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Friday morning one-liners

Denver Broncos v Carolina Panthers Getty Images

Having the Bills running back job all to himself worked out just fine for C.J. Spiller.

Dolphins CB Nolan Carroll had more penalty yards than the offense had total yards in the first half of Thursday’s loss.

LB Brandon Spikes says he isn’t hurt by angry words thrown at him by Patriots opponents.

Dan Fouts thinks Mark Sanchez is taking too much blame for the Jets’ offensive ineptitude.

Will Ravens RB Ray Rice repeat his 2011 performance against the Steelers?

The Bengals want to get RB Cedric Peerman more playing time in the coming weeks.

Trying to stop Cowboys TE Jason Witten will keep Browns defensive coordinator Dick Jauron busy this weekend.

The Steelers will alter their offense to reflect the fact Byron Leftwich is at quarterback.

Texans coach Gary Kubiak is quick to spread credit for the team’s success to his assistant coaches.

The Colts haven’t had a hard time getting production from their rookies this year.

Ten things to keep in mind ahead of this weekend’s Jaguars game.

G Deuce Lutui has one of the bigger personalities on the Titans.

Broncos LB Von Miller is rising up the ranks of the league’s pass rushers.

Chiefs G Jon Asamoah is out for at least this week after having thumb surgery.

The Raiders are trying to prepare for the matchup problems created by Saints TE Jimmy Graham.

TE Antonio Gates is closing in on the Chargers franchise touchdown record.

Cowboys LB Anthony Spencer’s crystal ball has worked well recently.

The Giants defense would like to be more consistent after the bye.

Special teams coordinator Bobby April faced the music from the media after last Sunday’s Eagles letdowns in that phase.

Redskins CB DeAngelo Hall didn’t have much interest in discussing his fine for berating an official.

Bears TE Kellen Davis has vowed to turn things around after a rough game against the Texans.

Are the Lions too stubborn about establishing their running game?

It looks like RB James Starks will get more time for the Packers.

Dr. James Andrews was shocked by the condition of Vikings RB Adrian Peterson’s knee after last year’s injury.

Falcons RB Michael Turner said the team needs to be prepared to get everyone’s best shot this season.

Panthers LB Thomas Davis credits tenacity for his comeback from another knee injury.

LB Jonathan Vilma is in line for more playing time on the Saints defense.

The Buccaneers hold nothing in reserve when it comes to trying for blocked punts.

Said Cardinals LB Daryl Washington of facing Falcons QB Matt Ryan, “Any defensive guy would want to play against the best of the best. I love the challenge. I’m a competitor. You have to love those moments, love those hostile environments. That’s the motivation right there. I mean, it’s been good to even experience being in that situation of playing against the best of the best. You’ve got to love it.”

Rams WR Brandon Gibson discussed his killer illegal formation penalty.

The 49ers’ impressive linebackers will get to watch the Bears’ impressive linebackers up close on Monday night.

The Seahawks have been flagged for 18 false starts this season.

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Rodgers reflects on “R-E-L-A-X” remarks

Rodgers AP

After the Packers slipped to 1-2 following a miserable loss to the Lions in Detroit, Aaron Rodgers had some advice for antsy Cheeseheads.

“Five letters.  R-E-L-A-X.  Relax.  We’re going to be fine,” Rodgers said.

Fine they’ve been.  With wins over the Bears, Vikings, Dolphins, and Panthers, all that’s standing between a 6-2 record at the bye week are the Saints at the Superdome.  In a conference call with New Orleans reporters, Rodgers was asked about the reaction to his R-E-L-A-X routine.

“First people were impressed I remembered how to spell it,” Rodgers said, via quotes distributed by the Saints.  “I think when you say something like that you take on greater responsibility as a leader and you take some of the focus off the team and I think there is a time and a place for that.  Maybe we needed a little something like that before our Week Four game in Chicago.  We responded with a good performance, four in a row, our defense is playing really well, offensively we are starting to get things going a little bit, so every now and then you say stuff like that that sticks.  If we had lost Week Four it probably wouldn’t have gone over as well as it has because we’ve won four in a row.”

It won’t be easy to extend the run to five.

“They are better than that,” Rodgers said of the Saints’ 2-4 record.  “They are 2-0 at home I believe.  They are better at home.  They have lost some close games.  Very talented offense, a very talented defense and very well coached.  I have competed against Coach [Rob] Ryan before and I have a lot of respect [for] the whole family, Rex, Rob, and their father, a guy who obviously changed how defense is played in the league.  I have a lot of respect for them and their defense.  Talented group, they play really well at home, they put up a lot of points.  You have to be expecting Drew [Brees] and those guys to be scoring points so we need to score touchdowns in the red zone and score some points ourselves.”

