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PFT’s Week 15 picks

Peterson AP

Three weeks remain, and I’ve gradually built the lead back to four games.

But MDS has a chance to trim the gap down to one, if he’s right and I’m wrong on the three games on which we disagree.

And yes, Raiders fans, after four weeks of picking your team to lose, getting the exact score of two games right, missing a third exacta by one point, and correctly predicting the Raiders’ point total in all four games, MDS is picking your team to win this week.

Our picks on all Week 15 games appear below.  (Then again, where the hell else would they be?)

For last week, I eked out the win, 11-5 to 10-6.  For the year, I’m 134-73-1, a 64.4 percent accuracy rate.  MDS is 130-77-1, which keeps him at 62.5 percent.

Bengals at Eagles

MDS’s take: I’d been saying for weeks that the Eagles have given up on the season and wouldn’t win another game this year, and they proved me wrong with a spirited effort on Sunday, beating a Buccaneers team with playoff aspirations. So can they do that twice in a row? I don’t see it. Bengals defensive tackle Geno Atkins will lead a defense that will make life miserable for Nick Foles.

MDS’s pick: Bengals 24, Eagles 10.

Florio’s take:  The Eagles have now won more recently than the Phillies.  At least that can’t change until April.  Between now and then, the Eagles will change, plenty.

Florio’s pick:  Bengals 24, Eagles 17.

Giants at Falcons

MDS’s take: The Falcons are still the favorites to earn home-field advantage throughout the NFC playoffs, but I think the Giants are the better team. It wouldn’t surprise me to see the Giants win in Atlanta in December and then do it again in January.

MDS’s pick: Giants 30, Falcons 20.

Florio’s take:  The Falcons need a win to prove they can win in the playoffs.  The Giants need a win to help ensure they’ll get to the playoffs.  This one feels like the NFC version of Texans-Patriots.

Florio’s pick:  Giants 31, Falcons 21.

Broncos at Ravens

MDS’s take: Baltimore’s decision to fire offensive coordinator Cam Cameron strikes me as a desperation move. The Ravens know they’re not as good as the three elite teams in the AFC, and the Broncos are going to demonstrate that on Sunday in Baltimore.

MDS’s pick: Broncos 24, Ravens 14.

Florio’s take:  The Ravens don’t match up well against Peyton Manning.  They never have.  Throw in a flat-tire offense that the Ravens are trying to change while the car is moving, and the late-season slide continues.

Florio’s pick:  Broncos 28, Ravens 20.

Packers at Bears

MDS’s take: The Packers can clinch the NFC North with a win, and I think they’ll do just that. Lovie Smith has said from his first day as the Bears’ coach that his No. 1 goal is to beat Green Bay, and Smith’s seat will get even hotter when he fails to do that on Sunday at Soldier Field.

MDS’s pick: Packers 28, Bears 13.

Florio’s take:  If Jay Cutler doesn’t play, who’ll shove J’Marcus Webb when this one starts to go south?

Florio’s pick:  Packers 24, Bears 13.

Redskins at Browns

MDS’s take: The Redskins have been red hot lately, but the Browns are better than people give them credit for. Whether it’s Robert Griffin III or Kirk Cousins, the Redskins’ quarterback is going to have a tough time against Cleveland’s defense, and I like the Browns to win a close, low-scoring game.

MDS’s pick: Browns 13, Redskins 10.

Florio’s take:  With or without RG3, the Redskins have found their groove and they’ll continue to push for the playoffs.  Still, this one could be the toughest challenge yet, notwithstanding wins over the Ravens, Giants, and Cowboys.

Florio’s pick:  Redskins 24, Browns 21.

Colts at Texans

MDS’s take: The Texans don’t have much time to lick their wounds after the epic beating they took in New England, but Houston is a more complete team than Indianapolis and should put the Colts away and clinch the AFC South.

MDS’s pick: Texans 24, Colts 17.

Florio’s take:  The Texans may have never won in Indy, but they’ve finally figured out how to beat Indy in Texas.  Besides, the Texans need the win to stay ahead of the Pats for the top seed — and the Colts for the division crown.

Florio’s pick:  Texans 28, Colts 17.

Jaguars at Dolphins

MDS’s take: Neither of these teams is particularly good, but the Dolphins at least look like they’re going in the right direction, while the Jaguars look like they need to be torn apart and rebuilt from the ground up.

MDS’s pick: Dolphins 20, Jaguars 7.

