NFL News and Notes

Re: NFL News and Notes

Eagles send Holcomb to Vikings for 2009 draft pick
August 27th, 2007

Philadelphia (Sports Network) - The Philadelphia Eagles traded quarterback Kelly Holcomb to the Minnesota Vikings on Monday in exchange for an undisclosed draft pick in 2009.

Philadelphia acquired Holcomb, along with linebacker Takeo Spikes, from the Buffalo Bills in March in exchange for defensive tackle Darwin Walker and a conditional draft pick in 2008.

Holcomb became expendable when the Eagles used their top selection in this year's draft on Houston quarterback Kevin Kolb. Philadelphia re-signed A.J. Feeley in the offseason to be the backup and Donovan McNabb appears to have recovered from a torn ACL.

The 34-year-old Holcomb has appeared in 38 games, starting 21, during his NFL career. His most significant action came in eight starts with Cleveland in 2003 and eight with Buffalo in 2005.

Philadelphia also placed defensive tackle Jerome McDougle, running back Ryan Moats and offensive lineman Stefan Rodgers on injured reserve and released kicker E.J. Cochrane, wide receivers Dereck Faulkner and Jermaine Jamison, tight end Kyle Hunt, safety Chris Smith and guard Chris White.

The oft-injured McDougle, who was selected by the Eagles with the 15th overall pick in the 2003 draft, suffered a ruptured triceps tendon.

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.

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

Moats, a third-round selection in the 2005 draft, fractured his right ankle in the Eagles' preseason opener against Baltimore.

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

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Cardinals place Ross on IR
August 27th, 2007

Tempe, AZ (Sports Network) - The Arizona Cardinals placed veteran offensive lineman Oliver Ross on injured reserve Monday.

Ross has been bothered by a triceps injury and will miss the entire 2007 season.

The Iowa State product has been with Arizona since signing as a free agent from the Pittsburgh Steelers before the 2005 season. He appeared in 23 games over the past two seasons, starting 17.

In nine NFL seasons, Ross has started 53 of the 89 games he has played.

The Cardinals also placed wide receiver Ahmad Merritt on injured reserve with an ankle injury, while also releasing eight players to reach the limit of 75.

Those released were cornerback Travarous Bain, defensive tackle Ray Blagman, tight end John Bronson, guard Jon Hameister-Ries, wide receivers Greg Lee and Todd Watkins, safety Hanik Milligan and kicker Ricky Schmitt.

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Lions to place Bullocks on injured reserve, evaluate Jones
ASSOCIATED PRESS

ALLEN PARK, Mich. -- The Detroit Lions will put second-year safety Daniel Bullocks on injured reserve after he tore his anterior cruciate ligament.

Bullocks was to start at free safety this season after leading all NFC rookie defensive backs with 70 tackles last season. His right knee buckled during a non-contact play Saturday in the second quarter of the Lions' 37-10 loss at Indianapolis.

Lions coach Rod Marinelli said Monday he didn't know when Bullocks will have surgery, because doctors must wait for the swelling to go down.

''He's a heck of a player,'' Marinelli said. ''But you move on. The NFL is all about that.''

Sixth-year safety Idrees Bashir and rookie Gerald Alexander will compete for the starting spot.

Marinelli also said running back Kevin Jones, who has not played since breaking his foot last season, will be re-evaluated Thursday.

Several other Lions players continue to deal with injuries. Among those listed as day-to-day are defensive tackle Cory Redding, running backs Tatum Bell and Brian Calhoun, guard Damien Woody, defensive tackle Shaun Rogers, defensive end Dewayne White, wide receiver Mike Furrey, quarterback Jon Kitna and cornerback Travis Fisher.

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Re: NFL News and Notes

Titans agree to terms with Simon
August 28th, 2007

Nashville, TN (Sports Network) - The Tennessee Titans have agreed to terms of a contract with defensive tackle Corey Simon.

Simon spent the past two seasons with the Indianapolis Colts, who released the seven-year veteran earlier this month. He missed the 2006 campaign, spending most of the year on the non-football injury list.

"Corey brings a combination of run-stuffing size and pass rushing ability to the defensive tackle position," said Titans general manager Mike Reinfeldt. "Prior to last season, he has been a consistent and productive player who contributed to playoff teams and we are excited to see him get a second chance here with the Titans to prove he still has that ability."

