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Packers beat Seahawks but lose Aaron Jones; Patriots crush the Browns; Lions don’t lose but can’t win

The Washington Post logo The Washington Post 11/14/2021 Mark Maske, Cindy Boren, Des Bieler
Green Bay Packers' Aaron Jones tries to get past Seattle Seahawks' Jamal Adams during the first half of an NFL football game Sunday, Nov. 14, 2021, in Green Bay, Wis. (AP Photo/Morry Gash) © Morry Gash/AP Green Bay Packers' Aaron Jones tries to get past Seattle Seahawks' Jamal Adams during the first half of an NFL football game Sunday, Nov. 14, 2021, in Green Bay, Wis. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)

Week 10 of the NFL season was marked by the returns and absences of some notable quarterbacks. In Green Bay, Aaron Rodgers looked much less rusty following his one-week, coronavirus-related hiatus than the Seattle Seahawks’ Russell Wilson, who was back after missing three games with a finger injury, but could not lead his team to any points in a loss to the Packers. Cam Newton rejoined the Carolina Panthers’ lineup and immediately helped them blow out the Arizona Cardinals, who started the game without Kyler Murray (ankle) and then lost backup Colt McCoy (chest) in the second half.

The Dallas Cowboys got back the version of Dak Prescott they desperately need, as he guided a thrashing of the Atlanta Falcons a week after looking shaky during a listless loss in his first game following a calf injury. The Pittsburgh Steelers, without Ben Roethlisberger because of coronavirus protocols, tied the Detroit Lions, who improved to 0-8-1 and now can’t go 0-17 even if they fail to win a game the rest of the way.

In their second game without Jameis Winston, the New Orleans Saints lost a second straight close contest, this time to the surging Tennessee Titans. The New England Patriots have had Mac Jones all season long, and the rookie quarterback’s improvement has mirrored a resurgence that included a pounding Sunday of the visiting Cleveland Browns. The Buffalo Bills stayed just ahead of the Patriots in the AFC East by crushing the New York Jets.

Close Week 10 wins were enjoyed by the Minnesota Vikings, over the Los Angeles Chargers, and the Indianapolis Colts, over the Jacksonville Jaguars. That the Washington Football Team beat the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at all was a surprise, let alone by 10 points, while the Philadelphia Eagles sprung a milder upset by traveling to Denver and dismantling the Broncos.

Read below for details and analysis of the Week 10 action.

7:37 PM: Packers, with Aaron Rodgers back, shut out Russell Wilson and Seahawks

Aaron Rodgers looks to pass against the Seahawks. (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images) © Stacy Revere/Getty Images Aaron Rodgers looks to pass against the Seahawks. (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)

Aaron Rodgers’s return for the Green Bay Packers worked out better than Russell Wilson’s comeback for the Seattle Seahawks.

Both star quarterbacks had their struggles. But Wilson, whose absence was far longer, struggled far more and the Seahawks lost, 17-0, at Lambeau Field.

The Seahawks were shut out for the first time since 2011, the season before Wilson arrived in the NFL. Wilson threw two interceptions while completing 20 of 40 passes for 161 yards. He returned after missing three games following surgery to repair an injury to the middle finger on his throwing hand.

The Seahawks’ record dropped to 3-6. They had a frustrating day all around, culminating in wide receiver DK Metcalf getting ejected during a late-game scuffle with Packers players. He attempted to reenter the game but was sent back to the sideline by the officials.

The Packers, at 8-2, took over the No. 1 seed in the NFC playoff chase. Tailback A.J. Dillon ran for a pair of fourth-quarter touchdowns to break open what had been a 3-0 game through three quarters. Dillon took over after Aaron Jones, Green Bay’s standout running back, suffered a knee injury.

Rodgers threw an interception as part of a 23-for-37, 292-yard passing performance. He played after missing last Sunday’s loss at Kansas City following his positive test for the coronavirus.

By: Mark Maske

7:35 PM: Vikings blow another lead, but recover for key win vs. Chargers

Minnesota wide receiver Justin Jefferson (18) celebrates a second-half reception against Los Angeles with linebacker Eric Kendricks (54). (AP Photo/Gregory Bull) © Gregory Bull/AP Minnesota wide receiver Justin Jefferson (18) celebrates a second-half reception against Los Angeles with linebacker Eric Kendricks (54). (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)

Once again, the Minnesota Vikings built a double-digit lead. Once again, they blew their advantage.

But this time, the Vikings rallied back, got another 10-point edge and held on for a 27-20 win over the host Los Angeles Chargers (5-4) that improved their record to 4-5 and kept them in the thick of the playoff hunt.

Second-half touchdowns by tight end Tyler Conklin and running back Dalvin Cook helped them overcome a four-point deficit. Cook later picked up four yards on a 4th-and-2 play with just over two minutes left that allowed Minnesota to kneel out the clock.

Conklin also scored a touchdown in the first half, at which point the Vikings held a 13-3 lead. That marked the sixth time in nine games that they led by at least 10 points, and they’ve held leads of at least seven points in every game this season. But coming into Sunday Minnesota had just three wins to show for it.

Kirk Cousins threw the ball well for the Vikings, completing 25 of 37 passes for 294 yards, two touchdowns and a 109.5 rating. Chargers counterpart Justin Herbert, coming off a stellar performance in a win over the Philadelphia Eagles, was relatively ineffective Sunday. He completed 20 of 34 passes for just 195 yards, one touchdown, one interception and a 72.5 rating.

Wide receiver Justin Jefferson had 143 yards on nine catches for Minnesota, and Cook had 118 yards from scrimmage.

By: Des Bieler

6:55 PM: Packers’ Aaron Jones suffers knee injury

Green Bay Packers tailback Aaron Jones left the game against the Seattle Seahawks with a knee injury.

The Packers called him questionable to return to the game.

CBS reported on its broadcast that Jones had tears in his eyes after leaving the medical tent on the Packers’ sideline and proceeded to speak to family members in the stands.

