13 September 2015

Ankle injury could keep Dolphins DE Olivier Vernon out Week 2

Dolphins defensive end Olivier Vernon (ankle) was limited in practice Wednesday, according to the Miami Herald.

Vernon left Sunday's win against Washington after suffering the injury. The Dolphins are still hoping to have Vernon available for Week 2, but he will need to show more in practice later this week for that to happen.

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Ereck Flowers' grit earns praise of Tom Coughlin

Rookie left tackle Ereck Flowers has scored some toughness points with his head coach for how he is handling his ankle injury. 

Flowers got dinged up in the Giants' season-opening loss to the Cowboys, and had a routine MRI earlier in the week. But when the Giants got back to work and started practice Wednesday to begin preparations for Sunday's home opener against the Falcons, Flowers was out there, after telling Tom Coughlin he would be there.

"He said, basically, 'I'm playing and I'm practicing.' It's a breath of fresh air," said Coughlin, the self-professed dinosaur, about Flowers' old-school mentality.

Flowers, if you'll remember, let reporters know Wednesday he was "all right" on his way to a relaxing dip in the ice tub. And Coughlin agrees with that assessment, as there seem to be no qualms about Flowers' availability to play this weekend. 

"He said, 'I'm practicing.' And he did," Coughlin said. "Can we have a few more (like him)? Whether they're rookies, or veterans, or whatever?"

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Andre Johnson has no recollection of trip to Revis Island

Jets cornerback Darrelle Revis and Colts receiver Andre Johnson have a history. Johnson was the first mark that really gave Revis a reputation of stopping top targets. The game was in 2009 and Revis limited Johnson to four catches for 35 yards. Johnson was with the Texans then.

Johnson — who will see Revis again on Monday night in Indianapolis — maintained that he did not recall the battle.

“Not really,” Johnson said. “I don’t even know how long ago that was. It’s been a while since me and him (Revis) played against each other.

Johnson was slow out of the gates last weekend, but coach Chuck Pagano insisted he was not concerned about Johnson’s motor.

“He takes great care of himself. I have no worries about Andre,” Pagano said. “He’ll go out and compete at a high level, make plays for us.”

Johnson caught four balls for 24 yards against the Bills. Now in his 13th season, Johnson, a former first-round pick out of Miami, noted that his team needed to execute better in order to live up to Super Bowl expectations.

“I just think we didn’t play the way that we are capable of playing,” Johnson said. “We had a lot of mistakes, lot of penalties and stuff like that. It doesn’t matter who’s on your team, when you go out and play the way that we played, you’re not going to win.”

The Colts are also optimistic that wideout T.Y. Hilton will be ready to go Monday night after suffering a bruised knee in the loss to the Bills.

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Jason Fox cleared to play Sunday

Dolphins offensive lineman Jason Fox (concussion) is practicing with the Dolphins, according to the Dolphins web site.

Fox has passed his concussion test and should play Sunday in Jacksonville.

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Sam Shields says he's moved on from Chicago game

Green Bay - For the most part, Packers CB Sam Shields did what he's paid to do, which is keep receivers out of the end zone, but there were some blips against the Chicago Bears Sunday that downgraded his performance.

He slipped, made a bad decision to go after the ball instead of the man and gave up a 50-yard pass completion.

He whiffed on a tackle of Bears running back Matt Forte.

He jumped offsides on a field goal block attempt, giving the Bears a new set of downs, which they used to score a touchdown.

Shields admitted Thursday he didn't play his best game, but he also said he doesn't agree with the assessment that he had a terrible game.

"Things like that happen," Shields said of his bad plays. "You’re going to slip, you’re going to fall, all that is going to happen. You just have to keep playing. They’re going to catch balls, it’s going to happen. We just have to forget about it and move on."

Shields said he did have trouble with his footing and said it was a combination of the cleats he was wearing and some poor footwork. He said his focus this week heading into the Seattle game is to make sure both are in order.

"That’s what I’ve been doing this week, working on my footwork," he said. "(I'll) change my cleats because we’re at Lambeau."

Shields was tied for the team lead in tackles with seven against Chicago, but too many of his stops were after considerable gains. Twice Bears quarterback Jay Cutler tried to test Shields with deep routes down the left side of the field and once Shields made a terrific play to break up the pass and the other time he had perfect coverage and the ball sailed out of bounds.

His special teams mistake is something he said he can't do.

"He was kind of moving the ball and that kind of helps them get us offsides," Shields said of the Bears long snapper. "They did a hell of a job. I was anxious to go block it, I got caught for it. It’s something that can’t happen because it will hurt us at the end. I have to be disciplined and stay onsides."

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Hawks signing DeQuan Jones

The Hawks need help on the wing.

Kyle Korver returns as a strong starter, but DeMarre Carroll signed with the Raptors, and Thabo Sefolosha is out who knows how long?

Kent Bazemore will play a bigger role. Atlanta also traded for Tim Hardaway Jr. and signed Justin Holiday.

That’s still not enough, though.

So, the Hawks are creating a training-camp battle for wing depth between Jason Richardson, Lamar Patterson, Terran Petteway. Add DeQuan Jones to the fray.
Shams Charania of RealGM:

Petteway is the only one of the four with a guarantee, and that’s for just $75,000. This is a fairly even race.

