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Cam Newton a surprise performer in Panthers practice (Shutdown Corner) ( today ) Courtesy of
Well, well, look who made an appearance at football practice on Wednesday. A mere eight days after he was in a frightening-looking car accident, Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton participated in practice in advance of Sunday's game against the Cleveland Browns, according to Black and Blue Review's Bill Voth . (Here's the video of some of what Newton did today above.) [ Join FanDuel.com's $2M Week 16 fantasy league: $25 to enter; top 17,475 teams paid ] Is it possible that Newton could play Sunday? Pump the breaks there — part of this is the Panthers seeing where Newton is with his transverse process injury he suffered in the crash. But it has to be tremendously encouraging that Newton is even in a place where he can go through basic practice movements, which would give the Panthers a sure lift as they remain in the thick of the NFC North race. Derek Anderson is 2-0 in his two replacements starts for Newton, although we feel compelled to add a tony asterisk to his mark considering both games were against the lowly Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Still, Anderson has completed an impressive 65-of-97 passes this season for 701 yards, with five touchdowns and no interceptions. The Panthers play the Atlanta Falcons in Week 17 in a game that could help to decide the South division. Atlanta, by the way, is Newton's hometown, so it will be fascinating to see if he can return for that game if he doesn't play this weekend against the Browns. - - - - - - - Eric Edholm is a writer for Shutdown Corner on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at edholm@yahoo-inc.com or follow him on Twitter! Follow @Eric_Edholm Yahoo! Wed, Dec 17
Panthers' Newton practicing 8 days after crash (The Associated Press) ( today ) Courtesy of
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) -- Panthers quarterback Cam Newton has returned to practice eight days after an automobile accident left him with two fractures in his lower back. Yahoo! Wed, Dec 17
Jon Gruden agrees to contract extension with ESPN (The Associated Press) ( yesterday ) Courtesy of
CHICAGO (AP) -- - Jon Gruden has agreed to a contract extension with ESPN through the 2021 NFL season. Yahoo! Tue, Dec 16
Titans place TE Brackett on IR with injured knee (The Associated Press) ( yesterday ) Courtesy of
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- The Tennessee Titans have placed tight end Brett Brackett on injured reserve after he hurt his knee in their loss to the Jets and replaced him by adding tight end Matthew Mulligan. Yahoo! Tue, Dec 16
Shutdown Corner NFL Power Rankings: Which 11-5 team will get left out? (Shutdown Corner) Courtesy of
Philadelphia Eagles fans, who know plenty about hardship, should start bracing themselves now. The Eagles are probably going 11-5, and they're probably staying at home for the postseason despite that record. The 1985 Denver Broncos and 2008 New England Patriots are the only teams that have missed the playoffs with 11 wins since the NFL went to the 16-game schedule in 1978. But Sunday's loss to the Dallas Cowboys puts the Eagles in a bad place. The Eagles' 5-5 conference record is a problem when it comes to tiebreakers. And the Packers and Lions are each favored to get their 11th win this weekend. The Cardinals already have 11. The Seahawks need to win just one of their last two to get to 11 wins, and they'll be heavily favored in both remaining games. The Eagles might need the Cowboys to drop one of their last two games to get into the playoffs. And then we can probably just make this same sad tale about whichever 11-win NFC team gets left home, because it seems like a good bet that it'll happen to someone. I get that the rules are the rules, but why do the rules have to be bad? Who is really against a system that gets the best teams in the playoffs? The NFC South, which looks like it will get at least a 7-9 champion, shouldn't be getting a playoff spot over a team that's four games better in the standings. That's ridiculous. Even if the Saints reach 8-8, are they really more deserving than an 11-5 Eagles team? And I don't want to hear about it being an aberration so why worry about it, because then the same thing will be said the next time the "aberration" happens. Let's change things. Don't expand the playoffs, because that's a bad idea in which the only benefit is to the owners' bank accounts. Just get the six best teams from each conference in the playoffs. The beauty of the NFL is it is a results-based business. If you can play, it really doesn't matter where you're drafted, for example. But we're supposed to give charity to an undeserving team just because they won a four-team division? Again, it just makes no sense why the NFL can't figure out a mechanism to get the best teams in the playoffs. That's not hard and it's not too much to ask, either. But brace yourselves, Eagles fans. You're going to be on the short end of the unfair stick this season, it seems. The NFL and its postseason isn't better off for it, but that's the way it goes. Here are the post-Week 15 NFL power rankings: 32. Tennessee Titans (2-12, Last Week: 31) I feel bad for Jake Locker, who can't stay healthy. It seemed like a sick joke when he was being helped back to the locker room on Sunday. 