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NFL News and Notes

Re: NFL News and Notes

Panthers acquire S Harris
August 2nd, 2007

Charlotte, NC (Sports Network) - The Carolina Panthers acquired safety Chris Harris from the Chicago Bears in exchange for an undisclosed 2008 draft choice Thursday.

In 2006, Harris appeared in 11 games with the Bears, starting seven. He produced 54 tackles, two interceptions and two passes defensed. The former Louisiana-Monroe star also started all three postseason contests at strong safety for Chicago and collected 20 tackles and one pass defensed in addition to gathering one interception against Indianapolis in Super Bowl XLI.

In two NFL seasons, Harris has amassed 124 tackles, one sack, five interceptions, 10 passes defensed and one fumble recovery in 25 games.

"We think Chris is guy who will come in and compete," said Panthers general manager Marty Hurney. "He's smart. He's instinctive. He's a very physical player, and we think that he will come in and help us."

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Re: NFL News and Notes

Chargers' Parker sidelined after toe surgery
August 3rd, 2007

San Diego, CA (Sports Network) - The San Diego Chargers announced that veteran wide receiver Eric Parker will be out for up to 10 weeks after undergoing an operation on his right big toe Friday morning.

Parker, who hadn't stepped on the field at all during training camp, had a cracked sesamoid bone near his right big toe repaired in the operation.

The 28-year-old Parker led all San Diego wideouts in receptions and yards last year, catching 48 passes for 659 yards.

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Re: NFL News and Notes

Colts drop Simon
August 4th, 2007

Terre Haute, IN (Sports Network) - The Indianapolis Colts ended their first week of training camp by cutting veteran defensive tackle Corey Simon on Saturday.

Simon, the No. 6 overall selection in the 2000 NFL Draft by the Philadelphia Eagles, signed with the Colts as a free agent the week before the 2005 season- opener. The Eagles had released him earlier that off-season.

He missed last season, being placed on the inactive list for the first four games before spending the rest of the season on the Non-Football Illness/Injury list.

In 91 career games, all but 13 with Philadelphia, he has 245 tackles and 32 sacks.

The Colts also waived wide receiver Michael DePriest, placed tight end Mike Seidman on injured reserve and signed defensive end Noland Bruchette and wide receiver Aaron Brown as free agents.

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Colts' McFarland may miss season
ndystar.com
August 5, 2007

The Indianapolis Colts might have to mount their Super Bowl defense without a big part of their defense -- tackle Anthony McFarland.

According to multiple sources, McFarland has informed teammates and close friends he suffered a serious knee injury in a training camp practice Friday at Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology in Terre Haute. It's believed he tore a patella tendon, which likely would be season-ending.

Neither McFarland nor his agent, Karl Bernard, could be reached for comment. The Colts also had no comment when contacted Sunday afternoon. Saturday, coach Tony Dungy said McFarland was one of several players who underwent a magnetic resonance imaging test in Indianapolis.

Dungy described the procedure as "precautionary," but the damage apparently was severe.

Losing McFarland, 29 and in his ninth season, would be a substantial blow to the Colts' defense. The unit was instrumental in the team capturing its first world championship in 36 years, but ranked last in the league against the run during the regular season.

Even with the 300-pound McFarland anchoring the middle of the defense, the Colts allowed 173 rushing yards per game and 5.3 yards per attempt.

McFarland's loss comes on the heels of the team terminating the contract of veteran defensive tackle Corey Simon. Ironically, McFarland's injury occurred almost a year to the day Simon suffered an injury to his right knee that required surgery and contributed to him missing the entire season.

The Colts acquired McFarland last October in a trade with Tampa Bay, sending the Bucs a second-round draft pick.

With McFarland out of the mix, the interior of the defensive line loses experience and bulk. Raheem Brock returns for his second season as a starter, but the depth behind him includes Darrell Reid, Dan Klecko, Quinn Pitcock and Keyunta Dawson. Reid and Klecko have appeared in a total of 62 regular-season games, but only four as starters. Pitcock was a third-round pick in the April draft who missed the first week of training camp with a leg injury while Dawson is a seventh-round draft pick.

