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PFT Live: Recalling the heartbreak in K.C.

Mike Florio talks about the unthinkable tragedy that occurred in Kansas City this weekend. He also discusses a pair of QB controversies that arose this weekend. Is Jim Harbaugh rethinking his decision to start Colin Kaepernick over Alex Smith? Is Greg McElroy the guy in New York as the Jets head to Tim Tebow’s hometown of Jacksonville?

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Bills release kickoff specialist

ORCHARD PARK, NY - AUGUST 28:  Jordan Gay #4 of the Buffalo Bills warms up before the preseason game againt the Detroit Lions at Ralph Wilson Stadium on August 28, 2014 in Orchard Park, New York.  (Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images) Getty Images

The Bills released kickoff specialist Jordan Gay on Tuesday.

No corresponding roster move was announced. The move was probably made to create a roster spot for later in the week when the Bills know more about the status of some of their injured players.

Gay had been with the Bills since 2014. He handled the kickoffs in two games this season.

The Bills also made two practice squad moves, adding wide receiver Ed Eagan and center Terran Vaughn to their practice squad and cutting linebacker Carlos Fields and safety Damian Parms.

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Branden Albert likely to be a game-time decision Thursday

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - NOVEMBER 29:   Branden Albert #76 of the Miami Dolphins in action against the New York Jets during their game at MetLife Stadium on November 29, 2015 in East Rutherford, New Jersey.  (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images) Getty Images

The Dolphins may be down to their third-string center against the Bengals on Thursday night, which would make the loss of another starting offensive lineman a tough pill to swallow.

It’s one they will have to be prepared for, though. Left tackle Branden Albert missed the team’s walkthrough practice on Tuesday because of an ankle injury and coach Adam Gase said that a call on Albert’s status for the game will likely go down to the wire.

“It looks better today than it did yesterday, so that’s encouraging to us,” Gase said, via ESPN.com. “When you got a veteran guy like that who knows how to get his body right fast, he’s a very tough guy. So we’ll just see how it plays out. I don’t know. I probably won’t know until [Thursday].”

If Albert can’t go, the team could move right guard Jermon Bushrod to left tackle, a position he’s played in the past, or they could push left guard Larmey Tunsil outside.

Center Anthony Steen has a high-ankle sprain and Mike Pouncey still isn’t practicing due to his hip injury. Tight end Jordan Cameron and running back Arian Foster have already been ruled out and two starting linebackers — Koa Misi and Jelani Jenkins — didn’t practice.

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Bears sign running back Joique Bell

Wild Card Playoffs - Detroit Lions v Dallas Cowboys Getty Images

As if they didn’t have enough other problems, the Bears found themselves thin in the backfield with the injury to Jeremy Langford.

They found a familiar face to fill the gap, signing former Lions running back Joique Bell, according to Joique Bell’s social media.

The 30-year-old Bell had worked out for the Lions lately, but has a chance at a more immediate role with the Bears.

Langford is expected to miss four to six weeks with a high ankle sprain suffered Sunday night against the Cowboys. That left rookie Jordan Howard as the primary back, since Ka’Deem Carey was out with a hamstring injury.

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Giants sign a cornerback with two ailing

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - SEPTEMBER 01: D.J. Foster #27 of the New England Patriots runs in for a touchdown in front of Michael Hunter #39 of the New York Giants during a preseason game at MetLife Stadium on September 1, 2016 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images) Getty Images

The Giants aren’t sure whether running back Shane Vereen will miss the rest of the regular season as a result of a triceps injury, but they still went ahead and put him on injured reserve Tuesday.

While Vereen’s situation can be revisited after at least six weeks on the list, the move opened a roster spot now and the Giants used it for some insurance against a pair of other injuries. The team announced that they have added cornerback Michael Hunter to the active roster.

Hunter spent most of last week on the team’s roster before being dispatched on Saturday in favor of safety Andrew Adams, who had a crucial personal foul in their 29-27 loss to the Redskins. Hunter’s back because Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and Eli Apple both left that game with injuries that could leave them unavailable for this week’s game against the Vikings. Hunter was also with the team in the preseason.

In the even the Giants need more help at corner, they could promote Steelers 2015 fourth-round pick Doran Grant from the practice squad after also signing him on Tuesday.

