NFL News

Del Rio admits Carr’s inability to be under center ‘an issue’

In the three-and-a-half games since Derek Carr dislocated his right pinkie finger, the Oakland Raiders quarterback has taken every snap from shotgun or pistol formation, with the exception of one play against the San Diego Chargers when he successfully drew defenders offside.

While the third-year pivot’s injury hasn’t impeded the Raiders’ run to the playoffs – they’ve won three of their last four games and sealed a postseason berth – head coach Jack Del Rio admits Carr’s inability to play under center has caused problems.

“Yes, it is somewhat of an issue,” Del Rio said, according to Paul Gutierrez of ESPN. “It is not ideal. Being completely honest about it, it is an issue that we are working through, but it is the way we’re choosing to work through it right now.

“At some point, we will feel better about going under center, we will; but until then, we’ll execute the best we can out of the formations we feel most comfortable with.”

Carr’s limitations showed up in the red zone against the Chargers. The Raiders scored one touchdown in seven red-zone chances and had two turnovers.

The Raiders clearly don’t feel comfortable with Carr under center, but the quarterback insists he wouldn’t have any issues lining up there.

“I did it in pregame,” Carr said Sunday of taking snaps from under center. “I have no limitations. This is just what we’ve been doing.”

Copyright © 2016 Score Media Ventures Inc. All rights reserved. Certain content reproduced under license.

Fantasy: Waiver Wire – Week 16

Every Tuesday during the season, theScore’s David P. Woods runs down his recommended waiver wire pickups.

Quarterback

Colin Kaepernick, 49ers

Next Up Ownership FAAB bid
at LA 33% $5

Kaepernick isn’t a good NFL quarterback, but he’s averaging about 18 fantasy points per game since taking over as starter and gets a very nice matchup against the Rams this week.

Matt Moore, Dolphins

Next Up Ownership FAAB bid
at BUF 1% $1

Moore threw for 236 yards and four touchdowns with one interception against the Jets, but it’s pretty clear the Jets have given up on the season. Moore is only an option this week for truly desperate owners.

Running Back

Ty Montgomery, Packers

Next Up Ownership FAAB bid
vs. MIN 60% $100

The Packers finally unleashed Montgomery as their featured running back Sunday, and he rewarded his team with 162 yards and two touchdowns on 16 carries. Montgomery looked truly electric in the role, which makes it so puzzling that the Packers dragged their feet in putting him into it (or even admitting he’s a running back and not a receiver). This week’s matchup looks worse on paper, but the Vikings just surrendered 101 yards rushing to Frank Gore and two touchdowns to his backup, Robert Turbin. Montgomery is somehow still available in 40 percent of fantasy leagues. If you’re still alive and he’s on your waiver wire, scoop him up and put him directly into your starting lineup.

Paul Perkins, Giants

Next Up Ownership FAAB bid
at PHI 13% $50

The rookie Perkins accounted for 56 yards on 11 carries in Week 15. More importantly, he was clearly better than starter Rashad Jennings. The Giants are probably headed to the playoffs and need to find a way to get some consistency out of their rushing attack. This could be the week they finally make Perkins their featured runner.

Kenneth Dixon, Ravens

Next Up Ownership FAAB bid
at PIT 49% $50

Dixon was out-touched 17-9 by Terrance West in Week 15, and out-produced 122 yards to 36. However, Dixon scored a touchdown and looked impressive in his limited work. This timeshare could tilt back in Dixon’s favor this week. Even if it doesn’t, he still has some FLEX value.

Dion Lewis, Patriots

Next Up Ownership FAAB bid
vs. NYJ 48% $50

Lewis was suddenly a huge part of the Patriots’ offense in Week 15, taking 18 carries for 95 yards and adding two catches for nine yards. What’s the deal? It might just be Bill Belichick trying to give his opponents what they least expect, but it’s also possible the Patriots plan to feature Lewis moving forward. If nothing else, add him to prevent your opponent from using him against you.

