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Those waiting for one of those patented late-season “weather games” will likely have to wait another week.
The expected conditions for Week 16’s outdoor games are relatively favorable for the penultimate weekend of the year, per forecast data from WeatherUnderground.com. No game has more than a 30 percent chance of precipitation (Packers-Buccaneers in Tampa).
The strongest winds are expected in Lions-Bears, but
Chicago brought in Jay Cutler for games just like this, so worry not about the home team’s ability to deal with a little wind!
Here’s a thumbnail sketch of conditions expected in all 10 outdoor games. Unless otherwise noted, kickoff time is 1 p.m. Eastern:
Philadelphia at Washington (4:30 p.m. ET)
Temperature: 36 degrees.
Wind: Eight mph out of the west-northwest.
Precipitation chance at kickoff: Eight percent.
San Diego at San Francisco (8:25 p.m. ET)
Temperature: 59 degrees.
Wind: One mph out of the west-northwest.
Precipitation chance at kickoff: Ten percent.
Cleveland at Carolina (1 p.m. ET)
Temperature: 47 degrees.
Wind: Three mph out of the east.
Precipitation chance at kickoff: Twenty-six percent.
Detroit at Chicago
Temperature: 37 degrees.
Wind: Twelve mph out of the south.
Precipitation chance at kickoff: Eight percent.
Minnesota at Miami
Temperature: 79 degrees.
Wind: Nine mph out of the southeast.
Precipitation chance at kickoff: Six percent.
New England at N.Y. Jets
Temperature: 41 degrees.
Wind: Five mph out of the north-northwest.
Precipitation chance at kickoff: Fourteen percent.
Kansas City at Pittsburgh
Temperature: 35 degrees.
Wind: Two mph out of the southwest.
Precipitation chance at kickoff: Five percent.
Green Bay at Tampa Bay
Temperature: 74 degrees.
Wind: Six mph out of the south.
Precipitation chance at kickoff: Thirty percent.
Buffalo at Oakland (4:25 p.m. ET)
Temperature: 62 degrees.
Wind: Three mph out of the west-northwest.
Precipitation chance at kickoff: Eleven percent.
Denver at Cincinnati (8:30 p.m. ET)
Temperature: 44 degrees.
Wind: Six mph out of the south-southeast.
Precipitation chance at kickoff: Twenty-two percent.
Last week, the Falcons waited until Sunday morning to decide whether receiver Julio Jones would play despite a hip injury. This week, it’ll be the same routine.
Per a source with knowledge of the situation, Jones’ availability for Sunday’s showdown with the Saints will hinge on the Sunday morning pre-game workout.
Obviously, he wants to play. (Rarely if ever does an NFL player pull a Lee Corso with a key game coming up.) And the team desperately need Jones.
In his last two games played, Jones generated 448 receiving yards, with a whopping 259 yards coming in a Monday night loss to the Packers. Between the performances with Jones and the team’s struggles without him, the fourth-year wideout from Alabama is laying the foundation for a major payday at some point during the 2015 offseason.
Coupled with the presence of quarterback Matt Ryan, the Falcons’ head coaching job becomes perhaps the most attractive of any that woud be available in the upcoming hiring cycle. Whether the job actually is available depends in part on beating the Saints, with or without Jones on the field.
Andy Dalton has something in common with Painfully Awkward Rob Lowe. Both have trouble performing when other people are watching.
In prime-time and playoff games, Dalton has a career record of 2-9. He’ll get a chance to change that on Monday night against the Broncos and, possibly, next Sunday night against the Steelers. (The Week 17 Sunday night game will be determined after Week 16; there’s a chance the league will choose Bengals at Steelers.)
In those 11 games played at night and/or in the postseason, Dalton has eight touchdown passes, 14 interceptions, and five lost fumbles.
In fairness to Dalton, the problems extend beyond one player.
“I don’t know why we haven’t played as good on defense in those games, but we need to,” coach Marvin Lewis said this week, via ESPN.com. “I don’t know why we haven’t played as good on offense, or why we’ve given up on a play on special teams in those games, but we need to do better.”
Defensive end Wallace Gilberry has a theory: “I guess we’re afraid of the dark.”
On Monday night, they’ll get a chance to prove that they aren’t. Painfully Awkward Rob Lowe’s bladder could be depending on it.
Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers will be playing through back and rib injuries today against the 49ers, but the team doesn’t expect that to be a problem.
Chargers coach Mike McCoy said Rivers looked good in the Chargers’ last practice of the week and will be good to go at San Francisco.
“Philip had an outstanding day,” McCoy said, via U-T San Diego. “A ball did not hit the ground in all the throws he made today. Philip was Philip, so he’ll be ready to roll.”
Rivers, who has started 142 straight games, said he wouldn’t miss a week of practice either.
“I hate missing at all during the week, and to not practice at all, I can’t even imagine doing that,” Rivers said. “So yeah, it was good. It went well.”
With the Chargers clinging to slim playoff hopes, they need to win today. Which means they need Rivers to look as good against the 49ers as he did in practice this week.
49ers coach Jim Harbaugh isn’t talking about the possibility that he’ll coach Michigan or any other football team. Someone close to him is talking a blue streak now, Jack.
Adam Schefter of ESPN reports that Harbaugh’s “family and friends have been encouraging him to take the Michigan HC job, but he is torn because his heart is in the NFL, per sources close to the situation.”
The report doesn’t specify the full universe family members who are urging Harbaugh to abandon California for Ann Arbor. It’s widely believed, and it’s been consistently reported, that Harbaugh’s wife doesn’t want to leave the Bay Area.
The tension arises from the fact that Harbaugh wants to wait and see which NFL opportunities emerge and Michigan needs to know sooner than later whether to move on to Plan B. However, Schefter points out that Harbaugh’s agent “has a good sense of realistic NFL options already.”
In part, this seems to be about getting Harbaugh’s realistic NFL options and Harbaugh’s current employer to develop a discreet understanding as to how the dominoes will fall after the regular season ends, with the team that will eventually trade for Harbaugh: (1) firing its current head coach; (2) complying with the Rooney Rule; (3) striking a deal with the 49ers for permission to negotiate with Harbaugh; and (4) working out a contract with him. Those dominoes all need to be properly arranged now, so that Harbaugh will know whether to wait for the inevitable NFL scenario to play itself out.
Leverage remains a key factor in this dance. Schefter’s report seems to be a deliberate leak aimed at fleshing out Harbaugh’s NFL options now, so that Harbaugh will know what’s behind Door No. 1 before he tells Michigan thanks but no thanks for the second time in four years.
After Ray Rice knocked his then-fiancée unconscious and then dragged her out of the elevator at an Atlantic City casino, cameras were still running. ABC News has obtained 45 minutes of footage showing the aftermath of the incident.
Rice tried to prevent ABC News from obtaining the video. A judge ruled against Rice.
“This is a time of healing and he, quite naturally, doesn’t want another media showing of what must have been the worst event of his life,” Rice’s lawyer, Peter Ginsberg, told ABC News. “What the media ought to be focusing on is the issue of domestic violence.”
I haven’t watched the new video and don’t plan to. Based on the description supplied by ABC News it sounds as if sheds no new light on the incident and contains nothing that objectively would be regarded as newsworthy. Its relevance primarily comes from its existence, given that a video taken earlier that night sparked one of the most bizarre and troubling periods in NFL history.
Some extra relevance comes from that same layer of human nature that turns heads when passing the scene of an accident. But not much.
The 49ers have filled their open roster spot with a defensive lineman, signing nose tackle Mike Purcell from the practice squad. The club announced the move on Friday.
The 23-year-old Purcell has played two seasons with the Niners, with whom he signed as an undrafted free agent out of Wyoming in 2013. Purcell (6-3, 303) spent the entire 2013 regular season on the practice squad, as well as the first 14 games of 2014.
Now, with two games left, Purcell has a chance to suit up in a regular-season game for the first time. He will also get a raise over his practice squad salary.
The promotion of Purcell comes six days after San Francisco placed nose tackle Glenn Dorsey on season-ending injured reserve with a biceps injury.
The 49ers (7-7) play host to 8-6 San Diego on Saturday night at Levi’s Stadium.
NFL teams typically bring in the bulk of their tryout players on Tuesday. The Jets, only two days away from facing the Patriots in the regular-season home finale, brought in seven players for a Friday workout.
