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.”
Myles Garrett suspension for Steelers-Browns fight
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.
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.)
“I lost my cool, and I regret it,” Garrett said afterward. Rudolph called it “cowardly” and “bush league” after the game. But I’m sorry, using normal words to describe a singular act of violence risks assimilating it into all the other dirty and unsportsmanlike plays we’ve seen in football.
This was worse than Chuck Bednarik’s knockout of Frank Gifford in 1960. It was worse than Jack Tatum’s hit on Darryl Stingley in 1978, one that ultimately left Stingley paralyzed. Those plays, the first two that come to mind in the NFL’s history of on-field violence, were part of the flow of game action. Bednarik clotheslined Gifford in a tackle technique that was not uncommon in that era. Tatum lined up a hit to the head of Stingley, who was stretching for the ball in what would now be considered a defenseless position.
They were violent, unnecessary and exceedingly damaging. Garrett’s absurdity, on the other hand, came after the whistle, outside of any semblance of competition.
Maurkice Pouncey says the NFL should suspend Myles Garrett for the rest of the season after hitting Mason Rudolph in the head with a helmet.
There are few precedents in NFL history that come close to matching it. Haynesworth’s stomp is one. In 2013, meanwhile, Antonio Smith ripped off the helmet of Richie Incognito and swung it close to his face. For that, Smith was suspended for three games. In 1954, according to pro football historian Dan Daly, Colts defensive end Don Joyce hit Rams linebacker Les Richter with a helmet, for which he was ejected but not suspended.
That, of course, was 65 years ago.
The NFL should be eager to demonstrate its mettle at a time when it has never been more cognizant of a responsive to brain health. There should be little debate Friday at the league headquarters in New York City. Commissioner Roger Goodell should want the world to know how exceptional this situation is. Football can’t be like this anymore.
But the truth is that it has rarely — if ever — been like this. The NFL’s punishment should reflect that sobering fact.
‘Craziest thing I have ever seen on a football field’
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:
He’s done for year
— Dez Bryant (@DezBryant) November 15, 2019
Suspend him for the rest of the season.
— Louis Riddick (@LRiddickESPN) November 15, 2019
— Johnathan Cyprien (@cyp) November 15, 2019
Bro i can’t even believe that just happen.
— Patrick Mahomes II (@PatrickMahomes) November 15, 2019
In all my life of football that might have been the craziest thing I have seen on a football field! They about to suspend Myles Garrett for 30 years! People getting stomped out, that was a hood fight! 🤦🏾♂️ Hate to see that in our game that’s not what pro football is about!
— Reggie Bush (@ReggieBush) November 15, 2019
That. Is. Insanity. Wow.
— JJ Watt (@JJWatt) November 15, 2019
— Keenan Allen (@Keenan13Allen) November 15, 2019
— Golden Tate (@ShowtimeTate) November 15, 2019
There is no excuse for that but I want to know What was said or happened before…
— Fruit PUNCH (@marlon_humphrey) November 15, 2019
Myles Garrett should not be allowed to play another snap this season
— Kyle Juszczyk (@JuiceCheck44) November 15, 2019
This is absolutely ridiculous! The fact they let garret slam him 3 secs late and no call is a prob! Mason has every right to be pissed!
— Derek Anderson (@DAnderson314) November 15, 2019
I’m all for being a leader and doing the right thing. My loyalty is with my guys right or wrong. I will never out them on National tv ever!
— Bruce Irvin (@BIrvin_WVU11) November 15, 2019
— Andre Reed (@Andre_Reed83) November 15, 2019
Myles Garrett just did something that I’ve only seen in NFL practices. Guaranteed to be suspended.
— Cris Carter (@criscarter80) November 15, 2019
Oh boy, @MylesLGarrett. This isn’t going to end well for you.
— Lance Briggs (@LanceBriggs) November 15, 2019
Wow Myles Garret was on one. He could have done some serious damage hitting Rudolph with that helmet. He’s done for the season after that. I’d be shocked if he played another game this season.
— Corey Wootton (@CoreyWootton) November 15, 2019
Quincy Enunwa blasts Jets on social media after $27,900 fine
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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