host the Cowboys in their season opener.

— Steve Reed reporting in Charlotte, North Carolina

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2:30 p.m.

Andrew Luck’s first half was just about as good as it can get after throwing an interception on his first official pass.

The Colts quarterback finished the half 20 of 25 with 170 yards, one touchdown and one interception. Plus, he marched the Colts 43 yards in 1 minute, 42 seconds to set up Adam Vinatieri for his third goal of the half, a 51-yarder, to give Indy a 16-10 lead.

Luck is back after missing more than 20 months with an injured shoulder.

Vinatieri needs four more field goals to break Morten Andersen’s league record of 565.

— Michael Marot reporting from Indianapolis

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2:15 p.m.

Weather has delayed another NFL game, this time in Miami between the Tennessee Titans and Dolphins.

The game was suspended with 1:11 left in the second quarter because of lightning in the area. The teams went to the locker room — with the sun shining. Rain fell earlier, and there was also thunder in the area. Miami led 7-3.

Weather delayed kickoff 45 minutes for the season opener Thursday night between the defending Super Bowl champion Eagles and Atlanta in Philadelphia.

— Steven Wine reporting from Miami Gardens, Florida

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1:55 p.m.

Jaguars running back Leonard Fournette has a hamstring injury.

Fournette already has nine carries for 41 yards, and he led Jacksonville last season as a rookie with 1,040 yards rushing and nine touchdowns.

He caught a pass on the play before the Jaguars’ last series and was being stretched out on the sideline when the Giants had the ball.

— Tom Canavan reporting from East Rutherford, New Jersey

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1:55 p.m.

Panthers three-time tight end Greg Olsen (back) appears to be ready for Carolina’s game with the Dallas Cowboys.

Olsen was added to the team’s injury report on Saturday after practicing full all week. Asked Sunday if he expects Olsen to play, Panthers general manager Marty Hurney replied “as far as I know.”

— Steve Reed reporting from Charlotte, North Carolina

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1:50 p.m.

Houston Texans right tackle Seantrel Henderson has left the game against New England with a left ankle injury.

Patriots defensive lineman Keionta Davis landed on Henderson’s ankle while trying to rush quarterback Deshaun Watson. Henderson was tended to on the field for a few minutes and then walked off under his own power.

After the training staff looked at him on the sideline, Henderson was helped onto a cart, hopping on his right leg, and driven into the tunnel beneath the stands.

It was a few plays after Houston defensive lineman Christian Covington needed medical attention. He is questionable to return with a thigh injury, according to the Texans.

— Jimmy Golen reporting from Foxborough, Massachusetts.

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1:40 p.m.

Kirk Cousins has thrown his 100th career touchdown pass and his first for the Minnesota Vikings.

The new quarterback found Stefon Diggs in single coverage by San Francisco cornerback Ahkello Witherspoon on a fade route on third-and-3 from 22 yards out in the second quarter at U.S. Bank Stadium. The ball was perfectly placed along the edge of the end zone to give the Vikings a 10-0 lead over the 49ers.

Cousins spent the first six seasons of his career with Washington. He signed a three-year, $84 million, fully guaranteed contract with Minnesota in March.

— Dave Campbell reporting from Minneapolis

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1:26 p.m.

Andrew Luck is getting off to a bit of a rocky start in his return for the Indianapolis Colts.

After receiving a loud ovation during introductions, Luck made it onto the field for his first regular-season series in more than 20 months at the Bengals 7.

It didn’t last long.

Following a first-down run, rookie guard Quenton Nelson was called for a hold. On second-and-14 from the Bengals 14, Luck was picked off by linebacker Preston Brown on his first official pass since returning from shoulder surgery.

It got worse. Cincinnati Bengals safety Shawn Williams has been ejected after making a helmet to helmet hit on Luck. The Colts quarterback ran for 7 yards before being hit in the head by Williams while being tackled.

Luck did not leave the game.

— Michael Marot reporting from Indianapolis.

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1:05 p.m.

The Ravens and Bills kicked off a new season on a wet field.

It’s been raining in the Baltimore area all weekend, at times heavily. Throw in a stiff wind and temperatures dipping below 60 degrees, and it’s as if this game was taking place in the middle of the season.

The Ravens are seeking to improve their record in openers under coach John Harbaugh to 8-3. Baltimore has won 18 of its last 20 home games in September.

This is the third career start for Buffalo quarterback Nathan Peterman, who enters with a career QB rating of 38.4.

— Dave Ginsburg reporting from Baltimore.

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1:10 p.m.

Miami Dolphins wide receivers Kenny Stills and Albert Wilson are the only NFL players seen kneeling during the national anthem of early games in protest of police brutality and social injustice.

Dolphins defensive end Robert Quinn raised his right fist, and San Francisco wide receiver Marquise Goodwin raised his right arm with fist clenched during the anthem in New Orleans.

Jaguars cornerback Jalen Ramsey and linebacker Telvin Smith Jr. stood during the national anthem after staying in the locker room for “The Star-Spangled Banner” during the preseason before playing the New York Giants.

Titans wide receiver Rishard Matthews also was on the sideline after staying in the tunnel or locker room during the anthem much of last season.

___10:10 a.m.

President Donald Trump has tweeted his disapproval of the NFL on Sunday morning before the first full slate of games.

The president has criticized players for their demonstrations protesting social injustice during the national anthem, and the league for not requiring players to be on the sideline at attention when “The Star-Spangled Banner” is played.

He made reference to lower ratings on NBC in Thursday night’s season opener in which Super Bowl champion Philadelphia beat Atlanta 18-12.

“Wow, NFL first game ratings are way down over an already really bad last year comparison,” Trump tweeted. “Viewership declined 13%, the lowest in over a decade. If the players stood proudly for our Flag and Anthem, and it is all shown on broadcast, maybe ratings could come back? Otherwise worse!”

The NFL unilaterally passed a policy requiring players to stand at attention for the anthem or to stay in the locker room or in the tunnel under the stands. When that policy met with heavy criticism, it was put on hold while the league and players’ association discussed other options. Those discussions are continuing.

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Ravens name Roman offensive coordinator

Ravens name Roman offensive coordinator

Ravens name Roman offensive coordinator

Greg Roman will replace Marty Mornhinweg as offensive coordinator of the Baltimore Ravens.

