New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick was in a revealing mood when talking about Antonio Brown on Wednesday.

OK, obviously he was not. He never is when he talks. That can easily be seen by his answers to questions about the wide receiver who has been accused of rape and sexual assault by his former trainer.

Q: Were you aware of the lawsuit when you signed Antonio Brown?

BB: I'm not going to be expanding on the statements that have already been given.

Q: Don't you think the fans deserve to hear a little bit more from you…

BB: When we know more, we'll say more.

Q: … on such a major development that could impact the team?

BB: Yeah, I just said that.

Q: Don't you think fans deserve to hear a little bit more?

BB: When we know more, we'll say more.

Q: Are you preparing to have Antonio Brown at practice today?

BB: Yes.

Q: And are you preparing for him to play on Sunday?

BB: We're taking it one day at a time. Just like we always do.

Q: Are you preparing for the possibility that he could be on the commissioner's exempt list?

BB: We're preparing for one day at a time.

Q: How much would the allegations against him weigh into if you play him on Sunday?

BB: Yeah, I appreciate all of the questions, and what's been said has been said.

We do not know if Brown is going to play this week, but it is a storyline to follow. Even if he plays though, the Miami Dolphins are likely in a lot of trouble.

Despite the drama that follows Brown, there is a lot of good on-the-field football stories this week, including a rematch of a very controversial game in the playoffs last year.

Here is your NFL countdown to Week 2:

 

Three must-see NFL Week 2 games

Vikings (1-0-0) at Packers (1-0-0) — This will be a decent indicator of how good the Green Bay Packers' new defense is. Green Bay looked very good against the Chicago Bears last week, but a lot of that was because Mitchell Trubisky was awful and the Bears refused to run the ball. The Minnesota Vikings have just about everything going for them offensively. They will be a stiff challenge for Green Bay.

Cardinals (0-0-1) at Ravens (1-0-0) — Lamar Jackson looked absolutely incredible last week. But, it was against the Dolphins who — in sum — played like Team Trubisky. Do not get us wrong, Jackson is good, but the Arizona Cardinals certainly present a tougher test defensively than Miami. Also, Kyler Murray looked amazing in the fourth quarter and overtime in his NFL debut. He was awful for the first three quarters, though. Can he develop more consistency — hopefully on the positive side — against a very tough Baltimore Ravens defense? We are not holding our breath. The Ravens might have the best defense in football.

Saints (1-0-0) at Rams (1-0-0) — It is a rematch of last season's NFC championship game. Do not remember what happened there? Here's a refresher:

The Los Angeles Rams went on to win and went to the Super Bowl. A controversial no-call play prompted the NFL to make pass interference reviewable. A Saints fan then filed a civil suit against the NFL for robbing his team of a shot at a championship. Yeah, you need to watch this game.

J.J. Watt, Texans DE — For the first time in Watt's career Monday, the three-time AP Defensive Player of the Year was held without a tackle, quarterback hit or sack. The Houston Texans star likely will not let that happen again, and he is facing a rookie quarterback — come on down, Gardner Minshew! — against the Jacksonville Jaguars this week. A three- or four-sack game might not be out of the question.

Joe Mixon, Bengals RB — Mixon suffered a sprained ankle in the Cincinnati Bengals' Week 1 loss to the Seattle Seahawks. Coach Zac Taylor's offense is very much based on the play-action game and not having Mixon will likely affect it. However, Andy Dalton threw for 418 yards in Week 1, so clearly it can work either way. It will likely work better with Mixon, listed as questionable for the San Francisco 49ers, so the Bengals will certainly want him back.

One bold NFL Week 2 prediction

Jags fans will wonder: Did they find a franchise QB by accident? Gardner Minshew started only one season at Washington State, but won the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award given to the nation's best senior quarterback. He threw for 275 yards, two touchdowns and posted a 76.8 QBR in Week 1 in relief of Nick Foles, who is out indefinitely with a shoulder injury. Minshew has legitimate talent, and team-mates love to play for him. Look for him to again throw for 250 or more yards and two or three touchdowns against a good Texans defense. If he does that, the Jaguars may have found their quarterback of the future in the sixth round.

Ahead of the official kick-off of Week 2 in Carolina on Thursday, another quarterback was sidelined, but not with an injury.

