Adam Jones and former Bengals wide receiver Chris Henry were teammates going back to their college careers at West Virginia.
On Thursday Night Football, viewers noticed that Jones was wearing the No. 15 on the back of his helmet. The number was Henry’s, and it’s Jones’ way of paying tribute to his former teammate, who died in 2009 after falling from a moving truck driven by his fiancee in a domestic dispute.
If this sounds familiar, it may be because Gronkowski reached 69 career touchdowns during the 2016 season thanks to a rushing touchdown he scored back in 2011. It was also a nice accomplishment worth celebrating. Even his mom was fired up.
Antonio Gates and Tony Gonzalez — both with 111 career touchdowns — are the only two tight ends with more career receiving touchdowns than Gronkowski. A 70th touchdown would tie Gronkowski with Gary Collins and Andre Johnson for 40th all-time in touchdown receptions among all players.
Gronkowski caught one of his 69 receiving touchdowns came from Jimmy Garoppolo in 2014, so his next touchdown could be his 69th from Tom Brady. It, too, will be nice.
Took until the 7:36 mark, but we finally have a first down in this game. D’Onta Foreman did the honors for Houston with a 9-yard run. However, the drive stalled out when Watson ate a sack on third and long.
The Bengals also started three-and-out when Andy Dalton got sacked on a cornerback blitz on third down.
The Texans went three-and-out on their opening drive, with Watson misfiring on a couple throws.
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The Cardinals started Kerwynn Williams in their first game without David Johnson, but it was veteran Chris Johnson who led the team with 11 carries and 44 rushing yards. Williams added 22 yards on nine totes. Andre Ellington was the passing-down specialist, handling two carries and five targets. With Arizona stuck in a tight game, Ellington was on the field for a position-high 30 snaps, 28 of which were pass plays. Johnson and Williams both played 17 snaps and Elijhaa Penny handled six. This remains a situation to avoid, but Ellington is the top play in PPR and Johnson the better asset in non-PPR leagues.
Kareem Hunt, RB, Kansas City Chiefs: Another week, another big game by the rookie. Comparatively speaking, a 25.9 PPR fantasy point total probably looks like a comedown from his stunning, 45.6 point opening-week effort, but it earned Hunt the top score among running backs in the Sunday 1 p.m. ET block. It also gave him 63.5 non-PPR and 71.5 PPR fantasy points through his first two career games, both of which are second-most by any player at any position since 1950, trailing only Billy Sims’ 74.5 and 78.5 scored in 1980 Weeks 1-2. Hunt went from being started in 69.8 percent of ESPN leagues in the opener to 96.2 percent in Week 2, and with his speed and receiving ability, he’ll be rightfully regarded a weekly RB1 going forward.
Elite Kony Ealy Jersey It’s still difficult to believe that the Patriots allowed a league-high 537 yards at home in the season-opening loss to the Chiefs. While we can expect Bill Belichick to fix the defensive woes in the coming weeks, a quick fix won’t be easy since the Patriots have to go on the road to face a future Hall of Fame quarterback in Drew Brees. With that in mind, I like Ginn as a low-priced home run threat who has the wheels to get behind that defense. — Joe Kaiser
He was the Bears’ leading receiver Sunday, as he caught eight of Mike Glennon’s 26 completed passes for 47 yards and a touchdown. He also led the Bears with 66 rushing yards on just five carries. He even returned three punts for 45 yards.
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Cohen after the game praised his teammates when asked about his performance.
Besides the fact that we didn’t come up with the win, it went pretty good, he said. The offensive line did a tremendous job blocking for me, springing me for good runs. Mike (Glennon) did a tremendous job getting to the check-down and getting me the ball.
Carolina Panthers — A season removed from their Super Bowl 50 loss, the Panthers should bounce back after finishing last in the NFC South. Carolina has a healthy Cam Newton and added dynamic rookies Christian McCaffrey and Curtis Samuel. The NFC South might be the most competitive division in the NFL this season, and the Panthers should be near the top in December.
Philadelphia Eagles — The Eagles started hot last year before Carson Wentz started to look like a rookie. With a year of seasoning, Wentz and the Eagles should improve on last season’s 7-9 mark. Philadelphia added receivers Alshon Jeffery and Torrey Smith, as well as cornerback Ronald Darby and veteran defensive end Chris Long. Draft picks Derek Barnett and Rasul Douglas should improve a defense that ranked 13th overall last season.
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Tests revealed that Chicago Bears wide receiver Kevin White broke a bone on the back of his shoulder, a source tells ESPN. The fear is that White will have to undergo season-ending surgery.
