Melvin Gordon says knee is good

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Chargers running back Melvin Gordon showed up on the team’s injury report last Thursday with a left knee injury that limited him in practice for a couple of days leading into Sunday’s loss to the Chiefs.

Gordon didn’t seem affected by the issue in the first half of the game as he ran 15 times for 78 yards and a touchdown. Gordon only got the ball two times in the second half, however, and the injury kept him from being on the field for an extended run after halftime. That contributed to a miserable offensive half for the Chargers, but Gordon doesn’t expect it to be an issue moving forward.

“I played through a lot and been through a lot with my knee,” Gordon said, via ESPN.com. “I’m good.”

The Chargers need Gordon to be right because their offense has been subpar during their 0-3 start and wins aren’t likely to start coming until they find a way to move the ball more consistently than they have to this point in the season.

Adam Gase: Ready to shake up “garbage” Dolphins offense

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After having some time to reflect on his team’s loss to the Jets, it was even worse than Adam Gase realized.

The Dolphins coach had some harsh words for his team, specifically the offense after the Jets “just beat the s— out of” them the day before.

“A lot of bad football,” Gase said, via Adam Beasley of the Miami Herald. “More mental errors than we’ve had the last two years. I’ll find the guys that want to do it right, and those are the guys that will play.

“I’m upset about the way our offense played. I’m just tired of watching it for two years. Just garbage. So, we’re going to figure something out.”

Gase lashed out earlier this year, and cut three offensive lineman the same day. While that kind of shakeup might not be imminent, he’s clearly not pleased with what he’s seeing and is ready to do something about it.

The Dolphins are in the bottom six of the league in many offensive categories (30th in both yards and scoring), despite having what looked like a decent group of skill-position players.

Asked what he saw on film that he liked, Gase replied: “Nothing.”

“We’ll make the proper adjustments,” he said. “We’ll probably make some changes. So figure out what we’ve got to do, get that thing rolling. I’ve been watching it for two years. It hasn’t worked. So we’re going to figure some things out.”

Losing to the Jets clearly does a number on a team, but Gase isn’t seeing the numbers he needs to from an offense which could look different soon.

Jack Del Rio: We have to get Amari Cooper’s drops rectified

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Sunday night was a rough one across the board for the Raiders as they stumbled to a 27-10 loss in Washington.

Among the players who fell short of their usual performance was wide receiver Amari Cooper. Cooper caught one pass for six yards and continued a habit of dropping passes that dates back to his entry to the league as a first-round pick in 2015.

Different methods of tracking drops have Cooper with different numbers, but they agree that he’s averaging more than a drop a game this season and coach Jack Del Rio said Monday that it’s a problem that needs fixing.

“He’s a dynamic player for us,” Del Rio said, via the San Francisco Chronicle. “Not a good thing when he’s not catching the ball and making those plays. We’ve gotta find a way to help that be rectified. We’d like to find a way to help him get through that, He’s a dynamic play-making option for us, and when we get him free and get the ball to him delivered like that, we’ve got to be able to catch it and go get busy.”

Cooper’s overall production in his first two seasons made it easier to deal with the dropped passes, but nights like Sunday make it harder to downplay.

Dak Prescott’s big plays what Dallas needed after previous beating

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Dak Prescott has had better stat lines. But he may not have been more timely than he was Monday night, making plays when the Cowboys needed, in the wake of an embarrassing loss the week before.

Responding with a leaping, flipping touchdown run early in last night’s 28-17 win over the Cardinals was key after being humbled by the Broncos the week before in a 42-17 loss.

“Last week, we got hit in the mouth pretty good,” Prescott said, via Todd Archer of ESPN. “It was important for us to come back this week, prepare the right way and do the things that we needed to do to get a win tonight.”

The somersault for a score was just part of that, as Prescott was also 13-of-18 for 183 yards and two touchdowns, an efficient night passing (141.7 rating.)

“Dak was an animal today,” running back Ezekiel Elliott said. “He came out there and made some big plays. Sometimes he has to use his feet to get out of the pocket to make those downfield throws, but he played amazing.”