Still, the NFL is searching for options in an attempt to make the game safer and decided to turn it into a contest with the hope of garnering more interest from people who could help.

 

Three things that matter

Darnold could miss 'multiple weeks' with mono

New York Jets head coach Adam Gase made the shocking announcement after quarterback Sam Darnold missed practice Wednesday with an undisclosed illness believed to be strep throat. It was later reported that Trevor Siemian is expected to start Monday against the Cleveland Browns, while Luke Falk will serve as the backup.

It is clearly a cause for concern since the symptoms can last for months, though an October 6 return to face the Philadelphia Eagles is possible considering the Jets have a bye in Week 4.

Le'Veon Bell also caused worry when Gase confirmed the running back would miss practice on Thursday. Bell, however, underwent an MRI, which revealed no tears or damage to his shoulder.

Foles targeting Week 11 return

It is a stretch and will depend on his recovery, but the Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback is staying positive. Nick Foles was placed on the injured reserve/return list after undergoing surgery on his broken left collarbone on Monday and is eligible to return in Week 11 against the Indianapolis Colts following Jacksonville's bye. 

In the meantime, the team acquired Joshua Dobbs from the Pittsburgh Steelers to compete for playing time with Gardner Minshew, who filled in for Foles in the opener.

Guice out 6-8 weeks after surgery

The Washington Redskins running back tore the meniscus in his right knee in the team's Week 1 loss to the Eagles. Derrius Guice will need time to recover from the procedure he underwent on Thursday, in which he reportedly had his meniscus trimmed.

Guice rushed for 18 yards on 10 carries in his NFL debut. The 22-year-old's absence has pushed veteran rusher Adrian Peterson back into the starting line-up after he was deemed a healthy scratch for the first time in his career last week, so his role is expected to expand.

Two things that don't matter

Beckham blasts Williams for coaching "dirty"

The Browns receiver appears fired up for "Monday Night Football" against the Jets after accusing New York defensive co-ordinator Gregg Williams of encouraging "dirty plays and cheap shots."

Odell Beckham Jr claimed current Browns players told him about Williams' tactics when he served as defensive coordinator in Cleveland from 2017-18, saying he instructed them to take him out during a preseason matchup in 2017.

Beckham ended up hurting his ankle in that game on a hit by Briean Boddy-Calhoun and later broke the same one in Week 5 of the regular season in an injury he said "changed my life forever."

NFL launches $3m helmet challenge

The league is looking to upgrade its equipment in an effort to increase safety and reduce concussions, so it announced the "Helmet Challenge" to stimulate the development of new headgear for players that will outperform models being used today.

The 18-month contest, set to begin this fall and culminate in May 2021, will feature a prize of $2million in grant funding to support the development of a helmet prototype and a $1m award.

One video you have to see

In the wake of the sexual assault and rape allegations against him, New England Patriots receiver Antonio Brown continued to practice — albeit in a different number than Wednesday — and catch passes from quarterback Tom Brady.

Thursday's tweet of the day

The Pro Football Hall of Fame has announced the nominees for the class of 2020.

Another week, another news cycle dominated by Antonio Brown.

But while all of that was going on, several big injuries hit both major sports in full swing.

And also, disappointment at FIBA World Cup for defending champions the United States.

All of that and more on this week in US Sports.

 

1. Brown dominates headlines

The Antonio Brown drama just will not stop. As of last Thursday, the wide receiver was fighting with his team the Oakland Raiders, his general manager and social media. Now, one week later, he has been released, signed with the New England Patriots and has had a civil suit filed against him alleging he raped and sexually assaulted his former trainer.

It has been a long week for Brown, and he is in a similar spot to where he was a week ago — waiting to see what will happen come on Sunday.

Will the NFL or Patriots suspend Brown? Well, the Patriots can suspend him, the NFL would likely only put him on the commissioner's exempt list, but either way, he is once again in wait and see mode as are all NFL fans.

The Patriots play the lowly Miami Dolphins on Sunday though, so his return at least is not pressing for New England.

2. NFL injuries pile up

With the first week of the NFL season there is football, but there is also disappointment and most of said disappointment comes by way of injury. There were plenty of huge injuries in the first game for many teams.

