Giants place Sterling Shepard on IR, sign Fabian Moreau to 53-man roster

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As expected, the Giants have officially placed receiver Sterling Shepard on injured reserve.

Shepard sore his ACL toward the end of Monday’s loss to the Cowboys, suffering the injury on a non-contact play. Shepard had just returned from suffering a torn Achilles last season.

He caught 13 passes for 154 yards with a touchdown in three games.

As a corresponding move, the Giants have signed defensive back Fabian Moreau to the 53-man roster from their practice squad. Moreau appeared in the last two games, playing 61 percent of the defensive snaps against Dallas on Monday. He’s appeared in 78 games with 34 starts in his career.

New York has also signed defensive back Olaijah Griffin and receiver Makai Polk to its practice squad.

Mac Jones officially did not practice Wednesday

Baltimore Ravens (37) Vs. New England Patriots (26) At Gillette Stadium
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When Patriots head coach Bill Belichick met the media on Wednesday morning, he said quarterback Mac Jones‘ ankle was getting better day by day and little else about the prospect of Jones playing against the Packers this weekend.

Belichick did let slip that Jones probably would not take part in the team’s practice later in the day. The Patriots released their official injury report on Wednesday afternoon and it shows that Jones was on the sideline during the session.

While Belichick is unlikely to be any more expansive about Jones’ outlook, the practice reports on Thursday and Friday should fill in the gaps about Jones’ outlook. If he doesn’t practice, it’s hard to imagine he will be in the lineup.

Defensive lineman Lawrence Guy (shoulder) was the only other player out of practice. Safety Joshuah Bledsoe (groin), offensive lineman Yodny Cajuste (thumb), safety Kyle Dugger (knee), defensive lineman Davon Godchaux (back), linebacker Raekwon McMillan (thumb), wide receiver Jakobi Meyers (knee), cornerback Jalen Mills (hamstring), and safety Adrian Phillips (ribs) were all limited participants.

Dane Jackson back at practice nine days after leaving stadium in an ambulance

Tennessee Titans v Buffalo Bills
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Bills cornerback Dane Jackson suffered one of the scariest injuries of this NFL season when he took a hard hit to the head, was stretchered off the field and taken to the hospital in an ambulance last Monday night. But Jackson has recovered well enough that he’s already back at practice.

Jackson wore a red non-contact jersey in his first day back at practice today, and he told reporters that every exam showed there was no long-term injury to his head or neck. Jackson said the hardest thing was the unknown of being strapped down in the ambulance ride and unsure how seriously he had been hurt.

“It was pretty scary. It was pretty scary for sure,” he said. “Really, the unknown was the most scary part, but once I knew everything was OK I could relax. . . . I was worried about my son at home, my mom, everybody was crying.”

Jackson said the people of Buffalo have been incredibly supportive, with Bills fans sending him cards and get-well gifts.

“It was crazy the amount of support I received,” Jackson said. “I got letters to my house, edible arrangements to my door.”

Jackson said he isn’t sure whether he’ll play on Sunday against the Ravens, but feels good about his health.

“I’m just happy I’m OK,” he said.

Chargers sign Richard Rodgers, Jason Moore, place Joey Bosa, Rashawn Slater on IR

NFL: SEP 15 Chargers at Chiefs
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The Chargers made it official, placing outside linebacker Joey Bosa and left tackle Rashawn Slater on injured reserve.

Slater ruptured a biceps tendon and will undergo surgery. Rookie Jamaree Salyer is slated to take over at left tackle.

Bosa injured a groin in Sunday’s loss to the Jaguars and also will require surgery, but he is expected to return later this season. He must miss at least four games before returning.

In corresponding moves, the Chargers signed tight end Richard Rodgers and receiver Jason Moore Jr. to the active roster from the team’s practice squad.

Moore joined the Chargers as an undrafted free agent in 2019 and has appeared in 14 games and made one start with the team the past three seasons.

Rodgers entered the NFL as a third-round selection of the Packers in 2014. He has appeared in 91 career games with 28 starts with the Packers, Eagles and Chargers. He has totaled 147 receptions for 1,529 yards and 15 touchdowns.

