NFL notebook

Panthers lose TE Greg Olsen, T Daryl Williams

Panthers tight end Greg Olsen (88) refractured his right foot Sunday.
Panthers tight end Greg Olsen (88) refractured his right foot Sunday.(Mike McCarn/Associated press)

The Panthers will be without three-time Pro Bowl tight end Greg Olsen and second-team All-Pro Bowl right tackle Daryl Williams for the foreseeable future.

The team announced Tuesday that Olsen refractured the same right foot that kept him out of nine games last season in Carolina’s 16-8 win over Dallas on Sunday. Olsen will not have surgery and will be evaluated on a ‘‘monthly basis.’’ He'll remain on the team’s roster in hopes that he can return later in the season as he did a year ago.

Williams suffered an undisclosed knee injury and will need surgery.

Williams, ranked as the top right tackle in the NFL last season by Pro Football Focus, is likely headed for injured reserve. He tore the MCL and dislocated the patella in his right knee in training camp, but fought back to play in the season opener.


Rookie Ian Thomas is expected to replace Olsen in the starting lineup, while Amini Silatolu is next in line to take over at right tackle.

Unlike last year, the 33-year-old Olsen opted not to have surgery.

Falcons’ D takes another hit

The Falcons placed linebacker Deion Jones on injured reserve, taking a second 2017 Pro Bowler from the defense in less than a week.

The move with Jones comes after coach Dan Quinn on Friday announced safety Keanu Neal suffered a torn ligament in his left knee and will miss the remainder of the season.

Jones hurt his foot in Thursday night’s 18-12 opening loss at Philadelphia. Quinn said Tuesday that Jones will require surgery, but is expected to return this season.

Jones must remain on IR for at least six weeks. He then would have two weeks to return to the roster. The earliest date he could return would be on Nov. 11 for Atlanta’s game at Cleveland.

‘‘We are bummed for Deion, but we do expect to get him back at some point this season,’’ Quinn said in a statement.


Jones led the defense with nine tackles, one interception, and two passes defensed against the Eagles. It was his seventh career interception.

He had 138 tackles, three interceptions and one sack in 2017 when he earned his first Pro Bowl selection.

Second-year linebacker Duke Riley may take Jones’s spot at middle linebacker in the starting lineup. Quinn said Friday a combination of Damontae Kazee and Jordan Richards will be the first options to replace Neal.

Packers lose return man

The Packers placed receiver and return man Trevor Davis on injured reserve, and claimed cornerback Deante Burton off waivers from the Falcons.

Davis missed the season opener against Chicago after adding him to the injury report just a couple of hours before the game Sunday. The third-year player and primary returner also missed much of training camp with a sore hamstring.

‘‘When Trevor showed up at the stadium, his hamstring was really bothering him — more than I think even he expected,’’ coach Mike McCarthy said Monday. ‘‘So we took him out on Lambeau (Field) and we had a pregame workout and he wasn’t ready to go.’’

Davis’s absence also means more potential opportunities on offense for Green Bay’s three drafted rookie receivers behind the top trio of Davante Adams, Randall Cobb, and Geronimo Allison.

Burton played on defense and special teams in the Falcons’ season-opening loss to Philadelphia. He started the first week on the practice squad before being promoted to the active roster.


Atlanta moved Burton from receiver to the secondary after signing him as an undrafted rookie free agent out of Kansas State in May 2017. He spent his entire rookie season on the practice squad.

The Packers also released safety Marwin Evans from the practice squad, replacing him with cornerback Will Redmond. A third-year player, Redmond most recently was released by the Chiefs before the start of the season.

Ankle KO’s Cooper

Rams wide receiver and return specialist Pharoh Cooper is expected to miss several weeks because of a sprained ankle.

Coach Sean McVay said Cooper might need surgery to repair the injury he suffered in the third quarter of the Rams’ 33-13 win over Oakland on Monday night.

McVay said Cooper is getting a second opinion.

