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Giants call up linebacker from practice squad with Jon Beason ailing

Jon Beason AP

The Giants defense got a huge boost from the arrival of linebacker Jon Beason last season, but it now looks like they’re bracing for his absence for at least part of this season.

Multiple reports have the Giants promoting linebacker Dan Fox from their practice squad on Tuesday, a move that comes two days after Beason had to leave the Giants’ loss to the Cardinals with a foot injury. Beason missed all of training camp and the preseason after injuring his foot during offseason work, so it’s easy to connect the dots that Fox’s arrival means that the team has or is expecting bad news about the veteran’s availability.

Fox was signed as an undrafted free agent out of Notre Dame this offseason and got some good notices for his work with the Giants over the summer. Among the positives was his ability to play both inside and outside in the team’s scheme.

Mark Herzlich saw time against Arizona after Beason was knocked out and Jameel McClain also has experience playing inside from his time with the Ravens should it play out that the Giants need a longer term replacement. Moving McClain would leave the Giants in need of a new starter on the outside, however.

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Bears promote CB Isaiah Frey, WR Rashad Ross from practice squad

Isaiah Frey AP

In need of a cornerback with Charles Tillman out for the season with a right triceps injury, the Bears promoted one from the practice squad.

The club announced Tuesday it had signed third-year pro Isaiah Frey to the active roster. Frey spent all 16 games on the Bears’ roster a season ago, notching 47 tackles and making six starts. The 2012 sixth-round pick was waived in the Bears’ final cuts in August, then re-signed to the practice squad September 1.

The Bears’ promotions didn’t end with Frey, with the club also announcing the addition of first-year wide receiver Rashad Ross to the roster. Like Frey, Ross spent the first two games on the Bears’ practice squad. The 24-year-old Ross had stints on Tennessee’s and Kansas City’s practice squads last season and was with Washington for three preseason games this summer.

In corresponding roster moves Tuesday, the Bears released tailback Shaun Draughn, tight end Matthew Mulligan and wide receiver Chris Williams. The club now has one open roster spot.

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Senator Al Franken to Vikings: Bench Adrian Peterson

alfranken AP

One of Minnesota’s U.S. Senators has joined the state’s governor in urging the Vikings to deactivate Adrian Peterson.

Shortly after Governor Mark Dayton said the Vikings should not play Peterson while he is under indictment for injuring his son, Senator Al Franken released a statement saying the same.

“It was absolutely heartbreaking to hear about what happened to this child,” Franken said in a statement. “I’m a diehard Vikings fan, and watching the games on Sundays has been one of my favorite things to do since I was a kid. But this is just wrong, and I think the Vikings made the wrong decision here. This is in the hands of law enforcement now, and it must go through the judicial process, but I don’t believe Adrian Peterson should be allowed to play until that happens. A lot of kids look up to these players, and it’s not OK for the Vikings to send the signal that what happened is acceptable. This is bigger than a football game.”

The Vikings initially sat Peterson out of Sunday’s game when he was indicted, but they said on Monday that they would put Peterson back on the field this week. Since then they have lost a corporate sponsor over the Peterson case and been the subject of criticism from a governor and a senator.

So far, the Vikings aren’t backing off their support of Peterson. But at this point last week, the Panthers were supporting Greg Hardy, their defensive end who is accused of a domestic violence incident. By Sunday, the Panthers had decided that they simply couldn’t play Hardy. Don’t be surprised if the Vikings come to the same conclusion in the next five days.

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Bengals place Alex Smith on IR

Cincinnati Bengals v Arizona Cardinals Getty Images

The Bengals placed tight end Tyler Eifert on injured reserve with the designation to return after he suffered an elbow injury in the season opener and now they’ve lost another tight end for an even longer stretch of time.

The team placed Alex Smith on season-ending injured reserve on Tuesday. Smith, who was used mainly as a blocker in Cincinnati, suffered a biceps injury in Sunday’s win over the Falcons.

That left the Bengals with just two tight ends on the active roster in Jermaine Gresham and Ryan Hewitt. They addressed that shortage by signing Kevin Brock.

Brock signed with the Bengals before their Wild Card game last season, but didn’t play in the team’s loss to the Chargers. He went to camp with the team and was cut in August. Brock also played four games with the Chiefs last season, catching three passes for 36 yards, and saw action with the Bills in 2011 as well.

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Nike pulls Adrian Peterson merchandise from Twin Cities stores


It’s one thing for government leaders and the media to bang on the Vikings for reinstating Adrian Peterson after a paid weekend off.

