Miami Dolphins wide receiver Yatil Green, who missed all of his rookie season with a knee injury, is out for 1998 after injuring the same knee for the third time.
Green ruptured the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee Thursday while running a pass route in practice."This is an unfortunate injury," said coach Jimmy Johnson, who drafted Green with the Dolphins' first-round pick last year.
Green, the 15th pick of the 1997 draft, has yet to play a down as a professional. He tore the anterior cruciate ligament in the knee at the start of last year's training camp, requiring surgery and eight months of rehabilitation.
PANTHERS: Quarterback Kerry Collins watched from the sidelines, relegated to a spot on the bench while recovering from a broken nose, as the Carolina Panthers ended training camp Thursday.
Collins, whose nose was broken last Friday in an exhibition victory over Buffalo, had it reset over the weekend and practiced Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, looking sharp all three days.
But coach Dom Capers said Thursday it wasn't worth the risk to rush Collins back into action in Saturday night's home exhibition against Minnesota. Capers told Collins to take the rest of the week off while backups Steve Beuerlein and Dameyune Craig handle the quarterback duties.
SAINTS: New Orleans Saints quarterback Heath Shuler, a first-round draft pick four years ago, waited for a doctor's decision Thursday that could end his season if not his disappointing career.
Shuler flew from the Saints training camp in La Crosse, Wis., to Birmingham, Ala., to have his injured left foot examined by orthopedist Dr. James Andrews.
Shuler was expected to have his foot placed in a cast for two weeks, but it was not clear if he would be able to salvage this season, let alone a career once expected to see him among the top NFL quar-ter-backs.
PATROITS: Middle linebacker Ted Johnson signed a five-year, $25 million contract extension with the New England Patriots today.
Johnson, who has led the Patriots in tackles the past two seasons, had one year left on his current contract. His base salary for the 1997 season is $403,000.
Johnson's agent, Jack Mills, said the contract included a guaranteed signing bonus of $8 million, $3 million of which Johnson will receive this year.
GIANTS: Even though he has been medically cleared to play against the New York Jets, New York Giants receiver Ike Hilliard still has some unexplained tingling sensations in his lower back.
Hilliard, who missed most of his rookie season after sustaining a serious neck injury, participated in a walk-through workout Wednesday as the Giants broke camp at the University at Albany and headed south to New Jersey.
Concern about the tingling caused Hilliard to leave practice Monday. He went to New York City on Tuesday and had an MRI exam. Team doctors said it showed no problem and gave the Giants' 1997 first-round draft pick the OK to play.
PACKERS: The Green Bay Packers and Dorsey Levens' agent aren't getting any closer to a deal, but their fuses are getting shorter.
Agent Hadley Engelhard this week accused the team of not negotiating. He took fresh offense Wednesday when Packers chief negotiator Mike Reinfeldt snubbed him in Atlanta, where Reinfeldt was attending NFL owners meetings.
Engelhard wanted to meet face-to-face to discuss ways the sides could end the Pro Bowl halfback's seven-week holdout. But Reinfeldt never paged or phoned him before flying back to Green Bay.
Reinfeldt said another face-to-face would have been fruitless.
STEELERS: Earl Holmes, who established himself as one of the NFL's most productive inside linebackers in his first season as a starter last year, has signed a three-year contract extension worth $7 million.
The deal includes a signing bonus of at least $1 million.
The Steelers rarely give such extensions to players with so little starting experience, but they are convinced the 6-foot-1, 250-pound Holmes is a star in waiting.
Holmes finished second on the team to Levon Kirkland with 96 tackles last season, his first after replacing Chad Brown at right inside linebacker.