NFL News and Notes Week 12

NFL News and Notes Week 12

Injuries: Giants' Kiwanuka breaks leg
November 18, 2007

Associated Press

PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- Donovan McNabb gave the Philadelphia Eagles another mid-November scare, going out in the second quarter with a sprained right ankle Sunday.

McNabb was injured in the second quarter of the Eagles' 17-7 victory against the winless Miami Dolphins. He came out for the second half in his uniform.

Despite a strong game from backup A.J. Feeley, Eagles coach Andy Reid is sticking with his starter, who threw two interceptions in limited action against the Dolphins.

"If Donovan's healthy, he's the quarterback," Reid said.

McNabb's injury comes nearly a full year after his season ended with a torn knee ligament. X-rays were negative Sunday, and he stood on the sideline for the second half.

McNabb played a full game after breaking the same ankle in November 2002. He missed the rest of that regular season, the first of three times he went down for the season in mid-November.

McNabb also had a bandage on his throwing hand at the postgame press conference and said he jammed his thumb on a different play.

"I'm going to make sure I'm right to get back out there," he said.

The New York Giants' 16-10 win over Detroit came with a big price: linebacker Mathias Kiwanuka broke his left leg and running back Brandon Jacobs was sidelined with a hamstring injury.

Giants coach Tom Coughlin said Kiwanuka might be out for the season.

"It's obviously a big loss for us," Coughlin said.

Kiwanuka was hurt when teammate Osi Umenyiora rolled into him while making a tackle on the second play of the game. He was helped off the field, keeping his left foot off the ground, and was later taken away on a cart. X-rays revealed Kiwanuka broke his fibula.

Late in the third quarter, Jacobs limped off the field while trying to keep weight off his left leg and did not return.

"We'll have to evaluate that," said Coughlin, who wasn't sure how serious the injury was.

Lions backup safety Idress Bashir injured his right knee on the opening kickoff and was carted off the field.

Adrian Peterson, out with a knee injury, watched from the Minnesota sideline in a sweat suit as Chester Taylor did a good impersonation of the heralded rookie. Taylor had 202 total yards and three touchdowns in a 29-22 win against the Oakland Raiders.

"Chester has been overshadowed the entire year with Adrian, but I would take Chester Taylor on my team any time," center Matt Birk said. "He runs hard. He fights for every last yard he can get."

Both teams lost their top cornerbacks to unspecified injuries, Nnamdi Asamouga for the Raiders and Antoine Winfield for the Vikings.

Jacksonville won for the third time in four games, but learned after the game that linebacker Mike Peterson broke his right hand and will be sidelined indefinitely. The injury came on the day David Garrard threw two touchdown passes in his return from an ankle injury.

"He broke it in several places and the question will be whether or not four or five weeks from now he can play with a big club or not," Jaguars coach Jack Del Rio said. "We'll have to assess that. Right now, he's definitely going to be out for a few weeks."

Without Peterson, the Jaguars probably will move outside linebacker Daryl Smith into the middle and insert rookie second-round pick Justin Durant into the starting lineup.

The Jaguars also could be without cornerback Rashean Mathis next week against Buffalo. Mathis strained his groin in the first half and did not return.

Baltimore quarterback Kyle Boller was sacked six times and committed three turnovers starting in place of an injured and ineffective Steve McNair (shoulder). But Boller led the Ravens on four scoring drives in the fourth quarter and went 22-for-41 for 279 yards in a 33-30, overtime loss to Cleveland, who lost defensive back Eric Wright to a knee injury in the first quarter.

Baltimore defensive tackle Trevor Pryce (chest) left with just over two minutes remaining in regulation.

Arizona's Kurt Warner, playing despite a torn ligament in his non-throwing elbow, went 16-of-28 for 211 yards and two touchdowns, making one of the completions with his injured arm in a 35-27 win over the Bengals.

The Cardinals were missing Pro Bowl safety Adrian Wilson, who was inactive with a heel injury.

Atlanta was hit hard by injuries in its home loss to Tampa Bay. Defensive tackle Trey Lewis appeared to sustain a season-ending knee injury, and offensive tackle Todd Weiner aggravated his left knee, which already needed surgery this season. Tight End Dwayne Blakley (neck, head) and defensive tackle Rod Coleman (arm, hand) also went down.

