Tag:Super Bowl 46
Posted on: February 3, 2012 7:17 pm
 

The official Super Bowl XLVI injury report

By Josh Katzowitz

On Friday evening, the NFL released the final injury report of the 2011 season.

Here it is in all its glory:

Giants

PROBABLE:RB Ahmad Bradshaw (foot), WR Hakeem Nicks (shoulder), S Tyler Sash (foot), DE Osi Umenyiora (ankle, knee), CB Corey Webster (hamstring), LB Jacquian Williams (foot)

Patriots

QUESTIONABLE: T Marcus Cannon (ankle), S Patrick Chung (knee), LB Dane Fletcher (thumb), TE Rob Gronkowski (ankle), DT Kyle Love (ankle), G Logan Mankins (knee), LB Rob Ninkovich (hip), LB Brandon Spikes (knee), T Sebastian Vollmer (illness, back, foot), WR Wes Welker (knee), LB Tracy White (abdomen)

PROBABLE: WR Deion Branch (knee), C Dan Connolly (groin), S James Ihedigbo (shoulder), T Matt Light (illness), WR Matt Slater (shoulder)

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnNFL on Twitter, Like Us on Facebook, subscribe to our NFL newsletter, and while you're add it, add our RSS Feed.

Posted on: February 3, 2012 5:14 pm
Edited on: February 3, 2012 7:00 pm
 

How do we keep our youth football players safe?

Follow all of CBSSports.com's Full Super Bowl Coverage (Getty Images)

By Josh Katzowitz

INDIANAPOLIS -- Before he was even finished with his opening statement Friday, Chris Nowinski -- former Harvard football player, former WWE professional wrestler and current advocate for concussion research and prevention -- summed up his entire reason for holding a press conference on recognizing and averting brain injury.

“The question is this,” Nowinski said, “How many times should a 6-year-old be hit in the head for sport?”

If you don’t care about concussions for NFL players --or if you kick in your TV when an official flags a defender for unnecessary roughness on a helmet-to-helmet hit -- the sentence above should give you pause.

If you feel like it’s OK that the Browns allowed Colt McCoy to reenter a game after suffering a head injury and that it’s OK former tight end Ben Utecht is already having major problems with post-concussion syndrome and that it’s OK teams can hedge their bets by calling an in-game concussion a “stinger,” maybe you should think about your own child playing football.

Do you still think it’s OK that your 6-year-old might be suffering multiple concussions in a season? At least the NFL players can make the choice. The 6-year-old can’t.

That’s why the Sports Legacy Institute and Nowinski as president CEO held a press conference Friday to announce a proposal that would assign a “hit count” to a football player in the same way a “pitch count” is assigned to a youth pitcher.

As Nowinski says, science doesn’t know the answer to how many head hits it takes to cause permanent brain damage, in the same way that science doesn’t know how many cigarettes it takes to cause lung cancer. But the SLI's goal is to determine a standard number this year and then convince youth sports league by 2013 to turn that figure into permanent policy.

“We need to make aware that hits to the head have serious consequences,” Nowinski said. “It’s not being addressed at the youth level when brains are most vulnerable.”

One problem: I’ve never gotten the impression NFL players care much about their long-term health when they’re playing the game, and when I talked to a number of Super Bowl participants last year, I got the impression that players didn’t feel the need to keep their kids away from the game either.

The players know the dangers; they apparently just don’t have a problem putting their kids in harm’s way. Isaac Kacyvenski and Colts center Jeff Saturday disagreed with me Friday. They said players do, in fact, care.

“I have the exact opposite reaction from talking to players,” said Kacyvenski, the former NFL linebacker who was a 2006 Seahawks Super Bowl co-captain. “We’ve had discussions at length with players who are worried behind the scenes. They're worried about their future. The long-term consequences are unclear.”

Saturday, who along with Titans quarterback Matt Hasselbeck is supporting the SLI and its initiatives, agreed with Kacyvenski: “I don’t know many football players who go with what you’re saying. I haven’t seen it.”

Saturday, on the other hand, was concerned enough about the issue to forbid his son from playing padded football until he turned 11. Before then, his boy played flag football. That’s because, as Saturday explained to his kids, it’s daddy’s job to play this high-risk, high-reward game. Football, he says, is supposed to be fun for you. So, if you’re scared, don’t take the head shot. Let it go, because it’s not a big deal.

