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Among the frustrations the Jets dealt with on their way to a 31-24 loss in Green Bay last Sunday was losing wide receiver Eric Decker to a recurrence of the hamstring injury that plagued him during the preseason.
Decker said Wednesday that he didn’t tear the hamstring, but aggravated the previous injury and that limited him to some light jogging in practice. Decker said it was too soon to have an idea about his chances of facing the Bears on Monday night because “you’re still sore from the game” on Wednesday. As a result, the next few days will be “telling” about his ability to play.
“My mentality is to take it one day at a time. I would love to play [Monday], so am just making sure that we take the right steps. Don’t do too much, but do enough to feel it out and make a decision once that day rolls around,” Decker said, via NJ.com. “I just have to do a better job of listening to my body. With hamstrings, [I] have to make sure my glutes are good, my quads are good, everything around the hamstring muscle is good to go. That’s on me as far as listening to my body and doing the correct things. Unfortunately, this stuff happens, but there are things now that I can do to make sure that I don’t allow it to happen again.”
If Decker is out of the lineup, the Jets will have Jeremy Kerley and David Nelson as their top two receivers. That was often the case last season, which led the Jets to make an aggressive and successful bid for Decker once free agency opened.
Even though he missed practice yesterday with tightness in his back (after missing most of the offseason following back surgery) Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo insists there’s no reason for alarm.
Via Todd Archer of ESPNDallas.com, Romo said he planned to practice today, but that more rest days were likely in his future.
“It’s going to pop up,” Romo said. “I’m sure it’ll happen throughout the rest of the season. You’ll see a day here or there. It’s the same as the arm. Sometimes your arm gets [tired]. It’s just obviously more talked about because of having surgery on the back.
“You play this game. It’s a very violent, physical game, and you throw the ball a lot and you do all these things. Sometimes it’s just that tightness stuff comes up. You prefer obviously to do everything 100 percent of the time, but you can’t always do that. I’ll be fine. I’ll be good to go [Thursday].
Romo was on a maintenance plan throughout training camp, never going more than two days in a row. But he went through the first two weeks of the regular season without missing a practice, making it seem he had pushed through.
Lost in the concern over whether the NFL’s officials are throwing too many flags is whether they’re tapping the brakes on no-huddle offenses.
Falcons coach Mike Smith believes that, in Cincinnati on Sunday, the men in black and white made it hard to put the pedal to the metal.
“Each game has a completely different dynamic in terms of the tempo,” Smith said, via D. Orlando Ledbetter of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “That was a game where both teams hardly ever huddled. When you watch the game, you could see that they had their no-huddle offense going as well. I think sometimes the officials can slow a tempo game down.”
Smith pointed out that, on several occasions, the offense and defense were lined up and ready, but an official was standing over the ball.
“I think if you look, there were plays where both teams wanted to get out there and play, but there was a stoppage by the officials,” Smith said. “They stood over the ball a lot more in this game than they had in other games.”
The Falcons hope to have more success running the no-huddle attack on Thursday night against the Buccaneers.
“I think the key for us is continuing that tempo and being able to convert on third downs,” quarterback Matt Ryan said. “We did not do a good enough job last week.”
This week, keep an eye on whether the Falcons can unleash the kind of pace they want on offense, speeding up the attack. If it works, it will mean less commentary from Phil Simms between plays. Which could result in a ratings spike from the Denver market.
The Bengals have a bye after this week’s game against the Titans, and wide receiver A.J. Green could certainly use the rest.
But he said yesterday he’s going to try to play through his toe injury, if he’s able.
“If it’s feeling good, then I’m going to go,” Green said, via Coley Harvey of ESPN.com. “If it’s not, then we’ll go from there.”
He said he originally suffered the injury early in the opener against the Ravens, but continued to play (catching an 80-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter). But last week, he made it just six plays before he had to leave the game.
He was short on specifics, saying only it was “something like turf toe, but not as bad.”
As long as Mohamed Sanu continues to catch and throw big plays, the Bengals might survive a week. But if this problem plagues Green throughout the year, it’ll take more than trick plays to fix it.
In the same week that former NFL quarterback Phil Simms made it to the list of 99 players who eventually will become the 2015 Hall of Fame class, far more than 99 people have expressed their desire that the current CBS analyst no longer be assigned to Broncos games.
