NFL: Week 5

NFL Notes: Raiders release QB Matt Flynn

Matt Flynn
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Matt Flynn

The Oakland Raiders cut loose quarterback Matt Flynn on Monday, just six months after bringing him in to be the starter.

Oakland acquired Flynn in April from Seattle for a 2014 fifth-round draft pick and a conditional pick in 2015. The Raiders also reworked Flynn’s contract to give him $6.5 million guaranteed this season.

But Flynn was beaten out for the starting job in the preseason by Terrelle Pryor and then fell to third string behind undrafted free agent Matt McGloin last week.


‘‘It just didn’t work,’’ coach Dennis Allen said. ‘‘Terrelle came in and he took over the job. He’s earned the position that he’s in.” So, we just felt like it’s probably best to move on from that.’’

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Pryor started late Sunday night and led the Raiders to a 27-17 victory over the Chargers as Flynn sat watching.

Flynn made two appearances for Oakland (2-3). He came in late in a loss at Denver on Sept. 23, after Pryor was knocked out with a concussion, and then started against Washington the following week.

He was booed by the home crowd from the start of that game and struggled mightily as the Raiders lost, 24-14. He threw an interception that was returned for a touchdown, lost a fumble in the second half, and was sacked seven times.

Seattle signed Flynn and paid him $8 million last season even though he was beaten out by rookie Russell Wilson. That made him expendable; the Raiders acquired him April 1.


Pryor was at his best against the Chargers, completing 18 of 23 passes for 221 yards and no interceptions for a 135.7 passer rating that was the highest for a Raiders quarterback since Rich Gannon in 2002.

Charles Woodson tied an NFL record with his 13th defensive TD and then sealed the win with a late interception.

Vikings add Freeman

Minnesota’s quarterback this weekend will be Matt Cassel or Christian Ponder, not Josh Freeman.

If Ponder has healed from his broken rib, coach Leslie Frazier said, he will return as the starter. If Ponder is still hurt, Cassel will keep the job. Beyond Sunday’s game against Carolina, well, there’s no guarantee for anyone.

The Vikings finalized Freeman’s prorated $3 million deal for the rest of the year, four days after the 25-year-old was cut by Tampa Bay. He didn’t make it in time for practice.


This was the only definitive word from Frazier: there’s not enough time for Freeman to learn the offense and play against the Panthers.

‘‘I don’t think there’s a quarterback in the game of football that doesn’t think they'd be a good fit for this offense,’’ Freeman said Monday night after passing a physical.

Bills choose Lewis

From practice squad to NFL starter: Quarterback Thad Lewis received the surprising news of his sudden promotion upon arriving at the Bills’ facility for team meetings Monday.

Shortly before 8 a.m., coach Doug Marrone pulled Lewis aside to inform him to get ready to face the Bengals on Sunday. ‘‘He just told me, ‘You’re starting,’ ’’ Lewis said.

A day after working out Pat White and Dennis Dixon, the Bills (2-3) stayed in-house in finding an interim replacement for injured rookie EJ Manuel.

Texans pick Schaub

Matt Schaub still has his starting job. Houston coach Gary Kubiak is sure of that. He’s less certain of how to get his veteran quarterback back on track and the Texans back in the win column.

Schaub threw three interceptions in Houston’s 34-3 loss in San Francisco on Sunday that extended the team’s losing streak to three games. His first interception was returned for a touchdown, marking the fourth straight game that an opponent had taken one of his interceptions for a score. Houston (2-3) hosts St. Louis on Sunday.

‘‘It’s a broken record right now,’’ Kubiak said Sunday. ‘‘It looked the same. Hopefully, that’s rock bottom.’’

Tramaine Brock jumped in front of Schaub’s first pass of the night, running 18 yards for a touchdown just 90 seconds into the game. Things only got better for Brock and San Francisco, and worse for Houston’s beleaguered quarterback. Schaub was replaced by T.J. Yates in the fourth quarter.

Smith cries foul

Panthers wide receiver Steve Smith is still upset with the officiating in Carolina’s 22-6 loss to the Cardinals, calling a member of Sunday’s crew ‘‘garbage.’’ Smith, in his 13th season, took aim Monday at veteran umpire Dan Ferrell, saying Ferrell was ‘‘the sorriest referee I've ever met.’’

Smith added that Ferrell ‘‘received a check that day and I hope he feels good, because he was terrible.’’

Smith acknowledged his comments would likely draw a fine from NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, but added that he doesn’t care.

Smith was upset over several calls, including one in which cornerback Patrick Peterson grabbed the back of his jersey and used that momentum to ‘‘slingshot’’ past him to break up a pass. Smith said Ferrell explained it wasn’t enough to warrant pass interference.

‘‘It was pass interference in Mexico, Europe, rugby — in pretty much every other sport but in Arizona [on Sunday],” Smith said.

Meanwhile, Panthers coach Ron Rivera said starting left guard Amini Silatolu tore the ACL in his right knee and will miss the rest of the season.

Vegas picks Broncos

Sports books in and around Las Vegas made Peyton Manning and the Broncos (5-0) a 28-point favorite over visiting Jacksonville (0-5), who have lost each game by double digits. Specialists in the gaming industry say the lopsided spread surpasses the 26-point margin for favored Pittsburgh against Tampa Bay in 1976.

Adding to the number, Jaguars quarterback Blaine Gabbert is back on the bench with a strained hamstring and Chad Henne will make his third start of the season.

In other Jaguars injury news, tight end Marcedes Lewis (calf) will miss another game; fellow tight end Allen Reisner will be out at least six weeks with a sprained knee ligament; and receiver Stephen Burton, safety Dwight Lowery, and defensive end Jeremy Mincey all will try to pass concussion tests Tuesday.

Despite their perfect start, the Broncos’ defense ranks 29th and surrendered 506 yards and five TDs to Tony Romo in a 51-48 win Sunday. The Broncos had three more defensive starters go out with injuries: cornerback Chris Harris (concussion), end Robert Ayers (right shoulder), and linebacker Wesley Woodyard (neck).

Matthews sidelined

Packers outside linebacker Clay Matthews broke his right thumb during Sunday’s 22-9 victory over the Lions at Lambeau Field, although coach Mike McCarthy was unsure how long he would be sidelined . . . Quarterback Michael Vick is day to day because of a hamstring injury that forced him out of Philadelphia’s 36-21 win at the Giants, and coach Chip Kelly said Nick Foles could win the starting job. Foles threw for 197 yards and two TDs against the Giants in slightly over a half. ‘‘There’s always open competition,’’ Kelly said Monday. ‘‘So if Nick goes out there and throws 100 for 100 and throws 27 touchdown passes, then, yeah [he’s the No. 1].’’ . . . Bears defensive tackle Nate Collins will miss the rest of the season after tearing the ACL in his left knee, an injury that needs eight months of recovery.