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Packers intercept Bulaga

Iowa offensive tackle Bryan Bulaga was regarded as a surefire top-ten pick just days ago, but he slipped all the way to 23rd overall in the draft.  Packers G.M. Ted Thompson hardly hesitated to scoop him up.

Bulaga slipped due to concerns about his arm length, lack of difference-making upside, and possibly a thyroid condition that cost him three games last season.  
However, the 2009 Big Ten Offensive Lineman of the Year is a great fit in Green Bay’s zone-blocking scheme.  He was a three-year starter in a similar system under Kirk Ferentz, and has the ability to play three positions on the line (left tackle, right tackle, left guard).
It remains to be seen how good Bulaga will be in real life, but we’ve got to think Thompson secured a lot of value here.  Bulaga may project as injury-prone 34-year-old Chad Clifton’s long-term successor on the Aaron Rodgers’ blind side.
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Seahawks assistant Pat Ruel returns to Seattle following hospital stay for irregular heartbeat

Seattle Seahawks 2011 Headshots Getty Images

Seattle Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll said Monday that assistant offensive line coach Pat Ruel was returning to Seattle after an overnight stay at a San Diego hospital due to an irregular heartbeat.

Ruel was taken to the hospital following Seattle’s 30-21 loss to the San Diego Chargers on Sunday afternoon. Temperatures at Qualcomm Stadium were approaches 120 degrees on the field during the game. Though Ruel coaches from the press box during games, the ambient temperature was well into the 90s as well.

Earl Thomas, Kam Chancellor and Byron Maxwell all had to leave the game due to cramps at various stages of the game. The heat could also have contributed to Ruel’s condition.

After an overnight evaluation, Ruel was released and boarded a return flight to Seattle Monday afternoon.

“Everything went well this morning so he’s in good shape,” Carroll said. “Easy for me to say but that’s the report he sent me.”

After coaching with Carroll at USC, Ruel joined the Seahawks as an offensive line coach after Alex Gibbs quit on the team following training camp in 2010. He had previous NFL coaching stints with the Giants, Bills, Packers and Lions.

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Eagles ride second half rally for second straight week to earn 30-27 win over Colts

Philadelphia Eagles v Indianapolis Colts Getty Images

Cory Parkey converted a 36-yard field goal as time expired to give the Philadelphia Eagles a come-from-behind victory for the second straight week in a 30-27 win over the Indianapolis Colts.

The Eagles rallied from a 17-0 deficit against the Jacksonville Jaguars in Week 1 and again rallied from a double-digit second half deficit to sing the Colts Monday night. The Eagles move to 2-0 with the victory while the Colts fall to 0-2.

With the Colts leading 27-20 and deep in Eagles territory in search of a score to put the game away, Malcolm Jenkins intercepted Andrew Luck to give Philadelphia renewed life. However, the manner in which the interception occurred was questionable. Brandon Boykin appeared to hold T.Y. Hilton and Hilton fell down on the play. The pass was then easily snagged by Jenkins to give the Eagles possession.

The Eagles then overcame a bad horse-collar tackle call by the officials with a 51-yard screen pass to Darren Sproles to advance to the Indianapolis 6-yard line. After a timeout, Nick Foles hit Jeremy Maclin for a touchdown to tie the game at 27-all with 3:25 left to play.

Foles finished 21 of 37 for 331 yards with a touchdown and an interception.

The Colts went three-and-out on their ensuing possession and punted back to Philadelphia.

Sproles’ career-high 152 receiving yards led the Eagles. He also scored on a 19-yard touchdown run..

A 2-yard touchdown pass from Luck to Jack Doyle gave the Colts a 17-6 lead at halftime.

After an Adam Vinatieri field goal extended the lead to 20-6, the Eagles began to rally. A pass interference call on Vontae Davis set up a 1-yard touchdown run by LeSean McCoy to pull within a score.

Sproles’ touchdown tied the game at 20-all late in the third quarter.

Ahmad Bradshaw scored on a 7-yard touchdown pass from Luck to again give the Colts the lead. Indianapolis had moved to the edge of the Eagles red zone before Luck’s interception gave the Eagles their chance to rally late.

Trent Richardson had his best performance in a Colts uniform since being acquired via trade last year. Richardson carried 21 times for 79 yards for Indianapolis, surpassing his previous team high of 64 yards from last December. However, he did fumble twice as well.

Eagles linebacker Mychal Kendricks left the game with a calf injury and did not return.

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Vikings knew of other abuse accusation, reinstated Peterson anyway

Zygi Wilf, Adrian Peterson AP

The Minnesota Vikings were aware when they reinstated Adrian Peterson today that Peterson has been accused of abusing more than one of his children.

