Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes and Los Angeles Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald headline the 2018 NFL All-Pro team announced Friday.
Mahomes entered the season as a first-time starter and helped Kansas City secure the No. 1 spot in the AFC playoffs with 5,097 yards and 50 touchdown passes, joining Peyton Manning as the second player ever with more than 5,000 passing yards and 50 scoring passes in the same season.
Donald was the only unanimous selection by the 50-member Associated Press panel. The fifth-year pro had an NFL-high 20.5 sacks after signing the largest contract in NFL history for a defensive player.
Four rookies — including Indianapolis Colts teammates in guard Quenton Nelson and linebacker Darius Leonard — were first-team All-Pro picks. Chargers safety Derwin James and Seattle Seahawks punter Michael Dickson are the others.
—The Washington Redskins reportedly informed head coach Jay Gruden that he will be back for the 2019 season, according to NBC Sports Washington.
The news comes on the heels of the Redskins’ season falling apart, as they finished 7-9 after a 6-3 start that saw them in first place in mid-November. Gruden, who is 35-44-1 in his five seasons in Washington, has no career playoff wins.
Speculation about Gruden lingered past Black Monday, considering the history of notoriously impatient owner Daniel Snyder. Gruden may have been spared because of the avalanche of injuries that rocked the team, including losing their top two quarterbacks Alex Smith and Colt McCoy to season-ending injuries.
—Los Angeles Chargers running back Melvin Gordon is a full-go for Sunday’s AFC wild-card game against the host Baltimore Ravens after going through three full practice sessions without a setback.
Gordon (885 rushing yards, 10 rushing TD) injured an ankle in last Sunday’s game against the Denver Broncos but officially was cleared and taken off the team’s injury report. Backup running back Austin Ekeler (groin) is listed as questionable after being a limited practice participant on Friday.
The Chargers still are pondering whether to activate tight end Hunter Henry, who missed the entire regular season after tearing the ACL in his right knee in May.
—Chicago Bears standout safety Eddie Jackson is a game-time decision for Sunday’s playoff game against the Philadelphia Eagles, coach Matt Nagy told reporters.
Jackson missed the final two games of the regular season with an ankle injury. The Bears listed him as questionable on Friday’s injury report after he was a limited practice participant for the second straight day.
Jackson, who was named a first-team All-Pro, ranked fourth in the NFL with six interceptions in 14 games. He returned two of the picks for scores. Deon Bush would start again if Jackson can’t play.
—Pittsburgh Steelers outside linebackers coach Joey Porter was fired.
Head coach Mike Tomlin said Wednesday he was reassessing “anything and everything,” a direct byproduct of missing the playoffs in 2018, including his coaching staff.
Porter, 41, was a third-round pick of the franchise in 1999. He was a four-time All-Pro and played 13 seasons (1999-2011) with Pittsburgh, Miami and Arizona. Tomlin hired Porter as a defensive assistant in 2014.
—Field Level Media