Jones went undrafted in 2012 out of Miami and spent the next season in the rotation of a 62-loss Magic team. He hasn’t been in the NBA since.

At 6-foot-8, Jones has the size, strength and athleticism to defend well. But he needs to show he’ll actually do it to make the regular-season roster.

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FOUR #proCane #NFL #HOF 2016 Nominees

On Wednesday night, the Pro Football Hall of Fame announced 108 modern-era nominees for the Class of 2016.

FOUR #proCanes were names #NFL #HOF 2016 Nominees: QB Vinny Testaverde & RBs OJ Anderson, Edgerrin James & Clinton Portis.

SIX #proCanes already are in #Canton. Michael Irvin, Cortez Kennedy, Ted Hendricks, Warren Sapp, Jim Kelly and Jim Otto.

*Finalist in 2015; CAPS indicate first year of eligibility

Drew Bledsoe, BRETT FAVRE, Steve McNair, Phil Simms, Vinny Testaverde, *Kurt Warner

Shaun Alexander, Ottis Anderson, Tiki Barber, Roger Craig, Stephen Davis, *Terrell Davis, Eddie George, Priest Holmes, Edgerrin James, Daryl Johnston, Jamal Lewis, CLINTON PORTIS, Herschel Walker (also KR), Ricky Watters, BRIAN WESTBROOK

Isaac Bruce, Gary Clark, Henry Ellard (also PR), *Marvin Harrison, Torry Holt, TERRELL OWENS, Sterling Sharpe, Jimmy Smith, Rod Smith

Mark Bavaro, Jay Novacek

Tony Boselli (T), Jeff Bostic (C), Jim Covert (T), ALAN FANECA (G), Jay Hilgenberg (C), Chris Hinton (G/T), Kent Hull (C), Joe Jacoby (T), Jon Jansen (T), Mike Kenn (T), Jim Lachey (T), Kevin Mawae (C/G), Mark May (G/T/C), Tom Nalen (C), Nate Newton (G), *Orlando Pace (T), Chris Samuels (T), Mark Schlereth (G), Steve Wisniewski (G)

Dexter Manley (DE), Charles Mann (DE), Leslie O'Neal (DE), Simeon Rice (DE), Fred Smerlas (NT), Bryant Young (DT)

Cornelius Bennett, Tedy Bruschi, KEITH BULLUCK, *Kevin Greene (also DE), Ken Harvey, Levon Kirkland, Clay Matthews, Willie McGinest (also DE), Karl Mecklenburg, Matt Millen, Sam Mills, Zach Thomas, MIKE VRABEL

Eric Allen (CB), Steve Atwater (S), Joey Browner (S), LeRoy Butler (S), Rodney Harrison (S), Ty Law (CB), Albert Lewis (CB), *John Lynch (S), LAWYER MILLOY (SS), DARREN SHARPER (FS), Shawn Springs (CB), Troy Vincent (CB/S), Everson Walls (CB), Darren Woodson (S)

*Morten Andersen (K), Gary Anderson (K), JOHN CARNEY (K), Jason Elam (K), Sean Landeta (P), Nick Lowery (K)

ETHAN ALBRIGHT (LS), Brian Mitchell (KR/PR also RB), Steve Tasker (also WR)

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Rams Bring Back Brandon McGee

The St. Louis Rams shook up their practice squad on Tuesday afternoon as they began preparation for their Week 2 matchup against the Washington Redskins. Safety Jacob Hagen and cornerback Trovon Reed were released, while cornerbacks Brandon McGee and Melvin White were added to the 10-man practice squad. McGee and White are both more viable options to come up to the 53-man roster and contribute should the Rams need another corner soon with Trumaine Johnson coming off a concussion and just three other cornerbacks on the roster.

McGee, who was selected out of Miami by the Rams in the fifth round of the 2013 draft, was released during the final cutdown to 53 players, but he now returns to the organization after just one week away. The 5-foot-11, 193-pounder has been almost constantly injured during his Rams career thus far; in fact, the leading factor in his release was the fact that he missed almost all of training camp this year with a foot injury. He’s apparently healthy to practice now, though, and with 17 NFL games under his belt, he’s a more reliable emergency backup at corner than Reed.

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LaRon Byrd Signed To Falcons Practice Squad

LaronByrd 2
The Atlanta Falcons today announced that they have signed wide receiver LaRon Byrd to the practice squad, and released tackle Pierce Burton from the practice squad.

Byrd, 6-4, 220 pounds, was originally signed by the Arizona Cardinals as a college free agent following the 2012 NFL Draft out of Miami. He played in four games for the Cardinals in 2012. He was signed by the Cleveland Browns in 2014 and saw action in one game. Byrd also spent part of the 2014 season on the Dallas Cowboys practice squad.

Burton, 6-6, 305 pounds, was originally signed by the Minnesota Vikings as a rookie free agent in 2014 out of Mississippi. He is a native of Sacramento, CA.

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Kenny Phillips grateful Saints gave him another shot

It has been a wild ride for Kenny Phillips the last week. After making the 53-man roster, he was cut a day later when the team picked up two players on waivers.

