NFL Notebook: 49ers QB Garoppolo hurts knee

The Sports Xchange

September 23, 2018 at 8:27 pm.

Sep 23, 2018; Kansas City, MO, USA; San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo (10) is tackled by Kansas City Chiefs defensive end Allen Bailey (97) in the second half at Arrowhead Stadium. Photo Credit: Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

Sep 23, 2018; Kansas City, MO, USA; San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo (10) is tackled by Kansas City Chiefs defensive end Allen Bailey (97) in the second half at Arrowhead Stadium. Photo Credit: Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

The San Francisco 49ers lost more than a game on Sunday at Kansas City.

Franchise quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo is feared to have suffered a torn ACL in the 39-27 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium.

Garoppolo was hurt late in the fourth quarter while running along the left sideline on a third-and-goal play from the Kansas City 20-yard line before heading out of bounds after a 13-yard run. He was hit by Chiefs cornerback Steven Nelson and his left knee buckled.

After leaving the field and spending several minutes in the medical tent, he was taken by cart to the team’s locker room.

“With Jimmy, it’s a knee,” 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan said at his postgame press conference. “We fear an ACL.”

More tests are scheduled for Monday to determine the extent of Garoppolo’s injury.

“Any time you lose your starting quarterback, that is a big deal,” Shanahan said. “It was when we lost our starting running back (Jerick McKinnon) too. So, obviously, I feel for him personally. I know how disappointed he is. I haven’t got a chance to see him yet. I feel for him.”

Garoppolo had passed for 251 yards and two touchdowns. At the time he was injured, he was trying to trim the 49ers’ 14-point deficit to seven.

With Garoppolo apparently finished for the season, the 49ers (1-2) plan to go with C.J. Beathard as the starting quarterback.

–The Cleveland Browns are expected to name rookie Baker Mayfield as their starting quarterback for Week 4 on Monday, according to a published report. reported Sunday that Mayfield will take over the reins from Tyrod Taylor, who has sustained his third concussion in the last 13 months during Thursday’s 21-17 win over the New York Jets.

Coach Hue Jackson is on record as saying that he will meet with both quarterbacks prior to announcing his starter on Monday. The Browns (1-1-1) will visit the Oakland Raiders in Week 4.

“I think that you guys all feel good about where things are headed, so let’s just wait and see and go from there,” Jackson said on Friday.

Mayfield, who was selected with the top overall pick of the 2018 NFL Draft, completed 17 of 23 passes for 201 yards to help the Browns overcome a 14-point deficit and record their first win since Dec. 24, 2016.

–New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees set the NFL record for most completed passes in a career.

Brees broke Hall of Famer Brett Favre’s record by finding Michael Thomas with a 17-yard pass for his 6,301st career completion in the second quarter of Sunday’s game against the Atlanta Falcons.

Favre, who played 20 NFL seasons with the Green Bay Packers, New York Jets and Minnesota Vikings, passed Hall of Famer Dan Marino (4,967) to initially set his completion record.

Brees now resides approximately 700 yards shy of Peyton Manning’s all-time mark of 71,940 career passing yards.

–Adam Vinatieri’s third field goal of the afternoon in the Indianapolis Colts’ game at the Philadelphia Eagles allowed him to tie Morten Andersen for the most career field goals in NFL history.

Vinatieri’s 565th field goal of his career matches Andersen, a Hall of Famer. It took Andersen 709 tries to get that many while Vinatieri did it in 670 career kicks.

Vinatieri got his chance to tie Andersen after Colts defensive lineman Margus Hunt forced and recovered a Carson Wentz fumble inside the 20-yard-line.

The record-tying kick, a 28-yarder, came with 14:20 left in the fourth quarter, which gave the Colts a 16-13 lead.

–The roughing-the-passer penalty continues to dog Green Bay Packers linebacker Clay Matthews, who was flagged for that violation in a controversial play in the Packers’ 31-17 loss at the Washington Redskins.

Last week, a key roughing-the-passer penalty on Matthews was attributed to him lifting Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins and driving him into the ground. This week, Matthews was called for another such violation because he landed on Washington quarterback Alex Smith “with all or most of the defender’s weight,” the NFL office explained on Twitter.

The reasoning for the foul came from the league office, not from the officials on the field.

Green Bay coach Mike McCarthy was irate on the sidelines, having to be held back a couple of times by his assistant coaches from charging at the referees.

Former NFL head of officiating Dean Blandino said on the FOX broadcast that he did not agree with the call.

“I don’t like that as a foul. I really don’t,” Blandino said.

–The Pittsburgh Steelers are entertaining trade offers for running back Le’Veon Bell, according to a published report.

Adam Schefter cited league sources telling ESPN of the news on Bell, who sent a cryptic tweet early Sunday morning that may be related to his ongoing holdout.

“(S)ometimes a simple ‘thank you’ can go a long way…I feel like too many ppl take me for granted…,” the 26-year-old Bell wrote on Twitter.

Now, Bell’s tweet did not mention either the Steelers or football itself, so there’s room for interpretation.

Bell is eligible to hold out until Week 10 if his desire is to avoid potential injury heading into free agency.

The sixth-year running back has refused to sign a $14.5 million franchise tag while he pursues a new contract. He could lose up to $855,000 per game if he remains absent.

–Ryan Fitzpatrick will remain under center for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers following the return of fellow quarterback Jameis Winston, according to a report.

