Eagles

NFL Notes: Another hearing set over Ezekiel Elliott's suspension

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NFL Notes: Another hearing set over Ezekiel Elliott's suspension

NEW YORK -- A federal appeals court has set a Thursday hearing as attorneys for Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott seek a longer-lasting injunction to stop his six-game suspension over domestic violence allegations.

The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Friday issued an emergency stay of the NFL's punishment, the third legal reprieve for Elliott. It cleared last year's league rushing leader to play in Sunday's game against Kansas City. Elliott scored the go-ahead touchdown in the Cowboy's 28-17 win over the Chiefs.

It is possible, if not likely, that the three-judge panel in New York will rule as early as Thursday, after oral arguments, on whether Elliott can play Sunday at Atlanta.

None of the judges assigned to Elliott's case presided over the NFL's winning appeal in Patriots quarterback Tom Brady's four-game suspension in the Deflategate case.

Elliott's suspension has been weaving through the courts since he was ordered in August to serve the ban for violating the league's personal conduct policy.

Texans: O'Brien says team has discussed signing Kaepernick
HOUSTON -- Houston Texans coach Bill O'Brien says he and general manager Rick Smith have discussed signing Colin Kaepernick in the wake of last week's season-ending injury to Deshaun Watson.

When asked about Kaepernick on Monday, a day after Tom Savage struggled in a loss to the Colts, O'Brien said: "We talk about the roster and what's out there every day Rick and I."

When pressed on whether they have specifically discussed adding Kaepernick he said: "Oh yeah, everybody gets discussed."

Kaepernick, the former 49ers quarterback, began the national anthem protest movement by kneeling last season. He remains unsigned and has filed a complaint that team owners colluded against him because of the protests, which are aimed at police brutality against African-Americans and other social justice issues.

The Texans have not been very active in anthem protests, but the majority of the team kneeled during the anthem before a game on Oct. 29 at Seattle after a report revealed that team owner Bob McNair said, "We can't have the inmates running the prison," during a meeting of NFL owners about players who protest by kneeling. No member of the team kneeled this week before Houston's annual salute to service game to honor members of the military (see full story).

Jets: Jeremy Kerley suspended 4 games for PED violation
NEW YORK -- New York Jets wide receiver-punt returner Jeremy Kerley has been suspended four games without pay by the NFL for violating the league's policy on performance enhancing substances.

The NFL says in a statement Monday that Kerley's suspension begins immediately. He will be eligible to return to the Jets' active roster on Dec. 11, the day after New York plays at Denver. The next game in which Kerley will be able to play will be at New Orleans on Dec. 17.

In a statement released by his representatives, Kerley says he was "shocked" to test positive for Turinabol. He adds that he has never used steroids and fully intends to investigate what caused the positive test.

Kerley, who has 22 catches for 217 yards and a touchdown, says he has always been and will continue to be "a clean player."

Buccaneers: Mike Evans suspended 1 game
TAMPA, Fla. -- The NFL suspended Tampa Bay receiver Mike Evans for one game Monday for unsportsmanlike conduct and unnecessary roughness in the Buccaneers' loss at New Orleans.

Evans ran up from behind and knocked over Saints rookie cornerback Marshon Lattimore after a confrontation between Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston, who was on the sideline because of a sore shoulder, and Lattimore.

"During the third quarter, after a play had ended, you struck an unsuspecting opponent in the back, knocking him to the ground," Jon Runyan, the league's vice president of football operations, wrote to Evans. "Your conduct clearly did not reflect the high standards of sportsmanship expected of a professional."

Evans was penalized but not ejected from the Saints' 30-10 victory. He will miss the Bucs' home game against the Jets on Sunday and can return to the active roster next Monday. But he can appeal the suspension within three days.

Eagles Stay or Go — A few easy choices for once

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Eagles Stay or Go — A few easy choices for once

Reuben Frank and Dave Zangaro continue our series examining the future of the world champion Eagles.

Mack Hollins
Roob: Hollins wasn't really a factor later in the season, once Torrey Smith got going, but he did show early in the year what kind of player he can be, notably with that 64-yard TD catch in the second Redskins game. Depending on what the Eagles do about Smith, Hollins should be either the Eagles' third or fourth receiver this fall. Either way, he'll be here, and I expect him to make a big jump in Year 2.

Verdict: STAYS

Dave: Hollins caught just 16 passes as a rookie and it seemed like he just never started producing the way he seems capable of. Even when Smith struggled, Hollins got more playing time and didn't produce. The good news is he's still young and plays a role on special teams. The Eagles will probably bolster their receiving corps in some way, but if they don't, Hollins will have a shot at starting if Smith is gone next season. 