Hours after news broke this evening that Peterson has been accused of abusing another one of his sons — in a separate incident from the accusation that led to his indictment last week — the Vikings released a statement admitting that they knew of that accusation and decided to bring Peterson back to the team today anyway.

“As part of the information we have gathered throughout this process, we were made aware of an allegation from 2013 in which authorities took no action against Adrian. We will defer any further questions to Adrian’s attorney Rusty Hardin,” the Vikings’ statement said.

Vikings General Manager Rick Spielman said nothing about the prior Peterson abuse accusation when he said today that the team would let the legal process play out. The Vikings deactivated Peterson for Sunday’s game after he was indicted on a charge of injuring another one of his sons, but they said today that they will let him play the rest of the season.

The Vikings have already lost a sponsor in this mess, which may put pressure on other sponsors to act as well. If more sponsors pull out, that might be what it takes for the Vikings to take action. Apparently two separate abuse accusations aren’t enough to make the Vikings take action.

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Radisson pulling sponsorship of Vikings “effective immediately”

cd0ymzcznguwzdbhnduynddiytjhm2yyzthlmtjjotqwyyznptgyyje0odhkymywnjq2nwi5nzuwmmflzwrkngi5y2y5 AP

A Vikings sponsor is ending its corporate support of the club for the time being after Adrian Peterson’s Friday arrest on a charge of recklessly or negligently injuring a child.

The Radisson hotel chain announced Monday night it was “suspending its limited sponsorship of the Minnesota Vikings while we evaluate the facts and circumstances.”

Said the hotel in a statement issued on the website of its parent company, Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group: “Radisson takes this matter very seriously particularly in light of our long-standing commitment to the protection of children.”

The suspension of the company’s sponsorship is “effective immediately,” Radisson said.

The Radisson logo was present behind the Vikings’ press conference podium on Monday, when G.M. Rick Spielman and coach Mike Zimmer met with the media and were asked about the decision to reinstate Peterson, who was deactivated for Sunday’s game vs. New England.

Peterson’s arrest stems from an incident in which he disciplined his four-year-old son with a switch. In a statement Monday, Peterson said he “never ever intended to harm” his son.

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Adrian Peterson’s lawyer says other abuse accusation is untrue

Peterson Arrested Football AP

The attorney for Adrian Peterson says the latest accusation that Peterson abused one of his children is untrue.

Responding to today’s news that Peterson was investigated last year for causing a head wound to one of his sons, lawyer Rusty Hardin released a statement denying the charge.

“The allegation of another investigation into Adrian Peterson is simply not true. The allegation is more than one year old and authorities took no action. An adult witness admittedly insists Adrian did nothing inappropriate with his son,” Hardin said in a statement.

However, the mere fact that Hardin is admitting there was another allegation against Peterson — in addition to the criminal charge he’s facing for allegedly abusing another son — could be enough to force the NFL to suspend Peterson. In 2010, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell suspended Ben Roethlisberger for two allegations of sexual assault, even though Roethlisberger was never arrested or charged in either case. When Goodell made that decision, he said that multiple accusations constitute a pattern of behavior, and that when there’s been a pattern established, the NFL will act.

“The issue here is with respect to a pattern of behavior and bad judgments,” Goodell told Dan Patrick in 2010. “You do not have to be convicted or even charged of a crime to be able to demonstrate that you’ve violated a personal conduct policy.”

Peterson has not been convicted, but he has been charged in one case and accused in another. Based on the precedent Goodell set with the Roethlisberger case, there’s more than enough reason to suspend Peterson now.

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Richardson struggles, Bradshaw gives Colts an early lead

richardson AP

Trent Richardson is the starter, but Ahmad Bradshaw is the Colts’ best running back.

Bradshaw played well after replacing Richardson on the Colts’ second drive tonight, extending the drive with a 29-yard gain on fourth-and-1 and later catching a one-yard touchdown pass on fourth-and-goal to give the Colts an early 7-3 lead.

Richardson looked more or less like he’s always looked since the Colts sent a first-round draft pick to Cleveland to acquire him: Slow and plodding, and prone to fumbling. Richardson did break off a nice 15-yard run, but his other four runs went for a total of five yards. Richardson also got bailed out by Reggie Wayne, who pounced on Richardson’s fumble on the Colts’ second drive.

Eventually, the Colts’ coaches may realize that Bradshaw is better than Richardson, just as they eventually realized last year that Donald Brown was better than Richardson. But Eagles fans should hope that realization does not come tonight. The more carries Richardson gets, the better chance the Eagles have of winning.

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Second Adrian Peterson case involves alleged head wound, scar

AdrianPeterson Reuters

Vikings running back Adrian Peterson, revered for years as one of the nicest guys in all of sports, is turning out to be anything but nice or reasonable when it comes to administering discipline to his children.

