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Chiefs' Tait has 17 stitches after scuffling in scrimmage

Posted: Thursday, August 01, 2002

Offensive tackle John Tait will miss two weeks of the Kansas City Chiefs' training camp after a fight with a rookie teammate left him with cuts that needed 17 stitches to close.

Tait, the starting right tackle, also broke his nose in the fight Tuesday with defensive lineman Eddie Freeman.

''He had my helmet and hit me with it. It wasn't his fist,'' Tait said Wednesday. ''It's common knowledge he had my helmet in his hand and he swung it back and hit me with it.''

Freeman, a second-round draft pick from Alabama-Birmingham, has been involved in several fights since the Chiefs opened practice Friday. He was subdued Wednesday.

''I'm the young new guy on the block. It was just in the heat of battle,'' said the 310-pound Freeman. ''I'm going to talk to him today.''

Coach Dick Vermeil said he had not talked with Freeman, whom he called ''a hothead.'' He said neither Tait nor the rookie wouldn't be disciplined.

''But I talked with the team about it,'' Vermeil said. ''Fights happen in football. You never know who threw the first punch.''

Bears

Safety Mike Brown could miss the first two exhibition games with a broken bone in his right hand.

Brown, hurt Tuesday, is expected to return to the practice field next week, but probably won't play until at least the third preseason game.

''I think he will be fine,'' Bears coach Dick Jauron said Wednesday. ''We'll see how it goes, it will have a lot to do with the callousing over the break and all those things. Nobody will know how that goes.''

Larry Whigham is expected to move into Brown's spot.

''We'll just rotate guys in and out and go about our business,'' Jauron said.

Falcons

Talks with first-round pick T.J. Duckett have broken down.

''There's nothing to report,'' said Falcons vice president Ray Anderson, who's in charge of contract negotiations with the former Michigan State running back. ''We're at an impasse. I can't even speculate on when we'll have additional discussions.''

Duckett was the 18th overall selection in the NFL draft. Joel Segal, his agent, did not immediately return telephone messages left at his home and office.

The sides still are far apart on the amount of guaranteed money Duckett would receive.

Redskins

The Redskins departed for this weekend's American Bowl game in Osaka, Japan, against San Francisco with a laundry list of suggestions from the training staff for the flight.

They have been told to drink to avoid dehydration, walk down the aisles a lot, remove contact lenses, and don't be afraid to put on a pair of compression hose to keep the blood flowing in the legs.

Trainer Dean Kleinschmidt said one NFL player came back from a game in Japan two years ago with leg problems because he sat still the whole flight -- and he missed most of the season.

''I want them up and walking around,'' Kleinschmidt said.

But offensive tackle Chris Samuels, who traveled to Osaka earlier this year to promote the game, thinks the trainer's warnings are a bit too cautious.

''He's saying that, but I don't think I'm going to be able to do that because I'm going to be asleep most of the time,'' Samuels said.

Saints

Defensive tackle Grady Jackson, one of the Saints' top free-agent acquisitions this spring, practiced with the team for the first time in training camp.

Jackson was a late arrival at camp and was excused from earlier practices because his younger brother was hospitalized after being shot in the back July 20 in Detroit.

''It felt good coming in, trying to get in there and jumping in pads for the first time,'' Jackson said. ''I think it went pretty good.''

Jackson, who played last season for the Oakland Raiders, said he had to concentrate a little more on practice because of his brother's situation. He said Javorris Jackson, 22, is doing better and is expected to leave intensive care later this week.

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Packers

Wide receiver Terry Glenn returned to practice Wednesday after being held out a day by Packers coach Mike Sherman because of a hyperextended knee.

''It seemed like it might have been a little bit sore, but it certainly didn't discourage him from making some nice catches,'' Sherman said.

Injury and personal problems are a big reason Glenn hasn't duplicated his rookie season in 1996, when he set at NFL rookie record with 90 receptions for New England. He's played a full season only in 2000.

He missed all but four games last year because of injuries and disputes with the Patriots. His checkered career in New England came to an end this winter when he was traded to Green Bay, where Sherman hopes he can revive Glenn's career and invigorate the Packers' passing attack.

Glenn knows there are those who question his toughness and consider him fragile. So he showed up at practice Tuesday in full pads and carrying his helmet and pleading with the coaches to let him play.

Glenn was hurt Monday when he landed awkwardly after running a slant pattern. He dropped the ball, then stayed in for one more play before coming out.

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Colts

Safety Cory Bird, a projected starter, joined a growing list of injured Colts when he hurt his hamstring covering a kickoff Wednesday.

That relegated five possible defensive starters -- linebacker Mike Peterson, defensive tackle Josh Williams, defensive end Chukie Nwokorie, safety Idrees Bashir and Bird -- to the sidelines.

''Obviously, when you're trying to put in a new scheme, to have five potential starters go down this early in practice, it slows down their progress,'' said defensive coordinator Ron Meeks. ''But you've got to adjust.''

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Giants

First-round draft pick Jeremy Shockey was involved in a dining room fight with linebacker Brandon Short on the tight end's first night in training camp, New York Giants coach Jim Fassel said Wednesday.

''I'm not overly concerned,'' Fassel said after practice. ''In fact, I kind of like them feisty. I'd rather calm them down than kick them in the butt.''

The altercation happened during dinner, a little less than three hours after Shockey finished his first practice. Neither player was available for comment late Wednesday.

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Tampa Bay coach John Gruden is so impressed with the athleticism of defensive tackle Warren Sapp that he plans to use the All-Pro on offense in some situations this season.

The coach declined to discuss specifics, but Sapp said there's a chance he could be used at several positions on offense. As a rookie in 1995, he lined up as a blocking back for Errict Rhett five times, and Tampa Bay scored three touchdowns.

''It was just something he kind of asked me and I was like: 'No problem,' '' Sapp said. ''It was fun after I looked at a couple of those routes and blocking assignments.''

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Defensive end Tyoka Jackson will be sidelined 3-to-6 weeks with cartilage damage in his right knee, putting his status for the Rams' season opener in jeopardy.

Jackson was to undergo arthroscopic surgery. He returned to St. Louis earlier Wednesday for an MRI that revealed the damage. He was injured earlier in the week, but couldn't pinpoint the source.

''Talking to him, he didn't know how he did it,'' coach Mike Martz said.

The 6-foot-2, 280-pound Jackson played in all 16 games as a reserve at both tackle and end last year and had three sacks.

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Cardinals

Arizona's depleted defensive line took another hit when rookie tackle Nate Dwyer broke his left hand.

The injury occurred shortly after the team signed free agent defensive end Gillis Wilson, who spent time with Carolina and the New York Giants the past two seasons.

Dwyer, a fourth-round draft pick out of Kansas, was injured during the team's lone workout of the day at Northern Arizona University. Coach Dave McGinnis gave the team the morning off.

''He really didn't know what he did,'' McGinnis said. ''He didn't know he was hurt until somebody told him in the huddle, 'Man, what's wrong with your hand?' He looked down there and it looked like Fred Flintstone, with a big bump on it.''

Defensive end Andy Bowers underwent surgery in Phoenix on Tuesday night to place a metal plate in his right hand, which he broke during workouts Monday. He was accompanied to Phoenix by wide receiver Frank Sanders, who had broken glass removed from his right middle finger and has yet to practice.



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