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Kevin Patra

Kevin Patra

Kevin Patra has been writing for NFL.com since 2013 after a three-year run on the NFL Network newsdesk. He is more handsome than he appears.
October
Week 8 viewer's guide October 24, 2014

Around The NFL's Kevin Patra fills you in on the key storylines for each matchup. Here's your guide as you settle into your couch for all the NFL action. The Lions' defensive line should feast on Matt Ryan on Sunday in London. Led by Ndamukong Suh, the... more

Two of the Denver Broncos' biggest playmakers, Julius Thomas and Demaryius Thomas, are playing out the final years of their rookie contracts. NFL Media's Albert Breer reports that the Broncos don't plan to address the contract situations of the... more

The Dallas Cowboys have ridden DeMarco Murray's NFL record-setting seven-game streak of outings over 100 rushing yards to open the season 6-1. The running back has 187 carries for 913 yards (4.9 per rush), leading the NFL by nearly 300 yards rushing.... more

Breaking News: The defense wants to create turnovers. The New Orleans Saints are desperate to turn around their 2-4 season. For that to happen, Rob Ryan's defense knows it must improve its takeaway ratio in order to give Drew Brees and the offense... more

Dwight Freeney said he thought a "million" times about sacking Peyton Manning when he signed with the San Diego Chargers in 2013. Unfortunately, injuries sidelined the pass rusher all three times the Chargers faced Manning and the Denver Broncos... more

Denard Robinson provided the first semblance of a running game for the Jacksonville Jaguars this season when he went for 127 yards last week against the Cleveland Browns. Denard Robinson Coach Gus Bradley said earlier in the week that the... more

Seattle Seahawks offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell has more experience with Percy Harvin than anyone in the NFL. After spending two years with Harvin in Minnesota -- in the receiver's first two seasons, when the wideout totaled 1,658 receiving... more

Darrelle Revis was sent back to his island. NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport reported Wednesday, per a source close to the player, that Revis overslept Tuesday and would have been late to his 7:30 a.m. ET meeting, so he was not told not to show . Per team... more

Tre Mason bust onto the scene in Week 7 , carrying the rock 18 times for 85 yards and one touchdown run in the St. Louis Rams' upset victory over the Seattle Seahawks. Mason far outdistanced the Rams' other running backs. Zac Stacy was announced the... more

The Tennessee Titans sit at 2-5 and are staring down the barrel of a lost season. In reality, that record should be much better. In their last two losses (to Cleveland and Washington ) the Titans have held leads with under two minutes to play... more

Jay Gruden said repeatedly during his Wednesday news conference that Robert Griffin III's status for Monday night's game versus the Dallas Cowboys hinged on the team doctors clearing the quarterback. "It's up to the trainers and doctors right now,... more

Calvin Johnson is in London . Calvin Johnson is running in London . But Calvin Johnson is just barely practicing in London. The Detroit Lions' star receiver was listed as limited Wednesday as he continues to attempt a comeback from his injured... more

The Atlanta Falcons' offense has sputtered with just one touchdown in each of the last two weeks. Julio Jones put the lack of offensive production squarely on his own shoulders . "It starts with me," he told NFL Network's NFL AM  on Wednesday. "I... more

Peyton Manning broke Brett Favre's career touchdown record and added to his own mark in a four-touchdown barrage Sunday night as the Denver Broncos trounced the San Francisco 49ers. 42-17 . To go along with his record, Manning picked up the AFC... more

The New England Patriots have acquired some help for their banged-up defense. The Patriots announced Wednesday they traded for Tennessee Titans linebacker Akeem Ayers. New England released 'backer Ja'Gared Davis is a corresponding move. NFL Media... more

The NFL announced Tuesday it suspended Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive end Da'Quan Bowers without pay for the team's next two games for violating the NFL policy on performance-enhancing substances. NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport adds, via a source... more

The Carolina Panthers announced they released veteran defensive back Charles Godfrey. The 28-year-old has spent his entire seven-year career in Carolina after being selected in the third round of the 2008 draft. "Making this move was difficult... more

After going down with a broken collarbone in Week 7 , C.J. Spiller could still return this season. Kyle Orton The Buffalo Bills placed the running back on injured reserve/designated to return on Tuesday. In a corresponding move, the team signed... more

Darren Sproles returned to the practice field Tuesday, according to Philadelphia Eagles coach Chip Kelly. Sproles suffered a sprained MCL in the team's Week 6 win over the New York Giants. He was expected to miss one game -- potentially two --... more

San Francisco 49ers linebacker Aldon Smith could be on the fast track to an early return from suspension. NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport reported Tuesday that per the terms of Smith's union-league negotiated settlement, his suspension could be shortened... more

Reggie Wayne brushed off the elbow injury he suffered in Sunday's win over the Bengals. "I'm good now," he said after the game. "I just kind of fell on it, fell on my arm. Go home, have an adult beverage and see how it feels in the morning."... more

Von Miller and DeMarcus Ware make up the fiercest pass-rushing duo in the NFL. It's something that Colin Kaepernick found out the hard way Sunday night when the twosome combined for five sacks on the 49ers quarterback. Miller currently leads the... more

Finally, Dion Jordan has come back to the Miami Dolphins. The defensive end returned after missing six games while on suspension for multiple violations of the NFL's Policy and Program on Substances of Abuse. The 2013 No. 3 overall pick has yet... more

Cincinnati Bengals coach Marvin Lewis said Monday star receiver A.J. Green was progressing from his toe injury. Speaking on NFL Network's NFL AM  on Tuesday, the wideout corroborated that he's getting better, but his status for this week is still... more

