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NFL: Tony Gonzalez heads Hall nominees

NFL: Tony Gonzalez heads Hall nominees
Falcons tight end Tony Gonzalez (88) runs after a catch as New York Jets cornerback Darrin Walls (30) defends on Oct. 7, 2013. (David Goldman / Associated Press)

Tony Gonzalez is the most accomplished tight end in NFL history. He’s now a nominee for the 2019 class of the Pro Football Hall of Fame. So is safety Ed Reed. And cornerback Champ Bailey. And linebacker London Fletcher.

All are first-year eligible players among the 102 modern-era nominees. The field will be pared to 25 semifinalists in November and 15 finalists in January.

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Finalists from 2018 who are nominated again include running back Edgerrin James; wide receiver Isaac Bruce; offensive linemen Kevin Mawae, Steve Hutchinson, Alan Faneca and Tony Boselli; safety John Lynch; and cornerback Ty Law.

Voting by the 48-member Hall of Fame panel will be held Feb. 2, the day before the Super Bowl, in Atlanta.

Roethlisberger skips practice

Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger skipped practice for a second straight day because of an issue with his right elbow. The 36-year-old Roethlisberger injured the elbow on Pittsburgh’s next-to-last offensive snap in a Week 1 tie with Cleveland. Offensive coordinator Randy Fichtner declined to get into specifics about Roethlisberger’s status for Pittsburgh’s home opener against Kansas City.

Vinatieri could set field-goal record

Adam Vinatieri’s weekend preparations have already kicked into full force. He’s working with wet footballs and determining his best footgear while getting ready for another potentially big day in messy weather. It’s become a trademark of the NFL’s best clutch kicker. So perhaps it would be fitting if Vinatieri breaks Morten Andersen’s career field-goal record in rainy, windy Washington on Sunday.

Stills committed to activism ‘forever’

Miami Dolphins wide receiver Kenny Stills says he’s committed to activism “forever.” That means he plans to continue to be among the handful of NFL players participating in protests during the national anthem. Stills met with some military veterans this week to explain his position. He says they understood his stand.

Seahawks expected to sign Kendricks

The Seattle Seahawks are expected to sign linebacker Mychal Kendricks to a one-year contract despite his recent guilty plea on insider trading charges. A person with knowledge of the deal told the Associated Press that Kendricks’ agreement is expected to be finalized in time for him to join the Seahawks for their Week 2 Game at Chicago.

Etc.

The Indianapolis Colts waived tight end Erik Swoope and activated defensive tackle Jihad Ward from the practice squad. ... Left guard Josh Sitton was held out of his second consecutive Dolphins practice, casting doubt on his availability for this weekend’s game at the New York Jets. Sitton has been out with a shoulder issue. Wide receiver DeVante Parker is working his way back from a broken finger. ... Atlanta Falcons running back Devonta Freeman has been held out of practice again with a sore knee, leaving his status uncertain this weekend’s game against Carolina. Coach Dan Quinn says he’ll know more about Freeman’s status on Friday.

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