NFL News and Notes Week 2

NFL News and Notes Week 2

Bills TE Everett has surgery after being knocked cold
ASSOCIATED PRESS

ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. -- Kevin Everett had surgery Sunday evening, hours after the Buffalo Bills reserve tight end showed no signs of movement after sustaining a severe neck injury in the team's season opener against Denver.

Bills spokesman Scott Berchtold said he was informed by the team's medical staff the player went into surgery at a Buffalo hospital at about 8 p.m. Berchtold said he had no further information, and didn't know whether Everett had shown any signs of movement since he was driven off the field in an ambulance.

General manager Marv Levy said doctors informed the team that it's too early to determine the severity of the injury and that they will know more after monitoring the player overnight.

''Certainly, we feel the injury is serious, but I don't want to speculate, and that's what the doctors told us,'' Levy told The Associated Press. ''They told us to wait to hear from them before making any speculative announcement.''

Coach Dick Jauron said immediately following the game that the player sustained a cervical spine injury, but wouldn't discuss the severity of the injury.

Everett's agent, Brian Overstreet, was not immediately available for comment.

Everett fell to the ground and never moved after a helmet-to-helmet hit when he tackled Denver's Domenik Hixon during a kickoff to open the second half. Everett was placed on a backboard with his head and body immobilized, and carefully loaded into an ambulance at the Broncos 30.

The game was delayed for about 15 minutes, and the Bills gathered at the sideline while doctors attended to the player.

Everett's injury cast a pall over the Bills following a season-opening 15-14 loss, with several players expressing concern about their teammate.

''It was real hard,'' cornerback Terrence McGee said. ''I watched the whole thing and he never moved. ... It's real sad to see him go off on a stretcher, but we hope he's OK.''

''It's real sad,'' added receiver Roscoe Parrish, who played with Everett at the University of Miami. ''When something like that happens to a close friend of yours, and you know how much he loves football, it bothers you.''

Denver players expressed concern, including kicker Jason Elam, who kicked the winning field goal as time ran out.

Before taking questions after the game, Elam said: ''What we heard is not good, so for our whole team, our prayers go out to him.''

Buffalo's third-round draft pick in 2005, Everett missed his entire rookie season with a knee injury, and spent most of his second season limited to special teams duty.

The Bills liked Everett's 6-foot-4 frame, and were counting on him to play a role in their passing attack this season.

Buffalo also lost three defensive starters to injury.

Free safety Ko Simpson is out indefinitely after breaking his left ankle. Cornerback Jason Webster is out indefinitely after breaking his forearm in the fourth quarter. Linebacker Coy Wire, filling in for injured starter Keith Ellison, sprained his knee in the first quarter.

Simpson was hurt when he had his feet cut out from beneath him by teammate Jason Webster as the two were attempting to tackle Broncos receiver Javon Walker. Simpson fell immediately to the ground and was unable to put any weight on his left foot.

Buffalo's fourth-round pick in the 2006 draft, Simpson started 15 games last season, and was a member of the NFL's youngest safety tandem, playing alongside rookie first-round pick Donte Whitner.

Third-year player Jim Leonhard took over for Simpson.

Wire was examined on the sideline, but made his way to the locker room on his own. Reserve Mario Haggan replaced Wire.

It's unclear when Webster was hurt. The Bills signed the seven-year NFL veteran last spring to take over as starter after losing Nate Clements to San Francisco in free agency.

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Re: NFL News and Notes Week 2

Houston safety tears knee tendon
By ASSOCIATED PRESS

HOUSTON -- Houston Texans strong safety Jason Simmons left the field on a motorized cart after tearing his left patellar tendon in Sunday's opener against Kansas City.

Simmons hurt his knee as he tried to tackle Chiefs running back Larry Johnson with 6:37 left in the first half. Simmons lay still for a moment and the cart sped onto the field almost immediately.

The 5-foot-9, 204-pound Simmons took over the starting safety spot after Glenn Earl broke his foot in Houston's first exhibition game. Simmons appeared in 16 games for Houston in 2006, but started only two. He had one interception and 38 tackles.

The 31-year-old Simmons is starting his 10th NFL season and his sixth with the Texans.

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NFL Today, Week 1
ASSOCIATED PRESS

SCOREBOARD

Monday, Sep. 10

Baltimore at Cincinnati, 7 p.m. EDT

Willis McGahee makes his debut with the Ravens, who let Jamal Lewis leave as a free agent after going 13-3 last season. Chad Johnson, Carson Palmer and Bengals are trying to return to the playoffs.

Arizona at San Francisco, 10:15 p.m. EDT

A matchup of high-profile QBs Alex Smith (the first overall pick in 2004) and former USC star Matt Leinart (taken 10th the following year) who have become off-field buddies.


STARS

Passing

-Ben Roethlisberger, Steelers, threw a career-high four TD passes in Pittsburgh's 34-7 win at Cleveland.

-Jake Delhomme, Panthers, finished 18-for-27 for 201 yards and three TDs in Carolina's 27-13 win over St. Louis.

-Jay Cutler, Broncos, completed 23 of 39 passes for a career-high 304 yards in Denver's 15-14 win at Buffalo.

- Jon Kitna, Lions, 27-for-36 for 289 yards, three touchdowns and two interceptions in Detroit's 36-21 win over Oakland.

- Matt Schaub, Texans, went 16-of-22 for 225 yards and a TD in Houston's 20-3 win over Kansas City.
Rushing

-Chris Brown, Titans, ran for 175 yards in Tennessee's 13-10 win over Jacksonville.