We’ll find out how it plays out on Sunday night.  And hopefully it’s play out with a closer game that what we’ve seen on Monday Sunday nights this season.

 

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Barry Cofield, Evan Mathis among Wednesday practice returnees

Howard Mudd, Evan Mathis AP

Eagles Pro Bowl left guard Evan Mathis was among four players on reserve lists to return to practice on Wednesday, per the NFL’s transactions.

Mathis, who is on injured reserve/designated for return with an MCL sprain, can re-enter the Eagles’ lineup on November 16 at Green Bay.

The other players returning Wednesday were Jaguars cornerback Aaron Colvin (ACL tear), Washington nose tackle Barry Cofield (high-ankle sprain) and Buccaneers tailback Charles Sims (ankle surgery). Cofield and Sims are on injured reserve/designated for return, while Colvin is on the reserve/non-football injury list.

Sims is eligible to return for the Buccaneers’ Nov. 9 matchup vs. Washington, while Cofield can be activated for the Nov. 16 meeting with Tampa Bay.

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Judge will continue to preside over Peterson case

JudgeCase AP

The prosecution may still win the war, but its lost the battle over who’ll preside over the war.  Or something.

According to the Associated Press, Judge Kelly Case will continue to handle the Adrian Peterson child abuse prosecution.  A retired judge has decided that Case should not be recused based upon an alleged bias against the prosecution.  The allegations included Judge Case’s admitted reference to the lawyers for both parties as “media whores.”

Retired Judge Jeff Walker determined that prosecutors failed to meet the high standard necessary for forcing a judge out of a case.   And it appears that there will be no appeal of the decision.

“We’re going to hope Judge Case does the right thing, gives us a fair trial and at the end of that trial, we’re confident that Mr. Peterson is going to be found guilty,” First Assistant District Attorney Phil Grant said.

While the swing and a miss could alienate Judge Case, the allegations of bias could force him to go out of his way to create the appearance of fairness and even-handedness in any rulings made before and during the trial, which is still tentatively scheduled to begin on December 1.

Peterson hopes to stand trial as soon as possible, given that he is essentially suspended with pay while the legal process is pending.

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Rex doesn’t want unrealistic expectations for Harvin’s instant impact

harvin AP

Jets coach Rex Ryan says no one should expect Percy Harvin to become the team’s best offensive playmaker instantly.

Ryan says Harvin will have a role in the offense on Sunday against the Bills, but no one should expect him to know the whole playbook after a week with the team.

“I’m just saying that it’s hard to expect a guy to come in and learn an entire offense,” Ryan said. “We’re going to use him. It’s not to expect him to play 50 plays or something like that. That’s probably unrealistic.”

Ryan said the Jets may use Harvin on both kickoff returns and punt returns, even though Harvin has never returned a punt in the NFL or in college. For Ryan, the goal is just to find the best ways to use Harvin.

“I think when you look at how we are going to use Percy, it might be different than how he was used in Minnesota [and] how he was used in Seattle. I guess time will tell, but I truly believe with his kind of talent it’s going to be a big help, obviously for our offense and with that, our whole team,” Ryan said.

If the Jets can go on a run in the second half of the season, big plays from Harvin may contribute to saving Ryan’s job.

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Arians says Carson Palmer’s shoulder is fine

Palmer

That dead nerve in Carson Palmer’s shoulder has come back to life.  And it looks like Palmer’s zombie arm joint will continue to get the job done, indefinitely.

Coach Bruce Arians said Wednesday that Palmer no longer has to worry about the shoulder, according to Darren Urban of the team’s official website.  Arians also said that Palmer is once again lifting weights in the upper body.

Arians also said that Palmer shouldn’t miss any practice time, and that he’s getting closer to 100 percent.

Palmer missed three games due to the shoulder injury, and the Cardinals won each of them.  They’ll get perhaps their biggest test of the season when the Eagles come to town with an extra week to get ready.

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Chiefs say Charles was checked for concussion

jamaalcharles AP

Chiefs running back Jamaal Charles says he tried to avoid having to go through the league’s concussion protocol after a collision on the field Sunday. But the Chiefs say Charles was, in fact, checked out on the sideline before being allowed to go back in the game.

Chiefs head trainer Rick Burkholder said Charles was checked during Sunday’s game and has been checked this week and did not get a concussion in the collision, which did cause a concussion for Chargers cornerback Brandon Flowers.

“When he got hit, I obviously checked with him,” Burkholder said. “I know coach talked to him a bit there. I came back and consulted with the team physician; he was absolutely asymptomatic, wasn’t complaining about anything. . . . Obviously, we check on those guys as they come off the field almost every series. I know coach spent time with him on the plane after the game.”

