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The Latest: Aaron Rodgers returns for Packers

September 10, 2018
Associated Press

The Latest on the NFL's first Sunday of the regular season (all times EDT):

10:16 p.m.

Aaron Rodgers is back and the Green Bay Packers are finally on the scoreboard against the Chicago Bears.

The team announced at halftime that the two-time NFL MVP quarterback was questionable to return with a knee injury.

Minutes later, he walked back out on the field and threw warmup tosses with backup DeShone Kizer.

Rodgers joined the rest of the offense for the Packers' first drive of the second half with about 9 minutes left in the third quarter. He led them on a 12-play, 46-yard series that ended with a 42-yeard field goal by Mason Crosby to make it 20-3 with 3:37 left in the third.

Rodgers hasn't done much outside the pocket since returning, operating a no-huddle offense.

___

9:45 p.m.

It was an awful first half for the Green Bay Packers.

It was a fantastic start for linebacker Khalil Mack and the Chicago Bears' defense, up 17-0 at halftime.

Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers was taken back to the locker room on the front seat of a cart in the second quarter. Rodgers appeared to grab at the back of his left leg after slipping to the turf during a hit from Mack and defensive lineman Roy Robertson-Harris.

Backup DeShone Kizer took over. It's not going well for him, either.

Mack had a sack and stripped the ball away from Kizer to end one drive.

Later, Mack had a 27-yard interception return for a touchdown after a pressured Kizer tried to dump off an ill-advised pass to running back Ty Montgomery. The ball went right to Mack.

Chicago acquired Mack in a blockbuster deal last week from the Oakland Raiders.

___

9 p.m.

The Chicago Bears are off to a fast start.

A defense reinforced with pass-rushing linebacker Khalil Mack has forced the Green Bay Packers to punt on their first two drives.

Chicago quarterback Mitchell Trubisky is outplaying counterpart Aaron Rodgers. Trubisky completed his first seven passes, looking quite comfortable in new coach Matt Nagy's offense.

Trubisky has also scored on a 2-yard run. The Bears have a 10-0 lead early in the second quarter.

The Packers had 24 yards of total offense, but minus-3 through the air, after the first quarter.

__

8:30 p.m.

It didn't take long for new Bears linebacker Khalil Mack to get pressure against the Packers.

Mack didn't start but came in on the fourth play of the game's opening drive. He got pressure on second-and-10 on Packers right tackle Bryan Bulaga on his first play. Quarterback Aaron Rodgers threw the ball away on third-and-10 and the Packers were forced to punt.

Chicago acquired Mack in a blockbuster trade with Oakland last week.

It was scoreless early in the first quarter.

___

7:55 p.m.

Three-time Pro Bowl tight end Delanie Walker has been carted off the field after hurting his lower right leg, the third key starter the Titans have lost in a lightning-delayed game against Miami.

Walker caught a 15-yard pass and hurt his right leg when T.J. McDonald tackled him late in the fourth quarter. A trainer covered Walker's leg with a towel, and a cart quickly was brought out.

The Titans already had lost two-time Pro Bowl Taylor Lewan to a concussion and quarterback Marcus Mariota was sidelined by an injured elbow.

___

6:55 p.m.

The Titans and Miami Dolphins are playing again after their second delay for lightning in the area, and the injuries are adding up for Tennessee.

The teams have had two separate delays combining for 3 hours, 59 minutes before resuming the third quarter with 6:47 left at 6:55 p.m. in a game that kicked off at 1 p.m. local time.

Fox-TV announced on the broadcast that it was providing limited coverage due to lightning in the area when the game resumed.

Tennessee resumed without two-time Pro Bowl left tackle Taylor Lewan because of a concussion.

The delay didn't help Marcus Mariota whose pass was intercepted by Miami linebacker Kiko Alonso on the first play after restarting. The Titans replaced him with Blaine Gabbert for the next series, and Mariota is questionable to return with an injured elbow.

This already is the longest NFL game since the 1970 NFL/AFL merger before play resumed for the second time.

___

6:45 p.m.

Tyreek Hill has scored three touchdowns for the Kansas City Chiefs.

