5 Points on Patriots Win Over Saints & New Injuries

Tom BradyThe New England Patriots had a rough start to the season, losing 42-27 at home against Kansas City. But they’re back on track after pulling out a 36-20 win over the New Orleans Saints.

New England quarterback Tom Brady was the star of the show, completing 30-of-39 passes for 447 yards and 3 touchdowns. Rob Gronkowski rebounded from a quiet game to catch six passes for 116 yards and a touchdown.

The Saints aren’t the league’s most-heralded team right now. Even still, the Patriots’ convincing victory shows that they aren’t suffering a Super Bowl hangover. Here are some key takeaways from the game against New Orleans and what to look for in next week’s contest.

1. Tom Brady was Excellent

tom-brady-patriotsMuch was made about Brady’s age following his performance against Kansas City. He threw for 267 yards and no touchdowns against the Chiefs. This had many wondering if the 40-year-old quarterback is entering the twilight of his career.

If so, you certainly wouldn’t know it by how Brady played against New Orleans. Beyond the eye-popping stats, he had some incredible throws. Examples include a touch pass to Rex Burkhead, a flat-footed touchdown TD throw to Gronk, and another perfect ball to Gronksowski that was dropped.

This performance was a far cry from last Thursday, when Brady consistently overthrew players. But we can give him a break since he lost over half of his starting receiving corp (Julian Edelman, Malcolm Mitchell, Danny Amendola) before and during the game.

2. New England Played with More Emotion

Brady wasn’t happy with his teammates following the loss to Kansas City. He questioned the Patriots’ attitude and competitiveness following the contest.

“We just didn’t make a lot of plays tonight, actually,” said Brady. “So we just have to be better in a lot of areas, starting with our attitude and our competitiveness. We have to do a lot better than tonight.”

New England heard his message loud and clear because they played with a lot more energy against New Orleans. Gronkwoski started flexing after he scored a 53-yard touchdown.

The team got excited after a big special teams tackle by Harvey Langi. And Brady himself celebrated after throwing a TD to Chris Hogan.

3. Gronkowski Had a Great Game – But He was also Injured

Rob Gronkowski is trying to get back to the top of his game after an injury-plagued season in 2016. And he certainly got things going against the Saints. He looked like the old Gronkowski on his 53-yard TD, out-running and out-juking New Orleans defenders.

The only problem is that Gronk was slow to get up after his sixth-and-final catch. He headed off the field afterward and went to the medical tent.

The good news is that he didn’t aggravate the back injury that kept him sidelined half of last season. The bad news is that he hurt his groin and didn’t play any more snaps. Gronkowski did at least ride the exercise bike on the sidelines while watching the rest of his team’s victory.

4. Other Patriots Got Injured Too

New England hasn’t had much luck with injuries this season. As mentioned before, three of their top receivers have already been injured, with Edelman (ACL) done for the year.

The New Orleans didn’t bring much relief in this department. Rex Burkhead, playing in his first game as a slot receiver/running back hybrid, headed back to the locker room. Newly acquired receiver Phillip Dorsett went to the medical tent late in the contest. And Hogan was limping at various points during the game, although he remained on the field.

Amendola was forced to miss this game with a concussion and knee injury. Mitchell has been placed on IR, meaning he’ll miss at least 8 games, and Edelman won’t see the field until 2018. That said, New England can’t afford many more long-term injuries.

5. Burkhead could Play a Big Role Moving Forward

If Rex Burkhead is on your fantasy football waiver wire, you might want to pick him up. New England made a serious effort to get Burkhead the ball in the early going.

After getting just 4 touches against the Chiefs, he had 5 touches in the first quarter against the Saints. This included a 19-yard touchdown.

With Amendola out, Burkhead ran some routes out of the slot and also shared the field with fellow running back James White on occasion.

Starting Green Bay running back Tim Montgomery had a similar role last season until breaking out. We doubt Burkhead will get as much action as Montgomery when considering all of New England’s running backs. But he’s definitely a player to look for moving forward.

