Oakland Raiders head coach Jon Gruden believes star wide receiver Antonio Brown will fully participate in practice soon.

The start to Brown's first year with the Raiders has already been shrouded in turmoil. After he arrived to camp in a hot air balloon, the seven-time NFL Pro-Bowler was quickly placed on the non-football injury list.

It was later reported Brown was dealing with frostbitten feet after a cryotherapy equipment mishap.

Asked about Brown, Gruden told reporters on Saturday: "He took all the reps today in our walkthrough.

"He showed great retention and we'll see what happens here with this afternoon. 

"We're going to have a walkthrough today as well ... so we'll pick it up tomorrow."

Brown ran routes and caught passes on Thursday in Arizona ahead of the team's second exhibition game and also was part of Oakland's walkthrough back in California over the weekend.

The 31-year-old has also been embroiled in controversy surrounding his helmet. First, the NFL told Brown he could not use his old helmet because it was not approved anymore.

Brown showed up at practice with an old Pittsburgh Steelers helmet he had crudely repainted with colours approximating the Raiders design.

More recently, Brown refused to play without his old helmet. Now, the league will allow Brown to wear the specific model of Schutt helmet he loves, provided it is less than 10 years old.

While Brown is certainly keeping everyone on their toes this early in the season, his team-mates are focused on the football aspect and quarterback Derek Carr is already impressed in Brown's limited showing.

"The man's recall is unbelievable," Carr said. "He came in and, no mental errors, and in this offense, that's not easy to do. Especially, whenever you have a day off ... you come back and you're like, you've got to stay on coach Gruden's offense all the time. You can tell Antonio's been studying because he came out and didn't miss a beat. He was a part of everything we did today."

Quarterback Josh McCown has come out of retirement to join the Philadelphia Eagles on a one-year deal.

The 40-year-old has put his plans for a career in broadcasting on hold to sign for the Eagles, who required additional cover at the position behind starter Carson Wentz.

After Nate Sudfeld broke his wrist earlier in preseason against the Tennessee Titans, Cody Kessler suffered a concussion less than three minutes into Thursday's fixture against the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Kessler's misfortune left Clayton Thorson, a 2019 fifth-round pick from Northwestern, to finish the game. He completed 16 of his 26 pass attempts for 175 yards, including one touchdown and an interception in a 24-10 win.

Head coach Doug Pederson said after the game the team will evaluate Kessler going forward, but he was clearly concerned about the depth chart considering he had just one healthy arm behind Wentz, who has his own unfortunate injury history.

McCown's contract could reportedly be worth as much as $5.4million, while the Eagles will be his ninth NFL team.

He has completed 60.2 percent of his passes for 17,707 yards and 98 touchdowns with 82 interceptions in 99 career games (76 starts) since the Arizona Cardinals selected him with the 81st pick in the 2002 draft.

Los Angeles Chargers safety Derwin James is expected to be out for between three and four months due to a stress fracture in his right foot.

According to reports, James will require surgery after breaking the fifth metatarsal during practice on Thursday.

Losing the 23-year-old, who started all 16 games as a rookie last season, making the Pro Bowl and earning first-team All-Pro honours - is a huge blow for the Chargers.

They are likely to be without James for the majority of the regular season, though he could return if the team make the playoffs.

The former Florida State standout was the 17th overall pick in the 2018 draft and recorded 105 tackles, three interceptions, 13 passes defended and 3.5 sacks in his debut season.

The Chargers are also without running back Melvin Gordon, who is holding out of training camp due to a contract dispute. 

 

The week comes to an end with devastating news for two teams.

Both the New York Jets and Los Angeles Chargers have lost defensive stars to injury, and while it will not happen just yet, some offenses could look a lot different this time next year.

One offense already will.

Those stories and more in Friday's edition of NFL News and Notes.

 

Three things that matter

Defenses deteriorating due to injury

A couple of teams took losses to their defensive units. Some, of course, are worse than others with season-ending injuries. Others could resume their duties sometime after the regular season begins on September 5. But the dwindling defenses should still be a cause for concern against the offensive powerhouses across the league.

Two of the biggest losses came on opposite ends of the country. The Jets will be without veteran linebacker Avery Williamson after he tore his anterior cruciate ligament on Thursday, while the Chargers will miss all-pro safety Derwin James for a "significant amount of time" after suffering a foot injury in practice the same day.

It is yet another blow to the Chargers who have already seen injuries to their defense (safety Nasir Adderley and cornerback Trevor Williams) and offense in wide receiver Keenan Allen. 

