ESPN Illustration, AP Photo/Billy Hurst

Rams' Aaron Donald got an early jump on stardom

After a childhood filled with 4 a.m. weight-lifting sessions, Aaron Donald is on the fast-track to becoming the NFL's most dominant defensive tackle.

ESPN Illustration
1dMatt Bowen and Louis Riddick

Bowen & Riddick: 10 toughest players to cover

Which NFL receivers would you least want to cover one-on-one? ESPN Insiders -- and former NFL safeties -- Matt Bowen and Louis Riddick rank the league's 10 biggest matchup nightmares.

The guiding hand who shaped Steelers All-Pro RB Le'Veon Bell (5:26)
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Scott Kacsmar

Kacsmar: Most aggressive, conservative QBs

Which QBs push the envelope on third down -- and which are comfortable playing it safe? Scott Kacsmar digs into Football Outsiders' data vault to find out.

AP Photo/Alan Diaz

Dolphins up intensity with 'Oklahoma drill'

Dolphins interim coach Dan Campbell, who vows to "change the culture" in Miami, had his players take part in the "Oklahoma drill" during Wednesday's practice.

Steve Mitchell/USA TODAY Sports
21hMel Kiper

Kiper: Paxton Lynch on latest Big Board

A handful of new names dot Mel Kiper's latest Big Board, but Paxton Lynch of Memphis is the biggest mover. A quarterback with good size, he could end up as a first-round pick someday.

Hardy must temper expectation in Cowboys' debut (1:10)
Joe Robbins/Getty Images

Seifert: Signs point to Dalton breakthrough

Is Andy Dalton finally ready to take Cincinnati on a deep playoff run? When you consider how he's progressed and how the Bengals have evolved as a team, the outlook is promising.

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1dKeith Goldner and Nik Bonaddio

numberFire: Best Week 5 Eliminator picks

Need to know the best selections for your Eliminator pool for Week 5? NumberFire is here to help, projecting the safest plays for helping you survive and advance.

ESPN.com Illustration

Power Rankings: Rewarded for big wins?

The Rams made major headway after winning in Arizona. The Ravens and Giants also rose in the wake of road victories, but not as much as you might have guessed.

2dDave Tuley

Tuley: Week 5 NFL Vegas Power Rankings

Which team is the NFL's best in Las Vegas' eyes? Dave Tuley and two Vegas handicappers give their power ratings for every NFL team heading into Week 5.


What you need to know for NFL's Week 5

Dan Graziano runs through the biggest storylines heading into this weekend, with five unbeaten teams in action and a few playoff contenders in need of a win.


Rob Demovsky ESPN Staff Writer 

With Bryan Bulaga in pads for the first time since his knee injury three weeks ago, the Packers have their starting O-line intact for first time since the opener.

Cowboys speak to Hardy about comments

Cowboys coach Jason Garrett spoke with DE Greg Hardy about his comments about returning "guns blazing," and about the wife of Tom Brady. Said Garrett: "We just addressed it immediately. That's not how we want to operate as an organization. Players and coaches in our organization understand that. We want to distinguish ourselves with our play, not with what we say."

Williams, Mariota atop Rookie Rankings

Mel Kiper Jr. gives Leonard Williams bonus points for stepping up due to the Sheldon Richardson injury and the Jets DE gets the edge over Titans QB Marcus Mariota. Top 15 (Insider)

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Vaughn McClure ESPN Staff Writer 

Roddy White said he just has to be patient and his opportunities will come. Said his talk with Dan Quinn went well and he will do whatever is best for the team in his role.

Phil Sheridan ESPN Staff Writer 

Eagles tackles Lane Johnson (65, left) and Jason Peters stretch before Thursday's practice. What they are able to do will determine their availability for Sunday's game against New Orleans, Chip Kelly said.

Flacco reads classic book to kids

There's no doubt about it, "If You Give a Mouse a Cookie" is an elite children's book. Here to read it to Baltimore City elementary school students... is Ravens QB Joe Flacco. Watch it


How to slow down Aaron Rodgers

Herm Edwards' advice to the Rams: Keep Rodgers off the field as long as possible. And when he's not on the sideline, make sure to keep him in the pocket.


Mike Reiss ESPN Staff Writer 

Tight end Rob Gronkowski says he has studied Jason Witten and has tried to take something from his game. Specifically, he admires his consistency.

