Buzz: Latest from NFL training camps

BY foxsports • August 31, 2010

All posted times are EST

August 31 News and Notes

Chargers add cornerback – 7:55 p.m.

The San Diego Chargers were seemingly set at cornerback, but that didn't stop them from claiming Fred Bennett off waivers from the Texans on Tuesday.

The former fourth-round pick out of the 2007 draft figures to compete for the fifth cornerback job with San Diego.

To make room for Bennett on their 75-man roster, the Chargers waived DE Ryon Bingham.

– Adam Caplan

Ravens acquire badly needed secondary help – 7:22 p.m.

The Baltimore Ravens, who have been looking to help their injured ravaged secondary, acquired CB Josh Wilson from the Seattle Seahawks in exchange for a 2011 conditional draft selection.

“Josh is someone who has started a lot of games for a young player, plus he has been a good special teams player both as a kick returner and in coverages,” executive vice president/general manager Ozzie Newsome said. “He adds depth to our secondary and will help us. Pending his physical, we expect Josh to be taking snaps against the Jets on opening night.”

Three of Baltimore’s top-three cornerbacks have suffered ACL injuries within the past 12 months, so adding depth at that position was imperative.

Wilson’s departure leaves Seattle a bit thin on depth at cornerback.

– Adam Caplan

Pats place starting DB on IR – 6:40 p.m.

In a surprise move, the New England Patriots placed starting CB Leigh Bodden (knee, shoulder) on injured reserve on Tuesday. It was believed that Bodden might be back in a few weeks, but the team decided end the veteran defensive back’s season.

In addition, the team also placed S Josh Barrett (shoulder), S Brett Lockett (chest), and DL Darryl Richard (foot) on IR. New England also waived undrafted free agent CB Terrence Johnson. A source said Johnson has a good chance of signing with New England’s practice squad.

With Bodden finished for the season, that leaves first-round pick CB Devin McCourty as his likely replacement. McCourty started for Bodden last week.

New England is now very young at cornerback. None of the remaining cornerbacks on their 75-man roster has more than three years of playing experience.

– Adam Caplan

Vikings' Rice will miss at least six games – 6:10 p.m.

Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Sidney Rice will be ineligible to play in the first six games of the regular season.

The team put Rice on the physically unable to perform list Tuesday. He had hip surgery last week and is expected to need at least two months of recovery.

The Vikings also waived wide receiver Marko Mitchell and offensive tackle Bill Noethlich and placed linebacker J Leman on injured reserve after he cleared waivers, the day NFL rosters were required to be reduced to 75 players.

– The Associated Press

Carolina releases once highly touted player – 6:03 p.m.

When the Tampa Bay Buccaneers waived WR Dexter Jackson last year, the move came to a surprise to many in the scouting community. Jackson had an outstanding NFL Combine workout and his game tape was believed to be very solid.

It was thought that he could make an impact on Tampa’s passing game as well as on kickoff returns. Unfortunately, the former second-round pick did not appear in a single game as a rookie.

Surprisingly, Jackson wasn’t even claimed off waivers after Tampa Bay waived him. After sitting out for over a month, Jackson was signed to the Carolina Panthers practice squad.

Jackson was let go by Carolina Tuesday, ending a disappointing stay with two NFC South inhabitants.

– Adam Caplan

Dolphins' OL Garner placed on injured reserve – 5:39 p.m.

Miami Dolphins offensive lineman Nate Garner has been placed on injured reserve with a left foot injury, meaning he'll miss the season.

Garner underwent surgery more than two weeks ago. He started eight games at guard last year and had been listed as a backup tackle during training camp.

Defensive end Phillip Merling was placed on the reserve non-football injury list Tuesday. He suffered an Achilles' tendon injury in July.

– The Associated Press

Niners hope to carry preseason momentum into opener – 5:27 p.m.

Frank Gore believes this season will be different, that his San Francisco 49ers are finally ready to take that step to the playoffs after all the missed chances in an 8-8 season a year ago.

The Niners are unbeaten in the preseason heading into their exhibition finale at home Thursday night against the San Diego Chargers. And while everybody knows these games don't count, San Francisco could use some momentum heading into its season opener at NFC West rival Seattle on Sept. 12.

Gore is eager to see the entire offense intact. Pro Bowl tight end Vernon Davis has yet to play because of a strained right knee, while second-year receiver Michael Crabtree is nursing a neck injury and also hasn't played.

– The Associated Press

Brooking's wife concerned over Cowboys' preseason performance – 5:32 p.m.

This preseason hasn't inspired confidence among the Cowboys faithful.

Linebacker Keith Brooking acknowledged the doom and gloom that swirls outside the team's lockerroom.

Are people overreacting to that 23-7 loss to Houston?

"Well, my wife is freaking out,'' Brooking said. "She's overreacting. I had to sit down and have a talk with her last night. So based on her, yeah.'' Full story

– FOX Sports Southwest

Roy Williams misses practice as Dez Bryant returns – 5:12 p.m.

Rookie Dez Bryant returned to practice Tuesday for the first time since late July.

Now, Roy Williams is the receiver on the sidelines. Full story

– Fox Sports Southwest

Eagles swap defensive linemen – 5:00 p.m.

The Philadelphia Eagles have claimed defensive end Pannel Egboh off waivers from Houston and placed rookie Ricky Sapp on injured reserve.

Egboh signed with San Francisco as a rookie free agent last year after playing four seasons at Stanford, but was cut by the Niners in September. He spent the final four weeks of last season on Houston's practice squad.

Sapp was a fifth-round pick this year and who's been bothered by a knee injury thus far.

– The Associated Press

Moreno finally returns to practice – 4:40 p.m.

Denver Broncos running back Knowshon Moreno is practicing for the first time since hurting his right hamstring on the first day of training camp August 1.

Moreno, who remains No. 1 on the team's depth chart, pronounced himself ''80-some percent'' healed from the injury. It's unlikely he'll play in the team's preseason finale at Minnesota on Thursday, however.

Coach Josh McDaniels said he isn't worried about Moreno being OK for the regular season without a training camp because he went through something similar last season as a rookie when he held out at the start of camp, then sprained a knee in his first preseason game.

Tuesday marked the first day Denver's top three tailbacks were on the field together.

– The Associated Press

Lions trade OT – 3:32 p.m.

The Detroit Lions, who claimed Tyler Polumbus off waivers last week, traded the offensive lineman to the Seattle Seahawks, a source confirmed. It’s not known what compensation the Seahawks had to give up for Polumbus, but it’s likely a late-round selection since he likely would have been released by the Lions. Seattle and the Houston Texans also put claims in for Polumbus last week, a source said.

With starting LT Russell Okung still dealing with an ankle injury, Polumbus could see a decent amount of time against the Oakland Raiders on Thursday.

– Adam Caplan

Panthers WR Wright lost for season; Davis on PUP – 2:41 p.m.

The Carolina Panthers have placed Wallace Wright on season-ending injured reserve with a shoulder injury that requires, surgery, a blow for Carolina's shaky receiver unit and special teams.

The Panthers on Tuesday also placed linebacker Thomas Davis on the reserve-physically unable to perform list, waived receivers Dexter Jackson and Oliver Young and placed defensive end Hilee Taylor on injured reserve with a knee injury to get to the NFL limit of 75 players.

Wright was signed in the offseason from the New York Jets mainly in hopes of boosting Carolina's struggling special teams. But Wright had spent some time working with the starters at receiver. He was injured in Saturday's win over Tennessee, further complicating the Panthers' efforts to find a No. 2 receiver.

– The Associated Press

Bucs cut veteran RB Ward — 2:30 p.m.

The Bucs have cut veteran running back Derrick Ward after just one disappointing season in Tampa Bay, according to several reports.

Ward, a big free-agent signing last year after rushing for 1,025 yards for the Super Bowl champion Giants, had just 419 yards for the Bucs.


Saints LB Vilma sees specialist for injured groin – 12:24 p.m.

Unlike the majority of the NFL, which will have 10 or 11 days before its regular season opener, the Saints and Minnesota Vikings will have only a regular week of preparation leading into the Sept. 9 matchup in the Superdome that kicks off the season.

That shortened time frame could have an impact on players returning from injuries, but the most significant issue from the Chargers game was a third-quarter groin injury to Pro Bowl linebacker Jonathan Vilma.Full Story

– Fox Sports Southwest

Jets waive QB O'Connell, Clemens appears safe – 12:09 p.m.

The New York Jets have waived backup quarterback Kevin O'Connell, likely clearing the way for Kellen Clemens to make the team.

O'Connell was acquired last September from Detroit in a trade. He was competing with Clemens for the No. 3 job behind starter Mark Sanchez and backup Mark Brunell. Clemens outplayed O'Connell in the preseason, and coach Rex Ryan said Monday that Clemens had a ''pretty strong chance'' of making the opening day roster.

The move Tuesday puts the Jets at 74 players - one below the limit teams need to reach by the end of the day.

O'Connell was a third-round draft pick by New England out of San Diego State in 2008. He was cut last offseason and claimed off waivers by Detroit.

– The Associated Press

WR Parrish finally finding niche in Bills offense – 11:29 a.m.

The hardest part of Roscoe Parrish's most frustrating season in the NFL last year involved the Bills receiver trying to explain to his eight-year-old son why he wasn't getting any playing time.

Benched for four games, sparingly used in others and even stripped of his regular role as a returner, Parrish recalled the difficulty he had in coming up with any firm answer to satisfy his biggest fan, Roscoe Parrish III.

''The only thing I could tell him was, well, I didn't know what to say,'' Parrish said after practice Monday. ''He's so competitive, and by him not seeing me playing, I knew it kind of hurt him.''

The invisible man in Buffalo no longer, Parrish is suddenly feeling revitalized by having secured the slot receiver's job in first-year coach Chan Gailey's newly introduced offensive scheme. It's a role Gailey pegged for Parrish since spring, and one that should allow the undersized, but speedy player to use his abilities to exploit mismatches against slower defenders.

The sixth-year NFL player proved that in a 35-20 win over Cincinnati on Saturday, when he scored on a 12-yard catch by getting free over the middle and outrunning linebacker Dhani Jones to the end zone. And it's been evident in Parrish's numbers through three preseason games, in which he's tied for the team lead with seven catches and second with 82 yards.

''Everything's been going pretty good, I must say. You've seen that I've been more involved than in recent years here,'' Parrish said. ''I'm just taking advantage of my opportunities right now.''

Though a threat in the return game, Parrish could never find his niche as a receiver. His best season came in 2007, when he had 35 catches for 352 yards and a touchdown with three starts in 16 games.

The low point was last season, when Parrish became an afterthought in Buffalo's passing attack following the addition of Terrell Owens. He was then benched for four straight games, a move which immediately followed a 6-3 loss to Cleveland, during which Parrish muffed a punt that set up the Browns' winning field goal. He finished with three catches for 34 yards in 12 games.

''Right now is right now,'' Parrish said, keeping his focus forward. ''We've got a different approach and I'm just looking forward to this season.''

For motivation, all Parrish needs to do is recall the conversations he had with his son.

''Every time I wake up and come on the field, all that lingers in my head,'' Parrish said. ''I have to be the best that I can be, and set a good example for him, my son.''

– The Associated Press

Frazier released, Steelers cut down to 75 players – 11:23 a.m.

Linebacker Andre Frazier, a member of the Steelers' last two Super Bowl-winning teams, has been waived from the injured reserve list as the team reached the 75-man roster limit.

Rookie offensive guard Chris Scott, who broke a foot in June, was placed on the physically unable to perform list. After six weeks, Scott will be able to practice for three weeks before the Steelers decide whether to add him to their roster.

Released were four players who weren't with the Steelers last season: guard Adrian Jones, cornerback David Pittman, linebacker Brandon Renkart and fullback Dwayne Wright.

– The Associated Press

August 30 News and Notes

Veteran Niners LB showing progress in return from injury – 9:33 p.m.

The San Francisco 49ers have been bringing along newcomer Travis LaBoy slowly this summer, but the sixth-year veteran's now accelerating the process.

After missing more than two weeks of training camp with a concussion earlier this month, LaBoy's returned to the field and made his mark at outside linebacker during San Francisco's past two preseason games. He recorded sacks in both games and leads the team in that statistic entering Thursday's exhibition finale against San Diego. And recording sacks is pretty much the reason the 49ers signed him to a one-year deal in April after missing the entire 2009 season with a foot injury.

''As long as I get to the quarterback, I guess everybody's happy, right?'' LaBoy said Monday as the 49ers returned to practice after an off day Sunday.

LaBoy collected a sack and three hits on Minnesota quarterbacks in his 49ers debut August 22 during a 15-10 victory over the Vikings, but his second-quarter sack that knocked Oakland quarterback Jason Campbell out of the game during Saturday's 28-24 victory over the Raiders was his most impressive play yet in a San Francisco uniform.

The 250-pound LaBoy used his power to engage and push back Oakland left tackle Mario Henderson, then used his speed to beat Henderson around the edge and blast Campbell from the blind side. Campbell was down on the turf for more than five minutes with a shoulder stinger before leaving the field on a cart.

The 49ers are looking for that kind of effort this year from the edge rushers in their 3-4 system. With 23.5 career sacks, LaBoy's showing the skills to fit nicely into that scheme as a situational pass rusher.

''That's what they expect from me,'' LaBoy said. ''It's still baby steps for me at this point. I'm just trying to improve from one day to the next and hopefully carry that over into the season.''

– The Associated Press

Roethlisberger’s meeting set for Friday – 8:53 p.m.

On Sunday,’s Jay Glazer first reported that Pittsburgh Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger would be meeting with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell after the team's final preseason game this Thursday to determine whether his suspension will be reduced from six games to four. According to Glazer, that meeting with Goodell will happen this Friday.

Roethlisberger was suspended for six games after being accused of, but not charged with, sexually assaulting a Georgia college student in March.

Glazer reports that Roethlisberger’s suspension will indeed be reduced to four games if Goodell believes the quarterback’s complied with all required counseling and his off-the-field behavior is on the right path.

– Adam Caplan

Lions rookie stud not apologizing for penalty – 7:45 p.m.

Ndamukong Suh is sending a message to opposing players with his words and his actions.

And his actions will speak louder than his words.

The Lions rookie defensive tackle intends to play within the rules but vows there will be no letup because of an incident involving Cleveland Browns quarterback Jake Delhomme in Saturday's exhibition game. Full Story

– FOX Sports Detroit

Raiders cut veteran tight end – 6:33 p.m.

The Oakland Raiders dropped four players on Monday in order to get down to Tuesday’s mandatory 75-man roster limit.

Veteran TE Tony Stewart was released, leaving the team still with four tight ends. The team also waived WR Paul Hubbard and FB Chase Moline.

– Adam Caplan

Dolphins drop tight end – 6:30 p.m.

The Miami Dolphins have waived/injured TE Joey Haynos. Haynos was originally signed by Miami on Sept. 24, 2008, off the Green Bay Packers practice squad.

With Haynos gone, Miami is down to three tight ends on the roster.

– Adam Caplan

Texans finally get star TE back – 6:12 p.m.

Houston Texans starting TE Owen Daniels finally has been cleared to practice. On Monday, he passed the team physical and was removed from the Active/PUP list.

Daniels suffered a torn ACL in his right knee last November and hasn’t practiced with the team since that time. If he can’t play in the first regular season game at home against division rival Indianapolis, veteran TE Joel Dreessen will fill in.

In addition to getting Daniels back, the team placed second-round pick RB Ben Tate (broken leg) and sixth-round pick KR Trindon Holliday (thumb) on injured reserve.

– Adam Caplan

Lions signing and waiving players – 6:06 p.m.

To help bolster their linebacker depth and special teams units, the Detroit Lions signed Rocky Boiman. The versatile linebacker's capable of playing all three linebacker positions.

Boiman, who was selected in the 2002 draft by the Titans, best fits in at strong-side linebacker.

The team also waived undrafted free-agent LB Lee Campbell, WR Eric Fowler, DE Chima Ihekwoaba and waive/injured TE Jake Nordin. Nordin will go on injured reserve if he clears waivers. A source said Nordin suffered a torn labrum in his shoulder which will require surgery.

