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Jairus Byrd: My focus is just on football

Brian Hartline AP

Bills safety Jairus Byrd has answered a lot of questions about his relationship with the Bills since reporting to camp after signing his franchise tender late in August.

There were more of them on Thursday in the wake of a report in the Buffalo News that Byrd wanted to be traded. Byrd didn’t flatly deny the report, though he wondered what sources were being quoted and said his only focus is on football.

“From what I understand, someone is saying ‘sources.’ I would like to know what sources they’re talking about before you can say sources,” Byrd said, via Joe Buscaglia of “My focus is just on football now, honestly. For this team, my teammates mean the world to me. I don’t want to be any distraction to them. We have a big game coming up. We need to be 100 percent on New England, and that’s where our focus is at. That’s it. That’s that.”

If Byrd does want to be traded, it’s not going to be easy. Teams will have to have room for his $6.916 million salary this year, Ian Rapoport of reports there are 11 teams in that position, without the chance to sign him to a long-term deal until after the season. In that case, Byrd’s best chance to get what he wants is to keep his head down and play as well as possible while not letting what seems to be a strained relationship with the organization get in the way.

“I don’t know. A working relationship? That’s what it is, what you just said. A working relationship, I guess,” Byrd said of his relationship with General Manager Doug Whaley. “I don’t want to get into all that. I mean, I’m an employee of the Buffalo Bills. He’s the general manager. There you have it. We’re here to win games.”

As pressing as any issue for Byrd and the Bills right now is the plantar fasciitis that’s left his ability to play in the opener against the Patriots in doubt. Byrd was limited in practice again on Thursday and any trade talk is an even bigger pipe dream as long as he’s less than 100 percent.

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Murray returns, Titans score again

Tennessee Titans quarterback Marcus Mariota (8) scrambles away from Jacksonville Jaguars defensive tackle Malik Jackson, left, in the first half of an NFL football game Thursday, Oct. 27, 2016, in Nashville, Tenn. (AP Photo/James Kenney) AP

Titans running back DeMarco Murray returned to Thursday night’s game in the second half.

He left the field late in the second quarter with a foot injury. Murray went over 100 yards rushing on the night early in the third quarter.

The Jaguars haven’t put up much of a fight, but they did drive 75 yards for a touchdown on the opening series of the second half. The Jaguars had 60 total yards in the first half; the Titans had 354.

Marcus Mariota’s second touchdown pass of the night made it 33-8 a little over midway through the third quarter.

The Jaguars scored on a touchdown pass from Blake Bortles to tight end Julius Thomas. They got six first downs on the touchdown drive after having three first downs in the entire first half.

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Titans rolling, but DeMarco Murray leaves game

Tennessee Titans quarterback Marcus Mariota (8) hands the ball to running back DeMarco Murray (29) during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Oct. 9, 2016, in Miami Gardens, Fla.(AP Photo/Joel Auerbach) AP

Titans running back DeMarco Murray left Thursday night’s game late in the second quarter with an injury.

Murray walked to the locker room. The Titans announced that he has a foot injury, but he returned for the second half.

The Titans are steamrolling the Jaguars, 27-0, at halftime. The Titans have 20 first downs and the Jaguars have run 22 plays and have 60 yards.

Rookie Derrick Henry, who already has a touchdown run, will take over as the primary running back. Murray has 13 carries for 82 yards and a touchdown.

Murray came into the game ranking third in the NFL with 633 rushing yards on the season.

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Titans steamrolling listless Jaguars

Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Blake Bortles, left, passes as he is pressured by Tennessee Titans defensive tackle Jurrell Casey, center, and outside linebacker Brian Orakpo (98) in the first half of an NFL football game Thursday, Oct. 27, 2016, in Nashville, Tenn. (AP Photo/James Kenney) AP

The Titans are completely embarrassing the Jaguars.

It’s 24-0 just past the midway point of the second quarter. Through four offensive possessions, the Jaguars had 29 offensive yards and 50 penalty yards.