Simon played the first five years of his NFL career with the Philadelphia Eagles, who made him the sixth overall choice of the 2000 NFL Draft. He was a Pro Bowl selection in 2003 and helped the Eagles reach the Super Bowl after the 2004 season.

The Florida State product has registered 311 tackles, 32 sacks, seven forced fumbles and three fumble recoveries in 91 NFL games.

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Ravens terminate Vincent's contract; Ogden ready
August 28th, 2007

Owings Mills, MD (Sports Network) - The Baltimore Ravens have terminated the contract of veteran offensive lineman Keydrick Vincent and placed Pro Bowl offensive tackle Jonathan Ogden on the active roster.

Vincent started 12 games last year at guard, but became expendable when the Ravens used a first-round pick in this year's draft on guard Ben Grubbs from Auburn.

In six NFL seasons, Vincent has started 48 games. He began his career with the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2001 and joined Baltimore as a free agent before the 2005 season.

Ogden, who will enter his 12th NFL season, had been bothered by a toe injury and started the preseason on the physically unable to perform list.

The Ravens also placed running back P.J. Daniels on injured reserve with a hamstring injury.

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Briggs' car abandoned after accident
August 27, 2007

Associated Press

CHICAGO (AP) -- A damaged black Lamborghini registered to Chicago Bears linebacker Lance Briggs was found abandoned early Monday alongside the Edens Expressway on the city's North Side, authorities said.

Illinois State Police officials said the 2007 Roadster was discovered around 3:15 a.m. on northbound I-94 near the Devon Avenue exit. It had crashed into a light pole.

"(The) registration comes back to Lance Briggs, however we don't know who was driving the car at the time," Master Sgt. Kyron St. Clair said.

Police said it doesn't appear that anyone was injured in the crash. Whoever was behind the wheel of the luxury Italian sports car could face misdemeanor charges for improper lane usage and leaving the scene of the accident, St. Clair said.

The vehicle had not been reported stolen, he said.

Authorities were trying to find the 26-year-old Bears star Monday morning to get more information about what may have happened.

Several team spokesmen did not immediately return messages left by The Associated Press early Monday, and phone calls were not answered at the Bears' public relations office.

Briggs: I panicked after crash
Associated Press

Chicago Bears linebacker Lance Briggs said he panicked after he crashed his new Lamborghini along a highway early Monday morning and initially reported his car stolen after abandoning the mangled vehicle.

Briggs, speaking to reporters after practice on Tuesday, said he called a tow truck after leaving the scene and then reported his car was stolen.

"When it happened, the first thing I did was, obviously, I panicked," Briggs said. "I didn't want there to be a big scene there. And so I left the scene. When I left, I called the tow truck. I also was startled, and I called to report that my car was stolen. Within probably 10 minutes, I called back and accepted responsibility for what I did because it was ridiculous in the first place."

Illinois police found the abandoned vehicle, which had hit a light pole and a concrete bridge support, alongside the Edens Expressway on the city's North Side around 3:15 a.m.

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Re: NFL News and Notes

Bengals claim K Elling off waivers from Jags
August 29th, 2007

Cincinnati, OH (Sports Network) - The Cincinnati Bengals claimed kicker Aaron Elling off waivers from the Jacksonville Jaguars on Wednesday to add depth behind the injured Shayne Graham.

Elling is expected to fill in temporarily for Graham, who suffered a hip pointer against the Atlanta Falcons in preseason action on Monday night.

The 29-year-old Elling, who was in training camp with the Jacksonville Jaguars before being waived on Sunday, last kicked regularly in the NFL in 2003 with the Minnesota Vikings.

Elling has also played for the Tennessee Titans and Baltimore Ravens and is 19-of-28 in field goal attempts for his career.

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Rucker will be suspended for opener
FOXSports.com

The Bengals have enjoyed a relatively quiet off-season when it comes to off-field player issues, but the previous legal problems of one backup defensive lineman have resulted in disciplinary action by the NFL.

Bengals defensive end Frostee Rucker will be suspended for the team's Sept. 10 season-opener against Baltimore, FOXSports.com has learned.

Rucker pleaded guilty in May to one count of false imprisonment and one count of vandalism stemming from a June 2006 incident with an ex-girlfriend. Rucker, who had a charge of spousal battery against him dropped as part of a plea deal, was sentenced to 36 months probation.

Rucker told FOXSports.com on Wednesday that he has appealed the suspension.

