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Packers players flocking to yoga studio

Tramon+Williams+Detroit+Lions+v+Green+Bay+SQA7vQrx8xCl Getty Images

Traditonally, the Packers are more Nitschke than namaste, but an increasing number of players are turning to yoga to help curb injuries.

According to Tyler Dunne of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, about 15 Packers players have become regulars at a small yoga studio in nearby De Pere, where insturctor Ryanne Cunningham is trying to teach them the value of staying flexible.

I’m not the savior,” Cunningham said. “But I care. I care about these guys and I want these guys to perform their utmost best on the field. That’s my goal for them, is to take their performance to the next level up. If I can. That’s what I can do with yoga.”

Cornerback Tramon Williams was the first regular at the studio, seeking out Cunningham after longtime wide receiver Terrell Owens swore by the value of yoga.

A growing number of Packers players are believers now, especially after a rash of hamstring injuries hurt the team in recent years.

Williams credits the program for his breakout season and his newfound resilience. But there’s still a stigma that yoga is for soccer moms in minivans, which keeps many players from embracing it.

“But it’s hard. It’s hard. That’s the thing guys realize,” Williams says. “They come in thinking it’s going to be an easy day. And guys are sweating like they had a whole day of practice.”

Players should seek out any avenue to keep their bodies strong, and keeping it flexible seems like a reasonable first step, since they can’t make plays or money if they’re standing on the sidelines.

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Packers use longest drive of season to retake lead at Lambeau

GREEN BAY, WI - DECEMBER 04:  Aaron Rodgers #12 of the Green Bay Packers drops back to pass in the first quarter against the Houston Texans at Lambeau Field on December 4, 2016 in Green Bay, Wisconsin. (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images) Getty Images

It’s taking a while, but the Packers are finally beginning to exert themselves in the snow against the Texans.

A 12-play, 98-yard drive — the team’s longest of the season — has resulted in a touchdown and a 14-7 lead for Green Bay.

The scoring effort came after the Texans tied things up with a 10-play, 63-yard drive in the third quarter. The teams traded punts, and then the Packers moved from their own two to paydirt, with a 32-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Aaron Rodgers to receiver Jordy Nelson.

After completing nine of his first 10 passes, Rodgers has completed only nine of his next 17. Still, it’s working for the Packers — who need to keep pace with the 7-4 Lions, who currently are up by 12 in New Orleans.

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Blaine Gabbert in for Colin Kaepernick with 49ers trailing

CHICAGO, IL - DECEMBER 6: Blaine Gabbert #2 of the San Francisco 49ers celebrates after rushing for a 44-yard touchdown to tie the game in the fourth quarter against the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field on December 6, 2015 in Chicago, Illinois. The 49ers defeated the Bears 26-20 in overtime. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images) Getty Images

When Colin Kaepernick took a knee at halftime, he was only down a point.

But since he hasn’t completed a pass since then, the 49ers have pulled him.

Backup quarterback Blaine Gabbert has entered the game for Kaepernick early in the fourth quarter with their team trailing 24-6.

Kaepernick was 1-of-5 for four yards, and it only took Gabbert two passes to surpass his output on the day. His first pass was an 18-yarder to Jeremy Kerley.

Of course, it’s not all Kaepernick’s fault, as he’s been sacked five times. And it’s unclear whether this is a sea change after Kaepernick has started the last seven games, or whether it’s a temporary situation.

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Bears blow open a 21-6 lead on the 49ers

Chicago Bears running back Jordan Howard (24) runs to ward the end zone for a touchdown during the second half of an NFL football game against the San Francisco 49ers, Sunday, Dec. 4, 2016, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh) AP

If the weather’s going to make you run the ball almost exclusively, it helps to be good at it.

The Bears have opened up a 21-6 lead over the 49ers in some sketchy conditions in Chicago, blowing open a sloppy game.

Running back Jordan Howard has scored three touchdowns, with 20 carries for 88 yards so far.

The 49ers are now in position where they have to throw it to catch up, but they haven’t been very successful at it. Colin Kaeperinick is 1-of-5 passing for four (4!) yards, which has kept them in check even though Carlos Hyde’s having a good day on the ground himself (20 carries for 92 yards).

