The Latest: Falcons tight end Tamme out with shoulder injury

October 30, 2016 GMT

              Atlanta Falcons tight end Jacob Tamme (83) runs past Green Bay Packers cornerback LaDarius Gunter (36) during the first of an NFL football game, Sunday, Oct. 30, 2016, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/Rainier Ehrhardt)

              Atlanta Falcons tight end Jacob Tamme (83) runs past Green Bay Packers cornerback LaDarius Gunter (36) during the first of an NFL football game, Sunday, Oct. 30, 2016, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/Rainier Ehrhardt)

              Atlanta Falcons tight end Jacob Tamme (83) runs past Green Bay Packers cornerback LaDarius Gunter (36) during the first of an NFL football game, Sunday, Oct. 30, 2016, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/Rainier Ehrhardt)
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Atlanta Falcons tight end Jacob Tamme (83) runs past Green Bay Packers cornerback LaDarius Gunter (36) during the first of an NFL football game, Sunday, Oct. 30, 2016, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/Rainier Ehrhardt)
1 of 8
Atlanta Falcons tight end Jacob Tamme (83) runs past Green Bay Packers cornerback LaDarius Gunter (36) during the first of an NFL football game, Sunday, Oct. 30, 2016, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/Rainier Ehrhardt)

The Latest on Sunday’s NFL action (all times Eastern):

6:30 p.m.

Atlanta Falcons starting tight end Jacob Tamme has a right shoulder injury and will not return to the game.

Tamme caught a 13-yard pass from Matt Ryan and was ruled down before the ball came out in the first quarter, but he landed hard on his arm and left the field holding his right arm tight against his body. Rookie Austin Hooper has taken over at tight end for the Falcons.

— Charles Odum reporting from Atlanta.


5:30 p.m.

Broncos defensive coordinator Wade Phillips was carted off the field on a backboard after being upended by a San Diego player who was blocked into the Denver sideline.


Chargers running back Melvin Gordon was blocked into the sideline while trying to catch Bradley Roby during an interception return. Gordon upended Phillips, and the back of the 69-year-old coach’s head slammed against the ground.

Players surrounded Phillips, and after about five minutes, he was secured to a backboard, then carted off the field. He pointed his index finger in the air as he was being driven to the locker room.

In last season’s playoffs, Steelers receiver Martavis Bryant upended the defensive coordinator, but Phillips popped back up quickly and kept coaching.


4:45 p.m.

Denver has dodged trouble at running back with the return of rookie Devontae Booker.

Booker left the game against San Diego because of a shoulder injury and was announced by the Broncos as questionable to come back, but the fourth-round draft pick from Utah has resumed his place in the backfield.

The Broncos are already thin at the position after C.J. Anderson underwent surgery earlier in the week to repair a torn meniscus in his right knee.

— Pat Graham reporting from Denver


4:25 p.m.

Denver rookie running back Devontae Booker is questionable to return after suffering a shoulder injury early in the first quarter against San Diego.

The Broncos are already thin at the position after C.J. Anderson underwent surgery Thursday to repair a torn meniscus in his right knee.

Should Booker not be able to return, Kapri Bibbs figures to get a majority of the carries. The team promoted running back Juwan Thompson from their practice squad on Saturday.

— Pat Graham reporting from Denver


4:20 p.m.

Carolina’s four-game losing streak is over.

The Panthers have held on for a 30-20 victory over Arizona, giving them a 2-5 record to take into their bye week. The Cardinals fell to 3-3-1, failing to avenge the loss at Carolina in last season’s NFC championship game.

Revenge hasn’t happened often in the league lately. Since 2009, teams that lost the conference championship game the year before have gone only 5-10 against the same opponent the following season.


New England has the next opportunity, with a Dec. 18 game at Denver. The Broncos beat the Patriots in the AFC title game last season.


3:50 p.m.

The Green Bay Packers are without six starters, including linebacker Clay Matthews and wide receiver Randall Cobb with hamstring injuries for both stars.

