Bruce Carter (quad) out 10-14 days

September, 30, 2014
Sep 30
[+] EnlargeBruce Carter
Dilip Vishwanat/Getty ImagesCowboys LB Bruce Carter will miss Sunday's game against the Texans with a strained right quadriceps.

IRVING, Texas -- Dallas Cowboys linebacker Bruce Carter said he was told his strained right quadriceps will need 10-14 days to heal, knocking him out of Sunday's game against the Houston Texans.

"It's just one of those things where the body has to heal it just with him," Carter said. "Just rehab basically. I've just got to keep doing my rehab and I should be fine. ... Hopefully it goes a lot faster than that. I want to get back out there."

Carter was hurt in the fourth quarter of the Cowboys' win against the New Orleans Saints, while chasing down running back Khiry Robinson on a 62-yard run. He was replaced by Rolando McClain in the nickel defense.

"I felt like I got shot," Carter said. "I was opening up about to catch him and then just, 'Pow! Out of nowhere.'"

Former Cowboys LB DeMarcus Ware missed three games last season with a quadriceps strain.

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Jadeveon Clowney resumes running

September, 30, 2014
Sep 30

HOUSTON -- Texans rookie linebacker Jadeveon Clowney said he hopes to return in a few weeks from the knee injury that has sidelined him since the season opener.

Clowney, who spoke Tuesday after an event at a middle school in Houston, said that he had begun the running portion of his rehabilitation and that it's going well.

"Rehab's coming along good," Clowney said. "I'm getting healthy. My leg's feeling a lot better -- just taking it one day at a time."

Clowney, the No. 1 overall pick in this year's draft, suffered a torn meniscus in the Texans' season-opening victory against Washington and was expected to miss four to six weeks.

"It's very hard (to be patient)," he said Tuesday, speaking for the first time since suffering the injury. "I keep telling guys 'I think I'm ready, I think I'm ready.' They're like man, you just got injured. They're just like, 'Take it one day at a time ... you have a long career ahead of you also. Don't rush to come back one time and get hurt again.'

"I want my leg to be very healthy before I come back out there."

Clowney quickly showed his speed and power during Houston's preseason games as he learned to play outside linebacker, a position the college defensive end never played before. His progress was slowed by a sports hernia, which he had surgery on in June.

Then in August, during a joint practice with the Denver Broncos, Clowney suffered a concussion that kept him out two weeks. He was healthy in time for the season opener.

Clowney suffered his latest injury when he jumped in the air and landed awkwardly on his leg. The non-contact nature of the injury made it even harder to take.

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Falcons lose three starters

September, 30, 2014
Sep 30

FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. -- The Atlanta Falcons have lost starting center Joe Hawley to a season-ending knee injury and starting right tackle Lamar Holmes to a season-ending foot injury, while starting strong safety William Moore will be placed on short-term injured reserve with a shoulder injury, coach Mike Smith said Tuesday.

Hawley injured his right knee during Sunday's 41-28 loss at Minnesota when nose tackle Linval Joseph rolled up on his leg. Hawley was carted off the field and left the stadium on crutches with a brace protecting his knee.

Initially, there was optimism about Hawley's injury not being season-ending and possibly being a less severe MCL sprain. However, further tests revealed otherwise. A league source told ESPN's Adam Caplan that Hawley suffered a torn ACL.

Hawley took to Twitter to post a message about his injury.

With Hawley out of the lineup, the Falcons have to turn to Peter Konz, the former second-round pick out of Wisconsin who lost the starting job to Hawley last season. Konz has 25 career starts.

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ASHBURN, Va. -- Tight end Jordan Reed returned to practice, albeit in a limited role, but it at least provided a glimmer of hope that he might return for Monday’s game against Seattle.

Meanwhile, left tackle Trent Williams, corner Tracy Porter, guard Shawn Lauvao and tight end Niles Paul did not practice because of various injuries.

Reed has not played since early in the season opener against Houston because of a strained hamstring. He said he’s still day to day. But, Tuesday, he participated in individual drills for the first time since injuring his leg.

