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Cardell Hayes insists Will Smith had gun, denies shooting Smith’s wife

Cardell Hayes is placed in an Orleans Parish Sheriff van to be transported back to Orleans Parish Prison as he leaves Orleans criminal court, after the first day of testimony in his trial for shooting and killing NFL star Will Smith, Tuesday, Dec. 6, 2016, in New Orleans. (David Grunfeld/NOLA.com The Times-Picayune via AP) AP

Trials arising from “stand your ground” incidents will be resolved in large part based upon the credibility of the key witnesses. On Saturday, the man who shot and killed former Saints defensive end Will Smith in April made some incredible claims.

Via the Associated Press, Cardell Hayes testified that Smith had a gun when Hayes opened fire. Smith’s gun however, was found inside his vehicle. Indeed, most accounts and suggestions had been that Hayes shot Smith as Smith was returning to his car to get the gun.

Hayes himself didn’t mention that Smith had a gun to the authorities on the night of the shooting.

“I never gave a full statement to anyone,” Hayes said. (With the case turning on whether Hayes believed he was about to be shot, whether Smith had a gun would seem to be an important detail.)

More surprisingly, Hayes strongly denied shooting Smith’s wife, a contention that flies in the face of the ballistics evidence indicating that the bullets that struck Raquel Smith, who survived the incident, came from Hayes’ gun.

Hayes also denied ramming his vehicle into Smith’s, another contention that contradicts other evidence.

The trial is expected to conclude on Sunday, with closing arguments and the commencement of jury deliberations.

Whatever the outcome, the glitches in the evidence prove how hard it can be for a jury to reconstruct the events that culminate in one person shooting another in supposed self-defense. In this case, however, it may not be all that difficult for the jury to reject Hayes’ testimony regarding the circumstances that led to him pulling the trigger — and in turn to reject the claim that he was acting in self defense.

Unfortunately for Hayes, he may not be lying. It’s possible that he genuinely remembers that things happened in a way that they didn’t, due simply to the stress of the situation.

Which is another reason for states with “stand your ground” laws to reconsider allowing private citizens lacking the training and experience of police officers to attempt to discern in a fog of actual or perceived threats whether it is appropriate to open fire.

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Mike Zimmer will coach from the sideline, with special sunglasses

LANDOVER, MD - NOVEMBER 13: Head coach Mike Zimmer of the Minnesota Vikings looks on against the Washington Redskins in the second quarter at FedExField on November 13, 2016 in Landover, Maryland. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images) Getty Images

With the Vikings’ playoff hopes in doubt as four games remain in a season of constant adversity, the team will be getting its coach back for Week 14 — and things will be mostly normal for him.

Via Mark Craig of the Minneapolis Star Tribune, Mike Zimmer will coach from the sideline on Sunday in Jacksonville. He’ll wear special sunglasses in his first game since multiple additional eye surgeries to repair a detached retina caused him to miss the Week 13 prime-time matchup with the Cowboys.

The glasses will black out his right eye, which still has some double vision.

“We’ll be OK,” Zimmer told reporters when asked about his eye.

Whether the Vikings will be OK is a different issue. From 5-0 to 6-6, the Vikings now need to win games and hope for help to get to the playoffs. That’s a far cry from visions of home-field advantage and a path to Houston for the Super Bowl.

If they get to the playoffs, they’ll be climbing the playoff tree the hard way. Which would be fitting, because little about the team’s 2016 season has been easy.

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Giants activate Shane Vereen

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - SEPTEMBER 20:  Shane Vereen #34 of the New York Giants in action against the Atlanta Falcons during their game at MetLife Stadium on September 20, 2015 in East Rutherford, New Jersey.  (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images) Getty Images

The Giants on Saturday activated running back Shane Vereen from their injured-reserve list.

Vereen had been out since September due to a triceps injury. He returned to practice in late November and was activated, as expected, ahead of the deadline for the Giants to make a decision on his status.

Vereen was a valuable and productive pass-catcher out of the backfield for the Giants last season. In three games this season he’s caught eight passes for 75 yards.

Offensive lineman Adam Gettis was waived to create a roster spot for Vereen.

