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Trevor Siemian to start at QB for New Orleans Saints



METAIRIE, La. — New Orleans Saints coach Sean Payton announced that Trevor Siemian will get the first shot at replacing Jameis Winston as the team’s starting quarterback Sunday against the Atlanta Falcons. Payton said that Taysom Hill will also play a role after returning from a concussion this week.

Siemian, 29, has not been a regular starter in the NFL since he went 13-11 with the Denver Broncos from 2016 to 2017. However, he did start one game with the New York Jets in 2019 before suffering a season-ending ankle injury. And he did an impressive job last Sunday of stepping in for an injured Winston during New Orleans’ 36-27 victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Siemian entered the game early in the second quarter with the score tied 7-7. He completed 16 of 29 passes for 159 yards and one touchdown with zero turnovers.

“A lot of it’s based on, I felt like Trevor played well last week,” Payton explained Friday. “Taysom was coming out [of the concussion protocol] just at that same time. We’ll see each week. We’ve got a good plan, we feel like, this week, relative to this game, and we’ll kind of go from there.”

Hill missed the previous three weeks with a concussion that he suffered in Week 5 before practicing on a limited basis Wednesday and fully on Thursday. Payton did not specify how much that influenced this week’s decision.

Regardless, Hill will likely continue to have a vital role on New Orleans’ offense as a read-option QB/RB/TE/WR.

And no matter who plays quarterback, the Saints (5-2) will continue to lean heavily on a stellar defense, run game, offensive line and coaching staff that have helped them get off to a terrific start this year despite ranking 31st in the NFL in passing yards per game (180.9).

Siemian downplayed the emotional significance of making his first start in more than two years.

“I’ve had a lot of confidence in myself to play. I didn’t know if it was gonna happen or when it was gonna happen, but I knew I’d be ready. And here we are,” Siemian said Friday. “So I expect to play well, just like everyone else on this team. That’s my mindset.

“It’s not really new to me, it’s not that foreign. I mean, it’s been a while, for sure. But I’ve been playing all along as if I’m gonna get another chance.”

Payton and teammates credited Siemian for his calm demeanor and his quick release, among other traits. Payton compared him to former NFL quarterback Ty Detmer — whom he coached earlier in his career.

“I noticed during camp, Trevor’s just cool. He’s super chill. He’s just got, like, a calming presence,” Saints running back Alvin Kamara said. “That’s how he was when he got in the huddle on Sunday. You would have thought he knew he was playing the whole time. I like him — he’s got a good demeanor.”

“Oh, man, you can definitely tell he’s experienced,” added Saints receiver Tre’Quan Smith. “Honestly, he came in the game and shocked me. He looked very comfortable in the pocket, he stood in the pocket, he took some hits and still delivered the ball. That just amazed me. He definitely looked like he was ready to play, like, no hiccups. He was definitely ready to play.”

The Saints initially signed Siemian off of the Tennessee Titans‘ practice squad last November to add depth after an injury to Drew Brees. He remained with the team this year after Brees retired.

The 6-foot-3 220-pounder was drafted by the Broncos in the seventh round out of Northwestern in their 2015 Super Bowl season and became their starter a year later after Peyton Manning retired. He suffered a shoulder injury in December 2017, ending his season early before he was traded to the Minnesota Vikings the next spring.

Siemian has completed 514 of 870 passes (59.1%) in his career for 5,848 yards and 31 touchdowns with 24 interceptions.

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New York Giants’ Joe Judge points finger at coaching staff after loss to Bucs, mum on Jason Garrett’s status as OC



EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — Blame the coaches more than the players. That was New York Giants head coach Joe Judge’s message following Monday night’s 30-10 blowout loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Raymond James Stadium.

“You can put that down tonight. Got that?” Judge said after the loss. “You guys can write that tonight. Players have to execute. That is their job, right? It is our job to teach them. It’s their job to go out and execute.

“But we’ve got to make sure we put them in position to have success. That has to be consistent, by the way. So, you can go ahead and write that down. I’m not going to debate that.”

The Giants (3-7) got running back Saquon Barkley and left tackle Andrew Thomas back from injury and wide receiver Kenny Golladay was the healthiest he’s been in weeks. They had most of their weapons on the field together and still managed just one touchdown, and that came when a turnover put the ball at the Tampa Bay 5-yard line.

The second half was noncompetitive, with Bucs quarterback Tom Brady getting most of the fourth quarter off.

“We have to do a better job of scoring points,” Judge said. “I know it sounds pretty obvious and to the point with it. But I’m going to keep it pretty blunt right there. We have to do a better job of putting our players in position to make plays. We have too many good players. We have to put them in better position to capitalize on it. That’s it.”

He later added: “As a player, there are things I would be frustrated with too.”

Golladay, who signed a four-year, $72 million deal this offseason, was targeted twice. He had one catch for 12 yards.

The offense’s lack of production has all eyes on coordinator Jason Garrett. The Giants have scored 30 points once in 26 games since he joined the team.

Judge was asked afterward if he still had faith in his offensive coordinator.

“I have faith in all the people on our team — players, coaches, everyone. We’ll assess everything as a team and make any move we need to going forward,” Judge said.

That wasn’t exactly a resounding stamp of approval. The Giants now have a short Thanksgiving week before facing the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday.

So will Garrett remain as the offensive coordinator?

“I’m not going to go into it right now,” Judge said.

Quarterback Daniel Jones and Barkley were asked if they had full confidence in their offensive coordinator after the latest dud. They were supportive even after their relatively ineffective performances.

Jones went 23-of-38 passing for 167 yards with a touchdown and two interceptions. Barkley had 56 total yards on 12 touches in his first game back following an ankle injury. He had missed the previous four games.