Elliott added 80 yards rushing and a touchdown, which was a nice complement, but Prescott and a better-than advertised defense were enough against the Cardinals.

“When you play quarterback and things don’t go well again and again and again, it’s hard to get into rhythm,” Cowboys coach Jason Garrett said. “Sometimes you start forcing things and I just think his mental toughness is off the charts. … Throughout the ballgame, things didn’t come easily to us. He just kept battling. He kept making good decisions.”

And after the Cowboys young stars didn’t make enough of those the week before, getting back on track Monday was a welcome sight.

Kam Chancellor wants defense to stop “bickering” with other team

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A team that works hard to convince anyone and everyone that it’s not fighting among itself may be working too hard when fighting with opponents.

“It wasn’t our best game,” Seahawks safety Kam Chancellor said after Sunday’s loss to the Titans. “We’ve just got to get back to playing together, playing sound ball, taking it one play at a time, eliminating the frustration, eliminating the bickering with other teams, eliminate the extra exertion of energy that we don’t need. Conserve the energy for each play so your brains can think. . . .

“I think every time we get into bickering, it takes a little bit. It’s wasted energy. It takes a little bit of the focus, it distracts, and it takes a little bit of energy.”

So if the bickering that is happening with other teams “takes a little bit of energy,” it’s safe to say the bickering that they still claim isn’t happening inside the team “takes a little bit of energy,” too. Or a lot.

“[A]fter a while it’s like, if you start getting into it too much, then you start losing your energy and your focus,” Chancellor said.

He’s right, and it’s not just about squabbling with opponents or officials. It’s about squabbling on the sidelines, in the locker rooms, in the meeting rooms, and/or on the practice field. Coach Pete Carroll has done a nice job of keeping that stuff from bubbling over since Super Bowl XLIX. But it’s still there, as evidenced by comments since Week One from Earl Thomas, Doug Baldwin, and Richard Sherman regarding the disparity between offense and defense.

It’s hard to imagine the bickering ending, however. If anything, they’ll now potentially be bickering about whether they’re bickering. And the cycle likely will continue until the culture of the team dramatically changes, which may not happen until the core players who have made bickering a way of life are no longer playing for the Seahawks.

Widow doesn’t want Trump politicizing Pat Tillman’s service

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Sometimes the President tweets dubious things, and sometimes he just retweets them.

Yesterday, he retweeted a follower’s message which included a photo of former Cardinals safety/Army Ranger Pat Tillman and the messages #StandForOurAnthem and #BoycottNFL.

The problem is, Tillman would have almost certainly believed in neither of those things, and his widow wants to make sure people know that.

Marie Tillman issued a statement to CNN which said she didn’t appreciate the President politicizing a man who gave his life for his country, after volunteering to serve after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

“As a football player and soldier, Pat inspired countless Americans to unify,” she said. “It is my hope that his memory should always remind people that we must come together. Pat’s service, along with that of every man and woman’s service, should never be politicized in a way that divides us. We are too great of a country for that.

Those that serve fight for the American ideals of freedom, justice and democracy. They and their families know the cost of that fight. I know the very personal costs in a way I feel acutely every day. The very action of self expression and the freedom to speak from one’s heart — no matter those views — is what Pat and so many other Americans have given their lives for. Even if they didn’t always agree with those views.

“It is my sincere hope that our leaders both understand and learn from the lessons of Pat’s life and death, and also those of so many other brave Americans.”

Both the NFL and the President have been all too willing to use soldiers as totems of patriotism for their own gains, sometimes without realizing there are actual people inside those uniforms. This happened yesterday as well with former Army Ranger/Steelers left tackle Alejandro Villanueva, whose jersey became a hot seller after he inadvertently stood away from Steelers teammates during the anthem Sunday. When discussing what happened, he said he does not believe that players who kneel during the anthem as a way to protest racial inequality and unfair police practices are disrespecting veterans.

But sometimes messages like that are a little too nuanced to tweet, when they don’t fit the 140-character limit. Or the agenda.

Bruce Arians lays the blame on the Cardinals’ offensive line

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After the Cardinals lost to the Cowboys on Monday night, Arizona coach Bruce Arians named one area where his team has to improve: “Block better.”

