TEMPE, Ariz. – It’s been almost a month since Andre Ellington injured his left foot during practice but the Arizona Cardinals running back still isn’t quite yet at 100 percent.

His foot has healed enough, however, that he’s able to practice more than once a week.

“Now we’re going to get three good days out of him, which should help him mentally and just make sure he practices smart and doesn’t really stick it in the ground,” Cardinals coach Bruce Arians said. “Especially when we’re on the turf.”

The second-year back, who was limited in Wednesday’s practice, feels like he gets closer every day to being healthy. He’s averaging 68.7 yards per game and had a season-high 91 in Week 2 at New York.

But he’s not satisfied.

“It’s a little frustrating because I can’t be myself all the time,” Ellington said. “I’ve been able to do some things. I’m still able to be a factor and that’s one thing that’s important to me.”

Ellington is averaging 18.3 touches per game with a season-high 21 against San Francisco.

Arizona is averaging 105.7 rushing yards per game and Denver is allowing 105.3 per game, so Sunday will could be a good chance for Ellington to have a breakout game. He’s healthier. He’s practicing more. And his foot doesn’t hurt as bad.

“I got adrenaline in it and things like that,” Ellington said. “I don’t feel it as much. As long as I know what’s going on, as long as I understand the game from a mental aspect, I’ll be good to go.”
SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- Rookie backup center Marcus Martin, who injured a knee in the San Francisco 49ers' third exhibition game, practiced Wednesday for the first time since going down, albeit in a limited fashion.

As noted earlier, a trio of starters in Pro Bowl tight end Vernon Davis, right tackle Anthony Davis and cornerback Tramaine Brock sat out.

Following is the 49ers' injury report for Wednesday, in advance of Sunday's home game against the Kansas City Chiefs:

Did not participate: CB Tramaine Brock (toe), RT Anthony Davis (knee, ankle), TE Vernon Davis (back), DE Justin Smith (not injury related)

Limited participation: S Antoine Bethea (ankle), DE Tony Jerod-Eddie (shoulder), P Andy Lee (right ankle), C Marcus Martin (knee), TE Vance McDonald (knee), S Eric Reid (hamstring)

Full participation: WR Michael Crabtree (foot), RB Frank Gore (back)
TEMPE, Ariz. -- It wasn't quite the same the injury as Carson Palmer's, but Denver quarterback Peyton Manning has experience dealing with nerves.

Manning lost the 2011 season after surgery to relieve a pinched nerve in his neck. Palmer's nerve issue is in his right throwing shoulder. Different areas but similar situations. Manning struggled to grip a football and throw it during his recovery. Palmer had issues gripping and throwing after the nerve fell asleep, he said.

Palmer has missed the Cardinals' past two games because of a bruised nerve in his right throwing shoulder. Two weeks ago, he talked about the number of treatments he's gone through trying to awaken the nerve. He was excused from Wednesday's practice to see another specialist after the shoulder regressed last week.

Palmer has said he hasn't found anyone with the exact injury who he could consult with, which is likely why he hasn't reached out to Manning. But even though Manning's injury is different, he's open to discussing it with Palmer.

"I have become somewhat a resource for guys who have had those kinds of injuries," Manning said. "I am always willing to talk about it. I have had some other players from other sports that have reached out to me or ‘Greek' (Broncos trainer Steve Antonopulos), the trainer, and talked about what kind of rehab we have done.

"I have not had the chance to talk to Carson. Obviously, I hope he gets back soon, and I'd be more than willing to help anybody that has similar problems."
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- New England Patriots starting right defensive end Chandler Jones injured his right shoulder in Monday's loss to the Kansas City Chiefs and was limited in Wednesday's practice.

Jones sustained the injury in the second quarter and missed four plays before returning to the game and being replaced for the final three series.

The shoulder could have been a factor that contributed to some of Jones' struggles setting the edge in the running game, as the Chiefs ran to his side with success.