Another aging star set to address contract

It seems like Father Time has yet to catch up to Tom Brady, who will play out his contract with the New England Patriots. But another quarterback joins Brady in the final year of his own deal. Philip Rivers will reportedly address his status with the Chargers after the 2019 season.

Both parties have agreed to wait to address a new deal, and according general manager Tom Telesco everyone is "on the same page."

This matters because unlike Brady, Rivers has struggled to put together long playoff runs — something that might factor into a new deal. The 37-year-old signal-caller has admitted playing this far into a career does not have the same guarantees.

"I think when you get to this point, you do take it one year at a time," Rivers said during training camp. "But I do expect to be playing here next year, that is the expectation. But when you're 37, you say, 'OK, let's focus on this year.' Then, 'Let's focus on next year.' Take them one at a time."

This surely matters for the Los Angeles offense — now, with postseason success this year being a motivating factor.

Patriots offense had a big boost

Josh Gordon has been reinstated by the NFL after he was suspended indefinitely in December for violating the terms of his reinstatement under the league's substance abuse policy.

The Patriots receiver will be back on a conditional basis and will not be eligible to play next week, but his return comes at the right time.

New England's offense has been struggling with injuries as Julian Edelman (non-football injury) and Demaryius Thomas (physically unable to perform) have yet to suit up. 

A healthy Gordon is just what the Patriots need. 

He caught 41 passes for 737 yards and four touchdowns for the team last year after being traded to New England before the start of the season.

Two things that don't matter

NFL tries to explain controversial offensive pass inference call​

Another season, another long list of botched calls ahead. 

It starts with a controversial offensive pass interference call on Thursday.

In the fourth quarter of the Cincinnati Bengals-Washington Redskins exhibition game, an OPI was called on Washington receiver Kelvin Harmon when he jumped and reached back for an underthrown pass over Cincinnati defensive back Davontae Harris. The call, however, was because Harmon supposedly pushed off Harris near the 50-yard line — which is outside the view of the camera angle. The Redskins challenged the call, but it was upheld.

The official NFL Officiating Twitter account later explained why the call was not overturned. 

"The on-field officials called OPI for a push off by WAS 13 at the 50-yard line, well before he jumped to catch the ball," the statement read. "There was no clear and obvious visual evidence from the available broadcast video that the ruling was incorrect, so the on-field ruling stands.

"Coaches video, not available on the game broadcast, showed that CIN 35 was off balance after contact by WAS 13, which is why offensive pass interference was called on the field.​"

Why this doesn't matter? Because it is always going to happen.

Don't expect to see stars soon

Preseason is not meant for the stars. It is a time where rosters are set and position players battle to make a name for themselves. It is why the Green Bay Packers will likely not play Aaron Rodgers over the next couple of weeks and also why Cam Newton still has yet to show off his hopefully healed arm.

Another thing that does not matter? Preseason records. It is why first-year Matt LaFleur is not necessarily concerned with quarterback Rodgers seeing the field and it also explains Newton's absence. 

"I think we'd like to see him, but you're talking about a veteran quarterback that's played a lot of football," LaFleur said Thursday after the Packers' 26-13 loss to the Baltimore Ravens. "I don't think it's a necessity, but it's certainly something that we'd like to see."

The Carolina Panthers are taking a similar approach. While Newton may want to show off his new throwing motion, something Buffalo Bills defensive back Captain Munnerlyn (and member of the Panthers in 2018) told reporters is like "night and day" from previous seasons, he will have to wait.

The Panthers do not want to risk any unnecessary damage, and rightfully so.

One video you have to see

What is preseason for if rookies do not show their stuff?

Friday's tweet of the day

Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson hurdled his way into the end zone on Thursday.

The touchdown was called back due to an illegal block, but it earned praise from Rodgers and gave us one of Friday's best social media moments: Jackson hurdling over just about anything.

The NFL announced a partnership with rapper Jay-Z and the Carolina Panthers' Eric Reid responded to the development, which led to quite a bit of discussion on Thursday.

Plenty of that talk centred around Reid's friend Colin Kaepernick.

While Kaepernick is looking for a job in the NFL, Denver Broncos defensive end Bradley Chubb is looking to build on a successful rookie season.

And then there is the developing quarterback battle in Tennessee. 

Those stories and more in Thursday's edition of NFL news and notes.

Three things that matter

Reid's response to Jay-Z's partnership with the NFL

Panthers defensive back Reid is continuing to speak his mind.

