NFL News and Notes Week 12

Re: NFL News and Notes Week 12

Lynch has high ankle sprain

It looks like the Buffalo Bills will be without rookie running back Marshawn Lynch for a second straight game. Coach Dick Jauron finally confirmed that Lynch has a high left ankle sprain. That injury sidelined linebacker Keith Ellison for the first four games of this season and put cornerback Ashton Youboty on the shelf for five games. It’s not known if Lynch’s sprain is as severe.

Lynch wasn’t in attendance during the first 15 minutes of practice Wednesday, when members of the media were present, though he was spotted in the training room.

While Jauron hasn’t completely ruled out Lynch for Sunday’s contest at Jacksonville, he indicated Lynch’s chances of playing are doubtful.

“He wants to play. He still thinks he should have played last week,” Jauron said. “He’s just real sore. It’s the typical high ankle. We’re not particularly optimistic about this week, but once again he came so far so fast last week, further than we thought he would.”

Anthony Thomas will likely start again with Dwayne Wright and Fred Jackson serving as backups. The Bills clearly missed Lynch last Sunday against New England. They rushed for only 78 yards on 19 carries in the 56-10 loss.

Jauron is not sure how well the offense will adjust with Lynch out again.

“We’ve only been one game without him and that game got out of hand fast, so it’s hard to tell,” Jauron said. “There’s no way you’re not going to miss a player of his caliber. He’s really a good football player and he’s just going to get better. I have a lot of confidence in Dwayne and Anthony and Freddie, so we’ll see where it goes.”

• • •

The only other player to miss practice Wednesday was strong safety Donte Whitner, who suffered a blow to the head against New England. Linebacker Angelo Crowell (foot) and cornerbacks Terrence McGee (ankle) and Jerametrius Butler (calf) were limited in practice.

Whitner was hurt during a collision with Patriots running back Kevin Faulk in the second quarter. Faulk left the game with a concussion. Whitner played on, but was affected by the hit later in the contest.

“Donte, at some point in the game, didn’t have recollection of things that occurred afterward,” Jauron said.

The Bills didn’t say Whitner had a concussion, but they erred on the side of caution by holding him out. The team followed the same procedure the last couple of weeks after linebacker John DiGiorgio and tight end Robert Royal had mild concussions.

“Any blow to the head we take very seriously like we did with John and Robert,” Jauron said.

Whitner said after practice that he expects to play on Sunday.

• • •

The Jaguars will be without two of their best defensive players and perhaps a third.

Jacksonville is already missing Pro Bowl defensive tackle Marcus Stroud, who is serving a four-game suspension for violating the league’s steroid and related substances policy. Joining him on the sideline is middle linebacker and leading tackler Mike Peterson, who broke his hand in several places during last Sunday’s win over San Diego. Coach Jack Del Rio said Peterson will have surgery next week and is out indefinitely.

Meanwhile, Pro Bowl cornerback Rashean Mathis did not practice Wednesday and is questionable with a strained groin. The injury forced him to stay on the sidelines in the second half last week.

www.buffnews.com

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Re: NFL News and Notes Week 12

Panthers CB Gamble doubtful, LB Davis questionable
November 23, 2007

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) -Carolina Panthers cornerback Chris Gamble is doubtful for Sunday's game against New Orleans with a broken right thumb, while linebacker Thomas Davis is questionable after missing practice Friday with a foot injury.

Coach John Fox provided no details on Davis, who starts at outside linebacker. Davis practiced the previous two days.

Gamble was injured in last Sunday's loss at Green Bay. He underwent surgery on Tuesday, and Fox said there is a chance Gamble could play with a cast.

``He's feeling better each day. It's just a matter of some of the pain subsiding,'' Fox said. ``We've had guys play with casts before.''

If Gamble can't play, Richard Marshall would likely start.

Running back DeShaun Foster (toe) and defensive tackle Damione Lewis (shoulder) practiced for a second straight day Friday and are listed as probable.

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Re: NFL News and Notes Week 12

McNabb doubtful to play Sunday
November 23, 2007

PHILADELPHIA (AP) -Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb is doubtful to start against New England after missing his third straight practice Friday because of a sprained ankle and injured thumb.

