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Statement from Jermichael Finley’s agent

[Editor’s note:  Blake Baratz, agent for Packers tight end Jermichael Finley, has released a statement regarding the question of whether Finley will undergo neck surgery.  The full text of the statement appears below.]

We have spent countless hours over the past few weeks meeting with the top spine specialists, neurologists, and neurosurgeons throughout the country to gather information and opinions regarding Jermichael Finley’s spinal-cord injury. Since Mr. Chmura decided to speak out publicly and inaccurately regarding this situation, we felt that it would be best to clarify the facts on Jermichael’s behalf. First and foremost, Jermichael’s long-term health is our primary concern.  While his return to professional football is a hot topic of conversation, his ability to live a long and fulfilling life with his loved ones is by far and away our main objective.

Regarding Jermichael’s specific injury, it is important to note that expert opinions differ across the board, from surgical procedures to rehabilitation methods to returning to contact sports. Working alongside the Packers organization, we have discussed and analyzed all of these opinions, as well as all of the potential scenarios moving forward. We have collectively determined that while surgery may not be 100% necessary, it is a proactive measure that should alleviate future risks with regards to a similar episode or re-injury. Jermichael has elected to undergo a spinal fusion with Dr. Joseph Maroon, the Pittsburgh Steelers team Neurosurgeon. Dr. Maroon is experienced in conducting this type of procedure on professional athletes in contact sports, and is confident that Jermichael will fully recover following the procedure. Once surgery has been completed, Jermichael has every intention of resuming his football career, and we fully support his efforts to do so.

Jermichael and his family appreciate all of the love and support they have received, and simply ask that we all respect their privacy during his recovery process.  Jermichael promises to keep everyone updated over the coming days, weeks, and months.

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Eagles place Nolan Carroll on IR

DETROIT MI - NOVEMBER 26: Cornerback Nolan Carroll #23 of the Philadelphia Eagles is taken off the field after an  injury in the fist half of the game against the Detroit Lions on November 26, 2015 at Ford Field in Detroit, Michigan.
(Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images) Getty Images

Cornerback Nolan Carroll’s broken ankle was part of a rough Thanksgiving trip to Detroit for the Eagles and they added another cornerback Friday they hope can help them avoid more rough days in the weeks to come.

The Eagles officially brought Carroll’s season to an end by placing him on injured reserve, which was a formality given the severity of his injury. Carroll is set to become a free agent at the end of the season, which may have made Thursday’s loss his final appearance in an Eagles uniform.

Carroll started all 11 games for the Eagles this season, making 57 tackles and intercepting two passes. Rookie Eric Rowe took over for him against the Lions and will likely continue to get work across from Byron Maxwell in the Eagles’ faltering defense for the rest of the season.

The Eagles filled Carroll’s roster spot by signing cornerback Jaylen Watkins off of the Bills practice squad. Watkins, who played with his brother Sammy in Buffalo, was a fourth-round pick in Philadelphia last year and saw action in four games before failing to make the club this summer.

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Kyle Williams will have season-ending knee surgery

ORCHARD PARK, NY - NOVEMBER 30:   Johnny Manziel #2 of the Cleveland Browns is hit by Kyle Williams #95 of the Buffalo Bills during the second half at Ralph Wilson Stadium on November 30, 2014 in Orchard Park, New York.  (Photo by Brett Carlsen/Getty Images) Getty Images

Bills coach Rex Ryan said Friday that defensive tackle Kyle Williams was likely headed to injured reserve because of a knee injury that’s kept him out since Week Six and it became official later in the day.

Williams will have knee surgery to repair his meniscus and will not play again this season. Williams said he tried to rehab the injury in hopes of being part of a playoff run with the team he’s played for since 2006, but things weren’t getting any better and any attempt to return to the field this year would have left him at risk of further injury.

“It’s been tough,” Williams said, via the team. “It was something that we knew would have to be addressed sooner or later and we hoped against hope that I could get through and respond and play with it and then wait until after the season. I’ve done that before with different injuries, but it’s not going well so we’re going to go ahead and address it and take care of it and get better.”

Williams has two years left on his deal with Buffalo and a $7 million base salary next year. He said Friday that he plans to be back in the Bills lineup next year and that will likely be the case as long as his rehab progresses smoothly in the coming months.

