vontaze burfict

NFL Notes: League targets entire Ezekiel Elliott suit in hopes to restore ban

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NFL Notes: League targets entire Ezekiel Elliott suit in hopes to restore ban

FRISCO, Texas -- The NFL is asking a federal appeals court to dismiss Ezekiel Elliott's entire lawsuit in its bid to lift an injunction that blocked the star Dallas Cowboys running back's six-game suspension over a domestic violence case in Ohio.

The league wrote in a filing Wednesday to the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans that the players' union case filed on behalf of Elliott had resulted in "hopelessly doomed proceedings."

The court requested arguments from both sides over U.S. District Judge Amos Mazzant's jurisdiction.

The Texas judge granted Elliott's request for an injunction while the case plays out in federal court. The NFL asked the appeals court for an emergency stay of Mazzant's ruling, and oral arguments are set for Monday.

The 22-year-old Elliott was suspended by Commissioner Roger Goodell in August after the league concluded following a yearlong investigation that he had several physical confrontations last summer with his girlfriend at the time. Prosecutors in Ohio didn't pursue the case, citing conflicting evidence.

Giants: Beckham has no regrets about TD celebration
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- New York Giants receiver Odell Beckham Jr. had little regret about the dog-like celebration that angered the team, and claims NFL rules about post-score revelry are confusing.

Beckham said Wednesday he met with unhappy co-owner John Mara to discuss his vulgar celebration in which Beckham got down on all fours and pretended to urinate like a dog after catching a fourth-quarter touchdown pass in a loss to the Eagles.

Beckham refused to discuss his conversation with Mara. Giants spokesman Pat Hanlon said Mara also wanted it kept private.

Beckham's only regret was that the officials called a 15-yard unsportsmanlike conduct penalty against him.

Judging by the looks on their faces, Beckham added, the officials seemingly didn't know whether to call a penalty.

The 24-year-old superstar who feels he deserves to be the highest-paid player in the league, didn't know if his celebration was out of line.

"I don't think any of us know the rules on what you can do celebrating," he said. "They put in a new celebration thing to kind of make it seem as if players can celebrate and then you celebrate and you only have 40 seconds. So, if you celebrate for 20, you have 20 seconds to run on and kick (the extra point), so I don't really know. I don't really know how it works, but I do know going forward I have a lot better celebration" (see full story).

Colts: Luck ruled out of practice for another week
INDIANAPOLIS -- Andrew Luck's return to practice has been put on hold at least one more week.

On Wednesday, two days after explaining there was "a chance" the Indianapolis Colts' franchise quarterback could be back this week, coach Chuck Pagano ruled it out.

"He's still a week away as far as his throwing progression and things like that," Pagano said. "So we'll keep him out of practice this week and hopefully integrate him next week."

While fans reacted on social media with consternation about the latest update, the fact there is now some sort of timetable actually remains encouraging.

From the moment Luck had surgery on his throwing shoulder in January until this week, the Colts have avoided talking publicly about his progression or how soon he might suit up.

Now, it appears, Luck is getting close .

Television crews arrived early Wednesday at team headquarters, setting up shop in the parking lot for Luck's long anticipated return. A couple of hours later, Pagano dashed any hope of it happening before the team leaves for Seattle (1-2).

"Nothing changed. We said we were hopeful," Pagano said. "He's going great, there's no setback. Nothing's changed. It didn't work out" (see full story).

Browns: Top pick Garrett could practice, play this week
CLEVELAND -- Myles Garrett appears ready to move away from the stationary bike.

Cleveland's rookie defensive end is expected to practice later this week, and it's possible the No. 1 overall draft pick will make his regular-season debut on Sunday against Cincinnati.

"He's close," coach Hue Jackson said. "There's a chance he'll practice this week before the week's out, so we'll see where we are after that."

Garrett has missed the Browns' first three games with a right high ankle sprain suffered in the days before the season opener. He was on the side riding a bike alongside some other injured teammates on Wednesday as the Browns began preparations for the Bengals.

Jackson said the 6-foot-5, 275-pounder has made more progress and indicated he could make his long-awaited debut in this week's home game against the winless Bengals. Cleveland might use him exclusively in pass-rush situations.

