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Talib, Hill OK to play during league probe of suspension issues

Tampa Bay Buccaneers cornerback Aqib Talib and Seattle Seahawks linebacker Leroy Hill will be allowed to play Sunday while the NFL continues its investigation into whether or not they violated the terms of their one-game suspensions.

Talib will face the Carolina Panthers after he watched the Bucs' 17-14 season-opening victory over the Cleveland Browns last Sunday from a private suite at Raymond James Stadium.

Hill is expected to play special teams against the Denver Broncos after attending the Seahawks' opener, a 31-6 victory against the San Francisco 49ers.

League rules prohibit suspended players from attending their team's games, even if they sit in the stands and avoid contact with teammates and coaches.

"We do not expect to conclude the review before next week," the league said of the Talib case in a statement Friday.

Talib was suspended by the NFL for violating its personal-conduct policy. The third-year pro also was fined one additional game check stemming from an altercation with a cab driver in August 2009.

Bucs coach Raheem Morris said Friday that he didn't know Talib watched the game in person. Morris also said the issue is "being handled by the league, it's being handled by us, and that's all I know," according to *The St. Petersburg Times*.

Hill said he didn't realize he couldn't attend the game as a fan and was at Qwest Field just to support his teammates.

"I went to the game, and I thought I was fine," Hill said. "I was up in the stands, I didn't go on to the field or go in the locker room, nothing like that. ... I didn't know it was illegal."

Carroll also seemed to be in the dark about the suspension stipulations.

"I didn't know what the rule was on that one, I didn't tell him. So what he did he did on his own," the coach said. "But we should have been able to let him know what was going on in that. We just didn't tell him."

Hill was suspended for his arrest on a marijuana-possession charge in Georgia. He began 12 months of probation for that in April. Additionally, Hill restructured the six-year deal that he signed with the Seahawks before the 2009 season. Instead of the $6 million in base pay he was originally scheduled to make this season, Hill is taking a nearly $4 million pay cut. He'll be a free agent at the end of this season.

Hill's suspension also cost him an additional game check.

"The rules say that a guy that's suspended isn't supposed to be at the stadium, and I didn't know that," Carroll said. "So we found out the hard way."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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