31. Jacksonville Jaguars (2-12, LW: 32) They have a real shot at a win this week against Tennessee. But do they really want that? 30. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-12, LW: 30) They've lost to the Panthers twice, which isn't too bad. But they've lost to the Panthers with Derek Anderson at quarterback twice, which is more reason to believe Lovie Smith is trying to be a one-and-done coach. 29. Oakland Raiders (2-12, LW: 28) So all the rumors that Jon Gruden was going to be the Raiders' next coach were false? NO WAY! 28. Washington Redskins (3-11, LW: 27) I get that Jay Gruden wants to run his offense, and that he believes a quarterback has to operate from the pocket. But about Robert Griffin III after Griffin played fairly well against the Giants, Gruden said , "Eventually, they’re going to stop those mobility plays, and they did. Eventually, we are going to have to drop back and throw." To me, a great coach can bend his schemes to fit the strengths of his players. That quote made it sound like Gruden can't do that with Griffin, or is just unwilling. 27. Chicago Bears (5-9, LW: 25) i've said for a while that I thought Marc Trestman should get one more year. I can't do it anymore, not after the past week. I think he has to go. The way they're playing, I'm not sure they can beat any of the teams behind them on this list right now. 26. New York Jets (3-11, LW: 29) You can't tell professional athletes and coaches to tank. But that win on Sunday might be a huge blow to the franchise. They might have needed the higher pick to get a quarterback. 25. Atlanta Falcons (5-9, LW: 23) It's a terrible sign if a bad football team is getting next to nothing out of their draft class, but that's the case in Atlanta. 24. New York Giants (5-9, LW: 26) When the 1998 Vikings got an all-time rookie receiver performance from Randy Moss, they went 15-1. The Giants are getting an all-time rookie receiver performance from Odell Beckham. And they are not going to be 15-1. Imagine how bad they'd be if Beckham was your typical rookie? 23. Carolina Panthers (5-8-1, LW: 24) Kelvin Benjamin, with 952 yards and nine touchdowns, might be the third or fourth best rookie receiver this year. That says all you need to know about this rookie receiver class. 22. New Orleans Saints (6-8, LW: 22) The Bears are a mess, that's true, but give the Saints' defense some credit too. They came up big on Monday night. 21. Minnesota Vikings (6-8, LW: 21) Teddy Bridgewater was 31-of-41 for 315 yards against a very good defense. Remember that the Browns dropped $100,000 on a study that told them to take Bridgewater. They took Johnny Manziel instead. 20. Cleveland Browns (7-7, LW: 19) Manziel was shockingly bad on Sunday, but let's keep the big picture in mind. If the Browns threw him out there for the last three games and planned to make that a referendum on whether Manziel could make it in the NFL, they're fools. He can't be judged on three games when he's not ready yet. At least, he shouldn't be. 19. St. Louis Rams (6-8, LW: 20) They might be a good quarterback away from being really good, but the fair question to ask is: How are they going to get one? They won't draft high enough to grab one in what looks like a mediocre quarterback draft class, and anyone they can acquire via trade or free agency will be available for a reason. 18. Houston Texans (7-7, LW: 17) The Texans are deciding between Thad Lewis and Case Keenum, who they just got back off St. Louis' practice squad, to start at quarterback this week. Their other quarterbacks this year were Ryan Fitzpatrick, Ryan Mallett, and a short cameo by Tom Savage. How about, instead of saying that Houston's 7-7 record is the reason J.J. Watt shouldn't win MVP, we take another look at that list of quarterbacks and say, "Oh my goodness, they got to seven wins with that crew of QBs? Any defensive player that can carry that team to .500 might be the most obvious MVP pick we've ever had!" 17. San Francisco 49ers (7-7, LW: 18) If you want one play that sums up all of Colin Kaepernick's issues, skip to the last item in this piece by NFL Films' Greg Cosell last week . It's an eye-opener. 16. Miami Dolphins (7-7, LW: 12) I think Sunday's 28-point loss said more about the winning team, but it's still not good for Joe Philbin as the Dolphins' brass wonders whether they should bring him back. 15. San Diego Chargers (8-6, LW: 14) Their offense has completely disappeared. Games at San Francisco and Kansas City won't be conducive to turning that slump around, but they probably need to win out to make the playoffs. 14. Buffalo Bills (8-6, LW: 16) That was a great win over Green Bay, and this defense is incredible. They might have to win in Week 17 at New England to get in the playoffs, but it's a testament to them that they're still in the conversation. 