Duane Brown absent as Texans depart for camp

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Texans wideout DeAndre Hopkins has flourished despite a pronounced lack of stability at the quarterback position in Houston over the years. In 2015, he became the only receiver in NFL history to log 100 yards receiving in a game with four different quarterbacks in a season. The Texans are tied for the most starting quarterbacks (9) since 2013 with the Cleveland Browns.

This offseason at the combine, his head coach stared bug-eyed at a reporter asking why Hopkins had a down year in 2016 with 78 catches and 954 yards — a hint that Bill O’Brien understands Hopkins is doing everything in his power to be productive despite the mess under center.

After nine seasons in Houston, Brown finished last year as the 17th-ranked tackle league-wide, per Pro Football Focus. As the team’s most valuable lineman, the bookend is likely seeking security in the form of more guaranteed cash.

With Tom Savage and rookie Deshaun Watson set to battle it out for the starting quarterback job, Brown’s importance to the Texans this preseason and beyond is unquestioned. The next move belongs to Houston’s front office.

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While the Texans will take the field to the raucous cheers of their fans for a game against the Jacksonville Jaguars, the franchise will make sure those in attendance and watching on television won’t forget the efforts of the brave in Houston. Area first responders, Houston city officials and related members vital to Hurricane Harvey relief efforts will be honored by the franchise before the game Sunday, the team announced Thursday.

The aforementioend group will be involved in roles including Texas flag holders, Color Guard and coin toss captains. The team will be selling Houston Strong T-shirts, with the proceeds benefitting the Red Cross.jersey

At 29 years old, Gilchrist is immediately the senior member of a young Texans safety group. Before the addition, Andre Hal and cheap jerseys and Corey Moore were slated to begin the season as Houston’s starting safeties. The Texans lost veteran safety Quintin Demps to Chicago in free agency.

If Gilchrist is fully recovered from patellar tendon surgery and back in game shape by September, expect him to make a run at one of the starting safety positions and improve the weakest spot on an otherwise title-caliber defense.

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So it goes for the Texans, who were not much more potent with Savage at the helm. In three appearances (one complete game), Savage hit on 63 percent of his passes for 461 yards, no touchdowns and no interceptions.

The Oakland Raiders are 24th against the pass in terms of total yards but are ninth in interceptions. Boasting one of the league’s best pass rushers in Khalil Mack, this will be a handful for any quarterback trying to advance in the playoffs. For someone who is simply trying to win back the trust of his head coach, it could be a steep mountain to climb.

The Davey O’Brien Award winner, as college football’s top quarterback, owns the heady leadership coaches love. However, he enters the NFL with question marks about his accuracy, turnovers and ability to dissect a defense.

The Texans have been adamant they plan to bring Watson along slowly and start Tom Savage as their rookie passer develops. Given coach Bill O’Brien’s impatience with quarterbacks in the past, even if Watson doesn’t win the starting gig before Week 1, expect to see the rookie on the field at some point this year.

Eagles facing uncertainty at running back after injuries

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After an early touchdown drive, Cutler struggled to generate offense in the second and third quarters. His notorious ball security issues surfaced in the second half with his third lost fumble of the season and a careless interception just before he exited with the injury.

Cutler said the interception was caused, in part, by his sore thumb because he was having difficulty gripping the ball.

Cornerback Janoris Jenkins (back) did not suit up against the Philadelphia Eagles. NFL Network’s Kimberly Jones first reported the development. The Giants will attempt to clinch a postseason berth without him on Thursday Night Football, exclusively on NFL Network.

Jenkins injured his back during last week’s win over the Lions and was listed as a “game-time decision” heading into Thursday night.

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“I’ve been waiting to play in this type of scheme for a while,” Jernigan said. “Being at Florida State for a couple years, we were more of a read (defense) there, then I went to Baltimore and we read a little bit there. Last year in Baltimore we started attacking a little bit more and I had my best year, so it’s going to be exciting.”cheap jerseys

Schwartz has already told Jernigan that he’s going to have “a big year,” the kind of impact the Eagles are hoping since they dropped down 25 picks in the third round to acquire the 24-year-old defensive lineman.

With the top two backs out, Wendell Smallwood took the bulk of the snaps Sunday, carrying the ball 13 times for 48 yards and adding four catches for 31 yards.

The optimism surrounding Sproles suggests he should retain a sizable workload if he can play, but we expect Pederson to grow Smallwood’s role assuming Mathews sits and a 33-year-old Sproles is fighting through pain management.

