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Ravens QB Lamar Jackson tests positive for COVID-19 for second time, will miss start of training camp

Sports / Football /

BALTIMORE — Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson has tested positive for COVID-19 and will miss the start of training camp, coach John Harbaugh announced Wednesday.

It’s the second time since November the 2019 league MVP has caught the virus, which sidelined him for a Week 12 road game against the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Harbaugh revealed Jackson...Read more

Ron Cook: All eyes are on NFL's vaccine holdouts

Sports / Football /

PITTSBURGH — Najee Harris made headlines during the weekend at Steelers training camp even before he had his first carry in pads. It was not a headline that he or the team welcomed.

Harris was photographed at practice wearing a yellow wristband, indicating that he has not started or completed the COVID-19 vaccination process. The NFL has ...Read more

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Justin Herbert went from 'Justin Who?' at Oregon to a Chargers standout in five years

Sports / Football /

LOS ANGELES — He went from No. 2 on his team to No. 1 in his league, collecting numerous franchise and NFL records during a wholly unexpected offensive rookie of the year season.

Stunning as it was, fast-tracking is nothing new to Justin Herbert, who arrived as the sixth-string quarterback at Oregon and bolted into the starting lineup only ...Read more

Heather Khalifa/The Philadelphia Inquirer/TNS

Mike Sielski: The Eagles might be bad in 2021, but don't say they're rebuilding

Sports / Football /

PHILADELPHIA — There is never a more optimistic time on the Philadelphia sports calendar than the last few days before the Eagles begin training camp. It is a phenomenon that is at once curious and predictable, especially this year.

Everyone, from the team's most devoted fans to those who follow its progress (or regression) from a distance, ...Read more

Robert Gauthier/Los Angeles Times/TNS

Masked men will reveal the unvaccinated as NFL training camps open

Sports / Football /

LOS ANGELES — The NFL is easing back into the good old days.

Teams kick off training camps this week — both the Rams and Chargers open Wednesday — and those summer traditions will be reminiscent of the pre-COVID-19 era, with some noticeable changes.

Those players who have not been vaccinated, and there are relatively few of them, will be...Read more

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Andy Dalton is the bridge Bears fans never wanted. But is his ownership of the starting QB role exactly what the team needs?

Sports / Football /

CHICAGO — Andy Dalton is the bridge that few Chicago Bears fans want built, a placeholder who separates an eager city from its full Justin Fields experience. That Fields action flick is coming soon — but later than many outsiders desire. Which is why Dalton’s entrance into what likely will be his only Bears training camp could have been ...Read more

John McCall/TNS

Dolphins star CB Xavien Howard requests to be traded after reporting for first day of training camp

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Xavien Howard showed up for work Tuesday morning strictly to avoid the NFL’s $50,000 a day fine players are now subjected to for holding out.

But that doesn’t mean his issues with the Miami Dolphins are over.

“I’m just here so I don’t get fined,” Howard wrote in a statement on social media Tuesday night about his contract dispute, ...Read more

When it comes to Ben Roethlisberger, Steelers GM Kevin Colbert isn't thinking past 2021

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General manager Kevin Colbert said he is not focusing on anything other than Ben Roethlisberger playing this season with the Steelers and did not say what the quarterback’s future will be with the team.

Roethlisberger reworked his contract during the offseason that allowed the Steelers to reduce his salary cap hit for the 2021 season from $41...Read more

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Mike Preston: It's time for Lamar Jackson to prove he can lead the Ravens to a Super Bowl

Sports / Football /

BALTIMORE — There are multiple storylines as the Ravens open training camp Wednesday morning, but none more prevalent than the development of quarterback Lamar Jackson and the passing game, as well as improving the pass rush.

Unfortunately, those have been the major issues of the previous two seasons, which resulted in the team’s early ...Read more

Allen Eyestone, The Palm Beach Post/Palm Beach Post/Allen Eyestone, The Palm Beach Post

Dave Hyde: As coach and leader, Dolphins' Brian Flores looks the part -- now Year 3 will tell

Sports / Football /

Entering his third season, there’s a mark of greatness to coach Brian Flores. But now watch. This is the year we start to find out for sure.