Burkholder’s statement that Charles was “absolutely asymptomatic” contradicts Charles’s statement that he “was seeing light bulbs, like, light bulbs around my eyes.” Seeing flashing lights is one of the symptoms of a concussion.

Charles may not have told Burkholder that he was seeing flashing lights, and Charles may not have exhibited any other symptoms of a concussion when he was examined. But Charles has said since that he had a symptom associated with concussions. And whether he actually had a concussion or not, it’s alarming that he indicated he wanted to avoid being diagnosed.

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Harvin doesn’t show up on the Jets’ injury report

Harvin AP

Former Seahawks receiver Percy Harvin had been battling a thigh injury for the couple of weeks before he was traded to New York.  Or maybe it was a “thigh” injury.  As in not an injury at all but just an excuse to not practice.

Either way, Harvin didn’t show up on his first injury report as a member of the Jets.  So his thigh — or “thigh” — injury has healed — or “healed” completely.

Is it fair to suggest Harvin was perhaps embellishing an injury to justify missing practice?  Yes, given that one of his disputes with former Vikings coach Brad Childress happened when Childress questioned whether Harvin’s ankle injury was an “ankle” injury.

Regardless, Harvin launches his time in New York at 100 percent.  We’ll see how long he stays there.

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Jimmy Graham limited at Saints practice

Jimmy Graham AP

Saints tight end Jimmy Graham wound up in the lineup against the Lions last week after several days of uncertainty because of his shoulder injury, but he only played a limited number of snaps and didn’t have a catch as the Saints blew a lead in the fourth quarter.

The Saints got back to practice on Wednesday to start their preparation for facing the Packers on Sunday Night Football and Graham remained a limited participant in the action for New Orleans. Barring a setback, his presence last week suggests he’d be in the lineup again this week in a game that the Saints could really use to give themselves boost in the struggle for playoff spots in the NFC. The question will be how effective Graham can be, but it’s not one that will be answered on the practice field.

Running backs Khiry Robinson and Pierre Thomas both missed practice, which was no surprise in Thomas’s case as he’s expected to miss a couple of weeks because of a shoulder injury. Robinson is dealing with a forearm issue, which he said, via the Baton Rouge Advocate, was just “a little boo-boo.”

Center Jonathan Goodwin was also out of practice for the Saints and the team’s move to add Eric Olsen to the roster could be an indication that he’s going to miss his first game of the season.

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Report: Bill Belichick sent Darrelle Revis home for being late

New York Jets Vs. New England Patriots At Gillette Stadium Getty Images

Patriots coach Bill Belichick has sent players home for being late during blizzards.

So it’s no surprise that the same rules apply to the Island.

According Ben Volin of the Boston Globe, the absence of cornerback Darrelle Revis from Tuesday’s practice was because Belichick sent him home for being late.

The report said Revis arrived late to the team facility, and Belichick sent him away rather than allow him to participate in meetings or practice.

Players had the weekend plus Monday off after last Thursday’s win over the Jets, with instructions to return Tuesday at 7:30 a.m. There was no word how late he was.

A source close to Revis said he accepted responsibility for his tardiness, and he was back at work Wednesday.

Given the hot-and-cold nature of Revis’s relationships with employers, this one is worth filing away.

It’s also an important play for Belichick in establishing control, proving to his roster that no star is beyond the rules (though we wonder what would happen if Tom Brady had a flat tire).

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West says Jaguars simply wanted it more than the Browns

West Getty Images

So how did the previously 0-6 Jaguars upend the previously 3-2 Browns by a score of 24-6?  Chalk it up to good, old-fashioned motivation.

They wanted it more than we did,” rookie running back Terrance West said Tuesday, via Mary Kay Cabot of the Cleveland Plain Dealer.

“We looked like the 0-6 team, and they looked like the 3-2 team,” West said.  “That was the big difference.  They just had more plays.  The team that had the better plays, big plays are going to come out with a win, and that’s what happened yesterday. Their fans, they were in the game.”

Some think the absence of center Alex Mack, who suffered a season-ending broken leg the prior Sunday, kept the Browns from winning.  West disagrees.

“I think we probably would’ve had more rushing yards if Alex Mack’s there, but the way the Jaguars played us, they wanted it more,” West said. “He probably wouldn’t have made a difference.”

The Browns face another winless team on Sunday who may want it more, especially since the Raiders face a murderer’s row of opponents for most of the rest of the season.  Playing a team that just lost to the 0-6 Jaguars could give the 0-6 Raiders some real hope.

