GREEN BAY, Wis. -- Although Mike McCarthy said earlier this week that he's more optimistic about Bryan Bulaga's chances of playing Sunday against Detroit than he was last week against the Jets, the Green Bay Packers coach listed his starting right tackle as questionable for the second straight week.

The Packers practice on Saturday instead of Friday this year, so McCarthy will have one more chance to look at Bulaga before making a final determination. The same goes for cornerback Casey Hayward, who also was listed as questionable because of a glute strain.

 "Bryan Bulaga, and really Casey is in the same boat, they're progressing well," McCarthy said Friday. "Yesterday went well. Obviously they're having treatments today, extended treatments. But they have to get through the whole thing tomorrow, so that's the only hurdle left."

Bulaga did not play against the Jets because of the sprained MCL he sustained in Week 1 against the Seattle Seahawks. With Sunday's game on artificial turf at Ford Field, that also could be a consideration for whether Bulaga plays.

"We're going to practice on turf tomorrow, so that's part of our decision-making process," McCarthy said.

If Bulaga can't play, Derek Sherrod will make his second straight start. For Sherrod, it marks the return to a stadium in which he played his first offensive snaps (he finished the Thanksgiving 2013 game by playing six snaps in the blowout loss). Before that, Sherrod had not played a snap on offense since he broke his leg on Dec. 18, 2011.

Sherrod allowed two sacks against the Seahawks and another against the Lions, but the Packers feel like he has settled into the role.

"He's getting better," McCarthy said of the former first-round pick. "I feel good about Derek, the direction he's going."

Jamari Lattimore will make his second straight start at inside linebacker in place of Brad Jones (quadricieps).

Here's the full injury report:

LB Brad Jones (quadriceps)
OLB Andy Mulumba (knee)

RT Bryan Bulaga (knee)
CB Casey Hayward (glute)

S Micah Hyde (knee)

Jerry Jones: McClain 'doubtful' for Rams

September, 19, 2014
Sep 19
IRVING, Texas -- Dallas Cowboys middle linebacker Rolando McClain missed his third straight day of practice and owner and general manager Jerry Jones said McClain would be doubtful to play Sunday against the St. Louis Rams.

"You’ll miss him," Jones said on 105.3 The Fan in Dallas. "On the other hand, I think you could expect him probably not to play, but he won’t tell you that. We’re not for sure when he had this injury. He might have had it early in the game. You listen to him, he wants to play and thinks he might play. But we have him as doubtful, of course."

Rookie Anthony Hitchens would start at middle linebacker if McClain is out, with Kyle Wilber moving to strongside linebacker and Bruce Carter on the weak side. Justin Durant will miss his second straight game with a groin injury, but coach Jason Garrett said Durant has improved.

Running back Joseph Randle returned to practice for the first time this week after suffering a concussion last week against the Tennessee Titans.

Defensive end Anthony Spencer is not practicing after going through limited workouts on Wednesday and Thursday. Those were Spencer’s first practices since last season as he comes back from microfracture surgery on his left knee.

"He’s feeling good," Garrett said. "We just want to make sure we do the right amount of work with him as he’s coming back."

Defensive tackle Davon Coleman (calf) missed his third straight day of practice.

John Abraham (concussion) to IR

September, 19, 2014
Sep 19

TEMPE, Ariz. -- The Arizona Cardinals have placed outside linebacker John Abraham on season-ending injured reserve due to a concussion, the team announced Friday.

Abraham, 36, had been going through the final stages of the NFL's concussion protocol since Monday but had yet to pass. On Wednesday, coach Bruce Arians said Abraham failed the protocol Tuesday and needed to wait 48 hours before he could try it again. Abraham didn't practice Wednesday or Thursday, spending the open portion of Arizona's practice riding a stationary bike.

Arians was hoping to have Abraham for Sunday's game against San Francisco. He would've re-entered the starting lineup once cleared to play. Arians meets with the media Friday afternoon.

Abraham suffered a concussion in the third quarter of Week 1 on "Monday Night Football." A day later, he took a week-long leave of absence. He decided to return to the Cardinals on Monday, saw a neurologist later that day and rejoined the team Tuesday.

During his Monday news conference, Arians said that Abraham was "ready to play."

"I knew a lot of it was to do with the headaches and the first real big one he's ever had," Arians said Monday. "There are other things we're dealing with and he's fine with those."

On SiriusXM NFL Radio on Tuesday, Arians said he thought the five-time Pro Bowler was shaken by the concussion, his first such reported injury according to ESPN Stats & Information. The NFL's active sacks leader with 133.5, Abraham will earn his $3 million salary by going on injured reserve instead of retiring.

