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#pounditWednesday, September 23, 2020

Football

Jimmy Garoppolo may be able to play in Week 3 despite ankle injury

Jimmy Garoppolo

San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo is dealing with a high ankle sprain, but has a chance to play in Week 3.

Coach Kyle Shanahan said Garoppolo’s ankle injury is not that serious, and he is considered week-to-week. Shanahan left the door open to Garoppolo playing in Week 3 against the New York Giants.

Garoppolo battled through the injury during the first half of Sunday’s win over the Jets. He did not play during the second half, and with the Niners jumping out to a big lead, there was little reason for him to. The quarterback went 14/16 for 131 yards and two touchdowns.

It remains to be seen whether playing on the controversial MetLife Stadium turf for a second week in a row will have any bearing on the decision to play Garoppolo or not.

Robert Kraft offered private plane to James White

Robert Kraft

Robert Kraft had a nice gesture for James White as the Patriots running back deals with a terrible situation.

White learned on Sunday night that his parents were involved in a fatal car crash. His father died in the crash, while his mother is in his critical condition.

White was listed as inactive for the Patriots’ game against the Seahawks in Seattle later in the evening.

According to a report from NBC Sports’ Michele Tafoya, Kraft, who owns the New England Patriots, offered the use of his private plane to White. White could have used the plane to fly to Florida immediately to see his mother.

Tafoya says that White declined and decided he would fly back home with the team instead.

White, who is in his seventh season, recognized the Kraft family earlier this year for their generosity.

Derek Carr had funny comment about Jon Gruden’s bold field goal decision

Derek Carr

Derek Carr had a funny comment about Jon Gruden’s bold decision to attempt a long field goal late in the Las Vegas Raiders’ 34-24 win over the New Orleans Saints on Monday night.

The Raiders were up 31-24 and drove to the New Orleans 36 with 1:05 left. They had a tough choice on fourth down and decided to take a risk. Gruden sent kicker Daniel Carlson out to attempt a 54-yard field goal. If he made the kick, it would have put the Raiders up by two scores and effectively iced the game. If he missed, the Saints would have had the ball near midfield and with a minute left to tie the game.

“That took a lot of you-know-what from Coach Gruden,” Carr said of Gruden’s decision during a postgame interview with ESPN’s Lisa Salters after the game.

It certainly did.

Carlson nailed the 54-yard kick with ease, essentially sealing the win.

Although Carlson made the kick look easy, the decision could not have been an easy one. Prior to this season, Carlson’s NFL career-long field goal was 50 yards. He’s made two 54-yarders this season.

The decision took a lot of you-know-what from Gruden, but it paid off for the 2-0 Raiders. Now that they’re off to a good start, we’re guessing the rumors about problems between Carr and Gruden are gone.

Brett Favre spotted wearing Tom Brady T-shirt at Bucs game

Anyone who has heard Brett Favre talk about Tom Brady knows how much admiration the Hall of Famer has for his fellow quarterback, but Favre removed all doubt on Sunday.

Favre was spotted at Raymond James Stadium prior to kickoff between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Carolina Panthers. He was walking around wearing one of the popular shirts that depicts Brady as the Bucs’ mascot and logo.

Perhaps Favre is more of a Brady fan boy than we thought.

Favre has praised Brady on numerous occasions for continuing to play at a high level this late in his career. More recently, Favre issued a warning to Bucs coach Bruce Arians about criticizing the six-time Super Bowl champion.

The Buccaneers aren’t allowing general fan attendance at their first two home games, but Brady has a loyal supporter in Favre.

Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski have teamed up yet again! Treat yourself or a friend with this great Tampa Fiesta shirt. You can buy it here.

Video: Deion Sanders makes classic ‘Prime Time’ entrance at Jackson State

Deion Sanders

Deion Sanders was officially introduced as the new head football coach at Jackson State on Monday, and his entrance at the school was right on par with everything else he has done in his Hall of Fame career.

Sanders showed up to his press conference at Jackson State with police lights flashing, sirens blaring and the school marching band leading the way.

Sanders then gave an emotional speech.

“We going to win,” Sanders said, according to TMZ. “We going to look good while we win. We going to have a good time while we win. And we going to do this professionally. … I believe this is going to be a marriage made in heaven, and I cannot wait to get started.”

Sanders had made it no secret that he wanted to get into head coaching. He was linked to one high-profile college job a while back, but nothing ever came of that. While there was some concern over one of his endorsement deals and how it would impact him taking a job at Jackson State, that is all being worked out.

A former eight-time Pro Bowler as a player, Sanders has only coached at the high school level. Jackson State has not had a winning season since 2013, so Sanders will face immediate pressure to right the ship.

