Browns could move into unprecedented QB territory in final nine games

BEREA, Ohio — The Cleveland Browns continue to be associated with records they would rather forget.

The only winless team in the NFL has six players who have attempted passes this season.

Here’s the answer: Yes. Effective this week, Montgomery is eligible at both wide receiver and running back. It’s important to note that once we add a position to a player’s eligibility, it cannot be removed that season. As such, the wide receiver/running back tag is staying for Montgomery for the rest of the 2016 season.

With that cleared up, here’s our Week 8 ESPN Fantasy waiver wire column.

Jacquizz Rodgers, RB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (34.5 percent). With Doug Martin suffering a setback in his recovery for a hamstring issue, Rodgers has the starting job to himself in Tampa Bay. What has he done so far? Gone more than 100 yards on the ground in two straight games and handled 62 total touches. The volume is great, and so is the production, and the upcoming schedule isn’t something to be scared of. Rodgers is a must-add in all leagues and an RB2 right away.

Matt Asiata, RB, Minnesota Vikings (26.0 percent). Asiata’s value is not rooted solely in the health of Jerick McKinnon, but it’s worth noting that the latter left Sunday’s game against Philly because of an ankle injury. If McKinnon sits, that thrusts Asiata right into RB2 territory for Week 8 against the Bears.

Have a company you’d like Glover Quin to put his money toward? Then your product had better have a purpose. “We like companies that we feel can change the world,” Quin said.

“I just want to get her intake,” Quin said. “Like, ‘Oh, I would never use that or I think that’s a great idea, you know. If somebody did something like that, it would be dope.’ See what she says about it because she has a good feel for stuff.”

After all that, if a deal excites him, he has four benchmarks he typically uses to decide if a deal makes sense.

While all of that is going on, just over a mile away the Cleveland Browns prepare for what might be their best shot at a win this season. They will host the New York Jets on Sunday afternoon at FirstEnergy Stadium.

The Browns enter Week 8 as the only winless team in the NFL and are No. 32 in ESPN’s Power Rankings, as well as No. 32 in ESPN’s Football Power Index.

Cleveland currently has a 69 percent chance to get the No. 1 overall pick in the 2017 NFL draft, according to FPI. That’s over four times more likely than the next-closest team, the San Francisco 49ers (15 percent).

To put that in perspective, at this time last year, the Tennessee Titans were the most likely team to get the top pick in the 2016 draft with a 17 percent chance. Their chances of getting that top pick, plus the chances of the next four teams behind them through Week 7 last year, still would have fallen short of the Browns’ chances at getting the 2017 top pick right now.

The 49ers and Broncos fumbled 3 times in less than a minute

Preseason football is filled with gaffes. Coaches want to get young, inexperienced players enough playing time to adequately evaluate them, veterans are rusty, and the wins and losses don’t count, so it’s really not that big of a deal. The 49ers and Broncos, though, took preseason football to a whole new level with not one, not two, but three fumbles in the 45 seconds before the half.

On fumble one, Mark Sanchez got sacked by Tank Carradine, and Sanchez lost the ball in the red zone.

Yup, that’s a Mark Sanchez turnover

— SB Nation GIF (@SBNationGIF) August 21, 2016
At least it wasn’t a butt fumble. So that’s progress.

Mr. Brown and the NFLPA appealed this discipline, but the decision was upheld by a hearing officer.

Brown, 37, is entering his 14th NFL season and is No. 30 on the NFL’s all-time scoring list with 1,353 points.

“Her being pregnant gave me an excuse to eat, so eating anything and everything,” Williams told reporters, via Mike Rodak of ESPN. “She’d wake up, one or two o’clock, ‘I want a snack.’ Well I’m not going to sit here and watch you eat because I don’t want you to feel bad.”

The hits kept coming for Williams when he was hit with a four-game suspension in July for violation of the NFL’s substance abuse policy.

