Shutdown Corner

  • Jeff Fisher signs extension with Los Angeles Rams, rest of NFL rejoices

    Shalise Manza Young at Shutdown Corner 2 hrs ago

    Sunday morning is often a time for rejoicing, and 31 teams in the NFL are doing just that with the news that the Los Angeles Rams have signed coach Jeff Fisher to an extension.

    NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport tweeted that it’s believed to be a two-year deal for Fisher; the sides agreed to the parameters in the preseason but Fisher didn’t sign the pact until the regular season.

    ESPN reporter Adam Schefter added that the extension doesn’t necessarily give Fisher added job security, and that Los Angeles “must win and play well down the stretch or his job will be in danger.”

    The Rams are in New England on Sunday, and enter with a 4-7 record. They have lost six of their last seven games.

    This is Fisher’s fifth year with the Rams; they have finished no better than 7-9 and third in the NFC West on his watch.

  • Patriots' Alan Branch has 4-game suspension rescinded, so what happened exactly?

    Eric Edholm at Shutdown Corner 21 hrs ago

    It’s an unusual event when a player has an NFL-imposed suspension rescinded before his appeal hearing even occurs, but that’s apparently what happened to the New England Patriots’ Alan Branch.

    The 10th-year defensive tackle appeared to be set to miss four games for what was reported as a positive drug test. Branch had filed for an appeal, but before that even occurred the NFL reviewed the case and cleared him of any wrongdoing. This is a very rare thing in the NFL.

    Branch, 31, was told two weeks ago that he had failed a drug test, and according to the Boston Herald, Branch appealed it immediately thereafter because there were traces of marijuana in his system from a previously failed test. Branch already was in the NFL drug program, so he was eligible to be tested as many as 10 times per month per NFL rules. According to the Herald report, there were no new traces of the drug in his system, which led to the NFL’s eventual about face.

    Branch’s agent, Blake Baratz, responded to the developments on Twitter.

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  • With child on the way, Bills TE Charles Clay doesn't make road trip to Oakland

    Frank Schwab at Shutdown Corner 23 hrs ago

    The Buffalo Bills could be without tight end Charles Clay for Sunday’s game, because Clay stayed home due to the expected birth of his child.

    The team announced Saturday that Clay did not make the flight to Oakland.

    #Bills TE Charles Clay is not on the team flight to Oakland due to the expected birth of his child.

    His game status remains questionable.

    — Buffalo Bills PR (@BuffaloBillsPR) December 3, 2016

    There have been many stories through the years of NFL players saying they would miss a game to witness the birth of their child – there was even some question if Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman would miss Super Bowl XLIX for the birth of his child (his daughter was born four days later) – but it’s pretty rare for an NFL player to actually end up missing a game.

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  • Reggie Bush to honor fellow USC running back Joe McKnight with special cleats

    Frank Schwab at Shutdown Corner 23 hrs ago

    While many NFL players have paid tribute to Joe McKnight on social media, the most vocal has probably been Buffalo Bills running back Reggie Bush.

    McKnight, who was shot and killed in New Orleans on Thursday afternoon, and Bush are both former USC running backs who went on to play in the NFL. Although the college careers of the two didn’t overlap, there was a clear kinship between the two.

    This week the NFL is allowing players to wear special cleats if they wish, as part of a “My Cause, My Cleats” initiative. Bush said on Twitter he will use that platform to pay tribute to McKnight.

    Cleats for tomorrow's game ????????????#RIPJoeMcKnight #FightOn

    — Reggie Bush (@ReggieBush) December 3, 2016

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  • Greg Cosell's Film Review: Kirk Cousins has matured into a good quarterback

    Greg Cosell at Shutdown Corner 1 day ago

    Perhaps we’re too worried about labels when it comes to Washington Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins.

    Is he a “system quarterback” who is “managed” by coach Jay Gruden and his scheme? Well, what we can say definitively about Cousins is he is an improving player operating really efficiently in a well-designed and well-schemed offense. He is producing a lot of yards (second in the NFL this season with 3,540), touchdowns (43 over his last 21 games, with just 10 interceptions) and helping the Redskins win games (10-4-1 record over their last 15 regular-season games).

    And isn’t that the job of any quarterback?

    As Cousins gets ready to lead Washington into a huge road game against the Arizona Cardinals, a game that’s critical for the Redskins in the playoff race, it’s worth looking at where Cousins is right now. To do that we have to look back at the labels that were placed on him earlier in his career.