Hill scored on a 1-yard shovel pass from Patrick Mahomes after Los Angeles' JJ Jones fumbled a punt deep in Chargers' territory. Hill also has touchdowns via a punt return and another reception has opened up a 38-20 lead on the Los Angeles Chargers in the fourth quarter.

He also has 168 receiving yards, the second most by a Chiefs receiver in an opener according to Pro Football Reference. Carlos Carson had 173 against New Orleans in 1985.

— Joe Reedy reporting from Los Angeles

___

6:38 p.m.

The Dolphins-Titans game is now the longest since the 1970 NFL-AFL merger. And they haven't even resumed play yet following a second delay for lightning.

The game started at 1 p.m. and was halted for nearly two hours late in the first half. The second delay midway through the second quarter also has lasted almost two hours.

The longest previous game since 1970 was a Bears overtime victory against the Ravens in 2013 that took 5 hours, 16 minutes.

Players have started to return to the field. The Dolphins lead 7-3.

— Steven Wine reporting from Miami Gardens, Florida

___

6:37 p.m.

Seattle wide receiver Doug Baldwin has been ruled of the second half against the Denver Broncos with a right knee injury.

Baldwin was hurt late in the first quarter when a Denver player he was attempting to block rolled over his leg. He walked off under his own power and came back briefly before leaving the game for the day.

Baldwin missed all of August with a left knee injury but returned for the season opener. He was targeted on one play Sunday but had no catches before leaving in the first half.

___

6:28 p.m.

Panthers tight end Greg Olsen has returned to the sideline in street clothes and is on crutches with his right foot in a boot.

It's the same foot that Olsen broke last year, costing him to miss nine games.

It's unclear the extent of the injury.

— Steve Reed reporting from Charlotte, North Carolina.

___

5:25 p.m.

Panthers three-time Pro Bowl tight end Greg Olsen has been taken to the locker room in the second quarter with a foot injury.

The team has announced he will not return.

Olsen missed nine games with a Jones fracture in his foot last year.

Olsen had been questionable coming into the game with a back injury. He left after two receptions for 33 yards.

— Steve Reed reporting from Charlotte, North Carolina

___

4:55 p.m.

There's another lightning delay stopping the game between the Tennessee Titans and Miami Dolphins.

Their game was stopped for one hour, 57 minutes with 71 seconds left in the first half before play resumed. Titans cornerback Malcolm Butler just intercepted Ryan Tannehill in the end zone and ran the ball back to the Tennessee 32. Officials then stopped play with 6:47 left in the third and Miami up 7-3.

The Dolphins walked slowly off the field.

The stoppage might cool things down. The stoppage came only a few plays after three players received unsportsmanlike conduct penalties for taunting as a result of a fracas between the Dolphins and Titans, which began after Tennessee tackle Taylor Lewan appeared to be knocked out briefly.

Lewan was hurt at the end of interception return by Reshad Jones in the third quarter. Lewan was running toward the sideline when he was hit to the ground. The Titans and Dolphins traded shoves and taunts.

Penalized were Jordan Phillips and Bobby McCain of Miami, and Dion Lewis of Tennessee. The penalties offset. Lewan went to the locker room.

— Steven Wine reporting from Miami Gardens, Florida

___

4:40 p.m.

Los Angeles Chargers right tackle Joe Barksdale has been carted back to the locker room with a knee injury.

Barksdale suffered the injury near the end of the Chargers' third offensive drive of the first quarter. He is questionable to return.

— Joe Reedy reporting from Los Angeles

___

4:35 p.m.

Patrick Mahomes has thrown his first touchdown pass as Kansas City's starter, giving the Chiefs a 14-3 lead over the Los Angeles Chargers.

With a big helping hand from Tyreek Hill on his second TD of the game.

Mahomes threw a short pass to Hill, who went 57 yards for the score. Hill caught the pass at the Chargers 47 and eluded a diving tackle by Jahleel Addae as he found a seam up the left sideline. It is Hill's second touchdown of the first quarter after he had a 91-yard punt return.

Mahomes, who was the 10th overall pick in the 2017 draft, was 3 for 3 for 68 yards.

