Brady’s throwing shoulder a bit dinged? Tiny bit, probably

Tom

Pats QB Tom Brady sure didn’t look like he had a shoulder injury Sunday
in Baltimore.
  (Reuters)

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What’s this? Tom Brady‘s throwing shoulder is a bit dinged up?

It’s probably nothing significant, but the New England Patriots listed their star quarterback as having been limited in Wednesday’s practice, because of an unspecified “right shoulder” injury.

The Patriots play the Bills Sunday in Buffalo in an AFC East showdown. Buffalo is 2-1, tied atop the division with the New York Jets. New England is 1-2, under .500 for the first time in nine years.

By NFL rules, teams are obligated to inform the league whenever a player is limited in practice because of an injury.

The Pats on Wednesday listed Brady among six players who had “limited participation in practice” due to injury. Per protocol, the injury associated to Brady is listed as nothing more than “right shoulder.”

It might well be insignificant. Brady conducted his usual interview session Wednesday with local reporters, and showed no sign of any ailment, nor did he mention being injured or limited in any way.

“It’s a very tough place to play,” Brady said of the big game in Buffalo. “I think we have to, I said the other day, dig ourselves out of a bit of a hole that we kind of put ourselves into. We’re sitting here at 1-2 and looking up at Buffalo and the Jets.

“We lost up there last year, so we have to go out there and try to play better than we’ve been playing.”

For the Bills, meanwhile, running back Fred Jackson practised on a limited basis for the first time since spraining his right knee in the opener. Thursday’s practice should determine whether he can play against New England.

On Monday he said there was a “70 to 75% chance” that he would.

After Wednesday’s practice, Jackson said, “Yeah, I got some good work in … There were some things I liked, but there was a lot of stuff I need to work on, too. It is a good thing we have a week. We will see how it goes.”

C.J. Spiller averaged more than nine yards per carry while filling in for Jackson as starter, before hurting his shoulder Sunday in Cleveland.

Spiller did not practise on Wednesday, “but we are hoping we will get him maybe a few reps by the end of the week,” head coach Chan Gailey said.

Spiller said “it is too early right now” to speak as to whether he would play Sunday.

“If I feel I can go out there and give my team everything I got at a high level that I was doing before I got injured, then of course I will,” Spiller said. “But I’m not going to do anything that is going to hurt me or this team by trying to get out there and not play at 100%, so we will see.”

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OTHER PLAYER NEWS ON WEDNESDAY:

Chicago Bears running back Matt Forte practised Wednesday, according to the Chicago Tribune.

That was a surprise, because two weeks ago Forte severely sprained his right ankle in Green Bay.

Head coach Lovie Smith cautioned that Forte still might not be able to play Monday in Dallas.
Forte’s backup, Michael Bush, is expected to start against the Cowboys after hurting a shoulder Sunday against St. Louis.

PRACTISED: Among other injured NFLers who did practise Wednesday: New York Giants running back Ahmad Bradshaw, who will start Sunday in Philadelphia, and former Green Bay Packers running back Ryan Grant, who worked out for the first time with his new team, the Washington Redskins. Grant wore No. 25.

DIDN’T PRACTISE: Among the injured who did not practise Wednesday was Miami Dolphins running back Reggie Bush, who said, “I would tell you right now that I’m playing Sunday. But I’m not the head coach.” The head coach, Joe Philbin, said if Bush is “healthy enough he’ll play, if he is not then he won’t.” Bush reportedly sprained his right knee Sunday against the New York Jets … Other sit-outs: Detroit Lions QB Matthew Stafford (but he is preparing as though he will play Sunday against the visiting Minnesota Vikings), Lions WR Titus Young (knee), Minnesota Vikings TE Kyle Rudolph (thigh) and St. Louis Rams running back Steven Jackson (groin).

WON’T PRACTISE ANY TIME SOON: Arizona Cardinals placed forever-injured running back Chris (Beanie) Wells on injured reserve until at least Nov. 25 with turf toe, an injury he’s been battling since his three years at Ohio State.

JETS’ McKNIGHT ‘TRADED’: Here’s how bench-warming New York Jets running back Joe McKnight found out from head coach Rex Ryan he was now a cornerback: “Rex walked into the room and said I was traded — I got traded to the defence,” McKnight said. The Jets have lost perennial All-Pro cornerback Darrelle Revis with a torn ACL in his right knee.
Moving an player unproductive at one position in mid-season to a position of need reeks of desperation.

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BELICHICK FINED $50,000; SHANNY JR. $25,000
Get a wheelbarrow for your dollar bills, Bill.
The NFL on Wednesday fined Bill Belichick $50,000 for “impermissible physical contact with an official,” after the Patriots head coach attempted to grab a replacement official running off the field following New England’s 31-30 loss Sunday in Baltimore.
The league also fined Washington Redskins offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan $25,000 for confronting and verbally abusing a replacement official in tunnel after a 38-31 loss to Cincinnati on Sunday.
The league found no cause to fine Baltimore Ravens head coach John Harbaugh, who argued vehemently with officials during Sunday’s win over the Patriots.
As for players, the league fined Pittsburgh Steelers safety Ryan Mundy $21,000 for his helmet-to-helmet hit that left Oakland Raiders wide receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey unconscious for several minutes and hospitalized overnight for precaution.
Heyward-Bey is recovering from a concussion and neck strain, and is xpected to make a full recovery. Mundy was not flagged.
On Tuesday, the league fined Denver Broncos linebacker Joe Mays $50,000 for his wicked head-smash on Houston quarterback Matt Schaub, which sent Schaub’s helmet flying off and ripped off a small chunk of Schaub’s left earlobe.
Hall of Fame quarterback Fran Tarkenton reportedly told Fox News he thought the hit was so egregious that Mays “should have been suspended for one year.”
Meantime, Steve Wyche of NFL Network reported that the NFL will not fine any NFL players, even the most upset Green Bay Packers, for their anger-laced tweets about Monday’s Packers-Seahawks ending in particular, or replacement referees in general.
CBSSports.com’s Jason LaCanfora reported that the same is true of radio interviews given by angry players.

