Sports

Vick cleared to play as soon as Sept. 27

Michael Vick could play sooner than some expected after NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said the disgraced quarterback could play later this month instead of waiting until October.

Vick, recently signed by the Philadelphia Eagles, will be able to play in the Sept. 27 game at home against Kansas City.

It would be his first regular-season game since he was sent to prison for his role in operating a dogfighting ring. The former Atlanta Falcons star was released from federal custody July 20 after serving 18 months of a 23-month sentence.

Originally, Goodell said he would consider Vick for reinstatement no later than the sixth week of the season – Oct. 18.

“I think he’s making real progress,” Goodell said. “I think he has a better feel for the challenges ahead of him. He understands he has very little margin for error, that people are watching him.”

Bucs fire coordinator

Former Boston College coach Jeff Jagodzinski was fired as offensive coordinator of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who have been unhappy with the progress of their passing game.

Quarterbacks coach Greg Olson was promoted to Jagodzinski’s role and will take over playcalling. Olson is a former quarterback and assistant coach at Central Washington.

Jagodzinski was hired in January, three weeks after being fired by Boston College for pursuing an NFL head coaching job.

Thursday’s highlights

Lions 17, at Bills 6: Detroit rookie Matthew Stafford, the No. 1 overall pick, had two drive-killing turnovers as the Lions (3-1) beat Buffalo (1-4).

At Jets 38, Eagles 27: Michael Vick, in his first significant action in three years, scored on a 2-yard run but was sacked four times, lost a fumble and threw an interception as Philadelphia (1-3) lost to New York (2-2).

At Patriots 38, Giants 27: Rookie Brian Hoyer helped his chances to become Tom Brady’s primary backup as New England (3-1) beat New York (1-3).

At Jaguars 24, Redskins 17: Star running back Maurice Jones-Drew might not be 100 percent when the season begins after bruising his lower right leg as Jacksonville (1-3) beat Washington (1-3).

Other Thursday games

Stefan Logan returned a punt for a touchdown as Pittsburgh (3-1) won at Carolina (0-4), 21-10. ... Cincinnati (2-2) beat Indianapolis (1-3), 38-7, at home. ... Robbie Gould kicked two of his four field goals in the fourth quarter as Chicago (3-1) beat Cleveland (2-2), 26-23, at home. Quarterbacks Brady Quinn and Derek Anderson did not play for the Browns. ... Vince Young ran for a touchdown and threw for another in his strongest performance this preseason as Tennessee (3-2) beat Green Bay (3-1) at home. ... Baltimore finished the preseason 4-0 with a 20-3 win at Atlanta. ... Miami had eight sacks and an interception to complete exhibition play 4-0 with a 10-7 win at New Orleans (3-1). ... Quincy Butler returned an interception 28 yards for the go-ahead score late in the third quarter as St. Louis (3-1) beat Kansas City (0-4) at home. ... Tom Brandstater completed 16 of 30 passes for 187 yards to lead Denver (1-3) to a 19-0 home win over Arizona (0-4).

Extra points

Goodell said he foresees an uncapped 2010 season as the league and the players’ union negotiate a new collective bargaining agreement. ... Ex-Cowboys linebacker Eugene Lockhart was arrested after he was indicted with eight others in an alleged mortgage fraud scheme that swindled more than $20 million from several home lenders. ... Receiver Koren Robinson, a first-round pick by the Seahawks in 2001, has a chance to rekindle his pro career in the United Football League after signing with the Florida Tuskers.

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