Some of these players will make their debuts with their new teams right away. Others will have to wait. Here’s the latest on each of the players who landed with new teams via trade this week.
Kelvin Benjamin didn’t play Thursday night, but should next week
It’s not a surprise that the Bills kept Benjamin inactive when they visited the Jets on Thursday Night Football. It had just been two days since the team acquired him. That’s an awfully quick turnaround.
Kyle Shanahan said he’s taking things with Garoppolo “one day at a time” while the quarterback learns the 49ers’ playbook. He dressed for Sunday’s game against the Cardinals, but he was not expected to play. He didn’t.
C.J. Beathard was sacked five times and took 16 hits from the Cardinals in the Niners’ 20-10 loss. Garoppolo may be forced into action sooner than the team would like if the 49ers can’t protect the quarterback better.
Duane Brown got his first start with the Seahawks
Pete Carroll was effusive about Brown after his first day of practice with the Seahawks. And Brown got the start for Seattle this week against Washington.
Russell Wilson took two sacks and was hit 11 times in Seattle’s 17-14 loss to Washington that came down to the wire. Brown had a false start in what ended up being a sloppy day for the offensive line, and the team as a whole. The Seahawks finished with 16 penalties for a loss of 138 yards.
Jay Ajayi broke his touchdown drought in his first game with the Eagles
LeGarrette Blount remained the team’s starter, but, as expected, Ajayi certainly got opportunities against the Broncos. Ajayi didn’t have a carry in the first quarter, but came on strong in the second, running for a 45-yard touchdown in just his third touch as an Eagle. He finished the game with eight carries for 77 yards; Blount (nine carries) and Corey Clement (12) each had more.
Dareus joined a stacked Jaguars defense and reunited with Doug Marrone, who was his head coach in Buffalo in 2013 and 2014. He had a positive impact Sunday, recording three solo tackles as part of the team’s defensive line rotation. As a group, the Jacksonville front seven held Cincinnati to 30 rushing yards on 16 carries.
Dolphins’ field conditions are terrible after Virginia Tech-Miami played on it the night before
This does not look like an ideal playing surface.
The Dolphins have had the field at Hard Rock Stadium resurfaced four times since preseason began. This current playing surface went in on Oct. 26, and it’s already a mess.
The team upgraded the field after their Week 7 win over the Jets. But they may need to work on it again. The Miami Hurricanes also play in Hard Rock Stadium. They beat Virginia Tech there last night 28-10, and that’s why the field is torn up tonight.
The NFL certified the field as safe before that Jets game, Michelle Tafoya said on the Sunday Night Football broadcast. They would have had to do the same for tonight’s game, also. The Dolphins resurfaced it because they said it was beneath their standards. It will be interesting to see if the team does any work on the field after this week’s game.
3 Dolphins players got Adam Gase to relax team rule about kneeling during national anthem
Kenny Stills, Michael Thomas, and Julius Thomas told Gase that it hindered their preparation to stay in the locker room.
The Dolphins made a rule that players must either stand for the national anthem or stay in the locker room. But Kenny Stills, Michael Thomas, and Julius Thomas still kneeled before the Dolphins’ game against the Raiders on Sunday night.
Stills, Thomas, and Thomas spoke to head coach Adam Gase in the days leading up to the game and told their head coach that staying in the locker room hurt their ability to prepare for the game, according to Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald.
Gase told his players that he would prefer it if they would stand for the anthem. But he relaxed the rule because he respects his players’ freedom of expression.
The team instituted the rule in early October, when controversy about protests during the national anthem was at a fever pitch. Stills, Thomas, and Thomas have remained in the locker room during the anthem for each game since the team applied the rule.
Gase established the rule after speaking with players about it.
Dolphins owner Stephen Ross has spoken out about the meaning behind the protests and that they aren’t about the anthem, the military, or the flag.
“Trump has made [standing for the anthem] about patriotism,” Ross said, via Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald. “It’s so important if that’s what the country is looking at to look at it differently … It’s a different dialogue. Whenever you’re dealing with the flag, you’re dealing with something different.”
Stills, Thomas, and Thomas won’t face team discipline for their protest since they talked it out with Gase ahead of time.
Raiders vs. Dolphins: 4 winners and 4 losers from Oakland’s 27-24 win
The Raiders pulled off a win on the road.
The Dolphins didn’t make it easy on the Raiders, but Oakland got the win on Sunday night with a final score of 27-24.
It was 10-9 at the half, and ended up being a close game for most of the second half. The Dolphins pulled within four points of the Raiders in the third quarter, and then nobody scored again until there was 4:37 left in the game. That score — Marshawn Lynch’s second touchdown — sealed the game for the Raiders.
But it wasn’t for a lack of effort on the Dolphins’ part. Jay Cutler actually had a great game, and he tried to get the Dolphins moving. He did hit Julius Thomas for a 27-yard gain and it looked like they had some momentum. But the drive stalled out. Cutler hit Thomas again with a 14-yard pass to convert a fourth down, but a holding penalty on Jermon Bushrod brought it back. When they replayed the down, Cutler’s pass went incomplete.
