THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. — The Los Angeles Rams have been wanting Brandin Cooks for over a year. They initially broached the subject of trading for him with the New Orleans Saints at the scouting combine of 2017, but he was dealt to the New England Patriots instead.
“New England had a first-round pick,” Rams general manager Les Snead lamented. “We didn’t.”
Now the Rams don’t have one, either. They sent the No. 23 overall selection in this year’s draft to the Patriots earlier this week to finally acquire Cooks, who will replace Sammy Watkins as the vertical threat in Sean McVay’s offense.
Cooks has only one year left on his rookie contract, set to cost about $8.5 million toward the 2018 salary cap. But the Rams hope to sign him to a long-term extension before training camp.
Cooks, traded for a first-round pick in back-to-back offseasons, sounded open-minded about it.
“You think about it,” Cooks said shortly after being introduced at the Rams’ facility Thursday. “It’d be an extreme blessing to be here for the long haul, coming in here to be with a special group of guys. At the end of the day, it’s not something that I’m pressing.”
Cooks, one of the game’s fastest receivers, is one of four players to record at least three seasons of 1,000 receiving yards and seven touchdowns before his 25th birthday, joining Randy Moss, John Jefferson and Odell Beckham Jr.
The Rams previously expressed interest in Beckham, who might have run his course with the New York Giants. But they claim to have preferred Cooks all along, at least partly because of his even-keel demeanor, which runs contrary to the mercurial attitude Beckham can display.
To open Thursday’s news conference, McVay mentioned the way others raved about Cooks, saying, “I’m hard-pressed to remember a player who has had so many positive things said about him from different people that he’s been exposed to.”
Snead added: “I told Brandin, and I was honest when I told him, that if my son could grow up to be half as respected as this guy was during the vetting process, I’d be a jacked father.”
Of most importance, however, is that Cook’s big-play ability rolls over coverage to free up the likes of Robert Woods, Cooper Kupp and Todd Gurley II elsewhere. Saints coach Sean Payton and Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels are two of McVay’s favorite playcallers, and that has indirectly prompted him to consume a lot of Cooks film in recent years.
McVay says he believes Cooks’ skill set “fits kind of in any system. But I think specific to some of the things that we look for with the traits and characteristics from our ‘X’ receiver — being able to take the top shelf off the coverage, being able to win on some underneath [isolations] when you’re getting bump coverage. He’s put that on tape really over the last four years, and that was something that we were excited about.”
Cooks, who is represented by the same agency as Jared Goff, has compiled 227 catches for 3,393 yards and 24 touchdowns over the past three years. With the Patriots last year, he ranked seventh in the NFL with 16.65 yards per reception. But he was traded anyway, largely because New England was unwilling to eventually pay him like a top-tier receiver.
Patriots coach Bill Belichick called Cooks moments before the trade went down.
“I have a ton of respect for him,” Cooks said, “and we have a ton of respect for each other.”
Cooks is only the latest — and, one would think, the last — major addition in a head-spinning offseason for the Rams, who are looking to maximize on the championship window that exists because Goff is still early in his rookie contract.
The Rams previously traded away a couple of their starting linebackers, Robert Quinn and Alec Ogletree, and traded for a couple of All-Pro cornerbacks in Aqib Talib and Marcus Peters. They signed star defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh, who will be introduced by the team Friday, and then they acquired Cooks, in many ways the missing piece to their offense.
Now they will shift their focus to the draft — they don’t have a pick until the third round — and to locking up key players, most notably Cooks and Aaron Donald, who will eventually become the game’s highest-paid defensive player.
Donald, the Rams say, remains a top priority.
“None of it affects Aaron Donald,” Snead said when asked whether the Rams’ aggressive offseason prevented them from signing Donald long term. “He’s one of 53, and as I’ve said plenty of times before, we’ve got that budgeted. We didn’t do all of this and forget about him.”
Biggest Week 4 injury questions for all 32 NFL teams
The Chiefs could be without defensive lineman Chris Jones against quarterback Cam Newton and the Patriots, who received some good news on Wednesday when running back Damien Harris returned to practice.
Also getting good news on the injury front were the New Orleans Saints and San Francisco 49ers. Star wide receiver Michael Thomas and tight end George Kittle returned to practice on Wednesday — a favorable sign they could be returning to action before long.
