New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski participated in his first practice wearing full pads 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 Sept. 8 at the Buffalo Bills or the following game 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 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.
---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 came Thursday following 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.
---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.
---The Oakland Raiders released punter Chris Kluwe and quarterback Tyler Wilson.
That means the team will go with Marquette King as its punter. "Thanks to everyone at the Raiders for the opportunity this preseason," Kluwe wrote. "It was a blast. @MarquetteKing's got a bright future with you guys!"
The Raiders cut former Arkansas QB Wilson, their fourth-round draft choice in April. They also added two players off waivers in guard Antoine McClain (Baltimore Ravens) and defensive tackle Brian Sanford (Cleveland Browns).
---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. He became more expendable this year with the defensive change from the 3-4 alignment to the Tampa 2 scheme under new defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin.
---The Philadelphia Eagles claimed cornerback Shaun Prater off waivers from the Cincinnati Bengals and waived/injured cornerback Curtis Marsh.
Prater was taken by the Bengals in the fifth round of the 2012 draft out of Iowa but missed his rookie year because of a knee injury.
A three-year starter at Iowa, Prater had seven career interceptions and forced four fumbles his senior year. He was a two-time All-Big Ten selection.
---The Denver Broncos released running back Jacob Hester.
Hester played in three regular-season games and one playoff contest for the Broncos last year.
He spent the first four years of his career with the San Diego Chargers before coming to Denver in 2012. He played 62 regular-season games (23 starts) and three playoff games for the Chargers.
---The Denver Broncos were assigned linebacker Adrian Robinson off waivers. Robinson was waived by the Philadelphia Eagles.
Robinson played in 12 games as a rookie for the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2012 after signing as an undrafted free agent. He was traded to Philadelphia for running back Felix Jones on Aug. 23.
---The Baltimore Ravens waived injured wide receiver LaQuan Williams.
Williams, an undrafted rookie free agent in 2011 out of Maryland, had four catches for 46 yards his rookie season and played on special teams. He did not play any offensive snaps last year but recorded five special teams tackles.
---The Jacksonville Jaguars were awarded seven players off waivers and released seven players.
Jacksonville picked up waived players in wide receiver Stephen Burton (Minnesota Vikings), defensive back Winston Guy (Seattle Seahawks), tight end Clay Harbor (Philadelphia Eagles), offensive guard Jacques McClendon (Atlanta Falcons), defensive end Chris McCoy (Eagles), linebacker J.T. Thomas (Chicago Bears) and tight end D.J. Williams (Green Bay Packers).
The Jaguars released or waived five veterans: defensive back Antwon Blake, tight end Brett Brackett, defensive tackle Kyle Love, wide receiver Jordan Shipley and linebacker Andy Studebaker. They also released or waived two rookies in center Dan Gerberry and fullback Lonnie Pryor.
---The Buffalo Bills were awarded cornerback Brandon Burton off waivers from the Minnesota Vikings and added him to their 53-man roster.
Burton, a fifth-round pick of the Vikings in the 2011 draft, played in 14 games in two seasons. He played collegiately at Utah.
---The Indianapolis Colts claimed tight end Jack Doyle off waivers from the Tennessee Titans and waived running back Kerwynn Williams.
Doyle grew up in Indianapolis and played collegiately at Western Kentucky. He signed with the Titans as an undrafted rookie free agent in May.