e.j. manuel

NFL Notes: Raiders counting on E.J. Manuel with Derek Carr out

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NFL Notes: Raiders counting on E.J. Manuel with Derek Carr out

ALAMEDA, Calif. -- The Oakland Raiders' season was derailed last year as soon as star quarterback Derek Carr went down with a broken leg in the second-to-last game of the regular season.

The Raiders' ability to survive with E.J. Manuel under center instead of Carr this year will determine whether they will still be in playoff contention after he returns from a back injury that could sideline him between two and six weeks.

One big difference is the Raiders have a more capable backup in Manuel this season after Matt McGloin and Connor Cook were unable to get anything going in a regular-season loss last year at Denver that cost Oakland the division title and then a playoff loss in Houston.

Manuel, a first-round pick by Buffalo in 2013, comes in with more talent and experience than those two and showed signs in the second half of last week's 16-10 loss at Denver that he might be able to move the offense when the Raiders (2-2) host Baltimore on Sunday in the first of three straight home games.

"E.J. is a star in this league," receiver Cordarrelle Patterson said Tuesday. "He's played for a long time and got drafted high in the first round for a reason. We all know what E.J. can do. We're not impressed with the things he did on Sunday. We've seen that each and every day in practice. When the time comes, we know he's ready with all the work he's put in and the extra time. That's what quarterbacks do" (see full story).

Steelers: Team wants Brown to quiet sideline antics
PITTSBURGH -- Mike Tomlin understands Antonio Brown's competitiveness is what helps make Brown one of the best wide receivers in the NFL.

The Pittsburgh Steelers coach just wishes his star would do a better job of channeling it properly when things don't go Brown's way.

Tomlin mildly chastised Brown for a brief sideline eruption during last Sunday's 26-9 victory over Baltimore.

Brown took his frustrations out on a water cooler after quarterback Ben Roethlisberger failed to see Brown running free down the sideline in the second quarter. Roethlisberger instead threw an incomplete pass intended for Le'Veon Bell.

Tomlin didn't see Brown's initial outburst and while he gets Brown's anger, he'd prefer Brown find more productive ways to work through it.

"AB is a competitor," Tomlin said Tuesday. "He has to control it. If he doesn't it can work against him and it can work against us. .. It doesn't need to happen. It shouldn't happen" (see full story).

Bears: Trevathan suspension reduced to 1 game
LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- The NFL has reduced Chicago Bears linebacker Danny Trevathan's suspension for a helmet-to-helmet hit on Green Bay Packers receiver Davante Adams from two games to one.

The league announced the change on Tuesday.

Adams was taken off the field on a stretcher in the third quarter Thursday night after getting hit in the head during a tackle by Trevathan. The game was delayed for about 5 minutes while medical personnel tended to Adams. He tweeted Friday that he was at home and "feeling great."

Trevathan was called for an unnecessary roughness penalty following Adams' 8-yard catch but was not ejected. He is eligible to return following Chicago's game against the Minnesota Vikings on Monday night.

Titans: Weeden signed with Mariota ailing
NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- The Tennessee Titans are adding Brandon Weeden to the roster as a third quarterback with Marcus Mariota recovering from a strained hamstring.

The Titans announced the move Tuesday. Coach Mike Mularkey says Mariota is day to day after hurting his hamstring in a 57-14 loss to the Texans.

Matt Cassel is Mariota's backup, and now the Titans (2-2) have someone in Weeden who has started 25 of his 34 NFL games. The 22nd pick overall in 2012, Weeden has started for Cleveland, Dallas and Houston; the Texans released him Sept. 2 in their final cuts. The 6-foot-3 Weeden has thrown for 6,452 yards with 31 touchdowns and 30 interceptions.

The Titans, who visit Miami (1-2) on Sunday, also waived linebacker Josh Carraway and swapped wide receiver C.J. Board onto the practice squad with cornerback Kenneth Durden released.

NFL Notes: Steve Smith likely to retire after Sunday's game

NFL Notes: Steve Smith likely to retire after Sunday's game

OWINGS MILLS, Md. — Steve Smith talks like a man ready to play his final game, though the Baltimore Ravens receiver has not completely closed the door on returning for a 17th NFL season.

