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Pete Carroll is coy about Marshawn Lynch’s availability

Marshawn Lynch AP

The Seahawks get an extra day to get running back Marshawn Lynch on the field due to a cocktail of injuries that limited his availability on Sunday — and that resulted in an MRI on his hamstring.

Like most prudent coaches, Pete Carroll won’t be offering anything until he has to.

“Not at this point,” Carroll said Thursday when asked whether he knows if Lynch will be able to play on Monday night against the Lions. “It’s going to take us all week to figure out and see how he is.”

In other words, check the injury reports. There’s a chance folks will be checking the injury reports regarding Lynch, who didn’t practice on Thursday, for a while.

“We’ll just wait and see,” Carroll said regarding whether it could be a long-term problem for Lynch. “We don’t need to make any big declarations right now. We’ll just wait and gather information right now. I know he wants to play and he’s determined to try to do that, so we’ll just see. . . . It may go all the way to game day.”

If Lynch can’t go, the Seahawks feel pretty good about undrafted rookie Thomas Rawls, who ran for 104 yards against the Bears on 16 carries. As Carroll tells it, he felt pretty good about Rawls in April, as the draft approached.

“I loved the way he finished plays,” Carroll said regarding Rawls. “He had good quickness, he got in the open field, but the way he finished he was very aggressive. He almost was a heat-seeking missile to find guys that were after him. That demonstrated to me a nature about him that I thought was unique, and I liked it more than anybody I saw in the draft. He was my favorite guy for being the aggressive tough guy, and running at people because you can’t make everyone miss in this league. You’re going to get in to those situations, you’re going to have to face guys up and he’s got a way about him. Just look at the first run he broke out, right in front of our bench, he took a couple of guys on and went after it. That’s built into him. I really like that. I think we always appreciate the tough running style Marshawn has given us for years, so Thomas fits that mold a little bit.”

So why didn’t they use a draft pick on Rawls, since they burned a fourth-rounder in 2012 on Robert Turbin and a second-rounder in 2013 on Christine Michael?

“Well, just, [G.M.] John [Schneider] knew how it was going to go,” Carroll said. “He calculated that we’d have a shot, we thought about it. That’s his sense for the guy, [he] would be available then. So we went after him immediately after the draft so we could get him.”

It may have been the best move the Seahawks have made since snagging Russell Wilson in round three. And it could finally give the Seahawks a successor to Lynch.

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Bart Scott tees off on “cornball” Tom Brady

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - DECEMBER 12:  Bart Scott #57 of the New York Jets reacts the Miami Dolphins at New Meadowlands Stadium on December 12, 2010 in East Rutherford, New Jersey.  (Photo by Nick Laham/Getty Images) Getty Images

Former NFL linebacker Bart Scott is having a hard time setting aside his biases in his current job as an NFL analyst. It makes for #hottaeks, but it may not make his current employer happy.

Scott, who last week said he’s rooting for Eagles coach Chip Kelly to lose every game, sounded off this week on Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, initially by comparing him to Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger.

“Ben is a guy who can come sit at a table with any group on that team,” Scott said, via “He can go sit with the D-linemen, ‘What up Ben?’ He’s like one of us. He had a defensive mentality. He has a tough guy mentality. There’s nothing tough about Tom Brady. The toughest thing about Tom Brady is his chin because it has the dimple in it, which is characteristic of most superheroes.”

Scott also called Brady a “cornball,” making fun of him for looking “like a dork” when trying to give high fives.

“You’ve seen him dance, he’s a cornball,” Scott said. “It’s fine, he’s a cornball that was a sixth-round draft pick that became maybe the best quarterback in the history of football and he has a hot wife. He has a great life and he has a bunch of hardware. That’s great. But does that not make you a cornball? No, he’s still a cornball. I’m sure his teammates tell him he’s a cornball. It’s fine, there’s nothing wrong with being a cornball.”

Like Brady or dislike him, we should all aspire to be that type of a cornball in football or any other line of work. In fact, many of the people who don’t like Brady feel that way because of the success he’s had.

So if being the guy Brady has become comes with being a “cornball,” a “dork,” and/or not “tough,” plenty of non-cornball, non-dorky, tough guys would sign up for that, immediately.

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Jason Babin active for the Ravens

New York Jets v Buffalo Bills Getty Images

For the first time, Jason Babin is suiting up for the Ravens tonight.

