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Reggie McKenzie “not the type” to wait on deals for Derek Carr, Khalil Mack

OAKLAND, CA - DECEMBER 24:  Quarterback Derek Carr #4 of the Oakland Raiders drops back against the Indianapolis Colts in the third quarter on December 24, 2016 at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum in Oakland, California.  The Raiders won 33-25.  (Photo by Brian Bahr/Getty Images) Getty Images

Drafting defensive end Khalil Mack and quarterback Derek Carr in 2014 was a major part of the turnaround for the Raiders that pushed them to 12 wins and a playoff spot this year.

Now the Raiders have to work on keeping those two players in Raiders uniforms for years to come. Carr has one year left on his rookie deal and the team has an option on Mack through the 2018 season, which makes it little surprise to hear General Manager Reggie McKenzie say that signing them is a priority as the team moves into offseason mode.

“The good thing is we do have time, but I’m not the type to wait until the last minute,” McKenzie said, via the San Jose Mercury News. “Those two guys are not only great players, but they’re great men and they are true Raiders and I want to make sure we do the best that we can to make sure they stay Raiders.”

Salary cap management will be a big deal as Carr, Mack and other young players move into their second contracts, something that McKenzie said he doesn’t feel threatened by at this point while noting that the team will “continue to strive to get good players for a lesser amount.” After years of struggling to find players worth building around, that’s not the worst problem to have.

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Davante Adams, Geronimo Allison remain out of practice for Packers

ARLINGTON, TX - JANUARY 15:  Geronimo Allison #81 of the Green Bay Packers reacts in the first half during the NFC Divisional Playoff Game against the Dallas Cowboys at AT&T Stadium on January 15, 2017 in Arlington, Texas.  (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images) Getty Images

The Packers didn’t have a change in status for any of their injured wide receivers during Thursday’s practice.

Jordy Nelson was on the field for the second straight day, but media in Green Bay report that he wasn’t wearing pads while going through drills with his teammates. Nelson said on Wednesday that the team was still waiting to see that he was “fully functional” after breaking ribs during the Wild Card round.

Davante Adams and Geronimo Allison remained out as well with an ankle and hamstring injury respectively. Coach Mike McCarthy hasn’t made a ruling about Sunday for any of them, but said that he would probably be ruling them out if it were the regular season.

“They’re still working,” McCarthy said, via Tom Silverstein of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. “They’re mentally getting ready. This is an injury threshold all three of those guys have, Jordy, Davante and Geronimo. They all have three distinctly different injuries. In the regular season mindset, I would think none of them would play in this game. But obviously this is a different time, this is a different point where we are in the season. Everybody understands what’s on the line here.”

McCarthy said the team wouldn’t look to the practice squad or outside the organization in the event all three can’t play against the Falcons. Randall Cobb, Jeff Janis and Trevor Davis are the other wideouts on the active roster with Ty Montgomery also experienced at the position in his pre-running back days and tight end Jared Cook playing a big role as a receiver.

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James Harrison, Ladarius Green don’t practice Thursday

PITTSBURGH, PA - JANUARY 08:  James Harrison #92 of the Pittsburgh Steelers is seen on the field after a play during the first quarter against the Miami Dolphins in the AFC Wild Card game at Heinz Field on January 8, 2017 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images) Getty Images

Running back Le’Veon Bell wasn’t the only player to miss practice for the Steelers on Thursday.

Steelers tight end Ladarius Green returned to the practice field as a limited participant during Wednesday’s practice, the first time he’d been on the field in almost two weeks as he deals with a concussion that has kept him from playing in the team’s last four games.

Green didn’t run his streak to two straight days, although the team says the reason was illness rather than a setback with his head injury. The Steelers had four players out with a stomach bug during Wednesday’s practice and word from those around the team is that Green is dealing with the same issue.

