NFL Wire News

NFL roundup: Browns sticking with Manziel


Johnny Manziel will remain the Cleveland Browns’ starting quarterback, coach Mike Pettine said Monday.

The announcement came a day after Manziel, the Browns’ first-round pick this year, had a horrible first start. He completed 10 of 18 passes for 80 yards, with two interceptions, in a 30-0 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals.

The Browns held the ball for just 21 minutes and ran just 38 plays, and Pettine said it went beyond Manziel’s struggles.

“We could’ve played Brian Sipe (NFL MVP for the Browns in 1980) at quarterback yesterday, and I don’t think the outcome would’ve been much different,” Pettine said.

Pettine said Manziel has “shown flashes” of potential, has practiced well and will improve in the final two games.

—Dallas Cowboys running back DeMarco Murray, the NFL’s leading rusher, was scheduled to have surgery Monday to repair a broken bone in his hand, team vice president Stephen Jones said.

Murray, who suffered the injury Sunday night in Dallas’ 38-27 win over the Philadelphia Eagles, has not been ruled out for the Cowboys’ game against the Indianapolis Colts this week.

Murray rushed for 81 yards on 31 carries vs. the Eagles and has a league-best 1,687 rushing yards this season.

If Murray is not able to play against the Colts, Joseph Randle and Lance Dunbar will receive extra playing time.

—Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton will play this week if he is not at risk for further injury, coach Ron Rivera said.

The team also announced that it signed defensive tackle Kyle Love and reinstated defensive end Frank Alexander, who has missed the entire season while serving two suspensions.

Newton suffered two fractures in his lower back in a car accident last week in Charlotte and did not play in Carolina’s 19-17 win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday.

Newton’s status for the game this Sunday against the Cleveland Browns will be determined by his rehabilitation progress and Newton’s ability to avoid further injury, Rivera said.

“I don’t want to put a guy out there that can’t protect himself,” Rivera said. “It’s being able to run out of the way, scramble out of the way, stay alive, keep the play alive by being able to get away. That’s all part of it. That’s all part of the decision that went into the first Tampa Bay game (which Newton missed with cracked ribs).”

—Arizona Cardinals coach Bruce Arians named quarterback Ryan Lindley as the starter against the Seattle Seahawks.

Arians also said that the team will have a package of plays for rookie quarterback Logan Thomas as well.

Arians went with Lindley over Thomas after Drew Stanton suffered a knee sprain while being sacked in Cardinals’ 12-6 win over the St. Louis Rams on Thursday night. Lindley took over at quarterback and completed 4 of 10 passes for 30 yards in his first game since 2012. Stanton was 12-for-20 for 109 yards before leaving the game.

—The latest injury to Jake Locker landed the Tennessee Titans quarterback on injured reserve, most likely ending his time with the franchise that drafted him in the first round with great expectations.

Locker injured his left shoulder and would be limited to merely handing the ball off to running backs based on medical evaluations, coach Ken Whisenhunt said. Locker started against the Jets but couldn’t finish the 16-11 loss, which is effectively the curtain call for his failed time as the purported franchise quarterback in Nashville.

Rookie sixth-round pick Zach Mettenberger had taken over the offense but could not suit up Sunday because of his own shoulder injury.

—Seattle Seahawks left tackle Russell Okung is expected to miss “a week or so” with a bruised lung, coach Pete Carroll said.

“He’s pretty sore now,” Carroll said. “He got picked off pretty good, so it’s going to be a little bit for him.”

The injury occurred when San Francisco’s Ray McDonald blocked Okung on an interception at the end of the first half Sunday in Seattle’s 17-7 win.

Okung was taken to the hospital and released Sunday night. Carroll said he was feeling much better, “but it’s going to be a week or so before he’ll be able to jump back out there.”

—Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Blake Bortles will be listed as questionable for Thursday’s game with the Tennessee Titans with a sprained foot.

Coach Gus Bradley disclosed the injury. Bortles, the No. 3 overall pick in the 2014 draft, was questionable entering Sunday’s game with a shoulder injury.

He managed to start and had several effective passes against the Ravens’ weakened secondary. Bortles has been sacked 19 times in the past three games.

He showed some toughness by absorbing eight sacks against the Ravens.

If Bortles cannot play, Chad Henne would start for the Jaguars, who have just seven offensive touchdowns over the past 14 games and rank last in scoring with 15.3 points per game.

—Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive tackle Gerald McCoy reinjured his right knee Sunday and will be placed on injured reserve.

The Buccaneers also will place rookie tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins and wide receiver Louis Murphy on IR.