Backup tailback A.J. Dillon scored the game’s first touchdown on a three-yard run in the fourth quarter to increase the Packers’ lead to 10-0.

By: Mark Maske

6:50 PM: Eagles’ Darius Slay takes Melvin Gordon fumble 82 yards for TD

The last play of the third quarter Sunday could well prove to have been a game-changer for the Eagles. Philadelphia’s Darius Slay picked up a fumble by the Denver Broncos’ Melvin Gordon and produced a weaving, 82-yard touchdown.

That helped give the Eagles a 27-13 lead heading into the fourth quarter, after the Broncos had been driving for what they hoped would be a game-tying touchdown. Gordon coughed up the ball on a fourth-and-1 play from Philadelphia’s 22-yard line.

Gordon had scored a touchdown earlier in the game, while Eagles wide receiver DeVonta Smith scored two for his side.

By: Des Bieler

6:44 PM: Aaron Rodgers, Russell Wilson trade end-zone interceptions

So, Aaron Rodgers vs. Russell Wilson is a 3-0 game into the fourth quarter.

Of course it is.

The return of two of the NFL’s top quarterbacks to their teams is making for a less-than-captivating defensive struggle at Lambeau Field.

The two threw dueling end zone interceptions in the third quarter.

Wilson, back in the Seattle Seahawks’ lineup after missing three games with a finger injury, threw an end zone interception to Green Bay Packers cornerback Kevin King at one end of the field.

Rodgers, in his return for the Packers after sitting out one game following his positive test for the coronavirus, obliged by throwing an end zone interception to Seahawks safety Jamal Adams at the opposite end of the field while trying to make something out of nothing.

First touchdown wins?

By: Mark Maske

6:43 PM: Cardinals go to third-string QB after Colt McCoy leaves with injury

Arizona's Chris Streveler (15) scrambles with the ball against Shaq Thompson (7) and Carolina. (Christian Petersen/Getty Images) © Christian Petersen/Getty Images Arizona's Chris Streveler (15) scrambles with the ball against Shaq Thompson (7) and Carolina. (Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

Already without starting quarterback Kyler Murray because of an ankle injury, the Arizona Cardinals saw his backup, Colt McCoy, leave a game Sunday against the Carolina Panthers in the second half with a chest injury.

The Cardinals said McCoy was questionable to return. He was replaced by third-string quarterback Chris Streveler, who took a sack on fourth down to end a drive and then, on the second possession in which he appeared, lost a fumble.

At that point, the score was 31-3 in Carolina’s favor, suggesting that Arizona might not be in a hurry to bring back the 35-year-old McCoy, who was injured while getting sacked in the third quarter.

Streveler, 26, is in his second NFL season after going undrafted out of South Dakota in 2018 before playing in the Canadian Football League.

By: Des Bieler

5:57 PM: Packers take 3-0 lead over Seahawks at halftime as star QBs return

Seattle’s Russell Wilson avoids a tackle attempt by Green Bay’s Preston Smith. (Stacy Revere/Getty Images) © Stacy Revere/Getty Images Seattle’s Russell Wilson avoids a tackle attempt by Green Bay’s Preston Smith. (Stacy Revere/Getty Images)

The star quarterbacks were back on their field for their respective teams, but there weren’t many points on the scoreboard to show for it after one half of a game Sunday between the Green Bay Packers and the visiting Seattle Seahawks.

The Packers went to the locker room with a 3-0 lead — making for the lowest-scoring first half in the NFL this season — despite having Aaron Rodgers back in their lineup. He missed last week’s loss to the Kansas City Chiefs, during which backup quarterback Jordan Love struggled to move the offense, after testing positive for the coronavirus. Rodgers cleared medical protocols on Saturday, just in time to suit up against the Seahawks.

Russell Wilson was under center for Seattle for the first time in four games after breaking the middle finger on his throwing hand. Whether because of rust or tough defense by Green Bay, he threw for just 66 yards on 8-of-13 passing while taking two sacks. Rodgers threw for 160 yards and his team dominated the time of possession, but the Packers missed chances to put more points on the board.

Green Bay’s Mason Crosby missed a 42-yard field goal attempts on the Packers’ first possession, then they later had a turnover on downs after a Rodgers pass fell incomplete on a fourth-and-2 play from the Seahawks’ 34-yard line. Crosby’s made field goal, from just 27 yards out, capped a 14-play, 82-yard drive.

By: Des Bieler

5:49 PM: Behind Cam Newton’s two touchdowns, Panthers have 23-0 halftime lead in Arizona

Cam Newton (1) had touchdown run and a touchdown pass in the first half for the Panthers. (Kelsey Grant/Getty Images) © Kelsey Grant/Getty Images Cam Newton (1) had touchdown run and a touchdown pass in the first half for the Panthers. (Kelsey Grant/Getty Images)

Quarterback Cam Newton’s return to the NFL and to the Carolina Panthers was glorious, at least for a half.

Newton, who reached a deal Thursday with the quarterback-needy Panthers, had a touchdown run and a touchdown pass in the first half in Arizona.

The Panthers lead the Cardinals, 23-0, at the intermission.

P.J. Walker started at quarterback for Carolina in place of the injured Sam Darnold. He completed 17 of 22 first-half passes for 130 yards. Tailback Christian McCaffrey had 90 rushing yards and 39 receiving yards.

But the star of the half was Newton, who was active for the game and had a handful of offensive packages at his disposal. The former league MVP for the Panthers had a two-yard touchdown run. He followed up with a two-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Robby Anderson.

Newton had been out of the NFL since being released by the New England Patriots before the season.

The Cardinals are struggling without quarterback Kyler Murry and wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins. Both are on the inactive list. Colt McCoy, in his second straight start in place of Murray, threw an interception and had only 67 first-half passing yards. The Cardinals managed three first downs and had 62 yards of total offense.

