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Giants, Jets pay tribute to NYPD on Sunday


Thousands turned out for the funeral of New York City police officer Rafael Ramos on Saturday and the two teams that play their home games across the river from the city Ramos helped protect paid tribute to the New York Police Department on Sunday.

Jets coach Rex Ryan is wearing a NYPD hat on the sideline as the Jets take on the Dolphins in Miami and Giants coach Tom Coughlin is doing the same in New Jersey as the Giants close their season against the Eagles.

Several members of the Giants organization wore NYPD hats as they warmed up before their season finale with the Eagles, pairing them with shirts reading “Peace.” Coughlin sent the same messages last Sunday when he wore a peace sign and black ribbon on his lapel a day after Ramos and officer Wenjian Liu were shot dead in their patrol car.

[Photo via Giants punter Steve Weatherford’s Twitter account]

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Week 17 early inactives

New England Patriots v Green Bay Packers Getty Images

Every week we’ll bring you all the inactives from the early games in one post, constantly updated with the latest information. So check back often to see the full list as it becomes available.

Browns at Ravens

Browns: QB Brian Hoyer, DB Justin Gilbert, LS Charley Hughlett, OL Ryan Seymour, DL Ahtyba Rubin, OL Andrew McDonald, WR Phil Bates

Ravens: T Eugene Monroe, DE Chris Canty, S Brynden Trawick, CB Chris Greenwood, DE Steven Means, NT Terrance Cody, TE Phillip Supernaw

Jaguars at Texans

Jaguars: DT Roy Miller, QB Stephen Morris, WR Rod Streeter, CB Jeremy Harris, S Matt Daniels, G Tyler Shatley, DE Chris Smith

Texans: TE Garrett Graham, LB Mike Mohamed, WR DeVier Posey, QB Tom Savage, S Josh Aubrey, OT Xavier Su’a-Filo, LB Jason Ankrah

Chargers at Chiefs

Chargers: WR Keenan Allen, C Chris Watt, RB Ryan Mathews, CB Greg Ducre, DL Damion Square, DL Ryan Carrethers, LB Cordarro Law

Chiefs: QB Alex Smith, WR Donnie Avery, CB Phillip Gaines, CB Marucs Cooper, C Eric Kush, OL Duvernay-Tardif, DL Nick Williams

Jets at Dolphins

Jets: C Nick Mangold, WR Percy Harvin, DL T.J. Barnes, DB Jaiquawn Jarrett, OL Wesley Johnson, QB Matt Simms, WR Walter Powell

Dolphins: WR Rishard Matthews, RB LaMichael James, CB Walt Aikens, DT Deandre Coleman, T Dallas Thomas, C Sam Brenner, WR Matt Hazel

Bears at Vikings

Bears: QB Jimmy Clausen, K Robbie Gould, CB Al Louis-Jean, S Chris Conte, OT Charles Leno, DE Austen Lane, DT Brandon Dunn

Vikings: S Ahmad Dixon, CB Shaun Prater, RB Henry Josey, LB Chad Greenway, LB Brandon Watts, T Carter Bykowski, G David Yankey

Bills at Patriots

Bills: DT Marcell Dareus, CB Stephon Gilmore, TE Chris Gragg, RB Bryce Brown, LB Randell Johnson, T Cyrus Kouandjio, WR Marquise Goodson

Patriots: TE Rob Gronkowski, WR Julian Edelman, RB Jonas Gray, T Sebastian Vollmer, G Dan Connolly, CB Brandon Browner, LB Donta’ Hightower

Eagles at Giants

Eagles: QB Nick Foles, S Jerome Couplin, CB Bradley Fletcher, OL Julian Vandervelde, OL Dennis Kelly, WR Jeff Maehl, DE Taylor Hart

Giants: CB Jayron Hosley, LB Devon Kennard, G Eric Herman, OL Adam Gettis, TE Jerome Cunningham, DT Dominique Hamilton, WR Corey Washington

Saints at Buccaneers

Saints: WR Seantavius Jones, WR Brandon Coleman, S Kenny Vaccaro, CB Stanley Jean Baptiste, LB Moise Fokou, LB Jerry Franklin, T Terron Armstead

Buccaneers: WR Robert Herron, WR Solomon Patton, RB Mike James, CB Isaiah Frey, DT George Uko, LB Mason Foster, T Anthony Collins

Colts at Titans

Colts: CB Sheldon Price, LB Jerrell Freeman, OL Joe Reitz, OL Gosder Cherilus, TE Dwayne Allen, LB Bjoern Werner, DL Zach Kerr

Titans: QB Zach Mettenberger, T Taylor Lewan, DL Ropati Pitoitua, LB Dontay Moch, DB Jemea Thomas, T Terren Jones, WR Rico Richardson

Cowboys at Redskins

Cowboys: QB Dustin Vaughan, S Jakar Hamilton, LB Rolando McClain, LB Dekoda Watson, T Doug Free, T Donald Hawkins, DT Josh Brent.

