Pro Player Insiders Executive Editor Melissa Mahler Behind the scenes look at lives and lifestyles of NFL players and their families plus sports news, interviews & events Wed, 31 Aug 2016 00:22:44 +0000 en-US hourly 1 PANTHERS MAKE ROSTER MOVES Wed, 31 Aug 2016 00:22:44 +0000 The Carolina Panthers have made the following roster moves:


Terminated Vested Veteran/Injury Settlement

Player                           Pos                   Exp.     College

Trenton Robinson    S                        4            Michigan State

Mike Scifres               P                       14         Western Illinois



Player                           Pos                   Exp.     College

LaRon Byrd                 WR                   3            Miami (Fla.)

Rakim Cox                   DE                     1            Villanova


Reserve/Non-Football Injury

Player                           Pos                   Exp.     College

Leonard Johnson     CB                     5            Iowa State



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VIKINGS ANNOUNCE ROSTER MOVES Wed, 31 Aug 2016 00:20:14 +0000 The Minnesota Vikings have announced the following roster moves:



PLAYER                      POS.          EXP.                         COLLEGE

John Sullivan………………… C…………… 9………………….. Notre Dame



PLAYER                      POS.          EXP.                         COLLEGE

Troy Stoudermire……….. WR…………… 1…………………….. Minnesota



PLAYER                      POS.          EXP.                         COLLEGE

Scott Crichton…………….. DT…………… 3………………… Oregon State

Antone Exum, Jr……………. S…………… 3………………… Virginia Tech



PLAYER                      POS.          EXP.                         COLLEGE

Mike Harris…………………… G…………… 5…………………………… UCLA


“Our entire organization appreciates everything that John Sullivan has done for this franchise. Sullivan led our team, not only with how he played the game, but also with how he handled himself in our community. We wish John Sullivan and his family nothing but the best as they move forward.” – Rick Spielman, Vikings General Manager


The Vikings active roster now stands at 75 players.


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Michael Bidwill toured @NASA_Johnson this weekend. Tue, 30 Aug 2016 18:01:04 +0000

Michael Bidwill toured @NASA_Johnson this weekend.

While there, he was presented with a well-traveled pennant.

— Arizona Cardinals (@AZCardinals) August 30, 2016

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Bills Acquire LB Lerentee McCray — Buffalo Bills (@buffalobills) August 30, 2016 Tue, 30 Aug 2016 17:58:12 +0000

TRADE! We’ve acquired LB Lerentee McCray from the Packers in exchange for a 2018 draft pick.

— Buffalo Bills (@buffalobills) August 30, 2016

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RAVENS ROSTER MOVES Tue, 30 Aug 2016 17:54:10 +0000 The Baltimore Ravens made the following roster moves Tuesday:


Waived the following player:

Player College
Lutz, Wil K 5-11 184 R Georgia State


Placed the following player on Reserve/Physically Unable to Perform (PUP):

Player College
Taliaferro, Lorenzo RB 6-0 225 3 Coastal Carolina


Placed the following players on Injured Reserve:

Player College
Kaufusi, Bronson DE 6-6 285 R BYU
Nembot, Stephane T 6-6 320 R Colorado



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Miami Dolphins place Dion Jordan and Zach Vigil on reserve/non-football injury list Tue, 30 Aug 2016 17:34:30 +0000 The Miami Dolphins have placed former first-round pick Dion Jordan on the reserve/non-football injury list, the team announced on Tuesday afternoon. The team also announced that they had placed linebacker Zach Vigil on the exact same list.

This means that Jordan and Vigil will not be eligible to practice or play for the first six weeks of the 2015 NFL season.

Before being conditionally reinstated back into the league, Jordan had knee surgery and failed to notify the team prior to him arriving at the Dolphins facility last month.

Jordan, who was the No. 3 overall pick by the Dolphins in 2013, was suspended all of last season for violating the NFL substance abuse policy. In 16 games in his career, Jordan has 46 career tackles and three sacks.

Vigil has a back injury that has been ailing him. Last season, Vigil played in all 16 games for the Dolphins and he recorded 18 tackles and he blocked a punt.

The move to place Jordan and Vigil on the reserve/non-football injury list, means the Dolphins are down to 75 players just in time for the 4 p.m. roster deadline on Tuesday.