Arians noted that there were seven active offensive linemen for the Cardinals on Monday night, and he didn’t sound pleased with any of them.

“We only have seven guys out there, so they’re the only ones that can play,” Arians said.

Arians said Carson Palmer was finding open receivers but getting hit before he could get the ball to them.

“We had guys open at times and just didn’t get them because we couldn’t throw the ball,” Arians said.

Palmer was sacked six times, and Cardinals right tackle Jared Veldheer particularly struggled to block Cowboys defensive end Demarcus Lawrence, who had three of those sacks. If the Cardinals don’t block better, it’s going to be a long season for Palmer.

Seahawks Dewey McDonald injured ACL against Titans

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Seahawks special teams mainstay Dewey McDonald sustained an ACL injury on the opening kickoff on Sunday’s 33-27 loss to the Tennessee Titans.

McDonald left the game and did not return. Head coach Pete Carroll didn’t have definitive word on the full nature of the injury on Monday, but noted it’s a “serious” injury.

“I don’t have the last word of it, but he does have an ACL injury,” he said. “The extent of it I don’t know, but it’s serious.”

McDonald appeared in 14 games for Seattle last season after being acquired in a trade with the Oakland Raiders at the start of the regular season. McDonald recorded eight tackles on special teams last season, which ranked second on the team. Seattle converted McDonald from safety to linebacker and had used him sparingly as an extra defender against certain personnel packages as well.

McDonald has appeared in 32 games with the Seahawks, Raiders, New England Patriots and Indianapolis Colts.

Lions to sign guard Tim Lelito

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Guard Tim Lelito is set to sign with the Detroit Lions on Tuesday according to a post on his foundation’s facebook page.

Lelito spent the first four seasons of his career with the New Orleans Saints after signing as an undrafted free agent in 2013 out of Division II Grand Valley State in Michigan. He appeared in 63 games with the Saints and made 24 starts over that span.

He signed with the Tennessee Titans as a free agent this offseason only to be released at the end of training camp.

Lelito would add some depth to the Lions offensive line, which saw starting center Travis Swanson (ankle) and guard Joe Dahl (leg) miss Sunday’s game against the Atlanta Falcons.

Packers signing Ulrick John off Cardinals practice squad

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With the Green Bay Packers dealing with three tackles on the injury report this week and a game against the Chicago Bears quickly approaching on Thursday night, the team has had to look elsewhere for additional depth up front.

According to Rob Demovsky of ESPN.com, the Packers are signing tackle Ulrick John off the practice squad of the Arizona Cardinals.

The move was confirmed by John’s agent, Leonard Roth.

David Bakhtiari (hamstring), Bryan Bulaga (ankle) and Kyle Murphy (foot) were all listed on Monday’s injury report for the Packers. While the team didn’t practice and the practice designations were theoretical only, Bakhtiari was listed as a limited participant with Bulaga and Murphy both being unable to take part.

Bakhtiari has been inactive the last two weeks. Bulaga missed the first two games of the season and had to depart from Sunday’s game against the Bengals early. Murphy has placed in all three games before appearing on the injury report on Monday.

With Jason Spriggs and Don Barclay already on injured reserve, the Packers swiped John from the Cardinals practice squad.

John has appeared in five NFL games with three starts, all coming last year with the Cardinals. He was a seventh-round pick of the Indianapolis Colts in 2014. He’s also spent time with the Miami Dolphins, appearing in two games with the team in 2015.

Report: Back injury to sideline Tyler Eifert multiple weeks

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Cincinnati Bengals tight end Tyler Eifert is expected to miss multiple weeks with a back injury, according to Adam Schefter of ESPN.com.

Eifert missed Sunday’s game against the Green Bay Packers with the injury after playing in the first two games of the season for the Bengals. He has four catches for 46 yards on the season so far.

The injury is not expected to require surgery.

He played in just eight games for the Bengals last season as back and ankle injuries forced him to miss half the season. Eifert had surgery on his back this offseason and missed OTAs before returning for training camp.

The Bengals play at the Cleveland Browns this week and host the Buffalo Bills in Week 5 before getting a bye in Week 6.