Both DeMarco Murray and Derrick Henry have rushing touchdowns against an overmatched Jaguars defense. On the Murray touchdown, Murray reversed his field and quarterback Marcus Mariota was out in front and threw a lead block.

Mariota also threw a touchdown pass to Kendall Wright.

Murray has 62 yards on his first 10 carries. At this rate, he’ll be a spectator in the second half.

The Jags have played with little direction or discipline in the early going.

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Jaguars struggling early, trail 17-0

NASHVILLE, TN - SEPTEMBER 27:  Marcus Mariota #8 of the Tennessee Titans throws a pss during the game against the Indianapolis Colts  at LP Field on September 27, 2015 in Nashville, Tennessee.  (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images) Getty Images

It’s not been pretty for the Jaguars early in Thursday’s game at Tennessee.

The Jaguars have punted on their first four possessions and have managed just 29 total yards. They have 50 yards in penalties a little short of midway through the second quarter.

Jaguars Coach Gus Bradley, who was 14-40 coming into the game, isn’t having much fun on the sideline.

The Titans have a 17-0 lead after a rushing touchdown by Derrick Henry. The Titans made it 10-0 when Marcus Mariota threw a 36-yard touchdown pass to Kendall Wright early in the second quarter.

It looked like a blown coverage as Wright turned his route up the field and just kept running into open space before Mariota lofted the ball to him.

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Ramsey’s penalty helps Titans score first

#20 of the Jacksonville Jaguars against the Baltimore Ravens at EverBank Field on September 25, 2016 in Jacksonville, Florida.  (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images) Getty Images

The Titans are on the board first in what few expect to be a classic Thursday night game.

Ryan Succop’s 32-yard field goal opened the scoring and capped an 11-play, 54-yard drive.

The field goal drive got a boost from an inexcusable penalty on Jaguars rookie defensive back Jalen Ramsey on a pass that fell incomplete. Titans tight end Phillip Supernaw was standing out of bounds when Ramsey hit him with a shoulder.

The Jaguars took Ramsey out of the game after the hit on Supernaw but he soon returned. Ramsey was ejected from last week’s game for fighting.

The Jaguars have punted on their first two drives.

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Whitworth makes the trip to London, hopes to play Sunday

Cincinnati Bengals v New Orleans Saints Getty Images

Bengals left tackle Andrew Whitworth returned to practice Thursday and made the trip to London with his teammates for Sunday’s game vs. the Redskins.

Whitworth suffered a concussion in last week’s game vs. the Browns. He did not practice Wednesday but was listed as a limited participant Thursday and told reporters he’s hoping to play Sunday.

Whitworth has only missed two games since taking over as the Bengals’ left tackle in 2009.

The Bengals left for London after practice Thursday and were scheduled to arrive there Friday morning.

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Julius Thomas, Tajae Sharpe active

Julius Thomas AP

Jaguars tight end Julius Thomas is active and in the starting lineup for Thursday night’s game at Tennessee.

Thomas had been listed as questionable and limited during the short practice week with an ankle injury. Defensive end Jared Odrick, also listed as questionable with a quad injury, is inactive.

Thomas caught a touchdown pass in both of the Jaguars’ games vs. the Titans last year. This year, he has 16 catches for 196 yards and two touchdowns.

Titans rookie wide receiver Tajae Sharpe will play. He had been listed as questionable with a knee injury and the Titans held off on any decision about his status until Sharpe tested the knee in a pregame workout.

Titans rookie outside linebacker Kevin Dodd and starting safety Rashad Johnson are inactive. Both had been listed as questionable. The Titans previously announced that Brian Schwenke would start at left guard in place of Quinton Spain.

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Ankle injury likely to keep Mangold out Sunday

New York Jets v Buffalo Bills Getty Images

Jets Coach Todd Bowles told reporters Thursday “it doesn’t look good right now” for center Nick Mangold’s chances of playing Sunday at Cleveland.

Mangold has missed both of the team’s practices this week and was wearing a protective boot on his injured ankle Thursday. Bowles stopped short of declaring Mangold out, saying he needed another day before making any kind of official declaration.