Florio’s take:  The Jags’ travel expenses will be low.  Their offensive output will be even lower.  And no one will notice.

Florio’s pick:  Dolphins 20, Jaguars 10.

Buccaneers at Saints

MDS’s take: Drew Brees will turn in a big game against a depleted Buccaneers secondary, and the Saints will put together a solid win, too late for it to matter in the playoff race.

MDS’s pick: Saints 31, Buccaneers 21.

Florio’s take:  Not long ago, both of these teams had a real shot at the postseason.  Now?  Not.  Though the Bucs have held their own in the Bayou in recent years, the Saints will be buoyed by their bounty victory.

Florio’s pick:  Saints 27, Buccaneers 23.

Vikings at Rams

MDS’s take: Raise your hand if you actually predicted before the season that this Week 15 game would have playoff implications for both teams. I’m betting on both of these teams falling just short, but I’m impressed that Jeff Fisher and Leslie Frazier have their teams playing well into December. I see the Rams’ defense forcing Christian Ponder into three interceptions and the Rams ending the Vikings’ playoff hopes.

MDS’s pick: Rams 21, Vikings 16.

Florio’s take:  I broke from my vow to never pick the Vikings again this year after their Week 11 bye, and it turned out to be a smart move.  For a change.  So why not do it again?  The young Rams remain inconsistent, and they’re due to lay an egg like the one they popped out against the Jets last month.  Meanwhile, Adrian Peterson is making a run at history.  What better way to take a big chunk out of the gap between A.P. and E.D. (that nickname isn’t as cool as it used to be) than to do it against the team with which he set the record?

Florio’s pick:  Vikings 20, Rams 13.

Lions at Cardinals

MDS’s take: Neither team is playing particularly well, but at least the Lions are playing competitively. The Cardinals aren’t doing anything right.

MDS’s pick: Lions 20, Cardinals 6.

Florio’s take:  Something’s gotta give when a pair of crappy teams get together in Arizona.  The Lions are the lesser of two evils, thanks to the fact that they have the better of the two starting quarterbacks.  By far.

Florio’s pick:  Lions 31, Cardinals 17.

Seahawks at Bills

MDS’s take: Seattle catches a break here, as a bad road team is going not to Buffalo but to Toronto, where the pro-Bills crowd won’t be quite as raucous. The Seahawks strike me as a team peaking at the right time, and they’ll beat Buffalo handily.

MDS’s pick: Seahawks 34, Bills 17.

Florio’s take:  The Seahawks are getting better on the road.  Especially when the road is more like the semi-neutral site that is Toronto.  The push continues for a playoff berth — and possibly the NFC West crown.

Florio’s pick:  Seahawks 33, Bills 20.

Panthers at Chargers

MDS’s take: Give credit to both of these teams: Late in a tough season, when it would be easy to mail it in, they’re both playing hard. So this should be a pretty good game, something you can’t often say about a December game when both teams have losing records. A big game from Philip Rivers will win it for the Chargers.

MDS’s pick: Chargers 31, Panthers 28.

Florio’s take:  Ron Rivera returns to San Diego, with inside information about the Chargers’ offense and a quarterback who seems to be finding his stride, again.  Sunday’s upset by San Diego over the Steelers was an aberration; the Panthers’ unexpected win over Atlanta wasn’t.

Florio’s pick:  Panthers 27, Chargers 20.

Steelers at Cowboys

MDS’s take: This might be the best game on a great NFL Sunday because both teams are desperate. Then again, the Steelers were desperate last week, too, and they laid an egg. Pittsburgh looks like it’s fading down the stretch.

MDS’s pick: Cowboys 20, Steelers 13.

Florio’s take:  It’s a rematch of three prior Super Bowls, and each team’s ability to pursue another Super Bowl appearance rides on the outcome.  It’s hard to overlook that ugly home loss by the Steelers — and it’s even harder to ignore the sense that the Cowboys are finding a way to pull together after Saturday’s tragedy.

Florio’s pick:  Cowboys 27, Steelers 17.

Chiefs at Raiders

MDS’s take: This might be the worst game on a great NFL Sunday because both teams have nothing to play for other than possibly getting the first overall pick in the 2013 NFL draft. I like the Raiders to win and the Chiefs to take another step toward the top pick.

MDS’s pick: Raiders 21, Chiefs 13.

Florio’s take:  It’s the latest renewal of a once-great rivalry, and it continues to disintegrate.  If the Raiders can win at Arrowhead, they can hold serve at home.

