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PFT’s Week Two picks

Buffalo Bills v New York Jets Getty Images

Last week, MDS and yours truly disagreed on only one pick.  I trusted the J-E-T-S, and he didn’t.

So I finished 11-5, and he’s already in second place with a 10-6 mark.

This week, we’ve doubled our disagreements.  Which means that there’s a good chance I’ll be in second place by next week at this time.

Tune in to PFT Live this Thursday and every Thursday for MDS and yours truly talking about three or four of Sunday’s games.  And, yes, there may be gloating.

Bears at Packers

MDS’s take: This is about as close as a Week Two game can get to being a must-win for the Packers. Lose here and they’re two games behind the Bears, plus the Bears have the tiebreaker edge, plus they’re 0-2 at Lambeau Field, plus they’re behind the Lions and Vikings in the NFC North as well. Jay Cutler will have a good game against the Packers’ suspect pass defense, but Aaron Rodgers will have an even better game, and the Packers will win with their backs to the wall.

MDS’s pick: Packers 34, Bears 31.

Florio’s take:  The Packers have beaten the Bears in five of their last six games.  And other than the 2010 NFC title game, none has been bigger than Thursday night’s contest at Lambeau Field.  If the Packers lose, the team that was 15-1 in 2011 will fall to 0-2 in 2012, with 25 percent of the home schedule completed.  Look for the Packers’ defense to find something close to their groove — finally — and for Green Bay to get things moving in the right direction with a strong offensive output.

Florio’s pick:  Packers 28, Bears 24.

Chiefs at Bills

MDS’s take: Picking the Bills burned me in Week One, costing me the head-to-head battle with Florio in last week’s picks. Will I learn from that mistake and avoid the Bills this time? Nope. I think the Bills are a better team than they showed against the Jets and should win a close one at home.

MDS’s pick: Bills 14, Chiefs 10.

Florio’s take:  Last year, the Bills went to Arrowhead in Week One and spanked the Chiefs.  This year, the Chiefs return the favor in Week Two.  (And as long as MDS keeps picking the Bills, I’ll keep building an edge in the season-long contest.)

Florio’s pick:  Chiefs 34, Bills 21.

Saints at Panthers

MDS’s take: Can Cam Newton do to the Saints’ defense what Robert Griffin III did? Or is the Panthers’ offense going to lay an egg for the second week in a row? In a game that will leave the loser in a big hole in the NFC South, I’m picking the Panthers in a home upset.

MDS’s pick: Panthers 27, Saints 24.

Florio’s take:  The loser of this game will fall to 0-2.  For the Panthers, that would be a problem.  For the Saints, it would be grounds for panic.  Caught napping last Sunday against the Redskins, the Saints wake up in a big way.

Florio’s pick:  Saints 42, Panthers 24.

Browns at Bengals

MDS’s take: Both of these teams looked bad in Week One, but the Browns seem to be on a different level of bad, because Brandon Weeden just doesn’t look like he’s ready to be a starting quarterback in the NFL. Joe Flacco showed on Monday night that a good quarterback can beat the Bengals deep, but Weeden is not a good quarterback.

MDS’s pick: Bengals 24, Browns 10.

Florio’s take:  The Bengals lose the games they’re supposed to lose, and they win the games they’re supposed to win.  That trend held on Monday night, and it’ll hold on Sunday.

Florio’s pick:  Bengals 28, Browns 16.

Vikings at Colts

MDS’s take: Andrew Luck had four turnovers in his debut against the Bears, but what would really concern me about that game if I were a Colts fan is that the Colts’ defense didn’t look any better than it did last year. Christian Ponder will have his second consecutive big game and the Vikings will start a surprising 2-0.

MDS’s pick: Vikings 27, Colts 20.

Florio’s take:  Andrew Luck will always be compared to Peyton Manning.  And Peyton Manning lost the first home game of his career.  So if Luck can pull this one off, he’ll already be ahead of the curve.  Though the Vikings aren’t nearly as good as they were the year that Peyton Manning entered the league, they’re good enough to spoil Luck’s debut at Lucas Oil Stadium.

Florio’s pick:  Vikings 24, Colts 20.

