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Ed Reed: If NFL wants to stop concussions, stop the game

Ed Reed AP

Ravens safety Ed Reed won his appeal of a one-game suspension handed down by the NFL for a pattern of illegal hits and will be fined $50,000 instead of missing a game and a game check for a lot more than $50,000.

Reed wasn’t thrilled about the development, however. He said Tuesday night that the fine is too harsh for the hit on Steelers wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders and said it was a shame that things got to the point of a possible suspension since he thinks he plays the game the right way. Reed said that there’s still much that needs to be done if the league is serious about player safety while also cautioning that you’re never going to be able to get away from the fact that football is a violent game.

“At the same time, we grew up watching the game be played a certain way and playing it a certain way. It is tackle football. It is a contact sport and a brutal one, a violent one at that, the No. 1 violent sport, sad to say,” Reed said, via Aaron Wilson of the Baltimore Sun. “I know concussions has been a big thing. I’ve had concussions before and I know guys are going to have concussions. If you want to stop it, stop the game. Like people say, it’s starting to be a flag football thing.”

While Reed might have trouble with the way things go down, the process worked generally worked well for the players. Reed and the NFLPA felt that the suspension was too harsh a penalty for a hit that wasn’t one of the more extreme we’ve seen so far this season and Ted Cottrell agreed while handing down his decision. It might not do much to make the game safer or make it clearer just what defensive players are supposed to do in some situations, but at least it shows that the appeal process won’t be the sham that many players and observers believed it would be when announced.

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Anquan Boldin fined for throwing game-winning TD ball into stands

DETROIT, MI - OCTOBER 23: Anquan Boldin #80 of the Detroit Lions and his teammates celebrate Boldin's game  winning touchdown against the Washington Redskins at Ford Field on October 23, 2016 in Detroit, Michigan. The Lions defeated the Redskins 20-17. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images) Getty Images

Lions receiver Anquan Boldin probably won’t mind this week’s fine too much.

Boldin got his paycheck docked $6,076 this week because he threw the ball into the stands during the game. Boldin did it in an exuberant celebration after scoring the game-winning touchdown, so he likely feels OK about losing some money under those circumstances.

The NFL does not fine players for handing footballs to fans, but it does fine players for throwing footballs into the stands. The league is concerned about crowd control and safety if large numbers of fans are climbing over each other trying to catch a thrown football.

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Jarvis Landry fined $24,309 for block on Aaron Williams

MIAMI GARDENS, FL - OCTOBER 09:  Jarvis Landry #14 of the Miami Dolphins rushes during a game against the Tennessee Titans on October 9, 2016 in Miami Gardens, Florida.  (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images) Getty Images

During an interview for Friday’s edition of PFT Live, Dolphins wide receiver Jarvis Landry told Mike Florio that he had not received notice of a fine from the league resulting from the high block he delivered to Bills safety Aaron Williams during last week’s game.

Landry has either since learned that he was fined or he’ll be finding out about it sometime soon because PFT has confirmed with the league that Landry has been fined. Landry was penalized for unnecessary roughness on the play and he has been fined $24,309 for the infraction.

Landry apologized after the game for a hit that several members of the Bills deemed to be a dirty one. Williams left the game and his playing future is in doubt after his father told the Associated Press that his son will decide about continuing to play in the offseason. Williams made a similar decision after a previous neck injury limited him to three games last season.

Dolphins defensive lineman Jason Jones was not fined for an unnecessary roughness penalty he received in the fourth quarter and Bills linebacker Jerry Hughes was not fined after being penalized for grabbing Dolphins running back Jay Ajayi’s facemask.

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Jaguars rack up fines from loss to Raiders

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - AUGUST 11: Malik Jackson #90 of the Jacksonville Jaguars in action against the New York Jets during the first quarter of an NFL preseason game at MetLife Stadium on August 11, 2016 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images) Getty Images

Not only are the Jaguars smarting from an embarrassing loss to the Titans last night, but three of them are short in the wallet from last week’s game against the Raiders.

Defensive tackle Malik Jackson was fined $24,309 for unsportsmanlike conduct after being ejected, cornerback Jalen Ramsey was fined $9,115 for fighting and wide receiver Marqise Lee was fined $12,154 after being flagged for using a racial slur.

That’s a costly week for the individuals involved, but it also speaks to some of the problems the team as a whole is dealing with.

Owner Shad Khan had a meeting with players and coaches wondering why they aren’t winning, and he’s reportedly upset about the rash of penalties. Coach Gus Bradley had to address the issue again today, which makes it reasonable to wonder why it’s a consistent problem.

