Winston looks like he’s ready to return to Buccaneers lineup

CHICAGO (AP) — The FitzMagic ran out on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Jameis Winston returned from a three-game suspension in the second half after Ryan Fitzpatrick’s record run came to a screeching halt in a 48-10 loss to the Chicago Bears on Sunday

“I was ready,” Winston said. “These three weeks I took very seriously. I worked my tail off. I got all those guys around to help me so I can go out there and be good for my team.”

Winston came in under tough circumstances to start the second half, with his team trailing by 35 after Fitzpatrick struggled in a big way. The former Heisman Trophy winner and No. 1 overall draft pick didn’t exactly light it up.

Winston was 16 for 20 with 145 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions. He got picked off by Danny Trevathan on the opening drive of the second half when Khalil Mack appeared to tip the ball as he released a pass.

Even so, coach Dirk Koetter said Winston “probably” played well enough to regain the starting job. He just wouldn’t quite commit to it.

“We will worry about that on another day,” he said.

The Buccaneers opted to stay with Fitzpatrick after he became the first player in league history to pass for 400 yards in three consecutive games while Winston served his suspension for violating the NFL’s personal conduct policy. They waited until game-time this week before announcing that decision. But with a bye coming up, it’s hard to envision them not turning to Winston. Tampa Bay’s next game is Oct. 14 at Atlanta.

Winston was the top pick in the 2015 draft and has started 45 of Tampa Bay’s 49 games since he entered the NFL.

But he was suspended by the league following an accusation that the 2013 Heisman Trophy winner groped a female Uber driver during a ride the quarterback took in Arizona, where Winston was attending a charity event in March 2016. The NFL learned of the allegation when it was reported publicly last November. The woman filed a lawsuit nearly two weeks ago and is seeking more than $75,000 in damages.

With Winston suspended, Fitzpatrick threw for 1,230 yards and 11 touchdowns in the first three games. But against the Bears, he was swarmed right from the start by a defense performing as well as any in the league.

“It was just another week in terms of putting your head down and preparing and getting ready as best as I could and as best as the team could,” Fitzpatrick said. “We didn’t play well, obviously. That’s the understatement of the day, but we didn’t play well in any of the phases. And when you do that on the road versus a good football team, the score is going to look like it did today.”

Chicago’s Mitchell Trubisky threw for six touchdowns — one shy of the NFL and franchise records — against a struggling secondary. But Fitzpatrick didn’t have much of a chance against an aggressive defense, going 9 of 18 for 126 yards and getting sacked twice. Mack had a strip-sack against him, and Eddie Jackson picked off a pass, leading to a field goal at the end of the half for Chicago that made it 38-3.

By then, Koetter had informed his assistants that Winston would start the second half.

“We put Jameis in a terrible situation today,” Koetter said. “And I told him that. I told him that right off the bat at halftime, we were putting him in a bad situation. I knew Jameis would go in and give us everything he had.”

___

More AP NFL: https://apnews.com/tag/NFLfootball and https://twitter.com/AP_NFL

Steelers acquire DB Fitzpatrick from Dolphins for draft picks

Steelers acquire DB Fitzpatrick from Dolphins for draft picks

Minkah Fitzpatrick got

Steelers acquire DB Fitzpatrick from Dolphins for draft picks

Minkah Fitzpatrick got his wish, and the Miami Dolphins landed another first-round pick in a trade with the Pittsburgh Steelers on Tuesday.

Fitzpatrick was traded to the Steelers for a 2020 first-round pick, a 2020 fifth-round pick and a 2021 sixth-round pick . As part of the return, the Steelers also will get the Dolphins’ 2020 fourth-round pick and a 2021 seventh-round pick.

The 0-2 Dolphins have traded multiple starters for draft selections since breaking training camp and appear to be full steam ahead on a rebuild under first-year general manager Chris Grier and first-time head coach Brian Flores.

“We are very excited to add Minkah to our defense,” Steelers general manager and vice president Kevin Colbert said in a statement. “We had him rated very high during the 2018 NFL draft process and we thought that he could be an impact player in this league.”

Fitzpatrick, 22, requested a trade because his role changed week to week under Flores, including playing strong safety. Fitzpatrick was critical of the team’s plan to play him as an in-the-box defender instead of in coverage.

The Steelers will have Fitzpatrick under contract for the rest of this season and three more, should they choose, and at below-market rates for a highly regarded defensive back. Fitzpatrick has salaries of $1.9 million in 2020, $2.7 million in 2021 and a fifth-year option in 2022.

Miami is setting itself up to be a major player in upcoming drafts. The Dolphins have three first-round picks and two second-rounders in 2020. They also have two first-rounders and two second-rounders in 2021.

–Field Level Media

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Giants bench Eli, name rookie Jones as starting QB

Giants bench Eli, name rookie Jones as starting QB

Giants bench Eli, name rookie Jones as starting QB

New York Giants head coach Pat Shurmur named Daniel Jones as the team’s starting quarterback for Week 3, sending Eli Manning to the backup role after an 0-2 start to the 2019 season.

