Green leaning in Leinart's direction 

September, 25, 2006
09/25/06
9:16
PM ET
Though Dennis Green on Monday didn't announce his starting quarterback for Sunday's game in Atlanta, it's pretty obvious he's leaning toward making a switch to rookie Matt Leinart. Green doesn't make his final personnel decisions until Tuesday, but he's all but certain about moving away from Kurt Warner. Green likes the idea of starting a rookie on the road as opposed to home because it takes away a little bit of the pressure of not having to perform before the home crowd. Second, Green is looking for a spark although it's a gamble to try to get one out of a rookie quarterback. The coach's decision could be announced as early as Tuesday.

Thurman not in Bengals' plans: Bengals coach Marvin Lewis has verbally written off middle linebacker Odell Thurman for the season. Thurman, who is suspended four games for violations of the league's substance abuse policy, was picked up for a DUI following the Bengals victory over the Steelers. Lewis anticipates the league will suspend Thurman for the remainder of the season. Although Thurman's suspension is scheduled to end following Sunday's game against the Patriots, Lewis said he has no plans to talk to Thurman. "We have put this football team together without Odell Thurman," said Lewis, adding Thurman hasn't been in his plans since March. He called Thurman's latest off-field incident disappointing.

Bucs begin to audition QBs: The first wave of possible replacements for Chris Simms will arrive in Tampa on Tuesday. Tommy Maddox, the former Steelers quarterback, will visit the Bucs along with Kliff Kingsbury and maybe three others. It wouldn't be a surprise if the Bucs look at former Cowboys quarterback Drew Henson. Simms hasn't been ruled out for the season after having his spleen removed, but the Bucs need to make a move to get them through the next couple of weeks. ... One option for the Bucs at quarterback would be a trade for Marques Tuiasosopo, whom Jon Gruden drafted when he was Raiders coach. Tuiasosopo is the team's third-string quarterback. Before the trade deadline, the Raiders might be able to get some value for Tuiasosopo or wide receiver Jerry Porter as long as they don't try to get too greedy over draft choice compensation.

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