Postcard from Camp Day 15: Rivers leaves practice with apparent leg injury


Postcard from Camp Day 15: Rivers leaves practice with apparent leg injury

WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS, West Virginia -- The Patriots and Texans finished up a physical practice at the Greenbrier on Wednesday afternoon, their final joint session before Saturday's preseason game in Houston. 

The Patriots took another hit at the defensive end position as Derek Rivers left the practice a little over an hour into the practice following a kick coverage drill. Patriots trainer Jim Whalen appeared to be checking on Rivers' left knee. Rivers got off the turf and walked into the Greenbrier Sports Performance Center with team staffers. He did not return. 

Here are some of the other news and notes we picked up from Wednesday's workout . . . 


* LaAdrian Waddle and LeShun Daniels, both of whom failed to finish Tuesday's practice, joined the list of Patriots absentees from Tuesday: Nate Solder, Tony Garcia, Matthew Slater, Brandon King, Keionta Davis, Deatrich Wise, Dont'a Hightower (PUP), Andrew Jelks (NFI), Shea McClellin, Matt Lengel and Mike Gillislee. 



* About 15 minutes after Rivers' injury, Kony Ealy was rolling around on the ground, reaching for his shoulder. He returned at 11:50 and had a handful of effective pass-rush snaps during a hurry-up period coming off the right edge. He said after practice he feels as though he's heading in the right direction and building some positive momentum. 

* With LaAdrian Waddle out -- joining Nate Solder and Tony Garcia as injured left-tackle options -- Cameron Fleming took all of the reps with the top group on Tom Brady's blind side. Fleming was beaten by Whitney Mercilus for a pair of sacks in team drills and he lost to Mercilus in their lone 1-on-1 rep against one another. At one point, the Patriots placed Dion Lewis just off of Fleming's hip to chip Mercilus, and Mercilus ran over Lewis. Fleming did get the better of Mercilus at the end of practice, putting Mercilus on the ground and helping to give Brady enough time to find James White for a touchdown to finish off a hurry-up period.

* The Patriots came onto the field with a defense that seemed to be a healthy mix of regulars and reserves. Jordan Richards and Duron Harmon were the safeties. Derek Rivers was at one end with Harvey Langi on the other. Malcolm Butler and Stephon Gilmore were at the corner spots. On the next series, Patrick Chung came onto the field as did Devin McCourty. Trevor Bates and Jonathan Freeny handled the edges while David Harris manned the middle. 

* Dion Lewis, Danny Amendola and Cyrus Jones were the returners during what was a significantly more physical set of special-teams periods.

* After sitting out most of Tuesday's practice, Stephon Gilmore was out there in 11-on-11 work. Eric Rowe saw time in the slot with Malcolm Butler and Gilmore on the outside and handled himself well.

* James O'Shaughnessy made what was perhaps the play of the day, plucking a Tom Brady pass off of the helmet of Bernardrick McKinney. Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels was as excited by that play as he's been all camp. O'Shaughnessy has missed significant practice time due to injury but was a full participant on Tuesday, seeing passes in fully-padded 11-on-11 work for the first time in a long time. He caught all four balls (three from Garoppolo) thrown his way. 

* Harris had some difficulty keeping up with Texans backs in coverage, allowing Texans quarterbacks to complete all five passes that were sent in his direction. 

* After a quiet practice on Tuesday, Brandin Cooks caught five of eight passes from Brady, including a long touchdown on a post route with Texans corner Kevin Johnson in coverage. Cooks did have one drop. 



Cannon beat Watt

Mercilus beat Fleming

Thuney beat Dunn

McDermott beat Scarlett

Hatley beat Karras

Ferentz beat Ankou

Pratt beat Cannon on speed to power

Andrews beat Hatley

Ankou beat King

Fleming got the edge on Lee

McDermott got the best of Tony Washington

Mercilus breezed past Croston


11-ON-11 NOTES


* Rivers sacks Savage. Patriots sideline into it. 

* Miller run. 

* Miller run. 

* Savage incomplete to Ellington. Gilmore in coverage. PI on Gilmore. 


* Watson complete to Stephen Anderson. 

* Foreman run. 

* Watson run. Ealy pressured him out of the pocket. 

* Foreman run. Ealy blown out of the play. 


* Savage complete to Blue with Harris in coverage. 



* Burkhead run. 

* Burkhead run. 

* Brady complete to Edelman. 

* Lewis run. 

* Brady sacked by Mercilus working on Fleming. 

* Brady complete to Hogan. Mercilus hammers Lewis, who was chipping to help Fleming. 


* Bolden run. 

* Garoppolo complete to O'Shaughnessy. 

* Bolden run. 



* Savage complete to Prosch. 

* Miller run. Edge set by Van Noy. 

* Savage incomplete to Ellington with Rowe in coverage. Ellington drop.

* Punt. Cyrus Jones returns. Double-caught it. 


* Savage hands to Miller. 

* Savage would have been sacked by Harris. Brown blows up screen.


* Watson incomplete to Blue over the middle. 