“Eli and I spoke this morning,” Shurmur said Tuesday. “I told him that we are making a change and going with Daniel as the starter. I also talked to Daniel. Eli was obviously disappointed, as you would expect, but he said he would be what he has always been, a good teammate, and continue to prepare to help this team win games. Daniel understands the challenge at hand, and he will be ready to play on Sunday.”

The Giants play the Buccaneers (1-1) on Sunday in Tampa to kick off the Jones Era.

Manning, 38, won two Super Bowls with the Giants and was the top overall pick in the 2004 NFL Draft. The Giants acquired Manning from the Chargers on draft day for Philip Rivers. Of the last 245 games the Giants have played with Manning, including 12 in the playoffs, Manning has started 244 times.

Shurmur planted the seed for a change on Monday, when he said all positions were going to be reviewed.

The Giants lost at home to Buffalo on Sunday after dropping the opener to the Dallas Cowboys.

Manning completed 56 of 89 passes for 556 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions through two games.

Jones, 22, was selected with the sixth overall pick in the first round of the 2019 NFL Draft. He sparkled in the preseason, setting up a potential in-season conflict with Manning. Jones was 29-for-34 passing for 416 yards with two touchdowns and no interceptions over four preseason games.

“Ultimately, this is a move that I felt was best for this team at this time,” Shurmur said. “I have said it since I got here, I am very fond of Eli. His work ethic, his preparation, his football intelligence. All those attributes are as good as I have ever seen in a player. And Eli worked as hard as you could ask of anybody to get ready for this season. This move is more about Daniel moving forward than about Eli.”

Jones will pair with 2018 first-round pick Saquon Barkley in the backfield on Sunday, bringing the projected future core of the team to the present.

Barkley did not directly discuss the quarterback situation on Monday but said the team needed to get “back to playing Giants football.”

Manning said Sunday he was disappointed the team was 0-2 and took his share of the blame for not getting the job done despite the offense averaging 420 yards per game. The Giants have only four touchdowns this season.

“When you’re 0-2, there’s pressure on everybody. You can’t have that affect you. I’ve got to make better throws, better plays, find ways to convert on third downs. That’s the quarterback’s job,” Manning said Sunday.

Jones could be tasked with moving the ball against the Buccaneers without several top receivers. Golden Tate has two games remaining on his season-opening suspension, Sterling Shepard (concussion protocol) was out last week and Cody Latimer left the loss to the Bills with a concussion.

–Field Level Media

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Garrett: ‘Too soon’ to determine Elliott snap count

Garrett: 'Too soon' to determine Elliott snap count

Ezekiel Elliott might

Garrett: ‘Too soon’ to determine Elliott snap count

Ezekiel Elliott might not be on a snap count Sunday against the New York Giants after all.

According to head coach Jason Garrett, the Dallas Cowboys will wait at least another day before deciding whether Elliott should be limited in Week 1 after missing five weeks of preseason work during a contract holdout.

Elliott reported to the team Wednesday, signed a $90 million contract and was in meetings from sunrise to sunset to get up to speed on some of the essentials of the team’s game plan for the Giants. He was officially limited in practice, but Garrett said that was by design.

“You just want to have a plan and you recognize where he’s been,” Garrett said. “There’s no question he’s been working out, he’s in good shape, his weight’s good, all of that. But again he hasn’t been practicing against pro football players so you just work your way back into it. He’s an experienced guy. He’s played a lot of football for us, so we just use our best judgement based on what we see, his feedback, what he says to us — how he feels — all of that. You just take it step by step.”

Garrett said Thursday that the next two days will be about nudging Elliott forward and “just seeing what he can handle.”

Elliott said on Wednesday he’s determined to prove his worth as the highest-paid running back in the NFL. Rookie Tony Pollard, who worked all summer with the first-team offense, could still play a major role against the Giants, Garrett said.

–Field Level Media

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Watson leads Texans into matchup with Brees, Saints

Watson leads Texans into matchup with Brees, Saints

Only five players

Watson leads Texans into matchup with Brees, Saints

Only five players on the New Orleans Saints roster have won a season opener while with the team.

The Houston Texans have added more players than that (six) to their roster just through trades since the weekend.

Two of the NFL playoff participants from a year ago meet in one of the marquee match-ups of the league’s opening weekend on Monday night in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.

The Saints have won the NFC South the past two seasons and narrowly missed going to the Super Bowl last season in a controversial overtime loss to the Rams that featured a missed pass interference call on L.A. that led the NFL to alter its instant-replay rules.

But New Orleans has not been able to win its first game since 2013 when it won a home game against Atlanta 23-17 to trigger a 5-0 start. Tackle Terron Armstead was a rookie on that team.

“It’s definitely a focal point for us to start off fast,” Armstead said.

The Saints are pulling out all the stops to try to create a frenzied atmosphere in their indoor environs. They’ll go with all black jerseys — pants and socks included — in a monochromatic look never before worn by the franchise. Recent fortunes indicate the team is wise to seek an injection for Week 1.

Last season the Saints lost at home to Tampa Bay in the opener, then won their next 10 games on their way to a 13-3 regular-season finish.

In 2017, they started 0-2 then won their next eight games on their way to an 11-5 finish.

From 2014-16 they started 0-2, 0-3 and 0-3 on their way to three consecutive 7-9 finishes.

