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Foster, Forte, Palmer sidelined Sunday

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Foster, Forte, Palmer sidelined Sunday

Starting running backs Arian Foster of Houston, Matt Forte of Chicago and Trent Richardson of Cleveland were sidelined for part of their games Sunday.

With one week remaining in the regular season, the Texans will be monitoring Foster's heart after he was removed from a loss to Minnesota with an irregular heartbeat.

``I'll be OK,'' Foster said. ``It's a very minor situation, so I'll be OK.''

Foster, the team's leading rusher, left the game after gaining 15 yards on 10 carries. He also had two catches for 14 yards. His last play came with about nine minutes left in the third quarter.

Coach Gary Kubiak said Foster had experienced the problem once before in practice.

``He calms down and he's fine,'' Kubiak said.

The medical staff told Kubiak that Foster was OK late in Sunday's game and could return. But Kubiak thought it best to give him the rest of the game off.

``I know they're on top of it and he's feeling fine,'' Kubiak said.

Forte gained 88 yards in 12 carries, including a 4-yard TD run in a win at Arizona before leaving with a right ankle injury early in the second half.

Chicago safety Chris Conti left the game in the first half with a hamstring injury.

Late in the fourth quarter of a loss at Denver, Richardson was carted off the field with a left ankle injury; the Browns offered no report on the injury.

Earlier, fellow rookie Brandon Weeden hurt his right shoulder when Von Miller crashed into the quarterback.

Weeden slammed his helmet to the ground on the sideline and walked slowly to the locker room.

Earlier in the game, cornerback Sheldon Brown left with a head injury after colliding with Broncos receiver Brandon Stokley. Brown was trying to cover Demaryius Thomas over the middle of the field when he bumped into Stokley.

Broncos cornerback Tracy Porter left with a concussion in the first quarter.

Oakland quarterback Carson Palmer hurt his back in a loss at Carolina.

Palmer was flushed from the pocket late in the first quarter, rolled right and stopped to set up. That's when defensive end Greg Hardy came in from behind and hit Palmer in his lower back with the crown of his helmet. Officials flagged Hardy for unnecessary roughness because he led with his helmet, resulting in a 15-yard penalty and an automatic first down.

X-rays on Palmer were negative.

Also, Raiders DB Phillip Adams (groin) and safety Tyvon Branch (foot) were sidelined.

San Francisco tight end Vernon Davis sustained a concussion against Seattle after getting hit along the sideline by Seahawks safety Kam Chancellor.

Davis was attempting to haul in a pass deep in Seattle's end late in the first quarter. Davis caught the pass but was immediately knocked off his feet by Chancellor, jarring the ball loose. Davis was slow to get up, was examined by doctors on the sideline and eventually taken to the locker room for further evaluation.

Pittsburgh TE Heath Miller left in the fourth quarter of a loss to Cincinnati with a right knee injury.

Chiefs WR Terrance Copper (left knee) and DT Tyson Jackson (left foot) left a loss to Indianapolis.

Jaguars WR Cecil Shorts III and guard Uche Nwaneri left the loss to New England with concussions.

Chargers rookie safety Brandon Taylor was carted off the field in the third quarter against the Jets after injuring his right knee. Jets DB Ellis Lankster left in the second half with a concussion.

The Bucs lost CB E.J. Biggers to a groin injury in a loss to St. Louis.

Giants DL Marvin Austin and Chris Canty both left a loss at Baltimore with knee injuries. Ravens WR Anquan Boldin hurt his shoulder in the third quarter and did not return.

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Ravens experimenting with getting Joe Flacco and Lamar Jackson on field at same time

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Ravens experimenting with getting Joe Flacco and Lamar Jackson on field at same time

Since drafting Lamar Jackson, the Ravens have made it clear that Joe Flacco is their starter. That doesn't mean they're not experimenting with having them both on the field at the same time, however. 

During this week's minicamp, the team has been lining Jackson up at multiple positions. 

"Gosh, I sure like him out there helping us," coach John Harbaugh said of Jackson during Tuesday's minicamp, via ESPN.com.

"If you put two quarterbacks on the field at once, what options does it create for our offense? That's what we're trying to figure out."

While at Louisville, Jackson rushed for 4,132 yards and 50 touchdowns in three seasons. That's more rushing yards than No. 2 overall pick Saquon Barkley. That unique skill set could be the creative options the Ravens are looking for. 

