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Packers want Eddie Lacy more involved in all aspects of offense

Green Bay Packers Mini Camp AP

Workhorse running backs have fallen out of favor in the NFL recently, but the Packers seemed to be just fine with using Eddie Lacy as one in 2013.

Lacy had 22 or more touches in 11 of the team’s final 14 games, including the playoff loss to the 49ers, last year and that usage doesn’t look like it will be going down in 2014. While James Starks is back and DuJuan Harris is healthy after missing last season, Packers offensive coordinator Tom Clements says that the team’s plan is for Lacy to play a bigger role on the offense in his second season.

“We haven’t sat down and figured out ‘X’ number of carries for Eddie,” Clements said, via ESPN.com. “We want to get him touches, trying to get him more involved in all aspects of the game, but Eddie was a workhorse for us last year. And then when James got in there last year, he ran very hard. That was a great one-two punch. Now you factor in DuJuan and the other guys, it’s going to be interesting to see how that plays out.”

A bigger role for Lacy fits right into the Packers’ desire to run their offense more quickly this season. Lacy played about two-thirds of the snaps last season, a number that could go up if he takes on a bigger role as a receiver and pass blocker than he played as a rookie. If it does, Lacy will be on the field for all three downs and the Packers should be able to fulfill their goal of driving up the number of offensive snaps they take per game. If Aaron Rodgers is healthy enough to take all of those snaps at quarterback, Green Bay’s offense is going to be even more of a handful for opposing defenses than it was while scoring 417 points last season.

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Report: Watt’s season likely over after surgery

HOUSTON, TX - JANUARY 09:  J.J. Watt #99 of the Houston Texans warms up before playing against the Kansas City Chiefs during the AFC Wild Card Playoff game at NRG Stadium on January 9, 2016 in Houston, Texas.  (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images) Getty Images

Texans Pro Bowl defensive end J.J. Watt underwent back surgery Thursday that’s expected to keep him out for the rest of the season, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported.

The Texans officially placed Watt on injured reserve Wednesday.

Watt missed all of training camp and the preseason after having surgery to repair a herniated disc in July.

The Texans are 2-1 and host the Titans Sunday.

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Dunlap, Bengals defense keeping Dolphins in neutral

Miami Dolphins running back Kenyan Drake (32) carries the ball as Cincinnati Bengals' Clayton Fejedelem pursues during the first half of an NFL football game Thursday, Sept. 29, 2016, in Cincinnati. (AP Photo/Gary Landers) AP

Everything has been a struggle for the Dolphins except third down defense.

The Bengals keep kicking field goals and keep feeding A.J. Green, and they lead 19-7 in the third quarter. Mike Nugent has four field goals.

The Bengals think they should have more touchdowns than the one they have, but their defense has made it so they’re comfortably in charge. Andy Dalton keeps feeding Green, who had eight catches for 123 yards in the first half and had another big catch on the Bengals’ first field goal drive of the second half.

Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill was just 3-of-9 for 83 yards in the first half despite getting 74 on his second throw, a touchdown to Kenny Stills. The Dolphins have moved the ball in the third quarter but the Bengals defense tightened and sacked Tannehill out of field goal range to end the Dolphins’ first drive.

Midway through the third quarter, Carlos Dunlap has two of the Bengals’ three sacks.

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Green dominating, Bengals lead 16-7 at halftime

Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver A.J. Green (18) runs the ball against Miami Dolphins cornerback Xavien Howard (25) during the first half of an NFL football game, Thursday, Sept. 29, 2016, in Cincinnati. (AP Photo/Gary Landers) AP

The Dolphins have no answer for Bengals wide receiver A.J. Green.

Thanks to some stalled Bengals drives and timely defense, the Dolphins are still in the game. They trail at halftime, 16-7.

Mike Nugent has three field goals for the Bengals, who are angry they didn’t score a touchdown off a Carlos Dunlap strip sack late in the first half.

Green has eight catches for 123 yards. He had five for 80 yards and a touchdown on his first five targets. The Dolphins can’t stop Green but have slowed the Bengals’ run game and forced Andy Dalton to go away from Green on some third downs.

Besides a 74-yard touchdown pass to Kenny Stills on their second play and third-down defense, not much has gone right. The Bengals had the ball for nearly 22 minutes in the first half and own a huge edge (239-122) in total yardage as well.

Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill was just 3-of-9 for 83 yards despite getting 74 on his second throw.