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Mohamed Sanu “day-to-day” with shoulder injury

ATLANTA, GA - SEPTEMBER 11:  Mohamed Sanu #12 of the Atlanta Falcons scores a two-point conversion against Chris Conte #23 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Georgia Dome on September 11, 2016 in Atlanta, Georgia.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) Getty Images

Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan said he’s good to go after hurting his left thumb in Monday night’s victory over the Saints, but it will be a little while before the team knows if wide receiver Mohamed Sanu qualifies for the same label.

For now, coach Dan Quinn is calling Sanu “day-to-day” as a result of the shoulder injury that knocked him out of the 45-32 win. Sanu left the game just before halftime.

Sanu, who signed with Atlanta as a free agent this offseason, had three catches for 31 yards before exiting the game. He has 11 catches for 130 yards overall, giving him the most catches of any wide receiver on the team.

Part of the reason for that is Julio Jones‘ quiet night against the Saints. Jones had one catch after a limited practice week as a result of a calf injury. Quinn said Tuesday, via Vaughn McClure of ESPN.com, that he doesn’t expect Jones to be limited in this week’s sessions.

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49ers add to receiving corps, sign Keshawn Martin

FOXBORO, MA - DECEMBER 20:  Keshawn Martin #82 of the New England Patriots runs with the ball during the game against the Tennessee Titans at Gillette Stadium on December 20, 2015 in Foxboro, Massachusetts.  (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images) Getty Images

The 49ers aren’t exactly what you’d call overburdened with offensive firepower at the moment.

So they made an addition to their receiving core, though he’s a lot like a lot of the other players they have on hand.

Per Matt Maiocco of CSNBayArea.com, the 49ers signed former Patriots wideout Keshawn Martin to a two-year deal.

Martin’s primarily been a special teamer, but it’s the 49ers, so who knows. Their current leading receiver is Jeremy Kerley (12 catches for 114 yards), so the bar is not exactly set particularly high.

Martin caught 24 passes for the Patriots last year, after spending his first three years with the Texans.

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Mike Tomlin says Le’Veon Bell will be ready to carry the load

PITTSBURGH, PA - OCTOBER 01: Le'Veon Bell #26 of the Pittsburgh Steelers runs the ball during the game against the Baltimore Ravens at Heinz Field on October 1, 2015 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images) Getty Images

Steelers running back Le’Veon Bell is back from his three-game suspension, and coach Mike Tomlin doesn’t think he’ll have to ease Bell back into the lineup.

“His level of conditioning is not a concern to us,” Tomlin said of Bell. “A guy that is highly conditioned over a 12 month calendar. We have seen him every day, he has been a part of us, and he has been in the building. He is up to speed on what we are doing from a schematic standpoint and really in tune there. We will see how sharp he is physically once we get on the practice field. But rest assured, you are going to see Le’Veon Bell and probably a lot of him on Sunday.”

DeAngelo Williams did a good job filling in for Bell the first two weeks of the season, but last week Williams managed just eight carries for 21 yards in a blowout loss to the Eagles. The Steelers need Bell to help get their offense back on track.

When Bell is available he’s one of the best running backs in the NFL. Last year he averaged 93 yards a game on the ground and also caught four passes a game.

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Doug Pederson: Carson Wentz has some of same instincts as Brett Favre

Philadelphia Eagles' Carson Wentz, center, celebrates with Jordan Matthews after Matthews scored a touchdown during the first half of an NFL football game against the Pittsburgh Steelers, Sunday, Sept. 25, 2016, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Michael Perez) AP

The Eagles are 3-0 and rookie quarterback Carson Wentz has played well in all three games, which has led to some big names being tossed around when asked to compare him to other quarterbacks.

Coach Doug Pederson said Monday that Wentz’s film-watching habits are “Peyton Manning-ish” and offensive coordinator Frank Reich invoked Jim Kelly’s name earlier this month. Reich spent a lot of time watching Kelly when he was a backup with the Bills and Pederson compared Wentz to a Hall of Famer that he played behind in Green Bay on Tuesday.

While on Sirius XM NFL Radio with Brett Favre, Pederson said that Wentz has a few things in common with No. 4.

“Brett, watching you play and being with you for eight years in Green Bay, this kid has some of the same instincts — and I’ve said this to people — that you had,” Pederson said. “Eyes are always downfield, you’re looking for that big play, the home-run play, the broken play. And he’s got that in him and that’s something that’s very special. And you can’t teach that. That’s an instinct that a lot of people don’t have and we’re fortunate that our guy has it.”

