Packers try to bolster run game: The Green Bay Packers have been looking for reinforcements in their running game, and they found help in the form of ex-Seattle Seahawk running back Christine Michael.
Packers make it official, announce they claimed former Seattle RB Christine Michael off waivers and placed RB Don Jackson on IR.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) November 16, 2016
The 26-year-old was released by the Seahawks Tuesday, but found a new home in Green Bay just hours after the cut. Michael is a much needed weapon for the Packers' 19th-ranked run game that has failed to stay consistent and effective since the loss of Eddie Lacy due to an ankle injury.
In fact, the Packers are the only NFL team to not have a rushing touchdown by a running back this season. The one player to score a rushing touchdown has been quarterback Aaron Rodgers.
While talented, Michael's NFL career to this point has been somewhat of a disappointment. With the Seahawks this season, Michael rushed 117 times for 469 yards, averaging a modest four yards per carry.
Over his career, the 2013 second-round selection has averaged 4.3 yards per carry on 223 attempts and has scored six touchdowns.
The addition of Michael will hopefully take some pressure off Rodgers, who has thrown the ball a career high 71.4 percent of the time. Head coach Mike McCarthy hopes this can lead to a more balanced attack through the rest of the season.
"I always want to run the ball more, but I also want to throw it 55 times a game too," McCarthy said Wednesday before the news broke, via ESPN. "That's the way games are. You have to run the football. Everything starts with running the football. You can't extend your offensive line and your pass-protection unit the way we have. Running the football is very important for a number of different reasons."
'17 Hall of Fame class down to 26 semifinalists: The Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 2017 has been trimmed from 94 nominees, to 26 semifinalists. The 26 remaining candidates will be trimmed to 15 in January.
Of the 26 remaining, 15 played offense , eight played defense, two coached and one kicked.
Former Chargers running back LaDainian Tomlinson is the headliner for first-year eligible players, while safety Brian Dawkins, defensive end Jason Taylor and wide receiver Hines Ward are also first-year eligible semifinalists.
The 2016 finalists include Kurt Warner, Terrell Owens, Terrell Davis, John Lynch and Don Coryell. The full list of the 26 semifinalists can be seen below, via NFL.com:
Morten Anderson, kicker (New Orleans Saints, 1982-1994; Atlanta Falcons, 1995-2000; 2006-07; New York Giants, 2001; Kansas City Chiefs, 2002-03; Minnesota Vikings, 2004)
2. Steve Atwater, safety (Denver Broncos, 1989-1998; New York Jets, 1999)
3. Tony Boselli, offensive tackle (Jacksonville Jaguars, 1995-2001; Houston Texans, 2002)
4. Isaac Bruce, wide receiver (Los Angeles Rams, 1994; St. Louis Rams, 1995-2007; San Francisco 49ers, 2008-09)
5. Don Coryell, coach (St. Louis Cardinals, 1973-77; San Diego Chargers, 1978-1986)
6. Roger Craig, running back (San Francisco 49ers, 1983-1990; Los Angeles Raiders, 1991; Minnesota Vikings, 1992-93)
7. Terrell Davis, running back (Denver Broncos, 1995-2001)
8. Brian Dawkins, safety (Philadelphia Eagles, 1996-2008; Denver Broncos, 2009-2011)
9. Alan Faneca, guard (Pittsburgh Steelers, 1998-2007; New York Jets, 2008-09; Arizona Cardinals, 2010)
10. Chris Hinton, offensive tackle/guard (Baltimore Colts, 1983; Indianapolis Colts, 1984-89; Atlanta Falcons, 1990-93; Minnesota Vikings, 1994-95)
11. Torry Holt, wide receiver (St. Louis Rams, 1999-2008; Jacksonville Jaguars, 2009)
12. Joe Jacoby, offensive tackle (Washington Redskins, 1981-1993)
13. Edgerrin James, running back (Indianapolis Colts, 1999-2005; Arizona Cardinals, 2006-08; Seattle Seahawks, 2009)
14. Jimmy Johnson, coach (Dallas Cowboys, 1989-1993; Miami Dolphins, 1996-99)
15. Mike Kenn, offensive tackle (Atlanta Falcons, 1978-1994)
16. Ty Law, cornerback (New England Patriots, 1995-2004; New York Jets, 2005, '08; Kansas City Chiefs, 2006-07; Denver Broncos, 2009)
17. John Lynch, safety (Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 1993-2003; Denver Broncos, 2004-07)
18. Clay Matthews, linebacker (Cleveland Browns, 1978-1993; Atlanta Falcons, 1994-96)
19. Kevin Mawae, center (Seattle Seahawks, 1994-97; New York Jets, 1998-2005; Tennessee Titans, 2006-09)
20. Karl Mecklenburg, linebacker (Denver Broncos, 1983-1994)
21. Terrell Owens, wide receiver (San Francisco 49ers, 1996-2003; Philadelphia Eagles, 2004-05; Dallas Cowboys, 2006-08; Buffalo Bills, 2009; Cincinnati Bengals, 2010)
22. Jason Taylor, defensive end (Miami Dolphins, 1997-2007, '09, 2011; Washington Redskins, 2008; New York Jets, 2010)
23. LaDainian, Tomlinson, running back (San Diego Chargers, 2001-09; New York Jets, 2010-11)
24. Hines Ward, wide receiver (Pittsburgh Steelers, 1998-2011)
25. Kurt Warner, quarterback (St. Louis Rams, 1998-2003; New York Giants, 2004; Arizona Cardinals, 2005-09)
26. Darren Woodson, safety (Dallas Cowboys, 1992-2003)
Witten doesn't see Romo retiring "anytime soon:" Two days after conceding the starting quarterback job to rookie quarterback Dak Prescott, Tony Romo's future with the Cowboys, and the NFL, has come into question given his age and injury history.
An emotional Romo addressed the media Tuesday and admitted that Prescott has "earned the right" to be the Cowboys' starting quarterback, but also professed his burning desire to keep playing.
"If you think for a second that I don't want to be out there, then you probably never felt the pure ecstasy of competing and winning," Romo said Tuesday. "That hasn't left me. In fact, it may burn now more than ever."
His teammate and old, favorite receiving target, Jason Witten, doesn't see the 36-year-old throwing in the towel yet.
"I don't think he's planning on retiring anytime soon," Witten said, via the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. "I wouldn't bet against him."
When asked if he thinks Romo had thrown his final pass as the Cowboys' quarterback, Witten said he hasn't thought about it.
“I don’t think that’s entered my mind and it hasn’t entered anybody’s mind. Really, I think more than anything else, as teammates and friends, you look at it from the standpoint of it’s not easy to get up and have that conversation," Witten said. "To do it in such a delicate way like he did, you’re proud of him. Other than that, for all of us, we’ve just got to move forward.”
When asked how much Romo still has in the tank, Witten insisted that only he knows the answer.
“That’s for him to answer. I’ve said it before – I certainly wouldn’t bet against him in those situations. He would be able to answer that better than I can.”
At 36, Romo's quarterbacking days in Dallas could certainly be over if Prescott keeps playing at the level he's playing and the team continues to win. Romo was a class act Tuesday, and while he'd prefer to be on the field, he showed that he's willing to be a supportive teammate from the sidelines.