INDIANAPOLIS -- Indianapolis Colts receiver Reggie Wayne's status for Sunday’s game at Pittsburgh is even more in question after he didn’t practice Thursday. Wayne continues to deal with an elbow injury suffered against Cincinnati last weekend. He watched practice from the sideline with a compression sleeve on his left arm.

Running back Trent Richardson also didn’t practice for the second straight day because of a hamstring issue. He said Wednesday that he plans to play against the Steelers.

Linebacker Erik Walden (rest) didn’t practice. Tight end Jack Doyle (knee) and offensive tackle Gosder Cherilus (rest) returned to practice after sitting out Wednesday.
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- It looks like the Jacksonville Jaguars are going to be down three defensive starters for Sunday's game against the Miami Dolphins -- and they may be forced to start two seventh-round draft picks in the secondary.

With the defense already down middle linebacker Paul Posluszny (pectoral/IR) and defensive end Andre Branch (groin), coach Gus Bradley said Thursday that it's "highly unlikely" that cornerback Alan Ball will be able to play because of a biceps injury.

Ball hasn't practiced this week after suffering the injury in the Jaguars' 24-6 victory over Cleveland last Sunday.

In addition, cornerback Dwayne Gratz was added to the injury report with tightness in his hip flexor. He would start in place of Ball if he's healthy, but if he can't play the Jaguars would be forced to start Jeremy Harris. He was one of the Jaguars' two seventh-round draft picks in 2013. The other is Demetrius McCray, who has started at left cornerback the past three weeks.

Harris missed his rookie season with a back injury and has been inactive for three games this season.

Here is the Jaguars' Thursday injury report:

Did not practice: Branch (groin), Ball (biceps), defensive end Chris Clemons (not injury related), linebacker Geno Hayes (not injury related), defensive tackle Roy Miller (not injury related).

Limited: Gratz (hip flexor).

Full: Center Luke Bowanko (ankle), running back Toby Gerhart (foot), safety Craig Loston (hamstring).
LAKE FOREST, Ill. – Chicago Bears rookie cornerback Kyle Fuller (hand, hip) returned to practice on Thursday wearing a protective brace on his fractured right hand.

The official injury report listed Fuller as having limited participation.

“I talked to him after practice. He said it went well,” Bears head coach Marc Trestman said.

“Our decision with Kyle is day-to-day in terms of how he’s working. He practiced today to the full extent of practice. We’ll see how that is tomorrow and we’ll continue to evaluate it daily. We certainly want him to feel comfortable playing and not to have the concerns that he can hurt himself more with what he has. We certainly wouldn’t put him out there if we thought that was the case.”

Linebackers Lance Briggs (ribs) and Jon Bostic (back), tight end Martellus Bennett (hamstring) and right tackle Jordan Mills (foot) were also limited.

Three players were held out of practice: defensive end Jared Allen (rest), safety Danny McCray (knee) and KR/WR Chris Williams (illness).

Safety Chris Conte (shoulder) practiced without restrictions for the second consecutive day and is expected to be available Sunday when the Bears travel to New England. Conte was inactive in Week 7 after failing to finish four of the Bears' first six regular-season games.

New England Patriots injury report: Chandler Jones out; 6 limited

October, 23, 2014
Oct 23
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- The Patriots had no changes to their injury report as defensive end Chandler Jones (hip) was the only player who did not participate in practice on Thursday.

Jones will reportedly miss one month with a hip injury.

Offensive lineman Dan Connolly (concussion), rookie defensive lineman Dominique Easley (shoulder/knee), core special-teamers Nate Ebner (finger) and Matthew Slater (shoulder), rookie offensive lineman Cameron Fleming (finger) and rookie center Bryan Stork (concussion) continue to be limited participants in practice.

Quarterback Tom Brady (ankle), cornerback Brandon Browner (ankle), safety Devin McCourty (rib), linebackers Jamie Collins (thigh) and Dont'a Hightower (knee) returned to full participation on Wednesday and were all full participants in practice again on Thursday.

The full participation of all of these players, especially Collins and Hightower, who will continue to be relied on heavily with linebacker Jerod Mayo done for the year, are encouraging signs.

OWINGS MILLS, Md. -- The starting left side of the Baltimore Ravens' offensive line -- tackle Eugene Monroe and guard Kelechi Osemele -- fully participated in practice for a second straight day, another indication that they'll play in Sunday's game at Cincinnati.

Monroe and Osemele have started side by side since Week 3, and the Ravens have gone with rookies James Hurst and John Urschel in their absence.

"It's very important to get them back," offensive coordinator Gary Kubiak said. "They've had a good week. But we'll continue to get James and John ready to play. I think offensively right now, you guys can see it's almost like everybody gets a chance to contribute. So, I think we stay the course right there and hopefully Eugene and K.O. are ready for a full day's work."

