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NFL: NJ Gov. Christie expects to win gambling case vs. NFL

The SportsXchange

New Jersey governor Chris Christie isn't worried about the NFL using the 2014 Super Bowl in East Rutherford as leverage in the pending legal battle over sports gambling.

Christie met with commissioner Roger Goodell recently and said the league has no plans to use the Super Bowl as a bartering chip in court.

The NFL, Major League Baseball, the NBA, NHL and NCAA filed suit against New Jersey to overturn the state's legalization of sports betting. Only wagering on horse racing is allowed in Atlantic City and all other United States jurisdictions other than registered sports books in Las Vegas and select cities in Nevada, Delaware, Oregon and Montana.

The order, filed Tuesday in Trenton federal court, didn't curb Christie's belief that the betting movement wouldn't be shot down in courts.

"We're going to win," he told the Asbury (N.J.) Press. "I don't believe the federal government has the right to decide only certain states can have sports gambling. And it does not acknowledge that there are illegal sports gambling going on in every state in America. So why is this more injurious somehow than illegal sports gambling?"

--A potentially painful day at Cleveland Browns headquarters in Berea, Ohio, might have gotten worse Wednesday afternoon when a report broke that left cornerback Joe Haden, the unquestioned defensive star of training camp to date, faces a four-game suspension for testing positive for prescription drug Adderall.

ESPNCleveland first reported Haden was facing a suspension, and the Browns declined to comment on the report.

The report surfaced less than an hour after coach Pat Shurmur released an ominous statement regarding starting running back Trent Richardson, who has missed the past two practices with a sore knee.

Richardson is scheduled to visit renowned surgeon Dr. James Andrews, who will evaluate Richardson's aching left knee.

"Trent Richardson is traveling to Pensacola, Fla., where he will have his left knee further evaluated by Dr. James Andrews," the team said in a news release.

The Browns' first-round pick, who the team traded three late-round picks to draft with the No. 3 pick in April, had a lateral meniscus tear in his left knee repaired by Andrews on Feb. 3.

The Browns downplayed the injury Tuesday but it's possible the lingering soreness could lead to another arthroscopic surgery before he's ready to return. Richardson will not play in Cleveland's preseason opener at Detroit on Friday.

ESPNCleveland reported Haden was reviewing the positive test but the team, his agent and manager all declined comment on the report. Haden would be docked about $1.3 million, the sum of four game checks, if he's suspended.

Adderall is on the list of banned substances in the NFL but is typically prescribed to treat narcolepsy and ADHD. It is abused often in people trying to overcome extreme fatigue.

Haden was drafted seventh overall in 2010 and emerged as a top playmaker for the Browns.

--Cleveland Browns rookie running back Trent Richardson is scheduled to have arthroscopic knee surgery Thursday to remove a "hang nail particle" of loose cartilage in his left knee, but he is expected to be back before the regular season opener, according to ESPN.com.

The small particle, which has caused swelling, was found after an MRI on the knee and is expected to be operated on by Dr. James Andrews after a final evaluation.

Richardson's injury is reportedly not related to the torn meniscus he had while playing at Alabama during the BCS championship game victory over LSU. Richardson had surgery for that injury in February.

A team source told ESPN that Richardson could go without the surgery but the decision to have it was the consensus opinion.

He is expected back in two weeks, so he could make it back in time to play in one or two preseason games.

A statement by the team said the No. 3 overall pick in the April draft "is traveling to Pensacola, Fla., where he will have his left knee further evaluated by Dr. James Andrews (Thursday)."

--Packers outside linebacker Clay Matthews said the Giants' 37-20 win in the NFC divisional playoffs last postseason was more a matter of Green Bay losing the game and not New York winning it.

Matthews told Yahoo Sports that the Packers, who went 15-1 in the regular season, were far from their best that day.

"The fact is, they didn't beat us, we beat ourselves," Matthews said. "We need to play our best ball when it counts. This year, I expect us to be right back where we should be."