Florio’s pick:  Raiders 17, Chiefs 7.

49ers at Patriots

MDS’s take: In a potential Super Bowl preview on Sunday night, I think the Patriots will show they’re playing at another level from the rest of the league. Tom Brady will have a big game against a good 49ers defense, and Bill Belichick will have something up his sleeve for 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick.

MDS’s pick: Patriots 31, 49ers 17.

Florio’s take:  Another prime-time home game against a playoff-caliber team, another big win for a Patriots team that is poised to make another assault on a championship.

Florio’s pick:  Patriots 34, 49ers 24.

Jets at Titans

MDS’s take: I don’t think the Jets are particularly good, but none of the teams they’re playing in December are particularly good, either. So I like the Jets to win this one, and probably win out to earn a surprising 9-7 record and even an outside shot at an AFC wild card berth.

MDS’s pick: Jets 14, Titans 10.

Florio’s take:  The Jets keep moving toward an unlikely playoff berth.  The Titans keep moving toward an inevitable house cleaning.  Mittens off for Bud Adams!

Florio’s pick:  Jets 14, Titans 10.

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Ravens activate Taliaferro

OAKLAND, CA - SEPTEMBER 20:  Lorenzo Taliaferro #34 of the Baltimore Ravens in action against the Oakland Raiders at Coliseum on September 20, 2015 in Oakland, California.  (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images) Getty Images

The Ravens activated running back Lorenzo Taliaferro from the physically unable to perform list Saturday.

Taliaferro missed all of the offseason and the start of the season while recovering from a foot injury he suffered last October. A third-year player, Taliaferro has five career rushing touchdowns. Terrance West has emerged as the Ravens’ No. 1 running back, but Taliaferro should get some opportunities.

The Ravens also announced some other moves. Cornerback Robertson Daniel was promoted from the practice squad, while tight end Daniel Brown was waived and safety Kendrick Lewis was placed on injured reserve.

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Josh Norman might tap keg on the field, literally

183948012_xs Getty Images

Washington cornerback Josh Norman has been fined for miming the shooting of a bow and arrow during a game. He has now joked about a more literal celebration that would highlight the perceived (or actual) double standard regarding the NFL’s position on celebrations.

“I’ll say this,” Norman said this week, via USA Today. “Since they sell beer on TV while kids are watching it, I’m thinking I might open a keg on the field, and I’m going to drink it on the field. And I don’t see that being on the rule book.”

While Norman is right about the absence of any “thou shalt nots” regarding the use of a beer keg in celebrations, there is a general ban regarding the use of props. If, as his teammate Vernon Davis has learned, the ball can be regarded as a prop when simulating a basketball shot through the goalpost, a beer keg would be regarded as a prop, too.

And even if Norman were to opt for cracking a keg on the sidelines in the same way Norman’s nemesis does whatever it is he’s doing with the kicking net, that surely would draw the ire of the NFL. But it also would underscore the inherent hypocrisy regarding the NFL’s insistence that players limit their celebrations because, as Commissioner Roger Goodell said Wednesday, “[o]ur players are role models and others look at that at the youth level, so that’s important for us to hold that standard up, and it’s part of being professional.”

If that’s the case, why does the NFL even have an “official beer“? The $1.4 billion in money-for-nothing that the league will generate through 2022 is the obvious reason. And that money will go a long way toward allowing the powers-that-be to overlook the uncomfortable reality that a full embrace of a brand of beer may cause some at the youth level to think they’re not properly following the sport without their Bose headphones plugged in to a Microsoft Surface while gobbling up Papa John’s pizza and washing it down with a Bud Light.

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Lions great Gail Cogdill dies at 79

Football: Detroit Lions Gail Cogdill (89) in action, making catch vs Green Bay Packers Herb Adderley (26) at Tiger Stadium.
Detroit, MI 11/22/1962
CREDIT: John G. Zimmerman (Photo by John G. Zimmerman /Sports Illustrated/Getty Images)
(Set Number: X8872 ) Getty Images

Gail Cogdill, a Detroit Lion who retired as the team’s all-time leading receiver, has died at the age of 79.

As the Lions’ sixth-round draft pick out of Washington State in 1960, Cogdill made an instant impact, being chosen to the Pro Bowl and winning the Rookie of the Year award. That was the first of three Pro Bowl seasons for Cogdill.

“Gail was simply a great football player, an outstanding receiver and teammate,” Hall of Fame teammate and coach Joe Schmidt told the Detroit Free Press. “Frankly, we didn’t take advantage of his ability.”

