Tackle returns to Bills camp after being fined

Updated: August 4, 2004, 10:10 PM ET
Associated Press

Buffalo Bills: Tackle Mike Williams, who was fined by the team this week for missing a training-camp session, has returned to practice.

Williams took the field Wednesday with members of the Bills offensive line, practicing with the second team.

Coach Mike Mularkey fined Williams for missing practice Tuesday, a day after being excused from the second of two practices on Monday for personal reasons.

Neither Mularkey nor Bills president Tom Donahoe would comment on the reason for Williams' absence, saying only that he would be fined each day he was not at practice. They did not disclose the amount of Tuesday's fine.

Williams had missed several voluntary minicamp sessions in June because of a death in his family. Mularkey then demoted Williams to the Bills' second team, saying he wanted to give the tackle more time to learn the offensive system. The coach added that he expected Williams to win back his starting job.

Selected fourth overall in the 2002 draft, Williams has been the Bills' starting right tackle since the first game of his rookie season.

Several Bills players suggested Tuesday that Williams has been going through personal problems.

Philadelphia Eagles: Free safety Brian Dawkins will miss the next week of training camp after injuring his knee.

An MRI exam revealed Dawkins, taking part in his first practice at camp after being out with groin spasms, had a bone bruise to his left knee and a hyperextension.

The Eagles have a replacement in second-year pro Clinton Hart, who made the team in training camp last year as a free agent and started nine games in Dawkins' place while the three-time Pro Bowler was out with a foot injury.

After making a few mistakes during Wednesday morning's practice, however, Hart was sent out with the third-string defense.

"I didn't get the call clearly and (took) it for something else. That comes with being tired and not getting to the huddle," said Hart, who was replaced by rookie J.R. Reed. "It was an eye-opener."

Cleveland Browns: The Browns have signed cornerback Daylon McCutcheon to a five-year contract extension.

McCutcheon is one of just three players, along with kicker Phil Dawson and safety Earl Little, left from the '99 Browns team that went 2-14. He is the only pick left from their original draft.

The 27-year-old McCutcheon has played in 75 games -- starting 70 -- for the Browns, who selected him in third round of the 1999 draft out of USC.

The team's best open-field tackler, McCutcheon has eight career interceptions. Last season, he returned his only pick 75 yards for a touchdown in an Oct. 5 win at Pittsburgh.

Terms of McCutcheon's extension were not immediately available.

Washington Redskins: Defensive tackle Brandon Noble was held out of practice, one day after breaking his right hand in a workout.

Signed as a free agent before the start of last season to anchor Washington's defensive line, Noble has yet to appear in a regular-season game for the Redskins. The five-year veteran tore his anterior cruciate and medial collateral ligaments and dislocated his left kneecap in a preseason game against New England.

He had recovered well enough to participate in a March minicamp.

Noble was held out after practice because of a break in the third metacarpal, saying that he fell on the hand during Tuesday night's practice at a local high school.

"We'll take a few days to let it calm down. He's in great shape. We've got five weeks of camp, so he'll be fine," Washington assistant head coach Gregg Williams said. "That's part of a D-lineman's life."

San Francisco 49ers: Quarterback Tim Rattay will be held out of practice until next week because of an inflamed right forearm.

Rattay, who missed his second consecutive day of practice Wednesday, isn't expected to return to the field until next Monday. Rattay has swelling in that area of his throwing arm, but an MRI revealed no ligament or soft tissue damage. The team will rest him the remainder of this week as a precaution.

"I think it's just an irritation you get from throwing," 49ers coach Dennis Erickson said. "It happens all the time."

Rattay, designated to replace Jeff Garcia as the team's starter this season, still is recovering from a groin injury in the spring that required surgery. The fifth-year veteran tore the adductor tendon off the bone in his upper left groin area May 7 during the team's first spring minicamp practice.

He had surgery to reattach the tendon four days later and returned to the field for the start of training camp July 30.

The 49ers have targeted their Aug. 21 exhibition game at Chicago as Rattay's return to live game action. Dorsey has been tabbed as the starter for San Francisco's preseason opener Aug. 14 against Oakland.

Minnesota Vikings: Center Matt Birk had minor surgery to determine the cause of a pelvic injury that's caused him to miss three consecutive practices.

Doctors in the Twin Cities looked for a sports hernia, trainer Chuck Barta said. The team expected to learn the results Thursday.

Coach Mike Tice has said the worst-case scenario is that the Pro Bow offensive lineman would miss two or three weeks, and that he's been guaranteed that Birk will be ready for the regular-season opener on Sept. 12 against Dallas.

Birk has inflammation of a joint in his pelvis. He received an injection Monday, but it hadn't taken effect by Tuesday evening.

Vikings add Dorsch: Travis Dorsch, who was released by the Green Bay Packers last week, signed a one-year contract.

Dorsch was signed as a punter, but said he might also kick off.

"It's a great situation for me," the 1998 Bozeman High graduate said Tuesday night from the team's training camp facility at Minnesota State University-Mankato.

The Packers released Dorsch after signing left-footed punter B.J. Sander, a third-round 2004 draft pick from Ohio State.

Arizona Cardinals: Outside linebacker Karlos Dansby, the first player drafted in this year's second round, agreed to a four-year contract with the Cards.

The team did not release terms, but Dansby's agent, Carl Poston, told The Arizona Republic the deal was worth about $5 million, including a $2.1 million signing bonus.

Dansby had 84 tackles and 5 sacks for Auburn last season, earning all-Southeastern Conference honors for the second straight year. In his 36-game career, he had 218 tackles and 10 sacks.

Third-rounder also signs: Darnell Dockett, Arizona's last rookie holdout, agreed to terms with the team.

Coupled with the signing of Dansby hours earlier, Dockett's agreement put all seven Cardinals draft picks under contract.

Dockett, a defensive tackle from Florida State, was the Atlantic Coast Conference defensive player of the year last season.

Seattle Seahawks: Quarterback Brock Huard left practice when his back tightened up, but the ailment didn't appear serious.

Huard was drafted by the Seahawks out of Washington and spent his first three NFL seasons in Seattle, followed by the last two years as a backup to Peyton Manning in Indianapolis.

Center Robbie Tobeck strained a calf and spent part of the afternoon practice with an ice bag wrapped around the injury.

The Seahawks have been practicing without defensive end Grant Wistrom, expected to miss the first two weeks of camp with a strained foot tendon. Cornerback Bobby Taylor (knee) and receiver Koren Robinson (hip) also have been held out of contact work.

Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press