Patriots

Sources: Georgia RB Gurley to visit Patriots

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Sources: Georgia RB Gurley to visit Patriots

There hasn't been a running back selected in the first round in either of the last two NFL Drafts, but that trend could very well end this year. 

A pair of running backs -- Georgia's Todd Gurley and Wisconsin's Melvin Gordon -- are projected by many to be selected on Day 1, and according to multiple sources, Gurley will visit the Patriots next week. 

When healthy, Gurley is a prototypical three-down back whose speed and power are well above average. He fights through contact to pick up extra yards, and he has dependable hands as a receiver out of the backfield. He also returned kicks in college, and in over 500 career touches he fumbled just three times.

Gurley tore his ACL in November, which prevented him from testing at the NFL Scouting Combine, but he was back in Indianapolis recently to have his knee re-checked by NFL clubs. 

It's possible that Gurley's injury prevents him from being taken in the first 31 selections of this year's draft. His upcoming visit will allow the Patriots -- who pick at No. 32 overall -- to do their due diligence and fill out their scouting report on one of the most intriguing players in this year's class.

For more on Gurley, here's our Road to the Draft profile.

Panthers owner Richardson selling NFL team

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Panthers owner Richardson selling NFL team

CHARLOTTE, N.C. - The Carolina Panthers have announced that owner Jerry Richardson is selling the NFL franchise amid an investigation by the league into allegations of sexual and racist misconduct by Richardson in the workplace.

The team announced on Twitter that Richardson is selling the team, linking to a five-paragraph letter by the franchise's only owner.

Richardson said in the open letter "I believe it is time to turn the franchise over to new ownership. Therefore, I will put the team up for sale at the conclusion of the NFL season."

The NFL awarded Richardson an expansion franchise in 1993 and he has been the team's only owner.

The letter did not directly address the investigation.

Jimmy Garoppolo leads 49ers to third straight win

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Jimmy Garoppolo leads 49ers to third straight win

SANTA CLARA, Calif. - Jimmy Garoppolo led one final scoring drive in the closing seconds to cap a fantastic first home start, Robbie Gould kicked a game-winning 45-yard field goal as time expired, and the San Francisco 49ers topped the Tennessee Titans 25-23 on Sunday.

Garoppolo threw for a career-high 381 yards and a touchdown during a dominant day to give the 49ers (4-10) a three-game winning streak in a lost season. And Tom Brady's former backup showed he could do it at home as well as on the road - and against a playoff contender, no less - outdueling Marcus Mariota down the stretch as the teams traded field goals.

Gould kicked three of his six field goals over the final nine minutes: 50, 48 and 45 yards and has now gone 20 consecutive without a miss.

Gould put the Niners out front on a 48-yarder with 3:08 remaining. Mariota then drove the Titans (8-6) to a lead as Ryan Succop kicked a 50-yard field goal with 1:07 to play, then Garoppolo and the San Francisco offense got one last shot.

It took three tries this season, and first-year coach Kyle Shanahan finally found his reliable, playmaking quarterback after acquiring Garoppolo from New England at the October trade deadline. Garoppolo showed that in 67 seconds when forced into late action in a loss to Seattle three weeks ago at Levi's Stadium, then in back-to-back road games before shining again Sunday.

Marquise Goodwin made 10 catches for 114 yards and Garoppolo completed 31 of 43 passes to go over 300 yards passing for the second straight game after last week's win at Houston.

Mariota put Tennessee ahead on an 8-yard touchdown pass to Rishard Matthews early in the fourth as the Titans rallied back from an early 13-point deficit.

The 49ers were in good position the ensuing possession before Garoppolo was sacked by Wesley Woodyard for a 10-yard loss. Then, Gould converted a 50-yarder.

Tennessee came out of intermission a new team, totaling 22 offensive plays to San Francisco's five in the third quarter.

Garoppolo became the first 49ers quarterback since the merger in 1970 to win each of his first three starts and just the second QB to do so in franchise history. Y.A. Tittle did so spanning the 1951-52 seasons.

He threw a 5-yard touchdown pass in the second quarter to tight end Garrett Celek - whose great play in recent weeks has earned the nickname of "Celek Time." Celek later had a 41-yard catch.

Garoppolo didn't even have Trent Brown to block for him after the right tackle went on injured reserve with a right shoulder injury that will require surgery. Mariota threw a 4-yard TD pass to former 49er Delanie Walker late in the first half to keep the Titans close.

Garoppolo was 5 of 6 passing on his opening possession as San Francisco mixed its play calls well to catch the stingy Titans defense off guard. Gould's 38-yarder capped the 12-play, 64-yard initial drive. Gould hit a 48-yarder late in the first and then kicked one from 28 yards just before halftime.

The Titans played a second straight road game against the NFC West after losing last week to the Cardinals and staying in Arizona for the week of practice.

Their first visit to Levi's Stadium - Tennessee last played the Niners on the road at Candlestick in November 2009 - began slowly, the team's second straight week playing a stadium for the initial time.

Mariota, in the midst of one of the worst stretches of his three-year career, threw for 241 yards completing 23 of 33 passes.

DEFENSIVE FLOP

Tennessee's typically tough defense was a far cry from that dominant unit in the first half.

Garoppolo threw for 189 yards and the Niners outgained the Titans 219-136 in the first half. The 49ers didn't punt until more than midway through the third quarter.

Last week, the Titans allowed only four field goals, the second time this season they'd done so. From Week 5, Tennessee had been allowing only 295.1 yards per game.

INJURIES

Titans: CB Logan Ryan sustained an ankle injury in the second quarter.

49ers: WR Aldrick Robinson suffered a concussion in the first quarter. He went to the locker room with head and wrist injuries after he was hit hard by Titans cornerback Adoree' Jackson along the Tennessee sideline. Robinson was stretching out trying to make a catch when he got slammed and went down for several minutes with 5:24 to go in the opening quarter.

UP NEXT

Titans: Host Rams next Sunday and home the final two weeks.

49ers: Host Jaguars next Sunday.