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Marquez Valdes-Scantling questionable for Packers; Davante Adams out again

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GREEN BAY, Wis. — The best hope for any of the Green Bay Packers‘ top three receivers to play Sunday rests with Marquez Valdes-Scantling, and he’s dealing with a pair of injuries.

Davante Adams won’t go for the third straight week because of turf toe, and Geronimo Allison remained in the concussion protocol and was listed as doubtful for Sunday’s game against the Oakland Raiders.

That leaves Valdes-Scantling, who did not practice all week but held out hope that his left knee and left ankle injuries would made significant improvements before the 1 p.m. ET kickoff at Lambeau Field.

Otherwise, barring a late roster move, the Packers’ receiver group will have three former undrafted free agents (Allen Lazard, Jake Kumerow and Darrius Shepherd) with a combined 18 career NFL catches, plus a veteran signed off the street this week (Ryan Grant) who has never played in a game with Aaron Rodgers.

Valdes-Scantling is listed as questionable on the injury report. When asked Friday which injury was bothering him more, he said, “Both.”

Valdes-Scantling returned to Monday night’s game against the Detroit Lions after his second-quarter injury and made a 46-yard catch in the fourth quarter of the Packers’ comeback win. When asked how he returned, he said, “Adrenaline is a great drug.”

He walked through the locker room on Friday with his left ankle wrapped and a small electronic stim machine attached to his knee.

“I was really, really proud of him how he battled and stayed in the game and showed some toughness, because we needed him,” coach Matt LaFleur said. “And he definitely provided a huge spark on that catch.”

For Adams, the hope is that he can return for next Sunday’s prime-time game at the Kansas City Chiefs.

“Next week’s not out of the question,” Adams said Thursday. “It’s going to be day to day.”

Last week, Adams said his turf toe “doesn’t feel how I want it to feel,” but on Thursday, he said it feels “a million times better.”

The Packers also could be short-handed at tight end, although Jimmy Graham (ankle) returned to practice Friday and was removed from the injury report. However, fellow tight end Robert Tonyan (hip) was listed as doubtful.

Lazard was the hero of Monday night’s win over the Lions with four catches for 65 yards — all in the fourth quarter — including his first NFL touchdown. That came after Shepherd dropped a pass near the goal line that ricocheted off his hands and was intercepted.

Grant signed with the Packers on Wednesday and went through a crash course in the offense.

“It’s been a grind,” said the sixth-year veteran with 123 catches for three different teams. “Really just been honing in on the plays and trying to learn as much as I can for this weekend and just taking it a day at a time and trying to learn as much as possible to help us on Sunday.”

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Myles Garrett suspension for Steelers-Browns fight

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On Thursday night, Cleveland Browns defensive end Myles Garrett committed the closest thing we’ve seen to an on-field crime in the modern era of pro football. Only one response will suffice. The NFL must issue the longest suspension for a single on-field act in its history, ending Garrett’s 2019 season with six games remaining on the Browns’ schedule and making clear to the world that what happened at FirstEnergy Stadium is one of the worst moments on the field in its history.

Such discipline, as harsh as it might seem, won’t be particularly controversial to anyone who saw Garrett rip off Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Mason Rudolph‘s helmet and then use it to pummel his unprotected head. If Garrett hit someone with a helmet on the streets of Cleveland, he would face arrest. The outburst left grizzled football veterans gasping at its sheer violence, a throwback matched by only a handful — if any — of intentional acts in 100 years of league play.

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Myles Garrett hits Mason Rudolph in the head with a helmet as a fight breaks out at the end of the Steelers-Browns game.

The length of Garrett’s absence shouldn’t be too tough for the NFL to figure out. It suspended Oakland Raiders linebacker Vontaze Burfict indefinitely earlier this season for an accumulation of on-field acts, culminating with a helmet-to-helmet hit, but the longest suspension it has issued for a single on-field incident is five games. That happened in 2006 when then-Tennessee Titans defensive lineman Albert Haynesworth ripped the helmet off Dallas Cowboys center Andre Gurode and then kicked and stomped on his face. Gurode needed 30 stitches to close the wounds.

