Expert Cappers Picks
National Football League
NFL News Wire
  • Agent: 'A few teams' interested in WR Brown
    By Field Level Media / Saturday, September 21, 2019

    "A few teams" have reached out to express interest in free agent Antonio Brown since his release Friday by the New England patriots, according to the wide receiver's agent, Drew Rosenhaus.

    • Rosenhaus told ESPN on Saturday he's been in touch with a few teams, who "want information regarding (Brown's) legal situation and the NFL investigation" into accusations against Brown of sexual assault and sending intimidating text messages.

      ESPN reports that people around the league don't expect any team to sign Brown until the league's investigation is resolved.

      The Patriots cut the controversial wideout on Friday afternoon, five days after Brown caught four passes for 56 yards and scored a touchdown in his debut with the team.

      The NFL released a statement hours later in response to questions about Brown's status.

      "Our office is presently investigating multiple allegations, some of which are the subject of pending litigation," the statement read, in part. "We have as yet made no findings regarding these issues. The investigation is ongoing and will be pursued vigorously and expeditiously.

      "As long as Mr. Brown is a free agent, placement on the Commissioner's exempt list is not appropriate. If he is signed by a club, such placement may become appropriate at any time depending on the status of the investigation. Upon the conclusion of the investigation, he may also be subject to discipline if the investigation finds that he has violated the law or league policies."

      Britney Taylor, Brown's former trainer, filed a civil suit last week accusing him of three incidents of sexual assault or rape over a two-year period from 2017-18. According to multiple reports, the league met with Taylor for 10 hours on Monday, and a meeting with Brown was expected at some point.

      On Thursday, Sports Illustrated reported that a female artist -- who leveled claims earlier this week that Brown made unwanted sexual advances before firing her -- contacted the NFL claiming the 31-year-old wide receiver sent her "intimidating and threatening" texts. On Friday, the woman's attorney said the league had agreed to investigate the situation, and that the league had contacted the Patriots, who told Brown not to contact the woman any further.

      In 10 NFL seasons (the first nine with Pittsburgh), Brown has 841 catches for 11,263 yards and 75 touchdowns. He is a seven-time Pro Bowl selection and four-time All-Pro.

      --Field Level Media

  • NFL notebook: Browns DE Garrett fined $42K for two hits
    By Field Level Media / Saturday, September 21, 2019

    Cleveland Browns defensive end Myles Garrett was fined $42,112 by the NFL on Saturday for two hits he made on New York Jets quarterback Trevor Siemian during Monday night's game.

    • Each hit cost Garrett a $21,056 fine in a game in which he was penalized four times, including twice for roughing the passer, while recording a career-best three sacks. Siemian suffered a season-ending ankle injury on the second roughing call, which occurred midway through the second quarter. The backup quarterback started in place of Sam Darnold, who was out with mononucleosis.

      Also fined after the Jets-Browns game were Browns rookie linebacker Mack Wilson ($28,075), who was penalized for lowering his head and delivering a helmet-to-helmet hit on Jets wide receiver Ty Montgomery, and Jets safety Jamal Adams ($21,056) for a roughing-the-passer penalty against Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield.

      --Washington Redskins tight end Jordan Reed was ruled out for Monday night's game against the visiting Chicago Bears due to lingering effects from a concussion.

      Reed has yet to play this season after being hurt in Washington's third preseason game. The 29-year-old Reed sustained a concussion following a helmet-to-helmet hit by Atlanta safety Keanu Neal on Aug. 22. The hit drew a penalty and later a $28,075 fine.

      An NBC Sports Washington report Saturday cited a source saying Reed could still be "weeks" from a return. Reed has recorded 329 receptions for 3,371 yards and 24 touchdowns in six seasons with the Redskins, earning Pro Bowl honors in 2016.

      --Chicago Bears coach Matt Nagy said he expects Eddy Pineiro to play Monday night at Washington despite the kicker being listed as questionable on the Bears' injury report.

      Nagy told reporters Pineiro hurt his right (kicking) knee Friday in the weight room but termed the injury "minor." Pineiro, 24, kicked Saturday and "felt like it was hurting him a little bit," Nagy said. "I really do think that we'll be OK."

      Also listed as questionable were tight end Trey Burton (groin), safety Eddie Jackson (shoulder/knee) and right guard Kyle Long (hip). Defensive end Bilal Nichols (broken hand) is out.

      --The Cleveland Browns put linebacker and team captain Christian Kirksey on the injured reserve list with a chest injury.

      The Cleveland Plain Dealer reported that he was believed to have torn a pectoral muscle on Monday night in the Browns' 23-3 win against the New York Jets. He'd be eligible to return on Nov. 24 against the Miami Dolphins but could be out for the season.

      --The Philadelphia Eagles placed offensive tackle Jordan Mailata on injured reserve, further pushing back his eventual NFL debut.

      Mailata, a seventh-round pick by the Eagles in 2018, has been dealing with a back injury since the preseason. He didn't play at all last year and eventually was placed on IR in December. A former rugby player in Australia, the 6-foot-8, 346-pound Mailata made his way to the NFL via the International Pathway Program.

      --The Green Bay Packers put starting left guard Lane Taylor on injured reserve with a biceps injury.

