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Ezekiel Elliott suspension appeal: Live updates on appeals court ruling 'expected soon'

Dallas Cowboys star faces 6 game suspension

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DALLAS – A federal appeals court in New Orleans could rule as early as Tuesday on whether Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott must begin serving a six-game suspension because of domestic violence allegations.

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell suspended Elliott in August after the league concluded a yearlong investigation that found Elliott had several physical confrontations with his then-girlfriend in Ohio.

Prosecutors didn’t pursue the case, citing conflicting evidence. Elliott has denied the allegations under oath.

Elliott has been allowed to play, however, because a federal district judge blocked the suspension pending appeals.

The league said the lawsuit filed by the players union, representing Elliott, should be thrown out because it was improperly filed before an arbitrator ruled in the case.

A three-judge panel of the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals heard arguments Monday and they were to review more documents Tuesday morning. They could rule any time after that but offered no timetable. UPDATE: It is expected 'soon' - per ESPN.

Follow live Ezekiel Elliott suspension appeal updates below:

 

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Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliott lost two games when both played during a remarkable rookie year for the Dallas Cowboys.

The star quarterback and running back have already matched that a quarter of the way through what’s been an uneven second season. They face Green Bay on Sunday less than nine months after the Packers (3-1) spoiled the duo’s first playoff appearance as the NFC’s top seed at home.

The Cowboys (2-2) solved the problem of slow starts in two straight games, but created a new one by letting an 11-point lead slip away in a surprising 35-30 loss to the Los Angeles Rams.

Prescott, last year’s NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year, was off-target as the Cowboys punted three straight times in the third quarter after scoring on all four first-half drives Sunday. The fourth possession after halftime ended with his third interception of the season. Prescott threw four his entire rookie year.

“I think I missed some throws in the second half that I didn’t miss in the first half or that I can’t miss, simply,” Prescott said . “Going along with that, it is just knowing where I am going with the ball so that my feet can be in tune with my body.”

Prescott was 20 of 36 for 252 yards and three touchdowns with his third sub-100 passer rating in four games. He had five such games last season, when he set an NFL rookie record with a 104.9 rating as the Cowboys went 13-3. They lost their finale when Prescott played only briefly and Elliott sat with a first-round playoff bye clinched.

There were bright moments for Prescott against the Rams, such as his duck-and-spin out of what looked like a sure sack for All-Pro defensive tackle Aaron Donald before an 18-yard throw to Dez Bryant, who had a season-high 98 yards receiving.

“He made a lot of plays for us, in the pocket, out of the pocket, throughout the game,” coach Jason Garrett said. “He stood in there under some duress and made some throws. Having said that, the standard is high. And he did miss some throws.”

Elliott matched the longest drought from his rookie season with his third straight game of less than 100 yards rushing. Last year’s NFL rushing leader scored two touchdowns in the first half against the Rams and had 97 total yards at halftime: 56 rushing and 41 receiving.

But Elliott had just nine touches and 42 total yards after halftime the day before a federal appeals court heard arguments over the NFL’s emergency request to lift an injunction that blocked the league’s six-game suspension over domestic violence allegations in Ohio.

“I think we have an identity in what we want to do,” tight end Jason Witten said. “Just stay with the run game and what we’re trying to do. Just overall, we have to be better at it. It’s a team that understands it, what we’re trying to get accomplished.”

Even though Prescott and Elliott had won three straight games on the way to a franchise-record 11-game winning streak this time last year, the Cowboys were coming off a less-than-impressive showing against a San Francisco team headed for a 2-14 finish.

But two things are already different for Dallas. The Cowboys were never blown out last season like they were in Week 2 at Denver. And they never let leads get away without finding a way to win, which is what happened against the Rams.

“I think when people look at a team like ourselves and the success we had last year, they have obviously decided that, hey, we’re going to make Dak beat us and we’re going to stop their running game,” executive vice president of personnel Stephen Jones said on his radio show Monday. “I think Dak will execute better as we move forward, not that he hasn’t played really well. And I think as the season goes, we’ll execute better. As that happens, I think you’ll see some of the strength of our offense again. I have a lot of confidence that it’s going to happen.”