Per a league source, the Jets took a look at quarterbacks Dominique Davis and Bryn Renner, receivers Greg Childs, Joe Morgan, and Eric Ward, linebacker Brandon Denmark, and defensive back Aaron Hester.
Childs (pictured) was a fourth-round pick of the Vikings in 2012. He suffered a torn patellar tendon in both knees as a rookie, and the Vikings released him in March.
None of the players have been signed. It’s possible that the Jets were taking advantage of an opportunity to kick tires before the offseason roster rules allow the team to expand to a maximum of 90 players on the roster.
The Texans’ quarterback situation is a mess right now, with the team down to fourth-stringers Case Keenum and Thad Lewis as the only healthy options. But the quarterback whose injury began this mess hopes he can stabilize the position next year.
Ryan Mallett, who became the starting quarterback only to suffer a torn pectoral muscle in his second start, says he hopes to be the starter in Houston next year. Mallett is scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent in March, but he says he’s optimistic a deal will get done for him to return and continue working with coach Bill O’Brien.
“Yeah. Of course. I like it here. I love the system,” Mallett said. “But it’s not the time of the year to discuss that. So we’re still in season; we’re focused on the Ravens.”
Mallett is hoping to be healthy enough to get in a good offseason of work.
“I’m attacking [the rehab] every morning so we’ll see how it goes. There’s no timetable. Day-to-day. We’ll see how it feels every day,” Mallett said.
The Texans have the talent on the roster to be a good team next year if they get the quarterback position straightened out. But that’s a big “if.” Mallett hasn’t yet proven he can be a good NFL starter. He just wants to get the opportunity to do that in Houston next year.
Officially listed as questionable, unofficially Cowboys running back DeMarco Murray is determined to play on Sunday against the Colts.
Murray, per a source with knowledge of the situation, declared even before having surgery to repair a broken bone in his hand on Monday that he will play in Week 16. At this point, it’s believed to be primarily a matter of pain tolerance and management.
Sure, there’s risk. But Murray is willing to accept it — and he wants to prove that he can play in every game of an NFL regular season for the first time in his career.
He’s also chasing a new contract and 2,000 yards rushing. So the stakes are high and Murray fully intends to play.
Over the course of the week, there are a lot of posts about the most prominent injured players but we know that you might not see all of them and that some others may fall through the cracks. As a result, we’ll comb through all the injury reports every Friday afternoon so that there’s one stop for all the news from every team playing on Saturday and Sunday. So, without further delay, the injury report roundup for Week 16 of the 2014 season.
Eagles at Redskins
The Eagles ruled out quarterback Nick Foles (collarbone) and linebacker Trent Cole (hand) early in the week and have no other injury issues. The Redskins ruled out defensive end Jason Hatcher (knee) and linebacker Gabe Miller (ankle) and they’re likely to be without linebacker Keenan Robinson (knee, doubtful). Tackle Trent Williams (shoulder) is questionable.
Chargers at 49ers
Any concern about quarterback Philip Rivers (chest, back) dissipated when the Chargers listed him as probable, but wide receiver Keenan Allen (collarbone), running back Ryan Mathews (ankle) and punter Mike Scifres (shoulder) are all out. Tight end Ladarius Green (ankle, concussion) and defensive tackle Corey Liuget (ankle) are both questionable. A long 49ers injury report starts with linebacker Chris Borland (ankle), cornerback Tramaine Brock (hamstring), running back Carlos Hyde (ankle) and wide receiver Steve Johnson (knee) being ruled out. It continues to questionable tags for linebacker Ahmad Brooks (thumb), wide receiver Michael Crabtree (knee), tackle Anthony Davis (concussion), running back Frank Gore (concussion), safety Raymond Ventrone (groin) and linebacker Michael Wilhoite (hip) before moving on to eight probable players.
Browns at Panthers
Tight end Gary Barnidge (rib), linebacker Karlos Dansby (knee), cornerback Joe Haden (shoulder), wide receiver Marlon Moore (knee), cornerback Robert Nelson (hamstring) and linebacker Jabaal Sheard (foot) are all questionable for the Browns. Safety Tashaun Gipson (knee) and cornerback K’Waun Williams (hamstring) have been ruled out. Quarterback Cam Newton (back) is probable for the Panthers after missing last week’s game. Cornerback Carrington Byndom (hamstring), linebacker A.J. Klein (knee), guard Amini Silatolu (knee) and running back DeAngelo Williams (hand) are all listed as questionable.
