Eagles Defend Their Turf, Beat Jets Too

From Associated Press

The turf at the Vet was playable. The quality of the end zone surface was a mystery--until the final minute.

Seventeen days after Philadelphia's exhibition game was canceled because of problems with the artificial turf at Veterans Stadium, the Eagles defeated the New York Jets, 13-12, Thursday night at Philadelphia.

A.J. Feeley's 16-yard touchdown pass to Sean Scott with 23 seconds left lifted the Eagles (2-1) to their second consecutive victory.

"I've never done a two-minute drill with the Eagles so I figured, hey let's do this," said Feeley, a fifth-round pick in last April's draft. "You got nothing to lose. My thinking was let's go out and score a touchdown."

John Hall kicked four field goals for the Jets, including a 41-yarder with 1:48 left that made it 12-6. He also missed one from 51 yards.

Feeley, fighting with Ron Powlus for the third-string job, then led the Eagles 80 yards in 1:25. Feeley completed consecutive passes of 13 and 16 yards to Anthony Gray, and a 17-yarder to Tony Stewart before the score.

Despite heavy scrutiny, there didn't appear to be any problems with the Vet's new NeXturf field. But the end zones weren't tested for the first 59 minutes.

"The field was great," quarterback Donovan McNabb said.

The Eagles' game against the Baltimore Ravens on Aug. 13 was canceled because players from both teams complained about uneven cutouts on the field.

Eagle center Bubba Miller fractured his right ankle while blocking on a running play in the first quarter. He will have surgery Friday, and is expected to miss about two months. The injury didn't appear to be related to the surface.

In other games: Troy Edwards scored on an 78-yard punt return and Pittsburgh's defense was dominant for the second consecutive game as the Steelers defeated the Bills, 20-0, at Pittsburgh. ... Peyton Manning rested a sprained knee and backup Mark Rypien completed 17 of 38 for 159 yards with two interceptions as the Indianapolis Colts defeated the Cincinnati Bengals, 23-17. ... Tennessee's Neil O'Donnell, who played the first half and the first possession of the second, connected on 13 of 20 passes for 166 yards as the Titans defeated the Detroit Lions, 28-25, at Pontiac, Mich. ... New England didn't need the two points it lost when a replacement official's call was reversed by instant replay as the Patriots defeated the Washington Redskins, 33-13, at Foxboro, Mass. The Patriots (3-1) capitalized on three turnovers for 17 points in the last 6:14 of the second quarter. ... Troy Hambrick paid back safety Donovin Darius for a brutal tackle by pushing him out of the way on a 34-yard touchdown run that helped the Dallas Cowboys defeat the Jacksonville Jaguars, 27-17, at Irving, Texas.

Ryan Leaf did not practice because of a sore right wrist and is listed as questionable for Tampa Bay's exhibition finale at Atlanta.

Leaf, who is competing with Joe Hamilton for the Buccaneers' No. 3 quarterback job, was bothered during training camp by soreness in the wrist, which he injured while playing for the San Diego Chargers.

The St. Petersburg Times reported that the Bucs may put Leaf, the No. 2 pick in the 1998 draft behind Peyton Manning, on injured reserve when the roster is trimmed to 53 players this weekend.

The team said no such decision had been made, adding that Leaf still might see playing time against the Falcons tonight.

The San Francisco 49ers have asked veteran running back Garrison Hearst to restructure his contract after missing the past two seasons because of a broken leg.

Hearst has looked strong in three exhibition games. He isn't expected to play in the team's preseason finale tonight at Denver.

"We'll try and see if we can come to a mutually advantageous contractual situation," 49er General Manager Terry Donahue said.

Hearst will make a base salary of $477,000 this season, along with $1.2 million in incentives that would be earned if he plays in the first two games, and which would then count against the 2002 salary cap. When the incentives kick in, the 49ers would owe Hearst $2.6 million against next year's cap.

The Minnesota Vikings will retire the No. 77 jersey of Korey Stringer, the All-Pro offensive tackle who died Aug. 1 of complications from heatstroke.

Stringer's number will be retired during a home game Nov. 19 against the New York Giants.


Two days after being released by the Chicago Bears, veteran wide receiver Bobby Engram signed a one-year contract with the Seattle Seahawks. Engram, 28, caught a career-best 88 passes for the Bears two years ago.

Linebacker Adrian Ross signed a three-year contract extension with the Cincinnati Bengals. Ross played in 13 games with four starts last season, making 33 tackles. The Bengals also reached an injury settlement with Chad Plummer and waived the wide receiver.


Jamal Reynolds of the Green Bay Packers is being sued by a jeweler who claims the rookie defensive end owes more than $28,000 for purchases including a used Rolex watch, platinum necklace and platinum pendant.

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