NFL agrees to remove cap on concussion damages

MICHAEL RUBINKAM Associated Press Published:

The NFL agreed Wednesday to remove a $675 million cap on damages from thousands of concussion-related claims after a federal judge questioned whether there would be enough money to cover as many as 20,000 retired players.

A revised settlement agreement filed in federal court in Philadelphia also eliminates a provision that barred anyone who gets concussion damages from the NFL from suing the NCAA or other amateur football leagues.

More than 4,500 former players have filed suit, some accusing the league of fraud for its handling of concussions. They include former Dallas Cowboys running back Tony Dorsett and Super Bowl-winning Chicago Bears quarterback Jim McMahon, who suffers from dementia.

• Baseball

Schilling in remission: Curt Schilling, the former Boston Red Sox pitcher turned ESPN television analyst, said his cancer is in remission. Schilling announced the news on social media and thanked his Boston-based medical team.

He hasn't indicated the type of cancer or his prognosis, but has posted pictures of himself receiving treatments.

Ramirez debut: The Iowa Cubs said Manny Ramirez will begin his stint as a player/coach for Chicago's Triple-A affiliate today in Colorado Springs.

• Elsewhere

Prepare for LeBron run: The Houston Rockets have taken the first step toward making a run at LeBron James.

A person with knowledge of the situation tells The Associated Press that the Rockets have agreed to trade Omer Asik and cash to the New Orleans Pelicans for a future first-round draft pick. The person requested anonymity because the deal cannot be completed until July due to rules in the collective bargaining agreement.

The deal was first reported by Yahoo! Sports. It gives the Rockets some of the cap space needed to go after James or Carmelo Anthony.

Uruguay backs Suarez: As the world was judging Uruguay's Luis Suarez for biting a player in the World Cup, his teammates, coaches and fans in his soccer-crazy country defended the star, blaming the foreign media, his Italian opponents and uneven treatment.

World Cup organizers scrambled to quickly decide on a punishment before Uruguay plays Colombia on Saturday in the round of 16.

Georgia to play ND: Notre Dame and Georgia will play in 2017 and 2019, marking the first regular-season meetings between the two schools.

The Bulldogs will play in South Bend on Sept. 9, 2017, while the Irish will play in Athens on Sept. 21, 2019. The top-ranked Bulldogs beat the No. 7 Irish in the Sugar Bowl to win the national championship in 1980 in their only previous meeting.

Replay helps Djokovic: After more than three hours of fierce tennis, the match between Novak Djokovic and Radek Stepanek came down to a video replay on match point in the fourth set.

At 6-5 in the tiebreaker, top-seeded Djokovic hooked a sharply angled forehand passing shot that was ruled wide. He challenged the call.

With both players and 15,000 fans watching anxiously, the replay was shown on the big screen and the verdict came in: The ball had landed on the line.

Jackets make trade: The Columbus Blue Jackets have traded defenseman Nikita Nikitin to the Edmonton Oilers in exchange for a fifth-round draft pick.

The 28-year-old Nikitin registered two goals and 13 assists for 15 points in 66 games with Columbus last season. He was acquired in a trade with St. Louis in 2011. He tallied 12 goals and 44 assists for 56 points in 158 games as a Blue Jacket.

Call up Hagadone: The Cleveland Indians have recalled left-hander Nick Hagadone from Triple-A Columbus and optioned right-hander Mark Lowe to their top farm club.

The 28-year-old Hagadone will be making his third stint with the Indians. He has appeared in five games with Cleveland, going 1-0 with a 7.71 ERA.

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