Status of Jacksonville Jaguars’ A.J. Bouye unclear after talk of injury

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — It appears the Jacksonville Jaguars are going to be without one of their top defensive players for Sunday’s game at Indianapolis — but they may be betting their top offensive player back, too.

Cornerback A.J. Bouye politely declined an interview request on Wednesday by saying he wasn’t going to play against the Colts because of his calf injury. Bouye was hurt against Houston on Oct. 20 and missed the Jaguars’ game against Philadelphia in London the following week.

However, coach Doug Marrone said “that’s news to me” when told of Bouye’s comment before the Jaguars hit the practice field.

“I guess I’ll have to talk to him about that,” Marrone said. “That’s not what the trainer told me. He did say that? OK, we will take care of that. That’s not been told to me by the trainer. That’s the truth.”

Bouye is tied for the team lead with five pass breakups and has one interception. He led the Jaguars with 18 pass breakups and six interceptions last season, which earned him a spot in the Pro Bowl and on the All-Pro second team.

Marrone did get some good news on Wednesday, though, because running back Leonard Fournette practiced fully for the first time since he aggravated his right hamstring injury in Week 4. Marrone did not say whether that meant Fournette would play against Indianapolis, but it’s clearly a good sign for the player around which the Jaguars built the offense.

Marrone said the team will not limit Fournette if he is able to play.

“We are full-boring everybody,” Marrone said. “Once a guy is ready to play, that has to be our expectation. I think you get into trouble when you put a player on the field and he is not able to live up to the expectation that you have for him meaning that all of a sudden now if something happens, it’s kind of like a built-in excuse. That’s the way I’ve always viewed it. I have always told players [if someone says], ‘I’m going to go out there, but I don’t feel like whatever …’ What does that mean? If they say, ‘I’m not 100 percent, I can’t do what’s expected of me.’ Well, then, I can’t put him on the field.”

Fournette originally hurt his right hamstring late in the first half of the season opener against the New York Giants and missed the next two games. He returned against the New York Jets in Week 4 and ran 11 times for 30 yards and caught one pass for 5 yards before aggravating the injury.

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Miami Dolphins QB Ryan Tannehill’s status for Sunday ‘up in the air’

Miami Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill‘s status for Sunday’s game against the Bears is “up in the air right now,” a source told ESPN’s Adam Schefter.

Brock Osweiler would start if Tannehill is unable to play.

Tannehill was listed as a limited practice participant Friday with a right throwing shoulder injury. He was listed on the injury report for the same issue Wednesday and Thursday but was a full participant in practice.

He suffered the initial injury in the Dolphins’ Week 3 win over the Oakland Raiders. He was listed on the injury report with it leading up to their Week 4 game at New England but was a full participant in practice every day with no apparent limitations. He was not listed on the injury report heading into Week 5 at Cincinnati.

Tannehill has performed poorly in ugly losses the past two weeks, with the Dolphins’ offense scoring only one touchdown in each of the past two games. Tannehill had three turnovers in the second half of last week’s 27-17 loss to the Bengals, with two of them returned for scores.

For the season, Tannehill has completed 85 of 129 passes for 972 yards with eight touchdowns and five interceptions.

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Green Bay Packers QB Aaron Rodgers practices; status still iffy

GREEN BAY, Wis. — Aaron Rodgers practiced Saturday for the first time since he sprained his left knee in the season opener, increasing the Green Bay Packers‘ chances of having their starting quarterback on Sunday against the Minnesota Vikings.

It’s a significant step, but it doesn’t guarantee Rodgers’ return.

That decision won’t be made until the team is sure that Rodgers came through the one-hour session without any setbacks. That likely means waiting to see how Rodgers’ knee feels Sunday morning.

Rodgers, who was listed as questionable on Friday, did not practice Wednesday or Thursday — the team’s two longest on-field sessions of the week. Unlike most teams, the Packers don’t practice on Fridays but instead hold a light on-field session on Saturdays before a Sunday game.

Coach Mike McCarthy said Friday that he would have no problem playing Rodgers even if he did not practice at all this week.

“Don’t really need to see anything [from Rodgers on Saturday] because the classroom work and participation from both Aaron and DeShone [Kizer] is all part of this preparation process,” McCarthy said. “So we’re just going to keep working through that, and we’ll be ready to go.

“He could play with no reps,” McCarthy added. “We’ve established that point some time ago in his career. So I think it’s no different. You’d like to walk off the field Saturday and have your plan set, but this is the National Football League, things happen. Guys get sick on Saturday, too. That’s all part of our process where we work the practice squad guys in and everything. So we’ll be ready for anything, but I know he wants to play. So we’ll see how it goes.”

