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Kaepernick supporters rally at NFL HQs

(AP Photo/Craig Ruttle)

NEW YORK (AP) Supporters of former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who refused to stand for the national anthem to protest police brutality against blacks, showed their solidarity with him and his cause at a rally outside National Football League headquarters on Wednesday, demanding that he be signed by the start of the regular season next month.

More than 1,000 people, many wearing jerseys bearing Kaepernick's name, crowded the steps outside the NFL's midtown Manhattan offices.

Kaepernick, who once took the 49ers to the Super Bowl, opted out of his contract with the team in March and remains unsigned. Supporters say he is being blackballed for his advocacy, but some critics say he should not have sat or kneeled during the anthem or contend his lack of a job is more about his on-field talent.

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Jaguars bench Bortles in favor of Henne

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) Chad Henne will start Jacksonville's preseason game against Carolina, a change that could signal the end of Blake Bortles' career with the Jaguars.

Coach Doug Marrone made the announcement Wednesday, a day before the exhibition and nearly a week after he created a quarterback competition in Jacksonville for the first time since 2013. Marrone said both quarterbacks will get time with the first-team offense.

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McAdoo mum on Beckham, Marshall's status

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) With Odell Beckham Jr. and Brandon Marshall nursing injuries, a couple of young wide receivers are getting a chance to show the New York Giants what they can do.

Roger Lewis Jr. and Travis Rudolph came to training camp looking for jobs, and with the season opener against Dallas less than three weeks away the pair remains in the running to make the roster.

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Browns ready to pick QB Kizer as starter

BEREA, Ohio (AP) DeShone Kizer will be next through the Browns' quarterback turnstile.

He doesn't want it to spin again anytime soon.

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Raiders Pro Bowl LT Penn ends holdout

ALAMEDA, Calif. (AP) Pro Bowl left tackle Donald Penn has ended his holdout with the Oakland Raiders.

Penn reported for practice on Wednesday after holding out for 26 days. Penn was looking for an improved contract but general manager Reggie McKenzie said earlier in training camp that he would not negotiate a new deal with Penn until he arrived at camp.

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Big Ben: I'd love 'a text' from Bell

PITTSBURGH (AP) Ben Roethlisberger has a request for Le'Veon Bell: hit me up.

The Pittsburgh quarterback expects to make his only preseason appearance on Saturday night when the Steelers host Indianapolis, but his bigger concern is when Bell is ready to show up to work.

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Jets QB race still shrouded in mystery

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. (AP) The New York Jets' curious quarterback competition continues.

Sure, Todd Bowles has said he'll probably have a decision Monday on his starter for Week 1 of the regular season. But it's unclear who'll be under center in the team's third preseason game on Saturday night against the Giants.

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Bears to give Trubisky first-team reps

LAKE FOREST, Ill. (AP) Whether it's part of the Chicago Bears' grand plan or the result of dramatic improvement, rookie quarterback Mitchell Trubisky's development has accelerated.

Trubisky took snaps with the Bears' first string in practice Wednesday and coach John Fox said the second pick of the 2017 draft will play with the starters to begin the second half of Sunday's third preseason game.

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Bears give starting LT Leno extension

CHICAGO (AP) The Chicago Bears have signed offensive lineman Charles Leno Jr. to a contract extension.

The Bears announced the extension Wednesday.

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Quinn: No need to rush Jones, Freeman

FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. (AP) Falcons coach Dan Quinn says there's no need to rush Julio Jones and Devonta Freeman back to play in an exhibition game.

When Atlanta opens the regular season Sept. 10 at Chicago, Quinn is confident both players will be ready.

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