Jan 2, 2022; Orchard Park, New York, USA; A fan sits in the snow covered stands prior to the game between the Atlanta Falcons and the Buffalo Bills at Highmark Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

Bills cancel practice, to meet virtually during blizzard

The Buffalo Bills canceled Friday’s practice and the team will meet virtually due to blizzard conditions.

Sunday’s home game between the Bills (6-3) and the Cleveland Browns (3-6) has been moved to Detroit’s Ford Field.

The team’s travel plans to Detroit are still being determined, according to Buffalo coach Sean McDermott.

Heavy snowfall in western New York is expected to continue through Sunday.

–Field Level Media

Deshaun Watson is on track to return from his 11-game suspension on Dec. 4 when the Cleveland Browns play the Houston Texans.

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Browns QB Deshaun Watson eligible to rejoin teammates at practice

Quarterback Deshaun Watson is back with the Cleveland Browns, participating in practice and meetings at the team facility for the first time since the start of the regular season.

The next full-squad session is Wednesday in Berea, Ohio, but Watson is expected to be working overtime to get ready for the Dec. 4 game at Houston.

Watson’s 11-game suspension runs through Week 12 — including the bye week — before the ban is lifted just in time for his debut with the Browns against the Texans.

Watson was acquired from the Texans in March and signed to a $250 million contract. But he was banned for 11 games in August for violating the league’s personal conduct policy, when the NFL ruled his behavior with massage therapists was “egregious” and “predatory.”

Watson agreed to a $5 million fine and the 11-game suspension and vowed to undergo counseling and treatment.

Since the ruling, Watson was mostly away from the team. He was cleared to attend meetings and use the weight room facilities last month.

Head coach Kevin Stefanski said Watson would primarily be working in individual drills but would take some reps with the offense as his return nears.

Cleveland lost to the Miami Dolphins on Sunday and is 3-6, well out of the current AFC playoff picture with eight regular-season games to go.

Jacoby Brissett has been the starting quarterback in Watson’s place, but Stefanski said Watson is the starter Dec. 4 at Houston barring an injury.

–Field Level Media

Sep 18, 2022; Jacksonville, Florida, USA; Indianapolis Colts running back Jonathan Taylor (28) runs off the field after the Indianapolis Colts are defeated by the Jacksonville Jaguars at TIAA Bank Field. Mandatory Credit: Douglas DeFelice-USA TODAY Sports

Colts RB Jonathan Taylor’s missed practice ends streak

When Jonathan Taylor missed practice Wednesday with a toe injury, it ended an incredible “iron man” streak for the Indianapolis Colts running back.

Taylor had never missed a practice in his football career — not at New Jersey’s Salem High School, not in three seasons at Wisconsin and not since joining the NFL in 2020, according to ESPN.

He was held out of Wednesday for precautionary reasons but is expected to be ready for the Colts’ Week 4 game on Sunday against the visiting Tennessee Titans.

Taylor, 23, experienced some soreness after rushing for 71 yards on 21 carries in last week’s win over Kansas City. He ranks fourth in the NFL with 286 yards through three weeks. He also has eight catches for 43 yards.

Taylor led the NFL in rushing last season with a franchise-record 1,811 yards.

–Field Level Media

Sep 18, 2022; New Orleans, Louisiana, USA;  New Orleans Saints defensive end Cameron Jordan (94) stares at Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady (12) and reacts to a play during the second half at Caesars Superdome. Mandatory Credit: Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports

Tom Brady skips planned day off, practices with Bucs

Tom Brady apparently doesn’t need a day off.

NFL Network reported Wednesday that Brady joined his Tampa Bay Buccaneers teammates at practice, saying he felt well and wanted to practice. It was NFL Network that said Sunday that the 45-year-old quarterback would take Wednesdays off throughout the season.

Still, the network stood by its report, saying coach Todd Bowles had confirmed the day off plan and that Brady was expected to sit out upcoming Wednesdays. Part of the reason why Brady practiced this week could have been that he wanted time to work with wide receiver Cole Beasley, the veteran signed to the practice squad earlier this week.

Receiver Mike Evans, suspended one game for actions in last Sunday’s clash with the New Orleans Saints, won’t play this weekend against the Green Bay Packers.

Brady, in his 23rd season, did not practice last Wednesday.

