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Tuesday morning one-liners

Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton stands on the sidelines during the BEngals loss to the Houston Texans in their NFL AFC wildcard playoff football game in Houston Reuters

Mark Gaughan of the Buffalo News thinks the Bills got themselves a strong presence in coach Doug Marrone.

Dolphins WR Davone Bess has some of the best fundamentals in the game.

The Patriots have done well against defenses coordinated by Wade Phillips in the past.

Bob Raissman of the New York Daily News defends the newspaper’s decision to send photographers to the Bahamas to take pictures of Jets coach Rex Ryan.

Ravens coach John Harbaugh wants S Bernard Pollard to hit lower.

Starting the offseason questions about the Bengals with QB Andy Dalton.

A vote for Lovie Smith as the next coach of the Browns.

There’s a one-man show set in Art Rooney Sr.’s Steelers office playing in Pittsburgh.

A look at how Texans WR Andre Johnson matches up with Patriots CB Aqib Talib.

Said Colts QB Andrew Luck, “It’s weird. You’ve been going 100 miles per hour for 20-something weeks. Now, you’re at zero miles per hour with nothing to do. It’s weird cleaning out your locker.”

Before DuJuan Harris started helping the Packers run the ball, he was a member of the Jaguars’ practice squad.

The Titans are coming up with ways to help QB Jake Locker improve.

Broncos S Mike Adams has been waiting a while for his first playoff experience.

Sam Mellinger of the Kansas City Star writes that the hard part starts now for Andy Reid and the Chiefs.

The Raiders made Michael Huff their team winner of the Walter Payton Man of the Year Award.

Chargers RB Ryan Mathews is still trying to prove his value.

WR Anthony Armstrong and eight other players signed future contracts with the Cowboys.

Breaking down what went wrong for Giants CB Corey Webster in 2012.

Said Eagles QB Michael Vick, “There’s a lot of uncertainty. That’s a part of it. I’m not going to focus on that right now. The season has just ended and I just want to take some time to reflect on what needs to be done moving forward. The most important thing is get healthy, get ready to go.”

Redskins P Sav Rocca will have surgery to repair a torn meniscus.

An early peek at possible free agent tackle options for the Bears.

The Lions could look to get more physical at cornerback.

Special teams coach Shawn Slocum is getting praise for the job his units have done this season.

Vikings K Blair Walsh is taking LS Cullen Loeffler with him to the Pro Bowl.

How do the Falcons’ special teams match up with the Seahawks?

Breaking down the candidates for general manager with the Panthers.

LB Austin Johnson and CB Dion Turner signed future contracts with the Saints.

Which route should the Buccaneers use to improve the secondary?

Debating the merits of the Cardinals waiting to hire a head coach.

The Rams feel they had a rookie class to build around this season.

There’s been a pattern to the 49ers’ results this season.

Said Seahawks WR Doug Baldwin of the team’s offense, “We’re going to be physical and consistent. And we’re going to do it until the other team can’t do it anymore.”

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Turnovers the story early in Indianapolis

Andrew Luck AP

The defenses have ruled thus far in Indianapolis, with the Jaguars and Colts tied at three after one quarter.

The Jaguars and Colts have each tallied a field goal set up by a takeaway, with the Jaguars capitalizing on an Andrew Luck fumble on a sack and the Colts cashing in a Blake Bortles interception.

The Colts have had problems protecting Andrew Luck, who has been sacked four times thus far, losing a pair of fumbles when sacked. However, on both occasions, the Jaguars’ coverage was a factor.

Meanwhile, the underdog Jaguars have again struggled to play sound football. In addition to Bortles’ pick, Denard Robinson has lost a fumble.

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Josh Gordon looks good, Browns tie score

Cleveland Browns v Atlanta Falcons Getty Images

Wide receiver Josh Gordon doesn’t look like he’s going to be too limited for the Browns on Sunday and that looks like a good thing for the Cleveland offense.

Gordon turned a screen pass into a 22-yard gain that took the Browns to the Atlanta 11-yard-line late in the first quarter. Running back Isaiah Crowell ran for a touchdown two plays later, tying the score at 7.

