Al Riveron says a sideline camera could have been helpful on Colts’ late challenge

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NFL V.P. of Officiating Al Riveron says the crucial Colts challenge on a fourth down late in their loss to the Titans could have benefited from a better replay angle.

In a video distributed to the media, Riveron noted that all he had to work with was the TV replays, and none of them showed definitively whether Colts quarterback Jacoby Brissett lunged the football ahead of the line to gain before or after the ball crossed the sideline.

“We’re solely dependent on the angles we get from the TV broadcast,” Riveron said.

As Riveron went through all the replay angles, he explained that none of them showed exactly where the ball was when it crossed the sideline.

“We cannot make a distinction from this angle as to where the ball crosses the sideline,” Riveron said. “Unfortunately we don’t get it here. We cannot make a determination based on any of these angles where the ball exactly crosses the sideline, so we have to stay with the ruling on the field.”

It can be helpful for the TV networks to have cameras fixed on the sidelines, goal lines and the line to gain, but even if the network has the perfect angle, sometimes the ball is obscured by players. Replay will never have a perfect angle of every play. It didn’t for the Colts on Monday night.

Report: Marshawn Lynch will appeal suspension

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Raiders running back Marshawn Lynch will appeal his one-game suspension, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL Media. A hearing is expected early next week.

The league suspended Lynch for leaving the sideline Thursday night during an on-field skirmish and then shoving an official.

Unless Lynch wins his appeal, he will miss the Raiders’ Oct. 29 game against the Bills.

The Raiders beat the Chiefs without much of a contribution from Lynch on Thursday night. For the season, he has 72 carries for 266 yards and two touchdowns this season.

Marshawn Lynch suspended one game for shoving official

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Raiders running back Marshawn Lynch has been suspended one game for shoving an official during Thursday night’s game against the Chiefs.

The NFL announced on Friday evening that NFL V.P. of Football Operations Jon Runyan issued the suspension for unsportsmanlike conduct.

“You made deliberate physical contact with one of our game officials as he was diffusing an active confrontation between players,” Runyan wrote in a letter to Lynch that the NFL released. “You were disqualified for your inappropriate and unsportsmanlike actions. Your conduct included pushing the game official and grabbing his jersey.”

Runyan also noted that Lynch wasn’t even involved in the skirmish until he chose to get himself involved.

“You were the only player from either team who ran from the sideline to midfield to insert himself into a situation in which he was not directly involved,” Runyan wrote.

Lynch has the right to appeal the suspension. If he does not successfully appeal, he will miss the Raiders’ October 29 game against the Bills and be allowed to return on Monday, October 30.

Report: Packers hoping for Aaron Rodgers’ return Dec. 17

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The Packers are hoping quarterback Aaron Rodgers can return for their Dec. 17 game against Carolina, according to Rob Demovsky of ESPN.

Demovsky says it “might be a long shot, but they’re hoping.”

Rodgers had surgery Thursday to repair his right collarbone. The team placed him on injured reserve Friday, making him ineligible to play for eight weeks.

The Week 15 game against the Panthers would mark the earliest Rodgers could return.

Of course, the Packers will have to remain in the playoff hunt with Brett Hundley for a Rodgers’ return even to become a possibility.

DeShone Kizer calls players-only offensive meeting

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In an attempt to display his leadership skills, Browns quarterback DeShone Kizer called a players-only offensive meeting Friday.

“As I said earlier this week, it’s about doing more, and that’s just a small thing that we can add into the week,” Kizer told Mary Kay Cabot of cleveland.com. “It’s something that I think can allow us to just open up the communication line and make sure they understand what I’m thinking and make sure I understand what they’re thinking.”

Kizer returns from a one-game benching to start against the Titans. He and the Browns have insisted sitting and watching Kevin Hogan was invaluable for the rookie. He showed that Friday.

“After sitting last week, it was something I thought we’d benefit from,” Kizer said of the meeting. “Yesterday there was a couple of things I wasn’t able to meet with them about individually, so if I figure if I can bring them all together and have them all listen to it at the same time, it would be alright.”

