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NFL tells coaches to remind receivers about illegal crackback blocks

crackbackblock Getty Images

Although defensive players often say that the NFL has favored the offense with its player safety rules, the NFL’s head of officiating is also telling coaches that they need to make sure their offensive players aren’t committing any illegal blocks on defensive players.

In a video that was first shown at last week’s league meeting and has since been distributed publicly, head of officiating Carl Johnson tells NFL coaches that they need to make sure their wide receivers understand that the rules prohibit them from crackback blocks that target defensive players either in the head or neck area, or in the legs.

“Coaches, I encourage you to cover this rule with your receivers,” Johnson said. “They have to lower their target. The strike zone is from the shoulder pads to the waist.”

The video shows Browns receiver Josh Gordon leveling Ravens safety Ed Reed with an illegal crackback block, and as that video plays, Johnson explains that recipients of crackback blocks are considered defenseless players who get extra protection, just as receivers in the process of catching the ball and quarterbacks in the process of throwing the ball are.

“The rule states it is an illegal crackback block if a defensive player is contacted below the waist within an area five yards on either side of the line of scrimmage, within close line play, by an offensive player who is moving toward the position from which the ball is snapped,” Johnson said. “An offensive player who is aligned more than two yards outside the tackle when the ball is snapped is prohibited from coming back toward the football and blocking low or hitting a player in the head or neck area. That was the amended rule change that we put in for the 2012 season.”

And so the NFL has thrown a bone to defensive players, with a reminder that the league office will crack down on offensive players, too.

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Week Eight Power Rankings

FOXBORO, MA - OCTOBER 16:  A couple of fans holds up a Tom Brady #12 of the New England Patriots sign during the game against the Cincinnati Bengals at Gillette Stadium on October 16, 2016 in Foxboro, Massachusetts.  (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images) Getty Images

1. Patriots (6-1; last week No. 2): They may be here for a while, especially if they can avenge their only loss of the season to date.

2. Cowboys (5-1; No. 4): A return to glory is entirely possible.

3. Vikings (5-1; No. 1): They weren’t going to win them all. On Sunday, they wouldn’t have won against anyone.

4. Seahawks (4-1-1; No. 3): There’s a sense that the wheels could come off at any point for this team. There’s also a sense they’ll eventually mash on the gas pedal. It remains to be seen which one happens first.

5. Packers (4-2; No. 7): As long as they play inferior opponents, the offense will look just fine.

6. Broncos (5-2; No. 9): “This one’s for Brock.”

7. Falcons (4-3; No. 5): The Second Annual Collapse has begun. How long will it last?

8. Steelers (4-3; No. 8): Linebacker Ryan Shazier says the team is “garbage” right now. Plenty of teams would love to smell that bad.

9. Chiefs (4-2; No. 12): This may be the one team no one wants to play in January.

10. Raiders (5-2; No. 13): Maybe they should start their home games at 10:00 a.m. PT, too.

11. Lions (4-3; No. 18): Maybe Matthew Stafford will start getting the credit he deserves.

12. Washington (4-3; No. 6): The closest this team will come to No. 1 happened on the sideline of Sunday’s game in Detroit.

13. Eagles (4-2; No. 15): Shrugging off a couple of losses and three first-quarter turnovers from  Carson Wentz, the Eagles have re-established themselves as an unlikely postseason contender.

14. Giants (4-3; No. 17): Based on his interception return for a touchdown against the Rams, maybe Landon Collins should play running back.

15. Bills (4-3; No. 10): The Bills last swept the Patriots in the same year the Bills last went to the playoffs. Ending one streak on Sunday would go a long way toward ending the other one.

16. Texans (4-3; No. 11): They could have won the division and made a quick exit from the playoffs by spending a lot less than $18 million per year on a quarterback.

17. Cardinals (3-3-1; No. 14): They get a chance to exorcise their lingering 2015 demons with a trip back to Charlotte. And if the Cardinals lose this one, it could be over.

18. Buccaneers (3-3; No. 20): The next two games will tell us plenty about whether this team is ready to contend.

19. Bengals (3-4; No. 21): They’ll fly a long way to try to extend the winning streak against former Bengals offensive coordinators to two.

20. Dolphins (3-4; No. 25): At a time when plenty of NFL players are the last ones to realize it’s over, Arian Foster deserves credit for being quick to admit it.