– Adam Caplan

Broncos release former Raiders RB – 5:44 p.m.

With RBs Correll Buckhalter and Knowshon Moreno on the mend from their injuries, the Denver Broncos decided to part ways with veteran Justin Fargas on Monday. With Fargas gone, Denver’s now down to four running backs on their roster.

Fargas, 30, should be able to find a job relatively soon considering the lack of available running backs left in free agency.

In addition, the Broncos waived injured CB Tony Carter.

– Adam Caplan

Bears drop one of their many quarterbacks – 5:19 p.m.

The Bears had five quarterbacks on their roster, but dropped one Monday. Matt Gutierrez was one of three players Chicago waived on the day. The other two players let go – DE Maurice Evans and WR Zeke Markshausen – were long shots to make the 53-man roster.

The team also announced that rookie RB Harvey Unga, who’s on Injured Reserve, no longer counts toward the active roster bringing the total number of active players on the roster to 76. All teams must be down to 75 by 4:00 p.m. ET on Tuesday.

– Adam Caplan

Redskins and Rams make two separate deals – 5:12 p.m.

The Washington Redskins made a pair of trades with the St. Louis Rams on Monday.

First, the Redskins traded sixth-round pick FB/TE Dennis Morris to St. Louis in exchange for a conditional undisclosed draft pick. Morris would’ve had a hard time making Washington’s 53-man roster since he was one of four fullbacks on their roster. He’ll now compete for the No. 2 fullback role for the Rams.

They also traded a conditional undisclosed draft selection to St. Louis for DE Hall Davis, who was selected by the Rams in the fifth round of this year’s draft.

With the Redskins, Davis will be moved to outside linebacker into their 3-4 defensive scheme, a position where some personnel evaluators thought he’d be best playing on the NFL level. In three preseason games with the Rams, he registered three tackles and two sacks.

– Adam Caplan

Bengals cut veteran LB – 3:32 p.m.

The Cincinnati Bengals were hoping to have veteran SLB Rashad Jeanty for depth purposes this season, but he was waived/failed physical by the team on Monday.

Jeanty, who had surgery for a broken fibula earlier this year, was on the Active/PUP list to begin training camp.

A source said the Philadelphia Eagles showed interest in him before he re-signed with the Bengals.

The Bengals also moved second-year S Tom Nelson (knee) to the Reserve/PUP list. He will miss the first six weeks of the regular season. He’ll be eligible to return during Week 7.

The Bengals are now down to the mandated 75 player limit. By Saturday at 6 p.m. ET, all teams must be down to 53 players.

– Adam Caplan

Philly's failed fullback experiment ends – 3:17 p.m.

It wasn’t a good sign for Philadelphia Eagles rookie RB Charles Scott when he was moved to fullback not long after he was selected in the sixth round this April.

Scott never established himself well enough at fullback, so it should come to no surprise that he was traded. Philadelphia also tried that trick wit former third-round pick RB Tony Hunt, but Hunt never seemed comfortable with the position switch, and he was waived early during his second season in 2007.

Scott, who has good size and solid downhill running instincts, was traded to the Arizona Cardinals in exchange for rookie CB Jorrick Calvin. Scott likely would have not made Philadelphia’s 53-man roster, so they got something back of value.

Scott will fit in well at running back with Arizona, who is more committed to running the football than Philadelphia. It’s possible that Scott also sees time as a fullback with Arizona since the team lost FB Nehemiah Broughton to a knee injury.

With Philadelphia, Calvin will compete for the fifth cornerback job.

– Adam Caplan

Browns expect review after hit on QB – 3:03 p.m.

The Browns expect the NFL to review the play in which Detroit Lions rookie Ndamukong Suh grabbed quarterback Jake Delhomme's facemask and violently flung him to the ground.

In the second quarter of Saturday's exhibition game, Suh grabbed Delhomme by the face mask, twisted it, threw both arms around the QB's head and spun him to the ground. Suh was assessed a 15-yard penalty for the infraction, which seemed severe enough to warrant an ejection.

Browns coach Eric Mangini said Monday that he will ask the league to investigate the play, but he assumed it would do so anyway.

Mangini does not believe there was any malice on the part of the No. 2 overall draft pick, and Delhomme said he would leave it up to the league to decide whether a suspension or fine is warranted.

– Associated Press

Cowboys coach not sweating preseason – 2:47 p.m.

Wade Phillips has watched the tape and wonders what all the fuss is about.

The Cowboys coach says his team isn't playing that badly this preseason. He says other teams are game-planning and he's not.

He also said he hasn't decided whether to use his starters in the final preseason game Thursday night against Miami.

He said rookie receiver Dez Bryant, linebacker Keith Brooking, defensive end Marcus Spears and safety Gerald Sensabaugh have been cleared to practice but may not play Thursday. They're expected to be ready for the opener Sept. 12 at Washington.

Right tackle Marc Colombo is expected to practice next week and could play against the Redskins.

– Associated Press

Giants' backup QB hurting – 1:47 p.m.

Backup quarterback Jim Sorgi probably will miss the New York Giants' preseason finale against the New England Patriots, and that might put his job in jeopardy.

The seventh-year quarterback's injured right shoulder has improved only slightly over the past two weeks and he has no idea when he will return to practice.

''I don't want to speculate on how long it's going to be,'' Sorgi said Monday. ''I'm trying to take it one day at a time, and I'm happy the team has been this patient with me. Hopefully, they can be a little bit more patient and wait until I get better.''

Sorgi tore a muscle in his shoulder two weeks ago in a preseason game against the Jets. The injury prevents his throwing, a major concern with the Giants needing to reach the 53-man roster limit by Saturday.

Sorgi was clearly frustrated Monday.

''I don't know if their patience is wearing thin, but I'm sure it is,'' Sorgi said. ''It's just a numbers game and getting to be that point. Like I said, it's a tough position for me to be in, and a tough position for them to be in. I don't really have much else to say.''

Sorgi was signed in the offseason to back up Eli Manning. He spent the previous six seasons in Indianapolis backing up Eli's brother, Peyton.

With Sorgi sidelined, second-year pro Rhett Bomar has been getting the snaps with the second team. He also played the entire second preseason game against the Pittsburgh Steelers with Manning sidelined because of a gash on the left side of his head.

Sorgi was examined by Giants doctors on Sunday. He said the injury, a torn anterior capsule in his throwing arm, had improved a little, but not enough.

''I have never had it so I don't know how it's supposed to feel or how quickly it's supposed to get better,'' he said. ''I know it's different in a quarterback, a thrower, than it is in other positions. We're trying to keep that in mind and it's just the timing of when it happened and the timing of when it's supposed to get better by. It's bad timing for both sides.''

Chad Pennington missed last season with the Miami Dolphins with a similar injury.

Sorgi refused to speculate about next week.

''There is no following week,'' he said. ''It all depends on what the team wants to do, and I don't really have much going on and much to say. It's out of my hands.''

– Associated Press

Panthers sign OL to reach roster limit – 11:14 a.m.

The Carolina Panthers have found an offensive lineman willing to join the team.

The Panthers signed Tim Duckworth on Monday, less than a week after he was waived by New Orleans. The 6-foot-4, 318-pound guard gives the Panthers a maximum 80 players a day before they must trim to 75.

Carolina has had a roster opening since offensive lineman Kirk Barton failed to report last week after he was claimed off waivers from Denver. The Panthers had already waived tackle Jason Capizzi to make room.

The Panthers were without several players at practice Monday, including receiver Wallace Wright (shoulder), running back Tyrell Sutton (shoulder) and cornerbacks Richard Marshall (knee) and Captain Munnerlyn (calf).

– Associated Press

August 29 News and Notes

Saints re-sign veteran DT – 7:33 p.m.

The New Orleans Saints have re-signed DT Kendrick Clancy to a one-year deal, his agent, Ron Del Duca, said via Twitter.

Clancy, 32, missed most of last season due to a knee injury, but Del Duca said he’s ready to go.

The Chiefs and Texans also showed interest in the veteran defensive lineman, who should be able to compete for the third defensive tackle job.

– Adam Caplan

Colledge gets nod over first-rounder Bulaga at LG for Packers — 6:37 p.m.

Daryn Colledge will begin the 2010 season in the same spot where he ended 2009: starting at left guard for the Packers. Green Bay coach Mike McCarthy made the announcement Sunday. The decision follows a 59-24 preseason victory over Indianapolis on Thursday night, when Colledge took all the snaps with the No. 1 offensive line while first-round pick Bryan Bulaga was sidelined by a hip injury.

''We haven't announced it (to the team) or anything, but I think it is accurate that Daryn Colledge will be the starting left guard in Philadelphia,'' McCarthy said during his daily sideline press briefing following Sunday's practice. ''I like the production of the first line. I thought Bryan was improving with his opportunities there, but when you are injured you are not part of the equation anymore. Daryn Colledge will be our left guard in Philadelphia.''

Bulaga took part only in the jog-through portion of Sunday's practice, leaving him out of the running to start after being inserted into the competition Aug. 9. Earlier in camp, Jason Spitz and Allen Barbre had challenged for Colledge's starting job and came up short, as well. T.J. Lang and rookie Marshall Newhouse never seriously were considered.

McCarthy's decision to go with Colledge was made easier because of Bulaga's injury, which had been bothering him for about a week before he dropped out of practice Aug. 23, but it was more of an endorsement of Colledge's play. He said head athletic trainer Pepper Burruss told him Bulaga, who missed the victory over Indianapolis, may practice on Monday.

''We'll see how he does,'' McCarthy said.

— The Associated Press

Jets LB Pace out with broken foot — 5:10 p.m.

Calvin Pace will be sidelined for at least the first game of the season - again.

The Jets' outside linebacker will have surgery Monday in North Carolina to repair his broken right foot, and will miss New York's season opener against Baltimore on Sept. 13.

''Hopefully, it'll be a somewhat speedy recovery,'' Pace said Sunday. ''I probably definitely will miss the first game, that's safe to say, but beyond that, I don't really have an idea.''

The Jets' top pass rusher had to sit out the first four games of last season after being suspended by the league for violating its policy on performance-enhancing substances. He still led New York's top-ranked defense with a career-high eight sacks. Full story ...

— The Associated Press

Chiefs jettison four free agents — 1:45 p.m.

The Kansas City Chiefs waived four players Sunday: OT/G Tyler Eastman, RB Kestahn Moore, TE Cody Slate and QB Bill Stull.

All four players were signed as undrafted free agents. Only Moore was signed last year.

Adam Caplan

Bengals release veteran WR — 1:40 p.m.

The Cincinnati Bengals parted ways with veteran WR Antonio Bryant on Sunday. The team announced his release along with waiving undrafted free-agent LS Mike Windt.

Bryant signed a four-year, $28 million deal with $6.7 million guaranteed. Bryant already received a $3.6 million signing bonus to go along with a $3.1 million roster bonus which was paid sometime in March, according to a source. His base salary is $1.55 million for this season. Had he made the opening-day 53-man roster, he would have earned at least $8.25 million guaranteed this season.

In addition to those two moves, the Bengals placed veteran S Gibril Wilson (knee) on injured reserve.

The Bengals must release two more players to get down to Tuesday’s mandatory roster limit of 75 players.

Adam Caplan

August 28 News and Notes

Philadelphia starts early, trims roster — 7:46 p.m.

While NFL teams don’t have to be down to 75 players until 4 p.m. ET on Tuesday, the Philadelphia Eagles decided to not to wait. On Saturday, the team waived five undrafted free agents.

OLs Greg Isdaner and Zipp Duncan, WR Jared Perry, LB Simoni Lawrence and S Ryan Hamilton were all let go. Isdander's the only non-rookie out of the group.

Teams must go from 75 players down to 53 next Saturday by 6 p.m. ET.

— Adam Caplan

Saints rookie RB makes big impression — 5:19 p.m.

New Orleans rookie running back Chris Ivory captured the NFL spotlight with a 76-yard touchdown catch in Friday night’s 36-21 victory over San Diego, but the undrafted Ivory wasn’t an unknown to other NFL teams.

Speaking on Sirius NFL Radio, Ivory told me and co-host Howard Balzer that Cincinnati had interest in selecting him in April out of Division II Tiffin (Ohio) University. When the Bengals passed in the seventh round and the draft ended, Ivory received free-agent feelers from Indianapolis, Miami and Green Bay. He decided to sign with the Saints because of opportunity and the team’s proximity to his hometown of Longview, Texas.

Ivory’s chances of making the Saints roster as a third-string back were enhanced by his performance against San Diego and the season-ending knee injury suffered by Lynell Hamilton. Ivory also had 11 carries for 45 yards against Chargers reserves.

— Alex Marvez

Eagles DE day to day — 4:38 p.m.

The injury Eagles starting DE Trent Cole suffered against the Chiefs on Friday turned out to be minor.

The team said the MRI on his right ankle showed no structural damage. The sixth-year pro's listed as day-to-day with a mild ankle sprain.

“Well, I'm good. Nothing serious. Now time to recover and get after Green Bay,” Cole said via his Twitter account.

— Adam Caplan

49ers NT signs one-year tender — 4:01 p.m.

As expected, 49ers nose tackle Aubrayo Franklin signed his one-year franchise tender at $7.003 million, the team announced Saturday.

Franklin won’t play against the Raiders on Saturday, but could see playing time in the preseason finale Thursday at home against the Chargers.

Second-year defensive tackle Ricky Jean-Francois has been filling in for Franklin with the first-team defense.

The 49ers didn't have to release anyone to make room for Franklin, a team spokesman said.

— Adam Caplan

40-year-old DT not ready to retire — 4:00 p.m.

Jeff Zgonina hopes he isn't done playing football quite yet.

The 40-year-old defensive tackle told he hopes to return for an 18th NFL season. Zgonina's a free agent after spending the past three seasons with the Texans. Full story

— Alex Marvez

Chiefs rookie out of hospital — 3:33 p.m.

Kansas City rookie linebacker Cameron Sheffield has been released from the hospital after hurting his neck while making a tackle in a preseason game against Philadelphia. Full story

- The Associated Press

August 27 News and Notes

Torn ACL to shelf Rams WR for 2010 — 6:08 p.m.

As suspected, MRI results taken on the right knee of St. Louis Rams starting WR Donnie Avery’s right knee showed that he suffered a torn ACL, head coach Steve Spagnuolo confirmed during his Friday press conference.

Avery will miss the entire 2010 season after suffering the injury during the second quarter of Thursday night’s game at the New England Patriots. As first reported Thursday evening, the team feared the injury was going to be season-ending.

With Avery gone, the team will turn to WRs Brandon Gibson and Keenan Burton to replace him. Fifth-year WR Laurent Robinson, who missed most of last season with a broken leg, will start on the opposite side. Fourth-round pick Mardy Gilyard also figures to get a chance at extended playing time with Avery out of the lineup.

In other team news, Spagnuolo said that first-round pick QB Sam Bradford will start the team’s fourth preseason game next week at home against the Baltimore Ravens. Veteran QB A.J. Feeley (thumb) will not be available for the game.

— Adam Caplan

MJD's knee giving him issues — 5:56 p.m.

Jacksonville Jaguars starting RB Maurice Jones-Drew is having an issue with one of his knees, sources said, but the issue is not considered serious. In fact,’s Jay Glazer reports Jones-Drew has a lateral meniscus problem, but that problem won’t keep him out of the season opener at home against the Broncos.

Jones-Drew played in last week’s game against the Miami Dolphins, but did not practice at all this week leading up to Saturday’s game against the Buccaneers.

However, his agent, Adisa Bakari, said Jones-Drew did not have surgery. Bakari also would not discuss whether the veteran back is dealing with any injury issues.

“Maurice did not have surgery,” Bakari told “I do not comment on the medical condition of my clients, but I can tell you not only did Maurice not have surgery, he hasn’t ever had surgery in his career."

Jones-Drew, who only has missed one game since being drafted in 2006, downplayed missing practice this week when discussing his situation with reporters this week.

"It's like Allen Iverson said, it's practice," Jones-Drew said via the Florida Times-Union. "In the preseason ... There's no worries."

Jones-Drew is not the only Jacksonville back dealing with an injury issue. Rookie Deji Karim had thumb surgery earlier this week, so the team signed free-agent Kolby Smith for depth.

