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McNabb Works Out, Seeks Playoff Return

From Times Wire Services

Philadelphia Eagle quarterback Donovan McNabb has been exercising on his broken right ankle and may be ready for the divisional playoffs in two weeks.

McNabb, who earlier this season signed a $115-million contract, broke his ankle on the third play of Philadelphia’s 38-14 victory over Arizona Nov. 17. He played the rest of that game but has been sidelined since.

"[McNabb has] been running around and throwing the football, and he’ll continue to get better,” Coach Andy Reid said Monday. “It’s not a guarantee, obviously, that he plays in the game. He’s going to give it his best shot.”

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The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are counting on Brad Johnson for the playoffs.

Coach Jon Gruden said that he expects his starting quarterback to practice this week and return to the lineup when the Buccaneers (12-4) play host an NFC divisional playoff game the weekend of Jan. 11-12.

Johnson has sat out because of a severe lower back bruise, although some reports said Johnson might have a cracked vertebrae. Gruden said those reports were inaccurate.

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Bruce Smith has been talked out of retirement three sacks short of the NFL record. For now, at least.

The 18-year veteran had planned to announce his retirement but postponed his plans after meeting with Washington Redskin owner Dan Snyder, defensive coordinator Marvin Lewis and Gerry Snyder, the owner’s father and partner.

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Oakland Raider tight end Roland Williams might play in the postseason despite a serious knee injury.

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Williams has a partially torn anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee, a complete tear of the medial collateral ligament and possible meniscus damage.

Coach Bill Callahan said that the team’s trainers believe Williams could be ready when the AFC’s top-seeded team opens the playoffs in two weeks. No surgery is scheduled, but Williams would probably need to wear some sort of a protective brace.

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Detroit Lion cornerback Todd Lyght retired one day after his 12th NFL season ended. Lyght, 33, spent his first 10 seasons with the Los Angeles-St. Louis Rams, helping the Rams win the Super Bowl during the 1999 season, before signing with the Lions as a free agent two years ago.

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