New general manager Eric DeCosta, introduced Friday in the official changing of the guard with retiring GM Ozzie Newsome, made the announcement. Mornhinweg is expected to be offered another role on the offensive staff, and additional changes are expected.

Roman’s star pupil will be Lamar Jackson. Jackson guided the Ravens to the playoffs after displacing Joe Flacco as Baltimore’s starter.

Roman spent last season as the assistant head coach and tight ends coach in Baltimore.

Roman has worked with run-first quarterbacks in the past. He was offensive coordinator of the San Francisco 49ers when the team switched in-season from Alex Smith to Colin Kaepernick. That team lost to the Ravens in the Super Bowl.

Roman also was offensive coordinator of the Buffalo Bills, who made Tyrod Taylor a starting quarterback under Roman’s direction.

–Field Level Media

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Svensson shoots career-low 61 to lead Sony Open

Svensson shoots career-low 61 to lead Sony Open

Svensson shoots career-low 61 to lead Sony Open

Canada’s Adam Svensson shot a career-best round of 9-under-par 61 on Thursday to claim the lead after the first round of the Sony Open in Hawaii.

Svensson, 25, put his second shot on the par-5 18th hole in the rough to the right of the green, but he was able to get up and down for birdie to move out of a tie for the lead with American Andrew Putnam. The 61 marked Svensson’s lowest career round on the PGA or Web.com Tours.

The Surrey, British Columbia, native turned pro in 2015 and is ranked 444th in the world. Svensson finished eighth in the Web.com Tour Championship, but he failed to finish better than a tie for 39th in five PGA events in the fall swing, including missing the cut in his final three.

The scoring on the short, par-70 Waialae Country Club course in Honolulu was particularly low in the afternoon wave when the winds died down, and Svensson will have plenty of challengers over the final three rounds.

Matt Kuchar is in solo third place after a 7-under 63 on Thursday, tying the lowest opening round of the 40-year-old’s career.

“I feel like I’ve just evolved into a better player,” Kuchar said. “This course is unique, we don’t play many like it. Reminds me a little bit of Hilton Head, a little bit of Colonial. It’s tight, it’s narrow, it’s flat, but man, it’s tricky.”

Fellow Americans Chez Reavie and Hudson Swafford along with Japan’s Shugo Imahira are tied for fourth place at 5 under.

Patton Kizzire and Justin Thomas, the past two event champions, are both at 3 under after posting 67s on Thursday. Thomas has now shot 68 or lower in nine consecutive rounds at Waialae.

Jordan Spieth, making his 2019 debut after failing to qualify for last week’s Tournament of Champions, struggled to a 3-over 73 and will need a strong Friday to avoid missing his second consecutive cut. Spieth made just 33 feet of putts while carding a lone birdie against four bogeys.

“It was kind of a test, I guess,” Spieth told reporters after the round. “It’s very unusual, I don’t feel like I’ve been in this situation before. But it’s OK … I felt like I was patient out there, and I still am.

“Like I said, it could take a while. I got pretty far off (my game), so I’m trying to backtrack significantly, but I need to get some tournament rounds to do it … even though it’s pretty humbling at the same time.”

He is tied with Australia’s Adam Scott, who is also making his 2019 debut.

By comparison, Putnam made 174 feet of putts, gaining 6.844 strokes on the field on the greens, according to PGATour.com.

“The putter was hot … it was getting a little ridiculous out there,” Putnam said. “The hole was very large and the ball was going in. It was fun.”

Peter Jung, the 16-year-old amateur who qualified for his first PGA Tour event by winning the Hawaiian qualifier, is last in the field by eight strokes after struggling to a 14-over 84.

–Field Level Media

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Panthers S Reid’s lawyers reject report findings, request info

Panthers S Reid's lawyers reject report findings, request info

Panthers S Reid’s lawyers reject report findings, request info

The legal team for Carolina Panthers safety Eric Reid rejected the findings in a report released Wednesday by NFL/NFLPA that there was no evidence he was targeted for drug testing and are demanding a response on the matter, according to a report by CBSsports.com.

In a letter to the NFL and NFLPA, Reid’s legal team also requested more information as to how these findings were made, as well as a public correction of several dates the NFL used in its report that Reid’s team says are incorrect. The lawyers have asked for access to all evidence, records, electronic messages and information sources used to determine the report’s findings.

On Wednesday, the league and union released the results of its joint investigation into Reid’s claim that he was targeted by the NFL’s performance-enhancing drug testing program. Reid, a close friend and supporter of former teammate of Colin Kaepernick, believes he was being tested more than normal.

After the Panthers’ game on Dec. 17, Reid said he’d undergone his seventh drug test since joining the team as a free agent in September. He suggested the tests weren’t random and that he was tested repeatedly because of a collusion grievance he’d filed against the league.

A joint statement Wednesday from the NFL and players association said their investigation showed no evidence of his claims: “Mr. Reid’s tests were randomly generated via computer algorithm and that his selection for testing was normal when compared with the number of tests players were randomly selected for throughout the league during the time that he was on an active roster. There is no evidence of targeting or any other impropriety with respect to his selection for testing.”

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

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

The San Francisco 49ers selected Reid with the No. 18 overall pick of the 2013 NFL Draft. Reid, 27, became the first player to join Kaepernick in kneeling during the national anthem to protest social injustice.

The NFLPA filed a collusion grievance on Reid’s behalf in May alleging that NFL owners colluded to keep Reid from being signed, in response to his protests during the national anthem.

Reid, a 2013 Pro Bowler, was an unrestricted free agent from March until Sept. 28, when the Panthers signed him after an injury to Da’Norris Searcy. Reid has not dropped the grievance, which is expected to be heard during the offseason.

–Field Level Media

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Reports: Bengals hope to hire Rams QB coach Taylor

Reports: Bengals hope to hire Rams QB coach Taylor

The Cincinnati Bengals would like to

Reports: Bengals hope to hire Rams QB coach Taylor

The Cincinnati Bengals would like to hire Los Angeles Rams quarterbacks coach Zac Taylor to be their next head coach, multiple media outlets reported Thursday.

No team can hire Taylor until the Rams’ season is over, but Taylor reportedly is the Bengals’ top choice. ESPN reported that Taylor also wants to be in Cincinnati, where he coached as the Cincinnati Bearcats’ offensive coordinator in 2016.

