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NFL NOTEBOOK

NFL notebook — August 26

Associated Press

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Passed over in the NFL Draft in April, quarterback Jeff Tuel settled on signing with the Buffalo Bills a few days later with the sole objective of cracking the team’s roster.

As of Monday, the raw rookie out of Washington State is in line to start in the Bills’ season opener against New England on Sept. 8.

“I came here to play football, and that’s what I’m doing,” Tuel said. “It just explains, you can never expect. You never know what’s going to happen in this league.

“It’s why you’ve got to be ready.”

Tuel is in this position because of a string of injuries that have hit the Bills’ quarterback position.

Veteran Kevin Kolb is out indefinitely after sustaining a concussion — the third of his seven-year career — in a 30-7 loss to Washington on Saturday. Then there’s rookie first-round pick EJ Manuel, who might not be ready to play because he’s still recovering from a left knee injury he hurt in a 20-16 win over Minnesota a week earlier.

The Bills did sign free agent Matt Leinart on Sunday, but the 2004 Heisman Trophy winner needs time to become familiar with the offense.

Vikings FB suspended

Minnesota Vikings Pro Bowl fullback Jerome Felton has received a three-game suspension for violating the NFL’s policy on substance abuse, the league announced Monday. No details were disclosed, per the NFL’s confidentiality agreement with the players’ union.

Felton was drafted by Detroit in the fifth round in 2008 out of Furman but bounced between three teams over his first four years in the league until his breakthrough last season with the Vikings, when Peterson rushed for 2,097 yards and won the Most Valuable Player award. Felton then signed a three-year contract with the club in March worth as much as $7.5 million, including $2 million guaranteed.

With an $850,000 base salary for 2013, Felton will lose $150,000 because of the ban.

Felton will be eligible to return to his first allowable action Sept. 29.


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