Babin, the veteran pass rusher who has been inactive for the first three weeks of the season, is active for the Ravens. He’ll be tasked with rushing Steelers quarterback Michael Vick, as Ben Roethlisberger is, of course, inactive for the Steelers.

The Steelers’ other inactives are Cortez Allen, Ryan Shazier, Daniel McCullers, Anthony Chickillo, Jesse James and Matt Spaeth.

The Ravens’ inactives are Breshad Perriman, Tray Walker, Rashaan Melvin, Eugene Monroe, Christo Bilukidi, Crockett Gillmore and Chris Canty.

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Wade Phillips praises Adrian Peterson, plans to be physical with him

Donald Butler, Adrian Peterson AP

On Sunday, Broncos defensive coordinator Wade Phillips will match wits with Vikings offensive coordinator Norv Turner. With a guy like Adrian Peterson on the roster for Minnesota, there could be less matching of wits and more smashing of faces.

“He is physical,” Phillips told reporters on Thursday. “We’ve got to play physical, too. We think we’re physical, too. That’s why you play the games.”

Phillips sees Peterson as one of the best tailbacks to ever play the game.

“He’s in that Hall of Fame class,” Phillips said. “I was lucky to be around Earl Campbell when he started and he’s the same kind of runner. He’s so powerful and so fast. He’s the leading rusher in the league right now. He didn’t play last year and he only made 30 yards in the first game. That just shows you what he can do.”

For Turner, the question becomes when he’ll give the ball to Peterson, and when Turner will instead dial up play-action passes. In Week One, Turner did too much of the latter — and lost. In Week Two and Week Three, Turner opted for the former, and they won both games.

At some point, Turner and the Vikings will need more than rushing attempts to prevail. That could start this weekend in Denver.

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Matt Hasselbeck says he’s ready if Andrew Luck can’t go

Matt Hasselbeck AP

At age 40, Colts backup quarterback Matt Hasselbeck is the oldest non-kicker in the NFL, and he hasn’t started a game in three years. But if Andrew Luck’s right shoulder injury keeps him out this week, Hasselbeck says he feels confident that he can fill in.

“If necessary, I will be ready to go,” Hasselbeck said today, via ESPN.

That’s not a scenario the Colts want to envision. For all that Luck has struggled this season, the Colts want to see him start playing better, not see him stand on the sideline while Hasselbeck plays.

Fortunately, Colts coach Chuck Pagano says he’s confident that Luck can play, even though his shoulder has limited him in practice. Hasselbeck may think he’s ready, but the Colts would rather not have to find out.

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PFT on NBCSN gets you ready for Thursday night’s game

cd0ymzcznguwzdbhnduynddiytjhm2yyzthlmtjjotqwyyznptk2mzy2yznimmfinzmxzjkxymrhngi2zjkxm2vhmdc5 AP

It’s Thursday. It soon will be night. Which means it’s time for Thursday night football. Which also means it’s time for Pro Football Talk on NBCSN to get you ready for Ravens-Steelers.

You can help us get you ready for Ravens-Steelers by answering the poll question. It’s a simple question. Who wins?

We’ll provide a longer answer during the show, at which time we’ll give long answers and short answers and in-between answers about all sorts of things happening in the NFL, including what’s wrong with the Denver running game, the Miami defense, and the Detroit offense.

Tune in at 6:00 p.m. ET for the 30-minute edition of the show. Please.

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Bowles calls London a business trip, players can sightsee in the offseason

Todd Bowles AP

With his team in London this week, Jets coach Todd Bowles wants to make clear that the British Museum and Buckingham Palace can wait.

Asked today if he wants his team to enjoy London, Bowles scoffed.

“They’ve got enough money, they can make it in the offseason,” Bowles said with a laugh. “They will be OK, they will be alright. They get a little bit of free time, they can do their tour. We’re on a business trip. [If] they want to go back in the offseason, hey, have at it.”

The one thing Bowles is interested in checking out is Wembley Stadium’s playing surface, which has sometimes had players slipping and sliding. Bowles said he’s eager for the players to get a feel for the grass during their walkthrough practice.

“When we check it out, I’ll get a better feel for it. I’ve heard that it comes up a little bit and it’s a little soggy,” Bowles said.

The playing surface is always a concern in London. The players enjoying themselves is of no concern to Bowles.