Jay Glazer of FOX reported that the Buccaneers will stick with Fitzpatrick when Winston is eligible to return from a three-game suspension from the NFL for violating the league’s personal conduct policy. Winston is set to return from his ban following the Buccaneers’ game against the Pittsburgh Steelers (0-1-1) on Monday.

Glazer, however, added that Fitzpatrick would lose the start if he does “something dramatically bad” for Tampa Bay 2-0).

Fitzpatrick was named the NFC Offensive Player of the Week for the second time this season after tossing four touchdown passes in his second straight contest.

–Miami Dolphins defensive tackle Akeem Spence was ejected during Sunday’s game against the Oakland Raiders after ripping off the helmet of guard Kelechi Osemele.

Spence was penalized in the second quarter for unnecessary roughness on the play. The penalty wiped out a drive-ending sack by Cameron Wake and left the Dolphins with only a couple of defensive linemen.

The ejection was enforced as part of a revision in the NFL’s rules that grants referees discretion to disqualify players for egregious infractions, including post-play penalties.

Other such ejections to this point of the season include Cincinnati Bengals safety Shawn Williams following his helmet-to-helmet tackle of Indianapolis quarterback Andrew Luck in Week 1 and Atlanta Falcons cornerback Damontae Kazee’s helmet-to-helmet shot on Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton in Week 2.

–Denver Broncos running back Phillip Lindsay was ejected for throwing a punch with two minutes remaining in the first half in the game against the Baltimore Ravens.

Lindsay’s unnecessary roughness penalty occurred after Baltimore’s Terrell Suggs beat tackle Garett Bolles and hit Broncos quarterback Case Keenum on blindside pressure, knocking the ball loose. Players from both teams dove for the fumble.

Lindsay dove into the pile late, and officials determined the rookie from Colorado threw a punch. Officials disqualified Lindsay for unsportsmanlike conduct, which will draw a fine this week.

The Broncos trailed 17-14 at the time after having a touchdown return negated by a block-in-the-back penalty and then Lindsay’s penalty took them out of field goal range.

Lindsay became the second player ejected Sunday, following Miami Dolphins defensive tackle Akeem Spence’s ejection during the game against the Oakland Raiders after ripping off the helmet of guard Kelechi Osemele.

–Green Bay Packers defensive lineman Muhammad Wilkerson suffered a severe left ankle injury in the second quarter of the game at the Washington Redskins, requiring him to be sent to a local hospital.

Wilkerson was carted off with what looked like a very serious injury. He covered his face mask with both hands when he was carted off. He was taken to a local hospital by ambulance.

Wilkerson was leg whipped by Packers safety Kentrell Brice just before halftime. Brice immediately motioned to the Packers’ bench for medical assistance while Wilkerson grabbed his left leg.

Wilkerson was one of the Packers’ top free-agent signings this offseason. First-year general manager Brian Gutekunst gave the former New York Jet a one-year, $5 million contract to try to resurrect his career in Green Bay. The deal also contained up to $3 million in incentives.

The Jets cut Wilkerson, 28, after just two seasons of a five-year, $86 million contract.

Wilkerson was a first-round draft pick of the Jets in 2011 and had suffered a broken leg to close his 2015 season.

–Carolina Panthers defensive end Julius Peppers isn’t getting down about his lackluster statistics to start the season.

The 38-year-old Peppers, who is the oldest defensive player in the NFL, has recorded two tackles and no sacks while playing on only 45 snaps this season. Peppers will look to improve those numbers on Sunday when the Panthers (1-1) host the Cincinnati Bengals (2-0).

“We’ll get there. I’m not worried about that at all,” Peppers said, via the team’s website. “Right now I’m worried about helping us get a win this week against Cincinnati. The accolades, all that personal stuff, that will take care of itself.”

Peppers missed the entire preseason as he worked his way back from a shoulder injury. He’s not using that as an excuse, however.

“To get back on track with sacks? It’s something I know how to do, and I’m not that concerned about it,” the 6-foot-7, 280-pound Peppers said. “They always say that the first one is the hardest one to get and that they come in bunches. We’ll get there.”

Peppers, who had 11 sacks last season, is fourth all-time (154 1/2) and within 5 1/2 of catching Hall of Famer Kevin Greene for third.

–Cornerback Coty Sensabaugh could be in line to make the start for the Pittsburgh Steelers in Monday’s game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Raymond James Stadium.

Sensabaugh received first-team snaps at right cornerback in place of Artie Burns during Saturday’s practice. Both Sensabaugh and Burns told reporters that they were uncertain of their roles for Monday’s contest versus the Buccaneers (2-0), and the latter refuted Joe Haden’s account that he was nursing a toe injury as a result of Sensabaugh’s involvement in practice.

“I’m expecting to find out just like you guys,” Sensabaugh said, via the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. “Whenever my number is called to go in, whenever they tell me I’m out, I’m out. I’m just going with the flow of whatever they want me to do.”

Burns, 23, was more tight-lipped, telling the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: “I don’t know. We’ll see.”

Sensabaugh received 29 snaps in place of an injured Haden during last week’s 42-37 loss against the Kansas City Chiefs. The game saw the Steelers (0-1-1) surrender six pass plays of at least 25 yards.

The 29-year-old Sensabaugh has started four games and made 14 appearances last season, his first with Pittsburgh.