The Ravens-Steelers game on Monday night gained a little extra spice recently when Pittsburgh rookie Rashard Mendenhall's text to Baltimore rookie Ray Rice was passed on to the Ravens defense. From ESPN.com's James Walker:

"[Mendenhall] recently sent a text message to Rice saying he's going to have a big game against the NFL's top-ranked defense. Obviously, Rice, who often praises the Ravens' defense as 'scary,' passed the text message along to his teammates, who are not taking Mendenhall's proclamation lightly. 'He said later that he was just joking, but it's too late,' Ravens linebacker Bart Scott said. 'Thanks for the bulletin-board material, rookie.' "

The complete ESPN.com story is here.

Matt Millen, by virtue of his firing as Lions president this week, will no longer be on the league's Competition Committee, reports NFL.com's Adam Schefter, via ProFootballTalk.com:

"It doesn't sound as if the committee is in any rush to appoint a replacement. Typically the committee has eight members and, without Millen, it is at seven. The committee discusses ongoing matters in October, but it doesn't do the majority of its work until February and March. By then, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell is expected to find a suitable replacement for Millen. The newest member could be named sometime around this postseason."

The complete NFL.com story is here.

What to look for on SI.com today ...

Dr. Z has been unimpressed with the overall play of QBs this year. He looks back 20 years to see if it was any better back then.

Adam Duerson breaks down the Game of the Week, which involves an early-season battle for division supremacy

Michael Lombardi, a former Broncos executive, lets us in on what is making that team successful

Plus all the news around the league as teams get ready for Week 4...

Banged up Eagles starters Donovan McNabb and Brian Westbrook missed another day of practice Thursday, reports ProFootballTalk.com.

"McNabb has a chest injury, and Westbrook has a sprained ankle. Both have not practiced since suffering the injuries against the Steelers on Sunday."

The complete PFT.com story is here.

Rumors of Lane Kiffin's impending firing are affecting the Raiders coach's personal life as well, reports the Los Angeles Times:

"[My wife's] got Realtors coming by the house asking if we're putting the house up,' Kiffin said. 'So it's tough, especially on a pregnant woman that doesn't know where she's going to be when her child's delivered. If there was any regret, that's what it would be.' "

The complete Times story is here.

Baltimore running back Willis McGahee suffered an eye laceration in Sunday's win over Cleveland and the Ravens believe the Browns intentional injured the running back, according the Baltimore Sun, via ProFootballTalk.com.

"McGahee's eye remains swollen, which limited the Ravens running back in practice yesterday and raised questions about his availability for Monday night's game in Pittsburgh. ... Believing McGahee was hurt intentionally by the Cleveland Browns, the Ravens have submitted the tape to the NFL for review. The league could levy fines if there is evidence that the Browns purposely hurt McGahee."

The complete Sun story is here.

What to look for on SI.com today ...

Peter King and Dr. Z share their picks for the weekend, King picking every game straight up and Z selecting the best games to bet against the spread.

• Is there a clear-cut, can't-miss game this weekend? Check out Dominic Bonvissuto's Game Rankings to find out.

• How are the Titans 3-0? Don Banks finds out from the man behind their swarming defense.

Plus all the news around the league as teams get ready for Week 4...

Jets quarterback Brett Favre was limping noticeably at practice on Wednesday, reports Rich Cimini of the New York Daily News. Favre injured his ankle Monday night against the Chargers He is still expected to play Sunday against the Cardinals, but it appears he will not be 100 percent.

The complete Jets practice report is here.

The infant son of Bucs kicker Matt Bryant passed away Wednesday morning.

Tampa coach Jon] Gruden did not know any details of the tragedy.

The complete story is here.

Eagles running back Brian Westbrook, day-to-day with an ankle strain, said Wednesday he's "optimistic" he will be able to play Sunday, according to the Wilmington (Del.) News Journal.

"Westbrook ... [did not] practice today, but he said he's walking better. 'I'm doing basically everything I can to make sure I'm out there on Sunday night,' he said."

The complete News Journal story is here.

Five days after signing him, the New Orleans Saints have released quarterback Joey Harrington, reports the New Orleans Times-Picayune.

The Saints filled the spot with tight end Sean Ryan who will fill in for the injured Jeremy Shockey.

The complete Times-Picayune story is here.

The Lions, off to an 0-3 start, have removed Matt Millen as team president, reports FoxSports.com's Jay Glazer.

"Millen was informed of the move last night during a late-night high-level meeting. This morning several people within the building confirmed that he had large packing boxes in his office and he made his way around to different employees telling them of the move. It is unclear if Millen was fired or removed himself from the equation but the news comes just days after Bill Ford Jr. publicly stated he would have fired the GM if it was his decision but he lacked the authority to do so."

The complete FoxSports.com story is here.

What to look for on SI.com today ...

• Got your arguments ready? Dr. Z tees up his latest Power Rankings.

• Ex-NFL player Ross Tucker shares his takes on Rodney Harrison's dirty-play comments, as well as the Charles Tillman incident.

Plus all the news from around the league, as teams return to the practice field ...

According to the Chicago Bears' Web site, the team has officially cut ties with WR Mark Bradley, a 2005 first-rounder with only 38 catches and four TDs in three-plus seasons. Bradley, who had been relegated to the No. 6 receiver role (behind Rashied Davis, Brandon Lloyd, Devin Hester, Marty Booker and rookie Earl Bennett), is now free to sign with another club.