Julius Peppers will start for Matthews and Davante Adams will start for Cobb at Atlanta.

Aaron Rodgers and the offense will be further limited without tight end Jared Cook (ankle) and wide receiver/running back Ty Montgomery (illness). Montgomery had been seeing extensive time at running back, as the Packers continue to adjust to the loss of Eddie Lacy to injured reserve with an ankle injury. James Starks, Lacy’s backup, is also out with a knee injury.

Green Bay’s imposing list of absences also includes cornerbacks Quinten Rollins and Damarious Randall. The fill-in starters are Demetri Goodson and LaDarius Gunter.

— Charles Odum reporting from Atlanta


3:15 p.m.

Kansas City quarterback Alex Smith has left the game again. This time he’s out for good because of a concussion, after Indianapolis safety Clayton Geathers pushed Smith’s head into the turf on another slide.

On the first series, Smith took a shot to the head from Colts linebacker Edwin Jackson that forced him out of the game. But that time he cleared the concussion protocol and returned soon after with a cut on his ear.

It’s been a busy day for the docs in Indy.

Colts cornerback Vontae Davis entered the concussion protocol, as did Chiefs running back Spencer Ware. Both of them were ruled out for the rest of the game along with Chiefs left guard Parker Ehinger, who appeared to injure his lower right leg.

—Michael Marot reporting from Indianapolis.


2:45 p.m.

One Pro Bowl defender is back for the Broncos, and another one is out.

Cornerback Aqib Talib is inactive for Denver’s game against San Diego. He missed practice most of the week with a bad lower back.

The Broncos activated pass rusher DeMarcus Ware, who has been out since breaking his right forearm on Sept. 18. Ware returned to practice this week.

Also out for Denver is starting middle linebacker Brandon Marshall with a pulled left hamstring.

— Arnie Stapleton reporting from Denver.


2:30 p.m.

Rob Gronkowski has broken the New England Patriots franchise record for career touchdowns.

He hauled in a 53-yard catch from Tom Brady for a score in the second quarter against the Buffalo Bills.

The touchdown was the 69th of Gronkowski’s career, and 68th receiving — one more in both categories than Stanley Morgan. What’s more, “Gronk” did it in his hometown of Buffalo.

Facing second-and-7, Gronkowski ran up the right sideline and then cut into the middle, where Brady hit him in stride and a step ahead of cornerback Nickell Robey-Coleman. The touchdown put New England up 21-10 with 4:18 left in the second quarter.

Gronkowski has 11 touchdowns in 11 career games against Buffalo.

— John Wawrow reporting from Orchard Park, New York.


2:05 p.m.

Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith has returned to the game at Indianapolis, having cleared the concussion protocol.

Smith took a shot to the head during the first series from Colts linebacker Edwin Jackson, but he was back in the second quarter. Nick Foles threw a touchdown pass in Smith’s absence.

— Michael Marot reporting from Indianapolis.


1:55 p.m.

Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith has cleared the concussion protocol and returned to the sideline with a cut on his ear.

His return is questionable. The announcement came right after Nick Foles threw a 14-yard TD pass to give Kansas City a 10-0 lead at Indianapolis.

Smith took a shot to head during the first series from Colts linebacker Edwin Jackson and left the game.

— Michael Marot reporting from Indianapolis.


1:40 p.m.

Another week, another tie.

Washington and Cincinnati have finished the first overtime game in London at 27-all, an anticlimactic finish to a wild one at Wembley Stadium that gave the NFL a tie in consecutive weeks.

Unlike the 6-6 grinder between Seattle and Arizona last Sunday, the Redskins and Bengals put together quite a highlight reel with Kirk Cousins passing for 458 yards for Washington and Tyler Eifert catching nine passes for 102 yards and a touchdown for Cincinnati.

Just as with the Seahawks and Cardinals, though, missed kicks played a major part in the outcome. Dustin Hopkins missed two field goals for the Redskins, and Mike Nugent failed to convert one field goal and one extra point for the Bengals. Hopkins missed one of his in overtime, a 34-yarder that went wide left.

