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Brady reportedly out for season

The Baltimore Sun

Tom Brady went from the disappointment of a Super Bowl loss to the devastation of an injury that likely will keep him out the rest of the season, according to media reports.

The injury to his left knee is serious, and Brady isn't expected to play again this season, according to NFL.com and Yahoo.com.

He left yesterday's season-opening win against visiting Kansas City in the first quarter after being hit on the left leg by Chiefs safety Bernard Pollard. Coach Bill Belichick provided no information on the injury, but Pollard had a diagnosis of his own.

"He was in a lot of pain," he said. "When you hear a scream, you know that."

Brady was the NFL Most Valuable Player last season after throwing for a record 50 touchdowns and leading the Patriots through a perfect regular season to the brink of their fourth Super Bowl title in eight years. But New England lost its chance at an unprecedented 19-0 record when the New York Giants won the title.

Any chance at redemption might have disappeared when Brady, who has started 128 consecutive games, went to the turf clutching his left knee midway through the first quarter. After being tended to on the field, he walked off, limping, between two trainers.

Brady, 31, went to the locker room and wasn't seen again on the sideline as backup Matt Cassel led the Patriots to a 17-10 victory. Brady was not available to comment after the game, and Belichick said he had nothing to add to the in-game announcement that it was a knee injury.

"They're looking at him, doing some tests on him, so I don't have any information there," the coach said.

The Patriots were already looking for a possible replacement for Brady. A person familiar with the situation told the Associated Press that former Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Chris Simms was coming in today for a physical.

Brady was 7-for-11 for 76 yards, completing a 26-yard pass to Randy Moss on the play on which he was injured.

"He's the face of the New England Patriots, and Tom being who he is, it kind of hurts, to be honest with you," Moss said. "I know the show must go on. Hopefully Matt Cassel is ready to step in. I know the team is ready to embrace him and let him lead us."

Cassel said he is ready to pick up the slack if Brady can't play next week against the New York Jets.

"This is something I've been preparing for for a long time," Cassel said.

Titans:: Quarterback Vince Young was on crutches after spraining his left knee late in the Titans' win over the Jaguars. Tennessee coach Jeff Fisher said Young would have tests to determine the severity of the injury. Fisher said he doesn't think the injury is serious. Young was hurt on a bootleg when Jaguars linebacker Daryl Smith hit his left leg.

Bengals:: Receiver Chad Johnson has changed his name, but his jersey remained the same. He legally changed his name from Chad Johnson to Chad Ocho Cinco, but the NFL decided against allowing him to put his name on his jersey. NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said, "He has a financial obligation to Reebok, which produces the jerseys available to fans. That has to be resolved before the on-field jersey can be changed."

Seahawks:: Receiver Nate Burleson limped off the field midway through the third quarter after hurting his left knee against the Bills. Burleson was hurt when he tripped himself up while trying to cut back for a pass at the Bills 20. He lay on the field for several minutes and required help to get up. He didn't return. Seattle also lost starting running back Maurice Morris, who did not return after hurting his right knee early in the second half.

Broncos:: Denver signed linebacker D.J. Williams to a five-year contract extension. The deal was first reported by the NFL Network and the Rocky Mountain News, which said the contract was worth $32 million, including $13 million guaranteed . Williams has played all three linebacker positions since being drafted by the Broncos in 2004. He made 170 tackles as a middle linebacker last season.

49ers:: Quarterback Alex Smith could find out today whether his latest shoulder injury will end his season and his tenure with San Francisco. The former No. 1 overall draft pick said the new injury is around the bone, near where Dr. James Andrews repaired his separated shoulder in December. The new injury could "potentially" force Smith to have another season-ending surgery, he said. General manager Scot McCloughan said last week that Smith would be released if he wasn't the clear-cut starter heading into next season.

Upshaw:: The NFL honored the late Gene Upshaw, a Hall of Fame guard and longtime union leader, by having his initials and his uniform number stenciled on the field for all the opening weekend's games. Players will wear a patch with his initials all season.

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Career touchdown pass by Bills punters after Brian Moorman threw one yesterday in a 34-10 victory over the Seahawks

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