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NFL Notes: Saints trade Adrian Peterson to Cardinals

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NFL Notes: Saints trade Adrian Peterson to Cardinals

PHOENIX -- The Arizona Cardinals, with the worst rushing game in the NFL, have acquired running back Adrian Peterson from the New Orleans Saints in exchange for an undisclosed 2018 draft pick.

The 32-year-old Peterson has rushed for 11,828 yards and 97 touchdowns in his 10-plus pro seasons. The four-time All-Pro and seven-time Pro Bowl selection signed with the Saints during the offseason after spending his first 10 NFL seasons with the Minnesota Vikings.

Peterson has played sparingly with little success for New Orleans. He's gained 81 yards in 27 carries, an average of three yards per attempt with a long run of 11.

The Cardinals (2-3) are averaging a league-worst 51.8 yards per game and 2.6 yards per carry (see full story).

Vikings: Bradford injury not new, just wear and tear
EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. -- Another MRI on Minnesota Vikings quarterback Sam Bradford's left knee has revealed no additional injury, after he was pulled early from the game at Chicago because of continued discomfort.

Vikings head athletic trainer Eric Sugarman said Tuesday that Bradford does not have any ligament damage or bone bruising, just aggravation of the wear and tear in the joint that has hampered him for the past four weeks.

It's a common condition, Sugarman said, for someone whose knee has undergone two ACL reconstructions.

The Vikings beat the Bears 20-17 behind a strong second-half performance by backup Case Keenum, who started the three previous games in place of Bradford.

Sugarman said there was unanimous confidence on the coaching and medical staffs that Bradford was well enough to start Monday, but Bradford went just 5 for 11 for 36 yards while taking four sacks in less than half of the game (see full story).

Giants: Beckham has surgery for broken left ankle
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Three-time Pro Bowl receiver Odell Beckham Jr. has had surgery for a broken left ankle.

The Giants announced Tuesday that Beckham had the surgery on Monday night in New York.

Beckham was hurt Sunday in the fourth quarter of a loss to the Los Angeles Chargers. The team said Monday that the surgery was planned for later in the week. It didn't explain the schedule change.

More surgery is expected on fellow wide receivers Brandon Marshall (ankle) and Dwayne Harris (broken foot) later Tuesday.

Marshall and Harris were injured Sunday in a game in which four Giants' receivers were hurt.

Sterling Shepard is day to day with an ankle injury.

Browns: Suspended WR Gordon details drug use, hopes for comeback
CLEVELAND -- Revealing he was scared for his life amid another drug relapse, suspended Browns wide receiver Josh Gordon is making his case to be reinstated by the NFL.

Gordon detailed years of substance use, the depths of his addiction and his determination to turn his life around during a 13-minute video released Tuesday on the website Uninterrupted.

The former All-Pro who led the league in yards receiving in 2013 was indefinitely suspended by Commissioner Roger Goodell two years ago following another violation of the league's substance-abuse policy.

He's had numerous stints in rehab, --most of which he said he didn't take seriously. The 26-year-old Gordon can re-apply to the league this fall.

An NFL spokesman said the league had no comment on Gordon's status (see full story).

Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie makes statement reacting to President Trump's remarks

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Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie makes statement reacting to President Trump's remarks

Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie has joined the league-wide backlash against comments President Donald Trump made during a speech in Huntsville, Alabama, Friday night encouraging NFL owners to release players who protest during the national anthem.

Lurie released the following statement through Twitter on Saturday night: 

During his speech Friday, Trump sharply criticized players like Colin Kaepernick and Eagles safety Malcolm Jenkins who have protested during the anthem.

 “Wouldn’t you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, to say, ‘Get that son of a bitch off the field right now. Out! He’s fired. He’s fired!' Trump said. 

“You know, some owner is going to do that. He’s going to say, ‘That guy that disrespects our flag, he’s fired.’ And that owner, they don’t know it [but] they’ll be the most popular person in this country.”

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell and executive director of the NFL Players Association DeMaurice Smith denounced Trump earlier Saturday, and they were joined by several players, including Eagles wide receiver Torrey Smith and former Eagles running back LeSean McCoy.