Second-year RB Rashad Jennings, Smith and undrafted free-agent RB Chad Kackert are the only healthy backs on Jacksonville’s 80-man roster.

Sources also said had Jacksonville been playing a regular-season game this week, Jones-Drew would have been able to play.

— Adam Caplan

Lions lose DE for season — 3:47 p.m.

The Detroit Lions, who didn’t have good depth at defensive end to begin with, placed veteran end Jared DeVries on injured reserve. In addition the team waived injured safety David Roach.

DeVries, who missed all of last season because of a torn Achilles' tendon, had knee surgery recently. He re-signed with the Lions in April for one year in April. According to a source, DeVries didn’t receive a signing bonus, but he received a roster bonus of around $840,000. However, it’s not known if the roster bonus is a series of in-season bonuses per game or if it’s a bonus due on a specific date.

To replace DeVries and Roach on their 80-man roster, the Lions signed undrafted free-agent defensive tackle Jaron Baston and signed free-agent safety John Wendling.

— Adam Caplan

Colts get good news on Brackett — 3:02 p.m.

Indianapolis starting MLB Gary Brackett suffered an injury to his right hand during Thursday night’s game at Green Bay. A source confirmed X-rays taken were negative. Because of that, he should be available for the team’s first regular-season game against the Houston Texans.

Second-round pick LB Pat Angerer saw most of the playing time in Brackett’s place after he left the game. The rookie had 10 combined tackles.

Brackett re-signed with the Colts in March for six years for a total of $33 million with $12 million guaranteed.

— Adam Caplan

Robinson's role with Rams likely to grow — 9:56 a.m.

With the likelihood that St. Louis Rams WR Donnie Avery (knee) will miss the entire 2010 season, sixth-year WR Laurent Robinson’s role is likely to expand.

Robinson, who has already been penciled in as a starter, has made a successful comeback from the broken leg he suffered during the third game of the 2009 season. He’s known in scouting circles for having good size and solid hands.

Without Avery, it’s very possible that the physical receiver becomes the team’s top passing option.

Another player who could see an increase in pass targets is Danny Amendola, who won the role as the team’s slot receiver during training camp. The speedy third-year pro works very well in confined space and is hard to cover when he’s crossing over the middle.

Who will wind up replacing Avery in the starting lineup remains a bit fluid with Brandon Gibson and Keenan Burton as the main competitors for the role.

— Adam Caplan

Colts claim DB — 9:56 a.m.

The Indianapolis Colts waived/injured journeyman CB Marcus McCauley, a source confirmed. The journeyman defensive back missed practice time leading up to Thursday’s game against the Green Bay Packers.

It’s the latest tough break for McCauley, who has spent time with six teams in total since being selected in the third round of 2007 NFL Draft by the Minnesota Vikings.

To replace him on their 80-man roster, the Colts claimed CB Danny Gorrer from the New Orleans Saints, who waived him on Wednesday.

Gorrer was signed as an undrafted free agent by the Saints in 2009. He spent time on the New Orleans practice squad as well as the St. Louis Rams practice squad last season.

— Adam Caplan

Colts LB injures hand — 5:00 a.m.

Indianapolis Colts defensive captain Gary Brackett left with a right hand injury late in the first quarter of Thursday night's game with the Green Bay Packers.

Brackett's locker was cleared out after the game and coach Jim Caldwell said he had no updates on any of his team's injuries.

Brackett, the starting middle linebacker, was trying to tackle Ryan Grant on a short gain when it appeared teammate Philip Wheeler came crashing through and hit Brackett's hand with his helmet.

''I didn't see him on that play, I just made the play. I didn't see Gary at all,'' Wheeler said.

More than a half-dozen trainers and Colts personnel surrounded Brackett, who left for the locker room a few minutes later with a towel wrapped over his right hand and forearm.

The 30-year-old Brackett agreed to a $33 million, five-year deal in the offseason to stay with the Colts hours after he became an unrestricted free agent. — AP

August 26 News and Notes

Rams' top target injured against Patriots — 10:01 p.m.

St. Louis Rams wide receiver Donnie Avery has left the team's exhibition game against the New England Patriots with a right knee injury. While the exact injury isn’t known, the fear is that Avery will miss the entire 2010 season, a source told

Avery, who led St. Louis wide receivers with 47 catches last year, was hurt with 1:32 left in the first half Thursday night. He jumped for Sam Bradford's long pass down the right sideline, fell and clutched his right knee as the ball dropped incomplete.

Before Avery was carted off the field, Patriots wide receiver Wes Welker went over and extended his hand. Welker's playing again after having surgery for a torn ACL in his left knee in February.

Avery, a second-round draft pick out of Houston in 2008, had 53 receptions as a rookie and started 28 games in his first two seasons. He caught two passes for 48 yards Thursday before the injury.

Avery's currently in the third year of his four-year rookie deal. He’s listed with a base salary of $547,500.

— Adam Caplan

Colts' Brackett injures hand vs. Packers — 9:19 p.m.

Indianapolis Colts defensive captain Gary Brackett left with a right hand injury late in the first quarter of Thursday night's game with the Green Bay Packers.

Brackett, the starting middle linebacker, was trying to tackle Ryan Grant on a short gain when it appeared teammate Philip Wheeler came crashing through and hit Brackett's hand on his helmet.

More than a half-dozen trainers and Colts personnel surrounded Brackett, who left for the locker room a few minutes later with a towel wrapped over the right hand and forearm.

The team said he was questionable to return.

The 30-year-old Brackett signed a $33 million, five-year deal in the offseason to stay with the Colts hours after he officially became an unrestricted free agent.

— The Associated Press

Clarett will tryout for UFL this Sunday – 7:56 p.m.

Former Ohio State standout Maurice Clarett has gotten permission from an Ohio judge to leave the state in order to try out for the newly formed United Football League.

The Omaha Nighthawks and general manager Rick Mueller announced they'll hold the tryout this Sunday at their training facility in Omaha. That workout will be closed to the media.

Depending on how the former Buckeye running back performs will determine whether the team will offer him a contract for the upcoming season.

Clarett last played competitive football in 2002 when he led Ohio State to a national championship as a freshman.


Canty continues to deal with injuries, but will stick on roster – 7:35 p.m.

When the Giants signed DL Chris Canty to a six-year, $42 million deal in March of 2009, they envisioned him being able to give their pass rush help from the interior of the defensive line. Unfortunately, he dealt with hamstring, knee and calf injuries which caused him to miss eight games. He only posted a career-low 13 tackles and a half sack last season.

Things were looking up for Canty until the latest injury (groin) which he suffered during Tuesday’s practice. Because he had a very strong training camp, though, team observers said he’s still projected to start next to fifth-year DT Barry Cofield.

As for any possibility the team would consider releasing the veteran defensive lineman? Forget it, a source said. $3.75 million of his $4.5 million base salary is guaranteed, and as a vested veteran, his entire base salary becomes guaranteed if he’s on the opening day roster.

– Adam Caplan

Franklin expected to sign franchise tender – 6:18 p.m.

San Francisco 49ers starting NT Aubrayo Franklin is expected to sign his one-year, $7.003 million franchise tender this weekend, a source confirmed.

Because Franklin couldn’t reach a long-term agreement by July 15, he now has to wait until after the season’s over to sign an extension. Because of that, his options were extremely limited. The team couldn’t fine him because he’s unsigned, but he couldn’t sign with another team, either. He simply would have to play for the 49ers and no other team this season.

Obviously, it’s not a surprise that Franklin plans to report, since he’ll earn weekly checks of $411,941, an amount that’s too much to pass up.

The talented interior defensive lineman's absence gave second-year NT Ricky Jean-Francois an increased chance at playing time and he's delivered. Jean-Francois has shown to have a quick first step and has been better than expected against the run.

– Adam Caplan

Hasselbeck will get plenty of PT in this week's game — 5:51 p.m.

Coach Pete Carroll says he's preparing to have quarterback Matt Hasselbeck and fellow Seahawks starters play three quarters in Saturday's exhibition against Minnesota's formidable pass rush - despite injuries that have ransacked the left side of their offensive line.

Carroll said after Thursday's practice he won't curtail the 34-year-old Hasselbeck's playing time in the name of preservation.

Backup guard Mansfield Wrotto will start for the injured Russell Okung at left tackle and 2009 Eagles practice player Mike Gibson will be at guard for the banged-up Ben Hamilton.

Saturday's the final full rehearsal before the season begins September 12. Seattle will play their exhibition finale at Oakland five days later.

— The Associated Press

Cowboys excited about their two new starters — 5:40 p.m.

When the Dallas Cowboys opened training camp, coaches were pretty much settled on all 22 starters. Still, the decision-makers were keeping close watch on left tackle Doug Free and safety Alan Ball, the two newest members of the first team.

Free started seven games last season at right tackle, but this is different. Now he's protecting Tony Romo's blind side.

Ball started three games at safety last season, but also spent time at cornerback. Now he's their last line of defense.

With training camp ending Thursday, the Cowboys are glad they scrutinized the pair. It's made them feel even better about the promotions. Full Story

— The Associated Press

Anderson to start for Cards vs. Bears — 3:42 p.m.

When the Arizona Cardinals take on the Chicago Bears this Saturday, they’ll have a new quarterback opening up with the starters.

Head coach Ken Whisenhunt said Thursday that veteran Derek Anderson will start the game.

It has become evident that fifth-year QB Matt Leinart’s grip on the starting job is just about gone. If Anderson plays well, it wouldn’t be a surprise to anyone if he keeps the job heading into the regular season.

The fact that Leinart isn’t scheduled to come into the game until late in the first half in the most important of all the four preseason games is a clear sign that the coaching staff is just about ready to move on to the next guy.

Leinart is scheduled to make $2.485 million this season, but has no guaranteed money coming, a source said. He’s scheduled to make $7.36 million in 2011, the final year of his rookie deal.

Anderson signed a two-year deal worth $7.25 million in March. His deal includes $3.25 million guaranteed ($2.5 signing bonus/$650,000 base salary for 2010).

It’s interesting that the quarterback who has played the best out of the four on the roster is undrafted free agent rookie Max Hall.

— Adam Caplan

New OC makes big impact on Raiders – 2:53 p.m.

There's no missing new offensive coordinator Hue Jackson and his loud voice at Oakland Raiders practice.

Whether it's scolding his offense, trash-talking the defense or offering instructions, Jackson provides the soundtrack to the daily grind of training camp practices.

Whether that intensity and enthusiasm carries over to on-field success is one of the biggest questions for the Raiders this season.

Jackson spoke to the media on Thursday for the first time since being hired back in January. He says Oakland has some ''prime-time'' offensive players, he wants to create a ''bully'' of an offense, and that he plans to turn the Raiders back into the winning franchise they are supposed to be.

– The Associated Press

Bucs very thin at kicker – 2:31 p.m.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are now down to just one kicker on their 80-man roster after the team released undrafted free agent Hunter Lawrence on Thursday.

While it’s certainly possible the team signs another kicker, Connor Barth looks to have won.

In addition, the team waived undrafted free agent WR Chris Brooks. Tampa Bay is now down to nine receivers on the roster.

All teams must be down to 75 players by 4:00 PM ET this Tuesday (8/31). All rosters must be down to 53 players on Sept. 4.

– Adam Caplan

Barton won't report to Panthers after waiver claim – 1:34 p.m.

Offensive lineman Kirk Barton has decided not to report to the Carolina Panthers, a day after he was claimed off waivers.

Coach John Fox said Thursday he believes Barton has decided to retire.

The Panthers waived reserve tackle Jason Capizzi on Wednesday to make room for Barton, who was waived by Denver earlier this week. The 25-year-old Barton is a former seventh-round pick by Chicago out of Ohio State. He's bounced around the league with several teams and played in one NFL game the past two seasons.

Barton's decision left the Panthers a player short of the 80-man limit as they search for help with pass protection. Carolina has allowed 11 sacks in two exhibition games.

– The Associated Press

Eagles TE Ingram has cyst in knee drained – 12:50 p.m.

Philadelphia Eagles second-year tight end Cornelius Ingram has had a cyst in the back of his knee drained after undergoing an MRI for knee and calf pain.

Team officials say Ingram had the cyst drained Thursday after it was discovered a day earlier by an MRI on his surgically repaired left knee. Ingram has been hampered by discomfort in the knee and calf during training camp.

The Eagles selected Ingram in the fifth round of the 2009 draft. He had missed his entire senior season at Florida with a torn ACL, then sat out last year when he reinjured the knee.

Ingram will not travel with the team for Friday's preseason game against the Kansas City Chiefs.

– The Associated Press

Broncos out to replace Marshall by committee – 12:44 p.m.

Jabar Gaffney is making a strong case for being the No. 1 receiver for the first time in his career. And yet, it's a title he doesn't really want.

Gaffney figures a platoon of wide receivers will share the load of replacing Brandon Marshall and his three 100-catch seasons in Denver this season.

The Broncos traded the big Pro Bowler to Miami in the offseason and drafted two similarly sized receivers, although first-rounder Demaryius Thomas and third-rounder Eric Decker have been in and out of the training room this summer with foot ailments.

Thomas, who could be a go-to guy in the red zone, has practiced just once since Aug. 7.

That's left most of the workload to Brandon Lloyd, Eddie Royal, Matthew Willis and especially Gaffney.

– The Associated Press

RB Hardesty back with Browns – 12:13 p.m.

Cleveland Browns rookie running back Montario Hardesty is practicing for the first time since injuring his right knee during a pre-training camp workout.

Hardesty sustained a bone bruise to his knee during a 1-on-1 tackling drill before Cleveland's veterans reported to camp. Hardesty said he hurt his leg while making a cut.

Browns coach Eric Mangini said Hardesty, who has had a history of knee problems, will be limited in practice Thursday as the team prepares for Saturday's third exhibition game in Detroit. Mangini said Hardesty is questionable against the Lions ''with the arrow pointed down.''

The Browns traded three picks to Philadelphia to move up in April's draft and select him in the second round (No. 59 overall). He rushed for 1,345 yards last season at Tennessee.

– The Associated Press

Injuries create crisis for Texans' LBs – 12:08 p.m.

It's become a running joke at Houston Texans' training camp: Who will be the next linebacker to go down with an injury?

With the start of the regular season less than three weeks away, coach Gary Kubiak isn't doing much laughing.

The Texans need to find a replacement for Brian Cushing, who's suspended for the first four games for testing positive for a banned substance. The two players pegged as front-runners to take his spot - Xavier Adibi and Danny Clark - have been hurt during training camp, and Kubiak has given no timetable for their returns.

Adibi (groin) and Clark (knee) ran conditioning drills on Wednesday.

Rookie Darryl Sharpton, another possibility to fill in for Cushing, sprained his knee in Saturday's 38-20 loss to New Orleans and was limited in Wednesday's practice.

Kevin Bentley, who's played mostly special teams in two seasons in Houston, played Cushing's position in practice on Wednesday. He turned his ankle in the New Orleans game.

''We all joke about it now, 'cause we're all in the training room together,'' said All-Pro middle linebacker DeMeco Ryans, who's stayed healthy during camp.

Kubiak said another option - and one he'd rather avoid - is moving 2009 starter Zac Diles from the weak-side position to Cushing's spot, and moving Bentley or Sharpton into Diles' role.

Kubiak doesn't anticipate the Texans signing a free agent to fix the problem, at least for now. Houston plays Dallas on Saturday, and Kubiak plans to play his starters for three quarters.

''We're at a point right now where it's tough to bring somebody off the street and throw them in a game,'' he said. ''We've just got to work through the problem. It may be a thought when we go into next week, but the way we're approaching this game is basically with our starters. We've just got to push through and make it work.''

Sharpton seems to be up to the task. The 5-foot-11 Sharpton was Houston's fourth-round draft pick out of Miami, and he's impressed both teammates and coaches.

''He's in the mix right now,'' Kubiak said. ''He's made statements since he's been out here in camp.''

Sharpton started 30 games at Miami - 18 at middle linebacker, nine at strong side and three at weak side. With Ryans' mentoring, Sharpton has tried to learn how to play all three spots at the pro level.

''You never know what's going to happen, where they might need to plug you in,'' Sharpton said. ''When they do, when your number is called, there can't be any drop-off.''

