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NFL notes

Chargers DE Bosa questionable for opener

Los Angeles Chargers defensive end Joey Bosa did not practice Thursday, leaving his status for the opener against Kansas City in doubt.

Bosa was not in pads during the early portion of practice that is open to reporters after being listed as limited on Wednesday's practice report. The third-year player did not play in the preseason after he injured his left foot on Aug. 7

Coach Anthony Lynn did not sound optimistic about Bosa's status, but said it's possible he could still play.

"He'll be ready when he's ready," Lynn said. "Foot injuries take on all the body weight. That can be tricky and something you don't want to rush. You want to make sure that's right before a player comes back."

Bosa has never missed a game because of injury since being selected with the third overall pick in the 2016 draft. He has 23 career sacks in two seasons, including an NFL-record 19 in his first 20 games.

If Bosa can't play, second-year player Isaac Rochell would be in line for his first NFL start. It would also leave the Chargers without two starters on their defensive line. Defensive tackle Corey Liuget is serving a four-game suspension for violating the NFL's policy on performance-enhancing drugs.

"Rochell has done a nice job for us. He got a lot of reps in the preseason and we're pretty high where he's at," defensive coordinator Gus Bradley said. "I think that as a defense we feel pretty strongly about the guys that we have in place. I know there are a lot of times in preseason our second group played well."

Ex-Browns LB Kendricks pleads guilty

Former Cleveland Browns linebacker Mychal Kendricks pleaded guilty to insider trading charges in Philadelphia, and faces up to 25 years in prison.

U.S. District Judge Gene E.K. Pratter asked Kendricks why he was pleading guilty.

"I'm making the decision because it's the right thing to do," he said, according to The Philadelphia Inquirer. "I know that I made the decision to accept information, secret information, and it wasn't the right thing to do."

Sentencing is scheduled for Dec. 18.

Kendricks, who signed a one-year contract with the Browns in June after winning a Super Bowl title last season with the Eagles, used tips from an acquaintance to make about $1.2 million in illegal profits on four major trading deals, federal prosecutors said.

The Browns released him from the team on Aug. 29, after the charges were filed.

Prosecutors allege that his co-defendant, Damilare Sonoiki, was paid $10,000 in kickbacks in the scheme from 2014-2015, as well as received perks like tickets to Eagles games and the chance to tag along to a music video shoot or nightclub appearances.

Sonoiki had been working as a junior analyst at Goldman Sachs but left the financial field and has most recently been writing for TV shows.

Sonoiki's lawyer told the Inquirer in an email that his client also would plead guilty, but no date has been set.

Cowboys have deal with casino

The Dallas Cowboys say they are the first NFL team to have a sponsorship agreement with a casino.

The deal with WinStar World Casino and Resort in Oklahoma was announced Thursday. League owners voted recently to allow clubs to strike such deals. Owner and general manager Jerry Jones says he's "excited about the future of gaming as it relates to the NFL."

In May, the Supreme Court cleared the way for states to legalize sports betting by striking down a 1992 federal law that effectively banned sports betting in most states.

Jones said the NFL's efforts to sort out the high court's ruling could be "months, years in the making." He said he was excited to be "standing here that we don't have to wait years in the making."

The league will soon have a team in Las Vegas with the Oakland Raiders set to move.

WinStar is near the Texas-Oklahoma state line about 70 miles north of Cowboys headquarters in Frisco, a suburb north of Dallas.

U.S. appeals court revives drug lawsuit

A U.S. appeals court on Thursday reinstated a lawsuit filed against the NFL by former players who claim the league illegally plied them with powerful prescription painkillers to keep them on the field.

The lawsuit is not superseded by labor agreements between players and teams, a three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled unanimously.

The NFL had argued that the players failed to exhaust the grievance procedures in those agreements. U.S. District Judge William Alsup in San Francisco had dismissed the lawsuit in 2014, saying the collective bargaining agreement was the appropriate forum to resolve the players' claims.

The 9th Circuit panel rejected that conclusion, saying the lawsuit had nothing to do with the collective bargaining agreements. It overturned Alsup's decision.

"As pled, the players' claims do not constitute a dispute over the rights created by, or the meaning of, the CBAs," 9th Circuit Judge Richard Tallman wrote. "Their claim is that when the NFL provided players with prescription drugs, it engaged in conduct that was completely outside the scope of the CBAs."

The players say the NFL did not warn them about the long-term consequences of the drugs, which they say have left them with chronic health problems. The plaintiffs include Hall of Fame defensive end Richard Dent, former Chicago Bears quarterback Jim McMahon and former San Francisco 49ers center Jeremy Newberry.

The 9th Circuit sent the case back to Alsup for additional hearings. The judges said they had no opinion on the merits of the players' claims and noted they could still be dismissed on other grounds.

NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy said the league still expects the lawsuit to be thrown out.

"We have strong arguments on the merits of the case, which we have litigated successfully already," McCarthy said in an email. "Every claim brought by every plaintiff was dismissed for a variety of reasons, and we expect the same outcome."

The players say they received large amounts of opioids, anti-inflammatory medications and local anesthetics mostly without written prescriptions. They were given pills in manila envelopes that often had no directions or labeling and were told to take everything inside, according to the lawsuit.

"Our clients are thrilled with the 9th circuit's unanimous decision reinstating their lawsuit," said Steven Silverman, an attorney for the players. "They've shown tremendous perseverance."


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