Texans at Jaguars

MDS’s take: Jaguars quarterback Blaine Gabbert looks like he’s taken a big step forward since last season, and Jacksonville should put some points on the board. But the Jaguars won’t be able to keep pace with the loaded Texans offense, and this game could get ugly.

MDS’s pick: Texans 35, Jaguars 14.

Florio’s take:  Jaguars owner Shahid Khan wants to remove the tarps at EverBank Field.  His players may want to hide under them when the Texans come to town.

Florio’s pick:  Texans 35, Jaguars 17.

Raiders at Dolphins

MDS’s take: Both of these offenses looked like they leave a lot to be desired in their Week One losses, but I have a lot more faith in Carson Palmer turning things around than I have in Ryan Tannehill turning things around. The Dolphins, who started last season 0-7, will take another step toward another dismal start.

MDS’s pick: Raiders 24, Dolphins 6.

Florio’s take:  The Raiders may need sunglasses to dull the glare of all those empty orange seats.  And it will only get more empty in the second half.

Florio’s pick:  Raiders 24, Dolphins 17.

Cardinals at Patriots

MDS’s take: The Cardinals somehow seem to keep playing in close, competitive, exciting games: Last year 13 of their 16 games were decided by a touchdown or less, and they went down to the wire against the Seahawks in Week One as well. So will they be in a close game again? No. The Patriots win this one easily.

MDS’s pick: Patriots 34, Cardinals 14.

Florio’s take:  The two hottest teams over the last 10 regular-season games get together in Foxboro, but there’s still a huge gap between the 9-1 Patriots and 8-2 Cardinals.  Actually, there’s a pretty big gap right now between the 9-1 Patriots and 31 other teams.

Florio’s pick:  Patriots 31, Cardinals 13.

Buccaneers at Giants

MDS’s take: Greg Schiano had his team playing exactly the kind of tough, physical football he promised they would play in Week One against the Panthers, while the defending champion Giants looked surprisingly out of sorts in their Week One loss to the Cowboys. But the Giants are still the Giants and the Buccaneers are still the Buccaneers, and Week One will look like an anomaly when this game is over.

MDS’s pick: Giants 27, Buccaneers 10.

Florio’s take:  This is the kind of game that Giants could have lost, if they’d beaten the Cowboys in Week One.  But since the Giants lost to the Cowboys in Week One, they’ll be guarding against another letdown — and quarterback Eli Manning will do what he has to do to propel the team in an early must-win situation.

Florio’s pick:  Giants 27, Buccaneers 17.

Ravens at Eagles

MDS’s take: The Eagles won ugly in Week One, while the Ravens won big. Much like they did last year, the Eagles look like a team that’s less than the sum of its parts, and I like the Ravens to go to Philadelphia and win.

MDS’s pick: Ravens 24, Eagles 17.

Florio’s take:  A week after barely beating the toothless new Browns, the Eagles get a taste of the old Browns.  By the time it’s over, Mike Vick may need Jeffrey Lurie to push the wheelchair.

Florio’s pick:  Ravens 30, Eagles 21.

Redskins at Rams

MDS’s take: I liked the way the Rams’ defense looked in the first game of the Jeff Fisher era: Yes, they gave up 355 passing yards to Matthew Stafford in a loss to the Lions, but they also mixed up their coverages and picked Stafford off three times. The Rams will do a better job of containing Robert Griffin III than the Saints did, but the problem for St. Louis is that the offensive line is a mess, and they’re not going to be able to put many points on the board.

MDS’s pick: Redskins 20, Rams 13.

Florio’s take:  If the Rams had known how RG3 would make his NFL debut, the price for the pick that was sent to the Redskins would have been a lot higher than three ones and a two.  And the Rams may regret sooner rather than later the decision to not simply pick Griffin themselves.

Florio’s pick:  Redskins 28, Rams 20.

Cowboys at Seahawks

MDS’s take: Russell Wilson struggled against the Cardinals’ defense, and he’s going to struggle again against an athletic Cowboys defense that can limit Wilson’s mobility. The fans in Seattle may be calling for Matt Flynn soon.

MDS’s pick: Cowboys 21, Seahawks 6.

