Nov 5, 2023; Foxborough, Massachusetts, USA; New England Patriots running back Rhamondre Stevenson (38) runs the ball during the second half against the Washington Commanders at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Paul Rutherford-USA TODAY Sports

Patriots RB Rhamondre Stevenson (ankle) out ‘a few weeks’

New England Patriots running back Rhamondre Stevenson was diagnosed with a high right-ankle sprain and likely will miss “a few weeks,” ESPN reported Tuesday.

He sprained his ankle in the first quarter Sunday in the 6-0 loss to the Los Angeles Chargers and did not play the rest of the game.

Ezekiel Elliott is expected to start at running back when the Patriots (2-10) meet the Steelers (7-5) in Pittsburgh on Thursday.

Stevenson leads the Patriots in rushing yards (619) and receptions (38) and has four rushing touchdowns.

Elliott, who twice led the league in rushing as a member of the Dallas Cowboys, has run for 429 yards and two touchdowns in his first season with the Patriots.

New England selected Stevenson in the fourth round of the 2021 NFL Draft.

In three seasons, the 25-year-old has gained 2,265 yards on 499 carries with 14 scores. He also has caught 121 passes for 782 yards and a touchdown.

–Field Level Media

Nov 12, 2023; Baltimore, Maryland, USA; Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson (4) runs with the ball as Baltimore Ravens defensive tackle Justin Madubuike (92) defends during the second half at M&T Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jessica Rapfogel-USA TODAY Sports

Browns QB Deshaun Watson having MRI on ankle

Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson will have an MRI on his left ankle Monday, coach Kevin Stefanski confirmed.

Watson was wearing a walking boot after Sunday’s 33-31 victory at Baltimore but said he did not expect to miss any time.

“I’ll be fine,” he said after throwing for 213 yards and a touchdown against the Ravens. “Right now I’m not feeling well, but I’ll be fine. I’ll be ready to go.”

Watson, 28, was injured when his leg got rolled up on by Ravens defensive end Jadeveon Clowney near the end of the second quarter. Backup P.J. Walker went in for the last play of the first half.

The Browns (6-3) will host the Pittsburgh Steelers (6-3) in another big AFC North match this Sunday. Both teams have won two straight and are chasing the Ravens (7-3).

Watson completed 20 of 34 passes with one interception and rushed eight times for 37 yards against Baltimore. Trailing 31-17 in the fourth quarter, his 10-yard touchdown pass to Elijah Moore ignited a comeback capped by a 40-yard walk-off field goal from Dustin Hopkins.

–Field Level Media

Oct 15, 2023; Inglewood, California, USA; Los Angeles Rams running back Kyren Williams (23) runs against the Arizona Cardinals during the second half at SoFi Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Alex Gallardo-USA TODAY Sports

Reports: Rams RB Kyren Williams could miss four weeks

Los Angeles Rams running back Kyren Williams could sit until Week 11 due to an ankle injury he pushed through in a career-best 158-yard performance against the Arizona Cardinals last week.

According to ESPN, Williams won’t play this week and is likely to miss multiple games because of the injury and might need up to a month to heal, which would include the team’s bye in Week 10.

The Rams (3-3) welcome the Pittsburgh Steelers (3-2) to Los Angeles this week.

Williams was a surprise RB1 for the Rams and leads the team with 97 carries for 456 yards and six touchdowns in six games this season. He took over the role after Cam Akers, who had 22 carries for 29 yards in Week 1, was demoted and eventually traded.

Rams head coach Sean McVay said Williams and his primary backup, Ronnie Rivers (knee), will be “out for a little bit.” McVay indicated rookie Zach Evans would be next in line for the primary ballcarrier role with Los Angeles also signing Royce Freeman to the active roster.

The Rams are at Dallas in Week 8 and visit Green Bay in Week 9 (Nov. 5) before their bye week.

