Von Miller hopes to return for Week 14 vs. Jets

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Bills defensive end Von Miller won’t play on Thursday night against the Patriots. He could play the following Sunday against the Jets.

Miller disclosed his status in the latest episode of The VonCast.

“I did get hurt,” Miller said. “You know, the news is not the best of news. But it’s definitely not the worst of news. It’s kind of like in the middle.

“I didn’t tear my ACL. That was the huge part of it. But I do have some lateral meniscus damaged, and it’s going to have to be addressed. But I do feel like I can play through that. So I’m going to wait a little, let the swelling go down for about 7-10 days and hopefully right before the Jets game, I will be back.”

It sounds as if he’ll need to have surgery at some point. But it sounds as if he’ll be able to keep going, eventually, despite the injury.

The Bills obviously need him. He was signed to be a difference maker in 2022, and the time is coming for him to make the ultimate difference, as the team inches toward another postseason run.

Chiefs add veteran defensive tackle Brandon Williams for stretch run

NFL: DEC 26 Ravens at Bengals
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Defense still wins championships. Or maybe it helps keeps a team with a great offense from losing them.

Regardless, the high-octane Chiefs are adding veteran defensive tackle Brandon Williams to the practice squad as the stretch run approaches, reports Adam Schefter of ESPN.com.

Per the report, Wiliams had been waiting for the right opportunity. He agreed to a practice-squad deal with the idea of making it to the active roster.

A 2018 Pro Bowler, Williams spent nine seasons with the Ravens. He was a third-round pick in 2013, after playing college football at Missouri Southern.

The Kirkwood native now lands across the state from Kansas City. Time will tell when he elevates from the practice squad to the 53-man roster. Until then, he remains eligible to join another team’s active roster.

Matt Ryan will remain Colts’ starting quarterback

NFL: NOV 28 Steelers at Colts
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The Colts announced on Oct. 24 that Sam Ehlinger would start at quarterback the rest of the season. After Jeff Saturday replaced Frank Reich on Nov. 7, Saturday said Ehlinger remained the starter.

Ehlinger was replaced six days later and hasn’t seen the field since.

Even though the Colts, at 4-7-1, realistically have nothing left to play for, they are sticking with veteran Matt Ryan.

“Matt’s going to continue being the guy,” Saturday said after Monday night’s loss to the Steelers.

Between the two quarterbacks, the Colts have 11 touchdown passes in 12 games.

Ryan, 37, has a passer rating of 86.3. The only season he had a worse rating was his second season (2009) when he had an 80.9. He has 11 touchdowns and 10 interceptions.

In two starts, Ehlinger had no touchdowns and an interception.

Raheem Mostert clarifies he was not disparaging Jimmy Garoppolo, 49ers’ talent level

NFL: SEP 13 Cardinals at 49ers
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Dolphins running back Raheem Mostert clarified his remarks about his former team, which sparked a social media squabble this week.

In an interview with Tyler Dunne of GoLongTD.com, Mostert said “we have way more talent here” and that the Dolphins “have a quarterback that can actually sling it.” It was perceived as a slap at the 49ers, where he spent five-plus seasons, and former teammate Jimmy Garoppolo.

That’s not what he intended in his comments, Mostert said on KNBR.

“I can see how that can get misconstrued, to take snippets out of what one person said and alter it in a way that just seems like it’s relevant in that I’m on a different team,” Mostert said, via Jerry McDonald of The Mercury News. “That’s not what I meant.”

Deebo Samuel responded on Twitter to Mostert’s original comments, saying, “Raheem, be real with yourself.”

Mostert, who signed with the Dolphins in March, said he knows first-hand how talented the 49ers are.

“In regards to ‘we have more talent here,’ I was speaking in terms of, we have more talent here, at this moment, than what has been here in the past,” Mostert said on the radio. “C’mon, I was with the Niners for several years. I know what their talent is. There’s unbelievable talent on both sides of the ball and on special teams. I wasn’t trying to take shots on anyone. ”

Mostert said he has a strong relationship with Garoppolo and “would never, ever in a million years talk down on a player specifically.”

In Mostert’s original comments, he said the 49ers pressured him to return from injury in 2021 rather than have season-ending need surgery. Mostert instead had surgery.

