December 19, 2013

NFL Notebook: Ravens’ quarterback set for knee brace vs. Patriots

The Associated Press

OWINGS MILLS, Md. — Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco will wear a brace on his left knee Sunday against the New England Patriots, a precautionary move in the wake of the injury he sustained Monday night in Detroit.

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Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco, who was hit by a defensive lineman’s helmet Monday night, will wear a knee brace Sunday against the New England Patriots.

The Associated Press

Before Justin Tucker sent his 61-yard kick sailing toward the uprights in an 18-16 win, Flacco’s knee buckled upon being struck by the helmet of oncoming Lions lineman DeAndre Levy.

“I winced when I saw it on the board up there,” Coach John Harbaugh said Wednesday. “I winced when I saw it on tape again this morning. It was a pretty tough hit.”

Flacco wore a brace during practice and acknowledged his knee felt “stiff.” But he doesn’t expect it to be a hindrance Sunday when the Ravens (8-6) seek their fifth straight victory.

SEAHAWKS: Cornerback Brandon Browner was suspended indefinitely for violating the NFL’s substance abuse policy.

The suspension is the second in two seasons for Browner. He was suspended four games last season for violating the league’s policy on performance-enhancing substances.

STEELERS: Linebacker Terence Garvin was fined $25,000 for his hit on Cincinnati punter Kevin Huber in the Steelers’ victory Sunday night.

Huber sustained a broken jaw and a cracked vertebrae when Garvin decked him near midfield during Antonio Brown’s 67-yard punt return for a touchdown.

RAIDERS: Running back Darren McFadden returned to practice to begin what could be the final countdown to a mostly disappointing career.

The fourth overall pick in 2008, McFadden has missed six games this season with hamstring and ankle injuries, continuing a frustrating pattern that has plagued him throughout his six years in the NFL. He’s never played a full 16-game schedule and has sat out 19 of Oakland’s past 39 games.

BEARS: Chicago remains optimistic linebacker Lance Briggs will play this weekend at Philadelphia.

Briggs practiced on a limited basis as he tries to work his way back from a small fracture in his left shoulder and help the Bears lock up a playoff spot.

JETS: Receiver Santonio Holmes said he would be willing to take a pay cut to remain with the team after this season.

Holmes, who restructured his contract last offseason, is likely to be cut because of his hefty salary that includes a salary- cap number of $10.75 million. Holmes is scheduled to make $8.25 million in base pay, plus another $2.5 million in bonuses.

BILLS: Rookie quarterback E.J. Manuel will miss the game against the Dolphins because of swelling in his left knee, and Thad Lewis will start in his place.

Coach Doug Marrone said Manuel would be ready to return for the season finale against the Patriots.

REDSKINS: Washington acquired quarterback Robert Griffin III’s college center, claiming J.D. Walton off waivers from Denver.

Griffin and Walton were teammates for two seasons at Baylor before starting their NFL careers. Walton was a third-round pick by the Broncos in 2010 and started 36 games, but he’s been sidelined since Week 4 of last season because of a severe ankle injury that required multiple surgeries.

Linebacker London Fletcher, one of the most durable players in NFL history, said there’s a “99 percent” chance he’ll retire at the end of the season.

TITANS: Tennessee’s second-leading tackler, Zach Brown, said he doesn’t know why he was pulled from last week’s game after a handful of snaps and didn’t practice with the starters as the Titans prepare to visit Jacksonville.

(Continued on page 2)

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