      The 29-year-old suffered the injury in practice on Thursday. He will be eligible to be activated in eight weeks. Taylor started 45 of 48 games over the past three seasons.

      --The New England Patriots promoted German running back Jakob Johnson to the 53-man roster after fullback James Develin (neck) was ruled out for Sunday's game against the New York Jets.

      Johnson takes the roster spot of receiver Antonio Brown, who was released Friday by the team. Johnson, who played his collegiate ball at Tennessee, played running back and linebacker for the Patriots in the preseason. He is a native of Stuttgart, Germany.

      --Field Level Media

  • Browns DE Garrett fined $42K for hits on Jets QB Siemian
    By Field Level Media / Saturday, September 21, 2019

    Cleveland Browns defensive end Myles Garrett was fined $42,112 by the NFL on Saturday for two hits he made on New York Jets quarterback Trevor Siemian during Monday night's game.

    • Each hit cost Garrett a $21,056 fine in a game in which he was penalized four times, including twice for roughing the passer. Siemian suffered a season-ending ankle injury on the second roughing call, which occurred midway through the second quarter. The backup quarterback started in place of Sam Darnold, who was out with mononucleosis.

      Earlier this week, Garrett sounded remorseful for ending Siemian's season.

      "You do not want to put anybody out for the season," Garrett said. "That is their job. That is something that you do not do unless you love it, and you do not want to take that away from anybody. I hope [Siemian] comes back faster and stronger than he ever has. I wish the best for him."

      Yet that apparently isn't going to change his style of play as Garrett has a league-leading five sacks this season, including a career-high three sacks against the Jets.

      "It's hurting now because you want to play aggressive, you want to play passionate and you just want to finish the play," Garrett said. "I'm gonna keep on playing with the same aggression, just gotta be smarter, better in the strike zone and try and pull off so I don't land on them with all my weight.

      "That was the main point of emphasis when the refs talked to me, and I just gotta be better at that. ... I'm not trying to do anything dirty. I'm not trying to injure anybody."

      In the season opener against the Tennessee Titans, Garrett received a $10,527 fine for his palm strike to tight end Delanie Walker's face mask.

      Also fined after the Jets-Browns game were Browns rookie linebacker Mack Wilson ($28,075), who was penalized for lowering his head and delivering a helmet-to-helmet hit on Jets wide receiver Ty Montgomery, and Jets safety Jamal Adams ($21,056) for a roughing the passer penalty against Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield.

      --Field Level Media

  • Bears K Pineiro (knee) expected to play vs. Redskins
    By Field Level Media / Saturday, September 21, 2019

    Chicago Bears coach Matt Nagy said he expected Eddy Pineiro to play Monday night at Washington despite the kicker being listed as questionable on the Bears' injury report Saturday.

    • Nagy told reporters Pineiro hurt his right (kicking) knee Friday in the weight room but termed the injury "minor."

      Pineiro, 24, kicked Saturday and "felt like it was hurting him a little bit," Nagy said. "I really do think that we'll be OK."

      Pineiro was the last man standing after the Bears spent the offseason searching for a kicker to replace Cody Parkey. Pineiro has converted all four of his field-goal attempts, including a last-second 53-yarder to defeat the Denver Broncos last Sunday.

      Also listed as questionable were tight end Trey Burton (groin), safety Eddie Jackson (shoulder/knee) and right guard Kyle Long (hip). Defensive end Bilal Nichols (broken hand) is out.

      --Field Level Media

  • Redskins TE Reed ruled out for MNF
    By Field Level Media / Saturday, September 21, 2019

    Washington Redskins tight end Jordan Reed on Saturday was ruled out for Monday night's game against the visiting Chicago Bears due to lingering effects from a concussion.

    • Reed has yet to play this season after being hurt in Washington's third preseason game. The 29-year-old Reed sustained a concussion following a helmet-to-helmet hit by Atlanta safety Keanu Neal on Aug. 22. The hit drew a penalty and later a $28,075 fine.

      An NBC Sports Washington report Saturday cited a source saying Reed could still be "weeks" from a return.

      Reed has recorded 329 receptions for 3,371 yards and 24 touchdowns in six seasons with the Redskins, earning Pro Bowl honors in 2016. He had 54 catches for 558 yards and two scores in 13 games (eight starts) last season.

      --Field Level Media

  • Patriots promote German RB Johnson to active roster
    By Field Level Media / Saturday, September 21, 2019

    The New England Patriots on Saturday promoted German running back Jakob Johnson to the 53-man roster after fullback James Develin was ruled out for Sunday's game against the New York Jets.

    • Johnson takes the roster spot of Antonio Brown, who was released Friday by the team.

      Johnson, 24, who played his collegiate ball at Tennessee, played running back and linebacker for the Patriots in the preseason. He is a native of Stuttgart, Germany.

      Develin, out with a neck injury, will miss his first game with the team since 2015.

      --Field Level Media

  • Browns place LB Kirksey (chest) on IR
    By Field Level Media / Saturday, September 21, 2019

    The Cleveland Browns put linebacker and team captain Christian Kirksey on the injured reserve list on Saturday with a chest injury.