Cogdill, who also played briefly for the Colts and Falcons, finished his career with 356 catches for 5,696 yards and 34 touchdowns.

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Cox, Beckham fines show NFL’s discipline makes no sense

PHILADELPHIA, PA - DECEMBER 26: Fletcher Cox #91 of the Philadelphia Eagles looks on during the closing moments of a game against the Washington Redskins at Lincoln Financial Field on December 26, 2015 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Redskins defeated the Eagles 38-24. (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images) Getty Images

The NFL fines so many players so much money each week that it’s hard sometimes to keep the numbers straight. But two players recently fined show how little logic there is to the league’s schedule of fines.

Eagles defensive lineman Fletcher Cox has been fined $9,115 after each of his last two games, for illegal hits on Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford and Washington quarterback Kirk Cousins. Meanwhile, Giants receiver Odell Beckham was fined this week $24,309 for taking his helmet off after scoring a touchdown.

Let’s think about that for a moment: Player safety is supposedly the NFL’s highest priority, with excessive hits on quarterbacks among the plays the league most desperately wants to eliminate. And yet when Cox excessively hit two different quarterbacks in back-to-back games, he was fined a total of $18,230. Taking a helmet off after scoring a touchdown harms no one. And yet when Beckham did it once, he was fined $24,309.

If a judge fined one person $500 for jaywalking and fined another person $200 for assault, we’d say that judge’s priorities were seriously skewed. That’s what we should say about the NFL’s approach to player fines as well. These fines are collectively bargained, and so the players themselves bear some of the blame for allowing the NFL’s discipline structure to reach this point, but regardless of who’s to blame, the fines in the NFL are seriously out of whack.

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Antonio Cromartie takes issue with Jim Irsay’s anthem comments

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - SEPTEMBER 25:  Antonio Cromartie #31 of the Indianapolis Colts kneels and raises his fist during the National Anthem before the start of the game against the San Diego Chargers at Lucas Oil Stadium on September 25, 2016 in Indianapolis, Indiana.  (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images) Getty Images

Antonio Cromartie was the only player on the Colts kneeling during the national anthem — until he got cut, not long before Colts owner Jim Irsay said an NFL game is “the wrong venue” for such a protest. Cromartie’s wife thinks that’s why he got cut.

Cromartie himself hasn’t gone that far, but he did write on Instagram that he disagrees with any suggestion that he shouldn’t have made such a protest.

They say it’s not the right place or venue to do what is right and stand for what is right,” Cromartie wrote. “I guarantee that most of the people that’s sending me hate messages don’t even know the top 2 members that are leading in this country in homelessness. Well let me educate you. #1 Veterans #2 Children. But you guys care so much about the people that fought for this country. It’s crazy while I was Indiana I had a chance to talk to some veterans that didn’t have a problem with me taking a knee. Because they understood my reason behind it. I thank them my grandfather and my friends for their support who also served this country.”

Cromartie’s anthem protest surely won’t help him find another job, but it probably doesn’t hurt, either. NFL teams will gladly sign a good player regardless of his political leanings or expressions. Cromartie’s problem is that, at age 32, he’s no longer a good player. We have probably heard the last of him in the NFL, even if he still has important things to say off the field.

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Sam Bradford returns to Philly with better knowledge of Vikings offense

Minnesota Vikings quarterback Sam Bradford (8) throws a pass over Houston Texans outside linebacker Whitney Mercilus, right, during the first half of an NFL football game Sunday, Oct. 9, 2016, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Jim Mone) AP

At one point, it appeared the Vikings and Eagles were on a collision course for a battle of unbeatens. But Philly failed to hold up its end of the bargain, losing a pair of games after the bye.

The Vikings now emerge from their own bye, with quarterback Sam Bradford saying “hello” again to the city where he spent 2015. The extra two weeks gives him more time to learn the offense — and the Vikings more time to tweak it.

For example, Vikings play-by-play announcer (and half of the PA and Florio podcast) Paul Allen said on Friday’s PFT Live that offensive coordinator Norv Turner has used more shotgun formation in order to give Bradford more time, so that he can minimize big hits.

Still, the big hits have happened. Bradford absorbed a hard shot from Texans linebacker Whitney Mercilus in Week Five, taking a helmet to the chin and the turf to the back of the head. But Bradford got up and kept going.