However, when Rafael Bush suffered as season-ending pectoral injury, Phillips got the call from the Saints and he re-signed with the team earlier this week. He practiced with the team on Wednesday, and he could start on Sunday when the Saints take on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

"When they spoke to me, they told me they thought I did everything they wanted to see,” Phillips said to Evan Woodberry of NOLA.com. “So it was a little confusing when I didn't make the team," Phillips said. "But I'm just happy I'm back."

Phillips originally signed with the team in January, and by the way he was working with Jairus Byrd, there were thoughts that he was going to make the team. But the Saints decided to go another direction and keep Jamarca Sanford as the backup for both safety positions.

Phillips has learned a lot in the last 10 days. He said there are a lot of great players who will never get a chance to comeback once they are cut. So he’s grateful he got the call back.

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Allen Bailey collects two sacks in season opener

Chiefs DE Allen Bailey collected two sacks and four tackles (three solo) in Sunday's game against the Texans.

Bailey finished 2014 with career-highs in tackles (41) and sacks (five), and he's certainly off to a good start in 2015. He'll look to keep things going in Week 2 when the Chiefs square off with a division rival in the Broncos.

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Ereck Flowers is trying to get ready for Week 2

Giants left tackle Ereck Flowers, who hurt his ankle Sunday against the Cowboys, was able to practice in a limited capacity Wednesday. Although, his availability for Week 2 against the Falcons is still to be determined.

"It was just like any other injury," Flowers said, per NJ.com. "You've got to play through it and get through it.

"I guess we'll see. In my head, I'm looking to play."

With Will Beatty on the PUP list, John Jerry would likely be tasked with protecting quarterback Eli Manning's blindside Sunday, if Flowers can't play.

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Clive Walford was afterthought in Week 1

Raiders rookie tight end Clive Walford caught one pass for one yard on two targets in Week 1's loss to the Bengals.

Meanwhile, Mychal Rivera caught one pass for four yards in the game, though it's tough to get a good read on how the Raiders truly plan to use their tight ends until QB Derek Carr is able to get a full game in.

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Toe issue keeps Falcons WR Devin Hester out of practice

Falcons wide receiver Devin Hester (toe) will not practice Wednesday, per D. Orlando Ledbetter of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

After missing Monday's season opener against Philadelphia, Hester's lingering toe injury, which he sustained in early August, will keep him out of practice once again.

More information regarding his practice and game-time status should trickle in as the week wears on so fantasy owners should keep their eyes peeled on his injury designation moving forward.

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Allen Hurns: Panthers CB didn't gouge my eyes

Jaguars wide receiver Allen Hurns said Wednesday that Carolina cornerback Josh Norman was only half right with his comments about the wild scrum that took place after Hurns fumbled in the second quarter of the Jaguars-Panthers game Sunday.

Norman said he gouged Hurns in his eyes fighting for the ball and that Hurns recovered the fumble even though the officials gave the ball to the Panthers.
“He didn’t gouge my eyes,’’ Hurns said. “I had a shield on.’’

But Hurns said Norman was right that he did recover the ball.

“I came up with the ball,’’ he said. “I’m not sure why they didn’t give us the ball. It was a referee’s decision. I was surprised. When I got up, I thought we had the ball.’’

Neither the TV replays or the Jaguars’ videotaped showed conclusively whether Hurns got the ball. Norman was given credit for a fumble recovery he said he didn’t deserve. He said he got the ball and then lost it in the scrum. Hurns said Norman did knock the ball out when he was running after catching a pass.

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Jon Beason Injury Update

LB Jon Beason (knee) ‐ He didn't think he could play last week at the level he wanted. The Giants defensive captain tried practicing last week but experienced soreness. He didn't practice with his teammates on Wednesday, again putting his availability in serious doubt. Beason did stretch and do some work on a side field with trainers. 

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Antrel Rolle compares this year's Bears team to old Cardinals squad

Chicago Bears safety Antrel Rolle will take on one of his former teams this weekend, when the Arizona Cardinals pay a visit to Soldier Field this Sunday. Recently, Rolle reflected on his early career and drew comparisons between his current team and the one that eventually reached Super Bowl XLIII.

That Cardinals team selected Rolle with the eighth-overall pick in the 2008 draft. The team wasn't very good when he first landed in Arizona, but they rose steadily and learned how to win over the years.

Rolle said these Bears can do the same thing, per Dan Wiederer of the Chicago Tribune:

That group was a lot like this group. We weren't good my first two years there. … But we jelled and we jelled fast. We weren't always the most athletic team. We weren't always the most talented team. But we played together and we played fast. And we fought with every inch of our body.

This team is going to get to that.

Although Rolle's Cardinals lost to the Pittsburgh Steelers in their only Super Bowl appearance, the veteran safety went on to win one with the New York Giants after the 2011 season. The 32-year-old has been to three Pro Bowls knows what it takes to achieve greatness.

Rolle's experience will help guide a Bears team that is still searching for its identity.

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Arizona judge rules Warren Sapp won’t be jailed after Vegas arrest

Pro Football Hall of Famer Warren Sapp won’t have to serve jail time in Arizona on charges stemming from his February arrest in a prostitution case, a judge ruled this week.