Even rookie second-round draft choice Erik McCoy, who earned a starting position in the preseason, is well aware of the losing streak even though he was in high school when it started.

“There has been a big emphasis on coming out strong just because in the past we have been very good in first games,” he said.

The Texans have been trying to get their newcomers up to speed for the opener.

“What we try to do is teach them the basics,” coach Bill O’Brien said. “Teach them what we call the basic information section of each playbook and also special teams, and then teach them the game plan. I think if you try to throw everything at them in one or two days and see what sticks, that’s not the right approach.”

The Texans traded away a marquee player when they sent star defensive end Jadeveon Clowney to Seattle for two players and a draft choice and they brought in a marquee player when they acquired left tackle Laremy Tunsil from Miami for three high draft picks.

Tunsil is expected to bolster the protection for Deshaun Watson, who was sacked an NFL-high 62 times last season.

“I feel really good about being able to get a proven left tackle to protect Deshaun Watson,” O’Brien said. “They’re hard to draft. They’re hard to develop.”

Another acquisition from the Dolphins was former Saints wide receiver Kenny Stills, who had 37 catches for 553 yards and six touchdowns last season.

“He can run all the routes on the outside,” O’Brien said. “He can play on the inside. He’s a versatile wide receiver who can do a lot of things. He’s got good hands. He’s a really good route runner, a really smooth route runner.”

–Field Level Media

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Dolphins sticking with QB Fitzpatrick over Rosen

Dolphins sticking with QB Fitzpatrick over Rosen

Staying the

Dolphins sticking with QB Fitzpatrick over Rosen

Staying the course despite scoring 10 points in eight quarters, the Miami Dolphins maintain support of Ryan Fitzpatrick as the starting quarterback.

First-year head coach Brian Flores opened the door to a potential change at the position on Monday but announced on Wednesday that he’ll ride with Fitzpatrick into Dallas for Week 3.

The Dolphins are 21-point underdogs against the 2-0 Cowboys on Sunday after being thrashed 59-10 by the Baltimore Ravens and 43-0 against the New England Patriots at home to open the season.

Flores said the team still has a lot of reasons to like Fitzpatrick over Josh Rosen.

“He’s got real leadership ability. He’s smart,” Flores said Wednesday. “He gets guys in the right position. He’s a guy I have a lot of trust in. I like Fitz a lot.”

Fitzpatrick hasn’t finished either of the first two games of the season because of the lopsided nature of the final score. Rosen has done little with the offense in his cameo appearances.

The 36-year-old Fitzpatrick will yield some of the first-team reps to Rosen according to the team’s plan, but Flores did not indicate this was the week he plans to make a change behind center.

Fitzpatrick is 25 of 50 with one touchdown and four interceptions. His passer rating is 39.9.

–Field Level Media

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RB Smart, known as ‘He Hate Me,’ missing in S.C.

RB Smart, known as 'He Hate Me,' missing in S.C.

RB Smart, known as ‘He Hate Me,’ missing in S.C.

The former NFL running back who wore “He Hate Me” on his jersey during his season in the XFL has gone missing in South Carolina, police said.

The Lancaster (S.C.) County Sheriff’s Office said Tuesday that Torrold “Rod” Smart is a “missing endangered person” and it is seeking information regarding his whereabouts. His last known location was Indian Land, S.C., where he was seen last Wednesday morning.

Smart, 42, played college football at Western Kentucky. As an undrafted free agent in 2000, he was signed by the San Diego Chargers but was released. The following year, he played for the Las Vegas Outlaws of the XFL, then later in 2001 played in the Canadian Football League and with the Philadelphia Eagles. He played four more seasons with the Carolina Panthers.

He gained 1,814 all-purpose yards in his five-year NFL career, plus 364 more during two playoff runs with the Panthers.

“It is unusual for him to be out of touch for this long,” the sheriff’s office wrote in an advisory posted to its Facebook page. “Mr. Smart’s family is worried about his safety and well-being.”

The Lancaster County Sheriff’s Office is asking anyone with information about Smart to call (803) 283-3388.

–Field Level Media

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Darnold projects Week 5 return to Jets; Gase concurs

Darnold projects Week 5 return to Jets; Gase concurs

Quarterback Sam

Darnold projects Week 5 return to Jets; Gase concurs

Quarterback Sam Darnold projected his return from mononucleosis for Week 5, and New York Jets head coach Adam Gase called the target realistic on Wednesday.

The Jets originally estimated an absence of 3-7 weeks. Mono in adults can be more serious because of the potential impact on internal organs.

“This is something that is serious. If his spleen bursts, we got a problem,” Gase said Wednesday.

Gase also addressed reports that safety Jamal Adams was benched for misreading a play Monday in a loss to the Browns. After the game, media noticed Adams unfollowed the team on Instagram and deleted the team from his profile, sparking speculation he’d request a trade.

“Good thing I don’t pay attention to that — I don’t care,” Gase said of Adams unhitching himself from the team’s social media accounts.

Gase did say he discussed the move with Adams. The coach said he was concerned that with Adams’ emotions running high, he was worried about something going wrong late in a one-sided game.

Darnold won’t play on Sunday against the New England Patriots, and the Jets have a bye the following week.

