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Percy Harvin to have no limitations after nearly landing on injured reserve

Percy Harvin, Brian Schneider AP

Percy Harvin’s season with the Seattle Seahawks nearly ended two weeks ago.

Following Seattle’s 27-9 victory over the St. Louis Rams in the regular season finale, it was finally time for judgment day on Harvin’s injured hip.

Head coach Pete Carroll met with Harvin that Monday with a roster move to injured reserve fully on the table for Seattle’s prize acquisition of the 2013 offseason.

Harvin had appeared in just one game for Seattle in Week 11 against the Minnesota Vikings. He caught one pass for 17 yards and returned his lone kickoff return opportunity 58 yards. It was a small glimpse of the player Seattle traded for back in March. But his surgically repaired hip flared up again following the game and had kept Harvin off the field for the remainder of the regular season.

But Harvin pleaded for a chance to show he was ready to get back on the field.

“Coach came to me last Monday with the whole IR thing. I just looked at him and said ‘coach, I’m ready to play ball,'” Harvin said. “We talked to the doctors, just kept rehabbing. I could hit the practice field and it felt pretty good.”

Carroll added “I had to look him in the eye two weeks ago on Monday and say ‘this is the time, this is it. We have to make the call’ and he said ‘not now, let me have a shot’, and he was ready to go. With great work from the trainers and a very successful surgery, he’s back and ready to go.

Harvin returned to practice that Thursday during Seattle’s bye week and continued to practice every day this week. He’s now ready to go with no limitations against the New Orleans Saints on Saturday.

Harvin gave credit to his teammates for keeping his spirit high while he struggled to keep grinding away at a rehab process that wasn’t showing improvement.

“Came a time where I thought about maybe just kind of shutting it down,” Harvin said. “But the guys just kept giving it to me, kept giving me that positive energy I needed and it all started turning around for me. So I decided that I was going to give it everything I have and go from there.”

Harvin said he’s “absolutely” going to be available to return kickoffs for Seattle and is expected to be available for full duty on offense.

“We’re excited about him going and excited for him. It’s been a long, long haul for a guy that’s such a great competitor and that means so much to, and for him to have the opportunity to join us now is really exciting I know for him, and for us too,” Carroll said.

Considering Harvin was just hours away from injured reserve, it’s quite a boost for a Seattle offense that sputtered at times over the last month of the season.

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Lions cut Aaron Dobson to make room for a linebacker

FOXBORO, MA - SEPTEMBER 27:   Aaron Dobson #17 of the New England Patriots makes a catch with pressure from  Peyton Thompson #25 of the Jacksonville Jaguars in the third quarter at Gillette Stadium on September 27, 2015 in Foxboro, Massachusetts.  (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images) Getty Images

Aaron Dobson’s stint as a Lion was a short one.

The Lions, who signed Dobson on Tuesday, announced that they waived him today.

With two linebackers, DeAndre Levy and Antwione Williams, ruled out for Sunday’s game against the Packers, the Lions had a bigger need at that position. So they signed linebacker Zaviar Gooden to the active roster from the practice squad and waived Dobson to create a roster spot for Gooden.

Dobson, the former Patriots receiver, could return to Detroit once the Lions have a spot for him on their roster.

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Twitter’s NFL stream won’t build momentum in Week Four

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Twitter scored an impressive 34-percent increase in average viewership for its live stream of Thursday Night Football from Week Two to Week Three.

For Week Four, count on a 100-percent drop.

The game between the Dolphins and Bengals will be televised only by NFL Network. As a result, it won’t be streamed on Twitter.

That was the arrangement from the get-go, with Twitter streaming only the games televised on NFLN and CBS or NBC.

The exclusivity of the broadcast relates directly to NFL Network’s arrangements with cable and satellite providers. The ability to charge the rate the NFL currently receives hinges on having a certain amount of game content.

This means that, during those weeks when games are televised by NFLN only, they won’t be available on Twitter. Which will make it hard to develop viewing habits on Twitter — and which undoubtedly will result in plenty of complaints from users who dial up Twitter on Thursday night in search of Dolphins-Bengals but can’t find it.

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Jeff Fisher won’t say which quarterback will be inactive

LOS ANGELES, CA - SEPTEMBER 18:  Head coach Jeff Fisher of the Los Angeles Rams attends warm ups before the start of the home opening NFL game against the Seattle Seahawks at Los Angeles Coliseum on September 18, 2016 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images) Getty Images

Prior to Week One against the 49ers, Rams coach Jeff Fisher said rookie quarterback Jared Goff would be inactive. Prior to Week Two against the Seahawks, Fisher said Goff would be active.

