Monday morning one-liners


Chris Gragg is working to win the No. 2 tight end job with the Bills.

Dolphins RB Jay Ajayi is missing time with a hamstring injury.

CB Robert McClain dabbles in art when he isn’t playing for the Patriots.

Jets G Willie Colon knows that he’s fighting for a roster spot.

Fighting for a job with the Ravens doesn’t bother RB Fitzgerald Toussaint.

Bengals coach Marvin Lewis is looking for a smooth week of practices with the Giants.

LB Scott Solomon’s work ethic has impressed the Browns.

The Steelers offense didn’t get going in the Hall of Fame Game.

S Eddie Pleasant hopes for a bigger role with the Texans this season.

C Jon Harrison and DT Kelcy Quarles were kicked out of Colts practice after fighting.

Nick Marshall has been a “pleasant surprise” for the Jaguars in his move from quarterback to cornerback.

Undrafted rookie LB Dezmon Johnson is pushing for a spot with his hometown Titans.

Virgil Green is getting pointers on the Broncos offense from fellow TE Owen Daniels.

A catch by WR Jeremy Maclin was a highlight of Sunday’s Chiefs practice.

Raiders CB D.J. Hayden is at full speed in his third training camp.

Rookie DL Darius Philon wants to have an immediate impact on the Chargers.

The Cowboys want RB Joseph Randle to be more careful with the ball around the goal line.

Current and former Giants players shared memories of Frank Gifford after his death on Sunday.

The Eagles are waiting for word on the severity of CB JaCorey Shepherd’s knee injury.

RB Chris Thompson hopes his strong start to camp will soldify his place with the Redskins.

Jared Allen is looking forward to his first game as a Bears outside linebacker.

Lions offensive line coach Jeremiah Washburn introduced Ugandan kids to football in June.

Said Packers associate head coach Tom Clements, “We felt because we do have a veteran team, we do want to gear the installations toward them. Hopefully, that would help us get out of the gate a little sooner.”

Vikings CB Trae Waynes looked like a rookie in his preseason debut.

The Falcons will be without WR Devin Hester as he recovers from a toe injury.

DE Charles Johnson believes the Panthers defense is improving this summer.

The Saints had a look at Andrus Peat at left guard on Sunday.

G Logan Mankins feels more at ease in his second Buccaneers camp.

Frostee Rucker is mentoring younger members of the Cardinals offensive line.

Rams T Isaiah Battle is working to develop his craft after being selected in the supplemental draft.

QB Colin Kaepernick and WR Torrey Smith are working on their chemistry at 49ers camp.

Projecting the Seahawks’ 53-man roster after an intrasquad scrimmage.

Saturday one-liners

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Mark Wahlberg has a non-sexual crush on Patriots QB Tom Brady.

Bills WR Marquise Goodwin won’t have to choose between training camp and the world track championships.

How much better will CB Buster Skrine make the Jets secondary?

Dolphins LB Koa Misi likes playing in the middle.

Ravens assistant Juan Castillo has been spending extra time working with the team’s young offensive linemen.

Get to know the Steelers founder known affectionately in Pittsburgh as “The Chief.”

A lawsuit against the Browns over Personal Seat Licenses has been refiled after failed settlement talks.

Bengals DE Michael Johnson has funded the Michael D. Johnson Technology Center in his hometown of Selma, Alabama.

Colts S Mike Adams had some good advice for the new NFL players at the Rookie Symposium.

The Texans will host the annual Running of the Bulls 5K, a race which isn’t nearly as compelling as the name suggests it could be.

A hole in one on a 182-yard par 3 resulted in Titans LS Beau Brinkley winning a barrel of booze.

Former Jaguars QB Mark Brunell say it’s “not an ideal situation” for current Jaguars QB Blake Bortles to be learning a new offensive system in his second system.

Chiefs LB Justin Houston launched the first-ever Justin Houston Celebrity Weekend on Friday night in his hometown of Statesboro, Georgia.

Broncos CB Chris Harris is co-hosting a free youth football camp on Saturday in Tulsa.

Here’s a look at plenty of former Raiders who became actors, a feature presented at a time when fans of the team may believe that more than a few current Raiders perhaps should pursue other careers, like acting.

Chargers CB Brandon Flowers became instantly excited upon the addition of WR Jacoby Jones.

Cowboys K Dan Bailey thinks WR Dez Bryant could eat “cookies and cake all the time and still be a freak athlete.” (Bryant probably thinks Bailey could eat a freak athlete’s diet and still be a kicker.)

Giants S Landon Collins expects to be the NFL’s defensive rookie of the year.

Washington is adding stuff to team headquarters, including offices and private washrooms for the muckety-mucks.

Remembering Eagles DT Jerome Brown, 23 years after his death.

The new Vikings stadium will have a plastic roof that supposedly can hold 400 times its weight without large truss supports, which sounds like a dare to Mother Nature and her blizzard machine.

Former NFL S Tom Carter is working at the Rookie Symposium that his son, Lions CB Alex Carter, is attending.

Remembering the late Doug Buffone; the Bears LB would have turned 71 today. editor Vic Ketchman sees the contest against the Broncos as a hump game.

Buccaneers fans can vote for their favorite players and moments/performances in team history.

Falcons TE Jacob Tamme has been inducted into the Kentucky Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Former Oakland coach Dennis Allen is happy to be back with the Saints.

Panthers WR Mike Brown is hosting a youth football camp in his hometown of Charlottesville, Virginia.

Cardinals DE Frostee Rucker has donated to efforts to make recreational marijuana use legal in Ohio.