The 37-year-old Smith will play in his 219th regular-season game Sunday at Cincinnati. He strongly indicated Wednesday that it will mark the end of a record-breaking career.

He said he's "trying to get to Sunday without crying like a little kid."

But Smith didn't formally announce his retirement. Regarding the season finale Sunday, he said, "For 2016-17 and beyond, it's probably my last game."

Smith broke into the league in 2001 with Carolina and played with the Panthers for 13 seasons before coming to Baltimore in 2014. He announced his retirement before the start of the 2015 season, but after he tore his Achilles tendon in Week 7 decided to return for at least one more year.

Smith ranks seventh in NFL history with 14,697 yards receiving and ranks 12th with 1,028 receptions.

Buccaneers: Martin suspended for PEDs
TAMPA, Fla. -- Tampa Bay running back Doug Martin has been suspended four games for violating the NFL's policy on performance enhancing substances and said Wednesday he's entering a treatment facility rather than appeal the ban.

The two-time Pro Bowl selection who was the league's second-leading rusher in 2015 will miss Sunday's regular-season finale against Carolina.

He also sat out last week's 31-24 loss at New Orleans after being declared inactive against the Saints.

Martin said in a statement that he learned of the suspension last week and that his "initial instinct" was to "appeal the suspension and finish the season with my teammates."

The fifth-year pro said he decided to enter a treatment facility "and receive the help I truly need" after discussing the matter with people close to him, including Bucs coach Dirk Koetter.

Martin rushed for 1,402 yards and eight touchdowns in 2015. He signed a five-year, $37.75 million contract in the offseason.

Bengals: A.J. Green out Week 17
CINCINNATI — Receiver A.J. Green won't play in the Bengals' final game on Sunday against the Baltimore Ravens, leaving him shy of an NFL record.

Green severely strained his right hamstring on the first pass thrown his way during a loss to Buffalo on Nov 20.

He returned to practice a few weeks ago and expected to play Saturday night in Houston, but was held out after a scan of the leg found the injury hasn't fully healed.

Coach Marvin Lewis said on Wednesday that Green is done for the season. He finished with 66 catches for 964 yards, leaving him 36 yards shy of joining Randy Moss as the only NFL players to top 1,000 yards receiving in each of their first six seasons.

Jets: Khiry Robinson on IR after breaking leg for 3rd time
FLORHAM PARK, N.J. — The New York Jets have placed running back Khiry Robinson on injured reserve after he broke his right leg for the third time in 13 months.

Robinson was injured last Saturday in his first game back since breaking the leg in the preseason finale at Philadelphia in September. He was waived/injured on Sept. 4 and re-signed with the Jets on Dec. 7.

Robinson first injured the leg while playing for New Orleans against the Giants on Nov. 1, 2015.

The Jets also announced Wednesday that they signed running back Brandon Burks from the practice squad and signed tight end M.J. McFarland to the practice squad.

Burks, an undrafted free agent out of Troy, was with Green Bay earlier this season before signing with the Jets two weeks ago.

McFarland was signed by Philadelphia as an undrafted free agent out of Texas-El Paso and waived/injured in September.

Bills: E.J. Manuel to start Week 17
ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. — Aside from having an interim head coach in Anthony Lynn, the Buffalo Bills also have an interim starting quarterback: EJ Manuel.

Without going into detail, Lynn called it "a business decision" to start Manuel in place of Tyrod Taylor in Buffalo's season finale against the New York Jets on Sunday. Both teams are eliminated from playoff contention.

Lynn, who doubles as the team's offensive coordinator, also revealed on Wednesday that he had little — if any input — in making the quarterback switch made a day after Rex Ryan was fired.

In first saying it was "our decision," Lynn later said he "wasn't in the room," when the decision was made. He then added he can't speak for general manager Doug Whaley or owner Terry Pegula.

As for whether he had a preference over who starts, Lynn said the team wants to gauge its depth at quarterback with Manuel being the next in line.