    • The Cleveland Plain Dealer reported that he is believed to have torn a pectoral muscle on Monday night in the Browns' 23-3 win against the New York Jets. He'd be eligible to return on Nov. 24 against the Miami Dolphins but could be out for the season.

      Rookie Mack Wilson, a fifth-round draft pick from Alabama, is expected to replace Kirksey on Sunday against the Los Angeles Rams.

      Kirksey, 27, is in his sixth season with the Browns. A hamstring injury limited him to seven games in 2018.

      Undrafted rookie linebacker Willie Harvey was elevated from the practice squad to take Kirksey's spot.

      -Field Level Media

  • Eagles put OT Mailata on IR, promote WR Ward
    By Field Level Media / Saturday, September 21, 2019

    The Philadelphia Eagles placed offensive tackle Jordan Mailata on injured reserve on Saturday, further pushing back his eventual NFL debut.

    • Mailata, a seventh-round pick by the Eagles in 2018, has been dealing with a back injury since the preseason. He didn't play at all last year and eventually was placed on IR in December.

      A former rugby player in Australia, the 6-foot-8, 346-pound Mailata made his way to the NFL via the International Pathway Program.

      To fill Mailata's spot on the 53-man roster, the Eagles promoted college quarterback-turned-wide receiver Greg Ward from the practice squad.

      --Field Level Media

  • Packers starting G Taylor (biceps) lands on IR
    By Field Level Media / Saturday, September 21, 2019

    The Green Bay Packers put starting left guard Lane Taylor on injured reserve with a biceps injury on Saturday.

    • The 29-year-old suffered the injury in practice on Thursday. He will be eligible to be activated in eight weeks.

      The Packers signed Taylor, from Oklahoma State, as an undrafted free agent in 2013. He started 45 of 48 games over the past three seasons.

      In his place, rookie Elgton Jenkins is scheduled to start. From Mississippi State, he was the No. 44 overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft.

      The Packers signed Adam Pankey off the Tennessee Titans practice squad to take Taylor's spot on the roster. The Packers initially signed Pankey as an undrafted free agent in 2017. He was released following training camp this summer.

      --Field Level Media

  • NFL notebook: Patriots release WR Brown
    By Field Level Media / Friday, September 20, 2019

    The Antonio Brown era in New England is over.

    • The Patriots announced they are cutting the controversial wide receiver Friday afternoon, just five days after Brown caught four passes for 56 yards and scored a touchdown in his debut with the team.

      "The New England Patriots are releasing Antonio Brown," the team said in a statement. "We appreciate the hard work of many people over the past 11 days, but we feel it is best to move in a different direction at this time."

      Patriots coach Bill Belichick abruptly left his news conference earlier Friday after being asked repeated questions concerning Brown.

      --Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton officially is out of Sunday's road game against the Arizona Cardinals.

      Second-year QB Kyle Allen will start in Newton's place.

      The announcement was expected as Newton missed practice all week after aggravating a mid-foot sprain in Week 2's loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He sustained the left foot injury in the third preseason game.

      --The Dallas Cowboys are taking the restrictions off Ezekiel Elliott.

      Elliott's action was measured in the Cowboys' first two games after the running back missed the preseason while holding out for a new contract.

      Elliott, who signed a six-year, $90 million contract earlier this month, played about half the snaps in Week 1 and 75 percent in Week 2. Overall, he has 36 carries for 164 yards and two touchdowns.

      --Jacksonville Jaguars owner Shad Khan wants to retain disgruntled cornerback Jalen Ramsey and is willing to extend a huge offer despite the All-Pro's request to be traded, according to a report.

      "(It's) worth noting that the owner Shad Khan loves Ramsey, would be willing, from what I understand, to pay him and make him the highest-paid cornerback in the NFL as soon as he possibly can," NFL Network's Ian Rapoport said.

      Ramsey is earning $3.6 million this season, and the Jaguars picked up his $13.7 million fifth-year option for 2020.

      --Los Angeles Rams tight end Tyler Higbee will miss Sunday's game in Cleveland with a bruised lung, coach Sean McVay told reporters.

      McVay added that offensive lineman Austin Blythe (ankle) and All-Pro defensive tackle Aaron Donald (back) are questionable when discussing the team's most noteworthy injuries. Donald is expected to play.

      --Cleveland Browns starting tight end David Njoku has been placed on injured reserve because of a broken wrist, the team announced.

      --Hotel magnate Barron Hilton, an original owner in the American Football League, died at age 91 at his home in Los Angeles, his family announced.

      --Indianapolis Colts All-Pro linebacker Darius Leonard (concussion) and defensive end Jabaal Sheard (knee) have been ruled out of Sunday's home game against the Atlanta Falcons, head coach Frank Reich announced.

      --Speedy rookie running back Devin Singletary (hamstring) will be out for the Buffalo Bills on Sunday when the Cincinnati Bengals visit New Era Field.

      --Field Level Media

  • Browns TE Njoku on IR; injuries hamper secondary
    By Field Level Media / Friday, September 20, 2019

    Cleveland Browns starting tight end David Njoku has been placed on injured reserve because of a broken wrist, the team announced Friday.

    • Njoku reportedly was seeking additional medical opinions on the injury, but a source told ESPN's Adam Schefter that the player might require surgery.

