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Kobe Bryant remembered as AFC beats NFC again in Pro Bowl

Sun Jan 26 5:46pm ET
By MARK LONG
AP Sports Writer

Players: Drew Brees, Ryan Tannehill, Russell Wilson, Kirk Cousins, Ezekiel Elliott, D.J. Chark, Deshaun Watson, Courtland Sutton, Lamar Jackson

AFC defensive end Calais Campbell, of the Jacksonville Jaguars, (93) sacks NFC quarterback Kirk Cousins, of the Minnesota Vikings, and fumbles the ball, during the second half of the NFL Pro Bowl football game, Sunday, Jan. 26, 2020, in Orlando, Fla. (AP Photo/John Raoux)


NFC quarterback Kirk Cousins, of the Minnesota Vikings, congratulates NFC wide receiver Davante Adams, of the Green Bay Packers, after Adams scored a touchdown, during the second half of the NFL Pro Bowl football game against the AFC, Sunday, Jan. 26, 2020, in Orlando, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O?Meara)


NFC defensive end Fletcher Cox, of the Philadelphia Eagles, runs for a touchdown, after an interception by strong safety Harrison Smith, of the Minnesota Vikings, (22), during the second half of the NFL Pro Bowl football game against the AFC, Sunday, Jan. 26, 2020, in Orlando, Fla. To the right is defensive end Everson Griffen, of the Minnesota Vikings (97). (AP Photo/John Raoux)


NFC quarterback Russell Wilson, of the Seattle Seahawks, (3) looks to pass, during the first half of the NFL Pro Bowl football game against the AFC, Sunday, Jan. 26, 2020, in Orlando, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)


AFC wide receiver Courtland Sutton, of the Denver Broncos, (14) scores a touchdown ahead of NFC linebacker Shaquil Barrett, of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, (58), during the first half of the NFL Pro Bowl football game, Sunday, Jan. 26, 2020, in Orlando, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)


AFC wide receiver Courtland Sutton, of the Denver Broncos, (14) attempts to hold onto a pass as NFC cornerback Darius Slay, of the Detroit Lions, (23) defends, during the first half of the NFL Pro Bowl football game, Sunday, Jan. 26, 2020, in Orlando, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)


AFC tight end Mark Andrews, of the Baltimore Ravens, (89) scores a touchdown, during the first half of the NFL Pro Bowl football game against the NFC, Sunday, Jan. 26, 2020, in Orlando, Fla. (AP Photo/John Raoux)


AFC quarterback Lamar Jackson, of the Baltimore Ravens, (8) looks to pass, during the first half of the NFL Pro Bowl football game against the NFC, Sunday, Jan. 26, 2020, in Orlando, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)


ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) The Pro Bowl turned into a Kobe Bryant tribute.

Green Bay's Za'Darius Smith, Tampa Bay's Shaq Barrett and Detroit's Darius Slay got together following a second-quarter sack and faked fadeaway jumpers in an homage to Bryant. Smith and several NFC teammates did it again following a fumble early in the third.

Green Bay receiver Davonte Adams pointed to the sky and flashed the No. 24 on his fingers as an ode to Bryant's jersey after a touchdown catch in the third.

Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson led a prayer with teammates before the game in the locker room.

The NFL's annual all-star game also held a moment of silence for Bryant at the 2-minute warning in the first half, showing the retired NBA star's picture on the scoreboards while announcing his death at age 41.

Several players removed their helmets during the break. Others took a knee and seemed to pray. Fans broke the silence by chanting ''Ko-be! Ko-be!''

Players checked cellphones for updates before and during the game, all of them looking for information and answers.

Bryant died in a helicopter crash early Sunday near Calabasas, California, and the news put a damper on the NFL event held on the other side of the country.

The AFC ended up beating the NFC 38-33 for a fourth consecutive victory in Orlando. The latest one might have been the last near Walt Disney World. The NFL is considering moving the game around, with new, multi-billion-dollar stadiums in Las Vegas and Los Angeles being viable options.

The play of the day was Pittsburgh linebacker T.J. Watt's 82-yard fumble return in the fourth. Jacksonville defensive lineman Calais Campbell beat Dallas' Travis Frederick and sacked Kirk Cousins on a fourth-and-goal play from the 9. Campbell stripped the ball, which Watt scooped up and went untouched the other way to put the AFC ahead 38-27.

