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Browns ready to pick QB Kizer as starter

(AP Photo/Ron Schwane)

BEREA, Ohio (AP) DeShone Kizer has strong-armed his way into a starting job.

The rookie quarterback will start Cleveland's exhibition at Tampa Bay on Saturday, and unless he flops or gets hurt, Kizer will start the Browns' Sept. 10 season opener against the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Coach Hue Jackson elected to go with Kizer, a second-round pick from Notre Dame, over veterans Brock Osweiler and Cody Kessler. Kizer has been the most consistent of the three during training camp and led the Browns to three touchdowns during his two exhibition appearances.

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NAACP eyes Goodell meeting on Kaepernick

WASHINGTON (AP) The NAACP wants a meeting with the NFL commissioner to discuss the fate of Colin Kaepernick (KAP'-ur-nihk).

He's the former San Francisco 49ers quarterback who refused to stand for the national anthem - kneeling as a protest against police brutality. He once took his team to the Super Bowl, but he's a free agent now, and no club has signed him.

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Big Ben: I'd love 'a text' from Bell

PITTSBURGH (AP) Ben Roethlisberger has a request for Le'Veon Bell: hit me up.

The Pittsburgh quarterback expects to make his only preseason appearance on Saturday night when the Steelers host Indianapolis, but his bigger concern is when Bell is ready to show up to work.

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Bears give starting LT Leno extension

CHICAGO (AP) The Chicago Bears have signed offensive lineman Charles Leno Jr. to a contract extension.

The Bears announced the extension Wednesday.

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Redskins TE Reed returns to practice

ASHBURN, Va. (AP) Jordan Reed is back at practice with the Washington Redskins.

The 27-year-old tight end made his on-field debut Wednesday after missing almost the first month of practices with a toe injury. Reed missed the team's first two preseason games and was activated off the physically unable to perform list on Sunday.

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Giants waive OL Bowie after charges

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) The New York Giants have waived Michael Bowie days after finding out that the offensive lineman had been charged with assault and battery in Oklahoma.

The Giants announced the decision Wednesday along with three moves.

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Jets sign TE Barnes, release WR Wilson

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. (AP) The New York Jets have signed tight end Brandon Barnes and released wide receiver Marquess Wilson.

Barnes was waived by Detroit on Aug. 9 after being signed as an undrafted free agent out of Alabama State in April. He had 29 catches for 436 yards and six touchdowns in his college career.

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Mehri's challenge to Smith draws support

Pro Football Hall of Famers Kellen Winslow and Harry Carson are supporting Cyrus Mehri's candidacy for executive director of the players' union.

The civil rights attorney who co-wrote the league's Rooney Rule announced Tuesday that he intends to challenge DeMaurice Smith for the top job at the NFL Players Association. On Wednesday, Winslow, Carson and John Wooten backed Mehri, though they no longer are voting members of the union.

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Giants list Beckham, Marshall day to day

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) The New York Giants apparently can breathe a little easier.

Leading receivers Odell Beckham Jr. and Brandon Marshall seemingly avoided major injuries in a meaningless preseason game.

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Union prez: NFL can't afford '21 lockout

CINCINNATI (AP) Players union President Eric Winston said the NFL can't afford another lockout when the collective bargaining agreement expires in 2021, even though he thinks it's inevitable.

The Cincinnati Bengals offensive lineman tweeted on Tuesday that if the league locks out players as it did in 2011, or overlooks the health risks to players, then "they have signaled that they are not worried about the game in 20-30 years."

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