Aug 29, 2021; Arlington, Texas, USA; Dallas Cowboys running back JaQuan Hardy (37) runs the ball against Jacksonville Jaguars defensive back Brandon Rusnak (40) in the second quarter at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

Broncos add two running backs to roster

The Denver Broncos added running backs Stevie Scott and JaQuan Hardy to their roster on Wednesday.

The Broncos signed Scott, 22, during training camp last year but quickly waived him. He appeared in one preseason game, running for 23 yards on seven carries.

This spring, Scott played for the Michigan Panthers of the USFL and ran for 310 yards and scored three touchdowns in 10 games.

Hardy, 24, was signed as an undrafted free agent by Dallas last year. He played in three games, rushing four times for 29 yards and a TD. He played 54 snaps on special teams. The Cowboys waived him on July 14.

Scott and Hardy arrived on the same day veteran running back Melvin Gordon missed practice with a foot injury.

Head coach Nathaniel Hackett told reporters that the team is trying to manage Gordon’s health so he will be ready for the regular season.

Gordon, 29, rushed for 918 yards and eight touchdowns and caught 28 passes for 213 yards and two scores in 16 starts for Denver last season.

The two-time Pro Bowl selection has 8,388 yards from scrimmage and 67 touchdowns in 98 career games with the San Diego/Los Angeles Chargers (2015-19) and Broncos.

–Field Level Media

Detroit Lions receiver Jameson Williams watches passing drills during practice Thursday, July 28, 2022 at the Allen Park practice facility.

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Lions’ 1st-round pick to wear No. 9 with Matthew Stafford’s blessing

Lions rookie wide receiver Jameson Williams reached out to Los Angeles Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford for permission to wear the No. 9 jersey in Detroit.

Williams, who was selected with the 12th overall pick of the 2022 NFL Draft, initially chose No. 18 in what he considered to be honoring Calvin Johnson. The Pro Football Hall of Famer had worn No. 81 during his career with the Lions.

Williams revealed his jersey number on Instagram, but only after reportedly reaching out to Stafford via text as a courtesy.

Stafford didn’t have any objections, per ESPN.

To be clear, the number is not retired by the Lions and Williams was under no obligation to ask for permission.

Stafford played 12 seasons with the Lions after the team selected him with the top overall pick of the 2009 NFL Draft. He went on to guide the Rams to a Super Bowl title last season in his first campaign with the club.

Williams is recovering from a torn ACL he sustained while playing for Alabama in the national championship game.

He caught 79 passes for 1,572 yards and 15 touchdowns in 15 games last season for the Crimson Tide.

–Field Level Media

Nov 22, 2020; Inglewood, California, USA; New York Jets running back Frank Gore (21) runs past Los Angeles Chargers defensive tackle Justin Jones (93) during the first quarter at SoFi Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports

Ex-NFL RB Frank Gore charged with simple assault

Former NFL running back Frank Gore is facing a simple assault charge linked to an alleged incident of domestic violence in Atlantic City, N.J.

Police there said Tuesday that officers responded to a call at the Tropicana Atlantic City and found a 28-year-old Miami woman speaking with hotel security. According to a police department news release, the alleged victim “did not exhibit signs of injury” and no complaint was filed at the time.

A police investigation that followed, however, resulted in charges against Gore, the NFL’s No. 3 all-time rusher with 16,000 yards.

Gore, 39, was issued a police summons to answer the charge at a date in the future.

While the police news release didn’t offer any specifics about the alleged assault, TMZ reported Wednesday that court documents said Gore grabbed the woman by the hair and then began “violently dragging her nude person” in a hallway on the 59th floor.

In June, Gore signed a one-day contract with the San Francisco 49ers to retire as a member of the franchise.

Only Pro Football Hall of Famers Emmitt Smith (18,355) and Walter Payton (16,726) have rushed for more yards than Gore.

Gore rushed for 653 yards in 15 games with the New York Jets in 2020, finishing his career with 19,985 yards from scrimmage and 99 total touchdowns in 241 games (218 starts) with the 49ers (2005-14), Indianapolis Colts (2015-17), Miami Dolphins (2018), Buffalo Bills (2019) and Jets.

–Field Level Media

Green Bay Packers wide receiver Randall Cobb (18) runs onto Ray Nitschke Field during training camp on Monday, Aug. 8, 2022, in Ashwaubenon, Wis. Samantha Madar/USA TODAY NETWORK-Wis.

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Packers WR Randall Cobb (foot) misses practice

Green Bay Packers wideout Randall Cobb missed practice Wednesday with a foot injury, multiple outlets reported.

Head coach Matt LaFleur did not comment on the injury during his morning session with reporters.