The NFC had a chance to rally late and tried to take advantage of a new rule that allows the scoring team to retain possession by facing a fourth-and-15 play from its own 25-yard line. Cousins threw a deep ball that Baltimore safety Earl Thomas intercepted.

Campbell was named the AFC's defensive player of the game. Baltimore's Lamar Jackson was the offensive MVP.

AFC players earned $70,000 for winning the game. NFC players got $35,000 each.

Jackson threw for 185 yards and two touchdowns. He also threw an interception. Houston's Deshaun Watson threw for 148 yards, with a touchdown and a pick.

Tennessee's Ryan Tannehill hooked up with Jacksonville's DJ Chark for a 60-yard score in which officials opted not to rule him down after two defenders touched him.

Wilson gave his NFC starting spot to New Orleans quarterback Drew Brees, who is contemplating retirement. Brees said this week he will take some time before deciding on his future.

Cousins, Brees and Wilson threw TD passes for the NFC, which also allowed Ezekiel Elliott and Adams to attempt throws. Elliott's was picked off. Adams added two TD receptions.

The NFC's top highlight was Philadelphia defensive tackle Fletcher Cox rumbling 61 yards for a score. Minnesota's Harrison Smith intercepted a pass from Watson at the 3-yard line and returned it to the 39 before lateraling to Cox, who took it the rest of the while.

No one tried to tackle the 310-pound Cox. Denver receiver Courtland Sutton slapped at the ball for the final 20 yards.

Player Notes
Dallas Cowboys Oct 20 6:50pm ET

Dallas Cowboys defensive end Randy Gregory is set to make his NFL return Sunday against Washington after he was removed from the commissioners exempt list Tuesday. Dallas immediately added the pass-rusher to its active roster, hoping to reclaim some of the six-sack production that he delivered for the team back in 2018. Gregory had been suspended indefinitely by the NFL in February 19 due to repeated violations of the leagues substance abuse policy, but is now cleared to return to action. Even with the pass-rushing stylings of Gregory in the mix, the Cowboys Defense cannot be counted upon as a fantasy asset after having allowed at least 34 points in each of their last six games. In the best-case scenario, the unit can be used as a contrarian DFS play in hopes of honing in on their sack upside.

From RotoBaller

Carolina Panthers Oct 20 6:30pm ET

Carolina Panthers safety Juston Burris (ribs) was placed on injured reserve Tuesday, but is expected to return at some point during the 2020 year. Burris has become an integral part of the Carolina secondary in his first season with the team, playing 100 percent of defensive snaps in four of his first five games. Without Burris in the mix, Jeremy Chinn should see a step up in usage, while Kenny Robinson was signed off of the practice squad and Sean Chandler was brought in from the Giants. With matchups versus the Saints, Falcons, and Chiefs, over the next three weeks, the Panthers Defense provided little fantasy intrigue regardless. The next chance that Burris could rejoin the mix comes Week 10 versus Tampa Bay.

From RotoBaller

Tae Crowder Oct 20 6:10pm ET

New York Giants linebacker Tae Crowder (hamstring) has been ruled out for at least the next three contests after he was placed on injured reserve Tuesday due to a hamstring injury. Crowder delivered the game-winning touchdown during Sundays win over Washington on a 42-yard fumble recovery, and he has compiled 18 tackles over his first five career games. His absence will give the Giants Defense a hole in its depth at the linebacker position, but irrespective of Crowders presence, the unit does not likely merit much fantasy consideration at this stage. The next chance that Crowder has to suit up will be Week 10 against Philadelphia.

From RotoBaller

Marcus Mariota Oct 20 5:10pm ET

The Las Vegas Raiders designated quarterback Marcus Mariota (pectoral) to return from Injured Reserve and also signed former Cowboys defensive lineman David Irving to the practice squad on Tuesday. Mariota was brought in during the offseason to push Derek Carr for the starting gig, but the former Tennessee Titan got hurt before the start of the regular season. The 26-year-old former Oregon Duck should return to being a high-priced backup to Carr when he's healthy enough to return, pushing Nathan Peterman down to No. 3 on the depth chart. Carr has been solid for the Raiders, completing a career-high 73.1 percent of his passes for 1,442 yards, 11 touchdowns and one interception through five games in 2020, so it'll likely take an injury for Mariota to see the field before the season ends.