Despite the alarming number of injuries, Ryans thinks the Texans have more depth in the linebacking group than they've had in his four seasons. Diles started 14 games last season and Bentley started the last seven games in 2008 after Diles broke his leg.

Ryans is confident that Adibi and Clark will return in time for the regular season opener. And after four games, Houston will welcome back Cushing, the 2009 Defensive Rookie of the Year.

''We've got our hands tied at the linebacking position, because we have so many guys that are down,'' Ryans said. ''But it's good that we have the experience we have. With guys going down, it doesn't bother me as much as it would have in the past.

''It's part of football,'' he said. ''The linebacker position is very tough and very demanding. We have tough guys, and they'll step in and they'll be ready to go when the time comes.''

Kubiak also said tight end Owen Daniels has been medically cleared to return to practice. Daniels has been out since tearing a right knee ligament in the eighth game of last season. Kubiak said Daniels should be ready for the Texans' regular-season opener against Indianapolis on Sept. 12.

– The Associated Pres

Cowboys create knee-brace rule – 11:37 a.m.

Stung by injuries to two starters, the Cowboys have ordered all offensive linemen to wear protective knee braces in practice.

The edict went into effect during Monday's double session. Knee braces were mandatory during the Bill Parcells era (2003-06) but became optional when Wade Phillips took over as coach. More ...

– Fox Sports Southwest

Cards OL a big question mark – 11:33 a.m.

No football unit is more difficult to analyze than the offensive line.

With so many moving parts, so many complex protections, so many interrelated assignments and so little attention focused on the group when all goes right, it’s easy to misconstrue the visual evidence.

How then to interpret these numbers? More ...

– Fox Sports Arizona

Ditching Ward won't cost Bucs – 11:22 a.m.

With the recent news that second-year pro Kareem Huggins is close to surpassing veteran Derrick Ward for the No. 2 running back job, Ward’s days as a Tampa Bay Buccaneer could be numbered.

When Ward signed a four-year, $17 million deal in March of 2009, the thought was he could take over as the starter, but that never happened. In fact, Carnell Williams easily beat him out for the starting job last summer.

Now, Ward is not only fighting for the No. 2 job, he’s fighting to stay on the roster another year.

Ward certainly won’t be kept on the roster for monetary purposes. A source points out that Ward received a $3 million signing bonus and a $1 million roster bonus for 2009. So, without a salary cap to deal with, and no more guaranteed money to deal with or bonus acceleration hanging over its head, Tampa Bay could easily release him without any issues.

And trading Ward would seem likely since he turns 30 on Monday.

– Adam Caplan

August 25 News and Notes

WR Hardy finally returns to Bills practice – 9:01 p.m.

Buffalo Bills receiver James Hardy has returned to practice after missing 15 days with an undisclosed injury.

Hardy was on the field Wednesday night taking part in all receivers drills during the portion of practice open to reporters as the Bills returned to their Orchard Park headquarters.

Coach Chan Gailey's expected to discuss whether Hardy will be available to play Saturday at home against Cincinnati in the team's third preseason game.

The 2008 second-round pick had been competing for the No. 2 receiver job opposite Lee Evans before he was hurt near the end of practice August 10. The injury was the latest setback for a player who missed all but the final two games last season while recovering from left knee surgery.

– The Associated Press

Gostkowski signs extension with Pats – 8:43 p.m.

The Boston Globe is reporting that the Patriots and kicker Stephen Gostkowski have reached an agreement on a four-year contract extension.

The Globe wrote on its website Wednesday that Gostkowski, a fourth-round draft pick out of Memphis in 2006, will earn $1.759 million this year before the extension kicks in during the 2011 season.

A restricted free agent this year, the 26-year-old Gostkowski was tendered at the second-round level.

He's missed just one extra point in his career, and his career 85.1 percent field-goal percentage is the best in team history.


2011 Pro Football Hall of Fame senior nominees announced – 8:16 p.m.

Linebackers Chris Hanburger, a nine-time Pro Bowler for the Washington Redskins, and Les Richter, who was voted to eight Pro Bowls during his nine-year career with the Los Angeles Rams, have been named by the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s Seniors Committee as finalists for election with the Class of 2011.

Hanburger and Ricther will join 15 still-to-be-named modern-era finalists from which the Hall of Fame Class will be selected. The selection meeting will be held February 5, the day before Super Bowl XLV at Cowboys Stadium. To be considered a senior nominee, a player must have completed his active football career by at least 25 years. And to be elected, the former linebackers each must receive the same 80 percent voting support that is required of all finalists. Full Story

– Nancy Gay

Lions claim another offensive lineman — 6:02 p.m.

The Detroit Lions are continuing to reshape the bottom of their 80-man roster. On Wednesday, the team claimed OT Tyler Polumbus, a source said. The Seahawks and Texans also put in claims for the offensive lineman.

Polumbus, 25, was signed by Denver as an undrafted free agent in 2008. He turned out to be a nice story for the team, starting eight games last season.

He joins the team at a time where roster decisions will have to be made soon. Teams have to get down to 75 players by Tuesday at 4:00 p.m. ET. Because it’s the third week of the preseason, the starters generally play at least three quarters, so Polumbus might not get a chance to play against Browns on Saturday.

The Lions also claimed OT Cliff Louis off waivers earlier this week.

— Adam Caplan

Seriously? QB Jason Campbell viewed as savior in Oakland — 4:49 p.m.

For five years in Washington, Jason Campbell was often perceived as one of the problems holding back a once-proud franchise from a return to prominence.

Following a draft-day trade from the Redskins to the Raiders, he was immediately viewed as the solution to seven years of woe in Oakland.

The cross-country flight didn't make Campbell's arm stronger, his passes more accurate or his decision-making better, but what coming to the Raiders to replace JaMarcus Russell did do is help revitalize him and provide a little bit of hope in Oakland.

''It's a new start,'' Campbell said. ''Oakland is trying to turn it around. They're trying to become a new team. They made a lot of changes, and they're trying to do things the right way and get it going in the right direction. We have to buy into it. When it happened on draft day, it was almost like you got drafted again.''

The trade also gave the Raiders another shot at finding a franchise quarterback after whiffing badly when they selected JaMarcus Russell first overall in 2007.

Russell was an overweight, unmotivated underperformer in his three seasons in Oakland. He won only seven of his 25 starts as the Raiders extended an NFL-worst streak to seven straight seasons with at least 11 losses.

Russell put together one of the worst seasons in recent memory for an NFL quarterback last year before being benched by coach Tom Cable. He completed just 48.8 percent of his passes, with three touchdowns, 11 interceptions and a 50.0 passer rating that was the lowest the NFL had seen in 11 years.

Campbell's coming off his best season, completing 64.5 percent of his passes with 20 touchdowns, 15 interceptions and a passer rating of 86.4, but the Redskins went 4-12 last season and new coach Mike Shanahan brought in Donovan McNabb to take over.

After playing in the AFC Championship Game at the end of the 2000 season, making the playoffs again in 2001 and going the Super Bowl in the 2002 campaign, the Raiders have endured the worst stretch in franchise history.

''We thought that the decade of the 2000s would be ours,'' owner Al Davis told Sirius XM Radio during training camp. ''But boy we slipped. We slumped. And now we come into the year 2010 and I really liken this team a great deal to the team of 1980 in which the great Jim Plunkett pulled us out of the doldrums, took us to the Super Bowl as a wild card and we had so many great players who eventually made their way into the Hall of Fame.''

— The Associated Press

Bengals think they can handle two diva WRs — 4:20 p.m.

They call themselves Batman and Robin. They tweet each other constantly. They compete for ratings on their cable reality shows.

So far, the pairing of receivers Terrell Owens and Chad Ochocinco has been a real crowd pleaser, drawing a lot of fans to training camp. Can it work when the season starts and one starts getting the ball more than the other?

Are two divas too much? The Bengals are about to find out. And their season could depend upon the answer.

Owner Mike Brown launched his own little reality show when he signed Owens to a one-year deal at the start of camp, bringing another big-play receiver - and another big ego - into a locker room that's been a career rehab center for players who create problems with their misdeed or their mouths.

Chris Henry. Cedric Benson. Larry Johnson. Adam ''Pacman'' Jones.

Now, cue up the T.O.-And-Ocho Show.

''Just having somebody like T.O. - y'all don't even understand what's going to happen this year,'' Ochocinco said. ''I think to myself: When's the last time you had two receivers on the same field of this caliber on the same team at the same time? This is going to be scary.''

As long as it's workable, the defending AFC North champions will be in good shape to try to defend their title.

They went 6-0 in the division last season, a franchise first, despite having one of the league's worst passing games. An up-and-coming defense kept things close, and coach Marvin Lewis' decision to go to a run-based offense got the Bengals to the playoffs for only the second time since 1990.

There, the shortcoming was unmasked.

The New York Jets beat them 37-0 in the final game of the regular season, then came to Cincinnati and beat them at their own game in the playoffs. The main difference: New York could throw the ball a little.

Owens watched that 24-14 Jets playoff win on television and saw the problem. He knew what the Bengals needed to fix it.

They needed him.

Last year, the Bengals finished 26th in passing, unable to get many deep completions because Ochocinco was the only deep threat. That's why the Bengals drafted pass-catching tight end Jermaine Gresham and signed receivers Antonio Bryant and Owens.

If the passing game picks up, they'll have a chance to do something never previously accomplished by a Bengals team. In its 42-year history, Cincinnati has never won back-to-back division titles. The Bengals have made the playoffs in consecutive seasons only once, in 1981-82.

''This is an exciting year and time,'' Palmer said. ''This organization has done a great job to bring back and improve on what we did last year. Now the ball's in our court as far as the players are concerned. I think we're better than we were last year across the board.''

If they can keep Palmer healthy and keep from getting on each other's nerves - don't forget the two-diva question - the Bengals might be able to break another lengthy streak of futility. Cincinnati hasn't won a playoff game since 1990, going 0-2 since.

''It's like a little dream team,'' Ochocinco said. ''With what we have on paper, if we don't win a Super Bowl this year, it's a shame.''

— The Associated Press

Chargers looking for TE help — 4:03 p.m.

While they already have four tight ends on their current 80-man roster, the San Diego Chargers are still looking to add depth to that position.

A source confirmed the Chargers put in a waiver claim for TE Kory Sperry, who was awarded to the Denver Broncos on Tuesday. No other teams other than Denver and San Diego put in a waiver claim for Sperry, who was waived by the Miami Dolphins on Monday.

— Adam Caplan

Miami releases offensive lineman – 3:37 p.m.

Just one week after signing G Randy Thomas, the Miami Dolphins have released the veteran offensive lineman. Head coach Tony Sparano announced the move during his Wednesday press briefing.

Thomas was signed with the hope that he could provide insurance should one of their starting guards suffer an injury. Unfortunately, he was the one who got injured during last week’s game against the Jaguars, prompting the move.

— The Associated Press

RB Mike Bell expects to make Eagles debut Friday — 3:33 p.m.

Running back Mike Bell expects to make his Eagles debut Friday after battling calf and hamstring problems for most of training camp.

Philadelphia signed Bell to a one-year, $1.7 million deal as a restricted free agent from the Super Bowl champion Saints, envisioning him as the perfect complement to LeSean McCoy. Bell rushed for 654 yards and scored five touchdowns last season.

Coach Andy Reid described him as a ''very powerful, strong, physical runner.''

''He's got good feet and vision, and catches the ball well, so those are the things that fit into this offense well, and in this day and age in the National Football League you need two or three of those guys, running backs,'' Reid said.

The Eagles won't get back tight end Cornelius Ingram for their third preseason game against the Kansas City Chiefs. Ingram spent his rookie season on injured reserve and is still battling knee problems.

He was scheduled to have an MRI Wednesday. Ingram is penciled in as the No. 2 tight end behind Brent Celek.

Rookie Clay Harbor has filled in as Celek's backup, but Reid still wants to see Ingram, maybe in the final preseason game next Thursday against the New York Jets.

— The Associated Press

McNabb uses 'sprain' to poke fun at Haynesworth — 3:21 p.m.

Donovan McNabb says he doesn't consider his sprained ankle a setback as he learns a new Washington Redskins offense.

McNabb said Wednesday he will mentally prepare for Friday's game against the New York Jets, even though Rex Grossman will be the starter.

McNabb said he thinks he has a chance to play next week against Arizona, but coach Mike Shanahan said McNabb's chances of playing in that game are ''slim.'' Shanahan says he usually doesn't play his starting quarterback in the final preseason game.

McNabb also poked some fun at Albert Haynesworth, who used air quotes when describing the ''headaches'' he was supposedly suffering last week. McNabb did the same Wednesday when describing his ''sprain.''

— The Associated Press

Injured 49ers C eager to get back — 2:55 p.m.

Eric Heitmann hobbled to and from the practice field for the first time since San Francisco's veteran center broke his left leg just more than two weeks ago.

While Heitmann hasn't been visible at training camp, the ninth-year pro is doing a lot behind the scenes these days to help prepare an offensive line featuring a pair of first-round rookies and David Baas filling in at his spot.

Heitmann, using crutches and wearing a walking boot over his lower left leg, isn't ready to guess exactly when he will return. Speaking formally Wednesday for the first time since the injury, the 30-year-old Heitmann insisted he's doing all he can to be back within the six-to-eight week window that he's expected to need to heal.

— The Associated Press

Browns LB Fujita wants to save Louisiana wetlands — 2:48 p.m.

Scott Fujita signed as a free agent with Cleveland in March. His heart stayed behind in New Orleans.

Fujita has remained loyal to Louisiana from his time with the Saints' Super Bowl championship team. He's involved in helping preserve the wetlands that were devastated five years ago by Hurricane Katrina and most recently by the BP oil spill.

Fujita donated $25,000 of his playoff winnings to two groups that specialize in coastal restoration.

The 31-year-old is keeping a home in New Orleans and wishes more NFL players would use their fame to raise awareness for social causes.

He's also been active in helping fight breast cancer and providing free health care for underprivileged children.

— The Associated Press

Panthers claim T Barton off waivers; waive Capizzi — 2:13 p.m.

The Carolina Panthers have swapped out backup offensive linemen by claiming Kirk Barton off waivers from Denver and waiving Jason Capizzi.

Barton was Chicago's seventh-round pick in 2008 and played one game for the Bears. He's also had brief stints with Miami, San Francisco and Cincinnati. The Broncos waived him on Monday.

Capizzi was signed by Carolina earlier this month after being waived by Cleveland in June.

The move Wednesday comes as the Panthers try to shore up protection problems. They've allowed 11 sacks in two preseason games.

— The Associated Press

All-Pro Ryan Clady returns to Broncos practice — 1:39 p.m.

All-Pro left tackle Ryan Clady is practicing with the Denver Broncos for the first time since blowing out his left knee in a pickup basketball game in April.

Although offensive line coach Clancy Barone said the Broncos won't risk putting him in a game until he's healthy, Clady said he figures it's a realistic goal to be ready in time for the season opener Sept. 12.

Clady has a lot of catching up to do on the football field, but he said he's taken advantage of his time away to increase his upper body strength, something that should help him protect quarterback Kyle Orton's blindside.

Quarterback Tim Tebow (ribs) returned to practice Wednesday for the first time in more than a week.

— The Associated Press

Saints sign new LB Asiodu — 1:34 p.m.

The New Orleans Saints have added second-year linebacker K.C. Asiodu to the roster, less than one day after the release of veteran reserve linebacker and former special teams captain Troy Evans.

Although the Saints didn't immediately announce the signing of Asiodu, he was listed on the club's official roster and was on the practice field Wednesday.

Asiodu, who is 6-foot-2, 242 pounds, began his pro career last year when he signed as an undrafted free agent with the St. Louis Rams. He was cut at the end of training camp, then spent stints during the 2009 regular season on the practice squads of both the Miami Dolphins and the Rams.

— The Associated Press

Vikings land new WR — 1:07 p.m.

The Minnesota Vikings have acquired WR Greg Camarillo from the Miami Dolphins in exchange for CB Benny Sapp, a source confirmed.

Camarillo was working behind second-year WR Brian Hartline for the No. 2 job. He’s known in scouting circles as a sure-handed possession receiver.

