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TheState.com: Falcons make a change, name Leftwich starter


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Titans QB Young sits out practice; NFL reinstates Packers receiver

By From Wire Reports


FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. — Atlanta Falcons coach Bobby Petrino replaced starting quarterback Joey Harrington with Byron Leftwich on Wednesday in hopes of jump-starting the reeling team that has lost five of its first six games.

Leftwich will be the starter for the rest of the season, starting Sunday at New Orleans.

“We’re 1-5 and we just didn’t feel good about some of the things we did, particularly after turnovers, so we’re making the change,” Petrino said.

Petrino said he notified Harrington first, then Leftwich, at separate meetings Wednesday morning.

Leftwich, who signed with Atlanta as a free agent a month ago after being released by Jacksonville, assumed his new role with the first team at practice.

“It was great, just like old times,” Leftwich said. “It was a great feeling to be in there and for those guys to welcome me with open arms. That’s the thing that was special about it. Those guys welcomed me in and treated me like they wanted me to be there. That’s a good feeling anytime as a player.”

Though Harrington (123-for-195, 1,279 yards, four touchdowns, four inerceptions) had not played poorly, he failed to generate points and consistency with an offense that ranks among the NFL’s worst in every category. He was not helped by protection that has allowed 21 sacks and a dormant running game that made Atlanta easy to defend.

The Falcons have just six offensive touchdowns, one apiece in the past two games, both losses.

Titans’ QB Young watches practice with strained quadriceps. Titans quarterback Vince Young rested his strained right quadriceps by watching practice, leaving the work to backup Kerry Collins.

Young hurt his leg Sunday in the third quarter of a 13-10 loss to Tampa Bay as he sprinted to the sideline on a 2-yard gain. The Titans gave Young an MRI on Monday to determine how to treat the muscle and he has been trying to get healthy.

But coach Jeff Fisher said Young would be day to day and might not practice this week as the Titans (3-2) prepare to visit Houston (3-3).

NFL reinstates Packers’ Robinson. The NFL reinstated suspended Green Bay Packers wide receiver Koren Robinson.

Wednesday was the first day Robinson was eligible to return from his one-year suspension for violating the NFL’s substance abuse policy. He had petitioned for reinstatement to commissioner Roger Goodell and met with the commissioner earlier in the week.

RB Kevin Jones is back in starting lineup for Lions. Detroit Lions coach Rod Marinelli said Kevin Jones will start Sunday against the Buccaneers.

Jones missed the first two games recovering from a foot injury that also sidelined him for the last three games of last year, but he has responded well to having at least 10 carries in each of the past two games.

“He’s ready to go,” Marinelli said. “He’s going to start.”

Tatum Bell has started each game for the Lions this season and his agent talked to them last week about trading him before Tuesday’s deadline, which passed with him still on the team.

Despite torn elbow ligament, Warner hopes to play at Washington. Three days after he tore a ligament in his left elbow, Arizona quarterback Kurt Warner hopes he’ll play Sunday at Washington.

It’s too early to tell whether he will.

“Would I love to play on Sunday? Sure I would,” Warner said after limited participation in Wednesday’s practice. “I’m going to go forward with the idea that I can. But we’ve just got to weigh all the options and make sure that it’s something that I can do.”

Warner said doctors told him he’s not risking a worse injury by playing.

Bills to start rookie QB Edwards over Losman against Ravens. Bills rookie Trent Edwards will make his third start in a row Sunday when Buffalo hosts Baltimore, leading to questions about whether J.P. Losman will ever get his job back.

Coach Dick Jauron made the announcement Wednesday, but wouldn’t commit to a full-time starter beyond this weekend. Edwards, a rookie third-round draft pick, has gone 1-1 starting in place of Losman, who has resumed practice and appeared ready to return after spraining his left knee.

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Terrible move. Harrington's been actually been performing at a reasonable level. All you're going to get from Leftwich are a bunch of off-target bullets that the defenses will have a field day with. Leftwich is horrible, there's a reason why Jax just flat out cut him.

And they're looking smarter and smarter each week for making that decision. :2cents:

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