The only question is what kind of injury he’s dealing with, and if he’ll have to miss any time.

Patriots Betting in Week 3

New England hosts the Houston Texans next week on Sunday. Houston is coming off a narrow 13-9 road victory over the Cincinnati Bengals. That said, I don’t see the Texans contending with New England in Gillette Stadium.

This isn’t to say that Houston can’t be competitive. But they’ll be starting rookie quarterback DeShaun Watson in a road game against one of the NFL’s top teams. I look for New England to win the game 31-17.

The one X-factor could be the Patriots’ injuries. If Amendola isn’t cleared and any of the other players we discussed miss time, then this will be a much tougher game for New England than expected.

But don’t bet on this happening until any more injuries are confirmed for the Patriots.

Rematch Coming after Controversial Canelo vs. GGG Fight

ggg-alvarez-rematch-oddsThe Canelo Alvarez, Gennady Golovkin (GGG) fight delivered on almost every level this weekend. The only thing missing? A clear winner.

Many were outraged that judge Adalaide Byrd scored this split draw a 118-110 match for Alvarez. But aside from this controversy, fans were treated to quite a battle.

The fight was very close and hard to score. Both Alvarez and Golovkin put on an impressive display that left two of the three judges shaking their heads when deciding the winner.

One judge scored the match 115-113 in favor of Golovkin, another had it 114-114, and Byrd’s 118-110 score completed the split draw.

Many boxing analysts had the match either 114-114 or 115-113.

Alvarez thought that he won the fight. “I feel frustrated with the draw,” he said after the fight.

Golovkin also believed he took the bout. “I put pressure on every round,” said GGG.

The Kazakhstani is right in that he brought the pressure. And perhaps this is why many fans were rooting for him to win, before delivering a chorus of boos when the decision was announced. Alvarez left the ring to boos as he traveled to the locker room.

But Canelo also did a masterful job of making Golovkin miss and counter-punching him. Alvarez also rocked GGG at one point in the fight with a two-punch combination in the ninth round.

The different styles didn’t make the judges’ decision any easier. And this makes it little surprise why the fight ended in a draw.

Alvarez Completes Rise to the Top of Boxing

ggg-alvarez-fightBorn in Mexico, Canelo Alvarez hardly seemed like somebody who was destined for boxing stardom when he came to the US nine years ago. He drew more attention for his red hair and hard punches. And his feet seemed too slow for greatness.

But standing toe to toe with the unified middleweight champion shows that Alvarez has entered boxing’s elite.

The years of improving his defense, becoming lighter on his feet, and taking on top-ranked fighters (Floyd Mayweather Jr., Erislandy Lara, Austin Trout) have paid off.

But facing Golovkin – a fighter who’d won 18 consecutive title defenses – was perhaps the greatest challenge of Alvarez’s career.

Back and Forth Fight

The 27-year-old Alvarez started off fast, winning the early rounds thanks to his defense and quick counters. GGG, on the other hand, was more cautious and didn’t jab as hard.

However, Golovkin never stopped moving forward. And he was able to turn the tide in the fourth round thanks to his aggression. Alvarez moved back against the ropes and took some hard shots from his opponent.

This is a point when many of Golovkin’s previous opponents have given up. But Alvarez didn’t, and he continued to hang in during the middle rounds. By the eighth round, he was slipping many of GGG’s counters and delivering solid counters.

canelo-golovkinThe ninth round was a fan favorite, as both fighters traded uppercuts in the opening minute. Golovkin appeared to have the edge, though, and won the ninth.

Alvarez came back again, as he threw a great two-punch counter that almost knocked Golovkin down. He mostly stayed away after this to take the 10th round.

The 27-year-old also won the 11th and 12th rounds on all three judges’ scorecards.

“This is terrible,” Golovkin said after hearing the scores. He was obviously disappointed after pressing on for most of the match. He was especially angry about Byrd’s 118-110 scorecard.

