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NFL notes

AP Source: Chargers' team doctor punctured Taylor's lung

Los Angeles Chargers quarterback Tyrod Taylor missed last Sunday's game because a team doctor accidentally punctured his lung, according to a person familiar with the case.

The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity Wednesday because of medical restriction issues.

Coach Anthony Lynn said Taylor is still not 100% and that rookie Justin Herbert will get his second NFL start on Sunday against the Carolina Panthers.

Lynn did not have a timetable on how long Taylor would be out but said that the 10-year veteran quarterback was at the team's complex and working with Herbert. When asked about his level of frustration with what happened, Lynn said he wasn't angry about what occurred because the mistake wasn't intentional.

"There were complications with the shot but I know the man (who gave it). People make mistakes. It is something we will talk about internally," Lynn said.

Herbert was the Chargers' surprise starter in last Sunday's 23-20 overtime loss to the Kansas City Chiefs. Lynn said he didn't find out until less than five minutes before kickoff that Taylor would be unable to play.

Herbert said he found out he was playing right as the Chargers were lining up to receive the opening kickoff.

Taylor was taken to the hospital due to difficulties breathing after Lynn said he had a reaction to an injection. Taylor was released Sunday night, He was briefly on the Chargers' injury report Friday due to a rib injury he suffered in the Sept. 13 opener against the Cincinnati Bengals. Taylor was taken off it, though, after fully participating in practice and taking all of the snaps with the first team.

The NFL Players Association said on Wednesday that they have been in contact with Taylor and his agent and have started an investigation into the matter. ESPN first reported the punctured lung.

Taylor's teammates echoed Lynn in voicing confidence about the team's medical staff despite what happened.

"I don't think there should be any lost trust. I mean, stuff happens all the time. He's done that procedure plenty of times before this," defensive tackle Linval Joseph said.

Tight end Hunter Henry, who has had knee injuries the past two seasons, also said he had faith in the team doctors, but that it wasn't a good situation.

"It's not good, and I know none of us think it's good at all. But we're going to continue to move forward," he said.

Herbert, the sixth overall pick in April's draft, became the ninth quarterback since the merger to throw for more than 300 yards in his debut. He was 22 of 33 for 311 yards and a touchdown, but he also threw an interception late in the third quarter that the Chiefs converted into a tying touchdown.

Lynn said he is eager to see how Herbert does with a week of practice with the first unit. Los Angeles is 1-1 while Carolina is 0-2 under first-year coach Matt Rhule.

"We put him in some tough situations last week where he hadn't practiced certain things.," Lynn said. "He didn't panic and made some really nice throws in that game and moved around so that he could extend plays. You know, he did some good things in that game, but he was not fully prepared because he didn't take all the reps in practice.

"I'm just looking forward to seeing him with a week of practice underneath his belt, and take it every single rep as a starter."

With Barkley out, Giants sign veteran Freeman

Two-time Pro Bowl halfback Devonta Freeman has signed with the New York Giants and might play this weekend.

The Giants announced the move Wednesday, a day after 2018 NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year Saquon Barkley was placed on injured reserve with a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee.

Freeman, who was released by the Atlanta Falcons earlier this year, was at practice Wednesday. Coach Joe Judge hopes to have him ready for Sunday's game at MetLife Stadium against the San Francisco 49ers (1-1).

The Giants also will be getting running backs Dion Lewis and Wayne Gallman ready to play. Lewis carried the load Sunday after Barkley was hurt in the second quarter. Gallman was inactive, but he looked good in training camp.

“He had a good workout for us yesterday,” Judge said of Freeman, who signed a one-year, $3 million contract. “We watched his tape from the past few years. We have some familiarity. (Defensive backs coach) Jerome Henderson was in Atlanta with him and spoke highly of his character and the kind of teammate he is in the locker room. I think he has some juice left in the tank.”

Freeman played his first six NFL seasons for the Falcons.

The Giants also placed wide receiver Sterling Shepard on injured reserve with turf toe. He also was hurt in the second quarter of the Giants’ 17-13 loss to Chicago. He is eligible to be reinstated to the roster after missing three games.

Freeman has played in 77 regular-season games with 59 starts, and five postseason games. He has rushed for 3,972 yards and 32 touchdowns, adding 257 receptions and 11 TDs.

He made the Pro Bowl in 2015 and '16. In the Super Bowl against the New England Patriots in early 2017, Freeman had 11 carries for 75 yards, including a 5-yard run for the game’s first touchdown. He added two catches for 46 yards.

Judge was a member of the Patriots staff that season.

Freeman was limited to two games in 2018 because of a groin injury. He ran for 656 yards and two touchdowns and caught 59 passes for 410 yards and four scores in 14 games last season.

The Giants also signed center Javon Patterson to their practice squad. He missed his rookie season with a knee injury and was cut by the Colts on Sept. 5.

Jets WRs Perriman, Crowder sit out practice with injuries

New York Jets wide receivers Breshad Perriman and Jamison Crowder sat out practice with injuries, and they could miss the game at Indianapolis on Sunday.

