Preseason Concludes with Two National TV Games and Final Roster Cuts

All 32 teams in action on Thursday

Jets at Eagles and Seahawks at Raiders will air live on NFL Network

Final roster cut-down to 53 players set for Saturday at 4 PM ET

It’s the final week of the preseason and young players around the league know this is their time to shine.

With final NFL roster cuts to 53 players looming this Saturday, this week’s games are a last chance for many players to make the roster.

“Every single play from scrimmage is an opportunity to prove to the coaches that you’re not only good enough to play in the NFL, but you’re an indispensable part of the team,” says New York Giants wide receiver VICTOR CRUZ, who made the team as an undrafted free agent in 2010.

For many of these young players, they know this is their last opportunity to make the final 53.

For the complete release, click here

Brandon Meriweather Suspended for Two Games for Sixth Violation of Player Safety Rules

Safety BRANDON MERIWEATHER of the Washington Redskins has been suspended without pay for the first two games of the regular season for his sixth violation of unnecessary roughness rules relating to hits to defenseless players and impermissible use of the helmet. In the second quarter of the Redskins’ August 23 game against the Baltimore Ravens, Meriweather made forcible contact to the head and neck area of a defenseless player (Torrey Smith) on a pass play.

The suspension was imposed by NFL Executive Vice President of Football Operations TROY VINCENT. Starting on Monday, September 1, Meriweather will not be permitted to attend team meetings and functions; attend or watch practices; appear at the club’s facilities for any reason; attend press conferences; appear at the team’s September 7 and September 14 games; or have contact with any club personnel, except to arrange off-site medical treatment or rehabilitation. Meriweather will be reinstated on Monday, September 15.

On the play in question, Meriweather delivered a forceful blow to the head and neck area of a defenseless receiver with no attempt to wrap up or make a conventional tackle of this player, Vincent said. Meriweather was previously disciplined five times for illegal hits to defenseless players, including a one-game suspension last season.

Rule 12, Section 2, Article 7 of the Official Playing Rules states that “[i]t is a foul if a player initiates unnecessary contact against a player who is in a defenseless posture.” Article 7(a)(2) further explains that a player in a defenseless posture includes “[a] receiver attempting to catch a pass; or who has completed a catch and has not had time to protect himself or has not clearly become a runner.”

Meriweather’s actions violated Rule 12, Section 2, Article 7(b)(1), which prohibits the following contact against a player who is in a defenseless posture: “Forcibly hitting the defenseless player’s head or neck area with the helmet, facemask, forearm, shoulder, even if the initial contact of the defender’s helmet or facemask is lower than the player’s neck, and regardless of whether the defensive player also uses his arms to tackle the defenseless player by encircling or grasping him.”

Note 2 in Rule 12, Section 2, Article 7 imposes a strict liability on the defender in the exact situation that existed in this instance: “A player who initiates contact against a defenseless opponent is responsible for avoiding an illegal act. This includes illegal contact that may occur during the process of attempting to dislodge the ball from an opponent. A standard of strict liability applies for any contact against a defenseless opponent, even if the opponent is an airborne player who is returning to the ground or whose body position is otherwise in motion, and irrespective of any acts by the defenseless opponent, such as ducking his head or curling up his body in anticipation of contact.”

Under the Collective Bargaining Agreement, the suspension may be appealed within three business days. Appeals are heard and decided by either DERRICK BROOKS or TED COTTRELL, the officers jointly appointed and compensated by the NFL and NFLPA to decide appeals of on-field player discipline.

For a detailed description of the on-field player discipline process, please visit NFLmedia.com or NFLcommunications.com.

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Countdown To Kickoff (10 Days)

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NFL RATCHETS UP THE EXCITEMENT…HOPE IS ALIVE

The 2013 season was full of excitement, but that should be no surprise. Unpredictability is the norm in today’s NFL.

Scoring at an all-time high…new teams making the playoffs and winning divisions…consistent teams excelling once again…records falling…young players making their mark…and so much more!

“It happens every week in the NFL,” says New England Patriots quarterback TOM BRADY. “You look up at the scoreboard during the game, and say ‘Wow, they beat them?’”

