George Blanda, who played longer than anyone in pro football history and racked up the most points in a career that spanned four decades, mostly with the Chicago Bears and Oakland Raiders, died Monday after a brief illness.
He was 83.
Blanda retired a month shy of his 49th birthday before the 1976 season. He spent 10 seasons with the Bears, part of one with the Baltimore Colts, seven with the Houston Oilers and his final nine with the Raiders.
“George Blanda will always be remembered as a legend of our game,” NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said in a statement, “including his amazing career longevity of 26 seasons in four different decades.
“George’s multi-talented flair for the dramatic highlighted the excitement of pro football during an important period of growth for our sport.”
Blanda held the pro scoring record when he retired, with 2,002 points. He kicked 335 field goals and 943 extra points, running for nine touchdowns and throwing for 236 more.
He also threw for 26,920 career yards and held the pro football record with 277 interceptions until Brett Favre passed him in 2007. His points record stood until it was passed by several players in recent years.
A moment of silence was held for Blanda before Monday’s Green Bay-Chicago game.
Blanda joined the Oilers of the new American Football League in 1960 and played 16 seasons before hanging it up for good following the 1975 campaign. He led the Oilers to the first two AFL titles, beating the Chargers for the championship following the 1960 and ’61 seasons.
Their offense in a funk, the winless San Francisco 49ers fired coordinator Jimmy Raye.
Raye was dismissed a day after San Francisco lost 31-10 at Kansas City to fall to 0-3. The 49ers have scored 38 points, second fewest in the NFL.
Mike Johnson will move from quarterbacks coach to offensive coordinator. Offensive assistant Jason Michael will take over as quarterbacks coach.
The 49ers were considered a favorite in the NFC West this year, but their offense has stalled, plagued by turnovers and a weak running game.
Rams running back Steven Jackson has a groin strain and his availability is day to day.
The two-time Pro Bowler broke the news on his Twitter feed after undergoing an MRI exam, and tweeted that he’d already had two hours of rehab treatment a day after the Rams’ 30-16 win over Washington.
Coach Steve Spagnuolo said he’d leave it up to Jackson and the trainers whether he would be able to play this week at home against the Seahawks.
Broncos wide receiver Kenny McKinley was remembered as a model teammate with a body-shaking laugh that could provide much-needed breaks from locker room tension.
Family, teammates and coaches were among several hundred people who gathered at a suburban Atlanta church for the 23-year-old’s funeral.
McKinley died last week at his home near Broncos headquarters in Denver. Authorities believe he shot himself in the head because he was depressed after his second straight season-ending knee surgery.
Buffalo released quarterback Trent Edwards in a surprise move that came a week after he lost the starting job for a second straight season.
The team announced the move in a two-paragraph release, a day after Ryan Fitzpatrick provided the offense with a spark in a 38-30 loss at New England.
Edwards was in his fourth season in Buffalo after being selected in the third round of the 2007 draft out of Stanford. He went 14-18 as a starter, including 0-2 this season.
He was benched a day following a 34-7 loss at Green Bay on Sept. 19. He was 11 of 18 for 102 yards with two interceptions.
Brian Brohm is the other quarterback on the roster.
DT McDaniel suspended
Miami Dolphins reserve defensive tackle Tony McDaniel has been suspended one game without pay for violating the NFL’s personal conduct policy.
He’ll miss next Monday’s game against New England.
McDaniel was arrested on a charge of domestic violence in February. Police said he got into an early-morning fight with his girlfriend at his home.
McDaniel has three tackles in three games, all as a substitute. He’ll be eligible to return Oct. 5.
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