Eagles receiver AJ Brown is having a big game today against the Commanders.
Brown caught a pass from Jalen Hurts in the third quarter and raced downfield for a 59-yard touchdown, and the ensuing two-point conversion gave the Eagles a 21-17 lead.
After a somewhat slow start this season, Brown had a big game on Monday night against the Buccaneers and is having another one today, with six catches for 130 yards, and his first touchdown of the year.
Brown, who criticized the league for making him take off his neon green cleats on Monday night, is wearing pink cleats. It’s unclear whether he has permission to do so for breast cancer awareness.
The Commanders got off to a strong start today in Philadelphia, but the Eagles are starting to take control, with Brown leading the way.
There’s been a new development in the much-discussed Eagles quarterback sneak push play: In today’s game against the Commanders, the officials flagged the Eagles for offside, negating what appeared to be a first-down plunge for Jalen Hurts.
As usual, on fourth-and-1, Hurts took the snap, lunged into the line, and the Eagles behind him pushed him forward. He appeared to emerge from the pileup with a first down.
But Eagles left guard Landon Dickerson was flagged for having his hand in the neutral zone, and the offside penalty pushed the Eagles back five yards. They punted on fourth-and-6.
Replays appeared to show that at least one Washington defensive lineman was offside as well, but only the Eagles were flagged.
This penalty had the feel of something the officials were looking for, perhaps because either the Commanders or the league office told them to look for it. In short-yardage situations, linemen try to get as close to the line of scrimmage as they can get without going over, and the officials may have headed into this game knowing to look for the Eagles’ linemen crossing the line.
Every week we bring you all the inactives from the 1 p.m. ET games in one post, constantly updated with the latest information.
The Browns will not have quarterback Deshaun Watson on Sunday, but they will have tight end David Njoku.
Njoku was added to the injury report on Saturday after suffering burns to his hands and face in a fire pit accident and head coach Kevin Stefanski said that the team had to see if he could put a helmet on before deciding on his status. Njoku passed that test and got the green light to play against the Ravens.
Watson is out with the shoulder injury that limited him to just a few throws in practice this week. Rookie Dorian Thompson-Robinson will make his first NFL start.
On the Ravens side, running back Justice Hill, center Tyler Linderbaum, and safety Kyle Hamilton are all active after being listed as questionable. Safety Marcus Williams was also in that group, but he is inactive.
Ravens at Browns
Ravens: WR Odell Beckham Jr., WR Rashod Bateman, T Ronnie Stanley, CB Marlon Humphrey, EDGE Odafe Oweh, S Marcus Williams, QB Josh Johnson
Browns: QB Deshaun Watson, TE Zaire Mitchell-Paden, CB Kahlef Hailassie, C Luke Wypler, DE Isaiah McGuire, DT Siaki Ika
Dolphins at Bills
Dolphins: QB Skylar Thompson, EDGE Jaelan Phillips, S DeShon Elliott, CB Eli Apple, C Connor Williams, TE Tyler Kroft
Bills: S Jordan Poyer, CB Kaiir Elam, T Germain Ifedi, OL Alec Anderson, DT Poona Ford
Broncos at Bears
Broncos: LB Frank Clark, C Alex Forsyth, LB Josey Jewell, OLB Ronnie Perkins, DT Mike Purcell, S Justin Simmons, S JL Skinner.