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Cowboys’ Prescott, Elliott get Packers next in uneven Year 2

 

Read previous coverage of Ezekiel Elliott's suspension below:

The union argues the lawsuit could be pursued because the arbitration proceedings were complete, except for the final ruling, which went against Elliott.

NFL attorney Pratik Shah said the arbitration proceedings, called for in the NFL Players Association collective bargaining agreement with the league, had not been exhausted, so U.S. District Judge Amos Mazzant lacked jurisdiction when he blocked the suspension.

Questioned closely by the appeals panel, players association attorney Jeffrey Kessler insisted that the suit was properly before Mazzant, with all but the ruling pending.

“You don’t have to wait to be run over,” he told the judges.

Also at issue was whether the NFL would be “irreparably harmed” by a court-imposed delay in its disciplinary decision, or whether it would be Elliott who would suffer irreparable harm if forced to immediately serve the suspension.

Elliott led the NFL with 1,631 yards rushing. He has 277 yards through four games this season. He has another 118 yards receiving and three touchdowns.

NFL: Goodell aware of dissent before suspending Elliott

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell was aware that one of his lead investigators believed Ezekiel Elliott shouldn't be disciplined before the Dallas running back was suspended for six games in a domestic violence case, league spokesman Brian McCarthy said Friday.

McCarthy disputed a key claim in a lawsuit filed by the players' union on behalf of Elliott seeking to vacate an upcoming ruling on an appeal. McCarthy says Goodell knew of investigator Kia Roberts' contention that Elliott's accuser wasn't credible before deciding to suspend Elliott.

"That Kia Roberts' information was not provided to others, that's categorically false," McCarthy said. "Her views were represented. The commissioner was aware of her views, aware of many other people's views."

Elliott, the NFL's 2016 rushing leader as a rookie, was suspended after the league concluded he used physical force last summer against Tiffany Thompson, his girlfriend at the time.

Arbitrator Harold Henderson, appointed by Goodell, is expected to rule on Elliott's appeal soon. Attorneys for the 22-year-old and the players' union said in a request for a temporary restraining order filed Friday that they believe Henderson will reject the appeal.

If Henderson affirms any part of the suspension, Elliott will need U.S. District Judge Amos Mazzant to grant the restraining order to be eligible for the opener Sept. 10 against the New York Giants. The first hearing is set for Tuesday in Sherman, Texas, about 65 miles north of Dallas.

Prosecutors in Columbus, Ohio, where Elliott starred for Ohio State, cited conflicting evident in not pursuing the case, but the NFL investigated for more than a year.

According to the letter Elliott received informing him of the suspension three weeks ago, the NFL believed he used "physical force" three times in a span of five days in an apartment in July 2016, resulting in injuries to Thompson's face, neck, shoulders, arms, hands, wrists, hips and knees.

Elliott denied Thompson's allegations under oath in an appeal hearing that spanned three days. The hearing ended Thursday, about 12 hours before the lawsuit was filed.

The lawsuit says the NFL's appeals process is "fundamentally unfair" because Henderson denied a request by Elliott's representatives to have Thompson testify.

The suit accuses NFL special counsel Lisa Friel of withholding information from Goodell and four experts who advised the commissioner before his ruling, and says Henderson erred in not compelling Goodell to testify at the appeal.

"Not only did the underlying facts not support the false allegations made against Mr. Elliott, but the process in which they were gathered and adjudicated were fundamentally unfair," Elliott attorney Frank Salzano said Friday.

Players’ Union Sues N.F.L. Over Ezekiel Elliott Case

The N.F.L. players’ union is suing the league on behalf of Ezekiel Elliott, seeking to vacate the upcoming ruling of an arbitrator over Elliott’s six-game suspension in a domestic violence case.

The lawsuit was filed late Thursday night in federal court in Texas. It accuses the N.F.L.’s appeal process of being “fundamentally unfair” because the arbitrator, Harold Henderson, denied attempts by Elliott’s lawyers to have his ex-girlfriend testify at a hearing that wrapped up earlier Thursday.

