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Packers’ Geronimo Allison has ‘pretty big injury’; Kevin King likely to miss game


GREEN BAY, Wis. — Wide receiver Geronimo Allison likely will need surgery, and cornerback Kevin King isn’t likely to play Sunday against the Miami Dolphins.

That’s the outlook a day after the Green Bay Packers lost their second straight road game and fell to 3-4-1 at the halfway point of their season.

Allison did not play in Sunday’s 31-17 loss to the New England Patriots after he suffered a groin injury in practice Thursday. The third-year receiver was in Philadelphia on Monday to visit Dr. William Meyers, a core-muscle specialist who has operated on Packers players with groin and sports hernia injuries in the past.

“We’ll work through the final prognosis, but it’s a pretty big injury,” coach Mike McCarthy said.

Allison could miss more than a month. Rookie Marquez Valdes-Scantling took Allison’s spot as the No. 3 receiver on Sunday and caught three passes for 101 yards — his second 100-yard game in his past three outings.

King’s hamstring injury, which forced him out in the middle of Sunday’s game, isn’t as big, but McCarthy said King would be “challenged to play this week.”

The Packers made several adjustments in the secondary against the Patriots. They started the game with cornerback Tramon Williams at safety in place of Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, who was traded to the Washington Redskins last week. Bashaud Breeland started at cornerback in his first game action since the Packers signed him in December. King started at the other corner spot, and rookie Jaire Alexander played in the slot. Fellow rookie Josh Jackson played 41 of the 71 defensive snaps, most of them after King dropped out 24 snaps into the game. The Packers also finished the game without safety Kentrell Brice, who left with a knee injury.

The Packers on Monday added a safety, former fourth-round pick Ibraheim Campbell, off waivers from the Jets. Campbell played for Packers defensive coordinator Mike Pettine during the 2015 season with the Cleveland Browns.

He took punter Drew Kaser‘s roster spot. Kaser was signed on Saturday as an emergency in case JK Scott‘s wife went into labor and he had to leave New England. He would have done so with the blessings of McCarthy and general manager Brian Gutekunst, who had a plane waiting to take Scott back to Green Bay if needed. Kaser instead was inactive.

Right tackle Bryan Bulaga (knee) and linebacker Blake Martinez (ankle) both have a chance to play against the Dolphins after getting injured against the Patriots. Bulaga didn’t finish the game but avoided a serious injury, while Martinez returned but had significant swelling on Monday. Martinez said tests showed no significant structural damage.

“Once I taped it up and did a bunch of stuff and tried to run around, it started to kind of loosen up and I was getting ready to go,” he said.



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Stefon Diggs of Minnesota Vikings recovering from rib injury


EAGAN, Minn. — Stefon Diggs is recovering this week from an injury he sustained to his ribs against the New Orleans Saints.

The Vikings wide receiver did not participate in practice on Wednesday and Thursday, although he was able to toss the football to his position group during individual drills earlier today.

Diggs believes he was injured on a 19-yard screen pass that he caught in the second quarter of Minnesota’s 30-20 loss last Sunday. The receiver said he does not think he took a hit to the ribs on the play in question but rather sustained a bruise upon hitting the ground.

“I think so. I’m not 100 percent sure, but that’s probably when it happened,” Diggs said. “I think I just hit the ground a little bit too hard that one time.”

Diggs was seen chatting with Vikings trainers on the sideline after the reception, which occurred on the first play in the second quarter, but went back in the game one play later. The fifth-year receiver caught 10 passes for 119 yards and a touchdown against New Orleans and was able to play 64 of a total 73 offensive snaps. Notably, Diggs was not on the field for the Vikings’ failed conversion on fourth-and-1 from their own 45-yard line in the third quarter.

Friday’s injury report will provide more clarity as to whether Diggs will have a shot at facing the Lions on Sunday. The likelihood of that increases if he’s able to practice in some capacity tomorrow.

“Yeah,” Diggs said when he asked if he anticipates playing in Week 9. “Always, as I should.”

The Vikings may also see the return of running back Dalvin Cook against Detroit. Cook has been battling through a hamstring injury he sustained in overtime at Green Bay in Week 2, which has limited him to 36 carries for 98 yards in 10 quarters of play.

Sources indicated to ESPN last week the belief that Cook would remain sidelined through the bye week after missing the Saints game, but his return to practice this week in limited capacity may indicate the second-year back is further along with his rehabilitation.

Cook did not practice during the week leading into the game against New Orleans. Eliminating football activity, he says, was beneficial to his recovery process.

“Very, very important,” Cook said. “I think with these things, if you’re kind of stepping on it and keep doing what you’re doing, you’re going to keep lingering it on. You kind of need to shut the body down. That’s why I’m so confident in our medical staff because they’ve got the right plan set up for me. We’ve been going by what they (have) for me daily and my body’s been reacting to it good. It was very important.”

