The Tampa Bay Buccaneers insist "no irregularities were observed" after a report contained the claim that Antonio Brown procured a fake COVID-19 vaccine card.

A story from the Tampa Bay Times featured the allegation that wide receiver Brown was willing to pay his former live-in chef Steven Ruiz $500 if he could obtain a vaccine card for the NFL star.

The report says Ruiz was unable to secure cards but claimed he was later shown fake documentation by Brown.

NFL spokesperson Brian McCarthy said in a statement: "We are aware of the report and have been in contact with the club. We will review the matter."

While players in the NFL do not have to be vaccinated in order to play, those who are not jabbed face stricter restrictions under the league's protocols put in place to limit the spread of the coronavirus.

Brown's attorney, Sean Burstyn, was quoted by NFL Network reporter Ian Rapoport as saying "be like Antonio Brown and get the vaccine", and insisted his client is indeed vaccinated against COVID-19.

Defending Super Bowl champions the Bucs have now also reacted to the claims.

A team statement read: "After an extensive educational process conducted throughout our organisation this past offseason highlighting the benefit of COVID-19 vaccines, we received completed vaccination cards from all Tampa Bay Buccaneers players and submitted the required information to the NFL through the established process in accordance with league policy.

"All vaccination cards were reviewed by Buccaneers personnel and no irregularities were observed."

Brown missed the Bucs' week three game against the Los Angeles Rams after testing positive for COVID-19. He featured in the team's following three games before being sidelined by an ankle injury.

Green Bay Packers star Aaron Rodgers plans to face the Minnesota Vikings this week after sitting out Wednesday's practice.

Rodgers – the reigning NFL MVP – did not practice midweek due to a toe issue ahead of Sunday's clash with the Vikings.

A Super Bowl champion, Rodgers returned last week from COVID-19 quarantine as the Packers (8-2) blanked the Seattle Seahawks 17-0.

Rodgers refused to shed light on his toe injury, though the 37-year-old quarterback is preparing to play against the Vikings in Minnesota.

"I'm not sure what my status will be tomorrow [Thursday] or Friday, but I'd like to get out there if I'm feeling good enough," Rodgers told reporters.

"But it's definitely a better week than last week being separated [during the quarantine], being able to go through all the meetings.

"I plan on being at practice on the field tomorrow, not sure how much involvement I'll do though."

Rodgers completed 23 of 37 passes for 292 yards in his return against the Seahawks, but the Packers' only touchdowns came on fourth-quarter runs by AJ Dillon. 

Green Bay's Rodgers returned to the line-up and threw for 292 yards – his second most of the season (344 against the Cincinnati Bengals). However, he did not complete a TD pass for the first time since Week 1 and had his worst QB rating (75.5) since Week 1 also (36.8).

"Obviously, the body is really looking forward to that, as is my toe," Rodgers said. "But we've got two games until then. It's kind of a day-to-day how I'm feeling, whether or not I'm going to practice, but I didn't find any issues with recovery, standard Monday and Tuesday, as I've done throughout the season.

"So I feel good wind-wise. I definitely took a few shots on Sunday, but I feel good today on Wednesday."

The Packers and Vikings have met five times in Minnesota since the start of the 2016 season. Minnesota won the first three consecutive games, but Green Bay have claimed the last two games giving them a 2-3 record over that span.

Baker Mayfield says he is "probably the most beat up I've been" but still plans to play for the Cleveland Browns against the Detroit Lions on Sunday.

Mayfield has been playing through a torn labrum and also has a knee ailment on top of that shoulder issue.

He struggled mightily as the Browns were thrashed 45-7 by the New England Patriots in Week 10, completing 11 of his 21 pass attempts for 73 yards, a touchdown and an interception.

That dropped the Browns to 5-5 and last place in the AFC North. However, they are far from out of the mix in a crowded playoff picture and Mayfield has no plans on taking a week off even against the winless Lions.