“Yes, I believe in [Garrett],” Barkley said. “At the end of the day, like I said, it’s easy to just go and everyone wants to blame the coaches. Sometimes, instead of pointing the finger, you have to look yourself in the mirror.

“As players, we’re not making plays. It is just that simple. We have to go out there and make plays.”

The players say it is on them. Judge says it’s on the coaches. Either way, it is looking like another playoff-less season for New York. The Giants finished 6-10 last season in Judge’s first year as head coach. They have not make the playoffs since 2016. That is also the last time they had a winning record.

Judge insists things will turn — it’s only a matter of time.

“I’m telling you we’re going to put something on the field that you’re going to be proud of. That is on my name. You understand that?” he said. “That is on my name. I am the leader of this team. I’m in charge of this team. That is on me. I don’t point fingers. I don’t make excuses. We’re going to get this right.”

Except he did point the fingers at himself and his coaching staff on Monday night.

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Seattle Seahawks rookie CB Tre Brown might need season-ending surgery, coach Pete Carroll says



SEATTLE — Tre Brown‘s promising rookie season appears to be over.

Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said early indications are that Brown, Seattle’s starting left cornerback, needs season-ending surgery on the patellar tendon injury he suffered Sunday in Seattle’s 23-13 loss to the Arizona Cardinals.

It happened in the third quarter when Brown was about to contest a third-down throw to A.J. Green. He went down immediately in pain and eventually walked into the locker room with a pronounced limp.

Brown had been a bright spot in Seattle’s dismal 3-7 season. The fourth-round pick from Oklahoma began the year on injured reserve after hurting his knee in the preseason, then had a strong NFL debut in Week 6, which included a third-down stop in overtime of Seattle’s loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers. As Seattle continued to rotate on the left side, Brown continued to play well enough to earn the starting job over Sidney Jones.

Jones started on the right side Sunday as D.J. Reed was inactive. Carroll had no update Monday on when Reed will return but said his knee injury isn’t severe. Carroll was happy with how Jones played against Arizona and said Bless Austin, who came in when Brown went down, was “pretty solid for his first time out” save for a play in which he slipped while breaking on a completion.

Austin, a former starter with the New York Jets, hadn’t played a snap on defense for the Seahawks this season before Sunday. Their cornerback depth also includes John Reid, whom they acquired in a preseason trade with the Houston Texans.

Carroll shed some light on running back Chris Carson‘s upcoming neck surgery, saying it’s his understanding that Carson has a disc issue that needs to be fused. He reiterated that the team has been told that Carson will able to return next season.

“That’s a surgery that can get him back somewhere late in the spring,” Carroll said. “That’s what I’ve heard. So we’ll see what happens with that.”

Carroll described Rashaad Penny‘s hamstring injury from Sunday as “slight.”

Alex Collins has been the Seahawks’ primary running back since Carson last played in Week 4, but they gave Penny his first career start against Arizona. Seattle’s oft-injured first-round pick from 2018 gained 18 yards on the game’s opening play but hurt his hamstring in the process. He got only one more carry and seven more snaps after that.

“We don’t know how extensive it’ll be,” Carroll said. “It’s not a bad injury but there’s something there, so we’ve just got to make sure and take care of him and see what happens.”

Collins and DeeJay Dallas tied for the lead among Seattle’s running backs Sunday with 18 snaps apiece. Penny played eight snaps, while Travis Homer played five.

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NFL gives nod to Taylor Swift’s ‘Red’ re-release with ‘(Jonathan Taylor’s version)’



It’s a good time to be named Taylor.

Just ask Taylor Swift, whose new re-recorded LP, “Red (Taylor’s Version),” is sitting at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 albums chart. The singer-songwriter released the re-recorded album earlier in November after she was unable to get ownership of the masters of her first six studio albums.

A few NFL teams are tipping their cap to how big of a deal it is that Swift is challenging the music industry’s norms.

On Nov. 14, just two days after the album was released, the New England Patriots and Gillette Stadium made sure to shout out the “red” seen around during game day on Twitter.

The Buffalo Bills also gave Swift a little shoutout after a big AFC win right after “Red (Taylor’s Version)” came out.

And more recently, the NFL fully embraced Swift following Jonathan Taylor‘s big game this past weekend.

The Indianapolis Colts running back had five touchdowns against the Bills in Sunday’s game, giving them their third win in a row. Now, the NFL’s official Twitter account’s bio reads: “He knows the end zone All Too Well (Jonathan Taylor’s Version)” with a picture of one of those touchdown runs. What’s more, Taylor is wearing a Photoshopped red scarf in the picture, a nod to infamous lyrics in Swift’s song “All Too Well.”

Taylor became just the fourth player in NFL history to have 200 scrimmage yards and five touchdowns in a single game on the road. After contact, he rushed for 96 yards, the second-highest total of any player this season. He earned fantasy football players a whopping 53.4 points on Sunday.

This isn’t the first time Taylor Swift — who is known for the numbers 13 (her lucky number) and 22 (the title of a song on “Red”) — has had an NFL crossover.

According to Pro Football Reference, there have been four NFL players in league history named “Swift.” While none of them have worn Nos. 13 or 22, there have been two players with the last name Taylor to wear No. 13: Jacksonville Jaguars WR Kerry Taylor in 2013 and Tennessee Titans WR Taywan Taylor in 2017-18. Washington Football Team DB Rosey Taylor (1972), Chicago Bears RB Cliff Taylor (1974), New Orleans Saints DB Derrick Taylor (1987) and Miami Dolphins DB Jamar Taylor (2013-15) are four Taylors to wear No. 22.

Swift was also interviewed by ABC during the 2019 NFL draft.

Sounds like Taylor Swift and the NFL are a potential “Love Story” in the making.

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