“He’s feeling better. … The doctors are letting us know how to proceed with him,” Gase said Monday.

Darnold, who was allowed back at the team’s facility on Tuesday, said on ESPN radio he is targeting Week 5 at Philadelphia.

He also said that he wasn’t 100 percent for the season opener, a 17-16 loss to the Buffalo Bills, after sleeping poorly and having cold sweats, estimating he played around 80-85 percent.

“After the game, my body decided to shut down,” Darnold added.

Since Darnold was announced out for Week 2, the Jets have placed his backup and Week 2 starter Trevor Siemian on injured reserve with an ankle injury, promoted Luke Falk from the practice squad — he’ll start Sunday, facing Tom Brady and the Patriots — and signed street free agent David Fales to be Falk’s backup.

–Field Level Media

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Falcons OL McGary to be active for season opener

Falcons OL McGary to be active for season opener

Atlanta

Falcons OL McGary to be active for season opener

Atlanta Falcons rookie offensive lineman Kaleb McGary could start Sunday’s season opener against the Minnesota Vikings, just five weeks after undergoing a heart procedure.

Head coach Dan Quinn said the first-round pick (31st overall) will be on the active roster, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constutition.

McGary, 24, had a cardiac ablation on July 31, a procedure designed to correct heart rhythm issues. He was cleared to return to practice last week and played in the preseason finale against Jacksonville last Thursday.

Quinn is still deciding who will start at right tackle in the opener, with McGary and 2018 undrafted rookie Matt Gono both listed with the first team on Atlanta’s depth chart.

The 6-foot-6, 306-pound McGary played his college ball at Washington and twice was an All-Pac-12 first-team selection. He also won the 2018 Morris Trophy as the conference’s top offensive lineman.

–Field Level Media

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RB Smart, known as ‘He Hate Me,’ reported safe

RB Smart, known as 'He Hate Me,' reported safe

RB Smart, known as ‘He Hate Me,’ reported safe

The former NFL running back who wore “He Hate Me” on his jersey during his season in the XFL was found safe after going missing in South Carolina, according to a report from the Charlotte Observer.

Police said Tuesday evening that Torrold “Rod” Smart was located and was OK, the Observer reported. Earlier in the day, the Lancaster (S.C.) County Sheriff’s Office said Smart was a “missing endangered person” and was seeking information regarding his whereabouts.

Smart, 42, played college football at Western Kentucky. As an undrafted free agent in 2000, he was signed by the then-San Diego Chargers but was released. The following year, he played for the Las Vegas Outlaws of the XFL, then later in 2001 played in the Canadian Football League and with the Philadelphia Eagles. He played four more seasons with the Carolina Panthers.

He gained 1,814 all-purpose yards in his five-year NFL career, plus 364 more during two playoff runs with the Panthers.

“It is unusual for him to be out of touch for this long,” the sheriff’s office wrote in an advisory posted to its Facebook page. “Mr. Smart’s family is worried about his safety and well-being.”

–Field Level Media

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Chargers holdout Gordon: I’ll play somewhere this year

Chargers holdout Gordon: I'll play somewhere this year

Los Angeles Chargers

Chargers holdout Gordon: I’ll play somewhere this year

Los Angeles Chargers holdout running back Melvin Gordon said Tuesday night in an Instagram video that he is “going to play somewhere” this year.

According to ESPN, Gordon added that “it would be a waste of talent” if he were to sit out the entire season. He also took a shot at the team’s fan base, saying that the Chargers’ 12-4 record last year “was good, but nobody (in Los Angeles) cared.”

The Chargers are off to a 1-1 start without Gordon, with Austin Ekeler (29 carries, 124 yards, two touchdowns) and Justin Jackson (13 carries, 116 yards) handling the bulk of the ground attack.

Now on the fifth-year team option of his rookie contract, Gordon was set to make $5.6 million in 2019. A two-time Pro Bowl selection, he reportedly rejected a deal that would pay him roughly $10 million this season.

Multiple media outlets reported late in the preseason that Gordon and his representatives received permission from the Chargers to find a team willing to acquire him in a trade.

In the days before the season started, ProFootballTalk.com reported that the Chargers were seeking first- and fifth-round draft picks in a potential trade for Gordon.

A first-round pick out of Wisconsin in 2015, Gordon has rushed for 3,628 yards on 897 carries (4.0-yard average) with 28 touchdowns in four seasons. He also has 182 catches for 1,577 yards and 10 TDs.

Gordon’s best year was 2017, when he played all 16 games and rushed for a career-best 1,105 yards and eight touchdowns. He also caught 58 passes for 476 yards and four TDs.

–Field Level Media

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Was Beckham’s $2M watch Monday actually a fake?

Was Beckham's $2M watch Monday actually a fake?

The watch

Was Beckham’s $2M watch Monday actually a fake?

The watch Cleveland Browns wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. wore before his team’s game against the New York Jets on Monday continued to make headlines Tuesday, but for an entirely different reason.

When ESPN cameras caught Beckham wearing a white and transparent watch on the MetLife Stadium turf before the game, many said the timepiece looked just like the Richard Mille RM 56-02 Tourbillon Sapphire. There are only 10 of those in existence, and they are valued at more than $2 million each.