When training camp rolled around in August, Williams still hadn’t shed the extra pounds. Unable to pass a conditioning test, Williams started training camp on the Non-Football Illness list until he finally passed the test and was cleared to practice on Monday.

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Categories: Kansas City Chiefs


NFL won’t fine players who wore 9/11 tribute cleats

A handful of NFL players wore patriotic cleats on the 15th anniversary of the September 11 attacks, and in a move that isn’t necessarily consistent with the league’s typical approach, they will not be fined by the NFL, according to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport.

Tennessee Titans linebacker Avery Williamson, New York Giants wide receivers Odell Beckham Jr. and Victor Cruz, Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Mohamed Sanu, Houston Texans linebacker Brian Cushing and Indianapolis Colts punter Pat McAfee all wore cleats to honor 9/11 victims and first responders during their respective games on Sunday. Falcons receiver Julio Jones wore similar cleats during warmups.

The NFL consistently fines players for uniform elements that don’t fit within the guidelines of the NFL’s strict dress code.

“I just felt like I got so much support across the country, and especially when the New York and New Jersey police unions said that they would pay my fine, that really meant a lot,” Williamson told reporters on Sunday, “I felt like if I didn’t wear them, I just wouldn’t have felt good about it. I felt like I had to do that, just for myself and to represent the people that were lost and the people that do their jobs every day to protect us. I feel like it was just a duty.”

Had Williamson been fined, Titans head coach Mike Mularkey had said he was willing to pay the fine on Williamson’s behalf.

Williamson will auction off the cleats, along with a meet and greet, two VIP tickets to a Titans game and a signed jersey. The proceeds will benefit Operation Warrior Wishes, a nonprofit that provides NFL game day experiences to wounded veterans.

Odell Beckham Jr. and Victor Cruz plan to wear special 9/11 cleats for today’s season opener.

— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) September 11, 2016
The NFL has been unflinchingly rigid in its enforcement of the dress code, and has previously drawn criticism for uniform fines. In 2013, then-Chicago Bears receiver Brandon Marshall was fined for wearing green shoes to highlight Mental Health Awareness week.

Washington couldn’t get out of its own way Monday night, and the Steelers capitalized on that, locking up the win.

Rams sticking with Keenum. Jared Goff must be really bad if they’re not willing to try someone else after that performance.

Kevin Harlan had an amazing call on the man running on the field during Monday Night Football. A fan, possibly drunk, ran on the field during the 49ers-Rams season opener. Harlan offered up spectacular play-by-play.

Browns WR Corey Coleman suffers fractured hand during practice

The Cleveland Browns are dealing with another major injury as Corey Coleman broke his hand at practice Wednesday, according to’s Mary Kay Cabot. The injury is believed to have occurred when a teammate landed on it after he had caught a pass. The Browns confirmed Coleman suffered a fractured hand and are still evaluating the injury to determine a recovery timeline, but he’s not expected to need surgery.

“He’s a good player. He’s a really good player. No hate whatsoever, man,” Norman said, via “The guy can play ball. I think the competitor in me likes that. Just a challenge to get up for that. He’s a good player.”

Beckham, for his part, also said he has no feelings about seeing Norman for the first time since their melee. “Honestly, there really is a bigger concern. Division game, 2-0 start to the year. Really focused on going 3-0,” he said, via “Wherever I go, wherever I lineup, that’s my job. The same way it would be whoever’s job it is to stop me. My job is to win over there. The biggest concern is winning, winning this game.”

Those words are strikingly different than what Beckham and Norman were saying about each other just a couple of months ago. In a July interview with GQ, Beckham kept up the trash talk. “The reason he’s become relevant is because of me,” he said. Norman responded by saying Beckham is only relevant “because of a catch,” an allusion to OBJ’s sensational one-handed touchdown grab on Sunday Night Football two years ago.

