QB Ryan Mallett could miss time

November, 23, 2014
Nov 23

HOUSTON -- Texans quarterback Ryan Mallett played through a right pectoral injury Sunday against the Cincinnati Bengals, a source confirmed.

Mallett suffered the injury in his first career start Nov. 6 against the Cleveland Browns. He practiced fully all week but was on the injury report with a chest injury throughout the week leading up to the game.

The Houston Chronicle first reported the injury.

Mallett will have an MRI to determine the extent of the injury. He could miss several weeks, which would further delay the start of an NFL career that has already taken a while to get started.

The Texans turned to Mallett just before their bye week. Mallett replaced former starter Ryan Fitzpatrick, a 10-year veteran. The Texans traded for Mallett on Aug. 31; he had spent the first three years of his career with the New England Patriots. Mallett only threw four passes in that time and never played a meaningful snap.

The Texans acquired him for a conditional draft pick. The pick is a sixth-rounder if Mallett plays in 40 percent of the team's snaps this season and a seventh-rounder if he does not meet that condition.

In his first start Nov. 16, Mallett completed 20 of 30 passes and threw two touchdowns and one interception. He had the 10th-best QBR of any starting quarterback since 2001. On Sunday against the Bengals, Mallett only completed 21 of 45 passes and was likely hindered by the injury.

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Tashaun Gipson injures knee

November, 23, 2014
Nov 23

ATLANTA -- The Cleveland Browns' defensive injury woes continue after safety Tashaun Gipson -- the league's leader with six interceptions -- left Sunday's 26-24 win over the Falcons with a right knee injury. He did not return to the game.

Staffers carted off Gipson after he struggled to walk off the Georgia Dome turf. He was down for a few minutes after a collision with cornerback Joe Haden as both tried to cover Julio Jones in the end zone with 11:25 left in the fourth.

Browns coach Mike Pettine said Gipson will have an MRI on Monday.

Gipson is an integral part of the Browns' secondary for his ability to read quarterbacks and get good jumps on routes downfield.

If he's lost for the season, the Browns will likely play veteran Jim Leonhard at Gipson's spot alongside safety Donte Whitner. The Browns have been without three defensive linemen -- Phil Taylor, Armonty Bryant and John Hughes -- for much of the season and played Sunday minus lead linebacker Karlos Dansby.

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Trent Williams, Jordan Reed inactive

November, 23, 2014
Nov 23
SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- The Washington Redskins will be without four starters for Sunday's game versus San Francisco, with one unexpected player being deactivated.

Left tackle Trent Williams, tight end Jordan Reed, corner David Amerson and nose tackle Chris Baker all were declared inactive. Amerson was the unexpected one; he was not on the injury report during the week.

With Williams out, rookie Morgan Moses will make his first start after playing the final three quarters last week against Tampa Bay. Here's a story on Moses from earlier in the week regarding his performance. He'll face elite pass-rushing linebacker Aldon Smith on Sunday, which is a tougher task, but the Redskins probably won't leave him one-on-one too often.

Niles Paul will take over the role as pass-catching tight end; the Redskins felt the Niners were vulnerable in coverage against tight ends. Stephen Bowen will be active with Baker sidelined. The Redskins could end up with Barry Cofield at nose and Bowen and Jason Hatcher at end. Bowen was inactive last week. Tracy Porter will start for Amerson.

The other inactives: quarterback Kirk Cousins, receiver Aldrick Robinson and receiver Leonard Hankerson.
DENVER – After not practicing this week, Denver Broncos tight end Julius Thomas was one of the team’s game-day inactives Sunday against the Miami Dolphins.

While Thomas, who did not practice Wednesday or Thursday, was dressed for practice Friday as he went through stretching with the team, the Broncos held him out of the workout. At the time, Broncos head coach John Fox said: “We could have said limited, but it was probably closer to did not participate."

Tight end Virgil Green, who had been limited in practice this past week with a calf injury, will be active for the Broncos.

Thomas suffered his injury in the first quarter of the Broncos’ 22-7 loss to the St. Louis Rams last Sunday. The current injury is not to the ankle Thomas had surgically repaired before the 2012 season.

