Tom Brady recently signed a three-year, $27 million extension with the Patriots, and Erik Kuselias wonders what effect this has on Joe Flacco’s negotiations with the Ravens. Mike Florio says progress is being made, but the two sides still have a long way to go.This video is no longer available. Click here to watch more NBC Sports videos!
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When rules were tightened up to reduce high hits, many players complained that it would result in defenders diving at their knees.
Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger apparently values another part of his body slightly more.
After self-reporting concussion symptoms during last week’s game and taking himself off the field, Roethlisberger said today on his weekly radio show on 93.7 The Fan that “I’ll play through any injury but brain.”
“I feel like I made the right [decision],” he said, via Ed Bouchette of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. “I think more guys should do it.”
Roethlisberger said he thinks he’s cleared the concussion test he took this morning, saying it was more of a migraine. During the game, he told team doctors that his peripheral vision wasn’t normal, and that’s when they shut him down for the day. But he said those symptoms went away shortly after the game.
Roethlisberger has played through a number of injuries, often coming back well before he should. And while it’s certainly easier for a star with financial and positional security to raise his hand and ask out of a game, perhaps his being willing to do so will help others take the necessary steps for self-preservation.
When the Lions and Packers met in Week 10, the Lions held the Packers to 47 yards on the ground and Green Bay’s 61 pass attempts couldn’t generate enough offense to avoid an 18-16 loss.
The Packers were missing Eddie Lacy in that game, but he’s returned with 205 yards on 39 carries in the last two games to provide some more balance to their offense. The Lions expect to see a heavy dose of Lacy in their rematch with the Pack on Thursday night and safety Glover Quin says that the team is focused on making sure that the Packers don’t run their way to victory.
“Even though Aaron Rodgers is a super, super great, talented quarterback, they got great running backs in Eddie Lacy and James Starks,” Quin said, via the Detroit Free Press. “And if you let those guys get going, that’s going to make Aaron Rodgers even better. So you’ve got to make sure you stop the run game.”
Coming into the season, it was hard to imagine too many people would predict that teams would propose that making Rodgers and the Packers beat them through the air would be a good way to wind up with a victory. Things haven’t played out as expected for the Packers offense, however, and it’s hard to argue with a goal of making Green Bay one-dimensional on Thursday night.
After making a series of mistakes that included not properly counting the downs in Sunday’s game between the Cardinals and 49ers, referee Pete Morelli and his crew have been yanked from Sunday night’s game between the Colts and Steelers.
The crew isn’t happy, but maybe the chief of the crew should be.
A decade ago, Morelli presided over a playoff game between the Pittsburgh and Indianapolis. The sixth-seeded Steelers upset the Colts, who finished the season as the No. 1 seed in the AFC.
The game included a significant error from Morelli, who incorrectly overturned via replay review an interception made by former Steelers safety Troy Polamalu.
Despite the fact that the Steelers won the game, someone was sufficiently upset with the outcome to throw a rock through a window in Morelli’s California home. Via Deadspin, the authorities were stumped: “There was no way to determine if this had anything to do with his NFL job. . . . There was no note on the rock.”
By avoiding the Sunday night game between the Colts and Steelers, Morelli has less reason to worry about more rocks, with or without notes on them.
Dolphins coach Dan Campbell said Monday that Mike Pouncey’s foot injury wasn’t as serious as the team initially feared, but that there was a good chance that they’d bring in another center in the event Pouncey doesn’t come around in time to play in Week 13.
They signed that center on Tuesday morning. The team announced that they have signed Jacques McClendon to their 53-man roster.
McClendon has had two other stints with the Dolphins this year. He spent training camp with the team before being released ahead of the opener and then returned to the team to play one game in September. McClendon played in 18 games for the Jaguars in 2013 and 2014 and has also spent time with the Lions, Steelers and Falcons since entering the league as a Colts fourth-round pick in 2010.
Packers wide receiver Davante Adams didn’t have much to feel thankful about on the field on Thanksgiving.
