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 INDIANAPOLIS (AP) - Peyton Manning's doctors say his third neck surgery in 19 months went 'very well, without complication'' and that his prognosis for recovery is good.Father and son doctors Robert Watkins Sr. and Robert Watkins Jr., who performed Thursday's surgery, issued the statement Friday. The surgery was performed at Marina Del Rey Hospital in California. Manning's previous two surgeries were at Northwestern Memorial in Chicago where Manning had both of his previous surgeries.The doctors confirmed that Manning needed surgery for a herniated disk and that his rehab program will begin soon.Rehab from the neck surgery is expected to take at least two months and could keep the four-time MVP out the entire season. Manning's 227-game streak of starts, including the playoffs, will end Sunday at Houston.

  
                         

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 Larry Johnson, the once-dominant running back, was among those players the Miami Dolphins released on cutdown Saturday. On Thursday, he was back at the team's training facility in Davie - its newest member.Rookie running back Daniel Thomas injured his hamstring in a practice on Wednesday. Later the same day, Johnson said he received a call from Dolphins general manager Jeff Ireland inviting him back.It remains unclear how much Johnson will play in the Dolphins' season opener on Monday night against the New England Patriots but one thing is clear: The Dolphins became concerned - and quickly - about their depth at running back.Obviously we liked what Larry did during training camp, Dolphins coach Tony Sparano said. We had a little bit of an injury to Daniel (on Wednesday) so there's two different reasons (we brought Johnson back).Originally, Johnson arrived more than halfway through the Dolphins' training camp. He played sparingly in the third preseason game, a defeat at Tampa B

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 Geoff Hangartner, a former fifth-round pick by the Carolina Panthers affectionately dubbed Piggy by former center Jeff Mitchell, has re-signed with the team and could start the season opener at right guard.He started 27 games and played in 54 for the Panthers from 2005-08. He left for Buffalo after the Panthers playoff season in 2008 and spent the past two seasons with the Bills prior to getting cut Saturday.Quite honestly, I never really wanted to leave here in the first place, so I'm happy to be back, Hangartner said. I had talked to Jordan (Gross) the day before and knew they had an issue at right guard. As soon as I knew I was getting released, I told my agent to call (general manager) Marty (Hurney) and see if they needed somebody. It worked out well.I still own a condo here, and my dad lives here, plus I've still got a lot of great friends on the team. It's real comfortable to come back here. I had a couple of different options, but this was my No. 1 choice, the place I

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                              Bell retains job at left tackle Football
    Demetrius Bell breathed a sigh of relief. And at 6-5, 311 pounds, it was a very big sigh.After being challenged in training camp for the starting left tackle job by Andy Levitre, Bell was named the starter by coach Chan Gailey for Sunday's regular-season opener at Kansas City. Levitre retained his starting left guard spot.He played more consistently which is what we said the whole thing was about anyways, being more consistent, Gailey said of Bell. Technically and with assignments, he's been more consistent.But now it starts for real.Protecting quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick's blind side is Bell's chief responsibility, something he hasn't always done play after play.Sunday, he'll face off against Chiefs' right outside linebacker Tambi Hali, who finish
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(2011-09-10 11:15)

 (Eds: With AP Photos.)ST. LOUIS (AP) - St. Louis Rams running back Steven Jackson has six consecutive 1,000-yard seasons and this still might be the best team he's played for heading into Sunday's season opener at home against the Philadelphia Eagles.The Rams' all-time leading rusher and two-time Pro Bowler is enthusiastic about what the new season may bring for the Rams, who finished 7-9 last year and missed out on winning the NFC West in the final game of the season.'It's a very exciting week. Each and every year, you only get one chance for a season opener and I'm very grateful we get to start off at home,' Jackson said Thursday after practice. 'We want to start the season off right.'Quarterback Sam Bradford agreed.'I think that if we go out and 11 guys execute and do their jobs then we have the potential to be a very good offense this year,' Bradford said. 'I think it could turn into a special year.'St. Louis swapped picks with Denver and Cincinnati to draft Jackson 24th o

