Report: Cowboys C Frederick ready for camp

Report: Cowboys C Frederick ready for camp

Dallas Cowboys center Travis Frederick, who missed last season as he recovered from Guillain-Barre syndrome, is expected to be active for the start of training camp on Saturday, the NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported Tuesday.

Frederick, 28, was diagnosed with the rare auto-immune disorder during training camp last year. He has been with the Cowboys since they drafted him in the first round out of Wisconsin in 2013. He started all 80 regular-season games and three playoff games in his first five seasons, earning four Pro Bowl selections and a first-team All-Pro nod in 2016.

“This is very good news for this Cowboys’ offensive line, still the strength of their team,” Rapoport said on the NFL Network. “He has, in fact, returned to full form.”

Frederick participated in individual drills in offseason workouts, when he also was recovering from hernia and shoulder surgeries.

He told reporters in April that he had never heard of Guillain-Barre syndrome — in which the body’s immune system attacks nerves — before he was diagnosed. He said it also took doctors awhile to figure out the cause of his symptoms, which included stingers and numbness in his toes or hands.

Frederick said the thought crossed his mind that he might never play again.

“But once the improvement started, and it happened at such an impressive rate, it makes you think, ‘OK, maybe there is a chance here,'” he said. “And if it continues at this rate, I don’t see any reason why I can’t be back to 100 percent.”

–Field Level Media

Mistrial declared in 8 remaining counts against Winslow II

Mistrial declared in 8 remaining counts against Winslow II

A California judge declared

Mistrial declared in 8 remaining counts against Winslow II

A California judge declared a mistrial Tuesday on eight remaining counts against former NFL tight end Kellen Winslow II, who was found guilty of felony rape one day earlier in Vista, Calif.

Winslow also was found guilty on misdemeanor charges of indecent exposure and lewd conduct, and he was acquitted on another lewd-conduct charge on Monday. All the incidents occurred in San Diego County.

But the jury was deadlocked on the other eight charges and Judge Blaine K. Bowman ordered the jurors to return Tuesday.

Shortly after 10 a.m. PT, Bowman received a note from the jurors saying they remained deadlocked on the remaining charges, which include six felonies.

A short time later, Bowman polled the jury in the courtroom. After hearing the results, he declared a mistrial on all eight counts.

Winslow still faces as long as nine years in prison, due to the rape conviction and the two misdemeanor convictions.

The rape Winslow was found guilty of involved a 58-year-old homeless woman in 2018.

The indecent exposure incident involved a 57-year-old woman who was gardening in her front yard. The lewd conduct incident involved a 77-year-old woman at a health club.

Winslow, 35, didn’t testify during the trial.

Winslow is the son of former San Diego Chargers tight end Kellen Winslow. The Hall of Famer was in the courtroom daily, including when the verdicts against his son were read on Monday.

Kellen Winslow II played nine NFL seasons and caught 469 passes for 5,236 yards and 25 touchdowns with the Cleveland Browns, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, New England Patriots and New York Jets. He was the sixth overall pick of the 2004 NFL Draft out of the University of Miami (Fla.).

–Field Level Media

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Patriots S Chung indicted on cocaine possession charge

Patriots S Chung indicted on cocaine possession charge

New England Patriots

Patriots S Chung indicted on cocaine possession charge

New England Patriots safety Patrick Chung was indicted on a charge of cocaine possession, a Class B felony, in New Hampshire.

According to a statement from Belknap County Attorney Andrew Livernois, a grand jury returned an indictment of Chung on Aug. 8 for an incident that took place on June 25 in Meredith, where Chung has a home.

Chung “did possess or have under his control a quantity of the controlled substance cocaine,” according to the indictment. The charge carries a potential prison term of 3 1/2 to seven years.

The Patriots issued the following statement on Thursday: “We are aware of the reports regarding Patrick Chung. We will not be commenting while his judicial proceedings take place.”

Police did not arrest Chung during the June 25 encounter. Livernois’ statement did not offer further details about the incident.