White exited Sunday’s 23-17 loss to the Atlanta Falcons at the 9:43 mark of the fourth quarter after catching a short pass for no gain. The former first-round pick immediately walked off the field following the play and went into the Bears’ sideline injury tent for further examination. White was later taken to the locker room and officially ruled out for the remainder of the game.
White was observed after the game in a sling and holding his wrist to stabilize the injured side of his body. He left Soldier Field in an ambulance.
There were few downed branches and palm fronds around the outside of the stadium and small pieces of debris in the parking lots around the stadium.
Jacksonville’s EverBank Field will be ready to host Sunday’s Jaguars-Titans game as scheduled after withstanding Hurricane Irma. Logan Bowles-USA TODAY Sports
The field appeared to be fine as well. Members of the grounds crew were working on it during the day.
The Jaguars opened the 2017 season in Houston last Sunday, and the team remained there instead of returning home after the game while Irma rolled through north Florida on Monday. The team flew back to Jacksonville on Tuesday morning and arrived at EverBank Field at 1 p.m.
Team officials wanted to examine the stadium and make sure there were no issues before notifying the NFL and the Titans that the facility was in good shape.
Game Mens Ronnie Lott Jersey It is so important on so many different levels that we show the world on Sunday that Jacksonville is open for business, Jaguars president Mark Lamping said.
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Normally a “welcome to the NFL” moment for a rookie is something that woefully embarrasses them, but Nazair Jones of the Seahawks made a different kind of impression — and it’s a darn shame it didn’t count.
Jones didn’t just pick off an opposing quarterback or score a pick-six, he did it against Aaron Rodgers. That’s amazing on its own, and then you factor in that it was a big man touchdown and well — it’s just incredible. Check out that speed too! He really had some jets on this one.
Haden racked up six total tackles, had a sack (only the third of his career) and a pass deflection in his first regular-season appearance in black and gold. And it all came against the team that drafted him seventh overall in 2010. He was released by Cleveland on Aug. 30 and signed with Pittsburgh the following day.
His season couldn’t have started on a more positive note.
“I am where I am now,” Haden said. “I’m excited to be a Steeler and try to do my part to help them win. It wasn’t about proving anything to the Browns; it’s just showing the Steelers I could play.”
The Browns haven’t won a season opener since the 2004 season. Pittsburgh, on the flip side, is 10-4 in Week 1 games over that time frame.
Martavis Bryant’s path back to playing in the NFL is now complete.
Following a conditional reinstatement last month to participate in preseason games, the NFL announced Friday the Steelers receiver is cleared for regular-season practices and games.
Bryant has been suspended twice for violations of the NFL’s substance-abuse policy since the Steelers selected the former Clemson receiver in the fourth round of the 2014 NFL Draft.
He missed four games in 2015 and had to sit out the entire 2016 season, but is now ready to contribute in 2017.
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Bryant, who has 76 career receptions for 1,314 yards and 14 scores, had his year-long ban lifted in April before a conditional reinstatement on Aug. 9.
The 6-4, 211-pound receiver had a solid preseason and will be in the lineup when the Steelers open the regular season against the Browns on Sept. 10.
Derek Newton Youth Jersey The Titans, hosting the Raiders, begin their season with an onside kick attempt; it fails, and Derek Carr will start at midfield. The Browns begin their season by getting a punt blocked, which the Steelers recover for a touchdown. Marshawn Lynch rumbles through traffic for a gain of 14 on his first carry as a Raider. Matt Stafford throws a pick-six. Amari Cooper catches a touchdown. The Jets intercept a Tyrod Taylor pass in the end zone but fumble the ball back during the return? I can’t be sure about that last part, because I’m reading to my daughter before her nap. Mr. Plumbean has a big orange splot of paint on his roof, and the neighborhood association is PISSED.
On third-and-12, Carson Wentz evades most of the Washington defense and hucks it downfield to a wide-open Nelson Agholor, who races in for a 58-yard score. I have now seen multiple touchdowns scored on offense, plus defensive and special teams scores, AND I’ve read a children’s book. It has been 15 minutes since I turned on the TV.
Bortles remains entrenched, aware of the chorus supporting his demotion yet focused on blocking out that noise in order to help the Jaguars snap a six-game skid against the Texans.
I’d rather not think about it, said Bortles, who was a full participant at practice Wednesday despite a minor right wrist injury.
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Archie Bradley Elite Jersey Maybe someday at the end of my career whenever that is, hopefully a long time from now, there’ll be time to look back on it and think about how that stuff shaped me. But as of now it’s focus on how we can beat the Texans and how can I help us be as efficient as possible.
