Week Three injury report roundup

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Week Three kicked off on Thursday with a Rams win and it continues with 14 more games on Sunday, which means that the 28 teams in those games submitted their final injury reports of the week on Friday.

Questionable players are uncertain to play, doubtful players are unlikely to play and out should be self-explanatory. Players who are on active rosters and don’t appear below should be considered healthy enough to play barring any announcements on Saturday. The teams playing on Monday night won’t release their injury reports until Saturday and are not listed here.

With that housekeeping out of the way, here are all the injury reports for Sunday.

Ravens vs. Jaguars (in London)

The Ravens have a long injury list for their transatlantic trip. DT Brandon Williams (foot), TE Maxx Williams (ankle), T Dieugot Joseph (not injury related) and CB Jaylen Hill (thigh) have all been ruled out for Sunday. WR Michael Campanaro (ankle), DB Anthony Levine (chest), WR Chris Matthews (ankle), LB Za'Darius Smith (knee/ankle) and RB Terrance West (calf) have been listed as questionable.

LB Lerentee McCray (knee) and WR Jaelen Strong (hamstring) will not play for the Jaguars. QB Chad Henne (illness), CB Jalen Ramsey (ankle) and T Cam Robinson (shoulder) drew questionable tags.

Broncos at Bills

It looked like Broncos T Garett Bolles (lower leg) might be out a long time after being carted off last week, but he’s listed as questionable. WR Bennie Fowler (concussion) is also questionable while CB Brendan Langley (knee) and QB Paxton Lynch (right shoulder) have been ruled out.

The Bills have three players on this week’s report and all of them have been ruled out. DT Marcell Dareus (ankle), T Cordy Glenn (ankle) and DT Jerel Worthy (concussion) will be the missing pieces for Buffalo.

Saints at Panthers

The Saints ruled out four players — T Terron Armstead (shoulder), CB Marshon Lattimore (concussion), CB Sterling Moore (chest), T Zach Strief (knee) — for their NFC South clash. DE Trey Hendrickson (knee) is listed as questionable.

LB Jeremy Cash (calf) and C Ryan Kalil (neck) are missing a second straight game for the Panthers. QB Cam Newton (right shoulder, ankle) is listed as questionable, but no one in Carolina talked about him as anything but definite.

Steelers at Bears

T Marcus Gilbert (hamstring, illness) and LB T.J. Watt (groin) will miss the game for the Steelers. T Jerald Hawkins (knee) and DE Stephon Tuitt (biceps) are both questionable to return in the lineup.

Bears LB Nick Kwiatkoski (chest) is out while G Josh Sitton (ribs) is doubtful and T Tom Compton (hip) is questionable.

Falcons at Lions

The Falcons head to Detroit without the services of LB Vic Beasley (hamstring), T Ryan Schraeder (concussion), DE Courtney Upshaw (ankle, knee) and RB Terron Ward (neck/shoulder).

LB Jarrad Davis (concussion), RB Dwayne Washington (quad) and S Tavon Wilson (shoulder) have been ruled out by the Lions. DE Ziggy Ansah (knee) is joined in the questionable category by G Joe Dahl (lower leg) and C Travis Swanson (ankle).

Browns at Colts

The Browns won’t have LB Jamie Collins (concussion) in the lineup and they don’t expect to have WR Sammie Coates (hamstring) or DE Myles Garrett (ankle) after listing them as doubtful. DT T.Y. McGill (back) is questionable to play in Sunday’s game.

Injury lists were lengthy for the Colts the first two weeks and things haven’t changed. C Ryan Kelly (foot), QB Andrew Luck (right shoulder), RB Marlon Mack (shoulder), WR Chester Rogers (hamstring), LB Anthony Walker (hamstring) and CB Quincy Wilson (knee) are all out and CB Vontae Davis (groin) is doubtful to play. There’s also four questionable players — WR Kamar Aiken (hip), S Darius Butler (hamstring), CB Chris Milton (hamstring), TE Brandon Williams (calf) — to add to the woes.

Buccaneers at Vikings

The Buccaneers will try for a second straight win without LB Kwon Alexander (hamstring). DT Chris Baker (illness) and DE Jacquies Smith (illness) are listed as doubtful with LB Devante Bond (knee), CB Brent Grimes (shoulder), DT Gerald McCoy (ankle) and G Kevin Pamphile (illness) landing in the questionable category.

The Vikings have just one player on the injury report, but it’s QB Sam Bradford (knee) and he’s out for the second straight game.

Texans at Patriots

G Jeff Allen (ankle), WR Will Fuller (shoulder) and CB Kevin Johnson (knee) will not play for the Texans. RB Alfred Blue (ankle) and DT Brandon Dunn (knee) are listed as questionable.

RB Rex Burkhead (ribs) is out for the Patriots. WR Danny Amendola (concussion, knee), T Marcus Cannon (ankle, concussion), WR Phillip Dorsett (knee), S Nate Ebner (shoulder), CB Stephon Gilmore (groin), TE Rob Gronkowski (groin), LB Dont'a Hightower (knee), WR Chris Hogan (knee), LB Elandon Roberts (thumb), CB Eric Rowe (groin) and WR Matt Slater (hamstring) make up a long list of questionable players, although Amendola and Gronkowski both said they are ready to go.

Dolphins at Jets

LB Rey Maualuga (hamstring) is out again for the Dolphins and DT Jordan Phillips (ankle) is doubtful. RB Jay Ajayi (knee), WR Jarvis Landry (knee), WR DeVante Parker (ankle) and RB Damien Williams (rib) make up a quartet of questionable players on offense.

The Jets ruled out TE Eric Tomlinson (elbow) and G Brian Winters (abdomen). TE Jordan Leggett (knee) and S Rontez Miles (eye) will likely miss the game after being listed as doubtful. TE Will Tye (illness) and DE Muhammad Wilkerson (shoulder) are questionable to play.

Giants at Eagles

Giants LB B.J. Goodson (shin), T Bobby Hart (ankle) and LB J.T. Thomas (groin) have been ruled out. CB Janoris Jenkins (ankle) is questionable after missing Monday night’s game.

The Eagles will be short on defensive backs after ruling out CB Ronald Darby (ankle), S Corey Graham (hamstring) and S Jaylen Watkins (hamstring). S Rodney McLeod (hamstring) is questionable, so things might get even thinner. DT Destiny Vaeao (wrist) is also out and WR Torrey Smith (illness) is also questionable.

Seahawks at Titans

The Seahawks ruled out CB Neiko Thorpe (ankle) and listed LB D.J. Alexander (hamstring) as doubtful. LB Terence Garvin (shoulder) and TE Jimmy Graham (ankle) got questionable tags, although the signs point to Graham playing.

The Titans ruled out S Johnathan Cyprien (hamstring) and WR Corey Davis (hamstring). RB DeMarco Murray (hamstring) is questionable after getting hurt in last week’s game.

Bengals at Packers

The Bengals ruled out TE Tyler Eifert (back), G Trey Hopkins (knee) and WR John Ross (knee). DE Michael Johnson (concussion, stinger), CB KeiVarae Russell (hamstring) and S Derron Smith (ankle) make up the questionable contingent for Cincinnati.

The Packers are holding out limited hope for T David Bakhtiari (hamstring), S Kentrell Brice (groin), WR Randall Cobb (chest), DT Mike Daniels (hip), CB Davon House (quadricep), LB Nick Perry (hand) and LB Jake Ryan (hamstring, concussion) after listing them as doubtful. T Bryan Bulaga (ankle) and WR Jordy Nelson (quadricep) have greater hopes of playing after getting the questionable tag.

Chiefs at Chargers

Center Mitch Morse (foot) is out for the Chiefs and offensive lineman Parker Ehinger (knee) is doubtful to play.