By: Mark Maske

5:28 PM: Eagles’ Dallas Goedert out after taking blow to head on tackle

The Philadelphia Eagles announced Sunday that Dallas Goedert was ruled out for the rest of the game after the tight end took a blow to the head while getting tackled.

Goedert was injured at the end of a 24-yard catch-and-run in the first quarter against the Broncos. Denver’s Ronald Darby was pulling Goedert to the ground when safety Justin Simmons delivered a blow that led to the Eagles standout getting checked for a head injury.

No penalty was called on the play because Goedert had changed from a receiver, who might be considered defenseless on such a hit, to a runner with the ball. In addition, Simmons was apparently not deemed by officials to have lowered his helmet before delivering the blow, which could have been flagged.

By: Des Bieler

5:02 PM: Winless Lions get a tie in OT against Roethlisberger-less Steelers

The Detroit Lions are still winless.

But at least they won’t become the first team in NFL history to go 0-17.

The Lions recovered a fumble with time running out in overtime to escape from Pittsburgh with a 16-16 tie against the Steelers. The result improved Detroit’s record to 0-8-1, keeping them on track to potentially lose 16 games during the NFL’s first 17-game regular season.

The Lions have already accounted for one of the only two 0-16 seasons in league history, with that luckless campaign occurring in 2008; the 2017 Cleveland Browns were the other team to run the table in the wrong direction.

On Sunday, Detroit had a chance for an immediate win in overtime, but place-kicker Ryan Santoso missed a 48-yard field goal attempt. Two punts later, the Steelers were on the move late in the extra session before their 10-play, 51 -yard drive ended in Lions territory with a fumble by rookie tight end Pat Freiermuth.

Pittsburgh (5-3-1) was playing without starting quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, who was placed this week on the reserve/covid list. Backup Mason Rudolph filled in and 30 passes on 50 attempts, but he accumulated just 242 yards on those throws for one touchdown and one interception.

In cold, wet conditions in Pittsburgh, Lions quarterback Jared Goff was even less efficient, as he completed 14 of 25 passes for 114 yards while taking four sacks. Detroit scored both its touchdowns on the ground, but neither came from standout back D’Andre Swift, who otherwise was a central figure on offense with 130 yards on 33 carries. After one of the Lions’ touchdowns, Santoso missed an extra point, which contributed to the need for overtime and helped deny his team a win.

Rookie running back Najee Harris had 105 yards on 26 carries and added 28 receiving yards. Veteran defensive lineman Cameron Heyward had two of Pittsburgh’s sacks.

By: Des Bieler

4:28 PM: Colts survive close game against visiting Jaguars

When the first quarter ended in Indianapolis with the Colts holding a 17-6 lead over the visiting Jaguars, it seemed very unlikely that the game would turn into a nail-biter. Jacksonville was coming off a stunning win over the Buffalo Bills but was still 2-6 and widely regarded as one of the worst teams in the NFL, while the Colts arguably deserved better than the 4-5 record they brought into Sunday’s game.

However, the Jaguars submitted a second straight feisty effort. This time, though, they fell just short in a 23-17 loss. Jacksonville pulled to within 20-17 in the fourth quarter before Indianapolis quarterback Carson Wentz led his team on a key field goal drive late in the game. The outcome was still in doubt, though, until Jaguars rookie quarterback Trevor Lawrence fumbled in Colts territory with less than a minute to play.

Jonathan Taylor had 116 rushing yards and a touchdown for the Colts, but he did most of his damage in the first quarter. Tight end Dan Arnold led the Jags with five catches for 67 yards.

By: Des Bieler

4:27 PM: Patriots’ Jakobi Meyers ends epic TD drought as NE stomps Cleveland

New England’s Jakobi Meyers takes to the air to score a long-awaited first NFL touchdown against Elijah Lee and Cleveland Browns. (Maddie Meyer/Getty Images) © Maddie Meyer/Getty Images New England’s Jakobi Meyers takes to the air to score a long-awaited first NFL touchdown against Elijah Lee and Cleveland Browns. (Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

To those not in the know, the excitement shown by Jakobi Meyers’s New England Patriots teammates after he caught an 11-yard touchdown pass Sunday might have seemed odd, if not outright inappropriate. After all, the score and subsequent extra point gave the Patriots a 45-7 lead over the Cleveland Browns late in the fourth quarter, which is usually not a situation in which players for the winning side display a major amount of exuberance over adding even more points to an inevitable victory.

But as the other Patriots well understood, Meyers was long, long overdue to catch a touchdown. In fact, the third-year wide receiver came into Sunday’s game with the most career receptions of any NFL player who had yet to catch a touchdown pass to that point.

The dubious streak, during which Meyers threw two touchdown passes, reached 134 scoreless receptions before Meyers finally found the end zone on a catch.

While that moment was arguably the happiest for the Patriots in Sunday’s game, they had plenty of other developments about which to be thrilled. For one, rookie quarterback Mac Jones played so well and led New England to such a big lead that he wasn’t even on the field anymore for Meyers’s touchdown catch, which was thrown by backup New England quarterback Brian Hoyer.

Jones was lifted after helping the Patriots (6-4) take a 38-7 lead early in the fourth quarter with his second touchdown pass of the day to tight end Hunter Henry. Jones completed 19 of 23 passes overall for 198 yards, three touchdowns, no interceptions and a 142.1 rating. Another rookie, running back Rhamondre Stevenson, filled in for starter Damien Harris (concussion) by running for 100 yards and two scores on 20 carries.

On the other side, the Browns (5-5) took a 7-0 lead before getting trounced in a game that held major implications for the AFC playoff race. Cleveland quarterback Baker Mayfield, playing through lingering injuries, was having a poor outing when he was hurt on a knockdown and replaced by backup Case Keenum.

