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Rams finally sign third-round pick Incognito

9/29/2005 - NFL

St. Louis Rams: Three weeks into the season and more than five
months after the draft, Richie Incognito became the last player
picked to sign when he agreed Thursday to a four-year contract with
the St. Louis Rams.

ESPN.com's Len Pasquarelli reports that the four-year contract is worth about $1.9 million and includes a $549,000 signing bonus. St. Louis also guaranteed the base salary for the first year of the contract.

The offensive guard was the second of the Rams' two third-round
picks, and the 81st overall pick. Incognito had a kneecap injury at
the time of the draft, and coach Mike Martz said then he would have
been a first-rounder otherwise.

Incognito, an All-Big 12 selection at Nebraska as a sophomore in
2003, missed last season after getting kicked out of Oregon. He has
been rehabbing from the knee injury during on-and-off negotiations.

Martz was skeptical about Incognito's chances of playing anytime
soon.

"At this point, what difference does it make in terms of this
season?" Martz said. "To think that he's going to be ready to
play for us, we're so far along with what we have and pleased with
what we have.

"I want to get him out on the field and get him involved with
this team, that's first. Then, if he can eventually do something,
that's great, but that's a stretch to say."

• Martz also said running back Steven Jackson, questionable with a
chest injury, would play Sunday against the Giants in New York.
Jackson had 48 yards on 12 carries last week against the Titans and
has 201 yards on the season with a 4.1-yard average and one
touchdown.

"Obviously, he's going to play," Martz said. "He's going to
be hurting during the week, and it's going to be hard for him to
move around for a while, but as each week goes by he'll get better
and better."

Jackson was injured in the third quarter of the Titans game when
he said he ended up on the bottom of a pile of tacklers. He said it
hurt more to run than to block.

Tennessee Titans: Tennessee quarterback Steve McNair
practiced Thursday, but did not take part in all drills as he
recovers from a sore right foot.

McNair said he didn't even notice that his right foot had been
stepped on in last week's 31-27 loss to St. Louis until halftime.
But he said he felt good Thursday.

"I just wanted to rest it for a day. I came out there, did
something today and felt pretty good. Tomorrow I'll do more,
probably all the team [drills]. I just wanted to rest. I didn't
want to take a chance of going out and getting it even more sore,"
McNair said.

The Titans added defensive end Travis LaBoy to the injury report
as questionable with a groin injury. Coach Jeff Fisher said LaBoy
strained his groin during practice Wednesday.

But receiver Drew Bennett, who missed practice Wednesday, was
back on the field Thursday with his sore foot.

Linebacker Peter Sirmon (right knee) and defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth (left knee) did not practice. Fisher said Haynesworth,
who sprained his knee on Sept. 18 against Baltimore and missed last
week's loss at St. Louis, has enough experience that he could play
without practicing.

San Francisco 49ers: The 49ers are scrambling to restructure a secondary that's allowing an NFL-worst
369 yards passing a game.

Mike Rumph, who started the season's first three games at free
safety, was placed on injured reserve Thursday after tearing a
muscle in his right foot during practice Wednesday. Ahmed Plummer,
the team's starting left cornerback, had surgery on his left ankle
Thursday and will be out up to six weeks.

Mike Adams took Rumph's place at safety earlier in the week, and
rookie Derrick Johnson worked at left cornerback with the
first-team defense during Thursday's practice.

Both players will be making their first NFL start Sunday night
when the 49ers face the Arizona Cardinals in Mexico City.

The 49ers also are working veteran cornerback
Willie Middlebrooks into their coverage schemes. Middlebrooks rejoined the
team Wednesday after being released by San Francisco on Sept. 3.

The 49ers currently have just six healthy defensive backs on
their 53-man roster as they prepare to face an Arizona team that
ranks fifth in the NFC in passing offense.

Buffalo Bills: Bills receiver Roscoe Parrish, who
suffered an injury to his right wrist in training camp last month,
is still two to three weeks away from being ready to play, Buffalo
coach Mike Mularkey said.

Mularkey said the second-round draft pick out of Miami will have
the wrist assessed next week.

"It's frustrating, but I just have to be patient and go through
the process," Parrish said Thursday.

Parrish has been unable to catch any balls, but continues to do
conditioning work as well as staying after practice to run routes.

"When everything is all said and done and I'm ready to go out,
I won't miss a beat," he said.

Offensive lineman Mike Williams and backup safety Coy Wire both
missed their second straight practice Thursday. They're
questionable for the Bills upcoming game Sunday in San Antonio
against New Orleans.

Williams is being hampered by a left ankle injury, which forced
him to miss Sunday's game against Atlanta. Wire suffered a bruised
thigh in the Falcons game.

Arizona Cardinals: The Cardinals moved to shore up
their cornerback position by re-signing Robert Tate. To
make room, they released middle linebacker Lester Towns.

Tate played in all 16 games for the Cardinals last season, but
was released in the team's final roster cut on Sept. 3.

Arizona will be without starting cornerback Antrel Rolle for
Sunday night's game against San Francisco in Mexico City. The
rookie is seeking a second opinion about his injured left knee. He
probably will undergo arthroscopic surgery and be sidelined four to
five weeks.

The other starting cornerback, David Macklin, has a sore left
hamstring, but practiced on Thursday and probably will play Sunday.

Towns was with Arizona during training camp, but was released
Sept. 3. He was re-signed on Sept. 13.

TV blackout lifted for Bills-Saints game
The NFL lifted the blackout on the Buffalo-New
Orleans game Sunday at the Alamodome, allowing the San Antonio CBS
affiliate to carry the contest.

Saints home games in San Antonio against Atlanta on Oct. 16 and
Detroit on Dec. 24 also may be televised by the local affiliate,
the league announced Thursday. The Saints relocated to the
Alamodome because of Hurricane Katrina.

In two weeks, more than 140,000 tickets were sold for the three
games in San Antonio. The Saints will play four games in Baton
Rouge, La.

"The NFL would like to congratulate both the New Orleans Saints
and the greater San Antonio community for a job well done under
very difficult circumstances," NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue
said. "To sell more than 140,000 tickets under such extraordinary
adversity is a testament to everyone involved."

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.