“It felt all right,” Reed said. “I didn’t do too much to try and test it so I can’t say if I’m 100 percent yet or not. The closer we get to the game they’ll test it more.”

The Redskins could be thin at tight end if Paul is unable to recover from his concussion. That puts Reed in a spot where he knows time is the best antidote for a hamstring, but the Redskins need help now.

“It’s really frustrating, man,” he said. “Hamstrings can be reoccurring if you don’t let it heal all the way. So it’s a frustrating situation. The tight end position is short right now so it’s more trying to get out there faster.”

Paul said he was feeling “pretty normal” after suffering his injury in the first half of Thursday’s loss to the New York Giants. He did see a replay of the hit, which occurred on a throw down the middle, over the linebacker’s head but with two safeties converging.

“It was pretty brutal,” he said. “I like to pride myself on being a tough guy and you just shake that off. When I woke up the first thing I asked [Darrel Young] was, ‘Did I make the catch?’ He told me I did.”

Williams did not need an MRI Friday, but said doctors told him there was a slight dislocation in his right knee. They also told him nothing was torn.

“That gives me confidence to know that if I do get a chance I can get back out there,” he said.

Coach Jay Gruden said there was no need for some of the banged-up players to practice Tuesday. Thursday, when they practice again, will provide a better barometer.

Defensive lineman Kedric Golston was able to go through some drills, as was linebacker Akeem Jordan. Golston has not played since the opener; Jordan has yet to play. But Porter, who played a half a game Thursday for his first action of the season, remains bothered by his hamstring.

“He is just taking it very slow right now,” Gruden said.

With Porter aching, the Redskins re-signed corner Richard Crawford because he knows the system.

Bridgewater confident for Thursday

September, 30, 2014
Sep 30

EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. -- Teddy Bridgewater did not practice Tuesday with the Minnesota Vikings, but the rookie quarterback still hopes to play in two days against the Green Bay Packers.

Bridgewater said he is feeling "much better" than he did Sunday, when he suffered a sprained left ankle in Minnesota's victory over the Atlanta Falcons.

Bridgewater, who threw for 317 yards in his first NFL start Sunday, was not with the team during the open portion of its Tuesday practice and said he would likely spend most of the session doing running and flexibility exercises. As for throwing and pushing off on his left foot, he would likely do that during a jog-through Wednesday before the Vikings travel to Green Bay.

Bridgewater, though, said he was "much further ahead than I was Sunday" and still sounded optimistic about his chances to play.

"We have a long time until Thursday," he said. "I just want to continue to rehab, do a little exercising today and see where I am these next couple of days."

If Bridgewater is unable to go, Christian Ponder would make his first start of the season. That would mark the second consecutive season the Vikings would have used a third starting quarterback by October.

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Ben Tate returns to practice

September, 30, 2014
Sep 30
[+] EnlargeTate
Charles LeClaire/USA TODAY SportsBen Tate returned to practice for the Browns on Tuesday and will start Sunday if he's healthy, coach Mike Pettine said.

BEREA, Ohio -- Running back Ben Tate returned to the practice field for the Cleveland Browns on Tuesday and will start against Tennessee if healthy, coach Mike Pettine said.

"[We're] looking forward to getting him back," Pettine said Tuesday as the Browns returned from their bye week. "He was playing at a high level before he got hurt."

Tate was the starter in the season opener in Pittsburgh but sprained his knee on a 25-yard run. He missed a win over New Orleans and a loss to Baltimore but averaged 6.8 yards per carry in his six carries in Pittsburgh.

Pettine would not commit to Tate starting until he sees him practice through the week. Tate told the Browns if there were a game this past Sunday, he probably could have played.

"It leads us to believe it shouldn't be an issue this week, but we still need to get him a full week of practice and see how the knee responds to it," Pettine said.

