Monthly Archives: September 2016

Jameis Winston ‘hurt’ by Austin Seferian-Jenkins’ departure

For Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston, losing Austin Seferian-Jenkins, one of his top receiving targets, last week was tough. The third-year tight end and former second-round pick was arrested for DUI early Friday morning, 48 hours prior to the team’s home opener against the Rams.

In Seferian-Jenkins’ absence Sunday, tight end Cameron Brate caught two touchdown passes in the Bucs’ 37-32 loss to the Rams.

“I can’t wait until I’m going crazy out there again,” he said Wednesday.

But being smart trumps that type of approach, as Gronkowski noted hamstring injuries aren’t the type of thing to push too hard.

“You’ve got to be careful with any injury, but I mean, if you research hamstrings, if you know anything about hamstrings, you’ve definitely got to be careful,” he said at the interview podium, where he was filling in for quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo. “You’ve got to progress. You can’t just hop back in and be full-go 100 percent. I wish it was like that.”

Gronkowski reported that there were “no setbacks” after his return Thursday. He probably would have played more if the Patriots weren’t in such control, as he was limited to just three snaps in the second half.

Overall, he was only sent on just two pass routes, and rookie Jacoby Brissett fired the ball over his head in the end zone on one of them, so it was mostly blocking for Gronkowski and he didn’t hold anything back.

“Whenever I’m out on the field, I love to go full-go, but they put me in the plays where they felt more comfortable and when I was in those plays, I felt like I was ready to roll,” he said.

On Michael’s 41-yard touchdown run in the first minute of the game, offensive linemen Justin Britt, Mark Glowinski and Bradley Sowell did a great job. And wide receiver Tanner McEvoy helped spring Michael at the second level.

Michael is also doing the little things. He did a good job picking up a blitzer on Russell Wilson’s touchdown pass to Jimmy Graham in the second quarter.

The Seahawks now face a tough challenge against the Jets’ defensive line and a unit that ranks sixth against the run so far this season.

Garoppolo suffers sprained AC joint in Patriots’ win

Jimmy Garoppolo’s sensational start as New England’s starting quarterback has hit a setback.

The third-year player was knocked out of Sunday’s 31-24 victory over the Miami Dolphins midway through the second quarter with a shoulder injury.

NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo reported after the game that Garoppolo suffered a sprained AC joint in his throwing shoulder, according to someone informed of the results of exams performed at the hospital today. NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport said Monday Garoppolo will not start Thursday against the Texans. Rapoport adds the Patriots hope the signal-caller will return by Week 4.

Cutler’s struggles and subsequent injury put an exclamation point on an embarrassing 29-14 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles.

Regardless of the true extent of Cutler’s hand problem, the Chicago Bears played like a four- or five-win team, while Wentz has Eagles fans thinking playoffs in the wide-open NFC East.

You can use injuries (Cutler, Eddie Goldman, Lamarr Houston, Adrian Amos and Bryce Callahan) as an excuse to cover up the latest debacle at Soldier Field (1-8 at home under John Fox), but the Bears’ offense, in particular, was outplayed and outcoached from the opening kickoff.

And that is alarming.

Follow the money. The Bears spent heavily on that side of the ball — Cutler ($17 million base salary in 2016), Alshon Jeffery ($14.599 million), Kyle Long ($7.6 million), Bobby Massie ($5.8 million), Josh Sitton ($5.6 million) and Eddie Royal ($4.5 million) — and the results are putrid.

“I don’t know [what’s wrong with the offense], but it’s not where it should be,” Cutler said. “That’s definite. I think everyone is probably a little taken aback by what happened during that game.”

Seahawks support Colin Kaepernick’s message, mull Week 1 protest

RENTON, Wash. — Colin Kaepernick’s message is picking up support in the Seattle Seahawks’ locker room, with wide receiver Doug Baldwin and defensive end Cliff Avril considering a protest in Week 1 against the Miami Dolphins.

“Are you really disrespecting the military from the standpoint, like let’s talk about the people that go to war, how they’re treated when they come back,” Avril said. “Let’s talk about that. That’s the ultimate disrespect. But that’s what this country’s built off of — freedom of speech. So why is it a big deal that [Kaepernick’s] able to display how he feels? That’s crazy to me. It can’t be one-sided. It also depends on who’s doing it.”