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Anthony Castonzo won’t play against Bucs

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - AUGUST 07:  Tackle Anthony Castonzo #74 of the Indianapolis Colts looks on against the New York Jets during a preseason game at MetLife Stadium on August 7, 2014 in East Rutherford, New Jersey.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images) Getty Images

The Colts are 3-0 without their starting quarterback this season and they’ll try to go to 1-0 without their starting left tackle against the Buccaneers on Sunday.

Anthony Castonzo has been ruled out due to the sprained MCL he suffered in last week’s win over the Falcons. Coach Chuck Pagano said earlier this week that Castonzo is considered “week-to-week” and he didn’t practice, so his absence this week isn’t a great surprise.

The Colts moved Joe Reitz from right tackle to left tackle last week and they’ve been doing the same in practice this week. Denzelle Good has been working on the right side and it appears the seventh-round pick will get his first start in his regular season debut with the team.

Safety Mike Adams is doubtful to play because of an ankle injury. Adams missed last week’s win as well. Linebacker Erik Walden and cornerback Greg Toler are both questionable after practicing on Friday.

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Giants likely without two starting offensive linemen Sunday

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - SEPTEMBER 20:   Justin Pugh #67 of the New York Giants in action against the Atlanta Falcons during their game at MetLife Stadium on September 20, 2015 in East Rutherford, New Jersey.  (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images) Getty Images

The Giants started the week without left guard Justin Pugh and center Weston Richburg and it looks like they’ll remain without them through Sunday.

Pugh has been ruled out because of a concussion and will miss a second straight game as a result. Pugh was scratched in Week 10 against the Patriots and was placed in the league’s concussion protocol after continuing to experience symptoms of the brain injury through the team’s bye week.

Richburg sprained his ankle in that loss to New England and has been listed as doubtful to play against the Redskins after missing practice this week. John Jerry started in place of Pugh in Week 10 and Dallas Reynolds would be the replacement for Richburg.

Tight end Larry Donnell was ruled out with the neck injury that’s left him out of the last two games and linebacker Mark Herzlich is out with a quad injury. Cornerback Prince Amukamara is expected back from a pectoral injury for a game that could put the Giants in firm control of the NFC East with a win.

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Devonta Freeman one of three Falcons ruled out

ATLANTA, GA - NOVEMBER 22:  Devonta Freeman #24 of the Atlanta Falcons runs the ball during the first half against the Indianapolis Colts at the Georgia Dome on November 22, 2015 in Atlanta, Georgia.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) Getty Images

The Falcons did the expected on Friday afternoon and ruled running back Devonta Freeman out for Sunday’s game against the Vikings.

Freeman has been out of practice all week with a concussion, making it no surprise that Tevin Coleman will get the start at running back at the Georgia Dome in a meeting between two teams vying for a playoff spot in the NFC. It will be Coleman’s third start of the year and first since his rib injury in Week Two opened the door for Freeman with the first team.

Freeman isn’t the only player that Atlanta ruled out on Friday. Wide receiver Leonard Hankerson won’t play due to a hamstring injury. Hankerson returned to the lineup last week after missing two other games for the same reason.

Kicker Matt Bryant rounds out the trio of players listed as out. Bryant hurt his quad in practice on Wednesday, forcing the team to sign the well-traveled Shayne Graham to the roster. Graham will play for his 10th NFL team when he takes the field with the Falcons on Sunday.

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Nick Mangold probable, but Darrelle Revis won’t play

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - NOVEMBER 12:  IK Enemkpali #75 of the Buffalo Bills and Nick Mangold #74 of the New York Jets shake hands during the coin toss prior to the game at MetLife Stadium on November 12, 2015 in East Rutherford, New Jersey.  (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images) Getty Images

The writing on the wall all week has been that Jets cornerback Darrelle Revis would miss Sunday’s game against the Dolphins after suffering a concussion against the Texans in Week 11.

Any lingering doubt was snuffed out on Friday afternoon when coach Todd Bowles officially ruled Revis out for the game. Revis hasn’t practiced all week, so he’ll remain questionable for Week 13 until there’s some progress on his path through the concussion protocol.