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Panthers' Minter to retire
August 6th, 2007

Charlotte, NC (Sports Network) - Carolina Panthers safety Mike Minter is expected to announce his retirement on Tuesday, a Charlotte newspaper reported Monday.

The 33-year-old safety was planning to make the 2007 season his 11th and final one in the NFL, but continuous knee pain apparently changed his mind, according to the Charlotte Observer.

The announcement would signal the end of one of the best defensive players in the short history of the franchise. Minter, selected by the Panthers in the second round of 1997 NFL Draft out of Nebraska, is the team's all-time leader in tackles (953), fumble recoveries (9), interceptions returned for touchdowns (4), and interception return yards (421).

Minter led the team in tackles in 2000, 2001, and 2003. He registered a personal-best 18 tackles in a game twice in his career, most notably in Super Bowl XXXVIII, a 32-29 loss to the New England Patriots. He played in all 16 games last season for the Panthers, finishing with 92 tackles and one interception, and extending his team-record consecutive start streak to 94 games.

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Bucs' Alstott to miss 2007, career may be done
August 9th, 2007

St. Petersburg, FL (Sports Network) - Tampa Bay Buccaneers fullback Mike Alstott will miss the 2007 season with a recurring neck injury, and his career may be over. The club placed the 33-year-old veteran on the injured reserve list on Thursday, a day before its preseason opener against the New England Patriots.

Alstott missed four games in 2003 with a similar neck injury. Reports circulated through media sources in the Tampa area Thursday that Alstott would announce his retirement at the afternoon press conference, but the six-time Pro-Bowl selection has not yet decided whether he will attempt to return in 2008.

Even though healthy since 2003, Alstott has seen his time reduced in recent seasons. After not having less than 131 carries in a season during his six straight Pro-Bowl seasons from 1997-2002, culminating with Tampa Bay's win in Super Bowl XXXVII, Alstott has not had more than 67 carries in a season since.

Known for his bruising style of running, and penchant for finding the end zone in short-yardage situations, Alstott has spent his entire 11-year career with the Buccaneers, compiling 5,088 rushing yards, 2,284 receiving yards and a franchise-best 71 touchdowns. Tampa Bay owns a 44-14 record in the regular season when he scores a touchdown. Last season, the Purdue product rushed for 171 yards and three touchdowns on 60 carries while catching 21 passes for 85 yards. He also ranks third in team history with 305 career receptions.

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Re: NFL News and Notes

Bears FB Ayanbadejo suspended 4 games
August 9th, 2007

Lake Forest, IL (Sports Network) - The National Football League has suspended Chicago Bears fullback Obafemi Ayanbadejo for the team's first four regular-season games of 2007 for violating the NFL Policy on Anabolic Steroids and Related Substances.

Ayanbadejos suspension begins on Saturday, September 1. He is eligible to return to the Bears' active roster on Monday, October 1 following the team's September 30 game against the Detroit Lions.

Ayanbadejo is eligible to participate in all preseason practices and games.

An eight-year vet, Ayanbadejo had spent the last three seasons with the Arizona Cardinals, playing in 14 games in 2006, with nine carries for 37 yards, and 17 receptions for 139 yards. Ayanbadejo was also a strong contributor on special teams for the Cardinals.

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Colts' McFarland may miss season

Colts' McFarland out for the season
indystar.com

IRVING, Texas -- The Indianapolis Colts will be without Anthony "Booger'' McFarland for the entire 2007 season.

The veteran defensive tackle was placed on the NFL's injured-reserve list prior to Thursday night's preseason game with the Dallas Cowboys. McFarland, 29, tore the patella tendon in one of his knees during a training camp practice last Friday in Terre Haute. He underwent surgery Tuesday.

President Bill Polian said the team's surgeons informed him "it was a difficult operation and involved a long recovery, and there's no chance of him coming back'' this season.

Asked if he anticipated McFarland making a full recovery, Polian said, "I have no idea what next year holds. Hopefully he'll be back on the field. Right now, he'll get on with his rehabilitation and we'll go from there.''

