ST. JOSEPH, Mo. — Wide receiver Dwayne Bowe, Kansas City’s leader in receptions and receiving yards the past three years, was not on the field Friday as the Chiefs opened training camp.
Bowe, a Pro Bowler in 2010, was given the franchise tag when he refused to sign the Chiefs’ tender. If he eventually comes in and plays this year, as the Chiefs expect, he will get about $9.5 million.
The sixth-year pro, a first-round pick in out of LSU in 2007, had 81 catches for 1,159 yards and five TDs last year. In 2010, he led NFL wide receivers with 15 touchdowns while making 72 receptions for 1,162 yards.
GONZALEZ LEANING TOWARD RETIREMENT: In Flowery Branch, Ga., Atlanta Falcons tight end Tony Gonzalez is close to retiring from the NFL.
How close is up in the air.
Gonzalez said Friday that he’s 95 percent sure the upcoming season will be his last, but he wasn’t ready to completely rule out a return in 2013.
“I’ve had a great run,” he said. “I don’t want to be one of those players toward the end of their careers — and nothing against guys that have done it like that in the past — but I want to make sure that I’m at the top of my game when I do go out.”
After the Atlanta Falcons finished their second day of training camp Friday, Gonzalez said offseason discussions with family members and friends helped him understand that the end is near.
He’s accomplished quite a bit in 15 seasons and last year surpassed Terrell Owens, Tim Brown, Cris Carter and Marvin Harrison to become No. 2 on the league’s career receptions list with 1,149 catches.
Considering that he earned a 12th trip to the Pro Bowl last season, Gonzalez believes he could play at a high level for perhaps another three years, but at 36, he doesn’t want to hang around too long.
“Sometimes you have to call it quits, and I’m just one of those type of guys that I can’t handle being average at this sport because I’ve been at the top for a while,” Gonzalez said. “I hope that’s not coming off as cocky, but it’s just the way I operate. I don’t want to come out there and be somewhat of a role player.”
PETERSON TO START TRAINING CAMP ON PUP LIST: In Mankato, Minn., the Minnesota Vikings have placed running back Adrian Peterson on the active physically unable to perform list to start training camp.
The move was expected, considering the team’s preference to be cautious with their franchise player and his comeback from reconstructive surgery on his left knee. Peterson can come off the PUP list at any time, but he can’t take part in drills with the team until then. He still counts against the 90-man roster.
Coach Leslie Frazier said Friday that Peterson put up a fight but the decision is best for the team.
Two other offensive players competing for backup spots were placed on the active non-football injury list. Wide receiver Stephen Burton has a jammed toe, and tight end Mickey Shuler has a sore heel.
BEST PLACED ON PUP LIST: In Allen Park, Mich., Detroit Lions running back Jahvid Best has been put on the active physically unable to perform list.
Best didn’t play last season after a concussion suffered in a game against San Francisco on Oct. 16. He also had concussion problems last preseason and when he was a college player at California.
Best started nine games for the Lions as a rookie in 2010 and rushed for 390 yards on 84 carries last season. Without him, Detroit needed to piece together some semblance of a running game to complement quarterback Matthew Stafford and star receiver Calvin Johnson.
The Lions started practice Friday. They were forced inside by a rain storm.
Detroit has also put offensive lineman Jonathan Scott on the active non-football injury list.
CB MCKELVIN ESCORTED OFF AFTER FEELING ILL: In Pittsford, N.Y., Buffalo Bills cornerback Leodis McKelvin missed the final hour of practice after being escorted into a cooling tent because he felt ill.
Coach Chan Gailey said the player was taken into the tent as a precaution and held out for the rest of the two-hour session Friday, two days into training camp.
With a wet towel on his head, McKelvin walked without assistance while being escorted off the field by a trainer. The mid-afternoon practice was held under a mostly cloud-less sky with temperatures in the low 80s.
Gailey said trainers will monitor McKelvin to determine whether he can resume practicing on Saturday.
Gailey ruled out conditioning as being a factor by saying the team’s 2008 first-round draft pick reported to camp in great shape.
TOP PICK TANNEHILL NOT IN CAMP: In Davie, Fla., Miami Dolphins first-round pick Ryan Tannehill was absent when the team held its first practice at training camp on Friday.
Tannehill, the eighth overall pick out of Texas A&M in the draft, remains unsigned.
Tannehill is the first QB since Dan Marino in 1983 to be drafted in the first round by Miami. He started only 19 games at quarterback for the Aggies after switching from receiver.
FINLEY MISSES PRACTICE WITH CONCUSSION: In Green Bay, Wis., Green Bay Packers tight end Jermichael Finley missed Friday morning’s practice with what coach Mike McCarthy called a “mild concussion.”
The injury occurred Thursday, when players were not in full pads. e_SClBMcCarthy says Finley will be out for a couple of days. According to NFL rules, Finley will have to be cleared by an independent neurologist before being allowed to return to practice.
Finley tied his career high for receptions (55) and set career bests for receiving yards (767) and touchdown receptions (eight) last season.
Defensive end Anthony Hargrove, who signed with the team as an unrestricted free agent and is facing an eight-game NFL suspension for his involvement in the New Orleans Saints bounty scandal, missed practice for a personal matter.
SMITH DONATES MONEY TO COLORADO SHOOTING VICTIMS: In Spartanburg, S.C., Carolina Panthers receiver Steve Smith is donating $100,000 to help the survivors of the movie-theater shooting in Colorado pay for medical expenses.
Smith didn’t know any of the victims of the July 20 shooting in Aurora, which left 12 people dead and 58 injured. But the news hit home because he says his oldest son Peyton was at a similar midnight showing of “The Dark Knight Returns” in Charlotte that same night.
Smith said “I can’t imagine getting someone severely injured, one, and then, two, trying to figure out how to pay for it.”
Smith made the donation to the city of Aurora.
Smith says he made the donation public because he wanted to challenge others in high-profile positions to step up and contribute to the cause.