___

4:30 p.m.

Titans quarterback Marcus Mariota is back in the game after leaving for a play early in the third quarter against the Dolphins.

Mariota appeared to injure his right hand when hit by defensive lineman William Hayes after handing off. Mariota was treated by a trainer, walked off the field and was replaced by Blaine Gabbert with Miami leading 7-3. Gabbert threw incomplete on third down. Mariota returned for the start of the Titans' next series, and he was intercepted.

That was the second of injuries over three plays for Tennessee. Adoree Jackson hurt his right shoulder at the end of a punt return out near midfield and went to the locker room. Jackson is questionable to return.

— Steven Wine reporting from Miami Gardens, Florida

___

4:15 p.m.

The Kansas City Chiefs put up their first points of the season very quickly.

Tyreek Hill took a Drew Kaser punt 91 yards for a touchdown just a minute and 57 seconds into their opener against the Los Angeles Chargers.

Hill fielded the punt near the right hash mark, then quickly found an opening near the left sideline and was gone. It is Hill's fourth punt return for a touchdown in 32 games over three seasons.

The Chiefs lead the NFL in punt returns for TDs since 2013 with seven.

— Joe Reedy reporting from Los Angeles

___

4:10 p.m.

It didn't take long for the Kansas City Chiefs to get their first points of the season. Tyreek Hill took a Drew Kaser punt 91 yards for a touchdown a minute and 57 seconds into their opener against the Los Angeles Chargers.

Hill fielded the punt near the right hashmark but quickly found an opening near the left sideline and was gone. It is Hill's fourth punt return for a touchdown in 32 games over three seasons.

The Chiefs lead the league in punt returns since 2013 with seven.

4:10 p.m.

The Tennessee Titans and Miami Dolphins finally are getting back to their game in full sunshine after a nearly 2-hour delay for lightning in the area.

Officials suspended the game at 2:13 p.m. ET with 1:11 left in the first half and the Titans on offense. Miami has a 7-3 lead.

The teams were poised to return after only an hour only to have lightning in the area push back the restart until 4:10 p.m.

The opener for the NFL season featured a 45-minute delay to the first kickoff between the defending Super Bowl champion Eagles and Atlanta Falcons in Philadelphia.

Weather in Charlotte also has pushed back the opening kickoff between Carolina and the Dallas Cowboys. Kickoff has been pushed back 10 minutes until 4:35 p.m.

___

3:30 p.m.

It's already Josh Allen time for the Buffalo Bills.

Nathan Peterman has been pulled from his third NFL start after failing to mount any offense for the Bills against the Baltimore Ravens.

Peterman was yanked with Baltimore leading 40-0 in the third quarter. He was 5 for 18 for 24 yards with two interceptions.

He was replaced by Allen, the seventh overall pick in the 2018 draft. The Bills traded up five spots to draft him at the highest spot Buffalo has ever selected a quarterback.

Allen drove the Bills for a field goal on his second series.

— Dave Ginsburg reporting from Baltimore

___

3:20 p.m.

Seattle Seahawks safety Earl Thomas will start against the Denver Broncos just four days after ending his holdout after it failed to produce a new contract or a trade.

Thomas made it through his first week of practice with no issues after holding out of training camp while seeking an extension or a trade. His deal expires after the 2018 season.

He'll start in place of Tedric Thompson at free safety.

The Seahawks activated Thomas to their 53-man roster Saturday when they placed cornerback Dontae Johnson on injured reserve. He hurt his groin during practice last week.

Johnson was expected to start at right cornerback. The Seahawks didn't announce who would start in his place, rookie Tre Flowers or veteran Neiko Thorpe.

— AP Pro Football Writer Arnie Stapleton reporting from Denver

___

3:19 p.m.

New England Patriots running back Jeremy Hill has been ruled out against Houston after suffering a knee injury early in the second half.

Hill's injury occurred on a second-down play with 12:09 remaining in the third quarter that ended in a Patriots' turnover, with tight end Rob Gronkowski fumbling the ball near midfield after reeling in a 25-yard catch from Tom Brady.

