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Reuters

Sept 1 (The Sports Xchange) - New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski participated in his first practice, wearing full pads on Sunday, since having forearm and back injuries during the offseason.

Gronkowski is not expected to be healthy enough to play in the Patriots' regular-season opener on Sept. 8 at the Buffalo Bills or the following game on Sept. 12 at home against the New York Jets.

However, his presence in practice wearing pads is a sign he is close to returning.

Gronkowski participated in running, agility and blocking drills, according to ESPNBoston.com. Reporters only saw 15 minutes of the practice.

The Patriots decided to keep Gronkowski on their 53-man active roster on Saturday rather than cutting him or placing him on the physically unable to perform list, which would have kept him out through the first six weeks of the season.

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NFL players sought $2 billion in their concussion lawsuit against the league but settled for $765 million because much of their case was nearly dismissed, according to ESPN.

Players sued because they believed the NFL was concealing a link between football and brain damage. The case ended up in court-ordered mediation because the judge told players' attorneys that most of their case would be thrown out, a source familiar with the negotiations told "Outside the Lines."

U.S. District Judge Anita Brody told league attorneys that some of the case would probably survive, which could have exposed the NFL to possibly embarrassing disclosures that would create a public relations nightmare.

The settlement announcement on Thursday followed seven weeks of haggling. It still has to be approved by Brody. About $675 million will go to former players and families of deceased players who suffered head injuries. The remaining $90 million will be used for baseline medical exams, research and education.

After covering attorneys' fees of players, the league will end up paying close to $1 billion.

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The Minnesota Vikings claimed former Chicago Bears offensive tackle J'Marcus Webb off waivers.

Webb started 44 games over his first three seasons since the Bears drafted him in the seventh round in 2010.

After starting at right tackle the last 12 games of the 2010 season, he was moved to left tackle the next year and made 32 straight starts protecting quarterback Jay Cutler's blindside.

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The Oakland Raiders released punter Chris Kluwe and quarterback Tyler Wilson.

That means the team will go with Marquette King as its punter.

The Raiders cut former Arkansas quarterback Wilson, their fourth-round draft choice in April.

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The Dallas Cowboys traded defensive lineman Sean Lissemore to the San Diego Chargers for a 2015 seventh-round draft pick, ESPNDallas.com reported.

Lissemore, a defensive end also capable of playing inside at nose tackle, was signed to a three-year, $6 million contract extension a year ago.

After a strong 2011 season, he was slowed by a high ankle sprain for about half of last year. (Editing by Gene Cherry)

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