Browns sign former No. 2 overall pick Robinson

Browns sign former No. 2 overall pick Robinson

Former No. 2 overall pick Greg Robinson signed with the Cleveland Browns on Tuesday.

Adding Robinson gives Cleveland some insurance following the suspension of right tackle Donald Stephenson.

Terms of the deal were not immediately known. Robinson replaced offensive

Browns sign former No. 2 overall pick Robinson

Former No. 2 overall pick Greg Robinson signed with the Cleveland Browns on Tuesday.

Adding Robinson gives Cleveland some insurance following the suspension of right tackle Donald Stephenson.

Terms of the deal were not immediately known. Robinson replaced offensive lineman Rod Johnson, who was waived, on the 90-man training camp roster.

Robinson, 25, has played guard and tackle since he was selected second in the 2014 draft by the Rams. He has 48 career starts in 52 games.

Cleveland released Johnson without getting him on the field.

A fifth-round pick in 2017, he missed the entirety of his rookie season with a knee injury.

Robinson ended last season on injured reserve following six starts in six games with the Detroit Lions, who acquired the 330-pounder via trade from the Rams prior to the season.

–Field Level Media

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Browns sign OL Greg Robinson, former No. 2 pick by Rams

CLEVELAND (AP) — The Cleveland Browns have signed offensive lineman Greg Robinson, a 2014 first-round draft pick with the Rams.

The 6-foot-5, 330-pound Robinson was the No. 2 overall pick that year out of Auburn. Robinson failed to live up to expectations with Los Angeles and was traded to Detroit before last season

CLEVELAND (AP) — The Cleveland Browns have signed offensive lineman Greg Robinson, a 2014 first-round draft pick with the Rams.

The 6-foot-5, 330-pound Robinson was the No. 2 overall pick that year out of Auburn. Robinson failed to live up to expectations with Los Angeles and was traded to Detroit before last season for a sixth-round pick.

Robinson started six games for the Lions before suffering a season-ending ankle injury.

He’s getting another chance with the Browns, who are looking to replace 10-time Pro Bowl tackle Joe Thomas and need to add depth up front. Thomas retired during the offseason.

To make roster space, the Browns waived offensive lineman Rod Johnson, a fifth-round pick in 2017 who missed his rookie season with a knee injury.

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Checking In On West Virginia’s Sports Betting Plans and Launch

The post Checking In On West Virginia’s Sports Betting Plans and Launch appeared first on SportsHandle.

Last we checked in on West Virginia sports betting, Governor Jim Justice forced a meeting between professional and collegiate sports league and team representatives, lawmakers, lobbyists and an intern on a power trip.

The post Checking In On West Virginia’s Sports Betting Plans and Launch appeared first on SportsHandle.

Last we checked in on West Virginia sports betting, Governor Jim Justice forced a meeting between professional and collegiate sports league and team representatives, lawmakers, lobbyists and an intern on a power trip. It was quite a show.

But the real work is underway as the West Virginia Lottery is polishing rules and regulations for legal WV sports betting, as permitted by the West Virginia Lottery Sports Wagering Act that passed in March (SB 415).

To get some insight on where the Lottery is at with respect to those rules, and when West Virginians and neighbors can head to a facility to make a wager, Sports Handle caught up with General Counsel for Lottery, Danielle Boyd, Esq. (Note: this interview has been lightly edited for clarity and brevity.)

WV Sports Betting Rules and Regulations Almost Complete, Lottery General Counsel Says Casinos Should Be Ready For Football Season.

West Virginia Sports Betting Bill SB 415 Passes Senate; Measure Will Head to the House of Delegates for a Vote Soon
Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races in West Virginia

Sports Handle (SH): How are things coming along for the West Virginia Lottery and the plan to roll out sports betting?

Danielle Boyd (DB): We’re progressing here pretty well. Actually we had our last meeting with the casinos two weeks ago today. We hashed out the “priority issues” and got everybody’s feedback. Then we sent out a request for comment and writing, giving the casinos the opportunity to formally submit any points they wanted to make, or any policy considerations that they wanted us to have when making our final decisions.

We got those responses last week and we’ve reviewed them and we are in the process of compiling our legislative rules, which will be granted emergency status. We are hoping to have those [on Tuesday] if possible, but in the next couple days for sure.

