The Alabama defense consistently sends players to the NFL, and Fitzpatrick is next on the list. While Kirk didn’t grab a spot in Dan Kadar’s 2018 mock draft, Fitzpatrick was a top-five pick and the first cornerback off the board.

There’s also Da’Shawn Hand and Da’Ron Payne on the defensive line and Ronnie Harrison at safety.

But the versatile skill of Fitzpatrick, who has played six different positions on the Alabama defense, could be the key to bottling Kirk. So far in 2017, Fitzpatrick has played strong safety for the Crimson Tide.

“We have been very young for the last couple years and that keeps you in the transition mode because you’re not able to bank on the chemistry and that background and the resources that you need to really communicate like you need to be a really high functioning team. It’s a process and we’re in progress making it that way.”

OK, I know No. 2 is sky high for a team that’s just 3-2, but hear me out.

The Saints are still a juggernaut on offense and Cheap Blackhawks Jerseys
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But what has launched the Saints’ hopes through the roof is the play of the defense so far in 2017. It forced five turnovers against the Lions on Sunday, two weeks after shutting out the Dolphins.

Maybe it won’t last for long, but even if it doesn’t, it looks like New Orleans struck gold with rookie Marshon Lattimore, who hasn’t given up a touchdown yet and had a pick-six Sunday.

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Sometimes it can become a chore for NFL teams to find touches for a player who is good at a little bit of everything. While the goal can be to find the next DeSean Jackson or Percy Harvin, there are plenty of examples — like Cordarrelle Patterson or Dexter McCluster — who end up making little impact outside of a handful of plays.

The good thing about Kirk is that, like Jackson and Harvin, he can play wide receiver and everything else is just a cherry on top.

“It’s devastating, no question about it,” Packers receiver Randall Cobb said. “First and foremost, it’s one of my closest friends, so to see him go down with that, it’s tough. But we’ve still got to play football. We’ve got a long season ahead of us, and we’ve got to figure out what we’re going to do.”

On Monday, McCarthy tried to turn the attention forward even though there are other injury issues on the offensive line (where three starters dropped out Sunday) and in the secondary (where three starters were inactive and a fourth, cornerback Quinten Rollins, was placed on injured reserve to make room for Callahan).

“We are ready and fired up to go get them Saints,” McCarthy said. “I mean, that’s the mood, it was important to shift gears. We took the later part of our meetings today and focused on getting on to the Saints video. We usually wait ’til Wednesday to do that. Had a bunch of corrections to go through by segment to the offense, defense, special teams. But Cheap Authentic Soccer Jerseys
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At the end of the first half, there were 10 punts and five points. Both Pat O’Donnell and Ryan Quigley handled the extra duties well and didn’t set up any scoring opportunities before halftime.

Then, O’Donnell got the Bears a touchdown with the most nonchalant of passes on a fake.

The NFL got in the Star Wars spirit with the debut of a new trailer for Star Wars: The Last Jedi, which comes out in December. There were even Stormtroopers on the field and in the booth.

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Washington Redskins defensive lineman Jonathan Allen will miss the rest of the season after suffering a Lisfranc injury in his left foot during Sunday’s win over San Francisco, a source said Wednesday.

Allen underwent surgery Wednesday on the foot, a source said, and had multiple screws inserted into it. The recovery period will be at least three months.

It’s a crushing blow for a defense that had been improving, in part because of Allen’s performance.

Daily Norseman would like to remind you that the Minnesota Vikings aren’t out of this yet:

Redskins coach Jay Gruden said Allen will visit with noted foot specialist Dr. Robert Anderson to determine the severity of the injury. Gruden said Allen would hopefully miss only three to four weeks, though they’ll know more about his absence after he visits Anderson.

The Patriots, for all their warts, are clearly the class of the division and their two losses have come against the Kansas City Chiefs and the Panthers, that have a combined record of 7-1 against non-Patriot teams in 2017. They’re good opponents that had good days, while the Patriots defense struggled to find its footing.
Buffalo Rumblings begs to differ about the Patriots:

He transformed from functionary to human being, and when he was asked a question about grieving — a question that somehow seemed utterly appropriate — Zimmer paused and looked down. After a deep breath, he looked to the sky as his lower lip quivered. My wife passed away seven years ago, he said. It was a tough day. The sun came up the next day, the world kept spinning, people kept going to work. That’s what we’re going to do.

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Lambo displayed a powerful leg in two seasons with the Chargers but also missed a spate of critical kicks, including three potential game-winners.

We just wanted to bring a guy in to see if we can get more consistency from that position, Marrone said.

While the Jaguars have special teams issues, the Colts continue life without franchise quarterback Andrew Luck. It was hoping that Luck would be able to return this week, but the Colts had to shut him down because of recurring shoulder soreness.

There are no more undefeated teams after the Chiefs fell to the Steelers, but they still are the team that defeated the league’s only other one-loss team, the Eagles.