Taylor, 35, would become the second-youngest active head coach in the NFL, behind only his current boss, Rams head coach Sean McVay, who turns 33 on Jan. 24. He interviewed for the Denver Broncos’ and Arizona Cardinals’ head-coaching vacancies before those teams hired Vic Fangio and Kliff Kingsbury, respectively.

A former Nebraska quarterback, Taylor is in his first year as QBs coach with the Rams after spending 2017 as assistant wide receivers coach. He also coached for the Miami Dolphins, one year as assistant quarterbacks coach (2012), three as quarterbacks coach (2013-15) and part of the 2015 season as interim offensive coordinator.

NFL Network earlier Thursday that the Bengals told several assistant coaches they would not be returning, as the team’s next head coach has other assistants in mind to replace them. That indicated the hire would come from outside the organization.

Other candidates for Cincinnati job include Hue Jackson — who joined the Bengals midseason after being fired as the Cleveland Browns’ head coach — former Broncos head coach Vance Joseph, Kansas City Chiefs offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy and former Tampa Bay Buccaneers offensive coordinator Todd Monken.

Taylor would be the third head coach hired during this cycle who has ties to McVay.

New Green Bay Packers head coach Matt LaFleur spent 2017 as the Rams’ offensive coordinator under McVay.

Meanwhile, McVay offered Kingsbury a job on L.A.’s staff for the remainder of the 2018 season after the latter was fired by Texas Tech. Kingsbury instead joined the University of Southern California as offensive coordinator before getting the Cardinals’ job a month later.

Taylor’s brother, Press Taylor, is in his first season as the Philadelphia Eagles’ quarterbacks coach.

–Field Level Media

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NFL notebook: Bengals hope to hire Rams QB coach Taylor

NFL notebook: Bengals hope to hire Rams QB coach Taylor

The Cincinnati Bengals would

NFL notebook: Bengals hope to hire Rams QB coach Taylor

The Cincinnati Bengals would like to hire Los Angeles Rams quarterbacks coach Zac Taylor to be their next head coach, multiple media outlets reported Thursday.

No team can hire Taylor until the Rams’ season is over, but Taylor reportedly is the Bengals’ top choice. ESPN reported that Taylor also wants to be in Cincinnati, where he coached as the Cincinnati Bearcats’ offensive coordinator in 2016.

Taylor, 35, would become the second-youngest active head coach in the NFL, behind only his current boss, Rams head coach Sean McVay, who turns 33 on Jan. 24. He interviewed for the Denver Broncos’ and Arizona Cardinals’ head-coaching vacancies before those teams hired Vic Fangio and Kliff Kingsbury, respectively.

A former Nebraska quarterback, Taylor is in his first year as QBs coach with the Rams after spending 2017 as assistant wide receivers coach.

–Pittsburgh Steelers president Art Rooney II cast serious doubt about the future of wide receiver Antonio Brown with the team, in an interview with the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

“As we sit here today, it’s hard to envision that,” Rooney said when asked if Brown would be with the Steelers when they open training camp in July. “But there’s no sense on closing the door on anything today.”

–Arizona interviewed Steve Sarkisian for their offensive coordinator vacancy and Joseph for their defensive coordinator vacancy, according to ESPN.

Sirius XM NFL reported that Sarkisian, who was fired last week after two seasons with Atlanta, and former Jacksonville Jaguars offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett are also contenders for the coordinator vacancy in Detroit.

Multiple outlets also reported that former New York Giants head coach Ben McAdoo would interview for a job on head coach Kliff Kingsbury’s staff.

–The Cleveland Browns have yet to officially announce Freddie Kitchens as their new head coach, but they are moving to fill out his staff.

NFL Network reported that former Detroit Lions offensive coordinator Jim Bob Cooter and former Tampa Bay Buccaneers offensive coordinator Todd Monken will interview for the same position in Cleveland. ESPN reported that Vance Joseph, the ex-Denver Broncos head coach, will interview for the defensive vacancy.

–The Broncos agreed to terms with longtime defensive coordinator Vic Fangio to become the 17th head coach in franchise history, general manager John Elway announced. Fangio, boasting 32 years of NFL coaching experience, succeeds Joseph for his first stint as an NFL head coach.

“Vic really impressed us with his attention to detail — his focus is on teaching the fundamentals, technique and playing disciplined football,” Elway said.

Former Houston Texans and Broncos coach Gary Kubiak will come down from the Denver front office to oversee the offense of the Broncos.

–The New York Jets’ hiring of Adam Gase as head coach has received a major vote of approval from at least one important voice on the team — starting quarterback Sam Darnold.

“It was a tough decision, but I think Gase and the things he’s able to do, the way he’s able to lead, I think is the best thing for our team,” Darnold told ESPN during a phone interview on Thursday.

“I’m really, really excited about this opportunity and all the things Adam can bring this team,” said Darnold, who spoke with Gase on FaceTime for 10 minutes on Monday. “For us, it’s about winning. How do you do that? You score more points than the other team.”

–Running back Leonard Fournette met with Jacksonville vice president of football operations Tom Coughlin and the rest of the team’s brass to clear the air, NFL Network reported. The meeting apparently went well on both sides, and Fournette should be part of the team’s 2019 plans.

Fournette and fellow running back T.J. Yeldon drew Coughlin’s ire for sitting on the team’s bench for the duration of the season finale, prompting Coughlin to say both players were “disrespectful, selfish and their behavior was unbecoming that of a professional football player.”

–The legal team for Carolina Panthers safety Eric Reid rejected the findings in a report released Wednesday by NFL/NFLPA that there was no evidence he was targeted for drug testing and are demanding a response on the matter, according to a report by CBSsports.com.

–Indianapolis Colts wide receiver Ryan Grant has been ruled out of Saturday’s divisional playoff game at Kansas City due to a toe injury. Safety Malik Hooker was also listed as questionable with a foot injury.

–Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Cole Beasley and tight end Blake Jarwin missed practice again with ankle injuries and are listed as questionable for Saturday’s divisional playoff game against the Rams.

–Kansas City Chiefs safety Eric Berry (heel), wideout Sammy Watkins (foot) and running back Spencer Ware (hamstring) are all questionable for Saturday’s playoff game against Indianapolis.