While at the NFL Combine, however, Jackson refused to workout at any other position than QB. 

"I have a lot of fun seeing what they come up with and what they're going to come up with next," Jackson said. "We'll see where it goes. You have to use your good players."

The Ravens are already viewing Jackson as one of those 'good players.' 

"Once he gets out of the pocket, it's like watching a young Michael Vick," LB C.J. Mosley said after minicamp practice. "It's amazing to watch. When you're defending him, you just have to act like you're tagging off -- you don't want to be on the highlight reel."

Harbaugh has alluded to the fact that the rookie will be active on game days, just exactly how they get the most out of him is what's in play.

"There's a lot of considerations that go into that," Harbaugh said of using two QBs at the once. "Everybody has an opinion. I've read a few. You want to find a way to get the most out of all your guys."

While Flacco isn't the fasted QB in the league, he has shown glimpses of running ability in the past. Figuring out how to utilize Flacco when Jackson is under center is where things will get interesting.

Interesting - as long as it works - is what Ravens fans have been searching for over the last several seasons. 

"Joe has to be able to do other things if [Jackson is] throwing the ball," Harbaugh said. "It gets the creative juices flowing for our offensive coaches, and they've worked hard on that."

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Ravens D-coordinator Don Martindale puts personal stamp on unit

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Ravens D-coordinator Don Martindale puts personal stamp on unit

OWINGS MILLS, Md. -- There are no dreary work days for Don Martindale, who has overwhelmingly embraced his new role as defensive coordinator of the Baltimore Ravens.

After serving for five seasons as the team's linebackers coach, Martindale was promoted to coordinator in January after Dean Pees left the post.

Enthusiastic doesn't even begin to describe Martindale's attitude about being in charge of the defense.

"Ever since we've made this transition, it's been a joy to just come through those gates every day. I love it," Martindale said after Wednesday's mandatory minicamp practice.

This isn't the first time Martindale has been put in charge of molding a defense. In 2010, he watched over a unit in Denver that was the worst in the NFL in both yards and points allowed per game.

Given a second chance, the 55-year-old Martindale is putting together a defense that will rely heavily on the instinct of several of its most proven players, most notably safety Eric Weddle and linebackers Terrell Suggs and C.J. Mosley.

"He's just putting his personal fix on our defense and expanding it, giving the guys confidence to play fast," Weddle said. "The idea is to do what's best for the defense, not what's best the individual."

Martindale called Mosley "the quarterback" of a fluid unit that can make a snap-change from drop-back coverage to an all-out blitz. In that regard, Mosley believes this defense is superior to the one that in 2017 yielded 18.9 points per game, sixth-best in the NFL.

"The way we're able to use our core guys, put them in different spots and do some of the same things just from different positions, it's more creative, I would say, than where we were last year," Mosley said.

Baltimore coach John Harbaugh promoted Martindale rather than go outside the organization because he wanted to extend his vision of a defense that has evolved since his arrival in 2008.

"All we're doing is forwarding John's plan," Martindale said. "We're remodeling the package. It's still Ravens football, it's still Ravens defense, but we've streamlined it. It's the elegant simplicity. Guys are playing really fast."

Asked for his take on Martindale's defense, Ravens offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg replied, "They're fast and they're furious."

Sure, things might be different once the pads go on at training camp, but at this point, Martindale's boss likes what he sees.

"We're doing a lot of neat things on defense, things that are really good," Harbaugh said. "More than ever, we're putting it on our players to make decisions in real time."

Martindale has a new title, but old habits die hard.

"For the most part, it's been the same," Mosley said. "He always comes in and says, `I have to lead the linebacker room,' and sits down and gets to talking like he's back at linebacker coach."

Told of Mosley's disclosure, Martindale smiled and said, "I've been trying to stay out of there, but you can't help but go in. That's home. I have a good time in the secondary room as well."

And just about everywhere else.

"Where we're going with this thing is really exciting to me," Martindale said, "and I know it's exciting to the players."

In other training camp news, cornerback Jimmy Smith was a surprise participant at practice, going through a light regimen of individual drills just six months after tearing his left Achilles tendon.

"I don't know if Jimmy's like half Wolverine, but he's healed up in half the time of regular human beings," Weddle said, referring to the amazing recuperative powers of the Marvel super hero.

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