Colts DT Stewart lands $30.75M deal
Published reports pegged the extension as being worth $30.75 million over three years with $20 million guaranteed.
The 27-year-old Stewart was slated to become a free agent following the season.
Stewart has emerged as a force this season with a career-best 36 tackles for a unit that ranks seconds in total defense (298.1 yards per game). He has four tackles for loss.
Stewart has received a lot of credit for Indianapolis' success at stopping the run this season. The Colts rank third at 89.2 yards per game.
The Colts also are tied for fourth in passing defense (208.9) and rank fifth in scoring defense (20.8).
Stewart's improved play also came after he cut his weight from 345 to 308 pounds last offseason.
"He's having a really good year," Indianapolis coach Frank Reich said of Stewart. "He's explosive. He came in in the best shape of his life. He kind of transformed his body -- made him quicker and faster. He lost a lot of weight, put on lean mass.
"Then Grover in a different way is one of the true leaders of this team. This guy, he's not always the loudest or the most vocal leader, but if you talk about in the locker room who gets the most respect, Grover is in that top tier of guys because of his humble heart. He's got this humble heart, yet he is a fierce competitor. I love guys like that -- guys that are fierce competitors. So, he's having a monster year."
Stewart started just one of 30 games played over his first two NFL seasons before starting 13 of 16 contests in 2019. He recorded 30 tackles and a career-best three sacks last season.
Stewart has 106 tackles (12 for loss) and three sacks in 56 games (24 starts) with the Colts. He was a second-round pick in 2017 out of Albany State, a Division II program located in Georgia.
Seahawks RB Carson to return after 4-game absence
Carson has missed the past four games while recovering from the injury. Coach Pete Carroll said the 26-year-old ran well in Saturday's practice.
"He looks really good," Carroll said afterward. "He looked explosive and in great shape. He's got fresh legs. ... You could tell. He could feel it in his change of direction and all that stuff, so he's really raring to go. He's full go."
Carson has 323 rushing yards and three touchdowns in six games, and also has three more scores as a receiver.
Also slated to return from injuries are cornerback Shaquill Griffin (hamstring) and center Ethan Pocic (concussion). Griffin missed the past four games and Pocic sat out the last two.
Seattle ruled out right tackle Brandon Shell (ankle) and running back Travis Homer (wrist/thumb/knee).
Listed as questionable are receivers David Moore (hip) and Freddie Swain (foot), offensive linemen Jordan Simmons (calf) and Kyle Fuller (ankle), and cornerback D.J. Reed (foot).
Carroll also said running back Rashaad Penny (knee) is expected to begin practicing with the team next week. Penny, a 2018 first-round pick from San Diego State, has been sidelined since suffering a major knee injury last December.
Bucs DT Vea placed on reserve/COVID-19 list
Vea, 25, already is on injured reserve after fracturing his leg in a Week 5 loss at Chicago.
The 12th overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft, Vea has registered 73 tackles, 19 quarterback hits and 7.5 sacks in 34 career games.
The Bucs also activated linebacker Jack Cichy from injured reserve and officially placed center A.Q. Shipley on IR.
Cichy has been out since Week 5 with a hamstring injury. Shipley sustained what coach Bruce Arians indicated is a career-ending neck injury in Monday's loss to the Los Angeles Rams.
Tampa Bay (7-4) hosts the Kansas City Chiefs (9-1) on Sunday (4:25 p.m. ET).
49ers need temporary home due to county sports ban
The strict health mandate was announced due to the "severe surge" of COVID-19 in a county that is also home to college programs Stanford and San Jose State.
The mandate goes into effect on Monday.
"The update today, to the professional sports and collegiate sports directive, will temporarily suspend activities that require direct physical contact or interaction in Santa Clara County," County Counsel James Williams told reporters on Saturday. "So that means for those teams, they will not be able to play games or have practices where they have direct contact within the county."
Neither the 49ers nor the NFL issued an immediate response to the ban.
The 49ers (4-6) play at the Los Angeles Rams on Sunday, but are slated for three more home games: Dec. 7 against the Buffalo Bills, Dec. 13 against the Washington Football Team and Jan. 3 versus the Seattle Seahawks.
Santa Clara County health official Dr. Sara Cody is deeply troubled by the recent uptick in cases.
"I am gravely concerned by the continuing surge in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations," Cody said in a statement. "The number of patients hospitalized with COVID-19 in our county has doubled in just the past couple of weeks, and we are at risk of exceeding our hospital capacity very soon if current trends continue."
The county had a single-day record of 760 cases on Saturday, according to the Mercury News.
