Terrance Williams in for Cowboys; Deone Bucannon out for Cardinals

Getty Images

The Cardinals won’t have linebacker Deone Bucannon, who remains out with an ankle injury. He was among the team’s inactives.

Tight end Jermaine Gresham, who has a rib injury, is active. The Cardinals, though, promoted Ricky Seals-Jones from the practice squad earlier Monday in case Gresham is limited.

The Cardinals’ other inactives are: quarterback Blaine Gabbert, wide receiver John Brown (quad), running back D.J. Foster, offensive tackle D.J. Humphries (knee), offensive guard Mike Iupati (triceps) and defensive lineman Xavier Williams.

The Cowboys will have wide receiver Terrance Williams, who was questionable with an ankle injury, and wide receiver Brice Butler, who was questionable with an ankle injury.

Their inactives are: quarterback Cooper Rush, running back Darren McFadden, cornerback Nolan Carroll (concussion), cornerback Chidobe Awuzie (hamstring), linebacker Anthony Hitchens (knee), offensive guard Jonathan Cooper and defensive end Charles Tapper.

Jerry Hughes “disappointed” in Jim Kelly

AP

Bills defensive end Jerry Hughes wasn’t happy about Jim Kelly’s public criticism of the team’s players who knelt during the national anthem Sunday. Indeed, Hughes criticized Kelly for criticizing the Bills.

“I was very disappointed in him,” Hughes said, via quotes distributed by the team. “I was very disappointed in how he approached the whole situation. Our team came together and we united as a front, as an organization on how we were going to approach the national anthem. If Jim was going to do what he did, then he should have came to the team and let us know his feelings. He should have let us know how he was going to do the national anthem, because we didn’t know he was going to be there from a team perspective.

“So for him to carry on in this manner, I’m really confused, and I’m really upset, because if this is something how he felt and if this was something that truly was how he felt and was on his heart, he should have came to the team and he should have approached that instead of making this a public matter, and doing that on his social page. It was not cool, very unacceptable, and if he has things to say about us as a team, come talk to us.”

The Hall of Famer stood on the sideline with his right hand over his heart, his left arm raised with his Bills hat in hand, according to Mike Rodak of ESPN. Kelly later posted on Instagram that he would only kneel to pray, and wrote he hoped the Bills would “STAND” with locked arms next week.

Hughes wondered aloud why Kelly is on the sideline before games.

“I’m not sure I understand it,” Hughes said. “We are the 2017 Buffalo Bills. We’re focused on the future. We’re focused on winning games. If he wants to offer anything of encouragement to our team, to our quarterbacks, to our offense, please provide all of that. We could use all the encouragement we need to figure out how they won games back in those days and be successful as they were. We’re trying to bring a team together; we’re trying to bring the community together; we’re trying to bring a nation together. By dividing us, by dividing the team, that doesn’t work.”

Bills coach Sean McDermott said he has no plans to talk to Kelly, the face of the organization, adding the team will continue to welcome the former quarterback on the sideline.

In a radio interview Monday morning, Kelly singled out running back LeSean McCoy, who stretched his legs while protesting during the national anthem.

“I like LeSean McCoy, don’t get me wrong, but I totally, 100 percent, I disagree with what he did,” Kelly told 97 Rock in Buffalo, via Rodak. “You want to kneel? Fine. But when you go and do what he did yesterday, that sort of bummed me out. And I lost a lot of respect for him. . . . You want to kneel? That’s your prerogative. I would never do that. I will always stand. Thank the good Lord for everything I got. But when you disrespect the way he did and just go by his everyday duty in the national anthem being sung? Uh-uh. I won’t go for that.”

McCoy was not made available to reporters Monday.

Browns building to win later, with a long road still ahead

AP

Browns fans have heard this before: Their team, with the league’s youngest roster, are a work in progress. They were reminded of that yet again Sunday when the Browns lost to the Colts 31-28 to drop to 0-3.

Hue Jackson has a 1-18 record since taking over as head coach, and the Browns have lost 20 of their last 21 games.

