NFL roundup: Giants' Cruz ready; Pierre-Paul questionable

The Sports Xchange
The SportsXchange

A number of teams have questions about the status of key players heading into their season openers this weekend.

---It appears New York Giants wide receiver Victor Cruz will be ready to play in Sunday's opener against Dallas despite a heel injury, but the status of defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul remains unclear.
Pierre-Paul, the team's top pass-rusher, was listed as questionable on Friday as he continues to recover from offseason back surgery. He will be a game-time decision.

---The Cleveland Browns defense has been hit with injuries that threaten to sideline a pair of starters for Sunday's regular-season opener against the Miami Dolphins.
Cornerback Buster Skrine was listed as questionable Friday with a shoulder injury suffered in practice the previous day, while left defensive end Ahtyba Rubin is also questionable with a calf injury.
Outside linebacker Barkevious Mingo was officially ruled out as he recovers from a lung injury.

---Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Blaine Gabbert threw at practice,, although he remains a game-day decision due to a thumb injury on his right hand.
Jaguars tight end Marcedes Lewis did not practice Friday due to a calf injury.

---Although New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick did not say whether tight end Rob Gronkowski would play in the opener, the team listed him as doubtful.
Gronkowski is recovering from arm and back surgery. He might be back for the second or third game, however.

---The Oakland Raiders will be down to their fourth starting left tackle since training camp opened when they face Indianapolis in their opener on Sunday.
Second-round draft pick Menelik Watson, who played decently in the final preseason game, has been ruled out for the opener because of a knee injury, CSN California reported.
The Raiders lost starter Jared Veldheer to triceps surgery in mid-August, and they gave up on having Alex Barron be the starter.
So, against the Colts on Sunday, right tackle Khalif Barnes will move over to the left side, and recently signed Tony Pashos will be the starting right tackle.

---Free agent quarterback Tim Tebow turned down an NFL team interested in him because he refuses to switch to another position, according to Sports Illustrated's Peter King.
The report did not indicate which team was interested in Tebow.
Tebow has also rejected offers from the Canadian Football League and USA Rugby. He reportedly only wants to return to the NFL if he has the chance to play quarterback.

---For the second time this week, San Francisco 49ers linebacker Aldon Smith and former 49ers tight end Delanie Walker were named in a lawsuit stemming from a 2012 party at Smith's San Jose home.
The second lawsuit was filed in Santa Clara County from an attorney for Aaron Reyes, a friend of Ronndale Esporles, the plaintiff in the first lawsuit that was filed earlier in the week, according to
Like Esporles, Reyes also received serious, catastrophic and permanent injuries, according to Reyes.
The lawsuit claims that Smith and Walker knew that gang members and others armed with weapons were at the party. It also claims that Smith hosted other similar parties
---A day after Philadelphia Eagles teammates Riley Cooper and Cary Williams fought during practice, coach Chip Kelly downplayed the incident.
"No fallout whatever," Kelly said Friday. "You've got two competitive guys. It was squashed pretty quickly."

---NBC got a 16.2 overnight Nielsen rating for Thursday night's NFL opener in which the Denver Broncos routed the Baltimore Ravens 49-27, according to Sports Business Daily.
The rating was down 2 percent from last year's Dallas Cowboys-New York Giants matchup that kicked off the 2012 season. That game aired on a Wednesday night because of a conflict with the Democratic National Convention.

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