Prior to Week Three at Tampa, Fisher’s not saying anything.

“Don’t know yet,” Fisher told reporters on Friday. “Have to wait and see. . . . Come to the game.”

Fisher has decided that one of the quarterbacks will be inactive. It will be Goff or Sean Mannion.

The decision to suddenly be circumspect could be a sign that Fisher is thinking about using his second quarterback, if starter Case Keenum can’t get the offense into the end zone. Through two games, the Rams have yet to score a touchdown.

There’s no guarantee Goff would be the next man up. Mannion earned the No. 2 spot on the depth chart before the season began; if Fisher gets fed up with Keenum, Mannion could get a chance to play before Goff would be pressed into service. Once Goff is on the field, it will be hard to bench him for Mannion or Keenum, given the move the Rams made to the top of the draft to get him.

Regardless, if the Bucs are inclined to prepare for a second quarterback on Sunday, they won’t know who that will be until 90 minutes before kickoff.

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Cutler makes the trip, but Bears downgrade two

DETROIT, MI - OCTOBER 18:  Quarterback Jay Cutler #6 of the Chicago Bears throws a pass during the NFL game against the Detroit Lions at Ford Field on October 18, 2015 in Detroit, Michigan.  The Lions defeated the Bears 37-34 in overtime.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) Getty Images

Injured quarterback Jay Cutler made the trip, but the Bears announced Saturday that running back Kadeem Carey and nose tackle Eddie Goldman did not make the trip and will not play Sunday night at Dallas.

All three had been listed as doubtful. Cutler suffered a thumb injury in last Monday’s game vs. the Eagles and did not practice all week.

Brian Hoyer is the presumed starting quarterback vs. the Cowboys.

Goldman, the Bears’ starting nose tackle, is one of several players who was injured in last week’s game. The Bears still list nine players as questionable, including wide receiver Alshon Jeffery, guard Josh Sitton, right tackle Bobby Massie, safety Adrian Amos and linebacker Willie Young.

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Elway on Osweiler: The deals you don’t make at times are the best

FOXBORO, MA - SEPTEMBER 22:  Brock Osweiler #17 of the Houston Texans reacts during the game against the New England Patriots at Gillette Stadium on September 22, 2016 in Foxboro, Massachusetts.  (Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images) Getty Images

Brock Osweiler looked like anything but an $18 million per year quarterback on Thursday night as the Texans were shut out in New England, and the guy who nearly signed him for not much less than that noticed.

“A lot of times those deals you don’t make are the best ones,” Broncos executive V.P. of football operations and G.M. John Elway told Dave Logan and Susie Wargin of KOA radio on Friday.

Though Elway was responding to specific question and had a lighthearted tone, he said what he said, and it’ll be interesting to see what Osweiler and the Texans eventually have to say about that.

“Obviously it was a tough night for Houston last night and — but things move on,” Elway added. “You try to make the best decision when you have to make it. . . . Excluding last night, we really felt good with the way everything’s fallen, the way we went into camp, and we’re really excited with the guys who are playing the position for us now.”

Osweiler’s replacement, Trevor Siemian, has one touchdown pass and three interceptions in two games, both at home. On Sunday, the Broncos play a true road game for the first time since December 20, a stretch of seven games without having to entire hostile territory.

The Broncos will be in their own back yard on October 24, when Osweiler returns to town with the Texans. Elway’s comments likely will provide extra motivation; based, however, on what happened Thursday night, they’ll need a lot more than motivation to match up with the defending NFL champions.

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Clay Matthews ruled out as Packers downgrade four

LANDOVER, MD - JANUARY 10: Inside linebacker Clay Matthews #52 of the Green Bay Packers in action against the Washington Redskins at FedExField on January 10, 2016 in Landover, Maryland. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images) Getty Images

The Packers’ defense is ailing heading into Sunday’s game against the Lions.

Green Bay announced today that linebacker Clay Matthews and safety Morgan Burnett have both been ruled out, after previously being listed as doubtful.

The Packers also downgraded two players who were previously listed as questionable — defensive tackle Letroy Guion and linebacker Datone Jones — to doubtful. Players listed as doubtful hardly ever play.

Packers cornerback Sam Shields was already ruled out with a concussion, so Green Bay’s defense is seriously depleted.

