David Parry suspended four games

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The NFL has suspended Saints defensive tackle David Parry for four games, via Field Yates of ESPN. The suspension stems from Parry’s arrest in February on robbery, auto theft, criminal damage, resisting arrest and driving under the influence charges in Scottsdale, Arizona, while he was a member of the Colts.

The Saints claimed Parry off waivers from the Colts on Sept. 3.

Parry is on the Saints’ injured reserve list.

New Orleans has three games remaining, and thus if it misses the playoffs, Parry’s suspension will include the 2018 season opener.

The Saints placed Parry on injured reserve Sept. 27 after he injured his ankle during a 34-13 victory over the Panthers. It was the only game he played in this season, and he made one tackle.

Antonio Brown off injury report, toe “feeling much better”

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Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown sat out of practice on Thursday because of the toe injury that led to a questionable designation for last Monday’s game against the Bengals, but it doesn’t look like it will be an issue for him against the Ravens.

Brown was back for a full practice on Friday and he does not appear on the team’s final injury report of the week.

“I never want to play a game without practicing,” Brown said, via the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. “That’s not ideal for me. I’m a guy who wants to be out there and take every rep to get a great feel and preparation. But last week was less fortunate for me. It was a challenge. I was grateful I was able to pull through, but I’m grateful for this week and excited about this opportunity to be out there with my guys. The arrow’s pointed up. I’m feeling a lot better.”

Brown had eight catches for 101 yards and a touchdown against the Bengals, so any limitations were small ones last time out. That should make Brown quite a test for a Ravens secondary that will play without cornerback Jimmy Smith for the first time since he tore his Achilles.

Sean Lee will return to the lineup Sunday

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The Cowboys will welcome back weakside linebacker Sean Lee on Sunday against the Giants.

Lee missed two games earlier this season with a hamstring injury, and he aggravated it after only eight plays in the Nov. 12 loss to the Falcons. He missed the past three games with the injury.

Lee returned to practice this week and was a full participant Friday, coming off the team’s injury report.

The Cowboys list seven players as questionable, including cornerback Orlando Scandrick (back), right tackle La'el Collins (back) and defensive lineman David Irving (concussion). None of the three practiced this week.

Collins, though, is expected to play.

Eight teams that missed playoffs in 2016 currently in playoff position

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Since the 12-team playoff format was introduced to the NFL in 1990, every year has seen at least four teams advance to the postseason after failing to make it the previous year.

We’re on track to see that number double. As of today, eight of the 12 playoff spots in the league are taken up by teams that did not go to the playoffs last year. If that holds, it would be a new record for turnover from one season to the next.

The Vikings, Eagles, Rams, Saints and Panthers would join the Seahawks, although a Seahawks loss this weekend would push the Falcons into the lone returnee spot.  The Titans, Jaguars and Ravens would be the new faces in the AFC and that number could expand to include the Chargers if they can move ahead of the Chiefs in the AFC West. The Bills are also hanging around in the AFC, but they’d only replace another newcomer as a Wild Card.

That may not bring much solace to fans in Denver, Houston or Arizona right now, but it might be worth filing away for a hopeful reminder once 2018 rolls around.

Tom Brady practices on a limited basis Friday

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The Patriots don’t play until Monday night, so Thursday’s practice was like a Wednesday and Friday’s practice was like a Thursday. Thus, it was no surprise quarterback Tom Brady missed Thursday’s practice, which has become his Wednesday routine the past few weeks.

Brady, who is dealing with a minor Achilles’ injury, returned to practice Friday on a limited basis.

In his Westwood One interview Thursday night, Brady insisted Patriots fans have nothing to worry about.

“Just a little extra treatment, so I want to be full-go, ready to go on Monday night,” Brady said.

The Patriots added running back Dion Lewis to their injury report Friday with an illness. Offensive lineman Marcus Cannon (ankle) remains out of practice. Cannon has not played since Week 8 against the Chargers.

Packers dealing with several injuries at cornerback

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Quarterback Aaron Rodgers‘ return to practice took a step forward this week as he began working in pads, but his return to game action would almost certainly only mean something to fantasy football players if the team can’t win this weekend.

There are certainly worse teams to have on the schedule in such a scenario than the one the Packers are playing on Sunday. The Browns are 0-12 and looking to next year after hiring a new General Manager this week.

Whatever challenge the Browns provide could be amplified by Packers injuries, particularly at cornerback. The team placed rookie Kevin King on injured reserve this week and their injury report features a couple of other corners.

Demetri Goodson is out with a hamstring injury a few days after being activated for the first time since tearing two ligaments in his knee last year. Davon House is doubtful with a shoulder injury, which leaves him unlikely to play and that would probably leave Morgan Burnett to see some time in the spot with Damarious Randall and Josh Hawkins on the outside.

