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October 8 News and Notes

Colts WRs banged up — 10:24 a.m.

While the Indianapolis Colts have a good chance at getting starting WR Pierre Garcon (hamstring) back from his two-game absence for Sunday’s game against the Kansas City Chiefs, his replacement, WR Austin Collie (foot), has yet to practice this week.

Should Collie miss practice again for the third straight day, the Colts would be down to just four available receivers for this week’s game, and two of them, Blair White and Kenny Moore, signed with the team just recently. Starting WR Reggie Wayne (knee) practiced Thursday and is expected to be in the lineup.
-- Adam Caplan

Skins sign rookie RB — 9:02 a.m.

The Washington Redskins have signed rookie RB Quinn Porter to their practice squad. He’ll replace rookie RB Javarris James, who was signed to the Indianapolis Colts’ active roster on Thursday.

Porter (6-0, 205) was originally signed by the Green Bay Packers as an undrafted free agent on Apr. 30 before being waived on Sept. 6. During three preseason games with the Packers, Porter rushed for 77 yards on 21 attempts (3.7 avg.). He also added one reception for six yards, one punt return for four yards and one kickoff return for 22 yards.

Read more here ...
— Adam Caplan

October 7 News and Notes

Free agent FB suspended — 10:22 p.m.

Free-agent RB Zak Keasey has been suspended by the NFL for four games, two league sources told FOXSports.com. It’s not known what he has been suspended for, but it’s believed the suspension starts this week, so he would be eligible to play after Week Eight. All NFL teams were notified of the suspension earlier this week, the sources said.

Keasey was one of the last roster cuts by the New Orleans Saints on Sept. 4.

Keasey, 28, was originally signed as an undrafted free-agent in 2005 by the Washington Redskins. But he was a standout collegiate linebacker in Princeton University. He moved to fullback during his rookie season with Washington.

He spent the following three seasons with the San Francisco 49ers (2006-2008). Keasey suffered a broken forearm in August of 2009. After reaching an injury settlement with the 49ers, Keasey worked out for the Saints before last season ended. He wound up signing with them in February of this year.

— Adam Caplan

Hillis limited in practice — 9:59 p.m.

Cleveland Browns FB/RB Peyton Hillis suffered an injured thigh during Thursday’s practice and was added to the injury report. Hillis was listed as limited.

The third-year pro was acquired earlier this year from the Denver Broncos in exchange for QB Brady Quinn. Draft selections were also involved in the trade, but it’s apparent that the Browns have gotten the better end of the deal so far.

Hillis is tied for eighth in the NFL in rushing yards with 322 and is tied for first with rushing touchdowns with four. Quinn has not taken a snap from center in Denver’s four games this season.

Should Hillis not be able to suit up against the visiting Atlanta Falcons on Sunday, RB Jerome Harrison (thigh) would start. Harrison practiced for the second straight day on Thursday.

— Adam Caplan

McFadden misses practice — 7:45 p.m.

Oakland Raiders running back Darren McFadden sat out his second straight practice with a sore hamstring and is almost certain to miss Sunday's game against San Diego.

Michael Bush, off to a slow start after missing the first two games with a broken left thumb, handled the majority of reps in practice Thursday and will likely start against the Chargers.

McFadden's absence would be a blow to Oakland's sputtering offense. The former first-round draft pick is tied for third in the NFL with 392 yards rushing, 35 more than he had all last year. It's also the best start by an Oakland running back since Lamont Jordan had 424 yards after four games in 2007.

— Associated Press

Jones-Drew back at practice — 5:07 p.m.

Fantasy football owners can relax.

Jacksonville Jaguars starting running back Maurice Jones-Drew (ankle) was back practicing Thursday after sitting out Wednesday’s practice. Look for Jones-Drew to be in the lineup Sunday when the team takes on the Buffalo Bills.

Jones-Drew suffered a sprained ankle during last week’s win over the Indianapolis Colts. He left the game briefly, but returned.

— Adam Caplan

Texans sign defensive end — 5:07 p.m.

The Houston Texans weren’t able to sign veteran defensive end Aaron Schobel, but they have signed another defensive end.

Mark Anderson, who was released earlier in the week by the Chicago Bears, signed with Houston on Thursday. He agreed to a deal less than 24 hours after Chicago let him go.

To make room for Anderson on their 53-man roster, the Texans released veteran end Ryan Denney.

Anderson, 27, was selected in the fifth-round of the 2006 draft by Chicago. He started 18 games in five seasons.

— Adam Caplan
 

Packers place Burnett on IR — 1:28 p.m.

The Green Bay Packers placed starting SS Morgan Burnett (knee) on injured reserve. Burnett suffered a torn ACL during last week’s win over the Detroit Lions. Backup S Derrick Martin is expected to replace Burnett.

In addition, the Packers have signed LB Maurice Simpkins to the active roster from the practice squad and signed LB Johnny Williams to the practice squad.

Simpkins (6-0, 236) out of Coastal Carolina University, has been on Green Bay’s practice squad for the first four games. Signed by the Packers as an undrafted free-agent in August, Simpkins played for the Green Bay Blizzard of the Indoor Football League in 2010.

Williams (6-2, 244) is first-year player out of the University of Kentucky. H e entered the NFL as a non-drafted free agent with the Jacksonville Jaguars in May 2009. He spent time on the Pittsburgh Steelers practice squad late in the 2009 season and was with the Denver Broncos during the preseason this year.

— Adam Caplan

Colts add running back — 12:52 p.m.

The Indianapolis Colts, who are dealing with the lingering hamstring injury to second-year RB Donald Brown, signed undrafted rookie free-agent RB Javarris James of the Washington Redskins practice squad. To make room on the 53-man roster for James, the Colts released veteran LB Tyjuan Hagler.

Brown missed week’s game at the Jacksonville Jaguars and did not practice on Wednesday. Should he miss Sunday’s game against the Kansas City Chiefs, Mike Hart would handle the No. 2 role.

— Adam Caplan

Jay Cutler out for Bears — 12:49 p.m.

While Chicago Bears QB Jay Cutler (concussion) was able to get in some practice time Wednesday, he won’t start this Sunday’s game at the Carolina Panthers.

Cutler was injured during last week’s loss at the New York Giants and could not finish the game. Veteran QB Todd Collins, who suffered a neck injury after replacing Cutler, will start against Carolina. Collins took in his normal amount practice reps on Wednesday.

Cutler, who was sacked a whopping nine times in the first half of last week’s game, has been ruled out against Carolina. No. 3 QB Caleb Hanie will back up Collins.

— Adam Caplan

Patriots re-sign offensive lineman, add QB — 12:16 p.m.

The New England Patriots re-signed G/OT Quinn Ojinnaka. In addition, the Patriots signed QB Brett Ratliff to the practice squad.

Ojinnaka (6-5, 295) was acquired by New England in a trade with the Atlanta Falcons for undisclosed draft considerations on Aug. 23 and released on Sept. 30. He is a veteran of four NFL seasons after originally joining Atlanta as a fifth-round draft pick out of Syracuse in 2006. He has played in 39 NFL games with 12 starts during his career, seeing action at tackle and at guard.

Ratliff (6-4, 224) originally joined the New York Jets as a rookie free agent out of Utah on May 12, 2007. After spending the 2007 season on the Jets’ practice squad, Ratliff spent the entire 2009 season as the Jets’ third quarterback. He was traded to the Cleveland Browns on April 25, 2009 and spent most of the year as Cleveland’s third quarterback. Ratliff was waived by Cleveland on Sept. 4 of this year and was signed to the Jacksonville practice squad on Sept. 6. The Jaguars released Ratliff from the practice squad on Sept. 27. As noted previously, Ratliff worked out for the Patriots on Wednesday.