Although Jay-Z has been a vocal supporter of Kaepernick's national anthem protests, the rapper agreed to partner with the NFL and assist it with its musical and entertainment endeavours moving forward and hopes to improve its social justice initiatives along the way.

Reid fired back after the announcement of the deal via Twitter late on Wednesday, claiming the agreement was "burying" Kaepernick's career, as the former San Francisco 49ers quarterback has not been on an NFL team since 2016 and is still working to find a job this season.

Given the day-to-day interactions between entertainment and the NFL, Reid will likely become vocal more throughout the 2019 season. It will be something to keep an eye on for sure.

Bradley Chubb's plans for second year

Denver's under-the-radar defensive end has big plans for 2019.

The NC State product set a franchise rookie record last year by recording 12 sacks and says he has not played to the best of his abilities just yet.

Chubb does not care about being a household name, but told NFL Network he is ready to unveil some fun "antics" in year two. Perhaps something similar to when he stole Clemson quarterback Kelly Bryant's towel twice in college.

"Now I'm more comfortable," Chubb said. "I'm going to do those little antics. I feel like I'm going to start doing some of the stuff I did, like talking to guys before the play is snapped and stuff like that. A few different things. But just because I'm more comfortable now, I can really open up and be more who I am."

Chubb's improvement and personality could put him in the national spotlight, and another defensive stud next to Von Miller would make for some great entertainment.

The Titans' QB battle

It has become evident that Marcus Mariota is not a shoo-in to start for Tennessee, as reserve signal-caller Ryan Tannehill is making his case for the top spot.

Mariota is convinced he does not need to compete with Tannehill to win the job though.

"When it comes down to it, I am just competing against myself," Mariota said on Thursday. "I just try to be the best version that I can be, day in and day out."

The 25-year-old might be facing some pressure to perform against the New England Patriots in Saturday's preseason matchup.

Two things that don't matter

Antonio Brown's feud with a chef

Oakland Raiders wide receiver Antonio Brown is being sued for $38,000 by 'Sports Chef' Stefano Tedeschi.

The chef claims he and his staff were hired to make meals for nearly 50 of Brown's Pro Bowl team-mates in January but allegedly received no payment and he was barred from retrieving his equipment and food from an Orlando mansion Brown had rented.

This is a little bizarre, but we have come to expect things like this from Brown so it is not that surprising. 

Brown's frostbitten feet and helmet conundrum are certainly more pressing for Oakland than his spat with a chef.

Landry Jones became the XFL's first player

The XFL announced on Thursday it has signed Jones as its first player and quarterback. 

Jones will be one of the league's eight "leading quarterbacks" that will be signed in the coming months.

The 30-year-old spent five seasons with the Pittsburgh Steelers and has not seen NFL action since 2017, so you probably should not expect him to make to much noise.

One video you have to see

Let's just say Frank Caliendo's Jon Gruden impression is a must see.

Thursday tweet of the day

Odell Beckham Jr.'s new shoes aren't your average pair of Chuck Taylors.

The Indianapolis Colts are in wait and see mode with Andrew Luck.

The Los Angeles Lakers are in the same position but in a different way with DeMarcus Cousins.

Meanwhile, in Dallas, the Cowboys have not come to an agreement with any of their three players currently looking for new deals.

All that and more this week in US Sports.

 

1. Colts still waiting on Luck to get healthy

It is 2017 all over again as the Colts continue to wait for quarterback Luck to lead the team's offense. Just two seasons after Luck thought he would start the season but ultimately missed the entire year due to injury, Indianapolis are once again in limbo while Luck deals with an injury.

Exactly what the issue is remains to be seen as it has been reported that he had a calf issue, then an ankle issue and now just a general leg issue. The only thing certain is Luck is not leading the team's offense as the season creeps closer and closer.

Coach Frank Reich told reporters this week he wants to make a decision on who will start week one by the third week of the preseason. Whether that will be Luck or backup Jacoby Brissett remains to be seen.

2. Cousins' season may be done before it started

The Lakers may have already been dealt a devastating injury. Cousins tore his anterior cruciate ligament, the center's agent Jeff Schwartz told ESPN.

Los Angeles were hoping to go with a solid big three with Cousins, Anthony Davis and LeBron James, but now they will likely have to build around Davis and James as Cousins could have just suffered his second season-ending injury in the past three years.

 

3. Cowboys no closer to deals with stars

The Cowboys continue to work to sign Dak Prescott, Amari Cooper and Ezekiel Elliott to deals, but as far as we know, they are no closer to anything.