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Chris Boswell won’t be kicking for Steelers on Sunday

SEATTLE, WA - NOVEMBER 29:  Kicker Chris Boswell #9 of the Pittsburgh Steelers kicks a field goal against the Seattle Seahawks at CenturyLink Field on November 29, 2015 in Seattle, Washington.  (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images) Getty Images

The Steelers signed kicker Randy Bullock on Saturday and he’ll make his debut for the team on Sunday.

Chris Boswell is inactive due to the abdominal injury that led to Bullock’s arrival on the roster. Bullock last played in the NFL in Week One when he made two-of-three extra points for the Giants.

The Giants opted to go with Josh Brown for a few weeks after that, causing themselves to look bad as further evidence of Brown’s domestic abuse became public. Robbie Gould is now their kicker and they will, of course, face the Steelers and Bullock on Sunday.

They won’t have guard Justin Pugh, quarterback Josh Johnson, wide receiver Tavarres King, safety Nat Berhe, defensive end Owa Odighizuwa, guard Adam Gettis or linebacker Mark Herzlich in the lineup. The Steelers ruled out wide receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey and running back DeAngelo Williams on Friday. Quarterback Zach Mettenberger, tight end Xavier Grimble, running back Daryl Richardson and offensive lineman Brian Mihalik round out the inactives for Pittsburgh.

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Defensive touchdown extends Broncos’ lead

JACKSONVILLE, FL - DECEMBER 04:   Marqise Lee #11 of the Jacksonville Jaguars picks up yardage after a catch against the Denver Broncos at EverBank Field on December 4, 2016 in Jacksonville, Florida.  (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images) Getty Images

Broncos cornerback Bradley Roby returned an interception 51 yards for a touchdown in the third quarter, pushing the Broncos’ lead over the Jaguars to 17-3.

Broncos cornerback Chris Harris also had a first-half interception of Blake Bortles that ended a Jaguars’ scoring threat.

This is Bortles’ fifth multiple interception game of the season. The Jaguars are outgaining the Broncos and winning the time of possession, but the Broncos’ defense is playing with a lot of confidence.

Broncos’ running back Kapri Bibbs, who gave the offense a boost on the first touchdown drive of the game, was removed from the game in the third quarter to be checked for a concussion.

Jaguars running back Denard Robinson left the game with an ankle injury.

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Chiefs extend lead on fake punt

KANSAS CITY, MO - NOVEMBER 20: Wide receiver Albert Wilson #12 of the Kansas City Chiefs celebrates after catching a touchdown pass against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Arrowhead Stadium during the fourth quarter of the game on November 20, 2016 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Peter Aiken/Getty Images) Getty Images

The Falcons stopped the Chiefs after three plays to force a punt on the opening possession of the second half.

Or so they thought. Chiefs coach Andy Reid and special teams coordinator Dave Toub had other plans.

The snap went directly to wide receiver Albert Wilson and he tore through the Falcons for a 55-yard touchdown that extended the Chiefs’ lead to 27-16 after they trailed 13-6 early in the second quarter.

Wilson’s touchdown follows an interceptions return for a score by safety Eric Berry as the Chiefs have found ways to put up points without their offense on the field. The Falcons offense was rolling early in the contest and had 14 first downs in the first quarter, but things have slowed down a bit near the end zone.

Atlanta had to settle for field goals twice in the first half and then failed to convert on a fourth down from the 10-yard-line after Wilson’s touchdown to leave more points on the board in Atlanta.

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Officials miss blatant facemask by Trumaine Johnson in New England

GLENDALE, AZ - OCTOBER 02:  Cornerback Trumaine Johnson #22 of the Los Angeles Rams during the NFL game against the Arizona Cardinals at the University of Phoenix Stadium on October 2, 2016 in Glendale, Arizona. The Rams defeated the Cardinals 17-13.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) Getty Images

Rams cornerback Trumaine Johnson and the members of referee Jerome Bogar’s officiating crew may both be hearing from the NFL this week.

Johnson stopped Patriots running back LeGarrette Blount for a six-yard gain on a fourth down late in the first half of Sunday’s game and then yanked Blount the rest of the way to the ground by his face mask. No foul was called on the play and Blount didn’t react in a way that inflamed emotions, but Johnson could wind up hearing from the league all the same.

