Good­ell: League not black­balling QB

Teams de­cid­ing ‘in­di­vid­u­ally’ on sign­ing Kaeper­nick.

Austin American-Statesman - - SPORTS - Wire ser­vices

NFL Com­mis­sioner Roger Good­ell says teams aren’t black­balling Colin Kaeper­nick for kneel­ing dur­ing the na­tional an­them last year.

“No, teams make de­ci­sions (based) on what’s in the best in­ter­est of their team ... and they make those de­ci­sions in­di­vid­u­ally,” Good­ell said Thurs­day fol­low­ing his ap­pear­ance at a fo­rum with about 200 fans at the Den­ver Bron­cos’ in­door prac­tice fa­cil­ity.

Kaeper­nick, who opted out of his con­tract with the 49ers on March 3, has drawn in­ter­est from Seattle and Bal­ti­more but re­mains un­em­ployed a year af­ter throw­ing for 16 touch­downs and four in­ter­cep­tions in 11 games. Sev­eral teams have signed lesser back­ups with­out giv­ing Kaeper­nick a call.

Good­ell de­murred when asked if he thought Kaeper­nick should be in the league based strictly on his tal­ent.

“There are other peo­ple who make those eval­u­a­tions and that’s a de­ci­sion that those teams all make in­di­vid­u­ally,” Good­ell said. “It’s not one that I would make as a com­mis­sioner.”

On other topics, Good­ell said:

■ Just like the pub­lic’s view of gam­bling has evolved, so, too, has its view of mar­i­juana to fight pain but the is­sue is a med­i­cal one.

“We’ve just pro­posed to our union in the last month or so that we’ll put some re­search money be­hind that to see how we can im­ple­ment that if there re­ally is th­ese kind of ad­vance­ments and it can ad­dress pain man­age­ment in an ef­fec­tive and safe fash­ion,” Good­ell said.

■ He doesn’t be­lieve the re­stric­tions on padded prac­tices dur­ing train­ing camp and the reg­u­lar sea­son have eroded the qual­ity of play.

■ He doubts the gov­ern­ment will get in­volved and try to reg­u­late foot­ball like it does box­ing af­ter a re­cent study showed that more than 100 for­mer NFL play­ers had chronic trau­matic en­cephalopa­thy.

“We need a lot more re­search and I think we have led the way on that,” Good­ell said.

Rookie safety Ja­mal Adams sprained an an­kle dur­ing prac­tice and coach Todd Bowles said the sever­ity of the in­jury was not im­me­di­ately known — al­though it doesn’t ap­pear se­ri­ous.

“I’m okay,” Adams wrote


on Twitter about an hour af­ter prac­tice con­cluded. Bowles said that Adams, the team’s first-round draft pick out of LSU, was hurt dur­ing 7-on-7 drills and sat out for the re­main­der of prac­tice.

Line­backer Derrick John­son re­turned to train­ing camp af­ter miss­ing two work­outs with a tooth ab­scess, while a trio of cor­ner­backs had to leave prac­tice early with var­i­ous in­juries.

Ter­rance Mitchell, who could start at corner­back along­side Mar­cus Peters, went to the locker room on a cart with a sore ham­string. Ros­ter long shots J.R. Nel­son (groin) and Keith Bax­ter (wrist) also left early.

Third-year re­ceiver Bruce Elling­ton was waived af­ter a week of train­ing camp prac­tices un­der new coach Kyle Shana­han. Elling­ton missed all of 2016 af­ter suf­fer­ing a ham­string in­jury dur­ing the pre­sea­son.

Long-snap­per Car­son Tinker will miss the sea­son af­ter tear­ing his right ACL dur­ing non-con­tact work. Vet­eran long-snap­per Matt Over­ton, who played the past four years for the Colts, was signed.

Agreed to a oneyear con­tract with vet­eran safety Corey Gra­ham. The 32-year-old Gra­ham spent the past three sea­sons with the Bills and played for Ea­gles de­fen­sive co­or­di­na­tor Jim Schwartz in 2014.

Chiefs: 49ers: Jaguars: Ea­gles:

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