Via the Denver Post, more than 40,000 fans have added their names to a Change.org petition urging Simms to be barred from calling any games involving the Denver franchise.
“CBS please ban Phil Simms from Broadcasting anymore Bronco games,” the petition states. “We do not know why he is assigned to the Broncos games every year. It is sure and complete torture for us Broncos Fans to have to listen to his biased drivel every week. Please hear us out on this, we are tired of Phil Simms in Denver!”
The Post has compiled some of the more entertaining comments from fans who signed the petition, a group that as of this posting stands at 41,543 and counting.
As Vic Lombardi of CBS 4 in Denver has pointed out, the Broncos have won 10 straight games with Simms in the booth. So maybe they should hold their noses (or mute their TVs) and let this one play itself out.
Cardinals quarterback Carson Palmer missed Week Two because of a nerve problem in his right shoulder and he’s still being bothered by it this week.
It’s not for a lack of trying to find ways to alleviate the issue. Palmer told reporters that he has tried methods including electrical stimulation, acupuncture and dry needling in hopes of waking up what he’s described as a dead nerve. While the arm is feeling better, Palmer doesn’t know when it will feel well enough for him to resume a full schedule.
“I wish I had a concrete answer or somebody knew exactly what to do to wake it up,” Palmer said, via the Arizona Republic. “The only answer is time, and I’m hoping it doesn’t take any more time.”
With Palmer still ailing, Drew Stanton is in line to make a second straight start for Arizona when the 49ers come calling on Sunday. The team’s faith in Stanton is high after he led them to a win over the Giants, but they’d gladly send him back to the bench should Palmer stumble on the right therapy for his shoulder.
The Pegula family bid for the Bills was approved by the league’s finance committee.
Whoever came up with “Hue Live Crew” for the Bengals’ offense, take a bow.
The Jaguars might be starting six rookies on offense (and it might help).
The Raiders were missing five starters in practice.
The Chargers’ defense is getting some respect as one of the best.
Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill did not have a good game in Sunday’s loss to the Bills. He’s not happy about that.
Tannehill threw for just 241 yards on 31-of-49 passing, and he was also sacked four times for a loss of 31 yards. That’s just 3.96 yards per dropback, and that’s a big part of why the Dolphins were shut out in the first half on the way to a 29-10 loss.
“It’s not discouraging, it’s frustrating,” Tannehill said, via the Sun-Sentinel. “I’m upset at myself the way I’ve played, so obviously I want to get it corrected. But we’ve got a long season ahead of us and it starts with this week. You flip it around in one week and you play well and then you start stringing good games together. So it’s just a matter of going out and taking care of business this week.”
Tannehill admits that he’s missing open receivers and has to do better.
“I just haven’t been putting the ball in the right spot,” he said. “I haven’t been at my best and it’s got to change, and it’s got to change fast.”
If it doesn’t change fast, the Dolphins may start to doubt that the 26-year-old Tannehill is the right man to be their franchise quarterback.
The Bills moved closer to officially having new owners on Wednesday.
Terry Pegula met with the league’s finance committee on Wednesday so that they could approve the $1.4 billion bid for the team that the Pegulas made last week. Approval was expected coming into the meeting and the Pegulas got it by a unanimous vote. NFL executive vice president Eric Grubman called “a very big step” toward completion of the sale, although Pegula isn’t counting any chickens just yet.
“As far as I can say, we’re not NFL owners until that vote is approved, and we’ll have no further comments,” Pegula said, via the Associated Press.
The bid now needs approval from 75 percent of the league’s owners when they vote on the bid at league meetings on October 7 and 8. Pegula is expected to get that approval and become the second owner in the history of the Bills franchise.
We all need a feel-good story about football players right now, and what better way than for family to matter more than the regional rivalries, and for something more than the game to overcome.
Former Steelers guard Chris Kemoeatu, who had to retire from the game because of kidney problems, got the gift of life from his brother, former Ravens defensive tackle Ma’ake in the form of a kidney donation.
“Everyone jokes about me having a Ravens’ kidney,” Chris said, via Mike Klingaman of the Baltimore Sun. “But hey, I can live with that.”
It beats the alternative.
Ma’ake joked that his little brother (relative) “owes me a lot of steak dinners,” but their sheer size made the surgery more complicated than most.
Chris had to have a heart surgery beforehand to make the procedure possible, and both men checked into the hospital weighing 345 pounds.