Browns cut Kenny Britt

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Yesterday the Browns fired G.M. Sashi Brown. Today the Browns have cut one of Brown’s prized free agent signings.

Kenny Britt has been released today, Adam Schefter of ESPN reports. Britt will go on waivers and can be claimed by any team that wants the remainder of his $4 million base salary this season. Assuming no team claims Britt, he would then become an unrestricted free agent.

The Browns signed Britt to a four-year, $32.5 million contract that included $17 million guaranteed, and the Browns will be on the hook for that guaranteed money.

Britt has managed just 18 catches for 233 yards this season. He never appeared to fit with what Hue Jackson wanted to do on offense, and now that the guy who signed Britt is gone, Britt is the next one out the door.

Matthew Stafford questionable but expected to play

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Officially, the Lions list Matthew Stafford as questionable. Unofficially, the quarterback is expected to start Sunday’s game against the Buccaneers barring a setback.

“Just continue to see how he feels and see what the doctors say,” Lions coach Jim Caldwell said, via Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press. “. . . We’ll see.”

Stafford injured his right hand when Ravens linebacker Terrell Suggs accidentally stepped on it during an interception return Sunday. He was limited in practice all week.

Stafford previously has played through hand injuries, but he was ineffective both times. He threw five interceptions in 19 quarters with a sprained middle finger on his throwing hand last season, and the Lions lost four games in a row. In 2011, Stafford threw nine interceptions in three games with a broken right index finger as the Lions went 1-2.

The Lions ruled out right tackle Rick Wagner (ankle) for Sunday, and they list nine other players as questionable, including starting running back Ameer Abdullah (neck), offensive guard T.J. Lang (foot), center Travis Swanson (knee) and defensive end Ziggy Ansah (ankle).

Amari Cooper listed as questionable after getting back on the field Friday

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A report on Friday indicated that Raiders wide receiver Amari Cooper will not play in Sunday’s game against the Chiefs because of the ankle injury he suffered in Week 12, but the Raiders aren’t ruling him out at this point.

Cooper was on the field during Friday’s practice and he’s listed as questionable for the matchup in Kansas City. Cooper also suffered a concussion when he was hit by Broncos safety Darian Stewart two weeks ago, but he has been cleared from the concussion protocol.

Coach Jack Del Rio said Cooper “moved around pretty well,” but didn’t offer a prediction on how likely it is that Cooper will be able to play.

“We’ll see. I’ve got some thoughts on it, but I don’t need to share them with anybody,” Del Rio said, via Michael Gehlken of the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

Cooper had 11 catches for 210 yards and two touchdowns in the first Raiders-Chiefs game of the year. If he can play, he will not have to tangle with Chiefs cornerback Marcus Peters as Peters is serving a one-game team-issued suspension.

Sean Payton rips “extremely poor” officiating

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Saints coach Sean Payton is under review from the league after getting an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty late in Thursday’s loss to the Falcons for running on the field toward field judge Joe Larrew while trying to call the team’s final timeout.

The review of his behavior is the same that all players and coaches go through when called for unsportsmanlike conduct. Payton conceded after the game that he “said it with a little more oomph or vigor than I was supposed to” in reference to the exchange with Larrew while adding that he had “had enough” at that point in the game.

Payton made it clearer just what he’d had enough of during a Friday press conference.

“I thought our guys fought hard,” Payton said, via the New Orleans Advocate. “Obviously, looking back through it, I thought the officiating was extremely poor, inconsistent would be a good way to put it, and I thought that had a lot to do with the way this game ended. … That’s what’s frustrating is good teams are out there fighting hard, but the calls, as I went through them, and the ones that weren’t called, too many inconsistencies. I think it’s been a problem all year, it’s something that’s going to have to be addressed from a leadership standpoint at the top in our league office.”

Payton said he didn’t want to go through each call, but mentioned uncalled holds on wide receiver Michael Thomas were among his issues with the officiating. Payton is on the NFL’s Competition Committee, which will given him some voice in any offseason changes to officiating whether he’s penalized by the league for Thursday’s actions or not.

Jason Pierre-Paul, Sterling Shepard questionable but expected to play

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Jason Pierre-Paul and Sterling Shepard both expect to play Sunday against the Cowboys despite the team listing them as questionable.

Pierre-Paul missed practice earlier in the week with a finger injury, and he had his right middle finger heavily wrapped in a limited practice Friday.

Although interim coach Steve Spagnuolo said he “isn’t 100 percent sure” the defensive end will play, Pierre-Paul insists he’s “definitely” playing. He added, via Ralph Vacchiano of SNY, that he might have to wear “the club” again.