But early Tuesday morning, famed watch collector/aficionado Anish Bhatt alleged the watch is a fake.

“@obj wears a FAKE Richard Mille RM56-01 Sapphire (except his is made of plastic) during the warm ups vs New York Jets last night,” Bhatt alleged on the Instagram page for his company, Watch Anish. He also posted images of an authentic RM56-01 and the knock-off he believes Beckham wore.

In his postgame news conference, Beckham was asked about the watch. His response:

“I am off of it. I don’t really have any comment about it. I think (Swedish brand) Daniel Wellington might be a better watch than these, a little classier, it’s not as flashy as this one. I’m just blessed.”

During the Browns’ season-opening loss to the Tennessee Titans on Sept. 8, Beckham wore a Richard Mille RM 11-03 McLaren Flyback Chronograph watch, valued at approximately $350,000. A day later, the NFL reportedly called the Browns and informed them Beckham could no longer wear the watch during games as it violated the league’s rule “prohibiting hard objects.”

On Monday night, Beckham had six catches for 161 yards, making a one-handed grab to set up a first-and-goal and taking a short pass from Baker Mayfield and taking it a career-long 89 yards for the final touchdown in the Browns’ 23-3 win.

–Field Level Media

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NFL notebook: Roethlisberger lost for season

NFL notebook: Roethlisberger lost for season

NFL notebook: Roethlisberger lost for season

A painful Sunday led to a sobering Monday for some of the NFL’s biggest names, and nowhere was the news more sobering than in Pittsburgh, where the Steelers learned starting quarterback Ben Roethlisberger will miss the remainder of the season.

While the team did not disclose the exact nature of the injury, coach Mike Tomlin said through a statement that an MRI exam on Roethlisberger’s right elbow Sunday night revealed an injury that would require surgery — a surgery which will happen this week and end the quarterback’s season.

Roethlisberger left the game against the Seattle Seahawks in the second quarter, grabbing his right elbow after a throw. The Steelers lost 28-26 at home and are 0-2 to start the season for only the second time in Roethlisberger’s 16-year career.

Mason Rudolph entered the game and completed 12 of 19 passes for 112 yards and two touchdowns. He will now start in Roethlisberger’s place.

–The other major quarterback injury was to New Orleans’ Drew Brees, who sustained an injury to a thumb ligament when his hand was hit by Los Angeles defensive tackle Aaron Donald as he threw a pass.

The NFL Network reported Monday that Brees will undergo surgery to repair the ligament in his right thumb and could miss six weeks, but Saints coach Sean Payton said on a conference call later in the day that Brees was seeking a second opinion and the Saints had no news to report on his status.

Teddy Bridgewater replaced Brees and will start this weekend in Seattle. He was 17 of 30 for 165 yards in the 27-9 loss.

In other injury news …

–Jets quarterback Trevor Siemian sustained an ankle injury and exited the field midway through the second quarter of New York’s Monday night game against the Cleveland Browns. Third-stringer Luke Falk took his place. …. Steelers starting running back James Conner told 93.7 The Fan in Pittsburgh that he was confident he would play next Sunday in San Francisco after injuring his knee against Seattle.

–Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Michael Gallup reportedly needs arthroscopic surgery to trim the meniscus in his left knee and will miss 2-4 weeks. … Los Angeles Rams tight end Tyler Higbee sustained a chest injury that resulted in his coughing up blood in a hospital, Rams coach Sean McVay confirmed to reporters. McVay said Higbee has a lung contusion and is day to day.

–Los Angeles Chargers safety Adrian Phillips will go on injured reserve and be lost for a “significant amount of time” because of a broken right forearm, coach Anthony Lynn said. … Kansas City running back LeSean McCoy was reportedly set to undergo an MRI exam on his ankle after suffering an injury late in a 28-10 win in Oakland.

–Philadelphia defensive tackle Tim Jernigan reportedly suffered a foot injury, with NFL Network saying the injury could cost him “roughly a month” while Pro Football Talk said the foot is broken and Jernigan could be out for the year. … New England Patriots left tackle Isaiah Wynn will reportedly have an MRI exam for a toe injury suffered after playing just 11 snaps.

As for players looking to find new teams …

–The Miami Dolphins traded disgruntled defensive back Minkah Fitzpatrick to the Pittsburgh Steelers for a 2020 first-round draft pick, multiple media outlets reported. That would give the Dolphins three first-round picks in the 2020 draft, adding to their own and the one they acquired from the Houston Texans in the trade involving tackle Laremy Tunsil in late August.

–The agent for Jacksonville cornerback Jalen Ramsey has asked the Jaguars to trade him, multiple outlets reported. The request comes after the 2017 All-Pro got into a sideline argument with coach Doug Marrone during a 13-12 loss at Houston.

–Disgruntled Dallas defensive end Taco Charlton — a 2017 first-round pick — tweeted “Free me” to the Cowboys, a day after he was a healthy scratch for the second straight game.

Around the league …

–The attorney for Patriots wide receiver Antonio Brown denied a new claim of sexual misconduct against his client that surfaced in a Sports Illustrated report. The story also includes accusations of a charity auction theft, multiple domestic incidents and a number of unpaid debts. … New York Giants coach Pat Shurmur did not commit to Eli Manning as his starting quarterback for Week 3 against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, with rookie first-round pick Daniel Jones waiting in the wings.