There is better news elsewhere on the injury front. Center Nick Mangold practiced for the second straight day on Friday and has been listed as probable after needing stitches to repair a cut on his right hand last weekend. The Jets struggled to move the ball when Mangold missed a game earlier this season with a neck injury and the same happened when he was hurt early in last week’s loss, which makes his presence a welcome one for the offense.

Defensive end Sheldon Richardson is also probable after missing last week with a hamstring injury. With Revis out of the picture, the defense could use a renewed pass rushing effort from Richardson and his mates on the defensive line.

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Ron Rivera: If you’re talking about 16-0, you’re not focused on the details

on November 26, 2015 in Arlington, Texas. Getty Images

The Panthers improved to 11-0 in Dallas on Thursday afternoon and every game that ends without a loss increases the chatter about whether they can run the table in the regular season.

Coach Ron Rivera isn’t really into the topic at this point, however. Rivera fielded a variety of questions related to his team’s unblemished record on Friday, including queries about whether he’s planning to rest starters in the final weeks of the season and whether the Panthers could benefit from a loss before the postseason. Rivera made it clear that he’s thinking about next week and not five weeks from now.

“If you’re talking about 16-0 seasons, you’re not focusing on the details you need to pay attention to,” Rivera said, via Steve Reed of the Associated Press.

Rivera added that he thinks the team has yet to play their best for a complete game, which may not be the same opinion held by defensive tackle Dwan Edwards. Edwards said Friday that “it’s going to take us not playing our best for someone to beat us.”

The remaining schedule features games at the Saints, a home-and-home with the Falcons sandwiched around a road date with the Giants and a home finale against the Buccaneers. There’s certainly the possibility of a loss or two if the Panthers don’t play up to snuff, but the reasons to expect one are just as certainly dwindling as the Panthers continue to roll through the competition.

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Jamie Collins returns to practice after missing three weeks

San Diego Chargers Vs. New England Patriots At Qualcomm Stadium Getty Images

Patriots linebacker Jamie Collins has missed the last three games, but returned to the practice field Friday after dealing with an undisclosed illness.

According to Jeff Howe of the Boston Herald, Collins has been back at the stadium this week after getting treatment for what was described as “a contagious illness.” There’s been little word on what the illness is, other than it’s not MRSA.

Having missed so much practice time, it’s unlikely Collins would be ready to play Sunday night against the Broncos.

Patriots wide receiver Danny Amendola was also on the field, practicing for the second straight day. He sprained his knee last week, but could be ready if he’s working back-to-back days.

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Kyle Williams may be headed to IR, Mario Williams out this week

Johnny Manziel, Kyle Williams AP

The Bills are going to have to shuffle their defensive front, and it appears one key part won’t be coming back at all.

Via Mike Rodak of, Bills defensive tackle Kyle Williams’ knee isn’t getting better, and coach Rex Ryan said he’s probably headed to injured reserve.

Williams was injured in Week Six, but Ryan said he hasn’t responded to treatment, making it likely he wouldn’t return this season. That’s a blow to their run defense, which hasn’t been the same without the veteran.

Defensive end Mario Williams is also going to be out this week against the Chiefs, after injuring his foot Monday against the Patriots. Williams has struggled this season, with just 3.0 sacks after hitting double digits the previous three seasons. Ryan said it didn’t appear that Mario Williams’ injury was season-ending.

There is good news for the Bills, as quarterback Tyrod Taylor is probable, after getting some time off this week to rest his shoulder.

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Devonta Freeman absent from practice again

Devonta Freeman, Dontae Johnson AP

Devonta Freeman is not at Falcons practice again Friday, a sign that he won’t be cleared in time to play Sunday vs. the Vikings.

Freeman suffered a concussion early in last week’s loss to the Colts. Rookie Tevin Coleman would be the starter if Freeman can’t play Sunday.

The 6-4 Falcons have lost three straight and are trying to stay in the NFC wildcard race.

Freeman is fifth in the NFL with 764 rushing yards and leads all runners with 9 touchdowns.

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Jerry Jones: Tony Romo won’t need surgery but is out for season

Tony Romo, Jerry Jones AP

Cowboys owner Jerry Jones has confirmed what was widely expected: Tony Romo is out for the season.

Jones said this morning on 105.3 The Fan that Romo will not play again until 2016.

