Jul 27, 2023; Oxnard, CA, USA; Dallas Cowboys running back Ronald Jones (left) and defensive end Ben Banogu wear Guardian helmet caps during training camp at Marriott Residence Inn-River Ridge Playing Fields. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Cowboys RB Ronald Jones suspended 2 games

The NFL suspended Dallas Cowboys running back Ronald Jones without pay for the first two games of the season for violating the league’s policy on performance-enhancing substances.

Jones, 25, will miss the Cowboys’ games against the New York Giants and New York Jets. He’ll be allowed to return to the Cowboys’ active roster on Sept. 18 ahead of their Week 3 game at Arizona.

The Cowboys signed Jones to a one-year contract in March. He played last season with the Kansas City Chiefs. Jones finished with 17 carries for 70 yards and a touchdown in six games (zero starts).

Jones is third on the Cowboys’ depth chart at RB behind Tony Pollard and Malik Davis.

Selected by Tampa Bay in the second round of the 2018 NFL Draft, Jones has 505 carries for 2,244 yards and 19 touchdowns in 61 career games (25 starts) with the Buccaneers and Chiefs. He also has 77 catches for 593 yards and a score.

–Field Level Media

The Birmingham Stallions head coach Skip Holtz changes into a USFL champions t-shirt during as he and his team celebrate their USFL championship after beating the Philadelphia Stars at Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium in Canton Sunday, July 3, 2022.

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Report: Northwestern tabs Skip Holtz as special assistant

USFL head coach Skip Holtz has agreed to become the new special assistant to the head coach at Northwestern this season, ESPN reported Monday.

The post is temporary and won’t impact Holtz’s duties with the Birmingham Stallions, per the report. Holtz has led the Stallions to back-to-back USFL titles.

Holtz, the son of legendary coach Lou Holtz, also spent 17 years as a head coach himself, going 118-98 with eight bowl wins in the Division I ranks at East Carolina, South Florida and Louisiana Tech.

Northwestern is bringing in Holtz to help shepherd interim head coach David Braun through the upcoming season, Braun is being thrust into turmoil over the firing of longtime head coach Pat Fitzgerald earlier this month.

Braun was hired as defensive coordinator in January and elevated when Northwestern fired Fitzgerald in response to hazing and assault allegations made by former players. The pattern of alleged incidents prompted lawsuits and the university launched a new follow-up investigation due to the seriousness and sensitivity of multiple claims.

Northwestern begins the season Sept. 3 at Rutgers.

–Field Level Media

Kenny Pickett (8) of the Pittsburgh Steelers avoids being sacked by Shaquil Barrett (58) of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers during the first half at Acrisure Stadium in Pittsburgh, PA on October 16, 2022.

Pittsburgh Steelers Vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers Week 6

Bucs’ Shaq Barrett: ‘Daily battle’ coping with daughter’s death

Tampa Bay Buccaneers outside linebacker Shaq Barrett admitted Monday that he is doing the best he can to keep occupied following the tragic loss of his daughter.

Barrett’s 2-year-old daughter, Arrayah, drowned in the family’s pool on May 1 in Tampa, Fla.

“It’s a daily battle, a tough battle,” Barrett said in his first public comments since Arrayah’s passing. “I felt it heavier today than I did the last couple of days. It just comes in waves. (Wife Jordanna and I) just talk to each other, talk through it with each other and just lean on each other to get ourselves through, and lean on the Lord, as well.”

Barrett, 30, admitted that football is serving as a bit of a welcome distraction.

“Yeah, because like this morning it was hitting me hard,” he said. “Getting ready for practice helped me get my mind off of it a little bit just focusing on something else. I’ve got a lot of time in the day when I’m just in my head thinking about stuff and thinking about her. So having to actually think about what I’m doing right in the moment helps me out a lot and helps the family out a lot when we’re doing stuff and trying to stay busy.”

Barrett and his family will be even busier down the road, as Jordanna is pregnant with another daughter.

“We know there is no replacing Arrayah. There is nothing ever in this world that can happen to replace our baby girl,” Barrett said. “But us having another baby girl is a super blessing because I wanted another girl really bad. I would’ve been happy either way, but having another girl — baby Allanah when she comes … the whole situation made me nervous in general about having another kid because accidents happen, but Jordanna was telling me I can’t think like that. I just have to stay strong, have faith and believe.

“Once I saw the heartbeat, I started to relax a bit and the excitement took over and worry went away. I’m just excited for my family and excited in general to have a new addition to our family in February.”

Barrett has spent the last four seasons with Tampa Bay after four campaigns with the Denver Broncos. He appeared in just eight games (all starts) during the 2022 campaign, recording three sacks and 31 tackles. He missed the rest of the season with a torn Achilles.

