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Franchise tag looks inevitable for Amendola

St Louis Rams v San Francisco 49ers Getty Images

Earlier this year, the Rams applied only a second-round tender offer on restricted free agent receiver Danny Amendola.  He drew no interest.

Next year, he will.

And Amendola is performing at a level that will compel the Rams to apply the franchise tag, something that would have been unthinkable before the 2012 season.  Indeed, if Amendola were viewed as a top-five receiver, the Rams would have given him something hire than a second-round tender — because teams would have been happy (or, Kuselias, more than happy) to give up a second-round pick in order to land Amendola.

On the night last month when his clavicle separated from his shoulder and pushed inward, Amendola was routinely abusing Cardinals cornerback Patrick Peterson in single coverage from Amendola’s slot position.  On Sunday against the 49ers, Amendola was clearly the best wideout on the field, despite the presence of players like Michael Crabtree and Randy Moss.

The smart move for the Rams would be to sign Amendola to a long-term deal.  At a minimum, he’ll be with the team next year on a one-year salary in the neighborhood of $10 million.

Not bad for a guy who was undrafted coming out of Texas Tech in 2009.

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Chris Ivory active for Jags, Elvis Dumervil out again for Ravens

JACKSONVILLE, FL - AUGUST 20: Josh Keyes #50 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers tackles Chris Ivory #33 of the Jacksonville Jaguars as he runs with the ball during a preseason game on August 20, 2016 at EverBank Field in Jacksonville, Florida. Tampa Bay defeated Jacksonville 27-21. (Photo by Joel Auerbach/Getty Images) Getty Images

Linebacker Elvis Dumervil returned to practice for the Ravens this week, but his return to the lineup for game action will have to wait a little bit longer.

Dumervil was listed as questionable on Friday’s injury report and has been declared inactive for Sunday’s game against the Jaguars. Dumervil was a limited participant in practice on Wednesday and Thursday, but did not practice on Friday.

Left tackle Ronnie Stanley was also listed as questionable, but he’s active for Sunday’s game. Offensive lineman John Urschel is inactive after drawing the same designation.

Running back Chris Ivory will make his regular season debut for the Jaguars after missing the first two games with a “general medical issue” that forced him to be hospitalized. Cornerback Prince Amukamara, center Brandon Linder and defensive end Jared Odrick are all inactive after being listed as questionable.

Left tackle Kelvin Beachum was ruled out due to the concussion he suffered last week, so the Jaguars will move Luke Joeckel from left guard back to his former position. Tyler Shatley starts at center and Chris Reed will take over at guard.

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Joe Haden inactive due to groin injury

BALTIMORE, MD - OCTOBER 11: Wide receiver #10 Jeremy Ross carries the ball while cornerback Joe Haden #23 of the Cleveland Browns defends in the first quarter of a game at M&T Bank Stadium on October 11, 2015 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images) Getty Images

A groin injury that made cornerback Joe Haden a late addition to the Browns’ extensive injury report on Friday will keep Haden out of Sunday’s game at Miami.

The Browns list Tramon Williams as the starter in place of Haden. The Browns will also be without starting safety Ibraheim Campbell, wide receiver Corey Coleman, center Cameron Erving, defensive end Carl Nassib and quarterback Josh McCown.

Rookie Cody Kessler starts at quarterback. Rookie Derrick Kindred will start at safety.

Injuries limited Haden to five games last season. He had two interceptions last week.

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Hamstring keeping Delanie Walker out vs. Raiders

Jacksonvlle Jaguars v Tennessee Titans Getty Images

Titans Pro Bowl tight end Delanie Walker will not play in Sunday’s game vs. the Raiders.

Walker missed two days of practice this week with a hamstring injury, and the team was waiting until Sunday morning to make a final call after listing him as questionable.

Walker has nine catches for 125 yards and a touchdown over the first two games.

The Titans list Anthony Fasano, Phillip Supernaw and Jace Amaro, in that order, on their unofficial depth chart behind Walker.

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Week Three early inactives

DETROIT MI - NOVEMBER 22: Ezekiel Ansah #94 of the Detroit Lions signals for a safety during the fourth quarter of the game against the Oakland Raiders on November 22, 2015 at Ford Field in Detroit, Michigan. The Lions defeated the Raiders 18-13. (Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images) Getty Images

Every week we bring you all the inactives from the early games in one post, constantly updated with the latest information. Check back often to see the full list as it becomes available.