The Chargers ruled out CB Jason Verrett (knee) for the second straight week and WR Mike Williams (back) will be out for the third time. RB Melvin Gordon (knee), T Joe Barksdale (foot) and LB Hayes Pullard (knee) are listed as questionable.

Raiders at Redskins

CB Sean Smith (neck, shoulder) is listed as questionable and makes up the entire Raiders injury report.

LB Mason Foster (shoulder), RB Rob Kelley (rib), S Montae Nicholson (shoulder), CB Josh Norman (shoulder and TE Jordan Reed (rib, sternum) are all listed as questionable for the Redskins.

PFT’s Week Three picks

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Week Three already is upon us, and I enter it with a two-game lead over MDS. By Thursday night, the lead will be three, since MDS failed to realize that the 49ers have a greater claim to ownership of the Rams in recent years than Stan Kroenke.

We disagree on one other game for the weekend, which means that, come Week Four, I’ll be up by four games and he’ll be closing in on conceding.

You’re closing in on getting the benefit of our insights, free of charge (money-back guarantee) and available by simply scrolling.

Last week, I went 11-5 and MDS was 10-6. This week, perfection awaits. For someone other than either of us.

Rams at 49ers

MDS’s take: In what looks like another ugly Thursday night game, I think Jared Goff and Todd Gurley will move the ball enough to take a lead and keep a lead, while Brian Hoyer will struggle against the Rams’ defense.

MDS’s pick: Rams 20, 49ers 6.

Florio’s take: The 49ers are 3-19 in their last 22 games. The three wins have come against the Rams. If the 49ers intend to win any games in 2017, this is a great place to start.

Florio’s pick: 49ers 13, Rams 9.

Ravens at Jaguars

MDS’s take: The Ravens’ defense has been outstanding in the first two weeks of the season, and I can’t see Blake Bortles doing much of anything against them. London is going to get another low-scoring game.

MDS’s pick: Ravens 17, Jaguars 7.

Florio’s take: A good defense versus a very good defense results in a game that will feature scoring more like the kind of football that Nigel and his mates are used to watching.

Florio’s pick: Ravens 6, Jaguars 3.

Browns at Colts

MDS’s take: Can it really be true? The Browns are favored on the road? It’s true, and understandable, given how bad the Colts have looked in the first two weeks of the season. But I see Indianapolis getting incrementally better on offense as Jacoby Brissett has more time to work within the system, and the Colts will narrowly avoid the embarrassment of losing at home to the Browns.

MDS’s pick: Colts 20, Browns 17.

Florio’s take: Are the Browns jinxed by being favored to win on the road? As Joe Thomas said on PFT Live, being picked to lose hasn’t kept them from losing.

Florio’s pick: Browns 17, Colts 13.

Giants at Eagles

MDS’s take: The Giants’ offense has been a mess this season, and I don’t see that changing at Philadelphia. The Giants will fall to 0-3, including 0-2 in the division, and any hopes of a return to the playoffs are rapidly disappearing.

MDS’s pick: Eagles 24, Giants 16.

Florio’s take: Brylcreem Ben says plenty of good teams start 0-2. How many good teams start 0-3?

Florio’s pick: Eagles 24, Giants 13.

Dolphins at Jets

MDS’s take: The Dolphins got lucky last week when the Chargers’ last-minute field goal attempt went wide. They won’t need to get lucky this week to beat the Jets.

MDS’s pick: Dolphins 28, Jets 14.

Florio’s take: Jay Cutler faces the team that should have been at the front of the line to sign him.

Florio’s pick: Dolphins 27, Jets 10.

Broncos at Bills

MDS’s take: People accused the Bills of tanking during the offseason, but they’ve played hard this season. They’ll give the Broncos everything they can handle but fall just short.

MDS’s pick: Broncos 21, Bills 20.

Florio’s take: The dawn of the Nathan Peterman era could be creeping closer and closer.

Florio’s pick: Broncos 27, Bills 13.

Saints at Panthers

MDS’s take: Cam Newton is off to a slow start, but facing the Saints’ defense is just the thing to get him on track.

MDS’s pick: Panthers 31, Saints 17.

Florio’s take: The Saints are getting desperate but the Panthers’ defense possibly is better than it’s ever been. With Greg Olsen out, it’s time for the Panthers to come up with ways to feature Christian McCaffrey.

Florio’s pick: Panthers 20, Saints 17.

Steelers at Bears

MDS’s take: The Bears looked brutally bad last week against the Buccaneers, and I see no reason to think that will change this week.

MDS’s pick: Steelers 27, Bears 9.

Florio’s take: The Steelers have one of the few offenses that periodically takes a shot down the field in a pick-your-poison proposition that it going to allow the Pittsburgh team to pile up wins.

Florio’s pick: Steelers 30, Bears 16.

Falcons at Lions

MDS’s take: I’ve picked against the Lions the first two weeks, and they’re 2-0. Good news, Lions fans: I’m picking against them again.

MDS’s pick: Falcons 28, Lions 20.

Florio’s take: The Lions are operating on a short week after a late-night return from New York, with an excellent team coming to town that won’t be caught napping thanks to Detroit’s 2-0 record.

Florio’s pick: Falcons 27, Lions 20.

Buccaneers at Vikings

MDS’s take: If Sam Bradford is good to go, this is a very good matchup of NFC playoff contenders. I think Jameis Winston and Mike Evans will make just enough plays to win a close one.

MDS’s pick: Buccaneers 24, Vikings 23.

Florio’s take: When these two were in the same division, the Vikings owned the rivalry. Now? Not. The Bucs have won six of the last seven. Make that seven of eight.

Florio’s pick: Buccaneers 23, Vikings 16.

Texans at Patriots

MDS’s take: The Patriots’ defense has been ugly this season, but so has the Texans’ offense. New England should score enough to win this one comfortably.

MDS’s pick: Patriots 31, Texans 20.

Florio’s take: Deshaun Watson is the future. But he’s simply not ready to take down one of the greatest players of all time in the present.

Florio’s pick: Patriots 30, Texans 17.

Seahawks at Titans

MDS’s take: I see Derrick Henry having a big game against a suspect Seahawks run defense, and the Titans pulling off a big win.

MDS’s pick: Titans 20, Seahawks 17.

Florio’s take: It’s an early crisis of confidence for Seattle, who lack the firepower on offense to outscore the best teams in the league.

Florio’s pick: Titans 16, Seahawks 9.

Bengals at Packers

MDS’s take: Andy Dalton has been awful this year, and I don’t see that changing in Green Bay.

MDS’s pick: Packers 20, Bengals 10.

Florio’s take: It’s been 25 years since a Bengals-Packers game birthed the legend of Brett Favre. Aaron Rodgers will continue what Favre started.

Florio’s pick: Packers 28, Bengals 14.

Chiefs at Chargers

MDS’s take: The Chargers are a better team than their 0-2 record suggests, but I think the Chiefs are the best team in the AFC, and they’ll roll to 3-0.

MDS’s pick: Chiefs 28, Chargers 17.

Florio’s take: At least the Chargers won’t lose on a late missed field goal for the third game in a row.

Florio’s pick: Chiefs 33, Chargers 20.

Raiders at Washington

MDS’s take: The Raiders’ offense has been outstanding through two games, and they should roll through Washington’s defense.

MDS’s pick: Raiders 31, Washington 17.

Florio’s take: Tune in Sunday night for Beastmode Meets The Brother of Chucky. It’s a horror movie. For the home team.

Florio’s pick: Raiders 34, Washington 24.

Cowboys at Cardinals

MDS’s take: I’m having a hard time getting a handle on the Cowboys after they blew out the Giants in Week One and then got blown out by the Broncos in Week Two. But I’ll pick Dallas to win this one, probably with a few big plays on special teams making the difference.

MDS’s pick: Cowboys 24, Cardinals 21.

Florio’s take: Ezekiel Elliot will be getting more than eight yards, and he won’t be caught loafing by the Monday night cameras.

