Dell Sports – NFL News

Giants RB Barkley undergoes ACL surgery

Giants RB Barkley undergoes ACL surgery

New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley underwent surgery on Friday to fix a torn right anterior cruciate ligament.

The operation, which took place in Los Angeles, came 40 days after he sustained the knee injury in a 17-13 loss to the Chicago Bears back in Week 2.

Doctors delayed the surgery to reduce the swelling and strengthen the knee to help with recovery. The procedure was expected to reconstruct the ACL and fix the meniscus, and Barkley is expected to be ready for the beginning of the 2021 season.

"Surgery was a success," Barkley's mother, Tonya Johnson, posted on Instagram along with a photo of her son from a hospital bed.

Named the 2018 Offensive Rookie of the Year after a 1,307-yard, 11-touchdown rushing season, Barkley was slowed last year by a high ankle sprain that cost him three games and limited him to 1,003 yards and six scores. This season, he managed just 34 yards on 19 carries before getting hurt.

Bengals WR Ross confirms trade request

Bengals WR Ross confirms trade request

Little-used Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver John Ross confirmed Friday that he asked the team to deal him before the Tuesday trade deadline.

Ross, a former first-round draft pick, has appeared in one play total over the past five games for Cincinnati (1-5-1).

The 25-year-old receiver tweeted, "It's not a secret that i have requested a trade. Trade me if this how y'all feel. I'm healthy and eager to play. I know I can be productive. It's hard to love something when your not actually participating in it. Believe me, its not football that i don't like."

Ross has yet to fulfill the hype he generated coming out of the University of Washington in 2017, when he ran a 4.22 40-yard dash at the NFL Scouting Combine, still the record since the event went to electronic timing in 1999. He was drafted ninth overall but played in just three games as a rookie in 2017 due to knee and shoulder injuries plus contests when he was a healthy scratch. Ross had no receptions that year.

The next two years, Ross logged a total of 49 receptions for 716 yards and 10 touchdowns while appearing in 21 games (18 starts). The lack of production prompted the Bengals to turn down Ross' 2021 option ahead of the 2020 season.

Eagles RB Sanders (knee) to miss second straight game

Eagles RB Sanders (knee) to miss second straight game

Philadelphia leading rusher Miles Sanders will miss his second straight game due to a knee injury when the Eagles host the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday night.

Sanders sustained the injury when he was tackled after a 74-yard run against the Baltimore Ravens on Oct. 18. He missed the ensuing contest against the New York Giants four days later and didn't practice at all this week.

Sanders has rushed for 434 yards and owns a gaudy 6.1 average per carry. The starter against Dallas will again be Boston Scott, who has 113 yards and averages 3.4 per carry.

Philadelphia also ruled out receiver Alshon Jeffery (calf), offensive tackle Jack Driscoll (ankle) and cornerbacks Craig James (hamstring) and Cre'Von LeBlanc (quadriceps).

Standout right tackle Lane Johnson (knee/ankle) was a full practice participant on Friday and the three-time Pro Bowl selection is projected to start. The Eagles are also expected to take nine-time Pro Bowl left tackle Jason Peters (toe) off injured reserve after a four-game absence.

Receiver Jalen Reagor (thumb) also is expected to be activated from injured reserve. He was injured in Week 2.

The Eagles also placed linebacker Nate Gerry (ankle) and defensive end Genard Avery (elbow) on injured reserve on Friday.

ESPN expected to have reduced presence at Super Bowl LV

ESPN expected to have reduced presence at Super Bowl LV

With no relief from the COVID-19 pandemic in sight, ESPN began notifying its executives not to make travel plans for Super Bowl LV in February, Sportico reported Friday.

While the all-sports network is likely to have some presence at Tampa, Fla., its contingent of employees for coverage will be reduced and entertainment options leading into the game for executives and sponsors are expected to be nixed.

The Super Bowl is scheduled for Feb. 7 at Raymond James Stadium. The NFL has already given indications that the celebrations surrounding the game will be reduced.

