49ers working out Tyson Jackson

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Defensive lineman Tyson Jackson squared off against Kyle Shanahan’s offense during Falcons practices last year and the two men could be back under the same umbrella this year.

Ian Rapoport of NFL Media reports that Jackson is working out for the 49ers on Tuesday.

Shanahan left his perch as the Falcons’ offensive coordinator for the 49ers head coaching job in February and Jackson was released by the Falcons the next month. Jackson spent three years in Atlanta after signing a five-year contract with the team in 2014. He played in every game for the team over that span, but went from a full-time starter in 2014 to starting 12 and seven games in his final two seasons.

The 49ers drafted Solomon Thomas in the first round this year, making it three straight years that the team has used a first-round pick on a defensive linemen. Those two players — Arik Armstead and DeForest Buckner — join Thomas, Earl Mitchell, Aaron Lynch, Tank Carradine, Elvis Dumervil, Quinton Dial and 2017 sixth-round pick D.J. Jones up front for the Niners.

Giants waiting to see how Odell Beckham, Brandon Marshall respond to treatment

AP

Giants coach Ben McAdoo confirmed that Odell Beckham has an ankle and that Brandon Marshall has a shoulder, but offered little other information about the condition of those body parts during a Monday press conference.

Beckham left in the second quarter of Monday night’s game against the Browns after a hit to the leg, which led to some holding of breath around the team before word came that he suffered an ankle sprain. Marshall went for X-rays of his shoulder a short time later.

McAdoo said those X-rays were negative and would only say that the team will wait to see how each of the players responds to treatment when asked about an update on the status of two of the team’s top wide receivers.

The Giants have their annual preseason game against the Jets on Saturday and it looks like any word about whether the wideouts will play will wait until later in the week.

OBJ considers $100 million insurance policy

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After a near miss on Monday night, OBJ may soon be getting himself in good hands.

Via Charles Robinson of Yahoo Sports, Beckham will consider purchasing possibly more than $100 million in insurance, if he doesn’t get a new contract with the Giants before the start of the regular season. Citing a pair of unnamed sources, Beckham’s camp considered getting insurance before a low hit that left him with a sprained ankle on Monday night.

As one source told Robinson, Beckham prefers a new deal. The fallback will be the insurance policy.

First, why didn’t Beckham already have the insurance policy in place? The risks arise before the regular season begins, and if he had torn his ACL last night the failure to acquire the protection would have been viewed as gross stupidity. Frankly, it should be viewed that way anyway.

Second, this report underscores the reality that now is the time for the Giants to make their move. Beckham can wax all he wants about wanting to be the highest-paid player in the game. Put an offer on the table that gives him life-changing money, that makes him the highest-paid receiver in the NFL, and that obviates the need for writing a big check for what he’d get via signing bonus and injury guarantees, and Beckham will forget about getting as much as he possibly can and gladly settle for getting enough.

Especially after he stepped into the fray under the common delusion that “it’s not going to happen to me.”

Max Tuerk suspended four games for violating performance-enhancing drug policy

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The NFL has suspended Chargers center Max Tuerk for four games for violating the league’s policy on performance-enhancing substances. He can return Oct. 2, following the team’s game against the Eagles on Oct. 1.

“This offseason, I made the mistake of taking over-the-counter supplements,” Tuerk said in a statement released by the team. “In doing so, I opened myself up to the possibility of consuming a tainted supplement — something that ultimately led to a positive test for a banned substance. I accept responsibility for my actions and understand the NFL’s policy is very clear on this matter. This is a very hard way to learn a lesson, and I will never make this mistake again.”

Tuerk, a third-round pick in 2016, has yet to play in a regular-season game. He is eligible to continue his participation in the preseason practices and games, though he injured a finger in Sunday’s preseason loss to the Saints.

“We respect and support the League’s decision on this matter,” the Chargers said in a statement. “While disappointed, we appreciate that Max has accepted responsibility and are confident that he understands what is expected from him moving forward.”