-Shaun Alexander, Seahawks, playing pain-free for the first time since he broke his foot 12 months ago, ran for 105 yards and a TD in Seattle's 20-6 victory over Tampa

-Clinton Portis, Redskins, had 17 carries for 98 yards and a TD in Washington's 16-13 overtime defeat of Miami.

-Rookie Adrian Peterson, Vikings, rushed for 103 yards on 19 carries and turned a catch out of the backfield into a 60-yard TD in Minnesota's 24-3 win over Atlanta.

-Willie Parker, Steelers, rushed for 109 yards in Pittsburgh's 34-7 win over Cleveland.

-Travis Henry, Broncos, rushed for 139 yards in Denver's 15-14 win over Buffalo.
Receiving

-Randy Moss, Patriots, who caught nine passes for 183 yards and a TD in his New England debut, a 38-14 win over the New York Jets.

-Antwaan Randle El, Redskins, had five catches for 162 yards in Washington's 16-13 overtime win over Miami.

-Andre Johnson, Texans, had seven catches for 142 yards and a TD in Houston's 20-3 win over Kansas City.

-Drew Carter and Steve Smith, Panthers. Carter had TD catches of 10 and 9 yards and Smith had seven catches for 118 yards and a TD in Carolina's 27-13 win over St. Louis.

- Ronald Curry, Raiders, had 10 catches for 133 yards and a 4-yard score in Oakland's 36-21 loss to Detroit.
Special Teams

- Ellis Hobbs, Patriots, set a record with a 108-yard kickoff return in New England's 38-14 win over the New York Jets.

- Jason Elam, Broncos, kicked his third field goal of the day, a 42-yarder as time expired to give Denver a 15-14 win at Buffalo.

- Mason Crosby, Packers, made a 42-yard field goal with 2 seconds left to give Green Bay a 16-13 victory over Philadelphia.

- Shaun Suisham, Redskins, kicked a 39-yard field goal 5:36 into overtime for a 16-13 win over Miami.

-Roscoe Parrish, Bills, had a 74-yard punt return in Buffalo's 15-14 loss to Denver.

Defense

-Dewayne White, Lions, intercepted Raiders QB Josh McCown, and later stripped him and recovered a fumble to set up a 14-yard score by Tatum Bell that iced Detroit's 36-21 win in Oakland.

-Mario Williams, Texans, returned a fumble for a touchdown and had two sacks to help Houston to a 20-3 win over Kansas City.

-E.J. Henderson and Kevin Williams, Vikings. Henderson had two of Minnesota's six sacks of Atlanta QB Joey Harrington and Williams returned an interception 54 yards for in the Vikings' 24-3 win.


MILESTONES

Pittsburgh coach Mike Tomlin started off with the kind of bruising victory that typified Bill Cowher's tenure in the Steel City. Cowher went 21-5 against the Browns, but Tomlin did something even his iron-jawed predecessor couldn't: beat Cleveland in his first meeting as the Steelers cruised to a 34-7 win. ... Brett Favre tied John Elway's record for career victories by a starting quarterback with 148 in Green Bay's 16-13 win over Philadelphia. ... New England's Ellis Hobbs tied an NFL record by taking the second-half kickoff 108 yards for a touchdown Sunday against the New York Jets. His return is one of the three longest plays in NFL history, along with Devin Hester's 108-yard runback of a missed field goal for Chicago last year and Nathan Vasher's 108-yard return of a miss the year before. ... Mason Crosby kicked a field goal with 2 seconds left to give Green Bay a 16-13 win over Philadelphia. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Crosby is the first rookie kicker to win a game with a field goal on opening day since Matt Bahr did it for Pittsburgh on Sept. 3, 1979 in overtime. ... Norv Turner came away a winner in his debut as Chargers head coach, beating Chicago 14-3 to raise his overall head coaching record with three teams to 59-82-1.


STREAKS

Tom Brady continued his mastery of the Jets, improving to 7-0 against them at Giants Stadium, and 11-2 overall in starts against New York in New England's 38-14 win over the Jets. ... Browns coach Romeo Crennel has lost all five of his games against Pittsburgh after the Browns' 34-7 loss. Cleveland had its eighth straight loss and 14th in 15 to the Steelers. ... Ronald Curry's 4-yard TD catch with 3:49 left in the third quarter of Oakland's 36-21 loss to Detroit ended a stretch of 232 minutes, 44 seconds without a touchdown for the Raiders, dating to last season.


STATS

LaDainian Tomlinson of San Diego threw a 17-yard TD pass and ran for another score in the Chargers' 14-3 win over Chicago. It was Tomlinson's seventh career TD pass. ... The 183 yards receiving by Randy Moss in the Patriots' 38-14 win over the New York Jets were third most in his career. He had 190 as a rookie in 1998 for Minnesota in Green Bay, and 204 a year later in Chicago. ... Sebastian Janikowski missed three long field goals in the first half of Oakland's 36-21 loss to Detroit, just the third time in his career he missed three in a game. ... Raiders coach Lane Kiffin, 32, became the youngest man to coach a game in the NFL since Harland Svare took over the Los Angeles Rams as a 31-year old in 1962.


SWINGS

A matchup between Detroit and Oakland - the NFL's two worst teams last season - turned entertaining in the second half. Former Lions backup quarterback Josh McCown led the Raiders on three touchdown drives to turn a 17-0 deficit into a 21-20 Oakland lead with 7:43 to go. But Detroit's Jon Kitna threw a 32-yard TD pass to Shaun McDonald to retake the lead on the way to a 36-21 win. ... After missing most of training camp with a hamstring injury, Randy Moss caught nine passes for 183 yards, including a 51-yard TD, in the Patriots' 38-14 win over the New York Jets. ... Tennessee rushed for 282 yards in a 13-10 win over Jacksonville, setting franchise records for both teams. Jacksonville's previous high allowed was 246 yards against Seattle in 2005, and the Jaguars were fourth in the NFL, yielding just 1,460 yards on the ground last season.


