NFL notebook: Colts RB Ballard suffers another season-ending injury
Colts running back Vick Ballard suffered a torn Achilles at training camp Friday and will miss the entire 2014 season, according to multiple reports.
Ballard was injured on a pass play during Indy's afternoon practice. After initially getting up and limping, Ballard was taken to the locker room on a golf cart. The Colts haven't even practiced in full pads yet and he wasn't hit on the play.
Last year, Ballard tore the ACL in his right knee during a September practice and missed the final 15 games.
“When you see someone like Vick Ballard go down who's worked so hard to get back, it's tough, but it happens,” Colts owner Jim Irsay said. “As soon as you get to camp, those things happen.”
The Colts came to camp with three veteran running backs, who were expected to compete for playing time: Ballard, Ahmad Bradshaw and Trent Richardson.
Ballard ran for 814 yards and two touchdowns as a rookie in 2012, then had 13 carries for 63 yards in last year's season opener before the knee injury.
Hernandez motion denied
A judge rejected a motion to dismiss charges against Aaron Hernandez stemming from the 2013 slaying of a Boston man whose body was found near Hernandez's home.
Lawyers for Hernandez, a former Patriots tight end, argued that prosecutors hadn't shown probable cause to sustain the murder charge against Hernandez in the death of Odin Lloyd and hadn't presented any evidence or motive for the slaying.
Bristol Superior Court Judge E. Susan Garsh said in her ruling that probable cause, and a defendant's guilt, can be established by circumstantial evidence, and prosecutors don't need to prove a motive to secure a murder conviction.
Hernandez is being held without bail after pleading not guilty to killing Lloyd, who was dating Hernandez's fiancee's sister. His trial is scheduled to start Jan. 9.
Texans' Johnson reports
Andre Johnson is back with the Texans, saying he reported to camp simply because he loves the game.
The star receiver had skipped offseason workouts and mandatory minicamp after wondering in May whether Houston was “still the place for me.”
On Friday, he wouldn't divulge what exactly was said or done to get him to return to the team. But he says he's excited to be back with his teammates and that it's his plan to finish his career with the Texans.
The 33-year-old Johnson, whose 1,407 yards receiving in 2013 ranked second in the AFC, rejoins a team that is looking to bounce back from a disastrous 2-14 season.
Ex-Pitt OL signs with Seahawks
Guard C.J. Davis, a former Pitt and West Allegheny product, signed with the defending Super Bowl champion Seahawks.
The 6-foot-2, 308-pound Davis, a first-team All-Big East selection in 2008, most recently played in the NFL with the Broncos in 2012, seeing action in seven games.
Eagles excuse safety
The Eagles excused Keelan Johnson from training camp while the safety deals with his arrest last weekend in Arizona for allegedly pushing a police officer in a confrontation outside a bar.
Johnson, who still counts on the roster, met with coach Chip Kelly on Thursday in Philadelphia.
Jags to close pools 1 week
The Jaguars are closing their much-ballyhooed pools for one game this season.
The Jaguars will shut down both pools in the north end zone and the eight surrounding cabanas for their Oct. 26 game against Dolphins.
The Jaguars made the decision to facilitate the annual Florida-Georgia game, which will be played Nov. 1 at EverBank Field. The six-day turnaround between games would have been too close to guarantee installation of 7,000 temporary seats in the north end zone.
Around the league
Jaguars receiver Cecil Shorts III left the team's first training camp practice with a tight hamstring. … Cowboys linebacker Rolando McClain was convicted of resisting arrest and disorderly conduct in his hometown in Alabama. ... The Falcons waived wide receiver Darius Johnson, who made a surprising contribution last season after star receiver Julio Jones went down with a season-ending injury. … The Ravens signed former Giants free safety Will Hill, who is currently serving a six-game suspension for violating the league's substance abuse policy. … Former Pro Bowl guard Carl Nicks said he plans to retire, shortly after he and the Buccaneers agreed to part ways. … The Lions signed free agent punter and former Steeler Drew Butler.
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