Florio’s pick: Cowboys 24, Cardinals 10.

Former NFL player blames limited time in pads for the league’s wretched OL play

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Derrick Deese spent 11 seasons in the NFL, playing every position on the offensive line at one time or another. He has never seen offensive line play this wretched.

Giants left tackle Ereck Flowers and Lions left tackle Greg Robinson became the faces of the league’s offensive line problem Monday night.

While many blame it on the college ranks for failing to properly train offensive linemen for the next level, Deese offers a different theory. He cites the reduction in padded practices that came with the NFL’s Collective Bargaining Agreement in 2011.

“I think when you come down to practice, offensive line needs more practice time than a defensive lineman does because there’s so much stuff to learn — so many more variables we have to understand,” Deese said, via The 49ers Insider Podcast with Matt Maiocco of NBC Sports Bay Area. “For one defense, sometimes there might be three different ways to block that play. So when you start cutting down practice schedules, and say you only have this amount of time per week, and this amount of time per day, it’s hard to get all of that in. It’s hard to get all the reps you actually need to be successful. When they cut that down, something’s going to suffer, and you see what suffers.”

Teams no longer can hold two-a-day practices in pads at training camp and are permitted only 14 padded practices during the season with a maximum of one per week.

Deese, 47, knows first hand the reasons for the limitations: He has undergone 17 surgeries and needs three more. He said all the rules changes have made the game “a lot safer,” even if the reduction in practice time has made it more difficult for offensive linemen to develop.

Week Two power rankings

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1. Raiders (2-0; previously No. 2): Marshawn should polish up on his breakdancing because it feels like 1983 all over again the Raiders.

2. Chiefs (2-0; No. 3): If Spencer Ware hadn’t gotten injured, the Chiefs may not be undefeated.

3. Patriots (1-1; No. 5): Nice.

4. Falcons (2-0; No. 7): When the opponent is on the ropes, the Falcons need to learn how to punch them through.

5. Steelers (2-0; No. 8): Take away Bell, Brown gets you. Take away both, Bryant gets you.

6. Packers (1-1; No. 1): Take away Rodgers, and the Packers wouldn’t win a game.

7. Lions (2-0; No. 9): There’s a chance the Lions are great. There’s also a chance they simply have beaten two opposite-of-great teams.

8. Broncos (2-0; No. 15): The good news is they may have found a franchise quarterback in round seven. The bad news is they may have pissed away a first-round pick on a potential franchise quarterback.

9. Seahawks (1-1; No. 6): The Seahawks tend to get better as the season progresses. This year they definitely need to.

10. Cowboys (1-1; No. 4): Ezekiel Elliott‘s suspension didn’t start last week. It just seems that way.

11. Dolphins (1-0; No. 12): Cigarettes for everyone.

12. Ravens (2-0; No. 13): They should just have the defensive players play both ways.

13. Buccaneers (1-0; No. 16): The Bucs may not just be the second-best team in the division; they may be the second-best team in the NFC.

14. Panthers (2-0; No. 17): Cam Newton may be OK for now, but behind that offensive line he won’t be OK for long.

15. Titans (1-1; No. 19): From 2-4 in the AFC South a year ago to 1-0 this year; performance in the division will be the key to Tennessee’s season.

16. Eagles (1-1; No. 10):  They’ve got a chance to make it a two-team race in the NFC East, if they can manhandle the Giants.

17. Vikings (1-1; No. 14): An old-school NFC Central fight with the Bucs could go a long way toward revealing whether the Vikings are for real.

18. Texans (1-1; No. 28): Better late than never — and just in time for the Patriots — Deshaun Watson is the guy.

19. Rams (1-1; No. 18): The annual RGIII bowl was about as inspiring as it ever is.

20. Jaguars (1-1; No. 11): They are you we thought they were.

21. Washington (1-1; No. 25): They’ve pulled the ultimate “psych!” move on Su’a.

22. Bills (1-1; No. 20): Sean McDermott will keep telling us Tyrod Taylor is the quarterback until the precise moment McDermott decides Taylor isn’t.

23. Cardinals (1-1; No. 21): Bruce Arians has finally figured out what many already knew about this team — the quarterback is often more of a liability than an asset.

24. Chargers (0-2; No. 22): Two games behind a three-way cluster at the top of the division, the Chargers’ season feels over when it’s barely begun.

25. Giants (0-2; No. 24): Brylcreem Ben McAdoo can feel the season slip-sliding away.

26. Saints (0-2; No. 26): Adrian Peterson didn’t sign up for 0-2, either.

27. Bears (0-2; No. 23): Two games left, at most, before Mitchell Trubisky makes his debut.

28. Browns (0-2; No. 27): The fact that the Browns are favored on the road tells you everything you need to know about the current state of the NFL.

29. Bengals (0-2; No. 29): Andy Dalton has the full support of the coaching staff. Until he doesn’t.

30. Jets (0-2; No. 30): Their pursuit of Sam Darnold has been complicated by the presence of other unexpectedly crappy teams.

31. 49ers (0-2; No. 31): Tune in for Thursday Night Traffic Problems.

32. Colts (0-2; No. 32): “Taking the Cardinals to overtime” may be the only banner fodder they have this year; “home ‘dogs against the Browns” definitely won’t make the cut.

Blake Bortles, Mike Glennon, the NFL’s quarterback problem and other Week 2 observations

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There can’t be 32 good quarterbacks. The NFL isn’t Lake Wobegon, where all the quarterbacks are above average. There are going to be some bad ones.

And yet even as I acknowledge there are always going to be some bad quarterbacks, I found myself asking on Sunday afternoon: Do they have to be this bad?

Do they have to be as bad as Blake Bortles, who threw two interceptions and lost a fumble as the Jaguars were blown out by the Titans? Do they have to be as bad as Mike Glennon, who also threw two interceptions and lost a fumble as the Bears were blown out by the Buccaneers? Do they have to be bad as Brian Hoyer, who threw 27 passes and couldn’t even get to 100 passing yards as the 49ers were kept out of the end zone for the second straight week in a loss to the Seahawks? Do they have to be as bad as Carson Palmer, who is 37 years old but looked 137 years old?

Palmer was so bad that when Cardinals coach Bruce Arians was asked at halftime what was wrong with his team, he answered in one word: “Quarterback.” The Cardinals actually managed to win, thanks to a bad interception thrown by the opposing quarterback, Jacoby Brissett. Brissett was bad, too, but he has an excuse: He’s only been a Colt for two weeks. Indianapolis acquired him in a desperate attempt to atone for their terrible mistake of heading into the season with Scott Tolzien as their starting quarterback. Tolzien was benched during an awful loss in Week One, and Brissett has been better, though not exactly good.

There are, of course, good quarterbacks in the NFL. Tom Brady had 447 yards, most ever for a 40-year-old quarterback, against a bad Saints secondary yesterday. Alex Smith turned in his second straight solid game as the Chiefs improved to 2-0. Jameis Winston and Marcus Mariota are coming on two and a half years after they were the first and second picks in the 2015 NFL draft.

But even some of the good quarterbacks aren’t playing well. Cam Newton hasn’t been himself this season. Sam Bradford was good in the Vikings’ opener, but he’s made of glass so of course he got hurt and the Vikings were stuck with the terrible Case Keenum in yesterday’s loss to the Steelers. Tyrod Taylor has been around long enough that he ought to at least know how to run a two-minute drill, but he didn’t look like it as he wasted time while the Bills’ last-minute rally fell short.

We’ve become so conditioned by the video-game numbers that the great quarterbacks put up that NFL football feels boring when quarterbacks aren’t playing well. It’s a quarterback-driven league, and too many quarterbacks are driving their teams into the ditch.

