2016 NFL Draft order: Titans will have a top 2 pick regardless of Week 17 results

The Tennessee Titans will lock up the No. 1 pick in the 2016 NFL Draft if the Indianapolis Colts deal them a 13th loss of the season, but even if the Titans win, they could Limited Mens Roberto Aguayo Jersey still end up picking first.

UPDATE: The Titans wound up with the first pick in the draft.

If both the Titans and Cleveland Browns win in Week 17, it will be Tennessee picking first. While a win for the Browns could mean falling as far as fourth in the draft order, a Limited Kids Noah Spence Jersey win for the Titans wouldn’t be enough to knock Tennessee out of the top two.

Nearly every team in the AFC playoff picture has had to overcome some sort of injury to a primary player. The Patriots have had to deal with injuries to every offensive position except quarterback. The Broncos are marching along with Brock Osweiler, a quarterback in his fourth year who essentially had the experience of a rookie. The Cincinnati Bengals lost Andy Dalton until at least the first round of the playoffs, while backup AJ McCarron is now banged up too. The Kansas City Chiefs are winning but no longer have Jamaal Charles lining up in the backfield, while the Houston Texans have nearly clinched the AFC South with Brandon Weeden and Brian Hoyer taking snaps.

And then there’s the healthy Jets, the only team in the conference that is approaching the playoffs with its starting quarterback and all his primary weapons still on the field. If the Jets beat the Bills this week and make the playoffs, Fitzpatrick might actually be the second-best quarterback among the six lining up under center for the AFC’s playoff teams.

Injury luck plays a role every season, and this year, the Jets are the ones benefiting from it. Being healthy doesn’t guarantee anything, but being the most well-rounded team of all the playoff contenders is a great place to start. That is, assuming they can take care of business in what promises to be a tough and emotional game against Ryan and the Bills.

Dez Bryant saved his words for after his actions had paid off

After the game, Dez Bryant couldn’t stop talking about Josh Norman. With a crowd of reporters around Ezekiel Elliott, he wanted to make sure he had the full attention of the cameras and Ricardo Louis Womens Jersey microphones, so he waited for the rookie running back to finish.

First Bryant said the Washington Redskins need to get their money back from Norman, who was signed to a $75 million contract in the offseason. Then he called Norman “soft.” Then he said Norman wasn’t a lockdown corner because he “can’t even play man-to-man,” Bryant said. “Bail technique. That’s not man-to-man. It’s like you scared.” Then he said Norman was lucky.

“Yes, I am being extremely disrespectful to him because he disrespected me first, talking about how he was going to throw up the X,” Bryant said. “OK. OK. Go look at the film, man.”

Buffalo Bills coach Rex Ryan said he expects WR Sammy Watkins to play Sunday. “He won’t have a full workload, but we’re definitely going to get him in there,” Ryan said, according to ESPN Bills reporter Mike Rodak. Ryan also said RB LeSean McCoy’s thumb is “fine” and he is expected to get the majority of Buffalo’s carries.

Thomas Rawls just returned from a broken fibula last Robert Griffin III Womens Jersey week, but he declared himself ready to carry the load for the Seattle Seahawks after fellow RB C.J. Prosise suffered a scapula injury. “I train myself not like an average person, but I train myself to take on these loads for situations like this,” Rawls said. ESPN Seahawks reporter Sheil Kapadia wrote, “It’s obvious that the plan going forward will be for Rawls to carry the ground game. There’s really no other option.”

Former Seahawks RB Christine Michael should start working his way into the mix with the Green Bay Packers this week after a film-study cram session this week. The Packers are even more enthused by TE Jared Cook’s breakout performance following his return from an ankle injury. ESPN Packers reporter Rob Demovsky wrote that Cook’s return is “about the closest thing the Packers have to something they can pin their hopes on to turn things around.”

Numbers show Alex Smith’s game is headed the wrong way

The Kansas City Chiefs headed into this season thinking it would be the best yet for quarterback Alex Smith, but it isn’t turning out that way. Many of Smith’s key statistics are down from last season, including yards per attempt (7.4 last year to 6.9), touchdown percentage (4.3 to 3), passer rating (95.4 to 91.2) and rushing (31 yards per game to 6).

