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NFL: Mularkey bans Jaguars players from discussing injuries

The SportsXchange

Jacksonville Jaguars coach Mike Mularkey believes the best way to protect players from injuries is to prevent them from talking about them to media.

At the first team meeting in Jaguars' training camp Thursday, Mularkey told players they would be fined $10,000 for discussing injuries with media. Mularkey, in his first year as Jaguars head coach, said he also asked his coordinators to remind players of the policy every two weeks, according to the Florida Times-Union.

"Anything I know about a guy, anything I know is hurting on him, any comment he makes will play into how they attack a team or a position," Mularkey said. "I just don't think it's anybody else's business. ... If I feel like it's going to jeopardize us or compromise us, I will not talk about specific injuries. Right now we're really not in a position where I don't feel free to talk about them because I feel pretty good about our team right now. But I will be the only voice."

--Wide receiver Dwayne Bowe was not present for the opening workout at Chiefs training camp Friday.

Bowe had 81 receptions for 1,159 yards and five touchdowns in 2011 and was given the Chiefs' franchise tag in March. He has not yet signed the $9.5 million one-year tender.

Bowe was a first-round pick in 2007, and has 356 career receptions for 4,927 yards and 36 touchdowns.

The Chiefs drafted Jonathan Baldwin in the first round of the 2011 draft. Steve Breaston was the team's second-leading receiver last season with 61 receptions for 785 yards.

--The Chargers signed veteran quarterback Kyle Boller on Friday.

San Diego needed a quarterback in camp after Charlie Whitehurst suffered a knee injury in the team's first training camp practice.

Whitehurst signed a two-year, $3.05 million contract with the Chargers in March.

Whitehurst and the Chargers didn't disclose the exact nature of the injury but Whitehurst did say "it's not bad."

Starting quarterback Philip Rivers has started 96 consecutive games -- all 16 games in his six seasons as the Chargers' No. 1 quarterback.

--Browns owner Randy Lerner has given up controlling interest in the team to Tennessee businessman Jimmy Haslam III, team president Mike Holmgren said Friday.

"The Cleveland Browns are the Cleveland Browns and they're going to stay," Holmgren said in a news conference, addressing questions of whether the team would relocate.

Holmgren couldn't say whether the transaction was a "complete sale."

"What I can say is that he is giving up a controlling interest in the team," Holmgren said. "That's what I can say. As details come out we can elaborate a little bit more, but it is a controlling interest."

Lerner took control of the Browns in 2002, when his father, Al, died. Reports first surfaced in May that a portion of the team might be available, but the team denied the franchise was for sale. Lerner was observing certain needs for confidentiality, but Holmgren said he's known of the possible deal.

"I was in California this summer and Randy contacted me and gave me preliminary reports. Since that point, we have been in constant contact," Holmgren said. "He's kept me abreast of every single thing that has been going on and he has been more than fair that way. Clearly there had to be some confidentiality involved in this thing, but I appreciate that he involved me in this. I think you are always a little bit surprised when something of this magnitude comes up I think, but it happens. This stuff happens."

Holmgren said Lerner met with head coach Pat Shurmur, who informed the team in a meeting Friday morning that a sale announcement was coming later in the day.

That statement, issued by Lerner through the Browns on Friday, didn't stipulate whether Lerner would remain majority owner if he'd be selling the franchise outright. Haslam is currently a minority investor in the Pittsburgh Steelers and must first divest that interest to be approved as the Browns' majority owner.

"In connection with current rumors and press inquiries, I can report that I've been approached by Mr. Jimmy Haslam, who is interested in making an investment in the Cleveland Browns," Lerner said. "We are currently in negotiations and both sides have agreed to keep that dialogue and its details private. Given that any transaction would require League approval, care has been taken so that this process will not be disruptive to the organization, in particular the football team, as it prepares for the upcoming season. We will share further details or make an announcement if it becomes necessary."

Haslam, 55, is president of Pilot Flying J Travel Centers, which developed from a small gas station in Virginia to a nation travel center and truckstop chain. The Haslam family is one of the largest private donors to the University of Tennessee.

Haslam's father, James Haslam Jr., was a starting tackle at Tennessee and graduated in 1952.

Holmgren said he isn't concerned about his job status. Sources told Len Pasquarelli of The Sports Xchange that former Eagles president Joe Banner would be part of Haslam's football administrative team, possibly as Holmgren's replacement.

"To me, a contract is a contract," Holmgren said. "I've said that before to you ... tried to be honest with you about that."

--The Lions placed three players on the active/physically unable to perform list to begin training camp Friday, including running back Jahvid Best.

Best wasn't cleared and hasn't participated in full team workouts since he suffered a concussion in Week 6 against the 49ers last season, his second in 2011 and third in his career.

Best said last month he was cleared for football activity, but coach Jim Schwartz said Thursday that Best isn't cleared for contact. Mikel Leshoure, a second-round pick in 2011 who missed last season while recovering from a torn Achilles suffered in August, passed his physical and is likely to work with the first-team offense along with Kevin Smith.

Schwartz said Best received input from experts around the country but continues to work with the Lions' doctors. He missed the final 11 games last season, including the first-round playoff loss at New Orleans.

