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AGENT: WR RICE HAS HIP INJURY FROM PLAYOFFS

MINNEAPOLIS - Pro Bowl receiver Sidney Rice has a lingering hip injury, but he should be ready when the regular season opens, his agent said Thursday.

Drew Rosenhaus tweeted that his client "does not anticipate that this injury will require surgery, and he's hopeful that he will be fully healthy for the start of the season."

Minnesota opens Sept. 9 at New Orleans, a rematch of last season's NFC Championship Game.

Rice, 23, had a breakout season catching passes from Brett Favre last season. He caught 83 for 1,312 yards and eight touchdowns, and was named to his first Pro Bowl in his third season in the league.

Rosenhaus said the injury occurred in the playoffs.

FALCONS LB SUSPENDED: Falcons linebacker Robert James was suspended four games by the league for violating its substance-abuse policy. James, 26, was a fifth-round pick out of Arizona State in 2008. He will be eligible for the Oct. 10 game at Cleveland.

GIANT RETIRES: Linebacker Antonio Pierce, 31, who spent the past five of his nine seasons with the Giants and was defensive captain of their 2007 team that won the Super Bowl, has retired. He will join ESPN as an analyst.

BROWNS: Free agent receiver Bobby Engram, 37, has signed. Terms were not disclosed. The 14-year veteran had five receptions for 61 yards in five games last season with the Chiefs.

CARDINALS: Tight end Jim Dray, the team's seventh-round draft pick out of Stanford, signed a four-year contract. Financial terms were not disclosed. He is the first of seven players drafted by the team to sign.

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