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Cowboys leave Lucky Whitehead home for violating team rules

ARLINGTON, TX - OCTOBER 30:  Lucky Whitehead #13 of the Dallas Cowboys runs during a game between the Dallas Cowboys and the Philadelphia Eagles at AT&T Stadium on October 30, 2016 in Arlington, Texas.  (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images) Getty Images

Cowboys return man Lucky Whitehead won’t play tomorrow against the Giants, as the team has announced that he isn’t making the trip to New Jersey because of a violation of team rules.

It’s unknown what rule Whitehead violated and unclear whether the Cowboys are suspending him — which would mean he loses his weekly paycheck — or simply deactivating him.

Whitehead is the Cowboys’ primary kickoff returner, with 10 returns for 238 yards this season, and he’s the only player on the team who has returned a punt at all this season. It’s not immediately clear who will take his place on returns.

Whitehead also occasionally contributes as a runner and receiver and will be missed by the Cowboys in a big game in the NFC East race.

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Luke Kuechly will miss his third straight game on Sunday

SANTA CLARA, CA - FEBRUARY 07:   Luke Kuechly #59 of the Carolina Panthers reacts after a play against the Denver Broncos in the first quarter during Super Bowl 50 at Levi's Stadium on February 7, 2016 in Santa Clara, California.  (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images) Getty Images

Panthers middle linebacker Luke Kuechly is still not cleared from the league’s concussion protocol and will not play on Sunday against the Chargers.

The Panthers announced today that Kuechly, who returned to practice this week, still hasn’t been given the medical go-ahead to play.

Kuechly suffered the concussion in Week 11 against the Saints and was carted off the field. He hasn’t played since.

The 25-year-old Kuechly also missed three games with a concussion last season. Given that the 4-8 Panthers will almost certainly not make the playoffs this season, it might make sense for Carolina to shut Kuechly down for the season even if he does gain medical clearance next week. This has already been a miserable year in Carolina, and lingering concussions for Kuechly could make this year even worse.

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Bucs activate Charles Sims

TAMPA, FL - SEPTEMBER 25:  Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back Charles Sims lll #34 sprints 60 yards ahead of Los Angeles Rams cornerback Troy Hill #32 during the second half of their NFL football game at Raymond James Stadium on September 25, 2016 in Tampa, Florida.  (Photo by Mark Wallheiser/Getty Images) Getty Images

The Buccaneers are getting running back Charles Sims back on the field in time for a push to the playoffs.

Tampa Bay is activating Sims from the injured reserve list to the active roster, according to Greg Auman of the Tampa Bay Times.

Sims played in the first four games of the season and started two before suffering a knee injury that has kept him out the last eight games. He was not off to a very good start, with just 116 yards on 41 carries, but Sims has shown promise in the past and could be an important part of the Bucs’ offense down the stretch.

The Bucs are also promoting receiver Donteea Dye from the practice squad to the 53-man roster and waiving offensive lineman Josh Allen and defensive tackle John Hughes to make room for Sims and Dye on the 53-man roster.

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Adam Jones doesn’t think much of Terrelle Pryor

CINCINNATI, OH - DECEMBER 4:  Adam Jones #24 of the Cincinnati Bengals and Vontaze Burfict #55 of the Cincinnati Bengals congratulate each other while walking off of the field after defeating the Philadelphia Eagles 32-14 at Paul Brown Stadium on December 4, 2016 in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Photo by John Grieshop/Getty Images) Getty Images

As the Browns try to get their first win in nearly a full calendar year and the Bengals try to avoid becoming the first team to lose to the Browns in a full calendar year, one of the skirmishes that will determine the outcome involves the ability of the Cincinnati cornerbacks to slow down the Cleveland passing game.

So what does Bengals cornerback Adam Jones think of one of the best parts of the opposing passing game, Browns receiver Terrelle Pryor?

Initially, Jones declined to speak about Pryor, as explained by Jim Owczarski of the Cincinnati Enquirer. Then, Jones decided to talk a blue streak, Jack.

“He pushes off, every route. He’s an OK receiver,” Jones said. “They do feature him a little bit so he does get more looks than a guy who would be in his situation. He’s just a guy to me.”

Jones went on to explain that Pryor won’t be able to push off at the top of his route, “so you’ve just got to be in good position.” And it apparently worked the last time the Bengals played the Browns.

