Younghoe Koo

NFL Notes: League looking into Terrelle Pryor racism claims against KC fans

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NFL Notes: League looking into Terrelle Pryor racism claims against KC fans

WASHINGTON -- The NFL is looking into a situation Monday night at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City during which Washington Redskins wide receiver Terrelle Pryor says he was called racist names and cursed at by a fan.

Pryor posted on Instagram story on Wednesday that it got so bad during the game against the Chiefs that a league employee had to stand by him from the second quarter on. Pryor apologized to teammates and the organization for "flicking the person off."

NFL spokesman Joe Lockhart said the league is looking into "all aspects" of Pryor's claim and will report back when the review is complete. Lockhart added that the league has "no tolerance for racial remarks directed at anyone in a stadium" and said those fans are not welcome to come back "this week, next week or any time."

On Instagram, Pryor says the comments are the reason players are kneeling during the national anthem. He says he didn't kneel because he and his teammates decided to stand together (see full story).

Raiders: Carr returns to practice after back injury
ALAMEDA, Calif. -- Oakland Raiders quarterback Derek Carr returned to the practice field four days after breaking a bone in his back.

Carr took snaps and threw a few light passes Thursday during the open period of practice. E.J. Manuel is expected to start Sunday for the Raiders (2-2) against Baltimore (2-2).

Raiders coach Jack Del Rio said Monday that Carr has a transverse process fracture in his back after taking a hard hit last week in Denver. Del Rio says the injury usually takes between two and six weeks to heal, although Cam Newton and Tony Romo came back after missing one game with similar injuries in 2014.

Left tackle Donald Penn talked to Carr earlier in the day and said the quarterback told him he was "very ahead of schedule."

Chargers: Rookie kicker Koo waived, Novak re-signed
COSTA MESA, Calif. -- The Los Angeles Chargers have re-signed kicker Nick Novak, waiving rookie Younghoe Koo after just four games.

The Chargers (0-4) made the moves Thursday.

Novak is a 13-year NFL veteran who has kicked for eight franchises, including the San Diego Chargers from 2011-14. He made 101 of his 117 field goal attempts for the Chargers before spending the past two seasons with Houston.

Novak was released by the Texans last month after losing a competition with Ka'imi Fairbairn, the former UCLA kicker.

Koo became the fourth NFL player born in South Korea after winning the job in a camp competition with incumbent Josh Lambo.

Koo went 3 for 6 on field goal attempts for Los Angeles. The Georgia Southern product's potential tying field goal was blocked in the Chargers' season opener at Denver.

Koo then missed two field goals in their 19-17 loss to Miami one week later, including a 44-yarder at the final gun.

Giants: Banged-up defense now proving unreliable
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- The defense that a year ago carried the New York Giants to their first playoff berth since 2011 has suddenly become unreliable.

Steve Spagnuolo's unit is no longer stopping the run, it is giving up big plays, missing tackles, and now it is fighting injuries heading into Sunday's game against the Los Angeles Chargers, who like they Giants are winless in four games.

Defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul and Olivier Vernon both missed their second straight practice Thursday and that never bodes well for playing the weekend.

Vernon, who has never missed a game, aggravated a sprained ankle against the Buccaneers and missed the second half. Pierre-Paul hurt a shoulder early but never left the game. However, he was never a factor in the game and he said he didn't like what he put on film.

The Giants will have a recovery day on Friday and a final practice Saturday.

"Definitely expect to practice on Saturday and be playing Sunday," Pierre-Paul said Thursday. "It's not a secret. Everybody that knows me knows I'm going to play" (see full story).

Monday Night Football: Vikings cruise, Broncos survive on MNF

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Monday Night Football: Vikings cruise, Broncos survive on MNF

MINNEAPOLIS -- Sam Bradford started his second season with Minnesota in style, passing for 346 yards and three touchdowns to help the Vikings beat New Orleans 29-19 on Monday night and spoil Adrian Peterson's first game with the Saints.

Stefon Diggs had seven receptions for 93 yards, two for scores, and Adam Thielen racked up 157 yards on nine catches as Bradford carved up a Saints defense that looked again like one of the worst in the league despite a major renovation. Rookie Dalvin Cook rushed for 127 yards in the formal takeover from Peterson.

Peterson was an afterthought once the Saints fell behind. Drew Brees was quiet, too, with 291 yards on 27-for-37 passing padded by the late push to catch up. Coby Fleener caught the only touchdown toss, after the 2-minute warning. Will Lutz made four field goals, three under 25 yards.

Brees and Bradford are both in the final year of their contracts, with the same agent, Tom Condon, who is sure to cash in on both clients. Brees has by far the better resume, nine seasons further into his career, but Bradford stole the show on this prime-time stage.

Behind mostly clean pockets created by a remade offensive line, Bradford completed 27 of 32 passes without a turnover. With three rookies and three free agents in the starting lineup, the Saints tried hard to better a defense that has held Brees and company back since the Super Bowl title eight years ago. The first performance left a lot to be desired, with Diggs and Thielen consistently finding favorable matchups underneath.

There were three unnecessary roughness calls in the first half by the Saints. Two of the personal fouls aided a drive that ended with one of three field goals by Kai Forbath, who missed one extra point. The other 15-yarder was on safety Kenny Vaccaro for head-hunting Diggs during an acrobatic catch in the closing seconds of the first half. Diggs came right back with another highlight-reel grab to give the Vikings a 16-6 lead at the break.

Cameron Jordan and A.J. Klein each had their hands on a tipped pass in the end zone that fluttered off Cook's hands, missing a critical opportunity to thwart that drive and keep the deficit at four points (see full recap).

Broncos hold off Chargers’ late rally with FG block
DENVER -- Shelby Harris got a hand on Younghoe Koo's 44-yard field goal attempt with a second left, and the Broncos began the Vance Joseph era with a 24-21 win over the Los Angeles Chargers on Monday night.

Moments earlier, Koo had nailed the kick, but Joseph called a timeout to ice the kicker.

On the re-do, Harris -- who made the team because of a rash of injuries along the D-line -- sliced through and got his right hand on the kick.

It was reminiscent of last year's opener, when the Broncos escaped with a 21-20 win over the Carolina Panthers when Graham Gano missed a 50-yard field goal with 4 seconds left.

Denver took a 24-7 lead into the fourth quarter but had two turnovers that were converted into touchdowns, a missed field goal and a punt.

Before those fourth-quarter foibles, Trevor Siemian threw two TD passes to Bennie Fowler and ran for another score.

The Broncos held Philip Rivers to 115 yards passing through three quarters but let him engineer a comeback when Siemian threw an interception and Jamaal Charles fumbled on plays that were upheld despite video evidence that had the crowd of 76,324 convinced they should have been overturned (see full recap).