49ers coach Kyle Shanahan responded Monday, saying “there are always different opinions on those things.”

Mostert followed coaches Mike McDaniel, Wes Welker and Jon Embree from San Francisco to Miami. Running back Jeff Wilson Jr. and wide receivers Trent Sherfield and River Cracraft also are with the Dolphins now after spending time with the 49ers.

The teams play this weekend.

Packers work out quarterback James Morgan and five tight ends

NFL: AUG 27 Preseason - Eagles at Jets
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The Packers brought in a quarterback for a workout today.

James Morgan, a 2020 fourth-round draft pick of the Jets who has also spent time with the Panthers, Steelers and Colts, worked out in Green Bay today.

The Packers also worked out five tight ends: Nick Guggemos, Austin Allen, Michael Jacobson, Briley Moore and Mark Vital. Guggemos signed to the Packers’ practice squad after the tryout.

It’s unclear whether the Packers are planning to sign another backup quarterback in the event that Aaron Rodgers‘ rib injury limits his ability to practice or play, or if they primarily wanted to work out some tight ends and needed Morgan to pass to them at the workout. Morgan was born and raised in the Green Bay area and may have been the most convenient nearby quarterback for the Packers to call up when they want someone to throw passes to tight ends.

Jordan Love is the only quarterback besides Rodgers on the Packers’ active roster. They also have quarterback Danny Etling on the practice squad.

Raiders sign Tyler Hall, put Anthony Averett on IR

Las Vegas Raiders v Denver Broncos
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The Raiders made a couple of moves at cornerback on Tuesday.

The team announced that they have signed Tyler Hall to the active roster from the practice squad. He will take the roster spot of Anthony Averett as Averett went on injured reserve in a corresponding move.

Hall has been elevated from the practice squad to play in the last two games for Las Vegas. He has five tackle and a sack so far this season.

Hall also played four games with the Rams last season and nine games for the Falcons in 2020. He had six tackles in those appearances.

Averett hurt his toe last Sunday. He has played started six of the seven games he’s played this season and has 13 tackles.

Rams place Allen Robinson on injured reserve

San Francisco 49ers v Los Angeles Rams
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The Rams officially ended Allen Robinson‘s season Tuesday, placing him on injured reserve.

Robinson injured his foot in Week 11 against the Saints, and a CT scan Friday revealed a stress fracture on the navicular bone and will need surgery to repair the injury.

Robinson had 33 catches on 52 targets for 339 yards and three touchdowns in 10 games for the team.

“He’s a pro’s pro,” Rams coach Sean McVay said. “He’s been so impressive just the way that he’s handled things on a day-to-day basis. This is something that he’s dealt with before in his other foot, and so he had a history of understanding the specifics of a navicular stress fracture and what that entails in terms of the surgery and the recovery.”

Robinson remains under contract with the team through 2024 after signing a three-year, $46.5 million deal in March.

10 of Deshaun Watson’s accusers plan to attend Sunday’s Browns-Texans game

Cleveland Browns Practice
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Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson makes his return to regular-season football on Sunday in Houston, after serving an 11-game suspension for allegations of more than 20 instances of sexual misconduct during massage-therapy sessions. Although nearly all cases have been resolved, some of the accusers aren’t ready to completely move on.

Via Juan A. Lozano of the Associated Press, attorney Tony Buzbee said that about 10 of the women will attend the game between the Browns and Texans.

The goal, per Buzbee, is “to kind of make the statement, ‘Hey we’re still here. We matter. Our voice was heard and this is not something that’s over. [Sexual harassment and assault] happen every day in the United States.'”

All but one of the lawsuits filed by Buzbee have been settled. Another lawsuit was filed by a different lawyer earlier in the 2022 season.

Watson has yet to meet with reporters. That likely will happen on Wednesday. The last time he did, he reiterated his talking points regarding his position that he did nothing wrong. It will be interesting to see whether he employs a different approach, now that he’s free and clear to resume his playing career.

Packers sign Innis Gaines to 53-man roster

Green Bay Packers v Buffalo Bills
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News emerged earlier on Tuesday that the Packers were waiving safety Johnathan Abram. Now Green Bay has dropped word of its corresponding roster move.