Asked about how he feels physically, Mayfield, who did not practice on Wednesday, said: "Pretty sore. That time of the year. One day at a time but I'll be good.

"Probably the most beat up I’ve been. Multiple things, not just one."

Head coach Kevin Stefanski added of Mayfield: "Baker is as tough as they come. He's sore. He's fighting through it."

The Carolina Panthers are "trending" toward starting Cam Newton at quarterback for their Week 11 clash with the Washington Football Team.

Carolina last week brought their 2011 first overall pick and 2015 MVP Newton back on a one-year deal having parted company with him after the 2019 campaign.

Newton, who was released by the New England Patriots before the start of this season, made his second debut against the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday and had an instant impact.

P.J. Walker got the start in the absence of the injured Sam Darnold but it was Newton who produced the moments that will live long in the memory.

His first touch saw him find the endzone on a two-yard run to give the Panthers the lead, with his second seeing him connect with Robby Anderson on a two-yard touchdown pass as Carolina cruised to a 34-10 win.

Both Walker and Newton are in a position physically to start, but head coach Matt Rhule indicated it is the latter who will likely do so as the Panthers aim to boost their playoff hopes by moving to 6-5.

"You know, I think we're probably trending that way to be quite honest with you. I'm not gonna probably pull that trigger 'til later," Rhule said of Newton starting.

"But I think, and I was pretty transparent the other day, in terms of wanting to push him into that role I think it's good for our team.

"But we're getting P.J. ready as well. As I said, gameplan-wise, I think we could see a myriad of different things happen."

Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray is "pretty close" to a return, having practiced on Wednesday.

Murray has missed the last two games, in which the 8-2 Cardinals have gone 1-1, because of an ankle injury.

However, there appears to be optimism he could play against the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday.

"I'm pretty close," Murray told reporters. "I'm much further along than I thought I was going to be."

Murray has thrown for 2,276 yards, 17 touchdowns and seven interceptions this season. His average of 8.89 yards per attempt leads the NFL while he also has three rushing touchdowns to his name.

Colt McCoy has deputised for the Cardinals in the last two games but suffered a chest injury in their loss to the Carolina Panthers in Week 10. 

Miles Sanders is closing in on a return to action for the Philadelphia Eagles, who have activated the 21-day practice window for the running back.

An ankle injury suffered in the Week 7 loss to the Las Vegas Raiders landed Sanders on injured reserve.

He remains on IR but the roster move by the Eagles means he would be allowed to return to action this week if he is deemed to have made sufficient progress.

The Eagles are at home against the 5-4 New Orleans Saints on Sunday and head coach Nick Sirianni has told reporters there is a chance Sanders will be available.

The NFC East team have won two of their last three games to reach 4-6, ensuring they remain in contention for a Wild Card place.

Sanders was a second-round draft pick in 2019 after a college career at Penn State and was averaging 4.76 yards per carry this season before going down against the Raiders, having topped 800 yards in each of his first two years in the league.

Jordan Howard and Boston Scott have supported mobile quarterback Jalen Hurts in helping Philadelphia cope well with Sanders' absence – the Eagles lead the league with 208.7 rushing yards per game since Week 8, per NFL.com

The Saints game will be an intriguing battle. The Eagles have the third-best rushing attack with 144.3 yards per game, while Sean Payton's team are allowing only 72.9 YPG on the ground – which is the best mark in the NFL.

Hurts has been highly effective as a runner and 20.6 per cent of his rushes going for 10 or more yards represents the best mark of any qualifying player in 2021.

He has also rushed for a first down on 39.2 per cent of his carries, a ratio second only to the Buffalo Bills' Josh Allen.

Trying to predict the 2021 NFL season has seemed like an exercise in futility.

It is a year that has served as a perfect illustration of the NFL being a 'week-to-week league'; upsets have been frequent, making the elite teams tougher to discern, even with 10 weeks in the books.

