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NFL News and Notes Week 11

NFL News and Notes Week 11

Week 10 news and notes


Monday night, Nov. 12

San Francisco (2-6) at Seattle (4-4). San Francisco hasn't scored 20 points in a game since its season-opening 20-17 win over Arizona and has lost six straight. Seahawks coach Mike Holmgren is 12-5 vs. the 49ers, with whom he won Super Bowls as assistant coach.



- Brett Favre, Packers, completed 33 of 46 passes for 351 yards and three TDs in Green Bay's 34-0 win over Minnesota.

- Tony Romo, Cowboys, threw four TD passes and was 20-of-28 for 247 yards in Dallas' 31-20 win over the New York Giants.

- Kurt Warner, Cardinals, completed 26 of 36 passes for 259 yards and three TDs in Arizona's 31-21 win over Detroit.

- Ben Roethlisberger, Steelers, ran for a 30-yard touchdown and threw for two more scores to help Pittsburgh rally to beat Cleveland 31-28.

- Vince Young, Titans, threw for a career-high 257 yards and his first TD pass since Sept. 24 in Tennessee's 28-13 loss to Jacksonville.


- Brian Westbrook, Eagles, had 20 carries for 100 yards and a TD to go with five receptions for 83 yards and two more scores in a 33-25 win over Washington.

- Selvin Young, Broncos, ran for 109 yards and a TD in Denver's 27-11 win at Kansas City.

- Ryan Grant, Packers, ran for 119 yards and a score in Green Bay's 34-0 win over Minnesota.

- Willie Parker, Steelers, had 105 yards on 25 carries in Pittsburgh's 31-28 win over Cleveland.

- Clinton Portis, Redskins rushed for 137 yards on 30 carries in Washington's 33-25 loss to Philadelphia.


- Terrell Owens, Cowboys, had two TD catches in Dallas' 31-20 win over the New York Giants. He gained 125 yards.

-Torry Holt, Rams, had eight catches for 124 yards, torturing New Orleans with several catches on third-and-long plays in a 37-29 win.

-Larry Fitzgerald, Cardinals, had two TD catches and six others for 74 yards in Arizona's 31-21 win over Detroit.

- Jeremy Shockey, Giants, tied a career best with 12 catches for 129 yards and scored once in a 31-20 loss to Dallas.

Special Teams

- Shayne Graham, Bengals, made seven field goals, none longer than 35 yards, in Cincinnati's 21-7 win over Baltimore.

- Joshua Cribbs, Browns, returned a kick 100 yards and set up another score with a 90-yard return in Cleveland's 31-28 loss at Pittsburgh.

- Bernard Pollard, Chiefs, blocked a punt for a safety in Kansas City's 27-11 loss to Denver.


- Karlos Dansby, Cardinals, intercepted two passes and forced a fumble to help Arizona beat Detroit 31-21.

- Adewale Ogunleye, Bears, forced a fumble by Josh McCown that Israel Idonije recovered at the Raiders 3 with 1:39 remaining, setting up a game-sealing TD in Chicago's 17-6 win over Oakland.

- Charles Woodson, Packers, made an interception on the goal line to preserve the shutout in the fourth quarter of Green Bay's 34-0 win against Minnesota.

- Chris Kelsay, Bills, sacked Miami's Cleo Lemon in the end zone during Buffalo's 13-10 win over Miami.

- Reggie Hayward, Jaguars, have 2 1/2 sacks in a 28-13 victory at Tennessee.


Brett Favre joined Dan Marino as the only quarterbacks to throw for 60,000 yards in a career during the second quarter of Green Bay's 34-0 win over Minnesota. Favre, who needed 94 yards coming into the game, found RB Vernand Morency for a short pass to the right side for 3 yards to reach 60,000 exactly. Two plays later, he hit favorite target Donald Driver for a 19-yard gain. Marino's record is 61,361 yards. ... Jacksonville's Fred Taylor became the 21st running back in NFL history to reach 10,000 yards rushing with a 15-yard carry in the first quarter of the Jaguars' 28-13 win over Tennessee. Taylor, who scored on a 4-yard run, now trails Ottis Anderson, who's 20th with 10,273 yards. ... Donovan McNabb broke Ron Jaworski's Eagles record for most career completions, surpassing the mark with a touchdown pass Sunday against the Washington Redskins. McNabb's 19th completion gave him 2,089 in nine NFL seasons, all with Philadelphia. He finished with 20 in the Eagles' 33-25 win.


Buffalo beat Miami 13-10 for its fourth win in a row and longest streak since 2004. ... The Dolphins have lost nine straight this season and 12 in a row overall ... Pittsburgh beat Cleveland 31-28 for the Steelers' ninth consecutive win over their Rust-Belt rivals. ... After a 21-7 loss to Cincinnati, Baltimore has lost three straight and has been outscored 59-14 in its last two games. ... Kansas City's three-year home winning streak against Denver came to an end with the Broncos' 27-11 victory. ... Dallas ended the Giants' six-game winning string.


Denver scored touchdowns 9 seconds apart in its 27-11 win at Kansas City. After Selvin Young's 20-yard touchdown run, defensive end Elvis Dumervil knocked the ball loose from quarterback Damon Huard on the Chiefs' next play from scrimmage. Linebacker Nate Webster scooped it up and dashed 17 yards for another touchdown and a 20-8 lead. ... Redskins WR Keenan McCardell had his first TD catch since 2005 in Washington's 33-25 loss to Philadelphia. ... Green Bay had its first shutout since 2002, blanking Minnesota 34-0. ... Shayne Graham's seven field goals for Cincinnati were one below the league record set by the Titans' Rob Bironas earlier this season.