 

Kenny Stills isn’t kneeling for anthem, but he respects those who are

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Even though he’s no longer kneeling for the national anthem, Dolphins wide receiver Kenny Stills notices when others do.

So when a dozen Browns players formed a multi-cultural prayer circle last night hit a knee, Stills definitely noticed.

It’s encouraging to see other people getting involved,” Stills said, via Lorenzo Reyes of USA Today. “I feel like it’s pretty alarming that we have a league that’s majority African-American, and we didn’t have many guys that were getting involved. So I was pretty excited and encouraged by that. People are saying that they were praying for our country; I support that as well. I’m encouraged to see people getting involved and hope that they start taking the action and get involved in their community.”

Stills kneeled throughout last season, but decided he wasn’t going to continue last year.

“I felt people were being distracted by the kneeling and not seeing the work that we were doing, and that’s what it’s all about,” Stills said. “The narrative was going the wrong way, and I just wanted to get it going back the right way. And I think the guys that are kneeling, as long as they start getting themselves involved in the community and start getting to work, then people can’t really have anything negative to say about that.”

Stills has put his activism into action, and is one of the more active Dolphins players in the community (winning the team’s service award). He has held town halls with players and coaches and police and civilians, and has ridden along with local police there to learn more about their world.

Lions bid to host NFL draft, Super Bowl

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Everyone wants the NFL Draft, including the Lions.

Detroit has put in a bid seeking the 2020 or 2021 NFL Draft. It also has hopes of returning the Super Bowl to the city after spending some $100 million in stadium renovations during the offseason.

The NFL won’t decide until October which cities can bid for the next round of Super Bowls, according to Lions president Rod Wood, but he said the draft bidding process “is a little bit further along.”

“We’ve actually submitted renderings of what the draft may look like if we hosted it in Detroit,” Wood said on 760-AM WJR, via Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press. “I know a number of other cities have done the same thing, and we’re going to hear back from the NFL soon on that, the next steps. We’re bidding on the draft I think for 2020 and 2021 to be in Detroit.”

The league has not announced the site of the 2018 draft yet. The NFL moved the draft out of its longtime location at Radio City Music Hall in New York, with Chicago playing host in 2015-16 and Philadelphia this year.

The next five Super Bowl sites are set — Minneapolis in February, followed by Atlanta, South Florida, Tampa and Los Angeles. The NFL will award the next round of games next year.

Ford Field has hosted one Super Bowl in its 15 seasons and will get consideration for a future game after undergoing significant upgrades.

“You can’t win if you don’t try, so we’re going to try and bring one or both to the city,” Wood said.

Wood is hosting NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell at the stadium today.

Tank Carder tears ACL, out for season

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Browns linebacker Tank Carder will miss the season after tearing the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee, coach Hue Jackson announced Tuesday.

Carder started at middle linebacker Monday night but played only eight snaps before leaving with 3:57 remaining in the first quarter. Joe Schobert replaced Carder, and in 23 snaps, Schobert made a team-leading six tackles, including a tackle for loss, a sack and a quarterback hit.

Jackson said while the Browns will miss Carder, it’s a luxury having Schobert who “has really improved.”

Carder made only two starts in his first five seasons, sticking with the team as a core special teams player. But when the Browns traded Demario Davis to the Jets in June, they gave Carder a chance to win the job. Now, after undergoing major knee surgery in the coming days, Carder will have to wait until next season.

Trent Richardson changes his mind, won’t play in the CFL

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Trent Richardson will not play in Canada after all.

After initially agreeing to play for the Canadian Football League’s Saskatchewan Roughriders for the rest of this season, Richardson has decided not to go north because the contract with the Roughriders would have given the team a 2018 option as well.

Richardson told AL.com that the team option was a sticking point because his goal is to get back to the NFL. If Richardson had taken the contract with the team option, he could have been contractually obligated to remain in the CFL for the 2018 season and unable to play in the NFL until 2019.

Realistically, Richardson getting back to the NFL is a long shot. The Browns and the Colts made him their featured back and he failed in both places, averaging just 3.3 yards a carry in his three NFL seasons. He then failed to make the roster after getting chances in Oakland and Baltimore.