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Dez Bryant listed as questionable to face Eagles

ARLINGTON, TX - SEPTEMBER 25:  Dez Bryant #88 of the Dallas Cowboys celebrates after a touchdown in the first quarter during a game between the Dallas Cowboys and the Chicago Bears at AT&T Stadium on September 25, 2016 in Arlington, Texas.  (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images) Getty Images

Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant ruled himself in for Week Eight while the Cowboys were on a bye last week, but the team hasn’t quite guaranteed that he’ll be playing against the Eagles on Sunday night.

Bryant got in a third straight day of practice as a limited participant and also worked with the team during Monday’s return from the bye, which gave him extra time to recover from the hairline fracture in his knee that’s kept him out for the last three games. The Cowboys have gone with a questionable designation for their NFC East clash, but the signs point to Bryant’s return.

It also looks like the Cowboys will have a good chance of getting cornerback Morris Claiborne on the field. He’s listed as questionable, but was a full participant all three days after suffering a concussion in Week Six. Left tackle Tyron Smith is also questionable as he continues to deal with a back issue.

Quarterback Tony Romo sat out Friday after returning for a limited practice on Thursday and he’s been ruled out again this week with a broken bone in his back. Defensive end Ryan Davis will also sit out this weekend.

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Browns’ cornerbacks listed as questionable, expected to play

Joe Haden AP

The Browns list starting cornerbacks Joe Haden and Jamar Taylor as questionable for Sunday’s game vs. the Jets, but Browns coach Hue Jackson said Friday he expects both to play.

Haden has missed the last two games with a groin injury.

Taylor was added to the injury and participation report Thursday with a groin injury. He was a limited participant both Thursday and Friday.

As expected, Browns rookie wide receiver Corey Coleman is out. He returned to practice this week for the first time in more than a month but is still recovering from a broken hand. Jackson previously announced that Josh McCown will start at quarterback Sunday and that rookie quarterback Cody Kessler has not been cleared to play after suffering a concussion last week.

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Bowles gets testy when pressed on Hackenberg and Petty

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

The Jets will start Ryan Fitzpatrick at quarterback on Sunday, but they’re declining to say whether Christian Hackenberg or Bryce Petty is the No. 2 quarterback. And coach Todd Bowles is tired of being asked about it.

Asked by reporters today if Hackenberg or Petty would be next in line should Fitzpatrick go down, Bowles refused to answer.

“No offense, but if I’m not going to tell you who it is, why are we having this discussion? It’s really a waste of time,” Bowles said. “I’m not going to tell you anything. It’s not open for discussion. Guys, let it ride.”

When he got a follow-up to that question, Bowles wasn’t in the mood to answer.

“Can we move on from here? Let’s move on please. It’s not happening,” Bowles said.

Bowles did say that both players practiced well this week, and that Hackenberg has gained ground on Petty because Petty missed several weeks of practice with an injury.

“They looked fine. Both of them are ready to play,” Bowles said. “Before the injury, they weren’t on equal footing. Petty was clearly ahead of him. He’s been hurt for a month, so the other guy got a lot of reps.”

Whether those reps are enough to move Hackenberg ahead of Petty, we don’t yet know. The Jets would prefer not to find out, as they’re sticking with Fitzpatrick for now. Eventually, however, the Jets are likely to fall out of playoff contention and decide to see what one of the young guys can do. And that’s when Bowles will have to say for certain which of the young guys is next in line.

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Robert Ayers, Gerald McCoy questionable for Bucs

The Buccaneers may get defensive end Robert Ayers back in the lineup for the first time since Week Two.

Ayers has been sidelined by an ankle injury, but was able to progress to a full practice on Friday after getting in limited sessions the first two days of the week. While Ayers spent the week trending toward a return to action, things went a different way for defensive tackle Gerald McCoy.

McCoy wasn’t on the injury report on Wednesday, but was listed as a limited participant the last two days with a calf injury. He’s questionable to play against the Raiders on Sunday and defensive tackle Clinton McDonald will miss his third straight game, so Ayers’ return would be all the more welcome up front.

Running back Doug Martin is also out. His hamstring injury has now kept him out of five straight games and leaves Jacquizz Rodgers as the top running back again this week.