Here are my other observations from Sunday’s NFL action:

Jason Kelce told his teammates to get inside his brother’s head. For the first time on Sunday, the Kelce brothers (Philadelphia’s Jason and Kansas City’s Travis) faced each other in the NFL. Before the game, Jason told CSN Philadelphia that he told his teammate, “Any kind of trash talk gets inside my brother’s head. . . . The one thing you can try and do is get in his head and sometimes he’ll beat himself.” Sure enough, Travis got flagged for taunting during the game. It was a good scouting report Jason gave his teammates — and ridiculous that Travis, who also drew a personal foul penalty and a flag last week, can’t control himself. Kelce is one of the best tight ends in the league — he later scored the game-winning touchdown — but the way he acts on the field is unacceptable.

DirecTV needs to get its act together. Many of the NFL’s most passionate fans are DirecTV subscribers solely for the 17 NFL Sundays when they can get Sunday Ticket, the DirecTV-exclusive service that provides access to every NFL game. And yet Sunday Ticket is riddled with technical difficulties. Yesterday much of America was unable to see DirecTV’s Red Zone Channel for what DirecTV was calling only a “known issue.” I’ve been a subscriber for many years, and I’ve had problems with everything from games being mistakenly blacked out to my entire DirecTV signal being interrupted. Sunday Ticket is invaluable — when it works. Which isn’t often enough.

Tony Romo is a great addition to Sunday afternoons. As the color commentator on the No. 1 CBS team, Romo is rapidly becoming one of my favorite things about spending Sunday afternoons in front of the television. His ability to see how the play will develop before the ball is snapped is remarkable. He called the Saints’ touchdown pass to Brandon Coleman just before it happened on Sunday, and he routinely pointed out the types of things fans would love to hear if they had a chance to watch a game with a recently retired quarterback. Romo the announcer is the real deal.

Dean Blandino, not so much. I’m still waiting to see what Blandino adds to the FOX broadcasts that Mike Pereira wasn’t already providing. When FOX hired Pereira, it was a tremendous service to viewers at home, who could find out the intricacies of the rulebook in real time as a referee reviewed a replay. But when CBS hired Mike Carey to do the same job he struggled, and so far Blandino seems to be veering toward Carey territory. Blandino looks uncomfortable on camera and isn’t as quick as Pereira in interpreting a replay and explaining it to the audience. He’s been disappointing.

The Saints’ defense is terrible. Still. In 2015, the Saints allowed an NFL-record 45 touchdown passes. Through two games this year, the Saints are on pace to break that record and allow 48 touchdown passes. It’s stunning how consistently awful the Saints’ defense has been. They have a future Hall of Fame quarterback in Drew Brees, but he can’t do it alone.

Week Two early inactives

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Every week we bring you all the inactives from the early games in one post, constantly updated with the latest information. Check back to see the full list as it becomes available 90 minutes ahead of the 1 p.m. ET kickoffs.

Browns at Ravens

Browns: DE Myles Garrett, DT T.Y. McGill, QB Cody Kessler, WR Reggie Davis, WR Kasen Williams, OL Marcus Martin, OL Zach Banner.

Ravens: CB Jaylen Hill, LB Za'Darius Smith, WR Chris Moore, DT Willie Henry, OL Jermaine Eluemunor, DE Bronson Kaufusi, DE Chris Wormley

Bills at Panthers

Bills: DT Jerel Worthy, RB Joe Banyard, G Vladimir Ducasse, LB Jelani Jenkins, TE Khari Lee, OL Conor McDermott, WR Brandon Tate

Panthers: RB Cameron Artis-Payne, DE Daeshon Hall, LB Jeremy Cash, C Greg Van Roten, T John Theus, QB Brad Kaaya, CB Ladarius Gunter

Cardinals at Colts

Cardinals: WR John Brown, T D.J. Humphries, G Mike Iupati, QB Blaine Gabbert, LB Deone Bucannon, RB D.J. Foster, TE Jermaine Gresham

Colts: QB Andrew Luck, CB Vontae Davis, C Ryan Kelly, LB Antonio Morrison, LB Anthony Walker, S Darius Butler, WR Chester Rogers

Titans at Jaguars

Titans: S Jonathan Cyprien, CB Tye Smith, CB Kalan Reed, LB Josh Carraway, LB Nate Palmer, OL Corey Levin, DE Kevin Dodd

Jaguars: S Calvin Pryor, RB T.J. Yeldon, DT Sheldon Day, CB Jalen Myrick, OL Josh Walker, OL William Poehls, LB Blair Brown

Eagles at Chiefs

Eagles: CB Ronald Darby, DT Destiny Vareo, WR Brandon Gibson, WR Marcus Johnson, DE Steven Means, G Chance Warmack

Chiefs: QB Tyler Bray, CB D.J. White, LB Reggie Ragland, OL Jordan Devey, OL Parker Ehinger, WR Jehu Chesson, DL Jarvis Jenkins

Patriots at Saints

Patriots: LB Dont'a Hightower, WR Danny Amendola, WR Matthew Slater, DT Vincent Valentine, S Nate Ebner, T LaAdrian Waddle, OL Cole Croston

Saints: T Terron Armstead, T Zach Strief, QB Taysom Hill, CB Ken Crawley, LB Stephone Anthony, WR Austin Carr, DE Al-Quadin Muhammad

Vikings at Steelers

Vikings: QB Sam Bradford, WR Rodney Adams, CB Tramaine Brock, OL Danny Isidora, OL Aviante Collins, DE Tashawn Bower, DL Jaleel Johnson

Steelers: T Jerald Hawkins, QB Josh Dobbs, S J.J. Wilcox, TE Vance McDonald, WR Justin Hunter, DE Stephon Tuitt, G Matt Feiler

Bears at Buccaneers

Bears: G Kyle Long, QB Mark Sanchez, WR Markus Wheaton, CB Prince Amukamara, S Deon Bush, RB Benny Cunningham, DL John Jenkins

Buccaneers: LB Devante Boyd, CB Javien Elliott, DE Jacquies Smith, T Leonard Wester, C Joe Hawley, TE Antony Auclair, DE Will Clarke

Week Two injury report roundup

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Week Two kicked off on Thursday with a Texans win and it continues with 14 more games on Sunday, which means that the 28 teams in those games submitted their final injury reports of the week on Friday.

Questionable players are uncertain to play, doubtful players are unlikely to play and out should be self-explanatory. Players who are on active rosters and don’t appear below should be considered healthy enough to play barring any announcements on Saturday. The teams playing on Monday night won’t release their injury reports until Saturday and are not listed here.

With that housekeeping out of the way, here are all the injury reports for Sunday.

Browns at Ravens

DE Myles Garrett (ankle) and DT T.Y. McGill (back) have been ruled out and make up the entirety of the Browns’ injury report for this weekend.

CB Jaylen Hill (thigh), CB Sheldon Price (concussion) and LB Za'Darius Smith (knee, ankle) are out for the Ravens. WR Michael Campanaro (ankle) and LB Tim Williams (illness) are listed as questionable.

Bills at Panthers

The Bills ruled out DT Jerel Worthy (concussion) for coach Sean McDermott’s return to Carolina. CB Leonard Johnson (quadricep) is questionable.

The Panthers did not give injury designations to any players on their roster.

Cardinals at Colts

The Cardinals are headed to Indianapolis without the help of WR John Brown (quadricep), T D.J. Humphries (knee) and G Mike Iupati (tricep). LB Deone Bucannon (ankle) is doubtful after being ruled out last week while TE Jermaine Gresham (ribs), TE Troy Niklas (hip) and DT Robert Nkemdiche (calf) are listed as questionable.

The Colts continue to have a long list of injured players. S Darius Butler (hamstring), CB Vontae Davis (groin), C Ryan Kelly (foot), QB Andrew Luck (right shoulder), LB Antonio Morrison (elbow) and LB Anthony Walker (hamstring) are all out this week. WR Chester Rogers (hamstring) would round out the inactive list if he gets the thumbs down on Sunday.

