NFL notes: Chiefs’ Spencer Ware might miss season after tearing knee ligaments

on Aug28

Kansas Chiefs running back Spencer Ware could require season-ending surgery after tearing one ligament in his right knee and damaging another during Friday night’s preseason game in Seattle.

Ware had an MRI exam on Saturday that revealed the extent of the injury.

Chiefs trainer Rick Burkholder said Sunday that Ware tore the posterior cruciate ligament, an injury that itself is not always season-ending. But Burkholder said Ware also damaged the lateral collateral ligament, and the combination of injuries will likely require surgery.

Chiefs coach Andy Reid confirmed that third-round draft pick Kareem Hunt will be the starter for the season opener on Sept. 7 at New England. Charcandrick West and C.J. Spiller will likely serve as backups.

Kizer named starter

Browns rookie quarterback DeShone Kizer will start the season opener against Pittsburgh, the 27th different QB to start for Cleveland since 1999. Kizer showed coach Hue Jackson enough in Saturday’s exhibition start against Tampa Bay to secure the job. Kizer was given the assignment earlier this week by Jackson, who picked the second-round pick over veterans Brock Osweiler and Cody Kessler. Jackson made Kizer’s Week 1 start official on Sunday, saying he “earned the right.”

Jets-Eagles swap DBs

The New York Jets acquired safety Terrence Brooks from the Philadelphia Eagles for cornerback Dexter McDougle in a trade of 2014 draft picks. The moves, announced by the Eagles, provide depth for both teams’ secondaries. The Jets are expected to start rookies Jamal Adams and Marcus Maye at safety but were thin at the position beyond them. Brooks was drafted in the third round out of Florida State by Baltimore, 79th overall — one pick ahead of McDougle. He spent his first two seasons with the Ravens and played with the Eagles last year.

Burfict suspended

Bengals linebacker Vontaze Burfict is appealing a five-game suspension for a preseason hit against the Chiefs, according to multiple reports.

Burfict, who was suspended for the first three games last season for repeated violations of player safety rules, had a pick-six of Kirk Cousins in the Bengals’ 23-17 loss Sunday.

Cowboys LB out

An MRI revealed that Cowboys middle linebacker Anthony Hitchens sustained a tibial fracture in his right knee, according to multiple reports, and will be out at least eight weeks.

Hitchens started every game last year and had 104 tackles. It’s unlikely that Dallas will name Jaylon Smith the starter, though, as it brings the 2016 second-round pick back slowly from a severe knee injury.

“You don’t jeopardize a guy’s future over anything like that, but as you know, Jaylon’s coming along,” Dallas executive vice president Stephen Jones told reporters. “The plan all along was for him to be ready to play for the Giants. Now are we going to throw him in there for 60-something plays? I don’t think so.”

Bears lose top WR

Chicago Bears wide receiver Cameron Meredith was carted off the field after hurting his left knee late in the first quarter of an exhibition game against the Tennessee Titans. Meredith made a 16-yard catch Sunday when he was hit by Titans cornerback Logan Ryan and safety Johnathan Cyprien. Meredith’s left foot appeared to catch in the grass when hit in the leg by Cyprien, and the receiver immediately went down. Trainers put a brace on Meredith’s leg before lifting him onto a cart that took him off the field. Meredith led the Bears with 66 catches for 888 yards last season and tied for the team-high with four touchdown receptions.

Freeman to return Monday

Atlanta Falcons running back Devonta Freeman will return to practice on Monday as a final stage of his concussion protocol. Freeman did not play in Atlanta’s 24-14 preseason loss to Arizona on Saturday night and likely will be held out of Thursday night’s final preseason game against Jacksonville. Freeman has missed two games while in the concussion protocol since agreeing to terms on a five-year, $41.25 million extension that makes him the league’s highest-paid running back in terms of the overall package.

Vick joins Fox

Michael Vick has joined Fox as a studio analyst.

The retired quarterback joins Tony Gonzalez, Dave Wannstedt, Colin Cowherd and Charissa Thompson on “NFL Kickoff”.

Lions lose another lineman

The Detroit Lions have put defensive tackle Jordan Hill on injured reserve with a bicep injury. The Lions also announced Sunday that they have signed free agent defensive tackle Derrick Lott. Detroit has already been without defensive lineman Kerry Hyder, who went down with a severe Achilles tendon injury in the team’s first preseason game.


Jets QB Bryce Petty suffered a sprained MCL in his left knee Saturday, according to multiple reports, but has not been ruled out for Thursday’s exhibition finale. … The Jets claimed defensive end Kony Ealy off waivers from the Patriots. … Bills third-string QB T.J. Yates is being evaluated for a concussion, leaving the team with just one healthy QB: 2017 fifth-round pick Nathan Peterman. … 49ers safety Eric Reid, who took a knee during the national anthem with Colin Kaepernick last season but said he’d stand this year, kneeled during the anthem with teammates’ support before Sunday’s 32-31 loss at Minnesota.


8:45 p.m.: This article has been updated with injury updates, positional battles and trades.

This article was originally published at 10 a.m.

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