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Amid activism, Turley will retire

From Times Staff and Wire Reports

Kansas City Chiefs offensive lineman Kyle Turley, who was placed on injured reserve this week with an ankle injury, said Friday he is retiring from the game after nine seasons.

The news came just days ahead of “Gridiron Greats Sunday,” which Turley launched as a way to help aging former players who are in need, beginning with his own $42,000 game check.

Turley said Friday that he expects the final dollar figure for this Sunday’s fund-raising effort to top $400,000, with donations coming from hundreds of current NFL players.

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All the money donated goes to the nonprofit Gridiron Greats Assistance Fund, which was founded last year by former Green Bay Packers star Jerry Kramer specifically to reach out to former players who have struggled medically and financially as they age.

“The response has been tremendous, and guys are still calling every day,” Turley said in an interview. “It’s great to see, but not unexpected, because this issue really hits home with a lot of guys in the NFL. I feel like I’ve done what I set out to do. Guys are getting involved in this and the NFL wants to get the situation resolved. It’s a black eye for the league and it doesn’t need to be happening.”

Gridiron Greats doesn’t expect to have a final tally on donations until next week at the earliest.

-- Greg Johnson

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Carolina Panthers defensive end Julius Peppers is doubtful for tonight’s game against Dallas because of a sprained right knee.

Peppers missed his fourth straight practice Friday, and will probably be replaced by Stanley McClover or rookie Charles Johnson in the lineup against the Cowboys.

Peppers, who was injured in Sunday’s win over Seattle, has been held to three sacks and had his streak of three straight Pro Bowl selections ended this week.

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Eagles Coach Andy Reid and his wife have dealt with their sons’ drug addictions for years, through “Super Bowls and championships,” and the coach plans to remain with the team as long as he can do the job, and the owner will have him.

The Reids broke their silence about their sons’ problems and vowed their support in an exclusive interview with Philadelphia Magazine for its January edition. They said they decided to give the interview in hopes of helping others.

In excerpts of the interview posted on the magazine’s website, Reid disclosed he and his wife have been dealing with their sons’ struggles since 2002.

Garrett and Britt Reid have battled drug addiction and been sentenced to jail terms stemming from Britt’s road-rage case and Garrett’s heroin-fueled, high-speed crash in January.

“We’ve dealt with Garrett’s situation for a long time, and we’ve done it through Super Bowls and championships,” Andy Reid told the magazine. “And it’s new to a lot of people, but it’s not new to us.”

Tammy Reid said, “We raised these boys. We taught them to pray, taught them to ride their bikes -- you see this potential in him, and you’re just not going to give up.”

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The attorney for one of the four suspects charged with killing Washington Redskins star Sean Taylor said he is talking with prosecutors about a plea agreement that may include testifying against the others. Michael Hornung, who represents Venjah Hunte, said his client has maintained throughout that he was not aware that anyone had a weapon when they arrived at Taylor’s Miami home or that violence would occur, and that he was not inside the home when Taylor was shot Nov. 26.

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Josh McCown will start at quarterback for the Raiders on Sunday in Jacksonville, with rookie JaMarcus Russell slated to come off the bench as a reserve.

Coach Lane Kiffin had considered giving Russell his first career start against the Jaguars and then bringing in McCown to finish the game. Russell, this year’s No. 1 overall draft pick, has played five series in two games as a reserve so far.


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