SH:  Are all five of the casino/racetrack properties pretty much at the same place? Might one or some begin operating sooner than others?

DB:  It’s unclear at this time and it think that any specifics about where those properties stand would probably be best addressed my John Cavacini, president of the West Virginia Racing and Gaming Association. But our goal is still to have everybody up and running by football season.

SH:  Including college football as well, so roughly late August?

DB:  September 1 at the very latest.

SH:  What have been the top challenges for and your team at the going through this process of implementing new regulations?

DB: It’s a different animal than anything that we’ve dealt with before and so knowing that, we’ve tried to surround ourselves with the best and the brightest consultants. One of the challenges has been making sure that we have the legislative rules we need, but avoiding ones we don’t. So we’ll need some flexibility.

We do have “emergency status” until early December as far as these legislative rules are concerned. So we can change them, we can add to them if we need to until December, but after that point, they would have to go through the legislative rule making process. 

SH: Can you explain some of the new technologies that you guys are implementing and the mobile element for sports betting?

DB:  Sure. This is our first dip in the pool of mobile or online. Currently, we do not have iGaming in West Virginia and we haven’t shifted to doing online sales for our traditional products yet. We’re hoping all that will come in the near future, but this is a new venture for us into this area of online and mobile, so we’re learning the different technologies and system integrations. We certainly want to make sure that we have the data and the access and the reportings to ensure that we can properly regulate the sports betting at all five casinos.

SH:  Will mobile be available for patrons immediately or will there be a 30- or however many day window before casinos can offer that?

DB: Our goal is to ultimately offer both those products and roll them out at the same time. But if it would come to a point where land-based operations were ready to launch and mobile was not, that would be a consideration that we would make. I think it’s too early for us to tell at this point, but certainly we want to make sure that we’re not hindering the casinos in getting up and running with whatever they can offer, as soon as they can offer it, but the goal is that both of the land based and mobile or online would launch at the same time.

SH:  Can you give any insights into any physical spaces or sports betting lounges that may be getting built?

DB: All five of the properties are planning to build or are getting ready to begin construction of sportsbook lounges on their property. As for the sizes of those, I don’t know any specifics at this point but that will be something that will be in the works and hopefully construction will be up and running pretty quickly. 

We’re also going allow them to construct temporary facilities so that if their lounges aren’t quite ready for when they can begin accepting wagers by mid-August, we’ll go ahead and approve temporary specifications that they can begin offering sports betting on premises.

SH:  As far as the re-negotiation of the law and that meeting that occurred in May,  has has that ship sailed or is there still pressure to bring parties back to the table?

DB:  As far as we’re aware, the negotiations between the casinos and the will continue but it will not be at a state level. It will be on working on exchanging value for value through a commercial agreement between the two parties.

[A Timeline of the Leagues’ Fight For A Sports Betting ‘Integrity Fee’]

SH:  Anything you’d like to add as far as what’s going on and what patrons can expect and the roll out in general?

DB:  We’re really excited about the opportunity to start accepting wagers as soon as possible. We’re excited to see West Virginia out in front for once and we’re hoping to really capitalize on the knowledge and experience of the partners that we’re working with both at the casino level and also the consultants we’ve brought here to West Virginia to make sure we get the best model and the best structure in place. We’re excited for everybody to capitalize on the revenue opportunities and also so that we can drive traffic into the state and our facilities.

MORE FROM SPORTSHANDLE
Sports betting news, business and stories Las Vegas live odds
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The latest on sports betting legislation and regulation The latest sports betting podcast ‘The Hedge’ from Jimmy Shapiro

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5 NFC East Players/Owners Involved with Esports

Odell Beckham Jr. – WR New York Giants

The star wide out made a sizable investment in Vision Esports back in February. Kevin Durant and the St. Louis Cardinals joined him in a $38 million cap raise for the ownership group that is behind esports organization Echo Fox, (owned

Odell Beckham Jr. – WR New York Giants

The star wide out made a sizable investment in Vision Esports back in February. Kevin Durant and the St. Louis Cardinals joined him in a $38 million cap raise for the ownership group that is behind esports organization Echo Fox, (owned and operated by former NBA player Rick Fox) video game record keeper Twin Galaxies and media company Vision Entertainment.