According to KHOU 11 in Houston, the second case against Peterson, which has not yet resulted in criminal charges, arose after he administered a “whooping” to another four-year-old son by creating a head wound that reportedly left a scar over the boy’s right eye.

In a chain of text messages with the boy’s mother, Peterson admits that the wound occurred as Peterson disciplined the boy for cussing at a sibling.

Per the report, Peterson never admits what he struck the boy with, but Peterson told the boy’s mother, “Be still n take ya whooping he would have saved the [scar].”  No charges were filed, according to the report.  The boy’s mother filed a report with Child Protective Services; the outcome of the investigation is unclear.

The fact that Peterson faces allegations in a separate case compels the league to aggressively investigate both incidents, and to take action against Peterson, if the league determines that Peterson did what he is accused of doing.  Failure to act promptly would suggest a level of indifference to child welfare that justifiably should make fans equally indifferent to the NFL.

UPDATE 9:50 p.m. ET:  Peterson’s lawyer, Rusty Hardin, says that the allegation against Peterson is “simply not true.”

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Reports: Adrian Peterson investigated for another abuse case

adrianpeterson AP

If, as it appears, Vikings running back Adrian Peterson didn’t see anything wrong with spanking one of his children with a switch until the boy’s flesh ripped open and bled, logic suggests that it wasn’t a one-time occurrence.

According to multiple reports, it may not have been.

KHOU 11 in Houston and FOX 9 in Minneapolis report that Peterson has been investigated for a second abuse case involving another one of his sons.

The Vikings reinstated Peterson on Monday after a one-game deactivation arising from Friday’s indictment on charges of reckless of negligent injury to a child in Texas.  Stay tuned for more details regarding the second case.

Peterson is presumed innocent in a court of law.  The Vikings and the NFL will be presumed inept and immoral in the court of public opinion if either or both continue to hide behind Constitutional protections that relate only to the deprivation of a person’s liberty and not to the privilege to play football in exchange for millions of dollars and worldwide fame.

UPDATE 8:05 p.m. ET:  The full report from KHOU 11 indicates that the boy’s mother made a report of the injury to Child Protective Services, but that no charges were filed against Peterson.

UPDATE 9:50 p.m. ET:  Peterson’s lawyer, Rusty Hardin, says that the allegation against Peterson is “simply not true.”

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Khaled Holmes, Marcus Smith II among inactives for Eagles-Colts

Indianapolis Colts v New York Jets Getty Images

The Colts’ starting center will miss another game.

Khaled Holmes (ankle) is inactive for Monday’s matchup against the Eagles, the Colts announced this evening.

A.Q. Shipley is expected to get the call in place of Holmes, who was questionable on the final injury report. He was a limited practice participant all week.

The Colts’ other inactives are outside linebacker Chris Carter, inside linebacker Jerrell Freeman, center Jonotthan Harrison, tailback Dion Lewis, offensive guard Joe Reitz and wide receiver Da’Rick Rogers. Josh McNary will reportedly start for Freeman, who had been ruled out with a hamstring injury.

The Eagles made the following players inactive for Monday night: quarterback Matt Barkley, offensive tackle Kevin Graf, defensive end Taylor Hart, wide receiver Josh Huff, linebacker Marcus Smith II, offensive lineman Matt Tobin and defensive back Jaylen Watkins.

Smith, the Eagles’ first-round pick in May, is a healthy scratch. He was active in Week One but did not play.

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Raiders reach one-year deal with Vincent Brown

Vincent Brown AP

The Raiders are adding to their pass catching corps.

The club has reached a one-year contract with ex-Chargers wide receiver Vincent Brown, the San Diego Union-Tribune and ESPN reported Monday afternoon.

The deal has yet to be announced, but the club has put a nameplate above a locker for Brown, according to CSN Bay Area.

A fourth-year pro from San Diego State, Brown (5-11, 190) has hauled in 60 passes for 801 yards and three touchdowns in his NFL career, all with San Diego, which drafted him in the third round in 2011.

Brown missed the 2014 preseason with a calf injury and was released with an injury settlement in September. His deal with the Raiders comes after wideout Rod Streater suffered a hip injury in Oakland’s 30-14 loss vs. Houston on Sunday.

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Dennis Allen’s job security already in question in Oakland

dennisallen AP

Raiders coach Dennis Allen was already on the hot seat before the season started. That’s what happens when you go 4-12 in each of your first two seasons.

But after an 0-2 start succinctly summed up by Charles Woodson saying, “We suck,” the question is less whether this will be Allen’s last season in Oakland and more whether Allen will even make it to the end of the season.

Raiders owner Mark Davis is already privately expressing his displeasure, according to CSNBayArea.com, to the point where Allen’s tenure as Raiders coach may come to an end this season. According to the report, the Raiders already have a plan to promote offensive line coach Tony Sparano to head coach if Allen gets fired during the season. Sparano spent four seasons as head coach of the Dolphins and is a more experienced coach than Allen.

