Thursday’s roundup: Panthers rip Cowboys; Romo hurt
Arlington, Texas — Cam Newton sprinted to a corner of the $1.2 billion showplace of the Cowboys, pointing a camera at celebrating Carolina fans while gesturing to them with a wide smile.
A few minutes later, a somber Tony Romo talked to reporters with his left arm in a sling for the second time this season because of a collarbone injury.
The Panthers are 11-0 after a 33-14 victory in their Thanksgiving debut, and the Cowboys could be facing the rest of the season without Romo in what has become a lost season for the defending NFC East champions.
Luke Kuechly and Kurt Coleman returned two of Romo’s three interceptions for touchdowns, and Newton ran for the Panthers’ only offensive score as they pushed their NFL-best winning streak to 15 regular-season games Thursday.
“Well, we got a lot of help from our defense,” Newton said. “Defense went out there and brought their A-game and made our job a lot easier.”
Romo’s first collarbone injury sidelined him for all seven games of a losing streak that severely damaged the chances for another playoff trip by the Cowboys (3-8), who have now lost eight of nine.
Romo, 35, said he would have to wait for more test results today before knowing if he broke the collarbone again. He was injured in Week 2 at Philadelphia and said the injury had a similar feel this time.
ESPN.com reported Romo is out for the season.
Coach Jason Garrett wouldn’t rule out Romo returning, and said he would play if he was cleared even with the Cowboys unlikely to have a realistic shot to defend their division title.
Kuechly intercepted two straight passes by Romo, returning the first 32 yards for a touchdown.
Coleman picked off Romo’s second pass of the game and took it back 36 yards for the score to send the Panthers on their way to becoming the 16th NFL team to win the first 11 games.
“We started fast on defense,” Kuechly said.
“Kurt had that big pick and really set the tone.”
Before getting hurt, Romo didn’t look anything like the only quarterback to beat multiple teams with records of 9-0 or better.
Romo ended up losing for the first time in four starts this season.
He had previously beaten Indianapolis at 9-0 in his fourth career start in 2006 and New Orleans at 13-0 three years later.
Newton did his part as well, getting Carolina’s only offensive touchdown on a 4-yard run for a 30-6 lead moments before Romo’s injury.
He had 183 yards passing with several key third-down conversions and another 45 yards rushing.
On the second play of Dallas’ possession after Newton’s score, Romo was hit by a blitzing Thomas Davis and went down on his left shoulder, just as he did almost 10 weeks ago in Philadelphia.
Romo went on injured reserve with a designation to return after the first injury, and the Cowboys couldn’t win without him. They were already well on their way to a loss this time a week after Romo ended the seven-game skid in his return last week at Miami.
He was 11 of 21 with 106 yards and a 27.2 passer rating.
“I’m just very disappointed in not giving our team a chance to win today,” Romo said. “They depend on me to go out there and perform at a certain level, and when I let them down, let our team down, our coaches, our fan base, everybody. That’s what I did today, and I have to live with that.”
Chicago 17, (at) Green Bay 13: Jay Cutler threw for 200 yards and a score and the Bears held off the Packers on fourth-and-goal from the 8 with 22 seconds left. Aaron Rodgers’ throw to the end zone deflected off receiver Davante Adams’ hands on the rain. James Jones couldn’t hang on to a potential touchdown catch on third down.
Cornerback Tracy Porter intercepted Rodgers’ pass with 3:19 left at the Bears 45 on the Packers’ previous drive.
The highlight of the night for Green Bay turned out to be the return of Brett Favre, whose name and No. 4 was unveiled at halftime next to the team’s other retired numbers.
Chicago (5-6) has won three of its last four. The Packers (7-4) lost a second straight home game.
Jeremy Langford ran for a touchdown for Chicago.
Favre praises Rodgers
Brett Favre threw some kind words at the man who replaced him at quarterback for the Packers.
Speaking at a charity function Thursday, Favre said Aaron Rodgers is “almost too good.”
“I mean that with all due respect,” Favre said. “I mean, all of my good records will be broken and all my bad ones I’m going to keep. When I watch him, he’s good. … I don’t know what else to say.”
Favre lauded Rodgers at an event for the Rawhide Boys Ranch, an organization that helps at-risk boys in Wisconsin. The retired quarterback has long supported the charity co-founded by another former Packers quarterback, Hall of Famer Bart Starr.
Favre had his name and retired No. 4 unveiled on the facade at Lambeau Stadium at halftime of the Bears-Packers game Thursday night.
Starr also attended the game.
Report: Manziel lied
Browns quarterback Johnny Manziel lied to the Browns about the circumstances surrounding the photos that surfaced following his bye-week excursion to Texas, Jay Glazer of Fox Sports reported.
Manziel allegedly told the team the photos weren’t taken over the weekend but also recruited others to vouch for him.
The Cardinals placed outside linebacker LaMarr Woodley (Michigan) on season-ending injured reserve with a torn pectoral muscle and signed defensive tackle Red Bryant.
... Washington cornerback Chris Culliver injured his right knee in practice and will undergo an MRI.
... Bills coach Rex Ryan says it’s unlikely defensive end Mario Williams (foot) will play against the Chiefs on Sunday.
... With Matt Bryant slowed by a right quadriceps injury, the Falcons signed kicker Shayne Graham.
To make room, the Falcons waived former starting linebacker Joplo Bartu.