NFL notebook: Brown calls Steelers losses 'unacceptable'

Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown said Thursday that his frustration on the sideline during Sunday's game and his tweet toward a critic on Monday came from his desire to win.

Meeting with reporters for the first time since the team's 42-37 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs, Brown made it clear he does not want a trade, but rather for his team to start performing at the level it has previously.

"We were losing the game ... we haven't won a game yet," Brown said. "For me, as a Steeler, that's unacceptable. I'm not on the sideline begging for the ball or making statements like you guys (the media) make. I'm pissed off. We're losing, we suck. ... We ain't winning. You're damn right I'm pissed off."

Brown was seen on the sideline during the second half of the Chiefs game in an apparent argument with offensive coordinator Randy Fichtner. On Monday, Brown replied to a critical tweet from former Steelers PR staffer Ryan Scarpino -- suggesting Brown wouldn't be as productive without Ben Roethlisberger -- with the words "Trade me let's find out." However, Brown was clear Thursday that he doesn't want a trade.

--Tennessee Titans quarterback Marcus Mariota and left tackle Taylor Lewan each took encouraging steps at practice as they attempt to return from injury.

Still practicing wearing a glove with two fingers cut out on his right hand, Mariota increased his workload and threw with more velocity to deeper parts of the field, though he again was listed as a limited participant. Lewan practiced in full for the first time since sustaining a concussion in Week 1 and appears on track to play Sunday.

"I would say that Marcus is actually better," head coach Mike Vrabel told reporters. "I felt like he threw the ball better today, so that's positive. It's moving in the right direction. And then we'll just see where he's at tomorrow."

--New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski was added to the injury report and practiced on a limited basis with an ankle issue, while newly acquired wideout Josh Gordon remained limited with a hamstring ailment.

It's unclear when Gronkowski was injured or whether it will affect his availability for Sunday's game against the Lions. Gordon missed the Browns' last game on Sunday before being dealt to the Patriots on Monday.

Also limited was right tackle Marcus Cannon (calf), who sat out last week, and cornerback Eric Rowe (groin), among others. Safety Patrick Chung and defensive end Trey Flowers remained out with concussions sustained on Sunday in Jacksonville. It is unlikely either player will be able to progress through the league's concussion protocol in time to face the Lions.

--Jacksonville Jaguars running back Leonard Fournette practiced on a limited basis again and said he plans to be back in the lineup Sunday against the Tennessee Titans.

Fournette did not play because of a hamstring injury last week, as the Jaguars beat the Patriots 31-20 to move to 4-0 in games without Fournette. He left the Week 1 win over the New York Giants with a strain and said he felt a pop.

Backup T.J. Yeldon also practiced on a limited basis after missing Wednesday's session with an ankle injury. Brandon Wilds, who was promoted from the practice squad last week for depth with Fournette out, missed his second straight practice with an illness.

--Running back Dalvin Cook did not practice with the Minnesota Vikings.

Cook is fighting a hamstring injury and also sat out Wednesday's practice, opening reps for Latavius Murray, who would start against the Buffalo Bills on Sunday if Cook can't play.

Cook said after last week's overtime tie at Green Bay that he was cramping, but not injured. Because Cook is coming back from a season-ending knee injury sustained in 2017 as a rookie, the Vikings are likely to be overly cautious with any injury.

--The New York Giants have scored a total of 28 points in their first two games and wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. isn't quite sure why.

"I feel like there's no way you can't score a touchdown in every quarter, and one somewhere else. It just doesn't seem unrealistic to me," Beckham told reporters. "I feel personally, I could score two touchdowns every game. I feel like Saquon could score two every game. There are other people on this team who could score every single game. That's over 35 points. It's just a matter of executing it and making it happen, really."

The truth is, though, that the Giants' offense is struggling -- and has been for some time. The Giants haven't scored 30 points since the final game of the Tom Coughlin era, a 35-30 loss to Philadephia to end the 2015 season. Now, the Giants are 0-2 on the season and will face the winless Houston Texans on the road Sunday.

--The Baltimore Ravens got a pair of key pieces back at practice with the return of linebacker C.J. Mosley and running back Alex Collins.