STINGY AND SLOPPY

Chicago had four turnovers, two of which led to the game's only TDs, in the Bears' 14-3 loss to San Diego. ... Miami had back-to-back false starts, several drops by receivers, untimely penalties, strange time management on a scoring drive at the end of the first half, and a punt by rookie Brandon Fields that barely got off the ground yet somehow managed to bounce 30 yards downfield in its 16-13 overtime loss to Washington that spoiled Cam Cameron's first game as an NFL head coach. ... Cleveland imploded shortly after kickoff of the Browns' 34-7 loss to Pittsburgh. On the Browns' first drive, newly signed punter Paul Ernster let the snap slip through his hands before scrambling to get off a 15-yarder. On the play, Cleveland was whistled for four infractions: two holds, an illegal formation and having a man downfield. ... Rams RB Steven Jackson lost two fumbles on consecutive carries in the third quarter, equaling his season total from last year. ... Kansas City QB Damon Huard threw two interceptions in the Chiefs' 20-3 loss to Houston.


SACKS

Pittsburgh sacked Browns QBs Charlie Frye and Derek Anderson six times in a 34-7 win ... Minnesota overwhelmed Atlanta QB Joey Harrington with six sacks and two interception returns for touchdowns. ... Last year's first overall draft pick, Mario Williams, had two sacks for Houston in a 20-3 win over Kansas City. ... After finishing last season without a sack, Minnesota DE Kenechi Udeze got one on the game's final play and was given the game ball for his effort.


SIDELINED

Buffalo's Kevin Everett had surgery hours after the Buffalo Bills tight end showed no signs of movement after sustaining a severe neck injury in the team's opener against Denver. Bills spokesman Scott Berchtold said he was informed by the team's medical staff that Everett went into surgery at a Buffalo hospital at about 8 p.m. Berchtold said he had no further information, and didn't know whether Everett had shown any signs of movement since he was driven off the field in an ambulance. ... Tampa Bay QB Jeff Garcia and RB Carnell Williams left Sunday's 20-6 loss to Seattle in the third quarter after hits. Garcia later returned. ... Washington RT Jon Jansen broke his right ankle early in the second quarter of the Redskins' 16-13 overtime win over Miami. ... St. Louis OT Orlando Pace hurt his right shoulder in a 27-13 opening loss to Carolina. He will have an MRI exam Monday.


SPECIAL TASKER

Buffalo honored former receiver and special teams star Steve Tasker as the 24th member of the Bills' Wall of Fame on Sunday. Tasker was inducted in a halftime ceremony at Ralph Wilson Stadium during the Bills' 15-14 loss to Denver.


SPEAKING

''I didn't even think about kneeling that ball. We're taking them all out. They pay me to make plays. They don't pay me to take knees. This isn't college. This isn't high school. We're in the NFL. They pay me to return the ball and guys in front of me to block. Why not give them something to celebrate and enjoy?'' - New England's Ellis Hobbs after he set an NFL record with a 108-yard kickoff return in the Patriots' 38-14 win over the New York Jets.

''This was a championship-type game. This was a game we didn't win last year. L.T.'s not going to rush for 170 yards every game. It's about winning.'' - San Diego quarterback Philip Rivers after the Chargers beat Chicago 14-3.

''I'm going to look back at this game down the road and this is going to be one of my favorites. Out of all the kicks I've had, I've never had a scenario like that.'' - Broncos K Jason Elam, who ran onto the field and made a 42-yard field goal as the clock ticked down for a 15-14 win over Buffalo.

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Dolphins safety Bell could be lost for season

The Dolphins might have suffered a huge blow to their secondary Sunday, as safety Yeremiah Bell could be sidelined for the season with an Achilles' injury.

Bell will undergo an MRI today for a further evaluation, but his agent, Drew Rosenhaus, said during his weekly postgame segment on WSPN-7 that Bell's injury might threaten his season.

Despite making two interceptions Sunday, the Dolphins' secondary was exposed several times by the Redskins' passing game, confirming that depth was already a concern before Bell went down.

Now, those concerns will be further strengthened by Bell's absence, since he is arguably the unit's best player. Bell is currently backed up by Travares Tillman. His loss could cause the Dolphins to consider moving Jason Allen back to safety from cornerback.

After Sunday's game, coach Cam Cameron said he did not have any updates on any of Sunday's injuries. Defensive end Jason Taylor (quad) and running back Jesse Chatman (knee) also were injured, but both said after the game they would be fine.

miamiherald.com

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Pennington's injury opens door for QB controversy

Chad Pennington rolls his ankle in the third quarter after getting sacked by Patriots defensive end Jarvis Green. He leads the team to a TD, but takes himself out of the game in the fourth quarter.

Chad Pennington rolls his ankle in the third quarter after getting sacked by Patriots defensive end Jarvis Green. He leads the team to a TD, but takes himself out of the game in the fourth quarter.

Chad Pennington stood behind the podium in the interview room outside of the Jets' locker room at Giants Stadium yesterday and tried not to put too much weight on his injured right ankle as he fielded questions.

He frequently lifted his foot off the ground and balanced himself on his left leg. There was nothing on his face to indicate the extent of the pain from the injury or the 38-14 whipping that had been administered by the Patriots. How bad is he hurt? Your guess is as good as mine.