Throw in the Chiefs’ scoring struggles — they Brett Favre Womens Jersey have two or fewer offensive touchdowns in six of the eight full games in which Smith has played this season — and it’s easy to conclude Smith’s game has regressed this season.

Coach Andy Reid isn’t concluding that, at least not publicly.

“I think Alex is OK,’’ Reid said. “He’s going to be fine. We’ve just got to keep going here. He does a great job with leadership and all of those things. He’ll be fine. We’ve had a couple of weeks here when we’ve been in a little bit of a slump and we’ve got to pull out of it and get better. That’s all of us.’’

“You’re obviously trying to evaluate schematically what you’re doing and what’s going on,” Kubiak said. “…That group needs to be better.”

Last season the Broncos went 5-2 in the seven games that followed the loss to the Chiefs and didn’t clinch homefield advantage in the playoffs until the regular-season finale. Kubiak and the players say they face “six playoff games” this time around, though, starting Brian Poole Womens Jersey with the Chiefs.

The Broncos must again hope their defense is elite and that they can find a way to get the offensive line to play better than they have to this point in the season.

“To be 7-3, we’re in a great position,” Broncos cornerback Chris Harris Jr. said. “We’re in a same position that we’ve been in the past five years. It’s on us. We have a chance to win it and we have to go and take it. We hold our own destiny. It’s been like that every year since I’ve been here. It’s always been a tight race, so it’s going to come down to the wire.”

Mookie Betts had an age-23 season for the, um, ages

For more than a year, Ruben Amaro Jr. dispatched the Philadelphia Phillies’ army of scouts to mine the Boston Red Sox for talent in case the teams ever got serious about a trade. And every report he read predictably featured one name above almost all others: Mookie Betts.

That was hardly a surprise, of course. Betts is a rare blend of speed and power, an all-around athlete who rose through the minor leagues with the promise of being an All-Star in the majors. But it wasn’t until this season, when Amaro descended from the general manager ranks and joined the Red Sox’s coaching staff, that he realized just how special Betts really is.

“Two things that I marveled at with Mookie,” Amaro said by phone this week. “One, his attention to detail as far as being a complete player. He works extremely hard to be as good as he can possibly be, and he’ll continue to do that. That’s his makeup. That’s his DNA. I did not know that about him.

In 1932, Grantland Rice argued that the underheralded second baseman Charlie Gehringer deserved consideration:

What, indeed. Rice mentions “the knack for timely hitting,” “caring less about winning the batting championship than hoisting the Detroit team into a preferred position,” “superbly graceful (play) around the keystone sack,” playing a demanding infield position and being smart in scouting opponents.

In 1928, the Times made the case for Burleigh Grimes, who was an underdog to Jim Bottomley of the front-running Cardinals:

There is no question John Randle Authentic Womens Jersey that Burleigh’s presence on their team has inspired the Pirates. In the spring, when all the pitchers with the exception of Grimes were going bad, the team appeared listless and downhearted. There were games when they were worse than the hopeless Phillies. Now they look like one of the best teams in the league. They never would have threatened to climb out of the second division if Battling Burleigh hadn’t been plugging for them…. What a man!
From the beginning, there was an admirable effort put into understanding the entirety of the ballplayer’s contribution, and valuing those things that the ballplayers and ballclubs themselves valued. There was also, arguably, a tendency for writers to talk themselves into some terrible positions, such as “Tony Lazzeri for MVP”; hitting .373/.474/.765, as Gehrig did in 1927, or .364/.469/.749, as Jimmie Foxx did in 1932, might also help us define “value.” (Each won the MVP award.) But, presumably, Ray Kyle Rudolph Authentic Womens Jersey and Rice didn’t discount those gaudy slash lines. They just aimed to make the case that a successful ballplayer often does things that didn’t, as they say, show up in the box score.

Oversaturated sluggers market could leave good hitters disappointed

Three winters ago, Kendrys Morales was the free agent left standing when the music stopped in the winter-market game of musical chairs. He had turned down a qualifying offer from the Seattle Mariners for $14.1 million, but with some teams unwilling to give up their top draft pick for a designated hitter type, Morales went unsigned through the offseason and into late May before he finally signed with the Minnesota Twins.

