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."

The NFL is linking up with Roc Nation, rapper Shawn 'Jay-Z' Carter's entertainment company, to form a social justice partnership for the 2019 season, the Washington Post reported.

The initiative is part of the NFL's Inspire Change programme and will allow Roc Nation to be a co-producer of the Super Bowl half-time show, as well as other production of music throughout the season.

Carter said he hopes that by bringing Roc Nation and the NFL together, players and league members can bring about social awareness while giving back to their communities.

"With its global reach, the National Football League has the platform and opportunity to inspire change across the country," he said. "Roc Nation has shown that entertainment and enacting change are not mutually exclusive ideas - instead, we unify them. This partnership is an opportunity to strengthen the fabric of communities across America."

Roc Nation, which represents running backs Todd Gurley and Saquon Barkley among several NFL clients, will create and distribute music across its platforms, on top of collaborating with the NFL for live musical events that include a Pro Bowl community concert.

Original music, podcasts and visual albums are also part of the deal and could be produced under the Roc Nation label.

"Roc Nation is one of the most globally influential and impactful organisations in entertainment," NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said. "The NFL and Roc Nation share a vision of inspiring meaningful social change across our country. We are thrilled to partner with Roc Nation and look forward to making a difference in our communities together."

It is worth noting that Jay-Z is not obligated to perform at the Super Bowl nor other NFL events.

The partnership comes after Carter publicly supported free agent quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who started kneeling during the national anthem during the 2016 season to protest against racial and social injustice.

Since 2017, Kaepernick has not been part of an NFL team, which has led many to criticise and boycott the league over alleged collusion against the quarterback.

Kaepernick settled with the NFL over his allegations of collusion, while many artists have decided not to participate in NFL activities over the issue.

Christian Wade certainly knows how to make an entrance, but building on his surprising first impression could prove to be a tougher task.

The Buffalo Bills running back and former England rugby union wing scored with a 65-yard run on his first-ever touch in the NFL last Thursday as Buffalo opened preseason play against the Colts, taking off like a rocket after he found a hole and weaved his way through Indianapolis defenders.

Five days later — in a much warmer climate than he is used to in both Buffalo and his homeland as the Bills visit the Carolina Panthers this week — Wade is still savouring the moment that inspires him to continue down the new path he is on.

"I'm feeling really good right now. Scoring on my first touch in my first game just for me kind of gives me extra motivation to just keep doing what I've been doing," Wade told Stats Perform.

"There's been times where I've woken up and been 'this is really a struggle' and I guess doubting myself a little bit. Maybe sometimes not getting enough reps, which I guess is usual for a new guy.

"For me, I know I learn best by being on the field and playing … definitely have to work on the psychological side of things."

That was evident as Wade continued to work out with several team-mates and coaches in the scorching heat even after Tuesday's joint practice with the Panthers had been called for the day.

Wade made the switch to football in October after a decade-long rugby career and was assigned to the Bills in April as part of the NFL's International Player Pathway Program.

He noted his speed, footwork and vision as the most transferable skills he brings with him from one sport to the other, all of which were evident as he scored last week.

With star backs like Frank Gore, T.J. Yeldon and LeSean McCoy already on the Bills roster, Wade faces an uphill battle to break camp with Buffalo, but he will not let the challenge discourage him.

"I'm still young in this game," Wade said. "In my infancy I'm just trying to learn every day, trying to get better every day, and doing everything I can to contribute to the team. We'll see where that leads me when it comes to the day when they pick the teams."

As an International Player Pathway Program participant, Wade can stay on the Bills' roster until the end of training camp. At that time, he will be eligible for an international player practice squad exemption, granting Buffalo an eleventh practice squad member who is ineligible to be activated during the 2019 season.

However, if he does make the regular 53-man roster, Wade is most excited about the prospect of playing one team in particular.

"The Patriots," Wade said with a smile. "I think that would be just an amazing contest."

New England Patriots superstar Tom Brady is not a fan of the NFL's new helmets.

Brady's former helmet – the Riddell VSR-4 – was part of a series of helmets (six in total) that are now prohibited by the league, which has updated its policy in recent years, citing player safety. 

Oakland Raiders wide receiver Antonio Brown had his grievance over his helmet denied by an arbitrator on Monday.

Asked about the rule change, Brady told the Greg Hill Show: "I've been experimenting with a couple different ones, and I don't really love the one that I'm in, but I don't really have much of a choice.

"So I'm just trying to do the best I can to work with it."

Brady, Brown and Aaron Rodgers are some of the most notable names that have to switch helmets.

The NFL will not let these veterans wear helmets that do not pass an array of tests, and the league does not approve equipment that is older than 10 years.

"You get used to the same helmet for a long period of time. My last helmet, I wore it the last four Super Bowls, so it was a pretty great helmet for me. I hated to put it on the shelf," Brady said. "It's kind of what I'm dealing with."

Oakland Raiders star Antonio Brown had his grievance over his new NFL helmet denied by an arbitrator.