Redskins: RB Chris Thompson, G Josh LeRibeus, OL Rishaw Johnson, DL Travian Robinson, WR Leonard Hankerson, LB Steve Beauharnais

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Justin Gilbert expected to be inactive after showing late to Saturday night meeting

Justin Gilbert

We’re starting to wonder if anyone on the Browns made it to any team activities on time on Saturday.

Wide receiver Josh Gordon has been suspended for the final game of the season and quarterback Johnny Manziel has been disciplined after being tardy for work on Saturday morning and now cornerback Justin Gilbert is expected to miss Sunday’s regular season finale as well.

Adam Schefter of ESPN reports that Gilbert was late to a team meeting on Saturday night and that the team will make him inactive as a result. Gilbert’s work ethic has been questioned by some of his veteran teammates recently, leading coach Mike Pettine to say that he didn’t think Gilbert was a bust. For his part, Gilbert said he brought such criticism upon himself and that he would make things right.

That effort got off to just as bad a start as Manziel’s plan to be more professional heading into his second NFL season. The two first-round picks hit Cleveland with a lot of hope about the better days they’d bring with them for the perpetually forlorn franchise, but their first years are ending with the feeling that it’s the same old song for the Browns.

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Report: Patriots extend Nick Caserio through 2020

Nick Caserio AP

When the Dolphins were looking for a general manager to replace Jeff Ireland in the offseason, they interviewed Patriots director of player personnel Nick Caserio more than once before Caserio ultimately decided to remain in New England.

The next round of front office shuffling is about to begin and the Patriots have reportedly moved to secure Caserio’s services. Adam Schefter of ESPN reports that the team has extended Caserio through the 2020 season.

Caserio has worked with the Patriots since 2001 and has been in his current job since 2008. Under the Patriots’ operating structure, coach Bill Belichick has final say over the roster and Caserio works with Belichick on personnel matters.

According to Schefter, the move takes Caserio off the market for any general manager openings. That might not be the case if another team were to offer Caserio the total control he lacks in New England, but Caserio’s willingness to sign an extension that runs until Belichick will be 68 years old may be a signal that he plans to be with the Patriots long enough to eventually get that control without ever leaving town.

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Report: Falcons retain search firm to help with possible coaching change

Atlanta Falcons v New Orleans Saints Getty Images

The Falcons can make the playoffs if they beat the Panthers on Sunday afternoon.

If they don’t win that game, however, the team could be making a change at head coach. Mike Smith doesn’t believe he’s coaching for his job against Carolina, but owner Arthur Blank may be feeling differently.

Adam Schefter and Chris Mortensen of ESPN report that the Falcons have retained search firm Korn Ferry to help identify coaching candidates in the event that the team does part ways with Smith. Korn Ferry has been involved with several job searches around the league and in college football, including the University of Michigan’s search for a new head coach that appears to have settled on Jim Harbaugh.

The report doesn’t indicate that a coaching change will be made if the Falcons lose on Sunday, but it’s hard not to see that when reading between the lines.

There’s also no word on General Manager Thomas Dimitroff’s standing. The Falcons are also working with former Eagles and Browns exec Joe Banner as a consultant basis on stadium and business issues, although that role could take on a new shape in the event Banner decides that wholesale changes are needed.

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Sunday morning one-liners

Buffalo Bills v Oakland Raiders Getty Images

The Bills will try to avoid a 13th straight loss in New England.

Several Dolphin players will be trying to leave a strong final impression on Sunday as the team considers their future.

Shoring up the offensive line remains a Patriots need.

Looking back at some of the highs and lows of Rex Ryan’s time as Jets coach.

Said Ravens DE Chris Canty of the possibility that the team will make the playoffs, “It’s tough to think about the opportunities that we let go, and that’s not on anybody’s doorstep but our own.”

RB Jeremy Hill’s timing was perfect for the Bengals Offense.

What would a good performance by Browns QB Connor Shaw mean for offseason plans?