–Cleveland announced that guard Joel Bitonio has been added to the 2019 AFC Pro Bowl roster, replacing injured Steelers guard David DeCastro.

–The Jets are considering three former head coaches to fill their defensive coordinator position under Gase, according to multiple reports. The list includes Gregg Williams, who was let go by Cleveland earlier this week.

NFL.com reported that Joseph is also under consideration, and CBSSports.com reported that former Indianapolis coach Chuck Pagano is on the list.

–Field Level Media

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Reports: Browns interview OC Cooter, DC Joseph

Reports: Browns interview OC Cooter, DC Joseph

The Cleveland Browns have yet to officially announce

Reports: Browns interview OC Cooter, DC Joseph

The Cleveland Browns have yet to officially announce Freddie Kitchens as their new head coach, but they are taking steps to fill out his staff.

NFL Network reports former Detroit Lions offensive coordinator Jim Bob Cooter will interview for the same position in, and ESPN reports former Denver Broncos head coach Vance Joseph will interview for the defensive vacancy.

ESPN’s report added that Joseph interviewed for the same position with the Arizona Cardinals on Thursday.

The Lions chose not to renew Cooter’s contract last week, ending his three-plus-year tenure as the team’s coordinator. After joining Detroit as a quarterbacks coach in 2014, Cooter was promoted to interim offensive coordinator midway through 2015.

He helped Matthew Stafford have a career season in 2017, as the Lions finished seventh in points and 13th in yards that season. However, Detroit finished 25th in points and 24th in yards in 2018, more in line with its rankings in 2015 and 2016.

Joseph was fired by the Broncos last week after two seasons. He is considered a contender for the Cincinnati Bengals’ head-coaching job and the New York Jets’ coordinator job. He worked previously in Cincinnati and has familiarity with new Jets head coach Adam Gase after they worked together in Miami.

News broke Wednesday that Kitchens would be the Browns’ next head coach, but the team has yet to make it official. Kitchens is expected to keep his offense and call his own plays after quarterback Baker Mayfield thrived following Kitchens’ promotion to offensive coordinator midseason.

The team moved on from interim head coach and defensive coordinator Gregg Williams, who released a statement Wednesday thanking Browns fans for their support.

–Field Level Media

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Reports: Browns interview Cooter, Monken, Joseph

Reports: Browns interview Cooter, Monken, Joseph

The Cleveland Browns have yet to officially announce Freddie

Reports: Browns interview Cooter, Monken, Joseph

The Cleveland Browns have yet to officially announce Freddie Kitchens as their new head coach, but they are taking steps to fill out his staff.

NFL Network reports former Detroit Lions offensive coordinator Jim Bob Cooter and former Tampa Bay Buccaneers offensive coordinator Todd Monken will interview for the same position in Cleveland.

ESPN reports former Denver Broncos head coach Vance Joseph will interview for the Browns’ defensive vacancy, adding that Joseph interviewed for the same position with the Arizona Cardinals on Thursday.

The Lions chose not to renew Cooter’s contract last week, ending his three-plus-year tenure as the team’s coordinator. After joining Detroit as a quarterbacks coach in 2014, Cooter was promoted to interim offensive coordinator midway through 2015.

He helped Matthew Stafford have a career season in 2017, as the Lions finished seventh in points and 13th in yards that season. However, Detroit finished 25th in points and 24th in yards in 2018, more in line with its rankings in 2015 and 2016.

Monken interviewed for head-coaching vacancies with the New York Jets — who hired Adam Gase — and the Cincinnati Bengals, who reportedly hope to hire Los Angeles Rams quarterbacks coach Zac Taylor for the job.

Monken helped the Bucs’ offense finish third in yards and 12th in points this season, but he won’t return to Tampa after the team hired Bruce Arians, whose offensive coordinator will be Byron Leftwich.

Joseph was fired by the Broncos last week after two seasons. He was considered a contender for the Bengals’ head-coaching job, and could still be in the mix for the Jets’ coordinator job. He worked previously in Cincinnati and has familiarity with Gase after they worked together in Miami.

News broke Wednesday that Kitchens would be the Browns’ next head coach, but the team has yet to make it official. Kitchens is expected to keep his offense and call his own plays after quarterback Baker Mayfield thrived following Kitchens’ promotion to offensive coordinator midseason.

The team moved on from interim head coach and defensive coordinator Gregg Williams, who released a statement Wednesday thanking Browns fans for their support.

–Field Level Media

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Jets QB Darnold strongly supports hiring of Gase

Jets QB Darnold strongly supports hiring of Gase

Jets QB Darnold strongly supports hiring of Gase

The New York Jets’ hiring of Adam Gase as head coach has received a major vote of approval from at least one important voice on the team — starting quarterback Sam Darnold.

“It was a tough decision, but I think Gase and the things he’s able to do, the way he’s able to lead, I think is the best thing for our team,” Darnold told ESPN during a phone interview on Thursday.

Darnold had an up-and-down 2018 rookie season (17 touchdown passes, 15 interceptions) with the Jets, who finished 4-12 and ranked 29th in total offense. He also supported former Tampa Bay Buccaneers offensive coordinator Todd Monken, but said he thought the team made the right choice with Gase, the former Miami Dolphins head coach who was fired on Dec. 31 after they finished 7-9 and ranked 31st in total offense.

“I’m really, really excited about this opportunity and all the things Adam can bring this team,” said Darnold, who spoke with Gase on FaceTime for 10 minutes on Monday. “For us, it’s about winning. How do you do that? You score more points than the other team. I’m really excited about the opportunity to get to work with him, and score a load of points. I think it’s going to be really fun.”

If there was a backlash by fans about the Jets’ decision to hire Gase, Darnold expects it to subside, saying, “I don’t think they’ll be upset when we start winning games.”

Eight known candidates interviewed for the position, including former Green Bay Packers coach Mike McCarthy. It came down to a final four: Gase, Monken, McCarthy and Baylor coach Matt Rhule.

“Adam is an awesome dude. First of all, a really trustworthy guy,” Darnold said of Gase, who previously worked with Peyton Manning, Jay Cutler and Ryan Tannehill. “He just knows ball. He knows football. He’s very, very passionate about it. I think that’s what’s going to be awesome about this whole thing.”