Kansas City and Philadelphia are the easy choices for the top, but behind them, the three powerhouses of preseason predictions — New England, Pittsburgh and Seattle — are making their moves.

Alex Smith was bound to cool off a little with some injuries to his skill players against a good defense, which is exactly what happened against the Steelers. They need to shake off the stirring up of tough playoff memories, stat.

Mike Evans caught his fourth pass on the night midway through the fourth quarter, putting the Bucs inside the Patriots’ 10-yard line.

In an effort to get extra yardage, Evans pulled off this awkward jump-spin that failed miserably:

You gotta admire the effort by Evans, who is one of the best wide receivers in the NFL today. But there’s no denying it just wasn’t close to being pretty or effective.

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Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie was apologetic and enthusiastic as he returned to the New York Giants after a one-week suspension. He called it a miscommunication and misunderstanding with coach Ben McAdoo that escalated the situation.

Rodgers-Cromartie was reinstated after a meeting with McAdoo on Tuesday morning. He returned to practice for the first time on Wednesday, one week after he walked out of the Giants facility upset with being informed of his benching Sunday against the Denver Broncos.

Cam Newton’s resurgence has the Panthers atop the NFC South standings, and two recent wins have proven they aren’t just a paper tiger. Carolina notched road wins over Super Bowl 51 champion New England and 2016 playoff participant Detroit to make its claim as a 2017 contender. The Eagles behind the play of second-year passer Carson Wentz, need a win Thursday to dispel the ghosts of last season’s disappointing finish.

The Giants might’ve won in Denver (surprise!) but they’re still 1-5 and devastated by injury. Not having Odell Beckham Jr. is a game-changer. They also have a tough remaining schedule, with only two of their final 10 games against teams currently with a losing record. — Jordan Raanan

That has not materialized, though Bryant isn’t exactly being ignored. He has played 71 percent of Pittsburgh’s offensive snaps, second among Steelers wide receivers to only the incredible Antonio Brown (93 percent) and slightly ahead of rookie JuJu Smith-Schuster (66 percent), though Smith-Schuster saw the field more in Week 6. Bryant has been targeted 34 times, which is third on the team behind Brown (74) and superstar running back Le’Veon Bell (39). Smith-Schuster has 24 targets.

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Ingram was standing up in a six-technique on the left side of the defensive line, head up on Giants tight end Jerrell Adams with defensive tackle Darius Philon lined up inside of him at three-technique on the outside shoulder of Giants left guard D.J. Fluker.

The Chiefs are the league’s most well-rounded team, looking strong in each of the three phases. But the Broncos have that absurd defense.

The offense is still a wild card with the Broncos. However, it would be irresponsible to count them out just yet. Trevor Siemian has shown flashes that he can be more than just enough to the Broncos back to the playoffs. If he can somehow maintain that, Denver is a big problem for Kansas City.

As far as the Raiders, they they have some serious ground to make up after a 2-3 start to the season. There’s no reason they still can’t make the postseason, but catching the Chiefs seems like a tall task.

As we said last week, everyone who is part of our NFL community has a tremendous respect for our country, our flag, our anthem and our military. In the best American tradition, we are coming together to find common ground and commit to the hard work required for positive change.

Jenkins, who has been at the center of the movement to call attention to social issues, said the meeting was collaborative.

This was the first time we have gotten the chance to sit down in front of ownership, Jenkins said. We felt they were receptive. We felt there was a real dialogue. We felt it was positive.

After the players meeting Tuesday, Goodell and his staff made a presentation at the NFL owners meeting similar to the one made earlier to the players in an attempt to resolve the national anthem demonstration issue, a senior NFL official told ESPN’s Sal Paolantonio.

The official told ESPN that the players and owners have agreed to meet again soon to hammer out specific steps and actions that can be taken jointly to resolve the issue.

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NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said he believes all players should stand for the national anthem but stopped short of imposing a rule on standing for the playing of The Star-Spangled Banner.

Goodell, speaking to reporters on Wednesday, said it is important for the league and its players to honor and respect our flag and our country.

Bath time. My wife puts both kids in the bath, but when my son is done I leave the TV to help with my daughter. She says, I’m the Little Mermaid! (shakes fist) DISNEEEEYYYY!

Well, the Little Mermaid has beautiful hair because she washes it all the time. We should probably shampoo your hair so it’s like hers, I say, and she assents faster than she ever has to a hair-washing. Although now that I think about it, mermaid hair would have to be distinctly different from human hair to not be completely damaged by constant submersion in saltwater. The lies we tell our children.

When I finish washing her hair, she lays back in the tub to rinse, and I hold the back of her head to massage the shampoo out. Ringed by remnants of bubbles, her face has the beatific look of the precogs from Minority Report, and she makes up a song about a bear, singing it under her breath, so lightly I can’t follow whatever plot there is. It is a peaceful, unscripted moment that is filled with the kind of awe and love usually reserved for cathedrals. Best part of my day.