— Adam Caplan

Redskins add punter — 12:01 p.m.

As expected, the Washington Redskins signed P Hunter Smith. Smith agreed to a contract on Wednesday. To make room for him on the 53-man roster, the team placed P Josh Bidwell (right hip) on injured reserve.

Smith, who worked out for the New York Giants on Tuesday, played in 13 games with the Redskins last season. He posted a 41.3-yard average, with a net of 36.8. He played for the Indianapolis Colts the previous 10 seasons.

— Adam Caplan

Patriots checking out kickers — 9:24 a.m.

With New England Patriots K Stephen Gostkowski struggling a bit with his accuracy, the team worked out two kickers this week.

Veterans Shayne Graham and Shaun Suisham worked out for the team on Wednesday.

Gostkowski has missed three out of seven of his field goal attempts this season.

In addition to Graham and Suisham, the Patriots worked out QB Brett Ratliff and LS Matt Katula.

Ratliff is the fourth quarterback the team has worked out since the regular season began. New England has two quarterbacks on their 53-man roster, but none are on their practice squad.

Katula is the second long snapper to work out for the team in the last three weeks.

— Adam Caplan

Revolving door for Philly linebackers continues — 9:16 a.m.

The Philadelphia Eagles have been trying to find some stability at strong-side linebacker for some time. Second-year LB Moise Fokou started four games as a rookie at that position. Fourth-year LB Akeem Jordan has started three games there this season, but the Washington Redskins found a lot of success running on his side last week. Because of that, Fokou is expected to work with the first-team defense this week.

Fokou, who was selected in the seventh-round of the 2009 NFL Draft, was one of the bigger surprises for the team last season, but it remains to be seen if he can finally gave the position some badly needed stability.

— Adam Caplan

October 6 News and Notes

Dolphins cut DL Dotson — 8:20 p.m.

The Miami Dolphins have waived injured backup DL Lionel Dotson. Dotson was injured during Monday night’s loss to the New England Patriots.

Dotson, 25, appeared in three games this season for Miami and posted two combined tackles.

He was originally a seventh-round pick of the Dolphins out of the 2008 NFL Draft.

Elsewhere, the Dolphins worked out four players late this week.

The team took a look at TE Jamie Petrowski, DE Carl Ihenacho and LBs David Veikune and Mike Rivera.

Veikune was a second-round pick of the Cleveland Browns out of the 2009 NFL Draft.

— Adam Caplan

Raiders DT Henderson out with stress fracture — 7:51 p.m.

Oakland defensive tackle John Henderson could be sidelined for more than a month with a stress fracture in his right foot, dealing a blow to the Raiders' struggling run defense.

Henderson has already missed two games with a sore foot that wasn't improving. Coach Tom Cable said Wednesday that Henderson had a stress fracture and could miss between two and five additional weeks.

''I think it's big,'' Cable said. ''John was playing well and the last time really that he played was St. Louis, but we've had good play out of him so obviously that's a loss. But we'll overcome it.''

The Raiders are thin at defensive tackle with Henderson out, with only Desmond Bryant available to back up starters Tommy Kelly and Richard Seymour. Oakland released Jay Alford earlier in the week to make room for linebacker Bruce Davis, who was needed to bolster a banged-up linebacker crew.

Starting weakside linebacker Quentin Groves missed practice with a hamstring injury that could force him to miss this week's game against San Diego.

''He's very questionable right now,'' Cable said. ''In another 24 hours, we'll see. Hamstrings are hamstrings. Sometimes a week, maybe two. Sometimes four weeks.''

Backup Thomas Howard also missed practice with a knee injury, forcing starting defensive end Trevor Scott to move back to outside linebacker, where he played late last season and during the preseason. Matt Shaughnessy will start at defensive end in Howard's place.

Also, rookie middle linebacker Rolando McClain missed practice because of a death in his family. McClain is expected to rejoin the team Thursday.

The Raiders have had problems on the front-seven this season, allowing 249 yards rushing last week to Houston and the second-most rushing yards in the league this season. Oakland also recorded no sacks in last week's 31-24 loss.

Because of the injuries at linebacker, the Raiders signed Davis off the San Francisco 49ers practice squad on Tuesday. Davis has spent time with Pittsburgh, New England and San Francisco, getting his only game action in 2008 with the Steelers.

''I think his training has been good,'' Cable said. ''He's been able to come in and pick it up. Today was good. I liked what I saw. We'll go look at it on film and then go to work here tomorrow and Friday as well.''

Davis has played almost exclusively in 3-4 systems so it is a little bit of an adjustment to fit into Oakland's 4-3 scheme. Cable said Davis can contribute right away on special teams and the coaches will see where he is in terms of the defense later in the week.

''I've learned so much defense in the going on three years I've been in the league,'' Davis said. ''I've had five playbooks so I know how to break down a playbook and figure it out. I know how to study. The coaching staff here is great. To this point they've helped me out a lot. I think it will work out.''

Davis has ties to the Raiders. His father, Bruce, was drafted by the Raiders in 1979 and played tackle for the team until 1987. He was on two Super Bowl champions and was excited when he heard the news from his son.

''My dad speaks about this place with a lot of pride,'' Davis said. ''I know he's happy that I'm here and I'm happy to be part of the family now too.''

NOTES: OL Robert Gallery, who has missed the past three games with a hamstring injury, worked out on the side Wednesday and is close to getting back on the field for practice, Cable said. ... RB Darren McFadden did not practice with a hamstring injury. Cable said it was not as serious as the one that sidelined him for a couple of weeks in training camp. ... QB Bruce Gradkowski was limited at practice with a shoulder injury but said it was not a big deal.

— The Associated Press

Falcons re-sign LB — 7:04 p.m.

The Atlanta Falcons signed linebacker Robert James to the practice squad. To make room for him on the practice squad, the team released undrafted rookie running back Shawnbrey McNeal.

The 5-foot-11, 224-pound James was originally selected by the Falcons in the fifth round of the 2008 draft. After spending the 2008 season on injured reserve, James spent most of 2009 on the Falcons practice squad before being elevated to the active roster for the season finale at Tampa Bay.

James was reinstated Monday from his four-game suspension for violating the NFL’s substance abuse policy.

— Adam Caplan

Chargers LB Phillips honored for big game — 6:59 p.m.

Chargers outside linebacker Shaun Phillips was picked as AFC Defensive Player of the Week on Wednesday, and actually talked about it.

Phillips was honored for his career-high four sacks and a 31-yard interception return for a touchdown in San Diego's 41-10 win against the Arizona Cardinals. He was one sack shy of the tying Leslie O'Neal's team record set Nov. 16, 1986.

Phillips deferred all credit to his teammates.

''It ain't about me, it's about them,'' he said in a rare interview. ''They did a great job, which allowed me to do a great job.''

Until Wednesday, Phillips had granted only one interview since the Chargers' 17-14 playoff loss to the New York Jets. He was penalized 15 yards for head-butting a Jets player, one of three personal fouls against the Chargers during a mistake-filled game.

NFL players are supposed to be available to the media once a week and after games.