Titans at Jaguars

The Titans ruled out S Johnathan Cyprien (hamstring) and CB Tye Smith (hand) this week.

Cornerback Jalen Ramsey (ankle) drew a questionable tag after missing Jaguars practice all week. S Calvin Pryor (ankle) will not play.

Eagles at Chiefs

Eagles coach Doug Pederson won’t have CB Ronald Darby (ankle) or DT Destiny Vaeao (wrist) in the lineup in his return to Kansas City. S Corey Graham (hamstring) is questionable.

G Parker Ehinger (knee) and LB Reggie Ragland (knee) were listed as doubtful by the Chiefs. S Ron Parker (ankle) and LB Kevin Pierre-Louis (illness) are both listed as questionable.

Patriots at Saints

The Patriots won’t have WR Danny Amendola (concussion, knee), LB Dont'a Hightower (knee), WR Matt Slater (hamstring) or DT Vincent Valentine (knee) in New Orleans this Sunday. T Marcus Cannon (ankle), S Nate Ebner (shoulder) and S Devin McCourty (groin) are listed as questionable.

Tackles Terron Armstead (shoulder) and Zach Strief (knee) have been ruled out by the Saints. LB Stephone Anthony (ankle), DE Trey Hendrickson (illness) and LB Nathan Stupar (hamstring) drew questionable tags on Friday.

Vikings at Steelers

Only three players made the Vikings injury report, but all three are key players. LB Anthony Barr (hamstring), QB Sam Bradford (knee) and CB Xavier Rhodes (hip) have been listed as questionable.

The Steelers listed TE Vance McDonald (back), DE Stephon Tuitt (biceps) and S J.J. Wilcox (concussion) as questionable and ruled out T Jerald Hawkins (knee).

Bears at Buccaneers

The Bears are making liberal use of the questionable tag this week with CB Prince Amukamara (ankle), WR Josh Bellamy (ankle), S Deon Bush (hamstring), LB Leonard Floyd (back), RB Jordan Howard (shoulder), LB Christian Jones (back), G Kyle Long (ankle) and WR Markus Wheaton (finger) all drawing the tag. RB Benny Cunningham (ankle) is less likely to play after getting a doubtful tag.

LB Devante Bond (knee) has been ruled out for the Buccaneers. LB Kwon Alexander (illness) and C Evan Smith (illness) are both listed as questionable.

Dolphins at Chargers

LB Rey Maualuga (hamstring) will wait to make his Dolphins debut after being ruled out. WR Jarvis Landry (knee) is questionable.

S Rayshawn Jenkins (concussion), CB Jason Verrett (knee) and WR Mike Williams (back) are out for the Chargers. They are holding out hope that DE Jeremiah Attaochu (hamstring), WR Dontrelle Inman (groin) and TE Sean McGrath (knee) can go after being tagged as questionable.

Jets at Raiders

The Jets ruled out LB Bruce Carter (ankle), C Jonotthan Harrison (concussion), TE Jordan Leggett (knee), S Rontez Miles (eye), LB Edmond Robinson (groin) and TE Eric Tomlinson (elbow).

S Keith McGill (foot), RB Jamize Olawale (quadricep) and CB Sean Smith (neck) were listed as questionable by the Raiders.

Cowboys at Broncos

Cowboys LB Anthony Hitchens (knee) and CB Orlando Scandrick (hand) are out this week. S Byron Jones (groin) and WR Terrance Williams (ankle) are listed as questionable.

The Broncos will wait and see on DE Zach Kerr (knee), G Ronald Leary (concussion) and S Darian Stewart (groin) after listing them as questionable. There’s no need to wait on RB Devontae Booker (wrist), DE Jared Crick (back), CB Brendan Langley (knee) and QB Paxton Lynch (right shoulder) as they have been ruled out.

Redskins at Rams

Redskins WR Josh Doctson (hamstring) got listed as questionable after a week of limited practices.

The Rams also listed one player on their injury report — CB Kayvon Webster (shoulder) — and he’s also listed as questionable.

49ers at Seahawks

The 49ers ruled out LB Rueben Foster (ankle) and listed S Jimmie Ward (hamstring) as questionable.

Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman (hamstring) returned to practice Friday and is questionable to play on Sunday. Sherman has never missed a game in his NFL career. Linebacker Terrance Garvin (shoulder) is doubtful.

Packers at Falcons

The Packers have three tackles on their injury report. Starters David Bakhtiari (hamstring) and Bryan Bulaga (ankle/illness) are listed as questionable while Jason Spriggs (hamstring) won’t play. LB Ahmad Brooks (concussion) is considered doubtful while
DT Montravius Adams (foot), S Kentrell Brice (quadricep, knee) and DT Mike Daniels (hip) are questionable.

There’s less activity on the Falcons’ side as RB Brian Hill (ankle) is listed as questionable and makes up the entire report.

PFT’s Week Two picks

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One week in, the good news is that I’ve already got a one-game lead over MDS. The bad news is that I hit on only nine of 15 games.

The best news is that we both get yet another chance to do something neither of us has ever done: Get every game right in a given week. One of us definitely won’t, since we disagree on one of the 16 games.

Here are the PFT Picks for Week Two. For amusement purposes only. As in, “I’m amused by how much these guys suck.”

Texans at Bengals
MDS’s take: This could be another ugly Thursday night game, given the way these two defenses played in Week One. Although Andy Dalton was terrible on Sunday, I think he’ll be better on Thursday — and the Texans’ quarterback situation will be as bad as ever.

MDS’s pick: Bengals 13, Texans 7.

Florio’s take: A game between two teams who scored on Sunday a total of seven points between them doesn’t bode well for ratings points. The Texans unexpectedly are reeling, and the Bengals aren’t as bad as Sunday suggested. Unless they are. One of these teams could soon be fitted for a fork.

Florio’s pick: Bengals 20, Texans 13.

Browns at Ravens
MDS’s take: The Ravens’ defense made a statement against the Bengals and will make another statement against the Browns.

MDS’s pick: Ravens 21, Browns 6.

Florio’s take: The Ravens aren’t kind to rookie quarterbacks, and even though the Browns weren’t as bad in Week One as everyone thought they’d be, the Ravens were much better. The Browns may have indeed found the answer to their chronic quarterback problems, but it’s going to take some time for this to develop.

Florio’s pick: Ravens 23, Browns 13.

Bears at Buccaneers
MDS’s take: Chicago was more competitive than most people expected, nearly pulling off a big upset against Atlanta. But the well-rested Buccaneers should beat the Bears convincingly.

MDS’s pick: Buccaneers 24, Bears 14.

Florio’s take: The Bucs have extra rest, and they don’t need it. A superior team on both sides of the ball with plenty to prove and even greater desire to do so after an unplanned bye week, Tampa Bay begins its march toward potential playoff contention by systematically dismantling a Bears team that suffers from a dearth of talent made worse by a rash of injuries.

Florio’s pick: Buccaneers 27, Bears 14.

Vikings at Steelers
MDS’s take: These looked like two of the better teams in the league last week. I don’t think Sam Bradford is going to be able to do against the Steelers’ defense what he did against the Saints’ defense, and so I’m picking Pittsburgh.

MDS’s pick: Steelers 20, Vikings 13.

Florio’s take: The Vikings haven’t won in Pittsburgh since 1995. They’ve only player there twice since then, however. This year, perhaps they’re better than many expected. That still may not be good enough to take down a potential Super Bowl contender in their own stadium.

Florio’s pick: Steelers 23, Vikings 20.

Patriots at Saints
MDS’s take: The Saints’ defense looks like just the thing to get Tom Brady on track. He’ll have a big game.

MDS’s pick: Patriots 35, Saints 21.