Henderson is supposed to rule on the league’s decision to suspend Elliott, the Dallas Cowboys’ star second-year running back, “as soon as practicable,” according to the labor agreement. But the lawsuit seeks to pre-empt Henderson’s ruling.

Elliott, the N.F.L.’s rushing leader as a rookie last season, was suspended after the league concluded he used physical force last summer in Ohio against Tiffany Thompson, his girlfriend at the time. Prosecutors did not pursue the case, citing conflicting evidence. Elliott has denied the allegations.

NFL seeks dismissal of Elliott’s challenge to 6-game ban

 The NFL is asking a federal court to toss a request from Ezekiel Elliott’s legal team for a temporary restraining order that would prevent the league from enforcing a suspension of the Dallas running back over a domestic violence case.

The filing Monday night said the request on Elliott’s behalf was invalid because it was asking the court to stop a ruling from Harold Henderson before the arbitrator had even made a decision on an appeal of the six-game suspension for last year’s NFL rushing leader.

Elliott was suspended when the NFL concluded after a yearlong investigation that Elliott had several physical altercations with his girlfriend at the time last summer in Ohio. Prosecutors declined to pursue the case, citing conflicting evidence. Elliott has denied wrongdoing.

The NFL filed a response to the request for a restraining order and a motion to dismiss in federal court in Sherman, Texas, about 65 miles north of Dallas. Both filings made similar arguments, including that the NFL Players’ Association was trying “to beat the National Football League to the courthouse in a race that has not even begun.”

Cowboys fan Christie praises team’s protest before anthem

Devoted Dallas Cowboys fan Chris Christie says how the team handled its protest around the national anthem was “perfect.”

The Republican New Jersey governor addressed the controversy Friday at an unrelated news conference in Trenton. He says he respects players’ right to protest but thinks it’s “disrespectful” not to stand during “The Star-Spangled Banner.”

Dallas players and owner Jerry Jones kneeled and locked arms before the anthem Monday night in Arizona and then stood for the anthem.

President Donald Trump spent days lashing out at players who kneel, a practice that started with a handful of players to protest police brutality and racial injustice.

Christie says he wouldn’t have spent as much time on the issue as Trump has.

Rib injury will test Packers’ RB Ty Montgomery

Packers running back Ty Montgomery will prepare this week as if he will play on Sunday against the Dallas Cowboys.

His broken ribs might keep him out, though.

On the first play of the Packers’ 35-14 victory over the Chicago Bears on Thursday night, Montgomery gained 5 yards before being tackled by linebacker Danny Trevathan. As Montgomery and Trevathan hit the turf, defensive lineman Akiem Hicks fell on Trevathan’s knee.

“His knee was kind of lodged into my ribs, and then the defensive tackle landed full body weight on him,” Montgomery said. “It was like a hammer-and-nail-type situation. His knee was hammered into my ribcage.”

Montgomery stayed in the game and carried the ball four times in the next five plays before leaving the game.

“I’m going into this week as if I’m going to play,” Montgomery said on Tuesday.

Packers receiver Jordy Nelson suffered broken ribs in last season’s wild-card game victory over the New York Giants. Nelson missed the divisional round victory at Dallas the following week, but returned for the NFC championship game against Atlanta wearing a flak jacket under his jersey.

Montgomery, who leads the team in rushing and is second in receptions, said he hasn’t talked to Nelson yet. He’ll also be talking to the training staff about wearing anything that could provide some protection.

“I’m not willing to risk my overall long-term health,” he added. “But, at the end of the day, it’s going to be up to me.”

Before Thursday night, Montgomery had never played with broken ribs, though it’s not his first time with broken ribs. During the third quarter of the NFC title game loss to Atlanta, Montgomery was knocked out with a rib injury following a hard hit to the left side by Atlanta Falcons safety Keanu Neal.