If Williams needs the full four weeks to recover, he would be ready to return for a Week 11 matchup with the Seattle Seahawks.

–Field Level Media

Sep 10, 2023; Inglewood, California, USA; Los Angeles Chargers running back Austin Ekeler (30) celebrates after a touchdown in the first half against the Miami Dolphins at SoFi Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Chargers RB Austin Ekeler ’99 percent’ likely for Cowboys game

The Los Angeles Chargers’ prime-time appearance Monday night against the Dallas Cowboys is likely to include the return of star running back Austin Ekeler.

Ekeler told reporters Tuesday his odds of playing the visiting Cowboys are 99 percent.

Ekeler suffered an ankle injury in the Chargers’ Week 1 loss in Los Angeles against Miami, a game in which he ran for 117 yards, scored a touchdown and caught four passes for 47 yards.

Los Angeles (2-2) was off in Week 5 and will issue its first injury report of the week on Thursday. The Chargers will seek their third consecutive victory following wins at Minnesota and at home against Las Vegas.

Ekeler, 28, is in his seventh NFL season, all with the Chargers. He led the league in combined rushing and receiving touchdowns in both 2021 and 2022 (20 and 18, respectively).

–Field Level Media

Jan 29, 2023; Kansas City, Missouri, USA; Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes (15) against the Cincinnati Bengals during the AFC Championship game at GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Andy Reid: Ankle injury not limiting Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes

Patrick Mahomes’ high-ankle sprain apparently won’t keep him from running the Kansas City Chiefs offense on Sunday in Super Bowl LVII against the Philadelphia Eagles.

In a pre-practice news conference on Wednesday, coach Andy Reid said Mahomes is moving well despite the injury to his right ankle, which the quarterback sustained in the divisional round playoff game against the Jacksonville Jaguars on Jan. 21. He played through the injury in the AFC Championship Game against the Cincinnati Bengals on Jan. 29.

“He’s been doing really well with his ankle,” Reid said. “And we had a fast practice a couple of days ago and he moved well. He could really do just about everything. At least everything in the game plan that we’ve asked him to do. I think he’ll be fine today.”

Mahomes said he feels progress is being made in regard to the injury.

“I’m definitely in a better spot. I definitely am moving around better than I was moving last week or two weeks ago, and so, it’s just trying to continue to get the treatment and rehab and get to as close to 100 percent and then rely on some adrenaline to do a little bit extra when I’m on the field,” he said. “It’s going to be definitely better, more mobile, be able to move around a little bit better for sure, and then we’ll see on game day how close to 100 percent I can be.”

Mahomes was injured when Arden Key of the Jaguars landed on his right leg during the first quarter of the divisional game. Mahomes fell awkwardly under the weight of Key’s body and missed the second quarter before returning for the second half of the 27-20 victory.

In the 23-20 win over the Bengals the following week, Mahomes was 29-of-43 passing for 326 yards and two touchdowns. He ran the ball three times for eight yards.

–Field Level Media

Jan 21, 2023; Kansas City, Missouri, USA; Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes (15) prior to an AFC divisional round game against the Jacksonville Jaguars at GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes (ankle) encouraged by progress

Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes continues to make progress from the high ankle sprain he sustained last Saturday and he doesn’t expect any serious challenges in Sunday’s AFC Championship Game against the visiting Cincinnati Bengals.

Mahomes said Thursday that the real test will come later in the week.

“We’ll see as we get closer and closer and we’ll see during the game,” he said. “You can’t fully do exactly what you’re going to be in those moments in the game but all I can do is prepare myself the best way possible.

“When we get in the game, you know adrenaline is going to take over and you can make those throws when you need to.”

Mahomes was injured when Arden Key of the Jacksonville Jaguars landed on his right leg during the first quarter of the divisional round. Mahomes fell awkwardly under the weight of Key’s body and missed the second quarter before returning for the second half of the 27-20 victory.