The normally chatty Phillips - who also happens to be one of the team's most prolific tweeters - bolted before reporters were allowed in the locker room after the Jets game. He was nowhere to be seen after Sunday's big performance against the Cardinals.

''I wanted my teammates to have all the glory,'' Phillips told The Associated Press on Wednesday, perhaps after a nudge from the team's PR staff and the Professional Football Writers of America. ''They're the ones that did everything, that allowed me to get to what I did. It's all them. If it wasn't for them, I wouldn't have done anything.''

Phillips denied that criticism of his penalty against the Jets had anything to do with his media boycott.

''Not at all,'' he said. ''I just decided I wanted to focus more on football and less on media. I'd just rather my teammates have all the glory and I'm just going to go out and work for us.''

When asked about that penalty in an interview earlier this year with radio station XX 1090, Phillips said: ''If someone could do better, then they should try out for the team. If they can't do better, they should shut their mouth.''

Phillips wouldn't discuss that play on Wednesday.

''I just focus on this year, so I don't even remember,'' he said.

With fellow outside linebacker Shawne Merriman battling injuries, Phillips leads San Diego with six sacks. He's second in the NFL behind Green Bay's Clay Matthews, who has seven.

''I'm going to continue to stay out of the limelight as much as possible and let them have all the glory,'' said Phillips, who added that he would speak with the media once a week.

Staying out of the limelight could be hard if Phillips and his teammates continue to play well. The Chargers (2-2) had nine sacks and three takeaways on Sunday and have one of the most suffocating defenses in the league. They visit the Oakland Raiders on Sunday, seeking their 14th straight win against their biggest rivals.

When told that Phillips credited his teammates, defensive end Luis Castillo was surprised.

''He talked to the media? Oh, I thought he had self-imposed media blackout. Wow,'' Castillo said.

''I don't know what to say. That's as spectacular a performance as you can have,'' Castillo said. ''As hard as it is to get sacks...''

Castillo was interrupted by fellow end Jacques Cesaire.

''God was playing Madden upstairs and he happened to give Shaun a 99 rating,'' Cesaire said. ''He was in complete control and he just put him in the perfect place at the perfect time.''

Safety Eric Weddle, who took out two Cardinals players with one block to clear Phillips' path to the end zone on the interception return, agreed.

''It was an unbelievable game,'' Weddle said. ''He's always been a consistent player for us. Does a lot of things - drops, rushes the quarterback, plays the run. It was just one of those games you dream of. He just executed and did his job.''

NOTES: The Chargers signed SS Tyrone Carter and released DE Alfonso Boone. ... Merriman (calf) and G Louis Vasquez (knee) were limited in practice while LB Brandon Siler (foot) and S Darrell Stuckey (hamstring) didn't practice.

— The Associated Press

'Skins reel in punter — 5:55 p.m.

The Washington Redskins have agreed to terms on a contract with free agent P Hunter Smith, a source confirmed.

Smith, who worked out for the New York Giants on Tuesday, worked out for the Redskins last week.

Starting P Josh Bidwell’s (right hip) injury continues to linger and it’s possible that the team places him on injured reserve if his hip doesn’t improve. Bidwell didn’t practice on Wednesday.

Smith, who is expected to sign his contract on Thursday, played in 13 games with the Redskins last season. He played for the Indianapolis Colts the previous 10 seasons.

— Adam Caplan

Dolphins' Long misses workout — 5:21 p.m.

Pro Bowl tackle Jake Long was sidelined as the Miami Dolphins began bye-week workouts Wednesday.

Long, who has been nursing a sore left knee all season, was absent when the Dolphins took the field for practice. The team's next game is Oct. 17 at Green Bay.

Long was listed on the injury report last week but didn't miss practice time and played the entire game Monday night against New England. Coach Tony Sparano declined to comment on Long's status.

Taking part in the workout was linebacker Channing Crowder, who has yet to play this season because of a groin injury.

Sitting out were defensive ends Jared Odrick (leg) and guard John Jerry (illness). Both attended the workout.

Defensive end Lionel Dotson was waived injured.

— The Associated Press

Bills RB Jackson reclaims starting job — 4:32 p.m.

Running back Fred Jackson doesn't have time to question the reasoning behind why the Buffalo Bills traded Marshawn Lynch to Seattle - though he was aware a deal had been in the works.

What matters to Jackson is providing the Bills' sputtering offense a sense of identity now that he's reclaimed the starting job he had in taking over for Lynch midway through last season.

''That's the business side of it, that's what they handle upstairs,'' Jackson said, before practice Wednesday, a day after Lynch was traded to the Seahawks in exchange for draft picks. ''All we can do is come out here on the field and play with the guys we have. We have to focus on going out and winning football games.''

And that's been the problem for the winless Bills, who are going through another round of upheaval in preparing to host Jacksonville (2-2) on Sunday.

Last week Buffalo was shuffling quarterbacks after the team cut former starter Trent Edwards, who has since signed with the Jaguars and will serve as the team's backup this weekend. This week its running backs, as the Bills came to the conclusion that three is, in fact, a crowd.

Lynch's departure frees up more carries for both Jackson and rookie first-round pick C.J. Spiller, who's yet to provide the spark he showed in scoring three touchdowns this preseason.

In his first opportunity to discuss the trade, coach Chan Gailey wouldn't go provide details into the timing of the move even though Lynch had first asked to be dealt well before the Bills drafted Spiller.

''I don't get into sooner or later, there's a lot of things that go into decisions like this,'' he said. ''You're trying to do what's best for your team. And it worked out that a trade was made, and we're fortunate we have two good players that can carry the load for us the rest of the way.''

Gailey said he's leaning on Jackson because, as a fourth-year player, he has more experience. And he intends to get Spiller more involved. Spiller has scored a touchdown receiving and another on a kickoff return, but has only 49 yards rushing on 14 carries.

Lynch had received the bulk of the work in starting the past three games, and led the team with 37 carries - three more than Jackson and Spiller had combined - for 164 yards. That left Jackson and Spiller splitting limited playing time because the Bills offense was either having difficulty sustaining drives or forced to play catch-up by going primarily with a passing attack.

Not much has worked on an offense that's failed to generate 230 yards in three of its four games, and averaging 13.5 first downs.

The Bills all but bottomed out in a 38-14 loss to the Jets last weekend. It was a game in which quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick led the team with 74 yards rushing, Buffalo went 0 for 10 in third-down conversions and finished with 19:31 in time of possession.

Enter Jackson, who had a breakout season last year in finishing with a team-leading and career-best 1,062 yards rushing.

Jackson learned of his promotion upon arriving for team meetings Wednesday and shortly after he wished Lynch well with his new team during a phone conversation.

''Now it's my time to stand up here and try to make plays,'' Jackson said. ''It's going to be a challenge. It always is, but it's a challenge I'm looking forward to.''

The trade didn't catch Jackson by surprise because he said Lynch had kept him up to date on the progress of trade talks over the past few weeks.

Spiller, selected ninth overall out of Clemson, was surprised by the move, saying he thought a three-back rotation had a chance to work. Spiller, however, acknowledged he's having difficulty finding his niche.

''I'm still unsure what my role is,'' Spiller said. ''It's kind of disappointing that you don't really know. But at the same time, you know what you can bring to this team. I stay encouraged by that. So you just wait your turn and try to help the team any way you can.''

Fitzpatrick wasn't surprised by the trade, given how the offense has sputtered and the team is winless.