Steelers S Troy Polamalu isn’t ready to think about whether Sunday could be his final home game.

Texans DE J.J. Watt needs 2.5 sacks to reach 20 in a season for the second time in his career.

Football’s a family game for Colts C Khaled Holmes.

Jaguars T Luke Joeckel will be looking for a breakout year in 2015

Former Titans Lemanski Hall and Eddie George helped Giants RB Orleans Darkwa on his way to the NFL.

A look at some happy memories from past Broncos meetings with the Raiders.

Terez Paylor of the Kansas City Star thinks the Chiefs will play spoiler on Sunday.

Raiders S Charles Woodson gets to renew acquaintances with Peyton Manning, who Woodson beat out for the Heisman Trophy in 1998.

A return to Arrowhead Stadium has Chargers CB Brandon Flowers excited.

Cowboys WR Dez Bryant will do battle with Redskins CB Bashaud Breeland for the second time this season.

Giants RB Rashad Jennings would like to avoid a bad taste in his mouth when the season comes to an end.

The Eagles’ flaws were hard to miss even when they were 9-3 this season.

DE Jason Hatcher won’t play in the Redskins’ season finale.

The only question for the Bears is how many changes will be made after this season ends.

OL Darren Keyton will take C Dominic Raiola’s roster spot with the Lions on Sunday.

Julius Peppers has been a productive part of Packers nickel packages this year.

Five reasons for optimism about the Vikings.

Falcons CB Desmond Trufant will be tasked with stopping Panthers WR Kelvin Benjamin.

Win or lose on Sunday, the Panthers should have less turnover this offseason.

The Saints promoted QB Ryan Griffin from the practice squad for Sunday’s game.

Mike Evans and Vincent Jackson have a good chance of becoming the first Buccaneers teammates with 1,000 receiving yards in the same season.

The storylines for the second Cardinals-49ers game of the year are much different than the first one.

The Rams say they aren’t having a hard time finding motivation for Sunday.

49ers T Anthony Davis has already said goodbye to coach Jim Harbaugh.

TE Luke Willson’s play has pleased Seahawks offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell.

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No Marcell Dareus or Stephon Gilmore for Bills finale

Green Bay Packers v Buffalo Bills Getty Images

With word that the Patriots were going to limit the playing time of their top players, Sunday’s game against the Bills was looking like an exhibition game in regular season clothing.

That feeling is even harder to resist with the Bills ruling out two of their top defensive players. Neither defensive tackle Marcell Dareus nor cornerback Stephon Gilmore will be in the lineup for Buffalo after the team downgraded them to out on Saturday. Both players were doubtful, so it isn’t a great surprise that Buffalo’s gone ahead and sat them down for a game that mostly matters to Browns draft watchers since they own Buffalo’s first pick.

Dareus hurt his knee in last weekend’s loss to the Raiders, an unhappy end to what’s been a standout season for the four-year veteran. Dareus had 10 sacks and provided strong play against the run all year in an effort that earned him a deserved spot in the Pro Bowl alongside teammates Kyle Williams and Mario Williams.

We’ll see if the injury keeps him out of that game and then start watching for a possible contract extension for Dareus, whose 2015 option was exercised by the Bills, during the offseason.

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Rob Ryan on Saints: We drank the Kool-Aid too much

New Orleans Saints v Chicago Bears Getty Images

The Saints wrap up their 2014 season on Sunday afternoon with a game against the Buccaneers that will help decide who gets the first overall pick of the draft while affecting the playoffs not at all.

That’s not where the Saints planned to be at this point unless they had already locked in a playoff position that couldn’t change regardless of the outcome. New Orleans won’t be going to the playoffs at all, though, and their defense’s drop from the top of the league to the bottom of the barrel has a lot to do with that.

Defensive coordinator Rob Ryan believes that preseason chatter that the Saints would have one of the best defenses in the league contributed to their dismal results this season.

“We’re dealing with human beings,” Ryan said, via the Baton Rouge Advocate. “Obviously we drank the Kool-Aid too much, I think. If they don’t think so, well, then I think that’s wrong. I think that’s an honest opinion.”

Some Saints players have shared similar opinions and we should find out soon whether or not Ryan will be back for another year running the unit after this year’s group lost touch with what worked for them in 2013.

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Week 17 injury report roundup

Alex Smith, Cameron Heyward, Jason Worilds AP

Over the course of the week, there are a lot of posts about the most prominent injured players but we know that you might not see all of them and that some others may fall through the cracks. As a result, we’ll comb through all the injury reports every Friday afternoon so that there’s one stop for all the news from every team playing on Saturday and Sunday. So, without further delay, the injury report roundup for Week 17 of the 2014 season.

