The NFL notebook …
FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. ó Attendance is down at some of the NFL training camps. Not so for the Arizona Cardinals.
An estimated 13,000 fans showed up for the Arizona Cardinals annual Red and White scrimmage to get a glimpse at the roster that has been revamped over the past two weeks.
Despite a 5-11 record last season, expectations are high for the Cardinals to rebound after the trade that brought quarterback Kevin Kolb from Philadelphia. Kolb practiced Saturday, just his third workout since newly signed players were cleared to participate.
“There was a lot of people here,” Cardinals coach Ken Whisenhunt said. “It seemed like they just kept coming in. To see them on the hill and on the side of the field, golly ó it was great. What a great crowd today.”
MANKATO, Minn. ó Minnesota Vikings fans sure are ready for some football.
A summer-long lockout didn’t stop more than 9,000 fans from heading to Mankato for the team’s annual night scrimmage at Minnesota State University.
Team officials say 9,145 fans packed into Blakeslee Stadium to watch the free practice. The bleachers on both sidelines were filled and fans also sat on a grassy area in one end zone and stood behind fences to catch a glimpse of Donovan McNabb, Adrian Peterson and the rest of the team.
The big turnout came as quite a surprise for a team coming off of a 6-10 season.
BETHLEHEM, Pa. ó Eagles quarterback Michael Vick completed a pass against Asante Samuel during training camp Saturday and the always-chatty cornerback challenged Vick to try it again.
“Do that again, Vick,” he yelled.
The quarterback obliged him on the very next play, completing a bomb against Samuel to wide receiver Johnnie Lee Higgins, whom the team recently signed as a free agent.
It was part of strong day for Vick and his makeshift receiving corps, which is without starting wideouts DeSean Jackson and Jeremy Maclin. Jackson is holding out in a contract dispute, and Maclin has an undisclosed illness.
Slot receiver Jason Avant is the most experienced pass-catcher on hand entering his sixth year.
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. ó Jaguars quarterback David Garrard has dealt with lower back pain before. It caused him to miss some practice time last season and even posed problems during workouts this summer.
His latest bout has him sidelined indefinitely.
Garrard’s sore back kept him out of Jacksonville’s scrimmage, allowing more repetitions for first-round draft pick Blaine Gabbert and third-stringer Luke McCown.
“I’m pretty sure everyone wants to see (Gabbert) anyway,” Garrard said laughing.
Gabbert, the former Missouri standout, completed 12 of 27 passes for 76 yards and a touchdown.
NAPA, Calif. ó The Oakland Raiders got two important offensive pieces in town with restricted free agent running back Michael Bush signing his contract tender and tight end Kevin Boss practicing for the first since signing as a free agent.
Bush missed the first 11 days of training camp as a restricted free agent. But with no teams willing to make him an offer that would have cost them a No. 1 pick in compensation to the Raiders, he decided to sign his $2.6 million tender and report to camp.
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. ó New York Giants first-round draft pick Prince Amukamara is out indefinitely with a fractured bone in his left foot.
A day after signing with the Giants, Amukamara was hurt in practice Saturday night and left the field.
Roughly an hour after the workout ended, the Giants said that the cornerback from Nebraska fractured the fifth metatarsal in his left foot. He will have surgery to have a screw inserted in the foot and be sidelined for an undetermined period.
Amukamara, the 19th overall draft selection, signed a four-year, $8.18 million contract Friday.
PITTSFORD, N.Y. ó Buffalo Bills rookie defensive back Aaron Williams left Spractice with a hand injury.