Prosecutors in Phoenix had wanted the former Tampa Bay Buccanners star incarcerated, believing Sapp’s June arrest on domestic battery charges in Nevada violated terms of a plea deal.

However, according to TMZ, the judge said Monday that Sapp had completed the terms of the plea deal before the Nevada arrest. Charges were dropped.

Sapp was arrested Feb. 2 on charges of assault and soliciting a prostitute at a Phoenix hotel. In April, Sapp pleaded guilty to two misdemeanor charges and was ordered to pay restitution and take two classes: a prostitution-solicitation diversion program and an anger-management course, according to TMZ.

According to the report, Sapp’s lawyer informed the judge his client had completed terms of the agreement.

Sapp, a member of the Bucs Ring of Honor, was fired by NFL Network after the February arrest, which occurred during Super Bowl weekend.

In June, Sapp was arrested on three charges of misdemeanor domestic battery after an April 28 incident involving his girlfriend at a resort in Henderson, Nevada, a Las Vegas suburb.

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Clinton Portis says he would’ve choked out Ndamukong Suh

The NFL announced on Monday that Dolphins defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh would not face disciplinary action after knocking off Redskins running back Alfred Morris’s helmet with his knee during Sunday’s game.

While “there was contact between the players,” according to NFL spokesman Michael Signora, “Suh’s action was not deemed a kick.”

Morris appeared to have a few words for Suh as he stood up, but then went about his business. Former Redskins running back Clinton Portis said he would’ve responded a little differently.

“I just would love to be in that situation,” Portis said during his Monday appearance on ESPN 980’s The Drive With Cooley and Czabe. “Why didn’t guys play that way when I was on the field? I wish a guy would have. I would have dove at the back of Suh’s knees so quick and got up and just probably choked him out. I definitely wouldn’t have let him get away with that. But again, Alfred Morris is a different guy than myself.”

If Morris were more like Portis, Matt Jones might be looking forward to his first career start on Sunday against the Rams.

“Guys give this facade of being tough and, ‘Oh man, I’m the man and don’t try me,’ and you know, they’re really not,” Portis said. “I don’t think Suh is, you know, that tough of a player. I think he’s a great player though.”

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Yasmani Grandal held out Wednesday

Dodgers catcher Yasmani Grandal is not in the lineup for Wednesday's game against the Rockies.

He was not in the lineup Tuesday, either, but ended up coming into the game in the 10th and catching seven frames during the 16-inning marathon. A.J. Ellis, who caught the first half of Tuesday's game, will return behind the plate with the Rockies starting another left-hander in Jorge De La Rosa.

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Ryan Braun suffering from lower back problem

One would never know from watching him perform in recent weeks, but Ryan Braun has been playing with a bad back.

The Milwaukee Brewers' all-star right fielder was out of the starting lineup Wednesday night against St. Louis, scratched with lower back tightness. Braun didn't want to make a big deal of it, but it seemed more than a minor issue, perhaps something that might have to be addressed after the season.

"It's something that has built up over time," said Braun, who has been getting regular treatment on the back. "Some days are better than others. I've had some challenging days lately.

"I don't think it'll get better for a while. You just kind of grind through it. I don't want to get into it too much. There's some stuff going on. It's pretty serious. Hopefully, I'll be fine to play tomorrow."

The issue hasn't curtailed Braun's production at the plate. He is batting .376 (41 for 109) over his last 29 games with six home runs and 21 RBI. After hitting .417 on the Brewers' last trip, he has a .291 average with 25 home runs, 84 runs batted in and 23 stolen bases.

"I've been swinging the bat a lot better," said Braun, who was hampered in past seasons by a chronic thumb issue.

"I've got my bat path back to a place where it's really good. I'm back where I want to be where it's repeatable and give myself a lot of room for error. I'm hitting a lot of balls on the barrel. I still feel like I've hit the ball a lot better than the numbers indicate. But overall the swing's been pretty good."

Manager Craig Counsell said he was hopeful Braun would be back in the lineup Thursday night.

"Ryan's had an outstanding season," said Counsell. "He has been productive; he's been consistent, he's been a good all-around player, he's been good in the clubhouse.

"He has been a very, very good player. He's been an all-star. He has played like an all-star."

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New Powerade Ad Starring Jimmy Graham Is Chillingly Powerful

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Saints bring back Kenny Phillips

The New Orleans Saints remain snakebitten in the secondary.

Safety Rafael Bush tore a pectoral muscle in Sunday’s 31-19 loss at Arizona, the NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported Monday.

Bush, who made two tackles, has been starting at free safety in place of injured starter Jairus Byrd, who is battling a knee injury. Byrd reportedly is expected back in the next couple of weeks.

Bush got hurt in the second quarter after failing to make a tackle on Arizona tight end Darren Fells, then getting hit by the Cardinals tight end Jermaine Gresham as he continued his pursuit.

“We don’t address (injury issues on Monday),” Saints coach Sean Payton said. “Wednesday you’ll get an injury report.”

With Bush down, the Saints will re-sign safety Kenny Phillips, a league source told The Advocate. Phillips, whom the Saints released last week, has not played in a game since 2012 with the New York Giants.

Strong safety Jamarca Sanford played free safety against the Cardinals after Bush was injured and was not credited with a tackle while playing 41 downs.

