Eagles

NFL Notes: Cowboys' Ezekiel Elliott interacts with fans, shuns media as issues swirl

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NFL Notes: Cowboys' Ezekiel Elliott interacts with fans, shuns media as issues swirl

OXNARD, Calif. -- Ezekiel Elliott stopped for a few moments to greet military personnel and pose for a few pictures on the opening day of training camp.

Just like that, the star running back of the Dallas Cowboys darted out of a large crowd of reporters and ran toward a fence to sign a few autographs.

Last year's NFL rushing leader as a rookie isn't talking to media members because of lingering issues off the field, but Elliott is still hamming it up with adoring fans. And he's also going through complete workouts a year after a hamstring issue limited his time in camp.

"I'm not even worrying about Zeke because that guy loves football," said receiver Dez Bryant, who had his share of trouble upon entering the league in 2010.

"I understand it's more than football. He's got a great supporting cast and he can't lose with guys like us around him" (see full story).

Jets: Whitehead claimed off waiversafter identity snafu
FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- The New York Jets claimed wide receiver-kick returner Lucky Whitehead on Wednesday, two days after the Cowboys cut him following a shoplifting charge in what turned out to be a case of mistaken identity.

A man used Whitehead's identity to steal $40 worth of food and drink from a Virginia convenience store in June. Dallas released him Monday after reports that Whitehead was arrested and subsequently cited for missing a court hearing.

The Jets, desperate for help at receiver, claimed the three-year veteran and waived receiver Devin Street.

Whitehead appeared in 30 games the past two seasons with the Cowboys. He averaged 25.6 yards on 33 kick returns and 6.9 yards on 44 punt returns, and had nine receptions as a reserve receiver.

When the charges against Whitehead were announced, his agent, Dave Rich, contended that his client wasn't in Virginia at the time of the reported arrest. Police subsequently said they are seeking the person who used the identity of Rodney Darnell Whitehead Jr., the receiver's given name.

Whitehead could file a grievance with the players' union about his release (see full story).

Browns: Top pick Garrett ready for camp
BEREA, Ohio -- The Cleveland Browns already have their first win: Myles Garrett is ready for training camp.

The rookie defensive end and No. 1 overall pick in the NFL draft has recovered from a foot sprain and will be on the field Thursday when Cleveland opens camp following a miserable 1-15 season.

Garrett suffered a left lateral foot sprain while rushing quarterback Brock Osweiler during minicamp in June. He was placed in a walking boot and there was some concern that he might be sidelined for an extensive period.

However, coach Hue Jackson said Wednesday that Garrett is "totally healthy" and will be on the field for the team's first workout. Garrett will be monitored during practices and it's possible he could be kept out of some drills.

"We will definitely monitor him but I think he's totally healthy, maybe hasn't done all the conditioning that you like to see right before training camp," Jackson said. "But I think he's up to speed and ready to go. And he's looking forward to it" (see full story).

Vikings: Pro Bowl DE Griffen gets extension
MINNEAPOLIS -- The Minnesota Vikings have signed two-time Pro Bowl defensive end Everson Griffen to a contract extension.

Griffen's deal was done Wednesday, when veteran players reported to training camp at Minnesota State University in Mankato.

Griffen's previous contract, which was signed in 2014, had two years remaining. Griffen has 48 sacks in seven seasons with the Vikings, who drafted him in the fourth round in 2010 out of USC. His tenure is the second longest on the team. Since becoming a full-time starter in 2014, Griffen has 30 sacks, the fifth most in the league during that span (see full story).

Falcons: Divers search lake for Jones’ $100K-plus earring
GAINESVILLE, Ga. -- An NFL star's diamond earring valued at more than $100,000 is now presumed lost on the murky bottom of a Georgia lake.

WXIA-TV reported Tuesday that Atlanta Falcons star wide receiver Julio Jones lost it when he hit a boat wake and took a spill while jet skiing in Lake Lanier, about 50 miles (80 kilometers) outside Atlanta.

He resurfaced but his pricey earring didn't.

SCUBA divers have been searching the lake bottom, hoping to capture a flashlight's reflection off the jewelry amid old trees that have been submerged since the man-made lake's creation in the 1950s.