(Read full post)

A.J. Green wants to play

September, 19, 2014
Sep 19

CINCINNATI -- Bengals receiver A.J. Green said Friday his injured right big toe is feeling better and he hopes to play against the Tennessee Titans on Sunday.

Coach Marvin Lewis also said that he expects Green to play Sunday. Green, who aggravated the injured toe against Atlanta last Sunday, participated fully in practice for the second straight day.

The three-time Pro Bowl receiver won't be wearing anything extra as he said he doesn't like the extra padding in his shoe or tape around his toe.

"We'll see what happens," Green said. "It feels a lot better than it did."

He caught a team-high six passes for 131 yards and a touchdown in a Week 1 win at Baltimore. Last week, however, was the first time in his career that he started a game and finished without a catch. Green left the field early in the first quarter and did not return.

In other injury news, Lewis said that linebacker Vontaze Burfict didn't practice Friday and still has to go through the concussion protocol. He also suffered a concussion in Week 1.

(Read full post)

Jones-Drew getting closer to field

September, 18, 2014
Sep 18
ALAMEDA, Calif. -- Maurice Jones-Drew made a strong first step by getting on the practice field Thursday. Still, the Oakland Raiders have not determined whether he will be able to play Sunday at New England.

Jones-Drew suffered a hand injury in Week 1. Thursday was his first football activity since.

"He got out and got some work in and we'll see how he's doing tomorrow," Oakland coach Dennis Allen said. "I think the big thing with him is just making sure that he can function in the role of a running back. If he can do that, without really any limitations, then we want to have him up and playing."

Oakland offensive coordinator Greg Olson said Jones-Drew's hand is still swollen, but he's healing. "He's still coming," Olson said. Darren McFadden started for Jones-Drew last week and he would do so again if Jones-Drew is not completely healthy. The Raiders liked the way McFadden ran against the Houston Texans. He had 37 yards on 12 carries.

"I felt he was probably the fastest guy on the field for us offensively a couple times when he had the ball in his hand," Olson said. "I wasn't disappointed with Darren. Hopefully we'll keep him healthy and continue to find ways to get him the ball."

Bruce Irvin added to the injury report

September, 18, 2014
Sep 18
RENTON, Wash. -- Seattle Seahawks linebacker Bruce Irvin was a surprise addition to the injury report Thursday after practicing yesterday. Irvin did not practice because of a rib injury.

Running back Marshawn Lynch returned to full participation at practice after sitting out Wednesday's practice because of a back problem, but it’s not unusual for Lynch to skip Wednesday practice sessions during the regular season.

Strong safety Kam Chancellor also practiced full speed Thursday after missing Wednesday’s practice with an ankle issue.

Tight end Zach Miller didn’t practice for the second consecutive day because of an ankle injury. Outside linebacker Mike Morgan (hip) also has not practiced this week.

Rookie linebacker Kevin Pierre-Louis (hamstring) practiced full speed for the first time since the season started. Running back Christine Michael still was listed as limited participation because of his hamstring injury, but coach Pete Carroll said Wednesday that Michael was ready to go.


Injury report: Hyde, Hayward upgraded

September, 18, 2014
Sep 18
GREEN BAY, Wis. – Micah Hyde, who has started at safety in each of the Green Bay Packers' first two games this season, was upgraded from a limited participant in Wednesday's practice to a full participant on Thursday.

Meanwhile, another member of the secondary also was upgraded. Cornerback Casey Hayward, who did not practice Wednesday because of a glute strain, returned to practice Thursday.

However, that does not necessarily mean Hayward will have a role on defense in Sunday's game against the Detroit Lions. Last Sunday against the New York Jets, Hayward played only on special teams after Davon House moved into the nickel package and played well, breaking up a pair of passes (including one that was nearly an interception).

Right tackle Bryan Bulaga also practiced on a limited basis. Bulaga (knee) worked in the same fashion last week but did not play against the Jets.

"Before viewing the film, I can't give you an accurate assessment of Casey, Micah and Bryan," Packers coach Mike McCarthy said after practice. "But I know they participated and did what was laid out for them."

Here's the full injury report:
  • RT Bryan Bulaga (knee, limited participation in practice)
  • CB Casey Hayward (glute strain, limited participation)
  • S Micah Hyde (knee, full participation)
  • LB Brad Jones (quadriceps, did not practice)
  • OLB Andy Mulumba (knee, out)
FLORHAM PARK, NJ -- New York Jets linebacker and special teams stalwart Nick Bellore did not practice Thursday with a hip injury. Jets coach Rex Ryan said there is a chance that Bellore won't be available for the Monday night game against the Bears.

