The Latest on Week 2 of the NFL season (all times Eastern):
Minnesota Vikings star running back Adrian Peterson hobbled off the field late in the third quarter with an apparent injury to his right ankle.
Peterson was injured after a 5-yard run. His ankle was rolled up on by a Packers defender during the tackle and Peterson could not put any weight on his right leg as he was helped off the field. After being examined on the sideline, Peterson was helped to the locker room for further tests.
The leading rusher in the NFL a year ago, Peterson has had a difficult start to 2016.
He had 19 carries for 31 yards in the season-opening win at Tennessee and just 19 yards on 12 carries before he was injured against Green Bay.
After leading the Minnesota Vikings on an impressive touchdown drive in the second quarter, quarterback Sam Bradford had to go to the locker room to have his left hand examined.
Bradford could be seen shaking his non-throwing hand in pain for several plays before throwing an 8-yard touchdown pass to Kyle Rudolph that tied the score, 7-7. Backup Shaun Hill, who started the opener while Bradford learned the playbook following his trade from Philadelphia, was warming up on the sideline and ready to come in.
But Bradford was able to get back out in time to start Minnesota’s next drive.
For the Packers, defensive tackle LeTroy Guion left the game with a knee injury and is listed as questionable to return.
— Jon Krawczynski, Minneapolis
Sam Bradford is Minnesota’s starting quarterback against rival Green Bay.
Vikings coach Mike Zimmer refused to reveal his decision all week. The team didn’t even acknowledge Bradford in the lineups that were announced about an hour before the game. Shaun Hill, who started the season opener, was still listed.
Bradford took snaps with the first team in warmups about a half-hour before kickoff, however, and led the Vikings offense onto the field for the first drive.
The Vikings traded two premium draft picks, including their first-round selection in 2017, to Philadelphia for Bradford after Teddy Bridgewater suffered a season-ending injury to his left knee on Aug. 30. Bradford is the 13th different starting quarterback the Vikings have sent out since Adrian Peterson was a rookie in 2007.
— Dave Campbell in Minneapolis.
Everyone in the NFC West is tied for first.
And last, too.
Sunday’s results — Seattle’s loss in Los Angeles, Arizona’s romp over Tampa Bay and San Francisco’s defeat at Carolina — left the entire division with 1-1 records.
A similar anomaly nearly happened in the AFC West as well, but Denver (2-0) pulled away in the final 2 minutes to finish off a win over Indianapolis. Had the Broncos lost that game, they would have also been knotted with Oakland, Kansas City and San Diego at 1-1.
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell says he is encouraged by the direction players are taking the demonstrations related to the national anthem.
Goodell spoke before the Minnesota Vikings hosted the Green Bay Packers on Sunday night. He says “I truly respect our players wanting to speak out and change their community. We don’t live in a perfect society. We want them to use their voice. And they’re moving from protest to progress and trying to make things happen in communities.”
He says he admires the players’ willingness to stand up for perceived injustices and believes they understand that it is important to respect differences of opinion “our flag and our country.” But Goodell says he has yet to speak with 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who sparked the demonstrations across the league.
“I think where they’re moving and how they’re moving there is very productive and we’re going to encourage that,” he said.
Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones says injured quarterback Tony Romo “looked good” during an examination by team doctors before Sunday’s 27-23 victory at the Washington Redskins.
The 36-year-old Romo is sidelined after breaking a bone in his back when was tackled awkwardly during an exhibition game — his fourth back injury in less than four years.
Jones called Sunday’s check “medical protocol” and Romo’s progress will depend on the QB’s “own ability to heal.”
Only three teams in NFL history have recovered from an 0-2 start and gone on to win a Super Bowl — the Dallas Cowboys (1993 season), the New England Patriots (2001 season) and the New York Giants (2007 season).
New Orleans might not be a Super Bowl team. But the Saints aren’t exactly a typical 0-2 team, either.
The Saints lost 16-13 to the Giants on Sunday, a week after dropping their opener to Oakland 35-34. That’s two losses by a combined four points to start the season.
Quarterback Drew Brees pointed to a blocked field goal being returned for a touchdown — a 10-point swing, he correctly pointed out — as a big reason why Sunday didn’t go the Saints’ way.
But Brees also says the Saints were one play away from winning both games so far, and he thinks the season can turn around quickly. “It’s a long season … a lot can happen,” Brees said.
Jameis Winston might not be the biggest fan of Cardinals right now.
The Tampa Bay quarterback — who played his college football at Florida State — has surely seen enough scoring out of teams with a Cardinal on the side of their helmets this weekend already.
His beloved Seminoles got rolled by the Louisville Cardinals on Saturday, 63-20.
And on Sunday, Winston and the Buccaneers were facing a 24-0 halftime deficit against the Arizona Cardinals.
Cleveland quarterback Josh McCown plans to play next week.