* Foreman run. Stuffed by Branch. 

* Watson complete to Griffin with Ebner in coverage. Ball bobbled.

* Watson incomplete over the middle. Ealy hurt.



* Brady complete to Cooks.

* Brady incomplete to Cooks. Cooks drop. 

* Brady complete to Cooks on the sideline. Perfect throw and catch.

* Punt.  


* Lewis run.

* Brady complete to Hogan. 

* Brady complete to White on screen. 


* Lewis run. 

* Garoppolo complete to Lewis. 

* Garoppolo complete to Gronkowski. 

* Allen shanks a punt. 



* Adam Butler sack. 

* Miller run. 

* Savage complete to Ellington. Rowe gets to him before any gain. 

* Punt.


* Savage incmoplete over the middle. Bates there in coverage. Well played.

* Savage complete to Anderson with Richards in coverage. 


* Watson complete to Strong over the middle. Van Noy flushes him from pocket.

* Punt. 

* Watson sacked by Bates. 

* Watson complete to Anderson. 

* Watson incomplete to Allen. Allen drop. Well-placed pass. 



* Brady complete to O'Shaughnessy. 

* Bolden run. 

* Brady complete to Edelman. 

* Punt. 


* Brady sacked by Mercilus, who was working on Fleming. 

* Bolden run. 

* Brady incomplete for Amendola. Cunningham PBU. 


* Garoppolo complete to Allen on roll-out. 

* Bolden run. 

* Garoppolo incomplete to Mitchell. PBU Moore. Nearly picked. 

* Punt.



* Miller run. Ealy's back. 

* Blue run. Guy there to make the stop. 

* Blue run. 

* Savage complete to Foreman. Roberts in coverage, looked like he missed an assignment. 

* Roberts strips Ervin, Rowe recovers for score.


* Watson incomplete. Langi pressure. 

* Watson complete to Griffin. Harmon there in coverage, but was boxed out.

* Foreman run. Patriots emphasizing strips all practice. Got him on a late one.

* Watson complete to Ervin with Harris in coverage. Eludes Butler pressure.



* Brady complete to Cooks on post for a touchdown. Beat Kevin Johnson.

* Burkhead run. 

* Brady incomplete to Gronkowski. Gilchrist PBU. Brady grabs his helmet in shame.

* Brady complete to Burkhead. 

* Burkhead run. 

* Mercilus offsides.

* White run. 


* Burkhead run. 

* Garoppolo incomplete to Carr. 

* Garoppolo sacked by Kamalu. Pass incomplete to Carr. 



* Savage complete to Griffin with Chung in coverage. 

* Savage complete to Miller with Harris in coverage. 

* Savage incomplete for Griffin with Chung in coverage. 

* Savage complete to Miller with Harris in coverage.

* Savage incomplete to Griffin with McCourty in coverage. 

* Savage complete to Strong for a touchdown with Butler in coverage. Butler stumbled as the pass approached. 



* Brady incomplete for Edelman. 

* Brady complete to Hogan on a post for a touchdown. Cunningham beat in coverage. Watt got a lot of attention. Cannon, Mason, Andrews all got a shot in. 

* Brady complete to Cooks. 

* Brady incomplete out of the back of the end zone. 

* Brady complete to White for a touchdown. Fleming put Mercilus on the ground. After the play Edelman got mixed up with Gilchrist and Hal. Lots of chatter.



* Watson complete to Hardee. 

* Watson incomplete to McCarron. Perfect pass. Jonathan Jones PBU. 

* Watson sacked by Ealy off the right side. 

* Watson incomplete to Williams. Ealy pressure. 

* Watson incomplete on Hail Mary. Coleman PBU. Ealy good effort. 



* Garoppolo complete to Carr. 

* Garoppolo incomplete to Carr. Overthrown. 

* Garoppolo incomplete to Amendola. Amendola drop. 

* Garoppolo incomplete to Mitchell. 

* Garoppolo incomplete to Carr. Overthrown. 


* Brissett finished his run at the end of practice 3-for-7. 




* Savage complete to Ervin with Rowe in coverage.

* Savage incomplete to Anderson. Butler PBU. 

* Savage complete to Ervin with Harris in coverage. 


* Watson complete to Griffin with Ebner in coverage.

* Watson complete to Jaelen Strong in the back corner of the end zone on Cyrus Jones. Perfectly-thrown pass. 

* Coverage sack. Play blown dead.


* Weeden complete to Anderson. 

* Weeden tuck and run. 

* Weeden complete to Anderson with J. Jones in coverage. 



* Brady incomplete to Cooks out of the end zone. Overthrown. 

* Brady incomplete to Cooks. Joseph PBU. 

* Brady incomplete to Edelman. Edelman drop. 

* Brady complete to Cooks over the middle. 

* Brady incomplete to Burkhead. Pass broken up. 


* Garoppolo complete to O'Shaughnessy. 

* Garoppolo incomplete to Mitchell. Roberson PBU. 

* Garoppolo complete to O'Shaughnessy. 

