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Sports briefs, Oct. 17


Rams’ Bradford has high ankle sprain

ST. LOUIS — It might be a while before Rams quarterback Sam Bradford can work with newly acquired Brandon Lloyd.

Bradford has a high left ankle sprain and is in a walking boot, leaving his status for this week’s game at Dallas in question.

Bradford was injured during winless St. Louis’ 24-3 loss at Green Bay on Sunday, and Spagnuolo said he had a noticeable limp when he reported for a team meeting Monday afternoon.

The only consolation for St. Louis (0-5) is Bradford’s plant foot is his right one, which could help him get back on the field sooner.

Backup A.J. Feeley likely will take the majority of the snaps with the first team when the Rams return to practice on Wednesday. The 34-year-old Feeley didn’t get any game snaps last year and is 1 for 5 for 21 yards this year in mopup duty. The Rams likely will elevate Tim Brandstater from the practice squad.

Broncos trade Brandon Lloyd to Rams

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — Tim Tebow has lost his top target even before making his first start of the season.

The Denver Broncos traded Pro Bowl receiver Brandon Lloyd, the league’s leading receiver last year, to the St. Louis Rams on Monday for a conditional 2012 draft pick.

The move comes a week after Tebow supplanted Kyle Orton at quarterback and six days before Tebow’s first start at Miami.

While the trade provides opportunities for young receivers Demaryius Thomas, Eric Decker and Matt Willis, it also opens the organization to increased scrutiny in the midst of its 1-4 start.

Lloyd said the trade was a mutual effort. He said he wanted to be a featured receiver in a more pass-oriented offense and thought his departure was best not just for his own career but for those of the receivers he left behind.

And Lloyd stressed his desire to leave Denver was unrelated to the Broncos’ quarterback switch last week.

In St. Louis, Lloyd will be reunited with former Broncos coach Josh McDaniels, now the coordinator of a Rams offense that has stumbled with so many of Sam Bradford’s receivers banged up.

Vanderbilt center suspended

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Vanderbilt center Festus Ezeli has been suspended for the first six games of the season for accepting a meal and hotel room from an alumnus of the university.

School officials learned of the incident and self-reported the violation to the Southeastern Conference and NCAA in early August. The NCAA ruled Monday.

Ezeli was visiting friends on a trip this summer when he ran into the alumnus, who was not identified by Vanderbilt. Ezeli can practice with the team during his suspension before returning to play on Nov. 28 against Xavier.

The senior says in a statement through the school he never would jeopardize his career over something as petty as a meal or hotel room when he could have paid for those things himself.

Penguins’ Kennedy out with concussion

Pittsburgh Penguins forward Tyler Kennedy will not play against Winnipeg on Monday night after being diagnosed with concussion-like symptoms.

Coach Dan Bylsma says it’s uncertain how long Kennedy will be out and isn’t sure when Kennedy was injured. The team was made aware of the situation on Sunday night.

Kennedy has one goal and two assists in six games for the Penguins, who headed west for a two-game road trip without star forward Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin.

Barton says FA tried to ‘hush’ tweets

LONDON — Queens Park Rangers captain Joey Barton says he was told to moderate his comments on Twitter at a meeting with the English Football Association.

Barton has attracted a following of more than 600,000 followers with outspoken views, including criticism of Newcastle executives that led to him leaving the club in August.

But Barton has no plans to stop being controversial with tweets that have extended from football into political punditry.

The English midfielder told a London conference that he feels “that the FA came to hush me down or make me not have an opinion. If they came to do that, they picked the wrong person, because there’s no way I can be like that.”

Gruden agrees to new deal with ESPN

BRISTOL, Conn. — Jon Gruden agreed to a new contract with ESPN that keeps him in TV — and out of coaching — for the next five years.

Gruden won the Super Bowl with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers after the 2002 season and has been a popular name in coaching rumors since joining “Monday Night Football” in 2009. But the network said Monday he had a new deal for 2012-16.

The 48-year-old Gruden has teamed with play-by-play commentator Mike Tirico and analyst Ron Jaworski, earning two Sports Emmy Award nominations.

Gruden coached the Oakland Raiders from 1998-2001 and the Bucs from 2002-08. He went 100-85 with five division titles.

“Jon is a rare individual who has been successful at everything he has done, going from one of the youngest coaches to win a Super Bowl to reinventing himself with this new broadcasting career in his 40s,” said his agent, Bob LaMonte.

— From Wire Reports

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