Saturday, simply put, has to know (and he does) that he’s advocating for his children. Frankly, that’s the kind of attitude I expected to hear when I asked some Packers and Steelers last year. I expected the debate that Saturday and Kacyvenski gave me on Friday.

“In the NFL, a ton of it is awareness,” Saturday said. “We want our men to know, these are the symptoms we need to look for. I’m a 36-year-old man and I can tell you when I have a headache that’s not going away, I’m not sleeping as well, I don’t feel as good. Six-year-olds or 8-year-olds or 10-year-olds, they’re just going to deal with it. They want to go play in the yard. They’re not going to tell you, ‘I’m restless and cranky.’ They don’t communicate in the same way. They don’t know always how to process the information. You have to take it out of their hands.”

Nowinski is quick to point out that the public's brain injury awareness has exploded in the past five years, but when players like Rob Gronkowski or Brian Urlacher say they’d lie to doctors to hide a concussion, that doesn’t do his cause any favors.

“Everybody is accountable,” Nowinski said. “The reality is we’re talking about dramatic culture change. We’re talking somewhat about redefining manhood.”

And if the next generation of players aren’t as good as their predecessors because they’ve devoted less time to padded practice, that’s OK by him.

“If we create a generation of slightly worse tacklers with dramatically healthier brains, that’s a win,” Nowinski said. “I’ll live with that.”

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnNFL on Twitter, Like Us on Facebook, subscribe to our NFL newsletter, and while you're add it, add our RSS Feed.
Posted on: February 3, 2012 5:13 pm
Edited on: February 3, 2012 6:41 pm
 

Colts: Peyton, Irsay 'remain close and unified'

The Colts do their best to look "close and unified." (Colts)
By Will Brinson

INDIANAPOLIS -- Late last night, Colts owner Jim Irsay shocked the football-watching world with a late-night tweet refuting a report that Peyton Manning's had been medically cleared to play football again. He also promised a statement from the team on the matter.

More than 12 hours later, the Colts released that statement and it wasn't what anyone expected, as it painted (or tried to paint) the Colts and Manning as "close and unified."

"Peyton Manning, Jim Irsay and the entire Colts family remain close and unified as we continue to work through all the options that relate to his future with the Colts," the Colts said in a statement released by the team. "The present focus is on the Super Bowl and the great game that awaits. A good time was had by all at the Colts party Thursday night."

The statement was accompanied by the photo you see above, in which everyone is technically "unified" and "close." The reality is, it looks like an incredibly awkward photo. Just how awkward is it though? Apparently that's John Cougar Mellencamp on the right ... and Meg "Ryan on the left?

It's weird, bizarre, awkward and random. Just like this whole Manning-Irsay situation.

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnNFL on Twitter, Like Us on Facebook, subscribe to our NFL newsletter, and while you're add it, add our RSS Feed.
Posted on: February 3, 2012 3:54 pm
Edited on: February 3, 2012 4:01 pm
 

Gronk practices Friday without limp, questionable

Gronk remains quite popular and is questionable for Sunday. (Getty Images)
By Will Brinson

As the Gronk turns is Indy's second-most popular soap opera, but things are starting to look up for Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski, who practiced on Friday without a limp and is listed as questionable on Friday's injury report.

Alex Marvez, the Patriots pool reporter, writes that Gronk worked out in "gray sneakers" and a  “Yo Soy Fiesta” t-shirt. Bill Belichick was, naturally, a little less specific.

"He practiced yesterday. He didn’t do anything today," Belichick said. “We’ll see where he’s at on Sunday, but hopefully [he’ll play]. I saw no setbacks. He’s still making progress.”

This was New England's final tune-up of the week, as they'll skip any actual practice on Saturday.

“We’ll have meetings and we’ll do some reminders and things like that in our hotel but we’re not going to actually practice,” Belichick said.

Belichick also believes the team, without the extra day of practice, is fully prepared for Sunday's Super Bowl matchup.

"I think we’re ready to go," Belichick said. "We’ve worked hard this week Monday, Wednesday and Thursday in practice, and we had good practices back [in Foxborough, Mass.] last week. We went through some mental-review things out there [Friday]."

One of the more interesting things to come out of Friday's practice was Belichick's participation -- according to Marvez, he literally got down on the ground with his team and worked as an offensive lineman trying to draw coverage teams offsides. 

