The Latest from Week 10 of the NFL (all times EST):
Austin Ekeler gave the Los Angeles Chargers their first lead and accomplished a milestone of his own against the Minnesota Vikings.
Ekeler caught a 2-yard TD pass from Justin Herbert on the opening drive of the second half to put the Bolts on top 17-13. That was also the 20th receiving score of Ekeler's five-year career, making him the youngest running back in the common draft era (since 1967) to reach that mark. He is 26 years, 181 days old.
That was also the 50th TD pass of Herbert's career. He is the fourth player to reach that mark within the first 24 games of his career.
The return of Aaron Rodgers and Russell Wilson has been quite the dud for both teams on offense.
The Green Bay Packers are outgaining the Seattle Seahawks 201-86, but they lead only 3-0 at halftime. They had three possessions inside Seattle's 35-yard line but only a 27-yard field goal by Mason Crosby to show for it.
Crosby missed a 42-yard field goal earlier, and the Packers turned the ball over on downs at the 34 late in the second quarter.
Wilson is 8 of 13 for just 66 yards for the Seahawks and has been sacked twice as he returns after missing three games due to a finger injury.
Rodgers is 14 of 23 for 160 yards for the Packers as he comes back after missing a 13-7 loss at Kansas City last week due to a positive COVID-19 test.
Chargers rookie Larry Rountree celebrated his first NFL touchdown in style.
Rountree dove from a yard out to get Los Angeles within 13-10 of Minnesota late in the second quarter. Once he crossed the goal line, the sixth-round pick performed a mixture of breakdance and Hall of Famer Ray Lewis' famous pregame routine.
The touchdown culminated an eight-play, 75-yard possession. The key play of the series was a 35-yard defensive pass interference penalty on Minnesota's Mackensie Alexander that moved the ball to the Vikings' 20.
The Vikings went up 13-3 on a touchdown pass from Kirk Cousins to Tyler Conklin after taking over at the Chargers' 31 following a diving interception by Eric Kendricks.
The Vikings had only three points off turnovers over their previous two games.
Round one of rookies out of Alabama matching up went to DeVonta Smith.
The Philadelphia Eagles receiver made a leaping catch for a 36-yard touchdown over former Crimson Tide teammate and current Denver Broncos cornerback Pat Surtain II. The highlight came on Smith's 23rd birthday, no less.
Smith held on as he fell to the ground late in the first quarter. He then high-kneed his way back up the field in celebration. Smith's touchdown gave the Eagles a 10-0 lead.
Surtain was taken ninth overall by Denver in the 2021 NFL draft and Smith a pick later by Philly.
Green Bay's Aaron Rodgers and Seattle's Russell Wilson are both struggling to move the ball early as each returns to action after missing time.
Rodgers went 5 of 8 for 63 yards and Wilson was 3 of 5 for 12 yards in a scoreless first quarter. The best scoring chance came on the opening series of the game, which ended with Green Bay's Mason Crosby sending a 42-yard field-goal attempt wide right.
Each team went three-and-out on two first-quarter possessions.
Rodgers sat out a 13-7 loss at Kansas City last week after testing positive for COVID-19. Wilson missed three games to recover from surgery to the middle finger of his throwing hand.
The Detroit Lions are still winless. They didn't lose this week, though, after finishing their game in Pittsburgh in a 16-all draw. That was the first tie in the NFL this season.
The Lions had the ball four times in overtime but did not score. Ryan Santoso missed a 48-yard field goal. He also missed an extra point in the third quarter that would have given the Lions the win.
Jack Fox punted 10 times for 464 yards for the Lions, including two in overtime.
The Lions are 0-8-1. The Steelers are 5-3-1.
The struggles of the Green Bay Packers' kicking unit continue.
Mason Crosby sent a 42-yard field-goal attempt wide right to end the opening series of the Packers' game with the Seattle Seahawks.
After making a franchise-record 27 straight field-goal attempts, Crosby has missed seven of his last 11. Crosby hasn't been solely to blame for all these misses, which include two drops. On some of them, the laces have been pointed in the wrong direction.
Green Bay is working with a new holder this season since Corey Bojorquez replaced JK Scott as the team's main punter. Steven Wirtel is in his second game as the Packers' main long snapper after taking over for Hunter Bradley.
Aaron Rodgers was 3 of 4 for 53 yards on that opening drive with a 41-yard completion to Marquez Valdes-Scantling. Rodgers is making his return after missing a 13-7 loss at Kansas City due to a positive COVID-19 test.
Cam Newton is scoring touchdowns and earning penalties in his second debut with the Carolina Panthers.
The quarterback – who was signed earlier this week – ran for a 2-yard touchdown on the team's first drive to give the Panthers a 7-0 lead. After the play, he was called for an unsportsmanlike penalty.