Lions at Bears
Cornerback Mohammed Seisay (hamstring) is questionable for the Lions and defensive tackle Nick Fairley (knee) remains out, but the Lions don’t have any other injury issues this week. The Bears ruled out safety Chris Conte (back) and kicker Robbie Gould (quad) and they listed four players — cornerback Tim Jennings (ankle), guard Kyle Long (hip), defensive tackle Jay Ratliff (knee) and defensive tackle Will Sutton (illness) — as questionable.
Ravens at Texans
The Ravens listed defensive end Chris Canty (ankle) as questionable, but the rest of the injury report is made up of probables. Texans wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins (ankle, questionable) will be a game-time decision, but wide receiver Andre Johnson (concussion, probable) is expected to play. Tight end Garrett Graham (ankle), linebacker Mike Mohamed (concussion), quarterback Tom Savage (knee) and guard Xavier Su’a-Filo (back) have all been ruled out.
Vikings at Dolphins
The Vikings announced linebacker Anthony Barr will have season-ending knee surgery and guard Charlie Johnson (ankle) will also be out this week. Tight end Kyle Rudolph (ankle, knee) will probably join them after drawing a doubtful tag. Guard Dallas Thomas (foot) and running back Daniel Thomas (knee) give the Dolphins a pair of doubtful Thomases. Linebacker Jelani Jenkins (foot), safety Don Jones (shoulder) and cornerback Jamar Taylor (shoulder) are all questionable.
Falcons at Saints
Wide receiver Julio Jones (hip, questionable) is a game-time decision after missing practice all week and the Falcons will also wait to make calls on guard Jon Asamoah (back) and safety William Moore (foot). Tackle Terron Armstead (neck), defensive end Akiem Hicks (ankle) and safety Jamarca Sanford (hamstring) are all questionable for the Saints and make up their entire injury report.
Patriots at Jets
Quarterback Tom Brady (ankle) is probable for the Patriots. Everyone else on the injury report — 12 players including wide receiver Julian Edelman (thigh, concussion) and linebacker Dont’a Hightower (shoulder) — is questionable. Jets safety Rontez Miles (shin) is out after injuring himself in practice after being called up from the practice squad. Defensive end Muhammad Wilkerson (toe) is questionable after missing the last two games.
Chiefs at Steelers
The Chiefs have plenty of probables, including running back Jamaal Charles (knee/ankle), but wide receiver Dwayne Bowe (illness) and linebacker Tamba Hali (knee) are the only questionable players for Sunday. The Steelers don’t expect to have safety Troy Polamalu (knee) or cornerback Ike Taylor (shoulder, forearm) after listing them as doubtful.
Packers at Buccaneers
Packers tackle Bryan Bulaga (concussion, questionable) is waiting to be cleared while cornerback Davon House (shoulder) will be out. Running back Eddie Lacy (eye) is probable. The Buccaneers listed linebacker Mason Foster (achilles), cornerback Isaiah Frey (ankle), safety Dashon Goldson (shin), defensive tackle Clinton McDonald (hamstring), tackle Kevin Pamphile (ankle, knee) and wide receiver Solomon Patton (foot) as questionable. They also ruled safety Major Wright (ribs) out for Sunday.
Giants at Rams
Colts at Cowboys
The Colts will be missing tackle Gosder Cherilus (groin), guard Joe Reitz (ankle) and guard Hugh Thornton (knee) on the offensive line and the status of cornerback Vontae Davis (groin) and wide receiver T.Y. Hilton (hamstring) is questionable. Running back DeMarco Murray (hand) is questionable for the Cowboys, who also have concerns about right tackle Doug Free (ankle, doubtful) and right guard Zack Martin (ankle, questionable). Defensive tackle Josh Brent (calf) and linebacker Dekoda Watson (hamstring) are out.
Bills at Raiders
The Bills head to Oakland in good shape on the injury front. Tight end Chris Gragg (knee, questionable) is the only player listed as anything other than probable. Things are less pleasant on the Raiders side, where cornerback Tarell Brown (foot), wide receiver Vincent Brown (groin), cornerback Chimdi Chekwa (hamstring), tight end Brian Leonhardt (concussion), wide receiver Denarius Moore (knee, ankle) and tackle Menelik Watson (foot, ankle) have been ruled out. Cornerback D.J. Hayden (back) and defensive end C.J. Wilson (knee) are both questionable.
