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Jake Delhomme understands the pressure on Cam Newton

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There are no real one-to-one correlations to Cam Newton’s place in Charlotte right now.

Prior to the Panthers drafting him first overall last year, the city’s biggest sports personality was a basketball player with a national shoe deal which required him to wear a dress for commercials (Larry Johnson as Grandmama).

But perhaps the guy who can most closely identify with him is former Panthers quarterback Jake Delhomme, who came out of nowhere to lead the team to a Super Bowl in his first year as a starter. And having been to the highest highs, and had the city turn on him after a disastrous game in the 2008 playoffs, Delhomme knows about pressure.

They’ve sort of hung the moon on Cam in Charlotte,” Delhomme said, via Steve Reed of the Associated Press. “The expectations on him to lead this franchise are incredible. We have to remember he’s 23 years old. He’s still a kid.”

Truth be told, Newton’s numbers aren’t that different after five games this year as last. But the Panthers are 1-4, he’s coming off his worst game as a pro, and a bye week is keeping him from changing the narrative in a town that’s down.

Delhomme said Newton has to keep it from being all about himself, having gone through a similar downturn in 2004. The Panthers followed their Super Bowl berth with a 1-7 start which included losing Steve Smith to a broken ankle in the opener, and Delhomme felt the pressure.

“I’m thinking, man what am I doing wrong?” Delhomme said. “You find yourself preparing as hard you can, watching as much film as you can and then you’re like, ‘Why isn’t coming through during the game?’ It just eats you up. It tears you apart. But finally I realized I was trying to do too much. You have to trust what you do and not try to do too much.

“There’s a fine line there.”

The burden on Newton might not be fair, but it is real. How his team responds will depend largely on how he plays, and the careers of players and coaches and staff hang in the balance.

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Source: Peyton Manning staying retired

KNOXVILLE, TN - JULY 14: Former NFL and University of Tennessee quarterback Peyton Manning speaks during a ceremony to celebrate the life of former Tennessee women's basketball coach Pat Summitt, on July 14, 2016 at the Thompson-Boling Arena in Knoxville, Tennessee.. Summitt died June 28 at the age of 64, five years after being diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease. (Photo by Mark Humphrey - Pool/Getty Images) Getty Images

Peyton Manning is going to stay on the speaking circuit.

A source with knowledge of Manning’s plans told PFT that Manning will not consider returning to the NFL and therefore is not an option for the Vikings as they go about addressing their quarterback situation following the injury suffered Tuesday by Teddy Bridgewater.

Bridgewater suffered a dislocated knee and complete tear of his ACL during Tuesday’s practice.

Veteran Shaun Hill takes over as the team’s starting quarterback. For now, undrafted rookie Joel Stave is the only other healthy quarterback on the Vikings’ roster, though that could change as soon as Wednesday and will almost certainly change by the weekend when teams across the league finalize their initial regular season rosters.

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Bridgewater has torn ACL and dislocated knee, but no nerve damage

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As expected, Vikings quarterback Teddy Bridgewater has suffered a significant knee injury that will end his 2016 season before it began. But there’s some reason for optimism.

The Vikings released a statement this evening saying that Bridgewater does not appear to have any damage to nerves or arteries and should be able to make a full recovery.

“Teddy Bridgewater suffered a non-contact injury today at practice,” Vikings head trainer Eric Sugarman said in a statement. “The injury was quickly identified as a dislocated knee. The injury was stabilized, and he was transported to a nearby hospital for treatment and evaluation. After undergoing an MRI, it was determined that Teddy suffered a complete tear to his ACL and other structural damage. Fortunately, there appears to be no nerve or arterial damage. Surgical repair will be scheduled within the next few days. Although the recovery time will be significant, we expect Teddy to make a full recovery. I would like to thank all of the medical professionals and our athletic training staff for all of their help today. Teddy has already displayed the attitude needed to overcome this injury and attack his rehab.”

Although the statement didn’t specifically call Bridgewater’s season over, it’s impossible to imagine that he could play this year with a complete tear to his ACL, a dislocated knee and other structural damage. The lack of nerve damage, however, indicates that Bridgewater will play in 2017.

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First call described Bridgewater’s injury as a dislocated knee

Teddy Bridgewater

The initial call made Tuesday afternoon from the Vikings’ training facility requesting help from paramedics described Teddy Bridgewater’s injury as a dislocated knee, per multiple reports.

