notebook: Falcons lose Pro Bowl S Neal for season
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[September 08, 2018]
Atlanta Falcons Pro Bowl strong safety Keanu Neal will
miss the rest of the season after tearing the anterior cruciate
ligament in his left knee during Thursday's season-opening loss to
the Philadelphia Eagles, the team announced.
Neal twice departed the game because of left knee issues. He didn't
return after the second injury occurred in the third quarter. The
tear was detected during an MRI exam on Friday.
Coach Dan Quinn said he didn't think Neal's injury was serious after
Thursday's contest. But he and the Atlanta players were in a somber
mood Friday after learning of the seriousness of the injury.
"That one hurts for us because he certainly exemplifies not only our
style as a ballplayer but as a teammate, too," Quinn said in a press
conference. "We're bummed for him, and that's certainly tough for us
--Los Angeles Chargers defensive end Joey Bosa will miss the season
opener Sunday with an injury to his left foot, the team announced.
Bosa suffered a left foot injury during practice on Aug. 7 but
injured it again in practice on Wednesday, his first session back on
the field. He sat out practice Thursday, and on Friday, he was seen
with a walking boot, according to NFL Network.
The Chargers will host AFC West rival Kansas City on Sunday. That
should make life easier for quarterback Patrick Mahomes, who begins
his first season as the starter for the Chiefs.
--Seattle Seahawks defensive end Dion Jordan and running back
Rashaad Penny will suit up the season opener against the Broncos at
Denver on Sunday.
Head coach Pete Carroll said Penny, the team's first-round draft
pick, is recovered from the hand injury he suffered in practice
after the first preseason game. Penny underwent surgery and is
likely to be the backup to Chris Carson to begin the season.
Dontae Johnson, who won the right cornerback spot in camp, did not
practice Thursday or Friday after picking up a groin injury and is
--Pittsburgh Steelers star receiver Antonio Brown watched the locker
room drama play out regarding holdout running back Le'Veon Bell
earlier this week and was not impressed.
Bell has declined to sign his $14.5 million franchise tag for this
season and emotions boiled over on Wednesday when several players
let loose with their feelings over his absence. Brown said the
turmoil -- the strong comments, the harsh critiques -- was
"No one wins when the family feuds," Brown told reporters two days
before the Sunday season opener against the Cleveland Browns. "At
the end of the day, we're family. We want the best for him. That's
what it's all about. It's not about pointing fingers and fighting
among each other. We are a core group that should respect and love
each other regardless of the situation."
--The New York Giants created $3 million in cap space by
restructuring cornerback Janoris Jenkins' contract, ESPN reported.
To free the space, the Giants converted $4.5 million of his base
salary into a proratable bonus. That gives them some cap space to
begin the season.
According to Spotrac, the Giants have $4.24 million in cap space
available, more than only the Carolina Panthers, Denver, the New
Orleans Saints and the Green Bay Packers. In contrast, the Cleveland
Browns and Indianapolis Colts each have more than $50 million.
--The Chicago Bears signed nose tackle Eddie Goldman to a four-year,
$42 million extension.
Goldman will receive $25 million guaranteed, according to multiple
reports. The Bears confirmed the extension through the 2022 season
but didn't reveal financial terms.
"This is a key extension for the future of the Bears and an anchor
for our defense," Chicago general manager Ryan Pace said in a
statement. "We are excited to be able to reward one of our own in
Eddie. We put pride in drafting and developing players and Eddie has
put the work in every day to earn this opportunity."
--Minnesota Vikings cornerback Xavier Rhodes (hamstring) is
questionable for Sunday's opener against the 49ers despite returning
to a full practice.
Rhodes was limited on Wednesday and Thursday before going full on
Friday. Cornerback Mackensie Alexander (ankle) is doubtful after
missing Wednesday's session and being limited the last two days.
As expected, center Pat Elflein is out as he continues to recover
from offseason surgeries to his ankle and shoulder.
--Kansas City Chiefs safety Eric Berry is doubtful for Sunday's
opener against the Chargers after again sitting out practice with a
right heel issue.
NFL Network reported Thursday there is growing concern about Berry's
injury, adding it could be related to the Achilles tear that kept
him out for almost all of 2017.
Berry, 29, did not play in the preseason and hasn't practiced since
Aug. 14. His current issue is in his right heel, as opposed to the
left Achilles he tore in the 2017 opener, but Berry also had
soreness in his right heel last preseason, which could have factored
in the season-ending injury to the other foot.
--The Dallas Cowboys officially ruled out center Travis Frederick,
who was recently diagnosed with Guillain-Barre syndrome, for
Sunday's opener against the Panthers.
Frederick has yet to practice since the diagnosis and remains
without a timetable for return. The team placed guard Parker Ehinger,
who was acquired from the Kansas City Chiefs on Aug. 30 to provide
interior depth, on injured reserve with a knee injury after he sat
out the last two days.