In Jacksonville, Jaguars quarterback Nick Foles suffered a shoulder injury and is out for a good amount of time. In Washington, Redskins running back Derrius Guice suffered a meniscus injury and will likely be out for more than a month. In Kansas City, Chiefs wide receiver Tyreek Hill also hurt his shoulder and could miss four or more games, and in Los Angeles, Chargers tight end Hunter Henry once again will be down for a while as he suffered a bad knee injury.

Now teams will have to adjust to these injuries and figure out what to do moving forward. But we encourage you to check out Foles' replacement in Jacksonville. Rookie Gardner Minshew was good in relief of Foles and he was named the best senior quarterback in college last season. We think he could fill in more than admirably.

 

3. USA eliminated in FIBA World Cup

The United States crashed out of the FIBA World Cup after they lost to France in the quarter-finals and were eliminated completely in their next game when they fell to Serbia.

This was a team that were always going to have a tough time winning the tournament despite being the favourites to win it as All-Stars like James Harden, Damian Lillard and Anthony Davis all pulled out of the event.

In the end, this USA team will be known for who did not play than for their end result.

"I can only say, you can't help but notice and remember who you thought you were going to war with and who didn't show up," USA basketball managing director Jerry Colangelo told reporters. "I'm a firm believer that you deal with the cards you're dealt. All we could have done, and we did it, is get the commitments from a lot of players. So with that kind of a hand you feel reasonably confident that you're going to be able to put a very good representative team on the court.

"No one would have anticipated the pullouts that we had."

4. MLB sets new single-season home run record

The ball has been flying out of MLB ballparks at an alarming rate this season, and as of Wednesday, it has flown out more than ever before in a single year.

With Baltimore Orioles utilityman Jonathan Villar's three-run homer in a 7-3 win over the Los Angeles Dodgers, MLB teams had combined to hit 6,106 home runs this season which broke the 2017 mark of 6,105 home runs.

MLB teams are now on pace to hit 6,806 home runs, passing the previous mark by 700.

5. Likely National League MVP out for the year

The National League's best player and reigning MVP Christian Yelich is done for the year.

Yelich broke his knee cap when he fouled a ball off his leg during the Milwaukee Brewers' clash with the Miami Marlins on Tuesday. Fortunately, he will not have to have surgery, but with the Brewers tied with the Chicago Cubs for the second wild-card spot in the NL, this is a devastating blow for Milwaukee.

Yelich finished the season first in the NL in OPS (1.100), tied for second in home runs (44), tied for second in batting average (.329), 10th in RBIs (97), tied for third in stolen bases (30) and first in on-base percentage (.429).

He was the undisputed leader in the NL MVP race and is now out for the season.

New York Jets will be without Sam Darnold for Monday's NFL clash with the Cleveland Browns, with the quarterback suffering from glandular fever.

Jets coach Adam Gase confirmed Darnold's illness on Thursday, though there is not yet a timeline on his return.

Darnold missed Wednesday's training session, with Gase telling reporters the 22-year-old had been instructed to stay home.

The Jets' only other quarterback is Trevor Siemian, and Gase indicated Darnold could miss "multiple weeks", though a return on October 6 to face the Philadelphia Eagles could be possible considering the Jets have a bye in Week 4.

Darnold struggled through the team's Week 1 loss to the Buffalo Bills as he completed 28 of 41 passes for 175 yards and a touchdown.

Siemian, 27, has not seen action since 2017 when he was a member of the Denver Broncos. 

Aaron Rodgers has asked Green Bay Packers fans for a favour.

Green Bay are set to play five of their next six games at Lambeau Field and Rodgers has a request for the home crowd.

"My only ask is that we don't do the wave when we're on offense," Rodgers said on Wednesday, via The Athletic.

Green Bay came away with a victory against the Bears in Chicago in Week 1 but only managed to score 10 points in their first game under new coach Matt LaFleur.

"I think we have to run the ball a little better," Rodgers told reporters.

"Obviously in this offense, when it's most effective you're running the football really well and the action comes off those runs. We have to start a little faster. You'd expect to at home without the crowd noise being an issue. So we look to start fast in the run game this week."

Packers wide receiver Davante Adams thinks the team will click offensively sooner rather than later. 