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Joe Hawley's knee injury serious

September, 30, 2014
Sep 30
[+] EnlargeJoe Hawley
Bruce Kluckhohn/USA TODAY SportsFalcons center Joe Hawley was carted off from Sunday's loss to the Vikings with a knee injury.

The right knee injury to Atlanta Falcons starting center Joe Hawley is thought to be serious enough that it could be season-ending, a league source said.

Fourth-year guard/center Peter Konz replaced Hawley during last week's game against the Minnesota Vikings.

The team is scheduled to work out veteran guard Uche Nwaneri, who spent the preseason with the Dallas Cowboys.

Nwaneri started 92 games for the Jacksonville Jaguars from 2007 to '13.

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RENTON, Wash. -- It’s a bad week for the Seattle Seahawks to lose their starting tight end, considering how poorly the Washington Redskins played against the New York Giants’ tight ends last week.

Eli Manning was 10-of-11 while targeting his tight ends in New York’s 45-14 victory on Sept. 25 -- including 7-of-8 for 54 yards and three touchdowns to Larry Donnell.

Seattle tight end Zach Miller is out for at least the next two games after undergoing a clean-up procedure on an ankle. That makes second-year player Luke Willson the starter for the Monday night game against Washington at FedEx Field.

[+] EnlargeZach Miller
AP Photo/Scott EklundThe Seahawks are going to be without tight end Zach Miller for at least two weeks.
Willson (6-foot-5, 250 pounds) has only one reception this season. He had 20 receptions for 272 yards and one touchdown as a rookie. Willson is viewed as a good receiver, but not the blocker that Miller is.

“It’s a great opportunity for him to step up,” Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said of Willson. “He’s improved in every area. He’s stronger and faster than he was a year ago, but this is a lot to ask of him.”

The Seahawks also have tight end Cooper Helfet, a Duke graduate who spent last year on the practice squad. Helfet played in his first NFL game on Sept. 21 against Denver, only on special teams.

Carroll said the team could bring in another tight end, but he was more inclined to stay in-house.

“We looked hard and brought a lot of guys in here and worked out a lot of people,” Carroll said. “But we would like to stay with our people, banking on the communications and the system working for us. We're going to get it fixed right here.”

That leaves a few options, including rookie offensive tackle Garry Gilliam, who played tight end for three seasons at Penn State before moving to tackle.

“He has it in his background,” Carroll said. "He’s eligible to do it. He’s pretty quiet. He hasn’t come up and banged on my door about that, but he’s more than willing. He knows. We’ve talked about it since he first got here that this could be a possibility. He’s ready if we call on him.”

The Seahawks also have RaShaun Allen on the practice squad. He's a 6-4, 250-pound rookie out of Southern. And rookie defensive end Cassius Marsh lined up at tight end a few times at UCLA in goal line situations, catching two touchdown passes.

“Oh yeah, now he has banged on my door a few times,” Carroll said of Marsh. “He’s not as quiet as Garry.”

The biggest issue with Miller being out is the loss of a quality blocker on the edge. Miller has lined up quite a bit on the right side to help out rookie right tackle Justin Britt.

Another option for the Seahawks is to use a third tackle on the line in Alvin Bailey, which they did a few times at the end of last season. But that takes a receiver option out of the game.

No option gives the Seahawks everything they get from Miller, an eight-year veteran who played his first four seasons in Oakland when Seahawks offensive line coach Tom Cable was there.

“Zach does a ton of things for us’’ Carroll said. “He was with Tom those years in Oakland. That background they’ve built really helped us a lot in so many areas with all the little things [Miller] knows how to do, like being in motion, playing as a fullback as well as a normal tight end. And we’ve moved him everywhere, including outside. He’s a very versatile player that we will miss a lot in him being out.”

But the Seahawks felt it was better to get Miller healthy now, using the bye week, than risk losing him later in the season.