Mangold has only missed four games in his 11-year career. The Jets list Wesley Johnson as their backup center on their unofficial depth chart.

Bowles has already ruled out rookie linebacker Darron Lee, right tackle Brent Qvalue and linebacker Bruce Carter. After missing last week’s game, defensive end Muhammad Wilkerson was back at practice Thursday.

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Get ready for Week Eight with the PA and Florio podcast


It’s one of the hottest new podcasts, despite my involvement in it. It’s the PA and Florio podcast, a weekly look at the NFL featuring the voice of the Vikings, Paul Allen, and yours truly.

Episode 2, focusing on Week Eight of the NFL season, is available in various online locations, including iTunes and audioBoom.

Download it or, for faster weekly delivery, subscribe. Also, leave a comment that weaves in one of Paul’s various catch phrases, including “this is not Detroit,” “he’s loooooose,” and/or whatever he said when Blair Walsh missed the field goal against Seattle.

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49ers release Ian Williams from non-football injury list

GLENDALE, AZ - SEPTEMBER 21:  Nose tackle Ian Williams #93 of the San Francisco 49ers walks onto the feild prior to the start of the NFL game against the Arizona Cardinals at the University of Phoenix Stadium on September 21, 2014 in Glendale, Arizona.  The Cardinals defeated the 49ers 23-14.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) Getty Images

Shortly after free agency opened in March, the 49ers and defensive tackle Ian Williams agreed to a deal that would keep Williams with the team for five years.

Williams’ history of ankle injuries and surgeries led to his failure to pass a physical with the team, however, and the deal was scrapped in favor of a one-year pact. Williams never made it onto the field with the team this season as he landed on the non-football injury list at the start of training camp and now his time with the team has come to an end.

The league’s daily transaction wire brings word that the 49ers have released Williams from the NFI list with an injury settlement. The move leaves Williams free to sign with any other team, although the same health concerns that scuttled his deal with the 49ers may remain a stumbling block.

Williams started all 16 games for the 49ers in 2015 and played in 15 other games with them between 2011 and 2015.

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Vikings, Brad Childress: No truth to Artis Hicks’ bounty allegation

EDEN PRAIRIE, MN - OCTOBER 7:  Minnesota Vikings head coach Brad Childress answers questions from the media during a press conference at Winter Park on October 7, 2010 in Eden Prairie, Minnesota.  (Photo by Adam Bettcher/Getty Images) Getty Images

In an interview for a biography about Brett Favre, former Vikings offensive lineman Artis Hicks told author Jeff Pearlman that coaches on the Vikings had a bounty program similar to the one that landed Saints coach Sean Payton, current Rams defensive coordinator Gregg Williams and others suspensions from the NFL after the 2009 season.

Hicks alleged the Vikings, who faced the Saints in that year’s NFC title game and saw Favre get battered over the course of the contest, had their program in place that year as well. Linebacker Ben Leber was also on that team and said he was unaware of such activities as did defensive end Bryan Robison, adding that he thought Hicks was “trying to bring attention” to himself.

The Vikings released a brief statement on Thursday — “There is no truth to it” — and then-Vikings coach Brad Childress, who testified in the Bountygate appeals hearing, also added his own denial.

“I had a great opportunity to coach a lot of great people there, including Artis Hicks, at the Minnesota Vikings,” Childress said, via “I have too much respect for the Wilf family [and] professional football to have anything to do with a bounty system. I’m going to let it stand at that.”

There’s been no word from the NFL about plans to look into Hicks’ comments. The league’s suspensions of Payton, Williams and other coaches from the Saints stood, but four players suspended by the league had the penalties overturned in an appeal heard by former NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue.

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Packers release Abbrederis with injury settlement

OAKLAND, CA - DECEMBER 20:  Wide receiver Jared Abbrederis #84 of the Green Bay Packers brings in a 15-yard pass against safety Charles Woodson #24 of the Oakland Raiders in the third quarter on December 20, 2015 at Coliseum in Oakland, California.  The Packers won 30-20. (Photo by Brian Bahr/Getty Images) Getty Images

The Packers have waived wide receiver Jared Abbrederis with an injury settlement.