So far, no luck.

Falcons training camp begins Thursday and goes through Aug. 4. The first preseason game is Aug. 26 against the Arizona Cardinals, the grand opening of Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta.

Ominous injury news for Alshon Jeffery

Ominous injury news for Alshon Jeffery

Updated: 4:20 p.m.

The Eagles’ wide receiving corps, already in shambles, is now without Alshon Jeffery, who reportedly suffered a season-ending injury in the win over the Giants Monday night.

The oft-injured Jeffery was carted off the field after suffering a non-contact injury in the ankle or Achilles area early in the second quarter.

Head coach Doug Pederson declined to specify exactly what the injury is at his day-after presser, but he did say it’s “more significant” than a week-to-week injury. At this point in the season, it's no surprise that this is a season-ending injury for the 29-year-old Jeffery.

Pederson said he was waiting for more test results later Monday before saying anything more definitive, but it didn't sound good.

He did allow that, “We have to do a course of action, a plan, with him here pretty soon probably,” which presumably means placing Jeffery on Injured Reserve and figuring out how to replace him.

Jeffery's season ends after he played just 10 games. He finished with 43 catches for 490 yards and 4 touchdowns. 

Complicating matters is the continued absence of Nelson Agholor, the Eagles’ other starting wide receiver. He missed the Giants game with a knee injury he suffered in the Dolphins game a week ago, and Pederson said there’s no guarantee he’ll be ready to play against the Redskins.

“That one’s still up in the air,” he said. “We’ve just got to continue to work through his injury and where he’s at and continue to have conversations with him and see where he is prior to this week.”

With Jeffery out and Agholor’s status unknown, the Eagles have just two healthy wide receivers — J.J. Arcega Whiteside and Greg Ward, who have 19 combined career catches. Tight end Josh Perkins, who can also play in the slot, has 13 career receptions.

Things got so bad Sunday the Eagles were preparing backup quarterback Josh McCown to play wide receiver when Arega-Whiteside left the game. McCown played some receiver with the Lions in 2006. He’s now 40.

Most likely, the Eagles will add one and perhaps two wide receivers this week. Marken Michel, Marcus Green and Robert Davis are on the practice squad, and Jordan Matthews is always on Howie Roseman’s speed dial.

This late in the season it's difficult to bring in somebody from outside who hasn't been in this offense either in training camp or during the season.

“We definitely have a couple guys on practice squad if we have to make a move,” Pederson said. “Obviously, we could look outside the building if we need to. But we’re going to work through that today and try to get something in place here pretty quick. We’re back on the field (Tuesday).”

Jeffery has been in and out of the lineup with injuries for much of the last two years. The one-time Bears Pro Bowler had only 43 catches for 490 yards and four TDs in 10 games this year.

Pederson said right tackle Lane Johnson is week-to-week with a sprained ankle. Halapoulivaati Vaitai, who finished the game Monday night at right tackle, will start against the Redskins Sunday. Pederson didn’t have a timetable on Johnson’s possible return.

The rest of the injury news was a little more positive.

Rookies Arcega-Whiteside and Miles Sanders, who both missed snaps Monday night, are “fine,” according to Pederson.

Cornerback Jalen Mills, who hurt his elbow, “should be OK,” Pederson said: “The only thing you’ll see probably is a brace on his elbow. Other than that he’s good.”

More on the Eagles

Carson Wentz reveals his baby’s gender in classic Carson Wentz style

Carson Wentz reveals his baby’s gender in classic Carson Wentz style

Did we expect anything less from Carson Wentz?

If you haven’t been following our beloved quarterback’s personal life, Carson Wentz and his wife Madison announced on Thanksgiving morning that they are expecting their first child. 

On Tuesday, Wentz posted an Instagram video from their gender reveal party, where the couple found out the sex of their baby in the most Wentz way possible — by throwing a football full of colored powder into the air and skeet shooting it down to reveal the colored powder.

The football doesn’t lie. It’s a girl! 

Baby Girl Wentz is due this spring and we can’t wait. Let’s begin the name guessing now.