NFL Roundup: Colin Kaepernick, Cam Newton plus Cutler looking good

nfl roundup colin kaepernick not worth it cam newton upgrade and cutler looks good 2017 images

Colin Kaepernick has continued making news, and he is still dividing people within the NFL as he still hasn’t found a home on any team yet.

Buffalo Bills running back LeSean McCoy believes quarterback Colin Kaepernick would represent too much of a distraction for some teams to sign him.

McCoy says the media “chaos” that signing Kaepernick would bring is not worth it for what he believes is just “an OK” player.

McCoy shared his views at his locker following practice on Thursday while answering a question about his views about players protesting the anthems.

McCoy says he believes in freedom of speech while also saying he believes players can “choose a better platform to state their beliefs.” He then turned his focus to Kaepernick, who remains unsigned after opting out of his contract with the San Francisco 49ers.

McCoy says it’s easier on teams to take on a distraction if it involves a star player such as Patriots quarterback Tom Brady or New York Giants receiver Odell Beckham Jr. He said that’s not the case with Kaepernick because Kaepernick would have difficulty making some teams’ rosters.

Kaepernick became a polarizing figure in the NFL last season when he refused to stand for the national anthem to protest police brutality against blacks.

More than 1,000 people crowded the steps of the NFL’s midtown Manhattan offices on Wednesday to demand Kaepernick be signed by a team before the start of the season next month.

cam newton holds up for carolina panthers mttg

Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton was perfect in his preseason debut.

In his first live action since last year’s season finale, Newton completed both of his passes for 21 yards and a touchdown at Jacksonville on Thursday night. His 9-yard strike to Kelvin Benjamin capped a 10-play, 75-yard opening drive that showed Panthers coach Ron Rivera all he needed to see from his star quarterback.

The former league MVP had surgery in March to repair a partially torn rotator cuff in his right, throwing shoulder.

Newton participated in the first five practices of training camp before developing soreness and backing off for nearly two weeks. Newton amped up his workload this week in preparation for the team’s third preseason game.

The Panthers called runs on their first six plays before Newton stood in the pocket and found rookie Christian McCaffrey for a 12-yard gain. Three plays later, Newton was celebrating a touchdown.

carson wentz and jay cutler looking hot eagles beat off dolphins

Carson Wentz and Jay Cutler are ready for the regular season. Most of their teammates still need more work.

Wentz tossed touchdown passes to both of his new receivers, Mychal Kendricks returned an interception 31 yards for a score, and the Philadelphia Eagles beat the Miami Dolphins 38-31 on Thursday night.

Playing his second game since coming out of retirement to replace injured Dolphins starter Ryan Tannehill, Cutler was 5 of 8 for 105 yards and one TD. His surgically repaired right shoulder looked fine on a 72-yard pass to DeVante Parker.

Wentz connected with Torrey Smith on a 50-yard TD down the right side on a third-and-8 on Philadelphia’s opening series for a 7-0 lead. Smith, who was signed along with Alshon Jeffery in free agency to bolster the receiving group, didn’t have a catch in the first two games.

Wentz then hit Jeffery for a 20-yard gain and found him again for a 15-yard TD pass over the middle on his fourth and final series. Wentz finished 6 of 10 for 129 yards, two TDs, and one interception. Coming in, there were concerns Jeffery wasn’t on the same page with Wentz because he has missed a lot of practice time.

Jay Ajayi had a pair of 2-yard TD runs for the Dolphins, and Cutler tossed a 1-yard TD pass to Julius Thomas.

Eagles reserves led by No. 3 quarterback Matt McGloin had a six-play, 53-yard TD drive against Miami’s starters. Corey Clement capped it with a 3-yard TD run that tied it at 21. Mychal Kendricks then intercepted Matt Moore’s tipped pass and returned it for a score to put Philadelphia ahead 28-21.


Dolphins: Moore was 5 of 11 for 43 yards and two interceptions. … No. 3 QB Brandon Doughty was 2 of 7 for 74 yards and one TD, a 69-yard TD pass to Jakeem Grant.

