Jaguars review finds four people who threw objects at Quinton Jefferson

AP

The end of Sunday’s game between the Jaguars and Seahawks devolved into scuffles on the field when the Seahawks charged the line during a kneeldown and almost got worse when Seahawks defensive lineman Quinton Jefferson charged the stands after objects were thrown at him as he made his way off the field following his ejection.

Jefferson was stopped before he could get into the stands and the Jaguars began a review designed to identify the fans who were throwing things at Jefferson. On Monday, the Jaguars announced that they have looked at video and spoken to fans in the area to find four individuals who threw objects at Jefferson.

The team said they are in the process of identifying those fans. If they are season ticket holders, those privileges will be revoked in accordance with the team’s fan code of contact. If not, they will be barred from purchasing tickets through the team or its affiliates and banned from EverBank Stadium.

The review of what happened in the stands has not been closed so others may be identified as well.

John Harbaugh on play-calling: If it doesn’t work, it wasn’t a good call

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John Harbaugh is right about one thing: If Joe Flacco had completed one of his two passes on the second-to-last drive in Sunday night’s loss to the Steelers, Monday morning quarterbacks would laud the team’s aggressiveness. But it didn’t work, and the Ravens left the Steelers too much time, making it easy to second-guess the play-calling.

“We could run it. We could pass it,” Harbaugh said Monday, via Jamison Hensley of ESPN. “You do whatever you can to try to get yards. If it works, it’s a good call. If it doesn’t work, it’s not a good call.”

The Ravens held a 38-36 lead with 3:29 remaining when they took over at their own 25. But the Steelers had all three timeouts.

Flacco threw incomplete on first down, burning only four seconds. Alex Collins gained 7 yards on second down on the Ravens’ final running play of the night, and Flacco threw incomplete on third-and-three.

The Ravens used up only 1:04, and the Steelers retained all three timeouts. Pittsburgh, of course, went on to kick the game-winning field goal with 42 seconds left.

Since Baltimore ran for 152 yards, including 120 by Collins, the Ravens likely asked themselves the same question Ravens fans asked Monday: What if?

Packers unsure whether Aaron Rodgers will play this week

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Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers is eligible to return from injured reserve and play against the Panthers on Sunday, but no decision has yet been made on whether he will.

Green Bay coach Mike McCarthy said Rodgers underwent tests today and is now being evaluated by team physician Dr. Pat McKenzie and other medical professionals before a decision is made about his availability.

“There’s a number of scans, testing that went in this morning,” McCarthy said. “It’s now in the evaluation stage. Dr. McKenzie is reviewing it. There’s a number of medical opinions involved in the decision. So at this time, I do not have a clean decision for you or an update.”

McCarthy joked that he’ll be pressuring the medical staff to let him know as soon as possible.

“If I don’t know tomorrow, they’re going to be putting Pat McKenzie on IR,” McCarthy said.

Rodgers last played in Week Six, when he suffered a broken collarbone against the Vikings.

Chiefs place Steven Terrell on injured reserve

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Safety Steven Terrell put the finishing touches on Sunday’s Chiefs win over the Raiders when he intercepted Derek Carr with just over 30 seconds left to play in the fourth quarter.

That turned out to be the final play that Terrell will make for the Chiefs this season. The team announced on Monday that Terrell has been placed on injured reserve.

There was no announcement about the specific injury that will end Terrell’s season. He did stay down for a bit after a hit on tight end Clive Walford during Sunday’s game, but obviously returned to action before the game came to an end.

Terrell played 38 defensive snaps on Sunday, which was a season high spurred by the absence of Eric Murray due to an ankle injury.

The Chiefs promoted sixth-round pick Leon McQuay from the practice squad to fill Terrell’s spot on the roster.

Andre Williams out for year with broken wrist

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Chargers third-string running back Andre Williams broke a wrist on the final play of Sunday’s victory over Washington and will miss the rest of the season, coach Anthony Lynn said Monday.

Williams will undergo surgery.

While Williams played only five offensive snaps this season, he was a core special teams player with 95 special-teams snaps.

That means Branden Oliver, who hasn’t played since Oct. 29, likely takes over Williams’ snaps on special teams. Oliver has played 68 offensive snaps and 15 special teams snaps this season.

Report: No suspensions from Jaguars-Seahawks game

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The Seahawks, who play the Rams for the NFC West lead this week, can rest a little easier. They will have all their healthy players, with none facing suspension for actions at the end of the loss to the Jaguars, via Ian Rapoport of NFL Media.

The league still is reviewing the late-game actions of both teams with several players certain to be fined.

