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NFL roundup: Hoyer to start exhibition opener over Manziel

By By The Sports Xchange
Published On: Aug 06 2014 05:53:38 PM CDT
Updated On: Aug 07 2014 10:21:32 AM CDT
closeup of football laces

iStock/joecicak

Cleveland Browns coach Mike Pettine announced Wednesday that quarterback Brian Hoyer will start Saturday's preseason opener in Detroit, but Johnny Manziel could get reps with the starters.

"It was his job," Pettine said of Hoyer after practice. "He was the one coming into it. He's done nothing to have that taken away from him."

Pettine said it was "fair to say" the decision on who would start the regular-season opener at Pittsburgh on Sept. 7 would be based on the first two preseason games because he wants to have his starters in line for the third game.

"I think more weight will be put on those, as I said before, because it's live reps," Pettine said.

Pettine said Manziel is "coming along faster than expected."

---With Josh Gordon's appeal of a one-year suspension complete, the Browns are expecting the wide receiver to be suspended for at least eight games.

The Cleveland Plain-Dealer reported that Gordon's defense of second-hand smoke causing a positive test for marijuana use was unlikely to inspire the NFL to overturn the suspension.

"As frustrating as it is for Josh, I think he's handled it well,'' Pettine said. "He's been practicing hard, giving good effort, finishing plays. Assuming if we don't hear anything, then he'll be out there Saturday."

---Washington Redskins wide receiver DeSean Jackson left practice with a foot injury and his status for Thursday's preseason opener is in doubt.

Jackson stopped in his tracks and appeared to turn his ankle and foot a defender stepped on Jackson's foot while he running a route in 11-on-11 drills during the third joint practice of the week with the New England Patriots. The teams close out the week with a game a FedEx Field on Thursday.

Coach Jay Gruden said the injury was to Jackson's ankle, which he twisted "just a hair."

---It's never easy for a coach to see a player's career end with an injury. And that's the way it was for Tom Coughlin after New York Giants running back David Wilson received the news Monday that he would not play football again.

What makes this situation harder is that Wilson's career never really had a chance to get off the ground. The team's 2012 first-round draft pick was placed on injured reserve after doctors discovered diffuse cervical stenosis.

Wilson suffered a burner in practice last week and went for a checkup with team physician Dr. Russell Warren and Hospital for Special Surgery spinal surgeon Dr. Frank Cammisa Jr. Wilson had just returned to the field after undergoing spinal fusion surgery in January when he felt the pain in his neck.

"Well, with David, David beat me to the punch. 'God has another plan for me.' That's exactly what he said," Coughlin said. "Life's full of challenges. All I do is try to tell them to prepare yourself for the next challenge and the next adventure is what it really is. I think he's already started thinking about that, which is great."

---Giants running back Peyton Hillis, who was listed No. 2 on the depth chart behind Rashad Jennings, is out indefinitely with an injury to his ankle/foot.

"It's a sprain, as far as I'm concerned," Coughlin said. "There is some language behind it. I think it's a sprain. The degree of which it takes to get him back out there, there's some speculation on that. I hope it's as fast as possible, but I don't know if that's the case."

Coughlin said he did not have a medical opinion available to project when Hillis might be ready to return.

---Arizona Cardinals tight end Jake Ballard, who suffered a serious knee injury while playing for the Giants in the Super Bowl, announced his retirement after just four years in the NFL.

Ballard, who started 13 regular-season games and three postseason games for the Giants during the 2011 season, tore an ACL during New York's Super Bowl XLVI win over the New England Patriots.

Ballard, 26, caught seven passes for 75 yards with two touchdowns last season with the Cardinals. In his career, the former Ohio State Buckeye appeared in 23 games, tallying 45 receptions for 679 yards and six touchdowns.

---Knowshon Moreno made his training camp debut in a white No. 28 jersey and with no visible brace on his knee at the Miami Dolphins facility.

Moreno, who signed a one-year, $3 million deal with the Dolphins, had arthroscopic knee surgery in June.

"I think it has just kind of been a gradual progression, day-to-day it's been and the medical staff has obviously done a great job supervising his rehab," Dolphins coach Joe Philbin said of Moreno's rehab schedule. "And just felt like this was the appropriate time to get him going."

---Ramses Barden is joining the Jacksonville Jaguars, who added the tall target to address a shortage of wide receivers.

Barden, 6-6, 225, was out of the NFL last season. A third-round pick of the Giants in 2009, Barden struggled to separate from press coverage and had 29 receptions for 394 in 29 games and four seasons with the Giants.

---The Dallas Cowboys signed cornerback Korey Lindsey and safety Johnny Thomas to help with a serious need in the secondary.

Both will travel to San Diego and could play on Thursday night against the Chargers.

In the preseason game, the Cowboys will be without cornerback Morris Claiborne, safety Barry Church and cornerback Sterling Moore because of injuries. Cornerback Brandon Carr has also been absent from practice because of the death of his mother.

To make room on the roster, cornerback DaShaun Phillips and linebacker Joe Windsor were released.

---The Chicago Bears worked out free agent wide receiver Santonio Holmes but signed wideout Greg Herd instead, the New York Post reported.

The Bears signed Herd on Tuesday after they lost wide receiver Marquess Wilson indefinitely with a fractured clavicle.

According to the newspaper, Holmes worked out for the Bears on Tuesday. Just four years ago, Holmes played a major part in helping the New York Jets reach the AFC championship game and landed a contract with $24 million guaranteed.

---The Oakland Raiders signed free agent linebacker Spencer Hadley. He originally signed with the New Orleans Saints in May 2014 before being waived in June. The 6-foot-1, 227-pounder played in 43 games over four seasons at Brigham Young.

To make room on the roster, the Raiders waived/injured linebacker Marshall McFadden.