Sports

Rudi takes Bell's job; Bell takes Rudi's bags

Detroit running back Rudi Johnson said Wednesday that the player who was waived to make room for him on the Lions' roster — Tatum Bell — took his luggage from team headquarters.

"All this happened when he got released," Johnson said. "He came in to get some stuff out of his locker, and that's when he scooped up the bags."

After being cut by the Cincinnati Bengals, Johnson came to Detroit to work out for the team and meet with Lions president Matt Millen on Monday. During the meeting, which ended with Johnson agreeing to a free-agent contract, the two Gucci bags that he had received as a Pro Bowl gift were taken from inside the team's headquarters.

The next day, team security director Ricky Sandoval showed Johnson footage from the team's surveillance system.

Johnson said a woman returned the bags to the practice facility Tuesday evening, but the contents were gone.

"I got the bags back — empty," he said. "So he's got a bunch of my underclothes. What he's going to do with that, I don't know. He's got some socks and boxers."

Johnson said he was also still missing about $200 in cash along with his ID and credit cards, which he subsequently canceled, but said he did not plan to involve the authorities.

Johnson did speak with Bell after the bags were returned. "I didn't want to talk to him, but I let him know where I stand," he said. "He knows how I feel about it, and it isn't anything positive."

Collier still critical

Jaguars offensive tackle Richard Collier remained in critical condition Wednesday, a day after getting shot in the front seat of his Cadillac Escalade. The Jaguars, meanwhile, returned to practice still thinking about their teammate who was fighting for his life less than 2 miles away.

"We've got to handle it, and then we've got to move on," said Coach Jack Del Rio, whose team opens at Tennessee on Sunday. That's what we're going to do, that's what we have to do."

■ Jaguars receiver Reggie Williams missed practice because of a hamstring injury and might not be ready for the season opener.

Jeremi Johnson on IR

The Bengals put fullback Jeremi Johnson on injured reserve Wednesday and signed free-agent fullback Reagan Maui'a, who was released by the Dolphins. Johnson, who played at Western Kentucky, suffered a knee injury during practice Monday, Coach Marvin Lewis said. He will miss the 2008 season.

Around the league

Patriots: Coach Bill Belichick expects Tom Brady to be ready Sunday for the season opener against Kansas City after the NFL's reigning MVP missed all four exhibition games. "He's practicing this week, and I expect he'll be ready to go," Belichick said. The practice report listed the quarterback with right shoulder and right foot injuries.

Jets: Brett Favre was voted one of the offensive team captains despite being with the team for less than a month. "I'm honored," Favre said. "I felt a little uncomfortable to be voted. I feel like I need to earn it."

Seahawks: Deion Branch is testing his surgically reconstructed knee for the first time to see if he can play in the season opener Sunday. Coach Mike Holmgren said the former Louisville receiver will practice this week for the first time since surgery seven months ago.

Rams: Coach Scott Linehan expects running back Steven Jackson, who ended a 27-day holdout Aug. 20, to carry a full load in the season opener. "He's ready to go," Linehan said. "We're going to play him like we always do. He looks like his same old self to me."

Panthers: Backup quarterback Matt Moore broke his left fibula during the final pre-season game at Pittsburgh last week and is out indefinitely. It wasn't immediately clear how long he'll be out.

■ Suspended receiver Steve Smith lost his job as a Panthers captain. Coach John Fox said the players voted for quarterback Jake Delhomme and receiver Muhsin Muhammad.

Cowboys: Keith Davis re-signed with Dallas nearly six months after the safety signed a two-year, $3.5 million free-agent deal with Miami. He was cut before Miami's final pre-season game.

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