Dolphins to start Brock Osweiler third straight game

DAVIE, Fla. — Brocktober will continue for the third consecutive game.

Miami Dolphins coach Adam Gase said Monday that Brock Osweiler will start at quarterback Thursday at Houston, and Ryan Tannehill will miss his third game. Tannehill is dealing with a shoulder injury that has prevented him from throwing.

Gase said Tannehill is in a “good spot” and the Dolphins (4-3) plan for him to throw this week; he added that there’s no guarantee it would be a real football, and it could be a Nerf football.

Miami still expects that Tannehill won’t need surgery, that he will return this season and he will be the starter when he does.

Osweiler gets a chance to play the Texans for the first time since they traded him to the Cleveland Browns last summer. He confirmed he hasn’t talked with Texans coach Bill O’Brien since the deal, but Osweiler sidestepped questions about his relationship with O’Brien and his Texans tenure.

Miami will be without its two top receivers — Albert Wilson and Kenny Stills — Thursday, and likely longer.

Gase said there is a “high possibility” that Wilson’s season is over after he suffered a hip injury Sunday versus Detroit. Wilson traveled Monday to see a specialist, and the Dolphins expect to get confirmation by Tuesday afternoon on his injury.

On a positive note, Gase said he hadn’t heard anything to indicate that Wilson’s injury would be career-ending and that the speedy receiver was in good spirits when they talked after the game.

Stills has a groin injury and is still being evaluated. It’s possible he could be out beyond Thursday.

That means the Dolphins will have to go back to DeVante Parker, who was in the news Sunday after being a surprise inactive Sunday, with his agent Jimmy Gould calling Gase “incompetent” and accusing the coach of lying when he said Parker wasn’t “completely healthy.”

Gase confirmed again it was a coaches’ decision to keep Parker out of the lineup Sunday in favor of having players like rookie running back Kalen Ballage active, adding that he expects Parker to play Thursday.

“We don’t have any more receivers so I’m sure he’s going to play,” Gase said.

As far as Gould’s comments, Gase said they “don’t really bother me.” He said he talked with Parker briefly Monday morning.

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Vontaze Burfict of Cincinnati Bengals fined $112,000 for hits in Pittsburgh Steelers game

Bengals linebacker Vontaze Burfict was fined $112,000 for multiple plays that constituted unnecessary roughness in Cincinnati’s Week 6 game against the Pittsburgh Steelers.

The plays that drew the fines included ones involving wide receiver Antonio Brown and running back James Conner during the third quarter.

Brown caught a pass over the middle and was tackled by two Bengals defenders when Burfict flew in with his right elbow, connecting with Brown’s upper body and head area. Brown was down on the turf for a few seconds and was evaluated by the team on the sideline before re-entering the game. After the game, Brown called the play a “nasty hit.”

Burfict has been fined more than $415,000 during his NFL career. The latest sanction is the 11th time he has been fined in his seven NFL seasons.

He also has been suspended twice for a total of six games, including a three-game ban for a hit on Brown during a 2016 playoff game.

Steelers players consistently praise Burfict’s ability as a player but say they wish he would tone down the viciousness.

“He’s hurting his team,” Steelers right tackle Marcus Gilbert said earlier this week. “It could have been a costly penalty right there. Who knows? He should be suspended for that hit. We’ll see. But he’s too good of a football player to be missing games like that.”

Around the NFL, Seattle Seahawks safety Bradley McDougald was fined $26,739 for unnecessary roughness on a hit on Oakland Raiders wide receiver Amari Cooper.

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Melvin Gordon of Chargers questionable for Sunday’s London game vs. Titans

COSTA MESA, Calif. — The Los Angeles Chargers downgraded running back Melvin Gordon to questionable for Sunday’s game against the Tennessee Titans.

A source tells ESPN’s Adam Schefter that Gordon “will most likely be a game-time decision.”

Gordon did not appear on the injury report until the team’s practice on Friday in London, when he was listed as limited due to a hamstring injury.

Gordon has not missed a game this season. The Wisconsin product is third in the NFL and leads the AFC with 466 rushing yards.

The fourth-year running back has rushed for more than 100 yards in two of the past three games, including 132 yards on 18 carries and three touchdowns in last Sunday’s 38-14 win over Cleveland.

Gordon played a full 16-game season for the first time last year, finishing with 342 touches in 2017, fourth in the NFL. Gordon finished without a touchdown his rookie season, but since the start of the 2016 season, he has 33 scores. Only Todd Gurley (36) has more.

“I think it was just sore,” Chargers head coach Anthony Lynn said when asked about Gordon after practice Friday. “We had a long plane ride. He probably didn’t drink enough water.

“We were just being extra cautious with him, and we just held him out today [Friday]. It would have been the third practice that he has been on field turf. With his knees and ankles, I don’t think that’s good for him at all, so we just held him out.”

