Bill Belichick may have an “issue” with Tom Brady’s personal trainer

Getty Images

Patriots quarterback Tom Brady attributes his ability to throw the ball as well as ever at age 40 to his training habits, and has specifically credited trainer Alex Guerrero with helping him continue to improve at an age when most athletes are retired. But not everyone in New England is sold on Guerrero.

That’s the word from Adam Schefter of ESPN, who said on WEEI that he has heard on multiple occasions this season that Patriots coach Bill Belichick has some type of issue with Guerrero.

“I’ve heard whispers about that sort of thing, as well. There’s some sort of issue,” Schefter said. “I truly do not know the extent of it. I don’t know how long it has been brewing or the history of it. Clearly, there’s something there, but I don’t know what to make of it. . . . I just know that the Guerrero thing has been an issue at some point this season. It has come up. It is not the first time it has been brought to my attention.”

Schefter didn’t present this as a firm report of a problem in the locker room, but it’s an indication that Brady and Belichick, despite all their success together, may not be entirely on the same page.

Guerrero has reportedly stopped traveling with the team to road games, which he had done in the past. Belichick may want to distance the team from a trainer who’s not part of the team’s strength and conditioning staff, and that wouldn’t be particularly surprising. NFL coaches would almost always prefer that players take direction from the team’s training staff, rather than their own personal trainers, and even if Brady has had undeniable success with Guerrero, that doesn’t mean Belichick is buying in to the TB12 Method.

Chiefs take command of AFC West race with 30-13 win over Chargers

Getty Images

The Kansas City Chiefs took advantage of just about every mistake made by the Los Angeles Chargers on Saturday night.

And the Chargers made many mistakes.

The Chiefs scored 13 points off L.A. turnovers and 10 more points on drives following Chargers’ special teams mistakes in earning a 30-13 victory to take control of the AFC West race with two weeks remaining in the regular season.

Kareem Hunt rushed for 155 yards with a rushing touchdown and receiving touchdown and Marcus Peters intercepted Philip Rivers twice in leading the Chiefs. Alex Smith was also incredibly efficient with just seven incompletions on 30 attempts and 231 yards passing with two touchdowns.

Rivers was intercepted three times in total with Ron Parker getting the third interception of the night. Parker also recovered a fumble from Chargers running back Austin Ekeler as well.

The Chargers were unable to recover a muffed punt by the Chiefs despite having several opportunities to recover the loose ball. Kansas City would drive 82 yards before getting on the board with a 31-yard Harrison Butker field goal late in the first quarter. Ekeler had a chance to down another Chargers punt inside the 5-yard line only to have his momentum carry him into the end zone for a touchback. Four plays later, Smith hit Tyreek Hill for a 64-yard touchdown to give the Chiefs a 10-0 lead.

Melvin Gordon scored on a 2-yard touchdown and Rivers hit Antonio Gates for a 10-yard touchdown, but it was too little to overcome the errors and turnovers.

Two more Butker field goals and a 5-yard touchdown run by Hunt all come off turnovers to close out the game for the Chiefs.

Gordon finished with 78 yards on 19 carries for the Chargers and added 91 yards on six receptions as well to lead the way in both categories for Los Angeles.

Kareem Hunt touchdown, Marcus Peters interception give Chiefs 20-13 lead

Getty Images

A 3-yard touchdown pass from Alex Smith to Kareem Hunt coupled with a Marcus Peters interception leading to a Harrison Butker 24-yard field goal has given the Kansas City Chiefs a 20-13 lead over the Los Angeles Chargers through three quarters.

The Chargers grabbed the lead on their first possession of the third quarter as Philip Rivers connected with Antonio Gates for a 10-yard touchdown to cap an 88-yard scoring drive.

However, the Chiefs answered back with a lengthy scoring drive of their own, marching 69 yards on 12 plays before Smith and Hunt connected to put Kansas City back on top, 17-13.

Just two plays into Los Angeles’ next drive, Rivers threw into double coverage toward wide receiver Tyrell Williams only to have it intercepted. Peters returned the ball 62 yards to the Chargers’ 6-yard line to set up the Butker field goal. A third down pass to Hunt in the end zone was ruled incomplete and upheld upon review to limit the Chiefs to only the field goal and not Hunt’s second touchdown of the quarter.