Florio’s takeTony Romo returns to Seattle for the first time since he fumbled the snap on a field goal that would have secured a win in his first career playoff game.  This time around, the defense will be the difference, especially since the Seahawks’ receivers are banged up.

Florio’s pick:  Cowboys 24, Seahawks 13.

Jets at Steelers

MDS’s take: No one saw the Jets’ offensive explosion coming last week, so maybe I’m underestimating them here, but I just don’t like Mark Sanchez’s chances of moving the ball effectively against the Steelers’ defense.

MDS’s pick: Steelers 17, Jets 10.

Florio’s take:  The Steelers saw some Tebowing late in Sunday’s loss to the Broncos.  The Steelers will be hoping to see none of it on Sunday.

Florio’s pick:  Steelers 20, Jets 10.

Titans at Chargers

MDS’s take: Chargers linebacker Shaun Phillips had an excellent game against the Raiders, and he’s going to make Titans quarterback Jake Locker’s life very difficult on Sunday. The Chargers will be off to their first 2-0 start since 2006.

MDS’s pick: Chargers 24, Titans 17.

Florio’s take:  The Chargers begin what could be one of their final seasons in San Diego  in style.  Except for all the empty seats at the stadium.

Florio’s pick:  Chargers 21, Titans 17.

Lions at 49ers

MDS’s take: The Lions survived with an unimpressive win over the Rams at home, while the 49ers had an extremely impressive win over the Packers on the road. San Francisco may just have the best team in the NFL.

MDS’s pick: 49ers 27, Lions 17.

Florio’s take:  The 49ers have gotten better since the last time these two teams met in Detroit.  The Lions haven’t.

Florio’s pick:  49ers 31, Lions 17.

Broncos at Falcons

MDS’s take: The loss of starting cornerback Brent Grimes is a huge blow to the Falcons, and Peyton Manning is the worst quarterback to face for a team trying to adjust to an injury in the secondary: Manning will find places to pick apart the Falcons’ secondary and get a big road win against a good team.

MDS’s pick: Broncos 31, Falcons 28.

Florio’s take:  Last year, Denver’s defense kept games close long enough for the quarterback to do something heroic.  This week, they’ll do the same thing — without having to give up so few points.

Florio’s pick:  Broncos 38, Falcons 35.

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Lions add Jerel Worthy off waivers

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Defensive lineman Jerel Worthy has bounced from the Packers to the Patriots and Chiefs over the last two years as he’s tried to find a home in the NFL and now he’ll look for an extended stay in the same state where he played his college ball.

Worthy has been claimed off of waivers by the Lions a day after the Chiefs parted ways with him. Worthy played at Michigan State in college and became a second-round pick of the Packers in 2012 after making the All-America team in his final year in Lansing.

Worthy saw action with Green Bay as a rookie, but tore his ACL at the end of the year and played in only two games during his second NFL season. The Packers traded him to the Patriots and he wound up on the Chiefs practice squad last year after failing to make the Pats out of camp.

According to Tim Twentyman of the Lions website, Worthy will compete for snaps at tackle, where Haloti Ngata, Tyrunn Walker, Caraun Reid and 2015 fourth-round pick Gabe Wright are already in the mix for playing time.

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Chris Houston retiring after short stay with Panthers

Marvin Jones, Chris Houston AP

The Panthers signed cornerback Chris Houston in June in hopes that he was recovered from the toe injury that kept him out of the league last season and could help their secondary, but that hope will go unfulfilled.

Houston has been able to practice with the team, but sat out Sunday after hurting his toe on Saturday. Houston returned to the field Monday, but it appears he’s lost the desire to continue pursuing professional football as a career. Houston announced that he’s retiring from the NFL on Tuesday.

Houston spent seven years with the Falcons and Lions and was a starter for most of his time with both teams. He ends his career with 376 tackles, 13 interceptions, three touchdowns and four forced fumbles.

His departure leaves the Panthers with the same collection of cornerbacks they had before taking a flier on Houston — Charles Tillman, Josh Norman, Bene’ Benwikere and Melvin White are the experienced names — and makes two retirements from the Panthers roster in as many weeks. Tackle Jonathan Martin also walked away from the game rather than try to resume his career after recovering from a back injury.