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PACKERS ANNOUNCE ROSTER MOVES Tue, 30 Aug 2016 17:19:10 +0000
The Green Bay Packers released WR Harvey Binford and placed TE Kennard Backman, RB John Crockett, C Jacob Flores, TE Mitchell Henry and G Josh Walkeron injured reserve. The transactions were announced Tuesday by Executive Vice President, General Manager and Director of Football Operations Ted Thompson.
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LOUDOUN COUNTY, Va. – The Washington Redskins Cheerleaders (WRC) will host the Paint the Town Burgundy & Gold Party, which will include the release of the 2016 WRC Calendar. The event will be held at The Fillmore Silver Spring on Thursday, Sept. 1, with doors opening at 6 p.m.
Fans will be able to watch the Redskins’ final preseason game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on one of the Fillmore’s many TV screens. Fans will also have an opportunity to get their calendars signed and photos taken with the cheerleaders. Tickets are $30 for main floor and $25 for balcony, with VIP party upgrades available for pre-show.
The event will include a fashion runway show featuring designs by local and national designers D’Milikah, Hush Boutique, Studio D Maxsi and Thriving Style. Members from Women of Washington (WOW) and Redskins Cheerleaders will walk in the show. DJ Glam will provide live on-site music; food and beverage will also be available.
In addition, 10 WOW members will be selected to walk the runway in the latest Redskins gear from Redskins stores.
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PANTHERS TRADE FOR CLEVELAND P ANDY LEE Tue, 30 Aug 2016 17:13:13 +0000 The Carolina Panthers have acquired punter Andy Lee and a 2017 seventh-round draft choice in a trade with the Cleveland Browns, pending a physical, the Panthers announced Monday. Cleveland will receive a 2018 fourth-round draft choice and punter Kasey Redfern.


Lee, a 13-year NFL veteran, is a four-time All-Pro (2007, 2011 and 2012 first-team selection, and 2009 second-team selection) and a three-time Pro Bowler (2007, 2009 and 2011). Lee ranks sixth all-time in gross punting average (46.2), eighth all-time in net average (39.5) and ninth all-time in punts inside the 20 (325) in NFL history.


Last season with Cleveland, Lee set Browns single-season records with a 46.7-yard gross average and a 40.1-yard net average. He punted 70 times with 25 punts inside the 20-yard line.


In 2011, Lee recorded the second-best single-season net punting average in league history (44.0). He followed that performance with a 43.2 net punting average in 2012, the sixth-best single-season average in NFL history. In 2007, Lee recorded 42 punts downed inside the 20, which is tied for the third-best total in NFL history.


A native of Westminster, S.C., Lee played collegiately at Pittsburgh and entered the NFL as a sixth-round draft choice (188th overall) of the San Francisco 49ers in 2004. He played 11 seasons (2004-14) with San Francisco before being traded to Cleveland in 2015 for a conditional 2017 draft choice.

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Bengals Roster Moves Tue, 30 Aug 2016 17:08:51 +0000
The Bengals today terminated the contract of WR Brandon Tate, releasing him to free agency.
            An eighth-year NFL player in 2016, Tate has played in every Bengals regular-season and postseason game since joining the team as a free agent in 2011. The University of North Carolina product is the franchise’s all-time leader in punt return yards (1411) and stands second in kickoff return yards (3517). His Bengals receiving totals are 57-for-901, with six touchdowns.
            “We have to make the decisions we feel are best for the team, but sometimes they are tough ones,” said head coach Marvin Lewis. “Brandon has been a tremendous pro and a big part of the success our team has had the last five years. We wish him the very best.”
            Also today, the Bengals made the following moves to reach the NFL roster limit of 75:
* Placed fifth-year DT Brandon Thompson on the Reserve/Physically Unable to Perform list. Thompson is rehabbing from a knee injury suffered in last year’s regular-season finale. He will remain with the team for rehab and meetings, but may not practice for Weeks 1-6 of the regular season. Beginning the week following Week 6, he will begin a window of eligibility to return to practice under a roster exemption, if medically cleared.
            * Placed rookie DT Andrew Billings of Baylor on the Reserve/Injured list. Billings suffered a knee injury in practice on Aug. 10.
* Released second-year WR Mario Alford under the Waived/Injured category. Alford suffered an ankle injury in the Aug. 12 Minnesota game. If Alford clears waivers tomorrow, he will revert to the Bengals’ Reserve/Injured list.
Also today, the Club waived rookie K Jonathan Brown of Louisville from the Reserve/Injured list. Brown has completed rehab from a foot injury that caused him to be placed on R/I on May 26.


