NFL notebook: Panthers S Reid drug tested again

Carolina Panthers safety Eric Reid tweeted out a notice from the NFL of yet another drug test, his seventh in 11 weeks with the team.

Dec 9, 2018; Cleveland, OH, USA; Carolina Panthers strong safety Eric Reid (25) kneels during the national anthem before a game against the Cleveland Browns at FirstEnergy Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

“Number 7 … ‘Random,’” Reid tweeted after the Panthers’ Monday night game against the New Orleans Saints, a 12-9 loss. The notice was taped to Reid’s locker.

It’s the sixth random drug test and the seventh overall since Reid signed with the Panthers on Sept. 28. Reid’s first drug test was mandatory as part of his physical to join the Panthers. He doesn’t believe there’s anything random about the subsequent six tests.

ESPN reported last month that the NFL Players Association is looking into Reid’s allegation that the NFL is targeting him with non-random drug testing.

—Carolina head coach Ron Rivera said Tuesday he was holding a “slim glimmer” of hope the Panthers would make the playoffs and that quarterback Cam Newton would lead them into the postseason despite an obvious sore shoulder.

Rivera noted he would be speaking with Newton and the team’s medical staff later in the day in order to determine the quarterback’s status for the final two weeks of the season.

Newton opened up about his sore shoulder after Monday night’s loss to the Saints, saying that it hasn’t gotten better — or worse — and that he just doesn’t “have the strength, from the range of motion.”

—Washington Redskins safety Montae Nicholson has been charged with assault and battery as well as being drunk in public, according to multiple reports.

According to a report by the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office in Virginia, deputies were called to a local retail and residential development around 2 a.m. Tuesday morning to break up a fight. They found two victims, a man and a woman, who were reportedly assaulted by Nicholson, 23, and 24-year-old Sydney A. Maggiore.

Nicholson was released on $2,500 bail, while Maggiore is still being held. She was reportedly charged with malicious wounding as well as assault and battery and was not granted bail.

—The Los Angeles Rams announced they have waived All-Pro return specialist Pharoh Cooper.

A fourth-round pick in the 2016 NFL Draft, Cooper has missed 10 weeks this season due to an ankle injury and played in only five games. He returned 13 kickoffs for 277 yards (21.3 average) and two punts for 12 yards and did not catch any passes.

Cooper, 23, earned All-Pro honors and made the Pro Bowl in 2017 while leading the NFL in kickoff-return average (27.4) and finishing second in punt-return average (12.5).

—The Houston Texans released wide receiver Sammie Coates.

Coates, 25, played primarily on special teams and caught one pass for 12 yards in 12 games. He has 29 career receptions for 528 yards and two touchdowns.

—The Green Bay Packers placed running back Aaron Jones on injured reserve and signed wide receiver Allen Lazard from the Jacksonville Jaguars’ practice squad.

Jones, 24, sustained a sprained MCL in his right knee during Sunday’s 24-17 loss at Chicago. The second-year player finishes the season with 133 carries for 728 yards and eight touchdowns.

—The Buffalo Bills placed running back Marcus Murphy on injured reserve and signed wide receiver Victor Bolden off the San Francisco 49ers’ practice squad.

Murphy dislocated his left elbow in the second quarter of Sunday’s 14-13 victory against Detroit. The fourth-year player made his first NFL start against the Lions, rushing 11 times for 35 yards before the injury. Murphy carried 52 times for 250 yards and caught 11 passes for 26 yards this season.

—The Los Angeles Rams signed veteran running back C.J. Anderson.

The move comes one day after Rams coach Sean McVay told reporters that starting running back Todd Gurley is dealing with knee inflammation.

Gurley has eclipsed 20 carries only once since the end of October and has scored only seven touchdowns in the last seven games, compared to 14 in the first seven games of the season.

—The Arizona Cardinals are releasing injured cornerback Dontae Johnson.

The 2018 season has turned out to be a lost one for the fifth-year veteran, who was signed by Arizona on Nov. 27 but never played a game for the team. Johnson played in 63 of 64 possible games in four seasons with the San Francisco 49ers, making 16 starts in 2017.

The Cardinals also released cornerback Quinten Rollins.

—Former Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice, whose name has resurfaced since video emerged last month showing Kareem Hunt pushing and kicking a woman, said in a television interview he is done with football and that he would be willing to speak with Hunt.

Speaking with his wife Janay on “CBS This Morning,” Rice, 31, talked about his life in the years since his banishment from the league. And he made it clear he is not speaking out in an effort to get back into the NFL.

According to the CBS report, the NFL confirmed that Rice works with the league on its domestic violence education program.

—Field Level Media

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