TD Streak Extended - 3 TDs Scored

THREE #‎proCane TDs were scored in Week 4 of the NFL!

#‎Jags WR Allen Hurns (1), #‎Browns RB Duke Johnson (1), #‎Falcons WR Leonard Hankerson (1).

Allen Hurns’ TD extended the streak to 10 straight weeks a #proCane has scored a TD in the #‎NFL.

Duke Johnson scored his first ever NFL TD on a 34-yard pass. Johnson finished the day with 116 total yards and 1 TD. 85 yards receiving, 31 yards rushing.

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Duke Johnson outshines Melvin Gordon

SAN DIEGO, Ca. -- Duke Johnson was anything but "just another body on the field,'' like he described himself after his NFL debut. In fact, he outshined fellow rookie running back Melvin Gordon, who was picked No. 15 overall by the Chargers.

Gordon, out of Wisconsin, also won the 2014 Doak Walker award as the nation's best running back and was the runner up for the Heisman Trophy. But during Sunday's 30-27 loss to the Chargers, the Browns' third-round pick out of Miami was the undisputed star of the backfield.

He caught nine passes for 85 yards, including a 34-yard touchdown -- the first of his career -- on the left side of the end zone that put the Browns up 10-7 with 14:10 left in the third. He also rushed eight times for 31 yards and a 3.9-yard average.

"Anytime you have a back that can be a first or second down back between the tackles, and a guy that you can also split out your number one wide out and hit him on a vertical route, that puts a lot of stress on a defense,'' said coach Mike Pettine. "He certainly will be a big part of our plans moving forward. That's a pretty good glimpse of how we'll be using him."

Gordon, meanwhile, caught only two passes for 8 yards and ran 12 times for 38 yards and a 3.2-yard average. The Browns bottled him up well most of the day, except for a 23-yard run in the second quarter that led to a field goal for a 10-10 tie.

"That's one of the reasons why I'm here, I bring different element in the passing game, just helping him out when we get in trouble, just dink and dunk and be able to get yards,'' said Johnson.

On the touchdown, Johnson motioned out into the slot on the left side, leaving the backfield empty. In the back of the end zone, he beat inside linebacker Donald Butler on the TD, made a nifty over-the-shoulder catch and tiptoed both of his feet inbounds.

"First one for a running back to get a receiving touchdown, it was cool, I enjoyed it,'' said Johnson.

So did McCown, who threw for 356 yards, most since his career-high of 398 in 2005.

"The catch Duke made on the first touchdown was one of the best catches I've seen by a running back,'' said quarterback Josh McCown. "To track a deep ball like that and to catch it over his shoulder, that's not something that they get a ton of time practicing. For him to do that it was just very, very impressive and really encouraging."

The Browns got a scare when McCown got  knocked into Johnson with 9:58 left and the running back was slow getting up. He walked off the field on his own and had his left ankle looked at. But he was back on the field on the next drive -- unfortunately only to lose five yards on a third down screen.

"I'm fine,'' he said. "I thought it was bad, but it's really nothing. I was able to go back in and help Crow out with the offense, do what I could do.''

McCown got fine performances out of both of his young running backs. Isaiah Crowell broke free for a 32-yard run that led to Johnson's TD catch two plays later, and turned a short dump over the middle into a 53-yard gain. He led the team with 63 rushing yards. Johnson's nine receptions tied for the fifth-most by a Browns running back in a game and were the most since 2002.

With Crowell (125) and Johnson (116), it marked the first time two Browns running backs each recorded more than 100 scrimmage yards in the same game since Nov. 17, 2004, when Lee Suggs (119) and William Green (115) did it against Cincinnati.

"They were awesome,'' said McCown. "Our young backs are coming along and that's something to be excited about. ... It's very, very encouraging what they were able to do today.

Like everyone else on the team, Johnson was crushed by the heartbreaking loss on the Josh Lambo field goal as time expired, a re-kick that occurred after Tramon Williams jumped offside on the first attempt.

"One thing it shows is we're going to fight to the end,'' said Johnson. "We're not going to lay down for anybody. It's tough, we fought back and both sides played hard, just couldn't come out with it.''

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Watch Duke Johnson's first career touchdown catch

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Steelers promote linebacker Anthony Chickillo

PITTSBURGH, Pa. ─ The Steelers have promoted linebacker Anthony Chickillo to the active roster, the team announced today.

Chickillo made the team’s initial 53-man roster before being released on September 6 and being signed to the Steelers’ practice squad on September 7. He was drafted by Pittsburgh with the team’s second of two sixth-round selections (212th overall) in the 2015 NFL Draft. Chickillo started 47-of-50 games at the University of Miami and tallied 170 tackles, 15 TFLs, 15.5 sacks, two forced fumbles, five fumble recoveries and five pass breakups in his career.

To make room on the roster, the Steelers released rookie defensive end Caushaud Lyons.

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Allen Hurns has big game in loss to Colts

Allen Hurns caught 11-of-15 targets for 116 yards and a touchdown in Sunday's Week 4 loss to the Colts.

With Vontae Davis shadowing Allen Robinson, Hurns took advantage of a matchup with Colts CB Jalil Brown, who left with an injury in the first half. His touchdown came on an eight-yard second-quarter pass from Blake Bortles. Hurns played through an ankle issue for most of the game, but didn't miss any time. He has at least 60 yards in all four games and touchdowns in back-to-back weeks. Hurns will be a WR3 for Week 5 against the Bucs.

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Peter King tabs Sean Spence as Special Teams Player of the Week

Sean Spence's impressive tackle to stop Ravens fake field goal attempt got the attention of many, including longtime NFL writer Peter King.

King, who writes a weekly column for titled The Monday Morning Quarterback, awarded Pittsburgh's linebacker as his Special Teams Player of the Week along with Chiefs kicker Cairo Santos, who booted seven field goals in Kansas City's loss to the Bengals on Sunday, and Justin Tucker, the Ravens kicker who made the game-winning field goal on Thursday night.

Here's what King had to say about Spence's jarring tackle of Baltimore's Nick Boyle in the third quarter of Thursday night's game:

"Midway through the third quarter of a huge rivalry game (Steelers-Ravens always comes down to big plays in the second half), Spence made the best special-teams play of the season so far. Pittsburgh led 20-14, and Baltimore had fourth-and-2 from the Pittsburgh 20. Justin Tucker was lined up to try a 38-yard field goal. Holder Sam Koch took the snap and, immediately, left-wing player (Nick) Boyle, a backup Baltimore tight end, went into motion to the right and took a shovel pass from Koch. Spence knifed in through a slight gap in the Ravens’ line and dove at Boyle, tackling him for a three-yard loss. It was as though Spence knew exactly what was coming. That’s the kind of play that doesn’t happen without great instincts by players, or without attentive coaching. Special-teams coach Danny Smith, the 21-year NFL coaching veteran, clearly got his field-goal defense team ready to sniff out possible fakes. Beautiful play."

They play is just one several beautiful moments for Spence after his career began with a devastating knee injury that sidelined him for the first two seasons of his NFL career. But after successfully rehabbing a torn ACL, LCL and dislocated kneecap suffered in the preseason of 2012, Spence has played in 21 consecutive games for the Black and Gold (including the postseason) since the start of the 2014 season. Starting in place on Ryan Shazier on Thursday, Spence made eight tackles with a sack to go with his sterling stop of Boyle.

While many players should be credited for the Steelers' surprising defensive efforts over the past three games, Spence is one of them, as the linebacker continues to enjoy a solid career while helping Pittsburgh's defense continue to climb up the ranks of the better units in the NFL.

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Eric Winston balances playing, leading union

CINCINNATI (AP) — Bengals offensive tackle Eric Winston heads to midfield as the game ends so he can briefly catch up with players from the other team. Every so often, one of them extends a hand and says thanks.

Winston has just spent four quarters pushing them around. Now he's back to representing them as their union president.

"I get a lot of that, which makes me feel good," Winston said. "Just guys coming up and saying thanks for everything and thanks for the work you've done. That means the most to me."

The ninth-year pro was elected president of the NFL Players Association in March 2014. He was out of the league and contemplating retirement until the Bengals signed him last December with their line depleted by injury.

His dual roles sometimes put him in unusual spots.

The team owner is not only his employer, but someone who sits on the other side of the table when the union and the league hash things out. He competes with other players for a job while also representing them as union members.

And the coaches are aware that when they say things in meeting rooms, they've got the union leader listening.

"He understands he has a huge responsibility within the NFL, but he also understands he's a teammate to these players and a participant in the organization here," Bengals offensive coordinator Hue Jackson said. "I don't go into a meeting worrying about what I can say.

"Sometimes I can get a little mouthy, and I don't look at Eric and wonder if I can say this because it might be an issue. That makes me comfortable."

That's the thing everyone notes about Winston: His personality is perfect for the job. He's a good listener, he understand complex issues, and he's passionate about helping players, some of whom aren't entirely sure of what he does as their union president.

Left tackle Andrew Whitworth accompanied Winston and other Bengals for the coin flip before the final preseason game in Indianapolis and wondered how many of the young Colts shaking their hands realize they were meeting the union president.

"Basically all these things they enjoy and think are cool about playing in the NFL, here's somebody that's working their butt off for you to have all that," Whitworth said. "So I think it's a position that you can't take lightly. It's a lot of work, and he's adamant about being good at it."

It has been a progression for Winston, who had never done anything like it. He played at Miami and has degrees in international finance and marketing as well as political science.

"I was always interested in the issues, just in how things work," Winston said. "That's kind of been with everything, not just the union. Throughout my life, I've always tried to figure things out — how do things work, how do things work well, in my opinion."

He got more deeply involved with the union during his six seasons at Houston. Much of his work lately has involved player safety and concussions — things that affect people's lives.

"You look at when I came into the league a decade ago and now, and it's night and day," he said. "The awareness, the precautions, the protocols, everything. Even five years ago it was different."

Winston is proud of the progress that's been made in protecting players' health. Part of his job is helping them understand the changes and what might be coming down the road.

"Eric's extremely thorough," said Whitworth, who has been the team's union representative for years. "It means a lot to him. He's always looking for new and inventive ways to make sure our guys understand the business of this game and all the ways they can benefit, and finding new ways to benefit from the game."

