Kyle Orton was named the Chicago Bears starting quarterback by coach Lovie Smith yesterday, beating out Rex Grossman for the job.
Orton, the fourth-year player from Purdue, will start the Sept. 7 regular-season opener against the Indianapolis Colts.
"I think I've just continued to get better in the preseason - in the games and in practice - so this will be another step to take," Orton said.
Orton and Grossman began battling for the starting spot in May minicamp and the workouts in June.
"In the end, it comes down to a gut feeling that you have," said Smith. "I feel good about Kyle leading our team."
Orton has completed 63.2 percent of his preseason passes (12 for 19) for 99 yards, but has no completions longer than 17 yards. Grossman completed 13 for 23 for 118 yards, including a 25-yard touchdown pass.
Ryan to start Friday
Falcons coach Mike Smith
said that rookie quarterback Matt Ryan
, the No. 3 overall pick in this year's draft from Boston College, will start Friday night's game against Tennessee, his first start of the preseason. The Falcons started Chris Redman
against Jacksonville and Joey Harrington
against Indianapolis . . . Cleveland Browns quarterback Derek Anderson
left last night's 37-34 exhibition loss against the host New York Giants in the second quarter with what the team said was a possible concussion. He was replaced by Brady Quinn
, who went 7 for 12 for 124 yards with a 44-yard TD pass to Syndric Steptoe
. . . Minnesota Vikings coach Brad Childress
said quarterback Tarvaris Jackson
hopes to play Saturday against Pittsburgh despite a sprained right knee . . . Quarterback Matt Hasselbeck
fully participated in a practice for the first time since his back stiffened 10 days ago and said he will play in the Seahawks' next preseason game Aug. 25 at San Diego. Coach Mike Holmgren
announced right tackle Sean Locklear
is out at least two weeks and could miss the Seahawks' opener because of a sprained knee.
Bengals eye Henry?
The Cincinnati Bengals are close to signing Chris Henry
, four months after they released the wide receiver following his fifth arrest since 2005, Henry's agent said. The Bengals suddenly have a need for experienced receivers with Chad Johnson
and T.J. Houshmandzadeh
slowed by injuries. Cincinnati began showing interest in Henry last month when an assault charge stemming from an incident March 31 was dropped, agent Marvin Frazier
said. A deal could be completed by roday, he added . . . Indianapolis coach Tony Dungy
said safety Bob Sanders
(shoulder) and defensive end Dwight Freeney
(foot) should be cleared for practice this week. both were placed on the physically unable to perform list - along with two-time league MVP Peyton Manning
- when training camp opened July 24. Dungy said that Manning could be back on the field next week . . . Baltimore Ravens linebacker Terrell Suggs
reported to the team and began practicing after signing his $8.47 million, one-year tender . . . The Saints signed former Pro Bowl safety Lance Schulters
, making New Orleans the latest stop in a career that has included stints with San Francisco, Tennessee, Atlanta, and Miami . . . With running back Ahman Green
slowed by a groin injury, the Houston Texans signed former University of Massachusetts standout Marcel Shipp
. The Texans placed guard Fred Weary
(leg) on injured reserve.
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