The source of Washington cornerback Josh Norman’s benching at the start of the second half of the Redskins’ Monday night loss to New Orleans has reportedly been revealed, and it could be a sign of growing tension between the star player and the coaching staff.
Norman wasn’t benched for his play, but rather for refusing to take off his headphones as Washington coach Jay Gruden spoke to the team at halftime, according to Redskins pregame show host Kevin Sheehan, who discussed it on his podcast Friday.
“At halftime, according to my source, put his headphones on while the coaches were addressing the team. Jay Gruden told him to take them off. He either didn’t hear Jay or he ignored him, but with that, I was told, the headphones were removed. By whom? My source says that he believes it was Gruden who removed the headphones from Norman’s head. But regardless, Gruden benched him to start the third quarter, and that was the reason why,” Sheehan said, according to a Washington Post transcript.
Sheehan also said there seems to be some tension between Norman and several of the team’s coaches. Norman was benched for five plays and allowed two touchdowns on two targets, good for a 158.3 passer rating, per Pro Football Focus.
Norman also got into a short-lived Twitter beef with Saints No. 1 wide receiver Michael Thomas following the game, after Thomas caught four passes for 74 yards in the Saints’ lopsided 43-19 win. Thomas was fined $10,026 by the NFL on Saturday for his unsportsmanlike conduct during the game.
—Former Green Bay fullback Jim Taylor, a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame, died Saturday morning at age 83, the team announced.
Known for his bruising running style, he played in Green Bay from 1958-66 and exceeded 1,000 rushing yards each season from 1960-64. He ran for a league-high 1,474 yards in 1962 when the Packers won the NFL championship. The Associated Press named him the league MVP that season — before he ran for 85 yards in the title game, a bruising defensive battle against the New York Giants.
A contemporary of fellow Hall of Fame member Jim Brown, Taylor played second fiddle to the faster Brown. He took it personally and viewed each of the games between Brown’s Cleveland team and his Packers as a personal match. In their three head-to-head games, including the 1965 NFL Championship Game, the Packers won all three, with Taylor outgaining Brown in two of them.
Taylor led the Packers in rushing in seven seasons, and he started at fullback on six of Vince Lombardi’s seven NFL championship teams. He entered the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio in 1976 — the first member of Lombardi’s team to receive the honor.
—The Cleveland Browns will sign former Baltimore Ravens receiver Breshad Perriman to bolster a receiver corps with only four healthy players, according to multiple reports.
The Ravens drafted Perriman in the first round of the 2015 NFL Draft but released him in September. His career has been marred by injuries and dropped passes. Since entering the league, the 25-year-old Perriman has 43 catches for 576 yards and three touchdowns in 27 games. He never has gained more than 65 receiving yards in a game.
—The Green Bay Packers are listing starting wide receivers Randall Cobb and Geronimo Allison as questionable with hamstring injuries for Monday night’s game against the San Francisco 49ers.
Cobb has missed the previous two games, while Allison has sat out one game. Cobb has 17 receptions for 194 yards and one touchdown, and Allison has 19 catches for 289 yards and two scores. Both players were limited practice participants on Saturday for the third consecutive day.
The 49ers are hopeful that running back Matt Breida (shoulder, ankle) will be available. He returned to practice on Saturday in a limited role. He was listed as questionable, and his availability will be decided on Monday.
—Field Level Media