By: Des Bieler

4:24 PM: Cam Newton wastes no time scoring for the Panthers

Cam Newton gave Donte Jackson a big hug before the game against the Cardinals. (Jeff Lewis/Associated Press) © Jeff Lewis/AP Cam Newton gave Donte Jackson a big hug before the game against the Cardinals. (Jeff Lewis/Associated Press)

No sooner did Cam Newton enter the game than he scored on a two-yard touchdown run, yelling, “I’m back!” after crossing the goal line against the Cardinals. For good measure, he passed for another touchdown moments later.

Newton signed with his former Panthers team last week and came into the game with Carolina in a second and goal situation at the 2-yard line.

The score was the 71st rushing touchdown of Newton’s career and extends his NFL record for a quarterback.

In his glee, Newton removed his helmet to yell and was flagged for unsportsmanlike conduct.

Shortly after that series, Newton hit Robby Anderson with a 2-yard touchdown pass for a 14-0 lead over the Cardinals.

By: Cindy Boren

4:18 PM: Titans hold on as Saints fail on tying two-point conversion

The Tennessee Titans held on to beat the New Orleans Saints, 23-21, in Nashville when the Saints failed on a would-be tying two-point conversion with just more than a minute remaining.

The Saints nearly erased deficits of 20-6 and 23-12. Quarterback Trevor Siemian threw a 15-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Marquez Callaway with 1:16 remaining.

The Saints lined up for a potential tying two-point play but were pushed back by a false start penalty. The attempt from the 7-yard line was unsuccessful, as Siemian threw incomplete.

Quarterback Ryan Tannehill threw for a touchdown and ran for another for the Titans. Kicker Randy Bullock provided three field goals.

Siemian had two touchdown passes for the Saints.

By: Mark Maske

4:13 PM: Cowboys rebound with a resounding win

Dak Prescott got his mojo back, passing for two touchdowns and running for another. (Richard Rodriguez/Getty Images) © Richard Rodriguez/Getty Images Dak Prescott got his mojo back, passing for two touchdowns and running for another. (Richard Rodriguez/Getty Images)

Thumped a week ago in a loss in which they were outplayed in every phase of the game, the Cowboys regained their footing with an emphatic 43-3 victory over the Falcons.

After a poor performance in a loss to the Broncos, Dak Prescott completed 24 of 31 passes for 296 and two touchdowns, with a 127.9 passer rating. He also ran for a touchdown. Tony Pollard and Ezekiel Elliott rushed for 42 and 41 yards, respectively, with Elliott scoring twice. CeeDee Lamb caught nine passes for 94 yards and two touchdowns as Dallas improved to 7-2. The Falcons fell to 4-5.

By: Cindy Boren

4:08 PM: Bucs can’t get a late stop on defense, suffer upset loss at Washington

The defense of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers simply couldn’t get off the field in the fourth quarter.

And the defending Super Bowl champs, as a result, suffered a stunning defeat at FedEx Field.

The Buccaneers lost to the Washington Football Team, 29-19.

Washington held the ball for 19 plays and nearly 10½ minutes on an 80-yard march in the fourth quarter to run all but the final 29 seconds off the clock.

The Buccaneers had pulled to within 23-19. But kicker Ryan Succop missed the extra point, and then the defense couldn’t get the ball back for quarterback Tom Brady until it was too late. Washington scored a fourth-and-goal touchdown on a one-yard run by tailback Antonio Gibson to end the long drive.

Brady threw a pair of first-quarter interceptions. He rebounded somewhat to throw two touchdown passes in a 23-for-34, 220-yard outing.

Quarterback Taylor Heinicke threw for 256 yards and a touchdown for Washington. The victory for Washington was offset by a knee injury, feared to be a torn ACL, suffered by star second-year pass rusher Chase Young.

By: Mark Maske

4:02 PM: It’s Aaron Rodgers vs. Russell Wilson at Lambeau Field

Russell Wilson, left, greets Aaron Rodgers following an NFC playoff game in January 2020 in Green Bay, Wis. (Gregory Shamus/Getty Images) © Gregory Shamus/Getty Images Russell Wilson, left, greets Aaron Rodgers following an NFC playoff game in January 2020 in Green Bay, Wis. (Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

It will, indeed, be Aaron Rodgers vs. Russell Wilson when the Green Bay Packers host the Seattle Seahawks in a late-afternoon game at Lambeau Field.

Each star quarterback is set to make his return.

Wilson comes back after missing three games following surgery for the injury to the middle finger on his throwing hand. The Seahawks, after going 1-2 in his absence, activated Wilson from the injured reserve list Friday.


Video: Aaron Rodgers reacts to Week 10 win vs. Seahawks (NFL)

The Packers activated Rodgers from their covid-19 reserve list Saturday after he completed his 10-day isolation following his positive test for the coronavirus and received medical clearance to rejoin team activities.

Aaron Rodgers activated after being cleared to rejoin Packers, play Sunday

Rodgers wasn’t out as long as Wilson. But he didn’t have the benefit of practicing all week, as Wilson did. Rodgers participated remotely in game preparations throughout the week, then was in the Packers’ facility Saturday for team meetings and a walk-through.

All eyes will be on both quarterbacks Sunday.

Rodgers is the NFL’s reigning MVP. During his latest appearance Tuesday on “The Pat McAfee Show,” Rodgers laughed when McAfee suggested the controversy over Rodgers’s recent vigorous public defense of his unvaccinated status ensures that he never will win another league MVP award.

“I think that’s a legitimate statement,” Rodgers said.

By: Mark Maske

3:59 PM: Troy Hill strapped to backboard, taken off on stretcher

Browns cornerback Troy Hill was placed on a backboard and stretchered off the field late in the game against the Patriots.

He was injured as he tried to stop Jakobi Meyers, who caught an 11-yard pass from Brian Hoyer with 4:13 left. Meyers went on to score.

By: Cindy Boren

3:43 PM: T.J. Watt listed as questionable to return with hip injury

T.J. Watt suffered what the Steelers said is a hip injury in the game against the Lions and was listed as questionable to return.

