Dec 15, 2019; Arlington, TX, USA; Dallas Cowboys receiver Tavon Austin (10) runs after a reception for a touchdown in the second quarter against the Los Angeles Rams at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

Packers sign free agent WR Tavon Austin

The Green Bay Packers boosted their offense and special teams on Monday, signing veteran wide receiver and returner Tavon Austin.

The Packers opened eyes this offseason after drafting quarterback Jordan Love in the first round before snagging running back A.J. Dillon in the second round, leaving QB Aaron Rodgers with no new receiving weapons heading into the 2020 season.

Enter Tavon Austin, who last played with the Cowboys in 2019. Austin will look to create a spark for the NFC North-leading Packers.

While Austin’s receiving numbers are not prolific, he has a knack for making explosive plays, with 15 career touchdowns on 215 receptions and three punt returns for scores in his seven-year career.

With Tyler Ervin out since Week 10 with a concussion, the Packers have leaned on wideout Darrius Shepherd in the return game. Shepherd has struggled with his kickoff returns, losing a fumble in Week 12, and has -3 yards on three career punt returns. That could give Austin, the No. 9 overall pick in the 2013 draft, an opportunity to carve out a role for himself in Green Bay down the stretch.

Austin has experience playing under Packers head coach Matt LaFleur, who offensive coordinator for the Rams in 2017.

–Field Level Media

Dec 15, 2019; Arlington, TX, USA; Dallas Cowboys receiver Tavon Austin (10) runs after a reception for a touchdown in the second quarter against the Los Angeles Rams at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

Packers sign free agent WR Tavon Austin

The Green Bay Packers boosted their offense and special teams on Monday, signing veteran wide receiver and returner Tavon Austin.

The Packers opened eyes this offseason after drafting quarterback Jordan Love in the first round before snagging running back A.J. Dillon in the second round, leaving QB Aaron Rodgers with no new receiving weapons heading into the 2020 season.

Enter Tavon Austin, who last played with the Cowboys in 2019. Austin will look to create a spark for the NFC North-leading Packers.

While Austin’s receiving numbers are not prolific, he has a knack for making explosive plays, with 15 career touchdowns on 215 receptions and three punt returns for scores in his seven-year career.

With Tyler Ervin out since Week 10 with a concussion, the Packers have leaned on wideout Darrius Shepherd in the return game. Shepherd has struggled with his kickoff returns, losing a fumble in Week 12, and has -3 yards on three career punt returns. That could give Austin, the No. 9 overall pick in the 2013 draft, an opportunity to carve out a role for himself in Green Bay down the stretch.

Austin has experience playing under Packers head coach Matt LaFleur, who offensive coordinator for the Rams in 2017.

–Field Level Media

Dec 15, 2019; Arlington, TX, USA; Dallas Cowboys receiver Tavon Austin (10) runs after a reception for a touchdown in the second quarter against the Los Angeles Rams at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

Packers sign free agent WR Tavon Austin

The Green Bay Packers boosted their offense and special teams on Monday, signing veteran wide receiver and returner Tavon Austin.

The Packers opened eyes this offseason after drafting quarterback Jordan Love in the first round before snagging running back A.J. Dillon in the second round, leaving QB Aaron Rodgers with no new receiving weapons heading into the 2020 season.

Enter Tavon Austin, who last played with the Cowboys in 2019. Austin will look to create a spark for the NFC North-leading Packers.

While Austin’s receiving numbers are not prolific, he has a knack for making explosive plays, with 15 career touchdowns on 215 receptions and three punt returns for scores in his seven-year career.

With Tyler Ervin out since Week 10 with a concussion, the Packers have leaned on wideout Darrius Shepherd in the return game. Shepherd has struggled with his kickoff returns, losing a fumble in Week 12, and has -3 yards on three career punt returns. That could give Austin, the No. 9 overall pick in the 2013 draft, an opportunity to carve out a role for himself in Green Bay down the stretch.

Austin has experience playing under Packers head coach Matt LaFleur, who offensive coordinator for the Rams in 2017.

–Field Level Media

Dec 15, 2019; Arlington, TX, USA; Dallas Cowboys receiver Tavon Austin (10) runs after a reception for a touchdown in the second quarter against the Los Angeles Rams at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

Packers sign free agent WR Tavon Austin

The Green Bay Packers boosted their offense and special teams on Monday, signing veteran wide receiver and returner Tavon Austin.

The Packers opened eyes this offseason after drafting quarterback Jordan Love in the first round before snagging running back A.J. Dillon in the second round, leaving QB Aaron Rodgers with no new receiving weapons heading into the 2020 season.

