Packers coach cancels news conference

Brett Favre officially re-joined the Packers on Monday, although the circus-like atmosphere took yet another unexpected turn Monday night when Coach Mike McCarthy canceled a news conference at which he was supposed to discuss his plans for Favre.

Packers spokesman Jeff Blumb told reporters gathered for what was supposed to be a 9:15 p.m. EDT news conference that the briefing would be held Tuesday. Blumb explained that McCarthy was still talking to Favre; at that point, the two had been meeting for more than three hours.

McCarthy also sent the rest of the players home for the night. The coach had planned to address the team as a group after he met with Favre, but it got so late that he decided to have the meeting Tuesday.

Favre arrived at Lambeau Field late Monday morning, passed a physical and completed his conditioning test. The team announced later in the afternoon that Favre had been added to the active roster. To make room, the Packers placed cornerback Condrew Allen on injured reserve with a knee injury.

Favre met with McCarthy later in the day to be briefed on how the Packers would handle his situation, but the marathon talks went far longer than expected.

Meanwhile, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell ruled Monday that he found no violations of the league's tampering policy in the Packers' complaint about the Vikings' contacting Favre. The Packers had complained that Favre had spoken to Vikings Coach Brad Childress and offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell. Favre admitted he'd had conversations with both men, but Goodell said the talks did not constitute tampering.

Lucas: Punch was "blessing'

Ken Lucas stood in front of reporters Monday with a black eye and swollen nose. Then, in his first public comments since getting punched in the face by teammate Steve Smith at practice, Lucas insisted that the incident could end up being good for the Carolina Panthers.

”I feel like what happened was a blessing in disguise,“ Lucas said. ”This is something I think has brought this team closer together. You may think (I) sound crazy for saying that, but I really think this is bigger than me and Steve.“

Lucas, the Panthers' starting cornerback, said he'll need surgery to repair his nose and will be sidelined two to three weeks after Friday's incident. Still, Lucas said he forgives Smith, who apologized to him in a face-to-face meeting.

A subdued Smith also apologized to his teammates, coaches and fans on Monday. The Pro Bowl receiver punched Lucas on Friday after he had taken off his helmet and while Lucas was on one knee.

”I'm not going to get into who's right, who's wrong. I'm completely wrong,“ Smith said. ”It was an asinine decision. And I'll move forward better than I probably have ever had to. It's the first time in my life that I really haven't forgiven myself.“

Around the league

Bengals: Cincinnati cut ties with injured running back Kenny Irons, its second-round draft pick last year. Irons tore his left ACL during the Bengals' first pre-season game last season.

Chargers: Running back LaDainian Tomlinson isn't expected to carry the ball in any of the team's four pre-season games, Coach Norv Turner said. Tomlinson has only 14 pre-season carries in his career.

Chiefs: Rookie defensive tackle Glenn Dorsey should miss about a week after spraining his left knee in practice during the weekend. The former LSU star was the fifth overall pick in the draft.

Eagles: Guard Shawn Andrews is battling depression and might arrive at training camp this week, the two-time Pro Bowl selection told a newspaper Monday. In an exclusive interview with the Philadelphia Daily News from his Arkansas home, Andrews said his depression started a year ago and has worsened.

Cardinals: Pro Bowl receiver Anquan Boldin will miss Thursday's pre-season opener against the Saints with a right hamstring injury.

Texans: Running back Chris Brown returned to practice after sitting out last week with a sore back.

Lions: Domestic violence charges against safety Kalvin Pearson have been dropped, the Hillsborough County (Fla.) state attorney's office said Monday. The fourth-year pro was arrested April 26 and charged with aggravated battery on a pregnant woman and domestic battery by strangulation, both felonies.

Patriots: Offensive lineman John Welbourn, who started every game at right guard last season for Kansas City, signed with New England.

Redskins: Rookie receiver Malcolm Kelly, a second-round pick from Oklahoma, had arthroscopic surgery on his left knee and is expected to be sidelined two weeks.

Seahawks: Offensive lineman Chris Gray has retired on the eve of his 16th NFL season because of a lower back and spine injury that threatened his ability to walk.