NFL to change ‘May 16 rule’ for rookie eligibility

The NFL has agreed to drop the rule that prevented rookies from joining their new NFL teams until their school’s final exams were completed.

According to the NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, the new “May 16 rule” agreement will allow all rookies to join their NFL team around May 16, whether they are still enrolled in school or not.

The old rule had been adopted in 1990 to ensure student-athletes remained in school and finished their course work, rather than drop out to join their team.

Bradford, who suffered a noncontact injury to his left knee during a Week 1 win over New Orleans Saints and last practiced on Sept. 21, on Friday said the knee has “come a long ways” after he returned to practice Thursday.

Bradford, who flew to Florida on Sept. 22 to seek a second opinion from orthopedic specialist Dr. James Andrews, was given last week off to rest and rehabilitate his injury. Sources earlier confirmed to ESPN that scans revealed no structural damage and that surgery wasn’t required.

After getting the second opinion, Bradford is hopeful this won’t be an issue that continues to surface.

“Anytime you go for a second opinion there’s always a little bit of anxiety because you’re not quite sure in how that’s going to go or what that conversation is going to be like,” he said. “I would say after going down there it was definitely good news.x (13)

Adam Gase made the biggest coaching mistake of NFL Week 2 (on purpose!)

After postponing their Week 1 contest due to Hurricane Irma, the Miami Dolphins opened their season by taking on the Los Angeles Chargers in StubHub Center. It was a low-scoring, back-and-forth affair, with the Dolphins eventually gaining a two-point lead with 1:05 left in the game.

And then things got weird, leading to arguably the worst coaching decision of Week 2. Or was it? Let’s go over the end of the game.

Tolbert, along with McDermott, Joe Webb, and Kaelin Clay, will face their former team this Sunday in Charlotte. Earlier this week, Tolbert said the game means a lot to him.

Aside from the fact that the field goal was awesome, it was also his 12th consecutive made field goal from at least 50 yards and that’s pretty cool too.

The Texans were already down a right tackle to start the season after Derek Newton tore both patellar tendons last October. Kendall Lamm has been a backup in Houston after joining the Texans as an undrafted free agent following the 2015 draft. He was hoping to earn the starting spot at right tackle, but Brown’s holdout made it necessary for Lamm to switch to the left side. He had such a rough day against the Jaguars that he was benched:

That left Breno Giacomini to man the right side. Giacomini actually had a couple of solid seasons with the Seattle Seahawks back in 2013 and 2014. He started each game — including two postseason games — for Seattle in 2013. In 2014, he missed seven games due to injury but started the other nine regular season and postseason contests, including Super Bowl XLIX. But in his new role in Houston, it’s not going well for him, either:

When both tackles aren’t able to hold their own, the guards have to try to compensate, which makes things harder for the center. It’s felt across the entire line.
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NFL Panic Index 2017, Week 2: The Giants can’t win without Odell Beckham Jr.

Last season, the Giants had the Cowboys’ number. Until the Dallas starters all got the final week of the season off against the Eagles, the Giants had been the only team to hand them a loss — and they did it twice.

One week into the new season, 2017 is already different. Not only did the Cowboys dominate the Week 1 matchup, but the Giants looked completely lifeless on offense. A 46-yard drive in garbage time got the offense above the 200-yard mark, and if not for a field goal in the third quarter, they would have been shut out.

Then again, the Giants were missing their most valuable weapon on offense: Odell Beckham Jr. The dynamic wide receiver missed just his second game since 2015, and just like the first time, the Giants couldn’t get much going on offense. Eli Manning especially missed his top receiver. Manning threw for just 220 yards and was picked off once Sunday night. Two seasons ago against the Vikings, he totaled just 234 yards without Beckham in a 49-17 blowout loss.

And the Bills are sitting at No. 2, and the Patriots are third after losing to the Chiefs in Week 1 and beating the Saints in Week 2, which is a dubious honor. Nobody’s surprised that the Jets are bring up the rear here.

Perhaps my love stems from the fact that I grew up a soccer player, an undersized one at that (what up, late puberty!), and the only way I could have any type of participatory fantasy regarding the NFL was to imagine myself a kicker. Other kids my age dreamed of being Joe Montana, tossing that perfect spiral to the end zone. Others saw themselves as Lawrence Taylor, bursting into the backfield and laying down a bone-crunching hit.
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Packers rally in second half to beat Seahawks

Aaron Rodgers and the Packers fought through a poor first half Sunday to earn a 17-9 win over the Seahawks at Lambeau Field.

