Moss looks forward to facing his former team


Moss looks forward to facing his former team

SANTA CLARA -- In three seasons as New England Patriots teammates, wide receivers Randy Moss and Wes Welker combined for some mind-blowing statistics.

Moss and Welker teamed up for 596 receptions, 7,453 yards and 62 touchdowns from 2007 to 2009 before the Patriots traded Moss to the Minnesota Vikings early in the 2010 season.

Welker had more of the catches (346) with Moss supplying more of the touchdowns (47) during their time together.

"Obviously, Randy is a great player and has so much speed and everybody is so afraid of the big play that he can create, and everything like that," Welker said Wednesday on a conference call with Bay Area reporters.

"It definitely puts a lot of teams in two high safeties and kind of opens up the middle of the field."

At 35, Moss has slowed down as he returns to New England on Sunday night to play his former team. Moss has 21 catches for 346 yards and two touchdowns in the 49ers' run-based offense through 13 games.

"I know Randy worked really hard," Welker said. "Even if he did slow down a little bit, he's still really fast. He's been a great playmaker for a long time in this league, and I'm sure it hasn't changed too much."

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Earlier on Wednesday, Patriots coach Bill Belichick complimented Moss, calling him "the greatest deep-ball receiver that's ever played" and "probably the smartest receiver I've ever coached."

After practice Wednesday, Moss spoke to reporters who cover the 49ers. Moss expressed his admiration for Belichick and the Patriots.

"I learned a lot from Bill Belichick," Moss said. "I've said time and time again, before I got to New England, I thought I knew a lot about football. But I think he taught me a lot from A to Z. I still carry it to this day.

"The compliments are great and I respect Coach Belichick and that organization still to this day. And hopefully we have a good game coming out Sunday night. Looking forward to the game, and hopefully the fans do, too."

When asked if there are similarities between the 49ers and Patriots organizations, Moss said, "I don't want to get into all of that because whatever I say is going to be the wrong thing to say. Basically, I'll leave it at, I still got love and respect for the New England Patriots and everything we did as a team. But now I'm a 49er, and hopefully we go out there Sunday night and give it a good game.

"One thing we know, it's going to be a hard-fought game from the offensive side because of their ability to put points up. Hopefully, we can complement our defense, not telling what's going to happen, but we got to play complementary football. And if we do that, and try not to let Tom (Brady) and the offense run the score up on us, I think it'll be a good game. Like I said, we're just coming in and working each and every day and looking forward to the matchup Sunday night."

Moss said he isn’t sure he can provide any useful insight into the Patriots defense for the 49ers’ defensive players. The advice he has given teammates is to be prepared for anything — or else the 49ers could have an experience similar to the Houston Texans, who were drubbed 42-14 on Monday night.

“Everybody knows Bill Belichick is a so-called genius and he changes it up every week,” Moss said. “There's really not much input I can give for the week. I just said, have your head on a swivel and be ready for anything because the way they're playing, coming off a Monday night game against the so-called best team in the league, in the Houston Texans.

“They put 40-some points up and really embarrassed them, so I don't think we want to be that team that gets embarrassed on national television. So like I said, we come prepared and ready to play a good game.”

With star TE Reed out again, Washington to lean on Vernon Davis


With star TE Reed out again, Washington to lean on Vernon Davis

ASHBURN, Va. -- First-round draft pick Josh Doctson was put on injured reserve by Washington on Friday with an injured left Achilles tendon.

Doctson has missed the past four games for Washington (4-2) after making just one catch in each of the team's first two games.

The wide receiver was the 22nd overall pick in this year's NFL draft but has been troubled by the Achilles tendon problem since rookie minicamp in May. Doctson did not play at all in the preseason.

"With all the work that we've put in, we thought it was best to immobilize him for a little bit of time and see if that can help," coach Jay Gruden said Friday.

Gruden raised the possibility of bringing Doctson back from IR later on - each team can do that with one player per season - saying, "Hopefully we'll get him back for the last, maybe, two games of the year."

Said teammate DeSean Jackson: "Hopefully he'll get right and get the treatment he needs and be back out there for us as soon as possible."

Doctson had one catch for 9 yards in Week 1, and one catch for 57 yards in Week 2. Washington was hoping he could contribute this season and be ready to step into a bigger role next season if Jackson or Pierre Garcon leaves via free agency.

Gruden also said tight end Jordan Reed will miss Sunday's game at the Detroit Lions (3-3) with a concussion. Reed, who leads the team with 33 catches in 2016, also sat out last week's win over Philadelphia after hitting his head during a victory over Baltimore a week earlier.

He participated somewhat in practice Wednesday - wearing a yellow, noncontact jersey - before being held out entirely Thursday and Friday.

"I don't think he had a setback," Gruden said. "I just think they didn't really clear him. ... That's all I can say. I don't even try to argue or ask why. I just (ask) if he's cleared or not - and the answer is `No.' So hopefully we'll get him back next week."

