Sports Corner

By: Robert Bishop

Back again, and while it wasn’t pretty, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers managed to outlast the New York Giants on Monday night, securing the win following a failed two-point conversion attempt in the closing moments. Once again, the Giants were undone by turnovers from quarterback Daniel Jones, who continues to be among the worst signal-callers in the NFL at protecting the ball. Jones made a pair of poor decisions that led to interceptions. Despite the win, Tampa Bay’s offense failed to impress. The Buccaneers will welcome Antonio Brown into the fold for next Sunday’s tilt against the New Orleans Saints.

Baltimore is coming off a tough loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers, and now the Ravens are dealing with a different showdown as COVID-19 is hitting the team. Star cornerback Marlon Humphrey, who played in Sunday’s loss, has tested positive for the virus. Multiple teammates of Humphrey’s are expected to be added to the team’s reserve/COVID-19 list due to close contact with him, putting their collective status for Sunday’s tilt against the Indianapolis Colts in jeopardy. The game itself seems to be on schedule to be played, though Baltimore could have its starting defense severely hindered with Humphrey looking at being a spectator.

Green Bay’s match-up against the San Francisco 49ers tomorrow will find the Packers entering the contest with no clear options in the backfield. Starter Aaron Jones continues to battle a calf injury, and fill-in Jamal Williams and back-up AJ Dillon will both miss due to COVID-19. The lack of options in the backfield will likely put more of the game plan onto the shoulders of Aaron Rodgers, which isn’t the word notion for the Packers. However, without massive improvement from the team’s run defense—which was gashed by Dalvin Cook and the Vikings in Week 8—Green Bay will continue to be an inconsistent contender.

Working in Green Bay’s favor at winning a potential shootout against the 49ers, San Francisco’s season-long plague of injuries continued on Sunday. Superstar tight end George Kittle, arguably the best offensive skill position player in the NFL, suffered a broken foot on Sunday and will miss approximately two months. Given the NFC West’s strength, a two-month absence from Kittle would likely doom the 49ers to the cellar in the division. There’s a strong chance Kittle’s season is over. The 49ers’ offense will also be without receiver Deebo Samuel, running back Raheem Mostert, and quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo in tomorrow’s game.

Following back-to-back losses thanks largely to failures in the secondary, the Tennessee Titans made a trade to address the issue, acquiring Desmond King from the Los Angeles Chargers. King had been a star-level cornerback the past few seasons, but he had fallen out of favor with the Chargers for unknown reasons. King has been a star-level slot corner the past few seasons, and there is no reason to think he will do anything other than excel in the role for the Titans. For the cost of a sixth-round pick, the Titans quietly got much, much better.

Detroit’s already declining playoff hopes took a hit with a pair of injuries to key pieces. Defensive lineman Trey Flowers has been dealing with a wrist injury for numerous weeks, and on Sunday appeared to suffer a shoulder/arm injury that has now landed him on short-term IR. Leading receiver Kenny Golladay left Sunday’s loss to the Colts early with a hip injury, and now it appears he’ll miss at least this coming weekend’s match-up against the Vikings, with Week 10 and beyond also in doubt. The Lions were a popular choice to be a playoff contender in 2020, but injuries and questionable coaching have doomed the team to a 3-4 start, trailing both the Bears and Packers in the NFC North.