The Steelers have grown accustomed to playing without Green this season, which likely makes linebacker James Harrison’s absence with shoulder and triceps injuries a bigger deal. Harrison practiced in full on Wednesday, a day after coach Mike Tomlin said the veteran would be limited, and Friday will bring an official designation for Sunday’s game.

Harrison has been productive in the first two rounds with 2.5 sacks and the team will be hoping he’s healthy enough to join Bud Dupree in creating pressure on Tom Brady that can keep the Patriots offense from getting in gear.

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Dolphins hire Frank Bush as linebackers coach/assistant head coach

HOUSTON, TX - JANUARY 02:  Defensive coordinator Frank Bush of the Houston Texans looks on during warm ups before playing the Jacksonville Jaguars at Reliant Stadium on January 2, 2011 in Houston, Texas.  (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images) Getty Images

The Dolphins have hired a longtime NFL assistant to fill the linebackers coach job left open when the team promoted Matt Burke to replace Vance Joseph as the team’s defensive coordinator.

The team announced that Frank Bush has been hired as the new position coach. Bush spent the last four seasons as the linebackers coach for the Rams and has been an NFL assistant since the Oilers named him to the same position in 1992. He returned to Houston after the Oilers left and spent time as the Texans’ defensive coordinator during a career that’s also featured stops with the Broncos, Cardinals and Titans.

Bush has also been named the assistant head coach, which necessitated a change in titles for Darren Rizzi. The special teams coordinator had the assistant head coach title and will now be the associate head coach under Adam Gase.

The Dolphins announced that Chris Kuper has been promoted from offensive quality control coach to assistant offensive line coach. Kuper made 79 starts at guard for the Broncos between 2006-13 and joined the Miami staff last year.

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NFL says Cowboys unsportsmanlike conduct penalty was properly called

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - OCTOBER 25:  Head coach Jason Garrett of the Dallas Cowboys discusses a call with referee John Parry #132 during the second quarter against the New York Giants at MetLife Stadium on October 25, 2015 in East Rutherford, New Jersey.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images) Getty Images

The Cowboys were moving the ball in Packers territory in the first half of last Sunday afternoon’s game when their drive stalled thanks to an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty.

Unlike other calls of that nature, there was no contact with an official or punch thrown that led to the call. The penalty was on wide receiver Brice Butler, who officials said entered the huddle and then returned to the sideline without participating in a play. The league’s rules bar that as an attempt to sow confusion for the defense about which players are in the game.

Former Raiders and Browns exec and Bill Belichick assistant Michael Lombardi wrote on Twitter that he’s spoken to people from other teams who called the league for clarification about the call and were told that the call shouldn’t have been made because “Dallas was not being deceptive.” The league says otherwise.

League spokesman Michael Signora said the call was the proper one, while noting that the rule has been on the books since 1955. Senior vice president of officiating Dean Blandino added that he has not spoken to any teams about the call and that it was last made in a 2014 game between the Redskins and the Cowboys, which contradicts Cowboys coach Jason Garrett’s contention that he’d never seen it called before.

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Julio Jones out of practice again, says he’s fine

PHILADELPHIA, PA - NOVEMBER 13: Julio Jones #11 of the Atlanta Falcons warms up before a game against the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field on November 13, 2016 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Eagles defeated the Falcons 24-15. (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images) Getty Images

Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones‘ absence from practice stretched to a second day on Thursday, but there’s no change in the way he feels about playing this weekend.

Jones aggravated a toe injury during last Saturday’s victory over the Seahawks, which led the Falcons to take him out of the game but didn’t generate any concern from coach Dan Quinn about the receiver’s chances of playing the NFC Championship Game. On Thursday, that lack of concern remained in place despite the lack of practice time.

“It’s fine,” Jones said, via the Atlanta Journal Constitution. “I will be ready to go.”

Jones played 58 percent of the snaps against the Seahawks and caught six passes for 67 yards and a touchdown before leaving the game for good. The Falcons would obviously like to get a full game from Jones, but something similar could work if Devonta Freeman, Tevin Coleman and the rest of the offense’s key players keep performing as well as they did last weekend.