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Judge Berman orders NFL-NFLPA to not file documents under seal

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Full transparency is coming to the Tom Brady appeal process.

Judge Richard M. Berman, who strongly hinted on Friday that he won’t be inclined to allow the NFL and NFLPA to keep the transcript of the 10-hour Tom Brady appeal hearing secret, has ordered the parties to not submit materials under seal, according to a source with knowledge of the situation.

It means that the transcript of the Brady appeal hearing will soon be made public.

The NFLPA previously attached the transcript as an exhibit to the filing made under seal in federal court in Minnesota. With that case transferred back to New York, the union soon will be re-filing its initial submission, with the transcript as an exhibit.

And the transcript at that point will be a matter of public record. Which means that it’ll be time to brew some coffee and put on the cheaters, because anyone paid to comment on this case will be compelled to read every word of every page of the transcript.

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Chip Kelly: Handling of Cooper “could be” connected to current issue

Eagles Cooper Football AP

As he continues to defend himself against claims of racism, Eagles coach Chip Kelly acknowledged the reason may be because of the way he handled a guy who actually committed some.

According to Phil Sheridan of, Kelly was asked Tuesday if he saw a connection between his treatment of wide receiver Riley Cooper after his videotaped racial slur and remarks by former players including Brandon Boykin and LeSean McCoy.

There could be,” Kelly said. “I literally don’t spend time trying to connect Y to X to Z. We have other things to do.”

Of course, the other “grown men of our culture” might feel differently about it than Kelly, especially after Cooper was rewarded with a $22.5 million contract extension after the 2013 season.

“I think that Riley made a mistake,” Kelly said. “That’s part of it. We all backed him. Michael [Vick] backed him. Jason Avant backed him. I think that’s part of being in an organization and on a team. I look at that as a specific incident where he was 100-percent wrong. Those are things that should never be said.

“I hope he learned his lesson. I think he regrets what he did that day, every single day. I see that in him. Do I regret what I did in terms of how we handled Riley? No, I don’t.”

Kelly also defended himself against Boykin’s clarification that he thought Kelly struggled to communicate, rather than implying a more sinister motive.

“We have an open-door policy,” Kelly said. “I had a long talk with Brandon last spring when he came in and sat down and talked to me. You can come talk to me whenever you want to come talk to me. We also have a pretty structured day where guys are in meetings. I don’t just walk around and say, ‘Hey, let me go grab him and sit down and have a coffee together.’ When they get here, they’re doing stuff.

“In the offseason, we’re limited with our time. You get guys for four hours, there’s not a time when we’re all sitting around, holding hands, singing ‘Kumbaya’ together. We’re in meeting rooms, getting stuff done. They’re in the training room, getting stuff done. They’re on the training field, getting stuff done. I don’t think it’s any different from any other head coaches in terms of where you are.”

Of course, other coaches are more personable, or at least not so painfully uncomfortable in the public eye than Kelly, so interpersonal communication might not be so much of a struggle.

But to ignore the connection between sheltering/paying Cooper and the scorn of those who didn’t continue to receive checks from the Eagles seems naive. While many were able to forgive Cooper and move on, others were never going to be able to, and from that standpoint, what Kelly is dealing with now may have been inevitable.

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Terrelle Pryor tweaks hamstring, throws passes in Browns practice

Terrelle Pryor AP

The Browns want Terrelle Pryor “1000 percent” focused on playing wide receiver, but it doesn’t look like they’ll mind opposing defenses worrying about the possibility that he’ll be throwing passes this season.

Pryor threw a couple of passes during Tuesday’s practice, one of which came off an end-around during 11-on-11 drills. Mary Kay Cabot of described the toss as a “wobbling duck down the right sideline” which Travis Benjamin was able to catch after cornerback Pierre Desir. Pryor poked some fun at himself after practice.

“They said it was wobbly and ugly,” Pryor said. “They said I lost my QB skills. I told them I never had them.”

Coach Mike Pettine suggested that this won’t be the last time the team tries a bit of trickery with Pryor on offense this season.