“It was the largest normal kidney I’ve ever seen in my life,” said Dr. Stephen Bartlett, the hospital’s surgeon-in-chief. “I felt like somebody had thrown me a small football.”
But this story is far beyond football, about the lengths a family will go to look after one another.
“I’m the oldest of seven kids and it’s my responsibility to take care of the rest,” Ma’ake said. “If my siblings need blood, it will be my blood. If they need a kidney, it will be my kidney. We both stopped our careers for this, but I’d have done it even if I was a rookie with the Ravens. I have to lead by example.”
Hopefully, more people in his old line of work will take on that same challenge.
It was easy to lose sight of everything but the paid vacation given to Panthers defensive end Greg hardy yesterday, but the Panthers had some other stuff going on.
According to Bill Voth of Black and Blue Review, they had to practice without seven starters, and they were down to one healthy running back.
The good news was that it didn’t include quarterback Cam Newton, who came back with an incredible performance last week against the Lions.
The injury report included a whopping 12 names, a high total for this time of year, though some of them will practice today.
Among the missing Wednesday were running backs DeAngelo Williams (thigh) and Mike Tolbert (chest), rookie wide receiver Kelvin Benjamin (knee), starting tackles Byron Bell (toe) and Nate Chandler (toe), defensive tackle Dwan Edwards (back) and linebacker Thomas Davis (hip).
Rookie return man Philly Brown (ankle) was also out, leaving them ridiculously thin at the skill positions.
When Jonathan Stewart is your only healthy back, something is messed up.
The Minnesota Vikings came to the decision to place running back Adrian Peterson on the exempt list early Wednesday morning to keep him away from all team activities until the resolution of his legal issues.
However, not all members of the Vikings organization seem to understand the move.
Minnesota cornerback Captain Munnerlyn disagrees with the decision and believes that Peterson should still be allowed to play with the team.
“I think he should be able to play football. I really don’t get it,” Munnerlyn said, via Chris Tomasson of the St. Paul Pioneer Press. “And at the end of the day I know they came up with the decision, but I really don’t get it.”
Munnerlyn said he received similar treatment as a child as to what Peterson did to cause injuries to his 4-year old son. He doesn’t see anything wrong with that style of discipline being levied by a parent and believes that Peterson is being treated unfairly.
“If Adrian wasn’t in the limelight I don’t think this would be coming up at all because you raise your kids how you raise your kids,” Munnerlyn said. “I think Adrian is a great guy, great dude, great father, great football player, and I just think the way he’s been treated is unfair.
Munnerlyn said Peterson hasn’t been convicted of anything and he supports Peterson and everything he did.
Regardless of Munnerlyn’s thoughts, Peterson still won’t be playing for the Vikings any time soon.
Below is a compilation of skill position players listed on Wednesday’s Week Three injury report. Their final status for players whose teams play on Sunday will be announced on Friday.
Did not practice
Rams WR Tavon Austin (knee).
Giants WR Odell Beckham (hamstring).
Panthers WR Kelvin Benjamin (knee).
Colts RB Ahmad Bradshaw (other).
Cowboys WR Dez Bryant (shoulder).
Panthers WR Philly Brown (ankle).
Bengals RB Rex Burkhead (knee).
Chiefs RB Jamaal Charles (ankle).
49ers TE Vernon Davis (ankle, knee).
Cardinals RB Andre Ellington (foot).
Jaguars RB Toby Gerhart (foot).
Bengals WR A.J. Green (toe).
Jaguars TE Clay Harbor (calf).
Rams TE Cory Harkey (knee).
Jaguars WR Allen Hurns (ankle).
Washington WR DeSean Jackson (shoulder).
Raiders RB Maurice Jones-Drew (hand).
Saints RB Mark Ingram (hand).
Seahawks RB Marshawn Lynch (back).
Chargers RB Ryan Mathews (knee).
49ers TE Vance McDonald (knee).
Steelers TE Heath Miller (not injury related).
Seahawks TE Zach Miller (ankle).
Dolphins RB Knowshon Moreno (elbow).
Cowboys RB Joseph Randle (concussion).
Washington TE Jordan Reed (hamstring).
Buccaneers TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins (ankle) — out.
Raiders WR Rod Streater (hip).
Browns RB Ben Tate (knee).
Panthers RB Mike Tolbert (chest).
Colts WR Reggie Wayne (other).