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Seahawks may lose 2nd-round pick for not disclosing Richard Sherman injury

ATLANTA, GA - JANUARY 14: Head coach Pete Carroll of the Seattle Seahawks runs out against the Atlanta Falcons prior to the game at the Georgia Dome on January 14, 2017 in Atlanta, Georgia.  (Photo by Scott Cunningham/Getty Images) Getty Images

Seahawks coach Pete Carroll admitted this week that the team failed to disclose a knee injury that cornerback Richard Sherman was dealing with throughout the regular season, saying “he never missed anything” as a way of explaining why the team didn’t share the information.

The Seahawks could be missing something as a result of not disclosing Sherman’s condition. PFT reported that the NFL is looking into the situation; Chris Mortensen of ESPN reports that the team may lose a second-round pick as a penalty.

The league has issued fines in the past when teams haven’t shared full injury information, but there can be additional discipline handed down if teams have multiple offenses of league policies. The Seahawks have run afoul of the league three times due to violations of the rules governing offseason work, which led the NFL to strip a week of organized team activities this offseason and a fifth-round pick from the team.

There’s no word on when the league might announce any penalties for the Seahawks as a result of Carroll’s admission that their injury reports were incomplete during the regular season.

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Joe Flacco expects Marty Mornhinweg to put stamp on offense this year

FLORHAM PARK, NJ - MAY 16: Offensive Coordinator Marty Mornhinweg of the New York Jets makes a catch during the first day of rookie minicamp on May 16, 2014 in Florham Park, New Jersey. (Photo by Rich Schultz /Getty Images) Getty Images

The Ravens made an in-season change at offensive coordinator when they dismissed Marc Trestman and elevated Marty Mornhinweg from offensive coordinator.

It wasn’t always the smoothest transition and quarterback Joe Flacco lamented the offense getting too conservative during a late November game against the Bengals. Mornhinweg also said the offense had work to do to get where everyone wanted it in December and Flacco said Thursday that he believes one of the steps to get to that place will be Mornhinweg putting more of his own stamp on the unit this offseason.

“I think the other thing you have to realize is that a lot of what we’ve been doing isn’t necessarily his offense,” Flacco said on 98 Rock, via ESPN.com. “So, I think this offseason will be a big point for him to get a lot of the stuff that he’s comfortable running. He and I can work through that stuff together. I think that’s the biggest thing.”

The Ravens brought in former 49ers and Bills offensive coordinator Greg Roman as a senior offensive assistant and tight ends coach. Roman’s teams have a history of running the ball well, which is an area where the Ravens have room to improve after finishing 28th in rushing yards in 2016.

Growth in that area should help Mornhinweg’s chances of success in his first full year on the job in Baltimore. If not, Flacco might be heading into next season with another coordinator directing the offense.

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Marcus Mariota “should be back” when Titans get rolling this offseason

JACKSONVILLE, FL - DECEMBER 24: Marcus Mariota #8 of the Tennessee Titans is carted off the field after fracturing his fibula during the second half of the game against the Jacksonville Jaguars at EverBank Field on December 24, 2016 in Jacksonville, Florida. (Photo by Rob Foldy/Getty Images) Getty Images

Titans quarterback Marcus Mariota had a metal plate implanted to his fractured fibula in a surgical procedure three weeks ago and a Wednesday update on his condition from coach Mike Mularkey was a positive one.

Mariota was instructed to keep weight off the leg for two months after surgery and had a recovery timeline of 4-5 months before he’d be able to ramp up his football activity. That would fall around the time the Titans are going through organized team activities this offseason and Mularkey said that timeline remains in place during an appearance with Jared Stillman and former Titans General Manager Floyd Reese on 102.5 The Game.