–Cleveland Browns defensive end Chris Smith planned to play Monday night, just five days after his girlfriend Petara Cordero was killed on a highway in Cleveland. … Indianapolis coach Frank Reich is sticking with kicker Adam Vinatieri, despite the 46-year-old kicker missing five total kicks in two games.

–Field Level Media

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Study: 15% of U.S. will bet on NFL games

Study: 15% of U.S. will bet on NFL games

More than 38

Study: 15% of U.S. will bet on NFL games

More than 38 million Americans — 15 percent of the country’s population — are expected to place bets on the National Football League this season, according to the American Gaming Association (AGA).

Based on a study conducted by Morning Consult, the AGA report stated that millions of Americans now have access to regulated betting within the United States. The report also said that 24 percent of the population would plan to wager on NFL games if it were legal to do so in their state.

Seven million Americans say they will bet legally at a casino sportsbook this year, according to the report, up 1.2 million from last year.

“During this centennial NFL season, more Americans than ever before can wager on football in safe, well-regulated environments,” AGA president and CEO Bill Miller said in a statement. “It is clear that as jurisdictions enact policies to provide a legal alternative to the dangerous illegal market, consumers follow suit and seek the protections they deserve.”

Additional data indicates increased fan engagement on several levels when a wager is made:

–39 percent of avid NFL fans plan to place a bet on the NFL this season.

–75 percent of NFL bettors say they are more likely to watch a game they bet on.

–28 percent are more likely to attend a game they have bet on.

–51 percent are more likely to watch pregame shows and commentary.

–63 percent are more likely to gather with friends or family to watch a game.

“Sports betting clearly impacts fans’ enthusiasm for engaging with the NFL,” said Miller. “As the legal market grows, it is imperative for gaming and adjacent industries to focus on implementing and promoting legal sports betting responsibly to protect consumers and ensure the viability of legal markets to the continued detriment of illegal operators.”

–Field Level Media

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Chargers put S Phillips on IR, sign TE Kendricks

Chargers put S Phillips on IR, sign TE Kendricks

Chargers put S Phillips on IR, sign TE Kendricks

The Los Angeles Chargers placed strong safety Adrian Phillips on injured reserve and signed tight end Lance Kendricks on Tuesday.

Phillips, who had been starting in place of injured All-Pro Derwin James, is out indefinitely with a broken forearm sustained late in a loss at Detroit on Sunday. He will miss at least eight weeks before being eligible to be recalled from IR.

Kendricks, 31, spent the preseason with the New England Patriots before being released last week after serving a one-game, NFL-imposed suspension for a violation related to a “drug of abuse.” He will provide depth with Hunter Henry out injured, as the Chargers dressed only two tight ends against the Lions.

Phillips has 13 tackles this season after totaling 94 in 2018. He also had nine pass breakups and an interception last season, when he started seven of 16 games and also earned Pro Bowl and All-Pro honors as a special-teamer.

When James is healthy, Phillips primarily works as a dime linebacker in five- and six-DB packages.

Jaylen Watkins played 16 snaps Sunday in relief at strong safety, and second-round rookie Nasir Adderley saw one snap after not playing on defense in Week 1. Watkins has five starts in 38 career games.

James is already on IR with a broken foot, projected to return in November.

Kendricks had 19 catches for 170 yards and a touchdown in 16 games (three starts) with the Green Bay Packers in 2018. The ninth-year veteran spent the first six years of his career with the St. Louis/Los Angeles Rams.

The Chargers also signed defensive end Chris Peace, waived wideout Andre Patton and added safety Adarius Pickett to the practice squad.

–Field Level Media

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NFL notebook: Giants turn to rookie QB Jones, bench Manning

NFL notebook: Giants turn to rookie QB Jones, bench Manning

NFL notebook: Giants turn to rookie QB Jones, bench Manning

New York Giants head coach Pat Shurmur named Daniel Jones as the team’s starting quarterback for Week 3, sending Eli Manning to the backup role after an 0-2 start to the 2019 season.

“Eli and I spoke this morning,” Shurmur said Tuesday. “I told him that we are making a change and going with Daniel as the starter. I also talked to Daniel. Eli was obviously disappointed, as you would expect, but he said he would be what he has always been, a good teammate, and continue to prepare to help this team win games. Daniel understands the challenge at hand, and he will be ready to play on Sunday.”

The Giants play the Buccaneers (1-1) on Sunday in Tampa to kick off the Jones Era.

Manning, 38, won two Super Bowls with the Giants and was the top overall pick in the 2004 NFL Draft. The 22-year-old Jones was selected with the sixth overall pick in this year’s NFL draft.

–Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton sat out practice and could miss Sunday’s game against the Arizona Cardinals after aggravating a foot injury on Thursday.

General manager Marty Hurney and head coach Ron Rivera told reporters Newton said his foot was sore following the team’s Thursday night loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The 30-year-old sprained his left foot in a preseason game last month against the New England Patriots.

Teammate Eric Reid said Newton has been in a walking boot.

–After seeing two specialists about his injured right thumb, New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees will have surgery Wednesday in Los Angeles, ESPN’s Ed Werder reported.