Seahawks offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell isn’t on the hot seat.

Here’s a list of all of the 49ers’ offseason moves, which probably scrolls a little bit longer than it did in past years.

The Rams recently opened the door of their practice facility for youth football camps. (Maybe one of their parents will be interested in buying the place next year.)

Cardinals extend Frostee Rucker’s deal by a year

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The Cardinals have seen plenty of defections and absences from their defense lately, but they made a move to keep one of their own.

According to Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network, the Cardinals have given defensive lineman Frostee Rucker a one-year contract extension.

He was set to make $1.1 million this year, the final year of a two-year deal he signed last offseason.

Rucker’s more important to the Cards after the departure of Darnell Dockett. He had 5.0 sacks last year for the Cards, and has fallen into a comfortable niche there.

A.J. Klein, Dan Williams questionable for Saturday


A majority of Cardinals and Panthers players listed on the injury report appear set to play in Saturday’s wild card game in Charlotte, but both clubs do have a few health concerns.

Two Cardinals — reserve guard Jonathan Cooper (wrist, knee) and nose tackle Dan Williams (foot) — are questionable on the final injury report. Both were limited participants in the club’s Friday walk-through. Williams played in the club’s Week 17 loss at San Francisco, while Cooper was inactive.

The Panthers, meanwhile, could be without reserve safety Thomas DeCoud, who is doubtful with a hamstring injury. Decoud contributes on defense and special teams. Starting strong-side linebacker A.J. Klein (ankle) is questionable after a limited practice Friday, though he did practice fully on Wednesday and Thursday. Klein sat out the regular season finale at Atlanta, with Adarius Glanton starting in his place.

The other Panthers on the injury report are probable: quarterback Derek Anderson (illness), defensive end Charles Johnson (not injury related), offensive guard Fernando Velasco (not injury related), tailback DeAngelo Williams (hand).

Five Cardinals players are probable: defensive end Calais Campbell (hip), inside linebacker Larry Foote (knee), safety Tyrann Mathieu (thumb, hip), defensive tackle Frostee Rucker (ankle), center Lyle Sendlein (back).

Finally, as expected, quarterback Drew Stanton was officially designated out of Saturday’s game with a knee injury. Ryan Lindley will start in his place.

The Panthers and Cardinals kick off at 4:20 p.m. Eastern Saturday at Bank of America Stadium.

Sunday Night wrap-up: Seahawks have too many big plays

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The Seahawks had more than enough offense to beat the Cardinals Sunday.

Actually, they had more than enough on four snaps.

The Seahawks traded on big plays and an opponent which couldn’t score, taking a 35-6 win over the Cardinals and the inside track for the NFC West title.

They racked up 596 yards, but 263 of those yards came on four plays.

They’re hurt up front and they’re thin in receiving threats, but they had enough Russell Wilson and Marshawn Lynch to make the difference.

Lynch came back from an upset stomach which kept him out for a quarter to run for 113 yards, including a 79-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter.

Wilson’s 55-yard scramble was impressive, but it was his 80-yard touchdown pass to Luke Willson which gave the Seahawks a double-digit edge they weren’t going to give up. Throw in a 49-yard pass to Doug Baldwin, and they had enough home run plays to overwhelm.

Whether that’s enough to compete with teams that might actually be able to score points is another matter.

As long as they can run and play defense the way they do, they’re going to have a chance against anyone in the league.

But when they’re able to get yards in chunks the way they did this week, it might be hard for anyone to have a chance against them.

Here are five more things we learned during Sunday Night Football:

1. Back in my former life as a newspaper reporter, I covered one of the truly ridiculous games in NFL history.

With both teams beset by injuries at quarterback in 2007, the Cardinals and Panthers ended up competing for the signature of Vinny Testaverde. The Panthers won the battle and the war, as the Cardinals ended up signing Tim Rattay and then beating him the following week in Arizona.

Which is a long way of saying, either Testaverde or Rattay might be a better option than Ryan Lindley right now.

Bless his heart, the poor kid simply doesn’t look competitive, especially against a defense the quality of Seattle’s. The Cardinals even tried to run Logan Thomas out there for a change of pace (to throw a deep ball, not run), but it didn’t work.

At the moment, barring a Testaverde comeback at age 51 or Drew Stanton making a quick comeback, it’s hard to see how the Cards have much of a chance in the playoffs against anyone.

2. The Seahawks played without left tackle Russell Okung and center Max Unger. But they actually protected fairly well.

The Cardinals sacked Wilson seven times in the first meeting, but got him just once this week. Credit to Alvin Bailey and Patrick Lewis for replacing injured starters and allowing their offense to continue at record pace.

That’s a solid showing for the group they scrapped together, which they hope will be back to normal soon.

3. Cardinals coach Bruce Arians gets a lot of credit (which he should), but defensive coordinator Todd Bowles was making chicken salad too, prior to Sunday

The Cards are not just competitive, they’ve been good with a defense missing three difference-makers in Darnell Dockett, Daryl Washington and John Abraham, which is emblematic of their next-man-up approach.

They don’t really have what you’d call a pass-rusher, and they’ve got a bunch of role players like Larry Foote and Frostee Rucker playing bigger roles than you’d normally expect of them.

It was hard to tell against the Seahawks once the avalanche started rolling downhill, but this can still be a dangerous defense.

4. Should we be worried about Seahawks kicker Steven Hauschka missing three field goals?

Of course we should.

The misses are rare for Hauschka, and they were from distance. But kicking is a confidence game, and misses in big games can linger.

Until he hits something, it’s worthy of being concerned about, as you pick out every little weakness in a team playing well.