"We've got plenty of time," Adams said. "I try not to think about that – we've got time – because that tends to make people drag their feet. I'm an urgent guy. I like to get better quick. I like to see results fast."

The Packers will begin their homestand against the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday. 

Dallas Cowboys star Ezekiel Elliott wants the ball.

The 24-year-old, who held out for the entire preseason, rushed for 53 yards on 13 carries in the Cowboys' Week 1 win over the New York Giants.

He said he wants to play a bigger role in the team's matchup with the Washington Redskins on Sunday. 

"I'm ready for a normal workload, depending on how GB [running backs coach Gary Brown], coach [Jason] Garrett and [offensive coordinator] Kellen [Moore] are feeling on Sunday,'' Elliott told reporters.

"But if they ask me, I'll be able to go out there and do it.

"There's a difference in going out there running around and not being hit and then being hit and having to come back and do the same thing. So that takes a little bit more out of you but, I mean, I think I'm good."

Elliott signed a six-year, $90million extension shortly before the start of the regular season.

He split time in Dallas' backfield with Tony Pollard in the team's 35-17 victory over New York in Week 1.

"Obviously, I was a little rusty," Elliott said after that game.

"I didn't play the best game. I have a lot I can improve on. But that's going to take time, and it's about getting more reps and being out there longer."

Dallas quarterback Dak Prescott completed 25 of his 32 passes for 405 yards with four touchdowns in Week 1.

There was not a shortage of news heading into Week 2 as the Antonio Brown chronicle took yet another turn.

Elsewhere around the league, the reality of injuries suffered opening weekend began to sink in as some players hit injured reserve early.

Three things that matter

Antonio Brown practices in wake of rape accusation

Just when you thought the saga was finally over, the New England Patriots receiver was accused of sexually assaulting and raping his former trainer, Britney Taylor, in a civil lawsuit filed in the Southern District of Florida on Tuesday. The lawsuit alleges there were three separate incidents, two of which occurred in June 2017 and a third that took place in May 2018.

Brown's attorney denied "each and every allegation in the lawsuit". Patriots coach Bill Belichick could not confirm if Brown would play against the Miami Dolphins in Week 2 but he was on the field for practice at the team facility in a number one uniform.

"I'm not going to be expanding on the statements that have already been given," Belichick told reporters sternly. "When we know more, we'll say more."

Tyreek Hill likely out 4-6 weeks

The Kansas City Chiefs appear optimistic, however, as the team opted not to place the receiver on injured reserve. It was a good indication that Hill avoided serious injury, but it still leaves a sizable void on offense. The setback also comes after Hill agreed to a reported three-year, $54million extension despite an offseason overshadowed by numerous off-field incidents. 

Meanwhile, Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes practiced on Wednesday after playing through a sprained ankle in the team's chippy Week 1 win over the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Quincy Enunwa out for season with another neck injury

The New York Jets receiver has now suffered two in the past three years, though it is unclear whether the most recent injury is considered career-threatening. Enunwa previously missed the entire 2017 season after hurting his neck in training camp.

New York are already without tight end Chris Herndon, who is serving a four-game suspension to start the season, so losing Enunwa is another blow to the team's offense, especially after he signed a four-year extension worth $36m in December.

Two things that don't matter

Hunter Henry is hurt again

The Los Angeles Chargers tight end is no stranger to injuries, but the latest is pretty significant. The team announced Henry suffered a tibial plateau fracture – a break in the upper portion of the tibia or the shin bone – to his left knee on Sunday and will be out for an undisclosed time, though it was reported he could miss four to six weeks.

Henry, who had four catches for 60 yards against the Indianapolis Colts, previously suffered a lacerated kidney in 2017 and a torn anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) in the 2018 preseason.

AJ Green out of walking boot

While there is still no timeline for his return, it is a positive sign for the Cincinnati Bengals receiver, who continues to make strides in his recovery from preseason ankle surgery.

"Everything's going in a great direction," Green told reporters in his first public comments since suffering the injury during training camp.

Green added that he ran for about 10 minutes on Tuesday and worked out his legs with the team's strength and conditioning coach on Wednesday, noting that his range of motion remains limited but is improving.

One video you have to see

Because even after 18 years, we will never forget.

