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Texans release veteran McCardell, punter Stanley

Houston Texans: The Texans released 20 players on Friday, including Keenan McCardell and Chad Stanley, the only punter in franchise history.

The Texans must release two more players to get to the league-mandated 53-player limit by 5 p.m. Saturday.

McCardell was signed just before training camp to bolster Houston's receiving group, but the emergence of third-round pick Jacoby Jones pushed the 37-year-old out of a job. McCardell, who was released by San Diego after last season, was injured through a big chunk of camp and had just one reception in the preseason.

Jones, a former track standout from Division II Lane College, caught on so quickly that coach Gary Kubiak kept just five receivers.

"We drafted him [Jones] in the third round and had I been standing here today with him having a slow process of becoming a player in this league and helping this team, then there's no doubt we'd be keeping six," Kubiak said. "But his growth in such a short period of time and what he's been able to do has helped us go with five wide receivers and that's the bottom line."

Stanley was beat out by three-time Pro Bowler Matt Turk, who
averaged 38.3 yards per punt last year with the Rams.

"He'd be the first to tell you he didn't kick as well last year especially when we got out of the nice environment of Reliant," Kubiak said. "We thought it was important that we push him this year and that's why Turk was brought in."

The Texans also released second-year running back Wali Lundy, a
starter a year ago. Houston signed Ahman Green in the offseason and has 1999 Heisman Trophy winner Ron Dayne and Samkon Gado.

"Samkon has had an excellent offseason," Kubiak said. "Wali improved, but I think the whole group improved and it was a tough call between him and Samkon and we felt like Samkon has won that position. It was very difficult to let Wali go."

Others cut on Friday were center Drew Hodgdon, guard Mike Brisiel, receivers Bethel Johnson and David Anderson, quarterback Jared Zabransky, running back Darius Walker, fullback Jon Abbate, tackle Brandon Frye, defensive backs John Walker, Ty Poole, Dexter McCleon and Brandon Mitchell, defensive linemen Alfred Malone, DelJuan Robinson, Tim Bulman and Victor DeGrate and linebacker Trent Bray.

Zabransky, the former Boise State quarterback who led his team to a 43-42 overtime win against Oklahoma in the Fiesta Bowl, came to Houston as a free agent. His only significant playing time of the preseason came Thursday night when he was 12-of-22 for 117 yards with an interception in three quarters in Houston's 31-24 loss to Tampa Bay.

Elsewhere in NFL camps:

Philadelphia Eagles: Backup quarterback A.J. Feeley had surgery Friday to repair a broken hand sustained in the Eagles' 13-11 loss Thursday to the New York Jets.

Feeley had surgery on his left, nonthrowing hand Friday morning in Philadelphia. His status for the team's regular season opener against Green Bay on Sept. 9 has yet to be determined.

Following Thursday's game, Feeley said he was not sure when the
injury happened but he had played an entire series with it.

"It swelled up a bit, but that was all," Feeley said after the game.

If Feeley is unable to play against Green Bay, Eagles coach Andy Reid said he was comfortable with rookie second-round pick Kevin Kolb backing up starter Donovan McNabb.

Oakland Raiders: Lane Kiffin is closer to picking his starting quarterback for the Raiders' season opener against Detroit. He just may wait until gametime Sept. 9 to announce the decision.

Kiffin said he could tell Josh McCown and Daunte Culpepper who
won the job as early as Sunday, but wants to keep the decision under wraps to make the Lions prepare for two different quarterbacks.

Culpepper was sharper in the final exhibition game Thursday at
Seattle, completing 11 of 19 passes for 108 yards and leading the offense to its only touchdown in a 19-14 loss. But Culpepper also threw an interception.

McCown started the game and went 5-for-12 for 75 yards in four
series.

"They both did well but could have played better," Kiffin said Friday. "It was not their best game."

Cincinnati Bengals: The Bengals lost another kicker Friday night
when Aaron Elling hurt his right knee while trying to make a tackle
on the second-half kickoff against the Indianapolis Colts.

