relief when they clinched a first-round bye, because it gave wide receiver Antonio Brown an extra week to recover from his calf injury. Sure enough, Brown returned to practice Monday and plans to start in the Steelers’ Divisional Round opener against the Jaguars, according to ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler.
Each one has the other’s back; that’s how things have to be in this offense. Shurmur’s system leans on passing concepts that make his receivers work together—pick plays and crossing action—rather than in isolation routes on the outside. Here, Diggs and Thielen happily oblige. “We feed off each other; it’s nowhere near a selfish thing,” Diggs says. “Everybody wanna eat. But for us, it don’t even matter who eat. It’s going to happen. They can’t stop both of us.”
It’s been this way since day one. Diggs debuted on Oct. 4, 2015, against the Broncos’ top-ranked defense, just as Thielen made his first start at receiver. And while the Vikings lost on a late field goal, the receiving pair combined for 12 catches and 157 yards. “It was a glimpse of what was to come,” says Scott Turner, then Minnesota’s quarterbacks coach, “but nobody thought that at the time.”
Eventually, they got the field cleared out and the Vikings snapped the ball, choosing to take a knee rather than kick the extra-point while up five points. This mattered to nobody at all — except gamblers.
The line for Sunday’s game closed with the Vikings favored by 5.5 points, which means if you took them to cover, an extra-point would have put them over the top.
And making things worse is that there were no downsides to kicking the extra-point instead of kneeling, as the Saints were not within range to potentially block it, return it and get more points. The Vikings simply went out there and took a knee as a formality so the game could end proper.
Most days Kamara will go on Netflix and throw on some of his old favorite Disney titles—The Lion King, Atlantis, Little Mermaid. The movies remind him of the most innocent time in his life, when he was a kid and had no obligations, nothing to worry about. They provide a brief escape from the responsibilities and craziness of his new existence, tethering him to reality, because being Alvin Kamara hasn’t always been this easy. Especially for Alvin Kamara.
Nick Saban sold Kamara on the idea that Alabama wanted a versatile back like him, something they never had before. Kamara didn’t care that the team had a glut of running back talent. He had grown up watching Mark Ingram and Trent Richardson. The best running backs in the country go to Alabama, he figured, and he’d be the best of them all.
It’s unknown what form of punishment the Raiders will face if found in violation of the rule. In 2003, the league fined Detroit Lions general manager Matt Millen $200,000 for ignoring the rule prior to hiring Steve Mariucci.