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Monday, September 24, 2018

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Report: Everson Griffen threatened to shoot someone at hotel

Everson Griffen shirt

Everson Griffen was involved in an incident at a Minneapolis hotel on Saturday prior to the Vikings’ home game against the Buffalo Bills on Sunday.

Griffen was not present for the team’s game on Sunday due to what the team termed a personal matter. Though he had already been ruled out of the game due to a knee injury, the circumstances behind his absence led to plenty of questions.

According to KSTP, the ABC affiliate in Minneapolis, Griffen was at the Hotel Ivy on Saturday and verbally threatened to shoot someone. Staff members at the hotel were apparently scared enough that they moved to the back of the office to avoid Griffen. Griffen was reportedly threatening to assault staff members if he was not let into his room.

Police were called and Griffen was not arrested. He left the hotel on his own, and the caller on the phone was said to no longer be cooperative.

“We are aware of the situation involving Everson Griffen and certainly concerned by what we have heard. We are currently focused on Everson’s well-being and providing the appropriate support for him and his family,” the Vikings said of Griffen in a statement.

NFL Media’s Tom Pelissero adds that Griffen has been dealing with a serious, personal health-related issue for weeks.

The 30-year-old defensive end is in his 9th season with the Vikings. He has six tackles and a sack on the season. Griffen was also involved in an incident with police in 2011 and had to be subdued with a Taser.

H/T BWE

Lack of space between end zone and wall is safety hazard in NFL

Isaiah Johnson wall

The NFL needs to consider some uniform NFL stadium rules to ensure the safety of players.

Those watching “Monday Night Football” between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Pittsburgh Steelers saw Tampa’s Isaiah Johnson slam into the wall beyond the end zone during the second quarter while he was trying to make a play in coverage.

There simply was not enough room between the back of the end zone and wall to allow a player to safely decelerate.

Raymond James Stadium wasn’t the only place to have a safety issue in Week 3. Miami Dolphins wide receiver Kenny Stills slammed into a wall at Hard Rock Stadium on a touchdown catch.

The Dolphins appear to have added a special seating section by the end zone that caused the close wall. That should not be allowed. We’ve seen one player win millions in a lawsuit with a stadium for suffering an injury due to unsafe conditions. The league should try to avoid anything similar in the future.

Twitter reacts to Vance McDonald’s stiff arm of steel

Vance McDonald

Vance McDonald went old school on Chris Conte during the first quarter of “Monday Night Football.”

McDonald caught a short pass for a first down and was met by Conte, who tried to tackle him. But the Pittsburgh Steelers tight end buried Conte with a stiff arm for the ages and took the ball to the house for a 75-yard touchdown against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Fans absolutely loved the dominant move. Here’s a look at the great Twitter reactions:

What a play by McDonald. And our condolences to Conte.

Cardi B reportedly in talks to do Super Bowl halftime show with Maroon 5

While the NFL has not made the official announcement, it has been widely reported that Maroon 5 has reached an agreement to headline the halftime show at Super Bowl LIII in Atlanta in February. Many fans are unhappy with the choice, but would the addition of Cardi B help alleviate some of the discontent?

According to a report from TMZ, Cardi B is in negotiations to join Maroon 5 on stage during the biggest American sporting event of the year. However, there is an issue over whether or not the hip hop artist will get her own set as opposed to just performing hers and Maroon 5’s hit song “Girls Like You.”

Fans are already upset over the NFL reportedly choosing Maroon 5, as there are several prominent musicians who hail from Atlanta. We all knew the halftime show from Super Bowl LII was going to be tough to top in terms of popularity, and we are already seeing that before the NFL even makes an announcement.

Lions’ Darius Slay had funny reaction to intercepting Tom Brady

Darius Slay

Detroit Lions cornerback Darius Slay had one of the biggest plays of his team’s Sunday night win over the New England Patriots, and it’s a memory he won’t soon forget.

Slay intercepted Patriots quarterback Tom Brady during the fourth quarter of the 26-10 Lions victory, a turnover that didn’t clinch the victory but all but wiped out New England’s realistic chances of making a comeback. Slay, as it turned out, was mentally ready to make the interception, and he even has some memorabilia that he wants Brady to autograph.

“I saw that thing, I said, ‘Ooooh, I have me one,'” Slay said, via Chris Burke of The Athletic. “I was already thinking, ‘It’s from the GOAT? I get this from the GOAT?’ When he done and retired, I’m gonna keep that ball and … I’m gonna ask him to sign it. He’s the GOAT and there’s nothing like having the GOAT’s signature on your picked ball. I doubt if he’d do it, but if he do want to do it, I would gladly send it to him so he could sign that thing.”

Slay is a confident corner, but even he’s a bit awed at picking off someone of Brady’s caliber. Given how good a win it was for Detroit, this one will stick with him.

