After days of media hype, the Panthers and Broncos clash Sunday in the 2016 Super Bowl at Levi's Stadium, airing live on CBS (6:30 ET) and streaming live on CBSSports.com. Here's who we think wins, and why.
What's at stake for Peyton Manning and Cam Newton, what history says about top offenses that go up against top defenses in the Super Bowl, the Panthers' red-zone attack is on an unstoppable run, and more.
Browns coach Mike Pettine said the team plans to have cornerback Ifo Ekpre-Olomu, their seventh-round pick, sit out the 2015 season as the player recovers from a serious knee injury he suffered at the end of his college career, per Cleveland.com.
Gordon -- who was suspended by the NFL for a minimum of a year under the league's substance-abuse policy back on Feb. 3, 2015, -- has applied for reinstatement, according to Mary Kay Cabot of the Cleveland Plain Dealer.
Meanwhile, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has 60 days in which to make a determination on Gordon's request for reinstatement. In the event that Gordon is reinstated within that time-frame, the talented young wideout would be able to participate in the Browns' offseason program, which opens up in April. Per the report, Gordon "has been doing well" in his time away from the team and is confident that he will be reinstated. In the event that he is, NFL spokesman Greg Aiello notes that Gordon would still "be in Stage 3 of the NFL's substance abuse program and will be subject to indefinite banishment again -- a minimum of a year -- with another positive test." In any case, there should be some degree of clarity with regard to the 24-year-old's prospects of seeing NFL action in 2016 before the Browns next take the field, with Gordon's status of course of import to fantasy owners, given the production and upside that he offers when he is able to play.
The NFL has suspended Burfict for the first three games of the 2016 season due to repeated violations of safety-related playing rules, the NFL reports.
Burfict has oscillated between brilliant and bone-headed during his four-year career, and Saturday's wild-card defeat to the Steelers was no exception. Although his strip sack of Ben Roethlisberger (a play in which the quarterback was knocked out until the final drive due to a shoulder injury) and interception of backup Landry Jones spurred the Bengals' comeback bid, he also committed a crucial unnecessary roughness penalty on Antonio Brown with 22 seconds remaining, which compounded with an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty from Adam Jones to set up the Steelers' game-winning field goal. On a more serious note, Burfict has been flagged for 14 unnecessary roughness calls since he entered the professional ranks in 2012, seemingly necessitating Monday's action from the NFL. Pending an appeal, he'll begin the suspension in Week 1 of next season.