NFL Roundup: UNH product Corey Graham named a captain by Bills
The Buffalo Bills named their team captains Monday, but starting quarterback EJ Manuel was not one of the six players.
Cornerback and University of New Hampshire product Corey Graham, running back Fred Jackson, linebacker Brandon Spikes, defensive tackle Kyle Williams, defensive end Mario Williams and center Eric Wood were selected by their teammates as captains for the 2014 season.
Kyle Williams and Jackson are fourth-time captains for Buffalo while Wood is a second-time captain. Mario Williams, Spikes and Graham are all first-time captains with the Bills.
Sam fails to secure spot on Rams’ practice squad
Defensive end Michael Sam’s bid to become the first openly gay player in the NFL looked even more remote on Monday when he failed to make the St. Louis Rams’ 10-man practice squad.
Two days after being cut from the Rams’ final 53-man roster for the 2014 regular season, and a day after going unclaimed on waivers by any other NFL team, Sam was still on the outside looking in.
The 6-foot-2, 260-pound former University of Missouri standout became the first openly gay player to be selected in an NFL Draft when he was taken in the seventh round by the Rams in May.
But despite his success at Missouri, talent evaluators have said he might struggle in the NFL, perhaps too small to play regularly on the defensive line and not athletic enough to play in space as a linebacker.
Of the 10 players signed up by the Rams on Monday for their practice squad, eight had been members of their preseason squad before being cut in final roster moves.
Panthers’ Newton returns, looks good
Carolina quarterback Cam Newton returned to the practice field and looked primed and ready for the Panthers opener against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
It was the first time since Newton suffered fractured ribs on Aug. 22 against New England that he had been a full participant in practice. He “showed no limitation” during throwing drills, according to ESPN. Newton showed a full range of motion during drills.
In fact, Newton ran, which he was unable to do last week, between drills. He has started every game since being the first pick in the 2011 NFL Draft.
WR Welker avoids long-term setback
Denver veteran wide receiver Wes Welker joined his Broncos teammates on the practice field, a good sign that he avoided a long-term setback from a concussion.
Welker still needs to be cleared by doctors before he can play in the season opener against the Indianapolis Colts.
He suffered his third concussion in less than a year when he was hit by D.J. Swearinger during a preseason game against the Houston Texans. The hit angered quarterback Peyton Manning, who was penalized and fined by the league for taunting the safety after a touchdown pass on the subsequent play.