Rudolph was lucky to avoid a similar fate, or worse. The stunned expression on the face of Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield, speaking moments later in an interview on Fox, depicted the weight of the scene. Mayfield couldn’t summon an ounce of defense for his teammate.

“It’s inexcusable,” he said. “That’s just endangering the other team. … The reality is he is going to get suspended. We don’t know how long, and that hurts our team.”

Don’t forget that Rudolph was knocked unconscious last month by a hit to his helmet and missed one game. The contact from that blow, initiated by Baltimore Ravens safety Earl Thomas, was so severe that Rudolph’s eyes were closed before he hit the ground. If you knew that context, you were surely cringing as you saw Garrett bash Rudolph’s head, topped off by Browns defensive lineman Larry Ogunjobi pushing Rudolph to the ground from behind. Steelers center Maurkice Pouncey then entered the fray, kicking and punching Garrett and escalating the scene to a point where it wouldn’t have been surprising to see police officers on the field. (Rudolph did pull at Garrett’s helmet while both were on the ground, but that bit of aggressiveness hardly merited the response.)



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‘Craziest thing I have ever seen on a football field’

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The Cleveland Browns were seconds away from wrapping up their second straight win when bedlam ensued.

Browns defensive end Myles Garrett ripped the helmet off Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Mason Rudolph and hit him over the head with it. Garrett was then taken down by Steelers linemen David DeCastro and Maurkice Pouncey, who kicked Garrett when he was on the ground. Benches cleared before order was restored. Garrett, Larry Ogunjobi and Pouncey were ejected, and suspensions are expected.

Here’s how the NFL world reacted across social media on Thursday night:



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Quincy Enunwa blasts Jets on social media after $27,900 fine

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New York Jets wide receiver Quincy Enunwa, who suffered a season-ending neck injury in Week 1, blasted the organization Thursday after he was fined for missing medical treatments.

In a series of tweets, Enunwa said he missed two treatments (Nov. 8 and 11) and was fined $27,900, the maximum allowed under the collective bargaining agreement. He called it “excessive.”

“Given everything that’s going on around the team I thought this could’ve been handled so many different ways,” he tweeted. “I’ve spent my time with the team trying to build myself up to be dependable and hardworking so this s— hurts.”

Enunwa, who is on injured reserve, became the second player to publicly express frustration with a medical-related issue. Earlier in the season, guard Kelechi Osemele was fined for conduct detrimental to the team because of a dispute over a shoulder injury. He wound up undergoing surgery, unauthorized by the team, and was released.

In his Twitter rant, Enunwa acknowledged that he missed the treatments and should have alerted the team beforehand. He explained that he missed Monday’s treatment because he took his wife, a veteran, out to lunch on Veterans Day. On Nov. 8, he “had to handle an emergency in my house.” The Jets declined to comment.

“The biggest reason is hurts is that I’m on IR for the second time in my career and the doctor told me I have a 50/50 chance of coming back to play,” Enunwa said. “I shouldn’t even have to be in that building being reminded every day of what I can’t do.

“This s— feels like punishment already and then they FINE me the max. And then want me to continue to do my rehab there and IF I get healthy they want me to play for them after.

“I’m not writing this for sympathy and never wanted to even say anything, but when multiple teammates are coming up to me saying it’s f—– up I don’t care to sit on it anymore.”

Enunwa, 27, missed the 2017 season because of neck surgery. He played well enough in 2018 to land a four-year, $33.4 million contract extension. He has received $10 million of the contract. His $6 million salary for 2020 was guaranteed for injury only at signing; it becomes fully guaranteed on the fifth day of the league year.

Enunwa has 119 career receptions for 1,617 yards and five touchdowns.

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