He has two years left on the two-year extension that he signed back in 2008. Camarillo is set to make $1.3 million in base salary for 2010.

With Minnesota, he could immediately compete for the temporary starting job while Sidney Rice (hip) recovers from his recent surgery.

With Camarillo gone in Miami, his absence could give second-year WR Patrick Turner a better chance to make the 53-man roster.

With Miami, Sapp will get a chance to compete for the No. 4 cornerback job as well as for a role on special teams.

Sapp had to play a lot last year for the Vikings (roughly 60 percent of the defensive snaps) because of the lingering foot injury of starter Antoine Winfield. Minnesota is deep at cornerback, so Sapp was no given to make their 53-man roster.

Sapp is signed through 2011 and is scheduled to earn $1.4 million in base salary this season. He already received a $500,000 roster bonus when he re-signed with the Vikings in March, a source confirmed. If he’s on Miami’s opening day roster, he’ll earn at least $1.9 million guaranteed this season.

The Miami Herald first reported that Camarillo was traded.

— Adam Caplan

Jags sign RB — 12:59 p.m.

With rookie RB Deji Karim (thumb) still sidelined the injury he suffered in last week’s preseason game, the Jacksonville Jaguars signed free-agent RB Kolby Smith.

Smith has played in 27 games with nine starts for the Kansas City Chiefs since entering the NFL as a fifth-round draft pick of the Chiefs in 2007. He was signed by the Denver Broncos on June 15 and waived on August 4.

In 2009, Smith was hampered by injuries and played in only four games. He began the season on the PUP list before seeing action in four games, finishing with 15 carries for 33 yards. He was placed on injured reserve on Dec. 9 with an ankle injury.

He had the most productive season of his career in 2007 as he rushed for 407 yards and two touchdowns on 112 carries. He set a Chiefs rookie record in his first career start with 150 yards and two touchdowns on 31 carries against Oakland on November 25.

Smith (5-11, 219) is known in scouting circles as a power runner, but he does not possess the speed of Karim, so his stay with Jacksonville could be short-lived once Karim is able to play.

— Adam Caplan

Rams have new owner — 12:29 p.m.

While the NFL is convening for meetings in Atlanta this week, the league announced Stan Kroenke has become the majority owner of the St. Louis Rams. The decision was made by a vote by the league’s owners at a meeting in Atlanta this morning. Kroenke will become the seventh majority owner in the team’s 73-year history.

“Stan has been a familiar and respected figure in the National Football League for more than 15 years,” said NFL commissioner Roger Goodell. “He is a proven businessman and has experienced success in all of his sports franchises, as well as serving as a responsible community leader. We look forward to him continuing to uphold the goals and values of the NFL as he becomes the majority owner of the St. Louis Rams.”

Prior to becoming the majority owner of the Rams, Kroenke was the minority owner of the team. He was vital in the effort to bring professional football back to St. Louis in 1995. With his real estate development expertise, Kroenke was instrumental in the building of Rams Park, now known as the Russell Training Center.

“We are delighted with today’s vote by NFL owners. It is one of the very high points of our long association with the NFL,” Kroenke said. “We look forward to working with our fellow owners and commissioner Goodell as the transaction is finalized and in the years ahead.”

Kroenke, who currently is the owner of the Colorado Avalanche (NHL), Denver Nuggets (NBA), the Colorado Rapids (MLS) and the Colorado Mammoth (NLL), had to resolve the NFL’s cross ownership issue. The league did not disclose what, if anything, he had to be done to resolve that issue. He is also the largest shareholder of Arsenal FC of the English Premier League.

— Adam Caplan

Bills testing to see if wildcat can spark offense — 12:22 p.m.

With rookie running back C.J. Spiller's dynamic potential and first-year coach Chan Gailey's reputation as an offensive innovator, it was only a matter of time before the Buffalo Bills tried out the wildcat.

With a little secrecy, the Bills unveiled their version of the option-style formation in practice this week.

''It's an interesting proposition,'' Gailey said. ''We're not so polished in one area that we can just stay in that and beat people. We're going to have to consider everything.''

The Bills offense could use any type of spark it can find after finishing no better than 25th in the NFL in yards gained each of the past seven seasons.

Gailey was hired in January in part because of his extensive expertise on offense. As the Steelers' coordinator in the mid-'90s, Gailey was credited with developing ''The Slash'' offense to suit quarterback Kordell Stewart, a multitalented rusher, receiver and passer.

The Wildcat has its similarities. It's a single-wing formation with the snap going directly to a running back lined up in a shotgun position. The scheme, which gained acclaim when the Dolphins reintroduced it in 2008 to spark their turnaround, has the potential to create diversions by keeping defenses guessing.

Spiller, the Bills' first-round draft pick, has already shown this preseason that his mere presence in the backfield can draw attention. He'll be part of a three-man running back rotation rounded out by Fred Jackson and Marshawn Lynch.

''It's going to be fun,'' Jackson said. ''There's a lot of possibilities for us to do things.''

Jackson's already had success in the Wildcat, which the Bills used sparingly last year. Out of the formation, he threw a 27-yard touchdown pass to Lee Evans, a play that Jackson already mentioned to Gailey.

Gailey won't say how often he intends to run the wildcat this season. What's evident is the wildcat has its place in the playbook given the number of times the Bills ran it during several portions of practice Monday and Tuesday before closing training camp in suburban Rochester.

Though the practices were open to the public, Bills officials have attempted to keep the Wildcat under wraps.

Citing team policy, the Bills informed reporters they were not allowed to film or describe the formations and plays, or report which player lined up behind center. Such information, the Bills said, would be deemed ''harmful for competitive purposes'' by tipping off opponents.

The policy didn't stop quarterback Trent Edwards, on Tuesday, from divulging Spiller's role.

''It's just another weapon that we have that we can put C.J. in the backfield, direct snap to him and put a lot of pressure on defenses,'' Edwards said. ''It's another creative scheme that Chan has. And that's a credit to him.''

— The Associated Press

Revolving door on the Denver OL — 11:41 a.m.

The comings and goings for the Denver Broncos at the offensive tackle position, especially over the last couple days, has been intriguing stuff.

The coming(s) first: Left tackle Ryan Clady, the third-year veteran sidelined since April by a partially torn patella tendon suffered in a basketball game, is scheduled to come off the active physically unable to perform list on Wednesday, and to rejoin the Broncos at practice.

Just one day earlier, in a somewhat shocking move, the Broncos waived two-year veteran Tyler Polumbus, who started eight games at right tackle in 2009.

Getting Clady back on the field is an expected bonus and a gigantic boost, not just for the Denver blocking unit, but the entire offense. The former Boise State star might not play at all in the final two exhibitions -- and almost certainly won't -- but Clady should be ready now for the Sept. 12 season opener.

When he was injured, Pat Dye, the agent for Clady, insisted that his client should not be written off for the entire season, and he clearly was correct. Clady has been picked for the Pro Bowl in each of his first two seasons. And with the retirement of Walter Jones of Seattle earlier this spring, Clady might now rank as the best pass-protecting left tackle in the game.

Quarterback Kyle Orton should be able to sleep a little more securely if Clady is back in the lineup as anticipated.

The release of Polumbus, who originally signed with the Broncos as an undrafted college free agent in 2008, was at least mildly surprising. The former Colorado star appeared in 31 games, with eight starts, in two seasons. He filled in at right tackle last year when incumbent Ryan Harris was injured, and some observers felt that he might be a candidate to slide over to left tackle if Clady's rehabilitation kept him out beyond the start of the season.

— Sports Xchange

Pennington likely to stick — 10:38 a.m.

When the Miami Dolphins re-signed veteran QB Chad Pennington for one season earlier this year, some were a bit surprised because of his injury history. But Pennington has shown that his surgically repaired shoulder is sound.

But with the development of fourth-year QB Tyler Thigpen, can they really afford to keep the veteran signal caller around?

A source said Pennington’s entire 2010 $2.5 million base salary became guaranteed in June. Miami obviously will not release him since he’ll earn that money whether he’s on the roster or not this season. And if they wanted to trade him, his base salary will rise to just over $4 million. He also has playing time incentives that could earn him up to an additional $4 million. So, there’s virtually no way any other team will be interested in trading for him.

Even if Thigpen is ready to play, can the Dolphins justify listing Pennington as their No. 3 quarterback at any given time this season based on the money they already owe him?

— Adam Caplan

Vikings receiver targets Week 7 return — 10:20 a.m.

Minnesota Vikings WR Sidney Rice is targeting a return to the playing field in Week 7, a source with knowledge of his thinking said.

Rice, who had hip surgery earlier this week, is expected to miss at least eight weeks of work.

It’s interesting that Rice targeted Week 7 as his return. The Vikings are schedule to play their archrival, the Green Bay Packers, that Sunday evening on Oct. 24.

This season has become especially important for the fourth-year pro since he’s on the final year of his rookie deal. He’s scheduled to earn $550,000 in base salary.

— Adam Caplan

August 24 News and Notes

Raiders starting WR has surgery — 11:53 p.m.

Oakland Raiders starting wide receiver Chaz Schilens had arthroscopic knee surgery, head coach Tom Cable said during his Tuesday press briefing.

Schilens, who has been dealing with a sore left foot for several weeks, likely overcompensated for the injury, according to Cable, and that caused the issue with his knee. Cable did not give a time line, but is hoping that Schilens will be available for the start of the regular season against the Tennessee Titans. Schilens broke the left foot during last year’s training camp and missed eight games.

With Schilens out, second-year pro Louis Murphy, who some personnel evaluators believe is actually the most talented receiver on the team, will move up to the first-team offense.

— Adam Caplan

Saints release key special teams player 8:38 p.m.

The New Orleans Saints made a slew of roster moves on Tuesday.

They waived WRs Mark Bradley and Rod Harper, G Tim Duckworth and CB Danny Gorrer. But the one significant move came in the release of veteran LB Troy Evans.

“It’s always difficult when you have to make decisions such as releasing players that have contributed as much to the Saints as Troy has,” coach Sean Payton said. “Troy was our special teams captain the past two seasons and provided us with tremendous depth at the outside linebacker position the past three seasons.”

Evans participated in 347 snaps last season (fourth-highest on the team) but was more than a special teams captain to the team.

“Decisions like these are never easy to make,” executive vice president/general manager Mickey Loomis said. “Troy Evans was an instrumental part of the Saints’ Super Bowl XLIV championship in 2009, and we are truly thankful for his hard work and dedication. We know that the fans of our team will be grateful for Troy’s contributions and the way he contributed to our success both on and off the football field. ”

With Bradley and Harper gone, the Saints are down to eight receivers on their 80-man roster.

— Adam Caplan

Patriots place rookie DL on IR — 6:51 p.m.

As first reported by on Sunday evening, the New England Patriots Monday placed seventh-round pick DL Kade Weston on waivers with the designation as injured. On Tuesday, he cleared waivers and reverted to injured reserve.

The rookie was injured in last week’s preseason game against the Atlanta Falcons.

— Adam Caplan

Falcons rookie OL’s injury not as bad as feared — 6:51 p.m.

Player sources told that Atlanta Falcons third-round pick G Mike Johnson suffered an injury during a recent practice that could keep him out for a while. The good news is the injury turned out only to be a sprained knee, but the rookie could miss the final two preseason games. It’s not known which ligament was sprained, but minor MCL sprains (Grade 1) usually keep players out for only a short period of time.

Scouting sources felt Johnson could come in and push for a top backup job right away and then eventually start in Year 2. Johnson was known as one of the top run blocking interior offensive linemen available for this year’s draft.

— Adam Caplan

Giants experimenting with Keith Bulluck at OLB — 5:44 p.m.

Keith Bulluck may not play middle linebacker for the New York Giants after all.

Bulluck appeared to be penciled in there for the Giants' after signing with New York in late July as a free agent.

The theory was that the veteran coming off ACL surgery would have no problem moving from the outside linebacker spot where he played 10 seasons in Tennessee to middle with the Giants, where he would replace Antonio Pierce.

Roughly three weeks into training camp, the Giants are experimenting with Bulluck as an outside linebacker and leaving the middle to third-year pro Jonathan Goff.

— AP

Broncos make several roster moves — 5:31 p.m.

In addition to releasing veteran LB Akin Ayodele, the Denver Broncos claimed TE Kory Sperry off waivers from the Miami Dolphins, and waived OT Tyler Polumbus.

With starting LT Ryan Clady (knee/Active-PUP list) expected to begin practicing on Wednesday, Polumbus’ job could have been deemed expendable.

The decision to release Ayodele has to come as a surprise since he had been working with the first team defense in training camp. He also started the first two preseason games for the team and is more physical than his two backups, Wesley Woodyard and Joe Mays, who was acquired in a trade from the Philadelphia Eagles recently.

— Adam Caplan

Mangold now the highest paid center — 5:24 p.m.

New York Jets starting C Nick Mangold knew he was going to get a new contract on Monday, but he didn’t know how much guaranteed money he would receive in his new seven-year, $55 million deal. On Tuesday, the deal was finalized and Mangold signed the deal. A source confirmed that Mangold will receive $22.5 million guaranteed for injury. It’s not known if any of the deal includes a signing bonus or now each side arrived at the $22.5 million figure. Mangold was on the final year of his rookie deal with a base salary of $3.3 million for 2010.

St. Louis Rams C Jason Brown was the league’s highest paid player at his position with his five-year, $37.5 million deal which includes $20 million guaranteed. Another source pointed out some interesting notes on the deal Brown signed in March of 2009.

Brown’s first two years of his deal are fully guaranteed (skill and injury) at $9 million. The rest of the $11 million guaranteed comes in the form of a signing bonus. Since signing bonuses are fully guaranteed, Brown will receive $20 million fully guaranteed. Brown will also earn $24 million in the first three years of the deal. Mangold, according to, will receive $25 million over the first three years.

As an interesting aside, Brown’s final year can be voided if participates in the equal or greater number of offensive plays in any one of the previous regular seasons and during that season the team improves in sacks allowed, wins, or total offense. He also has to be on the 53-man roster for the last game of the 2012 season. So, in a sense, Brown could be a free agent again after just four seasons and at just 30 years old. It’s not known if any of the years are voidable in Mangold’s deal.

While Mangold will receive more guaranteed money, it’s interesting that his contract is not guaranteed for skill. Perhaps Mangold’s representatives had to have a compromise with the Jets to get more guaranteed money. But while he’s widely recognized as one of the top two players at his position, what if he does not play well this season, and it’s not because of injury? That’s certainly a position the Jets and Mangold never want to be in or have to deal with.

The Star Ledger first reported that Mangold finalized his deal.

— Adam Caplan

Reinstated DT to hold open workout — 4:57 p.m.

Defensive tackle Claude Wroten, reinstated by the league on Monday after a one-year suspension for a violation of the substance abuse policy, will conduct an audition for NFL scouts in Jacksonville on Sept. 2, and hopes to attract interest from several franchises at the workout.

"It's been a two-year process (getting Wroten back into the league), and we think he's in good shape, and ready to help some team," agent Richard Burnoski told The Sports Xchange on Tuesday. "I've been in contact with several teams in the past couple weeks, telling them that (Wroten) might be reinstated, and I've touched base with them again now that it's occurred. We think he'll get a second chance."

Burnoski said he has mailed interested teams a copy of the reinstatement letter he received from the league.

The workout will take place in Jacksonville, he said, because the Atlanta Falcons play the Jaguars there on Sept. 2, and several NFL scouts likely will be in the city anyway for the preseason finale. Wroten probably will conduct a "combine style" workout at a local training facility, although details are still pending.

"We're going to have (scouts) here anyway for the game . . . so why not save them the trouble, and save Claude the trouble of having to have (multiple) workouts?" said Burnoski. "Everybody will have the chance to see him at once."

A former LSU standout, Wroten has been working out at a facility in Louisiana, and Burnoski said his client recently performed 45 repetitions of the standard 225-pound bench press used at the combine. Burnoski cited another client, Denver defensive lineman Marcus Thomas, as an example of a young player who can turn his career around after some off-field indiscretions.

In published reports, Wroten said he is "serious again" about football, conceded he had some problems in the past and insisted he is contrite for those situations.