He was helped off the field and evaluated in the medical tent before returning to the locker room. He had four carries for 25 yards and was credited with a partial punt block late in the first half.

The 25-year-old joined the Patriots in free agency this past offseason after spending his first four NFL seasons with Cincinnati.

New England led 21-6 at the time of Hill's injury.

___

3:12 p.m.

Never one to shy away from a fashion statement, Panthers QB Cam Newton wore brown cleats with a silver "sheriff's star," taking on a very old Western theme during pre-game warmups against the Cowboys.

Newton can't wear the cleats during the game, but is allowed to wear what he wants to pre-game warmups.

— Steve Reed reporting from Charlotte, North Carolina

___

3:05 p.m.

The Tennessee Titans and Miami Dolphins are expected to resume their game after a 77-minute delay because of lightning in the area.

The teams went to their locker rooms while play was suspended with Miami leading 7-3. First, the game was expected to be resumed at 3:10 p.m., and that now has been pushed back to 3:32 p.m. local time.

The game will resume with 1:11 left in the first half and the Titans on offense. Halftime is to be shortened to 6½ minutes.

— Steven Wine reporting from Miami Gardens, Florida

___

3:00 p.m.

Joe Flacco has just thrown his third touchdown pass, and he's made sure to hit each of the free agent receivers the Ravens signed during the offseason.

Willie Snead caught a 13-yarder in the third quarter to make it 33-0 over Buffalo. Flacco previously connected with newcomers John Brown and Michael Crabtree.

— Dave Ginsburg reporting from Baltimore

___

2:55 p.m.

For the first time in franchise history, the Carolina Panthers have their team logo painted at midfield of Bank of America Stadium.

New owner David Tepper made the decision to use the Panthers black and blue logo after purchasing the team in July from Jerry Richardson, the team's founder and first owner.

The Panthers always had the NFL "shield" at midfield —per Richardson's orders— since they began play as an expansion franchise in 1995.

The Panthers host the Cowboys in their season opener.

— Steve Reed reporting in Charlotte, North Carolina

___

2:30 p.m.

Andrew Luck's first half was just about as good as it can get after throwing an interception on his first official pass.

The Colts quarterback finished the half 20 of 25 with 170 yards, one touchdown and one interception. Plus, he marched the Colts 43 yards in 1 minute, 42 seconds to set up Adam Vinatieri for his third goal of the half, a 51-yarder, to give Indy a 16-10 lead.

Luck is back after missing more than 20 months with an injured shoulder.

Vinatieri needs four more field goals to break Morten Andersen's league record of 565.

— Michael Marot reporting from Indianapolis

___

2:15 p.m.

Weather has delayed another NFL game, this time in Miami between the Tennessee Titans and Dolphins.

The game was suspended with 1:11 left in the second quarter because of lightning in the area. The teams went to the locker room — with the sun shining. Rain fell earlier, and there was also thunder in the area. Miami led 7-3.

Weather delayed kickoff 45 minutes for the season opener Thursday night between the defending Super Bowl champion Eagles and Atlanta in Philadelphia.

— Steven Wine reporting from Miami Gardens, Florida

____

1:55 p.m.

Jaguars running back Leonard Fournette has a hamstring injury.

Fournette already has nine carries for 41 yards, and he led Jacksonville last season as a rookie with 1,040 yards rushing and nine touchdowns.

He caught a pass on the play before the Jaguars' last series and was being stretched out on the sideline when the Giants had the ball.

— Tom Canavan reporting from East Rutherford, New Jersey

___

1:55 p.m.

Panthers three-time tight end Greg Olsen (back) appears to be ready for Carolina's game with the Dallas Cowboys.

Olsen was added to the team's injury report on Saturday after practicing full all week. Asked Sunday if he expects Olsen to play, Panthers general manager Marty Hurney replied "as far as I know."

— Steve Reed reporting from Charlotte, North Carolina

___

1:50 p.m.

Houston Texans right tackle Seantrel Henderson has left the game against New England with a left ankle injury.