Newly signed offensive tackle Jonathan Scott was placed on the non-football injury list. Scott signed Tuesday after being released by the Steelers. The Lions did not disclose a specific injury and he might be held out for conditioning reasons.

Rookie second-round pick Ryan Broyles was also placed on the NFI list.

Joining best on the PUP list are rookie cornerback Chris Greenwood and rookie defensive end Ronnell Lewis.

--Vikings running back Adrian Peterson will be limited to conditioning work for the early days of training camp. He was placed on the active/physically unable to perform list Friday, with coach Leslie Frazier ignoring his All-Pro running back's plea to be allowed to participate in all practices.

Peterson has been rehabilitating his reconstructed knee since Dec. 30 surgery to repair torn anterior and medial collateral ligaments.

"He put up a fight," said Frazier. "Knowing Adrian like you guys do, he wanted to make sure. He said 'Coach, don't hold me back.' He wanted to get out there, but we've got to be smart."

Peterson was injured Dec. 24 at Washington. He said Thursday he was back to working out without limitations.

"I'm full go. I'm pretty much doing everything -- cutting, running, jumping."

Peterson said it was important to him to get a feel for reaction and "instincts of the game" involved with protecting his legs from would-be tacklers in live drills.

The Vikings are likely to proceed with caution in easing Peterson back into "live" action in practice and hold him out most preseason games.

He can be activated from the PUP list at any point in the preseason. If he remains on PUP in the regular season, he would miss at least the first six weeks of the season.

--Starting tight end Brent Celek has a mild MCL sprain, but the Eagles aren't yet in the market for a fill-in, coach Andy Reid said.

Celek was injured and left Thursday's practice early. Reid estimated he could return in "a few days or maybe a week" depending on how quickly he heals.

The Eagles had no immediate plans to add a veteran tight end. Visanthe Shiancoe signed with the Patriots on Wednesday, one day after visiting the Eagles in Bethlehem, Pa., for a workout.

--The Redskins placed right tackle Jammal Brown on the active/physically unable to perform list on Friday because of soreness in his hip.

Brown is ineligible to practice until he passes a physical.

Brown was praised for his progress in offseason workouts after finishing each of his previous two seasons with the Redskins on injured reserve. He was acquired from the Saints after missing the 2009 season to recover from hip surgery.

Second-year tackle Willie Smith, an undrafted free agent who started the final three games at left tackle, will get most of the reps in Brown's absence.

--The NFL and NFLPA were sent a letter from the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Energy and Commerce requesting the two sides institute HGH testing as the one-year anniversary of the new collective bargaining agreement approaches.

"It is well past time to fulfill last year's agreement ... protect the health and safety of your players and their youngest fans and guarantee the integrity of the National Football League that is beloved by millions of Americans," the letter reads.

The letter was dated July 27 and signed by Committee chair Fred Upton and Henry Waxman, the ranking member of committee, and asks for written assurances that testing will be adopted prior to the 2012 season.

The ratified CBA calls for implementation of HGH testing but the NFLPA hasn't agreed to terms of testing. Commissioner Roger Goodell said in April testing remained a priority.

"It is time for the NFL to follow the Olympic model and start testing for HGH," the letter reads. "Until you do, questions will remain about the commitment of the athletes and the owners of the NFL to health, safety and fair play."

--Minutes after the Denver Broncos started training camp practice Friday afternoon in Dove Valley, Colo., a thunderstorm formed the team to move the session indoors.

The storm also forced out thousands of fans looking to watch the Broncos practice.

After beginning practice in a light rain for about 15 minutes, the storm sent players back to the locker room, the Denver Post reported. The Broncos returned to the field 10 minutes later but when the weather got worse again in a couple of minutes, team officials moved practice to the Suburban Sports Dome a few miles away.

--San Francisco 49ers linebacker Aldon Smith spoke publicly for the first time Friday since being stabbed during a party at his home last month.

Smith told Comcast Sports Net that he regrets "letting everybody down."

The second-year player said he received staples for his stab wounds, which reportedly occurred during an altercation at his Santa Clara County home in late June.

"Letting everybody down was probably the saddest part," Smith said. "I'm back to 100 percent. And I'm ready to go."

Three victims total sustained non-life threatening injuries during the incident. The Santa Clara County Sheriff's Department is still looking for suspects, according to the Sacramento Bee.

"Being my age, you have to be aware of everything around you," Smith said. "I have to make better decisions and surround myself with good people."

Smith had a team rookie record of 14 sacks last year.

--A day after getting released by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, wide receiver Dezmon Briscoe was claimed off waivers from the Washington Redskins on Friday.

The transaction was reported by NBC Sports' Pro Football Talk, citing TheSidelineView.com.

Briscoe had 35 catches for 387 yards and a team-high six touchdown catches for the Bucs last season.

The Redskins have remodeled their receiving corps by adding Pierre Garcon and Josh Morgan to the roster and releasing Jabar Gaffney. Leonard Hankerson and Santana Moss are the favorites to be the third and fourth receivers, but it is unclear what Briscoe's role will be.

Briscoe failed first-year Bucs coach Greg Schiano's conditioning test and missed some offseason workouts, according to the Tampa Bay Times.
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