The 49ers haven't had fans in the stands of Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara due to county health orders.
Another complicating factor for the 49ers is a new travel ordinance going into effect that will require a 14-day quarantine for people traveling in and out of the county from more than 150 miles away.
The 49ers could elect to remain in Los Angeles after Sunday's game as they sort out destinations. Oakland and the Phoenix area -- perhaps Sun Devil Stadium in Tempe -- could be possible sites for upcoming home games.
The 49ers also have had repeated COVID-19 issues within their football squad in recent weeks. As of Saturday, San Francisco had five players on the reserve/COVID-19 list and removed three from the list during the week.
As for Stanford, the program has a home football game scheduled for Dec. 12 against Oregon State.
San Jose State has upcoming home games against Hawaii (Dec. 5) and Nevada (Dec. 11).
The NHL's San Jose Sharks could also be affected in terms of preseason practice sessions. Their upcoming regular-season schedule hasn't yet been announced.
Report: Broncos QBs pulled from practice amid COVID-19 concerns
The move came as part of contact tracing procedures after Broncos quarterback Jeff Driskel tested positive for the virus earlier in the week. Lock, Rypien and Bortles have been taking additional tests since Thursday and have tested negative since then, the network reported.
The Broncos (4-6) are scheduled to host the New Orleans Saints (8-2) on Sunday afternoon. No changes to the game's status have been announced.
Lock has started eight games this season, completing 55.6 percent of his passes for 1,767 yards with seven touchdowns and 11 interceptions. Driskel and Rypien made one start each.
Bortles is on the Broncos' practice squad. He has thrown for 103 touchdowns and 75 interceptions in six NFL seasons.
Chargers activate RB Ekeler from injured reserve
The 25-year-old has been out since Week 4 due to hamstring and knee injuries. He has rushed for 248 yards and a touchdown and caught 17 passes for 144 yards in four games this season.
Ekeler has gained 3,439 yards from scrimmage and scored 23 touchdowns in 50 games (15 starts) since signing with the Chargers as an undrafted free agent in 2017 out of Western State in Colorado. He signed a four-year, $24.5 million extension last March.
The Chargers (3-7) made several other moves ahead of Sunday's game at the Buffalo Bills (7-3).
Los Angeles waived defensive end Jessie Lemonier and activated three players from the practice squad for Sunday: linebackers B.J. Bello and Cole Christiansen and nose tackle Breiden Fehoko.
Bills place WR Brown, OL Ford on IR
Brown, 30, sustained the injury two weeks ago in a 32-30 loss against the Arizona Cardinals. He and his Bills teammates had a bye last week, but it was not enough time for him to recover from the sprain.
The Bills hope that Brown will miss only the minimum of three games, ESPN reported.
In eight games this season, Brown has 29 catches for 386 yards and a pair of touchdowns. His production is down from last season, when he had 72 catches for 1,060 yards and six touchdowns.
Ford started seven of eight games at guard in 2020. He sustained his injury in practice and will miss the rest of the season.
The Bills promoted Jake Kumerow from the practice squad to take Brown's spot. Kumerow has appeared in two games with the Bills this season but has not recorded a catch. In 21 career games, 19 of which came with the Green Bay Packers, he has 20 catches for 322 yards and two touchdowns.
Also moving up from the practice squad was linebacker Darron Lee, who made his debut in Week 10 against the Arizona Cardinals.
Buffalo hosts the Los Angeles Chargers on Sunday.
Lions fire coach Patricia, GM Quinn
Offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell will take over as interim head coach.
Patricia, in his third season, was 13-29-1 during his tenure in Detroit. Quinn hired Patricia, the former defensive coordinator for Bill Belichick with the New England Patriots, after firing coach Jim Caldwell following the 2017 season.
In four seasons under Caldwell, the Lions were 36-28 and made the playoffs twice.
The Lions are 4-7 and in last place in the NFC North following an uninspiring performance on Thanksgiving Day in a 41-25 loss to the Houston Texans.
Quinn took over in Detroit in January 2016 after being part of a front office that won four Super Bowls in New England. He was charged with elevating the Lions, a franchise that hasn't won a playoff game since the 1991 season, and brought in Patricia, saying the GM-coach pairing was "the most important relationship in this building."
Owner Sheila Ford Hamp, who took over from her mother, Martha Ford, earlier this year, said she had high expectations for the Lions -- despite the challenges of a season impacted by COVID-19.
"The overarching thing is that we want to see major improvement and at this point I can't really say what the specific measures are going to be because I don't know what the season is going to be like yet," Hamp said in June. "But believe me, major improvement is the goal."