Entering Sunday's game the Cleveland Browns owned the NFL's third-best rushing attack (146.4 yards per game), but could only manage 69 yards on 33 carries against a middling Jacksonville Jaguars defense. Ben Tate ran for just 36 yards on 16... more

The Houston Texans won't be able to unleash their duo of terror in prime time against Ben Roethlisberger and the Pittsburgh Steelers. Jadeveon Clowney is officially out for Monday Night Football . NFL Media's Aditi Kinkhabwala said on Monday's... more

Percy Harvin is settling into his new gig with the New York Jets and said he wants to put the past behind him. Speaking to the New York media for his first time Monday, the wide receiver admitted his deployment in Seattle was the cause of frustration.... more

The Detroit Lions are heading to London on Monday for their Week 8 overseas battle with the Atlanta Falcons. Calvin Johnson will make the trip with the team, coach Jim Caldwell said . Megatron has missed the previous two games with an ankle... more

Just don't throw an interception. That was all Drew Brees had to do for the New Orleans Saints to likely close out the Detroit Lions for a road win on Sunday . Instead the All-Pro quarterback forced a pass on third-and-9 with 3:20 left in the contest... more

Tony Romo gets the lion's share of the blame when the Dallas Cowboys stumble, so we should give him credit for helping guide America's Team to a surprising 6-1 start. While DeMarco Murray has shouldered the load, galloping to a whopping 913 yards... more

The Buffalo Bills lost their top two running backs Sunday when Fred Jackson (groin) and C.J. Spiller (broken collarbone) left a thrilling 17-16 win over the Minnesota Vikings. Jackson is out multiple weeks, while Spiller's season will end with surgery... more

Golden Tate took what should have been a 15-yard grab and turned it into a 73-yard game-swinging touchdown scamper in the Detroit Lions' 24-23 victory over the New Orleans Saints. At the time, the Lions trailed 23-10 with less than four minutes to... more

The Baltimore Ravens steamrolled the soft Atlanta Falcons 29-7 on Sunday by dominating their visiting opponent in all facets. "I mean, football is a physical game," Ravens wide receiver Steve Smith said after the win when asked about things getting... more

Following Percy Harvin's trade to the New York Jets, some not-so-flattering issues about the receiver's time in Seattle began to leak. One of the big storylines was of a physical altercation Harvin had with then-teammate Golden Tate before the... more

Ryan Tannehill ripped up the Chicago Bears' defense as the Miami Dolphins rolled to a 27-14 win at Soldier Field. Our takeaways: 1. Ryan Tannehill was flawless early. The quarterback diced up Chicago's defense with an on-point quick passing scheme.... more

The NFL trade deadline sits nine days away on Oct. 28, and speculation is ripe to start flying. With one big-name trade already being consummated this weekend when the Seattle Seahawks shipped Percy Harvin to the New York Jets, what other players could... more

Matthew Stafford will be without his security blanket for another week.  All-Pro wideout Calvin Johnson will miss his second straight game, NFL Media's Albert Breer reported . Hampered by an ankle injury he suffered last month, the talented... more

Percy Harvin is in New York. The dynamic receiver told the Jets' official website he was "very excited" to join Gang Green. "I just think they got a lot of the pieces here," Harvin said. "You've got Geno (Smith), with a great veteran behind him. You... more

Week 7 Cheat Sheet October 18, 2014

Everything you need to know as kickoff approaches... Key game-time decisions All players questionable unless noted Harrison: Week 7 predictions Can the Chargers and Cowboys each notch their sixth win of the year? Elliot Harrison projects Week 7's... more

Safety Will Hill's fourth chance at an NFL career is set to begin. The Baltimore Ravens announced Saturday  they moved Hill to the 53-man roster, making him eligible to play Sunday versus the Atlanta Falcons. Hill served a six-game suspension to... more

The Carolina Panthers downgraded running back DeAngelo Williams (ankle) to out for Sunday's game against the Green Bay Packers. The team announced the move Saturday. Williams had been designated Friday as doubtful for Sunday , making it highly... more

The Indianapolis Colts are averaging an NFL-best 31.5 points per game and lead the league in total yards per game (444), passing yards per game (328.7) and time of possession (36:28). A year after insisting on sticking with a plodding running game that... more

The most stunning aspect of the Seattle Seahawks trading Percy Harvin to the New York Jets on Friday was that general manager John Schneider and coach Pete Carroll only got a mid-round draft pick in return . Why would a team essentially give away... more

The New York Jets are making room on their roster for Percy Harvin. When the acquisition of the former Seahawk was official, the team also announced that they parted ways with wide receiver David Nelson. When the unexpected happens- we either react,... more

Your weekly "Will Jake Locker play this Sunday?" update: Outlook not good. Charlie Whitehurst took the majority of the first-team reps during the open portion of practice and signs point to him starting Sunday against the Washington Redskins,... more

During the offseason Adrian Peterson raved about running back Jerick McKinnon. Now the rookie is replacing All Day in the Minnesota Vikings' starting lineup. With Peterson on the Commissioner's exempt list , McKinnon has leaped Matt Asiata as the... more

Kelvin Benjamin returned to practice after missing the previous two days due to a concussion. According to multiple beat reporters , the rookie receiver wore his helmet and took part in all the pass-catching drills with the rest of his position group... more

On Friday, we found out what it would take for Calvin Johnson to play Sunday : a miracle. Speaking to reporters, Lions coach Jim Caldwell said, "Miracles can happen ," when asked about Megatron's availability, per the Detroit News. Johnson has... more