Before holding Baltimore to a meaningless late TD, Cincinnati had been tied with winless Miami for most points allowed and had not yielded fewer than 20 points in any game this season. All that changed against the Ravens (4-5), who committed six turnovers. ... Jacksonville made up for an embarrassing opening loss to Tennessee in which it gave up 282 yards rushing by beating the Titans 28-13. ... Cleveland's opening 76-yard TD drive against Pittsburgh lasted 16 plays and 8:55. But afterward, the Browns were all but shut down offensively with only 55 yards of offense the remainder of the contest until moving 32 yards on their final possession, which ended with Phil Dawson's failed 52-yard field goal. ... Rex Grossman replaced an injured Brian Griese and threw a 59-yard pass to Bernard Berrian for the go-ahead score with 3:11 remaining to lead Chicago to a 17-6 win over Oakland. Grossman was benched earlier this season for ineffectiveness.


Miami's Ted Ginn Jr. returned a kickoff 86 yards for an apparent go-ahead touchdown, but the score was negated by a holding penalty on Greg Camarillo and the Dolphins went on to lose 13-10. ... The Browns managed only a single first down and no points in the second half of their 31-28 loss to Pittsburgh. Kick returner Joshua Cribbs finished with more yards on kickoff returns (204) than the Browns' offense gained (163). ... The Redskins committed 11 penalties, including crucial third-down miscues, and again suffered from questionable clock management and play-calling. Coach Joe Gibbs had no timeouts left in the final minutes and made a conservative call on a late third-and-goal before the Eagles went on to win 33-25. ... Carolina's only touchdown came on Ken Lucas' 27-yard fumble return in the Panthers' 20-13 loss to Atlanta. Vinny Testaverde, struggling to move at times, was just 13-of-28 for 153 yards and the Panthers only got 59 yards rushing from DeShaun Foster.


Dallas sacked Giants QB Eli Manning five times in a 30-21 win. ... Jacksonville sacked Vince Young four times in its 28-13 win over Tennessee. ... Buffalo's Chris Kelsay sacked Cleo Lemon in the end zone to make it 3-2 Miami early in Buffalo's 13-10 win over the Dolphins. ... Oakland's Kirk Morrison sacked Chicago's Brian Griese, knocking him out of the game. Rex Grossman relieved his former backup - and promptly fumbled the first center exchange with Olin Kreutz, but the Bears went on to win 17-6.


RB Adrian Peterson left Minnesota's 34-0 loss to Green Bay because of a knee injury in the third quarter. Peterson said after the game he thought it was a sprain and he will have an MRI on Monday. ... Miami DE Jason Taylor missed much of the second half of a 13-10 loss to Buffalo with an ankle injury. ...Bears QB Brian Griese left Chicago's game against the Raiders shortly before halftime Sunday with a shoulder injury. Griese was hurt when Oakland linebacker Kirk Morrison sacked him late in the second quarter.


Dick Nolan, the former coach of the San Francisco 49ers and the father of current coach Mike Nolan, died Sunday, the 49ers said. A former NFL defensive back who also coached the Saints, Dick Nolan has been in declining health with Alzheimer's disease and prostate cancer for several years. He spent the last few months at an assisted-care facility in the Dallas area, near his longtime home with his wife, Ann.


''We heard some things before the game that were hard to believe. One of their players said, 'How is it going to feel to get beat by an 0-8 team?' I can't believe that an 0-8 team would say that, but now they are an 0-9 team.'' - Buffalo's Chris Kelsay, after the Bills beat Miami 13-10.

''It really felt strange, being in the dome, period, after everything the dome went through and after everything the city went through. To be honest with you, I didn't think I'd ever come back here. I've kind of avoided the city, not the people, but the city. I was hoping we wouldn't play the Saints, so I wouldn't have to come back.'' - St. Louis defensive coordinator Jim Haslett, the Saints' head coach until the end of the 2005 season, after the Rams' first win of the season came at New Orleans 37-29.

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NFL injury report: Vikings lose rookie sensation

Minnesota Vikings rookie Adrian Peterson was helped off the field in the second half against Green Bay on Sunday, ending a frustrating day that came on the heels of a record-breaking performance.

Minnesota was shut out 34-0 as a 5-point underdog.

Peterson made an 11-yard catch in the third quarter of Minnesota's loss when he was hit by cornerback Al Harris in the middle of the field. The tackle sent Peterson sprawling and he writhed in pain before limping off with the help of trainers.

He was diagnosed with a sprained right knee and said an MRI exam is scheduled for Monday.

''It was scary,'' Peterson said. ''It happened so fast. I don't know if it was a shoulder pad or helmet, but right when I planted, that's when he came and hit me.''

Peterson finished with 45 yards on 11 carries, after going for an NFL-record 296 yards in a victory over the San Diego Chargers the previous week.

''I don't expect to go out there and rush for almost 300 yards every week,'' Peterson said. ''You've got your best game one week and your worst game the next.''

The Vikings also played without quarterback Tarvaris Jackson (concussion). Backup Brooks Bollinger struggled in his place, finishing 16-of-26 for 176 yards.

Green Bay Packers

Packers coach Mike McCarthy said defensive tackle Cullen Jenkins ''banged'' his knee but did not elaborate on the injury. Green Bay also lost right tackle Mark Tauscher to an ankle injury.

New Orleans Saints

The Saints' Reggie Bush left briefly after getting slammed to the ground against St. Louis, and the Titans lost LenDale White to a knee injury, although coach Jeff Fisher said he could have returned in their 28-13 loss to Jacksonville.

New Orleans also lost starting left tackle Jammal Brown to a lower left leg injury, and had to play without defensive end Charles Grant (ankle), defensive tackle Brian Young (knee) and linebacker Scott Shanle (hamstring).

Tennessee Titans

Tennessee cornerback Nick Harper and wide receiver Brandon Jones sustained concussions, and right tackle David Stewart hurt an ankle. That came after the team deactivated defensive end Travis LaBoy (concussion), defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth (hamstring) and running back Chris Brown (ankle) before the game.

''It's a big difference,'' Titans defensive end Kyle Vanden Bosch said of not having Haynesworth. ''Albert is a dominant player. He's such a force. He draws double teams in the run game, and we missed him today.''