    The coaching staff has a well-designed and orchestrated passing game and the coaches have an excellent feel for what Cousins’ strengths and limitations are. That’s what good coaching is. And Cousins has been executing the Washington offense at a high level.

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  • Gronk's post-surgery report: 'Dance floor tomorrow night, here I come'

    Jay Busbee at Shutdown Corner 1 day ago

    Rehab day 1! "Can't nobody hold me down… Oo no I got to keep on movin"

    A video posted by Rob Gronkowski (@gronk) on Dec 2, 2016 at 6:52pm PST

    New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski underwent back surgery on Friday, and despite what has to be either searing pain or rhino-stopping pain medications, used Instagram to offer up a characteristically Gronk-esque prognosis: “Dance floor tomorrow night, here I come.” (Language alert for one of Gronk’s pals getting a little too excited in the above clip.)

    Gronkowski has suffered a range of injuries this season, and the herniated disc that required surgery was perhaps the final straw for 2016. His family released a statement on Thursday indicating they did not expect Gronkowski to take the field again this year, though that final determination will await the results of Gronk’s surgery. Getting out on the dance floor is one thing, going across the middle against the Raiders defense quite another.

  • New details emerge in Joe McKnight shooting and release of shooter

    Frank Schwab at Shutdown Corner 1 day ago

    After hearing criticisms of his office for releasing the man who admittedto shooting former NFL running back Joe McKnight, Jefferson Parish Sheriff Newell Normand held a press conference to reveal some details of the case, including that the man who shot McKnight was in his car when he fired all three shots.

    McKnight was shot and killed on Thursday afternoon in New Orleans. Authorities said that Ronald Gasser, 54, shot McKnight. Gasser was released overnight, and a JPSO spokesman told the Baton Rouge Advocate he wasn’t charged “as of yet.” Gasser reportedly stayed at the scene and gave his gun to police when they arrived. A report from the New Orleans Times-Picayune, said a witness “saw a man at the intersection yelling at McKnight, who was trying to apologize.” The witness also told the Times-Picayune that Gasser stood over McKnight and shot him.

    Normand said that wasn’t true. He specifically discounted three things he said he has seen reported.

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  • Johnny Manziel’s assault case dropped if he undergoes anger management, rehab

    Frank Schwab at Shutdown Corner 1 day ago

    Johnny Manziel’s domestic violence case has been conditionally dropped, but he still has to meet a few requirements.

    WFAA in Dallas reported that Manziel must complete an anger management course, attend a domestic violence victim impact panel, and take part in the NFL’s policy and program for substance abuse or a rehabilitation program. If he fulfills those requirements the assault case against him will be dropped.

    Manziel was accused of hitting ex-girlfriend Colleen Crowley and dragging her into a car against her will. He faced misdemeanor charges but prosecutors agreed to drop the charges if he meets those requirements.

    More Browns coverage on Yahoo Sports:

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  • Trevor Siemian misses another practice, Paxton Lynch reportedly will start

    Frank Schwab at Shutdown Corner 1 day ago

    Trevor Siemian had one of his better games on a national stage last week against the Kansas City Chiefs, but he won’t have a chance to build on that momentum this week.

    Siemian missed his third straight practice on Friday and according to Mike Klis of 9News in Denver, he’ll be out against the Jacksonville Jaguars on Sunday. First-round pick Paxton Lynch will make his second career start.

    Siemian suffered a foot injury last Sunday, near the end of an impressive performance. Siemian had 368 yards and three touchdowns.

    Right when Siemian was getting hot, it appears the Broncos have to go to Lynch for at least one week. Lynch started one other game this season, a loss at home to the Atlanta Falcons. Lynch has played in two games, and has completed 37-of-59 passes for 393 yards, two touchdowns and one interception. The Broncos liked him enough in the draft to trade up and get him, but he had a slow start to the offseason and Siemian ended up winning the starting job.

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  • Cheers! Von Miller sends thank you note, bottle of wine to every player in AFC West

    Shalise Manza Young at Shutdown Corner 1 day ago

    It’s pretty common for quarterbacks to buy gifts for their offensive linemen (or, in the case of Tom Brady, to get Uggs for every New England Patriots teammate), and more and more often we’re seeing opposing players exchange jerseys after a game.

    But Denver Broncos star Von Miller decided to honor his opponents in a unique way.

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    Via Denver Post Broncos writer Nicki Jhabvala, Miller sent a custom bottle of wine and thank you note to every player in the AFC West. Even the ones on practice squads and injured reserve. For the record, that’s close to 300 bottles.

    The thank you note read:

    Thank you for helping to make our game great!

    -Von Miller