Doug Pederson: Jalen Hurts is going to defy all odds

NFL: SEP 20 Rams at Eagles
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Doug Pederson was the Eagles head coach in 2020 when the team drafted quarterback Jalen Hurts in the second round.

Hurts ended up starting the last four games of that season as a rookie, flashing some of his potential. Philadelphia then fired Pederson and traded quarterback Carson Wentz after the season, moving on with Hurts and head coach Nick Sirianni.

Now the Jaguars head coach, Pederson will coach against Hurts this weekend when Jacksonville plays Philadelphia. And Pederson told Eagles reporters in a Wednesday Zoom call that he’s not surprised by how well the quarterback is playing in 2022.

“He’s going to defy all odds,” Pederson said, via Dave Zangaro of NBCSportsPhiladelphia.com. “That’s just the way his career has been built. He’s overcome adversity everywhere he’s been, at Alabama and Oklahoma.

“Just not surprised. Not surprised that he’s playing this well and he’s playing and really utilizing the guys around him to help him get these wins that they’re piling up.”

Hurts has completed 67 percent of his passes for 916 yards with four touchdowns and one interception this season. He’s also rushed for 167 yards and three touchdowns.

The Eagles coaches have praised Hurts’ work ethic, which is something else Pederson isn’t surprised by. Pederson said Hurts “was the same way” when he was the Eagles coach.

“He was a sponge, he wants to learn, he wants to get better,” Pederson said. “He’s a professional and he takes it serious. Those are the things that you want in your quarterback, out of the leader of your team. So there’s no surprise that he’s still doing that.”

No practice for Jonathan Taylor Wednesday

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The Colts practiced without a key part of their offense on Wednesday.

Running back Jonathan Taylor did not get on the field due to a toe injury. Taylor ran 21 times for 71 yards in last Sunday’s 20-17 win over the Chiefs.

Tom Pelissero of NFL Media reports that Taylor was feeling soreness after that game and that holding him out on Wednesday was precautionary. He is currently expected to be ready to go for Sunday’s game against the Titans, but the rest of the week’s practices will shed more light on his condition.

Nyheim Hines and Deon Jackson are the other backs on the 53-man roster in Indianapolis, but they won’t have to up their playing time if all goes according to plan with Taylor.

Bengals list La’el Collins as questionable for Thursday Night Football

NFL: SEP 25 Bengals at Jets
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Bengals right tackle La'el Collins (back) returned to a full practice Wednesday, and the team lists him as questionable for Thursday Night Football.

Collins likely will have to manage his back the rest of the season.

He initially injured it ahead of training camp, and the Bengals estimated him a non-participant in Monday and Tuesday’s on-field work.

Linebacker Germaine Pratt (knee) also had a full practice and is questionable.

Defensive tackle DJ Reader (knee) and tight end Drew Sample (knee) are the only players on the team who didn’t have a full practice Thursday. Reader and Sample won’t play against the Dolphins.

Running back Joe Mixon (ankle), receiver Tee Higgins (toe), cornerback Eli Apple (ankle) and tight end Hayden Hurst (groin) were among those off the injury report. They are good to go.

John Harbaugh: We want to get Jason Pierre-Paul out there as fast as we can

NFL: JAN 23 NFC Divisional Round - Rams at Buccaneers
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Veteran edge rusher Jason Pierre-Paul officially signed with the Ravens on Monday and he took part in his first practice with the team on Wednesday.

After the practice session was over, Ravens head coach John Harbaugh said that the team is hopeful that they’ll have Pierre-Paul in the lineup when they take on the Bills this weekend.

“He looked good today,” Harbaugh said. “He took a number of reps, I don’t think he took every rep, but he took as many reps out there as we had for him. He looked good, we’ll see the tape. The process is to get him out there as fast as we can. We’ll shoot for this week, we’ll see if we can do it. If we can’t do it, it’ll be next week or whenever we can do it.”

Pierre-Paul, who is wearing No. 4 for the Ravens after wearing No. 90 in his previous stops, had 91.5 career sacks and the Ravens hope he can add to that total as they try to make it back to the playoffs after missing out last season.