Jerry Jones offered a colourful illustration as to what trying to sign the three players is like this week.

"Picture you were a driver of a car and you had a wreck and your hand was almost severed off, but you didn't understand your anatomy," Jones said, via the Dallas Morning News. "You look down, you're spurting blood, you open the door, and run to the woods, and either die bleeding to death or shock. The educated man looks down, knows his anatomy, squeezes and knows his best chance is to wait for help. That's because he's been there a lot and done that. So I'm squeezing and waiting for help."

Jones might be a little stressed by his current situation.

4. Pitchers starting to look fragile

It is the dog days of summer in MLB and pitchers are dropping like flies. Just this week, Philadelphia Phillies righty Jake Arrieta went on the 10-day injured list (IL) and is likely done for the season as he is considering undergoing surgery to remove bone spurs from his elbow, Houston Astros ace Gerrit Cole was scratched for a start with a hamstring issue and Pittsburgh Pirates pitcher Jameson Taillon underwent surgery on his elbow and then discovered he needed Tommy John surgery. He will now be out for all of 2020 as well.

At this point teams are just trying to get to the end of the year without losing a pitcher for the season but the Phillies and Pirates were unable to escape that fate.

Jerry Jones has a problem. He has too many good players and not enough money to go around.

Dak Prescott, Amari Cooper and Ezekiel Elliott all want new contracts and it may not be possible to keep all three, or at the least, it will be tough to pay everyone what they are worth.

But one former Cowboy believes they can get all three deals done.

"It's possible," Tony Romo told Omnisport this week in association with Corona.

"There's ways to… you can always keep anybody you want… there's ways with the salary cap to push stuff down the road, you don't really have to worry about it for seven or eight years.

"You can keep everybody on this team, it just won't hit until down the road, you just have to make sure that you're putting the money in certain people who are going to be here a long time."

The challenge for the Cowboys comes in several different forms. For one, the price of a quarterback is high nowadays and Prescott reportedly has asked for a deal in the $30million-plus per year range. And with his numbers being what they are, it is hard to argue with him asking for just that.

Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz got a deal averaging around $32m and Prescott's numbers are better. So, he would be justified in asking for that type of money.

But if he gets that money, it will be difficult to give Elliott – a two-time rushing champion – what he wants, much less Cooper what he has earned. When Cooper came over to Dallas in a trade with the Oakland Raiders last year the Cowboys' offense instantly got better, as did Prescott.

Before Cooper arrived in Dallas, Prescott threw for 200 or more yards three times in seven games. After Cooper was in the fold he did it eight times in his past nine and eclipsed the 300-yard mark twice after not doing that at all in his first seven games.

It is a tough task to get everyone what they deserve and keep a good team in tact down the road, but Romo believes the Cowboys' ownership can get it done.

"I think that Jerry and Stephen Jones have done this a long time," Romo said. "I think all their deals are going to get done.

"I don't think it's much deeper than they love all of their players, I think they want them to get done.

"They're also trying to do right by the entire football team too and I think they're all going to get paid a lot of money. And I think they're all going to be Dallas Cowboys for a long time... it's just part of the business side that goes on right now."

Tom Brady has warned fans should not expect to see him take on a coaching role when his playing career comes to an end.

The New England Patriots quarterback is lauded as one of the greatest players of all time and, now 42, says he wants to keep playing for the time being.

But Brady has also shut down any notion of him transitioning into coaching when he does retire.

"Oh hell no, I'm never coaching," Brady said, as reported by NBC Sports. "Playing is enough for me."

The question was brought up after the Patriots practiced with the Tennessee Titans.

Brady's former team-mate Mike Vrabel was patrolling the sidelines and gearing up for his second season as the Titans' coach.

Cleveland Browns star Odell Beckham Jr "has a little bit of something going on" after sitting out the team portion of joint practice on Wednesday.

That is according to Browns head coach Freddie Kitchens, who oversaw joint practice with the Indianapolis Colts midweek.

New Browns wide receiver Beckham – who arrived from the New York Giants – is reportedly dealing with a hip injury.

Asked if Beckham is close to practising in team periods, Kitchens told reporters: "He has a little bit of something going on that we expect him back pretty soon."

Beckham also missed Cleveland's NFL preseason opener.

"I think he will be ready to go mentally. He is ready to go mentally," he said. "We just have to wait and get him ready physically, but he will be there."

Pushed on whether Beckham will play against the Colts on Saturday, Kitchens added: "Should I evaluate that question or just answer it for you? We have not decided yet. He probably could play, though."