Adams dropped more passes than he caught in Green Bay’s loss to the Bears, including one on a post pattern that might have gone for a touchdown if Adams had been able to reel in Aaron Rodgers’s pass. Adams also caught blame from coach Mike McCarthy for the route he ran on a Rodgers interception in a performance that continued a trend that has the Packers finding little success when they look in Adams’s direction.
Adams says he’s trying to shake off the poor game, but he’s still “pissed off” about the way he played in the loss to the Bears and that’s making it difficult to completely turn the page.
“It’s hard to let it go,” Adams said, via the Green Bay Press-Gazette. “You really want to have that, they call it, the DB [defensive back] mentality. Just let it go, and go to the next play. Forget about it. But it’s hard.”
In other seasons, a game like that might lead to extended time on the bench for Adams. As the 11 passes thrown his way last Thursday illustrate, however, the Packers aren’t filled with options at receiver at the moment and that means he’ll likely get more chances against the Lions this Thursday. If he doesn’t do more with them, the Packers’ chances of avoiding a Lions sweep of the season series will be more difficult.
After dispensing no additional discipline beyond the grading process in response to multiple errors made by the officials during the Week 11 Monday night game, the NFL has decided to take action in response to mistakes made during one of the two late-afternoon games from the twelfth Sunday of the regular season.
Per a source with knowledge of the situation, the NFL has removed referee Pete Morelli’s crew from the Colts-Steelers game to be played on Sunday night. Morelli’s crew has been reassigned to another game.
It’s the third time this season the NFL has taken specific action in response to officiating errors. Side judge Rob Vernatchi was suspended with pay after a clock error in the Steelers-Chargers Monday night game, and back judge Greg Wilson was assigned away from a Sunday night game between the Colts and Patriots after missing the illegal bat at the end of the Lions-Seahawks game.
UPDATE 10:20 a.m. ET: An earlier version of this item explained that Morelli’s crew had been reassigned from the Monday night game between Dallas and Washington. The crew had been assigned to work the Sunday night game between the Colts and Steelers, which actually will have a significantly larger audience given that it will be televised on a broadcast network, not cable.
We can debate later whether it’s a good thing, but it appears Eagles quarterback Sam Bradford is closer to being back.
According to Les Bowen of the Philadelphia Daily News, Bradford’s apparently been cleared from the left AC joint sprain that’s kept him out the last two weeks, along with the concussion which he was cleared from last week.
“I just don’t know where we are from a throwing standpoint with him,” Eagles coach Chip Kelly said. “He threw a little bit on Thursday in Detroit, . . . The big test will be [Tuesday] in terms of him throwing the ball around and seeing if there is residual soreness.”
While the injury is to his non-throwing shoulder, Kelly still worried whether it will affect Bradford’s throws.
“If you have some instability in there, you’re susceptible to something if you get hit,” he said. “Can he handle that? Can he take a hit? It’s not something that’s going to affect him long-term.”
Of course, unless Bradford can play defense, it might not be enough to help things, as the Eagles have been rather porous in his absence (90 points in two games), knocking Mark Sanchez way down the list of concerns.
In Week 11, the NFL’s current system for spotting a concussed player and getting him off the field failed, badly. Rams quarterback Case Keenum, clearly in distress, remained in the game when he shouldn’t have, due in large part to a too-many-chefs system that allows the buck to be passed like the salt and pepper when it fails.
But despite the periodic mishaps (and even one mishap per season is far too many), the NFL has truly made strides when protecting players from themselves. Peter King of TheMMQB.com explains that, in the same game that saw Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger self-report concussion symptoms (a headache), Steelers coach Mike Tomlin ensured that linebacker Ryan Shazier would submit to the concussion protocol, against his wishes.
Richard Ellenbogen, the co-chair of the NFL’s head, neck, and spine committee, told King that the ATC spotter noticed that Shazier was woozy in the second quarter. Video showed a helmet-to-helmet hit, with Shazier’s head also hitting the ground. As doctors attempted to evaluation Shazier, he insisted he was fine. And then Tomlin intervened, telling Shazier, “You will listen to these doctors, and you’ll do it now.”