Abbrederis had been placed on the team’s injured-reserve list Wednesday due to a thigh injury.

The settlement makes Abbrederis subject to the league’s waiver system. If he clears waivers he’ll be a free agent and eligible to sign with any team when he’s healthy. He wouldn’t be able to re-sign with the Packers for six weeks.

A fifth-round pick in 2014, he missed his rookie season and played in 14 games over the last two seasons, catching 10 passes for 119 yards. He had just one reception this season.

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C.J. Anderson: I don’t know if I’m done for the season or not

SAN DIEGO, CA - OCTOBER 13:   C.J. Anderson #22 of the Denver Broncos warms up before the game against the San Diego Chargers at Qualcomm Stadium on October 13, 2016 in San Diego, California.  (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images) Getty Images

Broncos running back C.J. Anderson denied a report this morning that he is telling people his season is over. But he’s not denying that his season is over. He’s just saying he’s not sure yet.

Anderson clarified on Twitter this afternoon that he is having knee surgery to repair a torn meniscus and won’t know until after that surgery how much time he’s going to miss.

“We will not know til after the procedure if I am done for the season or if I can come back to help my team,” Anderson wrote. “I will grind and push to be the best always and be stronger than I was before.”

Anderson is the Broncos’ leading rusher with 110 carries for 437 yards and four touchdowns this season. While he’s out the Broncos will turn to rookie Devontae Booker as their starting running back. Kapri Bibbs will move up to No. 2 on the depth chart, and Juwan Thompson could be called up from the practice squad.

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Report: NFL interviewed Ezekiel Elliott about domestic violence allegation

GREEN BAY, WI - OCTOBER 16:  Ezekiel Elliott #21 of the Dallas Cowboys runs the ball against the Green Bay Packers during the first quarter at Lambeau Field on October 16, 2016 in Green Bay, Wisconsin.  (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images) Getty Images

In early September, the Columbus (OH) City Attorney’s Office released a statement saying that they were not pursuing domestic violence charges against Cowboys rookie running back Ezekiel Elliott.

In July, Elliott had been accused of assaulting an ex-girlfriend, but the statement said they were declining to press charges against Elliott because their investigation turned up “conflicting and inconsistent information.” While the City Attorney opted not to pursue the matter, the NFL did not rule out disciplinary action against Elliott.

Tom Pelissero of USA Today reports that investigators from the league recently interviewed Elliott as part of their own investigation into the allegations. NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy did not confirm the interview, but did say the league was still actively reviewing the issue.

News of the interview comes at a time when the league’s handling of domestic violence cases is back in the spotlight because of their decision to suspend Giants kicker Josh Brown for one game as a result of his 2015 arrest on domestic violence charges. Brown ultimately was not charged and the league’s handling of the case has been criticized in light of the release of documents showing written admissions by Brown that he abused his now ex-wife during their marriage.

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Wilkerson back at practice, listed as limited

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - OCTOBER 13: Defensive end Muhammad Wilkerson #96 of the New York Jets celebrates after sacking quarterback Ben Roethlisberger #7 of the Pittsburgh Steelers in the fourth quarter during a game at MetLife Stadium on October 13, 2013 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. The Steelers defeated the Jets 19-6. (Photo by Rich Schultz /Getty Images) Getty Images

Jets defensive end Muhammad Wilkerson was back at practice Thursday after missing time due to ankle injury.

The Jets listed Wilkerson as a limited participant. He didn’t practice Thursday and missed last week’s game vs. the Ravens.

Wilkerson spent most of the offseason rehabbing the broken leg he suffered in the final game of the 2015 season and said last week that the ankle has been an issue for a few weeks. The Jets signed Wilkerson to a big-money extension last summer, and he’s been an impact player on their defensive line since being drafted in the first round in 2011.

Last week marked just the fourth game he’s missed in his six-year career.

The Jets also got wide receiver Brandon Marshall and Bilal Powell back as limited participants on Thursday after they sat out Wednesday’s practice.

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