Here’s a look at the biggest injuries for every team:
Receiver John Brown left Sunday’s game against the Rams with a calf injury after playing through a foot injury that kept him out of practice earlier in the week. He missed the team’s first practice of the week Wednesday, and considering the possibility of a calf injury turning into an Achilles tendon injury, it will be interesting to see whether Buffalo plays it safe with its leading receiver from 2019. Rookie Gabriel Davis has proved more than capable of stepping into Brown’s role if needed. — Marcel Louis-Jacques
Cornerback Byron Jones missed Wednesday’s practice with lingering groin and Achilles issues. Coach Brian Flores said Jones is working diligently behind the scenes in order to play on Sundays, but he will need to heal in a hurry to face the Seahawks. The Dolphins will monitor Jones’ progress over the next few days and hope he can participate in practices later in the week. — Jeremy Fowler
Running back Damien Harris, who was placed on injured reserve because of a hand injury Sept. 7, practiced for the first time Wednesday. The Patriots have until Saturday at 4 p.m. ET to activate him to the 53-man roster, and thus, his status becomes the most notable injury-related move for the club this week. With Sony Michel, Rex Burkhead, James White and J.J. Taylor at running back, the depth is plentiful. — Mike Reiss
The Jets’ woeful offense welcomes back two starters — WR Jamison Crowder (hamstring) and RT George Fant (concussion). Sam Darnold has the league’s lowest QBR when targeting wide receivers, but he has confidence in Crowder, who is crafty out of the slot. — Rich Cimini
All-Pro left tackle Ronnie Stanley was limited Wednesday with a shoulder injury. It has been a tough season for Stanley, who battled hip and ankle injuries through the first two weeks of the season. But there really isn’t anyone who is in danger of missing Sunday’s game. The one positive coming off Monday night’s loss to the Chiefs is that all 53 players on the roster were able to suit up for Wednesday’s practice. — Jamison Hensley
Bengals cornerback Mackensie Alexander was spotted working with the training staff on Wednesday and missed practice with a ribs/hamstring injury. The slot cornerback has quietly been a key piece in the Bengals’ defense this season. If he is out this week, it will deplete a secondary that is already without outside cornerback Trae Waynes. The likelihood that Alexander misses Sunday’s game against the Jaguars is significant enough to cause some stress heading into this weekend. — Ben Baby
Running back Kareem Hunt said out Wednesday’s practice with a groin injury. Coach Kevin Stefanski termed Hunt as day-to-day, as the team is hopeful he’ll be available to play Sunday in Dallas. — Jake Trotter
The Steelers are seeing injuries pile up on special teams. Fullback Derek Watt, who forced a safety on a punt attempt against the Denver Broncos, suffered a hamstring injury in the first half of Sunday’s win against the Houston Texans. Coach Mike Tomlin said that he’s doubtful and likely will not play. Safety Marcus Allen, also a special-teamer, is battling plantar fasciitis. Tomlin said Allen is doubtful but slightly more likely to play than Watt. Both would be significant losses. — Brooke Pryor
Coach Bill O’Brien said running back Duke Johnson, who injured an ankle in Week 1, is “trending in the right direction” to play on Sunday against the Vikings. “I feel good about Duke, and we’ll see how it goes today and tomorrow and Friday,” O’Brien said. In Duke Johnson’s absence, starting running back David Johnson has played most of Houston’s offensive snaps: 95% in Week 2 and 96% in Week 3. — Sarah Barshop
Starting cornerback Rock Ya-Sin returned to practice as a limited participant for the first time since he left Lucas Oil Stadium less than two hours before the start of the Colts’ Week 2 game against Minnesota with an undisclosed illness. Ya-Sin missed the Week 3 game against the Jets, but he returned to practice Wednesday — albeit in a limited capacity. — Mike Wells
Wide receiver DJ Chark was back on the practice field on a limited basis, which is a good sign for his availability on Sunday. Chark was wearing a red noncontact jersey, though, which is a little unusual. But the Jaguars want to keep him from getting contact to his upper body since he was dealing with a chest/back injury. The Jaguars really missed Chark in last week’s loss to Miami. He draws a lot of attention and that allows the other receivers a little more room to operate. — Mike DiRocco
Ryan Clark details the benefits for the Titans in having extra time to prepare for the Steelers after their game Sunday was postponed for COVID-19 related reasons.
