Adam Vinatieri, a surefooted hero for the Patriots for so many years and the Indianapolis Colts' biggest offseason acquisition, missed yesterday's practice with a sprained left ankle.
Coach Tony Dungy said Vinatieri, who kicks with his right foot, hurt his ankle while running Monday, the same day the Colts cut Shane Andrus, the only other kicker on the roster.
``He did it in conditioning, and he's day to day," Dungy said.
Indianapolis signed Vinatieri, considered the NFL's best clutch kicker, to a five-year, $12 million free agent contract in March to replace Mike Vanderjagt.
Cowher talks on hold
The Steelers made official what has seemed evident for weeks: Coach Bill Cowher
is no longer negotiating an extension to a contract that runs through 2007. The team announced it has ceased talks on an extension so Cowher can focus on coaching the returning Super Bowl champions. The team, which has had just two coaches in 38 seasons, has long had a policy of not negotiating contracts during a season, but wants to renew talks with Cowher once the season ends. ``I remain optimistic and hopeful that we will be able to conclude a contract extension which will keep Bill coaching the Pittsburgh Steelers for many more years," said team president Art Rooney II
. ``However, we have all agreed that at this time we will continue those conversations after this season so that Bill's focus, and the focus of the entire organization, can be on the excitement and challenge of defending the Super Bowl championship." . . . Cincinnati waived defensive tackle Matthias Askew
, one of five Bengals accused of breaking the law in the past three months. A 2004 fourth-round draft choice out of Michigan State, Askew has been plagued by injuries. ``He wasn't going to make our football team at this point," coach Marvin Lewis
said. ``It's an opportunity for Matthias to catch on with another team. Other guys were playing better." Askew was charged last month with resisting arrest, obstructing official business, and two parking violations. Cincinnati police said a dispute broke out over his illegally parked car, and the 6-foot-5-inch, 302-pound lineman struggled with officers trying to handcuff him and broke away before being shocked with a stun gun . . . The debut of ESPN's ``Monday Night Football" drew a 4.5 rating, the network's highest-rated NFL exhibition game in four years. The game between the Raiders and Vikings was the first with Tony Kornheiser
working as an analyst. The rest of the team was Mike Tirico
and Joe Theismann
Suggs fails physical
Running back Lee Suggs
failed his physical with the New York Jets, voiding his trade from Cleveland. Suggs, who has had myriad injuries throughout his four-year career, was brought in to help bolster the group of backs struggling without the injured Curtis Martin
. Now, he is headed back to the Browns. Cornerback Derrick Strait
, who was sent to Cleveland in Monday's deal, returns to New York. ``We have a whole series of tests that we do, and we were very thorough with the process," Jets coach Eric Mangini
said. ``He just didn't pass those tests." But the Browns disputed the Jets' findings. Browns general manager Phil Savage
noted that while Suggs has been injury prone, he hasn't missed any practice time this year and played in the first exhibition game. ``Medical opinions can vary from team to team, and obviously this is one team's opinion," Savage said. ``We anticipate Lee Suggs returning to the Browns and working hard in practice and preparing for the season to the best of his ability, just as he has shown throughout his career with the Browns." Mangini declined to say what part of the physical Suggs failed . . . Vikings rookie linebacker Chad Greenway
is out for the season, the result of a knee injury he sustained in Minnesota's first exhibition game. Greenway was hurt covering a kickoff in Monday night's 16-13 loss to the Raiders. He had an MRI yesterday, but a news release issued by the team didn't specify the nature of the injury . . . Redskins cornerback Shawn Springs
underwent surgery to repair a muscle tear in his lower abdomen and is expected to be sidelined 3-6 weeks. The surgery repaired a minor tear in an abdominal muscle that attaches to the pubic bone. Springs likely will miss the opening weeks of the season . . . Chargers kick returner Darren Sproles
will miss the season with a broken left leg. Sproles was placed on injured reserve, a day after having surgery on his fractured fibula.
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