Kizer said several players usually speak during the weekly captains’ meeting, but he was the only one to talk during the special offensive meeting he called.

“It’s not easy especially in our position where we are right now,” fellow rookie David Njoku. “It’s shows his courage and his maturity. To come into an NFL locker room and call a meeting, it’s big-time, and I’m excited. He’s ready to turn this around and I’m 100 percent fully behind him.”

Washington expects Rob Kelley to play Monday

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Washington coach Jay Gruden said he expects running back Rob Kelley to play Monday night. Kelley missed last week’s game against the 49ers with a sprained ankle and was limited in practice the past two days.

“He’s doing good,” Gruden said, via quotes distributed by the team. “If he plays, then yes, he will probably be back at number one.”

Kelley has 29 carries for 131 yards in three games this season. He injured his ribs in Week 2.

Samaje Perine serves as Kelley’s backup on early downs, and Chris Thompson plays on third downs. Washington will have Mack Brown active if Kelley can’t play.

Left tackle Trent Williams (knee) and safety D.J. Swearinger did not practice Friday, and cornerbacks Bashaud Breeland (knee) and Josh Norman (rib) were limited.

Marshawn Lynch hasn’t been talking to media

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Here’s an unusual footnote to Thursday night’s ejection of Marshawn Lynch. Apparently, Lynch has not been regularly speaking to the media.

You’re shocked, I know. Lynch has a long history of non-compliance with league rules regarding media access. However, because he voluntarily made himself available to the media at least once before the regular season began, many assumed this year would be different.

It apparently hasn’t been. According to Paul Gutierrez of ESPN.com, Lynch has spoken to reporters only three times since joining the team in April. By rule, he should have made himself available at least 14 times since Week One of the regular season (once after each game, and once during the week).

It’s unclear whether the league will be doing anything about it. He has been fined tens of thousands of dollars in the past, and he has at times shown up for press conferences by repeating phrases like “I’m here so I won’t get fined” and providing short, non-responsive answers until left alone.

With the league currently taking a look at Panthers quarterback Cam Newton‘s sudden refusal to speak to reporters, it wouldn’t be fair to scrutinize Newton while also giving Lynch a pass. And here’s the most important thing to remember, as it relates to Newton, Lynch, or coaches like Bill Belichick: They get paid what they get paid primarily because people care about watching them do what they do. And the media covers them because people care about hearing more about what they do. And the league gets tremendous free exposure from that dynamic.

It’s a small price to pay for getting a huge price paid to play or coach football. And it really isn’t fair for the league to give one player a pass, especially when plenty would at times prefer not to have to hear questions from people like me.

Week Seven injury report roundup

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Week Seven kicked off on Thursday with a Raiders win and it continues with 13 more games on Sunday, which means that the 26 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.

Buccaneers at Bills

Buccaneers S Josh Robinson (concussion) and DE Ryan Russell (shoulder) are out this week. LB Kwon Alexander (hamstring), DE Robert Ayers (knee), LB Lavonte David (ankle), LB Adarius Glanton (hamstring), DE Noah Spence (shoulder), S Keith Tandy (hip), S T.J. Ward (hip) and QB Jameis Winston (right shoulder), although the team’s already announced Winston will be starting.

The Bills return from their bye week without the help of TE Charles Clay (knee) or LB Ramon Humber (thumb). CB E.J. Gaines (groin), CB Leonard Johnson (hamstring) and WR Jordan Matthews (thumb) are listed as questionable.

Panthers at Bears

Panthers S Demetrious Cox (ankle), LB Luke Kuechly (concussion), T John Theus (concussion) and RB Fozzy Whittaker (ankle) have been ruled out. WR Kelvin Benjamin (knee), S Kurt Coleman (knee), K Graham Gano (right knee), DE Charles Johnson (groin), C Ryan Kalil (neck) and G Greg Van Roten (shoulder) are questionable, although coach Ron Rivera indicated Benjamin and Gano will play.