Giants defensive end Justin Tuck responded from training camp in Albany, N.Y. on Wednesday.

"Thank you for giving us the game, Clay," he said. "I don't know, but we won the football game. I don't think they gave us anything."

The Packers beat the Giants at the Meadowlands, 38-35, with a game-winning field goal in the fourth quarter.

"When they fumbled the ball, I think it was us that stripped it out," Tuck said. "We sacked them. I think it was us who beat their o-linemen and got to (Aaron) Rodgers. ... I think they were trying to win."

--Cornerback Terrell Thomas said he'll need nearly a month, and possibly eight weeks, to rehab his latest right knee injury before he's back on the field with the Giants.

Thomas missed the 2011 season with a torn right anterior cruciate ligament. He re-injured the knee July 29 when he slipped in a coverage drill trying to shadow Domenik Hixon. Head coach Tom Coughlin and team doctors initially feared the worst -- that Thomas had torn the same ACL and would be gone for the season and possible his career.

"The MRI came out negative," he said. "But you know, it just felt a little bit weird."

After a follow-up consultation with Dr. James Andrews, Thomas was put at ease that he didn't have a major injury.

"Aggravated," said Thomas, "is the best way to put it. An ACL is so simple. It's either working or it's not. And mine is still working. Something happened which caused it to swell. They thought it might have been a bone bruise or who knows what it could have been."

Rather than the 10 months of rigorous rehab he required to recover from the repaired ACL, Thomas is facing only three to eight weeks of total rehab, beginning with a seven-day rest and strengthening period before he tests his leg strength.

"As of right now, we're just taking everything slow," Thomas said.

--The Jets claimed former Stanford running back Jeremy Stewart off waivers from the Eagles.

To clear a spot on the roster, they waived running back John Griffin. Griffin was in his first season with the Jets. He was an undrafted free agent out of Massachusetts.

Stewart is a big back at 5-11, 220, but ran a personal best 40 time of 4.49. He ran a 4.55 at his March 22 pro day workout.

He signed with the Eagles as an undrafted free agent in April. He had 920 rushing yards and 14 touchdowns in his career at Stanford.

--Raiders' running back Mike Goodson was released from the hospital a few hours after being taken by ambulance to the Napa, Calif., medical center after a helmet-to-helmet collision with outside linebacker Philip Wheeler.

Goodson suffered a neck injury, according to first-year coach Dennis Allen, but did have complete feeling in his extremities. A CT scan and MRI exam showed no significant damage, the Raiders announced.

Goodson said via Twitter on Tuesday night "First Person I saw when I came out of my MRI was Dennis Allen! That means a lot to me! Great Coach And a even better person!"

Goodson, 25, was acquired via trade from the Carolina Panthers and is competing with second-year speedster Taiwan Jones for the backup running back job behind Darren McFadden.

--Bears quarterback Jay Cutler and fiancee Kristin Cavallari announced the birth of their son, Camden Jack Cutler, Wednesday morning.

Cavallari posted via Twitter at 10 a.m. CT the boy was "born this morning weighing 7lbs, 9oz" and said everyone is "doing great."

Cutler is expected to play Thursday in the Bears' preseason opener against the Denver Broncos at Soldier Field.

--The Cardinals activated running back Beanie Wells from the physically unable to perform list Tuesday, declaring him well enough to return and compete for the starting job with 2011 second-rounder Ryan Williams.

Wells rushed for 1,047 yards and 10 touchdowns last season. Williams was sidelined all season after tearing knee ligaments in training camp.

The other competition in the Arizona backfield, between John Skelton and Kevin Kolb, resumed in joint practices with the Chiefs.

Kolb was back at practice on Tuesday, participating in throwing drills during his team's walk-through despite a rib contusion suffered Sunday against the Saints.

