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Ryan, Turner unlikely to go against Saints

Associated Press / December 11, 2009

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Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan sat out another practice yesterday because of a toe injury, making it increasingly unlikely he’ll be able to play against the unbeaten New Orleans Saints.

While Ryan took part in a walkthrough, which was closed to the media, he wasn’t even at the indoor practice facility for the main 2 1/2-hour workout. Chris Redman ran the first-team offense.

Even so, coach Mike Smith isn’t ready to say for sure that Ryan won’t play Sunday.

“He was with us in the walkthrough,’’ Smith said. “He did more today than he did yesterday. We would make an announcement if we knew for sure he wouldn’t play. We’re not ready to make that announcement.’’

Ryan hurt the big toe on his right foot in a Nov. 29 victory over Tampa Bay. He sat out last weekend’s game against Philadelphia, along with four other offensive starters, and the Falcons (6-6) lost, 34-7, to severely damage their playoff hopes.

Now, it looks as though they might have to face the Saints (12-0) without Ryan and star running back Michael Turner, who also missed practice and is struggling to get over a lingering high ankle sprain.

Turner was the NFL’s second-leading rusher a year ago and is pacing the Falcons again with 864 yards despite missing two games and part of two others since he was initially hurt Nov. 15. He tried to come back two weeks ago and reinjured his right ankle.

Redman threw two interceptions against the Eagles, one of which was returned 83 yards for a touchdown.

Raiders’ Russell not deterred by ‘bump’
Banished to the bench in a disappointing third season, JaMarcus Russell believes he still is the quarterback of the future for the Oakland Raiders. “We all have road bumps in our life and this just happens to be one bump,’’ Russell said in his first public comments since losing the starting job to Bruce Gradkowski last month. Russell addressed many topics during the interview, saying he was “embarrassed’’ when he was benched by coach Tom Cable, that his weight and work ethic aren’t a problem, and that he will not renegotiate his contract to take less money than he is owed. “A totally different JaMarcus,’’ Russell said when asked what people would see when he plays again. “People are going to have their opinion, and I really don’t pay too much attention to that. I worry about JaMarcus and JaMarcus only.’’ Russell has completed just 46.8 percent of his passes this season, with nine interceptions and five lost fumbles and the second-worst passer rating in the league at 47.7. The Raiders also announced that left guard Robert Gallery will miss the rest of the season with a lower-back injury. The injury to Gallery, suffered in last week’s game at Pittsburgh, is not career-threatening, the team said.

Young knee injury called ‘setback’
Vince Young aggravated his sore right knee and left practice early in what Tennessee coach Jeff Fisher called a “setback.’’ The quarterback originally hurt his knee in last week’s 27-17 loss at Indianapolis and had been trying to push through practice. Fisher said he expects Young to play Sunday against St. Louis . . . The Jets placed linebacker and special-teams ace Larry Izzo on injured reserve with a herniated disk in his neck. Izzo, the former Patriot who signed a one-year deal with the Jets in the offseason, was tied with Eric Smith for the team lead with 18 special-teams tackles . . . Giants right guard Chris Snee is practicing on a limited basis, improving his chances of playing in this weekend’s showdown with the Eagles. Snee has started 76 consecutive games for the Giants. He missed the second half of Sunday’s win over the Dallas Cowboys with an injury to his left knee.

Woman sues Suggs, seeking $70m
A Baltimore woman has filed a $70 million lawsuit against Ravens linebacker Terrell Suggs, claiming he is father of her two children and assaulted her multiple times. Suggs said he has nothing to hide, but is not able to discuss the case yet. Candace Williams, 26, is seeking $50 million in punitive damages and $20 million in compensatory damages from the three-time Pro Bowl pass rusher. She filed a separate complaint seeking custody of the children and is also seeking a restraining order against Suggs.

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