Peyton Manning again looked ragged with Marvin Harrison (bruised left knee) out for the fourth straight week.

At halftime of the Colts' game against Kansas City, Manning's passer rating was only 23.4 and despite a masterful closing drive to set up Adam Vinatieri's winning kick, Manning still finished only 16-of-32 for 163 yards with one interception and a 52.0 rating.

Chiefs running back Larry Johnson sat out with an injured right foot. Priest Holmes, who missed two seasons with a spinal chord injury, replaced him in the starting lineup and gained 55 yards on 19 carries.

With Alex Smith sitting out with a sore throwing arm, Trent Dilfer was 20-of-42 with an interception for San Francisco in a loss to St. Louis.

In Green Bay, Packers defensive lineman Johnny Jolly injured his shoulder, but Packers coach Mike McCarthy said he should be available for Thursday's game at Detroit. McCarthy said running back Ryan Grant had a "mild" ankle sprain after another good game, gaining 88 yards on 20 carries. His availability for Thursday was not clear.

Maurice Morris started for Shaun Alexander (sprained knee) for the second consecutive game, and had a 19-yard touchdown run against Chicago. The Bears relegated Brian Griese to the emergency, No. 3 quarterback role for the Bears a week after he sprained his left (non-throwing) shoulder at Oakland. Rex Grossman was 24-for-37 for 266 yards, but had a late fumble that helped Seattle seal the victory.

The Jets beat Pittsburgh without a true fullback after placing Stacy Tutt on injured reserve Saturday and declaring Darian Barnes inactive against the Steelers. Pittsburgh rookie outside linebacker LaMarr Woodley was inactive against the Jets.

In Dallas, Santana Moss, playing with a specially rigged cleat to protect a bruised right heel, caught nine passes for 121 yards and a touchdown but Washington lost to the Cowboys 28-23.

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McNabb's status for Patriots unknown
November 19th, 2007

Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - An MRI exam on the injured right ankle of Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb showed just minor swelling, but it is unknown whether he will get the start Sunday night against the undefeated New England Patriots.

McNabb suffered a sprained ankle midway through the second quarter of Sunday's 17-7 win against the Miami Dolphins.

Backup A.J. Feeley engineered a pair of touchdown drives in his absence, and would get the nod if McNabb is not healthy enough to go.

Interestingly, it may be McNabb's right thumb -- not ankle -- that keeps him off the field this Sunday night. The signal-caller is experiencing swelling in the area after jamming the thumb on a first-half throw.

Head coach Andy Reid, in his day-after press conference, said that the thumb was of equal if not greater concern than the ankle.

McNabb completed just 3-of-11 passes for 34 yards with a pair of interceptions before departing.

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Coles hurt, likely to miss next game
Monday, November 19, 2007

Jets wide receiver Laveranues Coles suffered a high left ankle sprain in yesterday's 19-16 overtime victory against the Steelers at Giants Stadium and it's highly unlikely he'll play on Thursday against the Cowboys, according to someone who spoke to Coles after the game. That person spoke on the condition of anonymity because he's not authorized to speak on injuries.

Coles, who has a team-high six touchdowns, was injured on a 56-yard flea flicker on the second play of the game when he was tackled by Steelers CB Ike Taylor on the one-yard line. Coles (one catch, 56 yards) returned briefly and eventually went to the locker room with 6:58 left in the first half. He tried to return for the third quarter but was forced to the sidelines for good after pulling up lame on a deep ball on the third play of the quarter.

Coles' presence was sorely missed as neither Jerricho Cotchery (one catch, five yards) or Brad Smith (three catches, 26 yards) stepped up. Smith missed a potential game-winning catch in the end zone with 37 seconds left in regulation.

RB Thomas Jones (117 yards on a season-high 30 carries) notched his third 100-yard game as a Jet. He ran extremely hard against a fierce Steelers defense, repeatedly gaining yards after the first hit. Pittsburgh hadn't allowed a 100-yard rusher in 34 games, including postseason, dating back to 2005.

Jones had his big day on a day the Jets honored his predecessor, future Hall of Famer Curtis Martin.

"Their type of defense, you definitely have to try to get yards after contact and that's what I was trying to focus on, trying to finish the runs off," said Jones. "They're a pretty good tackling team but the line did a good job of staying on their blocks enough to where they couldn't wrap me up 100 percent and that gave me the opportunity to break out of some tackles."