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Bears Make Roster Moves Tue, 30 Aug 2016 17:06:19 +0000

LAKE FOREST, IL – The Chicago Bears waived the following player:

PLAYER                                               POS                                       UNIVERSITY
Jarrett Grace                                        LB                                           Notre Dame
The Bears waived/injured the following player:
PLAYER                                               POS                                       UNIVERSITY
Lamin Barrow                                       LB                                           LSU
The Bears placed the following player on reserve/non-football illness:
PLAYER                                               POS                                       UNIVERSITY
Roy Robertson-Harris                        LB                                           UTEP
The Bears placed the following two players on the reserve/injured list:
PLAYER                                               POS                                       UNIVERSITY
Hroniss Grasu                                      OL                                          Oregon
Connor Shaw                                       QB                                          South Carolina
Chicago’s roster is now down to 75 active players.
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Miami Dolphins Make Roster Moves Tue, 30 Aug 2016 17:03:21 +0000 MIAMI – The Miami Dolphins today announced they have placed defensive end Dion Jordan and linebacker Zach Vigil on the reserve/non-football injury list.


Jordan played in 26 games with one start for the Dolphins from 2013 to 2014 and recorded 37 tackles (31 solo) and three sacks. He was suspended for the entire 2015 season for violating the league’s substance abuse policy. Jordan was conditionally reinstated to the NFL on July 29, 2016 and was placed on the active/non-football injury list on July 31, 2016. He originally joined the Dolphins as a first-round selection (third overall) in the 2013 NFL draft.


Vigil played in all 16 games with two starts for the Dolphins in 2015 – his first NFL season. He recorded 11 tackles (eight solo) on defense and added seven solo stops and a blocked punt on special teams. He joined the Dolphins as an undrafted free agent from Utah State on May 8, 2015 and was placed on the active/non-football injury list on July 29, 2016.

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Miami Dolphins offer UberTailgate and Uber Zone for fans at Hard Rock Stadium Tue, 30 Aug 2016 00:13:33 +0000 In the short amount of time it has been around, Uber has changed the way people travel throughout the United States. Now Uber is getting into the NFL tailgating business.

On Monday, the Miami Dolphins and Uber announced a partnership with each other to provide fans the convenience and fan experience during games. Not only can fans take an Uber to and from the Hard Rock Stadium, but they can also tailgate at the stadium without bringing a single item.

Dolphins will offer a service they call UberTailgate, which will start on September 25, the team’s regular season home opener against the Cleveland Browns. UberTailgate will provide fans with a complete set up at their full disposal.

There will be 20 UberTailgate spots available for each of the Dolphins eight home games this season. The private area will be equipped with a tent, grill, cooler, serving ware and furniture.

In the UberTailgate area, there will be a store where fans will be able to purchase food, beer, soda, water and condiments. Included in the UberTailgate will be round-trip transportation to and from Hard Rock Stadium via UberX.

“We recognize that getting in and out of the stadium and traffic is one of the challenges we have with fans as we continue to compete with 60-inch high definition televisions,” Miami Dolphins President & CEO Tom Garfinkel said. “We are excited to partner with Uber in this innovative way and want to change our fans’ experiences of getting to and from these events while reimagining the tailgate experience.”

Through the agreement, the Dolphins are the first professional sports team to offer UberTailgate.

Also starting Sept. 1, the Dolphins will have an Uber Zone at Hard Rock Stadium. Uber Zone will be a designated lot where fans can be dropped off starting four hours prior to kickoff. Following all home games, fans can enter the Uber Zone, order an Uber and meet their driver at a specified spot for access and convenience.

For more information or to sign up for UberTailgate, fans can visit

(Images provided by the Miami Dolphins)

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Miami Dolphins Kenny Stills, DeVante Parker and Laremy Tunsil leave practice with injury Mon, 29 Aug 2016 23:04:57 +0000 For a team that has a number of players injured already, the Miami Dolphins can’t really afford to have any more. On Monday, the team added three more players to their injury list.

