Monday, August 24, 2009
Training Camp Roundup: Aug. 24
ESPN.com news services
MCCARTHY NAMES PACKERS' OL STARTERS (11:03 p.m. ET) Green Bay Packers coach Mike McCarthy has picked his starting offensive line. At least for now.
McCarthy said Monday that Jason Spitz will start at center over Scott Wells in Friday's preseason game at Arizona. And Allen Barbre will start over Breno Giacomini at right tackle.
Spitz and Barbre will be joined against the Cardinals by veteran Chad Clifton at left tackle, Daryn Colledge at left guard and Josh Sitton at right guard.
McCarthy says if they keep progressing, they'll be the offensive line the Packers go with in the regular season opener against Chicago.
But the coach notes that if they don't keep getting better, there are plenty of guys "ready to go."
-- The Associated PressLB HARRIS RETURNS TO RAIDERS (10:22 p.m. ET)
The Oakland Raiders brought back linebacker Napoleon Harris four years after trading him in a deal for Randy Moss and released cornerback Ricky Manning Jr.
The Raiders made the move Monday after losing linebacker Kirk Morrison to a dislocated elbow on Saturday. Morrison is expected to miss two weeks and the Raiders needed more depth at middle linebacker.
Harris was a first-round pick by the Raiders in 2002 before being dealt to Minnesota in the deal that brought Moss to Oakland in 2005. He spent two years with the Vikings before going to Kansas City in 2007. He went back to Minnesota last season and started five games for the Vikings.
-- The Associated PressWOMAN CAUGHT WITH FAVRE GOAT IN TRUNK (9:36 p.m. ET)
An auto repairman in Winona, Minn., had an unusual visitor when a woman brought a Chevy Malibu in for a new belt -- and told him she had a goat in her trunk.
According to the Winona Daily News, the woman had planned to butcher the goat later but her car broke down on the way to St. Paul. Repairman James Prusci said after 10 minutes of work, they could hear the goat crying.
"We cracked open the trunk, you know, so it could breathe," Prusci said. "And sure enough, there it was. It kind of poked its head up."
The goat was painted purple and gold and had the No. 4 -- Brett Favre's number -- shaved into its side. The workers called animal control, and an animal control vehicle and two cops showed up before the woman could leave with the car.
Winona Police Sgt. Chris Nelson confirmed Prusci's story Saturday morning, saying the goat was in the care of a local veterinarian.
-- ESPN.com news servicesBENGALS SIGN DT MOORE (8:25 p.m. ET)
Defensive tackle Langston Moore has signed with the Cincinnati Bengals, the team that originally drafted him.
The Bengals took him in the sixth round in 2003. He started eight games the following year, then played for Arizona. He played in 25 games over the last two seasons for Detroit, which let him leave as a free agent after last season. He has been out of the NFL since then.
Moore will compete for a spot in the Bengals' defensive line rotation.
-- The Associated PressBUCS' QB JOB STILL UP IN AIR (8:05 p.m. ET)
No more deadlines on choosing Tampa Bay's starting quarterback. Byron Leftwich and Luke McCown will get another chance to prove who's the best choice to lead the Buccaneers into the regular season.
First-year coach Raheem Morris said Monday the race is too close to call and dropped a self-imposed mandate to determine who's No. 1 before the third preseason game.
Leftwich and McCown each will play a little more than a quarter Thursday night against Miami.
Morris hopes giving them an opportunity to play an equal number of snaps with the starting offense will produce a clear-cut winner.
-- The Associated PressDOLPHINS DBs BACK AFTER FLU TESTS (7:42 p.m. ET) Miami Dolphins defensive backs Sean Smith and Jason Allen are practicing again after being scratched from Saturday's exhibition game against Carolina with flu-like symptoms.
The Dolphins said the two had tests, but declined to say whether the players were tested for swine flu. Smith and Allen both said after practice Monday evening that they were feeling fine. They declined further comment.
Smith was replaced at starting cornerback by fellow rookie Vontae Davis. Allen is a reserve safety.
