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NFL Roundup: Saints activate Smith, Chargers' Mathews to miss Monday game

The SportsXchange

The New Orleans Saints activated defensive end Will Smith as part of series of roster moves by the team, the Times-Picayune reported Saturday.

Smith was temporary relieved from his suspension for his role in the team's "bounty" scandal. A three-member arbitration panel lifted the suspensions of four players involved on Friday.

The Saints also got roster exemptions for linebackers Barrett Ruud and Jonathan Vilma, who was also originally under suspension in the scandal.

New Orleans also released wide receiver Adrian Arrington and fullback Korey Hall, and placed rookie offensive tackle Marcel Jones on injured reserve.

The Saints open the season Sunday against the Washington Redskins.

---San Diego Chargers running back Ryan Mathews told the San Diego Union-Tribune that he will miss Monday night's season opener against the Oakland Raiders as he is still nursing a broken clavicle.

Mathews participated in non-contact drills this week for the first time since sustaining the injury in the Chargers' exhibition opener four weeks ago.

He has said that he would be ready for the first game of the season, but has to adjust the goal by at least another week.

"I haven't been cleared for contact, and I think we're just going to wait this week," Mathews said Friday. "I'm just going to keep doing what I'm doing. ... I just have to have the mindset right.

"I probably won't be playing in this game. But the next game, that's what I'm looking for now. I don't know about the team, but me personally, now I'm looking for that (Week 2) game against Tennessee."

The injury was expected to take four to six weeks to recover from so Mathews is on schedule.

"They just want to be on the cautious side," he said. "It's been a lot of hard work, but you can't do anything about it. You really can't. You've just got to do what you can do, cheer on your teammates as much as you can. Like I said, my goal is to try to be ready by next week."

Ronnie Brown is expected to start in place of Mathews, who rushed for 1,091 yards in 14 games (13 starts) last year.

---The Cleveland Browns will pay tribute to former owner Art Modell before Sunday's game against the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday.

Modell, who was vilified for moving the team to Baltimore in 1996, died Thursday at age 87 of natural causes.

While Cleveland eventually got a franchise back, fans never forgave Modell was relocating the team. The NFL asked the Browns to commemorate Modell and the team agreed to its request, according to the Cleveland Plain Dealer.

The NFL also asked all home teams to recognize Modell's life and contribution to the league Sunday.

Initially, the Browns did not plan to honor Modell before the league stepped in.

---St. Louis Rams linebacker James Laurinaitis signed a five-year contract extension, the team announced Saturday.

The extension through 2017 is worth $41.5 million, according to NFL.com. Of that, $23 is guaranteed.

Laurinaitis, a second round draft pick in 2009, has started every regular-season game for the Rams in his three years in the league.

Last year, he had 142 tackles, three sacks, seven defensed passes and two interceptions.

---The Jacksonville Jaguars activated running back Maurice Jones-Drew to the 53-man roster Saturday, according to NFL.com.

Jones-Drew reported to the team last Sunday after holding out for more than a month. He did not receive a new contract from the team, despite the holdout. He still has two years left on his current deal.

The team had until 4 p.m. ET Saturday to officially add Jones-Drew to the roster for Sunday's game at the Minnesota Vikings.

Jacksonville waived running back Keith Toston to make room for Jones-Drew.

Rashad Jennings is scheduled to start at running back as Jones-Drew gets up to speed with new coach Mike Mularkey's offensive system.

---Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant is closing in on a plea deal related to his arrest on charges that he assaulted his mother, according to 105.3 The Fan radio in Dallas.

The radio station reported Friday that lawyers representing Bryant met with the Dallas County District Attorney's office this week and Bryant will plead guilty to a reduced Class C misdemeanor for family violence and will not face jail time or probation but will pay a $500 fine and attend anger management classes.

Bryant was originally charged with a Class A misdemeanor that could result in a $4,000 fine and up to a year in jail.

The wide receiver was arrested July 16 after an altercation with his mother, Angela. The Dallas Morning News had reported that she signed an affidavit that she did not want her son to be prosecuted.

The district attorney's office and Bryant's attorney, state Sen. Royce West, could not be reached for comment.

Even if Bryant did not plead guilty, he still could have been subject to the NFL's personal conduct policy.

---The Chicago Bears elevated running back Armando Allen from the practice squad to the active roster, waived linebacker Patrick Trahan and terminated the contract of vested veteran running back Lorenzo Booker, the team announced Saturday.

Allen played in two games for the Bears last year with 15 carries for 48 yards. He spent the rest of the season on the practice squad.

Trahan appeared in five games for the Bears in 2011 with five special teams tackles. Booker combined for 230 rushing yards, 363 receiving yards and 879 kickoff return yards in 36 games with the Miami Dolphins (2007), Philadelphia Eagles (2008) and Minnesota Vikings (2010-11).

The Bears active roster is at 52 players.

---The Denver Broncos released quarterback Caleb Hanie and signed defensive tackle Sealver Siliga to the active roster, according to the team's web site.

Hanie's release means the Broncos have just two quarterbacks on the roster. That means rookie Brock Osweiler will back up Peyton Manning on Sunday against the visiting Pittsburgh Steelers.

Hanie completed 22 of his 39 passes for 246 yards with a touchdown and an interception during the exhibition season.

Siliga moves up from the practice squad after getting six tackles and a sack in the preseason.
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