      Njoku was injured in the first quarter of the Browns' 23-3 victory over the New York Jets on Monday night. On the same play, he suffered a concussion as he appeared to land on his head and neck after being upended by Jets cornerback Nate Hairston on an attempted pass from quarterback Baker Mayfield.

      Njoku did not make a catch in the game after hauling in four receptions for 37 yards and a touchdown in the season-opening loss to the Tennessee Titans.

      In his third NFL season, all with the Browns, the 23-year-old from Jersey City, N.J., has career totals of 92 receptions for 1,062 yards and nine touchdowns.

      The Browns also ruled out two other starters for Sunday's game against the Los Angeles Rams: safety Damarious Randall (concussion) and linebacker Christian Kirksey (chest). Backup offensive tackle Kendall Lamm (knee) is also out.

      In a corresponding move Friday, the Browns claimed former Oakland Raiders safety Juston Burris off waivers. In his fifth NFL season, Burris has played in 38 career games, totaling 28 tackles, two interceptions, seven passes defensed and 11 special teams tackles. He played four games with the Browns last season after starting his career with the New York Jets (2016-18).

      The move was likely made because the Browns' entire starting secondary missed practice on Friday, including cornerbacks Denzel Ward and Greedy Williams (hamstring injuries for each) and safety Morgan Burnett (quadriceps).

      --Field Level Media

  • Rams TE Higbee out with lung injury, Donald questionable
    By Field Level Media / Friday, September 20, 2019

    Los Angeles Rams tight end Tyler Higbee will miss Sunday's game in Cleveland with a bruised lung, coach Sean McVay told reporters on Friday.

    • McVay added that offensive lineman Austin Blythe (ankle) and All-Pro defensive tackle Aaron Donald (back) are questionable when discussing the team's most noteworthy injury. Donald is expected to play.

      "Hopefully we'll be able to get (Higbee) back next week," McVay said, per a team release. "With Austin and Aaron, (they) will be listed as questionable. Aaron's feeling good, probably just more semantics than anything else."

      Higbee, 26, was injured in the second quarter of the Rams' 27-9 victory over the New Orleans Saints last Sunday. After he came out of the game with a chest injury, Higbee was sent to a hospital for precautionary reasons, where he coughed up blood. He did not practice this week.

      Blythe injured his ankle on the same play in which Higbee was injured and was a limited participant in practice Friday. Donald told reporters he will be ready to go when Los Angeles plays at Cleveland on Sunday night.

      "I feel good," Donald told reporters. "100 percent (I'll be out there)."

      Donald injured his back and briefly left the game, shortly after he hit Drew Brees' hand as the quarterback released the ball, knocking Brees out of the game with a torn ligament which required surgery earlier this week. Brees is expected to miss approximately six weeks.

      Also for Sunday, the Browns ruled three starters out for the game: tight end David Njoku (concussion, wrist), safety Damarious Randall (concussion) and linebacker Christian Kirksey (chest). Backup offensive tackle Kendall Lamm (knee) is also out. The Browns placed Njoku on injured reserve.

      --Field Level Media

  • Patriots release WR Antonio Brown
    By Field Level Media / Friday, September 20, 2019

    The Antonio Brown era in New England is over.

    • The Patriots announced they are cutting the controversial wide receiver Friday afternoon, just five days after Brown caught four passes for 56 yards and scored a touchdown in his debut with the team.

      "The New England Patriots are releasing Antonio Brown," the team said in a statement. "We appreciate the hard work of many people over the past 11 days, but we feel it is best to move in a different direction at this time."

      The NFL later issued a statement that read: "Antonio Brown was released today by the New England Patriots and is currently an unrestricted free agent. Our office is presently investigating multiple allegations, some of which are the subject of pending litigation. We have as yet made no findings regarding these issues. The investigation is ongoing and will be pursued vigorously and expeditiously.

      "As long as Mr. Brown is a free agent, placement on the Commissioner's exempt list is not appropriate. If he is signed by a club, such placement may become appropriate at any time depending on the status of the investigation. Upon the conclusion of the investigation, he may also be subject to discipline if the investigation finds that he has violated the law or league policies."

      Patriots coach Bill Belichick abruptly left his news conference earlier Friday after being asked repeated questions concerning Brown.

      "I know there are questions about Antonio," Belichick said, via NBCSportsBoston.com. "We take all the situations with our team very seriously. There are some things we're looking into."

      After answering a couple of general questions that stemmed from Brown's situation, Belichick said he would talk football. After another Brown-related question was asked, Belichick said: "I'm good. Thank you."

      An offseason full of tumult and controversy carried over into the regular season for Brown. On Thursday, Sports Illustrated reported that a female artist who leveled claims earlier this week that Brown made unwanted sexual advances before firing her contacted the NFL claiming the 31-year-old wide receiver sent her "intimidating and threatening" texts.

      Britney Taylor, Brown's former trainer, filed a civil suit last week accusing him of three incidents of sexual assault or rape over a two-year period from 2017-18. According to multiple reports, the league met with Taylor for 10 hours on Monday as it investigates the accusations, and a meeting with Brown was expected at some point.