Beckham joined the Browns via an offseason trade with the Giants in return for first- and second-round picks in the 2019 draft and Jabril Peppers.

The 26-year-old Beckham signed a five-year, $95million deal with New York in 2018.

Beckham caught 77 passes for 1,052 yards and six touchdowns in 12 games for the Giants last season but missed the final four games of the year after suffering a bruised quad.

The San Francisco 49ers and their fans are excited to see what quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo can do in a full season, so Wednesday's practice was a terrible indicator of things to come.

Garoppolo threw five consecutive interceptions in a 49ers practice session midweek.

San Francisco head coach Kyle Shanahan shrewdly analysed Garoppolo's performance afterwards.

"He threw it to the wrong team five plays in a row," Shanahan told reporters. "I was a defensive coach today, so I was pumped. But no, the defense did great today and obviously he struggled.

"You hope to never have a day like that, but I don't think it's never not happened to anyone. When you do that, you hope you can practice long enough and give him a chance to play out of it and use it as an opportunity that hopefully you can do in a game.

"Hopefully you don't have five in the game, but you can play yourself out of two in a row or something like that."

The 49ers face the Denver Broncos on Monday and Garoppolo will make his preseason debut – his first on-field action since he tore his anterior cruciate ligament last September.

San Francisco are expecting more of the Garoppolo who sparked the team to a 5-0 run to finish the 2017 season instead of the five-INT practice from Wednesday.

Last week, Shanahan said the 49ers are being cautious bringing their quarterback along from the injury.

"I expect him to definitely play in [preseason games] two and three," Shanahan said. "But, nothing's mapped out and set in stone yet. We kind of take it day by day with that, but that's something you're always thinking about. Definitely planning on going in two and three."

Andrew Luck's calf injury in March did not cause much alarm because the regular season was months away, but flash forward to August and he is at risk of missing the Indianapolis Colts' season opener.

The quarterback is suffering from an ankle issue, which has shelved him for the preseason and has held him out of full practices. Will he be ready when September 8 rolls around?

Meanwhile, Kenny Stills and Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross are not seeing eye-to-eye with Ross' support of United States president Donald Trump and Cowboys owner Jerry Jones used a rather gross analogy to describe how the contract situation with some of Dallas' star players are going.

Those stories and more in Wednesday's edition of NFL news and notes.

Two things that matter

Colts GM says Luck now has ankle issue

Chris Ballard said he was not ready to declare that quarterback Luck is ready for the regular-season opener after he revealed he now has an ankle issue. The Colts general manager said the calf injury Luck has been dealing is separate from the ankle problem, which he attributed to years of wear and tear.

"The issue right now is the side-to-side stuff," Ballard said, via ESPN. "Kind of rolling of the ankle. Anything back-and-forth, he's good. Standing there throwing, he's good. Moving in the pocket, those are the kind of things we have to get him better at."

Ballard said Luck does not have to be 100 per cent to play, but there is a chance that Luck will miss the opener against the Los Angeles Chargers. Jacoby Brissett has been taking first-team reps in practice and has experience starting for the Colts – he played the majority of the 2017 season when Luck was out with a shoulder injury.

'Generational talent' makes Kyler Murray worth Josh Rosen trade, says Cardinals GM

Arizona general manager Steve Keim received a lot of criticism for his decision to draft quarterback Kyler Murray number one overall in this year's draft just one year after the team drafted Josh Rosen at 10 overall.

However, Keim told The Ringer that Murray is a "generational talent" and that having him on the team is worth the struggles the Cardinals have undergone in the past couple of seasons.

"You have to make the tough decisions and avoid the outside noise – 'Why'd you give up on this guy? Why would you trade this guy?'" Keim said. "It's unprecedented. I took [Rosen] in the top 10. I just felt that [Murray] was a generational talent that I just couldn't pass up."

Should the Cardinals have another disastrous season, Keim's time with the team could be in jeopardy.

Two things that don't matter

Jerry Jones' weird analogy to describe the Cowboys' contract issues

The Cowboys owner used a strange and rather gruesome analogy to describe the team's contract situations with quarterback Dak Prescott, running back Ezekiel Elliott and receiver Amari Cooper.

"Picture you were a driver of a car and you had a wreck and your hand was almost severed off, but you didn't understand your anatomy," Jones said, via The Dallas Morning News. "You look down, you're spurting blood, you open the door, and run to the woods, and either die bleeding to death or shock. The educated man looks down, knows his anatomy, squeezes and knows his best chance is to wait for help. That's because he's been there a lot and done that. So I'm squeezing and waiting for help."