Chung, who turned 32 on Monday, is scheduled to be arraigned at Laconia District Court next Wednesday.

Chung was not at practice Wednesday and did not appear in the first two preseason games. In April, he signed a one-year extension through the 2021 season.

A second-round draft pick by the Patriots in 2009, Chung has spent nine of his 10 NFL seasons in New England, with his tenure broken by one season with the Philadelphia Eagles in 2013. The three-time Super Bowl champion has 11 interceptions and 723 tackles in 140 career games (110 starts).

–Field Level Media

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Thomas, Koepka, Schauffele share lead at Tour Championship

Thomas, Koepka, Schauffele share lead at Tour Championship

Thomas, Koepka, Schauffele share lead at Tour Championship

FedEx Cup standings leader Justin Thomas squandered his pre-tournament lead but birdied the 18th hole on Thursday to maintain a share of the lead with two others through one round at the Tour Championship in Atlanta.

Thomas shot even-par 70 at East Lake Golf Club and was joined atop the leaderboard by Xander Schauffele, who shot the low round of the day with a 64, and Brooks Koepka (67), who also birdied 18th.

The new staggered-start scoring system — in which players were given advantages based on their standing through the BMW Championship — had Thomas starting at 10 under, two strokes ahead of second-place Patrick Cantlay. Koepka began in third at 7 under, while Schauffele began at 4 under, tied with four others for sixth.

Northern Ireland’s Rory McIlroy, who was critical of the scoring system on Wednesday, started in fifth at 5 under and shot 66 to hold fourth place alone at 9 under.

Another stroke back at 8 under are Cantlay (who shot even-par 70) and Matt Kuchar (66), with Japan’s Hideki Matsuyama (66) alone at 7 under.

Thomas had an up-and-down day. After two birdies and a bogey on the front nine, he dropped back to even with a bogey at the 12th. A birdie at 14 got Thomas back into red figures, but only temporarily, as he double-bogeyed the par-3 15th after his tee shot found the water.

Thomas, who won the BMW Championship last week, bounced back by reaching the par-5 18th fringe in two and two-putting for birdie.

Schauffele, who beat out Thomas to win the Tour Championship in 2017, closed the six strokes between him and Thomas with three birdies on each side of the card in a bogey-free round. No other player in the field shot lower than 66.

“I figured once the cameras started following us, I was shooting a good score,” Schauffele told GolfChannel.com. “That was my giveaway.”

Koepka, the world’s top-ranked player, erased back-to-back birdies at Nos. 4 and 5 with consecutive bogeys at Nos. 9 and 10. He finished strong, however, making birdie putts inside five feet at the 15th and 16th before draining a 12-footer at the 18th to share the lead.

McIlroy, the 2016 winner and third-ranked player in the world, also finished with a flourish. He made birdies at Nos. 13, 15, and 17 after sandwiching two birdies around his lone bogey at No. 5.

World No. 2 Dustin Johnson, who started the day at 3 under, shot 73 to settle at even par, tied for 23rd.

–Field Level Media

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Chargers to place S James on injured reserve

Chargers to place S James on injured reserve

The Los Angeles Chargers will place safety

Chargers to place S James on injured reserve

The Los Angeles Chargers will place safety Derwin James on injured reserve ahead of Week 1, the team announced in a press release on Thursday.

James underwent surgery on Thursday to address a stress fracture of the fifth metatarsal in his foot, multiple outlets reported. The surgery was performed by Dr. Robert Anderson in Green Bay, Wis.

The NFL Network reported that James was expected to be sidelined approximately three months, putting his potential return sometime in November.

A player placed on injured reserve after the cutdown to 53-man rosters but prior to the season cannot be activated until after Week 8. The team is able to designate up to two players to return to the active roster after an eight-week absence.

James recorded 105 total tackles, 3.5 sacks and three interceptions last season after being selected with the 17th overall pick of the 2018 NFL Draft.