Winston spends a lot more time on union work in the offseason. During the season, he talks to the union's staff several times a week on average. He also takes a lot of questions by email, text or phone from other players, both teammates and those on other teams.

There are a lot of demands on his time during the season.

"That's kind of the interesting part of it, but I think it's good," he said. "I've always thought that it's important for the guy holding this position to be playing, just so guys in the locker room understand he's one of us and he understands what we're going through now."

Winston doesn't have a lot of dealings with team owners outside of their formal meetings. Sitting on the other side of the table was a new experience.

"The first time you step into that meeting room, it's like game day: 'Oh how is this going to go?'" he said. "But it's like anything else. You do it three or four times, and it's old hat.

"It's about building relationships. We've got to find ways to figure out our differences."

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Leonard Hankerson goes 6-103-1 against HOU

Leonard Hankerson secured 6-of-8 targets for 103 yards and a touchdown in the Falcons' Week 4 rout of Houston.

He also drew an illegal contact penalty early in the game, and scored his TD on a quick goal-line rub route in the first quarter. Hankerson is an every-week contributor in Atlanta's offense, but not quite consistent enough to be trusted as more than a dart-throw WR3 in fantasy. Through four weeks, Hankerson is on pace for 68 catches, 964 yards, and eight touchdowns. He'll be more of a WR4/flex play against the Redskins in Week 5.

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St. Louis Rams Release Brandon McGee

Apparently feeling a need for extra safety depth on Friday after Maurice Alexander was ruled out for this weekend’s game against the Arizona Cardinals with a groin injury, the St. Louis Rams promoted safety Christian Bryant from the practice squad to the active roster and released cornerback Brandon McGee.

Bryant, an undersized safety at 5-foot-9 and 198 pounds, was a seventh-rounder of the Rams last season and will be making his first appearance on the active roster after a year-plus on the practice squad. Bryant, who was a noted special-teamer coming out of Ohio State, has flashed skills that indicated he could hang with NFLers during both of his preseasons to date, but with the exceptional depth that the Rams already possess at the safety position, there hadn’t really been space on the roster for him until now. His addition to the 53-man roster makes the Rams’ 2014 draft look just a bit better, as two of their last five picks (none of whom were on the 53-man at any point last season) have made it to the active roster this year, with backup lineman Demetrius Rhaney and now Bryant earning spots. Bryant will almost certainly be up and active for the game on Sunday, otherwise it’s difficult to understand why he would have been moved up so late in the week.

Though the Rams will be without Alexander, one of their better special teams players, on Sunday, it’s quite odd that an NFL team in 2015 would find it difficult to play a game with only four safeties on the roster (Rodney McLeod, T.J. McDonald, Cody Davis, and Mark Barron). With that said, Barron plays regularly from scrimmage in more of a linebacker role, so perhaps the staff didn’t want to risk the possibility of losing both their safeties and having to move Barron away from his usual role as a Swiss army knife. However, that’s a pretty advanced level of crisis planning considering that the team has had McDonald and McLeod on the field for virtually every play this season.

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Travis Benjamin continues to be integral part of Browns' passing

Cleveland Browns wide receiver Travis Benjamin was active in the passing game again this week, finishing second on the team with six receptions for 79 yards.

Fantasy Impact: This was also the second week in a row where he amassed 10 targets. Despite being labeled as a deep threat only, Benjamin has proven to be a viable WR3 with upside through four weeks. He is worth adding if you are in need of WR help.

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Pat O'Donnell expects to practice this week

Punter Pat O’Donnell missed Sunday’s win against the Oakland Raiders because of a right knee injury, leaving the Bears to sign and play veteran Spencer Lanning.

O’Donnell, though, said he expects to practice this week.

“I’m doing well,” O’Donnell said after the Bears’ 22-20 victory at Soldier Field. “I’ll get back to it next week and see how it goes. [It’s] a little minor thing. They just rested me this week.”

Lanning punted three times for 136 yards, including a long of 51 yards. His second punt was returned 22 yards by T.J. Carrie.

O’Donnell commended Lanning, who handled the holds for kicker Robbie Gould without error. Gould made 54- and 49-yard field goals. The 49-yarder was the game-winner.

“He did a great job,” O’Donnell said of Lanning. “He’s a pro. He’s been in this league. He definitely knows it takes to step in and fill the role.”

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Ereck Flowers rolls his ankle — and proves a lot to Tom Coughlin

ORCHARD PARK — Ereck Flowers was under the watchful eyes of Tom Coughlin in pregame warm-ups, as the veteran coach wanted to make sure the rookie left tackle would be able to hold up after missing the last game with a sprained left ankle.

Flowers was given the go-ahead to start, but on his first play, his ankle was rolled over and he was forced out. Justin Pugh moved from left guard into Flowers’ spot and John Jerry came off the sideline to play left guard.

“It’s all good, came back, we got the win,’’ Flowers said.

Indeed, Flowers returned later in the first quarter as the Giants beat the Bills 24-10, and he continued to impress those around him for his toughness in battling through this lingering ankle issue.

“The kid’s a tough kid,’’ Coughlin said. “I ask him how he’s doing and he says ‘Good.’ He’s always good. He came out, before you know it he’s back in. I respect the hell out of it.’’

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Phillip Dorsett plays limited role Sunday

Phillip Dorsett caught 2-of-3 targets for seven yards in the Colts' Week 4 win over the Jaguars.

Dorsett was limited to four-wide sets, but outplayed Andre Johnson for the second straight week. The Colts didnt attempt any passes downfield with Matt Hasselbeck starting. Dorsett should push for a bigger role if Johnson's struggles continue. With Andrew Luck's status up in the air, Dorsett isn't a Week 5 fantasy option.

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Brandon Linder needs shoulder surgery, will miss rest of season

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) -- The Jacksonville Jaguars have placed right guard Brandon Linder on injured reserve with a shoulder injury.

The team said Monday that Linder will have surgery later this week to repair a torn labrum in his left shoulder. The second-year starter injured his shoulder in practice two weeks ago and aggravated it in a win against Miami on Sept. 27. He was inactive for Sunday's loss at Indianapolis.

The Jaguars (1-3) signed linebacker James-Michael Johnson to the active roster. Johnson has appeared in 43 career games, spending time with Cleveland (2012), Kansas City (2013-14) and Tampa Bay (2015). The Jaguars play at the Buccaneers (1-3) on Sunday.

Linder has been Jacksonville's best lineman, starting 15 games as a rookie last season. Third-round draft pick A.J. Cann is expected to replace Linder in the starting lineup.

Linder is the latest in a growing list of injuries for the Jaguars, who are without first-round draft pick Dante Fowler Jr., tight end Julius Thomas, defensive tackle Sen'Derrick Marks and receiver Marqise Lee.

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Trent Dilfer, Ray Lewis slam Jimmy Graham’s blocking

The day started with ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith vs. Kevin Durant. It’s ending with ESPN’s Trent Dilfer and Ray Lewis vs. Jimmy Graham.

Dilfer and Lewis teed off on Graham as a blocker during Monday Night Countdown.

“He’s a fantastic offensive weapon when split out. But when he’s an in-line tight end, it’s not perception, it is fact. He is unwilling and incapable to hold up in the run game as an in-line tight end,” Dilfer said. “He’s more of a spectator than a blocker. They’re averaging zero yards per carry when he lines up as an in-line tight end.”

Dilfer then tried to soften the blow without taking a breath.

“I’m not ripping Jimmy Graham,” Dilfer said, to laughter from Steve Young and Suzy Kolber. “But it’s very important to understand what he is.”

Dilfer then argued that Graham’s involvement in the run game strips the team of its entire identity.

Ray Lewis agreed with Dilfer, saying it’s not an attack on Jimmy before jumping off the top rope.

“He’s a queen tight end. He’s the opposite of what I used to be playing against,” Lewis said, explaining that when Tony Gonzalez played for the Chiefs they would never run to his side of the field.

“When you have this type of deficiency in your offense,” Lewis said, “this can take away your identity without you even knowing it takes away your identity.”

The broader point is that the decision to trade for Graham means that the Seahawks are shifting away from being a power running team. And that point could have been made without attacking Graham. And the mere fact that Dilfer and Lewis said “we’re not attacking Graham” doesn’t change the fact that, indeed, they both attacked him.

It’s almost as if Graham at some point made enemies out of Dilfer and Lewis.

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What has happened to Andre Johnson?

For the first five years of Kylie Johnson’s life, daddy worked at NRG Stadium. She’d dial his cell phone and they’d chat – before practice, after practice, before games, after games. Andre Johnson would tell his daughter he was at work, then he’d quiz her on what that meant.

“Oh, I know where you are,” Kylie would say. “You’re at NRG Stadium.”

He’d smile.

“You’re right,” Andre would tell her.

The first change of address of Johnson’s 13-year NFL career came in March, when the greatest player in Houston Texans' history was released following a messy divorce with the team that drafted him third overall in 2003 and paid him roughly $88 million in the years since. The free agent wide receiver lasted on the open market all of two days. Forty-eight hours after he was cut, Frank Gore was leaping into Johnson’s arms inside a hallway at the Indianapolis Colts’ West 56th Street facility. The former college teammates and longtime friends had signed their new contracts with their new team.

The reunion was complete. They'd start over in Colts' blue.

Thus NRG Stadium went from Johnson’s home to Johnson’s former home. Except to one person. Kylie wasn’t buying.

“At first, she didn’t believe me,” Johnson remembered. “I was trying to explain to her that I was going to play for a new team in a different city. She would shake her head. She was like, ‘No you’re not. You can’t be.’”

It was all foreign to Johnson and his tightly-knit inner circle, which includes Kylie, his mother, Karen, and uncle Andre Melton. Houston was the only NFL home they'd ever known.

“He really wanted to retire there,” Karen said last spring.

Instead, transition. A new office, one Kylie learned eventually, called Lucas Oil Stadium. A new team. A new number. A new quarterback. A new role.

Yet a month in, the Colts are still waiting for Andre Johnson to arrive.