If there’s any good news from the Cowboys’ perspective, it’s that Romo has a hairline fracture in his clavicle and will not need surgery. It appears that Romo’s clavicle injury isn’t as severe this time around as the Week Three clavicle injury that forced him to miss seven games this season.

But that’s of small consolation. The Cowboys, who got off to a promising 2-0 start, saw their season derailed by Romo’s first injury, and saw any faint hope of a playoff run ended by Romo’s second injury.

Now the Cowboys just have to wait until next year. And Jones has to see if he can find a better backup quarterback than Matt Cassel, so that if Romo gets hurt again in 2016, it won’t mean the Cowboys’ season is over.

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Black Friday PFT Live features Kuechly, Tate, Chris Johnson, Troy Brown

Luke Kuechly, Kurt Coleman, Jason Witten AP

It’s Black Friday, a term that originated within the retail industry as an expression of the stress and dread the workers experience on the biggest shopping day of the year. Thanks to a little Chamber of Commerce P.R. spit-and-polish, it’s now sold to the public as a good thing — the day on which businesses go from being in the red to being in the black.

Which overlooks the reality that any business that spends nearly 11 months of the year in the red isn’t going to stay in business much longer.

As the sports talk radio business goes, Black Friday is one of the best days of the year, with three high-profile NFL games to dissect and another 13 to go in a weekend with plenty of postseason implications. Starting at 12:00 p.m. ET, PFT Live on NBC Sports Radio will devote three hours to the NFL action that was and that soon will be, with visits from Panthers linebacker Luke Kuechly, Lions receiver Golden Tate, Cardinals running back Chris Johnson, and former Patriots great Troy Brown.

So join us via Sirius 213, XM 202,, the easy-to-use NBC Sports Radio app, and any of the many terrestrial affiliates throughout the country.

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Bengals activate Cedric Ogbuehi, place Darqueze Dennard on IR

Darqueze Dennard AP

The Bengals swapped one first-rounder’s roster spot for another Friday.

The team announced that cornerback Darqueze Dennard was placed on season-ending injured reserve, and that tackle Cedric Ogbuehi had been activated from the reserve/non-football injury list.

Dennard suffered a shoulder injury last Sunday against the Cardinals, and he’ll need surgery to repair the damage. Their 2014 first-round pick, Dennard was making his first career start, and leaves them thin in the secondary.

Ogbuehi, their 2015 first-rounder, started practicing earlier this month, as he recovers from the torn ACL late in his final college season.

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Revis missing from practice again Friday

Darrelle Revis AP

The Jets took to the practice field without cornerback Darrelle Revis again Friday, a signal that Revis is unlikely to play Sunday vs. the Dolphins.

Revis suffered a concussion during last week’s loss to the Texans.

The Jets have lost four of five to slip to 5-5.

Earlier this week, Jets coach Todd Bowles said it would be “a bonus” if the team had Revis available. His absence from Friday’s practice might confirm that bonus isn’t coming.

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Jay Gruden: It’s a one-game season

LANDOVER, MD - OCTOBER 25: Head coach Jay Gruden of the Washington Redskins looks on prior to a game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at FedExField on October 25, 2015 in Landover, Maryland. (Photo by Matt Hazlett/Getty Images) Getty Images

At 4-6, the Redskins are on the outside looking in at the playoff race in the NFC and they know that there’s only one way to change that positioning.

They need to end a five-game losing streak to the Giants when they host their NFC East rivals on Sunday afternoon. Redskins players say that the team’s coaches have been drilling the importance of this week’s game during practice all week and coach Jay Gruden isn’t downplaying the significance in his public comments either.

“It’s a one-game season,” Gruden said, via “If we have any desire at all to play 17, 18 or 19 games we have to take care of business Sunday. That’s the most important thing. We’ve got to get their best effort physically and mentally. It’s got to be their best focus of the season, not far, not even close. I think the guys are revved up.”

It’s hard to argue with Gruden’s take. Dropping a second game to the Giants would leave the Redskins two games and a tiebreaker behind in a divisional race, leaving them in need of a lot of wins and a lot of luck to change the standings. Thanks to the Thanksgiving developments for the Cowboys and Eagles, a Giants win would also push Tom Coughlin’s team to the doorstep of a division title with five games left to play so you’d imagine that everyone will be revved up come kickoff.

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