NFL notes: Browns trade receiver Josh Gordon to Patriots
The Cleveland Browns have traded problematic wide receiver Josh Gordon to the New England Patriots for a fifth-round draft pick.
The deal came together Monday, two days after the Browns reached a breaking point with Gordon, who has been suspended for much of his NFL career. Gordon played in Cleveland’s season opener, but reported to the team on Saturday with a hamstring injury after practicing all week.
The Browns have been supportive of Gordon, but the team felt betrayed and decided it was time to cut ties.
Gordon’s tantalizing talent had caused the Browns to hang onto him while he dealt with drug and alcohol dependence. He missed training camp to receive treatment and the Browns were cautiously optimistic he would help them this season.
In New England, he’ll be reunited with former Cleveland and Baylor teammate Corey Coleman, who had his own issues with the Browns before being traded last month.
The Browns also released kicker Zane Gonzalez after his four misses Sunday and signed free agent Greg Joseph to take his place.
Carson Wentz cleared to return for Eagles
Carson Wentz has been cleared to return and is slated to start for the Philadelphia Eagles against Indianapolis in Week 3.
“I was impressed with how well he attacked his rehab throughout the offseason,” coach Doug Pederson said Monday. “He’s done everything we’ve asked him to do and he’s ready to go.”
Wentz tore his left ACL and LCL on Dec. 10 in a game against the Los Angeles Rams and had surgery three days later. Backup quarterback Nick Foles led the Eagles to their first NFL title since 1960 and was Super Bowl MVP in the 41-33 victory over New England.
Foles embraced his role from the start and wanted to return to the Eagles this season instead of seeking a starting opportunity elsewhere.
Wentz set a single-season franchise record with 33 touchdown passes last season. The final one came a few plays after he suffered his injury.
The No. 2 overall pick in 2016, Wentz finished third in NFL MVP voting in his second year. Pederson doesn’t expect him to pick up where he left off immediately.
The Eagles (1-1) lost 27-21 at Tampa Bay (2-0) on Sunday.
Eagles wide receiver Mike Wallace broke his fibula in the first quarter and will miss several weeks.
Ratings generally up for NFL in first two weeks
Ratings generally have been up for the NFL through the first two weeks of the schedule.
CBS scored its best opening NFL doubleheader game rating in three years with the highest-rated window Sunday on any network, Patriots at Jaguars and Raiders at Broncos in late afternoon. The network drew a household rating of 14.0 and an audience share of 28, up 1% from last year (13.8/27) in the measured markets.
For the second consecutive week, “The NFL Today” pregame show earned a double-digit ratings increase, up 14%, with a rating of 2.5 and a share of 7.
NBC is averaging a 13.8 overnight rating through its three games to date, down from last year’s 14.2. All three of the NBC contests, two on Sunday nights and one on Thursday to open the season, have been the top-rated show in prime time.
The most-recent Sunday night games, Giants at Cowboys, delivered a 13.8 ratings and 24 share overnight, up 10% from last year (Packers-Falcons). It was the highest Week 2 overnight for NBC’s Sunday night telecast since 2015.
ESPN opened with a Monday night doubleheader that averaged 10.1 million viewers across ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPN Deportes, according to Nielsen. Jets-Lions and Rams-Raiders were the two highest-rated telecasts of the night across all broadcast and cable networks.
Fox reported an 18% rise over last year’s Week 2 games, earning a 10.9 rating and 23 overnight share.
The rating represents the percentage of television households tuned to a program. The share is the percentage tuned in to a telecast among television households with a television in use at the time.
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