“We played him last game and he didn’t do sh-t,” Jones said.

Specifically, Pryor caught two passes for 18 yards.

“Yeah,” Jones said. “I don’t like him. You can put that in there.”

So, basically, there’s now a reason to watch the game beyond the question of whether the Browns can turn perhaps their last, best chance for a victory into something other than another loss.

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Chargers not saying if Mike McCoy’s job is safe

SAN DIEGO, CA - NOVEMBER 13:  Head Coach Mike McCoy of the San Diego Chargers runs off the field after his team's 31-24 loss to the Miami Dolphins in a game at Qualcomm Stadium on November 13, 2016 in San Diego, California.  (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images) Getty Images

Chargers coach Mike McCoy has just one year left on his contract, and his team is 5-7 and in last place. That’s raising questions about McCoy’s job security, and they’re questions the Chargers don’t want to answer.

San Diego G.M. Tom Telesco was asked on 1360-AM in San Diego whether McCoy will be back in 2017, and Telesco declined to give a direct answer.

“Contrary to public opinion, we don’t sit around here daily preoccupied with job status,” Telesco said, via ESPN. “It’s just not how it works. I’m not worried about next year right now. To be honest with you, I’m not worried about next week. I’m worried about this week and playing Carolina. We’ll worry about next year, next year. We’re 100 percent committed to this season. We only have 16 games to play, and we’ve got four games to go here, and that’s what we’re worried about. We’re not even looking toward 2017 yet.”

Telesco’s contract runs through the 2019 season, so his job appears to be safe. But with McCoy now missing the playoffs three years in a row, it wouldn’t be at all surprising to see him given the axe.

The decision may come down to what the Chargers’ ownership thinks is the best way to get support from its fan base. With the possibility that the Chargers will move to Los Angeles this offseason and share a stadium with the Rams, the Chargers may decide they need continuity on the field while they make a big move off the field. On the other hand, they may decide that a new coach is what they need to generate excitement in Los Angeles. McCoy’s job could hinge on off-field concerns.

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Oakland unveils details of stadium plan, with few actual details

OAKLAND, CA - SEPTEMBER 18:  A fan holds a sign in the stands in reference to a potential move by the Oakland Raiders to Las Vegas during the NFL game between the Oakland Raiders and the Atlanta Falcons at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum on September 18, 2016 in Oakland, California.  (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images) Getty Images

With the bell tolling for Oakland’s football future, the race is on to put a viable stadium proposal on the table. Or at least to act like a viable stadium proposal is on the table.

Oakland has announced the details of a stadium plan that would keep the Raiders from moving to Las Vegas or, in theory, Los Angeles. But the lengthy release regarding the details of the stadium plan is devoid of actual, you know, details.

“This term sheet agreement puts Oakland in the running to keep the Raiders in a way that is responsible to the team, the league, the fans and the taxpayers,” Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf said in the press release. “Everything the City and County and the investor team is doing is about putting forward the best offer to encourage the Raiders ownership and the NFL to keep the Raiders in Oakland, where the team belongs.”

The term sheet agreement to which Schaaf referred hasn’t been disclosed yet. Instead, the press release lists the following “key elements” of the plan: (1) “an economically viable proposal that can keep team in Oakland and Alameda County with no taxpayer monies, but instead the use of the Coliseum land”; (2) “a professional group of investors to develop the stadium and other associated mixed-use projects to support cost of stadium”; (3) “the creation of a major Grand Central station-like development around the property that incorporates and enhances the use of the BART station”; and (4) “a location for a new Oakland A’s stadium should the Major League Baseball team determine it wants to remain at the Coliseum site.”

So how much will the stadium cost? How much will the Raiders and the NFL pay for it? How big will it be? How will the revenue be generated and shared?

Most importantly, will the people providing the private financing that will bridge the gap between the team and league contribution expect to buy a piece of the team — and if so, how much?

The press release answers none of those questions.

According to the press release, the County of Alameda will hold a public hearing and vote at 2:00 p.m. ET on Tuesday, Dec. 13, and the Oakland City Council will hold a hearing and vote at 9:30 p.m. ET on the same day as part of an expedited financial development proposal and exclusive negotiation agreement.