Wide Receiver

Robby Anderson, Jets

Next Up Ownership FAAB bid
at NE 7% $75

Anderson has 14 catches for 240 yards and two touchdowns over the Jets’ last three games. On a team that has essentially packed it in for the year, he has produced more fantasy points than the rest of the team’s receiving corps (including tight ends) combined. Can he do it for one more week? The Patriots represent a tough matchup, but the Jets will likely have to pass to stay in this one. Anderson could score enough in garbage time to be worthy of a pickup and start.

Tyler Lockett, Seahawks

Next Up Ownership FAAB bid
vs. ARI 43% $50

Was Lockett’s 130-yard, one-touchdown performance in Week 15 the breakout fantasy owners have waited all season for, or just another tease? The Cardinals look like a tough matchup on paper, but their secondary just ceded 186 yards and two touchdowns to Brandin Cooks, a player with a similar athletic profile to Lockett. If you are looking for a home run swing in Week 16, Lockett could be the guy.

Dontrelle Inman, Chargers

Next Up Ownership FAAB bid
at CLE 36% $50

Even before Tyrell Williams suffered a concussion in Week 15, Inman led the Chargers in receiving. He’s the player you want to target in this passing game, and the Browns represent as good a matchup as you could ask for.

Taylor Gabriel, Falcons

Next Up Ownership FAAB bid
at CAR 67% $50

Gabriel had an eventful Sunday, catching a touchdown, then leaving the game with a shoulder injury before eventually returning to finish the contest. As long as Julio Jones remains sidelined, and perhaps even after he returns, Gabriel is a viable WR3.

Tight End

Charles Clay, Bills

Next Up Ownership FAAB bid
vs. MIA 12% $5

Charles notched season bests with seven catches for 72 yards against the Browns in Week 15. It’s risky to assume he’ll post decent numbers against a better defense, but maybe he can extend his hot streak for one more week. It’s not like there’s a more attractive tight end available on the waiver wire.

Garrett Celek, 49ers

Next Up Ownership FAAB bid
at LA 0% $1

With Vance McDonald on IR, Celek seized his opportunity to start by scoring a touchdown. It’s not out of the question he’ll score again this week.

Copyright © 2016 Score Media Ventures Inc. All rights reserved. Certain content reproduced under license.

Giants place Vereen on season-ending IR

Shane Vereen‘s 2016 season has officially come to an end.

The New York Giants running back was placed on injured reserve after re-tearing the triceps that forced him to miss nine games earlier this year, the team announced Tuesday.

Vereen’s latest injury is a major blow to the Giants offense, as he figured to have a significant pass-catching role both down the stretch and into the postseason.

Rashad Jennings and fifth-round rookie Paul Perkins figure to see more opportunities out of the backfield in his absence.

Vereen will still be under contract for the third and final season of a three-year deal he signed to join the Giants in 2015. With little guaranteed money remaining as part of his $4.9-million cap hit, though, it’s possible that he’ll be on the roster bubble heading into the spring.

The 27-year-old, who spent the first four seasons of his career with the New England Patriots, posted a career-best 59 receptions for 494 yards across 16 games in his first season in New York.

Copyright © 2016 Score Media Ventures Inc. All rights reserved. Certain content reproduced under license.

Texans rookie stuck with $16K dinner bill

Houston Texans safety K.J. Dillon got stuck paying a pretty hefty dinner bill Monday night.

The rookie tweeted a photo of a $16,255.20 receipt from what appears to be a night out with teammates:

When you get left with the tab…… pic.twitter.com/aCrqYZDbla

— KJ Dillon (@K_DILLON20) December 20, 2016

That’s a lot of Hennessy, none of which was consumed by Dillon.

I don’t even drink lol

— KJ Dillon (@K_DILLON20) December 20, 2016

Copyright © 2016 Score Media Ventures Inc. All rights reserved. Certain content reproduced under license.