Enter Tavon Austin, who last played with the Cowboys in 2019. Austin will look to create a spark for the NFC North-leading Packers.

While Austin’s receiving numbers are not prolific, he has a knack for making explosive plays, with 15 career touchdowns on 215 receptions and three punt returns for scores in his seven-year career.

With Tyler Ervin out since Week 10 with a concussion, the Packers have leaned on wideout Darrius Shepherd in the return game. Shepherd has struggled with his kickoff returns, losing a fumble in Week 12, and has -3 yards on three career punt returns. That could give Austin, the No. 9 overall pick in the 2013 draft, an opportunity to carve out a role for himself in Green Bay down the stretch.

Austin has experience playing under Packers head coach Matt LaFleur, who offensive coordinator for the Rams in 2017.

–Field Level Media

Nov 30, 2020; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Seattle Seahawks wide receiver DK Metcalf (14) makes a reception past Philadelphia Eagles cornerback Darius Slay (24) during the second quarter at Lincoln Financial Field. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Seahawks down Eagles behind Metcalf’s big game

DK Metcalf made 10 catches for 177 yards and recovered a late onside kick as the Seattle Seahawks defeated the host Philadelphia Eagles 23-17 on Monday night.

The Seahawks (8-3) moved a game ahead of the Los Angeles Rams in the NFC West, while the Eagles (3-7-1) dropped into third in the NFC East after entering the weekend with the division lead.

Seattle’s Russell Wilson completed 22 of 31 passes for 230 yards and a touchdown, a 1-yarder to David Moore. That score was set up by a 52-yard completion to Metcalf on third-and-13 from the Seahawks’ own 47-yard line. Chris Carson rushed for a TD after missing four straight games with a foot injury, and Jason Myers added three field goals.

The Eagles’ Carson Wentz was 25 of 45 for 215 yards, two touchdowns and one interception, and he rushed for a game-high 42 yards. Wentz completed a tipped Hail Mary pass to Richard Rodgers from 33 yards out with 12 seconds left, but Metcalf fell on the ensuing onside kick.

Wentz’s interception came with 8:40 remaining. Trailing 20-9, Eagles coach Doug Pederson decided to go for it on fourth-and-4 at Seattle’s 15-yard line. Wentz tried to find tight end Dallas Goedert, but the pass sailed high and wide and was picked off by Seattle’s Quandre Diggs in the end zone.

The Seahawks led 14-6 at the half, and it probably should have been a larger margin.

Seattle turned the ball over on downs in Eagles territory on each of its first two possessions, including on fourth-and-goal the first time it had the ball.

The Seahawks built a 14-0 lead — on the TD catch by Moore and a bruising 16-yard run by Carson — before the Eagles even made a first down.

Philadelphia went three-and-out on its first five possessions against the Seahawks’ league-worst defense, gaining a total of four yards.

The Eagles finally got their offense on track on their final drive of the half, moving 75 yards in 15 plays and capped by Wentz’s 3-yard TD pass to Goedert with 12 seconds left.

The teams traded field goals in the third quarter — a 42-yarder by Philadelphia’s Jake Elliott and a 44-yarder by Myers. Myers added 33- and 39-yard field goals in the fourth.

–Field Level Media

Nov 8, 2020; Kansas City, Missouri, USA; Carolina Panthers running back Christian McCaffrey (22) scores a touchdown during the game against the Kansas City Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Panthers RB McCaffrey on track to return after bye

Carolina Panthers running back Christian McCaffrey remains on target to return in two weeks after his team’s bye, head coach Matt Rhule said Monday.

The 24-year-old playmaker has appeared in only three games this season, racking up 225 rushing yards, 149 receiving yards and six total touchdowns. Most recently, he has been sidelined by a shoulder injury.

Carolina has dropped to 4-8 and sits in last place in the NFC South division, but Rhule said his team’s record would not cause him to bench McCaffrey.

“Not being in the playoffs will not affect me playing a player,” Rhule said.

McCaffrey has tallied 45 touchdowns in four-plus seasons in the NFL. He had more than 1,000 yards both rushing and receiving a year ago.

“He’s a top-five NFL player,” Rhule said. “I just think you add Christian in the mix, he’s a fantastic player, he brings a lot to the table.

“He creates matchups. He allows you to be creative.”

The Panthers’ final four games include a home date against the Denver Broncos on Dec. 13; road games against the Green Bay Packers on Dec. 19 and the Washington Football Team on Dec. 27; and a home finale against the New Orleans Saints on Jan. 3.

