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THIGH INJURY MIGHT END CAREER OF PATS SAFETY

Patriots safety Rodney Harrison appears to be out for the season - and perhaps his career - after re-injuring his right quad.

Coach Bill Belichick gave no update Tuesday. The NFL Network and Boston Globe reported he tore it. But Bill McLaughlin, a marketing representative for Harrison, said the safety had been hurt since Week 1.

"He's had a slight tear all season," McLaughlin, said.

Harrison was listed on the injury report with a thigh problem before New England's first two playoff games last season but not for the Super Bowl. He played in all three games. He played in all six games this season and was not listed on any injury reports but "was injured the whole time," McLaughlin said.

Harrison, 35, a 15-year veteran, was hurt in the third quarter Monday while chasing Broncos quarterback Jay Cutler.

The injury is his fourth in four seasons. In Week 3 of 2005, he tore three left knee ligaments and missed the rest of the season. In 2006, he missed six games with a broken right shoulder blade, returned for two and missed the rest of the season with a strained right knee.

Chief star out again?

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Chiefs coach Herm Edwards hinted running back Larry Johnson, under NFL investigation for reportedly assaulting a woman, could be benched for a second game regardless of what the league decides.

Johnson, who rushed for more than 1,700 yards in 2005 and 2006, did not play Sunday as punishment for violating team rules. Since then, it has become known a young woman alleges Johnson spat on her several times during an argument at a local nightspot.

No charges have been filed, but it's the fourth time in five years Johnson has been accused of assaulting a woman. Police also are looking into the allegations.

Chiefs president Carl Peterson said he did not know when the league will make a determination. Edwards indicated he might not wait.

"I think we have to do our due diligence as a football organization," Edwards said. "You can't wait on other people to do your work for you in certain situations."

A message left with Johnson's agent was not returned.

Gradkowski to chiefs? Chiefs coach Herm Edwards said Bruce Gradkowski, released by the Bucs during the offseason, is one of two quarterbacks who worked out and could be signed. He did not name the other. Brodie Croyle is out for the season with a knee injury, and Damon Huard has an injured thumb on his throwing hand. Also, Nick Novak, who missed two field goals Sunday and was 6-of-10 for the season, was released. Connor Barth, beaten out by Novak during training camp, was signed.

Bengals: Linebacker Keith Rivers went on season-ending injured reserve a day after surgery for a broken jaw. April's ninth overall pick, who was second on the team in tackles, was hurt Sunday on a block by Steelers receiver Hines Ward. Also, kicker Dave Rayner was waived. He appeared in two games while Shayne Graham recovered from a strained groin.

Bills: Reserve linebacker and special teams standout John DiGiorgio is scheduled for season-ending surgery next week for a torn right knee ligament. He was hurt Sunday while blocking on a punt return.

Saints: Running back Reggie Bush had surgery on his left knee Monday, the team disclosed. Bush, who sustained cartilage damage on a punt return Sunday, is out indefinitely.

Steelers: Safety Troy Polamalu has not been ruled out of Sunday's game despite sustaining his seventh concussion (but first since Nov. 12, 2006) last weekend. He was hurt while tackling Bengals running back Cedric Benson, the same play on which cornerback Bryant McFadden broke his right forearm. (He's expected out at least a month.) Coach Mike Tomlin said "tests are favorable" and Polamalu is scheduled to practice today.

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