The Vikings still haven’t announced the extent of the injury. Vikings Coach Mike Zimmer told reporters later Tuesday afternoon that Bridgewater had been sedated and was at a local hospital undergoing an MRI, and that the team expected that Bridgewater would miss the entire 2016 season.

A further update on his status is expected later Tuesday night or Wednesday morning.

The Vikings ended practice when Bridgewater suffered what was described as a “gruesome” injury, and other players were visibly upset as the team’s medical staff tended to Bridgewater.

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Teammates disturbed by “gruesome” Bridgewater injury

FILE - In this Aug. 28, 2016, file photo, Minnesota Vikings quarterback Teddy Bridgewater throws a pass during the first half of an NFL preseason football game against the San Diego Chargers, in Minneapolis. Fittingly, the Green Bay Packers will be the opponent on Sept. 18 for their regular season opener at U.S. Bank Stadium in front of a crowd of 66,000 and a Sunday night national television audience.(AP Photo/Andy Clayton-King, File) AP

The Vikings’ medical staff hasn’t yet offered an official prognosis on the injury suffered by quarterback Teddy Bridgewater today, but from all accounts it was instantly obvious to everyone there that Bridgewater badly hurt his knee.

“Gruesome, according to some people there, is absolutely what it was. Players were disturbed, throwing up, not wanting to see, looking away as quickly as possible,” Ian Rapoport said on NFL Network, although Rapoport later said on Twitter that players were not actually throwing up.

After the practice, Vikings coach Mike Zimmer seemed to be fighting back tears as he talked about how Bridgewater had to be sedated after the injury. Zimmer also said he called Bridgewater’s mother, something coaches generally only do when there are serious concerns about a player’s health.

Although Zimmer said he doesn’t yet know the extent of Bridgewater’s injury, there’s little doubt that it’s very, very bad.

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Panthers make some moves, reach settlement with Scifres

Scifres Getty Images

The Panthers made a handful of roster moves Tuesday as they trimmed their roster to 75.

Wide receiver LaRon Byrd and defensive end Rakim Cox were placed on the team’s injured-reserve list, and cornerback Leonard Johnson was placed on the non-football injury list.

The team also reached injury settlements with safety Trenton Robinson and punter Mike Scifres, who had signed with the Panthers in May as part of their search for a new punter. Scifres was hurt last weekend and placed on injured reserve.

On Monday, the Panthers traded for veteran punter Andy Lee.

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Gary Kubiak declines to address Mark Sanchez’s status

Denver Broncos quarterback Mark Sanchez takes part in drills during the team's NFL football practice at the Broncos' headquarters on Monday, Aug. 29, 2016, in Englewood, Colo. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski) AP

With rosters cut to 75 and one preseason game left to be played, Broncos quarterback Mark Sanchez still has a job in Denver. Whether he will when the rosters move to 53 on Saturday remains to be seen.

“I’m not going to go into that,” coach Gary Kubiak said when asked about Sanchez’s status by reporters on Tuesday. “We have to put our team together by Friday, Saturday basically for us. You never know what’s going to happen. Like I’ve said, Mark has done a great job. We can count on him. He’s preparing. He’s been great as a person and a teammate. That’s all you can ask. We’ll see.”

Kubiak needs Sanchez to play in the preseason finale, since starter Trevor Siemian will be kept out of harm’s way. Kubiak said the goal is to give first-rounder Paxton Lynch 60 to 70 snaps before putting Sanchez in the game late.

The risk for the Broncos is obvious. If Sanchez suffers a serious injury, the Broncos will be on the hook for the full amount of his $4.5 million salary.

The Broncos have been shopping Sanchez. They reportedly spoke to the Cowboys, who balked at absorbing all of Sanchez’s salary. With Vikings quarterback Teddy Bridgewater likely out for the season, the Broncos possibly will be able to trade Sanchez to Minnesota.

For his part, Sanchez doesn’t want to leave.

“I want to be here,” Sanchez told reporters. “I love being here. I’ve gotten to know these guys and embrace this community. I’ve had a great time here. Who knows about anything on the outside? I’m focused on getting ready for Carolina. All of that stuff, whether it’s contract stuff — I’ve been hit up a lot with questions about contract or trades and there is a business side to this, but I’m just focused on playing. That’s why you hire an agent. They handle all of that stuff and they’ll let me know.”