The 23-year-old James earned Pro Bowl and All-Pro honors and was the first rookie in franchise history to eclipse 100 tackles.

James excelled in his final season at Florida State in 2017, collecting 84 tackles (5.5 for loss), two interceptions (one returned for a touchdown) and 11 pass breakups.

–Field Level Media

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Winnipeg field shortened for Packers-Raiders

Winnipeg field shortened for Packers-Raiders

The preseason game between the Green Bay

Winnipeg field shortened for Packers-Raiders

The preseason game between the Green Bay Packers and Oakland Raiders in Winnipeg on Thursday night was played with shortened dimensions due to concerns about the turf in each end zone.

With holes in the turf — from where goal posts are placed for Canadian Football League play — that could not be properly filled, each end zone was moved 10 yards closer to the middle of the field. Pylons were placed at each end of both 10-yard lines, marking the front of the end zone, and at each end of both normal goal lines (for the back of the end zone).

The game began without a kickoff, with the Packers taking the ball at their 25-yard line (the actual 35-yard line by on-field markings).

The Packers sat 33 players, including quarterback Aaron Rodgers and all of the team’s starters. Tim Boyle started at quarterback for Green Bay. It’s unclear if any starters would have played if the field had been in normal condition.

The Raiders, who were technically the home team and had their logo painted at midfield, also rested most of their starters, with quarterback Mike Glennon starting in place of Derek Carr. Head coach Jon Gruden had previously told reporters it was unlikely Carr and other starters would play much if at all in the remainder of the preseason.

–Field Level Media

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Falcons inducting WR White into Ring of Honor

Falcons inducting WR White into Ring of Honor

The

Falcons inducting WR White into Ring of Honor

The Atlanta Falcons will induct Roddy White into their Ring of Honor this season.

The team’s all-time leading receiver made the announcement Tuesday on Twitter. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution said the ceremony will happen during the Dec. 8 game against the Carolina Panthers.

“I’m extremely happy about it for me and my family,” tweeted White, who becomes the 11th player to be inducted and the first since running back Warrick Dunn in 2017.

White, a four-time Pro Bowl selection, spent his entire 11-year career with Atlanta (2005-15) and caught 808 passes for 10,863 yards and 63 touchdowns in 171 games.

Julio Jones enters 2019 ranked second on the franchise list in receptions (698) and yards (10,731), while Terance Mathis ranks second in touchdown grabs (57).

–Field Level Media

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Colts hold QB Luck (calf) out of minicamp

Colts hold QB Luck (calf) out of minicamp

Colts hold QB Luck (calf) out of minicamp

Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck will sit out this week’s mandatory minicamp because of a calf strain that also kept him out of last month’s organized team activities.

Coach Frank Reich told reporters Tuesday that the team was being cautious with the injury and that it was a “no brainer” that Luck would be ready for training camp in late July.

Luck said he has been able to throw “significantly” while rehabbing the calf injury.

Luck, 29, was named the 2018 NFL Comeback Player of the Year after completing a career-best 67.3 percent of his passes for 4,593 yards and 39 touchdowns and leading the Colts to a playoff berth.

The No. 1 overall pick in the 2012 draft sat out the entire 2017 season following surgery on his right shoulder.

–Field Level Media

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Koepka’s U.S. Open odds cool a bit

Koepka's U.S. Open odds cool a bit

Koepka’s U.S. Open odds cool a bit

It’s hard to argue with the game plan of the man who has won four of the past eight majors, but U.S. sportsbooks have cooled a bit on Brooks Koepka’s odds of winning a third consecutive U.S. Open this week.

Koepka acknowledged that he did not touch a club after winning the PGA Championship last month until arriving at last week’s RBC Canadian Open. He then tied for 50th at the Hamilton Golf & Country Club in Ontario. He never sniffed at contention.