“I spoke with Marcus this afternoon,” Mularkey said. “He actually had an appointment, and they did a good thorough checkup on him. He’s on track. He’s doing great. He should be back when we get this thing rolling. I can’t tell you exact times of when he’s going to practice, but he should be ready for the season, which is what we want him for. But he’s doing good. He’s going to be a very good patient, if I have anything to do with it.”

Whether it comes in OTAs or during training camp, the Titans will likely be cautious with their franchise quarterback when he first resumes on-field work as the goal will be to have him ready to roll come September.

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Melvin Gordon: Anthony Lynn is “perfect” coach for me

SAN DIEGO, CA - DECEMBER 04:  Melvin Gordon #28 of the San Diego Chargers runs against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers during the first half of a game at Qualcomm Stadium on December 4, 2016 in San Diego, California.  (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images) Getty Images

Chargers running back Melvin Gordon’s second season was a big step up from his rookie year as he made strides as both a runner and receiver while cutting down on the fumbles that marred his rookie year.

Gordon ran for 997 yards and had 419 more through the air in 13 games while seeing his average per carry and per catch go up as well. That work displayed more of the skills that made Gordon a first-round pick in 2015 and the running back believes that the arrival of Anthony Lynn as head coach will bring even better things in 2017.

Gordon said he is “fired up” to play for Lynn, who helped put together strong rushing attacks in Buffalo the last two seasons as the running backs coach. He’s also gotten good results from backs with the Jaguars, Cowboys and Jets over the course of his career.

“This really means a lot,” Gordon said, via the team’s website. “He obviously knows the game, so if he sees some wrinkles, I’ve got another set of eyes.  Everyone’s got some holes in their game, and he’ll bring some wisdom to help get my game right when I need it.  I’ve got someone who has been around the game for so long and coached some of the league’s best players.  He’ll know how to help me.  He’s perfect for me, so I’m excited to get this thing rolling under him.”

Lynn shares the affection for Gordon, who he says is “growing like a weed” as he progresses in his professional career. Another leap in 2017 and better health elsewhere on the offense would spell good things for the Chargers.

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Report: Andrew Luck expected to start throwing in three months

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - JANUARY 01:  Andrew Luck #12 of the Indianapolis Colts is forced out of bounds by Jalen Ramsey #20 of the Jacksonville Jaguars during the second half of a game at Lucas Oil Stadium on January 1, 2017 in Indianapolis, Indiana.  (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images) Getty Images

Colts owner Jim Irsay announced on Thursday morning that quarterback Andrew Luck had surgery on his right shoulder and that the team expects he will be ready to play in Week One next season.

There’s a lot of time between now and then and Irsay wasn’t specific about when Luck might be expected to resume football activities ahead of the start of the season.

Ian Rapoport of NFL Media reports that Luck is expected to resume throwing in three months, which would be around the time the Colts are ramping up their offseason work. Rapoport adds that a full recovery expected in six months. The latter date would fall in mid-July, which would seem to suggest that Luck will be participating in training camp this summer.

As with any recovery timeline, there are sure to be tweaks along the way as doctors see how Luck is recovering from the surgery in the coming months.

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Dennis Thurman joins list of defensive coordinator candidates in D.C.

Dennis Thurman AP

Being a Rex Ryan assistant is proving to be a helpful line on the resume when it comes to getting an interview for the Redskins’ defensive coordinator job.

Josh Reed of WIVB reported on Thursday morning that Dennis Thurman is expected to interview for the opening and Adam Caplan of ESPN followed that up with word that Thurman’s interview will take place on Thursday. Thurman was Ryan’s defensive coordinator with the Jets and Bills from 2013 until Ryan was fired in Buffalo last year and previously served as a defensive backs coach for the Jets and Ravens.

The Redskins have also interviewed Mike Pettine, who preceded Thurman as the defensive coordinator with the Jets, and Rob Ryan, who joined his brother’s staff for the 2016 season in Buffalo.

Jason Tarver, Greg Manusky and Gus Bradley are others who have spoken to the team about the opening created when they fired Joe Barry after the end of the regular season.