The Lions have lost four of their past five games and have surrendered the second-most points in the NFL, despite Patricia being a defensive-minded coach. They lost the final nine games of the 2019 season.
Titans activate P Kern (wrist) from injured reserve
Kern, 34, missed the past three games with a wrist injury sustained in a Nov. 1 loss at Cincinnati.
The three-time Pro Bowl selection and 2019 All-Pro has played 175 games with the Titans since joining the team in 2009 after parts of two seasons with the Denver Broncos.
The Titans also activated linebacker David Long from the reserve/COVID-19 list and activated cornerback Tye Smith from injured reserve.
Long, 24, has 11 tackles and one forced fumble in eight games this season. Smith, 27, has nine tackles in six games.
Saturday's flurry of transactions also included promoting long snapper Matt Overton from the practice squad to the active roster, activating linebacker Will Compton from the practice squad, activating linebacker Tuzar Skipper from the practice squad as a COVID-19 replacement and placing rookie defensive back Chris Jackson on the reserve/COVID-19 list.
Saints LT Armstead tests positive for COVID-19
"Found out this morning that I tested positive for Covid!" Armstead posted Saturday on Twitter. "I feel completely normal and ready to go play with my guys tomorrow. Unfortunately that can't happen and while that (expletive) sucks, I can't downplay the impact covid has had on so many lives. Everyone stay safe."
A Pro Bowl selection in 2018 and 2019, the 29-year-old Armstead has started all 10 games this season.
Armstead has started 81 of his 85 games since New Orleans drafted him in the third round in 2013.
James Hurst, 28, is listed as the backup on the depth chart and could start Sunday when the Saints (8-2) put their seven-game winning streak on the line at Denver (4-6).
Dolphins downgrade Tua to doubtful; Fitzpatrick in line to start
The designation on Saturday means that veteran quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick could be under center against one of his many former teams.
The Dolphins (6-4) also elevated rookie quarterback Reid Sinnett from the practice squad to the active roster for the game against the winless Jets (0-10) in East Rutherford, N.J.
Tagovailoa, 22, injured his left thumb after slamming his throwing hand on a helmet during practice drills on Wednesday.
The fifth overall pick of the 2020 NFL Draft, Tagovailoa has completed 60 of 97 passes for 602 yards with six touchdowns and zero interceptions.
Fitzpatrick, 38, has completed 150 of 215 passes for 1,652 yards with 10 touchdowns and eight interceptions this season, which is his 16th in the NFL. He played with the Jets during the 2015 and 2016 seasons.
Panthers RB McCaffrey (shoulder) ruled out vs. Vikings
He initially was listed as questionable with a shoulder injury but will miss his ninth game this season.
McCaffrey sustained an AC joint injury in his right shoulder in Carolina's 33-31 loss at Kansas City on Nov. 8. He has since sat out the Panthers' 46-23 loss to Tampa Bay on Nov. 15 and a 20-0 victory over Detroit on Sunday.
Signed to a four-year, $64 million contract extension in the offseason, McCaffrey has rushed for 225 yards and five touchdowns and caught 17 passes for 149 yards and one score in three games in 2020. He suffered a high ankle sprain in Week 2.
In 2019, McCaffrey gained an NFL-high 2,392 yards from scrimmage and scored 19 touchdowns from scrimmage, which tied for the league lead.
Mike Davis once again is expected to serve as the primary running back for the Panthers (4-7) against the Vikings (4-6).
Also on Saturday, the Panthers shuffled cornerback Donte Jackson (toe) from doubtful to out.
WR Bryant signed to Ravens' 53-man roster
He shared the news on social media on Saturday.
"Officially signed to the 53... beyond thankful," wrote Bryant, who posted a photo of him smiling, his contract on a table in front of him.
The Ravens added Bryant to their practice squad in late October. Since then, he's been elevated to the team as a fill-in for two games.
Bryant, 32, was a big part of the game plan for the Ravens in their 30-24 loss to the Tennessee Titans last weekend. He played 54 percent of the team's snaps and caught four passes for 28 yards.
The three-time Pro Bowl selection tore his right Achilles tendon two days after signing a one-year deal with the New Orleans Saints in November 2018.
Prior to signing with the Saints, Bryant reportedly turned down a multi-year offer from Baltimore in April 2018 after the Dallas Cowboys released him.
The Cowboys selected Bryant with the No. 24 overall pick in the 2010 NFL Draft, and he spent eight seasons there. He caught 531 passes for 7,459 yards and a franchise-best 73 touchdown receptions in 113 games in Dallas.