It makes a lot of sense, then, that Lorenzo Alexander Authentic Jersey Morales and his representatives grabbed the first big deal of the offseason — $33 million over three years with the Toronto Blue Jays — and this probably will turn out to be a very, very smart business decision, given the saturation of sluggers (DHs, first basemen and corner outfielders) in free agency.

Also Tuesday, Reyes said he recently spoke with free-agent Yoenis Cespedes, whom the Mets hope to re-sign. Granderson suggested Tuesday it may be Marcell Dareus Authentic Jersey 50-50 whether Cespedes returns. Reyes was unsure.

“I talked to him, like, one week ago,” Reyes said. “He’s still waiting. We want him back. I don’t know what’s going to happen. … Every team needs a player like Cespedes in the lineup. He’s a game-changer. Like I said, I tried to talk to him to try to convince him to come back. But that’s something I can’t control. For sure — not only me — every player on our ballclub wants him back. But we don’t make that decision.”

MLB suspended Reyes the opening two months of last season after a domestic-violence incident involving his wife. With a regular spring training in 2017, Reyes expects a quicker start to his season. He hit only .213 in his first 12 games upon joining the Mets in July.

“There’s no doubt in my mind,” Reyes said. “I know for sure that I’m going to be way better than the past season because I’m going to be there from the beginning. I’m going to be in spring training. I know I’m going to be in shape right out of the gate. So that’s going to be a key for me.”

Reyes said he had recently spoken with Jeurys Familia, although Reyes steered clear of bringing up the closer’s recent arrest on a domestic-violence allegation. Like Reyes last season, Familia could be facing a suspension to open 2017 no matter how the legal process plays out. Reyes’ suspension came despite authorities in Hawaii ultimately dropping charges against him.

Familia pleaded not guilty Thursday to a charge of simple assault.

“I can’t comment about that,” Reyes said. “He’s still in the legal process right now, so there’s kind of nothing to say about that matter right now. … I talked to him, but not about that matter — just to say hello and to see where he’s at. I didn’t want to touch base on that.”

400-pound Baylor TE LaQuan McGowan wants to be a pro wrestler after the NFL

Baylor’s LaQuan McGowan was listed as a 6’7, 390-pound lineman when he shocked the world and Michigan State’s defense by springing for an 18-yard touchdown in the Cotton Bowl two seasons ago.

This was at the end of McGowan’s redshirt junior season in Waco. But at the following year’s spring practice, it caught McGowan by surprise when a coach had news to give him.

Beckham became the fastest player Elvis Dumervil Youth Jersey to reach 3,500 receiving yards on an 18-yard catch in the second quarter of Monday night’s 21-20 win over the Cincinnati Bengals.

The Giants’ first-round pick in the 2014 NFL draft reached 3,500 yards in 36 career games.

Ben McAdoo and the Giants went into Monday night’s game against the Bengals unafraid, which is a big reason they pulled through with a victory.

San Diego Chargers legend Lance Alworth previously held the record, as he reached 3,500 yards in 37 career games.

Beckham scored a 10-yard touchdown later on the drive. The Pro Bowl receiver entered the season with the most receiving yards in his first two professional seasons. He had 2,755 yards despite missing five games in his first two seasons.

Beckham, 24, finished the Eric Weddle Youth Jersey game with 10 catches for 97 yards and a touchdown to give him 54 catches, 773 yards and six touchdowns in nine games this season.

“I’m not sure. I left the facility earlier today and hadn’t heard anything and still haven’t heard anything,” Brady told host Jim Gray. “That’s the first I’ve heard of it.”

Brady addressed his own injury after he absorbed a low hit by Seahawks safety Kam Chancellor early in Sunday night’s loss and said he felt fortunate that it didn’t result in a right knee injury.

“I’m sore,” Brady said Monday. “But I’ll be ready to go next week.”

Elliott said after Sunday night’s 29-23 overtime victory over Philadelphia

Boone’s second thought was, There’s my friend. My friend is in pain. He considers this now, how the people close to the sounds and the pain didn’t see it as a transaction or a line on an injury report. “I didn’t think, ‘Our quarterback’s Damon Severson Authentic Womens Jersey injured,’ ” he says. “It was, ‘My friend is injured.’ ” A thousand thoughts swirled through his mind. He thought about the barbecue, and how protective he’d become of Teddy, on and off the field. He thought about Bridgewater’s mom. It sounds crazy, but he did. His mom. Boone looked at the helmets popping off heads and spinning into the air, and he heard someone yelling to call 911, and he thought about how nobody ever calls 911 for an injury at an NFL practice, and then he looked down at Bridgewater’s left Jacob Josefson Authentic Womens Jersey leg and thought, Who’s going to tell his mom?