It isn’t clear what games ODB plays himself, but if he’s invested in esports, he’s likely a gamer as well. He could, however just be a shrewd businessman who knows opportunity when he sees it.

If he is a gamer, it’s likely that he is playing Fortnite – along with the rest of the world. One of the purchasable in-game skins called “Brite Gunner” bears a striking resemblance to the star receiver. As such, he’s become the subject of a lot of clickbait videos that claim to be playing with the receiver, when in actuality, they are just playing with the skin. (See screenshot below.)

 

Jerry Jones – Owner Dallas Cowboys

He’s not a player, but as owners go, Jones is one of the most recognizable in the league. In 2017 he bought – along with real estate mogul John Goff – one of the longest running esports organizations, CompLexity Gaming.

He moved the organization to Texas where he also had a hand in developing the largest esports arena in North America. Technically in Arlington, the stadium is 100,000 square feet and is only about a mile from AT&T Stadium, home of the Cowboys.

Founded in 2003, CompLexity is ancient in the esports world. It fields teams in CS:GO, Call of Duty, Rocket League and Fortnite, to name a few.

However, it is not present in the two largest franchise-based esports leagues in North America. Riot’s North America League Championship Series (NALCS) and Blizzard’s Overwatch League (OWL.) The buy-ins for those leagues are $10 million and $20 million respectively. The majority of teams in both the NALCS and the OWL are backed either fully or in-part by traditional sports owners. Those include NFL owners Stan Kroenke (Los Angeles Rams) and Robert Kraft (New England Patriots)  as well as NBA owners Andy Miller (Sacramento Kings)  and Wesley Edens (Milwaukee Bucks).

Derrius Guice – RB Washington Redskins

The rookie running back is projected to be the starter for Washington this season. He was drafted in the second round, 59th overall, but many thought the LSU star would go in the first round.

So why’d he slide?

There were rumors about his professionalism and maturity, but they didn’t come from LSU, which assured he would pass every test of character. The other, more inexplicable reason is that he is “addicted to video games.”

“I never saw a concern with that until I started seeing reports that said I probably game too much,” Guice told Fox Sports reporter Garland Gillen before the draft. “I was still getting my workouts in, I was still ready for pro day, I don’t see what the problem is. A lot of people in pro sports play video games, so I don’t see why you would be worried to draft someone who does.”

Honestly, if I was a coach, I would much rather my players be dropping into Fortnite games than dropping Jägerbombs. You can’t workout 24/7, and if the rest of the time is spent being competitive online, seems good to me. That sentiment was echoed by fellow gamer and teammate in the backfield Chris Thompson.

For a player who outrushed Jacksonville Jaguars’ star back Leonard Fournette in 2016 at LSU, Washington may have come out like bandits with the seventh back taken in the NFL Draft.

Oh, and for fantasy players, he’s projected as a 4th/5th rounder. Like former teammate Fournette, he could be a steal as an RB2.

Dez Bryant – WR Free Agent

While not technically in the division anymore, the former Cowboys star is a huge Madden fan. In 2017, he played against Dave Grunfeld from NFL.com. It was a close game with Grunfeld taking an early lead but eventually losing to Bryant.

“It’s the best simulation of the game out there,” Bryant said when asked about how it compares to an actual game.

In the third quarter, in true Dez fashion he looked past the wide-open check down and threw a corner route to his virtual persona in triple coverage. And, in true Dez fashion, he caught it.

As he waits to find his next team destination, he probably is playing a lot of Xbox. A huge fan of DragonBall Z, it’s likely Dez has checked out the new fighting game Dragon Ball FighterZ, which recently announced the formation of an official tournament circuit after becoming a favorite title in the fighting game community.

Zach Ertz – TE Philadelphia Eagles

Before the Eagles took down the Pats in the Super Bowl, Ertz and some of his teammates took on a different challenge —  playing troops stationed overseas in a variety of esports.

It came from the non-profit Joint Forces Initiative, which helps connect athletes and celebrities with military members all over the world.

“It builds up the morale,” said airman Jonathan Cunningham to FOX29 photojournalist Bill Rohrer. “If you’re able to be happy when you’re out there. I’ve been there. Little things like this just bring up the morale and perform better for the Air Force, the Army, what have you.”

