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Vick recovering from stomach flu

1/8/2005

Atlanta Falcons: Falcons quarterback Michael Vick returned to practice Friday, a day after missing a workout
because of the stomach flu.

"He looked really, really sharp," quarterbacks coach Mike
Johnson said. "We couldn't be happier with his work today."

Vick, selected last month to his second Pro Bowl, skipped a game
two weeks ago at New Orleans because of a bruised shoulder. He
started last week at Seattle and directed two scoring drives in
three possessions.

Atlanta had a 10-point lead late in the second quarter when
coach Jim Mora replaced Vick with rookie Matt Schaub. The Seahawks
won 28-26.

The Falcons (11-5) are off until Jan. 15, when they will face
Green Bay, St. Louis or Seattle in the second round of the NFC
playoffs.

Vick led the NFL with 7.5 yards per carry and rushed for 902
overall, the third-best season for a quarterback.

New York Jets: Jets defensive end John Abraham and receiver
Wayne Chrebet were downgraded to questionable Friday, the day
before their wild-card game against San Diego.

Abraham and Chrebet had been listed as probable all week, but
coach Herman Edwards cast doubt on their situation Thursday when he
said the status of both players would be a game-time decision.
Abraham has missed the last month with a sprained right knee, and
said earlier this week he would only play if he was feeling 80
percent or better.

Chrebet sustained a mild concussion last weekend against St.
Louis. The 10-year veteran has a history of concussions, and missed
the final eight games of last season with postconcussion syndrome.

Tennessee Titans: Tennessee quarterback Billy Volek had surgery Friday to repair a severely separated throwing shoulder.

Volek was hit in the fourth quarter of the Titans' 24-19 victory over Detroit on Sunday, separating his right shoulder where the joint meets the clavicle. Coach Jeff Fisher said the injury affected Volek's throwing mechanics and rotator cuff.

Volek was to spend Friday night in the hospital, and his recovery is expected to take three to four months. He started eight games this season in place of Steve McNair, who had surgery to graft bone to his sternum last week.

New Orleans Saints:
The Saints said they
would be willing to push back the deadline the team had set for the
state to complete a renegotiation of the NFL club's Louisiana Superdome
lease.

After initially setting a Feb. 1 deadline, team officials said
in a written statement that they now would be willing to talk with
Gov. Kathleen Blanco's administration until March 1. But the team
said the new date was important because league meetings are
scheduled for March 20.

Saints owner Tom Benson has said he would like to bid for New
Orleans to host the Super Bowl in 2010 but needs to have a
long-term deal in New Orleans before the league will consider
bringing the NFL title game back to the stadium that has hosted it
seven times.

Blanco expects to present the state's latest proposal to the
Saints as early as next week.

An overview released by Blanco's office on Friday afternoon
outlined a nearly $170 million renovation of the Superdome, meant
to modernize the stadium in a way that will allow the Saints to
make much more money there.

Long-time broadcaster Diliberto dies
Saints radio commentator Buddy
Diliberto -- better known as "Buddy D" -- who listened to loyal
fans praise and berate the team and often offered a little colorful
advice of his own for the coaches, died Friday. He was 73.

Diliberto had been in failing health for some time and the cause
of death was an apparent heart attack, WWL-TV reported. In 1997, he
had bypass surgery following a series of heart attacks.

Diliberto began his career as a sportswriter for The
New Orleans Times-Picayune while attending Loyola University in 1950. He also
served as a correspondent for Stars and Stripes during the Korean
War and suffered shrapnel wounds that earned him a Purple Heart.

He later went on to broadcasting and served as sports director
and sports anchors for WVUE-TV and WDSU-TV before joining WWL radio
in 1991.

His career was almost as colorful as his commentary. Diliberto
was banned from the Saints' team plane for criticism of the
organization under their first owner, John Mecom. And it was Buddy
D who after a 1-15 season in 1980 established the "bagheads" -- fans who wear paper bags over their heads as a mark of shame. He
also promised fans he'd wear a dress if the Saints ever went to the
Super Bowl.