Whether that continues remains to be seen. The Eagles surely will come after him, focusing on weaknesses in the offensive line and perhaps sending extra defenders to overwhelm the pass protection. Whether Bradford can stand tall in the face of the pressure and deliver accurate throws and can keep getting up and doing it again will go along way toward determining whether the only undefeated team in the NFL can extend their record to 6-0.

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Todd Bowles attributes Matt Forte’s struggles to blocking not age

GLENDALE, AZ - OCTOBER 17:  Running back Matt Forte #22 of the New York Jets stands during the national anthem prior to the NFL game against the Arizona Cardinals at the University of Phoenix Stadium on October 17, 2016 in Glendale, Arizona.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) Getty Images

After generating 196 yards rushing and three touchdowns in the team’s first two games, Jets running back Matt Forte has seen his production drop significantly in four straight losses — from 65 yards to 27 to 53 to 19. He also has a career-low 3.5 yards per carry.

Those numbers prompted reporters to ask coach Todd Bowles whether Forte’s struggles are due to the fact that he’ll turn 31 in early December.

“No, I don’t,” Bowles said Friday. “[H]e can still run the ball. We knew his age when we signed him. It’s not about age in this league, it’s about production. There are a lot of older players that can play. If things are going well, you’re good on the plus side of 30. If things aren’t going well, they say you’re old on the plus side of 30. That’s just part of the business.”

Bowles sees the problem as being more basic.

“We got to open up some holes for him,” Bowles said. “It’s really simple. We have to block better. We have to call better plays and we have to execute better.”

Bowles added that Forte bears some of the responsibility for the struggles.

“Matt can break some tackles. He can run through some people and run through some arm tackles,” Bowles said. “He can do better too.”

Unless Forte is, you know, simply getting old.

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Von Miller adjusts to getting triple-and-a-half teamed

SAN DIEGO, CA - OCTOBER 13:   Philip Rivers #17 of the San Diego Chargers looks to pass under pressure from  Von Miller #58 of the Denver Broncos during the first half of a game at Qualcomm Stadium on October 13, 2016 in San Diego, California.  (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images) Getty Images

Broncos linebacker Von Miller, with a Super Bowl MVP trophy and a record-setting contract, has drawn plenty of attention from opposing offenses this year.

So what’s the worst he has seen?

“About three guys, three-and-a-half guys,” Miler said recently on PFT Live. “You know they might motion a receiver and he’ll get a chip and they might keep the tight end in, and the offensive tackle. Then the running back might come out and chip a little bit, too. So probably like three-and-a-half guys. But whenever teams are doing stuff like that I got a whole team, a whole defense full of stars, so it just gives other guys on my team opportunities to make plays.”

The Broncos defense making plenty of plays again this year. Recently, however, they’ve been giving up too many points on the first drive of the game.

“[L]ast year we gave up 18.5 points per game and this year we are giving up 18 points per game,” defensive coordinator Wade Phillips told reporters on Friday. “It’s not good when you get behind early like that, so it’s something we’re obviously trying not to do. We’re giving up the same amount of points, but you’d rather not give them up the first series of the game where it hurts your team as far as mentally getting behind in the game. We played well after that. We’re addressing it. It still ends up the same number of points, but like I said, it’s not the way you want to do it.”

The Broncos have won the toss and deferred in each of the last two games. And, in each of the last two games, the Broncos have given up a touchdown to the opposing team.

Miller is doing his part to keep that from happening, with 7.5 sacks in six games and an ongoing moratorium on cheese sticks and three-pump celebrations. For more on all those topics, check out the interview.

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Tackling a player by the hair is legal, not a horse-collar tackle

LANDOVER, MD - OCTOBER 16: Running back Rob Kelley #32 of the Washington Redskins carries the ball against free safety Jalen Mills #31 of the Philadelphia Eagles in the second quarter at FedExField on October 16, 2016 in Landover, Maryland. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images) Getty Images

On Sunday Washington running back Rob Kelley ran for 45 yards before he was caught from behind by Philadelphia defensive back Rodney McLeod, who grabbed Kelley’s long dreadlocks and yanked him down by the hair. An official threw a flag for a horse-collar tackle.

But after a conference, the referee announced that there was no foul on the play. And NFL V.P. of Officiating Dean Blandino said in a video distributed to the media today that the officials made the right decision by not calling a penalty.

“The issue is whether he grabs inside the collar or the shoulder pad, grabs the jersey at the name plate or above, or grabs the hair,” Blandino said. “You could see the player actually grabs the hair, not the back of the jersey at the nameplate and not inside the collar. Grabbing the hair and pulling the runner toward the ground is legal.”