Perriman injured his left ankle last Sunday in New York's 31-13 loss to San Francisco. Coach Adam Gase didn't sound optimistic Perriman will be able to play this week or in the Jets' next game against Denver next Thursday night because of the short turnaround.

“You can do the math what it probably looks like, unfortunately,” Gase said Wednesday. “I don’t want to count anybody out, but, I mean, just trying to be realistic on the situation where I think it’d be tough to get him back for that Denver game.”

Crowder missed the game against the 49ers after injuring a hamstring. Gase seemed a little more hopeful about his chances than those of Perriman of playing sometime in the next two games.

“Yeah, it might be a little different just because maybe there’s a chance we can get Crowder moving around here at the end of the week,” Gase said. “I don’t know, we’ve got to kind of see how he feels.”

Without Perriman and Crowder, the Jets' only wide receivers on the active roster are Chris Hogan and Josh Malone — and Hogan was limited with a rib injury.

Cornerback Quincy Wilson is in the concussion protocol, while nose tackle Steve McLendon sat out for personal reasons. Center Connor McGovern also didn't practice while dealing with a strained hamstring.

Among those limited were: rookie left tackle Mekhi Becton (shoulder), right tackle George Fant (concussion), safety Ashtyn Davis (groin), cornerback Nate Hairston (hip) and running backs Kalen Ballage (rib) and La'Mical Perine (ankle). The injuries to Fant and Davis weren't mentioned by Gase during his news conference before practice, so they might have occurred Wednesday.

There was some positive injury news for the Jets: Backup quarterback Joe Flacco practiced fully for the first time since signing with the team and has a chance to be active Sunday behind starter Sam Darnold.

Flacco had surgery on his neck in April, spent training camp on the physically unable to perform list and then was added to the active roster before the start of the regular season. Mike White served as Darnold's backup during the first two games.

Adams unsure of his status for Saints game

Green Bay wide receiver Davante Adams says he doesn’t know yet whether he’ll be able to play Sunday night at New Orleans after leaving the Packers’ previous game early with a hamstring injury.

“It’s too early to tell,” Adams said Wednesday. “It’s feeling better. I think we’re making good progress every day. But we’re just going to wait it out and see.”

Adams left the Packers’ 42-21 victory over the Detroit Lions in the second half and didn’t practice Wednesday.

Sunday night’s Packers-Saints game features two of the NFL’s most prolific receivers in Adams and New Orleans’ Michael Thomas, but injuries could prevent either guy from playing.

Thomas missed the Saints’ 34-24 loss at Las Vegas on Monday with an ankle injury. The Saints didn't have practice Wednesday but were required to release an injury report, on which they estimated that Thomas wouldn’t have practiced.

Adams has 17 catches for 192 yards and two touchdowns through the first two games of the season. He ranks third in the NFL in catches and sixth in yards receiving. Adams had 14 receptions in a season-opening victory at Minnesota to tie Don Hutson’s 78-year-old franchise record for catches in a game.

Adams caught 83 passes for 997 yards and five touchdowns to earn a third straight Pro Bowl invitation last year despite missing four games with a toe injury.

“It’ll probably be a decision that’s made later in the week most likely, just to get a full assessment, give me the full amount of time I need to get right, to a real comfortable spot,” Adams said. “Obviously I don’t think we’re there just yet, but we’re making great strides on the way there.”

Packers coach Matt LaFleur was asked Wednesday whether he’d feel comfortable playing someone who didn’t practice during the week.

“I think it’s totally dependent on the player,” LaFleur said. “I think the guy or guys you’re talking about, we’ve got a pretty good idea what they can do. If we can get them to game day, they’ll play.”

Saints coach Sean Payton has declined to discuss Thomas’ prospects for playing since the two-time All-Pro receiver got hurt.

Thomas had three catches for 17 yards through most of a season-opening victory over Tampa Bay before he was rolled up on by Saints running back Latavius Murray in the fourth quarter and went limping off the field with an ankle injury.

Last season, Thomas set an NFL record with 149 catches in a season. His ability for using his strength to get open and hold on to contested balls were widely seen as contributing factors in Brees completing better than 74% of his passes each of the past two seasons. Thomas caught 80.5% of the 185 passes thrown to him by Brees or then-backup Teddy Bridgewater in 2019, and 85% of the passes that came his way in 2018.

In two games this season, Brees has completed 64.7% of his passes.

Panthers put McCaffrey on injured reserve with ankle injury

The Panthers have placed Christian McCaffrey on short-term injured reserve, meaning the All-Pro running back will miss at least three games.

McCaffrey suffered a high right ankle sprain in Carolina’s 31-17 loss to the Buccaneers on Sunday, an injury that normally requires a 4 to 6 week recovery period. McCaffrey said Monday that is how long he was told he should expect to miss but added that he hopes to be back sooner. The earliest he could return is Oct. 18 when the Panthers host the Bears.

Mike Davis will start in McCaffrey’s place.

The Panthers also moved offensive lineman Chris Reed off the COVID-19 list to the active roster.

The Panthers (0-2), losers of 10 straight games going back to last season, visit the Chargers (1-1) on Sunday.


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