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A.J. Green is (still) really, really good

CINCINNATI, OH - AUGUST 12:  A.J. Green #18 of the Cincinnati Bengals runs the football upfield during the game against Minnesota Vikings at Paul Brown Stadium on August 12, 2016 in Cincinnati, Ohio.  (Photo by John Grieshop/Getty Images) Getty Images

There are times that Bengals wide receiver A.J. Green just makes it look easy.

On the second drive Thursday night, for example.

Tightly covered along the sideline by Dolphins rookie Xavien Howard, Green just outjumped him and came down inbounds on a 51-yard gain. Two plays later Green caught a 19-yard pass from Andy Dalton, then two plays after that he caught a short pass, gave Tony Lippett a stiffarm and turned it into a 7-yard touchdown.

That score gave the Bengals a 10-7 lead late in the first quarter. Through 12 minutes, Green has five catches on five targets for 80 yards.

The Dolphins took a 7-3 lead on a 74-yard bomb from Ryan Tannehill to Kenny Stills on their second play from scrimmage.

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Stills goes deep to give Dolphins early lead

Miami Dolphins wide receiver Kenny Stills (10) catches a pass for a touchdown in front of New England Patriots defensive back Justin Coleman (22) during the second half of an NFL football game Sunday, Sept. 18, 2016, in Foxborough, Mass. (AP Photo/Steven Senne) AP

A 74-yard touchdown pass from Ryan Tannehill to Kenny Stills has given the Dolphins an early 7-3 lead on the Bengals.

The Bengals were blitzing, and it appeared Stills broke off his designed route to go deep.

The touchdown came on the Dolphins’ second play from scrimmage and marked the first time in their last eight road games that the Dolphins have scored a first quarter touchdown.

The Bengals got the ball first and put together a methodical drive that stalled out in Miami territory. Mike Nugent kicked a 42-yard field goal to open the scoring.

The Bengals announced that running back and special teams player Rex Burkhead suffered a hamstring injury on the opening kickoff. His return is doubtful.

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NFL officially announces Lady Gaga as Super Bowl halftime headliner

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 Matt Cowan/Getty Images) Getty Images

The NFL made it official Thursday, announcing that six-time Grammy winner Lady Gaga will headline this year’s Super Bowl halftime show.

The news had been previously reported by Sports Business Daily. Super Bowl LI is in Houston on Feb. 5.

A formal announcement that includes an interview with Lady Gaga will air this Sunday, Oct. 2, on FOX’s NFL Sunday pregame show.

Lady Gaga sang the national anthem before last year’s Super Bowl.

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Gordon tweets “see you soon;” Jackson says Browns support him

FOXBORO, MA - DECEMBER 8:  Josh Gordon #12 of the Cleveland Browns catches a pass before a game with the New England Patriots at Gillette Stadium on December 8, 2013 in Foxboro, Massachusetts. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images) Getty Images

Not long after announcing via a team press release that he’d be entering a treatment facility, Browns wide receiver Josh Gordon tweeted that he’s been “under some pressure and stress recently [and] had to take a time out for myself. Sometimes you have to do what’s best for you.”

Gordon also thanked the NFL and the Browns. In a separate tweet Gordon wrote, “see you soon.”

The announcement that his return, which could have happened next week, is on hold came late Thursday afternoon. On his Thursday evening radio show, Browns coach Hue Jackson said the Browns “support Gordon 100 percent.”

Jackson said “it’s unfortunate” that the Browns won’t be getting Gordon back in their lineup but said “Josh needs to do what’s best for Josh.”

As part of his conditional reinstatement, Gordon had been at the Browns facility and had been allowed to participate in team meetings while sitting out the first four games of the 2016 season.

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Tunsil moves out to tackle with Albert inactive

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - NOVEMBER 29:   Branden Albert #76 of the Miami Dolphins in action against the New York Jets during their game at MetLife Stadium on November 29, 2015 in East Rutherford, New Jersey.  (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images) Getty Images

Left tackle Branden Albert is one of four Dolphins offensive starters inactive for Thursday night’s game at Cincinnati.

Albert had been listed as questionable with an ankle injury. Also out are tight end Jordan Cameron (concussion), center Mike Pouncey (hip) and running back Arian Foster (hamstring). Pouncey has yet to play this season, and Foster also missed last week’s game.

The Dolphins also announced Damien Williams as the starter at running back. Rookie Laremy Tunsil will move out from guard to start in place of Albert, and Billy Turner will start at Tunsil’s usual spot of left guard.

Two starting linebackers, Koa Misi (neck) and Jelani Jenkins (groin), are also out due to injuries.

