Chiefs release C.J. Spiller . . . again

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With Charcandrick West ready to return against Denver, according to coach Andy Reid, it came as no surprise that the Chiefs cut running back C.J. Spiller yet again. Spiller now has had four stints on Kansas City’s roster this season, with each ending in his release.

Spiller played 12 snaps against the Raiders on Thursday night, his first regular-season action since Week 13 last season when he was with the Jets. He had two carries for no yards.

In eight seasons, Spiller has 3,451 yards and 12 touchdowns. His only 1,000-yard season came in 2012 when he had 1,244 yards for the Bills.

Spiller, 30, probably shouldn’t leave town. The Chiefs may call again.

Hue Jackson to announce starter on Wednesday

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Another week, another Wednesday announcement regarding which quarterback not named Carson Wentz or Deshaun Watson will be trying to lead the Browns to their first win of the season.

Prior to Week Six, Kevin Hogan got the nod. For Week Seven, DeShone Kizer was reinstalled as the starter. On Monday, coach Hue Jackson that he’ll name the Week Eight starter on Wednesday.

After reinstalling Kizer, Jackson expressed confidence that a one-week break the second-round rookie would help him turn things around. And then Kizer was benched for Cody Kessler during Sunday’s eventual overtime loss to the Titans.

“Like I said yesterday,” Jackson said Monday, “everything is on the table. I will continue to watch tape and go from there.”

Whatever the decision, the objective is to reduce turnovers.

“[W]e can’t turn the football over,” Jackson said. “That is going to be my battle cry as the coach and the offensive leader. We can’t turn the ball over, and we have turned it over way too much.”

The Browns quarterbacks have thrown 17 interceptions (11 by Kizer) and lost two fumbles (both by Kizer). That’s 19 total turnovers in seven games. Which helps explain the 0-7 record for the season, and the 1-22 mark since the latest reboot.

Jackson said that Kevin Hogan, who suffered a rib injury in Week Six, will be in the mix to start in London against the Vikings. Whoever the choice, it’s feeling like another loss could be the last straw for someone with the Browns, but it’s unclear who at that point would get the short straw and the pink slip that goes along with it.

Marshawn Lynch has appeal hearing, decision expected Tuesday

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NFL Appeals Officer James Thrash heard Raiders running back Marshawn Lynch‘s appeal Monday, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter. A decision is expected Tuesday.

The NFL suspended Lynch one game for unsportsmanlike conduct. He left the sideline during Thursday’s game against the Chiefs and shoved an official during a skirmish between the teams.

Chiefs cornerback Marcus Peters spoke on Lynch’s behalf, as Jay Glazer of Fox Sports first reported. Lynch argued nine players, including Aaron Donald and Taylor Lewan last season, made contact with an official without the NFL suspending them, per Schefter.

If Lynch’s appeal is unsuccessful, he will miss Sunday’s game against the Bills.

NFL suspends Vikings’ Andrew Sendejo for hit on Mike Wallace

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Vikings safety Andrew Sendejo won’t be playing in London on Sunday.

Sendejo has been suspended for one game for his hit on Ravens receiver Mike Wallace yesterday. The Vikings play the Browns in an early kickoff at Twickenham Stadium this week.

“The violation was flagrant and warrants a suspension because it could have been avoided, was violently directed at the head and neck area and unreasonably placed both you and an opposing player at risk of serious injury,” NFL V.P. of Football Operations Jon Runyan told Sendejo in a letter informing him of the suspension.

Although Sendejo was flagged for the hit, Vikings coach Mike Zimmer argued that it was clean, saying that Wallace was a runner — not a defenseless receiver — at the time of the collision, and that Sendejo hit him with only “a glancing blow.” Runyan disagreed.

Sendejo is viewed as a repeat offender because he was already fined this year for a hit to the head of Buccaneers tight end Cameron Brate. Sendejo is expected to appeal.

PFTPM: Week Seven Five-Down Territory


The PFTPM podcast, an old-school, just-me, say-whatever-I-want look at the NFL, devotes every Monday to the Sunday that was, via a vehicle known as Five-Down Territory.

Today’s episode looked at five (duh) topics from Week Seven, including discussions about Duane Brown, Martavis Bryant, Vontaze Burfict, Jay Cutler, and Teddy Bridgewater. Plus plenty of detours and digressions that you will find mildly enjoyable and hopefully not frustrating and/or impossible to listen to.

It’s impossible to avoid the PFTPM podcast, because the link appears below. And remember to check back later tonight for a special edition of the PFTPM podcast, including a conversation with Broncos linebacker Von Miller.

In the interim, subscribe, rate, and review the PFTPM podcast.

Greg Olsen expects to practice next week

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Panthers tight end Greg Olsen expects to return to the practice field next week to test his surgically repaired foot.

