NFL

NFL news and notes: Brown speaks out after more drama, Gurley won't be limited

By Sports Desk September 06, 2019

We are just one day into the regular season and there is a lot to recap in the NFL.

From Antonio Brown's continued drama in his first season with the Oakland Raiders, to a few extension updates.

We run through all that is happening around the league in this edition of NFL news and notes.

 

Three things that matter

Brown, Gruden speak out after more drama

Well, the drama in Oakland might not be over yet but at least one saga seems to be done. After 24 hours of uncertainty around Brown's status, head coach Jon Gruden said the plan is for Brown to play in the Raiders' season opener against the Denver Broncos on Monday. Gruden's comments were a change of pace, considering just hours before it had been reported that Oakland planned to suspend the receiver after he got into a verbal altercation with general Mike Mayock. 

"Antonio is back today. We're really excited about that," Gruden told reporters. "We're ready to move on. He's obviously had a lot of time to think about things and we're happy to have him back and Raider nation is excited about that too."

Brown spoke to reporters briefly at Friday's practice, saying, "I'm excited to be out here with my team. I apologised to my team-mates, the organisation. Enough talk. I've decided to be out here with my team-mates, grateful for all the fans. I'm excited to be a part of the Raiders."

Rams running back Gurley won't be limited 

The Los Angeles Rams are not planning to limit Todd Gurley in week one, even though the running back is coming off a knee problem that hampered his performance last season. When asked whether Gurley would be playing a limited number of snaps against the Carolina Panthers on Sunday, coach Sean McVay simply said: "Nope."

After missing last term's final two regular-season games because of inflammation and soreness in his left knee that was later reported to be arthritis, Gurley had a special training schedule during camp. He practiced every other day to ease back into a full workload and did not play in any preseason games.

"I'm excited to see Todd Gurley continue to do his thing," McVay said. "He looks good, he's feeling good and we're looking forward to Sunday."

Chiefs, wideout Hill agree to big extension

Tyreek Hill is not planning to leave the Kansas City Chiefs anytime soon. The Chiefs receiver agreed to a contract extension that was reported to be for three years and worth $54million. He was set to enter the final year of his rookie contract that will pay him a little more than $2m this season.

"I'm grateful for the opportunity to continue my playing career here in Kansas City," Hill said in a statement on Friday. "Kansas City is my home, and I appreciate the love and support from [owner] Clark Hunt, Coach [Andy] Reid and Brett Veach along with my coaches and team-mates. To Chiefs Kingdom, you're the best fans in the world."

Hill has dealt with multiple off-the-field incidents overshadowing his playing career with the most recent being a leaked audio recording of him and his fiancee, Crystal Espinal, talking about alleged abuse of their three-year-old son. 

Hill has 223 catches for 3,255 yards with 25 receiving touchdowns throughout his three-year NFL career. He also has rushed 63 times for 477 yards with four touchdowns.

Two things that don't matter

Cowboys, Cooper aren't far in extension negotiations 

After signing Ezekiel Elliott to a new contract to end the running back's holdout, the Dallas Cowboys still have Amari Cooper hoping for an extension. But it looks like it may take some time before the wideout has a new contract.

Cowboys executive vice president Stephen Jones provided a brief update on how negotiations have been going when it comes to the 25-year-old receiver.

"There haven't been a lot of negotiations with Amari, period," Jones said. "And I'm not free to be able to share why. I think at some point we'll start that. I don't know what their parameters will be." 

This is not a huge concern because Cooper has not held out and there is plenty of time to get a deal done this season. Cooper said he would rather be with the team "running routes, catching balls from Dak" instead of sitting out. He addressed his contract status earlier this week, saying: "I don't know, to be honest."

Dallas acquired Cooper through a trade with the Raiders in October last season in exchange for a 2019 first-round draft pick, which gives reason to believe the two sides will eventually reach an agreement. 

Nagy concerned about Bears offense 

Chicago Bears coach Matt Nagy was clearly frustrated with his offense after his team scored just three points against the Green Bay Packers in their season opener on Thursday, but he was willing to take most of the blame. 

"Obviously unacceptable," Nagy told reporters after the loss. "Starts with me, so this — I just told the guys in there, this is not who we are. I was proud of our defense. I thought they played their a** off tonight. Offensively, not good enough. And we're going to fix it. Our guys know that."

The Bears fell 10-3 and finished with just 254 total yards, averaging just 3.9 yards per play and going three for 15 on third-down conversions. They also were penalised 10 times for a loss of 107 yards.

One glaring concern for the Bears was quarterback Mitchell Trubisky, who struggled as he completed 26 of 45 passes for 228 yards with no touchdowns and a red zone interception. Trubisky said after the game he let a lot of his team-mates down and could have been better, but Nagy admitted he did not help the QB enough.

While the Bears' week one play was concerning, it is still early in the season so Nagy and Trubisky have time to figure it out. 

One video you have to see

The Atlanta Falcons put together a video compiling the reactions that offensive and defensive linemen would have if they moved positions and scored a touchdown. Their reactions are pretty priceless.