SI.com's Peter King writes in with an update on the Patriots quarterback situation, which he wrote about this morning. The Pats, who are on bye this week and may be looking to bring in another QB to push Matt Cassel, did not work out any QBs today.

You can read King's breakdown of the Pats' options here.

The Raiders saga continues. After video of a Raiders PR member confronting a newspaper writer made the rounds on the internet last night, coach Lane Kiffin called the reporter, San Jose Mercury-News' Tim Kawakami, to apologize on behalf of the Raiders.

"I told Kiffin that he certainly didn't do anything he needed to apologize for during yesterday's hub-bub, but that I appreciated today's gesture. I told Kiffin one thing I appreciated yesterday was that, when Herrera tried to cut off my question, Kiffin didn't flinch and kept listening to my question and responded to it. 'We were trying to have a professional news conference, I think,' Kiffin said. "

The complete Mercury-News story is here.

The St. Louis Rams are benching Marc Bulger in favor of Trent Green, reports ESPN.com's John Clayton.

"[Head coach Scott] Linehan made the announcement with a one-sentence statement Tuesday. He won't comment until his normal press conference Tuesday afternoon."

The complete ESPN.com is here.

Coming up on SI.com for Tuesday ...

Senior writer Peter King provides another in-season staple, the MMQB Tuesday edition, following an intriguing Week 3.

Bucky Brooks uses his scouting eye to deliver some Week 3 awards, while giving special attention Atlanta's John Abraham, the NFL's sack leader.

Tony Pauline reveals his Risers/Sliders for the '09 NFL draft, after surveying another week of college football. Dom Bonvissuto looks back at his Week 3 NFL game rankings. And Don Banks is primed to provide more unique takes on a truly unpredictable and memorable season.

According to ProFootballTalk.com and ESPN reports, New Orleans coach Sean Payton has informally complained to the NFL regarding an apparent blown call made late in the Broncos-Saints game on Sunday, with Denver winning, 34-32. According to the reports, Broncos LB Jamie Winborn was never called for offsides during the Saints' potential game-winning drive -- an infraction that would have given New Orleans the ball for a longer period.

If the refs missed the Winborn call, it would mean the Broncos have benefited from questionable officiating to pull out consecutive victories at home.

Speaking of the Raiders, ProFootballTalk.com has obtained a video -- presumably from the last few days -- capturing a heated exchange between Raiders exec John Herrera and San Jose Mercury-News writer Tim Kawakami.

Via ProFootballTalk.com, NFL Network's Adam Schefter is reporting Lane Kiffin is safe as the Raiders coach ... for today.

"Kiffin will not be fired today. Schefter quotes a Raiders source saying, 'There's nothing happening today. It ain't happening.' But Schefter says the same source wouldn't go so far as to say that Kiffin will be coaching the Raiders on Sunday."

The complete PFT.com story is here.

Saints tight end Jeremy Shockey will have sports hernia surgery this week and is expected to miss 3-to-6 weeks, according to the New Orleans Times-Picayune, via ProFootballTalk.com.

"The injury had been bothering Shockey for weeks but it was aggravated in Sunday's loss to the Denver Broncos."

The complete Times-Picayune story is here.

Packers cornerback Al Harris may have suffered a season-ending injury in Sunday's loss to the Cowboys, according to the National Football Post's Michael Lombardi, who's also a SI.com contributing writer.

"Harris may have a ruptured spleen, which would sideline him for the rest of the season, pending a second opinion."

The complete National Football Post story is here.

The 0-3 Browns are planning on increasing Brady Quinn's reps in practice, according to ESPN.com's James Walker.

"Although [coach Romeo] Crennel didn't say Monday that he's handing the reins over to Quinn, the coaching staff plans to give Quinn more practice reps with the first team this week. It's the biggest indictment of [starter Derek] Anderson to date following Sunday's 28-10 loss to the Baltimore Ravens in which Anderson had one of the worst performances of his career. He completed just 14-of-37 passes for 125 yards, one touchdown and three interceptions. 'We will definitely try to get the other guy [Quinn] ready and ready to go,' Crennel said. 'We'll see how it progresses from there. [It means] probably a few more reps in practice right now.' "

The complete ESPN.com story is here.

Redskins defensive end Jason Taylor is expected to miss Sunday's game against the Cowboys, according to ESPN's Chris Mortensen, via ProFootballTalk.com. It would putt an end to his 132 consecutive games started streak.

"Mortensen reported on ESPN today that Taylor will miss the Redskins' game at Dallas Sunday because he had a medical procedure this morning to alleviate pain and swelling in his shin. Taylor's shin was kicked in yesterday's game against the Arizona Cardinals, and he woke up in excruciating pain."

The complete PFT.com story is here.

Jay Glazer of FoxSports.com is reporting Lane Kiffin's tenure as head coach of the Raiders will end today.

"Kiffin has been informed by Raiders officials that Al Davis intends to remove him as the team's head coach as early as Monday, FOXSports.com has learned. Davis blamed Kiffin for the Raiders' 24-23 loss on Sunday to the Bills, and told his underlings that he will make the move on Monday."

The complete FoxSports.com story is here.

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