The 32-year-old Newton spent his best seasons with the Panthers, earning the 2015 NFL MVP award, before joining the Patriots in 2020.
He was released by the Patriots during the preseason and hadn't played until the Panthers signed him to a one-year deal this week. Carolina was in need of another quarterback after the team learned Sam Darnold would miss several weeks with a shoulder injury.
P.J. Walker started the game under center for the Panthers before Newton entered in the goalline situation.
Indianapolis Colts running back Jonathan Taylor extended his streak of consecutive games with a touchdown to seven.
Taylor finished with 116 rushing yards in a 23-17 win by the Colts over Jacksonville to match Derrick Henry for the NFL lead.
Taylor has seven straight games with 100 yards from scrimmage. Only three other players in the Super Bowl era have had equally long streaks in both categories.
Cleveland Browns cornerback Troy Hill was taken off the field strapped to a stretcher after he appeared to bang his head trying to stop Jakobi Meyers from scoring in the fourth quarter of Sunday's game.
Hill remained on the field for several minutes while being tended to by the team's medical staff. He was moving his hands while he was wheeled off the field.
Meyers scored to give New England a 45-7 lead with about four minutes remaining.
The Browns had already lost quarterback Baker Mayfield to a right knee injury in the third quarter.
The Green Bay Packers have announced that quarterback Aaron Rodgers' postgame media session will be conducted via Zoom rather than in person.
The NFL fined the Packers $300,000 this week for violations of league and players' association protocols. The unvaccinated Rodgers hadn't been wearing a mask for his press conferences, which was part of the punishment.
Rodgers was activated from the reserve/COVID-19 list Saturday, making him available to start Sunday's game against the Seattle Seahawks. A positive COVID-19 test prevented Rodgers from playing last week in a 13-7 loss at Kansas City that snapped the Packers' seven-game winning streak.
Mark Ingram has become the New Orleans Saints' all-time rushing leader.
Ingram passed Deuce McAllister's franchise mark of 6,096 yards that had been the record since 2008. The three-time Pro Bowl running back is in his second stint with the Saints.
The 11-year veteran spent the first nine seasons of his career with New Orleans. He played with Baltimore the last two seasons and started this season with Houston before being traded to the Saints. This is his third game back with the Saints.
Ingram passed McAllister with his ninth carry of the game, a 6-yarder midway through the third quarter.
The Pittsburgh Steelers are getting banged up during a tight battle with Detroit.
Star linebacker T.J. Watt joined a growing injured list late in the third quarter when he appeared to tweak his left knee while sacking Detroit's Jared Goff.
The Steelers lost cornerback Joe Haden and starting offensive linemen Kevin Dotson and Trai Turner earlier in the game.
Watt, whose sack of Goff gave him 12 1/2 on the season, immediately went to the medical tent to be evaluated.
The winless Lions held a 16-13 lead going into the fourth quarter.
Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield limped off the field in Sunday's game against the New England Patriots after a taking a pair of hits in the pocket in the third quarter.
Mayfield stayed in the game after he was body-slammed to the turf by Deatrich Wise late in the third, a play that drew a roughing the passer penalty. Two plays later, Matthew Judon crunched into Mayfield's midsection, and the QB was slow to get up.
After a few minutes, he left the game and was replaced by Case Keenum, who was sacked on back-to-back plays.
Mayfield was 11 for 21 for 73 yards, one touchdown and one interception in the game. The Patriots held a 31-7 lead at the time of his injury.
Judon also put Jets quarterback Zach Wilson out of the game with a knee injury Week 7. He has not returned since.
Broncos quarterback Teddy Bridgewater has passed his COVID-19 test and is set to start against the Philadelphia Eagles this afternoon.
Bridgewater and No. 3 quarterback Brett Rypien have had to take daily coronavirus tests because they were close contacts to backup QB Drew Lock, who was infected with the virus a week ago.
Lock is among four Broncos players who are on the reserve/COVID-19 list along with offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur. Quarterbacks coach Mike Shula will call the plays against the Eagles at Empower Field at Mile High.
In Green Bay, quarterback Aaron Rodgers is back from his one-game absence due to COVID-19. The Packers host Seattle. The Seahawks have quarterback Russell Wilson returning from a finger injury that kept him out of the last three games.
Arizona quarterback Kyler Murray and receiver DeAndre Hopkins will both miss a second straight game when the Cardinals host the Carolina Panthers.
Murray has been bothered by an ankle injury while Hopkins has been slowed by a bum hamstring. Murray practiced some earlier this week, but coach Kliff Kingsbury said the third-year quarterback wouldn't play unless he was mobile enough to protect himself in the pocket.
The Cardinals were fine without the playmaking pair against the San Francisco 49ers last week, beating them 31-17 to improve to 8-1 for the season.
Backup Colt McCoy was excellent against the 49ers, completing 22 of 26 passes for 249 yards and a touchdown. The 35-year-old will be needed again against the Panthers.
