Monday, August 11, 2014
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[August 11, 2014]  Aug 10 (The Sports Xchange) - Cleveland Browns coach Mike Pettine has not made the announcement yet, but Johnny Manziel is expected to follow up his preseason debut as a backup by starting against the Washington Redskins on Aug 18 in FedEx Field.

During a conference call Sunday, Pettine said he has not settled on a starter for the game. He also denied a report by ESPN's Bob Holtzman claiming a team source told him Manziel has moved ahead of Brian Hoyer in the quarterback competition.

"I'm not sure who his team source would be," Pettine said. "The people most involved in the decision are myself and (quarterbacks coach) Dowell Loggains and (offensive coordinator) Kyle Shanahan. It's something I'm not going to pay a lot of attention to. I don't like being in the business of anonymous sources.

"We put Brian out there with the ones, and that was for a reason. He was ahead because of the edge he had in experience and the lead he had with the playbook. He's done nothing to have that taken away from him, but Johnny has made a lot of improvement. It was him vs. the playbook and he's handling it well."

Manziel entered Saturday night's game against the Detroit Lions with 7:32 left in the second quarter after Hoyer led the offense to two field goals in three possessions.

Manziel and the second-team offense were on the field for four possessions, not counting a kneel-down for one play at the end of the first half, and had one field goal. Manziel rushed for 27 yards on six runs and completed 7 of 11 passes for 63 yards.

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Minnesota Vikings defensive tackle Linval Joseph returned to practice Sunday, a day after he was shot in the calf by a stray bullet inside a Minneapolis nightclub.

Joseph is expected to be ready for the start of the regular season.

Joseph was struck inside 400 Soundbar early Saturday morning. The incident occurred a few hours after the Vikings beat the Oakland Raiders in an exhibition game at home on Friday night.

Police say the shooting, which wounded nine, was gang-related. Joseph was not a target. Joseph was a treated at a hospital and later released Saturday.

The Vikings signed veteran tight end Kory Sperry. A six-year NFL veteran, Sperry played the 2013 season with the Arizona Cardinals.

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After being carted off the field following a hard fall on his back, cornerback DeAngelo Hall is expected to be available Aug. 18 against the Cleveland Browns.

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Hall fell on his back after being flipped over in the air and, while on the sideline, his back apparently locked up. He was driven to the locker room on a cart. A team spokesperson said it was a bruised back.

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The New England Patriots waived two tight ends and signed three others, including veteran tight end Ben Hartsock.

The Patriots also signed tight ends Steve Maneri and rookie free agent Terrence Miller. In addition, the Patriots released three rookie free agents: running back Stephen Houston and tight ends Justin Jones and Asa Watson.

Former Patriots safety Steve Gregory announced his retirement on Saturday. He was in the Kansas City Chiefs' training camp. Gregory spent two seasons with the Patriots.

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Chicago Bears tight end Martellus Bennett was back at practice, six days after he was suspended by the team for fighting with rookie cornerback Kyle Fuller.

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The Buffalo Bills signed cornerback Sam Miller and released cornerback Michael Carter.

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The Seattle Seahawks signed defensive back Thomas Wolfe and waived/injured linebacker Mike Taylor.

- - - (Editing by Gene Cherry)

[ 2014 Thomson Reuters. All rights reserved.]

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