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PATRIOTS' BLEDSOE WATCHES PRACTICE AFTER LEAVING HOSPITAL

Drew Bledsoe expects to miss at least three games after being released from a hospital Thursday following a hit that caused bleeding in his chest cavity. The New England Patriots quarterback said he felt all right but still experiences pain when he takes a deep breath. He was well enough to watch part of practice after leaving Massachusetts General Hospital.

"It could be as short as three weeks. It could be longer than that," Bledsoe said. "For the next two weeks, they really don't want me to do anything. No heavy lifting. No strenuous activity."

Bledsoe said an artery near his rib cage was partially torn, but he didn't have a collapsed lung and never feared for his life, although the injury is unusual for a football player. He also said he got "dinged" in the head but didn't say whether it was considered a concussion.

"The only possible long-term effect would be if there were scarring in the chest cavity, which could limit my lung capacity at some point," Bledsoe said. "So they're having me make real sure that once an hour I take real deep breaths."

Tom Brady will sub for Bledsoe.

Around the league

For the fourth straight day, Tennessee Titans quarterback Steve McNair threw passes with no pain in his injured shoulder. The Titans have a bye this weekend.

Deion Sanders, who retired from the Washington Redskins on July 27, signed a multiyear contract to appear on CBS' "The NFL Today" as a reporter.

Jacksonville Jaguars left tackle Tony Boselli is questionable for Sunday's game against Cleveland because of a sore right shoulder. He did not practice Thursday.

New York Giants punter Rodney Williams suffered only scrapes on his back and a welt on an arm when his sport utility vehicle rolled over several times after an accident with a taxi Tuesday on the New Jersey Turnpike.

Atlanta Falcons receiver Tony Martin will miss up to four weeks after breaking his right collarbone during Sunday's 24-16 win over the Carolina Panthers.

Carolina coach George Seifert was mortified to learn that he cost Wesley Walls a chance to extend his streak of catching at least one pass to 87 games. Walls' streak ended last week when the tight end failed to catch a pass against Atlanta. "I feel sick in my stomach," Seifert said. "I didn't know it. That's inexcusable on my part."

The NFL has banned the stimulant ephedrine after being told by experts that the substance often found in strength-building food supplements can cause seizures, strokes and death.

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