5. Willson, the tight end (man, that extra L in a similar last name is murder on spellcheck), can be a match-up problem for a lot of teams.

He seemed to surprise the Cardinals with his speed, but he ran a 4.51 40-yard dash prior to the 2013 NFL Draft, so he’s a legitimate threat to run away from linebackers.

It was still a bit of a shock to see him pull away from a safety, but he has the kind of size and speed to create space, and make the most of it.

Friday morning one-liners

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Marcus Thigpen has provided a jolt to the Bills special teams.

The Dolphins would like to get RB Lamar Miller 1,000 rushing yards.

Better communication is part of the Patriots’ plan to do a better job against the Jets run game than they did earlier this season.

Jets rookie S Calvin Pryor says he’ll prove his doubters wrong.

Injury ended S Terrence Brooks’s rookie season, but the Ravens still see a bright future.

Bengals T Andrew Whitworth isn’t worrying about making the Pro Bowl.

T Joe Thomas longs for a chance to play in a playoff game with the Browns.

TE Heath Miller’s blocking has been a plus to the Steelers run game.

The Texans expect to have LB Whitney Mercilus back in the lineup this week.

Getting traded to the Colts was a boost to CB Vontae Davis’s career.

The Jaguars may be moving on from WR Cecil Shorts after the season.

Titans RB Leon Washington got to celebrate a touchdown with his son on Thursday night.

The Broncos brought TE Dominique Jones back to the 53-man roster.

WR Jason Avant has made himself at home with the Chiefs.

Raiders rookie G Gabe Jackson brings a mean streak onto the field.

Chargers LB Dwight Freeney says age isn’t the reason for a drop in sacks.

Said Cowboys owner Jerry Jones of QB Tony Romo, “It has the potential to be his best season. The factor that would impact the most in my mind would be if we do have the kind of season that we’re all dreaming about here, then it would be his best.”

Former Giants G Chris Snee recounts telling coach and father-in-law Tom Coughlin that he was retiring.

Free agency is waiting for Eagles LB Brandon Graham after the season.

DE Jason Hatcher may not play again for the Redskins this season.

Bears CB Charles Tillman remains a believer in QB Jay Cutler.

If teams with head coaching vacancies come calling, defensive coordinator Teryl Austin’s stay with the Lions could be a short one.

CB Davon House is making progress in his return from a shoulder injury, but may not play in the final two Packers regular season games.

Vikings coach Mike Zimmer wants more toughness from his team late in games.

WR Roddy White says the Falcons will be ready with or without Julio Jones in the lineup.

It’s been a tough sophomore season for Panthers DT Star Lotulelei.

The Saints are moving Corey White to safety.

Buccaneers DT Gerald McCoy is sad to miss a matchup with Aaron Rodgers.

DE Frostee Rucker will see college coach Pete Carroll when the Cardinals meet the Seahawks this weekend.

The Rams secondary will get its first look at Giants WR Odell Beckham.

There will be plenty of backups on defense for the 49ers this Sunday.

Seahawks T Justin Britt will have a lot to deal with against the Cardinals defensive line.

Cardinals bounce back, improve to 10-3 with win vs. Chiefs


After two straight losses, the Cardinals got the win they so dearly needed.

Overcoming a 14-6 halftime deficit, the Cardinals bulled their way to a 17-14 victory over the visiting Chiefs on Sunday. Now 10-3, Arizona remains one game ahead of 9-4 Seattle, which won at Philadelphia. The Cardinals play at surging St. Louis on Thursday night.

Drew Stanton’s 26-yard third-quarter TD pass to wide receiver Jaron Brown was the game-winning strike for Arizona, which moved to 7-0 at University of Phoenix Stadium. The score was set up by a leaping interception from Cardinals outside linebacker Alex Okafor.

In defeat, the Chiefs (7-6) were on the wrong end of a couple of tough calls. First, an apparent third-quarter TD pass to Anthony Fasano was nullified by an offensive pass interference foul.

Later came the game’s pivotal play. And again, Kansas City got the worst of it.  With about six minutes left, the Chiefs moved to the Cardinals’ 22-yard-line on a 19-yard catch by tight end Travis Kelce. However, the ball came out at the end of the play, and the Cardinals challenged before the Chiefs could get off another snap. The ruling on the field — catch and no fumble — was overturned, and the Cardinals got the ball back with their three-point lead in hand.

The Chiefs would have one more chance to tie or win after Cardinals kicker Chandler Catanzaro missed a 34-yard field goal with about a minute remaining, but the Arizona defense held firm. When Alex Smith threw incomplete under duress on a 4th-and-15 blitz, the Cardinals were home free.

In victory, the Cardinals sacked Smith five times, with defensive lineman Frostee Rucker notching a pair of takedowns.

Tailback Jamaal Charles scored twice for the Chiefs, sprinting away for a 63-yard scoring run in the first quarter and turning a short pass into an 18-yard TD late in the first half. But that was it for points for Kansas City, which has lost three in a row.

The Cardinals got 100 yards rushing from first-year pro Kerwynn Williams, who received most of the carries in place of Andre Ellington, who was inactive with a hip injury. Afterwards, Cardinals coach Bruce Arians said Ellington would be put on injured reserve, according to the club.

While the Cardinals got some bad news on Ellington, cornerback Antonio Cromartie’s lower-leg injury is not an Achilles ailment, Arians said. Cromartie was carted to the lockerroom in the fourth quarter.

Smith threw for 293 yards for the Chiefs, with Kelce (seven catches, 110 yards) his top target. Kansas City will host 2-11 Oakland next Sunday.