21. Chargers (3-4; No. 26): Could this be the best team in the division?

22. Colts (3-4; No. 28): Could this be the best team in the division?

23. Titans (3-4; No. 16): This could have been the best team in the division.

24. Ravens (3-4; No. 19): This could be a problem for John Harbaugh, eventually.

25. Rams (3-4; No. 22): This could be the formula for 7-9.

26. Saints (2-4; No. 23): This could be a little awkward when Jimmy Graham returns to New Orleans on Sunday.

27. Panthers (1-5; No. 27): This could be the first step in a slow climb out of the basement.

28. Jaguars (2-4; No. 24): If they don’t win in the Star Trek uniforms, Gus Bradley could be teleported to a new job.

29. Jets (2-5; No. 29): “How dare you react to the fact that I wasn’t good at my job.”

30. 49ers (1-6; No. 30): Those “traffic problems” in Santa Clara that made the stadium seem sparsely attended for a Thursday night game are here to stay.

31. Bears (1-6; No. 31): The Cubs are providing the Bears with the cover they need to keep stinking.

32. Browns (0-7; No. 32): The Indians are providing the Browns with the cover they need to keep stinking.

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Ravens designate Matt Elam for return from injured reserve

CINCINNATI, OH - OCTOBER 26 :  Matt Elam #26 of the Baltimore Ravens celebrates after making a defensive stop during the second quarter of the game against the Cincinnati Bengals at Paul Brown Stadium on October 26, 2014 in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images) Getty Images

The Ravens have made their choice for a player to return from injured reserve this season.

The team announced on Tuesday that it will be safety Matt Elam, who was placed on injured reserve after injuring his knee and having surgery in the preseason. He is practicing with the team on Tuesday and Baltimore will have three weeks before they’ll have to add him to the 53-man roster or lose him for the rest of the year.

Elam, the team’s 2013 first-round pick, has not played in a regular season game since the 2014 season. He missed all of last season with a biceps injury and will have the extra time provided by the bye week to get back up to speed.

The Ravens have suffered several injuries in the secondary over the course of the season and placed safety Kendrick Lewis on injured reserve last week. Lardarius Webb also left last Sunday’s loss to the Jets with a hamstring injury.

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Pete Carroll optimistic Seahawks run game is coming around

SEATTLE, WA - OCTOBER 16:  Head coach Pete Carroll of the Seattle Seahawks looks on before a game against the Atlanta Falcons at CenturyLink Field on October 16, 2016 in Seattle, Washington.  (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images) Getty Images

Pete Carroll is optimistic, primarily because Pete Carroll is optimistic.

But the Seahawks coach is convinced that his team’s moribund run game is going to improve soon, and maybe the reason is that it just can’t get much worse.

Via Sheil Kapadia of, Carroll said he hopes the return of running back Thomas Rawls from his fibula injury the week after next will spark an offense that is a shell of its former self.

This is what we’re counting on right now,” Carroll said. “We’re counting on him running this week, and then next week [against the Bills] preparing to play. That’s what we’re counting on unless something changes.”

That won’t help them this week against the Saints, but they’re playing the Saints, whose defense is historically bad. But the Seahawks are averaging a meager 3.12 yards per carry, which is next to last in the league.

The absence of Rawls and the limitations of quarterback Russell Wilson because of his knee and ankle injuries have kept them from running effectively, but Carroll said Wilson was improving.

“He is getting better,” Carroll said. “He got out of this game maybe for the first time, he felt nothing of carryover on his ankle or his knee, which is really good. There’s always a little bit of aftermath. He didn’t feel that from what I understand.”

Of course, they’re going to have to try to fix things with another patchwork offensive line, as left tackle Bradley Sowell is going to miss some time with an MCL sprain. Whether that negates the return of Rawls and Wilson’s getting healthier will be seen, but the best answer this week might just be their opponent.

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Donte Moncrief expected back at practice this week

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - NOVEMBER 08:  Donte Moncrief #10 of the Indianapolis Colts reaches to catch a pass during the game against the Denver Broncos at Lucas Oil Stadium on November 8, 2015 in Indianapolis, Indiana.  (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images) Getty Images

The Colts are 3-4 after the first seven weeks of the season, but still sit firmly in the mix for the AFC South title with the Texans currently leading the division with a 4-3 record.

Their chances of moving up in the pecking order would likely increase with a healthier roster and there are some good signs on that front heading into Week Eight. Colts coach Chuck Pagano said that the team expects to have wide receiver Donte Moncrief on the field at practice this week.

