Falcons TE Tony Gonzalez reporting to camp
Atlanta Falcons tight end Tony Gonzalez told Fox Sports on Saturday that he is ready to report back to camp.
The 17th-year veteran and future Hall of Famer said he would join the team Saturday and begin working out Sunday. He added that he will be ready to play the Falcons’ next preseason game against the Tennessee Titans on Aug. 24.
“It’s time for me to get back there,” Gonzalez said. “I need to get some work with (quarterback) Matt (Ryan) and the offense. I’m excited.”
Gonzalez nearly retired last season before changing his mind and deciding to return this year. He reported to training camp but took a leave after just two days.
Falcons tight ends coach Chris Scelfo told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that he has been speaking with Gonzalez on a regular basis.
Gonzalez made 93 catches for 930 yards with eight touchdowns last year.
Injured Broncos include Welker, Bailey
The Denver Broncos came out of Saturday night’s 40-10 preseason loss in Seattle with what could be several fairly significant injuries.
The most prominent was defensive end Derek Wolfe’s scary cervical spine injury. Wolfe was carted off the field and taken to a hospital during the game, but tests were negative. He had movement in his extremities and returned to Denver with the team.
Cornerback Champ Bailey, wide receiver Wes Welker and guard Louis Vasquez also went down with injuries.
An MRI showed Bailey sustained no ligament damage to his left foot, according to USA Today. He has a sprained left foot, and it’s unclear when he will return.
Welker has a “mild” right ankle sprain, according to ProFotballTalk.com. That suggests he will be back for the regular-season opener.
Vasquez left the game in the second quarter with a left knee injury. NFL.com reported Sunday that Vanquez tweaked the knee and should be fine, which is welcome news for a team already dealing with injury issues on the offensive line.
Nadal win first Cincinnati title in nine tries
CINCINNATI — Rafa Nadal continued his outstanding hardcourt form beating John Isner 7-6, 7-6 in the final of the Western and Southern Open on Sunday, setting up the Spaniard as the red-hot favorite heading into the U.S. Open.
Unbeaten on the surface in 15 matches this year and coming off a win in Montreal, the third ranked Nadal, who will move up to number two on Monday, won back-to-back hardcourt finals on consecutive weeks for the first time in his career.
Nadal needed nearly two hours on a muggy center court to tame the towering American, who had knocked off three top 10 players, including world number one Novak Djokovic, to earn his spot in the final.
Former Marine fights NCAA for eligibility
Former Marine Steven Rhodes was hoping to be a walk-on football player at Middle Tennessee State University this season, but the NCAA will make him wait.
Rhodes completed five years of active duty this summer, but was ruled ineligible because he competed in a recreational football league for military personnel in 2012. According to NCAA regulations, the rec league games are considered organized competition.
Rhodes told the Daily News Journal in Murfreesboro, Tenn., that the military league was not highly competitive and not even well organized.
“Man, it was like intramurals for us,” he said. “There were guys out there anywhere from 18 to 40-something years old. The games were spread out. We once went six weeks between games.”
The NCAA bylaw reads that “student-athletes that do not enroll in college within a year of their high school graduation will be charged one year of intercollegiate eligibility for every academic year they participate in organized competition.”
AFter the NCAA initially ruled that Rhodes would have to sit out two years, Middle Tennessee appealed and the waiting period was reduced to one year. The school is seeking an NCAA rule change that would allow Rhodes to still play this season, saying it is simply an oversight of a regulation that was not intended to penalize military members.
Dolphins’ Keller out for the season with knee injury
MIAMI — Miami Dolphins tight end Dustin Keller has been ruled out for the season with multiple knee ligament damage suffered in the preseason loss to the Houston Texans, ESPN reported on Sunday.
Keller suffered the injury when he was tackled in the second quarter of Saturday’s game and ESPN reported that he had suffered three torn ligaments and a dislocated knee cap.
The 28-year-old joined the Dolphins in the offseason after spending four years with AFC East rivals the New York Jets.
49ers’ Manningham moved to reserve list
The San Francisco 49ers ruled out any chance that Mario Manningham would be ready for the start of the regular season after placing the injured wide receiver on the physically unable to perform/reserve list, coach Jim Harbaugh announced Sunday.
Manningham suffered a torn ACL and PCL in his knee during a loss to the Seattle Seahawks in December. Moving Manningham from the PUP/active to the PUP/reserve list means that he is ineligible to return until the 49ers’ seventh game of the season against the Tennessee Titans.
The 49ers are hoping that Manningham will be able to practice later this month. Their receiving corps also is missing Michael Crabtree, who is sidelined with an Achilles’ injury.
The 27-year-old Manningham had 42 receptions for 449 yards and one touchdown in 12 games last season, his first with the 49ers after four years with the New York Giants.
Bears add veteran Edwards to QB mix
The Chicago Bears signed quarterback Trent Edwards to a contract a day after adding quarterback Jordan Palmer to the roster, the team announced Sunday.
The journeyman Edwards has played in 38 career games and started 33 in six NFL seasons with the Buffalo Bills, Jacksonville Jaguars, Oakland Raiders and Philadelphia Eagles.
The Bears are seeking depth behind starter Jay Cutler after backup Matt Blanchard suffered a broken knucke in a preseason game against the San Diego Chargers on Thursday. Chicago now has Josh McCown, Edwards, Blanchard and Palmer on the roster.
Edwards’ last start came in 2010 with the Jaguars. Last season, he backed up Michael Vick and Nick Foles in Philadelphia, seeing action in only one game.
To clear roster space for the 29-year-old Edwards, the Bears waived wide receiver Jerrell Jackson.