NFL Notebook

Back surgery reported

Patriots’ Kaczur could miss season

From Staff And Wire Reports / August 22, 2010

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Nick Kaczur, who left Patriots practice on the second day of training camp and never returned, could be lost for the season. The Boston Herald, citing two sources close to the situation, reported on its website yesterday that the offensive lineman underwent back surgery within the past 7-10 days for a bulging disk.

Kaczur, a six-year veteran, was the Patriots’ starting left guard on the first day of training camp. He was expected to play the position in the absence of Logan Mankins, who remains out of camp in a contract dispute. Mankins, a two-time Pro Bowl selection, has been the Patriots’ starting left guard for five seasons.

With Kaczur sidelined and Mankins out of camp, the Patriots have used five-year veteran Dan Connolly at left guard.

If Kaczur is sidelined for the season, it would mark the second major injury to a Patriots starter during the preseason. Defensive end Ty Warren underwent hip surgery last week and is out for the season.

Roethlisberger plays
Playing for the first time since being suspended six games by the NFL for violating its personal conduct policy, Ben Roethlisberger completed 6 of 8 passes for 76 yards and led the Steelers on a long drive in their 24-17 victory over the Giants in East Rutherford, N.J.

Roethlisberger also threw an interception on the second of his three series before giving way to Byron Leftwich with 7:09 left in the second quarter.

Roethlisberger’s best series was his last, when he led the Steelers on a 13-play, 58-yard drive that ended in a 26-yard field goal by Jeff Reed. Roethlisberger hit consecutive passes of 13 yards to Heath Miller and 17 yards to Antwaan Randle-El to get Pittsburgh a first and goal.

Roethlisberger was suspended without pay on April 21 by commissioner Roger Goodell after a college student accused him of sexual assault in Milledgeville, Ga. No charges were filed. Roethlisberger underwent a behavioral evaluation as part of the suspension, which could be reduced to four games by Goodell, who will review the case before the regular season.

Urlacher injures calf
Bears linebacker Brian Urlacher injured a calf on the opening series and sat out the remainder of host Chicago’s 32-17 loss to the Raiders. . . . Host Denver played it safe with Tim Tebow’s bruised ribs, resting the rookie quarterback during the Broncos’ 25-20 loss to Detroit. The Broncos were without 16 players, including Pro Bowl cornerback Champ Bailey, linebacker D.J. Williams, and wide receiver Brandon Stokley . . . Tampa Bay quarterback Josh Freeman fractured the tip of the thumb on his throwing hand during the first quarter of his team’s 20-15 win over visiting Kansas City and will be out until at least the season-opener. Matt Cassel completed 14 of 19 passes for 125 yards for Kansas City . . . Albert Haynesworth accused the Redskins of underplaying his medical condition. After Washington’s 23-3 loss to the Ravens in Landover, Md., Haynesworth said coach Mike Shanahan “left out a whole lot of stuff’’ when he said the two-time All-Pro was suffering from “headaches.’’ Haynesworth speculated that it was done to make the team “look good’’ and make him “look bad’’ for missing the offseason conditioning program. Haynesworth said he won’t participate in next year’s offseason conditioning program, either.

Nelson apologizes
Bills tight end Shawn Nelson apologized for violating the NFL’s substance abuse policy, saying he did nothing illegal. “To my team, my family, my church family, the great city of Buffalo, and my fans I want to apologize,’’ said Nelson. “It’s nothing bad, nothing illegal that happened.’’ Nelson, who received a four-game suspension, did not participate in practice but was deemed healthy by coach Chan Gailey. Gailey also said that tight end Derek Schouman will miss 3-6 weeks after injuring his knee Thursday against the Colts. Bills linebacker Reggie Torbor will miss at least three weeks after suffering an undisclosed injury against the Colts . . . Falcons rookie receiver Kerry Meier, who injured his right knee in Thursday’s loss to the Patriots, was put on injured reserve and is out for the season . . . The Redskins placed receiver Mike Furrey on injured reserve because of a concussion . . . Chargers left tackle Tra Thomas, 35, who underwent surgery on his right knee, retired.

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