Watt was hurt late in the third quarter during a driving rain in Pittsburgh. The score was tied 16-16 entering the fourth quarter.

By: Cindy Boren

3:30 PM: P.J. Walker now, Cam Newton soon for Panthers

Cam Newton is back with the Panthers and is expected to play soon. (Mike McCarn/AP) © Mike Mccarn/AP Cam Newton is back with the Panthers and is expected to play soon. (Mike McCarn/AP)

P.J. Walker gets the start at quarterback for the Carolina Panthers in their late-afternoon game at Arizona, with Sam Darnold out with a shoulder injury. But make no mistake: It will be Cam Newton time soon enough after the Panthers brought him back to the organization last week.

“Honestly, I’m still floating,” Newton said in a news conference Friday, a day after his signing. “But I feel like I’m going to say this a lot: It’s not about me. It’s about being an additional piece to this team …. This ain’t for no ploy. This ain’t for no ticket sales. This ain’t for no Cinderella story. It’s to win football games.”

Cam Newton agrees to a deal with the Panthers in reunion with his former team

The Panthers gave Newton starting-quarterback money. His deal with the team likely will end up paying him $6 million over the remainder of the season. He had been out of the league since being released by the New England Patriots before the season. But once the Panthers get Newton up to speed, he certainly will play. His second stint with the franchise is not ceremonial.

“To hell with feelings,” Newton said. “It will be the biggest right [of a] wrong by just winning games. And that’s what it pretty much comes down to …. This ain’t no parade. Let’s get to work.”

It will make for an interesting offseason for the Panthers. Newton is eligible for free agency. The Panthers seem to be giving up on Darnold but already have exercised the fifth-year option in his rookie contract, first signed with the New York Jets, for a guaranteed $18.858 million for next season. Meanwhile, they were thought to be interested in a trade for Deshaun Watson, who stayed with the Houston Texans at the Nov. 2 trade deadline but should be available again beginning in March.

By: Mark Maske

3:18 PM: Baker Mayfield limps off the field, replaced by Case Keenum

Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield, already nursing injuries to his left, non-throwing shoulder, left the game against the Patriots with what appeared to be a leg injury.

Mayfield was hit late in the third quarter by Matthew Judon and limped to the sideline. He was replaced by Case Keenum, then stood on the sideline after being evaluated in the injury tent.

The Patriots took a 31-7 lead into the fourth quarter.

By: Cindy Boren

2:50 PM: Cam Newton is active for the Panthers

Quarterback Cam Newton is active for the Carolina Panthers for their game at Arizona.

P.J. Walker starts the game at quarterback for the Panthers.

It’s possible that Newton could have a small package of plays to run if he gets into the game.

The Panthers, with Sam Darnold sidelined by a shoulder injury, reached a deal Thursday for Newton to return to Carolina for his second stint with the franchise.

The former league MVP had been out of the NFL since being released by the New England Patriots before the season.

By: Mark Maske

2:44 PM: Kyler Murray, DeAndre Hopkins inactive for Cardinals

Quarterback Kyler Murray and wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins are on the Arizona Cardinals’ inactive list for their late-afternoon game at home against the Carolina Panthers.

Colt McCoy is set to make a second straight start at quarterback for the Cardinals.

Murray and Hopkins will miss a second straight game, Murray with a sprained ankle and Hopkins with a hamstring injury.

Both had been listed as questionable on the injury report.

The Cardinals placed running back Chase Edmonds on their injured reserve list Saturday. He’ll miss three games because of an ankle injury.

By: Mark Maske

2:35 PM: Dak Prescott, Cowboys roll to 36-3 halftime lead over Falcons

The Dallas Cowboys are bouncing back in a big way.

They lead the Atlanta Falcons, 36-3, at halftime in Arlington, Tex.

Quarterback Dak Prescott threw two touchdown passes to wide receiver CeeDee Lamb and tailback Ezekiel Elliott ran for two touchdowns. The Cowboys also scored on a blocked punt.

Prescott completed 18 of 23 first-half passes for 219 yards. Lamb had six catches for 94 yards in the half.

The Cowboys were coming off a listless offensive performance in a loss last Sunday at home to the Denver Broncos in Prescott’s return from missing one game due to a calf injury.

He apparently has knocked the rust off his game.

By: Mark Maske

2:09 PM: Mac Jones off to a hot start as Pats lead Browns, 21-7

Rookie quarterback Mac Jones is off to a superb start for the New England Patriots.

Jones has completed nine of 10 passes for 116 yards and two touchdowns.

The Patriots have scored 21 straight points and lead the Cleveland Browns, 21-7, in the second quarter in Foxborough, Mass.

The Patriots had a 99-yard drive for their third touchdown. Jones threw a 23-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Kendrick Bourne.

By: Mark Maske

2:08 PM: Chase Young ruled out with knee injury

Chase Young was immediately ruled out for the rest of the game with a knee injury. (Patrick Smith/Getty Images) © Patrick Smith/Getty Images Chase Young was immediately ruled out for the rest of the game with a knee injury. (Patrick Smith/Getty Images)

Defensive end Chase Young suffered a right knee injury with about 7 minutes left before halftime in the Washington Football Team’s game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Young’s injury occurred as he was rushing Tom Brady and happened without contact. Young writhed in immediate pain on the field and, although the cart came onto the field, he refused to get on it. He was helped off the field, unable to put weight on the leg, and the team immediately announced the injury, ruling him out the rest of the game.

Follow live updates of the Washington-Tampa Bay game

By: Cindy Boren

1:55 PM: Vikings’ Dakota Dozier released from hospital

Minnesota Vikings offensive lineman Dakota Dozier was released from a Minneapolis-area hospital.

Dozier’s release was confirmed by a person familiar with the situation after being first reported by the NFL Network.

Dozier had been hospitalized since being taken to an emergency room last week with breathing issues related to the coronavirus.

Coach Mike Zimmer said last week that a vaccinated Vikings player had been hospitalized.