Eagles: Backup Nick Foles sat out again while resting an elbow injury. … McGloin was 22 of 26 for 155 yards, one TD, one interception.


Dolphins DT Jordan Phillips had a rumbling 18-yard return after he picked Wentz, setting up one of Ajayi’s TD runs.

Eagles reserve LB Don Cherry had a nifty 42-yard return after intercepting Doughty’s pass.


CB Ronald Darby, who was acquired from Buffalo two weeks ago, struggled after an impressive debut with the Eagles. He allowed the long pass to Parker and had a 42-yard pass interference penalty in the end zone.


Philadelphia’s Chris Long, who grew up in Charlottesville, Virginia, put his arm around teammate Malcolm Jenkins as a show of unity during the national anthem for the second straight week. Jenkins stood with his right fist raised in the air as he’s done since last season. He was surrounded by Long, who is white, and Rodney McLeod and Najee Goode. Ron Brooks took a knee behind them.


Dolphins K Andrew Franks nailed a 56-yard FG at the end of the first half.


Dolphins: TE Thomas Duarte suffered a concussion.

Eagles: Rookie LB Nate Gerry left with a hamstring injury.

colts season over before it begins nfl 2017

Chuck Pagano doesn’t need game tapes to find flaws in the Indianapolis Colts defense.

He got a firsthand glimpse from the sideline last week.

If they don’t find a solution Saturday at Pittsburgh, he could be watching it all over again.

“We didn’t do enough things positively to make up for the things that we didn’t do well,” defensive coordinator Ted Monachino said. “We had some really good individual efforts and some guys that performed at a high level, but we’ve got to get more guys in that boat.”

Indy thought the solution might be a major offseason overhaul, which started with the shedding of some expensive, aging players. Popular personalities and stalwart leaders weren’t spared, either.

The next phase was free agency, where new general manager Chris Ballard invested heavily on defense. He scooped up run stuffers like Johnathan Hankins and Al Woods and potential edge rushers like Jabaal Sheard and Barkevious Mingo.

In the draft, Ballard used his first three picks on safety Malik Hooker, cornerback Quincy Wilson and outside linebacker Tarell Basham and spending six of his eight picks on defenders.

When the dust finally settled, with the release of defensive tackle Kendall Langford following a failed physical, only five returning starters remained. And one, safety Clayton Geathers, is expected to miss the first six weeks of the regular season with a neck injury.

So perhaps the growing pains should be expected. But even the usually tactful Pagano had a hard time stomaching the Dallas game.

He cringed after the Cowboys started the game with a seven-play, 95-yard touchdown drive. After Indy’s offense went three-and-out, Dallas drove to the Colts‘ 7-yard line before Darren McFadden lost a fumble.

By game’s end, Dallas had 24 points, 467 yards, 6.7 yards per play and 32 carries for 160 yards.

“Not good enough. Poor tackling. Again, they expect better; we expect better,” Pagano said afterward. “We have to address it; we have to get it fixed.”

Sure, there were encouraging signs.

Indy forced three turnovers against Dallas after generating one in the preseason opener against Detroit. That’s a significant jump for a team that has emphasized takeaways after getting only 17 last season, including the second-lowest single-season interception total (8) in franchise history.

But the Colts also only have two sacks in two weeks.

Pagano, a former defensive backs coach, and Monachino, a former defensive line and linebackers coach, know the defense must get better – and fast.

“I think what you see is we’re having some effective rushes. We’re not having nearly enough productive rushes,” Monachino said. “We haven’t spent a lot of time on the first two preseason opponents really looking at them as individual protectors. I think once we get into that a little bit deeper, I think we’ll do better there.”

The Steelers pose a different challenge.

Pittsburgh has won four straight regular-season games against the Colts, scoring 124 points in three games during Pagano’s tenure. And while Le’Veon Bell has yet to show up for practice, Ben Roethlisberger and Antonio Brown are expected to get their most significant preseason action.

Most of the Colts starters also are expected to have a heavy workload, though it’s unclear if Hooker (shoulder) will play. They need the work to get their timing down and to become the unit Pagano and Monachino expect.