Browns at Ravens

Connor Shaw starts at quarterback for the Browns with Brian Hoyer (shoulder/bicep) doubtful to play. Cornerback Joe Haden (shoulder) and defensive tackle Desmond Bryant (thumb) are questionable and defensive tackle Ahtyba Rubin (ankle) won’t play. The Ravens probably won’t have left tackle Eugene Monroe (ankle, questionable). Defensive end Chris Canty (ankle/thigh) and linebacker Terrell Suggs (back/thigh) are both questionable.

Jaguars at Texans

It looks like Jaguars defensive tackle Roy Miller (knee) will miss the season finale after being listed as doubtful. Tight end Garrett Graham (ankle), linebacker Mike Mohamed (concussion), wide receiver DeVier Posey (calf) and quarterback Tom Savage (knee) are all out for the Texans.

Chargers at Chiefs

The Chargers are in the playoffs with a win, but they’ll have to do it without running back Ryan Mathews (ankle, out). Wide receiver Keenan Allen (collarbone) is also likely to miss the game after being listed as doubtful. Center Chris Watt (ankle) is questionable. The Chiefs have their own small chance at a playoff bid, although it won’t be easy to get there without quarterback Alex Smith (lacerated spleen). Running back Jamaal Charles (hamstring/ankle) and wide receiver Dwayne Bowe (shoulder) are both questionable, but expected to be in the lineup.

Jets at Dolphins

An illness has made its way through the Jets this week and left defensive tackle Damon Harrison, safety Dawan Landry and defensive end Muhammad Wilkerson, who also has a toe injury, questionable to play on Sunday. Center Nick Mangold (ankle) and wide receiver Percy Harvin (ribs, ankle) are also questionable. Defensive end Derrick Shelby (ankle), linebacker Jelani Jenkins (foot) and tackle Dallas Thomas (foot) are questionable for the Dolphins.

Bears at Vikings

Quarterback Jimmy Clausen (concussion) is out, which means Jay Cutler is back in charge of the Bears Offense. Safety Chris Conte (back) and kicker Robbie Gould (quad) are also out while defensive end Jared Allen (ribs) and defensive tackle Jeremiah Ratliff (knee) are questionable. Vikings linebackers Anthony Barr (knee) and Brandon Watts (hamstring) are out and Chad Greenway (knee) is questionable after missing practice all week. Tight end Kyle Rudolph (ankle) is also questionable.

Bills at Patriots

The Bills have been stout on defense all year, but they don’t expect to have defensive tackle Marcell Dareus (knee) or cornerback Stephon Gilmore (concussion) after listing them as doubtful. Running back Jonas Gray (ankle) and cornerback Alfonzo Dennard (hamstring) are out for New England and right tackle Sebastian Vollmer (back) is questionable.

Eagles at Giants

Cornerback Bradley Fletcher (hip) was in danger of losing playing time even before the Eagles listed him as questionable. Giants linebacker Devon Kennard (toe) will miss the final game of a rookie year that saw him come on late and rookie running back Andre Williams (shoulder) is questionable.

Saints at Buccaneers

Saints left tackle Terron Armstead (neck) remains out of the lineup and defensive tackle John Jenkins (abdomen) is questionable. Buccaneers LB Mason Foster (Achilles) is doubtful and safety Dashon Goldson (shoulder) is questionable.

Colts at Titans

The Colts ruled out tight end Dwayne Allen (knee), right tackle Gosder Cherilus (groin) and linebacker Bjoern Werner (hamstring). Wide receiver T.Y. Hilton (hamstring) and linebacker Jerrell Freeman (hamstring) were both listed as questionable and guard Hugh Thornton (knee) is probable to make his return to the lineup. Quarterback Zach Mettenberger (shoulder), left tackle Taylor Lewan (ankle), defensive tackle Sammie Hill (foot) and linebacker Kamerion Wimbley (hamstring) are all questionable for the home side.

Cowboys at Redskins

Running back DeMarco Murray (hand, illness) is probable to play in a game that could see him set the single-season Cowboys rushing record. Right tackle Doug Free (ankle) is doubtful and linebacker Dekoda Watson (hamstring) is out. Redskins defensive end Jason Hatcher (knee) is doubtful for the matchup with his old team. Left tackle Trent Williams (shoulder), defensive end Stephen Bowen (ankle/illness) and linebacker Keenan Robinson (knee) are listed as questionable.