Week Seven injury report roundup


Over the course of the week, there are a lot of posts about the most prominent injured players but we know that you might not see all of them and that some others may fall through the cracks. As a result, we’ll comb through all the injury reports every Friday afternoon so that there’s one stop for all the news from every team playing on Sunday. So, without further delay, the injury report roundup for Week Seven of the 2014 season.

Falcons at Ravens

The Falcons have a pretty healthy active roster heading into the weekend outside of wide receiver Harry Douglas (foot), who will miss another game. It doesn’t look like tackle Eugene Monroe (knee, doubtful) or guard Kelechi Osemele (knee, doubtful) will return this week and the Ravens will also wait for defensive end Chris Canty (wrist, out) to get healthy.

Vikings at Bills

Minnesota hopes to have defensive tackle Sharrif Floyd (elbow, ankle) and linebacker Chad Greenway (hand, rib) after listing them as questionable. Tight end Kyle Rudolph (abdomen, groin) is out again for the Vikings. The Bills have ruled out wide receiver Marcus Easley (knee), wide receiver Marquise Goodwin (hamstring) and linebacker Ty Powell (ankle), but are without other injury issues heading into the weekend.

Dolphins at Bears

The Dolphins will need to shuffle their line again if center Samson Satele (hamstring, questionable) can’t play. Cornerback Jimmy Wilson (hamstring) is doubtful. Linebacker Lance Briggs (ribs) and safety Chris Conte (shoulder) are both out for the home team and linebacker Jon Bostic (back) is questionable.

Saints at Lions

Saints tight end Jimmy Graham (shoulder) and Lions wide receiver Calvin Johnson (ankle) highlight their team’s respective injury reports and both are listed as questionable. Saints linebackers Ramon Humber (ankle) and Kyle Knox (ankle) are both out while cornerback Patrick Robinson (hamstring) is questionable. The Lions are doubtful that either tight end Eric Ebron (hamstring) or running back Theo Riddick (hamstring) will be able to play.

Panthers at Packers

The Panthers didn’t rule anyone out, but cornerback Bene’ Benwikere (ankle), linebacker Chase Blackburn (knee), guard Amini Silatolu (calf), running back Fozzy Whittaker (thigh) and running back DeAngelo Williams (ankle) are all doubtful. Wide receiver Kelvin Benjamin is questionable pending clearance through the concussion protocol. The Packers won’t have defensive end Datone Jones (ankle) or cornerback Sam Shields (knee) and may also be without cornerback Tramon Williams (ankle, questionable) on Sunday.

Bengals at Colts

Linebacker Rey Maualuga (hamstring) is out for the Bengals and it looks like wide receiver A.J. Green (toe, doubtful), linebacker Emmanuel Lamur (shoulder, doubtful) and defensive tackle Brandon Thompson (knee, doubtful) will join him on the sideline. Cornerback Darius Butler (ankle) won’t play, but the Colts could get defensive tackle Arthur Jones (ankle, questionable) back. Tackle Gosder Cherilus (knee), guard Jack Mewhort (ankle) and guard Hugh Thornton (back) are all probable.

Browns at Jaguars

Cleveland heads to Jacksonville without wide receiver Rodney Smith (hamstring), defensive end Phil Taylor (knee), cornerback K’Waun Williams (concussion) and defensive end Billy Winn (quadricep), with safety Tashaun Gipson (thigh) and defensive tackle Ahtyba Rubin (ankle) listed as questionable. Running back Toby Gerhart (foot) is out for the otherwise healthy Jaguars.

Seahawks at Rams

Seattle ruled out a number of players because of injury — defensive tackle Jordan Hill (ankle), defensive end Cassius Marsh (foot), cornerback Byron Maxwell (calf), tight end Zach Miller (ankle), center Max Unger (foot), linebacker Bobby Wagner (toe) — and wide receiver Percy Harvin because they didn’t want him anymore. Tight end Luke Willson (groin, questionable) will be a weekend decision. Center Tim Barnes (shoulder) is doubtful for St. Louis, while linebacker Jo-Lonn Dunbar (thigh), cornerback Trumaine Johnson (knee), cornerback Brandon McGee (foot) and defensive end Ethan Westbrooks (hand) are all questionable.

Titans at Redskins

Tight end Craig Stevens (quad) is out for the Titans and they don’t expect to have running back Shonn Greene (hamstring), cornerback Coty Sensabaugh (knee) or tight end Taylor Thompson (knee) after listing them as doubtful. Redskins cornerback David Amerson (concussion, questionable), safety Ryan Clark (ankle, questionable) and linebacker Perry Riley (knee, questionable) will all have their status determined over the weakend.

Chiefs at Chargers 

The Chiefs have ruled out wide receiver Donnie Avery (groin), safety Eric Berry (ankle) and cornerback Christopher Owens (knee). Running back Cyrus Gray (hand) and cornerback Sean Smith (groin) are both questionable. The Chargers will roll without running back Donald Brown (concussion), linebacker Manti Te’o (foot) and running back Ryan Mathews (knee) again this week while linebacker Jeremiah Attaochu (hamstring) is doubtful to play. They’ll wait until the weekend to decide about cornerback Brandon Flowers (groin), linebacker Dwight Freeney (knee), linebacker Cordarro Law (ankle) and cornerback Jason Verrett (shoulder) after listing them as questionable.

Giants at Cowboys

The Giants won’t have running back Rashad Jennings (knee), but remain hopeful for cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie (back, hamstring, questionable). The Cowboys ruled out linebacker Bruce Carter (thigh) and tackle Doug Free (foot) and don’t expect to have defensive end Jack Crawford (calf, doubtful) in the lineup. Tackle Tyron Smith is probable after a mid-week ankle scare, however.