A distinct favorite for Pebble Beach after his two-stroke triumph at Bethpage Black, Koepka has been surpassed by Dustin Johnson as the listed favorite by several sportsbooks. Northern Ireland’s Rory McIlroy has also nudged ahead in some sportsbooks following his seven-shot victory in Canada.

While those three are co-favorites at +850 by FanDuel, SugarHouse favors Johnson (+700) over McIlroy (+800) and Koepka (+900). William Hill also has Johnson at +700, followed by Koepka (+850) and Jordan Spieth (+1000). Despite his record-setting victory at the Canadian Open, McIlroy is only tied for the third betting favorite by William Hill at +1000.

PointsBet lists Johnson and McIlroy as the co-favorites at +800 — slightly ahead of Koepka (+850).

Tiger Woods is no worse than +1100 by each of the four books.

Looking for a stab at the riches? SugarHouse is offering +250000 on a trio of players: Connor Arendell, Eric Dietrich and Hayden Shieh.

William Hill is offering some fun matchup prop bets, with McIlroy (-165) favored to finished higher than Woods (+145), and Johnson (-130) expected to out-duel Koepka (+110).

William Hill Prop Bets

Top 10 finish/not

Tiger Woods: +120/-140

Brooks Koepka: +100/-120

Rory McIlroy: +100/-120

Dustin Johnson: -110/-110

Jordan Spieth: -120/+100

Phil Mickelson: +200/-240

Rickie Fowler: +110/-130

Justin Thomas: +130/-150

Make/Miss Cut props:

Phil Mickelson: -250/+210

Sergio Garcia: -220/+190

Bubba Watson: -190/+170

Patrick Reed: -260/+220

Paul Casey: -260/+220

Hole In One

Yes: -130

No: +110

Decided By Playoff

Yes: +300

No: -360

Lowest Round Score (64.5): -110/-110

72-hole Winning Score (278.5): -110/-110

36-hole Cut Score (146.5): -110/-110

PointsBet is offering odds on the nationality of the winner:

USA: -400

England: +540

Northern Ireland: +550

Australia: +800

Spain: +1200

Japan: +1600

Italy: +1800

South Africa: +1800

Sweden: +2000

Ireland: +2500

South Korea: +3000

Germany: +3500

Denmark: +4000

China: +5000

Chinese Tapei: +5000

Slovakia: +5000

Belgium: +5000

–Field Level Media

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Cardinals trade S Ford to Eagles for DT Hector

Cardinals trade S Ford to Eagles for DT Hector

The Arizona

Cardinals trade S Ford to Eagles for DT Hector

The Arizona Cardinals traded safety Rudy Ford to the Philadelphia Eagles on Thursday in exchange for defensive tackle Bruce Hector.

Ford, 24, was a sixth-round pick in 2017 out of Auburn. He played in 23 games and posted nine tackles during the 2017 and 2018 seasons.

Ford was the odd man out in Arizona behind starters D.J. Swearinger and Budda Baker, as well as Josh Shaw and rookies Deionte Thompson and Jalen Thompson.

Hector, also 24, was undrafted out of South Florida in 2018. He appeared in eight games for the Eagles last year and logged two tackles and a half-sack.

Hector provides depth for the Cardinals, who released linemen Darius Philon, Robert Nkemdiche and Vincent Valentine during training camp.

–Field Level Media

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Jackson: Record with Browns is ‘on my tombstone’

Jackson: Record with Browns is 'on my tombstone'

Jackson: Record with Browns is ‘on my tombstone’

Hue Jackson provided a frank assessment of how he’ll be remembered for his coaching career in Cleveland in a recently published article.

Jackson was fired as the Browns’ head coach on Oct. 29 after a three-year stint in which the struggling team posted a 3-36-1 record, including an 0-16 season in 2017.

“Let’s be honest. Right now, that’s what’s on my tombstone,” the 53-year-old Jackson told Sports Illustrated’s Greg Bishop in a story released on Thursday.

Jackson told Bishop that the days that followed the firing were extremely dark ones.