So playing in the CFL may be Richardson’s best hope of getting another professional football job. But that’s not a step Richardson is willing to take just yet.

T.J. Ward back to practice for Broncos

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The Broncos doubled up on defensive players returning to practice on Tuesday.

In addition to linebacker Shaquil Barrett getting activated from the non-football injury list, the Broncos also got safety T.J. Ward back on the field for the first time in a couple of weeks. Ward hurt his hamstring earlier this month and has been an observer at practice as a result.

James Palmer of NFL Media reports that Ward was in full pads, but wasn’t doing everything in terms of team drills on his first day back. That’s not a great surprise given the length of his layoff and the desire to avoid a relapse, but getting any work now leaves him right on track for the starting lineup come the start of the regular season.

The Broncos are still waiting on defensive ends Derek Wolfe and Jared Crick and linebacker Shane Ray before they’ll have all their key defensive pieces in place.

Jalen Ramsey set to make preseason debut this week

AP

The Panthers are expected to have quarterback Cam Newton knocking off some rust when they play the Jaguars on Thursday and he’ll be facing a cornerback doing the same thing.

The Jaguars will give cornerback Jalen Ramsey his first playing time of the preseason. Ramsey opened camp on the physically unable to perform list after having core muscle surgery, but came off 10 days ago and coach Doug Marrone said Tuesday that he’s ready to move from practice to playing.

“Our plan is to get Jalen in there,” Marrone said, via ESPN.com. “We feel like we’re going to put him in there so we’re excited about seeing him. He’s had a good week. Without anything happening between now and the game, he should be playing.”

Ramsey probably won’t see extended time and will have to wait a little longer for his first game action with fellow corner A.J. Bouye, who signed with Jacksonville this offseason and will miss the game with an undisclosed injury.

Cooper Rush getting more second-team reps

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Cooper Rush will get more second-team reps Tuesday. coach Jason Garrett said, as the undrafted rookie moves closer to supplanting Kellen Moore as Dak Prescott‘s backup.

While Moore has played better competition than Rush in three preseason games, Rush has outplayed the veteran. Rush has completed 26 of 38 passes for 283 yards with four touchdowns, no interceptions and a 125.2 passer rating; Moore has completed 30 of 55 passes for 382 yards with one touchdown, one interception and a 75.0 passer rating.

“Probably a combination,” Garrett said Tuesday when asked if it’s more what Rush has done or Moore hasn’t done. “I thought Kellen has done some really good things and then other times hasn’t been as good, and Cooper has taken advantage of his opportunities when he’s gotten them. That’s the big thing we try to emphasize to all of our players: If you get 20 reps in practice or two, maximize them. There’s going to be a reel at some point that we’re going to look at that are all of your plays, how did you do? So it’s important for guys to maintain a focus and focus on what their opportunities are and not look left and right or behind them. Just focus on what your chances are and take advantage of them. Each of those guys has done a good job of that.”

The Cowboys signed Rush after the Lions beat them to their seventh-round target, University of Miami quarterback Brad Kaaya. Like last year, when the Broncos beat them to Paxton Lynch, leaving them to draft Prescott, the Cowboys might have lucked out.

Rush started four years at Central Michigan, playing in a pro-style, under-center offense. He has adapted quickly to the NFL.

“I feel confident in my ability, and my team’s ability,” Rush said. “But every day I’ve got to keep improving. I’ve got a long, long way to go. Every day, every snap there’s something that I’m learning new. When I’m taking the snap, or watching Kellen or watching Dak, I just try to soak that all in.”

The Cowboys have four quarterbacks on their roster who have combined to start 28 career games, including fourth-stringer Luke McCown with 10 starts. So Rush has only slightly less experience than the quarterbacks ahead of him. Of course, soon Rush officially might have only Prescott in front of him.

“Definitely, it’s not a bad sign, so you just take it,” Rush said of his second-team reps. “You go in stride with it, and you just stick with what you’ve been doing.”

