SportsDirect Inc. Ad
SportsDirect Inc. Ad
SportsDirect Inc. Ad
National Football League
NFL News Wire
  • Eagles' Wentz limited in practice with back injury
    By Field Level Media / Wednesday, October 17, 2018

    Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz was one of four players limited in practice on Wednesday, according to the team's injury report.

    • Coming off a Thursday night win over the New York Giants and with a few extra days of rest before the Eagles host the Carolina Panthers this Sunday, Wentz did not fully participate in practice because of a back injury.

      According to the Philadelphia Inquirer, the team expects Wentz to practice without restrictions Thursday. The Eagles' third-year passer missed this season's first two games after recovering from a season-ending left ACL injury last December.

      The three other players who did not complete a full practice Wednesday were tackle Jason Peters (biceps), defensive end Derek Barnett (shoulder) and defensive tackle Haloti Ngata (calf).

      Six Eagles were sidelined for all of Wednesday's practice -- tackle Lane Johnson (ankle), cornerback Sidney Jones (hamstring), running back Darren Sproles (hamstring), safety Corey Graham (hamstring), plus linebackers D.J. Alexander (quadricep) and linebacker Nathan Gerry (ankle, knee).

      --Field Level Media

  • FLM All 32: Team-by-team NFL notes
    By Field Level Media / Wednesday, October 17, 2018

    AFC East

    • Buffalo Bills: Defensive tackle Kyle Williams is in his 13th NFL season and has played only in Buffalo. The Bills had to work to encourage the 35-year-old to return in 2018, but he said he's glad he did, even though the Bills are off to a 2-4 start. "I came back to be a Buffalo Bill, to play for Sean McDermott and play for my teammates," Williams said on the team's radio station. "There's ups and downs during seasons. We did it last year, up and downs, as low as it got, and we had to come back up. There's struggles, and you just never know what's out there." The Bills' defense has been a highlight on the season, ranking as the third best in the NFL and allowing 311.7 yards per game. He has 3.5 sacks on the season, trailing Jerry Hughes (4.5) for the team lead. He also has 12 tackles.

      Miami Dolphins: As the former defensive coordinator of an AFC East team -- the Patriots -- Detroit Lions coach Matt Patricia said he knows what to expect when his team meets the Dolphins Sunday at Hard Rock Stadium. "I've always had battles with this team," Patricia told reporters. "This is a grueling team to play at home." The Dolphins (4-2) have not lost in three home games, averaging 28.7 points per game. On the road, the Dolphins have averaged about half of that. Patricia said the South Florida weather could compound the problems for the Lions. "It'll be a big challenge for us," he said. "We haven't had heat or humidity like they're anticipating down there this weekend. I think you saw in the Chicago game, you definitely could see the sideline with the sun on the visitor sideline beating down on the players there and as the course of the game goes on, when you start to get into those 80-plus-play games, you just kind of wear out at the end. "

      New England Patriots: Tom Brady will retire -- someday -- with a truckload of awards, multiple entries in the team and league record books, and lots of rings. But here's one fun fact about Brady that most people don't know. Since taking over as starting quarterback of the Patriots in 2001, Brady has more regular-season and postseason wins to his credit than only one major league pitcher. Brady has won 227 games in 294 starts. CC Sabathia of the New York Yankees has 256 wins in 561 starts, according to Boston Sports Info. Starting pitchers who stay healthy and throw every fifth game start an average of 32.4 games per year -- double the number of NFL regular-season starts.

      New York Jets: When the Jets host the Minnesota Vikings this week, the game will feature New York's franchise quarterback against the man who could have been their franchise quarterback. The Jets made a big offseason play for free agent Kirk Cousins, who spurned them for the Vikings. That led to the Jets moving up in the draft to grab a quarterback, who turned out to be Sam Darnold. Some NFL insiders said this week that the Jets should thank Cousins for passing. "Cousins or Darnold? Me, personally, I'd take Darnold," a longtime NFL talent evaluator told ESPN on the condition of anonymity. "They gave up a lot for Darnold, but you can't minimize the money and how it impacts their cap. They got Darnold at a fraction of the price. I thought they did a good job." And here's another take from a rival general manager. "Cousins is likely who he is in terms of ceiling, but at that, it's good and productive. I just think when you get a chance to draft and groom your own guy to play for 10 or 12 years, it can be special."

      AFC North

      Baltimore Ravens: The No. 1-ranked scoring offense in the NFL led by Drew Brees is up next for the Ravens' top-ranked scoring defense. Baltimore gives up less than 13 points per game and hasn't allowed a second-half touchdown all season. Safety Eric Weddle is in the crosshairs when Brees is on the other side, a challenge he's ready to embrace. "It's a fun challenge," said Weddle. "The great ones always bring out the best in you, and they can bring out the worst in you too. If you make a mistake, it's a touchdown. So that's the pressure you like, especially for myself."

      Cleveland Browns: Leading tackler Joe Schobert said his hamstring is not "as bad as it could be," but he will not return to the field this week, missing his first game of the season when the Browns take on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Outside linebacker Christian Kirksey will start in the middle, but the Browns haven't determined who will fill the starting spot outside this week. According to Pro Football Focus, Schobert leads the NFL among linebackers in coverage this season. Schobert identified fifth-round rookie Genard Avery as the most likely starter outside this week.

      Cincinnati Bengals: Andy Dalton enjoyed seeing Patrick Mahomes perform when the teams met last preseason and is not surprised to see his "arm talent" getting national notice in his second season. "He's obviously been showing it all year," Dalton said. "He's playing really well and at a really high level. That's the biggest thing everybody knew about him when he was coming out."

      Pittsburgh Steelers: Rookie first-rounder Terrell Edmunds is six games into his NFL career and said he is understanding the importance of taking care of his body. "We've been non-stop ever since last college season," Edmunds said. "Straight into draft workouts, minicamp and into the season. We've already played 10 games. Our whole college season is already done right now. We've got a whole lot of football left right here." Edmunds said he will return home during the bye week to "get some good meals in" after living with his brother during the season.

      AFC South

      Houston Texans: Quarterback Deshaun Watson struggled while playing with a chest injury in last Sunday's victory over the Buffalo Bills, and he said Wednesday that his health is vastly improved. "I'm cleared to do everything, so I'm good," Watson declared. The second-year pro isn't concerned about the pounding he has taken this season. Watson said little ailments don't bother him and that his track record shows he will be ready on game day with the exception of suffering two serious knee injuries. "I played through a lot of injuries before as a young kid through high school," Watson said. "Never missed a game until I got to college where ACL was the issue and then last year, same. ACL was the issue that kept me out. Outside of that I was just always on the field playing."

      Indianapolis Colts: Receiver T.Y. Hilton returned to the practice field Wednesday as a full participant after missing the previous two games with chest and hamstring injuries. It is a welcome sight with the team mired in a four-game slide and the passing attack being hindered with dropped passes. "Yeah, but at the same time, I've gotta make sure I'm healthy," Hilton said when asked if he is feeling the pressure to play Sunday against the Buffalo Bills. "I don't wanna go out there and hurt myself. So, for me, I'll give it a test. We're in a must-win game, so I've gotta be out there." Hilton has 21 receptions for 294 yards and two touchdowns this season, and his presence would be a boost with wideouts Ryan Grant (missed practice Wednesday) and Marcus Johnson (placed on injured reserve) suffering ankle injuries during last Sunday's loss to the New York Jets.

      Jacksonville Jaguars: The Jaguars are in an antsy mood after being outscored 70-21 over their past two games against the Dallas Cowboys and Kansas City Chiefs, and coach Doug Marrone was on the warpath during Wednesday's practice. "There is no way anyone in this building should be comfortable," Marrone said. "We earned that right to be where we are. We're the ones that put us where we are." Quarterback Blake Bortles is fine with the heat Marrone is putting on the players leading up to Sunday's game against the Texans. "Coach Marrone felt like we needed to push that a little bit and that's what we did today," Bortles said. "I thought it went well. We got a lot of good reps in and it's obviously hotter. That's the camp feel, and I thought it was good."

