Sunday Football News

Sunday Football News

Steelers Notebook: Injured duo doubtful; Hampton will start

Cornerback Bryant McFadden has participated on a limited basis every day at practice, but he is not expected to play tomorrow in Denver -- the second game in a row he will miss with a high ankle sprain.

McFadden, the team's nickel back, said he is hoping to return for the Oct. 28 game in Cincinnati. He will be replaced in the substitution packages by rookie cornerback William Gay.

"My progress is better than I thought," said McFadden, who is listed as doubtful on the team's official injury report. "I'll do the rehab and get treatment for another week and, hopefully, be back for Cincinnati."

McFadden said he had never had an ankle injury before he was hurt making a tackle in the Sept. 30 game in Arizona.

Backup tight end Jerame Tuman (back spasms) also is listed as doubtful, but he hasn't practiced all week.

"But I'm still not listed as out, so there's a chance," Tuman said. "I'm definitely hoping to play."

Nose tackle Casey Hampton practiced for the second day in a row and will start against the Broncos.

Smith to appeal fine

Safety Anthony Smith said he will appeal the $7,500 fine he received from the NFL for a low hit on Seattle quarterback Matt Hasselbeck in an Oct. 7 game.

"I'm going to get my money back," Smith said. "He made a cut and I tried to cut with him, and I fell to the ground and rolled over. The ball was already gone and he fell to the ground on purpose."

Snow possible for game


The forecast in Denver will change drastically after the Steelers arrive today, with rain and snow expected by kickoff, according to The Weather Channel.

The high temperature in Denver today is expected to be 73 degrees with mostly sunny skies. The high for tomorrow, however, is expected to be 43 with rain changing to snow.

www.post-gazette.com

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Tight end Alge Crumpler doubtful for Falcons game against Saints on Sunday
October 20, 2007

ATLANTA (AP) -Alge Crumpler's chronically sore knee could sideline the four-time Pro Bowl tight end for the Atlanta Falcons' game at New Orleans on Sunday.

Crumpler, the Falcons' leading receiver the last three years, has played in 40 straight games, including 39 starts, despite having arthroscopic surgery on his left knee the last two offseasons. He was held out of practice this week.

If he can't play, Crumpler would be the third offensive starter, joining left tackle Wayne Gandy and right tackle Todd Weiner, sidelined because of a knee injury in the last two weeks.

If Crumpler can't play, Dwayne Blakley will likely get his eighth career start. The Falcons could also use rookie tight end Martrez Milner.

Crumpler, who roomed with quarterback Michael Vick when both were rookies in 2001, is the leading tight end in Falcons' history with 293 catches for 3,971 yards and 31 touchdowns.

Gandy is out for the rest of the season after having reconstructive surgery. Right tackle Todd Weiner might not return for five weeks.

Tyson Clabo and rookie Renardo Foster, the replacements for Gandy and Weiner, made their first career starts at tackle in last week's loss to the New York Giants.

Atlanta (1-5) has lost three of their last four at the Louisiana Superdome, where the Saints are 0-2 since beating Seattle in January and advancing to their first NFC title game. New Orleans (1-4) ended a five-game overall losing streak last week at Seattle.

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Jets TE Baker won't play against Bengals
October 20, 2007

HEMPSTEAD, N.Y. (AP) -Jets tight end Chris Baker won't play in New York's game at Cincinnati after he was downgraded Saturday from questionable to out with a back injury.

Baker, who has 12 catches for 124 yards and two touchdowns, was limited in practice all week and didn't accompany the team to Cincinnati. It was unclear when Baker was hurt, and it's against the Jets' policy to discuss injuries.

He caught some flak from coach Eric Mangini after New York's 16-9 loss to Philadelphia last Sunday, when he openly questioned the play-calling in the closing minutes as the Jets failed to score from the Eagles 4.

Baker, in his sixth season with the Jets, has been one of quarterback Chad Pennington's most reliable targets. The former third-round pick out of Michigan State had a breakout season last year, catching a career-high 31 passes for 300 yards and four touchdowns.

The Jets have plenty of depth at the tight end position, with Sean Ryan, Joe Kowalewski, Jason Pociask and James Dearth, normally the long snapper, on the roster.