Flores had all the normal and nominal things to say Tuesday morning as the Miami Dolphins’ camp started, from, “It’s like the first day of school” to the importance of “stacking good days ...Read more

Michael Cunningham: Falcons leave 'Brotherhood' behind and start building something new

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FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. -- It’s easy to mock Dan Quinn’s “Brotherhood” now, but the coach really did forge a team togetherness that elevated the Falcons beyond their talent. It peaked with the 28-3 lead in the 2017 Super Bowl. The Falcons collapsed — Quinn’s strategic acumen wasn’t nearly as good as his people skills — and never ...Read more

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Vikings assistant coach Rick Dennison remaining with team, agrees to virus protocols

Sports / Football /

The Vikings will make offensive line coach Rick Dennison a senior offensive advisor to start the 2021 season, keeping the unvaccinated coach on the staff in a role that complies with the NFL's current COVID-19 protocols.

Dennison, the 63-year-old veteran NFL assistant coach, needed take on a different role with the Vikings this season if he ...Read more

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Michael Rand: After all the Aaron Rodgers drama, Packers got what they wanted

Sports / Football /

MINNEAPOLIS — After months of drama befitting of his Packers quarterback predecessor, Aaron Rodgers arrived in Green Bay late Monday, hours before he was due to report at training camp, and by all accounts will play for the Packers in 2021.

While the reported terms that will get Rodgers back on the field in 2021 in Green Bay make it a lot ...Read more

49ers actually have good news on injury comebacks of Nick Bosa, Dee Ford, Jalen Hurd

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SANTA CLARA, Calif. — Not to jinx things but the 49ers opened training camp Tuesday with glowing updates on key comebacks, and none could mean more to them than defensive ends Nick Bosa and Dee Ford.

Safety Jimmie Ward anticipates benefiting from a revised pass rush that can lead to turnovers.

“They’re going to be nice. It gives me vibes...Read more

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Bruce Arians blasts report suggesting Bucs have relaxed COVID-19 protocols

Sports / Football /

TAMPA, Fla. — Even as national recommendations regarding coronavirus mitigation fluctuate, Bucs coach Bruce Arians insisted Tuesday his organization’s policies are clear.

And he took great exception to a report the team wasn’t following its own rules.

In a profane opening statement to reporters following Tuesday’s practice, Arians ...Read more

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John Clay: In year three, the Bengals' Zac Taylor needs to produce, and he knows it

Sports / Football /

CINCINNATI — Mock turtle soup was back on the menu.

You better believe it was Monday at Paul Brown Stadium where after a one-year COVID-19 induced absence, the Cincinnati Bengals held their annual preseason luncheon, which included coaches, coordinators, masks, vaccination cards and the owner’s favorite delicacy.

The soup and orange ...Read more

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Bill Plaschke: NFL players who won't get vaccinated should get flagged for recklessness

Sports / Football /

The serious tweet was the silliest of threats.

It was Arizona’s five-time Pro Bowl receiver DeAndre Hopkins standing up for his right to be dumb.

“Never thought I would say this, But being in a position to hurt my team because I don’t want to partake in the vaccine is making me question my future in the @nfl.”

The tweet was later ...Read more

Steelers breakout candidate Alex Highsmith welcomes pass-rush help with open arms

Sports / Football /

A few days into training camp, Steelers outside linebackers Alex Highsmith and Melvin Ingram are tripping over themselves.

No, they aren’t clumsily colliding on their way to meet the quarterback. They’re just falling all over each other to compliment their counterpart — and their competition.

“It was awesome,” Highsmith said of the ...Read more

John J. Kim/John J. Kim

Brad Biggs: Aaron Rodgers likely is returning to the Green Bay Packers, dashing the dreams of their division rivals. But the Chicago Bears need to focus on Justin Fields' development.

Sports / Football /

The Chicago Bears were fortunate the 2021 NFL draft fell the way it did when Justin Fields remained on the board long enough for them to trade up and select the Ohio State quarterback at No. 11.

The organization’s ongoing efforts to solve the riddle at the game’s most important position now are pinned on Fields and the ability to unlock his...Read more

Report: Jamal Adams will show up to camp even if a new deal hasn't been completed

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One major question as Seahawks players get set to report Tuesday appears to have an answer — will safety Jamal Adams show up even if he doesn’t have a new contract?

According to Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network, the answer is yes.

Adams is entering the final year of his contract, due to make $9.86 million in 2021 on what is the fifth-year ...Read more