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NFL Notebook: Dolphins QB Tannehill (shoulder) is questionable

Sports Xchange
13 Oct 2018, 09:30 GMT+10

In a surprise move, the Miami Dolphins on Friday listed quarterback Ryan Tannehill as questionable for Sunday's home game at Hard Rock Stadium against the Chicago Bears because of a right shoulder injury.

Tannehill was limited in practice on Friday after putting in full practices on Wednesday and Thursday.

What caused the downgrade is unclear, as Tannehill's name or game status didn't come up earlier Friday during head coach Adam Gase's news conference with local reporters, according to team transcripts.

Tannehill absorbed a hard hit on the shoulder last week from a Cincinnati Bengals defensive lineman as he tried to throw a pass in the fourth quarter. The ball popped loose and with ruled a fumble, which resulted in the second of two touchdowns for the Bengals defense.

The injury first occurred on a play in the second quarter against the Oakland Raiders in Week 3, when Tannehill was seen favoring the shoulder after being driven to the ground by Raiders defensive lineman Maurice Hurst, who received a personal foul penalty as a result.

The Dolphins (3-2) are set to face a stout Bears defense, which ranks second in the league in total defense, first against the run, eighth against the pass and second in sacks, and features pass-rushing ace Khalil Mack.

Should Tannehill not play, the Dolphins would turn to backup signal-caller Brock Osweiler, who was 2-0 against the Bears as a member of the Denver Broncos in 2015 and Houston Texans in 2016.

The 6-4, 207-pound Tannehill has completed 85 of 129 passes this season for 972 yards and eight touchdowns with five interceptions.

--Running back Devonta Freeman, who has missed three games this season because of a right knee injury, was ruled out of Sunday's game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers by head coach Dan Quinn.

Freeman has missed practice this week because of a bone contusion in one of his feet and Quinn said that he also is batting a groin injury.

The 5-9, 209-pound Freeman rushed eight times for 32 yards -- including a 20-yard run -- in a loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers last week, and has 14 carries for 68 yards and five receptions for 23 yards in three games this season.

Freeman, a two-time Pro Bowl selection, rushed for 36 yards on six carries in the opener against the Philadelphia Eagles, but sustained the knee injury in that game and missed the next three.

The 26-year-old Freeman has rushed for 3,316 yards and 30 touchdowns in his career.

With Freeman out, the Falcons (1-4) are expected to rely on versatile running back Tevin Coleman, with rookie Smith coming on to spell him after getting off the a solid start in his first season.

Quinn also announced that defensive tackle Grady Jarrett (ankle) and lineman Derrick Shelby (groin) are also out for Sunday against the Buccaneers.

--Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers missed practice on Thursday because of a setback with his ailing left knee.

Rodgers sprained his left knee in a season-opening win over the Chicago Bears, but he said he aggravated the injury in last weekend's loss to the Detroit Lions.

"Yeah, kind of a setback last week," Rodgers told reporters Thursday, according to ESPN. "Just hoping I get back out there tomorrow and have a feel-good Friday and a practice (Saturday) and be good to go -- hopefully back to where I was in Detroit."

Rodgers had been playing with a large knee brace following the injury, but he went to a smaller brace for the first time in the matchup against the Lions.

The two-time NFL Most Valuable Player and six-time Pro Bowl selection said he prefers not to switch back to the bulkier brace for Monday night's game against the visiting San Francisco 49ers.

San Francisco coach Kyle Shanahan said his team knows what to expect from Rodgers despite the condition of his knee.

"He's still the best or is tied for the best on the planet," Shanahan told reporters Thursday. "He always has been. He's the man. I know he's not 100 percent, everyone knows that, but he seems to be a little bit better each week. He's still the best."

--The Kansas Chiefs announced that wide receiver De'Anthony Thomas will be out indefinitely after sustaining a broken right leg during practice on Thursday.

Chiefs trainer Rick Burkholder said that Thomas was injured in a "freak accident, when he was stepped on from behind and suffered a fracture near the same place he suffered a broken bone in the leg during the last game of the 2017 season.

After that injury, Thomas had a rod implanted in the leg during emergency surgery the next day after, but Burkholder said the rod remained in place during the current incident and was not bent.

Burkholder added that indications are that Thomas does not need to have another surgery, but he could go on the Injured Reserve list if the Chiefs believe he will be out for several weeks.

Thomas has three catches for 29 yards and a touchdown and one carry for six yards this season. He's also returned a punt for 48 yards and two kickoffs for 33 yards.

The Chiefs, who play the New England Patriots on Sunday night, are expected to bring either Gehrig Dieter or Josh Crockett from the practice squad to take Thomas' spot on the active roster.

--Carolina Panthers tight end Greg Olsen is expected to be back in the lineup for Sunday's game at the Washington Redskins.

The Panthers officially listed Olsen as questionable for Sunday's game, but coach Ron Rivera expressed confidence that the veteran tight end will be on the field against the Redskins.

Rivera told the Charlotte Observer on Friday that Olsen would have been listed as probable if the league still used such an injury designation.

Olsen practiced fully Thursday for the first time since he suffered a broken right foot in a season-opening 16-8 win over the Dallas Cowboys.

A three-time Pro Bowl selection, Olsen missed nine games last season because of a similar injury to the same foot. However, the screw that was placed in his foot to help the injury heal prevented this break from being as problematic.