''Well, there's never a dull moment in the NFL, especially when you're losing,'' Fitzpatrick said. ''It's just one of those things we had talked about, crowded backfield and trying to get everybody touches. Hopefully, it works out for Marshawn, and hopefully, it works out well for us.''

— The Associated Press

Lions QB Stafford out for Sunday — 4:30 p.m.

Detroit Lions coach Jim Schwartz says quarterback Matthew Stafford is still not healthy enough to play.

Shaun Hill will start Sunday for the winless Lions at home against the St. Louis Rams.

Stafford hasn't played since he injured his right shoulder in the season-opening game at Chicago.

Schwartz says Stafford has begun to throw and his rehabilitation is on schedule. The team hasn't provided a timetable for Stafford's possible return.

The No. 1 pick in the 2009 draft has played in 11 games and will miss his 10th when he watches Detroit face St. Louis about a month after his latest injury.

Hill has completed 60 percent of his passes for 991 yards with five touchdowns and seven interceptions in four games this season.

— The Associated Press

Saints' Porter out with surgery — 4:18 p.m.

Another player who contributed to the New Orleans Saints' Super Bowl run has to be replaced for a few games.

Tracy Porter will be out three to four weeks after arthroscopic surgery to repair the lateral meniscus in his left knee, leaving a team that has already looked vulnerable without one of its starting cornerbacks.

Four regulars were unable to practice Wednesday: Porter, defensive end Will Smith (groin), and running backs Reggie Bush (right fibula) and Pierre Thomas (left ankle). Then there were players - including strong safeties Roman Harper (hamstring) and Pierson Prioleau (chest) - who were banged up but practiced on a limited basis with the hope of being able to play at Arizona on Sunday.

''Part of the success that you have in this league has a lot to do with how you respond to injuries and how a team can persevere through some of the unfortunate things that happen,'' said Prioleau, a special teams captain who started at safety last Sunday in place of Harper but was knocked out of the game on kick coverage.

''It's obvious that we've had to endure some injuries to some key players in key spots on this team, but it's going to show the mark of the team that we are to have the ability to come out and still produce on the field with the guy that's next in line.''

In all, 19 players were listed on New Orleans' injury report, although 12 practiced fully.

The Saints (3-1) have found a way to win and are tied for first place in the NFC South. But their performances haven't approached the level of dominance they displayed last season, when they won each of their first six games by double digits.

After opening the season with a five-point win over Minnesota, the Saints edged winless San Francisco with a last second field goal, lost to the Falcons in overtime after missing a field goal that could have won it, and then needed a field goal late in the fourth quarter for a two-point, comeback victory over winless Carolina.

The Saints contend their best football is still ahead, given how many players are out or playing hurt.

Quarterback Drew Brees is playing with a brace on his left knee, which was injured on a hit by Atlanta defensive end John Abraham in Week 3.

Rookie running back Chris Ivory, who had 12 carries against Carolina, favored his left knee with a pronounced limp as he made his way from the trainer's room to his locker.

Ivory's path to the regular season roster was cleared in training camp by season-ending injuries to Lynell Hamilton and P.J. Hill. Then when Bush went out after Week 2, Ivory began to see significant action the past two games and the Saints signed Ladell Betts, who is now the only running back not listed on the injury report.

Brees said the club's running back situation exemplifies how the Saints have been forced to overcome factors beyond their control as they try to defend their title.

''Did I think at this point that Ladell Betts and Chris Ivory would be our two starting running backs going back to training camp? I don't think they were on the radar at that point,'' Brees said. ''Anytime some of your key components are not on the field, it's going to affect you a little bit and you just kind of wait for the time to put all the pieces to the puzzle back on the field. I feel that the guys that have stepped in have done a very good job.''

Saints coach Sean Payton said the Saints worked out two safeties this week - Macho Harris and Pat Watkins - but decided against signing either because the club hopes either Harper or Prioleau can play Sunday. When both were out on Sunday, Chris Reis went in at strong safety, only to leave the game with a season-ending shoulder injury. Then Usama Young, already a regular on special teams, had to fill in at strong safety.

Young was drafted as a cornerback and is now a reserve free safety, so moving to strong safety on Sunday required him to contribute on run support more than he is accustomed.

''You've got to be able to have that linebacker's mentality,'' Young said. ''You've got to be able to close some gaps and it happens fast.''

After Young tackled DeAngelo Williams for a loss late in the fourth quarter - a crowd-pleasing play which took Carolina out of range for a winning field goal try - Young said he briefly thought to himself that he could get used to playing strong safety.

''But when I went home that night I started feeling my neck getting a little tight, the shoulders were hurting and I said, 'Man, being in (on run support) takes it out of you,''' Young said.

— The Associated Press

Bills add defensive end to practice squad — 3:49 p.m.

The Buffalo Bills today have signed free-agent DE Ra’Shon ‘Sunny’ Harris to the practice squad.
Harris (6-5, 300) joins the Bills after being released by Pittsburgh prior to the regular season.

Harris entered the NFL as a sixth-round (205th overall) draft choice of the Steelers in 2009. Harris spent time on the Carolina Panthers active roster and practice squad in 2009, appearing in two games and recording two tackles. He re-joined the Steelers on Oct. 14 and was inactive for the rest of the 2009 season. In 36 games at Oregon, Harris recorded 65 tackles (39 solo) and 4.0 sacks.

— Adam Caplan

Chargers bring safety into the fold — 3:40 p.m.

The San Diego Chargers have signed free agent SS Tyrone Carter. To make room for Carter on their 53-man roster, the Chargers released veteran DL Alfonso Boone. Carter agreed to a deal on Tuesday and signed the contract on Wednesday.

Carter (5-9, 195) is in his 11th NFL season and started 12 games last year for the Pittsburgh Steelers in place of injured Pro Bowler Troy Polamalu. He intercepted a pair of passes against the Denver Broncos last season, returning one 48 yards for a touchdown, to earn AFC Defensive Player of the Week honors.

Carter also returned an interception for a touchdown in 2008 and had one of his best seasons in 2003 with the New York Jets, starting 10 games and recording 88 tackles and two interceptions. He started his career in 2000 with the Minnesota Vikings and was signed by the Washington Redskins this August but released the week before the regular season.

With starting SS Steve Gregory suspended four games, Carter should be able to dress as the backup SS.

Boone played in the first three games this season, but was inactive for last week’s game versus Arizona.

— Adam Caplan

Clinton Portis to extended time with injury — 3:12 p.m.

Washington Redskins head coach Mike Shanahan told reports Wednesday that starting RB Clinton Portis will miss four to six weeks with a third degree groin separation.

Portis was injured during last week’s win at the Philadelphia Eagles. RB Ryan Torain, who took over for him, will start this week’s game against the Green Bay Packers. Recently signed RB Chad Simpson will back him up.

Torain was terrific last week against the Eagles. He ran with a solid pad level and power. Simpson is more of a change of pace back, but could see time in passing situations.

As first reported by FOXSports.com, the team re-signed rookie RB Keiland Williams to the practice squad on Tuesday. Williams could be signed off there to see a passing down role.

— Adam Caplan

Max Hall gets starting nod for Cardinals — 2:14 p.m.

In no great surprise, rookie Max Hall will take over as the starting quarterback for the Arizona Cardinals, the team’s official website reports.

Hall, who was signed as an undrafted free agent in late April by the Cardinals, will replace struggling QB Derek Anderson when the team takes on the San Diego Chargers this Sunday.