The NFL is never short on surprises, and the 2013 season was no different:

A record 11,985 points were scored, with games averaging 46.8 points, the highest average in NFL history (46.5 in 1948).

In all, 1,338 total touchdowns were scored, surpassing the league-wide record of 1,297, which occurred in 2012.

Eleven teams scored at least 400 points last season – Denver (606), Chicago (445), New England (444), Philadelphia (442), Dallas (439), Cincinnati (430), Kansas City (430), Green Bay (417), Seattle (417), New Orleans (414) and San Francisco (406) – topping the previous record of nine in 2008 and 2012. Those 11 teams combined for a .668 winning percentage and nine qualified for the playoffs.

There were five new playoff teams in 2013: Carolina, Kansas City, New Orleans, Philadelphia and San Diego. Since the 12-team playoff format was adopted in 1990, at least four teams have qualified for the playoffs in every season that were not in the postseason the year before.

For the complete release, click here

NFL Hosts International Professional Sports Concussion Research Think Tank

Scientific and medical officials representing preeminent international sports organizations convened at the NFL offices for a two-day ‘Think Tank’ on concussion research, diagnosis, management and treatment. The event concluded today.

The International Professional Sports Concussion Research Think Tank was assembled by DR. RICH ELLENBOGEN (Chairman, Department of Neurological Surgery, University of Washington Co-chair, NFL Head, Neck and Spine Committee), and three co-chairs of the 4th International Consensus on Concussion in Sport: DR. JIŘÍ DVOŘÁK (Chairman, FIFA Medical and Research Centre; Chief Medical Officer, FIFA); DR. PAUL MCCRORY (Associate Professor, The Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health, Melbourne, Australia) and DR. WILLEM MEEUWISSE (Professor, University of Calgary Sport Injury Prevention Research Centre and Hotchkiss Brain Institute).

Following a discussion on approaches to concussion management and research among sports, attendees identified areas where collaborative research among the sports leagues holds the promise to make sports safer for athletes at all levels. The group intends to support research that enhances sideline assessment tools for concussion. Additionally, the Think Tank is interested in examining how improved rehabilitation techniques can enhance recovery following concussion. This is the first time that significantly coordinated research efforts will be undertaken among international sports federations and leagues.

“We intend to continue sharing knowledge and best practices to further advance sports safety,” said Dr. Ellenbogen. “Convening a global conversation on concussion research will only further the science and understanding of this unique injury, and make sports safer for athletes and the general population.”

“FIFA takes every opportunity to increase knowledge on concussion,” said Dr. Dvořák. “The Think Tank will help fast track design and execute research programs to improve the recognition and management of concussion and enhance prospective studies already running at FIFA/F-MARC on this issue.”

“This is an exciting development in the science of sports concussion,” said Dr. McCrory. “Working with international sports leaders not only benefits athletes in professional sports but amateur participants throughout the world.”

“Bringing together the International Concussion in Sport Consensus group with these sporting organizations and military has provided a unique opportunity for research collaboration,” said Dr. Meeuwisse.

For the complete release, click here

NFL Update—August 21, 2014

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HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL PARTICIPATION RISES, SAYS NEW SURVEY

According to the annual High School Athletics Participation Survey conducted by the National Federation of State High School Associations, football participation among high school students increased for the first time in five years, with an additional 6,607 boys participating in 11-man football during the 2013-14 school year.

According to the survey, 6,607 more boys participated in football last season than they had the year before, pushing the total to 1,093,234. In addition, a total of 1,715 girls participated in 11-player football, an increase of 184 from the previous year.

“With the precautions that are in place nationwide to address concussions in all high school sports, including football, we have maintained that the risk of injury is as low as it ever has been,” said BOB GARDNER, NFHS executive director. “Certainly this rise in football numbers is a confirmation of those beliefs and indicates the strong continued interest nationwide in high school football.”

“In our sport, we’re seeing education change for the better how coaches are prepared, players are taught, parents are informed and safety is addressed,” USA Football executive director SCOTT HALLENBECK said. “How we teach the game has evolved, and the rise in high school participation may reflect this, and there’s more to be done.”

