September 28, 2018 / 9:47 PM / 3 months ago

NFL notebook: Bengals WR Green will play against Falcons

Wide receiver A.J. Green practiced Friday and declared himself healthy as the Cincinnati Bengals head to Atlanta to face the Falcons on Sunday.

Sep 23, 2018; Charlotte, NC, USA; Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver A.J. Green (18) walks off the field after the game against the Carolina Panthers at Bank of America Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

Green left last week’s loss to the Carolina Panthers with what the team labeled a pelvis injury.

He downplayed a matchup against the Falcons and Julio Jones that has been hyped in Atlanta. But Green, who said he’s thankful the injury wasn’t as severe as it could have been, described Week 4 as just another game.

Running back Joe Mixon (knee) was ruled out but expects to practice next week.

—Jacksonville Jaguars running back Leonard Fournette will be a game-time decision for Sunday’s game against the New York Jets due to his troublesome right hamstring injury.

Fournette was listed as questionable on Friday’s injury report. He is in danger of missing his third straight game as he battles the Week 1 injury suffered against the New York Giants.

Right guard A.J. Cann (triceps) also was listed as questionable while cornerback D.J. Hayden (toe) was ruled out. Hayden will miss his second straight game.

—Outside linebacker Olivier Vernon, cornerback Eli Apple and tight end Evan Engram are among the New York Giants who will miss Sunday’s game against the New Orleans Saints.

The Giants officially ruled out the trio on Friday, along with running back Jonathan Stewart (foot) and wide receiver Cody Latimer (knee). Vernon is dealing with a high ankle sprain, Apple has a groin injury and Engram has an ailing knee.

Vernon has missed all three of New York’s previous games. Apple is missing his second straight contest. Also, cornerback Antonio Hamilton (groin) and kick returner Stacy Coley (hamstring) are listed as questionable.

—Green Bay Packers wide receiver Randall Cobb was added to the injury report with an ailing hamstring injury and his status for Sunday’s game against the Buffalo Bills is in doubt.

Packers coach Mike McCarthy sounded less than optimistic in his Friday comments on Cobb’s status, offering only, “We’ll see what today brings.”

Cobb did not have a major impact on the offense at Washington last week — one lost fumble, two drops — but there was no disclosure of an injury until Thursday.

—Arizona Cardinals star wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald is listed as questionable with a hamstring injury for Sunday’s game against the Seattle Seahawks.

Fitzgerald is off to a slow start this season with 12 receptions for 113 yards. He had just two catches for 9 yards in last Sunday’s loss to the Chicago Bears, when he was slightly hindered by the hamstring.

Fitzgerald was one of five players listed as questionable on the team’s injury report. The others are defensive tackles Robert Nkemdiche (knee), Corey Peters (elbow) and Olsen Pierre (toe) and offensive right tackle Andre Smith (elbow).

—San Francisco 49ers running back Matt Breida is a game-time decision for Sunday’s game against the Los Angeles Chargers because of a knee injury.

Breida, who is tied for the NFL rushing lead with 274 yards, was listed as questionable on the injury report. But coach Kyle Shanahan said the decision on whether Breida plays will be made Sunday.

Next in line at running back behind Breida is Albert Morris, who also is listed as questionable with a knee injury. Cornerback Richard Sherman (calf) and guard Joshua Garnett (toe) were ruled out of the contest, while safety Jaquiski Tartt (shoulder) is doubtful and safety Adrian Colbert (hip) is questionable.

—Former Philadelphia Eagles standout safety Wes Hopkins died Friday morning at age 57, the team confirmed. No cause of death was announced.

Hopkins spent his entire 10-year career (1983-86, 1988-93) with the Eagles and ranks fifth in club history with 30 career interceptions. He earned Pro Bowl honors in 1985 when he recorded a career-best six interceptions.

Hopkins, a second-round pick of the Eagles in 1983, started 125 of 137 games and intercepted five or more passes in five different campaigns, the only Eagle ever to accomplish the feat. He played college football at SMU and was inducted into the school’s athletic Hall of Fame in May.

—One day after the NFL announced that it does not plan to change course on how roughing-the-passer penalties are officiated, Miami Dolphins veteran Cameron Wake blasted the league, accusing it of valuing the safety of quarterbacks over players at other positions.

In an explosive interview with the Miami Herald, the 36-year-old defensive end held nothing back in calling out the league for its policy changes for the 2018 season that have caused controversy this season.