Cobb, who turns 32 later this month, is entering his 12th NFL season.

The slot specialist has 591 receptions for 7,168 yards and 52 touchdowns in 142 games with the Packers (2011-18, 2021), Dallas Cowboys (2019) and Houston Texans (2020).

Also missing practice were tight end Dominique Dafney (knee) and rookie defensive lineman Devonte Wyatt, who is being evaluated for a concussion.

Green Bay opens the preseason on Friday night at San Francisco.

–Field Level Media

Jun 9, 2022; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA;  Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Diontae Johnson (18) participates in minicamp at UPMC Rooney Sports Complex.. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Steelers’ Diontae Johnson sued over youth camp no-show

The organizers of the Diontae Johnson Youth Football Camp sued the Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver over his failure to show up for the one-day event.

FlexWork Sports Management LLC contracted with Johnson to lend his name and make an appearance at the May 22 camp in Pittsburgh, and they contend they are out thousands in refunds and camp-related fees, plus damage to its reputation, because he wasn’t there.

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported that Johnson’s representatives told the organizers 13 minutes before the starting time of the camp that Johnson’s flight to Pittsburgh from Florida on May 21 had been canceled due to weather and he would show up later on camp day. A second set of messages, according to the report, said Johnson left the airport because he didn’t want to wait for another flight.

The lawsuit was filed in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania and seeks unspecified damages. The Steelers were not affiliated with the camp.

The families of campers paid $125 and were to receive a “team photo” with Johnson, a T-shirt and other items. Additional chances to interact with Johnson were offered for an extra fee.

According to the report, Johnson, 26, and the organizers had an agreement that he would pay a fee of $2,250 if he were to cancel after April 5 as well as all expenses incurred by FlexWork.

The organizers said they refunded just shy of $37,000 in registration fees, as well as an equal amount of credit toward a future camp. They also paid more than $10,000 in expenses for things that included staff payroll and photographer fees.

If Johnson is found liable for any of the camp costs, he should be able to afford it. Last week, he signed a two-year contract extension that will run through the 2024 season and is worth up to $39.5 million, with incentives, and includes $27 million in guaranteed money, ESPN reported.

–Field Level Media

Jul 28, 2022; Metairie, LA, USA;  New Orleans Saints linebacker Eric Wilson (58) attempts to punch the ball from quarterback Taysom Hill (7) during training camp at Ochsner Sports Performance Center. Mandatory Credit: Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports

Saints’ Taysom Hill shifts to tight end, former QB no fan of move

Versatile New Orleans Saints’ offensive weapon Taysom Hill is done at quarterback for now, shifting to tight end on a regular basis under new head coach Dennis Allen.

Allen said Hill can be “one of the best players in the league” as a movement tight end or H-back in the New Orleans offense.

The system has undergone a revamp of sorts with Sean Payton retired, but Allen wants to implement wrinkles that feature Hill in new and evolving ways.

“That’s the nature of the NFL. This isn’t necessarily what I want, it’s what’s best for the team and I’m good with that,” Hill said.

The Saints are bringing Hill along slowly due to a Lisfranc injury in 2021 and a rib injury three days into training camp.

Hill, 31, played quarterback, wide receiver and running back during Payton’s days calling plays. He’s listed as the co-No. 1 tight end with Adam Trautman on the team’s first preseason depth chart. Hill said he wasn’t sure if he’d still get his number called for special teams duty.

“I’m still very raw in a lot of this stuff, but it’s nice to get some exposure,” he said.

The quarterback spot is being manned by Jameis Winston to start the 2022 season. Hill said he wouldn’t say no if he had his name on the quarterback depth chart or was asked to stay in those position meetings as an extra.

“We’ve got a structure of what we’ve been doing in the past,” he said. “I think we’ll just continue to build on that. “I don’t think what I have been doing is going to change, it’s just expanding that role. … They’re trying to give me the best opportunity to be successful.”

–Field Level Media

Jul 28, 2022; Tampa, FL, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Russell Gage Jr (17) works out during training camp at AdventHealth Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Bucs WR Russell Gage exits practice with apparent injury

Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Russell Gage sustained an apparent left leg injury during Wednesday’s joint practice with the Miami Dolphins.

Gage walked off the field with trainers. The severity of the injury was not immediately known.

The Bucs have already seen fellow wideout Mike Evans sustain a hamstring injury during practice last Friday. He is considered day-to-day with the injury by coach Todd Bowles.

Wideout Chris Godwin is working his way back from surgery in January to repair a torn ACL and MCL in his right knee.

Gage, 26, signed a three-year, $30 million contract with the Buccaneers after spending his first four seasons with the NFC South-rival Atlanta Falcons.