      Tennessee Titans: Cornerback Malcolm Butler (one interception) hasn't made much of an impact in his first season with the team, and he is attempting to make changes. Butler said he went back and studied his 2014 rookie film with the New England Patriots and he found some motivation while dissecting the video. "Just to see where you started out, how hungry I was back then," Butler said. "That fire has to get back in me, and it is back in me now. It's lit, man. I'm ready to go out there and practice right now, and play on Sunday. I am pissed (with my performance), but nobody can change that but me -- no coach, no player, no teammates, no scheme, no nothing. I have to change that, and that is what I am going to do. That is what they got me here for."

      AFC West

      Denver Broncos: Trying to end a four-game losing streak Thursday night in Glendale, Ariz., the Broncos will be without starting right tackle Jared Veldheer (knee), third cornerback Adam Jones (quad), outside linebacker Shane Ray (ankle, wrist) and safety/special teamer Dymonte Thomas (chest). Also part of that group is left guard Ronald Leary, who was lost for the year with a torn Achilles last week and will be placed on injured reserve. While it won't help this week, Denver could get reinforcements soon in safety Su'a Cravens and wideout Jordan Taylor, who returned to practice this week. Recovering from meniscus surgery, Cravens can be activated from injured reserve in two weeks, while Taylor has been on the PUP list after having offseason surgery on both hips.

      Kansas City Chiefs: The Chiefs' offense has been one of the league's very best, but some hiccups in the red zone in Foxborough last week have Andy Reid & Co. focused on improvement as the Bengals come to town. "I take responsibility for that," Reid said. "We want to score touchdowns. I love [kicker Harrison] Butker, but I would rather score a touchdown." Quarterback Patrick Mahomes shouldered the blame for the issues against the Patriots after he missed a few throws. "You can't miss like Kareem (Hunt) on that seam route and Tyreek (Hill) on the deep cross and (Travis) Kelce on the corner," Mahomes said. "I know they're tough throws on some of those, but when you play really good teams, and we are playing a really good team this week, we've got find ways to get in that end zone.'

      Los Angeles Chargers: With the Chargers' struggles to draw interest from fans since their move to Los Angeles, the viability of the team remaining in L.A. was a topic of discussion at league meetings on Tuesday and Wednesday, according to ESPN. Per the report, the topic was not brought up formally, but there were many side discussions about the Chargers' issues building a fan base. The team initially targeted a goal of generating $400 million in revenue once it moved into the new stadium in Inglewood, Calif., but that target is expected to be cut to $150 million, per ESPN, with much of the projected cut accounted for in lowered ticket prices.

      Oakland Raiders: With the Raiders in turmoil at 1-5 and new head coach Jon Gruden showing he's not afraid to make changes, trade rumors have begun flying surrounding recent first-round picks Amari Cooper, Karl Joseph and Gareon Conley. Some have even speculated about the future of quarterback Derek Carr, whom the Raiders made the highest-paid player in NFL history at the time when he signed an extension in June of 2017. CBS Sports' Jason La Canfora suggested the team could look to trade Carr near the NFL Combine, guessing the New York Giants as a possible destination. Parting ways with Carr after the season would save Oakland $15 million against the cap and leave a dead-money charge of $7.5 million.

      NFC East

      Dallas Cowboys: When DallasCowboys.com reported Tuesday that the organization, according to sources, is pondering offering head coach Jason Garrett a contract extension, fans went wild on social media. Owner Jerry Jones denied the report on a local radio show, but it was clear by the fans' reactions that they think the Garrett era has run its course in Dallas. Garrett is in his ninth season and has a 70-56 career record, including 3-3 this season. The Cowboys have qualified for the playoffs in two seasons during his run, going 1-2. The reaction of one fan on Twitter: "If he gets one we should all boycott. He's horrible." And another: "Don't fear fam. Couple more losses will do it. ... We wasted too many talents as an organization. At one point we had 9 dudes in the pro bowl at the same time and still did nothing."

      New York Giants: As the Eli Manning era limps to its eventual end in New York, there's a lot of talk about his replacement. And there's a thought that the Giants might not want to draft and develop a quarterback, but instead acquire a veteran to complement Odell Beckham Jr. and a productive corps of receivers, as well as running back Saquon Barkley. One name the Giants have been linked to is Oakland signal-caller Derek Carr, who might become available if the 1-5 Raiders are ready to hit the reset button. Carr has four years and about $78 million left on his deal; the Raiders could save $15 million against the cap by parting ways with him this offseason.

      Philadelphia Eagles: Quarterback Carson Wentz missed practice Wednesday with what was termed a minor back injury, but he's expected to practice Thursday and play Sunday when the Eagles host the Carolina Panthers. ESPN's Tim McManus reported Wentz was believed to have muscle spasms. That's a relief for the Eagles, who had a long list of players miss practice on Wednesday: LB D.J. Alexander (quad), CB Rasul Douglas (not injury related), LB Nathan Gerry (ankle, knee), S Corey Graham (hamstring), OT Lane Johnson (ankle), CB Sidney Jones (hamstring) and RB Darren Sproles (knee).

      Washington Redskins: Quarterback Alex Smith, acquired in the offseason, still is finding his way in the Redskins offense and trying to build some chemistry with the team's receivers. Coach Jay Gruden told reporters this week that Smith, who has thrown for 1,205 yards, six touchdowns and two interceptions, needs to be quicker in making his decisions. "I think the critical side of me, the coaching side of me, there are some things we've got to clean up," Gruden said. "Get his eyes in certain progressions a little bit quicker and maybe get off some a little bit quicker. Sometimes he hangs on too long giving guys too much of a chance where he needs get off of them, get to the next guy. But for the most part, I thought he improved from last week to this week and there is still some improvement to do for everybody across the board. I like where he's at. I like that he's buying in and he's learning."

      NFC North

      Chicago Bears: NFL media is regularly a comparison business, matching teams from vastly different decades and modern players with those from bygone eras. But after some praise for Mack, Patriots head coach Bill Belichick didn't want to play that game when asked about a comparison for pass rusher Khalil Mack that some pundits have made: Hall of Fame Giants linebacker Lawrence Taylor. "Wait a minute, we're talking about Lawrence Taylor now," Belichick said. "I'm not putting anybody in Lawrence Taylor's class. You can put everybody down below that. That's with a lot of respect to a lot of good players, but we're talking about Lawrence Taylor." Mack, who is hobbled by an ankle injury but expected to play against New England on Sunday, has 45.5 sacks in 68 games. Belichick called Mack a "disrputive player, very good pass rusher." Bears radio analyst Tom Thayer, a former offensive lineman who played for the 1985 Super Bowl champions and against Taylor, made the L.T. comparison in an interview with the New York Post this week.

      Detroit Lions: Offensive coordinator Jim Bob Cooter is wary of the Dolphins' secondary ahead of Sunday's game. Miami is getting to the quarterback and mixing coverages by sliding personnel to various positions in the formation. The Dolphins have only 10 sacks, but head coach Matt Patricia said the threat from Cameron Wake and Robert Quinn means the production can soon match the merited extra protection. Speeding up quarterbacks is likely leading to more risk-taking passes. "Our guys are doing a better job this year of actually just holding on to them," Dolphins coach Adam Gase said. "We've had opportunities in previous seasons to probably have more interceptions than what we did and we didn't finish the play. This year, the whole defensive staff has done a great job of emphasizing running to the football and, really, we've got some deflections where, because of effort, guys are in the right spots and ball has come to them."

      Green Bay Packers: As the bye week began, Packers head coach Mike McCarthy said he is peeking ahead to the Packers' next opponents -- the Los Angeles Rams -- but most of his energy is focused on his own team. "We'll get a chance to work this week, get a head start on those guys. But we've got a lot of work to do on ourselves, and that's really where the energy will go," he said. "You look at all six weeks. You look at everything."

      Minnesota Vikings: The Jets have 15 takeaways this season, including 10 interceptions, and grabbed quarterback Kirk Cousins' attention on film with their rangy secondary and linebackers. Cousins has only three interceptions in 260 pass attempts, completing 71.2 percent of his passes this season. "When you're going against a team as good as they are at taking it away, just having a heightened sense of awareness of the need to not give them that whenever possible," Cousins said. In New York, the focus is on Cousins choosing the Vikings over the Jets in free agency. Cousins said he studied each team, their coaches and personnel for more than two months. Cousins ultimately chose the Vikings, and the Jets selected Sam Darnold No. 3 in the 2018 draft.

      "You feel like it's a really impressive start. I'm sure he's got a lot of great days ahead of him," Cousins said.

