NFL Rumors

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Coach: Stephen Hill 'healthy and confident' unlike last year
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com

Jets receivers coach Sanjay Lal notices a major difference with Stephen Hill as he enters his third year in the NFL.

"Healthy and confident," Lal told The Star-Ledger. "That’s the biggest thing. I think he’s believing, and believing in himself – and it’s starting to show."

Hill struggled with knee injuries, inconsistency and dropped passes his first two seasons.

"It’s been the injuries that have hindered it and kind of somewhat made it harder than it could have been," Lal said. "He’s taken the coaching the whole time. Now, he’s able to do it physically, so it’s just kind of coming together right now."

Hill has a chance to be the No. 2 receiver behind Eric Decker.

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Steven Jackson misses practice
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com

Falcons running back Steven Jackson missed Tuesday's practice, reports the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. The team has not said whether Jackson is hurt or just getting a day off.

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Colin Kaepernick: Michael Crabtree 'a step or two quicker'
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com

49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick said top receiver Michael Crabtree was not fully over his Achilles injury late last season. "He’s a step or two quicker now," Kaepernick told CSNBayArea.com. "He has a burst out of his routes. He has burst when he catches the ball. (He) looks really good out there."

Crabtree missed the first 11 games last year due to a torn Achilles he suffered in May 2013. "Even at the end of last season, he wasn’t 100 percent," Kaepernick said. "And he was making plays for us. I’m excited to see what he’s going to do, now that he’s 100 percent."

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Matt Johnson's injury woes continue
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com

Cowboys safety Matt Johnson will miss at least a week with a hamstring injury, reports ESPN.com. He missed most of his 2012 rookie season with hamstring injuries and was out all of last year due to foot surgery.

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Pete Carroll hopes Marshawn Lynch 'will figure it out'
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com

Seahawks coach Pete Carroll on Tuesday addressed the contract holdout by running back Marshawn Lynch. "I love this kid," Carroll said, per the Seattle Times. "I hope he will figure it out and it will all make sense and it will come to a resolution somewhere."

Lynch can be fined $30,000 for every day he misses, and the team could try to go after a portion of his signing bonus.

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Lions claim Quintin Payton
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com

The Lions claimed receiver Quintin Payton off waivers from the Buccaneers, reports ESPN's Adam Caplan.

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Report: Cardinals, Patrick Peterson nearing deal
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com

The Cardinals are close to signing cornerback Patrick Peterson to a contract extension, reports Yahoo Sports. Peterson will get a huge raise from the $2.9 million he's scheduled to earn this season, the final year of his rookie deal.

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David Wilson taken to hospital for tests on his neck
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com

Giants running back David Wilson will undergo a battery of tests on his neck at the Hospital for Special Surgery after suffering what coach Tom Coughlin called a "burner," reports NFL Network. The Giants will be extra careful with Wilson, who had neck surgery in January.

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Montee Ball thinks he'll get 250 carries
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com

No Broncos running back has gotten 250 carries in a season since Reuben Droughns got 275 in 2004. Montee Ball, who has never started a game, told the Denver Post he "definitely" thinks he can reach 250.

Last year Knowshon Moreno led the team with 241 carries while the rookie Ball got 119. Moreno is in Miami now.

"It's an ideal situation for me, but I am taking nothing for granted," Ball said. "This is a great offense to play in because the defense always has to respect the pass, and Peyton [Manning] creates opportunities for the running backs. It's up to me to make it work to my advantage."

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Report: Josh Gordon arguing second-hand smoke as defense
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com

In his appeal hearing Friday, Browns receiver Josh Gordon will argue that his failed drug test resulted from second-hand smoke, reports ESPN.com. As it is, Gordon's failed test came out at 16 nanograms per milliliter, just one nanogram above the NFL threshold of 15 nanograms per milliliter, according to Pro Football Talk.

Gordon has hired the same attorney, Maurice Suh, who got Seahawks corner Richard Sherman's four-game suspension reduced to nothing. Gordon is facing a potential one-year suspension if he's not successful Friday.

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