Essentially, Jones is minding the Cowboys' salary cap and does not want to have to release anyone due to massive contracts paid to other players, but the bottom line is all three of his offensive stars still do not have new deals. Neither the salary cap, nor Dallas' situation, is new.

Stills says he'll 'agree to disagree' with Dolphins owner Ross

The Miami receiver talked to Ross on the phone after he publicly called out Ross for holding a fundraiser for Trump's re-election campaign. Stills, a known social activist, said Ross' support of Trump contradicts the mission statement of his nonprofit, the Ross Initiative in Sports for Equality (RISE). 

Apparently, the conversation did not leave the two seeing eye-to-eye, with Stills telling reporters (via The Palm Beach Post): "We agreed to disagree and that was it. There's not much to argue about. He has his feelings about it and he stands firm in that, and I respect that. But I disagree and I told him there's no hard feelings. There's no beef and let's win some games this year."

Stills said he still plans to kneel during the national anthem this season, but his willingness to play under an owner whom he has different political beliefs from reflects his loyalty to the team and should not affect them in the long run.

One video you have to see

Tom Brady is not taking any smack talk from Mike Vrabel – a former New England Patriots team-mate. The Patriots and Tennessee Titans had a joint practice on Wednesday, which led to the Patriots quarterback getting a little saucy with the Titans head coach.

Wednesday tweet of the day

Just in case you forgot what a giant man running back Derrick Henry is, here is photographic evidence. Henry towers over former Alabama team-mate Damien Harris.

Antonio Brown had cold therapy in Paris this offseason to aid his recovery, but the Oakland Raiders wide receiver ended up with frostbitten feet that felt like they were "circumcised".

The seven-time Pro Bowler, acquired by the Raiders in a blockbuster trade with the Pittsburgh Steelers in March, was absent from practices earlier this month with a foot injury he sustained in France.

On the second episode of Hard Knocks, which aired on Tuesday, Brown explained how the freak injury came about.

"I was on vacation in Paris. I was training and I was trying cold therapy to recover my body," he said.

"I got out and I felt my foot burning. I felt a hot sensation. So [within] 24 hours, it swells up, got really big. I couldn't really walk or put pressure [on it].

"The doctor came over, drained a little out, scalpel the next day, scissors the next day, just kind of let it leak all out. 

"As everything leaked all out I was able to put a lot of pressure. Thankfully my trainer was working me out. I can't be on my feet so I was crawling within workouts.

"I let everything get better. Now it's new skin, I'm trying to get my feet used to feeling it. But it feels like I've got a big patch of just open, [a] whoopee cushion."

The star wide receiver also displayed his feet to the cameras and discussed the injury further with Raiders staff.

"My feet are pretty much getting circumcised, right?" he said when told he was walking "a little funny".

"It's kinda like a pull back right now.

"I got circumcised on my feet. Hopefully my feet [are] born again and I frickin' can run faster.

"Feel sorry for me later, thank you."

Brown returned to training camp on Tuesday, a day after an arbitrator ruled the 31-year-old could not wear the helmet he has used throughout his career due to changes in regulations.

Though there were reports Brown would walk away from the NFL should his grievance be denied, he said on Monday he was "looking forward to rejoining my team-mates on the field".

In the wake of the arbitrator's ruling, Brown also posted a message on Twitter requesting a newer version of his former helmet that would comply with the rules.

New York Giants wide receiver Golden Tate will have to serve his four-game suspension for a positive performance-enhancing drugs test.

Tate, 31, said the substance came from prescribed fertility medication, but an arbiter ruled against his appeal on Tuesday.

He is entering his first season with New York, who will now be without their key acquisition as they work through their offense.

"This morning, I received the unfortunate news that my appeal was denied," Tate said in a statement on Tuesday.

"I went into this arbitration with the understanding that due to the facts, unlike many other cases, we could be the exception to win.

"Unfortunately the NFL stood by their no tolerance policy, which I hope one day to help have a part in reforming, so no other player has to go through this situation."

The Pro Bowl player explained the positive test was a result of a treatment he was prescribed from a fertility specialist.

Tate wrote in a previous statement he stopped taking the prescription when he learned an ingredient was on the NFL's banned substance list.

He said he went through the proper protocol and informed the league before he was suspended.

"This past April, during the off-season, my wife and I decided to see a specialist for fertility planning," the statement from Tate read.

