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Steeler Porter Is Shot

September 01, 2003|From Associated Press

Linebacker Joey Porter of the Pittsburgh Steelers was wounded when he was among six people shot early Sunday outside a Denver bar after the Colorado-Colorado State game at Invesco Field.

Porter was in serious condition after being shot in the buttocks, but the injury wasn't life-threatening, police spokesman Sonny Jackson said. One of the other victims died, Jackson said.

Porter, 26, was not involved in any confrontation. The All-Pro linebacker, a five-year veteran, is a Colorado State graduate.

"He was an innocent bystander. There was no confrontation or altercation that we know of at this time," Jackson said. No arrests were made.

Jackson said the shots were fired from outside a fenced-in parking lot where the victims were standing just before 2 a.m.

Steeler Coach Bill Cowher said the team would not put Porter on injured reserve, which would sideline him for the season.

Cowher did not speculate how long Porter would be out. Losing him for a substantial period would be a major blow to a defense that was the NFL's best in 2001 and ranked seventh last season.

Clark Haggans, who played mostly as a rush end in the Steelers' dime defense last season, probably will start Sunday's opener against Baltimore.

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The Buffalo Bills traded Olandis Gary to the running back-depleted Detroit Lions for an undisclosed future draft pick.

The Bills, anticipating the midseason activation of injured rookie Willis McGahee, were already well-stocked at the position behind starter Travis Henry.

Detroit, meanwhile, was in desperate need at running back. Starter James Stewart will be sidelined up to six weeks after dislocating his right shoulder during Thursday night's exhibition game against Buffalo.

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All-Pro center Barret Robbins survived the Oakland Raiders' final cuts, keeping his roster spot despite playing behind Adam Treu and Matt Stinchcomb during the preseason.

The Raiders trimmed 15 players from their roster, but Robbins wasn't among them. Oakland's starting center since 1997 thought earlier in the week that he would be cut.

"I had some conversations [Saturday] that pretty much led me to believe that I would be here," Robbins said. "It's been a tough couple of weeks, but we rode it out and had faith that whatever happened would be the right thing for us, my family and I."

The Raiders suspended Robbins hours before the Super Bowl after he left the team for a well-publicized drinking binge. He was diagnosed with bipolar disorder and underwent treatment for alcoholism during the off season.

Robbins also had surgery on his right knee, which was slow to heal. He reported to camp 30 pounds overweight, and he sat out the first four days of workouts.

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The Tennessee Titans needed more room under the salary cap to add help at defensive back, so they released 13-year quarterback Neil O'Donnell.

The Titans released O'Donnell in February to get under the salary cap, but Coach Jeff Fisher stayed in close contact with him during the next few months when he visited Minnesota, New Orleans and Miami.

Tennessee re-signed O'Donnell in late June. But three-year veteran Billy Volek played well this preseason, leaving O'Donnell too expensive an option for a team with needs for backup help at other positions.

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Other moves as teams met the NFL-mandated 53-player roster limit:

Center Frank Winters, a 17-year veteran, and running back Lamar Smith were among eight players waived by the Green Bay Packers. Winters joined the Packers as a free agent in 1992 and ranked fifth among active NFL players in games played with 231.... Running back Ki-Jana Carter was among 17 players cut by the New Orleans Saints, who put starting safety Mel Mitchell on injured reserve. Carter, the No. 1 overall pick in the 1995 draft, was brought to training camp as a possible backup for Deuce McAllister.... Running back Chris Fuamatu-Ma'afala, once a valuable backup to Jerome Bettis, was cut by the Pittsburgh Steelers. Also released was cornerback Hank Poteat, who played in the dime defense in the playoffs last season after safety Mike Logan was injured. Fuamatu-Ma'afala, a physical 254-pound power runner, became expendable after the Steelers made the transition from a run-oriented offense to a passing team last season.... Starting left guard Rex Tucker will sit out the season after the Chicago Bears put him on injured reserve. He tore his right ankle tendon Wednesday night during the final exhibition game against New England.

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