Getting information on injuries from the Jets is like trying to get Jack Bauer to crack under torture - impossible. This much we know: Pennington rolled his ankle in the third quarter after getting sacked by Patriots defensive end Jarvis Green. He came back, led the team to a TD, then took himself out of the game in the fourth quarter.

Let the speculation begin.

"I don't know. I've never experienced this. I don't know what's going to happen," Pennington said when asked how long he thought he might be out.

A gimpy quarterback, a wimpy pass rush and a skimpy rushing attack - all evident in abundance against New England - do not bode well for the Jets' immediate future. If they take any of those things into Baltimore on Sunday there could be a revival of the old TV show set there - "Homocide: Life on the Street."

Say this for Pennington, he's a fighter. He missed one play after getting hurt. Eric Mangini left it up to Pennington whether he wanted to return to the game. For Pennington, it was a no-brainer.

"I was trying to rely on my experience from the Jacksonville game (in 2005 when he tore his rotator cuff and didn't play the rest of the season) and trying to stay focused," said Pennington, who knew his ankle was unstable. "At that point we still had the threat of trying to run the ball because it was still early. I felt like I could get back out there and help us."

With the ankle wrapped heavily in black tape - his foot looked like he was wearing a boot - Pennington returned on the next series to lead the Jets to a score, a 1-yard TD pass that he threw to Laveranues Coles to make it 28-14.

Then, after using up nearly nine minutes, the Patriots kicked a field goal to make it 31-14 with 6:51 to play, and the idea of any heroics for Pennington went out the window.

"It's that you're down 17 points and they're not going to respect the running game," Pennington said. "They're going to pin their ears back and rush the passer because you have to put points on the board quickly."

He pulled himself from the game rather than become a sitting duck. He had done it once before, against Buffalo in 2004.

But yesterday's injury was shades of Jacksonville, Week 3 of the 2005 season as Pennington rolled from under a pile of bodies, got to his feet, went down. Got back up and went down again. Got back up, and hopped to the sidelines on one leg - the injured lower right leg suspended in the air, perpendicular to the ground.

Pennington slammed his helmet to the ground as he reached the sidelines, typically the type of action that indicates a player knows that his season has come to an end.

Things didn't turn out so well for Pennington or the Jets that season. Pennington had shoulder surgery and a long, but productive, rehab. The Jets' season went up in smoke, because they lost backup quarterback Jay Fiedler in that game as well.

Who knows how long Pennington will be gone this time? But the way he was hobbling around trying to drop back yesterday, it doesn't look good. The fans actually cheered when Pennington went down and backup Kellen Clemens had to come in. They'll grow to regret that if Pennington is out for an extended period of time and the season implodes.

The Patriots clearly demonstrated that they're an elite team yesterday, as all of their offseason free agent acquisitions made big-time contributions. The Jets narrowed the gap last season, but the Patriots have opened it wider, swallowing the Jets, and maybe the entire AFC East, whole. If Pennington goes down for an extended period of time, then the Jets' season could disappear into a black hole.

"It remains to be seen," Pennington said regarding how long he might be out.

As for the 38-14 drubbing, he said, "It's up to us as a team to fight through this and stick together as a team and fight through the adversity. In the past we've been pretty good at this. That's why it's a 16-game season."

nydailynews.com

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Brown's Knee Injury Could Be Serious

SAN DIEGO -- Mike Brown limped around the locker room with his head lowered and his left knee wrapped, distraught over dealing with the same scenario all over again.

The Bears free safety had tried to promise himself this wouldn't happen again—not after the torn Lisfranc foot ligament that sidelined him for last season's Super Bowl run, not after the Achilles' tendon and calf injuries that shortened his playing time in previous seasons.

But as Brown talked about the sprained left knee he suffered against the Chargers on Sunday, his mouth quivered. He broke down.

"We're holding out a little hope, but right now it doesn't look too good," Brown said. "It's a sprained knee right now, but it doesn't look too good. It's a shame. It hurts my feelings really bad."

Then Brown's emotions got the best of him. Teammate Charles Tillman waved the television cameras away so Brown could have his peace.

"I've never had to face anything like what he has faced, but definitely my heart goes out to him," Tillman said as Brown struggled to get dressed at the locker beside him.

Brown was having a great game, flying all over the field and showing little rust from his long layoff. He intercepted a Philip Rivers pass in the first quarter and returned it 27 yards. He recovered a fumble teammate Tommie Harris caused.

But his day was shortened with just less than 10 minutes left in the game. According to Brown, he suffered the injury when he came in on a blitz and Chargers fullback Lorenzo Neal yanked him down.

"I don't know exactly what happened to Mike, but to see him come off the field like that was terrible," defensive coordinator Bob Babich said. "Our guys felt awful for him."

Safety Danieal Manning was choked up about it. He paused for a few minutes before talking about a player he admires.

"Mike doesn't want us to feel sorry for him," Manning said. "He can't get a break. Mike, he showed me a lot today. Just being out there, all those injuries. And even after he got injured, he still came back to the sideline and cheered us on.

"When you see Mike play, that's how you want to play football. When I go out there on the field, I want to play like him."

chicagotribune.com

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Simpson leaves with fractured ankle

The Bills defense suffered several significant injuries to starters on Sunday. Free safety Ko Simpson left with a fractured ankle, outside linebacker Coy Wire tore an MCL, and cornerback Jason Webster broke a forearm, according to the Buffalo News.

Jacobs leaves with injured knee

Giants running back Brandon Jacobs injured his right knee in the second quarter of Sunday night's game against the Cowboys and will not return. Reuben Droughns and Derrick Ward are expected to get work in his place. The severity of Jacobs' injury is not known.