The timing isn’t coincidental; NFL owners will meet the next day, and at that time the league office is expected to make a proposal that extolls the virtues of keeping the Raiders in Oakland.

There’s currently no reason to believe the Raiders will be interested in the proposal. Owner Mark Davis has at no time deviated from his intent to move to Las Vegas, explaining that the folks in Nevada stepped forward and crafted a viable plan at a time when Oakland couldn’t or wouldn’t. It would be a surprise if the formal proposal changes his mind.

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Jeff Fisher on leaks: “We’ll find out where it’s coming from”

gettyimages-488045590-0-500x333 Getty Images

The Rams had nothing to say on Thursday regarding a report of dysfunction between coach Jeff Fisher and G.M. Les Snead. On Friday, Fisher had plenty to say.

“When you’re 4-8, people are frustrated, you know, they’re frustrated,” Fisher told reporters. “We’ll find out where it’s coming from.”

The issue arose from comments made by Fisher to the media on Tuesday that seemed to criticize the front office for the plight of the team. An unnamed Rams source told Albert Breer of TheMMQB.com that Fisher’s words were regarded as a shot at a front office that Fisher ultimately controls.

“If you go back and look at the transcripts, I was speaking the truth,” Fisher said. “Honestly, I don’t know where this came from. . . . I’ll find out. In our business, unnamed sources, they’re not good. If we’ve got sources within the organization that are speaking, then we’ll address it. But there are no issues between Les and I – by no means. We agree to disagree and we’ve had a fun run, but we’re certainly disappointed – as I said on Tuesday – in the outcome and where we are. We’ve got work to do, but we’re doing it together.”

Fisher specifically took issue with a contention from Breer that front-office personnel “question how hard the team is pushed, with a lack of in-season padded practices being an example of the perceived problem.”

Said Fisher: “Somebody said that we don’t pad our practices. We padded on Wednesday. So whoever is talking obviously has not been out to practice or does not understand the CBA. Enough is enough, Les and I are good, we’re all good. Our focus is on Atlanta right now.”

Fisher also suggested that the characterization of the organization as “Rams Junior High” didn’t originate with anyone in the organization but with those who published the story.

“That came from either the editor or the writer, but I didn’t think the ‘junior high’ thing came from an unnamed source,” Fisher said. “But again, I don’t pay as close attention to those things as you do because I’m more concerned about the Falcons. But I’ll just say this again, Les and I are fine. We work together. We talk every day. I don’t know where that’s coming from.”

Fisher may need to pay closer attention. Breer wrote that “some in the building have come to know [the organization] as ‘Rams Junior High,'” and that the “Junior High” nickname has stuck inside the building. So the name wasn’t manufactured by a writer or an editor; it came from one or more people in the organization.

Regardless, the principal is about to find out who’s been talking out of school. And that’s an exercise that will do little to get those who are or aren’t using the “junior high” nickname to stop.

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Week 14 injury report roundup

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - NOVEMBER 06:  Jason Pierre-Paul #90 of the New York Giants celebrates after blocking a field goal against the Philadelphia Eagles during the second quarter of the game at MetLife Stadium on November 6, 2016 in East Rutherford, New Jersey.  (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images) Getty Images

Week 14 kicked off on Thursday with a Chiefs win and it continues with 14 more games on Sunday, which means that the 28 teams in those games submitted their final injury reports of the week on Friday.

Questionable players are uncertain to play, doubtful players are unlikely to play and out should be self-explanatory. Players who are on active rosters and don’t appear below should be considered in the lineup barring any announcements on Saturday. The teams playing on Monday night won’t release their injury reports until Saturday and are not listed here.

With that housekeeping out of the way, here are all the injury reports for Sunday.

Steelers at Bills

Steelers WR Darrius Heyward-Bey (foot) and S Shamarko Thomas (concussion) have been ruled out. DT Javon Hargrave (concussion) is unlikely to play after being listed as doubtful. K Chris Boswell (abdomen), G Ramon Foster (chest) and RB DeAngelo Williams (knee) are listed as questionable.

Bills TE Charles Clay (knee), T Cordy Glenn (back), WR Sammy Watkins (foot), DT Kyle Williams (back) and WR Robert Woods (knee) drew questionable tags. Coach Rex Ryan said Watkins and Woods will play, but Williams was a Friday addition to the injury report after his back locked up on Thursday night. LB Lerentee McCray (concussion) will not play.