The numbers are alarming: The team’s most expensive offseason addition on offense has been targeted just 20 times in four games. He’s caught just seven passes for 51 yards. Seven catches for 51 yards? That used to be a half’s worth of work for Andre Johnson.

Now the fear is it’s his new reality.

“Obviously we’d all love to see him have more catches to this point,” coach Chuck Pagano said. “I know he would. But he’s a selfless guy. He’s going to keep working and keep grinding.”

There’s more. There’s the fact that Johnson has more drops so far (one) than touchdowns (zero). There’s three three targets and no catches in the last two games.There’s this startling statistic: In 169 career games with the Texans, Johnson went catchless in a game just once; it's already happened twice with the Colts.

Not exactly the return on investment – Johnson signed a three-year, $21 million deal in March – the Colts (2-2) were hoping for.

“Anytime you’ve been somewhere for 12 seasons and you make a change, it’s challenging,” the eternally even-keeled Johnson said Monday inside the Colts’ locker room. “But at the same time it’s an experience and I’m just rolling (with it). I don’t have any regrets on any decisions I’ve made.”

This week he returns to NRG Stadium (8:25 p.m. Thursday, CBS, NFL) for the first time as a visitor while doubts about his age and ability swell around him.
No longer is the question, Can Andre Johnson play like the Andre Johnson of old?

No, it’s worse than that. Now it’s, Can Andre Johnson still play at all?

“If there was ever a game that he would have a better day, it would be this week,” said Colts backup quarterback Matt Hasselbeck, who threw Johnson’s way just twice in 47 pass attempts Sunday. “He’s a pro. I know the production might not be there for fantasy football, but he does everything we ask him in practice, and he’s a done a good job.”

But still. Two looks on 47 throws? T.Y. Hilton was targeted 11 more times than Johnson on Sunday. Coby Fleener was targeted 10 more. Just as concerning as his quarterbacks’ repeated refusal to look his way in games is Johnson’s inability to create separation from the opposing secondary. It seems on most downs Johnson’s the third, fourth, even fifth option. Is Hilton open? Nope. How about Donte Moncrief? Nah. What about Fleener? Or Phillip Dorsett?

Johnson, for stretches, seems to disappear.

Hasselbeck, in part, chalked it up to his new role: Johnson, throughout his career, has primarily has played out wide. With the flurry of weapons at the Colts’ disposal, he’s frequently lined up in the slot this season.

“He’s playing inside more than he’s used to,” Hasselbeck said. “I think he’s doing a good job. We haven’t been lights out (on offense) across the board. I’m sure that will come. We’ll break through as we go.”

To hear Johnson tell it, this is what he signed up for. He wasn’t naïve about the situation he walked into with this offense last spring. There are weapons abound. Patience, on this squad, during this season, will be Andre Johnson’s most valuable virtue.

“You have to be realistic with yourself,” he said Monday. “Coming into this situation, I knew what could happen and so when you’re realistic with yourself and not thinking above and beyond what can happen, then you’ll be fine and you can deal with it.”

What’s clear is this situation isn’t like his last one. Johnson averaged 84 catches per season in his 12 years in Houston and had five seasons with 100 or more. He made seven Pro Bowls. He’s gone from The Man to The Forgotten Man.

Perhaps most puzzling: Johnson was dominant in training camp in August. He was the 34-year-old receiver who looked 24, springy and sure-handed, a benefactor of what appeared a seamless transition into Pep Hamilton’s pass-happy offense. The rapport was so palpable between he and his new quarterback their steady production seemed like a forgone conclusion this season. Luck to Johnson. Luck to Johnson. Luck to Johnson.

Then the season started. Then Johnson disappeared.

Johnson didn’t have much interest in reliving his glory days in Houston on Monday. Not after a second straight week that produced more questions than catches.
“Everybody is asking me how I feel,” he said. “I won’t know how I’ll feel until I experience it.”

That comes Thursday. And with it, another chance for Johnson to prove to his new employer – not to mention his old one – that, at 34, he's not done just yet. One of his new teammates isn’t worried.

“He’s a true leader,” Hilton said. “His character shows it. Even when he’s not getting the ball, he’s helping us out. He’s always happy. Just seeing him out there knowing things aren’t going his way, the first thing I said when I walked in this locker room was, ‘I need you this week.’ I expect a big week out of him."

For Johnson, Thursday’s game – which conveniently takes place in the city where his NFL career began – seems like the perfect place to start.

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Antrel Rolle: 'Thank God nothing is broken'

Bears safety Antrel Rolle feels fortunate. When his right ankle was contorted on the first play of scrimmage in the second half, he was scared to look.

“I thought it would be facing the other way,” Rolle said....

But it wasn’t, and the X-rays were full of good news, too. Nothing was broken. So Rolle made sure to rejoin his team on the sideline to cheer on their 22-20 victory against the Raiders at Soldier Field on Sunday.

“That was extremely important to me to be out there with my guys,” Rolle said. “They played outstanding.”

As far as his injury, Rolle promised to back as soon as possible. He said didn’t know if he had a high-ankle sprain, but he was in a protective walking boot.

“Thank God nothing is broken,” said Rolle, who was transported by cart to the locker room when he was hurt. “It could have been a lot worse than what it really is. The X-rays came back negative. … I’m going to keep grinding and just keep on pushing. I plan on being back in no time.

“It got rolled up pretty bad. It’s a part of the game. I’m just glad I was able to get up and walk off the field. … It’s time to rehab and grind.

Rolle last missed a game in 2009, when he sat out the season finale with a thigh injury. Against the Raiders, Rolle was replaced by rookie Harold Jones-Quartey, an undrafted rookie who was claimed off waivers from the Cardinals.

“I’m a fighter, man,” Rolle said. “My body heals fairly well. … I don’t like missing time.”

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Frank Gore's fumbling problems have to stop

INDIANAPOLIS – Running back Frank Gore's 22-yard run in overtime put the Colts in chip-shot territory for kicker Adam Vinatieri to make the game-winning field goal.

But ...

“I have to be smarter,” Gore said.

Gore led the Colts in rushing with 53 yards.

But ...

“Man, I have to be smarter,” he said.

The Colts managed to win an ugly game without starting quarterback Andrew Luck.

But ...

“I’m happy we got the win, but still, man, I know I can play football,” Gore said. “I have to play smarter.”

Gore, a man of few words, was beyond hard on himself inside the locker room after the Colts’ victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars on Sunday.

He acknowledged that he’s having a difficult time holding onto the ball with his left hand because of an injury. But Gore isn’t using that as an excuse for his play.

Gore is having a hard time stomaching that his fumbles have killed drives inside the 5-yard line twice in the past three games.

The Colts were in position to at least go up by three points on the Jaguars in the fourth quarter when a Jacksonville defender put his helmet on the ball and knocked it free from Gore. The Jaguars recovered the ball in the end zone for a touchback.

“Trying to make something happen instead of playing smart,” Gore said. “I’m putting us in bad situation. [We could have had a] touchdown or field goal. I feel like I’m playing hard, just have to play smarter.”

Sunday’s fumble came after Gore lost the ball inside the 5-yard line against the New York Jets in Week 2. He’s had more than two fumbles in a season seven times during his 11-year NFL career.

The Colts are having a difficult enough time scoring points as it is (18 points a game); the last thing they need is for their starting running back to continue coughing the ball up at the goal line.

“Can’t do it,” coach Chuck Pagano said. “We shot ourselves in the foot. We’re going in for a touchdown and put one on the ground. We’ve got to take care of it, take of the football.”

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Warren Sapp reaches plea deal in Las Vegas domestic assault case

Warren Sapp may never work in television again, not because networks are wary of him, but because he’ll be too busy doing community service.

According to the Associated Press, the Hall of Famer avoided any jail time with a plea deal in the Las Vegas domestic violence case stemming from a scuffle with his girlfriend. Two more misdemeanor domestic violence charges were dismissed.

Sapp pleaded no contest to one misdemeanor domestic violence charge. He was fined $345 and ordered him to pay $2,555 in restitution, log 48 hours of community service and get six months of counseling. He was also ordered to stay away from the victim, and faces six months in jail if he violates the terms of the deal.

Sapp was charged in June with knocking his then-girlfriend down, biting her finger and stepping on her head in an altercation that began at a resort pool.

Coupled with the Super Bowl weekend prostitution bust in Arizona, it’s likely we’ve seen the last of Sapp on television, unless Court TV wants to turn him into a reality series.

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A more mature Shenise Johnson makes an immediate impact for Indiana

MINNEAPOLIS -- Indiana guard Shenise Johnson writes poems that are sometimes meant to last and other that are meant to go away shortly after they're created.

"I like to express myself as an outlet, a stress-reliever. So I'm not punching walls or doing anything like that," she said, chuckling. "It allows you to evaluate, to write something down and release it.

"Then, it's over and done with and I can do what I please with it. I can throw it out, burn it, or I could keep it and reread it."

Johnson has been an important part of the puzzle in her first season in Indiana. After three seasons of never quite being comfortable with her role or her future in San Antonio, the team that drafted her No. 5 in 2012, Johnson has clicked into place with the Fever.

She had 10 points, five rebounds and three assists in Indiana's 75-69 Game 1 victory Sunday over Minnesota in the WNBA Finals. Those are numbers that almost exactly match what Johnson, a 5-foot-11 guard, brought to the Fever throughout the regular season. And it's what the Fever can expect from her in Tuesday's Game 2 (ESPN2, 8 p.m. ET).

"Throughout my career, I pride myself in being consistent and efficient," Johnson said. "I'm not really a volume shooter. Overall I have more of an opportunity here in Indiana. There are times I have to be aggressive, so I pick and choose my spots. At the same time, I'm a playmaker, not just a scorer."

Johnson was obtained in a trade in March, as the Fever sent 2015 first- and third-round picks to the Stars. The first pick turned out to be No. 6 Dearica Hamby, who averaged 6.1 points and 4.1 rebounds, showing promise as a rookie in San Antonio. The other pick, No. 30 Dragana Stankovic of Serbia, didn't play in the WNBA this year.

In return, Indiana got a full-time starter at guard who brought quickness and a multidimensional game. By any measure, the trade has turned out very well for the Fever and for Johnson.