Bears: DB Eddie Jackson, DB Jaylon Johnson, QB Nathan Peterman, WR Chase Claypool, RB D’onta Foreman
Steelers at Texans
Steelers: QB Mason Rudolph, P Pressley Harvin, OL James Daniels, WR Gunner Olszewski, NT Breiden Fehoko
Texans: CB Tavierre Thomas, LB Denzel Perryman, QB Case Keenum, RB Dare Ogunbowale, OL Michael Deiter, T Josh Jones, T Laremy Tunsil
Vikings at Panthers
Vikings: S Lewis Cine, TE Nick Muse, C Garrett Bradbury, DL Khyiris Tonga, QB Jaren Hall
Panthers: RB Raheem Blackshear, WR Jonathan Mingo, S Xavier Woods, CB Sam Webb, LB Deion Jones, T David Sharpe
Rams at Colts
Rams: RB Zach Evans, OL Zach Thomas, OL Alaric Jackson, DL Earnest Brown
Colts: QB Sam Ehlinger, CB Darrell Baker Jr., DE Isaiah Land, LB Cameron McGrone, C Ryan Kelly, T Bernhard Raimann, TE Will Mallory
Buccaneers at Saints
Buccaneers: LB SirVocea Dennis, CB Jamel Dean, CB Derrek Pitts Jr., LB Markees Watts, OL Brandon Walton, TE Payne Durham, DL Calijah Kancey
Saints: QB Jake Luton, WR A.T. Perry, CB Paulson Adebo, DB Jordan Howden, OL Cesar Ruiz, TE Foster Moreau, DE Kyle Phillips
Commanders at Eagles
Commanders: RB Chris Rodriguez Jr., DE K.J. Henry, T Trent Scott, G Chris Paul, TE Curtis Hodges, WR Mitchell Tinsley
Eagles: WR Quez Watkins, QB Tanner McKee, S Sydney Brown, RB Rashaad Penny, S Justin Evans, OL Tyler Steen, DT Moro Ojomo
Bengals at Titans
Bengals: CB DJ Ivey, LB Akeem Davis-Gaither, LB Devin Harper, OL Trey Hill, OL Jackson Carman, TE Irv Smith
Titans: WR Treylon Burks, OL Peter Skoronski, LB Luke Gifford, DB Elijah Molden, OL Jaelyn Duncan, QB Will Levis
The Eagles’ Tush Push play — or Brotherly Shove, as Nick Sirianni calls it — has become virtually unstoppable. Enough coaches complained about it after the Eagles converted on 37 of the 41 times they ran it last season that the Competition Committee reviewed it and discussed it during the offseason.
There was not, however, a rule proposal ban it.
So, the Eagles are back at it this season, and opposing coaches still hate it.
“I would personally like to see it eliminated, not just because they run it better than anybody, although they do run it better than anybody, but I don’t think that’s a football play,” Commanders defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio said this week, via video from JP Finlay of NBCSportsWashington.com. “I think it’s a nice rugby play, and it’s not what we’re looking for in football. But until it’s outlawed, we’ll prepare for it and get ready to do our best to stop it.”
Hurts is pushed from behind on short-yardage plays — usually by tight end Dallas Goedert, running back D’Andre Swift and wide receiver A.J. Brown — with great success. No defense has found a way to consistently stop it.
“There is clearly a talent to it that our guys have, because maybe it’s automatic right now for the Philadelphia Eagles, but it’s not automatic around the NFL,” Sirianni said last week, via Ralph Vacchiano of Fox Sports. “I get that some people are complaining about it, but stop it. Stop the play.”
The fourth week of the 2023 NFL season kicked off on Thursday with a win by the Lions and it continues with 14 more games on Sunday, which means that the 28 teams in those games submitted their final injury reports of the week on Friday.
The Seahawks and Giants play on Monday and their final injury reports will be released on Saturday.
Falcons at Jaguars (in London)
RB Cordarrelle Patterson (thigh) is questionable to make his regular season debut for the Falcons. WR Josh Ali (ankle) is out.
Jaguars WR Zay Jones (knee), LB Devin Lloyd (thumb), and DB Antonio Johnson (hamstring) are out. T Anton Harrison (ankle), DL Foley Fatukasi (shoulder), and WR Jamal Agnew (quad) are listed as questionable.
Dolphins at Bills
Dolphins EDGE Jaelan Phillips (oblique) is out. RB Salvon Ahmed (groin), T Terron Armstead (back, ankle, knee), S DeShon Elliott (ankle, groin), and C Connor Williams (groin) were designated as questionable.
S Jordan Poyer (knee) will not play for the Bills.