Kolb remains No. 1 on the team's depth chart, but the Republic reported that John Skelton is likely to start Friday's preseason game against the Kansas City Chiefs. Kolb and Skelton have alternated first-team reps in practices, and Kolb is expected to play Friday.

--The Eagles signed defensive tackle John Gill and waived running back Jeremy Stewart, who was claimed by the Jets before the 4 p.m. ET transaction deadline.

Gill, 25, has played for the Lions and Colts since entering the NFL as an undrafted free agent from Northwestern in 2009.

Stewart signed as an undrafted free agent after the 2012 draft. The Stanford product was competing mostly at fullback. Offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg said last week that the Eagles could enter the season without a fullback on the 53-man roster.

--The lingering concerns about the ability of the Lions to hold up in the secondary multiplied Wednesday, when the team announced safety Louis Delmas had a surgical procedure on his left knee.

The procedure was performed Tuesday by renowned surgeon James Andrews in Birmingham, Ala. Delmas hasn't been practicing and the Lions carefully guarded details of his absence. Coach Jim Schwartz said initially that Delmas was just getting rest when he missed practice last week.

A four-year veteran, Delmas missed the final five games last season after injuring his right knee.

Schwartz has dubbed the former second-round pick the defensive MVP, but durability issues have prevented the 25-year-old from having that type of consistent impact. In 41 career starts, he has 163 tackles, three sacks, two interceptions and two forced fumbles.

--To the surprise of few within the organization, Eagles coach Andy Reid returned to the team one day after his son's funeral to lead the team's 11 a.m. ET walkthrough and light workout on Wednesday. Reid will be on the sideline Thursday for the preseason opener against the Steelers two days after the funeral for his eldest son, Garrett Reid.

"I know that coming back to coach is the right thing to do," Reid said Wednesday in his first public comments since his son's death Sunday. "My son would have wanted it that way."

Owner Jeffrey Lurie said Sunday that he wouldn't be surprised if Reid came back to the team's Bethlehem, Pa., training camp by the end of the week. Indications from Reid and Lurie Tuesday were that he'd be back coaching the team for the first game of the preseason Thursday in Philadelphia against the Steelers. Instead, he came back even a day earlier than expected for the "practice game" Wednesday.

Lurie reminded Reid to take his time returning to work, but wasn't surprised the coach said he'd be back with the team immediately.

"I'm a football coach," Reid said Wednesday. "It's what I do. ... I know that coming back and coaching is the right thing to do."

Reid left the team Sunday morning when 29-year-old Garrett Reid was discovered in a dormitory room at the Eagles' Lehigh University training camp. He issued a statement Monday that his son had lost "the battle that has been ongoing for the last eight years."

Reid was asked again about his son's drug use Wednesday. He compared his son's battle with addition to fighting a grizzly bear.

"It's hard to win," Reid said.

Garrett Reid was remembered as joyous by Lurie, and rambunctious by Holmgren, who said Andy Reid was the first person he ever hired and recalled family meals in San Francisco that turned into scenes out of Star Wars because of the high energy of the two family's children.

"It is in times like these that we lean on our faith, our family, our friends, and our Eagles family. We will do so in the difficult times ahead," Reid said in his statement Monday.

Reid has been with the Eagles since 1999, longer than any current NFL head coach has been with the same team. The Eagles went 5-11 in his first season, one of only two losing seasons -- 6-10 in 2005 -- in Reid's tenure. He has a 126-81 career record and is 10-9 in the postseason.

Eagles' owner Jeffrey Lurie, commissioner Roger Goodell, Patriots coach Bill Belichick, Saints interim head coach Joe Vitt, Browns vice president Mike Holmgren, general manager Tom Heckert, head coach Pat Shurmur and offensive coordinator Brad Childress, former 49ers and Lions head coach Steve Mariucci, Ravens coach John Harbaugh and several former and current Eagles players attended the funeral along with approximately 900 others.
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