“Moncrief has a good chance to get back into the swing of things,” Pagano said, via the team’s website. “I think he will get on the field on Wednesday in a limited capacity.”

Moncrief has not played since Week Two due to a fractured scapula and he only took nine snaps in that game before getting hurt, so he hasn’t had much of a presence on the field for Indianapolis this season. Moncrief was second on the team in both catches and receiving yards last season.

There may be others rejoining the team this week. Wide receiver Phillip Dorsett missed last week’s game with a hamstring injury and Pagano said he is “trending in the right direction.” Defensive linemen Henry Anderson and Zach Kerr are also expected to work this week as the Colts prepare to face the Chiefs.

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Jaguars lose Roy Miller to torn Achilles

LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 25: Roy Miller III #97 of Jacksonville Jaguars makes his way to the pitch during the NFL game between Jacksonville Jaguars and Buffalo Bills at Wembley Stadium on October 25, 2015 in London, England. (Photo by Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images) Getty Images

The Jaguars have lost a starter on their defensive line for the rest of the season.

The team announced Tuesday that nose tackle Roy Miller tore his right Achilles in last Sunday’s loss to the Raiders. Miller will have surgery and be placed on injured reserve.

Miller started all six games for the Jaguars this season and 50 games overall for the Jaguars since joining the team in 2013. He had 10 tackles this season and had 94 tackles and five sacks during his three previous seasons with the team.

While Miller was the starter, the Jaguars have used a variety of defensive linemen this season and he played on just over 36 percent of the snaps through the first six games. Sen’Derrick Marks, Abry Jones and rookie Sheldon Day are still on hand to play with Malik Jackson on the interior of the Jacksonville line.

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Logistical issues plague possible China game

images Getty Images

The NFL is ready to play a regular-season game in China. The challenge arises primarily from what happens after the game played in China.

“The main focus of the work now is as much about how does a team come back from China and then play and be competitive after a trip like that?” NFL executive vice president of international Mark Waller told Alex Marvez of Sporting News. “It’s less of the focus on the game in China itself.”

Some would say the focus shouldn’t be China at all, and that the NFL should focus on the “National” aspect of its title. At a time when TV ratings are sharply down domestically, the league could keep mining for gold in other countries, or it could devote assets to renew the zeal and passion of existing fans.

It’s far cheaper and simpler to keep existing customers than to harvest new ones. Maybe China, Mexico, Australia, Brazil, England, and elsewhere should take a back seat to the United States, with the overriding goal being to make American football great again.


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Steelers expect Ladarius Green to practice today

Pittsburgh Steelers tight end Ladarius Green (80) stands on the sideline during the first half of an NFL exhibition football game against the Detroit Lions in Pittsburgh, Friday, Aug. 12, 2016. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar) AP

The Steelers haven’t gotten anything from tight end Ladarius Green since signing him as a free agent this offseason due to an ankle injury that led him to the physically unable to perform list at the start of training camp.

That may change once the team returns from their bye week, though. The team announced that Green is expected to practice with the team on Tuesday.

Green said he’s been able to keep up on the mental end of things while he’s been rehabbing his ankle, but that on-field work will represent a significant change.

“It’s a big difference,” Green said, via the team’s website. “You can learn as much as you want to but until you go on the field and actually go through it, it’s a big difference. I had a good while to learn the playbook. I learned it pretty much and am pretty good at it. Until you go on the field and run it, it’s a totally different animal.”

Returning to practice opens up a 21-day window for the Steelers to decide whether to activate Green or shut him down for the rest of the season. Jesse James and Xavier Grimble have been the tight ends for the Steelers in Green’s absence and they’ve combine to catch 30 passes for 242 yards and two touchdowns.

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Aqib Talib: Trevor Siemian is better and cheaper than Brock Osweiler

DENVER, CO - OCTOBER 24:  Quarterback Brock Osweiler #17 of the Houston Texans embraces quarterback Trevor Siemian #13 of the Denver Broncos after the Broncos won 27-9 at Sports Authority Field at Mile High on October 24, 2016 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images) Getty Images

Broncos cornerback Aqib Talib praised General Manager John Elway on Monday night for making the right decision at quarterback.

Talib said after the broncos beat the Texans that it’s clear that Trevor Siemian is a better quarterback than Brock Osweiler, who left Denver for Houston this offseason. And Talib noted that the Texans gave Osweiler a four-year, $72 million contract, while Siemian is playing on a four-year, $2.3 million contract.

