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49ers RE Justin Smith (triceps) returned to practice Thursday, sporting a brace on his left elbow.

Barring a setback, Smith is expected to attempt to play through the injury in the Divisional Round of the playoffs next week. Considering the double teams he takes on while running stunts with Aldon Smith, it's fair to wonder just how effective he can be while playing through the injury.
Thu, Jan 3, 2013 05:59:00 PM

ESPN's Tania Ganguli and the Houston Chronicle's John McClain report the Texans are the favorites to appear on this year's HBO Hard Knocks.

A report surfaced early Friday that the Texans, Redskins, and Bills were in the mix. Buffalo's new coaching staff reduces its chances of appearing on Hard Knocks, while ESPN's John Keim reported Friday afternoon that the Redskins are not in consideration. That leaves the Texans, who will hold a camp battle at quarterback between Ryan Mallett and Brian Hoyer. Other potential storylines include Jadeveon Clowney's health, J.J. Watt, Arian Foster, polarizing rookie WR Jaelen Strong, and DeAndre Hopkins' post-Andre Johnson ascension.
May 22 - 12:40 PM

Former Rams and Cowboys DE Michael Sam has signed with the CFL's Montreal Alouettes.

Kudos to Sam for heading north of the border. His NFL market had dried up after stints with the Rams and Cowboys last season. The CFL is an even pass-happier league, which will allow Sam to hone his craft as a pass rusher. He simply doesn't possess the speed or bend-ability to consistently get after the quarterback in the big leagues. Maybe Sam will get another shot at the NFL in a couple years.
May 22 - 10:52 AM

Cowboys signed CB Orlando Scandrick to a one-year, $9.5 million contract extension through 2019.

See, holding out does work sometimes. The total value of Scandrick's new five-year deal is worth $20 million. Scandrick skipped voluntary workouts earlier this offseason before reporting to the team this week. He was already under contract through 2018, but was scheduled to earn just $1.5 million this season and $3 million in each of 2016-2018. With Brandon Carr and Morris Claiborne on the roster bubble, keeping Scandrick happy was a necessity for Dallas.
May 22 - 9:39 AM

Carlos Hyde has been missing time at OTAs with an "undisclosed leg injury."

"Trust in God's timing," Hyde tweeted Thursday as he missed practice. It's unclear the nature of Hyde's injury, but we'd have to assume he's day-to-day until we learn more. Any missed time is a concern for Hyde; the 49ers are looking to replace Frank Gore and the competition appears to at least be mostly open with Hyde considered the heavy early favorite. But with the additions of Reggie Bush and Mike Davis, along with the return of Kendall Hunter, it's a battle to watch.
May 22 - 8:55 AM

Free agent RB Daniel Thomas worked out for the Cowboys on Thursday.

Thomas was part of a group of backs that also included Felix Jones (!) and Ben Tate. The owner of a career 3.6 YPC, Thomas rushed the rock only 44 times for the Dolphins last season, averaging 3.8 yards per carry. Thursday is the first time we've heard his name since the start of free agency.
May 21 - 7:18 PM

Vikings coach Mike Zimmer says he has an "indication" of when disgruntled RB Adrian Peterson will report back to the team.

Zimmer didn't offer much in the way of elaboration. "It's up to Adrian, really," Zimmer said in a radio interview. "It's the voluntary time of year right now, and it's his decision in what he wants to do." Peterson has slowly accepted the reality that he's not going to be traded. Perhaps he'll skip next month's minicamp, but there's zero reason to believe he'll be absent for the start of training camp.
May 21 - 7:15 PM

NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reports the Chargers are "optimistic" about signing contract-year QB Philip Rivers to an extension.

In March, Rivers said "nothing" could change his mind about not signing an extension, but his tone has softened dramatically in recent weeks. Perhaps Rivers has come around on the idea of playing in Los Angeles, or believes the Bolts won't bolt San Diego. Rivers' attitude adjustment has coincided with the de facto end of trade season. Where he once appeared intent on playing hardball, Rivers now seems likely to sign an extension with the only team he's ever known.
May 21 - 7:10 PM

CBS Sports' Jason La Canfora reports the NFL's desire to have a team in Los Angeles by 2016 "cannot be understated."

Per La Canfora, "several sources" at this week's league meetings considered the Chargers/Raiders' joint bid in Carson, Cal. as the "early favorite" over Rams owner Stan Kroenke's project in Inglewood. La Canfora reports there are concerns Kroenke couldn't break out of the Gateway City "without a protracted fight." That may be true, but Kroenke has vaster resources than his L.A. rivals, and remains ahead with his stadium plan. Contradictory reports will likely continue through the end of the year, but the league's L.A. return appears poised to come to a head early next winter.
Source: CBS Sports
May 21 - 4:19 PM

NFL suspended Bills DT Marcell Dareus one game for violating the league's substance-abuse policy.

Dareus was arrested for possession of synthetic marijuana in his native Alabama last May. The ban shouldn't come as a surprise to the Bills, who will be missing Dareus against the Colts. They'll get him back for Week 2 against the Patriots. Going into the final year of his rookie contract, Dareus remains a strong candidate for an extension.
May 21 - 3:47 PM

Free agent RB Ben Tate is working out for the Cowboys Thursday.

Tate's 2014 season was draped in red flags as he was outplayed by Isaiah Crowell/Terrance West in Cleveland, complained about his role and was released. He then bounced to Minnesota and Pittsburgh, continuing to show zero burst. So it's highly unlikely he'd provide Dallas an upgrade on their current underwhelming stable of Joseph Randle, Darren McFadden, Ryan Williams and Lance Dunbar. Still, the Cowboys' desire to at least kick the tires on Tate suggests they're not done tinkering at the running back position.
May 21 - 9:29 AM

ESPN Bears reporter Jeff Dickerson says Marquess Wilson "needs a strong preseason to ensure he’s on the 53-man roster."

Wilson was a pet project of the Phil Emery regime, but we'd still expect him to stick under Ryan Pace and John Fox. Wilson is a promising size/speed prospect with untapped potential who won't turn 23 years old until September. The Bears should keep him as their No. 4 wideout behind Alshon Jeffery, Kevin White and Eddie Royal. At the same time, it's worth considering that Wilson is a holdover seventh-round pick who didn't exactly light it up in six 2014 starts, no matter what Drew Dinkmeyer tells you. Wilson needs to make an impression in preseason games.
May 21 - 9:27 AM




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