Archive for Monday, October 22, 2001

Carolina’s Biakabutuka likely out for year

October 22, 2001

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Junior Seau's early departure didn't slow the San Diego Chargers on Sunday. Several other teams could have trouble replacing key offensive players who were injured.

Carolina running back Tshimanga Biakabutuka broke his foot in his best game of the season and is probably out until next year, and Detroit wideout Germane Crowell might miss the rest of the season with a knee injury.

Receivers Marcus Robinson of Chicago and Darnay Scott of Cincinnati were hurt, while Baltimore had quarterback Elvis Grbac and running back Terry Allen leave its game early.

Seau, a 10-time Pro Bowl linebacker, strained his groin in the first half of San Diego's game against the visiting Denver Broncos and didn't return.

The Chargers were leading the Denver Broncos 13-10 when Seau's replacement, rookie linebacker Zeke Moreno, forced a fumble by Mike Anderson and San Diego safety Jason Perry recovered at the Denver 33. Four plays later, Doug Flutie hit Jeff Graham on a 17-yard touchdown pass.

San Diego won 27-10 to improve to 4-2.

Robinson, the Bears' leading receiver each of the last two seasons, sprained his left knee during the second quarter of a 24-0 victory over the Bengals.

Robinson was tackled hard by linebacker Brian Simmons and safety Darryl Williams after making a catch. His left leg was put in a brace, and he was taken off the field on a cart.

The Bears will know more about Robinson's knee when tests are performed in Chicago. Coach Dick Jauron was pessimistic.

Biakabutuka is scheduled for surgery today. He came out of a pile after a 1-yard run and had to be carried off the field by teammates in the fourth quarter of a 17-14 overtime loss to Washington.

Biakabutuka ran for 121 yards, more than his previous four games combined, and his first touchdown of the season.

Also Sunday, Panthers linebacker Hannibal Navies broke his right arm and will miss at least several weeks, guard Kevin Donnalley injured his right knee, kick returner Steve Smith strained a knee, and fullback Brad Hoover had a concussion. Washington defensive end Kenard Lang sprained an ankle.

The Ravens lost Grbac in the third quarter with a chest injury, and Allen left after the first series with a pulled calf muscle and never returned. Grbac was replaced by Randall Cunningham, who was sacked four times in the Super Bowl champions' 24-14 loss at Cleveland.

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