The Colts acquired McFarland last October in a trade with Tampa Bay. He started in 15 games, including the playoffs.

Polian reiterated the Colts will look to replace McFarland with someone on the roster. Against Dallas, rookie Edward Johnson started alongside Raheem Brock. Other prospects include third-round draft pick Quinn Pitcock, seventh-round pick Keyunta Dawson and veterans Darrell Reid and Dan Klecko.

The team made two other personnel moves prior to the game. It signed linebacker Victor Worsley, a rookie from North Carolina, and defensive end Travis Leitko, a rookie from Notre Dame.

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Re: NFL News and Notes

Bengals' Irons out for season
August 10th, 2007

Cincinnati, OH (Sports Network) - Cincinnati Bengals rookie running back Kenny Irons will miss the rest of the season due to a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee, the team announced on Friday.

Irons, the Bengals second round pick out of Auburn, suffered the season-ending injury during Thursday night's 27-26 loss to Detroit.

Tests were conducted on Friday and confirmed the extent of the injury.

The news comes as another blow to the depleted Cincinnati backfield.

Running back Chris Perry, a former first-round pick, is expected to begin the season on the Physically-Unable-to-Perform list and miss at least six games.

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Re: NFL News and Notes

Holdman to miss 3 months with spine injury
Associated Press

Denver Broncos linebacker Warrick Holdman has been advised by doctors not to play football for three months after suffering a spinal cord concussion in a collision with a teammate last week

Holdman was injured on Aug. 2 when he was trying to tackle running back Mike Bell, who lowered his left shoulder and struck the 243-pound linebacker in his helmet. Holdman went numb for about 40 seconds before regaining feeling in his extremities.

After being hospitalized overnight, Holdman said he was eager to return to practice to fight for the strongside linebacker job, but he never made it back onto the field.

Coach Mike Shanahan said subsequent tests led doctors to advise Holdman not to risk playing football for a while.

"I don't know for sure exactly what it was. When they go in there and evaluate players they give them a bunch of tests and his recommendation for him not to play or do anything for three months," Shanahan said.

Shanahan said he wasn't sure what roster move he would make in light of Holdman's injury.

"Right now it's hard to tell you exactly what we're going to do," he said. "We are talking to his agents and the doctors. Some of this we just found out."

Holdman, a ninth-year pro in his first season in Denver after spending the past two seasons in Washington, is the second candidate for the Broncos' strongside linebacker job to leave the competition with an injury. Free agent Eddie Moore (knee) was placed on the reserve-injured list after clearing waivers earlier this month.

D.D. Lewis, Louis Green, Nate Webster and T.J. Hollowell are still in the mix for the job.

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Re: NFL News and Notes

Bills' Hargrove suspended four games
August 11th, 2007

Buffalo, NY (Sports Network) - Buffalo Bills defensive end Anthony Hargrove was suspended for four games without pay by the NFL for violating the league's substance abuse policy.

The league did not announce what substance Hargrove tested positive for. Under league rules, players face a minimum four-game suspension for the first positive test, followed by an eight-game suspension for second-time violators.

He will be eligible to return to the Buffalo roster on October 1 following the team's game against the New York Jets on September 30. He will still be able to take part in all preseason practices and games.

The suspension is the latest problem for Hargrove. He was arrested last weekend and charged with three misdemeanors stemming from an altercation with police outside a Rochester nightclub. He pleaded not guilty to the charges and apologized to fans and his teammates.

Hargrove is entering his second season with Buffalo after the Bills acquired him in a trade with St. Louis last October.

The Bills signed him to a one-year contract in the offseason.

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Re: NFL News and Notes

Houston safety Earl out for the season
August 12th, 2007

Houston, TX (Sports Network) - Houston Texans strong safety Glenn Earl will miss the entire upcoming season with a lis-franc injury.

"He (Earl) does have the lis-franc injury," said Houston head coach Gary Kubiak. "He'll have surgery on Tuesday. The recovery on this: nine to twelve months, so Glenn's season is done. He will go on injured reserve. Glenn was having a fine camp and he's a big part of this football team so that's a big blow to this football team. He definitely will be out for the season."