Kirk Cousins takes out cheerleader

Kirk Cousins wipes out cheerleader, 2 views pic.twitter.com/fFqTliRpgB

— CJ Fogler (@cjzero) December 20, 2016

While sprinting down the sideline during the fourth quarter of the Washington Redskins‘ 26-15 loss to the Carolina Panthers on Monday night, Kirk Cousins was shoved out of bounds and directly into a cheerleader.

The cheerleader hit the ground hard, but fortunately, she was all right.

SHE’S OK! pic.twitter.com/CwTbQvl9yn

— NFL on ESPN (@ESPNNFL) December 20, 2016

Copyright © 2016 Score Media Ventures Inc. All rights reserved. Certain content reproduced under license.

Newton takes responsibility for penalty after taking questionable hit

Cam Newton didn’t make any excuses for his reaction to a helmet-to-helmet play that wasn’t flagged by the officiating staff in Monday night’s win over the Washington Redskins.

The Carolina Panthers quarterback, who drew a penalty of his own for flipping the ball toward the defender after taking a hit while sliding to the ground, explained after the game that he was in the wrong regardless of the missed call.

“I’ve got to be better than that,” Newton said, according to David Newton of ESPN. “That just can’t happen on my part. I just have to let the referees do their job, and obviously, it was a questionable hit, but I can’t throw the ball at a person. That’s against the rules too.”

Newton has been the recipient of a number of such hits throughout the season, and the frequency in which officials have opted against throwing the flag has brought even more attention to the issue.

Concerns over his safety and the fun being drained from the game at one point even led the defending MVP to seek a discussion with commissioner Roger Goodell.

Though league officials evidently still have a long way to go in addressing the issue, Newton’s focus after Carolina’s impressive prime-time victory remained solely on his actions.

“I’m not going to beat a dead horse. I just can’t retaliate in that way; I’m better than that, I know I am,” Newton said. “I can’t jeopardize that type of play for my team.”

Carolina’s second consecutive win moved the club move to 6-8 on the year.

Copyright © 2016 Score Media Ventures Inc. All rights reserved. Certain content reproduced under license.

NFL to expand fan access at 2017 combine

NFL fans will be able to get more up close and personal with the incoming draft of college prospects than ever before, as the league has decided to greatly expand the level of fan access to the combine, reports ESPN’s Darren Rovell.

Fans will be able to watch the bench press and media interviews, as well as giving the 40-yard dash a shot.

The NFL opened up free tickets to the event on Tuesday morning.

“We wanted to continue to allow for fans to get closer to the game when there’s so much hope during the offseason,” said NFL senior vice president of events Peter O’Reilly.

The 2017 NFL Combine will take place at Lucas Oil Stadium and the Indiana Convention Center in Indianapolis from March 2-5.

“The fans will be right there, cheering and chanting for the players,” O’Reilly said.

Copyright © 2016 Score Media Ventures Inc. All rights reserved. Certain content reproduced under license.

Rookie Report: Elliott, Prescott lead Cowboys to bounceback victory

Each week, Rookie Report provides a running look at first-year standouts, surprises, and Rookie of the Year candidates.

Offense

Ezekiel Elliott, RB, Dallas Cowboys

Elliott continued his dominant campaign in a 26-20 win over the Buccaneers, rushing for 159 yards and a touchdown, adding three receptions for 29 yards. The rookie superstar drew attention for his touchdown celebration, jumping into a Salvation Army donation bin, and said he’d match any fine with a donation to the charity. At this point, Elliott continues to be a leading candidate in a wide-open MVP race, and appears almost certain to capture the rushing title.

Dak Prescott, QB, Dallas Cowboys

Prescott bounced back from his worst game of the season, with a hyperefficient performance Sunday. The rookie quarterback went 32-of-36 for 279 yards, picking apart the Buccaneers’ defense with relative ease. Although some debated Tony Romo should take over at quarterback, Prescott put that notion to rest, making every throw in the book, adding 20 rushing yards and a touchdown.