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Jim Irsay: Andrew Luck recovering from shoulder surgery

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - JANUARY 01:  Andrew Luck #12  of the Indianapolis Colts runs with the ball durling the game against the Jacksonville Jaguars at Lucas Oil Stadium on January 1, 2017 in Indianapolis, Indiana.  (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images) Getty Images

Colts owner Jim Irsay was back on Twitter Thursday morning, but he still isn’t discussing anything having to do with coach Chuck Pagano or General Manager Ryan Grigson.

His latest post isn’t lacking for newsworthy information, however. Irsay announced on Twitter that quarterback Andrew Luck had surgery on his right shoulder.

Luck made multiple appearances on the injury report during the 2016 season as a result of his shoulder, although the only injury that caused him to miss time was a concussion. He was limited to seven games during the 2015 season and the Colts attributed his absence in two of those games to a shoulder injury. He also missed time with a lacerated kidney that year.

Those injuries speak to the pounding that Luck has taken over the last couple of years and explains the many calls that have been made for the team to improve their offensive line play. That remained a need this offseason even before Thursday’s reminder of Luck’s injury issues.

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Vance Joseph: Sexual assault claims are false

ENGLEWOOD, CO - JANUARY 12:  Vance Josepf addresses the media after being introduced as the Denver Broncos new head coach during  a press conference at the Paul D. Bowlen Memorial Broncos Centre on January 12, 2017 in Englewood, Colorado.  (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images) Getty Images

Broncos head coach Vance Joseph responded to the publication of details from a 2004 Boulder Police Department report that included sexual assault allegations against him.

Joseph was accused of sexually assaulting two trainers at the University of Colorado, where he was working as an assistant coach, but was neither charged nor interviewed by police. One of the two women in the report did not want to press charges and the other didn’t agree to speak to police, which led to the case being closed.

On Wednesday, Joseph, who left the school shortly after the alleged incidents, told Nicki Jhabvala of the Denver Post that the claims “are false.”

“That was resolved a long time ago,” Joseph said. “For myself, for my family, for the Denver Broncos, I’m disappointed and embarrassed. I was a young guy and it showed to my immaturity and irresponsibility in my life when I was younger. But I’ve grown so much and that’s why I’m disappointed, because I’ve grown so much as a person, as a coach, as a father, as a husband. Everyone who knows me knows that I try to live my life the right way, and I regret that my name is even associated with this.”

Joseph said that he spoke with General Manager John Elway and team president Joe Ellis about the allegations and the Broncos released a statement last weekend saying they were aware of them while noting that Joseph was not charged.

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Jordy Nelson: I can’t be out there moving slowly

DETROIT, MI - JANUARY 1: Jordy Nelson #87 of the Green Bay Packers looks for yards against the Detroit Lions at Ford Field on January 1, 2017 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images) Getty Images

Packers wide receiver Jordy Nelson returned to practice on a limited basis on Wednesday, marking the first time that he’s been on the field since breaking ribs against the Giants in the Wild Card round.

Nelson said after the workout that he’s breathing easier than he was right after getting hurt and that he’s feeling better in general, but acknowledged that he doesn’t know that he’ll be able to show he’s “fully functional” in time to play against the Falcons on Sunday.

“I’ve improved every day. Hopefully that continues,” Nelson said, via the Wisconsin State Journal. “I’ve got to be able to go out and perform. I just can’t be out there slowly running or just being some random person. I’ve never played receiver with broken ribs. We’ll find out, hopefully. If it happens, we’ll see how it goes. Right now, I’m just focused on getting back to full motion and doing everything and seeing if we can get that opportunity.”

Nelson said he expects to wear additional pads if he does play in Atlanta and his status isn’t the only one to watch at receiver. Davante Adams and Geronimo Allison both sat out practice and Adams isn’t expected to work all week because of an ankle injury, which could leave the Packers with a serious shortage at receiver.

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