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Olympic sprinter signs with Indianapolis Colts

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About 40 Olympians have played in the NFL. Could Marvin Bracy be next?

The Rio Olympic 100m sprinter signed with the Indianapolis Colts on Monday after spending much of the spring and summer searching for an NFL home.

Bracy, who was eliminated in the Rio Olympic semifinals, hasn’t played a football game in more than five years.

The former Florida State wide receiver could end that break on Sunday, when the Colts open their preseason hosting the Detroit Lions.

Bracy said in March that he preferred football to track. He unsuccessfully tried out for the Carolina Panthers in May and then missed the USATF Outdoor Championships in June due to unspecified surgery.

Bracy did race in three track meets in April.

“[Medaling at the Olympics] would have made the decision a hell of a lot harder,” Bracy said of switching back to football, according to the Charlotte Observer. “But I wanted to get back on the field for so long now.”

Bracy said at FSU’s pro day in March that he tossed and turned over his decision to leave school in 2013 and pursue a pro track career. He remembered thinking it was the wrong decision as he merged onto Interstate 10 in Tallahassee four years ago.

Bracy never played a down for the Seminoles, redshirting his freshman year in 2012. He missed spring 2013 practice with a hamstring injury before turning pro.

“I won’t say I regret it, leaving, but I always had that what-if factor going on in my head,” Bracy said at FSU’s pro day, where he was told he ran the 40-yard dash in 4.3 seconds (he also believed he ran a quicker 40 but wasn’t given the time). “I just told myself I couldn’t live with the decision of not knowing what it could have been [in football]. If I come out here, and I fail, or if I get a tryout with a team and I fail, then I can at least sleep knowing that, OK, you tried, and it just wasn’t for you. You know, track is your calling, whatever, whatever. If it works out, and I become one of the greatest players to ever play [football], I can say, well, I had the courage to go out there and give it a shot.”

Another Olympic sprinter, London 2012 relay member Jeff Demps, briefly signed with the Colts in 2014 but did not play in a game. Demps did play for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2013.

Patriots safety Nate Ebner and former Lions running back Jahvid Best competed in Rio in rugby and track, respectively.

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VIDEO: Manning uses Final Five for Durant joke at ESPYs

Peyton Manning uses Final Five for Kevin Durant joke at ESPYs

Kevin Durant, Peyton Manning
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Peyton Manning roasted Kevin Durant at the ESPYs, with a little help from the Final Five.

In Manning’s opening monologue, he made light of Durant’s decision to leave the Oklahoma City Thunder for the Golden State Warriors last July, one month before Durant won his second Olympic gold in Rio.

Video is here.

“I love that the Final Five won the most Olympic medals of any U.S. women’s gymnastics team ever,” Manning said Wednesday night. “And our gymnastics team was so dominant that Kevin Durant told me that he wants to play for them next year. And I got to tell you, I don’t think you’d start for that team, Kevin. Russell Westbrook, what do you think?”

Durant sat stone-faced, appearing to be displeased at being the butt of the joke. Westbrook, too, gave little reaction after losing Durant as a teammate the previous year.

Aly Raisman later reached out to Durant on Twitter.

Manning’s first athlete joke of the 10-minute monologue was about Ryan Lochte, whose Rio gas-station incident was also fodder for Jimmy Fallon at the MTV Video Music Awards one week after the Olympics.

“The ESPYs finally got it right this year, because normally some comedian or entertainer or Matthew Perry comes up here and just tears the athletes to shreds,” Manning said. “I know what some of y’all are thinking, right? [Pro wrestler] John Cena hosted the ESPYs last year, and he’s an athlete. John Cena is an athlete the same way that Ryan Lochte is a reliable witness. It’s just not an accurate statement, right? [Michael] Phelps, am I right? I’m right, yeah, thank you Phelps.”

Lochte was not believed to be in attendance. When the camera panned to Phelps, he hid his face while laughing.

In 2013, Lochte was the butt of a Jon Hamm ESPYs monologue joke, which also caused Phelps to crack up.

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Chad Johnson funds track team to travel to Junior Olympics

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Chad Johnson, the retired NFL All-Pro wide receiver also known as Chad Ochocinco, appears to have donated $2,200 to help a Baltimore youth track and field team travel to the USATF National Junior Olympic Track and Field Championships in two weeks.

Johnson’s account responded to a tweet of a crowdfunding link for the Turbo Track Club, which said it needed $5,000 to travel to the meet in Kansas later this month.

Johnson’s donation, plus subsequent smaller donations, put the team within $700 of its goal as of Tuesday night.

Johnson has a daughter, Cha’iel, who is one of the nation’s top 12-year-old runners.

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