Cardinals at Raiders

Defensive end Calais Campbell (knee) is out again for the Cardinals. Tight end Troy Niklas (ankle) is also out and tight end John Carlson (knee), linebacker Glenn Carson (ankle), defensive lineman Frostee Rucker (calf) and defensive lineman Alameda Ta’amu (illness) are all questionable. Raiders wide receiver Vincent Brown (hamstring) and cornerback Keith McGill (groin) are both out. Defensive end Justin Tuck (knee), guard Khalif Barnes (quadricep) and running back Marcel Reece (quadricep) are questionable.

49ers at Broncos

49ers linebacker Patrick Willis (toe) and guard Mike Iupati (concussion) will miss the contest, while cornerback Tramaine Brock (toe), cornerback Chris Culliver (shoulder), tackle Anthony Davis (knee, ankle) and safety Jimmie Ward (quadricep) are all questionable. Running back Montee Ball (groin) is out for Denver, who will go into Sunday night with an otherwise healthy 53-man roster.

Week Three injury report roundup


Over the course of the week, there are a lot of posts about the most prominent injured players but we know that you might not see all of them and that some others may fall through the cracks. As a result, we’ll comb through all the injury reports every Friday afternoon so that there’s one stop for all the news from every team playing on Sunday. So, without further delay, the first injury report roundup of the 2014 season.

Chargers at Bills

Running back Ryan Mathews (knee) and linebacker Melvin Ingram (hamstring) have been ruled out for the Chargers, who also may not have linebacker Jerry Attaochu (hamstring) after he missed practice all week. Attaochu is questionable, as are wide receiver Keenan Allen (groin) and safety Jahleel Addae (hamstring). The Bills will be shorthanded at linebacker as well. Randell Johnson (knee) has been ruled out and Keith Rivers (groin) is unlikely to play.

Titans at Bengals

The Titans don’t have many injury issues on the 53-man roster. Cornerback Jason McCourty (groin) is questionable after a week of limited practices, but the other three players on the report are probable. The Bengals listed linebacker Vontaze Burfict as doubtful, but two concussions in two weeks may make that a hopeful designation. Guard Kevin Zeitler (calf) is also doubtful, but things are looking good for wide receiver A.J. Green (toe) after a full practice on Friday.

Ravens at Browns

Ravens defensive tackle Timmy Jernigan (knee) is doubtful and running back Bernard Pierce is questionable after coming down with a thigh injury during the week. Guard Paul McQuistan (ankle) is questionable and the only player on the Browns injury report.

Packers at Lions

Linebacker Brad Jones (quad) is out again for Green Bay while tackle Bryan Bulaga (knee) is questionable after missing last week’s game. Cornerback Casey Hayward (glute) is also questionable. Lions linebacker Travis Jones (quad), cornerback Cassius Vaughn (ankle) and tackle LaAdrian Waddle (calf) are out. Safety James Ihedigbo (neck) is doubtful while defensive end Ziggy Ansah (knee) is questionable after a Friday return to practice.

Colts at Jaguars

The Colts have ruled out linebacker Jerrell Freeman (hamstring) and defensive tackle Arthur Jones (ankle). Wide receiver Hakeem Nicks (illness) is questionable, as is defensive tackle Ricky-Jean Francois (ankle). The Jags won’t have wide receiver Marqise Lee (hamstring) but wide receiver Cecil Shorts (hamstring) is set to make his 2014 regular season debut.

Raiders at Patriots

Raiders linebacker Sio Moore (ankle) won’t play and running back Maurice Jones-Drew (hand) is questionable after having surgery less than two weeks ago. Defensive end Antonio Smith (back) was added to the injury report on Friday and he’s listed as questionable as well. Running back Shane Vereen (shoulder) and linebacker Jamie Collins (thigh) are the biggest names among six questionable Patriots while tight end Rob Gronkowski (knee) and wide receiver Julian Edelman (back) are probable.

Vikings at Saints

Linebacker Chad Greenway is questionable to play with a broken hand and the Vikings are also waiting to see if wide receiver Rodney Smith (hamstring) and linebacker Brandon Watts (knee) will play. The Saints have ruled out running back Mark Ingram (hand), linebacker David Hawthorne (ankle), fullback Erik Lorig (ankle) and safety Marcus Ball (hamstring).

Texans at Giants

Texans running back Arian Foster (hamstring) was limited in practice on Friday and is questionable for Sunday. The same is true for safety D.J. Swearinger (elbow). The Giants ruled out linebackers Jon Beason (foot) and Devon Kennard (hamstring) while listing punter Steve Weatherford (ankle) as questionable.

Redskins at Eagles

Wide receiver DeSean Jackson (shoulder) is questionable for his first return to Philadelphia since being released by the Eagles. If he doesn’t play, he’ll join tight end Jordan Reed (hamstring), linebacker Akeem Jordan (knee) and cornerback Tracy Porter (hamstring) on the sideline. Eagles linebacker Mychal Kendricks (calf) won’t play and safety Earl Wolff (knee) is questionable after missing Friday’s practice.

Cowboys at Rams

Defensive end Anthony Spencer (knee) returned to practice for the Cowboys this week, but he’s out for Sunday. So is linebacker Justin Durant (groin) and Rolando McClain (groin) may join him after getting a doubtful tag. Quarterback Shaun Hill (thigh) is questionable for the Rams, who will make their quarterback call over the weekend. Wide receiver Tavon Austin (knee) is questionable.