The Redskins did not share those concerns and were ecstatic that he fell to them. He provided them with versatility too; Allen also played end in their 3-4 base front and could line up at different spots. He also occasionally rushed from a standing position behind a nose guard, picking his spot where to rush.

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Last Sunday, the Falcons turned conservative after building a 17-0 halftime lead on the Miami Dolphins, who rallied for a stunning 20-17 victory . Ryan drove the Falcons into position for a tying field goal, only to throw an interception with less than a minute to go .

Now, it’s time for that Super Bowl rematch.

While Ryan and the Falcons have done their best to get escape the shadow of a historic meltdown, there’s no getting away from it this week.

He’s as tough as I’ve been around and made some throws that were, obviously that one to Taywan was a big throw, Mularkey said. It was a real big throw. I mean he did. He played well.

Mariota was 23 for 32 for a season-high 306 yards. He completed each of his three passes on the drive that ended with Taylor’s tiebreaking score.

The Titans (3-3) stopped a two-game slide and moved into a tie for the AFC South lead with Jacksonville and Houston.

Jacoby Brissett tried to rally the Colts (2-4) to a second straight overtime. But Titans linebacker Wesley Woodyard forced Brissett out of bounds shy of the first-down marker on fourth-and-inches with 2:19 left before going toward midfield to celebrate.

Coach Chuck Pagano lost his challenge of the spot and said he wouldn’t blame officials.

Disappointing to say the least, Pagano said. Got to play 60 minutes. It’s a recurring thing I know that.

As usual when playing Newton, the Eagles have to find a way to hit him and confuse him with coverages. I’d expect the Eagles to bring more pressure than usual, knowing the Panthers have an excellent offensive line and four or five rushers won’t cut it. Also, the Panthers receivers are burners, so you can ask a corner to cover them maybe longer than you want.

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Matt Ryan can’t seem to shake his Super Bowl hangover.

Points are way down. Interceptions are way up.

And now, the NFL’s reigning MVP must face the team that dealt the Atlanta Falcons so much heartache.

Not that Ryan needed it, but it’s certainly a reminder of how much changed since the fateful second half in Houston.

Starting cornerbacks Bashaud Breeland (knee) and Josh Norman (rib) are both questionable as is running back Rob Kelley (ankle). Defensive lineman Jonathan Allen is already out with a Lisfranc injury and he may be lost for the season.

In addition, the Redskins will feature newly signed kicker Nick Rose, who has never competed in an NFL game. He has previously been cut by the Atlanta Falcons and 49ers. Dustin Hopkins was placed on injured reserve to make room for Rose.

Kansas State is averaging 208 yards per game on the ground and 186.2 yards per game through the air. Their receivers are dropping way too many catchable passes. A position considered a strength in the offseason sees walk-on Dalton Schoen leading in receiving yards (286) and touchdowns (three). He is second in catches (13).

Even still, Newton’s comments, and his dismissive attitude toward Rodrigue, were nothing but disrespectful to someone trying to do her job.

After the Panthers’ win over the Detroit Lions on Sunday, Cam Newton told reporters that his comments were meant to be sarcastic and that he was trying to pay the reporter a compliment.

It was a lesson learned for me this whole week. My sarcasm trying to give somebody kind of a compliment turned in ways I never would have even imagined.”

The injury bug could be a problem for the Redskins heading into this crucial matchup.

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Oregon State gave up a slugfest loss to LSU on Friday after trouncing the Tigers earlier in the week, 13-1. That certainly lit a fire under the collective ass of Paul Mainieri’s LSU outfit, because the Tigers stormed back for a 3-1 victory behind strongarm pitcher Alex Lange.

Now the Tigers and Beavers will meet for a bracket-deciding rubber match on Saturday.

In the bottom of the third inning, with the Beavs trailing, 2-1, center fielder Steven Kwan stepped up and laced a high looper down the third base line. It curved left, then more left, before eventually striking the left field wall right at the yellow painted foul line on the padding of the fence. This is a very, very close call.

A wild affair went down in the College Station super regional, where Davidson got up on Texas A&M, 6-2, until the top of the eighth when a bonkers collision plated two Aggie runners to cap off a disastrous inning for the Wildcats. The darlings of this year’s tournament were dispatched with relative ease in the super regional round, an unfortunate if not altogether unforeseen outcome. Still these Wildcats should feel encouraged at the run of success they had this year, and hopefully they’ll see tournament play again.

Down in the Gainesville super regional, rain blasted through north-central Florida soon after first pitch, delaying play a full four hours. The resulting nearly eight-hour marathon session couldn’t be decided in nine innings, as the Gators and Demon Deacons took a 1-1 tie into two extra innings before Ryan Larson banged a bases-loaded single to walk off for the Gator win.

This game’s ending also gave us one of the best celebrations of the tournament so far, and why not: Florida hit its first walkoff of the season.

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