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AROUND THE LEAGUE

No Thumbs Up, but Fiedler Gets Closer

November 29, 2002|From Associated Press

Miami Dolphin quarterback Jay Fiedler took some snaps with the first-team offense Thursday, another step in coming back from a broken right thumb.

Fiedler practiced for the second consecutive day as he tries to work into playing condition after being injured Oct. 13 at Denver.

"Jay took more work than he did Wednesday," Coach Dave Wannstedt said. "He's not where he would like to be, but I think he's right on schedule where we hoped he would be."

Wannstedt said that Fiedler probably will be in uniform as the No. 2 or No. 3 quarterback Sunday at Buffalo.

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Brian Griese and Shannon Sharpe made it through a second practice without any setbacks, but it was unclear whether they will play for Denver against San Diego.

Bronco Coach Mike Shanahan said his starting quarterback and tight end will have to go through more rigorous workouts before a decision is made about Sunday's game.

"Both looked pretty good. It's going to be a game-time decision," Shanahan said.

Griese returned to practice Wednesday for the first time since spraining his left knee against Seattle on Nov. 17.

Shanahan said Griese was sore Thursday morning, but it wasn't enough to keep him from practicing.

"Just out here he looks pretty good, but until he really puts pressure on it in a scrambling situation, you don't know for sure," Shanahan said. "He doesn't want to overdo it right now. He's looking good with what we're doing."

Sharpe made huge strides since partially separating his right elbow against Oakland on Nov. 11. He was expected to miss up to a month, but returned to practice Wednesday.

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Carolina Panther running back Lamar Smith was charged with drunken driving, the latest legal embarrassment for the team.

The player, 31, was charged with driving while impaired, speeding and reckless driving, according to a deputy with the Mecklenburg County Sheriff's Department. Smith was released several hours later after posting a $1,200 bond.

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Colt running back Edgerrin James returned to practice after an ankle injury and is expected to start against the Houston Texans.

Defensive end Brad Scioli, however, might not be able to play at home against the Texans. He missed his second day of practice because of an injured shoulder.

Scioli has been playing defensive end and defensive tackle this season, filling in at tackle primarily because of injuries to Josh Williams.

If Scioli can't play, veteran Chukie Nwokorie or rookie Raheem Brock -- both defensive ends -- might be moved inside.

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The Tampa Bay Buccaneers signed defensive end Ron Warner to a one-year contract and put defensive end Corey Smith on injured reserve.

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