The biggest issue facing the Titans would have to be the four players who were placed on the COVID-reserve list. The mini-outbreak has caused their game to be postponed. The facility is shut down for now, but players in need of treatment have access to athletic trainers. That’s a good sign for left tackle Taylor Lewan, who suffered a shoulder injury in the first quarter against the Vikings last week. The Titans could be in trouble if they don’t have Lewan when they face a Steelers team that’s blitzing at a 52.8% clip, the highest in the NFL. — Turron Davenport
With the Broncos having moved three more players to injured reserve this week alone — right tackle Elijah Wilkinson, defensive tackle Jurrell Casey and linebacker Austin Calitro — the biggest remaining injury question for Thursday night’s game against the Jets is running back Phillip Lindsay. Lindsay hasn’t played since the season opener because of a toe injury and has practiced on a limited basis the past two weeks. However, this week the Broncos simply did walk-throughs because of the short week, so Lindsay didn’t work in any real team drills. If he does play, it would be with a snap count. — Jeff Legwold
Not having Chris Jones against Cam Newton and the Patriots would be a setback for the Chiefs. He was limited in practice on Wednesday because of an injured groin. The Chiefs have some depth at his position, but nobody can rush the quarterback from there like Jones, who leads the Chiefs in sacks with 3.5 and makes a good pairing with their other top pass-rusher, Frank Clark. — Adam Teicher
Rookie receiver Henry Ruggs III tweaked a knee in the opener at Carolina, was more of a decoy in Week 2 and was inactive in New England after injuring a hamstring in practice on Thursday. He was again a nonparticipant in Wednesday’s practice and — along with fellow rookie wideout Bryan Edwards, who is nursing an ankle injury — might miss the Bills game this weekend. “They’re our starters, so it does affect you emotionally,” said Raiders coach Jon Gruden. “You’re depressed a little. You’re not as happy as you would be if you had your starters out there, but if it’s another player, so be it.” Paging, then, Nelson Agholor and Zay Jones. — Paul Gutierrez
Cornerback Chris Harris Jr. was placed on IR with a foot injury he suffered in Sunday’s game. So was defensive end Melvin Ingram and defensive tackle Justin Jones. “Every team is experiencing injuries,” said Chargers coach Anthony Lynn. “I would love to go into the season with all my guys, but that’s not realistic.” Also, wide receiver Mike Williams sat out practice Wednesday with a hamstring injury. He is listed as questionable for Sunday’s game. — Shelley Smith
The Cowboys could benefit from the return of offensive tackle Tyron Smith this week considering Cleveland pass-rusher Myles Garrett is looking to get after Dak Prescott. Smith went through a limited portion of Wednesday’s practice, the first on-field work he has had since Sept. 17, after missing the last two games with a neck injury. “I think we all recognize the importance of the left tackle position with a right-handed quarterback, particularly the way your offense is designed and primarily being right-handed,” coach Mike McCarthy said. “He’s obviously very important to our offense.” — Todd Archer
Safety Jabrill Peppers didn’t practice Wednesday after a scare knocked him out of Sunday’s loss to the 49ers. There was some concern that ankle surgery could be an option but tests Monday were encouraging. Peppers still seems like a long shot to play this week against the Rams. His loss means Julian Love, who was pulled from the starting lineup last week, will be reinserted alongside Logan Ryan. — Jordan Raanan
DeSean Jackson was sidelined to start the week due to a hamstring injury and is considered day to day. Coach Doug Pederson expressed optimism that he’ll be able to play Sunday. Alshon Jeffery (Lisfranc) is increasing his workload with an expected return to action in his near future, though that may still be another week or so away. With wide Jalen Reagor and tight end Dallas Goedert on injured reserve, Carson Wentz is working with a stripped down and banged up unit once again. — Tim McManus
Rookie defensive end Chase Young (groin) did not practice Wednesday because of the injury suffered in the second quarter of Sunday’s loss at Cleveland. Washington will be extra cautious with Young, which means the chances of him playing Sunday aren’t high — though as defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio said he hasn’t been ruled out yet. One person close to Young said earlier in the week that “it’s a long season.” Translation: Be smart; don’t play if it’s not 100 percent. They also promoted pass-rusher Nate Orchard off the practice squad, another sign they’re concerned about Young’s availability. Another end, Ryan Anderson, didn’t practice because of an ankle injury. — John Keim