Fans are expected to be allowed into the game but at 20 percent of capacity -- or around 13,000-15,000 fans. The smallest crowd ever at a Super Bowl was for the first one in 1967, when 61,946 were on hand at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.

Saints WR Thomas won't play Bears on Sunday

Saints WR Thomas won't play Bears on Sunday

New Orleans Saints fans will have to wait at least one more week to see star wideout Michael Thomas back in action.

The team on Friday ruled the record-breaking receiver out for Sunday's game in Chicago due to lingering hamstring and ankle injuries.

Thomas, a limited practice participant on Thursday and Friday, has been out of the lineup since the season opener.

The two-time All-Pro and three-time Pro Bowl selection suffered a high ankle sprain in Week 1 against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He was close to returning in Week 5 against the Los Angeles Chargers before he missed the game due to disciplinary reasons after punching teammate C.J. Gardner-Johnson in practice.

Thomas, 27, then aggravated the hamstring during the Saints' bye week in Week 6.

Thomas had three receptions for 17 yards in the Saints' 34-23 victory over the Buccaneers on Sept. 13.

He led the NFL in both receptions (single-season-record 149 catches) and receiving yards (1,725) in 2019. He was named the league's Offensive Player of the Year.

Thomas has racked up 1,000 or more receiving yards in each of the four full seasons since being drafted in the second round in 2016 out of Ohio State.

Packers RB Jones (calf) ruled out vs. Vikings

Packers RB Jones (calf) ruled out vs. Vikings

Green Bay Packers running back Aaron Jones has been ruled out for the second straight game with a calf injury, the team announced Friday.

Jones didn't practice on either Thursday or Friday for the Packers (5-1), who likely will rely on fellow running back Jamaal Williams on Sunday versus the visiting Minnesota Vikings (1-5).

Williams, 25, had 19 carries for 77 yards and a touchdown and four catches for 37 yards in Green Bay's 35-20 victory over Houston last Sunday.

Jones has rushed for a team-leading 389 yards and is averaging 5.2 yards per carry this season. He has seven total touchdowns (five rushing, two receiving) in five games played.

Cornerback Kevin King (quadricep) also was ruled out for Sunday's game.

Offensive tackle David Bakhtiari (chest), kicker Mason Crosby (calf/back), running back Tyler Ervin (wrist), safeties Raven Greene (oblique) and Darnell Savage (quadricep), defensive lineman Tyler Lancaster (shoulder) and tight end John Lovett (knee) were listed as questionable.

Bengals RB Mixon (foot) ruled out vs. Titans

Bengals RB Mixon (foot) ruled out vs. Titans

Cincinnati Bengals running back Joe Mixon has been ruled out for the second straight game with a foot injury, the team announced Friday.

Mixon will be joined by left tackle Jonah Williams (neck), center Trey Hopkins (concussion) and right tackle Bobby Hart (knee) in sitting out for the Bengals (1-5-1) on Sunday against the Tennessee Titans (5-1). Cornerback Darius Phillips is questionable with a knee injury.

Running back Giovani Bernard will get the start on Sunday against the Titans. The eighth-year veteran rushed 13 times for 37 yards and added five catches for 59 yards and a touchdown in Sunday's 37-34 setback to Cleveland.

Bernard, 28, has rushed 25 times for 81 yards and one touchdown and has 21 catches for 174 yards in seven games this season.

Mixon, 24, sustained his injury in the first half of Cincinnati's 31-27 loss to the Indianapolis Colts on Oct. 18. He returned to the contest and finished with 18 carries for 54 yards and a touchdown.

Mixon has 119 carries for 428 yards and three touchdowns in six games with the Bengals this season. He also has reeled in 21 receptions for 138 yards and a score.

Mixon has rushed for 3,359 yards and 20 touchdowns and added 129 catches for 1,008 yards and five scores in 50 career games. He was selected by Cincinnati in the second round of the 2017 NFL Draft.