Mosley was limited in his first session since he was carted off the field last Thursday against the Cincinnati Bengals with a left knee injury. He avoided ligament damage and was diagnosed with a bone bruise. Collins was a full participant after sitting out Wednesday's session with an illness, leaving little doubt about his availability for Sunday's game against the Broncos.

Defensive tackles Michael Pierce (foot) and Willie Henry (abdomen) again missed practice, while left tackle Ronnie Stanley (elbow) and outside linebacker Matt Judon (hamstring) were limited for the second straight day.

--Four key offensive pieces missed Indianapolis Colts practice for the second day in a row, raising questions about their availability for Sunday's game against the Philadelphia Eagles.

Wide receiver T.Y. Hilton (quad), left tackle Anthony Castonzo (hamstring), tight end Jack Doyle (hip) and running back Marlon Mack (foot, hamstring) all sat out Wednesday and Thursday. Hilton, who has missed just eight of the team's 143 snaps through two games, said Wednesday his injury is "nothing to worry about," but questions will remain if he does not get in at least a limited practice Friday.

Castonzo has yet to play after sustaining a pair of setbacks -- the most recent coming last week -- since he initially hurt his hamstring during training camp. Mack made his season debut last season after a preseason hamstring injury, but he picked up a foot issue in the game. Doyle has missed just seven snaps through two weeks.

--Atlanta Falcons wideout Julio Jones remained sidelined at practice with a calf injury, though he deemed the absence precautionary after the muscle tightened in Sunday's win over the Panthers.

Running back Devonta Freeman (knee), defensive ends Takk McKinley (groin) and Derrick Shelby (groin), and linebacker Corey Nelson (calf) also missed practice for the second consecutive day.

--Kansas City Chiefs safety Eric Berry remained out of practice with a heel injury, suggesting he will miss his third straight game.

Despite optimism he could practice this week, Berry has yet to practice this year and missed the first two games with a "doubtful" designation on the injury report. The Chiefs' defense currently ranks last in yards allowed, 31st in yards per play allowed and 29th in points allowed.

--New York Giants defensive end Olivier Vernon and cornerback Eli Apple remained sidelined from practice, putting their availability for Sunday's game against the Texans in doubt.

Vernon has been out since late August with a high-ankle sprain and has yet to return to practice. Apple picked up a groin injury Sunday night against the Cowboys before missing the team's first two sessions of this week.

Tight end Evan Engram (ankle) practiced on a limited basis for the second straight day.

--Philadelphia Eagles running backs Darren Sproles and Jay Ajayi remained sidelined from practice, while wideout Alshon Jeffery remained limited.

Sproles hasn't practiced in more than a week with a hamstring issue that kept him out of Sunday's loss in Tampa Bay. Ajayi missed most of the first half of Sunday's game with a back issue before returning. He has logged just 51 snaps (33.8 percent) through two games this season.

Jeffery, who is recovering from shoulder surgery, was limited for the second day in a row but seems unlikely to play against the Colts. Left tackle Jason Peters (quad) was also limited again but previously said he would play this week.

--Dallas Cowboys linebacker Sean Lee (hamstring) plans to play Sunday after returning to a limited practice, while wideout Cole Beasley was added to the injury report with an ankle issue.

Lee, who sat out Wednesday's session, told reporters he expects to play without limitations against the Seattle Seahawks. Beasley practiced on a limited basis after not previously being listed on the report.

--Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald returned to a limited practice after missing Wednesday's session.

Head coach Steve Wilks already said he expects Fitzgerald, who sustained a hamstring injury late in Sunday's loss to the Rams, to play against the Bears this week.

Meanwhile, rookie wideout Christian Kirk was held out as a precaution after his car was rear-ended on the highway Wednesday. Kirk -- who said the woman in the other vehicle tried to leave the scene, and he followed her to get her license plate number -- said he expects to practice Friday.

--Pittsburgh Steelers cornerback Joe Haden practiced in full and is expected to return for Monday night's game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Haden missed last week's game against the Kansas City Chiefs, who scored 42 points, with a hamstring injury. He said he's "feeling healthy" and is glad to "have a little more time" with an extra day before the game.

