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Archive for Thursday, August 18, 2011

National briefs: Newton will start for Carolina on Friday

August 18, 2011

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Spartanburg, S.C. — Top draft pick Cam Newton will start at quarterback for the Carolina Panthers in their second preseason game Friday.

Coach Ron Rivera said Wednesday that Jimmy Clausen, who started last week against the New York Giants, would get snaps with the first-team offense against the Miami Dolphins.

“It’s pretty much following the line of what we had planned throughout training camp, and that’s to go back and forth and back and forth with our guys,” Rivera said. “It’s a good opportunity.”

Rivera said the first-team offense would play about a half.

“We’ll do like we did last week where Cam came in and played with the first group in the second quarter,” Rivera said. “Again, we want to make sure everybody gets a chance to play and work with the guys to keep that competition going.”

Rivera said he would likely announce next week which player will start in the opener Sept. 11 against Arizona.

“People do want to read into it, but just know that we have a plan and we’re sticking to it,” Rivera said of Newton starting this week. “As we go through the process sometime next week we’ll have a real good feel for what we’re going to do as we go into the regular season.”

NFL

Jets sustain two injuries

Florham Park, N.J. — The New York Jets confirmed that offensive lineman Robert Turner has a broken right leg that will require surgery, and running back Joe McKnight has a concussion.

Coach Rex Ryan said Wednesday that Turner will be operated on later this week to determine how long the versatile lineman will be sidelined. McKnight won’t participate in team drills while he’s being evaluated.

LB Maybin joins New York

Florham Park, N.J. — Aaron Maybin wasted no time getting on the field with his new team. The former Buffalo Bills first-round pick agreed to terms with the New York Jets on Wednesday morning, passed his physical a few hours later and signed a one-year deal — all in time to practice in the afternoon.

Raiders decimated by injuries

Napa, Calif. — The Oakland Raiders will be without projected starting cornerback Chris Johnson for their preseason game against the 49ers on Saturday night and might also play without center Samson Satele.

As if that wasn’t enough, wide receiver Louis Murphy will be sidelined indefinitely and likely miss the team’s regular-season opener after undergoing a medical procedure.

With running back Darren McFadden already out with a fractured orbital bone, the Raiders are spending more time in the trainer’s room than on the field.

Vilma remaining quiet

Metairie, La. — While a published photograph shows former Miami linebacker Jonathan Vilma and imprisoned Miami booster Nevin Shapiro spending time together on what looks like a yacht, Vilma declined to go into details about their relationship or Shapiro’s recent claims about giving improper gifts to Hurricanes athletes.

“I feel it’s unfortunate that things are being brought up right now from a guy who’s in jail,” Vilma, now a defensive captain and linebacker with the New Orleans Saints, said after practice Wednesday night. “You can go back and forth with someone who’s in jail and try to explain yourself. I really don’t want to do that. That’s very unnecessary. I’ll leave it at that.”

Maclin had cancer scare

Philadelphia — Eagles wide receiver Jeremy Maclin, who still hasn’t practiced yet, has been cleared to return to the team after a cancer scare, trainer Rick Burkholder said Wednesday.

Burkholder said, barring a setback, Maclin will return to practice within 10 days and should be able to play in the Sept. 11 opener at St. Louis.

Burkholder said Maclin began experiencing symptoms — night sweats, fever, loss of weight, loss of appetite — in March, synonymous with lymphoma, a form of cancer. But a five-month battery of tests taken in both Philadelphia and St. Louis came back inconclusive, and not until Wednesday, was Maclin finally cleared of all serious conditions.

Maclin was tested for HIV and numerous other diseases and underwent several tests, including scans. He also consulted with a hematologist, an oncologist and an infectious disease specialist, among others.

NBA

Former referee found dead

New Orleans — A former NBA referee shot and killed himself in a suburban New Orleans hotel room on the same day his wife was found strangled at their Houston-area home last week, authorities said Wednesday.

A law-enforcement official in Montgomery County, Texas, said Troy Raymond, 46, was a “person of interest” in the death of his wife, Leslie Anderson Raymond, whose body was discovered last Thursday at their home in Spring.

Troy Raymond’s body was discovered at a hotel in Jefferson Parish. The coroner’s office said he shot himself in the head.

Tim Holifield, a Montgomery County constable, said that Raymond hasn’t been named a suspect in his 41-year-old wife’s killing and it’s premature to connect their deaths.

“At this point, to call him anything other than a person of interest post-mortem would be unfair and improper,” Holifield said.

Raymond was an NBA referee during the 2003-04 season and more recently has refereed college basketball games, including for the Sun Belt Conference.

College Football

Purdue QB remains eligible

West Lafayette, Ind. — Purdue says quarterback Robert Marve remains eligible after he was mentioned in a report that says he received extra benefits while playing for Miami.

Former Miami booster Nevin Shapiro, a convicted Ponzi scheme artist now serving 20 years in federal prison, told Yahoo Sports that Marve was one of the 72 football players and other athletes he provided improper benefits between 2002 and 2010.

Purdue contacted the NCAA and concluded that there are no issues with Purdue or Marve’s status.

Nebraska CB sidelined

Lincoln, Neb. — Nebraska cornerback Alfonzo Dennard is out indefinitely with a pulled leg muscle.

Coach Bo Pelini announced Dennard’s injury after Wednesday’s practice. Pelini didn’t say when the injury occurred.

Dennard is the most experienced member of the Cornhuskers’ secondary. He was a first-team All-Big 12 selection last season despite being overshadowed by New York Giants first-round draft pick Prince Amukamara.

Coker not contacted by NCAA

San Antonio — A spokesman says former Miami coach Larry Coker hasn’t been contacted by the NCAA amid allegations that players on his Hurricanes teams received cars and lavish gifts from a booster.

Coker is now coaching the Texas-San Antonio football team. UTSA spokesman Brian Hernandez said Wednesday that the NCAA hasn’t contacted Coker and the school may release a statement later.

MLB

Wilson has elbow checked out

Atlanta — San Francisco closer Brian Wilson flew to Florida on Wednesday to have his ailing right elbow checked out by the same doctor who performed surgery eight years ago.

Wilson has some inflammation but no serious damage, manager Bruce Bochy said before the injury plagued Giants faced the Atlanta Braves.

The right-hander was not available for the game. He could return to the mound today.

“He just felt a little tenderness,” Bochy said. “We’re just being cautious. The results came out well. They showed a little inflammation in the elbow, so we’re going to give him a couple days off.”

Wilson gave up three runs in the ninth inning Monday night, a 5-4 loss to the Braves. He headed to Pensacola, Fla., to be examined by Dr. James Andrews, who performed Tommy John surgery on Wilson in 2003.

Wilson is 6-4 with a 3.19 ERA and 35 saves this season.

“He just wanted to get it checked out by the man who did it,” Bochy said.

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