WR Markus Wheaton (groin) won’t play for the Bears. CB Sherrick McManis (hamstring) and LB John Timu (ankle/knee) are listed as doubtful while RB Benny Cunningham (hamstring), C Hroniss Grasu (hand) and LB Nick Kwiatkoski (chest) drew questionable tags.

Titans at Browns

Titans RB DeMarco Murray (hamstring), LB Derrick Morgan (abdomen) and TE Delanie Walker (calf) are listed as questionable. S Johnathan Cyprien (hamstring) and WR Corey Davis (hamstring) remain out of the lineup.

LB James Burgess (knee) was ruled out by the Browns. WR Kenny Britt (knee/groin), S Jabrill Peppers (toe), WR Sammie Coates (hamstring) and CB Jason McCourty (ankle) make up the questionable contingent.

Saints at Packers

The Saints have just two players on their injury report. T Terron Armstead (shoulder) and WR Willie Snead (hamstring) are listed as questionable.

The Packers have more injury issues than that, but are in somewhat better shape than they were when the week began. As long as you ignore Aaron Rodgers‘ absence, of course. LB Ahmad Brooks (back), S Morgan Burnett (hamstring) and LB Joe Thomas (ankle) have been ruled out. G Lane Taylor (ankle) is set to miss the game after drawing a doubtful tag and three players — CB Davon House (quadricep), C Corey Linsley (back), CB Damarious Randall (hamstring) — are listed as questionable.

Jaguars at Colts

The Jaguars head to Indy without the services of C Brandon Linder (illness). RB Leonard Fournette (ankle), S Tashaun Gipson (neck) and WR Marqise Lee (knee) are all listed as questionable.

QB Andrew Luck (left shoulder) again headlines the Colts injury report. He’s out along with LB Anthony Walker (hamstring) while TE Darrell Daniels (knee), S T.J. Green (hamstring) and C Ryan Kelly (knee) are listed as questionable.

Cardinals vs. Rams (in London)

The Cardinals will wait until Sunday morning (afternoon in London) before deciding on LB Karlos Dansby (hamstring), RB Andre Ellington (quadricep), DT Robert Nkemdiche (calf), DT Olsen Pierre (ankle) and DT Xavier Williams (knee). All five are listed as questionable.

The Rams only have one questionable player — LB Mark Barron (thumb) — and they listed S Cody Davis (thigh) as doubtful to play.

Jets at Dolphins

The Jets ruled out TE Jordan Leggett (knee) and listed DE Muhammad Wilkerson (shoulder/foot) as questionable.

The Dolphins have indicated it would take a miracle for WR DeVante Parker (ankle) to play, so he’s listed as doubtful. DE Andre Branch (knee), CB Xavien Howard (ankle), CB Byron Maxwell (foot) and C Mike Pouncey (concussion, hip) are questionable to play.

Ravens at Vikings

It’s a full injury report for the Ravens this week. WR Breshad Perriman (concussion), C Matt Skura (knee), RB Terrance West (calf), TE Maxx Williams (ankle) and LB Tim Williams (thigh) have all been ruled out and WR Chris Matthews (thigh) is likely to join them after being listed as doubtful. DT Carl Davis (thigh), CB Jaylen Hill (thigh), S Anthony Levine (thigh), WR Jeremy Maclin (shoulder), CB Jimmy Smith (achilles), T Ronnie Stanley (mouth), WR Mike Wallace (back), TE Benjamin Watson (knee), S Lardarius Webb (knee) and DT Brandon Williams (foot) make up a sizable contingent of questionable players.

The Vikings are without QB Sam Bradford (knee), WR Stefon Diggs (groin) and G Nick Easton (calf) for the second straight week. CB Mackensie Alexander (hip), CB Tramaine Brock (hamstring), WR Michael Floyd (hamstring) and T Riley Reiff (ankle) are listed as questionable.

