Pittsburgh Steelers

National Anthem Notebook: Steelers, Titans and Seahawks no-shows

National Anthem Notebook: Steelers, Titans and Seahawks no-shows

The Tennessee Titans are joining the Seattle Seahawks in deciding not to come out for the national anthem.

The Seahawks announced nearly 30 minutes before kickoff that they would not stand for the national anthem because they "will not stand for the injustice that has plagued people of color in this country."

The Titans followed 10 minutes later by saying they will remain in the locker room during the national anthem. They posted a statement on their website noting they want to be unified as a team with the players deciding jointly that staying inside was the best course of action.

The team also said their commitment to the military and community is "resolute" and that "the absence of our team for the national anthem shouldn't be misconstrued as unpatriotic."

Seattle has been one of the more outspoken teams in professional sports on social issues, led by Michael Bennett, Richard Sherman and Doug Baldwin.

NFL to re-air unity ad
NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said in a tweet that the league will re-air a unity television advertisement Sunday night that it first ran during February's Super Bowl.

The one-minute spot called "Inside These Lines," will be shown during the Sunday night game between the Oakland Raiders and Washington Redskins.

Over images and video of NFL players embracing one another on the field, the narrator says "Inside these lines, we don't have to come from the same place to help each other reach the same destination."

Goodell said that President's Trump's remarks about the NFL demonstrated "an unfortunate lack of respect for the NFL."

Steelers stay in locker room for anthem
The Pittsburgh Steelers have decided to stay in their locker room for the national anthem before their game against the Chicago Bears, coach Mike Tomlin has told CBS.

The move was apparently in reaction to President Donald Trump's suggestion that NFL owners fire players who kneel for the national anthem.

Several players from the Jaguars and Ravens decided to kneel in the first NFL game of the day in London. Then Tomlin said his players would not be on the sideline at Soldier Field in Chicago for the anthem.

Tagliabue lashes out at Trump
Former NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue called President Donald Trump's comments on NFL players "insulting and disgraceful."

Tagliabue, who was in Charlotte, North Carolina, as a guest of Panthers owner Jerry Richardson, spoke to the media before Carolina's game against the New Orleans Saints.

"For me to single out any particular group of players and call them SOB's, to me, that is insulting and disgraceful," Tagliabue said. "So I think the players deserve credit for what they do. And when it comes to speech they are entitled to speak. And we are entitled to listen. We are entitled to agree or disagree. But we're not entitled to shut anybody's speech down. Sometimes you don't like what you hear and that is true in life in lots of contexts, but you can't shut people down and be disgraceful when you are doing it."

Richardson is not making a statement on the Trump's remarks, per team spokesman Steven Drummond.

Dolphins players support Kaepernick
A handful of Miami Dolphins players are wearing black T-shirts supporting free agent quarterback Colin Kaepernick during pregame warm-ups.

The shirts have "(hash)IMWITHKAP" written in bold white lettering on the front.

Kaepernick was the first athlete to refuse to stand during the national anthem as a protest. This season, no team has signed him, and some supporters believe NFL owners are avoiding him because of the controversy.

Among the players sporting the shirts before their game against the New York Jets are wide receiver Kenny Stills, running back Jay Ajayi and offensive linemen Laremy Tunsil and Ja'Wuan James. Stills, also a team captain, posted a photo on Twitter of himself wearing the shirt , along with the post: "In case you didn't know!"

Bills fans speak out
Outside the Buffalo Bills' New Era Field, fans were tailgating as normal with no signs of protests or indications of support.

Last season, vendors here sold anti-Colin Kaepernick jerseys -- including one with him pictured in the crosshairs of a target -- before the San Francisco 49ers game at Orchard Park on Oct. 16. Kaepernick was jeered once the game began.

Kaepernick was the first player to refuse to stand during the national anthem.

"If they do this as a whole team, I will want my money back as a season-ticket holder and I'll never come back to a game again," fan Mike Ragyna said when asked about the prospect of players protesting during the anthem.

"There's no reason they can't stand for the national anthem and get up on a soapbox afterward and do it then," Ragyna said.

Jags owner stands with players
Jacksonville Jaguars owner Shad Khan calls it a privilege to stand arm-in-arm with players during the national anthem in London.

Khan stood between tight end Marcedes Lewis and linebacker Telvin Smith at Wembley Stadium and then released a statement to express his support for players. Coaches and other team personnel from both teams did the same before the game against the Ravens.

About two dozen players on both teams kneeled, something President Donald Trump has said owners should fire players for.

"It was a privilege to stand on the sidelines with the Jacksonville Jaguars today for the playing of the U.S. national anthem at Wembley Stadium," Khan said. "I met with our team captains prior to the game to express my support for them, all NFL players and the league following the divisive and contentious remarks made by President Trump, and was honored to be arm in arm with them, their teammates and our coaches during our anthem."

Treasury Secretary defends Trump
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin is defending President Donald Trump's attacks on football players who kneel during the national anthem.

Speaking on ABC's "This Week" Sunday morning, Mnuchin says the National Football League enforces other types of rules and Trump thinks "owners should have a rule that players should have to stand in respect for the national anthem."