Earl played in 15 games with the Texans last season and registered 74 total tackles, two sacks and one interception.

In three seasons with Houston, the Notre Dame product has 153 tackles, three interceptions and two sacks in 37 games.

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Re: NFL News and Notes

Jaguars sign safety Sammy Knight
August 13th, 2007

Jacksonville, FL (Sports Network) - The Jacksonville Jaguars have signed safety Sammy Knight to an undisclosed contract.

Knight spent the past two seasons with the Kansas City Chiefs. He also played two years with the Miami Dolphins after spending the first six years of his NFL career with the New Orleans Saints.

The 31-year-old veteran finished as the Chiefs' second-leading tackler last season with 87 stops and added a pair of sacks with one interception and one forced fumble.

Knight has started 153 of the 156 games he has played since signing with New Orleans as an undrafted rookie free agent in 1997. He has 38 interceptions, 1,067 tackles, seven sacks and 13 forced fumbles in his career.

The Southern California product earned his lone Pro Bowl nod after the 2001 season with New Orleans.

Jacksonville also released safety Kevin McCadam to open a roster spot.

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Re: NFL News and Notes

Carolina inks tackle Walker
August 13th, 2007

Spartanburg, SC (Sports Network) - The Carolina Panthers signed free agent tackle Kenyatta Walker on Monday. Per club policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Walker spent the first six years of his career with the Buccaneers, but was released in the offseason. He played in 75 games with 73 starts for Tampa Bay at left tackle and right tackle. His best season came in 2002 when he started 13 regular season games and all three postseason games, including the club's Super Bowl XXXVII win over Oakland.

The 28-year-old started the first three contests of the 2006 campaign, but suffered a right knee injury and was placed on injured reserve.

The Panthers also waived defensive end Jason Hall and tight end Dan Murray.

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Re: NFL News and Notes

Eagles' Moats injured in preseason contest
August 13th, 2007

Baltimore, MD (Sports Network) - Philadelphia running back Ryan Moats was taken off the field on a stretcher in the third quarter of the Eagles' preseason game against the Baltimore Ravens on Monday.

He was running towards the right sideline when his right ankle got caught underneath a tackler. Moats laid on the field for several minutes before being wheeled off on a stretcher.

The early report is that the injury is a fractured right ankle.

In two seasons with the Eagles, Moats, who is fighting for a roster spot this year, has appeared in 15 games and has 77 carries for 347 yards with three touchdowns.

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Cards must replace 2 starters
The Arizona Republic

FLAGSTAFF - Like the summer thunderstorms that swoop in up here, injuries can change the landscape of an NFL team in the blink of an eye. One minute, everything is clear and calm. The next, it's dark and dreary.

With storms hitting the Cardinals on two fronts, it's time for a few players to "step up their game."

Those were head coach Ken Whisenhunt's words of advice to three players who will be asked to fill in for injured starters Oliver Ross and Chike Okeafor, who both could miss the season because of injuries suffered in Saturday's preseason loss at Oakland.

Ross, the Cardinals' right tackle, suffered a torn left triceps muscle. The man now responsible for protecting quarterback Matt Leinart's blind side is rookie Levi Brown, the club's first-round draft pick out of Penn State.

"It's definitely not the type of situation where you want to get the position by somebody getting hurt," Brown said. "I'd much rather earn the position, but whether or not I got it now or later, it's time for me to step up and go out there and do what I have to do."

Okeafor, Arizona's strong-side linebacker, suffered a torn left biceps. Whisenhunt announced Monday that Calvin Pace and Darryl Blackstock will compete to replace Okeafor, and both players said there were ready for the challenge.

Blackstock, a third-round draft pick two years ago, has started two games in his career and has 16 tackles in 30 games.

"I'm more than ready," Blackstock said, adding that being told he is in the running for the starting job "did nothing but make me even more hungry. That's the type of guy I am. I love to work hard. I love success. I'll give it all I got and leave it all on the field, leave it all in the classroom.

"I'm just going to go hard. That's all I can do."