Zimmer declined to identify the player but multiple reports indicated it was Dozier.

By: Mark Maske

1:38 PM: Tom Brady throws two first-quarter interceptions against Washington

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are off to a bad start at FedEx Field.

Quarterback Tom Brady threw two first-quarter interceptions and the defending champs trail the Washington Football Team, 6-0.

The first interception was not Brady’s fault, as wide receiver Jaelon Darden lost the ball on a perfect throw by Brady. Cornerback William Jackson III made the interception on the deflection.

The second interception was a bad throw by Brady over the middle directly to safety Bobby McCain.

Brady completed two of six passes for five yards in the opening quarter. He had a passer rating of 2.8.

By: Mark Maske

1:16 PM: Cam Newton is at the top of his game, fashion-wise

For the first time in ages, Cam Newton arrived for a Panthers and at least style-wise, he hasn’t lost a step.

Newton was released by the Panthers before the 2020 season, which he spent with the Patriots. He was released by New England in August and was a free agent until signing last week to return to the team he led to the Super Bowl in 2015 during his MVP season.

“I’m happy to be here, and I want everybody to know I’m happy,” Newton, who spent nine seasons with the Panthers, said, “but, it’s time to win. So that is where all of my energy is.”

Newton was active for the Panthers’ game against the Cardinals at 4:05 p.m. Eastern.

By: Cindy Boren

1:08 PM: Richard Sherman out for Bucs with calf injury

Cornerback Richard Sherman was a late scratch for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers from their game against the Washington Football Team at FedEx Field.

Sherman will miss the game because of a calf injury, the Buccaneers said.

The Buccaneers will be a player short for the game.

Sherman was active for the game and was ruled out after the game-day inactive list was announced. That list is announced 90 minutes before kickoff.

By: Mark Maske

12:58 PM: D’Ernest Johnson set to start with Browns shorthanded at RB

The Cleveland Browns will be decidedly shorthanded at running back for Sunday’s early-afternoon game at New England.

Nick Chubb, Demetric Felton and John Kelly won’t play after they tested positive for the coronavirus. Kareem Hunt remains on the injured reserve list because of a calf injury.

Chubb and Felton were placed on the covid-19 reserve list Tuesday. They are vaccinated and tested positive for the virus, according to a person familiar with the situation. So they can return to team activities with two negative test results 24 hours apart. But Coach Kevin Stefanski said Friday that neither would play in this game. He also ruled out Kelly.

D’Ernest Johnson is in line to get the start against the Patriots. The Browns added running backs Brian Hill and Dexter Williams to the practice squad during the week.

By: Mark Maske

12:41 PM: Julio Jones joins Derrick Henry on the shelf in Tennessee

It has been a disappointing first season in Tennessee for wide receiver Julio Jones.

He’ll miss the Titans’ early-afternoon game Sunday against the New Orleans Saints in Nashville after the team placed him on the injured reserve list Saturday. He will miss at least three games because of a hamstring injury.

Jones has 21 catches for 336 yards and no touchdowns through six games with the Titans after being acquired in an offseason trade with the Atlanta Falcons.

The Titans already are without star tailback Derrick Henry, who is sidelined indefinitely following foot surgery. Now the offensive burden falls even more heavily on quarterback Ryan Tannehill and wideout A.J. Brown.

By: Mark Maske

12:30 PM: Robert Woods’s injury means the Rams need Odell Beckham Jr. to produce

Wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. (3) runs a pass route during the Rams’ practice Saturday. (Marcio Jose Sanchez/AP) © Marcio Jose Sanchez/AP Wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. (3) runs a pass route during the Rams’ practice Saturday. (Marcio Jose Sanchez/AP)

The Los Angeles Rams’ deal with wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. seemed a bit superfluous when the contract agreement was announced Thursday.

The Rams, after all, already had Cooper Kupp, Robert Woods and Van Jefferson at wideout. And the Beckham of the past season and a half with the Cleveland Browns was not the Beckham of his first few NFL seasons with the New York Giants. Not even close.

Odell Beckham Jr. agrees to a contract with the Super-Bowl-or-bust Rams

But now, suddenly, the Rams might need Beckham. He becomes a potentially vital complement to Kupp and Jefferson after Woods suffered a season-ending knee injury, a torn ACL, during Friday’s practice.

It’s not clear what role Beckham will have in the Rams’ game Monday night against the San Francisco 49ers in Santa Clara, Calif.

But going forward, it increasingly appears that the Rams will need to be able to get something out of Beckham if they’re going to fulfill their lofty goals.

By: Mark Maske

12:19 PM: Carson Wentz will play, but his wife and baby are on the clock

Carson Wentz will not pass up the opportunity to play against the Jaguars. (Zach Bolinger/Associated Press) © Zach Bolinger/AP Carson Wentz will not pass up the opportunity to play against the Jaguars. (Zach Bolinger/Associated Press)

The Carson Wentz baby watch is on — and so is the Indianapolis Colts’ Week 10 NFL game.

Wentz’s wife, Madison, is due to give birth to their second daughter imminently and if Baby Girl decides to arrive sometime Sunday afternoon, Wentz said he and his wife have decided that he would still play in the 1 p.m. game against the Jaguars, although he admitted last week that he “could get a call” at any point.

“If it comes down to the game, I told my wife ‘I’m playing, and then I’ll come see you at the hospital afterwards,’” Wentz said last week. “She knew that. She’s been great. Coach [Frank Reich] has been understanding with meetings and everything. We’ll see what happens. I’m confident God will time it up the way it’s supposed to work out. We’re pretty excited as a family.”

Next week’s game in Buffalo would post no conflict because doctors plan to induce labor Monday.

By: Cindy Boren

12:11 PM: Mac Jones not fined by NFL for grabbing Brian Burns’s leg after sack

New England Patriots rookie quarterback Mac Jones was not fined by the NFL for grabbing the leg of Carolina Panthers defensive end Brian Burns during a game last Sunday.