Draws are rather routine in soccer, the sport that’s most often played in London, but the NFL hadn’t had two ties in one season since 1997.


1:19 p.m.

In the hard-to-believe stat of the day, Panthers 12th-year linebacker Thomas Davis scored the first touchdown of his career when he picked up a Carson Palmer fumble and raced 46 yards for a score to give Carolina a 7-0 lead.

Davis, the longest tenured player on the team’s roster, is known for his big plays on defense, but has never managed to make it into the end zone.

But his big break came when defensive tackle Star Lotulelei corralled Palmer in the backfield. It appeared Palmer tried to push the ball forward to avoid the sack, but it came free. Davis grabbed the ball, stiff-armed a player on the way to the end zone.

— Steve Reed reporting from Charlotte, North Carolina.


1:09 p.m.

Kansas City quarterback Alex Smith left the game in Indianapolis during the first series after taking a shot to head from Colts linebacker Edwin Jackson.

When Smith started to slide, Jackson was running full speed and collided with Smith’s helmet. No penalty was called and Nick Foles entered the game after Smith looked woozy.

He was taken to the locker room.

— Michael Marot reporting from Indianapolis.


12:50 p.m.

Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski have a chance to match or set some records for New England against the AFC East rival Buffalo Bills.

Brady has a 25-3 career record against the Bills. The 25 wins are the second-most by a quarterback against one opponent in league history, behind only Brett Favre, who beat Detroit 26 times with Green Bay and Minnesota.

Brady also has 197 career victories (including 22 in the playoffs) to rank third on the NFL’s career list, two behind Favre and three back of Peyton Manning.

Gronkowski, the Patriots tight end, faces his hometown team needing one touchdown to surpass Stanley Morgan in the New England record books. Gronkowski is tied with Morgan for most touchdowns (67 receiving, one rushing) and most TD receptions.

In 10 games against the Bills, Gronkowski has 47 catches for 704 yards and 10 scores.

— John Wawrow reporting from Orchard Park, New York.


12:40 p.m.

A long-awaited day for the New Orleans Saints’ struggling defense has arrived. Linebacker Dannell Ellerbe, is active against the Seattle Seahawks.

Ellerbe’s health has been a sore subject in more ways than one since he arrived in New Orleans last season. He’s been with the club for 22 regular-season games, playing in just six last year and none so far this season.

Ellerbe, who was part of Baltimore’s 2012 Super Bowl championship team before spending a pair of seasons with Miami, has been a top playmaker for the Saints since joining the club, when he’s been able to play that is. Last season, he was in on 39 tackles with a forced fumble, a fumble recovery and a quarterback hurry.

His lack of availability on game days has made him a magnet for criticism on talk radio, mainly by frustrated fans who’ve questioned his toughness and drive. The Saints, ranked 29th in the 32-team NFL in total defense, could certainly use him.

— Brett Martel reporting from New Orleans


11:55 a.m.

Washington Redskins wide receiver DeSean Jackson is being evaluated for a concussion after being hit by the Cincinnati Bengals’ George Iloka upon completing a 38-yard reception in the third quarter.

Jackson caught the pass between Iloka and Dre Kirkpatrick down the right sideline before taking a helmet-to-helmet hit from Iloka.

He was alert and speaking to members of the team’s medical staff before being taken across the field to his sideline.

Jackson had earlier left the game after taking a helmet to the lower back following a reception, but missed just two plays before returning.

He entered the game second on the team in receiving yards and has one touchdown reception this season.


10:45 a.m.

Cincinnati Bengals linebacker Vontaze Burfict returned to the game against the Washington Redskins at Wembley Stadium after injuring his right knee in the second quarter.

Burfict was making a tackle on Redskins running back Chris Thompson, who gained four yards on second-and-8 with 10:35 remaining before halftime. He was tended to by athletic trainers on the field before being helped off.

He went to the locker room briefly, but quickly returned.