Just last week, some of Beckham’s teammates were belittling Norman for not covering Steelers No. 1 wideout Antonio Brown in Washington’s season opener. Cornerback Janoris Jenkins said Norman should’ve been on Brown all game — regardless of the game plan. Cruz suggested Norman ducked Brown and dared him to cover OBJ when the two teams match up.

But now, the tone between Beckham and Norman is tame. It appears as if the rigors of a new season have caused the two rivals to turn their attention elsewhere. Given the divisional implications of Sunday’s contest, that may be the wise move to make — even if it makes it less fun for all of us.

The Bears did not list Cutler on the injury report for Week 2, but he was not limited in practice at all during the week, so they are not required to do so.

When Peterson was removed from the game against the Packers, he was unable to put any weight on his right leg. He was helped from the field and examined on the sideline, and then he made his way to the locker room for further evaluation with assistance. After the game, Peterson left the locker room in a brace and on crutches.

The Vikings’ opponents have been selling out to stop the run this season, limiting Peterson’s production. He gained just 31 yards on 19 carries against the Titans in Week 1, and 19 yards on 12 carries in the win over the Packers.

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Categories: Chicago Bears


Jerry Jones can’t blow this: Prescott has to start over Romo

Jerry Jones has made his share of mistakes, from firing Jimmy Johnson to hiring Greg Hardy to committing countless unforced errors in between. He cannot make another one at Dak Prescott’s expense. He cannot do anything during the Dallas Cowboys’ upcoming bye week but tell Tony Romo that his time as starting quarterback is done.

Roethlisberger underwent successful arthroscopic surgery Monday, the team announced. Roethlisberger tore his left meniscus in the second quarter of Sunday’s 30-15 loss to the Miami Dolphins.

Jones, who threw for 513 yards, three touchdowns and four interceptions in relief of Roethlisberger last year, told reporters he’s not counting Big Ben out to play this Sunday. Roethlisberger has played through injuries in the past, and he’s never missed more than four games in a season. But ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports Roethlisberger will miss the New England game.

In Jones’ last extended performance, he threw for 206 yards on 19-of-22 passing in the third preseason game against the Saints. Jones said he’s comfortable in weeks like this after four years in offensive coordinator Todd Haley’s system. He knows all the nuances of the offense, and the team didn’t change the game plan much in last year’s start at Kansas City, a 23-13 loss.

“The more you play, the more experience you get, the more confidence you get,” Jones said. “I’ll draw from that if things come to it. We’ll see how it all plays out during the week.”

A heavy dose of Bell could be in order. Bell says he isn’t one to lobby for carries, but he’ll gladly oblige if Haley calls his number 20 or more times.

Bell has averaged around 23 touches per game since entering the league in 2013, but he had just 10 rushes for 53 yards in Sunday’s loss to the Dolphins, one of the league’s worst rushing defenses.

Bell said the Steelers are at their best when featuring play-action and the running game. Bell has 440 total yards in three games, including 177 receiving yards.

“If we run the rock, I’m going to deal with it,” Bell said. “Sometimes, the offensive line likes running the ball. When they feel they want to dominate up front, I’m always ready … I’m not a guy who always complains or talks about getting carries. I just want to go out there and win the game.”

But this isn’t only about Romo, of course, and a battered 36-year-old body that needs to be handled more delicately these days than a piece of fine china. This is about the 23-year-old rookie, Prescott, who is bigger, stronger, healthier and faster. The fourth-round draft pick just walked into Lambeau Field and played big enough in this 30-16 smackdown of the Packers to make Aaron Rodgers, two-time MVP, look like the incredible shrinking man. Relax? The way Rodgers has performed the past two seasons, I don’t think so. In weather conditions the polar opposite of the polar Packers-Cowboys classic known as the Ice Bowl, Prescott threw three touchdown passes to Rodgers’ one, ran his winning streak to five, and all but summoned the sights and sounds of Vince Lombardi barking, “What the hell’s going on out here?”