Defensive end Datone Jones (knee) and safety Xavier Woods
(hamstring) are also out after missing practice all week, while
safety Kavon Frazier (shoulder) and cornerback Chidobe Awuzie (back)
are questionable after getting in full sessions Friday.
--Jacksonville Jaguars cornerback Jalen Ramsey was a full
participant at practice and is set to start Sunday's opener in a
much-anticipated matchup with Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr.
Ramsey was limited by an ankle injury Thursday, but Jacksonville had
its entire 53-man roster available with no injuries in their final
workout before heading to New York for the Week 1 game.
"A lot of people are going to try and make it about me and him
specifically. That's not what it is about," the 23-year-old Ramsey
said of locking up Beckham. "It's 11 versus 11. It's not me vs. him
all game. I'll be on him a fair amount; I'm sure other guys will be
on him too."
--Will Fuller is one of three Houston Texans wide receivers who are
questionable for Sunday's game against the Patriots with hamstring
Fuller, rookie Keke Coutee and Sammie Coates have all been limited
in practice this week and are questionable to play. Rookie
linebacker Duke Ejiofor is also questionable with a hamstring
Cornerback Kevin Johnson cleared concussion protocol, and linebacker
Whitney Mercilus practiced in full after being limited Wednesday and
Thursday with a hamstring issue of his own. Both will be available
--Indianapolis Colts running back Marlon Mack and left tackle
Anthony Castonzo are both questionable for Sunday's opener against
the Bengals after being limited again in practice by hamstring
Mack was limited for the second straight day, after practicing
Thursday for the first time since the preseason opener. Castonzo,
who appears more likely than Mack to play Sunday, has been limited
all week after suffering a setback in his recovery in late August.
Tackle/guard Denzelle Good (knee, wrist) is out after missing
practice all week.
Le'Raven Clark, a 2016 third-round pick, has been working in
Castonzo's place on Andrew Luck's blind side. At running back, the
Colts have rookies Jordan Wilkins and Nyheim Hines along with
veteran Christine Michael if Mack can't go. Robert Turbin is
suspended for the first four games after a PED violation.
--Tampa Bay Buccaneers left tackle Donovan Smith (knee) is
questionable for Sunday's opener against the New Orleans Saints,
while cornerback Brent Grimes is doubtful after straining his groin
Grimes, 35, was not previously listed on the injury report this
week. Cornerback De'Vante Harris also picked up a new injury -- to
his hamstring -- and is doubtful, which could give Tampa Bay limited
depth against Drew Brees and the Saints. Rookie cornerback M.J.
Stewart practiced in full after being limited Wednesday and Thursday
and is expected to play.
Smith, who sprained his knee in an Aug. 21 practice and was given a
two- to four-week timetable, also made his first full practice of
the week on Friday and is expected to give it a go against the
--Carolina Panthers right tackle Daryl Williams and guard Amini
Silatolu are each questionable for Sunday's opener against the
[to top of second column]
Apr 28, 2016; Chicago,
IL, USA; Keanu Neal (Florida) is selected by the Atlanta Falcons as
the number seventeen overall pick in the first round of the 2016 NFL
Draft at Auditorium Theatre. Mandatory Credit: Kamil Krzaczynski-USA
TODAY Sports / Reuters
Both offensive linemen have been limited in practice this week as
they steadily recover from knee injuries suffered during training
camp, but head coach Ron Rivera said he is "building confidence"
that they could play Sunday.
Williams was considered a likely injured reserve candidate when he
dislocated the patella and tore the medial collateral ligament in
his right knee on July 28, but he has made a swift recovery after
opting for rehab over surgery. Silatolu, who is listed as the
starter at left guard, had surgery Aug. 10 to repair a torn meniscus
in his left knee.
--As expected, New York Giants outside linebacker Olivier Vernon was
ruled out of Sunday's game against the Jaguars with an ankle injury.
Vernon suffered a high-ankle sprain in practice two weeks ago and
did not practice this week. Inside linebacker Tae Davis (hamstring)
is also out, while rookie outside linebacker Lorenzo Carter
(illness) is good to go after practicing in full on Friday.
--New England Patriots running back Sony Michel (knee) and right
tackle Marcus Cannon (calf) are among four players listed as
questionable for Sunday's opener against the Texans.
Michel has been limited in practice as he returns from a procedure
on his knee, while Cannon has been a full participant all week.
Special teamer Nate Ebner (full, knee) and tight end Jacob Hollister
(limited, hamstring) are also questionable for Sunday.
--Tennessee Titans right tackle Jack Conklin (knee) and rookie
linebackers Rashaan Evans (hamstring) and Harold Landry (ankle) were
ruled out of Sunday's opener against the Dolphins.
Evans did not practice Friday after getting in limited sessions
Wednesday and Thursday. He missed most of camp with the issue and
had a setback in late August. Landry's absence was expected after he
sustained a high-ankle sprain in the preseason finale, though he
practiced on a limited bases Wednesday before missing the last two
Conklin also was expected to be out as he continues to recover from
a torn ACL sustained in the divisional playoffs in January. The
Titans will also be without safety Kendrick Lewis (foot), but
outside linebacker Derrick Morgan (knee) is good to go after
consecutive full practices.
