WASHINGTON — NFL players ratified a 10-year collective bargaining agreement Thursday, hours after it was finalized, and the Associated Press reported that the contract allows the NFL to become the first major U.S. pro sports league to use blood testing for human growth hormone.
No formal announcement was made about details of the CBA.
Players eventually would be subject to random testing for HGH, in addition to annual checks — as is the case for all banned substances in the league's drug-testing program — only after the union is confident in the way the testing and appeals process will work.
The aim is to have everything worked out to start HGH testing by Week 1 of the regular season, but that is not guaranteed.
"We have to see if we agree with the test," Jaguars cornerback Rashean Mathis said. "If we agree with the test, then it's legit. If not, they have to come up with another one."
Most of the deal to end the 4½-month lockout was agreed to last month, but certain elements needed to be ironed out after the NFL Players Association re-established as a union. Before 5 p.m., players voted to approve the final agreement. That allowed players who signed contracts July 26 or after to join drills Thursday.
Commissioner Roger Goodell has wanted to have players tested for HGH, saying last year: "It's about the integrity of the game."
"I think players welcome that as long as it is in the right parameters and the guidelines,'' Cowboys player representative Jason Witten said. "I don't think players are too worried about it just as long as it's done the right way."
Eagle has brain condition: Eagles trainer Rick Burkholder said defensive tackle Mike Patterson has a brain condition that might require surgery. Burkholder said Patterson, 27, is having further tests. He was hospitalized after suffering a seizure Wednesday morning at training camp. Also, defensive end Victor Abiamiri could miss the season with a torn Achilles' tendon.
Roethlisberger case: The civil sexual assault case against Ben Roethlisberger will be held in Reno, the Nevada Supreme Court said in an order rejecting an appeal by the Steelers quarterback. A former casino host at Harrah's accused Roethlisberger of raping her in 2008. Roethlisberger denied the allegations.
Chargers: First-round pick Corey Liuget, a defensive end from Illinois, agreed to a four-year deal.
Chiefs: Starting cornerback Brandon Carr signed a restricted free agent tender.
Cowboys: Cornerback Terence Newman will miss all of preseason for the second time in four seasons because of a groin injury. Also, free agent safety Abram Elam agreed to a one-year deal. In the past two seasons he started all but one game for the Browns and Rob Ryan, now Dallas' defensive coordinator.
49ers: Receiver Braylon Edwards agreed to a $3.5 million, one-year deal. He spent the past two seasons with the Jets.
Giants: Prince Amukamara, a cornerback from Nebraska, reportedly agreed to terms, the last first-round pick to do so.
Jaguars: Quarterback David Garrard left practice with what coach Jack Del Rio called a tight back. Del Rio expects him to play in Saturday's scrimmage.
Jets: Receiver Plaxico Burress will miss a day or two after he tweaked his left ankle running routes Wednesday without passes or defenders. Also, receiver Jerricho Cotchery was released, apparently clearing the way for Derrick Mason to sign.
Patriots: First-round pick Nate Solder, an offensive lineman from Colorado, signed.
Raiders: Running back Darren McFadden is expected to miss two weeks after breaking an orbital bone in his face. It's unclear how he was injured. Also, receiver Denarius Moore, a fifth-round pick out of Tennessee, is making highlight-reel catches at almost every practice.
Redskins: Leading rusher Ryan Torain will miss 7-10 days after fracturing his left hand.