The Packers lost Montgomery and fourth-round rookie Jamaal Williams during the first half of the Chicago game, with Williams leaving with a knee injury.

In their place, fifth-round rookie Aaron Jones gained a team-high 49 yards on the first 13 carries of his career. The other running back on the roster is rookie seventh-round pick Devante Mays, who doesn’t have an NFL carry.

Rams getting kick out of 3-1 start, want to keep it rolling

Greg The Leg didn’t need any long kicks to beat the Dallas Cowboys. Just seven steady swings.

Now the Los Angeles Rams will see if they can build on a 3-1 start after failing badly at it a year ago.

Greg Zuerlein kicked a career-high seven field goals — all from 49 yards or closer — and Todd Gurley had a 53-yard catch-and-run touchdown among 215 total yards in a 35-30 victory on Sunday.

One of just two kickers with two field goals of 60 yards or longer in his career, Zuerlein didn’t need one beyond 43 yards to help the Rams score on five straight possessions in the second half after trailing by 11 points in the second quarter.

The sixth-year pro, with a career success rate of 81 percent, matched his season total coming in and has made all 14 kicks this season.

“He’s Mr. Automatic,” coach Sean McVay said.

And that’s something second-year quarterback Jared Goff is thinking about as the Rams approach the goal line. After last year’s No. 1 overall pick lost the first seven starts of his career to finish last season, Goff has seven touchdowns with one interception this year.

Settling for field goals was good enough to put the Rams in position for the lead on Gurley’s long TD catch. And it was good enough in the fourth quarter, when Zuerlein hit his final three and the Rams stopped the Cowboys in the final minute when Dallas had to get a touchdown.

“For the most part when we get inside the 30, the first thing I think about is that I got points,” said Goff, who threw for 255 yards and two touchdowns. “I got points. Don’t be careless with it. Greg is absolute nails.”

The Rams started 3-1 last year but went 1-11 the rest of the way as coach Jeff Fisher was fired.

McVay’s offense is showing some staying power, with 121 yards rushing and 94 receiving from Gurley and the same kind of balance Dallas showed while going 13-3 for the top seed in the NFC last season.

Seattle, with three NFC West titles the past four years, visits Los Angeles on Sunday after two straight road wins by the Rams.

“Big. To finish this quarter 3-1 and having them be with big road wins with our defense on the field needing to make a stop and they do,” Goff said. “It’s been a lot of fun so far and we look to continue it.”

Things to consider as the Rams kept the Cowboys from winning a series-best fourth straight against them:

DUAL-THREAT GURLEY: Gurley joined Hall of Famers Jim Brown (1958, 1963) and Emmitt Smith (1995) as the only NFL players with at least 575 scrimmage yards and seven touchdowns in the first four games. Gurley is up to 596 total yards and seven touchdowns. He started the weekend tied with Kansas City rookie Kareem Hunt for the NFL lead with six TDs.

BACK IN COURT: Ezekiel Elliott, last year’s NFL rushing leader, had his third straight sub-100 game with 85 yards on 21 carries but did have two touchdowns. He matched the longest such drought from his rookie season and now waits to see what happens Monday.

That’s when a federal appeals court hears arguments over the NFL’s emergency request to lift the injunction that blocked a six-game suspension over a domestic case in Ohio. A ruling could some soon.

GOFF’S GROWTH: The throw to Gurley on the 53-yard score was perfect, and he led a clock-killing drive to Zuerlein’s final field goal after the Cowboys scored quickly to get within 32-30 midway through the fourth quarter. “His blood pressure never raises and I think he’s a special player,” McVay said.

FLIP THE SCRIPT: The Cowboys stressed getting off to a better start after a sluggish first half in two straight games. Now they’re going to have to talk about finishing better. Dallas had three punts and a turnover in the first four possessions of the second half after scoring on all four drives before halftime.

Green Bay, which beat the top-seeded Cowboys in a divisional playoff last season, visits Sunday. “We always say when we come out in the second half that it’s zero-zero,” Elliott said. “We’ve got to come out there like it’s a new game.”