      NFC South

      Atlanta Falcons: With starting running back Devonta Freeman (groin) on injured reserve, the club is hoping Tevin Coleman can find his stride. The fourth-year pro has a team-leading 260 rushing yards but has tallied 35 or fewer in four of six games. Coleman's best game was a 107-yard effort against the Carolina Panthers in Week 2. Rookie Ito Smith is also an option and has 102 rushing yards on the campaign but he has just 27 on 14 carries over the past two games. Smith has recorded a rushing touchdown in three straight games. Getting the ground game clicking is a priority with Atlanta ranking 29th in the NFL at 86.0 rushing yards per game.

      Carolina Panthers: The Panthers have a road test against the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday as they look to end an early season trend. Carolina is 3-0 at home but lost both its road contests, including a 23-17 loss to the Washington Redskins last weekend. The three-turnover showing wasn't a good sign for a team that believes it can advance deep into the playoffs this season. "We've got a great group of guys that are coming together, obviously," coach Ron Rivera told reporters. "But you've got to win football games, and that's probably the biggest thing. You can put up all of the points you want, put all the yards up but people won't look at you (as great). To me, it's as simple as that. We had a little bit of a setback last week. We will bounce back from it."

      New Orleans Saints: The team is coming off a bye but receiver Ted Ginn Jr. is still struggling with the knee injury that caused him to miss the Week 5 game against the Washington Redskins. Ginn didn't practice on Wednesday, nor did rookie defensive tackle Taylor Stallworth. Ginn's absence against the Redskins opened the door for rookie Tre'Quan Smith, who caught two touchdown passes -- including a 62-yarder on the play in which quarterback Drew Brees set the all-time record for career passing yardage. Smith had three receptions for 111 yards in that contest and figures to be part of the game plan whether or not Ginn is healthy.

      Tampa Bay Buccaneers: New defensive coordinator Mark Duffner's first task is getting the unit to be more stingy in terms of other teams lighting up the scoreboard. The Buccaneers are last in the NFL in scoring defense (34.6), prompting the firing of Mike Smith earlier this week. Duffner, who was defensive coordinator of the Cincinnati Bengals from 2001-02, is happy to get another opportunity at age 65. "I think every coach has aspirations to take on more responsibility," Duffner told reporters. "I've been a defensive coordinator in the NFL before and I've been a college head coach, so is this something I was dying to do? I just love coaching. I like working with young men and trying to help them get better."

      NFC West

      Arizona Cardinals: A day after Broncos linebacker Von Miller said his team would kick the Cardinals' (expletive) in Thursday night's game, Arizona head coach Steve Wilks told reporters he doesn't expect his guys to need the bulletin-board material for motivation. "I hope not, from a standpoint of trying to get guys ready to play football," Wilks said. The 1-5 Cardinals will be without guards Mike Iupati (back) and Jeremy Vujnovich (hamstring) for the game, while guard Justin Pugh is questionable with a hand injury. Safety Tre Boston (shoulder, ribs) is also out, while cornerback Jamar Taylor (back) is questionable.

      Los Angeles Rams: As they prepare to meet for the third time as head coaches, Sean McVay lamented that he can't talk football as much with good friend Kyle Shanahan as much as he used to, now that they lead division rivals. "Any time that we cross paths at the combine or whatever it might be, we always enjoy talking ball, and it doesn't have to be anything where you're giving your secrets away," McVay told reporters. "We certainly still talk. I know that I feel like I wish he wasn't in our division and we didn't have to play twice a year so that we could be a little bit more open with our dialogue. ... But, we're fortunate to even be in these roles. So we'll take it, but I would prefer not to have Kyle Shanahan in our division, if you ask me."

      San Francisco 49ers: The offense took a big step forward last week in scoring 30 points against the Green Bay Packers, and while it wasn't enough for a win, Shanahan is optimistic about the group with the return of wideout Marquise Goodwin from injury. "We'd been missing Quise a lot," Shanahan said. "He's been battling to get back. ... He played very well for us, not just the plays he made, but he blocked very well and did a lot of good things when he wasn't getting the ball. That loosens up the coverage for everyone. Quise does a good job and he also helps out other people and helps our run game." Goodwin totaled 126 yards and a pair of scores on four catches against Green Bay.

      Seattle Seahawks: Seattle hit its bye coming off its best game of the season, a 27-3 romp over the Raiders in London, and defensive end Frank Clark capped the triumph by being named NFC Defensive Player of the Week on Wednesday. Clark hounded rookie tackle Kolton Miller to rack up 2.5 sacks, including two sack-fumbles that were recovered by teammates, in just 29 defensive snaps as he battled an illness. In a contract year, Clark now has 5.5 sacks this season, best on the team and 1.5 shy of the NFL lead (J.J. Watt, Danielle Hunter).

      --Field Level Media

  • Jags owner withdraws bid to buy London's Wembley
    By Field Level Media / Wednesday, October 17, 2018

    Shad Khan, who owns the Jacksonville Jaguars, won't be adding the home of English soccer to his portfolio.

    • Khan announced Wednesday that he has abandoned his 600 million pound bid to buy London's Wembley Stadium from the Football Association.

      The FA's leadership was due to vote on Khan's proposal next week.

      "At this moment, following last week's FA council hearing, it appears there is no definitive mandate to sell Wembley and my current proposal, subsequently, would earn the backing of only a slim majority of the FA Council, well short of the conclusive margin that the FA chairman has required," Khan said in a statement.

      "Unfortunately, given where we are today, I've concluded that the outcome of a vote next week would be far from sufficient in expressing the broad support favored by the FA Chairman to sell Wembley Stadium. Until a time when it is evident there is an unmistakable directive from the FA to explore and close a sale, I am respectfully withdrawing my offer to purchase Wembley Stadium."

      FA chief executive Martin Glenn said in a statement, "At a recent meeting with Mr. Khan he expressed to us that, without stronger support from within the game, his offer is being seen as more divisive than it was anticipated to be and has decided to withdraw his proposal. Wembley Stadium is an iconic venue that is revered around world and it will continue to thrive under the ownership and direction of The FA."

      Khan also owns a London-based Premier League soccer team, Fulham FC, but he reportedly was not planning to move the club's base to Wembley. The Jaguars have played at Wembley five times since 2013, and they are due to play the defending Super Bowl champion Philadelphia Eagles there on Oct. 28.

      In future years, the NFL is scheduled to play four games a year in London, two at Wembley and two at Tottenham Hotspur's under-construction stadium in North London.

      Wembley serves as the home of the England national soccer team as well as playoff rounds of the FA Cup, the League Cup and the Football League.

      --Field Level Media

  • NFL notebook: Broncos CEO hints Joseph's job in danger
    By Field Level Media / Wednesday, October 17, 2018

    Denver Broncos president and CEO Joe Ellis indicated Wednesday that head coach Vance Joseph's job could be in danger if he doesn't right the ship soon.

    • In acknowledging concern over nearly 10,000 no-shows in Denver's home loss to the unbeaten Los Angeles Rams last weekend, Ellis did not shy away from alluding to possible changes if the Broncos continue to struggle on the field and at the gates.

      "I understand it, between weather and performance, these things happen," Ellis told The Athletic from the NFL owners meetings in New York. "We've got to figure out a way to stop talking about how we need to do things differently and actually do things differently."

      "We [made an in-season coaching change] in 2010, I think," Ellis added, referring to Josh McDaniels being fired with four games remaining in that season. "So we'll see, we'll see. I'm trying to stay focused on one game at a time and see where we go from there, and having conversations with [general manager] John Elway and see where we go."

      --Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill will miss Week 7's game against the Detroit Lions in Miami as he continues to battle a right (throwing) shoulder injury, head coach Adam Gase announced.

      Tannehill did not throw during the open portion of Wednesday's practice, and backup Brock Osweiler was expected to take all of the first-team reps, per the Miami Herald.

      Meanwhile, the NFL is investigating the team's handling of Tannehill's injury and how it was disclosed on injury reports last week, according to multiple reports. Tannehill had been listed as a full participant on Wednesday and Thursday before being downgraded to questionable on Friday. However, NFL rules require a designation of limited when a player is unable to take all of his normal reps, which Gase has said was the case for Tannehill on Thursday.