49ers at Cardinals

Tight end Vernon Davis (ankle, knee), cornerback Tramaine Brock (toe) and tackle Anthony Davis (hamstring) are all questionable for the 49ers. Cardinals quarterback Carson Palmer (shoulder) is questionable and won’t start if he does suit up. Defensive end Frostee Rucker (calf) and tight end Rob Housler (hip) are both questionable.

Chiefs at Dolphins

Safety Eric Berry (ankle) and running back De’Anthony Thomas (hamstring) are out for the Chiefs and running back Jamaal Charles (ankle) is questionable after practicing the last two days. The Dolphins won’t have guard Shelley Smith (knee) or linebacker Koa Misi (ankle). Tight end Charles Clay (knee) is listed as questionable.

Broncos at Seahawks

Linebacker Danny Trevathan (knee) is questionable to make his first appearance of the 2014 season, which would be a quicker than expected return from injury for the 2013 starter.  Cornerback Tharold Simon (knee) remains out for Seattle while linebacker Bruce Irvin (rib) missed practice the last two days and is listed as questionable.

Steelers at Panthers

Running back Dri Archer (knee) is doubtful for Pittsburgh and guard Ramon Foster (ankle) is questionable. Panthers running back DeAngelo Williams (quad), wide receiver Jerricho Cotchery (quad) and wide receiver Jason Avant (quad) are all questionable for the Panthers.

Week Two early inactives


Every week we’ll bring you all the inactives from the early games in one post, constantly updated with the latest information. So check back often to see the full list as it becomes available.

Dolphins at Bills

Dolphins: C Mike Pouncey, DE Terrence Fede, LB Koa Misi, G Billy Turner, LB Jordan Tripp, T Jason Fox, DT Bruce Gaston

Bills: LB Keith Rivers, RB Bryce Brown, T Cyrus Kouandjio, G Cyril Richardson, TE Lee Smith, CB Ross Cockrell, S Jonathan Meeks

Lions at Panthers

Lions: T LaAdrian Waddle, DB Don Carey, S James Ihedigbo, QB Kellen Moore, WR Kevin Ogletree, WR Ryan Broyles, DE Larry Webster

Panthers: DE Greg Hardy, QB Joe Webb, RB DeAngelo Williams, LB Jason Williams, G Garry Williams, S Tre Boston, G Andrew Norwell

Falcons at Bengals

Falcons: T Jake Matthews, QB Sean Renfree, CB Javier Arenas, WR Courtney Roby, LB Tyler Starr, DE Cliff Matthews, C James Stone

Bengals: WR Marvin Jones, RB Rex Burkhead, LB Sean Porter, OL T.J. Johnson, OL Tanner Hawkinson, DE Will Clarke

Saints at Browns

Saints: S Marcus Ball, FB Erik Lorig, WR Joe Morgan, WR Nick Toon, DE Glenn Foster, CB Stanley Jean-Baptise, G Senio Kelemete,

Browns: RB Ben Tate, TE Jordan Cameron, LB Barkevious Mingo, CB Pierre Desir, WR LaRon Byrd, DL John Hughes, DT Ishmaa’ily Kitchen

Patriots at Vikings

Patriots: LB Jamie Collins, C Ryan Wendell, DE Michael Buchanan, CB Alfonzo Dennard, DE Zach Moore, WR Kenbrell Thompkins, RB James White

Vikings: RB Adrian Peterson, LB Brandon Watts, QB Christian Ponder, LB Michael Mauti, G David Yankey, WR Rodney Smith, DE Scott Crichton

Cardinals at Giants

Cardinals: QB Carson Palmer, LB Alex Okafor, DE Frostee Rucker, LB Glenn Carson, LB Marcus Benard, P Dave Zastudil, TE Darren Fells

Giants: WR Odell Beckham, T James Brewer, LB Devon Kennard, DL Marcus Kuhn, T Charles Brown, G Adam Snyder, DE Kerry Wynn

Cowboys at Titans

Cowboys: LB Justin Durant, DE Lavar Edwards, DE Anthony Spencer, T Darrion Weems, QB Dustin Vaughan, DT Ken Bishop, T Donald Hawkins

Titans: LB Zach Brown, WR T.J. Graham, WR Kris Durham, T Byron Stingily, DL DaQuan Jones, QB Zach Mettenberger, CB Brandon Harris

Jaguars at Redskins

Jaguars: S Johnathan Cyprien, TE Clay Harbor, RB Storm Johnson, T Austin Pasztor, WR Cecil Shorts, G Tyler Shatley, T Josh Wells

Redskins: LB Akeem Jordan, CB Tracy Porter, TE Jordan Reed, QB Colt McCoy, WR Santana Moss, G Spencer Long, DE Kedric Golston

Week Two injury report roundup


Over the course of the week, there are a lot of posts about the most prominent injured players but we know that you might not see all of them and that some others may fall through the cracks. As a result, we’ll comb through all the injury reports every Friday afternoon so that there’s one stop for all the news from every team playing on Sunday. So, without further delay, the first injury report roundup of the 2014 season.

Dolphins at Bills

It looked like the Dolphins would be without linebackers Koa Misi (ankle) and Phillip Wheeler (thumb) earlier this week, but Wheeler is probable. Misi is doubtful, as is guard Billy Turner (foot). Defensive tackle Randy Starks (toe), wide receiver Mike Wallace (hamstring) and tight end Charles Clay (knee) are all probable. Bills linebacker Keith Rivers (groin) is out, while tight end Lee Smith (toe) and safety Jonathan Meeks (neck) are doubtful. Cornerback Stephon Gilmore (groin) should be back after missing the opener.