Rodgers completed 28 of 42 passes for 311 yards and a touchdown, but he was not sharp against Seattle’s dominant secondary throughout most of the game. Rodgers threw an interception in the first quarter, and his only touchdown pass occurred when the Seahawks were caught out of position with too many men on the field.

Jordy Nelson, who finished the game with seven receptions for 79 yards and a touchdown, hauled in Rodgers’ heads-up play.

Even though these acts were done in front of the ref, Roethlisberger went unpunished. The play was scrutinized by fans, and the Browns weren’t happy about it. Monday morning, fellow Browns defensive lineman Danny Shelton voiced his thoughts on Twitter by criticizing the NFL.

His “QBsLeague” hashtag is a fair point, because the league has a lot of rules in place to protect quarterbacks. Several years ago the “Brady rule” was put in place. It says: “A rushing defender is prohibited from forcibly hitting in the knee area or below a passer who has one or both feet on the ground, even if the initial contact is above the knee.”

He tied Ed “Too Tall” Jones’ record for most games in Cowboys history (224) Sunday and will set the mark next week at the Denver Broncos.

From 1988-99, Irvin caught 750 passes for 11,904 yards and 65 touchdowns. He was a five-time Pro Bowl pick and one of the Cowboys’ catalysts to three Super Bowl wins in the 1990s. In 2007, he was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
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Andy Dalton is in playoff form

We’ll give Andy Dalton the benefit of the doubt, for this week anyway. Being a game manager isn’t as easy as it sounds, and the Bengals have all kinds of problems. But quarterback problems overshadow everything, and Dalton’s been ruinous against the Ravens.

He threw three interceptions in the first half. He lost a fumble in the red zone too. He added a fourth pick in the fourth quarter.

It’s not unusual to see trainers tell players to move away from an injured player, and this is a perfect example of why.

We’re not talking about minimal contact or anything. Look at this:

Our own Adam Stites wrote during the preseason about how the Jaguars needed to find a better quarterback sooner rather than later. Part of that was because of previous performances, part of that was things like throwing five interceptions in a single training camp practice.

There’s no way anybody could have predicted he’d be slapping injured knees, though. That’s just brutal.

That’s because odds are they won’t be getting second chances somewhere else if fired.

Almost 85 percent of the top personnel decision-makers for NFL teams are holding their positions for the first time — and what will likely be their only time — wielding such power, per OPTA research commissioned by Sporting News. The exceptions are New England’s Bill Belichick, Washington’s Bruce Allen, Jacksonville’s Tom Coughlin, Minnesota’s Rick Spielman and Carolina’s Marty Hurney, who was re-hired as general manager in July on an interim basis.
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the Kansas City Chiefs faced their own crisis with starting running back Spencer Ware getting carted off.

He was instantly ruled out of the game by the team, with his injury being a potential season-ender, as well. The Chiefs reportedly believe that Ware suffered a PCL injury, and his ACL is fine. He’ll have an MRI on Saturday.

We got a similar scare last week when Odell Beckham Jr. was injured on a dangerously low tackle to the legs. He escaped with a simple ankle sprain, but the takes were hot and flowing after that incident. Now Edelman and Ware are out, forcing two playoff contenders to make do without pivotal offensive contributors.

“I said, ‘We feel like it’s important to study long-term impacts: What are the long-term consequences of subconcussive impacts'” on the brain, Stitzel recalled in an interview. “And the answer was: ‘That’s not in the scope of what we are trying to evaluate.'”

The NFL’s approach to head trauma was already comical before Thursday’s report. It had conveniently left out more than 100 concussions from a database it used to downplay the frequency of head injuries. It relied on faulty data to claim that its Heads Up Football program worked, when in truth there was no correlation between the program and fewer concussions. And it relies on a concussion protocol that is woefully inadequate for the job it is tasked to do.

The fact that the first study conducted by the NFL into concussions is about jockeys is telling. The NFL has claimed it was simply bumbling before. Now it is even more clear that it simply doesn’t give a shit about its sport or the people who play it.
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