It begs the question: While building for the future, do the Browns have any hope of winning now?

“I think this team can,” Jackson said Monday, via Mary Kay Cabot of the Cleveland Plain Dealer. “I think we’ve got to do some things better and work a little bit harder in making sure that we do some of the detailed things right.

“That question that you just asked, that’s something that you’ve got to talk to [Browns Executive Vice President of Football Operations Sashi Brown] about, and the executive team.”

The Browns lost key veterans Terrelle Pryor and Joe Haden, and youth is being served with the likes of 2016 draft picks Ricardo Louis and Rashard Higgins.

Jackson was asked if he would urge the front office to find some Pro Bowl-caliber veterans like Jamie Collins before the trade deadline Oct. 31.

“My job is to coach the guys that are here, with our football staff, and that’s what we’re going to do,” said Jackson. “I’m sure that our executive team is scouring everywhere, looking at who could potentially help our football team. That’s what they do, so I’m sure that’s being done.”

The Browns may have found a quarterback as Jackson seems excited about DeShone Kizer. Kizer, though, lacks playmakers around him. Louis, Kenny Britt and Higgins caught a combined six of 22 targets, with the Browns’ receiving corps dropping eight passes, according to Cabot.

Vontaze Burfict is back

Getty Images

His three-game suspension has ended; Bengals linebacker Vontaze Burfict is back.

The banishment, arising from a preseason hit on Chiefs fullback Anthony Sherman, ended after Sunday’s loss to the Packers. Burfict rejoins the Bengals with a roster exemption that expires on Thursday at 4:00 p.m. ET.

The exemption allows the Bengals to carry 54 players on the roster for three days. Burfict is immediately eligible to practice and to play. The 0-3 Bengals face the 0-3 Browns on Sunday.

Further violations of on-field safety rules surely will result in further suspensions for Burfict. He received a three-game suspension after an illegal hit on Steelers receiver Antonio Brown in the 2015 postseason. The league office initially imposed a five-game suspension for the hit on Sherman, but hearing office James Thrash reduced it to three.

Packers sign LS Taybor Pepper, place Brett Goode on IR

Getty Images

The Packers signed long snapper Taybor Pepper on Monday after placing Brett Goode on injured reserve.

Goode, the Packers long snapper for 10 seasons, has a hamstring injury. He also ended 2015 on injured reserve.

Pepper spent part of the offseason with the Packers and part of training camp with the Baltimore Ravens. He was a four-year long snapper at Michigan State, appearing in 54 career games from 2012-15.

Pepper, 23, has never played in a regular-season game.

Packers say David Bakhtiari, Randall Cobb, Mike Daniels would have practiced Monday

Getty Images

The advent of weekly games on Thursday night has led to the existence of the Monday practice report for teams that will be playing a few days later.

Most teams in that position don’t actually practice on Monday because they played a game on Sunday, which means the participation levels listed on the report are an estimation of what players would have done in an actual practice. The Packers’ estimation of their own imaginary practice brought some good news for several players who didn’t take part in Sunday’s overtime win over the Bengals.

Left tackle David Bakhtiari (hamstring), wide receiver Randall Cobb (chest), defensive tackle Mike Daniels (hip), safety Kentrell Brice (groin), linebacker Nick Perry (hand) and linebacker Jake Ryan (hamstring, concussion) all sat out the game after missing practice all of last week, but they were listed as limited participants on Monday’s report. Defensive tackle Quinton Dial (chest) and running back Ty Montgomery (wrist) were in the same category.

Getting Bakhtiari back would help an offensive line that struggled in pass protection on Sunday, but right tackle Bryan Bulaga (ankle) and backup Kyle Murphy (foot), who has started in place of both Bakhtiari and Bulaga this year, were listed as not participating. Cornerback Davon House (quadricep) was listed along with them after not playing on Sunday.

The Packers will face the Bears, who won’t have safety Quintin Demps after he broke his forearm against the Steelers. Linebacker Nick Kwiatkoski (chest) was listed as a non-participant after missing Sunday’s game while center Hroniss Grasu (hand) and guard Josh Sitton (ribs) were listed as limited.