NFL commissioner, players' union angrily denounce Trump

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NFL commissioner, players' union angrily denounce Trump

SOMERSET, N.J. - The National Football League and its players' union on Saturday angrily denounced President Donald Trump for suggesting that owners fire players who kneel during the national anthem and that fans consider walking out in protest "when somebody disrespects our flag."

"Divisive comments like these demonstrate an unfortunate lack of respect for the NFL, our great game and all of our players," the league commissioner, Roger Goodell, said in a statement.

DeMaurice Smith, executive director of the NFL Players Association, tweeted: "We will never back down. We no longer can afford to stick to sports."

Trump, during a political rally in Alabama on Friday night, also blamed a drop in NFL ratings on the nation's interest in "yours truly" as well as what he contended was a decline in violence in the game.

Smith said the union won't shy away from "protecting the constitutional rights of our players as citizens as well as their safety as men who compete in a game that exposes them to great risks."

Trump kept up his foray into the sports world on Saturday, when he responded to comments by Stephen Curry of the Golden State Warriors, who has made it clear that he's not interested in a traditional White House trip for the NBA champions

"Going to the White House is considered a great honor for a championship team. Stephen Curry is hesitating, therefore invitation is withdrawn!" Trump tweeted while spending the weekend at his golf club in New Jersey.

It was not immediately clear whether Trump was rescinding the invitation for Curry or the entire team.

Several athletes, including a handful of NFL players, have refused to stand during "The Star-Spangled Banner" to protest of the treatment of blacks by police. Quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who started the trend last year when he played for the San Francisco 49ers, hasn't been signed by an NFL team for this season.

Trump, who once owned the New Jersey Generals of the U.S. Football League, said those players are disrespecting the American flag and deserve to lose their jobs.

"That's a total disrespect of our heritage. That's a total disrespect of everything that we stand for," Trump said, encouraging owners to act.

"Wouldn't you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, you'd say, 'Get that son of a bitch off the field right now. Out! He's fired," Trump said to loud applause.

Trump also predicted that any owner who followed the presidential encouragement would become "the most popular person in this country" -- at least for a week.

The players' union said in a statement that "no man or woman should ever have to choose a job that forces them to surrender their rights. No worker nor any athlete, professional or not, should be forced to become less than human when it comes to protecting their basic health and safety."

The NFLPA said "the line that marks the balance between the rights of every citizen in our great country gets crossed when someone is told to just 'shut up and play.'"

On the issue of violence on the field, Trump said players are being thrown out for aggressive tackles, and it's "not the same game."

Over the past several seasons, the NFL and college football have increased penalties and enforcement for illegal hits to the head and for hitting defenseless players. A July report on 202 former football players found evidence of a debilitating brain disease linked to repeated head blows in nearly all of them. The league has agreed to pay $1 billion to retired players who claimed it misled them about the concussion dangers of playing football.

During his campaign, Trump often expressed nostalgia for the "old days" -- claiming, for example, that protesters at his rallies would have been carried out on stretchers back then. He recently suggested police officers should be rougher with criminals and shouldn't protect their heads when pushing them into squad cars.

It's also not the first time he's raised the kneeling issue. Earlier this year he took credit for the fact that Kaepernick hadn't been signed.

Television ratings for the NFL have been slipping since the beginning of the 2016 season. The league and observers have blamed a combination of factors, including competing coverage of last year's presidential election, more viewers dropping cable television, fans' discomfort with the reports of head trauma and the anthem protests.

Ratings have been down even more in the early 2017 season, though broadcasters and the league have blamed the hurricanes that hit Florida and Texas. Still, the NFL remains by far the most popular televised sport in the United States.

Trump said the anthem protest was the top reason NFL viewership had waned.

"You know what's hurting the game?" he asked. "When people like yourselves turn on television and you see those people taking the knee when they're playing our great national anthem," he said.

Trump encouraged his supporters to pick up and leave the stadium next time they spot a player failing to stand.

"I guarantee things will stop," he said.