Right guard David DeCastro (hand) and right tackle Marcus Gilbert (hamstring) remained out for the second consecutive day. DeCastro is recovering from a broken hand incurred in the opener and is focused on "making sure it's protected and I don't make it worse."

--Detroit Lions cornerback Darius Slay sat out for the second day in a row with a concussion.

With the second missed session, Slay appears unlikely to progress through the league's concussion protocol in time to play Sunday night against the New England Patriots.

Defensive end Ezekiel Ansah (shoulder) and guard T.J. Lang (back) were among those who were limited for the second straight day, after both players missed Week 2 against the 49ers.

--Tampa Bay Buccaneers first-round defensive tackle Vita Vea returned to practice for the first time since July, while defensive linemen Jason Pierre-Paul (knee) and Beau Allen (foot) did not practice.

Vea was carted off the field after going down in a training-camp practice with a calf issue, and he was limited in his first action back. Pierre-Paul got in two limited sessions last week with a knee issue before playing 67 snaps against the Eagles, logging a sack and five tackles.

Meanwhile, cornerback Brent Grimes (groin) expects to play against the Steelers after missing the first two games of the season. Grimes had not practiced until this week but was a full participant Thursday. Quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick was added to the injury report with a knee issue but practiced in full.

--As expected, Denver Broncos quarterback Case Keenum returned to practice after missing Wednesday's session with a sore left knee.

Head coach Vance Joseph told reporters Wednesday the team held Keenum out despite the signal-caller wanting to practice, and that he fully expects Keenum to play Sunday at Baltimore.

--Former NFL cornerback Vontae Davis knew walking away from the game he played since his childhood in Washington, D.C., was the right thing to do, and he told Domonique Foxworth of The Undefeated he looks back with no regrets.

"I feel great. I haven't felt like this in ... " Davis paused, "well, in my whole life."

At halftime of the Buffalo Bills' 31-20 loss on Sunday, Davis announced his retirement from the NFL. A two-time Pro Bowl selection and 10-year veteran, he signed a one-year contract with the Bills in the offseason.

--The ex-girlfriend of Bills running back LeSean McCoy is offering a $20,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of the person who broke into McCoy's house and assaulted her in July, her attorneys announced.

Cordon is scheduled to hold a news conference Friday in Georgia, where the incident occurred, to discuss why she is convinced McCoy was involved in the July 10 home invasion.

"While Mr. McCoy maintains that he has been very forthcoming with his teammates and with his coaches, he has not provided any information whatsoever to the City of Milton Police, or assisted in the criminal investigation in any way, which will be discussed at [Friday's] press conference as well," her attorneys said, per ESPN.

--The Dallas Cowboys are the most valuable NFL franchise on Forbes' annual list for the 12th year in a row.

The team is now valued at an estimated $5 billion, up 4 percent from last year, according to the magazine. The Cowboys are the first pro sports team to reach the $5 billion mark, even though they haven't reached the Super Bowl since 1996.

The New England Patriots, winners of five Super Bowls since 2002, come in second on the list with a value of $3.8 billion. The Los Angeles Rams made the biggest jump in value -- 7 percent to an estimated $3.2 billion -- to reach No. 4. Rounding out the top five were the New York Giants (No. 3, $3.3 billion) and the Washington Redskins ($3.1 billiion).

--Aaron Rodgers returned from a knee injury, and now he's back on the stump for State Farm in an agent vs. agent spot that will include multiple iterations this season.

While the Packers quarterback battled a serious knee injury Week 1, the opening spot of his new commercial series sets up Rodgers' big-screen sports agent against his State Farm insurance agent.

Rodgers' NFL representative is actually David Dunn, who helped the Pro Bowl passer score a contract extension worth more than $134 million, is not in the TV spot. Actor David Haydn-Jones, recently of CW series "Supernatural," plays Rodgers' agent, Gabe Gabriel.

--Cleveland Browns sideline reporter Nathan Zegura will begin an eight-game suspension from the team's radio broadcasts Thursday against the New York Jets.

Zegura was suspended for sideline conduct during Sunday's game in New Orleans, a 21-18 Saints win. Cleveland.com reported Zegura yelled at an official over a call on the field, and that it was not the first time he has been reprimanded for such conduct.

--Field Level Media

09/20/2018 18:15

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