ENGLEWOOD, Colo. – The Denver Broncos ruled out Trevor Siemian for Sunday’s game at Jacksonville, meaning rookie Paxton Lynch will make his second start.
Siemian had hoped to return to practice Friday but the training staff put him right back in his walking boot and informed coach Gary Kubiak the second-year pro was a no-go against the Jaguars (2-9).
Lynch lost to Atlanta in Week 5.
The Broncos (7-4) are scrambling for a playoff spot after their loss to Kansas City in which Siemian threw for a career-best 368 yards with three TDs and no interceptions but was sacked five times.
The Broncos also promoted speedy punt returner Kalif Raymond from the practice squad with rookie fullback Andy Janovich going on injured reserve following ankle surgery.
Kuechly to miss Seahawks game with concussion
The banged-up Carolina Panthers will be without star linebacker Luke Kuechly and two other key defenders Sunday while their playoff hopes hang by a thread.
The 2015 All-Pro Kuechly and safety Kurt Coleman have been ruled out at Seattle (7-3-1 ) with concussions. Defensive end Mario Addison, the team’s leader with 6 1-2 sacks, will miss his second straight game with a foot injury. Ron Rivera’s team desperately needs a win to hang in a crowded race for a playoff spot in the NFC.
Kuechly traveled with the team to the Bay Area for practice at San Jose State; the team stayed on the West Coast to cut down on travel time. The Panthers lost to the Raiders last week 35-32, after surrendering an eight-point lead in the fourth quarter.
Kuechly will miss his second straight start after suffering a scary head injury in a victory over the Saints on Nov. 17. Fourth-year linebacker A.J. Klein will likely make his second straight start in place of the perennial Pro Bowler.
Bills WR Watkins expected to play vs. Oakland
Buffalo Bills receiver Sammy Watkins is expected to play in his second consecutive game though questions persist about the severity of his left foot injury.
On Thursday, Bills offensive coordinator Anthony Lynn said Watkins still has a broken bone in his left foot. Watkins returned from injured reserve last week after missing two months of action.
Watkins spoke with reporters Friday but was vague when pressed about Lynn’s comments. Asked if he still has a broken bone in his foot, Watkins responded: “Not necessarily. You hear a lot of things.”
Buffalo’s top receiver had surgery in April to repair a stress fracture in the injured foot. It was aggravated in Week 3 when a teammate stepped on Watkins’ foot at a walk-through.
Packers list Rodgers, Matthews as questionable
The Packers have listed injured stars Aaron Rodgers and Clay Matthews as questionable for Green Bay’s game Sunday against the Houston Texans.
Coach Mike McCarthy has said that Rodgers and Matthews are expected to play. They were limited on Thursday in the Packers’ one day on the practice field so far this week.
Rodgers tweaked his left hamstring during the Packers’ 27-13 over the Eagles on Monday night. Second-year pro Brett Hundley is the other quarterback on the active roster.
Matthews hurt his left shoulder in the Eagles game following a blindside block by tackle Allen Barbre.
Starting inside linebackers Jake Ryan (ankle) and Blake Martinez (knee) are also questionable for the Texans game. Ryan has missed the last two games, while Martinez missed the Eagles game.
Getting either Ryan or Martinez back might help a run defense that has struggled over the last month.
Chiefs’ Berry, Texans’ Jackson fined $24K for helmet hits
Kansas City Chiefs safety Eric Berry and Houston Texans cornerback Kareem Jackson have each been fined $24,309 by the NFL for helmet-to-helmet hits last weekend.
Berry was docked Friday after he made direct contact with the helmet of Denver backup running back Kapri Bibbs in the first quarter of the Chiefs’ 30-27 overtime victory last Sunday night. Bibbs left the game to be evaluated for a concussion, but later returned.
Jackson’s hit on San Diego’s Dontrelle Inman came in the fourth quarter of the Texans’ 21-13 loss last Sunday and knocked the Chargers wide receiver’s helmet off after a 25-yard reception.
Carolina backup quarterback Derek Anderson was fined $12,154 after being flagged for an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty for yelling at an official from the sideline in the second quarter of the Panthers’ 35-32 loss at Oakland.
Panthers linebacker A.J. Klein was also docked $9,115 for a facemask penalty.
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