"This is what we hoped for," Indiana coach Stephanie White said. "You think about her potential in the open floor and to create shots. She does a good job of not only making plays for herself but for others, too.

"The biggest thing -- and the most proud I am of her -- is just her growth on the defensive end. Her attention to it, her urgency about it, how she values it. Because in the beginning of the year, that was more her struggle. We certainly expected the offensive output that she's had, and I am very happy about the defensive end."

That's the type of player Johnson has wanted to be for a long time. She grew up in Rochester, New York, but would visit her father in the summer in Detroit and go see Shock games when the franchise was still located in the Motor City.

"Deanna Nolan played both sides of the floor so well," Johnson said of the former Shock standout. "She had that pull-up, midrange game and could go to the basket. And she played defense. I want to be known for doing both."

As a youngster, though, Johnson missed her dad not being nearby back in Rochester. She had a certain edge to her, a defensiveness and anger that was really about self-preservation. It resulted in some difficulties getting along on teams. Sometimes, she'll readily admit now, she didn't do herself any favors.

It wasn't really until her senior year in high school that she fully realized the educational opportunities that were available through basketball. She knew she had to dial down some of her angst. It was fuel for her, but it could also burn her.

"Like, how much is enough?" Johnson said. "You realize, these people -- the coaches, the teachers -- they're not your enemy. You have to figure out who the enemy is, or if there is one at all. That's something I had to mature and grow into."

All of which is why she chose a college so far from Rochester: the University of Miami. She could have gone to Syracuse, or someplace else relatively close. But she wanted to be on her own in a new environment. Hurricanes coach Katie Meier and her staff meshed well with Johnson.

"I pushed for it; you have to go where your gut and your spirit connect to," Johnson said. "Katie -- from a genuine standpoint, building character not only on the basketball court but off -- was really important to me. Because those things were really important to her, too."

Johnson was a three-time All-ACC first-team pick and started all 131 games of her Miami career. She finished with 2,262 points (17.3 PPG average), 1,020 rebounds, 556 assists, 401 steals and 90 blocked shots at Miami.

Then as a rookie in San Antonio, she averaged 5.6 points and 17.1 minutes of playing time. Her second year, she started to blossom, starting 24 games and averaging 11.0 points and 27.3 minutes. But last year seemed more like her first season, as she no longer started and was averaging 10 minutes less per game.

Which was why news of an impending trade to Indiana perked up Johnson. She quickly heard from various Fever players, including Tamika Catchings.

"You can tell that everybody there knows what is happening and what is expected with that team," Johnson said of her perception of the Fever even before she arrived. "I immediately felt accepted."

Minnesota coach Cheryl Reeve said she sees in Johnson a player who has taken advantage of more time on the floor to show what she can do.

"I was a fan of Shenise out of Miami, for sure," Reeve said. "She was a skilled player, and I thought she would be a good WNBA player. It's hard to develop players from the bench, because it isn't until you're in the trenches with them, in the heat of the moment in games, that you really learn about a player.

"Where they develop is overseas. And it also depends on which team you're on."

Johnson definitely has improved with her overseas experience, something that Minnesota guard Renee Montgomery said she noticed because they faced off in European competition.

"Everybody in this league is a talented player, but it depends on how the team is able to use you," Montgomery said. "In Indiana, she's gotten a chance to show what she can do."

While Johnson has quickly come to feel at home in Indianapolis, she acknowledged that Rochester will always be her real home. She is a fan of another very accomplished female athlete from that city, soccer star Abby Wambach.

"She does a lot of things in the community," Johnson said. "She definitely is someone I look up to and want to follow in her footsteps."

Between the WNBA and overseas seasons, Johnson has just handful of days to go back to Rochester. But the city remains in her heart. She thinks particularly of the people -- her mother and siblings, her teachers and coaches -- who stayed patient with her when she was growing up. And she also feels closer than ever to her dad, saying that their relationship now is "flourishing."

"When I look back, I am also thankful for the three years I had in San Antonio," Johnson said. "Because I was able to observe and learn. I was playing with Becky Hammon, and got to watch her walk the walk and talk the talk. Now I'm playing with somebody like Tamika Catchings, who is the same way. This is a great place for me."

Johnson felt tears well up Sunday just before the start of Game 1, as the national anthem was being sung at Target Center. The emotions didn't affect her play, as she was pretty quickly all business in the victory after shaking off a little bit of the jitters. But she did allow herself to truly feel it just before tipoff.

"I was nervous -- dreams coming true right before my eyes," Johnson said. "Watching the crowd, the atmosphere, the sincerity. It was just a special moment."

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DeQuan Jones competing for spot with hometown Hawks

There is a slam dunk champion in Hawks training camp.

DeQuan Jones is hoping his high-flying athleticism and his defensive versatility will land him a roster spot in the NBA.

Jones, from Stone Mountain and Wheeler High School, played last season in the Italian Lega Basket Series A, where he was named to the All-Star Game and won the slam dunk contest. The forward signed a non-guaranteed training camp deal with the Hawks last month and is one of six players competing for a lone roster vacancy.

“I think it’s going pretty well,” Jones said. “I think I’ve shown them that I can guard multiple positions and my athleticism can be utilized to help the team win.”

Jones is a long shot but he does have NBA experience. After playing collegiately at Miami, he signed with the Magic as an undrafted free agent in 2012 and appeared in 63 games, including 17 starts, that season. He has also played in the NBA Development League and had a tryout with the Kings.

“He brings a physicality and an athleticism too,” Hawks coach Mike Budenholzer said. “In open gym, he did a few things that were impressive. His attitude and his approach have been great. And he is somebody who has played NBA games. … It’s nice to have those guys in camp that are a little bit knowledgeable.”

Budenholzer has suggested the Hawks would carry 15 players out of camp. Jones is competing for that last spot with Lamar Patterson, Terran Petteway, Earl Barron, Edgar Sosa and Arsalan Kazemi.

Jones, at 6-foot-8, said his defensive ability is an asset in the competition. Budenholzer likes versatility and Jones said he has guarded the point guard through power forward positions.

“With the way the league is now, it allows a guy with my size, in some cases, to guard one through four,” Jones said. “That is my biggest mindset going in and it’s what I have to prove to them.”

Jones, 25, was The Atlanta Journal-Constitution Class AAAAA player of the year as a senior at Wheeler in 2008. He is glad to be back home and his mother is making a few more family dinners with her son back in town. But it was the Hawks’ player development system that was most attractive to Jones.

He and many others around the league saw DeMarre Carroll come to Atlanta as a little used player and two years later sign a free-agent contract with the Raptors worth $15 million a season.

“Aside from representing my city and state, it was the new revival of the Atlanta Hawks culture and atmosphere,” Jones said of his decision. “Given the previous success from past years, everybody is excited about this new team. It’s something I wanted to be a part of.

“Coach Bud does a great job of utilizing a player’s attributes and strengths to a team. Seeing DeMarre’s growth and development, it’s exciting playing for a coach that takes that initiative.”

Jones played with the Hawks during open gym for several weeks during the summer. Soon after, he got a call to sign a training camp deal and jumped at it. He will get an idea of where he stands when exhibition games begin next week. The Hawks open against the Cavaliers in Cincinnati on Wednesday.

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Ryan Braun: Undergoing surgery Thursday

Braun (back) will undergo an MRI on Wednesday and will likely have surgery Thursday, Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports.

Braun didn't play in any of the final six games of the season, and it appears he's now set to undergo an offseason procedure that's expected to need a month of recovery. However, it shouldn't impact his availability for the beginning of the 2016 season.

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Bucs waive third-year RB Mike James

The Bucs have waived third-year running back Mike James, who had been inactive for all three games this season after serving only as a short-yardage back last year. No corresponding addition has been announced yet.

James, 24, was drafted by the Bucs in the sixth round out of Miami in 2013, and of his 332 career rushing yards, 283 came in a four-game stretch his rookie year when starter Doug Martin went down with injury. James rushed 28 times for 158 yards in a loss at Seattle, but had lost that backup role to Charles Sims and Bobby Rainey last season.

James rushed 19 times for 37 yards last year, and was left inactive all three weeks this season. His move doesn't necessarily suggest a new running back coming in, but more likely an addition to offset an injury -- cornerbacks Johnthan Banks and Tim Jennings had knee injuries Sunday, though it's unknown if either will be sidelined this week.

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Devin Hester Returns To Practice

As the Falcons begin preparations for Sunday’s Week 4 matchup against the Houston Texans, RB Tevin Coleman (ribs), WR Julio Jones (toe/hamstring) and TE Jacob Tamme (concussion) were unable to participate in Wednesday’s practice.

WR Devin Hester (toe) was able to participate in a limited fashion for the first time of the 2015 regular season.

Head coach Dan Quinn provided a number of injury updates prior practice where he displayed optimism when talking about the status of Coleman and Hester.

“RB Tevin Coleman will be out today. We’re getting closer, but we’re still not there yet,” Quinn said. We’re going to hold out WR Julio Jones and WR Jacob Tamme is going through concussion protocol.”

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Allen Hurns starts practice week limited

Hurns has been dealing with a thigh injury the last two weeks, but hasn't missed any time. With Allen Robinson likely to draw Colts CB Vontae Davis in coverage, Hurns is on the WR3 map. Daily Slant: Assuming Allen Robinson draws Vontae Davis (PFFs #2 ranked corner in 2014) in coverage, Hurns would be the benefactor of added looks. Blake Bortles hasn't shown enough to inspire confidence that he can feed the ball to Robinson in tight coverage. Davis didn't act as a shadow CB much in 2014 and could spend time on both Robinson and Hurns, but Robinson is expected to see more of Davis. Hurns is still cheap across the industry and is a very nice high-upside GPP play.

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Andre Johnson still searching for his comfort zone with the Colts

INDIANAPOLIS – The Houston Texans didn’t think wide receiver Andre Johnson was good enough to start for them anymore. The Indianapolis Colts thought differently. That’s why the Colts signed him to a three-year, $21 million contract in the offseason and made him a starter opposite T.Y. Hilton.