Receiver Mark Hollins played Overwatch and defensive end Steve Means played Madden. Means ended up throwing a touchdown to the virtual Ertz, while the real one stood over his shoulder, watching the action.

Joint Forces founder Greg Zinone told Rohrer how gaming can help bring people together.

“What that controller does in their hand, with just playing a video game for that long. It breaks down barriers and it is like you are almost playing your best friend in the basement,” Zinone said.

This is the part three of our division by division look at esports in the NFL. For future reading here’s Clay Matthews, Kyle Long and the NFC North. And here’s Richard Sherman, Todd Gurley and the NFC West. 

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NFL notebook: Vikings to honor late coach Green

NFL notebook: Vikings to honor late coach Green

Late Minnesota Vikings coach Dennis Green, who died of a heart attack at age 67 in July of 2016, will be inducted into the team's ring of honor in September.

Green, head coach of the Vikings from 1992-2001, was 101-70 (including playoffs)

NFL notebook: Vikings to honor late coach Green

Late Minnesota Vikings coach Dennis Green, who died of a heart attack at age 67 in July of 2016, will be inducted into the team’s ring of honor in September.

Green, head coach of the Vikings from 1992-2001, was 101-70 (including playoffs) and won Sports Illustrated and Maxwell Club NFL Coach of the Year honors in 1998 as the conductor of one of the best offenses in league history. The Vikings established an NFL record that season with 556 points — 34.8 per game. The 2013 Denver Broncos now hold the record for points in a season (606), after eclipsing the 2007 New England Patriots.

“Dennis Green’s impact on the Minnesota Vikings, and really the entire NFL, is still felt to this day,” Vikings co-owner Mark Wilf said in a statement Monday. “In addition to being widely regarded as one of the NFL’s top coaches, Denny was also known as a great mentor and leader by all who had the fortune of being in his presence. We’re extremely honored to forever memorialize Denny and his family in the Vikings Ring of Honor and we’re looking forward to the induction in September.”

Mark, Zygi and Lenny Wilf, along with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, notified Green’s wife Marie of the upcoming honor at team headquarters. The ceremony will be held at halftime of the Vikings’ game against the Buffalo Bills at U.S. Bank Stadium on Sept. 23.

–Carolina Panthers rookie wide receiver D.J. Moore signed a four-year contract, including the standard fifth-year team option that comes with all first-round draft choices.

Moore was the 24th overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft after setting a Maryland single-season record with 80 receptions, to go with 1,033 receiving yards and eight touchdowns in 2017.

Financial terms were not immediately available. Based on last year’s 24th overall pick, Raiders cornerback Gareon Conley, Moore’s four-year pact is worth at least $10.5 million with a signing bonus of about $6 million.

–Cincinnati Bengals rookie center and first-round pick Billy Price tweeted that he has received full medical clearance for training camp.

Price was limited in mandatory minicamp last week after suffering a torn pectoral muscle during the bench press drill at the scouting combine on March 1.

Despite the injury, Price was the 21st overall pick in the 2018 draft and landed a four-year deal with a fifth-year team option covering the 2022 season. The four-year deal is worth nearly $12 million.

–Field Level Media

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Oregon Lottery Prepping Mobile App, With Mobile Sports Betting to Follow

The post Oregon Lottery Prepping Mobile App, With Mobile Sports Betting to Follow appeared first on SportsHandle.

The Oregon Lottery is laying the groundwork to roll out Oregon sports betting with mobile/online functionality. The first iteration of the app, which will allow players to see if they hold a winning lottery

The post Oregon Lottery Prepping Mobile App, With Mobile Sports Betting to Follow appeared first on SportsHandle.

The Oregon Lottery is laying the groundwork to roll out Oregon sports betting with mobile/online functionality. The first iteration of the app, which will allow players to see if they hold a winning lottery ticket, is planned for later this summer.

“The fact of the matter is that when our app launches, there won’t be any ability to buy any of our products,” Oregon Lottery Senior Public Affairs Officer Chuck Baumann told Sports Handle Monday.  “It will simply be that players will have ability to check tickets to see if they are winners, as well as get other information, like jackpot alerts, a look at where (lottery) money goes, and there will be a retailer finder. At some point in time, and we’re not sure what that’s going to look like, we will offer games and some sort of sports betting.”