Cowboys at 49ers

CB Chidobe Awuzie (hamstring) is the only player ruled out for the Cowboys. LB Justin Durant (groin) is the only player listed as questionable.

The 49ers ruled out RB Kyle Juszczyk (back) and DE Aaron Lynch (calf). Linebackers Ray-Ray Armstrong (shoulder), Brock Coyle (shoulder), Reuben Foster (ankle) and Dekoda Watson (groin) are all listed as questionable.

Bengals at Steelers

The Bengals head into the AFC North clash without WR Tyler Boyd (knee) and TE Ryan Hewitt (knee). CB Adam Jones (back) is not expected to play after getting a doubtful tag. WR John Ross (knee) and S Derron Smith (ankle) are both listed as questionable.

Steelers DE Stephon Tuitt (back) is out and T Marcus Gilbert (hamstring) is listed as doubtful.

Broncos at Chargers

There won’t be much suspense when the Broncos announce their inactives on Sunday. WR Cody Latimer (knee), QB Paxton Lynch (right shoulder), WR Isaiah McKenzie (ankle), LB Corey Nelson (elbow), WR Emmanuel Sanders (ankle), T Donald Stephenson (calf) and T Menelik Watson (calf) have already been ruled out.

No one has been ruled out for the Chargers, but WR Keenan Allen (shoulder), T Joe Barksdale (foot), RB Melvin Gordon (shoulder), DT Corey Liuget (back) and S Adrian Phillips (neck, concussion) are all listed as questionable.

Seahawks at Giants

G Luke Joeckel (knee) is out for the Seahawks and CB Jeremy Lane (groin) is doubtful. DE Michael Bennett (heel), DT Nazair Jones (knee), RB C.J. Prosise (ankle) and DE Marcus Smith (ankle) are listed as questionable.

The Giants ruled out LB Jonathan Casillas (neck), LB Calvin Munson (quadricep), RB Paul Perkins (ribs), C Weston Richburg (concussion) and DE Olivier Vernon (ankle) for Sunday. WR Sterling Shepard (ankle) is questionable after missing last week’s game.

Falcons at Patriots

The Falcons have only LB Jordan Tripp (concussion) on their injury report and he’s out for Sunday night.

The Patriots, on the other hand, ruled out CB Stephon Gilmore (concussion, ankle), LB Harvey Langi (back) and CB Eric Rowe (groin). CB Johnson Bademosi (abdomen), TE Jacob Hollister (chest) and LB Elandon Roberts (ankle) are listed as questionable.

David Irving plans to do something during the anthem

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Cowboys owner Jerry Jones has made it mandatory for players to stand for the anthem. It’s believed that Cowboys players will stand for the anthem. There’s a chance that one player will break from the herd in this regard.

Via Drew Davison of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, defensive lineman David Irving plans to do something during the anthem on Sunday against the 49ers.

I have made a call,” Irving said, via Davison. “You’ll just have to wait till Sunday.”

Reminded that Jones has said that anyone who “disrespects” the flag will be benched, Irving said this: “I hope not since it’s not about the flag in the first place, you know?”

Irving declined to say whether he’d be taking a knee during the anthem. Irving posted an image on Instagram of himself standing with a first, not a flat hand, over his heart. If that’s what he does on Sunday, it’s hard to imagine Jones terming it “disrespect” of the flag — especially since Jones needs Irving to play well in order for the Cowboys to win games.

Aaron Rodgers placed on injured reserve, will miss at least eight weeks

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Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers may miss the rest of the season. He will definitely miss at least half of the season.

The Packers officially placed Rodgers on injured reserve today. That means he will be ineligible to play for eight weeks and couldn’t play again until Week 15 at the earliest.

The move was widely expected when the Packers announced on Sunday that Rodgers had suffered a broken collarbone and could miss the rest of the season. Rodgers previously broke his left collarbone and missed seven games, but this time it’s his right collarbone, which is a more serious injury for the right-handed Rodgers.