Arizona quarterback Carson Palmer was 19-of-32 for 307 yards with three touchdowns and zero interceptions.

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Andre Johnson struggles mightily in IND debut

Andre Johnson caught just 4-of-10 targets for 24 yards in Indy's Week 1 loss to the Bills.

It was a concerningly-bad performance from Indy's 34-year-old free agent signing. Johnson struggled to separate, and committed a horrendous drop on a would-be two-point conversion. He was the smothered intended target on Andrew Luck's second interception. It was a rainy day in Buffalo, but Johnson didn't have much spring in his step. Now with T.Y. Hilton week to week with a knee injury, Johnson will be even more under the microscope in Week 2, where he could draw shadow coverage from Darrelle Revis. Johnson will be a middle-of-the-road WR3 for that matchup.

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Ereck Flowers played hurt Sunday, had ankle examined Monday

It was hard not to notice New York Giants rookie left tackle Ereck Flowers hobbling around the field Sunday night at AT&T Stadium in the season-opening loss to the Cowboys. Flowers hurt his ankle early in the game and limped through the rest of it but never came out. He declined questions about it after the game.

Monday, though, the thing was still bothering him, and the team sent him for an MRI and other tests to see how severely it was hurt.

"They're doing the usual number of MRIs, etc., etc.," Giants coach Tom Coughlin said on a conference call Monday. "He did injure the ankle early on, and he gutted it out and finished the game. But today is a different day. He was limited to a certain extent because of the injury, but I thought he battled away, and that's what we always counted on -- that he would battle. And he did."

Flowers, the Giants' first-round pick in this year's draft, was pressed into starting left tackle duty in his first game due to an offseason injury to Will Beatty. He had a rough night in pass protection against the Dallas front, but it's possible he was bothered by the ankle problem and that had something to do with it.

If Flowers has to miss time, the most likely lineup would see Justin Pugh move from left guard to left tackle and John Jerry inserted into the lineup at left guard. But if the injury to Flowers is serious (and at this point there's no strong indication whether it is or it isn't), the Giants likely would have to add an offensive lineman. They only have eight on the roster and only made seven active for Sunday's game.

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Phillip Dorsett on botched punt returns: 'I’m not going to make any excuses'

ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. – It would’ve been OK to be nervous, but Phillip Dorsett insisted he wasn’t.

His job was to return a Buffalo punt early in the fourth quarter. The Colts eschewed defensive needs to draft him in the first round because they wanted a playmaker, but he had yet to make an impact in his first NFL game. This was his chance.

Colton Schmidt got the snap and boomed the ball high through the rainy Buffalo air. Dorsett promptly dropped it.

No harm, no foul, though, as Dorsett managed to fall on the ball for a 1-yard gain. He’d get the next one.

The Bills had to punt again on their next possession, and if there were any shot for Andrew Luck and the offense to get back into the game, it would have to come on the next drive.

Dorsett was deep again. Surely this opportunity was the one. Schmidt punted, Dorsett got under the ball and … dropped it. Again. This time he couldn’t recover.

The Bills would get a field goal off the turnover, going up 27-8 with just over eight minutes to play in Sunday’s season opener at Ralph Wilson Stadium.

It wasn’t exactly the debut the Colts had hoped for when they grabbed the Miami speedster 29th overall. They lost to first-time starting quarterback Tyrod Taylor and Buffalo Bills, 27-14.

“I had no nerves,” Dorsett said. “It was just, I didn’t look the ball in, didn’t think security first.

“I’m not going to make any excuses about the ball being wet. Everybody knew it was raining, I already knew the ball was going to be wet. I just have to look the ball in. ... I was too caught up in trying to make something happen and I forgot about security first.”

Colts coach Chuck Pagano didn’t think about changing punt returners.

“He’s going to be a great punt returner for us,” Pagano said. “We’ve got to work with him. It’s the simple fundamentals. He had an opportunity to make a big play there, which would have been huge for us. He’ll get better. He’ll learn from it and grow.”

Dorsett was thankful to have a veteran like T.Y. Hilton around to boost his spirits after the fumbles. Hilton told him making a big play would help him forget about his mistakes, and that’s exactly what Dorsett did on the next series.

Andrew Luck hit him over the middle for a first down on third-and-10, and Dorsett followed it up with a 29-yard gain down the right sideline on the very next play.

“I just told him keep your head up, it’s going to happen,” Hilton said. “Coach told you there’s going to be some adversity. You don’t know when, you don’t know where it’s going to come from, but you have to find a way to bounce back. And he bounced back making that big catch. I said, the only way you’ll get that off your mind is if you go out there and do something big, and he did.”

Dorsett finished with two receptions for 45 yards. He wasn’t targeted by Luck until the fourth quarter -- Donte Moncrief opened as the No. 3 receiver -- after Hilton left with a knee injury. And if Hilton has to miss time, Dorsett may be relied on more next week against the Jets.

“He just has keep his head up and stay positive,” Hilton said. “I’m confident with all (the receivers). They should be fine.”