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Chiefs rule out Jamaal Charles this week

KANSAS CITY, MO - OCTOBER 23: Running back Jamaal Charles #25 of the Kansas City Chiefs looks at the scoreboard on a official review at Arrowhead Stadium during the fourth quarter of the game against the New Orleans Saints on October 23, 2016 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Jason Hanna/Getty Images) Getty Images

The Chiefs had running back Jamaal Charles on the 46-man roster for last Sunday’s victory over the Saints, but he didn’t get much of a chance to break a sweat.

Charles carried the ball once for no gain after his swelling in his surgically repaired knee in the days leading up to the game and coach Andy Reid said after the game that the Chiefs are “trying to be as careful” as they can a year after Charles went down with a torn ACL. That carefulness will go even further this weekend.

Reid said Friday that Charles will not play against the Colts due to the ongoing knee issue.

Charles has played in the last three games and has been used sparingly with 12 carries and two catches behind Spencer Ware. Ware has been productive, so the Chiefs can afford to give Charles time to get healthy before using him again.

Given how things have gone thus far, expecting that to happen has to be less than a certainty so Ware may not be going anywhere for a long while.

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Limited trade interest in Joe Thomas, for now

FILE - In this Oct. 9, 2016, file photo, Cleveland Browns' Joe Thomas (73) looks to block New England Patriots' Jamie Collins (91) during the first half of an NFL football game in Cleveland. Thomas, a nine-time Pro Bowl left tackle, expressed his strong desire to remain with the team, rather than be traded to a contender. Thomas' name has been floated around the league in advance of the trade deadline on Nov. 1. (AP Photo/Ron Schwane, File) AP

With the trade deadline four days away, a couple of teams are sniffing around the possibility of trading for Browns tackle Joe Thomas.

Per a source with knowledge of the situation, two teams have been exploring the potential move. However, there is no indication that a trade will be finalized, or even that tangible trade talks will happen between now and 4:00 p.m. ET on Tuesday.

Thomas has a base salary of $8.3 million for 2017. Prorated from Week Nine through Week 17, Thomas is due to make $4.39 million over the balance of the season.

This means that whoever trades for Thomas, who is under contract through 2018, will need to have $4.39 million in cap space — or that the team will have to restructure the contract to chop down the cap number.

It’s unclear which teams are exploring a possible run at Thomas. PFT reported over the weekend that the Giants, Seahawks, Cardinals, and Vikings each have some degree of interest, with the Patriots interested only if the Browns slide into fire-sale mode and are willing to essentially give him away.

The Browns, per a source with knowledge of the situation, want a second-round pick for Thomas. Coach Hue Jackson, however, has said that Thomas won’t be traded.

Then again, Jackson isn’t the G.M. or the owner.

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Lamar Miller will be a gametime decision Sunday

FOXBORO, MA - SEPTEMBER 22:  Lamar Miller #26 of the Houston Texans carries the ball during the first half against the New England Patriots at Gillette Stadium on September 22, 2016 in Foxboro, Massachusetts.  (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images) Getty Images

Texans Coach Bill O’Brien told reporters Friday that running back Lamar Miller will be a gametime decision for Sunday’s game vs. the Lions.

Miller had a shoulder issue in last Monday night’s loss at Denver. He was a limited participant in practice Thursday and Friday.

Alfred Blue has been the Texans’ No. 2 running back. Blue has 30 carries on the season; Miller has 136. With 581 yards, Miller comes into the weekend as the NFL’s fifth-leading rusher.

Miller was injured in the first quarter in Denver. Though he returned to the game, he and Blue split carries the rest of the way.

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Gus Bradley: No staff changes coming in Jacksonville

SAN DIEGO, CA - SEPTEMBER 18:  Head coach Gus Bradley of the Jacksonville Jaguars on the sidelines during a game against the San Diego Chargers at Qualcomm Stadium on September 18, 2016 in San Diego, California.  (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images) Getty Images

Now that Jaguars owner Shad Khan said he wasn’t making any coaching changes at the moment, it’s safe for head coach Gus Bradley to follow suit.

A day after an embarrassing loss to the Titans which dropped his record to 14-41, Bradley told reporters he wasn’t going to make any changes to his coaching staff.

Via Ryan O’Halloran of the Florida Times-Union, Bradley’s answer to a simple question about the possibility of changes to his staff was: “No.”

The Jaguars could certainly justify offering someone up, even if it wasn’t Bradley. They’re 2-5 and the offense has failed to make any strides after showing potential last year.

They punted on all five possessions in the first half, and trailed the Titans 27-0 at the break. They’ve only scored 47 points in seven first halves this season. There were also more penalties, after they lost control and had two players ejected last week.