Jones was on the turf after losing a fumble on a sack by Burns. He grabbed and held Burns’s leg, and Burns missed some time during the game with an ankle injury. Jones said later that he’d thought that Burns perhaps had the ball at the time.

Jones was not penalized on the play, much to the annoyance of the Panthers, and the NFL did not intervene to issue a fine.

By: Mark Maske

12:02 PM: Bears’ Cassius Marsh fined for his taunting penalty

Cassius Marsh (59) sacks Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger (7) last Monday night in Pittsburgh. (Charles LeClaire/USA Today) © Charles LeClaire/Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports Cassius Marsh (59) sacks Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger (7) last Monday night in Pittsburgh. (Charles LeClaire/USA Today)

The NFL didn’t just double down on the controversial taunting call made during last Monday night’s game in Pittsburgh by referee Tony Corrente against Chicago Bears linebacker Cassius Marsh.

It tripled down.

The league fined Marsh $5,972 for unsportsmanlike conduct, a person familiar with the situation confirmed Saturday.

Marsh can appeal the fine.

The NFL stood firmly behind the call and has given no indication that it will ease its strict taunting enforcement.

The league’s competition committee, at the urging of the coaches’ subcommittee, made rigid enforcement of the existing anti-taunting rule a point of officiating emphasis this season.

By: Mark Maske

11:49 AM: Chris Godwin is active for the Bucs

Wide receiver Chris Godwin is active for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for their early-afternoon game against the Washington Football Team at FedEx Field.

Godwin had been listed as questionable on the injury report because of a foot injury.

But he did not join wideout Antonio Brown and tight end Rob Gronkowski on the game-day inactive list.

Both had been ruled out of the game previously, Brown with an ankle injury and Gronkowski with a rib injury.

By: Mark Maske

11:43 AM: OBJ pens (literally) a farewell to ‘Believeland’

Odell Beckham Jr. had a few kind words for Cleveland as he prepared to play for his new team. (Marcio Jose Sanchez/Associated Press) © Marcio Jose Sanchez/AP Odell Beckham Jr. had a few kind words for Cleveland as he prepared to play for his new team. (Marcio Jose Sanchez/Associated Press)

Odell Beckham Jr.'s football time in Cleveland ended last week and he left behind a thank-you note for “Believeland” Saturday night on social media.

“So many emotions running through me as I move on to the next chapter of my Journey,” he wrote. “I want to thank the city of Cleveland for welcoming me with open arms. My goal was always to help bring a championship to the city of Cleveland from the first day I became a member of the Cleveland Browns.

“Through all the ups and downs, injuries and rehab, I am forever grateful to have played in front of some of the greatest fans ever. DAWG Pound I thank you for embracing me and showing my so much LOVE!”

He specifically thanked the Browns’ owners, Jimmy and Dee Haslem, as well as the front office, support staff and organization, telling his coaches and teammates that it “was an honor and a privilege to have taken the field with you and to call you all my family. Y’all boys are 4 lifers with me!!! Mean that from my soul.”

The only other person specifically named is “my brother Juice,” better known as Jarvis Landry.

“We have been blessed to have played together at the highest levels,” he said of Landry. “Thank you for always pushing me to be the best man and player that I can be. You’re truly a gift from God.”

Adding, “I know God’s plan never fails,” he signed off with “love and gratitude.”

Beckham signed with the Los Angeles Rams and is expected to play in their “Monday Night Football” game against the San Francisco 49ers.

Odell Beckham Jr. can help the Rams, but wideouts who change teams in midseason rarely prosper

By: Cindy Boren

11:34 AM: What to watch for Sunday in fantasy football

Stefon Diggs and the Bills take on the Jets on Sunday afternoon. (Gary McCullough/AP) © Gary Mccullough/AP Stefon Diggs and the Bills take on the Jets on Sunday afternoon. (Gary McCullough/AP)

Bills at Jets, 1 p.m.

Given how shockingly successful the Jaguars were at shackling Buffalo’s offense last week by covering outside receivers and daring the Bills to throw short or run the ball, we should expect the Jets to try the same thing. Having had a week to lick their wounds and come up with a counterattack, just how will the Bills respond? Stefon Diggs managers probably wouldn’t mind seeing him deployed on more underneath routes, giving him yards-after-the-catch opportunities and sparing us all from seeing Cole Beasley turn another 11 targets into eight catches for 33 yards.

Mike White gets another chance to show what he can do for New York at QB, and if he again plays very well, it would not be crazy to see him keep the job for a while, keeping No. 2 overall pick Zach Wilson on the bench. That would probably be good news for most members of the Jets’ offense, who were in desperate need of sustained drives before White took over for the injured Wilson.

Seahawks at Packers, 4:25 p.m.

Geno Smith was not a disaster while filling in as Seattle’s starting QB, but folks both there and in fantasyland have to be thrilled that Russell Wilson has made such a speedy recovery from his injured finger. Tyler Lockett finally meshed with Smith in Week 8 after a couple of rough outings, but the veteran WR is looking like a much better bet for production with Wilson back on the field. With Chris Carson possibly returning from a neck injury and Alex Collins dealing with a groin issue, Rashaad Penny could be the Seahawks’ healthiest RB, which apart from a potential fantasy quagmire might be a sign that we are in the end times.

So ... Aaron Rodgers has been in the news a bit. Despite a 10-day layoff that ended Saturday, he is expected to play today and end Jordan Love’s mercifully brief reign of error. Green Bay failed to land Odell Beckham Jr., meaning that someone from among Marquez Valdes-Scantling, Allen Lazard and Randall Cobb still has a great chance of emerging as a consistent No. 2 receiver to Davante Adams.

Chiefs at Raiders, 8:20 p.m.

