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NFL Injuries 12/14/2017
Denver Broncos T Ryan Clady is on injured reserve
Oakland Raiders WR Andre Debose is on injured reserve
Full Injury Report
Thursday, Dec 14, 2017

Lions' receivers playing at elite level

ALLEN PARK, Mich. -- The Detroit Lions still cannot run the ball, and their offensive line is a mess. But with three games left in the season, it is clear they have one of the deepest receiving corps in the NFL.

Both Marvin Jones Jr. and Golden Tate are on pace for 1,000-yard receiving seasons. Kenny Golladay leads all rookies with five catches of 30-plus yards (despite missing five games with a hamstring injury). Even No. 4 receiver TJ Jones has delivered big catches in key moments for the Lions this year.

"Several of our offensive skill guys are out there making plays, really being threats to the defense," offensive coordinator Jim Bob Cooter said. "I would say overall I see guys getting better. Skill guys getting better, getting better running routes, getting better making tough catches, and we're putting the ball up down the field a little bit and guys keep making plays. That's really encouraging."

Tate has been his usual reliable self for the Lions this year. He is on pace for his fourth straight 90-catch season, and he and Marvin Jones could become just the third set of Lions teammates to top 1,000 yards receiving this millennium.

Marvin Jones, who fell just shy of his first 1,000-yard season last year, has team-highs of 885 yards and eight touchdowns on 51 catches. He's on pace for 1,089 yards receiving.

Tate, who has a team-leading 79 catches for 852 yards, is on pace for 1,049 yards and 97 receptions.

"It'd be solid. It'd be real solid," Jones said of the possibility both he and Tate hit the 1,000-yard milestone. "Me and G.T. haven't talked about that one time just because our thing is to go out there and work. If we go out there and keep doing what we're going to do, then it's going to weigh itself out. But it'll be dope."

Quarterback Matthew Stafford said the strength of the Lions' offense is its balance.

Unlike years past, when he had Calvin Johnson by his side and defenses tried new ways to stop the standout receiver every week, Stafford said opponents mostly stick to their defensive principles now.

Teams that regularly play a single-high safety, for instance, tend to do that against the Lions. Likewise, teams that play an abundance of zone coverage don't often stray from their plan.

With Jones turning into a reliable deep threat (and Golladay, too), and Tate among the best in the league in the open field, Stafford said he just tries "to get (the ball) to where the coverage tells me to throw it and those guys are doing a great job of winning when they do have the best leverage or the best look to win.

"I just try to throw it to the open guy, and we've got a bunch of targets on our team, a bunch of guys that can make plays in their own way, and I think that's when we're at our best. We're at our best, like I've always said, when we're spreading the ball around and a defense is not being able to really key in on one guy.

"We've got guys that can hurt them in multiple different ways, and in different areas of the field, and create explosive plays all over the place."

--For the second time in less than a year, center Travis Swanson is out with a concussion.

Swanson played all 68 snaps in last week's win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, then told team doctors he was experiencing concussion-like symptoms after the game, Lions head coach Jim Caldwell said.

Last year, Swanson missed the final four games of the regular season and the Lions' playoff loss to the Seattle Seahawks with a concussion.

Swanson is the second Lions offensive lineman this year to report a concussion after playing every offensive snap. Right guard T.J. Lang wasn't diagnosed with a concussion until two days after he played every snap in a Nov. 8 win over the Green Bay Packers.

Graham Glasgow is expected to start at center this week, and Joe Dahl might take Glasgow's normal place at left guard. Dahl was reinstated to the 53-man roster last week after spending two months on injured reserve.

--Coming off a solid rookie season in which he played primarily as a dime defender, second-year safety Miles Killebrew appears to have fallen out of favor with Lions coaches.

Killebrew has remained a bit player on defense the last two weeks even after starting safety Tavon Wilson was lost to season-ending shoulder surgery. The Lions moved nickel cornerback Quandre Diggs to safety, and have been playing rookie cornerback Teez Tabor in their nickel packages over Killebrew.

Caldwell said he's not sure if Diggs will remain a safety long-term. Wilson's contract is up after the season.

Defensive coordinator Teryl Austin said he still thinks Killebrew can be an impact player in the NFL.

"The one thing I found out in this league is when you're a role player, rookie, young guy, and you have part-time responsibilities, sometimes you think that'll translate, (that) you can just throw a guy in immediately and now he can take on a full 50, 60, 70 plays," Austin said. "And what you find out a lot of times is that's not it. It's kind of a gradual growth and I think that's where we are with him. We're still growing him.