“I thought we would perform better,” said Monachino, recapping last week’s game. “Like I said, I think that we as coaches have got to do a better job and our players have to do a better job. We’ve got the right men for the job; we’re just not there yet.”

Notes: Hankins (shoulder) and Chester Rogers (hamstring) also could sit out Saturday. Neither practiced Thursday. … Receiver Donte Moncrief (shoulder) has practiced this week in a red jersey.

vikings stadium us bank repairs continue

Crews are repairing exterior panels on U.S. Bank Stadium as the Minnesota Vikings prepare for their second season in the facility.

The $1.1 billion stadium in downtown Minneapolis was completed more than a year ago, but workers are still fixing panels in about half a dozen spots.

The durability of the panels has long been a concern. Panels came loose during storms in July 2016 and last March. Earlier this year, water seeped through and created puddles in various places.

Finance & Commerce reports that about 10 percent of zinc panels covering the outside of the stadium are being repaired. The work is expected to wrap up next month.

The Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority says the repairs are covered under warranty, and there is no cost to taxpayers.

The 52nd Super Bowl will be played at the stadium in February.

julian edelman patriots injured during preseason game nfl 2017

New England Patriots receiver Julian Edelman limped off the field, trying to keep weight off his injured right knee, after making a catch on the game-opening possession against the Detroit Lions.

Edelman had three receptions for 52 yards in a four-play stretch and was hurt on the last one as he was tackled by safety Tavon Wilson, a former teammate, on Friday night.

Edelman was evaluated by New England’s medical staff behind the team’s bench in a blue tent. Brady went inside the temporary structure after ending the drive with his first of two touchdown passes to Chris Hogan. Shortly after the quarterback left the tent, Edelman emerged and was taken to the locker room in a cart.

Edelman was hurt on the opening possession that ended with Brady throwing his first of two touchdown passes to Chris Hogan in a 30-28 victory over the Detroit Lions on Friday night.

The preseason victory may have been costly.

Edelman had three receptions for 52 yards in a four-play stretch and was injured on the last one as he was tackled by safety Tavon Wilson, a former teammate. He was evaluated on the sideline briefly before being taken to the locker room on a cart and being ruled out for the game.

Brady was 12 of 15 for 174 yards with two TDs and an interception. He helped the defending Super Bowl champions take a 24-0 lead late in the first quarter. Detroit slowed him down in the second quarter and mercifully didn’t have to face him after halftime.

Matthew Stafford threw a 23-yard TD pass to Marvin Jones late in the first half and an 18-yard pass to Dwayne Washington for another score early in the third against New England’s backups. He finished 15 of 22 for 190 yards, two TDs and an interception.

Jake Rudock, Detroit’s backup quarterback, connected with Jared Abbrederis for an 11-yard score late in the third and led another drive that ended with Washington’s 1-yard run to put the Lions up 28-24 midway through the fourth.

Jimmy Garoppolo set up Stephen Gostkowski’s 25-yard field goal to pull New England within a point with 3:46 left. After the Patriots defense forced Detroit to punt, their backup QB put Gostkowski in a position to make a go-ahead, 45-yard kick with 2 seconds to go.


Lions running back Ameer Abdullah had 60 yards rushing on 13 carries and three receptions for 39 yards.


Patriots: If Edelman has to miss any games during the regular season, New England may lean on players such as Hogan and Danny Amendola to fill his role as a slippery receiver in the slot. Edelman led the Patriots with 98 receptions and 1,106 yards receiving last season and was a key player during their championship run.

Lions: TE Cole Wick, getting a chance to play a lot with Eric Ebron out with a hamstring injury, left the game with a chest injury and LB Tahir Whitehead went out with a knee injury. RB Theo Riddick, coming off wrist surgery, made his preseason debut. He didn’t gain a yard on one carry and one catch.

Kansas City running back Spencer Ware’s right knee injury might not be as bad as first feared.

Ware sprained his right knee and was carted off the field in the Chiefs’ 26-13 preseason loss to the Seattle Seahawks on Friday night. But Kansas City coach Andy Reid said after the game that X-rays came back negative and that Ware would have an MRI to further access the damage Saturday.