Only four teams in the AFC are below .500 while, of those currently outside the playoffs in the NFC, every team aside from the winless Detroit Lions is at worst a game back in the loss column of the final Wild Card berth.

It sets the stage for a fascinating stretch run in the regular season and, for fantasy purposes, can sow doubt around players who would otherwise be considered sure things.

But, in Week 11, there are some clear standouts who look primed for highly productive performances. Once again, Stats Perform has identified four offensive players and a defense that deserve starting spots this week.

Quarterback: Joe Burrow, Cincinnati Bengals @ Las Vegas Raiders

The Raiders were shredded by Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs last week as their commitment to playing coverage looks featuring a single-high safety backfired spectacularly.

Defensive coordinator Gus Bradley seems steadfast in sticking with such coverages and the evidence suggests it will prove the Raiders' downfall again versus the Bengals.

Though the Bengals enter the game on a two-game losing streak, they can afford to have confidence in Burrow flourishing in Las Vegas.

Burrow is delivering a well-thrown, accurate ball on 84.4 per cent of his pass attempts against Cover 1 robber looks and on 90.2 per cent of throws versus Cover 3 zone.

The Raiders, therefore, represent the ideal matchup as the Bengals and Burrow look to bounce back. 

Running Back: A.J. Dillon, Green Bay Packers @ Minnesota Vikings

The Packers will be without starting running back Aaron Jones because of a knee sprain, however, Dillon has proven himself an impressive complement and should excel filling the void while Jones is on the sideline.

Dillon was not efficient in the Packers' win over the Seattle Seahawks last time out, averaging only 3.1 yards per carry while finding the endzone twice.

However, he has averaged at least 4.9 yards per rush in the three other games where he has received at least 10 carries this year.

Against a Vikings defense giving up the third-most yards per rush in the league (4.74), Dillon will have the workload and the matchup to enjoy a career day in Jones' absence.

Wide Receiver: CeeDee Lamb, Dallas Cowboys @ Kansas City Chiefs

The second-year wideout is on a tear, Lamb having racked up 378 receiving yards and four touchdowns over the last four games.

He is establishing himself as Dak Prescott's top target on a loaded offense few have managed to slow down in 2021.

The Chiefs have improved on defense of late but theirs is a unit allowing the third-most pass yards per play in the NFL (7.41). It is tough to have faith in Kansas City to slow down a receiver in Lamb's vein of form.

Tight End: Dawson Knox, Buffalo Bills vs. Indianapolis Colts

Returning from a fractured hand, Knox was targeted just once in the Bills' blowout win over the New York Jets.

The game script did not really call for Knox to be heavily involved as Buffalo built an insurmountable lead.

However, things are likely to be closer against the Colts, meaning Knox may need to reproduce the breakout form he delivered earlier in the season.

Knox has a touchdown in four of his seven games in 2021. Against a Colts defense allowing the seventh-most TD drives in the NFL (27), he's a strong bet to find the endzone again.

Defense: Miami Dolphins @ New York Jets

Miami's ultra-aggressive defense created havoc in their stunning win over the Baltimore Ravens in Week 10. The Dolphins sacked Lamar Jackson four times, their commitment to relentlessly blitzing defensive backs derailing Baltimore's passing game, intercepted him once and forced two fumbles, with one returned for a touchdown.

Now they face a Jets team that has turned the ball over 22 times this season, committing 13 giveaways in their last four games.

They have turned to Joe Flacco in the belief the veteran, and not ailing second overall pick Zach Wilson or Mike White, gives them the best chance to win. However, Flacco threw an interception in each of his previous three appearances for the Jets last season. Despite the quarterback change, the signs still point to Miami's defense enjoying another disruptive day.

Joe Flacco will start for the New York Jets when they face the Miami Dolphins at MetLife Stadium on Sunday.

The veteran quarterback replaces Mike White, with rookie Zach Wilson not ready to return from a second-degree PCL sprain.

