NFL news roundup: Geno Smith injured, Justin Blackmon blows up

Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

A number of young and promising players were injured in the first few days of the NFL preseason, with one second-year receiver getting into a spat with the opponent and his own teammates.

It was supposed to be a competitive and heated battle for the starting job under center for the Jets, yet Geno Smith's ankle injury in the third quarter of Friday's game could complicate the matter. Smith was rolling along in his first action at quarterback for the team until he rolled his ankle at the end of a scramble in his first pro game.

Incumbent starter Mark Sanchez began the game with an inexplicable pick six, but was fairly sharp after the interception and finished 10 of 13 for 125 yards and an interception. Smith was expected to push Sanchez for the starting spot for the Jets, and he stated after the game that he expects to play next week against the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Bears DT Henry Melton suffers concussion

The Chicago Bears' starting defensive tackle was looking to build off a big Pro Bowl year in 2012, but was diagnosed with a concussion after being injured against the Carolina Panthers on Friday night. Melton had not recorded a sack or a tackle before the injury, with the Bears eventually falling to the Panthers in the first game of the preseason for both teams.

Melton has 13 sacks over the past two years and had become a staple on the defensive line for the Bears, and the team is expecting him to anchor the defense in 2013. With just under a month before the start of the season, it's hopeful that Melton will have plenty of time to recover before any real games are missed.

Jaguars WR Justin Blackmon loses his cool

The young Jacksonville Jaguars receiver has not had a very good year so far, with the latest transgression involving an altercations on the field during the second quarter of Friday's game against the Miami Dolphins. Blackmon was not even playing in the game and instead was on the sidelines due to his four-game suspension for violating the NFL's substance abuse policy.

Blackmon began by getting into a shouting match with Dolphins corner Nolan Carroll, then turning his ire on Jaguars defensive end Justin Babin when Babin stepped in and told Blackmon to "pipe down." The young receiver then had to be escorted to the locker room. Blackmon was the No. 5 overall pick int he 2012 draft and finished his rookie season with 64 receptions for 865 yards and five touchdowns.

Peyton Hillis injures knee against Ravens

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back had hoped to get off to a good start with his new team, yet was forced to leave after just four carries when he took a shot to the knee in the third quarter. The Buccaneers signed Hillis to provide some depth and veteran help behind starter Doug Martin. The 27-year-old limped off the field in the third quarter after taking a helmet to the knee and then limped off the field under his own power.

Hillis has been looking to get his career back on track after two disappointing seasons following his breakout year in 2010, but so far, the bruising running back has not been able to find the magic that propelled him to 1,177 yards and 11 touchdowns three years ago.

Plaxico Burress suffers shoulder injury in practice

The veteran receiver's season could be over after suffering a torn rotator cuff in practice on Thursday. He is set to have surgery on the shoulder on Monday. Pittsburgh Steelers coach Mike Tomlin confirmed the injury on Friday and referred to the setback as "significant," an injury that could potentially provide a heavy hit to the team's already-thin receiving corps.

Burress was looking to continue his comeback after his prison sentence related to gun possession after playing four games for the Steelers last season. Pittsburgh was already dealing with the departure of Mike Wallace, and while Burress wasn't expected to be the star focus of the passing attack, the depth he provided was something Pittsburgh desperately needed.

49ers QB Colt McCoy to have MRI

McCoy is expected to compete for the No. 2 job in San Francisco behind starter Colin Kaepernick, but was injured during Thursday's game against the Denver Broncos and will now have an MRI on his neck and shoulder.

This is the same shoulder that McCoy injured early in the 2010 BCS Championship against Alabama, suffering a nerve injury that continued to affect him for a year afterward. McCoy was 3 for 7 for 41 yards and an interception before leaving with the injury.

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