NFL

NFL news and notes: Brown reacts to Patriots release, Ramsey could get a big extension

By Sports Desk September 20, 2019

With sexual assault allegations coming out against Antonio Brown, the New England Patriots made a big move on Friday.

We take a look at New England's decision to move on from the receiver in addition to injury updates from around the league.

Three things that matter

Patriots cut Brown amid sexual assault allegations

The Patriots have decided to move on from wide receiver Brown. The team announced the move ahead of their Week 3 matchup against the New York Jets. Brown's release comes after multiple sexual assault allegations surfaced since he joined the Patriots less than two weeks ago. Brown has denied the allegations. He was released by the Oakland Raiders earlier this month after an offseason filled with drama. 

"The New England Patriots are releasing Antonio Brown," the team said in a statement. "We appreciate the hard work of many people over the past 11 days, but we feel that it is best to move in a different direction at this time."

Brown played just one game in New England. Coach Bill Belichick was pressed with questions about Brown earlier in the day and was not willing to give any details on the receiver's status.

"I know there are questions about Antonio," Belichick said. "We take all the situations with our team very seriously. There are some things we're looking into, but I'm not going to have any comment on any off-the-field situations or questions on that. Anything about football, I'm happy to answer." 

Brown was accused by his former trainer, Britney Taylor, of sexual assault and rape in a civil lawsuit, and a second unidentified woman has also made allegations of sexual misconduct against the receiver.

He has strongly denied the allegations through his attorney but avoided answering questions directly during Patriots media availabilities.

Cam Newton officially ruled out for Week 3

Cam Newton has been ruled out of the Carolina Panthers' Week 3 game against the Arizona Cardinals as he recovers from a foot injury, the team announced on Friday. Kyle Allen, a second-year quarterback who went undrafted in 2018, will start in Newton's place.

"He felt pretty good at the end of the week," coach Ron Rivera told reporters. "But we don't want another setback. We want to make sure he's ready to roll."

Newton re-aggravated a left foot sprain in Week 2 against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and has not practised this week. He initially injured his foot during the preseason, forcing him to miss nearly a week of practice. The veteran was in a walking boot in the locker room on Thursday, but his prognosis beyond this week is not clear. 

Eagles' DeSean Jackson out, team optimistic Alshon Jeffery will play 

Philadelphia Eagles coach Doug Pederson announced that DeSean Jackson has been ruled out, which was somewhat expected, while he left the door open for Alshon Jeffery to play against the Detroit Lions.

"DeSean will be out of this game," Pederson said on Friday (via the team's official website), before adding, "I'm still optimistic" about Jeffery. 

Both receivers suffered injuries against the Atlanta Falcons in Week 2, forcing them to leave Sunday's game in the first half without recording a catch. Jackson is dealing with an abdominal strain that initially was announced as a groin injury, while Jeffery is recovering from a calf strain. 

Two things that don't matter

Jaguars reportedly prefer to keep Jalen Ramsey

Jaguars cornerback Jalen Ramsey made it clear he does not want to be in Jacksonville by requesting a trade – but are they willing to do whatever it takes to keep him? Ramsey could be offered a lucrative deal to entice him to stay, according to NFL Network.

Jaguars owner Shad Khan reportedly has had several meetings at the facility hoping to solve the issues, which might include giving Ramsey the long-term contract extension he wants, according to Yahoo Sports.

Speculation around Ramsey's future with Jacksonville came after he got into a heated exchange with coach Doug Marrone in Week 2 during a 13-12 loss to the Houston Texans.

Tom Brady downplays criticising refs

Patriots quarterback Tom Brady clarified that he is "pro-ref" after downplaying a couple of tweets he shared on Thursday during the Jaguars-Tennessee Titans game. He took to social media to call out the number of penalties in the game, writing: "I'm turning off this game I can't watch these ridiculous penalties anymore ... Too many penalties. Just let us play!!!!"

On Friday, he downplayed his comments, saying he was not criticising the officials. 