Cook said he’s in a “comfortable spot” after practicing all week and is likely to be listed as questionable if he practices again on Friday. The running back said he doesn’t know if there are any lingering effects from his hamstring injury given he hasn’t taken snaps in a game since the Vikings played the Rams in Week 4. He’ll know how he truly feels and what percentage he can assign to his hamstring’s being fully healed when he gets in a game.

“That’s the big key,” Cook said. “You can practice. You can run around. You can run straight. You can do all that. But it’s about going out there and the person chasing you and you turning your body and you twisting your body and having the twitch to do it, that’s when hamstrings occur. That’s how it occurred during the Green Bay game. My body got torqued around, and that’s what happened.”

Latavius Murray has shouldered the load in Cook’s absence and rushed for 56 yards and a touchdown against the Saints’ No. 1 run defense last week. The last time the Vikings played the Lions, Murray ran 20 times for 84 yards and a touchdown.



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Biggest injury questions for all 32 teams in Week 9 2018


NFL Nation reporters assess the biggest injuries across the league for Week 9.

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Chicago Bears might place Kyle Long on injured reserve foot injury


LAKE FOREST, Ill. — Chicago Bears right guard Kyle Long has a tendon injury in his right foot, and the team is deciding whether to put him on injured reserve.

Coach Matt Nagy said Wednesday the three-time Pro Bowl lineman has a boot on his foot and is “week to week.” The Bears are still trying to figure out the “complete extent” of the injury.

Asked if Long has any broken bones, Nagy said, “I’m not going to get into the details of it.” But he added there are “some issues” with a tendon.

The Bears could place Long on IR with the intent to return in eight weeks if they don’t think he could be back sooner.

“Those are decisions we’re going through,” Nagy said. “We’re not there yet. We don’t need to be. Once we get to that point, then we’ll decide what we want to do.”

Long was hurt in the closing minutes of the Bears’ 24-10 victory over the New York Jets on Sunday. Tight end Dion Sims rolled into him while the two were blocking for Jordan Howard on a run.

The injury to Long leaves the NFC North-leading Bears (4-3) in a painful and familiar spot with him as they get ready to visit the Buffalo Bills (2-6). Chicago could also be without star pass rusher Khalil Mack (right ankle) and No. 1 receiver Allen Robinson (groin) again. The two missed the win over the Jets.

The 29-year-old Long made the Pro Bowl his first three seasons after being drafted in the first round in 2013. But he missed eight games in 2016 and six last season after playing in 47 of a possible 48 from 2013 to 2015.

Nagy again said the latest injury was not the same as the severe one to his right ankle in 2016 that required surgery. Long also had operations on his shoulder, elbow and neck after he was shut down last year.

“It’s tough to hear news like that — one of our brothers and other family going down,” quarterback Mitchell Trubisky said. “We’re going to support him all the way and back him up and then it’s next-man-up mentality. We’ve got a lot of depth at the O-line. I feel really comfortable with where we’re at and who’s stepping in there.”

The Bears could move Eric Kush or rookie James Daniels from left guard, where they have shared time. Kush missed the game against the Jets because of a neck injury but is expected to play against Buffalo.

Another option at right guard is Bryan Witzmann. He signed with Chicago three weeks ago and made 13 starts last season for Kansas City while Nagy was the Chiefs’ offensive coordinator.

One scenario that can apparently be ruled out is moving Cody Whitehair from center to guard, a position he has played. Nagy said the Bears haven’t considered that.

“It’s tough to see (Long) go down with the passion that he plays with,” Whitehair said. “We hope for the best for him. I know we’ve got the right guys that will step in for him and give their best.”

With Long out, the line loses not only one of its best blockers, but a team leader.

“He helps me a lot with technique stuff,” Daniels said. “He also (tells me) if there’s a certain look, just be alert for things like that. Both ways, it’s nice to have him around.”

Game notes: Nagy said the Bears will take a similar approach with Mack and Robinson, after both were held out of practice last week on Wednesday and Thursday and limited on Friday.



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New York Giants MLB Alec Ogletree ruled out with hamstring injury


EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — The New York Giants defense will have a vastly different look when it takes the field on Sunday against the Washington Redskins.

Starting middle linebacker and defensive captain Alec Ogletree was ruled out Friday because of a hamstring injury. This comes on the heels of the Giants trading defensive tackle Damon Harrison to the Detroit Lions and cornerback Eli Apple to the New Orleans Saints earlier this week.

It leaves the 18th-ranked defense with three new starters Sunday for their NFC East matchup with the first-place Redskins. Tae Davis is likely to replace Ogletree in the starting lineup to play alongside B.J. Goodson, who will have the headset in his helmet and be charged with getting the Giants lined up correctly. Nate Stupar is also expected to receive some playing time at inside linebacker in what coach Pat Shurmur called a “job share.”

Goodson’s role will expand. He’s played 42 percent of the defensive snaps this season. Ogletree has been on the field for 437 of 438 plays.

“B.J. will be in there much more than he has been,” Shurmur said. “He’s done it before, so we’re confident that he’s going to do a good job.”