Anderson, who threw for less than 52 percent completions through four games, might only be around for one season. Anderson signed a two-year, $7.25 million deal with the Cardinals back in March. But he’s carrying a base salary of $3.9 million for next season.

Hall had the best preseason and training camp of any quarterback on the Arizona roster, so it shouldn’t be too much of a surprise that he’ll get a shot to take over.

Hall, an NFL Combine invitee, lacks ideal arm strength, but he makes up for it in leadership and accuracy.

— Adam Caplan

49ers Make Moves — 2:10 p.m.

The San Francisco 49ers added two players to their practice squad on Wednesday. TE Colin Cloherty and LB Eric Bakhtiari will fill the last two spots.

Cloherty (6-2, 245) originally signed as an undrafted free agent with the Indianapolis Colts on Apr. 31, 2009. He played in one game with the Colts and registered one reception for two yards. Cloherty spent the majority of the 2009 season on the Colts practice squad before being signed to their active roster for the season finale. Cloherty was with the Colts through training camp in 2010 and was released in the final cuts.

Cloherty, a 23-year old native of Bethesda, MD, starred collegiately at Brown, where he registered 99 receptions for 1,211 yards and nine touchdowns. A source said he took a team physical on Tuesday, but did not work out for the team.

Bakhtiari (6-3, 250) originally entered the league as an undrafted free agent with the San Diego Chargers in 2008. He has spent time on the Chargers, San Francisco 49ers, Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Tennessee Titans practice squads before being signed to the Titans active roster on December 12, 2009. Bakhtiari played in three games for the Titans in 2009. He was released by the Titans at the end of training camp on Sept. 4.

— Adam Caplan

T.J. Ward fined for hit on Jordan Shipley — 12:34 p.m.

Cleveland Browns rookie safety T.J. Ward has been fined by the NFL for his hard hit on Cincinnati wide receiver Jordan Shipley.

Ward would not say how much he was fined, but a person familiar with the situation told The Associated Press that the league assessed him a $15,000 penalty for the hit on Shipley in the fourth quarter of Sunday's game. The person spoke on the condition of anonymity because he is not authorized to speak about the fine.

An NFL spokesman said he was not aware that Ward had been fined.

Ward struck Shipley after an incomplete pass in the closing minutes of Cleveland's 23-20 win. Shipley sustained a concussion.

Ward said he was not trying to hurt Shipley.

— The Associated Press

Burleson getting closer to return for Lions — 12:23 p.m.

Nate Burleson is taking another step forward to returning to the lineup to give the Lions another quality wide receiver.

Burleson ran routes in the portion of Wednesday’s practice that was open to the media.

Earlier in the week, Burleson expressed confidence that he will play against the Rams at Ford Field on Sunday.

Burleson has not played since injuring his right ankle on the first series of the second game against Philadelphia. He was hit by linebacker Ernie Sims, a former Lion, after making a catch. Full story ...

— FOXSports Detroit

Injured Eagles stars miss practice — 11:54 a.m.

Philadelphia Eagles head coach Andy Reid said during his Wednesday press conference that QB Michael Vick (ribs) and RB LeSean McCoy (broken rib) won’t practice today.

Reid added that he won’t rule Vick out, but it would be a stretch for him to play Sunday night at the San Francisco 49ers. Vick is feeling a little better, according to Reid. QB Kevin Kolb will handle all of the first-team reps in practice.

As for McCoy, he’s making progress with his injury. Reid added that he may practice on Thursday.

WR Riley Cooper (concussion) also won’t practice Wednesday, but has a chance to practice on Thursday. Reid indicated that Cooper is on target for being able to play this week.

Starting CB Asante Samuel (concussion) participated in the pre-practice walk-through, but won’t practice today.

As first reported by FOXSports.com, the Eagles did not work out any quarterbacks, running backs, or receivers on Tuesday. The only player they worked out was G Donald Thomas.

Reid said the plan was not to add any players at quarterback, running back, or receiver.

— Adam Caplan

Colts place Bullitt, Moore on IR; work out two — 10:33 a.m.

As expected, the Indianapolis Colts placed S Melvin Bullitt (shoulder) and first-year RB Devin Moore (neck/back) on injured reserve.

The Colts, who are thin on depth at receiver, worked out free-agent WRs James Hardy and Kole Heckdendorf on Tuesday.

Hardy was a former second-round pick out of the 2008 NFL Draft by the Buffalo Bills. Buffalo waived him on Sept. 4.

— Adam Caplan

Bills cut TE; add RB Anderson — 10:31 a.m.

As expected, the Buffalo Bills signed RB Andre Anderson off their practice squad. Anderson agreed to the deal on Tuesday and the team announced the move on Wednesday morning. He’ll replace RB Marshawn Lynch on the 53-man roster, who was traded to the Seattle Seahawks.

Anderson originally joined the Bills as an undrafted free agent on Aug. 16 before being released prior to the regular season. Anderson rushed for 2,009 yards on 444 carries and 17 touchdowns at Tulane. The 6-0, 212-pound running back received Conference USA All-Academic Football accolades twice.

In addition, the Bills released TE Joe Klopfenstein off injured reserve.

— Adam Caplan

Titans work out six players; sign two — 10:29 a.m.

The Tennessee Titans, looking at depth at a few positions, worked out six players on Tuesday.

They worked out FB Joel Gamble, who was signed to their practice squad. Gamble beat out FB Jerome Johnson, who also worked out.

The Titans took a look at RB Ian Johnson, who was waived by the Minnesota Vikings last month.

DT Amon Gordon, who also worked out for Tennessee, was signed to the 53-man roster.

DEs Marques Douglas and Mike Montgomery worked out for the team, but did not sign a contract.

Douglas has played most of his career in a 3-4 defensive scheme. Tennessee uses a 4-3.

— Adam Caplan

Eagles work out Guard — 9:59 a.m.

The Philadelphia Eagles have been looking for depth at guard for some time, but hadn’t worked out a free agent at that position until Tuesday. A source said the team worked out Donald Thomas, who has now worked out for six teams and visited another this season.

Thomas, who was originally a sixth-round pick in the 2008 NFL Draft by the Miami Dolphins, started 13 games in his two seasons of play including 12 last season.

— Adam Caplan

Redskins re-sign RB Keiland — 9:58 a.m.

As expected, the Washington Redskins signed undrafted free-agent rookie RB Keiland Williams to their practice squad. Williams was waived by Washington last Saturday.

To make room for Williams on the practice squad, the team released undrafted free-agent rookie LB Mike Balogun.

Washington has three running backs on their 53-man roster, but starter Clinton Portis (groin) is not expected to play at home against the Green Bay Packers on Sunday.

— Adam Caplan

Giants work out four players — 9:57 a.m.

New York Giants rookie P Matt Dodge has been inconsistent this season, so because of that, the team worked out free-agent P Hunter Smith on Tuesday.

While Smith was the only punter that the Giants worked out, the team also took at look at OT Ike Ndukwe, TE Nathan Overbay, and CB Joe Burnett.

The Giants, a source confirmed, put a waiver claim in for OT Jamon Meredith, who wound up being claimed by the Detroit Lions on Tuesday.

— Adam Caplan

Vikings make room for Moss — 7:55 a.m.

As noted by FOXSports.com’s Jay Glazer, the Minnesota Vikings created a roster space for WR Randy Moss by making a trade on Tuesday.

The Vikings traded backup DE Jayme Mitchell to the Cleveland Browns in exchange for a 2012 draft pick.

The Browns waived CB Derrick Roberson in order to make room for Mitchell on their 53-man roster.

