The New York Jets released Brady Quinn, leaving rookie starter Geno Smith and backup Matt Simms as the team’s only healthy quarterbacks for the season opener against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
The move Saturday had been expected because coach Rex Ryan prefers to not have three quarterbacks active for games — and it prevents Quinn’s salary from being guaranteed. Salaries for NFL veterans became guaranteed at 4 p.m. Saturday.
Former Browns QB Quinn was signed by the Jets on Monday to provide a veteran presence at the position with Mark Sanchez sidelined with a shoulder injury. It’s very likely the Jets will re-sign Quinn early this week.
Linebacker Danny Lansanah, who had an outstanding training camp, was promoted from the practice squad. He last played in a regular-season NFL game in 2009.
The New England Patriots re-signed running back-kick returner Leon Washington and signed offensive lineman Josh Kline to the 53-man roster from the practice squad on Saturday.
Released was defensive lineman A.J. Francis, while they signed offensive lineman Braxston Cave to the practice squad.
The 30-year-old Washington was signed by the Patriots as a free agent in March after he left Seattle, where he was a key contributor on special teams. A seven-year veteran, Washington shares the NFL record with Josh Cribbs with eight career kickoff returns for touchdowns. He also tied an NFL record when he returned two kicks for a touchdown against San Diego in 2010.
Washington made the Pro Bowl in 2008 and 2012.
Titans lose fullback
The Tennessee Titans placed fullback Quinn Johnson on injured reserve and replaced the veteran by promoting Collin Mooney from the practice squad. The Titans announced the moves Saturday before heading to Pittsburgh for their season opener.
Johnson practiced Wednesday, but a quadriceps injury kept him out Thursday and Friday. The Titans worked out fullbacks Michael Robinson and John Conner on Friday but decided to promote Mooney.
The fullback played at West Point before serving three years with the U.S. Army. He spent most of last season on the practice squad before being signed to the roster late in the season and playing in two games.
Cowboys sign tackle
The Dallas Cowboys signed defensive tackle Jerome Long and placed defensive end Ben Bass on season-ending injured reserve with a dislocated shoulder.
The Cowboys brought back Long on Saturday, a week after he was among the final cuts. He provides depth on a line that is likely to be without two starters for the opener against the New York Giants tonight . There are now two backups on injured reserve.
Bass worked as a starter early in training camp a year after making the roster out of rookie camp. He battled injuries throughout camp this year before injuring his left shoulder in practice Thursday. Long spent most of last season on Kansas City’s practice squad after getting drafted in the seventh round.
Raiders activate lineman
The Oakland Raiders activated offensive tackle Matt McCants off the practice squad and placed offensive tackle Jared Veldheer on the injured reserve list with a designation to return.
The Raiders made the move Saturday to give them a healthy backup tackle for the season opener today in Indianapolis.
Veldheer had surgery for a torn left triceps last month. He will be eligible to start practicing in six weeks and could play as early as Nov. 3 against Philadelphia if he has recovered. Rookie Menelik Watson was supposed to start in Veldheer’s place at left tackle but is out after injuring his knee in practice. Right tackle Khalif Barnes will move to the left side and newly signed Tony Pashos will start at right tackle.
McCants will back up both spots.