Dolphins Coach Adam Gase had hinted at changes to the lineup even before injuries forced at least a few of them. As previously reported, Tony Lippett is replacing Byron Maxwell in the starting lineup at cornerback.

As expected, Bengals cornerback Darqueze Dennard will start in place of the injured Dre Kirkpatrick. The Bengals also have decided to keep tight end Tyler Eifert out at least another week. They had listed Eifert and Kirkpatrick as doubtful.

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Week Four is here; which game is the biggest?

FOXBORO, MA - SEPTEMBER 22:  Jacoby Brissett #7 of the New England Patriots warms up before the game against the Houston Texans at Gillette Stadium on September 22, 2016 in Foxboro, Massachusetts.  (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images) Getty Images

Friday’s PFT Live features a question of the day that focuses on the weekend to come. Specifically, which game is the biggest game of the fourth week of the season?

Pick from one of the five selections below, defend your selection in the comments, attack the selections of others, or complain about the decision to omit a contest like Lions-Bears.

You can also correct preemptively everyone who will improperly refer to this weekend as the “quarter pole” of the season.

Guests include Tony Grossi of ESPNCleveland.com, Hall of Famer Kevin Greene, and perhaps someone from the team that wins on Thursday night, when the Dolphins face the Bengals.

The Dolphins, by the way, are 15-3 against Cincinnati since the merger, a fact that is not relevant to Thursday’s game but nevertheless extremely interesting — especially since PFT Live producer Rob “Stats” Guerrera strongly believes it isn’t.

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Man arrested for entering Broncos facility, threatening John Elway

DENVER, CO - SEPTEMBER 08:  General Manager John Elway holds the Lombardi Trophy to celebrate the Denver Broncos in win Super Bowl 50 at Sports Authority Field at Mile High before taking on the Carolina Panthers on September 8, 2016 in Denver, Colorado.  (Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images) Getty Images

A great Sunday in Cincinnati for the Broncos was followed by a bizarre Monday morning.

Via KUSA in Denver, a man was arrested on Monday for entering the team’s facility, making strange accusations, and issuing a vague threat to a security officer and G.M. John Elway.

36-year-old Cordell Robinson entered through an unlocked door in the team’s media room at 7:10 a.m. local time, walked to the lobby, and began taking photographs of the trophies. Asked to leave, Robinson allegedly claimed that the Broncos owe him money, and that he owns 20 percent of the franchise.

Asked to leave again, Robinson said to the security officer that Robinson would “get him and Elway.”

Robinson faces charges of second-degree criminal trespass.

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Report: Dolphins bench Byron Maxwell

Atlanta Falcons running back Devonta Freeman, center, is stopped after short gain by Miami Dolphins outside linebacker Jelani Jenkins (53) and defensive back Byron Maxwell (41) during the first half of an NFL preseason football game in Orlando, Fla., Thursday, Aug. 25, 2016.(AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack) AP

The Dolphins will bench cornerback Byron Maxwell and start Tony Lippett in his place Thursday night against the Bengals, NFL Network reported.

Maxwell, acquired in a trade with the Eagles last March, has started the first three games. He’s broken up four passes and forced a fumble, but the Dolphins have struggled and the defense has given up too many big plays in the passing game.

The Eagles traded Maxwell a year after signing him to a six-year, $63 million contract.

Lippett is a second-year player who played in nine games as a rookie and has played in all three this season as a backup.

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With Colts-Jaguars, NFL sends more bad football to London

JACKSONVILLE, FL - DECEMBER 13:   Trent Cole #58 of the Indianapolis Colts hits the arm of  Blake Bortles #5 of the Jacksonville Jaguars during the game at EverBank Field on December 13, 2015 in Jacksonville, Florida.  (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images) Getty Images

If the NFL wants to get more popular in England, perhaps it should stop scheduling such bad games there.

With the 1-2 Colts facing the 0-3 Jaguars on Sunday, the NFL will be fielding its 15th regular season game in London. And not a single one of them has matched up two teams with winning records. Six of them have matched up two teams with losing records.

Here’s the full list of regular season games in London, with the teams’ records heading into the game:

2007: Giants (5-2) vs. Dolphins (0-7)
2008: Chargers (3-4) vs. Saints (3-4)
2009: Patriots (4-2) vs. Buccaneers (0-6)
2010: Broncos (2-5) vs. 49ers (1-6)
2011: Bears (3-3) vs. Buccaneers (4-2)
2012: Patriots (4-3) vs. Rams (3-4)
2013: Steelers (0-3) vs. Vikings (0-3)
2013: 49ers (5-2) vs. Jaguars (0-7)
2014: Dolphins (1-2) vs. Raiders (0-3)
2014: Lions (5-2) vs. Falcons (2-5)
2014: Cowboys (6-3) vs. Jaguars (1-8)
2015: Jets (2-1) vs. Dolphins (1-2)
2015: Bills (3-3) vs. Jaguars (1-5)
2015: Lions (1-6) vs. Chiefs (2-5)
2016: Colts (1-2) vs. Jaguars (0-3)

No undefeated team has ever played in London, but on Sunday the Jaguars will become the sixth winless team to play in London.

