Sep 13, 2020; Baltimore, Maryland, USA;  Cleveland Browns center JC Tretter (64) snaps the ball against Baltimore Ravens in the fourth quarter at M&T Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Leah Stauffer-USA TODAY Sports

NFLPA president Tretter: NFL needs all grass surfaces

NFL Players Association president JC Tretter is calling on the NFL to change all its field surfaces to natural grass.

Tretter, a center for the Cleveland Browns, cited injury risk as the main reason for the request in his newsletter posted Wednesday on the NFLPA website. He used data from 2012-18 to show players have a 28 percent higher rate of suffering a noncontact lower extremity injury when playing on artificial turf as opposed to grass.

Tretter wrote the rate is 32 percent for noncontact knee injuries and 69 percent for noncontact ankle injuries on turf compared to grass.

“The data stands out,” Tretter said Wednesday during a video call. “Those numbers are staggering, the difference in injury rate between turf and natural grass. It’s possible to get grass in every location, and it’s about pushing for that. We all should be working toward the safest style of play. We know the dangers of playing on turf. That’s not good for anybody. It’s not good for players. It’s not good for the GMs and the head coaches. It’s not good for the owners. It’s not good for the fans. Increased injuries isn’t good for anybody.

“Until we can find a way to get synthetic turf to respond and react like natural grass, it’s too much of a danger to continue to play on and expect different results.”

Tretter’s call for grass fields comes after the San Francisco 49ers lodged complaints about MetLife Stadium, home of both the New York Jets and Giants. MetLife has a synthetic turf surface.

In Week 2, the 49ers lost defensive linemen Nick Bosa and Solomon Thomas to season-ending ACL injuries. In addition, quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo suffered an ankle injury and running backs Raheem Mostert and Tevin Coleman sustained knee injuries.

The field was inspected by the NFL, NFLPA and other entities within days of the contest and was ruled safe as well as meeting league standards.

Still, Tretter wants to see an end to artificial turf surfaces. Currently, there are 13 stadiums — housing 15 teams — using a turf field.

“Players safety will always be a priority for us and for the union,” Tretter said. “… It’s something from here on out we need to make a priority.”

–Field Level Media

Sep 13, 2020; Inglewood, California, USA; Los Angeles Rams head coach Sean McVay looks on during the first half against the Dallas Cowboys at SoFi Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

NFL: Draft picks at stake if coaches don’t wear masks

The NFL is warning teams that if coaches don’t comply with league rules and properly wear masks during games, they could lose something more valuable than money: draft picks.

The league has fined five coaches $100,000 and their teams $250,000 each so far over failure to wear masks. But on Wednesday, a league memo shared by Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer warned that failing to follow protocols amid the coronavirus pandemic could result in suspensions or the forfeiture of picks in the draft.

The memo was signed by NFL executive vice president Troy Vincent and distributed to team executives, general managers and coaches.

“Both our own and independent medical advisors have emphasized the need to remain vigilant and disciplined in following the processes and protocols put in place by agreement with the NFLPA as well as by state and local governments,” Vincent wrote in the memo.

“We are only through Week 3 of the season. If we are to play a full and uninterrupted season, we all must remain committed to our efforts to mitigate the risk of transmission of the virus. Inconsistent adherence to health and safety protocols … will put the 2020 season at risk.”

In Tennessee, nine Titans players and staff members have tested positive for COVID-19 since the weekend, and their game against the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday has been postponed. The league said it could be played Monday or Tuesday instead.

–Field Level Media

Sep 27, 2020; Foxborough, Massachusetts, USA; New England Patriots cornerback Jason McCourty (30) tackles Las Vegas Raiders wide receiver Bryan Edwards (89) during the third quarter at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brian Fluharty-USA TODAY Sports

Raiders rookie WR Edwards (ankle) out vs. Bills

Las Vegas Raiders rookie wide receiver Bryan Edwards is out for Week 4 with an ankle sprain, the team announced Wednesday.

Edwards injured the ankle in last week’s loss to the New England Patriots, missing most of the second half. The Raiders were already without rookie WR Henry Ruggs (hamstring).

Edwards will be considered week-to-week after Week 4 with the possibility he could miss more games, NFL Network reported.

The Raiders play the Buffalo Bills on Sunday.

Edwards, a third-round pick out of South Carolina, started all three games for the Raiders, racking up five catches for 99 yards. Edwards stepped up when Tyrell Williams (shoulder) was lost for the season in August.

Nelson Agholor and Zay Jones will pick up more snaps alongside Hunter Renfrow against the Bills, with Ruggs considered a longshot to be ready for Sunday, according to NFL Network.