But three games, seven receptions, 18 targets and 51 yards later, the Colts are still waiting for the receiver who tormented them during his 12 seasons with the Texans to find his comfort zone. The transition from Houston to Indianapolis hasn’t been a smooth one for Johnson.

“In coming to this team, I knew that we had a lot of guys here that can make plays,” Johnson said. “You just have to wait [for] your time. Your time will come. I’ve had my fair share of being the No. 1 guy, catching eight or nine balls a game. My biggest reason for coming here was to come in and help as much as I can to win games.

“What’s required of me in the first few games, it hasn’t been what’s been most of my career. I’m not upset. I’m here to win.”

This isn’t the first time the Colts have been in this position with a receiver they signed during the offseason. It happened with Hakeem Nicks last season, and to a lesser extent with Darrius Heyward-Bey two years ago.

But this is Andre Johnson, a player with seven 1,000-yard seasons in his career. Johnson has had at least two drops already this season, and his best play – a 37-yard reception against the Titans – was taken away because of a holding penalty called on guard Hugh Thornton.

Hilton and second-year player Donte Moncrief have been the Colts’ best two receivers so far this season.

“I think he’s a great, steady presence as a leader for this offense,” quarterback Andrew Luck said about Johnson. “Just because maybe the catches aren’t where they are normally for a guy like that, doesn’t mean he’s not helping contribute in a big way. I don’t foresee the catches not catching up, in a sense.”

There hasn’t been any moping or complaining out of Johnson.

Need some proof?

Johnson’s reaction Sunday after Moncrief caught an 11-yard touchdown pass from Luck to put the Colts up 28-27 in the fourth quarter.

“I told Donte after he caught that touchdown that I jumped like I caught it,” Johnson said. “It’s fun being around these guys, young guys. That makes me enjoy the game a lot more. Makes me feel young.”

Johnson and Luck didn’t spend much extra time together during the offseason, and it’s showing so far. Three of Luck’s NFL-high seven interceptions have come on throws to Johnson.

“A lot of people don’t realize how hard that is, to try to build being your first time in a new place,” Johnson said. “It takes a lot of work. It takes time for a guy to feel very comfortable, to make that relationship very comfortable. It’s something we work on every day. Other than that, I’m just here working and trying to get better as a player daily.”

The timing and the comfort level will come around, the Colts say.

“A week ago it was the tight ends you guys were talking about, so we got them involved,” coach Chuck Pagano said, smiling. “So now it’s Andre, so I guess he’ll get eight or nine targets this week.”

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Pat O'Donnell misses practice with right knee injury

Punter Pat O’Donnell didn’t practice Wednesday at Halas Hall because of a right knee injury, but special teams coordinator Jeff Rodgers didn’t seem overly concerned.

O’Donnell’s injury is not believed to be a serious.

“It’s early,” Rodgers said. “We’ll see where Pat’s at at the end of the week.”

O’Donnell had a very busy day against the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday, punting 10 times for 477 yards. It included a 72-yarder. O’Donnell also saved a touchdown by helping tackle cornerback Richard Sherman on a trick play during a punt return.

If O’Donnell can’t go in Week 4 against the Oakland Raiders, a free agent will be signed.

“I certainly don’t expect Matt Slauson to punt for us,” Rodgers said. “There’s a couple available veteran guys if we need to get into that. You spend some time in the preseason evaluating some other guys, so that when you get into this situation, you have a short list, a ready list. ‘Hey, if something happens, here’s who we can use.’ If we had to do that, we could. We’ll see where Pat’s at come Sunday.”

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Ereck Flowers back at practice

Rookie left tackle Ereck Flowers returned to practice Wednesday as the Giants began preparations in earnest for Sunday's game at the Bills. 

Flowers missed the Giants' win over the Redskins this past Thursday with an ankle injury, but was a limited participant during Wednesday's session. The first round pick injured his ankle in the season opener against the Cowboys, but was able to play through it. He then re-aggravated the injury in Week 2 against the Falcons and was forced to leave the game early. Flowers said he felt better after practice. 

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Clinton Portis to be honored as ACC legend

Former tailback Clinton Portis was among 14 former football greats named Tuesday to the 2015 Atlantic Coast Conference Class of Football Legends.

As a true freshman starter at running back in 1999, Portis set a school record with five 100-yard performances, leading the Canes with 838 yards and eight touchdowns on 143 carries – 5.9 yards per carry – in 10 games. His 1,200 yards rushing during the 2001 national championship season was at that time the third-highest single-season rushing yardage total in UM history. He now ranks fifth in all-time career rushing with 2,523 yards.

Portis continued his dominance in the NFL, earning Offensive Rookie of the Year in 2002 and amassing 9,923 rushing yards and 75 touchdowns in nine seasons – two with the Broncos and seven with the Washington Redskins.

“It’s a blessing to be recognized as a legend,’’ Portis wrote in an email to the Miami Herald. “...Plenty of people paved the way and inspired me to be the best me I can be. Coaches, teammates, fans, family all played a role in this award, so thanks.’’

Joining Portis in the ’15 ACC Legends class are Pitt running back Tony Dorsett, FSU running back Warrick Dunn, Georgia Tech coach Bobby Ross, Boston College center Dan Koppen, Clemson linebacker Anthony Simmons, Duke running back Chris Douglas, Louisville quarterback Chris Redman, North Carolina offensive lineman Ken Huff, NC State defensive back and return specialist Fred Combs, Syracuse tight end Chris Gedney, Virginia defensive end Patrick Kerney, Virginia Tech defensive end Corey Moore and Wake Forest punter Chuck Ramsey.

All 14 legends will be honored at the ACC Night of Legends on Dec. 4, and during the on-field pregame festivities at the ACC Championship.

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Peter O'Brien wants to catch again

Peter O'Brien has told the Diamondbacks that he wants to return to the catcher position.

O'Brien had the yips when trying to throw the ball back to the pitcher earlier this season and eventually moved to the outfield. He doesn't think it will be an issue anymore, though, and he and the D'Backs would both like him to take another crack at things behind the plate. O'Brien would certainly make for a much more interesting prospect if he can stick at catcher.

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Jon Jay (Accidentally?) Fakes A Ground Rule Double, Prevents Run

In the eighth inning of the Cardinals’ NL Central-clinching beatdown of the Pirates, there was a very strange play that I have never seen before.

With a runner on first, Pirate Chris Stewart hit a blast to left-center. Cardinals left fielder Jon Jay motioned that he had it, and proceeded to miss the catch. The ball bounced off the warning track, the fence, and dropped into Jay’s glove. But instead of immediately throwing the ball back, Jay motioned like it had bounced over the fence for a ground rule double.

And Jay’s trickery worked! The Pirates runner who could easily have scored was held up at third.

Faking a ground rule double in that situation is an extremely strange decision. There is no signage, overhanging seats, or other out-of-play obstacles that the ball could have bounced off: it seems pretty obvious that the only thing it hit was the fence, and that it shouldn’t have tricked anybody. And the Cardinals were up 9-0 at the time; why is Jay resorting to trickery instead of just getting the ball back to the infield as fast as possible?

Is it possible that Jon Jay wasn’t out to trick anybody, but actually thought it was a ground rule double? After he misses the catch, Jay sort of slams into the fence and isn’t looking up immediately. Maybe he thought the ball really did hit off of something, or that somehow a lightning fast teammate in the bullpen threw the ball back over the fence?

After the champagne celebration ends, hopefully a reporter asks Jay about the play.

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Rams Promote Brandon McGee

After an uneventful, confusing, and sometimes hard-to-watch three-year marriage, the St. Louis Rams finally did the inevitable on Tuesday and released running back Isaiah Pead, their third of three second-round picks in the 2012 NFL Draft (50th overall). In a transaction that truly had the Rams’ mark of trying to justify their draft picks stamped on it, cornerback Brandon McGee (a 2013 fifth-rounder) was promoted from the practice squad to the active roster to take Pead’s place. As previously reported, former New Orleans wide receiver Nick Toon was signed to the practice squad to take McGee’s place.

McGee gives the Rams a fifth corner on the active roster, which is a nice asset to have considering that Marcus Roberson is the only legitimate cornerback the Rams had behind injury-prone Janoris Jenkins and Trumaine Johnson (Lamarcus Joyner can contribute as the team’s nickelback, but realistically is too small to play the outside at just 5-foot-8 and 184 pounds).  It looked like McGee, whose initial two-year Rams tenure was marred by injuries, was no longer in the team’s plans when they released him at the final cutdown this year. After Week 1, however, he was brought back to the practice squad and now evidently has improved to the point where he earned back a spot on the active roster. If healthy, McGee can be a solid special teams contributor and is a guy that the Rams can plug in if they suffer another injury in the defensive backfield.

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TD Streak Extended - 8 TDs Scored

EIGHT #‎proCane TDs were scored in Week 3 of the NFL!

#‎Colts RB Frank Gore (2), WR Phillip Dorsett (1), #‎Panthers TE Greg Olsen (2), #‎Jags WR Allen Hurns (1), #‎Browns WR Travis Benjamin (1), #‎Seahawks TE Jimmy Graham (1).

Frank Gore's first TD extended the streak to 9 straight weeks a #proCane has scored a TD in the #‎NFL.

Phillip Dorsett scored his first ever NFL TD, and Frank Gore scored his first TD as a Colt.

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Sean Spence Could Continue To Share Time

Should Ryan Shazier miss future time with his “shoulder weakness,” Mike Tomlin indicated Sean Spence and Vince Williams will continue to rotate at Mack linebacker.

“We’re going to continue utilize both of those guys in replacing Ryan. Both have played for us in the past. Both are capable of playing good, above the line ball. Both guys are high energy guys, good communicators, we’re comfortable with our depth at our position,” he told the media during today’s press conference.

Based on my snap count, Spence out-snapped Williams 41-11 in Sunday’s win over the St. Louis Rams. Williams played only two series with Spence picking up the rest. Unlike last year, the team did not play Spence in just base and Williams in nickel.

As Tomlin alluded to, the Steelers’ greatest depth might be at inside linebacker and it would be foolish not to rotate that kind of talent in. But based on what happened yesterday, it seems clear that Spence is much more “the guy” than Williams.

