NFL roundup: Pats acquire NT Sopoaga

The SportsXchange

The NFL trade deadline passed quietly Tuesday, with only one deal completed: Nose tackle Isaac Sopoaga was dealt from the Philadelphia Eagles to the New England Patriots.

New England traded its 2014 fifth-round pick to the Eagles. In addition to Sopoaga, the Patriots receive a sixth-round pick in the 2014 draft from Philadelphia.

Sopoaga was paid a $2.75 million signing bonus when he joined the Eagles as a free agent in the offseason, receiving a three-year, $12 million deal. Sopoaga was a starter for the San Francisco 49ers in 2012.

The 330-pound defensive lineman brings a needed big body to the heart of the Patriots' varied scheme. New England lost anchor nose tackle Vince Wilfork to a season-ending Achilles injury.

Sopoaga can play nose tackle or defensive end in a 3-4 defense or either inside spot in a 4-3 front.

--Miami Dolphins wide receiver Brandon Gibson was placed on injured reserve because of a torn patellar tendon, the team announced.

Gibson injured his knee when he landed awkwardly in the first half of Sunday's 27-17 loss to the Patriots. He had 30 receptions for 326 yards and three touchdowns this season.

--Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Sidney Rice will miss the remainder of the season with a torn ACL, according to multiple media reports.

Rice was injured in the second quarter of Seattle's 14-9 win over the St. Louis Rams on Monday night. Through the first eight weeks of the season, Rice is the Seahawks' third-leading receiver with 231 yards.

--Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Nick Foles was cleared to return to practice Tuesday, and he is expected to start for this week. Foles split first-team practice reps with rookie Matt Barkley.

Last week, Foles failed concussion tests and was ruled out of the Eagles' loss to the New York Giants the day before the game. Michael Vick, who started against the Giants but left with a hamstring injury, will not play this week when Philadelphia meets the Oakland Raiders.

--Patriots starting right tackle Sebastian Vollmer, who broke his right leg Sunday and underwent surgery the next day, was placed on injured reserve.

Third-year player Marcus Cannon replaced Vollmer at right tackle Sunday, and he will occupy that spot the rest of the season.

--Hours after coach Mike Tomlin said he was considering changes, the Pittsburgh Steelers waived punter Zoltan Mesko and signed Mat McBriar to take Mesko's place.

Mesko signed Sept. 2 after spending the preseason with the New England Patriots. Mesko ranked 16th in the AFC and 31st in the NFL among punters with a 36.7-yard net average. He punted 34 times, with only three inside the 20-yard line.

McBriar, a 10-year veteran, spent eight seasons with the Dallas Cowboys. McBriar was born in Melbourne, Australia, and began as an Australian rules football player. He played at the University of Hawaii.

--The Cincinnati Bengals placed cornerback Leon Hall on injured reserve due to a torn Achilles tendon.

The Bengals also signed linebacker J.K. Schaffer to the roster from their practice squad, and they waived defensive end DeQuin Evans.

--Veteran guard Brian Waters is out for the season with a triceps injury, leaving the Cowboys with uncertainty again on their offensive line.

Waters, 36, started the past five games. He also injured his ribs Sunday at Detroit. He was coaxed out of retirement with a one-year deal and $1.5 million base salary.

--New York Giants general manager Jerry Reese gave a clear vote of confident to coach Tom Coughlin despite the team's 2-6 start.

Reese's comments showed strong support for Coughlin, the two-time Super Bowl-winning head coach now in his 10th Giants season.

Reporters asked if Coughlin's position might be tenuous because of the Giants' record or the coach's age (67).

"Coach Coughlin is a tremendous football coach," Reese said. "Age has nothing to do with it."

--Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler aims to come back sooner than expected from his groin injury, but he wants to play it smart.

"I'll push it as much as I can," Cutler said Tuesday. "That's up to the trainers and doctors."

Cutler, who was injured Oct. 20 against the Washington Redskins, said of whether he can come back sooner than the prescribed four-week timetable: "That's the goal."

--Defensive tackle Tank Carradine, a rookie second-round pick, was activated from the 49ers' non-football injury list and added to the team's active roster. To clear room for Carradine, the 49ers waived Jermaine Cunningham.

Carradine, who is 6-foot-4, 273 pounds, tore his right anterior cruciate ligament last November while playing for Florida State, but the injury didn't prevent San Francisco from selecting him 40th overall last spring. He returned to practice Oct. 15.

--NFL commissioner Roger Goodell and Washington Redskins owner Daniel Snyder met Tuesday in New York, but according to reports Snyder has no plans to change the controversial name of the franchise.

The meeting comes one day before a publicized forum between senior NFL officials and Oneida Indian Nations in New York City.

The Washington Post reported the meeting with Snyder wasn't about changing the name, but was focused on learning about the team's ongoing reaction to the controversy.
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