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Thursday, December 12, 2019

Football

Baker Mayfield seems to think Odell Beckham wants to remain with Browns

Baker Mayfield

Baker Mayfield spoke with the media on Wednesday and addressed Odell Beckham Jr.’s status with the Browns.

Beckham is having a poor season with Cleveland and playing through a sports hernia injury. He reportedly has told opponents to come get him. But what he’s telling opponents may be different from what he’s telling Mayfield.

Baker told reporters that he trusts Beckham and that he knows what the two talk about.

Mayfield’s comments seem to suggest the two are on good terms, or at least that Odell is telling him something different from what the rumors suggest.

The Browns made a big splash by trading for Beckham during the offseason and entered the year with plenty of hype. That all quickly came crashing down as the team struggled to start the season and has a losing record at 6-7.

Report: Eli Manning likely to start in Week 15 for Giants

Eli Manning

Eli Manning may be making his second straight start for the New York Giants at quarterback.

Giants rookie Daniel Jones took over the starting job from Manning in Week 3 of the season, but he got hurt in Week 13 against Green Bay. Jones missed the Monday night loss to the Philadelphia Eagles due to his ankle injury. He returned to practice on Wednesday, but SNY’s Ralph Vacchiano reports a team official says it’s “likely” that Manning starts his second game in a row.

Giants head coach Pat Shurmur has said Jones’ status will depend on the quarterback’s health.

“If he’s healthy enough to play, then he’ll play,” Shurmur said. “It’s always medical. If he’s cleared, he’s cleared. … He’s cleared to practice, but again, we have to see it, evaluate it and look at it.”

It seems the Giants may be more inclined to play things safely with their young quarterback, especially in a season where they’re struggling with a 2-11 record.

The Giants only have two more home games remaining — Week 15 against Miami and Week 17 against Philadelphia. If Manning does start, this could mark his final home start with the Giants. And facing the Dolphins would give him a good shot of winning, too. But just because Manning’s Giants career may be ending, don’t discount his future. A recent report said Manning wants to keep playing and compete for a starting job in 2020.

Le’Veon Bell explains why he went bowling despite missing game with flu

LeVeon Bell

Le’Veon Bell’s decision to go bowling on Saturday a day before sitting out a game due to the flu did not sit well with New York Jets coach Adam Gase, but the running back says he has a perfectly good reason he did what he did.

Bell said Wednesday that he’d lost 10 pounds as a result of his illness, and when doctors told him to stay active, he decided to do so by heading to a bowling alley.

Bell’s reasoning may be valid, but even if it is, he has to understand the optics problem. If you’re not healthy enough to play in a game, fans aren’t really going to buy that you’re healthy enough to be going out bowling. Gase will likely stand by his frustration with Bell and argue that perhaps he should have found some way to stay physically active at home.

Bell has been a disappointment for the Jets, with just 992 all-purpose yards in 2019. Those numbers, plus incidents like these, have helped fuel rumors that the Jets may look to get rid of him after the season.

Roger Goodell gives his take on Colin Kaepernick workout

Roger Goodell

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell weighed in on the league-sponsored workout for Colin Kaepernick that ultimately didn’t take place.

In a Wednesday press conference, Goodell said that he understood Kaepernick’s decision not to take part in the workout, adding that the purpose of the workout was to give Kaepernick a “credible opportunity” to get back into the league. He concluded by stating that the league has moved on.

Of course Goodell isn’t going to speak negatively about Kaepernick, especially since the league could still theoretically face legal exposure. The commissioner was reportedly heavily involved in the planning of the workout, and he would not have liked to see the PR fiasco that it turned into. It’s a diplomatic answer from Goodell, and probably the only one that he could have given — but it doesn’t sound like they’ll be granting Kaepernick any more help in the future.

Janoris Jenkins calls fan ‘retard’ in tweet sent during Giants practice

Janoris Jenkins

Janoris Jenkins made headlines on Wednesday for insulting a fan via Twitter, and he did so during a New York Giants practice he missed.

Jenkins did not practice due to an ankle injury. He was checking his Twitter account though, because he responded to a fan talking about his stats by calling the person a “retard”, while saying he can only do so much to help contribute towards the Giants’ success.

Giants head coach Pat Shurmur was asked after practice about Jenkins’ actions and said the cornerback should not be tweeting during practice.

Jenkins was kicked off the team at Florida during his college days and has made headlines through his tweets in the past. The Giants had to know this was part of the deal with him when they signed him.

Jenkins has 54 tackles and four interceptions in 13 games this season.

Report: Patriots tape does not show anything that can’t be seen on TV, film

New England Patriots

The NFL is in the process of investigating the footage the New England Patriots obtained when a member of their film production crew illegally recorded the field during Sunday’s game between the Cleveland Browns and Cincinnati Bengals, and it does not sound like any shocking discoveries have been made.

NFL officials who have viewed the footage believe there is nothing on it that a team could not see either on the television broadcast or the coaches film from a game, Judy Battista of NFL Network reported on Wednesday. However, Battista noted that the Bengals may not agree.

The NFL wants to wrap the investigation up quickly, and Battista also said there has been nothing to indicate the situation is going to be deemed a “significant issue.” The Patriots have said the violation of rules occurred as a simple misunderstanding, and the league is inclined to believe them despite their controversial history.

According to a statement the Patriots released, their video production team — which is apparently not connected to their football operations department — shot footage of the field for part of their “Do Your Job” documentary. The production crew in Cleveland was supposedly giving a glimpse into how an advanced scout prepares for an upcoming opponent. The cameraman reportedly shot the footage right out in the open for anyone to see, which, if true, makes it seem like he genuinely did not know he was violating any rules.

Bill Belichick immediately distanced himself from the incident when the news broke, and he did not back down from that stance during a testy exchange with the media on Wednesday.

Baker Mayfield trusts Odell Beckham ‘wholeheartedly’ amid exit rumors

Baker Mayfield

Odell Beckham’s future with the Cleveland Browns appears less and less clear with each passing week, but Baker Mayfield isn’t letting it bother him.

Mayfield said Wednesday he trusts Beckham “wholeheartedly” while declining to speak on whether he believes Beckham wants to be back with the Browns in 2020.

That question about Beckham’s future is a big one. Having reportedly told opponents he wants to leave Cleveland, it’s not really clear if he wants to stick with Mayfield as badly as his quarterback appears to want to stick with Beckham. Mayfield’s efforts to defend Beckham and his production actually led to him going a bit too far and having to apologize. The quarterback is being a good teammate, but the jury is out on whether Beckham is as committed to the partnership.

Beckham has caught 59 passes for 844 yards and only two touchdowns this season.