CHARLOTTE, N.C. — All-Pro linebacker Thomas Davis said the Panthers' game Sunday against the Vikings should "absolutely" be played as scheduled, even with the city under a state of emergency due to violent protests over a police shooting.
Davis said football has a unique way of bringing people together and he believes the game is something the community needs. "If you take this game away, I think it is going to just continue to add to the stress and add to what is already going on in a negative way," he said Thursday.
Gov. Pat McCrory declared a state of emergency in Charlotte on Wednesday night and sent the National Guard and state troopers in to help restore peace after two nights of looting and rioting. The NFL said it planned for the game to be played as scheduled.
Eight Panthers questioned and coach Ron Rivera all said they believe the game should go on. Vikings coach Mike Zimmer said he had not paid attention to reports of the unrest and had been focused solely on game planning for game.
The protests began after a black police officer shot and killed Keith Scott, who was black, Tuesday. Police said Scott, 43, had a gun in his hand. A family member said he was unarmed and reading a book when officers approached him.
Another Seahawk speaks out: Seattle wide receiver Doug Baldwin called for a review of training policies for law enforcement across the country in the wake of police shootings in Charlotte and Tulsa, Okla., saying the message NFL players are trying to send with their actions during the national anthem, such as kneeling to bring attention to racial inequality and police shootings, now needs follow through.
Baldwin gave a prepared statement in a fashion similar to what teammate Richard Sherman did a day earlier but then expanded on his comments. Baldwin asked all 50 state attorneys general to review their policies for law enforcement "to eliminate militaristic cultures while putting a higher emphasis on de-escalation tactics and crisis management measures." Baldwin said he had consulted with his father, a police officer in Pensacola, to gather information.
Brissett leads Pats
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — Jacoby Brissett, the first rookie to start at quarterback for the Patriots since 1993, ran for a touchdown and LeGarrette Blount rushed for two as New England beat the Texans 27-0 to improve to 3-0 during Tom Brady's Deflategate suspension.
Brissett, who played at Florida before transferring to North Carolina State, got the start over injured Jimmy Garoppolo, who inherited the starting job when Brady was suspended for four games to start the season. His 27-yard run in the first quarter for his first NFL score put the Patriots up 10-0. He finished with 48 yards rushing on eight attempts and was 11 of 19 passing for 103 yards.
Blount had scoring runs of 1 and 41 yards on his way to 105 yards on 24 carries. Stephen Gostkowski had a 24-yard field goal to start the scoring.
This is only the second time the Texans have been shut out in the regular season. The first was in Week 14 of 2003 when they lost 27-0 at the Jaguars.
Surgery for Peterson: Vikings running back Adrian Peterson had knee surgery for a torn meniscus and no additional issues were found, the team said. He injured his right knee Sunday night against the Packers. Coach Mike Zimmer said he assumes Peterson will be out months. Also, starting defensive tackle Sharrif Floyd had arthroscopic surgery on his right knee for a cartilage issue, leaving the former Gator's availability in question for the immediate future.
Bears: In another sign that quarterback Jay Cutler's right thumb sprain will keep him out of Sunday night's game at Dallas, Matt Barkley was promoted from the practice squad.
Browns: Rookie wide receiver Corey Coleman does not need surgery on his broken hand but will miss at least one month after injuring himself in practice Wednesday.
Colts: Quarterback Andrew Luck (sore shoulder) returned to practice but did limited work and did not throw during the open portion. Offensive coordinator Rob Chudzinski said he expected Luck to play Sunday against San Diego.