Wroten was once a first-round prospect in 2006, but was arrested in the summer of 2005 for possession of marijuana with intent to distribute. A district attorney declined to accept the case, but it definitely impacted Wroten's stock, along with reports he had tested positive for marijuana. Wroten, 26, slipped to the third round in '06, with the St. Louis Rams stopping his free-fall.

After signing a four-year, $2.415 million contract with the Rams, which included an $805,000 signing bonus, he played in 26 games, notching 24 tackles and 1.5 sacks. But Wroten was suspended for four games in 2007 for a violation of the substance abuse policy, and subsequently suspended for the entire '08 season for another substance abuse offense. He was released by the Rams in March, making him a free agent.

In 2009, Wroten appeared in eight games for the Florida Tuskers of the UFL, and he had 13 tackles and two sacks. Burnoski said that returning to the Tuskers for the '10 season is an option, but said that Wroten's preference is to return to the NFL.

— Len Pasquarelli, Sports Xchange

Lions claim sought-after G — 4:21 p.m.

The Detroit Lions claimed Cliff Louis off waivers from the New York Giants, but Detroit wasn’t the only team that was interested in the offensive tackle.

A source said the Cleveland Browns and Denver Broncos also put in a waiver claim for him. Louis originally signed by the Browns as an undrafted free agent in 2007.

Louis, despite the attention from those three teams, has never appeared in a regular season game.

Louis figures to challenge for a roster spot as Detroit’s fifth offensive tackle.

In other moves, the Lions waived undrafted free agent WR Contrevious Parks and moved backup G Roy Schuening from waived/injured to injured reserve after he cleared waivers.

— Adam Caplan

Steelers waiting for LB Timmons to become a star — 4:21 p.m.

Steelers coach Mike Tomlin is finding it difficult to be patient with Lawrence Timmons.

Tomlin calls the inside linebacker ''ridiculously talented,'' yet the former first-round draft pick has yet to have a breakout season. Timmons had seven sacks a season ago, but that ranked only third on the team.

Timmons' teammates on defense are convinced the former Florida State star has more speed, power and drive to the football than any player on the team except for safety Troy Polamalu. Still, any discussion about Timmons often begins with what he hasn't done - not making the Pro Bowl - than what he has accomplished during three NFL seasons.

— AP

Signing Walker makes more sense than most think; Mitchell could stick — 4:04 p.m.

When the Minnesota Vikings signed veteran WR Javon Walker on Tuesday, the move might have come to the surprise to some considering his lengthy injury history. But once you consider Minnesota’s current situation at receiver, it shouldn’t come to that much of a surprise.

With starter Sidney Rice (hip surgery) out likely for at least two months and second-year WR Percy Harvin’s situation with migraine headaches still an ongoing issue, the coaches will have to turn to veteran Greg Lewis as the most likely candidate to see a majority of the playing time in Rice’s place.

Lewis, 30, only posted eight receptions for the Vikings last season after being released by the New England Patriots. And Lewis is probably better suited to be the team’s fourth receiver than a starter at this point in his career. Behind Lewis are mostly undrafted free agents from this year’s draft and previous drafts—but with one exception, Marko Mitchell. The big receiver (6-4) was claimed off waivers from the Detroit Lions in June. Mitchell, who was selected in the seventh round in the 2009 NFL Draft by the Washington Redskins, had a pretty solid training camp for the Redskins last summer. He only had four catches for the Redskins in the regular season, but personnel sources said he’s worth developing. Without Rice, the team will lose his size (6-4), so Mitchell could get his shot over the final two preseason games to show he could handle an expanded role.

Walker, at one point in his career, was one of the most highly regarded receivers in the NFL, but he’s dealt with knee problems in recent seasons. At 31, his best days look to be in back of him, but if he’s healthy, he certainly can help the team coming off the bench. If he shows that he can still run well, he could have a bigger role as the season progresses.

— Adam Caplan

Texans' Holliday out for season with thumb injury — 3:55 p.m.

Houston Texans rookie kick returner Trindon Holliday is gone for the season.

Coach Gary Kubiak says Holliday will have surgery Wednesday on his broken left thumb. Holliday had been wearing a cast on the thumb in recent practices.

Holliday fumbled a punt and mishandled a kickoff return in the Texans' 38-20 loss to New Orleans on Saturday. Kubiak blamed Holliday's miscues on his injured thumb.

The 5-foot-5 Holliday was a sixth-round pick out of LSU. He is the reigning NCAA champion in the 100-meter dash and impressed scouts when he ran a 40-yard dash in 4.34 seconds at the combine.

Holliday is the second Texans' draft pick to sustain a season-ending injury during training camp. Running back Ben Tate, a second-round pick out of Auburn, broke his ankle in Houston's first preseason game.

— AP

Panthers QB Clausen told toe pain will linger — 3:41 p.m.

Carolina Panthers backup quarterback Jimmy Clausen returned to practice Tuesday after missing a day with a sore right big toe, an ailment the former Notre Dame star expects to linger throughout his rookie season.

Clausen underwent surgery in January to replace two torn tendons after being injured early last season against Michigan State. Clausen said Tuesday the toe ''feels good some days and sore other days'' and it's especially painful after games.

He played the entire second half in Saturday's 9-3 loss to the New York Jets, completing 9 of 22 passes for 72 yards and an interception. Clausen appeared to be limping slightly after sitting out Monday's practice.

''As of right now, the doctor says it'll probably be after the season until I feel 100 percent,'' Clausen said. ''I'm just going to have to play through some pain until the season is over. That's just the nature of football.''

Clausen, who was injured on Sept. 19 in Notre Dame's third game last season, said he got through his junior season by taking pain injections. He still played in all 13 games, throwing 28 touchdown passes and four interceptions. His passer efficiency rating of 161.42 was the third-best in the country.

''To be honest, I didn't know it was as serious as it was until I was getting ready for the (NFL scouting) combine,'' Clausen said. ''I just took shots in my toes and played through it.''

Once considered a top 10 pick, Clausen's draft stock soon plummeted with questions about his attitude and leadership. The Panthers took him with the 48th overall pick.

If Matt Moore doesn't get injured or struggle, Clausen may get to rest his toe for most of the season. Clausen has moved past Hunter Cantwell for the No. 2 job, but Moore appears to still have a lock on the starting job despite Carolina's offensive woes in the preseason.

Neither Moore nor Clausen has been able to lead the Panthers to a touchdown in two exhibition games.

''I think they've improved each week,'' coach John Fox said. ''I'm not as concerned about that as maybe some people on the outside.''

Clausen, who said his toe ''felt good'' in practice on Tuesday, has completed 17 of 37 passes for 152 yards and two interceptions playing against two of the NFL's top defenses in the Jets and Baltimore Ravens.

''Wish I could have some throws back, especially the last one, the interception,'' Clausen said of Saturday's game. ''It's real good, especially for a young guy like myself, to play against a defense like that. Seeing pressures each and every down, that's the best team to see pressure against. That's all they do, pretty much, them and Baltimore.''

Notes: S Sherrod Martin returned to practice after missing the Jets game with a groin injury. ... CB Richard Marshall (knee), DE Tyler Brayton (ankle), CB Captain Munnerlyn (calf), RT Jeff Otah (knee), LB Quinton Culberson (thigh), S Aaron Francisco (hamstring), DE Hilee Taylor (knee), DB C.J. Wilson (head) remained sidelined.

— AP

Broncos release veteran linebacker Ayodele — 3:24 p.m.

The Denver Broncos have juggled their linebacking lineup, releasing nine-year veteran Akin Ayodele and moving Mario Haggan back inside.

Replacing Haggan at outside linebacker opposite Robert Ayers is Jarvis Moss. Neither Ayers nor Moss registered a single sack last year, when Elvis Dumervil led the league with 17.

Haggan practiced all summer at the ''mike'' position but was moved outside after Dumervil tore a pectoral muscle early in training camp that will sideline him at least until December.

Ayodele has played in all 128 possible regular season games in his eight seasons in the NFL with Dallas, Miami and Jacksonville. He's one of only three linebackers to appear in all 16 regular season games every year since 2002.

— AP

Cowher: Roethlisberger finally showing maturity — 3:02 p.m.

Former Pittsburgh Steelers coach Bill Cowher says it was hard to get through to Ben Roethlisberger after his early success, but now ''you're going to see a different person.''

The quarterback was suspended six games after a Georgia college student accused him of sexual assault. Although he was not charged, commissioner Roger Goodell cited a ''pattern of behavior'' that set a bad example.

Under Cowher in 2006, Roethlisberger became the youngest quarterback to win a Super Bowl. Cowher told The Associated Press on Tuesday that with his early success, Roethlisberger's reaction to advice about his off-field actions was: ''But we're winning games. We're wining championships.''

Cowher's says his response was, ''Yeah, but there's more to it than that.''

The former coach says, ''I really think he understands that now.''

— AP

Key players returning to Broncos practice — 2:22 p.m.

For once, Denver Broncos coach Josh McDaniels has some good news on the medical front.

He said All-Pro left tackle Ryan Clady will practice Wednesday for the first time since blowing out his left knee in a pickup basketball game in the spring.

Correll Buckhalter practiced Tuesday for the first time since injuring his back on the first day of training camp and he was by co-captains Champ Bailey and D.J. Williams, top draft pick Demaryius Thomas and right guard Chris Kuper, all of whom missed the game against Detroit last weekend with injuries.

Tailback LenDale White (ankle) also will return to practice on Wednesday.

No word on when Tim Tebow (bruised ribs) or Knowshon Moreno (hamstring) will return to action.

— AP

Browns rookie RB Hardesty close to return — 1:07 p.m.

Browns rookie running back Montario Hardesty says he sustained a bone bruise in his right knee during a tackling drill before training camp.

Hardesty, expected to have a large role in Cleveland's offense this season, missed all of camp with the injury. Speaking for the first time since getting hurt, Hardesty said Tuesday that he hopes to return to practice later this week and intends to be ready for the Browns' season opener on Sept. 4 at Tampa Bay.

Hardesty had his right knee surgically repaired in 2005.

The Browns traded a third-round pick and two fifth-round selections to Philadelphia in April to move up and select Hardesty, who rushed for 2,391 yards at Tennessee.

— AP

Bills coach Gailey criticizes fans for heckling — 11:29 a.m.

Buffalo Bills coach Chan Gailey won't put up with fans criticizing his players during training camp, and he has let them know it.

Immediately after practice ended Tuesday morning, Gailey marched to a group of teenagers standing near the field, and told them off for heckling players. Gailey said if ''you dog one of us, you dog all of us.''

Gailey then told them that Bills players would not go to that section of the stands to sign autographs.

A couple of members of the group spent part of practice focusing much of their criticism on quarterback Trent Edwards, who's attempting to reclaim the starting job he lost last season.

The practice was Buffalo's final session of training camp in suburban Rochester.

— AP

First roster deadline cutdown looms — 11:29 a.m.

NFL teams must be down to 75 players by Tuesday’s (8/31) 4:00 PM ET deadline. It shouldn’t be very difficult for teams to trim their rosters from 80 to 75 players. You’re looking at teams releasing a seventh receiver, fifth or sixth running back, fourth quarterback, fifth tight end, sixth cornerback, or a bottom of the roster players.

But the real challenge will be when the teams have to go from 75 to 53 players, just four days later on (Saturday) 9/4. Teams will be able to set their eight-man practice squad the following day.

All NFL teams will play their last preseason game on 9/2, so they’ll have Friday to review the fourth week’s game.

— Adam Caplan

Bucs give rookie QB a second chance — 9:44 a.m.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have agreed to terms on a contract with QB Jevan Snead, a source said. The rookie signed with Tampa Bay as an undrafted free agent April 24 but was waived on Aug. 1.

With starting QB Josh Freeman (thumb) unable to practice for at least a few weeks, the team is down to just two healthy quarterbacks. So bringing back Snead makes sense.

Snead was highly regarded in scouting circles before to his final season at the University of Mississippi, but struggled with inconsistency in 2009. Prior to last season, there were some in scouting circles who thought Snead could go off the board as high as the second round.

— Adam Caplan

Bills sign another tight end — 9:20 a.m.

With the Buffalo Bills light on depth at tight end, the team signed undrafted free agent Andrew George.

George caught a career-best 30 passes for 408 yards and five touchdowns in 2009 at Brigham Young University.

The 6-foot-5, 251-pound tight end finished his Cougars career with 70 catches for 827 yards and 11 scores. George entered the NFL as an undrafted free agent with the Carolina Panthers in April before being released on June 18.

The Bills have suffered through injuries and other problems at the tight end position recently.

Joe Klopfenstein was placed on injured reserve, Michael Matthews was waived (injured), Derek Schouman (knee) is considered questionable for the first regular season game, and second-year pro Shawn Nelson has been suspended for the first four regular-season games for violating the NFL’s substance abuse policy.

— Adam Caplan

Walter likely to stick for at least two seasons — 8:46 a.m.

While Houston Texans fourth-year WR Jacoby Jones continues to push veteran WR Kevin Walter for playing time, don’t look for Walter to be moving on anytime soon.

Walter, who re-signed with the team for five years, will earn $8 million this season ($3 million in base salary, $5 million roster bonus). His 2011 base salary of $3 million is fully guaranteed, a source said. Because of that, it’s unlikely that the Texans will part with Walter next season even if Jones beats him out for a starting job.

— Adam Caplan

Falcons offensive lineman injured? — 8:46 a.m.

According to player sources, Atlanta Falcons G Mike Johnson, who the team is very high on, suffered an injury during Monday’s practice which could keep the rookie out for an extended period of time.

It’s not known what the injury is or how long he’ll be out, but some players felt he could be out a while. If Johnson winds up being out for several weeks, the rookie’s potential absence would leave them very thin on depth on the interior of their offensive line. As first reported by, the team traded G/OT Quinn Ojinnaka to the New England Patriots on Sunday.

Johnson, who was selected in the third round, is closing in on the third guard job.

— Adam Caplan

Vikings receiver Rice likely to have surgery — 8:23 a.m.

According to a report in the Star-Tribune, Minnesota Vikings WR Sidney Rice will likely have surgery on his hip. The surgery could keep Rice out until around midseason. Rice injured his hip during the NFC Championship game against the New Orleans Saints. He has yet to practice in training camp and remains on the active-PUP (physically unable to perform) list.

With Rice still out, veteran WR Greg Lewis replaced him in the lineup in last week’s game against the San Francisco 49ers. The team worked out free-agent WRs Brandon Jones and Javon Walker last week, but Jones signed with the Seattle Seahawks on Monday.

Walker, who turns 32 in October, has not played more than eight games in a season since 2006.

With Rice out, Minnesota clearly lacks size at the receiver position, so the team’s interest in Walker could increase.

The group of receivers still left in free agency includes Devard Darling, Kevin Curtis, Marty Booker, Torry Holt, and Walker.

— Adam Caplan

August 23 News and Notes

Jets, Mangold agree to terms on big-money deal — 8:11 p.m.

The New York Jets and starting C Nick Mangold have agreed to terms on seven-year, $55 million deal, the Newark Star-Ledger reports. The report didn’t state how much guaranteed money is in the deal.

Based on the numbers listed in this report, Mangold will become the NFL’s highest paid center on an average per year basis (APY). Full story ...

— Adam Caplan

Giants' Ross, Barden, Johnson out with injuries — 5:48 p.m.

New York Giants cornerback Aaron Ross probably is going to be sidelined this week with inflammation in his right foot. The team says Ross has been diagnosed with plantar fasciitis, an inflammation and swelling of tissue at the bottom of the foot.

Quarterback Eli Manning had the same problem last season, but didn't miss any games.

Ross, who backs up Corey Webster and Terrell Thomas, played in Saturday night's 24-17 loss to Pittsburgh. He also has been the team's primary punt returner. He had a 45-yard return against the Steelers that he nearly broke for a touchdown.

The Giants also said Monday that second-year receiver Ramses Barden and safety Michael Johnson are dealing with back problems.

— The Associated Press

Jets place DE Pitoitua on injured reserve — 5:41 p.m.

The New York Jets have placed backup defensive end Ropati Pitoitua on injured reserve, ending his season, with a torn left Achilles' tendon.