Pats downgrade Kyle Van Noy, Brandon King

Getty Images

The Patriots had listed 10 players as questionable for Sunday’s showdown in Pittsburgh. Two of them didn’t make the trip, and thus they have been downgraded to out.

Scratched are linebacker Kyle Van Noy (pictured), who has a calf injury, and safety Brandon King, who has a hamstring injury.

This means that eight other players whose status was up in the air have flown to Pennsylvania. They are defensive end Trey Flowers (rib), cornerback Stephon Gilmore (ankle), linebacker David Harris (ankle), receiver Chris Hogan (shoulder), defensive end Eric Lee (ankle), WR Matt Slater (hamstring), tackle LaAdrian Waddle (ankle), and defensive end Deatrich Wise (foot).

While making the trip doesn’t mean they’ll definitely play, not accompanying their teammates means they definitely won’t.

Van Noy, who has appeared in 12 games with 11 starts, last played on December 3 against the Bills. King likewise last played on December 3.

In a recent visit to PFT Live, Tom Curran of NBC Sports Boston suggested that the Patriots kept out some of their dinged-up players on Monday night against the Dolphins in order to ensure that they’ll be good to go for the game against the Steelers.

Tyreek Hill, Melvin Gordon trade TDs as Chiefs take 10-6 lead into halftime

Getty Images

A 2-yard touchdown run by Melvin Gordon capped a 75-yard scoring drive for the Los Angeles Chargers, but the Kansas City Chiefs still hold a 10-6 lead at halftime.

Harrison Butker missed a 52-yard field goal wide left with just seven seconds left in the half and a Philip Rivers Hail Mary was swatted down by Travis Kelce to keep the four-point advantage at the break.

Kicking woes continue for the Chargers as well as Travis Coons missed the extra point wide left after Gordon’s touchdown got the Chargers on the board.

The Chiefs built an early lead taking advantage of some Chargers mishaps. After a 31-yard field goal by Harrison Butker got the Chiefs on the board, Tyreek Hill beat Casey Hayward for a 64-yard touchdown to give Kansas City a 10-0 lead.

The Chargers had a chance to recover a muffed punt and an opportunity to pin the Chiefs inside the 5-yard line on another punt only to bungle both plays. The Chiefs scored on each of the ensuing possessions to build their early cushion.

Chargers tackle Joe Barksdale and linebacker Denzel Perryman, and Chiefs defensive end Chris Jones all left the field with injuries in the latter stages of the second quarter. Perryman was carted to the locker room right before halftime with a hamstring injury and is questionable to return.

Tyreek Hill 64-yard touchdown gives Chiefs 10-0 lead over Chargers

Getty Images

Tyreek Hill sprinted past Chargers cornerback Casey Hayward for a 64-yard touchdown as the Kansas City Chiefs took a 10-0 lead with 6:30 left in the second quarter.

Hayward, who is playing despite a calf injury, couldn’t contain Hill in man coverage as Hill scored the first touchdown of the night.

The Chiefs have been able to take advantage of several errors by the Chargers in gaining their advantage. After a muffed punt by the Chiefs, the Chargers were unable to recover a loose ball they had several chances at to gain possession. Kansas City marched 82 yards on the ensuing possession that ended with a 31-yard Harrison Butker field goal to give the Chiefs a 3-0 lead.

Just prior to the Chiefs touchdown drive, Austin Ekeler was unable to keep his momentum from carrying a punt into the end zone for a touchback as he attempted to down the ball. With the additional 19 yards of cushion, the Chiefs were able to hit Hill for the touchdown to build an two-score advantage before halftime.

Seahawks place Kam Chancellor on injured reserve, waive Mark Glowinski

Getty Images

The Seattle Seahawks made several roster moves ahead of Sunday’s game against the Los Angeles Rams.

They finally made the move to place strong safety Kam Chancellor on injured reserve. Chancellor had remained on the team’s active roster for the last month despite already being ruled out for the rest of the season due to a neck injury. The Seahawks continued to carry him on their roster for salary cap purposes.

Seattle also waived guard Mark Glowinski, who has started 19 games for Seattle over the past three seasons. He started all 16 games at left guard for Seattle last season and the first two games of this year at right guard before losing his starting job.

