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Raiders might need to rely heavily on QB Palmer

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Raiders might need to rely heavily on QB Palmer

ALAMEDA, Calif. (AP) Carson Palmer could be in for another busy day for the Oakland Raiders.

With top two running backs Darren McFadden and Mike Goodson slowed this week by sprained right ankles, the Raiders may need to rely on their passing game when they visit the Baltimore Ravens.

Palmer threw the ball 61 times last week against Tampa Bay as the Raiders (3-5) were forced to play catch-up in the second half after losing McFadden and Goodson to the injuries. Neither back practiced Wednesday and their status remains in doubt for Sunday's game against the Ravens (6-2).

``We've got a plan in place if either or both of those guys are not able to play,'' coach Dennis Allen said.

That likely will involve lots of passing with no other proven halfback on the roster. Palmer set a career high in attempts in last week's 42-32 loss to Tampa Bay, completing 39 passes for 414 yards, four touchdowns and three interceptions.

With McFadden out for the entire second half, Goodson getting hurt in the fourth quarter and Oakland falling behind by 18 points, the Raiders ran the ball just three times in the second half - their fewest in eight years.

``You got to adjust to what your health is of your team, but you know it's a team that's had some yards rushing on them, especially the last couple of weeks,'' Palmer said. ``It's very odd. I have never seen that before in my career. So, there are some things we want to take advantage of in the run game.

``But you can't be one-dimensional at the same time, too, and throw it and throw it. We've got to figure out a way to get Darren back as quickly as possible and maybe have a selected or limited game plan for him or Marcel (Reece) or whoever is going to be back there.''

Palmer is quite familiar with the Ravens, having spent the first eight seasons of his career in the AFC North with Cincinnati. Palmer's nine regular season wins as a starter against Baltimore are the most of any quarterback.

He has completed 61 percent of his passes for 3,202 yards, 15 touchdowns, 11 interceptions and an 84.5 passer rating in those games. Ravens linebacker Terrell Suggs said Palmer looks as good as he did with the Bengals and when the two faced off in college when Suggs was at Arizona State and Palmer starred at Southern California.

``I don't fear any quarterbacks, but I'm always worried when I play Carson Palmer,'' Suggs said. ``Me and him come from the same draft class, 2003. This guy has kind of tortured me through all my college and professional career. I'm very aware of the talent. I know he can make every throw. If you ask me, he's very highly underrated. He's definitely one of the premier quarterbacks in the league.''

He will likely need to be that way Sunday with Oakland's running game in the situation it is.

The Raiders chose not to sign another running back this week and will likely go with little-used third-stringer Taiwan Jones or fullback Marcel Reece if McFadden and Goodson can't play. They also could activate Jeremy Stewart from the practice squad.

``It's really a next-man-up philosophy and we're going to have to count on some guys to step up potentially and fill a bigger role,'' Allen said. ``We'll know more at the end of the week exactly what we've got to do.''

Jones, a speedster drafted in the fourth round in 2011, has been slowed by hamstring, knee and rib injuries during his brief career. He has just 17 carries for 75 yards and three receptions for 29 yards.

He has played just seven snaps on offense all season with one run for 2 yards and he also caught a 4-yard pass on a fake punt.

``Since I've been here I've waited for him to get his opportunity and it hasn't worked out and here it is,'' Palmer said. ``He'll get his touches and I can't wait. I mean, he's so electrifying. He puts his foot in the ground and goes. He wiggles out of hits, he wiggles out of tackles. Can't wait to throw him the ball, get him in the open field. He's so much fun to watch at practice it's, like I said, a long time coming.''

Reece, a converted receiver who excels in the passing game, had his most productive game last week with eight catches for 95 yards and a touchdown. He has 48 career carries for 234 yards and could get time as a single back on Sunday.

``I feel comfortable doing anything in this offense,'' he said. ``They've prepared me a long time ago to do anything in this offense and I'm prepared to do it. Whatever happens on Sunday, whatever they ask me to do I'm going to go do it.''

NOTES: DT Desmond Bryant was a full participant in practice after spending Sunday night in the hospital with an irregular heartbeat. ... RT Khalif Barnes returned from a groin injury that has sidelined him since week two and Allen said he would know later this week whether he'd be able to play Sunday. ... DT Richard Seymour (knee, hamstring) and CB Shawntae Spencer also missed practice.

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Steelers ink Antonio Brown and Le'Veon Bell on same day

Steelers ink Antonio Brown and Le'Veon Bell on same day

Antonio Brown will remain a Pittsburgh Steeler for a long time. On Monday, the team announced that Antonio Brown signed a contract extension for four years that is worth $68 million. 

The deal makes Brown the highest paid NFL wide receiver and will keep him on the Steelers roster until 2021.

It also included a signing bonus of $19 million according to ESPN. The new deal does not effect the 28-year-old's salary for the 2017 season which is scheduled to be $4.7 million.

In 2014, Brown lead the league with 1,698 yards and receptions with 129. Surpassing both marks in 2015 with 1,834 yards in 136 receptions, the seven-year veteran quickly became regarded as the best wide receiver in the league. He is also a five time Pro Bowl and was named an All-Pro three times, including last season.

Teammate Le'Veon Bell will stay with the team at least for one more season. Earlier on Monday, the Steelers placed the franchise tag on Bell which is expected to earn him over $12 million based on last season's numbers.

At 25-years-old, Bell has had a career tattered with injuries since he came into the league in 2013. As a dual-threat player from the backfield and as a receiver, he has averaged over 1,500 yards from scrimmage each year.

Bell is coming off a Pro-Bowl season with 1,884 scrimmage yards and nine touchdowns in only 12 games. 

RELATED: Adidas to give away an island if prospect breaks record at NFL Combine

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Adidas promises a private island to NFL prospects with one catch

Adidas promises a private island to NFL prospects with one catch

Don’t be alarmed if you see numerous NFL prospects running around the field with cheetah print adidas cleats. No its not for charity or a charitable cause, but rather a chance for the athlete to make some waves before even joining an NFL squad.

Those NFL prospects are vying for a private island.

That’s right. With one tweet, adidas announced the ultimate incentive for any athlete willing to wear their special edition adizero 5-star 40 cleats during the 40-yard dash event at the 2017 NFL Combine.

But, there's one other requirement that makes this private island a distant dream. The prospect must beat Chris Johnson’s 2015 record of 4.24 seconds.

The cleats are designed specifically for this popular event, weighing in at a whopping 4.8 ounces and now can provide soaking up the sun and catching the waves to one lucky prospect.


Adidas will be the kings of the jungle with this fun marketing tactic while one prospect could be crowned the king of the 40-yard dash.