But what’s clear is that Alvarez did enough in the final three rounds to close the gap and make this a tough fight.

Rematch Coming

golovkin-canelo-rematchBoth Golovkin and Alvarez are interested in a rematch. And the boxing world will get to see this rematch according to Sports Illustrated.

Here’s an excerpt from the report:

“Golden Boy Promotions’ Oscar De La Hoya says that Canelo Alvarez has a contractual immediate rematch clause and they intend to use it for another fight against Gennady Golovkin possibly in 2018.”

Alvarez made $5 million from the fight, while Golovkin earned $3 million. Both fighters would likely make much more through a second fight, especially if they share pay-per-view revenue.

Byrd Taken Off Big Fights After Controversial Scorecard

Bob Bennett, director of the Nevada Athletic Commission, said that Adalaide Byrd will receive “a small break” from major fights.

“I’m not going to put her right back in,” Bennett told the LA Times. “She’ll still be in the business. But she needs to catch her breath.”

“I think she turned in her scorecard before the fight started,” Golovkin trainer Abel Sanchez said of her decision.

Judge Don Trella had the match 114-114, while Judge Dave Moretti scored the fight 115-113 in favor of Golovkin (37-0-1). Byrd gave five rounds to Alvarez that Moretti and Trella gave Golovkin.

“I had suspicions when they gave us the list of judges,” added Sanchez. “I think she needs to go back to school and learn how to judge a fight.”

Byrd’s Case Hails back to C.J. Ross

If history is any indication, Byrd won’t be ringside at a big fight any time soon.

In 2013, Judge C.J. Ross turned in a controversial scorecard that helped Timothy Bradley upset Manny Pacquiao.

Nevada Athletic Commission director Keith Kizer let her come back to judge the 2013 Floyd Mayweather-Alvarez match.

Mayweather easily won the fight on two scorecards, but Ross scored it a 114-114 draw. Both Kizer and Ross were soon out of the sports business after this.

Bennett admitted that Byrd did a poor job scoring the bout.

“Like in any profession, you have a bad night,” said Bennett. “Unfortunately, she didn’t do well. I can tell you she conducts training for us, takes judges under her wing. But her score was too wide.”

Alvarez promoter Oscar De La Hoya even agreed, despite the mis-scoring favoring his fighter.

“What was that?” he asked. “People are scratching their heads. They’re confused.”

Bennett said that he’ll have a meeting to discuss the scorecard with Byrd. She has over 100 title fights on her resume, although the GGG-Alvarez score makes it look like she’s inexperienced.

Golovkin promoter Tom Loeffler thinks that the highly disputed scorecard took away from the great fight that fans witnessed.

“Scoring it that way for Canelo takes away from the greatness of the performance in the ring,” Loeffler stated. “Frankly, it is not good for the sport of boxing.”

Canelo GGG Rematch Odds

Promoters have yet to set a date for the rematch between Gennady Golovkin and Canleo Alvarez. But we’ll certainly have odds on this highly anticipated rematch when more details are available.

That said, visit GTBets.eu to place your bets on the upcoming GGG Alvarez rematch.

Cardinals Odds with David Johnson Injured for Multiple Weeks

david-johnson-injuryThe Arizona Cardinals’ 2017 season has started off as badly as anybody could’ve imagined. Not only did they lose 35-23 against the Detroit Lions, but star running back David Johnson suffered a serious wrist injury.

Pro Football Talk reports that the initial diagnosis is a dislocated wrist. If this injury is confirmed, Johnson will need surgery and would be put on injured reserve.

Any player on IR must miss a minimum of eight games.

T.J. Logan Has the Same Injury

Arizona also lost rookie running back T.J. Logan to a dislocated wrist earlier this season. Logan was put on IR and is expected to miss 8-12 weeks

Again, Johnson’s injury hasn’t been confirmed. But he’ll be looking at the same type of recovery time if he indeed has a dislocated wrist.