Oregon is one of four states that was grandfathered in under the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act, which prohibited sports betting in most states. The Supreme Court struck down the act on May 14, and Oregon already has language on the books that would allow for sports betting, so no new legislation needs to be passed before the state can offer sports betting.

The Oregon Lottery Will Roll Out a Mobile App Later This Summer, and Eventually Plans to Have Legal Mobile OR Sports Betting.

Baumann was careful to say that the timetable, even for the initial version of the app, is fluid, though he expects it to be available this summer. Sports betting and other features will follow in phases, though Baumann said exactly what the app will look like – whether it will have a dropdown menu or if patrons will click through icons – isn’t settled yet. The immediate goal is to get the first version of the app into the hands of the public.

Oregon Lottery

Oregon is no novice when it comes to gambling – or to being on the cutting edge of gambling. The state has nine tribal casinos, a horse racetrack and 11 OTB locations. In addition, the state also has a summer weekend horse racing circuit and is one of a handful of states that has a “hub” system to accept wagers on horse and dog racing from out-of-state bettors.

Oregon Has 9 Tribal Casinos, All of Which Will Be Able to Offer Legal OR Mobile Sports Betting if the Lottery Does, According to a Lottery Spokesman.

Those nine tribal casinos are very much on the lottery’s mind – as are state lawmakers and the governor – as it moves forward with its new app. As is the case in other states, the tribal casinos are located on federal land and are governed by the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act, not state law. But there is a pact between the state and the tribes in place, which lays a framework for taxation and other issues.

[Also See: Mailbag Mythbusting: The Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (IGRA) and Sports Betting]

“The pact that the state has with the tribal casinos is that any games that the state lottery offers, they can offer,” Baumann said. “So, if we can all work together … that would be better.”

As the lottery prepares to move forward with its app, it’s likely that state lawmakers will also get involved in the process, as Oregon does not currently have a regulatory framework or tax hierarchy in place for mobile gaming or sports betting.

MORE FROM SPORTSHANDLE
Sports betting news, business and stories Las Vegas live odds
Where can I bet online? Check out our betting legislation tracker MLB, NFL, NCAA and more game coverage and sports betting breakdowns
The latest on sports betting legislation and regulation The latest sports betting podcast ‘The Hedge’ from Jimmy Shapiro

The post Oregon Lottery Prepping Mobile App, With Mobile Sports Betting to Follow appeared first on SportsHandle.

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Vikings’ public relations staff wins Pete Rozelle Award

The Minnesota Vikings' public relations staff has won the Pete Rozelle Award from the Professional Football Writers of America for excellence in dealing with the media.

The Vikings' PR staff is the 29th Rozelle Award winner and earned the award for the first time in club history. Minnesota is the 15th different NFL

The Minnesota Vikings’ public relations staff has won the Pete Rozelle Award from the Professional Football Writers of America for excellence in dealing with the media.

The Vikings’ PR staff is the 29th Rozelle Award winner and earned the award for the first time in club history. Minnesota is the 15th different NFL organization to receive the honor since it was first awarded in 1990.

The Rozelle Award is named for the NFL commissioner from 1960-89, who started his career in sports as a publicist.

During the 2017 season, Minnesota’s PR staff consisted of Bob Hagan (executive director of public relations) along with Tom West (director of public relations), Jeff Anderson (executive director of communications), Jon Ekstrom (public relations manager) and Sam Newton (public relations assistant).

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For more NFL coverage: http://www.pro32.ap.org and http://www.twitter.com/AP_NFL

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Panthers sign WR Moore; all draft picks under contract

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — The Panthers have signed wide receiver D.J. Moore, their first-round draft pick.

All eight of Carolina's draft picks are now under contract.

Terms of the deal were not announced Monday.

Moore was selected by Carolina with the 24th overall pick.

He set a Maryland single-season school record with 80

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — The Panthers have signed wide receiver D.J. Moore, their first-round draft pick.

All eight of Carolina’s draft picks are now under contract.

Terms of the deal were not announced Monday.