Friday's tweet of the day

In case you got lost with all the Brown news, here is a recap.

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    Three things that matter

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    While no definitive decision has been made, veteran New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees told reporters he anticipates he will be ready to take the field against the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday after missing the last six weeks with a thumb injury.

    Brees underwent surgery and sported a brace on his hand as he recovered but was seen throwing earlier this month. In his absence, Teddy Bridgewater has proven to be a reliable backup by winning five straight starts.

    Mahomes throws at practice after knee injury

    Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes was not running, but he was active during the team's workout and has yet to be ruled out for Week 8 against the Green Bay Packers. Chiefs head coach Andy Reid confirmed Matt Moore will get the majority of reps at practice this week, though Mahomes will toss the ball and take part in individual drills.

    Reigning MVP Mahomes suffered a dislocated kneecap in last week's win over the Denver Broncos but reportedly could return in as soon as three weeks. The Chiefs are hopeful he could return in Week 11 against the Los Angeles Chargers, though they could choose to wait until after the team's Week 12 bye.

    Darnold has ripped toenail removed

    Another day, another odd setback for the New York Jets quarterback. Sam Darnold practiced on a limited basis Wednesday because he had a ripped toenail removed after Monday's loss to the New England Patriots. The good news is coach Adam Gase said Darnold will be able to participate in individual drills and is still expected to play Sunday against the Jacksonville Jaguars.

    "Sam will do individual drills, we'll evaluate him after," Gase told reporters. "Hoping to get seven-on-seven in, not sure if we're going to put him in team periods yet. Kind of that toe, we're just trying to make sure that he's good, feels good with the shoes that he's got.

    "So we'll kind of progress as we go through practice. If he ends up getting a 'Did Not Participate', he'll at least do individual and then we'll see where he's at after that."

    Two things that don't matter

    Brady embracing career uncertainty

    Patriots star Tom Brady is in his 20th season with the Super Bowl champions and said he wants to keep playing into his mid-40s, but he could become a free agent after this campaign, leaving his future with the franchise in question.

    "That is the great part for me, I don't know," Brady said during his weekly appearance on WEEI's "The Greg Hill Show" in Boston. "I think that has been a unique situation that I have been in because I think when you commit to a team for a certain amount of years you kind feel like [there is] the responsibility to always fulfil the contract.

    "One day I will wake up and I will feel like, 'OK, that will be enough'. When that day comes, that day comes. I don't know if it will be after this year. I don't know if it will be five years from now. I don't have to determine those things right now, either. That is kind of a good part of where I am at. Just take advantage of the opportunities that I have this year and do the very best I can do and then those decisions come at probably more appropriate times."

    Reid motivated entering matchup with former team

    The veteran safety has been preparing to face the 49ers since San Francisco opted not to re-sign him after the 2017 season, which ultimately paved his path to the Carolina Panthers.

    "I just don't forget," Eric Reid told reporters.

    Reid, who later filed a collusion grievance against the NFL along with quarterback Colin Kaepernick stating teams would not sign the pair due to their stances against social injustices, added he does not feel "bitter" or want "revenge," just a win.

    One video you have to see

    Kansas City are ready to light up Green Bay.

    Wednesday's tweet of the day

    Too soon, Myles Garrett.

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    Brees went on to explain that he needs to make sure he continues to feel comfortable and like himself this week. He threw during Wednesday's practice and said he feels good so far.

    The veteran said taking snaps "was easier than expected" and he can now grip the ball comfortably.

    "The hardest part was just getting it to where I could grip the ball again and grip it with authority, grip it with strength and be able to guide the mall, manoeuvre the ball," Brees said. 

    The quarterback injured his thumb in a Week 2 loss to the Los Angeles Rams. He had surgery on September 18 after consulting with two doctors and speaking to other professional athletes who had a similar injury, including Los Angeles Angels outfielder Mike Trout and Oklahoma City Thunder guard Chris Paul.

    Brees, 40, had completed 72.9 percent of his passes for 408 yards and two touchdowns before he was injured.

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    Patrick Mahomes returned to practice for the Kansas City Chiefs less than a week after dislocating his kneecap.

    The star quarterback's injury turned a few stomachs during last Thursday's victory over the Denver Broncos.

    Kansas City previously indicated there would be a potential Week 11 return for the reigning MVP, but Mahomes has somehow yet to be ruled out of their meeting with the Green Bay Packers on Sunday.

    Head coach Andy Reid told reporters on Wednesday that Matt Moore will get the majority of reps at practice, but Mahomes will throw and take part in individual drills.

    Mahomes suffered the injury on a quarterback sneak in the first half against the Broncos. He then appeared to have his kneecap popped back into place on the field.

    The cart was initially called out for Mahomes, but he was able to walk off the field on his own power.

    "His knee didn't even look like a knee," tight end Travis Kelce said afterwards. "It was all out of whack. I couldn't even describe it."

    Mahomes underwent an MRI exam the next day that revealed no significant ligament damage.

    Moore, a 12-year veteran, completed 10 of 19 passes for 117 yards and one touchdown against Denver after Mahomes left the game and led Kansas City to a 30-6 win.

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