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Vick sits out practice

Falcons QB hopes to play vs. Buffalo

Michael Vick was held out of practice yesterday with a sore left hamstring, but the Atlanta quarterback said he may play Sunday at Buffalo even if he can't practice the rest of the week.

''As long as I'm getting mental reps, I think I'll be able to go out there and execute the game plan," Vick said. ''It's possible I may not practice all week. Who knows? I'm just playing it by ear right now. I just have to be able to be me."

Second-year quarterback Matt Schaub, who made one start last season, ran the first-team offense yesterday.

Vick had to slow down at the end of a 32-yard run in the fourth quarter of last Sunday's loss at Seattle when his hamstring began hurting. After Schaub finished off a touchdown drive, Vick tried to play in the Falcons' final possession but again had to leave the game.

His status may not be determined until pregame warmups Sunday.

Injury slows Martin

Jets running back Curtis Martin missed practice with a bruised right knee and is listed as questionable for this weekend's game against Jacksonville. Martin, who was injured against the Miami Dolphins on Sunday, last missed a game in 1998, and has missed four in his 11-year career . . . Donovan McNabb and Terrell Owens missed practice with injuries, but both are likely to play in Philadelphia's game against Oakland Sunday. McNabb, who sat out one practice last week with a bruised chest, hurt his groin right before halftime against the 49ers. Owens has a nagging abdominal/groin injury . . . Safety Lawyer Milloy had surgery to repair an injured right thumb, leaving his status uncertain for Buffalo's game against Atlanta Sunday . . . Carolina safety Mike Minter missed practice with a strained calf that could end his streak of playing in 64 consecutive regular-season games. Minter had been on the field for every defensive snap for more than two seasons before he left late in Sunday's game against the Patriots with his calf injury . . . Minnesota will likely be without two starters for Sunday's game against New Orleans, wide receiver Nate Burleson and linebacker E.J. Henderson. Both have sprained right ankles . . . Jaguars quarterback Byron Leftwich missed practice with a sore groin and was listed as questionable on the injury report. But Leftwich insisted he will play Sunday at the New York Jets . . . Bubba Franks has played in all of Green Bay's 88 games, counting playoffs, since former general manager Ron Wolf made him his top pick out of Miami in the 2000 draft. But a bruised left knee could keep Franks on the sideline Sunday for the first time in his six-year NFL career . . . The Jaguars placed safety Donovin Darius on injured reserve and re-signed guard Derrick Fletcher and defensive tackle Martin Chase.

Texans leave town

The Houston Texans canceled practice for today and asked all players to leave town immediately as Hurricane Rita barreled toward the Texas coast with 165-m.p.h. winds. Coach Dom Capers said the team, which has a bye this week, was looking at alternatives that include practicing next week in Cincinnati before the Texans' game Oct. 2 against the Bengals. Capers also announced cornerback Phillip Buchanon and linebacker Jason Babin were being benched for poor play . . . A doctor who was accused in a television report of writing illegal steroid prescriptions for three former Carolina Panthers has been indicted in Columbia, S.C., on federal charges. James M. Shortt was charged with 29 counts of distributing steroids and human growth hormones. A CBS News report in March identified center Jeff Mitchell, tackle Todd Steussie, and punter Todd Sauerbrun as having filled steroid prescriptions written by Shortt.

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