“You can’t name too many rookies who went 12-2. Name them. I will wait,” teammate Dez Bryant said of Prescott via ESPN’s Ed Werder.

At this point, that may be all that needs to be said.

Michael Thomas, WR, New Orleans Saints

Thomas continues to thrive in the Saints’ offense, recording seven catches for 52 yards and a touchdown in a 48-41 victory over the Cardinals. Although Brandin Cooks stole the show Sunday, Thomas continued to relentlessly attack the Cardinals’ defense, gaining 10 targets during the game.

Defense

Keanu Neal, S, Atlanta Falcons

Neal continues to star as a hybrid linebacker/safety, flying all over the field for the upstart Falcons. The first-round pick recorded a team-high 11 tackles and two pass deflections in a 41-13 victory over the 49ers, flying all over the field. Neal is quickly becoming one of the NFL’s most devastating hitters and will be a vital part of the team’s postseason ambitions.

God damn…. @Keanu_Neal pic.twitter.com/qnPXzjGKTf

— Carlton (@SlopingGiraffe) December 18, 2016

Eli Apple, CB, New York Giants

Apple is one of the components of a Giants’ defense that looks ready to contend for a Super Bowl, and he posted one of his best games of the year in a 17-6 victory over the Lions. The former Ohio State standout amassed seven tackles – including two for loss – along with a pass deflection in the winning effort. Giants cornerback Janoris Jenkins suffered a back injury Sunday and Apple may be forced into a larger role as a result, one that he’s proving capable of accepting.

T.J. Green, S, Indianapolis Colts

Green posted one of his most productive games of the season, racking up seven tackles in a 34-6 rout of the Vikings. The second-round pick showed improvement in the open field with an excellent tackle on Vikings tight end Kyle Rudolph. Green’s been absolutely miserable in coverage this season, which has been a learning experience of sorts, but he deserves due credit for a performance that’s far and away the best of his rookie year.

Awards Watch

Offensive Rookie of the Year

  1. Ezekiel Elliott
  2. Dak Prescott
  3. Tyreek Hill

Honorable mention: Michael Thomas

Defensive Rookie of the Year

  1. Joey Bosa
  2. Leonard Floyd
  3. Keanu Neal

Honorable mention: Deion Jones

Copyright © 2016 Score Media Ventures Inc. All rights reserved. Certain content reproduced under license.

Rivera rewards team for Monday night win by dropping tie rule

Ron Rivera really know how to treat his players.After taking down the Washington Redskins 26-15 Monday night and keeping their incredibly small playoff chances alive, the Carolina Panthers head coach gave his players a real thrill.No ties for the …

Redskins lose control of playoff hopes with loss to Panthers

LANDOVER, Md. – Kirk Cousins threw an interception and fumbled near his goal line as the Washington Redskins coughed up their easiest path to the playoffs with a 26-15 loss to the defending NFC champion Carolina Panthers on Monday night.

Washington (7-6-1) could have clinched a playoff berth by winning its final three games but now needs help. Carolina (6-8) kept its astronomical wild-card hopes alive and dealt a serious blow to the Redskins’ chances with two weeks left in the season.

After being picked off by Kurt Coleman in the first half to set up a Carolina field goal, Cousins was sacked by Wes Horton and fumbled on the first snap after halftime as the Panthers took over at the 1-yard line. They scored two plays later to take a 20-9 lead.

Cousins finished 32 of 47 for 316 yards with far too many missed throws in a game with such high stakes.

Reigning league MVP Cam Newton showed no ill effects from a shoulder injury suffered last week, throwing for 300 yards and two touchdowns as the Panthers took advantage of blunders by the Redskins, who lost their sixth consecutive Monday night home game.

It was Washington’s most lopsided loss since being routed 38-16 by Pittsburgh in the season opener, also on a Monday night.

Copyright © 2016 Score Media Ventures Inc. All rights reserved. Certain content reproduced under license.