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NFL notebook

NFL notebook — Oct. 16

Associated Press

New England linebacker Jerod Mayo will miss the rest of the season with the latest serious injury to a Patriots defensive star.

The team placed the two-time Pro Bowl player on injured reserve Wednesday, three days after he was hurt in the fourth quarter of Sunday’s 30-27 win over the New Orleans Saints.

Mayo joins defensive tackle Vince Wilfork on IR. Wilfork tore his right Achilles tendon Sept. 29 in a 30-23 win over the Atlanta Falcons. He and Mayo are defensive co-captains.

After tackling Darren Sproles on Sunday, Mayo got up and reached for the upper right area of his chest. Mayo’s agent, Mitch Frankel, did not respond to a request for comment on a report that Mayo had undergone surgery for a torn chest muscle. Rookie Jamie Collins, the Patriots’ first-round draft choice, and Dane Fletcher are expected to fill in for Mayo.

Mayo is the NFL’s leading tackler since 2010 with 546 and has led the Patriots in tackles in each of his five seasons.

The Patriots also announced that they re-signed defensive tackle Andre Neblett and signed cornerback Travis Howard to the practice squad.

Cribbs healthy for Jets

Former Browns and Kent State star Josh Cribbs says he is “kind of 111 percent” healthy and excited about adding a spark to the New York Jets.

The three-time Pro Bowl wide receiver-kick returner signed Tuesday with the Jets after sitting out since being cut by Oakland after training camp while recovering from a knee injury. Cribbs says Wednesday he’s looking at his opportunity with the Jets as a “rebirth” and wants to prove that he can still be the dangerous kick returner he was in eight seasons with Cleveland.

Cribbs thinks his versatility and ability to run, throw or catch at any time could add some “lightning” to the team. He also hopes he can be the “it factor” for a Jets team trying to get into the playoff picture, starting Sunday against New England.

Bills QB still mending

Buffalo Bills rookie quarterback EJ Manuel is expected to miss another four to six weeks now that he’s begun rehabbing his sprained right knee.

Coach Doug Marrone was able to provide a more definitive timetable on Manuel’s recovery Wednesday after consulting with team doctors. Manuel began working out on his own Tuesday for the first time since being hurt in a loss to Cleveland on Oct. 3.

Bucs’ Nicks has surgery

Carl Nicks, one of three members of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers diagnosed with MRSA, has had surgery to get rid of the staph infection. The 28-year-old guard had surgery Tuesday night, and coach Greg Schiano said that Nicks is doing well.

The two-time All-Pro was diagnosed as having MRSA in a blister of the left side of his foot during training camp in August. He was treated with antibiotics and appeared in two regular season games before the Bucs announced last week that Nicks had a recurrence.

Kicker Lawrence Tynes also was found to have MRSA in August and is on the non-football injury list. A third case was discovered last week, but rookie cornerback Johnthan Banks has not been sidelined by the infection.

Giants sign Hillis

The New York Giants signed former Browns running back Peyton Hillis.

Hillis, who fills a void in the backfield, is a six-year veteran with a 1,000-yard season on his resume. He has played for Denver, Cleveland and Kansas City, and has 2,470 yards and 21 touchdowns for his career.

Hillis has played in 65 games with 33 starts, and has also caught 111 passes for 867 yards. In 2010, he had a career season while playing for Cleveland. He ran for 1,177 yards, with 11 touchdowns, on 270 carries, and played in all 16 games. He is the only Brown to rush for 1,000 yards, catch 50 passes and score 10 touchdowns in a season.

Around the league

Tennessee Titans quarterback Jake Locker practiced for the first time since injuring his knee and hip less than three weeks ago, but coach Mike Munchak doesn’t expect him to play Sunday against San Francisco. Wearing a brace on his right knee, Locker participated in individual and seven-on-seven drills. Locker took a couple of snaps in full team drills. … Houston starting strong safety Danieal Manning will miss the rest of the season because of a right knee injury. Manning was injured in Sunday’s loss to St. Louis. Coach Gary Kubiak called it a significant injury Monday but didn’t have any further details on the injury Wednesday. Shiloh Keo will fill in for Manning. … Josh Freeman was named the latest starting quarterback for the scuffling Minnesota Vikings. Coach Leslie Frazier also said that Christian Ponder will be the backup, not Matt Cassel. … The Jacksonville Jaguars are down four receivers, including starters Justin Blackmon and Cecil Shorts III, at practice. Blackmon is dealing with tightness in his groin and hamstring. Shorts, a former standout at Mount Union, injured the joint that connects his breastbone and collarbone in Sunday’s loss at Denver. … New York Jets rookie cornerback Dee Milliner returned to practice on a limited basis for the first time since injuring a hamstring in practice three weeks ago. … The Dallas Cowboys released defensive tackle Jay Ratliff, saying he failed a physical. He spent the first six weeks of the season on the physically unable to perform list. He was eligible to be activated this week. … The Seattle Seahawks expect to see the return of starting tight end Zach Miller to the lineup tonight against the Arizona Cardinals. Miller has missed the past two games with a hamstring strain. … St. Louis Rams offensive tackle Rodger Saffold returned to practice after missing a month with a knee injury. … Chicago Bears wide receiver Brandon Marshall says he was fined $10,500 by the NFL for wearing green football shoes in a game Oct. 10 against the New York Giants.


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