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“When I try to game plan for an offense, I don’t take into account that he’s a rookie,” Butler said. “I take into account who I’ve got to stop, what they’re doing well and things that might give us problems and look at how we can alleviate them.”

The Steelers flummoxed an off-target Kirk Cousins in Week 1 and stymied Andy Dalton in Week 2. Mike Tomlin seems to have simplified the back end, cutting down many of the blown coverages we’ve seen in previous seasons. The defensive front has been pesky and stout — especially versus the run. With stud linebacker Ryan Shazier flying to the ball, the Steelers D has been fantastic to start the season and better than the sum of its parts would indicate.

“I just felt too at that time, because our defense was playing extremely well, I had made up my mind at that time to go ahead and get us into overtime,” Pederson said. “Hopefully win the coin toss, take the ball and be in a position to score. And/or put our defense out there who had just come off a great drive and they were fired up, to put them back on the field. So it was just my decision to do that.”

After years of watching Andy Reid bungle late-game situations, Pederson is off to a passive start in his first season making the calls.

Packers nab RB Knile Davis from Chiefs in trade

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Sunday night’s 17-14 loss to the Minnesota Vikings was a reoccurring nightmare for Rodgers. The Packers QB went 20-of-36 passing with a touchdown, an interception and three fumbles (one lost). Green Bay’s best plays of the night were pass interference calls on corner Trae Waynes. Even that didn’t work in the end, as the second-year cornerback jumped a wayward throw to snag what ended up as the clinching pick.

“We’re not going to overreact,” Rodgers said, via the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. “It’s been two weeks. We haven’t quite found our rhythm yet, but we had some guys working in who hadn’t worked a lot together so we trust the process and believe we can get this thing turned around.

With Sitton and Kyle Long, the Bears now have one of the top guard tandems in the NFL — and are paying a pretty penny for it. Sitton will solidify the interior and help a shaky center position. The Bears ground game should also open holes for running back Jeremy Langford, which will be a big boon for the second-year back who struggles to break tackles.

“The business side is always the first determining factor,” Sitton said. “But I think Coach Fox is building a team that can win here. I like staying in the same climate. I like playing on grass; obviously, I’ve been doing that my whole career. I like that aspect, and I’m familiar with the division.”

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Davis has been available via trade as far back as March. Rapoport reported at the time that Davis made the request to be traded — Davis later denied that request was made. With Spencer Ware and cheap jerseys and Charcandrick West proving more than capable of standing in and Jamaal Charles returning from his ACL tear, Davis was always the odd man out. Then jitterbug rookie Tyreek Hill swiped Davis’ return gig this season. Davis’ roster spot seemed in jeopardy the past few weeks.

Heading into Thursday night’s division tilt versus the Chicago Bears at Lambeau Field, Packers fans shouldn’t expect a lot from Davis, who has averaged just 3.3 yards per carry for his career. He’s got open field speed, but isn’t shifty in tight spaces and is mediocre in the passing game. Still, Davis is better than not having a running back at all and can help on special teams.jersey

The Texans lead the division at 6-3 but are a flawed product. Sunday Houston won with $72-million quarterback Brock Osweiler throwing for 99 total yards. The Colts boast the best QB in the division in Andrew Luck but own the worst defense. The Jags are the Jags.

Tennessee doesn’t have the easiest path to catch Houston. Four of their final six games are on the road. The Titans travel to Indy for another pivotal matchup. Trips to Chicago, Kansas City and Jacksonville are sandwiched around a Week 14 home tilt versus the Broncos.

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The Packers released Sitton on Saturday, the team announced. NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo first reported that the Packers’ plan was to release the former Pro Bowl guard if they couldn’t trade him, per a source.

This one lands from out of the blue. Sitton, 30, hasn’t missed a start since 2011, a testament to his durability at one of football’s most rugged positions. He’s been a second-team All-Pro three seasons running and finished 2015 as the league’s fifth-rated guard, per Pro Football Focus.

Shaun Hill started Week 1 as the Vikings knocked off the Tennessee Titans 25-16 in Nashville. The 36-year-old threw for 236 yards on 18-of-33 passing for a 77.3 passer rating and didn’t turn the ball over.

While the Vikings’ offense failed to score a touchdown, Hill was not a liability. With the Titans stacking the box to stop Adrian Peterson, Hill averaged 10.4 air yards per attempt in Week 1 (fourth-highest in the NFL). The veteran had 10 pass attempts of 15-plus air yards — for comparison Teddy Bridgewater averaged less than six such throws per game in 2015.