NFL Wire News

NFL roundup: 49ers release McDonald


The San Francisco 49ers released defensive end Ray McDonald on Wednesday within hours after an investigation by the San Jose Police Department into a possible sexual assault

49ers general manager Trent Baalke cited a “pattern of poor behavior” in the team’s decision to cut ties with the former third-round pick. He said CEO Jed York and coach Jim Harbaugh were involved in the decision. Baalke says the 49ers notified the NFL office of the allegations against McDonald.

Detectives searched McDonald’s home after police received a call late Tuesday night from a hospital reporting a possible sexual-assault victim, the San Jose Police Department confirmed earlier Wednesday. No arrests have been made or charges filed.

McDonald, a seven-year NFL veteran, was investigated in a domestic violence case following an Aug. 31 fight with his pregnant fiancee, but the Santa Clara County district attorney’s office on Nov. 10 declined to file charges.

—A lawsuit filed 1,300 former players against the NFL over the use of painkillers was dismissed Wednesday by a federal judge.

The NFL Players’ Association last month told the judge that the collective bargaining agreement did not provide a means to file grievances over the dispensation of painkillers. In the suit, the fomrer players contend that teams dispensed drugs without concern for safety and long-term well-being and withheld information about injuries.

The former players have until Dec. 30 to file an amended complaint. They also have the right to appeal.

—Dallas Cowboys running back DeMarco Murray was on the practice field Wednesday and took part in individual drills less than 48 hours after undergoing surgery to repair a broken left hand.

Coach Jason Garrett said he did not expect Murray to do a lot during practice in preparation for the Sunday’s game against the Indianapolis Colts.

Murray underwent surgery Monday to fix a broken bone in his left hand. He leads the NFL with 351 carries for 1,687 yards and 11 touchdowns. He wasn’t expected to participate in team drills as the team eases him back.

—Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton returned to the practice field just one week after he was injured in an auto accident.

Newton suffered two transverse process fractures in his back during the crash on Dec. 9 near Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, N.C., but he was running and throwing passes during the Panthers’ workout on Wednesday and could play Sunday against the Cleveland Browns.

Panthers coach Ron Rivera is undecided whether Newton or backup Derek Anderson will start Sunday. The two shared reps with the first-team offense during practice.

—Running back C.J. Spiller is expected to play for the Buffalo Bills in Sunday’s game against the Oakland Raiders, but how much work he can handle will be determined as the week progresses.

Spiller has been on the injured reserve/designated to return list since breaking his collarbone Oct. 19 against the Minnesota Vikings. He missed seven games but was medically cleared to play after practicing the past couple weeks and is expected to be activated to the 53-man roster by Friday.

The Bills released fullback Frank Summers, who has been inactive the last four weeks.

—The New England Patriots placed first-round draft pick and defensive end Dominique Easley on injured reserve Wednesday.

The Patriots also signed tight end Steve Maneri to the 53-man roster.

Easley, 22, was drafted by New England in the first round of the 2014 draft out of Florida with the 29th overall pick. The 6-foot-2, 290-pounder, played in 11 games with two starts and registered nine total tackles, one sack, and one interception.

—The Baltimore Ravens signed cornerback Chris Greenwood off the Minnesota Vikings’ practice squad Wednesday.

Greenwood was a fifth-round pick of the Detroit Lions in 2012. He has played in three regular-season games, all with the Lions last season, and made six tackles.

Greenwood steps in after the Ravens placed cornerback Asa Jackson (knee) and safety Terrence Brooks (knee) on injured reserve.

—The Minnesota Vikings signed rookie safety Ahmad Dixon to the active roster from the team’s practice squad Wednesday.

Dixon was a seventh-round draft pick of the Dallas Cowboys out of Baylor. He initially joined the Vikings’ practice squad after he was waived by the Cowboys in early September. Dixon rejoined the practice squad on Dec. 6.

The Vikings also signed rookie guard Jordan McCray out of Central Florida to the practice squad.

—The Indianapolis Colts signed defensive tackle Tyler Hoover to the practice squad Wednesday.

The 6-foot-7, 297-pound Hoover was originally signed by the Colts as an undrafted free agent out of Michigan State on May 13. He was signed to the practice squad on Sept. 1 and was released on Sept. 2. He then spent time on the Philadelphia Eagles’ practice squad before being released on Sept. 30.

—Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant was named NFC Offensive Player of the Week after his three-touchdown performance Sunday night against the Philadelphia Eagles.

Cincinnati Bengals rookie running back Jeremy Hill was named AFC Offensive Player of the Week after he helped his team spoil the debut of Cleveland Browns rookie quarterback Johnny Manziel with a 30-0 victory.Detroit Lions safety Glover Quin won the NFC defensive award. Denver Broncos cornerback Aqib Talib took AFC defensive honor.

Arizona Cardinals kicker Chandler Catanzaro won the NFC special teams award. Kansas City Chiefs punt returner De’Anthony Thomas took the AFC special teams honor.

About The Sports Xchange


Since 1987, the Sports Xchange has been the best source of information and analysis for the top professionals in the sports publishing & information business