Mitchell (6-6, 285) was originally signed by the Vikings as an undrafted free agent in 2006. He should fit in well in Cleveland’s 3-4 defensive scheme because of his size.

-- Adam Caplan

Texans work out seven players — 7:49 a.m.

The Houston Texans took at look at seven players on Tuesday.

Houston worked out WRs Mike Jones and Paul Williams. Both are seen as possession receivers with good size.

They also worked out five linebackers: Stanford Keglar, Chris McCoy, Erik Walden, Dononvan Woods, and Quinton Culberson. Most of them would fit in at SLB.

The Texans also signed sixth-round pick G Shelley Smith to their practice squad. He was waived on Saturday. To make room for him, the Texans released WR Bobby Williams.

— Adam Caplan

Saints place special teams ace on IR — 7:44 a.m.

The New Orleans Saints have placed S Chris Reis on injured reserve. Reis suffered a shoulder injury during last week’s win over the Carolina Panthers. Reis is one of New Orleans’ best special teams players.

To replace him on their 53-man roster, the Saints re-signed CB Leigh Torrence. The Saints needed depth at cornerback because starter Tracy Porter (knee) is expected to miss a few weeks of work.

Because the Saints are down to just two healthy safeties, the team worked out free-agent SS Victor “Macho” Harris and Pat Watkins on Tuesday.

— Adam Caplan

 

October 5 News and Notes

NFL Week 4 player of the week nominations — 11:58 p.m.

Some unlikely candidates had breakout games in Week 4 and really set themselves apart. Let’s take a look at the NFL’s player of the week nominees.

• When Sam Bradford was picked No. 1 overall in this year’s NFL draft, it was unlikely he would be the Rams' starting QB so soon. The former Oklahoma quarterback has made the most of his early opportunities and had a great game against the Seahawks on Sunday. Bradford completed 23 of 41 passes for 289 yards and two touchdowns.

Kyle Orton passed for 341 yards and two touchdowns in a win against the Titans. Orton has been referenced as a quarterback who manages games and keeps his team close. It was a different story this week when Denver’s QB attempted 50 passes, completing 34 of them.

Philip Rivers has worked well in Norv Turner’s stretch-the-field system. He racks up big numbers and had another huge game against the Cardinals. Rivers led the Chargers to a 41-10 win, throwing for 241 yards and two touchdowns.

Let’s take a look at some players that had big games on the ground.

Ahmad Bradshaw played a major role in the Giants' success against the Bears on Sunday night. The Giants RB rushed the ball 23 times for 129 yards and a touchdown against a very physical Chicago Bears defense.

• Cleveland's running game was led by Peyton Hillis. The former Arkansas Razorback carried the ball 27 times for 102 yards and a touchdown. His big day sparked the Browns' play and they beat the Bengals for their first win of the season.

LaDainian Tomlinson entered this season hoping to prove his critics wrong. On Sunday, he did just that. Tomlinson had a big-time performance running for 133 yards and two touchdowns in the Jets’ 38-14 win against the Bills. LT broke the 100-yard mark for the first time in nearly two seasons.

— Ross Jones

Lions pick up Guard — 11:29 p.m.

The Detroit Lions made a move Tuesday to hopefully help improve the depth on their offensive line.

They claimed OT Jamon Meredith, who was waived on Monday by the Buffalo Bills. To make room for him on their 53-man roster, the Lions waived backup G Manuel Ramirez.

Meredith, who was a fifth-round pick out of the 2009 NFL Draft by the Green Bay Packers, was signed off Green Bay’s practice squad on Sept. 29 of last season. He appeared in eight games, all with Buffalo, as a rookie and started four. He appeared in two games for the Bills this season.

With Detroit, it’s not out of the question that Meredith sees time at guard since they are very light on depth on the interior of their offensive line, but he’s best off playing tackle.

— Adam Caplan

Falcons waive LB — 8:50 p.m.

The Atlanta Falcons have waived LB Robert James, who was reinstated Monday off a four-game suspension for violating the NFL’s policy on performing-enhancing substances. The Falcons were given a roster exemption until Oct. 11, but chose not to use it.

James was originally selected as a fifth-round pick by the Falcons in the 2008 NFL Draft.

James only played in one game as a Falcon and didn’t record a single tackle.

— Adam Caplan

Patriots release RB — 7:49 p.m.

The New England Patriots have released RB Javarris James from the practice squad.

James originally signed with Indianapolis as a rookie free agent out of Miami on April 30. He was waived by the Colts on Sept. 4 and signed to the New England practice squad on Sept. 6.

The Patriots now have one spot open on their practice squad. None of the remaining players on there are running backs. New England has five running backs on their 53-man roster.

— Adam Caplan

Bills replace Lynch — 7:45 p.m.

The Buffalo Bills have signed undrafted free-agent rookie RB Andre Anderson off their practice squad, Anderson’s agent, Marc Lillibridge, said via his twitter account.

Anderson takes the spot of RB Marshawn Lynch, who was traded earlier on Tuesday to the Seattle Seahawks.

Anderson (5-10, 212) was signed by the Oakland Raiders on Apr. 24. After being waived by Oakland, Anderson signed with the Bills on Aug. 15. He was waived by Buffalo on Sept. 4, but signed with the Cleveland Browns practice squad on Sept. 6. The Browns waived him, but the Bills signed him to their practice squad on Sept. 21.

— Adam Caplan

Ravens sign OL — 7:36 p.m.

The Baltimore Ravens worked out six offensive linemen Tuesday, but only signed one of them.

Working out were Cs Jake Grove, Nick Leckey, and Brett Romberg along with G Kynan Forney, OT Kirk Chambers, and OT/G Scott Kooista.

Kooistra wound up agreeing to a one-year deal with Baltimore on Tuesday evening.

As first reported earlier in the day, the Ravens worked out free-agent Gs Donald Thomas and Quinn Ojinnaka on Monday.

Kooistra, who turns 30 next week, was originally a seventh-round pick of the Cincinnati Bengals in the 2003 NFL Draft. He’s capable of playing guard or right tackle and Baltimore has next to no depth at either guard spot.

— Adam Caplan

Raiders sign OLB — 7:35 p.m.

The Oakland Raiders have signed OLB Bruce Davis off the San Francisco 49ers practice squad, a source confirmed.

Davis, who was originally a third-round pick of the Pittsburgh Steelers out of the 2008 NFL Draft, spent training camp and the preseason with the 49ers. He spent time with the New England Patriots and Denver Broncos last season.

To make room for Davis on the 53-man roster, the Raiders waived DT Jay Alford.

In addition, the Raiders waived journeyman CB Joey Thomas off injured reserve.

— Adam Caplan

Colts lose more players; make moves — 7:25 p.m.

As previously noted, Indianapolis Colts SS Melvin Bullitt will have right shoulder surgery and will be placed on injured reserve.

In addition, backup RB Devin Moore (brachial plexus) also will be placed on injured reserve.

Rookie LB Kavell Connor (broken foot), WR Anthony Gonzalez (ankle), and starting SS Bob Sanders (biceps) will miss this week’s game against the Kansas City Chiefs.

The Colts waived DT Mitch King from the 53-man roster and released undrafted free-agent rookie WR Alric from the practice squad.

To take King’s place on the roster, the team signed undrafted free-agent rookie S Mike Newton from the practice squad. In addition, the Colts re-signed S Aaron Francisco and signed free-agent WR Kenny Moore.

