49ers release NaVorro Bowman after brief hunt for a trade partner


NaVorro Bowman’s time with the San Francisco 49ers is over after he was released by the team on Friday, the team announced at a press conference.

NaVorro gave his heart and soul to this team for the last eight years, and for that we are all extremely grateful, 49ers general manager John Lynch said in a statement. During that time, NaVorro was a key component of one of the best teams in the league and his passion for the game allowed him to quickly become a favorite of our faithful fans.

In a sense, Next Man Up is an essential and ordinary part of the lexicon. In a sport with so many injuries, a coach has no choice but to rely on a cut-rate, impersonal slogan to motivate and distract. While he’s telling his players to step up, team personnel are scanning the waiver wire, pulling up reports on practice-squad players and making calls on trades. It’s impossible to ignore statistics like this one: In 2015, NFL players missed 1,639 games — almost 100 per week — because of injury. Those three words — Next Man Up — have become such a vital part of the culture that many players hear it with the same anesthetized indifference.

Even when we watch other games, it gets lost, Vikings safety Harrison Smith says. We react the same way. There’s a human part of it that gets lost.

But sometimes an event changes all that. Whether through proximity or sheer gruesomeness, the collective pain of a group of men rises up to relegate Next Man Up to a heartless clich.

It was very surreal, Boone says of Bridgewater’s injury. Sometimes you forget how brutal this game can be.

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When the guards are playing well and making shots, it makes it easy on me and DeMarcus down low.


Memphis, which trailed early, carried a 54-52 lead into halftime and extended the advantage to 79-70 entering the fourth. The Pelicans only got the deficit to single digits once in the fourth.

We got real stagnant, and we started forcing the issue, Cousins said. We didn’t make the defense work. We started to settle for the initial drive. They are very fixable issues.

The Pelicans relied on 33 points and 18 rebounds from Anthony Davis, while DeMarcus Cousins finished with 28 points and 10 boards. But the frontcourt pair got little help as the Pelicans shot 38 percent. Starting guards Jrue Holiday and E’Twaun Moore were a combined 7 of 22 from the field, including missing all five of their shots outside the arc.

His replacement, third-year pro Brett Hundley, believes he can continue what the two-time NFL MVP started. His first start comes Sunday against the New Orleans Saints. The Packers enter that game in a first-place tie with the Minnesota Vikings in the NFC North at 4-2, and Hundley intends to keep them there.

I’ve been doing this my whole life, Hundley said. Aaron’s a Hall of Famer, and I want to be a Hall of Famer one day. I will lead this team. We’re all going to have fun, we’re all going to go out there and play football. It’s still football at the end of the day, and our goals are still in front of us.

Hundley spoke in front of his locker — one stall down from where Rodgers usually holds court with the media on Wednesdays — and admitted it was a different feeling for him. Rodgers was nowhere to be seen by the media, but Hundley said his mentor has been helping him even while trying to figure out when he’ll undergo surgery to repair the broken right collarbone he suffered in Sunday’s loss at Minnesota.

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Could it be someone else under center for a stretch of these games besides Hundley?


While McCarthy suggested otherwise on Sunday, it’s possible. The UCLA product took a brutal hit on his final interception, and there’s always a concern inexperienced quarterbacks will struggle to deal with NFL pass pressure and take hits that knock them out of games solely from sheer inexperience. (See: Garoppolo, Jimmy.) Part of the concern in losing a starting quarterback isn’t just that you go from No. 1 on the depth chart to No. 2; it’s that you may quickly end up going from No. 1 to No. 3.

Get past the joke candidates. Brett Favre is 48 and wasn’t any good the last time he suited up seven seasons ago. Romo is 37 and hasn’t thrown a pass in nearly a year. The Packers reacquired Flynn and inserted him into the lineup as a stopgap measure in 2013, but he hasn’t taken an NFL snap since 2014 nor been on a roster since 2015. He’s the most plausible of the totally implausible candidates.