Shazier was later ruled out for the game, and he now resides in the league’s concussion protocol.
“This was a very good day for culture change,” Ellenbogen told King. “The team was all-in. The coach was involved, and he was fully supportive of what the medical people were doing. He couldn’t have been more supportive. Then we had a player self-report in the middle of an intense game, which is exactly what we want. He put health and safety over the competition. Concussions sometimes can take a few minutes to appear, as in this case. Today the system worked. The humans worked.”
It was a fortuitous turn of events for the NFL, which only six days earlier saw the ESPN Monday Night Countdown crew properly chastising the league for its handling of the Keenum situation — with a commercial for the new movie Concussion playing during a break later in the show. And it was smart for the league to ensure that a positive story regarding the handling of concussions has made it to light.
But even before Keenum, the system worked in Houston, where quarterback Brian Hoyer was removed from play not because of anything the ATC spotter saw or anything Hoyer said but because others noticed Hoyer wasn’t right.
With increasing signs that his wish to move the Rams to Los Angeles lacks the support of the majority of owners, perhaps Stan Kroenke is looking at options closer to his current home.
According to Jim Thomas of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Kroenke met with Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon at Rams Park Monday. The chair of the St. Louis stadium task force, Dave Peacock, was also at Rams Park but didn’t take part in the meeting. A spokesperson for Nixon would confirm the meeting but provided no other details.
The meeting might be the first face-to-face meeting between Kroenke and the Governor regarding the possibility of relocation, or the state’s effort to keep the team in place.
While details are scarce, it seems that the league may be trying to nudge Kroenke in the direction of a new stadium in St. Louis. Already, Panthers owner Jerry Richardson has voiced his support for the Chargers (and possibly Raiders) and the competing Carson project.
The league’s oft-stated stance is that they’d prefer to keep teams in their existing markets if there’s a viable stadium plan in place. St. Louis has at least made an effort in that regard, while the Chargers and Raiders seem stuck in a years-long holding pattern looking for new buildings to replace their decrepit ones.
While Kroenke could just be checking off a box before he packs up and moves, the possibility of a thaw between him and the locals who want to keep his team could be an interesting development, on the eve of this week’s owners meetings in Dallas.
Earlier this year, Jets cornerback Antonio Cromartie called Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham a “one-year wonder” because he felt that he had not seen enough of Beckham to know that he could produce on an every-week basis.
Cromartie made those comments in early October and Beckham has done a pretty good job of proving that he can thrive every time out since then. He has 72 catches for 1,005 yards and nine touchdowns on the year, putting him on pace to end the year with the kind of production rarely seen from wide receiver in their first two years.
On Monday, Cromartie again referenced that youth while discussing the potential for growth that he feels Beckham has within his reach.
“I still feel like there’s still so much room for him to grow,” Cromartie said, via ESPN.com. “He’s a young, athletic guy that can go out and make plays, and make unbelievable catches. He’s proven that over and over. He does have a lot of room to grow, because he’s so young. He’s only in his second year, so he only can evolve in that offense. Being around the guys, like Eli Manning, [can] make him evolve more. Yes, he has a lot of room to grow, to be the guy that everyone knows he can be.”
Beckham has played 23 NFL games, so it would be rather silly to think that he’s a fully formed player even if what we’ve seen puts him squarely in the upper tier of NFL wideouts. With Darrelle Revis still in the concussion protocol, Marcus Williams battling a knee injury and Cromartie still prone to getting burnt, his current level may be more than enough to make nightmares for the Jets this Sunday.
At a time when the NFL is more sensitive than ever to player health and safety, a meeting on the topic is coming up on Friday.
Per multiple sources, the league has scheduled for Tuesday a conference call between the NFL, the NFL Players Association, and the players regarding player “health and safety.”
