Archive for the ‘NFL Football’ Category

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Carson Wentz threw a touchdown pass a few plays after suffering an injury that could ruin a special season for the Philadelphia Eagles, and then stuck around to greet teammates and celebrate a division-clinching victory with them.

It’s always team-first for No. 11.

Two sources familiar with the injury told The Associated Press that doctors believe Wentz tore his left anterior cruciate ligament in a 43-35 comeback win over the Rams on Sunday and will miss the rest of the season and playoffs.

Wentz, a favorite in the NFL MVP race, will have an MRI on Monday to confirm the severity of the injury. Both people spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity because they weren’t authorized to release the information.

After the game, Wentz’s left knee was wrapped in a brace. He was driven in a cart up the tunnel at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum and then hobbled to one of the team buses.

“I don’t know anything until we evaluate him (Monday),” Eagles coach Doug Pederson said.

Wentz wrote on Twitter: “NFC East Champs! So proud of the resiliency of this team. Such a special group of men. And I greatly appreciate all the prayers! I know my God is a powerful one with a perfect plan. Time to just lean on him and trust whatever the circumstances!

Wentz was hurt late in the third quarter at Los Angeles. Backup Nick Foles rallied the Eagles (11-2) to a win that secured the NFC East title and put them in first place in the conference with three games remaining.

“Everyone is really excited about the win but you have your starting quarterback go down, it’s emotional,” Foles said. “It’s emotional for me. I work with him every day so I’m dealing with that.”

The Eagles have overcome several key injuries and now have to move forward without their most indispensable player. Nine-time Pro Bowl left tackle, Jason Peters, return specialist/running back Darren Sproles, star linebacker Jordan Hicks and special-teams captain Chris Maragos already went down for the season.

But they’re not the franchise quarterback.

“It (stinks) more so for Carson as a person and a friend and a teammate and what he puts into the game and his preparation,” safety Malcolm Jenkins said. “But as a team, we have all our goals in front of us.”

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Wentz is the latest NFL star to go down in a season in which several high-profile players have been sidelined. Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman and safety Kam Chancellor, Texans defensive lineman J.J. Watt and quarterback Deshaun Watson, Giants receivers Odell Beckham Jr. and Brandon Marshall, Chiefs safety Eric Berry, Browns tackle Joe Thomas and Vikings running back Dalvin Cook and quarterback Sam Bradford each sustained season-ending injuries.

As the minutes wound down on Sunday at Paul Brown Stadium and Bengals fans looked for the exits, the band of Bears fans that remained began waving navy-and-orange blankets and chanting, “Let’s go Bears!” Yea! Bears fans travel with their team.

Afterward, in the locker room, Bears players joked and laughed and threw out words such as “rewarding” and “relief.”

Sure, the 33-7 victory over the Bengals brought the Bears’ record this season to a measly 4-9. And yes, it came against a hobbled, five-win team.

But the Bears went 49 days between victories — and two years and 25 days since last topping the 30-point mark in a game — so they and their fans were starved for celebration.

“I don’t think it was just Mitch (Trubisky); I think we all needed it,” tight end Adam Shaheen said. “We’ve been struggling, lost a couple of close ones. This was a great win we needed. And it was against a good team.

“When everything was clicking, everybody was getting opportunities. When you’re rolling, it helps out everybody.”

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Sunday’s heartbreaking and frustrating 23-16 loss to a beatable Packers’ team, probably got people saying, who cares about the positives from the game?

The once formidable Bears defense was incapable of shutting down an inexperienced Brett Hundley and a third-string running back. The offense picked up where it left off, doing absolutely nothing.

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The newest member of the Bears, wide receiver Dontrelle Inman, isn’t a bright light, but more of a flashlight.

In his Bears’ debut, Inman led the team with six receptions for 88 yards. That was the second most yards by a Bears receiver this season only behind Tre McBride III’s three receptions for 92 yards against the Saints. Against the Packers, McBride only had seven snaps – a surprising move for sure.

Still, Inman’s productive day was encouraging for a wide receiver group that has failed to provide much of an impact. Inman was able to create separation by running clean routes, which gave quarterback Mitch Trubisky throwing lanes.

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Despite Inman only being on the team for 20 days, Trubisky still targeted him four times in the fourth quarter and completed three of those passes.

It took one game for Trubisky to find his new go-to-guy.

But for the chemistry to improve for Trubisky and Inman, the Bears must continue to throw the football. It wasn’t until the Bears were trailing that they resorted to the passing game. That has been the common theme for the offense all season.

Moving forward, the Bears greatest threat to improving the passing game will be the duo of head coach John Fox and offensive coordinator Dowell Loggains. Fox likes to run despite opponents consistently stacking the box and Loggains must cater to Fox’s game plan. However, when passes are called, Loggains’ plays are questionable.

This inconsistency from the coaching staff has hurt the offense and if there is any hope for the unit to improve Fox and Loggains must settle on a happy medium of the run to pass plays.

The next opportunity to improve the passing game and to get Inman the ball will be against the Lions at Soldier Field this Sunday.

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HOUSTON — Houston Texans coach Bill O’Brien says he and general manager Rick Smith have discussed signing Colin Kaepernick following the season-ending injury to quarterback Deshaun Watson.

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When asked about Kaepernick on Monday, a day after Tom Savage struggled in a 20-14 loss to the Indianapolis Colts, O’Brien said: “We talk about the roster and what’s out there every day Rick and I.”

O’Brien was then pressed on whether they have specifically discussed adding Kaepernick.

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“Oh yeah, everybody gets discussed,” he said. “Is that a problem? Isn’t that the way most teams do it. People seem shocked by that.”

Kaepernick, the former San Francisco 49ers quarterback, began the national anthem protest movement by kneeling last season. He remains unsigned and has filed a complaint that NFL owners colluded against him because of the protests, which are aimed at police brutality against African-Americans and other social justice issues.

O’Brien was pressed several times on Monday about whether the Texans would sign Kaepernick if it were his decision. He avoided answering the question directly, saying that his job is simply to “coach the football team.”

After that, he was asked if he believes signing Kaepernick would make that job easier.

“Uh, that’s an interesting question,” he said before pausing for a couple of seconds. “I would tell you that I like the guys that we have and we’re going to continue to coach them and try to do a better job of coaching them.”

The Texans have not been very active in anthem protests, but the majority of the team kneeled during the anthem before a game on Oct. 29 at Seattle after a report revealed that team owner Bob McNair said, “We can’t have the inmates running the prison,” during a meeting of NFL owners about players who protest by kneeling. No member of the team kneeled on Sunday before Houston’s annual salute-to-service game to honor members of the military.

Houston is looking for answers to get its offense back on track and try to make a push for a third straight playoff berth. The Texans’ record fell to 3-5 with the loss to Indianapolis. They are two games behind Tennessee and Jacksonville, who are tied for first place in the AFC South.

O’Brien said he’s studied Kaepernick since he was in college, but avoided any comparisons between him and the quarterbacks on Houston’s roster.

“Colin Kaepernick’s a good football player, hasn’t played football in a while,” O’Brien said. “But these things are discussed daily and they’ll continue to be discussed.”