Olsen had two catches for 33 yards in the opener before the injury. Last season, he had 17 receptions for 191 yards in just seven games.

Carolina is off to a 3-1 start despite the absence of Olsen.

--Running back Adrian Peterson is among five offensive players listed as questionable by the Washington Redskins for Sunday's game against the Carolina Panthers.

Peterson, who leads the team in rushing with 242 yards and three touchdowns, suffered a dislocated shoulder in Monday night's 43-19 loss at New Orleans. Also dealing with ankle and knee injuries, Peterson was limited to six yards on four carries versus the Saints.

The 33-year-old Peterson, in his first season with the Redskins, had his best game in a Week 3 win over Green Bay, rushing for 120 yards and a pair of touchdowns on 19 carries.

Washington has other injury concerns in the backfield and at the skill positions. Running back Chris Thompson, who is second to Peterson with 100 yards rushing, is questionable with a rib injury.

Thompson also is the team's leading receiver with 26 catches for 200 yards and a touchdown.

The Redskins' top three wide receivers also were listed as questionable. Jamison Crowder and Paul Richardson, who each has 13 catches and one score, are battling ankle and shoulder/knee injuries, respectively. Wideout Josh Doctson missed the last game with a heel injury.

Washington coach Jay Gruden said he expected all of the players to be game-time decisions. The same applies to guard Shawn Lauvao, who is doubtful with a calf injury.

--Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger has been dealing with an elbow injury since the season opener.

Roethlisberger revealed in a radio interview earlier this week that the elbow was affecting him in Sunday's 41-17 victory over the Atlanta Falcons, according to the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.

"The second half, I had a talk with myself and said I had to suck it up and deliver the ball like I need to and force my way through it," Roethlisberger said.

Roethlisberger initially hurt the elbow when he was sacked late in a Week 1 tie against the Cleveland Browns. There were questions as to whether he would be available the following week and Roethlisberger has skipped practice on Wednesdays since.

"We've been dealing with it," Roethlisberger said. "It's something I need to mentally get over in terms of my throwing motion. I've got to keep the arm high to keep the ball driving instead of sailing, that's all."

Roethlisberger pointed out that he has to be mindful of his throwing mechanics due to the injury. He struggled in the first half against the Falcons before throwing a pair of touchdown passes to Antonio Brown in the second half. He had a perfect passer rating of 158.3 after the break.

Pittsburgh (2-2-1) visits AFC North-leading Cincinnati on Sunday before entering its bye. Roethlisberger will be shut down from throwing next week to give the elbow some rest.

The 36-year-old Roethlisberger has thrown for 1,664 yards with 11 touchdowns and six interceptions this season.

--The Cleveland Browns have already won twice as many games as the previous two seasons combined, but running back Duke Johnson wants to be a bigger part of their success.

Johnson has been one of the league's top receiving backs in his first three seasons, but he has seen fewer opportunities during Cleveland's 2-2-1 start.

Carlos Hyde has had the bulk of the work for the Browns out of backfield. Signed as a free agent in the offseason, Hyde has rushed for 348 yards and five touchdowns. Rookie Nick Chubb also is in the mix, although he has received fewer touches than Johnson.

Backup quarterback Tyrod Taylor, who has been supplanted in the starting lineup by rookie Baker Mayfield, huddled with Johnson this week to provide a boost to his morale, Cleveland.com reported.

"He told me to just be more positive," Johnson said Thursday. "Just focus on all the good. It's not all bad. It's not all good. You're going to have some days when you're not feeling so well. Just find a way to get through it.

"He's very positive, he's a very good dude. It's his beliefs. It's what he believes in and I got a glimpse of that today just talking to him. Regardless, he's still our captain."

Johnson has only 10 catches through five games, including two or fewer on four occasions. He rushed for a season-high 35 yards on five carries in last weekend's 12-9 win over Baltimore.

Johnson and the Browns will host the Los Angeles Chargers on Sunday.

--It has been three years since the San Francisco 49ers and Green Bay Packers have squared off, but the teams will hook up Monday night at Lambeau Field.

Both teams are struggling but San Francisco head coach Kyle Shanahan hopes the 49ers make the most of Monday's prime-time opportunity at Green Bay.

"You like to say that every game is the same, so you don't want to make too big a deal of that stuff, but I think it's a bonus," Shanahan admitted. "Yeah, we're going through some stuff. But get a chance to go play Monday night in Green Bay, which is as cool of a place to play (as there is)."

The 49ers have shined under the glare of the Monday night spotlight over the years. They have made the playoffs just three times since 2002, yet retain a nine-game winning streak on Monday Night Football, all the while adding to their NFL-record 48 wins under the traditional weeknight spotlight.

But these Niners (1-4) may have difficulty extending that streak as the injury bug continues to bite them hard. Already without their starting quarterback (Jimmy Garoppolo) and top running back (Jerick McKinnon), eight offensive players were on the sideline during Thursday's practice due to injuries.

The group includes three starting offensive linemen (left tackle Joe Staley, center Weston Richburg and right guard Mike Person), and three wide receivers (Pierre Garcon, Trent Taylor and Dante Pettis). Tight end George Kittle and running back Matt Breida were also spectators.

Breida has an ankle injury but has not been ruled out for Monday's game.

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