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Colts Want to Get Frank Gore Going After Bills Loss

BUFFALO, NY --- It was not the start Frank Goreicon-article-link envisioned in a Colts uniform, rushing for 31 yards on 8 carries (3.9 yards per carry) at Buffalo week 1, and that’s something the offense wants to fix moving forward.

“I feel like you have to run the ball. You have to do both. If the run is there, it’s there. If the pass is there, it’s there. We gotta do both to win in this league,” said Gore after the game Sunday. “We did have things going, but big penalties. We can’t do that.”

The Colts reached midfield on their opening drive, before a holding penalty and false start backed the offense up to its own 35 to make it 1st and 25. The drive would only go two more yards after that.

“We have to get the run game going,” said right guard Todd Herremansicon-article-link after the loss. “There’s no other way around it. If we don’t get that going, then our pass game is going to suffer, because of it.”

That was the case in the 1st half, when the Colts offense was shutout by Buffalo. Indianapolis called just 7 rushes compared to 26 passes, including a streak of 18 consecutive pass plays, after the Colts ran it 3 of the first 6 plays with Gore for 13 yards.

“Still got to be able to run it more,” said Head Coach Chuck Pagano after the game. “You’re not going to survive by the pass only. I think everybody understands that.”

Part of the reason for the lack of run plays could have been what Andrew Luckicon-article-link was seeing across the line of scrimmage. Built into the Colts offense is the ability to read the defense pre-snap and choose from a few options.

“They’re going to present you with certain things,” said Pagano,  “and we give the offense the ability to, based on the look, to give us the best play.”

After watching tape of the first half, the Bills had at least seven defenders in the box on 16 of the 33 1st half plays. All but 1 of the Colts’ 7 first half rushing attempts came with those heavier defensive boxes. That meant Luck had at least one receiver 1-on-1 somewhere for most of the half. He hit a few of those targets, but the Bills secondary held up extremely well on the back end, often in single coverage.

Andrew Luck said Monday the way the game was going dictated the streak of 18 straight pass plays in the first half.

“Yeah, it does a bit,” said Luck, when asked Monday if all the Buffalo blitzes impacted the ability to run the ball.  “It’s not fun trying to run the ball with nine guys in the box, eight guys in the box. That’s hard. That’s hard for any team. I think we’ll improve.”

Even against heavy boxes though, Pagano answered whether you just have to try and run it anyway sometimes, with a running back like Frank Gore who has faced 8 men in the box more than any running back over the past three seasons.

“Absolutely, because it’s B.Y.O.B. when they put the eighth guy in there. If you can’t get them blocked, then that’s be your own blocker,” said Pagano Monday.  “Run through them, run them over, run around them and make them miss. He’s done that for a long, long time. So we’ve got to give him and the other runners that opportunity.”

At the end of the game, the Colts finished with 49 passes versus 17 rushing attempts (4 of those were Luck scrambles). With Gore missing some second half snaps with calf cramps, rookies Josh Robinsonicon-article-link and Tyler Vargaicon-article-link only added 13 yards on 5 carries (2.6 ypc).

The Colts rushing attack will get that chance to improve against another stiff defense in the home opener on Monday night. The Jets held the Browns to just 46 yards on 12 carries in their season opener, after finishing 2014 as a top-5 defense against the run.

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Chiefs reach injury settlement with TE Richard Gordon

The Chiefs signed rookie linebacker Tyrell Adams to the practice squad, according to the personnel notice.

The 6-2, 228-pound Adams entered the league in May as an undrafted free agent out of West Georgia with the Seattle Seahawks.

He signed a contract with Seattle after a successful tryout in rookie minicamp, and recorded three solo tackles against the Chiefs during the second preseason game.

The final move surrounded the release of tight end Richard Gordon as a vested veteran.

Gordon began the season on injured reserve after suffering an ankle injury in the preseason finale, but the Chiefs and Gordon reached an injury settlement, per the report.

The 6-4, 265-pound Gordon spent time with the Chiefs in 2013, 2014 and the past offseason. He originally entered the NFL in 2011 as a sixth-round pick of the Oakland Raiders.

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3 Qs With proCane Stephen Morris

Background: Wears No. 4 ... 6-foot-2, 218 pounds. ... 25 years old. ... First season with Eagles after getting claimed off waivers from Jacksonville. ... Released by Jaguars last week after spending the entire preseason with them. ... Spent last season on Jaguars practice squad. ... Grew up in Miami Gardens, Florida and played for Monsignor Edward Pace High School. ... College teammate of Eagles' practice squad guard Malcolm Bunche at University of Miami.

You have a lot of tattoos. When did you get your first one?
"I was a freshman in college (at the University of Miami). But I graduated high school early, so I was only 18.

"Then I just started adding more to the first one. This one on my stomach is an image from the 'Day of the Dead.' It's a Mexican holiday."

The HBO series "Ballers" is based in Miami. Being from Miami Gardens, have you seen it?
"Actually, no. Someone told me after the first episode that it wasn't too realistic, so I didn't bother.

"I know they filmed the football scenes at 'The U' (University of Miami), though. I usually watch 'Hard Knocks' on HBO or 'Power' on Starz."

When you are in Miami, how often to you go to South Beach?
"That's mostly a tourist spot for people who have a lot of money. Locals don't go there. I usually go to Haulover Beach. There are some cool places in South Beach like Mansion, Club Dreams and of course the Fontainebleu.

