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Professional

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NFL

Hip surgery sidelines Vikings receiver

– Pro Bowl receiver Sidney Rice could miss the first half of the Vikings’ season – or more – after having hip surgery.

Coach Brad Childress said Tuesday it was hard to give a specific timetable for Rice’s return, but he said typically it takes about eight weeks before a player can get back to football.

It’s a huge blow for the Vikings, who have little depth at receiver. Percy Harvin has struggled with migraines during the preseason, and the team signed veteran Javon Walker on Tuesday to help out.

Clausen expects toe pain to persist

Carolina quarterback Jimmy Clausen has returned to practice after missing a day with a sore right big toe, an ailment the former Notre Dame star expects to linger through his rookie season.

Clausen underwent surgery in January to replace two torn tendons after being injured early last season against Michigan State.

Ochocinco fined for in-game tweets

The National Football League has fined Cincinnati wide receiver Chad Ochocinco $25,000 for the timing of his tweets.

The league said that Ochocinco’s messages appeared on his Twitter page during a prohibited time at the Cincinnati-Philadelphia preseason game on Friday night.

Browns rookie RB close to returning

Cleveland rookie running back Montario Hardesty, who has missed all of training camp with a bone bruise in his right knee, expects to return to practice this week and be ready for the Browns’ season opener Sept. 12 at Tampa Bay.

Jets’ Mangold now highest-paid center

Nick Mangold has become the NFL’s highest-paid center, signing a seven-year deal with the New York Jets that could be worth up to $55 million.

The two-time Pro Bowl selection out of Ohio State was scheduled to earn $3.3 million in the final year of his five-year rookie deal.

Finance committee OKs sale of Rams

The NFL’s finance committee unanimously recommended approval of Stan Kroenke’s bid to buy the remaining 60 percent of the St. Louis Rams.

Owners will vote on the sale today at their meeting in Atlanta.

Roundup

Cox, the nation’s third-largest cable company, is making the NFL RedZone service available to its customers on Sunday afternoons. … Buffalo signed undrafted rookie free agent Andrew George. … Denver All-Pro left tackle Ryan Clady will practice for the first time since blowing out his left knee in a pickup basketball game in the spring. Denver also juggled its linebacking lineup, releasing nine-year veteran Akin Ayodele and moving Mario Haggan back inside. … Former Pittsburgh coach Bill Cowher says it was hard to get through to Ben Roethlisberger after his early success, but now the quarterback understands the importance of his off-field actions. … Washington quarterback Donovan McNabb will miss Friday’s game against the New York Jets because of a sprained left ankle.

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