–Field Level Media

Oct 18, 2020; Foxborough, Massachusetts, USA; New England Patriots receiver Julian Edelman (11) warms up prior to the game against the Denver Broncos at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Paul Rutherford-USA TODAY Sports

Patriots WR Edelman placed on COVID-19 list

The New England Patriots placed receiver Julian Edelman on the reserve/COVID-19 list on Monday, according to the NFL’s daily transaction wire.

It wasn’t immediately known if Edelman tested positive for COVID-19 or was in close contact with someone who did.

Edelman is currently on injured reserve with a knee injury. He last played in Week 7.

Center David Andrews expects Edelman to be back later this season.

“It’s tough, this whole virus thing is tough,” Andrews told reporters. “But Jules — like he always does — will bounce back.”

Edelman has 21 receptions for 315 yards in six games (one start) this season. He exceeded 1,000 yards receiving in three of the previous six campaigns.

Earlier in the day, New England coach Bill Belichick told WEEI radio that the club was taking things “day-by-day” with Edelman’s injury.

“I know he’s working extremely hard, and I would certainly never count Julian out of anything,” Belichick said. “He’s got a tremendous will and work ethic and very competitive. Football is very important to him, so it would take a lot for me to count him out, put it that way.

“I think Julian has made a lot of progress in the last couple of weeks. I talked to him the other day, and he’s certainly feeling better and able to do a little more each day.”

Overall, Edelman had 620 receptions for 6,822 yards and 36 touchdowns in 137 games (85 starts) over 11 NFL seasons, all with the Patriots.

–Field Level Media

Oct 18, 2020; Nashville, Tennessee, USA; Houston Texans wide receiver Will Fuller (15) runs after making a catch against the Tennessee Titans during the first quarter at Nissan Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Steve Roberts-USA TODAY Sports

Texans WR Fuller announces six-game suspension

Houston Texans wide receiver Will Fuller V has been suspended for six games for violating the league’s policy on performance-enhancing substances.

Fuller announced the suspension Monday in a post on his Instagram account. He apologized to the Texans organization and its fans.

“Earlier this year, I sought treatment from a medical professional who prescribed medication that he believed to be permitted under the NFL’s drug policy,” Fuller wrote. “As it turns out, my trust in this professional was misplaced because this medication was NOT a permitted substance under the NFL Policy on Performance Enhancing Substances.

“As a result of this mistake, I have been suspended for six games for taking this prohibited medication. I want to sincerely apologize to the Texans organization and all of my fans for this mistake. I am looking forward to putting this all behind me and returning better than ever in 2021.”

Fuller, 26, had posted career highs in receptions (53), receiving yards (879) and touchdowns (eight) through 11 games this season. He is in his fifth year with the Texans, who drafted him in the first round (No. 21 overall) in 2016 out of Notre Dame.

The suspension includes the last five games of this season as well as the first game of the 2021 season for Fuller, a pending free agent.

Minus Fuller, the Texans could turn to Brandin Cooks as their top receiving option. He has 52 catches for 719 yards and three touchdowns.

–Field Level Media

Nov 29, 2020; Denver, Colorado, USA; Denver Broncos head coach Vic Fangio looks on before a game against the New Orleans Saints at Empower Field at Mile High. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Team discipline for Broncos QBs ‘on the table,’ Fangio says

Additional discipline is possible for a trio of Denver Broncos quarterbacks who were held out of Sunday’s game because of COVID-19 concerns, head coach Vic Fangio said Monday.

All three quarterbacks — Drew Lock, Brett Rypien and Blake Bortles — were inactive for Sunday’s 31-3 loss to the New Orleans Saints. The trio tested negative for COVID-19 on Monday, Fangio said, and will have to test negative again Tuesday before returning to team activities.

Fangio said the players still could face team discipline.

“We’re going to consider all that and, again, try to see what the league, if they have anything planned and if not, we’ll take our measures,” Fangio said.

That could include a fine or, less likely, a one-game suspension.

“Everything’s on the table, but right now I would say it’s more the fine mode,” Fangio said.

Each quarterback was deemed “high risk” after a meeting that included fellow quarterback Jeff Driskel, who tested positive for COVID-19 on Thursday. None of the quarterbacks wore masks during the meeting.

The Broncos were forced to turn to practice squad wide receiver Kendall Hinton to play quarterback against the Saints. Hinton, who played quarterback for three seasons at Wake Forest before changing positions, finished 1 of 9 for 13 yards and two interceptions.

Fangio was asked whether the team might quarantine one if its quarterbacks to avoid another situation like Sunday’s. He said the team would consider that option going forward.

“But I think if we just follow the protocols, we’ll be fine,” he added.

–Field Level Media