Receivers Kenny Stills and DeVante Parker and left guard Laremy Tunsil all left practice early due to injury. Stills caught a pass from quarterback Ryan Tannehill and went down on the sideline as he put his hand on his back. After a few minutes, Stills left the Dolphins practice bubble and he did not return.

After practice, Dolphins head coach Adam Gase didn’t provide any updates on the three injured players. He said he would have more of an update tomorrow.

“I’ll have more of an idea of what’s going on tomorrow,” Gase said. “Obviously, we’re going to pull them out as soon as we feel like anything’s going on and, precautionary, send them in with (Head Athletic Trainer) Ryan (Grove) and have him check them out and just make sure.”

Parker stopped practicing after he got tangled up with cornerback Bobby McCain. Afterwards, he was seen having his legs stretched out by a trainer. Parker missed a few days of training camp this summer because of a hamstring injury.

Tunsil left practice soon after warming up with the team. He didn’t participate with the team during practice drills.

Mario Williams also did not practice on Monday for unknown reasons. He wasn’t among the injured players named among practice started.

Backup quarterback Matt Moore returned to practice after missing the last week because of the concussion he suffered against the Dallas Cowboys during the second week of preseason.

Other News and Notes

Quarterbacks Ryan Tannehill and Matt Moore will not play on in the Dolphins preseason finale against the Tennessee Titans. Gase said he wants both Zac Dysert and Brandon Doughty to play under center and he will split up the reps on Thursday night.

“I want to try to give them both a fair shot to compete both in attempts and play numbers,” Gase said. “Obviously it never really works out that way but we’ll just keep an eye on it. If for some reason, Zac has a heavy play amount in the first half then maybe Doughty goes in early. We’ll see how it goes.”

Gase also went on to say that not all of the Dolphins starters will sit against the Titans. But don’t expect to see Ndamukong Suh, Cameron Wake or Mario Williams suit up.

Twitter: @antwanstaley

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The Arizona Cardinals Remain Winless in Preseason Mon, 29 Aug 2016 00:03:51 +0000 Carson Palmer_Arizona Cardinals1

With the third preseason game in the books, the Arizona Cardinals find themselves with out much to go on as far as offensive production goes.

There haven’t been many bright spots on the Cardinals first unit offense. The running game has looked good at times, it has looked good with all three running backs. But the Arizona pass protection and passing game in general has lacked the elite play that many Arizona fans have become accustomed to.

One thing to keep in mind though, the Cardinal offense has also lacked a couple of big names due to injury, like Larry Fitzgerald & John ‘Smokey” Brown. That, plus part of the offensive line is still learning to play/gel with each other. But the biggest concern has to be Carson Palmer’s play so far this year. Palmer has thrown more pick 6′s then he has touch downs, and he has also gotten away with some normally guaranteed interceptions.

Bruce Arians HC Cardinals Melissa Mahler Pro Player Insider

Every year people get caught up in meaningless preseason records and stats. Truth is Bruce Arians isn’t even calling most plays, and just like the other 31 teams, the Cardinals are trying out several things that simply don’t have “winning the game” in mind.

The Arizona Cardinals can score points, they’ve been one of the best teams at doing so since Bruce Arians landed here. I believe we are just missing the normal rhythm as of late and we are missing a couple pieces.

Carson Palmer is still the veteran QB that has lead the Cardinals to the playoffs in back to back years. This is still the same QB that was in the MVP discussion last season. And let’s be honest, a lot of Carson Palmer’s best football doesn’t come in the first quarter, he “usually” gets better as the games goes. Between trying to stay healthy with the sub-par protection, and being without two of his top receivers, we should not throw Carson Palmer in the worry department just yet.

Sure, there are definitely some issues. Everything is not “hakuna matada” in Arizona right now. But we are far from hitting the panic button people. It’s preseason, and we cannot poetically wax on stats one way or the other, because it’s just preseason.


