The Jacksonville Jaguars benched quarterback Blake Bortles early in the second half of their 20-7 loss to the Houston Texans, putting in backup Cody Kessler.
Bortles’ second lost fumble of the game set up a Texans touchdown two plays later to give Houston a 20-0 lead with 10:50 left in the third quarter. When the Jaguars got the ball back, Kessler came out while Bortles remained on the sideline.
“Questions will be who is your starting QB next week, focus will be on that. For me, it is on everyone,” Jaguars coach Doug Marrone said afterward, adding the quarterback job is now open.
—Following a pregame skirmish and heated words before and throughout the Panthers-Eagles game Sunday in Philadelphia, Carolina safety Eric Reid ripped counterpart Malcolm Jenkins by calling him a sellout in a spat over the ongoing national anthem controversy.
Reid was the first player to kneel alongside then-San Francisco teammate Colin Kaepernick in 2016 during the anthem in protest of social injustice. Reid publicly split from the Players Coalition, co-founded by Jenkins, in dispute over Kaepernick not being invited to meetings, and brought his anger to the field Sunday.
Reid and Jenkins shouted at each other prior to warmups before an irate Reid was held back as the Eagles were introduced before the game. After Reid again kneeled during the “The Star-Spangled Banner” he charged Jenkins as captains approached midfield for the coin toss, with several players intervening.
—Drew Brees joined the exclusive 500 touchdown club with a play-action pass to tight end Ben Watson with 1:53 remaining in the first half at Baltimore.
The 1-yard toss gave the New Orleans Saints the lead over the Ravens and left Brees in the company of Peyton Manning, Brett Favre and Tom Brady as the only NFL players in league history with 500 touchdown passes.
Brees, 39, is fourth on the all-time TD list. Manning (539) leads Favre (508) and Brady (504), who added his name to the list two weeks ago.
—The Dallas Cowboys have done extensive research into Oakland Raiders wideout Amari Cooper as they consider trading for him before the Oct. 30 deadline, according to ESPN.
The Raiders reportedly have been adamant that they want a first-round pick in return for Cooper, and they’ve heard from other teams — including the Washington Redskins and Indianapolis Colts — about the wideout as well.
—The Denver Broncos have been listening to trade offers for wide receiver Demaryius Thomas, according to ESPN.
“A handful” of teams have reached out to Denver about Thomas, per the report. Denver has not rebuffed interest and intends to listen through the Oct. 30 trade deadline, although a trade is no certainty. The report adds that the Broncos have declined to listen to offers on wideout Emmanuel Sanders.
—With 110 receiving yards in Minnesota’s 37-17 road victory against the New York Jets, Vikings wide receiver Adam Thielen became the first player in the Super Bowl era to top the century mark in each of his team’s first seven games of a season.
Charley Hennigan is the only other player with 100-plus receiving yards in the first seven games, doing so with the Houston Oilers in the American Football League in 1961.
—New England Patriots running back Sony Michel left the second quarter of the team’s game against the Chicago Bears with an apparent left knee injury.
Michel, a 2018 first-round draft pick from Georgia, was helped off the field after fumbling when his leg was twisted by Bears defensive end Bilal Nichols. No diagnosis was released afterward, but Pro Football Talk reported that Michel will undergo an MRI exam Monday.
—The Tampa Bay Buccaneers fear linebacker Kwon Alexander tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee, multiple outlets reported.
He reportedly will undergo an MRI exam Monday after going down before halftime when his leg appeared to buckle on a non-contact play. He eventually limped off the field. The team ruled Alexander out shortly afterward.
—Colts kicker Adam Vinatieri missed two extra-point attempts for the first time in his career during Indianapolis’ 37-5 victory over the visiting Buffalo Bills, and he admitted after the win that his troublesome groin injury has flared up.
Vinatieri, 45, indicated that he will undergo an MRI exam. The flare-up occurred during a game that ended with Vinatieri needing just five points to pass Hall of Famer Morten Andersen (2,544) for the most in NFL history.
—The agent of Miami receiver DeVante Parker referred to Dolphins coach Adam Gase as “incompetent” after Parker was a surprise inactive for the team’s 32-21 loss to the Detroit Lions.
Agent Jimmy Gould said Parker was healthy and wasn’t held out due to injury. Parker missed two games due to a quadriceps injury earlier this season. Leading up the Lions game, Parker was listed as a full practice participant throughout the week.
—Field Level Media