NFL notes: Ravens, Patriots stumble
Ted Ginn Jr. returned a punt 74 yards for a touchdown and the Carolina Panthers’ defense scored three times in a 34-27 NFL preseason victory over the mistake-prone Baltimore Ravens on Thursday night in Baltimore.
Drayton Florence took an interception 71 yards into the end zone, Thomas Davis scored on a 2-yard fumble return and linebacker Luke Kuechly picked off another of Joe Flacco’ passes late in the second quarter to set up a 54-yard field goal by Graham Gano for a 24-7 lead.
Carolina (2-1) had only 67 yards of offense before halftime, yet reeled off 24 straight points after Baltimore (2-1) scored on its first possession.
Lions 40, Patriots 9: Reggie Bush had five catches for 103 yards to help Detroit rout New England at Detroit.
The Patriots’ first-team offense, which was precise and efficient in the first two games of the exhibition season, was anything but in preseason game No. 3. Tight end Zach Sudfeld and running backs Brandon Bolden and Shane Vereen lost fumbles and Tom Brady threw an interception in four of New England’s first five possessions.
Two Tampa Bay players diagnosed with MRSA
Tampa Bay guard Carl Nicks and kicker Lawrence Tynes are being treated for MRSA infections.
Buccaneers general manager Mark Dominik confirmed Thursday that Nicks has an infected blister on the side of his left foot and Tynes has an infected toe on his right foot.
MRSA is a staph infection that is resistant to some antibiotics.
The cases were diagnosed last week while the Bucs were in New England holding joint practices with the Patriots.
The Bucs said they don’t know where Nicks and Tynes, who did not travel to New England, were exposed to MRSA. Both players are responding to treatment, and the club said no other MRSA infections have been discovered among teammates.
Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III has been fined $10,000 by the NFL for wearing unauthorized apparel, a T-shirt with “Operation Patience” on it. Griffin, recovering from a knee injury and yet to play in the preseason, wore the shirt on the field before Washington’s exhibition game Monday night against Pittsburgh. NFL spokesman Randall Liu confirmed the fine on Thursday. All gear worn on game days must be approved by the league.
• The New York Jets signed veteran wide receiver Mohamed Massaquoi to add depth to their receiving corps. Massaquoi was cut by Jacksonville on Monday after signing a two-year deal in April. He had two catches for 15 yards in the Jaguars’ preseason loss to the Jets on Saturday night.
• The San Francisco 49ers have added another quarterback to the competition to be Colin Kaepernick’s backup, signing nine-year veteran Seneca Wallace to a one-year contract. While Colt McCoy had appeared to be the favorite to win the No. 2 job coming into training camp, neither he nor Scott Tolzien have separated themselves. Even rookie B.J. Daniels has been deemed a contender, though clearly Wallace now will get a chance with little time to prepare before the Sept. 8 season opener against Green Bay.
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