"We'll just see how it goes," Rucker said. "It's pretty much in someone else's hands right now. All I can do is continue to grow as a player. If I get it, I didn't. If I don't, thank the Lord and I'm going to play as hard as I can [against Baltimore]."

A 2006 third-round draft pick from Southern California, Rucker missed his entire rookie campaign because of a shoulder injury. Rucker is expected to contribute as part of Cincinnati's defensive line rotation this season, although he may miss Friday night's preseason finale against Indianapolis after aggravating a hamstring injury in Monday's 24-19 loss to Atlanta.

The suspension will cost Rucker $21,176.47 of his $360,000 base salary for 2007.

Rucker is the third Bengals player who will enter the season on the NFL's suspended list. Wide receiver Chris Henry was given an eight-game ban following four arrests in a 14-month span, while linebacker Odell Thurman remains suspended for a second consecutive season after being barred in 2006 for a series of problems related to drug and alcohol abuse.

Henry, a key member of Cincinnati's offense, is eligible for reinstatement after the first six games.

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Eagles and Bears unable to stay healthy in preseason finales
ASSOCIATED PRESS

The Eagles and Bears broke the most important rule of the preseason: Don't get anyone hurt.

A.J. Feeley, Philadelphia's backup quarterback, broke his left hand, and first-round draft pick Greg Olsen, Chicago's projected starting tight end, hurt his knee.

Feeley was injured in the Eagles' 13-11 loss to the New York Jets, one of 14 games Thursday night.

''He has to see a hand specialist,'' coach Andy Reid said. ''He might be OK.''

Feeley insisted he will be ready for the team's opener at Green Bay on Sept. 9.

If Feeley, a right-hander, is out, rookie Kevin Kolb becomes the No. 2 behind McNabb.

The Eagles lost the game 13-11 as a 2 1/2-point favorite. The game played over the 36 1/2-point total.

The Bears lost Olsen to a knee injury late in the first half of a 19-9 home loss to Cleveland. He was hurt while getting tackled after catching a short pass and will undergo an MRI exam.

Olsen had been expected to bolster the passing attack with his skills over the middle.

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Bucs WR Warren lost for season
August 30th, 2007

Tampa, FL (Sports Network) - Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Paris Warren suffered a dislocated left ankle in the team's preseason finale on Thursday against Houston.

Warren suffered the injury catching the game-winning touchdown with just over three minutes remaining in the fourth quarter. Texans cornerback Dexter McCleon caused the injury, tackling Warren from behind as he crossed the goal line.

"I am obviously very disappointed that Paris Warren's season is over," said Tampa Bay head coach Jon Gruden. "It was a freak thing. On the touchdown reception you could see that the ball was slightly under thrown and he was pulled down from behind. It was ugly. I think you saw our team out there and it was a credit to see how important he was to our guys."

Warren finished with seven catches for 110 yards and two touchdowns as Tampa Bay won 31-24.

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Rams' Steussie breaks foot in preseason finale
August 30th, 2007

St. Louis, IL (Sports Network) - Rams veteran offensive lineman Todd Steussie broke his left foot in St. Louis' 10-3 win over the Kansas City Chiefs, the preseason finale for the club.

The 36-year-old Steussie suffered the injury during the last drive of the first quarter on Thursday night. Steussie, who has missed only two games since entering the league in 1994 with the Minnesota Vikings, is expected to be out six-to-eight weeks with the injury.

The 14-year veteran was not expected to start for the Rams this season, but did log 15 starts, at both left guard and left tackle, last season due to injuries to starters.

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Feeley has surgery for broken hand
August 31st, 2007

Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - Philadelphia Eagles backup quarterback A.J. Feeley underwent surgery Friday to repair a broken bone in his left hand.

Feeley injured his non-throwing hand during Thursday's preseason finale against the New York Jets, breaking the third metacarpal bone. He said he played a series after getting hurt because it did not affect his throwing. Feeley ended the game 6-of-9 passing for 79 yards and was sacked three times.

After the contest, Feeley said the injury would not prevent him from being ready for Philadelphia's season-opener next Sunday against Green Bay.

If Feeley is unable to play next week, the Eagles would be left with rookie Kevin Kolb as the primary backup to Donovan McNabb, who is coming off a major knee injury that ended his 2006 campaign early.

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Del Rio names Garrard starting QB; Leftwich to be released
August 31st, 2007

Jacksonville, FL (Sports Network) - Jacksonville head coach Jack Del Rio ended any speculation about who would be the Jaguars' starting quarterback on Friday, naming David Garrard as the team's starting signal caller for the 2007 season.