      The Patriots signed Brown earlier this month just hours after the Oakland Raiders released him. It was reportedly a one-year, $15 million deal with a $9 million signing bonus. Prior to his release, Brown spent training camp in and out of Raiders facilities, rehabbing a frostbite-like condition on his feet after a cryotherapy mishap, filing grievances with the NFL over his helmet, arguing with team management (reportedly calling general manager Mike Mayock a cracker), and posting a recorded conversation with Raiders coach Jon Gruden to YouTube.

      In 10 NFL seasons (the first nine with Pittsburgh), Brown has caught 841 balls for 11,263 yards and 75 touchdowns. He is a seven-time Pro Bowl selection and four-time All-Pro.

      The 2-0 Patriots host the 0-2 New York Jets on Sunday.

      --Field Level Media

  • AFL founding owner, hotelier Hilton dies at 91
    By Field Level Media / Friday, September 20, 2019

    Hotel magnate Barron Hilton, an original owner in the American Football League, died at his home in Los Angeles, his family announced Friday.

    • Hilton died Thursday of natural causes at age 91, the family run Conrad Hilton Foundation stated in a press release.

      After serving in the Navy and pursuing other business opportunities, Hilton joined the family business in 1954, eventually becoming chairman, president and CEO of Hilton Hotels Corp.

      In the late 1950s, he was approached by American Football League pioneers Lamar Hunt and Bud Adams about owning a franchise, and Hilton founded the Los Angeles Chargers in 1959. The team moved to San Diego after one season and appeared in five of the first six AFL title games, winning one.

      Hilton sold controlling interest in the Chargers to Gene Klein in 1966 for $10 million.

      The NFL paid tribute to Hilton on Friday.

      "Simply put, the modern NFL would not be what it is today without the vision of Barron Hilton," said Dean Spanos, who now owns the Chargers franchise. "A founding father and charter member of the upstart AFL's sarcastically self-dubbed ‘Foolish Club,' Barron was a pioneering leader, risk-taking entrepreneur, prolific philanthropist, devoted family man and, of course, anything but foolish. ... It seems fitting that we celebrate a life extraordinarily well-lived the same year as we recognize the Chargers 60th anniversary season since without Barron, there would be no Chargers."

      The rival Oakland Raiders also remembered Hilton in a team statement.

      "Hilton was instrumental in creating the American Football League and the Chargers, and he also played a large role in the history of the Raiders. His coaching staff of Sid Gillman, Al Davis, Chuck Noll, Joe Madro and Jack Faulkner is among the most legendary staffs ever assembled and he provided Al Davis with his first opportunity to coach at the professional level. The NFL would not be what it is today without his leadership and the Raiders family is saddened by his loss."

      --Field Level Media

  • Panthers QB Newton (foot) officially out of Sunday's game
    By Field Level Media / Friday, September 20, 2019

    Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton officially is out of Sunday's road game against the Arizona Cardinals.

    • Second-year QB Kyle Allen will start in Newton's place.

      The announcement was expected as Newton missed practice all week after aggravating a mid-foot sprain in Week 2's loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He sustained the left foot injury in the third preseason game.

      Newton, a former MVP, has completed 50 of 89 passes for 572 yards with no touchdowns and one interception in the Panthers' 0-2 start. His passer rating of 71.0 is among the league's worst.

      Allen, 23, a native of Scottsdale, Ariz., started Carolina's regular-season finale in 2018, completing 16 of 27 passes for 228 yards and two scores in a 33-14 win at New Orleans.

      Newton has not thrown or run for a touchdown in his last four games dating to last season when he was plagued by shoulder injuries.

      The Panthers listed defensive lineman Kawann Short (shoulder) and tight end Greg Olsen (back) as questionable. Rashaan Gaulden (groin), Bruce Irvin (hamstring) and Brandon Greene (neck) were listed as out.

      --Field Level Media

  • Colts All-Pro LB Leonard, DE Sheard out vs. Falcons
    By Field Level Media / Friday, September 20, 2019

    Indianapolis Colts All-Pro linebacker Darius Leonard (concussion) and defensive end Jabaal Sheard (knee) have been ruled out of Sunday's home game against the Atlanta Falcons, head coach Frank Reich announced Friday.

    • Leonard suffered the concussion last weekend against the Tennessee Titans and was placed in the league's concussion protocol and didn't pass, missing a full week of practices.

      As a rookie in 2018, Leonard, a second-round pick (36th overall) out of South Carolina State, led the NFL in tackles with 163. He has a team-leading 18 tackles and one sack in two games this season.

      Adjusting to replace Leonard, the Colts are expected to give rookie Bobby Okereke the start at middle linebacker and move Anthony Walker from the middle to the outsidet.

      "[Okereke looks] like he needs more playing time. He's that kind of guy," Reich said. "... He'll get some more time this week."

      Sheard practiced Wednesday, as a limited participant, for the first time in almost two months. He underwent a minor surgical procedure after feeling "soreness and swelling" on July 25, the team's first training camp practice.

      --Field Level Media

  • Report: NFL temporarily bans on-field pyrotechnics
    By Field Level Media / Friday, September 20, 2019

    The NFL temporarily is banning on-field pyrotechnics and "flame effects" while its investigates a fire that occurred last Sunday during Tennessee Titans' pregame ceremonies, ESPN reported Friday.

