NFL notebook: Packers’ Jones, 49ers’ Foster, Rams’ Brown each suspended 2 games

The Sports Xchange

July 03, 2018 at 7:30 pm.

Green Bay Packers running back Aaron Jones was suspended for the first two games of the regular season for violating the league’s policy on substance abuse, the NFL announced Tuesday.

Jones will sit out a pair of home games against NFC Central rivals — the Week 1 opener against the Chicago Bears and the following week’s matchup versus Minnesota Vikings.

The second-year running back will be eligible to return to Green Bay’s active roster on Sept. 17. Jones is eligible to participate in all preseason practices and games. Jones apologized for his transgression via a posting on his Twitter account on Tuesday.

Jones started four of 12 games during an injury-plagued rookie season in 2017. He finished with 448 yards rushing and four touchdowns, averaging 5.5 yards per carry.

–San Francisco 49ers linebacker Reuben Foster was suspended two games for violating the league’s policies on personal conduct and substance abuse, the team announced.

The disciplinary action stems from separate incidents involving a misdemeanor weapons charge and misdemeanor marijuana possession charge.

Foster will miss the season opener at Minnesota and a home game versus the Detroit Lions. He is eligible to return to San Francisco’s roster on Sept. 17. The second-year linebacker out of Alabama will be eligible to participate in all preseason practices and games.

–Los Angeles Rams offensive lineman Jamon Brown was suspended two games for violating the league’s policy on substance abuse, the NFL announced.

Brown will have to sit out the 2018 regular-season opener at the Oakland Raiders and a home game versus the Arizona Cardinals. He will be eligible to return to the Rams’ active roster on Sept. 17.

The 6-foot-4, 340-pound Brown will be eligible to participate in all preseason practices and games.

A third-round pick of the Rams in the 2015 NFL Draft, Brown started all 16 games at right guard for the Rams last season.

–New York Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. showed no signs of an ankle injury that ended his 2017 season in a workout video posted on social media.

Beckham appeared to be 100 percent recovered from last year’s ankle surgery during the video featuring a one-on-one drill that was featured on the account of his agents, Exos Sports.

Lining up against an unidentified player at UCLA, Beckham faked a move left before making a sharp cut to the right, leaving the defender in his wake.

For good measure, Beckham topped off the play with an acrobatic catch, reaching up with his right arm and snatching the ball with a backhanded grab.

–Terrell Owens announced that he will return to his alma mater of the University of Tennessee-Chattanooga to celebrate his Pro Football Hall of Fame enshrinement on Aug. 4.

Owens caused a stir last month by declaring that he would not be in attendance for the festivities in Canton, Ohio.

“After giving it much thought I have realized just how much I want to celebrate what will inevitably be the best weekend of my life at a place that means so much to me,” the 44-year-old Owens wrote on Twitter.

–Buffalo Bills running back LeSean McCoy remains motivated despite rushing up on his 30th birthday next week.

“I have more to prove,” McCoy said, via PennLive.com. “It’s just like, ‘How long can he do it? How long can he keep being productive?’ And that drives me. It really does.”

McCoy eclipsed the 10,000 career yards milestone last season and has his eyes set on 12,000. He has even coined a new hashtag on social media in regard to the goal: “#12KUpNext.”

McCoy rushed for 1,138 yards with six touchdowns in 16 games last season. He also had 59 receptions for 448 yards with two scores.

–Arizona Cardinals cornerback Patrick Peterson spoke glowingly about rookie quarterback Josh Rosen.

The seven-time Pro Bowl selection praised the throwing motion, pocket presence and quarterback IQ of Rosen, who was selected by Arizona with the 10th overall pick of the 2018 draft.

Rosen initially caused a stir on draft night when he said “there were nine mistakes ahead of me,” but Peterson said on “The Rich Eisen Show” that the rookie hasn’t provided any distractions with the Cardinals.

“Honestly since he’s been with us, he’s been the total opposite of what you hear from the media or you hear from outside people,” the 27-year-old Peterson said, via NFL.com. “The way he’s able to grasp the offense and get guys in line right now, I’ve been very, very impressed with that. As far as his throwing motion and his quarterback IQ and his pocket presence and all that stuff, it’s off the charts. I’ve never seen a rookie come on a team and do some of the things he’s doing.”