Jones, Cowboys expect Dalton 'next week'

Jones, Cowboys expect Dalton 'next week'

Andy Dalton was essentially ruled out of Sunday's game against the Philadelphia Eagles by Dallas Cowboys owner and general manager Jerry Jones.

Jones, in a radio interview with 105.3 FM in Dallas, said Dalton "should be ready to go next week."

Dalton started the past two games but left the Week 7 loss to the Washington Football Team with a concussion, his first documented head injury in the NFL.

Rookie seventh-round pick Ben DiNucci is preparing to start, head coach Mike McCarthy confirmed Friday morning. Dak Prescott had started 72 games in a row before dislocating his right ankle, in addition to a compound fracture, on Oct. 11.

DiNucci fumbled twice and the Cowboys recovered both in his relief stint after Dalton left last week. He is taking all of the first-team reps in practice.

"Football is football. It's the game I've been playing since I was in seventh grade," DiNucci said.

Garrett Gilbert is listed as the team's backup quarterback with Dalton presumed absent.

A sixth-round pick in 2014, the 29-year-old Gilbert is with his seventh NFL team and joined Dallas two weeks ago when the Cowboys signed him away from the Cleveland Browns' practice squad.

He has six total pass attempts in six NFL seasons.

Pro Football Hall of Fame CB Adderley dies

Pro Football Hall of Fame CB Adderley dies

Pro Football Hall of Fame cornerback Herb Adderley, who played in four of the first six Super Bowls, passed away Friday at the age of 81.

The Pro Football Hall of Fame announced Adderley's passing, but did not divulge a cause of death.

Adderley returned an interception 60 yards for a touchdown in the fourth quarter to help the Green Bay Packers post a 33-14 victory over the then-Oakland Raiders in Super Bowl II.

"The entire Pro Football Hall of Fame family mourns the passing of Herb Adderley," Pro Football Hall of Fame President and CEO David Baker said. "He was a great player and an even greater man. Herb left an indelible mark on the Game and was respected tremendously by players and personnel across the league."

A five-time Pro Bowl selection and four-time All-Pro, Adderley was selected by the Packers with a first-round pick in the 1961 NFL Draft out of Michigan State.

Although he began his career at running back, Adderley was shuffled to cornerback by coach Vince Lombardi after Green Bay's Hank Gremminger was injured during a Thanksgiving Day game against Detroit.

Adderley played for the Packers in both Super Bowls I and II and suited up for the club through 1969 before being traded to the Dallas Cowboys, with whom he played in Super Bowls V and VI.

He elected to retire after the Cowboys traded him to the Rams. He was chosen to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1980.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with Herb's wife, Brenda, and their entire family. We will forever keep his legacy alive to serve as inspiration for future generations," Baker said. "The Hall of Fame flag will be flown at half-staff in Herb's memory."

Reports: Broncos G Glasgow, Vikings LB positive for COVID-19

Reports: Broncos G Glasgow, Vikings LB positive for COVID-19

The Denver Broncos postponed practice Friday after a player tested positive for COVID-19, the team announced.

While the Broncos did not disclose the identity of the player, NFL Network reported that it was offensive guard Graham Glasgow. The 28-year-old has started six games for Denver this season.

The Broncos said they will conduct virtual meetings Friday and hold a practice session at UCHealth Training Center on Saturday.

"We were informed early this morning that a Broncos player has tested positive for COVID-19," the team said in a statement. "The player is at home in self-isolation along with two other players who were determined to be close contacts. Our organization, which has been operating under the league's intensive protocols, is in consultation with the NFL and taking guidance from medical experts."

Broncos offensive line coach Mike Munchak entered COVID-19 protocols Tuesday and has not attended practice. Munchak, 60, joined the Broncos last year after coming up short in his bid for the head coaching job, which went to Vic Fangio.

Broncos running back coach Curtis Modkins returned to the team after testing positive for COVID-19, but 9News reported that contract tracing revealed Munchak's case is unrelated. Being placed in the protocol means a person tested positive or came into contact with someone who did.