Jacoby Brissett on run-heavy offense: “Whatever had have to do to score one more point”

NFL: SEP 22 Steelers at Browns
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At a time when analytics continue to become more accepted in mainstream NFL discourse, it’s important to not lose sight of the only stat that matters: Points scored versus points allowed, determined one game at a time.

That basic statistical reality became part of Browns quarterback Jacoby Brissett‘s position on Wednesday regarding the run-heavy nature of the Cleveland offense.

“Whatever we have to do to score one more point,” Brissett told reporters. “Listen, I don’t have an ego to where I want to go out there and try to be somebody that I am not. I just go out there and try to play good football, play to the best of my ability and be a good teammate. All of those things come with it.”

The Browns currently have 572 rushing yards and 596 passing yards. They’ve run the ball 114 times, passed it 96 times.

“It is exciting,” Brissett said regarding the running game, when it’s clicking. “We understand . . . how it wears down teams in the fourth quarter. We have really good offensive linemen, and we have really good offensive backs. We would be a fool not to run the ball and make the defense defend that part of our game. I am excited for the future of that and how we are going to continue to help it out.”

Even if that means far more running than passing?

“I don’t care,” Brissett said. “It is working. Doesn’t matter to me.”

Brissett explained that success in the running game gives the entire team a lift.

“You kind of feel it in not just the huddle but on the sideline,” Brissett said. “Yeah, teams know we are going to run the ball, and we still run the ball. At some point, it shows the defeat sometimes when we know we have them on the ropes. Sometimes that is the blow that it takes is another run. Then you just look to the last game, and it was the pass to Amari [Cooper]. However we have to get it done.”

That 32-yard pass to Cooper came on third and one on the touchdown drive that seemed to put the dagger in the Steelers, on a play when Pittsburgh was determined to keep the Browns from gaining the yardage on the ground. That’s what helps make play-action passing so effective.

So can a team get to the Super Bowl in today’s NFL with more running than passing?

“I don’t know,” Brissett said. “We will see.”

We’ll also see if it continues after Deshaun Watson‘s suspension ends. With the money and draft picks invested to secure Watson’s services, the powers-that-be in Cleveland may expect to see more throws in order to justify the acquisition. That would be a mistake.

Before they get to the run-pass mix with Watson playing, Watson has to be playing. If the Browns keep winning with the current formula, should they stick with the quarterback who’s making it happen? It’s not a crazy question. If the Browns are winning with the current formula and personnel, why risk throwing it all askew with a quarterback who hasn’t played in a regular-season game since January 2021?

Shelby Harris is back with Seahawks

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Seahawks defensive end Shelby Harris came out of the Week 2 game with a glut injury, but it was a family matter that kept him out in Week 3.

Harris was out last week to deal with a personal issue.

He is back with the Seahawks, coach Pete Carroll said Wednesday.

Harris won’t practice Wednesday but is “anxious” to play.

Harris, who is in his first season with the Seahawks, played 45 defensive snaps and five on special teams in the season opener. He made three tackles, a tackle for loss and a quarterback hit.

He played only three snaps before his injury in Week 2.

Bill Belichick: Aaron Rodgers makes plays that not many guys can make

New England Patriots Vs. Green Bay Packers At Lambeau Field
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The Patriots and Packers don’t play often, illustrated by the fact that quarterback Aaron Rodgers has made just two career starts against the club.

But his third start against New England will be on Sunday, as the Patriots head to Wisconsin for the Week Four matchup.

On Wednesday, New England head coach Bill Belichick was asked about the importance of disguising defensive coverages to not tip Rodgers off in any way. Unlike his answers about quarterback Mac Jonesankle injury, Belichick had plenty to say about Rodgers.

“We try to do that every week. Try not to give the quarterbacks any more information than you need to — after you’re in position to play. So, sometimes the formations force you to do a little bit of it,” Belichick said in his press conference. “But yeah, we certainly don’t want to give him anything more than what he already has. He’s seen it all a million times. They don’t turn the ball over. He doesn’t make many mistakes — he never has. He’s a very resourceful quarterback. He makes the plays that are there and he makes a few plays that really aren’t there. And then he rarely makes a mistake where he has a bad play. There’s very, very few of those.