That play might have sparked something in his teammates. The next drive ended in the Texans’ first score of the night, a perfect ball to DeAndre Hopkins in the back of the end zone.

Even with the game out of reach, Watson still hit DeAndre Hopkins for a 34-yard score and another 1-yard touchdown late in the fourth quarter. Watson threw five touchdowns when it was all said and done.

The Giants started 0-6 in 2013 before rallying to a 7-9 record. The Chargers haven’t had an 0-4 start since 2003, when another loss extended the record to 0-5. They finished with a 4-12 record.

For Rivers and Manning, the end looks near. There are a few older quarterbacks — Tom Brady, Carson Palmer and Drew Brees — but the time is ripe for both the Giants and Chargers to look for a replacement in 2018.

Ultimately, Sunday has little impact on the legacy of either player, but for Manning, a loss could leave a weird footnote on the trade that began his NFL career.

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he didn’t get to see the ceremony honoring Manning


All signs point to a high-scoring affair, which would spice up an unbalanced string of Thursday night games. Week 3’s back-and-forth fireworks between the Rams and 49ers stand as an unexpected high point in a lineup that’s also included Texans-Bengals and Packers-Bears snoozers. With two high-powered offenses set to face off, NFL fans will have to hope Week 5’s game can recapture the magic of San Cheap Donegal Gaa Jerseys Francisco-Los Angeles.

But he didn’t get to see the ceremony honoring Manning. He left just after the national anthem. And when he did, he sent a tweet saying that he would “not dignify any event that disrespects our soldiers, our Flag, or our National Anthem” after players from the Colts locked arms during the anthem and 23 players from the visiting 49ers took a knee. In the process, he ensured he would overshadow everything else that happened on the field at Lucas Oil Stadium.

Pence’s decision to leave snagged the spotlight. He became a distraction, and it looks like he planned it ahead of time.

Whatever their political affiliation, whatever the occasion, it’s a big deal when the vice president makes a stop somewhere other than the usual spots inside the halls of power in D.C.

It takes days of preparation for a VIP visit like this. Local governments and the U.S. secret service spend lots of time and money so an event like this can host the vice president, and even more if it’s the president.

Game day security at NFL stadiums is already pretty tight. Fans go through a strict screening process that got tighter in 2013 when the league implemented a clear bag policy. Security was so Cheap Custom Jerseys tight at Lucas Oil Stadium on Sunday because of Pence’s visit that it caused additional delays.

Bears’ Trubisky will be in crosshairs of Panthers’ Peppers


Chicago Bears coach John Fox knows exactly how tough it is for offensive linemen to block Carolina Panthers defensive end Julius Peppers.

Apparently leading the NFL in yards per carry through a sizable sample of games is beginning to earn Collins more trust from the Baltimore staff. Early-season ball security issues slowed his ascent, but Collins led the team in rushes in Week 6 and has averaged 73.25 yards from scrimmage on just 11.25 touches per game in the past four outings. The Vikings claim an undeniably stout front seven, but given the landscape’s eroded and shallow running back market, Collins’ elite per-touch efficiency merits interest as a flex play with notable upside. — McCormick

The Chiefs remain undefeated. They’re the only team in the NFL that has yet to lose this season.

Here are the biggest winners and losers from the Chiefs’ big win over the Texans.

Bennett and several other Seattle defensive linemen sat before the team’s game in Week 4, then all the Seahawks stood the following week, which defensive end Frank Clark said was in honor of the victims of the Las Vegas mass shooting.

They’re trying to bring awareness to issues that people who look like me don’t understand. And I hope people will give the owners the benefit of the doubt that it takes time to get up to speed on these issues. We aren’t there yet, but we are getting there.

Are you ready for a fantastic Thursday Night Football matchup? I know I am, and we get a treat this week — the NFC East-leading Philadelphia Eagles, 4-1, at the NFC South-leading Carolina Panthers, 4-1.

