Eagles

NFL Notes: Steelers LB Ryan Shazier remains in hospital

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NFL Notes: Steelers LB Ryan Shazier remains in hospital

PITTSBURGH -- Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker Ryan Shazier will remain in a Cincinnati hospital until at least Wednesday to undergo further testing on a spinal injury suffered in the first quarter of Monday night's win over the Bengals.

Shazier left Paul Brown Stadium on a stretcher less than four minutes into his team's 23-20 victory over Cincinnati following a tackle that left the 25-year-old writhing on the turf, his legs motionless. He underwent extensive testing overnight, with the team saying Shazier's injury did not require surgery "at this time."

The Steelers had hoped Shazier would be able to return to Pittsburgh on Tuesday. The timetable has been pushed back at least 24 to 48 hours. He will remain at University of Cincinnati Medical Center under the care of neurosurgeons David Okonwko and Joseph Cheng. Shazier is expected to be transferred to a Pittsburgh hospital later in the week.

While the severity of the injury will remain unknown until the swelling subsides, the relentlessly upbeat Shazier offered a bit of hope Tuesday evening.

"Thank you for the prayers," Shazier tweeted . "Your support is uplifting to me and my family. (hash)SHALIEVE" (see full story).

Bengals: Fallout from Steelers-Bengals clash
CINCINNATI -- Two players carted off, two others suspended, many fines to follow. One of the NFL's nastiest rivalries set new lows in prime time, forcing fans to avert their eyes.

What's to be done about this long-running animosity between the Steelers (10-2) and Bengals (5-7)? Do the teams encourage the mayhem by downplaying it? Do the NFL and the networks promote it by showing it in prime time every season?

Those questions were raised in the aftermath of a game so brutal that it made viewers cringe. Pittsburgh rallied for a 23-20 victory at Paul Brown Stadium on Monday night, its sixth straight win over the Bengals.

What it'll be remembered for, though, is how it felt more like a street brawl at times. The NFL responded by suspending Steelers receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster and Bengals safety George Iloka for one game each on Tuesday, and fines for other players are expected later in the week.

"I'll acknowledge there were some unfortunate things in that game that we don't need in our game -- by both sides," Steelers coach Mike Tomlin said Tuesday.

Patriots: Gronkowski’s 1-game suspension upheld
BOSTON -- The NFL has denied Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski's appeal of a one-game suspension for a late, gratuitous hit to the head of Bills defensive back Tre'Davious White.

The league announced the decision of appeals officer Derrick Brooks on Tuesday.

White was face down on the sideline after intercepting a pass in Buffalo on Sunday when Gronkowski body-slammed him, driving his forearm into White's back and head. Gronkowski was called for unnecessary roughness, but not kicked out of the game. White went into the concussion protocol.

Gronkowski, who apologized for the hit , will serve his suspension against Miami next Monday night.

Giants: Reese thanks team for 23 years
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Former New York Giants general manager Jerry Reese says his 23 years with the NFL team were filled with great memories and he will always treasure his time with the organization.

A day after being fired along with coach Ben McAdoo with the team reeling with a 2-10 record, Reese released a short statement in which he thanked the Mara and Tisch families for putting their confidence in him. He also thanked McAdoo and predecessor Tom Coughlin for their time and commitment to the Giants.

He also expressed his thanks to the late George Young, the general manager who hired him, and to Ernie Accorsi, who replaced Young and groomed Reese in preparation for taking over the general manager's job before the 2007 season.

"Many thanks to the front office, personnel staff, support staff, scouts, coaches, and current and former players for your dedication to a first-class organization," Reese wrote in wrapping up his statement.

"My family, friends and many fans that have supported me, and I sincerely appreciate all of you. I am truly grateful and blessed for my time with the NYG. All the best to you. Go Giants."

During Reese's 11-year tenure as general manager, the Giants won Super Bowls after the 2007 and '11 seasons. Including this season, they have missed the playoffs in five of the past six seasons.

Eagles bring back special teams maven Bryan Braman

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Eagles bring back special teams maven Bryan Braman

The Eagles have brought back a former special teams ace for the stretch run. 