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Doug Martin out of practice after hurting knee Wednesday

Jadeveon Clowney, Doug Martin AP

The Buccaneers had an unexpected addition to their inactive list at Thursday’s practice when running back Doug Martin sat out after practicing on Wednesday.

The reason for Martin’s absence wasn’t immediately known, but coach Lovie Smith gave an update when he spoke to reporters later in the day. Smith said that Martin injured his knee during Wednesday’s practice and suggested the team held him out for precautionary reasons.

Should be OK,” Smith said, via Greg Auman of the Tampa Bay Times.

Martin has run 46 times for 176 yards in the first three weeks of the season. The 3.8 yards per carry are in line with what Martin managed while playing in 17 games over the last two injury-plagued seasons. If Smith’s prediction about Martin’s status proves incorrect, Charles Sims, who has 61 rushing yards and 78 receiving yards so far this year, would step into a larger role against the Panthers.

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NFL considering Ford Field as alternate site for NFC East clash

Ford Field AP

With the NFL evaluating contingencies for the hurricane and/or bad weather that’s headed for the East Coast, one of them is an old stand-by.

According to Albert Breer of the NFL Network, one thing the league is considering for Sunday’s Washington-Philadelphia game is moving it to Detroit.

The Lions are in Seattle this weekend, and Ford Field has served as an emergency host before.

In 2010, a blizzard in Minnesota sent a Giants-Vikings game there, and last year’s Jets-Bills game was played there because of a massive snowstorm in Buffalo.

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Jay Cutler says he’s “day-to-day” with hamstring injury

Bears Cardinals AP

Bears quarterback Jay Cutler was a limited participant in practice for the second straight day on Thursday, but he isn’t ready to make any predictions about whether his hamstring will feel well enough for him to return to the lineup against the Raiders this Sunday.

Cutler called himself “day-to-day” on Thursday and said that the team has a “couple of days” left to make a decision about whether Cutler or Jimmy Clausen will get the nod against Oakland. Cutler also discussed the mental aspect of worrying about a setback when coming back from a hamstring injury.

“If you do come back on a hamstring earlier than you want to, it’s definitely going to be in the back of your mind because there’s that slight pull,” Cutler said, via the Chicago Sun-Times. “It’s an instinctual game out there. You’re doing things on the run without thinking. To have to worry about a hamstring and moving around is something that can weigh on you.”

There’s not much there to create confidence that Cutler is going to be in the lineup in Week Four. The Bears will be in Kansas City in Week Five.

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Eagles apparently reverse course on Washington name


On Wednesday, it appeared that the Philadelphia Eagles had quietly stopped using the nickname of the NFL team in Washington. It now appears that the Eagles have quietly resumed using it again.

The front page of the official Eagles website now contains on the right rail an ad that uses the name of the Washington team. Likewise, a Facebook post that previously trumpeted “Eagles at Washington” has been revised to use both teams’ nicknames. And a Twitter post that contained an invitation to watch or listen to “Eagles vs. Washington” has been deleted.

So either Jimmy Graham is running the Eagles’ Twitter page, or the Eagles have reversed course.

PFT has sent three requests for comment to the Eagles about the situation. The team has not yet responded.

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Ravens WR Perriman has more surgery, out indefinitely

Breshad Perriman AP

Ravens wide receiver Breshad Perriman aggravated his knee injury before last weekend’s game, NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported, and is out indefinitely after having arthroscopic surgery this week.

Rapoport reported that Perriman reinjured his PCL and that Dr. James Andrews did the surgery.

Earlier this week, Ravens coach John Harbaugh told reporters he was unaware of Perriman having a setback.

Perriman, a first-round pick last spring, was injured early in training camp and though he was cleared for a limited return to the field in late August he didn’t play in the preseason and is awaiting his NFL debut. Though Steve Smith Sr. has more than 300 receiving yards over the last two weeks, the 0-3 Ravens are still looking for playmakers to complement him.

Smith has 25 receptions on the season, more than twice the number any of his teammates have through three games.

The Ravens play Thursday night in Pittsburgh without starting tight end Crockett Gillmore, who left last week’s loss to the Bengals with a calf injury. The team had previously ruled Perriman out for the game.

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Kaepernick can be salvaged, and here’s how to do it

Colin Kaepernick AP

In this age of overreactions and gleefully tearing down those we’ve built up, many have declared that 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick is done.

He’s not. At least not yet.

The guy has talent; it’s undeniable. But the 49ers need to use him in a way that maximizes those talents and minimizes his flaws.