Wednesday's tweet of the day

After all his helmet drama, Brown did not even wear the headgear he had settled on before leaving the Oakland Raiders during his first practice with the Patriots.

The New Orleans Saints will be on a revenge mission when they do battle with the Los Angeles Rams on Sunday.

Los Angeles claimed a dramatic 26-23 overtime win over New Orleans in the NFC Championship game in January and they are set for an early-season battle nine months later.

Both sides got their seasons under way with victories and the Rams will have home advantage as they go in search of back-to-back successes.

The Green Bay Packers lock horns with the Minnesota Vikings, while the Seattle Seahawks travel to face the Pittsburgh Steelers.

We look at some of the key Opta facts for seven games on the second Sunday of the campaign.

 

 

Dallas Cowboys @ Washington Redskins

The Cowboys have won five of the six games they have played against Washington since the start of the 2016 season, but the Redskins came out on top 20-17 at FedEx Field last season.

Washington went down 24-0 in their last home game of last season versus the Philadelphia Eagles, their fourth consecutive defeat in their own backyard.

 

Indianapolis Colts @ Tennessee Titans

The Colts have swept the Titans in all but one of the last seven seasons, with the exception being when Tennessee won both games in 2017.

Tennessee have won 75 per cent of their home games since the start of the 2017 season (12-4). Only five teams have a better home winning percentage in that time (New England, New Orleans, Kansas City, Philadelphia, Minnesota).

 

New England Patriots @ Miami Dolphins

Champions New England have lost 12 road games since the start of the 2014 season. A third of those losses have come in Miami, - 2014, 2015, 2017 and 2018.

The Dolphins have lost two straight home games, failing to score more than 10 points in either game. Patriots quarterback Tom Brady has thrown three or more touchdowns in nine regular season games against Miami, who shipped 59 points in their season-opening loss to the Baltimore Ravens.

 

Buffalo Bills @ New York Giants

The Giants have won four of the last five games versus the Bills, including each of the last three. However, the Bills have won on three of their last five visits to the Giants.

Since the start of last season, Bills quarterback Josh Allen has nine rushing touchdowns, three more than any other quarterback.

 

Seattle Seahawks @ Pittsburgh Steelers

The Steelers have won seven of the nine games played in Pittsburgh against the Seahawks, while Seattle have been shut out in their last two visits to Heinz Field.

Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger failed to throw a touchdown pass in Week 1, snapping a streak of 26 consecutive games with a touchdown pass - the second-longest run in franchise history.

 

Minnesota Vikings @ Green Bay Packers

Minnesota have not lost to Green Bay in their last four matches, winning three. The Packers finished last season with a 31-0 home defeat at the hands of the Detroit Lions, but a vastly more competitive game will be expected against the Vikings with Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers back to full fitness.

Vikings safety Anthony Harris had two interceptions against the Atlanta Falcons last week. He had three interceptions in his previous 51 NFL games.

 

New Orleans Saints @ Los Angeles Rams

The Rams were 7-1 at home last season, their best record since going 8-0 in 2003. They gained 3,620 yards at home last year, the fifth-most since 1940.

New Orleans wide receiver Michael Thomas had 10 receptions for 123 yards in Week 1. It was his 10th career game with 10 or more catches, the second most in the league since 2016 – Antonio Brown (11).

Hunter Henry is reportedly expected to miss four to six weeks after the Los Angeles Chargers tight end suffered a fracture in his knee.

Henry sustained a tibia plateau fracture  — a break in the upper portion of the tibia, or the shin bone — to his left knee during Sunday's overtime win against the Indianapolis Colts.

A timeline for his return has yet to be confirmed, though he at least appears to have avoided surgery, and ESPN reported the Chargers anticipate he will be out for four to six weeks. 

"You know, we have reliable backups," Chargers coach Anthony Lynn said. "It's week to week sometimes in this league. You just don't know what kind of roster you're going to have because of these situations.

"You just have to figure out how to use the guys we have the best we can to get the most out of them. It's definitely not going to change our offense, but we're definitely going to miss him."

The same injury ended Houston Texans defensive end J.J. Watt‘s season in 2017.

Henry has dealt with a number of significant injuries in his career. He sustained a lacerated kidney late in the 2017 season and a torn anterior cruciate ligament in the 2018 preseason that sidelined him until the Chargers' playoff defeat to the New England Patriots in January.