Mnuchin adds that "they can do free speech on their own time."

Trump suggested during a speech Friday night that NFL owners should fire players who kneel during the national anthem. A handful of NFL players have refused to stand to protest several issues, including police brutality.

White House responds
A White House adviser says the president lashed out at NFL players for kneeling during the national anthem because he stands with Americans who want the anthem respected.

Marc Short is director of legislative affairs. He argues on NBC's "Meet the Press" that President Donald Trump believes NFL players have First Amendment rights, but that owners should have the right to fire them.

Trump seemed to disinvite the NBA champion Golden State Warriors from the White House because of star Stephen Curry's public opposition to him.

Asked why Trump is inflaming tensions, Short says the Warriors started it. He says players "were the ones that first went out ... and began criticizing the president."

Ravens owner supports players
Baltimore Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti says he "100 percent" supports his players' decision to kneel during the national anthem ahead of Sunday's game against the Jacksonville Jaguars at Wembley.

At least seven Ravens players and more than a dozen Jaguars players took a knee during the anthem while the rest of the players stood locked arm-in-arm in an apparent response to President Donald Trump, who said this week that NFL owners should fire those who disrespected the American flag.

But the Ravens issued a statement from Bisciotti minutes after kickoff, saying: "We recognize our players' influence. We respect their demonstration and support them 100 percent. All voices need to be heard. That's democracy in its highest form."

Jaguars owner Shad Khan stood arm-in-arm with his players during the anthem.

Ravens, Jags players kneel
About two dozen players, including Baltimore Ravens linebacker Terrell Suggs and Jacksonville Jaguars running back Leonard Fournette, took a knee during the playing of the national anthem before the start of the teams' game at Wembley Stadium on Sunday.

Other players on one knee during the performance included Ravens linebacker C.J. Mosley, wide receiver Mike Wallace and safety Lardarius Webb as well as Jaguars linebacker Dante Fowler, defensive tackle Calais Campbell, defensive end Yannick Ngakoue and cornerback Jalen Ramsey.

Players on both teams and Jaguars owner Shad Khan, who were not kneeling, remained locked arm-in-arm throughout the playing of the national anthem and "God Save The Queen," the national anthem of Britain.

No players were kneeling during the playing of the British national anthem.

President Donald Trump had a suggestion on Saturday for National Football League owners whose players decide to take a knee during the national anthem: fire them.

NFL Notes: Colts rule QB Andrew Luck out for opener

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USA Today Images

NFL Notes: Colts rule QB Andrew Luck out for opener

INDIANAPOLIS -- Andrew Luck will not play in Sunday's season opener against the Los Angeles Rams.

General manager Chris Ballard made the official announcement Monday.

Luck has not taken a snap or thrown a pass to a teammate since having January surgery to repair a partially torn labrum in his throwing shoulder.

Indy's franchise quarterback missed all of the team's offseason workouts, all of training camp and the preseason before he was activated from the physically unable to perform list Saturday. And it's no guarantee he'll be on the field later Monday when the Colts typically hold a light workout.

Scott Tolzien is likely to make his fourth NFL start, even after the Colts traded for Jacoby Brissett on Saturday (see full story).

Steelers: Bell returns after holdout
PITTSBURGH -- Pro Bowl running back Le'Veon Bell is officially back at work with the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Bell signed his franchise tender on Monday, clearing him to return for the 2017 season. The team placed the franchise tag on Bell in February. He declined to sign his one-year, $12.1 million tender while waiting to see if a long-term deal could be reached. When the Steelers and Bell did not come to an agreement by the mid-July deadline, Bell opted to skip training camp and work out on his own.

The Steelers were given a two-week roster exemption for Bell, meaning they can carry an additional player on the 53-man roster.

Bell worked out with the rest of the team Monday. His status for Pittsburgh's season opener in Cleveland is uncertain (see full story).

Dolphins: Hurrican Irma could move opener to Thursday, according to source
MIAMI -- A person familiar with the discussions says the NFL is considering moving the Miami Dolphins' season opener against Tampa Bay to another site or earlier this week because of Hurricane Irma.

The person confirmed the discussions to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity Monday because the league and teams aren't talking publicly about the options.

Switching the game to Thursday or Friday is being considered, the person said, because Irma could threaten South Florida over the weekend. The game is scheduled for 1 p.m. EDT Sunday in Miami.

Playing the game at another site Sunday is also being discussed, the person said.

The teams share the same bye week in November, but would prefer to avoid moving the game to that weekend (see full story).

Bills: Taylor uncertain for opener after concussion
ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. -- Buffalo Bills quarterback Tyrod Taylor is still recovering from a concussion and it's uncertain if he can play in the season opener against the New York Jets on Sunday.

Coach Sean McDermott says Taylor has shown signs of improvement but remains in concussion protocol.

Taylor has been out since he was injured during the second series of a 13-9 preseason loss at Baltimore on Aug. 26. He missed practice last week but attended Buffalo's preseason finale against Detroit on Thursday.

Rookie Nathan Peterman could start against the Jets. The fifth-round draft pick has jumped ahead of veteran T.J. Yates for the No. 2 spot.