Mahomes tested the leg in practice on Wednesday and was encouraged and feels he will be close to full health on Sunday.

“You try to go as hard as you can and do exactly what you’d normally do on a normal Wednesday practice,” Mahomes said. “Luckily, Wednesday isn’t the hardest practice of the week but you’re able to do some stuff and move here and there. Today will be another test. It will be a little harder practice for speed.

“But like I said, you’re not going to be able to 100 percent prepare yourself for the game, but you do the best you can of putting yourself in those positions and hopefully by the end of the week you’re in a better spot and you can go out there and do what you need to do to win.”

Kansas City coach Andy Reid also said Mahomes is on the right track.

“He did a nice job and was comfortable with what we did,” Reid said. “… Just continue to work, not just with the ankle, but with the game plan and do what he has to do there.”

Reid wants Mahomes to use his normal mechanics when it comes to his throwing.

“His feet are doing OK right now,” Reid said. “He can still move them so he’s not throwing with all arm. But he’s got a good enough arm. You’ve seen him do it where he will throw some balls flat-footed.”

Mahomes is a finalist for NFL MVP honors after passing for 41 touchdowns and a career-high 5,250 yards during the regular season.

The sixth-year pro is getting advice on many fronts about how to handle the ankle situation. One call he received was from the legendary Tom Brady.

“I talked to Tom. I have a good relationship with him now,” said Mahomes, the emphasis on “now” prompting laughter in the room. “He gives me good advice to help me. Why would you not to want to hear from the G.O.A.T., man?

“Anytime somebody like that wants to give me advice, I’ll take it in. It’s cool to see the guys you watched growing up all your life be able to talk to you on that type of platform.”

With so much focus planted on Mahomes’ ankle, there hasn’t been a lot of chatter about Kansas City’s recent problems with the Bengals. Cincinnati has won the past three meetings, including a 27-24 overtime win in last season’s AFC title game, also in Kansas City.

Perhaps due to that track record, there are some who view the Bengals as the team most likely to win Sunday.

“Every time I walk on that field, I don’t think I’m the underdog, especially when I walk on Arrowhead’s field,” Mahomes said. “I just go in with the mindset that we’re expecting to win. We know we are playing a great football team that has beaten us the last three times. So we have to learn from the mistakes in the past and be better in order to be able to win against a great football team.”

–Field Level Media

Dec 4, 2022; Santa Clara, California, USA; San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo (10) is sacked by Miami Dolphins linebacker Jaelan Phillips (15) during the first quarter at Levi's Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Sergio Estrada-USA TODAY Sports

49ers QB Jimmy Garoppolo (ankle) carted off, out for game vs. Dolphins

San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo was carted to the locker room after the team’s opening drive Sunday with an ankle injury.

Garoppolo was initially listed as questionable to return, but the Niners downgraded him to out during the second quarter.

The injury adds to the quarterback concerns for the 49ers, who lost Trey Lance for the season during San Francisco’s second game. Lance subsequently underwent surgery for his own ankle injury.

Garoppolo was 2-of-4 passing for 56 yards on San Francisco’s opening drive when he was sacked by a pair of Miami defensive players. The knee of Dolphins linebacker Jaelan Phillips appeared to land on the side of Garoppolo’s left foot.

On the following play, the 49ers’ Robbie Gould kicked a 47-yard field goal as San Francisco answered an opening-drive touchdown by the Dolphins.

The 49ers turned to rookie Brock Purdy at quarterback and the seventh-round pick out of Iowa State in April’s NFL draft led San Francisco to a TD on his first drive. Purdy hit Kyle Juszczyk on a 3-yard TD pass to cap the 54-yard drive, for his first career scoring pass.

–Field Level Media

Oct 2, 2022; East Rutherford, New Jersey, USA; New York Giants quarterback Daniel Jones (8) looks to pass against the Chicago Bears during the first quarter at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Giants QB Daniel Jones (ankle) on track to play vs. Packers in London

The New York Giants believe quarterback Daniel Jones is on track to play in Sunday’s game against the Green Bay Packers in London.

