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NFL notebook: Packers’ Nelson, Steelers’ Pouncey injured


The Sports Xchange

Green Bay Packers wide receiver Jordy Nelson left Sunday’s preseason game against the Pittsburgh Steelers with a knee injury, and reported that the Packers’ initial diagnosis is a torn ACL.

The team was awaiting results from an MRI exam to confirm the extent of the injury, but if it is indeed a torn ACL, Nelson probably will miss the entire season, which would be a major blow to the Packers’ passing game.

Nelson was injured when he went up to catch an Aaron Rodgers pass in the first quarter and went down to the turf immediately. He was not touched by a defender. Nelson got up and limped off the field.

Nelson had the best season of his career in 2014, when he was named to the Pro Bowl after catching 98 passes for 1,519 yards and 13 touchdowns.

—Steelers center Maurkice Pouncey was carted off with a left ankle injury in the preseason game against the Packers.

Coach Mike Tomlinson said after the 24-19 win that Pouncey likely will have surgery on his ankle. Pouncey left the locker room on crutches with his left ankle in a cast. There was no announcement regarding how long he would be sidelined.

Pouncey had his leg rolled up on in the first quarter while he was blocking in front of running back Le’Veon Bell. He was able to make it off the field under his own power, but was limping noticeably as he headed out of the game. A cart was brought the sideline to take Pouncey to the locker room.

Cody Wallace came in to replace Pouncey, who started all 16 games last year after missing 15 starts in 2013 with a torn ACL and MCL.

—Carolina Panthers defensive end Frank Alexander was carted off the field Saturday night with a torn Achilles and his season is over.

Alexander was injured during the first quarter of the Panthers’ 31-30 preseason win against the Miami Dolphins. He was dropping back to defend a play-action pass.

Alexander said he will undergo surgery Tuesday.

Panthers center Ryan Kalil also was injured in the game, leaving with a left knee issue.

—New York Giants starting middle linebacker Jon Beason suffered a knee sprain in the preseason game Saturday night.

The Giants lost three players to injuries in the first quarter of their 22-12 win over the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Beason returned to the sideline later in the game with ice on his knee. Linebacker Mark Herzlich suffered a concussion while playing on the kickoff team and rookie safety Justin Currie suffered a broken ankle covering a kickoff.

Safety Bennett Jackson also was injured with a sprained knee late in the game.

—Giants quarterback Eli Manning completed just 4 of 14 passes for 46 yards and fired five incompletions in the direction of wide receiver Odell Beckham, who has yet to catch a pass through two preseason games.

“We’ve got to be better in the passing game, obviously,” Manning said. “Too many incompletions. … (We) had some nice plays, just had a couple of bad throws by me, a couple of drops, just some things we’ve got to clean up and start executing and making the plays that are out there that we were close to making tonight.”

—Philadelphia Eagles teammates questioned the hit of Baltimore Ravens outside linebacker Terrell Suggs on quarterback Sam Bradford, calling it a “cheap shot.”

Bradford was making his debut with the Eagles on Saturday night after being acquired in an offseason trade with the St. Louis Rams and playing in his first game action since tearing the ACL in his left knee for the second time in 11 months on Aug. 23, 2014.

Suggs was penalized for coming in low and hitting Bradford in the knee on a read-option play in which Bradford handed off to running back Darren Sproles.

“You would have to ask him,” Bradford said after Eagles’ 40-17 preseason win over the Ravens in Philadelphia. “I think that’s what he was trying to do. But it’s part of the game. You’ve just got to move on.”

Eagles left tackle Jason Peters said Suggs’ hit was intentional and dirty.

“He was trying to take a cheap shot at the quarterback,” Peters said. “I’m pretty sure he planned it. I mean, we’ve practiced against them all week, so he was probably thinking about it. I really don’t know him personally. He talks a lot and I think he’s that type of player — who is dirty and will take shots on the quarterback.”

Suggs defended the hit on Bradford and said it was a legal play.

“When you run the read option you got to know the rules,” Suggs said after the game. “If you want to run the read option with your starting quarterback that’s had two knee surgeries, that’s on you. That’s not my responsibility to update you on the rule. I could have hit him harder than that. I eased up. I asked (referee) Jerome (Boger) did he know the rules in preseason. He was like, ‘Yeah, I know.’ Just making sure. He said he’s going to look at it. It’s the read option, I got quarterback. It ain’t my job to be reading. He’s reading me.”

—Free agent guard Evan Mathis reportedly left Seattle without a contract.

Seahawks coach Pete Carroll had confirmed Friday that Mathis would visit Seattle, and FOX Sports reported Saturday night that the Pro Bowl guard had a good visit but left without a deal.

Mathis, cut by the Philadelphia Eagles in June, reportedly has been holding out for at least $5 million a year, which is about what he was slated to be paid in Philadelphia.

—New England Patriots president Jonathan Kraft said it may be time to rethink the NFL’s disciplinary process.

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell has ultimate decision-making authority but Kraft said the league should reconsider the penalty structure. Kraft made it clear he wasn’t speaking specifically about the NFL’s handling of its Deflategate investigation.

“The personal conduct policy and how discipline would be handled by the commissioner started under (former commissioner) Paul (Tagliabue) and was strengthened under Roger,” Kraft said Saturday during his weekly pregame radio interview on 98.5 The Sports Hub. “You have to look back to the middle part of the last decade when the real premise of how it’s done was created.

“I think the world has changed and the complexity of some of the situations — things that I don’t think we ever thought we would be dealing with, we’re dealing with.”

Patriots owner Robert Kraft has harshly criticized Goodell’s decision to uphold quarterback Tom Brady’s four-game suspension for his alleged knowledge of the intentional reduction of football air pressure in the AFC Championship game in January, calling it “unfathomable.”

The owner did not appeal the Patriots’ $1 million fine and the loss of a first-round draft pick next year and a fourth-rounder in 2017 as part of the penalties.

Jonathan Kraft, the son of the owner, stated he wasn’t “referring to footballs and air pressure.”

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