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Rams backup cornerbacks set to step up against Vikings

Sam Shields expects to be tested if the Los Angeles Rams do not have their two starting cornerbacks available against Minnesota on Thursday night. With Aqib Talib set to undergo surgery and the availability of Marcus Peters uncertain, Shields, Troy Hill and Nickell Robey-Coleman are preparing for an expected challenge from Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins.

Jameis Winston returns to work, Bucs not saying if he’s starter

Jameis Winston is back on the job, though the Tampa Bay Buccaneers still aren’t saying if it’s as the team’s starting quarterback. Winston’s three-game suspension for violating the NFL’s personal conduct policy ended after the team’s 30-27 loss to Pittsburgh. Coach Dirk Koetter says he informed Winston and Ryan Fitzpatrick of his plans, but doesn’t want to tip off this week’s opponent – the Chicago Bears.

Rams are unanimous top team in latest AP Pro32 poll

The Los Angeles Rams maintained the top spot in the latest AP Pro32 poll. The unbeaten Rams received all 12 first-place votes in balloting by media members who regularly cover the NFL. The Kansas City Chiefs moved up two spots to No. 2, and the Philadelphia Eagles rose from seventh to third.

Vikings DE Everson Griffen remains out with mental health trouble

UPDATED: Tue., Sept. 25, 2018, 3:18 p.m.

Minnesota Vikings defensive end Everson Griffen remains away from the team indefinitely because of mental health trouble that boiled over last weekend. Griffen will not travel with the Vikings for their next game against the Los Angeles Rams. According to police, Griffen was acting erratically and making comments about people trying to kill him during a series of incidents on Saturday. He was eventually taken by ambulance to an area hospital for evaluation.

Steelers hope win over Bucs sign of things to come

The Pittsburgh Steelers say they’re still a work in progress even after picking up their first win of the season against Tampa Bay. Pittsburgh rolled to a 20-point halftime lead and then held on against the Buccaneers thanks to the play of quarterback Ben Roethlisberger and an opportunistic defense. Coach Mike Tomlin says his team needs to play cleaner going forward. Pittsburgh’s 37 penalties are by far the most in the league through three weeks. The Steelers host Baltimore in Week 4.

First black starting QB reflects on changes in game, society

UPDATED: Tue., Sept. 25, 2018, 8:47 p.m.

Marlin Briscoe became the first black quarterback to play in the American Football League in 1968. He started five games and was runner-up for AFL rookie of the year. He opened the door for many others, including Carolina’s Cam Newton and Seattle’s Russell Wilson, who both have considered his history as they contend for championships. Briscoe says he sees parallels with his experience in how black athletes are treated today.

NFL capsules: Allen and underdog Bills stun Vikings 27-6

Josh Allen played with the poise of a well-seasoned quarterback for the Buffalo Bills by accounting for three touchdowns in his first road start in the NFL. Allen made Minnesota’s Kirk Cousins look like the raw rookie in a stunning 27-6 upset of the Vikings on Sunday.

Earl Thomas doesn’t practice; Ethan Pocic out for Seahawks

Seahawks free safety Earl Thomas was at practice on Friday but did not take part because of reasons of a personal nature, according to coach Pete Carroll. Carroll left open the possibility that the issue – that he wouldn’t detail – could keep Thomas from playing Sunday in Seattle’s home opener against the Dallas Cowboys.

Won, won and won! Cleveland Browns beat Jets for first win since 2016

Rookie quarterback Baker Mayfield rallied the Browns to their first win since 2016, 21-17 over the New York Jets that ended Cleveland’s 19-game winless streak. Mayfield replaced injured starter Tyrod Taylor late in the first half and led four scoring drives as the Browns got their first win since Dec. 24, 2016. Carlos Hyde had two touchdown runs for the Browns. Isaiah Crowell had two TD runs for the Jets.

Seahawks’ Bobby Wagner says he’s learned from previous injuries

UPDATED: Thu., Sept. 20, 2018, 6:23 p.m.

Seahawks linebacker Bobby Wagner is expected back in the lineup when Seattle hosts Dallas looking to avoid falling to 0-3 for the first time under Pete Carroll. The defense wasn’t the problem this week in a loss against the Bears. But having Wagner back Sunday will certainly be a boost in what’s essentially become a must-win game for the Seahawks just three weeks into the regular season.