To help fill the void left by Tarik Cohen’s season-ending ACL tear, the Bears promoted undrafted rookie running back Artavis Pierce from the practice squad to the active 53-man roster. Chicago will lean heavily on starter David Montgomery — and still use Cordarrelle Patterson and Ryan Nall on occasion — but coach Matt Nagy said Pierce is talented enough to handle Cohen’s all-purpose role. “I think he [Pierce] has really good vision and patience in the hole,” Nagy said on Wednesday. “We’re going to keep working on his ball skills coming out of the backfield, but he’s a great kid that learns fast.” — Jeff Dickerson
Desmond Trufant (hamstring) practiced on a limited basis Wednesday. Getting the team’s top cornerback back — especially against a team he’s so familiar with in the Saints from his time in Atlanta — could pay Detroit big dividends. Otherwise, it would have to go with a young cornerback group in Amani Oruwariye and Jeff Okudah for the third straight week — this time against Drew Brees. Trufant, if he’s able to return to the lineup, would give Detroit some flexibility, too, with how it might want to match up its corners should Michael Thomas play Sunday against Detroit. — Michael Rothstein
The Packers got by last week without Pro Bowl receiver Davante Adams thanks in large part to Allen Lazard‘s monster game. In fact, it was their fifth straight win in games that Adams has missed over the last two years. Might that influence the Packers to play it extra safe with Adams’ hamstring injury, especially with the bye to follow next week? They didn’t practice on Wednesday like usual; they pushed their schedule back a day because of the Monday night game, so we won’t know until Thursday at the earliest whether Adams will try to practice after rehabbing all of last week. — Rob Demovsky
The Vikings didn’t practice on Wednesday because their facility was closed due to a COVID-19 scare with the Titans, their Week 3 opponent, but the team put out an estimated injury report to reflect how players would have been designated had they practiced. Minnesota’s cornerback unit is still dealing with injuries to Mike Hughes (neck) and Kris Boyd (hamstring), the latter of whom played against the Titans but was limited to 38 snaps on defense. Both Hughes and Boyd were classified as DNP on Wednesday while rookie Cameron Dantzler, who has been held out for the last two weeks with a rib injury, was listed as ‘limited.’ — Courtney Cronin
Julio Jones‘ left hamstring, which kept him out of last week’s loss to the Chicago Bears, is worth monitoring again heading into this week. The 0-3 Falcons need their best player on the field for Monday night’s matchup with Aaron Rodgers and the 3-0 Packers. Jones didn’t practice all last week, and his practice status is unclear leading up to Green Bay. In six career games against the Packers including the playoffs, Jones has 37 catches for 698 yards and five touchdowns, averaging 18.7 yards per reception. — Vaughn McClure
Starting left guard Russell Okung did not practice on Wednesday because of a groin injury that made him a late scratch for this past week’s game against the Chargers. The good news is without Okung the Panthers played well enough with Greg Little and Trenton Scott against a strong Chargers pass rush led by Joey Bosa to win. Carolina will have another challenge this week against Arizona’s Chandler Jones, coming off a 19-sack 2019 season. Depth on the line was a huge concern coming into the season, but the Panthers are proving they have enough to survive a game or two without key players such as Okung. — David Newton
Wide receiver Michael Thomas returned to practice on a limited basis Wednesday after missing the past two games with an ankle injury. It’s unclear if he’ll be ready to play Sunday at Detroit, but this is a realistic timetable for his return since the Saints decided not to place him on injured reserve. They could really use him since they’re 0-2 in his absence and they rank last in the NFL in yards by wideouts this year (283). Also, tight end Jared Cook‘s status is uncertain after he missed Wednesday’s practice with a groin injury. — Mike Triplett
Stephania Bell explains that Chris Godwin’s mild hamstring strain could cause him to miss two games because the Bucs play on Thursday night in Week 5.