“(Jackson) called his wife of 24 years, Michelle, and filled her in,” Bishop wrote. “At home, he went down to their basement, turned off the lights in the guest room and stayed there. For three days. ‘I could have laid there for months,’ he says.”

Jackson joined the rival Cincinnati Bengals as a special assistant to head coach Marvin Lewis two weeks after being fired by the Browns but was not retained by new coach Zac Taylor.

Jackson, who also served as a head coach with the Oakland Raiders in 2011, owns an 11-44-1 career mark for the second-worst winning percentage in NFL history.

–Field Level Media

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Report: Cowboys offer to make Elliott No. 2 in RB pay

Report: Cowboys offer to make Elliott No. 2 in RB pay

Report: Cowboys offer to make Elliott No. 2 in RB pay

The Dallas Cowboys have offered to make holdout running back Ezekiel Elliott one of the two highest-paid running backs in the NFL, according to a report.

ESPN reporter Ed Werder tweeted Thursday afternoon that the offer is less than what the Los Angeles Rams’ Todd Gurley earns — he signed a four-year, $57.5 million contract with $45 million guaranteed last summer — but more than the deal that Le’Veon Bell agreed to with the New York Jets.

In March, Bell signed the NFL’s second-richest running back contract, a four-year, $52.5 million deal that included $27 million in guarantees.

Elliott, 24, was the No. 4 overall selection in the 2016 NFL Draft. He has two years remaining on his rookie contract and wants a new deal before he reports to the team. He is due to make $3.85 million this season.

Through three seasons, Elliott has carried the ball 868 times for 4,048 yards with 28 rushing touchdowns. He gained a league-leading 1,631 yards in his rookie year, when he was named an All-Pro, and also led the league with 1,434 rushing yards last year.

–Field Level Media

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IR trip possible for Broncos QB Lock

IR trip possible for Broncos QB Lock

Denver

IR trip possible for Broncos QB Lock

Denver Broncos coach Vic Fangio said a trip to injured reserve for quarterback Drew Lock could be a consideration after the rookie sprained his right thumb Monday night against the San Francisco 49ers.

“Obviously because it’s his throwing hand and a thumb, that’s a pretty serious injury for a quarterback,” Fangio said Thursday. “It will be some time before we know exactly where he’s at and how much time he would miss.”

The Broncos could open up a roster spot without ending Lock’s season by putting him on IR after the cut-down to the 53-man roster. Lock would be recallable from IR after eight weeks, though he could not practice if healthy enough to do so before the eight-week period ends.

“The bad thing about it is because of the injury, he can’t do much,” Fangio said.

Lock hit the thumb while being taken down for a sack in the third quarter of Denver’s 24-15 loss. He said he hasn’t had a sprain this severe before and doesn’t know how long he’ll be out.

“I’m not 100 percent sure,” Lock said. “Just going to leave that up to the people in (the training) room to kind of evaluate it a little bit. I know my pain tolerance. I know that level of stuff, but I think they’re going to make the best decision on when I should be stepping back out on the football field.”

In the meantime, Lock plans to “heavily” use the team’s virtual reality training program to take mental reps.

The second-round pick (42nd overall) began training camp as the third-string quarterback behind starter Joe Flacco and backup Kevin Hogan, but he played with the second team ahead of Hogan in practice last week and in Monday’s game.

Lock went 7 of 12 for 40 yards against the 49ers, bringing his preseason stat line to 31 of 51 for 254 yards, a touchdown and an interception.

“I felt as if I was starting to play a little better and maybe starting to earn that (backup) role,” Lock said.

Fangio added, “He was improving daily, and I saw good strides. I’d say he was tracking towards (the backup job). I wouldn’t say he had it yet.”

The Broncos don’t plan to add another quarterback right now, according to Fangio. Hogan will start Saturday against the Los Angeles Rams, with most of Denver’s starters sitting out on both sides of the ball, and he likely begin the season as the backup, given Lock’s injury. Undrafted rookie Brett Rypien will also play “a good bit.”