“Special plays are going to be part of our plan each week,” Pettine said, via “You want to have those up, the sooner the better. I’m just a firm believer of always having that option. If it’s there, you have a couple practiced and ready to go. If you get into a game where there’s a lull on both sides offensively, you need something to break it open. Having a guy like Terrelle certainly gives us that ability.”

Any use of Pryor will be contingent on him being healthy enough to be on the field, something that wasn’t the case for all of Tuesday’s session. Pryor tweaked his hamstring, which he iced while watching practice. Pettine said that he didn’t believe it was serious, but that Pryor would undergo further evaluation.

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Darren Woodson to enter Cowboys Ring of Honor

Philadelphia Eagles vs Dallas Cowboys Getty Images

Safety Darren Woodson stayed with the Cowboys long enough to play for five different head coaches and he played well enough for those coaches to earn a spot among the best players to wear the star on their helmets.

The Cowboys announced Tuesday that Woodson will enter the team’s Ring of Honor during the team’s November 1 game against the Seahawks. He’s the 21st inductee and the first since Drew Pearson, Larry Allen and Charles Haley were enshrined in 2011.

Woodson spent his entire 13-year career in Dallas and was selected to five Pro Bowls and three All-Pro teams during a tenure that also saw him earn three Super Bowl rings. He’s the franchise’s all-time leader in tackles and intercepted 23 passes during his career.

“He’s the ultimate warrior. There’s no more like him,” former teammate Nate Newton said, via the team’s website. “He never left the field. He played all the special teams. He only left the field with the offense. He made everyone better. He was the back end to our defense.”

Woodson was a semi-finalist in the voting for the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s 2015 class and remains eligible for consideration for that body in 2016.

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Rodney Harrison becomes a full-time member of PFT on NBCSN next week

Rodney Getty Images

The break is over. And we’re coming back with a bang.

After three years of a format that included a lot of different people (all of whom did a great job — except for perhaps one former offensive lineman with an affinity for candy), Pro Football Talk on NBCSN returns for the 2015 season with a new format. And a new, permanent, daily member of the show.

Two-time Super Bowl champion safety Rodney Harrison joins the program every weekday. He’ll contribute on most days from his home in Atlanta. I’ll contribute on most days from my home in West Virginia. And Paul Burmeister will be caught in the crossfire from the NBC Sports Group studios in Connecticut.

If you’ve seen over the years some of the segments Rodney and I have done as web-only features during Sunday Night Football, you already know that we have very good chemistry. The relationship works primarily because Rodney’s not afraid to say what’s on his mind, and because I’m afraid of Rodney.

In this format, I won’t be as afraid. Because he won’t be able to kick me under the desk or punch me above it. (At least not at that moment. But I still have to see him on Sundays.)

Rodney seems to be looking forward to the new arrangement.

“Finally adding a football expert to the show,” Harrison told me via text this afternoon. “I got tired of listening to a fraud. Who listens to a guy who never had jock itch or made a tackle?”

(In my defense, I’ve had jock itch.)

“The only thing you ever hit hard was a mosquito,” Harrison added.

Can someone with NBC remind me why I thought this would be a good idea?

It definitely will be a good idea for you to join Rodney, Paul, and me when Pro Football Talk returns to NBCSN next Monday, at 6:30 p.m. ET. The next day, we settle in to our normal time of 6:00 p.m. ET.

In early September, we’ll do a show or two live from Gillette Stadium. Side by side. Where Rodney played for the Patriots. Right on the very edge of the field where Rodney used to apply hard hits to organisms far larger than mosquitoes.

What could go wrong?

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Report: Arian Foster will need surgery, but could return this season

Houston Texans v Dallas Cowboys Getty Images

It appears the Texans will be without their most important offensive player when the season begins.

According to John McClain of the Houston Chronicle, the groin injury suffered by running back Arian Fosterwill require surgery” but that he should be able to return during the course of the season.

That could mean the injured reserve/designated for return list could be in play, though there are no details yet as to the extent of the damage.

As to the damage for the Texans’ offense, it’s hard to overstate that.

Foster was the guy the whole operation was built around, as they’re trying to decide between Brian Hoyer and Ryan Mallett at quarterback.