"I'm hoping that as we go, he'll be able to start handling the 50- and 60-play games and being able to be an every-down player, and that's what we want. We're still growing him, we still got a lot of faith in Miles. I think he's got a lot of really good football in him and so we just have to make sure we try to groom him correctly, because there's nothing worse than a young guy that gets his confidence crushed and then he's not very good, and that's what we don't want."

--Quarterback Matthew Stafford said he doesn't believe he will need to continue wearing tape on his right hand for the rest of the season.

Stafford had his throwing hand stepped on two weeks ago after throwing an interception against the Baltimore Ravens. He played last week with tape covering his right ring and pinky fingers, but practiced this week with tape on just his pinky.

NOTES: RT Rick Wagner is expected to miss his second straight game Saturday with an ankle injury. Wagner did not practice Tuesday or Wednesday. Corey Robinson is expected to start in his place. ... CB Nevin Lawson (illness) did not practice Tuesday or Wednesday. ... DT Rodney Coe was claimed off waivers from the Seattle Seahawks on Wednesday. The Lions waived DE Kasim Edebali to clear a roster spot.

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Marrone won't talk about Jaguars' playoff chances

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- It's the second week in December and the Jacksonville Jaguars aren't discussing an early first-round pick in the upcoming draft.

For six consecutive years, the Jaguars have had one of the first five picks in the first round. Their 17-63 record during that span is the reason.

That won't be the case next spring. In fact, should the Jaguars get into the playoffs -- and they are on the verge of clinching that this Sunday -- and win one playoff game, they are assured of picking no better than 25th.

A home win over the hapless Houston Texans (4-9) on Sunday would guarantee Jacksonville its first playoff appearance since the 2007 season.

At 9-4, the Jaguars sit atop the AFC South standings, a full game ahead of the Tennessee Titans. A Jacksonville win coupled with a Tennessee loss at Arizona on Sunday would assure the Jaguars of at least a share of the division crown.

Head coach Doug Marrone is not talking about the postseason, though.

"You're not taking me there. Nope. Not doing it. Not jumping," Marrone said Wednesday. "Listen -- and I really mean this -- like I have said before, we are focusing on what we have to do today. We have a team coming in that is getting players back and an in-division game. They want nothing more than to beat us, as we want nothing more than to beat them. Everything else that goes on around, I'm trying to keep this -- because right now I'm trying to keep this team focused on today and preparing today for this team. That has been the way I've been all year. I understand it, I get the questions and everything, but I promise you none of you are going to be able to take me there."

When asked if the players were talking about the playoff run among themselves, Marrone was just as emphatic.

"Not in front of me they won't," the Jaguars' head coach said. "I won't let that happen. It's not productive to what we want to accomplish. We're playing a divisional opponent, we're playing them at home. We want to win this game obviously. That is the most important thing for us and we want to do it in front of our fans. They're a big part of this."

Jacksonville and the Texans opened the 2017 regular season in Houston and that's where the Jaguars set the tone for the season. Wide receiver Allen Robinson tore his ACL in that game and was lost for the season.

But after Robinson's injury, the Jaguars played at a high level for the rest of the game, which resulted in a 29-7 Jaguars victory. The defense recorded a franchise-record 10 sacks while forcing four turnovers. The offense totaled just 282 total yards, but 100 came from running back Leonard Fournette in his first NFL regular-season game. Fournette has gone on to register four more games of 100 yards or more and needs just 78 yards this Sunday to hit the 1,000-yard mark for the season, joining Fred Taylor as the only Jaguars rookie to reach that plateau.

The Texans have little to play for, and they will be without injured quarterbacks Tom Savage and rookie Deshaun Watson. The Jaguars will face journeyman quarterback T.J. Yates, 30, who is 4-3 in his career as a starter.

"You have a lot of guys coming back; probably the strong point of their team," Marrone said. "(DeAndre) Hopkins has 11 touchdowns and (Will) Fuller has seven. The duo between the two have the most touchdowns in the NFL. We expect Braxton Miller to be back and (Alfred) Blue to be back.

"They are going to be at full strength at least on the outside for what they have. They're very dangerous. I'd say when you look at the receiving corps, if Hopkins is one or No. 2 (in the league), but for us he is outstanding. He is an outstanding football player. He really is. He's an outstanding football player."

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