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Rams snap skid by beating Falcons 37-10 as Ryan hurts ankle

Sun Oct 20 4:23pm ET
By CHARLES ODUM
AP Sports Writer

Players: Matt Ryan, Matt Schaub, Julio Jones, Kenjon Barner, Mohamed Sanu, Blake Bortles, Devonta Freeman, Todd Gurley, Jared Goff, Austin Hooper, Brian Hill, Ito Smith, Gerald Everett

Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan reacts as medical personel attend to him after injury against the Los Angeles Rams during the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Oct. 20, 2019, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/John Amis)


Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan (2) leaves the field after injury against the Los Angeles Rams during the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Oct. 20, 2019, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)


Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan reacts as medical personel attend to him after injury against the Los Angeles Rams during the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Oct. 20, 2019, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/John Amis)


Los Angeles Rams defensive back Nick Scott (33) hits Atlanta Falcons defensive back Jordan Miller (28) during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Oct. 20, 2019, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)


Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones (11) misses the catch against Los Angeles Rams cornerback Jalen Ramsey (20) during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Oct. 20, 2019, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)


Los Angeles Rams cornerback Jalen Ramsey (20) hits Atlanta Falcons running back Devonta Freeman (24) causing a fumble during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Oct. 20, 2019, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)


Los Angeles Rams quarterback Jared Goff (16) works in the pocket as Atlanta Falcons defensive end Vic Beasley (44) pursues during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Oct. 20, 2019, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)


Los Angeles Rams wide receiver Robert Woods (17) makes the catch against Atlanta Falcons defensive back Kendall Sheffield (20) during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Oct. 20, 2019, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/John Amis)


ATLANTA (AP) Jared Goff threw for two touchdowns and ran for another, and the Los Angeles Rams returned to the site of last season's Super Bowl loss to beat the reeling Atlanta Falcons 37-10 on Sunday.

The Rams (4-3) snapped a three-game losing streak in the debut of cornerback Jalen Ramsey.

The Falcons (1-6) suffered their fifth straight loss and had quarterback Matt Ryan leave the game with an ankle injury. Ryan's right leg bent awkwardly as he was sacked by Aaron Donald and fumbled early in the fourth quarter.

Ryan limped off the field and was escorted to the medical tent on the sideline. He walked to the locker room, still favoring the ankle, with 7:36 remaining in the game.

There was no immediate update on the severity of the injury.

Donald was credited with a sack, forced fumble and recovery on the play. It was the Rams' fifth sack of Ryan, matching the five sacks by Atlanta's defense this season - none in the last four games.

Matt Schaub replaced Ryan and threw a 10-yard touchdown pass to Austin Hooper with less than three minutes remaining.

The final insult for Atlanta came with only 11 seconds remaining when Kenjon Barner fumbled a punt return when hit by Troy Reeder and Darious Williams recovered in the end zone for a touchdown.

Ryan's injury was the latest and perhaps most damaging dose of bad news for the woeful Falcons. Coach Dan Quinn's job security appears shaky at best as he quickly runs out of time to avoid a second straight losing season.

Atlanta's frustrations showed in a third-quarter fight between running back Devonta Freeman and Donald that led to Freeman's ejection. The two locked up after Ryan's pass off Mohamed Sanu's hands was intercepted by Cory Littleton deep in Atlanta territory with the Rams leading 20-3.

Freeman had his hands on Donald's facemask before throwing a punch at the much bigger Donald, which appeared to make little if any contact. Umpire Terry Killens finally pulled Freeman away from Donald, taking Freeman to the ground in an apparent unintentional body slam before quickly helping Freeman to his feet.

Each player drew unnecessary roughness penalties, and Freeman was tossed for throwing the punch.

The turnover left the Rams at the Atlanta 16 for a short drive capped by Goff's 1-yard scoring run.

With running back Ito Smith already out with an injury, Freeman's ejection left Brian Hill and return specialist Kenjon Barner as the options at running back.

Goff completed 22 of 37 passes for 268 yards and two touchdowns. Blake Bortles took over on the Rams' final possession.

Atlanta's offense struggled even before Freeman's exit. The Falcons were limited to 224 yards.

Ramsey, the former All-Pro cornerback, was acquired by Los Angeles from Jacksonville on Tuesday for three draft picks, including two first-rounders.

As expected, Ramsey shadowed Falcons standout Julio Jones much of the game. Jones had six catches for 93 yards in his first matchup with Ramsey.

Ramsey moved into a revamped secondary. The Rams placed cornerback Aqib Talib and safety John Johnson on injured reserve this week and traded cornerback Marcus Peters to Baltimore. That left safety Eric Weddle as the only holdover starter.