Gordon has seen plenty of playing time — 13-of-15 snaps — on the first two Browns possessions and was targeted on a deep pass on third down the first time the Browns had the ball. He was well covered by Desmond Trufant on the play, but Gordon was able to slip free for a 12-yard catch to mark his first reception of the 2014 season.

Atlanta opened the scoring with a Matt Ryan touchdown pass to Julio Jones, who was drafted with a pick Cleveland traded to Atlanta, for Jones’s first score since Week Three.

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Andre Smith done for the day with an arm injury

Atlanta Falcons v Cincinnati Bengals Getty Images

The Bengals were just getting used to having Andre Smith back in the lineup, now he’s gone again.

The veteran right tackle has left with an arm injury, and won’t return.

Smith was just getting back from an ankle problem, and has been replaced by Marshall Newhouse.

Injuries have plagued the Bengals up front all year, and having backups trying to slow J.J. Watt isn’t an ideal situation.

But they have put together their best drive of the day, and Mohamed Sanu got their on the board with a 6-yard catch-and-run touchdown.

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Free tickets to Jets-Bills are no longer free

Tickets Getty Images

After the NFL decided to move the game between the Jets and Bills to Detroit, tickets were distributed for free.  They could have picked a slightly higher price point.

According to Mike Rodak of ESPN.com, the tickets are gone — and at least one scalper was looking for $125 for a ticket to the game.

This ain’t a free game, man,” one scalper said.

While it’s unlikely that many tickets would have been sold at a face value of $125, the NFL presumably could have charged something for the tickets.  Five dollars.  Ten.  Even $19.95.

It’s a great gesture by the NFL to give the tickets away, something the league has done in past cases when circumstances forced a game to move.  But if someone is going to make money for something given away for nothing, maybe the something shouldn’t be given away.

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Eagles up 7-0 after opening kickoff

Philadelphia Eagles v Houston Texans Getty Images

The Eagles are trying to shake off last week’s blowout loss to the Packers and they got off on the right foot against the Titans on Sunday.

Josh Huff took the opening kickoff 107 yards for a touchdown to hand the Eagles a 7-0 lead 13 seconds into the game.

Huff’s touchdown continues a strong season for the Eagles special teams. Darren Sproles has two punt return scores, Chris Polk has also returned a kickoff for a touchdown and they’ve blocked five kicks so far this season. That knack for big plays eluded them last week as the Packers had a punt return for a score, but it seems the old magic has returned now that the Eagles are back on their home turf.

It’s also a nice change of pace for Huff, who has had a rocky rookie season up to this point.

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No Julius Thomas for Broncos today

Julius Thomas AP

The Broncos will be without at least one of their main passing targets today.

According to Jay Glazer of FOX Sports, Broncos tight end Jay Glazer won’t play today because of an ankle injury.

They had referred to him as a game-time decision, but it appears this one came in well in advance.

Thomas’ ankle injury wasn’t as bad as feared, but they’re still going to play it smart with a guy they’ll need coming down the stretch.

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Glazer: Browns plan to unleash Josh Gordon

Gordon Getty Images

The Browns will limit receiver Josh Gordon’s reps on Sunday.  Unless they don’t.

The battle lines have been drawn.  Adam Schefter of ESPN reports that the Browns will use Gordon for only 20-30 snaps in his return from a 10-game suspension.  Jay Glazer of FOX reports that the Browns plan to unleash Gordon.

I’ve got no inside information on what the Browns plan to do, but the reality is that the plan often goes out the window once the game starts.  And with the Browns trying to keep their postseason hopes from going down the drain, they’ll do what they need to do to win games.  Which includes getting the most out of one of the most dynamic players in the league.

So whatever the over/under is for Gordon, take the over.

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Report: Vikings general counsel has been working against Peterson

Warren Getty Images

So who was Vikings running back Adrian Peterson referring to when he said that someone with the organization didn’t support him?

According to Adam Schefter of ESPN, Peterson was referring to Vikings general counsel Kevin Warren.  Schefter also reports that Warren and the NFL have been working together to ensure that Peterson doesn’t play this season.

That fits squarely with our (or at least my) strong belief that someone decided back in the middle of September that Peterson wouldn’t play again this year, and that every decision, breached agreement, and/or misapplied policy has been aimed at keeping Peterson from playing this year.