Florio’s take: The Saints are on a short week and the Patriots had extra time. Which will serve only to make things worse for a home team without the horses to keep up with a defending Super Bowl champion that suddenly has something to prove.

Florio’s pick: Patriots 34, Saints 20.

Eagles at Chiefs
MDS’s take: Andy Reid has the Chiefs’ offense rolling. The Chiefs’ defense will miss Eric Berry, but Kansas City can win a high-scoring game.

MDS’s pick: Chiefs 35, Eagles 31.

Florio’s take: Big Red gets another chance at Gang Green, against an Eagles team coached by his protege. The master surely held back a few tricks. Which he may not need given the quality of his team’s roster.

Florio’s pick: Chiefs 28, Eagles 20.

Titans at Jaguars
MDS’s take: The Jaguars were better than I was expecting in Week One, and the Titans were worse than I was expecting. Maybe I’m just a slow learner, but I still think the Titans are the better team.

MDS’s pick: Titans 24, Jaguars 20.

Florio’s take: It’s too early to call this a Correction Weekend, but a correction feels like it’s coming for a Titans team that should contend and a Jaguars team that shouldn’t be racking up 10 sacks per game.

Florio’s pick: Titans 27, Jaguars 23.

Cardinals at Colts
MDS’s take: The Cardinals didn’t look particularly good on Sunday, but the Colts looked downright awful.

MDS’s pick: Cardinals 27, Colts 17.

Florio’s take: The David Johnson-less Cardinals need a cupcake right now (along with a bottle of rum), and none are currently more frosted than the Colts, who seem to be intent on challenging the Jets for the first overall pick in the draft.

Florio’s pick: Cardinals 28, Colts 14.

Bills at Panthers
MDS’s take: Cam Newton doesn’t look quite right, but the Bills’ offense is going to have trouble moving the ball against the Panthers’ defense. Carolina takes a low-scoring game.

MDS’s pick: Panthers 16, Bills 13.

Florio’s take: Sean McDermott returns to Carolina, with thorough knowledge of the personnel on both sides of the ball. He may not have the talent at this point to put his inside information to its best possible use, however.

Florio’s pick: Panthers 20, Bills 14.

Jets at Raiders
MDS’s take: Picking against the Jets will be the easiest pick of the week all season.

MDS’s pick: Raiders 24, Jets 10.

Florio’s take: This is a trap game for the Raiders — if the trap has a rusty spring that won’t engage and the bait is a sliver of rancid meat.

Florio’s pick: Raiders 30, Jets 13.

Dolphins at Chargers
MDS’s take: It’s hard to predict how the Dolphins will respond to being uprooted from their homes by Hurricane Irma, but I think Miami will look a little off in its season opener and the Chargers will win in their new home.

MDS’s pick: Chargers 21, Dolphins 14.

Florio’s take: How many of the 27,000 people at the Chargers’ home opener will be rooting for the Dolphins? Enough to be heard, given the size of the venue.

Florio’s pick: Dolphins 27, Chargers 20.

49ers at Seahawks
MDS’s take: It was only a few years ago that this was the best rivalry in football. Now the 49ers aren’t good enough to make anyone a rival.

MDS’s pick: Seahawks 28, 49ers 13.

Florio’s take: There’s no antidote for a bad offensive line and a non-existent running attack than a home game against an overmatched team.

Florio’s pick: Seahawks 30, 49ers 9.

Washington at Rams
MDS’s take: Sean McVay knows just what to do against his old team. He’s going to have the Rams a surprising 2-0.

MDS’s pick: Rams 27, Washington 20.

Florio’s take: Something’s suddenly wrong with Washington’s offense. Maybe it’s related to whatever is suddenly right with the Rams: Sean McVay. The former Washington offensive coordinator gets a crack at his old team, a week after crunching the Colts in his debut.

Florio’s pick: Rams 24, Washington 20.

Cowboys at Broncos
MDS’s take: Trevor Siemian had a surprisingly good game in Week One, but I think the Cowboys’ defense is going to make him struggle.

MDS’s pick: Cowboys 20, Broncos 10.

Florio’s take: The Cowboys looked great on each side of the ball against the Giants, and the Broncos’ offense is still a work in progress. With Ezekiel Elliott still available, Dallas continues to excel.

Florio’s pick: Cowboys 20, Broncos 13.

Packers at Falcons
MDS’s take: The Falcons want to open their new stadium in style, but Aaron Rodgers is going to have a big game as the Packers pull off a road upset.

MDS’s pick: Packers 31, Falcons 27.

Florio’s take: For the second straight year, the Packers get the short straw when it comes to opening a new stadium. This year, they’ll make that futuristic change purse look more like a giant wedge of cheese.

Florio’s pick: Packers 30, Falcons 27.

Lions at Giants
MDS’s take: With Odell Beckham back, the Giants’ offense will turn things around after an ugly Week One performance.

MDS’s pick: Giants 28, Lions 20.

Florio’s take: The Giants aren’t as bad as they looked on Sunday night in Dallas (how could they be?), and the Lions aren’t as good as they looked on Sunday afternoon. If Detroit wants to be an elite franchise, this is the kind of game they need to win. I’m not yet ready to give them that label, given that we’ve seen them fail in many similar circumstances to deliver in a spot like this.

Florio’s pick: Giants 23, Lions 17.

CFL ending full-contact padded practices during the season, effective immediately

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The Canadian Football League and Canadian Football League Players’ Association have agreed to no longer allow full-contact padded practices during the season, according to Dave Naylor of TSN. The ban, which is effective immediately, could have ripple effects beyond the CFL.

CFL rules previously allowed for full-contact practices during training camp, plus an additional 17 days during the season. The new rule only prohibits full-contact padded practices in-season, with hitting still permitted in training camp.

The safety rule, which the CFL is expected to announce later Tuesday, came from several meetings between the CFLPA and new CFL commissioner Randy Ambrosie over the summer.

Per Naylor, the CFL also will announce an expansion of its regular season from 20 to 21 weeks, reducing the number of quick turnarounds between games. Teams now will have three byes instead of two, leaving the number of games each team plays at 18.

Cyrus Mehri hopes to change league’s discipline policy by 2018 if elected NFLPA leader

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Cyrus Mehri has a website, a platform and now a campaign to unseat DeMaurice Smith as the NFLPA’s executive director. But the civil rights attorney won’t know until mid-October whether he gets to challenge Smith for the job.

A 14-member selection committee and, if necessary, the 32-member board of player representatives gets to decide whether to sign Smith to a contract extension without a March election.

Thus, Mehri, who announced his candidacy last month, stopped in Dallas on Tuesday night for the first of a series of town hall meetings in NFL cities. Although no current players attended, Mike Singletary, Daryl Johnston and Mike Scooter McGruder were among a handful of former players who listened, took notes and asked questions of Mehri.

Mehri laid out his campaign promises.

“I have three major critiques,” Mehri said. “1. De forfeited hundreds of millions of dollars per year; 2. He gave the commissioner a blank check on discipline. The consequences of that is having a process that doesn’t have independence, doesn’t have checks and balances, that lacks credibility; 3. It was horrible for the players that he agreed to this deal for 10 years, which is pretty much unprecedented in labor agreements. A lousy deal for 10 years. It’s great for the owners, which is their franchises have more than doubled in value, while players are still being put down.”

Mehri said revamping the league’s discipline policy is among the initial items on his to-do list.

“If I’m elected, in the first hundred days, I’m going to sit down with the commissioner and top brass and reform this discipline system, so we’ll have checks and balances for when the 2018 season starts up,” said Mehri, who was instrumental in the league adopting the Rooney Rule. “My guiding light is this: What’s best for the game? . . . I’ve taken the word ‘concessions’ out of the dialogue, and all we’re going to be talking about is what’s best for the game. What’s best for the game is to reform that system. What’s also best for the game is to dramatically improve the resources particularly at the club level to deal with and minimize and prevent from happening some of these off-the-field issues. Issues of DUIs. Issues of drug abuse. Issues of domestic violence that have kept players from playing, and they’re also human tragedies. So if we really redouble or triple the effort on that, to me, that’s something labor and management should be on the same page on, which is prevention of problems.

