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Injured Dolphins DT Norton gave first interview Thursday

Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports
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First time since his horrible accident a week ago, injured reserve Dolphins defensive tackle Kendrick Norton spoke from his hospital bed about his traffic accident that left his left arm amputated and ended his career.

Norton spoke from Jackson Memorial Hospital exclusively to WFOR-TV “CBS 4” and certainly has an optimistic outlook despite the catastrophic injury:

Norton told the TV station,

“I am staying strong because all of the support from all of the fans, all of the teams, my family and everyone. That is what is pushing me, my faith and the support from my family, my grandparents, my sports agent. Everyone is going above and beyond with nothing in return. Just to see people who have been supporting me is just great.”

As we wrote on Thursday, the Florida Highway Patrol released their report on his accident in the early morning hours of July 4th, and they are citing Norton as being at fault for an improper lane change where his Ford 250 Truck came in contact with another vehicle.

That vehicle was a 2015 Maserati driven by a 30 year old female named Jessie Pena. She and her passenger were questioned, uninjured and left the scene later.

Norton and his female passenger, a 34 year old woman named Shakir Williams, were not wearing seat belts at the time of the accident, as the vehicle rolled onto its roof pinning Norton’s left arm under it. Firefighters and paramedics worked to disengage Norton from the vehicle and stop the massive blood loss after the amputation of his left arm.

He and Williams were transferred to Jackson Memorial. Williams was treated for scrapes and bruises and released.

Norton also told CBS 4,

“I am alive,” he said. “To be here, I am alive. One thing keeps me going and that is that I am still able to be here. Seeing my family is so important. It is very good that I have this support system. It keeps me strong and it keeps me tall. If you have something in the glass,” he said, “you are ok. A lot of people have glasses with not much in them or glasses that are empty. So if your glass is half full, you are ok.”

Norton is a former third team All ACC defensive tackle for the Canes (above), who was drafted a year ago in the 7th round by the Carolina Panthers. The Fins signed him off the Panthers practice squad in December and he had been taking part in the offseason program for new coach Brian Flores and his staff.

A Go Fund Me webpage has been set up to help raise money for Norton and the NFL and the Dolphins have already announced that they will be picking up the medical costs. Those costs could easily run into the six figures after the accident.

It’s also possible that the Dolphins may go ahead and honor Norton’s second year $495,000 non-guaranteed salary, as the NFL’s collective bargaining agreement with the Players Association allows for leeway on catastrophic injuries that end someone’s career. Mostly, that is reserved for an injury on the field, however, it’s also up to team discretion.

The Dolphins have yet to comment on their intentions.

The FHP investigation has concluded that Norton was not exhibiting behavior of anyone under the influence of alcohol or drugs that might have contributed to his accident.

Miami Dolphins

Sunday sees Dolphins and Jaguars back in action

Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

Two of the state NFL teams will be in action Sunday afternoon and both or trying to avoid 0- 2 for different reasons.

First, you have the Jaguars, who already resemble a “M.A.S.H. Unit” of injuries, as they head to Houston to play the Texans in an AFC South showdown. The excitement of the addition of free-agent quarterback Nick Foles lasted exactly part of one quarter last Sunday against the Chiefs. That’s when Foles suffered a broken clavicle and a report Sunday says he will not be back until at least week 11 with the injury:

That means that backup quarterback Gardner Minshew, a rookie 6th round pick out of Washington State, will now lead the Jaguars at least in the short-term. Minshew was very effective last week completing a high percentage of passes and moving the offense. Jacksonville also made a trade earlier in the week for Steelers backup QB Joshua Dobbs, but it’s not expected he will be able to contribute today.

Besides the Foles injury, the Jaguars will be without their top pass-rusher Yannick Ngakoue, who suffered a hamstring strain in the lost to KC. The team will also be without left tackle Cam Robinson for the second straight game, as he suffered an injured knee in practice prior to the opener. The team also has ruled out defensive back A.J. Bouye and receiver Marqise Lee with injuries prior to this game.

The good news is the Texans are on a short week having lost an emotional, heartbreaking last second game to the Saints Monday night. Quarterback Deshaun Watson was also banged up, including an injured back off his first-half touchdown run. Still, the Texans will test the Jaguars pass defense the same way the Chiefs and Patrick Mahomes did last week.

Meanwhile, in South Florida, the defending Super Bowl champion Patriots travel to take on the spiraling downward Dolphins. Miami was embarrassed 59 – 10 by Baltimore last week. And, that defeat now apparently has numerous players on the current roster wanting to be somewhere else, just as the Dolphins have gotten rid of most of their high-priced veterans already.

Controversial wide receiver Antonio Brown will apparently be active for New England for this game. Brown is being accused of sexual assault in a civil complaint that the NFL is investigating. However, the league took no action on keeping Brown from playing today and he did travel with the team.

The Dolphins do have some consolation in that under previous coaching staffs, they have won six of the last seven meetings against New England at Hard Rock Stadium. However, Miami’s got to find some kind of offense with quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick and the backfield of Kenyan Drake and Kallen Ballage, to have any chance against the Pats.

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Miami Dolphins

Report- NFL will allow Antonio Brown to play for Pats Sunday

Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports

Despite all the drama surrounding him, it does appear that new Patriots WR Antonio Brown will be allowed by the NFL to make his Pats debut Sunday at Hard Rock Stadium against the Dolphins. That is, if the Patriots intend to have active and playing.

ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported early Friday afternoon that the nine year veteran acquired by New England last weekend after his volatile off season in Oakland led to his release last Saturday, would not be put on the “Commissioner’s Exempt List,” as a form of paid suspension, while sexual assault allegations are investigated:

Schefter reiterated that while the NFL has launched an investigation into the charges against Brown, after a civil lawsuit was filed in South Florida earlier this week, there is no criminal proceeding, yet and they will take the process in steps.

The lawsuit alleges that Brown inappropriately touched, committed a lewd sex act and then eventually, raped a 28 year old personal trainer, identified as Brittney Taylor, a former college classmate of Brown’s at Central Michigan, in three separate incidences from 2017-18.

That revelation was something that the NFL, and the Patriots, as well, did not know about, when Brown was signed Monday after he was released by the Oakland Raiders. Taylor is scheduled to meet with the NFL next week to give her version of the events.

Brown has been at Patriots practice on Wednesday and Thursday wearing jersey number #1 (above) during the portion of the practice that was open to the media. His lawyer, Darren Heitner, has publicly disputed the civil suit charges and told the media that Brown and Taylor “had a consensual relationship” in the past.

On Friday, Pats coach Bill Belichick refused to confirm whether Brown would make his debut against Miami or not on Sunday. Giving the non-answer on Brown’s status to play, “We’ll do what’s best for the team.”

He further told the New England media that Brown has; “long way to go, obviously. Not familiar with our offense. The systems he’s been in have been quite different. He’s working hard to pick it up and we’re working hard to get it to him.”

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