Cardinals at Bills

Cardinals: G Evan Mathis, S Marqui Christian, DT Olsen Pierre, DT Robert Nkemdiche, DT Frostee Rucker, DT Xavier Williams, LB Kareem Martin

Bills: T Cordy Glenn, S Colt Anderson, WR Sammy Watkins, QB Cardale Jones, WR Greg Salas, CB Ronald Darby, C Patrick Lewis

Vikings at Panthers

Vikings: DT Sharrif Floyd, WR Laquon Treadwell, RB Ronnie Hillman, LB Kentrell Brothers, C Nick Easton, TE MyCole Pruitt

Panthers: RB Jonathan Stewart, WR Brenton Bersin, WR Damiere Byrd, CB Teddy Williams, LB Jeremy Cash, G Tyler Larsen, DE Ryan Delaire

Broncos at Bengals

Broncos: LB DeMarcus Ware, T Donald Stephenson, TE Virgil Green, S Justin Simmons, QB Austin Davis, CB Lorenzo Doss, G Connor McGovern

Bengals: WR Cody Core, QB Jeff Driskel, TE Tyler Eifert, G Christian Westerman, CB KeiVarae Russell, DT DeShawn Williams, CB Chykie Brown

Lions at Packers

Lions: DE Ziggy Ansah, LB DeAndre Levy, LB Antwione Williams, CB Adarius Barnes, G Joe Dahl, T Cornelius Lucas, TE Orson Charles

Packers: LB Clay Matthews, CB Sam Shields, S Morgan Burnett, DT Letroy Guion, LB Datone Jones, OT Kyle Murphy, QB Joe Callahan

Ravens at Jaguars

Ravens: RB Kenneth Dixon, CB Jerraud Powers, CB Will Davis, RB Buck Allen, LB Elvis Dumervil, OL John Urschel, DT Willie Henry

Jaguars: T Kelvin Beachum, TE Ben Koyack, QB Brandon Allen, CB Prince Amukamara, DE Jared Odrick, DE Chris Smith

Browns at Dolphins

Browns: QB Josh McCown, WR Corey Coleman, S Ibraheim Campbell, DE Carl Nassib, C Cameron Erving, CB Joe Haden, T Shon Coleman

Dolphins: RB Arian Foster, C Mike Pouncey, WR Justin Hunter, S Jordan Lucas, LB Spencer Paysinger, G Dallas Thomas, DE Terrence Fede

Redskins at Giants

Redskins: DE Kendall Reyes, QB Nate Sudfeld, WR Rashad Ross, CB Kendall Fuller, LB Martrell Spaight, DE Anthony Lanier, G Arie Kouandjio

Giants: T Marshall Newhouse, RB Rashad Jennings, DT Robert Thomas, S Darian Thompson, DT Montori Hughes, QB Josh Johnson, WR Roger Lewis

Raiders at Titans

Raiders: T Austin Howard, T Matt McCants, QB Connor Cook, CB Dexter McDonald, CB Antonio Hamilton, TE Mychal Rivera

Titans: TE Delanie Walker, WR Kendall Wright, DT Austin Johnson, DB Curtis Riley, CB LeShawn Sims, LB Aaron Wallace, G Sebastian Tretola

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Lions expect Ameer Abdullah to miss the rest of the season

New York Jets v Detroit Lions Getty Images

The Lions have lost their starting running back for the year.

Ameer Abdullah, who was placed on injured reserve this week with a torn ligament in his left foot, is not expected to return this season, Adam Schefter of ESPN reports.

The NFL’s new injured reserve rule would allow the Lions to declare in six weeks that Abdullah will return, but the Lions don’t think he’ll be healthy in time for the Lions to use the return designation on him.

Abdullah was off to a good start this season, with 18 carries for 101 yards and five catches for 57 yards and a touchdown. The Lions’ offense struggled after Abdullah’s injury against the Titans, but they’ll be counting on Theo Riddick, Dwayne Washington and Zach Zenner to step up to replace Abdullah.

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Chargers-Colts creating strange dynamics in Las Vegas

DENVER, CO - SEPTEMBER 18:  Free safety Darian Stewart #26 of the Denver Broncos is called for unnecessary roughness for tackling quarterback Andrew Luck #12 of the Indianapolis Colts as he slides for a first down in the fourth quarter of the game at Sports Authority Field at Mile High on September 18, 2016 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images) Getty Images

Colts quarterback Andrew Luck is listed as questionable for Sunday’s game against the Chargers. And that’s apparently triggering some unusual dynamics regarding the betting line for the game.

