49ers

An update on Michael Vick -- Is he benched?

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An update on Michael Vick -- Is he benched?

From Comcast SportsNetMichael Vick remains the starting quarterback in Philadelphia, for now.Three people familiar with the decision told The Associated Press on Monday night that coach Andy Reid hasn't benched Vick.The people spoke on condition of anonymity because all announcements about the starting lineup come from Reid. The Eagles' headquarters was closed Monday due to Superstorm Sandy, and there was no media availability.Vick, the four-time Pro Bowl quarterback, has struggled this season and Philadelphia (3-4) has lost three straight games.Reid didn't endorse Vick after Sunday's 30-17 loss to Atlanta, saying he's going to evaluate all his starters. Vick then said he would support whatever decision Reid makes.That led to speculation Vick's days were numbered. But Reid is sticking with Vick over unproven rookie Nick Foles as of now.Reid has changed his mind on his starting quarterbacks in a 24-hour period before, reversing his call on Kevin Kolb and replacing him with Vick in 2010. It's unlikely he would do it again and give Foles his first NFL snap on the road in a Monday night game against New Orleans (2-5) next week.Foles, a third-round pick out of Arizona, had an outstanding preseason. However, he did so playing against backups, third-stringers and guys who didn't make a roster. Foles impressed coaches and teammates, and fans have been calling for him to start since Week 1.Vick wasn't the problem against the Falcons. The defense under new coordinator Todd Bowles allowed scores on the first six possessions, including touchdowns on the first three.As for the offense, injuries to All-Pro left tackle Jason Peters and center Jason Kelce have crippled the unit. Vick hasn't had much time to throw and gets hit often. Playcalling isn't helping, either. Reid and offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg have underused All-Pro running back LeSean McCoy in the past three losses.Vick led Philadelphia to comeback wins with go-ahead touchdowns on its final drive the first two games of the season. But he's been inconsistent and turnover-prone overall. Vick has just a 78.6 passer rating, his lowest since joining the Eagles. He's coming off a rare turnover-free performance after throwing eight interceptions and losing five fumbles in the first six games.Benching Vick and turning the offense over to Foles could be a way to shake things up. It also could be interpreted as giving up on the season.The Eagles still have time to turn things around and save Reid's job. He's already been told by owner Jeffrey Lurie that another 8-8 finish would be "unacceptable."

Trump blasts NFL for not demanding players stand during national anthem

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AP

Trump blasts NFL for not demanding players stand during national anthem

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump is again criticizing the NFL over players kneeling during the national anthem.

Trump said on Twitter Wednesday that the “NFL has decided that it will not force players to stand for the playing of our National Anthem.”

He adds: “Total disrespect for our great country!”

Trump appeared to be responding to the NFL annual fall meeting on Tuesday. The league invited players and representatives from their union to discuss social issues.

The topic of the national anthem was not discussed at length. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said owners did not ask players to commit to standing during the anthem.

Trump has suggested the owners should “fire” any players who knelt during “The Star-Spangled Banner.”

Ezekiel Elliott's suspension again on hold, now expected to play vs 49ers

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USATSI

Ezekiel Elliott's suspension again on hold, now expected to play vs 49ers

NEW YORK — Dallas Cowboys star Ezekiel Elliott was granted another legal reprieve Tuesday night in the running back's fight to avoid a six-game suspension over domestic violence allegations.

A New York federal judge issued a temporary restraining order blocking the league's suspension, clearing Elliott to play Sunday at San Francisco.

U.S. District Judge Paul Crotty's ruling came five days after a federal appeals court overturned a Texas court's injunction that had kept Elliott on the field.

Crotty granted the request for the restraining order pending a hearing before the presiding judge, Katherine Polk Failla, who is on vacation.

The NFL was ordered to appear before Failla on or before Oct. 30 to argue why the suspension should not be blocked by a preliminary injunction — the next step in the legal process — until the court can rule on challenges the players' union brought against the suspension.

"We are confident our arguments will prevail in court when they are taken up again later this month," NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy said.

Elliott, last year's NFL rushing leader as a rookie, was barred from the team's facility Tuesday as players returned from their off week. The NFL placed him on the suspended list Friday, a day after the league's favorable ruling from the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans.

The 22-year-old Elliott was suspended in August by Commissioner Roger Goodell after the league concluded following a yearlong investigation that he had several physical confrontations in the summer of 2016 with Tiffany Thompson, his girlfriend at the time.

Prosecutors in Columbus, Ohio, decided not to pursue the case in the city where Elliott starred for Ohio State, citing conflicting evidence, but the NFL did its own investigation. Elliott denied the allegations under oath during his NFL appeal.

The suspension's announcement in August led to weeks of court filings, with NFLPA lawyers contending that league investigators withheld key evidence from Goodell and that the appeal hearing was unfair because arbitrator Harold Henderson refused to call Goodell and Thompson as witnesses.

In an opinion accompanying the ruling, Crotty agreed with the Texas judge who had backed the claims of Elliott's attorneys. Crotty wrote that Henderson's denial of testimony from Goodell and Thompson was significant because of credibility issues related to Thompson.

"In effect, (Elliott) was deprived of opportunities to explore pertinent and material evidence, which raises sufficiently serious questions," Crotty wrote.

Attorney Daniel Nash, arguing for the NFL, accused Elliott's legal team of seeking relief from courts in Texas to evade courts in New York and the effect of the April 2016 ruling that reinstated a four-game suspension of New England quarterback Tom Brady in the "Deflategate" scandal.

Nash warned Crotty that allowing the union to continue to delay the suspension would invite "every player who's suspended" to go to court for relief.

"They know under the Brady decision they have no chance of success. None," Nash said.

Attorney Jeffrey Kessler, representing the players' union, said the harm to a player's short career was serious when a suspension is served.

"He can never get that back," Kessler said, arguing that the irreparable harm — among issues of law considered before a temporary restraining order is granted — faced by a player is much greater than harm claimed by the league when a suspension is delayed. In his opinion, Crotty agreed.

Nash suggested during the hearing that the union was overstating its claims of irreparable harm.

"In their view, an NFL player missing six games is the end of the world," he said.

Brady managed to delay his suspension for a year through the union's court challenges. He served it to start last season, when the Patriots went 3-1 without him and later won the Super Bowl.

Elliott's case shifted to New York after the appeals court ordered the Texas court to dismiss Elliott's lawsuit, which Judge Amos Mazzant did earlier Tuesday.

A three-judge panel of the New Orleans court ruled 2-1 last week that Elliott's attorneys filed the Texas lawsuit prematurely because Henderson had yet to decide on the running back's NFL appeal.

Elliott's legal team indicated it intended to pursue rehearing before a larger panel of the appeals court while also filing for the restraining order in the Southern District of New York.

The NFL filed in the New York court after Elliott's NFL appeal was denied because the league considers it the proper venue as the home of its headquarters and the site of the hearings before Henderson. It's also where the NFL won the Brady case in the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.