Jones' injury isn't the only one to a key player in the Patriots' front-seven, as linebacker Dont'a Hightower's left injury limited him in practice. Hightower injured the knee on Knile Davis' 16-yard run in the third quarter.

Elsewhere, rookie offensive lineman Cameron Fleming, who made his first career NFL start at right guard Monday, has a finger injury that knocked him out of practice. The injury is not expected to keep Fleming out of action.

Also, core special teamer Nate Ebner missed practice with a finger injury, while linebacker Jamie Collins (thigh) and cornerback Alfonzo Dennard (shoulder) remained limited. Tight end Rob Gronkowski was a full participant at practice for the first time this year.

SAN DIEGO -- Not visible during the early portion of practice, San Diego Chargers outside linebacker Dwight Freeney appears to have gotten onto the field at some point Wednesday afternoon.

Freeney was listed as limited with a knee issue on the team’s injury report. Others who practiced on a limited basis include three players who did not play against Jacksonville over the weekend: tight end Ladarius Green (hamstring), tight end David Johnson (shoulder) and cornerback Jason Verrett (hamstring).

Outside linebacker Jarret Johnson (shoulder), defensive tackle Corey Liuget (concussion) and inside linebacker Donald Butler (shoulder) also were limited participants on Wednesday.

Players who did not practice include cornerback Shareece Wright (knee), outside linebacker Jeremiah Attaochu (hamstring), receiver Malcom Floyd (illness), running back Ryan Mathews (knee), center Rich Ohrnberger (back), inside linebacker Manti Te’o and linebacker Reggie Walker (ankle).

Outside linebacker Cordarro Law (ankle) was a full participant.

Chargers head coach Mike McCoy would not provide an update on Te’o or Mathews, stating it is not his policy to comment on the status of injured players.

“I’m not going to set a timetable on when anyone is coming back, or when they are healthy and ready to go,” McCoy said. “I can just say this -- everyone’s working extremely hard right now.”
HOUSTON -- A whole slew of very important Houston Texans didn't practice Wednesday.

Texans coach Bill O'Brien was asked during his Wednesday news conference if he was planning to rest some key players during the week. O'Brien said: "There is nothing more important than the health of the team."

That's not the case with all of the players who sat out Wednesday's practice, but we'll go through which ones might have legitimate injury concerns.

CINCINNATI -- It appears Cincinnati Bengals receiver Marvin Jones has had a setback with his return to the team's playing rotation.

The third-year receiver began the week on the Bengals' practice field, working out Monday for only the second time since training camp. But on Wednesday, one day after the Bengals' only day off this week, he didn't take part in a single position-specific exercise because of an ankle injury that appeared during Monday's session. This issue is completely separate from the broken foot that had him sidelined since Aug. 9.

Jones' foot has fully healed from the mid-August surgery. He's now beyond that issue but dealing with this new one.

He wasn't the only Bengals starter who didn't suit up during Wednesday's rare late-afternoon practice inside Paul Brown Stadium. Linebacker Vontaze Burfict also didn't practice as he continues to work his way through the concussion protocol after suffering his second head injury in as many weeks during the Bengals' Week 2 win over the Atlanta Falcons.

When asked, coach Marvin Lewis didn't offer insight into why the Bengals were practicing later than normal this week. It's likely, though, that the 4 p.m. ET practice was a product of the Bengals preparing for their 8 p.m. ET game Sunday at New England.

With respect to Jones, it's possible the Bengals could rest the wideout for another week depending upon the severity of the injury. He hasn't practiced much this year. He only participated in three days during training camp because of ankle and foot injuries. It was after clearing the ankle issue when he broke his left foot in a practice and was sidelined until now. The Bengals at the time had Week 5 penciled in as the approximate date he'd return.

We'll monitor how he comes along this week.

Jones, wearing receivers' gloves, appeared to walk around OK on Wednesday as he worked out off to the side, mostly catching passes from rookie quarterback AJ McCarron, who isn't able to formally practice with the team because of his status on the non-football injury list. He'll be able to officially return to practices next week, per the non-football injury list rules.

