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Browns’ starting DBs uncertain to play vs. Rams

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BEREA, Ohio — The Cleveland Browns‘ entire starting secondary missed Friday’s practice with injuries heading into Sunday night’s game against quarterback Jared Goff and the Los Angeles Rams.

Both of Cleveland’s starting cornerbacks, Denzel Ward and Greedy Williams, are questionable after suffering hamstring injuries this week. In response, the Browns signed cornerback Robert Jackson to the active roster off their practice squad.

Safety Morgan Burnett (quad) also didn’t practice Friday and is listed as questionable. The Browns have already ruled out safety Damarious Randall for Sunday due to a concussion.

“The guys that are there [against the Rams], I expect us to show up and play well, compete every snap,” Browns coach Freddie Kitchens said. “The expectations haven’t changed. I just need 11 on each side of the ball to show up and play.”

The Browns were already without starting tight end David Njoku (wrist) and linebacker Christian Kirksey (chest), who both could be out for an extended time. Kitchens said both players are getting opinions on whether they will need surgery.

Other starters listed as questionable for Sunday include right tackle Chris Hubbard (foot) and wide receiver Rashard Higgins (knee).

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Matt Ryan’s ankle injury adds to implosion for hopeless Falcons – Atlanta Falcons Blog

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ATLANTA — Matt Ryan exiting the game in the fourth quarter with an ankle injury added injury to insult for the reeling Atlanta Falcons.

Sunday was supposed to be the game where the offense clicked with a fast start at home and the defense did just enough to survive against the Los Angeles Rams. Instead, the Falcons’ offense was stuck in park from the outset, managing just three points in the first half as the Falcons faced their fifth double-digit halftime deficit this season.

It led to a a 37-10 loss, Atlanta’s fifth straight, and a 1-6 record. According to ESPN Stats and Info, the 1970 Cincinnati Bengals are the only team in the Super Bowl era to start 1-6 and make the playoffs.

To make matters worse, the Falcons have MVP candidate Russell Wilson and the Seattle Seahawks coming to town next.

Falcons coach Dan Quinn’s seat just got a little hotter, although owner Arthur Blank still seems unlikely to make a change midseason to assistant head coach Raheem Morris, offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter or tight ends coach Mike Mularkey — all former head coaches. But you can’t blame Quinn for Koetter’s offense taking a step back against the Rams.

The offensive line play was horrendous, leading to Ryan getting sacked five times, including the final one by Rams DT Aaron Donald that led to the ankle injury.

The pressure on Ryan seemed to get him off his game. He missed some passes that he usually connects on. Mohamed Sanu, usually sure-handed, had a drop that led to an interception. The Falcons were just 3-of-12 on third down. They couldn’t get the running game going — finishing with 38 total rushing yards — especially after Devonta Freeman got ejected for throwing a punch at Donald and backup Ito Smith left the game with a head/neck injury.

Receiver Julio Jones said a few weeks ago the Falcons needed to average 21 to 28 points per game on offense. Well, it looks more like they need to average 35 to 55 to win these days. And it’s not happening.

Quarterback breakdown: Before exiting with the injury, Ryan completed 16 of 27 passes for 159 yards with no touchdowns, the interception created by the Sanu drop, and a QB rating of 60.6. The question now is whether Ryan miss any games. The Falcons have the Seahawks next then the bye before starting NFC South play against New Orleans. There’s no sense in taking chance with the health of your franchise QB, despite the desperate times facing the Falcons and Quinn.

Sideshow: The Julio Jones-Jalen Ramsey battle was about the only thing interesting to watch from a Falcons’ perspective. Ramsey talked trash to Jones every time, and Jones just seemed to laugh it off. Jones had six catches for 93 yards on nine targets, including a 39-yard reception with Ramsey on him. But Ramsey got the last laugh with the victory.

Sack-less: Quinn talked about ramping up the pressure this week, but he Falcons didn’t record a sack again and had just three quarterback hits. Vic Beasley, who is on the trade block, had two tackles and didn’t start the game. Deion Jones led the Falcons with 11 tackles, including three for loss.

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Chase Edmonds shines for streaking Cardinals as David Johnson leaves early

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EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — Arizona Cardinals running back David Johnson played just three snaps in Sunday, all coming early in the first quarter, before he stood on the sidelines for the rest of Arizona’s 27-21 win over the New York Giants, but Chase Edmonds made sure the Cardinals didn’t miss a beat. Or a touchdown.

Edmonds, the second-year running back out of Fordham University, ran for a career-high 126 yards and three touchdowns on 27 carries for the Cardinals, who have won three straight.

Coming into Sunday’s game, Edmonds’ career high was 68 yards, set two weeks ago in Cincinnati, and two touchdowns, which he scored in Week 13 last year at Green Bay. He rushed for 208 yards in all of 2018. He surpassed that mark for 2019 on Sunday in his return to the tri-state area.

Johnson was questionable for Sunday’s game with an ankle injury. He went through a pregame stretching routine with a team trainer about two hours before kickoff. He had just one carry for two yards. With Johnson relegated to the sideline, Edmonds was left as the only running back active after D.J. Foster was ruled out Friday with a hamstring injury. Edmonds’ shouldered the load in historic fashion.

He became the first Cardinal to rush for three touchdowns since Johnson did it on Dec. 24, 2016 and the seventh Cardinal to rush for three touchdowns in a game since the franchise moved to Arizona in 1988, according to ESPN Stats & Information. Edmonds is also the first player in the NFL to rush for three touchdowns of at least 20 yards since Doug Martin in 2012 against the Raiders.

Edmonds ran for 84 yards and two touchdowns on 12 carries in the first quarter, setting a career high. His 91 yards in a first half were the most by a Cardinals running back since David Johnson’s 112 in Dec. 2015, according to ESPN Stats & Information.

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Lions RB Kerryon Johnson (knee), CB Darius Slay (hamstring) ruled out

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DETROIT — The Detroit Lions lost two of their top players to injury during the first half of Sunday’s game against Minnesota.

Running back Kerryon Johnson (right knee) and Pro Bowl cornerback Darius Slay (hamstring) both left the game in the second quarter and did not return.

Slay, who has been battling a hamstring injury since Week 3 against Philadelphia that caused him to miss the following week’s game against Kansas City, left the game in the second quarter with a similar injury. He tried to loosen the hamstring up on the stationary bicycle, but was ruled out before the second half started.

He had given up two big plays — a touchdown to Adam Thielen and a long pass to Stefon Diggs — before leaving the game and having doctors look at his hamstring. Justin Coleman replaced Slay in base defensive sets at corner for the Lions and Mike Ford entered in nickel situations.

Kerryon Johnson left in the second quarter with a right knee injury and then had a brace on the knee. He also tried to get loose on the bike, but did not return and was replaced by rookie Ty Johnson. Kerryon Johnson had five carries for 23 yards before his departure.

Kerryon Johnson missed the second half of the 2018 season with a left knee injury.

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