"Well, certainly there is a chance that he won't go because he never practiced today even," Ryan said, "so there is still that chance."

This was the first day that Bellore has been listed with a hip injury.

Here is the rest of Thursday's practice report:


Did not practice: LB Nick Bellore (hip), WR Eric Decker (hamstring), LB AJ Edds (hamstring).

Limited: Willie Colon (calf), RB Chris Johnson (ankle), OL Nick Mangold (shoulder), DB Dee Milliner (ankle).

Full: DB Josh Bush (quad), LB Quinton Coples (elbow).


Did not play: DE Jared Allen (back), C Roberto Garza (ankle), WR Brandon Marshall (ankle), CB Sherrick McManis (quad), DT Jeremiah Ratliff (concussion), DE Trevor Scott (foot), G Matt Slauson (ankle).

Limited: S Chris Conte (shoulder), WR Alshon Jeffrey (hamstring), LB Shea McClellin (hand).

Full: WR Josh Morgan (groin.)

Notes: McAdoo sees progress on offense

September, 18, 2014
Sep 18
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- The New York Giants only scored 14 points again in Week 2, but offensive coordinator Ben McAdoo likes the direction his unit is headed.

Eli Manning in particular looked much better against the Cardinals, completing 26 of 39 passes for 277 yards -- and he could have had a few more completions, if his receivers had held onto the ball.

"I thought he had some comfort in his feet," McAdoo said Thursday. "He felt good about where he was going with the ball. That is encouraging to see."

The Giants only rushed for 81 yards on 27 carries -- just 3.0 yards per run. But the offensive line did appear to give Manning more time in the pocket.

"[The O-line] are making progress like everyone else," McAdoo said. "Today was probably our best Thursday practice of the year. We completed the ball well. We didn’t have pads on, but we had a good day running it."

McAdoo has featured a three-wide receiver set quite frequently in his first two games as offensive coordinator, but that third wide receiver will be someone else, now that Jerrel Jernigan has been lost for the rest of the season with a foot injury.

Preston Parker will get the first crack, and McAdoo spoke positively about him.

"Preston is on the roster for a reason," McAdoo said. "We trust him. He can create separation out there. He is aggressive to the ball. We know he is a competitor."

As for rookie wideout Odell Beckham Jr., who continues to be sidelined with a hamstring injury, McAdoo says Beckham doesn't even enter into his mind right now.

"He has a special skill set. He is gifted. He is talented. He is smart. He is conscientious. I am excited for the chance for him to come out here," McAdoo said. "When he comes out here, it will be a good bonus for all of us."

NOT SO SPECIAL: The Giants made two costly mistakes on special teams last week, on back-to-back plays in the fourth quarter -- giving up a punt return touchdown by Ted Ginn Jr., followed by Quintin Demps' kickoff-return fumble.

Special teams coordinator Tom Quinn said there were multiple issues on the Ginn return. "Number one thing is you want to make the tackle," he said. "Second thing we want is more hang time and the location. We expect the ball to go to the right, and it didn’t go to the right. [But] whatever comes off his foot, we have to cover."

Demps lost the ball after spinning, trying to gain extra yardage. "We have worked on ball security," Quinn said. "We don’t want to spin. That is probably trying to do too much. Just let the game come to you. If you try to hit a home run, you are not going to hit a home run. Hit some singles and they’ll go out."

Demps returned several kickoffs from deep in the Giants' end zone, but Quinn said those were good decisions. "We want to be aggressive," Quinn said. "We felt like it was close. You look at the tape and one or two blocks each time and he could come spitting out of there and give us some good field position."

INJURY REPORT: Beckham, linebacker Jon Beason (foot/ankle) and linebacker Devon Kennard (hamstring) did not practice for the second day in a row Thursday, although Beason might be back very soon.

Punter Steve Weatherford (ankle) practiced on a limited basis, after sitting out on Wednesday. Offensive linemen James Brewer (back) and Charles Brown (shoulder) were limited for the second day in a row.

Defensive tackle Markus Kuhn (ankle) practiced fully for the second day in a row.
SAN DIEGO -- A day after being limited participants in practice with back issues, San Diego Chargers starting offensive lineman Rich Ohrnberger and Johnnie Troutman did not practice at all Thursday.

The Chargers already started two different offensive line combinations this season through two games, with veteran center Nick Hardwick being placed on the season-ending injured reserve list with a neck issue after the Arizona Cardinals game in Week I.

