Green Bay Packers
Colts running back Jonathan Taylor can, and will, return to practice this week, after completing his four-game stint on the reserve/PUP list. The next question is whether and when he’ll play for the Colts, or someone else.
Jay Glazer of Fox Sports reports that there are no trade offers on the table for Taylor.
That makes sense, because only the Packers and Dolphins had been seriously interested before the August 29 deadline came and went. As to both teams, the Colts reportedly wanted too much.
The Packers reportedly lost interest once the season began. The Dolphins have no reason to be interested, given the performance of De’Von Achane and Raheem Mostert.
The trade window closes on October 31. Unless a contender loses a workhorse tailback, it’s hard to imagine the window opening for a trade.
Taylor’s best play at this point arguably would be to finish the season strong, and then to ask for a trade again after the season, if/when the Colts apply the franchise tag.
The only problems with this approach is that Taylor will still be making a low salary of $4.3 million this year, and that he’ll be risking injury with no security beyond 2023.
Running back Jonathan Taylor is eligible to start the process of returning from the physically unable to perform list this week and it looks like the team plans to move in that direction.
NFL Media reports that the Colts will open Taylor’s practice window this Wednesday. Once they do, Taylor will be able to practice with the team for three weeks before he must be activated or shut down for the season. He can be activated at any point in that window.
Taylor went on the list because of his ankle and he has posted workout videos showing him working out without issue recently.
Taylor asked for a trade after failing to get a new contract from the Colts this offseason and the Packers and Dolphins reportedly had interest, but neither team is believed to be pursuing a deal any longer and the Colts have reportedly not had any recent talks with any teams.
Getting Taylor on the field could change that ahead of the October 31 trade deadline and the news about this week’s plans makes that return a possibility.
This year, the NFL has begun announcing the fines imposed on players for on-field rules infractions. We’ll be posting separate items on fines of significance.
We’ll also be listing all of the fines here, by team, player, announced violation, and amount.
All fines are subject to appeal. It’s not known whether the NFL will update the weekly disclosure of imposed fines with information as to the outcome of the appeals.
Here are the Week 3 fines, covering 20 teams, 34 players, and 1.35 percent of all plays:
Falcons, Kaden Ellis, unnecessary roughness, $16,391.
Falcons, Keith Smith, unnecessary roughness, $87,418.
Bears, Jaquan Brisker, unnecessary roughness, $9,287.
Bears, Tyrique Stevenson, unnecessary roughness, $6,515.
Bengals, Cam Taylor-Britt, unnecessary roughness, $7,516.
Cowboys, Chuma Edoga, unnecessary roughness, $6,847.
Cowboys, Jonathan Hankins, unnecessary roughness, $7,319.
Broncos, Kareem Jackson, unnecessary roughness, $11,473.
Broncos, Drew Sanders, unnecessary roughness, $5,793.
Broncos, Patrick Surtain, unnecessary roughness, $11,473.
Lions, Alex Anzalone, unnecessary roughness, $13,922.
Lions, Brian Branch, unnecessary roughness, $8,103.
Lions, Brian Branch (second fine), unnecessary roughness, $8,103.
Packers, Rasul Douglas, unnecessary roughness, $11,473.
Packers, Ben Sims, unnecessary roughness, $4,167.
Texans, Jonathan Greenard, unnecessary roughness, $7,604.
Colts, Kwity Paye, unnecessary roughness, $10,927.
Chargers, Raheem Layne, unnecessary roughness, $4,870.
Chargers, Maxx Crosby, unnecessary roughness, $10.927.
Dolphins, Raheem Mostert, unnecessary roughness, $10,927.
Vikings, Harrison Smith, unnecessary roughness, $21,855.
Patriots, Jabrill Peppers, unnecessary roughness, $43,709.
Patriots, JuJu Smith-Schuster, unnecessary roughness, $16,391.
Saints, Tony Jones, unnecessary roughness, $5,222.
Giants, A’Shawn Robinson, unnecessary roughness, $11,473.