Austin Ekeler will likely be the starter if Gordon is unable to play. The second-year back is averaging 6.4 yards per carry and has three receiving touchdowns this season.

The Chargers also announced that they had signed running back Detrez Newsome to the 53-man roster. The rookie out of Western Carolina has one rush for the Chargers in three games this season.

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Calvin Ridley, Mohamed Sanu back from injuries for Falcons’ Monday game

FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. — Atlanta Falcons coach Dan Quinn said receivers Calvin Ridley and Mohamed Sanu, along with defensive tackle Grady Jarrett, are ready to play against the New York Giants on Monday night after coming off their respective injuries.

Ridley suffered a bone bruise on his left ankle during last week’s win over Tampa Bay, while Sanu has been dealing with a significant left hip bruise since the Week 4 loss to Cincinnati. Sanu hasn’t missed any time but aggravated his bruise in last week’s win over Tampa Bay.

Meanwhile, Jarrett returns to the lineup after missing the past two games with an ankle injury. The Falcons also get back defensive lineman Derrick Shelby, who missed the past four games with a groin injury.

The only player Quinn ruled out was kicker Matt Bryant, who suffered a hamstring strain last week. Newly signed Giorgio Tavecchio will handle the field goals and extra points Monday night.

Quinn said the extra day this week allowed Ridley and Sanu to recover in time to play. Ridley looked sharp and fast running routes during Saturday’s practice, while Sanu appeared to tough it out while catching passes in the end zone.

“My ankle early in the week, it was just really, really, really sore,” Ridley said. “I really treated it all day to make sure it was healthy. I feel like my normal self.”

Said Sanu, “I feel good, but it’s a little [pain] management, too. It’s definitely going to get better. I mean, it’s way better than it was.”

The Falcons have been hit hard by the injury bug through the first six games, losing Pro Bowl strong safety Keanu Neal to a season-ending ACL tear, free safety Ricardo Allen to a season-ending Achilles tendon tear, and starting left guard Andy Levitre to a season-ending triceps injury.

Two-time Pro Bowl running back Devonta Freeman was placed on injured reserve this week and underwent groin surgery. He is eligible to return for the Dec. 23 game at Carolina. Pro Bowl middle linebacker Deion Jones, also on injured reserve following foot surgery, is on track to return after sitting out the required eight games. Jones could return for the Nov. 18 game against Dallas. The Falcons are allowed to bring two players back from IR.

The 2-4 Falcons look to string back-to-back wins together when they host the 1-5 Giants on Monday night.

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Week 7 NFL betting nuggets to know for every game

Last week’s trends came through, with the Pittsburgh Steelers winning outright as an underdog in Cincinnati.

This week, the trends point to a couple of home underdogs — the Chicago Bears and New York Jets — continuing their success in this spot. The trends also call for a Dallas Cowboys upset win in Washington.

Here are the rest of the trends that should help you in betting the NFL this weekend.

All lines are courtesy of Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook.

Tennessee Titans vs. Los Angeles Chargers (-7, 45.5) — 9:30 a.m. ET (London)

  • The Titans are 4-1 ATS with three outright wins in their past five games as an underdog of more than a field goal.

  • The Chargers are 6-16-1 ATS in their past 23 games as a favorite of more than a field goal.

New England Patriots (-3, 49) at Chicago Bears — 1 p.m. ET

  • The Bears are 8-2-1 ATS with five outright wins in their past 11 games as a home underdog.

  • The Bears are 4-1 ATS and 4-1 SU in their past five games against AFC teams.

  • The under is 15-5 in the Patriots’ past 20 road games.

Cleveland Browns at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (-3.5, 50) — 1 p.m. ET

  • Jameis Winston is 3-9 ATS with seven outright losses in 12 career starts as a favorite.

  • The Browns are 4-1 ATS in their past five games as an underdog.

  • The over is 6-0 in the Buccaneers’ past six games.

Detroit Lions (-3, 46.5) at Miami Dolphins — 1 p.m. ET

  • The over is 12-3 in the Dolphins’ past 15 home games played in Miami.

  • The Dolphins are 7-3-1 ATS with seven outright wins in their past 11 games as a home underdog in Miami.

Carolina Panthers at Philadelphia Eagles (-4.5, 45) — 1 p.m. ET

Buffalo Bills at Indianapolis Colts (-7.5, 42.5) — 1 p.m. ET

  • This will mark the first time the Colts are favored by at least 7 points since 2014. Andrew Luck is 6-2 ATS in eight career starts when favored by at least a touchdown, including five straight covers.

Minnesota Vikings (-3.5, 46) at New York Jets — 1 p.m. ET

  • The Jets are 8-1-1 ATS with six outright wins in their past 10 games as a home underdog.

  • Kirk Cousins is 0-3 ATS with two outright losses and a tie in his three starts as a road favorite over the past two seasons.