Who will Replace Johnson at Running Back?

david-johnson-cardinalsThe truth is that nobody can replace what David Johnson brings to the table. He rose from a third round pick two seasons ago to a fringe MVP candidate.

The 25-year-old is perhaps the best dual-threat running back in the league. He proved this by rushing for 1,293 yards on 293 carries (4.2 YPC), and adding another 879 receiving yards on 80 catches. Johnson also scored a combined 20 touchdowns through the ground and air.

He’s a big reason why last year’s team went 7-8-1 and avoided what could’ve been a dreadful season. A committee is expected to replace some of Johnson’s production.

kerwynn-williams-chiefsKerwynn Williams is slated for between the tackles running. The four-year veteran has 555 career rushing yards and a strong 5.4 YPC average. But he tallied just 10 rushing yards on 5 carries against the Lions.

Andre Ellington is a nice receiving back who’s been with Arizona for five seasons. He totaled over 1,000 combined rushing and receiving yards in both 2013 and 2014.

But he’s had a very limited role ever since Johnson’s emergence in 2015. He didn’t receive a carry against Detroit and had 3 receiving yards on two catches.

One more option includes bringing back Chris Johnson, who was cut in the summer. Here’s what Pro Football Focus writes:

“As for the potential vacancy at running back, [coach Bruce] Arians opened the door to the possibility of veteran Chris Johnson returning. He hasn’t been able to stay well enough to produce, but he’s developed some trust with the coaches there, and if Johnson’s out an extended amount of time, they’ll need all the known commodities they can find.”

A 10-year veteran, Johnson is far from the star running back who rushed for over 1,000 yards in each of his first six seasons in Tennessee.

But he had a solid year with Arizona in 2015, running for 814 yards on 196 carries (4.2 YPC). Johnson only played in four games last season, which is one reason why he got cut this summer.

Analysis of Arizona’s Performance vs. Detroit

Carson PalmerIt’s good to avoid overreacting to one game – especially the season opener. But the Cardinals didn’t look good on either side of the ball vs. the Lions.

They played really poorly on offense despite racking up 23 points.

Quarterback Carson Palmer was the biggest culprit, completing just 56.3% of his passes and throwing three interceptions. At 37 years old, there are plenty of questions on how effective Palmer can be if he continues starting.

He put the loss on himself in the post-game press conference.

“I just didn’t do a good enough job,” said Palmer. “I put that solely on myself. I’m disappointed in myself. I just felt like had I made a handful of throws, we would have been in a different position.”

It’ll be even tougher for the aging QB to make these throws if he doesn’t have Johnson helping on offense.

Prediction on Indianapolis Game Next Week

Palmer can’t wait to get on the field and face the Indianapolis Colts on the road.

“We will get past it. I will get past it,” Palmer said. “We’ve got another big road game playing in another environment similar to this next week [in Indianapolis].

“Sunday can’t come fast enough. We’ve got to get the work done, but at the same time, I can’t wait to get this taste out of my mouth and move past this.”

There’s good reason why he can’t wait to play the Colts – they’re terrible.

Indianapolis was blown out 46-9 by the Los Angeles Rams in LA. They’ll be returning home to face the Cardinals and could provide some resistance.

But Indy is currently without franchise quarterback Andrew Luck, who’s still healing from offseaon shoulder surgery. Luck is even more important to the Colts than Johnson is to the Cardinals.

Indianapolis will likely start Jacoby Brissett, who replaced the ineffective Scott Tolzien on Sunday. He looked solid with 2-of-3 passing and 51 yards. But that was in a blowout game with little meaning.

It’ll be interesting to see how Brissett fares against the Cardinals’ starting defensive unit.

Arizona Cardinals vs. Indianapolis Colts Odds

Even without Johnson, we still have Arizona as a big favorite over Indianapolis. Here’s a look at next week’s line on our GTBets sportsbook:

  • Arizona -7.5 (-106), -330 money line
  • Indianapolis +7.5 (-114), +265 money line
  • Over/Under 44 (-110)

The Cardinals may have a tough road ahead without Johnson. But my guess is that they can beat Indianapolis by more than eight points next week.