The linebacker, suspended the first three games for repeated violations of the player safety protocol, entered Sunday tied for third on the team with 29 tackles. He had also sustained an ankle injury in practice last week.


10 a.m.

Both the Bengals and Redskins seem to have forgotten to pack their defenses for London.

Washington took its opening possession in Wembley Stadium 80 yards on a 15-play drive capped by rookie Robert Kelley’s 4-yard run up the middle for his first rushing touchdown.

Cincinnati immediately responded with a 66-yard kick return by Alex Erickson up the right sideline. Giovani Bernard took a handoff 8 yards to the end zone to cap a seven-play, 36-yard drive to tie the score at 7-7 with 4 minutes still left in the opening quarter.

— Shawn Pogatchnik reporting from London.


9:30 a.m.

Cincinnati, the official “home” team for Sunday’s London game, emerged from a specially constructed tunnel featuring city landmarks —Big Ben, Parliament, the Eye ferris wheel and Tower Bridge — painted in Bengals orange and black and entwined in a green jungle vine.

But when local broadcasters asked the crowd to cheer for their favored teams, the large Washington contingent out-roared the Bengals’ fans. Both teams are making their first appearance at Wembley Stadium, but Redskins fans in team jerseys appear to outnumber their Bengal-striped counterparts by at least 5 to 1 in the sold-out stands.

Fans used multi-colored sheets at their seats to transform the stadium into the red, white and blue shared by the U.S. and British flags during their respective anthems. No player from either team made any physical protest during the singing of “The Star-Spangled Banner.”

— Shawn Pogatchnik reporting from London.


8:50 a.m.

They may become enemies once the starting whistle blows, but Redskins coach Jay Gruden spent much of Sunday’s pre-game warmups on the Wembley Stadium field in London chatting with old teammates.

Gruden, who was the Bengals’ offensive coordinator from 2011 to 2013 before taking the top job in Washington, spent 15 minutes chatting and laughing heartily near the 50-yard line with quarterback Andy Dalton, left tackle Andrew Whitworth, tight end Tyler Eifert and other Bengals whose careers he shaped in Cincinnati.

Both teams brought retired NFL royalty to London to serve as honorary captains. The Redskins are represented by ex-quarterback Joe Theismann and linebacker LaVar Arrington, the Bengals by ex-running back Stanford Jennings and tackle Anthony Munoz.

The Wembley big-screen TV poked a bit of fun at the visitors’ lack of knowledge of British pop culture. Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins, linebacker Trent Murphy and cornerback Bashaud Breeland were asked to define a string of Britishisms. Only Murphy knew “bangers and mash” were sausages and potatoes, Cousins didn’t know that a “bloke” is a man, and nobody knew a “chin wag” was a conversation.

— Shawn Pogatchnik reporting from London.


8 a.m.

Wake up, NFL fans! Week eight of the season features an early start from London, where the Cincinnati Bengals host the Washington Redskins.

The 9:30 a.m. Eastern (1330 GMT) kickoff from Wembley Stadium launches the first of 11 games Sunday. It’s also the last of this year’s three NFL contests in London. Wembley, the 84,000-seat home of English soccer, is expecting another sellout crowd to watch the Bengals (3-4) against the Redskins (4-3).

Later, the Patriots (6-1) take their two-game AFC East lead to Buffalo to face the second-place Bills (4-3), while the Lions (4-3) seek their fourth win in a row on the road versus the AFC South-leading Texans (4-3). The Packers (4-2) head for Atlanta (4-3), where the NFC South-leading Falcons hope to stop a two-game losing skid.

The Sunday night game features the NFC East-leading Cowboys (5-1) at home against the second-place Eagles (4-2).

Also playing Sunday: Arizona at Carolina, New York Jets at Cleveland, Kansas City at Indianapolis, Seattle at New Orleans, Oakland at Tampa Bay and San Diego at Denver. NFC North-leading Minnesota (5-1) plays the Bears in Chicago on Monday night.

— Shawn Pogatchnik reporting from London.