“It wasn’t going to get any better,’’ Carroll said. “He had some loose bodies [in his ankle] and it was very uncomfortable. It’s been bothering him for a number of weeks. He’s been playing with it and we don’t want him to have to tolerate it any longer. We wanted to fix him up and hope he has a speedy recovery.’’
ALLEN PARK, Mich. -- After coming close to returning to the Detroit Lions a week ago, right tackle LaAdrian Waddle said if things go well this week in practice, he'll be back in the lineup Sunday against Buffalo.

Waddle said the decision will come based on this week of practice. He almost played against the New York Jets on Sunday, but on Friday a mutual decision between trainers, coaches and Waddle kept him out for one more game.

"I was close last week," Waddle said. "So we're going to go through practice this week and if everything's good, we'll be ready to go."

Waddle, who beat out Corey Hilliard for the starting job during training camp, injured his right calf during the Lions' first series of the season on "Monday Night Football" against the Giants. He hasn't played since and returned to practice last week for the first time.

He said he has been walking fine and made progress every day in practice last week, but he was still getting a feel of "pushing on people" and the force of the impact on the calf. So the decision was made to rest him for one more week so there would be less of a chance of re-injury that could potentially keep him out for a longer period of time.

In his place, the Lions have rotated Garrett Reynolds and Cornelius Lucas at right tackle the past three games. Reynolds has started every game, but Lucas has played a varying number of snaps each week.

And with the Lions playing well, Waddle felt he could make sure he was fully healthy before he re-entered the lineup.

"The guys that have been in there have been doing a pretty good job and they've been battling so that plays into it, too," Waddle said. "So be on the safe side and looking ahead to the rest of the season.

"I want to get in and get back and play from when I play to the rest of the season. I don't want to get in there and get hurt again. We just erred on the side of waiting just because of that."

Now, Waddle might not have to wait much longer.
EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. -- In addition to Teddy Bridgewater, the Minnesota Vikings were without two other starters in practice on Monday, as linebacker Chad Greenway sat out with a broken hand and broken rib and cornerback Captain Munnerlyn missed practice with an illness.

(Kyle Rudolph was out, as well, but that's going to be a common occurrence for the next few weeks, so we won't make note of it most days. For an update on Rudolph's rehab after sports hernia surgery, head here.)

Greenway saw his streak of 115 consecutive games played end on Sunday, and he'll be fighting to get back on the field for Thursday's game at Lambeau Field against the Green Bay Packers. "Time is the best healer," Greenway said, "so that would definitely help (if the game were on Sunday."

Running back Jerick McKinnon, who ran for 135 yards on 18 carries on Sunday, was limited with an ankle injury. Cornerback Josh Robinson was also limited with a hamstring injury.

Linebacker Michael Mauti (foot), wide receiver Rodney Smith (hamstring), linebacker Brandon Watts (knee) and fullback Jerome Felton (knee) were full participants.

Chiefs' Jamaal Charles (ankle) back

September, 29, 2014
Sep 29

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Running back Jamaal Charles will return to the Kansas City Chiefs lineup for tonight's game against the New England Patriots. Charles is active for the Chiefs.

Charles missed last week's game against the Miami Dolphins because of a high ankle sprain.

The Chiefs will play without starting strong safety Eric Berry, who also has a high ankle sprain, and rookie running back/wide receiver De'Anthony Thomas. He has yet to play this season because of a strained hamstring.

The Chiefs' other inactive players are quarterback Aaron Murray, wide receiver Albert Wilson, running back Joe McKnight, offensive lineman Laurent Duvernay-Tardif and defensive end Damion Square.

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RENTON, Wash. -- Seattle Seahawks coach Pete Carroll is hoping that tight end Zach Miller only misses a couple of games after undergoing a clean-up procedure on his ankle, but there was some good news on the injury situation Monday.

After saying last week that strong safety Kam Chancellor could have ongoing ankle problems all season, Carroll had a more optimistic response to Chancellor’s situation when asked about it after practice.

“It bothered him a lot in the San Diego game [Sept. 14],” Carroll said of Chancellor. “But he did a really good job against Denver [Sept. 21] and he looked fine [Monday]. We might be able to put that behind us. We hope so.”