Giants, Jihad Ward, unnecessary roughness, $8,139.
Giants, Leonard Williams, a hit on a quarterback, $16,391.
Steelers, Kwon Alexander, unnecessary roughness, $43,709.
Steelers, Miles Killebrew, unnecessary roughness, $13,792.
49ers, Trent Williams, unnecessary roughness, $11,473.
Seahawks, Julian Love, unnecessary roughness, $21,833.
Seahawks, DK Metcalf, unnecessary roughness, $16,391.
Seahawks, Teez Tabor, unnecessary roughness, $6,000.
Titans, Arden Key, a hit on a quarterback, $43,710.
As the Packers were trying to mount a comeback against the Lions on Thursday night, they got a gift.
A play snapped with no time on the clock resulted in a 44-yard throw from quarterback Jordan Love to receiver Jayden Reed.
The quarter had clearly ended. Zero, colon, zero zero.
According to NFL spokesman Michael Signora, the situation is no different than the expiration of the play clock. The officials need to notice that the clock has struck zero, and then to blow the whistle.
“This is the same process as exists with the play clock,” Signora said. “The official sees the game clock and then looks to the snap. There is always a brief delay, and this is not reviewable.”
That conflicts with the explanation provided on Thursday night by Amazon Prime rules analyst Terry McAulay. He said it’s not treated like the play clock, and that one the game clock hits zero, the play should be shut down.
Still, unless there’s a buzzer or some other noise made when the clock hits zero, there will always be a delay. Someone has to see that the clock is at zero and then react. It creates a sliver of time for a play to happen before the eye sends the relevant message to the brain, and before the brain sends the relevant message to the mouth.
Lions quarterback Jared Goff and Packers cornerback Rasul Douglas were seen talking on the field following Thursday night’s game, and Douglas revealed afterward that Goff let him know about a play they had planned specifically for Douglas.
That play was the first touchdown of the game, on which Amon-Ra St. Brown blew past Douglas as Douglas slipped and fell in a desperate attempt to change directions at the last second. Douglas revealed that Goff told him the Lions knew based on how Douglas had played against them before that they were going to catch him getting overly aggressive.
“Just watching them from three years, every time they’re in the red zone, they speed break. They’ve got one route that they ran. For the last three years, they’ve been running it. I jumped it last year,” Douglas told Ryan Wood of USA Today. “Jared Goff threw it in the dirt. And he had it dialed up. I saw him after the game after he took a knee. He walked up right up to me, and he was like, ‘Bro, you’re a hell of a player, but we knew we were going to get you on that one. We went over it every day in practice, and that’s the one you jumped. We only had one play off of it.’ So they put it in for me. I told him, ‘I knew it was coming.’ He was like, ‘That’s what we wanted you to do, is jump it, like you always do.’ So that’s just on me. I’ve just got to have better eyes.”
It’s surprising that Goff would give Douglas that kind of insight, especially when the Lions and Packers will face each other again this year. Suffice to say Douglas will be a bit more cautious next time he faces the Lions — and perhaps that’s what Goff was hoping for.
The Lions and Packers were both 2-1 and tied for the lead in the NFC North heading into Thursday night, which means Detroit’s win at Lambeau Field was a major statement in the division race.
Packers quarterback Jordan Love acknowledged after the game that the 3-1 Lions are now the favorites in the division, ahead of the 2-2 Packers and certainly ahead of the 0-3 Bears and Vikings.
Asked if the Lions are the team to beat in the division, Love answered, “Yeah, for sure.”
Credit to them, they played really good,” Love said. “Yeah, I think it was us and them going into this game. Obviously we haven’t played the Vikings yet, but every time we play a North opponent it’s a huge game, going forward to the end of the year. it’s a game that we’ll be looking forward to next time we play them. We’ve got to be better and go win.”
The Lions and Packers will meet on Thanksgiving in Detroit, in a game that is likely to have a significant impact on the NFC North race, and a game that means even more to the Packers now that they’ve dropped a home game to the Lions.