Kaepernick bears some of the blame. His desire to change who he is by working on becoming a pocket passer and trying to consciously take some of the speed off of his fastball has made him too conscious at times of how forcefully he’s throwing the ball. Kaepernick needs to just deliver the pass and let the receivers figure out how to catch it; that’s their job.

The offensive linemen need to do their jobs better, too. All too often against the Steelers in Week Two, Kaepernick faced a swarm of defenders before he could even begin to figure out what to do. They need to give him enough time to make a decision on whether to throw or to run.

And he should be encouraged to run. But for a Sean-Taylor-on-Brian-Moorman-style hit that Kaepernick absorbed from Vikings safety Harrison Smith, Kaepernick has been able to protect himself, getting to the ground either by sliding or by an awkward-but-still-effective collapse to the ground.

Finally, the 49ers need to tell Kaepernick to never throw off his back foot. Too many of his throws in the pocket to the sidelines originate from that awkward position, resulting in balls that float and flutter and get picked off. He needs to drive the ball, like he does when he’s throwing it between the numbers.

So, yes, there are plenty of things Kaepernick does well. Coaching is about putting him in position to do the things he does well, and not requiring him to do the things he doesn’t do well.

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DeAndre Levy practices with Lions Thursday

DETROIT, MI - SEPTEMBER 21: DeAndre Levy #54 of the Detroit Lions celebrates after tackling Eddie Lacy #27 of the Green Bay Packers for a safety during the second quarter of the game at Ford Field on September 21, 2014 in Detroit, Michigan.  (Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images) Getty Images

The Lions have lost three straight games to open the season, but they may have an important piece of their defense back when they try to avoid making it four in a row in Seattle on Monday night.

Linebacker DeAndre Levy practiced with the team on Thursday for the first time since being sidelined with a hip injury in August. Levy’s absence has led to reports that he needs surgery and that he’s actually ill after contracting a parasite during an offseason trip to Chile, but the team denied the latter and Levy said more than once in September that he wasn’t far from being ready to return.

Even if Levy isn’t going to cure all that ails the team, the Lions could certainly use any help they can find after dropping games to the Chargers, Vikings and Broncos to open the season.

Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press reports that defensive end Ziggy Ansah, running back Joique Bell and tight end Brandon Pettigrew did not practice on Thursday.

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Pink is back in the NFL, starting tonight

Lions Eagles Football AP

Get ready to see pink on NFL uniforms again.

It’s October, which means it’s Breast Cancer Awareness Month, which means the NFL will become awash in pink.

How awash? All game balls will have pink ribbon decals. Kicking tees will be pink. Players will wear pink on their shoes and shoelaces, wristbands, gloves, sideline caps, helmet decals, captains’ patches, chin straps, skull caps, eye shield decals and towels. Coaches will wear pink headsets and pink ribbons on their shirts. The coin toss will use pink coins. Sideline personnel will wear pink hats. Referees will wear pink caps, wristbands and pins, and blow pink whistles. Pink ribbons will be stenciled on the field. The goal post padding will be pink.

Breast cancer awareness is a good cause, although it’s fair to ask whether the NFL chose this particular cause out of legitimate concern or because the league wanted to find a way to appeal to female fans. One thing that’s clear is that fans both male and female won’t be able to avoid the NFL’s breast cancer awareness message. That message will be all over the field, in every game.

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Panthers not planning on Luke Kuechly again this week

Luke Kuechly AP

The Panthers were hoping for good news early in the week on linebacker Luke Kuechly.

It never came.

Panthers coach Ron Rivera just told reporters that he was planning on playing the Buccaneers this week without middle linebacker Luke Kuechly, which will make his third straight game missed after a concussion in the opener.

Rivera said Monday he was hoping for good news, but with Kuechly not turning up on the practice field this week, it certainly seems as if he met with the independent neurologist and wasn’t cleared. Rivera alluded to that yesterday.

I’m not going to get into this part of it anymore,” Rivera said. “I learned my lesson, I tried to give you guys what I thought I knew on Monday, and apparently, it was a little too much.”

There was a silver lining for the Panthers, as linebacker Thomas Davis practiced fully today, which should keep one of their defensive cornerstones on the field this week against the Bucs.

The Panthers practiced Thursday without running backs Jonathan Stewart and Mike Tolbert, and if they can’t go this weekend, a patchwork offense will become even more so.