Patrick Peterson has not played like the top cornerback in the NFL through five games. Not even close. Peterson has given up an opposing passer rating of 132.4 when targeted this season (12th highest among all corners) and has allowed four... more

Prior to the New York Jets' final field goal attempt Thursday night, an official nudged New England Patriots linebacker Dont'a Hightower, keeping him from standing over the center, which would have been a penalty. In any other situation, a ref... more

The Pittsburgh Steelers' defense entered the season billed as one that would recapture its dominant form after several years of being old and slow. However, Dick LeBeau's unit has been gashed recently and some former members of the Black and Gold... more

Week 7 viewer's guide October 17, 2014

Around The NFL's Kevin Patra fills you in on the key storylines for each matchup. Here's your guide as you settle into your couch for all the NFL action. The Falcons have been a completely one-sided team this season, ranking first in yards per play on... more

New York Jets coach Rex Ryan was agitated and seemingly disheartened when he faced the media Thursday night after the team's 27-25 loss to the New England Patriots. It turns out that Ryan let out some steam just before stepping in front of the cameras.... more

Geno Smith played by far his best game of the season Thursday night against the division rival New England Patriots, but it still wasn't enough in a 27-25 loss . Smith put the ball on point for the most part, made plays with his feet and didn't make his... more

As if Matt Ryan didn't have enough trouble overcoming a brittle Atlanta Falcons offensive line, the quarterback was the victim of a multitude of dropped passes in last week's loss. Pro Football Focus charted seven drops as a team  in Week 6 on... more

Cam Newton's top target continues to deal with a concussion. Kelvin Benjamin missed his second day of practice as he goes through concussion protocol, per the Associated Press' Steve Reed . The Panthers also practiced without Fozzy Whittaker,... more

The knee injury that ended Jerod Mayo's season was a brutal blow for the veteran . NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport reported Thursday morning, via a source informed of the situation, that Mayo underwent surgery to repair a torn patellar tendon. The hope... more

How pumped are you for wall-to-wall coverage of Peyton Manning's drive for 509 this weekend? The Denver Broncos signal-caller sits at 506 touchdown passes, two behind Brett Favre's NFL record of 508. Sunday Night Football got the juicy tease, and Al... more

Clay Matthews has struggled this season. Part of those struggles have been due to a groin injury sustained earlier this season. Another culprit is that teams have been able to take advantage of his over-aggressive style in the read option. "I know... more

Darrell Bevell has heard you, Seattle Seahawks fans. The offensive coordinator heard the rampant consternation and deep-throated queries wondering how Marshawn Lynch got just 10 carries in Sunday's loss to the Dallas Cowboys, including just two in... more

Ryan Mathews sprained his MCL more than a month ago. The San Diego Chargers' running back has yet to reach the point in his rehab where he can start running. "I'm hoping," Mathews told U-T San Diego's Michael Gehlken . "I'm just taking it one day at... more

Jeff Demps is being sprinted out of Tampa. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are releasing the running back from their practice squad, NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport reported Monday, according to a source informed of the move. The 5-foot-7, 191-pound U.S.... more

Mike Zimmer has watched his Minnesota Vikings get outscored 59-13 and outclassed in all three phases of the game in the past two weeks. The first-time head coach has seen enough. After Sunday's 17-3 loss to the Detroit Lions, Zimmer called out his... more

Big time players make big time plays. At least that is what we've been told. Early in the fourth quarter of Sunday's game against Arizona, Washington Redskins linebacker Brian Orakpo had a chance to make a game-changing interception with the Cardinals... more

Jerod Mayo left the New England Patriots' locker room on crutches Sunday after injuring his knee. NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport reported, via sources informed of the situation, Mayo is believed to have suffered a "significant " knee injury and... more

A.J. Green's return to the field won't be this week. NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport reported Monday morning that the Cincinnati Bengals' star wide receiver will miss another week with the toe injury that forced him to miss Sunday 's 37-37 tie with... more

Cam Newton orchestrated the Carolina Panthers' offense in every facet during Sunday's 37-37 tie with the Cincinnati Bengals. After being limited to start the season, we finally saw the real SuperCam. The Panthers took the training wheels off... more

Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Doug Baldwin was a tad angry at the offense's struggles after being upset by the Dallas Cowboys 30-23 on Sunday. At one point during the loss Baldwin could be seen vociferously orating his feelings at quarterback... more

Teryl Austin's defense dominated as the Detroit Lions swarmed Teddy Bridgewater and the Minnesota Vikings in a 17-3 victory . Our takeaways: 1. The Lions' defensive line absolutely ruled the game. Ezekiel Ansah was all over the field, compiling 2.5... more

Jerry Jones said this week the Dallas Cowboys aren't running from Richard Sherman. Cowboys coaches are taking that fearlessness to another level. NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport said on NFL GameDay Morning that Cowboys coaches believe the... more

Rex Ryan and the New York Jets face Peyton Manning and Tom Brady in a five-day stretch and could be staring at a 1-6 record this time next week. Ryan knows he's on the hot seat and must turn it around -- or else he'll be looking for a new job.... more

Jimmy Graham's time off will extend beyond the New Orleans Saints' bye week. NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport reported on GameDay First  on Sunday that the tight end will miss a few weeks after the bye , "likely two or three," with a shoulder sprain,... more

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers will have their towering starting receivers in the lineup when they face the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday . NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport reported that both Vincent Jackson and Mike Evans will play, according to sources... more

Week 6 Cheat Sheet October 11, 2014

Everything you need to know as kickoff approaches... Key game-time decisions All players questionable unless noted Tom Brady (ankle) QB, New England Patriots Tom Terrific popped up on the injury report Friday, but NFL Media Insider Ian... more