His left shoulder may have other ideas.
McCown couldn’t even lift his left arm after Cleveland’s 25-20 loss to Baltimore on Sunday. He walked to the trainer’s room after his postgame news conference with it pinned against his side.
McCown’s eyes were teary as he talked about staying in the game, saying his dad and older brother don’t feel great every day when they go to work, either.
San Diego’s offense corps may have just taken another hit.
Running back Danny Woodhead — one of the Chargers’ best pass-catchers — left in the first quarter of San Diego’s game against Jacksonville on Sunday with an apparent right knee injury, and was taken off the sideline on a cart on his way to further evaluation.
Woodhead would not return, the Chargers said.
The Chargers lost Keenan Allen last week, so if Woodhead’s injury is ultimately determined to be serious then San Diego would be reeling offensively.
Also, Tampa Bay running back Doug Martin left the Buccaneers’ game against Arizona early in the second quarter with a hamstring injury.
The NFL has returned to Los Angeles with a bang.
The Rams and the Seattle Seahawks are underway in the first regular-season game in LA since Dec. 24, 1994.
The football is only part of the action on a sweltering day at the Coliseum, where LeBron James is hobnobbing with owner Stan Kroenke and a litany of entertainment celebrities on the sideline.
The Red Hot Chili Peppers played a high-energy pregame show for the packed stadium, with Rams fanatic Flea leading the way on bass. Anthony Kiedis sported a Jared Goff jersey until he stripped down to football pants to announce the Rams’ starting defensive lineup.
After CeeLo Green sang the national anthem, the Rams marched down the field and scored their first points of the season on a field goal by Greg Zuerlein.
True to his word, Brandon Marshall of the Denver Broncos took a knee again Sunday for the national anthem.
Marshall has received plenty of support and criticism over his decision to join San Francisco quarterback Colin Kaepernick and other NFL players in a cry for social change. Marshall even lost some endorsements, but said he would continue his protest.
Marshall also met with Denver police Chief Robert White this past week to discuss his call for better police training and treatment of minorities.
Marshall and Kaepernick were college teammates at Nevada.
Among the anthem reactions at other games that were starting late Sunday:
— San Diego Chargers offensive linemen Joe Barksdale and Chris Hairston held up their right fists during the national anthem before their game against the Jacksonville Jaguars. There was also a malfunction with the giant American flag, which appeared to have a bunch or knot in the middle and the Marines and sailors weren’t able to fully unfurl it.
— The Seattle Seahawks again linked arms during the national anthem, while the Rams assumed their usual line of players on the sideline. Defensive lineman Robert Quinn again raised his right fist in the air during the anthem. He was not joined by receiver Kenny Britt, who raised his fist before the Rams’ opener.
The early games in Week 2 brought some wild finishes, replete with big rallies and big mistakes, and each of the first seven games to finish were all decided by one touchdown or less.
— Tennessee beat Detroit 16-15, rallying from 15-3 down going into the fourth. Matthew Stafford was intercepted in the final seconds, as the Titans sealed the win.
— Baltimore beat Cleveland 25-20, in one of those proverbial games of runs. Cleveland scored the game’s first 20 points. Baltimore then scored the next 25.
— Houston held off Kansas City 19-12, needing to recover an onside kick in the final minute to secure that victory.
— New England topped Miami 31-24, a game where the Patriots lost Jimmy Garoppolo to a shoulder injury and saw the Dolphins score the last three touchdowns. Miami’s Ryan Tannehill threw an interception in the end zone in the final seconds.
— Pittsburgh beat Cincinnati 24-16, despite Andy Dalton throwing for 366 yards for the Bengals.
— The New York Giants got past New Orleans 16-13, with Josh Brown’s field goal late being the difference there.
— Dallas topped Washington 27-23, needing to survive a last-play toss into the end zone before escaping with that NFC East win.
For only the third time, Ben Roethlisberger is enjoying a three-touchdown day against the Cincinnati Bengals.
Roethlisberger’s pass to a wide-open DeAngelo Williams midway through the fourth gave the Steelers a 24-9 lead. It was Roethlisberger’s third TD pass of the day — the third time he’s reached that many against the Bengals.
His other three-TD days against Cincinnati came in 2005 and 2014. He also had a three-touchdown performance against the Bengals in a playoff game in January 2006.
It’s Milestone Sunday for a couple of the NFL’s elite quarterbacks.
Reigning MVP Cam Newton has passed Jake Delhomme for the most touchdown passes in Carolina Panthers franchise history.
Newton broke the record with a 9-yard touchdown pass to Kelvin Benjamin — his second TD catch of the game — in the third quarter, helping the Panthers take a 31-10 lead. It was the 121st scoring pass for Newton in his six-year NFL career.