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Bills don’t expect to have LeSean McCoy or Sammy Watkins this week

of the game at Sun Life Stadium on September 27, 2015 in Miami Gardens, Florida. Getty Images

The Bills won’t officially rule out either player, but there appears to be little chance that running back LeSean McCoy or wide receiver Sammy Watkins is in the lineup against the Giants this weekend.

McCoy has been dealing with a hamstring injury for several weeks and said earlier this week that he thought there would be some benefit to sitting out this week’s game in hopes of getting himself closer to 100 percent for Week Five and beyond. Watkins suffered a calf injury last Sunday and, like McCoy, hasn’t practiced this week, which is probably why coach Rex Ryan didn’t feel the need to make the team’s plans for either player explicit on Thursday.

“We won’t say out. But yeah, you guys can figure it out,” Ryan said, via Joe Buscaglia of WKBW.

Rookie Karlos Williams should see a spike in activity with McCoy out of the lineup while Robert Woods, Chris Hogan and Percy Harvin will handle the receiver duties for quarterback Tyrod Taylor in Buffalo on Sunday.

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Eric Decker returns to practice

Eric Decker AP

The Jets opened their practice week on Wednesday without wide receiver Eric Decker, but things took a step in the right direction for him on Thursday.

Decker was a limited participant in practice for the first time since injuring his knee in the team’s Week Two win over the Colts. Decker’s return to practice was called “encouraging” by head coach Todd Bowles, via Dom Cosentino of, but his status for Sunday’s game against the Dolphins remains uncertain.

There was more good news on offense for the Jets on Thursday. Running back Chris Ivory was a full participant in practice and Bowles said he expects Ivory to play this weekend. Ivory was active in the Week Three loss to the Eagles, but didn’t play in the game as he nursed a groin injury.

Cornerback Darrelle Revis was limited for the second straight day because of a hamstring injury, although he reiterated on Wednesday that he feels fine. Bowles also announced that guard Willie Colon (knee) and tight end Jeff Cumberland (concussion) won’t travel with the team to London, which obviously rules them out for Week Four.

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Les Miles “can’t possibly imagine” Fournette sitting out a year

Les Miles AP

Before LSU tailback Leonard Fournette ever can make a business decision regarding whether he should or shouldn’t sit out the 2016 season because he can’t get into the draft before 2017, someone will need to pierce through the bubble in Baton Rouge that keeps out anyone who would dare suggest that Fournette’s best interests would be served by not risking serious injury while spending another year playing for tuition, room, board, and snacks. That bubble won’t easily be pierced.

The man with the most to lose if Fournette would choose not to risk losing his NFL career and revenue already has made a strong public case against Fournette leaving.

“I can’t imagine that Leonard would be sitting anywhere inactive for a fall,” coach Les Miles said Wednesday on his weekly radio show, via “I just can’t possibly imagine it.”

Like LSU Sports Information Director Mike Bonnette, who claims that the mere suggestion that Fournette should consider his options is an “insult,” Miles avoids the real issue by attacking those who would dare raise the question.

“To me, there’s a lot of people out there stirring the pot,” Miles said. “Just, let’s make controversy.”

No, it’s called “let’s make sure a kid who is being exploited realizes he has a way to take control of his situation.” (I should come up with a shorter name for that.)

Already, it’s clear that the folks at LSU have placed the college football kevorka on Fournette. “I’ll never jump ship,” Fournette said on Twitter. “I’m drowning with my brothers.”

It’s not about jumping ship or otherwise abandoning his teammates. It’s about realizing that college football is a business, and that everyone is making business decisions except the players. And when anyone suggests that the players should make business decisions, those within the cocoon break out the clichés and the T-shirt slogans in order to persuade them not to think about the only team that really matters — their families.

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Broncos add some tackle depth, sign Tyler Polumbus

Dallas Cowboys v Washington Redskins Getty Images

The Broncos have some concerns on the offensive line, so they added a little insurance today.

According to Mike Klis of KUSA, the Broncos have signed veteran tackle Tyler Polumbus.

It’s a homecoming for him, as he grew up in Denver and played at the University of Colorado. But it probably has a lot more to do with left tackle Ty Sambrailo’s shoulder injury.

Polumbus was cut by the Falcons Tuesday. He entered the league with the Broncos, signed as an undrafted rookie by Mike Shanahan. He’s also played for Shanahan in Washington, and spent two years with the Seahawks.

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