Pitoitua, in his third season with the Jets, was injured during the first half of New York's 9-3 preseason victory at Carolina on Saturday night. The former Washington State star was expected to fill in at various spots on the defensive line.

Nose tackle Kris Jenkins was caught by television cameras carrying the 6-foot-8, 310-pound Pitoitua over his shoulder after the injury and putting him on the cart on the sideline.

Pitoitua had six tackles in eight games last season after spending 2008 on the Jets' practice squad. The Jets made no immediate corresponding roster move.

— The Associated Press

Saints' reserve RB Hill out for the year — 5:26 p.m.

Saints running back P.J. Hill is lost for the season because of an arm injury, and New Orleans has signed free-agent running back DeShawn Wynn to take his place.

The Saints waived Hill on Monday with the expectation of placing him on injured reserve. He was injured Saturday night in the Saints' second game of the preseason.

Hill, in his second pro season, had been competing for snaps behind Pierre Thomas and Reggie Bush since another Saints running back, Lynell Hamilton, had a season-ending right knee injury on August 11 during a joint practice with New England.

Wynn's a fourth-year pro who spent his first three seasons in Green Bay. He played in only four games in 2009 before a knee injury ended his season.

— The Associated Press

QB Collins signs with Bears — 5:26 p.m.

The Chicago Bears have added a lot of experience at quarterback with one move

The Bears have signed 38-year-old Todd Collins, who's played for Washington, Kansas City and Buffalo. He's expected to battle the injured Caleb Hanie for the No. 2 spot behind starter Jay Cutler.

The Bears also signed quarterback Matt Gutierrez last week, but he lacks experience. Now the Bears have five quarterbacks in camp, including 2010 sixth-round draft pick Dan LeFevour and Hanie, who has a shoulder sprain and may not be available until the start of the regular season.

Collins not only adds NFL experience to the Bears roster, but also experience in their offensive system. He played in a similar offense during a 2001-05 stint with Kansas City.

— The Associated Press

Redskins FS Moore out 4-6 weeks after knee surgery — 5:19 p.m.

Washington Redskins free safety Kareem Moore had arthroscopic surgery Monday on his sprained right knee and is expected to be sidelined four to six weeks, ruling him out of the start of the regular season.

Moore was hurt in the Redskins' preseason loss to the Ravens on Saturday night. He went down without contact when Baltimore ran a fake punt.

Moore had been one of the pleasant surprises of training camp, moving into a starting role after two seasons as a backup. Reed Doughty will take his spot in Friday's game against the Jets, and Chris Horton will also compete for the starting job while Moore's out.

The Redskins also signed veteran safety Tyrone Carter, but he'll initially work as a strong safety behind LaRon Landry.

Donovan McNabb, who was limping badly in the locker room after Saturday's game, wore a protective wrap on his left ankle Monday and didn't practice. Coach Mike Shanahan said he wasn't sure when McNabb will resume practice or whether the quarterback will play against the Jets.

''We'll just get as much treatment as we can and get him as ready as quick as we can,'' Shanahan said.

Fullback Mike Sellers, who suffered what he called a minor sprain to his left knee against the Ravens, also didn't practice. With Sellers sidelined, the team signed veteran fullback Carey Davis.

Receiver Malcolm Kelly remained unable to practice because of a hamstring injury that has bothered him since the start of starting camp. Rookie left tackle Trent Williams, who bruised his elbow in Saturday's game, took part in the practice.

— The Associated Press

Jets’ LB Harris patiently waiting for new contract — 5:08 p.m.

His hair isn't Auburn-tinged, but one could probably excuse linebacker David Harris of the Jets if he felt a little bit like the team's red-headed stepchild.

Except he doesn't.

With team management doling out big-money contract extensions to offensive left tackle D'Brickashaw Ferguson and center Nick Mangold, and in discussions for another monster deal (cornerback Darrelle Revis) at some point, one has to wonder if there is enough money left over in Woody Johnson's coffers for Harris, who also has quietly requested an extension. There isn't, and, to his credit, Harris hasn't allowed it to bother him.

The left-out member of the Jets' so-called "Core Four," and a second-round pick in the 2007 draft, Harris has outplayed his original contract nearly as much as have Ferguson, Mangold and Revis. In three seasons, the former University of Michigan star has averaged 109.7 tackles, and the only time he didn't ring up more than 100 was in '08, when foot, groin and leg injuries limited him to 11 starts.

But he isn't going to get a new contract. Not this season. He knows it, agents Brian Mackler and Jim Ivler know it, Jets' general manager Mike Tannenbaum probably knows it, too.

And so Harris, who's scheduled to earn a base salary of $550,000 in the final year of his original rookie deal, and is believed to be the lowest-paid of the Jets' starters, will do what he always does - team with Bart Scott to provide New York with one of the best 3-4 inside linebacker duos in the league, post 100 tackles or more and keep his mouth shut.

"We've talked, and I've had a great relationship with (Tannenbaum) for 20 years ... but it's probably not going to happen (this season)," Mackler told The Sports Xchange on Monday afternoon.

One reason: The structure of the Ferguson and Mangold deals, which guarantees what seems to be a lot of money, but which doesn't include a big upfront payout. Much of the money in those complicated extensions is tied to future bonuses, and is not fully guaranteed for both skill and injury. One of the best "numbers guys" in the agent community, Mackler likely won't go for that type of structure.

The two Pro Bowl linemen, Mangold and Ferguson, will get the bulk of their money in future bonuses. So, eventually, will Harris cash in. But if there is a new collective bargaining agreement by next spring, Harris will likely get much of his money in a signing or option bonus. Until then, he'll just bite his tongue and play football.

— Len Pasquarelli, Sports Xchange

Seahawks sign veteran receiver – 5:05 p.m.

The Seattle Seahawks have signed free-agent WR Brandon Jones after the veteran wideout was released by the San Francisco 49ers last week. To make room for Jones on their 80-man roster, the team waived WR Mike Hass.

Jones (6-1, 212) spent last season in San Francisco following four seasons with the Tennessee Titans after being selected in the third-round (96th overall) of the 2005 NFL Draft. He’s played in 59 games with 27 starts, recording 113 receptions for 1,398 yards and nine touchdowns. He had a career-high 41 catches in 2008 and a career-high four touchdowns in 2006.

Jones received a three-year, $9 million contract from San Francisco last year, but never came close to producing good numbers. He’s known in scouting circles for his physical play and decent hands and should fit in nicely as a fourth receiver.

– Adam Caplan

Jaguars' revamped defense struggling in preseason — 4:42 p.m.

The Jacksonville Jaguars failed to pressure quarterbacks, get off the field on third down and prevent points last season. The defensive woes were the focus of the team's offseason, with coaches, players and front office personnel eager to get them fixed. But after two preseason games, the same problems persist.

The Jaguars have allowed opponents to score on four of their first possessions in both preseason games. Philadelphia scored a touchdown and three field goals in its first five drives against the Jaguars. Miami came away with three touchdowns and a field goal in its first five drives Saturday night.

''I don't feel the need to explain a whole lot about preseason effort and how we're putting things together,'' coach Jack Del Rio said Monday. ''I'm more interested in us going out and recognizing what we've got to do better and committing to the work necessary to get that done.''

The Jaguars have some excuses: lack of game-planning, several newcomers finding their way, a different defensive scheme and several key injuries.

Three starters - linebacker Daryl Smith, defensive end Aaron Kampman and defensive tackle Tyson Alualu - missed the opener. They returned last weekend, but linebacker Justin Durant and cornerback Rashean Mathis were out.

Jacksonville gets another shot Saturday night against Tampa Bay, which will be without starting quarterback Josh Freeman.

Kampman, the team's top offseason free agent acquisition, believes everything the Jaguars have done wrong can be corrected.

''Explosive plays are really what we've done,'' Kampman said. ''Some things are really easily correctable with our disciplined eyes, making sure that we're in our gap.''

Maybe, but the two preseason performances are a bad sign for a franchise that was hoping for a defensive turnaround after finishing with a league-low 14 sacks last season and giving up 380 points - the most since its inaugural season in 1995.

— The Associated Press

Young, inexperienced Panthers defense playing well — 4:38 p.m.

The Carolina Panthers can't move the ball and it seems nobody can cleanly field a punt.

Thank goodness for the defense.

No, really. The unit that lost five-time Pro Bowl defensive end Julius Peppers in free agency, saw both starting defensive tackles released, the strongside linebacker cut, the strong safety traded and the weakside linebacker blow out his knee has been the lone bright spot in two preseason games.

''Everyone has gone out there and played well and done their jobs,'' linebacker Jon Beason said Monday. ''The key is we're just playing fast and guys aren't making mistakes.''

Despite being handicapped by two interceptions, two fumbled punts and another special teams turnover that had the New York Jets starting four drives in Carolina territory Saturday night, the defense allowed only three field goals and 112 yards in the Jets' 9-3 win.

The Panthers gave up just 225 yards and had six sacks in a 17-12 loss to Baltimore a week earlier.

''You really don't know how good you are until you put yourself against an opponent in a game,'' said defensive end Everette Brown, who had two of Carolina's five sacks against New York. ''We know we have to prove ourselves. It's not going to be one of those things where teams lay down just because we show up.''

While the defense added team speed, it lost experience and added guys only die-hard fans would know. When asked if he was surprised at how quickly it's come together, the two-time Pro Bowl pick Beason quickly replied, ''Absolutely.''

''There's so many new faces, you don't have much chemistry,'' he added. ''But I think we're developing that.''

Beason's adjusting to a new position, too. He was shifted to weakside linebacker from the middle after Thomas Davis tore a knee ligament in a June workout. Beason, who said he hasn't missed an assignment there in two games, had two tackles against the Jets. The inexperienced Dan Connor, who replaced Beason in the middle, had a team-high six tackles, including one for a loss.

''Dan's doing great,'' Beason said. ''He's out there having fun and he's flying around making plays. He's leading, he's making calls. He's speaking more than he ever has, so I feel real comfortable about what's going on right now.''

The biggest surprise is the defensive line. When Peppers and his franchise-record 81 career sacks left for Chicago, the Panthers entered training camp with a roster of 13 defensive linemen with a combined 36.5 career sacks. But that youthful, speedy group has produced 11 sacks in two exhibition games. Tyler Brayton, the only returning starter, had two sacks against the Ravens before sitting out the Jets game with a sprained left ankle. Brown, who started in Brayton's place Saturday, rookie Greg Hardy, Nick Hayden and Eric Moore all have two sacks.

The depth left Beason wondering aloud Monday ''who's going to be here?'' after final cuts. There are still a number of defensive tackles rotating in with the first team.

''It's scary, man. Good teams, they're deep at the D-line position,'' Beason said. ''Guys rotate, just like running backs and receivers. Get a hot dog, chips and stuff. But I think if we can have a rotation where guys can stay fresh it's going to show. And I think it has so far.''

The secondary, with veteran cornerbacks Chris Gamble and Richard Marshall returning, is the most stable spot. Sherrod Martin replaced the traded Chris Harris, but rookie Jordan Pugh played well Saturday when Martin was sidelined with a groin injury. Four Jets quarterbacks combined for 46 yards passing.

''We've got a lot of new people there and I think they've seen some success,'' coach John Fox said. ''Hopefully, we can continue that and stay healthy.''

So, while the Panthers' offense is still seeking its first touchdown of the preseason and special teams gaffes keeping the coaches busy, the mostly anonymous young guys on defense are carrying the team.

Notes: WR Steve Smith practiced in full pads Monday for the first time in his recovery from a broken left hand. It remains uncertain if he'll play in a preseason game. ''I can't make a prediction based on the first day,'' Smith said ''I'm gassed today so I just have to try to get out and hopefully feel better tomorrow.'' ... QB Jimmy Clausen sat out with a sore toe. LT Jordan Gross (ankle) also didn't work. ... Former NC State coach and Florida State assistant Chuck Amato attended practice, looking thinner but healthy following cancer treatments.

— The Associated Press

Jets, C Nick Mangold close on contract extension — 4:22 p.m.

The New York Jets and All-Pro center Nick Mangold are close on a contract extension that would make him one of the highest-paid players at his position.

Mangold is scheduled to earn $3.3 million in the final year of his five-year rookie deal. He wouldn't speak directly about his contract situation Monday, but coach Rex Ryan said the sides are close and he's happy to soon be able to ''lock up the best center in football.''

The deal's likely to approach the one signed last year by St. Louis center Jason Brown, whose five-year contract was worth $37.5 million, including $20 million guaranteed.

Meanwhile, All-Pro cornerback Darrelle Revis remains a holdout, locked in a contract dispute with the team.

— The Associated Press

Bills sign TE Foschi; waive DB Destin — 4:11 p.m.

The Buffalo Bills have begun adding to their banged-up tight end corps by signing free agent J.P. Foschi (FAH-shee).

Listed at 6-foot-4 and 265 pounds, Foschi has four years NFL experience. He spent last season with Cincinnati, where he set career highs with 27 catches for 260 yards and two touchdowns in 15 games, including 10 starts. Foschi's also played for Kansas City and Oakland.

Bills coach Chan Gailey coached him at Georgia Tech.

The move was made Monday, a day after Michael Matthews hurt his left foot in practice. That injury left Jonathan Stupar as the Bills' only healthy tight end heading into their preseason game against Cincinnati on Saturday. The Bills also waived defensive back John Destin.

— The Associated Press

Packers need more from backup CBs — 4:08 p.m.

The idea that the Green Bay Packers' defense isn't itself without cornerbacks Charles Woodson and Al Harris isn't exactly a startling revelation. Still, Saturday night's preseason game in Seattle was tough to watch at times.

The Packers won the game 27-24, but the first-team defense was missing several key players and it showed. Woodson didn't play because of nagging injuries, and Harris is recovering from last year's season-ending knee surgery.

Even with Woodson and Harris, the Packers will need more from their backup cornerbacks.

— The Associated Press

Raiders WR Chaz Schilens may need scope on knee — 4:03 p.m.

Raiders wide receiver Chaz Schilens went to a knee specialist Monday to determine whether he would need arthroscopic surgery. The injured knee is just the latest setback for Schilens, who missed significant time last season with a broken left foot that still hindered him early in training camp.

''I'm very concerned,'' coach Tom Cable said. ''It's been a tough road for him. We get through the foot thing now and something else has kind of reared up on us. We'll take care of it and get him back as soon as we can.''

Cable said the knee injury was likely a result of overcompensating for the foot injury. The Raiders hope Schilens will be back by the opener Sept. 12 at Tennessee if he does need the surgery. Schilens missed the first eight games last season after breaking his foot early in training camp and was never completely healthy after his return. He had 29 catches for 365 yards and two touchdowns, but needed another operation after the season to help the foot fully heal.

The Raiders treated him cautiously early in camp this year, keeping him out of two-a-day practices and giving the foot plenty of time off because he is being counted on as a big part of Oakland's passing game.

Schilens was a seventh-round pick out of San Diego State in 2008. He has 44 catches for 591 yards and four touchdowns in his two NFL seasons. While those numbers are nothing spectacular, only one receiver on Oakland's roster has even more production. Johnnie Lee Higgins has 47 catches for 676 yards and four scores in three seasons, but is not a sure bet to make the roster this year.

Notes: C Samson Satele underwent X-rays on his sprained ankle Monday. Satele left Saturday's game against the Bears with the injury and Cable does not know the extent of it. ... Cable expects most of his other injured players to return to practice Tuesday, including RB Darren McFadden (hamstring), DL Richard Seymour (triceps) and Heyward-Bey (fatigue). ... The Raiders have three more practices in Napa before returning to their year-round facility in Alameda prior to Saturday's game against San Francisco.

— The Associated Press

White's roster spot with Dolphins in doubt — 3:53 p.m.

Miami Dolphins coach Tony Sparano says he doesn't expect Pat White to play in the team's exhibition Friday against Atlanta, an indication the second-year quarterback's roster spot is in jeopardy.

White took three snaps to run out the clock in the opening game and didn't play Saturday at Jacksonville. He's fourth on the depth chart behind Chad Henne, Chad Pennington and Tyler Thigpen, and Sparano has said he'll keep only three quarterbacks.

White, a second-round draft pick in 2009, struggled with his throwing accuracy during a disappointing rookie season.

