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Panthers lose Ron Edwards to elbow injury

Ron Edwards AP

When the Panthers signed veteran defensive tackle Ron Edwards in the 2011 offseason, the hope was he’d lend some stability to a young defense.

When he’s been out there, he’s been able to.

Panthers coach Ron Rivera just said Edwards was going on injured reserve after dislocating his elbow in last night’s win over the Eagles. They’ll fill his spot on the 53-man roster by promoting Frank Kearse from the practice squad.

The 33-year-old Edwards missed all of last season with a torn triceps suffered in training camp, but came back and formed an acceptable partnership with Dwan Edwards inside, allowing the Panthers to make some strides, particularly with their pass rush.

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Rice appeal will include request that Goodell recuse himself from case

Goodell Reuters

On Sunday, multiple sources told PFT (and eventually others) that Ray Rice would appeal his indefinite suspension on Monday.  On Monday, one source told PFT that the timetable had been delayed by a day.

The source said that multiple factors influenced the decision to wait until the final day of the appeal period, including a decision to submit with the appeal a written request that Commissioner Roger Goodell relinquish his authority over the appeal of personal-conduct policy cases.

Apart from Goodell already having prejudged the question of whether Rice told the team and the league the truth regarding what happened in that elevator, Goodell will be a witness, whose version of the events and other key questions will have to be considered by the hearing officer for accuracy and credibility.  In most cases, there’s no factual dispute over what happened; the issue is simply one of discipline.  In this case, Rice and, presumably, Ravens G.M. Ozzie Newsome will testify that Rice didn’t lie.  Others apparently believe he did.

That conflict shouldn’t obscure the question of whether the NFL knew or should have known what the video showed, even if Rice or anyone else on his behalf downplayed the violence that knocked out Janay Palmer Rice.  Whether it was an open hand, a closed hand, a shove, a push, an elbow, or any other specific type of blow, Rice strike her hard enough to knock her out.  The NFL knew that, the NFL apparently didn’t bother to stop and think what that looked like, the NFL suspended him only two games for it, and the NFL arguably shouldn’t be permitted to suspend him again for something he’s already been suspended for.

Rice’s ultimate argument will be that his second suspension had nothing to do with new evidence, and everything to do with the NFL bending to the will of public pressure, starting with the initial suspension of only two games and reaching critical mass once that video emerged eight days ago.  Regardless of what anyone thinks of Rice, he has rights — and it’s important that the rights of all players to not be disciplined multiple times for the same infraction be respected.

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49ers demand an explanation of Kaepernick language penalty

kaepernick Getty Images

The 49ers are flabbergasted that Colin Kaepernick was given a 15-yard penalty on Sunday for using inappropriate language, and they’re demanding an explanation.

Kaepernick has insisted he didn’t say anything profane or offensive, and 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh said he wishes the league would tell him what it thinks Kaepernick said, because Harbaugh didn’t hear Kaepernick say anything and the officials didn’t tell Harbaugh what they heard.

I didn’t overhear that,” Harbaugh said. “[Officials] didn’t come back and tell me.”

Side judge Laird Hayes, who threw the flag, stood by it. The NFL doesn’t have a George Carlin-style list of words you can never say on the football field, but the league did make appropriate language on the field a point of emphasis this season, and players were warned that officials would strictly enforce the rule against using inappropriate language, which falls under unsportsmanlike conduct.

“He knows what he said,” Hayes said. “It was the right call.”

But the player Kaepernick appeared to be jawing with, Bears defensive end Lamarr Houston, said he didn’t hear Kaepernick say anything inappropriate. Hayes was apparently the only one who heard anything. Unfortunately for the 49ers, Hayes was the one with the flag in his pocket.

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McCoy says Eagles would be in trouble without Sproles

Sproles Getty Images

Eagles workhorse running back LeSean McCoy became a second fiddle on Monday night, with veteran newcomer Darren Sproles having a night for the ages in Indianapolis.  If that’s bothering McCoy like a waiter getting a 20-cent tip, McCoy isn’t saying so.

“To be honest, he’s helping me out,” McCoy told reporters after the game regarding whether he’s unhappy that Sproles’ output is reducing McCoy’s opportunities.  “Without Sproles, we’d be in some trouble.  I need to get my thing together.  I feel like I’m not playing to my level where I should be playing.  Tonight it was an average, above average game where he carried us again.  It’s good to have that because when you get that type of attention from the defense, other guys are making plays, and he’s doing it.  I don’t mind at all, and the other thing is I don’t feel as tired or as beat up.  I had about 20 carries, two passes, not too many carries, just enough to be effective.”