Players who choose to wear their hair long enough that it hangs out the backs of their helmets need to beware: That hair is fair game for any opponent who wants to pull it.

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Week Seven injury report roundup

GLENDALE, AZ - NOVEMBER 22:  Tight end Tyler Eifert #85 of the Cincinnati Bengals hauls in a fourth quarter touchdown over strong safety Tony Jefferson #22 of the Arizona Cardinals during the NFL game at the University of Phoenix Stadium on November 22, 2015 in Glendale, Arizona. The Cardinals defeated the Bengals 34-31.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) Getty Images

Week Six kicked off on Thursday night with a Packers win and it continues with 13 more games on Sunday, which means that the 26 teams in those games submitted their final injury reports of the week on Friday.

Questionable players are uncertain to play, doubtful players are unlikely to play and out should be self-explanatory. Players who are on active rosters and don’t appear below should be considered in the lineup barring any announcements on Saturday. The teams playing on Monday night won’t release their injury reports until Saturday and are not listed here.

With that housekeeping out of the way, here are all the injury reports for Sunday.

Giants vs. Rams (in London)

Giants S Nat Berhe (concussion), T Marshall Newhouse (calf) and S Darian Thompson (foot) have been ruled out. LS Zak DeOssie (ankle) is questionable.

The Rams won’t have DT Michael Brockers (thigh) or CB Trumaine Johnson (ankle) on Sunday. WR Nelson Spruce (calf) and G Jamon Brown (hand) are listed as doubtful while DE Robert Quinn (shoulder) and DE William Hayes (ankle) are questionable.

Browns at Bengals

CB Joe Haden (groin) is doubtful for the Browns. The team ruled out CB Marcus Burley (hamstring), WR Corey Coleman (hand), TE Seth DeValve (knee) and QB Josh McCown (left shoulder). DE Xavier Cooper (shoulder), WR Terrelle Pryor (hamstring) and TE Randall Telfer (ankle) are listed as questionable.

Bengals TE Tyler Eifert (back) is questionable to make his first appearance of the 2016 season and the only player with an injury designation this week.

Redskins at Lions

Redskins TE Jordan Reed (concussion) is out again this week and WR DeSean Jackson (shoulder) is questionable.

TE Eric Ebron (ankle, knee), LB DeAndre Levy (quadricep, knee), DT Haloti Ngata (shoulder), RB Theo Riddick (ankle) and T Corey Robinson (ankle) have been ruled out by the Lions. DE Ziggy Ansah (ankle), G Larry Warford (groin), RB Dwayne Washington (ankle) and LB Tahir Whitehead (abdomen) have been listed as questionable.

Raiders at Jaguars

The Raiders listed OL Vadal Alexander (ankle) as doubtful. They also listed OL Jon Feliciano (calf), C Rodney Hudson (knee), G Gabe Jackson (knee), RB Taiwan Jones (knee), S Brynden Trawick (shoulder) and T Menelik Watson (calf) as questionable.

Jaguars T Kelvin Beachum (ankle), TE Julius Thomas (ankle), WR Neal Sterling (foot) and DE Jared Odrick (hip) all got questionable tags.

Saints at Chiefs

Saints LB Stephone Anthony (hamstring), CB Delvin Breaux (fibula), LB Dannell Ellerbe (quadricep), RB Daniel Lasco (hamstring), CB Sterling Moore (abdomen) and T Andrus Peat (groin) have been ruled out for Sunday. DE Paul Kruger (back) and T Terron Armstead (knee) are listed as questionable.

RB Jamaal Charles (knee) is listed as questionable after a limited practice for the Chiefs on Friday. CB Phillip Gaines (knee) is also questionable.

Bills at Dolphins

Bills RB LeSean McCoy (hamstring) is listed as questionable along with TE Charles Clay (ankle), RB Jerome Felton (back), T Cordy Glenn (ankle), C Patrick Lewis (knee), CB Kevon Seymour (shoulder) and DT Kyle Williams (neck). T Seantrel Henderson (back) is out while DT Marcell Dareus (hamstring) and WR Robert Woods (foot) are doubtful.

The Dolphins ruled out TE Jordan Cameron (concussion), CB Xavien Howard (knee) and TE Dion Sims (concussion). RB Arian Foster (hamstring), LB Jelani Jenkins (groin), CB Tony Lippett (hamstring) and LB Spencer Paysinger (hamstring, calf) have been listed as questionable.