The contest has gone from Indianapolis being a three-point favorite to a pick-’em proposition. In some locations, the three-point swing was preceded by the game being taken off the board.

So maybe Vegas knows something about Luck that the rest of us don’t, yet.

For now, and given the general proposition that home-field advantage is worth three points, the Chargers would be a three-point favorite on a neutral site — and San Diego would be a six-point favorite at home against the Colts.

Apart from Luck’s health, the Chargers have owned the Colts during the Philip Rivers era. If Vegas didn’t realize that earlier in the week, it apparently knows it now.

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No issues for Panthers, Vikings getting to stadium

CHARLOTTE, NC - SEPTEMBER 11:  A view of the exterior of the Bank of America Stadium taken before the game between the New Orleans Saints and the Carolina Panthers at Bank of America Stadium on September 11, 2005 in Charlotte, North Carolina.The Saints won 23-20. (Photo by Craig Jones/Getty Images) Getty Images

The Panthers and Vikings are set to play in Charlotte on Sunday after a week that saw violence erupt in the city in the aftermath of the police shooting of Keith Scott.

There were reports on Sunday morning that protestors had plans to try to stop the teams from getting to the stadium by disrupting traffic on the roads to Bank of America Stadium, but it looks like those attempts failed to materialize or just failed. Multiple reports state buses for both teams made it to the stadium without incident.

In addition to trying to stop the teams, there’s also been word of plans to interfere with fans getting to the game.

Citing those reports that there would be attempts to disrupt the game, the city declared the game an “extraordinary event.” That allows for expanded law enforcement “in order to provide a safe and secure environment.” David Newton of shared pictures of some of the new security measures in place for Sunday’s game.

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DeAngelo Williams is 63 yards from setting a record he may not want

PITTSBURGH, PA - SEPTEMBER 18:  DeAngelo Williams #34 of the Pittsburgh Steelers rushes against Dre Kirkpatrick #27 of the Cincinnati Bengals in the second half during the game at Heinz Field on September 18, 2016 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images) Getty Images

Steelers running back DeAngelo Williams doesn’t like being told that he’s old. If he continues his run of early-season success on Sunday, he’ll be hearing it a lot more.

With 63 yards rushing against the Eagles, Williams will become the oldest player in NFL history to rush for 300 yards in his first three games, breaking a mark currently held by the late Walter Payton.

Williams has bristled on multiple occasions at references to his age (33), even though he acknowledges that he’s still going strong three years past the tailback witching hour because he was part of a committee for years in Carolina.

If they had used him as extensively as the Steelers currently do, Williams wouldn’t be a 33-year-old running back right now. He’d be a 33-year-old former running back.

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Report: Kenyan Drake to be top back for Dolphins Sunday

FOXBORO, MA - SEPTEMBER 18:  Kenyan Drake #32 of the Miami Dolphins celebrates with teammates after scoring a touchdown during the fourth quarter against the New England Patriots at Gillette Stadium on September 18, 2016 in Foxboro, Massachusetts.  (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images) Getty Images

Before the Dolphins signed Arian Foster this summer, it looked like Jay Ajayi would be the top running back in Miami this season.

Foster won’t be in the lineup Sunday because of a groin injury, but the Dolphins are reportedly going with a running back other than Ajayi in his place. Ian Rapoport of NFL Media reports that third-round pick Kenyan Drake will be treated as the starter against the Browns.

Ajayi didn’t play in the season opener after coach Adam Gase made the decision to leave him home when the team traveled to Seattle. Rapoport also reports that running backs Isaiah Pead and Damien Williams were inactive for last weekend’s loss to the Patriots after missing a meeting in the days leading up to the game. There’s no word on any of the three being ruled out for this week’s game and the Dolphins are expected to work others in the game with Drake.

Drake had two carries for 12 yards, two catches for six yards and a rushing touchdown in Week Two. Ajayi ran five times for 14 yards in that game and Williams had two carries for nine yards in Week One.