The same is true for Bogar and company as it was a rather blatant pull by Johnson after Blount was already on the ground. The Patriots didn’t need the extra yards to go up 17-0 before the end of the half.

They lead 17-3 in the third quarter after Greg Zuerlein got the Rams on the board with a field goal. It was set up after another miss by Bogar’s crew as they called wide receiver Brian Quick out of bounds on a play that saw him clearly get both feet in bounds while controlling the ball all the way to the ground. Jeff Fisher struggled to find his challenge flag in an oversized parka, but got it in and his team finally has some points.

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Another Dalton TD puts Bengals up 26-0

CINCINNATI, OH - DECEMBER 4:  Andy Dalton #14 of the Cincinnati Bengals avoids an attempted tackle by Marcus Smith II #90 of the Philadelphia Eagles during the first quarter at Paul Brown Stadium on December 4, 2016 in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images) Getty Images

Andy Dalton’s second touchdown pass of the day early in the third quarter as the Bengals extended their lead on the Eagles to 26-0.

The Bengals have had the ball five times and have posted points on all five.

Dalton threw a touchdown pass to Tyler Eifert late in the first half, then hit Brandon LaFell to finish an eight-play, 77-yard scoring drive to start the half.

The Bengals haven’t won a game since Oct. 23.

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Ryan Tannehill picked again, Ravens rolling 24-0

Miami Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill (17) fumbles a snapped ball in the first half of an NFL football game against the Baltimore Ravens, Sunday, Dec. 4, 2016, in Baltimore. Tannehill recovered the ball on the play. (AP Photo/Gail Burton) AP

Even when things begin to look good for the Dolphins, they can’t help themselves.

A promising-looking drive to open the second half ended with quarterback Ryan Tannehill’s second interception, leaving the Ravens with a 24-0 lead and a chance to build on it.

Ravens safety Eric Weddle had the latest interception, and returned it 53 yards to end a 61-yard drive which had been the longest of the day by the Dolphins. It was the first red zone turnover of the year by the Dolphins.

Joe Flacco has thrown three touchdown passes, as they raced to a huge lead at halftime against a team which had won six straight.

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Eric Berry interception return leaves Chiefs up 20-16 at half

CHARLOTTE, NC - NOVEMBER 13:  Eric Berry #29 of the Kansas City Chiefs reacts after a play against the Carolina Panthers in the 1st quarter during their game at Bank of America Stadium on November 13, 2016 in Charlotte, North Carolina.  (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images) Getty Images

The Falcons got off to a great start offensively on Sunday, but the Chiefs didn’t let the game get away from them while Atlanta was rolling up first downs and they made a big play just before the half to grab the lead.

After the Falcons forced the first Kansas City punt of the afternoon, safety Eric Berry intercepted Matt Ryan on the Falcons’ first offensive play and returned the ball 37 yards for a touchdown with 37 seconds left to play in the half. It was Berry’s second touchdown return of the season and the Georgia native delivered the ball to his Mom for a souvenir.

Berry’s score gave the Chiefs a 20-13 lead and 14 straight points to close out the half. Spencer Ware’s second touchdown of the game and Cairo Santos‘ first made extra point tied the score at 13 with 7:05 to play in the second quarter. That’s where things stayed as each team broke out their punting units for the first time on the afternoon, but the Falcons’ first decision to try to add more points backfired on them.

Their second worked out a bit better as they drove to get Matt Bryant a try from 59 yards as time expired on the second quarter. Bryant hit the field goal, cutting the Chiefs’ lead to 20-16 at the break.

They closed out the half without the help of left tackle Jake Matthews, who headed to the locker room early with a knee injury and was called questionable to return by the team. Tom Compton replaced him in the lineup.

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Defense pushes Broncos to lead

SAN DIEGO, CA - OCTOBER 13:  Devontae Booker #23 of the Denver Broncos is tackled by Jatavis Brown #57 of the San Diego Chargers during the third quarter of a 21-13 Chargers win at Qualcomm Stadium on October 13, 2016 in San Diego, California.  (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images) Getty Images

A 32-yard field goal by Brandon McManus just before halftime extended the Broncos’ lead over the Jaguars to 10-3.

The game started with dominant defenses and seven straight punts. Backup running back Kapri Bibbs energized the Broncos and got the run game going, then Devontae Booker went in for the game’s only touchdown.