Cowboys' defensive shuffle likely to continue vs Packers

Dallas linebacker Anthony Hitchens practiced fully for the first time this season coming off a knee injury on the same day Charles Tapper broke a foot, likely the start of a lengthy absence for the defensive end.

Pass rusher David Irving is ready after serving a four-game suspension, two weeks removed from fellow defensive lineman Damontre Moore rejoining the team following a two-game ban.

Injuries and suspensions have meant little continuity for a unit that has been up and down through four games, and now looking at a few more changes going into a visit from Green Bay and Aaron Rodgers.

"That's always something that's important, for guys to have the opportunity to get to play with each other and know each other that much better on the field," linebacker Justin Durant said. "I'm not going to use that as an excuse. You've got to know what you're supposed to do and make the calls and play with whoever we have."

All-Pro linebacker Sean Lee missed the 35-30 loss to the Los Angeles Rams with a hamstring injury, and the Cowboys (2-2) are optimistic he can play Sunday against the Packers (3-1) even though he missed practice Wednesday.

If Lee returns, he'll be the second veteran to miss one game with an injury. Cornerback Orlando Scandrick broke a hand in the opener and was sidelined for a blowout loss in Denver.

The defense had another slow start the next week in Arizona, then was strong in the second half of a 28-17 win. The opposite was in play against the Rams — good first half, bad second half , as in five straight scoring possessions for LA.

Hitchens had to watch the first four games after breaking a bone in his right knee in a preseason game. The fourth-year middle linebacker returned to practice last week.

"Every game there's one or two plays where a couple of guys are messing up," Hitchens said . "We've shown different spurts of playing first quarter, third quarter. But we've got to play a full four quarters if we want to win in this league."

If Hitchens returns, Jaylon Smith probably won't play every defensive snap, which he did for the first time in his career against the Rams. Smith is in his second season but missed his rookie year recovering a knee injury sustained in his final game at Notre Dame.

Through four games, Smith has been one of five first- or second-year players to see significant roles at some point. That includes rookie cornerbacks Chidobe Awuzie and Jourdan Lewis. Both were plagued by hamstring issues in training camp, with Lewis missing the opener and Awuzie the past two games after aggravating his injury.

"Looking at the age, it's going to be some ups and downs," Durant said. "It's probably the youngest defense I've seen in a long time, a bunch of young guys with major roles. But they're playing well. They're getting better."

Safeties Byron Jones and Jeff Heath are among the most experienced players in the Dallas secondary, along with Scandrick. But both are first-time starters, and Heath missed a tackle on running back Todd Gurley's 53-yard touchdown catch that put the Rams ahead for good after trailing by 11 in the first half.

"We've all been here since the spring," Hitchens said. "We haven't added new guys. We lost a couple of guys. Since spring, everyone knows the defense. There shouldn't be excuses about who's in and who's not. We all know our jobs. We just need to do it for four quarters."

NOTES: Tapper, who missed his rookie season with a back injury, broke his right foot during practice Wednesday. He was in a walking boot in the locker room and could need surgery. ... Pro Bowl LT Tyron Smith was new to the injury report Wednesday, listed as limited because of back issues. He battled back problems last year and in camp this year. ... CB Nolan Carroll (concussion) was a full participant.

Packers-Cowboys: a great NFL rivalry is renewed Sunday

From Lombardi and Landry through Reggie and Brett, Troy and Emmitt.

From the tundra of Lambeau to the gap in the Texas Stadium roof to Jerry's palace.

Packers-Cowboys has been one of the NFL's most entertaining and meaningful rivalries for decades. Whether it was the Ice Bowl or A-Rod's impromptu pass to Jared Cook, people (and players and coaches) remember these matchups.

They'll be back at it on Sunday when Green Bay (3-1) visits Dallas (2-2).

"Ahhh, yeah," says Packers receiver Jordy Nelson, who leads the league with five TD catches. "It's a good conversation, for the fans. There's a lot of history there in the past, and I think we've had a lot of history just recently, too, and we played them, I think in my 10 years nine times or so, eight times.