In 115 career games (69 starts), Barrett has totaled 54.5 sacks, 348 tackles (70 for loss) and 19 forced fumbles. He led the NFL with 19.5 sacks in 2019, his first season with Tampa Bay.

–Field Level Media

Jul 31, 2023; Metairie, LA, USA; New Orleans Saints running back Alvin Kamara (41) during training camp at the Ochsner Sports Performance Center. Mandatory Credit: Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports

Saints RB Alvin Kamara to meet with commissioner

New Orleans Saints running back Alvin Kamara anticipates being handed a suspension for his role in the February 2022 fight in Las Vegas that culminated in a plea deal, but the length of the ban could hinge on his meeting with Roger Goodell.

Kamara indicated he’s set to meet with the NFL commissioner to tell his side of the story of what transpired last year at the Las Vegas nightclub. Kamara pleaded no contest to a misdemeanor charge of breach of peace earlier this month, avoiding trial in the case in which a man was beaten.

Kamara had been charged with a felony. Kamara was sentenced to community service and will have to pay $100,000 to the victim for medical bills. Kamara also reached a civil settlement with the victim, Darnell Greene Jr., which included a public apology.

But now he has to plea with Goodell, a meeting Kamara requested.

“I think Alvin really wants to get out ahead of this and have a chance to visit with Roger and kind of give him his side of the story,” Saints coach Dennis Allen said Monday. “And look, at the end of the day, I think part of it is, ‘Let’s get some resolution with where we’re at and move forward.’ I think Alvin is looking forward to putting this behind him and focusing in on what he has to do to be the best he can for our team this season.”

The incident occurred at Drai’s After Hours nightclub, located in the basement of the Cromwell Hotel.

Kamara, 27, appeared in 15 games (13 starts) and ran for 897 yards and two touchdowns in 2022. The five-time Pro Bowl selection added 57 catches for 490 yards and two TDs.

–Field Level Media

Jan 29, 2023; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; San Francisco 49ers defensive end Nick Bosa (97) during warmups against the Philadelphia Eagles in the NFC Championship game at Lincoln Financial Field. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

GM: Nick Bosa holdout ‘no concern’ for 49ers

San Francisco 49ers general manager John Lynch sees no reason to sweat Nick Bosa’s decision to stay away from training camp.

Bosa plans to keep his distance from San Francisco until the business of a long-term contract extension is addressed.

“I don’t like not having one of our best players here,” Lynch said Monday. “We’ve got a really good track record that I’m proud of as a group of having our players in, but I also understand it. And understand that we’re going to have to exhibit some patience and understand that ultimately this thing will work out.”

Bosa was named Defensive Player of the Year in 2022 with a league-leading 18.5 sacks. He was third in quarterback pressures with 58.

He’s entering the final year of his contract and has been a dominant force for the 49ers’ front since 2019. He reported for mandatory minicamp but otherwise has trained away from the team in Florida while waiting for a new deal.

But Bosa said there was no insistence from his side to the team that a contract extension must make him the highest-paid player — or defensive player — in the NFL. Los Angeles Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald makes more than $31 million per year.

Lynch said the 49ers will withhold fining Bosa, which is permitted by his contract with the team, establishing the two sides are chasing the same end goal.

Even with a new defensive coordinator, linebacker Fred Warner believes Bosa will be there when it matters. He said defensive teammates know there is not a reason to fret over Bosa’s conditioning.

Lynch agreed Bosa will always look great in the mirror, but believes there will be a point when the team needs to strongly encourage him to rejoin the locker room.

“I think that’s important to not only give yourself the best chance to not only play at the highest level but to stay healthy,” Lynch said.

–Field Level Media

Nebraska safety Myles Farmer carries the Heroes Trophy off the field after the Cornhuskers beat Iowa, 24-17, on Friday, Nov. 25, 2022, at Kinnick Stadium in Iowa City.

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Nebraska suspends DB Myles Farmer indefinitely

Nebraska defensive back and starter Myles Farmer has been suspended at the outset of fall camp for “simple things,” first-year head coach Matt Rhule announced Monday.

Farmer, the Cornhuskers’ second-leading tackler in 2022, is not on the team’s 120-man roster. Rhule said “the ball’s in his court” when asked about Farmer’s return to the team.

“It’s just kind of day-by-day,” Rhule told reporters. “I love Myles. He’s a competitive kid. It’s so hard when you have a new coach and there have different standards than you’re used to, so I get that.

“We’ve been patient with a lot of guys. We’ll see what happens with Myles,” Rhule added.

Farmer was suspended for the Michigan game after a DUI arrest last November. He subsequently pleaded no contest and was sentenced to seven days under house arrest.

Farmer recorded a career-high 73 tackles last season under former head coach Scott Frost and interim coach Mickey Joseph. He also recorded an interception in 11 games.