Pace, a first-round pick in 2003 and a former defensive end, has played mostly on the weak side at linebacker in the club's new 3-4 scheme. He took a political posture on the competition.

"You've got to go out there and let your play speak for you," Pace said. "For me to sit up here and try to talk my way into the spot, I guarantee it would be foolish. But it's an opportunity for me and for Blackstock to get the starting job, and we'll both give it our best.

"Everybody's got to step it up. It's just a shame this had to happen to a guy like Chike, who's a guy I've never even see a scratch on."

As a major thunderstorm was getting ready to dump rain and hail on Flagstaff, Whisenhunt was reluctant to discuss the status of Ross and Okeafor. Both could be headed for surgeries that likely would end their seasons, but Whisenhunt said both were seeking second opinions, and that an injury rehabilitation program was being discussed in case there was good news.

"We should have something on that in the next couple days," Whisenhunt said. "We're looking at options if we can treat it. We're going to be as aggressive and as smart as we can be. . . . We want to do it the right way."

If the two injured starters are done for the year, Whisenhunt expressed confidence in the replacements. He added that management is exploring the possibility of adding depth, especially to the offensive line, where backup center Nick Leckey also is sidelined because of a sprained knee ligament and could miss two to three weeks.

"We've got to look and see what's out there," Whisenhunt said. "We don't want to wear our guys down. We do feel good about the five guys we've got, and we're making some progress along the offensive line with the people we have in camp."

Brown has been progressing, too, after getting into camp late because of prolonged contract talks. He needs work on his pass-protection techniques, Whisenhunt said, but the coach liked his physical play and some of his run-blocking skills in the Raiders game.

"He's going to continue to improve," Whisenhunt said, "and it's a great opportunity for Levi to get reps with the first unit for now and see how that plays out."

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Eagles' Moats and McDougle likely out for the season
August 15th, 2007

Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - Philadelphia Eagles head coach Andy Reid announced on Wednesday that running back Ryan Moats and defensive end Jerome McDougle will likely miss the entire upcoming season.

Moats was taken off the field on a stretcher in the third quarter of the Eagles' 29-3 preseason loss to the Baltimore Ravens on Monday.

He was running towards the right sideline when his ankle got caught underneath a tackler. Moats laid on the field for several minutes before being wheeled off on a stretcher.

"He (Moats) has a left ankle fracture," Reid said. "Surgery on that ankle is pending. He will likely miss the 2007 season."

In two seasons with the Eagles, Moats has appeared in 15 games and has 77 carries for 347 yards with three touchdowns.

The oft-injured McDougle, who was selected by the Eagles with the 15th overall pick in the 2003 draft, suffered a significant right triceps injury. He is most likely done for the year and his status will be updated in the near future, according to Reid.

Since being drafted in the first round by Philadelphia, McDougle has spent more time on the bench with injuries than on the field. He was limited to just eight games in his rookie season after battling ankle, knee and hip injuries. The following year he missed five games with an irregular heartbeat and knee sprain.

The former Miami Hurricanes product also missed the entire 2005 campaign after being shot in the abdomen during a robbery attempt on the eve of training camp.

The disappointing McDougle has totaled 29 tackles and just three sacks in 33 games with the Eagles.

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Arizona starting linebacker probably lost for season
ASSOCIATED PRESS

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. -- Arizona Cardinals outside linebacker Chike Okeafor will probably miss the season after undergoing surgery Tuesday to reattach a torn biceps tendon.

Okeafor was holding out hope for a return this season, coach Ken Whisenhunt said, but the normal recovery period for that type of surgery is four months.

Darryl Blackstock and Calvin Pace are competing to replace Okeafor in the starting lineup.

Right tackle Oliver Ross, meanwhile, was getting a second opinion about his torn triceps tendon. That injury also could require season-ending surgery. First-round draft pick Levi Brown has moved into Ross' spot.

Okeafor and Ross were injured in last weekend's preseason opener at Oakland.

Whisenhunt said center Nick Leckey will miss Saturday's preseason game against Houston because of a sprained knee.