The Packers have signed safety Innis Gaines to the active roster from their practice squad.

Gaines appeared in two games this season for Green Bay, playing 27 special teams snaps. He also played in one game for the club in 2021.

Abram had played just one defensive snap in his two games for the Packers against Dallas and Tennessee. He was inactive for the team’s game against the Eagles in Week 12.

Green Bay also announced that the club has signed Nick Guggemos to its practice squad. He’s previously spent time with Seattle, Washington, and Cleveland.

Failed fourth-down conversion prevents final verdict on Colts’ clock management

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Colts coach Jeff Saturday initially expressed no regret for waiting too long to use timeouts at the end of Monday night’s game. More recently, he admitted that he should have used a timeout — specifically when things were in “disarray” after quarterback Matt Ryan‘s scramble on second and 17 with the clock tick-tick-ticking toward 34 seconds and the Colts still in possession of all three timeouts.

The truth, as Chris Simmons pointed out on Tuesday’s PFT Live, is that it’s impossible to know whether the clock management was or wasn’t flawed, because the Colts didn’t run out of time. They ran out of downs.

If they’d converted on fourth and three, they would have had two timeouts left. They had the entire field open to them on that play, given that they knew they’d be able to stop the clock immediately, by taking a second timeout. They still would have had one timeout remaining, and they would have been at the Pittsburgh 23 or closer to the end zone.

If the fourth-down conversion had resulted in the ball going out of bounds, they would have had two timeouts, and they would have been at the 23 or closer.

It may have worked. For at least one play and maybe two, they would have had the entire field available to them. A pass down the middle could have taken the ball inside the 10. Call a timeout, take multiple shots at the end zone, and then try the potential game-tying extra point or, as the Jaguars and Chargers did on Sunday, the game-winning two-point conversion.

That said, the disarray on the third-down play didn’t help matters, at all. In Indy’s haze of haste, Steelers linebacker Alex Highsmith figured out what was coming.

“They kind of hurried up to the ball and, you know, watch[ing] the film and knowing the position the tight end was in, I could kind of tell that he was going to try to cut me off and it was gonna be a run play,” Highsmith told reporters after the game.

So if the timeout had been taken after the scramble and before third down, the Colts have had two more timeouts — and two more tries to keep the drive going. It may have made a difference. It may have ended the same way, with the Colts not getting another first down.

The point is this. They ran out of downs, not time. While the clock management left much to be desired, the selection and execution of plays and third and fourth down was the more direct reason for the failure to score.

Cowboys waive Tarell Basham

Tampa Bay Buccaneers v Dallas Cowboys
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The Cowboys have opened a roster spot.

Could they fill it with a certain wide receiver?

Dallas has waived defensive end Tarell Basham, according to multiple reports.

Basham appeared in just two games in 2022 — the season-opener against Tampa Bay and the Week 10 loss to Green Bay, playing limited snaps.

Last season, Basham appeared in all 17 games for Dallas with six starts. He recorded 3.5 sacks, three tackles for loss, and 11 quarterback hits while playing 55 percent of the defensive snaps and 24 percent of special teams snaps.

Originally a Colts third-round pick in 2017, Basham has 11.0 career sacks, 12 tackles for loss, and 34 QB hits in his 77 games with 18 starts.

As for that free-agent receiver, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said on Tuesday that Odell Beckham Jr.’s plane incident doesn’t have an impact on the team’s interest in him.

Beckham is slated to visit with the Cowboys, Giants, and Bills in his free agency tour.

 

Nathaniel Hackett appreciates Mike Purcell’s passion and understands it

Denver Broncos v Carolina Panthers
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Broncos coach Nathaniel Hackett professed ignorance immediately after Sunday’s game when asked about defensive lineman Mike Purcell yelling in the face of quarterback Russell Wilson. After seeing replays of the exchange, Hackett defended Purcell’s passion.

“You want every one of your football players to want to do anything to win, and you want them to hold each other accountable, and you want them to fire each other up,” Hackett said, via Kyle Newman of The Denver Post. “Whenever that comes from a player [to another player], that means a lot to him. So I appreciate [Purcell’s] passion and understand it. I just don’t want him to get the personal foul in that situation.”