    • The league said the ban will be in place until it finishes its review of the circumstances at Nissan Stadium in Nashville last week. As the Titans were marking the jersey retirement for Eddie George and the late Steve McNair, flames shot out of one of the on-field pyrotechnic machines.

      No one was injured.

      The Minnesota Vikings issued a statement Friday, confirming that pyrotechnics away from the field remained allowed.

      --Field Level Media

  • Bucs LB White (knee) out vs. Giants
    By Field Level Media / Friday, September 20, 2019

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers starting inside linebacker Devin White has been ruled out of Sunday's game against the New York Giants, head coach Bruce Arians said Friday.

    • In a Sept. 12 game against the Carolina Panthers, White sustained a sprained MCL in his left knee. The injury occurred on the first defensive series as he was trying to tackle Panthers running back Christian McCaffrey.

      White, who didn't practice the entire week, exited the field Friday wearing a metal brace on his knee. Arians previously indicated that White was "day-to-day."

      The No. 5 overall pick of the Bucs in the 2019 NFL Draft out of LSU, White made six tackles in the season opener against the San Francisco 49ers. He collected two tackles in the Panthers game.

      Against the Giants (0-2) on Sunday, the Bucs (1-1) will start Kevin Minter, who replaced White in the game against the Panthers and made eight tackles.

      "He's a pro," Arians said of Minter, in his seventh season. "You can count on him -- he's a great special teams player, but he's a heck of a linebacker too."

      Also not available to the Bucs on Sunday will be reserves Jamel Dean (ankle), Devante Bond (hamstring) and Blaine Gabbert (shoulder).

      --Field Level Media

  • Bills RB Singletary out vs. Bengals
    By Field Level Media / Friday, September 20, 2019

    Speedy rookie running back Devin Singletary will be out for the Buffalo Bills on Sunday when the Cincinnati Bengals visit New Era Field.

    • Singletary is dealing with a hamstring issue.

      Singletary has added an energizing element to the running game behind veteran Frank Gore. He has 127 yards on 10 carries and five catches for 28 yards through two games, while Gore has 30 carries for 88 yards.

      Bills tight end Tyler Kroft also is out with an ankle injury.

      --Field Level Media

  • Report: Jags owner willing to offer Ramsey big deal
    By Field Level Media / Friday, September 20, 2019

    Jacksonville Jaguars owner Shad Khan wants to retain disgruntled cornerback Jalen Ramsey and is willing to extend a huge offer despite the All-Pro's request to be traded, according to a report.

    • "(It's) worth noting that the owner Shad Khan loves Ramsey, would be willing, from what I understand, to pay him and make him the highest-paid cornerback in the NFL as soon as he possibly can," NFL Network's Ian Rapoport said Friday. "There is a lot of love here. So, for the Jacksonville Jaguars to part with Ramsey, they're going to have to be convinced, overwhelmed that it's the right move."

      Ramsey is earning $3.6 million this season, and the Jaguars picked up his $13.7 million fifth-year option for 2020. Miami's Xavien Howard and Washington's Josh Norman are cornerbacks who have five-year deals worth at least $75 million.

      Rapoport added that despite a Week 2 altercation between Ramsey and coach Doug Marrone on the sidelines, Ramsey's beef wasn't with Marrone but with members of the front office.

      Ramsey, who turns 25 in October, was the No. 5 overall pick in the 2016 NFL Draft. He hasn't missed a game in his pro career.

      On the "Uninterrupted" podcast this week, Ramsey told host Nate Burleson he requested a trade because of the way he was treated by the team after last Sunday's loss to the Houston Texans.

      "Some disrespectful things were said on their end that made me definitely walk out and call my agent as soon as I walked out," Ramsey told Burleson. "I said, ‘It's time. My time is up here in Jacksonville.' I said, ‘I want to ask for a trade.' I was truly at peace, like I wasn't in a mindset of making a decision while I was angry. I was completely calm. I still stand by that decision to ask for a trade."

      He made those comments before Thursday night's 20-7 win against the Tennessee Titans. Ramsey made nine interceptions.

      --Field Level Media

  • Belichick bolts press conference after Brown questions
    By Field Level Media / Friday, September 20, 2019

    New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick abruptly left his news conference Friday after being asked repeated questions concerning embattled receiver Antonio Brown, just hours before the team did release Brown.

    • Belichick confirmed Brown remained on the Patriots roster at that time but didn't address Brown's off-field issues, which include recent allegations of sexual assault. Hours later, the team issued a written statement that it had released Brown.

      "I know there are questions about Antonio," Belichick told reporters gathered at the news conference, via NBCSportsBoston.com. "We take all the situations with our team very seriously. There are some things we're looking into."

      Belichick added he would not comment "on any off-the-field situations" involving Brown. He said those words at the end of opening remarks that began with comments regarding Sunday's home game against the New York Jets.

      After answering a couple of general questions that stemmed from Brown's situation, Belichick said he would talk football. After another Brown-related question was asked, Belichick said, "I'm good. Thank you."

      Later, the team issued the following statement:

      "The New England Patriots are releasing Antonio Brown. We appreciate the hard work of many people over the past 11 days, but we feel it is best to move in a different direction at this time."