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Colts' Harrison still questionable
October 20, 2007

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) -Wide receiver Marvin Harrison remains questionable for the Indianapolis Colts' game against Jacksonville on Monday night because of a bruised left knee.

Colts coach Tony Dungy said before practice Saturday that Harrison would probably be a game-time decision in the AFC South clash between the Colts (5-0) and Jaguars (4-1).

``We'll see how much he can do,'' Dungy said, adding that the practice would be ``a good indicator'' of whether the eight-time Pro Bowl selection will play.

The 12-year NFL veteran has been hampered by the knee since bruising it in the first quarter of the Colts' Sept. 30 win over Denver. Harrison has seen relatively light work the past two weeks.

Middle linebacker Gary Brackett was also questionable for the Jaguars after suffering an abdominal strain near the end of Thursday's practice. He was held out of Friday's workout, but got some work Saturday.

``He's feeling like he's going to play,'' Dungy said.

Offensive guard Dylan Gandy did not practice Saturday due to an illness and also was listed as questionable.

Rookie outside linebacker Victor Worlsey (foot) was questionable, but rookie offensive tackle Tony Ugoh (ankle) practiced Friday and Saturday and should start.

Safety Bob Sanders (chest/ribs) and wide receiver Aaron Moorehead (back) also practiced Saturday after resting their injuries during Friday's workout. Both are expected to play against the Jaguars.

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Williams, Warren out with injuries when Raiders face Chiefs
October 19, 2007

ALAMEDA, Calif. (AP) -Oakland Raiders defensive tackle Gerard Warren and linebacker Sam Williams will miss Sunday's game against the Kansas City Chiefs with injuries.

Warren, who leads the team with three sacks, will miss his second straight game with an injured quadriceps. Warren hurt himself in practice on Oct. 4 and has been sidelined ever since.

Williams hurt his shoulder on Sept. 30 against the Miami Dolphins and has been limited in practice ever since. He also missed last week's game in San Diego.

Warren Sapp, the team's other starting defensive tackle, was listed as probable with an ankle injury. He had missed practice the previous two days.

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Vikings S Dwight Smith out with hamstring injury for game against Cowboys
October 19, 2007

EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. (AP) -Minnesota Vikings safety Dwight Smith will not play Sunday against the Dallas Cowboys because of a nagging hamstring injury.

Smith has been bothered by the sore hamstring for most of the season, but it appears to have worsened this week and he was listed as out on the injury report on Friday.

``He has been kind of fighting through it and he and the doctors and the trainers feel like it is just best that he gets that thing healed up,'' coach Brad Childress said after practice. ``Hamstrings are funny things; some people can play the next week and some they linger.''

Smith has been a physical presence on the back end of the Vikings defense and has emerged as a vocal team leader since signing as a free agent before last season. The seventh-year veteran has 21 tackles and two interceptions.

The Vikings defense is better equipped than most to handle the loss of a safety. Darren Sharper is the other starter and they also have veterans Tank Williams and Mike Doss on the roster.

``It definitely helps,'' cornerback Antoine Winfield said. ``It would be a lot different if we had a guy who was coming in that was a rookie. Those guys have played in big games, have a lot of experience and know the defense. So I think they'll be able to go out there and perform well for us.''

Childress said Williams and Doss, both of whom are coming back from serious knee injuries last year, will see time at safety against the Cowboys.

Williams said he is looking forward to his first action on defense since 2005 when he was with the Tennessee Titans. He missed all of last season with a knee injury and has played almost exclusively on special teams in the first five games this year.

``I haven't played defense since my days in Tennessee, so I'm definitely looking forward to it,'' Williams said. ``You never want it to happen in a manner like this, but you definitely have to make the most of your opportunities when you're out there.''

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Redskins coach Gibbs optimistic about Rabach, but Heyer is questionable
October 19, 2007

ASHBURN, Va. (AP) -Washington center Casey Rabach and tackle Stephon Heyer missed practice Friday, but coach Joe Gibbs was optimistic Rabach would anchor the Redskins' offensive line Sunday against Arizona.

Rabach is listed as probable with a groin injury, while Heyer is questionable because of a hamstring.

