Last updated: February 16. 2013 7:25PM - 104 Views

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Levi Brown placed on IR

TEMPE, Ariz. — The Arizona Cardinals have placed Levi Brown on injured reserve, meaning the big left tackle won't play this season.

Brown tore his right triceps in the preseason victory over Oakland a week ago and underwent surgery this week.

The Cardinals also released a dozen players, including cornerback Marshay Green. In addition, Arizona waived-injured running back Thomas Clayton (knee) and fullback Jared Crank (neck).

The moves get Arizona to the 75-man roster limit required of NFL teams by Monday.

No starting QB yet

TEMPE, Ariz. — Arizona Cardinals coach Ken Whisenhunt says he's not quite ready to name a starting quarterback but indicates a decision could come soon.

Speaking at his usual day-after news conference on Friday, Whisenhunt said he would think about it over the weekend and when he's asked about it again early next week, he should have more information.

John Skelton and Kevin Kolb have been competing for the job, and neither has been outstanding. Skelton started Thursday night's 32-27 loss at Tennessee and completed 4 of 10 passes for 41 yards and was intercepted once. Kolb saw more extensive action and was 17 of 22 for 156 yards, including his first TD pass of the preseason. But he was intercepted twice, with one of them returned for a touchdown.

Chris Gronkowski settles into fullback role

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — A tad bit taller and Chris Gronkowski might have been a tight end like his brothers.

Instead, he's the rare fullback lining up in a Peyton Manning backfield.

Typically, Manning doesn't operate out of a two-back system. But the Denver Broncos are adding all sorts of wrinkles to the offensive scheme this season, even pairing tailback Willis McGahee with Gronkowski on occasion.

It could be a gainful duo, especially in short-yardage situations.

And then there's always this: Gronkowski can catch the ball, too. He does come from a family of pass catchers led by his younger brother, Rob, who set an NFL single-season record for tight ends last year with 17 TD receptions for New England. His older brother, Dan, also is a tight end, for Cleveland.

Hillman's hamstring steadily improving

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — A certain Denver Broncos quarterback has taken quite a liking to rookie running back Ronnie Hillman.

So much so that Peyton Manning frequently hauls Hillman over to an adjacent field in the middle of practice, just to work on their timing.

Hillman is eager to get up to speed with Manning even if the tailback can't quite go full throttle right now.

The speedy third-round pick has been hobbled for a good portion of camp by a bothersome right hamstring. And what he's quickly discovering is that no matter how fast he is on the field, he can't rush back from this injury — no matter how badly he wants to.

The Broncos (No. 10 in the AP Pro32) have big plans for Hillman, too.

Leshoure expects to play

ALLEN PARK, Mich. — Mikel Leshoure knows that the Oakland Raiders are going to hit him hard Saturday night.

He can't wait.

Sixteen months after being drafted by the Detroit Lions and almost two years after his last game, Leshoure is expected to take the field for the first time as a pro in Oakland. He missed his entire rookie season with the Lions after tearing his left Achilles tendon during training camp.

With Jahvid Best (concussion) expected to miss the start of the regular season, the Lions need Leshoure to step up and take some pressure off Matthew Stafford, Calvin Johnson and Detroit's high-energy passing attack.

Leshoure missed the first two exhibition games with a hamstring problem, so the running game has consisted of Kevin Smith, Keiland Williams and Joique Bell.

-- The Associated Press

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