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Millen out as Lions chief

AROUND THE NFL

September 25, 2008|From the Associated Press

Matt Millen insisted he would stick with the tough job of turning the Detroit Lions into a winner instead of returning to the broadcast booth to make easy money.

So the Lions got rid of him.

Finally.

The Lions fired Millen seven-plus years after the acclaimed TV analyst and Super Bowl-winning linebacker took over as team president for one of the NFL's mediocre franchises and made it the worst.

"I have relieved Matt Millen of his duties effective immediately," Lions owner William Clay Ford said in a statement Wednesday afternoon.

Messages seeking comment were left on Millen's cellphone.

Millen's teams won a league-low 31 games since he took over in 2001, but his boss refused to get rid of him until now.

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A yearlong ankle injury could not keep Plaxico Burress out of the New York Giants' lineup last season. The lack of a telephone call this week apparently is going to cost him a game and more than $235,000.

Less than a month after handing the man who caught the winning pass in the Super Bowl a new $35-million contract, the Giants suspended Burress for a game for missing a practice and not calling to explain his absence.

Burress' agent insisted the nine-year veteran had an undisclosed family emergency on Monday and that he will appeal the ban to the NFL Players Assn.

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Receiver Roscoe Parrish will miss four to six weeks after having surgery to repair ligament damage in his right thumb, leaving the Buffalo Bills without their fastest player and one of their most elusive threats.

Coach Dick Jauron made the surprise announcement Wednesday, a day after Parrish had what was described as a brief but intricate operation. Jauron said Parrish told him he was hurt early in the fourth quarter of a 24-23 win over Oakland last weekend.

Jauron didn't know the exact nature of the injury, but said Parrish had no ligament support in his thumb if it moved a certain way.

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Matthew Tryson Bryant, the 3-month-old son of Tampa Bay Buccaneers kicker Matt Bryant, died Wednesday.

"I don't have a lot of details," Coach Jon Gruden said after practice. "It's just a horrible tragedy, and I can't explain it."

Bryant, a seventh-year pro in his fourth season with Tampa Bay, kicked a winning field goal in overtime against Chicago last Sunday.

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Damon Huard will be back under center Sunday for winless Kansas City, giving the Chiefs a different starting quarterback for the fourth week in a row.

Huard, the only one of Kansas City's four quarterbacks who ever won an NFL game, will start against Denver (3-0) while Tyler Thigpen, who threw three interceptions in his first NFL start last week, returns to the bench.

In the meantime, regular starter Brodie Croyle, who separated his shoulder in the season opener at New England on Sept. 7, began light throwing and expects to return Oct. 19 against Tennessee.

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Derek Anderson has kept his starting quarterback job with the Cleveland Browns for now.

Anderson, who has been ineffective during the Browns' three-game losing streak, will start Sunday's game against the Cincinnati Bengals.

Coach Romeo Crennel considered benching Anderson for popular second-year backup Brady Quinn, who has played in only one game as a pro.

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The New Orleans Saints released reserve quarterback Joey Harrington, only five days after signing him.

The Saints signed tight end Sean Ryan to compensate for the loss of Jeremy Shockey to a sports hernia.

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Cornerback Al Harris sustained a "serious" spleen injury in Green Bay's loss to the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday night, and it requires a cautious approach, but he hasn't been ruled out for the rest of the season, Packers Coach Mike McCarthy said.

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