Said RG Brandon Moore: "Thomas made a lot of those yards on his own, he kept churning his feet."

KR Leon Washington leads the NFL in kickoff returns but has struggled on punt returns, which made his game-breaking 33-yarder in overtime all the more surprising.

"Coach Mangini talked about things we need to work on during the bye week and I felt like for me, it was catching the ball on punt returns and giving my team the opportunity to be able to make plays in that aspect of the game," said Washington, who entered the game averaging just 6.6 yards per punt return."

NT Dewayne Robertson had a team-high 2.5 sacks and five tackles. ... LB David Harris finished with 11 tackles and a sack. He has had double-digit tackles in all three games he has started in place of the injured Jonathan Vilma (knee). ... The Jets' seven sacks were the most they've had since 2003 vs. Buffalo (seven).

The Jets are playing their first Thanksgiving Day game since 1985. ... S Kerry Rhodes had his second interception of the season. ... TE Chris Baker caught his third TD pass of the season. ... Second year TE Jason Pociask, who was injured last season, made his NFL debut with one catch for seven yards. ... LG Mike Montgomery, a former starter with the Panthers, alternated with much-maligned starter Adrien Clarke. Clarke, who replaced since-traded veteran Pete Kendall, has struggled all season. ...

LT D'Brickashaw Ferguson had a rough day, giving up a sack and missing a key block on a third-and-two from the Steelers' 38-yard line late in regulation. ... Veteran DE Eric Hicks, a 10th-year pro who has played in every game, was among the inactives vs. the Steelers.

www.starledger.com

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Vikings say Peterson's a 'long shot' to play
November 19, 2007

The Minnesota Vikings will probably be without star running back Adrian Peterson for at least another week.

Peterson was sent to work out in a swimming pool Monday for continued rehab on his injured right knee. Coach Brad Childress said he didn't expect Peterson to be ready for the next game against the New York Giants.

``It's hard to say right now. He hasn't been on hard land yet,'' Childress said.

Chester Taylor resumed his role as the featured back and rushed for 164 yards on Sunday in a victory over Oakland with Peterson watching from the sideline.

Peterson, who still leads the league by a wide margin with 1,081 yards rushing, was hurt in the third quarter of the Nov. 11 game against Green Bay on a tackle by Packers cornerback Al Harris that caused his lateral collateral ligament to tear. The LCL is the least critical of the four knee ligaments.

Peterson has spent ``literally, six to eight hours a day'' in the training room since then, Childress said. He'll have to practice before being cleared for action in a game, so it's likely he won't return until some time in December.

Also, fullback Tony Richardson sprained his knee and also hurt his ankle against the Raiders.

Also, fullback Tony Richardson sprained his knee and also hurt his ankle against the Raiders.

Quarterback J.P. Losman will get his fourth straight start at Jacksonville on Sunday, when Buffalo could again be without top offensive threat Marshawn Lynch.

Coach Dick Jauron said Monday that while he wouldn't count out Lynch, he's not optimistic the rookie running back will be fully healed from a severely sprained left ankle.

``I don't want to discount him ever,'' Jauron said. ``But it is a substantial sprain and injury.''

That's potentially bad news for the Bills (5-5), who are trying to rebound from a 56-10 loss to New England on Sunday and hoping to stay in the AFC playoff hunt.

Jauron said Lynch, who was hurt in a 13-10 win at Miami on Nov. 11, was still wearing a protective boot through last weekend.

Despite missing the game against the Patriots, Lynch still ranks eighth in the NFL with 751 yards rushing and leads the Bills with six touchdowns. With a touchdown passing, Lynch has had a hand in seven of 11 TDs produced by Buffalo's offense this season.

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Steelers may be without Polamalu, Holmes for multiple games
November 20, 2007

PITTSBURGH (AP) -Steelers strong safety Troy Polamalu and wide receiver Santonio Holmes seem certain to miss at least one game and possibly more with injuries from a surprise loss to the New York Jets.

Polamalu sprained a knee and Holmes injured ankle ligaments during a 19-16 overtime loss Sunday, one of the NFL's biggest upsets this season. Both are listed as doubtful for Monday night's home game against Miami (0-10).