Olsen can’t play until Nov. 26 against the Jets, but he becomes eligible to practice next week. He went on injured reserve with a broken right foot in Week 3.

I’m doing good,” Olsen said Monday, via Joe Person of the Charlotte Observer. I’m starting to move around. Start progressing here and . . . hopefully start getting on the field and doing some stuff by next week, and just take that next step. Everything’s going well.”

Olsen no longer wears a protective boot and part of his rehab includes running on an underwater treadmill. The next step is getting back on the practice field.

“We won’t really know a lot until you start really getting out there and moving around and running around and see how it responds,” Olsen said. “So far so good.”

Lions activate Khyri Thornton, waive Brad Kaaya

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Quarterback Brad Kaaya returned to the Lions after being waived by the Panthers last week, but his stay on the active roster was a brief one.

The Lions announced on Monday that Kaaya is back on waivers. The Lions needed to make room for the return of defensive tackle Khyri Thornton to the 53-man roster.

Thornton was suspended for the first six games of the season for a violation of the league’s substance abuse policy. A 2014 third-round pick of the Packers, Thornton spent his rookie year on injured reserve and spent a brief spell with the Patriots before moving on to the Lions. He had 23 tackles, a sack and a forced fumble in 23 games over the last two seasons.

Thornton returns to the lineup in the wake of Haloti Ngata‘s season-ending injury, giving the Lions another body up front at a moment when they need one.

Former Eagles linebacker Chuck Weber dies

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Former Eagles linebacker Charles “Chuck” Weber died Sunday, the team announced. He was 87.

Survivors include his four sons, Charlie, Wayne, Bruce and Scott; daughter, Tracey; 13 grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren.
Weber, a seven-year NFL veteran, spent his final three seasons in Philadelphia (1959-61). He played in 38 games for the Eagles, helping them capture the 1960 NFL Championship. Weber ranked second on the team with six interceptions that year, which still stands as the second-most interceptions by a non-defensive back in a single season, trailing only William Thomas (seven in 1995). Three of Weber’s six interceptions came in a Week 2 game at Dallas, ranking second all-time in club history for interceptions in a single game.
Weber also coached in the NFL for 21 years with the Boston Patriots (1964-67), San Diego Chargers (1968-69), Cincinnati Bengals (1970-75), St. Louis Cardinals (1976-77), Cleveland Browns (1978-79), Baltimore Colts (1980-81) and the San Diego Chargers (1982-85).

A memorial service will take place Sunday in Poway, CA.

Bills claim a cornerback, waive Kaelin Clay

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The Bills saw starting cornerback E.J. Gaines leave Sunday’s win over the Buccaneers with a hamstring injury and he didn’t return before the final whistle, so they were down to three healthy corners when the day was out.

The team announced that they made a move to remedy that on Monday. They made a successful waiver claim for Tony McRae, who was placed on waivers by the Ravens ahead of Sunday’s game.

McRae played five games for Baltimore and recorded one tackle. He’s also spent time with the Raiders and the Bengals since entering the league as an undrafted free agent in 2016.

The Bills waived wide receiver Kaelin Clay to make room for McRae on the roster. Clay was acquired in a trade with the Panthers before the start of the regular season, but was inactive on Sunday while newly signed Deonte Thompson had a big day in the passing game.

Dan Bailey will miss “at least a couple weeks”


The Cowboys will have to make do without the NFL’s all-time most accurate kicker for at least the next two weeks. Coach Jason Garrett said Dan Bailey‘s strained right groin will necessitate a change in kickers for the short term.

“We do anticipate him being out . . . at least a couple weeks,” Garrett said, via Jon Machota of the Dallas Morning News.

Safety Jeff Heath made two of three extra points as an emergency kicker, becoming the first non-kicker to make an extra point since Wes Welker in 2010. Heath tweaked his left ankle during the game, and Garrett said long snapper L.P. Ladouceur was next in line to kick if Heath hadn’t returned.

The Cowboys will sign a kicker Tuesday after working out several. ESPN’s Field Yates said the kickers are Mike Nugent, Jason Myers, Sam Irwin Hill and Younghoe Koo.

“We’re looking at a few guys,” executive vice president Stephen Jones said on his weekly radio show on 105.3 The Fan. “It’s probably not going to be Dan Bailey unfortunately. But we are going to have to look at signing a kicker because this could be more than a week at a time. So, we’ll have to look at the guys that we obviously think will do the best job for us.

“You’ve got to applaud Jeff Heath for his efforts yesterday that a safety could come in like that and make some extra points and have a few nice kickoffs. Certainly nice to have him on the roster. But we will, probably 99 percent chance, be signing a kicker this week. We just don’t know who yet.”

It means the Cowboys will have to carry two kickers until Bailey returns, straining their roster.