Ravens injury report

Did not participate: DE Chris Canty (wrist), TE Owen Daniels (knee), LB Daryl Smith (not injury related), WR Steve Smith (not injury related).

Full participation: OT Eugene Monroe (knee), G Kelechi Osemele (knee).
OWINGS MILLS, Md. -- Baltimore Ravens tight end Owen Daniels missed his second straight practice on Thursday, and he had his left knee heavily wrapped in the locker room.

But offensive coordinator Gary Kubiak sounded like he had no doubts that the Ravens' second-leading receiver will be lining up Sunday at the Cincinnati Bengals.

"Oh, he's fine. Owen's fine," Kubiak said after Thursday's practice. "John [Harbaugh] has got a plan for these veteran guys, and I know he's had a plan for O.D. and how he keeps him fresh and ready to go. But, as far as what we're doing game plan and those types of things, O.D. will be fine."

That's bad news for the Bengals, based on Daniels' track record against them. Since 2011 (including playoffs), Daniels has the fifth-most receiving yards (254) of any player in the NFL against the Bengals. He has averaged 5 1/2 catches in four meetings, as Bengals linebackers have had trouble covering him in the middle of the field.

Daniels has certainly come through for the Ravens in his first season, filling the void left after Dennis Pitta sustained a season-ending hip injury. Among NFL tight ends, he ranks in the top 10 in receptions (27, tied for eighth), touchdowns (three, tied for ninth) and targets (36, tied for ninth). He has as many touchdowns as New Orleans Saints tight end Jimmy Graham.

“He’s a big target, but the big thing is he’s very defined in where he’s going and what he’s doing," quarterback Joe Flacco said of Daniels. "You can see just by how he runs routes and pushes on people and gains the leverage and all that. He does a good job, and that’s why he gets open. Obviously, he’s caught the ball when he has gotten open. He’s been big for us, and he’s going to have to be big for us down the line.”
METAIRIE, La. -- New Orleans Saints running backs Pierre Thomas and Khiry Robinson both missed practice again Thursday, leaving their status in doubt for Sunday’s game against the Green Bay Packers.

Thomas (shoulder) is a long shot since he hasn’t attended either practice after being knocked out of last week’s game against the Detroit Lions. Robinson (forearm) has been on the practice field in uniform but has not participated in individual drills during the portion of practice open to the media.

Obviously it’s a good thing for the Saints that they got Mark Ingram back from his own hand injury last week. Ingram would play a significant role in the Saints’ offense if the other backs are out or limited. Travaris Cadet would also likely play an increased role, especially in the Saints’ passing game, if Thomas is out.

Last week, Cadet caught six passes for 51 yards with Thomas limited. Cadet also caught six passes for 59 yards earlier this year at Dallas when the Saints spent much of the game in their no-huddle, hurry-up offense.

The Saints didn’t offer updates on any of their injuries Thursday. There were no changes from Wednesday’s injury report.

Center Jonathan Goodwin (knee) and linebacker Kyle Knox (ankle) remained out.

Tight end Jimmy Graham (shoulder), cornerback Keenan Lewis (knee/shoulder), nose tackle Brodrick Bunkley (concussion) and linebacker Ramon Humber (ankle) remained limited. Cornerback Patrick Robinson (hamstring) practiced fully.
PITTSBURGH -- Pittsburgh Steelers rookie linebacker Ryan Shazier practiced fully Thursday for the first time since spraining his right knee a month ago and he continues to get closer to returning to game action.

Shazier hasn’t played since hurting his knee in the Steelers’ 37-19 win against the Carolina Panthers on Sept. 21.

The Steelers could have a tough decision to make Sunday when they host the Indianapolis Colts. They will likely err on the side of caution with Shazier and the Steelers may want their first-round pick to go through more than a couple of full practices before putting him back on the field.

“If not this week he certainly isn’t far away,” defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau said of Shazier’s status.

Right tackle Marcus Gilbert (concussion) and nose tackle Steve McLendon (shoulder) each missed practice for the second consecutive day. McLendon isn’t expected to play against the Colts and it’s not looking good for Gilbert, especially if he is unable to practice on Friday.

Safety Shamarko Thomas will probably miss a third consecutive game because of a hamstring injury as the second-year man again was limited in drills.

Cornerback Ike Taylor, who is a month removed from breaking his forearm, practiced on a limited basis on Thursday for the second consecutive day.

“You can just tell he’s feeling pretty good and he’ll be back as soon as he can, quicker than most people,” LeBeau said. “He’s a tough guy.”

Taylor said he hasn’t been cleared to start lifting weights yet, and he is slowly rebuilding his strength in his forearm. The 12th-year veteran said he started doing cardiovascular work last week and that practicing again albeit in a limited capacity is another step in the right direction.