Panthers at Falcons

The Panthers have just two injuries heading into the NFC South title game. Linebacker A.J. Klein (ankle) is questionable and running back DeAngelo Williams (hand) is probable. Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones (oblique) and running back Steven Jackson (thigh) are questionable, but Jackson looks unlikely to play. Cornerbacks Robert McClain (illness) and Josh Wilson (hamstring) are also questionable for Atlanta.

Raiders at Broncos

The Raiders listed rookie linebacker Khalil Mack (hamstring), tackle Menelik Watson (foot, ankle) and cornerback T.J. Carrie (ankle) as questionable. Cornerback Chimdi Chekwa (hamstring) and wide receiver Denarius Moore (knee, ankle) are out. Linebacker Brandon Marshall (knee) is out for Denver while safety T.J. Ward (neck) and wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders (hip) are questionable. Quarterback Peyton Manning (thigh) is probable.

Lions at Packers

Running back Joique Bell (Achilles) and wide receiver Calving Johnson (ankle) are probable for the Lions. Everyone else is available for the Lions except for defensive tackle Nick Fairley (knee). Quarterback Aaron Rodgers (calf) is good to go for the Packers, who have again ruled out cornerback Davon House (shoulder).

Rams at Seahawks

Cornerback E.J. Gaines (concussion) is doubtful for the Rams, who are in good health otherwise. The Seahawks ruled out wide receiver Jermaine Kearse (hamstring), but left tackle Russell Okung (chest) is expected to play after being listed as probable. Tight end Cooper Helfet (ribs), wide receiver Chris Matthews (hamstring), cornerback Tharold Simon (shoulder) and center Max Unger (knee, ankle) are questionable.

Cardinals at 49ers

Quarterback Drew Stanton (knee) won’t play for Arizona, leaving Ryan Lindley to start for the second straight week. Linebacker Larry Foote (knee) is doubtful and safety Deone Bucannon (knee), tight end John Carlson (calf), guard Jonathan Cooper (wrist) and defensive tackle Dan Williams are questionable. Running back Carlos Hyde (ankle), wide receiver Stevie Johnson (knee) and safety Eric Reid (concussion) have been ruled out for the 49ers. Cornerback Tramaine Brock (hamstring), linebacker Ahmad Brooks (thumb), cornerback Perrish Cox (shoulder) and wide receiver Bruce Ellington (hamstring) have been listed as questionable.

Bengals at Steelers

The Bengals listed wide receiver A.J. Green (biceps) as probable for the AFC North title decider. Cornerback Adam Jones (illness), linebacker Emmanuel Lamur (hamstring), cornerback Chris Lewis-Harris (illness), safety Reggie Nelson (illness), cornerback Terence Newman (illness) and wide receiver James Wright (knee) will all be weekend calls after drawing questionable tags. The Steelers hope to get safety Troy Polamalu (knee) and cornerback Ike Taylor (shoulder, forearm) back in the secondary after listing them as questionable.

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William Hayes, Alec Ogletree draw fines after fight with Giants

Alec Ogletree, Andre Williams AP

Earlier this week, Rams linebacker Alec Ogletree said he hadn’t heard from the league about a fine for his late hit on Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham that helped touch off a brawl that led to three ejections in the 37-27 Giants win.

Perhaps the fine letter was on Santa’s sleigh because Ogletree has been fined for the hit. PFT has confirmed with the league that Ogletree was fined $8,268 for hitting Beckham and taking him to the ground out of bounds, something the Giants took issue with in a way that led to punches being thrown. Giants wide receiver Preston Parker and defensive end Damontre Moore were ejected along with Rams defensive end William Hayes.

Hayes has been fined $10,000 for his actions, which is less than the $15,000 penalties handed down to each of the Giant miscreants. Beckham was also fined $10,000 for kicking at Ogletree during the mayhem on the sideline.

With Giants defensive tackle Cullen Jenkins and Rams defensive end Eugene Sims also drawing $16,537 fines for roughing the passer, the game wound up being a costly one for several players on both sides.

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49ers send Alex Boone to IR, sign Trindon Holliday

San Francisco 49ers v Seattle Seahawks Getty Images

Alex Boone got a late start on the 2014 season thanks to a holdout that kept him out of training camp and his year is coming to an early end as well.

