Rooney Award finalists released
Group of veterans recognized for sportsmanship
Washington tight end Vernon Davis, already nominated for the NFL’S Man of the Year Award, is one of eight finalists for the league’s Art Rooney Sportsmanship Award.
The other finalists, announced Friday, are Jacksonville defensive end Calais Campbell, Chargers tight end Anthony Gates, Indianapolis quarterback Andrew Luck, Baltimore safety Eric Weddle, New Orleans quarterback Drew Brees, San Francisco tackle Joe Staley, and Green Bay cornerback Tramon Williams.
Staley is a finalist for the fourth consecutive season, while Davis (two career nominations) and Gates (three career nominations) are finalists for the second straight year. Campbell, who is a finalist for the first time, has been nominated in three of the past four years, while Brees has been nominated in each of the past two years and is a first-time finalist. Luck, Weddle and Williams are all first-time nominees.
The Rooney Award recognizes players around the league who exemplify outstanding sportsmanship on the field. It was created in 2014 in honor of the late founding owner of the Pittsburgh Steelers and Pro Football Hall of Famer Art Rooney Sr.
Jets: Todd Bowles says the New York Jets’ starting quarterback against the Buffalo Bills is still to be determined. All signs indicate it will be rookie Sam Darnold under center after he was a full participant at practice all week following missing three games with a strained right foot. Bowles declined, however, to announce his team’s starter Friday, saying that the coaches will discuss it and decide on Sunday. If Darnold plays, it would be his first game action since being injured against Miami on Nov. 4. Darnold was replaced the last three games by Josh Mccown, who had one touchdown pass and four interceptions while the Jets went 0-3 . ... Linebacker Darron Lee was suspended for four games by the NFL for violating its substance abuse policy. The suspension begins immediately. Bears: Chicago removed quarterback Mitchell Trubisky from its injury list Friday, clearing the way for a start Sunday night against the Los Angeles Rams.
Chiefs: Kansas City signed receiver Kelvin Benjamin to a oneyear deal. Benjamin was waived by Buffalo earlier this week. Dolphins: NFL interception leader Xavien Howard was ruled out of Miami’s game Sunday against New England because of a left knee injury.
Falcons: Wide receiver Julio Jones is expected to play in Sunday’s game at Green Bay after missing two practices with a foot injury. Panthers: Carolina signed kicker Chandler Catanzaro.
Note: With a stirring rendition of “I’ll Fly Away” marking the conclusion of a memorial service for former Houston Texans founder and owner Bob Mcnair, Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones wiped tears from his eyes Friday afternoon. “It’s ironic that I’m getting emotional because the only other time I ever teared up was right on this field when the Texans and Bob kicked our butt in the first game that was ever played in this stadium,” Jones said, recalling Houston’s 19-10 win over the Cowboys in their inaugural game in 2002. “The Texans put it on the Cowboys and it was a glorious night to begin the Texans. Bob was so special.” More than 1,000 of Mcnair’s friends, members of the Houston and NFL community, players and coaches past and present, gathered to pay respects and say goodbye to Mcnair, who brought the NFL back to Houston for its inaugural season in 2002 after the Oilers moved to Tennessee. Mcnair died on Nov. 23 at the age of 81. He had battled both leukemia and squamous cell carcinoma in recent years. He died peacefully with wife Janice and his family by his side, the Texans said.
Washington’s Vernon Davis scores a touchdown against the Cowboys on Nov. 22 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.