Manning reached out to Jets CEO Christopher Johnson on Tuesday night to throw his support Gase’s way.

“His passion is going to be super, super contagious,” Darnold added about his new coach. “Guys are going to want to go out there and play the game all the time. I think that’s kind of his leadership style, and I think that’s really where he’s going to thrive. I think our guys are going to take on that kind of attitude.”

–Field Level Media

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Reports: Sarkisian, Joseph interview with Cardinals

Reports: Sarkisian, Joseph interview with Cardinals

The

Reports: Sarkisian, Joseph interview with Cardinals

The Arizona Cardinals interviewed Steve Sarkisian for their offensive-coordinator vacancy and Vance Joseph for their defensive-coordinator vacancy on Thursday, according to various ESPN reports.

New Cardinals head coach Kliff Kingsbury is expected to call plays and run his own offense in Arizona, but the team appears set on hiring an offensive coordinator to assist him.

Sarkisian, who was fired last week after two seasons leading the Atlanta Falcons’ offense, had spent all but one year of his coaching career in college prior to 2017, the lone exception being a stint as the Oakland Raiders quarterbacks coach in 2004. Atlanta finished 11th in points and seventh in yards in 2017 before slipping to 17th in both categories this season.

Sirius XM NFL reports Sarkisian and former Jacksonville Jaguars offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett are contenders for the coordinator vacancy in Detroit.

Meanwhile, Joseph is considered a contender for the Cincinnati Bengals’ head-coaching job and the New York Jets’ coordinator job, after being fired by the Denver Broncos last week. He worked previously in Cincinnati and has familiarity with new Jets head coach Adam Gase after they worked together in Miami.

An ESPN report Wednesday added that Joseph will interview next with the Cleveland Browns’ for their defensive opening.

Cardinals general manager Steve Keim said at Wednesday’s news conference that the Cardinals will move back to a 3-4 defensive scheme after shifting to a 4-3 during Steve Wilks’ one season as head coach.

Joseph’s Broncos ran a 3-4 scheme that was carried over from Wade Phillips in previous seasons, but Joseph’s defenses in Miami and Cincinnati were 4-3 based.

–Field Level Media

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Report: Panthers sticking with Washington as DC

Report: Panthers sticking with Washington as DC

The Carolina Panthers will reportedly retain Eric Washington as defensive

Report: Panthers sticking with Washington as DC

The Carolina Panthers will reportedly retain Eric Washington as defensive coordinator, although head coach Ron Rivera will continue to call the defensive plays in 2019.

There was some speculation about Washington’s job status this week as the team held interviews with former Indianapolis head coach Chuck Pagano and former Jacksonville defensive backs coach Perry Fewell.

However, those interviews were not for the role of defensive coordinator, according to The Charlotte Observer. The Panthers are trying to hire a new secondary/cornerbacks coach, the newspaper reported on Thursday, citing league sources.

The Panthers played the final four games of 2018 with Washington as the DC and “front seven” coach, with Rivera calling the defensive plays.

–Field Level Media

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Browns G Bitonio replacing DeCastro in Pro Bowl

Browns G Bitonio replacing DeCastro in Pro Bowl

The Cleveland

Browns G Bitonio replacing DeCastro in Pro Bowl

The Cleveland Browns announced Thursday that guard Joel Bitonio has been added to the 2019 AFC Pro Bowl roster, replacing injured Pittsburgh Steelers guard David DeCastro. Bitonio, initially named a first-team alternate, joins defensive end Myles Garrett and rookie cornerback Denzel Ward as Browns representatives.

“I am so honored to be able to represent the city of Cleveland and all the great Browns fans at the Pro Bowl,” Bitonio said in a press release. “It’s good to be recognized by the players, coaches and fans for your hard work. What’s really cool, though, is that I can share this honor with Myles and Denzel, but I wish all our offensive linemen could come, too, because it’s a group effort.”

Bitonio’s Pro Bowl selection marks the first in his five-year NFL career. The 27-year-old team captain is currently the longest-tenured team member. In 2018, he started all 16 games at left guard and did not miss an offensive snap for the second consecutive season. Bitonio was voted a second-team Associated Press All-Pro selection.

The 2019 Pro Bowl is set for Jan. 27 in Orlando, Fla.

–Field Level Media

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Giants’ Vernon replaces Bears’ Mack in Pro Bowl

Giants' Vernon replaces Bears' Mack in Pro Bowl

Giants’ Vernon replaces Bears’ Mack in Pro Bowl

New York Giants outside linebacker Olivier Vernon is headed to his first Pro Bowl as an injury replacement for Chicago Bears linebacker Khalil Mack.

Mack was not listed on any Bears injury reports after Week 10, but he dealt with an ankle issue during the season and will now pass on the game in Orlando.

Vernon missed five games to injury had just seven sacks this season, which tied for 21st in the NFC, but only six players topped his 21 QB hits. He also chipped in 30 tackles (five for loss).

Vernon, 28, has 22 sacks and 56 QB hits in three years with the Giants, whom he joined on a five-year, $85 million deal as a free agent in 2016. He has 51 sacks and 130 QB hits in his seven-year career, including his first four seasons with the Miami Dolphins.

A native of Miami who attended the University of Miami, Vernon was selected by his hometown team in the third round of the 2012 draft.

Mack, 27, was acquired by the Bears from the Oakland Raiders in an early-September trade. In 14 games (13 starts) for Chicago, he had 12.5 sacks, six forced fumbles and an interception that he returned for a touchdown.

The Pro Bowl will be held Jan. 27.

–Field Level Media

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Chargers sign K Rose; RB Gordon practices

Chargers sign K Rose; RB Gordon practices

Chargers sign K Rose; RB Gordon practices

The Los Angeles Chargers will sign kicker Nick Rose, according to multiple reports Thursday, to handle kickoffs in their Sunday playoff game against the New England Patriots.

The team has yet to announce the move.

Michael Badgley has proven reliable as the Chargers’ placekicker, making 5 of 6 field-goal attempts last week and 15 of 16 during the regular season. However, he has just nine touchbacks on 60 kickoffs (including playoffs) this season, easily the worst rate among qualified kickers.