The Dolphins got another shot after a pick by safety Reshad Jones. A roughing-the-passer call and a play that was ruled an incomplete pass but was overturned on review helped Miami move the ball. Cutler got it to Julius Thomas in the end zone and Kenyan Drake ran in the two-point attempt to pull within a field goal of the Raiders with just over a minute and a half remaining.
Miami tried an onside kick, and they had executed one perfectly earlier in the game. This one was… not perfect. Amari Cooper recovered, and the Raiders kneed it out for the win.
Obviously the Raiders were winners, and the Dolphins were losers. But here are the rest of the winners and losers from Sunday night’s matchup.
Williams got the Dolphins on the board on a 10-yard pass from Jay Cutler. His teammate picks up a key block for him, then Williams takes down two defenders by the sheer force of his will before Supermanning into the end zone.
The Raiders might as well have extended an invitation to the Dolphins to onside kick on them based on the formation they lined up in. Nobody was within four yards of the restraining line. The probability was high that the Dolphins could recover this.
Jay Cutler is our favorite disinterested quarterback meme. But he didn’t play like a disinterested quarterback. Cutler had just one incompletion in the first half, and it was on a batted ball. He finished 32 of 41 for 311 yards and three touchdowns.
The offense has been a liability for Miami this season. If Cutler keeps playing this way, it won’t continue to be.
Winner: Marshawn Lynch made this look so easy twice
Lynch had two scores in the Raiders’ win, and this first one was a vintage run. He finds a hole, evades a defender, and essentially walks into the end zone.
His second touchdown locked up the win for the Raiders, and he’s got great blocking. He just walks right into the end zone again.
Loser: Marshall Newhouse’s fumble recovery and fumble
This would have gone in the winner column, because it had two of our favorite things: A fumble recovery by a lineman, and said lineman trying to run the dang ball. Derek Carr fumbled, and Newhouse was there. He scooped it up and started to run.
Then a Miami defender took Newhouse’s legs out from under him. He went flying and lost the ball in the process, and Miami recovered.
It’s still beautiful, even though he lost the ball.
The Dolphins gave them a game, but the Raiders go home with a win.
2017 NFL celebration rankings: Chiefs take 1st place in Week 9 with a potato sack race
Sorry Vikings. There’s a new leader in our celebration rankings.
The NFL relaxed its rules on celebrations this offseason. Here at SB Nation, our editorial stance is that this makes the game funner for players and fans alike, and we endorse it wholeheartedly.
For the longest time, we enjoyed seeing Antonio Brown twerking in the end zone and Odell Beckham Jr. doing his best Michael Jackson impression, only to have that delight interrupted by a flag and the knowledge that a fine would likely follow. We shouldn’t see any pelvic thrusting this year despite the relaxed rules. It’s still a penalty. But players can dance, use the ball as a prop, and choreograph celebrations with teammates til their hearts’ content.
We’ll be celebrating the celebrations this season by keeping a running list of rankings. At the end of the year we’ll crown a winner.
Here are the latest NFL celebration rankings:
1. Potato sack race
This is brilliant. After a Travis Kelce touchdown, Tyreek Hill and Demarcus Robinson faced off against him in a potato sack race. Demetrius Harris officiates, and both Robinson and Hill fall down. We don’t want to speculate, but they might have let Kelce win.
2. Duck, duck, goose!
It wasn’t easy to unseat the Colts and their bank heist, but the Vikings pulled it off with a duck, duck, goose celebration in the end zone.
3. Steelers play hide and seek
JuJu Smith-Schuster is a rookie, but he’s already proven he’s one of the most fun players in the league. Case in point: this hide and seek celebration with Le’Veon Bell.
The Eagles must really love these baseball-themed celebrations. This one was great because it happened during the week of the World Series. Zach Ertz hits Alshon Jeffery with a pitch, and Jeffery charges the mound.
6. Colts pull off a bank heist
Someone finally knocked Taco Charlton out of the top spot, and it’s the Colts, with a creative take on a bank robbery.
7. Titans become Temptations impersonators for a minute
I’ve got sunshine on a cloudy day. When it’s cold outside, I’ve got the month of May. I guess you’d say, what can make me feel this way? My girl, my girl, my girl …
Thanks to the Titans we’ve got that one stuck in our heads.
The Lions have this group celebration thing down, and they’re dominating this category. After a touchdown in Week 3 against the Falcons, Golden Tate and his teammates went all Winter Olympics on us in the end zone.
13. The Bills take a video game break
After a Jordan Matthews score, he and Zay Jones faced off in a pretend video game. Wonder who won?
14. Taylor Gabriel and Julio Jones on a relay team?
Excuse me, USA Track and Field, but this is actually not a bad idea. These two can both fly.
Martavis Bryant scored his first touchdown since 2015 in Week 2 against the Vikings, and he celebrated by throwing some imaginary dice. His teammate Antonio Brown promptly snatched them up.
17. Titans are not worthy of Wesley Woodyard
Are any of these players really old enough to remember Wayne’s World? It doesn’t matter. This is a good one.
18. Deshaun Watson dances with Toro, the Texans’ mascot
Everybody’s having a good time! They should have been. The Texans won 57-14.