McNabb hurt the thumb on his throwing hand early against Miami last Sunday and left after injuring his ankle in the second quarter.

A.J. Feeley, who led the Eagles to a pair of touchdowns in a 17-7 win over the Dolphins, would start if McNabb can't play. A decision might not come until shortly before kickoff.

``He's gotten a little better each day, so that's a positive,'' coach Andy Reid said.

McNabb has started every game since returning ahead of schedule after a torn knee ligament ended his season early last year. Injuries ended his regular season three times in the past six years. The Eagles are 13-8 without him, including 1-1 in the playoffs last season.

The undefeated Patriots (10-0) are 22-point favorites against Philadelphia (5-5) on Sunday night.

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Re: NFL News and Notes Week 12

McNair misses second straight week
November 23rd, 2007

Baltimore, MD (Sports Network) - Baltimore Ravens quarterback Steve McNair will miss his second straight week of action because of a shoulder injury.

McNair also missed last week's 33-30 overtime setback to Cleveland.

Kyle Boller is again expected to start for McNair. Boller completed 22-of-41 passes for 279 yards with one touchdown and two interceptions against the Browns.

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Re: NFL News and Notes Week 12

Giants' Jacobs out for Sunday
November 23rd, 2007

East Rutherford, NJ (Sports Network) - New York Giants starting running back Brandon Jacobs missed practice again Friday and has been declared out for Sunday's home game against Minnesota due to a strained hamstring.

Jacobs, who suffered the injury in last Sunday's 16-10 win over the Detroit Lions, has run for 599 yards and two touchdowns in seven games this season. He also missed three games earlier this season with a knee injury.

Reuben Droughns is expected to start in the backfield. He has run for 176 yards and four touchdowns this season.

Derrick Ward, who filled in for Jacobs as the starter earlier this year, has missed the last three games with an ankle and groin injuries. Ward did go through limited practice again Friday, but is still listed as doubtful.

If Ward is also unable to go, Ahmad Bradshaw would also see time in the backfield with Droughns.

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Re: NFL News and Notes Week 12

Browns CB Wright to miss Houston game
November 23rd, 2007

Berea, OH (Sports Network) - Cleveland Browns rookie cornerback Eric Wright will miss Sunday's home game against Houston due to a sprained right knee.

Wright suffered the injury early in this past Sunday's 33-30 overtime win at Baltimore.

Daven Holly is expected to replace Wright in the lineup.

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Re: NFL News and Notes Week 12

Broncos' Henry doubtful against Bears
November 23rd, 2007

Denver, CO (Sports Network) - Denver Broncos running back Travis Henry is listed as doubtful on the team's injury report Friday for the game against the Chicago Bears on Sunday.

Henry missed the Broncos' 19-13 setback to the Packers on October 29 due to a rib injury. He returned the following week against Detroit, but missed the 27-11 victory at Kansas City and sat out last week's 34-20 win over Tennessee on Monday night because of a partially torn posterior cruciate ligament in his left knee.

His backup, Selvin Young, is questionable with a knee injury.

Henry has rushed for 580 yards and one touchdown this season and is currently battling with the NFL over the results of a failed drug test.

He reportedly tested positive for marijuana and if he is unsuccessful in an appeal, he faces a one-year suspension.

Broncos wide receiver Javon Walker (knee) is questionable for the game, while Bears cornerback Nathan Vasher (groin) is doubtful.

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Re: NFL News and Notes Week 12

Bucs' Pittman doubtful for Redskins game
November 23rd, 2007

Tampa, FL (Sports Network) - Tampa Bay running back Michael Pittman is listed as doubtful for Sunday's home game versus the Washington Redskins due to an ankle injury.

Pittman sat out four games earlier this season due to a sprained ankle before returning for last Sunday's 31-7 win at Atlanta. He rushed 10 times for 44 yards in that game.

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Re: NFL News and Notes Week 12

Nagging hamstring injury could keep Winfield from playing against Giants

The Vikings could be without cornerback Antoine Winfield for the third time in four games Sunday when they play the New York Giants.

