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Week Nine late inactives

Seattle Seahawks v San Francisco 49ers Getty Images

There are three games kicking off in the late afternoon slots on Sunday and we’ve got all the inactives from those contests right here.

Buccaneers at Raiders

Buccaneers: RB Michael Smith, S Keith Tandy, LB Jacob Cutrera, LB Najee Goode, G Roger Allen WR Chris Owusu, CB Danny Gorrer

Raiders: QB Terrelle Pryor, CB Shawntae Spencer, LB Keenan Clayton, T Khalif Barnes, G Lucas Nix, DE Jack Crawford, DT Christo Bilukidi

Vikings at Seahawks

Vikings: QB McLeod Bethel-Thompson, WR Stephen Burton, WR Jarius Wright, S Mistral Raymond, TE John Carlson, OL Mark Asper, LB Audie Cole

Seahawks: WR Braylon Edwards, DE Jason Jones, SS Winston Guy, CB Byron Maxwell, OT Mike Person, OG James Carpenter, DT Jaye Howard

Steelers at Giants

Steelers: S Troy Polamalu, QB Charlie Batch, DT Alameda Ta’amu, RB Rashard Mendenhall, O T Marcus Gilbert, LB Stevenson Sylvester, RB Jonathan Dwyer

Giants: DE Adewale Ojomo, TE Bear Pascoe, S Kenny Phillips, LB Jacquian Williams, LB Chase Blackburn, TE Adrien Robinson, LB Keith Rivers

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Sunday morning one-liners

MIAMI GARDENS, FL - NOVEMBER 27:  Jay Ajayi #23 of the Miami Dolphins reacts to a play during a game against the San Francisco 49ers on November 27, 2016 in Miami Gardens, Florida.  (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images) Getty Images

Bills LS Garrett Sanborn will be honoring a friend who died of cancer with his cleats on Sunday.

RB Jay Ajayi believes the Dolphins can run the ball on any defense.

Patriots RB Dion Lewis is no stranger to bouncing back from injury.

Five plays that helped sink the Jets this season.

The Ravens have picked up the tempo on offense more often this year.

Can Rex Burkhead help the Bengals run game get going?

Continuity has not been part of the plan with the Browns recently.

S Sean Davis has had an up-and-down rookie season with the Steelers.

The Texans defense will have to come up with a plan that accounts for LB Jadeveon Clowney’s absence.

The Colts will square off with a former assistant in Jets special teams coach Brant Boyer.

The Jaguars pass defense has held up fairly well this season.

An early look at what the Titans could do in the draft.

Broncos LB Brandon Marshall returns to Jacksonville on Sunday.

The Chiefs defense is looking forward to testing themselves against the Falcons.

Raider great Jim Otto likes the way this year’s offensive line looks.

Comparing the Chargers’ injury issues with those for other teams around the league.

What does Herschel Walker think of the Cowboys’ Super Bowl chances?

Giants P Brad Wing will face the Steelers for the first time since they traded him.

It’s no surprise that Eagles G Stefan Wisniewski is a big fan of the Seinfeld episode that includes the Wiz.

The Bears’ draft standing will be impacted by the result of their matchup with the 49ers.

Looking for Lions QB Matthew Stafford to heat up down the stretch.

Defending the Packers’ decision to let CB Casey Hayward walk as a free agent.

The Vikings’ new stadium made a good impression on Jerry Jones.

Falcons T Ryan Schraeder will be matching up with Justin Houston on Sunday.

Can RB Jonathan Stewart lead the way to a Panthers upset?

The Saints would like more from their return game.

A look at how the Buccaneers have improved their pass protection.

Checking in with Cardinals T D.J. Humphries.

The Eric Dickerson feud remains at home, but life may not be any easier for the Rams on Sunday.

Ranking the biggest needs for the 49ers.

Seahawks coach Pete Carroll ranks consistency at the top of his list of goals.

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Kaepernick’s future clouded by potential 49ers changes, anthem protest

MIAMI GARDENS, FL - NOVEMBER 27:  Colin Kaepernick #7 of the San Francisco 49ers warms up during a game against the Miami Dolphins on November 27, 2016 in Miami Gardens, Florida.  (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images) Getty Images

The starting point for this one comes from a report that, given the performance of 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick in recent weeks, is fairly obvious: According to Ian Rapoport of NFL Media, Kaepernick will exercise his right to void his contract after the current season, but Kaepernick could indeed be back with the 49ers in 2017.

