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Sunday, November 18, 2007
Falcons bench Harrington despite successive wins

Associated Press

ATLANTA -- Byron Leftwich was starting at quarterback Sunday for the Falcons against the Buccaneers ahead of Joey Harrington, who had led Atlanta to two straight wins.

Coach Bobby Petrino did not announce a starter during the week, though he confirmed earlier statements that Leftwich, returning from an ankle injury, is the team's starter when healthy.

Tampa Bay running backs Earnest Graham and Michael Pittman were active after being listed as questionable this week due to ankle injuries. In a surprise, running back Michael Bennett was inactive even though he was not included on the team's last injury report.

Bennett, acquired on Oct. 16 in a trade with Kansas City, has played in three games with one start for Tampa Bay. He had five carries for 12 yards against Arizona in Tampa Bay's last game on Nov. 4.

Starting defensive end Greg Spires (calf) also was inactive for Tampa Bay, but receiver Michael Clayton (ankle) was expected to play.

Falcons receiver Joe Horn, who had been listed as doubtful with a hamstring injury, was inactive. Running back Jerious Norwood (ankle) and offensive tackle Todd Weiner (knee) were active.