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NFL Panic Index 2017, Week 5: The Seahawks can’t hang onto a good running back


The Seattle offense had a slow start against the Colts, but when things started rolling in the second half, the Seahawks blew the game wide open. But just when the team was putting the finishing touches on a 46-18 win, rookie running back Chris Carson fractured his leg.

The seventh-round pick climbed to the starting spot in Seattle, but now they’ll have to go to the next man up, which isn’t anything to the Seahawks because they have the worst running back luck ever.

Sunday Night Football has a fascinating matchup between the Texans and Chiefs. The Chiefs are the last unbeaten team left in the NFL, with Andy Reid pulling out all the stops to help his team get there. Meanwhile, the Texans suddenly look like a legitimate contender with Deshaun Watson playing phenomenal football as a rookie. Is he for real, or just riding a hot streak? We’re about to find out when he faces KC’s imposing defense.

It’s hard to decide which was the worst part of the team’s blowout loss to the Jaguars.

Ben Roethlisberger’s career-high five interceptions were pretty awful. Inexplicably abandoning the running game with Le’Veon Bell and struggling to stop Leonard Fournette were also bad.

Maybe the worst were Roethlisberger’s postgame hints at retirement being on the horizon while the team is in the middle of the AFC North race. Get your head in the game, Ben.

I know, I know. Here’s my thinking. New England’s defense is the worst in the league right now, ranked 32nd in defensive DVOA by Football Outsiders. Also, left tackle Nate Solder missed some practice early in the week. He’s going to play, but he’s been a massive liability for Tom Brady, who’s been sacked 16 times already.

No, I’m not buying that the Jets will win the AFC East or even win this week, but things are lined up well for them to cover a big spread. Plus, the Patriots are 1-6-1 in their last eight against the Jets.

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Eli Manning missed another chance to beat the Chargers, 13 years after demanding they trade him


In Eli Manning’s 14 seasons with the New York Giants, he’s defeated every NFL team at least once, except the Colts and the Chargers.

With a matchup between the Giants and Colts slated for the 2018 season and the next meeting with Los Angeles not on the schedule until 2021, there’s a good chance the Chargers could end up being the only team undefeated against Manning.

The Giants fell, 27-22, to the Chargers on Sunday. It was the fourth time Manning has faced the Chargers. In losses in 2005, 2009 and 2013, he combined for five touchdowns and two interceptions, but the Giants’ defense has struggled to slow the Chargers.

On Sunday, Elli finished with 225 passing yards, two touchdowns, one pick, and one fumble and he lost four receivers to injury, including Odell Beckham Jr.

It’s an odd statistic that Manning is 0-4 against the team. After all, Manning, the first pick in the 2004 NFL draft, began his time in the NFL by demanding a trade from the Chargers.

He, too, released a statement via the team’s website. He announced his resignation, and accepted full responsibility for his actions, confirming it was him in the video:

I am resigning from my position with the Miami Dolphins and accept full responsibility for my actions. I want to apologize to the organization and my sole focus is on getting the help that I need with the support of my family and medical professionals.

This is the second time the Dolphins have had an offensive line coach exit due to controversy. In 2014, they fired Jim Turner after the Jonathan Martin bullying scandal.

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Butler is in a rare place for a fourth-year player


No matter how often Butler tells reporters 2017 is all about his team, his performance will resonate in next year’s free-agent talks. By breaking onto the scene with a Super Bowl-winning interception, clinching another title two years later in the greatest NFL game of all time, and earning All-Pro and Pro Bowl honors, Butler is in a rare place for a fourth-year player; the only person he’s got to prove himself to is himself.

The one thing that has eluded the still-growing defender in his budding career is a big paycheck. Earning that means one more dynamic season with New England — a move that, ironically, could be the key that marks his departure from the franchise that developed him from a Division II free agent to a top cornerback.