Fangio also said it’s possible tight end Jake Butt will make his first appearance this preseason on Saturday.

Butt has battled setbacks during training camp in his recovery from a torn ACL sustained last September, his third torn ACL dating back to college. He returned to practice last week.

–Field Level Media

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Elway opens up about 15-year battle with hand condition

Elway opens up about 15-year battle with hand condition

John Elway appeared on NBC's "Today" on Thursday

Elway opens up about 15-year battle with hand condition

John Elway appeared on NBC’s “Today” on Thursday to raise awareness for Dupuytren’s contracture, a condition that prevents curled fingers from being straightened.

Elway, the Denver Broncos president of football operations and general manager, was diagnosed with the condition 15 years ago, well after the Hall of Fame quarterback’s 16-year career had ended.

“When I saw my hand doctor, the only option was surgery,” Elway said. “I wasn’t interested in more surgeries. I’ve had so many surgeries during my playing career. At that point in time I didn’t want to have another one.”

Elway, who retired following the 1998 season, recently underwent a non-surgical treatment to attempt to straighten his fingers.

Elway, 59, admitted that he wasn’t sure if his football career either caused or contributed to his condition. He’s not alone, since experts are uncertain as to what causes Dupuytren’s contracture.

“It’s a rather common condition, and a lot of people do have it, but they don’t get it diagnosed,” Elway said of the condition that may affect 16 million Americans.

“If anyone is concerned they might have it, they should go see a hand specialist. If you’re diagnosed with it, I want people to realize that there are options to treat it.”

Per the Mayo Clinic, Dupuytren’s contracture “affects a layer of tissue that lies under the skin of your palm. Knots of tissue form under the skin — eventually creating a thick cord that can pull one or more fingers into a bent position.”

–Field Level Media

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Report: Saints, DE Jordan agree to $52.5M extension

Report: Saints, DE Jordan agree to $52.5M extension

Report: Saints, DE Jordan agree to $52.5M extension

The New Orleans Saints and defensive end Cameron Jordan reached an agreement on a three-year contract extension, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported Tuesday.

The extension will take the four-time Pro Bowl pass rusher through the 2023 season and be worth $52.5 million — with a max value of $55 million, including performance-based bonuses — and $42 million in guaranteed salary, according to Schefter.

Jordan, who turns 30 next month, is now under contract for five years with a max of $74.5 million on the deal.

The next pressing contract matter for the Saints to address is wide receiver Michael Thomas. The two sides have held loose discussions about the direction of a deal, but no tangible progress has been reported.

He has spent his eight-year NFL career with the Saints after being selected in the first round (No. 24 overall) in the 2011 draft out of Cal. He has 71.5 career sacks and 98 tackles for loss in 128 games (127 starts).

He earned his fourth Pro Bowl nod last season, when he had 12 sacks and helped New Orleans reach the NFC Championship Game. Jordan was first-team All-Pro in 2017, when he had a career-best 13 sacks, broke up 11 passes and forced two fumbles.

–Field Level Media

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Vikings’ Rudolph celebrates $36M extension

Vikings' Rudolph celebrates $36M extension

The Minnesota Vikings and tight end Kyle Rudolph agreed

Vikings’ Rudolph celebrates $36M extension

The Minnesota Vikings and tight end Kyle Rudolph agreed to a multi-year contract extension Monday night — a day before the team’s mandatory minicamp was set to begin.

Rudolph, who had just one year left on his previous deal, confirmed on his Twitter account that he is staying with the Vikings long term. He landed a four-year, $36 million extension, according to multiple reports.

The tweet, which ended with the hashtag “UnfinishedBusiness” read in part, “I am honored beyond words to say that my home, our home, will always be … in Minnesota!”

The new contract is expected to lower Rudolph’s salary-cap hit to help the team, which has little available cap room, according to ESPN.

The move comes weeks after the Vikings selected Alabama tight end Irv Smith Jr. in the second round of the draft, with the 50th overall pick.