What Jacksonville did to Buffalo last week is what Kansas City has been regularly seeing of late, and the Chiefs have had a remarkably tough time hitting on those big plays that made life for Patrick Mahomes and Co. so easy for so long. This is another team that had hoped to augment its attack with Beckham, but perhaps Josh Gordon will finally dust off some of his old game-breaking skills.

Following the release of Henry Ruggs III, Las Vegas added former Rams WR DeSean Jackson this week, and the veteran speedster should get a deep ball or two straight away from Derek Carr. Kenyan Drake has been a bigger factor in the Raiders’ offense over the past two weeks, putting him very much into flex consideration. Formerly elite Raiders TE Darren Waller had been an oddly limited contributor for several games before a 92-yard performance last week, and his managers will want to see that usage continue.

By: Des Bieler

11:25 AM: Ryan Fitzpatrick reportedly is unlikely to play again this season

Ryan Fitzpatrick was injured in the Washington Football Team’s Sept. 12 loss to the Los Angeles Chargers at FedEx Field. {John McDonnell}/The Washington Post) © John McDonnell0-90/The Washington Post Ryan Fitzpatrick was injured in the Washington Football Team’s Sept. 12 loss to the Los Angeles Chargers at FedEx Field. {John McDonnell}/The Washington Post)

Ryan Fitzpatrick is unlikely to play again this season for the Washington Football Team, according to a source cited by The Post’s Nicki Jhabvala.

Fitzpatrick partially dislocated his hip in the season opener and was initially projected to miss 6-8 weeks. However, other factors, such as whether there was tissue damage to the surrounding area, came into play for the 38-year-old quarterback.

A recent MRI showed “some progress,” Coach Ron Rivera said last week, but added that he had “been given no timetable” for Fitzpatrick’s return.

The hip subluxation occurred when Fitzpatrick was sacked by Uchenna Nwosu early in the second quarter of the 2-6 team’s season-opening loss the Los Angeles Chargers in Week 1. He has not played since then.

Washington hosts the Buccaneers Sunday at 1 p.m. Eastern time.

Ryan Fitzpatrick unlikely to return from hip injury this season

By: Cindy Boren

11:20 AM: Covid isn’t over for the NFL, as Ben Roethlisberger becomes the latest star QB ruled out of a game

Ben Roethlisberger was placed on the covid-19 reserve list and ruled out of Sunday’s game. (Gene J. Puskar/AP) © Gene J. Puskar/AP Ben Roethlisberger was placed on the covid-19 reserve list and ruled out of Sunday’s game. (Gene J. Puskar/AP)

The pandemic isn’t over. Not for the country or the world, and not for the NFL.

For a second straight weekend, a prominent NFL quarterback will miss a game following a positive test for the coronavirus.

Last Sunday, it was Aaron Rodgers missing the Green Bay Packers’ loss at Kansas City.

This Sunday, it’s Ben Roethlisberger missing the Pittsburgh Steelers’ game at home against the Detroit Lions.

Ben Roethlisberger placed on Steelers’ covid list, will miss Sunday’s game

Roethlisberger, unlike Rodgers, is vaccinated. He said during a radio interview last week on the Dan Patrick Show that he’s vaccinated. Roethlisberger’s vaccinated status was confirmed Saturday by two people familiar with the situation. Thus, his placement on the Steelers’ covid-19 reserve list could only have been due to a positive test for the virus, under the protocols. The Steelers, however, did not confirm that, saying only that they were placing Roethlisberger on the list and he would miss Sunday’s game.

Roethlisberger, as a vaccinated player, can rejoin team activities with two negative coronavirus test results 24 hours apart. But that can’t happen in time for Sunday’s game. So the Steelers will turn to backup quarterback Mason Rudolph as they face the winless Lions. The Steelers have won four straight games and, with a victory Sunday, can move into a first-place tie with the Baltimore Ravens in the AFC North.

By: Mark Maske

11:11 AM: Welcome to the second half of the NFL’s longest regular season

Steelers fans will watch their team host the Lions as part of the Week 10 games. (Emilee Chinn/Getty Images) © Emilee Chinn/Getty Images Steelers fans will watch their team host the Lions as part of the Week 10 games. (Emilee Chinn/Getty Images)

The second half of the first 17-game, 18-week regular season in NFL history begins in earnest, with Sunday’s slate of Week 10 games at hand.

The 17-game regular season was put into effect this year by NFL team owners under the new collective bargaining agreement ratified by a narrow vote of players leaguewide in March 2020.

The central trade-off of that labor negotiation was the players agreeing to a 17th regular season game for an increased share of league revenue under the salary cap system. It was a divisive issue for players at the time, as the CBA was approved by only 51.5 percent of the 1,978 dues-paying union members who cast votes during the ratification process.

It remains divisive, as Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady said last week on a podcast that a 17-game season is “pointless” and “a terrible decision” reflective of the power that owners wield over players in the CBA process.

Brewer: The cost of the NFL adding an extra game is already starting to show

“I think 16 is plenty,” Brady said.

Brady’s criticism of the 17-gme season drew a response from Cleveland Browns center JC Tretter, the president of the NFL Players Association.

“Tom is challenging us to move in a way similar to the owners — which is to act as a unified group, even if we disagree, and fight in a coordinated way for what we deserve,” Tretter wrote in an essay on the NFLPA’s website. “The formula is not complicated, but getting everyone to commit to this formula is much more difficult for us than it is for them.”

By: Mark Maske

11:02 AM: We have the season’s first snow game. Guess where.

By the standards of hardy Wisconsin residents, this hardly qualifies as a major snow, but the first snow game of the season is taking place this weekend in, of course, Green Bay, where the Packers play the Seattle Seahawks.

The snow, with light accumulation, is expected to end before kickoff at 4:25 p.m. Eastern, with the forecast calling for a breezy late afternoon and temperatures in the upper 30s.

At least one player is excited about it.

Not to be outdone, Pittsburgh may get a bit of snow, too, for the Steelers’ 1 p.m. game against the Detroit Lions.

By: Cindy Boren

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