Although coach Mike Tomlin wouldn't list either player as out, he talked Tuesday as if neither would play. Both injuries are the type that can sideline players for multiple games.

Tomlin called them ``two significant injuries.''

Holmes has a sprain in his upper right ankle, or injured ligaments between the two major bones of the lower leg at ankle level. While Holmes' sprain is mild, the injury is typically much worse than a regular sprain and can keep a player out for three to four weeks.

Holmes' absence would be a major setback to an offense that managed only one touchdown and 151 yards passing against the Jets (2-8), who had previously won only one game. It also takes away quarterback Ben Roethlisberger's top deep threat.

Holmes, a first-round draft pick in 2006, leads the division-leading Steelers (7-3) in receptions (39), touchdown catches (7) and average gain per catch (17 yards).

Tomlin wouldn't choose a replacement starter for Holmes, saying Nate Washington, Cedrick Wilson and possibly Willie Reid would divide playing time. Washington had two TD catches Nov. 5 against Baltimore and is the only Steelers wide receiver other than starters Holmes and Hines Ward with a touchdown reception.

Tyrone Carter will start for Polamalu, and cornerback Deshea Townsend can also play safety if needed, Tomlin said.

``It's going to require multiple people to step up and fill the roles they provide for us, which is great,'' Tomlin said. ``This is a team, and it's the ultimate team game. We're looking forward to these guys stepping up and delivering for us.''

The Steelers have been relatively injury free most of the season, but are currently without both starting safeties. Free safety Ryan Clark (spleen) went on injured reserve last week, with Anthony Smith starting the last four games in his place.

While Polamalu is having a down season statistically, with no interceptions or sacks and one fumble recovery, his ability to shift positions from play to play is an important element of Pittsburgh's league-leading defense.

Opposing coaches talk constantly of adjusting to Polamalu, who may line up as a pass-rushing linebacker on one play or in deep zone coverage on the next. Despite Sunday's loss, the Steelers are allowing an average of 40 fewer yards per game than any other team.

While Tomlin wouldn't say specifically the Steelers were flat and unprepared mentally to play the Jets, it was obvious he felt there was a letdown. Several players talked afterward of the team being flat.

``I don't want our level of preparation this week to be a response to last week's performance,'' Tomlin said. ``I want it to be because we have a football game to play. That's the only way we're going to be great, is that we understand all of these games are equally weighted, and every time you take the field you've got to come to play. That's what great teams do.''

The offensive line wasn't the only culprit in Roethlisberger's seven sacks, according to Tomlin, who said the quarterback must get rid of the ball sooner at times.

``It's not a five-man job in terms of protecting our quarterback, it's a unit's job,'' Tomlin said. ``We need to do a better job of getting open. We need to do a better job of protecting up front. We need to do a better job of protecting at the running back's position. We have to do a better job of deciphering what we're looking at and getting the ball out of our hands.''

The Steelers won't do anything specific this week to address their road problems - they are 5-0 at home and 2-3 on the road - because their next two games are at home.

``As a coach, your level of expectation is they are wired and ready to play on a weekly basis,'' Tomlin said. ``That's what this business is about. The reality is sometimes that's not the case. Their play is usually an indication of that.''

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Smith out at least two more weeks to rehab sore shoulder
ASSOCIATED PRESS

SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- San Francisco quarterback Alex Smith will miss the 49ers' next two games to give his injured right arm more time to rest.

In the latest twist to the former No. 1 draft pick's contentious rehabilitation from a separated shoulder, 49ers spokesman Aaron Salkin said Tuesday night that Smith will sit out of the 49ers' upcoming games at Arizona and Carolina. Trent Dilfer is expected to start as San Francisco (2-8) will try to end its eight-game losing streak.

Smith separated his throwing shoulder early in the 49ers' loss to Seattle on Sept. 30, missing the 49ers' next two games. He then played poorly in three games before sitting out last Sunday's loss to St. Louis after complaining about forearm injuries.

Smith traveled to Alabama on Tuesday to consult with Dr. James Andrews. The quarterback has publicly wondered whether he might need surgery that would keep him out for the rest of the season.

Smith and 49ers coach Mike Nolan have sparred publicly over his treatment, with Smith disclosing last week that his injury was more serious than the team or Smith let on.