Chicago Bears

Several quarterbacks also were knocked out of games Sunday, including the Bears' Brian Griese, whose replacement had Chicago fans groaning one minute and elated the next.

Griese left the game against Oakland with a shoulder injury shortly before halftime, after getting sacked by linebacker Kirk Morrison. Rex Grossman came in and promptly fumbled the first exchange with center Olin Kreutz, but later threw the go-ahead touchdown pass to Bernard Berrian with 3:11 remaining to send the Bears to a 17-6 victory.

Kansas City Chiefs

Kansas City quarterback Damon Huard was shaken up on a hit by Denver's Elvis Dumervil in the third quarter of a 27-11 loss. Huard sat out the rest of the game with an ice pack on his neck, and was replaced by second-year pro Brodie Croyle.

''I haven't decided anything,'' said Chiefs coach Herm Edwards, when asked who will start next week at Indianapolis. ''I'll think about it Monday and then we'll talk about what we're going to do at quarterback on Tuesday.''

The Chiefs also were without Pro Bowl running back Larry Johnson (foot). General manager Carl Peterson said he does not believe Johnson is out for the year, but declined to say how long he might be gone.

Carolina Panthers

Panthers quarterback Vinny Testaverde started against Atlanta despite a right Achilles' tendon injury, but he was without wide receiver Keary Colbert (foot).

''The Achilles' was good enough to get me through the game,'' Testaverde said. ''The one word I can describe today as is disappointing.''

Atlanta Falcons

The Falcons rallied for 20-13 victory, but did so without receiver Joe Horn (hamstring), running back Jerious Norwood (ankle) and rookie tight end Martrez Milner, who was carted off late in the first half with an ankle injury.

Indianapolis Colts

Colts tight end Dallas Clark joined wide receiver Marvin Harrison on the inactive list Sunday night against San Diego. The Colts were missing three other injured starters: linebackers Tyjuan Hagler and Freddy Keiaho, and left tackle Tony Ugoh.

San Diego Chargers

San Diego cornerback Antonio Cromartie made his first career start in place of Quentin Jammer, who was out with a hamstring injury.

New York Giants

The Giants lost right tackle Kareem McKenzie to a bruised back against Dallas. He was joined on the sideline by, of all people, line judge Jeff Seaman. He pulled a hamstring in the second quarter and referee Jeff Triplette's crew worked the rest of the game with six officials.

Washington Redskins

Redskins wide receiver James Thrash, starting because of a heel injury to Santana Moss, had five catches for 85 yards and two touchdowns in a 33-25 loss to Philadelphia. But Thrash left in the fourth quarter after hurting his left ankle and was on crutches in the locker room.

Washington also lost safety Sean Taylor to a knee injury and played without linebacker Marcus Washington (hamstring).

Oakland Raiders

The Raiders were also banged up on defense, playing without top cornerbacks Nnamdi Asomugha and Fabian Washington. Asomugha injured his knee and Washington hurt his calf in last week's game against Houston. Both were listed as questionable this week, but were unable to play.

Miami Dolphins

The Dolphins added injury to insult while blowing a fourth-quarter lead against Buffalo that kept them winless through nine games.

Defensive end Jason Taylor left early in the third quarter of the 13-10 loss with an ankle injury, and fellow defensive lineman Matt Roth left in the second quarter with a groin injury.

Taylor returned to action only briefly and said afterward he wasn't sure about the severity of the injury.

''Anybody that knows me or has been around me knows I'll keep going no matter what it is,'' Taylor said. ''I just couldn't do it today.''

Buffalo Bills

Buffalo lost cornerback Kiwaukee Thomas to a groin injury in the fourth quarter. The Bills said it could be serious.

Baltimore Ravens

The Ravens played without starting cornerbacks Chris McAlister (knee) and Samari Rolle (illness) in their 21-7 loss to Cincinnati, and lost cornerback Corey Ivy to a concussion.

Pittsburgh Steelers

Fullback Dan Kreider missed the Steelers' 31-28 win over Cleveland because of a concussion, and safety Ryan Clark was inactive because of a spleen injury. Pittsburgh also held out wide receiver Willie Reid, running back Gary Russell, offensive lineman Darnell Stapleton, offensive tackle Trai Essex and tight end Jerame Tuman.

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Re: NFL News and Notes Week 11

NFL betting recaps for Week 10 games

Green Bay 34, Minnesota 0
Cover: Packers -5

Brett Favre passed another milestone and the Green Bay Packers roughed up rookie running back Adrian Peterson in a 34-0 rout of the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday.

Philadelphia 33, Washington 25
Cover: Eagles +3

With the Eagles trailing by five and three rushers closing in, McNabb threw a screen pass to Westbrook over the middle. Sprung by four solid downfield blocks, Westbrook scampered for a 57-yard touchdown with 3:16 remaining Sunday in a 33-25 victory over the Washington Redskins.

Denver 27, Kansas City 11
Cover: Broncos +3

Backup Selvin Young rushed for 109 yards and the Broncos scored two touchdowns in a 9-second span of the third quarter Sunday for a 27-11 victory over the Chiefs, who replaced shaken-up, turnover-prone Damon Huard with second-year quarterback Brodie Croyle.

Atlanta 20, Carolina 13
Cover: Falcons +3

Just before he was drilled to the turf, Joey Harrington found Alge Crumpler over the middle for a 30-yard touchdown with 20 seconds left to give the Atlanta Falcons a 20-13 win over the Carolina Panthers on Sunday.

Pittsburgh 31, Cleveland 28
Cover: Browns +10

The Cleveland Browns did almost everything possible to beat the rival Steelers. They seized a 15-point lead, forced a key turnover and twice got long kickoff returns from Joshua Cribbs even as Pittsburgh tried to kick away from him. What the Browns couldn't defend was, of all things, Ben Roethlisberger's legs in Pittsburgh's 31-28 win Sunday.