ESPN reported on Friday that a Minnesota Vikings linebacker tested positive for COVID-19.

Bengals sign G Spain to practice squad

Bengals sign G Spain to practice squad

The Cincinnati Bengals signed former Buffalo Bills guard Quinton Spain to their practice squad Friday.

The Bills cut the six-year veteran last week, seven months after signing him to a three-year, $15 million extension.

Spain, 29, started the first two games this season before playing just five special teams snaps in Week 3 and about half the Bills' offensive snaps in Week 4. He missed the next two games with a foot injury.

Spain has played in 70 games (66 starts) with the Bills and Tennessee Titans, who signed him as an undrafted free agent out of West Virginia in 2015. He played four seasons with the Titans.

The Bengals (1-5-1) could use some veteran help along the offensive line. Rookie quarterback Joe Burrow has been sacked a league co-leading 28 times through seven games.

In a corresponding move, Cincinnati released defensive end Kendall Futrell from the practice squad. The undrafted rookie from East Carolina signed with the Bengals in April.

Reports: Patriots CB Gilmore (knee) undergoes MRI

Reports: Patriots CB Gilmore (knee) undergoes MRI

Reigning NFL Defensive Player of the Year Stephon Gilmore might be on the sideline Sunday for the New England Patriots due to a knee injury.

According to multiple reports, Gilmore tweaked his knee and underwent an MRI exam after Thursday's practice. The Patriots added him to their injury report and his status is up in the air for Sunday's game against the host Buffalo Bills.

The Patriots are already banged up at several positions, including wide receiver. Julian Edelman underwent a procedure on his knee on Thursday and did not practice. He's not expected to play and could miss several weeks.

The Patriots are 2-4 this season and badly need a victory over the Bills, who at 5-2 are two games up on the competition in the AFC East.

Report: No ban expected for Falcons' Harris

Report: No ban expected for Falcons' Harris

Atlanta Falcons defensive end Charles Harris is not expected to be suspended by the NFL for the hit that prompted his ejection from Thursday's 25-17 win at Carolina, according to reports.

Panthers quarterback Teddy Bridgewater was briefly forced to the sideline late in the third quarter. Bridgewater was looking to pass when he was tripped by Falcons defensive end Dante Fowler Jr., who stuck a leg in front of a charging Bridgewater. Once the quarterback went to the ground, Harris hit him in the head and neck.

Flags were thrown and penalties were called on Fowler and Harris, and officials ejected Harris.

Bridgewater missed the remainder of the drive, which resulted in a field goal, and the start of the next drive before returning to action with 9:45 left in the fourth quarter.

Bridgewater said of the play on which he was injured, "I was stepping up in the pocket. I just knew that someone stuck their leg out from Atlanta. As I was tripped, I was just stumbling. I knew at some point guys would be swarming, so I just tried to get down, protect myself. I don't really know who hit me. Just know that someone got ejected. I was in the (injury) tent when that happened."

Asked if he thought it was a cheap shot, Bridgewater said, "I'll probably go back and watch what happened. I really can't answer that."

Carolina running back Mike Davis said, "I thought it was a cheap shot. It was late, hit him on the neck. You hate to see that."

Falcons interim coach Raheem Morris said of Harris' ejection, "I know he ran up on him. I know he hit him. I'm not sure he made full contact with his head, but the officials saw it that way and so did New York. You have to deal with it. Get him off the field and you keep playing and you finish the game."

Close contacts return to Giants for Friday workout

Close contacts return to Giants for Friday workout

Players and staff in close contact with offensive lineman Will Hernandez are permitted to return to the New York Giants on Friday.

Hernandez was placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list by the Giants on Thursday and several offensive linemen and coaches were sent home as a precaution.

According to the team, all of the Giants' close contacts under the COVID protocols who remained home Thursday are back with the team on Friday. No new positive cases were detected, according to multiple reports.

That could signal the Giants are clear to play Monday against Tampa Bay, but more intensive daily testing and advanced protocols will continue.