An interception by Broncos cornerback Chris Harris in the second quarter ended a Jaguars’ threat. That’s been the only turnover of the game.

The Jaguars scored first on a 47-yard field goal by Jason Myers.

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Bears finally move the ball, take lead just before half

Chicago Bears quarterback Matt Barkley (12) looks for a receiver during the first half of an NFL football game against the San Francisco 49ers, Sunday, Dec. 4, 2016, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast) AP

The 49ers had taken advantage of field position and turnovers, and appeared to have all the points anyone needs today in Chicago.

But that’s when Matt Barkley caught fire, or something, and the Bears lead 7-6 at halftime.

The 49ers were up 6-0 on a pair of short Phil Dawson field goals, and have made the rare plays on a snowy day.

The 49ers have blocked a punt and recovered a Bears fumble on a kickoff, the kinds of field position swings that are crucial on a day when offense just wasn’t happening.

The Bears had two first downs until a two-minute drive, as Barkley hadn’t been able to move them. Or complete a pass for that matter for the first 28 minutes, as he was 0-of-3 passing before wheeling off four straight completions, to move them into position for a Jordan Howard touchdown run.

Barkley finished the half 4-of-8 passing for 64 yards, which is 60 more yards than Colin Kaepernick has, on his one completion.

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Patriots cruising, up 17-0 at halftime

FOXBORO, MA - DECEMBER 04:  Chris Hogan #15 of the New England Patriots celebrates scoring a touchdown during the second quarter against the Los Angeles Rams at Gillette Stadium on December 4, 2016 in Foxboro, Massachusetts.  (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images) Getty Images

If you’re looking for a reason why the Rams extended head coach Jeff Fisher’s contract, you wouldn’t have found it during the first 30 minutes of Sunday’s game against the Patriots.

New England scored a touchdown on their first possession of the game when LeGarrette Blount went 43 yards for a score on fourth down, they turned an interception into another touchdown on a short field and their defense shut down the Rams for the entire half. The score is 17-0 in their favor as a result.

The interception was by cornerback Malcolm Butler on a pass from Jared Goff that tight end Lance Kendricks should have caught. That’s been the case on several incompletions for Goff, who is 4-of-11 for 27 yards overall, and the Patriots have confused the rookie with some blitzes that neither he nor the offensive line seemed to expect. Cornerback Logan Ryan had the only sack, but the 25 total yards for the Rams speaks to how little Los Angeles has going for it when the ball is in their possession.

Blount has run 11 times for 70 yards and Tom Brady completed 17-of-22 passes for 113 yards and a touchdown to Chris Hogan that extended the New England lead in the second quarter of the game. It hasn’t been the most explosive effort outside of Blount’s touchdown, but nearly 22 minutes with the ball speaks to how well the Patriots offense has fared without tight end Rob Gronkowski so far this Sunday.

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Braxton Miller exits with injury

MEXICO CITY, MEXICO - NOVEMBER 21:   Braxton Miller #13 of the Houston Texans is tackled by Sean Smith #21 of the Oakland Raiders in their game at Estadio Azteca on November 21, 2016 in Mexico City, Mexico.  (Photo by Buda Mendes/Getty Images) Getty Images

Texans receiver Braxton Miller has left the field of play in Green Bay for evaluation of an apparent upper body injury.

Miller was driven hard into the ground after an incomplete pass, landing on his right arm. He was on the field for severla minutes before getting up and walking off the field without assistance.

The Packers lead late in the second quarter, 7-0.

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Bengals moving the ball, settling for field goals

CINCINNATI, OH - DECEMBER 4:  Carson Wentz #11 of the Philadelphia Eagles throws a pass during the first quarter of the game against the Cincinnati Bengals at Paul Brown Stadium on December 4, 2016 in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Photo by John Grieshop/Getty Images) Getty Images

The Bengals have a 13-0 lead over the Eagles in the second quarter Sunday — and probably feel it should be more.

The Bengals have points on their first three possessions, but twice have settled for field goals after driving inside the Eagles’ 20-yard line.

To start, Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton is 8-of-11 for 138 yards. The first career catch by rookie wide receiver Cody Core set up Jeremy Hill’s 2-yard touchdown run that made it 10-0.

Eagles kicker Caleb Sturgis missed a 51-yard field goal off the upright in the second quarter.

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