Taylor, who has stayed close to the team since getting hurt, said he does not have a timetable as far as when he might be able to return to game action.

“I’m at every meeting, every practice, every game. As far as mental-wise I ain’t missed a beat,” Taylor said. “I’m enjoying every moment. It just sucks to be off the field.”
EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. -- Minnesota Vikings center John Sullivan has passed the NFL's concussion protocol and is in line to play Sunday against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, coach Mike Zimmer said Thursday.

Sullivan was a limited participant in practice Thursday, but Zimmer said the center "did everything."

Guard Vlad Ducasse also returned to practice in full after injuring his knee last Sunday in Buffalo. Zimmer, however, would not say for certain whether the Vikings would use the same five offensive linemen against the Buccaneers.

"Everything's a little in flux with the injuries, so we'll see," Zimmer said.

Linebacker Gerald Hodges (hamstring) returned to practice on a limited basis, and defensive end Corey Wootton was a full participant after the lower-back injury that kept him out of Sunday's game also limited him Wednesday. Safety Antone Exum missed practice with an ankle injury, however, and cornerback Josh Robinson left practice early after injuring his ankle in individual drills. Zimmer said he wasn't sure how the injury would affect Robinson's status for Sunday.

"He wasn't going very fast when he did it," Zimmer said.
FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- Antonio Allen has played safety, cornerback and nickel this season as the New York Jets try to account for a dwindling number of defensive backs, and he has done so with a mixed amount of success.

Last week against the Patriots, Allen allowed two touchdowns, including one on third-and-19. It was a rough game for Allen, who played in 75 percent of the Jets’ defensive snaps that game.

"It’s been a roller coaster," Allen said Thursday, "but I’m always up for the challenge and looking for ways to better myself."

Coach Rex Ryan pointed out that Allen has had a difficult role to play. Starting cornerback Dee Milliner suffered a season-ending Achilles injury against Denver, and rookie Dexter McDougle was out with a knee injury before the season even started.

"It's kind of tough, especially when you have an injury and you're trying to make in-game adjustments. It's kind of difficult," Ryan said of the situation at cornerback. "But we've placed a lot on (Allen) and I think overall he's done pretty well. Everybody has some moments that they wish they had back, there were a couple of things, probably he could have played better, we could've played better, everybody across the board. But I'm happy he's on our team and he's playing well."

Allen has played all over the secondary this season. He said he knows the entire defensive playbook, but joked that he hasn't been asked to play on the defensive line.

"D-Line's doing a good job, so I [don't] think they're going to have me in that spot," Allen said. "But you never know, I might get in the nine technique."

Dawan Landry and rookie Calvin Pryor are the starting safeties, and Ryan said Pryor hasn't been quite what the team hoped for in his first year, so they have had to alter the defense a bit to compensate. This week, they have the Bills and rookie wide receiver Sammy Watkins to contend with.

"It's going to be a tough challenge," Allen said. "Every week is going to be tough because we haven't been playing up to par. But hopefully we can come out this weekend and show up a little bit."
FLORHAM PARK, N.J. – Linebacker Trevor Reilly (knee) and wide receiver Greg Salas (wrist, ankle) are unlikely to play Sunday when the New York Jets face the Buffalo Bills at MetLife Stadium.

“Trevor Reilly, I would think it’s a stretch to see him go,” Ryan said. “Greg Salas, that’s probably not going to happen.”

Ryan said he was confident that the rest of the roster would be ready to go.


Limited: LB Trevor Reilly (knee), G Oday Aboushi (shoulder), CB Phillip Adams (groin), G Willie Colon (knee), WR Eric Decker (hamstring), LB David Harris (shoulder) and WR Greg Salas (wrist, ankle).

Full: LB Antwan Barnes (knee), RB Chris Johnson (ankle), C Nick Mangold (shoulder), RB Bilal Powell (foot) and CB Darrin Walls (knee).


Did not participate: WR Marquise Goodwin (hamstring), LB Ty Powell (ankle), RB Fred Jackson (groin).

Limited participation: WR Marcus Easley (knee), S Aaron Williams (neck).

Full participation: DE Mario Williams (thumb), WR Sammy Watkins (groin), LB Brandon Spikes (ribs).
CINCINNATI -- A.J. Green missed his second straight practice of the week Thursday afternoon, but the Cincinnati Bengals did end up receiving a jolt to their health when veterans Leon Hall and Robert Geathers made it back after missing Wednesday's workout.

Just like the day before, Green was relegated to the rehab field off to the side of the Bengals' workout space adjacent to Paul Brown Stadium. During the open portion of the practice he was seen going back through some of the conditioning and agility drills he went through on Wednesday. He also was spotted wearing his black Bengals practice jersey, and he walked out to the rehab space carrying his helmet.

