Rees Odhiambo to get first crack at replacing George Fant for Seahawks

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A week ago, the Seahawks were closing in on a starting five they felt confident in along their offensive line. With the loss of George Fant to a torn ACL last Friday night, that idea has been tossed in the trash can.

Second-year tackle Rees Odhiambo will get the first chance to replace Fant at left tackle for Seahawks moving forward. While Luke Joeckel remains an option moving forward, head coach Pete Carroll said the team would prefer to leave Joeckel at guard.

“We drafted him highly with the thought he would be able to do this,” Carroll said of Odhiambo, who was a third-round pick last year. “I have never backed off that thought physically he can do it all. Now he’s just got to make sure he can settle in and execute and function really well with the guys. … I think he’s going to have a chance to be really good. We drafted him to be a starting player and we drafted him with the thought he could be a left tackle so here we go. We’ll see what happens.”

Odhiambo replaced Fant at left tackle for the remainder of Friday night’s game against Minnesota. He appeared in eight games for Seattle last season, though most of his time was in a reserve role. Odhiambo played a few snaps at left tackle against the Philadelphia Eagles when Fant briefly left for injury last year and replaced Germain Ifedi at right guard after Ifedi sustained a high-ankle sprain in Seattle’s playoff loss to Atlanta in January.

The Seahawks acquired Matt Tobin in a trade from Philadelphia after practice on Monday and Carroll said that second-round pick Ethan Pocic could be an option as well, but for the time being Odhiambo will get the chance to lock down the job.

Brandon Marshall reportedly having X-ray on shoulder

AP

The Giants apparently have gotten good news regarding receiver Odell Beckham Jr. They now need to sweat out a potential injury to receiver Brandon Marshall.

Via Dan Duggan of NJ.com, the Giants’ radio broadcast has reported that Marshall is having an X-ray on his shoulder.

Marshall, a veteran wideout who has been one of the most productive receivers in football over the past 11 years, joined the Giants earlier this year after being cut by the Jets. His presence makes the team’s receivers, with Beckham and Sterling Shepard, among the best three in the league.

Browns release statement after players’ national anthem protest

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The Browns released a statement at halftime after at least 11 players knelt during the national anthem:

“As an organization, we have a profound respect for our country’s National Anthem, flag and the servicemen and servicewomen in the United States and abroad. We feel it’s important for our team to join in this great tradition and special moment of recognition, at the same time we also respect the great liberties afforded by our country including the freedom of personal expression.”

Jamie Collins, Seth DeValve, Duke Johnson, Kenny Britt, Ricardo Louis, Terrence Magee, Calvin Pryor, Jamar Taylor, Isaiah Crowell, Jabrill Peppers and Christian Kirksey were players who took a knee during the anthem, according to Nate Ulrich of the Akron Beacon Journal.

Beckham returns to sideline in street clothes, walking normally

AP

Giants fans apparently can breathe again.

ESPN camera showed receiver Odell Beckham Jr. walking on the sidelines early in the third quarter, with no apparent distress or orthopedic devices.

It’s a surprising development, given that Beckham suffered a leg-flexing low hit that dropped him to his knees in the tunnel on the way to the end zone. By all appearances, he seems fine.

While means the Giants season will avoid being completely derailed. At least for now.

Tank Carder leaves with knee injury

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Browns linebacker Tank Carder left with a knee injury and will not return, the team announced.

Carter was injured with 3:57 left in the first quarter on a 7-yard catch by Odell Beckham Jr., who later was injured himself. Carder first entered the medical tent but eventually ended up leaving the field for X-rays.

Carder made only two starts in his first five seasons, sticking with the team as a core special teams player. But when the Browns traded Demario Davis to the Jets in June, they gave Carder a chance to win the middle linebacker job.

He has competed with Joe Schobert for the job.

The Browns already were without cornerback Howard Wilson, safety Ed Reynolds II, defensive tackle Danny Shelton and offensive guard Joel Bitonio, all of whom have knee injuries.

Odell Beckham Jr. reportedly has ankle injury, being evaluated for concussion

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Giants receiver Odell Beckham Jr. took a shot on the side of his left leg during the second quarter of Monday night’s game against the Browns. He left the field, heading directly up the tunnel.

But the Pro Bowler didn’t make it to the locker room, dropping to his knees in obvious pain inside the bowels of the stadium. He was escorted the rest of the way to the locker room, walking gingerly.

Beckham finished with three catches for 37 yards, with the last catch coming on an 18-yard gain that ended his night with 13:45 remaining until halftime. As Beckham planted his left foot, Browns cornerback Briean Boddy-Calhoun hit Beckham’s leg.

Beckham dropped to both knees as the Giants held their collective breath.

ESPN reported Beckham has an ankle injury and is being evaluated for a concussion. A cart outside the locker room drove Beckham to the X-ray room for further evaluation.