The veteran sat out a second consecutive day of practice Thursday because of a hamstring injury that sidelined him for the second half of the Vikings' victory over Oakland last weekend. Winfield originally was injured Oct. 28 against Philadelphia and missed the next two games. He tried to return against the Raiders but was shut down after the first two quarters. Coach Brad Childress said Monday that Winfield had not suffered a setback, but it's clear the injury isn't progressing as well as had been hoped.

Winfield's projected status for the Giants game will be made official today when the Vikings issue an injury report following practice. If Winfield can't go, rookie Marcus McCauley would be in line to start at left corner for a pass defense that ranks last in the NFL.

Before this season, Winfield had not missed a game since late in 2004, when he sat out twice because of a sprained ankle.

While Winfield rested Thursday, rookie running back Adrian Peterson again was able to do limited work as he attempts to return from the slightly torn lateral collateral ligament he suffered in his right knee on Nov. 11 at Green Bay. Although Childress would not dismiss Peterson's possible return Sunday, it's more likely the 1,000-yard rusher will be back Dec. 2 against Detroit.

The other two Vikings listed on the injury report -- fullback Tony Richardson (MCL sprain) and special-teams player Eric Frampton (groin) -- both did limited work on Thursday. Richardson had been held out a day earlier.

A Giant problem

The Giants appear likely to start No. 3 running back Reuben Droughns against the Vikings' top-ranked rushing defense. Brandon Jacobs and Derrick Ward, the Giants' top two options, are nursing injuries.

Jacobs (hamstring) did not practice for a second consecutive day Thursday, and Ward (ankle/groin) has been limited this week. That means rookie Ahmad Bradshaw also could see time.

New York acquired Droughns from Cleveland in March, but he has seen limited playing time, rushing for 176 yards on 52 carries with four touchdowns. He has been used primarily in goal-line and short-yardage situations.

Jacobs, who was injured last Sunday against Detroit, leads New York with 599 yards rushing on 115 carries and two touchdowns. Ward has 448 yards on 101 attempts and two scores. He has missed the past three games.

www.startribune.com

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Re: NFL News and Notes Week 12

Dolphins' Thomas ruled out for Monday night
November 23, 2007

Associated Press

DAVIE, Fla. (AP) -- Miami Dolphins middle linebacker Zach Thomas has been ruled out for his fourth consecutive game and will not play at Pittsburgh on Monday night.

Coach Cam Cameron also said defensive end Matt Roth (groin) and running back Jesse Chatman (ankle) were day to day.

Since Thomas suffered a concussion in September, the seven-time Pro Bowl player has missed five games. Thomas, 34, has said he hopes to return to the winless Dolphins sometime this season.

Thomas missed two games in September. In October, he was involved in a car crash after a loss to the New England Patriots. He suffered whiplash and recurring migraines.

"It's just something we have to deal with," Cameron said. "I don't really look at it any other way. I know he's doing everything he can to stay in the condition if, in fact, he gets to the point where he can come back. He's in the meetings, he's involved in the practice and all those things. Just like I told him, let's not get ahead of ourselves."

Cameron said Thomas was, "doing everything but practicing." Thomas did not speak with reporters.

"The status -- it has not changed -- with migraines, those kinds of things," Cameron said. "I think he's made it clear where he stands and we are on the same page."

Although Chatman had a noticeable limp during Friday's practice, Cameron said he was not ready to completely rule out the running back who has averaged 91.6 yards rushing per game.

"It could come a long way by tomorrow," Cameron said. "We've got a significant practice tomorrow and a walkthrough on Sunday. So we've still got some time."

Cameron would not commit to starting running back Ricky Williams, who recently returned to the Dolphins after serving a 11/2-year suspension, if Chatman could not play Monday.

"He had another practice that was solid and we'll wait and see what tomorrow brings," Cameron said. "Now he's had consecutive practices. We don't have to make any decisions today. We don't have to make any decisions tomorrow. We'll just continue to take it one day at a time, see how he feels as the week goes along, then we'll make a decision, probably a game-time decision."