Special teamer Bryan Braman on Tuesday signed with the Eagles to rejoin Dave Fipp's special teams group.

Braman, 30, had been with the Eagles from 2014-16, when he was a major contributor for Fipp's top-end special teams unit. He can help fill the void left by the season-ending injury to Chris Maragos earlier in the season. 

During his three seasons with the Eagles, Braman led all Eagles with 1,214 special teams snaps. He played more special teams snaps than any other Eagle in each of the last two seasons. He played in all 48 games over those three seasons, but was mainly a special teams player. 

After officially placing quarterback Carson Wentz (ACL) on Injured Reserve Tuesday, the Eagles had one available roster spot. It looks like it will be filled by Braman. 

Braman was not resigned by the Eagles this past offseason. He spent some time in New Orleans but was placed on their IR and was then released. He hasn't been with a team since early September. 

Eagles' offense 'full steam ahead' with Nick Foles at QB

Eagles' offense 'full steam ahead' with Nick Foles at QB

Carson Wentz is out, Nick Foles is in. 

And the Eagles claim their offense isn't going to change. 

On it's face, that seems somewhat absurd. After all, Wentz is more than an average quarterback. He's the face of the Eagles' franchise and was an MVP candidate through 13 weeks. Foles was once a Pro Bowler, but there's a reason he wasn't a starter entering this season. 

So how will the offense look different? 

"I don't expect it will look different at all," Foles said adamantly.  

Why is that? 

"Because it's our offense," Foles answered. "This is the Eagles' offense. This is the one that is the DNA of this team. And we're going to do what we do. We have so many tremendous players on offense that can do a lot of different things. We just have to go out there and execute and have a great week of work and just keep moving." 

Offensive coordinator Frank Reich finally admitted that there will be "very minor tweaks" to the Eagles' weekly game plans with Foles in at quarterback. But he made the same point as Foles, that the system is built around the QB, but also around the other talent on offense. 

There is, however, one pretty significant difference between Wentz and Foles. 

"Now, Carson has some unique physical traits that he does exceptionally well, but it's nothing that Nick can't handle," Reich said. "We're full steam ahead."

The Eagles run plenty of run-pass option plays, but head coach Doug Pederson pointed out on Monday that the Eagles very rarely use their quarterback to run the ball in those situations. And as far as RPOs go, Foles has used them plenty before. 

Another part of the offense that has been tailored to Wentz is the autonomy the quarterback has at the line of scrimmage. Wentz has been able to make calls and checks pre-snap based on what the defense shows. It seems like Foles will have that same ability, which is something he's excited about. 

"Understand this, he's a veteran player who has played and won a lot of games, not only here, but other places that he's been," Pederson said. "Nick's a highly intelligent football player."

Pederson said he and Foles will talk weekly to make sure his quarterback is comfortable with the plays that go into the game plan. So, theoretically, things could be different. But based on what the offensive leaders of the team have said, don't expect wholesale changes. 

Now, what might change about the offense isn't necessarily by design. Because of Wentz's unique physical gifts and escapability, he's able to make incredible plays. The escape in Washington, the throw to Corey Clement in the end zone, the deep flick down the sideline in Seattle, those are plays only a handful of guys in the world can make. It would be unfair to expect Foles to make them. 

But as far as game-planning goes, the Eagles are going to do what they've done. 

"I feel comfortable in this offense," Foles said. "I love this offense. We're going to run this offense. Nothing's going to change."

Foles dealt with elbow soreness during the summer, but says his elbow now feels "amazing" and is not an issue. That's good news for the Eagles, because at least Foles has plenty of starting experience. His backup, Nate Sudfeld, has never even been active for an NFL game. 

The Eagles' hopes in 2017 rest on the shoulders of Foles. 

"I've always been a gunslinger, just let it rip," Foles said. "That's what I'm going to do. I'm going to play loose, count on the guys, lead this team. There's no other place I'd rather be. That's why I came back here. ... I'm ready to step up and help this team win."