Flacco was reacquired by the struggling Jets (2-7) in a trade with the Philadelphia Eagles last month following Wilson's injury blow.

Jets head coach Robert Saleh on Wednesday confirmed the 36-year-old will suit up to start in the Week 11 battle between the bottom two in the AFC East.

"One of the reasons we went and got Joe is for the experience, not only for the playing ability or for the [locker] room, but also for situations like this," said Saleh.

"Miami's got a dynamic coverage system, with all the different coverages they run. Joe has been there and done that and has kind of a steadying influence we felt would put us in the best position."

White threw four interceptions in last week's heavy 45-17 loss to the Buffalo Bills. 

He has thrown for 953 yards with five touchdowns and eight interceptions in four matches this season.

Flacco spent the 2020 season at the Jets as backup before moving to the Eagles on a one-year, $3.5million contract.

The former Baltimore Ravens' Super Bowl champion was relegated behind starter Jalen Hurts and Gardner Minshew at Philadelphia, who felt he was surplus to requirements.

Flacco completed 74 of 134 passes for 864 yards, with six touchdowns and three interceptions for the Jets last season.

Odell Beckham Jr's departure from the Cleveland Browns is something that still stings for teammate Jarvis Landry.

Veteran wide receiver Beckham was released by the Browns last week, a move that came after his father complained on social media about his lack of involvement in the team's offense.

Beckham Sr posted an 11-minute video on Instagram, highlighting moments he felt Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield had failed to find his son.

Mayfield later stated he considered Beckham a "good friend" and wished him well.

Three-time Pro Bowler Beckham was sidelined with a torn ACL in 2020 and made 17 catches for 232 yards and zero touchdowns in six games for the Browns this season, before signing for the Los Angeles Rams.

For Landry, the exit of his friend is something that remains difficult to accept.

"It definitely was something that hurt. It stung. It still does," Jarvis said in quotes reported by the Akron Beacon Journal.

Mayfield's own form has been under scrutiny as he battles several injury complaints. Already contending with a left shoulder issue that may require surgery down the line, Mayfield has a sore foot and now a contusion on his right knee.

He threw for only 73 yards as the Browns were hammered 45-7 by the New England Patriots over the weekend but Landry leapt to the defence of his teammate.

"He's a tough man, and he's doing all the things necessary to make sure that he can be out there with us," Landry said. 

"As playmakers, when the ball's in the air, we're doing our best and understanding and knowing that it's the situation where he's got to get healthy, but we're still out here making plays with each other, for each other, and he always gives his best. 

"That's all you can ask for."

Landry has himself had issues this season, missing four games due to a knee sprain.

"I haven't been able to get the ball so much, either," he said. 

"But at the end of the day I've been able to [make the most] with the opportunities I'm given. 

"Yeah, I'm battling some things, but on Sundays I always give everything I have. And that will never change."

The Browns (5-5) are fourth in the AFC North and face the winless Detroit Lions on Sunday.

The Los Angeles Chargers could be without both Joey Bosa and Jerry Tillery for their clash with the Pittsburgh Steelers after both were placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list.

Edge rusher Bosa is once again leading the way for the Chargers with 5.5 sacks so far this season, while defensive tackle Tillery has 2.5 sacks and three tackles for loss in 2021.

They would each be significant losses for a Chargers team looking to right the ship after three losses in their past four games and for a defense that ranks 19th in the NFL with 5.59 yards per play allowed.

However, the Chargers pair are not the only players who could miss Sunday's primetime matchup due to being in coronavirus protocol.

Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger was absent for their 16-16 tie with the Detroit Lions after he was placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list, on which he was joined by safety Minkah Fitzpatrick after he tested positive for coronavirus.

Discussing the quarterback position on Tuesday, Steelers coach Mike Tomlin said: "We're going to build our plan around getting Mason [Rudolph, backup QB] ready to play.