Smith's agent, Tom Condon, has been critical of the 49ers' rehabilitation program for Smith, believing the injury caused tendinitis in Smith's forearm. Nolan then criticized Condon on Monday for airing his opinions.

''I don't respect the source,'' Nolan said. ''It would be like me trying to pretend to be a doctor.''

Smith's passer rating is 57.2, lowest among the 30 quarterbacks who qualify for NFL statistics. He has completed a league-low 48.7 percent of his passes for 914 yards with two touchdowns and four interceptions.

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Ravens defensive end Pryce likely out for season
November 20, 2007

OWINGS MILLS, Md. (AP) -Baltimore Ravens defensive end Trevor Pryce has a severe pectoral tear and will probably be out for the remainder of the season.

``It's very likely that Trevor may be done for the year,'' coach Brian Billick said during his weekly radio show Tuesday night. ``We're going to miss Trevor.''

A four-time Pro Bowl selection, Pryce missed five games earlier this season with a broken left wrist that required surgery.

The veteran returned to play three games, but injured his chest during the final minutes of Sunday's 33-30 overtime loss to the Cleveland Browns.

``Getting him back was important,'' Billick said. ``We'll adjust, but missing him on the inside is going to be a lot to deal with.''

Pryce led the Ravens with 13 sacks a year ago, his first season in Baltimore after signing a five-year, $25 million contract. Limited by the injuries, he had just 19 tackles and two sacks this season.

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Re: NFL News and Notes Week 12

Redskins add Mix to the mix at receiver
November 20, 2007

ASHBURN, Va. (AP) -The Washington Redskins on Tuesday signed receiver Anthony Mix, reuniting quarterback Jason Campbell with one of his former Auburn teammates.

Mix becomes the seventh receiver on the Redskins roster in a season in which the team has struggled to find the right combination of wideouts due to injuries and disappointing performances.

An undrafted free agent out of college, Mix spent last season on the Giants' practice squad. He began this season on New York's active roster and played in four games with three receptions for 39 yards before being released and re-signed to the practice squad.

Mix caught 19 passes for 294 yards and three touchdowns during his junior year at Auburn, when Campbell was a senior. At 6-foot-5, he is 4 inches taller than any other Redskins receivers.

To make room for Mix, the Redskins released offensive lineman Rick DeMulling.

Also, the team released Burl Toler from the practice squad and signed offensive lineman Calvin Armstrong to it.

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Sources: Holmes' career is over
FOXSports.com

With running back Larry Johnson already on the shelf with a foot injury, the Kansas City Chiefs have been hit with even worse news.

Running back Priest Holmes, who re-injured his neck in Sunday's 13-10 loss to the Indianapolis Colts, met with a specialist Tuesday and has decided to retire, multiple sources have told FOXSports.com.

Holmes made the decision at the urging of teammates and those close to him. He was to meet with team officials early Wednesday and will announce his retirement later in the day.

Holmes, 34, returned from a nearly two-year hiatus earlier this season, an absence that was also a result of a neck injury.

Holmes started the last two games in place of Johnson. According to sources, Holmes was dinged two or three times on Sunday. The last time came in the fourth quarter, which saw him leave the field in a wobbly state after his 20th touch of the game.

In 10 seasons, Holmes has rushed for 8,172 yards on 1,780 carries and scored 86 touchdowns. He also has 339 receptions for 2,962 yards and eight scores. He scored a then NFL-record 27 touchdowns in 2003.

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Bears put Jimoh on injured reserve
November 21st, 2007

Lake Forest, IL (Sports Network) - The Chicago Bears placed cornerback Ade Jimoh on injured reserve Wednesday.

Jimoh, who was signed in the off-season from the Washington Redskins, has been credited with three special-teams tackles in six games this season.

In additional roster moves, the club signed linebacker Nick Roach to the 53- man roster, and also signed safety Brandon Sharpe to the practice squad.

Roach had been on the San Diego Chargers' practice squad from the start of the regular season, while Sharpe was signed as an undrafted free-agent by the Tennessee Titans prior to the season.

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Jaguars sign S Lamont Thompson
November 21st, 2007

Jacksonville, FL (Sports Network) - The Jacksonville Jaguars have signed safety Lamont Thompson.

Thompson was released by Miami on October 10 after playing three games for the Dolphins earlier this season. He recorded one special teams tackle in limited action.