Aqib Talib reportedly set to miss a month with high-ankle sprain

Aqib Talib

Los Angeles Rams cornerback Aqib Talib will reportedly miss a month with a high-ankle sprain suffered Sunday.

Talib injured himself during Sunday’s game against the Los Angeles Chargers, and the sprain is severe enough that, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, he will miss at least a month.

Talib’s injury likely rules him out of a reunion with the Denver Broncos on Oct. 14. He’ll also miss a Thursday tilt against fellow NFC contender Minnesota and a key divisional game at Seattle, so the timing is really not ideal.

Colts coach insists there is no concern over Andrew Luck’s arm strength

Andrew Luck

Andrew Luck has now played in three games since returning from a shoulder injury that cost him the entire 2017 season, and the results have been mixed. On paper, Luck has not been awful. But to those who watched him before he underwent surgery, he seems like a much different player.

Luck is averaging a career-low 5.3 yards per completion this season, which has led to questions about his arm strength. Colts head coach Frank Reich insisted on Monday that the team has “no concerns” in that department.

“What I’ve seen is he makes all the throws,” Reich told reporters, per Mike Wells of ESPN.com. “There’s been plenty of throws down the field, in my mind … (What) I’ve seen is a guy who is extremely accurate. I have no concerns about velocity.”

Something has certainly changed, whether it is play-calling, decision-making or Luck’s physical ability. According to ESPN Stats & Information, Luck ranks 26th in the NFL in passing attempts that travel at least 20 yards in the air down the field. While the sample size is small just three games into the season, he ranked first in that category from 2012 to 2014.

Reich can insist all he wants that Luck has regained the arm strength he had before his injury, but it was very telling that the Colts brought backup quarterback Jacoby Brissett in at the end of Sunday’s loss to the Philadelphia Eagles to attempt a Hail Mary. Brissett has a stronger arm than Luck even when the two QBs are at their healthiest, but he only needed to make a 54-yard throw to reach the end zone. There’s no way Luck would have been subbed out in that situation two years ago.

It was not that long ago that we heard a report about Luck’s arm strength that was not all that encouraging, so you have to wonder if Reich is being completely transparent.

Report: Chiefs have been persistent in inquiring about Earl Thomas

Earl Thomas

The Kansas City Chiefs have been the best offensive team in the NFL through the first three weeks of the season, and they are apparently determined to get better on the other side of the ball as they look to contend for a Super Bowl.

ESPN’s Chris Mortensen reported on Sunday that the Chiefs have “emerged as a candidate” to trade for All-Pro safety Earl Thomas if the Seattle Seahawks decide to move him. It’s unclear if the Chiefs and Seahawks have had actual discussions about a deal, but Jeffri Chadiha of NFL.com was told by a source that Kansas City has been persistent in inquiring.

Chiefs safety Eric Berry is rehabbing from a torn Achilles he suffered in Week 1 of the 2017 season, and he is expected to resume on-field work soon. Chadiha reports that Kansas City’s interest in Thomas is not indicative of any concerns with Berry’s health, which would indicate the Chiefs are looking to pair the two star safeties together.

Thomas is in the final year of his contract with the Seahawks, and they have seemed hesitant to either trade him or give him an extension. However, their stance may have changed when the 29-year-old went to great lengths last week to show the team how unhappy he is.

Baker Mayfield has lofty aims after winning Browns’ QB job

Baker Mayfield is officially the starting quarterback of the Cleveland Browns, and he has more than just winning games on his agenda.

Mayfield took the promotion in stride Monday, saying that he’s aiming to change the culture in Cleveland, not just lead the team to wins.

“I didn’t come here just to win one game, and I didn’t come here just to start the next,” Mayfield said, via Pat McManamon of ESPN. “We’re building a franchise here, and we’re turning it around. It’s about culture.”

Mayfield has never been shy about his belief that he can be the Browns’ long-term answer at quarterback despite the turmoil that traditionally follows that role. He’s got to be feeling even better about that after leading them to their first win on Thursday night. He certainly seems to have the mental fortitude to do what the Browns need him to do.

Teammate who can relate tweets uplifting message to Jimmy Garoppolo

Jimmy Garoppolo knee

San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo will miss the rest of the season after the team announced on Monday that he suffered a torn ACL in Sunday’s game, and one of his teammates can certainly relate to being dealt such a significant blow.

Running back Jerick McKinnon, who tore his ACL during practice before the season even began, tweeted an inspirational message to Garoppolo after hearing the bad news.

McKinnon split time in the Minnesota Vikings’ backfield last year with Latavius Murray, but he was expected to play a huge role with the Niners after they signed him to a four-year, $30 million deal this past offseason. With both him and Garoppolo out for the year, Kyle Shanahan will need to be more than a bit creative to find ways to score points.

Garoppolo has also received support from a former teammate who knows how he feels, but that probably won’t make missing the entire season any easier.

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