— Adam Caplan

Cardinals make moves — 7:24 p.m.

The Arizona Cardinals signed LB Curtis Gatewood and WR Ed Gant to their practice squad.

Gatewood (6-3, 250) re-joins the Cardinals after being released from the practice squad on Sept. 21. He signed with the Cardinals practice squad on Sept. 6 after spending the preseason with the Washington Redskins. He has appeared in six career games with the Kansas City Chiefs in 2008 and collected two tackles. He originally entered the NFL with the Redskins as a rookie free agent from Vanderbilt University in 2008.

Gant (6-3, 200) was waived by the Cardinals in their final roster cut on Sept. 3. He spent the entire 2009 season on the team’s practice squad after originally signing with Arizona as an undrafted rookie free agent out of the University of North Alabama on May 18. Gant was suspended in June for violating the NFL’s policy on performance-enhancing substances. Gant was reinstated by the NFL on Monday.

The Cardinals also released rookie WR Tim Brown from their practice squad.

— Adam Caplan

Cowboys work out nine players — 5:28 p.m.

Tuesday is typically a day that NFL teams work out players.

The Dallas Cowboys, with their own players on a day off, worked out several players.

RBs Quinn Porter and Alfonso Smith, FB Alex Daniels, OT Xavier Fulton, C Eric Ghiaciuc, CBs Ross Weaver and Geoffrey Pope and Ss De’Von Hall and Quintin Demps all worked out Tuesday, but none of them were signed.

Ghiaciuc, 29, started 48 games over four seasons with the Cincinnati Bengals. Demps was once seen as the successor to Brian Dawkins at free safety for the Philadelphia Eagles. He recently had workouts for the Detroit Lions and St. Louis Rams. Demps, a source said, ran a 4.39 40-yard dash time for the Lions.

— Adam Caplan

Titans place DE on injured reserve — 5:25 p.m.

The Tennessee Titans made several roster moves on Tuesday.

They signed free-agent DT Amon Gordon after placing first-round pick DE Derrick Morgan (knee) on injured reserve. Additionally, the team signed TE/FB Joel Gamble to the practice squad to replace FB Jack Corcoran.

Gordon (6-2, 305) played for the Titans during the 2008 season, joining the team’s practice squad in November and then added to the active roster for the final two games of the season. He totaled five tackles and forced a fumble in his time on the active roster before being waived prior to the playoffs. He has totaled 13 games played and spent time with a number of teams in the NFL, including the Seattle Seahawks, New England Patriots, Philadelphia Eagles, Baltimore Ravens, Denver Broncos and Cleveland Browns. He was originally drafted by the Browns in the fifth-round of the 2004 NFL Draft.

Gamble (6-2, 260) was an undrafted free agent out of Shippensburg who has spent time with Philadelphia and Cleveland, but has not played in an NFL game.

— Adam Caplan

Chargers make more moves — 5:00 p.m.

As noted previously, the San Diego Chargers signed OLB Cyril Obiozor off the Arizona Cardinals practice squad.

In addition, the Chargers re-signed CB Dante Hughes and signed rookie LB Nate Tripplett to the practice squad.

Hughes has spent most of the last two seasons on the Chargers’ 53-man roster but has played in just one game.

Triplett (6-3, 247) was a fifth-round pick by the Minnesota Vikings in 2010. He made 105 tackles as a senior for the University of Minnesota at middle linebacker, his only year as a full-time starter, after earning his reputation as a special teams ace for the Golden Gophers. The Vikings waived Triplett after training camp.

— Adam Caplan

Panthers give up on WR — 4:51 p.m.

The Carolina Panthers have waived backup WR Dwayne Jarrett. The fourth-year player was arrested early Tuesday morning and charged with DWI (Driving While Intoxicated). This was Jarrett’s second DWI arrest in his NFL career.

Jarrett, who is on the final year of his four-year rookie contract, is listed with a base salary of $550,000. A source said Jarrett had a one-time incentive which he didn’t hit in the first three years of his deal, so he’ll earn at least $535,000 this season, even if he’s not claimed off waivers.

Jarrett was selected in the second-round of the 2007 NFL Draft by Carolina. Jarrett only started three games during his time as a Panther and had only two receptions this season. He was a healthy inactive two weeks ago prior to the game against the Cincinnati Bengals.

With Jarrett gone and starting WR Steve Smith (ankle) possibly to miss a few weeks of work, rookie WRs David Gettis, Brandon LaFell and Armanti Edwards will handle the majority of the snaps at the position for the time being.

To replace Jarrett on their 53-man roster, the Panthers claimed WR David Clowney off waivers from the New York Jets. Clowney was waived on Monday.

— Adam Caplan

Seahawks re-sign Guard — 3:58 p.m.

The Seattle Seahawks have re-signed G Chester Pitts. Seattle originally signed Pitts on July 29 and he was inactive for the first three games of the season. He was released by Seattle on Oct. 1.

To make room for Pitts on their 53-man roster, the Seahawks waived G Evan Dietrich-Smith. Dietrich-Smith was claimed off waivers (Green Bay) on Sept. 5 and was inactive all four games this season.

While played guard during his entire career with the Houston Texans (2002-2009), Pitts may also see some time as a backup tackle this season.

— Adam Caplan

49ers add coach; Promote LB to roster — 3:53 p.m.

The San Francisco 49ers have named Chris Beake offensive assistant coach.

Beake spent six seasons in San Francisco in various capacities from 1998-2003. He was a pro personnel assistant (1998), quality control/defense coach (1999), defensive assistant (2000-02) and offensive assistant (2003).

Prior to this season, Beake had spent two seasons with the Seattle Seahawks, where he was the quality control/offense coach (2008), before serving as offensive assistant/assistant special teams coach (2009).

Prior to joining Seattle’s staff, Beake spent three years as the linebackers coach for the Atlanta Falcons (2004-06). While with Atlanta, he oversaw a group led by Keith Brooking, whom he tutored to Pro Bowl berths in 2004 and 2005. Beake also worked with new offensive coordinator Mike Johnson during their time with Atlanta.
In addition, the 49ers signed LB Keaston Kristick to their 53-man roster.

Kristick (6-3, 234) originally signed with the 49ers as an undrafted free agent earlier this year. He attended training camp with the team and has been on the practice squad all four weeks of the 2010 season. He played collegiately at Oregon State University.

— Adam Caplan

Chargers sign OLB — 3:45 p.m.

The San Diego Chargers have signed OLB Cyril Obiozor off the Arizona Cardinals practice squad, a source confirmed.

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Obiozor was signed an undrafted free-agent by the Green Bay Packers in 2009. He spent most of last season on Green Bay’s practice squad. Green Bay waived him on Sept. 4, but Arizona claimed him off waivers the following day. Arizona waived him on Sept. 21, but signed him to their practice squad on Sept. 23.

San Diego lost backup OLB Jyles Tucker (pectoral) for the season when the team placed him on injured reserve late Monday evening. Starting OLB Shawne Merrman (calf) did not play last week against the Cardinals and second-year OLB Larry English (foot) is expected to miss at least a few more weeks.

— Adam Caplan

Bears release defensive end, sign Charles Grant — 3:14 p.m.

The Chicago Bears have released DE Mark Anderson, the team announced. The team signed veteran DE Charles Grant to a one-year contract, who is solid against the run, to replace Anderson on the 53-man roster.