“I know there’s people in the organization that support me and there’s people that I know internally that has not been supporting me,” Peterson told USA Today recently, without naming names.

A request for comment has been sent by PFT to the Vikings, but they’re less than 40 minutes from kickoff against the Packers.

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Matt Kalil, Greg Jennings active for Vikings

Minnesota Vikings v Green Bay Packers Getty Images

Of the four Vikings listed as questionable for Sunday’s game vs. Green Bay, three will suit up.

Wide receiver Greg Jennings (rib), left tackle Matt Kalil (knee) and wide receiver Jarius Wright (hamstring) are not among the club’s inactives for Week 12. Also active is newly acquired tailback Ben Tate, who figures to play behind rookie Jerick McKinnon.

However, while Jennings, Kalil and Wright will play, defensive tackle Sharrif Floyd (knee) is inactive. He was questionable after missing Thursday and Friday.

The Vikings’ other inactives are tailback Matt Asiata (concussion), fullback Zach Line, linebacker Mike Mauti, linebacker Brandon Watts, offensive guard Austin Wentworth and offensive guard David Yankey.

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Reggie Bush inactive, LeGarrette Blount active in New England

Miami Dolphins v Detroit Lions Getty Images

LeGarrette Blount was unhappy about being on the Steelers sideline less than a week ago.

Sunday will find him happier to be in a different but familiar uniform. The running back is active for the Patriots after signing up for a second tour of duty with the club on Thursday.

Blount joins last week’s rushing hero Jonas Gray, Shane Vereen, Brandon Bolden and James Develin in the backfield for the Patriots on Sunday with rookie James White on the inactive list. Coach Bill Belichick offered no hints about Blount’s potential role beyond saying that it is totally up to Blount.

While the Patriots get Blount back in the lineup this week, the Lions will have to wait a bit longer for Reggie Bush to return to their offense. He was listed as inactive for Sunday’s game, the second straight game he’s missed because of an ankle injury, and hopes to return for the Thanksgiving game against the Bears.

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Griffin could be benched today

Griffin Getty Images

With the handwriting etched into the wall by the repeated public remarks of coach Jay Gruden, ESPN’s Chris Mortensen reports that Gruden is prepared to bench Washington quarterback Robert Griffin III, if Griffin continues his ineffective play on Sunday at San Francisco.

If benched, Griffin’s replacement would be Colt McCoy, who led the team to wins over the Titans and Cowboys while Griffin was recovering from a dislocated ankle.

Gruden’s brother, Jon, works for ESPN, making it tempting to connect the dots from Gruden to Gruden to Mortensen.

The coach has gone all in against Griffin this week, calling him out for calling out teammates and for having bad fundamentals in a post-bye week 20-point loss to Tampa Bay.  After a temporary backtracking, Gruden then told NFL Media (partially owned by owner Daniel Snyder) that the “clock’s ticking” on Griffin, who has been “coddled” in the past.

Like last season’s late-season dysfunction between Griffin and former coach Mike Shanahan, these developments suggest that player or coach won’t be back in 2015.  Silent amid the turmoil has been both G.M. Bruce Allen and owner Daniel Snyder.  How they feel about Griffin and Gruden will go a long way toward determining which guy will return in 2015.

Surely, they don’t believe that the two men will continue to be able to coexist after the coach has so publicly condemned a quarterback who already had a well-earned reputation for being sensitive to criticism.

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Week 12 early inactives

Indianapolis Colts v Pittsburgh Steelers Getty Images

Every week we’ll bring you all the inactives from the early games in one post, constantly updated with the latest information. So check back often to see the full list as it becomes available.

Browns at Falcons

Browns: TE Jordan Cameron, WR Marlon Moore, LB Karlos Dansby, WR Rodney Smith, CB Pierre Desir, DB Robert Nelson, OL Vinston Painter

Falcons: CB Robert Alford, T Jonathan Scott, QB Sean Renfree, LB Tyler Starr, T Cameron Bradfield, LB James Anderson, DT Cliff Matthews

Buccaneers at Bears

Buccaneers: LB Lavonte David, WR Robert Herron, RB Mike James, CB Crezdon Butler CB C.J. Wilson, T Kevin Pamphile, DE Da’Quan Bowers