McCoy had 24 touches, via 20 carries for 79 yard and four receptions for 23.  Take away McCoy’s 21-yard run on a key third-and-15 that kept alive the game-tying touchdown drive, however, and McCoy had a decidedly un-Shady night running the ball, 23 tries for 58 yards.

I need to get my thing together.

Hardly eloquent but entirely accurate, McCoy knows that, given what he’s getting paid, a 21-yard run and 58 yards on 23 others won’t cut it.  Especially when the guys coach Chip Kelly is specifically acquiring to run his offense are looking better than they ever have at any point in their careers.

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Tuesday morning one-liners

Kyle Fuller, Derek Carrier AP

Bills starters like making an impact on special teams.

Dolphins offensive coordinator Bill Lazor wants the blame for any offensive struggles.

Penalties are a thorn in Patriots coach Bill Belichick’s paw.

Timeout snafus aside, Jets offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg pushed a lot of the right buttons in Week Two.

The Ravens like using S Matt Elam in the slot.

The Bengals defense has responded well to new coordinator Paul Guenther.

Browns coach Mike Pettine smoked a victory cigar on Sunday.

The Steelers are looking for more from young defenders.

S D.J. Swearinger’s nose for the ball is a plus for the Texans.

Colts TE Jack Doyle discusses his first NFL touchdown.

There were 21 missed tackles by the Jaguars in Week Two.

Titans WR Justin Hunter hasn’t had the expected breakout.

The Broncos will take another shot at stopping Russell Wilson this week.

Seven starters are missing from the Chiefs lineup.

Raiders coach Dennis Allen thinks QB Derek Carr can be “special.”

Confidence is running high for the Chargers.

The Cowboys have shown a strong belief in the running game.

A call for more help from the Giants receivers.

Said Eagles Chip Kelly of a second second half comeback, “The one thing about this team is they’re really grounded, and it just means we’re 2-0. And it also means we have to execute better on both sides of the ball in the first half. You’re not going to make a living being 17 down in this league.”

Examining QB Kirk Cousins’s fit in the Redskins offense.

Bears WR Brandon Marshall wants rookie CB Kyle Fuller thinking big.

The Lions are showing confidence in K Nate Freese finding his stride.

Rookie WR Davante Adams had an impact in the Packers win.

Vikings T Matt Kalil had a rough day against the Patriots.

Falcons WR Roddy White is dealing with a hamstring injury during a short week.

The Panthers regret not rotating guards in Week Two.

Saints G.M. Mickey Loomis can’t “sugarcoat” an 0-2 start.

The Buccaneers feel their offensive line is starting to click.

Cardinals RB Andre Ellington still has pain in his foot, but it hasn’t stopped him from contributing.

A call for the Rams to stick with QB Austin Davis.

The 49ers added a tight end to the practice squad.

Coach Pete Carroll said the Seahawks are “quiet and serious” coming off their loss to the Chargers.

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Amazingly, Texans asked if this week is a trap game

Bill O'Brien AP

There might not be a bigger surprise among the seven undefeated teams in the NFL than the Texans.

So while they’re happy about their start, they’re certainly new enough to success that they’re not in a position to overlook anyone.

That’s why it was sort of funny when rookie coach Bill O’Brien was asked about the possibility of a trap game this week against the winless Giants.

A trap game for the Houston Texans? I certainly hope not,” O’Brien said, via Brian Smith of the Houston Chronicle. I certainly hope that we don’t think about traps or backdoors or I don’t even know what.

“One thing that’s always stood out to me about this league is that every week is a challenge. … And so if you fall into any type of trap, thinking that, ‘OK, we beat the Oakland Raiders, so naturally we’re going to go out there and beat the New York Giants,’ I mean that’s crazy — that’s absolutely crazy.”

Of course, the Texans were 2-0 this time last year, and then wheeled off 14 straight losses. That’s how O’Brien ended up in that chair to begin with, so he knows better than to take anything for granted.

 

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Dolphins not making plans for suspended players yet

Miami Dolphins OTA Getty Images

If a deal on the league’s new drug policy crosses that magical threshold from “close” to “done” this week, several players are set to return to teams with their suspensions shortened or commuted.