Vernon Davis appeared to be on pace to play Monday night against the St. Louis Rams. But he's not quite sure he'll make it on the field. "I don't feel like I'm where I need to be at the moment, but I'm getting there," Davis said, per Matt Barrows... more

If you've sat next to a San Francisco 49ers fan for any game this season, you're likely to have heard "just give the ball to Frank" muttered or shouted more than once. Frank Gore's carries have gone up the past two weeks -- 24 and 18, respectively --... more

It seems almost weekly a question about Jermichael Finley's possible return gets bandied about -- mostly from Cheesehead fans. While the tight end still holds out hope of a return, he's begun the process of implementing plan B. USA Today's Tom... more

Doug Martin hasn't found the right footing since his breakout rookie campaign in 2012. After missing most of last season with a shoulder injury, Martin missed two games for the Buccaneers this year with a knee injury. In the time he has been on the... more

Marvin Jones might have been listed as questionable on the Cincinnati Bengals' injury report, but he won't play Sunday against the Carolina Panthers. The receiver was downgraded to out ahead of Sunday's game. It's not a surprise in the least that... more

Some teams prefer to ignore Richard Sherman's side of the field when facing the Seattle Seahawks. The Dallas Cowboys don't plan on being one of those teams this Sunday . After watching Deion Sanders shut down one side of the field for years in the... more

A.J. Green is not expected to play in Sunday's game  against the Carolina Panthers. NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport reported Thursday that the star receiver met with a foot doctor Thursday morning and is not likely to play , according to a source... more

Following the Houston Texans' failed comeback attempt Thursday night , J.J. Watt said he needed to "find a way to do more ." One Texan who appeared to have a chance to do more was DeAndre Hopkins. The receiver was the closest Houston player with a... more

Two of the NFL's best wide receivers are likely to miss Sunday. A.J. Green was in a walking boot on Friday and will likely be out  for at least this week's game. Green won't require surgery , according to NFL Media's Albert Breer, per a club source;... more

Coach Tony Sparano said after taking over the Oakland Raiders' head gig that he would give players like Denarius Moore a clean slate and judge them with his own eyes . One position the coach isn't taking a new look at is quarterback. In fact, Sparano... more

Cordarrelle Patterson isn't going to whine or flip tables because he has exactly two touches in each of the Minnesota Vikings' last two games. "I'm not a drama queen or anything," Patterson said, per The Star Tribune . "I don't want to go to the... more

Week 6 Viewer's Guide October 10, 2014

Around The NFL's Kevin Patra fills you in on the key storylines for each matchup. Here's your guide as you settle into your couch for all the NFL action. Ben Roethlisberger is completing 66.7 percent of 20-plus-yard passes through the air, the highest... more

The Philadelphia Eagles have won some close games en route to a 4-1 record. In fact, one could argue the Eagles are one yard from 5-0. New York Giants defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul sees it a different way. "They could have easily been 0-4,'' he... more

On the back of J.J. Watt, the Houston Texans stormed from behind to turn a blowout in to an almost win. In the end they still lost, 33-28 . Texans quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick, who fumbled to seal the loss , reiterated the well-known saying that close... more

Teddy Bridgewater has played just under seven full quarters of NFL football. Still that didn't stop Detroit Lions coach Jim Caldwell from comparing him to Super Bowl champion quarterback Russell Wilson. "This guy is a good player," Caldwell said... more

Ronnie Hillman will need to update his LinkedIn page after Sunday. It should read: Ronnie Hillman: Starting NFL running back . For at least the next several weeks the third-year back will start in place of Montee Ball for the Denver Broncos. "You feel... more

Devin Hester finds the Atlanta Falcons' matchup with the Chicago Bears on Sunday a familial one. "It's kind of like playing against your brother," he said of facing a team with which he spent eight seasons. "I thank them a lot, and I wish them all the... more

Geno Smith kept his starting job for at least another week. The struggling New York Jets quarterback wasn't permanently benched in part because backup Michael Vick did nothing to take the job during his one half of play Sunday. Vick, who completed 8... more

The New York Jets got what Rex Ryan described Sunday as an "ass whipping " courtesy of the San Diego Chargers. Ryan defended his team, its work ethic and his job security during a very Rexian radio interview Tuesday with WEPN-FM in New York. "This... more

Teddy returns. Teddy Bridgewater is back at practice Tuesday, per multiple reporters, after he missed last Thursday's game . The rookie is on pace to play this week against the Detroit Lions. He suffered an ankle injury in Week 4 during his... more

Some Lions fans don't care that Jim Schwartz was carried off the field following the Buffalo Bills' road win Sunday . Others found it a classless move by the self-absorbed coach. For those in the latter group, you have company. Wide receiver... more

Andy Reid has regrets. His biggest one coming off Sunday's road loss to the San Francisco 49ers was not getting Jamaal Charles the ball enough. The Kansas City Chiefs' most dynamic offensive player went long stretches without touching the ball .... more

The largest come-from-behind road victory in NFL history hinged on a fourth-and-1 stuff by the Cleveland Browns. It was a play Tennessee Titans coach Ken Whisenhunt believes should have been converted. With 3:09 remaining on his own 42-yard line, Titans... more

Kyle Orton made plays down the field that helped lead the Buffalo Bills to a last-second road victory in Detroit. Kyle Orton Several of the pivotal throws Orton made in the fourth quarter were ones we hadn't seen benched quarterback EJ Manuel... more

