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RB Adrian Peterson upbeat despite Washington Redskins’ offensive line injuries


ASHBURN, Virginia — Washington Redskins running back Adrian Peterson, in the midst of a career rejuvenation, had a natural reaction to his offense’s injury news Monday. The Redskins lost three starters, two of whom helped open holes for some of his 600-plus yards in the first half of the season. It could change the direction of not only the Redskins’ season, but determine his success as well.

“Me and my friend Maker’s Mark, we had a long night,” Peterson said.

But Peterson knows whiskey isn’t the answer to what ails the Redskins. More success from him, however, would be the antidote to their problems. And they say his numbers don’t have to change a whole lot just because of injuries to those blocking for him.

When the Redskins play at Tampa Bay on Sunday, they will be missing three of their original starting offensive linemen — left tackle Trent Williams (dislocated thumb), left guard Shawn Lauvao (torn ACL) and right guard Brandon Scherff (torn left pectoral muscle). And a fourth, right tackle Morgan Moses, did not practice because of a knee injury.

There’s a chance the starting five offensive linemen will include two players who weren’t on the roster until Monday.

“You’ve just got to stay positive and keep pressing,” said Peterson, the NFL’s ninth all-time leading rusher. “It’s not the end of the world, and it’s not the end of the season for us. We all have to perform better. That’s the mindset that I have. … There’s something different when you lose three starters to where your mindset shifts to, ‘I just gotta do more than what I was doing before.'”

That’ll be hard to accomplish. Peterson has rushed for 604 yards, fifth best in the NFL, surpassing what many expected from him after he signed with Washington in mid-August. The Redskins are 5-3 and in first place in the NFC East because of Peterson and their defense. They control the ball on offense and have limited offenses — save for New Orleans and Atlanta.

In the Redskins’ five wins, Peterson has rushed for 561 yards and four touchdowns. Only the Rams’ Todd Gurley and the Chiefs’ Kareem Hunt have rushed for more yards in their teams’ wins; both have eight victories.

Peterson also needs more help to continue climbing career lists: He’s 380 yards from passing Eric Dickerson for eighth in rushing and needs two more rushing touchdowns to pass ex-Redskin John Riggins for sixth on the all-time list.

For the Redskins to keep winning, Peterson must remain a vital part — no matter who’s blocking.

“He just goes through his reads like he normally would,” Redskins coach Jay Gruden said. “It doesn’t matter who’s blocking for him — at guard, center, tackle, tight end, fullback — if we had one — or receiver. He’s just going to go through his progressions and make his cuts and do what he does. It doesn’t matter.”

The Redskins use a lot of different run schemes; Peterson said opponents sometimes express amazement to him after games over the diversity of Washington’s rushing attack. The Redskins use inside and outside zone as well as power gap schemes. They’ll pull the guards; they use jet-sweep action to slow backside pursuit.

They’re hoping that’s one reason Peterson can still succeed.

“A lot of times that helps you because you have the ability to run gap scheme or zone scheme, whatever it may be,” said center Chase Roullier, the only original starter healthy enough to practice Wednesday. “And you can run it based on what the new guys coming in are better at. You can adjust the game plan with that, depending on how that goes. I don’t think there’s going to be any issue plugging those guys in and continuing to win games.”

But Peterson also has discussed how much he has had to learn in this offense, from the style of the run plays to taking handoffs out of pistol or shotgun formation. He has carried a career-high 44 times out of gun formation, averaging 4.16 yards per carry — his best stat out of that look since 2013. Gruden said Peterson’s comfort level on these runs is more about him taking the right path and less about those who are blocking.

“He’s getting more comfortable,” Gruden said. “We still have downhill runs and will get him going on those, too. The big thing with him is being patient with his reads. Obviously we’d rather have Brandon and Trent in there. But [Peterson] is still going to read it out. If reading inside zone, I’m pressing the line and reading one gap at a time … Hopefully he doesn’t have to read a three-technique [defensive lineman] in the backfield.”

The Redskins only had a long walk-through Wednesday, wanting to get through more plays than usual to help the new players acclimate faster. So Peterson couldn’t get any timing down with them, something he said he’ll try to do Thursday and Friday.