Elling's kickoff was his first for Cincinnati; the first half
was scoreless with no field goal attempts. His right knee buckled
when he planted his leg to try to tackle T.J. Rushing near the
sideline. Elling was taken off the field on a cart.

Shayne Graham bruised his right hip while trying to make a
tackle on a kickoff Monday night in Atlanta. The Bengals are hoping
he'll be ready for the season opener Sept. 10 against Baltimore.

They brought in Elling, who was waived by Jacksonville on
Sunday, to fill in for at least the final preseason game. The
Bengals will likely look for another kicker after final cuts are
made Saturday in case Graham's hip doesn't heal as quickly as
expected.

Seattle Seahawks: DT Marcus Tubbs exited the field with a sprained right knee in Thursday's final preseason game and his coach's worst fear from the most meaningless game of the preseason was realized.

Tubbs, the Seahawks' first-round draft choice in 2004 and an
important run-stopper along the defensive line, had just returned to the field two weeks ago for the first time since microfracture surgery on his left knee last November. Now, Seattle coach Mike Holmgren thinks Tubbs' latest injury is "rather serious."

"It's hard. It's very, very hard. He worked so hard to come back," Holmgren said late Thursday night, after Tubbs went down early in Seattle's otherwise nondescript, 19-14 victory over Oakland that ended the preseason.

"He's just one of those players, it happens, where you have a very talented player that can't get on the field."

Tubbs was due for more tests Friday to determine the extent of his injury. What happened to him is what Holmgren has taken extensive measures to avoid with his key starters all summer.

San Diego Chargers: The Chargers will undergo a few position changes this year -- mostly on defense. Stephen Cooper and Matt Wilhelm are the new starters at inside linebacker, and Clinton Hart beat out rookie Eric Weddle for the strong safety job.

It also appears Darren Sproles, a returner and running back, has won
a spot on the 53-man roster. He missed all of last season after breaking his left leg on a punt return in an exhibition game, then had an excellent performance this preseason.

The Chargers hope the addition of first-round draft pick Craig Davis will pump up production from the young, undistinguished receiving corps.

San Diego waived rookie punter
Brian Monroe and five other players, leaving them with 16
more cuts to make before Saturday's deadline to get down to 53
players.

Also waived were tight end Kelly Griffeth, fullback Mike Warren,
wide receiver Onrea Jones, cornerback Gabe Franklin and defensive
tackle Titus Adams.

Starting Sunday morning, the Chargers can sign eight players to
the practice squad.

Arizona Cardinals: Rookie linebacker Buster Davis was among 21
players cut as the Cardinals reduced their roster to
the 53-man limit.

Davis was Arizona's third-round draft pick out of Florida State
and was signed to a three-year, $1.7 million contract. The
Cardinals have to pay his $610,000 signing bonus.

Other players released were quarterbacks Shane Boyd and
Lang Campbell; linebackers David Holloway and Pago Togafau; center
Scott Peters; tight end Alex Shor; running back Steve Baylark;
guard Brian Johnson; safety Brandon Keeler; defensive tackle
Jonathan Lewis; cornerbacks Michael Adams, Darrell Hunter and
Justin Wyatt; tackles Elliot Vallejo, Qasim Mitchell and Brandon
Gorin; fullback Roshon Vercher; and wide receivers Leron McCoy,
Matt Trannon and Michael Spurlock.

New Orleans Saints: Late in the day the Saints made a start on the 22 moves they have to make by 3 p.m. Saturday to get to the regular-season limit of
53.

The team cut nine players Friday, leaving them with 13 more
moves to make. The cuts were linebacker Dhani Jones, offensive
linemen Ben Archibald, Brian Ferentz and Rob Petitti, wide receiver
Derrick Doyle, tight end Ronnie Ghent, and defensive linemen Rodney
Leisle, Scott Scharff and Brandon Villarreal.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.