Patriots owner Robert Kraft, whose stadium hosted the Army-Navy game on Saturday, appeared on ESPN’s College GameDay to discuss several topics.
Inevitably, he was asked by Rece Davis about the steps that need to be taken to get the Patriots back to where they’ve been. Kraft sidestepped it initially, before saying this: “We like to win, so we want to do everything we can to get our team back so we can be winning it.”
That’s where the clip from the show on the ESPN College GameDay YouTube account abruptly ends, even though the interview wasn’t over. There was one more comment — a remark from Pat McAfee.
“I don’t envy your position,” McAfee said to Kraft. “What’s about to happen. We all know. We don’t have to ask.“
Kraft said nothing in response. Davis threw to break. Many will assume that Kraft’s silence amounts to agreement. Many also will agree with McAfee’s assessment. We all know what’s about to happen.
Or do we? Earlier in the interview, Kraft was asked about the overall success of his various business interests, with no mention of Belichick in the question.
“Well, it’s all about people,” Kraft said. “Collecting good people. People of good character. People who are loyal. I’m very happy that most of our key people have been with us a long time. You know, we have a head coach who’s been with us 24 years. I think that’s the longest-serving head coach. But that’s the model we have in all our companies, to try to pick the best people.”
That could be regarded as a hint by Kraft, mentioning the importance of longevity and specifically citing Belichick’s 24-year tenure. And that could be why the comment from McAfee was clipped from the YouTube version of the Kraft interview.
Maybe we’ve got it all wrong. Maybe Belichick will be back in 2024 with the Patriots, making it an even 25 years at the helm.
The Chiefs activated linebacker Nick Bolton from injured reserve on Saturday and the Bills are also bringing someone back for Sunday’s game at Arrowhead Stadium.
Bills head coach Sean McDermott said on Friday that there was a good chance tight end Dawson Knox would be activated from injured reserve this weekend. The Bills announced that Knox is back on the active roster on Saturday.
Knox hurt his wrist in Week Seven. He had 15 receptions for 102 yards and a touchdown before his injury knocked him out of the lineup.
Linebacker A.J. Klein was waived to create space for Knox on the 53-man roster.
There’s plenty of people watching to see what will happen with the Patriots coaching staff after the 2023 season is over, but one member of the group is already on his way to a new job.
According to multiple reports, wide receivers coach Ross Douglas is leaving to take the same job at Syracuse University. Douglas is expected to have other expanded responsibilities on offense for the ACC school as well.
Douglas joined the Patriots in 2021 as a coaching fellow and has worked with the wide receivers the last two seasons. He was on the Rutgers staff with new Syracuse head coach Fran Brown prior to moving to the NFL.
Troy Brown worked with Douglas as a receivers coach in New England and will continue in that role for the rest of the season.
49ers linebacker Dre Greenlaw was ejected from last Sunday’s win over the Eagles for his tussle with Eagles security head Dom DiSandro and he heard from the league about the hit that set things off on the sideline.
The NFL announced on Saturday that Greenlaw has been fined $10,927 for unnecessary roughness. Greenlaw picked up Eagles wide receiver DeVonta Smith and slammed him to the ground, which led to a reaction from DiSandro and others on the Eagles bench.
DiSandro will not be allowed on the Eagles sideline in Dallas this Sunday, but Greenlaw is set to play against the Seahawks,
The league also announced that 49ers linebacker Demetrius Flannigan-Fowles has been fined $9,940 for unnecessary roughness.
The Saints announced on Friday night that quarterback Derek Carr cleared the concussion protocol, which put him on track to start against the Panthers on Sunday.
On Saturday, the team formally removed him from their injury report. Carr had been listed as questionable due to the concussion as well as rib and shoulder issues, but he now has no injury designation.
The Saints also announced that they have signed fullback Adam Prentice to the active roster. Prentice has played in eight games this season and did a stint on injured reserve before moving to the practice squad.
Offensive lineman Nick Saldiveri was placed on injured reserve to open a spot for Prentice while wide receiver Marquez Callaway and defensive lineman Jack Heflin have been elevated from the practice squad.
Falcons cornerback A.J. Terrell will be in the lineup against the Buccaneers.