But now the guys with the money are starting to chime in.

According to the Associated Press, Nike has removed all of its Peterson merchandise from their stores in the Twin Cities.

They’re still willing to sell it to you online, but removing the most visible Viking from the shelves makes some degree of a statement.

It might not have the direct economic impact of Radisson pulling its sponsorship from the team, but it’s another clear sign that there are plenty of people unhappy with the way the team has handled this behind the mask of “due process.”

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Gerald McCoy on playing with broken hand: You want to be smart

Gerald McCoy, Everett Dawkins AP

Buccaneers coach Lovie Smith said Tuesday that defensive tackle Gerald McCoy has been fitted with a cast for his left hand a couple of days after breaking it in a loss to the Rams.

There have been a lot of players who have played through similar injuries with the help of a cast, but McCoy said that the team is still weighing the best course of action to take for Thursday’s game against the Falcons.

“Obviously, it’s better if I’m out there but still a long season,” McCoy said, via the Tampa Bay Times. “It can always get worse. That’s the risk of going out there Thursday … time is very short this week, so not having a full week to recover is definitely working against me but I’m a fighter … Most of it is pain tolerance, but as much as you want to be out there, you also want to be smart.”

If McCoy was going to be better in Week Four because he skipped this week’s game, it would likely be an easy choice for the Bucs to sit him down. The injury is going to linger, however, and McCoy will be playing through it for some period of time if the Bucs want to have him in the lineup. That said, the short week provides little opportunity for him to get used to playing with a cast, in addition to the abbreviated recovery time, and that may make him an observer this week.

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Lions work out veteran kickers

Cleveland Browns v Detroit Lions Getty Images

The Lions had Jason Hanson handle their kicking for two decades, but they’re having a harder time finding a permanent replacement now that he’s retired.

David Akers handled the gig in 2013, but the Lions opted not to re-sign him this year after he went 19-of-24 on field goals. Nate Freese won the kicking job after a camp competition with Giorgio Tavecchio, but he’s missed three field goals in the first two games of the regular season to put his job in some jeopardy.

The Lions turned up the heat on Freese Tuesday by working out a handful of veteran kickers. Adam Schefter of reports that the team had Garrett Hartley, Rob Bironas and Alex Henery in for a look.

Hartley was dropped by the Saints last December after making 22-of-30 field goal tries through that point in the season. Bironas was released in March as a cost-saving move by the Titans while Henery was cut by the Eagles last month in favor of Cody Parkey.

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Colts sign Kelcy Quarles, drop Dion Lewis

Florida v South Carolina Getty Images

The Colts signed running back Dion Lewis last week to bolster a running back corps left thinner than they’d like by Vick Ballard’s season-ending injury, but it looks like another injury may be forcing the team to reallocate their resources.

Indianapolis announced Tuesday that they have waived Lewis and signed defensive tackle Kelcy Quarles off of the Patriots’ practice squad. Lewis did not play on Monday night.

The Colts saw defensive tackle Arthur Jones exit Monday night’s loss to the Eagles with a high ankle sprain and the addition of Quarles suggests that he’ll miss a bit of time while recovering from the injury. Quarles spent training camp with the Giants and was claimed off of waivers by the Patriots, who then signed him to their practice squad after dropping him from the 53-man roster a short time later.

Quarles will join Ricky Jean-Francois, Montori Hughes and Zach Kerr as defensive line options to go with Josh Chapman and Cory Redding if Jones does wind up on the sideline.

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Mike Pouncey returns to practice for Dolphins

Miami Dolphins Training Camp Getty Images

When Dolphins center Mike Pouncey had hip surgery, there were reports that he could miss as much as half the season while recovering.

Pouncey always said he’d be back sooner than that and avoided the regular season PUP list that would have kept him from practicing or playing for at least six weeks. Earlier this month, the center set a goal of playing by the end of September and took a step toward meeting it on Tuesday.

Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald reports that Pouncey was a participant in practice for the first time since having the operation.

Pouncey took part in drills during the portion of practice open to the media, but it’s not known the extent of his participation in the rest of the practice. Whatever his level of work, Salguero reports that the team still plans to start Samson Satele in Week Three with Week Four’s trip to London to face the Raiders looking like a better bet for Pouncey’s first game action of the regular season.

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Roddy White doesn’t practice on Tuesday

Roddy White,Quintin Mikell AP

The Falcons don’t have much time for aches and pains to heal up before facing the Buccaneers on Thursday and that might leave them without wide receiver Roddy White.