``Probably with Casey, we'll warm him up,'' Gibbs said. ``We'll see how he feels. It'll be a game-day thing.''

Gibbs didn't rule out activating an extra offensive lineman or two from the practice squad Saturday.

Cornerback Shawn Springs remained in Dallas with his seriously ill father, Ron. The elder Springs, a longtime Dallas Cowboy, is in a coma, months after receiving a kidney transplant.

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Ravens stars questionable for Sunday
October 19, 2007

OWINGS MILLS, Md. (AP) -Baltimore Ravens middle linebacker Ray Lewis has an injured knee and is one of several key players who could miss Sunday's game against Buffalo.

Lewis will be a game-time decision, coach Brian Billick said Friday.

Center Mike Flynn (knee) is listed as questionable. Tight end Todd Heap (hamstring), cornerback Chris McAlister (knee) and tight end Daniel Wilcox (foot) didn't practice all week and are expected to be out Sunday.

Cornerback Samari Rolle will play Sunday after practicing most of the week, his first start since the second week of the season. He was limited to special situations in a 22-3 win over St. Louis last week, making his return after missing three games with an undisclosed illness that briefly hospitalized him.

``He'll be fine,'' Billick said. ``He's been through two good days.''

Offensive tackles Jonathan Ogden (turf toe) and Adam Terry (sprained ankle) are questionable, and rookie Jared Gaither is preparing to make his second NFL start. Quarterback Steve McNair is out with a back injury and backup Kyle Boller will start in his place.

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Holmes activated for Sunday
October 20th, 2007

Kansas City, MO (Sports Network) - Kansas City Chiefs running back Priest Holmes, who hasn't played in a game since suffering head and neck injuries from a hit on Oct. 30, 2005, was activated to the roster for Sunday's contest at Oakland.

A former rushing champion, Holmes missed the end of the 2005 campaign and all of 2006. He is under contract with Kansas City through the 2009 season.

Holmes had been a stalwart in Kansas City's backfield since joining the club as an unrestricted free agent from Baltimore in 2001. He has run for a club- record 5,933 yards with 76 touchdowns, while catching 246 passes for 2,360 yards and seven scores.

Overall, Holmes has played in 109 career games, 80 starts, with 8,035 rushing yards and 86 touchdowns, while catching 334 passes for 2,945 yards and eight scores.

Larry Johnson took over for Holmes in 2005 and emerged as a star after running for 1,750 yards and 20 touchdowns in 16 games, but only nine starts. In 2006, the Penn State product carried the ball 416 times for 1,789 yards and 17 touchdowns. This season, Johnson has 115 carries for 394 yards and one touchdown.

Holmes is expected to back up Johnson for Sunday's game.

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Today’s NFL weather report

New England Patriots at Miami Dolphins

Scattered thunderstorms in Miami could hamper New England’s attempt at going 7-0 for the season. Forecasts are calling for temperatures in the high 80s at kickoff (1 p.m. ET) with a 40 percent chance of heavy rainfall throughout the game.

There is also a threat of lightning, particularly in the second half, and the winds will gust up to 20 miles per hour.

St. Louis Rams at Seattle Seahawks

Rain will almost certainly affect today’s game at Qwest Field as the winless Rams face the Seahawks. There is a 30 percent chance of precipitation at kickoff (4:15 p.m. ET), but that jumps to 40 percent as the afternoon wears on.

Temperatures will be in the high 40s with a light breeze of 10 miles per hour or less.

Pittsburgh Steelers at Denver Broncos

The Steelers will get an early taste of winter when they arrive at Invesco Field today looking for their second consecutive win. The latest forecasts call for light snow at kickoff (8:15 p.m. ET) with up to three inches of accumulation possible toward the end of the game.

The temperature will be in the mid-20s and winds will be strong a times, gusting as high as 20 miles per hour.

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Patriots: Maroney will start

Laurence Maroney will be active and in the starting lineup for the Patriots on Sunday, reports ESPN.

Patriots:  Watson ruled out

Patriots tight end Ben Watson was downgraded from doubtful to out on Saturday and will not play on Sunday against Miami, the AP reported. Watson suffered an ankle injury against the Cowboys in Week 6.

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