Gage had 66 catches for 770 yards and four touchdowns in 14 games last season. He has 193 receptions for 2,065 yards and nine scores in 61 career games since being selected by the Falcons in the sixth round of the 2018 NFL Draft.

–Field Level Media

Aug 4, 2022; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Cincinnati Bengals offensive tackle La'el Collins (71) works out on the side field during Cincinnati Bengals training camp practice, Thursday, Aug. 4, 2022, at the Paul Brown Stadium practice fields in Cincinnati.  Mandatory Credit: Kareem Elgazzar-USA TODAY Sports

Bengals activate OT La’el Collins

Cincinnati Bengals offensive tackle La’el Collins was activated from the non-football injury list and joined the team on the practice field Wednesday.

Collins, 29, joined the Bengals after being released by the Dallas Cowboys in March.

He signed with Dallas as an undrafted free agent out of LSU and played right tackle and guard for the Cowboys.

But he was suspended five games for violating the NFL’s substance-abuse policy in 2021 and lost his starting job at right tackle.

Collins joined the Bengals as a right tackle in March, signing a three-year deal.

–Field Level Media

May 25, 2022; Berea, OH, USA; Cleveland Browns wide receiver Jakeem Grant Sr. (9) catches a pass during organized team activities at CrossCountry Mortgage Campus. Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

Browns place WR/KR Jakeem Grant (torn Achilles) on IR

The Cleveland Browns placed Jakeem Grant on injured reserve Wednesday after an MRI confirmed a torn left Achilles for the wide receiver and return specialist.

Grant, 29, was carted off the practice field after being injured during one-on-one drills Tuesday at the team’s training camp in Berea, Ohio.

Coming off a 2021 Pro Bowl nod as a punt returner, Grant signed a three-year deal with the Browns in free agency that is worth up to $13.8 million.

Grant split the 2021 season between the Dolphins and Bears, with Miami trading him to Chicago in October for a 2023 sixth-round pick. He returned one punt for a touchdown and averaged 11.9 yards per punt return and 23.4 yards per kick return.

Grant entered the league with the Dolphins in 2016 and spent his first five-plus seasons in Miami. He has returned two kickoffs and four punts for touchdowns in his career. He also has 100 career receptions for 1,140 yards and seven touchdowns, along with one rushing touchdown.

–Field Level Media

Jul 27, 2022; Renton, WA, USA; Seattle Seahawks quarterback Geno Smith (7) passes during training camp practice at Virginia Mason Athletic Center. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

Geno Smith to start Seahawks’ preseason opener vs. Steelers

Geno Smith will be the first quarterback on the field for the Seattle Seahawks when they visit the Pittsburgh Steelers in Saturday’s preseason opener.

Smith has been taking most of the No. 1 repetitions in practice and Seahawks coach Pete Carroll ended the suspense Tuesday when he said Smith is “going to start the game this weekend.”

Smith is batting Drew Lock for the starting gig. Lock was acquired in the offseason deal that sent longtime starter Russell Wilson to the Denver Broncos.

Carroll said Smith performed well during the team’s “mock game” last Saturday.

“He’s still doing it,” Carroll told reporters of Smith, who is 13-21 as an NFL starter. “He played well, too. He was really solid. He really started well. Had a couple great drives right off the bat. In the second half, we weren’t quite as clean with the stuff we were doing. A little raggedy at the line of scrimmage and it showed. But he had a really good start.”

Lock also did well, according to Carroll. But an overthrow on a sure touchdown hurt his showing.

“He was on time, quick with the football, made good decisions,” Carroll said of Lock. “It’s unfortunate he missed the chance on the ball down the middle late in the game — that would have made it a nice little topping to the day’s work. But he was really comfortable and poised.”

Lock, 25, produced an 8-13 record as a starter while appearing in 24 games for Denver from 2019-21. Last season, he threw for 787 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions in six games (three starts) while serving as the backup to Teddy Bridgewater.

Smith, 31, went 1-2 as a starter for Seattle last year when Wilson was out with a finger injury. Overall, Smith saw action in four games and passed for 702 yards, five touchdowns and one interception.

Smith previously had a 12-18 mark in starts for the New York Jets from 2013-16, and he lost his lone start for the New York Giants in 2017.

Overall, he has passed for 6,917 yards, 34 touchdowns and 37 interceptions in 45 games with the Jets, Giants (2017), Los Angeles Chargers (2018) and Seahawks (2019-21).

Wilson, 33, was the Seahawks’ starter since he was drafted in 2012. He led the team to two Super Bowls, winning one, and made the Pro Bowl nine times.

–Field Level Media