Sports briefs – August 17

The Edmonton Eskimos signed veteran kick-returner Ryan Grice-Mullen on Tuesday.

Eskimos sign new returner

EDMONTON — The Edmonton Eskimos signed veteran kick-returner Ryan Grice-Mullen on Tuesday.

Grice-Mullen spent two seasons with the B.C.Lions and appeared in six games last year with the Saskatchewan Roughriders. He set a CFL playoff record in 2009 with a 106-yard punt return TD against the Montreal Alouettes in the East Division final. Patrick joins the Eskimos after NFL stints with the New York Giants, New England, Green Bay, Detroit, Philadelphia, Kansas City and San Francisco. He also spent time with the United Football League’s Destroyers.

The Eskimos also released offensive lineman Cliff Washburn, kick returner/receiver Brandon James and linebacker Rico McCoy.

Detroit Lions top pick Fairley on the mend

ALLEN PARK, Mich. — Detroit rookie defensive lineman Nick Fairley is making progress as he recovers from surgery on his left foot.

Fairley was walking around Tuesday with a protective boot on the injured foot.

The defensive tackle missed the Lions’ first pre-season game last week, but at least now he’s able to move around and be with the team out on the field during practice.

“He got the cast off of his foot. Now he’s in the walking boot, so now he can walk around,” coach Jim Schwartz said.

“You can’t have a guy that’s on crutches that can’t walk around out there.”

Fairley didn’t have much to say about his injury, but he’s clearly putting in the effort to stay involved in team activities.

“Right now I’m taking it day by day. I’m in the treatment room, trying to get back as fast as I can,” said Fairley, a first-round draft pick. “I just use this time more to be in the film room, getting my mental reps.”

Detroit has had its share of injuries during training camp, but the Lions looked impressive while beating Cincinnati 34-3 in their first pre-season game last week. Detroit plays at Cleveland on Friday night.

A-Rod singles in first rehab game

MOOSIC, Pa. — Alex Rodriguez singled and played six innings in the field Tuesday night, as the Yankees third baseman continues his minor-league rehabilitation following right knee surgery in July.

Rodriguez, playing in his first game for triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, batted third, and lined a single to right, before flying out to left, and popping up to second. He also fielded a ground ball in the fourth inning.

Scranton/Wilkes-Barre lost to Durham, 2-0. The game drew an announced crowd of 9,328.

Rodriguez is scheduled to play again on Wednesday night in what should be his final minor-league game. He could rejoin the Yankees on Thursday night in Minnesota.

Red Sox turn triple play

BOSTON — The Boston Red Sox turned their first triple play in 17 years on Tuesday night against the Tampa Bay Rays, the second triple play in the Majors in as many days.

The Milwaukee Brewers also turned one Monday night against the Los Angeles Dodgers.

According to STATS LLC, the last time there were triple plays on consecutive days was May 22-23, 1981. On the 22nd the Mariners converted a triple play against the Rangers. The next day the Cleveland Indians converted a triple play against the Yankees.

Tuesday’s triple play got the Red Sox out of a huge jam.

B.J. Upton and Casey Kotchman started the top of the fourth inning with singles off of Ottawa’s Erik Bedard, who got out of the jam when Sean Rodriguez hit a hard grounder to third.

Jed Lowrie fielded it cleanly, stepped on the base and fired it to Dustin Pedroia, who got the ball off quickly to Adrian Gonzalez at first and beat Rodriguez to the bag.

It was Boston’s first triple play since shortstop John Valentin turned one by himself on July 8, 1994.

Nicasio wants to pitch again

DENVER — Colorado Rockies pitcher Juan Nicasio says he feels lucky to be alive after being struck by a line drive and fracturing his neck, and he wants to get back on the mound.

Nicasio spoke publicly on Tuesday for the first time since Aug. 5 when a drive off the bat of Washington’s Ian Desmond struck him on the right side of the head. Team trainers and medical personnel stabilized his head and neck before taking him to Denver Health Medical Center, where within hours he underwent surgery.

Doctors inserted two pins into the cracked C-1 vertebra to help it heal in one piece. A small metal plate was attached to the back of his neck to provide additional stability.

Nicasio, 24, says he knows many people who suffer the same injury don’t survive.

NFL postpones supplemental draft

NEW YORK — The NFL supplemental draft originally scheduled for Wednesday has been postponed.

NFL spokesman Michael Signora confirmed Tuesday that the draft will not be held as planned and that teams have been told a new date has not yet been set.

At least five players are known to be eligible for the supplemental draft, including former Georgia running back Caleb King.

Former Ohio State quarterback Terrelle Pryor gave up his final season with the Buckeyes following an NCAA investigation at OSU. He wants to get into the draft but as of Tuesday afternoon had not yet been declared eligible for it.