NFL Notebook: Steelers’ Brown is ‘full go’ for opener

The Sports Xchange

September 04, 2018 at 7:19 pm.

Jan 14, 2018; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown (84) runs onto the field during player introductions prior to the AFC Divisional Playoff game against the Jacksonville Jaguars at Heinz Field. Photo Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Jan 14, 2018; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown (84) runs onto the field during player introductions prior to the AFC Divisional Playoff game against the Jacksonville Jaguars at Heinz Field. Photo Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Pittsburgh Steelers coach Mike Tomlin said that star wide receiver Antonio Brown will be a “full go” this weekend when the team opens its season on the road against the Cleveland Browns.

Tomlin said that Brown would be able to play without limitations from a nagging groin/hip injury, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

Brown was injured during training camp, with the Steelers limiting his participation in practice and preseason altogether.

While Brown’s Week 1 status is not in doubt, Pittsburgh’s star running back, Le’Veon Bell, has yet to sign his $14.5 million franchise tag with the team as of Tuesday afternoon. Bell could lose up to $855,000 per game if he remains absent.

–The NFL released a statement in the aftermath of the league’s corporate sponsor, Nike, releasing an advertising campaign featuring Colin Kaepernick.

The situation is complicated by the fact that Kaepernick has a grievance against the league in which he claims the NFL and the 32 teams are involved in collusion to try to keep him out of the league following his protests during the national anthem.

“Believe in something. Even if it means sacrificing everything,” read a teaser for an ad Kaepernick tweeted.

The NFL responded to the Nike campaign.

“The National Football League believes in dialogue, understanding and unity,” executive vice president of communications and public affairs Jocelyn Moore said in the league’s statement. “We embrace the role and responsibility of everyone involved with this game to promote meaningful, positive change in our communities. The social justice issues that Colin and other professional athletes have raised deserve our attention and action.”

–Philadelphia Eagles coach Doug Pederson suggested quarterback Carson Wentz is “close” to returning.

Wentz still has not been cleared for contact by the medical staff after tearing his ACL late last season.

Pederson and Wentz are at the mercy of the doctors’ decision, but the head coach is under the impression that Wentz will be cleared soon.

“Close,” Pederson said, per Eliot Shorr-Parks of WIP, regarding Wentz’s possible clearance date.
“I’m no doctor, no expert. Still leaving it up to the medical team. He’s had some great workouts here in the last few days. We’ll see.”

–Carolina Panthers wide receiver Curtis Samuel underwent a small procedure to correct an irregular heartbeat and is unlikely to play in the season opener, NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported .

Samuel did not participate in the Panthers’ past two practices, and it is doubtful that he will play in Sunday’s game against the Dallas Cowboys.

Samuel caught 15 passes for 115 yards in nine games, including four starts, last year before a broken ankle ended his rookie season.

–Philadelphia The Eagles re-signed wide receiver Markus Wheaton and placed tight end Richard Rodgers on injured reserve, the team announced.

Wheaton, who was initially signed by the Eagles to a one-year contract on May, was released by the team as it trimmed its roster to 53 over the weekend.

The addition of Wheaton comes after coach Doug Pederson ruled out wide receivers Alshon Jeffery (shoulder) and Mack Hollins (groin) for the Eagles’ season-opening game on Thursday against the visiting Atlanta Falcons.

–The Denver Broncos named rookie Royce Freeman as their starting running back.

Freeman, who was selected in the third round of the 2018 NFL Draft, enjoyed a solid preseason with three touchdown rushes among his 15 carries. He averaged 5.6 yards per rush.

The 22-year-old Freeman will become the first rookie running back to start for the Broncos since 1995, when Pro Football Hall of Famer Terrell Davis rushed for 70 yards and a touchdown in his NFL debut.

–The Kansas Chiefs announced that they have signed offensive lineman Cameron Erving to a contract extension.

The team did not disclose details of the extension, but multiple media outlets reported that it is a two-year extension that could be worth up to $15.7 million, depending on playing time.

The deal includes $6.45 million in guaranteed money.

–Free-agent quarterback Paxton Lynch will visit the Buffalo Bills on Tuesday, according to a published report.

NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported that the former first-round pick will work out for the Bills in western New York.

Lynch, who was released by the Denver Broncos on Sunday, lost his backup job to second-year quarterback Chad Kelly.

–The New York Jets signed quarterback Davis Webb to their practice squad.

Webb didn’t have to move far from his previous employer, as he was released by the New York Giants on Sunday. The 6-foot-5 Webb went unclaimed on waivers and became a free agent.

–The Arizona Cardinals have a new name for their home stadium.

The stadium, which was formerly known as University of Phoenix Stadium, will be called State Farm Stadium after a new 18-year naming rights agreement with the insurance company. The team announced the stadium’s new name on Tuesday.




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