Sanchez said he is using “Jedi mind tricks” to block out the noise about his status.

“I don’t need that affecting how I prepare and affecting any kind of decisions you make on the field and affect any way that you can help this team,” Sanchez said. “I don’t need to be thinking about, ‘Well man, should I be here? Should I work out hard? Should I try? I have to be here. I have to be in the moment and I have to be focused. I think that’s fair to the other players. If things don’t work out the way that you want, you can’t just act like a crybaby and cause a problem. That’s not right. I just don’t think that’s the professional way to do it, so I’ll help Trevor [Siemian] in any way that I can. It’s a good thing he’s a likable guy. It could be a lot worse, so it’s good.”

It’s not good overall for Sanchez, who carried the No. 1 job through the offseason and into training camp and the preseason. He may have to take less money to stay, and there’s a chance the Broncos will cut him in order to avoid owing the Eagles a seventh-round pick and re-sign him after Week One.

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Bucs put Sweezy, Murphy on reserve/PUP

CHICAGO, IL - NOVEMBER 23:  Receiver Louis Murphy #18 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (L) grabs safety Chris Conte #47 of the Chicago Bears by the task mask as he runs after a catch during the NFL game on November 23, 2014 at Soldier Field in Chicago, Illinois. The Bears defeated the Buccaneers 21-13. (Photo by Brian Kersey/Getty Images) Getty Images

As expected, the Buccaneers placed wide receiver Louis Murphy and offensive lineman J.R. Sweezy on the reserve/physically unable to perform list Tuesday.

Sweezy, who signed a five-year deal with the Bucs last March, is recovering from back surgery. Murphy is still recovering from a torn ACL that ended his season last October.

The earliest Sweezy and Murphy can return to game action is Week Six.

The Bucs also brought back linebacker Jeremiah George and safety Kimario McFadden two days after waiving them.

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Rodney Harrison apologizes for Colin Kaepernick comment

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Plenty of people have been saying plenty of things about 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick in recent days. Some of those things have been smart, and some of them haven’t been smart.

NBC’s Rodney Harrison has become one of the few who said something not smart about Kaepernick to admit it.

Harrison appeared on SportsTalk 790 in Houston on Tuesday. In addressing the Kaepernick situation, Harrison suggested that Kaepernick isn’t black.

“I tell you this, I’m a black man,” Harrison said, via Deadspin. “And Colin Kaepernick, he’s not black. He cannot understand what I face and what other young black men and black people face, or people of color face, on a every single [day] basis. When you walk in a grocery store . . . and you might have $2,000 or $3,000 in your pocket and you go up into a Foot Locker and they’re looking at you like you about to steal something. . . . I’m not saying that he has to be black. I said his heart is in the right place, but even with what he’s doing, he still doesn’t understand the injustices that we face as a black man or people of color, that’s what I’m saying.”

Harrison later addressed the situation on Twitter, with an apology to Kaepernick.

“I should not have called Colin Kaepernick’s race into question during this morning’s radio interview,” Harrison said. “It was a mistake and I apologize. . . . I never even knew he was mixed [race]. . . . I never intended to offend anyone, I was trying to speak about my experiences as a African-American.”

Kudos to Rodney for admitting his mistake and apologizing for it. It’s a good example of how to handle the situations that inevitably arise for people who talk on a regular basis for a living, and who are committed to sharing their beliefs on any topic about which they are asked.

Sometimes, those beliefs are based on an inaccurate understanding of the facts. When that happens, quickly acknowledging the error and owning it is the best way to go.

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Texans announce several cuts, roster designations

HOUSTON - JULY 22:  Detail of the helmet of the Houston Texans on the practice field during training camp on July 22, 2002 at Reliant Park in Houston, Texas.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images) Getty Images

The Texans announced a number of roster moves Tuesday afternoon as they trimmed their roster to the NFL-mandated size of 75.

Safety Lonnie Ballentine was placed on the reserve/physically unable to perform list, meaning he’ll miss at least the first six games of the season.

Three players were placed on the team’s injured-reserve list: Rookie center Nick Martin, safety Kurtis Drummond and rookie kicker Ka’imi Fairbairn. That leaves Nick Novak as the only kicker on the roster.

The Texans also waived defensive tackle Ra’Zahn Howard; wide receivers Tevin Jones and Josh Lenz; linebackers Ryan Langford and Carlos Thompson and offensive tackles Matt Pierson and Arturo Uzdavinis. Cornerback Duke Thomas and linebacker Gerald Rivers were waived-injured.

