Study gives NFL a passing grade

A new study found that the NFL has improved its hiring practices to increase diversity.

The league received an overall B grade in the report released Thursday by The Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport at the University of Central Florida. It earned an A-minus for racial hiring practices and a C on gender hiring practices. Those are the highest grades the NFL has received from the institute over the years.

“We are making progress, but we are certainly not content,” NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said. “We know we can do better and we are committed to improving.”

The study analyzed data provided by the league on the racial breakdown of players and coaches and the racial and gender breakdown of team and NFL management and other officials.

The institute had not issued the league a grade on gender since it received a D-plus in 2004 because the NFL had not provided the data. The league started providing data again this year.

The report cited “sustained progress” in improving racial diversity at the head coach and general manager positions. The 32-team NFL has six African-American head coaches and five African-American general managers.

Those coaches are Chicago’s Lovie Smith, Indianapolis’ Jim Caldwell, San Francisco’s Mike Singletary, Tampa Bay’s Raheem Morris, Pittsburgh’s Mike Tomlin and Cincinnati’s Marvin Lewis.

L.A. stadium clears obstacle

The city of Industry, Calif., has approved a settlement with neighboring city Walnut, which had opposed plans for an $800 million NFL stadium east of Los Angeles.

The deal approved unanimously by the Industry City Council grants the city of Walnut $9 million, an annual cash payment of up to $500,000 and other concessions.

Walnut council members, who had claimed in the city’s lawsuit that Industry approved the project without sufficiently reviewing its environmental impact, had voted 3 to 1 to approve the deal Tuesday.

The deal also requires developers to pay for noise monitoring around the stadium and prohibits loud events after 10 p.m.

Members of a Walnut citizens’ group that filed a separate lawsuit over the stadium said their talks with Industry and developer Majestic Realty Co. broke down with no settlement agreement.

No NFL team has agreed to move to the proposed stadium, about 15 miles east of L.A.

Eagles to sit McNabb again

Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb is still not able to practice and it appears unlikely he will play this week.

McNabb, who suffered a broken rib in a season-opening win over Carolina, is expected to miss his second straight game as the Eagles (1-1) meet the Kansas City Chiefs (0-2) at Lincoln Financial Field.

Third-year QB Kevin Kolb started last week in a loss to the New Orleans Saints and is expected to start again.

Veterans Jeff Garcia and Michael Vick, back from his league suspension, will be the backups.

Chargers hurtin’ for certain

Seven San Diego Chargers players missed practice on Thursday, including running back LaDainian Tomlinson, outside linebacker Shawne Merriman and rookie right guard Louis Vasquez.

That total doesn’t include center Nick Hardwick, who had surgery on his left ankle on Wednesday and is expected to be out the next eight weeks.

Coach Norv Turner said it’s tougher to get players ready for Sunday’s game – this one at home against Miami – if they miss the Thursday practice.

Turner said the team will see if Merriman (groin) and Vasquez (knee) can practice today. But he wasn’t as optimistic about Tomlinson, who sprained his right ankle in the opener and missed last Sunday’s home loss to Baltimore.

Extra points

The New York Giants put safety Kenny Phillips, who had two interceptions in Sunday night’s win over Dallas, on injured reserve with an injured left knee. Phillips was leading the team in interceptions (2) and tackles (16) and was tied for the lead in passes defended (2). … Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson says his back injury is “not a big deal,” meaning he should play Sunday against San Francisco. … New York Jets rookie quarterback Mark Sanchez has some tendinitis in his right knee that isn’t expected to affect his availability for this weekend’s game against Tennessee. … Pittsburgh Steelers safety Tyrone Carter was fined $5,000 for a hit on Chicago tight end Greg Olsen that left Carter with a bruised left thigh. Carter did not practice Wednesday or Thursday but said he expects to play Sunday at Cincinnati.