- Frank Schwab at Shutdown Corner1 hr ago
Buffalo Bills coach Rex Ryan brought in one of his former players, a legend of the game, to give a pep talk to his team before it played the New England Patriots on Monday night.
That's not uncommon. But then the Bills inspirational speaker, Ray Lewis, was on the ESPN set the next night talking about the game. That's a little unusual, to say the least. He picked the Bills, a seven-point underdog, to win.
Lewis played under Ryan when the latter was a defensive assistant with the Baltimore Ravens. Ryan confirmed on Wednesday that Lewis did speak to the team though he didn't get into specifics of what Lewis said, according to ESPN.com's Mike Rodak.Mon, Nov 23Buffalo13 - 20New EnglandGame Recap
- Ben Rohrbach at Shutdown Corner2 hrs ago
As if the Detroit Lions haven't ruined enough of our Thanksgivings already, cornerback Darius Slay has finally provided the last straw necessary to remove them from our annual turkey day festivities forever.
That's right: Slay hates turkey. Like, really doesn't like it. He described it as "nasty." Four times.
The following is his exchange with ESPN.com's Michael Rothstein for a regular Question of the Week segment. This week's query: "What Thanksgiving foods do Detroit Lions players absolutely despise?"
Slay: "Turkey. So nasty. I hate turkey. I don't know why Thanksgiving has like turkey as a logo. That's like a logo for turkey. It has to be ham, because ham is way better than turkey. Turkey is terrible. I hate turkey. So nasty. Hate turkey."Thu, Nov 2612:30 PM ESTPhiladelphia at DetroitPreview Game
- Frank Schwab at Shutdown Corner3 hrs ago
On Oct. 25, Joseph Randle started his sixth straight game at running back for the Dallas Cowboys. He was owned in almost every fantasy football league in America.
Exactly one month later he was out of the NFL and behind bars in Kansas.
Randle's incredible fall continued when he was arrested and charged with one felony and five misdemeanors following an incident Tuesday night in a Kansas casino. KSN.com said he was in Sumner County Jail with a $25,000 bond. Late last month Randle went AWOL from the Cowboys when he learned he lost his starting job, following news that he violated the NFL's conduct policy (he was eventually suspended four games), and he was cut by the Cowboys on Nov. 3. Randle had some high-profile run ins with the law before Tuesday.Thu, Nov 264:30 PM ESTCarolina at DallasPreview Game
- Shalise Manza Young at Shutdown Corner3 hrs ago
Whenever folks on Twitter are invited to ask questions to a controversial individual, the results are always - how can we put this? - colorful.
On Wednesday morning, NFL Network's "NFL HQ" morning show invited viewers to tweet questions for Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, using the hashtag #AskJerryJones. Jones joined the program on the eve of his team's annual Thanksgiving Day game.
And just as you'd expect, there were some "honest" questions regarding the Cowboys' playoff chances now that Tony Romo is back from injury, but there were numerous that brought up Jones' signing of Greg Hardy and Jones' own reported debauchery.
Things started out innocently enough:
#AskJerryJones when do you start the unenviable task of finding Romos successor?
- Eric Edholm at Shutdown Corner4 hrs ago
We've tried to block out the noise coming from the college game and the ever-growing list of coaching jobs available when it comes to Chip Kelly.
We even took a long, hard pause before speculating too much about the pending opening for the NFL team that currently employs Kelly's college quarterback and apple of his eye, Marcus Mariota.
But now the din is starting to increase in Philly about Kelly and his future with the Eagles. Hint: It's not looking as rosy as it once did.
- Ben Rohrbach at Shutdown Corner4 hrs ago
Teammates and players around the NFL are reacting with shock and prayer to the news early Wednesday morning that St. Louis Rams wide receiver Stedman Bailey was shot while riding in a car with his family.
The former third-round pick is in stable condition after being struck twice in the head during an apparent drive-by shooting in Miami Gardens, Fla., according to the NFL Network's Mike Silver and Ian Rapoport. Bailey reportedly suffered non life-threatening injuries and will undergo additional surgery on Wednesday.
Bailey, who is currently serving a four-game suspension for violating the NFL's substance abuse policy, was a passenger along with two young relatives in a car driven by his cousin, who did suffer life-threatening injury upon shielding the children from the bullets, according to Rapoport's Twitter feed.
Here's the latest on the Stedman Bailey shooting from Miami Gardens police. pic.twitter.com/ZBBPyM4hsd
- Ben Rohrbach at Shutdown Corner5 hrs ago
Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch is expected to undergo surgery on a sports hernia Wednesday morning, according to the NFL Network's Ian Rapoport, leaving Seattle's playoff hopes in serious peril.
#Seahawks RB Marshawn Lynch is set to have surgery on his sports hernia tomorrow morning, source said. Expected to be out about a month.
Lynch is expected to miss home games against the Pittsburgh Steelers and Cleveland Browns sandwiched around road contests against the Minnesota Vikings and Baltimore Ravens. The hope is he returns for NFC West battles against the St. Louis Rams and Arizona Cardinals to finish the regular season.
The two-time defending NFC champions trail the Cardinals by three games in the division and currently sit on the outside looking into the conference's playoff picture. While Thomas Rawls performed exceedingly well in Lynch's absence this past Sunday, rushing for 209 yards in Seattle's 29-13 victory against the San Francisco 49ers, Lynch has been the bell-cow for a Super Bowl contender since arriving in 2010.
- Eric Edholm at Shutdown Corner19 hrs ago
SANTA CLARA, Calif. — Super Bowl 50, billed as a celebration of a half-century of what has become the pinnacle sporting event in the Western Hemisphere, was marred — before the game ever started — on an obscure automatic coin toss loss by the Carolina Panthers for sending too many captains (teams are allowed six) out to midfield against the New England Patriots, leading the Patriots to score on their deferred first possession of the second half in what would end up a 27-24 victory.
Oh, phew, what a nightmare we just had!
It’s understandable during this poor-call-plagued season to fear the worst: that a playoff game — or worse, the Super Bowl — could be decided on a blown call by the referees. Human error aside, the repeated issues have drawn all kinds of negative attention to the league, the quality of the games and the possibility of serious controversy for a league cloaked in it already.
- Eric Edholm at Shutdown Corner21 hrs ago
It was a more eventful postgame for Ohio State running back Ezekiel Elliott than it was a game last Saturday.
After being held under 100 yards rushing for the first time in 16 games, Elliott fired a few salvos in the direction of the Buckeyes' coaching staff and then announced his plans to turn pro right after that. Quite the turn of events in the loss to Michigan State, putting a serious dent in the Buckeyes' chances of winning back-to-back titles.
“We weren’t put in position to win this game,” Elliott said after his 12-carry, 33-yard game. “I deserve more than  carries, I really do. I can’t speak for the play-caller. I don’t know what was going on.”
- Shalise Manza Young at Shutdown Corner22 hrs ago
The Cleveland Browns have benched second-year quarterback Johnny Manziel after TMZ posted video of Manziel partying in Austin, Texas on the team's bye week.
In a statement posted to the team website, head coach Mike Pettine said the Browns will once again go with veteran Josh McCown as the starter, with Austin Davis as his backup. Manziel will be the team's third quarterback.