--Arizona Cardinals tight end Jermaine Gresham (Achilles) and
defensive tackles Robert Nkemdiche (foot) and Olsen Pierre (toe) are
questionable for Sunday's opener against the Washington Redskins
after being limited in practice all week.
Gresham was activated off the PUP list last week after tearing his
Achilles in the 2017 season finale. Nkemdiche and Pierre are key
pieces in the interior D-line rotation, though starter Corey Peters
(knee) practiced in full on Friday and is expected to play.
Running back T.J. Logan (ankle) is also questionable, while Markus
Golden (knee) is out. Golden was also activated off PUP last week
but is not yet ready after tearing his ACL late last season.
--Miami Dolphins receiver DeVante Parker returned to practice for
the first time since breaking his right middle finger nearly four
weeks ago but is doubtful for Sunday's season opener against the
Parker ran pass routes on the side, but the injury hasn't healed
enough for him to catch passes. He was wearing a large pad on his
hand to protect the finger.
--New Orleans Saints offensive linemen Andrus Peat (quad) and Jermon
Bushrod (not injury related) are both questionable for Sunday's
opener against the Buccaneers.
Peat got in limited practices on Thursday and Friday after missing
Wednesday's session. Bushrod has been absent for consecutive days
for an undisclosed non-injury related reason. Peat is the team's
regular starter at left guard, while Bushrod is the team's likely
--Pittsburgh Steelers tight end Vance McDonald was ruled out of
Sunday's opener against the Browns with a foot injury.
He practiced on a limited basis Wednesday, his first practice since
hurting the foot during preseason, before sitting out the final two
--The Philadelphia Eagles activated linebacker Nigel Bradham and
cornerback Deiondre' Hall to the 53-man roster after they completed
their respective one-game suspensions.
Bradham's suspension stems from a July 2016 incident in Miami in
which he was arrested and charged with aggravated assault, while
Hall's was for violating the league's substance-abuse policy. Hall
was acquired from the Chicago Bears for a conditional pick last
The Eagles were previously at 52 players on the roster after placing
wideout Mack Hollins on injured reserve Thursday. The team waived
safety Tre Sullivan, who was responsible for a turnover with a
special-teams error in Thursday's opener, to open up an extra spot
--Green Bay Packers rookie linebacker Oren Burks is questionable for
Sunday night's opener against the Chicago Bears with a shoulder
Burks, who is listed as a starter next to Blake Martinez inside, has
been limited all week after hurting the shoulder in a preseason game
Aug. 24. He was a third-round pick in April's draft.
Second-year safety Josh Jones is out with an ankle injury after
missing practice all week, and linebacker James Crawford (hamstring)
--Former Denver Broncos first-round quarterback Paxton Lynch worked
out for the Detroit Lions, according to an ESPN report.
Lynch was waived by the Broncos on Sunday to make room for waiver
claim Kevin Hogan. The 27th overall pick in the 2016 draft, he
visited the Buffalo Bills earlier this week.
--Former Cleveland Browns first-round wideout Corey Coleman worked
out for the Arizona Cardinals, according to an ESPN report.
Coleman was among the Buffalo Bills' final cuts after they acquired
him from the Cleveland Browns for a seventh-round pick in August. He
was the 15th overall pick in the 2016 draft.
--The Seahawks released cornerback Byron Maxwell, linebacker Erik
Walden and quarterback Austin Davis with injury settlements, making
them free agents.
Maxwell and Walden were each battling hip injuries when they were
placed on IR at final cuts. The move ends Maxwell's second stint
with the team after he played in 47 games (17 starts) from 2011 to
2014 with the Seahawks.
--Free agent wide receiver Max McCaffrey was suspended four games by
the NFL, although the reason for the suspension is unclear.
McCaffrey, brother of Panthers running back Christian McCaffrey and
son of former NFL wideout Ed McCaffrey, was waived with an injury
designation by the San Francisco 49ers at final cuts last week and
remains a free agent.
--Former Dallas Cowboys running back Joseph Randle is being held
without bond on a suspicion of rape in Wichita, Kan., according to
multiple outlets that cited jail records.
Randle, a Wichita native, was taken into custody at Sedgwick County
Jail around 3:45 a.m. The 26-year-old has spent most of the past two
years in jail but was released in June after receiving five years'
probation related to an altercation at a house party in 2016.
Randle also is due for sentencing in another felony case on Oct. 9,
according to The Wichita Eagle.
--Baltimore Ravens rookie kicker Kaare Vedvik is out of the hospital
and expected to cooperate with police investigating an apparent
assault on him last weekend.
Vedvik was found with substantial facial injuries and bruises on the
back of his head in East Baltimore and taken to the hospital early
The 24-year-old Vedvik, a punter and kicker from Norway who attended
Marshall, was placed on the reserve non-football injury list in the
--Field Level Media
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