Davis is an undrafted rookie out of Tennessee-Chattanooga. He’s not the only undrafted rookie who will see more playing time as a result of the recent trades. Rookie defensive backs Grant Haley and Sean Chandler will see time in the slot with veteran B.W. Webb as the starting cornerback on the outside in place of Apple.

Second-year defensive lineman Dalvin Tomlinson slides into the starting nose tackle role left vacant by the trade of Harrison. Kerry Wynn, Josh Mauro and Mario Edwards will see increased playing time at defensive end with Tomlinson making the change.

Ogletree injured his hamstring in Monday night’s 20-12 loss to the Atlanta Falcons. He didn’t practice at all this week.

The veteran middle linebacker started all seven games for the Giants this season. He’s second on the team with 48 total tackles. He’s tied for second on the team with three tackles for a loss.

Harrison led the Giants with four tackles for a loss.



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Cincinnati Bengals LB Vontaze Burfict ruled out with hip injury


CINCINNATI — Bengals linebacker Vontaze Burfict has been ruled out of Sunday’s game against the Buccaneers with a hip injury.

Burfict appeared to injure his hip late in the third quarter of the Bengals’ loss to the Chiefs last Sunday and immediately went to the locker room. He did not return and was quickly ruled out.

Burfict has played in only three games this season. He missed the first four games of the season while surviving a suspension for a violation of the NFL’s performance enhancing drug policy. He has not played a full season since 2013 due to injuries and suspensions.

It hasn’t been smooth sailing for Burfict since his return. He was fined $112,000 by the NFL for two plays against the Steelers that the league defined as unnecessary roughness. He also missed several tackles in the blowout loss to the Chiefs.

“He hasn’t played as well as he has in the past,” said Bengals coach Marvin Lewis on Wednesday.

Lewis declined any followup questions on Burfict.

“I don’t want to talk about Vontaze. It’s not relevant,” he said.

The Bengals will also be without linebacker Nick Vigil, running back Giovani Bernard, wide receiver John Ross, cornerback Darqueze Dennard and tight end Tyler Kroft this weekend. Burfict will likely be replaced by Hardy Nickerson or Vincent Rey.



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Will Fuller, Houston Texans wide receiver, ruled out with knee injury


HOUSTON — Wide receiver Will Fuller left the Houston Texans‘ game Thursday night against the Miami Dolphins because of a knee injury.

Fuller injured his knee midway through the fourth quarter while attempting to catch a deep pass from Deshaun Watson in the end zone. He was checked out on the field but was able to walk off under his own power.

Fuller left the game with five catches for 124 yards, including a 73-yard touchdown. On the touchdown, Fuller easily beat his defender across the middle and down the right sideline, trotting the final five yards into the end zone. The pass was the longest touchdown of both Watson’s and Fuller’s careers. The pair have now connected for 11 touchdowns in 11 games played together.

The receiver missed a game earlier this season because of a hamstring injury.

After the game, coach Bill O’Brien said he didn’t have an update on Fuller’s status. “We’ll have to wait and see,” he said.



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Biggest injury questions for all 32 teams in Week 8 2018


NFL Nation reporters assess the biggest injuries across the league for Week 8.

Scan through all 32 teams by division, or click here to jump ahead to your favorite team:



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Brandon Fusco of Atlanta Falcons exits MNF with ankle injury


ATLANTA — Atlanta Falcons right guard Brandon Fusco was knocked out of Monday night’s 23-20 win over the New York Giants with an ankle injury.

Fusco appeared to injure his right ankle in the first half and was carted off the field. Early in the second half, the team announced that the eighth-year veteran wouldn’t return.

Ben Garland replaced Fusco in the lineup at right guard. The Falcons previously lost their starting left guard when veteran Andy Levitre suffered a season-ending triceps injury. Wes Schweitzer took over for Levitre.

Falcons coach Dan Quinn did not immediately provide an update on Fusco’s status after the game. Fusco’s teammates remained optimistic.

“You definitely don’t want to see that, and it’s a rough, but I really wish Brandon heals up quickly,” center Alex Mack said. “He’s a great teammate and great player. I really like him, and I want him next to me. But that’s not how it always goes. And Ben is more than capable of stepping up.”

Said right tackle Ryan Schraeder, “I don’t know how bad it is, if it’s just a sprain or what. Ben stepped in really nice. It was good to see. I figured he would come in and fit in like Fusco. I give props to Ben for that.”

Quarterback Matt Ryan said, “That part is difficult, when you see guys going down. Personally, they put so much into it. You feel terrible for them. But this is a good chance for us to get a little bit of rest this week and kind of evaluate where we’re at. I thought Ben did a nice job coming in for us. He’s a guy that has played a lot for us through the years and another guy that we trust to go out there and execute at a high level, and I thought he did.”

Injuries have been a major issue for the Falcons so far in 2018. Starting safeties Keanu Neal (ACL) and Ricardo Allen (Achilles) both suffered season-ending injuries, and linebacker Deion Jones (foot surgery) and running back Devonta Freeman (groin surgery) are on injured reserve but could return 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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