But the Dolphins aren’t making plans on having either outside linebacker Dion Jordan or safety Reshad Jones back on the field this week against the Chiefs.

I haven’t heard anything,” coach Joe Philbin said, via Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald. “We’re operating under the premise that the suspensions are going to stand until I hear different.”

Likewise, defensive coordinator Kevin Coyle said he’s not going to spend game-planning time considering someone who isn’t available to him yet.

“Unless we know that they’re practicing, we can’t waste practice time on what ifs,” Coyle said. “We have to go out there and get guys ready to play. When guys haven’t been practicing, generally they don’t play very good when they first come back.”

The Dolphins will have to cut a pair of players to bring Jones and Jordan back into the fold, assuming the deal gets done. Having agreed to an hGH deal three years ago, there’s no telling how long that will be.

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Panthers teammates weary of Greg Hardy story already

Carolina Panthers v Pittsburgh Steelers Getty Images

The Panthers are 2-0, playing defense like no one else in the league and their injured franchise quarterback is back on the field.

But it’s largely gone unnoticed, thanks to the swirl of attention around domestic violence in general and Greg Hardy in particular.

Yeah, you get tired of it,” center Ryan Kalil said, via Bill Voth of Black and Blue Review. “There’s nothing for us to do about it. We don’t have to make those decisions. I’m glad we don’t have to make those decisions.”

Kalil’s one of the few players to say much about it, because it’s an unfair position to put a player in expecting his true feelings. Either support a teammate and incur the wrath of the mob, or rip a guy who may be back on the field with you soon.

That’s left coach Ron Rivera to jump on the grenades for the public, saying that Hardy would practice, but they haven’t decided whether he’d play this week.

“We’re in a situation where we’re going to go through this week and evaluate the circumstances and situation. In light of a lot of things that have happened, we’re going to continue to gather information,” Rivera said. “This is a fluid situation, and we’ll see what happens.”

Those within the team are expecting Hardy to play soon, if not this week. Putting him back in the lineup for a prime time game against the Steelers on Sunday Night Football would be unlikely, as blatant a sign of indifference as the Vikings have shown with Adrian Peterson.

A more likely scenario would have Hardy making his return the following week, on the road at Baltimore, where the attention will be on their reunion with Steve Smith.

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Seahawks assistant Pat Ruel returns to Seattle following hospital stay for irregular heartbeat

Seattle Seahawks 2011 Headshots Getty Images

Seattle Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll said Monday that assistant offensive line coach Pat Ruel was returning to Seattle after an overnight stay at a San Diego hospital due to an irregular heartbeat.

Ruel was taken to the hospital following Seattle’s 30-21 loss to the San Diego Chargers on Sunday afternoon. Temperatures at Qualcomm Stadium were approaches 120 degrees on the field during the game. Though Ruel coaches from the press box during games, the ambient temperature was well into the 90s as well.

Earl Thomas, Kam Chancellor and Byron Maxwell all had to leave the game due to cramps at various stages of the game. The heat could also have contributed to Ruel’s condition.

After an overnight evaluation, Ruel was released and boarded a return flight to Seattle Monday afternoon.

“Everything went well this morning so he’s in good shape,” Carroll said. “Easy for me to say but that’s the report he sent me.”

After coaching with Carroll at USC, Ruel joined the Seahawks as an offensive line coach after Alex Gibbs quit on the team following training camp in 2010. He had previous NFL coaching stints with the Giants, Bills, Packers and Lions.

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Eagles ride second half rally for second straight week to earn 30-27 win over Colts

Philadelphia Eagles v Indianapolis Colts Getty Images

Cory Parkey converted a 36-yard field goal as time expired to give the Philadelphia Eagles a come-from-behind victory for the second straight week in a 30-27 win over the Indianapolis Colts.

The Eagles rallied from a 17-0 deficit against the Jacksonville Jaguars in Week 1 and again rallied from a double-digit second half deficit to sing the Colts Monday night. The Eagles move to 2-0 with the victory while the Colts fall to 0-2.

With the Colts leading 27-20 and deep in Eagles territory in search of a score to put the game away, Malcolm Jenkins intercepted Andrew Luck to give Philadelphia renewed life. However, the manner in which the interception occurred was questionable. Brandon Boykin appeared to hold T.Y. Hilton and Hilton fell down on the play. The pass was then easily snagged by Jenkins to give the Eagles possession.

