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Buffalo Bills cut Matt Leinart after he struggles in exhibition

The former first-round pick from USC is released after joining the team for only one exhibition game.

August 30, 2013|Wire reports
  • Quarterback Matt Leinart was released by Buffalo on Friday following his start for the short-handed Bills, a loss to the Detroit Lions, 35-13.
Quarterback Matt Leinart was released by Buffalo on Friday following his… (Rick Stewart / Getty Images )

The Buffalo Bills released Matt Leinart on Friday, one day after the former first-round pick from USC struggled in his only exhibition game with the team.

The Bills, who remain hopeful that first-round pick EJ Manuel will return from a left knee injury in time to start their Sept. 8, opener, also placed quarterback Kevin Kolb on season-ending injured reserve and re-signed center Eric Wood to a four-year contract extension. Quarterback Thaddeus Lewis appears set to make the opening-day roster.

Leinart, 30, who had joined the Bills last Sunday as an injury replacement, completed three of 10 passes for 11 yards and had two passes intercepted Thursday against the Detroit Lions.

"Tough game. Tough situation. No excuses. (Thank) you to the Bills organization!" Leinart wrote Friday, before deleting the tweet, according to NFL.com.

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Minutes after Washington quarterback Robert Griffin III tweeted that he was "Cleared for Takeoff" to play in the Redskins opener on Sept. 9, Coach Mike Shanahan declined to name Griffin as the opening-day starter. Shanahan said he would not announce his decision until Monday. He added that although Dr. James Andrews had cleared Griffin, who is coming off major knee surgery, the doctor had "a couple of concerns," which the coach declined to specify.

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Baltimore Coach John Harbaugh said Gino Gradkowski will start at center and James Ihedigbo will start at strong safety, although he emphasized that first-round pick Matt Elam will play a significant role at strong safety.

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The Atlanta Falcons cut linebacker Brian Banks, a former Long Beach Poly star who was attempting to make a late start to his NFL career after spending five years in prison on a rape conviction that was overturned.

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Veteran left tackle Max Starks was among 11 players cut by the San Diego Chargers.

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The Arizona Cardinals placed first-round draft pick Jonathan Cooper on injured reserve, ending the left guard's season after he initially expressed hope he could be back for as many as the final six games.

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Raiders Coach Dennis Allen said that he has decided on his starting quarterback for the Sept. 8 opener, but he does not want to divulge it for competitive reasons, and he has not even told Terrelle Pryor or Matt Flynn yet.

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The NFL suspended Cincinnati Bengals defensive end DeQuin Evans eight regular-season games for violating the league policy on performance-enhancing substances.

GOLF: Phil Mickelson shoots 63, shares lead

Phil Mickelson keeps saying he loves playing with Tiger Woods, and Friday in the Deutsche Bank Championship at Norton, Mass., he proved it with an opening round of 63.

In a grouping of the top three players in the world rankings, Mickelson had a front-nine 28 that allowed him to consider a shot at 59. However, by the end of the day, when he played a risky shot from deep in the trees on his final hole to salvage bogey, he was happy to have a share of the lead. Mickelson was tied with Brian Davis, who made a 25-foot birdie putt on the last hole. Woods had a 68. Adam Scott, who was also in the featured group, struggled to a 73.

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Thailand's Pornanong Phatlum birdied three of her last four holes to maintain a one-stroke lead with a two-round total of 14-under 130 at the Safeway Classic at Portland, Ore. Sweden's Sophie Gustafson retired from the LPGA Tour after missing the cut.

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Rocco Mediate eagled two of the final four holes to polish off an eight-under 63 that gave him a one-stroke lead after the first round of the Champions Tour's Shaw Charity Classic at Calgary, Canada.

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Patrick Cantlay birdied four of his last five holes to finish with a seven-under 65 and a share of the second-round lead in the Web.com Tour's Hotel Fitness Championship at Fort Wayne, Ind. Cantlay, a former UCLA star, shared a one-stroke edge with Trevor Immelman and Michael Putnam at 11-under 133.

MOTOR RACING: Stenhouse gets his first Sprint Cup pole

Ricky Stenhouse Jr. turned a lap of 189.688 mph at Atlanta Motor Speedway to win the first Sprint Cup pole of his career. Carl Edwards was second-fastest at 189.021 on the tri-oval at Hampton, Ga., giving him a starting spot on the outside of the front row for the AdvoCare 500 race on Sunday night.

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NHRA rookie Brittany Force's 3.820-second run at 313.44 mph gave her to the top-fuel qualifying lead in the U.S. Nationals at Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis. Other leaders were Bob Tasca III (funny car), Allen Johnson (pro stock) and Matt Smith (pro stock motorcycle).

SOCCER: Bayern Munich wins UEFA Super Cup

Goalkeeper Manuel Neuer saved a penalty kick by substitute Romelu Lukaku to give Champions League winner Bayern Munich a 5-4 victory over Chelsea in a shootout to win the UEFA Super Cup at Prague, after the game finished 2-2 following extra time.

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