Chargers at Panthers

The Chargers ruled out CB Brandon Flowers (concussion). They listed LB Jatavis Brown (knee) and G Orlando Franklin (knee) as questionable.

Panthers LB Luke Kuechly, S Kurt Coleman and CB Daryl Worley are all questionable due to concussions, although all three progressed through the protocol enough to practice this week. DE Mario Addison (foot) is also questionable while DE Charles Johnson (hamstring), LB David Mayo (concussion) and T Daryl Williams (ankle) have been ruled out.

Bengals at Browns

DE Wallace Gilberry (calf), WR A.J. Green (hamstring), S Derron Smith (thigh), TE C.J. Uzomah (calf) and WR James Wright (knee) will all sit out for the Bengals. LS Clark Harris (groin) is listed as questionable.

The Browns return from their bye week without any players listed with injury designations.

Bears at Lions

The Bears don’t expect to have T Mike Adams (back) or WR Eddie Royal (toe) after listing them as doubtful. LB Jonathan Anderson (hamstring), CB Johnthan Banks (ankle), WR Josh Bellamy (shoulder) and WR Marquess Wilson (groin) received questionable tags.

It looks like LB DeAndre Levy (knee) may play for the first time since Week One. He’s officially listed as questionable along with DE Ziggy Ansah (ankle), S Don Carey (hamstring), TE Eric Ebron (knee), WR Marvin Jones (quadricep), RB Theo Riddick (wrist), RB Dwayne Washington (ankle) and LB Tahir Whitehead (knee). C Travis Swanson (concussion) will not play.

Texans at Colts

DE Jadeveon Clowney (elbow, wrist) and LB Brian Cushing (back, ankle) are listed as questionable, but the Texans expect to have both in the lineup. Coach Bill O’Brien said there’s a “remote” possibility CB Johnathan Joseph (ribs) plays, although he’s also listed as questionable rather than doubtful. RB Tyler Ervin (ribs), WR Braxton Miller (shoulder), QB Tom Savage (right elbow), LB John Simon (chest) and WR Jaelen Strong (ankle) have been ruled out.

The Colts ruled out S Clayton Geathers (neck), T Denzelle Good (concussion), DT Zach Kerr (concussion), LB Robert Mathis (bicep) and CB Patrick Robinson (groin). LB Curt Maggitt (concussion) is listed as questionable.

Vikings at Jaguars

The Vikings won’t have C Joe Berger (concussion), DT Sharrif Floyd (knee) or S Harrison Smith (ankle) in the lineup this week. LB Edmond Robinson (hamstring) and CB Marcus Sherels (rib) drew questionable designations.

WR Allen Hurns (hamstring), DE Jared Odrick (shoulder), RB Denard Robinson (ankle), TE Julius Thomas (back) and S Peyton Thompson (ankle) will not play for the Jaguars on Sunday. The team listed RB Chris Ivory (hamstring), G Brandon Linder (ankle) and LB Dan Skuta (elbow) as questionable.

Cardinals at Dolphins

S Tyrann Mathieu (shoulder) will miss another game for the Cardinals. WR John Brown (illness), LB Markus Golden (hamstring), DT Robert Nkemdiche (elbow) and CB Tharold Simon (ankle) have all been listed as questionable, although coach Bruce Arians said Friday that he expects them to play.

The Dolphins listed LB Kiko Alonso (hand, hamstring), LB Jelani Jenkins (knee, hand) and DE Mario Williams (ankle) as doubtful to be in the lineup Sunday. S Isa Abdul-Quddus (neck), T Branden Albert (wrist), RB Kenyan Drake (knee), CB Xavien Howard (knee), DT Earl Mitchell (back), QB Matt Moore (right shoulder), WR DeVante Parker (back), LB Spencer Paysinger (ankle), G Anthony Steen (shoulder, foot) and C Kraig Urbik (knee) make up a long list of players deemed questionable.

