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Week 4 NFL-wide Headlines

A look around the league before Week 4 kicks off

New York Jets v Cleveland Browns
Baker Mayfield is named the starter for the Cleveland Browns after snapping a losing streak that lasted 635 days.
Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images

“Roughing the passer” rule continues to make headlines

On one hand, the Aaron Rodgers rule (or are we calling it the Anthony Barr rule?) makes sense on paper. The best way to keep quarterbacks healthy is to limit 300 pounds worth of grown-ass men landing on them. But through 3 weeks, the rule has caused nothing but controversy. And now, it claimed a beloved former Los Angeles Ram and noted dinosaur truther.

“Roughing the passer” penalties have been called at more than twice the rate that they were called through 3 weeks last season. Confusion on what constitutes a legal hit has forced the NFL Competition Committee to release a video demonstrating legal and illegal hits.

The only game to have been played since this video explanation has been the Los Angeles Rams and Minnesota Vikings on Thursday night. The two teams combined for 10 QB hits, 5 sacks, and zero “roughing the passer” penalties.

Cleveland Browns go with QB Baker Mayfield as starter

If we’re being honest, this was an easy call to make for head coach Hue Jackson. The 2018 first overall pick led the Browns from a 14-0 deficit after replacing a concussed and ineffective Tyrod Taylor to win, 21-17. Star Wars: The Force Awakens was the number one movie the last time the Browns had won a game. One more win and Mayfield probably gets a key to the city.

San Francisco 49ers QB Jimmy Garoppolo placed on IR

Disappointing news for 49ers fans. Garoppolo signed a 5-year deal with the team during the offseason and year one will ultimately be a total wash for Kyle Shanahan’s offense. The 49ers will turn to backup C.J. Beathard for their game against the Los Angeles Chargers in Week 4, but have held workouts for several veteran quarterbacks.

Arizona Cardinals name QB Josh Rosen their starter

After 20 points in 3 games, Cardinals head coach Steve Wilks has seen enough from Sam Bradford. Rosen, the 10th overall pick in this year’s draft, entered the game late last week against the Chicago Bears in an attempt to re-take a lead that his team allowed to slowly evaporate over the course of the game. While Rosen couldn’t quite lead the comeback, a change had to be made for what may be the worst offense in football. Rosen’s first start comes against NFC West rival Seattle Seahawks.

New England Patriots lose RB Rex Burkhead for the season

Burkhead, who had played 7 snaps for the Patriots on Monday night, was injured during a kick return. While the Patriots are fairly elusive in terms of running back use, this unfortunate injury is an opportunity for rookie Sony Michel to establish himself as the lead back.

Carolina Panthers sign S Eric Reid

What’s the best way to show you aren’t Jerry Richardson’s team anymore? How about signing someone who took a knee next to Colin Kaepernick in solidarity for racial injustice? The 26-year-old Pro Bowler had filed a collusion grievance against the NFL. His only known team visit during the offseason was to the Cincinnati Bengals, who didn’t offer him a contract when he refused to say whether or not he’d continue to kneel. Reid looks to bolster a secondary that is in the bottom-10 in terms of completion percentage and yards per attempt allowed.