Jones sprained his ankle during last Sunday’s 20-12 win over the Chicago Bears. He had to come back into the game after backup quarterback Tyrod Taylor suffered a concussion.

Jones was a limited participant in practice for the second straight day. Reports said he looked “comfortable” while running during the open-media portion of Thursday’s practice.

“He was running around and doing everything that we are asking him to do from a practice standpoint,” offensive coordinator Mike Kafka told reporters.

Coach Brian Daboll said Jones was “no worse” Thursday after the Giants increased his number of reps.

Taylor is not expected to clear concussion protocol in time for Sunday’s game. If Jones can’t play, it would leave practice squad quarterback Davis Webb to make his first career start.

Wide receiver Kadarius Toney (hamstring) went from a limited practice participant on Wednesday to a non-participant Thursday. Receiver Richie James (ankle) and safety Julian Love (concussion, non-contact) were upgraded to limited participants Thursday after missing Wednesday.

–Field Level Media

Sep 25, 2022; Foxborough, Massachusetts, USA; New England Patriots quarterback Mac Jones (10) throws the ball against the Baltimore Ravens during the second half at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brian Fluharty-USA TODAY Sports

Report: Patriots QB Mac Jones (ankle) getting second opinion

New England Patriots quarterback Mac Jones is heading to New York for a second opinion on his sprained ankle, NFL Network reported Tuesday.

Jones is expected to see Dr. Martin O’Malley at the New York Hospital for Special Surgery. O’Malley has expertise in sports injuries of the foot and ankle, including reconstructive surgery.

The second opinion is to help determine, in part, whether Jones will need surgery for the injury, which reportedly is a high ankle sprain. The Patriots have yet to reveal an official diagnosis.

After tossing an interception on the final play of New England’s 37-26 loss to the Baltimore Ravens, Jones was brought to the ground by Calais Campbell and his ankle got caught under Campbell’s leg. Jones hopped off the field on one foot and was seen grimacing in pain on the sideline.

Jones had to be carried into the locker room and was screaming in pain in the tunnel.

Jones completed 22 of 32 passes for 321 yards and three interceptions against the Ravens. He also rushed for 31 yards and a touchdown.

Brian Hoyer is the Patriots’ backup QB and 2022 fourth-round pick Bailey Zappe is also on the 53-man roster. New England (1-2) plays at Green Bay (2-1) on Sunday.

–Field Level Media

Sep 18, 2022; East Rutherford, New Jersey, USA; Carolina Panthers running back Christian McCaffrey (22) runs with the ball against New York Giants defensive back Fabian Moreau (37) during the fourth quarter at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Panthers RB Christian McCaffrey (ankle) limited in practice

Carolina Panthers running back Christian McCaffrey was limited in practice Thursday by an ailing ankle but is expected to play Sunday against the New Orleans Saints.

McCaffrey took his scheduled day off on Wednesday, and on Thursday, his ankle was stiff. He didn’t show signs of discomfort, per the team website.

McCaffrey, 26, played in just 10 of a possible 33 games over the past two seasons due to ankle and shoulder injuries. But he is dangerous when healthy and has gained 3,722 rushing yards and 3,065 receiving yards with 31 rushing touchdowns and 17 receiving scores in 60 games (54 starts) over five-plus NFL seasons.

Last Sunday, in a loss to the New York Giants, McCaffrey ran for 102 yards — his first 100-yard rushing game since 2019, when he was an All-Pro.

Cornerback Donte Jackson (hamstring) also limited was limited in practice Thursday for the second straight day.

Linebacker Frankie Luvu (shoulder) and cornerback Stantley Thomas-Oliver III (Achilles) were listed as limited participants in Thursday’s practice after having no designation on Wednesday.

–Field Level Media