Jacksonville 28, Tennessee 13
Cover: Jaguars +4½

Quinn Gray threw for a touchdown and Maurice Jones-Drew and Fred Taylor ran for one apiece as the Jaguars beat Tennessee 28-13 Sunday to split the season series and work their way back into a tie for second in the AFC South.

St. Louis 37, New Orleans 29
Cover: Rams +10

Torry Holt and Isaac Bruce found the old magic, teaming with Marc Bulger on Sunday to give perviously winless St. Louis a surprising 37-29 victory over a New Orleans Saints squad that hadn't lost in a month.

Buffalo 13, Miami 10
Cover: Push

Winless Miami controlled the ball for nearly 37 minutes and led most of the game, but Rian Lindell kicked a 34-yard field goal with 46 seconds left and the Buffalo Bills earned their fourth consecutive victory Sunday, 13-10.

Cincinnati 21, Baltimore 7
Cover: Bengals +3

Shayne Graham kicked a team-record seven field goals, and the Bengals received a surprisingly efficient performance from their defense.

Chicago 17, Oakland 6

Cover: Bears -3½

With one perfect deep pass, Rex Grossman just might have won back his starting quarterback job and saved the Chicago Bears' season.

Dallas 31, N.Y. Giants 20
Cover:  Cowboys -2

Tony Romo hit Terrell Owens on two of his four touchdown passes and Dallas opened a big lead in the division by ending the Giants' six-game winning streak.

Detroit 21, Arizona 31

Cover: Cardinals -2½

Karlos Dansby intercepted two passes and forced a fumble to help Arizona's defense make mistake-prone Detroit look like the lowly Lions of old.

Indianapolis 21, San Diego 23

Cover: Chargers +3½

Adam Vinatieri pushed a 29-yard attempt wide right and the San Diego Chargers escaped with a wild 23-21 win.

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Peterson to miss at least 1 game
Associated Press

Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson will miss Sunday's game against Oakland with a torn ligament in his right knee.

Coach Brad Childress said Monday that Peterson tore his lateral collateral ligament in the Vikings' 34-0 loss to Green Bay. Peterson will not require surgery, Childress said.

"The good news is that the knee is otherwise stable and the injury is isolated to that ligament," Childress said. "I'm told that's a good healing ligament."

Childress said this is not a season-ending injury, but he did not talk about when Peterson might be back.

"I'm real hesitant to put a timeline on that thing," Childress said.

Peterson was hurt just a week after he set an NFL single-game rushing record with 296 yards in a victory over San Diego.

Team doctors told Children that with ligament tears graded on a three-point scale, with three being the worst, Peterson's tear is "two-plus." It's as serious as an anterior cruciate ligament tear, which would have required surgery and ended Peterson's brilliant rookie season.

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Texans' Johnson, Schaub expected back for Week 11

Houston, TX (Sports Network) - Houston Texans wide receiver Andre Johnson is expected to return to the field Week 11 when his club hosts the New Orleans Saints.

Johnson has been out since suffering a knee injury in Week 2.

"He looks good," said Houston head coach Gary Kubiak. "I think the best thing we did is not play him in Oakland. That was really hard not to do, but I think it was good for him. He looks like his old self right now, so everybody's excited to see him back on the field.

"Everybody knows when he's out there, and he brings a work ethic to our football team that he's always set the example, so just having him back's a great plus for everybody."

For the season, Johnson has 14 catches for 262 yards with three touchdowns.

"To be honest, I'm not even really worried about my knee," said Johnson. "When I'm out there playing, I'm not really thinking about it. I'm more concentrating on just trying to make sure my technique and depths of my routes are still the same as when I left, because you tend to do things a little bit faster than you were before.

"I think I'll just be anxious to get out there and just make a play because when you make that first play everything's back to normal again. The biggest thing is just trying to get out there and make a play, but at the same time you don't want to do anything crazy."

Kubiak also said on Monday that starting quarterback Matt Schaub is at 100 percent and expects him to play on Sunday as well. Schaub missed Week 9's 24-17 win over Oakland with a hand injury.

"He looked good," said Kubiak. "I think he looked like himself a little bit. You all know he practiced a little bit before we left on the break, and he's felt well. I think the break did him some good, so all indications (Monday is) that he's fine.

"I just want to make sure I'm seeing the same guy on the practice field that I was seeing before he went through those last couple of weeks, and all indications are that he's heading in that direction."

Schaub has completed 67.9 percent of his passes for 1,658 yards with five touchdowns and seven interceptions this season.

Kubiak also said that starting running back Ahman Green is still nursing a knee injury. His status will be determined later this week. if he can't go reserve Ron Dayne will likely handle a bulk of the running back duties.

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Re: NFL News and Notes Week 11

Bucs sign CB Ratliff

Tampa, FL (Sports Network) - The Tampa Bay Buccaneers signed cornerback Keiwan Ratliff on Monday.

Ratliff was a second-round choice of Cincinnati in the 2004 draft, and suited up in 51 games for the Bengals over four seasons. He recorded three interceptions in the 2005 season.

In a related move, the club released wide receiver Chas Gessner. The Bucs signed Gessner on October 31, after waiving him in training camp.

The Bucs also signed wide receiver Brian Clark to the practice squad and released cornerback Darrell Hunter.

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Opening Numbers - Week 11
By Stephen Nover

Do you think the Cincinnati Bengals are any good? The oddsmakers at Las Vegas Sports Consultants do, at least for Week 11.

They sent out Bengals minus 4 hosting the Arizona Cardinals. The early betting line on Monday was Bengals minus 3 with higher juice. So the line is creeping up to 3 ½.

But is this justified considering the Bengals have lost nine of their last 12 games? Cincinnati has beaten Baltimore for two of its three victories this season. Both times the Ravens turned the ball over six times in losing to the Bengals.

“We’ve been fooled by the Bengals before,” said Mike Seba, a senior linesmaker for LVSC. “You think they (the Bengals) are turning it around and you’re fooled.

“ Cincinnati does have talent. The Bengals defense actually played well against Baltimore . Maybe that victory turns them around. A win like that can do a lot of psychological good because they were down in the dumps.”