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Frank Gore Moving Up The Record Charts

With the Colts leading the Titans 28–27, having already dug out of a 13-point hole and needing desperately to avoid falling to 0–3, Andrew Luck handed the ball off to Frank Gore at midfield. Gore rushed for 25 yards, his longest play from scrimmage of the young season. A Tennessee penalty tacked onto the end of the run put Indianapolis in the red zone, and Gore ended the drive with a six-yard touchdown run.

In the midst of that 25-yard run, Gore moved up to 19th on the all-time rushing list, passing Hall of Famer O.J. Simpson. With the touchdown, he passed Corey Dillon and slid into 18th.

Of the 17 players above Gore on the list, 13 are Hall of Famers (and LaDainian Tomlinson is a shoo-in for Canton when his time comes). Gore trails Edgerrin James by 999 yards, but with Fred Taylor and Steve Jackson well within range, the 32-year-old veteran is placing himself almost exclusively among Hall of Famers.

That’s not to say Gore has now had a better career than Simpson, who led the league in rushing four times in a five-year span from 1972–76. Simpson also has better yards/game and yards/carry rates than Gore, whose raw total is boosted by virtue of playing a 16-game schedule.

Here’s a comparison between them:
Frank Gore
O.J. Simpson

So Simpson had a more prolific NFL career (not mention that Heisman trophy at USC). But with Gore still playing, and not just chasing a ring with Luck and the Colts but contributing to the cause, he is moving up the leaderboard into some select company.

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Andre Johnson continues to tumble down Colts' WR depth chart

Colts wide receiver Andre Johnson did not have a reception and spent most of the fourth quarter on the sideline in Sunday's win over Tennessee, the Indianapolis Star reports. He had one pass thrown his way on a reception that was negated by a penalty.

Johnson has seven receptions in three games, as he's nowhere close to living up to the three-year, $21 million contract he signed in free agency. It also looks like he may have fallen to No. 3 or No. 4 on the depth chart, as both Donte Moncrief and Phillip Dorsett figured prominently in Indy's fourth-quarter comeback.

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Antrel Rolle has his best game as a Bear

The Bears secondary has been struggling this year. Most of their struggles came from their corners, but even their safeties have done little to stand out. Antrel Rolle stood out more on Sunday and recorded his best statistical day as a Bear. The veteran recorded seven solo tackles and three assists.

Fantasy Impact: Rolle has not lived up to his IDP pre-draft value. This mostly has to do with teams attacking the Bears' corners on the outside. Rolle finally had a decent day as a fantasy player, but he needs to be even better. No one can take his leadership skills for granted, but those skills do not always translate to fantasy points. I expect Rolle to continue to get better as the season progresses; making him the only secondary option from the Bears' worth considering in IDP leagues.

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Shane Larkin responds to Phil Jackson critiques

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- New York Knicks president Phil Jackson criticized former players Shane Larkin and Andrea Bargnani in an series chronicling Jackson's first season as Knicks president.

On Monday, both players, now with the Brooklyn Nets, responded.

Larkin, about whom Jackson said had “tiny hands," said: “I was going to palm a ball and put it on Instagram for him, but I felt like that wasn’t the right move. I never met a man so concerned with another man’s hands, but it’s all good. I don’t have [anything] but love for Phil Jackson and the whole organization. They’re good, but I’m a Brooklyn Net, and that’s all I want to talk about.”

Bargnani, whom Jackson called a "big tease," said: “I’m gonna say the answer I said a few weeks ago when I was with the [Italian] national team: Right now I’m focused on the Nets training camp. I don’t want this to be a distraction. I want to focus on what’s next for me, not what’s in the past. Last year was a hard season because of the record, we all know the record and for me personally I had many injuries. It was very frustrating because there wasn’t an outlet for me when I was injured.”

The two former Knicks each signed a two-year deal with the Nets this past offseason.

“He's old school," Larkin said of Jackson. "He's blatant about what he says, and he knows what he wants, and obviously he has the jewelry to say what he's got to say. So he's proven that he's a great leader, and if that's what he feels about me, that's what he feels about me. I'm not on his team [any] more, so he [doesn’t] have to worry about it.

Bargnani had said he would respond to the criticism, but declined to on Monday.

“I don’t like to talk about other people in the media,” he said. “I’m focused on the training camp and the Nets. I can talk about myself as a player and about how much I love basketball, how it’s my passion, it’s my life. I can talk about my work ethic and what I do. So, that’s it."

Both Larkin and Bargnani are looking forward to fresh starts with the Nets. Larkin is hoping to thrive in their pick-and-roll offense the way he did in college at Miami. Over the past four seasons, Bargnani has missed 175 games because of injury.

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Greg Olsen catches eight passes for 134 yards, two TDs

Panthers tight end Greg Olsen reeled in eight catches off of 11 targets for 134 yards and two touchdowns in Sunday's win over New Orleans.

Coming into Sunday's game, Olsen had a combined seven receptions for 81 yards, totals he easily surpassed in Week 3. Olsen lined up tight and flexed out on Sunday, catching both of his touchdowns on 11-yard crosses and nabbing some downfield passes as well. Not surprisingly, Carolina's formerly mediocre passing attack rebounded as a result.

Through three weeks Olsen leads the Panthers with 28 targets and, given the absence of bonafide threats on the outside, should remain the focal point of Carolina's passing offense.

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Duke Johnson gets 10 touches in Week 3

Duke Johnson managed three yards on four carries, but caught 6-of-7 targets for 32 yards in the Browns' Week 3 loss to the Raiders.

The Browns didn't target Johnson once in their first two games of the season. He finally got active in the passing game in this one, due in large part to catch-up mode. Johnson has yet to threaten Isaiah Crowell's early-down job, but does have some fantasy value as an RB3/flex. Johnson will be a low-end flex option in PPR when the Browns head to San Diego for Week 4.

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Phillip Dorsett hauls in first career TD in Week 3 win

Colts wide receiver Phillip Dorsett caught two of his three targets for 43 yards and his first career touchdown in Sunday's win over the Titans.

Dorsett flashed his big-play ability in hauling in a 35-yard catch from quarterback Andrew Luck for a fourth-quarter score. The 2015 first-rounder will continue to be integrated into the offense, although the Colts have a lot of mouths to feed with T.Y. Hilton, Donte Moncrief and Andre Johnson around.

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Travis Benjamin says he let team down

Travis Benjamin, the hero one week earlier when he was on the receiving end of two long touchdown passes from Johnny Manziel, took blame when the Browns couldn’t follow with a victory over the Raiders on Sept. 27.

The Browns rallied from down 27-10 just 30 seconds into the fourth quarter to make it 27-20 with 6 minutes, 28 seconds to play on a four-yard touchdown pass from Josh McCown to Benjamin. It was Benjamin’s fourth touchdown catch of the season — already a career best with 13 games left.

The Browns’ defense forced the Raiders to punt without making a first down. FirstEnergy Stadium was rocking. Benjamin was standing near the Browns’ 40 and the fans were looking for another dynamic punt return from the speedster who returned one 78 yards for a touchdown last week.

The punt from the Raiders’ Marquette King hung in the air. Benjamin waved his arm to signal a fair catch. And then he muffed it. The ball hit him in the hands and bounced away. The Raiders recovered, and even though the Browns got another chance on a drive starting at their 2 with 2:26 left, Benjamin believes his muff was the critical play in the game.

“I feel like I let my team down, and that is one thing I don’t want to do,” Benjamin said. “We have to take advantage of every opportunity. Every time we get the ball, we have to punch it in. The good enough thing was that the defense got us the ball back, and we had another opportunity to score.”

Benjamin said he might have been bumped while trying to catch the ball. The only player near him was Browns cornerback Justin Gilbert. It is difficult to see on replay whether Gilbert touched Benjamin.

The reprieve ended with McCown being intercepted by Charles Woodson on the Oakland 12 with 38 seconds to play.

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Seahawks call Jimmy Graham's number in win over Bears

SEATTLE -- Jimmy Graham won't have to worry about addressing reports that he's frustrated and unhappy this week.

The Seattle Seahawks tight end gave the offense a much-needed boost, finishing with seven catches for 83 yards and a touchdown in the team's 26-0 victory over the Chicago Bears.

After Seattle's Week 2 loss to the Packers, Graham was left to answer questions about why he only had one catch on two targets. But offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell and Russell Wilson got Graham going early in this one, dialing up his number on the first play of the game.

In the third quarter, Graham showed why he's such a valuable weapon. He made a catch near the Bears' 10-yard line, broke a tackle, pin-balled through defenders and got in the end zone for a 30-yard touchdown.

As Graham has pointed out, the Seahawks are a run-first offense. But when they are sputtering (two field goals on six first-half possessions) on that side of the ball, calling on Graham is a smart solution. He is one of the biggest matchup problems in the league, can pick up yards after the catch and has shown the ability to make contested catches.

There's a fine line between forcing him the ball and letting Graham make plays within the framework of the scheme. But clearly, giving him opportunities can add a new element to the Seahawks offense. This was the kind of performance Seahawks fans envisioned when the team acquired Graham from the Saints this offseason.

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Allen Hurns scores 59-yard TD in Week 3 defeat

Allen Hurns caught 2-of-4 targets for 70 yards and one touchdown in the Jaguars' Week 3 loss to the Patriots.

With the Jaguars getting stomped 30-3 in the third quarter, Hurns ran a pretty simple route down the right seam and got behind Malcolm Butler for a 59-yard touchdown when Butler tried jumping the route. It was the lone highlight of the day for the Jaguars. Hurns will remain on the WR4 radar Week 4 against the Colts.

