Luke Kuechly was back in his comfort zone Tuesday, on the football field wearing a helmet and shoulder pads. The Panthers middle linebacker returned to practice exactly one month after suffering a concussion in the Carolina's season-opening 20-9 win against the Jacksonville Jaguars. ''It's weird, you can't tape it up, you can't suck it up,'' Kuechly said of his first known career concussion.
Former NFL and Iowa safety Tyler Sash died from an accidental overdose after mixing two powerful pain medications, and a history of painful injuries was a contributing factor, a medical examiner said Tuesday. Additional studies will look at whether Sash, 27, suffered from chronic traumatic encephalopathy, a brain disease caused by repetitive trauma that has been found in several former NFL players. The results will be available in eight to 12 months, according to a statement from the Iowa State Medical Examiner's office.
The Buffalo Bills signed free-agent quarterback Josh Johnson on Tuesday in a move that raises questions regarding the status of banged-up starter Tyrod Taylor. Johnson was signed a day after coach Rex Ryan said Taylor was ''beat up'' and ''sore'' following a 14-13 win against Tennessee. Ryan then didn't go into specifics when asked whether Taylor might be too sore to play Sunday, when Buffalo (3-2) hosts Cincinnati (5-0).
For the second week in a row, the NFL is acknowledging an officiating error during a nationally televised game. This time, the problem was twofold: 18 seconds were incorrectly run off the clock late in the fourth quarter of the Pittsburgh Steelers' 24-20 victory at the San Diego Chargers - and not one of the game officials noticed the gaffe and corrected it.
The Pittsburgh Steelers needed a gutsy play against the San Diego Chargers. Le'Veon Bell scored on a wildcat run as time expired to give Mike Vick and the Steelers a 24-20 victory Monday night that had tens of thousands of Pittsburgh fans roaring and waving their Terrible Towels at Qualcomm Stadium. Bell took the direct snap, ran left and was slowed in traffic before diving for the end zone and getting the ball across the line as Donald Butler dragged him down.
The toughest part for Sheldon Richardson was sitting and watching while his New York Jets teammates played - and mostly won - without him. ''It was real difficult, but I brought it on myself,'' Richardson said Monday. Richardson practiced with the team, which returned from its bye-week break, for the first time since the preseason.
Chiefs running back Jamaal Charles will miss the remainder of the season with a torn ACL in his right knee. The star running back hurt his knee in the third quarter of Sunday's loss to Chicago. Earlier Monday, coach Andy Reid said ''the worst case is the ACL is torn.
Off to the worst start in franchise history and carrying an expansive injury list, the last-place Baltimore Ravens have reached a pivotal point in a stunningly disappointing season. The Ravens (1-4) couldn't hold a 12-point lead against Cleveland in a 33-30 defeat Sunday that further reduced their chances of returning to the playoffs. From 1970 through 2014, 206 NFL teams started 1-4.
The Arizona Cardinals have signed veteran defensive end/outside linebacker Dwight Freeney to a one-year contract, a person with knowledge of the situation said Monday. The move comes after the Cardinals' top outside pass rusher, Alex Okafor, went down with a calf injury in Sunday's 42-17 victory at Detroit. The 35-year-old Freeney, a seven-time Pro Bowl player and three-time first team All Pro, ranks 21st in the NFL in career sacks with 111 1/2 and led the league with 16 sacks in 2004.
Colts quarterback Andrew Luck was a full participant in Monday's practice for the first time in two weeks, though his availability for this weekend's showdown with New England remains unknown. Luck is still day-to-day with a sore right shoulder and had been limited in practice since leading Indianapolis to a 35-33 win at Tennessee on Sept. 27. ''It feels better every day,'' Luck said.
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