Indianapolis Colts receiver Marvin Harrison returned to practice Thursday after tending to personal matters Wednesday. Harrison, one of only four players in NFL history to catch 1,000 passes, rarely takes a break. Coach Tony Dungy said he had been excused for personal reasons. Six other players sat out practice Thursday, including No.
Tommie Harris had little to say as he walked off the field following Thursday’s practice, other than that he’s ready to play. That doesn’t necessarily meant the Chicago Bears will give the Pro Bowl defensive tackle a chance against the San Francisco 49ers on Saturday. Although he has been practicing and will be in uniform, his status for the third preseason game remains a question mark.
Linebacker Jeremiah Trotter worked out for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Thursday, two days after being released by the Philadelphia Eagles. The 30-year-old, four-time Pro Bowl selection was one of the leaders of the Eagles defense for much of the past decade. He was let go Tuesday in a move that opened a spot in the lineup for second-year pro Omar Gaither.
Dance Smartly, the first Canadian-bred horse to win the Breeders’ Cup in 1991, has died after sustaining an injury in her paddock. She was 19. Dance Smartly, who won the Eclipse Award as North America’s top 3-year-old in 1991, was euthanized over the weekend because of an irreparable injury related to an arthritic joint in her knee.
Butch van Breda Kolff, who coached the Los Angeles Lakers to two NBA finals appearances and won 482 games as a college coach, has died after a long illness. He was 84. Van Breda Kolff died Wednesday afternoon at a nursing home in Spokane, his daughter, Kristina van Breda Kolff, said. His son, Jan, also played professionally and coached at Cornell, Vanderbilt, Pepperdine and St.
Veteran guard Gary Payton is not expected to return to the Miami Heat next season. Heat coach Pat Riley said Thursday that while the 17-year veteran Payton is unlikely to return, the team has interest in signing free agent forward P.J. Brown and are hoping to re-sign forward James Posey. Payton averaged 6.6 points in two seasons with Miami, and helped the Heat win the 2006 NBA title.
The Florida Panthers agreed to a six-year contract extension with center Stephen Weiss on Thursday. Weiss, 24, recorded 20 goals and 28 assists this past season. The Toronto native has played in 249 games for Florida and scored 48 goals with 73 assists in his career. The team did not release the terms of the deal.
Atlanta Braves shortstop Edgar Renteria was placed on the 15-day disabled list Thursday, one day after he was activated. He reinjured his right ankle while checking his swing on the first pitch he saw Wednesday against Cincinnati. Renteria aggravated the sprain that forced him to miss 17 games since Aug.
Jim Leyland doesn’t want the Detroit Tigers to stare at the standings. That’s probably a good idea because the slumping Tigers are slipping behind Cleveland in the AL Central and losing ground in the wild-card race. Pinch-hitter Kenny Lofton’s infield single off Joel Zumaya broke a scoreless tie with two outs in the 10th inning, and the Indians went on to beat Detroit 3-1 Thursday.
The judge who will determine how much time Michael Vick spends in prison has shown little mercy over the years for high-profile defendants. Nobody knows this better than defense lawyer Robert H. Smallenberg. In 2004, he represented a city official who stole more than $1 million from Richmond taxpayers.
Quarterback Jon Kitna’s status for the Detroit Lions’ third preseason game remained uncertain Thursday. Offensive coordinator Mike Martz said the Lions will wait until Saturday afternoon to decide whether the starter will play that night at Indianapolis. Kitna left Tuesday’s practice with back spasms and has not taken part in drills since.