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NFL news and notes

Browns put up permanent tribute to great Jim Brown

CLEVELAND — In a Browns season filled with uncertainty, one thing is certain: Fans still love Jim Brown and cling to the greatness he brought to the field.

All it took was a glimpse of the 80-year-old former running back making his way to his statue, covered in Browns logoed cloth, some three hours before kickoff to erupt into cheers.

One man yelled "Touchdown Jimmy Brown" while a woman yelled "We love you Jimmy."

With one hand resting on an ornate cane, Brown gave the adoring crowd a quick wave.

Brown's statue is the first of a former Browns player ever put up at FirstEnergy Stadium. The importance was not lost on dozens of former Browns players gathered for the team's home opener and alumni weekend. Even coach Hue Jackson broke from his pregame routine, ducking outside the locker room to see the ceremony.

Looking at the bronze statue, which stands 11 feet and weighs more than 2,000 pounds, Brown joked that it is a fair "representation" of him.

"This is a fantastic moment for me," he said. "It is a great moment because I feel it throughout my body, particularly my heart, my mind."

Rams back for real in Los Angeles

LOS ANGELES — When the Rams poured down the tunnel in their blue-and-yellow-gold vintage uniforms and emerged in the 90-degree California sunshine, a sold-out Coliseum crowd loosed a long-suppressed Sunday scream.

After two decades of fan frustration and a year of anticipation building to this regular-season home opener, Los Angeles really, truly had pro football again — and a win over Seattle to boot.

"That was really, really cool," Rams quarterback Case Keenum said. "I made sure, in the tunnel and as I'm running out, just to look around, to savor that moment and remember it. I'm going to write stuff down, because I want to remember that forever."

The Rams hadn't played a football game that mattered in Southern California since Dec. 24, 1994, when they left Angel Stadium in Anaheim and moved to St. Louis. Few pro sports franchises would choose their first game in a new hometown to wear vintage uniforms, but the Rams aren't the normal new kids on any block.

"Now it's really real," said Dan Walsh, a 47-year-old fan in an old Jim Everett jersey who grew up in Riverside and rooted for the Rams over his brother's Raiders. "The preseason games were fun, but that was exhibition football, which is terrible. This is the real deal. This is what we were all waiting for."

The Rams are still three years from moving into their billion-dollar new home in Inglewood.

More anthem: True to his word, Brandon Marshall of the Broncos took a knee again for the national anthem. Marshall has received plenty of support and criticism over his decision to join 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick and other NFL players in a cry for social change. Marshall, who has lost some endorsements, also met with Denver police Chief Robert White last week to discuss his call for better police training and treatment of minorities. Marshall and Kaepernick were college teammates at Nevada.

Injuries: Dolphins running back Arian Foster, a former league rushing champion with the Texans, left the game in New England with a groin injury and was ruled out for the second half. … Panthers running back Jonathan Stewart left with a hamstring injury in the first quarter against the 49ers. … Broncos linebacker DeMarcus Ware broke his right ulna bone against the Colts. His status was unknown.

Times wires

NFL news and notes 09/18/16 [Last modified: Sunday, September 18, 2016 11:23pm]
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© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

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