NFL: Raiders fined $20,000 for improper injury report; Cowboys receiver Terrance Williams gets three-game substance abuse ban 

Oakland Raiders offensive tackle Kelechi Osemele (70) lines up against the Denver Broncos.
(Jack Dempsey / Associated Press)

The Oakland Raiders have been fined $20,000 for not downgrading guard Kelechi Osemele to out for a Week 5 game.

A person with knowledge of the fine told The Associated Press on Thursday that the team violated the league’s injury report policy by not moving Osemele from questionable to out. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the NFL has not announced the fine.

The Raiders lost to the Chargers in the road game, 26-10.

Osemele has been bothered by a knee injury and also did not play in Oakland’s game at London on Sunday, a loss to Seattle.


Cowboys receiver Terrance Williams gets three-game substance abuse ban

Dallas Cowboys receiver Terrance Williams has been suspended three games for violating the NFL’s substance-abuse policy, a ban he will serve while on injured reserve because of lingering issues from offseason surgery for a broken right foot.

The league said Thursday the suspension will be in effect Sunday when the Cowboys visit Washington. After Dallas’ open week and a home game against Tennessee, the final game of the ban will be Nov. 11 at Philadelphia.

But Williams will miss at least three more games after that while on injured reserve. His first possible game is Dec. 9 at home against the Eagles.

Williams was arrested in May on a charge of public intoxication in the Dallas suburb of Frisco, where team headquarters is located. The case was dismissed after Williams completed a state-mandated alcohol awareness education course.

Saints place wide receiver Ted Ginn Jr on injured reserve


The New Orleans Saints have placed veteran receiver Ted Ginn Jr., who has been struggling with knee soreness, on injured reserve.

Ginn has played in four games this season, catching 12 passes for 135 yards and two touchdowns, but has regularly appeared on New Orleans’ official injury report since early in Week 2.

Ginn’s production had largely dipped since Week 2 and he did not have a reception in Week 4 before sitting out a Week 5 triumph over Washington.

The move could mean more opportunities for rookie Tre’Quan Smith, whom the Saints selected in the third round of last spring’s draft. Like Ginn, Smith has exceptional speed. New Orleans’ previous game was Smith’s best one yet; he had touchdown catches of 62 and 35 yards.

With Ginn removed from the active roster, New Orleans added a player, re-signing offensive tackle Michael Ola.

The Saints visit Baltimore on Sunday.

Browns starting cornerback Gaines to miss game with concussion

Browns starting cornerback E.J. Gaines has a concussion and will miss Sunday’s game at Tampa Bay.

Gaines practiced on Wednesday, but didn’t show any symptoms until Thursday and was placed in league protocol. Coach Hue Jackson isn’t certain when Gaines got hurt, but he called the loss “a tough blow” for Cleveland’s defense, which will be challenged against the Buccaneers’ pass-heavy attack.

Gaines had started the past two games after starter Terrance Mitchell was placed on injured reserve with a wrist injury.

T.J. Carrie will move into Gaines’ starting spot alongside rookie Denzel Ward and Briean Boddy-Calhoun will move to nickel back.

Gaines signed with the Browns in March as a free agent after playing for Buffalo last season. He had two tackles last week in a loss to the Los Angeles Chargers.

Also, center JC Tretter missed practice with an ankle injury, but Jackson is confident he’ll play this week.

Jets’ Rodgers feeling better after ‘procedure’ for illness

New York Jets defensive coordinator Kacy Rodgers says he is feeling better following a “procedure” to help deal with an unspecified illness.

Rodgers returned to work this week on a full-time basis after missing the team’s last two games. He and coach Todd Bowles will determine over the next few days whether Rodgers will call the defensive plays against Minnesota on Sunday.

Rodgers declined Thursday to provide details about the exact nature of his illness, saying he preferred to keep it private.

Bowles announced on Oct. 5 that Rodgers was dealing with a “serious” illness after visiting the doctor the previous day. Rodgers underwent tests and the procedure and was able to do some office work at the teams’ facility last week.

He surprised the players by attending the game last Sunday and broke down the team’s postgame huddle in the locker room.

Bengals add cornerback Russell with secondary depleted by injuries

With their secondary depleted by injuries, the Bengals signed cornerback KeiVarae Russell off the practice squad Thursday for an upcoming game in Kansas City.

Russell was the Chiefs’ third-round pick in 2016. He’s played in 13 games for Cincinnati over the past two seasons. The Bengals needed another cornerback with Darqueze Dennard sidelined by a shoulder injury suffered during a 28-21 loss to the Steelers.

Safety Shawn Williams also suffered a concussion during the game. He was cleared on Thursday and had a limited practice.

The Bengals waived receiver Auden Tate to open a roster spot. The seventh-round pick was inactive for the first six games.

Cincinnati (4-2) also is missing linebacker Nick Vigil, out indefinitely with an injured left knee.