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NFL notebook: Steelers acquire running back in trade

Associated Press

The Pittsburgh Steelers bolstered their injury-plagued backfield on Friday, acquiring running back Felix Jones from Philadelphia for linebacker Adrian Robinson.

The deal is pending each player passing a physical.

The 26-year-old Jones gives the Steelers needed depth at running back. Rookie Le’Veon Bell is out with a sprained right foot and is out indefinitely. Isaac Redman is dealing with a nerve injury and return specialist LaRod Stephens-Howling sat out last Monday’s preseason game against Washington with a sprained knee.

Jones was the 22nd overall pick in the 2008 NFL Draft by the Dallas Cowboys but never stayed healthy enough to become a feature back. He has rushed for 2,728 yards and 11 touchdowns in 64 games.

The Eagles brought in Jones to compete for a backup spot behind starter LeSean McCoy.

Jones rushed for 45 yards on 12 carries and caught two passes for 12 yards in two preseason games with Philadelphia but failed to make inroads on youngsters Bryce Brown and Chris Polk.

Jones’ versatility gives Pittsburgh options if Stephens-Howling remains limited.

The former Arkansas star, considered one of the fastest players in the league when healthy, has worked part-time as a return specialist throughout his career, including a 98-yard kickoff return for a score during his rookie season.

It’s unlikely the Steelers consider Jones a short-term replacement for Bell, who sprained his foot against the Redskins.

Bell said Thursday he is optimistic he’ll be able to return quickly and coach Mike Tomlin called early developments in Bell’s rehab encouraging.

Redman and Jonathan Dwyer, who led the Steelers with 623 yards rushing last season, will split time with the first team tonight against Kansas City.

Robinson made the Steelers as an undrafted rookie free agent last season, appearing in 12 games.

Wallace gives 49ers lift

Former Browns quarterback Seneca Wallace stepped on the practice field for the first time with the San Francisco 49ers on Friday as the most experienced passer on the roster.

Whether the nine-year veteran still has a job with the team in two weeks depends on how quickly and how well he can pick up and fit into a system friendly to his skills.

Wallace will get that opportunity immediately. Coach Jim Harbaugh said he expects Wallace, signed by the 49ers on Thursday, to play in Sunday’s preseason game against the Minnesota Vikings. Wallace, 33, played for the Browns from 2010 through 2012.

Harbaugh said all five quarterbacks on the San Francisco roster are likely to see action against the Vikings as the 49ers attempt to sort out their uncertain backup situation behind starter Colin Kaepernick before the regular season begins.

Lions rookie injured

Rookie tight end Michael Williams suffered a broken hand in the Lions’ 40-9 exhibition victory over the New England Patriots on Thursday. He is scheduled for surgery next week, but the injury is not believed to be season-ending. A seventh-round pick who won three national championships at Alabama, Williams projected as the Lions’ No.3 tight end this fall, a blocking complement to Brandon Pettigrew and Tony Scheffler.

Smith suspension upheld

Houston coach Gary Kubiak says the NFL has upheld defensive end Antonio Smith’s three-game suspension. Smith was suspended Wednesday for the last two preseason games and Houston’s opener for hitting Miami guard Richie Incognito with the Dolphins player’s helmet.



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