Boone won’t play in the team’s final game of the year after being placed on injured reserve because of a knee problem. There’s no indication that the injury will force Boone to miss any offseason work, so he should be back on the field in the spring to play out the final year of the contract he reworked before reporting to work with the 49ers this season.

Boone made 14 starts this year and was named as a Pro Bowl alternate. The 49ers also placed safety Ray Ventrone on injured reserve with a groin injury.

To fill the open roster spots, the 49ers signed kick returner Trindon Holliday and cornerback Cameron Fuller. Holliday spent the summer with the Giants before eventually being released off of injured reserve and played one game with the Buccaneers before getting his walking papers in November. Fuller was promoted from the practice squad.

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Eugene Monroe unlikely to play on Sunday

San Francisco 49ers v Baltimore Ravens Getty Images

It looks like the Ravens will be without both of their starting offensive tackles against the Browns on Sunday.

The team listed left tackle Eugene Monroe as doubtful to play in the regular season finale because of an ankle injury that left him in a walking boot after last Sunday’s loss to the Texans. That designation is used for players that have a 25 percent chance of playing and, as you’d expect, most players given that tag wind up inactive on Sunday.

The Ravens placed right tackle Rick Wagner on injured reserve with a foot injury early in the week, so they’re looking at a lot of shuffling up front. James Hurst played in place of both tackles last week and the Ravens has him at left tackle with Marshal Yanda at right tackle and John Urschel at right guard at one point. That could be the alignment again this weekend, although left guard Kelechi Osemele has also played some tackle.

Baltimore will open the day with a shot at a Wild Card spot in the AFC. They need to beat the Browns and have the Chargers lose to claim that berth.

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DeMarco Murray good to go for Sunday

Indianapolis Colts v Dallas Cowboys Getty Images

Cowboys running back DeMarco Murray was out of commission because of an illness on Christmas, but he was back to work on Boxing Day.

Murray participated in practice on Friday and drew a probable tag on the injury report, leaving him in line to play against Washington in the regular season finale. The Cowboys have locked up the NFC East title and will likely wind up as the third seed, but they can grab a first-round bye with the right combination of results.

Owner Jerry Jones said Friday on 105.3 The Fan that the possibility was enough for the Cowboys to go all out with Murray and everyone else healthy enough to play.

“It would be a catastrophe if we walked up there and, for whatever the reason, of our own volition, of our own decision making, pulled back a little bit and then had a chance to get that first-round bye,” Jones said, via the team’s website.

Assuming Jason Garrett sticks to the plan laid out by the guy signing the checks, Murray should end Sunday as the Cowboys’ new leader in single-season rushing yards. He’s 29 yards behind Emmitt Smith, who ran for 1,773 yards in 1995.

Right tackle Doug Free is doubtful to play with the ankle injury that kept him out last week. Jermey Parnell will likely start again.

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Bears extend Roberto Garza through 2015

Chicago Bears v New England Patriots Getty Images

The Bears found something to like about the 2014 season.

The team announced Friday that they have signed center Roberto Garza to a one-year contract extension. Garza signed a one-year deal to return to the Bears before the start of the season and the team’s obviously been pleased with the work he’s done on the field this season.

Next year will be Garza’s 15th in the NFL and his 11th with the Bears. He has started all but five of the team’s games since the start of the 2006 season and will join kicker Robbie Gould as the longest-tenured members of the organization if linebacker Lance Briggs and cornerback Charles Tillman both leave the team.

Garza will be turning 36 next year, so the Bears should probably have an eye out this offseason for a player who can follow Garza in the middle of the line.

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Mike McCarthy: No concerns about Aaron Rodgers

Green Bay Packers v Tampa Bay Buccaneers Getty Images

Backup quarterbacks are going to be starting in several games with playoff implications this weekend, but the matchup between the Lions and Packers won’t be one of them.

Matthew Stafford has no injury issues for the Lions and any worries about Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers’s calf have disappeared along with the cookies left for Santa Claus. Rodgers practiced again for the Packers on Friday and drew a probable listing on the injury report that sounded like a definite when coach Mike McCarthy addressed the quarterback’s status.

“I don’t have any concerns today based on conversations with Aaron and how he’s feeling,” McCarthy said, via the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. “Tomorrow a big indicator, just watching him move around and do different things. I don’t have high concern.”

There aren’t any real injury concerns for the Packers headed into their NFC North title game with the Lions. Cornerback Davon House is out with a shoulder injury for the third straight game and the team’s been targeting the postseason for his return to the lineup. Everyone else is probable or not listed on the injury report at all.

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