Brady and the Bucs beat the Saints 20-10 last Sunday. He completed 18 of 34 passes for 190 yards and a touchdown.

He needs 78 yards to become the first NFL player to reach 85,000 career passing yards.

–Field Level Media

Los Angeles Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald (99) is knocked to the ground as a third scuffle escalates into a brawl during a joint preseason camp practice between the Cincinnati Bengals and the Los Angeles Rams at Paycor Stadium in Cincinnati on Thursday, Aug. 25, 2022. Practice was ended early after a third scuffle turned into a broader fight between players on both teams.

Cincinnati Bengals Los Angeles Rams Training Camp

Helmets, fists fly as Rams and Bengals brawl in practice

Fists — and helmets — were flying Thursday at a fight-filled practice session between the Los Angeles Rams and host Cincinnati Bengals.

The explosive reunion of last season’s Super Bowl participants ended early after the third scuffle of their second day of joint practices.

Video and photos of the incidents showed Rams star Aaron Donald holding Bengals helmets in both hands and repeatedly swinging one of them during a scrum before getting knocked to the ground.

“It got a little scuffly, and so we just called it,” Bengals head coach Zac Taylor said. “We were in the last period. We got two really good days of work in. Was it worth getting the extra couple of plays? No. So we called it off. We got two good days of work in and we’ll go play on Saturday.”

Donald, a three-time NFL Defensive Player of the Year, declined to comment through a team spokesman.

Bengals offensive tackle La’el Collins also appeared to remove and throw the helmet of Rams linebacker Leonard Floyd, according to the Cincinnati Enquirer.

Rams coach Sean McVay said he didn’t know what started the fights.

“I think in some instances teams defending each other,” McVay said, according to the Los Angeles Times. “Fortunately, my understanding is nobody got hurt and we’ll move on from it. Not going to make a bigger deal than what it is. Not going to look at pointing fingers.”

Teams, and not the NFL, are responsible for any disciplinary actions resulting from practices or joint practices.

The Bengals host the Rams in Saturday’s preseason finale.

–Field Level Media

Aug 27, 2020; Englewood, Colorado, USA; A general view of the Denver Broncos logo outside of UCHealth Training Center where practice was cancelled after a morning team meeting. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

Broncos cancel practice after five more positive COVID-19 tests

The Denver Broncos canceled practice Thursday amid a new batch of players testing positive for COVID-19.

Coach Vic Fangio said the team had five positive tests, but he didn’t name the players because of the possibility of false positives The news came after four players, including starting receiver Tim Patrick, tested positive Wednesday.

Fangio said virtual meetings were set for Thursday afternoon.

The team could hold practice on Friday and Saturday in advance of their game Sunday at the Los Angeles Chargers.

Before Thursday’s tests, the Broncos (7-8) had reported 23 positive tests since Oct. 24.

Nose tackle Mike Purcell and center Lloyd Cushenberry III have been activated from the reserve/COVID-19 list and are expected to play Sunday.

The game against the Chargers (8-7) has playoff implications, but Los Angeles has a far better chance of earning a wild-card berth. While not officially eliminated, the Broncos have less than a 1 percent chance of advancing, The New York Times reported.

–Field Level Media

Aug 19, 2021; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; New England Patriots quarterback Cam Newton (1) before a game against the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

QB Cam Newton out of COVID protocols, returns to Patriots

New England Patriots QB Cam Newton was back at practice Thursday after missing five days as required by league COVID-19 protocols.

Newton’s hiatus resulted from a trip he made Saturday to a “club-approved medical appointment that required him to leave the New England area,” the team said Monday. “Due to a misunderstanding about tests conducted away from NFL facilities, and as required by the NFL-NFLPA protocols, Cam will be subject to the five-day entry cadence process before returning to the facility.”

Coach Bill Belichick said Thursday, per NFL Network, that Newton “didn’t go against team rules” and added, “All the QBs will get work today.”

In Newton’s absence, first-round draft pick Mac Jones ran with the first team on Tuesday and at Wednesday’s joint practice with the New York Giants.

Belichick hasn’t named a starter for the Sept. 12 season opener against the Miami Dolphins in Foxborough, Mass.

The Patriots conclude their preseason slate on Sunday vs. the Giants.