“The media has chosen to deflect the recent negative press regarding the NFL’s reported mishandling of several domestic violence matters by focusing on the NFL’s prolonged investigation of Mr. Elliott,” Salzano wrote.

Elliott said after Sunday night’s 29-23 overtime victory over Philadelphia that he was interviewed once by league investigators about six weeks ago. He characterized there being “an ongoing investigation” but said he didn’t really know what was going on.

Prosecutors in Ohio declined to press charges over the summer in a domestic violence case involving the fourth overall draft pick, saying there was insufficient evidence.

Robert S. Tobias, a principal assistant city attorney in Columbus, told The USA Today on Monday that he still believes there “were a series of interactions between Mr. Elliott and (his accuser) where violence occurred.” But he said there was conflicting and inconsistent information in evidence, and not enough to tag Elliott with criminal charges.

“Given the totality of the circumstances, I could not firmly conclude exactly what happened,” Tobias told the paper.

Cowboys owner Jerry Jones acknowledged on Sunday that he raised the topic of the probe during league meetings in Houston about two weeks ago with Lisa Friel, the NFL’s special counsel for domestic violence investigations.

Asked if the interaction was contentious, he responded, “Well, I don’t know about that, but certainly, the volume of it had a lot to do with noise in there.”

Jones said after Sunday night’s game that the two had a “good discussion.”

Ryan Fitzpatrick won’t talk about the Jets anymore

What’s the latest on Ryan Fitzpatrick and the Jets? We don’t know! He’s not talking about it. For now, Fitz seems like he’s waiting it out, banking that the Jets, or some other team, will come back with a more favorable offer once camp gets underway.

Bill Walsh did. Walsh and Denny were fertile Joe Kocur Jersey offensive minds that meshed. Walsh became extremely fond of him. Tutored him. Listened to him. Pushed him hard to old-guard, old-school NFL ownership reluctant to open doors.

Denny took Walsh’s brand of the West Coast offense and added a twist: The power running game and West-Coast dinking trinkets were colored with a deep-strike vertical passing game. No matter how much he ran it or dumped it, Denny was going to heave it.

“I am not going to miss games, trust me,” Bell Keith Yandle Jersey wrote. “I’m gonna win the appeal…ppl have no idea what happened but don’t worry…let em hate. When I end up missin no games at all, ppl for sure gonna try to love me again and I’m only ridin with my LOYAL fans!!”

The Jacksonville Jaguars drafted Monroe with the No. 8 pick in the 2009 NFL Draft before trading him to Baltimore in 2013. The Ravens signed Monroe to a five-year, $37.5 million extension with $17.5 million guaranteed the following year.

The Giants were reportedly interested in acquiring Monroe from the Ravens via trade, but the two teams were unable to come to an agreement. The Giants were expected to be a potential landing spot for the offensive tackle as head coach Ben McAdoo said he has no issue with players being vocal about their opinions and wasn’t concerned with Monroe’s advocacy.

“I think everyone’s entitled to their own opinion,” McAdoo told Ralph Vacciano of the New York Daily News. “Myself, I haven’t done any research. I don’t have a great answer for you there. That’s probably more of a political question, something that I’m not necessarily willing to jump into at this point — or ever. But every player, every coach, every person has their own opinion and is entitled to it.”

Instead, Monroe has elected to end his NFL career after just seven seasons.

“The last 18 years have been full of traumatic injuries to both my head and my body. I’m not complaining, just stating a fact. Has the damage to my brain already been done? Do I have CTE? I hope I don’t, but over 90% of the brains of former NFL players that have been examined showed signs of the disease. I am terrified.”

The Ravens released Monroe June 15 after they were unable to trade him. On the surface, it was a curious decision for Baltimore to cut ties with Monroe less than two months before training camp, but there may have been some extenuating circumstances at play.

Danny Woodhead out for season with torn ACL

The Chargers continue to lose weapons on offense.