Ravens at Jets

The Ravens are set to play without several starters on Sunday, although QB Joe Flacco (shoulder, questionable) looks in good shape after returning to practice Friday. LB Elvis Dumervil (foot) and LB C.J. Mosley (thigh) have been ruled out while S Kendrick Lewis (thigh), WR Steve Smith (ankle), LB Terrell Suggs (biceps), CB Shareece Wright (thigh) and G Marshal Yanda (shoulder) are unlikely to play after getting doubtful tags. WR Kamar Aiken (thigh), WR Devin Hester (thigh), CB Jerraud Powers (thigh), CB Jimmy Smith (concussion) and T Ronnie Stanley (foot) are all listed as questionable.

T Ryan Clady (shoulder), C Nick Mangold (knee) and DE Muhammad Wilkerson (ankle) were listed as questionable by the Jets. TE Braedon Bowman (knee), LB Darron Lee (ankle), T Brent Qvale (neck) and TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins (ankle) have been ruled out.

Vikings at Eagles

Vikings WR Stefon Diggs (groin) and WR Laquon Treadwell (thumb) are both questionable to play and WR Jarius Wright (ankle) is doubtful. DT Sharrif Floyd (knee) and TE MyCole Pruitt (knee, back) have been ruled out.

The Eagles listed CB Ron Brooks (calf), LB Mychal Kendricks (ribs), DT Bennie Logan (groin) and CB Leodis McKelvin (hamstring) as questionable.

Colts at Titans

The Colts won’t have much work to do on an inactive list with TE Dwayne Allen (ankle), DT Henry Anderson (knee), WR Phillip Dorsett (foot, hamstring), DT Zach Kerr (ankle), LB Curt Maggitt (ankle), G Jack Mewhort (tricep) and WR Donte Moncrief (shoulder) ruled out already. CB Darius Butler (calf, hamstring), S T.J. Green (knee), C Jonotthan Harrison (illness) and WR T.Y. Hilton (hip) got designated as questionable.

The Titans are in better shape than their AFC South rivals as they have no players with injury designations.

Chargers at Falcons

The Chargers will play without S Jahleel Addae (collarbone), LB Jeremiah Attaochu (ankle) and CB Brandon Flowers (concussion). WR Travis Benjamin (knee) is questionable.

WR Taylor Gabriel (concussion) and CB C.J. Goodwin (hamstring) are out for the otherwise healthy Falcons.

Buccaneers at 49ers

The bye week wasn’t enough time for Buccaneers DE Robert Ayers (ankle), RB Doug Martin (hamstring) and DT Clinton McDonald (hamstring) to get healthy. They’re out for Sunday and CB Jude Adjei-Barimah (knee), C Joe Hawley (knee), DT Gerald McCoy (calf), WR Cecil Shorts (hamstring) and TE Luke Stocker (ankle) are listed as questionable.

RB Carlos Hyde (shoulder) is out for the 49ers. DT Glenn Dorsey (knee), CB Rashard Robinson (concussion) and WR Torrey Smith (back) are questionable.

Patriots at Steelers

TE Martellus Bennett (ankle), RB Brandon Bolden (knee), LB Jamie Collins (hip), WR Julian Edelman (foot), DT Woodrow Hamilton (shoulder), LB Shea McClellin (concussion), WR Malcolm Mitchell (hamstring), LB Elandon Roberts (ankle) and DT Vincent Valentine (back) were this week’s recipients of questionable designations from the Patriots.

The Steelers ruled out QB Ben Roethlisberger (knee), RB DeAngelo Williams (knee), WR Markus Wheaton (shoulder), T Marcus Gilbert (ankle), DE Cam Heyward (hamstring), S Shamarko Thomas (groin) and C Cody Wallace (knee).

Seahawks at Cardinals

S Kam Chancellor (groin) is doubtful to play after missing last week’s Seahawks win. DE Quinton Jefferson (knee), LB Kevin Pierre-Louis (ankle), RB Thomas Rawls (fibula) and TE Luke Willson (knee) will not play.

Arizona QB Carson Palmer (hamstring) is listed as questionable, but got in a full practice on Friday. WR Jaron Brown (knee) is also questionable while WR John Brown (leg) and LB Gabe Martin (knee) are doubtful. DT Ed Stinson (toe) is out.

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Browns promote rookie defensive back

Cleveland Browns v Tennessee Titans Getty Images

The Browns made a roster move Friday, promoting cornerback Darius Hillary to the active roster and releasing defensive lineman Gabe Wright.