Pederson mentioned Favre as a comp for Wentz during the draft as well, so the team didn’t wait until Wentz took the league by storm before putting him in some rarified company. The Eagles are on a bye week, which may slow the train down a little bit.

Or it might lead to someone calling him the second coming of Otto Graham because of their similar resting skills. In either case, it’s overwhelmingly clear that the Eagles like what they have in their rookie quarterback.

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Reggie Bush could be on the outs in Buffalo

BALTIMORE, MD - SEPTEMBER 11: Running back Reggie Bush #22 of the Buffalo Bill carries the ball as he is tackled by linebacker Za'Darius Smith #90 of the Baltimore Ravens and cornerback Kyle Arrington #24 of the Baltimore Ravens in the second half of the Buffalo Bills vs. the Baltimore Ravens game at M&T Bank Stadium on September 11, 2016 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images) Getty Images

Reggie Bush viewed the Bills as his best option for 2016. Through three games, the Bills haven’t viewed Bush as much of an option at all.

In the first two games, Bush had three carries for minus-four yards. For Week Three, the team’s official website suggested that Bush could play some receiver. Ultimately, he didn’t play at all.

Mike Rodak of ESPN.com notes that Bush’s disappearance could result in him being dumped from the lineup as of Monday, when defensive tackle Marcell Dareus and offensive tackle Seantrel Henderson return from four-game suspensions.

If Bush is released, he’ll be entitled to collect the balance of his $1 million base salary as termination pay. But if the Bills are going to pay him not to play while serving as a member of the team, they may as well open the roster spot and pay him not to play while not serving as a member of the team.

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Jeff Fisher: We’ll continue to address penalties

TAMPA, FL - SEPTEMBER 25: Los Angeles Rams head coach Jeff Fisher walks the sideline in the second half of their NFL football game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Raymond James Stadium on September 25, 2016 in Tampa, Florida.  (Photo by Mark Wallheiser/Getty Images) Getty Images

The Rams had a player ejected for the second time in three weeks on Sunday when defensive lineman Eugene Sims was sent to the showers after a Buccaneers extra point early in the second quarter.

Sims was flagged for unsportsmanlike conduct after a post-kick spat, which means he got to join defensive tackle Aaron Donald as Rams players disqualified for games this season. The Rams’ penalty issues have gone beyond ejections as well.

They have been penalized 27 times for 249 yards through three games, something that coach Jeff Fisher said would be addressed this week.

“No place for it,” Fisher said, via ESPN.com. “No place for it at all. … It’s going to be addressed [Tuesday]. It falls under that category of the pre-snap and post-snap penalties that you just can’t have. … It doesn’t look good. We’ve addressed it, and we’ll continue to address it.”

The Rams have been among the eight most-penalized teams in the league in each of Fisher’s four full years as the team’s head coach and the same was true of two of his last three Titans teams, so it’s fair to wonder how much impact an in-season refresher course will have on a team that routinely finds itself on the wrong side of the line.

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NFL claims it shouldn’t be a party to Hall of Fame litigation

CANTON, OH - AUGUST 07: A Green Bay Packers fan sits in the stands prior to the NFL Hall of Fame Game against the Indianapolis Colts at Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium on August 7, 2016 in Canton, Ohio. The game was cancelled due to poor field conditions. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images) Getty Images

Regarding the Hall of Fame Game class action, the NFL has dusted off the time-honored “it wasn’t me” defense.

The league has sought dismissal of the lawsuit demanding reimbursement for fans who traveled to Canton for the scuttled exhibition game between the Colts and Packers, with the argument that the league was not a party to the contract allegedly breached between seller and buyer.

“The NFL did not issue the tickets, had no involvement in the Hall of Fame’s sale or distribution of the tickets, and did not receive any of the proceeds from the sale of those tickets,” the league’s lawyers wrote.

The league points to the fact that the Hall of Fame accepted full responsibility for the cancellation of the game, which happened due to delayed painting of the field and negligence in the drying of the paint, which melted many of the millions of rubber pellets that cushion the turf, creating a safety hazard for players.

In a response filed Monday, the plaintiffs argue that the NFL is named on the tickets, and that at a minimum a jury would have to decide whether there’s a sufficient connection between the Hall of Fame and the NFL to justify making the league responsible.

The plaintiffs also contend that the NFL is, at worst, and “undisclosed principal,” pointing to comments from Colts owner Jim Irsay, who said after the cancellation, “Hey, you’re a $12 billion league. How could you not have a field out there ready to go.” Likewise, NFL executive V.P. of football operations Troy Vincent sent an internal memo to all teams pointing out that he is “ultimately” accountable for the field.