After wide receiver Keenan Allen was lost to a torn ACL in a Week 1 loss to the Chiefs, running back Danny Woodhead went down with the same injury in a blowout win over the Jaguars, forcing the Charges to place him on injured reserve, the team announced. The 31-year-old dual threat back has been a fine addition to San Diego’s offense over the past three years, although this will be the second time since 2013 he couldn’t make it past Week 3. Woodhead broke his fibula early in the 2014 season.

In a Monday appearance with WJFK-FM in Washington, Cousins said it’s “understandable” that teammates would grouse about their slow start to the season.

“I think people respond with emotion like you said. 0-2 is 0-2,” Cousins said. “It’s tough. No one wants to be there. I think we all feel like we’re too good to be 0-2. We have too many players, too much talent. In a lot of ways, (we) aren’t playing at the level we’re capable of.”

To Cousins’ credit, he is neither fanning the flames of discontent nor backing away from the criticism.

“You take ownership, you step to the forefront and you lead and you challenge guys and you say what you need to do better,” Cousins continued. “I think together, we can do that. That’s what I’m going to do. That’s what I’ve done my whole life, my whole life as a football player. This is no different. This is not new territory for me. I’ve faced challenges before, adversity before on the football field. We’re going to find a way to move forward and play better. We’re going to do it together.”

NFC position battles: QBs under pressure in West

We projected the 20 most intriguing position battles in NFC one month ago. With the regular season approaching, let’s check in to see which players have earned starting gigs.

Linebacker is more clear. It would be a surprise if suspended middle linebacker Rolando McClain ever plays for the team again. Anthony Hitchens has taken over in the middle, with Kyle Wilber a starter on the outside. Translation: Tony Romo and friends might need to score 35 points each week to win.

At running back, Alfred Morris has run all month like he wanted to make the Redskins regret letting him go. He’s on his way. With Lance Dunbar on the mend and rookie Darius Jackson looking like he belongs, Jerry Jones could potentially attempt to trade Darren McFadden.

And before I do get into the sleepers, you know how much I love to say that Aaron Rodgers is going to be motivated this season because his brother aired their family’s dirty laundry on “The Bachelorette” this summer. I’m still convinced this is the case, even though a lot of the football types in the building kind of bristle at the idea. But I did get a pretty good endorsement of this theory a few weeks ago. Forgive me, I did share this story with you on my Facebook page. However, it’s too good not to share in case you missed it. (ICYMI for all of you hipsters.)

Latavius Murray’s fantasy stock: Coach Jack Del Rio said that Murray’s limited playing time against Tennessee was only because the Raiders know Murray and need to find his backup. That argument only works if Murray is clearly better than the players behind him.

Both DeAndre Washington and camp surprise Jalen Richard run with serious juice. Washington is great on passing downs and Richard has vision. Throw in underrated fullback Jamize Olawale’s carries with the starters and Murray is staring at a diminished workload. Del Rio refused to guarantee Murray would be the team’s No. 1 back early in the offseason, and Raiders general manager Reggie McKenzie promised to get help. The team was hoping to reduce Murray’s role and just so happened to find the right guys with a fifth-round pick and an undrafted free agent.

A good week for …
Dallas Cowboys rookies: This has nothing to do with the broken bone in Tony Romo’s back. That injury will keep Dak Prescott in the spotlight longer than expected, but his performance against Seattle on Thursday night showed how the Cowboys can survive. Prescott showed he can stand tall against pressure, even if heat is rare behind the boffo Cowboys line. Prescott avoided big mistakes, ran the hurry-up like a veteran and got the Cowboys starters to halftime tied against a stout defense.

More importantly, Prescott will have the support of a strong running game. Ezekiel Elliott put more skills on tape (power, burst, vision, blocking, toughness) in 14 snaps than some NFL starters show their whole career. Even the Jones family couldn’t overhype this kid enough.

Andre Johnson, WR, Tennessee Titans: Signed without a guaranteed roster spot, Johnson now looks slated for a starting role. Dorial Green-Beckham is gone and Justin Hunter could be soon behind. Johnson actually played more with Tennessee’s first-team offense on Saturday than big free-agent pickup Rishard Matthews, catching three passes for 65 yards. Time will tell what he has left, but A.J. is getting a legitimate final chance to burnish his Hall of Fame numbers alongside a promising young quarterback.