Redskins at Eagles

TE Jordan Reed (shoulder) headlines a list of Redskins players listed as questionable that also includes DE Chris Baker (ankle), TE Derek Carrier (knee), LB Will Compton (hip), DE Ricky Jean Francois (foot, knee), G Shawn Lauvao (groin), T Ty Nsekhe (ankle), G Brandon Scherff (ankle) and LB Preston Smith (groin). S Will Blackmon (concussion, thumb), DE Anthony Lanier (shin) and C Spencer Long (concussion, stinger) have been ruled out.

WR Dorial Green-Beckham (abdomen), RB Ryan Mathews (knee) and WR Jordan Matthews (ankle) drew questionable tags from the Eagles. T Halapoulivaati Vaitai (knee) will miss another game.

Broncos at Titans

The Broncos say they’ll make a call on QB Trevor Siemian (foot) on Saturday after listing him as questionable.WR Bennie Fowler (knee) is also listed as questionable and Denver ruled out LS Casey Kreiter (calf) and LB Brandon Marshall (hamstring).

DT Jurrell Casey (foot) is the only Titans player with an injury designation. He’s listed as questionable.

Jets at 49ers

Antonio Allen (concussion), T Breno Giacomini (back, calf, shoulder), WR Jalin Marshall (concussion), LB Lorenzo Mauldin (ankle), DT Steve McLendon (hamstring) and RB Khiry Robinson (lower leg) make up a long list of Jets that have been ruled out of Sunday’s proceedings. DE Muhammad Wilkerson (ankle) is listed as questionable.

49ers T Joe Staley (hamstring) is in line to miss his first game since the 2010 season after being listed as doubtful. DT Quinton Dial (elbow) and LB Aaron Lynch (ankle) each drew questionable tags.

Seahawks at Packers

The Seahawks ruled out LB Brock Coyle (foot), DE Damontre Moore (foot), RB C.J. Prosise (shoulder) and RB Will Tukuafu (concussion). LB Michael Morgan (hip) is listed as questionable.

Packers linebackers Kyler Fackrell (hamstring) and Nick Perry (hand) won’t play on Sunday. CB Ladarius Gunter (illness), G T.J. Lang (foot), LB Blake Martinez (knee), LB Clay Matthews (shoulder), CB Damarious Randall (groin, illness) and C J.C. Tretter (knee) will have their statuses determined over the weekend after being listed as questionable.

Falcons at Rams

WR Julio Jones (toe) is questionable for the Falcons while DE Adrian Clayborn (knee) and WR Mohamed Sanu (groin) have been ruled out. T Jake Matthews (knee) and S Robenson Therezie (ankle) are also listed as questionable.

The Rams listed RB Benny Cunningham (neck) as doubtful. CB E.J. Gaines (thigh) and DE Robert Quinn (concussion) are listed as questionable.

Saints at Buccaneers

The Saints listed T Terron Armstead (quadricep, knee), RB Mark Ingram (toe, knee), G Senio Kelemete (hip), S Shiloh Keo (hamstring), RB Daniel Lasco (hamstring), LB Craig Robertson (shoulder), WR Michael Thomas (foot) and C Max Unger (foot) as questionable.

Buccaneers DT Gerald McCoy (foot) is listed as questionable, just as he was before playing last weekend. S Chris Conte (chest), T Demar Dotson (concussion), WR Adam Humphries (concussion) and TE Luke Stocker (ankle) have been ruled out while C Evan Smith (knee) is also questionable.

Cowboys at Giants

Cowboys S Barry Church (forearm), DE Jack Crawford (foot), LB Justin Durant (hamstring), DE Demarcus Lawrence (back), CB Orlando Scandrick (foot, not injury related) and T Tyron Smith (back) are listed as questionable for the NFC East matchup. CB Morris Claiborne (groin), T Chaz Green (back) and S J.J. Wilcox (thigh) have been ruled out.

DE Jason Pierre-Paul (core muscle) will be a big absence for the Giants on Sunday night. S Nat Berhe (concussion) and LB Mark Herzlich (concussion) have also been ruled out. DT Johnathan Hankins (quadricep), WR Dwayne Harris (ankle), DE Owamagbe Odighizuwa (knee), G Justin Pugh (knee) and CB Coty Sensabaugh (ribs) are listed as questionable.

