Brown returns to Raiders after absence for feet, helmet
NAPA, Calif. — Antonio Brown has returned to the Oakland Raiders training camp facility after missing time to see a specialist for his frostbitten feet and losing a grievance with the NFL over the use of a helmet.
Brown walked on the field surrounded by cameras late in practice Tuesday and greeted his teammates for the first time since leaving the team about a week ago.
Brown says he has been meeting with a foot specialist to get healthy from frostbite and blisters that came while getting cryotherapy treatment in France. Brown has also been fighting with the NFL over his helmet, which is no longer certified for practice or games.
Brown’s agent, Drew Rosenhaus, says they have found a new helmet and are waiting to get it certified for use.
Brown says he has no timeline for when he will be able to return to practice but coach Jon Gruden says he expects him to be ready to play the season opener Sept. 9 against Denver.
Report: Petition with NLRB seeks union for NFL running backs
NEW YORK — A petition reportedly has been filed with the National Labor Relations Board seeking to create a separate union for NFL running backs.
According to the website Law360, the petition was filed Thursday by the International Brotherhood of Professional Running Backs and focuses on the shorter careers for players at the position.
“These employees have unique career structures; and the current one-size fits all unit is inappropriate,” the petition says of players’ representation by the NFL Players Association. “Excluded: All other player groups,” it said.
The NFL Management Council and the union have begun preliminary negotiations on a collective bargaining agreement. The current 10-year deal expires in March 2021.
Soccer player, 14, becomes youngest male to sign pro soccer contract
IRVINE, Calif. — A 14-year-old soccer player has signed a professional contract with USL Championship club Orange County SC.
Francis Jacobs is the youngest male player ever to sign a pro soccer contract in the U.S., according to the club.
Jacobs is from Laguna Beach, California. He was 14 years, four months and 29 days old when he signed his deal last month.
That’s less than a month younger than Freddy Adu was when he signed with Major League Soccer’s DC United in November 2003.
Jacobs has been training with Orange County SC’s first team since May. He has trained at Bayer Leverkusen and Köln in Germany, but the midfielder is starting his pro career near his hometown. He could play for Orange County later this season.
By wire sources