Nick Novak is taking over from John Hall as the Washington Redskins' kicker for the second time in as many years.
The Redskins signed Novak yesterday after the kicker won a four-way competition among available free agents. Novak was 5 of 7 on field-goal attempts in five games during Hall's absence last year.
Hall was placed on injured reserve with groin and quad injuries, forcing the Redskins to replace him for the third straight season. Hall had four leg injuries in 2004 and missed eight games. He sat out six games last year with a strained quad.
Ivy undergoes tests
The Baltimore Ravens' team plane made an unscheduled landing early yesterday in Pittsburgh so cornerback Corey Ivy
could go to a hospital to treat a kidney injury. Ivy was in stable condition at UPMC-Presbyterian Hospital, where he was expected to stay at least through today for testing, the team said. Ivy was hurt in Monday night's 13-3 loss at Denver when he was hit during a punt return . . . A third day of tests found no broken bones in the right foot or ankle of New York Giants Pro Bowl tight end Jeremy Shockey
, and his status for Sunday's game in Atlanta will be assessed on a day-to-day basis . . . The Minnesota Vikings signed former Patriots wide receiver Bethel Johnson
. . . Denver cut punter Todd Sauerbrun
, the day he was supposed to come back from a four-game suspension for using the banned dietary supplement ephedra.
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