NFL Notes: Clowney to start preseason opener

NFL Notes: Clowney to start preseason opener

Eagles-Bears: Players to watch

August 7, 2014, 4:15 pm
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First overall pick Jadeveon Clowney will make his preseason debut against the Cardinals on Saturday. (USA Today Images)

HOUSTON -- Top overall draft pick Jadeveon Clowney says he will start Saturday's preseason opener at Arizona after missing practice time this week with an undisclosed injury. Clowney's proclamation seemed to catch Texans coach Bill O'Brien by surprise.

Clowney returned to practice on Thursday after sitting out the last three workouts. Clowney had sports hernia surgery on June 12, missed the team's three-day minicamp and has been limited in training camp. He hurt himself late in Saturday's workout, but was back on the field Thursday. He participated in some team drills, chasing quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick out of bounds on one play.

"Felt great," Clowney said. "Trying to get back into the groove, practicing again."

Clowney wouldn't say what exactly kept him out this week, saying only that the team was "being very careful." But he said definitively that he would start Saturday's game, although he stopped shy of saying he was 100 percent healthy. (see full story)

Panthers: Newton unsure if he will play against Bills
SPARTANBURG, S.C. -- Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton is eager to test out his surgically repaired left ankle Friday night against the Buffalo Bills.

He's just not sure if he'll get that opportunity.

Newton said the plan is to follow the advice of team trainers and coaches when it comes to his availability for Carolina's preseason opener. He threw passes on the side during practice Thursday, but did not participate in team drills.

"Do I want to play? I do," Newton said Thursday. "I think this is an opportunity for me to play. But I'm sticking to the program and what coach is asking me to do and (trainer) Ryan Vermillion is asking me to do."

Newton has been looking forward to getting some live game reps with a revamped group of wide receivers that includes rookie Kelvin Benjamin, his new close friend and favorite option in training camp. (see full story)

Cardinals: Ernie Sims released
GLENDALE, Ariz. -- The Arizona Cardinals have released linebacker Ernie Sims.

The eight-year NFL veteran was signed as a free agent on Dec. 24.

Sims was a first-round draft pick -- ninth overall -- by the Detroit Lions in 2006. He played for the Lions for four seasons, then had stops in Philadelphia, Indianapolis and Dallas.

Coach Bruce Arians says Sims didn't fit into the Cardinals' defense and that the team owed him the respect as a veteran to give him a chance to catch on with another team.

Bills: Trump first up to meet with team
BUFFALO, N.Y. -- The sale of the Buffalo Bills entered the next phase with prospective ownership groups, including Donald Trump, meeting with team officials to prepare formal bids.

Two people familiar with the sale process confirmed to The Associated Press on Thursday that the New York real estate mogul was the first to receive a presentation. Trump's meeting was held in the Detroit-area on Wednesday. Buffalo Sabres owners Terry and Kim Pegula and a Toronto group fronted by rocker Jon Bon Jovi also have scheduled meetings.

The people spoke on the condition of anonymity because the sale process is private. The Bills are on the market after Hall of Fame owner Ralph Wilson died in March.

The Buffalo News first reported the development on its website.

During the meetings, prospective buyers receive extensive financial and background information on the franchise. Bids are expected to be submitted within three weeks. (see full story)

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