Moore was selected by Carolina with the 24th overall pick.

He set a Maryland single-season school record with 80 receptions last season despite playing with four different quarterbacks because of injuries. He also had 1,033 yards receiving and eight touchdowns.

Moore is expected to compete with Torrey Smith for a starting spot at wide receiver opposite No. 1 receiver Devin Funchess.

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Panthers sign first-round WR Moore

Panthers sign first-round WR Moore

Carolina Panthers rookie wide receiver D.J. Moore signed a four-year contract on Monday, including the standard fifth-year team option granted all first-round draft choices.

Moore was the 24th overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft after setting a Maryland single-season record with 80 receptions.

Panthers sign first-round WR Moore

Carolina Panthers rookie wide receiver D.J. Moore signed a four-year contract on Monday, including the standard fifth-year team option granted all first-round draft choices.

Moore was the 24th overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft after setting a Maryland single-season record with 80 receptions.

Financial terms were not immediately available.

Based on the previous year’s 24th overall pick, Raiders cornerback Gareon Conley, Moore’s four-year pact is worth at least $10.5 million with a signing bonus of about $6 million.

Moore had 1,033 receiving yards and eight touchdowns in 2017.

The Panthers traded their previous No. 1 wide receiver, Kelvin Benjamin, to the Buffalo Bills last October. Moore adds a speed and playmaking option to the depth chart. Devin Funchess, a tall receiver with average speed, became the top outside option for the Panthers last season.

While tight end Greg Olsen is still in the mix for quarterback Cam Newton, the Panthers expect to be better at the receiver position. They acquired veteran vertical threat Torrey Smith from the Philadelphia Eagles and believe 2017 second-round pick Curtis Samuel is ready to contribute.

–Field Level Media

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Colts plan training camp off days for QB Luck

Colts plan training camp off days for QB Luck

Rolling back comments from owner Jim Irsay, Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck is scheduled for numerous days off during training camp next month.

Irsay told reporters at the conclusion of minicamp last week that Luck will not have any limitations when

Colts plan training camp off days for QB Luck

Rolling back comments from owner Jim Irsay, Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck is scheduled for numerous days off during training camp next month.

Irsay told reporters at the conclusion of minicamp last week that Luck will not have any limitations when training camp begins in late July.

“It makes me excited, makes me happy,” an exuberant Luck told the media at the time. “It was really fun to come out and throw.”

Sports Illustrated reported Monday that Luck would take regular days of rest during training camp with the goal of building toward complete health entering Week 1 of the 2018 regular season.

At minicamp, Luck threw a Wilson TDS 1205, a standard high school football that is lighter than NFL footballs. But he also said he started throwing an NFL ball — “The Duke” — a few weeks ago and it “felt great,” despite a bit of a mental block building back up to it. He is currently “bridging” the gap between the lighter footballs and a regulation ball right now, also working in overhead tennis serves and throws with round balls to make the same motion with less stress on the shoulder. Luck threw “The Duke,” Wilson’s regulation NFL football, on Friday.

In an attempt to simulate a typical week during the regular season, Luck has been throwing four days a week: Three days in a row to simulate a typical practice week, and then an off day before a fourth day to approximate games.

Luck had not been on the field for the portions of Colts’ practices open to the media during organized team activities in recent weeks, but head coach Frank Reich told reporters he had been participating in individual drills. The signal-caller spent much of the offseason with throwing gurus Tom House and Adam Dedeaux, using weighted balls as part of his rehab.

The team has taken a very conservative approach in getting Luck healthy after the QB suffered pain in his throwing shoulder in his return to practice last October, nine months removed from shoulder surgery to correct an injury he originally suffered during the 2015 season. After the setback, he was shut down and missed the rest of the season. He spent a month in the Netherlands getting therapy on the shoulder.

“I had pain last year,” Luck said last Tuesday. “Pain, and I wasn’t being honest with myself about it. … There’s not that right now.

“…It’s gone. That pain is gone, and it’s going to stay that way.”

Reich, Irsay and general manager Chris Ballard have each said they expect Luck ready for Week 1 of 2018, and Luck was adamant Tuesday that he’ll be good to go when the Colts host the Bengals on Sept. 9.

–Field Level Media

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