Williams has tested positive for marijuana at least four times since Miami acquired him in 2002. He rushed for 3,225 yards in the 2002-03 seasons after being traded to the Dolphins. Williams retired in 2004, but returned to the Dolphins in 2005, when he ran for 743 yards alternating with Ronnie Brown, who is out for the season with a torn knee ligament.

"I'm going to err on the side of caution because it's easy, in these cases, to get ahead of yourself," Cameron said. "So why do that? Again, (Williams) had a solid practice and we'll see how it goes tomorrow."

Williams said he would be ready to play with last-minute notice, if necessary.

"We're professionals here," Williams said. "We're paid to get ready to play and that's my job."

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Re: NFL News and Notes Week 12

Panthers' Gamble doubtful, Davis questionable
November 23, 2007

Associated Press

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) -- Carolina Panthers cornerback Chris Gamble is doubtful for Sunday's game against New Orleans with a broken right thumb, while linebacker Thomas Davis is questionable after missing practice Friday with a foot injury.

Coach John Fox provided no details on Davis, who starts at outside linebacker. Davis practiced the previous two days.

Gamble was injured in last Sunday's loss at Green Bay. He underwent surgery on Tuesday, and Fox said there is a chance Gamble could play with a cast.

"He's feeling better each day. It's just a matter of some of the pain subsiding," Fox said. "We've had guys play with casts before."

If Gamble can't play, Richard Marshall would likely start.

Running back DeShaun Foster (toe) and defensive tackle Damione Lewis (shoulder) practiced for a second straight day Friday and are listed as probable.

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Re: NFL News and Notes Week 12

McNabb out for Pats game
November 24th, 2007

Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb was ruled out for Sunday's game against undefeated New England because of ankle and thumb injuries.

McNabb did not participate in practice all week after getting hurt in last Sunday's game against Miami. He suffered a sprained right ankle during the second quarter of the 17-7 victory, but also jammed his right thumb during a throw in the first half.

Backup A.J. Feeley, who engineered a pair of touchdown drives in McNabb's absence to rally the Eagles against the Dolphins, will get the start behind center.

The Eagles also announced that starting safety Quintin Mikell (knee) will also not play against New England.

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Re: NFL News and Notes Week 12

Panthers' Testaverde questionable
November 24, 2007

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) -Quarterback Vinny Testaverde was listed as questionable for the Panthers' game Sunday against the Saints after he showed up for practice Saturday with a stiff back.

If Testaverde can't play, David Carr would likely start against New Orleans (4-6) four days after coach John Fox had said the 44-year-old Testaverde gave Carolina (4-6) a better chance to win.

Testaverde had appeared to have recovered from a strained right Achilles tendon that forced him to miss a game and leave another at halftime. Testaverde had started the previous two games and had practiced all week.

A team official said Testaverde was not injured at practice on Friday, but awoke Saturday with back pain.

Fox said Wednesday that Testaverde would start ahead of David Carr, who has recovered from two concussions and a back injury.

Carr, signed to a two-year, $6 million deal in the offseason, has struggled to find receivers downfield and has been sacked 12 times. He's thrown three touchdown passes and three interceptions, and has left two games with injuries.

Carr had replaced Jake Delhomme, who was lost to a season-ending right elbow injury in Week 3. Undrafted rookie Matt Moore has also played briefly in four games.

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Re: NFL News and Notes Week 12

Miami Dolphins linebacker Derrick Pope hospitalized, misses practice
November 24, 2007

DAVIE, Fla. (AP) -Miami Dolphins linebacker Derrick Pope missed practice Saturday after being hospitalized for undisclosed reasons.

Dolphins coach Cam Cameron said the team was ``gathering information'' but he did not know why Pope was in the hospital. The Dolphins did not immediately disclose the name of the hospital.

``Obviously, Derrick is somebody we care a lot about and I'll find out more, but I don't want to speculate as to what the situation is and we'll update you once we get more information,'' Cameron said at the news conference Saturday.

Pope's status for Monday night's game against the Pittsburgh Steelers was unclear. He has started at outside linebacker for the past five games.

If Pope cannot start, he most likely will be replaced by Donnie Spragan, Cameron said.

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