Del Rio had reinstated Byron Leftwich as the team's starting quarterback on Feb. 22. Friday afternoon, Del Rio announced Leftwich will either be traded by Saturday's six p.m. roster-cut deadline or he will be released.

Leftwich had started the first six games of last season before a left ankle injury brought his season to an end. The 26-year-old Leftwich, who completed 108-of-183 passes for 1,159 yards with seven touchdowns and five interceptions in his six starts, was inactive for five weeks before eventually undergoing surgery to repair the injury.

Garrard took over for Leftwich and threw for 876 yards with five touchdowns and five interceptions as Jacksonville finished short of the playoffs with a record of 8-8.

Garrard has a 10-8 record in 18 regular-season starts. He has started 15 games the last two seasons, compiling a 9-6 record. In 2005 he led the Jaguars to five wins in the last six games of the season to cap a 12-4 record and the team's first playoff berth since 1999.

Leftwich, the seventh pick of the 2003 draft, was 24-20 as a starter, completing 789 of 1,344 passes for 9,042 yards, 51 touchdowns and 36 interceptions for a passer rating of 80.5. Leftwich had been the teams official starting quarterback since the fourth game of his rookie campaign.

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Giants relief: Strahan ending holdout
August 31, 2007

Associated Press

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) -- Seven-time Pro Bowl defensive end Michael Strahan has decided to end his holdout and return for a 15th NFL season with the New York Giants.

"He went with his heart instead of his head," Tony Agnone, his agent, said in a telephone interview with The Associated Press on Friday evening. "He felt at this point he was part of the team, and he was going to go to battle with them."

The decision came a day before the Giants had to cut their roster to the 53-man limit and a little more than a week before the season opener at Dallas.

"He knows he'll be ready to go," Agnone said of playing in the season opener. "He's been working out like crazy."

Strahan left the West Coast on Friday and planned to be at Giants Stadium on Monday when the team begins preparing for the Cowboys. He will have four practices before the game.

And Strahan might play more than the 2007 season.

"This does not mean at the end of the year that he is going to retire," Agnone said. "He is going to sit down again in March like he always does, and he said: 'I won't be doing this next year."'

Agnone said Strahan informed Giants general manager Jerry Reese of his decision to play around 5 p.m. EDT. Agnone would not say when Strahan made up his mind, but he added the NFL's single-season sack leader did not want to keep the team hanging.

The 35-year-old Strahan missed 36 days of training camp and amassed a $514,368 fine.

Agnone said the Giants agreed to reduce the fine total, but Strahan still will pay a "significant amount of money."

Giants spokesman Pat Hanlon said the team had no comment, and Reese did not return an e-mail seeking comment.

The announcement of Strahan's decision came just hours after a frustrated coach Tom Coughlin said he was taking the approach that Strahan would not play this season.

Coughlin seemed upset that Strahan still was mulling whether he would play more than five weeks after training camp opened. He also was annoyed that Strahan's absence made it tough to make final roster decisions and to pick a practice squad.

Third-year-man Justin Tuck has started at left end in the preseason, and he has played well.

Strahan, who is to make $4 million this season, had mulled retirement while considering a career in television, insisting the decision had nothing to do with money.

In a letter to Giants fans last month, Strahan said the holdout had nothing to do with his recent divorce, in which a judge awarded his former wife $15.3 million. Strahan has paid half that amount, and an appellate court granted him a temporary stay while it considers whether the award was too much.

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Patriots' Harrison suspended four games
August 31st, 2007

Foxborough, MA (Sports Network) - New England Patriots safety Rodney Harrison was suspended Friday for the first four games of the regular season for violating the league policy on performance-enhancing substances.

Harrison's suspension begins immediately, and he will not be eligible to return to the active roster until after the Patriots' October 1 game against Cincinnati.

New England opens the regular season September 9 at the New York Jets before home games against San Diego and Buffalo.

Harrison is the NFL's all-time sacks leader by a defensive back, having recorded 28.5 sacks in his 13 seasons, and is the only player in NFL history to record at least 25 sacks and at least 30 interceptions in his career. Harrison also has six interceptions in his last six playoff games, two of which occurred in Super Bowl XXXIX.

Originally drafted by the Chargers in the fifth round (145th overall) of the 1994 Draft, he signed with the Patriots as a veteran free agent on March 12, 2003.

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