For the complete release, click here

NFL Now Launches on Apple TV

NFL Now Delivers Fans Largest Digital Library of NFL Video and Customized Viewing Experience

NEW YORK, NY: The National Football League today announced that NFL Now has launched on Apple TV, providing fans free access to the NFL’s massive video content library through the Apple TV platform.  NFL Now on Apple TV provides access to game highlights, original content from NFL Media and 32 NFL clubs, live press conferences, and shows and video from the NFL Films vault.  NFL Now also delivers the most-personalized NFL viewing experience anywhere, providing a one-of-a-kind video stream based on each fan’s favorite NFL teams, players and NFL.com Fantasy rosters and viewing preferences over time.

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Seven National TV Games Highlight Week 3 of NFL Preseason

Week 3 of the NFL preseason features seven games on national TV.

The action starts on Thursday night with a matchup of in-state rivals as the Philadelphia Eagles host the Pittsburgh Steelers (7:30 PM ET, NFLN).

On Friday, the Oakland Raiders will face the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field on CBS (8:00 PM ET). Following the conclusion of that game, NFL Network will televise the Chicago Bears visiting the Super Bowl champion Seattle Seahawks at CenturyLink Field.

The Buffalo Bills will host the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Saturday afternoon (4:30 PM ET, NFL Network). On Saturday night, the New Orleans Saints will visit the Indianapolis Colts on CBS (8:00 PM ET).

The week concludes with back-to-back nationally-televised games on Sunday as the San Francisco 49ers host the San Diego Chargers (4:00 PM ET, FOX) and the Cincinnati Bengals travel to face the Arizona Cardinals (8:00 PM ET, NBC) at University of Phoenix Stadium, the site of Super Bowl XLIX.

For the complete release, click here

NFL Practice Squads Expand to 10 Players

The NFL and the NFL Players Association have agreed to expand NFL Practice Squads for the 2014 and 2015 seasons. Absent an extension of the agreement, the current rules will be reinstated beginning with the 2016 season.

Under the agreement, 2014 and 2015 Practice Squads will increase from the current maximum of eight players to 10 players.

In addition, the criteria for Practice Squad eligibility has been expanded in two respects.

First, a player must have a minimum of six games – up from the current three games – on a Practice Squad in order for that season to count as one of the player’s three permissible seasons of Practice Squad service.

Second, each club will be permitted to sign a maximum of two Practice Squad players who have earned no more than two accrued seasons of free agency credit. Absent this exception, a player who has earned one or more accrued seasons would not be eligible for a Practice Squad unless the player spent fewer than nine games on a club’s 46-player active list in each of his accrued seasons.

All other practice squad rules under Article 33 of the 2011 Collective Bargaining Agreement will remain in effect during the 2014 and 2015 seasons.

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Defending Super Bowl Champion Seattle Seahawks Highlight NFL Network’s Week 3 Live Preseason Schedule

Three Live Week 3 Preseason Games on NFL Network:

Pittsburgh Steelers at Philadelphia Eagles – August 21 at 7:30 PM ET

Chicago Bears at Seattle Seahawks – August 22 at 11:00 PM ET

Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Buffalo Bills – August 23 at 4:30 PM ET

Special Preseason ‘NFL RedZone’ Saturday, August 23 at 7:00 PM ET

Preseason Editions of New Show ‘NFL GameDay Live’ Friday, August 22 at 8:00 PM ET & Saturday, August 23 at 7:00 PM ET

It’s time to get ‘Back to Football’ and NFL Media remains the go-to destination to do so, with three live games, re-airs of every Week 3 preseason game, a special preseason edition of the NFL RedZone channel and two preseason editions of NFL Network’s new show NFL GameDay Live.

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NFL Network Feature on Hall of Fame Safety Aeneas Williams’ Work in Ferguson, MO

Feature Airs Tuesday on ‘NFL Total Access’ at 7:00 PM ET & Wednesday on ‘NFL AM’ at 6:00 AM ET

Exclusive Footage of Aeneas Williams Preaching in Ferguson, MO & Attending Rally

Airing Tuesday, August 19 on NFL Total Access at 7:00 PM ET and Wednesday, August 20 on NFL AM at 6:00 AM ET, NFL Network presents an exclusive feature highlighting newly enshrined Hall of Fame safety Aeneas Williams’ work and impact in the community of Ferguson, Missouri.

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