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Bucs, Panthers, Falcons and more

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NFL News - Thursday, October 25, 2007   
     ... Bucs, Panthers, Falcons and more ...   

Bucs release Crockett, put Jones on IR

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers released running back Zack Crockett 
and placed punt and kick returner Mark Jones on injured reserve 
Wednesday, clearing room on the roster for help at receiver.
Crockett was signed on Oct. 10 to bolster the tailback position 
following injuries to Carnell "Cadillac" Williams and Michael 
Pittman. He appeared in two games and carried once for no gain 
during last Sunday's 23-16 loss at Detroit. Jones, a reserve 
receiver, tore the patellar tendon in his left knee returning 
a kickoff against the Lions. The loss of Jones, as well as a 
right ankle sprain that could sideline Michael Clayton beyond 
this week, created a need for a receiver, which the Bucs filled 
by promoting Chad Lucas from the practice squad. The team also 
signed fullback Byron Storer to replace Crockett. Receiver 
Derrick Hamilton and tackle Dennis Roland were signed to the 
practice squad. 

Panthers place Goings on injured reserve, sign Curry

The Carolina Panthers placed reserve running back and kick 
returner Nick Goings on injured reserve Wednesday, nearly a 
month after he sustained at least the third concussion of his 
career. The Panthers signed linebacker Donte Curry to replace 
him on the 53-man roster. Goings was injured on a kickoff 
return against Tampa Bay on Sept. 30. He did not play in 
Carolina's past two games, and coach John Fox said Goings 
had not been cleared by doctors to return to practice.
Curry, a seven-year veteran, was released by Detroit last 
week. He'll provide depth at linebacker with Dan Morgan out 
indefinitely with a partially torn Achilles tendon. 

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Leftwich undergoes surgery on ankle, expected to be out 3-4 weeks

Atlanta Falcons quarterback Byron Leftwich underwent surgery 
on his right ankle Wednesday and will be out three to four 
weeks, giving Joey Harrington another chance as the starter.
In his first start for the Falcons, Leftwich sustained a high 
ankle sprain against New Orleans in a 22-16 loss Sunday.
The surgical procedure will help speed the recovery process, 
coach Bobby Petrino said. "He had a procedure done this 
morning that is a very aggressive procedure," Petrino said 
after practice. "They actually go in and put a couple screws 
in there and it helps it heal faster." Offensive tackle Todd 
Weiner underwent the same operation a couple of weeks ago.
"A lot of hockey players are doing it now," Petrino said. 
"It's supposed to increase the healing and hopefully he'll 
be back in three to four weeks. He says two, but the doctors 
say three to four." The Falcons (1-6) are off this week. 
Leftwich is likely to miss at least three games but could 
return for a Thanksgiving night contest against Indianapolis.
"He wanted to get back on the field as quick as he can," 
Petrino said. "This is a new, aggressive procedure that has 
worked very well." In the meantime, Harrington reclaims his 
job as the No. 1 quarterback. He started Atlanta's first six 
games and took over against the Saints when Leftwich was hurt 
on the first series of the second half. 


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Seymour returns to practice after missing time with knee injury

Five-time Pro Bowl defensive end Richard Seymour practiced 
with the New England Patriots on Wednesday for the first time 
this season. Seymour is on the physically unable to perform 
list with a knee injury. He can practice for up to three weeks
before the team must either activate him or place him on season-
ending injured reserve. Seymour stretched and ran an agility 
drill with other members of the defensive line during the part 
of practice the media was allowed to watch. He wasn't available 
for comment. Before practice, coach Bill Belichick said he 
wouldn't be able to gauge Seymour's effect on the defense until 
the seven-year veteran got back on the field. "After we see 
him and see where he's at, we'll get an idea," Belichick said. 
"Until a player gets out there and starts practicing, it's hard 
to picture exactly what it looks like." Redskins coach 
Joe Gibbs, whose team plays at New England on Sunday, said 
Seymour's possible return would make the 7-0 Patriots even 
more dangerous. "They have (talent) all the way across the 
board," Gibbs said. "You hate to see them get somebody back 
that's a high-quality guy, too, to add to it. Not a pretty 
picture." Earlier this week, Gibbs predicted that the Redskins 
would "probably be the biggest underdog in the history of sports" 
against the Patriots, whom he called a "juggernaut." Patriots 
quarterback Tom Brady, who has thrown 27 touchdown passes 
already, said Gibbs was "blowing smoke." "I promise you that 
he's not telling his team that," Brady said. "That sounds 
like something that coach Belichick would say, so he's trying 
to butter us up. You know, it doesn't work for us. We know 
what we're getting ourselves into." Although Brady is on a 
record pace, Washington counters with the NFL's eighth-rated 
pass defense. Opposing quarterbacks have combined to throw 
five touchdowns and eight interceptions against the Redskins' 
secondary, which features four former first-round draft picks.

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