I am more worried about roster depth, and overall health at this point in time. We are stacked with 3 quality running backs but I think we still need at least 5 on the roster. The aging Chris Johnson was a top 5 rusher in 2015, but was lost for the last part of the season. Andre Ellington averaged the most yards per rush, but he has yet to shake the “injury prone” label. Then we have David Johnson, a touchdown scoring machine that reminds me of OJ Simpson, but we lost 2 running backs in the same game in 2015, so keeping Stepfan Taylor and Kerwynn Williams sounds like a good move to me.

But onto the defense..

Again, we will not be bringing up a bunch of meaningless stats here. The Cardinals first unit defense has had to play in rough conditions brought on by Arizona’s offensive play. Short fields and little time between series hasn’t exactly benefited the cause. But in the latest game versus the Texans, we saw Kevin Minter go untouched through a middle gap to take down Brock Osweiler, and we also witnessed our first Chandler Jones sack.


The Arizona secondary hasn’t played lights out either, which is of some concern, but they are missing the pro bowler Tyrann Mathieu. On a good note, the rookie Brandon Williams looks like the game isn’t too fast for him. The Cardinal secondary is known for playing fast and creating turnovers. The Cardinal defense should be top 10 again in 2016, maybe even top 5 (again) if they can stay healthy.

So while the Arizona Cardinals will most likely draw a bad preseason grade from most NFL pundits, I see a squad that is still very much intact. The important parts of the core remain even after a couple years of success, which is kind of hard to do in today’s league. Arizona is now a sought after destination and the type of squad that players want to play for. I’d even expect Steve Keim to pick up a couple pieces after the season begins, as one team’s trash is another team’s needs. Steve Keim has been nothing short of masterful when it comes to finding great overlooked talents on the cheap.

The Cardinals also have the pleasure of playing a Tom Bradyless Patriots team to open the season. The Buccaneers look tough, but looking at the schedule I can see the Cardinals starting off somewhere in the neighborhood of 5-1.


Simply put, it’s too early to worry. The Arizona Cardinals know who they are, they are still a super bowl favorite in 2016. They have both the talent and the coaching staff to chase a ring this year. It’s going to bumpy at times, there will be some low points, sometimes there will be no points, but tough teams find ways to win tough games.

I doubt there will be much to write home about after the last preseason game, but I’ll try and come up with something.

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Miami Dolphins make roster moves before Tuesday’s deadline Sat, 27 Aug 2016 18:54:13 +0000 By Tuesday, August 30 at 4 p.m. Eastern, all 32 NFL teams much reduce their roster to 75 players before their preseason finale on Thursday. The Miami Dolphins got a jump start on cutting their roster down on Saturday as they let go of 11 players.

Miami waived linebacker Akil Blount, center/guard Ruben Carter, wide receiver A.J. Cruz, long snapper Ryan DiSalvo, wide receiver Matt Hazel, tight end Gabe Hughes, kicker Marshall Koehn, cornerback Al Louis-Jean, guard Vinston Painter and wide receiver Brandon Shippen. The team also released cornerback Brandon Harris.

One of the most recognizable name on this list might be receiver Matt Hazel, a 2014 sixth-round pick from Coastal Carolina. Last season, Hazel was named to the Dolphins 53-man roster as he made one start last season and appeared in five games in total. This year, there was just so much competition at the receiver position that Hazel didn’t have much of a chance to make the Dolphins final roster.

Harris, a former second-round pick was signed by the Dolphins in late July after rookie Xavien Howard injured his knee before training camp. Now that Howard appears to be on track to start the regular season on time, that made Harris expendable.

With DiSalvo and Koehn being released, that means the Dolphins will have the same specialists as last season (kicker Andrew Franks, punter Matt Darr and long snapper John Denney).

Miami will still need to release three more players before Tuesday’s deadline.

You can follow Antwan on Twitter @antwanstaley

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Okay Isn’t Good Enough for Drug Tested Athletes Like Lane Johnson Fri, 26 Aug 2016 19:38:43 +0000 The utility of a mobile app that proffers to help NFL players steer clear of nutritional supplements that contain banned substances is being called into question.

“To be honest, I put all my trust in the Aegis Shield,” Lane Johnson of the Philadelphia Eagles said. “Maybe it reflects on me, but I do feel players are mislead on that.” Johnson is awaiting the results of his B sample testing after his first sample tested positive for peptides. If the B sample tests positive, Johnson could face a 10-game suspension.