The 29-year-old Washington State product spent the previous four seasons with Tennessee and was released by the Titans on September 1 as part of the team's final cuts. He played his first NFL season with Cincinnati, which selected him with a second-round pick in the 2002 draft.

Thompson has played in 80 games with 45 starts during his NFL career and has registered 234 tackles with nine interceptions and one sack.

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Testaverde is Panthers starter over Carr
November 21, 2007

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) -For the past several weeks, Carolina Panthers coach John Fox has been careful not to name a front-runner at quarterback between Vinny Testaverde and David Carr.

On Wednesday, Fox made it clear: He's going with the 44-year-old.

``Right now, if everybody is healthy, Vinny will be the starter,'' Fox said.

The move comes after the Panthers gave Carr a two-year, $6 million deal in the offseason to back up Jake Delhomme. But since Delhomme was lost to a season-ending right elbow injury in Week 3, Carr has been ineffective.

He's had a back injury and two concussions, but when Carr has played he's struggled to find receivers and has appeared skittish in the pocket.

Testaverde, signed in Week 6 after Carr was first injured, has started the past two games. But Carr is now healthy, and Fox is sticking with Testaverde.

``We make decisions based on who gives us the best chance,'' Fox said. ``It's not always money. It's not always what round (he's drafted). We make those decisions not based on any polls from the outside. It's just based on who we think gives us the best chance. Right now we think that's Vinny.''

Testaverde will likely get his top target back for Sunday's game at New Orleans. Receiver Steve Smith returned to practice Wednesday after missing last weekend's loss to Green Bay with a left shin injury.

``I think he was close last week,'' Fox said. ``Thankfully we've got him back this week.''

Cornerback Chris Gamble missed the workout after undergoing surgery Tuesday to repair a broken thumb. He could still play against the Saints with a cast on his hand.

Running back DeShaun Foster (toe) and defensive tackle Damione Lewis (shoulder) did not practice.

The Panthers also re-signed defensive end Otis Grigsby to the practice squad.

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Bills RB Lynch still limping, could miss game at Jaguars
November 21, 2007

ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (AP) -The Buffalo Bills could be without their top offensive threat for a second straight game after rookie running back Marshawn Lynch missed practice Wednesday because of a sprained left ankle.

Referring to the injury for the first time as a high ankle sprain, coach Dick Jauron said he's ``not particularly optimistic'' Lynch will play at Jacksonville on Sunday.

``He wants to play. He still thinks he should've played last week,'' Jauron said. ``But he's just real sore.''

Jauron had refused to describe the nature of the injury except to call it more than a normal sprain. Players generally require at least two weeks to recover from a high ankle sprain.

That's not good news for the Bills (5-5), who are trying to bounce back from a 56-10 loss to New England last week and keep pace with the Jaguars (7-3) in the AFC playoff race.

Lynch was spotted briefly in the trainer's room during practice Wednesday. He was wearing street clothes and walking with a noticeable limp.

The first-round draft pick has been out since helping secure a 13-10 win at Miami on Nov. 11. He leads the team with six touchdowns rushing and one passing, giving him a hand in seven of the 11 TDs produced by the Buffalo offense.

Despite missing a game, Lynch still ranks eighth in the NFL with 751 yards rushing, and is tied for third with 196 carries.

Safety Donte Whitner was held out of practice because of a head injury, but Jauron said the team was only being cautious and he expects Whitner to play Sunday.

Whitner was hurt when he tackled Patriots running back Kevin Faulk midway through the second quarter. Whitner continued playing, but Jauron expressed concern when the player had difficulty remembering certain events from the game.

Starting linebacker Angelo Crowell (foot) and cornerback Terrence McGee (Achilles' tendon) practiced on a limited basis.

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Titans RB Henry drops appeal
November 21st, 2007

Nashville, TN (Sports Network) - Tennessee Titans rookie running back Chris Henry dropped his appeal and will start serving a four-game suspension for violating the NFL's substance abuse policy.

The Tennessean reports Henry's suspension will begin with this Sunday's game at Cincinnati, meaning he won't be eligible to return until the December 23 home game versus the New York Jets.

According to the newspaper, Henry tested positive for a substance that was added to the league's banned list this year. He appealed and played games against Jacksonville and Denver, both losses.

Henry, a second-round pick out of Arizona, has rushed 22 times for 104 yards and two touchdowns this year.