One video you have to see

Calvin Johnson opened up about his nine-year career with the Lions, and accused the team of making him change his story about suffering a concussion. The Lions issued a statement on Friday, defending the team's medical staff and treatment of player injuries.

"I knew I was concussed because I blacked out," Johnson told Sports Illustrated. "I wasn't seeing straight. And they wanted me to change my story."

Friday's tweet of the day

Brown sent a message before the Patriots announced they cut him.

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    Running back Kamara has been dealing with an ankle injury over the past week and was listed on the Saints' injury report with a knee issue in addition.

    Tight end Cook has also dealt with an ankle injury and neither player practiced this week.

    Kamara was last week listed as questionable ahead of the Saints' game against the Jacksonville Jaguars and wound up playing, rushing 11 times for 31 yards and catching seven passes for 35 yards.

    He has rushed for 373 yards and one touchdown on 86 carries this season. Kamara has also caught 33 passes for 276 yards and one touchdown.

    Cook has appeared in six games, catching 15 passes for 168 yards and two touchdowns.

    The injury report also stated quarterback Drew Brees will miss Sunday's game with a thumb injury he suffered in New Orleans' Week 2 loss to the Los Angeles Rams.

  • NFL news and notes: Chiefs, Mahomes receive good news; 17-game schedule may be on horizon NFL news and notes: Chiefs, Mahomes receive good news; 17-game schedule may be on horizon

    Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes' injury is reportedly not too serious and a 17-game schedule may be on the horizon.

    All that and more on this edition of NFL news and notes. 

    Three things that matter Mahomes likely to return this season

    When Mahomes went down with a knee injury during the second quarter of the Chiefs' 30-6 win over the Denver Broncos, the NFL world held its collective breath. But a new report suggests Mahomes' injury is not as serious as it was initially believed.

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    The Chiefs plan on him returning later this season.

    Kansas City currently sits at 5-2 and first place in the AFC West. Three of their next four games are at home before a bye in Week 12.

    Cooper practices for Cowboys

    Amari Cooper suffered a thigh bruise during the Dallas Cowboys' 31-24 loss to the Green Bay Packers in Week 6, and had to exit last week's 24-22 loss to the New York Jets early in the game due to the lingering injury.

    “From the time I had hurt it in the Green Bay game to the time I talked to you guys, it had taken a huge leap,” Cooper told reporters on Thursday. “So I thought it would continue to get a lot better each and every day - but it kind of plateaued and it only got a little bit better every day.”

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    “You know it’s going to be a challenge, it’s going to be a dogfight for us,” Cooper said. “It’s a divisional game, and it’s always a dogfight.”

    NFL Players' Association open to discussing 17-game regular season

    In recent years, rumours of NFL owners wanting to expand the regular season to 18 games have surfaced and been major talking points.

    It seems players have begun to warm up to the idea, with ESPN reporting the NFLPA is open to discussing a 17-game regular season as part of the next collective bargaining agreement. The report states the NFLPA is in favour of expanding the season as long as the players' share in revenue is increased by a "sufficient amount" in the new deal.

    While a formal 17-game proposal has not been created, the report states details have been discussed regarding the new schedule, including bye weeks for teams before Thursday night games, moving the Super Bowl back to Presidents' Day weekend and players getting paid on a 52-week schedule as opposed to just during the season.

    The current CBA expires in March 2021.

    Two things that don't matter Broncos' Fangio saying he's disappointed by offensive performance this season

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    "It was all levels of our passing game (that) were problems," coach Vic Fangio said. "Protection sometimes, receivers not getting open sometimes, [the Chiefs] using good coverages for us that maybe we weren't ready for; it's certainly a problem we have to get rectified moving forward. ... It's disappointing not to be ultimately competitive out there."

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    Friday's tweet of the day

    After Mahomes' scary injury, the quarterback took to Twitter early on Friday morning to voice support for his team and give an update on his situation.

  • Saquon Barkley available to face Cardinals, says Giants coach Shurmur Saquon Barkley available to face Cardinals, says Giants coach Shurmur

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    Running back Barkley has missed three games with an ankle injury but was a full participant in Wednesday's practice session, raising hopes of a return.

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