Sports briefs, Sept. 9

Posted Sept. 09, 2011, at 11:39 p.m.

McCarthy: Outlook ‘positive’ on Williams’ shoulder

GREEN BAY, Wis. — Green Bay Packers cornerback Tramon Williams has been diagnosed with a bruised shoulder after leaving Thursday night’s game against the New Orleans Saints.

Packers coach Mike McCarthy says no timeline has been established for Williams’ return. He said the outlook is “positive” and the injury didn’t seem severe.

Williams appeared to hurt his right shoulder in a collision with Packers safety Nick Collins. Collins bruised his wrist during the game, but McCarthy said he didn’t expect Collins to miss any time in practice next week.

Packers players are off Saturday and Sunday, although the team’s weight room will be open and most players are expected to stay in town. Coaches will be off Saturday and return to work Sunday. Green Bay’s next game is Sept. 18 at Carolina.

Spurs interested in Beckham after LA deal ends

LONDON — Tottenham and Queens Park Rangers are interested in signing David Beckham when his Major League Soccer contract with the Los Angeles Galaxy expires at the end of the year.

The 36-year-old midfielder trained with Tottenham during the last MLS offseason and manager Harry Redknapp is interested in signing him in January.

“I don’t think you would ever say no to David Beckham. He would bring a lot to any club,” Redknapp said Friday. “He came and trained with us last year. He was fantastic to have around the place as a player and as a person.

“He was a top-class professional and he’s the kind of lad you would like around the place. He is someone the young lads look up to and he is a great role model for anybody.”

Although Beckham trained with Spurs in January, the club failed to agree a loan deal for the former England captain.

And talks are yet to start between Spurs and Beckham’s representatives ahead of the MLS season ending in November.

“What are the chances of us signing him? I have no idea,” Redknapp said. “I’ll be honest. I don’t have a clue. I wouldn’t know the financial situation or what it would take. I have never discussed it with the chairman.

“Would I like him here? Of course I would.”

But London rival QPR, which is back in the Premier League after 15 years and under new ownership, also wants to sign the former Manchester United and Real Madrid player.

“It’s something that I believe will be good for the club,” QPR chairman Tony Fernandes, who is also chief executive of Air Asia, told Sky Sports TV. “But it’s a long, long way from anything.”

NFL lets players wear Sept. 11 cleats, gloves

The NFL has relaxed its normally rigid uniform policy, which will allow players to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks.

League spokesman Michael Signora tweeted that the league told its 32 clubs on Friday that players may wear special shoes and gloves from official NFL equipment licensees for Week 1 games.

The move came one day after Chicago linebacker Lance Briggs tweeted that he had expected to be fined for wearing red, white and blue cleats and gloves designed by Reebok. Briggs said it would be “by far the best fine he will ever have to pay.”

NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said the league does not “anticipate any issues.”

“We have extensive plans for Sunday to respectfully recognize the significance of the day,” Aiello said in an email. “Lance Briggs and all players will participate.”

Briggs declined to comment when he left the practice field Friday. He instead put the shoes on display in the locker room, the back of the left shoe bearing the word “Never” and “Forget” on the other shoe.

Coach Lovie Smith said he has no problem with Briggs defying the NFL dress code in this instance.

“I mean, we’re going to do an awful lot before the game as an organization — the NFL as a league — to honor the victims,” Smith said. “But you know, if they (the NFL) say it’s OK and the guys are good with it, of course we’re all for it, too.”

Kansas City Chiefs running back Jamaal Charles also said on his Twitter account that he plans to wear Reebok-issued gloves and cleats to honor the day.

Like Briggs, Charles posted a picture online. It showed an all-red bottom surface around the cleats beneath a white shoe with large blue stripes wrapped around it and white stars along the heel. The back of the glove is all red, with the words, “Never forget,” circled around the date, Sept. 11, 2001. The palm of the glove is blue, with white stars.

“I never forget,” Charles tweeted.

Ratliff agrees to 5-year extension

IRVING, Texas — The Dallas Cowboys have agreed to a five-year contract extension with nose tackle Jay Ratliff that will keep him with the team through the 2017 season.

Ratliff, a three-time Pro Bowler (2008-10), was originally drafted by the Cowboys in the seventh round (224th overall) in 2005 out of Auburn. He has started 63 of 82 career games and has 250 tackles, 25 sacks, 18 tackles for loss, 96 pressures, 13 pass breakups and five forced fumbles. Ratliff also has 12 fumble recoveries and blocked one field goal.

The 6-foot-4, 303-pound Ratliff just turned 30.

Injured Youkilis returns to Boston for MRI

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Red Sox manager Terry Francona says infielder Kevin Youkilis has returned to Boston to be examined by team doctors and undergo an MRI exam.

Youkilis was out of the starting lineup Friday for the start of a key series against Tampa Bay because of a hip injury.

The Red Sox held a 6½-game lead entering Friday over Tampa Bay in the AL wild-card race.

The teams are playing a three-game series this weekend.

Bruins rookies report for chance to defend Cup

WILMINGTON, Mass. — A giant granite replica of the Stanley Cup greeted Boston Bruins prospects when they reported for rookie camp at the team’s practice arena.

That should be their first clue that making the team could be harder this year.

The NHL champions began their weekend rookie camp at Ristuccia Arena on Friday. Young players will also get a chance to impress the coaching staff during two exhibition games against the Islanders in New York. Assistant general manager Jim Benning says those who earn it will be invited to the full training camp that begins next week.

Among the players on the ice was defenseman Dougie Hamilton, who was the No. 9 pick in this year’s draft.

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