      --Newly signed quarterback Derek Anderson will start Sunday for the Buffalo Bills at Indianapolis, coach Sean McDermott announced. "It's the right decision for our football team right now," McDermott said.

      Rookie starter Josh Allen is out indefinitely with an elbow sprain, and McDermott chose not to turn to interception-prone Nathan Peterman, who started the season at quarterback but quickly was benched in favor of Allen.

      Anderson, 35, is in his 13th season in the NFL and spent four seasons in Cleveland, one in Arizona and seven with the Carolina Panthers.

      --Leonard Fournette did not practice with the Jacksonville Jaguars, a signal that he might not play for the third straight week because of the hamstring injury he sustained in Week 1.

      Fournette has missed four of the last five games with a hamstring injury. Coach Doug Marrone told reporters that Fournette will try to practice Thursday. The Jaguars (3-3) lost their past two games, and Fournette has yet to finish a game this year.

      Fournette's replacement, T.J. Yeldon (foot, ankle), also missed practice Wednesday. Veteran Jamaal Charles, signed last week, and rookie David Williams are the other running backs on the Jacksonville roster.

      --Indianapolis Colts wide receiver T.Y. Hilton returned to practice on after missing the past two games with chest and hamstring injuries.

      Hilton was listed as a full participant as the Colts prepared for Sunday's visit from the Bills. Neither Hilton nor Colts coach Frank Reich confirmed that Hilton would play, but Andrew Luck's top target acknowledged the team could really use him in uniform.

      "I don't wanna go out there and hurt myself," Hilton said. "So, for me, I'll give it a test today. We're in a must-win game, so I've gotta be out there."

      --Commissioner Roger Goodell said the NFL is focusing on listening and learning, which has resulted in increased quality on and off the field.

      "When you have people working together, listening to one another and that level of respect, I think everyone feels better," Goodell said as the NFL fall owners meetings wrapped.

      Goodell said overall quality and competitiveness are up across the league with a margin of victory on pace to be the third- or fourth-closest in NFL history. While some are concerned with growing protection of quarterbacks, Goodell said the focus on player safety is coming through in every game.

      --Just four months after being diagnosed with Hodgkin lymphoma, Houston Texans safety Andre Hal is practicing with the team again.

      Hal has been on the non-football illness list since his diagnosis in early June. With the lymphoma in remission and Hal back at practice, the Texans have 21 days to decide whether to activate him as part of the 53-man roster.

      The team announced June 8 that Hal had been diagnosed with nodular lymphocyte-predominant Hodgkin lymphoma. It was diagnosed after Hal reported he had blurry vision while practicing, and the cancer was discovered in his armpit and stomach.

      --Jacksonville Jaguars owner Shad Khan announced that he has abandoned his 600 million pound bid to buy London's Wembley Stadium from the Football Association.

      The FA's leadership was due to vote on Khan's proposal next week, and Khan did not expect enough support in his favor.

      --Field Level Media

  • Colts WR Hilton returns to practice
    By Field Level Media / Wednesday, October 17, 2018

    Indianapolis Colts wide receiver T.Y. Hilton returned to practice on Wednesday after missing the past two games with chest and hamstring injuries.

    • "The guys need me," HIlton said earlier in the day. "So I'm here for them."

      Hilton was listed as a full participant as the Colts prepared for Sunday's visit from the Buffalo Bills. Neither Hilton nor Colts coach Frank Reich confirmed that Hilton would play against the Bills, but Andrew Luck's top target acknowledged the team could really use him in uniform.

      "I don't wanna go out there and hurt myself," Hilton said. "So, for me, I'll give it a test today. We're in a must-win game, so I've gotta be out there."

      Hilton has 21 receptions for 294 yards and two touchdowns in four games this season. He eclipsed 100 yards in his most recent game, a 37-34 overtime loss against the Houston Texans on Sept. 30.

      As he had missed just two games in his first six seasons, which included four Pro Bowl selections, Hilton told reporters he is eager to work back into shape.

      "Just watching it on TV not being there with them, you know, it hurts me," Hilton said. "It hurts me a lot."

      --Field Level Media

  • Broncos CEO unafraid of in-season coaching change
    By Field Level Media / Wednesday, October 17, 2018

    Is Thursday night's game against the Arizona Cardinals a must-win for Vance Joseph and his 2-4 Denver Broncos?

    • Broncos President and CEO Joe Ellis indicated Wednesday that the time for action -- i.e. drastic changes on the coaching staff, including Joseph -- may be near if the team can not right its season quickly.

      In acknowledging concern over nearly 10,000 no-shows in Denver's home loss to the unbeaten Los Angeles Rams last weekend, Ellis did not shy away from alluding to possible changes if the Broncos continue to struggle on the field and at the gates.

      "I understand it, between weather and performance, these things happen," Ellis told The Athletic on Wednesday from the NFL owners meetings in New York. "We've got to figure out a way to stop talking about how we need to do things differently and actually do things differently."

      Coming off a 5-11 season in Joseph's rookie campaign, the organization's plan for 2018 included a strong draft and big-money signing of quarterback Case Keenum. So far this season, the new mix has not translated into more wins.

      When pressed last week before the Rams game on whether changes needed to be made, Ellis portrayed confidence is saying the Broncos "know what needs to be done to fix" their issues. While at the time Ellis praised Joseph, the CEO stopped short of promising no drastic measures.

      "We're all pulling for him and supporting him and we'll see where this goes," Ellis told reporters about Joseph.

      Wednesday in New York, Ellis sounded open to an in-season coaching change, if the Broncos could not rebound soon.

      "We did it in 2010, I think," Ellis told The Athletic, referring to Josh McDaniels being fired with four games remaining in the season. "So we'll see, we'll see. I'm trying to stay focused on one game at a time and see where we go from there, and having conversations with [general manager] John Elway and see where we go."

      Heading into this Sunday's game against 1-5 Arizona, the Broncos will be without right tackle Jared Veldheer (knee), outside linebacker Shane Ray (ankle, wrist) and cornerback Adam Jones (quad). Left guard Ronald Leary (Achilles) was lost for the season against the Rams last week and will be placed on injured reserve.

      --Field Level Media

  • Dolphins' Tannehill ruled out; NFL investigating injury reporting
    By Field Level Media / Wednesday, October 17, 2018

    Miami Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill will miss Week 7's game against the Detroit Lions as he continues to battle a right (throwing) shoulder injury, head coach Adam Gase announced Wednesday.

    • Tannehill did not throw during the open portion of Wednesday's practice, and backup Brock Osweiler was expected to take all of the first-team reps, per the Miami Herald. Osweiler, who started Sunday's win over the Chicago Bears, met the media at the podium on Wednesday, part of the normal routine for the starting quarterback.

      Meanwhile, the NFL is investigating the team's handling of Tannehill's injury and how it was disclosed on injury reports last week, according to multiple reports. Such investigations are not uncommon, particularly when involving prominent players, but there is reason to believe the Dolphins' injury report last week was inaccurate.

      Tannehill had been listed on the report as a full participant on Wednesday and Thursday before being downgraded to limited on Friday, when he was designated as questionable to face the Bears. However, NFL rules require a designation of limited when a player is unable to take all of his normal reps, which Gase has said was the case for Tannehill on Thursday, as Osweiler took some first-team reps during that practice.

      If the NFL finds rules violations, it can levy punishments that include fines of the team or people involved, suspension or the docking of draft choices.

      Osweiler went 28 of 44 for 380 yards, three touchdowns and two interceptions in the overtime win over the Bears, though an incredible 274 of his yards came after the catch. He was just 7 of 16 with both interceptions on throws that traveled at least 5 yards beyond the line of scrimmage.

      Tannehill, 30, has lost multiple games due to injury in three consecutive seasons after starting the first 77 games of his career. He missed the final three games of the 2016 season with a sprained ACL and all of last season after the ligament tore fully.

      --Field Level Media

  • Texans S Hal returns with cancer in remission
    By Field Level Media / Wednesday, October 17, 2018

    Just four months after being diagnosed with Hodgkin lymphoma, Houston Texans safety Andre Hal is practicing with the team again.

    • Hal has been on the non-football illness list since his diagnosis in early June. With the lymphoma in remission and Hal back at practice, the Texans have 21 days to decide whether to activate him as part of the 53-man roster.

      Texans coach Bill O'Brien said the team was excited Wednesday morning when it was announced that Hal would be practicing.

