Tyrann Mathieu Coming off a big game in his NFL debut, the "Honey Badger" will make his first start for the Cardinals on Saturday against the Cowboys.

White House to honor 1972 Dolphins

Published: Wednesday, Aug. 14, 2013 - 12:00 am | Page 6C
Last Modified: Wednesday, Aug. 14, 2013 - 7:49 am

MIAMI – The Miami Dolphins team that achieved the only perfect season in NFL history will be honored at the White House next Tuesday, more than 40 years after its accomplishment.

President Barack Obama will welcome the 1972 Dolphins for the first White House ceremony honoring the only team to go 17-0. Pro Football Hall of Fame coach Don Shula plans to accompany players to the event.

"It's a long time coming, but we're finally getting there," Hall of Fame linebacker Nick Buoniconti said.

The '72 Dolphins didn't make it to the White House after their Super Bowl victory, when President Richard Nixon – a big sports fan – was immersed in the Watergate scandal.

"Nixon was too busy calling plays," '72 Dolphins running back Mercury Morris said with a laugh.

Nixon once suggested a Super Bowl play to Shula.

Dolphins representatives recently raised the idea of honoring the team.

"I'm honored that the accomplishments of the 1972 Dolphins are going to be recognized by the president with a ceremony at the White House," Shula said in a statement. "It is a very special occasion, and I know it's something that all of us will enjoy and remember."

Chiefs – Pro Bowl running back Jamaal Charles had his ailing right foot examined by two orthopedic surgeons, who confirmed the Chiefs' diagnosis of a mild strain. Charles turned his right ankle during practice Monday.

"His ankle ligaments were fine," Chiefs trainer Rick Burkholder said. "There's a tendon that attaches right at that spot, and that's what is sore . That's why we call it a strain."

Cardinals – The "Honey Badger" is about to get his first NFL start. Arizona coach Bruce Arians said rookie Tyrann Mathieu will start at free safety for injured Rashad Johnson when the Cardinals play the Cowboys on Saturday.

In his NFL debut in Arizona's 17-0 victory at Green Bay last week, Mathieu had a 12-yard sack, a tackle for loss, a pass defended, two special-teams tackles and a 24-yard punt return.

Chargers – Malcom Floyd (River City High School) and the team received good news when an MRI revealed a strained right knee and not a more serious injury like the one that will sideline starting wide receiver Danario Alexander for the season. Floyd collided with cornerback Shareece Wright at practice and could miss two to four weeks.

Broncos – Offensive lineman Chris Kuper made a surprise appearance in pads at practice after agreeing to a restructured contract. He was on the physically unable to perform list following a second operation on his left ankle, which was dislocated in the 2011 regular-season finale.

Steelers – Wide receiver Plaxico Burress was placed on the injured reserve list, likely ending his season. Burress, 36, had surgery Monday to repair a torn rotator cuff in his right shoulder.

Redskins – Safety Phillip Thomas will miss his rookie season because of a foot injury. Coach Mike Shanahan said the fourth-round pick from Fresno State will have surgery on a torn ligament and will require four to five months of recovery.

Cowboys – The team formally announced it is moving headquarters from suburban Irving to suburban Frisco after winning overwhelming approval for a $115 million development that includes an indoor stadium for practice and use by area prep teams.

Giants – Safety Antrel Rolle said he sustained a "pretty good" sprain to his right ankle and didn't know when he would be able to return.

HGH testing – The NFL Players Association "tentatively agreed" to let the league take 40 blood samples for HGH tests each week during the season, with a positive result drawing a four-game suspension, according to a memo the union sent players. A copy of the NFLPA's email, written in a question-and-answer format, was obtained Tuesday by The Associated Press.

The memo said "a computer program will randomly select" five players apiece from eight teams each week to take the blood tests.

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