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Travis Benjamin, the hero one week earlier when he was on the receiving end of two long touchdown passes from Johnny Manziel, took blame when the Browns couldn’t follow with a victory over the Raiders on Sept. 27. The Browns rallied from down 27-10 just 30 seconds into the fourth quarter to make it 27-20 with 6 minutes, 28 seconds to play on a four-yard touchdown pass from Josh McCown to Benjamin. It was Benjamin’s fourth touchdown catch of the season — already a career best with 13 games left. Michael Allen Blair Browns-Raiders photo gallery The Browns’ defense forced the Raiders to punt without making a first down. FirstEnergy Stadium was rocking. Benjamin was standing near the Browns’ 40 and the fans were looking for another dynamic punt return from the speedster who returned one 78 yards for a touchdown last week. The punt from the Raiders’ Marquette King hung in the air. Benjamin waved his arm to signal a fair catch. And then he muffed it. The ball hit him in the hands and bounced away. The Raiders recovered, and even though the Browns got another chance on a drive starting at their 2 with 2:26 left, Benjamin believes his muff was the critical play in the game. “I feel like I let my team down, and that is one thing I don’t want to do,” Benjamin said. “We have to take advantage of every opportunity. Every time we get the ball, we have to punch it in. The good enough thing was that the defense got us the ball back, and we had another opportunity to score.” Benjamin said he might have been bumped while trying to catch the ball. The only player near him was Browns cornerback Justin Gilbert. It is difficult to see on replay whether Gilbert touched Benjamin. The reprieve ended with McCown being intercepted by Charles Woodson on the Oakland 12 with 38 seconds to play.

Browns wide receiver Travis Benjamin caught just four of his 10 targets for 45 yards and lost a fumble, but scored his fifth touchdown of the season in Sunday's loss to Oakland.

Benjamin proved that he could deliver regardless of who was playing quarterback, as he caught a touchdown pass from Josh McCown after picking up three receiving scores courtesy of Johnny Manziel in the season's first two weeks.

While this performance wasn't quite as impressive as his three-touchdown showing against the Titans last week, Benjamin continues to make owners very happy.

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Third TD’s a charm for Greg Olsen

It took Carolina Panthers tight end Greg Olsen three catches in the end zone to get his first touchdown of the season, and his second-quarter spike told his frustration in that statistic.

Olsen had been in the end zone twice this season just to have them called back, including once earlier in Sunday’s 27-22 victory New Orleans. So when he crossed the goal line and there were no yellow flags on the field, Olsen did something he typically doesn’t do: He celebrated.

Usually Olsen is the guy who jeers celebrations. It’s his job to score touchdowns, so when he scores there should be nothing to celebrate.

His typical line is, “OK, we get it.” After his spike, he heard it from his teammates.

“OK, we get it,” center Ryan Kalil said he and his teammates teased Olsen after the touchdown.

Olsen took the jokes in stride.

“I’m not a big spiker or celebrator,” Olsen said. “That’s not really my thing. That one felt good.”

Sunday against the Saints, Olsen had his biggest game of the season as he continues to get more involved in the passing game as the year goes on.

Olsen led all receivers with eight catches on 11 targets for 134 yards and two touchdowns, after games of one catch for 11 yards and six catches for 70 yards.

Quarterback Cam Newton didn’t get warm with Olsen until the second quarter, with the Panthers already down 10-0. They connected on a 27-yard pass to get across midfield, but the Panthers were backed up 10 yards on the next play when Olsen was called for holding.

Then Carolina worked inside the New Orleans 5 before Newton found Olsen for a 4-yard touchdown. But Richie Brockel was called for offensive pass interference and Carolina was moved back.

It was the second time a penalty negated an Olsen touchdown this season – the other came against Jacksonville in Week 1, when Olsen was called for a push.
No matter. Olsen and Newton connected two plays later for an 11-yard touchdown. Then came the spike.

“Touchdowns are hard to come by,” Olsen said. “You can’t give those away.”

The Saints’ defense entered the game trying to take away Carolina’s rushing game. That meant loading the box with eight men and playing a lot of man-to-man pass coverage.

The Panthers took advantage after getting the ball back just before the two-minute warning.

From the Carolina 19, Olsen faked his usual out-breaking route, but instead ran down the seam, where Newton hit him for a 52-yard catch and run.

“That particular route was something that he brought up ... and sure enough (they) gave us what (we) wanted,” Newton said. “It is just him making a play and getting a lot of YAC (yards after catch) afterward.”

Olsen had 100 receiving yards by halftime, and he capped it off in the third quarter with his second touchdown of the day, an 11-yarder that gave the Panthers their first lead, at 17-16.

There would be no spike on that touchdown despite the spike in his statistical production.

“I don’t get overly wrapped up in catches and fantasy football. That’s not the way I view the tight end position,” Olsen said. “I take a lot of pride in impacting the game with or without the ball. That’s something that only a few guys in the league can do.

“The balls are going to come. When they come, make the plays, maximize the plays and that’s what we try to do. There are a lot of other ways a tight end can impact the game when he’s not just running routes. That’s what we do around here.

“Plays are going to come your way. Today was a key example of that. At the end of the year, it’ll all even out.”

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Lamar Miller totals 65 yards versus Bills

Lamar Miller rushed seven times for 38 yards in Miami's Week 3 loss to the Bills, catching 3-of-3 targets for an additional 27 yards.

Miller averaged 5.4 yards per carry, but formerly run-committed OC Bill Lazor continued his early-season abandonment of the running game. The low point came early in the fourth quarter, where Miller set the Dolphins up with 1st-and-goal from the two with an eight-yard run. Lazor then proceeded to dial up four passes, all of which fell incomplete. It was a baffling sequence on a baffling day. We know Miller is going to get a bigger role at some point, but it's hard to know when the light might switch on for the poorly-coached Dolphins. He'll be a low-end RB2 for next week's London matchup with the Jets' stout run defense.

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Leonard Hankerson catches three passes for 45 yards

Falcons wide receiver Leonard Hankerson caught three passes off of six targets for 45 yards in Sunday's win over Dallas.

Through three weeks it has been Hankerson, not Roddy White, that has served as the second option in Atlanta's passing offense. Hankerson's 20 targets, 12 catches and 138 receiving yards all rank second on the team. Hankerson has never topped 38 catches in a season, but offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan clearly saw enough from him during their time together in Washington to bring him to Atlanta. Expect that rapport to pay dividends in terms of his role in the offense.

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Denzel Perryman earning stripes, larger role

MINNEAPOLIS — The Chargers had five kickoffs Sunday.

Three were returned.

On the first, inside linebacker Denzel Perryman shed a block from a Bengals tight end and tackled returner Adam Jones at the 24-yard line. On the second, Perryman had the angle on Jones, who tried to juke past him but fell when his right knee buckled at the 19. On the third, Perryman squared his shoulders and stuffed him at the 25.

Perryman. Perryman. Perryman.

Chargers coaches have noted the trend.

The rookie second-round pick played only two defensive snaps Sunday in Cincinnati. Still, he finished the game with five credited solo tackles, tied for second most on the team. All five came in special teams coverage. His production is expected to lead to greater opportunity on defense, one that could come as early as Sunday against the Vikings.

The 21-year-old didn't see the field on defense in Week 1.

His two reps in Week 2 came in a goal-to-go situation when the Bengals were inside the Chargers’ 5-yard line during the second quarter. Perryman shot a run gap to help mop up a tackle that defensive lineman Darius Philon made behind the line of scrimmage.

Rep division at inside linebacker has been fairly concentrated over the season's first two games.

Manti Te’o has played all 113 defensive snaps, the man in the middle of the base, nickel and dime defenses, relaying calls from the sideline to the huddle. Donald Butler has taken the second-most snaps at 90.

Perryman, Kavell Conner and rookie Nick Dzubnar round out the depth chart.

Peryman is the only reserve to have seen time defensively.

“He’s somebody we’ve got to find a way to keep building on it,” defensive coordinator John Pagano said. “All those guys, to me, are so interchangeable, to be able to do different things with them in different packages without giving the game plan.

“We’ve got to find roles for those guys. Football players like that, it’s great to have as your backups because as you know, it makes everyone better.”
Perryman missed some time this offseason.

In the spring, a hamstring injury limited his activity during organized team activities. A second, unrelated injury surfaced in training camp and sidelined him for the Aug. 22 exhibition game in Arizona.

The former thumper at Miami is working himself into the defensive fold.

It’s not his first time.

“My first year (at Miami), I started off at special teams,” Perryman said. “I got massaged in with play time. I knew coming into the league I would have to play special teams. I’m just doing what I can until my number gets called. Last week, I had a pretty good week. This week, I’m just trying to be consistent with my play.”

Perryman made two tackles Sunday in punt coverage.

On one, the returner ran out of bounds, but they call count the same.

His six special teams tackles on the season easily lead the NFL. Rams wide receiver Bradley Marquez has four; he’s the only other player with more than three.
Perryman is the first Charger to total five or more special teams tackles in a game since Mike Tolbert had six in 2011.

Looking ahead, Pagano would rather not overload the rookie on defense.

But gradually, his reps will increase. That playing time, similar to Chris Watt as a rookie last year when rotating at right guard with Johnnie Troutman, ultimately could prepare Perryman to handle a larger role in the event of injury. Watt wound up being called upon to start in November.

"It’s something we emphasize to college free agents and draft picks or players from other teams,” coach Mike McCoy said. “We stress the importance of special teams, and he bought into that. He’s done an outstanding job, whether it’s the preseason games that he played in or the first two games, of his attitude and the way we want him to play it.

“And then, him having the tackles he had (Sunday), we give him a lot of the credit to the success we had covering things, him making the tackles that he did. I’m very happy with the way he’s playing in the kicking game."

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Travis Benjamin says he's fastest player in the league, hopes to be a Brown forever

BEREA, Ohio -- The photo told the story.

Travis Benjamin, right before halftime, is hurdling over Tennessee punter Brett Kern on his way to the end zone, just one of the 11 Titans special teamers he left in his wake. Benjamin was rewarded for his effort on Wednesday when he was named the AFC's Special Teams Player of the Week.

"It's a blessing," Benjamin said on Wednesday after practice. "I think it's my third one since I've been here. So just a compliment to me and appreciate those 10 guys on the punt return blocking for me and leading my way home."

Benjamin returned that punt 78 yards for a touchdown in Sunday's win over the Titans and totaled 154 return yards, the third-most in a single game for a Brown. He is now tied for second for the most punt-return touchdowns in franchise history. It's a sharp turnaround for a player who briefly lost the job a season ago on a team that had to resort to designated punt catcher Jim Leonhard.