Vaughn McClure of reports White missed practice for the second straight day on Tuesday because of a hamstring injury. That casts serious doubt on his availability for the game against Tampa, especially when recent history is taken into account.

White missed a big chunk of time last summer with an ankle injury, but he suited up for the first five weeks of the regular season with poor returns before sitting out for three weeks after the Falcons were off in Week Six. His production increased from that point, which may help guide the Falcons’ ultimate decision for playing Thursday against taking the extended recovery before their Week Four game against the Vikings.

The Falcons did have Julio Jones at practice for the second straight day, so it doesn’t appear there’s much risk of the Falcons being without both of their starting wideouts. That should make for less of a “whole” in the lineup come Thursday night.

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How will NFL owners hear the music, if they won’t face it?

wilfs-e1338507474576 AP

Last Monday, Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti sent coach John Harbaugh to face the media after Ray Rice was cut in the wake of the notorious elevator video.  This Monday, Vikings owners Mark and Zygi Wilf gave G.M. Rick Spielman the short straw of facing tough, hostile questions from reporters who couldn’t reconcile the facts of the Adrian Peterson case with the convenient insistence on honoring the “due process” rights were designed to protect citizens from being incarcerated unfairly.

Bisciotti eventually spoke, in a less public context.  The Wilfs likely will, too, at some point.  But it’s one thing to face the music when it’s the loudest.  It’s quite another to carefully engineer the condition of a one-on-one interview once the dust begins to settle.

That’s the way it’s been for the past nine days.  Commissioner Roger Goodell didn’t conduct a press conference; the league office hand-picked a pair of reporters for interviews, one on camera and one by phone.  Bisciotti likewise didn’t sit at a table or stand at a podium and answer whatever questions the assembled press had.

Look for Zygi Wilf, Mark Wilf, or both to eventually do the same, selecting the right person in the right situation to allow them to get the message out without having to confront the open-season fray into which they thrust Spielman on Monday.

And it’ll keep happening that way, as long as we fail to demand that owners be accountable for their decisions and actions not by sending letters to fans or having a conversation with a sympathetic or grateful ear but by walking to the microphone and inviting anyone and everyone to ask whatever question they have.

The decision of Goodell, Bisciotti, and the Wilfs to hide from the media confirms that the NFL currently is under siege.  Maybe if they decide to stop acting that way and to provide candid answers to all questions, the league will begin to emerge from its current hole.

Until then, the league just keeps digging.

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Marcedes Lewis placed on IR/designated for return

Marcedes Lewis AP

The Jaguars need all the help they can get on offense, and now they’re short at tight end.

In addition to cutting starting right tackle Cameron Bradfield today, the Jaguars placed tight end Marcedes Lewis on injured reserve/designated for return.

That will keep Lewis out for at least eight weeks, though he can begin practicing after six.

That fits the time frame coach Gus Bradley announced earlier this week for Lewis, who suffered a high ankle sprain in Sunday’s loss to Washington.

The Jaguars better hope wideout Cecil Shorts gets back soon from his hamstring injury, or an already bad offense is just going to get worse.

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Jaguars cut starting right tackle Cam Bradfield

cambradfield AP

Jaguars quarterback Chad Henne has been sacked 13 times this season, by far the most of any quarterback in the NFL. And Jacksonville has rushed for just 89 yards this season, by far the fewest of any team in the league.

Those stats indicate that the offensive line isn’t getting the job done. One member of the Jaguars’ offensive line has paid for that with his job.

Cam Bradfield, who started the first two games at right tackle, has been released, according to the Florida Times-Union.

Bradfield was expected to be a backup this season, but he was forced into the starting lineup when Austin Pasztor suffered a broken hand. It’s not clear whether Pasztor will be able to play in Week Three, but if he can’t the Jags will go with Sam Young, who replaced Bradfield after he was benched in the fourth quarter on Sunday.

If Bradfield was the problem, the Jaguars’ offensive line should improve in Week Three. It could hardly get any worse.

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PFT Live: Is Nick Foles a franchise quarterback?

We’re witnessing the early stages of Chip Kelly’s reign in Philly as he is starting to grab the players he wants and develop them in his system. Mike Florio says that this could be the reason why he hasn’t committed to Nick Foles long-term.




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PFT Live: Should Adrian Peterson be allowed to play?

Chris Tomasson of the St. Paul Pioneer Press joins PFT Live to discuss the controversy surrounding Adrian Peterson. Tomasson says public support for Peterson has been waning both nationally and locally since the announcement.

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