"We're going to highlight his talents and skills relative to the opponents that we're intending to play. We're going to build that plan, work that plan. We've got a young offensive unit, and we'll let that lead us throughout the week.

"If we get to a point in the week where Ben has an opportunity to get to a moving train, that's exactly what he'll do. He'll be capable of executing the game plan."

The Chargers (5-4) are a game behind the Kansas City Chiefs in the AFC West, while the Steelers (5-3-1) trail the 6-3 Baltimore Ravens in the AFC North.

Pittsburgh have won four of their past six meetings with the Chargers.

Kyle Shanahan was filled with pride as the San Francisco 49ers finally ended their long home-win drought with a 31-10 upset of the Los Angeles Rams, but he warned that cannot be a flash in the pan.

All eyes were on debutants Odell Beckham Jr. and Von Miller after the high-flying Rams (7-3) acquired the star duo to boost their Super Bowl bid.

But the 49ers (4-5) spoiled the party – Jimmy Garoppolo throwing two touchdown passes as San Francisco celebrated just their second home win in the past two seasons, keeping their playoff hopes alive on Monday.

The 49ers, who have now won five straight games against the Rams – the longest active streak by either side, matching their 2008-10 run – had last emerged victorious on home soil in October 2020, also over the Rams.

Part of that was down to the 49ers having to play part of the 2020 season in Arizona due to COVID-19 restrictions in Santa Clara, but there was still a sense of relief as they eventually enjoyed success in their own backyard.

Shanahan was grateful to put such a run behind them.

"It's been frustrating," he said. "We haven't won at home yet this year. The last time we did win at home was versus the Rams.

"We had one game after that versus the Packers, and we spent are our home [games] in Arizona, but just going to this year was very frustrating.

"Especially, the crowds that we've had, the way our fans have been. They were awesome today. Just like they were awesome last week, but I'm glad we gave them something to be proud of today.

"I just told [the team] how proud of them I was. I said we've got a short week. I think we've got a real good team [the Jacksonville Jaguars] ahead of us – that's how we expect to play here.

"It's been long overdue and we've got to make sure that we take a day off. Those guys rest, come back healthy on a short week, make sure we keep it going forward."

There were entirely different thoughts going through the head of Rams coach Sean McVay, however, with the Super Bowl hopefuls suffering back-to-back losses for the first time this season.

"I choose to believe that these last couple weeks are not who we are," he said. "I refuse to believe that, even though, you know what, you're only as good as your last game.

"These last two weeks have certainly been humbling."

Beckham was rather less dramatic, though, despite his debut being overshadowed by a chastening defeat.

The wide receiver, who joined the Rams as a free agent this week following his release by the Cleveland Browns, simply felt the 49ers were better all over the field.

"I was excited, I felt like I was ready for the moment," Beckham added. "I've been through so much and God has put me in this position for that exact moment.

"It just wasn't our night. There's really no way around it, it just wasn't our night. Any given Sunday any team can win.

"The Niners came out and they played better than us in all phases of the game, and that's really the moral of the story. There's no trying to find what happened, they just outplayed us."

The San Francisco 49ers won their first home game in more than a year after Jimmy Garoppolo helped fuel a 31-10 upset of the Super Bowl-chasing Los Angeles Rams.

All eyes were on debutants Odell Beckham Jr. and Von Miller after the high-flying Rams (7-3) acquired the star duo to boost their Super Bowl bid.

But the 49ers (4-5) spoiled the party – Garoppolo throwing two touchdown passes as San Francisco celebrated just their second home in the past two seasons, keeping their playoff hopes alive on Monday.

The 49ers, who have now won five straight games against the Rams – the longest active streak by either side, matching their 2008-10 run – had last emerged victorious on home soil in October 2020, also over the Rams.

Matthew Stafford (26-of-41 passing for 243 yards, a TD, two interceptions and two sacks) struggled as the Rams dropped back-to-back games, with the Los Angeles quarterback intercepted by Jimmie Ward on the opening two drives of the contest.