Pace may miss the rest of the year

The Rams offensive line sustained a huge blow on Sunday when Orlando Pace went down with a shoulder injury and they may have to get used to being without the All Pro. Jay Glazer is reporting that the team fears Pace's season is over, but they will not know for sure until after an MRI on Monday.

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Ferguson tears biceps muscle

The Cowboys defense took another major hit on Sunday night when defensive tackle Jason Ferguson tore his right biceps muscle. He will have an MRI on Monday, but he is likely out for the season, the Dallas Morning News reports.

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Highs and lows of NFL Week 1
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Moss will haunt Packers

Randy Moss may haunt the Packers all season long. Brett Favre had Moss convinced Green Bay would be a great place to play and the receiver was excited about playing with the future Hall of Famer. Raiders owner Al Davis definitely wanted to trade Moss to the Packers; he hated the idea of sending him to Bill Belichick and the Patriots. He knew the Moss he always wanted would probably shine in New England. And shine he did Sunday with 183 receiving yards and a touchdown on nine receptions from Tom Brady.

Moss didn't make a catch in the preseason, but he proved that the preseason doesn't matter if you're a talented veteran. It would have cost the Packers a fifth-round pick and a measly $4 million to land Moss — a straight cash deal. But in crunch time, when a deal had to be made, the Packers worried about Moss being too much to handle in the locker room and thought about maybe saving some money on the deal, simply to protect themselves in case Moss proved to be a problem child. Well, the Packers are $12.8 million under the salary cap, and $4 million to Moss would have been a bargain. He definitely would have helped Favre, who seemed to have no deep weapons on Sunday but still tied John Elway with his 148th career victory. Green Bay appears to have a playoff-caliber defense: the offense simply doesn't have enough playmakers to beat a quality defense.

Chiefs need to let L.J. run

The Kansas City Chiefs paid Larry Johnson a lot of money and had to endure a three-week holdout from their franchise runner. Last season, Johnson set an NFL record with 416 carries and gained 1,789 yards. Johnson sounded like he wasn't ready for a lot of carries on opening Sunday. And the Chiefs obliged. Johnson carried only 10 times for 43 yards and Kansas City was whipped by the Houston Texans 20-3. I don't get it. When you pay a runner to run, Larry Johnson should run. He has plenty of time to rest. He's had all week; all off-season. He's a football player. Make L.J. earn his huge paycheck. Without him running wild, the Chiefs don't have a chance against most opponents, regardless of the quarterback.

Chargers' commitment to run pays off

The Chicago Bears played great defense against the San Diego Chargers. They stuffed MVP LaDainian Tomlinson, holding him to 25 yards on 17 carries. But Norv Turner, who learned all about running from USC's John Robinson, refused to quit running. San Diego ran 36 times for a total of 77 yards. And because Turner refused to quit handing the ball to L.T., the touchdown pass from Tomlinson to tight end Antonio Gates worked. Did you see how many Chicago defenders were running wide to catch L.T. in the flat? There were at least four would-be tacklers. But L.T. threw a strike to Gates before safety Mike Brown could recover and catch him. And in the end, all the running meant the Chargers held a 14-minute edge in time of possession and the Bears, who were so valiant on defense, simply wore down under the heat and strain of working so hard. Tomlinson finally scored and that was the game.

This was a heavyweight fight by the NFL's two best teams, record-wise, from last season. San Diego won because it had the best offense and had the running backs who didn't fumble. Cedric Benson and Adrian Peterson both coughed up the ball. It was a tragic loss for the Bears, who probably lost Brown to a torn ACL for the season. And one final footnote: Marty Schottenheimer got fired because he forgot to run Tomlinson in the second half against the Patriots.

Bad coaching move for the Eagles

The Philadelphia Eagles were always great on special teams with John Harbaugh as the coach. But Harbaugh wants to be a head coach and thought he needed to change positions in order to improve his resume. Eagles coach Andy Reid shifted Harbaugh to the Philadelphia secondary and promoted Ryan Segrest to special teams coach. Well, Segrest's two return men cost the Eagles the game in Lambeau Field on Sunday. First, Greg Lewis fumbled a punt and the Packers kicked it all the way into the end zone before recovering it for a touchdown. The Eagles benched Lewis and then J.R. Reed dropped one that set up the Packers for the game-winning field goal. You have to wonder if Reid will ask Harbaugh to split his duties this week between the secondary and special teams. And who can forget the draft choice that the Eagles wasted on snow skier Jeremy Bloom, believing he would be their punt returner this season? Bloom was released weeks ago.

Titans' Fisher earning his keep

The Jaguars had the third-best defense against the run last season. They also ran the ball pretty well. Well, the Jags got run over by Chris Brown, the running back no one seemed to want this off-season. The Titans eventually worked out a one-year deal with Brown. Heck, I'm even looking at a Titans' depth chart that has LenDale White listed as the starter. How much sense does that make? Brown ran over the Jaguars for 175 yards on 19 carries, while White gained 66 yards on 18 carries. The Titans enjoyed a 13-minute time of possession and they didn't need Vince Young to do much (78 yards passing) to win the opener and stun the Jags. Titans owner Bud Adams should reconsider and put that long-term contract on the table again for coach Jeff Fisher. Fisher figured out a way to stop Jacksonville's vaunted running game, and that's how you win in the NFL.

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Sheppard has MCL sprain

Eagles cornerback Lito Sheppard suffered a sprained right MCL on Sunday and will "most likely" miss the Monday Night Football game against the Redskins, head coach Andy Reid tells the team's official web site. Will James is expected to start in his place

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Bucs RB Williams questionable for Week 2
September 10th, 2007

Tampa, FL (Sports Network) - Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back Carnell "Cadillac" Williams' bruised ribs may keep him out of Sunday's game against the New Orleans Saints.

