Marlon Mack could have bristled when the Indianapolis Colts took another running back, Jonathan Taylor, in the second round of April’s draft. Instead, he welcomed the tag-team concept.
It lasted less than one half.
Coach Frank Reich confirmed the Colts' worst fears Monday, announcing Mack will miss the rest of this season with a ruptured right Achilles tendon. Taylor will move into the starting role.
“That’s really unfortunate,” Reich said. “Marlon is beloved in our locker room, and he’s a true Colt. And he was just looking so good in training camp and in his few snaps yesterday, he looked like lightning out there. I haven’t had a chance to talk to him yet, but I left him a message that said I think the best is still ahead for Marlon Mack.”
He was injured on a 3-yard catch midway through the second quarter of Sunday’s 27-20 loss at Jacksonville.
Indy has plenty of talent in the backfield, and Reich expects everyone to pitch in as the Colts try to improve on last season’s No. 7-ranked rushing offense.
“Jonathan will step into the starting role. He looked good yesterday, and he 's ready,” Reich said. “Nyheim [Hines] is still going to be an important part of the mix and then Jordan [Wilkins], we’ve got a lot of confidence in Jordan."
Taylor, selected No. 41 overall out of Wisconsin, had nine carries for 22 yards and six receptions for 67 yards in his NFL debut.
Reid rips NFL’s 'half-hearted’ campaign
Two players who have long criticized the NFL for its social justice policies aren’t impressed by the league’s stepped-up efforts this season
Eric Reid criticized the NFL’s campaign this season “half-hearted at best” and singled out the use a video Sunday of Colin Kaepernick kneeling while the quarterback remains unsigned “diabolical.”
The free agent safety tweeted that commissioner Roger Goodell “has gotten comfortable” saying he was wrong not to listen to players about social injustice “as if his mere acknowledgement reconciles his admitted wrongdoing. He hasn’t even called Colin to apologize, let alone reconcile, proving this is only PR for the current business climate.”
Reid’s tweet continued, “Goodell uses video of Colin courageously kneeling to legitimize their disingenuous PR while simultaneously perpetuating systemic oppression, that the video he’s using fights against, by continuing to rob Colin of his career. It’s diabolical.”
Reid’s tweets came a day after Kaepernick also criticized the NFL’s efforts, and the fact Reid has gone unsigned this season.
“While the NFL runs propaganda about how they care about Black Life, they are still actively blackballing Eric Reid for fighting for the Black community,” tweeted Kaepernick, the former 49ers quarterback who hasn’t played since 2016. “Eric set 2 franchise records last year, and is one of the best defensive players in the league.”
Reid and Kaepernick were included in a video played at each stadium Sunday that featured the song “Lift Ev’ry Voice and Sing,” which was performed by Alicia Keys.
Browns cut kicker Seibert, add Parkey
The Browns kicked aside their kicker after one game.
Cleveland waived Austin Seibert after he missed an extra point and field goal in the first half of Sunday’s season-opening loss at Baltimore. He’s being replaced by Cody Parkey, who kicked for the Browns in 2016 and is best known for missing a late field goal for the Chicago Bears in the 2018 playoffs.
Parkey will handle kicking duties when the Browns host the Cincinnati Bengals on Thursday night.
Even if Seibert had made those kicks, they probably wouldn’t have changed the outcome of the game, but first-year coach Kevin Stefanski felt he had seen enough.
“I expect him to make those kicks,” Stefanski said. “I hold him to the same standard that we hold every other player on this team. He has to make those kicks.”
Also, the Browns placed tight end David Njoku on injured reserve with a knee injury. A first-round pick in 2017, Njoku scored the Browns' only touchdown in Sunday’s loss. Njoku will miss at least three games, per the NFL’s new rules this season.
NFL warns about face coverings
The NFL reminded team personnel on the sidelines about the COVID-19 requirements for wearing face coverings, saying such carelessness or disregard could put the season “at risk.”
There were several games Sunday in which team members other than players did not use face coverings.
Troy Vincent, who oversees the league’s football operations, sent a memo to the 32 clubs. He stressed that teams “must remain vigilant and disciplined in following the processes and protocols put in place by not only the league, union, and clubs, but also by state and local governments.”
After congratulating the teams for overcoming coronavirus challenges and beginning the regular season on time, Vincent strongly cautioned against undoing that work.
All individuals with bench area access, including coaches and members of the club medical staff, must wear face coverings at all times. Punishment for not adhering to the protocols has not been announced, but could include anything from fines to ejection from the sideline.
During the Sunday night game between Dallas and Los Angeles, Rams coach Sean McVay often was shown on camera without a face covering, although he was hardly alone.
Prescott has McCarthy’s back
Mike McCarthy lost his debut as coach of the Dallas Cowboys in part because of a curious fourth-down decision that didn’t work.
But he might have won his quarterback with the move.
Dak Prescott’s pass to rookie receiver CeeDee Lamb covered 2 yards on fourth-and-3 when a short field goal could have pulled Dallas even in the fourth quarter of a 20-17 loss to the Los Angeles Rams.
Prescott wasn’t put off by the call.
“I mean, I love the aggressiveness,” Prescott said. “I think that was the point in the game that if we get that first down and punch it in the end zone, we’re looking at a whole different ballgame. I think it was a momentum chance, and I love the play call. We just weren’t able to get it.”
Packers guard Taylor may miss season
Packers coach Matt LaFleur said right guard Lane Taylor is expected to miss the rest of the season after hurting his right knee in the second half of a 43-34 victory over the Minnesota Vikings. The Packers responded by shifting Elgton Jenkins from left guard to right tackle and having Lucas Patrick fill in at left guard. Then Patrick left in the first half with a shoulder injury. That caused Rick Wagner to take over at right tackle and Jenkins to move back to left guard. Jon Runyan Jr., a rookie sixth-round draft pick from Michigan, made his NFL debut at right guard. All the machinations didn’t hurt Green Bay’s offense: it piled up 522 yards in the win … Saints receiver Michael Thomas suffered a high ankle sprain in Sunday’s win over the Buccaneers but the team hopes he’ll be able to play through it, according to an NFL Network report. He was limited to three catches for 17 yards in New Orleans' Week 1 win, reportedly suffering the injury when he got rolled up on by running back Alvin Kamara late in the game. The team said Thomas has not been ruled out for Monday night’s game against the Raiders … The status of Bills starting linebackers Tremaine Edmunds and Matt Milano is uncertain for Buffalo’s game at the Dolphins this weekend. Both were hurt in a 27-17 season-opening win over the Jets. Edmunds was hurt trying to make a tackle and appeared to suffer a shoulder injury. Milano, who made a leaping interception at midfield of Sam Darnold’s pass, did not return after hurting his hamstring in the first half … Jets running back Le’Veon Bell could miss a few weeks after injuring his left hamstring in the team’s season-opening loss at Buffalo. Coach Adam Gase said he doesn’t want to put a timetable on Bell’s return, but says it could take some time because it’s a soft-tissue injury. Inside linebacker Blake Cashman also cold miss a few weeks with a groin injury … The Tennessee Titans placed starting cornerback Adoree Jackson (knee) on injured reserve and replaced him by signing cornerback Tye Smith to the active roster from the practice squad.