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Baltimore Ravens’ Derek Wolfe expected to miss rest of season, coach John Harbaugh says

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OWINGS MILLS, Md. — Baltimore Ravens defensive end Derek Wolfe is expected to miss the rest of the season, coach John Harbaugh said Monday.

Wolfe would become the sixth starter to suffer a season-ending injury for the Ravens (6-3), who lead the AFC North by a half-game.

“I think Derek’s going to be out for the rest of the year, in all honesty. It looks that way,” Harbaugh said. “I don’t really have any details on it. I can’t say I understand it completely.”

Harbaugh deferred questions about Wolfe’s injury to general manager Eric DeCosta and the team’s medical staff.

Wolfe, 31, started the season on injured reserve with back and hip injuries but was designated to return on Oct. 26. After practicing once (a day before the team’s bye), Wolfe was not seen on the practice field again by reporters.

The 21-day window to make a decision on Wolfe’s status — to activate him to the 53-man roster or keep him on IR — ends Tuesday.

“He’s not in a place where he’s going to be able to play,” Harbaugh said.

A nine-year starter in the NFL, Wolfe was re-signed by the Ravens this offseason to a three-year, $12 million contract (including $8.5 million guaranteed). With Wolfe out, Justin Madubuike stepped into the starting lineup, making 16 tackles and one sack thus far.

Wolfe joins cornerback Marcus Peters, offensive tackle Ronnie Stanley, running backs J.K. Dobbins and Gus Edwards and safety DeShon Elliott as Ravens starters who are out for the season.

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On a chain, his cleats and in his heart, Cordarrelle Patterson doesn’t forget the son he lost – Atlanta Falcons Blog

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FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. – The small gold chain never comes off Cordarrelle Patterson‘s neck, a constant reminder of the greatest pain he ever experienced, of the person never too far from his mind or his heart.

In 2017, Patterson and his partner, Taylor, lost their son, Zyan, 18 or 20 weeks into her pregnancy – a feeling so indescribable even now, years later, the Atlanta Falcons running back still doesn’t want to delve too deeply into.

But in his pain — the never-ending grief of losing a child — he also wanted others to understand they are not alone. That life can be wonderful and can be cruel and that experiences — as tragic as they may be — are not solitary.

So on Sunday, Patterson will don multicolored cleats with butterflies on them and words on the side reading “Pregnancy & infant loss awareness” to offer acknowledgment, awareness and support to those going through what he once did. Patterson said his partner still delivered the child after they found out they lost their son.

“Every day goes by we still think about our son and what happened,” Patterson said. “It happens every day in life, honestly. Some people don’t understand that some ladies only have one chance to get pregnant and they lose their baby and never have the opportunity to do it again.

“For me, it’s real big for me and my family and just looking back, it’s sad. It’s heartbreaking.”

According to the Centers for Disease Control, one pregnancy out of every 160 in the United States is stillborn — meaning at 20 weeks of pregnancy or later — and there are about 24,000 babies stillborn per year in the United States. The March of Dimes reports between 10 and 15 of every 100 pregnancies end in miscarriage.

It’s a feeling almost impossible to put into words.

Patterson knows they are fortunate, too. Zyan was Patterson’s middle child. He has a 9-year-old, an 8-year-old, a 3-year-old and a 10-month old. And he loves all of his kids. But the child he never got to watch grow up sticks with him daily.

It’s something he said no one could ever really process because “you never think it can happen to you.”

“It makes you look at life different,” Patterson said. “People don’t think it can happen to them, but it happens every day in life and when it happens to you, that’s when it hits home.”

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Tampa Bay Buccaneers WR Antonio Brown suspended 3 games for COVID-19 violation

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Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Antonio Brown has been suspended three games for violating the NFL-NFLPA’s COVID-19 protocols, the league announced Thursday.

The league and players’ union found that Brown was among three players to misrepresent their vaccination status. A former live-in chef of Brown’s said earlier this month that Brown had obtained a fake COVID-19 vaccination card over the summer.

Also suspended for three games were Buccaneers backup safety Mike Edwards and free-agent wide receiver John Franklin III, whom the Buccaneers waived in August. All three players accepted their discipline and will not appeal, according to the NFL.

Brown and Edwards’ suspensions are without pay. Both will eligible to return to the Buccaneers lineup for their Dec. 26 game against the Carolina Panthers.

