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Patriots safety says he's sorry for illegal hit

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — Patriots safety Brandon Meriweather apologized Wednesday for his helmet-on-helmet hit on Todd Heap and promised to "play within the rules" from now on.

Meriweather was fined $50,000 for his hit to the head Sunday on the Ravens tight end, a play Heap called "one of those hits that shouldn't happen."

"I'm sorry for the hit," Meriweather said. "I understand the league is trying to protect the health of all our players."

Meriweather arrived at his locker at 12:57 p.m., 42 minutes into the Patriots' 45-minute open locker room period. Team spokesman Stacey James said the former University of Miami player would make a statement but not take questions.

"I'm going to try my best to play within the rules, like my coach had always taught us," Meriweather said. "I'm going to hit and play the game like my coaches have always taught us. Even in training camp, we have always been taught the proper way to hit. Just focus on that and try to put it in my game in some way, shape or fashion.

"I just want all this to go away. I want to focus, with the rest of my team, on the Chargers and really not let this come up again. Anything else spoken about this, I will not comment on."

More illegal hits: Eagles receiver DeSean Jackson won't play this week because of the concussion sustained Sunday on a hit by Falcons cornerback Dunta Robinson. Coach Andy Reid said Jackson still had neck and shoulder soreness and hasn't passed any of the tests required to determine how much a player has recovered from a concussion. The Eagles next have a bye and hope Jackson can return after that. Robinson, meanwhile, who was fined $50,000 for the hit that also left him with a concussion, hasn't been cleared to practice. Coach Mike Smith said Robinson might be able to "run around" today.

Favre will not comment: Vikings quarterback Brett Favre isn't talking about Tuesday's meeting with the NFL regarding allegations he sent suggestive messages and lewd photos to Jenn Sterger, who worked for the Jets while he played for them two years ago. Speaking on a conference call with Green Bay reporters ahead of Sunday's Packers game, Favre called the NFL's investigation a "league matter." Then he declined to answer questions during his weekly news conference with Minnesota media. Meanwhile, Favre's wife, Deanna, is scheduled to appear this morning on ABC's Good Morning America and Fox News Channel's Fox and Friends. The appearances are aimed at promoting her new book. She's not expected to talk about the allegations against her husband.

Browns: Defensive end Robaire Smith and right tackle Tony Pashos went on season-ending injured reserve. Smith had started all five games until a back injury kept him out Sunday. Pashos injured his ankle Sunday. Details of the injuries were not disclosed.

Chargers: Kris Brown, Houston's kicker from 2002-09 who was released in September, signed. Nate Kaeding injured his groin Sunday.

Eagles: Coach Andy Reid said quarterback Kevin Kolb will start Sunday. It will be the third straight start and fourth straight in which he has seen extensive action since Michael Vick's rib injury sustained Oct. 3.

Jaguars: Quarterbacks Todd Bouman and Patrick Ramsey signed then split reps at practice. Starter David Garrard (concussion) and backup Trent Edwards (sprained right thumb) sat after being hurt Monday. Sunday's starter hasn't been determined. This is Bouman's fifth stint with the Jaguars.

Lions: Quarterback Matthew Stafford practiced without limitations for the first time since injuring his throwing shoulder in the opener. After a bye, he is expected to start Oct. 31 against the Redskins. Also, linebacker Bobby Carpenter signed. The 18th overall pick in 2006 was cut Monday by Miami after playing four seasons with Dallas.

Raiders: Coach Tom Cable said he might wait until Sunday to name a starting quarterback. Bruce Gradkowski remains limited by a sore throwing shoulder. Jason Campbell and Kyle Boller split reps in practice on Wednesday with punter Shane Lechler even taking a handful.

Ravens: Six-time Pro Bowl safety Ed Reed, out all season because of offseason hip surgery, practiced for the first time. He has been on the physically-unable-to-perform list, making him ineligible for the season's first six games. Sunday is the first one in which he can play, but his status hasn't been determined. Also, running back Willis McGahee expressed no hard feelings about not playing Sunday despite being healthy: "If they call my number, I'm going to go out there and play. This week, next week, whenever they need me. I took it in stride. I didn't take it as a slap in the face or anything."

Saints: Safety Darren Sharper wore a brace on his left knee while practicing for the first time this season and said he felt good. Sharper, whose status hasn't been determined, has been on the physically-unable-to-perform list while recovering from microfracture surgery.

Titans: Quarterback Vince Young, who sprained his left knee and ankle on Monday, was limping. He watched a walkthrough, but coach Jeff Fisher said he would not have participated in a practice. Fisher said whether Young plays will depend on if he can run around in the pocket.

Vikings: Tight end Jim Kleinsasser (groin), cornerback Lito Sheppard (hand) and safety Husain Abdullah (concussion) did not practice. Their status hasn't been determined.

Patriots safety says he's sorry for illegal hit 10/20/10 [Last modified: Thursday, October 21, 2010 1:02am]

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