NFL Notes: Packers don’t plan to shut down Rodgers

The Sports Xchange

December 19, 2018 at 10:04 am.

Dec 9, 2018; Green Bay, WI, USA;  Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (12) looks to pass while under pressure from Atlanta Falcons linebacker Vic Beasley Jr. (44) in the second quarter at Lambeau Field. Photo Credit: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

Dec 9, 2018; Green Bay, WI, USA; Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (12) looks to pass while under pressure from Atlanta Falcons linebacker Vic Beasley Jr. (44) in the second quarter at Lambeau Field. Photo Credit: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

Green Bay Packers interim coach Joe Philbin does not intend to shut down star quarterback Aaron Rodgers for the final two weeks of the season.

Rodgers sustained a mild groin injury on the final play of Sunday’s 24-17 setback to the Chicago Bears, a loss that eliminated the Packers (5-8-1) from postseason consideration.

The Packers placed running back Aaron Jones on injured reserve with a knee injury, according to Tom Pelissero of NFL Media, but apparently they plan for Rodgers to keep playing.

“I think when you sign up for the 2018 NFL season, you sign up for a 16-game season and hopefully you earn the opportunity to extend that and to compete for a championship,” the 57-year-old Philbin said, via ESPN.

Backup quarterback DeShone Kizer would get the nod on Sunday (1 p.m. ET) should the Packers opt to keep the 35-year-old Rodgers on the sideline against the Jets (4-10).

Jones is finished for the season after suffering a knee injury in Sunday’s game. He had just four carries for 8 yards in that game.

The Packers signed receiver Allen Lazard from the Jacksonville Jaguars’ practice squad to take Jones’ roster spot.

–Carolina Panthers coach Ron Rivera doesn’t plan on shutting down quarterback Cam Newton for the final two games of the season.

Newton is nursing an ailing right shoulder for the Panthers (6-8), who have lost six straight contests and are all but eliminated from playoff contention. They host the Atlanta Falcons (5-9) on Sunday (1 p.m. ET) and reside 1 1/2 games behind the Minnesota Vikings (7-6-1) and one game in back of the Philadelphia Eagles (7-7) and Washington Redskins (7-7) for the second wild-card spot in the NFC.

“We’ll wait till we have those conversations and see where we are,” Rivera said. “Until I get a chance to visit with (Cam), I am not going to speculate.”

Newton noted on Monday night that there’s a chance the Panthers shut him down for the final two weeks of the season.

–The Atlanta Falcons are 5-9, and NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero reported that head coach Dan Quinn seems safe but others on his staff are not.

“At this point…it sounds like a strong possibility that there will be significant changes to coach Dan Quinn’s coaching staff,” Pelissero said. “Now, owner Arthur Blank has already said publicly he does not think Quinn is the problem. My understanding is Dan Quinn, who got a contract extension through 2022 just last summer, absolutely is going to be back. But this is a possibility here that he could end up cleaning out both of his coordinators — that’s offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian and defensive coordinator Marquand Manuel. It would not be a surprise if they overhaul things on both sides of the ball.”

–The Los Angeles Rams reportedly are signing free agent running back C.J. Anderson.

The Rams have not announced the signing of Anderson, but they waived kick returner Pharoh Cooper to open a roster spot, and Mike Garafolo of NFL Media reported that the team is in the process of signing Anderson to the 53-man roster.

The Rams believe running back Todd Gurley will be all right despite inflammation in his knee, but they lost backup Malcolm Brown to a season-ending injury.

The 27-year-old Anderson will give the Rams some experienced depth at the position.

–Gurley is considered as day-to-day as he deals with inflammation in his left knee.

Gurley was held out for a series in the third quarter of Sunday night’s 30-23 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles.

While Gurley downplayed the situation, coach Sean McVay told reporters that he wants his star running back to play in the final two games for the Rams (11-3). Los Angeles, which has clinched the NFC West, faces the division-rival Arizona Cardinals (3-11) and San Francisco 49ers (4-10) to wrap up the regular season.

–Tight end Hunter Henry may be able to play in this season for the Los Angeles Chargers after all.

Henry participated in practice on Monday for the first time since sustaining a torn ACL in his right knee on May 22. The 24-year-old’s appearance opens a three-week window for him to work with the Chargers before they make a decision about adding him to the 53-man roster.

Henry, who was expected to be a focal point of the Chargers’ offense in 2018, injured his right knee while running downfield on the first day of organized team activities.

–Washington Redskins safety Montae Nicholson was arrested and charged with misdemeanor assault after allegedly being involved in a drunken fight at a shopping complex near the team’s practice facilities, multiple media outlets reported.

The fight began when Nicholson and a female accompanying Nicholson were in a car that honked at a man and woman, the Loudoun County Sheriff’s office said, according to the Washington Post.

Nicholson, 23, and Sydney A. Maggiore, 24, got out of the car and “then it turned physical,” said spokesman Kraig Troxell, per the Post report.

Nicholson is accused of assaulting the man, and Maggiore is accused of striking the woman with a bottle as well as assaulting the man.

Nicholson, 23, started seven games at safety this season, but lost his starting job when the team traded for Ha Ha Clinton-Dix in late October.

–Carolina Panthers running back Christian McCaffrey set the franchise’s single-season record for yards from scrimmage during the first quarter of Monday’s 12-9 setback to the New Orleans Saints.

McCaffrey rushed for a 9-yard run to break the record established by DeAngelo Williams, who accumulated 1,636 yards in 2008. Williams had 1,515 rushing yards and 121 receiving yards that season.

The 22-year-old McCaffrey finished Monday’s game with 120 yards from scrimmage (53 rushing, 67 receiving) to boost his season total to 1,747 (979 rushing, 768 receiving). He has already set franchise records for receptions (94), receiving yards and receiving touchdowns (six) by a running back.