The Colts are going to be one of the worst teams in football until they can get Luck back onto the field. Their defense and running game aren’t great, and now their passing game is lacking too.

Chiefs Odds: Eric Berry Out for Season – Impact on Kansas City

eric-berry-injuryThe Kansas City Chiefs had a bittersweet week. They won an opening road game against New England 42-27. But they also lost All-Pro safety Eric Berry for the season with a ruptured Achilles tendon.

Berry is quite possibly the game’s best safety, and he’s also a major locker room leader.

“You’re not going to replace Eric Berry with another Eric Berry. That’s not what happens,” Chiefs coach Andy Reid told ESPN via conference call. “But the guys know that Eric would be disappointed if they left off the accelerator at all. I think we’ll be OK there.”

Berry has been placed on injured reserve and will rehab so he can be ready for next season.

The injury occurred while the Chiefs player was covering Rob Gronkwoski on a passing route. Berry had nearly shut down Gronkwoski, who only had 33 yards on two catches. But Berry’s huge game came with a price as he came up hobbling on a fourth-quarter play.

He sat on the turf while the training staff attended to him. Berry didn’t look to be in excruciating pain. However, it was obvious the injury was serious when he was carted off.

Not the First Major Injury for Berry or the Chiefs

eric-berry-touchdownEric Berry is no stranger to serious injuries. He missed the majority of 2011 after tearing the ACL in his left knee. He also missed 10 games in 2014 after being diagnosed and treated for lymphoma. Berry played all 16 contests the following year after both incidents.

Kansas City has had some bad luck with notable injuries in recent years. This includes two injuries to star linebacker Derrick Johnson. Luckily, Johnson returned this summer and has been a full participant ever since.

But now KC must find a way to replace Berry, who is coming off his best season. He tallied 77 tackles, four interceptions, and two defensive touchdowns in 2016. Berry was dominant in a victory over the NFC champion Atlanta Falcons. And he was a huge reason why the team finished 12-4 and won the AFC West title.

His play last year earned him a 6-year, $78 million deal in the offseason. Berry is now the highest paid safety in the league.

“I’m on a bit of a low right now,” said Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce. “I love him to death. He’s our fearless leader, and to see him go down in the first game breaks your heart.”

Berry will still Play a Locker Room Role

eric-berry-chiefsEric Berry may not take the field any more in 2017. But head coach Andy Reid expects the safety to have a prominent role on the team.

Reid believes that Berry’s presence in the locker room will be important.

As for Thursday night’s victory over New England, Reid had to rally his troops and make sure they finished the game strong.

“He had an opportunity to talk to the team last night after the game,” explained Reid. “And I know he’d be very disappointed if anybody hung their head or let that be an issue.

“And I thought the guys handled it very well after Eric got hurt. Our guys were able to kind of muster it up and keep the emotional football part of it in focus there.”

How will Chiefs Replace Berry?

andy-reid-chiefsKansas City benefited from playing a Thursday night game. They now have extra time to find a replacement option before they face Philadelphia on Sept. 17.

Reid is confident that general manager Brett Veach will pour time into the waiver wire in search of candidates.

“Brett’s keeping his eyes open for [other safeties] right now. That’s what he does,” Reid said. “He’s always on top of that. We’re just kind of seeing the different options there.”

In-team options include Eric Murray, who filled in for Berry to finish the game. Daniel Sorensen, who plays multiple roles for the Chiefs, can also help man the position.

Free agent options include Jairus Byrd and Rashad Johnson. The latter had a good career with the Arizona Cardinals. But Johnson played poorly with Tennessee in 2016.

Byrd was one of the league’s top safeties with the Buffalo Bills from 2009-13. But he was often injured after signing a huge contract with the New Orleans Saints.