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LATEST ON THE REFS TALKS:

The NFL and its locked-out regular officials might be closer to a new contract agreement than Golden Tate was to catching that ball on Monday night.
“It sure looks good,” Tim Millis, the executive director of the NFL Referees Association, told USA Today’s Jim Corbett on Wednesday. “(Both sides are) committed to getting it done.
“But there’s no deal right now. There’s not a deal that’s hanging on the table for us to sign within minutes or an hour.”
NFL spokesman Greg Aiello tweeted: “I would not use (the word imminent), but talks are proceeding.”
Indeed, caution was urged everywhere after mid-day reports on Wednesday from ESPN and others suggested a tentative deal was “just about finished with the agreement in principle.”
Sports Illustrated’s Peter King tweeted, “NFLRA negotiator Scott Green has notified officials that a deal is not imminent.”
Jason Cole of Yahoo! Sports reported that an NFL owner told him that while it is possible a deal will be done in time for the real refs to return this weekend, the owner “stopped well short of calling it probable.”
“I would call things ‘positive-but-precarious,’” the owner told Cole.
“There are still a lot of hard feelings on both sides, a lot of people still drawing lines in the sand, at least verbally. I could see something being done by (Thursday) or it could take another week.”
Mark Maske of the Washington Post tweeted that a person familiar with negotiations told him a deal “could be this week” but that it wasn’t a certainty.
The NFL Network’s Albert Breer tweeted that a union source told him that the idea that a deal is done is “absolutely false,” but the two sides are “getting closer (and) have made plenty of progress.”
Before the last few days, the league and the NFLRA — which represents the 121 locked-out regular officials — had been deadlocked for months on key issues.
Numerous reports have said the structure of the refs’ pensions is at the heart of the dispute. The league wants to restructure the pensions of all existing officials, and they refuse to agree to this.
Talks between the two sides resumed in person on the weekend in New York City, continued Monday by phone, and lasted 17.5 hours in person on Tuesday. Commissioner Roger Goodell took part Tuesday.
Breer reported that one of the key remaining issues was resolved by Wednesday morning. The NFL wanted 21 full-time officials added, the union didn’t.
“Compromise agreed on: 21 guys in developmental program, work w/crews during week, promoted on merit,” Breer tweeted.
Those who have been through the process of dotting I’s and crossing T’s in sports labour talks also urged patience.
“Having done this before, everyone needs to wait until the ink is dry,” tweeted DeMaurice Smith, the executive director of the NFL Players Association.
One owner finally went public early Wednesday afternoon with comments about the bitter labour dispute.
Jim Irsay, owner of the Indianapolis Colts, tweeted, “Let’s be clear,when our NFL Fans talk,we listen..if you’re unhappy,we’re unhappy…we’re here 2 serve U..everything we do is to please YOU!
“I’ll pay $1,00,000,000.00 in Player costs in 7 years…it’s not about greed or power mongering..new initiatives 2 improve officiating is key.”
Improving officiating?! Getting the real refs back would be a big step toward improving officiating, now wouldn’t it, Jim.
The players are as excited as anybody at the prospect.
“You guys have seen it — we need them back,” St. Louis Rams quarterback Sam Bradford said Wednesday. “I hope it happens soon. I just don’t think it’s fair to the fans, I don’t think it’s fair to us as players to go out there and have to deal with that week in and week out. I really hope that they’re as close as they say they are.”
The real referees are fully trained, in shape, and ready to work this weekend’s games, reports said. Breer reported Wednesday afternoon that it was possible even for the real refs to work Thursday night’s game in Baltimore, between the Ravens and Cleveland Browns, if a deal were to get done in time.
So there ya are.
As Jason LaCanfora of CBSSports.com tweeted, even if a deal is not done imminently, “the days of the replacement refs are numbered.”
And amen to that.

——

Fail Mary official ‘absolutely not’ NFL worthy
Lance Easley, the replacement official who ruled the final play in Monday night’s Seattle-Green Bay game to be a touchdown, was “absolutely not” ready to work an NFL game in the summer.
That’s according to the man who rejected Easley in July as a prospective game official for the top division of U.S. college football, let alone the NFL.
In a story Wednesday, USA Today’s Jim Corbett interviewed Karl Richins, who runs the Stars and Stripes Academy for Football Officials in Salt Lake City, Utah.
“It got to know Lance at a June academy I worked at in Reno, and when he came to my academy in July,” Richins told USA Today. “He’s a very polite, good Christian gentleman, a good father to his son, Daniel, who was at my academy as well.
“But was Lance ready to work at the NFL level? Absolutely not.”
Richins’ camp staff determined that Easley, who lives in Santa Maria, Calif., was not competent to work any of the hundreds of annual games played at the NCAA’s Division I level.
Easley awarded a Hail Mary touchdown catch to Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Golden Tate, which allowed the Seahawks to defeat the visiting Green Bay Packers, 14-12.
Most impartial viewers who have seen the play concluded that Green Bay defensive back M.D. Jennings instead should have been awarded an interception.
Easley ruled it a joint possession, which by rules goes to the offensive player.

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