The Texans also waived defensive end Jeoffrey Pagan with an injury settlement.

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Bowles says Jets may keep four quarterbacks

File - In this May 6, 2016, file photo, New York Jets second-round draft pick Christian Hackenberg throws a pass during NFL football rookie minicamp in Florham Park, N.J. Hackenberg currently sits fourth on the Jets' depth chart, behind Ryan Fitzpatrick, Geno Smith and Bryce Petty. (AP Photo/Bill Kostroun, File) AP

Who will be the odd man out in the Jets’ quarterback competition? Maybe no one.

Jets coach Todd Bowles said today that there’s still a chance that Ryan Fitzpatrick, Christian Hackenberg, Bryce Petty and Geno Smith will all make the 53-man roster.

“All four are good football players. We can keep all four. It’s just a matter of battling with the other positions, so that’s still up for grabs and we’ll have to wait until after this game to see how that plays out,” Bowles said.

Fitzpatrick and Smith will both be inactive for Thursday night’s preseason finale. Bowles said Hackenberg and Petty will get approximately equal playing time.

With Fitzpatrick set as the starter and Hackenberg guaranteed a roster spot by virtue of being a second-round draft pick, the only question is whether Smith or Petty will be sent packing before the season starts. The Jets are open to a trade, but they’re also open to using four of their 53 roster spots on quarterbacks.

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Dion Lewis, Sebastian Vollmer to start year on PUP list

FOXBORO, MA - NOVEMBER 8: Dion Lewis #33 of the New England Patriots leaves the field after an injury during a game with the Washington Redskins in the second half at Gillette Stadium on November 8, 2015 in Foxboro, Massachusetts. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images) Getty Images

A report earlier this month raised the possibility that Patriots right tackle Sebastian Vollmer would be placed on injured reserve because of hip and shoulder issues, which would rule him out for the season if the move came before the cut to 53 players.

Vollmer didn’t make it to the 53-man roster, but he’s not on injured reserve either. The Patriots have placed Vollmer on the reserve/physically unable to perform list, which means he’s ineligible to play or practice for the first six weeks of the year. He may not return at that point or at any other juncture in the season, but Tuesday’s move leaves the door open for a return should Vollmer’s prognosis improve.

He’ll be joined on the PUP list by running back Dion Lewis. Lewis recently had a second knee surgery after tearing his ACL last November, so the move is not a surprising one. He’ll also be eligible to return in Week Seven and the Patriots have a bye in Week Nine that could work as a moment to work Lewis back into the backfield mix.

Guard Tre Jackson was also placed on reserve/PUP this week, leaving wide receiver Danny Amendola as the only player on the preseason version of the list. If he’s going to be in the lineup in the first six weeks, the Pats will have to activate him before Saturday’s deadline to reach 53 players.

Linebacker Ramon Humber, tackle Keavon Milton and tight end Steven Scheu were all cut in other moves that brought the roster to 75 players.

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Bears claim K’Waun Williams, await results of his physical

CLEVELAND, OH - DECEMBER 13: Quarterback Blaine Gabbert #2 of the San Francisco 49ers is sacked by outside linebacker Armonty Bryant #95 and free safety K'Waun Williams #36 of the Cleveland Browns during the second half at FirstEnergy Stadium on December 13, 2015 in Cleveland, Ohio. The Browns defeated the 49ers 24-10. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images) Getty Images

The Bears claimed cornerback K’Waun Williams Tuesday, a day after Williams was waived by the Browns.

Williams had been suspended by the Browns for violating team rules in a spat over his health and availability to play. The Bears acquiring Williams is contingent on Williams passing a physical, which BearReport.com reported is set for Wednesday.

The report said Williams got a cortisone shot last week and wants to hold off on surgery to remove bone spurs in his ankle until after the season. Williams and his agent disagreed with the Browns about his injury, and an outside medical opinion recommended surgery.

Williams made the Browns as an undrafted rookie in 2014 and has played in 13 games, mostly as a nickel cornerback, in each of his first two seasons.

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Jaylon Smith to NFI, Kellen Moore to IR in Dallas

ARLINGTON, TX - JANUARY 03: Kellen Moore #17 of the Dallas Cowboys callas a play against the Washington Redskins in the fourth quarter at AT&T Stadium on January 3, 2016 in Arlington, Texas.  (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images) Getty Images

The two biggest names included on the list of Cowboys roster moves on Tuesday probably didn’t come as much of a surprise to anyone who has followed the team through the offseason.

