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NFL NOTEBOOK

Notes: Rams QB Sam Bradford out for season

Rams quarterback Sam Bradford sits on the field after he was injured in the first quarter Saturday night against the Browns.David Richard/Associated Press
David Richard/Associated Press
Rams quarterback Sam Bradford sits on the field after he was injured in the first quarter Saturday night against the Browns.

Rams quarterback Sam Bradford has a torn ACL in his left knee for the second straight year and is out for the season.

Coach Jeff Fisher confirmed the extent of the injury Sunday night.

‘‘We lost our quarterback,’’ Fisher said. ‘‘For Sam, it was devastating.’’

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In all, five starters were hurt against the Browns Saturday night as the Rams won, 33-14. Cornerback Trumaine Johnson was carted off with a knee injury and three others — guard Rodger Saffold and defensive tackles Kendall Langford and Michael Brockers — left with ankle injuries.

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Johnson will be out 4-6 weeks with an MCL tear, but Fisher said Saffold, Langford, and Brockers could play in the preseason finale Thursday at Miami.

Bradford was injured in the first quarter. He was hit on his left side by Browns defensive end Armonty Bryant as he threw a pass. Bradford hopped briefly on his right leg before dropping to the ground.

Bradford, the first overall pick of the 2010 draft, missed the last nine games last season after getting injured at Carolina. Veteran Shaun Hill is the backup and the Rams also have rookie Garrett Gilbert and Austin Davis on the roster.

‘‘We’re going to move forward, we’re not going to change anything,’’ Fisher said. ‘‘We have to move on and Shaun’s the guy.’’

Matthew Stafford

Prater suspended 4 games

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Matt Prater’s lawyer said the NFL initially threatened a yearlong suspension before agreeing to ban the Broncos kicker four games for violating the league’s substance-abuse policy.

Harvey Steinberg said Prater’s suspension was alcohol-related. He said Prater consumed a couple of beers while on vacation in between the end of the team’s offseason workout program in June and the start of training camp in late July. Prater has been in the league’s substance-abuse program since he was charged with DUI on Aug. 12, 2011.

An NFL spokesman declined to confirm the suspension. Prater led the league last year by making 25 of 26 field goals, including a record-setting 64-yarder in December against Tennessee. He also led the NFL with 81 kickoff touchbacks and scored 150 of Denver’s record 606 points.

Prater’s backup is Mitch Ewald, a rookie from Indiana, although the Broncos might look to bring in a veteran kicker while Prater serves his suspension, which covers games against Indianapolis, Kansas City, Seattle, and Arizona.

Broncos coach John Fox confirmed receiver Wes Welker suffered a concussion in Saturday night’s game against the Texans and did not offer a timetable on his return.

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It marked the third time in 10 months the 33-year-old ex-Patriots star has been diagnosed with a concussion, this one occurring in the second quarter on a hit by Houston’s D.J. Swearinger. Swearinger, who drew an unnecessary roughness penalty on the play, said, “I led with my shoulder; that’s the only thing I can do. He’s a short guy. I led with my shoulder. The results are the results and that’s all I can do on that play.”

Newton has fractured rib

Panthers quarterback Cam Newton will miss the team’s final preseason game after an MRI revealed a hairline fracture in his ribs. Newton was hurt after scrambling from the pocket during Carolina’s loss to the Patriots Friday night.

Panthers coach Ron Rivera said Newton will be evaluated at the end of the week, but he expects the two-time Pro Bowl quarterback will be ready for Carolina’s regular-season opener against Tampa Bay on Sept. 7. Newton has never missed a regular-season start in his three seasons with the Panthers.

Also, Panthers linebacker Luke Kuechly wore a small cast on his right hand after suffering a sprained thumb against the Patriots, but the ex-Boston College star and 2013 NFL Defensive Player of the Year did go through drills Sunday.

Rettig cut by Packers

Former BC quarterback Chase Rettig was among seven players cut by the Packers, while coach Mike McCarthy confirmed after practice that in addition to the season-ending injury to nose tackle B.J. Raji (torn right biceps) suffered in Friday’s game against the Raiders, center JC Tretter sustained a significant knee injury in the same game. Tretter is expected to be sidelined several weeks.

‘‘B.J. Raji, he was in the best shape and having the best camp of his career,’’ McCarthy said of the former BC star, who is expected to undergo surgery this week.

Patterson returns to Jets

Dimitri Patterson’s mysterious absence is over. The veteran cornerback rejoined the Jets on Sunday night after not showing up for the team’s game against the Giants Friday night and having no communication with anyone in the organization since.

Agent Drew Rosenhaus confirmed in an e-mail to the AP that Patterson planned to return to the Jets’ training facility in Florham Park, N.J. It was still unclear why Patterson left the team for about 48 hours, a situation that general manager John Idzik called ‘‘highly unusual.’’

Patterson, who signed a one-year $3 million deal in April, was expected to start for the Jets.

Also, the Jets reduced their roster to 75 by releasing six players, including former Patriots cornerback Ras-I Dowling, who dealt with foot and groin injuries during training camp.

Bills dump Branch

The Bills released veteran defensive lineman Alan Branch one day after he was arrested for drunken driving. Branch was inactive for Saturday’s game against Tampa Bay . . . Falcons offensive lineman Mike Johnson will miss another season after being placed on injured reserve with a foot injury. Johnson missed 2013 after breaking his left leg and dislocating his left ankle in training camp. Also, the Falcons made 11 cuts, including defensive end Theo Agnew, a Windsor, Conn., native who began his college career at UMass before transferring to Georgia State . . . Despite a shaky performance by the first-team offense, the 49ers managed a 21-7 exhibition win over the Chargers in Santa Clara, Calif. Chargers defensive tackle Kwame Geathers left with a left knee injury in the first quarter, while center Nick Hardwick suffered a neck injury. San Francisco fullback Will Tukuafu sustained a concussion, and rookie center Marcus Martin was carted off in the fourth quarter with a left knee injury. There were tens of thousands of empty seats hours after an overnight 6.0-magnitude earthquake struck Northern California. The quake affected some public transportation options to the new $1.2 billion stadium . . . Browns coach Mike Pettine said Josh Gordon did not play Saturday because the team is preparing to be without the All-Pro wide receiver for at least part of the season.