Bradley said they had a “good team meeting today. . . . There’s never an excuse for not playing with great effort and we will not and cannot tolerate the lack of discipline or playing under control.

“It was a very honest meeting. They clearly know the expectations and what’s ahead of them.”

And for the next nine weeks at least, they’ll have the same cast of coaches in front of them.

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Aqib Talib, DeMarcus Ware questionable for Broncos

SAN DIEGO, CA - OCTOBER 13:  Aqib Talib #21 of the Denver Broncos warms up before the game against the San Diego Chargers at Qualcomm Stadium on October 13, 2016 in San Diego, California.  (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images) Getty Images

An interesting week for Broncos linebacker DeMarcus Ware could end with his return to the lineup against the Chargers.

Ware’s week started on a down note when he returned home from the team’s Monday night win to find that his house had been burglarized. Things started turning up from there, though.

Thanks to images captured on his home security cameras and the work of the Denver Police Department, arrests were made and Ware’s property was returned. Ware also made it back onto the practice field for the first time since breaking his forearm in the second week of the regular season. Ware is listed as questionable to play against the Chargers after continuing to work on Thursday and Friday.

Cornerback Aqib Talib is also questionable after returning to practice on Friday. A back injury kept Talib from practicing earlier in the week, but the practice return bodes well for the Broncos’ chances of having a key piece of their secondary on hand.

Center Matt Paradis and linebacker Brandon Marshall are also questionable for the Broncos.

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Donte Moncrief back, but Colts are shutting down Kendall Langford

MIAMI GARDENS, FL - DECEMBER 27: Ryan Tannehill #17 of the Miami Dolphins is sacked by Kendall Langford #90 of the Indianapolis Colts during a game  at Sun Life Stadium on December 27, 2015 in Miami Gardens, Florida.  (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images) Getty Images

The Colts are getting one key contributor back this week, but are losing a member of the defense they can scarcely afford.

Via Mike Wells of, the Colts will get wide receiver Donte Moncrief back on the field Sunday against the Chiefs.

He hasn’t played since a shoulder injury in Week Two against the Broncos.

On the other hand, they’re going to be without defensive lineman Kendall Langford, who had knee surgery in August and had a recent setback.

Coach Chuck Pagano said the decision was made to “shut him down,” to give Langford time to heal. A key run defender, Langford had appeared in 135 consecutive games.

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C.J. Anderson’s expected absence: 2-8 weeks

DENVER, CO - OCTOBER 24:  Running back C.J. Anderson #22 of the Denver Broncos rushes through an open hole in the second quarter of the game against the Houston Texans at Sports Authority Field at Mile High on October 24, 2016 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images) Getty Images

Broncos running back C.J. Anderson declared his knee surgery a “super success.” But it remains to be seen when he’ll be ready to return to action.

Per a source with knowledge of the situation, Anderson will miss anywhere from two to eight weeks as he recovers from arthroscopic surgery to repair the meniscus in his knee. Per the source, it’s impossible at this point to be more specific.

Anderson opted for a repair, with the torn meniscus sutured together, in lieu of a cleanup, with the goal of preserving cartilage and avoiding bone-on-bone contact in the affected knee. A cleanup would have allowed Anderson to return quickly, but it could have laid the foundation for more problems later.

The Broncos now have to decide whether to put Anderson on IR, which would shut him down for eight weeks and, essentially, make him unavailable through the end of the regular season.

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DeMarco Murray getting MRI on toe, team expects good results

NASHVILLE, TN - OCTOBER 27:  DeMarco Murray runs for a touchdown during the second quarter of the game against the Jacksonville Jaguars at Nissan Stadium on October 27, 2016 in Nashville, Tennessee.  (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images) Getty Images

Titans running back DeMarco Murray hit a brief snag on his way to 123 rushing yards and a touchdown against the Jaguars when he pulled up short after a 13-yard gain near the end of the first half.

Murray went to the locker room before the half concluded, but the issue wasn’t serious enough to keep him from returning for the second half and continuing to find success against the Jacksonville defense. While Murray finished the game without further issue, the team still wanted to make sure all was well on Friday.

Coach Mike Mularkey said that Murray is getting an MRI on his toe Friday and that the team doesn’t expect the test will turn up anything serious.

That’s a plus for the Titans because Murray has made the Titans look wise for trading for him this offseason. Murray has 756 yards on 160 carries, which leaves him with more yards than he had all of last season for the Eagles and with a 4.7 yards per carry average that’s on line with the one he posted while running for 1,845 yards with the Cowboys in 2014.

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