"I've heard Prime 112 is a good restaurant, but it's too expensive for me."

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Allen Hurns leads Jags WRs with five catches

Hurns caught 5-of-7 targets for 60 yards in the Jaguars 20-9 loss to the Panthers in Week 1. (ESPN)

Fantasy Impact: With Allen Robinson bottled up for much of the afternoon, Hurns was a consistent threat on the outside. The second-year WR flies under the radar because of playing in Jacksonville, but could definitely be a lottery ticket play in DFS leagues. If he is available on your waiver wire, scoop him up and stash on your bench.

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Lamar Miller totals 76 yards versus Redskins

Lamar Miller rushed 13 times for 55 yards in Miami's Week 1 win over the Redskins, adding a 21-yard reception.

Coach Joe Philbin hinted at a bigger role for Miller in the offseason, but so the 14 touches were a letdown. If there's good news, it's that Miller ceded only two touches to backup Damien Williams. It was sort of a bizarre day for the Dolphins from a game-flow perspective, as they ran 14 fewer plays than the Redskins. That won't happen very often this season. Miller still has high-end RB1 upside in Bill Lazor's fast-paced offense. He has a solid Week 2 matchup in the Jaguars.

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Travis Benjamin hauls in 54-yard TD reception

Browns wide receiver Travis Benjamin scored his team's only touchdown during a 31-10 loss Week 1 against the Jets.

Benjamin hauled in his sixth career touchdown to open the scoring early in the second quarter. Backup quarterback Johnny Manziel, who was in the game due to an injury to Josh McCown, connected with Benjamin on a 54-yard touchdown to give Cleveland a 7-0 lead.

Benjamin, who was targeted three times, finished with a team-high 89 receiving yards on three catches.

The Browns host the Titans in Week 2.

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Leonard Hankerson rather quiet in Falcons win

Leonard Hankerson caught 2-of-4 targets for 16 yards in the Falcons' Week 1 win over the Eagles.

HankTime had as many penalties as catches and took more penalty yards than he gained. He was the clear-cut No. 3 receiver, but was whistled once for offensive pass interference and once for holding, negating big gains by Julio Jones on both plays. Hankerson is unlikely to produce much unless one of Jones or Roddy White gets hurt. He'll be a WR5 against the Giants in Week 2.

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Greg Olsen not sweating lack of targets in Week 1

Carolina Panthers tight end Greg Olsen had his fewest receiving yards in a game Sunday against the Jaguars since Carolina’s 2011 season finale.

His one-catch, 11-yard day Sunday is a far cry from his 1,008-yard season of 2014, when he went to the Pro Bowl. But he’s not sounding the alarm after Week 1.

Olsen had a touchdown negated because of a controversial penalty and another 13-yard catch wiped out because of a penalty, all while the Jaguars slid their safety down to help cover Olsen in zone defense.

“Sometimes you run good routes and things open up,”Olsen said Monday. “(Jerricho Cotchery) scored a touchdown on that. It’s all how the thing goes together. It’s no different than when I would catch 10 balls last year. We don’t set out to try and get one guy the ball. That’s not our offense. That’s not what we do.”

This same story popped up last year when the Pro Bowl tight end had two games with just one catch.

But even offensive coordinator Mike Shula, whose offense mustered just 13 points in the 20-9 victory, admitted the team has to look at Olsen more often in the passing game to be successful.

Carolina only had 175 passing yards in the game and didn’t break the 300-yard mark for total offense. That happened just twice last season.

“We’ve got to make sure we move him around and get the ball to him,” Shula said. “There were some other times that other guys had opportunities because they were favoring his side as well. We’ll definitely work on – he’s a playmaker for us – and we’ll find ways to get him the ball.”

Olsen’s 4-yard touchdown in the first quarter was called back when he was flagged for offensive pass interference. Olsen appeared to extend his arm just enough into the defender to draw the flag.

But both Olsen and head coach Ron Rivera disputed the call on Monday.

“It doesn’t really matter what I think,” Olsen said. “I think there was some contact. He bit on the fake. He tried to recover. I jumped up to catch the ball. That’s what I thought happened. Obviously they had a different perspective and that’s the only one that matters.

“I was just trying to break his grasp and just extend to go jump.”

Olsen’s other nullified catch from quarterback Cam Newton was a 13-yard grab across midfield that went away after center Ryan Kalil was ruled too far down the field despite more Panthers objections.

But the focus on Olsen isn’t a bad thing for the offense, Rivera said. Should teams continue to key in on the Pro Bowl tight end, someone else will be open.

“If they want to roll a safety down to that side, if they want to put two guys in close proximity,” Rivera said, “it should open up things for other guys.”

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Examining Andre Johnson's underwhelming debut

The excitement created by the Colts' signing of free-agent receiver Andre Johnson in March was palpable.

And why not?

The veteran has seven 1,000-yard seasons and over 13,000 career yards, most coming in his previous 12 seasons with the Houston Texans.

But Johnson's debut in Indianapolis, coming in Sunday's loss to the Buffalo Bills, left much to be desired. It wasn't just the fact that he finished with only four catches for 24 yards, though those are hardly eye-popping totals.

