NFL news roundup: Carl Nicks has MRSA occurrence, Deion Sanders accused of assault

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Week 6 games commence Thursday night, but off-field news dominated the headlines.

Tampa Bay released quarterback Josh Freeman last week, but it wasn't the end of the organization's drama. It was revealed Thursday that offensive guard Carl Nicks still has the MRSA infection in his toe that caused him to miss the first two games of the season.

There is currently no update as to whether Nicks will miss any game time as a result.

Kicker Lawrence Tynes also contracted MRSA prior to the season and was placed on the non-football injury list. He filed a grievance against the Bucs for their handling of his illness.

Deion Sanders accused of assault

NFL Network analyst Deion Sanders has been accused of assaulting an employee at a Dallas area charter school.

It's alleged that Sanders became angry over the grades of some students, grabbing a school employee by the throat. The employee went to the hospital following the alleged attack, and involved Dallas police.

Sanders took to his personal Twitter account to refute the claims, but there is no further update at this time.

Matt Cassel will start for Vikings

Quarterback Christian Ponder has been cleared to play this week against the Carolina Panthers, but Matt Cassel will make his second start. The Minnesota Vikings announced Thursday that they would not change back to Ponder after a successful trip to London that saw the Vikings win their first game of the season against the Pittsburgh Steelers.

It remains to be seen if Ponder will ever get back the starting job. Cassel impressed in his first start, and the organization signed Josh Freeman last week after he was released by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Steelers sign Will Allen

The Pittsburgh Steelers are looking for more defensive help and welcomed back veteran safety Will Allen, who played for the Steelers from 2010-12.

Allen played special teams for Pittsburgh, and made the Pro Bowl as a gunner in 2010. He started seven games for the Steelers in 2012 in place of the injured Troy Polamalu.

David Garrard returns to Jets

The New York Jets could have a new quarterback as David Garrard was signed Thursday and placed on the team's exempt list. The Jets must wait two weeks before deciding on the quarterback's future, but if they make him part of the active roster, he'll likely become the team's backup.

Garrard was signed this offseason to compete for the quarterback position with rookie Geno Smith. Veteran Mark Sanchez was lost for the season when he recently elected to have shoulder surgery, which necessitated another quarterback.

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