Baltimore Ravens

Ex-Eagles RBs ailing for wild-card weekend

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Ex-Eagles RBs ailing for wild-card weekend

ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. -- Buffalo Bills running back LeSean McCoy says he's making progress with his right ankle injury but his status is uncertain for Sunday's AFC wild-card playoff game against the Jacksonville Jaguars.

McCoy spoke to the media on Thursday for the first time since suffering the injury in Sunday's 22-16 win over the Miami Dolphins. He has yet to practice this week, but did participate in stretches Thursday before leaving the field with a trainer.

"I'm definitely happy with how things are working out so far, but there is a lot more room for improvement, especially with where I want to be," McCoy said. "I know my body, I know myself, especially the way I play is more cutting and running.

"It's been feeling a lot better. I'm out of the boot and I can walk around without any pain. So that's a plus."

McCoy has been Buffalo's most explosive and most consistent playmaker, finishing the year with 1,138 rushing yards and six touchdowns. His absence would leave a hole in Buffalo's offensive attack; the Bills finished the regular season with the 31st-ranked passing attack in the league.

"I just want to be able to cut well enough where I don't have a lot of pain when I'm cutting," McCoy said. "I just want to be close or the best as far as 100 percent as I can get. But the type of game like this, you've got to lay it all on the line. If I can't get 100 percent, as long as I'm out there and I can run effective enough I'll do it. So we'll just see" (see full story).

Titans: Murray out, Spain questionable
NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Tennessee running back DeMarco Murray will miss his second straight game with the Titans ruling him out against the Kansas City Chiefs in their AFC wild-card game Saturday.

Coach Mike Mularkey had refused to rule the veteran running back out until Thursday.

Murray hurt his right knee late in a loss Dec. 24 to the Los Angeles Rams and has not practiced since. Murray finished the season with a career-worst 659 yards rushing, but he ran for six touchdowns. He also caught 39 passes for 266 yards with another TD.

Mularkey says starting left guard Quinton Spain is questionable for the Titans (9-7) against the Chiefs (10-6) because of his back.

Both tight end Jonnu Smith and cornerback Kalan Reed were cleared from the concussion protocol.

Steelers: Haley says bar incident ‘non-issue’
PITTSBURGH  -- Pittsburgh Steelers offensive coordinator Todd Haley says the team told him an incident at a restaurant last weekend near Heinz Field is a "non-issue."

Haley's wife Christine was involved in what Pittsburgh police described as a minor altercation at Tequila Cowboy on Sunday night a few hours after the Steelers wrapped up the regular season with a victory over the Cleveland Browns. Haley himself was not involved in the incident, though he did sustain a minor injury at some point during the night.

Haley said Thursday the situation was "not of my doing," adding the team has assured him it is not concerned about it going forward. No charges were filed.

Haley says his "sole focus" is on the AFC North champions preparing for the playoffs. Pittsburgh will play a to-be-determined opponent in the divisional round on Jan. 14.

Ravens: Harbaugh retains coaches
OWINGS MILLS, Md. -- Forced to assess the 2017 season far sooner than anticipated, Ravens coach John Harbaugh acknowledged changes must be made for Baltimore to snap its three-year run missing the playoffs.

He will not, however, shuffle the coaching staff.

Harbaugh will fill the void left by the retirement of defensive coordinator Dean Pees, but said Thursday he will bring back offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg and attempt to keep the rest of the staff intact unless "guys get opportunities to go somewhere and do some different things."

Pees announced his retirement Monday, less than 24 hours after the Ravens (9-7) were bounced from the playoff chase with a 31-27 loss to Cincinnati.

The in-house contender for the coordinator job is Ravens linebackers coach Don Martindale. Chuck Pagano, fired as head coach of the Indianapolis Colts on Monday and Baltimore's defensive coordinator in 2011, is also among those being considered.

Asked to describe what he's looking for from Pees' successor, Harbaugh replied: "Definitely continuity. I'm a believer in this system. I think this system has been something that's been developed over a long period of time, and we have worked really hard every single year to make it better. We've evolved it and grown it, and I think you see the results" (see full story).

Ravens overcome vicious hit on Joe Flacco to destroy Dolphins

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Ravens overcome vicious hit on Joe Flacco to destroy Dolphins

BOX SCORE

BALTIMORE -- Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco was dazed and bleeding as he was helped off the field.

Diagnosed with a concussion after absorbing a late hit by Miami linebacker Kiko Alonso late in the second quarter, Flacco was taken to the locker room and did not return.

Fortunately for the Ravens, they didn't need him in a 40-0 rout of the Dolphins on Thursday night.

Alex Collins ran for a career-high 113 yards, and Baltimore (4-4) returned two interceptions for touchdowns in the most lopsided shutout in franchise history.

In the midst of one of his best performances of the season, Flacco was hit high by Alonso while sliding at the end of an impromptu run. Flacco's helmet flew off his head, and the 10-year quarterback appeared wobbly as he struggled to his feet.

Alonso was flagged for unnecessary roughness, providing Baltimore with a first down that ultimately turned into a touchdown.

Flacco was initially placed in concussion protocol, and by halftime was ruled out.