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Rams' Steussie expected to return
November 21st, 2007

St. Louis, MO (Sports Network) - Rams veteran offensive lineman Todd Steussie is expected to return to the lineup on Sunday when St. Louis hosts the Seattle Seahawks.

Steussie has been out since suffering a broken foot that required surgery in the final preseason game this season.

"We'll just make sure he's in as good of shape as he can," said Rams head coach Scott Linehan of Steussie starting. "It's not really a concern with him. He does have to be able to play with his pads on...He'll be ready to go. He's a veteran."

Steussie entered the season having missed only two games since entering the league in 1994 with the Minnesota Vikings.

"The foot's fine," said Steussie. "It's not even an issue. I ice it once in a while, but that's really about it. It's more of getting acclimated and picking up the tempo of everything and stuff, but like I said I was encouraged by the first day and how things went."

The Rams are just 2-8 this season and sit in a tie for last place in the NFC West with the San Francisco 49ers.

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Broncos:  Walker back at practice, may play Sunday

Broncos wide receiver Javon Walker returned to the practice field on Wednesday, and may be healthy enough to play on Sunday in Soldier Field. Walker has missed eight games straight with an injured right knee. Coach Mike Shanahan told reporters, "If there are no setbacks, he should be ready to go."

Saints:  Bush will be ready for Sunday

Saints running back Reggie Bush sat out of parts of Wednesday's practice, but is probable for Sunday's game against the Carolina Panthers. Bush has been sidelined with a bruised shin and a nagging ankle injury. According to coach Sean Payton, "It's something we'll be able to work through."

Seahawks:  Alexander out again

Seahawks coach Mike Holmgren announced on Wednesday that starting running back Shaun Alexander will miss this Sunday's game against the Rams. Alexander has missed the last two games with a sprained knee. Holmgren also stated that Alexander would not be able to play until he makes it through a full week of practice.

Steelers:  Holmes unlikely for Monday

Santonio Holmes (ankle) is unlikely to play Monday against Miami. For now, the Steelers are listing him as doubtful.

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Tennessee Titans add former Oakland receiver Mike Williams
November 22, 2007

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -The Tennessee Titans added wide receiver Mike Williams to the roster and he joined them in time for practice Thursday.

This is the third NFL team for Williams, the 10th pick in the 2005 draft by Detroit. The Lions traded Williams to Oakland earlier this season, but the Raiders released him Oct. 30, two days after Williams dropped a late third-down pass in a loss to Tennessee.

The Titans are familiar with Williams because of offensive coordinator Norm Chow, who coached him at Southern California.

The Titans have needed help at receiver all season. They lost out to New England in a free agency chase for Donte' Stallworth, and they had at least four dropped passes in Monday night's 34-20 loss to Denver.

The Titans had two roster spots open after releasing linebacker LeVar Woods last week, and rookie running back Chris Henry started serving his four game suspension Wednesday.

The Titans signed Chris Barclay off Cleveland's practice squad for the final roster spot.

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Steve Smith expected to make return against Saints

CHARLOTTE — Carolina Panthers wide receiver Steve Smith returned to the practice field Wednesday and is expected to start this week against the New Orleans Saints.

Smith missed last week’s game with a shin injury, but participated in all of Wednesday’s practice.

“I’m getting better,” Smith said. “Sore a little bit, nicked up. If I’m able to go, I’ll go. If I’m not able to go, I can’t go.”

Clearly, coach John Fox is counting on Smith this week in a must-win game.

“I think he was close last week,” Fox said. “But going in with the (limited) numbers of receivers you do and if all of a sudden a guy gets out there and he can’t go during the course of a game, you can’t say, ‘Whoops, we want to bring this guy up now.’ So I think he did what he thought was best for the team. Thankfully we got him back this week.”

www.gastongazette.com

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Re: NFL News and Notes Week 12

Hardwick might return against Ravens

It appears this will be the week Nick Hardwick returns to the Chargers' starting lineup.

The Pro Bowl center yesterday went through his most extensive practice since suffering a sprained foot Oct. 14 against Oakland. His reps were limited, but “he moved around pretty good,” coach Norv Turner said.

Assuming Hardwick feels OK today, the plan is to increase his practice time and, the Chargers hope, have him play Sunday against Baltimore at Qualcomm Stadium.

