September 5, 2012 in Sports

Packers atop AP rankings

 

Green Bay had staying power in the AP Pro32 through the preseason. Now, let’s see how long the Packers can remain the top-rated team in the Associated Press NFL power rankings.

Green Bay earned five first-place votes from a panel of 12 media members who regularly cover the league, and had 373 points overall to edge New England and the defending Super Bowl champion New York Giants. The Patriots got two first-place votes and 367 points, while the Giants were No. 1 on five ballots and totaled 363 points.

The top eight are the same as in the previous poll conducted just before preseason games. San Francisco, Baltimore, Houston, Pittsburgh and Philadelphia followed the Giants.

One team that cracked the top 10 was Atlanta, which replaced NFC South rival New Orleans at ninth. The Saints slipped to 10th.

Not nearly as down as they were in finishing last in the first AP Pro32 were the Colts. Rookie Andrew Luck’s poise had something to do with their rise to 27th.

Dropping to the final slot was Cleveland, which had 15 rookies make the roster, including quarterback Brandon Weeden and running back Trent Richardson, both first-round choices. The Browns were 30th in the first poll.

The Seahawks ranked 22nd.

Jets cut punter Conley, former Vandal

Less than a week after saying he wasn’t worried about outside competition, the Jets showed punter T.J. Conley the door.

The team’s roster shuffle continued Tuesday with the release of Conley, a former Idaho Vandal, five days before their regular-season opener against Buffalo, a source confirmed.

The Jets signed former Charger Robert Malone as his replacement, the source said.

Conley, the only punter on the Jets’ roster heading into Week 1, seemed to be assured the starting gig before he shanked back-to-back punts in the second preseason game.

Union asks judge to let suspended players play

The NFL Players Association has asked a federal judge for a temporary restraining order that would allow players suspended in connection with the NFL’s bounty investigation to rejoin their teams in time to play regular season openers.

The union, which filed the motion Tuesday on behalf of New Orleans defensive end Will Smith, Cleveland linebacker Scott Fujita, and free agent defensive lineman Anthony Hargrove, argues the players will suffer irreparable harm if they are forced to miss games while their case against the league proceeds.

Suspended Saints linebacker Jonathan Vilma had already filed a similar motion when his full-season suspension began earlier. The other three players’ suspensions began this week.

Quick kicks

The Dolphins released quarterback David Garrard, leaving Matt Moore as the veteran backup to rookie starter Ryan Tannehill. … Vikings coach Leslie Frazier said the team would not make a decision on Adrian Peterson’s status until Sunday. The star running back, recovering from a torn ACL suffered last season, will see a lighter workload if he does return, Frazier said. … The Patriots signed running back Lex Hilliard and released offensive lineman Matt Tennant.


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