Trevor Siemian is on track to return to the Denver Broncos’ starting lineup Sunday at Tennessee barring a setback.
Coach Gary Kubiak officially listed Siemian as 50-50 but indicated that if he shows up Saturday like he did Friday — without pain or soreness and able to move around — he’ll be back under center when the Broncos (8-4) face the Titans (6-6).
Siemian showed mobility and zip at practice Friday while again splitting snaps with Paxton Lynch. Kubiak said he’ll make his decision Saturday, but it was apparent the start is Simian’s if his health allows.
“Yeah, just (see) how he’s coming in. He came in today, he felt good. We pushed him a little bit harder today,” Kubiak said. “Heck, I still see him out there doing some extra. So, a bunch of good signs. But we’ll see how he’s doing tomorrow.”
Kubiak said there’s always a risk of re-injury for any player, but the Broncos would feel good about putting Siemian back on the field with an orthotic and tape, “but the bottom line: can you do what you need to do to play? And he’s shown the last couple of days that he’s been doing that.”
Siemian was injured in Denver’s overtime loss to Kansas City on Nov. 27 and sat out last week’s game at Jacksonville, where Lynch picked up his first NFL win despite completing just 12 of 24 passes for 104 yards and no touchdowns.
Payton, Vaccaro suspended four games
Cleveland Browns rookie receiver Jordan Payton has been suspended for four games by the NFL for violating the league’s policy on performance enhancing substances.
The NFL announced the suspension Friday. The fifth-round pick from UCLA has one catch for 3 yards this season. He will be eligible to return to the Browns’ active roster Jan. 2.
Saints safety Kenny Vaccaro will serve a four-game suspension, starting this Sunday at Tampa Bay, because he violated league rules pertaining to performance enhancing drug use.
The league did not specify which banned substance was found in Vaccaro’s system. The league not only bans steroids, but also diuretics that have been known to mask steroid use.
Odell Beckham Jr. was fined $12,154 for verbal abuse/excessive profanity toward an official following the Giants’ 24-14 loss at Pittsburgh last weekend.
The fine wasn’t related to Beckham’s postgame comments to reporters when he described an unsettling exchange with one official, complained about several non-calls and suggested referee Terry McAulay’s crew shouldn’t work any more Giants games.
It was the same crew that worked New York’s game against Carolina last season in which Beckham and then-Panthers cornerback Josh Norman repeatedly drew flags for their confrontations.
Three Jets players were each fined for unnecessary roughness during a 41-10 loss to Indianapolis. Cornerback Buster Skrine, defensive lineman Sheldon Richardson and right tackle Breno Giancomini were all docked $9,115.
Oakland punter Marquette King was fined $12,154 for picking up an official’s flag and using it as a prop after being roughed by the Bills. Raiders receiver Michael Crabtree was docked the same amount for taunting.
Standout safety Harrison Smith (ankle) and starting center Joe Berger (concussion) will not be on the field with the Minnesota Vikings when they play at Jacksonville on Sunday. … Falcons receiver Julio Jones (turf toe) will be a game-time decision when Atlanta plays the Los Angeles Rams on Sunday at the Coliseum. … Buffalo Bills defensive tackle Kyle Williams is questionable for Sunday’s game against the Pittsburgh Steelers because of a back injury. …
Panthers Coach Ron Rivera said three-time All-Pro middle linebacker Luke Kuechly will play against the San Diego Chargers on Sunday if he’s cleared from the NFL’s concussion protocol. Kuechly is listed as questionable. … New York Jets right tackle Breno Giacomini and defensive tackle Steve McLendon are among six players ruled out for the game at San Francisco on Sunday. Linebacker Lorenzo Mauldin, wide receiver Jalin Marshall, cornerback Antonio Allen and running back Khiry Robinson also will not play because of injuries. …
Suspended Oakland Raiders pass rusher Aldon Smith has met with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell in hopes of being reinstated, a person with knowledge of the meeting said. Smith sat down with the commissioner and other league staff Friday to make his case to be allowed back on the field following his yearlong suspension for violating rules on substance abuse. Smith was suspended in November 2015 for at least one year because he violated rules on substance abuse. He was eligible to be reinstated Nov. 17 and first met with Goodell on Friday. …
The NFL will stage four regular-season games in London next year. Teams and venues for the four games will be announced on Tuesday. The NFL started playing regular-season games in London in 2007, and has recently played three games per season in the British capital. The league has never before played four games in one season in London. Most of the games have been played at Wembley Stadium, but one was played at Twickenham this season.