“If you look at it overall, [Elway] saved a bunch of money. And Trev is a great quarterback, man. He’s better than Brock in my eyes. So it’s a win-win situation,” Talib told USA Today.

Of course, Elway wasn’t exactly perfect on the quarterback front: He did offer Osweiler a contract this offseason, reportedly for four years and $64 million. And Elway also traded for Mark Sanchez with the expectation that Sanchez would beat out Siemian for the starting job. That didn’t work out, and Sanchez was released before the start of the regular season.

Still, it’s clear that the Broncos ultimately got it right at quarterback: Anyone would rather have Siemian for $600,000 a year than Osweiler for $18 million a year. Talib is probably right that Siemian is better than Osweiler, and he’s certainly right that Osweiler shouldn’t be making 30 times as much money as Siemian. The Texans are probably asking themselves right now why they were willing to pay Osweiler more than Elway, the G.M. who knew him best, was willing to pay.

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Jared Goff to get more work with the ones during bye week

GLENDALE, AZ - OCTOBER 02:  Quarterback Jared Goff #16 of the Los Angeles Rams talks with Case Keenum #17 on the sidelines during the NFL game against the Arizona Cardinals at the University of Phoenix Stadium on October 2, 2016 in Glendale, Arizona.  The Rams defeated the Cardinals 17-13.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) Getty Images

The Rams have insisted they’re only going to play quarterback Jared Goff when he’s ready to play.

It appears they’re trying to get him ready to play.

According to Rams coach Jeff Fisher, the first overall pick in last year’s draft will get more work with the starters during the bye week.

“Jared’s going to get some reps, which is a by product of the bye week,” Fisher said. “I don’t feel like Case needs the reps Wednesday and early next week, so Jared will get those reps, which is good.

“Jared’s going to be our starter, but we’re just going to continue with Case.”

The eventual part of that statement is the key. Whether that means he unseats Case Keenum sooner or later remains to be seen, but there’s clearly an effort being made to accelerate Goff’s progression.

Keenum threw four interceptions in Sunday’s loss to the Giants, and has more picks than touchdowns on the season (eight of the good, 10 of the bad). And with extra time to prepare and a shaky secondary (Carolina) coming up, the time to play Goff might be getting closer.

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Adam Gase doesn’t want Jarvis Landry to change way he plays

MIAMI GARDENS, FL - OCTOBER 23:  Jarvis Landry #14 of the Miami Dolphins celebrates a two point conversion during a game against the Buffalo Bills at Hard Rock Stadium on October 23, 2016 in Miami Gardens, Florida.  (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images) Getty Images

Dolphins wide receiver Jarvis Landry apologized for launching himself into Bills safety Aaron Williams‘ head for a hit that sent Williams to the hospital during last Sunday’s game and led many with the Bills to call Landry’s play dirty.

Landry was penalized for the hit and also picked up a taunting penalty during the game, both of which are likely to draw fines from the league this week as well. Landry also drew a big fine for verbal abuse of an official last season and has drawn other personal fouls for on-field conduct this year.

Dolphins coach Adam Gase lamented the taunting call on Monday and said Landry needs to lower “his target zone” on plays like the one that injured Williams. He also defended Landry against accusations that he’s a dirty player and said he doesn’t want Landry to alter his approach to the game.

“I’m not going to change the way he plays,” Gase said, via the Miami Herald. “The taunting penalty, that’s not what I want. … We need to be smarter because we’re losing yards, but I want him to keep bringing his intensity every week. … I know the way Jarvis plays, it’s going to be aggressive, it’s going to be intense. For anybody to kind of start thinking, ‘dirty play,’ and things like that, I’ve been around the guys for less than a year. I haven’t seen that from him. I’ve see a guy who when we coach him up on things, tries to do things the right way.”

The penalty for the hit on Williams cost the Dolphins 15 yards when they were closing in on the end zone and the team had to settle for a field goal. Those missing points helped put Miami in a position where they had to come back in the second half to get a win and the reaction to Landry’s penalty might have been different had the Dolphins failed to pull it off.

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49ers try to throw water on Torrey Smith trade talks

SANTA CLARA, CA - OCTOBER 23:  Torrey Smith #82 of the San Francisco 49ers is tackled at the Tampa Bay Buccaneers four-yard line during their NFL game at Levi's Stadium on October 23, 2016 in Santa Clara, California.  (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images) Getty Images

In response to multiple reports of a potential trade of receiver Torrey Smith to the Eagles, the 49ers apparently are pushing back. For a variety of potential reasons. (More on that in a minute.)