"And so it's just some big games; big games and some incredible finishes. Hopefully, there's another one."

For anyone who really could forget it, this is a rematch of the Packers' 34-31 divisional playoff win in January when Aaron Rodgers completed a 35-yard pass to Jared Cook on third-and-20 with 3 seconds left. That set up Mason Crosby's 51-yard field goal as time expired.

Cowboys tight end Jason Witten recognizes why the Packers are so formidable, especially for Dallas.

"I just think the entire organization, what they've built, starts with Aaron Rodgers and the way he plays," Witten says. "I think we have so much respect for their defense, Clay Matthews and the way they attack as a football team. They're a blueprint in a lot of ways, and more than anything they've played well at critical times throughout the last seven, eight, 10 years."

The week's action began with New England's 19-14 victory at Tampa Bay.

Tom Brady threw for 303 yards and one touchdown, and New England's porous defense showed signs of improvement. The Super Bowl champion Patriot (3-2) rebounded from a last-second loss to Carolina, despite Brady turning the ball over twice — on his first interception in eight regular-season games and a fumble on one of Tampa Bay's three sacks. Neither of the mistakes led to points for Tampa Bay (2-2), which was unable to do much offensively until the fourth quarter.

Off this week are Washington (2-2), New Orleans (2-2), Atlanta (3-1) and Denver (3-1)

Seattle (2-2) at Los Angeles Rams (3-1)

Key game in the NFC West as the Rams, whose offense has been sizzling behind running back Todd Gurley and a rapidly improving QB Jared Goff, can establish their credentials against the division boss, Seattle. Gurley is back in 2015 Offensive Rookie of the Year form, gaining 215 yards from scrimmage in a win at Dallas. He has 596 yards rushing/receiving, second-highest total in the NFL to Chiefs rookie Kareem Hunt.

The Seahawks also have come alive on offense, gaining 910 yards overall in losing at Tennessee and beating Indianapolis at home. But rookie sensation RB Chris Carson broke his leg and is on injured reserve.

Kansas City (4-0) at Houston (2-2)

Unless the Texans lay an egg as they did against Jacksonville in the opener, they should provide a strong test for the league's only unbeaten squad. Kansas City has won 26 of its past 30 regular-season games, but never looked as good as now, with Andy Reid's offense humming behind Hunt and quarterback Alex Smith. Get this: The Chiefs have not committed a turnover since their first offensive play from scrimmage in Week 1, Hunt's fumble on his initial NFL carry. He's made up for it big time.

Houston has come on defensively even without J.J. Watt being the major force. Watt does not have a sack, but he has 4½ sacks, a forced fumble and fumble return combined in his past three meetings with KC.

Besides, DE Jadeveon Clowney has had three sacks, a forced fumble and fumble return for a touchdown in the past two games combined.

Carolina (3-1) at Detroit (3-1)

Cam Newton got himself in hot water off the field with his snide remark to a female reporter, hardly the kind of spotlight the Panthers need against Detroit. These should be bright days in Charlotte after Newton won a franchise-record 54th game last week at the Patriots. Newton was 22 for 29 for 316 yards with three TDs, one interception, and he ran for a score to extend the NFL QB record with 50 rushing TDs.

The Lions are an officiating review that overruled a last-minute touchdown away from being unbeaten. They lead the league with 11 takeaways and seven interceptions. Carolina is a minus-5, with Newton being picked off that many times.

The Panthers do have Julius Peppers back plaguing quarterbacks. Matthew Stafford knows the 37-year-old pass rusher all too well.

"He looks like the Julius Peppers I've played against my entire career," Stafford says. "Obviously still extremely big and athletic, a ton of veteran savvy now, and he's playing really well. Getting in the backfield, disrupting loose plays, getting after the quarterback, doing it all."

Arizona (2-2) at Philadelphia (3-1)

The Eagles haven't been doing it all — they rank 30th against the pass — yet they're atop the NFC's tough East division. In the clutch, Philly comes through, whether it's stopping the run (second overall) or finding balance with the ball. The Eagles have scored 20-plus points in eight consecutive games, the longest current streak in the NFL.