Maybe, though, the Cardinals are finally deserving of some respect. The Cardinals are a much more physical and mentally tougher team than in past seasons under first-year head coach Ken Whisenhunt and his ace assistant head coach/offensive line coach Russ Grimm.

Arizona actually has covered 12 of its last 16 contests. They are 4-1-1 against the spread this year as an underdog.

The Cardinals finally have a balanced attack with Edgerrin James rushing, unlike in the previous Dennis Green regime. The Bengals have allowed six 100-yard rushers. They are 0-6 in those matchups.

Jacksonville is a three-point home favorite against San Diego . The Jaguars are hoping to have starting quarterback David Garrard back. LVSC’s opening line recommendation was Jacksonville minus 2 ½.

“I’m surprised Jacksonville is three,” Seba said. “You’re asking for trouble if you lay three with this Jacksonville offense even if Garrard is back.

“The Jaguars don’t have (suspended defensive tackle) Marcus Stroud or a passing attack.”

Not wanting to get caught short on New England, the LVSC oddsmakers opened the Patriots 16-point road favorites against Buffalo . The Bills were plus 15 at most books on Monday.

The Bills are on a nice pointspread run, covering 13 of their last 17 games. They are 5-0 against the number at home this season, 3-2 straight-up. Only one-point losses to Denver and Dallas, each on last-second field goals, keep Buffalo from having won all five of its home contests.

“I can see it closing 14 ½ just because Buffalo plays so well at home,” Seba said. “But we’d rather be in the position of needing New England .”

The Patriots were idle last week. They failed to cover for the first time this season during their last game, a 24-20 road win against Indianapolis . Chances are the 5 ½-point favorite Patriots would have covered if the Colts would have had two more time-outs since New England was in field goal range at the end of the game but chose to run out the clock.

“If the Bills cover the number, we won’t be so big anymore on the Patriots,” said Seba, acknowledging that oddsmakers slant the Patriots’ pointspread high on purpose knowing how popular New England is with the betting public.

New Orleans lost some of its momentum and luster after losing at home to previously winless St. Louis as a double-digit favorite. The Saints travel to Houston . LVSC’s send-out was pick.

Bookmakers opened the Saints in the minus one to minus three range. But if Reggie Bush doesn’t play and the Texans get back their weapons – wide receiver Andre Johnson, starting tailback Ahman Green and quarterback Matt Schaub – they could close the favorite.

“If they get back those three players, I would make Houston minus 1 or 1 ½,” Seba said.

Despite losing to Dallas this past Sunday, the New York Giants opened either minus 2 ½ or three at Detroit . LVSC’s recommendation was Lions minus 1 ½.

“The Giants are the better team, but the Lions play so well at home,” Seba said. “I don’t see it being three at all. It seems too high of a number for the Giants to lay on the road.”

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Croyle to take over as Chiefs quarterback
The Kansas City Star

With the Chiefs’ playoff hopes fading quickly because of a defective offense, coach Herm Edwards made the recent switch at quarterback permanent on Monday.

Brodie Croyle, who replaced Damon Huard in the third quarter of Sunday’s loss to Denver, will take over for Huard as the starter in Sunday’s game against the Colts in Indianapolis.

“You need a spark,” Edwards said. “We’ve been in some contests now where we haven’t had the ability to score points. That’s part of your job as a quarterback, to put points on the board and move the football team. We’ve moved at times, but we’ve also been very inconsistent.”

In going with Croyle, 24, Edwards is being more hopeful than certain of the results. Croyle, the Chiefs’ third-round draft pick last year, played poorly in the preseason and didn’t give the Chiefs that spark after replacing Huard against the Broncos.

“You understand what you’re walking into when you play a young quarterback,” Edwards said. “You’re walking into an area where at times he’s going to look real good and at times he might make one where you say, ‘Why did he do that?’ But you know what? So be it. We’ll live with it.

“This is a chance for me and this organization to evaluate a young player that we think has a chance to play quarterback. But you don’t know until he has an opportunity.”

The 4-5 Chiefs fell out of first place in the AFC West after their 27-11 loss to the Broncos. They’re tied for second with the Broncos, one game behind first-place San Diego.

Edwards said the move to a youthful quarterback was not an indication that the Chiefs were giving up on the season, but instead a sign they were trying to save it.

“We’re trying to win games,” he said. “You play to win.

“I’ve always done it that way and I haven’t changed. It doesn’t matter if you’re playing young players or not. If Brodie Croyle is the quarterback, that doesn’t mean that we’re looking for next year. We’re not. We’ve got seven games left this year, and we’ll have an opportunity to win every time we play.”

In light of the Chiefs’ many offensive problems, Edwards isn’t expecting the Chiefs to suddenly turn into one of the NFL’s highest scoring teams. Their offensive line is a mess, making pass protection and the running game inconsistent at best.

Although his statistics might have indicated Huard wasn’t playing well, until recently he had been doing a good job of holding everything together. As recently as two weeks ago, during their bye week, the Chiefs considered Huard one of their most valuable players for this season.

But Huard threw two interceptions and lost a fumble against the Broncos, making easier what had been a difficult decision for Edwards.

“When you change your quarterback, people always feel like it was all on the quarterback,” Edwards said. “It’s not. It’s never all on the quarterback. Damon’s been a pro, a stand-up guy. When I brought him in here today he understood. He gets the big picture. He understands that it’s been nine weeks and that it’s not an emotional decision. Maybe some people thought I should have done it earlier. I have a feel for this football team. We’re at a point where I’ve got to try to spark something on offense.”

Croyle will become the first quarterback drafted by the Chiefs to start a game for them since Todd Blackledge, who was drafted in 1983 and last started a game for Kansas City in 1987.

Croyle steps into a situation that is far from ideal. The Chiefs are tied for 30th among the league’s 32 teams in scoring. They have nothing offensively that they can count on consistently.