Thomas, after suffering an injury to his right ankle on his first NFL catch in his rookie season in 2011, had surgery on that ankle before the 2012 season when the ankle continued to give him problems.

Defensive tackle Marvin Austin Jr., who has been in uniform for the Broncos' previous 10 games, was inactive as Mitch Unrein was in the lineup, and tackle Chris Clark, who was moved out of the starting lineup Oct. 19 against the San Francisco 49ers, is also inactive for the first time this season.

The rest of the Broncos inactives were running back Montee Ball, cornerback Tony Carter, running back Ronnie Hillman and tackle Michael Schofield.
[+] EnlargeLance Briggs
AP Photo/David DrapkinBears linebacker Lance Briggs has missed a total of 10 games over the past two seasons.

CHICAGO -- Bears linebacker Lance Briggs left Sunday's 21-13 win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers after suffering a groin injury in the second quarter, and rookie cornerback Kyle Fuller suffered a knee injury that kept him out for the second half.

Athletic trainers took Briggs into the locker room just before intermission, and the club announced he wouldn't be back when the Bears returned to the field for the second half. Minutes later, the team announced Fuller was out for the game.

A seven-year Pro Bowler with a contract set to expire at the end of the season, Briggs, 34, has already missed three games due to a rib injury. It's unknown whether Briggs' latest setback will force him to miss time.

Briggs currently earns $4.75 million in base salary from a three-year extension signed back in 2012, but likely won't be able to command such a salary to return to the Bears in 2015, and has said he expects this season to be his last in Chicago.

Briggs has missed a total of 10 games over the past two seasons. He missed seven outings last year due to a fractured shoulder.

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DENVER -- Here are the Miami Dolphins' inactive players for Sunday’s game against the Denver Broncos: Analysis: Clay, who has hamstring and knee injuries, is a big loss for the offense. He's third on the team with 39 receptions and takes away a reliable weapon for starting quarterback Ryan Tannehill. Backup tight end Dion Sims will get the start in place of Clay. Finnegan, as expected, is out with an ankle injury. This is a big game for backup corner Jamar Taylor in his second career start.

Larry Fitzgerald streak snapped

November, 23, 2014
Nov 23

SEATTLE -- For the first time in 111 games, wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald did not suit up for the Arizona Cardinals and it may have cost them in a loss to the Seattle Seahawks.

Fitzgerald say out because of a Grade 2 MCL sprain in his left knee that he suffered last week against Detroit.

It's the first game Fitzgerald has missed a game since Dec. 2, 2007 -- a run of 110 straight contests that was the NFL's second-longest streak for active wide receivers.

After the inactives were announced, Fitzgerald took to Twitter to encourage his teammates on the first-place Cardinals, who played a crucial game against the reigning Super Bowl champion Seahawks.

The Cardinals couldn't get anything going on offense, however, and lost 19-3. The Cardinals are 1-4 without Fitzgerald since he was drafted in 2004.

Fitzgerald is Arizona's leading receiver with 46 catches for 658 yards.

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MINNEAPOLIS -- Hello from an overcast day at TCF Bank Stadium, where the Minnesota Vikings and Green Bay Packers are set to square off at noon CT on Sunday. The Vikings will be tasked with trying to slow down the league's hottest offense, and they'll have to do it without the help of defensive tackle Sharrif Floyd.

Floyd, who didn't practice Thursday or Friday after banging knees with another player during practice, is among the Vikings' inactives for Sunday's game. Rookie Shamar Stephen will start in his place at defensive tackle, though the Vikings are likely to use a rotation of Stephen, Tom Johnson and Linval Joseph. Floyd, however, has played some of his best football in recent weeks, and his absence will likely be felt as the Vikings try to slow down Packers running back Eddie Lacy, who ran for 105 yards when the teams last met Oct. 2.

Running back Ben Tate will be active for the Vikings after the team claimed him off waivers last week; Tate could take part of Matt Asiata's role in goal-line and passing situations, with Asiata out with a concussion. Wide receivers Greg Jennings and Jarius Wright are also active after being listed as questionable with rib and hamstring injuries, respectively.