From RotoBaller

Timmy Jernigan Oct 20 4:33pm ET

Denver Broncos DT Timmy Jernigan was released Tuesday, Oct. 20.

From TheHuddle

Kentrell Brice Oct 20 4:23pm ET

Arizona Cardinals RB D.J. Foster (quad) and TE Justin Johnson (ankle) were activated from the practice squad Reserve/Injured list Tuesday, Oct. 20. OL Rick Leonard was also re-signed to the practice squad. To make room, Arizona released S T.J. Ward, S Kentrell Brice and CB Jalen Davis from the practice squad.

From TheHuddle

MyCole Pruitt Oct 20 4:23pm ET

Tennessee Titans TE MyCole Pruitt was activated from the Reserve/COVID-19 list Tuesday, Oct. 20.

From TheHuddle

Christian McCaffrey Oct 20 4:13pm ET

Carolina Panthers RB Christian McCaffrey (ankle) isn't expected to play in Week 7 against the New Orleans Saints, but he 'has a shot' to play in Week 8 versus the Atlanta Falcons, according to NFL Network's Mike Garofolo.

Fantasy Spin: Garofolo is speculating the Panthers don't want to bring back McCaffrey from a month-long absence to have him play twice in five days and it makes sense. Of course, it would also make sense for Carolina to not put McCaffrey back on the field on a short week (Week 8) and give him even more time to recover from his high-ankle sprain. Fantasy owners should view Week 7 as the last time they'll get to use Mike Davis - presumably for the remainder of the season - barring an in-game aggravation of the injury down the road. McCaffrey will obviously return to the RB1 ranks as soon as he returns to the field.

From TheHuddle

DeSean Jackson Oct 20 4:13pm ET

Philadelphia Eagles OT Jack Driscoll (ankle), TE Zach Ertz (ankle), DT Malik Jackson (quad), RB Miles Sanders (knee) and S K'Von Wallace (shoulder) did not participate in practice Tuesday, Oct. 20. S Marcus Epps (rib), WR DeSean Jackson (hamstring), WR Alshon Jeffery (foot), OT Lane Johnson (ankle), CB Avonte Maddox (ankle) and LB Duke Riley (rib) were limited. The Eagles held a walkthrough Tuesday, so the report is an estimation.

From TheHuddle

MyCole Pruitt Oct 20 4:10pm ET

The Tennessee Titans activated tight end MyCole Pruitt and defensive back Breon Borders from the Reserve/COVID-19 list on Tuesday. Pruitt will rejoin the 53-man roster and is eligible to play in Week 7 against the Steelers. In his three games with Tennessee in 2020, Pruitt has caught all three of his targets for 17 yards and a touchdown. The team's tight end depth could be tested this Sunday with Jonnu Smith (ankle) questionable due to a mild ankle injury, but even if Smith doesn't play, Pruitt will be a desperation tight end streamer with Anthony Firkser and Geoff Swaim also fighting for playing time against the undefeated Steelers.

From RotoBaller

Dion Lewis Oct 20 3:53pm ET

New York Giants WR C.J. Board (concussion), DB Adrian Colbert (shoulder) and LB Tae Crowder (hamstring) did not participate in practice Tuesday, Oct. 20. DB Darnay Holmes (neck) and WR Darius Slayton (foot) were limited. RB Dion Lewis (hand) practiced in full. The Giants held a walkthrough Tuesday, so the report is an estimation.

From TheHuddle

Christian McCaffrey Oct 20 3:50pm ET

Carolina Panthers running back Christian McCaffrey (ankle) isn't expected to play in Week 7 against the Saints, which will be the fifth game he's missed since suffering a high ankle sprain in Week 2, according to sources. The Panthers are being cautious with their star running back, but McCaffrey is getting closer to a return and he could be back next Thursday against the Falcons. Carolina still needs to activate McCaffrey from Injured Reserve, and from there fantasy managers can monitor his practice status. Continue to be patient with the All-Pro running back, who was the No. 1 overall pick in the majority of fantasy leagues. Mike Davis continues to see a heavy workload in the absence of McCaffrey, and he'll remain in RB1 territory this Sunday against the Saints.