The scuffle between the teams happened on the final two plays with the Jaguars in victory formation. Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said Monday on his radio show on 710 ESPN Seattle that Michael Bennett was trying to swipe the snap.

“Time it up and swipe the snap,” Carroll said.

But Bennett dove at the knees of Jaguars center Brandon Linder, and running back Leonard Fournette came to Linder’s defense. Bennett and Fournette received offsetting penalties. Seahawks defensive lineman Sheldon Richardson was ejected for throwing a punch.

On the next play, Seahawks defensive lineman Quinton Jefferson was ejected and Carroll was penalized. Jefferson tried to climb into the stands as he was leaving the field after a Jaguars fan threw a drink at him.

But the NFL deemed nothing egregious enough to warrant a suspension.

Titans expect Marcus Mariota, Taylor Lewan will be fine

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Titans quarterback Marcus Mariota said after Sunday’s loss to the Cardinals that his play needs to improve and shrugged off concerns about a left knee injury that coach Mike Mularkey said he suffered early in the game.

That seems to be the Titans’ feeling about any potential problem as well. Mularkey said Monday that the knee issue impacted the offensive play calling at points in the 12-7 loss because it limited what he felt would work, but that they don’t expect it to be a problem moving forward.

Mularkey said that the team expects Mariota to practice on Monday. He added that left tackle Taylor Lewan should be able to practice as well. Lewan left Sunday’s game with back stiffness and went for an MRI on Monday.

The Titans will be in Santa Clara to face the 49ers next Sunday as they try to nail down a playoff spot in the AFC.

Vikings remain Case Keenum’s team

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It was a question a month ago when Teddy Bridgewater was returning, and the Vikings might not have realized exactly what they had going with Case Keenum. But after a loss to the Panthers on Sunday, coach Mike Zimmer was asked who would start at quarterback this week.

Zimmer would have made news had he said Bridgewater, but, of course, he didn’t.

Keenum remains the Vikings’ starter, Zimmer said Monday, via Chris Tomasson of the Twin Cities Pioneer Press.

While the team’s quarterback future remains unsettled, with Keenum and Bridgewater both scheduled to become free agents, the Vikings are Keenum’s team for the rest of this season.

Keenum has directed the Vikings to an 8-3 record, passing for 2,938 yards with 18 touchdowns and seven interceptions. He’s done more than anyone outside the building thought he could do or expected him to do.

If the Vikings can take care of business and wrap up what they need to wrap up by Week 17, which may or may not happen, then Bridgewater could return to action in the regular-season finale.

Alvin Kamara expects to play Sunday

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Drew Brees likely earns some MVP votes, as well he should. But rookie running back Alvin Kamara showed his worth to the Saints by remaining in the locker room for most of New Orleans’ 20-17 loss to the Falcons on Thursday.

Kamara played only six snaps, taking a hit to the head in a collision with Falcons linebacker Deion Jones. Kamara immediately grabbed his facemask after the 4-yard loss, showing signs of a concussion.

The Saints scored only 14 points without him.

Kamara, though, expects to return to the lineup Sunday against the Jets.

With extra days between games, Kamara said, via Josh Katzenstein of the New Orleans Times-Picayune, that he would be “good to go.” Kamara said the same thing on Twitter a few days ago, tweeting, “Right back at it next week.”

Kamara, a candidate for offensive rookie of the year, has 608 yards rushing, 639 yards receiving and 11 total touchdowns.

Bill O’Brien wants to stay, Deshaun Watson wants him to

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With so much focus on the condition of quarterback Tom Savage, it was easy to overlook another development during coach Bill O’Brien’s press conference Monday, and how it pertains to the future of the team.

O’Brien said that despite another round of speculation about his employment, he wanted to stay on as coach there, and he got some immediate support from the key to the franchise’s hopes.

Asked if he wanted to coach the Texans next year, O’Brien replied: “Sure. I enjoy being the head coach of the Houston Texans. I have a great relationship with these players here. I’m going to continue to coach hard until they tell me I’m not coaching here anymore.”

Of course, that’s the kind of thing people say this time of year, especially if they have contract remaining. And questions about O’Brien’s status are far from new, as there was reason to believe last year that the relationship between O’Brien and General Manager Rick Smith was sufficiently strained that parting ways was a possibility.

But then they got their hands on quarterback Deshaun Watson, and that may have changed things. At least, Watson hopes so.

Responding to a tweet from Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network after the press conference which mentioned O’Brien wanting to stay, Watson made his feelings clear.

While Watson doesn’t sign the checks, having him in O’Brien’s corner can’t hurt as O’Brien enters the offseason leading to the final year of his contract.