Rodgers left Sunday night’s opener against the Bears in the second quarter after defensive end Roy Robertson-Harris fell on the quarterback’s left leg. Rodgers said it was fair to call the injury a sprain, but he wouldn’t say what exactly was sprained.

It’s most likely that he sprained one of ligaments other than the ACL. An MCL, LCL or PCL sprain could heal without surgery but any damage to the ACL would not. He said he has had three previous surgeries on his left knee — in high school (arthroscopic surgery), college (ACL reconstruction) and after the 2015 NFL season (arthroscopic).

Rodgers said he did not take any painkilling injections or medication before he returned last Sunday against the Bears and threw three fourth-quarter touchdown passes to rally the Packers from a 20-3 deficit to a 24-23 win.

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Richard Sherman not ‘told anything’ about his status with Seattle Seahawks

Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman told ESPN’s Josina Anderson that he hasn’t “been told anything” about his future with the team amid a report that his days in Seattle are coming to an end.

The NFL Network reported earlier Wednesday that Sherman has been telling teammates that he won’t be on the team, and Seahawks cornerback Jeremy Lane tweeted, “That text message got my heart hurting … damn 25 was my Dawg #WhatsNext.”

But Sherman, referring to Lane’s tweet in a text message to Anderson, said: “I’m good. Not sure what that’s about…Haven’t been told anything.”

The NFL Network also reported that Sherman was scheduled to meet Monday with Seahawks coach Pete Carroll and GM John Schneider to discuss his future.

Sherman told Anderson, however, that he will speak to Carroll and Schneider over the phone. Sherman is on his way to NFLPA meetings in Las Vegas, which begin Thursday.

Any talks with the Seahawks regarding his future in Seattle will continue while Sherman is in Las Vegas.

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Teddy Bridgewater’s stint on 2017 PUP list to decide his status with the Minnesota Vikings next season

BLOOMINGTON, Minn. – If Teddy Bridgewater‘s contract is tolled for the 2018 season, it won’t be a decision that’s made by the Minnesota Vikings.

According to general manager Rick Spielman, Bridgewater is “technically ready to become a free agent,” but there remains the prospect that the Vikings quarterback could have his contract tolled for next season, meaning he would play for the same $1.354 million he earned in 2017, because of the time he spent on the physically unable to perform list for the first six weeks of the season during the last year of his rookie contract.

Spielman did not detail how a decision to toll Bridgewater’s contract would ultimately be made or whether the Vikings would have to make a request to the NFL to take action.

“If it goes into that area, it’s not a Minnesota Viking (decision), that’s an NFL and player union that will have to decide that area,” Spielman said.

However, if it does get to that point, the NFLPA would likely file a grievance against the NFL and fight the decision in court.

The issue stems from whether Bridgewater was medically cleared to play prior to Week 6. The quarterback dislocated his left knee and tore multiple ligaments, including the ACL, during a non-contact drill in preseason practice on Aug. 30, 2016. He spent nearly 14 months rehabilitating his injury before he was cleared to resume practicing in October.

Bridgewater started the season on the PUP list, which he had to stay on for the first six weeks before being cleared to play. The quarterback was medically cleared to return to practice on Oct. 16, 2017 but said he felt he could have returned sooner.

“Honestly, I probably could have practiced a while ago but we wanted to be smart about everything,” Bridgewater said ahead of Week 7. “I probably wasn’t ready to be around moving guys and things like that, so using those six weeks just helped me with different drills and things like that, that apply to practice, that apply to the games.”

NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith, who clarified that the matter stems from language in the NFL’s collective bargaining agreement, said he was unsure how the players union would become aware of the prospect of Bridgewater’s contract tolling.

“I don’t know the answer to that,” Smith said. “I don’t know whether it comes from the club or from the league. So, I’m not going to speculate.”

Smith also was unclear on the league’s timeline to make a decision. It is believed that if a decision is made to toll Bridgewater’s contract, it needs to be done prior to the start of free agency. Teams can begin entering contract negotiations two days ahead of the start of the new league year, which beings on March 14.

Should the NFLPA be drawn into a legal battle, Smith says they have access to all of Bridgewater’s medical data with the Vikings, which would determine whether he was actually ready to return to practice before Week 6.

“The tolling agreement is inextricably tied, when it comes to that last year and in the Bridgewater case, one of the critical issues is whether he was medically cleared or medically able to play,” he said. “We’ll continue to look at that issue, we stay in touch with his agent.”

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