Chiefs WR Bowe signs franchise tender
KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Perhaps Dwayne Bowe was just waiting for the Chiefs to break training camp to finally sign his franchise tender.
The team said in a statement Friday that Bowe had signed after missing the entire offseason program and training camp in St. Joseph, Mo. Bowe is due about $9.5 million this season after the two sides failed to reach a long-term deal by the July 16 deadline.
It was unclear whether Bowe would join Kansas City for its trip to St. Louis for a preseason game today. The team will resume practice at its facility near Arrowhead Stadium next week.
Patriots sign Olympic medalist Demps
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — The New England Patriots have agreed to terms with Olympic silver medalist Jeff Demps, who played running back at Florida but was not drafted by an NFL team because he said he wanted to focus on his track career.
Patriots player personnel director Nick Caserio said in his meeting with reporters on Friday that the team had nothing to report. But later in the night, after reports began to surface, the Patriots issued a press release, announcing the signing of the 22-year-old sprinter.
Demps earned the Olympic silver medal in the 4x100 relay as part of the team that finished second to Jamaica at the London Games last week. His football agent, Daniel Rose, told The Associated Press this week that several NFL teams were interested in the former running back from Florida.
NT Hampton, RB Mendenhall activated by Steelers
LATROBE, Pa. — Before they broke camp at St. Vincent College Friday, the Steelers made a surprise move in activating nose tackle Casey Hampton and running back Rashard Mendenhall from the physically unable to perform list.
Each veteran has been rehabilitating a torn ACL sustained in January. Mendenhall’s right knee was injured in the Jan. 1 regular-season finale at Cleveland, while Hampton’s left knee ligament was torn in the Jan. 8 playoff loss at Denver.
The Mendenhall move was particularly unexpected because the stress placed on the knee by lateral cuts typical of a running back usually results in a longer recovery time. General manager Kevin Colbert has publicly suggested, on numerous occasions, that Mendenhall would begin the regular season on the PUP list.
But the former first-round pick has repeatedly said his rehabilitation was on schedule and that he was progressing well. That must have made the team reconsider.
Isaac Redman is the alternative to fill in as the Steelers’ featured back if Mendenhall is not able to play. But Redman has been dealing with a groin injury that required an MRI examination Thursday. Redman did not practice Friday and will not play Sunday. He said he is hopeful to return to practice next week.
Bengals waive WR Shipley after injury
CINCINNATI — The Bengals have waived receiver Jordan Shipley, who was limited in training camp while he recovered from reconstructive knee surgery.
Shipley was Cincinnati’s starting slot receiver before he tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee Sept. 18. He wasn’t cleared to practice fully until July 30. A third-round pick in 2010, he had one catch for 4 yards in the Bengals’ two preseason games.
The Bengals also waived kicker Thomas Weber on Friday. Kicker Mike Nugent signed a one-year tender offer as the team’s franchise player in April. He was bothered by a sore hamstring at the start of training camp, giving Weber a chance to kick.
Hanson activated, Gearrin optioned to Triple-A
ATLANTA — The Atlanta Braves have optioned to reliever Cory Gearrin to Triple-A Gwinnett to make room for pitcher Tommy Hanson, who is coming off the disabled list.
Hanson, who had been sidelined by a lower back strain, started Friday night’s game against the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Gearrin has pitched well for the Braves, but the team is going temporarily to a six-man rotation to cope with a stretch of 20 games without an off day. Gearrin allowed only one run in 11 1/3 innings, a 0.79 ERA.
Tigers aim for Martinez to return next year
DETROIT — The Detroit Tigers have given up hopes of Victor Martinez coming back this season after having surgery on his left knee.
Tigers trainer Kevin Rand said Friday the decision was made earlier in the week to stop Martinez’s running program.
Rand expects the 33-year-old Martinez to be healthy enough to return for the start of spring training next year. He isn’t expected to run until November.
The designated hitter is recovering from microfracture surgery and the best-case scenario had him possibly playing in September.
He hit .330 with 103 RBIs last season to help Detroit win its first division title since 1987 in the first year of his $50 million, four-year contract.
Nationals activate SS Ian Desmond from DL
WASHINGTON — The Washington Nationals activated All-Star shortstop Ian Desmond from the 15-day disabled list and designated infielder Cesar Izturis for assignment.
Desmond, out since July 22, missed the last 25 games with a left oblique strain. In 89 games this season, the 26-year-old is batting .286 with 17 home runs, 53 RBIs and 15 stolen bases. He ranked among the National League leaders in total bases, extra-base hits, doubles and homers when he was initially placed on the disabled list. He was batting sixth Friday.
The 32-year-old Izturis, claimed off waivers from Milwaukee on Aug. 6, went 2-for-4 in five games with Washington this season.
The Nationals, owners of the best record in baseball, opened a three-game series Friday against the New York Mets.
Rangers’ Dempster out for personal reasons
TORONTO — Ryan Dempster is going to have to wait a little longer to make another start in his native Canada.
The right-hander will miss his scheduled start for the Texas Rangers today at Toronto because of personal reasons.
Dempster, who is from British Columbia, was slated to make his first start in Canada since opening day for the Marlins at Montreal on April 2, 2002. He went 5-0 in eight career appearances in Montreal, but has never pitched in Toronto.
Recently demoted starter Roy Oswalt will take Dempster’s place against the Blue Jays.
The Rangers placed Dempster on the restricted list Friday and recalled rookie outfielder Leonys Martin from Triple-A Round Rock. The AL West leaders didn’t offer any further explanation for Dempster’s absence and said he was expected to rejoin the team Monday.
Serena upset, Venus reaches Cincy semis
MASON, Ohio — Only one of the Williams sisters is heading to a semifinal, and it’s not the one with the long winning streak.
Serena Williams had her 19-match streak snapped by Germany’s Angelique Kerber on Friday, a 6-4, 6-4 defeat that marked the first time she’d even lost a set since her title at Wimbledon.
Venus reached the semifinals of a tournament for the first time this season by beating Samantha Stosur 6-2, 6-7 (2), 6-4. She’ll play China’s Li Na in the semifinals.
On the men’s side, Novak Djokovic and Juan Martin del Potro won in straight sets, setting up a rematch of their bronze medal match at the Olympics. Del Potro won that one.
Del Potro has been nursing a sore left wrist that he’ll have examined before the U.S. Open, which he won in 2009. He beat France’s Jeremy Chardy 6-1, 6-3 to reach the semifinals.
Djokovic reached a Masters semifinal for the second straight week by knocking off Marin Cilic 6-3, 6-2. He won the Rogers Cup in Toronto last Sunday.
Top-ranked Roger Federer beat Mardy Fish 6-3, 7-6 (4) in an evening match to reach the semifinals. He’ll play Stanislas Wawrinka, who beat Milos Raonic 2-6, 7-6 (5), 6-4 in the afternoon.
By wire sources