Seahawks cornerback Jeremy Lane sat on the bench during the national anthem of the team’s final preseason game against the Oakland Raiders and said he was showing support for Kaepernick.

Kaepernick was joined by his teammate, Eric Reid, in protest before the 49ers’ final preseason game.

Seahawks linebacker Bobby Wagner said the players have also discussed some kind of unified protest on Sunday.

“I do support Kaep in what he’s doing, the message behind it,” Wagner said. “I think sometimes everybody’s taking the message wrong because there’s a lot of stuff that’s going on, a lot of bad stuff that’s going on. And that needs to be fixed. So at some point, you’ve got to do whatever you need to do to get that fixed.

“And I think what he’s done is open up that conversation and make people talk about it. Whenever you’ve got the president talking about those types of things, it’s definitely getting his message across .I think it’s a very positive message. I think there should be justice and equality for everybody, no matter what your skin color is. And I think that’s what he’s fighting for because a lot of black people don’t get that.

If Barry Sanders — an Oklahoma State product and Detroit Lions Hall of Famer — was one of Peterson’s childhood heroes, there’s an element of Sanders’ Big 12-to-NFC North path that Peterson doesn’t want to emulate. Some in Peterson’s camp have long viewed Sanders, who walked away at age 30 with four rushing titles and one career playoff win, as a cautionary tale. And if Peterson were to repeat last season, leading the league in rushing again before the Vikings bowed out in the first round of the playoffs, he’d have the same number of rushing crowns and the same playoff record (1-5) as Sanders.

The Vikings’ checkered history with quarterbacks, and the fact that Peterson’s one playoff win came with Brett Favre, made it all the more striking this summer when the running back said he believed Teddy Bridgewater was the passer who could take the Vikings to the Super Bowl. “When I look in his eyes, I see greatness,” Peterson said.

This Sunday, though, Bridgewater will be recovering from knee surgery, and Peterson will take the field with another new quarterback. If there’s a time for the 31-year-old running back to lament another round of uncertainty, now is not it.

“Unfortunately, it’s a different type of situation that [Teddy] got hurt,” Peterson said. “But that doesn’t change what you bring to the game and what you do as an individual player and how you contribute to the offense.”

For his part, the running back said he hasn’t given up on the idea that the Vikings will have a balanced offense. But he’s ready to carry the load if he’s asked to do it.

“To be honest with you, I always look at it as, I carry my load,” Peterson said after the Vikings’ final preseason game last Thursday. “Shaun will do a great job for us, and I have confidence in him and what he is able to do in the passing game. I feel like we will have a balanced offense.”

Mark Sanchez on future with Broncos: ‘I have no idea’

GLENDALE, Ariz. – As Mark Sanchez put the last few things in a bag with the Denver Broncos logo on the side and headed to the bus Thursday night, his future with the team remained a mystery.

Sanchez did not play in the preseason finale against the Arizona Cardinals. The Broncos must have their roster to 53 players — from the current 75 — by 2 p.m. Mountain time Saturday. Kubiak said Thursday he expected the team to make most of its moves Friday morning.

Sanchez was 20-of-30 passing for 219 yards and one touchdown, with one interception, in two preseason appearances, including a start in the preseason opener in Chicago. He also lost two fumbles in the closing minutes of the first half of the preseason game against San Francisco, meaning he had three turnovers in 46 snaps on the field.

The letter also states that “the Santa Clara Police Officers’ Association has a duty to protect its members and work to make all of their working environments free of harassing behavior.”

It criticizes what it called anti-police statements made by Kaepernick, calling them “insulting, inaccurate and completely unsupported by any facts.”

The team reiterated Friday night that it stands behind Kaepernick and respects his right not to participate in celebrating the national anthem.

Kaepernick has become the focus of intense scrutiny for not standing during the playing of the national anthem in the 49ers’ last two preseason games as a form of protesting racial injustice in the United States.

He also received criticism from the head of a national police association after he appeared on the 49ers’ practice field wearing the socks.

Kaepernick vowed to continue to not stand during the national anthem until he is satisfied with the changes made toward ending racial oppression in the U.S., a position he reiterated after Thursday’s game against the San Diego Chargers.

“Once again, I’m not anti-American,” Kaepernick said. “I love America. I love people. That’s why I’m doing this. I want to help make America better. I think having these conversations helps everybody have a better understanding of where everybody is coming from.”