O’Brien has a 31-29 record in four seasons, but this is the first year he won’t go 9-7. The loss of Watson to a torn ACL has plenty to do with that, but having a quarterback with promise changes the landscape of the job.

O’Brien said he didn’t know of any movement on a contract extension, or any discussions with owner Bob McNair toward that end.

But having Watson on his side can’t hurt.

NFL could set record for most worst-to-first teams

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The Eagles are in. Will the Panthers, Jaguars and/or Chargers join them?

All four of those teams finished in last place in 2016. If all four win their divisions this season, it would set a record for the most worst-to-first teams in NFL history.

In both 2005 and 2006, three teams went from worst-to-first. The Bears, Giants and Bucs accomplished it in 2005 and the Ravens, Saints and Eagles did it the following year.

After winning the NFC East, the Eagles ensure at least one 2016 cellar-dweller makes the postseason. In 14 of the past 15 seasons, at least one team won its division the season after finishing in last place.

Another streak seems certain to continue this season, too. In each season since the 12-team playoff format was instituted in 1990, at least four teams have qualified for the playoffs after missing the playoffs the previous season.

After eight surgeries on injured leg, Zach Miller returns to Bears facility for first time

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Bears tight end Zach Miller has returned to the team facility for the first time since the October 29 game in New Orleans when he suffered a knee injury so severe he had to be hospitalized for three weeks.

Miller detailed his eight surgeries and his recovery, and he said the Bears’ ownership, coaches, players and fans have been incredible in their support.

“Everybody’s been there and it’s much appreciated. That’s all I’m going to say because I’m trying not to cry here,” Miller said. “I learned there are still really good people in this world. There’s so much negative stuff 24/7 but I’ve been impacted by love across the globe.”

Miller said he isn’t sure whether he’ll be able to play again.

“I haven’t thought much about football,” Miller said. “I haven’t gotten to that point. It’s just getting right, getting healed up, and when that decision comes, making a decision. Do I want to play football? What do you think? I’ve been playing football my whole life. I would love to play football.”

Despite the brutal toll the injury took on him, Miller said that to return to the Bears facility today makes him feel lucky.

Josh McCown to have surgery on broken left hand

AP

Jets quarterback Josh McCown is headed for surgery on his broken left hand.

Coach Todd Bowles made the announcement at his Monday press conference and confirmed that McCown will miss the final three games of the season as a result. That was the impression McCown gave after Sunday’s game when he gave an emotional press conference about his uncertain playing future.

McCown’s situation will get sorted out in time, but the Jets will now turn elsewhere to play out the string on the season. Bryce Petty replaced McCown on Sunday and will get the start in New Orleans this week.

The Jets could also take their first regular season look at Christian Hackenberg at some point before the year is out. The 2016 second-rounder has rarely been active for games in his first two seasons, but is set to be the No. 2 now that McCown is out of the picture.

More Cards line shuffling: Jared Veldheer to IR

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Injuries up front are nothing new for the Cardinals this season, so you can forgive coach Bruce Arians for getting the body parts wrong.

Via Darren Urban of the team’s official website, Arians was worried about how left tackle Jared Veldheer came out of yesterday’s game because of an elbow problem, only for Veldheer to say the arm was fine but he hurt his ankle during the game.

Tests this morning revealed Veldheer broke his ankle, and he’ll go on injured reserve.

You just have to laugh and go on,” Arians said. “What’s next. Get a game plan these guys can succeed at, and go win a game.”

Veldheer’s injury goes along with D.J. Humphries, putting both their starting tackles entering the year on IR, along with left guard Mike Iupati.

The Cardinals also lost right guard Earl Watford during Sunday’s game to a high ankle sprain, meaning even more adjustments are coming.

Center A.Q. Shipley‘s the only Cardinals lineman to start every game this year.

Hue Jackson: I don’t think John Dorsey’s planning a coaching change

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The Browns came close to winning their first game of the 2017 season on Sunday, but fell to 0-13 when they couldn’t hold a 14-point lead in the fourth quarter and lost to the Packers 27-21 in overtime.

That loss came days after the Browns hired John Dorsey as their new General Manager and released a statement saying that Hue Jackson would return as coach in 2018. That statement hasn’t stopped people from feeling that Dorsey will ultimately push to make a change at head coach, but Jackson remains confident he’ll be back.

“I don’t think that’s the case at all,” Jackson said of Dorsey wanting to hire his own coach, via Mary Kay Cabot of Cleveland.com.

Jackson said it was a “much different” Monday with Dorsey on the job as they met in the morning to go over the game and discuss areas to target for improvement in the final three games of the year. Jackson thinks the two men are in sync when it comes to how to move forward, but we’ll have to wait to see if that remains the case once the calendar changes to 2018.