Officials flagged Purcell for a personal foul on a Panthers’ field goal immediately before he yelled at Wilson. Wilson said Purcell told him “let’s f—ing go,” and Purcell explained that he was trying to provide a spark.

Newman, though, also admitted to “frustration.”

The Broncos are last in the NFL in scoring at 14.3 points per game but third in fewest points allowed per game at 17.6.

Hackett, who called it “an emotional game,” said he has talked to both players.

“I talked with Mike after, talked with Russell,” Hackett said. “Everybody’s good.”

Jabrill Peppers misses practice, DeVante Parker up to full participation

New England Patriots v Cleveland Browns
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There were a couple of changes to the Patriots injury report on Tuesday.

Safety Jabrill Peppers was added to the report with an illness that kept him from taking part in the session. Peppers has not missed any games this season and has 38 tackles and a fumble recovery over his 11 appearances.

The other change saw wide receiver DeVante Parker (knee) go from limited to full participation.

Running back Damien Harris (thigh) and tackle Isaiah Wynn (foot) missed practice for the second straight day. Center David Andrews (thigh), tackle Yodny Cajuste (calf), defensive back Marcus Jones (ankle), wide receiver Jakobi Meyers (shoulder), and cornerback Jalen Mills (groin) remained limited participants.

Vonn Bell on playing Chiefs: There’s a lot at stake and guys are going to be pumped

AFC Championship - Cincinnati Bengals v Kansas City Chiefs
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The last time the Bengals played the Chiefs, safety Vonn Bell ended Kansas City’s offensive possession in overtime with an interception during the AFC Championship Game.

That game was played in Kansas City, but the Bengals and Chiefs had met in Cincinnati a few weeks before — a game the Bengals won with a last-second field goal.

So, Cincinnati has put together some recent success against the team that’s hosted the last four AFC Championship games. And with the Bengals winning five of their last six to enter Sunday’s game 7-4, Bell isn’t shying away from the importance of the Week 13 contest.

“It’s hyping it up so, our guys are going to be ready, for sure,” Bell said Monday, via Geoff Hobson of the team’s website. “Nothing much needs to be said. We know what lies ahead of us. There’s a lot at stake and guys are going to be pumped, for sure. It’s going to be a big weekend and it’s a 4:25 game so it’s a big-time game with big-time atmosphere. It’s going to be playoff atmosphere from here on out. If you need to get revved up, you need to do a self-evaluation with yourself.”

Bell called quarterback Patrick Mahomes one of the best in the league and said that like his own quarterback, Joe Burrow, you have to try and disguise coverages as much as possible.

“But with [Mahomes], he can make every throw so if you’re in Cover-2 or 2-high, you’ve got to get to your landmark because he can make that throw [over the defense],” Bell said. “So, being on landmarks is critical because he can extend plays very well and [receivers] know how to create and get open throughout zone coverages and get open. So, the plaster rules down the field [apply]. You’ve got to be on your landmarks and those are going to be very pivotal going against him, for sure.”

The Chiefs will likely need a victory to keep their hold on the AFC’s No. 1 seed. The Bengals will be looking to keep pace with the Ravens in the AFC North. Those factors should add up to a good game between conference opponents.

Bill Belichick praises Devin McCourty ahead of 200th regular-season game with Patriots

New England Patriots v New York Jets
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Patriots defensive back Devin McCourty will play his 200th regular-season game as a Patriot on Thursday night, and coach Bill Belichick praised McCourty for his devotion to the team today.

He puts in a lot of time, puts in a lot of training. He’s in top condition all the time, and he takes care of himself. And plays with good fundamentals, which is another way to stay healthy,” Belichick said, via the Boston Herald. “He plays with good, solid fundamentals as a tackler and taking on blockers, things like that, which is another good way to preserve on those hits if you do it the right way.”

Belichick described McCourty, who has also played in 24 postseason games with the Patriots, as “a tremendous asset to the organization and to me personally.”

Patriots owner Robert Kraft presented McCourty with a picture collage commemorating his 200 games.

Said McCourty, “What will be cool for a 200th game is a win.”