-- The Associated PressTITANS WAIVE DAVIS FOLLOWING DUI ARREST (6:57 p.m. ET)
The Tennessee Titans waived receiver Chris Davis on Monday, three days after his DUI arrest in Nashville.
Davis was stopped early Friday for speeding downtown. The arrest report stated when the officer pulled over Davis' car, the player smelled of alcohol and his eyes were watery. Davis consented to a breath alcohol test, which registered 0.11. The level of intoxication in Tennessee is 0.08.
Coach Jeff Fisher said Davis' injured left hamstring would not have allowed him to play before roster cutdowns. So the coach said the team released Davis and lineman Doug Datish.
Davis' agent Dave Butz told The Tennessean that his client "is disappointed the way things ended up" with the Titans.
"If there's an opportunity for Chris to possibly end up back there in the future that's great," Butz told the newspaper. "In the meantime, Chris is anxious to find a new team and hit the ground running and we've already heard from at least one team that's interested in working him out. So he is excited about a new opportunity."
-- ESPN.com news servicesRAIDERS WR WALKER BACK AT PRACTICE (6:47 p.m. ET) Oakland Raiders wide receiver Javon Walker is back at practice for the first time since undergoing an offseason knee operation.
Walker had the procedure in April and has been on the physically unable to perform list for all of training camp. Walker has not said what kind of operation he had, saying only it was revolutionary and done outside the United States.
The Raiders are counting on Walker this season because he is one of the only experienced receivers on the roster. Rookies Darrius Heyward-Bey and Louis Murphy started the most recent exhibition game.
Walker had only 15 catches in his first year in Oakland, but has two 1,000-yard seasons in his other six years in the NFL.
-- The Associated PressLIONS' HANSON SAYS HE'S READY FOR OPENER (6:39 p.m. ET) Jason Hanson says he is on schedule to play in the Detroit Lions' season opener Sept. 13.
Hanson missed Saturday's preseason loss to Cleveland after undergoing minor knee surgery last week, but said Monday the training staff thinks his recovery is going well enough to play in New Orleans.
Hanson said he began having trouble with the knee in early August, but played through the injury and kicked the winning field goal as time expired in Detroit's first exhibition game.
-- The Associated PressTEXANS' TACKLE JOB UP FOR GRABS (5:50 p.m. ET) Amobi Okoye will start at defensive tackle for Houston, but who will start beside him is anyone's guess.
Travis Johnson has missed all of camp after sports hernia surgery, and Frank Okam and DelJuan Robinson haven't shown the consistency coach Gary Kubiak wants. With two preseason games remaining, Kubiak needs someone to take the job. Soon.
The performance of the line will be key in the improvement of the entire defense. The Texans ranked third in total offense last season, but 22nd in defense and finished 8-8 for the second straight year.
They added left end Antonio Smith to help 2006 top overall pick Mario Williams on the outside. But the Texans need pressure from inside for the line to improve.
-- The Associated PressPANTHERS' GODFREY HAS SURGERY (4:55 p.m. ET)
Carolina starting free safety Charles Godfrey has undergone surgery for a broken right hand, further depleting the defense.
Godfrey was injured in Saturday's exhibition loss to Miami. Coach John Fox on Monday wouldn't say how long Godfrey will be out, but the team did make a roster move to add depth.
Veteran safety Kevin Kaesviharn was signed and the Panthers waived receiver Jason Carter. Kaesviharn turns 33 this week and is entering his ninth NFL season. He played for New Orleans in 2008.
The Panthers were also without linebacker Jon Beason on Monday. He's expected to miss at least a couple weeks with a sprained medial collateral ligament in his left knee. Defensive tackle Maake Kemoeatu tore his Achilles tendon earlier in training camp.
Beason was getting treatment when the Panthers practiced Monday and unavailable for comment. Agent Drew Rosenhaus said a day earlier that Beason was hopeful to be ready for the regular-season opener Sept. 13 against Philadelphia.
"The regular-season opener is a ways away," Fox said. "There a lot of day to days before then."
-- The Associated PressRAMS' LITTLE SPRAINS KNEE (4:30 p.m. ET) St. Louis Rams defensive end Leonard Little sprained his right knee in practice, although coach Steve Spagnuolo didn't believe it was serious.
