The Jacksonville Jaguars are going to be England’s team. The NFL and the Jags announced Tuesday the team will play one home game in London for four years in a row.
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and team owner Shad Khan made a joint announcement about the move in Jacksonville. The small-market franchise will play four games at Wembley Stadium, one every season beginning in 2013.
Khan has made it clear he wants to play games overseas in hopes of increasing the team’s brand globally.
The NFL has played an annual London game since 2007. New England and St. Louis play at Wembley later this year.
The Rams had been scheduled to play in London in 2013 and 2014, but they pulled out last week, citing a need to focus on lease negotiations and ease fan discontent.
Harrison hopes to play
Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker James Harrison remains optimistic his aching left knee will be ready in time for the season opener against Denver.
Harrison, who starred at Coventry High School and Kent State University, had a minor procedure on the knee last week and hasn’t practiced at all during training camp. He was activated from the physically unable to perform list before Sunday’s preseason game against Indianapolis but did not dress.
The 34-year-old Harrison said Tuesday he tried to play through some discomfort during minicamp but the knee flared up whenever he would try to cut. Though the four-time Pro Bowler has spent nine seasons with the Steelers, he believes he needs to practice at least a few times before being OK’d to play.
Harrison added he’s been impressed with how second-year linebacker Chris Carter has played in his absence.
Vick’s medical tests mount
Michael Vick has required four medical tests and completed four passes in the first two preseason games.
That’s an ominous sign for the Philadelphia Eagles.
The three-time Pro Bowl quarterback left Monday night’s win at New England after injuring his ribs on his sixth play. He lasted just six plays against Pittsburgh before leaving with an injured left thumb.
X-rays on Vick’s ribs at the stadium were negative, and an MRI and CT scan on Tuesday revealed he has no broken bones or fractured cartilage. Vick has a contusion of his ribs and of the soft tissue surrounding them. He also needed X-rays on his thumb when he got hurt in the first game. They also were negative.
Vick missed three games because of rib injuries in each of the past two seasons.
Vick has led the offense to just one first down in 12 plays so far.
Shipley has shot with Bucs
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are giving Jordan Shipley a chance to revive his NFL career just a few days after the 26-year-old wide receiver was waived by the Cincinnati Bengals.
The former Texas star was the AFC’s leading rookie receiver in 2010 before tearing ligaments in his left knee in Cincinnati’s second game last year.
The Bengals thought Shipley had lost a step when they brought him back this summer, but that was not apparent to the Bucs in his first workout Tuesday.
The Bucs, who have been erratic on special teams, will give Shipley a look as a punt returner and a slot receiver.
Leonhard with Broncos
Denver Broncos safety Jim Leonhard practiced Tuesday for the first time since undergoing a right knee operation in December.
“It feels better than it did before I hurt it,” said Leonhard, who was clearly relieved to finally get back on the football field after eight grueling months.
On Tuesday, Leonhard participated in drills with Denver’s other defensive backs but was held out of team drills. He said he hopes he can practice in team portions when the Broncos return Thursday from a day off.
He also said he’d like to play in one of Denver’s final two preseason games, but he’s sure the training staff will “protect me from myself” and take things slowly.
The Broncos removed him from their PUP list and placed him on their 90-man roster. They also waived cornerback Joshua Moore.
Patriots release trio
The New England Patriots released defensive lineman Jonathan Fanene, offensive lineman Kyle Hill and placekicker Chris Koepplin.
Fanene, who spent the past seven seasons with the Cincinnati Bengals, had been slowed in training camp by injury and sat out both of the Patriots’ exhibition games so far. Koepplin was in his second training camp with the Patriots.