“Everybody knows the league is concerned about player safety, (but) it just depends on what player,” Wake told the Herald. “If it’s players’ safety, everybody should be safe, not just certain players. It should be everyone. ... Now I’m supposed to sacrifice myself in order to protect (the quarterback)?”

—Falcons running back Devonta Freeman is out for a third consecutive game with a knee injury.

Freeman was injured Week 1 at Philadelphia and the initial time frame for his return was two to three weeks.

Freeman participated on a limited basis this week and was ruled out of Sunday’s game against Cincinnati along with cornerback Justin Bethel (knee) and defensive lineman Derrick Shelby (groin). Defensive end Takkarist McKinley, who missed last week’s game with a groin injury, will play Sunday.

—Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver Alshon Jeffery was set to return this week, but an illness throws his comeback from shoulder surgery into doubt.

Jeffery was cleared for contact on Wednesday and impressed coach Doug Pederson enough that he was upgraded to questionable for Week 4 at Tennessee. But he didn’t practice Thursday and was out again Friday.

Pederson also said that running back Darren Sproles (hamstring) isn’t ready to go this week.

—New England Patriots wide receiver Josh Gordon could be inactive for a second straight game.

New England head coach Bill Belichick said that Gordon is “doing everything he can” to get ready for his first game with the team. But there is no guarantee that will come Sunday against the Miami Dolphins.

The Patriots acquired Gordon from the Cleveland Browns prior to last week’s game at Detroit.

—Minnesota long snapper Kevin McDermott lost the tip of his pinky finger, but returned to the field in Thursday’s 38-31 loss to the Los Angeles Rams.

On the FOX broadcast, a bloodied McDermott was seen wrapping his hand. Initially, the TV report was McDermott had only a fingernail ripped off.

McDermott’s pinky was caught in a player’s face mask. The finger was stitched up, wrapped and he returned to the game having missed only one deep snap on a punt. Tight end David Morgan took over and launched a snap that floated, causing Matt Wile’s punt to be nearly blocked.

—Former Seattle Seahawks backup quarterback and TCU star Trevone Boykin was indicted Friday on a charge of aggravated assault causing serious bodily harm, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported.

The second-degree felony is punishable by two to 20 years in prison. Boykin was arrested in Mansfield, Texas, on March 21 after Shabrika Bailey was beaten and told police the culprit was her boyfriend, Boykin.

Bailey told WFAA-TV in Dallas eight days after the attack that Boykin broke her jaw in two places and choked her until she passed out during a March 20 incident at her home in Mansfield. Boykin was released by the Seahawks in late March after Bailey went public with her account.

—Indianapolis Colts coach Frank Reich announced that five players, including left tackle Anthony Castonzo, have been ruled out of Sunday’s game against the Houston Texans.

Castonzo has been battling a hamstring injury since prior to the start of training camp. On Sunday, Le’Raven Clark is expected to replace Castonzo for a third straight week.

Additionally, tight end Jack Doyle (hip) and tackle/guard Joe Haeg (ankle) will not play. Missing from the Colts’ defensive lineup will be tackle Hassan Ridgeway (calf) and cornerback Quincy Wilson (concussion).

—Veteran Dallas Cowboys linebacker and co-captain Sean Lee was ruled out of Sunday’s home game against the Detroit Lions because of an injured hamstring.

In addition to Lee’s absence this weekend, the Dallas defense will be without defensive tackle Maliek Collins for the second consecutive week because of a knee injury.

—The San Fernando Valley home of Los Angeles Rams wide receiver Robert Woods was burglarized Thursday night while his team was playing the Minnesota Vikings.

An L.A. Police Department spokesperson said the LAPD responded to a call in Woodlands Hills at 7:20 p.m. PT on Thursday. Property was stolen and the suspects remain at large, according to police.

LAPD public information officer Jeff Lee said three suspects wearing hoodies broke a glass door while making their entrance into Woods’ residence. Woods made five catches for 101 yards and a touchdown as the Rams (4-0) stayed perfect by beating the Vikings 38-31 in the prime-time game at L.A. Memorial Coliseum.

—Eagles defensive end Chris Long is giving back in a big way again.

Long, who donated his entire 2017 regular-season salary to charity, pledged $400,000 of his $2.5 million salary for 2018 to literacy programs.

“Kids don’t have a choice. Kids don’t pick their parents, they don’t pick their economic background, they don’t pick the neighborhood they grew up in, they don’t pick any of the factors that can hold them back, they don’t pick their school system,” Long said. “So [investing in them], it just feels like you’re doing something productive. ... I just feel like this is something where you’re going to see results.”

—Field Level Media

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