Terrell was listed as questionable to play on Friday because of the concussion he suffered in last Sunday’s win over the Jets, but the Falcons announced on Saturday that he has cleared the concussion protocol and will play as the Falcons try to remain on top of the NFC South.
The Falcons also announced that they have elevated linebacker Milo Eifler and offensive lineman Tyler Vrabel from the practice squad. Both players have appeared in one game for the Falcons this season.
Eifler will provide depth with Nate Landman ruled out while Vrabel gives the team another body on an offensive line that will be missing right tackle Kaleb McGary.
The NFL is showing once again that there’s a huge gulf between what the on-field officials think is a penalty and what the league’s disciplinary office thinks is illegal.
The latest example comes from the $43,709 fine handed down to Jets running back Breece Hall for what’s being called “unnecessary roughness” against the Falcons on Sunday.
The play in question was on the Jets’ first offensive possession, when Hall caught a short pass and gained seven yards. At the end of the play, he and Falcons cornerback A.J. Terrell collided, and the league fined Hall for that. Terrell ended up in the concussion protocol, but he has since been cleared.
Looking at the play, it’s hard to see how it’s different from hundreds of collisions that happen every Sunday and don’t result in fines. The officials didn’t flag it.
Still, Hall gets the NFL’s biggest fine for Week 13 — a fine six times as much as the one Lions pass rusher Bruce Irvin got for the roughing the passer penalty that knocked Derek Carr out of Sunday’s game. Hall can appeal, and NFL players can continue to wonder how they’re supposed to know what is and isn’t allowed, when even the refs don’t seem to know.
With Geno Smith questionable with a groin injury, the Seahawks elevated quarterback Sean Mannion from the practice squad ahead of their Week 14 game against the 49ers.
Smith injured his groin in Thursday’s practice, and coach Pete Carroll said Friday that the starting quarterback will be a game-time decision on Sunday.
If Smith can’t play, Drew Lock will make his first career start with the Seahawks, and Mannion would serve as the backup. Mannion previously spent time with the Seahawks during training camp in 2021 and was on the team’s practice squad last year.
He has appeared in 14 games with three starts in his career.
Mannion was on Minnesota’s practice squad before being released last week.
“Amazing recall that he can jump back in,” Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said Friday, via John Boyle of the team website. “He’s been with another team here just a couple weeks ago with Minnesota. He’s a very special football player in that he has so much command, so that’s really a benefit for us.”
The Seahwks also elevated linebacker Patrick O’Connell from the practice squad, giving Seattle extra depth at the position with Jordyn Brooks questionable with an ankle injury. Outside linebacker Frank Clark will not travel with the team to Santa Clara as the team announced his absence is non-injury related/inactive.
O’Connell, an undrafted rookie out of Montana, would make his regular-season NFL debut if he is active on Sunday.
Earlier this week, Mike McDaniel said the Dolphins wouldn’t place linebacker Jerome Baker on injured reserve. On Saturday, the Dolphins placed Baker on injured reserve.
He will miss at least the next four games while rehabbing the sprained medial collateral ligament in his knee.
The Dolphins have only one injured reserve return designation remaining this season.
Baker is third on the team with 69 tackles, trailing linebacker David Long, Jr., (78) and safety Jevon Holland (70).
Duke Riley will replace Baker in the starting lineup.
The Dolphins replaced Baker on the roster by signing linebacker Calvin Munson off New England’s practice squad. It is Munson’s third stint with Miami.
Munson has appeared in 22 games for the Dolphins in his career, totaling 13 tackles and five special teams stops.
He has spent the 2023 season on New England’s practice squad, appearing in three games and recording one tackle.
The Dolphins also announced they placed linebacker Alexander Johnson on the practice squad/injured list.
The Giants ruled out right tackle Evan Neal, who will miss his fourth consecutive game with an ankle injury.
Neal will have missed six of the past seven games with separate ankle injuries.
Defensive tackle Dexter Lawrence is questionable with the hamstring injury that kept him out of the Giants’ Week 12 game. He was listed as limited in the three practices this week.
Tight end Daniel Bellinger (illness), wide receiver Parris Campbell (knee), defensive lineman A’Shawn Robinson (hamstring) and linebacker Isaiah Simmons (ankle) are all questionable for the game against the Packers on Monday night.
Backup quarterback Tyrod Taylor (ribs) does not have a designation after a week of full practices.