Both teams will hold actual practices on Tuesday.

Andrew Luck could practice this week but won’t play

AP

Andrew Luck will not play this week, Colts coach Chuck Pagano said Monday.

While cautioning he isn’t guaranteeing anything, Pagano confirmed it’s a “possibility” Luck practices this week.

The Colts quarterback continues to make progress in his rehab.

“He’s doing well,” Pagano said, via Mike Chappell of Fox59/CBS4.

Luck has not practiced since offseason shoulder surgery. He has missed 13 games the past three seasons with injuries.

Ian Rapoport of NFL Media reported Sunday that Luck could make his 2017 debut in the Colts’ game against the Titans in Week Six.

Brent Urban out long-term with Lisfranc injury

Getty Images

The Ravens defense will have to bounce back from their 44-7 loss to the Jaguars without the help of defensive end Brent Urban.

Urban left Sunday’s game in London with a foot injury and coach John Harbaugh gave a negative update on his condition Monday. Harbaugh said that Urban suffered a Lisfranc injury and characterized his absence as a long-term one.

Based on that, it seems likely that Urban will go on injured reserve. He will join 15 other players on that list, including recent additions like running back Danny Woodhead and guard Marshal Yanda.

Urban, who joined the Ravens as a 2014 fourth-round pick, started all three games for the Ravens this year. He had four tackles in those appearances and has 25 tackles and three sacks over the course of his career. It’s the third serious injury in four years for Urban after he tore his ACL before his rookie season started and tore his biceps the next year.

Ford and Nike support player protest rights

Getty Images

To the extent that those who oppose the ability of NFL players to peacefully protest during the national anthem hope to influence sponsors to pressure the league and the players, two major sponsors are standing firm.

Via SportsBusiness Daily, Ford and Nike have issued statements of support.

Said Ford: “We respect individuals’ rights to express their views, even if they are not ones we share. That’s part of what makes America great.” Also, “Nike supports athletes and their right to freedom of expression on issues that are of great importance to our society.”

As noted by SBD, various other major sponsors have said nothing on the matter, including Visa, Microsoft, McDonald’s, Bridgestone, Pepsi, and A-B InBev.

 

Belichick: “One of the greatest things” about coaching is the diversity of people

Getty Images

Before Sunday’s game against the Texans, many players on the Patriots took a knee during the playing of the national anthem which led to a question for Patriots coach Bill Belichick about his reaction to how the team handled the issue this weekend.

Belichick responded by saying that he was only going to talk about the game, but would “deal with that later.” On Monday, Belichick released a statement that didn’t mention the anthem, protests or President Trump, but showed support for the way his players conduct and represent themselves.

“I have immense respect and admiration for our players, for how they conduct themselves professionally as New England Patriots and for how they represent themselves, their families and community as men.  I have coached football for over four decades and one of the greatest things about being in this environment is the diversity of people, backgrounds, viewpoints and relationships we are fortunate to experience.  As with any large group of people, there is a variety of perspectives and opinions on many topics.  Discussions occur between myself, individual players, groups and the entire team on an ongoing basis.  They concern the team and other issues surrounding the team.  I am going to keep the specifics of those conversations private.  I will do what I feel is best for the team in my role as head coach and collectively, we will work together to find the best way to proceed.”

If the past is any guide, one of the ways Belichick will proceed is by keeping his public commentary on football matters now that he’s released this statement.

Colts waive wide receiver Matt Hazel

Getty Images

The Colts waived wide receiver Matt Hazel on Monday. He played four offensive snaps and eight on special teams Sunday.

The Colts originally claimed Hazel off waivers from Washington on Sept. 3. He played three offensive snaps in the season opener, catching one pass for 1 yard, before the team released him.

He re-signed last week.

Hazel has appeared in seven career games, with one start, in his time with the Colts (2017), Redskins (2016), Bills (2016) and Dolphins (2014-15). Hazel originally was selected by the Dolphins in the sixth round of the 2014 draft out of Coastal Carolina.