A big problem facing the NFL is that good teams don’t want to give up home games to play in London. In fact, last year the Chiefs became the first team to give up a home game to London and still finish the season with a winning record. As long as second-tier teams are going to London, the NFL is going to have a hard time getting London fans excited.

With the 2-1 Giants playing the 2-1 Rams in London later this month, it’s possible that London fans will finally see something they haven’t seen yet: A game featuring two winning teams.

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Marvin Jones added to Lions injury report

GREEN BAY, WI - SEPTEMBER 25: Marvin Jones #11 of the Detroit Lions catches a touchdown pass against the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field on September 25, 2016 in Green Bay, Wisconsin. The Packers defeated the Lions 34-27. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) Getty Images

Wide receiver Marvin Jones signed with the Lions as a free agent this offseason and he’s fit right in with his new team in the first three games of the season.

Jones leads the league in receiving yards with 408 and is coming off a six-catch/205-yard/two-touchdown performance in Week Three’s loss to the Packers. Jones’ chances of building on those numbers could be impacted by a hamstring injury, however.

Jones is on Thursday’s injury report as a limited participant in practice after not being on the report at all after Wednesday’s practice. That suggests that Jones may have come down with the injury during practice and will make Friday’s practice one to watch for a better idea about how much the hamstring might affect him against the Bears on Sunday.

Defensive end Ziggy Ansah (ankle) and linebacker DeAndre Levy (quad) remained out of practice for the Lions while tight end Eric Ebron (ankle) got in a limited practice after missing Wednesday’s session.

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Josh Gordon entering rehab, NFL return on hold

Cleveland Browns wide receiver Josh Gordon stands on the field during practice at the NFL football team's training camp, Monday, Aug. 1, 2016, in Berea, Ohio. (AP Photo/David Richard) AP

Browns wide receiver Josh Gordon announced Thursday that he’ll enter an in-patient treatment facility and that his NFL return is on hold.

Gordon was conditionally reinstated by the NFL in July and would have been eligible to fully return to the Browns on Monday, Oct. 3 and play in the team’s Oct. 9 game. He was suspended for the first four games of 2016 as part of the terms of reinstatement from his previous suspension.

“After careful thought and deep consideration I’ve decided that I need to step away from pursuing my return to the Browns and my football career to enter an in-patient rehabilitation facility,” Gordon said in a statement. “This is the right decision for me and one that I hope will enable me to gain full control of my life and continue on a path to reach my full potential as a person. I appreciate the support of the NFL, NFLPA, the Browns, my teammates, my agent and the community through this extremely challenging process.”

Gordon led the NFL in receiving with 1,646 yards in 2013. He’s played in just five games since due to two different NFL suspensions and a one-game team suspension at the end of 2014. Gordon participated in training camp when healthy in August and played in two preseason games.

“We support Josh in taking this step to seek additional help and treatment,” Browns executive vice president of football operations Sashi Brown said. “His singular focus must be on his own health. We want nothing more than for Josh to be successful personally and professionally and will not comment on his status with the organization at this time.”

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Three Chargers offensive linemen battling injury issues

KANSAS CITY, MO - DECEMBER 13: Dee Ford #55 of the Kansas City Chiefs fights through the block of Joe Barksdale #72 of the San Diego Chargers at Arrowhead Stadium during the second quarter of the game on December 13, 2015 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Peter Aiken/Getty Images) Getty Images

Chargers left tackle King Dunlap missed practice again Thursday due to migraine headaches, and right tackle Joe Barksdale was again limited due to a foot injury.

The Chargers had a new addition to Thursday’s injury and participation report. Starting left guard Orlando Franklin did not practice Thursday due to a back issue.

With three starters in question three days from Sunday’s game vs. the Saints, the Chargers have some worries but the team has experienced backup offensive linemen in Kenny Wiggins and Chris Hairston.

Defensive end Joey Bosa, who’s still trying to get healthy enough to make his NFL debut, was again listed as limited with a hamstring injury. Cornerback Brandon Flowers missed a second straight day of practice due to a concussion.

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