The Ravens (6-4) are scheduled to play the Pittsburgh Steelers (10-0) on Tuesday night in a game twice delayed by a coronavirus outbreak among the Ravens.
Report: Steelers RB Conner, assistant coach test positive for virus
Per the report, Conner is awaiting a second test on Sunday to confirm the results. He is a cancer survivor -- a group that the medical community has said could be at increased risk for complications from the virus.
The report comes on the heels of the Steelers placing defensive end Stephon Tuitt, defensive lineman Isaiah Buggs and offensive lineman Jerald Hawkins on the reserve/COVID-19 list Friday.
It also comes after the NFL moved the initially scheduled game between the Steelers (10-0) and the visiting Baltimore Ravens (6-4) from Thursday night to Sunday afternoon to now Tuesday night. NBC will televise the game, set for 8 p.m. ET.
The moves have been necessitated because of an outbreak of COVID-19 among the Ravens.
If this game occurs as now planned on Tuesday, the NFL will move the Ravens' Week 13 game as well.
"Should the game be played on Tuesday, the Week 13 Dallas Cowboys at Baltimore Ravens game, originally scheduled for Thursday, December 3, will be moved to Monday, December 7, at 5:00 p.m. ET and will be broadcast nationally on FOX/NFL Network/Amazon," the league said in a statement.
"These decisions were made out of an abundance of caution to ensure the health and safety of players, coaches and game day personnel and in consultation with medical experts."
The Steelers remain set to host the Washington Football Team in Week 13 on Dec. 6.
The Steelers earlier saw their game against the Tennessee Titans rescheduled because of an outbreak affecting the Tennessee team. That moved forced the Steelers to have a Week 4 bye and gave them games in 13 straight weeks to end the season. Pittsburgh hoped to play on Thanksgiving to have the weekend off.
Conner, 25, leads the Steelers in carries (145), rushing yards (645) and rushing touchdowns (five). He also has 25 catches for 145 yards.
Colts RB Taylor placed on COVID-19 list, out vs. Titans
Also on Saturday, the Colts downgraded center Ryan Kelly (neck) to out and cornerback Isaiah Rodgers (knee) to questionable.
Taylor leads the team in carries (135), rushing yards (518) and rushing touchdowns (four). He also has 26 catches for 227 yards in 10 games this season for Indianapolis.
Fellow running back Jordan Wilkins and Nyheim Hines are expected to handle the rushing duties for the Colts (7-3), who are looking defeat the Titans (7-3) for the second time this month. Indianapolis posted a 34-17 win over Tennessee on Nov. 12.
Defensive end Cassius Marsh and center Joey Hunt were elevated for COVID-19 roster spot fill-ins on Saturday.
Eagles Pederson: TE Ertz unlikely to play vs. Seahawks
Pederson added on Saturday morning that there was "no setback" involving Ertz, who has been sidelined since sustaining a high-ankle sprain in Philadelphia's 30-28 loss to Baltimore on Oct. 18. Ertz was designated to return from injured reserve last week.
Also on Saturday, Pederson confirmed that Jason Peters will move to right guard and Jordan Mailata to left tackle. The decision comes on the heels of offensive tackle Lane Johnson announcing on Friday that his ankle essentially has collapsed.
A three-time Pro Bowl selection, Ertz has recorded 24 receptions for 178 yards and a touchdown in six games this season. His average of 7.4 yards per catch serves as a career low.
Ertz has 549 receptions for 5,921 yards with 36 touchdowns in 112 career games since being selected by the Eagles in the second round of the 2013 NFL Draft.
Tight ends Dallas Goedert and Richard Rodgers will continue to hand the workload on Monday as the Eagles (3-6-1) host the Seahawks (7-3).
NFL issues facilities closure for Monday, Tuesday
According to a league-wide memo distributed Friday, all team facilities will be closed to in-person activities on Monday and Tuesday, ESPN and NFL.com reported.
The facility lockout does not apply to teams scheduled to play on either Monday or Tuesday, and the Sunday slate is also unaffected.
Citing a spike in COVID-19 cases across the nation, and the possibility of an influx of exposure resulting from the holiday weekend, the NFL is trying to stop more issues from arising. Both NFL.com and ESPN reported that the NFL is taking the step "understanding that a number of players and staff celebrated the Thanksgiving holiday with out-of-town guests" as a reason for the closure.
The Denver Broncos, Los Angeles Rams, Cincinnati Bengals and Arizona Cardinals were among the teams that saw a rise in COVID-19-related issues Friday, according to NFL.com.