They’re also replacing veteran wide receiver Andre Johnson, letting him go this offseason and hoping DeAndre Hopkins is able to take on a bigger role.

As for the backfield, they have a group including Alfred Blue and Chris Polk behind Foster, so they could soon be in the market for a veteran back.

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Melvin Gordon’s mom won’t wear his jersey until he shows “a little something”

Melvin Gordon

The Chargers have high hopes for running back Melvin Gordon after taking him in the first round of the NFL draft and there will likely be some Chargers fans wearing his jersey during games this season, but one interested party is going to be waiting a while before throwing on No. 28.

That party is Gordon’s mother Carmen, who is described as thinking “she’s a coach” by her son. Like many coaches, Carmen Gordon isn’t going to put the cart before the horse when it comes to a player who still needs to prove himself at the professional level.

“You’ve got to show me a little something, but it won’t be this year,” Carmen Gordon said, via “So you might see me in the stands, but I won’t have the jersey on. I did the same thing in college because I just want to hear what people are saying.”

Gordon’s arrival in San Diego will also force her mother to root against Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning, who she says she likes because “he was a bad boy back in the day.” If her son shows more than a little something as a rookie, it would help the Chargers in their quest to succeed the Broncos as AFC West champs and perhaps convince Mom to start wearing his jersey.

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T.Y. Hilton’s agent on hand at Colts camp to talk about a deal

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The Cowboys and Broncos had to be backed against a wall and a deadline before reaching deals to keep their young wide receivers.

The Colts may be a little more proactive.

According to Stephen Holder of the Indianapolis Star, agent Drew Rosenhaus is at Colts camp to work on a new deal for wideout T.Y. Hilton.

While he also noted that “nothing is imminent,” the fact they’re talking could be meaningful.

The Colts have effectively said they’re not going to address quarterback Andrew Luck’s deal until after the coming year. They’ve already picked up the fifth-year option on his rookie deal to carry him through 2016, which may be why they’ve taken such a casual approach to what is going to be a huge deal whenever it is signed.

Hilton has already noted the four-year, $70 million deals signed by Dez Bryant and Demaryius Thomas as setting the bar. He’s currently working out the final year of his rookie deal, which will pay him $1.542 million this year.

Of course, the Colts drafted Phillip Dorsett in the first round this year, so it will be interesting to see if Rosenhaus’s visit creates any momentum toward a deal.

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NFL apparently having trouble finding temporary venues in L.A.

2012 MLS Cup - Houston Dynamo v Los Angeles Galaxy Getty Images

The NFL has asked venues in Los Angeles to let them know by tomorrow if they’re interested in being temporary hosts of a professional football team.

And mostly, what they’re hearing is “No, thanks.”

According to Nathan Fenno and Sam Farmer of the Los Angeles Times, there isn’t a land rush to offer the Chargers, and/or Raiders and/or Rams a place to play before a new stadium can be built in Carson and/or Inglewood.

The Coliseum is the only venue to publicly admit interest.

The 27,000-seat StubHub Center, home of the MLS L.A. Galaxy, is the latest venue to pull out of the running, joining the Rose Bowl as expressing no interest.

We’ve really just begun,” NFL L.A. point man Eric Grubman said. “Aug. 5 was a date that helped us know what venues might be available in a traditional sense and I think that has sorted itself out. . . . Other, more complex opportunities could very well present themselves as the picture becomes clearer.”

That seems to point to the baseball stadiums of the Angels and Dodgers, and those facilities aren’t expected to submit proposals on the NFL’s timeline, on account of the whole maybe hosting playoff games of their own thing.

But Grubman remains confident, saying: “In any event, I think this works itself out by the end of this year.”

Of course, the NFL has been expressing that kind of optimism throughout. Whether the buildings of Los Angeles have any more interest than the citizenry remains to be seen.

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Richie Incognito: No hard feelings toward anyone from Dolphins

Richie Incognito AP

Richie Incognito has been installed as the starting left guard in Buffalo, which puts him in position to face former teammates with the Dolphins twice this season.