The new mix held up well. Ryan completed 16 of 27 passes for only 159 yards with an interception.

Goff threw a perfectly placed 13-yard touchdown pass to Todd Gurley early in the second quarter. He added an 8-yard scoring pass to Gerald Everett in the third quarter.

Everett, an Atlanta native, celebrated by doing the ''Dirty Bird'' dance made famous in the Falcons' 1998 Super Bowl season.

INJURY REPORT

Smith was carted off the field late in the first quarter with head and neck injuries following a helmet-to-helmet hit from Rams linebacker Cory Littleton. There was no flag. Smith did not return.

UP NEXT

The Rams will remain in Atlanta to practice at Georgia Tech for a few days before flying to London for next Sunday's game against Cincinnati.

The Falcons will play the Seahawks in another home game next Sunday. Seattle leads the series 10-8, including two playoff games won by Atlanta.

Player Notes
Von Miller Feb 26 1:50pm ET

Denver Broncos defensive end Bradley Chubb (knee) will not take part in organized team activities this spring, but he will be ready for training camp. Chubb, the fifth overall pick in 2018, is recovering from a torn ACL that cost him 12 games in his sophomore season. The 23-year-old wasted no time doing damage in his rookie season with 60 total tackles and 12 sacks, so he should return to being a force across from Von Miller in 2020 if he avoids the injury bug. Denver's D will likely go undrafted in standard-sized formats this year, but they could easily wind up being owned in the majority of leagues by the end of the year in head coach Vic Fangio's second season.

From RotoBaller

Chase Daniel Feb 26 1:20pm ET

The Cleveland Browns are expected to pursue Chicago Bears impending free-agent quarterback Chase Daniel when free agency begins. The Browns need a strong veteran backup behind Baker Mayfield next season. Cleveland's backup last year was Drew Stanton, but he's set to be a free agent next month as well. Behind him was Garrett Gilbert. Daniel played in parts of eight games for the Bears in the last two seasons, throwing six touchdowns and four interceptions. He'd only be in the mix as a low-end QB2 if he were to sign with the Browns and Mayfield were to get hurt in 2020 and miss some time.

From RotoBaller

Amari Cooper Feb 26 12:50pm ET

Dallas Cowboys head coach Mike McCarthy said the team would like to keep impending free-agent wide receivers Amari Cooper and Randall Cobb. Cooper is the bigger priority as the team's No. 1 receiver, but things are complicated this offseason, as the Cowboys' biggest priority is getting franchise quarterback Dak Prescott signed to a long-term extension. Cooper battled through nagging injuries in 2019 but managed to play a full season and caught 79 passes for a career-high 1,189 yards and eight touchdowns. Cobb would be more of a luxury to keep around after he had 55 receptions for 828 yards and three scores in his first year in Dallas. Cooper finished as a top-10 fantasy wideout in 2019 and would be firmly in the WR1 conversation if he remains in Dallas.

From RotoBaller

Leighton Vander Esch Feb 26 10:20am ET

Dallas Cowboys linebacker Sean Lee is expected to return to the team in 2020. Lee played in a full season for the first time of his career and saw considerable playing time in the second half of the season with Leighton Vander Esch (neck) injured, recording 86 tackles (55 solo), one sack and one interception. Lee will be more of a backup with the Cowboys if Vander Esch is fully healthy next season, but he'd provide valuable veteran depth in the middle of the field if he comes back. The 33-year-old will only had IDP appeal in deep leagues if LVE misses more time with injury.

From RotoBaller

Tua Tagovailoa Feb 26 10:10am ET

Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa received overwhelmingly positive reports on his dislocated hip from teams who examined him following two days of medical testing, according to sources. The MRIs were clean, his fractured hip is healed and there is no loss in blood flow. One source said Tagovailoa "looked great." It's great news for Tua's draft stock heading into April's draft. There might still be some concerns about his long-term health and ability to stay healthy at the next level given his size (6-foot-1, 218 pounds). Regardless, he'll be an early selection in the first round, possibly as high as No. 5 to the Dolphins. Or a team could trade up at No. 4 with the Giants to take him. Depending on where he lands, Tagovailoa will mostly be a dynasty asset in his first year in the NFL.