LeSean McCoy had his best game in weeks during Sunday's 34-28 win over the St. Louis Rams. However, it was still un-Shady like . He finished with 81 yards on 24 carries for an average of 3.4 yards per carry (not great, but well more than his 1.5 the... more

Another wide receiver got the post-game Richard Sherman treatment. After Monday night's 27-17 win over the Washington Redskins, the Seattle Seahawks' cornerback took aim at Pierre Garcon. "Pierre doesn't matter in this league," Sherman said, per... more

The football world got a glimpse of what the San Diego Chargers have been seeing from Branden Oliver for the past several months . The dynamic running back gashed the New York Jets for 114 yards and a touchdown on 19 carries and added four... more

Rob Gronkowski had one goal entering Sunday night's contest against the Cincinnati Bengals: Get Brady's back. Battista: Behind Brady's revival Just when it looked like the Patriots were done for, Tom Brady found his fight. Judy Battista digs into... more

Jim Schwartz brought his Buffalo Bills defense to Detroit and obliterated Matthew Stafford and the Lions' offense on Sunday. After shutting down the Lions for three quarters, the former Detroit head coach was carried off the field by his Bills players... more

If the Dallas Cowboys continue on their current pace and snap their streak of mediocrity, we might be able to point to Dez Bryant's overtime catch Sunday as the seminal moment of the season. While being blanketed by Texans corner Johnathan Joseph,... more

Geno Smith is having a fortnight to forget. A week after cursing out a fan after a home loss, Smith got benched at halftime  as the Jets were blanked by the Chargers in embarrassing fashion . After the disastrous performance , we found out that... more

Kyle Orton brushed off an early pick-six and Dan Carpenter nailed a 58-yard field goal to lead the Buffalo Bills to a 17-14 road win over the Detroit Lions. Our takeaways: 1. Orton looked shaky early, checking down often. His worst pass came on an... more

Megatron will battle his former head coach Sunday afternoon when the Detroit Lions host the Buffalo Bills  -- and defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz. After telling teammates he would play , Calvin Johnson has been listed as active for Sunday's game.... more

Odell Beckham Jr. will make his NFL debut for the New York Giants on Sunday afternoon against the Atlanta Falcons. NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport reported on NFL GameDay First that the rookie receiver will play and the entire playbook will be open... more

Robert Griffin III returned to the practice field sans a walking boot Saturday for some stretching drills with his teammates. It was a positive step for the Washington Redskins quarterback as he works back from a dislocated ankle suffered in Week... more

Week 5 Cheat Sheet October 04, 2014

Everything you need to know as kickoff approaches... Harrison: Power Rankings, Week 5 Elliot Harrison completely reassesses the NFL hierarchy at the quarter pole, with 31 of 32 teams switching spots.READ Key game-time decisions All players... more

The New England Patriots waived receiver Kenbrell Thompkins on Saturday. The move appeared on the NFL's transaction wire and the Patriots promoted linebacker Ja'Gared Davis from the practice squad in a corresponding move. Thompkins was an undrafted... more

The Arizona Cardinals travel to Denver to face Peyton Manning and the Broncos on Sunday afternoon in a highly-anticipated matchup . Cardinals players are ready to make a statement. "This ain't no normal game," linebacker Larry Foote said, per the... more

Robert Griffin III returned to the practice field Saturday for the first time since dislocating his left ankle in Week 2 . The Washington Redskins' quarterback shed the walking boot and wore cleats on both feet as he joined teammates for agility... more

The Jacksonville Jaguars activated receiver Ace Sanders to the 53-man roster on Saturday . Sanders served a four-game suspension to start the season. The wideout took a month-long leave of absence during the offseason to deal with "personal issues... more

DeMarco Murray has been the Dallas Cowboys' workhorse this season, leading the NFL with 99 carries -- a whopping 18 more than the next closest running back. He is on pace for 396 carries, but given his injury history (Murray has never played more... more

The New York Giants' offense has been humming along the past several weeks and might get another boost Sunday against the Atlanta Falcons. Odell Beckham has missed the first four games of his rookie season while dealing with a hamstring injury. The... more

Football is a young man's game, but some old(er) fellas have been showing age as merely a marking of time, not a determinate of production. Both Steve Smith (35) and Reggie Wayne (turning 36 in November) are coming off 100-yard-plus performances and sit... more

Brandon Marshall is back on the mend after spending the past several weeks dealing with an ankle injury. For the first time since Week 2 , Marshall headed into the weekend without the "questionable" designation after his name on the Chicago Bears'... more

Calvin Johnson has been dealing with an ankle injury, and Golden Tate popped up on the injury report Thursday with hamstring trouble. However, both Detroit Lions receivers practiced Friday, a positive sign for Sunday's matchup with the Buffalo Bills.... more

Jake Locker will return to the starting lineup Sunday when the Tennessee Titans host the Cleveland Browns. "He's has a good week of practice," coach Ken Whisenhunt said, per The Tennessean's Jim Wyatt . "The first day working back into it with the... more

Bill Belichick said Friday morning that he would have a comment about the report that Aaron Dobson was inactive for two weeks after he "mouthed off " to offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels. Several hours later, the New England Patriots' head coach... more

NFL Week 5 viewer's guide October 03, 2014

The Green Bay Packers made easy work of the Minnesota Vikings on Thursday , but there's still a full slate of games Sunday  and a prime-time matchup Monday. Around The NFL's Kevin Patra fills you in on the key storylines for each matchup. Here's your... more

The Aaron Dobson situation in New England is becoming curiouser and curiouser . On Thursday, The Boston Globe's Shalise Manza Young reported that the receiver was inactive the past two weeks because he "mouthed off " to offensive coordinator Josh... more