Rose, who missed 2 of 3 field goal attempts with the Chargers in 2017, has 32 touchbacks on 47 career kickoffs since going undrafted out of Texas in 2016. He also converted on 10 of 11 field goal tries for the Washington Redskins in the first part of the 2017 season.

Patriots kick returner Cordarrelle Patterson averaged 28.8 yards per return in the regular season, scoring once.

“They have one of the best kick returners that I’ve seen in a long time,” Chargers coach Anthony Lynn said earlier this week. “So that’s going to be a heck of a challenge for our special teams. It’s a good thing we have one of the better cover units in the league right now, but that’s going to be a heck of a challenge.”

Meanwhile, Chargers running back Melvin Gordon was back at practice on a limited basis Thursday and vowed to play through his left knee sprain.

“Just hurt it a little bit,” Gordon said. “Throw a little dirt on it, I’ll be all right.”

Gordon reportedly has a light sprain in his left knee after missing three games late in the year with a similar injury to his right knee. All indications are that he will play Sunday.

Center Mike Pouncey returned to a full practice Thursday after missing Wednesday’s session with a thumb injury.

–Field Level Media

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Cowboys WR Beasley, TE Jarwin questionable

Cowboys WR Beasley, TE Jarwin questionable

Dallas Cowboys wide receiver

Cowboys WR Beasley, TE Jarwin questionable

Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Cole Beasley and tight end Blake Jarwin both missed practice again Thursday with ankle injuries and are listed as questionable for Saturday night’s divisional playoff game against the Los Angeles Rams.

Neither player practiced this week. The Cowboys are already at less than full strength in the passing game after losing wide receiver Allen Hurns to a dislocated left ankle in last weekend’s wild-card win against Seattle.

Beasley caught 65 passes for 672 yards and three touchdowns in 16 games this season. The seventh-year wideout tweaked the ankle — which had already been bugging him — early in the game against the Seahawks, finishing with three catches for 28 yards.

Jarwin had 27 receptions for 307 yards in 16 games this season, including 119 yards and three TDs in a Week 17 win against the New York Giants. He had three grabs for 15 yards last week against Seattle.

Defensive tackle Maliek Collins (illness, ankle), guard Xavier Su’a-Filo (ankle) and safety Darian Thompson (groin) were also listed as questionable on Thursday’s injury report. Defensive lineman David Irving (ankle) remains out.

The good news for Dallas is that left tackle Tyron Smith (neck), right guard Zack Martin (knee), linebacker Sean Lee (hamstring), defensive end Tyrone Crawford (neck) and wide receivers Tavon Austin (groin) and Noah Brown (illness) were all full participants in Thursday’s session and are expected to play.

–Field Level Media

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Steelers’ Rooney: ‘Hard to envision’ Brown staying

Steelers' Rooney: 'Hard to envision' Brown staying

Steelers’ Rooney: ‘Hard to envision’ Brown staying

Pittsburgh Steelers president Art Rooney II cast serious doubt about the future of wide receiver Antonio Brown with the team, in an interview with the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Thursday.

“As we sit here today, it’s hard to envision that,” Rooney told the newspaper when asked if Brown would be with the Steelers when they open training camp in July. “But there’s no sense on closing the door on anything today.”

Rooney added the team hasn’t made any firm decisions, though it won’t simply cut Brown.

“We’ll look at all the options,” Rooney said “We’re not going to release him, that’s not on the table. But I will say all other options are on the table.

“Whether the situation can be reconciled and have him back on the team next year, we’re a long way away from thinking that can happen. We’re not closing the door on anything at this point.”

Brown skipped practices and team meetings and didn’t answer phone calls from Rooney, head coach Mike Tomlin or teammates leading up to the regular-season finale. He then showed up to play against the Cincinnati Bengals, but the team held Brown out. The wideout was listed on the injury report with knee soreness, but many have questioned his injury, and reports have said teammates felt he quit on them.

Tomlin acknowledged last week that Brown might have become more of a distraction than he’s worth.

Just last February, the Steelers decided Brown was worth a four-year, $68 million extension, the richest in NFL history for a wide receiver at the time. As a result, there would be serious cap implications if Pittsburgh were to move on. The Steelers would save more than $15 million in real money in 2019, but they would owe $21.12 million in dead money against the cap, compared to Brown’s $22.165 million cap hit if he remains on the roster.

“That has to be taken into consideration,” Rooney told the Post-Gazette of cap implications, “but, as I sit here today, I’m not going to say that’s going to box us into anything. If we decide something has to be done, we’ll figure out how to deal with that.”

When Rooney was asked specifically about the possibility of a trade, he replied, “I’m not going to use those words. All options are on the table. We have two months to go before we can do anything. There’s no sense making the decision now. We’ll see how things play out. Maybe he decides to come talk to us some day and we learn more about where he is. We’ll see.”

Brown, 30, cannot be traded until March 13, when the NFL’s 2019 season officially opens. The Steelers would likely make a decision on his status before March 17, when he is due a $2.5 million roster bonus.

The Post-Gazette reports the team has not been in contact with Brown, who has not returned repeated phone calls from Rooney and Tomlin.

Rooney acknowledged that teammates’ opinions about Brown possibly returning in 2019 will be factors in the decision-making process. He also indicated that the issues with Brown at the end of the season are likely part of a broader problem.

“My belief is there’s more to it than an incident one day at practice,” Rooney said. “That’s one of the reasons I would have liked to talk to him about it — what it was and how it got to this point.”

A seven-time Pro Bowl and four-time All-Pro selection, Brown caught 104 passes for 1,297 yards and a career-high 15 touchdowns in 2018.

Brown ranks second in Steelers history behind Hines Ward in career receptions (837), receiving yards (11,207) and touchdown catches (74).

–Field Level Media

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DeCosta to officially start as Ravens GM on Friday

DeCosta to officially start as Ravens GM on Friday

DeCosta to officially start as Ravens GM on Friday

The Baltimore Ravens’ long-awaited change in front-office leadership will become official on Friday, when Eric DeCosta takes over as the team general manager. The club made the announcement Thursday.

The team also announced that outgoing GM Ozzie Newsome will remain with Ravens “in a significant role.”

DeCosta, 47, first joined the Ravens as a scouting intern in 1996, the club’s first season after moving from Cleveland to Baltimore. According to the team, he has declined interview requests from clubs with GM openings in each of the last seven years, preferring to stay in Baltimore.