“Once we get going to another tempo that I can say little things to them I might see or notice that I’d like them to do differently or might work better,” he said. “Right now it’s just getting to know those guys and talking to them so they feel more comfortable. But most importantly just knowing that they’re going out and playing hard and fast is what we really need right now.”

One change could be less pulling action from the linemen. That’s an area where Scherff excelled, and without him it might become a reduced part of the plan. But just running the same plays doesn’t mean Peterson will have the same success. There have been times he has made his blockers look good; there were other times his blockers put him in a position to do well — and once he gets past the first wave, his jump cuts lead to more yards.

When Peterson arrived in August, he bemoaned the situation he found himself in with Arizona last season — running behind a makeshift line. However, the feeling has always been that Washington’s backups were better than the Cardinals’ starters. That theory will be tested.

“It’s always hard to tell [in practice] because it’s not live action,” Peterson said. “You always say the play looked great in practice when you draw it up and when you run through it in practice. But when you’ve got guys coming 100 miles an hour, things change. We have confidence in the guys we had here before we brought in these guys. The new guys have to step up.”



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Biggest injuries of Week 9, prognosis for Week 10


Here’s the latest on all the major injuries from our NFL Nation reporters, including the prognosis on each player for Week 10 and beyond:


The Seahawks had been on a run of good health before losing running back Chris Carson (hip), guard D.J. Fluker (calf) and safety Bradley McDougald (knee) to injuries in their loss to the Chargers. Mike Davis took over for Carson. Pete Carroll didn’t provide much clarity on any of the injured players’ statuses after the game, but the injuries were serious enough to keep all three sidelined. — Brad Henderson

Paradis suffered a fractured right fibula just before halftime and could be headed to injured reserve in the coming days. Paradis came into Sunday’s game having played 3,850 consecutive snaps since he became the starter to open the 2015 season. Connor McGovern, who replaced him in Sunday’s game, is expected to get the job moving forward. — Jeff Legwold

Reid had a huge wrap on his right shoulder after falling hard in the fourth quarter, but he didn’t appear worried the injury will keep him out of Thursday’s game at Pittsburgh. Reid was signed after the Panthers lost Da’Norris Searcy for the season, and the team can ill afford to lose another quality player at the position. — David Newton

The Redskins suffered injuries to starting guards Lauvao (knee) and Scherff (shoulder). Lauvao’s situation did not look good; he left in a wheelchair and in tears. Both he and Scherff will undergo MRIs in the morning. — John Keim

James and Tunsil both suffered knee injuries that will be worth watching. James returned to action in pain, but he will have an MRI to determine the severity, and he’s holding his breath that it isn’t serious. Tunsil said he believes his injury isn’t serious. Miami has placed nine players on season-ending injured reserve since the start of the season and they can’t afford any more season-ending injuries, especially on the offensive line. — Cameron Wolfe

Ivory suffered a shoulder injury while attempting to dive into the end zone in the fourth quarter of a blowout loss Sunday to the Bears. He was later carted from the bench to the locker room. It could be a big blow for the Bills’ running game, as Ivory has outperformed LeSean McCoy over the past three weeks. Ivory has 151 rushing yards on his past 36 carries, while McCoy has 24 yards on his past 24 carries. — Mike Rodak

Rhodes tweaked his injured ankle in the first half but came back to finish out the game. Vikings coach Mike Zimmer noted that the cornerback is “not 100 percent, but he should be when we get back.” After the win over the Lions on Sunday, the Vikings now enter their bye week before a Week 11 showdown against the Bears in Chicago. — Courtney Cronin

Lang left Sunday’s game late with an undisclosed injury, but he was placed in concussion protocol. This isn’t a good sign for Lang, who missed multiple weeks earlier this season with a concussion. Kenny Wiggins will replace Lang if he’s forced to miss any time. — Michael Rothstein

Mostert will miss the rest of the season after suffering a broken right forearm in the third quarter of Thursday night’s 34-3 win over the Raiders. Mostert had emerged as Matt Breida‘s primary complement in the running game, leaving Alfred Morris as the third back. With Mostert out, Morris figures to move back into a more prominent role, and the Niners will have to add another back to the active roster for depth. One option is practice squad running back Jeff Wilson, an undrafted free agent the Niners signed out of North Texas in May. — Nick Wagoner



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New England Patriots Sony Michel, Rob Gronkowski to test injuries pregame


New England Patriots running back Sony Michel and tight end Rob Gronkowski will be evaluated before Sunday night’s game against the Packers before a decision is made if they will play, sources told ESPN’s Adam Schefter.