First things first: Minnesota Vikings receiver Cordarrelle Patterson said the hip injury he suffered Thursday is fine. What's not fine for us is the lack of opportunities our "Making The Leap " candidate has received in the Vikings' offense the past... more

After a 3-0 start to the season and being showcased as the most complete team in the NFL at the quarter pole, the Cincinnati Bengals aren't going to sneak up on anyone. "Now we're the hunted," offensive coordinator Hue Jackson said Thursday, per The... more

Detroit Lions rookie tight end Eric Ebron said in August he'd already hit and broken through the rookie wall . However, after four weeks of preparing and learning multiple roles as a move tight end, the rookie realized how easy it is for young players... more

Aaron Rodgers got off work early Thursday night as the Green Bay Packers bowled over the Minnesota Vikings 42-10 at Lambeau Field. The quarterback exited the contest as the fourth quarter started after compiling a stat line of 12-of-17 passing, 156... more

Oakland Raiders new interim coach Tony Sparano will have to try and alter the team's course without the help of one of his top pass-catchers. The team announced Thursday it placed receiver Rod Streater on the injured reserve -- designated to return... more

Christian Ponder got the start for the Minnesota Vikings on Thursday night against the Green Bay Packers. NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport reported that rookie quarterback Teddy Bridgewater is inactive , according to a source informed of the situation.... more

Alex Smith's time in San Francisco was anything but smooth, and the No. 1 overall pick in 2005 eventually exited when Jim Harbaugh chose to stick with Colin Kaepernick at quarterback. After essentially being "Wally Pipped" out of his job after leading... more

Cam Newton hasn't been himself this season thanks to offseason ankle surgery that sapped much of his mobility and magical escape ability. Newton, seven months removed from the procedure, said at first he didn't realize the extent to which the surgery... more

Team identities: NFC North October 02, 2014

NFC EAST NFC NORTH NFC SOUTH NFC WEST Four weeks of the season is enough time to get a read on what each team is known for. Around The NFL will look at the identity for all 32 teams after the first month of the season. Lions boast... more

DeMarco Murray has been a wrecking ball for the first month of the season. Guiding the Dallas Cowboys to a 3-1 start and earning the running back the NFC's Offensive Player of the Month award for September. Murray leads the NFL in rushing with 534... more

The Washington Redskins aren't being given much of a chance to beat the defending Super Bowl champion Seattle Seahawks on Monday night . Coming off an embarrassing loss to the New York Giants and hosting a Seattle squad fresh off a bye week, it's not... more

New England Patriots wide receiver Aaron Dobson was a healthy scratch for the second consecutive game during Monday's nightmare loss to Kansas City -- a curious situation considering the Patriots' glaring lack of a playmaking, field-stretching receiver.... more

September

Teddy Bridgewater sat out his second straight practice as the Minnesota Vikings prepare to face the Green Bay Packers on a short week. The rookie quarterback suffered a left ankle sprain in the fourth quarter of Sunday's 41-28 win over the... more

Ben Tate returned to the practice field Tuesday as the Cleveland Browns came off their bye week. It's the running back's first practice since spraining his right knee in Week 1, according to the Akron Beacon Journal . Tate's return is a good... more

The cause behind Joseph Fauria's injured ankle, which was shrouded in mystery last week, has come to light. After missing Sunday's win against the New York Jets, the Detroit Lions tight end told a tale of a little dog named Lil' Rufio and a missed... more

Following a pick six in Monday night's blowout win, Kansas City Chiefs safety Husain Abdullah, a devout Muslim, slid on his knees and bowed in prayer in the end zone. The prayer drew a 15-yard penalty flag for unsportsmanlike conduct, for "going to the... more

Many in Miami took a much-needed exhale following the Dolphins' blowout win over the Oakland Raiders on Sunday. After defensive discontent boiled into a botched, coach-inflicted quarterback controversy last week, the win helped calm the tumultuous... more

Jim Harbaugh gave his typical Harbaughian response to NFL Media's Deion Sanders' report questioning if  the San Francisco 49ers are behind their coach. After Harbaugh's rebuttal, general manager Trent Baalke -- who has reportedly had his own discord... more

The New England Patriots' offense has been a simmering a pot of rotten stew for weeks and it finally boiled over Monday night in a 41-14 , three-turnover pasting by the Kansas City Chiefs. However, it wasn't just the offense that got lambasted in... more

Mike Glennon guided the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on a comeback win Sunday that should keep him in a starting role. However he'll be without wide receiver Mike Evans for two to three weeks due to a groin injury, NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport reported... more

How to Lose a Game in 10 Ways made its worldwide debut Sunday at Heinz Field. From a slow start, to botched plays, to poor end-game defense, to a dropped flea-flicker, the Pittsburgh Steelers allowed the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to hang around and ended up... more

Steve Smith Sr. entertained like Maximus Decimus Meridus during Sunday's 38-10 thrashing of the Carolina Panthers, his former team. The now-Baltimore Ravens' receiver characterized his 139-yard, two-touchdown day as just "business." Since Smith... more

The Oakland Raiders flew more than 5,000 miles to London but couldn't leave behind their losing stench. The Silver and Black faithful who traveled to Wembley Stadium to watch their team play on foreign soil saw the same humiliation it has the previous... more

The once mighty Philadelphia ground game continues to flounder behind a makeshift offensive line. LeSean McCoy carried the ball 10 times for a grand total of 17 yards in Sunday's 26-21 loss to the San Francisco 49ers. In the past two weeks, McCoy... more

