The Latest: 3 Dolphins Players Kneel During National Anthem
Published November 6th, 2017
The Latest on the ninth Sunday of the NFL regular season (all times Eastern):
Miami Dolphins players Julius Thomas, Michael Thomas and Kenny Stills knelt during the national anthem before Sunday night's game against the Raiders.
Their protests brought the total to 18 NFL players that Associated Press journalists saw protesting during the anthem before Week 9 games.
For the Dolphins, the game was the first since owner Stephen Ross joined with his players to create a fund for social justice programs.
It's also the first time the three players have protested on the field since coach Adam Gase established a team policy requiring players to either stand during the anthem or wait in the tunnel.
Ten players protested before Sunday's late-afternoon games, and five more protested before the early kickoffs.
Rob Kelley scored on a 1-yard touchdown run with 59 seconds left as the Washington Redskins rallied for a 17-14 victory over Seattle to leave the Seahawks (5-3) one game behind the Rams in the NFC West.
In other late-afternoon action, the Dallas Cowboys beat the Chiefs 28-17 and the San Francisco 49ers remained winless with a 20-10 loss to the Arizona Cardinals. Kansas City (6-2) remains atop the AFC West, with the rest of the division below .500.
The Cowboys (5-3) trail the 8-1 Eagles in the NFC East, and the Redskins (4-4) are in third place. Arizona got back to .500 without the injured Carson Palmer, but the Cardinals remain behind Seattle and the Rams.
Arizona's Frostee Rucker and Hasson Reddick and San Francisco's Carlos Hyde have been ejected for fighting.
The teams got into a skirmish in the fourth quarter Sunday after former 49ers safety Antoine Bethea hit San Francisco quarterback C.J. Beathard late as he was sliding following a run.
The 49ers took exception to the hit and players from both teams started scuffling.
Rucker, Reddick and Hyde were all ejected.
Kansas City rookie star Tyreek Hill showed off his speed and elusiveness on a unique touchdown to end the first half against the Cowboys.
With 2 seconds left, instead of a traditional bomb to the end zone, the Chiefs Alex Smith threw to Hill at around the 40-yard line. With a couple blockers in front, Hill then slipped through the Cowboys prevent defense to score.
The 57-yard touchdown pulled the Chiefs to within 14-10, and they scored in the third quarter to take a 17-10 lead.
In other late-afternoon action, the Arizona Cardinals lead the San Francisco 49ers 14-10 and the Washington Redskins lead the Seattle Seahawks 10-2 early in the third quarter.
After being nearly flawless through the first seven games, Seattle Seahawks kicker Blair Walsh is struggling.
Walsh has missed both of his field-goal attempts in the first half. Walsh missed badly left from 44 yards in the first quarter while kicking toward the closed end of CenturyLink Field. Walsh then missed barely left early in the second quarter from 39 yards. The second kick started down the middle but hooked just wide of the upright.
Walsh was 12 of 13 on the season coming into Sunday's game. His only miss came from 37 yards in Week 4.
Associated Press journalists counted 15 NFL players protesting during the national anthem before week 9 games.
After five players protested before the early kickoffs, 10 more protested before the late-afternoon games.
San Francisco 49ers safety Eric Reid, linebacker Eli Harold and receiver Marquise Goodwin knelt during the anthem before their game with the Arizona Cardinals. Reid, a close friend of former 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, has been one of the leaders of the protest movement.
Six active players and at least one active player for the Seattle Seahawks were sitting for the anthem prior to a game with the Washington Redskins.
The majority of the Seahawks defensive line has been sitting during the anthem for most of the season. Newly acquired left tackle Duane Brown took a knee.
Three NFC division leaders blew out their opposition in early games Sunday, as the Saints, Eagles and Rams were dominant.
The Eagles kept rolling as Carson Wentz threw four touchdown passes and Philadelphia trounced Denver 51-23 for a seventh straight victory. Jay Ajayi added a 46-yard touchdown run in his Eagles debut after being acquired from the Miami Dolphins. The Eagles handed the Broncos their fourth straight loss.
In other early-afternoon action, the Carolina Panthers edged the Atlanta Falcons 20-17, the Tennessee Titans beat the Baltimore Ravens 23-20, the Jacksonville Jaguars defeated the Cincinnati Bengals 23-7, the New Orleans Saints whipped the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 30-10, the Indianapolis Colts beat the Houston Texans 20-14 and the Los Angeles Rams blew out the New York Giants 51-17.
The Seattle Seahawks are chasing their fifth straight victory and attempting to keep pace with the Los Angeles Rams atop the NFC West standings as they host the Washington Redskins in one of Sunday's late afternoon games.
The late-afternoon schedule also has the Kansas City Chiefs visiting the Dallas Cowboys and the winless San Francisco 49ers hosting the Arizona Cardinals.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive end William Gholston has been carted off on a stretcher to a waiting ambulance with what team officials are saying was a neck injury.
Team officials were unclear on the precise nature of the injury or how it occurred after Gholston collapsed while he was trying to fight off a block.
While medical personnel treated the injury with caution, Gholston could be seen moving his extremities and giving a thumbs-up.
Gholston has 24 solo or assisted tackles this season and does not have a sack.
— Brett Martel reporting from New Orleans
Trailing 30-3 and struggling to move the ball, the Tampa Bay offense is angry. Receiver Mike Evans was flagged for leveling Saints cornerback Marshon Lattimore after a play.