“The NFL-NFLPA jointly reinforce their commitment and further emphasize the importance of strict adherence to the protocols to protect the well-being of everyone associated with the NFL,” the league and players’ union said in a statement.

Brown was not expected to play in the next two games due to an ankle and heel injury that has kept him out since Week 7, a source told ESPN’s Adam Schefter on Wednesday.

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New Orleans Saints’ Taysom Hill to start at QB vs. Dallas Cowboys, source says; RB Alvin Kamara won’t play, sources say

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METAIRIE, La. — Taysom Hill will make his first start at quarterback this season for the New Orleans Saints on Thursday night, a source told ESPN, after he practiced fully all week with a partially torn plantar fascia that has limited him since Week 10.

However, the Saints’ offense won’t be at full strength against the Dallas Cowboys, as running back Alvin Kamara and offensive tackles Terron Armstead and Ryan Ramczyk will all be inactive, sources told ESPN’s Dianna Russini.

Kamara practiced on a limited basis all week but is still ramping back up from the injury that has now sidelined him for four games. Backup running back Mark Ingram is a full go after he also missed last Thursday’s loss to the Buffalo Bills with a knee injury.

Armstead did not practice all week despite returning to the lineup Thursday night. And Ramczyk, who had missed the past two games, practiced on a limited basis Monday before being held out of practice Tuesday and Wednesday.

Defensive ends Marcus Davenport (shoulder) and Tanoh Kpassagnon (ankle) and linebacker Kaden Elliss (hamstring) were ruled out.

The barrage of injuries has taken its toll on a Saints team that has lost four straight games to fall to 5-6 and is currently out of the NFC playoff picture.

The Saints hope that Hill can help revive their sagging offense, even if he is not quite back to full strength. The versatile playmaker was limited to an emergency backup role the past two weeks, but he said Tuesday that he is feeling “a lot better” this week.

Coach Sean Payton stopped just short of naming Hill the starter Tuesday, saying that he wanted to see how Hill was feeling Wednesday. But Hill has been preparing to start, barring any setbacks in his recovery.

“The last couple days have been encouraging for me,” said Hill, who explained that a full tear is actually better in most cases because a partial tear can be continuously painful.

He said that they have started to reach the point where he just has to deal with the pain and that “it doesn’t limit functionality.” That is key because Hill’s running ability is a great asset for him.

Hill, 31, replaces Trevor Siemian, who went 0-4 as the Saints’ starter after he initially earned a victory in relief of the injured Jameis Winston in Week 8 against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Hill’s opportunity comes one week after he signed a unique contract extension with the Saints that is worth a base value of $40 million over four years if he continues to play his usual role as a QB/RB/TE/WR but could be worth up to $95 million if he becomes the team’s starting quarterback and reaches lofty incentives.

Hill went 3-1 as the Saints’ starter last season as an injury replacement for Drew Brees before losing out to Winston in a battle for the job in the summer.

Winston suffered a season-ending ACL tear in Week 8. But Hill’s health has complicated his availability this season. He suffered a concussion in Week 5 that sidelined him through Week 8.

It’s unclear whether the Saints would have turned to Hill sooner if he had been healthy. Siemian was doing a decent job during his first couple of weeks in the role, but the Saints’ offense has regressed with each passing week — in part because of the spate of injuries.

Hill’s role with the Saints has been fascinating since they claimed him off waivers from the Green Bay Packers as an undrafted rookie out of BYU in 2017. The 6-foot-2, 221-pounder started playing a key role on special teams that season. Then he developed into a valuable offensive playmaker in his multiple roles over the years, with Payton insisting that Hill had the potential to become Brees’ long-term heir.

Hill completed 71.9% of his passes during his four-game starting stint for 834 yards, four touchdowns and two interceptions. He ran the ball 39 times for 209 yards and four touchdowns. But he also lost three fumbles during that stretch and struggled with holding on to the ball too long when he got past his early reads or the pocket broke down.

He has had a quiet 2021 season. He is 7-of-8 for 56 yards with zero touchdowns and one interception. He has run the ball 20 times for 104 yards and three touchdowns and has four catches for 52 yards.

For his career, Hill is 101-of-142 (71.1%) for 1,103 yards, four touchdowns and four interceptions. He has run the ball 171 times for 913 yards (5.3 yards per attempt) and 14 touchdowns, and he has 34 catches for 388 yards and seven touchdowns.

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