They are almost certain to play in Indianapolis without injured running back Larry Johnson, though they were pleasantly surprised in the Denver game with Priest Holmes, who was making his first start in more than two years.

“The good thing about it is he’s been in (three) games and he’s also been here,” Edwards said of Croyle. “He’s seen it. He understands what we’re struggling with. He’s got to go in there now and not worry about that. He’s just got to go play quarterback. He can’t worry about anything. All he can control is how he plays. That’s what I told him today. I told him, ‘You have to get better every week for us.’ We’ll find out what happens.”

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Taylor Out Indefinitely With Sprained Right Knee

Safety Sean Taylor will be out indefinitely after spraining his right knee in the Washington Redskins' 33-25 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday.

An MRI exam yesterday confirmed that Taylor, who leads the Redskins with five interceptions, has a Grade 2 sprain of the medial collateral ligament in his right knee, said Bubba Tyer, director of sports medicine. "He's going to be out at least two weeks," Tyer said. "From there, we'll take it week to week and see how he does."

Taylor left the field late in the third quarter and did not return. He left Redskins Park on crutches without commenting yesterday.

"I don't know how long" Taylor will be out, Coach Joe Gibbs said. "I'm always careful with these guys because, physically, they're not like the rest of us. We'll take it day by day and see how it goes, but it's going to be a little while."

Taylor has excelled in deep coverage in the base cover-2 defense. Without him, the secondary struggled in the fourth quarter as the Eagles outscored Washington 20-10. Quarterback Donovan McNabb teamed with wide receiver Reggie Brown on a 45-yard touchdown pass with 10 minutes 35 seconds left, pulling the Eagles to 22-20.

The Eagles had Brown bracketed in double coverage as he sprinted in the middle of the field, but middle linebacker London Fletcher slipped and safety Pierson Prioleau, filling in for Taylor, turned the wrong way.

"Sean Taylor got a little bit banged up. Him being healthy is our first concern," Prioleau said. "Obviously, he's very important to this football team."

With the Redskins playing Sunday at Dallas, Taylor will be missed, Gibbs said. "We're going to have to adjust things," he said. "We've got depth there at safety; it'll be up to the defensive coaches how we're going to arrange that. We've got guys there that [are] going to have to step up and really play well for us."

Thrash Likely to Sit

The Redskins received encouraging news about wide receiver James Thrash, who suffered a high ankle sprain against the Eagles but does not have a severe knee injury, Tyer said. "We did an MRI on his ankle, his lower leg and his knee, and he looks good. He's just got a bruised knee," Tyer said. "He has a high ankle sprain. On a grade of one to three it's a Grade 1."

Thrash, who had five catches for 85 yards and two touchdowns, is not expected to play this week but "anything is possible with James," Tyer said. "He probably won't [play] this week but hopefully next week."

Moss Expected to Play

Wide receiver Santana Moss, inactive against Philadelphia because of a bruised heel, underwent an MRI exam that revealed no further damage, Tyer said.

Moss also had X-rays last week because the Redskins "wanted to see if there was anything we were missing," Tyer said. Moss is expected to resume running later in the week and play against the Cowboys. . . .

Linebacker Marcus Washington, who has missed four of the last five games because of a hamstring injury, is unsure whether he will be able to play Sunday. "You're still kind of guessing because you haven't been through it -- you haven't run at full speed yet -- so I'll probably go through a couple of practices this week and maybe turn it loose a little bit and see how it goes," Washington said. "It's very frustrating, and you kind of want to go out and say, 'Skip it,' but you have to think about the games to come and the future. Hopefully, we'll get to where we want to be in the postseason. So we'll get through this week, see how it feels and hopefully I'll be able to go."

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Re: NFL News and Notes Week 11

Plaxico Burress' bad ankle worsens

Plaxico Burress has gritted his teeth and played through a painful ankle injury all season. But it's clearly getting worse.

One day after he was held to an ineffective four catches for 24 yards in a 31-20 loss to Dallas, Burress said his right ankle felt "probably the worst it's felt" all season - amazing since it's been bothering him since he first sprained it on Aug. 2.

"It seems like its getting worse," Burress said yesterday. "All I can do is keep getting treatment and rehab. That's really all I can do about it."

Burress has caught just 11 passes for 81 yards and no touchdowns in the last three games (though one game was played in sloppy conditions at London's Wembley Stadium). In the first six games, he was averaging five catches for 84.5 yards and 1.3 touchdowns.

Tom Coughlin conceded Burress' ankle injury is hurting his production. "I would think that certainly has a lot to do with it," Coughlin said.

Burress said he has no intention of sitting out a game.

"I don't think it is going to get better," Burress said. "It's just something I have to play with for a little while. I'll be glad when it's all over and I can rest it and get it healthy."

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Re: NFL News and Notes Week 11

Jags QB Garrard anticipates returning to lineup
November 12, 2007

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) -- Jaguars quarterback David Garrard, who missed the last three games because of an ankle injury, anticipates returning to the starting lineup Sunday against the San Diego Chargers.

"Everything's feeling good," Garrard said Monday. "We're going to have to once again get out and practice and make sure we continue down the right path and make sure we don't have any setbacks."

Barring a setback, Garrard said he expects to be back against the Chargers. He could have played Sunday at Tennessee, but team doctors decided to give him another week to recover from the high ankle sprain.

"I still wasn't far enough along," Garrard said. "If there was one or two games left, then I could have done it. But there's a long stretch ahead of us and I don't want to do anything that tweaks it just enough that it kind of hobbles me a little bit more. In hindsight, I know it was the best decision."

Coach Jack Del Rio was less certain that Garrard would be under center Sunday.

"We'll see how practice goes," he said. "He did OK last week. He wasn't quite ready. We anticipate he'll be better this week and we'll take a look on Wednesday and see how it goes."

Del Rio said kicker Josh Scobee also was nearing a return. Scobee injured his right leg in the season opener and hasn't played since.

Scobee said he was "optimistic about playing."