Rudolph, 29, subsequently said he was looking forward to playing in more sets with two tight ends.

“It’s exciting,” Rudolph told ESPN. “It’s something, an element, that we’ve never had here in my nine years being here. It forces defenses to play with three linebackers, and that allows us to control the game, when we go out there in three-wide sets. People always talk about creating mismatches — well, now they have five DBs on the field, and yeah, there’s still mismatches, there’s size mismatches, but now we can kind of control and do things how we want to do them.”

A second-round pick (43rd overall) out of Notre Dame in 2011, Rudolph has played all eight of his NFL seasons in Minnesota. Last year, he finished with 64 receptions for 634 yards and four touchdowns. For his career, Rudolph has 386 catches for 3,787 yards and 41 scores.

He was selected to the Pro Bowl after the 2012 and 2017 seasons.

–Field Level Media

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Chiefs DT Jones skipping camp for contract reasons

Chiefs DT Jones skipping camp for contract reasons

Chiefs DT Jones skipping camp for contract reasons

Kansas City Chiefs defensive tackle Chris Jones will not report to minicamp in hopes of having his contract situation addressed by the team before the start of the 2019 season.

Jones’ deal was set on the back burner when the Chiefs acquired Frank Clark from the Seattle Seahawks and signed him to a massive contract.

Jones, 24, is due $1.2 million in base salary. That’s not anywhere near market value considering his 15.5-sack 2018 season.

Jones has generated 24 sacks through his first three NFL seasons.

Per NFL Network, a slowdown in negotiations prompted Jones to pass on mandatory minicamp.

Kansas City is moving to a 4-3 front under defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo. His scheme is precedented on pass-rushing skill at all four defensive line spots.

–Field Level Media

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Giants’ Shurmur stokes QB controversy: ‘We’ll see what happens’

Giants' Shurmur stokes QB controversy: 'We'll see what happens'

Giants’ Shurmur stokes QB controversy: ‘We’ll see what happens’

New York Giants head coach Pat Shurmur set the stage for a summertime quarterback competition between Eli Manning and rookie Daniel Jones on Tuesday.

Shurmur previously said Manning would be the starter and Jones would figure out where he fits in the quarterback pecking order.

That tune changed dramatically when Shurmur said he is “constantly” evaluating which quarterback gives the team the best chance to win.

“We’re gonna play the very best player,” Shurmur said. “I know we’re dancing around the words here, but right now Eli is getting ready to have a great year and Daniel is getting ready to play. We’ll just see what happens. … We do feel good where Eli is, he’s our starting quarterback, and we’ve got a young player that we think is going to be an outstanding player getting himself ready to play.”

Manning, 38, has faced questions about his diminished skills and longevity before. Two years ago, then-coach Ben McAdoo ended Manning’s consecutive starts streak to start Geno Smith, fanning the flames for pundits insisting Manning’s best days are behind him.

Shurmur, hired to replace McAdoo, hopped in Manning’s corner. At the end of the 2018 regular season, he said Manning had “years left” as a starting quarterback and insisted he would continue to start because “experience matters.”

Jones, drafted sixth overall by the Giants in April, has a similar demeanor to Manning and has been tutored by Peyton Manning. The team also has 2018 fourth-rounder Kyle Lauletta and veteran backup Alex Tanney.

“I’m not trying to be cryptic about it,” Shurmur said Tuesday. “It is what I said it is. Eli is getting ready to have an outstanding year and Daniel is getting ready to play. That’s really about it.”

Shurmur was strong in his assessment last month of where the quarterbacks stood.

“At the quarterback position, we have a starter in Eli and we have guys behind him, specifically Daniel Jones, who need to do everything they can to be ready to play Week 1. That’s where we’re at,” Shurmur said.