From RotoBaller

Juston Burris Oct 20 3:23pm ET

Carolina Panthers S Juston Burris (ribs) was placed on the Reserve/Injured list Tuesday, Oct. 20.

From TheHuddle

Dak Prescott Oct 20 3:10pm ET

The Dallas Cowboys sit at 2-4 after a Monday night drubbing at the hands of the Cardinals, and the players are starting to voice their discontent with head coach Mike McCarthy and his coaching staff. An anonymous player said, "Totally unprepared. They dont teach. They dont have any sense of adjusting on the fly." Another anonymous player said that "they just arent good at their jobs." Losing quarterback Dak Prescott (ankle) for the season was a big blow, but Dallas' defense ranks 26th in yardage allowed per game and are dead last in points allowed after six weeks. They have a chance to take control of the weakest division in football the next two weeks with games against Washington and Philadelphia, but this is a situation to watch if things continue to go downhill in Dallas.

From RotoBaller

David Irving Oct 20 2:53pm ET

Free-agent DE David Irving (Cowboys) signed an undisclosed contract with the Las Vegas Raiders on Tuesday, Oct. 20.

From TheHuddle

Manti Te'o Oct 20 2:33pm ET

Chicago Bears LB Manti Te'o was signed to the practice squad of the Chicago Bears on Tuesday, Oct. 20.

From TheHuddle

Kai Forbath Oct 20 2:10pm ET

The Los Angeles Rams signed kicker Kai Forbath on Tuesday. Forbath was cut by the Cowboys earlier this year and hasn't kicked at all in 2020. The 33-year-old kicked in just four games in 2019 with the Cowboys and Patriots and made all 11 of his field-goal tries. He's bounced around the NFL in his nine-year career, playing for Washington, New Orleans, Minnesota, Jacksonville, Dallas and New England. Forbath was signed to compete with Samuel Sloman, who has missed either a field goal or extra point in five of the team's six games this year. Sloman currently ranks 24th in the league at the kicking position in terms of fantasy points. Against the Bears on Monday night in Week 7, you can find better streaming options.

From RotoBaller

Kai Forbath Oct 20 2:03pm ET

Los Angeles Rams LB Ogbonnia Okoronkwo (elbow) was placed on the Reserve/Injured list Tuesday, Oct. 20. PK Kai Forbath was signed off the practice squad of the Chicago Bears to replace him on the roster.

From TheHuddle

Sterling Shepard Oct 20 1:40pm ET

New York Giants wide receiver Sterling Shepard (toe) returned to practice on Tuesday. If all goes well, the hope is that he will return from Injured Reserve to play Thursday night against the Eagles. Shepard led the team in receiving last year and has caught eight of his 10 targets for 76 yards in his two games in 2020, including a team-high six receptions in the season-opener. The fifth-year wideout has been out since suffering a turf toe injury in Week 2. It remains to be seen if the G-Men will ease Shepard back into the fold if he plays in Week 7, but you should check your waiver wire to see if he was dropped by his previous owner. When healthy, Shepard should be quarterback Daniel Jones' top receiving target. The matchup is a good one for New York's pass-catchers, too, as Philly's D has allowed the ninth-most fantasy points to receivers through six weeks.

From RotoBaller

Derrick Henry Oct 20 1:40pm ET

Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin said that linebacker Devin Bush (knee) will undergo surgery to fix his torn ACL on Wednesday. Bush will miss the remainder of the 2020 season. It's a big blow to the Steelers Defense, as the No. 10 overall pick from 2019 had been a big contributor in the middle of the field. The 22-year-old had 26 tackles (16 solo), two QB hits, three passes defensed and one sack in five games this season after recording 109 combined tackles, two interceptions, four passes defensed and four fumble recoveries in a very productive rookie season in 2019. The loss of Bush will be something to watch moving forward, as Pittsburgh's defense has allowed the third-fewest fantasy points to running backs this year. It's good news for Titans running back Derrick Henry in the Week 7 showdown of two unbeaten teams.

From RotoBaller