Julio Jones might get his first preseason action Saturday night

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Julio Jones has already declared himself recovered from offseason foot surgery, and now he might be ready for some game action.

Falcons coach Dan Quinn said it was a possibility his star wide receiver would play when they christen their new stadium Saturday night.

“He had a good week last week and did a bunch in the pre-game,” Quinn said, via D. Orlando Ledbetter of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “If he looks good and wants to get some [action] in this week and keeps progressing like he has, that would be something that we would be consider.”

Jones hasn’t played this preseason, and the third game would probably be the only opportunity (since the fourth one is more meaningless than the rest of them). Jones had a procedure to remove a bunion from his left foot, and even if that sounds minor, it’s a much bigger deal when it’s on the foot of one of the top receivers in the game. Despite the pain he was playing through last year, he led the NFC with 1,409 receiving yards.

“I could play,” Jones said last week. “But, . . . we are not rushing anything. We know what I can do. It’s all about just coming out here and fine tuning.

“I’m just staying on top of my game and having everybody comfortable like with [quarterback] Matt [Ryan] with the timing on certain routes that we run, that I haven’t ran with him the past. Those are the things to come out here and stay on top of those.”

Whether that’s important enough to risk him against the Cardinals Saturday night remains to be seen, but Quinn sounded open to the possibility.

Mike Martz claims he was misquoted on Jared Goff, Sean McVay

AP

Former Rams coach Mike Martz disputes quotes attributed to him criticizing current Rams coach Sean McVay and quarterback Jared Goff in an upcoming book.

In Thomas George’s new book, Blitzed: Why NFL Teams Gamble on Starting Rookie Quarterbacks, Martz is quoted as saying that Goff “couldn’t have gone to a worse place” than the Rams, where he struggled as a rookie last year and will now be coached by McVay, whom Martz described derisively as “a buddy for Jared.”

Martz appeared on ESPN LA 710 today and said that while he did point out that McVay, as the NFL’s youngest coach, is only a little older than Goff, he didn’t say the other negative things attributed to him about the McVay-Goff relationship.

“I would never say something like that,” Martz said. “[The quote] was kind of embellished. It was a very short interview, and I think what I told [George] was there’s only a couple years’ difference between them, and they probably brought him in because of his ability to communicate. With [Goff], you want somebody more his age, I guess. But all of that other garbage, I would never say something like that.”

The quotes from Martz in the book seem to be coming out of nowhere, as there’s little reason for Martz to have such animosity toward McVay. But it’s hard to believe that George would simply invent quotes like that. Perhaps George has an audio recording of the interview that can clear up exactly what Martz said.

Dont’a Hightower off PUP, Nate Solder returns to practice for Patriots

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The regular season starts two weeks from Thursday and the Patriots are getting healthier ahead as that date draws closer.

According to multiple reports, Tuesday’s practice saw linebacker Dont'a Hightower on the field in a helmet and pads for the first time this summer. Hightower had been on the physically unable to perform list due to persistent issues with his knee, although there was never a sign that he was expected to miss any regular season time.

Hightower was joined at practice by left tackle Nate Solder, who has not played in the preseason and not practiced for a while for undisclosed reasons. That should leave him on track to be in the lineup for the start of the regular season as well.

Defensive end Deatrich Wise and tackle LaAdrian Waddle also practiced for the Patriots Tuesday. Both players had been sidelined recently due to concussions.

Ravens install SkyCam for all games

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It took a long time, but someone finally has done it.

The Ravens have installed a permanent SkyCam, making them the first (and only) NFL team to have the technology in place for every home game.

This will enhance the in-stadium replays and angles, as part of the effort to make the experience as good as, if not better than, watching the game at home.

High-profile NFL and college broadcasts have been using SkyCam or a similar product for years. And but for an incident in Seattle and at the Insight Bowl, the technology has been deployed without incident.

Last year, some believed a pass from Raiders quarterback Derek Carr hit a camera cable in Kansas City. It didn’t.

In Baltimore, they won’t have to worry about Ryan Mallet hitting a cable. Especially if he aims for one.