It looked serious when Lions safety Brian Branch rode a cart to the locker room after suffering an ankle injury on Thursday night against the Packers. Amazingly, he returned to the game.
But then he left again, presumably after aggravating the original injury.
Via Mike Garafolo of NFL Media, Branch was “limping through” the locker room after the game. X-rays were negative.
That’s only part of the story, obviously. There could be damage that won’t show up on an X-ray.
Presumably, Branch will have an MRI. It will shed more light on whether and to what extent Branch will miss time.
The Lions, who not long ago had no chance to win at Lambeau Field, shredded the Cheeseheads (again) on Thursday night. The development has Detroit quarterback Jared Goff writing some sizable checks.
“Send us anywhere and we’ll be ready,” Goff said after the 34-17 victory, via ESPN.com. “And that’s the way we’re built.”
“We have that confidence. Like I said, send us anywhere. Line us up against anyone, and we feel like we can go in there and beat them, and that’s a good feeling to have. Is it always gonna happen? I don’t know, but we feel like we can. We have that confidence in ourselves, in our coaches and each other. We’re working together really well right now.”
It didn’t happen in Week 2, when the Lions lost their home opener against the Seahawks. And the Lions would be the underdogs against teams like the 49ers (whom they don’t play this season), the Dolphins (ditto), the Bills (same), the Eagles (same), and the Chiefs (even though the Lions already have beaten them). There’s a showdown looming with the Cowboys, but that doesn’t happen until Saturday, December 30.
It’s very important to have confidence, even if the confidence borders on delusion. It’s not nearly as delusional as it once was to think the Lions can play with everyone, and that they can indeed beat anyone.
The real test comes in January. They’ll win the division, barring disaster. Will they fatten up on a relatively soft schedule to get the No. 1 seed? And, regardless of whether they do, what will happen when they cross paths with the Eagles or the 49ers?
Believing they can beat them is the first step toward doing so.
In Week Three, the Packers spotted the Saints a 17-point halftime lead before rallying back for an 18-17 victory.
They tried something similar on Thursday night, but it didn’t work out nearly as well. After the Packers took a 3-0 lead off an early interception, the Lions scored 27 straight points before halftime. The Packers were able to close the gap to 10 points early in the fourth quarter before a Lions touchdown pushed things back out of reach.
Once the Lions were in the lead, they ground down the Packers run defense with David Montgomery and Jahmyr Gibbs and they were able to send pass rushers after Love without fear. After the 34-20 loss, Packers quarterback Jordan Love said the team has to figure out how to avoid those situations by putting a better product on the field from the jump.
“We’ve got to find out what that is,” Love said, via Steve Megargee of the Associated Pres. “And I think everybody just has to play better at the start of the game, me included. I’ve got to be able to come out and start fast and put points up so we’re not playing from behind and making it harder on the defense.”
Identifying the problem is the first step toward fixing it and the Packers will have to take the second one soon if they’re going to stick around the NFC playoff race.
There was some confusion heading into Thursday night’s game about whether left tackle Taylor Decker would be in action for the Lions, but Decker wound up in the starting lineup for the first time since the season opener.
Decker missed the last two games with an ankle injury before returning to play every snap of the 34-20 win over the Packers. Decker said after the game that he didn’t feel he played “up to my standard” and that his ankle didn’t come out of the contest feeling all that good.
“It sucked,” Decker said, via Justin Rogers of the Detroit News. “I mean, I knew it was gonna be like that. It’s definitely aggravated and hopefully it’s not completely re-injured and stuff like that, a setback. But we got a couple extra days leading into the next game, so it’s probably just going to be something I just got to deal with for a little while now.”
If Decker did do more damage, the Lions will have to weigh having him continue to gut it out versus waiting to try to get him as close to 100 percent as possible before throwing him back out on the field. They’ll have some time before having to make that decision and the hope will be that Decker’s ankle feels better after the extended rest.