Pierre-Paul wore the oversized protection on his right hand during the 2015 season when he returned from his fireworks accident.

Shepard was limited in practice a second consecutive day with a hamstring injury. He has missed four games this season with an ankle injury and migraines.

“He looked all right today,” Spagnuolo said, via James Kratch of nj.com. “He looked like he went pretty good.”

The Giants ruled out lineman Justin Pugh, who will miss a third consecutive game with a back injury, and linebacker B.J. Goodson (ankle). It marks the seventh game Goodson has missed this season with injuries.

Browns failed to follow Rooney Rule procedure but complied in interviewing minority

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As it turns out, John Wooten isn’t as “livid” as he first thought. The Browns did indeed interview a minority candidate for their General Manager job. The team just failed to communicate with the league the fact that they talked to former Bills G.M. Doug Whaley (pictured) before hiring John Dorsey, a requirement of the Rooney Rule.

In other words, the Browns botched the paperwork. Sound familiar?

“For whatever reason, [Jimmy] Haslam or whoever is running their operation there did not report that they had interviewed a minority candidate before they announced that they had signed John Dorsey,” Wooten, the chairman of the Fritz Pollard Alliance, told PFT on Friday. “That threw the whole thing into question, because everybody was asking, ‘Who did they interview?’ Well, we checked with the league, and the league said it had not received any information on who they interviewed or anyone that they intended to interview. Under league rules, the fact that Doug Whaley and John Dorsey were not in the league, they could in fact talk to those guys, but you still have to report you talked to Doug Whaley, and they didn’t do that.

“I got a phone call last night from somebody who said Jimmy Haslam had called him saying I was very upset. He’s absolutely right. I was upset, because when I checked with the league office they said they had not received any information on who the Browns had interviewed at all.”

Haslam defended the process during a press conference to introduce Dorsey, saying the Browns “absolutely” complied. The Browns owner added he was “disappointed” with Wooten’s comments.

Wooten said he asked Cyrus Mehri to issue a complaint with the league. Mehri, a civil rights lawyer who works with the Fritz Pollard Alliance, was instrumental in getting the NFL to adopt the Rooney Rule in 2003.

“That’s where we are,” said Wooten, a fifth-round draft pick of the Browns in 1959 who played nine seasons in Cleveland. “We’re still waiting for the league to clear this up. We’ve put it on their table. It’s their responsibility. It’s the team’s responsibility to tell the league, and the league gets it to us. We’ll let the league decide what they want to do there [as far as any punishment].”

An NFL spokesman said the league is “satisfied the club met the Rooney Rule.”

Lance Kendricks charged with possession of THC

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After TMZ reported last month that Packers tight end Lance Kendricks was cited for marijuana possession after a September traffic stop, Kendricks denied it and said he was given a warning for a speeding ticket.

Kendricks is now facing more than a citation. Michael Cohen of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports that Kendricks was charged with possession of THC by the district attorney in Outagamie County on December 5.

The newspaper has dash cam video with audio from the night of the stop, which came when Kendricks was pulled over for going 81 in a 70-mph zone. An officer can be heard saying that the car smells like marijuana before initiating a search that turned up marijuana, rolling papers and a grinder.

Kendricks is due for a court date in February and is subject to NFL discipline related to the case.

Jalen Ramsey, Telvin Smith questionable for Sunday

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Jaguars cornerback Jalen Ramsey said this week that he doesn’t see Sunday’s game against the Seahawks as a chance to make a statement to the rest of the league, but that’s not a unanimous opinion in the team’s locker room.

Something that everyone in Jacksonville can agree on is that the team’s chances of winning the game are a lot better if Ramsey’s on the field and playing at a high level. It’s up in the air if that’s going to be the case, however.

Ramsey is listed as questionable with an ankle injury that kept him out of practice on Wednesday and Thursday. Linebacker Telvin Smith did take part in practice each of those days, but he was not on the field Friday and remains in the concussion protocol.

Both players play significant roles on defense for the Jaguars and missing either one would be a blow when they face the Seahawks.

Tevin Coleman in concussion protocol

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The Falcons played two games without running back Devonta Freeman recently because he had a concussion and now their other top runner is dealing with the same issue.

Falcons coach Dan Quinn said on Friday that the team has placed Tevin Coleman in the concussion protocol. Coleman was taken to the locker room to be evaluated in the fourth quarter of Thursday night’s victory over the Saints.

Coleman had nine carries for 32 yards against New Orleans and has 139 carries for 593 yards and five touchdowns on the year. He also has 21 catches for 245 yards and two touchdowns.

The Falcons have extended time off before a Monday night game against the Buccaneers in Week 15 and Coleman’s status will likely be updated at some point next week.