The NFL and players union are talking again about getting a test in place for human growth hormone as early as the upcoming season.
An email obtained by The Associated Press from the NFL Players Association indicates that the league and the association have jointly hired a doctor to conduct a study on NFL players to determine a good threshold for a positive HGH test.
The email was sent by the union to players, in part to explain that the study requires them to have blood drawn during their physical when training camp begins. The email said the blood samples will only be used for the study.
NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said the discussions are focused on a full resolution of any remaining issues, including the role of a population study.
The labor agreement that ended the NFL lockout in 2011 requires the league gain union approval before testing players for HGH. The union says it favors testing but has reservations about the appeals process.
The union also has concerns about the way discipline will be handled and wants to collectively bargain the issue.
Hearing rescheduled in Hernandez case
A pre-trial hearing in Attleboro, Mass., for a man charged as an accessory to murder in the case involving former New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez was rescheduled.
Bristol District Attorney Samuel Sutter said the hearing for Ernest Wallace in Attleboro District Court will be held on Friday.
The hearing was originally set for Monday, but a spokesman for the district attorney said both sides agreed to a postponement.
Wallace has pleaded not guilty to a charge of being an accessory to murder after the fact in the killing of Odin Lloyd.
Hernandez has pleaded not guilty to murder.
Meanwhile, Patriots coach Bill Belichick is scheduled to speak to reporters Wednesday – his first availability since tight end Hernandez was arrested on murder charges.
Belichick’s news conference is scheduled the day before players begin reporting for training camp.
Browns’ receiver sorry for suspension
Unable to fix his mistakes but vowing not to repeat them, Browns wide receiver Josh Gordon apologized for being suspended for violating the NFL’s substance-abuse policy.
Gordon, who emerged as a much-needed playmaker for Cleveland as a rookie last season, was suspended without pay in June by the league for the first two games of this season. Gordon will also forfeit two other game checks as part of his punishment.
This hurt a lot of people, Gordon said.
Around the league
Cornerback Eric Wright has failed his physical with San Francisco and will return to Tampa Bay.
Cincinnati released guard Travelle Wharton, who tore up his right knee during the first preseason game last year and missed the season. The New York Jets signed quarterback Geno Smith, their second-round draft pick, to a four-year contract that is worth about $5 million.
Houston signed first-round pick wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins. Jacksonville waived rookie quarterback Jordan Rodgers, parting ways with the former Vanderbilt starter four days before training camp. Rodgers is the younger brother of Green Bay star Aaron Rodgers.
Kansas City rookies and quarterbacks began arriving on the campus of Missouri Western for their first training camp under coach Andy Reid. The Chiefs are still talking with the agent for No. 1 overall pick Eric Fisher, but the right tackle has yet to sign.