The Bills signed quarterback Joe Webb for insurance, with Yates also recovering from a concussion. Webb has been in the NFL seven seasons. He spent the past three with Carolina, where he was also used extensively on special teams.

To make roster space, Buffalo released veteran safety Colt Anderson (see full story).

Chargers: Backup QB Clemens re-signs
COSTA MESA, Calif. -- The Los Angeles Chargers have re-signed backup quarterback Kellen Clemens.

The Chargers put linebacker Denzel Perryman on the reserve/injured list to make room on the 53-man roster Monday.

Clemens has been Philip Rivers' backup for the past three seasons. He threw just 10 passes during that three-year stretch in relief of Rivers, who hasn't missed a game in 11 consecutive seasons.

Clemens was waived by the Chargers last weekend during roster cutdowns. Los Angeles kept quarterback Cardale Jones, acquired early in training camp in a trade with Buffalo.

The 34-year-old Clemens spent five years with the New York Jets and three with the St. Louis Rams before joining the Chargers in 2014.

NFL Notes: Browns to reportedly cut Brock Osweiler, but will pay him $16M

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AP Images

NFL Notes: Browns to reportedly cut Brock Osweiler, but will pay him $16M

CLEVELAND -- Brock Osweiler's days with the Browns were numbered when the quarterback arrived in a trade.

They're now over.

Osweiler is being released by Cleveland, which will have to pay his $16 million guaranteed contract not to have him on their roster, a person familiar with the team's moves told The Associated Press on Friday.

Osweiler will be officially cut on Saturday along with veteran guard John Greco, kicker Cody Parkey and defensive lineman Xavier Cooper when the team trims its roster to 53 on Saturday, said the person who spoke on condition of anonymity because the team is still finalizing its roster decisions.

The 26-year-old Osweiler was acquired by the Browns on March 9 from Houston for a 2018 second-round draft pick. The team did not have any long-term plans for Osweiler, who went 8-6 as a starter for the Texans last season. However, because of his large contract, the Browns were unable to unload Osweiler and he competed for their starting job this summer.

Osweiler was beaten out by rookie DeShone Kizer, who will be the 27th starting quarterback for Cleveland since 1999 when the team opens against Pittsburgh on Sept. 10 (see full story).

Saints: Wide receiver Snead suspended 3 games for DUI
METAIRIE, La. -- Saints officials say receiver Willie Snead has been suspended for the first three games this season because of an offseason traffic violation for driving under the influence of alcohol.

Coach Sean Payton says general manager Mickey Loomis spoke with league officials Friday about the suspension for Snead, who last season was among New Orleans' receiving leaders with 984 yards and three touchdowns.

A DUI represents a violation of the NFL's personal conduct policy.

Payton says that knowing Snead, he found the receiver's arrest "a bit surprising."

The Saints coach says he doesn't want to speculate how Snead's suspension will affect final roster cuts, but says it will factor into how the Saints plan for early season games.

Snead has 141 catches for 1,879 yards and seven TDs in his two NFL seasons out of Ball State. He is due to be a restricted free agent after this season.

Seahawks: Team reportedly acquires Richardson from Jets
SEATTLE -- The Seattle Seahawks have made a big splash for their top-notch defense just before the start of the regular season.

A person with direct knowledge of the deal says the Seahawks acquired defensive tackle Sheldon Richardson from the New York Jets on Friday in exchange for wide receiver Jermaine Kearse and a second-round draft pick. The person spoke to The Associated Press on the condition of anonymity because the deal had not been announced by the teams.

Seattle will also send a 2018 second-round pick to the Jets and the clubs will swap seventh-round picks in 2018 as part of the deal.

Landing Richardson solidifies the interior of Seattle's defensive line and quells some of the concerns raised by the uncertainty surrounding rookie second-round draft pick Malik McDowell, who was injured in a July ATV accident. Richardson has spent his entire career with the Jets after being picked in the first-round pick in 2013 and was a Pro Bowl selection after the 2014 season, when he recorded a career-high eight sacks (see full story).

Steelers: Bryant, Bell back in fold with high-powered offense
PITTSBURGH -- Martavis Bryant's long journey back to the NFL is over. So is Le'Veon Bell's extended vacation.

Two of the most dynamic components of the Pittsburgh Steelers' high-powered offense are good to go as the season opener approaches.

The NFL on Friday granted Bryant permission to play when the Steelers travel to Cleveland on Sept. 10, nearly 18 months after he was suspended for violating the league's substance abuse policy.

Bryant was conditionally reinstated in April, though his return hit a snag at the start of training camp when he was forced to sit for the first two weeks of practice due to procedural issues. Bryant caught seven passes for 43 yards during the preseason and is expected to start opposite Antonio Brown for the defending AFC North champions.

The Steelers placed the franchise tag on Bell in February. The two-time Pro Bowler responded by skipping Pittsburgh's offseason program and stayed away during training camp after failing to reach agreement on a long-term deal. Bell tweeted last week that he planned on returning on Sept. 1, and he appeared at the team's facility on Friday, just hours after the Steelers wrapped up the preseason with a victory in Carolina (see full story).