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Packers RB Aaron Jones pleads no contest to marijuana-related charge

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Green Bay Packers running back Aaron Jones pleaded no contest Wednesday to a marijuana-related charge stemming from a traffic stop last year.

Jones, the team’s second-leading rusher last season, was cited on Oct. 1, when he was stopped for speeding on Highway 172 in Ashwaubenon, Wisconsin. A police officer smelled marijuana and said Jones’ eyes were red and bloodshot. Jones said he told the officer that he had smoked marijuana that morning. No drugs were found in Jones’ possession. Police administered a sobriety test and then took Jones to a local hospital for a blood test.

The fifth-round pick initially entered a not-guilty plea on Nov. 15 to operating a vehicle with a controlled substance in his system, speeding (24 mph over the posted speed limit of 55) and operating a vehicle without a valid license, according to Wisconsin Circuit Court records.

On Wednesday, he entered a no-contest plea to the citation for driving with a controlled substance in his system in exchange for dismissal of tickets for speeding and operating without a license.

Court records indicate Jones will be required to pay $1,047 in court costs and undergo an alcohol assessment. His license was also suspended for six months by Brown County judge Marc Hammer.

The Packers had no immediate comment, but coach Mike McCarthy previously said he had been aware of the situation since shortly after it occurred.

“I spoke to Aaron after the incident,” McCarthy said in November. “It’s been a while since, I don’t recall the date. He made a mistake, and I know it’s a pending legal situation. But yes, I am aware of it.”

Jones could still be subject to a suspension from the NFL, but the league wasn’t expected to act until the legal case was resolved.

Information from ESPN’s Rob Demovsky contributed to this report.

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Jacksonville Jaguars to add Stephen Hauschka after kicker injuries, source says

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The Jacksonville Jaguars will sign veteran kicker Stephen Hauschka after rookie kicker Brandon Wright suffered a groin injury in last Thursday’s loss to the Miami Dolphins, a source tells ESPN’s Adam Schefter.

Wright was subbing for Josh Lambo, who was placed on injured reserve with a left hip injury.

Hauschka was released by the Buffalo Bills last month after losing the team’s kicking competition to rookie kicker Tyler Bass.

Hauschka won a Super Bowl with the Seattle Seahawks in 2013 and signed with the Bills four years later, making 87.9% of his kicks in his first season in Buffalo. He made 78.6% of his field goals in each of his past two seasons, however, including just 41.7% of his attempts for 50 yards or longer.

He spent six seasons as Seattle’s starting kicker after stints in Baltimore and Denver.

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Nick Foles to stay Chicago Bears’ starter at QB; Tarik Cohen has torn ACL

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Nick Foles will be the starter at quarterback going forward after he rallied the Chicago Bears to a comeback victory over the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday in relief of Mitchell Trubisky.

The announcement was made by coach Matt Nagy, who also said tests confirmed that running back Tarik Cohen has a torn ACL and will miss the remainder of the season.

Nagy benched Trubisky in favor of Foles with Chicago trailing by 16 points in the third quarter. Foles responded by throwing three second-half touchdown passes, including the game-winning 28-yard strike to wide receiver Anthony Miller just after the two-minute warning.

Foles also had touchdown passes to Allen Robinson and Jimmy Graham. He finished the game 16-of-29 for 188 yards, three touchdowns and one interception. He had two additional touchdown passes overturned by the officials.

Cohen suffered his injury on a punt return when Atlanta’s Brian Hill got pushed into the back of his right leg, caused his knee to bend awkwardly. Cohen went to the ground and immediately clutched his right knee. The 5-foot-6 all-purpose threat was unable to put any pressure on his right leg when trainers helped him off the field.

He had two carries for 21 yards and three receptions for 20 yards before the injury.

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Steelers’ Alejandro Villaneuva pushing for deceased vet Alwyn Cashe to get Medal of Honor

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PITTSBURGH — Speaking publicly for the first time since he taped over the name of Antwon Rose Jr. and wrote the name of Alwyn Cashe on the back of his helmet, Pittsburgh Steelers left tackle Alejandro Villanueva said his decision was “exclusively” about the Army veteran killed in action in 2005.

“The decision had to do exclusively with Sgt. First Class Alwyn Cashe and his pursuit for the Medal of Honor, which is something that he deserves and hopefully he’ll get soon,” Villanueva said Monday.

Cashe, a Sergeant First Class, died after sustaining severe burns while trying to rescue other soldiers from a burning vehicle in Iraq after an ambush. Cashe was posthumously awarded a Silver Star for heroism.

“I felt that my decision to honor Sgt. First Class Alwyn Cashe was something that was very personal to me due to the fact that in the veteran community, there’s a strong push to get him a Medal of Honor, which is something that the community believes that he deserves,” said Villaneuva, a former Army Ranger who served three tours in Afghanistan. “I think that the timing was perfect due to the fact that it gave the lawmakers a little bit of momentum going forward. The family has been waiting for 15 years to hear something from his chain of command, from Congress regarding the exception of his five year statutory limit that could potentially get him the Medal of Honor.”

Earlier this month, there was some movement by House lawmakers to upgrade Cashe’s award to the Medal of Honor, something that could only be done if Congress passes new legislation to bypass the rule that the medal must be awarded within five years of the service member’s heroism. Cashe would be the first Black recipient of the award for valor in Afghanistan or Iraq.

“The issues that matter to veterans are incredibly important,” Villanueva said. “I feel like I don’t do enough as an American every day to enjoy my liberties and I feel very thankful to have the support of the veteran community and the background to appreciate the freedoms that we all enjoy.”

Villanueva’s decision to tape over the name of Rose, an unarmed teenager killed by East Pittsburgh police in 2018 when he was fatally shot in the back fleeing a traffic stop, angered Rose’s mother, Michelle Kenney, because she was told the team took a vote to honor Rose. Safety Minkah Fitzpatrick, though, told reporters the decision was made “upstairs.”

Center Maurkice Pouncey also posted a statement on Instagram saying that he “inadvertently supported a cause of which I did not fully comprehend the entire background of the case” and would make his own decision about the name on the back of his helmet following Week 1. For the Week 2 home opener, Pouncey wore the name of Eric Kelly, a Black Pittsburgh police officer killed in the line of duty in 2009. Other Steelers also changed names on the backs of their helmets for the games after Week 1, although some opted to continue wearing Rose’s name.

“I don’t have an issue with him not choosing to represent Antwon,” Kenney said of Villaneuva. “I believe that he, like everyone else, is entitled to their own opinion. … My only problem with the entire thing was that I was told they were take a team vote. I do not believe that Antwon’s life supersedes the death of any other person. I just believe they died in different ways. Him choosing to represent someone else wasn’t what offended me.

“I feel like with Pouncey, like with Villanueva, if you didn’t want to wear Antwon’s name, say that and don’t do it. Don’t set the movement backwards because of your own personal agenda. Because this is bigger than Antwon. Antwon’s gone. I’m trying to save the life of the next Black person.”

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