NaVorro Bowman

NFL Notes: Ezekiel Elliott reportedly getting an emergency hearing

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NFL Notes: Ezekiel Elliott reportedly getting an emergency hearing

A person with direct knowledge of the situation says attorneys for Dallas Cowboys star Ezekiel Elliott are set for an emergency hearing in federal court in New York as they try again to stop the running back's six-game suspension over domestic violence allegations.

Elliott's legal team filed a request for a temporary restraining order Monday and will get a hearing Tuesday in the Southern District of New York, the person told The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the filing hadn't been made public.

Last year's NFL rushing leader is suspended for Sunday's game at San Francisco after a federal appeals court overturned an injunction that had allowed him to play this season.

The case is shifting to New York because the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans ordered the dismissal of Elliott's lawsuit in Texas. Elliott's attorneys have indicated they are still pursuing the case with the New Orleans court.

The person told the AP that U.S. District Judge Paul Crotty would hear arguments Tuesday in New York because the presiding judge, Katherine Polk Fialla, is out of town (see full story).

Packers: Rodgers to have surgery on collarbone
GREEN BAY, Wis. -- Green Bay Packers coach Mike McCarthy says quarterback Aaron Rodgers will have surgery on his broken right collarbone, and that his season could be over.

McCarthy said Monday that the two-time NFL MVP would have surgery in the near future. He says that there is no timeline for his potential return.

"The key is to get Aaron healthy, it's not to develop a timeline," McCarthy said.

Rodgers got hurt in the first quarter of the 23-10 loss on Sunday at Minnesota.

Brett Hundley is now the starting quarterback. The Packers also promoted third-stringer Joe Callahan from the practice squad to become the backup quarterback.

Cornerback Quinten Rollins was placed on injured reserve with an ankle injury to make room for Callahan (see full story).

Steelers: Bryant downplays reported trade demand
PITTSBURGH -- Yes, Martavis Bryant wants a trade.

To the Golden State Warriors.

Otherwise, the Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver insists he's just fine even after multiple reports that he asked the team to ship him elsewhere.

Asked Monday if he'd like a change of scenery, Bryant reiterated he's happy in Pittsburgh.

"I'm doing fine, everything is good," he said.

Even if -- at least statistically -- in his return from a year-plus suspension for violating the league's substance abuse policy has been underwhelming.

Bryant caught two passes for 27 yards in Sunday's 19-13 victory over Kansas City and has just 17 receptions and one touchdown through six games for the first-place Steelers (4-2). His 13.6 yards per catch is more than 4 yards below his career average while splitting playing time with rookie JuJu Smith-Schuster (see full story).

Raiders: Linebacker Bowman signs 1-year deal
ALAMEDA, Calif. -- NaVorro Bowman will make a short move following his release last week from the San Francisco 49ers, signing a $3 million, one-year contract with the Oakland Raiders on Monday.

"It's a refresher for me," Bowman said after taking part in a walkthrough with his new team. "It's a new picture, new scenery. The guys are a special group of guys. You can just see the talent they have on the offensive side of the ball. I'm excited to go out there and play for an offense that is eager to score points. I look forward to it."

Bowman visited the Raiders on Monday and then signed the deal shortly after that, cancelling a planned visit to the Dallas Cowboys. He went right into meetings with the assistant coaches and could be ready to play when the Raiders (2-4) host the first-place Kansas City Chiefs on Thursday night.

Bowman said he will do extra work this week to learn the defense and said he plans to play this week if he's prepared enough. The Raiders will be happy to get him on the field to add some experience to a young group of inside linebackers (see full story).

NFL Notes: Bowman released, Carr returns and Saints chase history

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NFL Notes: Bowman released, Carr returns and Saints chase history

NaVorro Bowman is now looking for work. 

After the 49ers and general manager John Lynch looked to shop the three-time Pro Bowler but couldn’t find anything in the market, the 49ers cut the four-time All-Pro Friday after it became clear that both Bowman and the 49ers were going in separate ways.

Bowman joined the 49ers after being selected in the third round in 2010 and along with Patrick Willis, the two helped San Francisco reach three straight NFC title games and a Super Bowl.

Raiders: Carr to return after just 2 weeks
After Raiders quarterback Derek Carr gingerly walked to the sidelines in the Raiders’ 16-10 loss at Denver, Raider fans held their breath once again.

Carr suffered a transverse process fracture in his back and head coach Jack Del Rio said Carr could be out anywhere from two to six weeks.

It turns out that Carr will only miss just one game, good news for Raiders fans.

After losing Carr Dec. 24 last season due to a broken fibula, all of the hope and promise the team had heading into the postseason washed away.

Now at 2-3, Carr’s return gives the Raiders a chance to get back on track.

