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Ex-FSU QB Manuel to start Bills' opener

Former Florida State quarterback EJ Manuel says his left knee feels fine and he will be ready to start Sunday for the Bills.

Associated Press

Former Florida State quarterback EJ Manuel says his left knee feels fine and he will be ready to start Sunday for the Bills.

ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. — Former Florida State quarterback EJ Manuel will start for the Bills in their season opener Sunday against the Patriots, coach Doug Marrone said Wednesday.

Manuel practiced Sunday for the first time since the rookie sustained an Aug. 16 left knee injury that required surgery.

"He's 110 percent," Marrone said. "He looks good out there.

"Obviously, being a Catholic, there were a lot of prayers. Honestly, you go home and say 'Gosh, I hope he's healthy,' but you really don't know."

Manuel, the 16th overall draft pick in April, said after the practice he was confident he would be ready. The Bills' only other quarterback is undrafted rookie Jeff Tuel.

"I felt I would be good to go a few days ago," Manuel said.

"I know mentally, if I had the chance to go out and play, I'd be ready for it. (The knee) feels fine. It feels strong, so I can do all my normal movements."

More Bills: Dan Carpenter, who signed Tuesday, will kick Sunday. Ex-Seminole Dustin Hopkins hurt his groin during practice Monday.

Goodell defends concussion settlement

NEW YORK — Commissioner Roger Goodell took issue with the notion the NFL's $765 million concussion settlement with ex-players is a paltry sum compared with the sport's revenue.

"This is a significant amount of money," he said in his first comments since the settlement was announced last week. "The plaintiffs also agreed it was an appropriate amount. The mediator felt it was an appropriate amount. We were able to find common ground to be able to get relief to the players and their families now rather than spending years litigating."

More than 4,500 former players, some of them suffering from Alzheimer's disease or depression, accused the NFL of concealing the long-term dangers of concussions and rushing injured players back onto the field.

Some former players questioned the size of the settlement, considering it stretches over 20 years and will be divided among thousands of people, and considering the NFL takes in more than $9 billion a year, a figure that will rise when new TV contracts start in 2014.

Goodell said those billions are revenue, not profit.

Meanwhile, four ex-players filed a lawsuit Sunday against it and helmet maker Riddell. But James Dugan, a lawyer involved in the suit said it was filed in case a judge doesn't approve the settlement and because Riddell is not part of it.

Bailey out: Broncos star cornerback Champ Bailey will sit out tonight's season opener against the Ravens because of a sprained left foot sustained Aug. 17 against the Seahawks. Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie will start for Bailey, who said he plans to play in Week 2.

Bengals: Quarterback Greg McElroy, who started a game for the Jets in 2012, was signed to the practice squad. Receiver Andrew Hawkins went on short-term injured reserve — meaning he is eligible to return in Week 9 — with what the team called only an ankle injury. He was second on the team in catches (51) and yards (533) last season.

Giants: Running back Andre Brown went on short-term injured reserve with a broken left leg sustained during the final preseason game.

49ers: Linebacker Aldon Smith is named in a lawsuit by a man who said he was shot during a party at Smith's house. Ronndale Esporlas says Smith and former teammate Delanie Walker (now with the Titans) fired weapons while trying to end a party at Smith's San Jose home in June 2012. Neither Walker nor Smith, who was stabbed during the party, has been charged. Also, coach Jim Harbaugh said he expects starting linebacker Patrick Willis to play Sunday against the Packers. Willis didn't play in the preseason because of a broken right hand.

Jaguars: Quarterback Blaine Gabbert, who broke his right thumb Aug. 17 against the Jets, likely will be a game-time decision Sunday, coach Gus Bradley said. If he's out, Chad Henne will start against the Chiefs. Also, starting tight end Marcedes Lewis left practice after aggravating a left calf injury.

Lions: Montell Owens, who made the past two Pro Bowls as a special teams player, went on short-term injured reserve.

Packers: Cornerback Casey Hayward, who had eight interceptions last season, will sit out Sunday against the 49ers with a hamstring injury.

Patriots: Receiver Danny Amendola was limited at practice by a groin injury.

Raiders: Coach Dennis Allen said he won't name the starting quarterback for the opener against the Colts until Sunday. Monday, nfl.com and the San Francisco Chronicle reported it will be Terrelle Pryor.

Rams: Linebacker Jo-Lonn Dunbar, a starter last season who is suspended for four games for performance-enhancing drugs, was released. Coach Jeff Fisher did not rule out re-signing him. Also, backup defensive end Eugene Sims signed a two-year contract extension. Financial terms weren't disclosed. Sims had three sacks and an interception last season.

Redskins: Defensive linemen Barry Cofield, Stephen Bowen and Adam Carriker restructured their deals to save $3.7 million in cap space, according to the Washington Post. The moves left the team just under the cap, which is $18 million less than other teams because of an NFL penalty for deals signed during the uncapped season of 2010.

Seahawks: Former Florida receiver Percy Harvin said he is making "serious progress" in his recovery from hip surgery. He hopes to play in Week 7, when he is eligible to come off the physically unable to perform list.

Ex-FSU QB Manuel to start Bills' opener 09/04/13 [Last modified: Thursday, September 5, 2013 1:16am]

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