UK Football

Lyons signs with Broncos

Former University of Kentucky receiver Dicky Lyons, Jr. has signed a free-agent contract with the NFL's Denver Broncos, according to his agent, Scott Smith.

Lyons was in Denver this weekend for a tryout at the Broncos mini-camp.

■ Also, ex-UK linebacker Micah Johnson is expected to sign a free-agent deal with the New York Giants on Monday. Johnson, who was not selected in last weekend's NFL Draft, was participating in the Giants mini-camp on a tryout basis.

Steelers receiver injured

Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Limas Sweed injured his left Achilles tendon during the final day of a three-day minicamp, and Coach Mike Tomlin says the injury could be serious.

Sweed was hurt during a routine passing drill on Sunday and was taken off the Steelers' indoor practice field on a cart. He later left the team's practice facility on crutches.

"I didn't have direct eyes on him (when he was hurt). It's just one of those things," Tomlin said.

If the Achilles is ruptured, the second-round draft pick from Texas in 2008 likely would miss the season.

Bengal has condition

CINCINNATI — With the sun beating down and temperature approaching 80 degrees during the Cincinnati Bengals' first workout at rookie minicamp, defensive tackle Geno Atkins made sure he got something to drink at every break.

The lineman from Georgia has to guard against dehydration, one of the effects of a condition he inherited from his NFL father.

Atkins was born with sickle cell trait, which is not nearly as bad as sickle cell disease but makes him careful about taking care of himself. His father, Gene, was an NFL safety for 10 years despite the condition, and his son is hoping for similar longevity.

"I don't really feel it," he said, following a workout at Paul Brown Stadium. "That's why I try to be in the best shape I can, so it doesn't affect me too much."

The Bengals were aware of Atkins' condition when they drafted him in the fourth round, hoping he can improve their pass rush. The only allowance the coaching staff has to make for Atkins is making sure he drinks enough during workouts.

Cowboys rookie impresses

ARLINGTON, Texas — Dallas Cowboys Coach Wade Phillips praised wide receiver Dez Bryant on Sunday. Phillips said the first-round pick showed a lot of potential during the team's three-day rookie minicamp.

Bryant made some spectacular catches, although against defensive backs with no NFL experience.

"Dez Bryant is an absolute talent," Phillips said. "You don't get to be around that many players that come in and look that good that early."