— The Associated Press

Bills sign tight end – 3:32 p.m.

The Buffalo Bills, who've dealt with various issues at tight end recently, have signed free-agent J.P. Foschi, his agent, Ralph Cindrich, said via Twitter.

Buffalo will be without second-year TE Shawn Nelson (suspension) four games, veterans Michael Matthews (ankle) and Derek Schouman (knee/out 3-6 weeks) are injured and Joe Klopfenstein was placed on IR recently.

Cindrich added the Cowboys, Broncos and Patriots as teams that had also showed interest in Foschi.

— Adam Caplan

Colts release backup QB, add two free agents — 3:30 p.m.

The Indianapolis Colts have released backup quarterback Tim Hiller and added two free agents to the roster.

Running back Allen Patrick and defensive back Glenn Sharpe both practiced with the Colts on Monday, three days before the team visits Green Bay for its third preseason game.

Patrick was Baltimore's seventh-round draft pick in 2008. The former Oklahoma player's also spent time with Cleveland, Jacksonville and the New York Giants.

Sharpe signed with Atlanta as an undrafted rookie in 2008 before joining New Orleans. The Colts have already lost five defensive backs to season-ending injuries this preseason.

Hiller's an undrafted rookie from Western Michigan.

– The Associated Press

Saints sign RB — 2:21 p.m.

The New Orleans Saints have added yet another running back to their 80-man roster. The team signed free-agent DeShawn Wynn, his agent, David Canter, said via Twitter.

Wynn, who was selected by the Green Bay Packers in the seventh round of the 2007 NFL Draft, will get a chance to compete for a roster spot against RBs Chris Ivory, P.J. Hill and Ladell Betts. The coaches are still looking to settle on a No. 3 back before the regular season starts.

Wynn is known in scouting circles for his size (5-10, 230), so he could get in the mix for the short-yardage role.

— Adam Caplan

Redskins sign veteran safety; release LB — 1:44 p.m.

The Washington Redskins made several roster moves on Monday.

As’s Alex Marvez first reported over the weekend, the Redskins signed FB Carey Davis. The team announced the move today.

Davis (5-10, 225), has played in 37 games, with 10 starts since entering the league as a college free agent with the Indianapolis Colts in 2004. Over his four NFL seasons, Davis has 31 carries for 118 yards and 17 receptions for 76 yards.

Before signing with the Steelers practice squad on November 2, 2006, Davis, 29, spent time on the practice squads of the Colts, Buccaneers and Dolphins. He also spent the 2005 offseason and training camp with the Falcons.

The team also signed veteran S Tyrone Carter.

Carter (5-9, 195) has played in 151 games, with 53 starts over his 10 NFL seasons. In his career, Carter has totaled 430 tackles (342 solo), 5.5 sacks, nine interceptions, 28 passes defensed, eight forced fumbles and three fumble recoveries.

Last season, with the Pittsburgh Steelers, Carter played in 16 games, with 12 starts and totaled 72 tackles, one sack, two interceptions, six passes defensed, one forced fumble and one fumble recovery.

After signing with the Steelers as a free agent on October 20, 2004, Carter spent six seasons in Pittsburgh and played in two Super Bowls.

Prior to joining the Steelers, Carter spent the spent the 2003 season with the New York Jets, where he posted a career high in tackles (95), interceptions (two) and starts (16). He was originally selected by Minnesota in the fourth round (118 overall) of the 2000 NFL Draft and spent three seasons with the Vikings (2000-02).

The Redskins also released veteran LB Chris Draft. The versatile linebacker signed with the team in May. Draft, 34, has spent time with seven teams over his 12-year career.

— Adam Caplan

RB Hillis pushes for starting spot — 12:31 p.m.

Peyton Hillis would not let a summer rainstorm, slick turf - or six St. Louis Rams - stop him.

Rain-soaked Browns fans roared as Hillis broke six tackles on a gutty nine-yard run to start the second quarter Saturday night. It sparked Cleveland to its first touchdown in a 19-17 preseason loss.

''We got fired up seeing that,'' center Alex Mack said Sunday. ''Anytime you see one of your guys running downhill, running over people, you just love it.''

Hillis, thwarted at the line, broke to his right, and carried defenders with him. He flexed his muscles and stomped his feet after his battering Ram run.

The fans loved it. Coach Eric Mangini did, too. It was the type of effort he had seen Hillis contribute to Denver Broncos drives the past two years before being dealt for quarterback Brady Quinn in March.

''It was good to see the things he can do as a runner,'' Mangini said. ''It was good to see things you remember him doing, which were reasons for the trade. He gives you a spark as a tough, physical guy.''

Offensive coordinator Brian Daboll and quarterback Jake Delhomme liked Hillis' bowling-ball routine so much they called his number four times on the next six plays: a one-yard plunge; pass plays of three and nine yards; and another bulldozing four-yard run to the right.

''He's the epitome of tough, rugged football,'' Delhomme said.

Hillis gained a team-leading 51 yards on 12 carries and credited teammates for creating his pile-pushing performance.

''I just try to do the best I can,'' said Hillis. ''A lot of guys helped out with great blocking by the offensive line and (fullback Lawrence) Vickers. We got some things going, but we still have a long way to go.''

The long way includes hanging on to the football. The Browns' five turnovers - equal to the total they had in their final five games of last season, upset Mangini.

''It's critical to protect the football in any kind of weather,'' Mangini said. ''We looked back and one team out of 40 has won (in recent years) with five turnovers. You might as well play the powerball (lottery) at that point.''

Mangini likely will give the 6-foot-1, 240-pound Hillis more opportunities to tote the football.

''He is tough with the ball in his hands,'' Mangini said. ''He is more elusive than you think for a guy his size. He did add some, a little bit of fuel to the group. What's frustrating is we shouldn't be in the position where we need to add fuel.''

Hillis' hard-hitting style can be especially valuable as a blocker for Jerome Harrison, who led Cleveland with 862 yards rushing and five touchdowns in 2009.

''I kind of like to think I can do everything decently well,'' Hillis said. ''It's just putting me in position to be a playmaker, blocking, special teams, no matter what it may be. Whenever I go out there, I'm going to do my best.''

— The Associated Press

Falcons trade OG Ojinnaka to Pats for draft pick — 12:11 p.m.

The Atlanta Falcons have traded guard Quinn Ojinnaka to the New England Patriots for an undisclosed draft pick.

Ojinnaka's suspended without pay for the season opener for violating the NFL's personal conduct policy.

He was arrested in May 2009 and charged with battery after his wife confronted him over his contact with a female friend on Facebook. He was accused of tossing his wife down stairs and throwing her out of the house.

Ojinnaka started five games at right guard in 2009. The Falcons bolstered their offensive line in the offseason by drafting guard Mike Johnson and center Joe Hawley.

— The Associated Press

Tough job market in Detroit — 11:55 a.m.

If you are a player fighting for a job on the Lions' roster, coach Jim Schwartz's comments about the team's improved talent level have an edge.

A cutting edge. More...

— Fox Sports Detroit

Ravens get CB healthy — 11:20 a.m.

The Baltimore Ravens have removed second-year CB Lardarius Webb (knee) off the Active/Physically Unable to Perform list. Webb will now be eligible to practice after passing his physical. Players on the PUP list cannot practice, but can rehab their injuries and can attend meetings.

Webb suffered a torn ACL late last season and is one of three Baltimore cornerbacks to suffer ACL injuries over the past nine months. Starter Domonique Foxworth suffered his ACL injury during a pre-practice walk-through on July 29 and was placed on injured reserve. Veteran CB Fabian Washington, who suffered his ACL injury this past November, played in his first game since the injury last week against the Washington Redskins.

The hope is that Webb will be ready for the first week of the regular season when the Ravens play the Jets on September 13.

— Adam Caplan

Mangold deal coming soon — 12:50 a.m.

Sources tell the New York Jets and starting C Nick Mangold are "making progress" on a long-term deal that's expected to be completed over the next few days.

Mangold signed a five-year deal as a rookie back in 2006 that'll expire after this season.

The interior offensive lineman is widely regarded in league circles as one of the top two or three players at his position in the NFL.

Once Mangold’s deal is completed, the team could turn its attention to extending the contract of starting ILB David Harris, whose contract is also set to expire after the 2010 season.

The Jets already extended the contract of starting OT D’Brickashaw Ferguson recently, but have reached a stalemate in contract talks with starting CB Darrelle Revis.

— Adam Schein

August 22 News and Notes

Patriots to place rookie defensive lineman on IR — 11:20 p.m.

The New England Patriots are expected to waive seventh-round pick DL Kade Weston, player sources said. If he passes through waivers unclaimed, the rookie will revert to New England’s injured reserve list, joining veteran DE Ty Warren.

Weston suffered an undisclosed injury during Thursday’s preseason game against the Atlanta Falcons. Because he was injured, the transaction should show as waived/injured when New England turns the move into the league office.

Weston was selected with the 248th selection overall in the draft.

— Adam Caplan

Seahawks sign 49ers bust Jones — 9:45 p.m.

The Seattle Seahawks have signed former San Francisco wide receiver Brandon Jones, a year after he signed a lucrative deal with the 49ers.

The team confirmed Jones' signing on Sunday and said there was no update on the right ankle of rookie left tackle Russell Okung. Okung was injured in Saturday night's preseason game against Green Bay. Replays appeared to show left guard Ben Hamilton getting tangled with Okung on Seattle's first play.

San Francisco was hoping Jones could develop into one of Alex Smith's favorite targets after missing much of the 2009 season with a broken bone in his shoulder. Jones played in eight games and finished with just one catch after the 49ers gave him a $16.6 million deal in free agency.

Jones was released by the 49ers last Wednesday.

The Associated Press

Bills put two rookies on IR — 9:44 p.m.

The Buffalo Bills have placed two rookie draft picks, receiver Marcus Easley and linebacker Danny Batten, on the season-ending injured reserve list.

In announcing the news after practice Sunday night, Coach Chan Gailey said both are expected to miss too much of the regular season to carry them on the active roster.

Easley, a fourth-round pick out of Connecticut, is recovering since having surgery to repair a left knee injury he sustained August 2. Batten, a sixth-round pick out of South Dakota State, has been out since hurting his right shoulder in practice August 1.

The Bills could also be down another tight end after Michael Matthews hurt his left ankle or foot in practice Sunday. Gailey had no immediate update on the player's status.

— The Associated Press

Pats acqqiring Falcons lineman — 9:43 p.m.

The Atlanta Falcons have agreed to trade G/T Quinn Ojinnaka to the New England Patriots for undisclosed compensation.

Ojinnaka, 26, was selected in the fifth round of the 2006 Draft. He appeared in 39 games during his four seasons with Atlanta and started 12. He was suspended by without pay for the first regular-season game for violating the NFL’s personal conduct policy.

— Adam Caplan

Rams sign free-agent WR — 8:01 p.m.

As first reported by, the St. Louis Rams signed undrafted free-agent WR Danario Alexander (6-5, 220, Missouri). The team announced the signing Sunday night.

The Rams waived 2009 fifth-round pick WR Brooks Foster to make room for Alexander on their 80-man roster.

— Adam Caplan

Bradford may start next Rams preseason game — 7:41 p.m.

Sam Bradford could take over as the St. Louis Rams' starting quarterback in the next preseason game, although the promotion would be by default.

A.J. Feeley injured his thumb and elbow in the first quarter when he hit a defensive player's helmet on the followthrough of a throw in a 19-17 victory at Cleveland on Saturday night, and was scheduled to undergo an MRI exam. The Rams have a short week, playing again Thursday night at New England. Full story ...

— The Associated Press

Rams expected to sign receiver Alexander — 7:04 p.m.

The St. Louis Rams are expected to sign former Missouri WR Danario Alexander (6-5, 218), a source told The athletic receiver worked out for the Rams on Sunday. He also visited with the team a few weeks ago. The Seattle Seahawks also had him in for a visit earlier this month.

As previously reported, Alexander had an amazing workout for NFL teams recently in Houston.

He posted a solid 4.46 40-yard dash time (on field turf). Any posted time of better than 4.5 for a player of his size is considered to be very good in scouting circles. Alexander also posted a 4.12 in the short shuttle. This drill is used to determine short area quickness. To get an idea of how good his time was, former California RB Jahvid Best (selected in the first round by the Detroit Lions) posted times of 4.17 and 4.18 during the NFL Combine. Alexander also posted an outstanding 41-1/2-inch vertical jump. A vertical jump demonstrates lower body explosion. It also shows he was able to push off his surgically repaired left knee. Alexander had multiple surgeries on the knee since 2007.

Alexander was cleared to play last month, but the Rams would be wise to bring him along slowly in order to develop him for the long term.

— Adam Caplan

Texans work out offensive linemen — 6:46 p.m.

The Houston Texans worked out free-agent offensive linemen Ephraim Salaam and Charles Spencer, coach Gary Kubiak confirmed during his Sunday news conference.

“We worked out Spencer and Ephraim today, just to see where they both were at. If we have some concerns down the road at our tackle position, the depth of our tackle position, we wanted to work them out,” Kubiak said.

Salaam, who is capable of playing both tackle spots, played for the Texans on two different occasions (2006-08, part of 2009).

Salaam, 34, was originally selected in the seventh round of the 1998 draft by the Falcons.

Spencer, 28, was selected by the Texans in the third round of the 2006 draft. He won the starting left tackle job as a rookie, but suffered a broken leg during the second regular-season game. He never appeared in an NFL game after that. He spent time with the Jacksonville Jaguars and Carolina Panthers since then.

— Adam Caplan

Redskins sign FB to replace Sellers — 3:34 p.m.

The Washington Redskins signed fullback Carey Davis to a free-agent contract Sunday, a source told

The 5-foot-10, 225-pound Davis was signed after fullback Mike Sellers suffered a knee injury in Saturday night’s preseason loss to Baltimore.

Davis, 29, started 10 games the past four seasons in Pittsburgh.

— Alex Marvez (@alexmarvez on Twitter)

Bengals re-sign safety White — 2:01 p.m.

The Cincinnati Bengals signed S Marvin White on Sunday. White (6-1, 199) was a 2007 Bengals fourth-round draft choice and played for Cincinnati in 2007-08. He was with the Cowboys and Lions last season. He opened 2010 with Detroit, but was waived on August 18.

Because of the loss of FS Gibril Wilson (knee) for the season, it became increasingly important that the team add depth at free safety.

In addition, the Bengals signed undrafted free-agent OL Chris Rodgers and waived/injured undrafted free-agent OT Andrew Mitchell.

Adam Caplan

Cowboys lose Brookings, Sensabaugh to shoulder injuries — 12:27 a.m.

Gerald Sensabaugh had X-rays on his left shoulder after getting hurt on the second series of the game and they came back negative.

The first-team defense was playing only a half, so Sensabaugh's night is over. We should get word after the game about his long-term health.

Sensabaugh missed Ryan Matthews on a toss play and appeared to jam the shoulder into the turf. He missed one game last year with a broken thumb but played the rest of the season in a cast. He is in the final year of his contract and the Cowboys have had some talks about an extension.

Cowboys starting lineback Keith Brookings was also injured his shoulder early in the first half. The word from the Cowboys is that Brooking could have returned from the right shoulder injury, but was held out for precautionary measures. Full story

— Fox Sports Southwest

Haynesworth: Redskins underplayed his condition — 12:10 a.m.

Albert Haynesworth took his most defiant stand yet against Mike Shanahan on Saturday night, saying the Washington Redskins coach underplayed the two-time All-Pro's medical condition in recent days and that he intends to boycott next year's offseason conditioning program as well.

Speaking after the Redskins' 23-3 loss to the Baltimore Ravens, Haynesworth also said that he shouldn't have been playing in the third quarter, when only backups were in the game.

Haynesworth stopped practicing early Tuesday at training camp and did not practice Wednesday or Thursday. Shanahan gave varying explanations for Haynesworth's idleness each day. The coach initially said Haynesworth ''just was sick,'' then said the cause was dehydration, then finally said it was ''more of a headache than anything else.'' Full story

— The Associated Press

MORE CAMP BUZZ: August 15-21

MORE CAMP BUZZ: August 8-14

MORE CAMP BUZZ: August 1-7


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