|National Football League|
NFL Recent Player News
|10/21/2014||Akeem Ayers, LB|
|Tennessee has traded linebacker Akeem Ayers to the New England Patriots in what coach Ken Whisenhunt says gives the linebacker a fresh start. The Titans traded Ayers and their seventh-round draft in 2015 to the Patriots and will receive New England's sixth round draft pick pending a physical, according to multiple reports.
Analysis: Ayers had been scratched five of seven games this season in Tennessee where the Titans switched to a 3-4 scheme under coordinator Ray Horton. A second-round draft pick in 2011 out of UCLA, Ayers started 44 of 48 games his first three seasons. But he had surgery to repair the patella tendons in both knees this offseason.
|10/21/2014||Da'Quan Bowers, DE|
|The NFL has suspended Bowers for two games without pay for violating the league's policy on performance-enhancing substances.
Analysis: A second-round draft pick in 2011, Bowers has started just 10 games as a pro. He has one sack in five games after being slowed by injuries the past two seasons.
|10/21/2014||Chris Scott, G|
|The Carolina Panthers signed Scott after releasing longtime defensive back Charles Godfrey.
Analysis: Scott started eight games for Carolina in 2013 before being released in August.
|10/21/2014||Charles Godfrey, CB|
|The Panthers announced they've released longtime defensive back Charles Godfrey and signed guard Chris Scott.
Analysis: Godfrey joined the Panthers as a third-round draft pick in 2008 and played in 82 games with 75 starts. Godfrey, 28, had worked his way back from a torn Achilles tendon in 2013, playing in seven games with one start this season. However, Carolina's secondary has struggled, allowing 15 touchdown passes.
|10/21/2014||Everette Brown, LB|
|Washington has signed Brown after placing Brian Orakpo on injured reserve.
Analysis: Brown was in training camp with the Redskins this year but was cut at the end of the preseason. Brown has appeared in 38 NFL games with three starts with the Carolina Panthers, San Diego Chargers and Dallas Cowboys. He played in seven games with the Cowboys last season and had one sack.
|10/21/2014||Evan Mathis, G|
|Mathis is expected to practice Wednesday.
Analysis: The Philadelphia Eagles' All-Pro guard sprained a knee ligament in Week 1. He isn't eligible to play until Nov. 10 after being placed on injured reserve with designation to return.
|10/21/2014||Darren Sproles, RB|
|Sproles and linebacker Mychal Kendricks were among the injured players who practiced on Tuesday, though their status is uncertain for Sunday's game at Arizona.
Analysis: Sproles sprained the medial collateral ligament in his left knee in a 27-0 win over the New York Giants on Oct. 12. The injury appeared worse when he went down and didn't return, but coach Chip Kelly alleviated concerns when he said it wasn't serious before the team broke for the bye. "I'm fine," Sproles said. "I thought it was bad. I had an MRI and I feel pretty good."
|10/21/2014||Michael Sam, DE|
|The Dallas Cowboys have released Michael Sam from the practice squad, another setback as the NFL's first openly gay player tries to make an active roster during the regular season for the first time.
Analysis: Sam was signed to Dallas' practice squad on Sept. 3, four days after he was among the final cuts by the St. Louis Rams at the end of the preseason. The Rams drafted Sam late in the seventh round of the NFL draft in May. The former SEC defensive player of the year at Missouri was pick No. 249 out of 256.
|10/21/2014||Ray Rice, RB|
|Two people familiar with the situation say a hearing on Rice's appeal of his indefinite suspension will be held Nov. 5 and 6. The people spoke with The Associated Press on condition of anonymity Tuesday because details of the hearing have not been made public.
Analysis: Rice was suspended indefinitely Sept. 8 for violating the NFL's personal conduct policy after a video of Rice hitting his then-fiancee in an elevator was released publicly. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell originally had suspended Rice for two games. Once the video became public, the Baltimore Ravens cut the star running back, and the league banned him indefinitely. The league considered the video to be new evidence, giving Goodell the authority to further suspend Rice.
|10/21/2014||Ryan Fitzpatrick, QB|
|Fitzpatrick put up decent numbers Monday.
