The NFL will begin testing for HGH on Monday, reports Albert Breer of NFL.com (via Twitter). Each week, five players from eight teams will be tested, adds Breer (Twitter link). The league and the union announced a new drug policy on September 17, which included revamped structures for drug violations and other discinplary actions. In exchange for reduced drug penalties, the NFLPA agreed for HGH testing to be implemented. More from around the league:
- The Cowboys are 3-1 behind an impressive offense through the first month of the NFL season, and a big part of their success is the dynamic duo of Dez Bryant and DeMarco Murray. Both players are in line for big time extensions, and Brandon George of DallasNews.com believes that the team will be able to keep both on the roster going forward. He notes that giving both big extensions would tie up a lot of cap space but is doable, and also writes that the team could elect to place the franchise tag on one of the player.
- The Panthers have become so thin at defensive end they’re getting outside linebacker Jason Williams and several defensive tackles ready to line up there in case of emergency Sunday against Chicago, writes Joseph Person of the Charlotte Observer. Person’s report doesn’t mention Carolina looking at out-of-house DE options, but one has to think that will be a consideration if their woes at the position continue. Greg Hardy is on the commissioner’s exempt list, Frank Alexander is suspended for a violation of the substance abuse policy, and Charles Johnson missed a second consecutive practice with a hip flexor injury. That leaves Carolina with only rookie Kony Ealy and a pair of undrafted free agents – Wes Horton and Mario Addison – at defensive end.
- Blake Bortles made his starting debut for the Jaguars last week, and at least one talent evaluator was pleased with that he saw from the rookie. “He’s a better athlete than you think,” an AFC scout told Tom Pelissero of USA Today. “He can make plays off schedule. He doesn’t have a huge arm, but he’s got a good arm, and he’s a tough guy…I think they’ve got a guy that they can settle the position for a while.”
- In a lengthy chat for the Kansas City Star, Terez A. Paylor offers several thoughts on the Chiefs, including his belief that Justin Houston will sign a contract extension at some point, as well as observing that Matt Prater could be an option in K.C. if Cairo Santos struggles.
Rob DiRe and Luke Adams contributed to this post.