Your turn, Josh Freeman.
Freeman was named the latest starting quarterback for the scuffling Minnesota Vikings on Wednesday. Freeman’s second week with the team will culminate on Monday night with him leading the offense against the New York Giants.
Week 7 schedule
Seattle at Arizona, 6:25 p.m., NFL
Tampa at Atlanta, 11 a.m.
Chicago at Washington, 11 a.m.
Dallas at Philadelphia, 11 a.m., Ch. 13
New England at N.Y. Jets, 11 a.m., Ch. 2
Buffalo at Miami, 11 a.m.
St. Louis at Carolina, 11 a.m.
Cincinnati at Detroit, 11 a.m.
San Diego at Jacksonville, 11 a.m.
San Francisco at Tennessee, 2 p.m.
Houston at Kansas City, 2:25 p.m., Ch. 2
Cleveland at Green Bay, 2:25 p.m.
Baltimore at Pittsburgh, 2:25 p.m.
Denver at Indianapolis, 6:30 p.m., Ch. 5
Open » New Orleans, Oakland
Minnesota at N.Y. Giants, 6:40 p.m., ESPN
"It really hasn’t been that difficult. Any time you step into a situation where you’re the new guy, there’s always kind of an awkward getting-to-know-you phase," Freeman said. "But I think that goes back to the character of this organization just from top to bottom: a lot of quality people that are dedicated to winning first and foremost but also being quality human beings off the field. So it’s been a smooth adjustment."
Coach Leslie Frazier also said that Christian Ponder will be the backup, not Matt Cassel, assuming Freeman makes it through the week without problems.
"I like the things he’s done in his career, along with what he’s done since he arrived here with our football team, the time he put in, how well he’s adapted to our system," Frazier said. "He’s done enough for us to say we want to give him this opportunity, which is something we had in mind when we acquired him. I think now is the time."
Freeman will be the third starter in the last four games for the Vikings (1-4) and the 11th since Daunte Culpepper’s season-ending knee injury in 2005. Freeman was cut by Tampa Bay on Oct. 3 and signed by Minnesota to a one-year contract five days later.
Colts’ Irsay backs off Manning comments
Indianapolis owner Jim Irsay backed down a bit after Broncos coach John Fox and former Colts general manager Bill Polian chided him for comments critical of Peyton Manning.
Fox used his weekly SiriusXM NFL Radio appearance Tuesday to criticize the Colts’ owner for sounding ungrateful for all Manning did for his team and city, including winning a Super Bowl in 2007, and Polian used the same platform to say Irsay was wrong in both his facts and opinions.
After a series of tweets defending himself Tuesday night, Irsay took to Twitter on Wednesday to say he meant that if the Colts had given Manning better special teams and defense, they could have won more than one Super Bowl, instead of asking the quarterback to do too much.
Irsay told USA Today in an interview Tuesday that the Colts turned to Andrew Luck two years ago and released Manning rather than pay him a $28 million roster bonus because they were looking for more playoff success.
"We’ve changed our model a little bit, because we wanted more than one of these," Irsay said, showing his Super Bowl ring. "[Tom] Brady never had consistent numbers, but he has three of these. Pittsburgh had two, the Giants had two, Baltimore had two and we had one.
"That leaves you frustrated. You make the playoffs 11 times, and you’re out in the first round seven out of 11 times. You love to have the ‘Star Wars’ numbers from Peyton and Marvin [Harrison] and Reggie [Wayne]. Mostly, you love this," Irsay added, showing his ring again, according to the newspaper.
Around the league
Bills • Rookie quarterback EJ Manuel is expected to miss another four to six weeks now that he’s begun rehabbing his sprained right knee.
Texans • Starting strong safety Danieal Manning will miss the rest of the season because of a right knee injury. Coach Gary Kubiak called it a significant injury but didn’t have any further details.
Patriots • Star linebacker Jerod Mayo, a two-time Pro Bowl standout who has the most tackles in the NFL since 2010, went on season-ending injured reserve. Mayo’s agent, Mitch Frankel, did not respond to a request for comment on a report that Mayo had undergone surgery for a torn chest muscle.Next Page >
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