Even if/when Kaepernick voids the contract, the 49ers will still hold exclusive negotiating rights until the 2017 league year begins in March. Whether the 49ers will try to re-sign Kaepernick depends in large part on whether ownership presses the reset button.

The 49ers currently have lost 10 games in a row, and there’s a growing belief that G.M. Trent Baalke won’t be back. Would ownership also move on from coach Chip Kelly, or would the team set up an inherently awkward and dysfunctional arrangement in which a G.M. is hired but is prevented at least for a year from hiring his own coach?

If Baalke goes, the best approach could be to elevate assistant G.M. Tom Gamble and let Kelly and Gamble run the show. If that happens, Kelly may want to keep Kaepernick around.

The other question is whether any other team, owner, G.M., or coach will shy away from Kaepernick given his refusal to stand for the national anthem. Regardless of whether it shold be a factor (it shouldn’t), the reality is that any team considering the addition of a veteran quarterback (and there likely will be plenty of them) will at least consider the impact of signing a signal-caller who may spark hundreds of angry callers to local sport-talk radio claiming that they will never attend or watch another game if Kaepernick becomes an employee of the team.

The easy part of this is coming to the conclusion that Kaepernick will be available to all 32 teams. The hard part is figuring out where he will land — especially with open questions about the future of the 49ers and the potential impediment arising from his position on non-football issues.

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Michael Crabtree, Latavius Murray expected to play

OAKLAND, CA - NOVEMBER 27:  Michael Crabtree #15 of the Oakland Raiders warms up prior to their NFL game against the Carolina Panthers on November 27, 2016 in Oakland, California.  (Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images) Getty Images

The Raiders had a few key offensive players listed as questionable on Friday’s injury report, but it’s not looking like they’re going to have to fill too many holes on the unit when they face the Bills on Sunday.

Adam Schefter of ESPN reports that wide receiver Michael Crabtree and running back Latavius Murray are “good to go” for the Raiders as they try to push their record to 10-2 on the season. Both players are dealing with ankle injuries and were able to take limited part in practices all three days this week.

That was how things played out for both players in Week 12 as well, so there may not have ever been much threat that they were going to miss the game.

Center Rodney Hudson and left guard Kelechi Osemele were also listed as questionable, which has been a frequent occurrence this season before they wind up in the lineup on Sunday. That suggests they’ll be alongside Crabtree and Murray against the Bills.

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Eagles likely to make a play for DeSean Jackson in 2017

LANDOVER, MD - OCTOBER 2: Wide receiver DeSean Jackson #11 of the Washington Redskins wears cleats displaying police caution tape prior to a game against the Cleveland Browns at FedExField on October 2, 2016 in Landover, Maryland. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images) Getty Images

Eagles G.M. Howie Roseman and coach Doug Pederson have a simple philosophy for building their team: Undo everything Chip Kelly did.

That’s already been accomplished through the trading away of many of Kelly’s favorite acquisitions, including Sam Bradford, DeMarco Murray, Kiko Alonso and Byron Maxwell. And next year, the Eagles may begin bringing back the players Kelly jettisoned.

That would include the most controversial move of Kelly’s tenure in Philadelphia, which was releasing receiver DeSean Jackson. After he was cut, Jackson signed a three-year contract with Washington. That contract will expire at the end of this season, and when Jackson hits free agency in March, the Eagles will be ready.

Adam Schefter of ESPN reports that the Eagles are likely to go after Jackson in 2017. That would make sense, as Pederson was an Eagles assistant for five of Jackson’s years in Philadelphia, and Jackson played very well in that offense, which is very similar to the offense Pederson runs in Philadelphia now.

Jackson had a good first season in Washington but struggled with injuries in his second season and has been injured again and not as effective this year. At age 30 he may have lost a step, but the Eagles want to see what he has left.

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Eric Dickerson continues his non-vendetta vendetta against Jeff Fisher

SEATTLE, WA - DECEMBER 27: Head coach Jeff Fisher of the St. Louis Rams looks on during the third quarter of the game against the Seattle Seahawks at CenturyLink Field on December 27, 2015 in Seattle, Washington. The Rams won the game 23-17. (Photo by Steve Dykes/Getty Images) Getty Images

Hall of Fame running back Eric Dickerson has said he doesn’t have a vendetta against Rams coach Jeff Fisher. I’m starting to wonder whether Dickerson knows what the word means.

Dickerson, who launched his attack nearly a week ago based on the perception that he was no longer welcome on the sideline due to his criticism of the team, gradually has shifted his platform from objecting to being disrespected to lobbying for Fisher to be fired.