      The team announced June 8 that Hal had been diagnosed with nodular lymphocyte-predominant Hodgkin lymphoma. It was diagnosed after Hal reported he had blurry vision while practicing, and the cancer was discovered in his armpit and stomach.

      "I had my faith in God," said Hal, who elected not to do chemotherapy with hopes of returning to the field sooner. "I did everything I could to beat this. The cancer went away."

      Hal, a product of Vanderbilt, was selected by the Texans in the seventh round of the 2014 NFL Draft. He has appeared in 61 games with the Texans (38 starts) and has nine career interceptions.

      --Field Level Media

  • Goodell: NFL prospers from listening, learning
    By Field Level Media / Wednesday, October 17, 2018

    Commissioner Roger Goodell said the NFL is focusing on listening and learning, which has resulted in increased quality on and off the field.

    • "When you have people working together, listening to one another and that level of respect, I think everyone feels better," Goodell said as the NFL fall owners meetings wrapped on Wednesday.

      Goodell said overall quality and competitiveness are up across the league with a margin of victory on pace to be the third- or fourth-closest in NFL history.

      While some are concerned with growing protection of quarterbacks, Goodell said the focus on player safety is coming through in every game.

      "People are focusing on football and the great play of the quarterbacks. The safety of the game is better. The quality of the game is better," Goodell said.

      Goodell said he is proud of the collective work the league and union have done on social justice issues.

      "The focus has been on the efforts the players have brought in their communities and they are working on the issues to make their communities better. That's where our focus is," he said.

      Goodell was upbeat discussing offensive numbers and officiating, which he said are at some of the highest levels ever.

      Players are healthy, as are viewer ratings, which Goodell chose to focus his attention on Wednesday.

      In other news:

      --Owners did not discuss the future of the Seattle Seahawks following the unexpected death of team owner Paul Allen. Speculation from the Los Angeles Times indicated a cross-ownership policy ended by the NFL could be designed to open the door for former Microsoft executive Steve Ballmer, who owns the Los Angeles Clippers, to purchase the Seahawks and potentially move the NBA franchise to the city.

      "We didn't have any discussion of it. We think it's inappropriate at this time to be having those discussion," Goodell said. "The Seahawks, Paul Allen made plans, and there will be a time for those discussions."

      A succession plan was not made public. Allen never married and has no children. He has one sister.

      Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said the league as a whole expects the Seahawks to stay in Seattle.

      "I can't imagine the Seahawks not in Seattle. That hasn't even been a thought. As a matter of fact, he was instrumental in establishing that certainty. It would really be a little unjust -- the thing he did the most for in Seattle was to stabilize that franchise. We are really going to miss him. He had such influence in the league. I was certainly influenced by my interaction with him. ... When we get someone of his stature to join ownership in the NFL, I just completely throw a party."

      --The Raiders are in limbo for 2019, Goodell said, saying he has not yet heard how negotiations with the city of Oakland are progressing for the Raiders to play one more season at the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum.

      "We know they are in the midst of negotiation," Goodell said, adding he received an update on progress on the stadium construction project in Las Vegas, where the Raiders are expected to relocate in 2020.

      --Field Level Media

  • Bills name journeyman Anderson starting QB
    By Field Level Media / Wednesday, October 17, 2018

    Newly signed quarterback Derek Anderson will start Sunday for the Buffalo Bills, coach Sean McDermott announced Wednesday.

    • "It's the right decision for our football team right now," McDermott said.

      Rookie starter Josh Allen is out indefinitely with an elbow injury, and McDermott chose not to turn to interception-prone Nathan Peterman, who started the season at quarterback but quickly was benched in favor of Allen.

      The Bills meet Indianapolis on Sunday.

      Anderson, 35, is in his 13th season in the NFL and spent four seasons in Cleveland, one in Arizona and seven with Carolina. He last started a game Dec. 4, 2016, and played just one series. He was replaced by Cam Newton, who had been benched to start the game for disciplinary reasons. He hasn't been the No. 1 quarterback of a team since 2010 with the Cardinals.

      As Newton's backup in 2017, he was 2-for-8 for 17 yards.

      But with Allen out, this was the only move for the Bills.

      Peterson has thrown nine interceptions in just 79 career attempts, including two in relief of Allen on Sunday. That's an interception rate of 11.4 percent.

      --Field Level Media

  • Jaguars RB Fournette remains idle with hamstring injury
    By Field Level Media / Wednesday, October 17, 2018

    Leonard Fournette did not practice with the Jacksonville Jaguars on Wednesday, a signal that he might not play Sunday for the third straight week.

    • Fournette has missed four of the last five games with a hamstring injury. Coach Doug Marrone told reporters that Fournette will try to practice Thursday, and the Jaguars then will be closer to knowing whether the running back will be available Sunday against the Houston Texans.

      The Jaguars (3-3) lost their past two games and could use a healthy Fournette, who last season as a rookie gained 1,040 rushing yards along with 320 receiving yards and contributed 10 touchdowns.

      But this season, Fournette injured his hamstring in Week 1 against the New York Giants. He sat out until Week 4 against the New York Jets, when he injured it again. On the season, he has just 20 carries for 71 yards and no touchdowns.

      Fournette's replacement, T.J. Yeldon, also missed practice Wednesday with foot and ankle problems.

      Veteran Jamaal Charles, signed last week, and David Williams are the other running backs on the Jacksonville roster.

      --Field Level Media

  • NFL notebook: Giants owner Mara calls out OBJ
    By Field Level Media / Tuesday, October 16, 2018

    New York Giants owner John Mara is ready for Odell Beckham Jr. to start making headlines on the field and cease fire behind the microphone.

    • "I think he needs to do a little more playing and a little less talking," Mara said at the NFL fall owners meetings on Tuesday.

      Mara said he did not confront Beckham about critical comments regarding the team made to ESPN, but Fox Sports reported the wide receiver was fined. Beckham also was asked by coach Pat Shurmur, described in the Fox report as "livid," to apologize to the team for being critical of quarterback Eli Manning and the offense in general.

      Mara said Tuesday he has confidence the right staff is in place -- general manager Dave Gettleman and Shurmur -- to produce winning results despite a 1-5 record to start the season.

      --The DallasCowboys.com columnist who tweeted about an impending contract extension for coach Jason Garrett is "pulling one out of the air," team owner Jerry Jones said.

      Replying to a tweet about Garrett on Monday, writer Jeff Sullivan said, "Sounds like another extension could be signed soon he's not going anywhere." Later, Sullivan added, "I have no reason to lie."

      "I don't know where Jeff is getting his information," Jones said on a Tuesday morning radio show on 105.3 KRLD-FM. "He's pulling one out of the air there as far as any knowledge. My response should not in any way indicate that I'm thinking about it or whether it's going to be there, it's just not something that I would have visited with anybody about, least of all Jeff."

      --Buffalo Bills rookie quarterback Josh Allen is unlikely to play this week against the Indianapolis Colts due to an elbow injury, and his status going forward could be in the hands of Dr. James Andrews.

      ESPN's Chris Mortensen reported that Allen is out for Week 7 with an injury to the ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow. Andrews is reviewing MRI exam results of Allen's throwing arm to provide guidance for the Bills' handling of the prized first-round pick, per the report.

      Without Allen, veteran Derek Anderson could leapfrog Nathan Peterman and start at Indianapolis.

      --The Atlanta Falcons placed running back Devonta Freeman on injured reserve due to foot and groin injuries, though they are hopeful he can return late this season.

      Coach Dan Quinn said the team thought Freeman just had "general soreness" in his groin, but after further testing, the running back will need a procedure to repair the issue. Quinn expects to know more in a few weeks about whether Freeman can return this year.

      Freeman has been banged up throughout the season, missing three games with a knee injury and then injuring his foot and groin after returning in Week 5.

      --Denver Broncos linebacker Von Miller didn't mince words about what he expects against the Arizona Cardinals in the Thursday night game at Glendale, Ariz.

      "I wouldn't say it's a must win, but we're gonna kick their (expletive) though," Miller told reporters. "Make sure you put that up there. We're gonna kick their (expletive). They're gonna get our best this week."

      --The New York Jets worked out free agent wide receivers Rishard Matthews and Corey Coleman, according to ESPN reports.