"I started the treatment prescribed to me and just days later I discovered it contained an ingredient that is on the league's banned substance list. I immediately discontinued use, I reported the situation to the Independent Administrator of the NFL Policy on Performance-Enhancing Substances, and I spoke with my coaches and general manager."

Tate's absence will be a big loss for the Giants, who are already struggling with depth at the receiver position without Odell Beckham Jr.

Since the start of New York's training camp, top wideout Sterling Shepard broke his thumb while Corey Coleman suffered a season-ending anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury.

Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson has joined Seattle Sounders' ownership group in MLS.

Seahawks star Wilson, along with his wife Ciara and various other prominent members of the Seattle community, joined the Sounders ownership group on Tuesday. 

It comes as founding owner Joe Roth departs the Sounders, who won the MLS Cup in 2016 after joining the league as an expansion team in 2009.

"Seattle means so much to me and Ciara," Wilson said in a news release. "We're fired up about being part of the Sounders for a long, long time, having ownership in the Sounders and continuing to build that winning culture.

"When I got here in 2012, Seattle was a place that I felt I could call home forever. And obviously because of the Seahawks, and now because of the Sounders, it makes that really come to life. We're really excited about building that winning culture. This city is a special place. The Pacific Northwest is a place we love and we get to raise our kids here and have a lot of fun while doing it. We want to bring the best soccer players in the world right here to Seattle."

Wilson added: "We think this is a transformational sport. It changes peoples' lives. It brings people together from all different countries, all different worlds, all different socio-economic statuses, all different races, all different troubles in life — it brings people together. That's what we're excited about for this game, this team, and what we can do in Seattle."

Wilson – a five-time NFL Pro Bowler – has had hopes of becoming a sports owner in the past when he and Ciara made an effort to bring an MLB team to Portland.

It seems like the Sounders were a good investment, though. In 2018, Forbes ranked the team as the third-most valuable MLS squad at $310million. 

Seattle hip-hop star Macklemore and his wife, Tricia Davis, headlined the group. Others include a handful of current and former Microsoft executives. 

The 11 new owners join Adrian Hanauer, Drew Carey and Jody Allen.

Some of the narratives everyone has been following this NFL preseason took a new twist on Tuesday.

Antonio Brown, who just days ago reportedly threatened to retire because he could not use his old helmet, returned to Oakland Raiders training camp.

Jadeveon Clowney, a camp holdout who has been widely expected to report to the Houston Texans later this month, now appears likely to be traded, according to a report.

And there might be more to Andrew Luck's calf injury than has been reported.

Those stories and more in Tuesday's edition of NFL News and Notes.

 

Three things that matter

Brown returns to training camp

Brown opened a new chapter in his strange preseason on Tuesday, returning to the Raiders' training camp in Napa, California. Accompanied by his agent, Drew Rosenhaus, and followed by the production crew for HBO's "Hard Knocks," the star wide receiver said he was excited to be back.

"I'm dealing with a lot of adversity … but I'm excited to be back with my team-mates," Brown said. 

Brown said he does not know when he will be able to return to practice, but head coach Jon Gruden said he expects he will be ready for the regular season. 

"We'll work him back in, obviously it's great to have him back," Gruden said. 

Rosenhaus said Brown returned to camp because he had completed treatment on his feet, which reportedly were frostbitten during cryotherapy. Rosenhaus did not offer details, citing possible legal action. However, Rosenhaus said Brown's feet were the real reason he missed camp. Brown had reportedly been absent from camp over a dispute involving what helmet he could wear. The All-Pro wide receiver wanted to use his old helmet, which is not on the NFL's approved list. He had even reportedly threatened retirement if he could not use the helmet.

The NFL has reached a compromise with Brown allowing him to use an old model if it is less than 10 years old. Rosenhaus said Brown has located several older models he plans to submit for approval. No word on whether Brown found any of those helmets through his Tuesday morning tweet seeking a helmet in exchange for an autographed helmet.

Texans' Clowney reportedly on trading block

Clowney, who wants a contract extension the Texans do not want to offer right now, has been a training camp holdout, but had widely been expected to report to camp later this month.

But a report Tuesday suggests the Texans are actively shopping Clowney. The Houston Chronicle's John McClain reported he would "be surprised" if Houston do not trade Clowney before the start of the season.

The Texans put the franchise tag on Clowney in the offseason, but he has not signed it yet.

McClain suggested the Texans might be looking to move Clowney for a left tackle. Quarterback Deshaun Watson was sacked 62 times last season, more than any other NFL quarterback.