–Field Level Media

Oct 19, 2019; University Park, PA, USA; Penn State Nittany Lions linebacker Micah Parsons (11) reacts to a defensive play against the Michigan Wolverines during the second quarter at Beaver Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

All-American Parsons not returning to Penn State

All-American linebacker Micah Parsons will not be returning to Penn State.

Coach James Franklin confirmed Wednesday that Parsons, who opted out of the season amid the coronavirus pandemic, will remain out.

“That won’t be happening,” Franklin said of a prospective return.

Franklin said on Sept. 19, after the Big Ten announced football would be played this fall after all, that he and Parsons were discussing the situation.

“We’re still having conversations with Micah. He’s been great. I think he’s excited about the opportunity,” Franklin said.

Parsons, projected as a top-10 pick in the 2021 draft, announced on social media on Aug. 6 that he didn’t want to risk contracting the coronavirus and spreading it to his 2-year-old son, Malcolm. That consideration, he said, “far outweighed my urge to play football” this season.

“There’s healthy dialogue going on,” Franklin said earlier this month. “At the end of the day if it’s right for Micah and his family, then we want to show them the path to get it done here at Penn State.”

Parsons signed with an agent and would have had to take steps to have his eligibility restored should he return for his junior season.

In two seasons with the Nittany Lions, he played in 26 games and recorded 192 tackles, including 19 for loss, to go along with 6.5 sacks and six forced fumbles.

Four other potential first-round picks — CB Shaun Wade and OL Wyatt Davis of Ohio State, OL Jalen Mayfield of Michigan and WR Rashod Bateman of Minnesota – opted back in after the Big Ten announcement. Only Bateman is still waiting for an NCAA waiver that will allow him to play, though he has received a waiver to practice.

–Field Level Media

Sep 10, 2020; Kansas City, Missouri, USA; Kansas City Chiefs safety L'Jarius Sneed (38) celebrates with safety Juan Thornhill (22) after intercepting during the game against the Houston Texans at Arrowhead Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Reports: Chiefs rookie CB Sneed broke collarbone vs. Ravens

Kansas City Chiefs rookie cornerback L’Jarius Sneed has a broken collarbone, multiple outlets reported Wednesday.

Sneed suffered the injury late in the second quarter of Monday night’s win over the Baltimore Ravens. Sneed was able to get up after nearly intercepting a pass but was ruled out of the game after halftime.

Sneed will likely miss 6-8 weeks.

The fourth-round draft pick out of Louisiana Tech started all three games and intercepted two passes, tied for the league lead.

The Chiefs are still one week away from the return of CB Bashaud Breeland (suspension) and Charvarius Ward, who replaced Sneed on Monday night, is playing with a broken hand suffered in Week 1. Rashad Fenton has started two games for the Chiefs so far.

The Kansas City Star first reported the injury.

–Field Level Media

Dec 28, 2019; Atlanta, Georgia, USA; LSU Tigers defensive back Derek Stingley Jr. (24) during the second half of the 2019 Peach Bowl college football playoff semifinal game against the Oklahoma Sooners at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports

LSU expects CB Stingley to return vs. Vanderbilt

LSU All-American cornerback Derek Stingley Jr. returned to practice and is expected to play this weekend after missing the Tigers’ season-opening loss against Mississippi State with a mystery illness.

LSU missed Stingley, whose illness was not COVID related, in a 44-34 upset loss to the Bulldogs on Saturday, but hopes to welcome him this week against Vanderbilt.

“A huge lift for us,” LSU coach Ed Orgeron said Wednesday of Stingley’s potential return. “Derek’s one of our best players. … He’s a force and he’s a difference.”

Stingley’s father, Derek, told a radio station Tuesday that his son “had a reaction to something” and was doing better after the scare.

“It was scary,” Derek Stingley Sr. said. “But it wasn’t as bad as we thought it was when we first got the call and all that. But he’s good to go. I’m pretty sure they’re going to probably take it easy with him this week. But I’m pretty sure he may wind up playing as well.”

As a freshman in 2019, Stingley started all 15 games during LSU’s national championship season. He led the Southeastern Conference and ranked No. 5 in the nation in interceptions (six) and No. 2 nationally in passes defended (21).

Derek Stingley Sr. played baseball in the Philadelphia Phillies’ system before spending nine seasons in the Arena Football League. His father, the late Darryl Stingley, was a wide receiver and first-round draft pick of the New England Patriots in 1973. He was paralyzed in a preseason game in 1978 against the Oakland Raiders.

–Field Level Media

Sep 13, 2020; Landover, Maryland, USA; Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver Jalen Reagor (18) makes a catch as Washington Football Team cornerback Ronald Darby (23) chases during the first half quarter at FedExField. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

Eagles put rookie WR Reagor (thumb) on IR

The Philadelphia Eagles put rookie wide receiver Jalen Reagor on injured reserve Wednesday, a week after he underwent surgery on his thumb.