He caught four passes for 60 yards in Week 1. The Chargers visit the Detroit Lions on Sunday.

The New England Patriots are taking allegations of rape and sexual assault made against Antonio Brown "very seriously" amid an NFL investigation.

Brown's former trainer, Britney Taylor, alleged the wide receiver sexually assaulted her twice in June 2017.

A civil lawsuit was filed on Tuesday in the Southern District of Florida, also including the allegation that Brown "forcibly raped" Taylor in May last year.

Brown's lawyer, Darren Heitner, said the former Pittsburgh Steelers star denies all the allegations made against him.

The Patriots released a statement regarding the claims made against their new signing.

"We are aware of the civil lawsuit that was filed earlier today against Antonio Brown, as well as the response by Antonio's representatives." a Patriots statement said.

"We take these allegations very seriously. Under no circumstance does this organisation condone sexual violence or assault. The league has informed us that they will be investigating. We will have no further comment while that investigation takes place."

Heitner earlier stated: "Antonio Brown learned today that he has been named in a lawsuit filed in federal court in the Southern District of Florida. Mr Brown denies each and every allegation in the lawsuit,

"He will pursue all legal remedies to not only clear his name, but to also protect other professional athletes against false accusations."

In a statement released by her lawyer to the New York Times, Taylor said that "deciding to speak out has been an incredibly difficult decision".

She added: "I have found strength in my faith, my family, and from the accounts of other survivors of sexual assault."

Brown joined the Patriots earlier this week after being released by the Oakland Raiders following a tumultuous offseason.

New England Patriots wide receiver Antonio Brown denied allegations of sexual assault and rape made by his former trainer in a lawsuit filed on Tuesday.

The lawsuit, filed in the Southern District of Florida, alleges that Brown assaulted the trainer, Britney Taylor, in three separate incidents, two of which occurred in June 2017.

Taylor alleges in the suit she was "forcibly raped" by Brown in the other incident, which occurred in May 2018.

Brown's lawyer, Darren Heitner, denied the accusations in a statement.

"Antonio Brown learned today that he has been named in a lawsuit filed in federal court in the Southern District of Florida. Mr Brown denies each and every allegation in the lawsuit," the statement read, in part.

"He will pursue all legal remedies to not only clear his name, but to also protect other professional athletes against false accusations."

In a statement released by her lawyer to The New York Times, Taylor said: "As a rape victim of Antonio Brown, deciding to speak out has been an incredibly difficult decision.

"I have found strength in my faith, my family, and from the accounts of other survivors of sexual assault."

Brown signed with the Patriots earlier this week after being released by the Oakland Raiders following a tumultuous offseason.

Just like that, the first week of the 2019 season is over.

But there was no shortage of interesting remarks as injuries, botched kicks and overtime dominated the headlines.

From post-game news conferences to next-day media availabilities, here are the 10 best Week 1 quotes from players and coaches around the NFL:

 

— He does not play anymore, but Hall of Famer Brett Favre gave a colourful analysis of the Antonio Brown drama that unfolded this weekend: "Now, I'll be honest with you: If you watched the game the other night, they don't need him. In fact, I think it almost creates a problem by trying to figure out how to keep him happy and play him and [keep him] quiet. So, if you say, 'Well, let's just put him in on third downs' and that doesn't work, you're trying to, as Mike Holmgren used to say, 'It's like trying to pound sand up a flea's a**'. Pardon my French."

— Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Nick Foles had no doubt his injury was serious when he was tackled: "I knew right when I hit the ground that something was wrong," he told reporters after the game. "I felt it. ... All I saw was two red jerseys in my face, I hit the ground and heard a crack. Going into the sidelines and getting checked ... I just saw the play for the first time before I came in here. It's unfortunate, but at the same time I'm trusting the good Lord."

— Tennessee Titans head coach Mike Vrabel had a sense of humour about a Sunday incident in which a Cleveland Browns fan dumped beer on cornerback Logan Ryan: "I would tell them not to waste beer. That's a bad thing to do."