The Eagles then overcame a bad horse-collar tackle call by the officials with a 51-yard screen pass to Darren Sproles to advance to the Indianapolis 6-yard line. After a timeout, Nick Foles hit Jeremy Maclin for a touchdown to tie the game at 27-all with 3:25 left to play.

Foles finished 21 of 37 for 331 yards with a touchdown and an interception.

The Colts went three-and-out on their ensuing possession and punted back to Philadelphia.

Sproles’ career-high 152 receiving yards led the Eagles. He also scored on a 19-yard touchdown run..

A 2-yard touchdown pass from Luck to Jack Doyle gave the Colts a 17-6 lead at halftime.

After an Adam Vinatieri field goal extended the lead to 20-6, the Eagles began to rally. A pass interference call on Vontae Davis set up a 1-yard touchdown run by LeSean McCoy to pull within a score.

Sproles’ touchdown tied the game at 20-all late in the third quarter.

Ahmad Bradshaw scored on a 7-yard touchdown pass from Luck to again give the Colts the lead. Indianapolis had moved to the edge of the Eagles red zone before Luck’s interception gave the Eagles their chance to rally late.

Trent Richardson had his best performance in a Colts uniform since being acquired via trade last year. Richardson carried 21 times for 79 yards for Indianapolis, surpassing his previous team high of 64 yards from last December. However, he did fumble twice as well.

Eagles linebacker Mychal Kendricks left the game with a calf injury and did not return.

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Vikings knew of other abuse accusation, reinstated Peterson anyway

Zygi Wilf, Adrian Peterson AP

The Minnesota Vikings were aware when they reinstated Adrian Peterson today that Peterson has been accused of abusing more than one of his children.

Hours after news broke this evening that Peterson has been accused of abusing another one of his sons — in a separate incident from the accusation that led to his indictment last week — the Vikings released a statement admitting that they knew of that accusation and decided to bring Peterson back to the team today anyway.

“As part of the information we have gathered throughout this process, we were made aware of an allegation from 2013 in which authorities took no action against Adrian. We will defer any further questions to Adrian’s attorney Rusty Hardin,” the Vikings’ statement said.

Vikings General Manager Rick Spielman said nothing about the prior Peterson abuse accusation when he said today that the team would let the legal process play out. The Vikings deactivated Peterson for Sunday’s game after he was indicted on a charge of injuring another one of his sons, but they said today that they will let him play the rest of the season.

The Vikings have already lost a sponsor in this mess, which may put pressure on other sponsors to act as well. If more sponsors pull out, that might be what it takes for the Vikings to take action. Apparently two separate abuse accusations aren’t enough to make the Vikings take action.

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Radisson pulling sponsorship of Vikings “effective immediately”

cd0ymzcznguwzdbhnduynddiytjhm2yyzthlmtjjotqwyyznptgyyje0odhkymywnjq2nwi5nzuwmmflzwrkngi5y2y5 AP

A Vikings sponsor is ending its corporate support of the club for the time being after Adrian Peterson’s Friday arrest on a charge of recklessly or negligently injuring a child.

The Radisson hotel chain announced Monday night it was “suspending its limited sponsorship of the Minnesota Vikings while we evaluate the facts and circumstances.”

Said the hotel in a statement issued on the website of its parent company, Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group: “Radisson takes this matter very seriously particularly in light of our long-standing commitment to the protection of children.”

The suspension of the company’s sponsorship is “effective immediately,” Radisson said.

The Radisson logo was present behind the Vikings’ press conference podium on Monday, when G.M. Rick Spielman and coach Mike Zimmer met with the media and were asked about the decision to reinstate Peterson, who was deactivated for Sunday’s game vs. New England.

Peterson’s arrest stems from an incident in which he disciplined his four-year-old son with a switch. In a statement Monday, Peterson said he “never ever intended to harm” his son.

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Adrian Peterson’s lawyer says other abuse accusation is untrue

Peterson Arrested Football AP

The attorney for Adrian Peterson says the latest accusation that Peterson abused one of his children is untrue.

Responding to today’s news that Peterson was investigated last year for causing a head wound to one of his sons, lawyer Rusty Hardin released a statement denying the charge.

“The allegation of another investigation into Adrian Peterson is simply not true. The allegation is more than one year old and authorities took no action. An adult witness admittedly insists Adrian did nothing inappropriate with his son,” Hardin said in a statement.