Carroll also was encouraged about the progress cornerback Tharold Simon has made since undergoing minor knee surgery on Sept. 4, but Simon won’t return for the Monday night game at Washington.

“He’s doing great,” Carroll said of Simon. “He’s only a couple weeks away from getting back out here.”
GREEN BAY, Wis. -- The Green Bay Packers had Clay Matthews on a limited snap count in Sunday’s game at the Chicago Bears.

And it would have been that way even if the Packers did not have a Thursday game against the Minnesota Vikings to follow this week.

"I'm not saving players for anyone," Packers coach Mike McCarthy said Monday. "That's not the way we operate."

But the fact Matthews came out of the victory over the Bears without any lingering issues from the groin injury that limited him to 52 of the 78 defensive plays worked out well for this week.

Although the Packers did not practice on Monday, they still had to submit an official injury report for Thursday's game against the Vikings. Here's the full report:

Here’s the full injury report*:
*Participation levels were estimates because the Packers did not practice.
NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Jake Locker is likely to be involved in practice when the Tennessee Titans start to prepare for the Cleveland Browns on Wednesday.

At his Monday news conference coach Ken Whisenhunt said he's optimistic about his starting quarterback, who missed Sunday's blowout loss in Indianapolis with an injured right wrist suffered a week earlier during a loss to Cincinnati.

"He's further along, hopefully we'll see Wednesday that he will be able to practice and see where that is," Whisenhunt said. "...He didn't throw today, I think he'll continue with treatment. He was very close Sunday. I would anticipate that he'll practice Wednesday."

Asked if Locker is the starter if he's healthy, Whisenhunt asked a question in return: "Has it been said differently?"

Whisenhunt said Charlie Whitehurst did a good job of running the Titans' offense, even as it was a poor offensive performance.

Rookie Zach Mettenberger quarterbacked two series at the end of the game. If Locker returns to action, Mettenberger would return to being a game-day inactive, at least for now.

Whisenhunt said the week off might help Locker reset after struggling. "But sometimes it's better to stay in the fray, that"s the way you get better."
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Kieran Darcy has your New York Giants WR Odell Beckham Jr. update here. My take on this is that he's practicing, which is progress, but that I wouldn't assume he's a go for Sunday's game against the Atlanta Falcons just yet. It's telling that Tom Coughlin said Beckham doesn't have to be a factor in the punt return game in order to get on the field, and that indicates we might see him in a limited role at wide receiver this week or next. But he clearly has more to show the coaches and trainers between now and Sunday.

As for the rest of the team...

Middle linebacker Jon Beason, who has missed the past two games with a foot injury, did practice some with the team during Monday's short practice. Beason has made decent progress from the injury, which was an aggravation of the injury that cost him all of training camp and, as of a couple of weeks ago, felt like it could be season-ending. But he's not giving up yet, and it's possible he could return to face the Falcons. The Giants are 2-0 without him, so Jameel McClain has filled in well at middle linebacker.

Rookie linebacker Devon Kennard, who's missed three games in a row with a hamstring injury, ran on a side field and is making progress. As with Beckham and Beason, we'll know more about Kennard when we see who does and doesn't practice Wednesday and Thursday.

Cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, who suffered a thigh injury in Thursday's victory in Washington, warmed up with the team and seemed to be going through some practice drills, but my guess is he'll be listed as limited Wednesday. Not a major concern as of now for Sunday's game with Rodgers-Cromartie, but he bears watching.

And it's not an injury, but cornerback Jayron Hosley returned to practice Monday. Hosley missed the first four games of the season on a drug suspension. The team got a one-game roster exemption for Hosley, so they don't have to decide what to do with him until next Monday. It's possible he could be released. Hosley was a third-round pick in 2012 who showed some promise as a nickel corner as a rookie, but he's had a lot of injuries and now the suspension, and Trumaine McBride is obviously ahead of him on the depth chart. They'd have to cut a linebacker or a wide receiver, most likely, to make room for Hosley.