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White says he's happy with Pack

Defensive end Reggie White says he's happy in Green Bay and doesn't want to return to Philadelphia.

White, who left the Eagles and joined the Packers as a free agent in 1993, was responding to a report in Thursday's Philadelphia Inquirer.

He said most of the story was speculation, although he acknowledged that when interviewed he "stumbled around" a question about Philadelphia because of his regard for the feelings of that city's residents.

The report portrayed White as missing Philadelphia and desiring to return to the Eagles.

But it also quoted him as saying, "I did make a commitment to these people and they're good people. I don't want to make it sound like I'm unhappy. I enjoy it here."

"Reggie has friends in Philadelphia, just like I have friends in San Francisco," said Packers coach Mike Holmgren, a former assistant coach with the 49ers. "To me, they're trying to make something out of nothing."

Holmgren said Brett Favre will start at quarterback Monday night against the Bears if he's physically able.

Favre left the game against the Minnesota Vikings a week ago when he tore a muscle in his side, but he has practiced every day this week.

Around the league

Eagles: Fourth-year linebacker William Thomas signed a two-year contract extension. His contract was due to expire at the end of the season. Thomas has been a starter since the ninth game of his rookie season in 1991.

Raiders: Second-year safety Patrick Bates could be in the starting lineup Sunday if free safety Eddie Anderson's groin pull keeps him sidelined, as it has during the week. "It's still a day-to-day thing with Eddie," coach Art Shell said. "We're not sure he'll be able to go and probably won't know until right before the game." Offensive guard Steve Wisniewski (bruised back) and cornerback Albert Lewis (sprained knee) practiced and are expected to play against the Oilers.

Giants: A groin injury sustained in practice probably will keep third-year right cornerback Phillippi Sparks out of Sunday's game against the Lions. He is listed as doubtful. Rookie Thomas Randolph, who split time with left corner Corey Raymond last week, probably will move to the left side and replace Sparks, who leads the team with three interceptions and is fifth in tackles with 32. Strong-side linebacker Corey Miller, who missed last weekend's game against Pittsburgh with a sprained knee, returned to practice and should be ready Sunday. Right guard Lance Smith, who sprained a knee last week, also should play.

Cowboys: Tackle Erik Williams, injured in a car accident last Monday, is scheduled for surgery Monday to repair a torn ligament in his left thumb.

Drug policy: The league and the union have agreed on a new drug policy for players that emphasizes treatment and rehabilitation rather than detection and discipline and will be implemented almost immediately. The policy, which also stresses confidentiality for players in treatment, will be formally announced some time before Tuesday's annual owners' meeting.

Rams: Quarterback Chris Miller had to leave early because of problems related to the concussion he suffered Sunday against New Orleans. "He had an MRI and everything was fine, but there were still some lingering effects," coach Chuck Knox said.

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