“I'm optimistic,” Turner said, “but until we see how he feels (today), I'll just hold off a little bit.”

Quarterback Philip Rivers said veteran Cory Withrow did “a nice job” in place of Hardwick. But it's a rare team that doesn't miss a Pro Bowl player.

Added Rivers: “(Hardwick) brings more than his ability to block to the position. He brings an excitement, a toughness, a meanness to the team. When he's out there it seems to raise the level of everybody around him. I didn't talk to him much after practice, but I think he felt pretty good. That was a good sign. It'll be good to have him back out there.”

Withrow wasn't the only backup lineman to see action against Jacksonville. Jeromey Clary, who started at right tackle earlier this year at Green Bay, got some time at guard and tackle in place of Mike Goff and Shane Olivea. Turner said he was just getting Clary some work while giving Goff and Olivea a break. There are no plans to start Clary, Turner said.

www.signonsandiego.com

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Faulk OK after concussion; may play Sunday

FOXBORO — New England Patriots’ running back Kevin Faulk was back at practice yesterday, three days after suffering a first-half concussion against the Buffalo Bills.

Yesterday, Faulk said he didn’t know if he’d play this week against the Eagles, but that he wanted to be out on the field with his teammates as they try to up their record to 11-0.

If he isn’t given the green light to play, however, Faulk won’t be upset: “You can’t be mad about it because it’s your health.”

When the Patriots released their participation/injury report yesterday, Faulk was not listed.

Faulk has been through numerous tests since suffering the concussion, he said, including at halftime, after the game, and in the days since. The veteran running back said he has passed each one.

He told reporters that he remembers the game in Buffalo, and can recall what happened immediately before he got hit by Bills safety Donte Whitner.

With more and more retired players speaking out about the effects that multiple concussions have had on them, the NFL held a “concussion summit” in the off-season and implement an anonymous “whistle-blower” system to report when doctors are pressured to clear players who may not be ready to return to the field, and for players to report when they feel they’re being pressured to play.

Faulk indicated that the tests he’s undergone after this concussion are different than in the past.

“People don’t know the process we go through now after a concussion, especially because of former players,” he said.

According to a news release from the NFL in August, players should be “completely asymptomatic and have normal neurological test results before returning to play,” and a pamphlet distributed to players and their families tries to emphasize that a concussion should not be called a “ding” and that players should tell team medical staff immediately if they feel they have suffered a concussion.

Maroney denies having foot injury

Faulk’s runningback teammate, Laurence Maroney, said more than once yesterday that he does not have a foot injury (as was announced during the Bills’ game) and expects to be ready to go against the Eagles.

The second-year back had only six carries for 19 yards in Buffalo, all in the first half, including his first touchdown of the season, a six-yard run up the middle on New England’s first possession.

Last week, Maroney revealed that the Patriots’ coaching staff wants him to change his running style a bit, getting his pads lower and being content to pick up a four- or five-yard gain. Maroney has tried to do that, he said, but also wants to hold onto the running style that made him into a first-round draft pick.

Moss player of week again

Randy Moss was named the AFC Offensive Player of the Week yesterday for the second consecutive week.

Moss had 10 catches for 128 yards and four first-half touchdowns in New England’s 56-10 win in Buffalo on Sunday. His four TDs were a single-game franchise record and pushed his season total to 16, which is a single-season franchise record.

Moss was also honored after the Pats’ win in Indianapolis two weeks ago. New England had its bye in between the Colts and Bills games.

It is Moss’ sixth such honor in his 10-year career and the seventh time this season that a New England player has been named player of the week on offense, defense or special teams.

Quick kicks

Linebacker Eric Alexander (knee) was on the practice field for the first time since the week before the Cowboys game yesterday, and safety Eugene Wilson (ankle) returned as well. However, Adalius Thomas and Jarvis Green were not spotted during the media-access period. … The Patriots’ participation/injury report said Thomas (team decision) and Green (ankle) did not practice. Tom Brady (right shoulder), Stephen Neal (shoulder) and Wilson had limited participation. Donovan McNabb (ankle, thumb) did not practice for the Eagles, highlighting their list. … Bam Childress, Pierre Woods, Tim Mixon and Santonio Thomas were wearing black jerseys, honoring them as practice players of the week.

www.projo.com

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