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NFC: Hambrick traded to Cards

By wire services
Published September 1, 2004

PHOENIX - The Cardinals acquired running back Troy Hambrick and defensive end Peppi Zellner Tuesday in a trade with the Oakland Raiders.

The Cardinals gave the Raiders an undisclosed conditional 2005 draft pick.

Hambrick, the former Pasco High star, entered the league with the Dallas Cowboys in 2000 as an undrafted rookie free agent out of Savannah State and started all 16 games for Dallas last season.

He rushed for 972 yards and five touchdowns last year, but was released by the Cowboys May 13 and signed with the Raiders four days later.

Zellner also broke into the league with the Cowboys. He was drafted by Dallas in 1999. He spent the 1999-2002 seasons with the Cowboys. He played in 16 games for the Redskins a year ago.

BEARS: Brian Urlacher's pulled hamstring is healed and he's back on the practice field, realizing how much he missed football and vowing to be ready for the season opener.

"I've never been injured, so I don't know how to react," Urlacher said Tuesday before his second practice session since he was hurt July 28 during the first workout of training camp. "I'm just going to do what they tell me to do and just get ready for Detroit."

Urlacher won't play in Friday's preseason finale at Cleveland but plans to play in the Sept. 12 season opener against the Lions at Soldier Field.

Urlacher has never missed a game in his four-year NFL career.

FALCONS: The team learned that rookie cornerback DeAngelo Hall will miss six to 10 weeks with a small fracture on the left side of his hip.

Hall, the No. 8 overall pick and the first cornerback taken in the draft, had been designated as the starter on the left side three months ago by coach Jim Mora. Kevin Mathis will replace Hall on Friday night when the Falcons visit Washington.

Hall was injured Saturday after batting down a first-quarter pass intended for Cincinnati receiver Chad Johnson. Though he remained in the game for the next four series, Hall told trainer Ron Medlin that he was in pain.

"On that first deep ball when I was pressed up on about a 14-yard fade route, I just kind of came down on it wrong," Hall said after the game. "Hopefully, I'll be all right."

And MRI exam on Hall Sunday was negative. But a visit Monday to a hip specialist proved otherwise. "But by no means is it season-ending or anything like that," Mora said. "We'll get him back eventually, and we'll adjust as we go."

GIANTS: The team apparently is going to open with relative unknown Todd France as its placekicker. The 24-year-old got the job for the season opener Sept. 12 against Philadelphia, when coach Tom Coughlin waived veteran Bill Gramatica. There is still a chance that the Giants might sign a veteran kicker after teams make their final cuts on Sunday, but Coughlin didn't seem to think that was necessary.

France, 24, came to training camp seemingly as third on the depth chart behind two-time incumbent Matt Bryant and Gramatica.

Bryant was waived on the opening day of camp after reporting with a hamstring injury. Gramatica was the No. 1 kicker for the opening preseason game, but he developed back spasms and that opened the door for France.

France hit all three of his field goals in the last two games - 51, 42 and 24 yards - and all three extra points. His kickoffs have averaged almost 62 yards.

REDSKINS: The team released veteran cornerback Ralph Brown, who signed a two-year, $1.4-million contract in March.

Brown signed after spending four seasons with the Giants, mostly as a fifth defensive back. He started seven games last season, collecting 41 tackles, two interceptions and one sack. Brown also missed three games because of a shoulder injury.

The Redskins will start Shawn Springs and Fred Smoot at cornerback, with Ade Jimoh, Rashad Bauman and Walt Harris competing for playing time as backups.

Washington concludes the preseason Friday against the Falcons and opens the regular season Sept. 12 against the Bucs.

SEAHAWKS: The team placed reserve outside linebacker D.D. Lewis on injured reserve, ending his 2004 season. Lewis is scheduled to have surgery on his left shoulder Thursday. He never recovered from offseason surgery on the shoulder and had been out since Aug. 14.

He was being counted on to start for Chad Brown , who is expected to miss the first four games of the regular season with a broken left leg.

The third-year pro from Texas played in 15 games last season, starting five, and recorded a career-high 56 tackles. In Seattle's playoff loss to Green Bay, Lewis had 10 tackles.

Isaiah Kacyvenski and Tracy White are expected to assume Brown's position until he is able to return.

Cornerback Jernaro Gilford was released to reach Tuesday's NFL-mandated 75-man roster limit.

[Last modified September 1, 2004, 01:10:40]


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