Wednesday, February 21, 2018
Sports

U.S. rep wants HGH deal

Saying the NFL players union is "holding HGH testing hostage," the top Democrat on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee issued a warning Thursday that Congress could get involved.

Rep. Elijah Cummings of Maryland said the union "continues to disregard its promise" to implement testing for human growth hormone. "Continuing to block HGH testing in this way essentially will force Congress to intervene, which nobody wants," he said.

The committee held a hearing on blood tests for HGH in December. The sides agreed to testing pending details in the labor deal of 2011.

The only sticking point is if commissioner Roger Goodell will continue to hear appeals for violations other than a positive test, media reports said. The union wants a panel of arbitrators.

Adolpho Birch, who oversees the NFL's drug program, said the union has "buyer's remorse" about HGH testing. "If their interest is in advancing the interests of players who play clean and reassuring the public we have competitive integrity and restoring public confidence … we can get this done," he said. "If their interest is worrying about people who have broken the law and how to protect them, then we've got more of a problem."

The NFL has made concessions, including dropping its desire to increase suspensions for a second offense from eight to 10 games, Birch said.

Union official George Atallah said players twice have voted not to allow Goodell to hear the appeals: "I don't expect the players' position to change." The league's refusal to reach a deal "confirms the only thing you care about is power," he said.

Colts: Safety LaRon Landry (left knee) is expected to make his preseason debut Saturday against the Browns.

Dolphins: Defensive end Dion Jordan, the No. 3 overall pick in this year's draft and recovering from February surgery for a torn labrum in his right shoulder, said he might not be ready for the season opener.

Giants: Defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul is "getting close" to practicing, coach Tom Coughlin said. The former USF standout had offseason back surgery.

Jets: Rookie Geno Smith will start at quarterback Saturday against the Giants. Also, receiver Mohamed Massaquoi signed, four days after the Jaguars released him.

49ers: Seneca Wallace signed and will join the backup quarterback derby that includes Colt McCoy, Scott Tolzien and ex-USF player B.J. Daniels.

Redskins: Quarterback Robert Griffin III was fined $10,000 by the NFL for an unapproved shirt. The shirt, worn during warmups for Monday's game with the Steelers, read "Operation Patience," what he calls not playing preseason games as he recovers from reconstructive knee surgery.

Steelers: Coach Mike Tomlin denied reports starting running back Le'Veon Bell will miss 6-8 weeks with a right mid-foot injury. He declined to give a timetable except to say Bell shouldn't miss too much of the regular season.

Lions stifle Patriots

DETROIT — New England's starters committed four first-half turnovers, one a Tom Brady interception, in a 40-9 loss to the Lions. Brady went 16-of-24 for 185 yards. The Lions' Matthew Stafford also played the entire first half, going 12-of-25 for 166 yards and a touchdown. He led two drives capped by field goals and one capped by a missed field goal.

Panthers 34, Ravens 27: The visiting Panthers returned an interception for a score, then Ted Ginn returned a punt 74 yards for one in the first half. Carolina's Cam Newton was 10-of-19 for 99 yards. Baltimore's Joe Flacco was 18-of-24 for 169 yards, a touchdown and two interceptions. Both played into the third quarter.

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