Tim Tebow has lost his top target even before making his first start of the season.
The Denver Broncos traded Pro Bowl receiver Brandon Lloyd, the league’s leading receiver last year, to the St. Louis Rams on Monday for a conditional 2012 draft pick.
The move comes a week after Tebow supplanted Kyle Orton at quarterback and six days before Tebow’s first start – at Miami.
Lloyd said the trade was a mutual effort. He said he wanted to be a featured receiver in a more pass-oriented offense and thought his departure was best not just for his own career but for those of the receivers he left behind.
And Lloyd stressed his desire to leave Denver was unrelated to the Broncos’ quarterback switch last week.
“This had nothing to do with Tim,” Lloyd told 104.3 The Fan radio station in Denver. “I’m like everybody else, I find it hard not to like the kid and I have a lot of respect for him and a lot of respect for what he wants to accomplish in his career.”
In St. Louis, Lloyd will be reunited with former Broncos coach Josh McDaniels, now the coordinator of a Rams offense that has stumbled with so many of Sam Bradford’s receivers banged up.
Lloyd is in the final year of a deal that pays him about $1.4 million, a bargain for a player who led the league with 1,448 yards receiving last year, when he caught 77 passes, 11 of them for touchdowns.
The current stable of Rams receivers includes former Washington State standout Brandon Gibson.
Lloyd said he would play Sunday against Dallas and was excited for his reunion with McDaniels and eager to work with Bradford and Rams coach Steve Spagnuolo.
However, it might be a while before Bradford can work with Lloyd. Bradford has a high left ankle sprain and is in a walking boot, leaving his status for this week’s game in question.
The only consolation for St. Louis (0-5) is Bradford’s plant foot is his right one, which could help him get back on the field sooner.
Backup A.J. Feeley likely will take the majority of the snaps with the first team when the Rams return to practice on Wednesday.
Raiders lose Campbell
Jason Campbell was set to have surgery on his broken collarbone, Kyle Boller prepared to take over as the starting quarterback in Oakland and coach Hue Jackson was searching for another quarterback who can either supplant Boller or serve as a backup.
“If you’re a quarterback out there and you want to come play for the Raiders give us a call,” Jackson said.
The Raiders have lost Campbell for a significant period of time to the broken collarbone suffered when he landed on his shoulder at the end of a scramble late in the first half against Cleveland on Sunday.
Campbell hopes to recover in time to play down the stretch for the Raiders this season but Oakland needs help now with Boller and rookie Terrelle Pryor the only quarterbacks on the roster.
One quarterback the Raiders won’t get is former Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback David Garrard, who announced he will have back surgery this week.
In other injury news:
• Houston quarterback Matt Schaub underwent an MRI exam and Texans coach Gary Kubiak said his QB is “just beat up,” and will probably sit out Wednesday’s practice but “all indications are he’ll be OK.”
There was good news: Kubiak is hopeful wide receiver Andre Johnson will return after missing two games with a right hamstring injury.
• Bengals middle linebacker Rey Maualuga wore a cast on his left foot, an indication his ankle injury will sideline him for more than one game. The team said Maualuga sprained his left ankle during practice last Thursday and wasn’t active in Sunday’s win over the Colts.
• Cowboys running back Felix Jones has a high ankle sprain and left guard Bill Nagy has a broken ankle and is likely done for the season.
• Redskins left guard Kory Lichtensteiger is out for the year with torn ligaments in his right knee. Coach Mike Shanahan also indicated Chris Cooley’s season might be over after the tight end broke the left index finger in Sunday’s loss to Philadelphia. Cooley will have surgery Wednesday.
• Browns running back Peyton Hillis has an injured left hamstring, and coach Pat Shurmur does not know how long Hillis will be sidelined.
Payton has surgery
Sean Payton had surgery to repair a torn meniscus and fractured bone in his left leg on Monday morning and the Saints head coach is expected to remain in the hospital until today.
“The surgery went very well,” Saints orthopedic surgeon Dr. Deryk Jones said in a statement. Payton should be able to return to work by Wednesday but probably won’t be able to put weight on his left leg for about eight weeks, Jones said, adding that a full recovery could take three to six months.
Payton was hurt during New Orleans’ 26-20 loss at Tampa Bay on Sunday when Saints tight end Jimmy Graham was tackled into his coach along the sideline.
Payton has said he expects to call plays from the booth when the Saints host Indianapolis on Sunday night.
No fine for coaches
The NFL will not fine coaches Jim Harbaugh and Jim Schwartz for their postgame tiff Sunday.
In celebration of a victory at Detroit, 49ers coach Harbaugh gave Lions coach Schwartz a roundhouse handshake and a backslap that Schwartz took offense to. A scrum broke out, with coaches and players involved.
“Fortunately, there was no fighting and thus no basis for a fine,” a league spokesman said.
Bears safety wants out
Chicago Bears strong safety Chris Harris is requesting a trade after being benched for Sunday’s game against the Minnesota Vikings.
Harris’ agent, Albert Elias, said the Bears have granted him permission to seek a deal, adding that Harris “wanted to help somebody win.”