Sunday, March 9, 2014
The Associated Press
ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — Thanks to the musings of his former owner, Peyton Manning’s return to Indianapolis this week has turned into something less than the warm-and-fuzzy homecoming it could have been.
WHO: Seattle Seahawks (5-1) at Arizona Cardinals (3-2)
WHEN: 8:35 p.m.
TELEVISION: NFL Network
OUTLOOK: This looms as a better matchup and more watchable game than you might think at first glance. Seattle has lost its past two trips to the ’Zona desert and six of its past seven — a trend to reckon seriously. And the fact the Seahawks won these teams’ most recent meeting 58-0 (last December in Seattle) assures the Cardbirds will be highly motivated for a little prime-time revenge. I think the Cacti can put up a fight defensively. What I don’t think is that Arizona’s offense will do much at all. Carson Palmer has thrown nine interceptions in his past four games, and the Hawks secondary led by CB Richard Sherman plays pass defense as well as any team in the NFL.
PREDICTION: Seahawks, 24-13
– Greg Cote, Miami Herald
If any of that bothers No. 18, it’s not showing.
Dictating the terms of his Wednesday news conference as effectively as he orchestrates his offense from the line of scrimmage, Manning paid virtually no heed to this week’s comments from Colts owner Jim Irsay.
Manning said he had no comment when asked for his reaction to Irsay’s interview earlier this week when he said he had to give up the old Indy offense’s “Star Wars” numbers in a quest for more Super Bowl rings.
On Sunday, Manning returns to Indianapolis for his first game as a visitor.
• All-Pro linebacker Von Miller is back – and bigger than ever.
His coach and his teammates said Miller looked great in his first practice since serving his six-game drug abuse suspension – all 270 pounds of him.
That’s how much Miller said he weighed in at this week, a good 24 pounds heavier than when he won Defensive Rookie of the Year honors in 2011.
The Broncos may have gone 6-0 in Miller’s absence, but they sorely missed him disrupting quarterbacks – they’re ranked last in pass defense.
Miller had 30 sacks in his first two seasons.
BUCCANEERS: Two-time All-Pro guard Carl Nicks, one of the three Tampa Bay players who was diagnosed with MRSA, had surgery to get rid of the staph infection and reportedly is doing well.
Kicker Lawrence Tynes also was found to have MRSA in August and is on the non-football injury list. Rookie cornerback Johnthan Banks has not been sidelined by the infection.
SEAHAWKS: Starting tight end Zach Miller, who missed the past two games with a hamstring strain suffered in practice, is expected to be back in the lineup Thursday night against the Arizona Cardinals.
Miller’s return will be a boost for Seattle along the line of scrimmage as he can help in pass protection for an offensive line that will still be without starting tackles Russell Okung and Breno Giacomini.
Defensive end Chris Clemons will be a game-time decision for Seattle. Clemons suffered a hyperextended elbow last Sunday against the Titans. Bobby Wagner and Spencer Ware both will not be able to play as they are recovering from high ankle sprains.
Running back Marshawn Lynch was limited in practice Wednesday with a hip injury, but Coach Pete Carroll said he will play.
JETS: Josh Cribbs says he is “kind of 111 percent” healthy and excited about adding a spark to the team.
The three-time Pro Bowl wide receiver-kick returner signed Tuesday with the Jets after being cut by Oakland while recovering from a knee injury. Cribbs said he wants to prove that he can still be the dangerous kick returner he was in eight seasons with Cleveland.
COWBOYS: Defensive tackle Jay Ratliff’s mysterious and rapid decline with Dallas has ended with his release.
The Cowboys said he failed a physical after spending the first six weeks of the season on the physically unable to perform list. He had a steady rise from seventh-round pick in 2005 to four straight Pro Bowl seasons. But Ratliff had just two sacks after signing a five-year contract extension in 2011
GIANTS: Winless New York signed veteran running back Peyton Hillis.
Hillis, who fills a void in the backfield, is a six-year veteran who has played for Denver, Cleveland and Kansas City.
In 2010, he had a career season while playing for Cleveland, running for 1,177 yards.
TEXANS: Strong safety Danieal Manning will miss the rest of the season because of a right knee injury suffered in Sunday’s loss to St. Louis.
VIKINGS: Josh Freeman will be the starting quarterback on Monday night against the New York Giants.
Freeman will be the third starter in the last four games for the Vikings (1-4).
He was cut by Tampa Bay on Oct. 3 and signed by Minnesota to a one year contract five days later.