Chiefs Odds following Berry Injury

As Sports Illustrated points out, nobody the Chiefs pick up is going to fill the production and leadership of Berry.

Not only can he match up with an elite talent like Gronkowski, but he can also provide direction in the locker room too.

That said, Kansas City will take a hit in the odds department in future games. Below you can see their odds of winning the 2017/18 Super Bowl, AFC title, and AFC West:

  • Chiefs odds to win Super Bowl = +1600
  • Chiefs odds to win AFC Championship = +800
  • Chiefs odds to win AFC West = +170

Kansas City still has solid odds to win without Berry. And they have talent, including Johnson, shutdown corner Marcus Peters, receiver Tyreke Hill, and rookie running back Kareem Hunt.

But they’ll definitely have a tougher road from here on without Berry in the lineup.

Cowboys Odds: Ezekiel Elliott could Play Entire 2017 Season

Federal Judge Amos Mazzant has granted a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction on the 6-game suspension for Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott. This means that Elliott could play the entire 2017/18 season.

Elliott’s 6-game suspension for a domestic violence dispute was set to begin on Monday, after they played the New York Giants.

Last month, we covered how Elliott could potentially bar the NFL from suspending him. And he’s at least delayed the process with help from the NFL Players Association.

ESPN reports that if Elliott’s request failed, he could’ve appealed to the U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals. Now he won’t have to do that while the legal process continues.

Elliott’s attorneys are pleased with the decision and happy to have dealt with a third party.

“We are very pleased that Mr. Elliott will finally be given the opportunity to have an impartial decision-maker carefully examine the NFL’s misconduct,” Elliott’s attorneys said. “This is just the beginning of the unveiling of the NFL’s mishandling as it relates to Mr. Elliott’s suspension.”

Why did the NFL Suspend Elliott?

roger-goodell-nfl-playoffsNFL commissioner Roger Goodell announced that Elliott would be suspended for 6 games this year on August 11.

He cited evidence the league obtained showing that the former Ohio State Buckeye abused his ex-girlfriend, Tiffany Thompson. Elliott disputes the claims.

Text messages from Thompson to her girlfriend cast doubt on her character. And Columbus authorities decided there wasn’t enough evidence to pursue charges.

But the NFL cites that their personal conduct policy has a lower burden of proof than criminal convictions. On the advice of a 4-person advisory committee, Goodell chose to punish Elliott based on limited evidence. ESPN, however, reports that lead NFL investigator Kia Roberts was not onboard with discipline due to Thompson’s credibility issues.

Why Judge Mazzant Suspended Elliott’s Suspension

ezekiel-elliott-suspensionMazzant has serious doubts with how the NFL arrived at their decision.

“The question before the Court is merely whether Elliott received a fundamentally fair hearing before the arbitrator. The answer is he did not,” Mazzant wrote in court papers.

“The Court finds, based upon the injunction standard, that Elliott was denied a fundamentally fair hearing by [Harold] Henderson’s refusal to allow Thompson and Goodell to testify at the arbitration hearing.”

Mazzant added that the “NFL’s breach of the [collective bargaining agreement] is only compounded by Henderson’s breach of the CBA. Specifically, Henderson denied access to certain procedural requirements, which were necessary to be able to present all relevant evidence at the hearing.”

The NFL released their own statement that disagrees with Mazzant.

“We strongly believe that the investigation and evidence supported the Commissioner’s decision and that the process was meticulous and fair throughout,” read the statement.

NFL Players Association Strongly Backs Elliott

ezekiel-elliottThe NFLPA has openly criticized how the NFL handled this case.

They cite a lack of “fundamental fairness,” especially how an independent arbitrator wasn’t appointed. The NFLPA has also complained how they couldn’t cross examine Thompson.

They issued the following statement:

“Commissioner discipline will continue to be a distraction from our game for one reason: because NFL owners have refused to collectively bargain a fair and transparent process that exists in other sports,.