Quarterback Daniel Jones said the team would be forced to adjust without Hernandez, who is out for the game.

Friday's practice was moved from Quest Diagnostics Center to MetLife Stadium, the team said, due to "wet grounds."

Ravens, Stanley agree to five-year extension

Ravens, Stanley agree to five-year extension

Left tackle Ronnie Stanley agreed to a five-year extension with the Baltimore Ravens on Friday.

The team announced the deal which reports pegged at a $98.75 million total value with a $22.5 million signing bonus.

Stanley and the Ravens face the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday.

An All-Pro in 2019, the 26-year-old Stanley was playing on his fifth-year option tied to his rookie deal as the No. 6 overall pick in the 2016 NFL Draft.

Head coach John Harbaugh has praised Stanley as a dedicated professional since he made 12 starts as a rookie.

Houston Texans left tackle Laremy Tunsil is the highest-paid player at the position based on annual value with a three-year, $66 million deal signed earlier this year.

Anthony Castonzo of the Indianapolis Colts averages $16.5 million per year on his two-year deal signed this year.

Stanley's average over the course of the extension is $19.75 million per season.

Backup to big stage: Cowboys rookie, Clemson understudy in spotlight

Backup to big stage: Cowboys rookie, Clemson understudy in spotlight

From one hit away to the starting lineup, a new reality arrives this weekend for Dallas Cowboys rookie Ben DiNucci on Sunday night.

A seventh-round pick expecting to define the role of "extra arm" on a roster with Dak Prescott and Andy Dalton, DiNucci could start for Dallas in the NFC East date with the Philadelphia Eagles in prime time.

Prescott dislocated his ankle and is out for the season. Dalton is in concussion protocol and not yet able to practice. So here stands DiNucci, who tasted his first live NFL action last week at Washington following Dalton's injury.

"I think in the span of 10 days I went from being in a sweatshirt and sweatpants to here we are, my number could be called," DiNucci said Thursday. "This is everyone's childhood dream, right? The chance to be the starting quarterback for the Dallas Cowboys. What more could you want? For me, this is an opportunity of a lifetime."

The former Pitt quarterback who played two seasons at James Madison was picked 231st overall in the 2020 draft. Talk about connections. DiNucci played eighth-grade basketball for Cowboys head coach Mike McCarthy's brother in the Pittsburgh area.

Teammates on Thursday said DiNucci isn't lacking for confidence or arm strength. Running back Ezekiel Elliott said the 23-year-old was "slinging it" while taking every first-team rep at quarterback this week. The swagger stood out to Dallas' defensive personnel, too.

"Slinger," linebacker Jaylon Smith observed. "Full of confidence. And that's what I love: You see a fire in his eyes."

Dalton has not been ruled out. But McCarthy did not sound optimistic about his status for Sunday's game.

Prescott can relate to DiNucci's predicament. A rookie fourth-round draft pick from Mississippi State, Prescott was pushed into the starting role in Dallas way ahead of schedule as a rookie. Tony Romo, whom you might recall was undrafted out of Eastern Illinois, fractured his back in the third preseason game of 2016.

Prescott took the reins, went 13-3, and never looked back. Prescott is making more than $31 million this season on the franchise tag.

Some jitters in his debut could be cause for alarm. DiNucci fumbled twice -- Dallas recovered both -- and faced steady pressure, which also happens to be the calling card of Eagles defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz.

But DiNucci claimed Thursday his job "is easy" in that he only needs to get the ball to his top three receivers. He'll get a little help with All-Pro guard Zack Martin (concussion) and center Joe Looney (knee) likely to play.

"I'm taking it in stride," DiNucci said. "Hey, this is 2020. What else do you expect? Here we are. Week 8 of my rookie year I've got a chance to go out there on 'Sunday Night Football' and do what I love to do. I couldn't be happier or more excited."