The Cardinals signed two free agents - guard Brad Badger and center Scott Peters - to bolster their dwindling depth on the offensive line. Badger has played 10 NFL seasons. He appeared in nine games last year for Oakland. Peters, who played at Arizona State, spent last season on injured reserve with Carolina because of a foot injury.

Arizona also released fullback BranDon Snow, a rookie free agent out of Penn State.

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Denney’s Broken Foot Thins DE Corps

Injuries never come at a good time, but the Bills experienced a significant one at the worst possible position when defensive end Ryan Denney went down during the first defensive series of the game.

"Ryan Denney unfortunately broke a bone in his foot," said head coach Dick Jauron. "It's really unfortunate for him and for us."

Denney was carted off the field shortly after exiting the game. Jauron stopped short of calling the injury season ending, but admitted the veteran defensive end will be on the shelf for a while.

"I'm not sure the doctors are certain yet," said Jauron in reference to the timetable for the injury. "We know at the very least he'll miss a substantial amount of time."

The injury leaves Buffalo's defensive end group precariously thin. With Anthony Hargrove lost for the first four games of the season due to a violation of the substance abuse policy, the Bills have no one with NFL game experience behind starters Aaron Schobel and Chris Kelsay.

Eric Powell was inactive for all 16 games last season, Ryan Neill spent 2006 on the practice squad and C.J. Ah You is a rookie seventh-round draft pick.

Making Hargrove's suspension even more painful was his solid performance in Friday night's preseason game against Atlanta as he had a sack, forced fumble and an interception that led to Buffalo's only touchdown.

"As long as I keep playing good and staying out of trouble everything will take care of itself," said Hargrove. "That is my main focus right now, to keep playing well. Hopefully they will keep me and we will see what happens."

Keeping Hargrove on the roster through his league-imposed suspension is almost guaranteed now that Denney is lost indefinitely.

Starting left defensive end Chris Kelsay said Denney's injury was "definitely a blow" to the defense especially in a defensive system based heavily on player rotation. Still he remains confident the coaching staff will take the necessary steps to bolster the position if they feel it's necessary.

"It'll be up to the coaches to decide on what direction we're going to take," Kelsay said. "We've got guys behind myself and Schobel. Eric Powell has been playing really well. Ryan Neill has been playing well. We'll just have to see how it all plays out. The coaches have been through this before I'm sure so they know the steps that need to be taken."

Jauron left the door open for the organization to look around the league for options to re-fortify the position.

"There will be some decisions that we have to make there," said Jauron. "We definitely have to keep looking as we do all the time."

In a couple of weeks Schobel and Kelsay could be looking at a lot more playing time once the regular season arrives, if no viable veteran defensive end is added to the mix.

"That could definitely be a situation," said Kelsay. "We'll just have to wait and see and let the coaches approach it. We've done it before. There's two years there where Schobel and myself and Ryan took the bulk of the workload during the season. That might be a possible circumstance. We've still got a couple of weeks left to the preseason. We'll see how it works out."

Jauron knows his team has to move forward, but he couldn't dismiss that Denney's injury was at a position they could ill afford to lose another player.

"It really hit us in a bad spot," he said.

www.buffalobills.com

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Jaguars release Couch; place McDougle on IR
August 18th, 2007

Jacksonville, FL (Sports Network) - The Jacksonville Jaguars released quarterback Tim Couch on Saturday and placed offensive lineman Stockar McDougle on injured reserve with a ruptured Achilles.

The Jaguars signed Couch on July 29 to add depth behind Byron Leftwich and David Garrard.

Couch was the first overall pick of the Cleveland Browns in the 1999 draft out of the University of Kentucky. He played five seasons (1999-2003) in Cleveland, starting 59 of 62 games, throwing for 11,131 yards with 64 touchdowns and 67 interceptions.

After his release from the Browns, Couch was signed by Green Bay in June, 2004, but released prior to the regular season. The 29-year-old has been out of football since then due to a serious rotator cuff injury.

The veteran McDougle suffered his season-ending injury earlier this week in practice.

Jacksonville also announced that defensive end Tyler King has signed, while defensive lineman Seth Payne inked a one-year deal.

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