Now Hardwick's replacement at center, Ohrnberger, could miss this week's contest against the Buffalo Bills, along with starting right guard Troutman.

Rookie Chris Watt, a third-round selection out of Notre Dame, would get the start at center if Ohrnberger can't play. Offensive coordinator Frank Reich says Watt is ready.

"I feel like if we had needed him Week 1, that guy was ready," Reich said. "He is a tough-minded guy. He's exactly what you want in a young offensive lineman. He's smart. He physically moves well. He's got good knee bend. He plays with leverage."

Reich said that Watt still has things to learn, which is why he did not crack San Diego's starting lineup right away. But San Diego's coaching staff has a lot of confidence in his ability.

New addition Doug Legursky would likely serve as a replacement for Troutman if he can't play. However, the Chargers also could look to move up Craig Watts or Jeremiah Sirles from the practice squad to the active roster if more depth is needed.

Chargers coach Mike McCoy said Legursky, who signed with San Diego last week, has been with the team long enough that he could function in his team's offense Sunday.

"He's doing a nice job," McCoy said. "He's been on a crash course since he got here last week. He's a seasoned veteran, so we've got a couple more days to figure out how much he can get down. But he's done a nice job with the reps he's got in practice."

The Chargers started six starting offensive line combinations and used five different players at left tackle last season, so they have had success with juggling things up front.

With the starting roster shuffling, San Diego's offensive line still played at a high level in 2013, which is a testament to the teaching skills of offensive line coach Joe D'Alessandris.

"It's all on Coach Joe, because he always feels like the more you can do, the better," Chargers left tackle King Dunlap said. "And it's been like that for me in my career, being able to play both tackle positions and guard. So being versatile always helps, especially with injuries."

Along with Ohrnberger and Troutman, running back Ryan Mathews (knee), and linebackers Jeremiah Attaochu (hamstring) and Melvin Ingram (hamstring) did not practice Thursday.

Safety Jahleel Addae (hamstring), receiver Keenan Allen (groin) and tight end Antonio Gates (hamstring) were limited participants.

Brandon Flowers (groin) returned to practice for the first time as a full participant since missing the Seattle game. Joining Flowers as a full participant were linebacker Dwight Freeney (rest), cornerback Chris Davis (ankle) and defensive end Corey Liuget (ankle).
SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. -- With both Vernon Davis and Vance McDonald still hobbling around -- Davis' left ankle, McDonald's right knee -- might the San Francisco 49ers' tight end spotlight turn to a third-string, converted basketball player?

Derek Carrier, who played small forward at Beloit College in Wisconsin until his junior year despite averaging 8.3 points while starting 21 games for the Buccaneers, could be in line to start at tight end for the the Niners in Sunday’s road game against the Arizona Cardinals.

"I just try to focus on what I need to do individually to help the team the most," Carrier said Thursday. "That’s just go out there and execute and do my job."

He was rushed into service late in Sunday’s 28-20 loss to the Chicago Bears, two of his three catches coming after Davis and McDonald were hurt. For the game, Carrier had three receptions, the first of his career, for 41 yards, including a clutch 22-yard pickup.

"He plays fearless," said 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick. "He goes out, he’s going to give you everything he has, and he’s willing to go and make a play. I think he showed that on Sunday."

If he has to show it again this Sunday in Arizona, the 49ers will be short-handed in terms of bodies and experience between Kaepernick and Carrier, but not confidence.

"It’s something that comes with time, comes with reps," Carrier said. "And that’s why I think the last game against Chicago was valuable for myself, getting that time with Kap to work.

"For me, I think it was a great learning experience being there at crunch time and being able to get some reps in there. Unfortunately we got the loss, but for me I thought it was a great learning experience."
CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- For much of the past two years -- even much of training camp this year -- Jonathan Stewart was the Carolina Panthers' running back that spent most of practice riding the stationary bicycle and working with the trainer.

Talk about role reversals.

On Wednesday, Stewart and practice squad player Darrin Reaves were the only healthy backs with DeAngelo Williams (thigh), Mike Tolbert (chest) and Fozzy Whittaker (thigh) unable to participate.

On Thursday, Tolbert returned on a limited basis, but Williams and Whittaker still were held out.

"Yesterday seemed like the roles switched," said Stewart, plagued by ankle injuries the past two seasons and a hamstring injury at the start of training camp. "Usually, I'm that guy on the bike."

While coach Ron Rivera was optimistic Williams would be available for Sunday night's prime time game against Pittsburgh, Tolbert remains a question mark.

