Eagles

NFL Notes: Titans QB Marcus Mariota out for season with broken leg

NFL Notes: Titans QB Marcus Mariota out for season with broken leg

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- If the Tennessee Titans make the playoffs, they won't have quarterback Marcus Mariota.

Mariota broke his right leg in a 38-17 loss at Jacksonville on Saturday, a crushing setback for a team that had so many things go right while winning three in a row and seven of 10 previously.

"That breaks my heart, man," Titans offensive tackle Taylor Lewan said. "Love him. That guy's an awesome dude. For that to happen to him, it's unfair."

With the Titans (8-7) trailing 25-10 late in the third quarter, Mariota was carted off the field with an air cast on his fractured fibula. Rookie Sheldon Day sacked Mariota as he scrambled on first down and grabbed him around the lower legs. Mariota signaled to the sideline as he pounded the ground. Trainers rushed to his side, put on the air cast and lifted Mariota onto a cart. Teammates and even some Jaguars patted Mariota on the shoulders before he excited.

"We didn't protect him -- offensive line, running backs -- we didn't protect him all day," Titans running back DeMarco Murray said.

Mariota was hurried early and often, leading to errant throws all over the field. He completed 8 of 20 passes for 99 yards, with a touchdown and two sacks (see full story)

Raiders QB Carr breaks leg, out for season
Oakland Derek Carr will have surgery Sunday for a broken right fibula and is out indefinitely.

Raiders coach Jack Del Rio announced the severity of Carr's injury after Oakland beat Indianapolis 33-25 on Saturday.

Carr was taken off the sideline by art after being hurt in the fourth quarter. Carr was twisted to the ground by Indianapolis linebacker Trent Cole on a sack with the Raiders leading 33-14. Carr stayed on the ground for several minutes in pain as trainers came out to treat him.

With the crowd chanting "M-V-P! M-V-P!" Carr limped off the field without putting any pressure on his right leg. Trainers checked him on the sideline before a cart took Carr away.

The Raiders have clinched their first playoff berth since 2002 and can win the division and earn a first-round bye with another win or a Kansas City loss.

Carr is the second quarterback to break his right fibula Saturday. Titans quarterback Marcus Mariota broke his right leg earlier in a 38-17 loss to Jacksonville.

Eagles bring back special teams maven Bryan Braman

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USA Today Images

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."