NFL notes: Bengals’ Geno Atkins out for season

All-Pro defensive tackle Geno Atkins (97) was helped off the field after tearing an ACL Thursday.
All-Pro defensive tackle Geno Atkins (97) was helped off the field after tearing an ACL Thursday.

An MRI on Friday confirmed that Bengals defensive tackle Geno Atkins tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee, leaving the AFC North leaders without another star player on defense.

The All-Pro lineman, who leads the Bengals with six sacks, got his leg bent under him while trying to make a tackle during the first half of a 22-20 overtime loss at Miami on Thursday night.

The Bengals (6-3) have suffered several significant injuries in the last three weeks. Cornerback Leon Hall (torn Achilles’) and safety Taylor Mays (dislocated shoulder) are out for the season, and linebacker Rey Maualuga, who got a concussion and hurt his left knee last Sunday, is out indefinitely.


Running back Giovani Bernard, who had a strong game in the loss to Miami, was sidelined late in the fourth quarter and in overtime by bruised ribs.

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While Cincinnati limped home, the Dolphins were celebrating what Cameron Wake described as a movie moment.

Wake sacked Cincinnati’s Andy Dalton for a safety with 6:38 left in overtime, giving the Dolphins a wild win over the Bengals and getting Miami (4-4) to .500.

It was just the third time in NFL history that an overtime game ended on a safety.

Blackmon suspended

Jacksonville receiver Justin Blackmon was suspended indefinitely without pay for another violation of the league’s substance-abuse policy.


Blackmon was previously suspended the first four games of this season for violating the policy, meaning this is at least his third violation in about 18 months.

‘‘All of us who are a part of the Jaguars family care very deeply about Justin and his well-being,’’ general manager Dave Caldwell said in a statement. ‘‘That said, he must be held accountable and accept the consequences announced today by the NFL.”

Blackmon’s suspension begins immediately. Unlike his four-game ban, he won’t be allowed in the building. He will be eligible to apply for reinstatement prior to the start of the 2014 season.

In a statement released by his agent, Blackmon apologized.

The winless Jaguars (0-8) are not on the hook for the rest of Blackmon’s salary this year, and could look to void what is left on his rookie deal, though they have been vocal in supporting him.


The fifth overall pick in 2012 has 93 catches for 1,280 yards and six touchdowns in 20 games.

Blackmon has been involved in three substance-related incidents in three years.

Osemele likely done

Injured Ravens left guard Kelechi Osemele is likely to miss the remainder of the season. Osemele, who has dealt with a back injury since his rookie season last year, has started every game of his career. He is likely to undergo surgery . . . Bills quarterback Thad Lewis (ribs) is doubtful for Sunday’s game against Kansas City. He returned to practice Friday on a limited basis . . . Jets receiver Santonio Holmes will miss his fifth straight game with a hamstring injury suffered at Tennessee in Week 4. Tight end Jeff Cumberland is questionable with a concussion after he was injured last Sunday at Cincinnati . . . Saints receiver Marques Colston missed practice with an unspecified knee injury as New Orleans gets ready to face the Jets . . . Roddy White returned to practice for the first time in more than three weeks and is listed as questionable with a hamstring issue as the Falcons prep to visit Carolina . . . Dallas cornerback Morris Claiborne (hamstring) and guard Brian Waters (triceps) will miss Sunday’s game against Minnesota. Safety J.J. Wilcox will miss his second straight game with a right knee sprain . . . Seahawks receiver Percy Harvin will not play Sunday against Tampa Bay as he continues to recover from hip surgery in August. Harvin went for a follow-up MRI that confirmed there are no complications from the surgery after it became sore following practices.

Coach, QB supported

Vikings coach Leslie Frazier gave Christian Ponder a vote of confidence on the same day general manager Rick Spielman gave Frazier one. Frazier, who Spielman said “is not going anywhere” despite the team’s 1-6 start, announced the struggling Ponder will start at quarterback Sunday against Dallas . . . Miami guard Richie Incognito’s role in the Jonathan Martin situation is being investigated by the NFL Players Association, sources told Martin was allegedly bullied to the point of leaving the team. Several sources told ESPN that the incident was not isolated, while another source said NFLPA attorneys have evidence that could point to Incognito as one of the main offenders . . . The Chiefs-Broncos game in Week 11 is moving into NBC’s ‘‘Sunday Night Football’’ slot. The Packers and Giants were originally at that time. Starting in Week 11, the league’s flexible scheduling policy kicks in . . . Former Pro Bowl guard Brandon Moore officially retired as a member of the Jets. An emotional Moore was honored by the team after ending a playing career in which he spent 11 seasons with the Jets . . . A federal judge in Minnesota gave final approval to a $50 million settlement in a complicated court fight over publicity rights for retired NFL players.