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Patriots acquire cornerback Aqib Talib from Buccaneers

New England hopes to shore up a shaky secondary with the trade for Talib, a former first-round pick who has 18 career interceptions. Talib is about to finish a four-game suspension for violating the league's policy on performance-enhancing substances.

November 02, 2012
  • Buccaneers cornerback Aqib Talib returns an interception against tight end Jason Witten and the Cowboys during a game earlier this season at Cowboys Stadium.
Buccaneers cornerback Aqib Talib returns an interception against tight… (Larry W. Smith / EPA )

The New England Patriots moved to shore up their shaky secondary Thursday by obtaining cornerback Aqib Talib from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

The Patriots traded their fourth-round pick in next year's draft for the former first-round choice, who is coming off his second NFL suspension, and a seventh-rounder in 2013.

Talib, who has 18 interceptions since being taken by Tampa Bay with the 20th pick in 2008 from Kansas, will be eligible to play in the Patriots' next game on Nov. 11 after serving a four-game suspension for violating the league's policy on performance-enhancing substances.

He said at the time of the suspension that he took an Adderall pill without a prescription "around the beginning of training camp." He also was suspended without pay for the regular-season opener in 2010 and fined one additional game check for violating the NFL's personal-conduct policy. That penalty resulted from an altercation with a St. Petersburg, Fla., cab driver during training camp in August 2009.

He also had charges of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon in Texas dropped a week before he was due to be tried for allegedly firing a gun at his sister's boyfriend.

New England (5-3) enters its bye week having given up the fifth-most yards passing in the NFL. It has been especially vulnerable to the big play, most recently on a 50-yard touchdown pass by Sam Bradford on the St. Louis Rams' opening drive last Sunday in London. The Patriots went on to win, 45-7.

Steelers shorten trip

The Pittsburgh Steelers are turning their visit to New York this weekend to face the Giants into a day trip because of super storm Sandy.

The Steelers will leave for New York on Sunday morning and depart Sunday evening. NFL teams are required to travel the day before a game. The league allowed the Steelers to alter their plans because the hotel the team was booked to stay at in Jersey City was still without power as of Thursday afternoon.

Pittsburgh will fly at 9 a.m. on Sunday and arrive in New York about 90 minutes later, well ahead of the scheduled 4:25 p.m. EST kickoff. The team will take a charter flight home Sunday night.

Reid supports Vick

Michael Vick remains the Philadelphia Eagles quarterback, for next week and beyond.

Coach Andy Reid said Thursday he never considered benching Vick; he just wanted to step back and evaluate the beleaguered veteran.

His appraisal complete, Reid threw his full support behind Vick after practice and was ready to move forward with him under center for Monday's game at New Orleans. Rookie Nick Foles, a preseason star, remains the backup.

"Michael was the quarterback, is the quarterback and will continue to be the quarterback for the Philadelphia Eagles," Reid said. "I can't make it any more clear than that."

Vick, a four-time Pro Bowl player, has struggled this season and Philadelphia (3-4) has lost three straight games.

Reid didn't endorse Vick after Sunday's 30-17 loss to Atlanta, saying only that he would evaluate all of his starters. Vick then put up little fight for his job and said he would support whatever decision Reid made. Reid announced Wednesday that Vick would remain the starter.


Miami Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill remained limited in practice, and his availability for Sunday's game at Indianapolis was uncertain. Nursing a leg injury, Tannehill took snaps with the first team Thursday and threw on the run. But for the second consecutive day he practiced wearing a brace and thigh-to-ankle sleeve on his left leg. ... The Detroit Lions put rookie cornerback Bill Bentley on injured reserve and signed cornerback Don Carey. Detroit Coach Jim Schwartz said that Bentley will have season-ending shoulder surgery. ... Outside linebacker Sean Weatherspoon, one of the leaders of the Atlanta Falcons' defense, will miss Sunday night's game against the Dallas Cowboys because of a right ankle injury. ... The Jacksonville Jaguars re-signed running back Keith Toston and waived rookie linebacker Brandon Marshall.

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