Bengals coach Marvin Lewis addressed Jones' potential return in his news conference before practice Wednesday. Several hours prior to the workout, Lewis seemed to hint that something was amiss with the receiver.

"If Marvin is able to play, and when he's able to play, he'll add something to us," Lewis said. "He was a very productive player for us a year ago. He's got very good speed. He's another big guy for us. He's got great ability to make contested catches for us. As soon as he's ready to go, he'll add another element to our football team."

Jones caught 10 touchdown passes last season. Nine of them came in the red zone.

Along with Jones, Burfict also got in some light conditioning and stretching, although he wasn't wearing a jersey nor participating in position-specific drills. Fellow injured players Kevin Zeitler and Tyler Eifert also were going through light rehab drills off to the side. Zeitler is overcoming a calf injury that he's expected to return by the middle of this month. Eifert will still be out until Nov. 6 after being placed on injured reserve after Week 1 because of a dislocated elbow.

Here's the complete Bengals injury report for Wednesday:

WR Marvin Jones (ankle)
LB Vontaze Burfict (concussion)
OG Kevin Zeitler (calf)
OG Mike Pollak (knee)
DT Brandon Thompson (knee)
DE Robert Geathers (toe)
DE Margus Hunt (shoulder)

S George Iloka (abdomen)

RB Rex Burkhead (knee)
LB Emmanuel Lamur (concussion)
LB Sean Porter (hamstring)
TEMPE, Ariz. -- When Alex Okafor wakes up in a Denver hotel Sunday, it will have been a year and 13 days since he last played in an NFL game.

That’s about 28 days too long.

[+] EnlargeArizona's Alex Okafor
AP Photo/Ross D. FranklinArizona's Alex Okafor hasn't played in a regular-season game since Week 3 of last season.
Okafor tore his biceps in Week 3 last season, ending his rookie year prematurely while simultaneously beginning a recovery that was expected to culminate with “Monday Night Football” in Week 1. This season was supposed to be his breakout year. He showed up to organized team activities and minicamp stronger and trimmer, and it translated into an impressive offseason that had coaches excited. But during the final preseason game against San Diego he tore his quad after getting held by a Chargers’ offensive lineman.

His return was shelved for another month, but after last weekend’s bye, the second-year linebacker out of Texas is finally ready to return.

“It’s just been frustrating being hut since I’ve been here," Okafor said. “I was disappointed but we got the bye week at the perfect time.”

“You can’t sulk in it. You can’t get down on it. I look forward to having an opportunity to help the team out now. I only lost a fourth of the season. It’s not bad. It could be worse.

While coming early in the season, the bye week came at the right time for Arizona to get healthy.

On Monday, Cardinals coach Bruce Arians said there would have been at least three players who would’ve missed a game had Arizona played last Sunday.

“I don’t know how many guys would have played last Sunday,” Arians said.

Cornerback Antonio Cromartie was able to heal his bruised knee during the off weekend, even though he insisted he could’ve practiced last week and would’ve played had there been a game. Nine Cardinals were on the last injury report before Arizona hosted San Francisco, including punter Dave Zastudil who hasn’t punted all season. Right guard Paul Fanaika didn’t practice Monday but was back on the field Wednesday.

If Fanaika can’t go, left guard Ted Larsen will shift to the right side and Jonathan Cooper will start at left.

“That’s what I’ve been preparing for,” Cooper said. “I came here to compete and I came here to play, you know what I mean? If he can’t go then I think I am ready. I’m ready to go.”

Sunday could see the return of Zastudil and Okafor, who feels like he’ll be ready to play in Denver. Arizona will need him to support its struggling pass rush. The Cardinals are ranked 18th in passing yards allowed per game and 30th in sacks per pass attempt, a product of just three sacks this season.

Even though he’s missed a month of the season, Okafor said the offseason and training camp was enough preparation so rust won’t be an issue this weekend.