— The Browns proved to be an overhyped bust, but quarterback Baker Mayfield is not panicked: "Everybody is going to throw this in the trash. I think that is good," he told reporters. "We just need to rally together. Don't flinch. It is Game 1 of a long season. To get to where we want to go, you are going to have bumps in the road. How to react to it, we are going to come together. We are going to push forward. We are not going to let it define us and let's see what type of men we have in this locker room. I am pretty sure I have a good idea about it."

— Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger's thoughts on Brown joining the Patriots: "Whatever."

— New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick on the "Patriot Way" and how he sets the tone for the culture: "Yeah, I don't know that I've ever used that term. I'm not really sure what that is either. I appreciate you asking about it though, but I don't know. It's a good question."

— It was reported that multiple Miami Dolphins players requested trades after the team's Week 1 blowout loss to the Baltimore Ravens, but coach Brian Flores had not heard anything of it: "I can't really speak to the accuracy of that one," Flores told reporters. "We haven't received any information like that."

— Denver Broncos linebacker Von Miller was disappointed that he did not reach Oakland Raiders quarterback Derek Carr once: "I didn't get to him once. Not even a quarterback hit so I'm disappointed in myself on an individual level. They were throwing the ball quick but we have to find a way to get there."

— Despite a short week, Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston is looking forward to facing former team-mate Gerald McCoy when his team visits the Panthers: "He is definitely a great influence to me and a wonderful, wonderful human being."

— Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton is desperate to just stay healthy the rest of this season: "I'm getting tired of being hurt. I hate being hurt."

Oakland Raiders quarterback Derek Carr has no ill will toward Antonio Brown following his move to the New England Patriots.

Brown was released by Oakland last weekend after a series of off-field incidents. But, he was not a free agent for long as he quickly agreed to a deal with NFL Super Bowl champions the Patriots. 

Carr – who led Oakland to a 24-16 win over the Denver Broncos – was asked how he felt about Brown the Raiders star told reporters: "I love Antonio. He knows that.

"We've spent time with each other, family, all of that, I can go on and on, right? He's not here. He plays for somebody else. I wish him the best. I hope he goes off and has, gets everything he wants. I sent him a text and it says, 'I wish you the best, I hope you get what you want.' And there's no hurt feelings, there's no anger in me. There wasn't any anger in me when I found out to be honest with you." 

The Raiders acquired Brown in an offseason trade with the Pittsburgh Steelers. The wide receiver, however, never played in a regular-season game with the team.

Oakland fined Brown for missing mandatory practice time and a walkthrough, as well as a reported altercation with general manager Mike Mayock, before letting him go.

"We had a good football team even when [Brown] wasn't there," Carr said. "We knew if we added him, my goodness, that could be crazy, because he's so good as a football player. But he's not here. And when it happened, it was like, OK. ... It was like, OK, at least the questions are done, right? At least we have answers. And it stung as a friend having to see him go somewhere else.

"But again, I wish Antonio the best. And even if, whatever feelings... I don't even think he has hard feelings towards anybody. He just wanted a different place, right?

"And so I wish him the best. I hope he gets everything he wants. Wish his family and children the best. Love the guy. Had fun. Practices were really fun. We had a whole bunch of touchdowns in practice. Going to tell my kids someday that I threw to him, and all those kinds of things. But we're moving on, and we have a good football team. And I'm really, really, really happy to be a part of this team." 

Carr completed 22 of his 26 passes for 259 yards with a touchdown in the victory over the Broncos. 

The Raiders will host the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday. 

The first week of the 2019 season officially came to an end on Monday as the New Orleans Saints and Oakland Raiders closed out the opening slate with wins.

Meanwhile, the ripple effect of Antonio Brown's move to the New England Patriots has extended down to New York.

 

Three things that matter

Brown addition prompts Patriots trade

In the wake of the receiver's signing after his requested release from the Raiders, the Patriots reportedly traded fellow wideout Demaryius Thomas to the New York Jets for a 2021 sixth-round pick. Luckily for Thomas, who sat out Sunday as he continues to recover from a torn Achilles suffered last year, he has experience with head coach Adam Gase after the two worked together in Denver.

As for Brown, coach Bill Belichick could not confirm his status for Week 2 against the Miami Dolphins just yet.