Following his internship, DeCosta moved up to area scout (1997-2002), then director of college scouting (2003-08), director of player personnel (2009-11) and finally assistant general manager, his job since 2012.

“No. 1, he’s a very good person,” Newsome said of DeCosta last spring, adding that his successor saw the Ravens as a “bare-bones” organization. “He’s a very good talent evaluator. He’d had a chance to watch how this thing has grown, but he has also seen how this thing was built.”

Newsome, who moved with the franchise from Cleveland in 1996, took over as the Ravens’ GM in November 2002. During that time, Baltimore has won two Super Bowl titles. Meanwhile, the other 31 NFL teams went through a combined 149 general managers prior to this season.

Newsome has drafted two Hall of Fame players in offensive tackle Jonathan Ogden and linebacker Ray Lewis. At least two more are likely to join them in safety Ed Reed, who is eligible, and linebacker Terrell Suggs, who is still active. Also among his draft picks have been three NFL Defensive Players of the Year and an Offensive Player of the Year.

–Field Level Media

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Report: Jaguars clear air with RB Fournette

Report: Jaguars clear air with RB Fournette

Report: Jaguars clear air with RB Fournette

Running back Leonard Fournette met with vice president of football operations Tom Coughlin and the rest of the Jacksonville Jaguars’ brass to clear the air and move forward together, NFL Network reported Thursday.

Per the report, the meeting apparently went well on both sides, and Fournette should be part of the team’s 2019 plans.

Fournette and fellow running back T.J. Yeldon drew Coughlin’s ire for sitting on the team’s bench for the duration of the season finale, prompting a statement from Coughlin that said both players were “disrespectful, selfish and their behavior was unbecoming that of a professional football player.”

It was the cap on a dreadful sophomore campaign for Fournette, as he missed seven games to injury, averaged 3.3 yards per carry and was suspended one game for fighting against the Buffalo Bills in November. That incident opened an opportunity for the Jaguars to void the remaining guarantees in Fournette’s contract, which head coach Doug Marrone confirmed they would do.

Jacksonville drafted Fournette, who turns 24 on Jan. 18, fourth overall in 2017. He posted 1,342 scrimmage yards and 10 total touchdowns as a rookie. This season, he finished with 624 yards and six touchdowns.

Many wondered if the Jags would move on from Fournette with his guarantees voided, but his meeting with the team appears to put that possibility on hold.

Fournette is due $2.9 million in base salary in 2019 and $4.2 million in 2020, although his cap hits ($7.4 million and $8.6 million, respectively) rank fifth-most among running backs in those years. The Jaguars — or any team that might acquire Fournette — must decide next offseason whether to exercise his fifth-year option for 2021.

The team signed running back Thomas Rawls for depth on Wednesday.

Yeldon, 25, is set to hit free agency and is not expected back. Corey Grant, 27, is also scheduled to become a free agent after missing most of the season with a foot injury.

–Field Level Media

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Colts WR Grant ruled out, S Hooker questionable

Colts WR Grant ruled out, S Hooker questionable

Indianapolis

Colts WR Grant ruled out, S Hooker questionable

Indianapolis Colts wide receiver Ryan Grant has been ruled out of Saturday’s divisional playoff game at Kansas City due to a toe injury.

Grant, who also missed last week’s wild-card win against Houston, caught 35 passes for 334 yards and one touchdown in 14 regular-season games (10 starts).

The Colts’ injury report on Thursday also listed safety Malik Hooker as questionable with a foot injury.

A first-round pick by Indianapolis in 2017, Hooker started 14 games this season and posted 44 tackles, two interceptions and one fumble recovery.

Two defensive linemen are also on the injury report, with Denico Autry (shoulder) listed as questionable and Tyquan Lewis (knee) as doubtful.

Wide receiver T.Y. Hilton, tight end Eric Ebron, linebacker Darius Leonard, left tackle Anthony Castonzo, safety Clayton Geathers and defensive end Jabaal Sheard each missed at least one practice this week, but none received an injury designation.

–Field Level Media

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Take 5: Divisional playoff keys

Take 5: Divisional playoff keys

Rarely is a 1-vs.-6 matchup so juicy, but with the

Take 5: Divisional playoff keys

Rarely is a 1-vs.-6 matchup so juicy, but with the Indianapolis Colts riding a 10-1 run, the Kansas City Chiefs will have their hands full Saturday.

With excellent offenses and defenses with very specific strengths, both sides of the ball feature intriguing matchups. We’ll touch on both before diving into the other three divisional games.

1. Fireworks in Arrowhead’s trenches

No team has protected its quarterback better than the Colts since Week 5, but the Chiefs’ defense — built to protect leads — boasts three viable star pass rushers.

Chris Jones’ 15.5 sacks and 29 QB hits, especially eye-popping from a defensive tackle, might actually undersell his pass-rushing impact. Even when he doesn’t get there, he routinely powers blockers backward, creating opportunities for teammates when quarterbacks can’t step up.

Dee Ford (13 sacks, 29 hits) has been the biggest beneficiary. His lightning first step favors speed rushes, and turning the corner is much easier with QBs deep in the pocket. Four-time Pro Bowler Justin Houston (9.0 sacks, 12 hits in 12 games) is no slouch, either.

Sparks should fly, as Jones will often line up opposite All-Pro rookie left guard Quenton Nelson. Both have tremendous power with enough complementary quickness. Can Nelson hold up like few others have against Jones this season?

On the edges, left tackle Anthony Castonzo is a rock, while right tackle Braden Smith has been steady but occasionally susceptible. Smith could struggle some with Ford, whose diminutive frame (6-foot-2, 252 pounds) offers an awfully small target when he’s bending to turn the corner.

The Colts chipped J.J. Watt often last week while rarely doubling Jadeveon Clowney, so it will be interesting to see whom they key on. Ford would make sense, as chip blocks would neutralize his first step. Indy could also slide center Ryan Kelly to Jones’ side, hoping right guard Mark Glowinski can handle Allen Bailey (six sacks, 10 hits) alone.

Indianapolis should have a major advantage in the run game, where Jones and Bailey are undisciplined and struggle to anchor. The Colts might be best exploiting that edge relentlessly … assuming they can avoid a huge deficit.