      Matthews visited the Cleveland Browns and Arizona Cardinals last week after being granted his release from the Tennessee Titans at the end of September. Coleman spent short stints with the Buffalo Bills and New England Patriots this fall after being traded from Cleveland to Buffalo during training camp.

      --The Minnesota Vikings officially placed rookie cornerback Mike Hughes on injured reserve due to a torn ACL and re-signed defensive tackle David Parry.

      Hughes, a first-round pick from Central Florida, was hurt Sunday during a victory against Arizona.

      --The San Francisco 49ers signed quarterback Tom Savage, making room on the roster by releasing tight end Cole Wick.

      The team worked out Savage and other quarterbacks after Jimmy Garoppolo went down with a torn ACL in Week 3, but no signing was made until Tuesday.

      --After reported attempts to trade linebacker Derrick Johnson failed, the Oakland Raiders released the 35-year-old veteran.

      Coach Jon Gruden announced the move during a wide-ranging press conference, also confirming that wide receivers Amari Cooper and Seth Roberts are in the concussion protocol, quarterback Derek Carr (left arm) is sore but OK and running back Marshawn Lynch is dealing with a groin strain that could be a long-term issue.

      --The Kansas City Chiefs re-signed offensive lineman Jeff Allen, the team announced, releasing defensive back Leon McQuay to clear a roster spot.

      Allen was released by the Texans in July after two disappointing seasons to open a four-year, $28 million contract. He had joined Houston as a free agent after playing 44 games (36 starts) over his first four seasons with the Chiefs.

      --The Los Angeles Rams waived kicker Cairo Santos and signed wideout Nick Williams, the team announced.

      Santos' release likely indicates Greg Zuerlein is ready to return from a groin injury that has kept him out of the past five games. Coach Sean McVay told reporters Monday that Zuerlein had "a chance" to play in Week 7, and he complimented the job Santos did.

      --Field Level Media

  • Broncos, Cardinals stumble into Thursday matchup
    By Field Level Media / Tuesday, October 16, 2018

    Denver Broncos linebacker Von Miller wasn't shy about giving the Arizona Cardinals bulletin-board material for the Thursday night game in Glendale, Ariz.

    • "I wouldn't say it's a must-win," Miller said. "We're going to kick their (expletive) though. Make sure you put that up there: We're going to kick their (expletive). They're going to get our best this week."

      Not normally a trash-talker, Miller described himself as confident but not irritated as the Broncos (2-4) enter on a short week after their fourth consecutive loss, a 23-20 home defeat to the Los Angeles Rams.

      The Cardinals (1-5) also enter in rough shape. They followed up a Week 5 win with a 27-17 defeat in Minnesota last week, and their offense ranks either last or second to last in a staggering number of categories: points per game, yards per game and per play, passing and rushing yards per game and per play, first downs, third-down conversions and time of possession.

      Like Miller, Arizona quarterback Josh Rosen appears optimistic his team can turn things around.

      "I think that the positive of this whole situation is the fact that we are a really good football team not playing very well, as opposed to a not very good football team playing to its absolute potential," Rosen said. "Hopefully, we're at our floor and there's only up to go from here, as opposed to having a low ceiling and being right at it."

      The offensive struggles thrust the rookie Rosen into the lineup three weeks ago, and without much improvement, questions have emerged about the job security of offensive coordinator Mike McCoy.

      Asked about the matter on Monday, head coach Steve Wilks said, "I would say all our jobs are in jeopardy, including mine, if we don't win."

      Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald also took a broader view, saying the group as a whole must be better.

      "It's a team game," he said. "Everybody's got to be held accountable. None of us has done a good enough job to this point to be successful. To try to blame one person is not fair or right."

      Job security questions might be louder in Denver, especially given that general manager John Elway has been vocal about the team's need to improve.

      After Elway said Tuesday he hopes the team can "take a mentality into that Thursday night game where we're fighting for our lives," head coach Vance Joseph was asked if he feels as if he is fighting for his job.

      "Absolutely, absolutely," Joseph replied. "That's every coach in this league every week. If you don't feel that way, you're missing something."

      Denver has been missing its run defense over the past three weeks, as the once stout unit has completely imploded. The Broncos have allowed 738 rushing yards on 103 carries (7.2 average) since Week 4 after allowing a total of 233 on 71 carries (3.3 average) through Week 3.

      "We have to go back and look at everything, from how we fit things, the fronts we play and how we tackle," Joseph said of the issues against the run. "The first month of the season, that wasn't a problem for us."

      The Broncos will be without right tackle Jared Veldheer (knee), outside linebacker Shane Ray (ankle, wrist) and cornerback Adam Jones (quad). Left guard Ronald Leary (Achilles) was lost for the season against the Rams last week, will be placed on injured reserve

      The Cardinals will be thin up front after with guards Mike Iupati (back) and Jeremy Vujnovich (hamstring) ruled out and Justin Pugh (hand) questionable. Safety Tre Boston (shoulder, ribs) is also out, while cornerback Jamar Taylor (back) is questionable after getting in a limited practice Wednesday.

      --Field Level Media

  • Cowboys' Jones denies report of Garrett extension
    By Field Level Media / Tuesday, October 16, 2018

    The DallasCowboys.com columnist who tweeted about an impending contract extension for coach Jason Garrett is "pulling one out of the air," team owner Jerry Jones said Tuesday.

    • Replying to a tweet about Garrett on Monday, writer Jeff Sullivan said, "Sounds like another extension could be signed soon he's not going anywhere." Later, Sullivan added, "I have no reason to lie."

      Jones was asked about the comments and about a possible extension for Garrett, who has been at the helm in Dallas since midway through the 2010 season.

      "I don't know where Jeff is getting his information," Jones said on Tuesday morning radio show on 105.3 KRLD-FM. "He's pulling one out of the air there as far as any knowledge. My response should not in any way indicate that I'm thinking about it or whether it's going to be there, it's just not something that I would have visited with anybody about, least of all Jeff.

      "I happen to know that I've never spoken to another soul about that as far as that is concerned."

      The Cowboys are 3-3 this season under Garrett, who is signed through the 2019 campaign. Dallas had its most impressive win of the season on Sunday, thumping Jacksonville 40-7.

      Dallas is 70-56 with two playoff appearances (2014, 2016) under the 52-year-old Garrett. His tenure is already more than three years longer than any of the other six head coaches Jones has hired since purchasing the team in 1989.

      Sullivan writes a weekly column for the Cowboys' website and is the author of "America's Team: The Authorized History of the Dallas Cowboys."

      --Field Level Media

  • Rams waive K Santos, sign WR Williams
    By Field Level Media / Tuesday, October 16, 2018

    The Los Angeles Rams waived kicker Cairo Santos and signed wideout Nick Williams on Tuesday, the team announced.

    • Santos' release likely indicates Greg Zuerlein is ready to return from a groin injury that has kept him out of the last five games. Head coach Sean McVay told reporters Monday that Zuerlein had "a chance" to play in Week 7, and he complimented the job Santos has done.

      Santos tweeted his thanks to the Rams for the opportunity. "Very special and fun to work with some of the best in the game," he said. "Glad to get back to game ready and help you stay unbeaten!"

      Williams' signing will provide depth with wideout Cooper Kupp likely to miss a game or two with a sprained MCL.

      McVay said Monday the team would add a wideout with whom he was familiar, and Williams and McVay spent time in Washington together in 2013 and 2014.

      Williams, who turns 28 next month, was waived by the Tennessee Titans last week, two days after he dropped what would have been the go-ahead touchdown pass in the fourth quarter of a loss to the Bills. It was his second target of the year, neither of which was caught. Williams also returned four punts for 47 yards for Tennessee.

      The Rams also released defensive back Linden Stephens from the practice squad and filled the spot with linebacker Travin Howard, whom they drafted in the seventh round this year.

      --Field Level Media

  • Broncos' Miller on Cardinals: 'Gonna kick their (expletive)'
    By Field Level Media / Tuesday, October 16, 2018

    Denver Broncos linebacker Von Miller didn't mince words about what he expects against the Arizona Cardinals in Thursday night's game in Glendale, Ariz.

    • "I wouldn't say it's a must win but we're gonna kick their (expletive) though," Miller told reporters Tuesday. "Make sure you put that up there. We're gonna kick their (expletive). They're gonna get our best this week.''