Werder cited a source saying the timeline for Brees’ return won’t be known until after surgery, which will be performed by Dr. Steven Shinn.

ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported the current expectation is six weeks.

–New York Jets quarterback Trevor Siemian is out for the season with a left ankle injury and likely will need surgery, coach Adam Gase announced.

Siemian, filling in for ill starter Sam Darnold, was injured in the second quarter of Monday night’s loss to the Cleveland Browns.

Second-year quarterback Luke Falk is expected to start Sunday against the Patriots.

–Patriots left tackle Isaiah Wynn was placed on injured reserve with a toe injury, putting him out until at least mid-November.

–Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver DeSean Jackson is expected to miss two weeks because of an abdominal strain, ESPN reported.

–The Los Angeles Chargers placed strong safety Adrian Phillips on injured reserve and signed tight end Lance Kendricks.

–Indianapolis Colts kicker Adam Vinatieri is working to clear the “demons” from his head amid a rocky stretch, but he told reporters he has not considered retiring, contrary to speculation in recent days.

–Former first-round pick Paxton Lynch was signed to the Pittsburgh Steelers practice squad.

–An MRI exam on LeSean McCoy’s ankle showed the Kansas City Chiefs running back sustained “no significant damage,” NFL Network reported.

–The Detroit Lions released veteran running back C.J. Anderson, clearing a roster spot after they claimed running back Paul Perkins off waivers from the Giants.

–Field Level Media

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Jets’ Siemian (ankle) reportedly headed for MRI

Jets' Siemian (ankle) reportedly headed for MRI

Jets quarterback Trevor Siemian

Jets’ Siemian (ankle) reportedly headed for MRI

Jets quarterback Trevor Siemian sustained an ankle injury and exited the field midway through the second quarter of New York’s Monday night game against the Cleveland Browns, and he didn’t return to action.

The Jets announced in-game that Siemian’s ankle ailment was being evaluated. After the Jets’ 23-3 loss, multiple media outlets reported that Siemian will undergo an MRI exam Tuesday.

Siemian was injured when he was hit by Browns defensive Myles Garrett after throwing a deep incompletion in East Rutherford, N.J. Siemian’s toes pressed into the turf and his left leg twisted as he felt the brunt of the weight of his lower body plus Garrett’s body weight falling on him.

Siemian was able to walk off the field and soon was taken into the locker room for observation. He had completed 3 of 6 passes for 3 yards.

Garrett tweeted postgame, “I want to wish @TrevorSiemian a speedy recovery. We put our bodies on the line every single snap, and I wouldn’t wish an injury on anyone.”

Luke Falk, a former star quarterback at Washington State, replaced Siemian and finished 20 of 25 for 198 yards.

Siemian started Monday because Sam Darnold was out due to mononucleosis.

–Field Level Media

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Reports: Raiders to suspend Brown after Mayock altercation

Reports: Raiders to suspend Brown after Mayock altercation

The Oakland

Reports: Raiders to suspend Brown after Mayock altercation

The Oakland Raiders plan to suspend wideout Antonio Brown after he “got into it” with general manager Mike Mayock, multiple outlets reported Thursday.

Speaking to reporters later in the day, Mayock didn’t confirm the reports.

“Short and sweet, Antonio Brown is not in the building today,” Mayock said. “He won’t be practicing. I don’t have any more information for you right now. When I have some and it becomes appropriate, you guys will all get it but that’s it for today.”

Head coach Jon Gruden declined to get into details after practice, telling reporters the team would have “an official announcement later.” Brown was officially listed on the injury report as a non-participant, with the designation “not injury related – conduct.”

“Obviously he wasn’t here today, and when we have some information for you, we’ll get it to you,” Gruden said.

Multiple outlets reported Brown had to be held back from Mayock by teammates. NFL Network reported that Brown told Mayock he would hit him in the face, then punted a football and said, “Fine me for that.”

Their exchange occurred Wednesday after Brown went on Instagram and posted a letter he received from Mayock detailing the $53,950 in fines he accrued while missing time in training camp.

Brown wasn’t pleased with the letter, judging by his response. “When your own team want to hate but there’s no stopping me now devil is a lie,” he wrote in the caption. “Everyone got to pay this year so we clear.”

Should the Raiders suspend Brown for conduct detrimental to the team, they could make a case that the guarantees in Brown’s contract should be voided. His contract calls for about $30 million of guaranteed money.

Brown, 31, missed time during the preseason while dealing with blistering feet as a result of a frostbite mishap during cryogenic therapy as well as grievances involving his helmet.

The Raiders open the season Monday night at home against the Denver Broncos. Tyrell Williams, signed in March as a free agent from the Chargers, will presumably be the No. 1 wide receiver.

Asked if the team is prepared to play without Brown, Gruden told reporters, “Yeah, and we’ve been doing that.”

“We have been practicing without him and preparing to play no matter who’s … injured,” Gruden added. “We have to adapt, and unfortunately we had to adapt again today, but we’re really excited about our receiving corps.”

The Raiders acquired Brown, a seven-time Pro Bowl selection, from the Pittsburgh Steelers in a trade in March and later signed him to a three-year, $50.125 million contract.