Wide receiver Chris Godwin, who suffered a hamstring strain against their Broncos, is expected to miss this week’s game against the Chargers, sources told ESPN. Their speed wideout, Scotty Miller, suffered a hip/groin injury and also missed practice, as did running back Leonard Fournette with an ankle injury. “It’s the ‘next man up at that position. We’ve got guys,” coach Bruce Arians said. Starting cornerback Sean Murphy-Bunting was limited with a groin injury. They’re taking it “day to day” with him. — Jenna Laine
WR DeAndre Hopkins missed Wednesday’s practice with an ankle injury. He usually sits out the first practice of the week for a vet day but there was no mention of Hopkins’ ailment prior to the release of Wednesday’s injury report. Should Hopkins miss Sunday’s game in Carolina, the Cardinals will likely be welcoming back Christian Kirk, who returned to practice in a limited fashion Wednesday with a groin injury. — Josh Weinfuss
Rookie running back Cam Akers, who suffered a rib injury in Week 2 and was inactive in Week 3, is still considered “day-to-day,” coach Sean McVay said Wednesday. Second-year pro Darrell Henderson started in Akers absence, and is expected to maintain the role after he rushed for a career-high 114 yards and a touchdown in a loss to the Bills. Akers is part of a three-man running back committee that also includes Malcolm Brown. — Lindsey Thiry
The 49ers look poised to welcome tight end George Kittle back from a sprained knee but who will be throwing him the ball? Quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo did not practice again Wednesday as he deals with a high right ankle sprain. That doesn’t mean Garoppolo has been ruled out this week again but coach Kyle Shanahan made it clear he wants to see Garoppolo return to practice at some point before he’d be comfortable starting him against the Eagles on Sunday night. “Any time you’re dealing with an ankle, you might feel all right when you’re standing there but can you move around and get into awkward positions without hurting yourself? That’s really what we’d have to see,” Shanahan said. — Nick Wagoner
Coach Pete Carroll said safety Jamal Adams was “pretty sore” Wednesday after suffering a first-degree groin strain against Dallas. Carroll described it as a day-to-day situation with Adams, one of several starters who is iffy after going down last week. Carroll sounded optimistic about running back Chris Carson (knee) but less so about linebacker Jordyn Brooks (knee), saying the first-round pick will have a hard time making it back this week. He isn’t putting a quick turnaround past Adams, saying: “He’s working really hard at it and we’ll see what happens.” Lano Hill (hip) is Adams’ backup but is also dealing with an injury. — Brady Henderson
Patrick Mahomes: Chiefs’ Travis Kelce won’t be babysitting – Kansas City Chiefs Blog
KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Patrick Mahomes and his fiancée, Brittany Matthews, only recently learned they will be having a baby and have already started compiling a list of teammates who might, and might not, be allowed to babysit their child.
“I’d say [reserve quarterback] Matt Moore or someone like that who’s responsible,” Mahomes said regarding who’s on the babysitter list. As for who’s not, Mahomes said, “I can’t let Trav [Travis Kelce] or anybody [babysit]. You never know what would happen.”
Mahomes and Matthews revealed on social media Tuesday that she was expecting.
“It’s extremely exciting,” Mahomes said. “Being able to grow up and having these dreams of having a family and playing in the NFL, those things have started happening and coming into truth and everything like that. I’m just excited that I have a lot of great people around me and I’m in a great organization and I’m able to live out these dreams day to day.”
As for football, Mahomes and the 3-0 Kansas City Chiefs will play the 2-1 New England Patriots on Sunday at Arrowhead Stadium (4:25 p.m. ET, CBS). The game is the first meeting between Mahomes and Patriots quarterback Cam Newton.
Mahomes said Wednesday he has long admired Newton’s game, ever since Newton played in junior college in Texas, where Mahomes is from.
“I wish I could do some of the things he does as far as how physical he is and the way he’s able to make plays happen,” Mahomes said. “He’s a great football player, and he’s in a great spot now and he’s playing good football.”
Mahomes threw four touchdown passes and rushed for a score in the Chiefs’ 34-20 win over the Baltimore Ravens on Monday night. The easier-than-expected victory against an opponent considered their main competitor for the AFC championship led to thoughts by some that the Chiefs could finish the season undefeated. They’ve won 12 straight games dating back to last year, including the 2019 postseason.
Mahomes said he hasn’t had any such thoughts.
“I haven’t thought that far ahead,” he said. “We’re just 3-0 right now. When you start thinking about [records] that is when you lose football games. Look at us last year. We came off a big win against the Ravens [in Week 3] and dropped a few games in October.”
Las Vegas Raiders’ Derek Carr says players ‘felt terrible’ about mask issue
HENDERSON, Nev. — Coach Jon Gruden said Las Vegas Raiders players “let their dauber down a little bit” when they broke COVID-19 protocol by appearing maskless at an indoor charity event Monday night. Quarterback Derek Carr, who attended the event, said the players “had a few moments where we slipped up, took the masks off so people could see our face.”
However, both pivoted to the reason the players were at the event in the first place: It was a fundraiser for teammate Darren Waller‘s foundation to help at-risk youth overcome addiction. Waller, himself, is now three years sober.