Allen knows his team needs to get better.

“We need change,” Allen said after Sunday’s loss to Houston. “We need to do better, because we’re a better football team than what we put out on the field today.”

Allen is running out of time to show he’s a better football coach than what his team has put on the field in his first two-plus seasons.

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Bears place Charles Tillman on injured reserve

Charles Tillman AP

Charles Tillman’s season with Chicago has officially reached a close.

The Bears have placed the 12th-year cornerback on injured reserve with a right triceps injury, the team announced Monday. A similar injury ended his 2013 season.

Tillman, 33, is an unrestricted free agent at season’s end. He indicated Monday he will work to return from his latest injury, which was suffered in the third quarter of Sunday’s win at San Francisco.

“I know this feeling way too well, but this isn’t the end of the road for me,” Tillman said, according to ChicagoBears.com. “As I rehab my injury, my role will transition to helping coach and support my teammates. I will be at Halas Hall and do everything I can to help our team reach its goals.”

Tillman has played his entire career with Chicago. He was named 2013 Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year, which recognizes excellence in on-field and community work.

First-round pick Kyle Fuller stepped in for Tillman on Sunday night and starred, intercepting a pair of passes. But losing Tillman’s experience and playmaking ability is certainly a blow to the Bears’ defense. A starter for Chicago since his rookie season of 2003, Tillman has forced 42 fumbles and intercepted 36 passes in regular season play.

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Tom Coughlin: I’m a believer in this team

Arizona Cardinals v New York Giants Getty Images

The Giants piled up another set of mistakes on Sunday during their 25-14 loss to the Cardinals, dropping their record to 0-2 and providing unhappy memories of their start to last season.

Even after opening 0-6, coach Tom Coughlin never stopped selling that 2013 squad as a playoff contender until mathematics made such claims impossible. So it doesn’t come as much of a surprise that Coughlin says he’s “a believer” in this year’s squad and invited his team and the team’s fans to join him as believers with 14 games left to play this season.

“I don’t see this as being a reason for them not to be. Our task and our goal is to toughen up. Let’s go. Come on. Stop beating ourselves. This is professional football,” Coughlin said, via NJ.com. Make the plays necessary to win and do it on a consistent basis. Eliminate these bizarre events which take the heart right out of you. I hope they’ll respond to the fact that I’m counting on them to accept the challenge, to not feel sorry for ourselves and to realize the work that has to be done for us to win. I hope the fans will join in in that exact feeling.”

Coughlin’s passion never fades, but the Giants have faded on the field too often over the last two years to think that they can just flip a switch and start winning again. As Coughlin said, there’s “work that has to be done” and it will have to be done quickly and consistently for the Giants to avoid starting their season in another deep hole.

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Lovie Smith says Doug Martin would have practiced if Bucs practiced

Doug Martin AP

The Buccaneers have a short week this week thanks to their Thursday game against the Falcons and that means they have to produce a simulated practice report for Monday even though they didn’t practice.

Coach Lovie Smith said, via Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times, there were three players that wouldn’t have participated in practice and none of them was running back Doug Martin, who missed Sunday’s loss to the Rams with a knee injury. That would suggest he has a chance to get back on the field for this week’s game.

Running the ball wasn’t much of a problem against St. Louis as Bobby Rainey picked up 144 yards on 22 carries. That may work in Martin’s favor when it comes to the decision about dressing him on Thursday since the Bucs wouldn’t need him to be the bell cow in their running game.

Defensive end Michael Johnson was also on the list of Bucs who would have practiced. Johnson missed Sunday’s game with an ankle injury.

Defensive tackle Gerald McCoy (broken hand), linebacker Mason Foster (shoulder) and tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins (ankle) were the three players who would have been on the sideline at a Monday practice.

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Report: Tavon Austin could miss two weeks with MCL sprain

Tavon Austin AP

The Rams could be without Tavon Austin for the rest of September.

The good news? It’s possible he may miss just one game.

Ian Rapoport of NFL Media reports Austin, the Rams’ 2013 first-round pick, is expected to miss “roughly two weeks” with a sprained MCL suffered in Sunday’s win at Tampa Bay.

The Rams have their bye in Week Four (Sept. 28). In short, if Austin misses just two weeks, the Rams might be without him for just one game. So while this is unwelcome news, the timing couldn’t be much better for St. Louis.

Austin (three catches, 34 yards; five rushes, 26 yards in 2014) is one of the Rams’ primary wide receivers and their top punt returner. Austin Pettis, who made a key 27-yard catch late in the Rams’ 19-17 victory against the Bucs, is listed as the top backup to Tavon Austin both at receiver and on punts.

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