“I think that’s one of the things that makes him a great quarterback. He’s got a great arm, he’s got great touch. He’s accurate. He helps the team win. He does the things they need to do to win. And he makes some plays that there’s not many guys that could make. But, he doesn’t try to do that all the time and makes good decisions. Certainly, very protective of the ball and the operation of the offense. He’s got a lot of freedom — which he should. And he makes a lot — a lot — of good decisions.”

Rodgers is 1-1 as a starter against Belichick, winning 26-21 in 2014 and falling to the Patriots 31-17 in 2018. He’s completed 48-of-81 passes for 627 yards with four touchdowns and no interceptions in those contests.

Joey Bosa to have surgery, go on injured reserve

NFL: SEP 15 Chargers at Chiefs
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The Chargers got some more bad injury news on Wednesday.

Head coach Brandon Staley told reporters that defensive end Joey Bosa needs to have surgery to repair the groin injury he suffered in last Sunday’s loss to the Jaguars. Bosa is expected to return to action this season, but will go on injured reserve and miss at least four games before he’ll be eligible to make that return.

The Bosa announcement follows Monday’s news that left tackle Rashawn Slater and wide receiver Jalen Guyton suffered season-ending injuries. Slater ruptured his biceps tendon and Guyton tore his ACL.

Kyle Van Noy will likely join Khalil Mack as starters on the edge of the Chargers defense. Chris Rumph and the newly acquired Derrek Tuszka are also on hand.

Kadarius Toney, Leonard Williams listed as out of practice Wednesday

New York Giants v Tennessee Titans
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The Giants played on Monday night, so they did not hold a full practice session on Wednesday.

If they had done more than a walkthrough, they would have been without a number of players. Among the players who the team said would not have taken part in practice were wide receiver Kadarius Toney and defensive lineman Leonard Williams.

Both players missed the loss to the Cowboys earlier this week. Toney is dealing with a hamstring injury while Williams sprained his MCL in the Week Two win over the Panthers.

Cornerback Cor’Dale Flott (calf), cornerback Nick McCloud (hamstring), wide receiver Wan'Dale Robinson (knee), and linebacker Jihad Ward (knee) were also listed as non-participants on Wednesday. Any of the players in the group who remain out once the team steps things up on Thursday could be on track to sit out against the Bears as well.

Christian McCaffrey doesn’t practice, listed with thigh injury

New Orleans Saints v Carolina Panthers
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Panthers running back Christian McCaffrey has gotten Wednesdays off from practice as rest days, but this week’s injury report cites a different reason why he wasn’t on the field.

McCaffrey was listed as out of practice because of a thigh injury. Head coach Matt Rhule said that he learned of the issue after last Sunday’s win over the Saints and, via Steve Reed of the Associated Press, that he spent the day “getting his body right.”

Thursday’s practice should shed some more light on whether the day off was enough to make that happen or if there’s any doubt about his ability to play against the Cardinals this week.

Safety Xavier Woods (hamstring), cornerback Jaycee Horn (calf), cornerback Stantley Thomas-Oliver III (Achilles), wide receiver Laviska Shenault Jr. (hamstring), and tight end Ian Thomas (ankle) were also listed as limited participants by the Panthers.

A.J. Green unlikely to play this week

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The Cardinals got one wide receiver back on the practice field Wednesday, but it doesn’t look like they’ll have A.J. Green available for this weekend’s trip to Carolina.

Green is dealing with a bone bruise and head coach Kliff Kingsbury said that it’s doubtful that the veteran wideout will be well enough to play by Sunday.

“Unless he really, really comes around, probably not going to be available,” Kingsbury said, via Josh Weinfuss of ESPN.com.

Rondale Moore was the player back at practice. He missed the first three games of the year with a hamstring injury and Kingsbury said he’s hopeful that Moore “progresses to the point that we can get something out of him on Sunday,” but that it is too early to know what that might be.