Several Browns kneel during anthem

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Several Browns players knelt during the national anthem. Jamie Collins, Seth DeValve, Duke Johnson, Kenny Britt and Ricardo Louis were among those who took a knee behind the team bench, according to Mary Kay Cabot of the Cleveland Plain Dealer.

Terrence Magee, Calvin Pryor, Jamar Taylor, Isaiah Crowell, Jabrill Peppers and Christian Kirksey also were in the group that knelt, according to Nate Ulrich of the Akron Beacon Journal.

Rookie quarterback DeShone Kizer stood near the group and placed his hand on the shoulder of one of his teammates, according to Cabot.

It came six days after Browns coach Hue Jackson said he “would hope that we don’t have those issues” in Cleveland following protests by Raiders running back Marshawn Lynch and Seahawks defensive end Michael Bennett.

Jackson, though, revisited his initial comment two days later, reading a prepared statement intended to clarify his views on the subject.

Jackson said he respects and supports the right to peaceful protest, telling players “they should embrace the platform they have as NFL players to improve our community and use their platform in a positive, thoughtful and responsible manner” before delving into the subject of doing so during the anthem specifically.

Cowboys haven’t considered veteran quarterbacks, yet

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Monday’s PFT Live, which marked the official debut of Chris Simms, included plenty of talk about backup quarterbacks. It was inspired by what remains a troubling backup quarterback situation in Dallas.

Clarence E. Hill of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, who reported over the weekend that the Cowboys will be discussing whether veteran journeyman Kellen Moore is the ideal understudy to Dak Prescott, called to discuss the situation, along with other issues with which America’s Team currently is dealing.

At a time when many are wondering whether the Cowboys have considered adding a veteran backup, whether it be Robert Griffin III (who once torched the Cowboys on Thanksgiving) or Colin Kaepernick. Hill said that hasn’t been the plan, yet.

If Mark Sanchez gets cut by the Bears, don’t be surprised if he gets consideration to return to Dallas. Until then, Moore could be the guy — especially since (as one source put it) offensive coordinator Scott Linehan regards Moore as an adopted son.

Robert Kraft gives Donald Trump a Super Bowl ring

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Once upon a time, Vladimir Putin decided to walk away with one of Robert Kraft’s Super Bowl rings. Donald Trump didn’t have to be so bold.

Via Tom Curran of CSN New England, Kraft gave Trump a Super Bowl LI ring, commemorating the Patriots victory over the Falcons.

But it wasn’t Kraft’s ring. Instead, it was an extra ring that was presented because the Patriots were the first championship team to visit the White House since Trump became the 45th President of the United States.

Curran’s report clarifies a suggestion from THE MOOCH that Kraft give his own ring to Trump.

Leonard Fournette, Marqise Lee, A.J. Bouye won’t play in game this week

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Running back Leonard Fournette, receiver Marqise Lee and cornerback A.J. Bouye will not play for the Jaguars in their dress rehearsal against the Panthers on Thursday night, coach Doug Marrone said Monday, according to the Associated Press.

Marrone also ruled out running back T.J. Yeldon (hamstring) and tight end Mychal Rivera (hand).

Fournette’s last practice came Aug. 12, with a left foot injury keeping him out since. Lee injured his right ankle Aug. 13. Both expect to play in the season opener against the Texans, according to Ryan O’Halloran of the Florida Times-Union, with Fournette reporting his foot is “most definitely” better than last week.

It’s very frustrating,” Fournette said. “You want to be out there with your team and your boys and just compete. I’m working my way back.”

Bouye’s injury has not been disclosed, but it kept him out of the first two preseason games as well.

Colts’ roster moves include signing CBs Chris Culliver, Corey White

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The Colts signed free agent cornerbacks Chris Culliver and Corey White. They placed cornerback Darryl Morris on injured reserve and waived Blake Muir with an injury designation. If Muir clears waivers, he will revert to the team’s injured reserve list.

Culliver, 29, has played in 52 career games, with 26 starts. He has made 137 tackles, seven interceptions, 34 pass breakups, two forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries in his time with Miami (2016), Washington (2015) and San Francisco (2011-14).

He has played in five postseason games, with two starts, making 21 tackles and an interception and defensing four passes.

Culliver originally was selected by the 49ers in the third round (80th overall) of the 2011 draft out of South Carolina.

White, 27, has played in 66 career games, with 24 starts. He has made 151 tackles, six interceptions and 22 pass breakups in his time with Buffalo (2016), Arizona (2015), Dallas (2015) and New Orleans (2012-14).

He has played in two postseason contests, with two starts, making eight tackles.

White originally was selected by the Saints in the fifth round (162nd overall) of the 2012 draft out of Samford.

Morris has played in 48 career games, with three starts, making 73 tackles, 12 pass breakups and two interceptions in his time with the Colts (2016), Texans (2014-15) and 49ers (2013).

Muir signed with the Colts as a free agent on May 15. He spent time on the practice squads of Atlanta and Green Bay as a rookie in 2016.