From RotoBaller

Baker Mayfield Feb 26 10:00am ET

Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield, who put on some weight last year to bulk up, plans to be slimmer and faster this year with an emphasis on being in better shape. The extra weight that Mayfield carried with him last year caused him to lose some overall quickness. Cleveland had sky-high expectations going into last season, and both the team and Mayfield failed to live up to them. The second-year quarterback completed only 59.4 percent of his passes for 3,827 yards, 22 touchdowns and 21 interceptions in 16 games. He'll be learning a new offense this spring and summer, but Mayfield has plenty of weapons around him to bounce back. Fantasy owners won't be so bold on him and will likely take him as more of a QB2 with upside.

From RotoBaller

David Njoku Feb 26 1:50am ET

Cleveland Browns general manager Andrew Berry, who was vice president of player personnel in 2017 when the team drafted tight end David Njoku in the first round, envisions a role for Njoku moving forward despite his down season in 2019. Berry implied that the team will pick up the fifth-year options on both Njoku and defensive end Myles Garrett, the first overall pick of 2017. Njoku, 23, played 16 games each in his first two seasons and had a career year in 2018 with 56 catches, 639 yards and four touchdowns. He was held to just five catches for 41 yards and a score in four games in 2019 due to injury and headbutting with former head coach Freddie Kitchens. You can get Njoku on the cheap as a TE2 with upside in 2020 drafts.

From RotoBaller

Jimmy Garoppolo Feb 26 1:40am ET

San Francisco 49ers left tackle Joe Staley (leg) is expected to return for the final year of his contract in 2020 after there was speculation that he would retire from the game after a Super Bowl run in 2019. The 13-year veteran missed nine games last season due to a broken leg, but he was solid as quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo's blind-side protector when he was on the field. Staley allowed just seven QB pressures in 240 pass-blocking snaps last year for a pressure rate of 2.9 percent, which trailed just Ronnie Stanley and Taylor Lewan among left tackles, according to Pro Football Focus. Staley's return would be great news for Jimmy G.

From RotoBaller

Dante Pettis Feb 26 1:30am ET

San Francisco 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan said that he wants wide receiver Dante Pettis to go on an offseason "mission" after taking a huge step back in his second season in 2019. After catching 27 passes for 467 yards and five touchdowns in 12 games in his rookie season, Pettis had just 11 grabs for 109 yards and two scores in 11 games in 2019 and was in Shanahan's dog house for the majority of the season for multiple reasons. But with Emmanuel Sanders a free agent and the Niners looking for someone to step up behind Deebo Samuel, Pettis could get another chance this spring and summer to prove he belongs. Still, it'll take a lot of convincing for fantasy owners to invest in Pettis off the waiver wire to begin the year.

From RotoBaller

Jalen Ramsey Feb 26 1:10am ET

Los Angeles Rams general manager Les Snead said that there is "no timeline" on a long-term contract extension for cornerback Jalen Ramsey. The Rams acquired Ramsey from the Jaguars in the middle of last season for two first-round picks. The 25-year-old played in just 12 total games last year (nine with the Rams), and he had 33 tackles (31 solo), one forced fumble and an interception in his time in Los Angeles. The former fifth overall pick in the 2016 draft has made three straight Pro Bowls and was a first-team All-Pro back in 2017 when Jacksonville made an AFC Championship appearance. Ramsey will be expensive, but he'd be a huge asset for the Rams secondary for years to come if he sticks around.

From RotoBaller

Jacob Hollister Feb 26 1:00am ET

Seattle Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll thinks highly of tight end Jacob Hollister and the team wants to bring him back as a restricted free agent. Will Dissly is coming off a torn Achilles last year and has two major lower-body injuries in the last two seasons, but the Seahawks also recently signed veteran Greg Olsen at the position. There's no guarantee that either of Olsen or Dissly will stay healthy for a full season, though, so perhaps Seattle wants to keep Hollister around for depth. The 26-year-old had a career-high 41 catches for 349 yards and three touchdowns in 11 games in 2019. He might have some low-end TE1 fantasy appeal if he were to land with another team as their starter.

From RotoBaller

Gardner Minshew II Feb 26 1:00am ET

Jacksonville Jaguars head coach Doug Marrone and general manager David Caldwell said that the team will let quarterbacks Gardner Minshew and Nick Foles compete for the starting job in 2020. Joshua Dobbs will also be a part of the competition, which will begin as soon as organized team activities kick off this spring. Marrone suggested that the Jaguars won't select their starter until the preseason. Caldwell may have a soft spot for Minshew, but the Jags also signed Foles to a four-year, $88 million deal ($45 million in guarantees) in March of last year. Foles broke his collarbone in Week 1 and was benched upon his return. Minshew, a rookie in 2019, showed flashes but was mostly a game manager in this run-first offense. Whoever is under center to start next season will be a middling QB2 option.

