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The Green Bay Packers and Pittsburgh Steelers each got the victory they needed, the Packers with Brett Hundley stepping up in the absence of Aaron Rodgers, and the Steelers squeaking by in Indianapolis.
Hundley twice hit Davante Adams, who left on a stretcher the last time the Packers played the Chicago Bears, once for a touchdown on a Rodgers-esque pass and another time on a third-down conversion pass that Adams hauled in with one arm. The 23-16 win moved the Packers to 5-4 and marked their first win since Rodgers broke his collarbone Oct. 15. If the team is to have any hope of getting him back at the end of the season, it needs to be in playoff contention.
The Packers managed to win on a chilly, rainy day in Soldier Field despite being without Rodgers and losing running backs Aaron Jones and Ty Montgomery to injuries. The team later announced that Hundley, who finished with 212 yards passing on 18 completions in 25 attempts, has a hamstring injury. For the Bears, Mitch Trubisky passed for 297 yards and a touchdown.
What a time to be Alive
Great team win today! pic.twitter.com/RAofKZzFjx
— Brett A. Hundley Jr (@bretthundley7) November 12, 2017
It took 11 fourth-quarter points, but the Steelers moved to 7-2 with a 20-17 victory over the Colts. Ben Roethlisberger passed for 236 yards and two touchdowns on 19-of-31 passing. Pittsburgh has won four in a row, but lost cornerback Joe Haden to a broken left leg. Meanwhile, the Colts’ quarterback woes continue, as Jacoby Brissett entered the concussion protocol after the loss.
Brissett left the game in the third quarter to be evaluated in the concussion tent on the Indianapolis sideline, but returned for the next series. The decision has draw ire from some online, but Coach Chuck Pagano said the doctors cleared him to return.
Top story lines
The Saints are marching: New Orleans streaked to its seventh straight victory after an 0-2 start and is looking for all the world like a serious contender in the NFC after a 47-10 victory over the Bills in Buffalo. The Saints, for a change, relied on their running game rather than Drew Brees’s arm, with Mark Ingram and Alvin Kamara rushing for a combined 237 yards and four touchdowns.
Rams keep rolling: Jared Goff threw for 355 yards and three touchdowns and the Los Angeles Rams trounced the Houston Texans, 33-7. The Rams have won four in a row and six of their last seven games, and they sit atop the NFC West at 7-2, a full game ahead of the Seattle Seahawks.
So close and yet…: The Cleveland Browns flirted with victory only to revert to form, falling to 0-9 in a 38-24 loss to the Lions, who scored twice in the fourth quarter, in Detroit.
Burfict goes bye-bye: Vontaze Burfict, the Cincinnati Bengals’ combative linebacker, was given an early trip to the showers Sunday, ejected in the first half of the game against the Tennessee Titans for bumping an official.
Burfict was tossed a play after he drew a flag for a late hit. He initially refused to leave the field and when he did, it was with panache. He argued with fans and walked off giving the money sign made famous by Johnny Manziel.
Burfict reacts to fans as he’s leaving post-ejection pic.twitter.com/WYBYWlnE2g
— Dov Kleiman (@NFL_DovKleiman) November 12, 2017
The Bengals went on to lose, 24-20.
A scary scene in Buffalo: New Orleans Saints running back Daniel Lasco was placed on a stretcher and taken off the field by ambulance after he was injured on a kickoff in Buffalo.
Surrounded by most of his teammates, Lasco, who was hurt on a nasty collision with his head down, raised his right hand as he was loaded into the ambulance. The Saints issued a statement that Lasco has feeling in his extremities and is being attended to by the team’s doctor at the hospital.
Update on Daniel Lasco pic.twitter.com/ATAaTkPCvz
— New Orleans Saints (@Saints) November 12, 2017
This is the surreal scene as medical personnel tend to Saints RB Daniel Lasco. pic.twitter.com/YuIun3UwYa
— Herbie Teope (@HerbieTeope) November 12, 2017
Nearly the entire Saints bench has surrounded Saints RB Daniel Lasco as he’s taken into stretcher and into ambulance. Lasco raised his right hand before he was loaded into ambulance. https://t.co/hyfimTVkVn pic.twitter.com/teZUBjmojM
— Mike Rodak (@mikerodak) November 12, 2017
Cowboys go Elliott-less: The Dallas Cowboys without running back Ezekiel Elliott were not very good Sunday against the Atlanta Falcons. Quarterback Dak Prescott ran in a touchdown in the first quarter, and the Cowboys did not score again in a 27-7 loss in Atlanta. The Dallas running backs corps amounted for just 65 yards, including one carry for minus-two yards by Darren McFadden. That was opposite the Falcons, who loss lead running back Devonta Freeman to a concussion early in Sunday’s game but still managed 132 rushing yards.
There’s no question that the loss of Elliott, who rushed for over 100 yards in three of his last four games, comes at a bad time for the Cowboys, who are now 5-4 and staring up at the 8-1 Philadelphia Eagles in the NFC East. They caught a break, however, with the Redskins falling to the Vikings, 38-30, which pushed Washington back below .500.
