Rooney Award fi­nal­ists re­leased

Group of vet­er­ans rec­og­nized for sports­man­ship

Albany Times Union - - SPORTS - New York

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.

An­drew Dieb / Icon Sportswire via Getty Im­ages

Washington’s Ver­non Davis scores a touch­down against the Cow­boys on Nov. 22 at AT&T Sta­dium in Ar­ling­ton, Texas.

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