The email message scheduling the call, according to one source, explains that the conference call is required by the Collective Bargaining Agreement. Another source suggested that the plan will be for all players to participate in the call.
One player who is directly involved in union activities told PFT on Monday that he had not yet been informed of the meeting.
It’s unclear whether this is an annual event. Regardless, it has gotten extra attention in light of last week’s Case Keenum concussion debacle, along with the looming release of the film Concussion, which based on the now-rampant TV commercials clearly hopes to make the NFL look bad for its mishandling of the concussion problem. In every version of the spots being televised pretty much everywhere (except NFL Network), a member of Congress is grilling the Commissioner, played by an actor who looks nothing like the Commissioner.
As it relates to the issue of concussions, the NFL looks nothing like it did prior to October 2009, when Roger Goodell and others were summoned to Capitol Hill and sufficiently intimated to take action. Still, the Keenum situation from nine days ago demonstrates that plenty still needs to be done.
The initial Twitter-fueled headline emerging from Monday’s Chuck Pagano press conference focused on the adjectives he used to describe the question of whether 40-year-old Matthew Hasselbeck is supplanting Andrew Luck as the team’s starting quarterback. The far more significant comment from Pagano arose from the specific number he uttered.
“Andrew is our starting quarterback and when he is healthy and he is 100 percent healthy and the doctors and our trainers say he is ready to roll then he is going to be under center,” Pagano said, via comments distributed by the team.
And there it is. The “100 percent” rule. The standard that PFT argued Pagano should use on Luck back in Week Six, after Hasselbeck’s Jimmy Connors/Michael Jordan/Willis Reed performance against the Texans and when Luck still was nursing a shoulder and/or rib injury. (Heck, we even prefaced that explanation by saying it would be “ludicrous” to even suggest benching Luck for Hasselbeck; “ludicrous” is one of the terms Pagano used when addressing the possibility on Monday.)
So when is a guy with a lacerated kidney and a separate abdominal strain truly “100 percent”? February? April? May?
For all the clarity implied in the three digits, it’s a loose, vague, fuzzy standard, allowing Pagano to go with Hasselbeck’s hot hand as long as it stays hot, keeping Luck on the bench without ever benching him.
From the perspective of Pagano’s long-term employment prospects in a job he has said repeatedly will be his last, there’s nothing ridiculous or ludicrous about that.
Is firing offensive coordinator Bill Lazor now too little and too late for the Dolphins?
A look at the Patriots’ clock management on Sunday night.
The Bengals defensive backs tackled well against the Rams.
There was no “Victory Monday” day off for the Texans.
How does the Titans’ home losing streak measure up to other extended bouts of futility?
A breakdown of playing time for the Broncos in their win over the Patriots.
The Raiders running game never caught fire against the Titans.
Youth is being served on the Chargers defense.
Giants players say the playoffs, not beating the Jets, is the biggest motivation this week.
The Eagles added C Barrett Jones to the roster.
Redskins DL Ricky Jean Francois thinks his team can make a Super Bowl run.
Everybody around the Bears was in a dancing mood on Thanksgiving.
Coach Mike Zimmer praised the Vikings for playing like a “smart football team.”
Said newly signed Panthers CB Cortland Finnegan, “Any guy who ever plays the game, they just want one more snap, let’s just be honest. I got giddy just putting on the helmet today.”
What approach should the Saints employ for their final five games?
Losing to the Colts hasn’t dampened good spirits around the Buccaneers.
It looks like rookie David Johnson will be the No. 1 running back for the Cardinals this week.
After failing as the Lions’ team president, Matt Millen settled back into a career as a broadcaster and rarely discussed the mistakes he made in Detroit. But on Sunday, he apologized.
Millen, working the Buccaneers-Colts game on FOX, chuckled as he acknowledged that he never should have been trusted with running a franchise.
“A little bit of a tactical error on my part, I had this fleeting dream that I thought maybe I could run a team,” Millen said. “Sorry, Detroit, it didn’t quite work out.”