Saints: Team entering unchartered territory
The Saints are looking to become the first team in NFL history to not commit a turnover in their first five games.

Is the jinx on? Quite possibly. 

Anyway, the Saints host the Lions on Sunday and the Lions are the second-best team in the NFL with respect to turnover margin at plus eight — Kyle Adam Maraghy seven interceptions and four fumble recoveries.

Saints quarterback Drew Brees has played a key role in the solid start. He has completed 70 percent of his passes and has only taken one sack per game.

Writing this on Friday the 13th could mean bad luck for New Orleans and its chance at history, but only time will tell.

NBA Notes: 49ers' Bowman remembers urging Durant to shoot in middle school

NBA Notes: 49ers' Bowman remembers urging Durant to shoot in middle school

OAKLAND, Calif. -- Imagine Kevin Durant as a skinny, timid teen being told to shoot by his middle school point guard who saw so much potential all those years ago.

He needed a little urging back then. Much of it came from star San Francisco 49ers linebacker NaVorro Bowman, who fondly recalls his days passing to the future NBA star.

Bowman, who claims he was the superior player at Drew Freeman Middle School in Prince George's County, Maryland, used to encourage the lanky Durant to be aggressive, to take it to the hoop with authority. Durant already measured more than 6 feet tall at the time and would rapidly add inches in the upcoming years.

"Can you believe we had to tell him to shoot?" Bowman recalled with a grin last week at Levi's Stadium while relaxing after football practice in Santa Clara.

"Yeah, we had to tell him to shoot. We knew that he could play the game and he would eventually get better, but how tall he was, back in the day if you were that tall you would be in the post or you would be in the paint. This guy was on the wing. You could see the talent there. Eventually, as you see now, he grew into it and became a great player."

Durant insists all he wanted to do was create opportunities for others.

"I would just always want to please my teammates, so I would pass up a shot to get somebody else a look," Durant said. "I always had that trait and that kind of turned into not being aggressive, if that's what it was called. But I was more so just catering to my teammates, trying to make them feel comfortable. And at a young age, NaVorro being such a leader that he is, he knew that I had some pretty good talent at that age and he just told me, `Go out there and just play.' As a kid, you need that, you want that validation from your teammates. Especially starting off early when I started to take basketball really, really serious, just a couple words from him meant a lot" (see full story).

Cavaliers: LeBron soaring into 7th straight Finals
CLEVELAND -- LeBron James will one day take his final bow, the brightest spotlight moving on to someone else.

There will come a time when his legs lose some explosiveness and those vicious dunks will be rendered ordinary. Someday, his jumper won't fall as often, and that astonishing court vision, the key to his game, will become cloudy.

James will face the end of his career one day. Just not anytime soon.

On the eve of his seventh straight NBA Finals appearance, and 10 years since he debuted on basketball's grand stage, James' reign continues: undisputed king of the court.

During a postseason in which he has led the champion Cleveland Cavaliers to a 12-1 record and chased down Michael Jordan as the No. 1 scorer in playoff history, James has not only positioned himself for a fourth title, but intensified the debate over whether he's the greatest player in NBA history.

He isn't slowing down while building his case.

James has always dismissed the Jordan comparisons, saying that kind of talk is "only great for barbershops" and that original gravity-defying No. 23 has been his motivational muse, not a target. But after the Cavs won their third straight conference title, punishing an overmatched Boston team in five games -- he supplanted Jordan during the clincher -- James discussed his place alongside someone who was "like a god" to him growing up.

"I did pretty much everything that M.J. did when I was a kid," James said. "I shot fadeaways before I should have. I wore black and red shoes with white socks. I wore short shorts so you could see my undershorts underneath. I didn't go bald like Mike, but I'm getting there. ... But other than that, I did everything Mike did. I even wore a wristband on my forearm. I didn't do the hoop earring, either. That was Mike (see full story).

NBA: Twelve refs selected to officiate Finals
NEW YORK -- Danny Crawford has been chosen to officiate his 23rd NBA Finals, making him the most experienced of the 12 referees selected for the series.

John Goble was the lone first-time selection Tuesday when the NBA announced the referees who would work the series beginning Thursday between the Golden State Warriors and Cleveland Cavaliers.

Mike Callahan was selected for his 14th NBA Finals, Ken Mauer his 12th and Scott Foster his 10th. Monty McCutchen, Derrick Stafford, Tony Brothers, James Capers, Marc Davis, Ed Malloy and Zach Zarba round out the staff. Each has been picked at least four times.

The officials were selected by NBA Referee Operations management based on their postseason performance. Referees were evaluated after each round to determine advancement.

Crawford has officiated 33 NBA Finals games and Callahan 18.

Tom Washington and Sean Wright are the alternates for the series.