“That’s the difference between me and the incumbent, because the incumbent’s relationship is so poisonous and so contentious [with the NFL] that they can’t be problem-solving, but problem-solving is focusing on prevention of these issues.”

Mehri proposes a “Talking Tuesday” session for players once a month, where they can discuss issues of importance to them. He proposes 60-man rosters, shortening the waiting period for a second contract and reducing the preseason to three games as well as the obvious of negotiating a new Collective Bargaining Agreement.

“There’s such a gap on the issue of guaranteed money between NFL players who have the highest risk and other sports leagues in this country,” Mehri said. “In our platform is a series of reforms that create pathways to get players into more guaranteed money. So item one is that right now you have to get to the second contract in years four or five. Well, we know there are superstars in this league that you don’t need to wait five years to know they’re superstars. Like Odell Beckham. Do we need to wait five years for that? So when the average NFL player career is three years I’m going to be trying to accelerate the second contract to be aligned with the average player career. Second, there’s a series of loopholes in the salary cap that prevent players from getting to the guaranteed money, so we’re going to try to address that. So there’s a whole series of economic changes. But No. 1, De Smith is going to keep this current agreement into 2021, and he’s saying there’s a virtual certainty there will be a work stoppage. What I’m saying is we’re going to negotiate in the spring of 2018, and we’re going to start tackling issues one at a time until we have a whole new CBA. But there might be some issues we can resolve and announce while we’re still negotiating the economics.”

Hall of Fame releases initial list of 108 nominees for Class of 2018

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The Pro Football Hall of Fame released an initial list of 108 nominees for the Class of 2018. Eleven first-year eligible players highlight the list, including receiver Randy Moss, linebackers Ray Lewis and Brian Urlacher and cornerback Ronde Barber.

The list includes 53 offensive players, 38 defensive players, five special teams players and 12 coaches.

The 48 selectors will reduce the list to 25 semifinalist with a mail-in ballot in November. In January, they will select 15 finalists to vote on the day before Super Bowl LII.

Fred Taylor, who went on Twitter rant this summer about not being nominated, was on the list for the first time in his three years of eligibility. Anyone, including fans or former players themselves, can nominate a player who has been retired for at least five years.

Here is the full list:

*Finalist in 2017; Italics indicates first year of eligibility.

(5) – Randall Cunningham, Rich Gannon, Donovan McNabb, Steve McNair, Phil Simms

(10) – Tiki Barber, Earnest Byner, Roger Craig, Corey Dillon, Eddie George, Edgerrin James, Lorenzo Neal, Fred Taylor, Herschel Walker (also KR), Ricky Watters

(13) – *Isaac Bruce, Donald Driver, Henry Ellard (also PR), Torry Holt, Chad Johnson, Randy Moss, *Terrell Owens, Sterling Sharpe, Jimmy Smith, Rod Smith, Steve Smith, John Taylor, Hines Ward

(4) – Mark Bavaro, Ben Coates, Ferrell Edmunds, Jay Novacek

(21) – Willie Anderson (T), Matt Birk (C), *Tony Boselli (T), Lomas Brown (T), Ruben Brown (G), Ray Donaldson (C), *Alan Faneca (G), Bill Fralic (G/T), Jay Hilgenberg (C), Chris Hinton (G/T), Kent Hull (C), Steve Hutchinson (G), *Joe Jacoby (T), Mike Kenn (T), *Kevin Mawae (C/G), Tom Nalen (C), Nate Newton (G), Bart Oates (C), Jeff Saturday (C), Richmond Webb (T), Steve Wisniewski (G)

(11) – La’Roi Glover (DT/NT), Leonard Marshall (DE/DT), Keith Millard (DT/NT/DE), Leslie O’Neal (DE), Michael Dean Perry (DT/DE), Simeon Rice (DE), Richard Seymour (DT), Neil Smith (DE), Greg Townsend (DE/NT/LB), Kyle Vanden Bosch (DE), Bryant Young (DT)

(15) – Carl Banks, Cornelius Bennett, Tedy Bruschi, Seth Joyner, Ray Lewis, Greg Lloyd, Wilber Marshall, Clay Matthews, Willie McGinest (also DE), Karl Mecklenburg, Sam Mills, Joey Porter, Darryl Talley, Zach Thomas, Brian Urlacher

(12) – Eric Allen (CB), Steve Atwater (S), Ronde Barber (CB/S), LeRoy Butler (S), *Brian Dawkins (SS), Rodney Harrison (S), *Ty Law (CB), Albert Lewis (CB), *John Lynch (S), Dennis Smith (S), Everson Walls (CB), Darren Woodson (S)

(3) – Gary Anderson (K), Sean Landeta (P), Nick Lowery (K)

(2) – Brian Mitchell (KR/PR also RB), Steve Tasker (ST also WR)

(12) – *Don Coryell, Bill Cowher, Tom Flores, Mike Holmgren, Jimmy Johnson, Chuck Knox, Buddy Parker, Richie Petitbon, Dan Reeves, Marty Schottenheimer, Clark Shaughnessy, Dick Vermeil

Week One power rankings

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1. Packers (1-0): Maybe the defense is finally fixed.

2. Raiders (1-0): Marshawn Lynch is still Marshawn Lynch.

3. Chiefs (1-0): Alex Smith is no longer Alex Smith.

4. Cowboys (1-0): Dak Prescott is Dak Prescott 2.0.

5. Patriots (0-1): How many points would the Patriots have surrendered if Bill Belichick wasn’t a genius?

6. Seahawks (0-1): If they can’t run the ball, they can’t win on the road.

7. Falcons (1-0): To cure their Super Bowl hangover, the Falcons nearly ended up swigging a little Super Bowl hair of the dog.

8. Steelers (1-0): When Le’Veon said “I’mma need 17,” was he talking about yards?

9. Lions (1-0): Opposing defenses will soon be trying to figure out how to kill Kenny.

10. Eagles (1-0): Carson Wentz >> Kirk Cousins.

11. Jaguars (1-0): All those up-downs triggered a down-up for the Jags.

12. Dolphins (0-0): Few teams have encountered more adversity without playing a single game that counts.

13. Ravens (1-0): Four years after “In Ozzie We Trust,” they can finally trust in Ozzie again.

14. Vikings (1-0): It only took them a decade to realize they had too many eggs in Adrian Peterson‘s basket.

15. Broncos (1-0): The offense built a lead, and then the offense tried to blow the lead. That should go over well with the defense.

16. Buccaneers (0-0): Given what the Bucs have endured the past week (and given the softening nature of training camp), they may want to re-think the title of the Hard Knocks series.

17. Panthers (1-0): Christian McCaffery’s “batteries” could be the best way to stave off Cam Newton‘s Kryptonite.

18. Rams (1-0): The Rams nearly scored one point for every fan in attendance.

19. Titans (0-1): The meat-and-potatoes Titans are too good for game-opening gimmicks like a surprise onside kick.

20. Bills (1-0): It was just the Jets.

21. Cardinals (0-1): If the Cardinals lost their swagger last year in a Week One loss to the Patriots, what did the Cardinals lose this year in Detroit? (Beyond their star running back.)

22. Chargers (0-1): New city, same position in the AFC West standings.

23. Bears (0-1): There are no moral victories — except when there were only three actual victories a year ago.

24. Giants (0-1): Time for OBJ to get PĀD.

25. Washington (0-1): It’s good they have Scot McCloughan to fix the problems on the roster oh wait.

26. Saints (0-1): It looks like that string of three straight 7-9 seasons will indeed be broken.

27. Browns (0-1): For one day in September, the Factory of Sadness generated a batch of Sadness Lite.

28. Texans (0-1): Get used to the bottom five, until Duane Brown is among the top five among all offensive linemen salaries.