Of course, the Lions won’t have any sympathy, as three of their key defensive players are out as well in defensive end Ziggy Ansah and linebackers DeAndre Levy and Antwione Williams.
For the

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Kubiak on Siemian: “He’s made some poor decisions”

Denver Broncos quarterback Trevor Siemian (13) thaws as Los Angeles Rams defensive end Eugene Sims (97) pursues during the first half of an NFL preseason football game, Saturday, Aug. 27, 2016, in Denver. (AP Photo/Joe Mahoney) AP

Broncos quarterback Trevor Siemian has three interceptions in his first two starts, and coach Gary Kubiak says those passes showed that Siemian has a long way to go in his decision-making.

Kubiak noted that Siemian still sometimes makes throws as if he thinks the opposing defenders have college speed. NFL defenders can intercept a pass that would have been out of a college defender’s range, and Siemian needs to learn that.

“He’s made some poor decisions,” Kubiak said, via ESPN. “I know that sounds kind of crazy, but it’s just learning that, ‘Trevor, That guy can make that play. You’re not in college anymore. You’re not going to throw that ball through that guy.’ I think some of the speed of the game factors that he’s beginning to understand a little bit is going to make him better each week.”

Kubiak is blunt, but he’s got a point: The Broncos are 2-0, but Siemian needs to make better decisions if they’re going to keep winning.

If Siemian doesn’t make better decisions, Kubiak may turn to rookie first-round draft pick Paxton Lynch. Kubiak showed last year that he wasn’t afraid to make changes at quarterback, from Peyton Manning to Brock Osweiler and back again. The Broncos also showed last year that to win with their defense, they don’t need great quarterback play, just adequate quarterback play. Siemian will have to cut down the mistakes if he wants Kubiak to view him as adequate enough to keep the job.

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Giants make roster swap, promote a safety

IRVING, TX - JANUARY 13:  A New York Giants helmet sits on the field before the NFC Divisional Playoff game against the Dallas Cowboys at Texas Stadium on January 13, 2008 in Irving, Texas.  (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images) Getty Images

The Giants promoted safety Andrew Adams from the practice squad on Saturday.

Cornerback Michael Hunter, who’d been promoted earlier in the week, was waived to make room for Adams on the roster.

Adams, an undrafted rookie, becomes the team’s third safety for Sunday’s game vs. the Redskins. Starter Darian Thompson will miss the game with a foot injury, and Nat Berhe will take his spot in the starting lineup.

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Saturday one-liners

UNITED STATES - MAY 15:  May 15, 1955, California, Los Angeles, On The Honeymooners TV show Jackie Gleason.  (Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images) Getty Images

The honeymoon is definitely over between Bills fans and Rex Ryan.

With RB Arian Foster out, the Dolphins will use a committee approach at the position.

Patriots RB LeGarrette Blount is becoming a second-half force, with 92 yards and a touchdown in the final two quarters against Miami and 94 yards and two scores in the final two quarters against Houston.

Jets RB Bilal Powell says he’s not worried about a lack of opportunities in the first two games.

The Ravens will wear a helmet decal for the rest of the season to honor defensive line coach Clarence Brooks, who recently passed after fighting stomach and esophageal cancer.

Bengals OT Cedric Ogbuehi is ready to face Von Miller; “He’s probably the best player right now,” Ogbuehi said. “It’s exciting for me. This is why they drafted me. To block guys like him.”

The Browns are dealing with plenty of injuries.

Steelers RB DeAngelo Williams may revisit his position regarding references to his age if he becomes the the oldest running back in NFL history to gain 300 or more yards in the first three games of a season.

Texans WR Jaelen Strong had a rough night in New England.

If you’re curious to know the names of some of the Colts’ new cornerbacks, don’t ask their teammates.

Opponents likely will pick on Jaguars CB Dwayne Gratz until he irons out the mistakes.

The 9/11 cleats worn in Week One by Titans LB Avery Williamson raised $6,600 at auction.

With Donald Stephenson out, the Broncos will rotate Michael Schofield, Ty Sambrailo, and Darrion Weems at right guard and right tackle.

The Chiefs have done well without RB Jamaal Charles; they’ll be even better with him.

Raiders WR Amari Cooper has gotten off to a great start in his second season.

Chargers TE Hunter Henry is in line for plenty of catches this week, and possibly beyond.

Cowboys LT Tyron Smith didn’t finish practice on Friday after his back tightened.

Despite listing RB Rashad Jennings as questionable, the Giants aren’t concerned about his ability to play with a thumb injury.

Eagles DT Destiny Vaeao has made the most of limited playing time.

Washington WR DeSean Jackson will be “ready to roll” despite knee and ankle injuries.

Are the Bears destined for mediocrity unless and until the team is sold?