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Beckham fined for verbal abuse toward officials

PITTSBURGH, PA - DECEMBER 04:  Odell Beckham #13 of the New York Giants cannot come up with a pass thrown by Eli Manning #10 in the second half during the game against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Heinz Field on December 4, 2016 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images) Getty Images

Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. was fined $12,154 for verbal abuse and using excessive profanity towards an official in last week’s game at Pittsburgh, USA Today reported.

The report said the fine was for on-field behavior and was not tied to Beckham’s postgame criticism of the officials. He continued that this week when he said, among other things, that “Stevie Wonder could see” some of the calls Beckham felt were missed in that game.

It’s the fifth known fine of the season for Beckham.

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Broncos to make call on Trevor Siemian Saturday

DENVER, CO - NOVEMBER 27:  Trevor Siemian #13 of the Denver Broncos in action against the Kansas City Chiefs at Sports Authority Field at Mile High on November 27, 2016 in Denver, Colorado.  (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images) Getty Images

The Broncos aren’t ready to name their starting quarterback for Sunday’s game against the Titans.

Trevor Siemian missed last week’s victory over the Jaguars with a foot injury, but ditched the protective boot he was wearing early this week and split reps with Paxton Lynch at practice this week. There’s been no word of setbacks and it sounds as if the Broncos will put him back in the lineup in Tennessee, although coach Gary Kubiak said that a final determination should come on Saturday.

“It’s me watching him come out of practice today more than anything,” Kubiak said, via Mike Klis of KUSA. “See how he feels tomorrow, soreness or those type of things. But it was good [in practice]. He did everything we asked him to do yesterday. Did a little bit more today — we’re still repping Paxton. We’ll see if we can get there on game day.”

At 8-4, the Broncos head into the weekend in the sixth and final playoff position in the AFC. A win against the Titans would ensure they’re no lower than that heading into Week 15.

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Kenny Vaccaro dropping appeal of four-game suspension

NEW ORLEANS, LA - DECEMBER 06:  Kenny Vaccaro #32 of the New Orleans Saints celebrates after recovering a fumble against the Carolina Panthers at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome on December 6, 2015 in New Orleans, Louisiana.  (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images) Getty Images

Saints safety Kenny Vaccaro has dropped the appeal of his four-game suspension, the New Orleans Advocate reported Friday.

Vaccaro’s suspension will begin immediately, and he will miss the rest of the regular season.

The suspension, for a violation of the league’s performance-enhancing substance policy, was first reported in early November, before Vaccaro even knew about it. He decided to appeal and continued to play.

Vaccaro missed a game early in the season due to injury but has made 11 starts. He has two interceptions, two forced fumbles and a fumble recovery on the season. The Saints exercised the fifth-year option on Vaccaro’s rookie contract last spring, keeping the former first-round pick under contract through 2017.

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Carr-to-Cooper misfire didn’t hit camera cable

CHAMPAIGN, IL - DECEMBER 29:  Aerial camera hangs on a wire while providing an overhead view of the NFL game between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Chicago Bears on December 29, 2002 at Memorial Stadium at the University of Illinois in Champaign, Illinois.  The Buccaneers defeated the Bears 15-0.  (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) Getty Images

It’s a post-truth nation, so why shouldn’t it include a post-truth National Football League?

A popular theory has emerged in the wake of Thursday night’s Raiders-Chiefs game regarding an errant fourth-quarter throw from Oakland quarterback Derek Carr to receiver Amari Cooper. Carr, who moved forward from the pocket to escape pressure before spotting Cooper open for what could have been an easy catch and run for a touchdown in an eight-point game, threw a wobbly pass that flat-out missed Cooper.

The easy explanation is that a quarterback who completed only 17 of 41 passes on the night misfired. But some think the ball hit a wire that supports the camera that hovers over the field.

NBC Sports spokesman Dan Masonson told John Hickey of the Bay Area News Group that “[t]he overhead camera is positioned behind the line of scrimmage, so the cables would not be in play.”

Hickey wasn’t prepared to buy that one completely, arguing that “the wires were still there.”

Even if they were, the image from the camera would have moved if the wire had been struck. Thursday Night Football executive producer Fred Gaudelli tells PFT that the image from the camera showed no disruption during the play.

“The camera would have shaken,” Gaudelli said via email. “On the replay you can see the shot was stable.”

So there’s the truth. Whether that matters in a post-truth nation is a separate issue.

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