Bears: DE Trevor Scott, WR Chris Williams, LB Darryl Sharpton, CB Terrance Mitchell, LB Khaseem Greene, OL Eben Britton, T Jordan Mills

Bengals at Texans

Bengals: LB Vontaze Burfict, DE Margus Hunt, WR Dane Sanzenbacher, RB Rex Burkhead, CB Chris Lewis-Harris, T Tanner Hawkinson, WR Greg Little

Texans: CB Kareem Jackson, RB Arian Foster, QB Tom Savage, WR DeVier Posey, LB Max Bullough, T Jeff Adams, DB Josh Aubrey

Jaguars at Colts

Jaguars: DE Andre Branch, LB Jeremiah George, WR Mike Brown, CB Teddy Williams, RB Storm Johnson, G Tyler Shatley, OT Sam Young

Colts: TE Dwayne Allen, T Gosder Cherilus, CB Greg Toler, OL Lance Louis, C Khaled Holmes, DT Kelcy Quarles, DT Zach Kerr

Packers at Vikings

Packers: TE Brandon Bostick, QB Scott Tolzien, CB Jarrett Bush, LB Nick Perry, LB Carl Bradford, C Garth Gerhart, WR Jeff Janis

Vikings: RB Matt Asiata, DT Sharrif Floyd, FB Zach Line, LB Mike Mauti, LB Brandon Watts, G David Yankey, G Austin Wentworth

Lions at Patriots

Lions: DT Nick Fairley, G Larry Warford, QB Kellen Moore, DE Larry Webster, RB Reggie Bush, TE Kellen Davis, WR Ryan Broyles

Patriots: DE Chandler Jones, T Cameron Fleming, RB James White, WR Aaron Dobson, CB Malcolm Butler, DL Dominique Easley, OL Jordan Devey

Titans at Eagles

Titans: QB Charlie Whitehurst, WR Kris Durham, CB Blidi Wreh-Wilson, DB Marqueston Huff, T Will Svitek, TE Richard Gordon, DE Ropati Pitoitua

Eagles: QB Nick Foles, CB Roc Carmichael, DB Jaylen Watkins, OL Julian Vandervelde, OL Dennis Kelly, WR Jeff Maehl, DL Taylor Hart

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Arian Foster inactive for second straight game for Texans

Arian Foster AP

If the Texans are going to continue their unlikely push for a playoff spot today, they’re going to have to do it without Arian Foster.

The running back won’t play today because of a groin injury, according to John McClain of the Houston Chronicle.

He did some work Wednesday but then sat out Thursday’s work, but coach Bill O’Brien said there was no setback.

Regardless the semantics, the Texans will rely on Alfred Blue today, as the coaches protect Foster for the long term. Blue has run well, and will get plenty of chances against a Bengals run defense which hasn’t been stellar.

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Report: Lavonte David to sit out Sunday’s game at Chicago

Minnesota Vikings v Tampa Bay Buccaneers Getty Images

The Buccaneers will not have the NFL’s co-leader in tackles in the lineup at Chicago.

Weak-side linebacker Lavonte David won’t play in Sunday’s game vs. the Bears at Soldier Field, Jenna Laine of SportsTalkFlorida.com and Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times reported this morning.

David sat out Thursday and Friday with a hamstring injury and was listed as questionable on the injury report. He shares the league lead in tackles with Carolina linebacker Luke Kuechly (116).

Brandon Magee is listed as the top backup at weak-side linebacker on the club’s depth chart.

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Report: Larry Fitzgerald not expected to play on Sunday

St Louis Rams v Arizona Cardinals Getty Images

The Cardinals held out hope all week that wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald would be able to play against the Seahawks despite suffering a sprained MCL last weekend, but it doesn’t look like things will go that way.

Ian Rapoport of NFL Media reports that it “would take a miracle” for the veteran wideout to be in the lineup on Sunday afternoon. Fitzgerald did not practice at all this week, but said Thursday he was optimistic that he’d be able to play and that his knee was feeling better as the week went on.

Fitzgerald leads the Cardinals with 46 catches and 658 receiving yards this season. Michael Floyd and John Brown will likely start at receiver if he isn’t able to play and both are potent deep threats, but Fitzgerald’s absence underneath should lead to them getting more attention from the Seattle secondary.

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