McCoy, who originally was injured last week against the Detroit Lions, hyperextended the knee early in Tampa Bay’s loss to the Carolina Panthers on Sunday.

McCoy, who signed a seven-year contract extension in October, finished with 35 tackles and 8.5 sacks in 13 starts this season.

—San Diego Chargers inside linebacker Donald Butler is expected to miss the rest of the season with a dislocated left elbow.

Butler, the team’s second-leading tackler, was hurt just before halftime in a collision with Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning. Manning briefly left the game with a thigh injury incurred when he collided with Butler attempting to throw a block for C.J. Anderson on a cutback toward the endzone at the 1-yard line.

Butler is one of the highest-paid players on the Chargers defense, signing a seven-year, $48 million contract in March that includes more than $12 million guaranteed.

—With Colt McCoy expected to miss the Washington Redskins’ game Saturday, Robert Griffin III will get another shot as the starting quarterback, coach Jay Gruden said.

On Sunday, Griffin replaced McCoy, who reinjured his sprained neck, and completed 18 of 27 passes for 236 yards, a touchdown and no interceptions in a 24-13 loss to the New York Giants.

Gruden had benched Griffin for McCoy in Week 14, but McCoy suffered the neck injury in a 24-0 loss to the St. Louis Rams and then reinjured the neck against the Giants. Gruden said he doesn’t expect McCoy to be active Saturday.

—Quarterback Nick Foles will be back to save the day for the Philadelphia Eagles, but not this week.

Foles had a check-up on his broken collarbone and had hoped X-rays would reveal enough healing to be cleared to practice and possibly play in the Eagles’ Week 16 game against the Washington Redskins. However, he will have to wait another week for doctors to look at the cracked bone again and is ruled out for this week.

The Eagles are 3-3 in games started by Mark Sanchez, including a loss Sunday night that shifted the power in the NFC East to the Dallas Cowboys. The Cowboys (10-4) took over first place host the Colts this week and end the regular season at Washington.

—Facing the possibility of starting their third quarterback in the past five games, the Houston Texans signed Case Keenum while awaiting word on rookie Tom Savage’s knee injury.

Savage was forced into action Sunday at Indianapolis and was overwhelmed — physically and mentally — in the 17-10 loss that eliminated the Texans from playoff contention.

He entered the game when starter Ryan Fitzpatrick was carted off with a fractured tibia that will require surgery.

Keenum started eight games for the Texans last season. The 26-year-old starred at University of Houston and became the starter in 2013 when Matt Schaub struggled to a 2-6 start for a team that had playoff goals. The Texans finished 2-14.

—Atlanta Falcons cornerback Robert Alford, who has missed the past four games with a wrist injury, was scheduled to have surgery and be placed on injured reserve, coach Mike Smith announced.

Alford suffered the injury in Week 11 against the Carolina Panthers.

Meanwhile, Smith said wide receiver Julio Jones should be able to play this week in the Falcons’ big NFC South battle at New Orleans.

—The NFL Plyers Association filed a lawsuit against the NFL in U.S. District Court in Minneapolis on Monday to challenge an arbitrator’s ruling to uphold Adrian Peterson’s suspension by the league.

On Friday, NFL-appointed arbitrator Harold Henderson upheld Peterson’s suspension. The Minnesota Vikings running back was suspended until at least April of 2015 by commissioner Roger Goodell on Nov. 18, after Peterson failed to attend a disciplinary hearing regarding his alleged violation of the NFL’s personal-conduct policy.

The lawsuit comes as ABC News has obtained a recording of the Nov. 12 phone call between Troy Vincent and Peterson in which the NFL executive tells Peterson that he would be reinstated after a two-game suspension and get credit for his time on the commissioner’s exempt list.

According to ESPN, Vincent made the promise with the additional request that Peterson attend a meeting with Goodell to discuss the child abuse case in which he pleaded no contest in Texas to misdemeanor reckless assault for physically disciplining his 4-year-old son with a wooden switch. Peterson did not attend the meeting, however, and the NFL issued a six-game suspension to the running back days later.

The NFL Players Association had presented the phone call in its appeal of Peterson’s suspension, according to ESPN.

—Dean Blandino, the NFL’s vice president of officiating, said referees got it wrong when the San Francisco 49ers were called for a crucial roughing-the-passer penalty against the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday.

San Francisco linebacker Nick Moody was called for the penalty on a third-down play in which he hit Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson as he was throwing an incomplete pass.

The penalty allowed the Seahawks to keep a pivotal drive alive and helped set up their final touchdown in the 17-7 win. The 49ers (7-7) were officially eliminated from postseason contention for the first time in Jim Harbaugh’s four-year tenure.

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