Davante Adams

Panthers star LB suspended 2 games for hit

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Panthers star LB suspended 2 games for hit

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Panthers linebacker Thomas Davis has been suspended for two games by the NFL following his helmet-to-helmet hit on Green Bay Packers wide receiver Davante Adams.

The league announced the decision Monday.

Adams left Sunday's 31-24 loss to Carolina in the third quarter with a concussion after being blindsided by Davis following a Carolina interception. Davis was penalized 15 yards, but not ejected.

Davis, the 2015 NFL Walter Payton Man of the Year, was visibly upset on the sideline after the play.

Adams, who has suffered two concussions this season, took to social media on Monday to criticize Davis, saying there is no room in the game for hits like that.

"We supposed to be in this together n look out for one another not mess with a mans livelihood and hand out unnecessary concussions," Adams said on Twitter. "We all got mouths to feed what if I did that to him and his kids can't eat."

Adams also Tweeted: "I'll never understand it. Game is already dangerous enough and we got Pro Bowl players out here head hunting and saying they "didn't mean to harm me"

Davis responded to Adams on Twitter, offering an apology.

"I understand your frustration and I do apologize for the hit! In no way was I trying to hurt you," Davis tweeted. "My first instinct was turn and make a block. In all sincerity I do apologize. I truly respect you as a player and I made a mistake!"

Davis has three days to appeal (see story).

Panthers: Becker promoted, to run day-to-day operations
The Panthers have announced Tina Becker has been promoted to Chief Operating Officer and been given full control of the day-to-day management of the organization.

The move comes after the NFL launched an investigation into alleged sexual and racist misconduct by longtime owner Jerry Richardson. The 81-year-old is stepping away from the daily operation of the team and will focus on the pending sale of the franchise.

"These have been some of the most difficult days of my 19 years with the Panthers, but I am lifted up by the strong resolve and the commitment our employees have shown to this organization," Becker said in a news release Monday. "Our team on the field is performing at a very high level, and I believe is bound for the Super Bowl.

"My immediate focus will be to ensure the corporate side of the organization performs at the same high level, while addressing the real concerns that have been raised in recent days."

Team president Danny Morrison had resigned earlier in the year, and there was no COO before, or after, his resignation (see full story).

Texans: O'Brien emphatically says he'll never resign
HOUSTON -- Coach Bill O'Brien was emphatic on Monday about his desire to remain with the Houston Texans, a day after the team dropped to 4-10 with an embarrassing 45-7 loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars.

"I will never quit as the head football coach of the Houston Texans," he said. "Ever."

O'Brien, who has one more season left on his contract, was asked if he had thought about resigning after the Texans complete what will be the first losing season in his time with the team.

"I'm not a quitter," he said. "I was raised in a family that believed in family, faith, education and never quit. So, I never will."

O'Brien's job security has become a topic of discussion in recent weeks as injuries and inconsistent quarterback play have led to four straight losses, one win in the last eight games. He spent a sizable chunk of his media availability Monday discussing his future, his relationship with general manager Rick Smith, and whether he would like to sign an extension to remain with the Texans (see full story).

Bengals: Lewis noncommittal about next year
CINCINNATI -- Marvin Lewis went to sit in his customary chair for his Monday media availability and discovered that it had been adjusted to a lower setting.

He laughed after discovering that his seat at the front of the room no longer fit.

The Bengals' coach will finish his 15th season in Cincinnati amid a full-blown discussion about whom the chair will fit in a few weeks. Lewis said Monday that he hasn't talked to owner Mike Brown about his contract, which ends after this season.

Although he emphatically denies a report that he's decided to leave, Lewis was noncommittal Monday about what happens next.

Asked if he wants to be back in Cincinnati next year, he replied by saying only, "I want to coach football." Asked again if he wants to coach in Cincinnati next year, he simply said, "Sure" (see full story).