As the Patriots starter last season, Newton — the 2015 NFL Most Valuable Player — completed 65.8 percent of his passes for 2,657 yards with eight touchdowns and 10 interceptions. He ran for 592 yards with 12 scores.

–Field Level Media

Aug 18, 2021; Thousand Oaks, CA, USA;  Las Vegas Raiders defensive end Malcolm Koonce (51) is defended by Los Angeles Rams lineman A.J. Jackson aka Alaric Jackson (68) during a joint practice. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Rams-Raiders brawl, ending joint practice early

Thursday’s joint practice between the Las Vegas Raiders and host Los Angeles Rams ended 45 minutes early after a brawl broke out on the field. Punches reportedly were thrown.

After the prolonged donnybrook finally ended, the Raiders boarded their team buses and headed back to their hotel. The practice was supposed to last two hours.

The teams will square off Saturday night in a preseason game at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, Calif.

“Sickening … it was two guys in a special teams period and then it was a lot of trash talking that escalated,” Raiders coach Jon Gruden said. “I’m done with that. It’s just child’s play.”

Raiders Wire reported that Yannick Ngakoue and Maxx Crosby were at the center of the fight for the Raiders.

Individual skirmishes had broken out Wednesday during that practice. Things got heated after the Rams’ Jalen Ramsey put a hard hit on Raiders running back Josh Jacobs.

–Field Level Media

Aug 14, 2021; Green Bay, Wisconsin, USA; Green Bay Packers quarterback Jordan Love (10) looks on during the third quarter against the Houston Texans at Lambeau Field. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

Packers hold Jordan Love out of joint practice with Jets

The Green Bay Packers kept quarterback Jordan Love out of Wednesday’s practice, a joint session with the New York Jets, but did not rule Love out when the two teams meet in a preseason game Saturday.

Love, a 2020 first-round draft pick and backup to Aaron Rodgers, reportedly had an MRI exam on his injured throwing shoulder come back clean Sunday.

He missed Monday’s practice and partook in a light throwing session Tuesday, according to Packers coach Matt LaFleur.

LaFleur said the Packers will give Love “every opportunity” to play in Saturday’s exhibition.

“We just don’t ever want to put him in a situation where it could make it worse,” LaFleur said.

If Love is ultimately held out of that game, Green Bay would turn to third-stringer Kurt Benkert to start. The team also re-signed free agent quarterback Jake Dolegala on Tuesday for depth. Dolegala spent part of the summer on the Packers’ roster.

–Field Level Media

Jun 8, 2021; Tampa, FL, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady (12) works out during mini camp at AdventHealth Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Bruce Arians, Bucs happy to have Tom Brady back

Tampa Bay Buccaneers coach Bruce Arians delivered a concise summation when asked what impressed him most about quarterback Tom Brady’s activity on Tuesday.

“Went full speed,” Arians said after the team’s first minicamp practice, adding that Brady was typically eager for more work.

“He looked fine. I had to pull him out a couple (of times). The first period I said, ‘OK, you can have four,’ and he kept begging to go back in.”

A seven-time Super Bowl champion, Brady had minor surgery on his left knee after leading the Buccaneers to the title in February over the Kansas City Chiefs, but he seemingly believes he’s close to 100 percent.

Brady, who will turn 44 in August, posted a video of himself working out and had organized a workout with teammates last Friday.

Still, it was somewhat surprising that he was cleared fully.

“Yeah, the doctors and him – they both said he was good to go,” Arians said. “We’ll still be careful with what we’re doing with him, but trying to stop him from playing is pretty tough.”

Whether Brady can duplicate his 2020 regular season — 4,633 passing yards, 40 touchdowns, 65.7 completion percentage — is up for debate, but what’s one more year when he did what he did at age 43.

He’ll have an even better grasp of Tampa’s offense.

“It’s that second, third, fourth read, where the guys are going to be, knowing (where to throw). …

“All that verbiage isn’t new now, so he can spit it out, he knows what it means, he knows where they’re going to be,” Arians said.

With an increased level of comfort in Year 2 with the Bucs, Brady and his receivers could be more dangerous.

“I think the biggest difference is that the timing is a little bit better,” receiver Chris Godwin said. “Like you said, the difference in him knowing the playbook, knowing what he likes and what he doesn’t like, and us knowing what to expect in terms of ball placement, velocity on the ball. All those things really do help. I would say that’s the biggest difference.”

–Field Level Media