“I’m just trying to pick up where this team’s going,” Okafor said. “Every game is another opportunity to keep getting better and keep improving ourselves. I’m just here trying to ride that train and help the team.”
OWINGS MILLS, Md. -- Just like last week, the Baltimore Ravens began their first practice of the week without three starters.

Linebacker Terrell Suggs (thigh), defensive end Chris Canty (illness) and offensive tackle Eugene Monroe (knee) didn't practice Wednesday. Suggs and Canty played last Sunday with injuries, and Suggs downplayed his injury when talking to reporters Wednesday.

The only other player who didn't practice was backup defensive tackle Timmy Jernigan (knee). Monroe, who had a procedure on his knee last week, and Jernigan aren't expected to play Sunday against the Indianapolis Colts.


Did not practice: DE Chris Canty (illness), DT Timmy Jernigan (knee), OT Eugene Monroe (knee), LB Terrell Suggs (thigh).

Full participation: RB Bernard Pierce (thigh), CB Chykie Brown (neck).
FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- New York Jets cornerback Dee Milliner, who has missed three of the four games with ankle and quadriceps injuries, will return Sunday to face the San Diego Chargers.

Milliner, still dealing with a quadriceps issue, was limited Wednesday in practice, but Rex Ryan said he's confident the former first-round pick will play.

The major injury question this week involves wide receiver David Nelson, who has a severe low ankle sprain. He didn't practice and isn't expected to play Sunday. The Jets' receiver rotation will consist of Eric Decker, Jeremy Kerley and Greg Salas. They also have Walter Powell and newly signed veterans T.J. Graham and Chris Owusu.

Another key injury is safety Calvin Pryor (bruised thigh), but he was able to practice on a limited basis and should be ready to go. Cornerback Antonio Allen, who created a stir when he left the stadium last Sunday on a golf cart, doesn't appear on the injury report. Allen said his feet swelled up after the game, which he described as a "weird feeling." He doesn't know why, but he suspects it might have been a combination of the heat and artificial turf.

The official practice report:

New York Jets

Did not practice: Nelson (ankle).

Limited: G Willie Colon (knee), WR Decker (hamstring), C Nick Mangold (shoulder), Milliner (quadriceps), Pryor (thigh).

Full: NT Damon Harrison (ankle), RB Chris Johnson (ankle)

San Diego Chargers

Did not practice: LB Jerimiah Attaochu (hamstring), WR Malcom Floyd (illness), RB Ryan Mathews (knee), C Rich Ohrnberger (back), LB Manti Te'o (foot), LB Reggie Walker (ankle), CB Shareece Wright (knee).

Limited: LB Donald Butler (shoulder), LB Dwight Freeney (knee), TE Ladarius Green (hamstring), TE David Johnson (shoulder), LB Jarret Johnson (shoulder), Corey Liuget (concussion), CB Jason Verrett (hamstring).

Full: LB Cordarro Law (ankle).
LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- Jared Allen's streak of 113 consecutive starts ended Sunday when he missed Chicago’s loss to the Green Bay Packers because of pneumonia. But the five-time Pro Bowl defensive end returned to the practice field Wednesday, saying, “Hopefully, I’ll be back up by this weekend” as the Bears prepare to face the Carolina Panthers.

Allen said he felt sick during Chicago’s win over the New York Jets on Sept. 22, but wasn’t diagnosed until two days later with pneumonia. Because of the illness, Allen lost 15 pounds, from 254 down to 239.

The Chicago Bears list Allen at 270 pounds.

“Just due to being sick, not really eating for a few days, sweating, fever; all that good stuff,” Allen said. “I feel good now, just trying to get back. I’ve been having good workouts the last couple of days; just progressing, steadily going up. I went out and did individual [drills] today, then did a nice sprint workout on the treadmill [and it] felt good. I’m more concerned about recovery time. Everything feels good right now. I think it’s just eating, rehydrating and getting all that weight back on.”