Broncos at Bears
LB Frank Clark (hip), LB Josey Jewell (hip), and DT Mike Purcell (ribs) are out for the Broncos while S Justin Simmons (hip) is questionable to play.
S Eddie Jackson (foot) and CB Jaylon Johnson (hamstring) won’t play for the Bears. RB Travis Homer (ankle) is questionable.
Ravens at Browns
Ravens WR Rashod Bateman (hamstring) and WR Odell Beckham Jr. (ankle) will miss Sunday’s game. CB Marlon Humphrey (foot), EDGE Odafe Oweh (ankle), and EDGE David Ojabo (ankle/knee) are also out while T Ronnie Stanley (knee) is doubtful. RB Justice Hill (toe), S Kyle Hamilton (back), C Tyler Linderbaum (ankle) and S Marcus Williams (pectoral) make up the questionable group.
QB Deshaun Watson (shoulder) is listed as questionable after a week of limited practices, but the rest of the Browns are good to go.
Steelers at Texans
The Steelers ruled out G James Daniels (groin) and P Pressley Harvin (right hamstring).
T Laremy Tunsil (knee), G/T Josh Jones (hand), LB Denzel Perryman (hand, wrist), and CB Tavierre Thomas (hand) are all out for the Texans. C Michael Dieter (concussion) is their only questionable player.
Vikings at Panthers
C Garrett Bradbury (back) and DE Marcus Davenport (ankle) are listed as questionable for the Vikings. S Lewis Cine (hamstring) is the only player ruled out.
The Panthers will have QB Bryce Young (ankle) back in the lineup. RB Miles Sanders (groin) is listed as questionable along with LB Frankie Luvu (hip) and WR Jonathan Mingo (concussion).
Rams at Colts
TE Tyler Higbee (Achilles), T Alaric Jackson (hamstring), S John Johnson (face), and WR Ben Skowronek (Achilles) are the Rams’ questionable players.
Colts QB Anthony Richardson (concussion) is good to go, but C Ryan Kelly (concussion) and T Bernhard Raimann (concussion) are not going to play. DT DeForest Buckner (groin, back), QB Sam Ehlinger (right shoulder), and G Quenton Nelson (toe) are all listed as questionable.
Buccaneers at Saints
CB Carlton Davis (toe) could return for the Bucs after being listed as questionable, but CB Jamel Dean (neck/shoulder), DL Calijah Kancey (calf), CB Derrick Pitts (hamstring), and LB SirVocea Dennis (hamstring) are all out. DT Vita Vea (pectoral) and linebacker Devin White (foot) are also questionable.
Saints QB Derek Carr (right shoulder) is listed as questionable after returning to practice on Friday.
Commanders at Eagles
RB Chris Rodriguez (illness) is out for the Commanders and S Percy Butler (foot) is listed as questionable.
The Eagles ruled out S Sydney Brown (hamstring) and WR Quez Watkins (hamstring). S Justin Evans (neck) is considered questionable.
Bengals at Titans
QB Joe Burrow (calf) will start for the Bengals. TE Irv Smith (hamstring) is out and LB Akeem Davis-Gaither (knee) is questionable.
WR Treylon Burks (knee), G Peter Skoronski (abdomen), CB Elijah Molden (hamstring), and LB Luke Gifford (hamstring) are out for the Titans.
Raiders at Chargers
QB Jimmy Garoppolo (concussion) and EDGE Maxx Crosby (knee) headline the Raiders report. Both are listed as questionable along with CB Nate Hobbs (ankle), S Roderic Teamer (Achilles), and DE Malcolm Koonce (groin). LB Curtis Bolton (knee) is out.
The Chargers are set to play without RB Austin Ekeler (ankle) and Derwin James (hamstring) after listing them as doubtful. EDGE Joey Bosa (hamstring, toe) and S Alohi Gilman (heel) drew questionable tags. CB Deane Leonard (hamstring) is doubtful while C Corey Linsley (illness) and S JT Woods (illness) were ruled out.
