Ross back better than ever
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — Aaron Ross’ return to the New York Giants seems to agree with the veteran cornerback.
The 30-year-old Ross is back after a one-year stint in Jacksonville and has been one of the early surprises at training camp.
In the first week of camp, Ross has intercepted two passes, defended a couple of others and been a presence for a secondary that gave up 254.3 yards last season, ranking 28th in the league.
The way Ross is playing, there is a chance that he could push incumbent Corey Webster for a starting job. Webster struggled last season and agreed to a $3 million pay cut for the final year of his contract, lowering his salary to $4 million.
Prince Amukamara is set at the other corner.
Brees amazed by reaction to takeout tip
METAIRIE, La. — Drew Brees says he’s amazed his $3 tip on a $74 takeout order last month has become a talking point on national television and the Internet.
The quarterback was in the locker room at Saints headquarters Thursday morning when he noticed a discussion on a network morning show about tipping on takeout orders, referencing a photograph of his takeout receipt that was circulated online.
Brees said he figures the person who initially photographed the receipt did so innocently because he visits the San Diego-area restaurant regularly and poses for photos with staff.
The quarterback said he was disappointed “that it actually got spun and perceived as — you immediately jump to the conclusion that he stiffed a waiter or waitress. That’s the part that bothers me.”
Willis, Culliver among injured at camp
SANTA CLARA, Calif. — Injuries are suddenly piling up fast for the San Francisco 49ers in training camp.
All-Pro linebacker Patrick Willis was wearing a black cast around the base of his right hand and wrist and was among more than a dozen players not participating in practice Thursday. Barely 45 minutes into the workout, trainers carted cornerback Chris Culliver off the field with an apparent left knee injury.
Willis injured his hand during one-on-one blocking drills Wednesday. He stood on the sidelines the rest of practice with his wrist and hand heavily wrapped.
Culliver’s injury appeared even more serious. He was covering a punt in a non-contact drill when he went down in pain. He held his left knee and buried his head in his hands before being taken off the field.
Veteran lineman Hangartner released
SPARTANBURG, S.C. — The Panthers released veteran offensive lineman Geoff Hangartner on Thursday, leaving the starting right guard spot up for grabs.
Hangartner has started 83 games, including 12 last season for Carolina, during his eight-year career with the Panthers and Buffalo Bills.
The move was a bit surprising considering Hangartner had been running with the first team at camp, and the player Carolina drafted to eventually replace him — Edmund Kugbila from Valdosta State — has missed the majority of training camp with a pulled hamstring after sitting out OTAs with a knee injury.
Backup quarterback Derek Anderson called Hangartner one of the most popular players in the locker room, saying, “It’s tough, but somebody is going to have to step up.”