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Falcons' Casillas ends absence

Atlanta Falcons nose tackle Tony Casillas, who missed most of training camp in a contract dispute and missed Sunday's game in Los Angeles, showed up at the team's training complex late Monday. "Tony Casillas met with coach (Jerry) Glanville this afternoon. The Falcons and coach Glanville have no statement" about the meeting or about Casillas, team spokesman Frank Kleah said.

Casillas missed Sunday's 44-24 loss to the Rams after failing to catch the team flight. He did not show up Monday at the Falcons' training complex for club meetings.

Glanville had said Sunday he would not comment on Casillas' absence until he had spoken to the five-year veteran.

Casillas' agent, John Maloney, said the player missed the team's charter flight to Los Angeles Saturday after he became ill on his way to the airport.

"From what I understand, Lisa (Casillas's wife) was driving Tony to the airport Saturday, he got sick and they had to pull off the road," Maloney said Sunday. "He still tried to make the flight, but he was too late."

Casillas could not be reached for comment Monday despite several attempts to contact him at home by telephone. Maloney was not in his San Francisco office on Monday, according to a secretary who answered the phone.

"It must be a hell of an illness," Glanville said before his meeting with the tackle.

"I don't think I should probably comment on his status," he said during his weekly news conference. "I know how I'm going to handle the situation, but until I meet with him first _ and I don't know when that will be _ he should be the first to know."

Glanville said he had "my own views and my own plan."

Maloney said Sunday that Casillas "doesn't fully understand what's happening right now" with his career.

"Tony is a meat-and-potatoes kind of guy and he feels like he's ready to play and that he should be playing," Maloney said. "He's a proud guy who wants to make a contribution to the team and he hasn't been able to so far."

Around the league

Saints: Running back Dalton Hilliard tore a ligament in his right knee late in Sunday's loss to Houston and will miss at least this week's game against Detroit, coach Jim Mora said.

Oilers: All-Pro guard Bruce Matthews has signed a four-year contract extension that will make him one of the best-paid offensive linemen in the NFL. Matthews won't say how much the deal is worth, but the Houston Chronicle reported Monday the agreement eventually would make Matthews the Oilers' first $1-million-a-year lineman. He signed the contract extension during the weekend.

Packers: Offensive tackle Ken Ruettgers was placed on injured reserve, meaning one of the team's top blockers will miss at least the next three games, including Sunday's meeting with Minnesota. Ruettgers underwent arthroscopic surgery on both knees last Monday to repair cartilage damage. He is eligible to play again Nov. 18 in Phoenix.

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