Both players are listed as questionable.

Michel suffered what looked like a serious knee injury Oct. 21 against the Bears and missed Monday night’s win against the Bills. Michel, 23, had an MRI after the Bears game that showed no structural damage, and he has practiced this week.

Gronkowski missed the Bears game with a back injury but returned against the Bills and had three catches for 43 yards.

Michel, who was the Patriots’ first-round draft pick in 2018 out of Georgia, leads the team with 422 rushing yards and four rushing touchdowns. Gronkowski has 29 catches for 448 yards and a TD.



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Biggest injuries of Week 8, prognosis for Week 9


Here’s the latest on all the major injuries from our NFL Nation reporters, including the prognosis on each player for Week 9 and beyond:


Hill appeared to tweak his groin on a long catch early in the game, and he left late in the fourth quarter. The injury doesn’t look serious, but the Chiefs would miss his speed and game-breaking ability. — Adam Teicher

Fuller tore the ACL in his right knee, and is out for the rest of the season. The Texans don’t have much depth on the roster to replace the production of the speedy Fuller, but head coach Bill O’Brien said he is hopeful that rookie receiver Keke Coutee (hamstring) can return “at some point” to fill at least some of that void. — Sarah Barshop

The Bengals were dealt a huge blow to their defense on Sunday: Lawson tore his ACL, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, and his season is now over. Lawson is the second Bengals defensive lineman to go down this season after Ryan Glasgow tore his ACL earlier in the year. Rookie Sam Hubbard will likely take his role in the rotation. — Katherine Terrell

Starting left tackle Williams dislocated his right thumb, and had it in a cast after the game. Williams said he was unable to pop it back into place during the game. He’s played with numerous injuries throughout his career, but said after the game that he wasn’t sure yet about his availability against Atlanta in Week 9. — John Keim

Johnson left the game in the fourth quarter to be evaluated for a concussion but later returned and played. After the game, coach Steve Wilks said Johnson was “fine.” — Josh Weinfuss

Long was helped to the sideline and then carted off to the locker room with a right foot injury. Long was spotted in the postgame locker room on crutches, but declined to speak with reporters. He has a history of serious injuries, and judging by the mood after Sunday’s 24-10 victory over the New York Jets, the Bears are bracing for the worst. — Jeff Dickerson

Jones suffered a hamstring injury and did not return. He’s not the starting running back — Peyton Barber is — but Jones’ workload had begun to increase the last few weeks. — Jenna Laine

Foster left the game with a hamstring injury and did not return, and the same is true of strong safety Tartt and his injured shoulder. Long-term diagnoses weren’t immediately available, but with a quick turn into Thursday night’s game against the Raiders, the Niners could again be short-handed defensively. If they can make it through that game, the Niners don’t play again until Nov. 12, which should offer a much-needed breather to get some players back healthy. –Nick Wagoner

Left tackle Stanley injured his left leg and missed one full series before returning. Stanley is the third starter on the offensive line to get injured, joining left guard Alex Lewis (neck) and right tackle (James Hurst). — Jamison Hensley

Roethlisberger suffered an injury to his left index finger in the second quarter of the win over the Browns. Coach Mike Tomlin did not know the severity after the game, and said the quarterback would be evaluated. Roethlisberger got hurt in the second quarter but finished the game and looked to be in good spirits in the locker room afterward. — Jeremy Fowler

Mayfield was not listed with an injury, but he took a beating from an aggressive Steelers rush in this game. Mayfield was moving gingerly afterward in the locker room. — Pat McManamon

M.J. Stewart, CB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Stewart left the game with a foot injury and did not return. Starting nickelback Vernon Hargreaves is already on injured reserve, as is starting strong safety Chris Conte, so any injuries to their defensive backfield are huge. — Jenna Laine

Nickelback Munnerlyn left in the second half with a hamstring injury, but it doesn’t appear serious. Munnerlyn said after the game that he was fine. — David Newton

