Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice received a two-game suspension from the NFL on Thursday following his offseason arrest for domestic violence. Rice will miss the season opener against AFC North champion Cincinnati on Sept. 7 and the Sept. 11 game on Thursday night against the Pittsburgh Steelers. The six-year veteran was arrested following a Feb. 15 altercation in Atlantic City, New Jersey, in which he allegedly struck then-fiancee Janay Palmer. The 27-year-old Rice has been accepted into a diversion program, which upon completion could lead to the charges being expunged.
Suspended Jacksonville Jaguars receiver Justin Blackmon has been arrested in Oklahoma on a complaint of marijuana possession. Blackmon, a former standout at Oklahoma State, was arrested Wednesday evening in the Oklahoma City suburb of Edmond. Police spokeswoman Jenny Monroe said an officer detected a ''heavy smell of marijuana'' coming from the car, and that Blackmon admitted had smoked ''a blunt'' while driving and had another in his vehicle. Blackmon was arrested and booked into the Edmond jail, where he posted $657 bond.
On the eve of training camp, the Atlanta Falcons have agreed to terms on a new contract with receiver Roddy White. The Falcons announced the four-year extension Thursday. White holds the team records for career receptions (685) and yards receiving (9,436). With the retirement of tight end Tony Gonzalez and questions about the health of receiver Julio Jones, the 32-year-old White is still a vital part of the Atlanta offense.
Instead of engaging in another round of contradictory, back-and-forth podium sessions with Mike Shanahan, Robert Griffin III stood at the microphone and said he has coaches who believe in him. He said the new staff is allowing him to do ''the bare minimum'' - and more - as a quarterback. Griffin and the Redskins opened training camp Thursday with lots of healing and rebuilding to do. The fall from a playoff season that won him the NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year award to a 3-13 season that got Shanahan fired took its toll.
Pro Bowlers Cam Newton and Greg Hardy will be ready to practice when the Carolina Panthers take the field for the start of training camp Friday night. Panthers general manager Dave Gettleman said Newton has been cleared medically following ankle surgery on March 19 and is expected to participate in all drills - which comes as great news for coach Ron Rivera, who is returning from a European vacation. Gettleman said Hardy, convicted on two counts of domestic violence last week, will not face any suspension from the Panthers at this time.
By Piya Sinha-Roy LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Pop singer Justin Timberlake scored his second chart-topping album this year on Wednesday as his latest record debuted at No. 1 on the weekly Billboard 200 album chart, capping the singer's successful return to the musical spotlight. Timberlake's "The 20/20 Experience - 2 of 2," which follows the first set of 10 songs released in March this year, sold 350,000 copies in its first week, according to figures compiled by Nielsen SoundScan. The first installment of "The 20/20 Experience" sold 968,000 copies, the biggest opening week sales of the year so ...
By Patricia Reaney NEW YORK (Reuters) - Hip-hop artists Macklemore & Ryan Lewis scored the most American Music Awards nominations on Thursday with nods in six categories, followed by country-pop star Taylor Swift and singer Justin Timberlake with five each. The duo will compete in the top category, artist of the year, against singer Bruno Mars, Swift, Timberlake and pop singer Rihanna, who collected four nominations. Also getting four nominations were country music pair Florida Georgia Line and R&B singer Robin Thicke. Rapper will.i. ...