In the place of Chancellor and Glowinski, the Seahawks promoted linebacker Kache Palacio and cornerback Mike Tyson from their practice squad.

The promotion of Palacio provides Seatle with additional depth at linebacker as K.J. Wright is doubtful to play Sunday due to a concussion and Bobby Wagner is questionable with a hamstring strain.

Tyson, a sixth-round pick in May’s NFL draft, has spent the entire season on the team’s practice squad. He serves as a hedge for Byron Maxwell and Justin Coleman, who were limited in practice during the week due to shoulder injuries.

Report: Leonard Fournette will not play Sunday

Getty Images

Jacksonville running back Leonard Fournette will spend Sunday on the sideline.

The Jaguars have decided not to play Fournette as he deals with a quadriceps injury, Chris Mortensen of ESPN reports.

Fournette missed practice all week, but the Jaguars listed him as questionable for Sunday’s game against the Texans. They’ve apparently decided they’d rather keep him healthy than risk an injury.

Chris Ivory and T.J. Yeldon will likely see more carries with Fournette out.

Lions cruise to easy win over Bears

Getty Images

Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford played well and Bears quarterback Mitchell Trubisky struggled, and today’s game in Detroit was never really in doubt.

The Lions, led by Stafford as well as a defense that picked off Trubisky twice, jumped out to a 13-0 lead and cruised to a 20-10 win.

Stafford completed 25 of 33 passes for 237 yards, with two touchdowns and no turnovers. Trubisky gained 314 yards and threw a touchdown pass, but that was in garbage time. His two early interceptions dug a hole for the Bears that they could not dig out of, and his third interception sealed the Bears’ loss.

Two of the Lions’ interceptions were by Darius Slay, who now has an NFL-leading seven interceptions on the season.

On his last pass of the game, Stafford took a hard hit and his throwing shoulder was driven into the turf. He was slow to get up, but when he went to the sideline he was smiling and apparently unhurt.

At 8-6, the Lions remain in contention for an NFC playoff berth, although they’re going to need some help to get to the postseason. The best-case scenario for the Lions would be the Panthers, Saints and Falcons losing this week, to lessen the likelihood of both NFC wild card teams coming out of the NFC South.

At 4-10, the Bears have shown little if any improvement this season. John Fox’s job is clearly in jeopardy, and the Bears might have no choice but to begin yet another rebuilding effort this offseason. They’d like to think Trubisky will be the centerpiece of that rebuilding, but today’s game didn’t do much to inspire confidence.

Casey Hayward active for Chargers against Chiefs

Getty Images

Los Angeles Chargers cornerback Casey Hayward is active for Saturday night’s game against the Kansas City Chiefs despite a calf strain that had his listed as questionable on the team’s final injury report.

Chiefs linebacker Tamba Hali, safety Eric Murray and linebacker Kevin Pierre-Louis are all active for the Chiefs as well despite being listed as questionable as well.

Quarterback Cardale Jones, wide receiver Geremy Davis, cornerback Craig Mager, tackle Michael Ola, tight end Seth Culkin and defensive ends Jeremiah Attaochu and Isaac Rochell are inactive for the Chargers.

Quarterback Tyler Bray, cornerbacks Phillip Gaines and Keith Reaser, safety Leon McQuay, linebacker Ramik Wilson, defensive tackle Justin Hamilton and offensive lineman Parker Ehinger are the inactive for the Chiefs.

Zach Fulton is starting at center for the Chiefs after Mitch Morse was placed on injured reserve on Friday.

Mike Gillislee takes issue with recent demotion

Getty Images

He started the season with three touchdowns in one game. He now hasn’t played for five straight games.

Patriots running back Mike Gillislee, who signed as a restricted free agent from Buffalo, has been demoted, and he’s not thrilled with it.

“It’s crazy, because just coming here, you just expect to be out there,” Gillislee said Friday, via Kevin Duffy of “Who wouldn’t when you play football? I love football. It’s a coaches’ decision. I just leave it up to the coaches. As far as that, I just go out and I work and compete. That’s all I can do. . . . As far as me being backup, I feel like I shouldn’t, but right now I’m in a situation where I’m not playing. It’s all about how I handle it, and how I handle it is I work ever harder. And I wait for my number to be called.”