Scott Tolzien “didn’t play bad” hardly a ringing endorsement from Chuck Pagano

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Andrew Luck‘s absence has shown the Colts two things: They are a one-man team, and Scott Tolzien isn’t the answer. Coach Chuck Pagano seemed to be talking himself into believing Tolzien “didn’t play bad” against the Cowboys on Saturday night, using the phrase three times in a three-sentence answer.

Scotty didn’t play bad,” Pagano said, via Mike Wells of ESPN. “Scotty didn’t play bad. It takes 11 guys hitting on all cylinders offensively, defensively and special teams, so Scotty did not play bad.”

But Tolzien didn’t play good, either.

He remains the starter for now after completing 12 of 19 passes for 94 yards and no touchdowns in two preseason games.

Luck remains on the physically unable to perform list, making it less and less likely by the day that he will be ready for the season opener against the Rams.

Stephen Morris has put up the best numbers so far among the team’s four quarterbacks, completing 24 of 35 passes for 205 yards while leading the Colts to their only two touchdowns of the preseason while playing in the fourth quarter. He took second-team snaps in practice Monday ahead of rookie Phillip Walker, according to Wells.

Pagano didn’t rule out Morris supplanting Tolzien, saying, “We’ve got two preseason games left” when asked why Tolzien is starting ahead of Morris.

Belichick unfazed by removal of intermediate cuts

AP

In past years, NFL teams cut the rosters twice, from 90 to 75 and then from 75 to 53. This year, the deadline comes in one fell swoop, with all rosters dropping by 37 spots on the same day.

For Patriots coach Bill Belichick, it’s no big deal.

“I mean, it’s not that much different than what it was before,” Belichick told reporters on Monday. “I mean, a lot of the guys that went at the 75 cut — I mean, the better players came from 75 to 53 than from 90 to 75. I don’t think it’s that big of a deal.”

He also rebuffed the notion that players on the roster bubble should regard the extra opportunities as being any more important.

“Every day’s important,” he said. “Every opportunity is important. Hopefully, everybody’s taking advantage of all of them, no matter what their situation is — you know, for roster spots, for playing time, for preparation for the season. I mean, it’s all important to me. . . . I don’t think there’s any switch that flips. There’s just different stages that we go through. Hopefully, we’ve been working hard all the time.”

The sad reality, though, is that plenty of players too will have their hard work end in no reward, other than the satisfaction of having worked hard, and the per diem. But plenty of guys who get cut will be claimed elsewhere on waivers, one of the basic realities of the one-man’s-trash-is-another-man’s-treasure dynamic that happens when a team has too a glut of good players and one position, and another team has a shortage.

For that reason, don’t rule out a rash of trades as teams hope to secure dibs on a player who otherwise would be thrown onto the waiver wire.

Trevor Siemian believes he can become long-term answer for Broncos

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The Broncos drafted Paxton Lynch to be their franchise quarterback after Peyton Manning. But it’s Trevor Siemian, a former seventh-round pick, who looks more like that guy right now.

Or so he hopes.

I hope so. I think I can,” Siemian said of being the long-term answer at the position for the Broncos, via Nicki Jhabvala of The Denver Post. “I’ve got a long way to go. I know where I can get better. I also know some of the things I do well. For me, even getting to go back to when I came in the league, I’ve tried to do a good job of taking it one day at a time and one rep at a time, and at the end of the season, I’ll go back and figure out where I’m at and go from there.”

The Broncos named Siemian the starter for the 2017 season after he outplayed Lynch in last week’s preseason game against the 49ers. Coach Vance Joseph said he wants Siemian to “just be Trevor.”

Siemian threw 18 touchdowns and 10 interceptions in going 8-6 last season after winning the job over Mark Sanchez and Lynch. He had to compete all over again this year after Joseph replaced Gary Kubiak in the offseason.

“Honestly, I think you have to compete for your job every day and every week, and that’s one of the things when I was here and watched Peyton [Manning], that guy wasn’t content,” Siemian said. “He was a Hall of Famer. But every day, every week, I think you have to earn your job, and quarterback is no different certainly.”

Paxton Lynch: I’m disappointed, will stay prepared

AP

The Broncos made their choice for their Week One starting quarterback on Monday and it was Trevor Siemian for the second year in a row.

That wasn’t a great surprise given the way things had played out during training camp and the first two preseason games and it leaves 2016 first-round pick Paxton Lynch to start another season on the bench. After coach Vance Joseph made the announcement, Lynch said he isn’t going to “pout” about the fact that Siemian got the nod because pouting won’t do anything to change the situation.

“I am disappointed. I have to be prepared. I believe in myself to be a starter. But coaches’ made the decision,” Lynch said, via Troy Renck of The Denver Channel.

Lynch made a couple of starts when Siemian was injured last season and didn’t set the world on fire in either of those appearances. Should another shot come his way this year, better work could change the situation in Denver moving forward while more of the same might leave the Broncos ready to move on from a player who many gave a good chance of winding up with the job this year.