At some point along the way, the narrative changed from Dickerson ultimately having a problem with COO Kevin Demoff to Dickerson having an audience with Demoff, at which time Dickerson made the case for changing coaches. Dickerson explained the discussion on Friday’s The Herd with Colin Cowherd.

“I asked Kevin Demoff point blank last night. I say, ‘So, are you bringing Jeff Fisher back? Does he have an extension?’ He said, ‘We’re talking about it.’ He asked me, ‘What do you think?'” Dickerson said.

“I said, ‘My honest opinion?’ I said, ‘No . . . Look, he’s had five years — five years — of losing.’ I said, ‘Enough is enough.’ I said, ‘I’m a fan,’ and I said, ‘All these Rams fans . . . I feel like I’m their voice.’ I mean, why would you bring him back? I mean, I asked him, I said, ‘Where are the naked pictures at? . . . He must got something on someone.'”

Dickerson argued that Rams fans wouldn’t object to a new coach because it would be different than what the franchise has been doing. Which is losing more games than he’s winning.

Dickerson, without question, is entitled to his opinion. Still, there’s something odd about the way this has all unfolded, with Dickerson gradually making it less about how he’s treated by the team and more (if not all) about getting rid of Fisher.

If the speculation/rumor/belief in some league circles is true that Fisher already has an extension in place, Dickerson’s arguments won’t matter — unless it’s also true that the Rams have guaranteed only the first year of the new deal. In that situation, owner Stan Kroenke could still choose to give Fisher a one-year buyout as a parting gift and move on.

Fisher could help turn that tide by winning some games late in the season. It won’t be easy on Sunday in New England, given that Fisher is facing a coach who has outscored Fisher 104-7 in their last two meetings.

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Nelson Agholor expected to play in place of Jordan Matthews

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - NOVEMBER 06:   Nelson Agholor #17 of the Philadelphia Eagles in action against the New York Giants during their game at MetLife Stadium on November 6, 2016 in East Rutherford, New Jersey.  (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images) Getty Images

An injury at wide receiver is forcing the Eagles to make a change.

Jordan Matthews is expected to miss today’s game against the Bengals, and that means Nelson Agholor will be active, Adam Schefter of ESPN reports.

Agholor has struggled mightily since former Eagles coach Chip Kelly took him in the first round last year, and last week he was a healthy scratch. This week he’ll get a shot at redemption.

Matthews leads the Eagles in catches (57), yards (686) and touchdowns (three). The Eagles will also be without their leading rusher, Ryan Matthews, so injuries could take a toll on Philadelphia’s offense.

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Raiders will honor victims of Oakland warehouse fire

OAKLAND, CA - DECEMBER 03: Smoke rises above a warehouse as firefighters work to put out remaining hot spots following an overnight fire that claimed the lives of at least nine people at a warehouse in the Fruitvale neighborhood on December 3, 2016 in Oakland, California. The warehouse was hosting an electronic music party.  (Photo by Elijah Nouvelage/Getty Imag Getty Images

Nine people have died and more than 30 more may have been killed in an Oakland warehouse fire during a Friday party. The Raiders will be honoring those affected by the tragedy.

The team has announced that it will match up to $30,000 donated at a YouCaring.com page created by the Oakland A’s.

The Raiders also will observe a moment of silence in recognition of the victims and their families before Sunday’s game against the Bills.

You can make a contribution here.

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Jerry Jones laments inconsistent officiating on Thursday night

ARLINGTON, TX - SEPTEMBER 11:  Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones is seen on the field prior to the game against the New York Giants at AT&T Stadium on September 11, 2016 in Arlington, Texas.  (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images) Getty Images

The Vikings weren’t the only team unhappy with the officiating on Thursday night. The Cowboys, despite prevailing, were displeased, too.

They were inconsistent with their calls, and that was frustrating,” owner Jerry Jones said Friday on 105.3 The Fan in Dallas, via Charean Williams of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

It remains to be seen whether that’s enough criticism to warrant a fine from the league office. Typically, the rule against criticizing officials is applied strictly to owners, team executives, and coaches. Players enjoy plenty of leeway; Washington cornerback Josh Norman became a rare exception last month when he individually called out an official by his number.

Whatever the flaws with the officiating on Thursday, the Cowboys managed to win the game and extend their winning streak to 11. There’s a chance the owner’s decision to vent about the game being a closer call than it should have been will come with a price tag.

