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NFL notebook: AP


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Flutie gets wrong signal, still QB

Despite report, Chargers are sticking with him over Brees


Doug Flutie was driving to Los Angeles on Tuesday when he heard on the radio that Drew Brees was going to start in the San Diego Chargers' next game.

``I kind of rolled my eyes a little bit, because you would assume you would be told first,'' Flutie said Wednesday.

Sure enough, Flutie hadn't been told, because coach Marty Schottenheimer will stick with Flutie for Sunday's game at Detroit -- even though the 41-year-old quarterback has delivered just one win in four starts since replacing the ineffective Brees.

Schottenheimer had declined on Monday to say whether Flutie would hold on to his job following a 28-24 loss to Kansas City, the NFL's best team. Schottenheimer's reasoning was that he didn't want to give the Lions' defensive coordinator -- his brother, Kurt -- an edge.

But after watching Detroit game film, Schottenheimer determined that the Lions weren't going to change things based on which QB the Chargers started.

Ramsey hurt again

Washington Redskins quarterback Patrick Ramsey reinjured his right foot at the end of practice when he slipped on a dirt patch during a throwing drill.

The second-year starter left practice early for X-rays, which revealed no new damage to his foot. Ramsey later returned wearing a protective boot.

``He practiced about all day and right at the end of practice, he slipped,'' coach Steve Spurrier said. ``He sort of tweaked his foot a little bit, and our trainers wanted to take him in to get a little treatment.''

It was the first practice in nearly two weeks for Ramsey, who has been hampered by the flare-up of an old fracture.

Before the practice began, Ramsey was listed as questionable for Sunday's game against the New York Giants. If he can't play, Tim Hasselbeck will make his second consecutive start.

Bledsoe still hurting

Buffalo Bills quarterback Drew Bledsoe missed practice, feeling tired and dizzy and unsure if he will play against the New York Jets this weekend.

Bledsoe refused to describe his symptoms as concussion related. But he said they stem from a helmet-to-helmet hit that forced him to miss the final 19 minutes of Sunday's 24-7 win over the New York Giants.

``I wouldn't say I feel completely normal, but I'm all right,'' Bledsoe said.

No message

Coach Bill Parcells insists he wasn't sending a message to the rest of the Dallas Cowboys by cutting kick returner-cornerback Derek Ross just days before a big game.

The move came after Ross missed two team functions -- a team run and hospital visits -- and fumbled twice in a Thanksgiving Day loss to Miami. But the coach said Wednesday those aren't the reasons Ross is gone.

Parcells said Ross, a 2002 third-round pick from Ohio State who appeared to be a rising star, just didn't have a future with his Cowboys.

Ross signed with the Atlanta Falcons on Wednesday.

Around the league

Kick returner and backup receiver Chris Cole won't play Sunday for the Denver Broncos against the Kansas City Chiefs, and the team isn't sure if he will be available again this season. Cole separated rib cartilage and sprained his shoulder returning a kick Sunday.... The New England Patriots have signed rookie punter Brooks Barnard to replace veteran Ken Walter, who was released Tuesday. Barnard was a two-time All-ACC punter at Maryland, where he was the school's career leader in punting average for career (43.7) and single season (44.7 in 2000).... Buffalo Bills left tackle Jonas Jennings will miss the final four games of the regular season because of a broken right toe.... Referee Tom White was fined $2,600 for failing to restart the clock at the end of the Seattle-Baltimore game, a mistake that contributed to the Seahawks' 44-41 overtime loss. The fine represented half of White's game check, supervisor of officials Mike Pereira said.... Michael Vick will make his first start of the season for the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday night against the Carolina Panthers, pumping a bit of life into the down-and-out franchise.... Running back Garrison Hearst will miss the San Francisco 49ers' game against the Arizona Cardinals with a sprained right knee.... David Carr practiced lightly Wednesday and remains on track to start Sunday for the Houston Texans.

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