Jackson, the receiver whose left shoulder has been bothering him, practiced Friday after sitting out Wednesday and Thursday. He was listed as questionable against Detroit.

Gruden said the team would see how Jackson feels Saturday before determining whether he would play at Detroit.

"That's a decision they've got to make," Jackson said. "I think I'll be all right, though."

NFL places Giants' Brown on 'exempt' list amid domestic abuse case


NFL places Giants' Brown on 'exempt' list amid domestic abuse case

LONDON -- The NFL placed Josh Brown on paid leave Friday hours after coach Ben McAdoo struggled to answer questions about how the New York Giants might discipline the kicker for abusing his wife.

In a letter to the 14-year veteran, NFL senior vice president of labor policy Adolpho Birch said Brown was being placed on the league's "exempt list" while the league investigates whether he should be suspended as punishment for several alleged acts of spousal abuse. Birch said the move "does not represent a finding that you have violated the personal conduct policy," but does pave the way toward potential further sanctions.

Being placed on Commissioner Roger Goodell's "exempt" list means Brown cannot attend practices or Giants games but can go to Giants headquarters for meetings and workouts. It also means Brown continues to be paid and his presence won't be counted on the Giants' 53-man roster. Brown could appeal the decision.

"The NFL has the ability to place a player on the exempt list and the player has the right to appeal that decision, if he chooses," the NFL Players Association said in a statement. "The League office wanted unilateral control of this process and accordingly, their system lacks transparency."

The action on Brown came hours after McAdoo had trouble explaining the Giants' intentions toward Brown, their kicker since 2013. The questions about how much the Giants knew about Brown's off-field troubles have overshadowed preparations for Sunday's game in London against the Los Angeles Rams.

Brown did not travel to London following Wednesday's release of police records which contained the player's written admissions that he physically abused his wife, Molly, over a protracted period. She told police in the documents released by the King County Sheriff's Office in Washington state that the abuse and other threatening behavior stretched from 2009, when she was pregnant with their daughter, to the Pro Bowl in January 2016.

In May 2015, Molly Brown sought and was granted a temporary protection order against her husband. A King County Superior Court commissioner issued the temporary restraining order on May 27, 2015. The order was reissued several times until July 24, 2015 when the order was terminated by the court at Molly Brown's request.

At the Pro Bowl in Honolulu, Brown's wife said she called NFL security to move her and her three children to another hotel to avoid harassment from her estranged husband. She said he had pounded on their hotel door seeking to get in. The allegation is included in the final report filed last month by the local investigating detective, Robin Ostrum.

Brown's former wife did not respond to messages seeking comment from The Associated Press. A law firm representing the kicker declined to comment.

When asked whether the Giants knew about Brown's behavior at the Pro Bowl, McAdoo repeatedly said the Giants were still gathering information on the 9-month-old event. Finally, he said: "I'm not going to answer that."

When a reporter asked McAdoo about his comments in August suggesting he would show no tolerance for players abusive of their family members, McAdoo said his comments then were more nuanced.

"When did I say zero tolerance?" he said, adding: "I do not support domestic violence, if that's what you're asking. I do not condone it."

McAdoo described Brown as a "man of faith" who was trying to improve his behavior and the Giants organization was supporting him in this. But when asked to explain how the Giants provided this or monitored his off-field behavior, McAdoo said he couldn't detail any specific acts of support.

The NFL's official policy is to suspend players guilty of domestic abuse for six games on their first offense. Brown was suspended for one game, the Giants' season-opening victory over the Dallas Cowboys, in punishment for his May 2015 arrest at his family home in Woodinville, Washington, on suspicion of assaulting his wife by grabbing one of her wrists as she tried to reach for a phone, leaving an abrasion and bruising. No charges were filed but the detective, Ostrum, gathered detailed statements from Molly Brown who also provided her husband's written admissions of abuse in diary and email entries.

The NFL said its investigators asked to see these records but were denied.

Earlier Friday, Goodell suggested in a BBC interview that Brown could face further punishment now that league officials can see the full King County evidence file detailing Molly Brown's allegations of more than 20 episodes of abuse and other threatening behavior to herself, her two sons from a previous relationship and the couple's daughter.

"We have asked repeatedly for those facts and the information that's been gathered by law enforcement both orally and in writing. And we weren't able to get access to it. So you have to make decisions on whatever information you have," Goodell said in a transcript of the London interview provided by the BBC.

"We take this issue incredibly seriously. ... When it happens we're not going to tolerate it. So we have some new information here, we'll evaluate that in the context of our policy and we'll take it from there," Goodell said.

The Giants in April re-signed Brown to a two-year contract valued at $4 million. When facing his one-game suspension, Brown in August said he was divorced from his wife, although police documents released Wednesday suggested that civil proceedings remain incomplete.

The Giants have signed kicker Robbie Gould, an 11-year veteran of the Chicago Bears who was cut in September for salary cap reasons. The 34-year-old is expected to practice with the team Saturday.

"I've seen him (Gould) make a lot of kicks against me in the past. He's been successful, and we're hoping that continues," McAdoo said.