NFL

Aaron Hernandez pleads not guilty to murder charge

Former New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez pleaded not guilty to a first-degree murder charge Friday in Fall River, Mass., following his indictment in the killing of a friend authorities say was shot five times in an industrial park.

Hernandez firmly answered "not guilty" to six charges, including murder and weapons and ammunition possession charges.

His attorneys agreed ahead of the hearing that Hernandez, 23, will continue to be held without bail, but reserved the right to request bail later. The next court hearing was set for Oct. 9.

Two lawsuits halted

Two splinter lawsuits filed against NFL Films have been halted by the federal judge in St. Paul, Minn., overseeing the original complaint against the league regarding retired player publicity. U.S. District Judge Paul Magnuson wrote that the lawsuits filed last month in New Jersey and Pennsylvania violated "the letter and the spirit" of the injunction against such actions while the original case is still pending.

Raiders line hurting

Oakland will field a makeshift offensive line in Sunday's opener at Indianapolis, with Khalif Barnes, the starting right trackle the last three years, moved to the left side after injuries sidelined Jared Veldheer and Menelik Watson, and Tony Pashos starting in Barnes' old spot.

Etc.

New York Jets Coach Rex Ryan expressed optimism that veteran wide receiver Santonio Holmes, listed as questionable for Sunday's season opener against Tampa Bay, will make his return from a foot injury that sidelined him most of last year. . . . The New York Giants listed play-making defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul as questionable for Sunday night's game in Dallas, saying they needed a little more time to determine his status coming off lower-back surgery. The Cowboys listed defensive end Anthony Spencer (left knee) as doubtful. . . . Cleveland rookie linebacker Barkevious Mingo will not make his NFL debut Sunday against Miami because he is not fully recovered from a bruised lung sustained in an exhibition game. . . . Detroit defensive end Ziggy Ansah, the No. 5 pick in this year's draft, has sufficiently recovered from a concussion to be listed as probable for the Lions' opener against the Minnesota. . . . Seattle starting cornerback Brandon Browner and defensive end Cliff Avril, both recovering from hamstring injuries, will be game-time decisions for Sunday's opener against Carolina.

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