Rhule also announced that DL Brodie Tagaloa is likely out for the season after sustaining a knee injury, which required surgery, in a car accident two weeks ago. Also, Baylor transfer WR Josh Fleeks reported “significantly” overweight and will be held out until he cuts down, Rhule said.

Nebraska opens the season Aug. 31 at Minnesota.

–Field Level Media

Feb 12, 2023; Glendale, Arizona, US; Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts (1) reacts after scoring against the Kansas City Chiefs in Super Bowl LVII at State Farm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Eagles’ Jalen Hurts keeps reminder of Super Bowl loss at his fingertips

Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts is letting a painful moment from his past serve as daily motivation for his future every time he makes a call, sends a text or checks social media.

The lock screen on Hurts’ cell phone is a picture of himself walking off the field following the Eagles’ 38-35 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs in Super Bowl LVII on Feb. 12.

That picture came to light after Eagles punter Ty Zentner posted a video to Instagram of a singing showcase by the team’s rookies. Hurts was seen taking out his phone to record the events.

Hurts threw for 304 yards and totaled four touchdowns (one passing, three rushing) in Super Bowl LVII. He followed that up by signing a five-year, $255 million extension in April that included nearly $179.4 million in total guarantees.

Hurts, who turns 25 next week, has thrown for 7,906 yards and 44 touchdowns against 19 interceptions in 45 games (34 starts) since being selected by the Eagles in the second round of the 2020 NFL Draft. He’s also rushed for 1,898 yards and 26 TDs.

–Field Level Media

Oct 8, 2022; Baton Rouge, Louisiana, USA; Tennessee Volunteers helmet against the LSU Tigers during the second half at Tiger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports

Big OT Bennett Warren commits to Tennessee’s ’24 class

Tennessee added to its already strong 2024 recruiting class, landing a commitment from offensive tackle Bennett Warren out of Texas.

The 247Sports composite ranks the 6-foot-7, 330-pound Bennett, from Fort Bend Christian Academy in Sugar Land, as the No. 8 player at the position.

He made the announcement Monday on social media.

Last month, Warren announced he had narrowed his choices to Michigan, Oklahoma, Texas A&M and the Volunteers.

Coach Josh Heupel’s 2024 class is ranked No. 8 in the nation by 247Sports after the addition of the four-star Warren.

Warren is ranked second in the Tennessee class, following five-star wide receiver Mike Matthews of Georgia.

–Field Level Media

Jun 13, 2022; Englewood, CO, USA; Denver Broncos wide receiver Tim Patrick (81) during mini camp drills at the UCHealth Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Broncos WR Tim Patrick (leg) carted off practice field

Denver Broncos wide receiver Tim Patrick was carted off the field Monday following a non-contact injury.

NFL Network reported the injury occurred on the second play of 7-on-7 drills at camp. Trainers looked at his lower left leg, per the report.

Patrick reportedly threw his helmet after he fell to the ground, and frustration and anger would be understandable. Last training camp, Patrick sustained a torn right ACL and missed the 2022 season.

He was listed as a projected starter on Denver’s depth chart.

Patrick, 29, was undrafted coming out of Utah in 2018 and signed with the Broncos. In 55 games (37 starts) for Denver, he has 143 catches for 2,009 yards and 12 touchdowns. He led Denver in TD receptions in the 2020 and 2021 seasons.

He started all 16 games he played in 2021, catching 53 passes for 734 yards and five touchdowns.

–Field Level Media

Damar Hamlin blocks Justin Shorter to the outside during special teams drills. This was the first time Hamlin has been in pads since he had a cardiac event during a game last season.

Bills S Damar Hamlin practices in pads

Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin wore pads in practice on Monday for the first time since his cardiac arrest in January.

That step forward wasn’t lost on the 25-year-old.

“It feels amazing,” Hamlin said. “It was a roller coaster of emotions. I was kinda all over the place, just kinda being back for the first time.”

The Bills wore pads for the first time during training camp on Monday. Coach Sean McDermott told reporters last week that Hamlin would be a “full go” during camp.

“Super big hurdle as you can imagine. Pretty much lost my life playing this sport,” Hamlin said. “So to come back and do it all over again, (the emotions are) all over the place. I’m rooted in my faith and I’m rooted in the love that I receive from my family, my teammates and the love all over the world — it keeps me going.

“I got goals that I still want to achieve within this game. Football teaches you so much about yourself. It teaches you so much about life. You learn so much about yourself through the game. What bigger challenge? It’s a challenge, so I’m embracing it.”

It was against the Bengals in Cincinnati on Jan. 2 that Hamlin went into cardiac arrest on the field, where trainers and medical staff saved his life. He was taken to the University of Cincinnati Medical Center, placed on a ventilator in the intensive care unit and stayed there one week, discharged to continue his recovery in Buffalo.

Hamlin was a sixth-round draft pick of the Bills in 2021.

–Field Level Media