      Not normally a trash-talker, Miller repeated the phrase "kick their [expletive]" multiple times during his press conference.

      His comments come with the Broncos riding a four-game losing streak following a 2-0 start. The Cardinals are 1-5, with the only win coming two weeks ago against the San Francisco 49ers. Tension has surrounded both teams this week, with the job security of both head coaches emerging as a topic.

      After Broncos general manager John Elway said Tuesday he hopes the team can "take a mentality into that Thursday night game where we're fighting for our lives," head coach Vance Joseph told reporters he feels like he's fighting for his job.

      "Absolutely, absolutely," Joseph said. "That's every coach in this league every week. If you don't feel that way, you're missing something."

      Meanwhile, Cardinals head coach Steve Wilks was asked about the job security of offensive coordinator Mike McCoy, whose unit ranks among the league's worst in almost every category.

      "I would say all our jobs are in jeopardy, including mine, if we don't win," Wilks replied to reporters.

      --Field Level Media

  • Raiders release LB Johnson; RB Lynch (groin) injured
    By Field Level Media / Tuesday, October 16, 2018

    After reported attempts to trade linebacker Derrick Johnson failed, the Oakland Raiders released the 35-year-old veteran on Tuesday.

    • The four-time Pro Bowl selection played 13 seasons with the Kansas City Chiefs (2005-17), becoming the franchise's all-time leading tackler before signing with the Raiders in May. Johnson had 17 tackles in six games with Oakland this season.

      NFL Network's Ian Rapoport said the team tried to trade Johnson. Johnson requested his release and the team obliged, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

      Taking his place on the active roster is undrafted rookie linebacker Jason Cabinda, signed from the practice squad.

      Coach Jon Gruden announced the moves during a wide-ranging press conference on Tuesday.

      He also confirmed that wide receivers Amari Cooper and Seth Roberts are in the concussion protocol, quarterback Derek Carr (left arm) is sore but OK, and running back Marshawn Lynch is dealing with a groin strain that could be a long-term issue.

      Lynch will undergo an MRI this week, per Rapoport. Lynch has rushed for 376 yards and three touchdowns this season.

      The Raiders (1-5) have a bye week to heal before returning to action on Oct. 28 at home against the Indianapolis Colts.

      Gruden addressed a few other issues with the media Tuesday, including tweets by cornerback Rashaan Melvin. Melvin said he was "frustrated and upset" and "done trying to change my style" after getting benched last week.

      "Melvin is on his seventh team," Gruden said. "Maybe he is confused about what technique he is using. He is frustrated. I can't blame him. ...He is a good kid."

      Melvin is in his first season with Oakland after previous stints with Indianapolis (2016-17), Baltimore (2014-15), New England (2015) and Miami (2014). He joined the Raiders on a one-year, $6.5 million deal in free agency.

      Gruden also gave a vote of confidence in Carr, who is tied for the league lead with eight interceptions.

      "He is the strength of this football team," Gruden said. "He is on my watch. I said it when I got here: If he doesn't play well, I've failed."

      --Field Level Media

  • 49ers sign QB Savage
    By Field Level Media / Tuesday, October 16, 2018

    The San Francisco 49ers signed quarterback Tom Savage on Tuesday, making room on the roster by releasing tight end Cole Wick.

    • The team worked out Savage and other quarterbacks after Jimmy Garoppolo went down with a torn ACL in Week 3, but no signing was made until Tuesday.

      Nick Mullens has been serving as the backup to C.J. Beathard, but head coach Kyle Shanahan said the team hoped to add a third QB. For now, Savage is not expected to pass Mullens on the depth chart as the primary No. 2 quarterback.

      Savage, 28, spent training camp with the New Orleans Saints after joining them on a one-year deal in free agency.

      He started nine games from 2016 to 2017 for the Houston Texans, who took him in the fourth round of 2014, going 2-7 in those games. In 13 career appearances, he has 2,000 passing yards on a 57.5 percent completion rate with five touchdowns and seven interceptions.

      Wick played in five games for the 49ers this season, logging one target on 11 offensive snaps while mostly playing special teams (70 snaps).

      --Field Level Media

  • Vikings place CB Hughes on IR, re-sign DT Parry
    By Field Level Media / Tuesday, October 16, 2018

    The Minnesota Vikings officially placed rookie cornerback Mike Hughes on injured reserve with a torn ACL on Tuesday and re-signed defensive tackle David Parry.

    • Hughes, a first-round pick from Central Florida, was hurt during Sunday's victory against Arizona.

      Parry appeared in Minnesota's first two games and recorded a sack at Green Bay in Week 2, but he was cut on Sept. 19 and replaced by defensive tackle Tom Johnson.

      Parry, 26, was a fifth-round selection out of Stanford in 2015 and has played for Indianapolis (2015-16) and New Orleans (2017). He has five sacks in 35 career games.

      --Field Level Media

  • AAF unveils 2019 regular-season schedule
    By Field Level Media / Tuesday, October 16, 2018

    After the NFL plays its Super Bowl on Feb. 3, 2019, the wait for the next pro football contest will be very short.

    • That's because the Alliance of American Football will kick off its inaugural 10-week regular season just six days later.

      The new league that features eight franchises, Steve Spurrier as a coach and Trent Richardson as a player kicks off Feb. 9 with two games -- the Atlanta Legends visiting Spurrier's Orlando Apollos and the San Diego Fleet playing at the San Antonio Commanders.

      There will be two more games the following day with the Memphis Express visiting the Birmingham Iron, who employ Richardson, the former No. 3 overall pick in 2012 who was an NFL bust. The Salt Lake Stallion visit the Arizona Hotshots in the other game on Feb. 10.

      "One of the driving factors behind the vision of The Alliance was the fact that millions of Americans simply stop watching sports and playing fantasy every February, the moment a Super Bowl champion is crowned," said Charlie Ebersol, co-founder and CEO of the AAF. "There's a significant void in the market that will now be filled with top-flight, professional football. The reception thus far in each of our eight markets has been tremendous, and unveiling our season one schedule is yet another significant milestone for the league.

      "There are exciting matchups and storylines unfolding, and The Alliance is looking forward to giving fans exactly what they want -- more football."

      The regular season concludes April 14 with playoffs to follow. The top two teams in the East and the top two teams in the West will make the playoffs.

      In addition to Spurrier, the league's other head coaches are Brad Childress (Atlanta), Dennis Erickson (Salt Lake), Tim Lewis (Birmingham), Mike Martz (San Diego), Rick Neuheisel (Arizona), Mike Riley (San Antonio) and Mike Singletary (Memphis).

      Included in the list of regular-season matchups:

      Professional football returns to San Diego in Week 2 when the Fleet host the Atlanta Legends.

      Former Chargers coach Riley returns to San Diego when San Antonio visits the Fleet in Week 3.

      Former NFL coaches Singletary (defensive legend) and Martz (offensive prowess) match wits when Memphis hosts San Diego in Week 4.

      Offensive gurus Spurrier and Neuheisel do battle when Orlando visits Arizona in Week 6.

      --Field Level Media

  • Report: Jets work out WRs Matthews, Coleman
    By Field Level Media / Tuesday, October 16, 2018

    The New York Jets worked out free agent wide receivers Rishard Matthews and Corey Coleman on Tuesday, according to ESPN reports.

    • Matthews visited the Cleveland Browns and Arizona Cardinals last week after being granted his release from the Tennessee Titans at the end of September. Coleman spent short stints with the Buffalo Bills and New England Patriots this fall after being traded from Cleveland to Buffalo during training camp.

      The Jets are expected to be without wideout Quincy Enunwa (high-ankle sprain) for a few weeks, while Terrelle Pryor is battling a groin issue for the second time this season.

      Matthews, who turned 29 on Friday, had just three catches for 11 yards in three games with the Titans, but he tallied 161 grabs for 2,402 yards and 17 scores over the previous three seasons.

      Coleman, 24, had 56 catches for 718 yards and five touchdowns through two seasons with the Browns, who took him 15th overall in the 2016 draft. However, he has battled injuries in both seasons and has been let go by three teams in a span of two months.

      --Field Level Media

  • Falcons place RB Freeman on IR
    By Field Level Media / Tuesday, October 16, 2018

    The Atlanta Falcons placed running back Devonta Freeman on injured reserve with foot and groin injuries on Tuesday, though they are "hopeful" he can return late this season.