Houston Texans at Jacksonville Jaguars (-4.5, 41.5) — 1 p.m. ET

New Orleans Saints at Baltimore Ravens (-2.5, 49.5) — 4:05 p.m. ET

  • The Ravens are 3-0-1 ATS and 4-0 SU in their past four home games as a favorite of 3 points or less. Baltimore has an average margin of victory of 18.3 PPG in those four wins.

  • The over is 7-2 ATS in the Saints’ past nine games as an underdog.

Dallas Cowboys at Washington Redskins (-1.5, 41.5) — 4:25 p.m. ET

  • The Cowboys are 12-3 ATS with 11 outright wins in their past 15 games as an underdog against the Redskins.

  • The underdog is 12-4 ATS in the past 16 meetings between these NFC East rivals.

  • Dak Prescott is 3-1 ATS and 4-0 SU in four career starts against the Redskins.

  • The over is 5-0 ATS in the past five meetings between these rivals.

Los Angeles Rams (-9.5, 52) at San Francisco 49ers — 4:25 p.m. ET

Cincinnati Bengals at Kansas City Chiefs (-5.5, 58.5) — 8:20 p.m. ET

  • Over the past 30 seasons, there have been 13 games that closed with an over/under of at least 58. The over is 9-3-1 in those 13 games.

  • The Bengals are 7-2 ATS with five outright wins in their past nine games as an underdog.

New York Giants at Atlanta Falcons (-4, 54) — 8:15 p.m. ET (Monday)

  • The over is 16-6 in the Falcons’ past 22 home games, including 4-0 this season.

  • The over is 9-2 in the 11 games with an over/under above 52 this season.

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Dalvin Cook out for third straight game with hamstring injury – Minnesota Vikings Blog

EAGAN, Minn. – Running back Dalvin Cook is set to miss a third straight game Sunday when the Minnesota Vikings face the New York Jets.

Cook is dealing with a hamstring injury he sustained in overtime of the Vikings’ Week 2 tie at Green Bay. One season after his rookie year was cut short by an ACL injury, Cook has played 10 quarters, rushing 36 times for 98 yards.

The running back was a full participant in practice Wednesday before missing Thursday and Friday’s sessions. This comes after Cook was a late scratch against the Cardinals. The Vikings’ training staff determined he wasn’t ready during pregame warm-ups.

Cook said the injury is tricky and he has to rely more on “feel” than sitting out a specific number of days and expecting to be ready to go.

“It makes it difficult because you never really know,” Vikings coach Mike Zimmer said. “He comes out and he says ‘Hey, I’m good to go.’ And it’s just kind of how it goes. You have to have versatility in your game plan.”

Latavius Murray , who recorded a career-high 155 yards rushing and a touchdown against the Cardinals, will be the Vikings’ lead back. Murray’s 74 yards after contact were the most by a Vikings running back since Adrian Peterson had 129 against the Raiders in 2015, according to ESPN Stats & Information. Entering Week 6, Minnesota was the last team without a rushing touchdown.

“He’s (Murray) a guy that needs carries and the physicality of things,” Zimmer said. “I like Latavius and the way he approaches the game, and typically he’s not a one-carry-every-quarter guy, he’s a guy that needs to get the football some.”

Murray filled a similar role last season for the Vikings, becoming the team’s lead back in Cook’s absence. Asked whether Cook’s hamstring injury will require rest for an extended period of time, Zimmer said: “I don’t know. I’ll let the medical people handle it.”

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Jaguars without Leonard Fournette for third straight game – Jacksonville Jaguars Blog

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — The Jacksonville Jaguars are going to be without their best offensive player for at least another week.

Running back Leonard Fournette will miss Sunday’s game against Houston at TIAA Bank Field with a right hamstring injury. It will be the third consecutive game – and fifth overall – that he has missed with the injury.

In addition, tight end James O’Shaughnessy (hip) has been ruled out. Defensive end Calais Campbell (ankle/hip) is questionable.

Fournette did not practice this week but he did some running and worked off to the side during practice along with nickel back D.J. Hayden (toe), who also will not play against the Texans.

The Jaguars play Philadelphia next Sunday in their annual game in London and then have their bye, so Fournette may not be back until the Nov. 11 game at Indianapolis.

Fournette hurt his hamstring late in the first half of the season opener. He missed the next two games and returned in Week 4 but aggravated the injury late in the first half of that game and hasn’t practiced since. He has 71 yards rushing and four catches for 19 yards.

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Miami Dolphins’ quarterback Ryan Tannehill ruled out for game against Detroit Lions

DAVIE, Fla. – Ryan Tannehill has been ruled out Sunday versus the Detroit Lions as an investigation was opened into how the Dolphins reported his shoulder injury, a source confirmed to ESPN.