Patriots at Cowboys
DT Christian Barmore (knee), DT Davon Godchaux (ankle), CB Jonathan Jones (ankle), G Cole Strange (knee), and CB Shaun Wade (shoulder) are questionable for the Patriots.
Cowboys G Zack Martin (ankle) and C Tyler Biadasz (hamstring) are questionable to play, but T Tyron Smith (knee) has been ruled out. TE Peyton Hendershot (ankle) is also questionable.
Cardinals at 49ers
DE Jonathan Ledbetter (finger) and LB Josh Woods (ankle) are out for the Cardinals. LB Krys Barnes (finger), WR Marquise Brown (thumb), RB Keaontay Ingram (neck), and T Paris Johnson (ankle) make up their questionable group.
WR Brandon Aiyuk (shoulder) is set to play for the 49ers, but WR Deebo Samuel (rib, knee) is questionable and WR Jauan Jennings (knee) is doubtful. RB Elijah Mitchell (knee), LB Demetrius Flannigan-Fowles (ankle), and LB Dre Greenlaw (ankle) are also in the questionable group.
Chiefs at Jets
If Taylor Swift and Aaron Rodgers are at Sunday night’s game, they won’t be seeing Chiefs LB Nick Bolton (ankle) or CB Jaylen Warren (shoulder).
The Jets ruled out S Tony Adams (hamstring) and G Wes Schweitzer (concussion).
Eagles edge rusher Haason Reddick looked back to normal at practice on Thursday.
The cast he’s worn on his right hand since having surgery to repair a ligament in his thumb in August was gone and Reddick said he felt no pain in thumb in his first cast-less practice session. He also said he is looking forward to what that might mean for his play in Week Four and beyond.
“Getting out of the cast was a big thing for me,” Reddick said, via Olivia Reiner of the Philadelphia Inquirer. “A hell of a momentum and confidence booster, especially after going out there today and practicing. I’m not making any excuses, just now I can go out there and really be free.”
Reddick has not recorded a sack yet this season, but he’s provided pressure and the attention teams pay to him after last year’s 16-sack season has helped open the doors for others on the front seven to make plays. Sunday’s game is against the Commanders and their past performance — 19 sacks allowed in three games — suggests there will be opportunities for Reddick to get on the board.
The NFL is studying possible ways to relax its rules regarding the ownership of franchises. And for good reason.
The current rules are keeping the franchises from selling for as much as they could.
As one source with knowledge of the dynamics recently explained it to PFT, the desire to make it easier for individuals to purchase franchises traces to an acknowledgement that the current rules have begun to complicate the development of a robust bidding process. There’s a belief that the most recent sale — the Commanders for $6.05 billion to a group led by Josh Harris — would have resulted in a much higher final price, but for the current rules.
To keep it as simple as possible, it’s a matter of liquidity. Currently, the primary owner of a team must come up with 30 percent of the purchase price, essentially in cash. (Gold bars would also be accepted.) For a final price of $6.05 billion, that’s $1.815 billion.
The current rules also limit debt, even if it is backed up by more than sufficient assets to satisfy it.
Really rich people don’t have a safe full of cash. They don’t have billions in a savings account at the local bank. Their money is scattered around all sorts of things, a complex melange of holdings and debt and leverage and it all works. (Absent complications like, say, gross and rampant and chronic fraud.)
So, yes, the rules will change. Without it, owners who decide to sell won’t be getting what they could. And, at some point, one of them could decide to challenge the entire system that limits the manner in which an independent business can be transferred to someone else.
There’s another major benefit to these changes. It will make it easier to inject more (any) diversity into Club Oligarch. Starting with Byron Allen, who apparently can put together $10 billion to try to buy ABC but who can’t qualify to buy an NFL team.
Through three weeks, the Commanders are 2-1. In the team’s first two games — wins over the Cardinals and Broncos — the team’s offense performed admirably with young quarterback Sam Howell at the helm.
But Washington laid an egg last week against the Bills, scoring just three points and turning the ball over five times.
