The NFL fined Carolina defensive end Julius Peppers $10,000 for a helmet-to-helmet hit on Atlanta quarterback Matt Ryan. Referee Ed Hochuli was loudly booed when he threw his flag for roughing-the-passer on the play Sunday, which wiped out Richard Marshall's interception return for a touchdown early in the first quarter in Carolina's 24-9 win. Replays showed Peppers led with his shoulder, but the NFL determined on Friday that Peppers then hit Ryan in the head, drawing the fine and supporting Hochuli's call.
BALTIMORE: Starting cornerback Samari Rolle had neck surgery this week and will be out at least a month. Rolle suffered a stinger in a Sept.21 game after intercepting a pass.
NEW ORLEANS: Top draft pick Sedrick Ellis will be out for two to four weeks with a right knee injury. Ellis, the No. 7 overall selection in last April's draft, tore the medial meniscus in his knee during the Saints' win Sunday against San Francisco and had arthroscopic surgery to repair the tear Friday. Ellis had started all four games and totaled 11 tackles and one sack.
NEW YORK GIANTS: Two days after saying his surgically repaired left knee was swelling following almost every practice, Lawrence Tynes now believes he is ready to kick.
The Giants haven't decided if Tynes will kick Sunday against Seattle. John Carney, 44, was signed days before the season opener against Washington and has made all nine field-goal attempts and all eight extra-point attempts. His kickoffs also have been excellent.
PHILADELPHIA: Running back Brian Westbrook (ankle) was a full participant in practice for the first time in two weeks and appears likely to play Sunday against Washington.
SEATTLE:Deion Branch will start on Sunday, eight months after the veteran receiver had reconstructive knee surgery.
Coach Mike Holmgren said Branch and Bobby Engram passed their tests of three consecutive practices this week. Both receivers will make their season debut in New York against the Giants.
Former Panther Keary Colbert or Billy McMullen will start opposite Branch. Engram will be in his role as slot receiver.
TENNESSEE: The Titans might be without receiver Justin Gage for the second time in three games when they travel to face Baltimore on Sunday.
Titans coach Jeff Fisher said that Gage, second on the team with 12 receptions, would be listed as doubtful because of a right knee injury that has kept him out of practice all week.
WASHINGTON:Shawn Springs and Jason Taylor sat out practice again with calf injuries, but coach Jim Zorn is hopeful Springs will be able to play Sunday against the Eagles.
LAWRENCE PHILLIPS UPDATE: Former football star Lawrence Phillips was sentenced in Los Angeles to 10 years in prison, two years after he was convicted of assault with a deadly weapon. The sentencing was repeatedly delayed while Phillips fought to withdraw a guilty plea in a domestic abuse case that could have led to a stiffer sentence.
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