      The latest news surrounding Brown involved the female artist who leveled claims earlier this week that Brown made unwanted sexual advances before firing her. Sports Illustrated reported that she contacted the NFL Thursday, saying Brown sent her "intimidating and threatening" texts.

      --Field Level Media

  • Cowboys lift snaps limit for RB Elliott
    By Field Level Media / Friday, September 20, 2019

    The Dallas Cowboys are taking the restrictions off Ezekiel Elliott.

    • Elliott's action was measured in the Cowboys' first two games after the running back missed the preseason holding out for a new contract.

      No more, offensive coordinator Kellen Moore said.

      "This is our third game," Moore told the Dallas Morning News. "I think he's at that point where we're pretty much playing this thing out at this point. It was good those first two weeks just to be aware of it and then also trust Zeke's response and how he feels and all those things and just balancing that stuff out."

      Elliott, who signed a six-year, $90 million contract earlier this month, played about half the snaps in Week 1 and 75 percent in Week 2. Overall, has 36 carries for 164 yards and two touchdowns.

      The Cowboys (2-0) host the Miami Dolphins (0-2) on Sunday.

      --Field Level Media

  • Report: Accuser tells NFL that WR Brown sent 'threatening' texts
    By Field Level Media / Friday, September 20, 2019

    The female artist who leveled claims earlier this week that New England Patriots wide receiver Antonio Brown made unwanted sexual advances before firing her contacted the NFL Thursday saying that Brown sent her "intimidating and threatening" texts, Sports Illustrated reported.

    • Already facing a civil lawsuit brought by his former trainer Britney Taylor over sexual assault allegations, Brown was accused by the artist's attorney of sending text messages to the artist that were "intimidating and threatening to our client, in violation of the NFL Personal Conduct Policy."

      The letter from lawyer Lisa J. Banks to the NFL stated that her client was "understandably frightened by these text messages, which are clearly intended to threaten and intimidate her." Banks also denied that the artist planned to be seeking money "to compensate her for his sexual misconduct, contrary to his allegations in the text messages."

      According to the SI report, the NFL reached out to Banks within an hour of receiving her complaint to coordinate a phone call between league investigators and the artist's counsel.

      Per the SI article earlier this week in a story detailing multiple domestic violence allegations against the seven-time Pro Bowl receiver, Brown met the artist at a 2017 charity softball game and invited her to his house to create another piece of artwork. Per her claim, the unnamed artist, who requested anonymity before speaking about Brown, "was in a kneeling position while painting and turned to find Brown behind her, naked, holding a small hand towel over his genitals." The artist continued painting, but "after that, it all ended abruptly," she told SI.

      The report indicated the artist received $2,000 from Brown, who didn't contact her after the incident. The woman did not plan to file charges or receive renumeration, though Brown's behavior troubled her, SI reported.

      Thursday's report alleged that the artist was included on a group text with three other unidentified phone numbers that seemingly came from the same number she was originally given by Brown two years ago. Among other texts claiming she was a "super broke girl" and prompts to "look up her background history," the texts reportedly included an accusation that she was lying about her 2017 claim in order to extort money out of Brown, 31.

      "This sort of intimidation and harassment is the reason victims are often so reluctant to step forward in these cases," Banks told SI Thursday. "We have confidence the NFL and the Patriots will step in and end this behavior."

      After Monday's report was published, Brown's attorney Darren Heitner wrote on Twitter, "Antonio Brown has reviewed the sexual misconduct allegations made by an unnamed artist included in a recently published Sports Illustrated article and denies that he ever engaged in such activities. There will be no further comment at this time."

      Regarding the Taylor civil suit, the league has interviewed her and continues to investigate, but it is not known whether the league will interview Brown.

      Taylor claims Brown sexually assaulted her on three separate occasions, including once in Pittsburgh, where the wide receiver played for the Steelers for nine seasons, and twice in Florida.

      ESPN also has reported that Brown, who hired Taylor as a trainer after they attended Central Michigan at the same time, turned down a $2 million settlement before the suit was filed.

      --Field Level Media

  • NFL notebook: Dolphins reportedly to start Rosen at QB
    By Field Level Media / Thursday, September 19, 2019

    A day after head coach Brian Flores affirmed veteran Ryan Fitzpatrick, the Miami Dolphins reversed course and made Josh Rosen the starting quarterback for Sunday's game at the heavily favored Dallas Cowboys, according to multiple reports Thursday.

    • The Miami Herald reported earlier Thursday that the two quarterbacks split reps in Thursday's practice, a change from previous weeks after Fitzpatrick won the preseason competition.

      Fitzpatrick, 36, is 25 of 50 for 274 yards, one touchdown and four interceptions -- two returned for touchdowns -- through two games.

      Rosen, 22, has gone 8 of 21 for 102 yards and two interceptions in mop-up duty.

      --Philadelphia Eagles are expected to be without wide receivers DeSean Jackson (lower abdomen) and Alshon Jeffery (calf) on Sunday against the Detroit Lions, and likely Week 4 as well.

      The Eagles were missing seven key players at practice, including tight end Dallas Goedert (calf), who is also considered unlikely for Sunday.

      --New York Giants coach Pat Shurmur no longer will appear weekly on Mike Francesa's radio show on WFAN, the team's flagship station.

