In Jacksonville, Jalen Ramsey and A.J. Green found themselves headed for early showers after the two tangled and then exchanged blows during the Cincinnati Bengals-Jacksonville Jaguars game.
Ramsey, the Jags’ cornerback, appeared to shove Green, the Bengals’ wide receiver, after an incomplete pass, and Green grabbed him around the neck and pulled him to the ground, pummeling him as he did so.
Both were given the heave-ho by officials and can expect fines, if not suspensions.
Not long after, Mike Evans of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers managed to avoid ejection, somehow, for joining in a dustup between Jameis Winston, on the sideline with a shoulder injury, and New Orleans Saints cornerback Marshon Lattimore.
Thanks to a courtroom Hail Mary, the Dallas Cowboys had the services of running back Ezekiel Elliott in their 28-17 win over the Kansas City Chiefs at AT&T Stadium. Elliott finished with 93 rushing yards and a touchdown. The Cowboys’ win pushes them to 5-3, very much alive in the NFC playoff picture.
Elliott was on the field after a federal court intervened Friday to keep Elliott, who is fighting a six-game suspension, eligible, granting a request by the NFL Players Association to keep the suspension on hold while the union appeals a ruling Monday. It’s a risky gambit by the Cowboys, who could lose Elliott at a critical stretch of the season if all legal means are exhausted, but his recent productivity shows just how valuable he is. Over the last four games, he has rushed for 506 yards.
In San Francisco, the 49ers lost their ninth straight, a 20-10 loss to the Arizona Cardinals. Jimmy Garoppolo, who drew all the attention when the team sent a second-round draft pick for him to New England for him ahead of Tuesday’s trade deadline, sat on the bench, while starter C.J. Beathard took a beating int he backfield. Garoppolo, long Tom Brady’s understudy, was active for the game against the Arizona Cardinals, but had little time to learn Kyle Shanahan’s offense prior to Sunday, so did not enter the game. Beathard finished with 294 passing yards and an interception, while taking five sacks.
Shanahan admitted before Sunday that getting Garoppolo ready is a “challenge” — both for him and the team. “I don’t care who you are or how many hours you put in, there’s no way you can get it all down in that short amount of time. If he does get the opportunity to go in, you got to scale it down. You have to wristband a bunch of stuff,” Shanahan said. “You got to be very selective in what you call and make sure he understands what you’re doing. It’s not just the pass plays. It’s the snap count, the cadence, how to get out of the huddle, where the run plays are going, the ballhandling and all the little things that people take for granted that take a lot of time to work on. We’ve got in enough this week so that we know we can survive to a degree if he had to come in.”
The Redskins pulled off a stunning 17-14 victory in Seattle, despite dealing with on-going injury issues on both sides. Washington held the lead for most of the second half, but allowed a Seattle touchdown with 1:34 left in the game. Trailing 14-10, Kirk Cousins drove the Redskins 69 yards to set up a one-yard rush by Rob Kelley for the go-ahead touchdown. The Redskins defense held on the final possession, preventing a Hail Mary pass from Russell Wilson as time expired. Washington gets back to .500, while Seattle drops to 5-3.
In the Sunday night game, Derek Carr threw for 300 yards and a touchdown, Marshawn Lynch ran for two scores and weathered a late push from the Miami Dolphins to claim a 27-24 win. Miami recovered an early surprise onside kick and intercepted Carr once, but couldn’t convert either opportunity into points.
In the early games, the 8-1 Philadelphia Eagles added a running back to a roster that also includes LeGarrette Blount, obtaining Ajayi, who managed to wow in limited action against the 3-5 Denver Broncos, rushing for 77 yards and a 48-yard touchdown on eight carries. Carson Wentz continued his MVP-caliber season, completing 15 of 27 passes for 199 yards and four TDs.
The Panthers moved to 6-3 and the Falcons fell to 4-4 in the NFC South, as 6-2 New Orleans continues to lead the NFC South, winning for the sixth straight time after an 0-2 start. That’s something only the 1993 Cowboys and 2007 Giants have done and both went on to win a Super Bowl.
Every week the question arises: Are the Los Angeles Rams for real? Well, they’re 6-2 after crushing the woeful 1-7 New York Giants. The Rams are scoring 30.3 points per game, which is second best to the Texans in the NFL. A year ago, they averaged 14 points, last in the league. For the Giants, the bright spot is that Eli Manning now has passed for over 50,000 yars, a level accomplished by only seven quarterbacks in NFL history.
In other games, two hard-luck teams — Indianapolis and Houston — squared off with Indy winning and Tennessee got past Baltimore.
Week 9 byes: The Bears, Browns, Chargers, Vikings, Patriots and Steelers are off.
In other news…
Protests still occurring: A few players around the league continued to demonstrate during the national anthem, according to accounting by Associated Press reporters around the country. Malcolm Jenkins and Rodney McLeod raised a fist while their Philadelphia Eagles teammate, Chris Long, put an arm around Jenkins, continuing a practice the men have had this fall. Olivier Vernon of the New York Giants took a knee while Tennessee Titans wide receiver Rishard Matthews stayed off the field during the anthem. Around a dozen members of the New Orleans Saints took a knee, but rose and stood for the anthem.
