Tight fight for QB job in Tampa
TAMPA, Fla. ó Raheem Morris characterizes the competition for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ starting quarterback job in seven words.
“One bone. Five dogs,” the first-year coach begins. “Best man wins.”
Luke McCown, Byron Leftwich, Brian Griese, second-year pro Josh Johnson and first-round pick Josh Freeman are in the mix.
TEMPE, Ariz. ó A benign, baseball-size tumor has been removed from the chest of Arizona defensive end Kenny Iwebema.
Coach Ken Whisenhunt says the surgery was performed Monday. The tumor was discovered during routine X-rays on April 30, the day before the start of minicamp.
Iwebema showed no symptoms and the condition could have been life-threatening had it gone undetected, Whisenhunt said.
“Because it didn’t show up the year before, it appeared to be something that had grown very rapidly,” Whisenhunt said.
Iwebema, a fourth-round pick out of Iowa in 2008, can begin some rehab work in two to three weeks but isn’t expected to resume football activity for six to eight weeks.
Doctors were able to use a minimally invasive laparoscopic procedure to remove the tumor through Iwebema’s side.
“It was very close,” Whisenhunt said. “Had it (the tumor) been a little bit bigger, they would have had to crack his chest, which would have put him out for the year.”
SANTA CLARA, Calif. ó Cornerback Walt Harris could miss the upcoming season after tearing a ligament in his right knee, dealing an early blow to the 49ers’ hopes of a return to playoff contention.
Defensive lineman Kentwan Balmer sprained his knee during Tuesday’s drills, but the injury isn’t thought to be serious.
CLEVELAND ó Browns return specialist Josh Cribbs is not attending Cleveland’s voluntary minicamp as he tries to get the team to renegotiate his contract.
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. ó The Jaguars waived receiver D’Juan Woods and got cornerback Tyron Brackenridge off waivers.
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. ó NFL teams looking to hire general managers may soon be required to interview at least one minority candidate.
Commissioner Roger Goodell said the league’s owners discussed expanding the Rooney Rule ó which already applies to coaching openings ó during the final session of their two-day meetings in South Florida. No vote was taken, though Goodell indicated any changes could be made soon.
TAMPA, Fla. ó Former NFL running back Travis Henry is in federal custody after violating conditions of his bond.
Tampa U.S. Magistrate Judge Mark Pizzo ruled that Henry violated bond conditions set by a Montana judge when he consumed alcohol. Henry pleaded guilty in April to trafficking cocaine in a federal drug case. He has not yet been sentenced.
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. ó Kevin O’Connell is still New England’s backup quarterback. This time it’s intentional.
O’Connell moved up from No. 3 to No. 2 last year when Tom Brady was injured and Matt Cassel was promoted to starter. Cassel was traded to Kansas City this offseason, and now O’Connell will be the one who steps in if Brady is hurt.
“No matter how far back I am on the depth chart, I just have to be ready,” O’Connell said. “Matt was a good example of that.”