Gil Brandt @Gil_Brandt

I first met Lindy Infante when he was a tailback at Florida under Ray Graves. He was always a gentleman. Gone too soon at 75.

Former Packers, Colts coach Infante dies

Former Packers and Colts head coach Lindy Infante has died in Florida following a long illness. He was 75. Infante coached the Packers from 1988-91, including a 10-6 season in '89. He joined the Colts in '96 and spent two seasons on the sidelines there. His NFL record was 36-60.

AP Photo/Michael Conroy

Mike Reiss ESPN Staff Writer 

RB Dion Lewis discusses signing a contract extension with the Patriots through 2017, as reported by ESPN's Field Yates. Says it is a good feeling, but that there is more work to do.

Week 5 fantasy flex ranks: WRs taking over

Eric Karabell ranks the top-100 fantasy players among non-QBs and thinks wide receivers are taking over -- but not completely. In just two games, Le'Veon Bell already ranks 17th in standard scoring among RBs. Top 100 (Insider)

Jason Bridge/USA TODAY Sports

Vaughn McClure ESPN Staff Writer 

Falcons coach Dan Quinn said a 1-2 running back punch with Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman is what was expected all along coming into the season. Coleman progressing well off fractured rib, Quinn said, although Coleman was limited yesterday.

Fisher playing Macarena, annoying players

In preparation for Aaron Rodgers who has a tendency to draw defenders offsides, Rams coach Jeff Fisher has played loud, obnoxious music at practice and scared them with air horns. Said DE William Hayes: "We were in there looking at film and he brings the air horn in there. I was in the boots, getting my legs right, and he comes in there and the first thing I did was I jumped offside." Message (incredibly) loud and clear

John Keim ESPN Staff Writer 

Redskins tight end Jordan Reed was not at practice Thursday as he continues to recover from a concussion suffered last week vs. the Eagles.

John Keim ESPN Staff Writer 

Redskins corner Chris Culliver is not at practice today after missing Wednesday as well. Culliver played with an injured knee vs. the Eagles last week. Fellow corner DeAngelo Hall has a helmet on but remains on the sidelines as the defensive backs go through individual drills. Hall hurt his toe in week 3 and faced a three-to-four week recovery period.

Mike Rodak ESPN Staff Writer 

After watching the beginning of Thursday's practice, Bills WR Sammy Watkins (calf) is now participating in individual drills, the final portion of practice open to reporters. That's more than what he did Wednesday.

Michael Rothstein ESPN Staff Writer 

Lions OC Joe Lombardi said Matthew Stafford has played better than is given credit for but what has been missing has been "the big play." The Lions tried more deep passes Monday night but didn't hit.

Jones on Hardy 'guns' comment: 'Oh my ...'

When informed of DE Greg Hardy's curious choice of words to describe his return from suspension, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones told SI: "Oh my goodness," before adding, "Well, you're not allowed to have guns on the football field. We all know that's just a way of expressing yourself. I hope his guns are ablazin'." Commissioner weighs in

Todd Archer ESPN Staff Writer 

Jason Garrett has spoken to Greg Hardy about the defensive end's comments regarding "guns blazing" and Tom Brady's wife, saying that's not what the organization stands for. "We want to distinguish ourselves with our play, not with what you say ... He understands that now," Garrett said.

Rob Demovsky ESPN Staff Writer 

The Packers offensive line could get a big boost this week with the return of Bryan Bulaga (knee). Coach Mike McCarthy said he came through his first practice in 3 weeks "smoothly." Bulaga (knee) will go in pads today.

Mike Rodak ESPN Staff Writer 

Sammy Watkins (calf) is in a helmet but only watching Thursday's practice. Running backs Karlos Williams and LeSean McCoy are not practicing.

Coley Harvey ESPN Staff Writer 

As the Bengals open practice Thursday morning they have back nearly everyone who missed Wednesday's practice. CB Adam Jones is among those back. It appears DE Wallace Gilberry will be limited.

Aldon Smith pleads not guilty to charges

Prosecutors say Oakland Raiders LB Aldon Smith has pleaded not guilty to hit and run, drunken driving and vandalism. The 25-year-old was arrested in August in Santa Clara on drunken driving charges. The 49ers then released him before the Raiders signed him five weeks later.

Kirby Lee/USA TODAY Sports