Instead, the real surprise is this: Johnson became a victim of the very problems he was supposed to solve in Indianapolis.

Specifically, Johnson was thought to be a player who could help the Colts overcome their struggles with tight man-to-man coverage by making tough, physical and contested catches in traffic. Many of those would be of the short variety, Johnson providing an ever-ready option for quarterback Andrew Luck when deeper routes aren't available to him.

Only, that's not what happened on Sunday. Johnson, at times, struggled to make those catches in traffic, with him and Luck connecting on just four of the 10 passes thrown his way. And that doesn't take into account the two-point conversion attempt in the fourth quarter on which Johnson saw a pass from Luck go right through his hands.

But you saw the game. You know what happened. The question is whether this will continue or whether Johnson rebounds?

A preponderance of available evidence tells us Johnson will be fine.


For starters, concerns about his age are legitimate – there's a reason the Texans refused to pay big money to a 34-year old receiver – but should not be overstated. That's because Johnson has not been reliant on elite athletic ability in recent seasons. He's relied more on route running, his excellent size and his (mostly) reliable hands. Those are things that don't necessarily leave you with age, and Johnson exhibited all of that in training camp and in preseason games.

Another reason: Johnson and Luck are still getting in sync. That might be hard to believe after an entire offseason of work together, but Sunday marked their most extensive action together in a game situation. Outside of the third preseason game, against the St. Louis Rams, their preseason work consisted of very small sample sizes. Perhaps as a result, at least three of those 10 attempts to Johnson were simply not catchable. That adds important context to the disconcerting 40 percent conversion rate on attempts to Johnson.

Finally, there's the fact that Johnson had only two passes come his way through the first two quarters. T.Y. Hilton and Donte Moncrief were Luck's primary targets early. So, several of Johnson's pass targets came after the Colts lost Hilton to a knee injury in the second half. That allowed the Bills to devote No. 1 cornerback Stephon Gilmore to stopping Johnson, something they were less inclined to do earlier in the game.

Hilton is still dealing with the knee injury and it's unclear whether he'll play against the New York Jets on Monday night. But he is not expected to be out for an extended period, he and coach Chuck Pagano said. Good thing, because Johnson was never projected to be this team's No. 1 receiver. He was expected to be a complement to Hilton, the $65 million man.

Sunday's struggles notwithstanding, Johnson can still do that. And he will do that.

If Johnson responds the way he has for the past 12 seasons, this whole topic might soon become a distant memory.

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NFL Players, BB&T Settle Claims Over $53 Million in Lost Deposits

Six current and former NFL players and BB&T reached a confidential settlement in their suit claiming the bank's predecessor accepted improper documents from their financial adviser on accounts that cost the players a combined $53 million in lost deposits.

The players claimed the money was diverted to an Alabama casino venture that failed. NFL players are not allowed to invest in gambling ventures.

"Both parties are pleased to resolve this matter," GrayRobinson attorney David S. Hendrix said in a statement Friday. "We have decided to keep the terms of our settlement confidential and cannot comment further."

U.S. District Judge Beth Bloom closed the case Sept. 2 after receiving a notice from attorneys on both sides saying each side would bear its own costs.

The settlement came after a day of testimony in the midst of a second trial. The first was a bench trial that Bloom took under advisement. Testimony was under way in the second trial when the agreement was reached.

Philip Fitzpatrick Jr., who worked for the bank from 2005 to 2012, already had testified BankAtlantic, BB&T's predecessor, testified bank employees didn't always get proper documentation for transfers made from NFL players' accounts.

Pro Sports Financial Inc. managed the finances for the plaintiffs: free agent Santana Moss and retirees Fred Taylor and Lito Sheppard, Ray Lewis, Clinton Portis and Derrick Jabar Gaffney.

Fitzpatrick said Pro Sports management enjoyed "unique" banking privileges.

While a typical customer would have to visit a branch to make a large wire transfer, BankAtlantic accommodated the athletes' busy schedules by allowing Pro Sports to request transfers via email or make seven-figure deposits via FedEx, Fitzpatrick said.

On the stand during the bench trial, Moss testified he didn't examine his own financial affairs until after realizing more than $1.4 million in unauthorized transfers has been made from a bank account in his name. He said he signed away power of attorney to a Pro Sports employee and sent his bank statements to the company without looking over them.

"I heard so much growing up, 'Pay attention to this. Pay attention to that,' " Moss said. "I didn't do it. I let [Pro Sports] pay attention to it. I'm paying for it now."

Moss said he signed a document in January 2006 to open a BankAtlantic account. After a Pro Sports security issue, Moss' bill-paying account was closed and a new one was opened in his name. Moss testified he didn't recognize the signature on the new account paperwork.

The players sought to hold the bank liable for unauthorized transfers by Fort Lauderdale-based Pro Sports.

BB&T was represented by a team of lawyers from GrayRobinson's Tampa office led by Hendrix.

The players were represented by Matthew Brenner, Jim Toscano and Ronald Edwards Jr. of Lowndes, Drosdick, Doster, Kantor & Reed in Orlando and Elizabeth Kagan of the Kagan Law Firm in Fort Myers. Brenner didn't respond to a request for comment by deadline.

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