Lions defensive coordinator Teryl Austin knows his unit has “faded” in both games.

The Packers have been putting WR Randall Cobb in the backfield at times, but it hasn’t worked yet.

CB Xavier Rhodes could be a difference-maker for the Vikings on Sunday at Carolina.

Falcons offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan won’t commit to using the no-huddle offense on a regular basis, despite its success last week in Oakland.

Panthers RB Cameron Artis-Payne will get the start on Sunday, but the team will use a committee approach.

Saints LB Dannell Ellerbe continues to work his way back to full health.

The Buccaneers will unveil stadium upgrades for Sunday’s home opener; they could be a useful distraction if the team plays like it did at Arizona.

The first time Cardinals WR Larry Fitzgerald played in Buffalo, he didn’t catch a single pass; it’s the only time in his career that he hasn’t.

Rams RB Benny Cunningham had a 102-yard kickoff return against Tampa last season, but didn’t score; this time, he wants to finish the job.

The 49ers haven’t won in Seattle since Christmas Eve 2011.

With three sacks in two games, Seahawks DE Frank Clark already has matched his total for all of 2015.

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Joe Horn: Roger Goodell is the Vladimir Putin of the NFL

joehorn AP

Former NFL player Joe Horn has never hidden his animosity toward NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, and now Horn is drawing an interesting parallel between Goodell and an infamous authoritarian leader.

“Roger Goodell is like the Vladimir f–kin Putin of the NFL,” Horn told SI.com. “You quote me on that shit. Roger Goodell is the Vladimir Putin of the NFL when it comes to players. Putin punks every country when he gets ready to. And there’s no rules when it comes to Putin, and Goodell is the same f–kin way when it comes to players. He sets all the standards.”

Asked whether Goodell would kill Horn — as Putin has reportedly had critics killed — Horn admitted that Goodell might not be quite that bad. But he’s pretty bad, in Horn’s view.

“If they read that quote, they would know that he’s not having people killed and none of the players killed,” Horn said. “But as far as dictatorship, as far as making moves to do what he wants, that’s what Putin does.”

Horn’s tenure in the NFL only overlapped briefly with Goodell’s. Paul Tagliabue was the commissioner for most of Horn’s playing career, including his famous cell phone celebration, which resulted in a $30,000 fine from the NFL. But Horn has become a harsh critic of the league under Goodell’s leadership, and Horn is one of the many former players who has sued the NFL over brain injuries.

Horn is far from the first former player to criticize Goodell, but the Putin comparison is a new one.

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Dirk Koetter declines to elaborate on decision to release Austin Seferian-Jenkins

TAMPA, FL - OCTOBER 26: Tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins #87 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins #87 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers catches a touch down pass as outside linebacker Anthony Barr #55 of the Minnesota Vikings defends in the 4th quarter at Raymond James Stadium on October 26, 2014 in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Cliff McBride/Getty Images) Getty Images

On Friday, the Buccaneers proved yet again the time-honored sports adage that excuses are made for the stars and examples are made of the scrubs.

A DUI arrest prompted the Bucs to release tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins. The move came amid lingering concerns about his overall commitment to the game. If a player the team held in significantly higher regard had been arrested for DUI, he surely wouldn’t have been cut.

On Friday night, coach Dirk Koetter addressed the decision to move on from Seferian-Jenkins, without much elaboration.

“Well, it is disappointing and Austin is a guy that we had high hopes for,” Koetter said on SiriusXM NFL Radio, via JoeBucsFan.com. “He was a second-round pick here a couple of years back. He has fought through some injury issues. He’s a very talented individual. It is disappointing when guys, when they make mistakes, and there’s more to every story than meets the eye. Sometimes there is more to it than things I can say on the radio. We wish Austin well. The number one thing is I am glad that Austin is safe and healthy. And I hope he can get himself healthy.”

The use of the term “healthy” at the end of the quote will spark speculation regarding whether Koetter is referring to something beyond physical health. Any team that may be inclined to claim Seferian-Jenkins on waivers won’t have time to do their due diligence about the player’s overall “health” before making a decision on whether to try to snag him before he becomes a free agent.

A second-round pick in 2014, Seferian-Jenkins has 45 career catches for 603 yards and seven touchdowns. He has three receptions for 44 yards and one score in two 2016 games.

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High-school players in Oakland take anthem demonstration to another level

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Four weeks after 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick’s decision not to stand during the national anthem was first noticed, a high school team in Oakland has taken the anthem demonstrations to another level — with Kaepernick present.