Falcons running back Devonta Freeman eclipsed the 1,000-yard mark in rushing for each of the past two seasons. Meanwhile, the passing game is led by monster talent Julio Jones, who nabbed 83 catches for 1,409 yards and six touchdowns in 14 games last year.
Ryan said he and his teammates must be sharp versus Chicago’s front seven, which is the strength of the defense. Bears pass rushers Leonard Floyd, Willie Young and Akiem Hicks each finished with at least seven sacks in 2016.
Their pass rush is good, Ryan said. They’ve got big, long guys on the outside. They’ve got some really good up-the-field speed rushing. It’s certainly something we’ll have to account for, but they’re also stout in the middle, so they do a pretty good job all over.
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The Buccaneers traded safety J.J. Wilcox to the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday in exchange for a sixth-round draft pick in 2018. The move created a roster spot for safety T.J. Ward, who agreed to a contract with Tampa Bay earlier in the day.
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By acquiring Vance McDonald, Joe Haden and J.J. Wilcox, the Steelers are trying to fix past mistakes while a championship run is still possible.
NFL teams have made 30 trades since Aug. 1, more than twice the average for the same period over the previous five years. There are multiple reasons why.
The Buccaneers also sent a 2019 seventh-round pick to the Steelers in the deal.
Tom Brady could suffer an injury as the Patriots enter a twilight zone oddly reminiscent of 2008. But there is no one single injury to a player that could sink their season. Instead, the Patriots have a lot of question marks on the edge that could derail the defense. There is a world where the Patriots fail to generate any pressure against a strong slate of opposing quarterbacks and the secondary is unable to cover for five seconds at a time, eventually costing them home-field advantage in the playoffs.
In a really obnoxious way, do the Patriots really have a rival at this point in time? The only team that would make sense would be the Denver Broncos. The Patriots have a 4-3 record against the Broncos over the past five years, with two of those losses coming in AFC Championship games. But the Broncos will have to prove themselves a contender in a post-Peyton Manning world if they are going to be the Patriots’ rival.
A new NFL season means a lot of statistical uncertainty. As the season unfolds, we will learn which defenses are most vulnerable against No. 1 wide receivers, running backs and tight ends. For now, we are basing things on our preseason projections.
Denver and Seattle still expect to be the best defenses in the league, but that doesn’t mean you should always avoid playing skill players against those defenses in fantasy. The Broncos were vulnerable against the run in 2016, ranking 21st in rushing DVOA. The Seahawks were dead last against No. 2 wide receivers, or players often not guarded by Richard Sherman.
The Patriots value the athleticism and versatility of the 6-foot-3, 250-pound McClellin, who entered the NFL as a first-round draft choice of the Chicago Bears in 2012. That athleticism showed up on special teams when McClellin, who signed a three-year, $9 million deal with the Patriots as a free agent in 2016, leaped over the line of scrimmage to block a field goal against the Baltimore Ravens last December.
In part because of that play, the NFL banned leaping over the line of scrimmage this past offseason.
The Patriots rotate their linebackers depending on what package they play, and McClellin played 34.5 percent of the team’s defensive snaps last season.
With the roster spot created by McClellin going to IR, the Patriots brought back veteran running back Brandon Bolden on Monday. Bolden, who has been a core special teams player in New England since 2012, had been released on Saturday.
If a Nevada Parole Board releases O.J. Simpson from prison on Oct. 3, 2017, which reportedly is still on the table, it would be 22 years to the day that Judge Lance Ito read the verdict that Simpson was acquitted of the double murder of his estranged wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and her friend, Ronald Goldman.
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Should Simpson be freed instead on Oct. 1, which reportedly is the earliest date possible, the amazing irony disappears, but from a sports stand point, well, take a look at this list of events that took place on a date steeped in sports history unlike many others.
DeValve, a second-year tight end who is married to a black woman, has attracted a lot of attention this week for kneeling with his African-American teammates. DeValve’s wife wrote Thursday at The Root that she is proud of her husband, but focusing on him detracts from the issues at hand.
Mens Justin Evans Jersey To center the focus of Monday’s demonstration solely on Seth is to distract from what our real focus should be: listening to the experiences and the voices of the black people who are using their platforms to continue to bring the issue of racism in the U.S. to the forefront, Erica Harris DeValve wrote. Seth, as a white individual, never has and never will truly have to feel the weight and burden of racial discrimination and racial oppression. No white person does or will. But all white people should care and take a stand against its prevalence in this country.