29. Bengals (0-1): Maybe we now know why they resisted trading A.J. McCarron.

30. Jets (0-1): When the Jets play in Oakland on Sunday, New York fans will be rooting for the CBS feed to switch to Heidi.

31. 49ers (0-1): The 49ers nearly scored one point for every fan in attendance.

32. Colts (0-1): Andrew Luck should refuse to play until he’s healthy enough to play . . . for another team.

Cyrus Mehri begins meeting with players with first stop in Dallas

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In his bid for executive director of the NFLPA, attorney Cyrus Mehri will hold his first town hall meeting with NFL players Tuesday night in Dallas. It’s part of his attempt to win over players in his challenge to DeMaurice Smith.

John Wooten, chairman of the Fritz Pollard Alliance, and former Cowboys player Bill Bates are among the former NFL players expected at the meeting.

“Every day we’re going to be fighting for players to have a choice, and to be able to determine their own destiny,” Mehri said Monday while stumping in Dallas. “There’s so much at stake in this election, because whoever wins gets to decide the next Collective Bargaining Agreement. Having a choice really matters when you can compare visions and platforms. I have a vision statement and a platform that’s on our website, and I haven’t heard any vision statement or platform from De Smith.”

Mehri, a civil rights lawyer who has won settlements for workers in discrimination cases against Coca-Cola and Texaco, has unveiled what he calls an “owner accountability campaign.” He insists he can get a fairer CBA without a work stoppage through consistent communication with Commissioner Roger Goodell and NFL owners.

“His playbook is very limited,” Mehri said of Smith. “He’s now calling for a work stoppage four years down the road, which poses no threat at all to the NFL. Entering into a 10-year agreement with no opt-out rights enriches the owners, but doesn’t allow the players to either get a fair racket on the deal or to get out of some of these bad provisions. He’s let the owners get away with larceny.”

The NFLPA election is March 2018.

NFL releases statement after continued problems with Canadian streaming effort

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The NFL’s new streaming effort in Canada continued to encounter problems Sunday. The Toronto Sun called DAZN’s attempt at a live broadcast of the Thursday night game as “a disaster.”

Time delays and audio and video quality were among complaints of the DAZN stream, which has replaced the RedZone and Sunday Ticket packages from cable and satellite in Canada for all live broadcasts.

Michael Markovich, the NFL’s Vice President of International Media and Business, released a statement Monday, via John Kryk of the Sun: “We are aware of the issues that our fans may have faced this past week/weekend and apologize for the inadequate service. We are absolutely committed to working with DAZN to provide fans with the NFL experience they deserve. We are urgently assessing the information and data from the weekend, as well as closely monitoring tonight’s Monday Night Football double-header. With a full weekend of games behind us, we will then define the right next steps to best serve our Canadian fans.”

Matthew Stafford was money, and more Week One observations


I wasn’t sold on the Lions’ decision to make Matthew Stafford the highest-paid quarterback in the NFL. Salary cap space is the most precious resource in the NFL, and when the Lions decided to devote more cap space over the next five years than any other team has devoted to any other player, I thought that was the kind of move that will have them unable to build a 53-man roster that can compete week in and week out.

Stafford has now played one game under that new contract, far too small a sample size to come to any definitive conclusions. But I must confess that he turned in exactly the kind of performance he’s going to need to make week in and week out to be worth that contract.

Despite throwing a pick-six on his first play of the season, Stafford was very good on Sunday against the Cardinals, finishing with 292 yards, four touchdowns and no more turnovers after that early interception. Stafford even picked up a big first down with a 15-yard run, and he was sacked only once despite the Lions’ offensive line being without starting left tackle Taylor Decker. He led the way as the Lions beat the Cardinals 35-23.

So can the Lions count on that kind of game from Stafford to become the norm? He certainly has a knack for leading the team to comeback wins: Last year the Lions won an NFL-record eight games that they trailed in the fourth quarter, and yesterday they had another fourth-quarter comeback, going from a 17-9 deficit to a 35-17 lead in less than 15 minutes of playing time. Still, I think Stafford needs to stop making those mistakes that give the Lions an early deficit before I’m ready to change my mind about the wisdom of the Lions signing him to that enormous contract.

After one week of the 2017 season, Stafford looks like he’s worth the money. Let’s see if we still feel that way in a few years.

Here are my other thoughts on Sunday’s games:

Sean McVay was my coach of the day. The Rams were just plain awful last year, averaging just 14 points a game, by far the worst in the NFL. And Jared Goff was the worst quarterback in the NFL, averaging just 155 passing yards a game. Yesterday, in McVay’s first game as the Rams’ head coach, they beat the Colts 46-9, and Goff totaled 306 passing yards despite not throwing much in the second half after L.A. jumped out to a big lead. Meanwhile, in Washington — the place McVay left to take the Rams job — the offense struggled mightily, turning the ball over four times in a 30-17 loss to the Eagles. The 31-year-old McVay is an offensive wunderkind, and he’s off to a great start in his first head-coaching job.

Tony Romo was my announcer of the day. I was thoroughly impressed with Romo in his broadcasting debut. He calls the game like the quarterback he was, identifying aspects of the defensive alignment and telling viewers what the quarterback is looking for. I loved seeing him circle a Titans defensive back and hearing him explain that that was who Raiders quarterback Derek Carr was keying on as he scanned the field — all before the ball was snapped. CBS took a chance on making Romo, who had never worked in broadcasting, its No. 1 analyst. But it appears that risk is going to pay off.

J.J. Watt had my quote of the day. After suffering a hand injury but continuing to play in yesterday’s loss to the Jaguars, Watt said afterward, “I felt fine. I messed up my finger a little bit, but other than that my body felt fine. Just busted the bone through the skin. Nothing bad, just tape it up.”

Thursday night’s game may be ugly. The Texans play the Bengals this week on Thursday Night Football, and that means we may see the two worst offenses in the league facing off. Cincinnati got shut out 20-0 by Baltimore, while Houston lost 29-7 to Jacksonville. With a Thursday night game like that, the NFL is going to have a hard time changing the perception that Thursday Night Football games are the worst games of the week. Said Bengals coach Marvin Lewis of his team’s performance yesterday, “I don’t know if I’ve ever been in such a disappointing football game.” Here’s hoping we don’t get just as disappointing a football game on Thursday night.

Kevin White is star-crossed. It’s hard not to feel bad for White, the Bears receiver who is expected to miss the rest of the season after suffering yet another injury yesterday. White, the seventh overall pick in the 2015 NFL draft, has played in just five games and caught just 21 passes in his NFL career. Assuming he’s out the rest of this year, he’ll have missed 43 games to injuries through three NFL seasons.

Aaron Rodgers is the master of the free play. No quarterback has ever been as good as Rodgers at taking shots deep downfield when the defense commits a penalty. He’s a wizard at it. As soon as a Seahawk jumped offside in the third quarter on Sunday, Rodgers launched the ball toward the end zone, where Jordy Nelson ran under it for a 32-yard touchdown. When the opponents make a mistake like that against Rodgers, he makes them pay.

The Colts are a terrible franchise masquerading as a good franchise. Think back about how terrible the Colts were before they drafted Peyton Manning. Then think back about how terrible they were when Manning got hurt and missed a full season, allowing them to draft Andrew Luck. And now look at how terrible they were in yesterday’s loss to the Rams with Luck hurt. For the Colts to go into this season with no one better than Scott Tolzien to quarterback their team was beyond stupid. The Colts happened to have the No. 1 overall pick when Manning and Luck — the two best quarterback prospects of the last 30 years — entered the NFL draft. If not for those two No. 1 overall picks, we’d probably think about the Colts the same way we think about the Browns.