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Todd Haley touts Pittsburgh’s offensive line

PHILADELPHIA, PA - AUGUST 21: The Pittsburgh Steelers offensive line attempts to block the Philadelphia Eagles defensive line in the third quarter on August 21, 2014 at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images) Getty Images

At a time when most believe the Cowboys have the best offensive line in football, one offensive coordinator begs to differ. Then again, he has a fairly clear bias.

They are playing at a very high level,” Steelers offensive coordinator Todd Haley said regarding his team’s wall of blockers, via Chris Adamski of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. “I said at the beginning of the year . . . that I thought they could be the best in the league. I think they are playing at that level right now.”

It’s a surprising development, given that for years the offensive line was a liability. Indeed, the Steelers won a pair of Super Bowls with subpar blocking.

The 2016 Steelers have allowed only 14 sacks in 11 games, second fewest in the league. The ability of quarterback Ben Roethlisberger to extend plays likely has been a factor.

Regardless, it’s one of the big reasons for the success of the team’s offense. Despite some disappointments, the Steelers remain viable contenders in a conference that is still fairly wide open, especially with the Patriots losing Rob Gronkowski and the Raiders having a habit of playing up and down to the level of the competition.

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Antonio Allen calls for reconsideration of “stand your ground” laws

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - DECEMBER 21:  Cornerback Antonio Allen #39 of the New York Jets stands in the tunnel before taking the field against the New England Patriots during a game at MetLife Stadium on December 21, 2014 in East Rutherford, New Jersey.  (Photo by Alex Goodlett/Getty Images) Getty Images

Multiple American states have laws that essentially permit the modern-day equivalent of a duel. But instead of counting to 10 before firing, the gun can be drawn and the trigger pulled in the inherently subjective instant that someone concludes they are being faced with serious bodily injury or death.

In an item from Bart Hubbuch of the New York Post regarding the profound impact the killing of Joe McKnight has had on the Jets’ locker room, safety Antonio Allen shares some words that may not be profound but that nevertheless are rooted in common sense.

“We’ve got a lot of work to do in this society with all these gray areas in the laws and this [‘stand your ground’] law, in particular,” Allen said. “We’ve got to fix it.”

At a time when football players like 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick have raised legitimate questions about the educational and training requirements applicable to police officers who patrol the streets with license to use deadly force, “stand your ground” laws essentiually give anyone that power — with absolutely no training on when and where and how it should properly be used.

If that sounds like lunacy, maybe that’s because it is. It’s one thing to use firearms to protect one’s home and family. It’s quite another to remove the firearms from the home and authorize their use by anyone who believes that an adequate threat has been encountered.

And good luck unspooling the facts and assessing whether deadly force legitimately was used, especially when one of the key witnesses to the exchange is permanently unable to testify.

So, yes, there’s something unsavory about the prospect of encountering a short-fused Dwight Schrute or Yosemite Sam, who spent all that money for his gun and who would kind of like to have a chance to use it. Until the states that allow a fire-ready-aim approach to interpersonal relationships wake up to the folly of these laws, the best approach for anyone who is out and about in those jurisdictions is to interact with no one, because who knows what’s going to prompt some hothead to pull his six-gun out of the holster and blast it?

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Geno Smith prepares for better days

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - OCTOBER 23:  Quarterback Geno Smith #7 of the New York Jets celebrates against the Baltimore Ravens at MetLife Stadium on October 23, 2016 in East Rutherford, New Jersey.  (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images) Getty Images

When compiling a list of up to 20 veteran quarterbacks with starting experience who could be available in 2017, I overlooked a guy who definitely will be on the market: Jets quarterback Geno Smith.

The 2013 second-round pick becomes a free agent in March. But he’s recovering from a torn ACL, and by all appearances the Jets won’t be bringing him back. So what’s next?

“My mom told me something that was pretty special,” Smith said Friday, via Fred Kerber of the New York Post. “She’d been going to my games since I was a kid and never missed a game. And these past few years, I missed more games than I missed in my life and she said, ‘There’s always a time for that, there’s always a season where you feel like things aren’t going right. And then what comes after that is usually the best part of your life.'”

It’s always admirable to have a positive attitude, but that will take a football player only so far. At some point, positivity must intersect with talent, and Smith has done little during his NFL career to display that he has enough of it to win and keep a starting job.

Personally, the fact that Smith played college football in my home state of West Virginia makes me inclined to root for him. But I’m also realistic; the odds are stacked against him, even in a league without enough quarterbacks to go around. The key is to be a quality quarterback, and Smith has not yet demonstrated that type of ability on a consistent basis.