Lions at Panthers

The Lions won’t have starting right tackle LaAdrian Waddle (calf) so either Garrett Reynolds or rookie Cornelius Lucas will start. Safety Don Carey (hamstring) is also out and safety James Ihedigbo (neck) is doubtful after missing the opener. Panthers running back DeAngelo Williams (thigh) is questionable after missing two practices, but Cam Newton (ribs) is expected to make his 2014 debut. Tackle Garry Williams (hip) and linebacker Jason Williams (thigh) are also questionable, which may leave the Panthers short on Williamses come Sunday.

Falcons at Bengals

The Falcons have a short injury report, but there will be one painful absence. Left tackle Jake Matthews (ankle) won’t play on Sunday. There are more players on the Bengals report, but the only big question mark is linebacker Vontaze Burfict (concussion). Wide receiver A.J. Green (foot) and defensive tackle Geno Atkins (feet) are both probable.

Saints at Browns

Safety Marcus Ball (hamstring) and fullback Erik Lorig (ankle) remain out for the Saints, but wide receiver Kenny Stills is probable to return from a quad injury. Browns tight end Jordan Cameron and linebacker Barkevious Mingo are both questionable with shoulder injuries. Running back Ben Tate (knee) won’t play. Defensive end Desmond Bryant (wrist) is also questionable for Cleveland.

Patriots at Vikings

Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski (knee) is probable, an upgrade from last week that could mean an uptick in playing time. Linebacker Jamie Collins (thigh), defensive end Michael Buchanan (ankle), center Ryan Wendell (knee), defensive tackle Chris Jones (ankle) and defensive tackle Sealver Siliga (hand) are all questionable for New England. Vikings defensive tackle Sharrif Floyd (shoulder) and cornerback Xavier Rhodes (groin) are both questionable after being injured last weekend. Running back Adrian Peterson (non-injury related) was listed as probable, but that was before word of his indictment in Texas came down and his status is likely questionable at best.

Cardinals at Giants

Defensive end Frostee Rucker (calf) and linebacker Alex Okafor (thigh) are out for the Cardinals, while quarterback Carson Palmer (shoulder) is questionable. Running back Andre Ellington (foot) and punter Dave Zastudil (groin) are also questionable, but safety Tyrann Mathieu (knee) has been bumped up to probable. Wide receiver Odell Beckham (hamstring) remains out for the Giants, who will have to make a decision about punter Steve Weatherford (ankle) before Sunday.

Cowboys at Titans

Linebacker Justin Durant (groin), defensive end Lavar Edwards (knee), defensive end Anthony Spencer (knee) and tackle Darrion Weems (shoulder) will all miss the game for the Cowboys. Safety C.J. Spillman (groin) missed two days of practice and is questionable. Titans defensive tackle Mike Martin (hamstring) is questionable, but wide receiver Justin Hunter (knee) is good to go.

Jaguars at Redskins

Jaguars wide receiver Cecil Shorts (hamstring) is likely to miss his second straight game, but running back Toby Gerhart (ankle) is probable. Safety Johnathan Cyprien (concussion), tight end Clay Harbor (calf), running back Storm Johnson (ankle) and tackle Austin Pasztor (hand) have all been ruled out. Washington will be without linebacker Akeem Jordan (knee), cornerback Tracy Porter (hamstring) and tight end Jordan Reed (hamstring), with defensive lineman Kedric Gholston (groin) listed as doubtful. The Redskins also listed kicker Kai Forbath (groin), safety Duke Ihenacho (ankle), linebacker Brian Orakpo (ankle) and tackle Tyler Polumbus (ankle).

Seahawks at Chargers

Running back Christine Michael (hamstring), linebacker Kevin Pierre-Louis (hamstring) and cornerback Tharold Simon (knee) are out for the Seahawks. Safety Jahleel Addae (hamstring) and cornerback Chris Davis (ankle) are out for the home team while cornerback Brandon Flowers (groin) and linebacker Melvin Ingram (hamstring) are listed as questionable.

Rams at Buccaneers

Quarterback Shaun Hill’s status remains up in the air after the Rams listed him as questionable because of a thigh injury. Cornerback Trumaine Johnson (knee) and center Barrett Jones (back) won’t play. Defensive end Michael Johnson (ankle), cornerback Rashaan Melvin (ankle) and tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins (ankle) are all out for Tampa. Defensive end Da’Quan Bowers (abdomen), defensive end William Gholston (shoulder), guard Logan Mankins (knee), running back Doug Martin (knee) and safety Bradley McDougald (knee) are all questionable.

Chiefs at Broncos

The Chiefs placed three players on injured reserve this week, so they are short on serious injuries on the injury report. Running back De’Anthony Thomas (hamstring) is out and the only player listed as anything but probable. Denver listed guard Ben Garland (ankle) as doubtful and safety David Bruton (shoulder) as questionable on their own light injury report.

Jets at Packers

The Jets should have cornerback Dee Milliner (ankle) back after listing him as probable. Guard Willie Colon (calf) got the same tag while linebacker A.J. Edds (hamstring) is out. Tackle Bryan Bulaga (knee) is a question mark for the Packers, but it looks like running back Eddie Lacy (concussion) and tight end Brandon Bostick (leg) are good to go.

Texans at Raiders

The Texans won’t have linebacker Jadeveon Clowney (knee), tight end C.J. Fiedorowicz (foot) or safety Shiloh Keo (calf). Sixteen other Texans are probable, which makes two weeks of signs that Bill O’Brien’s injury reports will be of the voluminous variety. Running back Maurice Jones-Drew (hand), linebacker Kaluka Maiava (illness), tackle Matt McCants (knee) and linebacker Nick Roach (concussion) are all questionable for the Raiders.