McClain did not believe, however, the Texans would pursue Washington Redskins tackle Trent Williams, who has also reportedly requested a trade.

Indianapolis Colts quarterback Luck's calf injury may be more complicated than has been reported. 

Luck has missed all but three training camp practices because the Colts are being cautious with the injury he suffered this spring. But Colts owner Jim Irsay told SiriusXM NFL Radio that Luck is dealing with a "small little bone" injury in his lower left leg.

"I feel very confident he's going to find a way through this thing. I think after the [Kevin] Durant thing, everyone is erring on the side of caution, but quite frankly, this is not even in the Achilles tendon," Irsay said. "It's a bone. I'm not good at these things, but it's a small little bone."

Colts head coach Frank Reich told reporters last week that Luck will miss several more practices and sit out the team's second preseason game this Saturday against the Cleveland Browns.

This could be just a minor thing, but the fact Irsay has revealed this detail on Luck's injury suggests it might be something more. And notice how the timeline on Luck's full return to action has changed. Reich said in June that Luck would be able to play if there were a regular season game coming up. Yet he has been a spectator most of training camp, and now has something going on with a "small little bone." Recall how, throughout the spring and summer of 2017 the Colts kept moving back the goalposts on when Luck would return from offseason shoulder surgery. He ended up missing the entire season.

No one is suggesting this will end up being a similar situation, but the parallels are interesting.

Luck made his fourth Pro Bowl last season after throwing for 4,593 yards with 39 touchdowns and 15 interceptions. The Colts desperately need him healthy to get ready for the season.

Two things that don't matter

Giants owner Mara hopes rookie Jones 'never sees the field' this year

New York Giants owner John Mara raised some eyebrows on Tuesday when asked about the team's quarterback situation this season involving veteran Eli Manning and rookie Daniel Jones.

"I hope Eli has a great year and Daniel never sees the field," Mara told reporters. "That would be an ideal world where you would like to see that. Again, at the end of the day it's going to be the decision by the head coach [Pat Shurmur] as to when or if Daniel ends up playing this year."

When pressed on whether he would be happy if Jones did not play "one snap" this year, Mara didn't back down.

"I'd be very happy about that because that means we're having a great year and Eli's having a great year," he added.

To just glance at Mara's quotes, which were featured in numerous headlines, is to imagine the owner is a kindred spirit to those Giants fans who ripped the team for picking Jones sixth overall in the NFL Draft. Despite the awkward soundbites, however, Mara was merely expressing the opinion that if Manning plays well, that probably means the Giants are excelling. Almost anything would be better than last season's 5-11 mark.

The 38-year-old Manning is set to open the season as the starter, but Jones has turned heads thus far. He completed all five of his passes for 67 yards and a touchdown in his NFL preseason debut against the New York Jets last week.

No matter who is under center, the Giants passing game will face a tough time early this season. The NFL has denied Golden Tate's appeal of a four-game suspension for violating the league's policy on performance-enhancing substances, Corey Coleman suffered a season-ending torn anterior cruciate ligament and Sterling Shepard is playing with a fractured thumb.

Rosen takes first-team reps at Dolphins practice

Miami Dolphins QB Josh Rosen, locked in a quarterback battle with Ryan Fitzpatrick, took first-team reps for the first time during Tuesday's practice.

So that is it, right? Rosen, acquired from the Arizona Cardinals in the offseason, has seized control of the job, right?

Not so fast. Fitzpatrick is still scheduled to start the second preseason game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, just as he did the opener, with Rosen likely coming on to play most of the game. But Tuesday's development is a big step for Rosen, given head coach Brian Flores has studiously avoided giving him first-team reps in camp.

Flores was not exactly effusive in his praise for the second-year QB on Tuesday, saying he did an "OK job."

"I thought it was a lot of fun," Rosen told reporters afterward. "Got a lot to study tonight, overall it was a positive." 

Bottom line: This competition is not over yet.

One video you have to see

O.J. Simpson tweeted a video that touched on everything from Dak Prescott's and Ezekiel Elliott's contract negotiations with the Dallas Cowboys to Simpson's fantasy football league (he says Prescott would not even be drafted in the top 10) to how much the game has changed ("God forbid you hit a wide receiver too hard downfield").

Tuesday tweet of the day

Just when you thought the Brown helmet saga could not get any stranger … it did. Tuesday morning, Brown tweeted out a plea to help him locate a helmet: "I'm looking for a Schutt Air Advantage Adult Large Helmet that was manufactured in 2010 or after. In exchange I will trade a signed practice worn @Raiders helmet."

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