NO. 1 CLEMSON LOOKS BEYOND LAWRENCE

A week that began with Trevor Lawrence making headlines by suggesting he might come back to the college game for 2021 will end with the presumptive No. 1 pick in next year's draft away from the team recovering from COVID-19.

Top-ranked Clemson is a heavy favorite Saturday against Boston College -- 23.5 points, down from 30-plus points at most sportsbooks -- even with freshman D.J. Uiagalelei likely to start.

Uiagalelei was the top-ranked pro-style quarterback in the 2020 class according to 247Sports' Composite rankings. He had 127 touchdown passes in four seasons as a high school starter at St. John Bosco in Bellflower, Calif., and is listed at 6-5, 245 pounds.

Uiagalelei has played in five games this season behind Lawrence and has two rushing touchdowns along with completions on 12 of 19 passes for 102 yards.

While Lawrence is widely regarded as the Big Man on Campus at Clemson, he knows a stud when he sees one. At the first open session of the fall, Lawrence sized up his new backup.

"He's huge," Lawrence said. "He's full grown already. He doesn't have to put on any weight or anything."

There is a chance Uiagalelei will be the starter again next week when Clemson takes the show on the road to face No. 4 Notre Dame. The ACC protocol for COVID-19 positive tests calls for self-isolation of 10 days.

Tagavailoa debuts as Dolphins' starter; Tua props aplenty

Tagavailoa debuts as Dolphins' starter; Tua props aplenty

Tua Time has arrived in Miami, and the rookie quarterback is a popular play at sportsbooks loaded with props around the Dolphins' first-round pick.

FanDuel opened its Tagovailoa markets with a pair of season total offerings -- 1,999 passing yards and 11.5 touchdown passes are the over-under benchmarks at -112.

Tagovailoa makes his first NFL start on Sunday. FanDuel also opened a "receiver of Tagovailoa's first touchdown pass" window. DeVante Parker is the leader at +340 -- this matches PointsBet's offering -- tight end Mike Gesicki (+350), Preston Williams (+550) and Myles Gaskin (+600) are next. Isaiah Ford (+750) and Adam Shaheen (+800) are also on the board.

BetMGM has a +120 moneyline on the Dolphins this week against the Los Angeles Rams in Tagovailoa's debut. The Rams dominated the Chicago Bears, 24-10, on Monday allowing only a defensive touchdown and a field goal.

Tagovailoa has some serious ground to make up if he wants to enter the Offensive Rookie of the Year conversation. Los Angeles Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert has climbed to +155 and is the heavy favorite. Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow, the No. 1 pick in the draft who notched his first 400-yard passing game last week, is +260.

Tagovailoa, who debuted in Week 6 prior to last week's bye, is +850.

Via PointsBet, Tagovailoa is +1500 to win Rookie of the Year with Herbert setting the pace at -175. Burrow is +225.

Falcons' Harris ejected after hit on Panthers' Bridgewater

Falcons' Harris ejected after hit on Panthers' Bridgewater

Carolina quarterback Teddy Bridgewater was briefly knocked out of the Panthers' Thursday game after a play that saw the ejection of Atlanta Falcons defensive end Charles Harris.

Late in the third quarter at Charlotte, N.C., Bridgewater was looking to pass when he was tripped by Falcons defensive end Dante Fowler Jr., who stuck a leg in front of a charging Bridgewater. Once the quarterback went to the ground, Harris hit him in the head and neck.

Flags were thrown against both Fowler and Harris, and the officials ejected Harris.

Bridgewater missed the remainder of that drive, which resulted in a field goal, and the start of the next drive before returning to action with 9:45 left in the fourth quarter.

Bridgewater said of the play on which he was injured, "I was stepping up in the pocket. I just knew that someone stuck their leg out from Atlanta. As I was tripped, I was just stumbling. I knew at some point guys would be swarming, so I just tried to get down, protect myself.

"I don't really know who hit me. Just know that someone got ejected. I was in the (injury) tent when that happened."

Asked if he thought it was a cheap shot, Bridgewater said, "I'll probably go back and watch what happened. I really can't answer that."

