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Sanchez will wear brace rest of career

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. » Mark Sanchez is bracing himself for the rest of his career.

The New York Jets quarterback will wear a protective brace on his surgically repaired left knee "probably forever" to guard against future injuries after a scare in the preseason game against Carolina last Saturday.

"I really want to wear it," Sanchez said sarcastically yesterday. "No, we’ve been joking back and forth. I think I kind of lucked out the other night."

During the Jets’ 9-3 win at Carolina, a Panthers player almost rolled into the franchise quarterback’s knee.

"I had him put the brace on after I saw that thing," coach Rex Ryan said. "It was close. He couldn’t step up and the guy’s helmet was here. I was like, ‘That’s enough.’ That’s why he’s putting it on."

Sanchez had the patella-stabilizing ligament in his left knee repaired in February and had been wearing a sleeve over it during camp. He has worn a brace in most games since dislocating his knee cap before his junior season at Southern California.



  W L   Pct PF PA
Miami 2 0   1.000 37 33
New England 2 0   1.000 55 34
Buffalo 1 1   .500 51 63
N.Y. Jets 1 1   .500 25 34



  W L   Pct PF PA
Tennessee 1 1   .500 42 30
Houston 0 2   .000 36 57
Indianapolis 0 2   .000 38 71
Jacksonville 0 2   .000 53 55



  W L   Pct PF PA
Baltimore 2 0   1.000 40 15
Pittsburgh 2 0   1.000 47 24
Cincinnati 2 1   .667 62 49
Cleveland 1 1   .500 44 43



  W L   Pct PF PA
Oakland 2 0   1.000 49 26
San Diego 1 1   .500 39 26
Denver 0 2   .000 44 58
Kansas City 0 2   .000 25 40




  W L   Pct PF PA
Dallas 2 1   .667 41 38
N.Y. Giants 1 1   .500 48 40
Philadelphia 1 1   .500 37 49
Washington 1 1   .500 45 40



  W L   Pct PF PA
Atlanta 1 1   .500 30 38
New Orleans 1 1   .500 62 47
Tampa Bay 1 1   .500 27 25
Carolina 0 2   .000 15 26



  W L   Pct PF PA
Green Bay 1 1   .500 51 51
Minnesota 1 1   .500 38 22
Detroit 1 1   .500 32 43
Chicago 0 2   .000 27 57



  W L   Pct PF PA
San Francisco 2 0   1.000 52 27
Arizona 1 1   .500 29 40
Seattle 1 1   .500 44 45
St. Louis 1 1   .500 26 45


TOMORROW St. Louis at New England, 1:30 p.m.
Indianapolis at Green Bay, 2 p.m.
Atlanta at Miami, 1 p.m.
Washington at N.Y. Jets, 1 p.m.
San Diego at New Orleans, 2 p.m.
Philadelphia at Kansas City, 2 p.m.
Cleveland at Detroit, 11 a.m.
Cincinnati at Buffalo, 12:30 p.m.
N.Y. Giants at Baltimore, 1:30 p.m.
Jacksonville at Tampa Bay, 1:30 p.m.
Dallas at Houston, 2 p.m.
Tennessee at Carolina, 2 p.m.
Seattle at Minnesota, 2 p.m.
Arizona at Chicago, 2:30 p.m.
San Francisco at Oakland, 3 p.m.
Pittsburgh at Denver, 2 p.m.

"It’s not even worth having other problems," Sanchez said. "My knee feels great It’s just a precautionary thing."

Okung has ankle sprain

Sixth-overall draft pick Russell Okung has a high right ankle sprain, putting the key position of left tackle in flux for the Seattle Seahawks heading into the regular season.

The Seahawks are pushing ahead with backup plans of having either Mansfield Wrotto, a backup guard, or recuperating Chester Pitts protect quarterback Matt Hasselbeck’s blind side to begin the season.

Mangold signs big deal

New York Jets center Nick Mangold became the highest-paid player at his position yesterday, signing a seven-year deal with the New York Jets that could be worth up to $55 million.

The deal includes more than $22 million in guarantees against injury, a person with knowledge of the contract told the Associated Press. The person requested anonymity because the team did not announce details of the deal.

McNabb ruled out

A sprained ankle will keep Donovan McNabb on the sideline Friday night when the Redskins play the New York Jets.

McNabb has been unable to practice since getting hurt in Saturday night’s preseason loss to the Baltimore Ravens.

"It’s quite sore," coach Mike Shanahan said, "and I don’t think he could go if it was a regular-season game. He’s got to rehab it."

Rice has hip surgery

The Minnesota Vikings will play the first half of the season — or more — without Pro Bowl receiver Sidney Rice, who had hip surgery this week.

Coach Brad Childress said yesterday that Rice had the procedure in Vail, Colo., on Monday night. He couldn’t give a specific timetable for Rice’s return, but said typically it takes about eight weeks before a player can even get back to practice, let alone game action.

"I would think (it will take) probably at least eight weeks before we’re talking about doing anything," Childress said.

Holliday out for season

Houston Texans rookie kick returner Trindon Holliday is gone for the season.

Coach Gary Kubiak says Holliday will have surgery today on his broken left thumb. Holliday had been wearing a cast on the thumb in recent practices.

Holliday fumbled a punt and mishandled a kickoff return in the Texans’ 38-20 loss to New Orleans on Saturday. Kubiak blamed Holliday’s miscues on his injured thumb.

Holliday is the second Texans’ draft pick to suffer a season-ending injury during training camp. Running back Ben Tate, a second-round pick out of Auburn, broke his ankle in Houston’s first preseason game.

Broncos release Ayodele

The Denver Broncos have juggled their lineup, releasing nine-year veteran Akin Ayodele and moving Mario Haggan back inside.

Replacing Haggan at outside linebacker opposite Robert Ayers is Jarvis Moss. Neither Ayers nor Moss registered a single sack last year, when Elvis Dumervil led the league with 17.

Haggan practiced all summer at the "mike" position but was moved outside after Dumervil tore a pectoral muscle early in training camp that will sideline him at least until December.

Clausen plays with pain

Carolina Panthers backup quarterback Jimmy Clausen returned to practice yesterday after missing a day with a sore right big toe, an ailment the former Notre Dame star expects to linger throughout his rookie season.

Clausen underwent surgery in January to replace two torn tendons after being injured early last season against Michigan State. Clausen said yesterday the toe "feels good some days and sore other days" and it’s especially painful after games.


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