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Lions cut Justin Forsett

DETROIT, MI - OCTOBER 23: Justin Forsett #30 of the Detroit Lions looks for room to run with the football against Bashaud Breeland #26 of the Washington Redskins during first half action  at Ford Field on October 23, 2016 in Detroit, Michigan (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images) Getty Images

The Lions made a series of roster moves ahead of Sunday’s game at New Orleans.

Defensive end Armonty Bryant was activated from the reserve-suspended list after serving a three-game suspension, and wide receiver T.J. Jones was promoted from the practice squad.

Veteran running back Justin Forsett and cornerback Johnthan Banks were released.

Forsett had appeared in two games after being released by the Ravens for the second time this season. With the Lions’ younger backs now healthy and the need to get Bryant back in the lineup to help the pass rush, he was released.

Bryant had three sacks in four games for the Lions before serving his second suspension of the season. Banks played in four games for the Buccaneers earlier this season. He’s played in 23 career games.

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Seahawks activate Morgan, place Tripp on IR

SEATTLE, WA - NOVEMBER 22: Tight end Vance McDonald #89 of the San Francisco 49ers is tackled by linebacker Mike Morgan #57 of the Seattle Seahawks during the football game at CenturyLink Field on November 22, 2015 in Seattle, Washington. The Seahawks won the game 29-13. (Photo by Stephen Brashear/Getty Images) Getty Images

The Seahawks made two linebacker-related roster moves Saturday.

Mike Morgan was activated from the team’s injured-reserve list. He had missed seven games after undergoing surgery for a sports hernia in October.

Morgan is a sixth-year player who’s been a valuable backup and utility man for the Seahawks. He played in four games and made one start before the surgery.

Jordan Tripp was placed on the team’s injured-reserve list. He made his second career start last week but suffered what Seahawks coach Pete Carroll called a quad bruise and a knee injury.

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Chargers call up nose tackle, place Attaochu on IR

San Diego Chargers v Seattle Seahawks Getty Images

The Chargers placed outside linebacker Jerry Attaochu on the season-ending injured-reserve list on Saturday.

Attaochu suffered a foot injury in last week’s win over the Texans. He had two sacks on the season and was also fourth on the team in special teams tackles.

To fill his spot on the roster, the Chargers promoted nose tackle Ryan Carrethers from the practice squad. Carrethers is a third-year player who’s previously spent time this season on the active roster and the practice squad. He’s played in 20 career games.

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Here’s an idea for making Week 17 even better

LOS ANGELES, CA - NOVEMBER 20:  DeVante Parker #11 of the Miami Dolphins celebrates his touchdwon with teammate Jarvis Landry #14 during the fourth quarter of the game against the Los Angeles Rams at Los Angeles Coliseum on November 20, 2016 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images) Getty Images

The NFL deserves far more credit than it has gotten for giving players one week to deviate from the obsession with uniformity, via the wearing of non-conforming clears that support a wide variety of causes. So at a time when the league is feeling surprisingly charitable — and may be shocked to learn that the sport won’t implode over the use of shoes that aren’t all the same color — here’s another idea.

It wasn’t mine. PFT Live producer Rob “Stats” Guerrera, who usually contributes little or nothing during the three-hour radio/TV show (I don’t really mean that, unless I do), uncorked a doozy on Friday.

The notion came after Dolphins receiver Jarvis Landry, whose cleats on Sunday will raise awareness for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, was asked to identify the one rule he’d change if the had the chance.

“I’m a happy-go-lucky guy, I’d probably say the celebrations,” Landry said. “Just let everybody bring back that old feel when Ochocinco was dancing and T.O. was dancing . . . . Things like that. Bring the love and energy back to the game.”

After the visit with Landry ended, Stats made this suggestion: For Week 17 of every season, the NFL should let players celebrate however they want.

There would likely need to be some limitations; a team paying homage to the Fun Bunch after a fourth-quarter first down in a blowout would take things too far. But for every touchdown scored that week, why not let the players do anything they want — short of grabbing their ding-dings or miming the dropping of a deuce?

It makes so much sense that it’ll never happen. The fact that the NFL has decided to give the players one week to wear non-conforming cleats suggests that maybe there’s hope that unwarranted concerns about creating acrimony among opponents (so what if it does?) and/or usurping the cheerleaders’ monopoly on sexually-suggestive messages will be set aside for one week per year.

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