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Tampa Bay Buccaneers rule out Antonio Brown for Monday Night Football

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TAMPA, Fla. — Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Antonio Brown, who was accused this week of obtaining a fake COVID-19 vaccination card, has been ruled out for Monday Night Football against the New York Giants, coach Bruce Arians said Saturday.

Brown has not played since suffering an ankle injury in Week 6 against the Philadelphia Eagles. Although he has made progress, Brown did not practice with the team this week.

Earlier this week, Brown’s former live-in chef, Steven Ruiz, who also took on the role of a personal assistant, accused the veteran wide receiver of obtaining a fake COVID-19 vaccine card and said that Brown had obtained it from a Buccaneers teammate.

Brown’s attorney has denied the allegation. Arians on Friday said the team did its due diligence in vetting player vaccine cards and that “the league will do theirs.”

Arians on Saturday said tight end Rob Gronkowski, cornerback Sean Murphy-Bunting and wide receiver Scotty Miller are among the players who will be game-time decisions.

“The arrow’s trending up for a couple of guys for sure,” Arians said.

Murphy-Bunting and Miller are still on injured reserve but can be activated at any time since beginning their 21-day practice window to return.

“I think Sean has shown me that he’s probably ready to go, and we’ll just see if we’re gonna make that roster move yet,” Arians said. “Scotty, it’s just a matter of need really. Because we have enough receivers. We have B.P. (Breshad Perriman) for another week, so we’ll see wait and see where that one goes, but he’s ready.”

Arians said Murphy-Bunting, who suffered a dislocated elbow in Week 1, had a few interceptions in practice this week using both hands and used his arms in press coverage. The team could use his presence considering Richard Sherman was placed on injured reserve with a calf strain this week.

“Getting him back is one thing, but playing 60 plays is another,” Arians said of Murphy-Bunting. “… Sean’s been out a long time, so we can’t overload him. But there are spots that, if we can get him back out there, he can help us for sure and gradually get his role back.”

The team is also waiting to see if cornerback Dee Delaney will pass the concussion protocol. If he does not, Arians said the team would likely call up Blidi Wreh-Wilson from the practice squad.

Arians said he was encouraged by what he saw this week from Gronkowski, who played just five snaps in Week 8 after missing four games with cracked ribs and a punctured lung before dealing with back spasms,

“We’ll get a good look at him pregame,” Arians said. “… We’ll have to see how it goes and, if he plays, monitor his workload.”

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Aaron Rodgers ‘in a lot of pain’ with toe, hoping to heal over Green Bay Packers’ bye after next week

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MINNEAPOLIS — Aaron Rodgers‘ ailing toe was so problematic in Sunday’s last-second loss to the Minnesota Vikings that the Green Bay Packers quarterback actually left the field before the first half was over to head into the locker room.

Rodgers likely thought the Packers were not going to get the ball back, but when they did, Jordan Love took the final snap — a kneel down — before halftime.

Rodgers still would not get into any more details about his toe, which apparently became an issue during his COVID-19 quarantine earlier this month, saying only that it’s “a little worse than turf toe.” And he doesn’t think it’s going to get any better without a week off. The Packers (8-3) have one more game, a key NFC matchup next Sunday against the Los Angeles Rams (7-3), before they finally get their bye in Week 13.

“I’m just going to have to get to the bye and hope I can get some healing over the bye week,” Rodgers said. “Probably the same schedule next week. Was in a lot of pain. Went in at halftime early to get it checked out. It’s very, very painful. Got stepped on the first half, and that kind of activated all the symptoms I was having. It’s going to be another painful week and next week and then hopefully start to feel a little better on the bye.”

That likely means he won’t practice much — if at all — in advance of the Rams’ game. Last week, his only time on the practice field came Friday in limited work, which could account for a slow start to Sunday’s game.

Still, he managed a 385-yard, four-touchdown game, including a game-tying 75-yarder to Marquez Valdes-Scantling with 2:08 left in the game. And whatever treatment Rodgers got at halftime must have worked. He led touchdown drives on all three of the Packers’ second-half possessions, including a pair to Davante Adams (seven catches for 115 yards). It was the start of the game that doomed them. Their first four drives finished field goal, punt, missed field goal, punt.