Here is the Vikings' full list of inactives:

Thoughts from Patriots' inactives

November, 23, 2014
Nov 23
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- Thoughts from the Patriots' inactive players today: CB Malcolm Butler, WR Aaron Dobson, OL Jordan Devey, DL Dominique Easley, RB James White, OL Cameron Fleming and DE Chandler Jones:

Accountability check. Five-for-seven on inactives predictions. One of two hunches paid off -- with cornerback Alfonzo Dennard getting the nod over Butler. But Dobson continues to be edged out by Brian Tyms as the fourth receiver. We also didn't project Easley (knee) as an inactive, instead tabbing backup Zach Moore.

Blount active in return. Some asked the question if running back LeGarrette Blount would be active after just having two practices with the team. He is indeed active and is expected to split time with Jonas Gray in the power back role. But this isn't expected to be a big power running game for the Patriots, with "passing back" Shane Vereen projected to see the most snaps at the position.

Following up on Easley. The Patriots' 2014 first-round draft pick missed practice on Thursday and Friday with a knee injury. It was unclear if it was a case of managing his existing injury, as was the case the week before when he missed two practices, or something that could threaten his availability for action. It turned out to be the latter. Without Easley, the Patriots lose their top right end in the base 4-3 defense, as well as an interior sub rusher. Akeem Ayers could be in line for more reps at end, while the interior sub rush could fall more to Chris Jones.

Welcome back, Dennard. Dressing for the first time since Oct. 16 against the Jets, Dennard takes the spot of Butler, who didn't hold a block against the gunner in last Sunday's win over the Colts. The Patriots have good depth at cornerback and special-teams contributions are often a key consideration when choosing which players dress on the 46-man game-day roster, and it looks as if Butler's performance last week has opened the door back up for Dennard.

What's up with Dobson? We had a hunch that maybe this was the week Dobson could re-emerge, as he's only played in three games this season. Tyms and quarterback Tom Brady haven't had a consistent connection the last two weeks, but he remains the No. 4 option over Dobson. This highlights how things are trending in the wrong direction for Dobson, who appeared to have an opening but couldn't seize it.

Bush won't dress for the Lions. On the Lions' side, running back Reggie Bush (ankle) is among the inactives. With the Lions playing on Thanksgiving, that could have been a big part of the consideration for giving him a little more time.
MINNEAPOLIS -- If the Green Bay Packers still plan to use Clay Matthews at inside linebacker as extensively as they have the previous two games, they will need to find another option at his old outside linebacker spot.

Nick Perry, who started the last two weeks at right outside linebacker, was declared inactive for Sunday's game against the Minnesota Vikings. Perry was listed as questionable because of a shoulder injury.

Mike Neal would be the logical choice to assume those outside linebacker snaps, but rookie Jayrone Elliott also sees some action there.

Matthews has played the majority of his snaps the last two weeks at inside linebacker, especially on early downs, but it's possible he could go back to playing more at outside linebacker.

On Friday, coach Mike McCarthy said they would have to adjust their plan if Perry could not play.

The Packers also will be without one of their key special-teams players, cornerback Jarrett Bush (groin). In his place, rookie cornerback Demetri Goodson was activated for just the second time this season.

Here's the full inactive list:
HOUSTON -- As they welcome running back Giovani Bernard back to the fold, the Cincinnati Bengals will be down two receivers on Sunday against the Houston Texans.

Dane Sanzenbacher and Greg Little were healthy scratches before the game at NRG Stadium, joining the likes of injured defenders Vontaze Burfict and Margus Hunt. On Friday, coach Marvin Lewis said Burfict was "progressing" from arthroscopic knee injury he had three weeks ago. After he went through some conditioning and rehab exercises on the side of Bengals practices earlier in the week, Burfict seemed to show signs of possibly returning next week at Tampa Bay.

Hunt hurt his right ankle at the end of the first quarter in New Orleans last week. He spent part of the week on crutches and wearing a walking boot.

This is the first time this season the Bengals will be without two receivers, but Little and Sanzenbacher have alternated inactive status in each of the last three weeks. Sanzenbacher didn't suit up for the Jacksonville and Cleveland games earlier this month, and Little wasn't part of last week's game against the Saints.

