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New York Giants WR Kadarius Toney has ankle injury, apologizes for throwing punch Sunday



EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — Add Kadarius Toney to the New York Giants‘ list of injuries to monitor.

The rookie wide receiver is dealing with an ankle problem that has his status in doubt for Sunday when the Giants host the Los Angeles Rams at MetLife Stadium.

“He was at the doctor when we went through our squad meeting [Monday] but we’ll see where that comes out right there,” coach Joe Judge said. “I don’t think it’s anything significant, in regards to season-ending. We’ll see how it affects us immediately in the future for this week.”

The Giants also have to monitor starting quarterback Daniel Jones, who is in the concussion protocol. The Giants won’t know much officially on him until later in the week, according to Judge. Mike Glennon would start if Jones is unable to play.

New York did receive fairly encouraging news on running back Saquon Barkley (ankle) and wide receiver Kenny Golladay (hyperextended knee). X-rays on Barkley’s left ankle were negative, although the Giants wouldn’t put a timetable on his return. His injury was described by a source on Sunday evening as a “sprain.”

Golladay and Barkley were undergoing further testing Monday afternoon, but Judge was “hopeful they dodged a couple bullets right there.” Neither injury is expected to be long-term.

A source told ESPN on Monday afternoon that most of the injured Giants were probably out a “couple weeks.” In the grand scheme of a 17-game season, this was fairly encouraging news.

The Giants (1-4) did lose rookie cornerback Rodarius Williams for the season with a torn ACL in his right knee.

Toney had an X-ray immediately after Sunday’s 44-20 loss to the Dallas Cowboys when he had a career-best 189 yards receiving. They came back negative.

He didn’t seem to think it was anything that would affect his status for this week.

“Yeah, I’m good,” Toney said Monday when asked about his ankle and if he would practice and play this week.

The 20th overall pick in this year’s draft also apologized Monday on Twitter for throwing a punch that got him an ejection late in the fourth quarter.

Judge said the incident would be handled in-house and a league source told ESPN on Monday that Toney would not be suspended. He would go through the standard discipline process with the league that will likely result in a fine

Toney didn’t think this incident would be anything more than a one-off.

“Me and Judge talked, and you know, stuff like that. Really, it was just a one-time thing,” he said. “I’m a rookie making early mistakes. I’ve just got to learn from them and build from it.

“I felt like I needed to apologize to mainly everyone, because as far as little kids looking up to me and stuff like that, it’s not the example I want to set for them, you know what I’m saying? I feel like, everybody makes mistakes and stuff like that, but at the end of the day we always have to be accountable for our emotions and our actions also.”

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Los Angeles Rams’ Sean McVay wishes communication with Jared Goff was better ahead of trade to Detroit Lions



THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. — Nearly nine months after the Los Angeles Rams agreed to trade Jared Goff to the Detroit Lions, and with a pending reunion at SoFi Stadium on Sunday, coach Sean McVay expressed regret about how the deal went down with his former quarterback.

“Yes, I wish there was better, clearer communication,” McVay said Monday. “To say that it was perfectly handled on my end, I wouldn’t be totally accurate in that. I’ll never claim to be perfect, but I will try to learn from some things that I can do better, and I think that was one of them without a doubt.”

The Rams are 5-1 and heavily favorited against the 0-6 Detroit Lions in the Week 7 matchup, but plenty of intrigue surrounds the game as McVay and Goff prepare to face off after a conflicted ending to their four-year run.

“I think he’ll be received well,” McVay said about Goff’s return to L.A., where he spent five seasons after the Rams traded up 15 spots to select him first overall in 2016. “I think the L.A. fans and I think the Rams fans know what a great job he had done and how much — I think how much he meant to the Rams organization both as a football player and also the community.”

After McVay was hired in 2017, he and Goff won two division titles and an NFC championship. However, following a 13-3 loss to the New England Patriots in Super Bowl LIII, the Rams offensive production declined, and they missed the 2019 playoffs.

Following a divisional playoff loss to the Green Bay Packers last season, Goff’s status as Rams starting quarterback appeared in question when neither McVay nor general manager Les Snead commited to him. Days earlier, quarterback Matthew Stafford requested a trade from the Lions, and a chance run-in between Stafford and McVay — both were vacationing in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico — marked the end of Goff with the Rams, as he was traded along with two first-round picks and a third-rounder to the Lions in exchange for Stafford.

In the aftermath, Goff told reporters that McVay and the Rams had no contact with him from the time the season ended to when he received the phone call about the trade. Goff claimed he was blindsided by the move.

“You don’t want to catch guys off guard,” McVay said. “It came together a lot faster than anybody anticipated, but yeah, of course I think that any time that tough decisions and things like that where people are affected, you always want to be as understanding, as empathetic as possible, think about it through the other person’s lens and there’s certainly things that I know I would do it a little bit differently if — when those situations arise in the future.”

McVay insisted Monday that there was no tipping point in his relationship with Goff and that the chance to acquire Stafford was too great to pass.

“That was why that decision was made and that was why things came together as quickly as they did because we felt like it was a rare opportunity to acquire a player of Matthew’s caliber,” McVay said. “Those opportunities just don’t come up often.”