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnNFL on Twitter, Like Us on Facebook, subscribe to our NFL newsletter, and while you're add it, add our RSS Feed.
Posted on: February 3, 2012 3:42 pm
 

Stevie Johnson: 'I'm done' with TD celebrations

Johnson plans on taking a more serious approach in 2012. (Getty Images)
By Will Brinson

INDIANAPOLIS -- Stevie Johnson drew a lot of attention over the past two years with his touchdown celebrations, much of it unwanted. And as he heads towards an offseason that could see him become a free agent, those antics have to be concerning for teams interested in Johnson's service.

Except Johnson says that he's 'done' with touchdown celebrations moving forward, regardless of where he ends up playing.

"It could be a good thing or a bad thing," Johnson said when asked if teams would be worried. "But no matter what: I'm done with it. When I was doing my first couple seasons, I was just trying to be a relevant guy, you know? I think people are beginning to know who [No.] 13 is."

Really? Johnson's just going to quit coming up with random, quirky ways to draw attention to himself? Apparently so.

"Yeah, for real man," Johnson said. "Just thumbs ups. I'm going to still play with the confidence and swagger I have but thinking about what I'm doing next, I'm done with it."

The real question is whether or not Johnson will be in Buffalo. The wide receiver said he'd prefer to remain a Bill but understands the limited number of chances he'll have to cash in on a shot at the open market.

"I'm definitely hoping the Bills step up and we can connect on an agreement and I can play out my career in Buffalo," Johnson said. "But with free agency, you get this maybe once in your career so I'm gonna keep my options to all the teams and we'll go from there."

There's also a good chance Buffalo decides to utilize the franchise tag on Johnson; keeping him for an additional year and seeing if he can replicate his success from the previous two years wouldn't be all that cost prohibitive.

And while Johnson wouldn't prefer the franchise tag, he would be open to it.

"I'd definitely be open to that because I'd have another season in Buffalo," Johnson said. "But it's good and bad because it's only one season that I'd have. But if it has anything to do with signing in Buffalo I'm definitely interested in it."

Presuming that Johnson ends up sticking, he's making it sound like someone else will be asking why he's so serious.

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnNFL on Twitter, Like Us on Facebook, subscribe to our NFL newsletter, and while you're add it, add our RSS Feed.
Posted on: February 3, 2012 12:28 pm
 

Coughlin not concerned Giants are too cocky

                                     (Ryan Wilson, CBSSports.com)
By Ryan Wilson

INDIANAPOLIS -- The seven days leading up to the Super Bowl feels more like seven months when you're looking for stories that haven't been beaten into the ground by Wednesday. It must be even more interminable for the coaches and players who have to endure it.

Before the Patriots left New England, Tom Brady told fans gathered at a pep rally that “We’re going down there, and we’re going down there for one reason. We’re going to give it our best and "hopefully" we have a lot more people at our party next weekend.”

The New York media ran with Brady's words -- ESPNNewYork.com's headline: “Brady planning victory party," The New York Post: “Tom’s taunt,” and the New York Daily News went with: “Tom’s talkin’ trash.”

Brady, of course, was asked about it once he arrived in Indy.

“Well, it was a pep rally,” he said smiling. “People were pretty excited. Certainly players were excited. I know 25,000 fans who were there were excited as well. It was great to see the support. We get great support, home and away, and hopefully we have some Patriots jerseys in the stands next Sunday night.”

Full Super Bowl Coverage
Giants defensive end Justin Tuck echoed Brady's sentiments when asked about it at Tuesday's Media Day: "Man, it was a pep rally," he said. "What was he supposed to say? I don’t think it’s Tom doing anything but getting fans riled up."

On Friday, it was Giants head coach Tom Coughlin's turn. He was asked whether he worries about his team being too cocky.

“I’m not sure what you’re referencing," he said. "I know that there are one or two quotes out there, but, to be honest with you, I don’t know that either one of them is any different than Tom Brady’s quotes. I think it’s just a matter of our team has played good football against a great football team. We always focus our team on confidence enough to get there and confident enough to get back. That’s the way we look at it.”

Mercifully, there's just one more day until the Super Bowl is here.


Super Bowl XLVI Preview
Will the Patriots get revenge this time around or will the Giants continue their run to another Super Bowl title? Pat Kirwan joins Scott Braun for the preview.