During an appearance on the Zaslow and Joy Show on 104.3 The Ticket in Miami, Incognito admitted that he’s circled those games in red on his calendar but says it’s not because of any hard feelings about the team suspending him in the wake of bullying allegations during the 2013 season.

“Not one bit. I don’t have one hard feeling about anybody I ever played with in Miami,” Incognito said. “I still got a lot of love for those guys, a lot of respect for those guys, still got a lot of close friends on that team. What went down went down and it was a crazy time and things were said, but I really don’t have any hard feelings toward anybody.”

If there’s another reason to pay special attention to the meetings with the Dolphins, it could be the arrival of defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh in South Florida. Incognito said that the Bills are going to have their hands full dealing with Suh, Cameron Wake and the rest of the Dolphins defensive line as they try to keep pace in the AFC East this season.

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Report: Arian Foster dealing with groin injury, may need surgery

Arian Foster AP

Texans running back Arian Foster spent most of Monday night’s practice on the sideline, but coach Bill O’Brien said after the workout that it was just a rest day for the veteran back.

“We’ve got to monitor Arian, like I told you guys that in the offseason and I think that’s what that’s all about today,” O’Brien said.

A pair of ESPN reports that there was more to the decision than that. Adam Schefter reports that Foster came up limping after a pass play that was his final action of the evening and Tania Ganguli reports that he suffered a groin injury on the play.

There’s no word on the severity of the injury and there’s certainly no reason to push Foster through a muscular injury that could get worse at this point in camp, but it does offer a reminder that Foster has missed 11 games over the last two seasons with injuries. Even if this isn’t a serious issue, it’s a good bet that the Texans do what they can to rest Foster and raise the chances that he will be on the field to help take pressure off their quarterback come the regular season.

UPDATE 1:50 p.m. ET: Jayson Braddock of ESPN 97.5 in Houston reports that Foster may need surgery, something that Ganguli and John McClain of the Houston Chronicle are reporting as well. Braddock adds that Foster may be a candidate for injured reserve/return, which would keep him out of the lineup for at least eight games.

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Chip Kelly: DeMarco Murray was held out of practice because of hydration issue

DeMarco Murray AP

Eagles running back DeMarco Murray didn’t take part in team drills on their first day of training camp and told reporters he didn’t know why the team decided to hold him out.

Murray said he didn’t ask coach Chip Kelly for an explanation because he just does what he’s told, but Kelly did get a question about Murray’s absence from the field when he met the media on Tuesday. The coach who doesn’t like answering questions about himself had no problem sharing that dehydration was the rationale behind the team’s decision.

Kelly said the team checks players’ hydration levels and they didn’t want to put Murray on the field because they felt there was an increased chance of further problems.

“It was a training staff decision,” Kelly said, via “Especially, with the way the weather has been, we didn’t want to take any chances. It’s not just for [Murray], we treat every player on a daily basis.”

Murray is back to work and says he feels fine, so all should move forward without incident as long as Murray continues to check out on the sports science side of things.

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Jaguars don’t expect Justin Blackmon to play again

Jaguars Broncos Football AP

Three years ago the Jaguars used the fifth overall pick in the NFL draft on receiver Justin Blackmon. Now the Jaguars think Blackmon’s career is over.

Jaguars General Manager David Caldwell said today that Blackmon, who has been suspended by the NFL for the last 21 months because of repeated failed drug tests, appears to have decided that he’s not willing to put in the work to get himself back on the field.

“I have not heard anything and I guess I harbor a little bit of hope but realistically I think when you’re away from the game for two-and-a-half years what you were once is not what you probably will be,” Caldwell said. “Your skills do erode and especially if you’re not staying in tip-top shape and you’re not in football shape. I don’t know to expect but I would say common sense would probably be if you haven’t played football in two-and-a-half years apparently that’s not a priority for you.”

That’s a shame. Blackmon has great, great talent. He was a two-time winner of the Biletnikoff Award for the best wide receiver in college football, and he was the first wide receiver ever to win the Big 12 Offensive Player of the Year Award. He could have been something special in the NFL.

Instead, Blackmon will be a cautionary tale of a player whose great talent wasn’t enough to overcome his off-field problems.

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