The Eagles opted against putting Reagor on IR last week ahead of their game against the Cincinnati Bengals but elected to open up a roster spot this week heading into their Week 4 game against the San Francisco 49ers. The Eagles are 0-2-1.

Reagor will have to miss at least three weeks, making Week 7 his earliest return, though he could reportedly be out until Week 10. The team’s first-round pick out of TCU suffered a ligament tear Week 2 against the Los Angeles Rams.

The Eagles are battered at the position with Alshon Jeffery (foot) and DeSean Jackson ailing. Jeffery has yet to play but returned to practice last week. Coach Doug Pederson vowed to “ramp up” Jeffery’s workload this week. Jackson played against the Bengals but has a minor hamstring strain.

The Eagles activated rookie wide receiver Quez Watkins’ 21-day practice window on Tuesday. Watkins was on IR after suffering an injury during training camp. If Watkins is ready to go this Sunday, he could take the open roster spot vacated by Reagor.

Wideout Greg Ward was the Eagles’ leading receiver in Week 3 with eight catches for 72 yards and a touchdown.

The Eagles also placed tight end Dallas Goedert on IR earlier this week with a fractured ankle.

Reagor caught five passes for 96 yards in his first two games.

–Field Level Media

Aug 26, 2020; Indianapolis, Indiana, USA;  Indianapolis Colts quarterback Chad Kelly (6) throws a ball during colts training camp at the Farm Bureau Football Complex. Mandatory Credit: Marc Lebryk-USA TODAY Sports

Colts cut QB Kelly from practice squad

The Indianapolis Colts released quarterback Chad Kelly from the practice squad on Wednesday.

A seventh-round selection by the Denver Broncos in the 2017 NFL Draft, Kelly has appeared in just one NFL game. The nephew of Hall of Fame quarterback Jim Kelly, the 26-year-old was better known for his off-field transgressions, which included an arrest on criminal trespassing charges and subsequent two-game suspension for violating the league’s personal conduct policy.

The Colts signed veteran Philip Rivers in the offseason, and Jacoby Brissett is his backup. The Colts also used a fourth-round draft pick this spring on Jacob Eason.

The Colts replaced Kelly on the practice squad with wide receiver Krishawn Hogan.

Hogan, 25, has played in 10 games with the Colts (2017) and New Orleans Saints (2019), catching one pass for four yards.

–Field Level Media

Oct 20, 2019; Nashville, TN, USA; Tennessee Titans logo spelled out in the visitors seating area inside Nissan Stadium prior to the game against the Los Angeles Chargers. Mandatory Credit: Jim Brown-USA TODAY Sports

NFL postpones Titans game vs. Steelers

The NFL has postponed Sunday’s Week 4 matchup between the Tennessee Titans and Pittsburgh Steelers due to an outbreak of COVID-19 among Titans players and team personnel, the league announced Wednesday.

The league is expected to reschedule the game for Monday or Tuesday night.

“The Steelers-Titans game, originally scheduled for Sunday at 1 p.m. ET, will be rescheduled to allow additional time for further daily COVID-19 testing and to ensure the health and safety of players, coaches and game day personnel. Details on the new game date and time on either Monday or Tuesday will be announced a soon as possible,” the statement reads.

Three Titans players — defensive tackle DaQuan Jones, long snapper Beau Brinkley and practice squad tight end Tommy Hudson — were placed on the Reserve/COVID-19 list on Tuesday as the NFL shut down the team facility. A fourth player returned a positive test Wednesday, according to NFL Network.

The Titans also reported five positive tests among team personnel.

There is no announcement yet on the status of Sunday’s game involving the Minnesota Vikings. Their Week 4 game could also be postponed pending COVID-19 test results this week. The Vikings hosted the Titans on Sunday in Minneapolis and the team’s facility was closed Tuesday and Wednesday.

–Field Level Media

Sep 27, 2020; Cleveland, Ohio, USA; Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield (6) throws a pass over Washington Football Team defensive end Chase Young (99) during the first quarter at FirstEnergy Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

Report: Washington DE Young (groin) to miss Week 4

Washington Football Team rookie defensive end Chase Young will miss this week’s game against the Baltimore Ravens with a moderate groin strain, NFL Network reported Wednesday.

Young will be considered week-to-week after Week 4, per the report.

Young limped off the field last week against the Cleveland Browns with just under 11 minutes to play in the first half.

Young, the second overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft out of Ohio State, entered the game tied for the NFL lead with 2.5 sacks this season.

Young registered 16.5 sacks last season with the Buckeyes. The 21-year-old recorded 30.5 sacks in three seasons with Ohio State.

–Field Level Media