Seahawks at Cardinals
The Seahawks will vie for first place without left tackle Russell Okung (chest) and doubt that they’ll have center Max Unger (ankle, knee). Defensive end Damarcus Dobbs (ankle) is also doubtful and tight end Tony Moeaki (shoulder) is questionable. The Cardinals kept the door open for quarterback Drew Stanton (knee), but it doesn’t look like he’ll walk through it after being listed as doubtful. Guard Jonathan Cooper (wrist) is out and wide receiver Jaron Brown (toe) is questionable.
The Patriots turn perceived and/or actual opponent slights into fuel used to stoke their already legendary collective competitive fire. Just last week, they used the Dolphins’ words from September as inspiration, and we know how this turned out for poor Miami.
On Sunday, the 3-11 Jets now get a crack at New England, and it figures to be a tall order for Rex Ryan’s club. But we know this much: the Jets don’t seem to be giving the Patriots much bulletin-board material.
Earlier in the week, Ryan praised coach Bill Belichick and quarterback Tom Brady, calling them “first-ballot” Hall of Famers. And on Friday, Jets veteran outside linebacker Calvin Pace showed further respect to the Pats.
“It’s been a pleasure to play them,” Pace said, according to Bart Hubbuch of the New York Post. “They bring out the best in you. Bring your best or they’ll blow you out.”
The suspicion here is the Patriots hold the Jets in similar esteem. When both clubs had their fastball, this was football at its most skilled, its most compelling.
Though the Patriots have won 8-of-12 games vs. the Jets in Ryan’s tenure, his best teams gave New England all it could handle, with New York’s 2010 divisional-round victory in Foxborough the shining example.
With seven seasons in the Jets-Patriots rivalry to his credit, Pace’s words carry a little extra weight. The highs and lows — he’s lived them. And no matter what happens Sunday or what decisions the Jets make after the season, this remains unchanged: the Ryan-era Jets kept the Belichick-era Pats honest like few other clubs.
Saints linebacker Junior Galette had two sacks in 27 snaps against the Bears on Monday night and it sounds like the Saints will be looking for the same kind of efficient production from him against the Falcons this Sunday.
Galette wasn’t on the injury report at all this week, but said Friday that the knee injury he suffered against the Panthers two weeks ago is still troubling him. As a result, he expects to be used in a limited role again this weekend as the Saints try to take another step toward the NFC South title.
“Probably the same thing going into this game. Kind of ease off the knee a little bit,” Galette said, via ESPN.com. “Right now my knee’s not 100 percent. So just being smart and making sure I’m not playing 60 snaps on half a knee.”
Galette leads the Saints with nine sacks this season.
Among players that do appear on the injury report for New Orleans this week, left tackle Terron Armstead (neck) and safety Jamarca Sanford (hamstring) are both questionable after missing practice all week. Bryce Harris would replace Armstead and Kenny Vaccaro could return to the starting lineup should Sanford miss the game.
Wide receiver Santana Moss expressed regret for blowing his top at the end of the first half of last week’s loss to the Giants and he’ll have to make some financial concessions as well.
According to multiple reports, Moss has been fined $22,050 for his abusive language to officials after a replay review wiped out what had initially been ruled a Robert Griffin III touchdown run. Moss was penalized for unsportsmanlike conduct and ejected from the game.
The play ended the half with the Redskins up 10-7 and the Giants tied the game with a field goal after opening the half with a successful onside kick that got them the ball in Washington territory. Moss apologized “for being wrong” and letting his emotions get the best of him.
After the game, referee Jeff Triplette told a pool reporter that Moss was ejected because he used “very, very inappropriate language” toward field judge Alex Kemp after he’d already gone far enough to draw the flag for unsportsmanlike conduct.
Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers will be there.
But two of his most productive teammates won’t be.
The Chargers have officially listed Rivers as probable, meaning there’s a virtual certainty he’ll play Saturday night against the 49ers, after a week of conflicting reports about the health of his back.
Of course, they’re playing against a banged up 49ers defense, so it might not matter as much.