Falcons WR Roddy White (hamstring) — questionable.
Panthers RB Fozzy Whittaker (thigh).
Panthers RB DeAngelo Williams (thigh).
Steelers RB Dri Archer (ankle).
Panthers WR Jason Avant (thigh).
Lions RB Joique Bell (knee).
Browns TE Jordan Cameron (shoulder).
Dolphins TE Charles Clay (knee).
Patriots WR Julian Edelman (back).
Cowboys TE Gavin Escobar (knee).
Texans TE C.J. Fiedorowicz (foot).
Washington PK Kai Forbath (right groin).
Texans RB Arian Foster (hamstring).
Patriots TE Rob Gronkowski (knee).
Colts WR T.Y. Hilton (groin).
Eagles WR Josh Huff (shoulder).
Jaguars WR Marqise Lee (hamstring).
Buccaneers RB Doug Martin (knee) — questionable.
Panthers TE Greg Olsen (calf).
Titans RB Dexter McCluster (foot).
Broncos PK Brandon McManus (right groin).
Seahawks RB Christine Michael (hamstring).
Lions RB Montell Owens (hamstring).
Vikings TE Kyle Rudolph (abdomen).
Jaguars WR Cecil Shorts (hamstring).
Vikings WR Rodney Smith (hamstring).
Chiefs RB De’Anthony Thomas (hamstring).
Patriots RB Shane Vereen (shoulder).
Bills WR Robert Woods (ankle).
Washington RB Darrel Young (neck).
Browns WR Travis Benjamin (knee).
Chiefs WR Dwayne Bowe (quadricep).
Steelers WR Martavis Bryant (shoulder).
Eagles TE Zach Ertz (knee).
Texans TE Garrett Graham (ankle).
Chiefs RB Cyrus Gray (foot).
Chiefs WR Frankie Hammond (shoulder).
Dolphins WR Brian Hartline (back).
Seahawks TE Cooper Helfet (knee).
Washington RB Roy Helu (quadricep).
Chiefs WR Junior Hemingway (hip).
49ers RB Carlos Hyde (calf).
Texans WR Andre Johnson (ankle).
Falcons WR Julio Jones (ankle) — probable.
Jaguars RB Storm Johnson (ankle).
Steelers WR Lance Moore (groin).
Bills WR Sammy Watkins (ribs).
Eagles WR Brad Smith (groin).
Chiefs WR Albert Wilson (ankle).
Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch left the sidelines early with still over a minute to play in Seattle’s 30-21 loss to the San Diego Chargers on Sunday.
Head coach Pete Carroll said Monday the reason for Lynch’s early departure was due to a sore back that tightened up late in the game.
“It’s an ongoing issue for him for years,” Carroll said. “It’s something we’re always monitoring”
Lynch did not practice with the Seahawks on Wednesday due to his back issue.
Lynch has only missed one game with Seattle since being acquired in a trade from the Buffalo Bills in October 2010. He was a scratch from Seattle’s 6-3 loss to the Cleveland Browns in 2011 after having back spasms before the game.
Lynch frequently doesn’t practice on Wednesdays throughout the season and always finds a way to play on Sunday. The fact that the injury in question is Lynch’s back could be the one troubling issue for Seattle.
The Seahawks have grown increasingly more diligent on limiting his workload in practice to keep him fresh for games. Despite sitting out Wednesday, alarm bells over Lynch’s status for games should only go off if he misses multiple practices in a week.
The Commissioner wants to become a leader in the “domestic violence space.” A group opposing domestic violence will return to the airspace (see what I did there?) over an NFL stadium with the message that it’s too late.
The national women’s advocacy organization known as UltraViolet will once again fly a “Goodell Must Go” banner over the site of a prime-time, nationally televised game. The group announced Wednesday that the banner will fly over the Georgia Dome before Thursday night’s game between the Buccaneers and the Falcons.
The message could be lost on the folks attending the game, since the stadium is, you know, a dome. But those outside will see it from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. ET, and it appears the organization has no plan to stop its push for change at the top of the league office.
Last week, the banner flew at multiple NFL venues, including MetLife Stadium in New Jersey.
While the assault has largely subsided in recent days, the outcome of the NFL’s investigation regarding the Ray Rice situation and the NFLPA appeal of the indefinite suspension imposed on Rice will have a strong influence, one way or the other, whether the owners will change Commissioners.