The University of Minnesota says it is working with the Minnesota Vikings to keep the Washington Redskins' name from being used when the two teams play on campus in November.
University President Eric Kaler gave the assurances in an Aug. 1 letter to U.S. Rep. Betty McCollum, a Democrat representing St. Paul who has said using the name would violate school policies on equity and diversity.
Vikings spokesman Lester Bagley said the organization is sensitive to the issue, especially given Minnesota's significant Native American population.
He said NFL policies obligate the Vikings to market the Nov. 2 game as they would any other game. When asked whether that meant the Redskins' name would be used, Bagley would say only that the Vikings will continue talking with university leaders and leaders of the Native American community as the game draws near.
"It's an important issue, and we take it seriously," he said.
Bagley said the Vikings have already met with university officials and more talks are expected but nothing has been scheduled.
Ravens beat 49ers, 23-3
Joe Flacco needed just one drive to show how effective the Baltimore Ravens' offense can be under Gary Kubiak.
Flacco produced an 80-yard touchdown march in his only series, and the Ravens beat the San Francisco 49ers, 23-3, Thursday night in a preseason opener.
It was the third time in three tries that Ravens Coach John Harbaugh got the best of his brother, Jim Harbaugh, coach of the 49ers. Baltimore previously defeated San Francisco on Thanksgiving 2011 and in the Super Bowl ending the 2012 season.
In this one, each team played its starting unit for one series before the backups took over.
After Colin Kaepernick moved the 49ers 66 yards for a field goal, Flacco made himself right at home in Kubiak's variation of the West Coast offense, going four for five for 52 yards.
Kubiak, the former head coach of the Houston Texans, replaced offensive coordinator Jim Caldwell, now Detroit's head coach.
Ray Rice ran three times for 17 yards after receiving a warm ovation from the home crowd during pregame introductions. Rice has been suspended by the NFL for the opening two regular-season games after being arrested for domestic violence in February.
Other exhibition results
Michael Vick led the New York Jets on a touchdown drive, capped by fellow newcomer Chris Johnson's one-yard scoring run, in a 13-10 victory over the Indianapolis Colts in the preseason opener for both teams.
Tom Brady took the night off, and Robert Griffin III played one series as the Washington Redskins beat the New England Patriots, 23-6, in the teams' preseason opener.
Sean Smith and Malcolm Bronson returned interceptions for touchdowns, De'Anthony Thomas brought back a punt 80 yards for another score and the Kansas City Chiefs beat the Cincinnati Bengals, 41-39.
The Super Bowl teams slogged through a preseason opener delayed by lightning and a flurry of flags before linebacker Steven Jackson's end zone interception of Terrelle Pryor's pass sealed the Denver Broncos' 21-16 win over the Seattle Seahawks.
New backup quarterback Kellen Clemens threw a 70-yard touchdown pass to Dontrelle Inman midway through the third quarter and the San Diego Chargers beat the Dallas Cowboys, 27-7.
Top overall draft pick Jadeveon Clowney says he will start the Texans' preseason opener Saturday at Arizona after missing practice time this week because of an undisclosed injury.
The Arizona Cardinals have released linebacker Ernie Sims.
Former Buffalo Sabres owner Tom Golisano has entered the running to purchase the Buffalo Bills.
The Oakland Raiders have signed free-agent kicker Kevin Goessling.Copyright © 2015, Los Angeles Times