Kyle Shanahan finally wins: The San Francisco 49ers entered Sunday flirting with mathematically elimination from the playoffs if they were to lose to the New York Giants and fall to 0-10, according to NBC Sports Washington’s Joe Ferreira. That would have been the earliest a team had been eliminated since the Denver Broncos in 1967. Alas, it wasn’t meant to be. First-year 49ers Coach Kyle Shanahan kept his team’s minuscule playoff hopes alive and got his first win as a head coach, beating the hapless Giants, 31-21. C.J. Beathard again got the start, keeping Jimmy Garoppolo sidelined for at least another two weeks as San Francisco heads into its bye. Beathard wasn’t bad either Sunday, completing 19 of 25 for 288 yards, two touchdowns and an interception. But was it enough to stave off the Garoppolo era?
This is not what the NFL needs: In a season marred by injuries to star players and a furious debate about player demonstrations during the national anthem, the one thing the league does not need is a fight Jerry Jones wanting to go to the mattresses against Commissioner Roger Goodell and yet … here we are.
The revolt exposes rare fissures within the NFL as it continues to be buffeted by controversies that threaten what was once considered an unassailable business model, as The Post’s Mark Maske and Kent Babb write. Never mind that just months ago, Jones was one of the owners who voted to proceed with a new contract for Goodell. That was before the commissioner suspended Ezekiel Elliott, for six games.
This isn’t just Jones taking control of a process that once omitted him and, he believed, overpaid the commissioner. It is perhaps the NFL’s most powerful owner questioning the wisdom and intentions of his fellow owners — a declaration of war.
“You don’t have to, in football, like what your coach [says] or like what you’re doing,” Jones, 75, who if he is serious about firing Goodell would need 24 of 32 votes to do so, said last month. “You have to buy into it, though. But you don’t necessarily have to like it. As a matter of fact, about 95 percent of anything I’ve ever done in football was work and, if you will, painful.”
Martellus Bennett swaps Aaron Rodgers for Tom Brady — and wins: After quarterback Aaron Rodgers underwent surgery for a broken collarbone, the tight end who signed with Green Bay as a free agent, suddenly announced on social media that he was going to retire after the season. Then, in the middle of the week, Bennett was suddenly released for “failure to disclose” a shoulder injury. No sooner was he waived, though, than the New England Patriots were able to pick him up and he was practicing with the team he spent last season with.
And he played Sunday night in Denver, catching three passes for 38 yards in the Patriots’ 41-16 rout of the Broncos. Quite the change from week to week.
Elliott gets away: Suspended for now, Ezekiel Elliott reportedly is hitting the reset button by getting away from the U.S. for a while.
Seahawks’ treatment under review: Seattle violated the NFL’s concussion policy, ESPN reports, in its treatment of Russell Wilson on Thursday night.
The day’s best celebration: Look to the north. Way north.
I’m telling you people, turn the CFL game on ASAP. pic.twitter.com/GjQeg1a5Sf
— Josh S. (@joshellman) November 12, 2017
In other news…
A Thursday tipping point? The Thursday night game between the Seattle Seahawks and Arizona Cardinals was remarkable for two things: Injuries and more injuries. So many, in fact, that Doug Baldwin of the Seahawks said the “games should be illegal.”
Richard Sherman, who hasn’t missed a game since 2011, was lost for the season with a ruptured Achilles’ tendon, becoming the latest big star to suffer a serious injury this year.
Many people see that Thursday’s game should be the tipping point for the NFL to reconsider the games, but then owners also have to consider dollar signs, receiving $1.86 billion from NBC, CBS, Twitter and Amazon over the two-year Thursday night TV and streaming package that ends after this season.
Odell Beckham Jr.
Way too many.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) November 10, 2017
Seahawks’ procedure questioned: The NFL and NFLPA are looking into whether the Seahawks followed concussion protocol in evaluating Russell Wilson on Thursday night. Wilson missed only one play, returning to the game the next time the Seahawks had the ball.
Hernandez had extensive brain degeneration: A Boston University researcher revealed that an examination of the brain of Aaron Hernandez showed that he suffered the most severe chronic traumatic encephalopathy found so far in a person of his age.
Freeman in concussion protocol: Falcons running back Devonte Freeman was pulled from the late-afternoon game, sent off to be evaluated for a concussion. He was ruled out after examination.
Packers lose two RBs: Aaron Jones, Green Bay’s leading rusher was carted off the field after suffering a knee injury in the first quarter on a rainy field in Chicago. He was ruled out for the rest of the game. Later, Ty Montgomery was ruled out due to a rib injury. Montgomery missed time earlier this season due to broken ribs. Jamaal Williams is now the only healthy running back for Green Bay.
Ty Montgomery is out with an injury to his ribs. #GBvsCHI
— Green Bay Packers (@packers) November 12, 2017
Rob Kelley exits: Redskins running back Rob Kelley left Washington’s game after hurting his knee.
Luck heads to Europe: Andrew Luck, according to an ESPN report, is in Europe seeking treatment for his shoulder. Luck will miss the entire season after having shoulder surgery in January and had to be shut down after throwing a few weeks ago. He isn’t the first to seek treatment in Europe — Peyton Manning and Kobe Bryant have done so as well.
Inactives for the 1 and 4 p.m. EST games:
Danny Trevathan (calf)
Niles Paul (concussion)
Jordan Reed (hamstring)
Geoff Swaim (knee)
Matt Forte (knee)
Derek Carrier (hamstring)
Key players listed as questionable for Sunday night include:
Martellus Bennett (shoulder)
Danny Amendola (knee)
Stephon Gilmore (concussion, ankle)
Emmanuel Sanders (ankle)
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