You know what? I’d go so far as to assert that I’d 100 percent say yes if someone proposed to me at a Dolphins preseason game. I don’t know how they’d get me there in the first place (eh, I do: Lure me with the promise of enough hot dogs and I’ll go anywhere), but if they did … I mean, even if the person were a total stranger and presented me with a ring I’d probably find it so funny that I’d say yes.

Anyway, congrats to the happy couple. The world feels pretty bleak Cheap Authentic NBA Jerseys these days, and this was a delightful ray of sunshine cutting through the stormy clouds.

Which is why I have a plea to the rest of you in serious relationships: Please, for the love of god, will you propose at NFL preseason games? Ideally it should be a matchup between shitty teams, but at this point, I’ll take anything. We need more of this. I want to laugh and be happy for Cheap Dri Fit Jerseys people who think they’ve found their everlasting love.

Vince Wilfork entered the NFL at an interesting time.


Vince Wilfork retires as the best run defender of his generation, but what are his chances at the Hall of Fame?

After the New England Patriots dispatched Peyton Manning and the Indianapolis Colts in the 2003-04 playoffs, the league decided to pay special attention to the contact made by defensive backs on opposing wide receivers. This opened up passing attacks around the league and marked a clear shift in offensive tendencies.

With his positional value low and questions about his health abounding after a hamstring injury sidelined him through San Francisco’s dismal 2016, the 49ers cut bait on the 25-year-old wideout. One day later, the Jets did as well.

That winding road led him to Houston, where he put up a four-catch, 93-yard performance, hauling in 80 percent of his targets while matching up against the Patriots’ first-team defense in his first game with the team. Meanwhile, the 49ers and Jets active receiving corps look like this:

It’s early, and there’s no telling whether Ellington can stay healthy and consistent enough to have an impact in the regular season. He failed to have a noticeable impact in Cheap Dream Team Jerseys San Francisco’s Cheap Authentic MLB Jerseys passing game while healthy, and those 49ers had many of the same quarterback concerns the Texans have now. Even so, waiving the young wideout could be a regretful mistake for two moribund franchises this fall.

Two of the league’s top teams will meet in a potential Super Bowl preview Sunday afternoon when the Falcons travel to Heinz Field for a preseason date with the Steelers. It probably won’t look anything like a Super Bowl preview, though.

Colon was an All-Star as recently as last year


The Beavers got started early, with Trevor Larnach knocking in Steven Kwan from second on a classic single up the middle. Oregon State pitcher Bryce Fehmel then blanked LSU in the bottom of the frame after tagging Tigers big bat Greg Deichmann out at second on a steal attempt.

Neither club could cross a run in the second, but in the top of the third, LSU starter Eric Walker suddenly got pulled after a trainer visited the mound. He’d apparently experienced forearm soreness during a simulation game before the team left for Omaha, and his exit was an unwelcome loss for a team that suddenly needed to deal with an arm missing from the rotation.

In any case, Walker’s departure ushered in Caleb Gilbert, a capable replacement, and he immediately struck out the first two batters he faced, then forced a groundout to the shortstop for the third out. Gilbert kept dealing after that, stranding two Beavers runners in the top of the fourth.

It almost all worked out. All of it except for Bartolo Colon, whose ERA ballooned to 8.14 after allowing six runs in four innings against the Padres on Wednesday night. The Braves designated Colon for assignment, and it’s hard to see where he fits on another team.

Colon was an All-Star as recently as last year, and he was one of baseball’s all-time greatest comeback stories. There are three stages to his career:

Stage 1 was the fireballer, the affable youngster who was remarkable in an unremarkably traditional way. He was an excellent young pitcher, similar to the hundreds of excellent Cheap Authentic Jerseys From China young pitchers who had come before him.

This was a very fun pitcher, but not in a way that was Cheap Donegal Gaa Jerseys unique to Colon. He signed a big contract with the Angels, and rewarded them with a Cy Young.