Also missing from the late afternoon games are five defensive starters for the Minnesota Vikings in Los Angeles against the Chargers. Safety Harrison Smith is one of six players on the COVID-19 reserve list, along with starting center Garrett Bradbury.
Defensive tackle Michael Pierce, defensive end Danielle Hunter, linebacker Anthony Barr and cornerback Patrick Peterson are also out. Pierce joined Hunter and Peterson on injured reserve this week. Barr is out with a knee injury.
Smith and Bradbury are out for the second straight game. Pierce is out for the fifth straight game. Hunter is out for the season after getting hurt two weeks ago. Peterson is out for the third straight game, with a chance to return next week. Barr, who played all 98 snaps on defense last week, will miss a fifth game this year.
Things are going right for the Dallas Cowboys in some of the same ways they went wrong a week ago.
Dallas leads Atlanta 36-3 at halftime after scoring on a blocked punt in the final minute of the second quarter. Dorance Armstrong made the one-armed block coming up the middle on Dustin Colquitt. Nahshon Wright recovered in the end zone with 37 seconds remaining.
Wright was at the center of a blocked punt gone awry in last week's 30-16 loss to Denver that ended a six-game winning streak. Unlike against the Falcons, the ball went forward and past the line of scrimmage. When Wright touched but didn't secure the loose ball, it became live again. The Broncos recovered to retain possession and drove to a field goal on the way to a 30-0 lead.
It was the second blocked punt for a touchdown of the day. Indianapolis had one against Jacksonville. It was the first blocked punt for a score for the Cowboys in six years, and gave them the highest-scoring quarter in franchise history at 29 points.
The Dallas offense is looking more like the NFL's No. 1 unit again after getting shut out until two meaningless late touchdowns against Denver. CeeDee Lamb has two touchdowns and 94 yards receiving, his most yards in the first half in his two-year career.
The Falcons then had too many men on the field for the extra point, and the Cowboys elected to try the 2-point conversion from the 1. Ezekiel Elliott, who had two touchdowns before halftime, got the 2-pointer as well.
Washington defensive end Chase Young has limped off the field with help after hurting his right knee in the second quarter against Tampa Bay.
The team said Young would not return to the game.
The reigning NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year crumpled to the ground with what appeared to be a non-contact injury after trying to get past left tackle Donovan Smith on a pass rush.
Young pulled off and threw his helmet while down on the field before he was checked on by team trainers.
A cart was driven out onto the grass, but Young did not get on it. Instead, he motioned for right guard Brandon Scherff to give him a hand to help stand up.
A wincing Young then headed toward the locker room, draping his arms on the shoulders of two people while walking with a hitch.
Young has 1 1/2 sacks this season. He had 7 1/2 last season.
Washington's other starting defensive end, Montez Sweat, went on injured reserve this week with a broken jaw.
Tom Terrific has been anything but so far against Washington as Tampa Bay comes off its bye week.
Tom Brady is already up to two interceptions Sunday. That's only the third time in his career he's had that many in the first quarter of a game, including the playoffs.
He came into this game having been picked off a total of only five times all season.
The Bucs QB was intercepted twice in a loss to New Orleans in the Super Bowl champs' last game, two weeks ago, and he has three picks in a seven-pass span.
On Sunday, cornerback William Jackson III grabbed a pass after it went off Tampa Bay rookie receiver Jaelon Darden. That set up Washington at Tampa Bay's 28 and led to a field goal by new kicker Joey Slye.
Brady's second interception was pulled in by Bobby McCain when a pass went straight to him. It appeared that Brady and his nearest receiver, Mike Evans, were not on the same page on the play.
That was followed by a 10-play, 46-yard drive that ended with Taylor Heinicke's 20-yard TD pass to DeAndre Carter to put Washington ahead 13-0 early in the second quarter.
Mason Rudolph didn't take long to get comfortable in his a spot start for Pittsburgh after Ben Roethlisberger was placed on the COVID-19 list.
Rudolph led the Steelers crisply down the field on their opening drive against winless Detroit. He ended it with a 9-yard touchdown pass to James Washington, who starred alongside Rudolph at Oklahoma State before being drafted by Pittsburgh.
Rudolph didn't know he was starting until less than 24 hours before kickoff when Roethlisberger went on the COVID-19 list. Rudolph is 5-4 as a starter with Pittsburgh.
The Indianapolis Colts are off to a strong start thanks to their special teams.
Zaire Franklin blocked Jacksonville's punt in the first quarter, and the ball was picked up by E.J. Speed at the 12-yard line and run in for a touchdown.
Jonathan Taylor, who is closing in on the NFL rushing lead with Tennessee star Derrick Henry sidelined, followed with a score on the next drive to put the Colts up 17-0.