Stafford has two seasons remaining on a five-year, $135 million deal. In a short period, he has ignited the offense and has the Rams among the Super Bowl favorites.

Stafford has passed for 16 touchdowns, which ranks tied for third in the NFL with the Dallas CowboysDak Prescott and behind the Kansas City ChiefsPatrick Mahomes and Tampa Bay BuccaneersTom Brady. They are the most by any quarterback through his first six games with a team in NFL history, according to Elias Sports Bureau.

Stafford said he would treat Sunday’s reunion with the Lions “just like every other game,” though he added that there likely would be an extended period of greetings with friends, former teammates and, if in attendance, the Ford family before kickoff.

McVay said he would talk to Stafford about facing his former team, but expected the 13th-year quarterback to handle it as he would any other game.

“He’s so impressive in terms of his weekly rhythm and his consistency through these first six weeks,” McVay said. “He’s so steady and even-keeled, I don’t think he’ll make it bigger than what it is.”

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Seattle Seahawks’ Pete Carroll says follow-up tests on injured Darrell Taylor come back clear



Seattle Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said Monday that pass-rusher Darrell Taylor appears to have avoided a serious injury after being stretchered off the field during Sunday night’s overtime loss to the Steelers in Pittsburgh.

Carroll’s comments were based on the results of an MRI Taylor had Monday following a CT scan Sunday night.

“A really, really positive report,” Carroll said. “His MRI stuff was clear. His CT scan stuff was clear. He does not have a neck injury. He got jammed pretty good. We got to wait and see what it’s like. It may be a little bit more in his shoulder even as we figure it out.”

Carroll said it’s not out of the question that Taylor plays when the Seahawks host the New Orleans Saints on Monday night.

“We’ll see how that goes,” Carroll said. “He’s got to have a good week to do that. I haven’t talked to Darrell since the MRI stuff came back. I talked to him last night … and he was very positive about it and all that. So we’ll see what happens. But a really, really good report, and I know a lot of people were really upset about that (Taylor being hurt) for good reason. Whenever they take a guy off like that, the threat is so huge. Anyway, he came out great, so we’ll hope for the best and he may have a chance to go this week.”

Taylor was injured in the fourth quarter and remained near midfield for several minutes before he was immobilized on a stretcher, with his helmet still on and his face mask removed. Both teams circled around Taylor as he received medical attention.

He had movement in his extremities and flew back to Seattle with the team. Carroll said on his 710 ESPN Seattle radio show that Taylor wanted to get up while he was was being tended to and that he was upset at having to be taken off the field on a stretcher.

Taylor, a second-round draft pick last year out of Tennessee, missed his rookie season with a leg injury that dated back to his final college season. He has been Seattle’s best pass-rusher this season, leading the team with four sacks in the first five games. He had the Seahawks’ only official QB hit Sunday night.

The Seahawks also lost running back Alex Collins and guard Damien Lewis to injuries Sunday. Carroll said Collins took separate hits on his hip and glute and Lewis suffered an AC joint sprain.

Carroll said Monday that it’s not out of the question that Collins can return this week, but the Seahawks won’t know his status for a couple more days.

“He got beat on pretty good,” Carroll said. “Cramped up a little bit, too. He had a little bit of everything happen … he just got a lot of wear and tear last night. He played a great football game for us and he was really tough. We’ll see what happens, but he didn’t have a significant injury.”

Collins ran for 101 yards and a touchdown on 20 carries. He started for the second straight week in place of Chris Carson, who was placed on injured reserve Friday with a neck injury. Carson has to spend at least two more games on IR, as does quarterback Russell Wilson.

Carroll has no estimate on when Carson will be back. Asked if Wilson can return after Seattle’s Week 9 bye from finger surgery, Carroll said: “I don’t know that … the medical side of this thing. But I know Russell, and if it’s possible, it’s going to happen. If it’s possible, it’ll happen.”

Running back Rashaad Penny (calf) is returning off IR this week, per Carroll.

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Houston Texans to release longtime defensive standout Whitney Mercilus, source says



HOUSTON — The Texans plan to release defensive end Whitney Mercilus, a source confirmed to ESPN.

The Texans drafted Mercilus in the first round in 2012, but this was his first year in Lovie Smith’s defense, which saw him move from outside linebacker to defensive end.

In March, the 31-year-old Mercilus restructured his four-year, $54 million contract, making him a free agent after this season.

Last month, Mercilus said the transition in the Texans’ new defense has “been a little different.”

“Now it’s like my keys are shortened down to just reading tackles and tight ends and pre-snap reads, so I can’t see anything that’s post-snap or when motions happen, stuff like that, to get a beat on what might happen, things like that,” Mercilus said. “It’s just reading my keys more so and locking in on that, and just letting instinct take over.”

In six games for Houston this season, Mercilus has three sacks, four tackles for a loss, three quarterback hits and 12 tackles.

He has 57 sacks in 10 seasons for the Texans, which ranks second in franchise history behind J.J. Watt, who had 101 sacks with Houston.

The news was first reported by SportsTalk 790.

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