The Atlanta Falcons placed Julio Jones on injured reserve a day after announcing the wide receiver will undergo season-ending foot surgery.
Wide receiver Brian Robiskie was signed to fill his roster spot.
In a Monday loss to the New York Jets, Jones fractured his right foot -- the same injury he sustained in 2011. Following a second opinion from foot specialist Robert Anderson in Charlotte, N.C., on Wednesday, Jones scheduled the operation for Oct. 14.
---Matt Cassel will start at quarterback for the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday against the Carolina Panthers rather than Christian Ponder, according to reports.
Ponder was cleared medically and expected to return to practice after being limited by a rib injury. On Monday, the Vikings added former Tampa Bay quarterback Josh Freeman to the mix, signing him a one-year deal.
---Detroit Lions wide receiver Calvin Johnson returned to practice Thursday, though he was extremely limited.
Wearing a knee brace, he went through warm-ups and position drills but did not run routes or take part in the offense's skeleton drills. Coach Jim Schwartz said Johnson's status won't be determined until Sunday.
"It's definitely improved," Johnson said. "I am feeling better and I will just leave it at that."
---Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson missed practice Thursday for personal reasons, the team announced.
He was spotted in Sioux Falls, S.D., during the day, according to the Argus Leader, but it is not clear why he was there. Little Coalinga Bar and Grill owner Jane Bammert told the newspaper that Peterson ate lunch at the restaurant. The Vikings expect him back Friday.
Peterson leads the NFL with five rushing touchdowns and is second with 421 rushing yards.
---San Diego Chargers running back Ryan Mathews has not been cleared to practice this week because of a concussion.
The San Diego Union-Tribune reported that Mathews was held out of practice Thursday. He sustained a concussion during Sunday night's games against the Oakland Raiders. However, the team did clear left tackle King Dunlap, who is also recovering from a concussion. He did practice Thursday.
The Chargers offensive line is still banged up. Left guard Chad Rinehart (foot) and right tackle D.J. Fluker did not practice. The team did not provide a reason for Fluker's absence.
---David Garrard re-signed with the New York Jets, who placed the quarterback on the exempt list while he gets back up to speed.
Garrard left the team in March because of chronic knee issues. The Jets have two weeks to add Garrard to the 53-man roster or release him.
---Safety Will Allen signed with the Pittsburgh Steelers two days after he was released by the Dallas Cowboys.
Allen, a 10-year veteran, worked out at the team facility on Tuesday.
---Tampa Bay Buccaneers guard Carl Nicks is battling another MRSA infection in his left foot, according to multiple reports.
Nicks was affected by a related infection during the summer. ox Sports first reported that an infectious disease specialist is working with Nicks to control the latest episode.
---Kansas City Chiefs outside linebacker Justin Houston returned to practice Thursday, but has not been cleared to play, according to The Kansas City Star.
Houston, who is second in the NFL with 8 1/2 sacks, sustained a head/neck injury last Sunday against the Tennessee Titans and was undergoing the NFL's concussion protocol. Coach Andy Reid said Wednesday that Houston's symptoms were gone. He practiced on a limited basis Thursday.
Running back Jamaal Charles also was a limited participant in practice, getting a few snaps in the offense because of blisters on his toes.
---Police in Dallas are investigating a claim that former NFL player Deion Sanders assaulted an employee of the charter school he co-founded, according to the Dallas Morning News.
Kevin Jefferson, an employee of Prime Prep Academy, said Sanders assaulted him during a faculty meeting at the school Wednesday. Sanders, meeting with other administrators and teachers, was disappointed that several student-athletes are not performing well academically. He and Jefferson got into an argument during the meeting.