Williams, who left during the third quarter of the Bucs' 20-6 loss Sunday to the Seattle Seahawks, is being listed as questionable by team personnel for the week 2 contest.

"We have Williams with bruised ribs and his status right now for the game is questionable," said Tampa Bay head coach Jon Gruden during his Monday press conference.

"We will see how Carnell is later today and tomorrow. He has been evaluated, and he will be evaluated again. Bruised ribs are no fun for a running back in the opening game of the season. I think he had the same thing happen to him last year. We will get a good look at where he is later today."

In addition to Williams, Bucs cornerback Brian Kelly is questionable with a groin strain, wide receiver David Boston is probable despite a foot injury suffered during pre-game warmups, and linebacker/defensive end Patrick Chukwurah is out for the New Orleans game.

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Pace out for season with torn labrum
September 10, 2007

ST. LOUIS (AP) -St. Louis Rams offensive tackle Orlando Pace tore the labrum and rotator cuff in his right shoulder in the season opener Sunday and will be sidelined for the rest of the season.

An MRI exam Monday revealed the damage to Pace, a seven-time Pro Bowl player who was the first overall pick of the 1997 draft. Pace was injured on the first play after the two-minute warning while pass-blocking against the Panthers' Julius Peppers, minor jostling that didn't appear out of the ordinary.

``I feel very bad, obviously, for Orlando,'' coach Scott Linehan said. ``He had a real unfortunate injury and we'll have to pick up the pieces.

``Come Sunday, we'll have our best five out there.''

The 31-year-old Pace has been injured in consecutive games. He was placed on injured reserve last November with a torn triceps, also sustained while pass blocking, that knocked him out for the last seven games. He also missed an early-season game in 2006 with a concussion.

Before last season, Pace had been to seven straight Pro Bowls. And until last season he had been durable, missing six games in 2002 with calf and hamstring injuries, but starting every game in the other six seasons.

Adam Goldberg, who made two starts in 2006, replaced Pace in Sunday's 27-13 loss to Carolina. The Rams allowed one sack, but the offense struggled without the anchor of a young line, managing 16 first downs and 238 yards total offense.

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Re: NFL News and Notes Week 2

Bears safety, defensive tackle out for season
NFL.com Wire Reports

The Chicago Bears lost two defensive starters for the season during Sunday's 14-3 loss to the San Diego Chargers.

NFL Network's Adam Schefter is reporting that safety Mike Brown suffered a season-ending knee injury, while defensive tackle Dusty Dvoracek will miss the rest of the season with a torn ACL. Both players were put on injured reserve Monday.

Both injuries happened in the fourth quarter of Sunday's 14-3 loss on a shot from Chargers fullback Lorenzo Neal. A team captain and former Pro Bowl pick, Brown limped toward the sideline. Dvoracek, a starter after missing his rookie year with a foot injury, went down shortly thereafter.

"I'll give you some other information later on," Smith said. "Right now, in a situation like this, I'd like to talk to the players first. I'm sure you guys can understand that. Then, I'll let you know after that."

If Brown's injury is season-ending, it would be his third in four years.

Brown has only played 21 regular-season games since 2004. He missed 14 games in 2004 (Achilles), four games in 2005 (calf –- missed last four games of regular season and returned for the playoffs) and 10 games in 2006 (foot). Brown is the Bears' all-time franchise leader with seven career defensive touchdowns and is second among current Bears with 15 career interceptions. In the season opener at San Diego, the defensive captain had an interception and a fumble recovery. The eight-year NFL veteran was selected to the Pro Bowl following the 2005 season and has appeared in 85 career games with 84 starts -- all with the Bears.

Dvoracek was starting in the place vacated by former Bears DT Tank Johnson, who was released during the off-season after a series of off-field problems derailed his pro football career.

With Brown and Dvoracek out, Smith said safety Danieal Manning and defensive tackle Darwin Walker will start Sunday against Kansas City.

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Re: NFL News and Notes Week 2

Seahawks' Hackett out indefinitely with ankle sprain, Wallace to move to WR?
September 10, 2007

KIRKLAND, Wash. (AP) -D.J. Hackett, who had just moved into the Seattle Seahawks' starting lineup at wide receiver, is out indefinitely with a sprained ankle.

Hackett, an inactive player on game days a year ago, played just one quarter in his new role opposite flanker Deion Branch before he got hurt in Sunday's 20-6 win over Tampa Bay. At the end of Hackett's only reception, a 7-yard gain in the first quarter, his foot was caught in the turf while trying to pivot as he was hit by Brian Kelly. He did not return to the game.

``He's going to be down for a while. I can't tell you for how long. Those things are very unpredictable,'' coach Mike Holmgren said Monday.

Holmgren said Hackett's injury is a ``high'' ankle sprain, not the traditional sprain in which the ankle joint is turned nearer the foot. The high sprain includes ligaments near the shin.

``This typically is longer (than a week). And in some instances it can be very, very long,'' Holmgren said. ``The doctors can't really tell me right now.''

But Holmgren added, ``Fortunately, our depth I think is very good at wide receiver ... I think we'll be OK there.''

Veteran Bobby Engram, used mostly as a third, slot receiver, may become even more prominent after catching three passes for 64 yards against the Buccaneers. Ben Obomanu missed the opener with a hamstring injury, but Holmgren thinks the seventh-round draft choice from Auburn in 2006 will play Sunday at Arizona. Rookie Courtney Taylor, also from Auburn, was inactive against the Bucs but could be available for the Cardinals game.