Aaron Rodgers threw darts and dropped dimes Sunday as the Green Bay Packers pulled away with a dominating 38-17 win over the Chicago Bears. Our takeaways: 1. Aaron Rodgers told Packers fans to R-E-L-A-X about the team's offense. On Sunday he put last... more

All eyes will be on Steve Smith during the "Goggle Game " at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore this afternoon. The Ravens receiver has spoken plenty since the Carolina Panthers released him this past offseason. During Week 1 , Smith went on an... more

Jake Locker missed Sunday's game . That's been a familiar statement in the quarterback's four-year career. He's missed 14 games in the past two seasons. NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport reported the quarterback would miss his first game of the 2014... more

Arian Foster's hamstring injury won't keep him out for the second consecutive week. NFL Media's Albert Breer relayed that the Houston Texans running back is officially active  to play against the Buffalo Bills.  Foster missed last week's loss and... more

Week 4 Cheat Sheet September 27, 2014

Everything you need to know as kickoff approaches... Key game-time decisions All players questionable unless noted Harrison: Power Rankings, Week 4 After three weeks, three teams stand alone at 3-0 -- but only one can take the top spot in Elliot... more

Stephen Tulloch suffered a punch-line injury in Week 3 when the Detroit Lions' linebacker tore his ACL celebrating a sack of Aaron Rodgers while mimicking the quarterback's "Discount Double Check" move. The linebacker told the Detroit Free Press'... more

Jamaal Charles practiced for the third straight day on Saturday and is listed as probable for Monday night when the Kansas City Chiefs take on the New England Patriots. The probable designation means we are all but assured of seeing the running... more

The New England Patriots will be without starting defensive tackle Sealver Siliga for at least eight weeks. The team announced it placed the third-year pro on injured reserve with a designation to return. Siliga is eligible to practice in six weeks... more

The San Diego Chargers have struggled to run the ball, but that won't make them quit trying. Through three games the Chargers are averaging a pitiful 2.4 yards per carry average (worst in the NFL), but their 97 handoffs places them fifth in attempts.... more

Jake Locker is officially listed as questionable for Sunday's matchup against the Indianapolis Colts. However, the Tennessee Titans starting quarterback didn't throw much this week as he dealt with a wrist injury. While the Titans haven't ruled out... more

It's Week 4 . We haven't even reached the quarter-pole of the 2014 season yet.  Yet, for the Oakland Raiders, Sunday's London-held tussle against the Miami Dolphins has veteran receiver James Jones playing the "must-win game" card. "To me, it's a... more

The New York Giants were rolling so well in Thursday night's thrashing of NFC East rival Washington Redskins, they got to witness one of the rarest of rarities: Eli Manning score with his feet. "It's almost like seeing a UFO or seeing a unicorn or... more

The Week 3 fight that broke out between the Philadelphia Eagles and Washington Redskins has resulted in two fines. NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport reported Friday that Eagles left tackle Jason Peters was fined $10,000 for striking a player in the... more

Joe McKnight's time in the NFL sun didn't even last a week. The Kansas City Chiefs running back ruptured his Achilles at practice Thursday, per the team's official website . McKnight had the best game of his NFL career Sunday against the Miami... more

Most of the discussion surrounding the Baltimore Ravens hosting the Carolina Panthers on Sunday has revolved around Steve Smith facing his former teammates. Less talk has taken place of how those teammates will react to facing Smith. Linebacker... more

Matthew Stafford had an eventful Friday morning. The Detroit Lions quarterback was driving around 6 a.m. to the team facility when he became one of several motorists stranded after a pedestrian bridge collapsed on a freeway on Detroit's west side. A... more

NFL Week 4 viewer's guide September 26, 2014

We're into Week 4 and starting to see who some of the contenders and pretenders are. Kevin Patra is here every week to fill you in on the key storylines for each matchup. Consider this your handy guide as you settle into your couch for all the NFL... more

The GenoCoaster reopens Sunday afternoon at MetLife Stadium, when the New York Jets host the Detroit Lions. Offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg scoffed at the idea of considering benching starting quarterback Geno Smith if he struggled again,... more

The Chicago Bears have earned back-to-back road wins without much aid from running back Matt Forte. Generally one of the best, but lesser-heralded, running backs in the NFL, Forte currently holds a 3.2 yards per carry average in 2014. Take out the... more

Kirk Cousins' two-week daydream came to a crashing end Thursday night in a five-turnover horror. Washington Redskins first-year coach Jay Gruden used several unflattering adjectives to describe his team's 45-14 loss to the Giants, calling it a... more

Antonio Allen is in the midst of one of the most brutal three-game stretches a cornerback can face. In the past two weeks he's seen Jordy Nelson and Alshon Jeffery. On Sunday he'll match up against the NFL's best receiver: Calvin Johnson. The converted... more

The New York Giants should expect to face a longtime nemesis Thursday night when they meet the Washington Redskins. DeSean Jackson is expected to play tonight , NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport reported, according to a team source. Jackson has been... more

Ryan Fitzpatrick faces many of his former teammates Sunday when the Houston Texans host the Buffalo Bills. Fitzpatrick was given his first full-time gig in Buffalo -- who eventually paid him outrageously -- but was cut prior to last season . Now with... more

Morris Claiborne sounds like he's in denial. The Dallas Cowboys cornerback was benched Tuesday , then stormed out of the building like a petulant child. Wednesday he returned , and coaches said he would play Sunday against the New Orleans Saints.... more

It's no secret that Denver Broncos receiver Demaryius Thomas has struggled to start the season. During the team's bye week, the 26-year-old admitted the first three games involved some of the worst performances of his career. "I know I ain't playing... more