“It does put a little bit of a strain,” Garrett said. “You have to make a decision at another position in order to keep two kickers. That’s not natural for a team to do. But . . . we don’t think the injury’s that severe to put him on IR. He’s certainly someone we’re going to keep up on the roster. We do have to get another kicker in here to function this week.”

Saints expected to be without Larry Warford for a while


The Saints had to shuffle their offensive line during Sunday’s victory over the Packers and it looks like they’ll have to come up with a new alignment for a little while longer as well.

Ian Rapoport of NFL Media reports that right guard Larry Warford will miss several weeks with the abdominal injury he suffered in Green Bay. Warford, who signed with New Orleans as a free agent in March, had played every snap on offense for New Orleans before Sunday’s injury.

Senio Kelemete stepped into the lineup once Warford went down and the veteran will likely continue in the role until Warford is ready to return.

The Saints rank fourth in the league in both points and total yards and they’ll be taking their rejiggered offensive line back home for a game against the Bears with a five-game winning streak on the line.

No suspension for Vontaze Burfict

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Le'Veon Bell says he’s got to go. As it turns out, he’s going nowhere.

The NFL has decided not to suspend Bengals linebacker Vontaze Burfict for kicking the head of Steelers fullback Roosevelt Nix, via Katherine Terrell of

The decision seems a bit unusual, given that the NFL supposedly adheres to a system of progressive discipline in matters of this nature. The idea is that, with each additional violation, the punishment increases until the behavior changes.

Burfict served a three-game suspension last year for an illegal hit on Steelers receiver Antonio Brown in the 2015 playoffs, and Burfict served a three-game suspension this year (reduced from five) for an illegal hit on Chiefs fullback Anthony Sherman in the preseason.

The fact that Nix wasn’t injured by the maneuver may have contributed to the outcome, but that really shouldn’t be the case. Inherently gratuitous and unsafe acts are inherently gratuitous and unsafe regardless of whether they inflict injury, and a kick to the head is a kick to the head, period.

Apparently, it’s not. And that makes it only harder to understand why the league does what it does when it does, when it comes to conduct that violates the rules and jeopardizes player safety.

Matt Slauson will miss the rest of the season

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The Chargers have won three straight games and they’ll be making a run at evening their record at 4-4 without the help of left guard Matt Slauson.

Slauson left Sunday’s victory over the Broncos with an arm injury and coach Anthony Lynn announced on Monday that Slauson hurt his biceps. The injury will force the team to make a change up front on offense.

“We just found out that Matt Slauson will be out for the season with his bicep injury,” Lynn said.

Slauson joined the Chargers last season and played center before moving over to guard this year. He’s started every game this season and was replaced by third-round pick Dan Feeney against Denver.

Feeney’s move into the starting lineup leaves the Chargers thin on offensive line reserves, so they’ll likely be making a move in the coming days to put Slauson on injured reserve and add a healthy body to the mix.

Todd Bowles on Josh McCown’s interception: No regrets about play call

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The Jets could have played for overtime with 47 seconds left, but with three timeouts, coach Todd Bowles said “you go for the win.” The decision backfired as quarterback Josh McCown threw an interception, and 22 seconds later, the Dolphins kicked the game-winning field goal.

Bowles defended the play call, which had McCown attempt a sideline pass to Jermaine Kearse that cornerback Bobby McCain picked off. He said it was no different than if the Jets had called for a run, and the running back had fumbled.

Of course, the odds of throwing an interception were far greater than having McCown take a knee at his own 15.

“[McCown] didn’t see the guy,” Bowles said Monday, via Rich Cimini of ESPN. “He made a mistake. He’ll learn from it. . . . I don’t feel any regrets about the play.”

The Jets blew a 28-14 fourth-quarter lead, which is why Bowles accurately assessed that it “should have never come to that. . . . We should have had it way before that.”

Vance Joseph: Offensive struggles not a Trevor Siemian problem

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The Broncos were shut out for the first time since 1992 on Sunday afternoon and they’ve now scored 10 points since their Week Five bye in a pair of losses to the Giants and Chargers.

When offenses struggle in the NFL, it is only a matter of time before coaches start fielding questions about the possibility of a quarterback change. Broncos coach Vance Joseph got that query on Monday and said that Trevor Siemian is “absolutely” going to remain the starter in Denver.

Joseph said the issues that have contributed to the team going from 66 points in the first two games to 42 in the last four are not due to one player.

“It’s not a Trevor problem,” Joseph said, via the Colorado Springs Gazette. “It’s a unit problem.”

One area that Joseph did point to as an issue is the blocking. Siemian was sacked four times and Joseph said that the team’s backs gained yards when “there was space to make yardage.” There’s certainly room to improve there and the Broncos will need to do that as long as they feel Siemian is the best option they have at quarterback.