Church (evaluated for a concussion) and Meeks (knee) went down in Sunday’s loss to the Eagles. It’s a good thing the team has a bye week, but the Jaguars can at least overcome Church’s absence with Ronnie Harrison and/or Jarrod Wilson if the veteran is out for an extended period of time. The Jaguars had to play three undrafted rookie corners against the Eagles because Tyler Patmon (neck), D.J. Hayden (toe) and A.J. Bouye (calf) did not play. If those three can come back after the bye week, things should get better; if not, it’s going to be a major issue against Andrew Luck and the Colts on Nov. 11. — Michael DiRocco

Reeves-Maybin (undisclosed) and Jones (knee) both left the game late, but were seen moving around the locker room following the game. Considering they play the same position, if either one has an injury of any concern, Detroit might need to look to the free agent wire to bolster the team’s linebackers, a group that has struggled this season. — Michael Rothstein



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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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Biggest injuries of Week 5, prognosis for Week 6


Another week, another batch of key contributors felled by injury around the league. Here’s the latest on all the major injuries from our NFL Nation reporters, including the prognosis on each player for Week 5 and beyond:


Breida sustained a left ankle injury in the first quarter of Sunday’s game against the Cardinals, and did not return. He left the stadium in a walking boot, and though he mentioned that X-rays were negative, he’ll undergo more tests on the injured ankle. After Breida’s departure, the 49ers turned to Alfred Morris, who finished with 18 carries for 61 yards and three catches for 30 yards, while third-string running back Raheem Mostert had five carries for 11 yards and a costly fumble. — Nick Wagoner

Cooks and Kupp were both lost during the Rams’ win over the Seahawks, due to concussions. Cooks, who has caught 26 passes for 452 yards and a touchdown this season, did not record a catch against the Seahawks. Kupp was evaluated for a concussion in the third quarter before he was ruled out. He caught six passes for 90 yards and a touchdown against the Seahawks.

The pair was replaced by Josh Reynolds, a second-year pro from Texas A&M, and KhaDarel Hodge, who was signed as an undrafted free agent from Prairie View A&M. — Lindsey Thiry

Dolphins starting left tackle Laremy Tunsil is in the concussion protocol, and his exit from Sunday’s game created a huge shift in Miami’s offensive abilities. Bengals coach Marvin Lewis said after the game that his team saw “blood in the water” when backup Sam Young came in the game and struggled while being left on an island. Dolphins coach Adam Gase said he hasn’t decided if they’ll bring in outside help yet if Tunsil can’t be cleared, but he did say it played a big role in Sunday’s meltdown loss. — Cameron Wolfe

Starting left tackle Riley Reiff injured his foot in the first half and did not return to play. Mike Zimmer did not have any update on Reiff’s status after the game. Even without Reiff, the Vikings’ offensive line, which moved Rashod Hill to left tackle and called rookie Brian O’Neill off the bench to fill in at right tackle, was terrific in pass protection. — Courtney Cronin

Grant suffered a Lisfranc injury and is likely done for the season, per ESPN’s Adam Schefter. That’s a big blow to the offense, because he was a dangerous change-of-pace back the team tried to get into the open field to exploit his speed. The Jaguars will have to add at least one back this week heading into the game against Dallas, because Leonard Fournette (hamstring) likely won’t play against the Cowboys. — Michael DiRocco

Barkley felt something in his back after scoring a touchdown that gave the Giants the lead with just over one minute remaining in the loss to Carolina. It was their last offensive play of the game. Barkley said afterward he was fine, as did coach Pat Shurmur. The Giants take on the Eagles on Thursday night. — Jordan Raanan

Right tackle Andre Smith suffered a hamstring injury late in the third quarter and didn’t return. Coach Steve Wilks didn’t have an update on his status after the game. But this is Smith’s second injury of the season in five weeks, after having missed the last three games with an elbow injury. — Josh Weinfuss

Brown left Thursday’s game against the Colts with a knee injury and didn’t return, although the severity of the injury remains unknown. Without Brown, the Patriots would turn to either Danny Shelton or Adam Butler alongside fellow starter Lawrence Guy. — Mike Reiss