“I hate that a few moments without our masks on led to a story about our team and all this kind of stuff, especially after the fines that were brought on a couple of weeks ago,” Carr said Wednesday. “So, we felt terrible about that. We addressed it, we talked with Coach and we talked with our trainers about what really went down and all that kind of stuff.”
News of the Raiders appearing at the event without masks surfaced one day before the Tennessee Titans reported positive COVID-19 tests from four players and five team personnel members.
Earlier this month, Gruden was fined $100,000 for not wearing his mask properly on the sideline during Las Vegas’ win over the New Orleans Saints on Sept. 21. The Raiders were fined $250,000 and also are being investigated by the NFL for allegedly allowing an unauthorized team employee in the locker room after that game.
Meanwhile, the NFL has issued another strong warning to coaches who won’t wear masks on the sideline during games, threatening suspensions and forfeiture of draft picks as punishment for failing to comply with COVID-19 game-day protocols, according to a league memo obtained Wednesday by ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
“We all understand that this is a terrible, terrible virus,” Gruden said. “And we have to do our part; we’re all vulnerable. Unfortunately, it sounds like a few people got the virus. I just wish the best for everybody in Tennessee. And it does certainly get yourself awakened to the reality of, it can get anybody, anywhere, at any time.”
Gruden, who has said he had the coronavirus in July, has made it a team mission to “crush the virus.” During training camp, he had T-shirts made with that slogan along with the Raiders logo on them.
“I’ll just say this: We’ve done a good job, we’ve done an excellent job,” Gruden said. “Last night, it was addressed with our players. They walked in with their masks on; there was an event. Sometimes you go to a restaurant, take your mask off. They’re aware of their mistake.
“But we’ve done an excellent job — using our masks, taking proper care of each other and everybody. I’m really proud of our players. And by the way, that was a great cause no one’s talked about. [Waller] raised over $300,000 for a great cause. I appreciate our players being there in support of him.”
An NFL spokesperson said in an email to ESPN.com Wednesday afternoon that the league was “looking into the matter,” which violated Nevada state regulations for the pandemic and might have broken league regulations.
NFL and National Football League Players Association rules limit what activities players are allowed to engage in when away from team facilities. Players, it is stated, are not allowed to attend any event that “violates local and state restrictions.”
The Raiders are slated to host the Buffalo Bills on Sunday. Bills cornerback Tre’Davious White said the issue was “definitely something that guys were mentioning in the locker room” but added that the team mostly was not concerned.
“It raised a lot of antennas. But I feel like if we continue to take the precautions and do all the things we’re supposed to do and go in the places we’re supposed to go and not be selfish with it, I think we’ll be fine,” White said.
Added Bills coach Sean McDermott, “What we try to do is control what we can control from our end. Got a lot of respect for Coach Gruden and I’m sure they’re on top of it over there.”
Joining Carr at Waller’s event were backup quarterback Nathan Peterman; tight ends Jason Witten, Foster Moreau and Derek Carrier; wide receivers Zay Jones and Hunter Renfrow; cornerback Nevin Lawson; and center Erik Magnuson.
The event was held indoors at the DragonRidge Country Club, which was fined $2,000 by the city of Henderson for four violations of the Nevada governor’s COVID-19 emergency directives, including people not wearing masks and more than 50 people at the event. The club now has 30 days to pay the fine or dispute it.
Raiders owner Mark Davis told ESPN on Tuesday night, “Guys have to be more stringent in fighting the virus. It’s still our toughest opponent.”
Carr, who posed for pictures with a maskless guest who won his jersey in an auction, said he realized not wearing a mask to the event was a mistake.
“We signed waivers,” Carr said. “Hand sanitizer, like crazy. … We weren’t perfect, but we weren’t trying to be careless or reckless. But at the same time, [Waller] had an event for something that meant a lot to him and they raised so much money that you won’t even begin to imagine how much money they raised to help other people that struggle with addiction, to get them in the right place and things like that. My hope and my prayer is that a few moments of us messing up, a few minutes here, where we were seen on camera, not in the private room, in the separate room for an hour, I hope that we don’t lose what was really going on. Because Darren had a great idea. He had a great plan. He wants to help people.
“We should have kept the masks on, even if we are coming in and they’re introducing us. … I was just there trying to support Waller. That’s what me and the guys were trying to do, but that’s the end of that.”
Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.
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