19. Packers serving up some chow
Davante Adams dished up some dinner for his teammates, and Randall Cobb was first in line. Maybe it was a Cobb salad.
20. Dalvin is Cookin’
Vikings rookie Dalvin Cook celebrated a trip to the end zone with a play off of his last name. It was unfortunately his last celebration of the season since he tore his ACL and landed on IR later in the game.
Golden Tate and Marvin Jones celebrated a touchdown with a friendly little fake game of ping pong. But offensive lineman Graham Glasgow just wanted to join in, and the guys gave him the cold shoulder. Our only quarrel with their top-ranked curling celebration is that Glasgow wasn’t around. Include your teammate next time, because otherwise this was a fun one.
23. We legitimately don’t know what the Bengals are even doing here
Kudos for taking advantage of the celebration rules, but tighten up, fellas.
1. Juju Schuster-Smith with the Dragon Ball Z nod
2. Juju Smith-Schuster locks up his bike
He’s only a rookie, and he’s the youngest player in the NFL. But he sure knows how to celebrate. Smith-Schuster’s bike was stolen. He celebrated a touchdown in the next game by locking up the exercise bike on the sideline. Better safe than sorry.
3. Stefon Diggs pays homage to Randy Moss
This couldn’t have come at a better time, as Diggs honored the Vikings legend on a night when Moss was in the house to be inducted into the team’s Ring of Honor. Diggs hit Moss’ classic Splitting the Defense celebration, then went right into a Milly Rock.
4. Odell Beckham Jr. performs CPR on the ball
Sadly, this is the last Beckham celebration we’ll see this year. He’s been placed on IR after having season-ending surgery to repair a broken ankle he suffered in Week 5 against the Chargers. But this was a good one.
5. Tyreek Hill makes a phone call
We don’t know who he’s calling. Saul? Ghostbusters? Carly Rae Jepsen? It doesn’t matter. It’s a fun celebration.
The Chiefs made another strong case in favor of group celebrations in their season-opening win over the Patriots. Harris got into the end zone, and his teammates joined him for a little basketball-themed celebration.
These basketball-themed celebrations are pretty popular. Freeman scored two touchdowns in Atlanta’s Week 2 win over the Packers, and he celebrated his first score by shooting a free throw through his teammate Andy Levitre’s arms. NBC celebrated, too, by playing the old NBA on NBC theme song.
3. Vintage Vernon Davis
Davis has to be so happy he won’t get fined for this one anymore.
Jameis Winston out ‘several weeks’ while throwing shoulder heals
Dirk Koetter announced Monday the Buccaneers will sit Winston until he’s healthy.
Dirk Koetter announced Monday the Buccaneers will sit quarterback Jameis Winston while his throwing shoulder heals, according to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport. Winston started in Week 9, but had to be pulled from Sunday’s loss to the Saints because of the injury.
Winston suffered the injury, a sprained AC joint, in Week 6 against the Cardinals. He then started in Week 7 against the Bills and Week 8 against the Panthers. It’s sometimes possible to play through the injury, but it’s possible the team rushed him back before he was ready. He completed seven of 13 passes for 67 yards and no scores against the Saints before leaving Sunday’s game.
Fitzpatrick has been OK in Winston’s place. He threw for 290 yards, three touchdowns, and two picks after taking over against the Cardinals. He entered the game for Winston on Sunday, and threw for 68 yards and a touchdown in the Buccaneers’ 30-10 loss to the Saints.
The Buccaneers are 2-6 and dead last in the NFC South. Winston’s injury won’t help them make up ground, but having him on the field hasn’t really made a difference, either. It makes sense for the team to let Winston get back to full strength right now.
The ejection of Ramsey drew loud boos from the crowd because the cornerback didn’t do much except push Green prior to the fight. He was thrown down by the receiver who began throwing punches.
It’s hard to understand why Ramsey was ejected from the game, but Green’s frustrations came after the cornerback spent most of the first two quarters in the receiver’s face. The CBS broadcast showed many plays, including the one that ended in a fight, where Ramsey didn’t even put in his mouthpiece so he could continue talking to Green.
Green finished the game with just one reception for 6 yards as he struggled to find much room against Ramsey.
What does this mean for the Bengals? The Cincinnati offense already had its hands full trying to move the ball against Jacksonville but now has to do so without the help of Green. The team trails 13-7 at halftime and hasn’t found much room outside of one big play for tight end Tyler Kroft.
But another concern for the Bengals is the punches thrown by Green possibly resulting in a suspension. Cincinnati faced an uphill climb to get back into the AFC North race, but it’ll be even harder to pull off if Green is sidelined against the Tennessee Titans in Week 10 or potentially beyond.
What does this mean for the Jaguars? It’s a bummer that Ramsey was ejected from the game when he really didn’t do much except get choke-slammed. Most were confused how the officials came to the conclusion that the cornerback should’ve been ejected, including two of the former NFL heads of officiating.
.@DeanBlandino and I have looked at it – and after the chaos of the fight, we don’t think Ramsey should have been ejected #CINvsJAX