"We'll just take it day-by-day," Belichick said. "We haven't practiced yet, so we're going through information with him like we would any new player, like we did with offensive linemen last week and just take it day-by-day and see how it goes. Get out on the practice field and after Wednesday talk about Thursday and just go through the week and see how it goes."

Jackson could miss rest of season

The Philadelphia Eagles locked up the Pro Bowl defender on a three-year deal worth $30million this offseason following the departures of Chris Long and Michael Bennett, so his loss is a tough blow.

Malik Jackson had to be carted off the field on Sunday and was later seen leaving the stadium in a boot. He is reportedly scheduled to have surgery next week, so a more definitive recovery timeline should be determined after the procedure. In the meantime, Philadelphia may need to consider some replacements.

Shepherd facing PED suspension

The Jets defensive tackle revealed he is set to miss six games for two separate violations of the performance-enhancing drug policy, though Nathan Shepherd made it clear he did not consume the banned substances for performance purposes.

"The only competitive advantage I was really looking for was being able to come to camp healthy and having an opportunity to compete," Shepherd told NFL Media.

"All that was going on, I was coming off a subpar season and a new coaching staff, new playbook, new everything. In my mindset, I didn't feel very confident with how everything had gone thus far. In my mind, I was so prepared to come into this offseason and have a successful offseason and train very hard. I felt that because of these limitations, I wasn't going to be able to do that. I made a rash decision, an unwise decision and a selfish decision to look to certain PEDs in order to help me with that recovery process so I would be ready to go."

Two things that don't matter

Beckham won't ditch watch

The Cleveland Browns receiver could not fathom what all the fuss was about and said he will continue wearing his jewellery like he does every day.

"I'm here to play football," Odell Beckham Jr told reporters. "I would love for them to talk about football and what I do on the field, if I messed up on the field or if I didn't do well on the field, talk about my performance. Don't talk about any extracurricular, that's just it. If anybody else would've worn the watch, or if it was a $20 watch, it wouldn't have been no problem."

It was reported that Beckham violated a rule prohibiting hard objects on the field, but his Richard Mille watch — which is worth $189,000, not $350,000 — is plastic.

Martin agrees to three-year extension

The move is ironic considering the Houston Texans gave up six sacks in their season-opening loss to the Saints on Monday. Houston also allowed quarterback Deshaun Watson to be sacked a league-high 62 times in 2018.

Still, fourth-year center Nick Martin has only allowed four sacks since Houston took him in the second round of the 2016 draft. Not bad considering he missed his rookie season with an ankle injury, which is likely why he is now among the highest-paid players at his position.

One video you have to see

It is a new season, but the same traditions for Saints defensive end Cameron Jordan after he played his ninth opener for New Orleans.

Tuesday's tweet of the day

Raiders cornerback Gareon Conley tweeted that he is going to be fine after being stretchered off the field on Monday. Raiders coach Jon Gruden even said "there's a chance" Conley could play in Week 2, though his status has yet to officially be determined.

Odell Beckham Jr believes he was singled out because of "who I am" after he was criticised for wearing a watch in the Cleveland Browns' NFL opener.

The receiver wore his Richard Mille watch – which is worth $189,000 – during the Browns' 43-13 defeat to the Tennessee Titans on Sunday.

Beckham's timepiece drew the attention of the NFL, with the league reportedly stating it would address the issue with the Browns. 

However, Beckham has responded insisting the watch does not break any league violations as it is plastic, suggesting other players would not receive the same treatment.

"I'm here to play football, it's because of who I am," Beckham said on Tuesday, in quotes published by Cleveland.com.

"I would love for them to talk about football and what I do on the field, if I messed up on the field or if I didn't do well on the field, talk about my performance.

"Don't talk about any extracurricular, that's just it. If anybody else would've worn the watch, or if it was a $20 watch, it wouldn't have been no problem.

"That's just my life, if it ain't this, it's something else. If it wasn't the watch, it would've been the way that I tie my shoes. I'll still be wearing it.

"You've got to look into the rule book. It says you can't wear any hard objects. The watch is plastic. But people have knee braces on that are hard and made out of metal and you don't see them taping it up, no  jewellery on, so I'm good."

Beckham noted he wears the watch all the time, including during practice, when he sleeps and when he showers.

In his first game with the Browns, Beckham caught seven passes for 71 yards and no touchdowns.

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