This means A.J. Green, Mohamed Sanu, Brandon Tate and James Wright will get playing time at receiver. The Bengals also are hopeful to integrate tight ends Jermaine Gresham, Kevin Brock and Ryan Hewitt into the passing game. Bernard also could get into the slot or become flanked out at receiver at times, too, as he returns for the first time in three weeks. Bernard had been a key receiving asset for the Bengals before multiple injuries sidelined him. Through seven games, he has 22 catches for 179 yards.

Cincinnati's only lineup change due to the inactives concerns linebacker Vincent Rey, who will play in place of Burfict once again.

On the Houston side, keep an eye on running back Alfred Blue, who is expected to take over for Arian Foster (groin) who also was declared inactive for Sunday's game. Foster came out before warm-ups and ran sprints across the width of the field as he tried to work through the injury. It doesn't appear he got the results he had been hoping for.

Here is the full list of inactives from Houston:

Bengals inactives
WR Dane Sanzenbacher
RB Rex Burkhead
CB Chris Lewis-Harris
LB Vontaze Burfict
OT Tanner Hawkinson
WR Greg Little
DE Margus Hunt

Texans inactives
QB Tom Savage
WR DeVier Posey
RB Arian Foster
CB Kareem Jackson
S Josh Aubrey
LB Max Bullough
OT Jeff Adams
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- Reggie Bush said Monday he felt he would return to the Detroit Lions' lineup against the New England Patriots on Sunday.

That won’t be happening.

Bush is inactive for the Lions against the Patriots, the fourth time he will have missed a game this season due to his lingering ankle injury. He had practiced Wednesday, Thursday and Friday on a limited basis.

With Bush out, expect Joique Bell and Theo Riddick to both see increased work similar to last week when Bush sat against Arizona. Bell had 85 yards rushing against the Cardinals, the most of any back for the Lions in a game this season.

Bush initially hurt the ankle in Week 5 against Buffalo and missed the next week against Minnesota. He aggravated the injury against New Orleans in Week 7 and sat out the next week against Atlanta. Then he played against Miami in Week 10 and injured it again, forcing him to sit against Arizona and now New England.

By missing his fourth game, Bush is assured of playing only 12 games this season at maximum. It will be his fewest games played since 2010, when he appeared in eight games for New Orleans. This season, Bush has 53 carries for 191 yards and one touchdown, along with 26 catches for 169 yards.

Lions inactives: RB Reggie Bush, RG Larry Warford, DT Nick Fairley, QB Kellen Moore, DE Larry Webster, WR Ryan Broyles, TE Kellen Davis.

Arian Foster ruled out vs. Bengals

November, 23, 2014
Nov 23
[+] EnlargeArian Foster
Thomas B. Shea/Getty ImagesArian Foster (groin) is inactive for the Texans' game Sunday against the Bengals.

HOUSTON -- Arian Foster was inactive for the Texans' home game Sunday against the Cincinnati Bengals.

Foster is recuperating from a groin injury suffered on Nov. 2. He missed the Texans' Week 11 win in Cleveland.

The Texans started Alfred Blue in Foster's place. Blue had a franchise record 36 rushes against the Browns and gained 156 yards on those carries. The rookie was a sixth-round draft pick out of LSU this year.

This marks the third game Foster has missed this season. He also missed the Texans' Week 3 game against the Giants, that time with a hamstring injury suffered in Week 2.

Foster returned for Week 4 against the Buffalo Bills, but was ineffective with the hamstring still bothering him. He only had eight carries for six yards in that game.

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Lavonte David out for Buccaneers

November, 23, 2014
Nov 23
CHICAGO -- The Tampa Bay Buccaneers will be without All-Pro linebacker Lavonte David against the Bears on Sunday.

David has a hamstring injury and didn’t practice Thursday or Friday.

It’s likely that Brandon Magee or Orie Lemon will start in David’s place. Running back Doug Martin and cornerback Alterraun Verner were listed as questionable but are expected to play.
ALLEN PARK, Mich. -- The Buffalo Bills expect running back Fred Jackson (groin) to play in Monday's game against the New York Jets.

Jackson was listed as questionable on the Bills' injury report, released Friday. He practiced both Friday and Saturday.

"We're planning on him to be ready to go," Marrone said Saturday evening. "Just take the injury and that's how we have to list it to protect ourselves."