Ward's second interception led to a 27-yard touchdown return as he became the seventh player since 2000 with two interceptions – including a pick-six, in the opening quarter after Garoppolo (15-of-19 passing for 182 yards, two TDs and no interceptions) had led an 18-play, 93-yard TD drive less than a minute earlier.

Stafford has now thrown a pick-six in back-to-back games for the first time since his rookie season in 2009.

Leading 14-0 following the first quarter, the 49ers maintained that buffer as the teams traded touchdowns prior to half-time – Stafford throwing a 10-yard pass to Tyler Higbee before Deebo Samuel ran for an eight-yard score.

After Robbie Gould's 50-yard field goal stretched the lead in the third period, Samuel and Garoppolo combined for a 40-yard touchdown pass to put the 49ers out of reach early in the fourth.

Teddy Bridgewater acknowledged he "failed" the Denver Broncos when he "didn't give everything" on Darius Slay's 83-yard fumble return for a Philadelphia Eagles touchdown.

The Broncos headed into Week 10 on a high after a win at the Dallas Cowboys in which quarterback Bridgewater threw for 249 yards and a touchdown.

But that momentum was sapped by a defeat to another NFC East team on Sunday, with Denver coming up well short in a 30-13 defeat.

Bridgewater struggled to get the ball moving back at home, averaging 6.28 yards per attempt. He has advanced 6.4 yards per attempt in losses this year, versus 8.65 yards per attempt in wins.

But it was what Bridgewater did without the ball that attracted the most attention, as the former Carolina Panthers QB was widely criticised for his role in Slay's score at the end of the third quarter.

Davion Taylor knocked the ball free as Melvin Gordon attempted to get to ground on fourth and one, with Slay recovering the fumble and then running right by Bridgewater, who made no attempt to halt his opponent, en route to the endzone.

Bridgewater reflected on the episode on Monday and accepted he did not come out of it at all well.

"It definitely was [the toughest film session to sit through], especially when you slow it down," he said.

"In real time, it's like everything's happening fast, you've got the sideline to your advantage... and then when you slow it down with the clicker in your hand, it's like man, this is bad.

"Hopefully I never have to be put in that situation again, and if I am, make sure that I lay it all on the line.

"If I am, I'm going to make sure I lay it all on the line. I won't be the talk of social media or the internet or whatever. Hopefully we can just but this behind [us] and move forward."

Bridgewater added: "I'm right there, the opportunity to just dive, sacrifice, do whatever I can to help the team in that moment.

"I failed. And I owned up to it. It's unacceptable as a football player, as a member of this team.

"We play this game, and you lay it all on the line every week, and that's one of those moments where I've just got to accept the fact that I didn't give everything I had in me on that play.

"I understand, man; there's going to be some backlash that comes with it. I'm a grown man. I'm a professional athlete. I understand that's what comes with it – backlash and things like that.

"It doesn't define who we are as a football team, it doesn't define me as a man and as a football player."

Chase Young will miss the rest of the season, though the Washington Football Team did not confirm if he had torn his ACL as reported.

Defensive end Young was carted off in the second quarter of Sunday's 29-19 win over the Tamp Bay Buccaneers after appearing to suffer a knee injury.

It was soon reported that the 2020 second overall pick had suffered a torn ACL and Washington on Monday confirmed he will not return this season.

Young, the Defensive Rookie of the Year in 2020, will undergo surgery in a blow to Washington, who were already without Montez Sweat.

"They're big, athletic and can move. Those guys are hard to find," Rivera said of Young and Sweat.

"[Young] had some good moments early in the game. It was promising.

"You do lose the threat of that type of player coming off the edge now. We have a couple workman guys who get an opportunity. We'll see how they handle it."

Young had 1.5 sacks and two forced fumbles through nine games this season.

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