NEW YORK – The NFL will keep an eye on hits to the knees of defenseless players this season, with the possibility of extending the rules protecting such players.
If the leagues competition committee finds enough evidence this season that hits to the knees are becoming a problem, it could take action, chief of football operations Ray Anderson told The Associated Press.
The committee could make a recommendation to the owners next March to prohibit direct hits to the knees of defenseless players. The owners would then vote on such a change.
We are always looking at plays that may elevate themselves and we do include in that category hits on defenseless players, Anderson said.
Currently, hits to the head and neck of defenseless players are outlawed. But two direct hits to the knee in preseason games that injured Miami tight end Dustin Keller and Minnesota defensive tackle Kevin Williams have drawn complaints from some players.
Keller is out for the season with several torn knee ligaments. Williams has a hyperextended knee.
The Colts got down to the leagues 75-man roster limit by putting receiver Nathan Palmer on waivers, linebacker Josh McNary on an exemption list and rookie safety John Boyett on the non-football injury list.
Palmer was expected to miss four to six weeks with a sprained MCL.
Cleveland rookie linebacker Barkevious Mingo rode a stationary bike and is expected to do some running as he recovers from a bruised lung. Mingo will not play in Thursdays exhibition finale against Chicago and its not yet known if he will play in the Sept. 8 season opener.
Washington quarterback Robert Griffin III could get the all-clear to play in the regular season when he meets with his surgeon Thursday. Detroit released kicker Havard Rugland and cornerback Dequan Menzie. The New York Jets signed kicker Dan Carpenter to compete with incumbent Nick Folk, and released Billy Cundiff. An arrest warrant was issued in Newport Beach, Calif., for Titus Young after the former Detroit receiver missed his fourth court hearing on attempted burglary charges.
Tim Tebow survived New Englands roster cut to 75 players. The Patriots released tight end Evan Landi and defensive lineman Anthony Rashad White. Tennessee veteran receiver Kevin Walter (back) will miss the first six weeks of the season. Miami rookie linebacker Dion Jordan (shoulder) returned to practice, improving his chances of playing in the season opener next week. Denvers Derek Wolfe practiced for the first time since his arms and legs went numb following a frightening hit in a preseason game. The Players Association has filed a grievance to help former New England tight end Aaron Hernandez collect an $82,000 workout bonus.
Green Bay starting running back DuJuan Harris (knee) is out for the year. Carolina placed Jonathan Stewart on the physically unable to perform (PUP) list, meaning the veteran running back will miss at least the first six weeks of the season. Cleveland placed running back Montario Hardesty (knee) on injured reserve, ending his season.