The Browns have been ravaged by injuries in the secondary. With cornerback Joe Haden likely to miss a second straight game Sunday, Hillary should be active Sunday vs. the Bengals. Hillary, an undrafted rookie and a native of Cincinnati, spent the offseason with the Bengals and the first four weeks of this season on their practice squad.

Browns Coach Hue Jackson said Friday that the Browns will move rookie cornerback Tracy Howard to safety after placing starting safety Jordan Poyer on injured reserve earlier this week.

Wright has appeared in three games this season and has also spent time on the Browns’ practice squad.

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Kam Chancellor doubtful this week, but Jimmy Graham is OK

SEATTLE, WA - SEPTEMBER 27:  Strong safety Kam Chancellor #31 of the Seattle Seahawks heads off the field after warmups prior to the game against the Chicago Bears at CenturyLink Field on September 27, 2015 in Seattle, Washington.  (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images) Getty Images

The Seahawks are likley to be without Kam Chancellor again this week.

The veteran safety is listed as doubtful for Sunday night’s game against the Cardinals, not making enough progress from the hip injury which kept him out of last week’s game.

He was injured in practice last week.

Tight end Jimmy Graham was held out of practice Thursday because of knee and hip injuries, but coach Pete Carroll told reporters Graham was “ready to go.”

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NFLPA issues statement on NFL placing Josh Brown on exempt list

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - AUGUST 22:  Robert Malone #8 of the New York Giants congratulates  Josh Brown #3 after Brown kicked a field goal in the second half against the Jacksonville Jaguars during preseason action at MetLife Stadium on August 22, 2015 in East Rutherford, New Jersey.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images) Getty Images

The NFL announced on Friday that Giants kicker Josh Brown has been placed on the Commissioner’s exempt list “to permit the league fully to review” documents from the King County (WA) Sheriff’s Office that it says it did not have access to before they were released this week.

In their letter to Brown, the NFL points out his right to appeal that decision. The NFL Players Association, which passed on an opportunity to comment earlier this week, has done the same in a statement about the league’s decision.

“The NFL has the ability to place a player on the exempt list and the player has the right to appeal that decision, if he chooses. The League office wanted unilateral control of this process and accordingly, their system lacks transparency.”

The league has cited “other incidents of abuse separate from the May 22, 2015 incident for which” Brown was suspended one game under the Personal Conduct Policy earlier this year. That phrasing suggests the league is trying to find a way to penalize Brown again, which would likely lead to a further response from the union given the way things played out in the Ray Rice case.

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Kawann Short fined $18,231 for hitting Drew Brees in face

Carolina Panthers defensive tackle Kawann Short (99) shoves New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees (9) down by the face after Brees released a touchdown throw in the second half of an NFL football game in New Orleans, Sunday, Oct. 16, 2016. Short was called for a personal foul on the play. (AP Photo/Butch Dill) AP

Saints quarterback Drew Brees thought Panthers defensive tackle Kawann Short “straight punched me in the mouth.”

The league agreed.

Via Joe Person of the Charlotte Observer, the NFL fined Short $18,231 for his roughing the passer penalty last week.

Short said he thought the hit looked worse than it was because of Brees’ stature, but he’s the one a little short in the wallet this week.

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Aaron Donald fined for crashing Lions kneeldown

SANTA CLARA, CA - SEPTEMBER 12:  Aaron Donald #99 of the Los Angeles Rams walks off the field after being ejected for contact with an official during the NFL game against the San Francisco 49ers at Levi's Stadium on September 12, 2016 in Santa Clara, California.  (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images) Getty Images

At the end of last Sunday’s victory over the Rams, the Lions lined up for quarterback Matthew Stafford to take the familiar kneeldowns that run out the clock on a win.

The Rams weren’t willing to concede defeat, however, and defensive tackles Aaron Donald and Dominique Easley crashed into the Lions linemen on two straight snaps. They got pushed back into Stafford and Lions center Travis Swanson hurt his hand during the pushing and shoving that followed.

According to multiple reports, Donald has been fined $18,231 for unnecessary roughness as a result of the plays. Easley was not fined.

Rams coach Jeff Fisher said that the call to rush the Lions didn’t come from the sideline and intimated that his players were frustrated by “some things that Aaron endured during the game” without elaborating on what those things might have been.

Donald was fined $21,269 after being ejected in Week One for making contact with an official.

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