“My job is to make sure we’re doing everything to help us to drag our ass across the finish line,” offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy said in his Thursday press conference. “Obviously, I ain’t do a great job — whether we threw the ball or whether we ran it. Obviously, we didn’t do enough.
“So, my job is to make sure that, you know what? That doesn’t happen again. My job is to clean up the shit and we continue moving forward.”
Howell has completed 66 percent of his passes for 671 yards with three touchdowns and five interceptions. He’s also taking sacks at a historic rate with 19 through the first three games — including nine in the loss to Buffalo.
“When it’s all said and done with, we’ve got a young quarterback. Still, our job is to make sure we’re continuing to grow,” Bieniemy said. “Now, there were some spurts, he did a hell of a job. Then there were some opportunities [where] we didn’t do such a great job.
“But that’s the thing, when you’re a team going through a season, you’re going to have your highs and you’re going to have your lows. This is when you find out who you are. This is when the resiliency has to pick up.”
Howell’s best game so far this season was against the Broncos, when he completed 27-of-39 passes for 299 yards with a pair of touchdowns and no picks. The Commanders play the Eagles this weekend, and Philadelphia’s defense is clearly significantly better than Denver’s unit. But Howell must play more like he did in Week 2 for the Commanders to have the best chance to win.
After a promising start in the first two games of the season, Commanders quarterback Sam Howell turned in a dismal game in Sunday’s loss to the Bills. He says it’s his own fault.
“I don’t make any excuses for myself,” Howell said. “I expect to play much better than I played Sunday. My teammates and this organization deserves for me to play much better than I played on Sunday, and I’ve just got to do a better job. I can’t make the excuse I’m young. The teams that we’re playing don’t care; the scoreboard doesn’t care. I’ve got to do my job at a higher level for this team to get where we want to go, so I’m excited to get back out there on Sunday.”
Howell could hardly play any worse than he did in the 37-3 loss to the Bills. He completed 19 of 29 passes for just 170 yards, with no touchdowns, four interceptions and nine sacks.
On Sunday the Commanders play the 3-0 Eagles in a game that should go a long way toward determining where the Commanders stack up in the NFC East. Howell said the Commanders’ win at Philadelphia last year (when he was a backup who didn’t play) was one of the highlights of the season, and another win over the Eagles would similarly energize the team.
“It was a great game, a great win for us last year, such a cool thing to be a part of. The locker room, that was probably the most excited I saw our locker room was after that game last year,” Howell said. “Obviously last year’s game isn’t going to do anything for us this year. It’s a new team, we have a new team, we’ve got to go in there and play at a high level to have a chance to win the game.”
The Commanders need Howell to be a whole lot better against the Eagles.
Commanders quarterback Sam Howell is taking sacks at a rate that would obliterate the NFL record — in the unlikely event that he lasts 17 games getting sacked the way he has through the first three.
Howell has been sacked an NFL-high 19 times this season, or 6.3 times per game. Over a 17-game season, that would project to a preposterous 108 sacks. The NFL record for most times sacked in a season is 76, set by David Carr with the expansion Texans in 2002.
Howell is also losing yardage on sacks like no other quarterback. Through three games, Howell has lost 124 yards on sacks. That would project to a total of 703 yards on sacks in a 17-game season. The NFL record for yards lost on sacks in a season is 489, set by Randall Cunningham with the Eagles in 1986.
After Howell was sacked nine times in Sunday’s 37-3 loss to the Bills, there were some questions of whether coach Ron Rivera should have taken Howell out of the game. Rivera said he thinks it will be good for Howell to learn from playing through tough games like that.
“We want to see him handle this. We want to see him do the things that he’s capable of,” Rivera said. “There is a certain point that probably protecting him would’ve been the next step. . . . He’s a young guy, and he’s got to play, and that’s really what it comes down to, him learning and growing and getting better.”
Howell has to learn to avoid pressure better, or else he’s going to break the single-season sack record or get hurt before he can.