NFL ROUNDUP News and notes
Buccaneers: Tim Brown was reunited with Jon Gruden on Tuesday when he signed with Tampa Bay, joining the man who coached him in Oakland for four seasons. The 38-year-old, nine-time Pro Bowl receiver will be counted on to bolster a receiving corps that is in desperate need of experienced help because of injuries and Keenan McCardell's holdout. Brown became a Buc after being released last week after 16 seasons with the Raiders after he fell to fourth or fifth in a receiving group that includes Jerry Rice and Jerry Porter. With Tampa Bay, Brown could wind up being a starter with McCardell demanding a raise after a Pro Bowl season and Joe Jurevicius out indefinitely after undergoing back surgery earlier this month. The Bucs also think rookie receiver Michael Clayton, the team's first-round draft pick, can benefit from being around and learning from the 17th-year pro. Brown played a franchise-record 240 games for Oakland, and his streak of 173 consecutive games with at least one reception is the second-longest in NFL history behind Rice's 273. The 1987 Heisman Trophy winner played for Gruden from 1998-2001, the last four years in a stretch of nine consecutive seasons with at least 1,000 yards receiving. Two years ago, he helped lead the Raiders to the Super Bowl, where they lost to the Gruden-led Bucs. Last season, Brown had 52 catches for 567 yards and two TDs.
Cardinals: Arizona is waiting anxiously for test results on the right knee of Anquan Boldin, the NFL offensive rookie of the year last season. The Cardinals' only Pro Bowl player injured his right knee Tuesday morning while loosening up for practice and was carted from the field. That came after he experienced soreness in the same knee on Monday, sitting out a morning practice, but he participated in an afternoon walkthrough. Boldin had X-rays and an MRI exam but results weren't available until today because orthopedist Russell Chick, who administered the tests, also operated on running back Marcel Shipp's broken left leg Tuesday. Last season, Boldin set an NFL rookie record with 101 receptions, had the most yards receiving (1,377) by a rookie since Houston's Bill Groman in 1960 and established a franchise rookie record with eight scoring grabs.
Eagles: Jevon Kearse returned to practice Tuesday after leaving the field on Monday with a sprained left ankle. Kearse plans to play in the preseason opener on Friday night against New England. The defensive end, who signed an eight-year, $66 million deal with the Eagles in March, was carted off the field Monday after he hurt his ankle -- the same one he injured last year in Tennessee, forcing him to miss two games. Meanwhile, backup quarterback Koy Detmer underwent arthroscopic knee surgery. He is expected to miss about two weeks. Jeff Blake will be the second-team quarterback for the Eagles on Friday.
Bills: Offensive lineman Mike Williams, fined last week by the team for missing a training camp session, missed practice again Tuesday because of an apparent injury. Williams was wearing a protective boot on his right foot Tuesday. Last week, Williams was fined by coach Mike Mularkey after skipping practice due to "personal problems." Williams did not provide details, saying only that the situation had been rectified. Williams also had missed several voluntary minicamp sessions in June because of a death in his family. Mularkey then demoted him to the Bills' second team, saying he wanted to give the tackle more time to learn the offensive system. Williams has started working part-time with the Bills' first-string offense.
Jaguars: Kicker Seth Marler was waived after he strained his quadriceps muscle several times during the first week of training camp. Marler was the regular kicker for the team last season, making 20-of-33 field goals. The injury leaves Jacksonville with Jeff Chandler and Josh Scobee competing for the job.
Lions: Linebacker Boss Bailey will miss at least two to three weeks while recovering from arthroscopic surgery on his right knee. Trainer Al Bellamy said Bailey was to undergo surgery today in Athens, Ga., to repair damaged cartilage.
Texans: Defensive tackle Seth Payne saw his first action since having two knee operations last season. Payne tore the ACL in his right knee in the second game of the season against New Orleans and missed the rest of the year. He had a setback late last year and had a second operation on the knee. The 6-foot-4, 315-pound Payne led the defensive line with 147 tackles in 2002 when the team was 10th in pass defense and 16th in total defense.