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Silver Mining 11/20: More WR turnover, Brandon LaFell to IR, Raiders sign Keon Hatcher

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NFL: Indianapolis Colts at Oakland Raiders Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

Raiders news

Lee Smith: ‘I probably shouldn’t have grabbed the head coach’ during sideline disagreement

The Raiders radio broadcast reported that tight end Lee Smith had “grabbed” Gruden by the back of the neck to calm the head coach down. While there was no video of Smith’s part in the altercation, the Raiders tight end confirmed he grabbed Gruden but downplayed the entire disagreement.

Brandon LaFell to IR ‘big loss’ for Raiders, but Jordy Nelson has ‘chance’ to return this week | Silver and Black Pride

Within a few weeks time, Brandon LaFell went from afterthought to the best receiver the Raiders had. Now he’s done for the season.

Raiders week 11 snap counts vs Cardinals: Marcell Ateman ‘confident’ starting in first NFL appearance, plays nearly every snap | Silver and Black

Ateman responded with 4 catches for 50 yards, including the biggest catch of the game that went for 32 yards to help set up the game-winning field goal. Seth Roberts’s 20-yard catch to follow made the field goal a short one.

Raiders bring back Keon Hatcher to shore up injury plagued receiving corps | Silver and Black Pride

With Hatcher waived after the opener, he eventually signed onto the Packers’ practice squad. With the Raiders receiving corps suffering injury after injury — including Brandon LaFell’s a ruptured Achilles Sunday in Arizona, Hatcher was the natural choice to return due to his familiarity with Derek Carr and the Raiders offense.

AFC West

Rams outlast Chiefs in high-scoring instant classic |

The Game of the Year lived up the billing, and then some. In the highest-scoring game in Monday Night Football history and the third highest-scoring game in league history, the Los Angeles Rams (10-1) needed two late Patrick Mahomes interceptions to hold on to top the Kansas City Chiefs (9-2), 54-51, to close out Week 11. Here’s what we learned

Von Miller keeps Broncos’ hopes alive with ‘huge’ effort |

Miller then romped up the left sideline for 42 yards before Benjamin chased him down. It gave the Broncos the ball on the Chargers’ 18-yard line, and three plays later, rookie Royce Freeman powered in from the 3-yard line and the Broncos had cut the lead to 19-14.

Phillip Lindsay powers Broncos’ offense with first career multi-touchdown game in #DENvsLAC |

Still, it did come with one first: It was Lindsay’s first multi-touchdown game. Even with Royce Freeman back in the lineup, Lindsay received the bulk of the work, and he made the most out of those touches. His average of 7.2 yards per carry was his best since Week 2.

Chargers injuries will define the remainder of the season | Bolts from the Blue

Along with three key defensive players out for the year, the Chargers have been without a quality tight end all season as Hunter Henry is still recovering from his torn ACL suffered in May. While he could always return before the season officially ends and be apart of the potential playoff roster, it’s highly unlikely he will make his return.

What we learned from the Chargers’ 23-22 loss to the Broncos | LA Times

Along with the penalties, there were a few significant mental errors and dropped passes, most notably by Virgil Green and Mike Williams. The Chargers played about as poorly as a team that’s moving the ball and defending decently can play. And, still, they were one late third-down conversion away from beating the Broncos.

NFL news

NFL to return to Mexico City in 2019 despite Chiefs-Rams relocation |

Less than a week after the league moved the high-profile Chiefs-Rams matchup from Azteca Stadium to Los Angeles because of the poor playing condition at the Mexico venue, the NFL and Mexico’s president-elect confirmed the 2019 game. It will be the third match of a contract signed in 2016.

The Detroit Lions Are Stuck In The NFL’s Weirdest Purgatory | FiveThirtyEight

In each of the past three seasons, the Lions have finished 9-7 or 7-9. They also did it back in 2013, with an odd 11-win campaign in 2014 standing out as the lone exception from the last five seasons. And this year? After Sunday’s heart-stopping win over the Carolina Panthers, Detroit sits at 4-6 with a FiveThirtyEight-projected record of … you guessed it, 7-9. The Lions just can’t avoid the pull of sevens and nines.

‘Sky’s the limit’ for Cowboys’ Leighton Vander Esch |

The rising star in Dallas, however, is linebacker rookie Leighton Vander Esch. The first-round pick stood out once again, filling the stat sheet, gobbling up eight tackles, three passes defensed, one QB hit and an interception. The INT marked the first time in five seasons a Cowboys linebacker had interceptions in back-to-back games.

Eagles’ Malcolm Jenkins flips off Sean Payton after TD |

Early in the fourth quarter, facing fourth-and-6, the Saints connected on a 37-yard touchdown pass from Drew Brees to Alvin Kamara to go up 45-7.

The touchdown forced the Eagles to wave the white flag. Eagles safety Malcolm Jenkins, who was beaten on the play, also waved something at coach Sean Payton and the Saints sideline: his middle finger.

All the injuries shaking up the NFL playoff race |

Let’s get to a few of the players whose injury absences either impacted the playoff picture on Sunday or will do so in the weeks to come, beginning with an incident I can’t imagine anyone wanting to see again ...