“This ‘imposed’ system remains problematic for players and the game, but as the honest and honorable testimony of a few NFL employees recently revealed, it also demonstrates the continued lack of integrity within their own League office.”

A Look at Other High-Profile NFL Suspensions

tom-brady-patriotsMany parallels are being drawn to Elliott’s case and Tom Brady’s Deflategate case. New England Patriots QB Tom Brady was initially successful in fighting off a 4-game suspension from commissioner Roger Goodell.

But he was suspended last year for the first 4 contests after the Southern District of New York 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the suspension.

New Orleans Saints running back Adrian Peterson was suspended over a child abuse case in Texas during his Minnesota Vikings days. Henderson upheld his punishment, but a federal judge later overturned it.

The NFL has tightened its stance on domestic violence after botching the Ray Rice case three years ago. The Baltimore Ravens running back was caught on tape punching his wife unconscious in an elevator.

Yahoo’s Dan Wetzel believes that the Rice case is playing into this matter. Here’s an excerpt from Wetzel:

“Everything these days is a reaction to the league doing a poor job investigating Ray Rice. Then, the NFL failed to follow through and acquire the ugly elevator surveillance tape, only to be horrified and humiliated when the video later emerged. Now, it supposedly presses everything.

“Any investigative and judicial system, however, has to be rooted in transparency and fairness, or else whatever verdict it renders – even seemingly the most justified – is compromised. To cut corners is to undermine not just the righteousness of the decision, but the victim seeking justice.”

Wetzel also states how badly the NFL handled this case:

ezekiel-elliott-suspension“The most glaring issue is NFL investigator Kia Wright Roberts testified at Elliott’s appeal hearing that she would not have recommended suspending Elliott in this case. She cited a lack of corroborating evidence, both via witnesses and other data, to back up Thompson’s story. She was the only person from the NFL to speak to Thompson.

“The NFL is within its rights to reject the opinion of its investigator, but doing so warrants an explanation. Rather than provide one in its original ruling that deemed Elliott’s actions “inappropriate and disturbing,” the league failed to mention Robert’s counter-opinion at all.

“The NFL just acted like it didn’t exist. Or, more likely, operated under the belief the counter-opinion would never get out.”

Cowboys Odds with Elliott Now Playing

The Dallas Cowboys odds have been given a slight bump in value following the announcement that Elliott will play for the foreseeable future.

We’ve shifted their 2017/18 Super Bowl odds from +1400 to +1300 at GTBets. This isn’t a giant bump, but it shows that we believe Elliott is a game-changing talent.

He tallied 1,631 rushing yards and 11 touchdowns on 322 carries. Elliott added another 363 yards on 32 receptions in his rookie season.

The main reason why Dallas’ odds didn’t shift more is because they have a brutal schedule. But potentially having Elliott the entire year improves their chances of winning the NFC East.

Last season they went 13-3 and earned a first-round bye. However, they lost a close Divisional Round playoff game to the Green Bay Packers.

Browns Odds: Myles Garrett Likely to Miss Multiple Games

myles-garrett-brownsThe Cleveland Browns are hoping that Myles Garrett can be a game-changing player. But they’ll have to wait on this because Garrett hurt his ankle and could miss multiple games.

Mary Kay Cabot of Cleveland.com first reported the injury after Wednesday’s practice. The No. 1 overall pick last spring suffered an ankle injury in Wednesday’s practice and didn’t return.

“He went as long as he could,” said head coach Hue Jackson, who indicated that the high ankle sprain could be serious.

Garrett Won’t Play against Pittsburgh Steelers

myles-garrett-browns-injuryIn another update, Cabot reported that Garrett was wearing a walking boot at the Browns practice facility. And he’ll definitely miss the season opener against the Pittsburgh Steelers.

“No concern because I know exactly how it happened,” Jackson said. “If you get somebody thrown into your leg, it could happen to any one of our guys. If you guys would have seen it, it could happen to anybody on our football team. It is just unfortunate it happened to a guy who we wish was out there all of the time. That goes with it.”

