NFL news roundup: Blaine Gabbert will be ready for season opener, Jets sign Brady Quinn

Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Teams were busy on Labor Day as veterans joined needy teams and players returned from injury.

The Jacksonville Jaguars are close to getting back their starting quarterback, as head coach Gus Bradley told the media Monday that Blaine Gabbert "progressed as planned," putting him on pace for a return for the team's week 1 game against the Kansas City Chiefs. Gabbert missed the Jaguars' final two preseason games with a broken thumb he sustained against the New York Jets in preseason.

Gabbert won a quarterback competition with veteran Chad Henne, and will get the opportunity to prove to the Jaguars' new coaching staff that he can be the team's franchise quarterback moving forward. The organization waited rather than rush the decision to find a new signal caller in the draft.

The third-year quarterback performed well in the team's preseason loss to the Jets. In that game he finished with 13-for-16 passing, with 165 yards and a touchdown.

Brady Quinn signs with Jets

The New York Jets continue to tinker with their quarterback position, adding seven-year veteran Brady Quinn to the fold. Quinn was released by the Seattle Seahawks in the final round of cuts.

Graham Harrell was cut to make room on the roster for Quinn. New York's quarterback position is in flux after sustaining an injury to Mark Sanchez. Rookie Geno Smith is slated to start in the regular season opener, with Matt Simms and the newly-added Quinn serving as backups.

Carolina Panthers sign Quintin Mikell

Carolina Panthers' general manager Dave Gettleman realized his team's weaknesses in the draft when he selected defensive tackles Star Lotulelei and Kawann Short, but largely ignored the team's needs in the secondary. A major question was answered Monday as the Panthers signed veteran strong safety Quintin Mikell to a one-year deal, where he'll get an opportunity to start in a competition with Mike Mitchell -- acquired through free agency this year.

The Panthers and Mikell had met prior to the team's training camp, but no signing was initially announced. Panthers' defensive coordinator Sean McDermott has a history with the veteran safety in Philadelphia, where the two paired under former head coach Andy Reid.

Victor Cruz expected to be ready for Giants' opener

Quarterback Eli Manning will get a lift to open the 2013 season as it appears wide receiver Victor Cruz will be ready to play when New York faces the Dallas Cowboys.

Cruz bruised his heel in mid-August and was unable to participate in the remainder of preseason. Reports from practice indicate that he looked at full strength, which is an excellent sign for the Giants' passing offense. Cruz's return will pair with a return of Hakeem Nicks who struggled with injuries throughout the 2012 season.

The Giants' are poised to have a new-look offense this season, and will lean heavily on Cruz and Nicks. The team parted ways with Ahmad Bradshaw, Martellus Bennett and Domenik Hixon.

Colts sign wide receiver Da'Rick Rogers

The Indianapolis Colts will take a chance on troubled receiver Da'Rick Rogers, hoping their coaching staff can succeed where the Buffalo Bills failed. He was signed to the Colts' practice squad where he'll have a chance to learn from veteran Reggie Wayne and 2012 rookie phenom T.Y. Hilton.

Rogers went undrafted in April largely due to off-field issues. The talented receiver has all the natural tools to be a success in the NFL, but struggled off the gridiron and was suspended due to a numerous violations of Tennessee's substance abuse policy.

The Bills kept Rogers through training camp, cutting him last week.

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