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnNFL on Twitter, subscribe to our NFL newsletter, and while you're at it, add our RSS Feed
Posted on: February 3, 2012 11:50 am
 

Like Coughlin, Belichick has no plans to retire

Follow all of CBSSports.com's Full Super Bowl Coverage (Ryan Wilson, CBSSports.com)

By Ryan Wilson

INDIANAPOLIS -- Earlier this week, CBS analyst and former Giants quarterback Phil Simms said that he tells players that when they think their career is over to "play two more years. ... Because the rest of your life is a long time."

Full Super Bowl Coverage
No idea if that tenet holds for head coaches, too. On Friday, in his last meeting of the week with the media, Patriots head coach Bill Belichick was asked if there was a chance he'd retire should New England win Sunday. It would be Belichick's fourth championship since 2001 and further solidify his Hall of Fame credentials on a career in coaching that began with the Baltimore Colts in 1975.

“Right now, I’m really thinking, ‘What’s the best thing I can do to help our football team on Sunday against the Giants?’ I want to really try to do a good job in the job that I have," he said. "I enjoy all the aspects of the job. I enjoy the team-building, the drafting, the free agents, team acquisitions, those kind of things.

"I enjoy bringing in the young players and working with guys who haven’t been in the NFL and teaching them the basic fundamentals in how to become a professional football player for the New England Patriots. I enjoy working with the veteran players, the Tom Bradys and the Vince Wilforks and the Wes Welkers and all those kind of players that can do really special things because of their not only talent, but experience."

He continued: "I enjoy the competition on a weekly basis. Not just on Sundays, but the preparation leading up into the game. I enjoy all of it. It beats working. It’s fun to address those challenges on a daily basis, so right now I’m really focused on the game and that’s where my energy is going to go, toward doing the best I can for the New England Patriots against the Giants on Sunday.”

If Belichick's words aren't convincing enough, his newfound effusiveness appears to be. So for now, the 59-year-old ain't going anywhere, sharing the sentiments of his counterpart Sunday, Tom Coughlin.

CBSSports.com's Pete Prisco asked Coughlin after the Giants beat the 49ers in the NFC Championship game if, at 65, he had any thoughts on calling it quits.

Retire to do what?” Coughlin said. "I feel good … I still love what I do."


Super Bowl XLVI Preview
Will the Patriots get revenge this time around or will the Giants continue their run to another Super Bowl title? Pat Kirwan joins Scott Braun for the preview.

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnNFL on Twitter, subscribe to our NFL newsletter, and while you're at it, add our RSS Feed
Posted on: February 3, 2012 9:06 am
Edited on: February 5, 2012 10:06 am
 

Belichick: Gronk hasn't experienced setbacks

Gronk got a question or two about his ankle Thursday. (Will Brinson, CBSSports.com)

By Josh Katzowitz

INDIANAPOLIS -- Another day, another couple of questions about the status of Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski. After Gronkowski was limited in Thursday’s practice -- the big news, of course, being that Gronkowski and his high ankle sprain actually did practice --coach Bill Belichick said Friday morning that he didn’t have setbacks and that he “was OK this morning.”

Considering Gronkowski participated in drills for the first time since his ankle injury in the AFC championship game and came away feeling fine is obviously good news for New England. The fact he didn’t have any negative effects this morning is even better news. The next step: practicing again today and, again, not experiencing any setbacks.

“Rob has worked extremely hard,” Belichick said. “He’s been in treatment morning, noon and night. Hopefully he continue to progress. He’s coming along, and he’s moving in the right direction.”

[Follow all of CBSSports.com's Full Super Bowl Coverage]

Asked to elaborate on what exactly Gronkowski did at practice, Belichick said, “He was limited. He did some of the things that we did in practice, but not all of them.”

Then, a deadpan: “Is that what you were looking for?”

Gronkowski was slightly more verbose after Thursday’s practice.

"It's definitely huge, significant," Gronkowski said. "Obviously I want to get out there, I want to get some practice in before the Super Bowl. I want to do as much as possible, whatever I can do before the game. We'll see how I am feeling, talk to the training staff, talk to the coaches, put it all together."

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnNFL on Twitter, Like Us on Facebook, subscribe to our NFL newsletter, and while you're add it, add our RSS Feed.
 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com