The NFL Players Association also told players to let teams know if they had guests in for the holiday for the purpose of additional testing when facilities reopen.
All team activities will be conducted in a virtual environment Monday and Tuesday except for medical treatment and rehab.
COVID-19 issues forced the Baltimore Ravens at Pittsburgh Steelers game, originally set for Thanksgiving but pushed back to Sunday, to be rescheduled another time. The teams are now due to meet Tuesday.
49ers ready to active CB Sherman, RB Mostert
All three players are currently on injured reserve. Sherman sustained a calf injury in Week 1 while Mostert and Wilson are both sidelined with ankle injuries.
"We'll get them on the roster tomorrow," Shanahan said of the trio amid the hope they can play Sunday against the Los Angeles Rams. "They got better each day, we'll put them on the active roster and they'll be questionable going into the game."
Mostert, a postseason force as the 49ers reached the Super Bowl last season, leads the team with 303 rushing yards despite playing in just four games.
Another dose of good news is that receiver Deebo Samuel (hamstring) will be back on the field. He has missed the past three games but practiced in full on Friday.
San Francisco ruled out four players: running back Tevin Coleman (knee), guard Tom Compton (concussion), linebacker Demetrius Flannigan-Fowles (hamstring) and cornerback K'Waun Williams (ankle).
Defensive tackle Javon Kinlaw was activated from the reserve/COVID-19 list on Friday and is listed as questionable. Linebackers Dre Greenlaw and Azeez Al-Shaair and tight end Jordan Reed are all listed as questionable due to illness.
Offensive tackle Trent Williams could be removed from the COVID-19 list prior to Sunday's game. Shanahan termed it as an "outside chance."
Bengals RB Bernard (concussion) questionable for Sunday
Bernard did have a full practice Friday. Head coach Zac Taylor seemed confident that the veteran back would be well enough to play Sunday when the Giants take on the New York Giants.
Bernard has been the starter at running back for Cincinnati since Joe Mixon went down with a foot injury on Oct. 18.
This season, Bernard has played in all 10 games for Cincinnati, starting four. He has rushed for 191 yards and two scores for the Bengals (2-7-1).
In a Week 11 loss to the Washington Football Team, Bernard was held to just 18 yards rushing on nine carries in a 20-9 setback.
The concussion was first reported by the team on Wednesday. If Bernard cannot go, the club likely turn to third-string running back Samaje Perine.
Perine has run for just 102 yards on 24 carries this season.
The Bengals also listed cornerback Mackensie Alexander and linebacker Markus Bailey as questionable. Both players have hamstring injuries. Also, receiver Mike Thomas (hamstring) is doubtful.
Taylor has yet to name a starter at the quarterback spot against the Giants, but is reportedly leaning toward starting Brandon Allen over Ryan Finley.
The Bengals will not have the services of regular starting quarterback Joe Burrow, who suffered a season-ending knee injury against Washington.
Two of the team's coaches, defensive line coach Nick Eason and secondary/cornerbacks coach Steve Jackson, will miss the game due to the COVID-19 virus.
Falcons RB Gurley (knee) ruled out vs. Raiders
Receiver Julio Jones (hamstring) is one of the Falcons who were listed as questionable on Friday's injury report.
It is believed Gurley sustained the knee injury during last week's 24-9 loss to the New Orleans Saints.
"Obviously he came out of the game with some battle wounds from the game that he got in that game, so we've gotta see where he is and see what he can do," Atlanta interim coach Raheem Morris told reporters. "But obviously that was a tough, physical game that we just played.
"One time he came off with a little something, but he was able to go out there. He's such a tough warrior-mentality type of guy to go at all times. We know he's gonna try to go back out there when he can."
Gurley leads the Falcons (3-7) with 610 yards and nine rushing touchdowns in 10 games. Backup Brian Hill, who has 261 rushing yards and 16 catches for 111 yards, will get most of the work against the Raiders (6-4).
Jones sat out practice on Friday and a decision regarding his status will likely come close to kickoff.
Jones has 45 receptions for 677 yards and three touchdowns in eight games.
Tight end Hayden Hurst (ankle) and defensive end Dante Fowler Jr. (hamstring) were also listed as questionable for Sunday's game. Hayden was a limited participant on Friday while Fowler missed the session.
Hurst has 37 receptions for 411 yards and three touchdowns. Fowler has 17 tackles and two sacks.
Receiver Calvin Ridley (foot) is ready to go after not receiving an injury designation on Friday. Ridley leads the squad in receptions (48), receiving yardage (747) and touchdown catches (six).