Cowboys’ stars show up in 28-17 victory over Cardinals

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The Cowboys’ stars showed up in the second half, leading Dallas to a much-needed 28-17 victory over the Cardinals.

Demarcus Lawrence had three of the Cowboys’ six sacks — two in the final two minutes — in becoming only the third player in NFL history to have more than one sack in the first three games of a season. Kevin Greene and Mark Gastineau also accomplished the feat.

Lawrence now has a league-leading 6.5 sacks, only 1.5 short of his career best from 2015.

Ezekiel Elliott rushed for 80 yards and a touchdown on 22 carries, with 30 coming on one play, as he rebounded from a career-worst outing at Denver. Dak Prescott completed 13 of 18 passes for 183 yards and two touchdowns. Dez Bryant caught only two passes for 12 yards, but one was a memorable 15-yard touchdown as he dragged seven Cardinals into the end zone with him, and Brice Butler had two catches for 90 yards and a touchdown.

After gaining only 57 yards in the first half, the Cowboys ended up with 273. The Cardinals, who had 140 yards in the first quarter, gained 332.

Carson Palmer completed 29 of 48 passes for 325 yards and two touchdowns, and Larry Fitzgerald caught 13 passes for 149 yards and a touchdown.

The Cardinals, trailing by 10, reached the Dallas 5 with 40 seconds left. Instead of kicking a field goal, though, they went for the touchdown and Palmer’s pass was incomplete.

It was that kind of night for the Cardinals, a night of missed opportunities.

Larry Fitzgerald moves into eighth all time in receiving yards

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Cardinals receiver Larry Fitzgerald moved into eighth place all time in receiving yards. He passed Marvin Harrison in the third quarter.

Harrison had 14,580 yards.

Next on the list for Fitzgerald is Steve Smith, who had 14,731 career yards.

Fitzgerald already ranks third in receptions — 1,134 before Monday night — and eighth in touchdowns, adding his 105th in the third quarter against the Cowboys.

Fitzgerald has 10 catches for 98 yards and a touchdown early in the fourth quarter, with his 15-yard score tying the game 14-14 with 3:13 left in the third quarter.

Dez Bryant carries Cardinals into end zone to give Dallas a 14-7 lead

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The play didn’t start out as anything real special. Dez Bryant ran a shallow cross to the 13-yard line and caught the ball. Then the Cowboys receiver weaved and bobbled his way to near the goal line, where he carried seven Cardinals defenders the final 3 yards into the end zone.

“That’s one of the great efforts you’ll ever see from a wide receiver,” ESPN color commentator Jon Gruden said.

Bryant’s 15-yard touchdown gave the Cowboys a 14-7 lead with 8:31 left in the third quarter.

Bryant has two catches for 12 yards.

Cowboys continue offensive struggles but manage 7-7 halftime tie

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Dak Prescott has passed for only 25 yards. Ezekiel Elliott has run for only 31, with 30 coming on one play. Dez Bryant has one catch for minus-3 yards.

The Cowboys’ 57 total yards and 16 passing yards are the team’s fewest in the first half since Week 13 in 2005, via NFL Research. Yet, somehow, someway the Cowboys managed to tie the Cardinals 7-7 at halftime.

The Cowboys scored off a short field and two Cardinals’ penalties late in the second quarter. Rookie Ryan Switzer returned a punt 21 yards to the Arizona 33, and Prescott scored on a 10-yard run three plays later. Arizona gave the Cowboys 10 yards in penalties with an offside and a defensive hold.

Elliott, who had nine carries for 8 yards last week against Denver, had seven carries for 1 yard. His other carry went for 30.

The Cardinals started out hot, moving up and down the field, with Carson Palmer completing his first 11 passes. He threw a 25-yard touchdown to Jaron Brown with 9:59 left in the first quarter.

But after passing for 135 yards in the first quarter, Palmer managed only 10 yards in the second.

A missed chip-shot field goal by Phil Dawson, five costly penalties for 40 yards and two sacks of Palmer slowed the Cardinals roll. They also are showing how much they miss David Johnson, rushing for only 20 yards in the first half.