The Packers will go with Brett Hundley at quarterback while Rodgers is out. If the Packers can stay in playoff contention with Hundley at the helm, it’s possible that Rodgers could return in time for the last few games of the regular season and the postseason. It’s also possible that Rodgers won’t be ready in time — or that the Packers will be out of playoff contention by the time he’s eligible and will opt not to bring him back.

Cameron Jordan fined for dunking football

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Saints coach Sean Payton famously gave Jimmy Graham an earful in a 2014 preseason game after the team’s former tight end twice dunked over the crossbar, punctuating touchdowns but drawing penalties. New Orleans defensive end Cameron Jordan brought back memories of Graham, whose 2013 dunk that knocked a goal post out of place led to the rule change banning the celebration.

Although the NFL has loosened its celebration rules, dunking over the cross bar remains a no-no.

Thus, Jordan earned a $12,154 fine for his unsportsmanlike conduct penalty.

Game-ending tip ball, score, dunk, penalty, fine,” Jordan joked earlier this week, via Herbie Teope of the New Orleans Times-Picayune. “Anybody trying to help me out with this fine? Cool. Don’t worry about it. I got it.”

The NFL also fined Saints tight end Josh Hill $24,309 for an unnecessary roughness penalty in the fourth quarter, according to Teope.

Jake Ryan fined for horse collar tackle

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Packers linebacker Jake Ryan likely knew he was going to be fined for a horse collar tackle the moment he pulled down Vikings running back Jerick McKinnon illegally.

The league did, in fact, fine Ryan $18,231 for his illegal tackle on the final play of the first quarter.

To make matters worse, McKinnon scored on the next play. He took a Case Keenum pass 27 yards to the end zone, giving the Vikings a 7-0 lead on their way to a 23-10 victory.

Le’Veon Bell fined for touchdown celebration against Chiefs

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Safety Mike Mitchell wasn’t the only member of the Steelers to pick up a fine in Week Six.

PFT confirmed with the league that running back Le'Veon Bell and linebacker Bud Dupree joined Mitchell on their list of players who crossed the line.

Bell’s fine came for his celebration of a touchdown run against Kansas City in the 19-13 win. The NFL has relaxed rules for such celebrations this season, but Bell drew a flag for taking a page from former Eagle Vai Sikahema and using the goalpost as a punching bag.

Bell was fined $12,154 for doing that, although the terms of his franchise tag for this season should leave him with enough dough that he doesn’t have to follow Sikahema again by boxing Jose Canseco.

Dupree was fined $24,309 for roughing Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith just before halftime. Dupree was penalized on the play, although the flag was offset by one on Smith for intentional grounding.

Big Mike Mitchell fine wasn’t for hit on Alex Smith

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On Thursday, there was a report that Steelers safety Mike Mitchell was appealing a $48,620 fine for hitting Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith late and low during last Sunday’s game.

Mitchell was fined that amount, but it wasn’t for hitting Smith. PFT has confirmed with the league that Mitchell received a $9,115 fine for the hit on Smith.

The $48,620 fine was for a helmet-to-helmet hit on Chiefs running back Charcandrick West while West was trying to catch a pass. The hit, which was not penalized, left West with a concussion that caused him to miss Thursday night’s loss to the Raiders.

That fine is the amount laid out on the NFL’s fine schedule for a second offense for a hit on a defenseless player. Should Mitchell continue to rack up hits judged to violate player safety rules, he’ll run the risk of a suspension.

Laquon Treadwell fined for blindside block

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Vikings receiver Laquon Treadwell was fined $24,309 for an illegal blindside block in Sunday’s victory over the Packers.

Treadwell was penalized for his block on Green Bay cornerback Lenzy Pipkins in the second quarter. Offensive lineman Mike Remmers was penalized the previous play for a facemask, giving the Vikings a first-and-40.

“I tried to keep it clean,” Treadwell said earlier this week, via Andrew Krammer of the Star-Tribune. “I hesitated, didn’t launch or anything. I really didn’t think I hit him that hard, either. Just tried to make a play.”