"It's been longer than I wanted and I thought," he said. "A couple of times when I came back to kick I re-aggravated it and set myself back a little bit. I've been kicking for a week and a half and haven't had any setbacks."

Also Monday, the Jaguars activated linebacker Justin Durant and offensive lineman Richard Collier from the reserve/suspended list and waived linebackers Roy Manning and Jorge Cordova.

Durant and Collier were suspended for two games and fined following their arrests.

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Re: NFL News and Notes Week 11


INDIANAPOLIS - The Colts have made a move to address the latest in a variety of high-profile injuries.

This move came on the defensive line.

And it came by signing a player familiar to Colts Head Coach Tony Dungy.

With Pro Bowl defensive end Dwight Freeney expected to miss a “significant amount of time” with an injury sustained Sunday, the Colts on Monday acquired three-time Pro Bowl defensive end Simeon Rice off waivers, Colts President Bill Polian said.

Freeney, who has registered a franchise-record 60 sacks in six NFL seasons - including 3.5 this season – sustained a foot injury late in the Colts' loss to the San Diego Chargers on Sunday night.

“We anticipate that Dwight will some significant amount of time – three, four games, maybe more,” Polian said Monday night on his weekly radio show.

Rice, who was released by the Denver Broncos on Friday, had signed with the Broncos on September 3 after being released by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Rice, a 12-year veteran and the third overall selection in the 1996 NFL Draft, has 121 career sacks, second only to Michael Strahan of the New York Giants among active players. He played in eight games with two sacks last season before being placed on injured reserve with a shoulder injury.

Rice started one of six games played with the Broncos this season, registering eight tackles and no sacks.

Rice played six seasons with Tampa Bay, from 2001-2006, registering 69.5 sacks in the Tampa 2, one-gap style of defense. Dungy coached the Buccaneers from 1996-2001.

“Simeon obviously knows our system,” Polian said. “He has played for Tony before. He fits like a glove.” 

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Re: NFL News and Notes Week 11

Freeney expected to miss several games   
Colts GM Bill Polian confirmed Monday night that he expects DE Dwight Freeney (foot) to miss "a significant amount of time."

Polian didn't disclose the exact extent of Freeney's injury, but said he anticipates his franchise defensive end being out for "three, four games, maybe more." Recently acquired Simeon Rice, who knows head coach Tony Dungy's system from Tampa, will be asked to help fill the void on a situational basis. Josh Thomas and Robert Mathis are likely to start. Nov. 12

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Javon Walker not expected to play in Week 11   

Broncos coach Mike Shanahan says Javon Walker (knee) is a "long shot" to face the Titans next Monday night.

There were reports last week that Walker was hopeful of returning in Week 11, but Shanahan says Walker will have to practice to play. "I’m keeping my fingers crossed," Shanahan added. "We’ll just have to wait and see...I don’t think it’ll be good for Monday night." Walker returning to limited work this week would bode well for his chances to face Chicago in Week 12.

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Re: NFL News and Notes Week 11

Tarvaris Jackson probably back in starting role with Minnesota Vikings

Childress decides to go with injury-prone QB

The Vikings' quarterback carousel took another turn Monday as coach Brad Childress named Tarvaris Jackson the probable starter for Sunday's game against Oakland.

"I do feel like coming out of training camp he was the best quarterback, so I would say it's probably going to end up being back to Tarvaris," Childress said.

Childress said the Vikings "kind of erred on the side of caution" in holding Jackson out of Sunday's 34-0 loss at Green Bay because of the concussion he suffered a week earlier against San Diego.

The concussion was the third injury this season for the second-year quarterback, who missed three other games because of a strained groin muscle and fractured right index finger.

With seven games remaining, Childress said there's enough time to make a reasonable evaluation of Jackson for next season and the future.

"It's reasonable if he stays healthy," Childress said. "That's the big if. ... I would like to be able to evaluate him over the course of a string of games."

Jackson left the locker room before the open media period Monday and was unavailable for comment.

Wide receiver Bobby Wade said it would be good for the offense to get its No. 1 quarterback back.

"Tarvaris has been able to make plays for us," Wade said. "It's just been on and off. The more he gets comfortable and confident with himself, there's no doubt that he'll be the player that we expect him to be."

Jackson has to prove that he can stay healthy, and Childress said
injury history over a body of time would factor into the evaluation process for the future.
"Then you ask yourself, is this just one particularly bad year?" he said. "Is it the fact that he's a china doll? Somewhere you have to have some durability and resilience."

Asked if there's a growing concern in the organization that Jackson is a "china doll," Childress said, "Not from my standpoint, no."

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Re: NFL News and Notes Week 11

Chiefs' Johnson out another week
November 13th, 2007

Kansas City, MO (Sports Network) - Kansas City running back Larry Johnson will not play against the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday.

Chiefs president/general manager Carl Peterson announced that the swelling continues to subside in Johnson's injured right foot, but he will not be able to play when the Colts host the Chiefs.

Peterson said Johnson, who was on the sidelines without crutches for Sunday's 27-11 home loss to Denver, has been getting rehab treatments twice a day. Peterson said Johnson's condition will be evaluated on a week-to-week basis, and that the running back will see a foot specialist next Monday.

The two-time Pro Bowl back injured his right foot on a fourth-quarter play in the November 4 loss against Green Bay, and had to be helped off the field. With a little more than eight minutes left in the game, Johnson received a short pass from quarterback Damon Huard, and was tackled by Packers linebacker A.J. Hawk.

Johnson twisted awkwardly on the play, and didn't put any weight on the leg as he was assisted off the field.

Johnson has 158 carries for 559 yards and three scores this season, and 30 catches for 186 yards and a touchdown for the 4-5 Chiefs, who are a game behind first-place San Diego in the AFC West.

With Johnson out, Priest Holmes has carried the rushing load. He ran 20 times for 65 yards in the game against Denver.

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Texans place Robinson on IR, sign Cox
November 13, 2007

HOUSTON (AP) -The Houston Texans placed cornerback Dunta Robinson on the injured reserve and signed safety Curome Cox on Tuesday.

