June 25, 2018
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Patriots’ Gronkowski misses practice

Stew Milne | USA Today Sports
Stew Milne | USA Today Sports
New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski runs through drills during training camp at the team practice facility in this July 2014 file photo.
By Wire Service Reports, Special to the BDN

ASHBURN, Virginia — New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski missed Monday’s practice, but it was a scheduled rest day at the outset of joint workouts with the Washington Redskins.

Head coach Bill Belichick said there was no setback for Gronkowski, who has been limited in practice as the team monitors his recovery from offseason surgery to repair a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his knee.

The Patriots and Redskins kick off the preseason Thursday night at FedEx Field.

During preseason, no injury report is required of NFL teams.

Given Gronkowski’s limited contact to date, it is doubtful he will suit up for the Patriots’ opener this week.

He reiterated last week that his goal is to be on the field for the Patriots’ regular-season opener.

Charges dropped against Broncos’ Ward

Charges against Denver Broncos safety T.J. Ward were dropped Monday in exchange for community service.

A judge accepted a deal by prosecutors after a brief hearing.

Ward had pled not guilty to misdemeanor assault and disturbing the peace charges for allegedly throwing a glass mug at a female bartender at a Denver strip club in May.

A judge will review the status of the case on Oct. 31.

Giants’ Wilson advised to retire

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — Running back David Wilson will be placed on season-ending injured reserve after being advised not to play football by his surgeon.

“He had a disc removed and a fusion in January,” said. Dr. Russell Warren said in a team-issued release. “In light of last week’s episode of symptoms, sensory and motor, Frank (Dr. Frank Cammissa Jr.) and I both told David he should not play football any more. We let David know that by playing, he would be putting himself at risk for more episodes like last week or perhaps something more serious.”

Wilson suffered a burner during the Giants’ July 29 practice and consulted Cammissa, who performed Wilson’s spinal fusion surgery on January 16.

Williams, drafted in the fourth round out of Boston College, has been mostly used as a short-yardage and goal line back with the Giants during preseason practices. Wilson had a 21-yard carry, a 3-yard touchdown run and 48 yards on seven carries in Sunday’s preseason game against Buffalo.

In college, the 5-foot-11, 230-pound Williams averaged a little more than 27 touches per game as a senior, a year in which he rushed for 2,177 yards.

Broncos’ Ball has appendectomy

Denver Broncos running back Montee Ball underwent an appendectomy Monday but is expected to be ready for the regular-season opener against the Indianapolis Colts, according to ESPN.

Ball is the projected starter this season, but Ronnie Hillman took most of the first-team reps in practice Monday while Ball was out. C.J. Anderson also got some reps. Ball had two carries for eight yards in the Broncos’ scrimmage on Saturday.

Ball moved into the starting role after Knowshon Moreno left for the Miami Dolphins as a free agent.

Ball rushed for 559 yards with four touchdowns last season as a rookie. He struggled early on by losing three fumbles in the first 10 games but settled down after that. He averaged 4.7 yards per carry.

Hageman did not break hand

Atlanta Falcons rookie defensive tackle Ra’Shede Hageman did not break his right hand during a fight with teammate Joe Hawley on Sunday.

After the fight, Hageman left the field. According to ESPN, a source said there were discussions about Hageman possible having a hairline fracture in his wrist. However, an X-ray revealed no break.

The Falcons listed the injury as a bruise.

Also, offensive tackle Terren Jones, safety Dwight Lowery and linebacker Pat Angerer are out with concussions.

The Falcons signed veteran safety Tyrell Johnson.

Bears’ Wilson breaks collarbone

Chicago Bears wide receiver Marquess Wilson fractured his clavicle during practice Monday.

The team did not place a timetable for his return.

Veteran Brandon Marshall labeled the Bears’ receiving corps, which also includes Wilson, Alshon Jeffery and tight end Martellus Bennett, as the “four horsemen.” The four range in height from 6-foot-3 to 6-foot-6.

However, 5-foot-8, 175-pound Chris Williams will likely be the top candidate to take the No. 3 wide receiver spot with Wilson out. Williams is also a return specialist.

The Bears also have veteran receiver Josh Morgan.

Vikings sign Crocker, waive Cox

The Minnesota Vikings signed safety Chris Crocker and waived defensive end Rakim Cox on Monday.

Crocker spent the last six seasons with the Cincinnati Bengals. He played under coach Mike Zimmer, who was the Bengals defensive coordinator at the time. He also played under Zimmer with the Atlanta Falcons in 2007.

Crocker had 37 tackles, 1.5 sacks, seven bass breakups, two interceptions and returned an interception for a touchdown.

In 151 NFL games, Crocker has 554 tackles, 14.5 sacks, 60 pass breakups and 15 interceptions. He was drafted by the Cleveland Browns in the third round of the 2003 draft.


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