The Denver Post - - SPORTS -

COSTA MESA, CALIF.» The Charg­ers placed rookie wide re­ceiver Mike Wil­liams on the phys­i­cally un­able to per­form list with a back in­jury Satur­day.

The Charg­ers are still op­ti­mistic that the No. 7 pick in the draft can avoid ma­jor surgery. The for­mer Clem­son star suf­fered a her­ni­ated disc in his lower back the first day of the Charg­ers’ off­sea­son pro­gram.

Last week, gen­eral man­ager Tom Te­le­sco said Wil­liams ex­pects to know more about his short-term prog­no­sis af­ter meet­ing with the Charg­ers’ team doc­tors this week­end.

“He’s been re­spond­ing well (to treat­ment),” Te­le­sco said. “The path right now is re­hab and strength­en­ing. That’s good news, ob­vi­ously.”

Wil­liams re­cently had a sec­ond epidu­ral shot to help in his re­cov­ery. The Charg­ers want to get Wil­liams on the field at some point dur­ing train­ing camp to pre­pare for his first pro sea­son, but they are un­will­ing to risk the long-term health of a pre­mier play­maker.

Re­turn of Luck on hold. IN­DI­ANAPO­LIS» Colts quar­ter­back An­drew Luck tried to ease all doubts about his sur­gi­cal­lyre­paired right shoul­der Satur­day.

He will have to re­turn to the field to ac­tu­ally prove it — and no­body knows when that will be.

For the first time in six NFL sea­sons, Luck will not suit up when his team­mates have their first train­ing camp prac­tice Sun­day. In­stead, he will con­tinue coach­ing them in meet­ings and from the side­line, just like he has done for months.

“It does feel dif­fer­ent than it did last year,” Luck said. “I still have a ways to go in terms of re­gain­ing the strength, but I know ev­ery day it’s im­prov­ing. I can see the light at the end of the tun­nel.”

Fuller will miss an­other year.

Fal­cons FLOWERY BRANCH, GA.» wide re­ceiver Devin Fuller will miss this sea­son be­cause of a knee in­jury, mark­ing the sec­ond con­sec­u­tive year he’s had a sea­son-end­ing in­jury be­fore play­ing a game.

Fuller, a sev­enth-round pick from UCLA in 2016, suf­fered a torn an­te­rior cru­ci­ate lig­a­ment in prac­tice Fri­day. Coach Dan Quinn said Satur­day that Fuller will need sea­son-end­ing in­jury af­ter the non­con­tact in­jury.

Fuller missed the 2016 sea­son be­cause of a shoul­der in­jury.

Penn of­fi­cially a hold­out. NAPA, CALIF.» The Raiders opened train­ing camp with­out Pro Bowl of­fen­sive tackle Don­ald Penn on the field.

The NFL Net­work re­ported Fri­day that Penn is hold­ing out be­cause he wants to rene­go­ti­ate his con­tract. Penn and his agent have not re­sponded to re­quests for com­ment, but Penn wasn’t on the field for the Raiders when their first prac­tice started Satur­day.

Hoyer is 49ers’ top QB. It took SANTA CLARA, CALIF.» nine NFL sea­sons and a sixth fran­chise for Brian Hoyer to come into train­ing camp as the un­ques­tioned start­ing quar­ter­back of his team.

Signed by the 49ers in March to re­place the de­parted Colin Kaeper­nick, Hoyer is en­trenched as the starter to be­gin the team’s first camp un­der new coach Kyle Shana­han.

White­head lands with Jets. Lucky FLORHAM PARK, N.J.» White­head said be­ing re­leased by the Cow­boys was “kind of shock­ing,” adding that the past week was “crazy” for him.

The wide re­ceiver and kick re­turner was claimed off waivers by the Jets on Wed­nes­day, two days af­ter the Cow­boys cut him. He was re­leased by Dal­las af­ter a shoplift­ing charge in what turned out to be a case of mis­taken iden­tity.

Foot­notes. Col­lette Smith made her de­but as the first fe­male mem­ber of the Jets’ coach­ing staff dur­ing the team’s open­ing prac­tice of train­ing camp. Smith is serv­ing as a coach­ing in­tern on Todd Bowles’ staff through the sum­mer and is work­ing as an as­sis­tant un­der de­fen­sive backs coach Den­nard Wil­son. … The Lions placed de­fen­sive line­man Ziggy An­sah on the ac­tive/ phys­i­cally un­able to per­form list. — The As­so­ci­ated Press

Gre­gory Bull, The As­so­ci­ated Press

Charg­ers re­ceiver Mike Wil­liams, the No. 7 pick in the draft and a for­mer Clem­son star, is un­able to par­tic­i­pate in train­ing camp be­cause of a back in­jury.

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