Brock Osweiler, who threw for a career-high 380 yards in a 31-28 win over the Bears, will start for the second consecutive week. Adam Gase said he’s not sure yet if Tannehill will be able to go next Thursday at Houston.

“He just can’t throw,” Gase said.

Tannehill participated in practice on a limited basis Wednesday. He worked on footwork, handed the football off with his right arm, but he did not throw in any capacity during the open viewing period. The Dolphins have plans to make sure he’s healthy and ready to react to the stresses of throwing before putting him back out there.

Rest has been the recovery recommendation for Tannehill. Gase needs to see him make all the throws and feel comfortable about that before he’s ready to play.

Gase said he’s “not sure” whether Tannehill faces a long-term injury, but the coach has complete confidence that the 30-year-old quarterback will play again in 2018. When asked about Tannehill’s situation, Gase quickly interjected, “Yes, he will be the starter” again when he’s healthy.

As far as the NFL’s investigation, this is common with prominent players, especially starting quarterbacks, and will involve gathering the details of how Tannehill went from full practice participant on Wednesday and Thursday, limited participant on Friday to out on Sunday, and making sure Miami adhered to the league policy.

Tannehill was made a surprise scratch for Sunday’s game vs. Chicago Bears after the Dolphins say his right shoulder injury got “progressively worse” throughout the week. He was listed as questionable on Friday.

Gase said that he believes Tannehill injured his right shoulder on a fourth quarter sack-fumble by Bengals defensive end Carlos Dunlap in a Week 5 loss at Cincinnati. On the play, Tannehill’s arm is hit awkwardly from behind before he completed his throwing motion and he was down on the ground for a few moments after the play.

Few thought much of the injury because Tannehill was listed as a full practice participant on Wednesday and Thursday. Gase later said that backup QB Brock Osweiler took a few snaps with the first-team on Thursday when Tannehill’s injury worsened.

“It was such an unusual situation,” Gase said. “Last week, we started the week and he was sore, but it got worse as the week went on. That’s why we found ourselves in a position that we weren’t really thinking we were going to be in.

“Anytime he’s been banged up or some kind of injury, he’s always progressed positively. That’s why we thought we would get the same thing. That didn’t happen. That’s why we waited until the last minute.”

The Miami Herald was the first to report this investigation.

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Bengals game might be the most important of Chiefs’ season – Kansas City Chiefs Blog

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — Shortly after their last-second loss to the New England Patriots on Sunday night, the Kansas City Chiefs didn’t see their promising season unraveling.

They saw the game for what it was in the moment — a three-point defeat on the road against the two-time defending AFC champions.

“I feel like if we had the ball last like they did, we would have gone down and scored and won, too,” running back Kareem Hunt said. “We can take this loss. I mean, you never want to lose. We’re going to learn from this, go study and make sure it [doesn’t] happen again.”

For now, at least, that’s the proper attitude for the 5-1 Chiefs to take after their first loss of the season. But they should be aware of the dangers that can follow.

Just last season, the Chiefs started 5-0 before an innocent-looking loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers. The Chiefs then lost five more in their next six games to fall to 6-6 before righting their season and claiming the AFC West title by winning their final four games.

The Chiefs also started 9-0 in 2013 but finished 2-5. They were 7-3 at one point in 2014 before a three-game losing streak took them out of realistic playoff contention.

So the Chiefs are familiar with prolonged slumps. That’s why next Sunday night’s game against the 4-2 Cincinnati Bengals at Arrowhead Stadium might be the most important of the season for the Chiefs.

“This team has got great character,” cornerback Orlando Scandrick said. “It’s one of the best groups I’ve been around my whole 11-year career. We’ll be fine. I’m not worried about it at all [given] the way this team works, the way this team prepares. If we handle our business the way we’re supposed to handle our business, there is a good chance we’ll see [the Patriots] again.”

The Chiefs could have left themselves some margin for error by finding a way to win the close game against the Patriots. At 6-0, they would have had a commanding lead in the AFC West and for home-field advantage throughout the playoffs. Their nearest competitors in the division, the Los Angeles Chargers, are 4-2, and every other AFC team has at least two losses.

At 5-1, the Chiefs’ lead over their division and conference rivals is more precarious. But they can re-establish a larger sense of control by beating the Bengals. They would be 6-1 heading into one of the easiest three-game stretches of their schedule: home games against the Broncos and Cardinals and a road game with the Browns.

The Chiefs would do well to take advantage. This easier stretch of schedule ends in Week 11 in Mexico City, where they face the Rams, who — by beating the Broncos on Sunday while the Chiefs lost to the Patriots — are the NFL’s last remaining unbeaten team.

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New England Patriots QB Tom Brady favored for record 56th straight game

Tom Brady has set plenty of records in his illustrious career. He’ll add one more on Sunday night, courtesy of Las Vegas oddsmakers.

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