Kalil was injured at the bottom of a pile on a third-and-1 play in the fourth quarter, and did not return. He was examined in the sideline tent, where players typically go to be tested for a concussion. Kalil also has a history of neck and shoulder injuries the past couple of years. The good news is that the Panthers have a lot of confidence in Tyler Larsen, who started when Kalil was injured the past two seasons and who played well for Trai Turner at right guard for two games this year. — David Newton

Starting left tackle Bolles left the game in the second half with a right ankle injury, and will be evaluated more back in Denver. Starting right tackle Jared Veldheer didn’t play in Sunday’s contest against the Jets because of a knee injury he suffered in the Monday night loss to the Chiefs. That meant Billy Turner and Elijah Wilkinson, both backups, were at the two tackle spots in the fourth quarter, and may have to play against the Rams’ front next Sunday. — Jeff Legwold

Lewan limped off the field in the second quarter. He was listed as questionable to return with a right foot injury, but did not return to the game. Lewan said his right foot was swollen after last week’s game, and he had the same injury in the season opener last year. At this point, he can’t say whether the injury is a long-term one. –Turron Davenport

Johnson injured his ankle in the fourth quarter, but told ESPN he was “fine” after the game and he likely could have re-entered the game if needed. — Michael Rothstein



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Joe Staley, Dante Pettis of San Francisco 49ers exit game vs. Los Angeles Chargers with injuries


CARSON, Calif. — Already without Jimmy Garoppolo for the rest of the season because of a knee injury, the supporting cast for the 49ers’ new starting quarterback C.J. Beathard suffered multiple injuries in Sunday’s game against the Los Angeles Chargers.

Left tackle Joe Staley and wide receiver Dante Pettis both suffered first-half left knee injuries that initially left both questionable to return. But the Niners ruled out Staley and Pettis for the rest of the game as the third quarter began.

Staley suffered his injury with about nine minutes to go in the second quarter. On the third-down play, Beathard took a big hit that drove him into the back of Staley’s leg. Staley stayed down and received medical attention before he was able to walk to the sideline.

Just before halftime, Staley made his way to the locker room as veteran tackle Garry Gilliam replaced him with the starting offensive line.

That injury came after Pettis sustained an injury while returning a punt just two minutes into the game. Pettis caught a punt at San Francisco’s 17 and as he worked back, he was tackled by Chargers linebacker Jatavis Brown. Pettis came down awkwardly on the knee and needed assistance from the Niners staff to get to the sideline.



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Biggest injuries of Week 2, prognosis for Week 3


Another week brings another batch of injuries around the NFL. Here’s the latest on all the big injuries from our NFL Nation reporters, including the prognosis on each player for Week 3 and beyond:


McCoy suffered a rib injury in the third quarter when center Ryan Groy fell on McCoy’s midsection as the tailback was being tackled. McCoy returned to the game for one rush but did not re-enter afterward and was later announced as questionable to return. McCoy declined an interview after the game, saying his rib injury made it difficult to talk. He was in obvious pain while moving and changing clothes in the locker room. If he cannot play next Sunday against the Vikings, the Bills would likely turn to Marcus Murphy as their lead back, with Chris Ivory in a short-yardage role. –Mike Rodak

Mixon will be out for a few weeks after he had a procedure Saturday to clean up some loose particles in his knee, a result of an old injury that was never addressed. The procedure went well, but while Mixon recovers, expect a heavy dose of Giovani Bernard and potentially Tra Carson. –Katherine Terrell

Mosley injured his knee on the first drive of Thursday’s game and didn’t return. He was diagnosed with a bone bruise, and the MRI revealed no ligament damage. “It doesn’t look to be long-term,” coach John Harbaugh said. “We’ll just have to see how it responds the next couple of days. The good thing is we have a long week (10 days until next game). I don’t know if that means he’ll be ready for Denver or not.” –Jamison Hensley

Cook sustained a hamstring injury in overtime and was sidelined for the remainder of the game. However, it appears his injury isn’t of concern: Cook told the NFL Network that the issue was related to a cramp. –Courtney Cronin

Wallace was carted off with an ankle injury Sunday and did not return. He was in a walking boot afterward, and this could end up being a longer-term injury. Alshon Jeffery (shoulder) is due back soon, but the Eagles still need some help — whether it be from speed receiver Shelton Gibson or perhaps a player not yet on the roster — if Wallace is unavailable for an extended stretch. –Tim McManus

