CINCINNATI -- Bengals linebacker Vontaze Burfict had his NFL suspension reduced from five to three games for his egregious hit on a Chiefs running back during a preseason game.
During the second preseason game, Burfict leveled running back Anthony Sherman on a pass play when he wasn't the intended target.
Burfict appealed and had two games shaved off the punishment. He'll miss home games against the Ravens and Texans and a road game with the Packers. He'll be eligible to return for a game in Cleveland on Oct. 1.
It's the second straight season he's suspended for the first three games. He was suspended last season for his hit to Antonio Brown's head during a 2015 playoff loss to the Steelers.
Browns: Two-time Pro Bowl CB Haden released
CLEVELAND -- Too expensive and too-often injured, Joe Haden is no longer part of Cleveland's long-term plans.
The two-time Pro Bowl cornerback, who had gone from being one of the city's most popular players to polarizing, was released Wednesday after the team couldn't trade him or persuade him to take a pay cut.
"We want to thank Joe for all he has done for this organization both on and off the field," said Sashi Brown, executive vice president of football operations. "He has been a great teammate and a true asset to the Cleveland community. These are very difficult decisions, we have the utmost respect for Joe and in my eyes, he will always be a Cleveland Brown."
A first-round pick in 2010, Haden has been slowed by injuries the past two seasons and the Browns felt he was no longer one of their top defensive backs.
Cleveland, which is in need of a wide receiver, had shopped Haden but couldn't find a partner, mostly because he'll make $11.1 million this season and has two more seasons left on a five-year, $67.5 million extension -- $45 million guaranteed -- he signed in 2014 (see full story).
Chiefs: Former 1st-round OL Erving acquired from Browns
CLEVELAND -- The Browns have traded offensive lineman Cam Erving, a former first-round pick, to the Kansas City Chiefs.
Cleveland is getting a fifth-round pick for Erving, the No. 19 overall selection in 2015 who was a disappointment for the Browns. They tried him at center, guard and tackle, but the 6-foot-5, 313-pounder struggled at each spot.
Erving has been sidelined with a calf injury in recent weeks and limited in practice.
He started 13 games last season, 12 at center and one at right tackle. Cleveland's offensive line was ravaged by injuries last year, but the Browns still managed to finish second in the NFL by averaging 4.9 yards per attempt.
Erving made 42 consecutive starts at Florida State, where he started as a defensive lineman before moving to offensive tackle. Later, he was switched to center and played well for the Seminoles (see full story).
Texans: Team ready to head home after game cancelled
ARLINGTON, Texas -- The Texans were planning to head home to flood-ravaged Houston after their final preseason game against the Dallas Cowboys was canceled Wednesday.
The game had been moved from Houston to the home of the Cowboys because of widespread flooding in the Houston area in the wake of Hurricane Harvey. The decision to cancel Thursday night's game altogether was announced when the Texans said local authorities had found a safe route for the team to drive the 250 miles home.
"At this time, the priority of our organization is getting our players, coaches and staff back home to be reunited with their families, many of whom have been evacuated from their homes and are currently sheltered," the Texans said in a statement. "The team feels it is imperative to get back home to help the Houston community recover from the devastation of Hurricane Harvey."
After the Texans played their preseason game in New Orleans last weekend, they went to North Texas instead of home after the storm. The Texans worked out Monday and Tuesday at the Cowboys' practice facility (see full story).
Vikings: Bridgewater still working his way back
EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. -- Exactly one year ago, Teddy Bridgewater dropped back to pass during a routine drill and tumbled to the ground with a devastating injury to his left knee.
The unflappable Bridgewater has made a remarkable recovery, but he still has a long way to go before he can return to action with the Minnesota Vikings.
"He's got to be able to protect himself on the field and be able to do the movements that are required by his position," coach Mike Zimmer said. "When he's there, he'll practice."
Bridgewater has taken questions from reporters only once since the fateful afternoon of Aug. 30, 2016, when teammates were jolted by the sight of their popular quarterback writhing in pain and head athletic trainer Eric Sugarman had to lead a hasty effort to save his leg.
Each day during training camp this summer, with the rest of the Vikings working on strategy and technique, Bridgewater has been off to the side simply working on rebuilding strength in and around the knee that suffered a dislocation and multiple ligament tears (see full story).