"Joe had a concussion and a cut ear," coach John Harbaugh said. "They were stitching it up without any anesthesia, so he's a tough dude. That's as much as I know."

Flacco went 10 for 15 for 101 yards, including a 34-yard touchdown pass to Jeremy Maclin.

After losing four of five to fall under .500 for the first time this season, the Ravens put it all together with a showing that included a 63-yard interception return by C.J. Mosley and a 50-yard pick-six by Jimmy Smith.

"We coached a lot better, obviously. And we played a lot better," Harbaugh said. "It was just a much better game for us."

The Dolphins (4-3) came in with a three-game winning streak after rallying from 17- and 14-point deficits in the previous two weeks. There would be no comeback in this one, not against a swarming Baltimore defense that limited Miami to 196 yards.

Matt Moore was making his first start of the season, for an injured Jay Cutler. Four days earlier, Moore engineered a victory over the Jets after Cutler left with fractured ribs.

In this one, Moore completed 25 of 44 passes for 176 yards. He was sacked three times, and both his interceptions turned into scores for Baltimore.

"This is tough. These are hard ones," Moore said. "You don't ever go into a week preparing and expect it to turn out like this. I don't know what to say right now. It's just tough, tough. We got to figure some stuff out. I got to figure some stuff out."

Moore received little backing from the running game, which generated only 45 yards against the 32nd-ranked rushing defense in the NFL.

"It was inept. We're not doing anything," Miami coach Adam Gase said.

Baltimore went up 7-0 when Maclin slipped behind Bobby McCain and Nate Allen to haul in Flacco's perfect pass on the right sideline.

Justin Tucker added field goals of 55 and 48 yards in the second quarter. After Cody Parkey missed from 50 yards for the Dolphins -- his first misfire in nine tries this season -- Flacco began the drive that would end in the end zone without him.

The late hit by Alonso gave Baltimore a first down at the Miami 5. Three plays later, Ryan Mallett threw a 2-yard TD pass to Benjamin Watson.

Mosley iced it with 14:15 left when he snared a poor throw by Moore near the line of scrimmage and turned it into his first career interception return for a touchdown.

As the Ravens were closing in on another score, a few players exchanged shoves and punches before Chris Moore pounced on a fumble in the end zone.

Overseeing an offense focused on protecting a sizable lead, Mallett went 3 for 7 for 20 yards.

Cat nap
A cat ran onto the field in the fourth quarter, providing some amusement after the game had lost all suspense.

The feline reached the Miami sideline and skipped around a bit before running out of sight.

Injuries
Dolphins: Allen hurt his calf in the second quarter and did not return.

Ravens: TE Vince Mayle was placed in concussion protocol in the second quarter. ... LT Ronnie Stanley hurt his shoulder in the third quarter but returned to action.

Up next
Dolphins: Miami plays the second of three straight night games, this one at home against Oakland on Nov. 5.

Ravens: Baltimore faces Tennessee on the road on Nov. 5, the first meeting between the teams since 2014.

NFL Notes: Odell Beckham Jr. (ankle) dealing with 3-4 week injury

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NFL Notes: Odell Beckham Jr. (ankle) dealing with 3-4 week injury

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- New York Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. has practiced on a limited basis for the first time since spraining his left ankle more than three weeks ago.

The three-time Pro Bowler took two steps in his recovery on Thursday. He took part in some individualized drills and followed that by participating in some team drills in preparation for Monday night's home opener against the Detroit Lions.

Beckham believes he is making progress, but he said his injury has a recovery time that could last two months, or even longer. He is pushing to get back on the field as soon as possible. He moved better than he did last week.

Beckham had not practiced since spraining his ankle in a preseason game on Aug. 21. He started stretching with his teammates during warmups last week, and took the next step on Thursday.

The three-time Pro Bowler was inactive for the Giants' 19-3 loss to the Cowboys on Sunday night, a game in which the offense was limited to 233 yards.

Ravens: Place RB Danny Woodhead on IR
OWINGS MILLS, Md. -- The Ravens placed running back Danny Woodhead on injured reserve with a hamstring injury Thursday.

Woodhead injured his left leg in the first quarter of the season opener and did not return. He missed part of training camp with a hamstring injury to the same leg.

Coach John Harbaugh said Wednesday that the 32-year-old would miss "multiple weeks" and would be a candidate to return later in the season. He would be eligible to play again as soon as Week 11.

Woodhead signed a three-year contract with Baltimore in March after playing for the New York Jets, New England and San Diego. He played in only two games for the Chargers last season before suffering a season-ending knee injury.

The Ravens promoted running back Jeremy Langford from the practice squad to replace Woodhead on the active roster.

Patriots: Concussions "come with the physical nature of the game," says Brady
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady says in a television interview that he doesn't worry about concussions and considers them part of playing football.

In an interview with CBS Sunday Morning, Brady says: "I'm not oblivious to them. I mean, I understand the risks that, you know, come with the physical nature of our game."

Brady's wife, supermodel Gisele Bundchen, had said in an interview with the show in May that the quarterback has had concussions that weren't reported. Brady denied it, and a joint NFL and players union investigation found no evidence that the team failed to follow the league's policies.

The interview with Brady is scheduled to be broadcast this Sunday.