–Former Atlanta Falcons quarterback Michael Vick didn’t mince words when asked about star wideout Julio Jones’ contract situation with the team.

“To my knowledge, Julio is holding out for a bigger contract and Julio deserves it,” the 38-year-old Vick told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “Julio and Matt (Ryan) are the ultimate combination. They just paid Matt and I think Julio should get everything that he deserves, too.”

Jones elected against participating in the Falcons’ voluntary offseason program and did not attend the team’s mandatory minicamp. The five-time Pro Bowl wideout could be assessed an $84,435 fine per the league’s collective bargaining agreement.

“He’ll be professional,” Vick said. “He’ll go about it the right way. But you know, this is a grown man who has (surpassed) expectations even though everyone expected him to be great and this guy continues to get it done for the Falcons.”

–The Houston Texans plan to use a number of tight ends to make up for the loss of C.J. Fiedorowicz.

Fiedorowicz was limited to just five games after sustaining three concussions last season. The 26-year-old elected to retire once the campaign came to an end.

The Texans have seven players at the position on their current roster, and tight ends coach Tim Kelly said he won’t be shy about getting what he can from the lot.

“I think they all have different strengths and weaknesses that they have to work on,” Kelly said, via the Houston Chronicle. “As far as replacing anybody, I don’t know if one person is going to do it. I think it will be more of a collective effort. But again, if you look at the tight ends and how they played last year, it’s more of a collective group, even when C.J. was in the room.”

–La’el Collins went from a potential first-round pick to undrafted in a span of a few days, but he doesn’t dwell on what might have been.

Despite the stunning turn of events just over three years ago, Collins is now entrenched at right tackle with the Dallas Cowboys and feels fortunate to be a part of perhaps the league’s best offensive line.

“Honestly, it’s that times 10,” Collins told the Dallas Morning News of how landing with “America’s Team” turned out better than he could have imagined. “I never knew what it was like being a Cowboy. Now that I’m going into my fourth year, I really understand what it’s like, and it’s great.”

Collins was projected as a first-round pick in 2015 before he was listed as a person of interest in a Baton Rouge, La., murder investigation two days before the draft. His stock spiraled even though he was never a suspect in the murder and the former LSU star wound up signing a three-year, $1.4 million contract with Dallas as a free agent.

–Jay Cutler initially announced his retirement last year and was set to begin a career in broadcasting before an opportunity arose with the Miami Dolphins.

Now with a healthy Ryan Tannehill back under center in Miami, Cutler was questioned about his future on “Very Cavallari,” his wife’s reality television show. When she asked if he’s 100 percent done with football, Cutler stopped short of saying he is definitely retired.

“I mean, I can’t say 100 (percent). Probably,” the 35-year-old Cutler said. Kristin Cavallari asked the follow-up question of when he’ll know for sure if he’s retired.

“September,” Cutler answered.

–Jason Garrett hasn’t always been a popular choice as Dallas Cowboys head coach since he assumed the position in November 2010.

Garrett has led the Cowboys to just three winning seasons and two playoff appearances in that time while posting a 67-53 overall record. While former Cowboys wide receiver Terrell Owens openly questioned Garrett as the team’s coach recently, Daryl Johnston came to the defense of his former teammate.

“I think you’ve got to be able to give a head coach time,” Johnston said during an appearance on DFW’s Fox4, per the Dallas Morning News. “It’s one of the great things John Madden said, and this was about the San Francisco 49ers when they moved away from Steve Mariucci, but they had no plan after that. Sometimes you do that and all of a sudden you find yourself in a decade of mediocrity, and in San Francisco’s case, not even mediocrity. That was a tough decade. They made a change for change’s sake and nobody was there.

“Jason Garrett, in my opinion, moving forward gives Dallas the best opportunity. They’ve got that window right now with a quarterback (Dak Prescott) and a very talented running back (Ezekiel Elliott) on rookie contracts. To make a change right now, that would be sabotage to that organization. Keep everything in place, take a run with this window that’s there.”