Brown caught at least 100 passes and exceeded 1,200 receiving yards in each of the past six seasons with the Steelers. He appeared in 130 games with Pittsburgh from 2010-18, catching 837 passes for 11,207 yards and 74 touchdowns.

–Field Level Media

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Rodgers or Mack? Book boosting stars in opener

Rodgers or Mack? Book boosting stars in opener

With legalized gambling expanding state by

Rodgers or Mack? Book boosting stars in opener

With legalized gambling expanding state by state, sportsbooks are pulling out all the stops to catch the attention of the 38 million fans expected to bet on NFL games this season, according to a report by the American Gaming Association.

That effort begins in earnest with Thursday night’s regular-season opener between the Green Bay Packers and Chicago Bears.

While most books have the Bears around a field goal favorite at home, DraftKings is offering “Boosts” on several individual performances.

Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers is 16-5 all-time against the Bears, with a passer rating over 100 and a 45-10 TD-to-INT ratio. DraftKings has boosted his odds of throwing at least four touchdowns on Thursday from +800 to +850 as Rodgers — who did not play during the preseason — makes his debut in new coach Matt LaFleur’s offense.

Rodgers was knocked out of last season’s opener against Chicago, only to return and lead Green Bay from a 20-0 deficit to a 24-23 victory. However, the Bears returned the favor by sacking Rodgers five times in a 24-17 victory in the second meeting.

DraftKings is offering a boost from +500 to +545 that Bears pass rusher Khalil Mack drops the 35-year-old quarterback at least two times. This caveat? Chicago also must win.

Packers wide receiver Davante Adams caught 13 passes for 207 yards and one touchdown in the two games against the Bears last season. DraftKings is offering a boost from +900 to +1010 that Adams scores the first touchdown in a Green Bay victory.

PointsBet, which is offering -105 odds on all NFL games this season, is also offering numerous prop bets on individual performances Thursday night. That includes -170 on Rodgers throwing for more yards than Bears quarterback Mitchell Trubisky (+126), and -264 that Adams has more receiving yards than Chicago’s Allen Robinson (+188).

It’s a critical opener for both teams, with the Bears (+900 by DraftKings) and Packers (+1000) both among the top five bets on DraftKings to emerge as the NFC champion.

PointsBet is offering a +900 bet on there being overtime, versus -2500 that the game ends in regulation. And in a game between teams expected to light up the scoreboard this season, the book is offering a +310 bet that there will be a scoreless quarter.

–Field Level Media

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Report: Raiders plan to suspend WR Brown

Report: Raiders plan to suspend WR Brown

The Oakland Raiders

Report: Raiders plan to suspend WR Brown

The Oakland Raiders plan to suspend wideout Antonio Brown after he “got into it” with general manager Mike Mayock, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported Thursday.

Speaking to reporters later in the day, Mayock didn’t confirm the reports.

“Short and sweet, Antonio Brown is not in the building today,” Mayock said. “He won’t be practicing. I don’t have any more information for you right now. When I have some and it becomes appropriate, you guys will all get it but that’s it for today.”

Their exchange occurred Wednesday after Brown went on Instagram and posted a letter he received from Mayock detailing the $53,950 in fines he accrued while missing time in training camp.

Brown wasn’t pleased with the letter, judging by his response. “When your own team want to hate but there’s no stopping me now devil is a lie,” he wrote in the caption. “Everyone got to pay this year so we clear.”

Should the Raiders suspend Brown for conduct detrimental to the team, they could make a case that the guarantees in Brown’s contract should be voided. His contract calls for about $30 million of guaranteed money.

Brown, 31, missed time during the preseason while dealing with blistering feet as a result of a frostbite mishap during cryogenic therapy as well as grievances involving his helmet.

The Raiders open the season Monday night at home against the Denver Broncos.

The Raiders acquired the seven-time Pro Bowl selection from the Pittsburgh Steelers in a trade in March and later signed him to a three-year, $50.125 million contract.

Brown caught at least 100 passes and exceeded 1,200 receiving yards in each of the past six seasons with the Steelers. He appeared in 130 games with Pittsburgh from 2010-18, catching 837 passes for 11,207 yards and 74 touchdowns.

–Field Level Media

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Report: Eagles WR Jackson out two weeks

Report: Eagles WR Jackson out two weeks

Report: Eagles WR Jackson out two weeks

Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver DeSean Jackson is expected to miss two weeks because of an abdominal strain, ESPN reported Tuesday.

Jackson opted against one doctor’s recommendation of surgery, which would have kept Jackson on the sideline for about six weeks, according to an ESPN source.

The 32-year-old Jackson was injured in the first half of Sunday’s loss at the Atlanta Falcons. He did not make a catch in that game after snagging eight passes for 154 yards and two touchdowns in the season-opening victory over the Washington Redskins.

The Eagles brought back Jackson via trade with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in March. A second-round pick by Philadelphia in 2008, Jackson spent six years with the Eagles (2008-13), catching 356 passes for 6,117 yards and 32 touchdowns in 87 games.

Philadelphia wide receiver Alshon Jeffery could also miss Sunday’s game against the Detroit Lions after leaving last week’s game with a calf injury.

–Field Level Media

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