Kirk Cousins is a fast starter. In both games he's participated in 2014 -- subbing for an injured Robert Griffin III in Week 2 and starting in Week 3 -- he's come out of the gate slinging the pigskin. Billick: The truth about backup QBs The backup... more

The Green Bay Packers' offense struggled Sunday to sustain drives against a surprisingly feisty Detroit Lions defense. As we mentioned on Sunday's Around The NFL Podcast , the Packers' lack of a rushing attack and poor third-down conversion rate... more

We have an Odell Beckham sighting. For the first time since the middle of August, the New York Giants rookie receiver ran routes at full speed and caught passes during the individual portion of practice Tuesday, per NJ.com's Jordan Raanan . The wideout... more

The Carolina Panthers' dire backfield situation could extend beyond this week. The team announced Tuesday it placed fullback back Mike Tolbert on the Injured Reserve-designated to return list after he suffered a hairline fracture in his right leg.... more

When Jerry Jones traded up to No. 6 overall in the 2012 draft to snag Morris Claiborne, he thought he was getting the next Patrick Peterson. Instead -- like his cornerback -- Jones has gotten burned. After giving up a first- and second-round pick... more

The Jeff Tedford era in Tampa Bay will remain on hiatus. The Buccaneers offensive coordinator is taking an indefinite leave, the team announced Tuesday. The reason for Tedford's leave is because his medical condition has not improved, NFL Media Insider... more

The Arizona Cardinals sit at 3-0 and lead the vaunted NFC West. The quarterback situation has gotten most of the headlines, but it's been Todd Bowles' defense that keyed the start. The team's offseason losses to free agency and injury have been well... more

Oh those sneaky, sneaky Cardinals. Arizona swooped in Monday and plucked rookie running back Marion Grice off the San Diego Chargers' practice squad, the team announced Tuesday. The move was of interest because, with injuries to Ryan Mathews and... more

Manti Te'o's struggles with foot injuries continue. The San Diego Chargers linebacker reportedly suffered a right foot fracture during Sunday's victory over the Buffalo Bills, according to U-T San Diego's Michael Gehlken . Te'o is expected to... more

Climb back on to the GenoCoaster, New York Jets fans, grab that security lap bar and hold on tight. This ride could make you nauseous. After two promising weeks, Geno Smith reverted to his up-and-down rookie ways Monday, making several poor decisions... more

The Pittsburgh Steelers demolished the Carolina Panthers 37-19 Sunday night, but suffered a slew of injuries in the process. Linebacker Ryan Shazier left the game with a knee injury. The good news is that it might not be serious. NFL Media... more

It took Nate Freese just three weeks to lose his job. The Detroit Lions reportedly plan to cut their starting kicker and sign former Philadelphia Eagles starter Alex Henery, the Detroit Free Press first reported . Freese missed four field goals in... more

The Cincinnati Bengals are the most impressive team through three weeks of the 2014 season, and it's not really that close. An overlooked defense has stymied three offenses, allowing an NFL-best 11 points a game. The offensive line became just the third... more

The Green Bay Packers' offense has waded into uncharted waters. On paper everything looks grand: Aaron Rodgers is back and healthy. Jordy Nelson is paid and happy, Randall Cobb is injury-free, Eddie Lacy should be better in his second season. On the... more

For the second consecutive week, the Miami Dolphins got blasted by 19 points. This time they lost to an undermanned Kansas City Chiefs team at home, 34-15 . The lackluster defensive performance has led to some rumblings out of the Dolphins' locker room.... more

St. Louis Rams tight end Jared Cook dropped what should have been an easy touchdown grab in the 34-31 loss to the Dallas Cowboys. The drop -- one of Cook's specialties -- led to frustration, which led to the tight end shoving young quarterback... more

The New England Patriots overcame a lackluster effort and held off an Oakland Raiders' comeback with a Vince Wilfork interception to ice a 16-9 field-goal palooza. Our takeaways: 1. For the third straight week the Patriots' offense couldn't generate... more

The Detroit Lions' defense rattled Aaron Rodgers in a 19-7 victory over the Green Bay Packers. Our takeaways: 1. Credit where credit is due: The much-maligned Lions' defense battered and frustrated Aaron Rodgers all game long, holding the quarterback... more

We asked for more Austin Davis, and we'll get more Austin Davis. The second-year quarterback got the start against the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday . Davis took almost all the first-team reps in practice and conducted the walk-through, per NFL Media... more

After a disheartening 0-2 start to the season that caused veteran Charles Woodson to declare that the Oakland Raiders "suck ," questions about the future of coach Dennis Allen have already begun to swirl. Fans shouldn't expect hasty answers to those... more

The Houston Texans' path to 3-0 looks like it will get a little more difficult. NFL Media's Kimberly Jones reported that Arian Foster will not play vs. the New York Giants on Sunday . The team later confirmed that Foster is on the inactive list.... more

Vernon Davis is inactive for the San Francisco 49ers' Week 3 tussle with the Arizona Cardinals. NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport reported Sunday morning that it was unlikely Davis would play in the NFC West bout due to a bruised ankle, according to a... more

Week 3 Cheat Sheet September 20, 2014

Everything you need to know as kickoff approaches ... Key game-time decisions All players questionable unless noted Harrison: Week 3 predictions Can the Broncos avenge their Super Bowl loss? Will the Bills be 3-0? Elliot Harrison projects Week... more

Tom Brady is having some fun with his Facebook account this week. First he shared his college resume . Now the New England Patriots' quarterback is trolling Oakland Raiders fans. //

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