Saints defensive back De'Vante Harris then came charging into the melee, and a scuffle ensued near the Bucs bench.
As Lattimore and Harris were pulled back toward their side of the field, Saints coach Sean Payton marched nearly half way across the field to gesture angrily at the Tampa Bay bench.
Evans was flagged for unnecessary roughness.
He had made only one catch for 13 yards — in the first quarter — and appeared to hurt his left leg when he was tackled on that play by Lattimore, who has covered him much of the game.
There were no ejections.
— Brett Martel reporting from New Orleans
Baltimore Ravens left tackle Ronnie Stanley has hurt a shoulder in the third quarter against the Tennessee Titans, and he is questionable to return.
Stanley went to the ground on a 17-yard pass completion from Joe Flacco to Maxx Williams with 8:17 left in the third quarter. He went to the sideline. Left guard James Hurst slid over to replace Stanley, and Luke Bowanko came in at left guard.
The Tennessee Titans are leading the Ravens 16-6. They have sacked Flacco twice with two interceptions before Stanley was hurt.
— Teresa M. Walker reporting from Nashville
Tennessee Titans safety Kevin Byard didn't get his first interception in the NFL until his 20th game. The second-year pro is making up for lost time.
Byard got his second interception of the day on Joe Flacco's second pass of the third quarter. He now has five interceptions in his last seven quarters for Tennessee.
The safety came into the game second in the NFL with four interceptions. Byard intercepted 19 passes in college at Middle Tennessee and was the first pick of the third round by Tennessee in 2016.
— Teresa M. Walker reporting from Nashville
If the Buccaneers are going to erase a multiple score deficit and avoid a fifth straight loss, they might have to do it without starting quarterback Jameis Winston.
Winston remained on the sidelined — in uniform but with his helmet off — when Tampa Bay opened the second half on offense, trailing 16-3. Ryan Fitzpatrick led that drive, which lasted only three plays before Tampa Bay had to punt back to New Orleans.
Winston had been limited recently with right shoulder soreness. In the first half, Winston completed 7 of 13 passes for 67 yards and was sacked twice. He also scrambled twice, taking a heavy hit on one of those plays as he struggled successfully for first-down yardage.
The Bucs say Winston is questionable to return.
— AP Sports Writer Brett Martel reporting from New Orleans
Cincinnati receiver A.J. Green and Jacksonville cornerback Jalen Ramsey have been ejected for fighting, after Green body-slammed Ramsey and throw punches at him.
Ramsey appeared to be taunting Green most of the first half. On the next-to-last play of the second quarter, Ramsey pushed Green to the ground at the end of a running play.
Green got up, grabbed Ramsey around the neck, slammed him to the ground and delivered numerous punches. Players from both teams rushed onto the field, with several exchanging words and pushing, but coaches and officials kept it from escalating.
Officials ejected Green and Ramsey.
Ramsey's push started the fight, but Green likely faces more serious discipline because of his violent reaction, particularly throwing punches.
— AP Sports Writer Mark Long reporting from Jacksonville, Florida
Tennessee Titans quarterback Marcus Mariota finally has his first touchdown pass from inside the red zone this season.
Mariota found Rishard Matthews with a 16-yard TD pass with 1:04 left in the first quarter, giving the Titans a 10-3 lead over the Baltimore Ravens . Mariota started the game 6 of 7 for 80 yards with the TD pass.
The Titans led the NFL last season scoring touchdowns inside an opponent's 20, and nobody had a higher passer rating in that area of the field than Mariota over the past two seasons. Mariota now has 34 TD passes in his career in the red zone, and he has yet to be intercepted.
In New Orleans, a block party is developing. There were blocked kicks on consecutive snaps in the Saints' game with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
First, Justin Hardee came in clean for a smothering block on Tampa Bay punter Bryan Anger . The block produced the ultimate charity hop. It bounced high and behind Anger, allowing Hardee to run under it practically in stride and glide into the end zone for the game's first touchdown.
Then the Bucs defensive back Ryan Smith blocked Wil Lutz' point-after attempt.
Associated Press journalists counted just five players protesting before or during the national anthem in some way before the early-afternoon games.
Philadelphia Eagles safeties Malcolm Jenkins and Rodney McLeod raised their fists during the anthem. Defensive end Chris Long put an arm on Jenkins. Giants injured defensive end Oliver Vernon took a knee.
Tennessee Titans wide receiver Rishard Matthews stayed off the field during the anthem.
About a dozen members of the New Orleans Saints took a knee before the anthem, but stood once the public address announcer asked the crowd to rise.
No members of the Houston Texans knelt. One week earlier, all but about 10 Texans took a knee to protest team owner Bob McNair's comment that "we can't have the inmates running the prison" during a meeting of NFL owners about player protests.
The Philadelphia Eagles seek their seventh straight victory and the Denver Broncos try to avoid their fourth straight loss in perhaps the most intriguing early game on the NFL's Sunday schedule.
Denver quarterback Brock Osweiler replaces Trevor Siemian. Osweiler made seven starts for Denver two years ago but struggled with the Houston Texans last season.
In other early-afternoon action, the Colts travel to Houston as the Texans adjust to life without injured quarterback Deshaun Watson
In the NFC South, the Falcons finally play a division foe taking on the Panthers without traded receiver Kelvin Benjamin.
Other early games include Baltimore at Tennessee, Tampa Bay at New Orleans, the Los Angeles Rams at the New York Giants and Cincinnati at Jacksonville.