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Pitt RB Graham returns to practice

| Monday, Aug. 20, 2012, 6:02 p.m.
Pitt running back Ray Graham said his surgically repaired right knee felt better after he absorbed a hit to it during practice on Monday, Aug. 20, 2012. Chaz Palla | Tribune-Review

• Running back Ray Graham returned to practice Monday, was hit on his surgically repaired right knee and actually felt better afterward. “The helmet went straight into my right knee,” he said. “It kind of hurt when I first got up, but I guess that knocked some scar tissue out because when I got back up, I was able to move around a little more and it felt a little better. We didn't think it was supposed to be a good thing, but it was. I'm kind of glad it happened.” Graham still wears the green jersey that tells defensive players to be careful, so he is no lock to play Sept. 1 in the opener against Youngstown State. He said he will be disappointed if he doesn't play, but he also will understand. “I missed too many games (last year), but as far as being smart and knowing what is best for my leg, instead of going out there and being selfish about it, at the end of the day, I don't think it would be a disappointment.”

• Several injured players returned, including receiver Mike Shanahan, who remained limited with a hamstring, and safety Jason Hendricks.

• Quarterback Trey Anderson returned to team drills. Coach Paul Chryst said it's too early to tell if freshman Chad Voytik will be the backup. Tino Sunseri and Voytik threw interceptions to Jarred Holley and Lafayette Pitts.

• With linebackers Todd Thomas and Eric Williams nursing injuries, walk-on redshirt junior Emanuel Rackard practiced with the starters. Rackard missed the first week of camp for personal reasons.

• Pitt will hold its 2012 Fan Fest between 6 and 8 p.m. Thursday at Heinz Field. Fans can get players' autographs, meet Chryst and try to win $10,000 in a pass, punt and kick contest. Admission is free.

— Jerry DiPaola

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