Grant was originally selected by the New Orleans Saints in the first-round (25th overall) of the 2002 NFL Draft. In eight seasons with the Saints, Grant registered 505 tackles and 47 sacks in 118 career games (106 starts). Grant added 14 forced fumbles, five fumble recoveries, one interception and 24 passes defensed.

After being released by the Saints in March of 2010, Grant spent the preseason with the Miami Dolphins before being released on Sept. 5th. Grant played in two contests for the Omaha Nighthawks in the UFL this season before signing with Chicago.

Anderson, who was a fifth-round pick out of the 2006 NFL Draft for Chicago, was playing on a one-year restricted free-agent tender valued at $1.759 million.

Anderson started one game for the Bears this season, but had yet to record a sack.

Anderson’s departure is a bit surprising since Chicago is not very deep at defensive end to begin with.

With the veteran defensive lineman jettisoned, that could open the door for fourth-round pick Corey Wootton to start to see playing time going forward. The rookie has yet to appear in a game this season.

— Adam Caplan

Marshawn Lynch headed to Seattle — 2:46 p.m.

As first reported by FOXSports.com’s Jay Glazer, the Seattle Seahawks have acquired Buffalo Bills RB Marshawn Lynch in exchange for a 2011 fourth-round pick and a conditional draft pick in 2012.

Seattle, sources said, had been trying to acquire Lynch since mid-August. However, Buffalo rebuffed Seattle’s interest as well as interest from other teams until the last week or so.

Lynch, who is signed through 2012, will compete for playing time against his former University of California teammate, Justin Forsett. While Lynch is signed through 2012, a source said the final year of his rookie deal will void since he met minimum playing time requirements previously.

To make room for Lynch on their 53-man roster, a source confirmed the Seahawks released veteran RB Julius Jones, who was a healthy inactive for last week’s game against the St. Louis Rams.

Lynch’s departure opens up the door for rookie RB C.J. Spiller to become a bigger factor. Spiller only has 14 carries in his first four games.

— Adam Caplan

Jags ink defensive tackle — 1:46 p.m.

As expected, the Jacksonville Jaguars have signed free agent DT C.J. Mosley. To make room for Mosley on the 53-man roster, the Jaguars released veteran QB Todd Bouman. As first reported by FOXSports.com on Monday, the Jaguars agreed to terms on a two-year deal with the defensive lineman. Mosley took a physical, but wasn’t required to work out for the team.

Mosley (6-3, 305), who was released by the Cleveland Browns on Sept. 4, will compete for playing time in back of starting DTs Tyson Alualu and Terrance Knighton. If all goes well, Mosley should take over as the first defensive tackle off the bench.

Mosley, 27, played last season with the Cleveland Browns. He has played in a 3-4 defensive scheme over the past four seasons. The Jaguars play a 4-3.

Mosley has played in 59 games with six starts for Minnesota, New York Jets and Cleveland. He was originally a sixth-round pick of the Vikings in 2005 and was traded to the Jets in 2006. He has eight career sacks and 80 tackles including a career-high three sacks as a rookie.

He spent the 2009 season with Cleveland where he produced 18 tackles in 12 games before ending the season on injured reserve with an ankle injury. In 2008, he played in all 16 games for the Jets and finished with 22 tackles, two tackles for loss, 1.5 sacks and three quarterback pressures.

With Bouman gone, the Jaguars have just two quarterbacks left on their roster. Recently acquired QB Trent Edwards has moved up to the No. 2 role in back of starter David Garrard.

— Adam Caplan

Dolphins fire special teams coach — 12:21 p.m.

After suffering through more than one special teams gaffe during Monday night’s loss to the New England Patriots, Miami Dolphins head coach Tony Sparano did something about it on Tuesday morning. He fired special teams coach John Bonamego, who Sparano hired when he became Miami’s head coach.

Bonamego, who joined Miami in January of 2008, will be replaced by assistant special teams coach Darren Rizzi.

Rizzi, who joined the Dolphins in 2009, coached the special teams for six years at Rutgers University, so he has plenty of experience.

Bonamego’s fate was sealed after Miami’s special teams gave up a 103-yard kickoff return for a touchdown and a blocked punt which resulted in a 12-yard touchdown run by RB BenJarvus Green-Ellis. It also didn’t help that K Dan Carpenter had a 53-yard field goal attempt blocked.

— Adam Caplan

Clinton Portis doesn't think he'll play vs. Packers — 12:15 p.m.

Washington Redskins running back Clinton Portis doesn't think his injured groin will allow him to play in this week's game against the Green Bay Packers.

Portis told 107.7 The Fan on Tuesday that he's still awaiting the results of an MRI on his left groin, which he injured in Sunday's 17-12 win over Philadelphia.

Portis said he doesn't think the team will let him attempt to play against the Packers. He said he's going to take his time and make sure he's healed.

Portis has only 195 yards on 49 carries for the Redskins this season.

Ryan Torain, recently promoted from the practice squad, split time with Portis and ran 18 times for 70 yards and a touchdown against the Eagles.

— The Associated Press

Bills in the market for help at LB — 11:58 a.m.

The Buffalo Bills have suffered some injuries at inside linebacker this season. And because of that, the team worked out a few players from that position this week.

Thomas Williams and Stanford Keglar worked out for the Bills on Monday, a source said.

Williams, who was selected in the fifth-round of the 2008 NFL Draft by the Jacksonville Jaguars, didn’t play in 2009. He was waived by the New England Patriots on Sept. 4.

Keglar, who was selected in the fourth-round of the 2008 NFL Draft by the Tennessee Titans, was waived by the Titans on Sept. 5.

The Bills got TE Shawn Nelson back from his four-game suspension on Monday. However, they have received a roster exemption for him until Oct. 11.

Nelson is one of five players coming off suspension around the NFL that has received a roster exemption.

The others are QB Ben Roethisberger (Pittsburgh Steelers), LB Robert James (Atlanta Falcons), LB Brian Cushing (Houston Texans), and LB Gerald McRath (Tennessee Titans). The roster exemptions for those players are up as well on Oct. 11.

— Adam Caplan

Colts lose another safety — 10:08 a.m.

The Indianapolis Colts were already without starting SS Bob Sanders (biceps). And now his replacement, Melvin Bullitt, suffered a season-ending injury.

According to the Indianapolis Star, Bullitt suffered a broken bone in his right shoulder during last week’s loss at the Jacksonville Jaguars.

The Colts are hoping that Sanders will be able to return later this season, but they will have to find another fill-in for him.

DaJuan Morgan, who was signed last month or undrafted free-agent S Brandon King, are the only other backups left on the 53-man roster.

— Adam Caplan

Ravens work out guards — 9:23 a.m.

The Baltimore Ravens have next to no depth on the interior of their offensive line. And because of that, they worked out two guards on Monday.

Free-agents Donald Thomas and Quinn Ojinnaka got a look from the Ravens, but neither player was signed, a source confirmed.

Thomas, who was originally a sixth-round pick of the Miami Dolphins in the 2008 NFL Draft, has now worked out for six teams this season.

Ojinnaka was released by the New England Patriots last week.

— Adam Caplan

Jets cut two players; add Holmes — 9:23 a.m.

The New York Jets made some roster moves. They re-signed DT Howard Green, who was released last week. They also got back WR Santonio Holmes back from his four-game suspension. To make room for those two players, the Jets waived WRs Patrick Turner and David Clowney. Holmes came off the suspended list on Monday.

The Jets are now down to just four receivers on their 53-man roster.

— Adam Caplan

 

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