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17 days later, Cam Newton concussion protocol investigations still going

DENVER, CO - SEPTEMBER 08:  Quarterback Cam Newton #1 of the Carolina Panthers calls out from under center in the first half against the Denver Broncos at Sports Authority Field at Mile High on September 8, 2016 in Denver, Colorado.  (Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images) Getty Images

The NFL and NFL Players Association continue to independently investigate whether league officials complied with the concussion protocol during crunch time of Week One’s opening game. As to the investigations, crunch time apparently has not yet arrived.

Neither side has reached a conclusion, 17 days later. Per a league source, the NFL’s report is expected “soon.” During a Friday visit to PFT Live, NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith described its investigation as being in the middle or the beginning.

Whenever both sides complete their work, the question becomes whether their conclusions conflict. If so, an arbitrator will be called upon to resolve whether a violation of the rules occurred.

The delay suggests that both sides are taking the matter seriously, as they should. It also suggests that it’s not the quick, simple, open-and-shut proposition that the league initially tried to characterize it as the day after the game.

The fact that referee Ed Hochuli so quickly ushered Bills quarterback Tyrod Taylor off the field in the opening game of Week Two shows that the league has gotten the word out to take these matters more seriously, given that Taylor was in far less objective distress than Newton a week earlier.

Still, it’s one thing to send the quarterback out of the game in the third quarter. It’s quite another to yank him during the final drive with his team trailing by one point. The last thing the league wants to do is remove from play a key player in a key moment for a determination that he doesn’t have a concussion.

And the last thing any of the people with the power to remove the key player in a key moment wants to do is be the person who is publicly flagged as the one who made a decision to order an exam of a player who wasn’t concussed, keeping him off the field long enough to keep his team from winning.

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Reports: Protestors could be trying to block fans from Panthers-Vikings game

CORRECTS WHITE POLICE OFFICER TO BLACK POLICE OFFICER IN CAPTION  - FILE - In this Aug. 16, 2012 file photo, the Time Warner Cable Arena is shown on left of downtown Charlotte, N.C.    To much of the world, Charlotte is the Queen City, a gleaming downtown, state-of-the-art stadiums, sparkling new mass transit, the nation's banking capital. But a very different Charlotte came into the spotlight in the past few days. Move outside the city's core and there are neighborhoods like the one where a black police officer shot and killed a black man, Keith Scott, Sept. 20, 2016, setting off violent protests.(AP Photo/Chuck Burton) AP

The decision was made to go ahead with today’s Panthers-Vikings game, despite an uneasy week in Charlotte following the police shooting of Keith Scott.

But even if the game is played, there might not be a full house at kickoff, as reports have emerged of protestors wanting to disrupt the flow of traffic into Bank of America Stadium.

According to Adam Rhew of Charlotte Magazine, protestors in uptown Charlotte are putting out word they hope to block enough traffic to keep players and fans from entering the stadium as normal by disrupting traffic on I-277 (which circles uptown). Earlier this morning, the crowd at Marshall Park was small and not the kind that would tie up many intersections.

There are extra security forces on the ground to keep things running smoothly, as the city of Charlotte declared today’s game an “extraordinary event,” which allows them to bring in more law enforcement personnel.

The National Guard was called in last week, after protests turned violent Wednesday night. Since then, things have remained largely peaceful, though the declaration of a midnight curfew and many uptown businesses closing has limited the amount of traffic in the area around government buildings and the stadium. Troops have already set up outside Bank of America Stadium.

Getting 70,000 extra people in and out of the area is a logistical challenge on a normal day, and bears watching over the next few hours.

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Catch up on PFT Live right now


During the offseason, I typically remembered on most Sundays to remind you to subscribe to the PFT Live podcast. Since football season has returned, Sundays have been a little hectic, which has caused me to forget to do the one thing I keep putting at the top of my personal “to do” list.

So before this Sunday gets out of control, allow me to do one thing. Actually, two.

First, I’ll ask you to download the PFT Live podcasts from the week that was, including interviews with Steelers receiver Antonio Brown, Giants cornerback Chris Harris Jr., Vikings guard Alex Boone, Giants guard Justin Pugh, and more.

Second, I’ll ask you to subscribe to the PFT Live podcast so you won’t have to remember to download it.

It’s available at iTunes, Google Play, and audioBoom, and the numbers have been going up every week. Even when I forget to drop reminders here.

Maybe I shouldn’t drop reminders here after all.

