Fri, 16 Nov 2018
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Indianapolis

NFL notebook: WR Bryant signs with Saints

Sports Xchange
08 Nov 2018, 10:45 GMT+10

Free-agent wide receiver Dez Bryant agreed to terms on a one-year contract with the New Orleans Saints, the team announced on Wednesday.

Financial terms were not disclosed for the three-time Pro Bowl selection, who will sign the deal on Thursday.

The 30-year-old Bryant, who was released by the Dallas Cowboys in April, visited other teams in the offseason -- including the Cleveland Browns in August. He joined fellow wideouts Brandon Marshall and Kamar Aiken in working out with the Saints on Tuesday.

Bryant had a team-leading 69 receptions for 838 yards and six touchdowns with the Cowboys in 2017. The 6-foot-2, 220-pound Bryant has gone a career-long 23 regular-season games without a 100-yard performance.

--New York Jets rookie quarterback Sam Darnold was spotted with a walking boot on his right foot Wednesday and reportedly will sit out this weekend's game against the Buffalo Bills.

The New York Daily News reported that Darnold has a "significant sprain" and will miss Sunday's contest versus the Bills (2-7).

Josh McCown, 39, is expected to get the nod for the Jets (3-6) in place of Darnold, who was the third overall pick of the 2018 draft. New York will then go into its bye before returning to face the New England Patriots in Week 12.

Darnold was sacked four times and hit on seven occasions in Sunday's 13-6 setback to the Miami Dolphins. He completed 21 of 39 passes for 229 yards and four interceptions.

--Weakside linebacker Sean Lee of the Dallas Cowboys will miss 4-to-6 weeks because of a left hamstring injury, David Moore of the Dallas Morning News reported on Wednesday.

The Cowboys have rookie linebacker Leighton Vander Esch, who they drafted in the first round (19th overall), ready to step in.

"We anticipate (Lee) to be out for a little bit, no question about that," head coach Jason Garrett said.

The 32-year-old Lee missed five games last season and already has missed three this year because of a pulled left hamstring. The 6-2, 245-pound Lee has missed 45 of a possible 136 games in his career, 13 because of hamstring issues, according to Moore.

--Atlanta Falcons linebacker Deion Jones, who has been out since the first week of the season because of a broken right foot sustained against the Philadelphia Eagles, was back on the practice field on Wednesday.

Jones, who is on the Injured Reserve List, tested the condition of his injured foot last week, but did not take part in practice. In addition to attending practices, Jones has been involved in team meetings and film sessions.

Jones is not eligible to come off injured reserve and play this week against the Cleveland Browns, but he could play in Week 11 against the Dallas Cowboys if all goes well in practice over the next two weeks.

--Running back Ameer Abdullah, who was waived on Tuesday by the Detroit Lions, will remain in the NFC North after being claimed by the Minnesota Vikings, according to multiple media reports.

Abdullah had a lead role with the Lions when healthy over the last three seasons, but was injured often and played behind Kerryon Johnson and LeGarrette Blount this year.

The 25-year-old Abdullah was inactive for the first four games of the season and has only touched the ball three times in three games since Week 5. He rushed for one yard in his only carry.

Over four seasons with the Lions, Abdullah rushed for 1,251 yards and six touchdowns before the Lions announced on Tuesday he was being waived Abdullah after they signed wide receiver Bruce Ellington and running back Zach Zenner.

--New York Jets rookie quarterback Sam Darnold was spotted with a walking boot on his right foot Wednesday and reportedly will sit out this weekend's game against the Buffalo Bills.

The New York Daily News reported that Darnold has a "significant sprain" and will miss Sunday's contest versus the Bills (2-7).

Josh McCown, 39, is expected to get the nod for the Jets (3-6) in place of Darnold, who was the third overall pick of the 2018 NFL Draft. New York will then go into its bye before returning to face the New England Patriots in Week 12.

Darnold was sacked four times and hit on seven occasions in Sunday's 13-6 setback to the Miami Dolphins. He completed 21 of 39 passes for 229 yards and four interceptions.

--Wide receiver Torrey Smith will miss his third straight game on Thursday when the Carolina Panthers visit the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Smith was ruled out due to a knee injury for the Panthers, who feature fellow wide receivers Devin Funchess, D.J. Moore and Curtis Samuel as well as Jarius Wright and Damiere Byrd in the passing game.

The 29-year-old Smith has recorded 16 receptions for 171 yards and two touchdowns in six games with Carolina (6-2), which acquired him from the Philadelphia Eagles in the offseason.

Smith hauled in 36 receptions for 430 yards and two touchdowns with the Eagles in 2017 after signing a three-year, $15 million contract. He stepped it up in the playoffs with 13 catches for 157 yards and a score as Philadelphia went on to win its first Super Bowl title in franchise history.

--Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Sammy Watkins underwent an MRI exam on his ailing foot this week, according to a published report Wednesday.

NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported that while the results revealed no structural damage, the Chiefs (8-1) may wish to be cautious with Watkins considering his history with the injury in addition to their schedule.

Signed to a three-year, $48 million contract in the offseason, Watkins has recorded 39 receptions for 515 yards and three touchdowns in nine games this season with the Chiefs. Watkins led the Rams with eight receiving touchdowns last season despite reeling in just 39 catches for 593 yards.

The 25-year-old Watkins was selected by the Buffalo Bills with the fourth overall pick of the 2014 draft. He recorded 125 catches for 2,029 yards and 15 touchdowns in his first two seasons (29 games), but a broken bone in his foot caused him to miss the first eight contests of the 2016 campaign.

--The Atlanta Falcons and defensive end Bruce Irvin agreed to terms to a one-year contract, the team announced Wednesday.

Irvin, who was released by the Oakland Raiders last week, is expected to play for the Falcons (4-4) on Sunday against the host Cleveland Browns (2-6-1), according to ESPN's Adam Schefter.

"We know exactly how Bruce will fit into our team on the field, and just as importantly into our locker room," Quinn said of Irvin, who was born in Atlanta.

"This was a dream (come) true. The Patriots and Steelers offered more money, but being able to play for my city and my people, you just can't put a price on that," Irvin told ESPN.

Irvin recorded just six tackles, three sacks and one forced fumble in eight games this season for the Raiders. He has 252 tackles, 40 sacks, 15 forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries and three interceptions in 98 career contests with the Seattle Seahawks and Raiders.

--Cleveland Browns linebacker Christian Kirksey and cornerback E.J. Gaines were placed on injured reserve Wednesday, the team announced.

Kirksey injured his hamstring in the second half of Sunday's loss against the Kansas City Chiefs. He registered 43 tackles and two interceptions in seven appearances this season. The 6-2, 235-pound Kirksey missed time earlier in the campaign with shoulder and ankle injuries. He recorded 138 tackles, 3.5 sacks, two forced fumbles and one fumble recovery in 16 games last season.

Gaines suffered his second concussion in less than a month on Sunday on a first-quarter touchdown by Chiefs running back Kareem Hunt. He had just returned from missing the previous two games with a concussion that he sustained in practice.

The 26-year-old Gaines also missed the season-opening tie against the Pittsburgh Steelers with a knee injury. Gaines, who signed with the Browns in March, collected 13 tackles and an interception in six games.

--Los Angeles Chargers cornerback Desmond King was named the AFC Defensive Player of the Week, the NFL announced Wednesday. King recorded a 42-yard interception return for a touchdown in the Chargers' 25-17 win over the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday.

Kansas City Chiefs running back Kareem Hunt was named the AFC Offensive Player of the Week after gaining 141 yards on 19 touches with a pair of scores in Sunday's 37-21 victory over the Browns. The Cleveland native also had a 50-yard touchdown reception.

New Orleans Saints wide receiver Michael Thomas was tabbed as NFC Offensive Player of the Week after hauling in 12 catches for a franchise-best 211 yards and a touchdown in Sunday's 45-35 win over the Los Angeles Rams.

Minnesota Vikings defensive end Danielle Hunter was named NFC Defensive Player of the Week after collecting 3.5 sacks and three tackles in addition to scoring a 32-yard touchdown in Sunday's 24-9 triumph over the Detroit Lions.

Miami Dolphins punter Matt Haack was tabbed as AFC Special Teams Player of the Week after averaging 44.7 yards on nine punts in Sunday's 13-6 win against the New York Jets.

San Francisco 49ers punter Bradley Pinion was named NFC Special Teams Player of the Week after averaging 54.7 yards on three punts in Thursday's 34-3 victory over the Oakland Raiders.

--Former NFL players Anthony Gonzalez and Colin Allred won seats in the House of Representatives.

Gonzalez, who was a wide receiver for the Indianapolis Colts, earned a seat to represent the 16th Congressional district of Ohio. The Republican candidate won more than 56 percent of the vote to defeat his Democratic challenger Susan Moran Palmer.

Allred, who is a former Tennessee Titans linebacker, won more than 52 percent of the vote to defeat 11-term incumbent Republican Pete Sessions in the 32nd Congressional district of Texas.

Former NFL linebacker Napoleon Harris, a Democrat, won a seat in the Illinois State Senate running unopposed; ex-Washington Redskins tight end Clint Didier, a Republican, won the Franklin County (Wash.) Commissioner's race, and former Green Bay Packers and New York Giants safety Aaron Rouse earned a seat on the Virginia Beach city council.

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