``And my ace in the whole is Seneca Wallace,'' Holmgren said, almost as a tease.

The Seahawks have used Wallace, Matt Hasselbeck's backup quarterback, sporadically at wide receiver, most notably for catches in each of the last two postseasons. But Holmgren said the team would have to sign a third, veteran quarterback to the roster before he will risk Wallace to injury as a receiver.

``Yeah, we're still looking,'' said Holmgren, who is entering a season with just two quarterbacks for the first time in his 16 years as an NFL head coach. ``We know most of the quarterbacks (who are available).''

One of the more intriguing ones: Tim Hasselbeck, Matt's brother. He was released by the New York Giants earlier this month.

``That would be a dream come true for me,'' Matt Hasselbeck said last week of the prospect of his brother being a teammate. ``It's not really my style to lobby the coaching staff or management or anything like that. Hopefully, I think the second week of the season, he'll probably get picked up somewhere and definitely help somebody. That'd be great for me.

``We'll see. You never know.''

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Re: NFL News and Notes Week 2

Litany of injuries in Bengals/Ravens game
September 10th, 2007

Cincinnati, OH (Sports Network) - In a game of hard hits, several players suffered injuries in Cincinnati's 27-20 win over Baltimore on Monday night.

The Ravens lost Pro Bowl left tackle Jonathan Ogden in the second quarter with a toe injury, while defensive leader Ray Lewis left briefly with a triceps injury but returned to the game. Starting quarterback Steve McNair completed 20-of-34 passes for 203 yards, was intercepted once and fumbled three times before leaving the game in the fourth quarter with a pulled groin.

Baltimore's kick returner B.J. Sams left the game with a sprained knee, but the sting of that injury was lessened when Ed Reed returned a punt 63-yards for a touchdown in the fourth quarter.

As for the Bengals, kicker Shayne Graham left briefly after aggravating a hip injury. Wide receiver Chad Johnson also missed time with a cramp.

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Re: NFL News and Notes Week 2

Browns trade Frye to Seattle
FOXSports.com

Apparently, 20 minutes of action was all the Browns needed to see to make a change at quarterback.
Cleveland has traded former starting quarterback Charlie Frye to the Seattle Seahawks for a sixth-round pick, FOXSports.com has learned.

With Frye out of the picture, it should only be a matter of time before first-round pick Brady Quinn gets the nod as the starter.

The Seahawks have been in the market for a backup quarterback, which will free them up to use Seneca Wallace in other positions around the field.

The Browns will bring back Ken Dorsey, who was with the team in training camp, to serve as their third quarterback.

In just over a quarter of play on Sunday against the Steelers, Frye was 4-of-10 for 34 yards and 1 INT. Frye was also sacked five times before giving way to Derek Anderson early in the second quarter.

Anderson would throw for 184 yards and the team's only touchdown of the day, but also had an interception in the Browns' 34-7 loss.

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Re: NFL News and Notes Week 2

Seahawks trade demoted DE Fisher to Titans for draft choice
September 11, 2007

SEATTLE (AP) _defensive end Bryce Fisher, who had been benched by Seattle after starting for two seasons, has been traded to Tennessee.

Fisher's agent, Peter Schaffer, confirmed the deal Tuesday.

Fisher, a seven-year veteran, had been replaced as a starter with the faster Darryl Tapp, the Seahawks' second-round draft choice in 2006.

He is the second former Seattle player the Titans have added since June under new general manager Mike Reinfeldt, who joined Tennessee after working as a player personnel executive with the Seahawks the previous few years. The Titans picked up cornerback Kelly Herndon in June after he was cut by Seattle.

The Titans have been looking to add depth at defensive end to help Kyle Vanden Bosch. Antwan Odom and Travis LaBoy having struggled with injuries their first three seasons.

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Re: NFL News and Notes Week 2

Redskins sign WR Caldwell, will start Wade at right tackle
ASSOCIATED PRESS

ASHBURN, Va. -- The Washington Redskins signed receiver Reche Caldwell on Tuesday and placed right tackle Jon Jansen on injured reserve.

Coach Joe Gibbs also announced that Todd Wade will start at right tackle in place of Jansen, whose season ended when he broke his fibula and dislocated his ankle in Sunday's 16-13 overtime win over Miami.

Caldwell was the leading receiver for the New England Patriots last season with 61 receptions for 760 yards and four touchdowns, but he also had two key drops in the loss to Indianapolis in the AFC Championship game.

Caldwell was deemed expendable after the Patriots acquired Randy Moss, Donte Stallworth and Wes Welker and was cut at the end of preseason. The 28-year-old receiver has 137 catches for 1,710 yards and 11 touchdowns over four seasons with San Diego and one with New England.

Caldwell gives the Redskins another option at receiver following the latest disappointing performance from Brandon Lloyd. The Redskins demoted Lloyd late last season and promoted Antwaan Randle El to the starting lineup opposite Santana Moss. Randle El had a career day in Sunday with 162 yards receiving, while Lloyd did not have a reception.

Caldwell's arrival gives the Redskins six receivers, an usually high number for an NFL roster. He joins Moss, Randle El, Lloyd, special teams standout James Thrash and recently acquired Shaun Bodiford.

To replace Jansen at right tackle, Gibbs chose veteran Wade, who is recovering from a torn labrum, over rookie free agent Stephon Heyer.

Heyer replaced Jansen during Sunday's game because Wade was inactive. Heyer will now work as the primary backup to Wade and left tackle Chris Samuels.

