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Around the NFC

Compiled from Times wires
© St. Petersburg Times
published August 30, 2002

COWBOYS: Linebacker Markus Steele was taken off the field on a stretcher Thursday night after straining his neck while making a tackle against the host Jaguars. Steele was moving his legs and team officials said he had feeling in all his extremities.

EAGLES: After sitting out most of camp, Antonio Freeman is set for his first action since January in tonight's preseason finale against the Jets. While most of the starters, including quarterback Donovan McNabb, won't play, Freeman will start at slot receiver. "When his career is all said and done, he will go down as one of the, if not the, best inside receivers to have played in this offense," coach Andy Reid said. Freeman, a former Pro Bowl player in Green Bay, was released by the Packers in a cost-cutting move in June. He signed a one-year contract last week.

GIANTS: The NFL will allow television networks to use an overhead camera during regular-season games for the first time. The camera, which is maneuvered above the field by wires attached to the corners of the stadium and directed by remote control, will debut during ESPN's telecast of the season opener Thursday between the Giants and 49ers at Giants Stadium. The camera is positioned above and behind the offense, allowing viewers to see rushing lanes develop and focus on individual matchups.

PACKERS: Running back Jason Brookins was cut two days after a misunderstanding caused him to leave camp unexcused, and just a few minutes before he was to begin a 10-hour drive back to Green Bay. The odyssey began Tuesday when a Packers functionary asked for Brookins' playbook. Brookins interpreted the request to mean he was being released. Instead, the Packers wanted to insert some plays into his binder. Brookins didn't know because he had packed his bags and was on the road. Based on a conversation with union officials, agent Stephen Weinberger had ordered Brookins back to Green Bay.

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