      Francesa was blunt with Shurmur about the play of the 0-2 Giants on Monday. "You look like a bad team through two weeks. I hate to say it, but you look like a terrible team. You're not good at anything."

      Shurmur said the team brass decided to end the weekly spots.

      --Carolina quarterback Cam Newton missed practice with a foot injury again, increasing the likelihood that the Panthers will start Kyle Allen on Sunday in Arizona.

      Newton aggravated a left mid-foot sprain during last Thursday night's loss and has not practiced since.

      Head coach Ron Rivera told reporters he wasn't yet sure whether Newton or Allen would start against the Cardinals, saying he would know more Friday.

      --In his first public comments since joining the New England Patriots on Sept. 7, wide receiver Antonio Brown declined to address his status amid the league's investigation into sexual assault allegations against him.

      "I appreciate that question," Brown replied when asked about the subject. "I'm just here to just focus on ball. I look forward to getting out there in the home stadium and being with the team."

      The Boston Globe also reported that Nike has terminated its endorsement deal with Brown.

      --Pittsburgh Steelers offensive coordinator Randy Fichtner was critical of the performance of wide receiver Donte Moncrief, saying he's got to start hauling in catches.

      In Week 1, Moncrief caught three of 11 targets for 7 yards, with four incompletions that hit both of his hands. Last week, Moncrief was targeted just once, watching the pass go off his hands and deflect for an interception.

      --Denver Broncos general manager John Elway was frank about the rash of holding penalties racked up by left tackle Garett Bolles.

      "It's gotta stop. Period," Elway said on 850 KOA radio. "There's no more excuses for it. He's had 26 holding penalties in the last two years and two games, so it's gotta stop."

      --Chicago Bears defensive tackle Bilal Nichols has a broken hand but will likely avoid injured reserve. He is unlikely to play Monday at Washington but could play with the hand wrapped into a club, according to head coach Matt Nagy.

      --The Dolphins claimed former first-round defensive end Taco Charlton, 24, off waivers from the Cowboys. The two teams play each other Sunday.

      -- The Green Bay Packers promoted tight end Evan Baylis from the practice squad as Jimmy Graham deals with a groin injury. Graham, 32, did not practice Thursday, and his status is murky for Sunday's game at Lambeau Field against the Broncos.

      --Cowboys defensive end Tyrone Crawford is doubtful for Sunday due to a hip injury.

      --Giants wideout Sterling Shepard is expected to clear the concussion protocol and play Sunday against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

      --In addition to a groin injury, Oakland Raiders rookie running back Josh Jacobs said he also has an illness that has caused him to lose 10 pounds.

      -- Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Tyreek Hill is out of a sling this week, sparking speculation that he could return from a right clavicle injury before the original six- to eight-week estimate.

      --Running back Marlon Mack (calf) and linebacker Darius Leonard (concussion) both missed their second straight day of practice. Coach Frank Reich is expected to announce their availability on Friday.

      --Tight end Jordan Reed (concussion) remains out of practice, but the Washington Redskins haven't ruled him out of Monday night's game against the Bears.

      Reed sustained the concussion in the preseason and has yet to be cleared to play.

      --Buffalo Bills tight end Tyler Kroft, an offseason acquisition, has yet to play this season because of a broken right foot.

      It appeared he might play Sunday against the Cincinnati Bengals, but that is in doubt. He left practice with a right ankle injury, and coach Sean McDermott said the extent of the injury wasn't known yet.

      --Four-time Pro-Bowl linebacker C.J. Mosley missed another practice, but coach Adam Gase wasn't ready to rule him out for Sunday when the New York Jets travel to meet the Patriots.

      --Field Level Media

  • Giants sever relationship with Francesa's radio show
    By Field Level Media / Thursday, September 19, 2019

    New York Giants coach Pat Shurmur no longer will appear weekly on Mike Francesa's radio show on WFAN, the team's flagship station.

    • Francesa, an outspoken and often controversial figure in New York, has been highly critical of general manager Dave Gettleman for using the No. 6 overall pick in April's draft on quarterback Daniel Jones, who will make his first career start on Sunday against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

      And on Monday, Francesa was blunt with Shurmur about the play of the 0-2 Giants.

      "You look like a bad team through two weeks," Francesa told Shurmur in the segment. "I hate to say it, but you look like a terrible team. You're not good at anything."

      Shurmur said the team brass decided to end the relationship.

      "I think that was an organizational decision not to do that," Shurmur told reporters Thursday about pulling out of the 15-minute weekly appearance. "Most people aren't aware of this, but I wasn't contractually obligated to do that spot. We did it as a courtesy and out of respect for our relationship with the radio station. We just felt like for a while, just put that to bed for a while and not do it and move forward."

      Eli Manning backed out of his frequent appearances on Francesa's show earlier this year. The quarterback said he wanted to spend more time with his family; Francesa previously said it was because Manning knew he would lose his starting QB spot to Jones.

      Francesa addressed the Shurmur development in his show opening on Thursday.

      "Not everyone is cut out for handling what is the real intense spotlight that there is in this city, that comes with these jobs," he said. "I don't take anything personally from it. That's his prerogative."

      --Field Level Media