NFL Notes: Cam Newton expresses regret after response to female reporter

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NFL Notes: Cam Newton expresses regret after response to female reporter

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Cam Newton has "expressed regret" for his response to a female reporter's question at a news conference Wednesday, a team spokesman said.

When Charlotte Observer reporter Jourdan Rodrigue asked Newton about wide receiver Devin Funchess' route running, the former league MVP smiled and said, "it's funny to hear a female talk about routes. It's funny."

After Newton's comments, the quarterback proceeded to answer Rodrigue's question.

Carolina spokesman Steven Drummond said in a statement to The Associated Press that Newton had a conversation with Rodrigue after the news conference ended and expressed regret for his remarks.

Rodrigue released a statement through The Charlotte Observer via email saying that Newton did not apologize when they spoke after the news conference.

She said she "was dismayed by his response, which not only belittled me but countless other women before me and beside me who work in similar jobs. I sought Mr. Newton out as he left the locker room a few minutes later. He did not apologize for his comments" (see full story).

Steelers: Brown apologizes for ‘all the noise’
PITTSBURGH -- Antonio Brown is nearly getting as much practice at saying "I'm sorry" as he is at catching touchdowns.

The Pittsburgh Steelers star wide receiver apologized via Twitter on Wednesday for his sideline outburst early in his team's victory in Baltimore last Sunday. Brown broke free on Pittsburgh's second possession and was wide open down the left sideline.

Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger didn't see Brown and instead threw the ball short. Brown briefly lost his cool afterward, taking out his frustration on a Gatorade cooler in the process.

"Apologize for all the noise and the distractions Steeler nation let's stay focus," the All-Pro posted.

Roethlisberger described Brown's actions as a "temper tantrum" during the quarterback's weekly radio show and coach Mike Tomlin encouraged Brown to be "professional," though it hardly seemed to create any sort of rift in the team's locker room (see full story).

Titans: Mariota’s status still unclear for game vs. Miami
NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Tennessee Titans coach Mike Mularkey says quarterback Marcus Mariota's status is still unclear for their upcoming matchup with the Miami Dolphins.

The Titans coach remains hopeful that Mariota will play despite a strained hamstring .

Mariota, who was hurt in last week's loss to Houston, was limited in practice, stretching and throwing passes during the open portion of the workouts on Wednesday. The quarterback did not speak with the media after practice.

"We didn't ask him to do very much, we were smart with him," Mularkey said. "We did what we thought he could do, and that wasn't very much, but enough. We're going to be smart with him; positive for what he had to do."

Mularkey says he would be comfortable playing the quarterback Sunday even without a full practice (see full story).

Colts: Luck faces limitations after returning to practice
INDIANAPOLIS -- Andrew Luck put on his familiar red No. 12 jersey, trotted onto the practice field and got back into his normal Wednesday routine.

A little stretching, a little footwork, even a little throwing.

Even he figured it's about time.

After missing all of the Indianapolis Colts' offseason workouts, all of training camp, all of the preseason and Indy's first four regular-season games, the Colts' quarterback made his long-awaited appearance on the practice field.

"It was fun to be back on the field and put on a jersey and a helmet and get to go out there and throw a couple passes with the guys," Luck said in his first comments since July 29 (see full story).

Packers: Adams back at practice after taking bit hit
GREEN BAY, Wis. -- Receiver Davante Adams was back on his feet, in uniform, bouncing around the practice field and joking with teammates.

It was a welcome sight for the Green Bay Packers.

Adams returned to practice Wednesday after absorbing a helmet-to-helmet hit from Chicago Bears linebacker Danny Trevathan that led to the receiver being carted off the field on a stretcher.

Adams was taken to a hospital for evaluation after being knocked out of the game on Sept. 28 and was released the next day. Adams is in the concussion protocol, though his return to practice on a limited basis is a good sign.

"I'm just glad to see him walking again, more importantly," receiver Randall Cobb said. "When I went to the hospital and saw him the other night he was back to his normal self, joking around, trying to break out of the hospital. I'm just glad to see him in good health" (see full story).