–Field Level Media

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Steelers name veteran Sherman interim WR coach

Steelers name veteran Sherman interim WR coach

The Pittsburgh Steelers named Ray Sherman as the interim wide receivers coach

Steelers name veteran Sherman interim WR coach

The Pittsburgh Steelers named Ray Sherman as the interim wide receivers coach for the 2019 season.

He replaces Darryl Drake, who died suddenly on Aug. 11.

Sherman joined the Steelers at the start of training camp, initially as an observer. But after Drake’s death, Sherman began working with the wide receivers group.

He hasn’t coached since he retired following the 2015 season but has a lengthy resume.

Sherman, 67, was a wide receiver and defensive back at Fresno State, and he started his coaching career in 1974 as a graduate assistant at San Jose State.

He spent 14 years in the college ranks, coaching at Cal, Michigan State, Wake Forest, Purdue and Georgia. In 1988, he moved on to the NFL and had stops with the Houston Oilers, Atlanta Falcons, San Francisco 49ers, New York Jets, Minnesota Vikings, Green Bay Packers, Tennessee Titans, Dallas Cowboys and St. Louis Rams.

He also served as offensive coordinator in Pittsburgh in 1998.

Steelers receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster praised the selection.

“A guy who has been here,” Smith-Schuster said in a team statement. “He has coached everybody from Jerry Rice to young guys like us. It’s the best opportunity to have him step up and play that role for us.”

He added that Sherman has helped them through the transition after Drake’s death.

“To go through this at a young age, 22 years old, there are no words that can explain what we are going through. For Ray, he was retired, for him to come out of his way to be here it means a lot not only to myself but to the receivers in the room. We don’t want to change that.”

–Field Level Media

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Olesen to stand trial on sexual assault, other charges

Olesen to stand trial on sexual assault, other charges

Olesen to stand trial on sexual assault, other charges

Danish golfer Thorbjorn Olesen will stand trial next month after pleading not guilty to charges of assault by beating, sexual assault and being drunk on an aircraft.

Olesen was arrested July 29 at Heathrow Airport in London following his alleged actions on a British Airways flight from Memphis, where he played in the WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational.

He has been suspended by the European Tour pending the outcome of the trial.

Olesen briefly appeared at Uxbridge Magistrates Court in London on Wednesday to enter his plea and also confirm his name, age and address.

The jury trial is scheduled to begin on Sept 18 at Isleworth Crown Court in London.

Olesen, 29, is ranked No. 65 in the world. He has five European Tour victories and was a member of Europe’s victorious 2018 Ryder Cup team.

–Field Level Media

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Cowboys WR Cooper downplays injury

Cowboys WR Cooper downplays injury

Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Amari Cooper will not play

Cowboys WR Cooper downplays injury

Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Amari Cooper will not play in the preseason but the 25-year-old said his foot injury is not a concern.

Cooper, starting his first full season with the Cowboys, dealt with a foot injury as a rookie with the Oakland Raiders and before that as a sophomore at Alabama. This summer, he was diagnosed with plantar fasciitis and has missed three weeks of practice.

“I’m not really worried,” Cooper said in an interview with USA Today. “It’s not really that bad, especially just walking around. But to do the things that I do on the field, obviously I’m cutting really hard, I’m stopping really hard.”

Now in his fifth season, Cooper said he’s accustomed to playing with injuries if necessary.

“I played with a lot of foot injuries,” Cooper said. “I played with high ankle sprains. All those things so I’m pretty good at playing with foot injuries. But I don’t think I’m going to have to play with it.”

The Pro Bowl wideout enters the final year of his contract as a focal point of the passing game in Dallas. With running back Ezekiel Elliott missing from the startling lineup as well — Elliott is holding out for a new deal with two years remaining on his rookie contract — the Cowboys have an assortment of variables to figure out before the opener against the New York Giants on Sept. 8.

“Of course I feel like I’m missing things because I’m missing practice,” Cooper said. “But, like I said, I’m able to keep up mentally. … The plays are, for the most part, the same or similar. It’s a lot of the same routes from my perspective.”

–Field Level Media

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