Aaron Hernandez was indicted Thursday on a first-degree murder charge for the killing of Odin Lloyd. Hernandez also faces five gun-related charges, though the murder charge alone could carry with it a sentence to a lifetime in prison without parole. He has pleaded not guilty to the charges. Hernandez is also under investigation for a double homicide that took place in Boston in 2012.
Some more stories you may have missed Thursday:
The NFL and NFL Players Association launched public barbs at each other Thursday over the proper administration of HGH testing. In response to the NFLPA's request that enforcement of testing policy be administered by a third party, the NFL accused the association of using "delay tactics." The NFLPA fired back saying that the only thing the NFL cares about "is power" and that blood could start being drawn immediately if the NFL agreed to use an outside arbitrator.
The Buccaneers are dealing with a staph infection breakout that has already claimed two players: Offensive guard Carl Nicks and kicker Lawrence Tynes. Both had previously been sitting due to what were deemed toe injuries. Team officials reportedly discovered the breakout last week, and the team's facilities have reportedly been sanitized. Players have also been given special soap to help prevent the spread of bacteria.
The New York Jets will get an extended look at rookie Geno Smith against the New York Giants on Saturday. Head coach Rex Ryan named Smith the starter for Week 3 of the preseason, meaning that the rookie will likely play at least a full half with the first team offense. How Smith performs could go a long way toward determining the starting quarterback for the regular season opener. The Jets have seen plenty of Mark Sanchez over the last four seasons.
Dion Jordan is apparently still recovering from shoulder surgery. The rookie pass rusher, selected No. 3 overall in April, has not practiced since playing sparingly in the team's second preseason game. Defensive coordinator Kevin Coyle was confident that Jordan would be able to suit up against the Cleveland Browns on Sept. 8, though a lot remains to be seen.
Le'Veon Bell is expected to miss 6-8 weeks after suffering a Lisfranc injury during the Pittsburgh Steelers' preseason loss to the Washington Redskins on Monday night. Thankfully, the rookie shouldn't miss more time than that. Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin confirmed Thursday that Bell won't need season-ending surgery. Bell was drafted in the second round of the 2013 NFL Draft in hopes that he would become a workhorse in the Steelers' running game.