''We've talked that over and we'll put Todd in, and we'll let Stephon go back and forth between both tackles,'' Gibbs said on his weekly radio show at Redskins Park.

Gibbs also attempted to clarify comments he had made about cornerback Shawn Springs, who was not in the starting lineup for Sunday's game. On Monday, Gibbs said Springs had not been 100 percent because of an unspecified injury. On Tuesday, the coach said he was concerned about Springs' hamstring.

''We watch him very closely,'' Gibbs said. ''Last week, early in the week, he had his hamstring wrapped.''

Springs was not listed on the injury report last week. He told reporters Monday he was fine physically and expected to remain the backup this season.

The Redskins also waived running back Marcus Mason. In addition, offensive lineman Justin Geisinger was signed to the practice squad, and receiver Burl Toler was cut from the practice squad.

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Re: NFL News and Notes Week 2

Wroten hit with a four-game ban
ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH

By all accounts, Claude Wroten was one of the Rams' most improved players in
training camp and the exhibition season. He showed up in much better shape for
camp and was making fewer pre-snap mistakes and assignment errors on the
practice field and in games.

But Wroten's progress came to an abrupt halt Tuesday when the NFL suspended him
for four games for violating the league's substance abuse policy. The
suspension took place as of 3 p.m. Tuesday.

Wroten is not eligible to return to the active roster until Monday, Oct. 8. He
will not be able to play in a game until Week 6, Oct. 14 in Baltimore.

"He's not a starter, but he's a guy that

factored into what we're trying to do on defense, and the improvement we're
trying to make with our front," coach Scott Linehan said Tuesday.

Linehan said he wasn't aware of the particulars of Wroten's violation, but
said: "The rules are the rules. ... We're in full support of our league's
policy on this. The guys have got to know that there's going to be
consequences."

The Rams took a chance on Wroten, who had a history of drug-related issues, in
the 2006 draft. In January 2006, less than four months before the draft, Wroten
was arrested for possession of marijuana with intent to distribute. Those
charges were subsequently dropped.

But at the 2006 NFL Scouting Combine, Wroten failed a drug test. In addition,
ESPN.com reported that Wroten had failed a drug test while in college at
Louisiana State University.

A unanimous all-Southeastern Conference selection in 2005 at LSU, Wroten was
widely regarded as one of the top defensive tackles in the draft, and a
projected first-round pick. But because of his off-field problems, he slipped
to the third round, No. 68 overall.

Wroten's suspension is not related to a late June arrest in which Wroten forced
open a door inside his girlfriend's residence and removed some items belonging
to him. Wroten self-reported that incident.

Wroten is the second Rams player in two months to receive a four-game
suspension for violating the league's substance abuse policy. Starting
cornerback Fakhir Brown has already missed the Carolina game and will sit out
three more before his suspension is lifted.

Will the back-to-back suspensions force Linehan to rethink how he evaluates
prospective players?

"Yes and no," Linehan said. "People have problems. You can't foresee some of
it. ... In Claude's case, there was a certain amount of risk. But I also still
believe in Claude, and know that Claude will work very hard at trying to get
himself back and not have any more problems."

The plan was to give Wroten, a rotation player on the defensive line, more
plays this season in relief of veteran La'Roi Glover, a six-time Pro Bowler who
at age 33 is nearing the end of his career. Wroten is being groomed as Glover's
successor.

"Claude's a lot better than he was last year at this point," defensive
coordinator Jim Haslett said Monday. "He's a guy who's probably better on the
pass rush than he is on the run game."

Besides spelling Glover, Wroten frequently replaces Adam Carriker in obvious
passing situations. Without Wroten, the Rams probably will keep Carriker on the
field more often on passing downs. The team was working Tuesday on adding a
defensive tackle to Wroten's roster spot and hopes to have one on the practice
field today.

If, as expected, Victor Adeyanju returns after missing the Carolina game with a
sprained knee, he could take some snaps inside as well.

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Re: NFL News and Notes Week 2

Pennington doesn't think he can play
Star-Ledger Staff

Jets quarterback Chad Pennington is telling people close to him that he doesn't think he's going to play on Sunday against the Baltimore Ravens, a person with knowledge of those conversations and the condition of the QB's injured right ankle said yesterday.

That person spoke on the condition of anonymity because official injury information is supposed to be released by the club.

"Chad doesn't think he could play this week," the person said yesterday. "He said the ankle is really sore. He wants to play and he's going to give it a try, but he doesn't think he's going to play."

Pennington, who would be replaced by second-year pro Kellen Clemens, suffered what is believed to be a severely bruised ankle when he was sacked by defensive end Jarvis Green in the third quarter of the Jets' 38-14 drubbing by the Patriots on Sunday at Giants Stadium. He returned to the game for one series but had a pronounced limp. After leading the Jets to a touchdown, he then took himself out.

Should Clemens start, it would be his first career start.

Wednesday is the most intense and important practice of the week and it's unlikely Pennington will practice full today. It's also the day teams put in their game plans. With the Jets facing an aggressive, blitz-happy team like the Ravens and Pennington being less than full strength, it makes sense to hold him out and not risk further injury with his limited mobility.

That, however, could open the door for a quarterback controversy. If Clemens plays well, especially against a top-notch defense like the Ravens, will coach Eric Mangini go back to a gimpy Pennington or stick with Clemens?

Clemens, the heir apparent to Pennington, had a stellar preseason and appears to have a promising future. But Pennington, an eighth-year pro, gives the Jets the best chance to win now. Mangini spent his Monday news conference dodging questions about his confidence in Clemens.

At the very least, should Clemens play well and Mangini still goes back to Pennington, the leash on Pennington will become even shorter.

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