The helicopters that flew over Lambeau Field after a Green Bay Packers touchdown during Thursday night’s preseason game caught everyone by surprise, including local police.
“That had us scrambling last night,” Paul Ebel, a Green Bay Police commander in charge of operations on gamedays at Lambeau, told the Green Bay Press-Gazette on Friday.
The Press-Gazette reported the helicopters were from the U.S. Navy, but their appearance was not a traditionally planned flyover. Moments after Jimmy Graham caught a touchdown from Aaron Rodgers early in the first quarter, the two MH-60R Seahawks circled over the stadium. Several fans tweeted videos of them passing by.
Ebel told the newspaper that law enforcement had not been told of any planned flyover — which would usually be scheduled to happen before a game, during the national anthem — nor did the team. “I was as surprised as anyone,” Packers president Mark Murphy added Friday.
—New England Patriots rookie offensive tackle Isaiah Wynn will miss the 2018 season with a torn Achilles after he was injured in the first quarter of Thursday’s preseason game against the Philadelphia Eagles, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
The Patriots’ top pick in last month’s draft, Wynn was playing right tackle in his preseason debut. Wynn was blocking a pass rusher when he was injured. He walked off the field on his own and was examined in the sideline medical tent before being taken by cart to the locker room.
New England’s other first-round pick, another Georgia product in running back Sony Michel, remains out after having a minor procedure on his knee earlier this month. He is not expected to play in the preseason.
—Dez Bryant’s two-day visit to Browns headquarters ended without a deal, but the wide receiver is open to playing in Cleveland and dialog is expected to continue.
According to multiple reports, signs are positive, and the two sides are expected to continue talking about a deal despite Bryant’s departure from the team’s Berea, Ohio, facility. Factors being weighed include the return to the team of wide receiver Josh Gordon and Bryant’s desire for a multi-year contract.
The 29-year-old Bryant was released by the Dallas Cowboys in April and turned down a three-year deal with the Baltimore Ravens because he hoped to play for a contender. The Browns were 0-16 last season, but a revamped roster includes Pro Bowl wide receiver Jarvis Landry and an entirely new backfield — quarterback Tyrod Taylor and running back Carlos Hyde — plus likely future quarterback Baker Mayfield.
—ESPN will not be broadcasting the national anthem during Monday Night Football this season, president Jimmy Pitaro said.
MNF started including the anthem as a regular part of its broadcasts a few seasons ago, but stopped doing so last season other than a select few occasions.
“We generally have not broadcasted the anthem and I don’t think that will change this year,” Pitaro told Axios.com. “Our plan going into this year is to not broadcast the anthem. ... Again, that could change. It’s unpredictable what could happen in the world but as of now, we’re not. We have communicated that back to the NFL. They have not asked but as courtesy and good partners, we have let them know what our plans are.”
—Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Doug Baldwin has ramped up his conditioning and remains on track for the season opener, while running back C.J. Prosise will play in Saturday’s preseason game, head coach Pete Carroll said.
“We think he’s going to be fine, but we’d like to have a really good active week next week so the week after that can be a good competitive week,” Carroll told reporters of Baldwin, who has been out since early in camp with a knee issue.
Prosise, meanwhile, is “ready to go,” Carroll said, and the team would like him to “play quite a bit” Saturday night against the Los Angeles Chargers. Prosise, who has battled injuries throughout his career and missed 11 games last season with ankle issues, returned to practice this week after sitting out with a minor hip injury.
—Longtime Philadelphia Eagles tight end Brent Celek said he is more likely to retire than play a 12th NFL season, adding that he wouldn’t play for the rival Dallas Cowboys even if they made him a monster offer.
“I think I’m leaning more toward retirement,” Celek said in a radio appearance on 97.5 The Fanatic. “I’ve had a few offers, but none of them are worth leaving a city that I have been in for 11 years where I won the Super Bowl in my final year. It wouldn’t feel right to put another uniform on.”
Celek, 33, was released by the Eagles in March after 11 seasons with the team, which drafted him in the fifth round in 2007. He had an especially strong aversion to the idea of staying in the NFC East and joining Dallas, saying, “Hell no. Do you think I would play for the Cowboys? Philly is my home. If they offered me 10 million, I still wouldn’t go.”
—Running back Jerick McKinnon is out for the remainder of the preseason, but San Francisco 49ers general manager John Lynch said the team is hopeful their new starter is ready for Week 1 of the regular season.
Lynch said McKinnon is slowed by a right knee injury — head coach Kyle Shanahan pinpointed McKinnon’s right calf — but the 49ers said the injury is not serious.
Jeremy McNichols has been working with the first-team offense for the 49ers with McKinnon and Matt Breida out. Former Redskins and Cowboys running back Alfred Morris signed a one-year deal with the team this week.
—Former Kansas City Chiefs safety Johnny Robinson was selected as the Seniors Finalist for the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s 2019 class, the entity announced.
“I’m thrilled to my bones. I can’t tell you how pleased I am to have been selected,” Robinson said as he received the news from Hall of Fame President David Baker in a conference call.
Robinson had 57 interceptions during a 12-year career in which he was voted to seven Pro Bowl squads and five first-team All-Pro nods. He will need to receive 80 percent of the vote from the 48-member selection committee to gain induction. The committee’s decisions will be made on Feb. 2, one day prior to Super Bowl LIII.
—Philadelphia Eagles receiver Bryce Treggs is expected to miss multiple weeks due to the hamstring injury he suffered in Thursday’s preseason game against the New England Patriots, according to a report from NFL Network.
Treggs pulled up lame while running a pattern in the third quarter of the contest. He caught two passes for 23 yards before exiting.
The timetable leaves Treggs uncertain for the season opener against the Atlanta Falcons on Sept. 6, and jeopardizes his chances of making the 53-man roster.
—Field Level Media