It was optimistic news for what appeared to be a major injury.

“We’ll just see how that turns out,” Reid said.

Russell Wilson was again brilliant for Seattle, throwing for 200 yards and a touchdown, but his performance was secondary to the injury suffered by Ware and the impact it could have for the Chiefs.

Ware remained on the turf after making a 6-yard reception on a pass from Alex Smith in the first quarter. Ware appeared to take an awkward step with his right leg during the play and team trainers were looking at his knee while he was down on the field. Players from both teams took a knee while Ware was examined, and he was taken off the field on a cart.

“Our guys like the heck out of him. He is one of our guys,” Seattle coach Pete Carroll said about Ware, who began his career with the Seahawks. “I wanted to send him some love and hope he is OK.”

It was the second straight week a starter in Seattle was taken off the field with a knee injury. The Seahawks lost starting left tackle George Fant for the season last week due because of a torn ACL in his right knee.

The Chiefs have depth at running back with veteran Charcandrick West and impressive rookie Kareem Hunt, who averaged 4.3 yards per carry filling in after Ware was hurt. But Ware’s strength was his versatility as a runner and pass catcher out of the backfield. Ware rushed for 921 yards and had another 447 yards receiving last season for the Chiefs.

“Kareem got good work last week and he learned how fast this thing can change where all of a sudden you become that starter and in a position to do that,” Reid said.

Ware’s injury was part of a lackluster effort form Kansas City’s offense. Smith was 7 of 17 for just 44 yards although there were a handful of drops. The Chiefs had just 102 total yards in the first half against Seattle’s starters and Kansas City’s only touchdown came on a 95-yard kickoff return from De’Anthony Thomas .

Wilson’s stellar preseason continued , playing the entire first half and one drive of the second half. He threw a 2-yard touchdown to Tre Madden and led Seattle on four scoring drives, including three field goals by Blair Walsh. In parts of three preseason games, Wilson is 29 of 41 for 447 yards, three touchdowns and no interceptions.

“Everything he has done looks like it is culminating in really good, solid decision making, really clear thinking, very decisive, quick with the football,” Carroll said.

The biggest area of concern for Seattle coming into the week was how the offensive line would respond to the loss of Fant. His replacement, Rees Odhiambo, went mostly unnoticed with the exception of one play early in the third quarter. Chris Jones, in his preseason debut following offseason knee surgery, made Odhiambo whiff and engulfed Wilson for the only sack allowed by the Seahawks starters.

“Everything was pretty good for the most part,” Odhiambo said. “A few things we’ve got to clean up a little bit but for the most part I felt like we did a really good job.”

MAHOMES MADNESS: Kansas City rookie Patrick Mahomes wasn’t quite as impressive as the first two weeks of the preseason. Mahomes was 8 of 15 for 70 yards passing and led one scoring drive – a 32-yard field goal by Sam Ficken – in four possessions.

BACKUP BATTLE: The backup QB role in Seattle could be back open after Trevone Boykin had a miserable night and Austin Davis was solid. Boykin missed on all six attempts with an interception, while Davis was 5-of 5 for 64 yards and a 28-yard TD pass to Tanner McEvoy in the fourth quarter.

Carroll said the offense was so out of rhythm that he doesn’t read much into Boykin’s performance.

BENNETT SITS: Seahawks DE Michael Bennett continued to sit on the Seattle bench during the national anthem. For the second straight week, teammate Justin Britt stood next to Bennett with his right hand on Bennett’s shoulder. Cliff Avril stood for most of the anthem before sitting next to Bennett at the end.

SITTING OUT: Chiefs DE Justin Houston was expected to make his debut but was scratched due to illness. Safety Eric Berry and outside linebacker Tamba Hali were also among the veterans that rested.

Seattle wide receiver Tyler Lockett went through full pregame warmups but did not play as he continues to recover from a broken leg suffered late last season. Also sitting out was running backs Thomas Rawls and C.J. Prosise, and linebacker Michael Wilhoite.