Matt Maiocco of cites an unnamed league source for the proposition that the “49ers are neither shopping Smith nor is a trade anticipated.”

That may be literally true. The 49ers may not be “shopping” Smith, and a trade may not be anticipated. Indeed, when PFT first reported the existence of talks between the 49ers and the Eagles on Monday night, we explained that a deal was not imminent. There’s a chance a deal may not happen at all.

Which is precisely why the 49ers needed to throw water on the chatter. If a trade doesn’t happen, they need to coexist with a player who has been possibly nestled all snug in his bed with visions of passes not being thrown five feet over his head.

Likewise, if talks are indeed occurring between the 49ers and Eagles (and other outlets, including NFL Media, have confirmed that they are), the 49ers need to get the best possible deal. Taking the position that they’ll just keep Smith could be the best/only leverage, especially if no other team is trying to trade for Smith.

Then there’s the possibility that the 49ers have applied a Patriots-like approach to the trade discussions, making it clear that it anyone blabs about the trade talks, the 49ers will slam the door shut on the possibility. It’s far easier for a perennial contender to take that position; it’s much harder for a team that has nowhere to go but up, and that has a current asset under contract that, through a trade, could help them begin the slow climb back to relevance.

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Tuesday morning one-liners

KANSAS CITY, MO - SEPTEMBER 25: Head coach Andy Reid of the Kansas City Chiefs talks on his headset on the sidelines at Arrowhead Stadium during the second quarter of the game against the New York Jets on September 25, 2016 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Peter Aiken/Getty Images) Getty Images

The Bills missed a lot of tackles against the Dolphins.

Everyone on the Dolphins is hopping aboard the RB Jay Ajayi bandwagon.

K Stephen Gostkowski hasn’t lost the trust of his Patriots teammates.

A stroll down the memory lane of QB Geno Smith’s Jets career.

There’s no firm timetable for Ravens T Ronnie Stanley’s return.

The Bengals defense is trying to do a better job on the little things.

Browns DB Jordan Poyer says he felt like he was in a car accident after suffering a lacerated kidney in Week Six.

DE Cam Heyward didn’t like what the rest of the Steelers defense did in Week Seven.

CB A.J. Bouye’s play was a bright spot on a bad night for the Texans.

The Colts are piling up the penalties this season.

Five plays that help explain the latest Jaguars loss.

Would a 4-4 record at midseason qualify as a successful first half for the Titans?

The Broncos running game showed up in a big way on Monday night.

Said Chiefs coach Andy Reid on getting a game ball after his 300th NFL game as a head coach, “Well, I appreciate him doing that. I’m not all that big on all that. I’m still waiting for my win total to exceed my weight. That’s going to be a couple more wins.”

The Raiders are 5-2 and coach Jack Del Rio said there’s plenty of room for improvement.

Chargers T Joe Barksdale sparred with critics on Twitter.

Expectations for Cowboys DL David Irving have gone up after his big game in Green Bay.

The Giants will be looking for ways to get their offense going during the bye week.

DL Taylor Hart is back with the Eagles.

Redskins QB Kirk Cousins isn’t worried about equal touches for his receivers.

There are some signs of hope for the Bears defense.

Is Lions QB Matthew Stafford playing his way into MVP discussion?

Monday brought a bunch of injury updates for the Packers.

Vikings LB Anthony Barr is having a quieter season than he did in 2015.

The Falcons watched video of boxer Marvin Hagler as coach Dan Quinn implored them to do more to finish games in the future.

Panthers DT Kawann Short had to defend himself against accusations of Purdue-on-Purdue crime after hitting Drew Brees in the head.

S Kenny Vaccaro will see former Saints teammate Jimmy Graham this weekend.

Being patient with the run game has paid off for the Buccaneers.

The Cardinals need to clean up their special teams work.

Resting and recovering are priorities for the Rams during their bye week.

49ers General Manager Trent Baalke’s Wikipedia page got some unflattering edits recently.

It looks like RB Thomas Rawls is closing in on a return to the Seahawks lineup.