Zuerlein was sidelined right before the game against the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday because of a groin injury. Without a true place-kicker, the Rams improvised, with running back Todd Gurley converting two two-point conversions in the first half. Punter Johnny Hekker handled kickoffs and did kick a 20-yard field goal to give the Rams an 11-0 lead in the second quarter. Following Sunday’s win, the Rams remain uncertain about Zuerlein’s situation going forward. –Lindsey Thiry

Slay left Sunday’s game against San Francisco with a concussion and was ruled out. It’s the second time in a week Slay had been examined for a concussion. He was cleared to return after going through testing in Monday’s opener against the Jets. The Lions had Teez Tabor and Nevin Lawson as the team’s top cornerbacks after Slay was ruled out. –Michael Rothstein

King did not play in the second half after he suffered a groin injury. King, one of the Packers’ starting cornerbacks, remained on the sideline but never went back into the game. There was no immediate update on his status after the game. –Rob Demovsky

Robinson left with a knee injury in the first half, and left the postgame locker room on crutches with his leg in a brace. That doesn’t bode well for Sunday’s game against Tennessee. Fourth-year player Josh Wells, who struggled in the preseason, stepped in for Robinson and played well and would get the start as long as Robinson is out. –Michael DiRocco

Flowers sustained a concussion on the Jaguars’ opening drive and didn’t return. With Flowers out, the Patriots leaned more heavily on Keionta Davis and Deatrich Wise Jr. as their top defensive ends. –Mike Reiss

Starting right tackle Veldheer is in the league’s concussion protocol after leaving Sunday’s win over the Oakland Raiders in the third quarter. Veldheer has been a steadying influence on the offensive line, and it’s unclear at the moment how much practice time he will miss. Billy Turner entered the game and finished things out in Veldheer’s spot, and Turner would likely start against the Baltimore Ravens next Sunday if Veldheer cannot play. Elijah Wilkinson is another option, but Wilkinson has been a game-day inactive in each of the Broncos’ first two games. –Jeff Legwold

Chung — who was also serving as the Pats’ primary punt returner — sustained a concussion late in the first half and did not return. Chung was replaced by Duron Harmon at safety. –Mike Reiss



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Ezekiel Ansah, Detroit Lions defensive end, suffered no significant shoulder injuries


ALLEN PARK, Mich. — Detroit Lions defensive end Ezekiel Ansah had a shoulder MRI that showed no significant injuries, leaving him hopeful he might be able to play Sunday against San Francisco, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter.



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Ezekiel Ansah, LeGarrette Blount of Detroit Lions leave with injuries


DETROIT — A rough night for the Detroit Lions on the field got even worse in the injury department, as the franchise saw star defensive end Ezekiel Ansah and the running back they signed in free agency, LeGarrette Blount, left the season opener.

Ansah injured his shoulder and went to the locker room with 5 minutes, 30 seconds left in the second quarter of Monday night’s game against the New York Jets. He was ruled out to return.

The fifth-year pro has dealt with shoulder injuries in the past. After his rookie year in 2013, he had shoulder surgery. Last season, Ansah dealt with ankle, shoulder and back injuries throughout the season and started this year’s training camp on the physically unable to perform list.

The Lions placed the franchise tag on Ansah before the season to keep him with the team for one more year, banking on his health to lead an otherwise questionable defensive front.

The Lions then saw Blount, the team’s starting running back, leave after a hit with 8:07 left in the third quarter. Blount returned to the sidelines in the fourth quarter with helmet in hand. No injury was announced by the Lions.

Blount had fumbled the ball, but officials had already ruled him down due to forward progress. Blount then stayed on the ground, kicking his legs as athletic trainers tended to him on the field. He eventually got up and went straight to the locker room.

The next play, quarterback Matthew Stafford was hit by two Jets defensive linemen — one on the arm and one in the ribs — and stayed down on the field before walking off on his own power. He remained out of the game for the remainder of the series before returning to the game and throwing his fourth interception of the game on his second play coming back in.

Stafford also had his leg looked at during the first half.

Lions guard T.J. Lang also left with a back injury. Lang didn’t play all preseason with a foot injury and has been frequently injured since he was signed by the Lions in 2017.



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