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Giants, Jets agree on stadium

The New York Giants and Jets agreed Thursday to build a stadium in the Meadowlands that would become the first NFL venue to be owned and operated by two teams.

The facility will be built near state-owned Giants Stadium, which is currently home to both teams and is among the league's oldest stadiums.

Specific details about the stadium plan are to be developed over the next several months, including its new name. The teams plan to put the naming rights up for bid.

Acting Gov. Richard J. Codey announced the deal during a press conference at the stadium, saying it would guarantee both teams remain in New Jersey for the next 99 years.

Codey, appearing with the owners of both teams, said the Jets would also relocate their practice facility to New Jersey. The Jets now practice at Hofstra University on Long Island.

The project would create "tens of thousands of new jobs," Codey said, adding he was also looking forward to revenue from income taxes from the Jets' payroll.

Jets president Jay Cross estimated the cost would be more than $800 million, and Giants chief operating officer John K. Mara figured the stadium would hold at least 80,000 spectators.

McNAIR RETURNS: At Nashville, Tennessee quarterback Steve McNair practiced Thursday, but did not take part in all drills as he recovers from a sore right foot.

McNair said he didn't even notice that his right foot had been stepped on in last week's 31-27 loss to St. Louis until halftime. But he said he felt good Thursday.

"I just wanted to rest it for a day. I came out there, did something today and felt pretty good. Tomorrow I'll do more, probably all the team (drills). I just wanted to rest. I didn't want to take a chance of going out and getting it even more sore," McNair said.

The Titans added defensive end Travis LaBoy to the injury report as questionable with a groin injury. Coach Jeff Fisher said LaBoy strained his groin during practice Wednesday.

But receiver Drew Bennett, who missed practice Wednesday, was back on the field Thursday with his sore foot.

Linebacker Peter Sirmon (right knee) and defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth (left knee) did not practice. Fisher said Haynesworth, who sprained his knee on Sept. 18 against Baltimore and missed last week's loss at St. Louis, has enough experience that he could play without practicing.

GIANTS CB PESSIMISTIC: New York Giants starting cornerback William Peterson, listed as doubtful for Sunday's game against the St. Louis Rams with a back injury, said Thursday the injury could force him to miss the game and possibly the rest of the season.

Peterson said the team's medical staff diagnosed a non-displaced fracture of his lower back after he had an MRI exam last week. He experienced pain while playing against the San Diego Chargers on Sunday night, and said further tests this week have showed the injury to be more serious, though he did not offer specifics.

"I was told it was something I could play with that would just cause me pain, but it wouldn't cause any other damage to the back," he said. "But after the game, on Monday I was told it was more serious in nature. Right now it doesn't look good for this weekend and it doesn't look good for this season."

Peterson said he would see a specialist to learn more about the injury.

The fifth-year cornerback, a starter since 2002, missed the Giants' final two preseason games and the season opener against Arizona with a sprained knee ligament suffered against Carolina on Aug. 20. He said he felt soreness in his back in his first game back, against New Orleans on Sept. 19.

The back injury is the second in two years for Peterson, who missed 12 games in 2003 with a stress fracture in his lower back. He said his current injury is similar, but did not go into detail.

FAULK INJURY ADDS TO WOES: As if losing Matt Light's blocking and Rodney Harrison's toughness weren't enough, the New England Patriots also have to deal with the loss of pass-catching back Kevin Faulk.

Faulk, one of quarterback Tom Brady's most reliable receivers, injured his foot in Sunday's win at Pittsburgh. It was unclear Thursday how many games he would miss.

Unlike Harrison's left knee and Light's right leg, the injury didn't receive much attention at first, but losing him for an extended period will damage the Patriots' quest to win a third straight Super Bowl.

Harrison, the team's strong safety, tore ligaments in his knee and is out for the year. Light, the left tackle, hurt his right leg and is out indefinitely.

Faulk is the 10th-leading receiver in franchise history with 217 receptions for 1,935 yards and eight touchdowns. This season, he's tied for third on the team with 13 catches.

Despite fumbling twice in Pittsburgh, Faulk was a force in the passing game with seven catches for 71 yards. He had a 23-yard gain on a screen pass and appeared to injure himself on a 17-yard gain on the first play of the Patriots' winning drive in the final minutes.

Brady praised Faulk for making that last reception. "Talk about making a catch under pressure," Brady said. "Not a good throw and he catches it and snaps it up and made it look easy."

As Faulk's replacement, the Patriots signed former Steelers and Raiders running back Amos Zereoue on Wednesday and could make fullback Patrick Pass a bigger part of the passing game.

Zereoue, a seventh-year pro, has averaged 40 catches a year over the last three seasons. He has three career 100-yard receiving games. At 5-foot-8, 205 pounds, he is almost identical in build to Faulk (5-8, 202).

"I know Kevin really well," Zereoue said. "It's unfortunate what happened to him. I think he'll bounce right back. He's a real talented back.

"I told him when I saw him, 'Listen, if the opportunity comes, I'm going to fill in real nicely. I'll take care of it until you get back.' "

RAMS SIGN PICK: Three weeks into the season and more than five months after the draft, Richie Incognito became the last player picked to sign when he agreed Thursday to a four-year contract with the St. Louis Rams.

The offensive guard was the second of the Rams' two third-round picks, and the 81st overall pick. Incognito had a kneecap injury at the time of the draft, and coach Mike Martz said then he would have been a first-rounder otherwise.

Incognito, an All-Big 12 selection at Nebraska as a sophomore in 2003, missed last season after getting kicked out of Oregon. He has been rehabbing from the knee injury during on-and-off negotiations.