“What’s the purpose of the app,” asks Johnson, “if it does nothing to protect players?”

Johnson is right.

Aegis Shield was developed by the Aegis Sciences Corporation and advertises that the app “helps keep athletes clean and in the game by providing a website and mobile app designed to quickly and easily identify the presence of banned substances in dietary supplements.”

The supplement app was rolled out to NFL players by the NFLPA at its annual meeting in March of 2013. On day two of the meetings, June Rogers, the NFLPA’s then Director of Drug Programs and Policies, explained to players the Aegis Shield system in which players could determine if any ingredient in a product is banned before they take the product.

Searching the Aegis Shield for All Day You May (Blue Raspberry) like sources say Johnson did, pulls up a photo of the product with the caption “If you’d like to see if All Day You May (Blue Raspberry) contains substances that are banned by your sport organization’s Banned Substance List, sign up now or log in.”  Sounds definitive and easy.



According to Aegis Shield’s FAQs here’s how you know if a product is banned.

After finding your product on Aegis Shield, one of three statuses will appear: Okay, Caution, or Banned. Depending on the ingredients found on the product label and whichever banned substance list (BSL) you have selected, one of the three statuses will appear with the product. The three categories also have a corresponding symbol and color scheme that follows the universal rules of the road. Green with a ✔ means go, yellow with a ! means caution, and red with  a means stop.



Here’s more from the Aegis FAQs.

When a product has a “Banned” status, is it unsafe for me to use?

The “Banned” status indicates that one or more of the ingredients on the label is banned by your selected sports organization.

What does “Caution” mean?

“Caution” means that it is possible that the product might contain a banned substance. Product labels sometimes contain proprietary or trademarked ingredient blends without specifying the actual ingredients in the blends, so it is impossible for Aegis Shield to accurately evaluate all of the product’s ingredients. It is also possible that one or more of the product ingredients are similar to a banned substance

There is NO information in the FAQs on the meaning of the status “Okay”.

Within the pages of product descriptions and ingredients Aegis Shield does include the following statement: Products that receive the “Okay” status could theoretically contain banned substances not listed on the label.

It is unclear what the difference in meaning is between “it is possible” and “could theoretically.”

Aegis Shield Chart

On each product page Aegis Shield states that it only compares the ingredients listed on the supplement label to known banned substances. It does not confirm the accuracy of the listed ingredients itself nor perform any laboratory testing unless otherwise specified.

Veteran Sports Registered Dietitian and long time advisor on “food and supplement security” issues for drug tested teams, Dave Ellis, has always had concerns over the possible confusion any kind of list might create that validates dietary supplements as safe, when they have not actually been tested for doping agents.

“Every batch needs to be tested for doping agents as well as adulterants that could cause harm to athletes” said Ellis. Unless Aegis tested the exact lot of a particular product being reviewed, Aegis could never state that a nutritional supplement was free of banned substances.

In the case of Aegis Shield it seems it would be more accurate to give all untested supplements appearing on the app, except those that knowingly contained banned substances, the status “caution”.

Back to Johnson’s question, what is the purpose of the app?

Aegis Shield’s website says the content is designed for educational purposes only and is not an endorsement of any product. An email sent by Griff Gleason, Aegis Sciences Corporation, Regional Sales Manager, Specialty Testing, obtained by ProPlayerInsiders, provides some additional insight. He writes to one supplement manufacturer:

“I am contacting you to provide information about Aegis Certified, our banned-substance certification program. The attached information is an overview of the program, as well as the different analytes that we currently test for.

Aegis Sciences Corporation started over 25 years ago as an anti-doping laboratory.  We have built and maintained strong relationships within professional and collegiate sports.  We currently work with many professional sports organizations/players associations, such as NFLPA, MLBPA, NASCAR and WWE, as well as 140 Div. 1 colleges/universities.  We are trusted to test their athletes for banned-substances, as well as the supplements that they are taking.  If you choose Aegis Certified, we will engage in a post-certified marketing campaign that notifies our current clients of your product’s certification.  This will provide additional product exposure to a target market for products like yours.”

Aegis sells its certification services to supplement manufactures and then promises to promote those same supplements to a highly coveted consumer group – professional and college athletes.

