Eagles

NFL Notes: Colts rule QB Andrew Luck out for opener

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NFL Notes: Colts rule QB Andrew Luck out for opener

INDIANAPOLIS -- Andrew Luck will not play in Sunday's season opener against the Los Angeles Rams.

General manager Chris Ballard made the official announcement Monday.

Luck has not taken a snap or thrown a pass to a teammate since having January surgery to repair a partially torn labrum in his throwing shoulder.

Indy's franchise quarterback missed all of the team's offseason workouts, all of training camp and the preseason before he was activated from the physically unable to perform list Saturday. And it's no guarantee he'll be on the field later Monday when the Colts typically hold a light workout.

Scott Tolzien is likely to make his fourth NFL start, even after the Colts traded for Jacoby Brissett on Saturday (see full story).

Steelers: Bell returns after holdout
PITTSBURGH -- Pro Bowl running back Le'Veon Bell is officially back at work with the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Bell signed his franchise tender on Monday, clearing him to return for the 2017 season. The team placed the franchise tag on Bell in February. He declined to sign his one-year, $12.1 million tender while waiting to see if a long-term deal could be reached. When the Steelers and Bell did not come to an agreement by the mid-July deadline, Bell opted to skip training camp and work out on his own.

The Steelers were given a two-week roster exemption for Bell, meaning they can carry an additional player on the 53-man roster.

Bell worked out with the rest of the team Monday. His status for Pittsburgh's season opener in Cleveland is uncertain (see full story).

Dolphins: Hurrican Irma could move opener to Thursday, according to source
MIAMI -- A person familiar with the discussions says the NFL is considering moving the Miami Dolphins' season opener against Tampa Bay to another site or earlier this week because of Hurricane Irma.

The person confirmed the discussions to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity Monday because the league and teams aren't talking publicly about the options.

Switching the game to Thursday or Friday is being considered, the person said, because Irma could threaten South Florida over the weekend. The game is scheduled for 1 p.m. EDT Sunday in Miami.

Playing the game at another site Sunday is also being discussed, the person said.

The teams share the same bye week in November, but would prefer to avoid moving the game to that weekend (see full story).

Bills: Taylor uncertain for opener after concussion
ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. -- Buffalo Bills quarterback Tyrod Taylor is still recovering from a concussion and it's uncertain if he can play in the season opener against the New York Jets on Sunday.

Coach Sean McDermott says Taylor has shown signs of improvement but remains in concussion protocol.

Taylor has been out since he was injured during the second series of a 13-9 preseason loss at Baltimore on Aug. 26. He missed practice last week but attended Buffalo's preseason finale against Detroit on Thursday.

Rookie Nathan Peterman could start against the Jets. The fifth-round draft pick has jumped ahead of veteran T.J. Yates for the No. 2 spot.

The Bills signed quarterback Joe Webb for insurance, with Yates also recovering from a concussion. Webb has been in the NFL seven seasons. He spent the past three with Carolina, where he was also used extensively on special teams.

To make roster space, Buffalo released veteran safety Colt Anderson (see full story).

Chargers: Backup QB Clemens re-signs
COSTA MESA, Calif. -- The Los Angeles Chargers have re-signed backup quarterback Kellen Clemens.

The Chargers put linebacker Denzel Perryman on the reserve/injured list to make room on the 53-man roster Monday.

Clemens has been Philip Rivers' backup for the past three seasons. He threw just 10 passes during that three-year stretch in relief of Rivers, who hasn't missed a game in 11 consecutive seasons.

Clemens was waived by the Chargers last weekend during roster cutdowns. Los Angeles kept quarterback Cardale Jones, acquired early in training camp in a trade with Buffalo.

The 34-year-old Clemens spent five years with the New York Jets and three with the St. Louis Rams before joining the Chargers in 2014.

Eagles QB Carson Wentz favorite to win NFL MVP

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Eagles QB Carson Wentz favorite to win NFL MVP

Carson Wentz is in his second NFL season, but he could already be on his way to his first MVP award. 

