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NFL notebook

Saints hoping to host opener

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Associated Press / September 2, 2008
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New Orleans Saints general manager Mickey Loomis said the team remains hopeful it will be able to host the season opener against Tampa Bay Sunday.

The Saints moved their practice site to Indianapolis over the weekend to get out of the path of Hurricane Gustav.

Loomis said the team's practice facility sustained only minor damage and the Louisiana Superdome, severely damaged three years ago in Hurricane Katrina, appeared in good condition, too.

Flacco to start

Rookie quarterback Joe Flacco will start in the season opener Sunday for the Ravens, who awarded the job to their top draft pick because he's the healthiest player at the position. Flacco, the 18th pick overall, will launch his career against the Bengals. There is a chance the two other QBs competing for the job, Troy Smith (tonsils) and Kyle Boller (shoulder) will not be available as backups. To add depth, the Ravens worked out Chris Simms, Joey Harrington, and Todd Bouman . . . Seahawks QB Matt Hasselbeck (back) returned to practice and expects to start Sunday against Buffalo.

Wilson released

The Buccaneers released cornerback Eugene Wilson, who signed with Tampa Bay as a free agent in March after spending five seasons with the Patriots . . . The Indianapolis Colts waived safety Jamie Silva, a free agent from Boston College . . . The Oakland Raiders signed receiver Ashley Lelie, who was released by the 49ers Saturday . . . Running back Rudi Johnson, released Saturday by the Bengals after seven seasons, signed with the Lions.

Taylor apologizes

Jaguars running back Fred Taylor apologized to team owner Wayne Weaver for his arrest on a disorderly conduct charge over the weekend . . . Jacksonville receiver Jerry Porter practiced for the first time in nearly three months. Porter, who signed a six-year, $30 million contract in February, had surgery to repair a torn hamstring in July and missed the preseason . . . Braylon Edwards, sidelined since Aug. 9 with a severely cut right foot, and Pro Bowl QB Derek Anderson, out for two weeks with a concussion, were both back at Browns practice . . . NFL players will wear a uniform patch this season to honor NFL Players' Association leader Gene Upshaw, who died Aug. 20.

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