From RotoBaller

Rashaad Penny Feb 26 12:50am ET

Seattle Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll said that he expects running back Rashaad Penny (knee) to begin training camp on the Physically Unable to Perform list. Penny needed reconstructive knee surgery after injuring himself in early December against the Rams. If he were to start the season on the PUP, Penny would have to sit out the first six games. The former first-round pick started riding a stationary bike on Feb. 12, but he has a long ways to go in his rehab. With the oft-injured C.J. Prosise hitting free agency, Travis Homer could be the direct backup to Chris Carson to open the 2020 season if Penny isn't ready to go.

From RotoBaller

Deshaun Watson Feb 26 12:40am ET

Houston Texans head coach Bill O'Brien said that he will hand play-calling duties over to offensive coordinator Tim Kelly in 2020. O'Brien had been calling the offensive plays in Houston since he took over from former offensive coordinator George Godsey in 2016. Kelly will be in his second season as the OC and has worked with O'Brien since he was a graduate assistant at Penn State. The Texans finished 13th in the NFL in 2019 in yards per game (362). Kelly will also work closely with quarterback Deshaun Watson, and this news could actually raise the ceiling of Houston's entire offense next year. "Deshaun and [Kelly] have a great relationship," O'Brien said. "... Deshaun has great trust in Timmy and the work that Timmy puts in, what Tim brings to the meeting room and on the field. Tim is an excellent coach."

From RotoBaller

Chris Carson Feb 26 12:40am ET

Seattle Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll said that running back Chris Carson (hip) is making progress but can't do much yet in his rehab. However, the Seahawks expect Carson to be ready for the 2020 season. The 25-year-old missed just one game in 2019 and handled 278 carries for 1,230 yards and seven rushing touchdowns for Seattle in his third year in the league. It was Carson's second straight 1,000-yard rushing season, and he also added a career-high 37 receptions for 266 yards and two scores through the air. He has yet to play in a full season but has missed just three games in the last two seasons. With Rashaad Penny (knee) doubtful to be ready for Week 1, Carson should handle the bulk of the load heading into the regular season and will be a strong RB1 in this run-first offense if he's fully healthy.

From RotoBaller

Joe Schobert Feb 26 12:33am ET

Impending free-agent LB Joe Schobert (Browns) is expected to meet with Cleveland Browns general manager Andrew Berry at the NFL Combine, but Berry acknowledged the Cleveland Plain Dealer's Mary Kay Cabot that Schobert has 'earned the right to test the market if he deems that appropriate.'

From TheHuddle

Jamal Adams Feb 26 12:10am ET

New York Jets general manager Joe Douglas said he wants to keep safety Jamal Adams "a long time." "Jamal is an unbelievable player. We're excited about Jamal. The plan is for Jamal to be a Jet for life," Douglas said of his now fourth-year playmaker and two-time Pro Bowler in the deep middle of his defense. The Jets have had extension talks with Adams, but he's also under team control for another two years, which means the Jets don't have to rush into anything. As one of the top safeties in the league already, Adams will surely be trying to become the league's highest-paid safety when the time comes. He'll be one of the more attractive safeties in IDP leagues in 2020 and beyond.

From RotoBaller

Jarius Wright Feb 26 12:00am ET

The Carolina Panthers declined the fully guaranteed $1 million option for wide receiver Jarius Wright on Tuesday, according to a source. With the move, the Panthers will free up $3 million in salary cap space. Wright had just 28 receptions for 296 yards and no touchdowns in a full season in his second and final year in Carolina. It didn't help that quarterback Cam Newton (foot) played in just two games, but Wright probably wouldn't have contributed all that much in the passing game to begin with. Wherever he lands next, Wright will be receiver depth and contribute on special teams.

From RotoBaller

Jacob Hollister Feb 25 9:53pm ET

Restricted free-agent TE Jacob Hollister (Seahawks) was the recipient of 'heavy praise' from head coach Pete Carroll during his media session Tuesday, Feb. 25.

From TheHuddle

Nick Foles Feb 25 9:43pm ET

Jacksonville Jaguars QBs Nick Foles and Gardner Minshew have not been given a timeline in terms of knowing when one or the other will be named the starting quarterback. 'When do you make that decision? There's not really a date. It's not really going to happen until we start playing, in the preseason, because for me, at that position, one of the things that's important is that the players can see who the best player is. You have an obligation to everyone in that locker room that you're putting the best player out there,' Jaguars head coach Doug Marrone said.

From TheHuddle