And earlier Sunday, Drew Brees passed Dan Marino for No. 3 in passing yards in NFL history. Marino finished his career with 61,361 yards; now Brees is only behind Peyton Manning (71,940) and Brett Favre (71,838).
— Steve Reed from Charlotte, North Carolina
Some great finishes might be ahead as the early games in Week 2 are starting to near completion.
There’s six games right now that are within eight points or less:
Baltimore was down 20-0 and is now within 20-19 in Cleveland as those rivals head to the fourth quarter. Washington leads Dallas 23-20 going into the fourth, Houston took 13-6 lead over Kansas City into the final quarter, Pittsburgh leads Cincinnati 17-9 with 15 minutes left, Tennessee just got within 15-10 of Detroit, and the Giants and New Orleans are knotted at 10-10.
The Detroit Lions lead Tennessee 15-3 late in the third quarter, but it looks like they’ll have to finish the game without some key players.
Tight end Eric Ebron came off with an apparent injury after he tried to make a diving catch in the end zone toward the end of the third. He stayed down on the turf in pain before walking off.
The Lions also lost running back Ameer Abdullah to a foot injury late in the first half, and defensive end Ziggy Ansah left in the first quarter with an ankle problem.
Some high-profile injuries are becoming big storylines in Week 2.
New England quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo is out for the rest of the Patriots’ game against Miami with a shoulder injury. Carolina running back Jonathan Stewart and Miami running back Arian Foster are both done for the day as well after first-half leg injuries.
There was a bit of good news, though: New Orleans Saints second-year cornerback P.J. Williams, who needed to be placed on a backboard and carted off after making a tackle in the first quarter of his team’s game against the New York Giants, was moving extremities at a nearby hospital and evaluated for a concussion, Fox Sports reported.
Patriots quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo was hurt late in the second quarter of New England’s home opener against the Dolphins.
Garoppolo had to be looked at by trainers after being driven to the ground by Miami linebacker Kiki Alonso with 4:20 left in the half. He landed hard on his right arm, and that appeared to be the problem.
Replays showed Garoppolo wincing in obvious pain moments after Alonso’s hit sent him into the turf.
While subbing as the starter during Tom Brady’s four-game “Deflategate” suspension, Garoppolo led the Patriots to a victory over Arizona in the opener. They also scored touchdowns on their first three drives in Sunday’s game against Miami to take a 21-0 lead.
Rookie Jacoby Brissett took over for Garoppolo.
Brissett is a native of West Palm Beach, about an hour north of Miami. In his college seasons at Florida and North Carolina State, Brissett never faced off against the Miami Hurricanes — but now makes his NFL debut against the Dolphins.
Another injury note from that Patriots-Dolphins game: Miami running back Arian Foster, who was dealing with a hamstring issue over the last few days, now is dealing with a groin injury.
In Denver, the Colts and Broncos are preparing for their first matchup since Oct. 3, 1993, that didn’t feature Peyton Manning under center.
His time in Denver will be noted, however, when the Broncos unveil new signage in their stadium honoring the players who have had their jerseys retired.
That’s No. 7 for John Elway, No. 44 for Floyd Little and No. 18 for … Frank Tripucka.
Tripucka was the first quarterback in franchise history and wore No. 18 from 1960 to ’63.
Tripucka gave his blessing to Manning to wear the number when Manning played for the Broncos from 2012 until his retirement this year a month after Denver won Super Bowl 50.
Manning’s name will be mentioned on the No. 18 sign honoring Tripucka.
— Arnie Stapleton in Denver.
Jimmy Garoppolo went on the road and led New England to a season-opening win at Arizona last week, and this week he is shredding the Miami Dolphins in the Patriots’ home opener.
Garoppolo — starting for the suspended Tom Brady — threw for three touchdowns in little over one quarter, and the Patriots were out to a fast 21-0 lead over the Dolphins.
Danny Amendola had never caught a TD pass against the Dolphins. He’s got two early ones today.
Cleveland quarterback Josh McCown had an eventful first quarter against Baltimore, to put it mildly.
McCown is starting in place of Robert Griffin III, who broke a bone in his left shoulder last week against Philadelphia. And the Browns got off to a flying start, with McCown throwing two touchdown passes and helping stake Cleveland to a 20-2 lead over the Ravens.
Isaiah Crowell burst through the line for an 85-yard touchdown run to give Cleveland a 14-0 lead with 6:47 left in the first quarter — the second-longest rushing play in Cleveland history, and coming on a day where the Browns unveiled a statue of Hall of Fame running back Jim Brown.
The score came just three minutes after McCown threw a 31-yard TD pass to rookie Corey Coleman. McCown and Coleman connected again for an 11-yard score not long afterward, though the Ravens blocked the extra point and returned it for two points.
McCown left briefly with a left shoulder injury as well.
— Tom Withers in Cleveland.