Verdict: STAYS

Alshon Jeffery
Roob: Jeffery really played better than his stats this year. He made every big catch, caught every big third-down pass, made huge plays in the end zone. Jeffery was a star receiver without a star receiver's stats. His unselfish attitude carried over to the rest of the receivers and throughout the roster. And he did it all with a rotator cuff injury that required post-season surgery. Can't wait to see what Alshon can do healthy.

Verdict: STAYS

Dave: Jeffery didn't put up eye-popping numbers during the regular season, but if you needed any proof he's a No. 1 receiver, go back and watch Super Bowl LII, when he made that ridiculous catch in the end zone for a huge touchdown. The good thing about Jeffery is he really doesn't care at all about his numbers. There are a lot of diva receivers in the NFL, but Jeffery clearly isn't one of them. All he cared about last year was hoisting the Lombardi Trophy and he certainly helped get the Eagles there. 

Verdict: STAYS

Malcolm Jenkins
Roob: Jenkins has so many roles on and off the field — community activist, NFLPA organizer, locker room leader — it's easy to forget just how good a player he is. Jenkins has been here four years and has had four very solid, very consistent, very productive seasons. He made his second Pro Bowl this year and joined Bill Bradley (3) and Dawk (7) as only the third Eagles safety since 1960 to make multiple Pro Bowls. Jenkins is signed to a cap-friendly deal through 2020 and should be an Eagle for many years to come.

Verdict: STAYS

Dave: As important as Jenkins is to the Eagles as a safety and defensive back, you could make a legitimate argument that he's even more important to the team as a leader and man. There's a reason he became the guy to follow up Doug Pederson's postgame speeches. He isn't just the leader of the defense; he's the leader of the entire team. And on the field, he's still playing at a really high, Pro Bowl caliber level. He's 30 now but is still signed through 2020 and maybe outside of Fletcher Cox is the Eagles' most important defensive player. 

Verdict: STAYS

Eagles Stay or Go — 2 young linebackers

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Eagles Stay or Go — 2 young linebackers

Reuben Frank and Dave Zangaro continue our series examining the future of the world champion Eagles.

Darrell Greene
Roob: The Hall of Fame cornerback is now 58 years old and 21 years removed from his last Pro Bowl season with the Redskins. Oh wait … wrong Darrell Green. This is Darrell GREENE, and he's a 6-foot-3, 320-pound guard out of San Diego State who's been on the Eagles' practice squad most of the last two years. The Eagles liked Greene enough to keep him around the last couple years, and unless they see something in Chance Warmack that I missed, Greene has a chance to stick around as a young O-line prospect.

Verdict: STAYS

Dave: Greene has been around now for the last two seasons. He was without a team for most of 2017; the Eagles didn't bring him back to the practice squad until December. The offensive guard had some real potential coming out of San Diego State, and the Eagles paid him a lot of guaranteed money to sign as an undrafted free agent before 2016. But he's never really impressed them enough to stick around for good. 

Verdict: GOES

Jordan Hicks
Roob: With Hicks, it's always about durability, not ability. Hicks has played more than half a season only once in his three NFL seasons, and since he's under contract for 2018 with a modest $2.068 million cap figure, he's obviously not going anywhere. The question is what the Eagles do with him after 2018 when he's due to become a free agent. Hicks can play. We all know that. He needs to prove this year that he can stay healthy in order to get a big-money deal a year from now.

Verdict: STAYS

Dave: Losing Hicks was a problem in 2017 and his absence started showing up late in the season. He's a big-time playmaker. It's a shame he got hurt last year because if he didn't, he'd be in line for a payday. For now, he'll be back in the final year of his four-year rookie contract until he can prove he's the same player he was pre-injury. 

Verdict: STAYS

Kamu Grugier-Hill
Roob: Grugier-Hill must be Howie Roseman's dream. He's signed at the minimum through 2019 but is an awfully valuable member of the roster — a reserve linebacker and emergency kicker and maybe the team's best special teamer. Kamu's not going anywhere.

Verdict: STAYS

Dave: He really doesn't play at all as a linebacker, but Grugier-Hill has become one of the best special teams players in the NFL and had a real chance to be named a Pro Bowler in 2017. He led the team in special teams tackles with 19 last season. He's still young, cheap and is a big part of Dave Fipp's group. 

Verdict: STAYS