The coach went on to say that the injury was a “freak accident” that happened when somebody got pushed towards Garrett’s legs.

“Somebody got thrown into the back of his leg by accident,” Jackson explained. “It wasn’t intentional and those things happen. It wasn’t planned. Nobody tried to have it happen. He didn’t try to have it happen. It’s football.

“Those things happen sometimes when you’re out there practicing. It was unfortunate that it happened, and we are going to move on from it.”

No Timetable on Return

The good news for Garrett and the Browns is that there’s no break or fracture. The bad news is that the team still doesn’t have a timetable for his return.

“We’re going to be week to week,” Jackson said. “[Garrett] is disappointed like any player would be.

“He was excited about starting his NFL career and regular season and then this happens. But his spirits are back up today. I think he understands where he is and he knows he is going to get back out there, so he’ll be fine.”

Not the First Ankle Injury for Garrett

myles-garrett-cleveland-injuryLast season at Texas A&M, Garrett suffered another high sprain on his other ankle against the Arkansas Razorbacks. This happened in the fourth week, and he endured the pain throughout the rest of the season.

Of course, this also had a negative effect on his production because he tallied just 8.5 sacks. This was down from 11.5 sacks in his 2015 junior season at A&M.

Garrett also suffered a lateral foot sprain that prevented him from working out for a few weeks during this past summer.

The 21-year-old will now undergo exams on the ankle in the coming weeks. The hope is to get him on the field not long after the Steelers game. But that doesn’t appear likely because he’s expected to miss multiple games.

Thomas Reacts to Garrett’s Injury

Team captain Joe Thomas discussed Garrett’s injury during a team media session.

“He’s doing a good job,” Thomas said. “I had breakfast with him this morning. He’s focused on getting back as soon as he can. (But) it hurts losing a guy that is that much of a game changer.”

Thomas added that it’s tough to play with a high ankle sprain and how it can limit your abilities.

“It’s a very difficult injury and even though you can feel good enough to try to get out there and you can tape it up and brace it up as much as you can, you’re just not the same player you were before the injury because it’s tough. It really limits your ability to just run.”

Joe Haden Discusses how Good Garrett will be

Joe Haden was recently traded from the Browns to the Steelers. But he had only good things to say about his former teammate Garrett after the injury.

myles-garrett-browns“He’s looking like the first overall pick,” Haden said via conference call. “I was super excited when we got him. I feel like that’s the pick that is a stamp.

“We didn’t miss on that one. I could tell that from the very beginning. He just has stuff that you can’t teach – his motor, his professionalism and his attitude.”

Haden added, “He definitely is a pro already. He is mature beyond his age. He just loves the game and loves getting after it. My bold prediction, I really feel like Myles can make the Pro Bowl his rookie year.”

Who will Replace Garrett Against the Steelers?

Garrett won a starting defensive end role early on. He was set to start opposite Emmanuel Ogbah. Now that Garrett’s injured, the other defensive end role will go to either Carl Nassib or Nate Orchard.

Orchard had a promising rookie season after being a Browns’ second-round draft pick in 2015. But he missed 13 games last year with an ankle injury.

Nassib, a third-rounder for Cleveland last year, had 2.5 sacks in 2016. Neither Nassib nor Orchard appear ready to replace the presence of Garrett.

Browns Odds with Garrett Out

Here are the Browns odds in the Steelers game, according to our GTBets.eu sportsbook:

  • Pittsburgh vs. Cleveland, Sept 10 @ 1:00pm EST
  • Pittsburgh -8.5 (-110)
  • Cleveland +8.5 (-110)
  • Over/Under 47 (-110)

Cleveland’s odds haven’t changed following the announcement that Garrett will be out. So you might get some value by betting on the Browns at home.

But then again, Cleveland doesn’t quite have the talent of Pittsburgh and will be hard-pressed to stay in this contest.