A team spokesman said Little was day to day. He did not participate in the second of two workouts Monday.
Little was helped off the field after being hurt in a drill and returned with an ice bag on the knee. Spagnuolo said Little spent the rest of the practice on the sideline as a precaution.
The 34-year-old Little is in his 12th season with the Rams and has 81 career sacks, most in franchise history since the NFL made it an official statistic in 1982. Last season, Little was second on the team with six sacks.
-- The Associated PressBILLS' SCHOBEL OUT A WEEK, OWENS STILL SITS (2:22 p.m. ET)
Bills defensive end Aaron Schobel will miss at least a week with an injured left elbow.
The team's top pass rusher did not practice Monday in Buffalo's first session since a 31-21 loss at Green Bay on Saturday. Without divulging the nature of the injury, coach Dick Jauron said it's not considered a "long, long-term" problem, but could keep Schobel out for a week or so.
The Bills have two preseason games left and next play at Pittsburgh on Saturday.
Receiver Terrell Owens continues to miss practice while nursing a sprained toe he injured in the Hall of Fame game against Tennessee on Aug. 9. Jauron said the injury is improving, but wouldn't provide a timetable on Owens' return.
-- The Associated PressNINERS TAKE McDONALD OFF PUP LIST (2:20 p.m. ET)
The San Francisco 49ers have taken defensive end Ray McDonald off the physically unable to perform list.
McDonald was scheduled to participate in his first training camp practice later Monday. McDonald hurt his right knee last Oct. 19 against the New York Giants and started only two more games the rest of the season. He later underwent reconstructive surgery on the anterior cruciate ligament and missed the offseason workouts.
The 49ers need a boost for their pass rush. They have only one sack in two exhibition games and that came when Oakland quarterback JaMarcus Russell tripped over teammate Darren McFadden's foot.
-- The Associated PressBROWNS' QB BATTLE STILL CLOSE (2:02 p.m. ET)
Eric Mangini says Cleveland's starting quarterback derby remains a neck-and-neck race.
Brady Quinn and Derek Anderson began training camp in a dead heat and after two exhibition games, the first-year Browns coach said Monday he is no closer to choosing a starter for the Sept. 13 opener against Minnesota.
Mangini said he's confident a clear winner will emerge in the next two weeks, and if one doesn't, he will decide based on information gathered over the past few months.
Anderson started Saturday's 27-10 win over Detroit. He led the Browns to their first offensive touchdown in seven games and finished 8 of 13 for 130 yards and one interception. Quinn, who started the exhibition opener in Green Bay, played just two-plus drives against the Lions.
-- The Associated PressANDREWS SAYS HE'LL BE READY (1:56 p.m. ET) Philadelphia Eagles offensive lineman Shawn Andrews says his injured back is improving and he expects to play the team's season opener.
Andrews, who underwent back surgery last season, hasn't practiced since the first day of training camp when he re-injured his back. Eagles coach Andy Reid said Saturday he was prepared to start the year without Andrews, a two-time Pro Bowl right guard who is moving to right tackle this season.
Andrews tested his back on Sunday by running 14 40-yard sprints. He says he's making progress and he wants to play football, despite suggestions by critics that he's lost his desire.
The Eagles open the season on Sept. 13 at Carolina.
-- The Associated PressJAGS RECEIVER CHANGES NAME (1:53 p.m. ET)
The Jacksonville Jaguars now have another player with a hyphenated last name.
Receiver Mike Walker officially changed his last name to Sims-Walker in honor of his late father, and received NFL approval to put it on the back of his jersey beginning this season.
Walker's father, 51-year-old Michael Sims, died Dec. 6, 2008, following a two-year bout with colon cancer. His death came a little more than a week after one of Walker's close friends was fatally stabbed outside an Orlando nightclub.
Michael Sims was hospitalized while Walker attended his friend's funeral. After the funeral, Walker boarded a flight to Chicago to join his teammates. When he landed, he had a message saying his father wasn't doing well. His dad died a few hours later.
-- The Associated Press