The following are updates on area athletes active in the National Football League.
Former Burroughs High standout and current Jacksonville Jaguars offensive lineman Eben Britton has remained healthy and is looking like his old self during the preseason.
Britton has played in both of Jacksonville's preseason games, a 32-31 win over the New York Giants Aug. 10 and Friday in a 27-24 win over the New Orleans Saints.
Britton is coming off two consecutive years in which his season was cut short because of injuries. In 2010, he suffered a shoulder injury in the eighth game against Kansas City after starting the team's first seven games at right tackle. Two days later, he was placed on injured reserve and did not return to the lineup.
Last year, a back injury restricted Britton to only four games and three starts. Two of the starts came at left guard and one at right tackle. He was inactive for five games and was placed on injured reserve, ending his season. The offensive line was expected to be one of Jacksonville's strong points this season. It helped pave the way forMaurice Jones-Drewto lead the NFL in rushing last season.
All five starters returned, including Britton, who was expected to start at right tackle after playing in just 11 games the last two seasons.
However, left tackle Eugene Monroe suffered a concussion earlier in the week and didn't play Friday night at New Orleans.
With starting left guard Will Rackley (ankle), backup guard Jason Spitz (foot) and backup center John Estes (knee) all out, the Jaguars shuffled Britton to left guard, inserting Cameron Bradfield at right tackle.
In the wake of the team's injuries, first-year Coach Mike Mularkey hinted he could move Britton back to right tackle, put Bradfield at left tackle and elevate Daniel Baldridge, rookie center Mike Brewster or rookie D.J. Hall, to left guard. Or the coach could leave Britton at left guard, put Bradfield at left tackle and play Guy Whimper at right tackle.
Jacksonville drafted Monroe and Eben Britton with their first two picks in the 2009 NFL Draft.
Mularkey said it's nice to have Britton back and healthy.
'"It's good to have him back in the huddle. He's a tough guy. There's no question that he loves football," Mularkey told the Associated Press. "He lightens up physical parts of practice.
''For most guys in training camp, this is a grind. He either is really happy ... or he is a really good actor.'"
Britton told the Associated Press: "I love the game, I love the violence in the game. I love the passion and I love these guys in this locker room. There's nothing better than this game. Football has been the best thing I've been able to do with my life.
''After a couple of hard years with injuries, I'm just so thankful to be able to be back out there."
The Jaguars will compete in their third of four preseason games Thursday at the Baltimore Ravens.
IN GIANTS WIN
Ramses Barden seems to be getting lost in the hunt for the New York Giants' third wide receiver position. The Flintridge Prep graduate was considered a contender for the spot coming into training camp after Mario Manningham signed with the San Francisco 49ers in the off season, but he's yet to produce much in two preseason games.
Barden had two passes thrown his way from quarterback Eli Manning but was held without a catch in the Giants' second preseason game with the cross-town rival New York Jets Saturday, which the Giants won, 26-3. It was a tough outing for the former Rebel, who occasionally lined up across from Jets shutdown corner Darrelle Revis, and saw his competition for depth chart positioning haul in some catches.
Giants wideouts Rueben Randle and Jerrel Jernigan stated their cases for being New York's third-receiving option after Victor Cruz and Hakeem Nicks Saturday. Randle, a rookie, hauled in a 49-yard catch and Jernigan had two receptions for 26 yards.
Three other wide receivers on the bubble of making the Giants (1-1) roster — David Douglas (one catch for 23 yards), Isaiah Stanback (one catch for 11 yards) and Domenik Hixon (one catch for four yards) — also logged receptions Saturday.
New York Giants Coach Tom Coughlin expressed confidence in Barden, who has 15 catches for 174 yards in his three-year, nine-game NFL career, but did say it's a make-or-break-it year for him, as he'll be a free agent at the end of the season.
"It's time. It's time. It was time last year. It's time," Tom Coughlin told the Star-Ledger last week about Barden, who had a 14-yard grab in the Giants preseason opener. "The guy is going to make a mark in the league. He's smart, he's been around long enough. He's been in the heat of it. He's made plays; he just needs to make them more consistently.
"That's all I hope, this is his time."
The Giants will host the Chicago Bears in their third preseason game Friday at 5 p.m.
INJURIES PILE UP
Another preseason game brought down two more Cincinnati Bengals with injuries.
The Bengals, who hired offensive specialist and former Glendale Community College quarterback Hue Jackson as an assistant in the offseason, picked up the 24-19 road win over the Atlanta Falcons Thursday, as Cincinnati's sophomore quarterback-wide receiver connection of Andy Dalton andA.J. Green hooked up for a 50-yard completion and nine-yard touchdown pass in the win.
The victory improves Cincinnati's record to 2-0, but it's paid for each win, as injuries have become a bit of a theme for the Bengals.
Two more Bengals — tight end Jermaine Gresham and linebacker Vontaze Burfict — exited the game earlier than expected with injuries Thursday. Starting running back and offseason addition BenJarvus Green-Ellis didn't play at all Thursday with a sore foot. Bernard Scott, Green-Ellis' backup, also sat out the game with a sore hand.
Three other Bengals — pass rusher Carlos Dunlap, linebacker Rey Maualuga and left guard Travelle Wharton — suffered injuries in their preseason opener with the New York Jets Aug. 10.
While Gresham, Burfict, Green-Ellis, Scott and Maualuga should be fine, the Bengals will be without Dunlap for a month and Wharton, who was slated to start at left guard, the whole year after NFL.com reported his knee injury requires season-ending surgery on Tuesday.
Cincinnati will take the field again Thursday at 4 p.m. when the Green Bay Packers come to town.
INJURY TO STAR
While Andy Reid's Philadelphia Eagles don't kick off their second game of the preseason with the New England Patriots until Monday, they were still a hot topic in the news this week after Nnamdi Asomugha — their star cornerback and second-highest paid player — was carted off the field last Monday following a mid-air collision with safety Nate Allen.
The Philadelphia Inquirer reported it ended up looking worse than it actually was, as Asomugha didn't exhibit concussion-like symptoms, returned to practice Friday and is expected to play Monday's 5 p.m. road game.
"Nnamdi has whiplash-type symptoms and a split lip," Reid, a former offensive tackle with the Vaqueros, told CBS Philadelphia Tuesday. "He didn't have a concussion. He's been tested and everything is OK."Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times