ATLANTA — The Atlanta Falcons signed Kyle Miller (Elida/Mount Union) to their practice squad on Monday.
Miller had been cut by the Miami Dolphins on Friday. Miller was placed on waivers and the Falcons picked up Miller and signed him to their 10-man practice squad.
Miller has been with the Indianapolis Colts (2012) and the Dolphins (2012, 2013). He was active for one game with the Colts in 2012.
Houston Astros fire manager Bo Porter
HOUSTON — The Houston Astros fired manager Bo Porter on Monday, saying the dismissal had less to do with the team’s 59-79 record than the need for “new direction” and a “united message throughout the entire organization.”
Porter was in his second season
with the Astros and was succeeded by interim manager Tom Lawless, who worked in Houston’s minor league system. Lawless’ first game in charge is tonight at home against the first-place Los Angeles Angels.
Bench coach Dave Trembley also was let go.
Porter joined the Astros after working as a third-base coach for the Washington Nationals. The Astros went a franchise-worst 51-111 in his first season for their third straight 100-loss season.
General manager Jeff Luhnow said the decision was not based on “our current level of competitiveness.” The Astros entered Monday in fourth place in the AL West and with the second worst record in the league.
“I recognize that our win-loss record is largely a product of an organizational strategy for which I am responsible,” Luhnow said in a statement. “Rather, I made this decision because I believe we need a new direction in our clubhouse.”
Owner Jim Crane said the firing was “not an easy decision to make.” It comes following recent reports citing sources who said Luhnow and Porter were not getting along.
Whoever is hired as full-time manager will be the team’s fourth since 2007, not including those who held the job on an interim basis.
Adam Everett, who was also working in the minors, will replace Trembley as bench coach.
Gronk promises he will play Sunday
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — Star tight end Rob Gronkowski stood in front of his Gillette Stadium locker Monday and announced he will be playing in the New England Patriots’ opener at Miami this Sunday.
“I’m super excited,” said Gronkowski, who didn’t play in any of the four preseason games as he completed his recovery from December right knee surgery. “I won’t have to see my teammates grind all week - (I’ll) go back out there with them, get in the huddle, break the huddle with them.
“It’s going to be an honor to be back out there with my teammates. Super pumped, super excited and just preparing for the game.”
The pronouncement came as a bit of a surprise in a locker room not known for players “breaking news.”
“Yeah, yeah, I’m just getting it out of the way there,” he said. “Every single day this week (he would have been asked about returning) — get it out of the way now.”
“It just feels good in my mind to know that I’ll be out there with my boys, working hard, grinding with them, being out there.”
Gronkowski, who tore his right ACL and MCL last Dec. 8, is a two-time Pro Bowler and was an All-Pro in 2011.
Welker returns to practice following concussion
ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — Wes Welker celebrated Labor Day by practicing for the first time since sustaining a concussion on Aug. 23.
That meant Peyton Manning had his front-line offense intact as the Denver Broncos began preparations in earnest for their opener against his former team, the Indianapolis Colts, on Sunday night.
Welker donned his up-sized helmet and ran short routes during the 20-minute viewing period open to the media at the start of practice, He added a few minutes of extra work with rookie Cody Latimer afterward.
Concussion symptons sideline Pedroia
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Boston Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia is out of the lineup for the second straight game because of concussion-like symptoms.
Red Sox manager John Farrell said before Monday’s game against Tampa Bay that Pedroia is feeling a little better but still experiencing symptoms. Farrell is not optimistic about Pedroia playing in a three-game series with the New York Yankees that begins Tuesday night.
Pedroia left Saturday night’s 7-0 loss to the Rays in the second inning. He was elbowed in the head by Logan Forsythe, who was sliding head-first into second.