Bears at 49ers

Wide receivers Brandon Marshall (ankle) and Alshon Jeffery (hamstring) are both questionable for the Bears while Josh Morgan (groin) is doubtful. The offensive line will be missing guard Matt Slauson and center Roberto Garza with both men out after suffering ankle injuries. The 49ers listed cornerbacks Tramaine Brock (toe) and Chris Culliver (concussion, stinger) as questionable. Tackle Anthony Davis (hamstring) has the same designation while center Marcus Martin (knee) is out for opening night at Levi’s Stadium.

John Abraham in concussion protocol, Frostee Rucker unlikely to play this week


The Giants offense can use all the help it can get right now and it looks like they’ll be facing a diminished Cardinals defense in Week Two.

Coach Bruce Arians said Tuesday that linebacker John Abraham is in the league’s concussion protocol after exiting Monday night’s victory over the Chargers with the injury. That means he’ll need to pass a test before returning to practice this week and then he’ll have to pass another one to get cleared for Sunday’s game.

As the team’s best pass rusher, Abraham’s absence would be costly under any circumstances. It would be even more painful this weekend because it doesn’t look like the team will have defensive end Frostee Rucker either. Arians said he was doubtful to play after hurting his calf on Monday night, which would leave the Cardinals in need of a replacement for Darnell Dockett’s replacement.

Arians also said that running back Andre Ellington was in a boot to try to get his injured foot “calmed down.” Ellington, who ran for 80 yards against San Diego, will try to practice this week after being on the right side of a game-time decision on Monday.

Tommy Kelly signing with Cardinals


The Cardinals continued their search for help on the defensive line in the wake of Darnell Dockett’s ACL tear by bringing defensive tackle Tommy Kelly to town for a visit on Wednesday and it looks like they had more luck with him than Brett Keisel.

PFT has learned that Kelly will be signing with the Cardinals a couple of days after he was released by the Patriots.

Kelly is coming off an ACL tear of his own in 2013 and wasn’t able to convince the Patriots that he was worth bringing back for another season. He’ll get at least a few days to give the Cardinals a reason to draw a different conclusion. Kelly had 22 tackles and 2.5 sacks in five games last season before getting hurt last year.

Frostee Rucker is getting the first look at Dockett’s spot for the Cardinals, who also signed Isaac Sopoaga since Dockett was injured.

UPDATE 4:02 p.m. ET: The Cardinals have announced that Kelly signed a one-year deal and that they have released defensive tackle Ryan McBean to make room for him on their 75-man roster.

Thursday morning one-liners


Bills CB Ron Brooks is fighting for his job, and getting a chance.

With a failed experiment at C, Dolphins RG Shelley Smith is back where he belongs.

Patriots CB Brandon Browner has “enjoyed every second” of his time in New England.

Jets QB Geno Smith is ready to run.

The Ravens are focusing on getting better in the red zone.

It appears the Bengals got a solid bargain on the Vontaze Burfict deal.

Browns DE Desmond Bryant could miss the regular season opener after wrist surgery.

Steelers RT Marcus Gilbert’s dedication was rewarded.

Texans LB Brian Cushing feels good, wants to play on Saturday.

The notion of a No. 1 WR target isn’t a simple question for the Colts.

Jaguars OT Cameron Bradfield is ready to fill another hole in the offensive line.

For just another guy, the fade passes to Titans WR Justin Hunter appear hard to stop.

Injured Broncos LB Danny Trevathan is on crutches, but pleased with what he saw against the Texans.

Chiefs rookie RB De’Anthony Thomas joins a crowded injury list with a hamstring problem.

Raiders FB Marcel Reece’s foot is improving and he hopes to play this weekend.

Chargers NT Sean Lissemore avoided a serious injury.

Cowboys RB DeMarco Murray has confidence in his backups — this year.

Giants QB Eli Manning is more vocal in practice.

Trading for RB Kenjon Barner means 10 percent of the Eagles’ roster is made of former Oregon players.

Washington brought in some new competition for the punting job.

Bears QB Jordan Palmer will get the second-string snaps this week.

Lions DE Ziggy Ansah might play this week as he recovers from shoulder surgery.

The Packers have taken a scientific approach to their training table.

Vikings LB Chad Greenway was slowed by another wrist problem in practice.

Falcons RB Steven Jackson could return to practice soon.

The Panthers aren’t putting CB Josh Norman in the doghouse again — yet.

Saints S Jairus Byrd celebrated his first full practice with an interception.

The Buccaneers are hoping the heat is a home field advantage.

Cardinals DE Frostee Rucker is expected to take on a bigger role in the defense now.

The Rams brought Ferguson-area teams to practice this week as well.

The 49ers say their grass will be ready for Sunday’s game.

Seahawks DE Cliff Avril could be next in line for a contract.

With Darnell Dockett out, Cardinals taking a look at Brett Keisel

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There’s not a like-for-like replacement for injured defensive tackle Darnell Dockett at the moment, but the Cardinals are at least looking into someone they know well.

According to Kent Somers of the Arizona Republic, the Cardinals are bringing in longtime Steelers defensive end Brett Keisel for a physical today.

Keisel would lend some gravity to a defense that has taken a number of hits this offseason.

The Cards still like what Frostee Rucker offers, and he’d likely take the snaps which Dockett was going to take. But Keisel has been a solid player, and one that coach Bruce Arians is well-familiar with.