It’s hard to imagine the NFL wiggling off the hook for its admitted failure to ensure the readiness of a field on which two NFL teams would be playing. The Commissioner and several owners serve on the Hall of Fame’s Board of Trustees, and few regard the Hall of Fame as an entity separate and apart from the NFL.

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Both Jimmy Garoppolo and Jacoby Brissett at practice

FOXBORO, MA - AUGUST 11: Jacoby Brissett #7 of the New England Patriots and Jimmy Garoppolo #10 enter the field for drills before a preseason game with New Orleans Saints at Gillette Stadium on August 11, 2016 in Foxboro, Massachusetts. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images) Getty Images

It remains to be seen if one or both can actually suit up and play this week, but at least the two quarterbacks on the Patriots roster were actually on the practice field today.

According to Mike Reiss of ESPN.com, both Jimmy Garoppolo and Jacoby Brissett were on hand for the start of practice, as the team hopes one or both will be available this week against the Bills.

Garoppolo missed last week’s win over the Texans with a sprained AC joint in his right shoulder. Rookie Brissett started, but suffered a thumb injury that has led to some speculation about his status.

Brissett had tape around his thumb and wrist, and joked with reporters as he walked through the locker room, saying: “Never seen so many people looking at my hand.”

Garoppolo didn’t say anything, but he wasn’t in a sling or anything, either.

Reporters were only there for stretching, and the Patriots don’t have to submit an injury report until tomorrow. And they’re a week away from Tom Brady coming back, at which point the panic won’t be as intense.

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Kory Lichtensteiger injury could open door for John Sullivan

MINNEAPOLIS, MN - DECEMBER 29: John Sullivan #65 of the Minnesota Vikings looks on before the game against the Detroit Lions on December 29, 2013 at Mall of America Field at the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images) Getty Images

Redskins coach Jay Gruden called center Kory Lichtensteiger’s calf injury “moderate” on Monday, but it may keep him out long enough for the team to bring in outside help to cover for his absence.

Mike Garafolo of NFL Media reports that Lichtensteiger’s injury may land him on injured reserve. As a result, the team is bringing former Vikings center John Sullivan in for a workout on Tuesday.

Sullivan was released by the Vikings in late August after attempts to find a trade partner failed to result in a deal. The Vikings opted to go with Joe Berger as their starter in the middle of the line this season.

Sullivan started all but three games for the Vikings between 2009 and 2014 before missing all of last season with a back injury. He was a productive player before the injury and would make a good fill-in for the Redskins if his long layoff hasn’t left too much rust on his game.

Spencer Long filled in for Lichtensteiger after he left last Sunday’s game against the Giants and Gruden said on Monday that the team was considering bringing in offensive line help with left guard Shawn Lauvao ailing as well.

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Panthers bring back defensive tackle Kyle Love

CHARLOTTE, NC - NOVEMBER 22:  Kyle Love #93 of the Carolina Panthers reacts after a sack of Kirk Cousins #8 of the Washington Redskins during their game at Bank of America Stadium on November 22, 2015 in Charlotte, North Carolina.  (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images) Getty Images

The Panthers have spent more resources on their defensive tackle position than most, but they’ve found themselves thin at the moment.

According to Bill Voth of Black and Blue Review, the Panthers have brought back defensive tackle Kyle Love to cover the absence of first-round pick Vernon Butler, who suffered a high ankle sprain last week.

Love was in camp with the Panthers this offseason, but was squeezed out of the depth chart that includes first-rounders Butler and Star Lotulelei, second-rounder Kawann Short and veteran Paul Soliai.

No corresponding move has been announced.

Love, who has also spent time with the Patriots, Chiefs, and Jaguars, was a valuable rotation player for the Panthers last year, with 4.0 sacks in 18 regular season and playoff games.

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Vikings elevate Willie Beavers

helmets-1 Getty Images

With guard Alex Boone hobbled by a hip injury, the Vikings have called up more help at the position. Specifically, the NFC North leaders have promoted Willie Beavers, a fourth-round pick who didn’t qualify for the team’s 53-man roster.

Beavers has served on the practice squad since being cut and clearing waivers. He could find himself activated if Boone misses time after an injury that happened on Sunday in Charlotte.

The Vikings weren’t required to release a player, due to the availability of a roster spot following the placement of running back Adrian Peterson on injured reserve last week.

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