The Tennessee Titans will be without outside linebacker Bud Dupree for the rest of the game against the New Orleans Saints.
Dupree went to the locker room after the Titans' opening defensive series. The Titans announced he'll miss the rest of the game with an abdominal issue.
The linebacker was Tennessee's biggest free agent signee in March. Dupree has been limited to six games before Sunday recovering from the ACL he tore last December while with Pittsburgh. He has one sack so far this season.
Tennessee already has two sacks against Trevor Siemian in the first quarter of a scoreless game.
Cornerback Richard Sherman is a late scratch for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers against Washington. He hurt his calf during pregame warmups.
This is the third game in a row missed by Sherman, who previously was sidelined with a bad hamstring.
He last played in a victory over Philadelphia on Oct. 14.
The reigning Super Bowl champion Bucs are 6-2 heading into the matchup at Washington, which is 2-6. Tampa Bay beat Washington in the playoffs last season.
Dallas defensive coordinator Dan Quinn is set to face the team that fired him after five games last year with Atlanta visiting the Cowboys.
Quinn does a pregame workout by running the stairs in the lower level at AT&T Stadium. While walking the field after his workout, Quinn stopped several times to chat with members of the Falcons' staff. He also visited with owner Arthur Blank and quarterback Matt Ryan.
Atlanta reached the Super Bowl during the 2016 season under Quinn. The Falcons infamously lost to New England 34-28 in overtime after leading 28-3 in the third quarter in Houston.
Quinn was in his sixth season with the Falcons last year when he was fired after an 0-5 start. Atlanta became the first team to lose consecutive games after leading by at least 15 points in the fourth quarter. One of those losses was at the Cowboys. Dallas won 40-39 on a field goal on the final play after recovering an onside kick that the Falcons easily could have but let it roll past the 10-yard mark.
The Pittsburgh Steelers are hosting the winless Detroit Lions without quarterback Ben Roethlisberger.
The 39-year-old was placed on the COVID-19 reserve list on Saturday night. Mason Rudolph is set to start for a Steelers team that has won four straight games.
The rest of the lineup of early afternoon kickoffs includes Cleveland at New England, Jacksonville at Indianapolis, Tampa Bay at Washington, Buffalo at the New York Jets, Atlanta at Dallas, and New Orleans at Tennessee.
The Titans placed wide receiver Julio Jones on injured reserve with a hamstring injury on Saturday, further depleting an offense already missing star running back Derrick Henry.
Other prominent players who have been declared inactive this afternoon include Browns running back Nick Chubb (COVID-19), Buccaneers wide receiver Antonio Brown (ankle), Buccaneers tight end Rob Gronkowski (ribs), Saints running back Alvin Kamara (knee), Steelers wide receiver Chase Claypool (toe), Cowboys left tackle Tyron Smith (ankle), Colts cornerback Xavier Rhodes (calf), Patriots tight end Jonnu Smith (shoulder) and Patriots running back Damien Harris (concussion).
The Denver Broncos signed quarterback Danny Etling to their practice squad in case the COVID-19 virus further affects their QBs.
Backup Drew Lock has been on the reserve/COVID-19 list since contracting the virus last weekend.
As close contacts to Lock, starter Teddy Bridgwater and third-stringer Brett Rypien have been taking daily coronavirus tests. If they pass their tests again today, they'll be active for the Broncos' game against the Philadelphia Eagles this afternoon.
If not, Etling would serve as the emergency quarterback. He's a 2018 seventh-round pick out of LSU who has spent time on the practice squads of the Patriots and Falcons.
The Broncos have been dealing with COVID-19 issues for almost three weeks with six players and offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur testing positive.
On Saturday, the Broncos placed outside linebacker Pita Taumoepenu on the Practice Squad/COVID-19 list. — Arnie Stapleton reporting from Denver.
The Buffalo Bills placed defensive tackle Star Lotulelei on the reserve/COVID-19 list a few hours before kickoff of the team's game against the New York Jets at MetLife Stadium.
Defensive tackle Brandin Bryant was elevated from the practice squad to take Lotulelei's place for the game.
Lotulelei has two sacks and 14 tackles in seven games, all starts, this season for the Bills.
The 31-year-old Lotulelei opted out last season because of concerns about the pandemic. He was placed in COVID-19 protocols during training camp after he was deemed to be a close contact, and was activated on Aug. 27.
Bryant, who joined Buffalo's practice squad last year, hasn't played in a regular-season NFL game since 2019 with Cleveland. He was signed by Seattle as an undrafted free agent out of Florida Atlantic in 2016, and has also spent time with the Jets and Miami Dolphins as well as Winnipeg and Montreal of the Canadian Football League. — Dennis Waszak Jr. reporting from East Rutherford, New Jersey.
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Source : https://www.startribune.com/the-latest-ekeler-gives-chargers-lead-on-milestone-td-catch/600116656/4426