Carolina running back Mike Davis said, "I thought it was a cheap shot. It was late, hit him on the neck. You hate to see that."

Falcons interim coach Raheem Morris said of Harris' ejection, "I know he ran up on him. I know he hit him. I'm not sure he made full contact with his head, but the officials saw it that way and so did New York. You have to deal with it. Get him off the field and you keep playing and you finish the game."

Panthers head coach Matt Rhule said of Bridgewater's delayed return to the game, "He was trying to get his neck to loosen up, and finally when it did, he went back in the game."

The Falcons (2-6) earned a 25-17 win over the Panthers (3-5).

Falcons hang on late, knock off Panthers

Falcons hang on late, knock off Panthers

Quarterback Matt Ryan threw for 281 yards and scored on a run and the visiting Atlanta Falcons came up with enough plays on defense to turn away the Carolina Panthers for a 25-17 victory Thursday night at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, N.C.

Ryan was 21-for-30 in the air with an interception.

The Panthers took possession with 2:58 remaining at its own 5-yard line after the Falcons, who had reached Carolina territory, punted for the only time in the game. The Panthers moved to the Atlanta 30-yard line before an interception by Blidi Wreh-Wilson was the game's clincher.

Curtis Samuel scored two touchdowns for Carolina, which was without All-Pro running back Christian McCaffrey for the sixth consecutive game. McCaffrey returned to practice earlier in the week as he recovers from an ankle injury, but it was announced earlier in the day that he would be held out.

Panthers quarterback Teddy Bridgewater was 15-for-23 for 176 yards with a touchdown and an interception.

Carolina (3-5) has followed a three-game winning streak with three straight losses.

The outcome came less than three weeks since the Panthers won 23-16 in Atlanta, and Raheem Morris became the Falcons' interim coach the next day upon the firing of Dan Quinn. Atlanta (2-6), which was coming off Sunday's one-point home loss to Detroit, improved to 2-1 under Morris.

Atlanta receiver Julio Jones churned out another big game against the Panthers, posting 137 yards on seven catches.

Falcons kicker Younghoe Koo was 4-for-4 on field-goal attempts, connecting from 20, 37, 36 and 29 yards -- although he did miss an extra-point in the fourth quarter.

Samuel, a receiver, scored on a 12-yard run in the first quarter. He caught a 29-yard pass from Bridgewater on a second-quarter flea flicker.

Ryan's 13-yard run for a score midway through the second quarter and Koo's field goal on the final play in the half provided the Falcons with a 16-14 halftime lead.

The Panthers were within 19-17 after Joey Slye's 39-yard field goal on a drive extended by a successful fake punt.

Todd Gurley's 3-yard run gave him an NFL-leading eighth touchdown run of the season for Atlanta. But Koo missed the extra-point kick, leaving the Falcons with a 25-17 lead at the 11:01 mark.

Defensive end Charles Harris of the Falcons was ejected for a third-quarter hit on Bridgewater, who entered the game second in the NFL with a completion percentage of 72.2. Bridgewater returned with just under 10 minutes left in the fourth quarter after receiving treatment for an apparent neck injury.

Eagles WR Reagor (thumb) reportedly will return Sunday

Eagles WR Reagor (thumb) reportedly will return Sunday

The Philadelphia Eagles expect to have rookie wide receiver Jalen Reagor available to play Sunday night for the first time in a month, as multiple media outlets reported Thursday that he was cleared to play.

Reagor sustained torn thumb ligaments in Week 2 and was expected to be sidelined for six or seven weeks, but he returned to practice this week and has participated without incident. Barring a setback, he might even be in the starting lineup against the visiting Dallas Cowboys.

Reagor, who was drafted 21st overall in the first round, the fourth wide receiver selected, caught five passes for 96 yards in the first two games, including a 55-yard reception.

The Eagles also activated tight end Dallas Goedert for practice, but he is not as far along and is not expected to play Sunday. Goedert is returning from a high ankle sprain and a small tibia fracture.