The Buffalo Bills aren't actively shopping safety Jairus Byrd, but general manager Doug Whaley said Thursday that he would listen to offers if other teams called. Byrd and the Bills had a contentious offseason, with the safety holding out on signing his franchise tag offer until just before the start of the regular season in protest of the organization's decision not to offer a long-term contract.
Byrd will make his 2013 regular season debut Sunday after sitting out the first five games of the season due to an injury. When he rejoins the defense, he may be auditioning for his next job.
Rick Reilly kicked up heated debate with a column in September when he wrote defending the Washington Redskins' use of the name "Redskins," which many consider a racial epithet. One of Reilly's key arguments was that his own Native American father-in-law, an elder in the Blackfoot Nation, did not mind the name.
Reilly's father-in-law Bob Burns responded Thursday, telling Indian Country Today that he was misquoted, and that he is in fact vehemently against the "Redskins" name:
What I actually said is that "it's silly in this day and age that this should even be a battle -- if the name offends someone, change it." He failed to include my comments that the term "redskins" demeans Indians, and historically is insulting and offensive, and that I firmly believe the Washington Redskins should change their name.
Whether Reilly is hit with any disciplinary action for falsifying a quote remains to be seen.
The New York Jets may have suffered a significant loss to their secondary. Cornerback Antonio Cromartie underwent an MRI on his knee Thursday for a non-contact injury. ESPN's Rich Cimini broke the news and reported that the team is "concerned" about a possible hyperextended knee. Cromartie has been a standout on the Jets' defense since the unit lost Darrelle Revis in a trade with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. If Cromartie is forced to miss extensive playing time, Dee Milliner could be forced to play a bigger role than the rookie is ready for.
Willie Colon wasn't with the Jets last season, but that didn't stop the veteran guard from giving his opinion on the New York Jets' decision to trade for Tim Tebow last year. He said that the team has seen a change in attitude:
"I think having the Tim Tebow circus out of here, and having different things that were kind of holding this team back, are starting to go out the window. I think we're all starting to care about football and only football, which is a good sight to see."
It's impossible to know, definitively, whether Colon is correct. The Jets are certainly playing better, having started the season 3-2 after winning just six games all last year.
Literally. Mike Tomlin banned players from playing games in the Pittsburgh Steelers locker room during working hours. The facility has billiards and ping pong tables, but the 0-4 Steelers can't afford to divert their attention away from notching their first win of the season. Players appear to support the move. Earlier in the season, the team's veteran leadership banned younger players from playing games, setting a precedent for Tomlin's move.
Kansas City Chiefs pass rusher Justin Houston has been cleared to practice, but has to be approved to play in Week 6 after suffering a possible concussion last week against the Tennessee Titans. Houston missed practice Wednesday. His absence would be major blow this weekend, as the Chiefs face off against the Oakland Raiders. The Chiefs' defense has been dominant this season, thanks in large part to Houston's 8.5 sacks on the year.