Robinson tore his right anterior cruciate ligament and injured his hamstring making a tackle against Oakland.

Cox was released by Denver by Nov. 6 after playing for the Broncos since 2005. He appeared in seven games this season and had seven tackles and a fumble recovery.

Cox has 53 tackles and two interceptions in his three-year NFL career.

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QB Losman will start again for Bills
November 13, 2007

ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (AP) -Two days after leading the Bills to another come-from-behind win, quarterback J.P. Losman was selected as the starter for Buffalo's game against unbeaten New England on Sunday.

Coach Dick Jauron released a statement Tuesday on the quarterbacking situation.

Down 10-2 after three quarters, Losman guided the Bills to a 13-10 victory over the winless Miami Dolphins last Sunday, his second straight fourth-quarter comeback win and third of his career. He also manufactured a late-game rally for Buffalo two weeks ago over Cincinnati.

Losman completed just 12 of 23 passes for 157 yards and one interception against the Dolphins. He was also sacked twice and struggled during most of the first three quarters.

He's now led the team to three straight wins, including three weeks ago against the Jets in a relief appearance after rookie starter Trent Edwards sprained his wrist. Edwards was inactive against the Bengals, but was the backup against Miami.

The resurgent Bills (5-4) have won four straight after opening the season 0-3. Included in those three losses was a 38-7 defeat at New England in Week 3 when Losman lost his starting job to Edwards after spraining his left knee during the Bills' first offensive series.

As part of it its flex-scheduling system, the NFL moved this Sunday's game against the Patriots (9-0) to 8:15 p.m. EST. New England is coming off its bye week after using a fourth-quarter comeback of its own to defeat Indianapolis in Week 9.

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Bertrand Berry's season ends early again
November 13, 2007

TEMPE, Ariz. (AP) -Arizona Cardinals defensive end Bertrand Berry will miss the rest of the season because of a torn left triceps.

An MRI exam Monday confirmed the extent of the injury, team spokesman Mark Dalton said on Tuesday. Berry was hurt in Sunday's 31-21 victory over Detroit.

It is the third year in a row Berry's season has ended prematurely.

He missed the final six games of last season with a torn right triceps and the last eight games in 2005 with a torn pectoral muscle. Berry made the Pro Bowl after leading the NFC in sacks in 2004, his first season with the Cardinals.

Coach Ken Whisenhunt said Monday that Joe Tafoya and Darryl Blackstock would share the job in Berry's absence.

Tafoya is in his second year with the Cardinals after signing as a free agent following two seasons with Seattle. Blackstock, a third-round draft pick out of Virginia in 2005, lost out to Calvin Pace in the competition for outside linebacker in training camp. That job became open when Chike Okeafor was lost for the season with a torn biceps tendon.

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McNair out at least 2 to 3 weeks

Ravens QB sidelined with left shoulder injury; Boller to start against Cleveland

Steve McNair will be out at least two to three weeks with a shoulder injury, which means Kyle Boller will be the Ravens' starting quarterback Sunday against the Cleveland Browns.

McNair sustained a partial dislocation in his non-throwing shoulder late in Sunday's 21-7 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals, coach Brian Billick announced on his weekly radio show tonight.

Boller, who was a three-year starter before the Ravens traded for McNair in June 2006, is 2-1 as the starter this season. In his three starts, Boller has averaged 186.7 yards passing, throwing three touchdowns and one interception.

"Obviously, Kyle is cranked up and ready to go," Billick said.

McNair's injury raised some eyebrows because it comes at a point when the Ravens might have been ready to bench the well-respected, four-time Pro Bowl quarterback.

In six starts this season, McNair has struggled to a 2-4 record, throwing two touchdown passes and committing 11 turnovers (four interceptions and seven fumbles).

McNair was pulled from Sunday's loss with 7:33 left in the game after he failed to produce a scoring drive against a Bengals defense that had allowed 30.5 points a game. In the locker room, a sullen McNair indicated he had reached the "lowest point" of his career and said he would understand if the Ravens decided to bench him and start Boller.

A day later, the Ravens announced that McNair suddenly had a shoulder injury. Billick said tonight that McNair was injured on his last hit.

According to Billick, the shoulder keeps "popping in and out" of its joint, which will cause McNair to be sidelined a "minimum" of two to three weeks before he can begin practicing.

"Initially, it was one of those things where there's a numbness to it and then you wake up in morning and it's, 'Oh my God, what's going on here?'" Billick said.

Over the past four seasons, McNair has missed 13 starts. He has already sat out three starts this season with groin and back injuries.

According to Billick's timetable, Boller would start against the Browns and at the San Diego Chargers. The earliest McNair would return -- and that's presuming the Ravens would be willing to start him again -- would be the Dec. 3 game against the New England Patriots.

Boller, a 2003 first-round pick by the Ravens, brings a different style than McNair to a Ravens offense that has dropped to No. 23 overall and No. 28 in scoring.

There's a better chance of producing big plays with Boller because he looks downfield more often than McNair and has a stronger arm. Boller also has more mobility and can create more plays with his legs.

With Boller becoming the starter, rookie fifth-round pick Troy Smith now becomes the backup. Last season's Heisman Trophy winner has yet to take a snap during the regular season.

"That's going to be a fun challenge for Troy, because now he's been around enough," Billick said. "The focus and attention that he brings to [preparing] is heightened."

Because Smith is the second quarterback (the No. 3 essentially can't play the first three quarters unless the top two quarterbacks are injured), Billick speculated that Smith could be put into some specialty packages to take advantage of his athleticism.

"You don't want to tip your hand, but there are some things that you could do with Troy in that capacity because of his abilities to run the ball and do some of those things," Billick said.

At this point, the Ravens aren't considering signing another quarterback. But if McNair's injury lingers, the team might think about adding one for depth.

Said Billick: "Quite frankly, there's not a lot out there for us to consider."

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