- Frank Schwab at Shutdown Corner1 hr ago
The NFL games in London are done for a public-relations reason, to lay the groundwork for the league's desire to have a team there. For the teams who travel across the pond, they still have a football game and normal business to conduct.
That stinks for a guy like William Powell, who made the trip all the way to London just to find he'd been fired and needed to take a long, lonely trip home.
Powell, a practice-squad running back with the Detroit Lions, went to London to help the team prepare for its game against the Atlanta Falcons. But the Lions have some injuries at tight end, and are getting healthy at safety, so safety Jerome Couplin was cut for tight end Kellen Davis. The Lions wanted to re-sign Couplin to their practice squad, so someone had to be cut off the practice squad to make room.
So, cheerio, William Powell.
- Jay Busbee at Shutdown Corner1 hr ago
On the first play of the second quarter of Sunday's victory over the San Diego Chargers, Kansas City Chiefs running back Jamaal Charles pulled off an impressive 16-yard broken-field run for a touchdown. However, the play ended with a vicious hit from cornerback Brandon Flowers. While Flowers left the game with a concussion, Charles stayed in ... even though he might have been at real risk for a concussion.
“It definitely hurt,” Charles told ESPN Radio. “It’s like, I woke up ... I mean, like, a couple plays later I was seeing light bulbs, like, light bulbs around my eyes, and I was trying to catch them. But I was in the game so I was like, ‘Alright, let’s get the ball and run again.'"
- Jay Busbee at Shutdown Corner1 hr ago
As if the Washington Redskins weren't having enough problems fielding a halfway competitive team, the debate on whether the team's name is racist or not simply will not go away. The Redskins-as-racially-offensive theme has hit the American mainstream, and unsurprisingly, people who aren't hardcore NFL fans or longtime "Hail to the Redskins" fanatics aren't quite as enamored with the name.
Here's the thing, though: surveys have consistently shown that a majority — a declining majority, yes, but still a majority — of Americans support the continued use of the "Redskins" name. Team owner Daniel Snyder himself has said he will NEVER (he insists on using all-caps) change the name.
- Eric Edholm at Shutdown Corner3 hrs ago
The Atlanta Falcons have descended on London and have begun preparations for Sunday's game against the Detroit Lions at Wembley Stadium. We think.
Based on a graphic the team sent out on social media, we're guessing that the Falcons' marketing folks did not book the team's itinerary over there.
Check out the graphic above. Notice anything wrong? Where to begin ...
First of all, it touts the Falcons team and staff taking THREE PLANES across the pond. Only one problem: The graphic shows them taking two — Atlanta to Baltimore, and Baltimore to London. Unless they made an unplanned stop in the Faroe Islands, or something.
The confusion is over the "to London" part; yes, their third plane apparently will go from London back directly to Atlanta, but goodness, it's not as if we can trust their logistical information at this point. Perhaps the team is taking three planes for its players, coaches and staff, but that would seem to be a bit excessive, no?
- Jay Busbee at Shutdown Corner5 hrs ago
In the wake of the outrage comes the lawyers.Pro Football Talk is reporting that former Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice has filed a grievance against the team for cutting him in September.
First, a refresher: In February, Rice got into an altercation with his then-fiancee (now wife) in an Atlantic City elevator, striking her and knocking her unconscious. He was suspended for two games by the NFL in July; two months later, when tape of the actual striking surfaced, Rice was suspended indefinitely by the league and cut by the Ravens.
Now, Rice is apparently protesting the Ravens' decision to cut him, on the basis that the NFL's collective bargaining agreement only permits for one punishment per infraction. This is not an insignifcant issue; while this puts the NFL Players' Association in the position of having to defend someone whose conduct was reprehensible, the larger point stands. If the NFL and teams can continue to double-dip in terms of punishment based on this precedent, the system is open to abuse.
- Kristian Dyer at Shutdown Corner19 hrs ago
The Cincinnati Bengals are in a bit of a free fall, having lost two of three games (and one tie), and there seems to be a connection with wide receiver A.J. Green having missed the past two contests.
They didn't seem to miss him in a 37-37 tie against the Carolina Panthers, but the Bengals were blanked on Sunday, 27-0, against the Indianapolis Colts, as they went three-and-out on their first eight possessions and 10 times total in the pathetic offensive showing.
Green's toe injury has kept him out, and he's questionable for Sunday's key matchup against the first-place Baltimore Ravens.
Green spoke with Yahoo Sports' Evan Doherty about the status of his toe.
"I feel good," Green said. "It definitely feels better, man, but it still up in the air if I can go on Sunday. But we'll see."
Green said that he has pain pushing off on the toe and has had trouble getting in and out of his breaks. The problem, too, is that it has been a case of two steps forward and one back in his rehab.
- Kristian Dyer at Shutdown Corner19 hrs ago
The New England Patriots needed to add linebacker depth and hope that a former second-round pick is a temporary solution.
The Tennessee Titans will trade linebacker Akeem Ayers to New England, pending a physical, according to the Tennessean's Jim Wyatt.
Per CBS's Jason LaCanfora, the price tag wasn't steep: a swap of late draft picks next year.
So, actually the Pats just trade a 6th round pick to the Titans for Ayers and a 7th round pick. He hadn't been playing. Pats need LB help
Ayers had played only 10 snaps this season and was viewed as a poor fit in the Titans' 3-4 system. In addition, Ayers is coming off two knee surgeries (one on each leg) this offseason. Last week, Ayers was a healthy scratch against the Washington Redskins.
- Kristian Dyer at Shutdown Corner20 hrs ago
The Dallas Cowboys might be one of the best feel-good stories of the NFL so far this season, but they will not be a part of one involving defensive end Michael Sam.
Sam, who is aiming to be the first openly gay player to appear in an NFL regular-season game, was waived from the team's practice squad on Tuesday, per various reports.
Cowboys have released DE Michael Sam from their practice squad.
Sam signed with the Cowboys on Sept. 3 after the St. Louis Rams, the team that drafted Sam in the seventh round in May, cut him following the preseason. The Cowboys even had sold Sam's jerseys in its pro shop as he tried to impress the team enough to promote him to the active roster.
That never happened. Now Sam, who spent the past seven weeks on the Cowboys' practice squad, is a free agent and will be joining his third team in three months if he lands with another club.
- Greg Cosell at Shutdown Corner21 hrs ago
One of the overlooked elements of Peyton Manning’s game is his accuracy.
Manning rarely misses. I’m not saying he never does because that’s not true, but it’s rare you watch him and say, "Wow, he’s missing guys in this game." You’re almost surprised when he throws an incompletion.
As Manning broke the NFL career touchdown record in the Denver Broncos' victory against the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday night, he was spot on, especially on his two touchdown passes to Demaryius Thomas.
The record-tying score to Wes Welker wasn’t a high degree of difficulty because the design of the play was so good. Let's look at that one first.
The Broncos faked a bubble screen to Thomas, and Manning pump faked it to him, which brought safety Eric Reid up. That allowed Welker to run by Reid on a fade route to the sideline. That’s pitch and catch for Manning.
- Jay Busbee at Shutdown Corner22 hrs ago
Welcome to the latest Shutdown Corner podcast! On today's piping-hot episode, we have:
• The return of our host Kevin Kaduk from new fatherhood-related absence
• A discussion of the most disappointing teams in the NFL (Seattle, Chicago, New Orleans ... heads up.)
• Why Peyton Manning is the best quarterback ever, and if you don't agree, you're insane
• A lightning-fast spin through all the big stories of the week so far.
All this and more as part of the Shutdown Corner Podcast. Listen below, and while you're listening ...