Millen is obviously right that it didn’t work out: In 2001 he took over a team that had gone 9-7 the year before, promptly turned them into a 2-14 team his first year, and never even reached .500, with his tenure culminating in the NFL’s only 0-16 season ever in Millen’s final year, in 2008.
The Lions are currently looking for a new General Manager, having just fired Martin Mayhew, who was promoted to the job after Millen was finally fired. The good news for the Lions is that whoever they hire, it can’t possibly be worse than Millen.
1. Panthers (11-0; last week No. 2): It’s been a year since they’ve lost a regular-season game. The real question for the rest of the current year is whether they’ll win three games in the postseason.
2. Broncos (9-2; No. 6): The Broncos could be paying a quarterback $19 million next year, after all. Just not the one they thought.
3. Patriots (10-1; No. 1): Will Tom Brady eventually be throwing passes to Tony Gonzalez, Randy Moss, and/or Terrell Owens?
4. Bengals (9-2; No. 4): The Bengals are back. As long as they don’t have to play at night.
5. Cardinals (9-2; No. 3): Good teams find a way to win even when they’re playing the opposite of good.
6. Vikings (8-3; No. 8): The Steve Hutchinson/Nate Burleson Tit-for-Tat Bowl finally has both teams playing for something other than spite.
7. Packers (7-4; No. 5): If Peyton Manning or Tom Brady had young teammates who weren’t spending enough time preparing to play, the last thing either of them would need to do is complain about it publicly.
9. Chiefs (6-5; No. 10): Yes, the 49ers kept the wrong guy.
10. Steelers (6-5; No. 7): That fake field goal was so bad that the Colts were laughing at it.
11. Colts (6-5; No. 14): 4-0 is the new 40.
12. Texans (6-5; No. 15): Few teams have improved more than this one during the season, and few can figure out how they did it.
13. Raiders (5-6; No. 13): Every time the Raiders give us a reason to give up on them, they give us a reason not to.
15. Jets (6-5; No. 16): Stephen Ross no longer owns the Dolphins; the Jets do.
16. Bears (5-6; No. 20): Thirty years after a team to never forget, the Bears are gradually piecing together a season to remember.
17. Washington (5-6; No. 25): I like that at home; I hate that on the road.
18. Giants (5-6; No. 11): How bad would they have played in Washington if they hadn’t had two weeks to get ready?
19. Falcons (6-5; No. 17): Matty Ice has a modified nickname.
20. Buccaneers (5-6; No. 18): Is it a drop if it never actually touches your hands?
21. Lions (4-7; No. 24): The Lions have mastered Cooterball.
22. Ravens (4-7; No. 28): Thanks, Ravens, for the annual reminder that the Texans actually paid many millions of dollars to Matt Schaub.
23. Rams (4-7; No. 21): Apparently, “kiss my ass” comes from the Competition Committee’s special parliamentary procedures known as Robert’s Rules of Odor.
24. Dolphins (4-7; No. 22): If the Dolphins fire someone every time they lose to the Jets, the Dolphins may eventually have no one left to fire.
25. Jaguars (4-7; No. 23): At least folks in Jacksonville can enjoy the holidays without being distracted by playoff seedings.
26. Eagles (4-7; No. 26): At this rate, the Eagles may give the Titans a first-round pick to take Chip Kelly.
27. Saints (4-7; No. 27): Drew Brees will make it to 45 only if he becomes a kicker.
28. Chargers (3-8; No. 31): The Chargers are so bad that beating the Jaguars is actually an upset.
29. 49ers (3-8; No. 29): The 49ers are so bad that Rob Schneider is calling them out.
30. Cowboys (3-8; No. 19): At least the expectations won’t be quite as high next year.
31. Titans (2-9; No. 30): If the NFL played 45 minutes game, the Titans would be a lock for the Super Bowl.
32. Browns (2-9; No. 32): A Pick Six and a Kick Six and anyone who watched that one got sick at least six times.