At least, he's now the favorite. 

The Eagles' starting quarterback is now the favorite to win this year's NFL MVP award, according to Bovada. Wentz is just ahead of Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith. 

Here's the top five: 

1. Carson Wentz: +175
2. Alex Smith: +200
3. Tom Brady: +400
4. DeShaun Watson: +1,000
5. Russell Wilson: +1,200

Basically, this means that a $100 futures bet would win $175. Since Wentz pays out the least, he's the favorite. 

It's no surprise Wentz and Smith are atop this list. They have both led their teams to 5-1 records (tops in the NFL) through six games. 

Wentz has completed 60.9 percent of his passes for 1,584 yards, 13 touchdowns, three interceptions and a passer rating of 99.6. He's well on his way to becoming the first Eagles quarterback to throw for 4,000 yards in a season. 

The last (and only) Eagles player to win an MVP came during the 1960 championship season, when quarterback Norm Van Brocklin took the award. 

The last player to win the MVP award in his second NFL season was Kurt Warner in 1999. But Warner had a long road to get to the NFL and was 28 years old in 1999. Wentz is just 24. 

Vegas isn't alone with the Wentz hype. According to Dick's Sporting Goods, the Eagles' quarterback has the best-selling jersey of all NFL players. In another few months, those people might have the jersey of an MVP winner. 

Rob's Rants: Hey Philly, don't take the bait and feed the trolls

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Rob's Rants: Hey Philly, don't take the bait and feed the trolls

This week’s Rob’s Rants has a sole focus — or should I say a troll focus. It’s more of a public service announcement, if you will. I am imploring all Philadelphia sports fans: Don’t take the bait!

Trolling was around long before the advent of social media. Contrarians have been going against the grain and saying things they don’t even believe to invoke a reaction since the beginning of time. Or as far back as Jaromir Jagr’s rookie season. Same thing. 

Just six weeks into the NFL season, we’ve already heard from some of the usual suspects, who will go nameless in this post. I refuse to give them the attention and ratings they are so desperately begging for. You know who they are, I know who they are, don’t give them the satisfaction. Don’t continue to line their pockets. Don’t let yourself walk into their trap. A reply on Twitter or some other social platform, a tune in, a reaction, is a win for them.

So brace yourself for the inevitable national talking head contrarian with the hot take of, “Carson Wentz looks like a deer in headlights.” Or, “besides the Panthers, who have the Eagles played? Or, “they haven’t even won a playoff game since 2008 and the fans have them in the Super Bowl.”

The trolling won’t be reserved exclusively for Eagles fans either. Prepare yourselves, Sixers fans. As we embark on the start of the NBA season, the anti-process truthers are just lying in wait with pithy Joel Embiid barbs about minute restrictions or injuries or tanking. It’s only a matter of time before we get something like, “see what another year of tanking gets you? Markelle Fultz isn’t even good enough start.” It’s coming.

There’s a fine line between trolling and having a strong, thought-provoking, independent point of view. The goal of any good columnist, radio host, television host or analyst is to make you think or react. Whether you agree or disagree. But there is a cottage industry now of blowhards who don’t have an original, creative or sincere thought of their own. They are either told by a producer or boss or decide on their own to go after a city, player, or team ... one typically with a fan base that will be reactive. You don’t see a lot of shade thrown at the Atlanta Hawks. You know why? No one cares. Not even their fans. Say something about Carson Wentz or snowballs at Santa and loyal Philadelphia fans will go bonkers. Mission accomplished for the troll.

So revel in the Eagles' early season success. Be excited for the infusion of youth for the Flyers. And what could be if Embiid, Ben Simmons, Fultz and Dario Saric can actually stay on the court.

Soak it in. We appear to be exiting out of the dark days. Just be prepared for it and don’t allow yourself to be lured into the troll trap.