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Giants expected to play without Rashad Jennings

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - AUGUST 27:  Rashad Jennings #23 of the New York Giants runs with the ball against the New York Jets during the first quarter at MetLife Stadium on August 27, 2016 in East Rutherford, New Jersey.  (Photo by Rich Barnes/Getty Images) Getty Images

Giants running back Rashad Jennings had his left thumb in a cast this week, but he was a participant in practice every day and the signs coming from the team were that he’d be in the lineup this Sunday despite being listed as questionable.

It appears things are going the other way for Jennings, however. Ian Rapoport of NFL Media reports that Jennings will be inactive as the Giants try to go to 3-0 against the Redskins on Sunday afternoon.

Jennings has run 31 times for 102 yards through the first two weeks of the season. Shane Vereen, with 20 carries and six receptions in two weeks, would seem to be in line for a bigger workload. The Giants can also look to Orleans Darkwa, Bobby Rainey and rookie Paul Perkins.

The Giants will also be without right tackle Marshall Newhouse and safety Darian Thompson at home on Sunday.

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OBJ on track to set an all-time record on Sunday

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - SEPTEMBER 18:  Odell Beckham #13 of the New York Giants reacts against teh New Orleans Saints during the first quarter at MetLife Stadium on September 18, 2016 in East Rutherford, New Jersey.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images) Getty Images

Assuming he’s neither totally shut down by Josh Norman nor ejected before catching a single pass, Giants receiver Odell Beckham Jr. will set an all-time NFL record on Sunday. Via, with a single catch, Beckham will get to 200 career catches in fewer games than any player in league history.

Sunday’s game will be Beckham’s 30th, because he missed the first four of his rookie year with a hamstring injury. Former LSU teammate and current Dolphins receiver Jarvis Landry — the most underrated receiver if not player at any position in the league — currently holds the mark with 200 catches in 33 games.

That’s the all-time mark, folks. Name any current or future Hall of Fame receiver and Landry and Beckham have outperformed them, from the perspective of doing what receivers do: Receiving thrown footballs.

It shouldn’t be a surprise. Beckham and Landry, respectively, are No. 1 and No. 2 all time in receptions in a player’s first two NFL seasons.

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Sunday morning one-liners

KANSAS CITY, MO - SEPTEMBER 11: Cornerback Jason Verrett #22 of the San Diego Chargers runs with the ball after an interception during the second half  of the game against the Kansas City Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium on September 11, 2016 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Peter G Aiken/Getty Images) Getty Images

Changing offensive coordinators takes an excuse off the table for the Bills.

The Dolphins defense didn’t have much tape on Browns QB Cody Kessler as a professional to watch heading into Sunday.

The Patriots don’t mind the extended break after playing on Thursday.

There haven’t been any signs of Jets RB Matt Forte’s age thus far.

The Ravens have tried to keep last year’s finish against the Jaguars off their minds.

A roundtable’s worth of Bengals predictions for their game against the Broncos.

What will be the deciding factors for the Browns on Sunday?

The Steelers like their punters Australian.

Texans wide receivers struggled in Thursday’s loss to the Patriots.

The Colts could really use a win on Sunday.

S Tashaun Gipson expects the Ravens to test the Jaguars deep on Sunday.

Five questions for the Titans to answer against the Raiders.

The Broncos pass rush will try to throw Andy Dalton off in Sunday’s game.

Chiefs WR Tyreek Hill’s is showing why the team drafted him despite serious off-field red flags.

S Karl Joseph has made his way into the Raiders lineup.

CB Jason Verrett has become a leader on the Chargers defense.

The Cowboys haven’t won at home in a while.

Harry Carson thinks this year’s Giants defense can be a special one.

A look at the Eagles’ running back rotation.

A call for Redskins QB Kirk Cousins to relax.

Offensive coordinator Dowell Loggains is on the spot with the Bears.

Injuries are a challenge for the Lions right now.

CB Sam Shields may miss a few more Packers games.

RB Ronnie Hillman is getting his second NFL chance with the Vikings.

Former Falcons P Michael Koenen was on the other side of the most famous blocked punt in Saints history.

The Panthers will be replacing their top running back on Sunday while dealing with replacement backs on the Vikings side defensively.

Any spot on the Saints offensive line is fine with Andrus Peat.

The Buccaneers are still filtering out the bad in QB Jameis Winston’s game.

No Cardinals players have jerseys among the top 10 in sales.

Rams offensive Rob Boras isn’t sleeping much these days.

Are the 49ers catching the Seahawks at a good time?

The Seahawks have done well against 49ers coach Chip Kelly in the past.

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