13. Kansas City Chiefs (8-6, LW: 13) Knile Davis could start at tailback for how many teams? 20? More than that? 12. Philadelphia Eagles (9-5, LW: 7) Yeah, the Sanchize wasn't the answer. I tap out. 11. Pittsburgh Steelers (9-5, LW: 11) Who do you pick as your combo: Antonio Brown and Le'Veon Bell, or DeMarco Murray and Dez Bryant? 10. Cincinnati Bengals (9-4-1, LW: 15) Don't mean to bring down the mood, but the Bengals' last two games are against Denver and at Pittsburgh. Look at the rest of the AFC race. Do the Bengals need to win one of those to make the playoffs? That isn't going to be easy. 9. Arizona Cardinals (11-3, LW: 6) It's an incredibly hard team to rank. I respect what they've done. And if Ryan Lindley is out a while (there was an ESPN report injured Drew Stanton could miss four weeks with a knee injury, but Cardinals GM Steve Keim told Arizona Sports 98.7 FM there's no timetable, via ESPN.com ), then I don't see them being good enough elsewhere to compensate for that. The list of teams that could keep rolling with their third quarterback is incredibly small. It's not their fault, it's just very bad luck. Even with Stanton being pretty ineffective since taking over for Carson Palmer, if I knew he'd be back before their first playoff game this team would probably be a few spots higher. But Lindley will be their starter, so I had to move them down a bit. 8. Baltimore Ravens (9-5, LW: 10) The Ravens finish with either Lewis or Keenum and the Texans this week, and Manziel and the Browns in Week 17. Pencil them in for 11 wins now. 7. Detroit Lions (10-4, LW: 9) if you believe that results in games decided by a field goal or less are in large part the result of luck (and I do), then you shouldn't be too impressed with the Lions seemingly having to pull those games out every single week, often against mediocre teams .  6. Indianapolis Colts (10-4, LW: 5) The Andrew Luck trash-talking story by the Wall Street Journal was one of the funniest things I've read this year. 5. Dallas Cowboys (10-4, LW: 8) We're not sure yet if Murray will miss time with a broken bone in his hand. I like Murray but I'm not sure they're in that much trouble without him. How many backs have we seen this season just come out of nowhere and play well? And none of them were running behind Dallas' dominant offensive line (and yes, this is why I'd never give Murray a huge contract as a free agent, as good as he is). 4. Green Bay Packers (10-4, LW: 2) The way this team plays on the road, do you really think they can go to Seattle and win in the playoffs? To Dallas? They needed the No. 1 seed, and now that looks like a long shot. 3. Denver Broncos (11-3, LW: 4) This growing narrative that the Broncos need to play this running style to win a Super Bowl is odd. They made the Super Bowl last year riding Peyton Manning, and they weren't beating Seattle with or without running 30-plus times. They're not playing that way because it's the magic formula to win a title. 2. Seattle Seahawks (10-4, LW: 3) It's almost a little strange how the defending champs have been so good the past few weeks to relatively little fanfare. And they've been flat out dominant. 1. New England Patriots (11-3, LW: 1) Clearly the most dominant team in football right now. That Dolphins team they just crushed isn't that bad. - - - - - - - Frank Schwab is the editor of Shutdown Corner on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at shutdowncorner@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter! Follow @YahooSchwab Yahoo! Mon, Dec 15
Current Roster
Quarterback College External Player News Links
Mike Glennon North Carolina State
Josh McCown Sam Houston State
Runningback College External Player News Links
Mike James Miami (Fla.)
Jorvorskie Lane Texas A&M
Doug Martin Boise State
Bobby Rainey Western Kentucky
Charles Sims West Virginia
Wide Receiver College External Player News Links
Mike Evans Texas A&M
Robert Herron Wyoming
Vincent Jackson Northern Colorado
Louis Murphy Jr. Florida
Solomon Patton Florida
Russell Shepard LSU
Tight End College External Player News Links
Cameron Brate
Brandon Myers Iowa
Austin Seferian-Jenkins Washington
Luke Stocker Tennessee
Kicker College External Player News Links
Patrick Murray Fordham
Defensive Lineman College External Player News Links
Da'Quan Bowers Clemson
Adrian Clayborn Iowa
Larry English Northern Illinois
T.J. Fatinikun
William Gholston Michigan State
Michael Johnson Georgia Tech
Gerald McCoy Oklahoma
Clinton McDonald Memphis
Jacquies Smith Missouri
Akeem Spence Illinois
Linebackers College External Player News Links
Lavonte David Nebraska
Dane Fletcher Montana State
Mason Foster Washington
Danny Lansanah Connecticut
Orie Lemon Oklahoma State
Brandon Magee Arizona State
Damaso Munoz Rutgers
Jason Williams Western Illinois
Defensive Back College External Player News Links
Johnthan Banks Mississippi State
Crezdon Butler Clemson
Brandon Dixon Northwest Missouri State
Isaiah Frey Nevada-Reno
Dashon Goldson Washington
Mike Jenkins South Florida
Leonard Johnson Iowa State
Bradley McDougald Kansas
Keith Tandy West Virginia
Alterraun Verner UCLA
C.J. Wilson Baylor
Major Wright Florida