What happens if Tom Brady doesn’t win his DeflateGate appeal?

A ruling is expected soon for Tom Brady’s appeal of a four-game suspension he received for his involvement in DeflateGate.

The NFL commissioned a report to look into allegations that the New England Patriots played with slightly deflated balls on offense against the Indianapolis Colts in a 45-7 victory in the AFC Championship. The Wells Report, released in May, found that it was “more probable than not” that Brady knew of the plan to illegally deflate the balls after they were inspected by referees and a four-game suspension was subsequently handed down.

Brady received the ban, coupled with the loss of draft picks and money for the New England Patriots, and appealed the decision in June. NFL commissioner Roger Goodell named himself arbitrator for the case, and while the NFLPA asked him to step down and name a third-party to oversee Brady’s appeal, Goodell refused to recuse himself.

Now, nearly a month after Brady first made his appeal, Goodell is expected to announce his decision, although there’s a strong chance that the DeflateGate saga hasn’t yet reached its conclusion.

Most important position battle: Tight end — Mychal Rivera had the second-most receptions on the team in 2014, but the position has been completely overhauled. In addition to adding Walford in the draft, the Raiders signed Lee Smith in free agency. Smith isn’t a big receiving threat, but he’s a strong blocker who could cut into Rivera’s snaps. It’s Walford who could end up being the complete tight end that absorbs the most snaps, though, if he reaches his potential sooner rather than later.

Steven Daniels, MLB (senior): A run-stopping physical linebacker, Daniels may lack the speed NFL teams are looking for at LB. He’s large for a linebacker in terms of weight (257 pounds), but a year anchoring the linebacking corps may raise the eyes of some NFL scouts.


Vesey is a two-time Hobey Baker Award finalist, and captured the award as the best player in college hockey last season after scoring 24 goals and adding 22 assists in 33 games with Harvard University, where he played four years.

The previous two Hobey Baker Award winners are Johnny Gaudreau of the Calgary Flames (2014) and Jack Eichel of the Sabres (2015), so the possibility of Vesey landing in Chicago could immediately give the Blackhawks another dynamic scoring option.

CANTON, Ohio — Tony Dungy would like to see the NFL’s Rooney Rule used in the manner it was intended.

He pointed to Pittsburgh’s Mike Tomlin and Arizona’s Bruce Arians as examples of coaches who got jobs because teams were thorough in their searches.

Dungy, whose Indianapolis Colts won Super Bowl XLI in February 2007, has been a mentor to many NFL head coaches, including Tomlin, Lovie Smith and Jim Caldwell.

Tomlin has led the Steelers two Super Bowls, winning one in 2008. Smith, now the head coach at the University of Illinois, led the Chicago Bears to a Super Bowl appearance, in which they lost to Dungy’s Colts. Caldwell, now the Detroit Lions head coach, served as an assistant on two different Super Bowl-winning teams.

Tomlin, Smith and Caldwell are black. Owners who hired them were willing to look beyond the norms, Dungy said.

“We’ve got to get past that.”

Dungy, who turned around perennial loser in Tampa Bay before winning the championship with Indianapolis, will be inducted into the Hall of Fame on Saturday night. He went 139-69 as a head coach, and had only one losing record — in 1996, his first year with the Buccaneers.

The Redskins will be moving to a sparkling new stadium at some point soon. Soon enough, we’ll figure out where it will be.

PHILADELPHIA — Under Doug Pederson, the Philadelphia Eagles may well be replicating Andy Reid’s 1999 quarterback plan. It doesn’t look that way to Donovan McNabb, the centerpiece of Reid’s plan.

Nelson hits PUP after tweaking non-ACL knee

Jordy Nelson’s much-anticipated return to the field will come later than expected.

NFL Media’s Mike Garafolo reported Tuesday from Packers camp that the Green Bay wideout recently tweaked his knee working out, which prompted the team to place him on the PUP list.

Thankfully for Nelson, though, the injury is to his left knee — not his surgically repaired right one — leaving the receiver to say: “It’s not the ACL. No one needs to freak out.”

Said Nelson: “I’m not going into details of stuff. You guys know I don’t like to talk about injuries. I’ve already had to give you more than what I wanted to, to be honest. But we’re all on the same page, we’re going to be back hopefully — not worried about it.”

Nelson went on to call the setback a mere “hiccup,” joking: “I hate the hiccups. They’re so annoying, aren’t they?”

He doesn’t appear alarmed, but any complication for the 31-year-old Nelson is enough to keep Packers fans up at night. Still, it’s actually encouraging that the pass-catcher’s latest issue has nothing to do with the ACL.

“Obviously I want to be out there and the more practices you have, the better,” Nelson said of missing reps with quarterback Aaron Rodgers. “But it’s nothing we’re panicking about right now. As long as we’re on the same page mentally, it’ll carry over to the game.”

It’s not a sunny development for Nelson, but we fully expect him to be ready for the start of the season, which should help this once-explosive offense turn last year’s troubles into a memory.

Here are other injuries we’re tracking on Tuesday:

1. The Indianapolis Colts placed defensive tackle Henry Anderson and tight end Darion Griswold on the PUP list. The Colts also moved safety Clayton Geathers to the non-football injury list.

2. Safety Tyrann Mathieu, cornerback Justin Bethel, defensive tackle Frostee Rucker and linebacker Zack Wagenmann were placed on the PUP list, the Arizona Cardinals announced.

I’ll be off that list shortly… I got work to do…