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Archive for Tuesday, September 11, 2001

NFL Briefs

September 11, 2001

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Blackwell only Steeler seriously injured in loss

Pittsburgh Of their half-dozen players carted off the field in the season opener, the Pittsburgh Steelers believe that only wide receiver Will Blackwell will be sidelined indefinitely.

Blackwell, with a torn knee ligament, could miss the rest of the season.

Rookie linebacker Kendrell Bell and defensive end Kimo von Oelhoffen both wore protective boots on their sprained ankles Monday, but Bell expects to play Sunday against Cleveland. So does receiver Hines Ward on his sprained ankle.

49ers safety Keith tears ligament in knee

Santa Clara, Calif. John Keith, the San Francisco 49ers' top backup safety, could miss the rest of the season after tearing a ligament in his left knee on the opening kickoff Sunday.

Keith was blocked awkwardly on the first play of San Francisco's 16-13 overtime victory over Atlanta. He will undergo surgery Thursday on his knee, which also was surgically repaired in college.

The 49ers haven't decided whether to place Keith on injured reserve because of salary cap issues, but there's a good chance he won't play again this year, coach Steve Mariucci said.

Titans say QB McNair questionable Sunday

Nashville, Tenn. The Tennessee Titans listed Steve McNair as questionable for Sunday's game with Cincinnati because of a bruised shoulder.

The quarterback isn't as sure.

"My health is very unpredictable," McNair said quietly as he held his right arm against his body Monday.

"In the past, I have been a quick healer to where I go out and try to compete if I can. If I feel like I can go out and get the job done, I might play. But at this point in time, it's questionable I'll be able to do anything this week."

It's the same shoulder where McNair had a mysterious infection last winter that puzzled doctors and kept him from making his first Pro Bowl appearance last February. Coach Jeff Fisher said exams showed McNair only bruised the shoulder, although they planned an MRI as a precaution.

McNair was hurt Sunday night when Dolphins tackle Jermaine Haley drove him into the turf as he released a touchdown pass in the third quarter.

St. Louis QB shrugs off thumb injury

St. Louis Kurt Warner strained his right thumb in Sunday's overtime victory over the Philadelphia Eagles, but the injury is not expected to sideline the St. Louis quarterback for long.

Warner was hurt in the fourth quarter of the 20-17 victory when he struck the helmet of a pass rusher and bent the thumb back.

"But I don't think that's going to be an issue," coach Mike Martz said Monday. "It's not broken. It's just real sore for him right now."

Rams backup safety Matt Bowen will be sidelined at least six weeks after breaking his right foot.

Pats sign rookie CB

Foxboro, Mass. Rookie cornerback Brock Williams signed with the New England Patriots on Monday and was placed on the injured reserve list. Williams, the Patriots' third-round draft pick from Notre Dame, had knee surgery after being injured during the team's minicamp.

Bills linebacker Cowart sidelined indefinitely

Orchard Park, N.Y. Sam Cowart will be out indefinitely with an Achilles' tendon injury, leaving the Buffalo Bills without their leading tackler the last two seasons.

The middle linebacker will not need surgery on his partially torn right Achilles' tendon. But coach Gregg Williams said Monday he will miss "a significant amount of time," and it's unclear if he will return before the end of the season.

Herniated disk shelves Cowboys end Ekuban

Irving, Texas Dallas Cowboys defensive end Ebenezer Ekuban, the team's top pass rusher, will be sidelined for at least four weeks with a herniated disc.

Ekuban will undergo treatment in hopes of getting back on the field in a month. If he doesn't progress, he might need surgery.

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