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(2011-09-03 14:38)
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 NFL teams must announce their final player cuts by Saturday at 5 p.m. ET, in order to reach the league's 53-man roster limit. Official cuts are listed below and will be updated as information is received:    Arizona Cardinals CB Fred Bennett, S Jared Campbell, C Ben Claxton, QB Brodie Croyle, LB Will Davis, P Ben Graham, CB Marshay Green, DE Kenny Iwebema, OT Cliff Louis, NT Ricky Lumpkin, FB Reagan Maui’a, DE Jeremy Navarre, WR Aaron Nichols, CB Bryant Nnabuife, LB Cyril Obiozor, C Kris O’Dowd, G Tom Pestock, RB William Powell, TE Steve Skelton, LB Kendall Smith, LB Pago Togafau, CB Thad Turner, S Matt Ware, WR Isaiah Williams, OT D.J. Young    Atlanta Falcons TE Marquez Branson, FB Lucas Cox, DE Chauncey Davis, C Paul Fenaroli, S Matt Hansen, WR Brandyn Harvey, RB Gartrell Johnson, DT Trey Lewis, DE Tom McCarthy, CB Kamaal McIlwain, C Ryan McMahon, S Rafael Priest, DE Kiante Tripp, S Suaesi Tuimaunei, LB Coy Wire, LB Bear Woods&
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(2011-09-03 14:36)
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   The Lions have all but eliminated the fullback position from their offense. They released Jerome Felton, the lone true fullback on the roster from last season, this week. The Lions have featured mostly one-back or no-back sets on offense. When they have gone to two-backs, they have used No. 3 tight end Will Heller in an H-back role.How good has quarterback Matthew Stafford been this preseason? The Lions scored at least 30 points in the first three exhibition games and Stafford was 24 for 31, 356 yards, five touchdowns and no turnovers. His rating  154.0.You judge a quarterback by his ability to get you in a good play, make good decisions, throw accurate passes and lead you to scores, coach Jim Schwartz said. He's done that.The four quarterbacks combined through three exhibition games - Stafford, Shaun Hill, Drew Stanton and Zac Robinson - are 68 for 100, 888 yards, 10 touchdowns and one interception.The Lions hit the Patriots with a taste of their own medicine last Sa
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 Buccaneers No. 3 quarterback Rudy Carpenter is nervous. He's not alone.A rule change in the NFL expanded active game-day rosters to 46 players and removed the third-string emergency quarterback designation. That makes it more likely teams will go with two quarterbacks this season and use the roster spot for a position player.It's definitely an option to keep three quarterbacks, coach Raheem Morris said. I know a lot of people, the new wave is to go with two and some of those things.Carpenter is battling former Tennessee quarterback Jonathan Crompton for the Bucs' No. 3 spot and will start Thursday's preseason finale at Washington.Bucs fifth-round pick Ahmad Black, a safety from Florida, has missed the past two preseason games and a couple weeks of practice because of a high ankle sprain, and might be running out of time to convince coaches he belongs on the roster.With the team expected to keep the requisite four safeties on the 53-man roster, Black faces an uphill climb. Asked w
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The Texans entered training camp hoping for their defense to make up for time lost during the lockout.New defensive coordinator Wade Phillips, who had installed a 3-4, had a lot to teach in a relative short period of time. Based on what happened in the first three exhibitions, the players caught on fast.Last season, the Texans ranked 30th in defense, including last against the pass, and coach Gary Kubiak fired second-year defensive coordinator Frank Bush. After Phillips was hired, he announced a move that continues to generate controversy.Phillips moved defensive end Mario Williams, their leading pass rusher in each of his first five seasons, to outside linebacker. Williams would play the same role as DeMarcus Ware with the Cowboys  rush the quarterback on 95 percent of the pass plays.While the defense recorded 14 sacks and forced seven turnovers in the three preseason victories, Williams continues to be a work in progress. Standing up or dropping to end in passing situations, he
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 Perhaps no team in the NFL started out further behind due to the lockout than the Tennessee Titans.Because of the abrupt departure of long-time coach Jeff Fisher in February, the hiring of Mike Munchak days later and the timing of the lockout in March coupled with the hiring of assistant coaches, there were literally dozens of players who had not even met their new position coaches, much less studied their system or sat in a meeting room with them.Munchak, a Hall of Fame guard from the franchise's Houston Oilers days and a long-time offensive line coach, is a first-time head coach in the league. But he has wasted no time in doing things his way and instilling a sense of discipline and pride to an organization that has slipped in that regard at the end of Fisher's tenure - all the while seeming to cater to high-maintenance prima donnas like Albert Haynesworth, Pacman Jones and Vince Young in recent years.No one will be ahead of the team concept as cornerback Cortland Finnegan quic
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