Patriots defensive lineman Keionta Davis landed on Henderson's ankle while trying to rush quarterback Deshaun Watson. Henderson was tended to on the field for a few minutes and then walked off under his own power.

After the training staff looked at him on the sideline, Henderson was helped onto a cart, hopping on his right leg, and driven into the tunnel beneath the stands.

It was a few plays after Houston defensive lineman Christian Covington needed medical attention. He is questionable to return with a thigh injury, according to the Texans.

— Jimmy Golen reporting from Foxborough, Massachusetts.

___

1:40 p.m.

Kirk Cousins has thrown his 100th career touchdown pass and his first for the Minnesota Vikings.

The new quarterback found Stefon Diggs in single coverage by San Francisco cornerback Ahkello Witherspoon on a fade route on third-and-3 from 22 yards out in the second quarter at U.S. Bank Stadium. The ball was perfectly placed along the edge of the end zone to give the Vikings a 10-0 lead over the 49ers.

Cousins spent the first six seasons of his career with Washington. He signed a three-year, $84 million, fully guaranteed contract with Minnesota in March.

— Dave Campbell reporting from Minneapolis

___

1:26 p.m.

Andrew Luck is getting off to a bit of a rocky start in his return for the Indianapolis Colts.

After receiving a loud ovation during introductions, Luck made it onto the field for his first regular-season series in more than 20 months at the Bengals 7.

It didn't last long.

Following a first-down run, rookie guard Quenton Nelson was called for a hold. On second-and-14 from the Bengals 14, Luck was picked off by linebacker Preston Brown on his first official pass since returning from shoulder surgery.

It got worse. Cincinnati Bengals safety Shawn Williams has been ejected after making a helmet to helmet hit on Luck. The Colts quarterback ran for 7 yards before being hit in the head by Williams while being tackled.

Luck did not leave the game.

— Michael Marot reporting from Indianapolis.

___

1:05 p.m.

The Ravens and Bills kicked off a new season on a wet field.

It's been raining in the Baltimore area all weekend, at times heavily. Throw in a stiff wind and temperatures dipping below 60 degrees, and it's as if this game was taking place in the middle of the season.

The Ravens are seeking to improve their record in openers under coach John Harbaugh to 8-3. Baltimore has won 18 of its last 20 home games in September.

This is the third career start for Buffalo quarterback Nathan Peterman, who enters with a career QB rating of 38.4.

— Dave Ginsburg reporting from Baltimore.

___

1:10 p.m.

Miami Dolphins wide receivers Kenny Stills and Albert Wilson are the only NFL players seen kneeling during the national anthem of early games in protest of police brutality and social injustice.

Dolphins defensive end Robert Quinn raised his right fist, and San Francisco wide receiver Marquise Goodwin raised his right arm with fist clenched during the anthem in New Orleans.

Jaguars cornerback Jalen Ramsey and linebacker Telvin Smith Jr. stood during the national anthem after staying in the locker room for "The Star-Spangled Banner" during the preseason before playing the New York Giants.

Titans wide receiver Rishard Matthews also was on the sideline after staying in the tunnel or locker room during the anthem much of last season.

___10:10 a.m.

President Donald Trump has tweeted his disapproval of the NFL on Sunday morning before the first full slate of games.

The president has criticized players for their demonstrations protesting social injustice during the national anthem, and the league for not requiring players to be on the sideline at attention when "The Star-Spangled Banner" is played.

He made reference to lower ratings on NBC in Thursday night's season opener in which Super Bowl champion Philadelphia beat Atlanta 18-12.

"Wow, NFL first game ratings are way down over an already really bad last year comparison," Trump tweeted. "Viewership declined 13%, the lowest in over a decade. If the players stood proudly for our Flag and Anthem, and it is all shown on broadcast, maybe ratings could come back? Otherwise worse!"

The NFL unilaterally passed a policy requiring players to stand at attention for the anthem or to stay in the locker room or in the tunnel under the stands. When that policy met with heavy criticism, it was put on hold while the league and players' association discussed other options. Those discussions are continuing.

___

More AP NFL: https://apnews.com/tag/NFL and https://twitter.com/AP_NFL

 
 
 

 

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