Allen stepped onto the scale before eating Wednesday and weighed in at 241 pounds. Allen expects the weight to “come back in the next day or so,” saying “it’ll get back and I’ll be ready to go.” Allen spent a couple of days taking medications before the fever from pneumonia broke, he said.

Before the Bears' game Sunday, Allen traveled to Soldier Field to meet with team doctors and was ultimately instructed to go home. Without Allen, Chicago lost 38-17 to the Packers as Aaron Rodgers threw four touchdown passes and finished with a passer rating of 151.2 against a virtually nonexistent Bears rush.

“It was brutal. It was miserable, especially [with it being] the Packers,” Allen said. “I’ve played through a lot of things, and there are just certain things that you can’t do. Trust me, it was a long-fought battle whether I was going to be able to give it a go or not. It’s one of those things that you don’t want it to come back and then end up in the hospital. So after talking to doctors, my wife and everybody, we felt that was the best plan of attack. And it was. I wouldn’t have been worth anything out there.”

Allen’s illness serves as just the latest in what has been what the defensive end calls an “interesting” turn of events through the first four games of the season. Allen missed time in the preseason to attend the birth of his daughter, in addition to being held out of the team’s third preseason game with a bruised shoulder.

Asked if he’s back to normal, Allen said, “I’m trying to. Not right now, obviously. I’m still a little light. I haven’t gotten in that rhythm or that groove of what I’m used to playing in. But you know, it’s not anybody’s fault. Preseason is preseason. I didn’t do much in preseason in Minnesota, either. I was sad I missed this game because coming out of the San Fran[cisco] game and then the New York game, I felt like I was really starting to get in the rhythm of this defense and where we were at. Even though I didn’t get [Jets quarterback] Geno [Smith] on the ground, I had some really good rushes in the fourth quarter. I really felt my game was where it needed to be going into that week. I still feel that.”

Right now though, Allen said the main goals are to regain weight and strength while building up stamina for his expected return Sunday against the Carolina Panthers. Through the first quarter of the season, Allen has contributed 11 tackles with no sacks.

“I’m looking forward to this next 12 weeks,” Allen said. “I’m like, ‘What else can happen, right?’ I’ve got the injuries out of the way, got the sickness out of the way. Let’s go have fun.”

Carson Palmer suffers setback

October, 1, 2014
Oct 1

TEMPE, Ariz. -- Arizona Cardinals quarterback Carson Palmer was excused from Wednesday's practice by coach Bruce Arians to seek another opinion on his injured right shoulder.

Arians said Palmer regressed while throwing Thursday and Friday during Arizona's bye week. The shoulder swelled around the nerve, putting Palmer's status for Sunday's game in Denver in doubt.

"Hopefully, he'll be back tomorrow and throwing soon," Arians said.

Arians wasn't prepared to rule Palmer out of Sunday's game. The Cardinals head to Denver as one of two undefeated teams left.

Arians called Palmer doubtful for Thursday's practice, but if the 34-year-old returns by Friday, there's a chance he can start this weekend. If Palmer doesn't practice Friday, he won't start but could be available as Arizona's backup, Arians added, meaning Drew Stanton would get his third straight start.

"We need to see two good days or a day-and-a-half of his full-speed delivery and not a soft toss," Arians said. "He's got to be back to full tilt."

Palmer was throwing 30 to 40 yards last week, but after throwing for two days the injury reverted "fairly close" to its initial state, he said. Palmer suffered the injury in Week 1 against San Diego.

The Cardinals are still treating Palmer's injury on a week-to-week basis, but they have the option of putting him on injured reserve/designated to return for just a few more weeks.

"We're not even close to that yet," Arians said.

Arizona has until Week 8 to decide if Palmer would go on IR/designated to return, because at Week 8 or later, he'd miss the rest of the regular season.

Palmer was "very frustrated" with his setback and Arians is frustrated for his quarterback.

(Read full post)

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- With linebacker Danny Trevathan on track to play Sunday against the Arizona Cardinals, the Denver Broncos will be at full strength as they play their first game coming off a Week 4 bye.