It was the first time he at least had been in practice attire.

What does all of that mean? It means the Bengals are still holding out hope that after the work Green is going through this week that he will be ready when they hit the field Sunday afternoon for a key division game with the Ravens.

The Pro Bowl receiver has been trying to return this week from a toe injury that has nagged him since Week 1, and one that will likely continue to bother him the rest of the season. Green still hasn't practiced in three weeks, when he left a Wednesday practice at the end of stretching. He aggravated the right big toe during the start of that workout. Since then, he has missed the last two games. He lasted only six plays in the Week 2 win over the Falcons.

As for Hall, the cornerback returned to practice after taking Wednesday off because of a lower back injury he sustained Sunday.

Geathers also was back after a toe injury held him out of the first practice this week, while running back Giovani Bernard practiced again this week, but in limited capacity.

Slowly, but surely, the Bengals are getting healthier.

Here's a look at the full Bengals injury report:

LB Rey Maualuga

WR A.J. Green (toe)
OT Andrew Whitworth (veteran's day off)

RB Giovani Bernard (ribs)
OG Clint Boling (veterans' day partially off)
CB Leon Hall (back)

TE Kevin Brock (neck)
LB Vontaze Burfict (neck)
DE Robert Geathers (toe)
DE Wallace Gilberry (eye)
LB Emmanuel Lamur (shoulder)
OT Marshall Newhouse (back)
OL Mike Pollak (knee)
OT Andre Smith (shoulder)
DT Brandon Thompson (knee)
CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Carolina Panthers running back DeAngelo Williams appears on target to return for an Oct. 30 Thursday night game against the New Orleans Saints.

Williams has missed the past three games with an ankle injury and is not expected to play Sunday against the defending Super Bowl champion Seattle Seahawks.

He has been on the practice field this week working on the side with the trainer, but has not participated in drills.

"This is kind of like Jonathan [Stewart] a couple of weeks ago, sitting there saying, 'How close are we, how close are we?'" Rivera said of his other back who returned Sunday against Green Bay after missing three games with a sprained knee.

"We could put him out there and say, 'Well, we were 95 percent close,' and all of a sudden something bad happens and now you're back to 65 percent. DeAngelo is the same way. We're being very smart with this, very calculated."

Nickel cornerback Bene' Benwikere (ankle), linebacker Chase Blackburn (knee), wide receiver Philly Brown (concussion), guard Amini Silatolu (calf), guard Trai Turner (knee), running back Fozzy Whittaker (quad) and right tackle Nate Chandler (thigh) also did not practice.

Rivera said he expects Chandler to play against Seattle. Silatolu appears doubtful, which means rookie Andrew Norwell will start at left guard.

Left tackle Byron Bell practiced for the second straight day after suffering an elbow contusion Sunday and is expected to play.

Amobi Okoye returns to practice

October, 23, 2014
Oct 23
[+] EnlargeAmobi Okoye
AP Photo/Ringo H.W. ChiuAmobi Okoye hasn't played in an NFL game since 2012 and was in a coma for three months last year.

IRVING, Texas -- Dallas Cowboys defensive lineman Amobi Okoye participated in his first practice of the season Thursday.

Okoye has been on the reserve/non-football list because he was recovering from anti-NMDA receptor encephalitis, a brain condition that causes memory loss and seizures. Okoye, who hasn't played in an NFL game since 2012, was in a coma for three months last year.

"It was good, it was worth it," said Okoye, who worked with the scout team. "It was mixed emotions. It felt like it naturally was coming back. I've played six years in the league [and], it doesn't take too long for stuff to come back to you."

Okoye said he'll hold a formal news conference during the Cowboys' bye week, in mid-November, to discuss in detail what he overcame.

There are no guarantees Okoye will play this season. He will be on the reserve/non-football list for another three weeks, and after that, the team can activate him, place him on injured reserve, release him or keep him on reserve/non-football list.

(Read full post)

IRVING, Texas -- Cowboys defensive end Anthony Spencer was limited in practice on Thursday with a sprained foot. Spencer, who has recovered from microfracture surgery, is expected to play in Monday's game against the Washington Redskins.

Linebacker Bruce Carter (thigh), who missed the last three games, was a limited participant in practice on Thursday. Carter said he felt good and should play against Washington.

"I did all the drills, special teams, I did everything," said Carter, who worked in the base and nickel packages. "I think as the week goes on and me running around, I'll be able to open up more each day and I think I'll be fine on Monday night."

Wide receiver Dez Bryant (shoulder) and right tackle Jermey Parnell (chest) were full participants in practice.

Defensive end Jack Crawford (calf), right tackle Doug Free (foot), safety Jakar Hamilton (personal reasons) and quarterback Tony Romo (back) didn't practice.