Arizona has taken four of the past five meetings, but these Cardinals are banged-up and can't run the ball. Carson Palmer and Larry Fitzgerald will be needed in a major way Sunday.

Jacksonville (2-2) at Pittsburgh (3-1)

Is there a more up-and-down bunch than the Jaguars? They romp in wins over Houston and Baltimore. They are inconsistent and at times inept, in losses to the Titans and Jets.

What the Jaguars can do is rush the passer (NFL-high 18 sacks) and force turnovers. Their 10 so far are only three fewer than all of last season.

It appears Antonio Brown and Ben Roethlisberger have made nice after the receiver's sideline tantrum in the victory at Baltimore. Brown may not think he gets enough looks, but he's second in the league in receptions (30) and yards receiving (388).

Buffalo (3-1) at Cincinnati (1-3)

Defense has been the key to Buffalo's surprising start and first-place standing in the AFC East. The Bills have held all four opponents to 17 or fewer points, a franchise record to start a season. Only once have they yielded 300 yards so far.

They could be tested by A.J. Green. The receiver has 15 catches for 174 yards and two TDs with new offensive coordinator Bill Lazor calling plays the past two games.

Minnesota (2-2) at Chicago (1-3), Monday night

Fans might be changing their viewing plans for what previously seemed a not-so-prime-time matchup.

With the Bears starting second overall draft choice Mitch Trubisky at quarterback for the ineffective Mike Glennon, it might be worth tuning in.

Minnesota doesn't exactly like Illinois, where it has dropped 14 of its past 16 road games, including one in Champaign. With outstanding rookie RB Dalvin Cook tearing the ACL in his left knee last week, Latavius Murray will get plenty of work, but he's still not 100 percent after being limited through training camp following right ankle surgery.

Tennessee (2-2) at Miami (1-2)

The Dolphins finally get a real home game. They haven't played at Hard Rock Stadium since Aug. 17, with Hurricane Irma forcing postponement of the opener. And they haven't played very well on the road, scoring a total of six points in the past two weeks. Their offense ranks dead last.

But Miami could get a break because Titans QB Marcus Mariota left last week's debacle in Houston with a hamstring problem. Matt Cassel is the unremarkable backup.

Baltimore (2-2) at Oakland (2-2)

Two weeks ago, these teams were undefeated. Then the Ravens' offense disappeared — the defense remains formidable — and the Raiders began getting hurt. In particular, quarterback Derek Carr damaged his back and will be replaced by E.J. Manuel this Sunday. Manuel must get better results on third downs: Oakland went 2 for 23 in the losses.

Takeaways could allow one team to, uh, take away the win. Baltimore leads the NFL with nine picks; Oakland has none. But the Ravens also have turned over the ball nine times.

New York Jets (2-2) at Cleveland (0-4)

OK, raise your hand if you thought the Jets would win two games this season, let alone in the opening month. Unless you work in Florham Park, New Jersey, and wear green jerseys on Sundays, we don't believe you.

Yet there they are, following up two road defeats with a pair of home victories over Florida teams. It seems unfathomable, but a victory at Cleveland could put the Jets on top of the division.

The Browns went 1-15 in 2016, winning in Game 15. For all the rebuilding and optimism, they appear to have regressed. Getting routed at home by previously winless Cincinnati was ugly.

Los Angeles Chargers (0-4) at New York Giants (0-4)

The 2004 draft's first round produced Eli Manning and Philip Rivers. Both have impressive — some would say Hall of Fame — credentials.

This is only the third time they have faced off, and the Chargers have won the past three meetings, including 2005 with Rivers sitting behind Drew Brees. At least the Chargers get to play in front of a big crowd for once.

San Francisco (0-4) at Indianapolis (1-3)

Good news out of Indy: Andrew Luck is practicing.

Bad news out of Indy: Luck is doing very limited work and there's no projection on when he can take the field in a game.

Good news out of San Fran ... hold on, we're still searching.

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