Top 3 NFL headlines of week 13

Tampa+Bay+Buccaneers+wide+receiver+Antonio+Brown+runs+with+the+ball+during+an+NFL+football+game+against+the+Philadelphia+Eagles%2C+Oct.+14%2C+2021%2C+in+Philadelphia.+Brown+and+two+other+NFL+players+have+been+suspended+immediately+for+three+games+by+the+league+for+violating+COVID-19+protocols.

AP Photo | Matt Rourke, File

Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Antonio Brown runs with the ball during an NFL football game against the Philadelphia Eagles, Oct. 14, 2021, in Philadelphia. Brown and two other NFL players have been suspended immediately for three games by the league for violating COVID-19 protocols.

By Skyler Kisellus, Sports Editor

The first week of December brings plenty of NFL headlines as teams around the league look to make a final push for the postseason.

NFL suspends two Buccaneers players, one free agent for COVID-19 violations

The NFL announced Thursday that it had suspended three players for violation of NFL-NFL Players Association vaccination protocols.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Antonio Brown and safety Mike Edwards, along with free agent John Franklin III, have each been suspended for three games without pay for misrepresenting their vaccination status. All three players have accepted discipline and have waived their right to appeal. Their suspensions will be effective immediately.

The NFL and the NFLPA released a joint statement Thursday following the suspensions.

“The health and safety of players and personnel is our top priority,” the statement read. “The NFL-NFLPA jointly reinforce their commitment and further emphasize the importance of strict adherence to the protocols to protect the well-being of everyone associated with the NFL.”

The Buccaneers were not fined after assisting the league with its investigation into the matter, as reported by NFL Insider Ian Rapoport. Tampa Bay also released a statement following the NFL’s announcement of the suspensions.

“We appreciate the League’s timely handling of this matter and recognize the importance of the health and safety protocols that have been established,” the statement read. “We will continue to implement all league COVID-19 protocols.”

Brown and Edwards will be eligible to return to game action for a Week 16 matchup against their divisional rival, the Carolina Panthers. If Franklin III is signed by a team, the fourth-year player would be ineligible to play for his first three games on the roster.

Saints starting Hill for Thursday Night Football

ESPN reported Wednesday that the New Orleans Saints would be starting quarterback Taysom Hill for their Thursday Night Football matchup against the Dallas Cowboys in Week 13.

The fifth-year quarterback will make his first start since the Saints’ 24-21 loss against the Philadelphia Eagles in Week 14 of the 2020 season.

The change at quarterback came after Trevor Siemian went 0-4 in four games as a starter in relief of starting quarterback Jameis Winston, who was lost to a season-ending ACL injury in Week 8. 

Ahead of Thursday’s game, Hill has thrown for 1,103 yards, four touchdowns and four interceptions in 60 games played.

Hill has also played other roles on offense throughout his career, playing at spots such as running back and tight end. The gadget player has amassed 913 rushing yards and 14 rushing touchdowns on 171 carries, while catching 34 passes for 388 yards and seven touchdowns.

The Saints will also have other changes in the starting offensive lineup as New Orleans will be without multiple starters, including tackles Terron Armstead, Ryan Ramczyk and star running back Alvin Kamara.

Thursday’s game is set to kick off at 7:20 p.m. CT. The 5-6 Saints will play host to the 7-4 Cowboys at Caesars Superdome in New Orleans. The game will be broadcast on FOX Sports, the NFL Network and Amazon. 

Seahawks sign Peterson to practice squad

The Seattle Seahawks added veteran Adrian Peterson, along with two others, to their practice squad on Wednesday.

Peterson, one of the most productive running backs in NFL history, has rushed for 14,902 yards and 119 touchdowns on 3,219 carries in his storied career. 

“I’m excited to see if he helps out and give us a little something,” Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll said.  “He’s an incredible competitor and a great guy, so I’m anxious to give him a chance to get on the field with our boys.”

Seattle also signed wide receiver Cade Johnson and safety Elijah Benton to their practice squad.

Peterson’s first opportunity to suit up if activated by Seattle would be on Sunday as they host the divisional rival San Francisco 49ers at Lumen Field in Seattle. The game is scheduled for 3:25 p.m. CT and will be available to watch on CBS Sports.