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Gus Bradley “firmly, firmly” believes in Blake Bortles

JACKSONVILLE, FL - OCTOBER 23:  Blake Bortles #5 of the Jacksonville Jaguars is tackled by Bruce Irvin
of the Oakland Raiders during the game at EverBank Field on October 23, 2016 in Jacksonville, Florida.  (Photo by Rob Foldy/Getty Images) Getty Images

Those who thought the Jaguars were primed to take a step forward this season usually included quarterback Blake Bortles among the reasons for their optimism about things to come in Jacksonville.

Bortles took some strides during his second NFL season and formed a strong partnership with the Allen Robinson/Allen Hurns receiving duo, but he hasn’t built on those strides so far this season. Bortles ranks near the bottom of the league in completion percentage, interception rate, yards per attempt and passer rating after turning in a dismal performance against the Raiders last Sunday.

Those struggles haven’t shaken coach Gus Bradley’s faith in Bortles, though.

“I firmly, firmly believe in Blake Bortles,” Bradley said, via “Without a doubt. I think it was a challenging day yesterday about some of the situations we were in, but as far as the competitor … and what he brings to this team, there is no doubt [about Bortles].”

Disappointing as Bortles’ performances may be, the Jaguars don’t have anything to gain from going in a different direction. Chad Henne isn’t the future on offense and the Jaguars have tied too much of their future to Bortles’ development to totally shake things up with rookie Brandon Allen.

Should things fail to improve in the coming months, perhaps a different decision will be made by a different coach. For now, though, the Jaguars will have to hope that Bortles reverses course.

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John Harbaugh has a long love/hate meeting with his Ravens

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - OCTOBER 16:  Head coach John Harbaugh of the Baltimore Ravens looks on against the New York Giants during the first half of the game at MetLife Stadium on October 16, 2016 in East Rutherford, New Jersey.  (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) Getty Images

Bye weeks are great times to hit reset, to have the kind of organizational breather that can get a team back on track.

So for two hours and 20 minutes Monday, coach John Harbaugh sat with his 3-4 Ravens and talked, dissecting film pointing out mistakes, and trying to get their feet back underneath then for the rest of the season.

“We have great relationships, and I do like and love our guys. I told one of the guys in the meeting today, ‘I love you, but I despise you right now on that play.’ And guys get it,” Harbaugh said, via Jeff Zrebiec of the Baltimore Sun. “They’re OK. It’s all about just pushing them and coaching them and trying to just teach better football — really is where we’re at. . . . I’ve been impatient for quite a long time, and they know it.”

Going over an ugly loss to the Jets is one thing, and fixing the mistakes from that one could take plenty of time. But the fact it was a fourth straight loss is the bigger concern, and Monday’s meeting featured players talking about the direction of the season as well.

“Just an opportunity to be very honest with one another, which we always are, and work on the things that need to do to get better,” Harbaugh said. “That’s what we have here, a bunch of accountable guys. We just need to find a way to become the type of football team we’re capable of becoming. That’s always a process and always a journey. I’m excited about that.”

That journey needs to start pretty quickly after the bye if they want to get to their destination, but Harbaugh also said he expected most of their injured players to be back when they return in a week. Since they have had more injured players that will fit on a gameday inactive list the last two weeks, that’s as good a news as anything said in a meeting.

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Chargers lose Caraun Reid to a torn ACL

SAN DIEGO, CA - OCTOBER 13:  C.J. Anderson #22 of the Denver Broncos carries the ball as he is followed by  Caraun Reid #91 of the San Diego Chargers during the fourth quarter of a 21-13 Charger win at Qualcomm Stadium on October 13, 2016 in San Diego, California.  (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images) Getty Images

The Chargers stopped their trend of finding painful ways to lose close games in the fourth quarter in Atlanta last Sunday, but their trend of losing players to torn ACLs continued.

Defensive lineman Caraun Reid’s season is over after he was injured during the 33-30 victory over the Falcons. Reid was claimed off of waivers in September after failing to make the Lions and had five tackles and a sack while playing in every game this season. He also returned a fumble 61 yards for a touchdown against the Colts in Week Three.

“Caraun came in from the very first day and did an outstanding job,” McCoy said, via the San Diego Union-Tribune. “A very smart player who picked up our system in a hurry. Made some big plays for us; an example is the Indy touchdown. It’s tough to see this happen to these guys. Look at the effort on the play he’s giving, and then that happens. It’s unfortunate. We’re going to miss him.”

Reid is the fifth Charger player to suffer a torn ACL since the start of the regular season. Wide receiver Keenan Allen, running back Danny Woodhead, cornerback Jason Verrett and linebacker Nick Dzubnar are the others.

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