His number was called 15 times in Week One against the Chiefs. He gained 45 yards and scored three times. He added 18 carries for 69 yards and another touchdown the following week at New Orleans.

Gillislee got 12, 12, 12, 10, eight, and 11 carries in the next six games. After the bye week, however, he has disappeared, with James White, Dion Lewis, and Rex Burkhead getting the bulk of the work as Gillislee became a healthy inactive for five straight weeks.

Fumbling isn’t the issue; he has dropped the ball only once all year. Whatever caused him to slide in the eyes of coach Bill Belichick, Gillislee is trying to stay positive.

“I’m just lucky to be able to play football and be part of a great program,” Gillislee said. “Just lucky to continue to play football, just be part of a team, even though I would love to be out there each and every day I prepare as if I am.”

His next chance to play will come on Sunday in Pittsburgh. Based on recent history, however, he probably shouldn’t count on wearing anything other than street clothes on the sidelines — especially since the guys in front of him are all healthy.

Bengals downgrade Joe Mixon to out

Getty Images

As the Bengals try to make a late-season push for a final record at .500, they won’t have one of their best offensive weapons, again.

The Bengals downgraded rookie running back Joe Mixon to out on Saturday, when he didn’t make the trip from Cincinnati to Minnesota for Sunday’s game against the Vikings. Mixon, who missed the Week 14 loss to the Bears, suffered the concussion in the Week 13 Monday night game against the Steelers.

The second-round draft pick from Oklahoma has 518 rushing yards on 157 carries this year, good for a per-attempt average of only 3.3 yards. Gio Bernard will get the start in Mixon’s absence.

The Bengals bolstered the tailback position on Saturday by elevating Jarveon Williams from the practice squad. Center-guard T.J. Johnson was placed on injured reserve with a pectoral injury.

Lions take 13-3 lead into halftime

Getty Images

If the Lions are going to stay alive in the NFC playoff race, today’s game is a must-win. Halfway through, they’re doing what they need to do.

Detroit is outplaying Chicago on offense, defense and special teams, and the Lions have taken a 13-3 lead into halftime.

The Lions’ biggest play was a 58-yard pass from Matthew Stafford to Marvin Jones, which set up the game’s only touchdown, a three-yard pass from Stafford to T.J. Jones. The Lions’ defense has also largely shut down the Bears’ offense, while the special teams has had some solid punt returns from Jamal Agnew and two field goals from Matt Prater.

The Bears’ only real highlights of the first half were a Tarik Cohen kickoff return that got called back on a holding penalty, and recovering a fumble by Detroit’s Theo Riddick just before halftime to set up a field goal.

Bears coach John Fox has played it safe, with conservative play-calling including a decision to punt on fourth-and-1 before the Lions’ touchdown drive. Fox may need to take some chances if his team is going to have any hope of making plays and getting back in the game in the second half.

Lions take early lead on two Matt Prater field goals


The Lions have a bad habit of stalling on drives, but at least they have a good kicker.

Matt Prater kicked two early field goals, and the Lions have taken a 6-0 lead over the Bears.

The Lions’ offense has been surprisingly balanced, with 46 rushing yards and 52 passing yards in the first quarter. Tion Green and Theo Riddick split carries and were effective.

The Bears lost safety Chris Prosinski to a concussion on the first series. That was a big loss, as Prosinski was only in the starting lineup because starting safety Adrian Amos is injured and inactive.

Chicago’s offense wasn’t able to do much of anything in the first quarter. So far, it’s been all Matt Prater.

Packers activate Aaron Rodgers, cut Joe Callahan

Getty Images

Aaron Rodgers is officially back, and the Packers are confident enough that he’s healthy that they’re only keeping two quarterbacks on the roster.

The Packers have activated Rodgers off injured reserve, clearing the way for him to start tomorrow. Green Bay also released backup quarterback Joe Callahan, meaning the Packers only have two quarterbacks, Rodgers and Brett Hundley.

If Callahan clears waivers, he could be re-signed to the practice squad next week. If any other team wants him, he’ll be available to be claimed on Monday.

The Packers would almost certainly need to win out to make the playoffs, and it’s possible that even if they win all three of their remaining games they still won’t make it. They have an uphill battle to the postseason, but the return of Rodgers gives them a chance.