‘‘He’s going to be out for some time right now, so that’s a big loss for us,’’ the coach said. ‘‘He’s just got some loose fragments in there. It’s a pretty serious ankle sprain is basically the best way I can put it.’’

A fourth-round draft pick in 2016 out of South Carolina, Cooper was named first-team All-Pro as a kick returner last season and made the Pro Bowl after averaging 27.4 yards per kick return with one touchdown and 12.5 yards per punt return.

The Rams might be forced to sign a return specialist this week as Cooper’s backup, wide receiver Mike Thomas, is also dealing with an injury. McVay said Thomas tweaked his groin and is going to meet with a specialist.


Steelers ailing

The Steelers will be a little shorthanded as they prepare for their home opener against Kanas City.

Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, cornerback Joe Haden, and guard David DeCastro could all miss practice time after getting dinged up in a season-opening tie in Cleveland.

Roethlisberger is dealing with a right (throwing) elbow issue, Haden has a hamstring problem, and DeCastro fractured one of his hands during the four-hour marathon in a monsoon.

Coach Mike Tomlin said he will monitor their participation before making any sort of judgment on whether they will be available when the Chiefs (1-0) visit Heinz Field.

The injuries don’t appear to be serious, with Haden the most likely candidate to sit out if his hamstring doesn’t recover in time.

Tomlin described the 36-year-old Roethlisberger’s achy elbow the byproduct of ‘‘the bumps and bruises associated with play.’’

Roethlisberger raised his concerns after the bizarre 21-21 tie in Cleveland, a game in which the 36-year-old turned the ball over five times, three on interceptions and twice on fumbles. Tomlin said Roethlisberger’s elbow had nothing to do with the miscues.

DeCastro fractured his hand during the game but did not miss a play. The All-Pro cleared the way for a pair of touchdown runs by second-year running back James Conner, including a textbook kickout block on Conner’s 22-yard scoring run in the second quarter.

Fowler cleared for Patriots

The Jaguars released defensive tackle Michael Bennett, clearing a roster spot for suspended defensive end Dante Fowler to rejoin the team for Sunday’s game against the Patriots.


Fowler was suspended for the season opener at the Giants following a 2017 arrest. He returned to the team Monday, but Jacksonville had until Tuesday afternoon to make a roster move.

Fowler, the third overall pick in the 2015 draft, is entering the final year of his rookie contract. He had 10 sacks last season, including two in the AFC title game at New England.

Bennett has played in 14 games since the Jaguars selected him in the sixth round of the 2015 draft. He was inactive for the opener.

New coaches shut out

Jon Gruden’s return to the Raiders’ sideline couldn’t have gotten off to a better start, with Marshawn Lynch powering his way into the end zone for a touchdown.

The rest of the night turned out to be rather forgettable for the Raiders and showed that Oakland has a long way to go to get back to the level Gruden had the team playing at when his first stint as coach ended more than 16 years ago.

All that positive energy generated when Gruden was hired back in January turned to a chorus of boos by the end of a 33-13 loss to the Rams on Monday.

‘‘It was great,’’ Gruden said of being back on the sideline at the Oakland Coliseum. ‘‘It’s not time for that anymore. It’s about getting this football team better. It wasn’t good enough tonight.’’

Gruden and the six other new coaches lost their openers, making for the worst debut week in NFL history.

The Raiders were good enough for one half as Derek Carr led the team to that opening-drive touchdown and two more field goals that gave Oakland a 13-10 lead at halftime.

But the Rams then scored all 23 points in the second half, with Marcus Peters returning Carr’s third interception of the game 50 yards for a game-sealing touchdown that sent the fans who pined for Gruden’s return for years heading to the exits.

Oakland managed just six points the rest of the way against a defense fortified by the offseason additions of former All-Pros Peters, Aqib Talib, and Ndamukong Suh.

On Tuesday, the Raiders brought in long snappers for tryouts after losing Andrew DePaola to a significant knee injury in the first quarter.