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NFL backs touch down in Glendale

Ray Rice and Peyton Hillis both spent Thursday at Glendale Studios, instead of on the football field, shooting a commercial.

July 21, 2011|By Andrew Shortall, andrew.shortall@latimes.com

GLENDALE — Peyton Hillis and Ray Rice both took advantage of some down time while the NFL lockout was still in effect and paid a visit to Glendale Studios to shoot a commercial for RipFire XCELERATE, a pre-workout supplement, on Thursday.

Normally, Hillis and Rice would be ramping up for NFL training camp with their respective teams, the Cleveland Browns and Baltimore Ravens, but the lockout threw a shadow of doubt over when teams will be able to get back to work on the football field.

Both players fielded a number of questions on the lockout and how it's impacted them and their teams just hours before the NFL owners approved a new labor agreement, which could signal the beginning of the end of the lockout, at about 4 p.m. Thursday.

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"It's positive talk [around the lockout], which is good," said Hillis, the Browns' 25-year old running back. "It's a lot better than it was in the first couple of months. We're just going to sit back, cross our fingers and dot our 'I's and hope everything works out okay."

A report from ESPN's John Clayton on Thursday indicated the NFL player representatives were set to vote on the matter Thursday night, as well. If approved, as expected, training camp would most likely be opened on Aug. 1, according to Clayton.

"It looks like we are getting a deal done," said Rice, a 24-year old running back with the Ravens. "I am just excited to be getting back to work."

After being swamped with countless questions about the lockout over the past few months, Hillis admitted he's a little sick of the subject.

"You have no answers to it," Hillis said. "Everyone is asking you, 'Do you know this, do you know that' and you just feel helpless because you really don't know too much about it."

Both players took advantage of some down time they normally wouldn't have during the lockout, whether they spent it with family or shooting commercials. The free time hasn't been used for all fun and games, though.

"As players, we have to control what we can control and that's staying in shape, staying out of trouble while you have that free time and staying in shape again because that's the main thing," Rice said. "Football is one of those things where if it's one step too late the play is broken."

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