One week after all but 10 or so members of the Houston Texans took a knee to protest owner Bob McNair’s comment that “we can’t have the inmates running the prison,” no players knelt.
The NFL loses Vin Scully: The legendary broadcaster vows never to watch again because of the protests. (Read more.)
Fournette out: Jaguars running back will not play against the Bengals because, Coach Doug Marrone said in a statement (via ESPN), he violated “a team rule. This has been addressed internally and further details will not be made public.” Fournette, Fox’s Jay Glazer reports, missed a team photo was well as a workout. Chris Ivory will play in his place.
Pizza wars: Of all things in an odd NFL season consumed by injuries to star players and cultural skirmishes over national anthem demonstrations, Papa John, whose pizza company is an NFL sponsor, fired a shot at the league over protests begun in the summer of 2016 by Colin Kaepernick. “This should have been nipped in the bud a year and a half ago,” John Schnatter said in blaming the company’s sagging sales on the controversy. “Like many sponsors, we are in contact with the NFL and once the issue is resolved between the players and the owners, we are optimistic that the NFL’s best years are ahead. But good or bad, leadership starts at the top, and this is an example of poor leadership.” (Read more.)
Kaepernick vs. NFL owners (and Goodell): Attorneys representing the free agent quarterback in his collusion grievance against the NFL are seeking to depose several team owners, including the Cowboys’ Jerry Jones, the Patriots’ Robert Kraft, the Giants’ John Mara and the Texans’ McNair. Commissioner Roger Goodell also can expect to be deposed and asked to turn over cellphone records. (Read more.)
‘Sad and divisive’: The Saints respond to a veteran’s refusal of an award because of national anthem protests. (Read more.)
A peek into the life of an itinerant lineman: “It’s been a little wacky,” Tony Bergstrom says. (Read more.)
Thomas Boswell: The NFL season looks even more dreary next to an unforgettable baseball season. (Read more.)
Maybe this season is jinxed: Tampa Bay quarterback Jameis Winston, who is trying to play through a painful shoulder injury, left the game against New Orleans after being thrown to the ground and landing on the shoulder. He was questionable to return, replaced by Ryan Fitzpatrick.
Last week, no sooner had the Astros won the World Series than the Texans great rookie quarterback, Deshaun Watson, tore his anterior cruciate ligament and will miss the rest of the season, a devastating blow for him and a league that could use the excitement he brings. He joins J.J. Watt and Mercilus Whitney from the defense on the injured reserve list, another heartbreaking development for the Texans.
“I promise that I will continue to work diligently so that this team can one day bring a championship to Houston, and when I return, I will be better, stronger and more focused than ever before!” he tweeted “Now the grind begins…. #815 #Memo GODSPEED. A small thing to a GIANT.“
A Rodgers return depends on several factors: Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers addressed his status for the first time Friday, telling reporters that whether he will be able to come off the injured reserve list (he’s eligible to return Week 15) will depend on how well his surgically repaired broken collarbone heals. “I would just temper expectations because, as much as I would love to get back out there this year, if it’s not healed, then there’s no conversation,” Rodgers said. “If it is healed, then there’s a conversation and we’ll go from there.” Part of that “conversation” would revolve around whether the Packers are in the running for a playoff spot. According to multiple reports, two plates were used to secure the displaced fracture and Rodgers’s comment last week that the procedure required 13 screws is accurate.
The Luck update: The Indianapolis Colts shut down Andrew Luck for the rest of the season last week. Luck, who had shoulder surgery in January, had barely begun throwing again when he experienced pain in the shoulder. After consulting with doctors, he is continuing with rehab. “I wish I was better and 100 percent this season, but that’s not the case,” Luck said. “I know I’ll be better from this. I know I’ll be a better quarterback, teammate, person and player from this, and I’m excited for the future.” On Sunday, multiple reports indicated that he has been told to rest his shoulder for a few months.
Key players listed as inactive
Leonard Fournette (violation of team rules)
Nick Boyle (toe)
Matt Jones (ankle)
Fozzy Whittaker (ankle)
Key players listed as active
Delanie Walker (ankle)
Marqise Lee (knee)
Emmanuel Sanders (ankle)
Joe Flacco (concussion)
Jeremy Maclin (shoulder)
Mike Wallace (back)
Karlos Dansby (finger, hamstring)
Andre Ellington (quadriceps)
Reuben Foster (ribs)
Cole Beasley (concussion)
Brashaud Breeland (knee, groin)
Brandon Scherff (knee)
Kam Chancellor (ankle)
Key players listed as questionable
DeVante Parker (ankle)
Jay Cutler (ribs)
Fantasy football advice
Best/worst matchups: How crazy is it that Deshaun Watson, Carson Wentz, and Alex Smith are top-five fantasy quarterbacks at this point in the season? (Read more.)
Five moves you must make: Remember Alex Collins. (Read more.)
Week 9 cheat sheet: The choicest tips for Week 9. (Read more.)
Week 9 Start/Sit: Bench the Bengals’ A.J. Green. Really. (Read more.)
The Fantasy Football Beat: The Post’s fantasy football experts pinpoint the one big winner from the oh-so-busy trade deadline day. (Listen.)
The top trends and insights from Las Vegas. (Read more.)