When a team gets a play like the “Minneapolis Miracle” to survive and advance in the NFL playoffs, you can’t help but think it’s a team of destiny. For starters, Case Keenum’s narrative is a little like Kurt Warner’s in terms of a higher-powered, feel-good story. You also can’t ignore the fact that they will be the first team positioned to play a Super Bowl on its home field.
Defense wins championships, and Minnesota has plenty of it on every level. — V.I.
“Colin Kaepernick’s goal has always been, and remains, to simply be treated fairly by the league he performed at the highest level for and to return to the football playing field,” a statement released by Kaepernick’s legal representatives said.
Kaepernick’s grievance accuses teams of conspiring to keep him out of work in violation of the terms of the collective bargaining agreement. And there was every reason to believe Sunday that he will remain so, given the postgame declaration by Packers coach Mike McCarthy that young backup Brett Hundley is his new starter at quarterback and third-stinger Joe Callahan moves up to second on the depth chart.
The NFL has independent medical personnel who can keep players off the field. But something is not working. Even if the NFL finds the Texans did not violate the protocol, that would simply be an indictment of the protocol.
“I just coach the team,” Bill O’Brien said when asked about Savage reentering the game, laying responsibility off to the Texans’ medical staff. That is the problem: The NFL and its teams have not made protecting dangerously concussed players, even the ones most obviously and likeliest to be impacted by brain injury, a priority.
The end of the Jaguars’ victory over the Seahawks was ugly and could lead to discipline, Sean Quinton writes. Michael Bennett sparked a fight by diving at an offensive lineman’s knees in victory formation, and the scuffle led to the ejections of Sheldon Richardson and Quinton Jefferson. Things took a nasty turn when Jefferson tried to climb into the stands to confront a fan who had thrown a drink at him on his way into the locker room. “What would you do?” Jefferson asked reporters. Those fans should be banned from the stadium if not prosecuted. But, man, you can’t go climbing into the crowd. Jefferson will probably get suspended, and it would be justified, even if he’s also worthy of sympathy.