Rivera said Tolbert still isn't in position to take a hit after taking a blow to the rib area during Sunday's 24-7 victory against Detroit. Tolbert called the hit from defensive tackle Nick Fairely the hardest he's taken in seven NFL seasons.

Rivera hasn't ruled out the possibility that Reaves could be brought up from the practice squad to fill defensive end Greg Hardy's roster spot.

The team's 2013 sack leader on Wednesday was placed on the commissioner's exempt list until his domestic violence case is resolved.

Rivera also didn't rule out calling up a wide receiver, Stephen Hill or Marcus Lucas, if a lingering thigh injury sidelines Jason Avant. Hill played the past two seasons with the New York Jets before being released.

Avant went from limited in Wednesday's practice to not participating.
EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. -- Minnesota Vikings coach Mike Zimmer still sounded optimistic on Thursday he'd have Chad Greenway on the field this Sunday in New Orleans, despite Greenway's broken left hand. But the Vikings have injuries to several starters to track on the other side of the ball.

Wide receiver Cordarrelle Patterson was added to Thursday's injury report after being limited in practice with a chest injury, and tight end Kyle Rudolph was again limited in practice with an abdominal injury. Right tackle Phil Loadholt was a limited participant with an ankle injury for the second straight day, though Zimmer thought Loadholt would be ready to go for Sunday's game.

"He'll be fine," Zimmer said. "He's tough."

Cornerback Xavier Rhodes (groin) and wide receiver Rodney Smith (hamstring) returned to full participation on Thursday, while defensive tackle Sharrif Floyd was a limited participant after missing Wednesday's practice. Linebacker Brandon Watts also worked in a limited capacity for the second consecutive day, after returning from a knee injury.

"He's got great speed," Zimmer said of Watts. "He's a young, developing player that I think has a great future in this league. He's got some coverage ability and it's hard to find linebackers with coverage ability nowadays, the way the league is."

Linebacker Michael Mauti was a full participant with a foot injury for the second straight day, and could be in line to make his regular-season debut on Sunday. If Greenway is unable to go, Mauti or Gerald Hodges might start in his place at weakside linebacker, but Zimmer said he thinks Greenway is improving.

"He feels a lot better today," Zimmer said. "He didn't practice, but he feels a lot better. He was running around pretty good, so we'll see how he does tomorrow."
METAIRIE, La. -- Among the newcomers to the New Orleans Saints' injury report this week, running back Mark Ingram (hand) is definitely out for Sunday's game against the Minnesota Vikings; linebacker David Hawthorne (ankle) seems unlikely to play after missing practice again Thursday; and center Jonathan Goodwin (elbow) is on the right track after returning to practice on a limited basis Thursday.

Hawthorne has been out all week after leaving last Sunday's game early with the injury. Coach Sean Payton said Thursday that he doesn't expect him to be out long term, listing him as "day to day." But Payton said the Saints added practice squad linebacker Todd Davis to help fill out the depth while Hawthorne is out.

The Saints should be able to absorb Hawthorne's loss in the short term. They replaced him with experienced backup Ramon Humber last week. Veteran outside linebacker Parys Haralson is also capable of moving inside in certain situations to help fill the void.

Fullback Erik Lorig (ankle) and safety Marcus Ball (hamstring) also remained out during Thursday's practice.

Linebacker Curtis Lofton (shoulder) remained limited. And backup linebacker Kyle Knox (ankle) was added to the injury report after practicing on a limited basis.
PITTSBURGH -- Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Lance Moore practiced again Thursday and all but said afterward that he will play Sunday night at Carolina.

Moore missed the Steelers' first two games because of a groin injury, but he has not been limited in any of the three practices this week. Moore said the only thing he is waiting for is the go-ahead from coach Mike Tomlin to suit up for his first regular-season game with the Steelers.

"The mental part of the injury I think is gone now," said Moore, the Steelers' No. 3 wide receiver. "Every morning I wake up and feel normal again. I don’t have any pain or soreness. I’m definitely looking forward to getting out there on Sunday."

Ramon Foster is also looking forward to playing against the 2-0 Panthers.

The Steelers' left guard did not practice today because of an ankle injury and was limited in drills on Wednesday. Foster said he turned his ankle in practice this week, but said he will practice on Friday.

"I’m walking fine," Foster said. "Coach T said he won’t let me set myself up for failure, so we’re rehabbing and getting back out there."

Rookie running back Dri Archer (ankle) was limited in practice for the second consecutive day, and he will probably have to be able to make it through a full practice on Friday to play against the Panthers.

Panthers running backs DeAngelo Williams (thigh) and Fozzy Whittaker (thigh) and offensive tackle Garry Williams (thigh) have yet to practice this week.