Former NFL player Kirk Morrison, who currently has several media jobs, posted on Twitter a photos of Kaepernick kneeling during the anthem while the players laid on the ground with their hands up.

The gesture comes in a week that included a pair of fatal shootings by police of an African-American man: Terence Crutcher in Tulsa and Keith Lamont Scott in Charlotte. The officer who shot and killed Crutcher faces manslaughter charges; in Charlotte, clear evidence has not yet emerged to prove that the shooting was justified — although Scott’s DNA reportedly was found on a gun recovered from the scene of the incident.

Kaepernick has explained that his decision not to stand for the anthem arises from concerns about police misconduct toward African-Americans and people of color, pointing out the degree of training and education required before men and women are authorized to serve on the front lines of law enforcement, armed with a handgun and the authority under certain specific circumstances to draw it and to pull the trigger.

[Photo credit: Twitter.com/kirkmorrison]

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Done deal: Lady Gaga will perform at Super Bowl halftime

SANTA CLARA, CA - FEBRUARY 07:  Lady Gaga sings the National Anthem at Super Bowl 50 at Levi's Stadium on February 7, 2016 in Santa Clara, California.  (Photo by Christopher Polk/Getty Images) Getty Images

The talks have ended, because a deal is done. And if I remembered the names of any of her songs or some of their lyrics, I’d be tempted to start dropping in some stupid puns.

Lady Gaga will perform at halftime of Super Bowl LI in Houston, according to Terry Lefton of SportsBusiness Daily.

The announcement will come on Sunday during FOX’s NFL programming, probably during the pregame show.

It’s unknown whether other performers will be involved in the show. The biggest unknown is whether the unpaid gig has indeed morphed into a revenue source for the league, based on a report from the Wall Street Journal in 2014 that the idea had been floated of, for example, the artist surrendering a portion of increased ticket sales arising from the nine-figure audience the Super Bowl will be delivering.

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Usain Bolt says he’s had offers but would never consider the NFL

NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 22:  Olympic athlete Usain Bolt visits The PUMA Lab powered by Foot Locker in NYC at Foot Locker, 34th Street on September 22, 2016 in New York City.  (Photo by Michael Loccisano/Getty Images for PUMA) Getty Images

The fastest human being who ever lived has heard that NFL teams would give him a chance if he wanted to play football. But he doesn’t.

Usain Bolt said on the Dan Patrick Show that he has watched some football and has been offered the opportunity to play, but he wouldn’t want to get hit.

“I used to watch it when I was younger,” he said. “The hits guys would take kind of turned me off. I never thought about going but I’ve gotten offered and people have asked.”

It’s unclear whether Bolt ever heard directly from an NFL team or if he just heard generally that there would be interest if he wanted to play. It wouldn’t be surprising if some team sent feelers to Bolt, just as NFL teams have at times reached out to professional rugby players and shot putters and other athletes who have NFL athleticism. Jahvid Best was a very fast running back by NFL standards, but Bolt easily beat him in an Olympic preliminary heat, showing how much faster he is than even the fastest NFL players. If the 6-foot-5 Bolt had been born in the United States instead of Jamaica, he might have become the greatest wide receiver in NFL history.

But Bolt is wise to turn down any offers. The greatest sprinter ever doesn’t need to risk his health trying a new sport as a lark.

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Todd Gurley feels like he’s facing 12 defenders

SANTA CLARA, CA - SEPTEMBER 12:  Todd Gurley #30 of the Los Angeles Rams rushes against the San Francisco 49ers during their NFL game at Levi's Stadium on September 12, 2016 in Santa Clara, California.  (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images) Getty Images

Todd Gurley is off to a disappointing start this season, and he sometimes feels like he doesn’t have a chance.

As opposing defenses load up to stop Gurley on the theory that the Rams’ passing game won’t be able to beat them, Gurley says it’s like the entire defense is on him — and then some.

“It’s been crazy,” Gurley said, via the Los Angeles Times. “I’m like, ‘There’s 12 people on the field!’ It’s definitely a lot of people.”

Gurley said he’s hoping to make opposing defenses pay for stacking the line of scrimmage, thinking if he can get past the line there will be no one to stop him.

“Sometimes that’s a good thing because if you get past that first level, then you’re gone,” he said. “But you have to get past that first level first.”

Unfortunately, Gurley hasn’t been able to do that: His longest run this season is 11 yards, and overall he has 36 carries for 98 yards, an average of 2.7 yards a carry. Until Case Keenum and the Rams’ passing game can take advantage of the way opposing defenses are selling out to stop Gurley, it’s going to be hard for him to find room to run.

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