Moving past the headlines and the fact that Johnson previously tested positive for a banned substance, it does seem reasonable that a person using the app could conclude that a product with an “Okay” rating on Aegis Shield is okay to consume i.e. does not contain a banned substance. Utilizing the app may cause athletes to run afoul of the NFL’s banned substance policy.

“[The app] is what every player uses,” Johnson said. “If you send it into the trainer of your team, all they do is read the labels, they do not test the products because it costs a lot of money to test each individual product.”

“Anything short of testing is a gamble when it comes to dietary supplements and it’s just a matter of time,” said Ellis, “until the same concerns surface for highly fortified foods. Many manufactures in the supplement business also make products that have nutrition facts panels that can provide a false sense of security.” These food products, like traditional supplements, can contain undisclosed banned substances such as Sibutramine.

“Drug tested populations have to have solid policies on how to police these issues verses waiting for them to create controversy,” said Ellis.

While the NFLPA does offer a free testing service to players that request it, the process takes time and the results are only good only for the specific lot number of a particular product and repurchases could require a new test.

The MLB and MLBPA have taken a different proactive approach to athletes use of supplements. They took away the guessing game.

MLB players are advised to use only supplements that are “NSF Certified for Sport” and to contact their club’s medical or training staff before the use of anything not bearing the NSF insignia. Even more important, MLB teams, unlike NFL teams, are allowed to offer and supply NSF-certified supplements to their players directly at the team facility.

NSF’s banned substances testing is completed on a lot-by-lot basis and the manufacturer may not release product into the market until the final test report is released. All products are tested each year for label claims, enabling athletes and other end consumers to know that what’s on the label is in the bottle.  NSF conducts the formulation review three times per year for ongoing monitoring, including matching it up to the actual batch record at the production facility.

MLB players (and everyone else) can access lists of NSF Certified for Sport supplements through the NSF website and the NSF Certified for Sport app.

Yes, there’s an app. It doesn’t have a rating system, unclear terms or disclaimers. NSF Certified for Sport lists only supplements that are certified to meet label claims and free of banned substances and other adulterants.

After all, isn’t that the purpose?


On twitter follow @Melissa_PPI and @PlayerInsiders


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#Vikings @ceeflashpee84 wants the ball first Sunday to open @usbankstadium w/ a flash. Fri, 26 Aug 2016 16:10:59 +0000

.@ceeflashpee84 wants the ball first Sunday to open @usbankstadium with a flash.


— Minnesota Vikings (@Vikings) August 26, 2016

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Ryan Tannehill, Arian Foster lead Dolphins over Falcons 17-6 in their dress rehearsal game Fri, 26 Aug 2016 12:12:22 +0000 The third preseason game is what many people call a dress rehearsal. It is called that because teams game plan for the third preseason game like how they would during the regular season game.

If Thursday night’s game is any indication, then the Miami Dolphins appear to be headed in the right direction.

Miami defeated the Falcons 17-6 in Camping World Stadium in Orlando. While the Dolphins should be happy because of the victory, a number of players suffered injuries on Thursday night.

Defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh (ankle), linebacker Jelani Jenkins (ankle), defensive end Terrence Fede (knee) and running back Isaiah Pead (hamstring) all experienced injuries against the Falcons. Dolphins head coach Adam Gase explained that some injuries aren’t as serious as other could be.

“(Ndamukong) Suh, he had an ankle (injury). He’s okay,” Gase said. “(Jelani) Jenkins, he had an ankle (injury). He’s okay. (Isaiah) Pead had a hamstring (injury). We’ll look at it tomorrow and see where he’s at. (Terrence) Fede had a knee (injury). It’s nothing major though. We just have to, obviously, take a closer look at that.”

The talk of Thursday night was Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill. He finished the night 20 for 29 for 155 yards. While Tannehill did through an interception, it wasn’t his fault as the pass was tipped at the line.

Despite the performance, Tannehill wasn’t satisfied with the play of the offense.

“I think obviously want to score more points and I think we had some opportunities to score more points there,” Tannehill said. “A couple of singular plays took us out of rhythm; we had the penalty on one drive, the tip interception, and the snap another drive. We need to really to eliminate those small mistakes that really killed our drives and I think we will be in good shape.”

