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Vikings receiver Rice to miss first six games of regular season

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EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. » Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Sidney Rice will be ineligible to play in the first six games of the regular season.

Rice was placed on the reserve physically unable to perform list yesterday, the NFL’s deadline for reducing rosters to 75 players. Players on reserve don’t count toward the active total.

Rice had hip surgery last week and is expected to need at least two months of recovery, so the move was not a surprise. After Minnesota’s sixth game, at Green Bay on Oct. 24, the team will have three more weeks to decide whether to activate Rice or end his season by putting him on injured reserve.

The Vikings also waived wide receiver Marko Mitchell and offensive tackle Bill Noethlich and placed linebacker J Leman on injured reserve, after he cleared waivers, to get to the 75-man limit.

The big cutdown comes Saturday, when rosters must trimmed to 53 players.


Leinart meets with coach

Derek Anderson will start at quarterback again for Arizona when the Cardinals play Washington tomorrow in their final preseason game.

Coach Ken Whisenhunt says he will use the same playing order as he did in last Saturday’s win at Chicago. That means Matt Leinart will come off the bench. Whisenhunt’s decision comes after he met with Leinart Monday after the former Heisman Trophy winner told reporters that he had outplayed Anderson in training camp and preseason, and that his problem with his coach "probably goes beyond football."

Whisenhunt says he’s always told his players if they have a problem to come to him. He says he talked to Leinart earlier about the situation but obviously a second conversation was necessary.


Ravens’ Cody out two weeks

Baltimore Ravens coach John Harbaugh says Baltimore rookie Terrence Cody has had surgery on his left his left knee and will be sidelined for two weeks.

The procedure, performed last week to repair a torn lateral meniscus, leaves the 6-foot-4, 329-pound nose guard questionable for the Ravens’ opener against the New York Jets on Sept. 13.


Seattle LB Hill takes cut

Linebacker Leroy Hill, who is facing a one-game suspension for off-the-field issues, took a major pay cut to play for the Seattle Seahawks in 2010.

Hill will have a base salary of $2.125 million for this season, according to the NFL Players Association web site. Hill was previously scheduled to make $6 million in 2010 as part of a six-year deal Hill signed in April 2009 that could have been worth $38 million. As part of the restructuring, the remaining years on Hill’s contract have been wiped out, making him a free agent following this season.


Seattle sends CB to Ravens

The Seattle Seahawks traded starting cornerback Josh Wilson to the Baltimore Ravens for a conditional 2011 draft pick.

Wilson started 23 of 28 games the last two seasons and took both of his interceptions a year ago back for touchdowns. Wilson has also been a standout on special teams, averaging 27 and 25 yards per kickoff return his first two years in the league.


Browns’ Rogers fined

The NFL decided yesterday to only fine the Cleveland Browns’ nose tackle Shaun Rogers and not suspend him for carrying a loaded gun into an airport.

The league said Rogers will be fined a one-game check — roughly $400,000 or 1/17th his $6.9 million salary this season — for violating its personal conduct policy. The former Pro Bowler has not practiced this summer because of a leg injury that ended his season after 11 games in 2009.


Bucs CB Talib suspended

Tampa Bay cornerback Aqib Talib will miss the Buccaneers’ regular season opener after being suspended one game without pay for violating the NFL’s personal conduct policy.

The third-year pro also was fined one additional game check stemming from Talib punching a cab driver in August 2009.


Put on reserve

» Washington placed Malcolm Kelly on injured reserve, robbing the Redskins of a big target receiver because of an ailing hamstring that won’t heal anytime soon. There was better news regarding Donovan McNabb and Clinton Portis. Portis practiced for the first time since spraining his right ankle last week against the New York Jets. McNabb was still sidelined but was no longer wearing a compression stocking over his sprained left ankle.

» New England placed starting cornerback Leigh Bodden on injured reserve with a shoulder injury.


Waiving good-bye

» Dallas released veteran safety Patrick Watkins, a fifth-round pick in 2006 who was a special-teams standout.

» Kevin O’Connell is out, and Kellen Clemens is safe. The New York Jets waived O’Connell, clearing the way for Clemens to make the team as the No. 3 quarterback. Clemens signed a new deal yesterday, restructuring his $1.1 million tender and taking a pay cut while securing his spot on the roster.


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