Jon Gruden, Sean Payton fined for not wearing masks

Sean Payton

The NFL has added two more head coaches to its masks fine list for Week 2.

Jon Gruden and Sean Payton were both fined $100,000 for not wearing masks during “Monday Night Football.” Their respective teams, the Las Vegas Raiders and New Orleans Saints, also received $250,000 fines.

The NFL has now fined five of the league’s 32 head coaches for masks. In total, that is $1,750,000 in fines this week.

The NFL is making it very clear that they want coaches to wear masks for coronavirus purposes. The league issued warnings last week and escalated to fines this week. The message from the league has been sent.

Falcons have total collapse in ugly loss to Cowboys

Dan Quinn

The Atlanta Falcons will be kicking themselves after a brutal collapse against the Dallas Cowboys.

The Falcons had jumped out to a 20-0 lead on Dallas at the end of the first quarter, and held a 39-24 advantage with just eight minutes to go. The Cowboys managed to storm back to within two, but the real moment that turned the game was Atlanta’s baffling attempt to recover Dallas’ onside kick with 1:49 left.

Atlanta appeared to be in position to at least try to fall on the ball and ensure the Cowboys didn’t get another chance. Instead, they just stared at the kick until Dallas’ C.J. Goodwin swooped in and scooped it up. It was almost as if Atlanta’s players didn’t know they could pick the ball up before it went ten yards.

Ironically, it was the Falcons who had been more prepared on special teams earlier in the game. Dallas ran two fake punts, and the Falcons immediately seemed to sense that something was up on the second one and were more than ready for it.

That preparation disappeared at the end of the game. Atlanta’s defense was on its heels for the entire fourth quarter. Their special teams blunder was the icing on the cake. Given that 17 of their points came off Dallas turnovers, it could be argued they were fortunate to even have a chance.

Dallas, meanwhile, got a bit unlucky in their Week 1 loss. In Week 2, luck was on their side.

Tyrod Taylor had complications from injection to address rib injury

Tyrod Taylor

Tyrod Taylor was surprisingly unable to start Sunday’s game for the Los Angeles Chargers against the Kansas City Chiefs due to a chest injury, and we are learning more about what actually happened.

Taylor battled a rib injury during the week but had every intention of playing, according to Ian Rapoport and Mike Garafolo of NFL Media. However, he experienced complications when he received an injection prior to Sunday’s game that was supposed to help alleviate the pain. That led to Taylor not being able to suit up.

The unusual situation forced Justin Herbert to make the first start of his career, and the rookie handled it quite well. He completed 22-of-33 passes for 311 yards, a touchdown and an interception. More importantly, he kept the Chargers in the game against one of the best teams in the AFC, though they eventually fell in overtime.

It sounds like Taylor has a decent chance to be cleared for Week 3, but Herbert’s solid performance will complicate things for Anthony Lynn. For now, the Chargers coach appears to be standing behind Taylor.

Chargers coach not yet willing to make Justin Herbert starter over Tyrod Taylor

Justin Herbert

NFL fans watched Justin Herbert play a nice game in his NFL debut for the Los Angeles Chargers on Sunday. Anthony Lynn must have been watching something else.

The Chargers head coach said after the team’s 23-20 overtime loss to the Kansas City Chiefs that Tyrod Taylor would remain the team’s starting quarterback if he is 100 percent healthy.

Herbert got the surprising start against the Chiefs due to a chest injury for Taylor. The rookie quarterback went 22-for-33 for 311 yards, a touchdown and an interception. He also rushed for 18 yards and a touchdown.

Herbert looked good in the game and gave the Chargers a chance to beat a tough team. He was the No. 6 overall draft pick this year and obviously the Chargers’ future quarterback.

Maybe Lynn did not want to make such an announcement about Taylor losing his job in front of the media, but it’s hard not to imagine that Herbert will be the starter before long.

Derek Carr celebrates Raiders’ first Las Vegas win with special gesture

Derek Carr

The Raiders had to play in front of an empty stadium for their first home game in Las Vegas on Monday night, but you would have sworn 65,000 people were cheering them on. Derek Carr led the team to a convincing win and left his mark on Allegiant Stadium — literally.

Following the Raiders’ 34-24 win over the New Orleans Saints, Carr left a special message on one of the walls inside Allegiant Stadium.

Carr completed 28-of-38 passes for 282 yards, three touchdowns and no interceptions. The Raiders fell behind 10-0 in the first quarter but battled back to tie things up heading into halftime. They then controlled the second half, and Jon Gruden made a tough decision that paid off in a big way to seal the game.

There was talk for much of last season that Gruden and Carr were on different pages. Despite all that, Gruden stuck with Carr. The coach’s decision has been rewarded thus far, as Carr has completed 73.5 percent of his passes with four touchdowns and no interceptions through two games.