National Football League roundup

NFL: Green Bay Packers at Pittsburgh Steelers
Nov 26, 2017; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (12) smiles on the bench before playing the Pittsburgh Steelers at Heinz Field. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

December 3, 2017

(The Sports Xchange) – Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers celebrated his birthday Saturday by practicing with the team for the first time since breaking his collarbone on Oct. 15.

Rodgers, who turned 34, was designated to return off injured reserve on Saturday but can’t return to play in a game for at least two more weeks because of the IR rules. The earliest he can return is in Week 15 when the Packers travel to play the Carolina Panthers on Dec. 17.

The 5-6 Packers are home Sunday against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (4-7) and travel to Cleveland to face the winless Browns (0-11) the following week before Rodgers’ expected return.

Rodgers was seen throwing on the field ahead of last Sunday’s 31-28 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers as he continued his recovery from the Oct. 19 surgery. Saturday’s practice was closed to reporters.

– – –

The Philadelphia Eagles signed wide receiver Alshon Jeffery to a four-year contract extension through the 2021 season, the team announced.

The deal is worth $52 million and includes $1 million per year in incentives and $27 million in guarantees, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter.

The 27-year-old Jeffery came to Philadelphia as a free agent this offseason, signing a one-year deal with the Eagles. He has been a key target for quarterback Carson Wentz.

– – –

The Jacksonville Jaguars released safety Calvin Pryor and promoted defensive end Carroll Phillips to the active roster, the team announced.

Pryor, the former first-round pick of the New York Jets in 2014, played briefly in each of the last two games, making one tackle, after spending most of this season on injured reserve.

Phillips signed with the Jaguars this year as an undrafted rookie free agent out of the University of Illinois. He spent the first 12 weeks of the season on the Jaguars’ practice squad.

– – –

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers promoted offensive lineman Mike Liedtke from the practice squad to the active roster.

The 6-foot-3, 305-pound Liedtke has been on Tampa Bay’s practice squad this season after spending the final six weeks of the 2016 season on the practice squad. He originally entered the league as a college free agent with the Miami Dolphins in 2015. Liedtke spent the 2015 season between the practice squads of the Dolphins and Kansas City Chiefs.

To make room on the roster, the Bucs waived linebacker Cameron Lynch. The 6-0, 229-pound Lynch played in all 11 games for Tampa Bay this season, recording five special teams tackles and a special teams fumble recovery.

– – –

The Indianapolis Colts promoted wide receiver K.J. Brent and center Anthony Fabiano to the 53-man roster from the practice squad. The team also waived running back Matt Jones and waived-injured guard Kyle Kalis.

The 6-foot-3, 202-pound Brent was signed to the Colts’ practice squad on Oct. 24. He also spent time on the Seattle Seahawks’ practice squad earlier this season. Brent participated in the Oakland Raiders’ 2017 offseason program and training camp before being waived during final cuts.

The 6-4, 303-pound Fabiano was signed to Indianapolis’ practice squad on Nov. 28. He spent time on the practice squads of the New England Patriots, New York Giants and Washington Redskins this season. As a rookie in 2016, Fabiano spent time on the Cleveland Browns’ active roster and practice squad.