Trevathan, who suffered a fracture at the top of his tibia in an Aug. 12 training camp practice, practiced fully on Monday and again on Wednesday. He was the team’s leading tackler last season and his return gives the Broncos plenty of options in their personnel groupings on defense, especially since his replacement, Brandon Marshall, has performed well enough to be tied for the team lead in tackles after three games.

“I still think [Marshall] is going to play a lot," cornerback Chris Harris Jr. said “ … But getting Danny back means we have everybody in there and can do whatever we need to do."

Asked about how Trevathan has worked in practice, Broncos head coach John Fox said following Wednesday’s practice: “He looked good Monday as well, it’s good to have him back. … He’s very happy to be back."

Overall, following their earlier bye week since 2006, the Broncos are healthy as safety David Bruton Jr. (ankle) was the only Broncos player held out of Wednesday’s practice. Linebacker Lerentee McCray (knee), who has not played since the Broncos' Week 2 win over the Kansas City Chiefs, was limited in practice as was guard Louis Vasquez.

Fox said Vasquez, who has battled some stiffness in his back this season, had a “rib cage’’ injury. Vasquez has not missed a game since he signed with the Broncos before the 2013 season and is expected to be in the lineup on Sunday.
ALLEN PARK, Mich. -- Cassius Vaughn had a chance to start. Then he found himself on the bench recovering from injury like so many other Detroit Lions defensive backs.

Vaughn was on track to be the Lions’ starting nickel corner against the Green Bay Packers in the third week of the year after season-ending injuries to Bill Bentley and Nevin Lawson the first two weeks. But in practice early that week, Vaughn sprained his left ankle.

And for the past two weeks, he’s been sidelined. On Wednesday, though, he was out of the walking boot and talking to reporters once again.

“I’m feeling good,” Vaughn said. “We getting better. Been working. Getting back to a normal routine and everything is getting back on schedule like we want it to.”

Well, not quite.

Vaughn still missed practice Wednesday and is unsure if he’ll be able to play Sunday against Buffalo. He said he is hoping to be able to take the ankle out “for a test run” at some point this week, but has not done that yet.

“We’re going to see,” Vaughn said. “I’m going to try and sweet talk them and see.

“… I know the coaching staff believe in me and we’re trying to get back but when we’re on a run like this and you’re seeing the team doing so well, you want to be a part of it and want to contribute with them. That’s the hardest thing. It’s not even 'try to get back,' get back. It’s 'I want to play with my brothers,' with the people I work with every day.”

In his place, the Lions signed Danny Gorrer and promoted Mohammed Seisay to take his place at the slot corner. The team has also moved safety Glover Quin into the nickel at different points against the Jets on Sunday to give them a three-nickel look along with Isa Abdul-Quddus and James Ihedigbo.

Vaughn has one tackle so far this season.
METAIRIE, La. -- New Orleans Saints left tackle Terron Armstead said he was “fully cleared” to return from the concussion that sidelined him during last Sunday night’s loss to the Dallas Cowboys.

Armstead was listed as “limited” during team drills in Wednesday’s practice. But he is confident he’ll play Sunday against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

“Any symptoms of anything kind of went away pretty fast, so I had a feeling I was gonna be good to go for this week,” said Armstead, who took a knee to the helmet from Saints running back Travaris Cadet during the first quarter.

On the flip side, four players were held out of Saints team drills Wednesday. Running back Mark Ingram remained out with the broken hand that has sidelined him since Week 2 -- increasing the likelihood he won’t return until after the Week 6 bye, at the earliest.

Center Jonathan Goodwin did not practice because of a neck injury after he battled an ankle injury last week. And cornerback Corey White was held out of team drills with a foot injury. The severity of those injuries is unknown.

Fullback Erik Lorig (ankle) also remained out, as he has been all season. But safety Marcus Ball (hamstring) practiced on a limited basis for the first time this season.

Also limited for the Saints on Wednesday were linebacker David Hawthorne (ankle) and cornerback Patrick Robinson (thigh).