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Jaguars' punter not a cut above

Hanson out after locker room mishap

Jacksonville Jaguars punter Chris Hanson swung and missed. No, not at a ball he was trying to kick, but at the wood he was trying to chop. Hanson needed surgery to close up a gash on his right, non-kicking, leg yesterday after he miscalibrated while using an ax to hack at the massive tree stump that coach Jack Del Rio placed in the locker room a few weeks ago.

Del Rio used the stump as a symbol for the mantra he has adopted for the 1-4 Jaguars this season: "Keep chopping wood."

Hanson took the message literally, and wound up being rushed to the hospital, where he received several stitches, team spokesman Dan Edwards said. Hanson's leg will be in a boot for 4-6 weeks, and the team hasn't decided whether to place him on injured reserve, Edwards said.

Beginning with Sunday's game against Miami, Jacksonville's only Pro Bowl player from last season will be replaced by Mark Royals.

After the team fell to 0-3, Del Rio had the tree stump placed in the middle of the locker room, set atop a plastic tarp, and equipped with an ax planted in the base of the log. The stump and ax remained in the room over the last two weeks, and every now and then, players would hack away, spraying wood chips all about the teal carpeting.

Red flag raised

The NFL weighed in on the LaVar Arrington-Warren Sapp spat with a stern warning: If Sapp prances through the Washington Redskins' jumping jacks, he's going to get flagged. Yesterday, the league told the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Redskins that no pregame hostilities will be tolerated when the teams meet Sunday. Specifically, the NFL reminded them that it is not permissible to run through opponents' formations during pregame stretching. Sapp has been known for doing that, including some fancy stepping through Colts' players before last Monday night's game against Indianapolis. "It will result in a 15-yard penalty," NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said. The warning came a day after Arrington called Sapp's pregame actions disrespectful and threatened to retaliate if Sapp did the same against the Redskins . . .

Chad Pennington threw during seven-on-seven drills at Jets practice, the first time the New York quarterback had thrown during practice since dislocating and breaking his left (non-throwing) wrist during the preseason. Pennington completed 8 of 12 passes during the workout. Coach Herman Edwards said Pennington might start practicing during team drills next week, and could return for the Philadelphia game Oct. 26 . . . Defensive end Larry Smith signed with the Green Packers, who waived the former nose tackle Sept. 1.

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