New England is paying tribute to Red Sox slugger David Ortiz.
David Ortiz popped down to the Patriots game to be honored before the team’s home opener against the Miami Dolphins.
The Patriots showed some clips of Ortiz’s career, including his celebrated speech after the Boston Marathon bombings . The Red Sox slugger then came out of the tunnel wearing a Tom Brady No. 12 jersey. He got a hug from owner Bob Kraft and a Patriots jersey with his No. 34 and “Big Papi” on the back. He also was handed a Patriots helmet.
Ortiz has the afternoon off with the Red Sox playing the Yankees on Sunday night.
Ortiz went out for the coin toss as an honorary captain and posed for selfies with members of the officiating crew.
New Orleans Saints second-year cornerback P.J. Williams has been carted off after making a tackle in the first quarter of the game against the New York Giants.
Williams’ head hit the knee of Giants’ tight end Larry Donnell after he caught at pass with 6:15 left in the quarter. A split second later New Orleans’ linebacker Craig Robertson hit Williams in the back of the helmet trying to help on the play.
Giants receiver Victor Cruz immediately waved his arms toward the Saints bench calling for help. Trainers and doctors from both teams went on the field to aid Williams, and players from both teams took knees with a few even appearing to console one another.
Medical personnel placed Williams on a backboard and he was carted the field. He did not wave to the crowd at MetLife Stadium.
The game was delayed more than five minutes.
Other injuries in the first quarter of games on Sunday included:
— Redskins nose tackle Kedric Golston injured his right hamstring on the first play from scrimmage and is out for the rest of the game. He was replaced by Ziggy Hood.
— Lions defensive end Ziggy Ansah left in the first quarter against Tennessee with a left ankle injury. Ansah was being tended to on the sideline. He had 14 1-2 sacks last season.
San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick continued his protest against social injustice by kneeling for the national anthem before the Carolina Panthers’ home opener on Sunday.
Safety Eric Reid kneeled next to Kaepernick.
Kaepernick’s protest continued with support from some quarters and amid critics speaking out this week against him, including Iowa GOP congressman Steven King who said the player kneeling is akin to “activism that is sympathetic to ISIS.”
Before the game, as Kaepernick stopped to take selfies with fans and sign autographs, one fan in the distance began yelling, “USA! USA!”
In New England, three members of the Miami Dolphins — safety Michael Thomas, wide receiver Kenny Stills and running back Arian Foster — all took a knee again for the anthem. And at Detroit, Tennessee defensive tackle Jurrell Casey and Titans cornerback Jason McCourty appeared to raise their fists at the end of the anthem, after standing near midfield during the song.
— Steve Reed in Charlotte, North Carolina; Kyle Hightower in Foxborough, Massachusetts and Noah Trister in Detroit.
NFL games have an NBA feel, at least in Washington and Carolina right now.
On the field for warmups of the Cowboys-Redskins matchup was Washington Wizards star guard John Wall, who surely raised some eyebrows by wearing … a throwback Emmitt Smith jersey .
Wall hasn’t made any secret in the past that he’s a Dallas fan.
Meanwhile, at Carolina, part of the San Francisco 49ers’ warmups included players running the three-man weave up and down the field. It’s a drill commonly used during warmups for high school basketball games, except the 49ers were flipping a football to each other instead of a basketball.
Earlier this week Panthers safety Kurt Coleman compared 49ers coach Chip Kelly’s fast-paced offense to the Kentucky Wildcats basketball team in how quickly they get up and down the court.
Maybe he’s on to something.
— Steve Reed in Charlotte, North Carolina.
The Detroit Lions and Tennessee Titans were playing games even before kicking off Sunday.
Detroit and Tennessee announced who would be inactive, including linebackers DeAndre Levy and Derrick Morgan, because they were required to 90 minutes before meeting at Ford Field.
The Lions, though, refused to reveal who would start for Levy at outside linebacker. The Titans, in turn, chose to decline announcing who would play in Morgan’s spot at outside linebacker.
Usually, teams do release lineup changes along with the list of players that won’t play that day.
— Larry Lage in Detroit.
Some big division matchups highlight the eight early NFL games, including what is likely to be a brutal rematch between Cincinnati and Pittsburgh.
The Steelers eliminated the Bengals in a physical wild-card game last season, and Cincinnati will be without linebacker Vontaze Burfict because of a suspension for his helmet-to-helmet hit against receiver Antonio Brown near the end of that contest.
The Ravens travel to Cleveland in another AFC North game Sunday, with the Patriots playing at home against the Dolphins in the AFC East. The other 1 p.m. games are Tennessee at Detroit, Kansas City at Houston, the 49ers at Carolina, the Saints at the Giants and Dallas at Washington — another division matchup, in the NFC East.
(This story has been corrected to show Roethlisberger’s three-touchdown games were against Cincinnati.)
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