“I thought in the second half we finally started to get into a better rhythm,” Packers coach Matt LaFleur said. “We started to be a little bit more aggressive, and our execution was on point. There was a lot of good within the game. Certainly, we’d like to finish a couple of those drives a little bit better.”

While the Packers’ defense couldn’t come up with a stop after the Valdes-Scantling touchdown — safety Darnell Savage dropped an interception on the ensuing play that would have given the ball back to Rodgers at his own 36-yard line with two minutes left — the quarterback wouldn’t put this one on a defense that couldn’t stop Justin Jefferson (eight catches for 169 yards and two touchdowns).

“Our defense has been playing so good, some days have to outscore teams that get hot on offense,” Rodgers said. “We had an opportunity to score 40 points today, and when you’re playing an offense that’s hot, that has a hot quarterback, and stud receivers and a stud back, you gotta keep scoring.

“We’ve had a couple games like this over the years, thinking about 2012 especially, where we gotta outscore them at their place. We didn’t do that today. But I think for us personally on offense, we gotta to start faster. We gotta score touchdowns on those opening plays, so I know Matt will be looking at that this week and dial up some good stuff for L.A.”

Five offensive line penalties didn’t help the offense, either, but the Packers might have a bigger issue with that group. Left tackle Elgton Jenkins went down with a significant left knee injury early in the fourth quarter and was almost immediately ruled out. They will find out Monday whether tests confirm a torn ACL. Jenkins, a Pro Bowl left guard last season, had been filling in for All-Pro left tackle David Bakhtiari, who still has not been cleared to return from last year’s ACL injury.

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Cowboys vs. Chiefs – Game Summary – November 21, 2021

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first Quarter DAL KC

TD

10:43

Travis Kelce 4 Yard Rush Harrison Butker Missed Ex. Pt Attmpt

9 plays, 86 yards, 3:47

0 6

FG

7:59

Harrison Butker Made 37 Yrd Field Goal

4 plays, 3 yards, 0:58

0 9

FG

2:54

Greg Zuerlein Made 33 Yrd Field Goal

10 plays, 60 yards, 5:05

3 9 second Quarter DAL KC

TD

14:08

Clyde Edwards-Helaire 1 Yard Rush, H.Butker extra point is GOOD, Center-J.Winchester, Holder-T.Townsend.

8 plays, 65 yards, 3:42

3 16 third Quarter DAL KC

FG

9:29

Greg Zuerlein Made 30 Yrd Field Goal

7 plays, 24 yards, 2:02

6 16

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Jonathan Taylor carries Indianapolis Colts to upset over Bills with 5 touchdowns

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ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. — Jonathan Taylor didn’t only carry the Indianapolis Colts back into the thick of the AFC playoff race — he likely also carried himself into the thick of the MVP race.

Taylor had a career-high 32 carries for 185 yards, and he became just the 18th player in NFL history to score five touchdowns in the Colts’ convincing 41-15 victory over the Buffalo Bills on Sunday. The Colts started the season 1-4, but they’ve since won five of their last six games to move above .500 for the first time this season.

The 185 yards moved Taylor to the top of the NFL’s rushing leaderboard (1,122 yards), ahead of Tennessee’s Derrick Henry. Taylor may stay at the top the rest of the season, especially with the possibility of Henry being out the rest of the year with a foot injury.

Taylor is the third-youngest player to have five touchdowns in a game and the third to get all five in just three quarters.

Colts coach Frank Reich said earlier this season that Taylor has reached the point where he deserves at least 20 carries a game. Taylor has topped 20 carries in a game just twice this season, with both coming in the past two games.

The lack of Taylor being overworked is paying off because the Colts can lean on him even more down the stretch.

“I mean, he certainly doesn’t feel battered and bruised,” Reich said last week. “Looks as strong, if not stronger. That’s a credit to him — his mindset, the way he works, the condition that he’s in and maintains. I’m sure he’s continuing even to get stronger. … He’s a unique athlete.

“We are hoping that we can just continue to build that workload like in the track and field. Really have a second half of the year that’s stronger and faster than the first half of the year. That would be the goal.”

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