Analysis: Fitzpatrick was 21 for 32 for 262 yards with two TDs and one INT. He also carried five times for 16 yards. Next week he faces the Titans.
|10/21/2014||Jeremy Kerley, WR|
|The New York Jets have signed Kerley to a four-year contract extension. Kerley, a fifth-round draft pick in 2011, was due to become an unrestricted free agent after this season. The move, announced by the team Tuesday, comes three days after the Jets completed a deal to acquire Percy Harvin from the Seattle Seahawks for a conditional draft pick. The team did not disclose financial terms.
Analysis: Kerley, 25, has led the Jets in receptions the last two seasons, and has 22 catches for 201 yards and a touchdown this year. He has seen his role diminish in recent weeks with just seven catches in New York's last four games, but Kerley is one of the league's top receivers on third-down plays.
|10/20/2014||Golden Tate, WR|
|Tate had a career-high 10 receptions and 154 yards in a 24-23 victory over New Orleans on Sunday, including a 73-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter.
Analysis: The Lions have relied heavily on Tate with Calvin Johnson out the past two weeks, and you should too. He has 32 catches for 448 yards and two touchdowns in the last four games, and is among the league leaders with 48 receptions for 649 yards this season.
|10/20/2014||Eli Manning, QB|
|Manning had a solid fantasy effort Sunday.
Analysis: Manning had three touchdown passes, completing 21 of 33 passes for 248 yards and also gaining 11 yards on a scramble. He has 14 TDs and is on pace for a career-high 32.
|10/20/2014||Drew Brees, QB|
|Brees had at least 340 yards for the third straight game Sunday but New Orleans fell 24-23 in Detroit.
Analysis: Brees went 28 for 45 for 342 yards and two touchdowns with one interception. Despite racking up the yardage, the Saints quarterback has a lackluster 6-to-5 TD-to-INT ratio in the last three games. Brees does have two TDs in five consecutive games and at least one in 26 straight. He owns the NFL's longest streak at 54 games and has thrown at least one in 80 of the last 81.
|10/20/2014||Jay Cutler, QB|
|Cutler was 21 of 34 for 190 yards and threw an interception and lost a fumble in Sunday's loss to Miami.
Analysis: Cutler has thrown seven interceptions in Chicago's four losses and none in its three defeats this season.
|10/20/2014||Alex Smith, QB|
|Smith completed 19 of 28 passes for 221 yards and one touchdown in Kansas City's 23-20 win over San Diego.
Analysis: After tossing three interceptions in Week 1, Smith has been picked off only once in the five games since. He has nine touchdowns this season.
|10/20/2014||Matt Forte, RB|
|Forte recorded 109 total yards and posted a touchdown running and receiving Sunday against Miami.
Analysis: Forte is certainly putting up first-round fantasy pick numbers.
|10/20/2014||Jeremiah Ratliff, DT|
|Ratliff recorded a career-high 3 1/2 sacks Sunday.
Analysis: Ratliff has been the Bears best interior defensive linemen, but like all DTs, does not have consistent fantasy value.
|10/20/2014||Jamaal Charles, RB|
|Charles rushed for 95 yards and one touchdown in Kansas City's victory over San Diego.
Analysis: Charles' performance moved him to the top of Kansas City's career rushing list with 6,113 yards. Charles has 345 yards from scrimmage and four total touchdowns this season.
|10/20/2014||Ryan Tannehill, QB|
|Tannehill threw for 277 yards and two touchdowns, and the Dolphins got back on track with a 27-14 victory over the listless Chicago Bears on Sunday.
Analysis: He also rushed six times for 48 yards, and continues to prove he can be a multi-threat quarterback.
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