Bucs fall, Dolphins win to cap preseason


Published: Friday, September 1, 2006 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Friday, September 1, 2006 at 12:00 a.m.
HOUSTON - David Boston looks to have finally put a devastating knee injury behind him.
Coincidentally, the Tampa Bay receiver did it in the same city where it occurred more than two years ago.
The Houston Texans beat the Buccaneers 16-13 Thursday night in a game where almost all starters on both teams sat out. Boston saw his first extended action of the preseason and showed flashes of the Pro Bowl-caliber receiver he once was.
Boston, signed as a free agent in May, had six receptions for 77 yards, including an impressive 33-yard grab that helped set up a Buccaneers field goal in the second period.
He missed all of the 2004 season and all but five games last season in Miami recovering from the injury that occurred in training camp practice against the Texans. The Buccaneers are looking at him as their No. 3 receiver behind Joey Galloway and Michael Clayton.
The game was also a homecoming for Boston, who starred at Ohio State after a standout high school career in Humble, just north of Houston. Picked eighth in the 1999 draft, Boston had his best season in 2001 with 98 receptions for 1,598 yards and eight touchdowns for Arizona.
Before Thursday he had just one reception for 3 yards this preseason.
None of the passes came from starter Chris Simms. The former University of Texas quarterback played just the opening series. He was 1-of-2 for 6 yards and badly overthrew a receiver downfield on third-and-3.
The Texans (3-1) got out to an early lead after backup Sage Rosenfels found tight end Bennie Joppru for a 2-yard touchdown.
Texans coach Gary Kubiak said earlier this week that this game was "big" for Antowain Smith and the 34-year-old running back responded. On the first play of Houston's second series, Smith slipped through a hole, stiff-armed one defender and outran a couple more before being pulled down from behind after a 46-yard gain. The run was the longest in Texans preseason history.
  • DOLPHINS 29, RAMS 9: Marcus Vick found a seam between two St. Louis defenders, stumbled backward yet still caught Cleo Lemon's pass for his first touchdown of the preseason.
    Sometime in the next two days, Vick will find out if that effort helped him win a job.
    On a night when backups got a final shot to show their worth before 53-man rosters are set Saturday, Vick and Lemon helped host Miami beat the Rams in the preseason finale for both teams.
    Lemon, Miami's No. 3 quarterback, completed 21 of 28 passes for 271 yards and Olindo Mare made all five of his field-goal tries for the Dolphins.
    Deke Cooper had a 30-yard interception return for a touchdown midway through the fourth quarter for Miami (2-2).
    Jeff Wilkins made all three of his field-goal tries for the Rams (1-3), who were outgained 379-148 and didn't complete a pass after halftime. Dave Ragone was 0-for-7, with the interception for Cooper's score.
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