After being cautious with Dolphins running back Arian Foster during the first two preseason game, the veteran received more touches against the Falcons. Foster rushed for five carries for 10 yards and a touchdown. He also caught two passes for 20 yards.

After the game, Foster was quick to give credit to the Dolphins offensive line.

“It’s just a testament to the work we have been putting in, it is doing the work every single day,” Foster said. “(We keep) getting better, taking each opportunity to give back.”

Speaking of the Dolphins offensive line, they had their best performance of the preseason. Second-year player Anthony Steen was solid replacing Pro Bowl center Mike Pouncey. Steen did botch a snap, but Tannehill was able to recover.

Steen and the rest of the Dolphins offensive line kept the pocket relatively clean for Tannehill. Rookie Laremy Tunsil was again impressive. It appears unless injury strikes, Tunsil will be the starting left guard Week 1 against the Seattle Seahawks.

One of the few negatives from the Dolphins game against the Falcons is the play of tight end Jordan Cameron. He dropped a pass in the red zone, which went off his helmet. Cameron also dropped a wide pass on third and 16.

Despite Dion Sims receiving more playing time with the first team, Cameron said he doesn’t feel any pressure.

“No, I don’t even think about it,” Cameron said. “I think you guys think about it more than I do. I’ve just got to play football and watch the ball in my hands. It’s not something I’m concerned with.”

Twitter: @antwanstaley

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Browns Trade Barkevious Mingo to Patriots Fri, 26 Aug 2016 12:00:44 +0000 Barkevious MingoThe Cleveland Browns have traded linebacker Barkevious Mingo to the New England Patriots for a conditional fifth-round pick in 2017. Mingo was the No. 6 overall selection in the 2013 NFL Draft by the Cleveland Browns although the former LSU Tiger struggled to find a stable role with the team.

The trade doesn’t come a surprise as it’s been well-documented that Mingo had been battling to make the Browns 53-man roster. Mingo found himself receiving the majority of his reps this preseason on special team’s – something unheard of only three seasons removed from being one of the drafts highest selected players.

Folks can point their finger and attempt to blame someone whether it be the coaching staff, the unstable front office or Mingo himself but when it comes down to it the puzzle piece just didn’t fit. Mingo was among the best pass rushers in his class and his blazing speed made him an intriguing pick for the Browns back in 2013. Unfortunately, as Browns fans now know, that wouldn’t translate to the NFL as Mingo failed to find a permanent position or role with the team which ultimately lead to him being traded Thursday.

While many speculated the market was relatively was slim-to-none, NFL expert Ian Rapoport confirmed the market for Mingo did indeed exist. The Patriots gave up a fifth rounder for him – coming as a bit of a shocker – only confirming Rapoport’s claim.

Browns’ Executive VP of Football Operations Sashi Brown along with new head coach Hue Jackson have made it crystal clear this team, at last, has a plan in place and are sticking to it. That plan includes building for the future and acquiring as many draft picks as possible.

Already, the Browns had three additional picks in the 2017 NFL Draft and attaining the Patriots fifth-round pick marks four picks outside of their own in next year’s draft. Among those picks, Cleveland owns the Philadelphia Eagles first round choice (Carson Wentz trade), the Tennessee Titans second round selection (draft day trade), the Indianapolis Colts’ seventh round selection and now the Patriots fifth rounder. It’s also worth mentioning the Browns also own the Eagles second round pick in 2018, also from the Wentz trade.

The Cleveland Browns tied the NFL record with 14 selections in the 2016 NFL Draft and it appears they will be just as active in the coming drafts as well. As the team looks to finalize its roster for the regular season there are other notable players to monitor in the coming weeks that are fighting for a roster spot but one in particular – Justin Gilbert, the team’s first round choice in the 2014 NFL Draft who, similarly to Mingo, has struggled to find a permanent role on the team.

Although some were surprised to see New England make a move for the former LSU Tiger, head coach Bill Belichick has a history of acquiring talent that didn’t live up to previous expectations and finding a way to make them successful. For example, Rob Ninkovich, Randy Moss, Mike Vrabel and most recognizable to Browns fans Jabaal Sheard all struggled with their initial team’s but Belichick has a niche for bringing out the best in his players. This move is no different from the others, but the deal is one that more than likely benefits both team’s as the Patriots needed defensive depth and the Browns covet future draft picks.

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