Raiders wide receiver Brown had reportedly threatened to quit playing over the helmet rule change.

While Monday's ruling did not go in his favour, Brown – a seven-time Pro Bowler – announced he will make his way back to the Raiders when he is at "full health".

"While I disagree with the arbitrator's decision, I'm working on getting back to full health and looking forward to re-joining my team-mates on the field," he wrote on Instagram. "I'm excited about this season appreciate all the concerns about my feet!"

Brown had previously said, according to a report from The Athletic, which cited a source with knowledge of Friday's hearing, "he would hold the league liable" if he were to suffer a head injury while playing in the league-mandated helmets.

The Raiders brought Brown on board with the hopes of reviving an inconsistent offense that finished with a 4-12 record last season.

Brown has already missed the team's first preseason game, however, he still has the support of Raiders head coach Jon Gruden.

"There's been a lot of reports out there, I can't say I agree with all of them, certainly. But I support this guy. I think that's what needs to be said," Gruden said. "I don't know what anybody's writing or what anybody thinks but this foot injury wasn't his fault. This was a total accident. It really wasn't his fault, and it's a serious injury.

"I know some people are [smirking] at it but it's really not a laughing matter. The guy was hurt. He's innocent, he didn't do anything wrong. And the helmet thing is a personal matter to him. He has a strong feeling about what he's worn on his head and we're supporting him. We understand the league's position as well, so we're in a tough spot. And we hope Antonio is back here soon, because he's exciting to be around. I'm excited. I got some plays for him, I hope we can start calling them."

Brown started training camp on the non-football injury list with a "minor injury." The injury turned out to be frostbite on his feet from a cryotherapy machine after using it "without the proper footwear," but that was not what was keeping Brown from playing, according to reports.

It was reported league-wide Friday that it was, in fact, Brown's helmet grievance, not his injury, that has kept him off the field.

The Oakland Raiders are supporting Antonio Brown in what head coach Jon Gruden described as the "personal matter" of his helmet grievance against the NFL.

Brown has reportedly threatened to quit the NFL after being told he cannot wear the helmet he has used throughout his career due to changes in regulations.

According to reports, former Pittsburgh Steelers star Brown, who the Raiders acquired in a blockbuster trade in March, has filed a grievance against the league and a decision is expected in the coming week.

He has also been limited to two practices during training camp because of frostbite on his feet, which the 31-year-old is said to have suffered after entering a cryotherapy chamber with incorrect footwear.

Gruden, though, has given his full backing to Brown. Asked in a media conference about Brown rejoining the Raiders in the next week, he replied: "Man, I hope so.

"There's been a lot of reports out there, I can't say I agree with all of them, certainly. But I support this guy. I think that's what needs to be said.

"I don't know what anybody's writing or what anybody thinks but this foot injury wasn't his fault. This was a total accident. It really wasn't his fault, and it's a serious injury.

"I know some people are [smirking] at it but it's really not a laughing matter. The guy was hurt. He's innocent, he didn't do anything wrong.

"And the helmet thing is a personal matter to him. He has a strong feeling about what he's worn on his head and we're supporting him.

"We understand the league's position as well, so we're in a tough spot. And we hope Antonio is back here soon, because he's exciting to be around. I'm excited. I got some plays for him, I hope we can start calling them."

Pressed on what will happen if Brown loses the grievance, Gruden said: "I'm not going to speculate. I have a lot of confidence that he's one of the premier competitors I've ever been around.

"I got a feeling he would play with no helmet; that's how much he loves to play. But I'm not going to put words in anybody's mouth. We're going to support him, and whatever his decision is, we'll stand by him.

"But we're confident he's going to be a huge factor for the Raiders for years to come."

Patrick Mahomes only needed one drive to lead the Kansas City Chiefs to the end zone on Saturday.

Mahomes was originally slated to play the entire first quarter against the Cincinnati Bengals.

It was an unusual move to start the reigning NFL MVP in the preseason opener, and Mahomes did not need much time to show he is in midseason form.

He completed all four of his pass attempts for 66 yards, including an impressive 36-yard completion to tight end Travis Kelce.

Mahomes also had one carry for 10 yards.

His only drive tied the score at 7-7 in the first quarter before backup quarterbacks Chad Henne and rookie Kyle Shurmur took over under center.

Now that the preseason is officially underway, more and more NFL news is coming out.

We are tracking the latest from around the league – from suspensions to one player threatening to retire – in this edition of NFL news and notes. 


Three things that matter

US president Donald Trump comments on Colin Kaepernick's situation

Just a couple of days after Colin Kaepernick sent a message to NFL teams with an intense workout video, saying he is "still ready", United States president Donald Trump weighed in on the former San Francisco 49ers quarterback's situation. Trump said he would "love" to see Kaepernick return to the NFL, but only "if he is good enough".

Trump went on to say (via ESPN): "If he was good enough, they'd hire him. Why wouldn't he play if he was good enough? I know so many of the owners – if he's good enough, they'd sign him. I know these people. They would sign him in a heartbeat. They would do anything they can to win games. So I'd like to see it." 

