PITTSBURGH – 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.
Jones, 26, 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 draft by Dallas but never stayed healthy enough to become a feature back. He has rushed for 2,728 yards and 11 touchdowns in 64 games.
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. Tomlin said there’s a chance Stephens-Howling may play versus the Chiefs.
Hernandez cousin pleads not guilty
A cousin of former New England Patriot Aaron Hernandez pleaded not guilty to a contempt charge for allegedly refusing to testify before the grand jury that indicted Hernandez in the murder of a friend.
Tanya Singleton entered her plea in a Fall River, Mass., court. She was ordered held without bail and is due back in court Oct. 3. Singleton’s attorney declined to comment after the hearing.
Bristol County District Attorney Samuel Sutter said Singleton refused to testify after she was offered immunity.
Redskins’ Griffin jokes about fine
At least Robert Griffin III can laugh about his latest run-in with the NFL’s fashion police.
The Washington quarterback cracked a joke Friday about his $10,000 fine for wearing an Operation Patience T-shirt before a preseason game.
Griffin was accepting the team’s offensive player of the year award at the Redskins’ annual Welcome Home Luncheon. He was introduced shortly after a charity auction.
Those auctioneers did a good job, Griffin told the crowd. I would’ve given them 10 grand, but the NFL took it away from me this week.
Griffin adopted Operation Patience as his slogan as he slowly increased his practice work during training camp after major knee surgery. He wore a white T-shirt with those words in capital burgundy letters as he warmed up before Monday night’s game against the Pittsburgh Steelers.
The NFL said the T-shirt was unauthorized apparel.
Around the league
The league upheld Houston defensive end Antonio Smith’s three-game suspension. Smith was suspended Wednesday for the last two preseason games and Houston’s season opener for hitting Miami guard Richie Incognito with the Dolphins player’s helmet. The Jets signed veteran offensive tackle Jason Smith, who spent last season with the team. Smith, the No. 2 overall draft pick by St. Louis in 2009, was waived by New Orleans on Wednesday.