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.

Jerry Jones has clarified his comments regarding Dak Prescott's contract negotiations with the Dallas Cowboys, though still believes an agreement is close.

Cowboys owner Jones said after Sunday's 35-17 win over the New York Giants that an extension for the quarterback would be "done on an imminent basis".

Dallas executive vice president Stephen Jones, however, said the two will reach an agreement "in due time", adding someone should ask Jones to clarify what he meant.

Jones has now explained his comments, telling 105.3 The Fan: "[Imminent] means ready to take place, close, near, about to happen - those types of things.

"As I've said so many times, nothing happens until both parties decide that what they're seeing and it's time to go. Nothing ever. 

"I was asked my opinion. I think that we are fast approaching an agreement. Then that's relative maybe to where we've been. On the other hand, that might be my opinion."

Jones went on to explain his opinion may differ from how the quarterback thinks negotiations are going.

"It sure might not be Dak's opinion," added Jones. "When Dak expresses his opinion or his agent expresses their opinion, that may be different than my opinion.

"So, when somebody asks your opinion on whether something's done that takes two to do it, they're speaking just from their perspective, and in my mind we were fast approaching a deal."

Antonio Brown has officially joined the New England Patriots, but Bill Belichick is unsure if the wide receiver will be ready to make his debut in Week 2.

Brown signed a one-year deal worth a reported $15million after he was released by the Oakland Raiders on Saturday following a tumultuous offseason.

The 31-year-old had 104 receptions for 1,297 yards with an NFL-leading 15 touchdowns last season for the Pittsburgh Steelers, and was traded to the Raiders in March.

Defending Super Bowl champions New England travel to Florida to face the Miami Dolphins on Sunday, though Belichick is uncertain if Brown will feature.

"You know, I don't know," Belichick said in a news conference.

"We just acquired him yesterday. We haven't practiced so I can't answer that question now. We'll take it day by day and see how it goes.

"We think he'll help our team. Until we start working with him, part of that is actually having a hands-on opportunity to work with a player and see exactly how everything fits together and what we can develop. We'll just see how that goes."

Brown's spells in Pittsburgh and Oakland have been marred by controversy, but Pats quarterback Tom Brady is optimistic the Patriots' latest addition will not pull similar stunts in New England.

"You don't judge anything," Brady said in a radio interview with Westwood One's Jim Gray.

"I'm not judging anything before I've had a chance to go out and practice and prepare. You know, Antonio, meeting him I really enjoyed being around him, he's a very smart football player, knows how to play the game. He's been extremely productive."

Brady also revealed he will hold regular meetings with Brown as he looks to build a fruitful relationship.

"The only thing that I know what we can do is to go out there and work at it to meet and to communicate and get on the practice field and go through things," Brady added. "I'm not buying into any hype or potential. I'm into work. 

"We're going to meet as much as we possibly can. I think that the quarterback-receiver relationship is so important. The more you know each other, the more you know what each other are thinking, the faster you can accelerate the trust and confidence in one another when you get on the field.

"But, when you haven't played with guys, you have to try and do it as quickly as possible. The clock is ticking on us right now. This is not the offseason program.

"This is about real games that count, and we're going to try and spend as much time as we can together and really get up to speed and talking with what our roles and responsibilities are."

Oakland Raiders cornerback Gareon Conley left the field on a stretcher on Monday against the Denver Broncos with a neck injury but "is going to be OK", according to head coach Jon Gruden.

Conley, 24, suffered the injury with just over five minutes remaining in the third quarter when he was tripped while attempting to make a tackle on Royce Freeman and then inadvertently kicked in the head by team-mate Johnathan Abram. 

Play was stopped for around 10 minutes while medical staff and trainers tended to Conley, who recorded four total tackles before exiting. He was immobilised on a back board and left in his helmet, with the facemask removed.

Conley gave the crowd a thumbs up while being taken off the field. 

"I got good word on him that he's going to be OK," Gruden told reporters. "I don't know his status for the next game, but most importantly the kid is all right.

"That was a scary hit that he took, but all the reports that I have are very, very positive."

Abram, the hard-hitting first-round draft pick, was penalised on the play for leading with his helmet while tackling the Broncos' Freeman. 

The personal foul helped the Broncos eventually get a field goal to cut Oakland's lead to 14-6, but Gruden's team eventually won 24-16.

Abram explained after the match that he had no idea how Conley was injured.

"I really didn't see what happened," the safety told reporters. "I think the running back fell on top of him or something. We were praying for him. But we had to go out there and finish the game for him."

The Raiders originally selected Conley out of Ohio State with the number 24 pick in the 2017 draft. 

He had three interceptions and 16 pass breakups in 17 career games prior to the Broncos match. 

Antonio Brown is worth the risk for New England as they are the only team who can tame him, according to former Patriot Sebastian Vollmer.

The reigning Super Bowl champions confirmed the signing of the controversial receiver on Monday. While terms of the contract were not announced, it is reportedly an incentive-laden, one-year deal worth $15million.

The seven-time Pro Bowler was a free agent after being released by the Oakland Raiders on Saturday, bringing an end to a brief but eventful spell with the franchise.

Yet the Patriots have shown a willingness to gamble in the past when it comes to adding controversial players, including wideouts Randy Moss and Josh Gordon, who caught a touchdown pass in Sunday's resounding 33-3 win over the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Like Brown, Moss had an acrimonious split from Oakland but prospered in New England, including catching 23 touchdown passes from Tom Brady in 2007 as the team finished the regular season with a perfect 16-0 record, only to surprisingly lose to the New York Giants in the Super Bowl.

Offensive lineman Vollmer and Moss played alongside each other in 2009 and the former feels head coach Bill Belichick is right to take a gamble on Brown - but will not hesitate to cut him if the partnership fails to pan out.

"I think the Patriots are the only team that can tame a player like Antonio Brown. At least for some time," Vollmer, a second-round pick who spent his entire NFL career with New England, told Omnisport. 

"The outlook of winning a Super Bowl gives players hope and they change. They fight their own nature, try not to be too emotional and let other people tell them what to do, all to have a chance to become Super Bowl champion. And then I can go my own way again.

"That's what New England did with Randy Moss and it worked for some years - but Randy didn't have the same character as Antonio Brown.

"It works time and time again, but not every time. And the Patriots would release him very quickly. But he is worth the risk, for less money than he would get in the open market if he hadn't had these problems with the Raiders.

"I think the Patriots give him the best chance to be successful and on the other hand Antonio Brown gives the Patriots the chance to win another Super Bowl."

Belichick and Brady have won six Super Bowls together and are favourites to triumph again this season - and that was before the addition of Brown to their roster.

Vollmer - who played on the successful Pats teams in 2015 and 2017 - feels the legendary coach-quarterback combination should eventually bow out together, though Brady showed in the Week 1 thrashing of the Steelers that he is still going strong at 42.

"Tom Brady is one of my best friends and I also have a good relationship with Bill. Both should end their career at the same time," the German said of the duo.

"So there won't be a media discussion about who was the better one but rather that this was a unique combination in a generation - and maybe unique in the whole NFL.

"I wish that both end their careers together. It's unlikely, but I wish that as a player and a friend of both."

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