NFL: Le’Veon Bell will head back to work a little earlier than the NFL originally planned.
The league reduced the suspension against the Pittsburgh Steelers All-Pro running back from three games to two on Tuesday, leaving him eligible to play when the Steelers travel to St. Louis on Sept. 27.
The league initially suspended Bell for the first three games of the 2015 season as part of the fallout from his arrest in August 2014 on DUI and drug charges.
Bell was arrested last August following a traffic stop along with then-teammate LeGarrette Blount. The 23-year-old All-Pro ended up pleading no contest and was sentenced to 15 months of probation and entered into a diversion program.
“Whatever the consequence is, I’m just going to take it and move forward,” Bell said on Saturday as the Steelers arrived for training camp.
• Berry cleared for return: Pro Bowl safety Eric Berry has been cleared by the Kansas City Chiefs’ medical staff and his doctors to return to the practice field after undergoing treatment for lymphoma.
Berry was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s disease last December, shortly after complaining of pain in his chest following a game against Oakland. He was treated at Emory University in Atlanta and went through the final round of it in June.
• Saints release Bunkley: The New Orleans Saints have released veteran defensive tackle Brodrick Bunkley, citing a failed physical.
The Saints also have placed receiver Marques Colston, safety Jairus Byrd and defensive lineman Glenn Foster on the physically unable to perform list.
• Back surgery sidelines Poe: Chiefs defensive tackle Dontari Poe will miss all of training camp and could miss part of the season after the Pro Bowl run-stuffer had surgery last week on his ailing back.
Poe first hurt his back during offseason workouts, but coach Andy Reid said that he aggravated the injury training at home. Poe was diagnosed with a herniated disc and had surgery July 15, and trainer Rick Burkholder said he will be out indefinitely.
• Wilkerson unhappy, will report: A person familiar with Muhammad Wilkerson’s plans says the defensive end will report for training camp with the New York Jets despite being unhappy with his contract.
Wilkerson reported for mandatory minicamp last month, but was non-committal about showing for training camp. He stayed away from the team’s facility during voluntary workouts and practices earlier in the offseason while looking for a long-term deal.
Wilkerson is in the last year of his rookie contract and is due to make $6.97 million this season.
• Cowboys cut Williams: Ryan Williams, one of the possible replacements for NFL rushing champion DeMarco Murray, has been released by the Cowboys.
The oft-injured Williams was among three players cut before the team left for training camp in Oxnard, California. The first workout is Thursday.
The 25-year-old Williams was a second-round pick by Arizona in 2011 but has appeared in just five games because of knee and shoulder injuries. He missed most of this offseason with knee problems.
• Freeman rejoins Dolphins: Quarterback Josh Freeman has re-signed with the Miami Dolphins four days after they released him.
The moves involved a contractual issue. Freeman re-joined the team, two days before the start of training camp.
The 2009 first-round draft pick first signed with Miami in April. He has 60 career starts but hasn’t played since October 2013, and will try to challenge Matt Moore for the backup job behind Ryan Tannehill.
Catchings second on WNBA scoring list
WNBA: Tamika Catchings hit a game-winning fadeaway jumper with 6 seconds left in overtime and became the WNBA’s second all-time leading scorer as the Indiana Fever beat the Connecticut Sun 75-73 in Uncasville, Connecticut, to open the second half of the season.
Jasmine Thomas’ last second heave from half court did not hit the rim.
Catchings finished with 15 points to move her past Diana Taurasi on the scoring list.
Nadal opens with win in Hamburg Open
Tennis: Top-seeded Rafael Nadal overcame a sluggish start to beat Fernando Verdasco 3-6, 6-1, 6-1 in the first round of the Hamburg Open in Hamburg, Germany.
Nadal was playing his first match since losing to Dustin Brown in the second round of Wimbledon. The former No. 1 in the world has fallen to No. 10.
Second-seeded Tommy Robredo also needed three sets to advance, rallying for a 6-7 (3), 6-4, 6-2 win over wild card entry Alexander Zverev.
• Fish makes quick exit: The first stop of Mardy Fish’s farewell tour ended quickly with a 6-4, 6-4 first-round loss to Dudi Sela in the Atlanta Open.
Fish said it was a success just to play only his second competitive match of the year. He recently announced he will retire after the U.S. Open, and he also disclosed details of his battles with anxiety disorder.
American Pharoah gets in workout
Horse racing: Triple Crown winner American Pharoah completed a half-mile workout at Del Mar, California, in his last formal exercise before the Haskell Invitational this weekend.
The colt was timed in 48.80 seconds under jockey Martin Garcia, who rides him in the mornings. Victor Espinoza rides him in races.
American Pharoah will ship to New Jersey today in preparation for Sunday’s $1 million race at Monmouth Park.
China denied dive sweep at world meet
Swimming: China missed out on sweeping the diving gold medals at the world aquatics championships when Tania Cagnotto of Italy won the women’s one-meter springboard in Kazan, Russiaq.
Cagnotto led from the start, and held on through all five rounds for a winning score of 310.85 points, beating Shi Tingmao of China by 1.65 points.
The bronze medal went to China’s He Zi (300.30).
China won all five previous finals in Kazan.
• France’s Muller wins open-water title: Aurelie Muller of France won the 10-kilometer open water title by 2.4 seconds at the world swimming championships in Kazan, Russia, becoming one of 10 women to qualify for next year’s Olympics.
She led the last two laps on the Kazanka River, hitting the touchpad in 1 hour, 58 minutes, 4.3 seconds.
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