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Sam Shields, James Starks and Morgan Burnett miss practice

Carolina Panthers v Green Bay Packers Getty Images

The Packers got back on the practice field on Wednesday without several regulars in their lineup.

Cornerback Sam Shields, safety Morgan Burnett, running back James Starks and defensive end Datone Jones were all held out of practice as they recover from injuries. Shields missed Sunday’s game with a knee injury and the Packers have a bye after they face the Saints on Sunday night, but coach Mike McCarthy said that the team wasn’t going to let that keep Shields out against Drew Brees if he’s given the green light to play.

“I don’t keep players out for games,” McCarthy said, via the team’s website. “If a player can play, he plays. Sam is going through medical situation and if he’s ready to play, he’ll play.”

Jones also missed the victory over the Panthers, which made it two straight weeks out of the lineup because of an ankle injury. Starks is also bothered by an ankle injury while Burnett is nursing a calf problem, but McCarthy said that all three were moving well during their rehab work.

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Brandon Flowers officially out for Thursday night

New York Jets v San Diego Chargers Getty Images

Once cornerback Brandon Flowers was diagnosed with a concussion last Sunday, it became doubtful that he’d be able to play against the Broncos on Thursday night.

The Chargers confirmed that the short turnaround wasn’t enough time for Flowers to get cleared on Wednesday by ruling him out of the contest. With the extended break before Week Nine, Flowers should have a decent chance of making his return when the team travels to Miami.

Flowers may not be the only cornerback out on Thursday. Jason Verrett missed last week’s game after limited practices all week because of a shoulder injury and he’s questionable after another week of limited practice. Steve Williams is also listed as questionable because of a groin injury. If neither can go, the Chargers will be down to Shareece Wright, Richard Marshall and Chris Davis at the position.

Linebacker Jerry Attaochu is doubtful with a hamstring injury despite getting in some practice time the last two days while running backs Ryan Mathews and Donald Brown and linebacker Manti Te’o have been ruled out once again.

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L.A. may have gone from luxury to necessity for NFL

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Nearly 20 years ago, the Rams and Raiders left Los Angeles.  Since then, talk has persisted regarding a potential return.  Primarily because talk of teams moving to Los Angeles often helped certain teams get public money for new stadiums.

Meanwhile, the NFL stubbornly has waited for the right deal to emerge in L.A.  Which is a simple way of saying an opportunity pursuant to which the NFL will make a ton of money and whoever builds the stadium or otherwise helps pony up the cash needed to lure the league back will possibly lose a ton of money.

But there’s been, as Sam Farmer of the Los Angeles Times put it during a recent visit to PFT Live, a paradigm shift.  Instead of L.A. being a luxury, it’s becoming a necessity.  And that’s because a trio of franchises with obvious connections to Los Angeles (indeed, the Rams, Raiders, and Chargers each previously resided there) that have substandard stadium situations and easy escape routes, a sense of inevitability has emerged.

For plenty of other details from the guy who is as plugged in as anyone on the issue of the NFL in L.A., click the thing below and listen.

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Jets playing keep-away with new acquisition Percy Harvin

Percy Harvin AP

Given his background, his ability, and the timing of his acquisition, there’s plenty to ask new Jets wide receiver Percy Harvin.

But he won’t be getting asked until later in the week.

Per multiple tweets from the Jets beat writers, Harvin was surrounded by reporters today, but said he was not allowed to talk until Friday. He spoke Monday after his first practice with the team since they acquired him in trade from the Seahawks, but shielding him from questions today seems a bit, ahem, protective.

That will allow the week to settle into a rhythm without him talking about his new team (or more specifically, more about why he’s a former member of his old team).

Of course, the Jets PR department is smart enough to know that the same questions will await Harvin Friday, even if they come from a slightly smaller crowd.

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Erik Walden fined $27,562 for contact with official

Erik Walden, Andy Dalton AP

It doesn’t look like Panthers linebacker Luke Kuechly will be fined for the contact with an official that led to his ejection from last Sunday’s game against the Packers, but Colts linebacker Erik Walden wasn’t so lucky.

Walden was ejected for the same infraction in Indy’s shutout of the Bengals and has been fined $27,562 as a result. Walden shared the letter from the league with Mike Chappell of RTV6 in Indianapolis and it specifically charges Walden with shoving the umpire’s arm when the umpire tried to prevent a confrontation with another player.

The letter also informs Walden of his right to appeal the fine to the league office. Chappell reports that Walden called the fine “nonsense” and said to tell NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell that “I appreciate it,” but didn’t say whether he’ll exercise that right before handing over any money.

The difference between the Kuechly case when it comes to the fine is likely that Walden’s contact came while he was facing the official whereas the official was behind Kuechly in the Panthers game.

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