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Bridgewater believes he'll play in 2017

(AP Photo/Jim Mone, File)

EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. (AP) After nearly 14 months of arduous rehabilitation for his left knee, Teddy Bridgewater has arrived at the final stage.

For all the progress he's made, appearing in a game for the Minnesota Vikings again will be no small step to take.

"I definitely believe I'll play this year, but I can't just sit here and say it," Bridgewater said.

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Bucs still not letting Winston throw

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) Jameis Winston says his injured right shoulder is "getting better every single day," however the Tampa Bay quarterback still isn't throwing in practice.

The Buccaneers decided against the third-year pro testing his arm Thursday, saying Winston instead will work with the first-team offense on Friday.

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49ers CEO: No collusion vs. Kaepernick

SANTA CLARA, Calif. (AP) San Francisco 49ers CEO Jed York said he doesn't believe there's merit to Colin Kaepernick's claim that NFL owners collectively conspired to keep him from playing in the league, as his recent grievance alleges.

"It's hard for me to get into any details or really share my opinion. But I don't believe there's base to that claim that he's being blackballed," York said Thursday.

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QB Newton still not speaking to media

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) Panthers quarterback Cam Newton has declined to speak to reporters for the second consecutive day.

Panthers spokesman Steven Drummond said Thursday the former league MVP gave no explanation as to why he wouldn't participate in his weekly news conference prior to Sunday's game against the Chicago Bears.

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Kuechly, Benjamin miss Panthers practice

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) The Panthers could be without two key players when they visit the Chicago Bears.

Three-time All-Pro middle linebacker Luke Kuechly missed his third straight day of practice Thursday with a concussion while wide receiver Kelvin Benjamin missed a second consecutive day of practice with inflammation in his left knee.

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Fournette 'most definitely' to go Sunday

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) Jacksonville Jaguars running back Leonard Fournette says his ankle feels good and he "most definitely" will be healthy enough to play Sunday at Indianapolis.

Fournette missed a second consecutive practice Thursday because of a sprained right ankle. The rookie expects to do "cutting and stuff" Friday before coach Doug Marrone decides his status against the Colts.

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Jets RB Powell expected to return Sunday

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. (AP) New York Jets running back Bilal Powell is expected to play at Miami on Sunday after practicing fully for the first time since straining a calf muscle nearly two weeks ago.

Powell is the Jets' leading rusher with 240 yards and two touchdowns. He also has 13 catches for 72 yards out of the backfield.

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LB Bowman set to make debut for Raiders

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) Linebacker NaVorro Bowman is active for his debut with the Oakland Raiders just three days after signing with the team.

Bowman is slated to play Thursday night against the Kansas City Chiefs. Bowman was released last Friday by San Francisco and signed with Oakland on Monday.

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Redskins put rookie DL Allen on IR

ASHBURN, Va. (AP) Rookie defensive lineman Jonathan Allen isn't returning to the Washington Redskins lineup any time soon, a blow to their revamped defense but one they believe they can survive.

The team put the first-round pick on injured reserve Thursday after he underwent surgery to repair a Lisfranc sprain in his left foot. Coach Jay Gruden said there's "absolutely" a chance Allen can return this season despite the usually long timeframe to get back from this kind of operation.

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Packers ready to rally around Hundley

GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) In the visiting locker room after Green Bay lost to the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday, the Packers spoke of how they'd rally behind backup Brett Hundley in the absence of injured quarterback Aaron Rodgers.

Not linebacker Clay Matthews. He called Rodgers' broken collarbone - a potentially season-ending injury - "disheartening." With injuries atop of injuries, Matthews said the "next-man up" mentality was "being thrown to the wolves."

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