2. Colts’ defense must pick its poison

Coordinator Matt Eberflus’ unit is thriving. His Cover-2 heavy scheme lets defenders to play fast and improve during the season, but has enough wrinkles to keep opponents off balance and probe at weaknesses.

But the Chiefs’ offense has few weaknesses.

If Eberflus relies on his front four for pressure, even their stunts and twists might not trouble Kansas City’s O-line, giving Patrick Mahomes time to break Indy’s zones down. Eberflus could turn to his slot blitzes (featuring cornerback Kenny Moore), but those risk flushing Mahomes from the pocket, where he might be more lethal.

Another conundrum is how to handle Tyreek Hill. Cover-2 is supposedly safe against deep throws, but it inherently makes two safeties and a linebacker the deepest defenders. Giving Andy Reid chances to get Hill — especially from the slot — against a safety or linebacker is playing with fire. Containing Hill with proper depth would open gaping underneath windows. Mahomes and Travis Kelce have torched zone defenses up the seams, and Reid loves dagger concepts with Hill clearing out space for dig routes.

The Colts should mix up coverage more than usual — that’s how teams have best contained Mahomes anyway — but they won’t plug every leak.

3. Cowboys have ingredients for L.A. upset

Dallas’ 8-1 stretch has been fortunate — the Cowboys’ point differential is just plus-14 in that span — but they match up well against the 13-3 Rams.

Like the Seahawks, the Rams’ offense is built around its run game. L.A. is much more pass-oriented than Seattle, but Sean McVay’s scheme is centered around outside-zone runs and complementary play-action.

The Cowboys have been susceptible to play-action (112.6 rating allowed during the regular season), but they have the horses to stop the run. If they can do so with a lighter box, an extra safety deep could help neutralize the Rams’ two-man downfield concepts off play-action.

More importantly, Dallas’ greatest strength (running game) aligns perfectly with L.A.’s biggest weakness (run defense). The Cowboys’ line is still excellent without Travis Frederick, and Ezekiel Elliott has been even more impressive. He is outstanding at coming downhill path to force linebackers to commit before jump-cutting into a different lane or veering outside.

One Rams edge could come against Amari Cooper. Cornerback Aqib Talib has the physicality and quickness to handle Cooper. In seven games against Talib — often covered by Talib but not always — Cooper has caught 18 of 40 targets for 169 yards and two scores, including one catch for 9 yards in Week 1.

4. What will Gus Bradley do in Foxborough?

The defenses that have bothered Tom Brady most this season have used blitzes and zone exchanges to get free rushers, but the Chargers’ Cover-3 defense is as static as they come, at least on early downs.

Will Bradley change up? He has versatile pieces: Derwin James, Desmond King and Adrian Phillips can all blitz, and Melvin Ingram is capable dropping in zone or even man coverage. Bradley might simply hope Ingram, Joey Bosa & Co. can get home, but using obvious Cover-3 looks over and over is asking for trouble against Brady.

We’ll also find out if L.A. trusts any of its linebackers. Last week’s “dollar” package (seven DBs) was catered to stop Lamar Jackson, but it was also borne of necessity by the injury to Jatavis Brown (joining linebackers Denzel Perryman and Kyzir White on IR). The Chargers probably won’t use dollar on 60 snaps again, but they’ll at least play plenty of dime (six DBs).

That heavily contrasts New England, which uses 21 personnel (two backs, one tight end) on far more snaps (35 percent) than any other team but the 49ers (44 percent; nobody else over 19). The Patriots can bully opponents by running straight at them with Sony Michel following James Develin, but would they do so — and give Brady fewer chances to throw — in a playoff game? The Chargers might force them to choose.

5. Clean slate for Eagles’ offense in New Orleans

Philadelphia’s offense was horrendous in Week 11’s 48-7 drubbing, but so much changed since.

Obviously, Nick Foles is in for Carson Wentz, so Doug Pederson’s approach will be quite different. Philly relied on slow-developing play-action designs early in that game, most of which — for various reasons — failed. Pederson tends to get Foles delivering faster, meaning more shotgun and quicker play-action concepts.

Meanwhile, the Eagles’ protection should be better. Center Jason Kelce left after six snaps in Week 11 and Stefen Wisniewski struggled in his stead. Philadelphia had major issues picking up second-level blitzes and stunts, allowing far too many free rushers, and Wisniewski had some shaky snaps.

But there are problems that must be fixed. Despite a quiet stat line (no sacks, one QB hit), Cameron Jordan gave right tackle Lane Johnson serious trouble, especially going inside. Jordan was inches from two sacks and disrupted Wentz four or five other times, despite playing just 31 snaps in the blowout. Johnson’s highs are very high, and he’s played to that level in the postseason, but he must rebound in the rematch with Jordan.

Likewise, the Eagles’ wideouts must separate more from man coverage. New Orleans was all too comfortable playing straight man with five rushers in the first meeting.

–David DeChant, Field Level Media

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Chiefs’ Berry, Watkins, Ware all questionable

Chiefs' Berry, Watkins, Ware all questionable

Kansas City

Chiefs’ Berry, Watkins, Ware all questionable

Kansas City Chiefs safety Eric Berry (heel), wideout Sammy Watkins (foot) and running back Spencer Ware (hamstring) are all questionable for Saturday’s playoff game against the Indianapolis Colts.

Berry, who missed practice on Wednesday and Thursday, appears unlikely to play, as NFL Network reports the Chiefs adjusted their defensive packages in practice with the expectation they’ll be without him.

Head coach Andy Reid offered little on Berry’s status, saying it’s “day by day, same thing it’s been throughout the year.”

The three-time All-Pro safety practiced on a limited basis Tuesday before sitting the last two days. He missed the first 13 games of the season with a nagging heel issue, then returned for 99 snaps between Weeks 15 and 16, but sat out the regular-season finale after being pulled out of practice that week.

Watkins and Ware were each limited all week in practice while returning from extended absences. Watkins has played just five snaps since Nov. 4, while Ware has missed three straight games.

Rookie linebacker Dorian O’Daniel (calf/ankle) remained out of practice Thursday and is doubtful. He is a core special-teams player but also saw increased snaps in the second half of the season as a sub-package linebacker.

–Field Level Media

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