Kaepernick, who has not played in the NFL since 2016, was the first player to kneel during the national anthem to protest social and racial inequality. He started a movement among players, drawing criticism from Trump and many others. Kaepernick filed a grievance against the league and its ownership, which was settled in February, accusing NFL owners of colluding to keep him out of the game.

Preseason stars make big NFL debuts 

With the first slate of preseason games behind us, several notable rookies made an impressive debut with their respective teams. Kyler Murray, this year's top overall draft pick, was nearly perfect in his first game with the Arizona Cardinals. He completed his first six passes for 44 yards and had a 92.9 quarterback rating against the Los Angeles Chargers. "It's really crazy. It feels like a dream come true to finally be here in front of the fans," Murray said after the game. 

Another star of the preseason has been New England Patriots backup quarterback Jarrett Stidham. The rookie completed 14 of 24 passes for 179 yards with one touchdown and no interceptions in the Patriots' 31-3 preseason win over the Detroit Lions. "You can see why the staff wanted to have him here," New England veteran tight end Ben Watson said. 

Christian Wade was another star to steal the show on Thursday as the Buffalo Bills running back, who is a converted rugby player, took his first carry 65 yards for a touchdown against the Indianapolis Colts. "It gives me the positive energy that I'm making strides in the right direction. I know I've got loads of work to do," Wade said. 

More preseason injuries 

With preseason games come preseason injuries. The two most notable ones that we're following are: Lions receiver Jermaine Kearse and Philadelphia Eagles number two quarterback Nate Sudfeld.

Kearse injured his leg in the first quarter of the Lions' game against the Patriots. He was blocking during a run play less than three minutes into the game, but stayed down on the field and was then carted off with an air cast around his leg. He reportedly suffered a broken leg. He had been expected to be the Lions' number four receiver.

Sudfeld suffered a broken bone on his non-throwing wrist in Thursday's preseason opener and underwent surgery on Friday. He went down toward the end of the first half against the Tennessee Titans. He went 10 for 18 passing for 177 yards and a touchdown before suffering the injury. He is expected to miss six weeks, which means Cody Kessler is now in line to be Carson Wentz's primary backup.

Two things that don't matter

Antonio Brown brings more drama to Oakland

Antonio Brown's time with the Oakland Raiders is going exactly as expected. The wide receiver has informed Raiders officials he will not play for the team unless he can use his old helmet, which is now prohibited under NFL rules, according to ESPN. Brown started training camp on the non-football injury list with a "minor injury" and it was later reported that he got frostbite on his feet from a cryotherapy machine after using it "without the proper footwear".

While coverage of Brown's absence had focused on the star's foot issues, it turns out the issue may instead have been about his head. ESPN reported Brown has filed a grievance with the NFL over changes to its helmet rules, which will prevent him from wearing the helmet model he has used throughout his pro career. 

Earlier on Friday, Pittsburgh NBC affiliate WPXI reported the former Steeler has gone "radio silent" and the Raiders have "zero clue where he is or what the progress of the foot injury is".

Brown has a tendency to be at the center of drama, so this appears it will blow over.

Browns' Antonio Callaway facing four-game suspension

The Cleveland Browns will have to wait to have their full offense together for the 2019 season as receiver Antonio Callaway is facing a four-game suspension for violating the league's substance abuse policy.

"We're disappointed in Antonio," general manager John Dorsey said. 

The suspension stems from an August 2018 incident in which Callaway was cited for marijuana possession and driving with a suspended license. Callaway had argued at the time that he was not responsible for what police described as a "small amount" of marijuana found under a seat after he was pulled over in Strongsville, Ohio.

"I take full responsibility for my actions. I made a mistake and I own that," Callaway said in a statement.

Callaway is eligible to participate in all preseason practices and games, but he will not be allowed to return to the Browns' active roster until Monday, September 30.

One video you have to see

A feel good moment of the day: Odell Beckham Jr. and a young fan share a special handshake at Browns training camp.

Friday tweet of the day

Let's go back to the Antonio Brown story for a second. Needless to say, there was a huge reaction to the developing news as the receiver threatens to retire over a ... helmet rule. Here's one of the best reactions: 

Antonio Brown has reportedly informed Oakland Raiders officials he will not play for the team unless he can use his old helmet, which is now prohibited under NFL rules. 

Brown started training camp on the non-football injury list with a "minor injury," and it was later reported that he got frostbite on his feet from a cryotherapy machine after using it "without the proper footwear".

Coverage of his absence has focused on that issue but reports on Friday suggested the wide receiver's refusal to train was down to a new NFL rule change regarding which types of helmet can be used.

ESPN claimed Brown has filed a grievance with the league over the changes and now new stories have stated he will quit if he cannot use his current headgear in the new season.

Brown was traded from the Pittsburgh Steelers to Oakland in March.

He led the NFL in touchdown receptions last season with 15 and finished with more than 1,200 receiving yards for the sixth consecutive campaign.

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