    • Head coach Dan Quinn said the team thought Freeman just had "general soreness" in his groin, but after further testing, the running back will need a procedure to repair the issue. Quinn expects to know more in a few weeks about whether Freeman can return this year.

      Freeman has been banged up throughout the season, missing three games with a knee injury and then injuring his foot and groin after returning in Week 5. Quinn had already ruled Freeman out for Monday night's game against the New York Giants.

      The 26-year-old has just 91 total yards and no touchdowns on 19 touches in parts of three games this season. A two-time Pro Bowler, Freeman is in the second year of a five-year, $41.25 million contract that ranks him fourth in the NFL among running backs with a $8.25 million annual average.

      The Falcons have relied heavily on Tevin Coleman, who has 71 carries for 260 yards (3.7 average) and a touchdown, along with 13 catches for 105 yards and two scores. Rookie fourth-rounder Ito Smith has 168 total yards on 42 touches with three rushing touchdowns. The team ranks 29th in rushing yards per game (86.0) and 27th in yards per carry (3.8) this season.

      Freeman is Atlanta's fifth starter placed on injured reserve this season, joining Pro Bowlers Deion Jones (foot) and Keanu Neal (ACL), free safety Ricardo Allen (Achilles) and left guard Andy Levitre (triceps). Jones is eligible to be recalled from IR in November, but each of the other three have been ruled out for the season.

      Freeman could be recalled from IR in Week 15, assuming he would be healthy enough to return. Each team is allowed to recall two players from IR each season.

      Meanwhile, the Falcons are expected to sign kicker Giorgio Tavecchio to kick against the Giants, according to multiple reports.

      Primary kicker Matt Bryant injured his hamstring while making a 57-yarder late last week and is expected to sit out Monday. Tavecchio was with the Falcons during training camp and made 15 of 21 field goals last season with the Oakland Raiders.

      --Field Level Media

  • Chiefs bring back OL Allen amid injuries
    By Field Level Media / Tuesday, October 16, 2018

    The Kansas City Chiefs re-signed offensive lineman Jeff Allen on Tuesday, the team announced, releasing defensive back Leon McQuay to clear a roster spot.

    • Allen was released by the Houston Texans in July after two disappointing seasons to open a four-year, $28 million contract. He had joined Houston as a free agent after playing 44 games (36 starts) over his first four seasons with the Chiefs, who drafted him 44th overall in 2012.

      His signing would reinforce an ailing Kansas City offensive line. Right guard Laurent Duvernay-Tardif is on injured reserve with a broken fibula and center Mitch Morse is week-to-week with a concussion sustained Sunday night against the New England Patriots.

      Duvernay-Tardif was originally expected to return later this season, but further evaluation revealed a spiral fracture and ligament damage that required surgery, putting a possible return in doubt.

      Jordan Devey started at right guard Sunday night, but he moved to center after Morse was injured, with 2017 undrafted free agent Andrew Wylie stepping in at right guard.

      Allen played primarily left guard in his first stint with Kansas City, but he moved to the right side in Houston.

      McQuay, who turns 24 next month, was a sixth-round pick in 2017. He has yet to play in a game this season after appearing in one contest as a rookie.

      --Field Level Media

  • Mara: Giants need less talk, more play from WR Beckham
    By Field Level Media / Tuesday, October 16, 2018

    Giants owner John Mara is ready for Odell Beckham Jr. to start making headlines on the field and cease fire behind the microphone.

    • "I think he needs to do a little more playing and a little less talking," Mara said at the NFL fall owners meetings on Tuesday.

      Off to a 1-5 start and with critics lining up to rip quarterback Eli Manning, Mara said the team is embarrassed to be at the bottom of the NFC East and NFL standings with one victory entering Week 7.

      "It's not just him," Mara said of Manning, who took multiple questions last week about his ability to play at a high level in the aftermath of last week's loss to the Philadelphia Eagles. "It's pretty disappointing. I'm sick about it.

      "When you're 1-5, generally it means everybody has to play better."

      Mara said he did not confront Beckham about comments made to ESPN, but Fox Sports reported the wide receiver was fined. He also was asked by coach Pat Shurmur, described in the Fox report as 'livid,' to apologize to the team for being critical of Manning and the offense in general.

      The Giants remain convinced they drafted the best player available at No. 2 in the 2018 draft when running back Saquon Barkley, and not USC quarterback Sam Darnold, was selected. Darnold went one pick later to the Jets.

      With Manning's production down, media coverage has focused on the Giants passing on a passer for a running back, a position at which difference-makers can historically be found later in the draft.

      Mara said he still believes Barkley was "the best player in the draft."

      Beckham signed a six-year, $103 million contract before the start of the 2018 season and said at the press conference announcing the deal that he had learned from past flare-ups on and off the field.

      In the latest episode of I AM MORE with Uninterrupted, Beckham said he will not apologize.

      "I'm sorry that I'm not gonna apologize from my heart," Beckham said. "I don't feel like you deserve an apology for one, and I don't feel like it's necessary for me to apologize for how I feel."

      Beckham said in the episode his delivery could have been better.

      "Like I really went hard this offseason to repair myself -- mind, body and soul -- and put me back together, to be able to come here and do what? Do the same thing that I was just doing?" he said. "I worked way too hard to just even be able to play football again. I'm not gonna be OK with being mediocre. I'm not gonna be OK with being average."

      Mara said Tuesday he has confidence the right staff is in place -- general manager Dave Gettleman and Shurmur -- to produce winning results.

      Gettleman made multiple roster moves Tuesday, adding wide receiver Bennie Fowler from the practice squad and placing Cody Latimer on injured reserve with a hamstring injury. Linebacker Ray-Ray Armstrong (concussion) also went on IR, and cornerback Donte Deayon was waived. The Giants also elevated linebacker Ukeme Eligwe and cornerback Grant Haley from the practice squad.

      --Field Level Media

  • Report: Former teammates describe chilling Hernandez behavior
    By Field Level Media / Tuesday, October 16, 2018

    Aaron Hernandez went from jovial to intense in an instant and his behavior and demeanor were wildly unpredictable on a given day, former teammates of the late New England Patriots tight end told the Boston Globe.

    • In the third of a six-part series on Hernandez, who committed suicide in a prison cell after being convicted of murder, The Globe described a troubled individual who reached out to teammates and coaches for help.

      According to the Spotlight series, Hernandez approached coach Bill Belichick in 2013 in what was described as a "state of deepening paranoia." The report states that Belichick "saw little reason to get more than minimally involved."

      Hernandez died in jail in 2017. He was serving a life sentence without possibility of parole for killing Odin Lloyd in 2013.

      Former teammate Dane Fletcher said he came to blows with Hernandez and described him as selfish. Fletcher also said he dropped Hernandez off at his "side place" where he kept drugs and ammunition.

      Brandon Lloyd, who played wide receiver for the Patriots, Rams, Broncos and 49ers, told The Globe he witnessed erratic behavior and more from Hernandez.

      "There would be swings where he'd be the most hyper-masculine, aggressive individual in the room, where he'd be ready to fight somebody in fits of rage,'' said Lloyd. "Or he'd be the most sensitive person in the room, talking about cuddling with his mother. Or he'd ask me, 'Do you think I'm good enough to play?'''

      Lloyd recalled a conversation with another former wide receiver on the team, Wes Welker, that touched on unpredictable and volatile mood swings and sensitive details regarding what Welker perceived as past history.

      "He is looking at me wide-eyed,'' Lloyd recalled of Welker, "and he says, 'I just want to warn you that (Hernandez) is going to talk about being bathed by his mother. He's going to have his genitalia out in front of you while you're sitting on your stool. He's going to talk about gay sex. Just do your best to ignore it. Even walk away.'"

      Lloyd said quarterback Tom Brady snapped at Hernandez in one particular instance during a walk-through.

      "(Hernandez) was out at the walk-through in flip-flops trying to run around,'' Lloyd said. "He was laughing. He was loud. And Tom keeps it serious in the walk-through. And Tom says, 'Shut the (expletive) up. Get the (expletive) out of here.'''

      Lloyd said the change in Hernandez's mood was almost always sudden.

      "It was like he went from this child-like, laughing, disruptive behavior," Lloyd said, "and he storms off in a fit of rage."

      --Field Level Media