"If he is able to play, we might not play him the whole game," Jackson said. "So we'll see how that unfolds if he's able to go. We'll find out more as we go through the week" (see full story).

Bengals: Burfict back after 3-game suspension
CINCINNATI -- During the Bengals' open locker room, linebacker Vontaze Burfict headed for the cafeteria, filled a foam carry-out box and headed straight to the trainer's room, not returning until the media was leaving.

Pressed to talk for 5 minutes after practice, he came off the field and told reporters he was first going to get a Bengals cap to wear for the occasion.

"I might be back," he said.

Eventually, he was.

"Three minutes," he said.

The Bengals' most volatile player has returned from his latest suspension, and he's not at all interested in talking about it.

His teammates are just glad he's back. Burfict is expected to start Sunday when the Bengals (0-3) play at Cleveland (0-3), needing a win to have any relevance in the AFC North race.

"He's kind of the straw that stirs the drink there," Browns coach Hue Jackson said during a conference call (see full story).

NFL Notes: Bengals give suspended LB Vontaze Burfict 3-year extension

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NFL Notes: Bengals give suspended LB Vontaze Burfict 3-year extension

CINCINNATI -- The Bengals have signed linebacker Vontaze Burfict to a three-year contract extension that will keep him with the team through the 2020 season.

The move Thursday comes despite Burfict being suspended by the NFL for the first three games this season for his egregious hit on Kansas City Chiefs fullback Anthony Sherman in a preseason game.

Burfict has been a key playmaker on Marvin Lewis' defense with 582 tackles, seven sacks, five interceptions, three forced fumbles and four fumble recoveries in his first five seasons. But he has also been one of the league's most-frequently fined -- eight times -- players and been suspended twice for questionable hits during his career.

Lewis says in a statement that Burfict, signed in 2012 as a rookie free agent out of Arizona State, "is still one of the young, emerging talents within the league."

Browns: Top pick Garrett out with ankle injury
CLEVELAND -- Browns rookie defensive end Myles Garrett will be sidelined for weeks because of a sprained right ankle.

The top overall pick in this year's draft was injured Wednesday during Cleveland's first full practice leading to Sunday's opener against the Pittsburgh Steelers. It's not known how Garrett was hurt.

The team said Thursday he has a high ankle sprain and his status will be updated in a "couple" of weeks.

Garrett's loss is another blow for the Browns, who went 1-15 last season and have had their share of costly injuries in recent years.

The 6-foot-4, 275-pound Garrett was limited by a left ankle sprain last year at Texas A&M. He sprained a foot with the Browns this spring (see full story).

Saints: Peterson says assuming he’s not still elite is ‘crazy’
METAIRIE, La. -- Adrian Peterson suggests it is "crazy" to assume he isn't still one of the best running backs in the NFL just because he's 32 years old and has had two knee surgeries.

In a few days, the new Saints running back gets his chance to demonstrate his point against the team that let him go in the city where he became arguably the best ball carrier of his generation.

"I'm pretty excited about it -- just trying to keep myself calm until Monday night comes around," said Peterson, who spent all of his previous 10 seasons with the Minnesota Vikings. "I'm looking for amazing things to happen for me and our team."

Peterson's logic is "just based on the work that I put in and just honestly the God-given ability I've been blessed with."

Patriots: Fans cheer 5th banner, boo Goodell
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- The New England Patriots are celebrating their fifth Super Bowl title.

The Patriots planned a ceremony to unveil the NFL championship banner before the season opener against the Kansas City Chiefs. The team had to do some minor renovations of their home stadium to make room for the latest banner.

Commissioner Roger Goodell was on the field before the game, which was also the opener for the NFL season. With New England fans still angry about Goodell's "Deflategate" investigation, he received a chilly welcome.

Fans booed him and wore shirts featuring his face adorned with a red clown nose. A website handed out thousands of towels with the image, too.

The Patriots won their fifth championship in February, rallying from a 25-point deficit to beat the Atlanta Falcons in the first overtime in Super Bowl history.

NFL Notes: Bengals LB Vontaze Burfict has suspension reduced to 3 games

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NFL Notes: Bengals LB Vontaze Burfict has suspension reduced to 3 games

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).