However, the mere fact that Hardin is admitting there was another allegation against Peterson — in addition to the criminal charge he’s facing for allegedly abusing another son — could be enough to force the NFL to suspend Peterson. In 2010, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell suspended Ben Roethlisberger for two allegations of sexual assault, even though Roethlisberger was never arrested or charged in either case. When Goodell made that decision, he said that multiple accusations constitute a pattern of behavior, and that when there’s been a pattern established, the NFL will act.

“The issue here is with respect to a pattern of behavior and bad judgments,” Goodell told Dan Patrick in 2010. “You do not have to be convicted or even charged of a crime to be able to demonstrate that you’ve violated a personal conduct policy.”

Peterson has not been convicted, but he has been charged in one case and accused in another. Based on the precedent Goodell set with the Roethlisberger case, there’s more than enough reason to suspend Peterson now.

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Richardson struggles, Bradshaw gives Colts an early lead

richardson AP

Trent Richardson is the starter, but Ahmad Bradshaw is the Colts’ best running back.

Bradshaw played well after replacing Richardson on the Colts’ second drive tonight, extending the drive with a 29-yard gain on fourth-and-1 and later catching a one-yard touchdown pass on fourth-and-goal to give the Colts an early 7-3 lead.

Richardson looked more or less like he’s always looked since the Colts sent a first-round draft pick to Cleveland to acquire him: Slow and plodding, and prone to fumbling. Richardson did break off a nice 15-yard run, but his other four runs went for a total of five yards. Richardson also got bailed out by Reggie Wayne, who pounced on Richardson’s fumble on the Colts’ second drive.

Eventually, the Colts’ coaches may realize that Bradshaw is better than Richardson, just as they eventually realized last year that Donald Brown was better than Richardson. But Eagles fans should hope that realization does not come tonight. The more carries Richardson gets, the better chance the Eagles have of winning.

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Second Adrian Peterson case involves alleged head wound, scar

AdrianPeterson Reuters

Vikings running back Adrian Peterson, revered for years as one of the nicest guys in all of sports, is turning out to be anything but nice or reasonable when it comes to administering discipline to his children.

According to KHOU 11 in Houston, the second case against Peterson, which has not yet resulted in criminal charges, arose after he administered a “whooping” to another four-year-old son by creating a head wound that reportedly left a scar over the boy’s right eye.

In a chain of text messages with the boy’s mother, Peterson admits that the wound occurred as Peterson disciplined the boy for cussing at a sibling.

Per the report, Peterson never admits what he struck the boy with, but Peterson told the boy’s mother, “Be still n take ya whooping he would have saved the [scar].”  No charges were filed, according to the report.  The boy’s mother filed a report with Child Protective Services; the outcome of the investigation is unclear.

The fact that Peterson faces allegations in a separate case compels the league to aggressively investigate both incidents, and to take action against Peterson, if the league determines that Peterson did what he is accused of doing.  Failure to act promptly would suggest a level of indifference to child welfare that justifiably should make fans equally indifferent to the NFL.

UPDATE 9:50 p.m. ET:  Peterson’s lawyer, Rusty Hardin, says that the allegation against Peterson is “simply not true.”

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Reports: Adrian Peterson investigated for another abuse case

adrianpeterson AP

If, as it appears, Vikings running back Adrian Peterson didn’t see anything wrong with spanking one of his children with a switch until the boy’s flesh ripped open and bled, logic suggests that it wasn’t a one-time occurrence.

According to multiple reports, it may not have been.

KHOU 11 in Houston and FOX 9 in Minneapolis report that Peterson has been investigated for a second abuse case involving another one of his sons.

The Vikings reinstated Peterson on Monday after a one-game deactivation arising from Friday’s indictment on charges of reckless of negligent injury to a child in Texas.  Stay tuned for more details regarding the second case.

Peterson is presumed innocent in a court of law.  The Vikings and the NFL will be presumed inept and immoral in the court of public opinion if either or both continue to hide behind Constitutional protections that relate only to the deprivation of a person’s liberty and not to the privilege to play football in exchange for millions of dollars and worldwide fame.

UPDATE 8:05 p.m. ET:  The full report from KHOU 11 indicates that the boy’s mother made a report of the injury to Child Protective Services, but that no charges were filed against Peterson.

UPDATE 9:50 p.m. ET:  Peterson’s lawyer, Rusty Hardin, says that the allegation against Peterson is “simply not true.”

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