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Seymour Practices, Will Play for Patriots

By Mark Maske and Leonard Shapiro
Washington Post Staff Writers
Thursday, February 3, 2005; Page D03

JACKSONVILLE, Fla., Feb. 2 -- The New England Patriots cleared three-time Pro Bowl defensive lineman Richard Seymour to play against the Philadelphia Eagles in Sunday's Super Bowl after he participated fully in Wednesday's practice.

Seymour missed the Patriots' last three games, including both of their wins in the AFC playoffs, because of a knee injury, thought to be a sprained medial collateral ligament. He didn't participate in Monday's practice but said Tuesday that he expected to play against the Eagles. Sunday's game comes six weeks after Seymour got hurt, and most MCL injuries heal within six weeks.

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Thomason Settles Into Role With Eagles (washingtonpost.com, Feb 3, 2005)
E. Smith Retirement May Come as Cowboy (washingtonpost.com, Feb 2, 2005)
Owens Understands Risks, Says He'll Play (washingtonpost.com, Feb 1, 2005)

Linebacker Ted Johnson, who sat out Monday's practice because of what the team said was tightness in a leg muscle, also practiced Wednesday.

Owens Continues to Practice

Wide receiver Terrell Owens continued to work his way back from his ankle injury by participating in the Eagles' practice Wednesday. Earlier, Owens said that he felt ready to play the majority of the game but didn't know how extensively Eagles coaches planned to use him. Owens is master of the controversy-generating touchdown celebration but said he doesn't have anything special planned if he were to score Sunday. "My being out there will be special enough," Owens said. . . .

The Eagles endured a driving rain during their afternoon practice. The Patriots were able to stay dry by moving their practice to the morning. . . . Referee Terry McAulay has been selected to work his first Super Bowl. The league selects the officiating crew that grades out the best during the regular season to work the Super Bowl. But each member of that crew must have at least five years of NFL officiating experience and must have worked at least one conference championship game. Three of the six other members of McAulay's regular crew didn't qualify and were replaced by the highest-rated officials at those spots league-wide during the regular season.

Turf Burns Spread Infection

Turf burns probably helped spread a stubborn skin infection among the St. Louis Rams during the 2003 season, according to a report in this week's edition of the New England Journal of Medicine. The infections, which sidelined three players for 17 days, apparently spread to an unnamed visiting team, prompting team officials to call for help in tracking down the source. In all, five Rams players developed large wounds that had to be surgically drained and treated with antibiotics. In three players, the infection reappeared. "These abrasions were usually left uncovered, and when combined with frequent skin-to-skin contact throughout the football season, probably constituted both the source and vehicle for transmission," said medical researchers for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta. Sunday's game will be played on natural grass.

Floating Accommodations

Two of the five cruise ships chartered by the Jacksonville Host Committee to dock along the St. Johns River and accommodate guests arrived Wednesday. Jacksonville made the ships part of its Super Bowl proposal because the city didn't have enough hotel rooms to satisfy NFL requirements. The ships are providing more than 3,500 additional rooms, according to the Jacksonville Port Authority. . . .

The NFL and federal, state and local law enforcement departments have assembled the usual massive security presence for the game, using 3,500 men and women in and around Alltel Stadium. The Coast Guard also has been deployed along the St. Johns River.

Wire services contributed to this report.

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