"I didn't get to practice well (last season)," Benjamin said, "because being hurt, being out, missing those reps, missing those practices that I was out. But this year I'm ready to go."

Benjamin missed most of 2013 with a torn ACL, suffered during a kick return in a loss to Kansas City. Benjamin returned last season and appeared in all 16 games. He managed 8.5 yards per return with a long of just 37.

"I feel way different (this year)," Benjamin said. "I feel faster. I feel like it's no relapse into what I have to do. I feel so much faster this year.

"I did mostly running (in the off-season) because last year I was rehabbing, so this year I got a chance to run more."

Benjamin appears to have taken a step forward as a receiver, too, a year after catching 18 passes. He's one-third of the way to that total and has matched his 2014 touchdown total with three already this season.

"I always felt like I can change the game each and every time on the field," Benjamin said when asked if he knew he had it in him to be a big-play receiver. "I can be that playmaker that can take over a game because my speed and my ability to get open."

Benjamin said that, even though it's been four years since he last ran the 40-yard dash, he believes his time would be "probably 4.2 (seconds), low 4.3."
Is he the fastest player in the league?

"I would say so," Benjamin said. "You've never seen a player just put speed on tape each and every time."

Benjamin's timing for his scorching start couldn't be better. He's in the final year of his 4-year, $2.577 million rookie contract. If he continues playing well, he stands to get a hefty raise to his $660,000 base salary.

"Hopefully we can keep it going for the long run," Benjamin said, "and I'll be a Brown forever."

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Brewers shut down OF Ryan Braun due to lingering back injury

Brewers outfielder Ryan Braun (back) was shut down by the Brewers on Sunday due to a lack of progress in his rehab, Adam McCalvy of reports.

Braun did get a start Saturday, but it was a rough outing where he went 0 for 4 with two strikeouts. It's a safe move long-term for the Brewers, as they aren't going to allow a marquee player risk his 2016 season for a lost year.

This will wrap up a strong season for the right fielder, in which he went .285/.356/.498 with 25 home runs and 24 steals. He's slated to undergo surgery on his back in the coming weeks.

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Danny Valencia considered day to day

Athletics third baseman Danny Valencia is considered day to day after taking a pitch off of the elbow Sunday, Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle reports.

Valencia was hit on the elbow pad by a pitch, causing him to leave the game after logging just one at-bat. X-rays returned negative and Valencia told reporters he's fine, but the team is considering him day to day nonetheless.

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Kenny Phillips thrives Sunday in career-rebound

Safety Kenny Phillips might not have imagined two weeks ago that he would play a key role in Week 2 for the Saints. After all, that team had just cut him.

But Phillips, who re-signed earlier this week and landed a starting assignment after a season-ending injury befell Rafael Bush, indeed made eight tackles (five solo) in the loss to Sunday to Tampa Bay.

Phillips, a former first round pick, hadn't played in an NFL game since 2012, but he was around the ball often Sunday. With Jairus Byrd's injury status still up in the air, Phillips could again be in line for significant playing time in Week 3 against run-based Carolina, making him an interesting sleeper option in IDP leagues.

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Stephen Morris Signed To Practice Squad

The Eagles on Tuesday brought back quarterback Stephen Morris, signing him to the practice squad along with wide receiver Jonathan Krause.

Morris and Krause replace wide receiver Quron Pratt and running back Kevin Monangai, who have been released.

The Eagles claimed Morris off waivers from the Jaguars two weeks ago after trading Matt Barkley and cutting Tim Tebow. They cut him Monday when they signed quarterback Thaddeus Lewis.

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Ray Lewis texted in middle of 'Monday Night Countdown'

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Phillip Dorsett catches 1-of-6 targets in Week 2 loss

Phillip Dorsett caught 1-of-6 targets for 25 yards in the Colts' Week 2 loss to the Jets on Monday night.

Most of Dorsett's targets were low-percentage deep shots into coverage. His lone grab was on a simple out route that Dorsett turned upfield for plenty of YAC. Dorsett is a mere WR5 as the Colts' sparingly-used No. 4 receiver.

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Frank Gore on fumble: 'I’m better than that. I can’t let that happen'

After a lengthy phone call with someone surely without answers, Frank Gore arched back in a folding chair and clutched his head.

How did that ball, this game and maybe this season slip away at the doorstep of a touchdown midway through Monday night’s third quarter?

“(It) just came out of my hands; it slipped out,” Gore said in a quiet voice in a depressed Indianapolis Colts locker room after a 20-7 loss to the New York Jets at Lucas Oil Stadium. “I messed up.”

The next words were difficult for the 11-year NFL running back to say.

“I’m better than that,” he said. “I can’t let that happen.”

In a game full of botched plays, Gore coughing up the ball on third down at the 1 altered the rest of the night. That was the first of two missed opportunities for possible touchdowns.

Instead, Darrelle Revis recovered the fumble in the end zone for a Jets touchback.

“That would have been a big touchdown,” Gore said. “The game would have went differently if I would have just went in and ran into the end zone.”

The Colts (0-2) had five turnovers: Three interceptions, two fumbles. They also had 11 penalties. That mess came on the heels of last week’s 27-14 loss at Buffalo.

The offense, hyped as potent – remember when Andrew Luck was touted as the NFL’s leading MVP candidate? – has gone to consecutive halftimes scoreless for the first time since 1997.

“The fumble, the penalties, the turnovers (pause) we’re driving the ball, you know?” Gore said. “Oh, man, (we) just keep hurting ourselves.

“If you want to win in this league you can’t fumble, you can’t (have) penalties, turnovers. You can’t do that in this league. The last two weeks that’s what’s really been hurting. Everybody said the same, ‘We’ve got to stop beating ourselves.’”

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Andre Johnson nabs three passes for 27 yards in loss

Colts wide receiver Andre Johnson had three receptions for 27 yards despite being targeted seven times in Monday's loss to the Jets.

Johnson has just seven receptions for 51 yards through two games. He's also caught just seven of 17 passes thrown his direction. He hasn't been in sync with Andrew Luck and appears to have been bypassed by Donte Moncrief in the order for targets. It's just two games and the entire Indy offense has struggled, so he should improve. However, there are reasons to be worried given Johnson's age (34) and the decline in his per-play effectiveness the previous two seasons.

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Jon Beason is full participant in practice

Giants linebacker Jon Beason (knee) was a full participant in Tuesday's practice.

Despite getting in a full practice, Beason remains uncertain for Thursday's game against the Redskins after missing the first two weeks of the season. At the very least, he should be back for Week 4, likely serving in an every-down role.

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Pete Carroll: Jimmy Graham’s frustrated, ‘wants the ball’

RENTON — Tight end Jimmy Graham very well might be frustrated by the start of his Seahawks career, Pete Carroll said Monday. Seattle’s coach wouldn’t expect anything else.

“I think he is (frustrated),’’ Carroll said. “I think he’s a competitor. He wants the ball. He wants to help us win, I don’t think there’s any question about that. I feel that, too.’’

The task now is to figure out how to integrate Graham better into the Seattle offense, which also would likely go a long way toward helping solve some of the Seahawks’ other offensive woes that have contributed to a surprising 0-2 start.

Graham had just one reception for 11 yards, on just two passes thrown to him in the 27-17 defeat Sunday at Green Bay. His only catch came midway through the third quarter. The other pass thrown his way came in the first quarter.

“We were trying to go to him on four of the first five passes,’’ Carroll said. “We really have had an intent, just like you would think, that we want him to be a big part of the offense.’’

Carroll said that several factors played into the lack of passes thrown Graham’s way.

One example was a play where Graham was the primary receiver. But at the snap, quarterback Russell Wilson noticed the Packers were misaligned, leaving another receiver uncovered, so Wilson went in that direction instead.

“It’s just the way it’s worked out,’’ Carroll said. “I’m not panicked by that at all. It maybe sounds like some other people are really worried about it, but we are working on it and it’s going to get worked out.’’

The Seahawks acquired Graham via trade from New Orleans in March, sending center Max Unger and a first-round draft choice to the Saints (while also getting a fourth-rounder in return).

The Seahawks hope Graham — whose 355 receptions since 2011 are the fifth-most in the NFL over that span — will become a player opposing defenses have to key on, freeing up others. It hasn’t happened so far.

“I don’t think we have forced that yet,’’ Carroll said. “We have seen defenses basically work to take care of the running game.’’

Indeed, the Packers seemed intent on containing Marshawn Lynch, who was held to 41 yards on 15 carries, a lower rushing total than all but two games last season.

The Seahawks adjusted at halftime by throwing more and encouraging Wilson to run more.

Seattle had a pass-to-run ratio of 20-11 in the second half and Wilson had 65 yards on eight carries in the second half to finish with 78 on 10 carries for the game.

But Graham remained uninvolved other than his lone reception, which came during the touchdown drive that put Seattle ahead 17-13 midway through the third quarter.

One missed opportunity involving Graham came with 7:24 left in the game.

From the Seattle 29, Graham — lined up as a tight end with his hand down — broke behind the Green Bay defense.

Wilson appeared to initially look his way, but was then flushed from the pocket and decided not to throw, running for a 13-yard gain instead.

On the next play, Wilson’s screen pass intended for Lynch was picked off, essentially deciding the game.

“Unfortunately, on the drive where we turned the ball over, we didn’t get that shot,’’ Carroll said.

Carroll, though, also said it’s “not unusual’’ to need time to figure out the best way to utilize players, comparing it to the seemingly annual way the team juggles its defensive-line rotation early in the season before settling on the right mix of players.

“We thought maybe we were a little bit further ahead than that,’’ Carroll said. “We’ve got work to do yet.’’

Graham didn’t speak to the media after the game and an report surmised Graham might be frustrated with his role in the Seattle offense compared to his time in New Orleans.

Graham said last Thursday, though, he isn’t worrying about how he is used by the Seahawks.

“That’s the past,’’ he said. “I don’t concern myself with it. … My philosophy is if he throws it, I catch it. That’s about it, man.’’

Carroll said that while Graham might be frustrated by the results so far, it’s only because he wants the team to start winning.

“He has worked hard,’’ Carroll said. “He’s great about it. He wants to do everything he can to help us. I don’t have any doubt about that.’’

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