NFL roundup: Eagles' WR Cooper involved in brawl

The Sports Xchange
The SportsXchange

Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver Riley Cooper and cornerback Cary Williams were involved in a fight at practice Thursday that required several players to intervene.
Cooper, who put himself in hot water in the locker room and elsewhere when he was captured on video making racist slurs and left the team briefly in August to deal with the aftermath, was shaken and sat out some one-on-one drills following the dust up, which made the rounds on the Internet after a recording of the fight surfaced. Williams was angrily swinging at Cooper, who was wearing a helmet.
"We got tangled up," Cooper said after practice, "and ended up on the ground."
Williams shed his helmet and went back after Cooper when they were separated. Quarterback Michael Vick stepped in and calmed Williams down.
After practice, Williams shouted from his locker, "Don't even come by here. I'm not talking at all," in the direction of stalking reporters.
Williams, who was also involved in a fight during joint practices with the New England Patriots in August, was outspoken after learning of Cooper's comments last month.
"(A)t the end of the day, we look at ... rap artists (and) some people in the locker room, that word gets tossed around," Williams said. "And what I think about my grandmother and my great-grandmother having to endure being called that name. ... We as a black community sometimes pounce on somebody who uses it in a derogatory way when there are times in the black community when we use it freely.
"I think there's no place for that word in anybody's language, in anybody's mouth or off anybody's tongue, whether you're black, white, green, purple, blue," Williams said. "It's still the same meaning, it's still a harsh word."

---The Carolina Panthers voted quarterback Cam Newton a team captain, coach Ron Rivera said. Newton, the No. 1 pick in the 2011 draft, is in a captain's role for the first time in his NFL career.
The move was considered a surprise because his leadership has been called in question during the preseason.
Rivera named six captains in all, also including wide receiver Steve Smith, left tackle Jordan Gross, center Ryan Kalil, linebacker Thomas Davis and linebacker Luke Kuechly.

---Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Roddy White said he will play in Sunday's season opener against the New Orleans Saints, despite sitting out the team's last two preseason games with a sprained left ankle.
White, who has six consecutive 1,000-yard receiving seasons, declared Thursday that he is "100 percent certain" he will play. He has started 128 straight games at wide receiver for the Falcons.
"You know, come Sunday, I'll be ready to go," the 31-year-old said on the team's official website. "My adrenaline will be pumping. It's football. Once you get out there, you've gotta just go play."

---Denver Broncos starting tight end Julius Thomas is expected to start Thursday's season opener against the Baltimore Ravens despite being arrested last week.
Thomas was arrested Aug. 28 for failing to appear in court for a traffic citation issued earlier this year, the Denver Post reported. Thomas was pulled over for speeding near the Broncos training facility. He was arrested on a warrant and released on $500 bond, according to the Arapahoe County sheriff.
The team said they are dealing with the matter internally.

---New York Jets wide receiver Santonio Holmes sat out practice for what New York Jets head coach Rex Ryan called a scheduled day off as the wide receiver returns from foot surgery 10 months ago.
"I certainly hope so," Ryan said when asked if Holmes will play in Sunday's season opener against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. "We'll make sure we have the absolute clearance from our doctors and our trainers before we do that. Obviously, he hasn't appeared in any preseason games this year, (he's) just now practicing. So we'll lean on them. But as I've said all along, I certainly hope he plays."
Holmes was removed from the unable to perform list and added to the Jets' active roster on Friday, but said he wasn't sure when he could return.

---San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick was rarely hit by the Green Bay Packers when they met in the 2012 playoffs, but coach Jim Harbaugh asked the league to look into comments from defenders that he believes implies targeting.
Kaepernick set an NFL playoff record with 181 rushing yards against the Packers in January and said in the offseason that Green Bay's defenders were bickering and pointing fingers during the 45-31 loss.
The Packers, most notably linebacker Clay Matthews, said they plan to put a lick on read-option quarterbacks when given a shot. Matthews said in an interview on ESPN radio this week that officials have told them quarterbacks are fair game when carrying out run fakes.
That talk set Harbaugh on a mission for clarity from the NFL on the rule, and interpretation of comments about putting big hits on a particular player.

---Pro Bowl safety Jairus Byrd might not be in uniform Sunday because of a foot injury, and he's not certain he wants to wear the Buffalo Bills colors much longer based on a lingering animosity over his contract.
The Buffalo News reported that Byrd wants to be traded. Byrd missed almost the entire training camp and did not play in the preseason due to a contract squabble, and has a sore foot.
In four NFL seasons, Byrd has 18 interceptions and 308 tackles. He has not missed a game the past three seasons.

---Rookie defensive end Ziggy Ansah returned to practice and could be in the Detroit Lions' lineup Sunday.
Ansah, the fifth overall pick in the 2013 draft, would start at right end if he's cleared medically. Detroit would welcome the addition of the 6-foot-5, 270-pound physical phenom opposite veteran Jason Jones against Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson, who rushed for 171 yards and two touchdowns against the Lions in November.
The defensive end appeared to take a positive step Wednesday. He did not practice, but he took part in the entire warm-up period and then ran sprints from sideline to sideline under the supervision of strength coach Jason Arapoff.

---The Dallas Cowboys released guard Nate Livings from injured reserve and reached an injury settlement with him, the team announced.
Livings, who had knee surgery in the offseason, signed a five-year contract last year that included $6.2 million guaranteed.
Ronald Leary is starting at left guard and six-time Pro Bowler Brian Waters is starting at right guard.

---The Indianapolis Colts waived tackle Emmett Cleary from injured reserve and reached an injury settlement with him, the team announced.
Cleary was signed by the Colts as an undrafted free agent out of Boston College in April. He started 29 of 48 games played at Boston College.

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