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Sapp bounced by Dolphins

He pays price for Welker’s TD

Associated Press / September 14, 2011

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After getting beat on a 99-yard pass, Benny Sapp got bounced by the Dolphins. The veteran nickel back was cut yesterday, according to a tweet by his agent, Andrew Simms.

The move came less than 24 hours after Sapp missed a tackle and gave up the longest play in Patriots history on a pass from Tom Brady to Wes Welker. Brady threw for a team-record 517 yards and four scores Monday night to lead the Patriots to a 38-24 victory.

The departure of Sapp, an eighth-year pro, leaves Nolan Carroll and rookie Jimmy Wilson as the Dolphins’ backup cornerbacks. Starters Vontae Davis and Sean Smith were also beaten repeatedly by the Patriots. Sapp also tipped a pass that led to Brady’s only interception of the game.

This is the second straight year a member of the Dolphins has been let go after the team lost to the Patriots. Last season Miami cut ties with special teams coach John Bonamego after the Patriots scored two touchdowns on special teams.

Sanchez says he’s OK Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez said he is fine after being tested for a concussion following the team’s season-opening victory over the Cowboys. Sanchez acknowledged the tests during his weekly radio spot, saying the team “checked my baseline tests and compared it to my balance test and everything now.’’ He says he feels good and was never concerned he had a concussion, and thinks the Jets “were being really cautious.’’

Sanchez was knocked around a bit in the win - he was sacked four times and took a number of other hard hits - and appeared weary while talking to reporters after the game. He was 26 of 44 for 335 yards and two touchdowns while throwing an interception Sunday night.

Colon out for season The Steelers placed starting right tackle Willie Colon on the injured reserve list and signed veteran lineman Jamon Meredith, who was cut by the Giants earlier this month.

Colon, 28, underwent surgery to repair a torn triceps sustained in a season-opening loss to Baltimore. This is the second straight year Colon’s season has ended early due to injury. He missed the entire 2010 season after rupturing his Achilles’ tendon in mini-camp.

Colon was supposed to anchor the right side of the line after signing a five-year, $29-million extension in July. His injury is a significant blow to a line that looked overwhelmed at times against the Ravens. Baltimore sacked Ben Roethlisberger four times and forced a club-record seven turnovers as the defending AFC champions endured their worst opening-game loss in 14 years.

Rookie Marcus Gilbert will get the first crack at replacing Colon when the Steelers host Seattle Sunday. Gilbert, taken in the second round of the draft, impressed during the preseason.

Meredith’s signing likely means the team won’t pursue veteran Flozell Adams, whom the Steelers released shortly after camp began as a cost-cutting move. Adams started 16 games at right tackle as Colon’s replacement last season but would command too high a salary for the team to fit under the cap.

Ex-UConn star on IR The Bills placed receiver Marcus Easley on injured reserve for the second straight year. Easley missed Buffalo’s season-opening win at Kansas City with what the team said was an illness. Easley, a 2010 fourth-round pick from Connecticut, missed his rookie season because of a knee injury. He had a strong preseason this year. Against Jacksonville, he had five catches and a touchdown.

Coach Chan Gailey said he’d rather have Easley disclose the ailment. Easley left Friday’s practice early. To replace Easley, the team re-signed free agent receiver Ruvell Martin, who was cut by the Bills last week.

The Bills also released quarterback Levi Brown from their practice squad, and signed former Patriots cornerback Terrence Wheatley to the practice squad. Wheatley was New England’s second-round pick in 2008.

Panthers sign a pair The Panthers shored up their offensive and defensive lines, reaching deals with nose tackle Ron Fields and guard Reggie Wells.

The 6-foot-2-inch, 314-pound Fields gives the Panthers some much needed experience up front, where they have two rookies in Sione Fua and Terrell McClain and a second-year player in Andre Neblett. Fields, 30, who has started 25 games during his six seasons, was released by Miami earlier this month.

The 6-4, 318-pound Wells has started 91 games during his eight seasons, the first seven with Arizona. He played last season with Philadelphia, and was released this summer. To make room, the Panthers will place middle linebacker Jon Beason on injured reserve today with a torn Achilles’ tendon.

Browns on 3d punter Just over a month since losing punter Reggie Hodges to a season-ending injury, the Browns are already on his second replacement. Cleveland signed 14-year veteran punter Brad Maynard and placed punter Richmond McGee on injured reserve, two days after he injured his back during pregame warmups before his NFL debut. Maynard spent the past 10 seasons with the Bears, the last three working with Browns first-year special teams coach Chris Tabor . . . The 49ers signed Justin Peelle to a one-year deal, giving the team a third tight end. The 49ers waived safety Colin Jones to clear a roster space. San Francisco had selected Jones in the sixth round in this year’s draft out of Texas Christian. Peelle, in his 10th NFL season, was cut last month by the Falcons . . . The Cowboys signed journeyman Frank Walker to bolster a depleted corps of cornerbacks. Orlando Scandrick is expected to miss at least the upcoming game at San Francisco because of an ankle injury, and Terence Newman has been sidelined since training camp because of a groin injury. Mike Jenkins was in and out of the opener because of a variety of injuries, leaving Dallas down to its fourth- and fifth-stringers, plus a backup safety. Walker, an eight-year veteran, went to training camp with the Titans. To make room for him, Dallas released tight end Martin Rucker. . . . The Seahawks signed running back Eddie Williams off the Browns practice squad and released tight end Dominique Byrd. The Seahawks also released guard Brent Osborne from the practice squad and signed tight end Fendi Onobun to the practice squad. Williams’s signing comes after fullback Michael Robinson suffered a second-degree sprained ankle in the opener in San Francisco. Coach Pete Carroll has not placed a timetable on when Robinson is expected to return . . . The Colts waived tight end Michael McNeill and released receiver Chris Brooks and defensive back DeAndre McDaniel from the practice squad. The moves come one day after the Colts claimed guard Seth Olsen off waivers from the Vikings . . . Veteran kicker Nick Novak agreed to a two-year contract with the Chargers to replace the injured Nate Kaeding. Kaeding tore a ligament in his left leg during his team’s season-opening kickoff, which Minnesota’s Percy Harvin returned 103 yards for a touchdown Sunday. Kaeding was placed on injured reserve.

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