PHILADELPHIA — The NFL stood behind a top executive's acknowledgement that the brain disease CTE can be linked to football on Tuesday.
The comments by Jeff Miller, the senior vice president for health and safety, "accurately reflect the view of the NFL," league spokesman Brian McCarthy said. League officials long denied proof of a connection between playing football and chronic traumatic encephalopathy.
Monday, Miller told a congressional panel that brain research on former NFL players "certainly" shows a link between football and CTE. Responding to questions, Miller referenced the work of Boston University neuropathologist Dr. Ann McKee, who has found CTE in the brains of 90 former pro football players.
"Dr. McKee's research shows that a number of retired NFL players were diagnosed with CTE, so the answer to that question is certainly yes, but there are also a number of questions that come with that," Miller said.
CTE is tied to repeated brain trauma and associated with memory loss, depression and progressive dementia. Players diagnosed after their deaths include Hall of Famers Junior Seau, Ken Stabler and Mike Webster.
Critics of the NFL's proposed $1 billion plan to settle concussion claims call Miller's sudden acknowledgement a game changer. The settlement is being appealed by players concerned that it excludes future cases of CTE. The deal announced by lead plaintiffs' lawyers and the NFL in August 2013 would instead pay up to $4 million for prior deaths involving CTE.
Trade: The Cardinals acquired Pro Bowl defensive end/outside linebacker Chandler Jones from the Patriots for guard Jonathan Cooper and a second-round pick in this year's draft.
Switching sports: New England special teamer Nate Ebner is taking a break to try to earn a spot with the U.S. rugby team in the 2016 Summer Olympics. The Patriots will keep Ebner under contract as he trains with the U.S. Rugby Sevens.
Jurisprudence: Colts linebacker D'Qwell Jackson, a Seminole High graduate, said he will appeal an assault conviction delivered by a Washington, D.C., jury on Monday. Jackson, 32, was found guilty of simple assault in an altercation with a delivery driver last year.
Bengals: Cornerback Adam "Pacman" Jones signed a three-year deal to remain.
Broncos: They matched Miami's front-loaded, four-year, $18 million offer to running back C.J. Anderson.
Giants: Recent surgery on defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul's right hand went well, and the former USF standout hopes to play next season without a "club" on it. Pierre-Paul told Newsday his hand, mangled in a July 4 fireworks mishap, "can be perfectly fine" for the 2016 season.
Jaguars: Former Steelers left tackle Kelvin Beachum agreed to terms on a two-year deal, the Associated Press reported.
Panthers: Defensive tackle Paul Soliai, an ex-Falcon, signed a two-year deal for $7 million, including $4 million in 2016.
Ravens: Receiver Mike Wallace agreed to terms.
Seahawks: Offensive lineman J'Marcus Webb agreed to a $6.25 million, two-year contract.
Steelers: Left tackle Ryan Harris, who started all 16 games last season for the Broncos, signed a two-year deal.