Better late than never, Jerry Richardson issues a statement

Getty Images

Panthers owner Jerry Richardson was conspicuously silent, as nearly every other owner in the league issued some degree of statement following Donald Trump’s remarks over the weekend.

And now that he finally has, he would like to ask us all to please stick to sports.

“We are proud of the men we have on this football team,” Richardson said. “Our players have been active and impactful participants in making our community stronger. From the first time I stepped into an NFL locker room at Memorial Stadium in Baltimore in 1959, I have lived and seen the sport’s ability to bring people of all backgrounds together.

“Politicizing the game is damaging and takes the focus off the greatness of the game itself and those who play it.”

Richardson played for the Colts, and is the only owner to have played in the league. And if he had noticed at some point in the years since, the game has been politicized for many years. From wrapping itself in red, white, and blue bunting to celebrate veterans in November, or military flyovers, the league has been a marketing tool for one view or another for some time.

Most recently, it was politicized by the President of the United States, who said owners should fire any “son of a bitch” who protested during the anthem.

Panthers defensive end Julius Peppers was the only player to make a peep yesterday, staying in the locker room while the rest of the team stood at attention as coach Ron Rivera asked them to.

And the idea might not have been Rivera’s alone.

49ers place Tank Carradine on injured reserve

Getty Images

After defensive end Tank Carradine went down with a high ankle sprain in last Thursday’s loss to the Rams, 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan said that the team had to decide whether or not to put him on injured reserve.

They made the call on Monday and announced that Carradine has indeed been placed on injured reserve. He’ll be eligible to be designated for return after spending six weeks on the list.

Carradine started two of the 49ers’ first three games and has seven tackles and a sack on the year. First-round pick Solomon Thomas, Aaron Lynch and Elvis Dumervil join Arik Armstead as options at defensive end with Carradine out of action.

The 49ers filled Carradine’s roster spot by signing linebacker Mark Nzeocha off the Cowboys practice squad. Nzeocha was a seventh-round pick in 2015 and had four tackles in seven games for Dallas over the last two seasons.

OBJ gets to 300 catches faster than anyone else

AP

It took Odell Beckham Jr. a little while to get going this year, but he’s done enough to make history.

With nine catches on Sunday against the Eagles, Beckham has 301 in 45 career games. This means that, according to the NFL, Beckham has reached 300 receptions in fewer games than any other player in league history.

Anquan Boldin got to 300 receptions in 47 games.

With 301 receptions in 45 appearances, Beckham has averaged 6.68 catches per game. He added a pair of touchdowns on Sunday, along with one celebration that included the miming of a canine creating yellow snow.

 

Report: Some Cowboys planning protest tonight

AP

The Cowboys have not had a player join the national anthem protest since Colin Kaepernick became a face of the movement last season. That will change tonight, according to Clarence Hill of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

Not every player might participate, according to Hill, but at least some will.

“It’s not going to be business as usual,” a player told Hill. “[President Trump] crossed a line. Something will be done.”

Cowboys coach Jason Garrett said Saturday he did not expect any of his players to protest. That, though, came before Sunday’s outpouring of protests around the league. Some teams linked arms. Some stayed in the locker room for the national anthem. Some had individual players take a knee.

Garrett has made it clear he likes his team to stand during the national anthem.

“The national anthem is sacred. Our flag is sacred. And our team has demonstrated that,” Garrett said last month.

According to the Dallas Morning News, only five other teams — the Cardinals, Bears, Vikings, Bengals and Jets — have not had a player protest by kneeling, sitting or raising a fist during the pregame anthem the past two seasons.

The Cowboys remain one of only two teams not to issue some sort of statement, though one could come closer to game time tonight. (A Panthers spokesman said owner Jerry Richardson would not make a statement.)

UPDATE 4:15 P.M.: Panthers owner Jerry Richardson issued a statement this afternoon, leaving the Cowboys as the only team not to issue one.