Linebacker Jaylon Smith has been placed on the reserve/non-football injury list as a result of the serious knee injury he suffered in his final game at Notre Dame. The Cowboys took Smith in the second round despite that injury and resulting nerve damage that has clouded the outlook for when he’ll be able to play again. It won’t be in the first six weeks of the season as a result of this move, but there never seemed to be an expectation that returning at that point was a possibility.

Quarterback Kellen Moore won’t be back at all this year after being placed on injured reserve. Moore broke his leg earlier this month, bumping Dak Prescott into the No. 2 job and then into the starting role when Tony Romo broke a bone in his back.

The Cowboys also placed tight end James Hanna on the reserve/physically unable to perform list and waived wide receiver Rodney Smith, guard Mike McQueen, guard Dan Buchholz, wide receiver Richard Mullaney, cornerback Arjen Coquhoun and linebacker Henoc Muamba.

 

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Mike Zimmer vows to “find a way”

MINNEAPOLIS, MN - AUGUST 28: Head coach Mike Zimmer of the Minnesota Vikings looks on from the sidelines in the third quarter against the San Diego Chargers at US Bank stadium on August 28, 2016 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by Adam Bettcher/Getty Images) Getty Images

Vikings quarterback Teddy Bridgewater suffered a “significant knee injury” in practice on Tuesday, coach Mike Zimmer told reporters earlier this hour.

“I doesn’t look good right now,” Zimmer said regarding the possibility that it’s a season-ending knee injury.

“They sedated him,” Zimmer said, explaining that he’s having an MRI performed at a local hospital.  “I love this kid. Our fans love this kid.”

Zimmer said more information will be coming later tonight or Wednesday regarding the specific nature of the injury.

“We’re not going to stick our heads in the sand,” Zimmer said. “We’re not looking for excuses. We have some great football players on this team, figure out how to win football games. . . . This is about the team. This isn’t about a one-man deal. This is about the team. We have a good team. We have a good defensive team. Our defensive line is much better. We have good receivers. We have maybe the best running back in the NFL.”

Zimmer said he has spoken to his mentor, Bill Parcells, a couple of times after the injury happened. Zimmer also said he has spoken in spirit to his late father, Bill Zimmer, a longtime high school football coach.

“He always found a way to do it,” Zimmer said, “and we’re gonna figure out a way. Everybody can count us out if they want, but I think that would be the wrong thing to do.”

It’s unclear whether figuring out a way forward will feature Shaun Hill at quarterback or someone else. Zimmer said he has confidence in Hill, but that the team is discussing options. At this point, there aren’t many.

Still, Zimmer is committed to making the best out of a bad situation.

“That’s our job,” Zimmer said. “Find a way.”

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Giants down to 74 players with Will Beatty coming

ORCHARD PARK, NY - AUGUST 20:  Cooper Taylor #30 of the New York Giants intercepts a pass thrown by Cardale Jones #7 of the Buffalo Bills during the third quarter on August 20, 2016 at New Era Field in Orchard Park, New York. Buffalo defeats New York 21-0.  (Photo by Brett Carlsen/Getty Images) Getty Images

The Giants haven’t made anything official, but multiple reports have them bringing tackle Will Beatty back and their list of cuts on Tuesday suggest someone’s joining the club.

The Giants are down to 74 players after removing 16 players from the active roster over the last two days. Four of those moves came on Monday and 12 more followed on Tuesday.

Two players with regular season experience were dropped in safety Cooper Taylor and tackle Byron Stingily. Taylor was a fifth-round pick in 2013 and saw action in 16 games over his three years with the club. Taylor was waived while Stingily, who signed with the Giants this offseason, heads to injured reserve after suffering a concussion.

The Giants also waived safety Bennett Jackson, a 2014 sixth-round pick who couldn’t stay healthy during his time with the club.

Tight end Ryan Malleck was waived/injured while defensive end Mike Rose, wide receiver Kadron Boone, cornerback Joe Powell, running back Marshaun Coprich, offensive lineman Shane McDermott, defensive tackle Davon Coleman, defensive tackle Greg Milhouse and wide receiver K.J. Maye were all placed on waivers.

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