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NFL calls Cam Newton's response to female reporter 'disrespectful'

| Wednesday, Oct. 4, 2017, 9:36 p.m.

Cam Newton “expressed regret” for his response to a female reporter's question at a news conference Wednesday, a team spokesman said.

When Charlotte Observer reporter Jourdan Rodrigue asked Newton about wide receiver Devin Funchess' route running, the former league MVP smiled and said, “it's funny to hear a female talk about routes. It's funny.”

After Newton's comments, the quarterback proceeded to answer Rodrigue's question.

Carolina spokesman Steven Drummond said in a statement to the Associated Press that Newton had a conversation with Rodrigue after the news conference ended and expressed regret for his remarks.

Rodrigue released a statement through The Charlotte Observer via email saying Newton did not apologize when they spoke after the news conference.

She said she “was dismayed by his response, which not only belittled me but countless other women before me and beside me who work in similar jobs. I sought Mr. Newton out as he left the locker room a few minutes later. He did not apologize for his comments.”

NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy said Wednesday night in a statement that Newton's comments “are just plain wrong and disrespectful to the exceptional female reporters and all journalists who cover our league. They do not reflect the thinking of the league.”

Drummond said the Panthers “strive as a department to make the environment for media comfortable for everyone covering the team.”

Mike Persinger, the executive sports editor of The Charlotte Observer, said Newton's comments were “unfortunate and out of line.”

“The question Jourdan asked during the news conference was a good one, like countless other questions about football strategy and nuance she has asked in the course of doing her job,” Persinger said.

Rodrigue joined The Charlotte Observer as a Panthers beat reporter last year.

She said on Twitter: “I don't think it's ‘funny' to be a female and talk about routes. I think it's my job.”

The Panthers (3-1) visit the Lions (3-1) on Sunday.

Colts QB Luck back at practice

Colts quarterback Andrew Luck made his long-awaited appearance on the practice field.

Luck was cleared to stretch with teammates, participate in some quarterback drills and throw a few passes at less than full velocity. He's expected to do more rehab work Thursday, a continuation of the day-on, day-off throwing regimen has been given, before returning to practice Friday.

Coach Chuck Pagano already has said Luck won't play Sunday against winless San Francisco.

“There's a pitch count, and we've got it scripted exactly how many routes he'll throw, inside the number throws, outside the numbers, deep down the field throws, all that stuff,” Pagano said. “So we'll evaluate every one of them.”

Mariota's status still unclear

Titans coach Mike Mularkey said quarterback Marcus Mariota's status is still unclear for their upcoming matchup with the Dolphins.

The Titans coach remains hopeful Mariota will play despite a strained hamstring. Mariota, who was hurt in last week's loss to Houston, was limited in practice, stretching and throwing passes during the open portion of the workouts. The quarterback did not speak with the media after practice.

Extra points

An Oklahoma man was charged with manslaughter almost a year after a collision killed former NFL player Dennis Byrd. Rogers County court records indicate the charge was filed against 18-year-old Zachary Reed of Claremore. The records show a warrant was issued for Reed's arrest but don't indicate whether he is represented by an attorney. ... The Jets signed defensive lineman Ed Stinson and outside linebacker Obum Gwacham, and placed rookie outside linebacker Dylan Donahue on injured reserve. ... The Saints placed rookie linebacker Alex Anzalone on injured reserve following his shoulder injury during Sunday's victory over Miami in London.

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