INTERCONFERENCE: Rodgers burns Bengals deep in OT, Packers win, 27-24


INTERCONFERENCE: Rodgers burns Bengals deep in OT, Packers win, 27-24

GREEN BAY, Wis. - Aaron Rodgers burned another defense deep with a free play. The Cincinnati Bengals found their offense and a new way to lose.

Mason Crosby kicked a 27-yard field goal with 6:26 left in overtime set up by Rodgers' 72-yard pass to Geronimo Allison, and the Green Bay Packers rallied to beat Cincinnati 27-24 on Sunday.

Crosby's kick completed the Packers' comeback from a 21-7 halftime deficit.

On third-and-10 from his 21, Rodgers took advantage of yet another free play after defensive end Michael Johnson was whistled for offside. Officials let the play continue and the two-time NFL MVP found Allison on about a 40-yard pass before the receiver beat a couple defenders for more yards.

"Luckily I put it in a good spot and G-Mo did the rest," Rodgers said.

Crosby, a veteran kicker, finished it off for the Packers (2-1).

The winless Bengals (0-3) won the toss in overtime but went three-and-out on their opening drive. It was so loud at Lambeau Field that they had to call timeout before their first overtime snap.

Rodgers thrived under the pressure.

He connected with Jordy Nelson for a 3-yard touchdown pass with 17 seconds left in regulation to tie the game at 24. Cornerback Dre Kilpatrick narrowly missed batting away the bullet thrown by the quarterback into the front right corner of the end zone.

"We rushed the quarterback, keeping him in. We did a lot, but when we broke down, (Rodgers) made plays," Bengals coach Marvin Lewis said.

Rodgers finished 28 of 42 for 313 yards with three touchdowns and one interception. Allison had six catches for 122 yards.

"I thought Aaron played one of his best games," coach Mike McCarthy said. "I thought he was tremendous today."

The Packers flipped the script after the Bengals controlled the first half.

A.J. Green caught a 10-yard scoring pass on the game's opening drive for Cincinnati's first touchdown after two frustrating weeks for the offense. Bill Lazor made his debut as offensive coordinator for the fired Ken Zampese.

Andy Dalton was 21 of 27 for 212 yards and two scores. The Bengals were desperate to avoid their first 0-3 start since 2008. But they couldn't finish the Packers off in the second half.

"A disappointment is not finishing a football game now," Lewis said.

Green Bay's defense generated a little more pressure on Dalton in the second half, and rookie safety Josh Jones gave the injury-laden defense a boost with two sacks and 12 tackles.

Rodgers shook off his early struggles to guide the Packers to another win. He was sacked six times, mostly against just the Bengals' four-man rush, though the protection shored up after halftime.

Rodgers threw just his second career pick-six - and his first at home - when William Jackson returned an interception 75 yards for a touchdown for a 21-7 lead early in the second quarter.

"Oh, we took a step as a football team," McCarthy said. "This always pays forward when you go through adversity and you have success."


INTERCONFERENCE: Titans score 21 straight points in 3rd, beat Seahawks, 33-27


INTERCONFERENCE: Titans score 21 straight points in 3rd, beat Seahawks, 33-27

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Marcus Mariota threw for 225 yards and two touchdowns, and the Tennessee Titans scored 21 straight points in rallying to beat the Seattle Seahawks 33-27 Sunday.

Pro Bowl running back DeMarco Murray rushed for 115 yards, including a 75-yard TD run . Ryan Succop also kicked four field goals as Tennessee (2-1) scored at least 30 points for a second straight week.

The Seahawks (1-2) finally scored a bunch of touchdowns with Russell Wilson throwing for 373 yards and four TDs. His second TD, a 10-yarder to Chris Carson , put Seattle up 14-9 in the third quarter.

Then the Titans took control with Mariota answering with TDs on the next two drives for Tennessee.

Mariota tossed a screen to Rishard Matthews, who ran 55 yards to the end zone for a 16-14 lead midway through the third. Matthews and tight end Jonnu Smith celebrated taking pretend selfies in the end zone.

On the next possession, Mariota found a wide-open Jonnu Smith for a 24-yard TD and a 23-14 lead.

Murray's TD gave Tennessee a 30-14 lead late in the quarter, and Tennessee finished with 195 yards rushing.

Wilson pulled Seattle within 33-27 with his fourth TD, an 8-yarder to Paul Richardson with 1:50 left. But Titans tight end Delanie Walker recovered Seattle's onside kick.

The Seahawks had one last chance with the Titans lined up to punt on fourth-and-3 with 11 seconds left. Then officials flagged the Seahawks for 12 men in the formation, giving Tennessee the clinching first down.

Both teams chose not to take the field for the national anthem on a day of protests around the NFL. Meghan Linsey, a runner-up in "The Voice," took a knee when she finished singing.

Then Wilson locked arms with center Justin Britt, followed by his teammates as the Seahawks walked onto the field. In the other corner, Mariota locked arms with Tennessee tight end Delanie Walker and linebacker Wesley Woodyard, defensive tackle Jurrell Casey and linebacker Brian Orakpo as the Titans walked out.