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Archive for Tuesday, December 10, 2002

NFL Briefs

December 10, 2002

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Faulk may be limited for rest of regular season

St. Louis - Marshall Faulk's playing time might be limited for the rest of the season because of a high right ankle sprain.

Running behind a patchwork line, the St. Louis Rams star was held to 13 yards on 10 carries and caught four passes for 35 yards in Sunday's 49-10 loss at Kansas City. He hasn't started in a month, although he's tried to play the last two weeks without success.

"He's not even remotely close to 100 percent, that's why we tried to fit him in there," coach Mike Martz said Monday. "We've got to be very careful with Marshall. We'll be smart about that."

For the year, Faulk has 858 yards rushing and 483 receiving. His streak of four consecutive 2,000-yard seasons rushing and receiving, an NFL record, almost certainly will end.

Newton receives five-year jail term

St. Martinville, La. - Former Dallas Cowboys offensive lineman Nate Newton, already serving time in another drug case, was sentenced to five years in prison Monday for possession of 213 pounds of marijuana in Louisiana.

Judge Don Hernandez initially tried to suspend all but 30 months of Newton's sentence, but changed his mind after prosecutors said the mandatory minimum sentence was five years. Prosecutors had argued for a sentence of 15-to-20 years.

Newton also received a $50,000 fine.

Newton is serving a 30-month federal sentence in Texas on a drug trafficking charge. Newton pleaded guilty to the federal charge in April as part of a plea agreement.

His Louisiana sentence will be served concurrently with the federal sentence.

Lynch questionable because of neck strain

Tampa, Fla. - Tampa Bay safety John Lynch strained his neck during the Buccaneers' victory against Atlanta and is questionable for this week's game against Detroit.

"He has some soreness, and we're going to be optimistic and hope he can return to practice," coach Jon Gruden said Monday.

"We're calling it a neck strain. I believe he did suffer some tingling, some numbness for some period of time. We're very concerned about that, but all X-rays seem to be negative."

Lynch was injured during the first quarter of Sunday's 34-10 victory against Atlanta. He remained on the sideline, but did not return to the game. If he can't start against the Lions, he will be replaced by John Howell.

Titans' Kearse returns to meetings, practices

Nashville, Tenn. - Just in time for their push for the AFC South title, the Tennessee Titans will bring back defensive end Jevon Kearse this week, hoping he can play against the New England Patriots next Monday night.

Kearse, who made the Pro Bowl after each of his first three seasons, broke a bone in his left foot on the second play of the opener against Philadelphia and hasn't played since.

The Titans thought he had a chance to get into Sunday's game against Indianapolis, but chose to deactivate him.

Coach Jeff Fisher said Monday the team will release Kearse from work in the training room this week so he can resume meetings and practices.

"I think he's got a pretty good chance to do some things for us this week," Fisher said.

McNabb's cast removed; QB still out many weeks

Philadelphia - Donovan McNabb had the cast removed from his broken ankle Monday, but the Philadelphia Eagles' quarterback is still expected to be out for several more weeks.

McNabb broke the ankle Nov. 17 in the first quarter of a 38-14 victory against Arizona.

"His status is improving, but his foot is still in a non-weight bearing stage and he is still walking with crutches," the Eagles said in a statement.

Meanwhile, backup Koy Detmer, who dislocated his elbow the week after McNabb's injury, is making progress and might be ready to play this week, coach Andy Reid said.

Manning: Injured knee won't keep me out

Indianapolis - Peyton Manning walked into the Indianapolis Colts' locker room Monday with a heavily wrapped right knee and a limp, but he wasn't concerned about missing any playing time.

Manning said he had an inflamed bursa sac, an injury that caused swelling in the knee after Sunday's 27-17 loss to Tennessee. But the two-time Pro Bowler said it wasn't enough to keep him out of Sunday's game at Cleveland.

"A lot of players have them," Manning said of the injury. "It's an aggravating thing."

Manning has started 77 straight games since his rookie season in 1998, the second-longest active streak among quarterbacks.

Martz critical of team's mental toughness

St. Louis - St. Louis Rams coach Mike Martz didn't back down from Sunday's postgame comments, when he indicated that he couldn't count on some of his players.

Martz said too many players became demoralized by Dante Hall's two kick returns, plus a fumble return for touchdown in the first half of Sunday's 49-10 loss to Kansas City. He said past teams have been mentally tougher and more able to overcome mistakes.

"At the end of the game, I felt like defensively we had a tremendous letdown," Martz said. "In some respects, it's hard when you've given up points like that, but you still need to battle. We're certainly going to address that with the team. I want to know who wants to compete."

49ers' punt returner Williams out for season

Santa Clara, Calif. - San Francisco 49ers punt returner Jimmy Williams will miss the rest of the season because of torn ligaments in his left knee.

Williams leads the NFC with 16.8 yards a punt return. He also was averaging 21.9 yards on kickoff returns.

Williams was hurt during the 49ers' 31-27 victory against Dallas on Sunday. He tore the medial collateral ligament and the anterior cruciate ligament in his knee when his foot got caught in the artificial turf, coach Steve Mariucci said.

Spurrier makes fifth quarterback change

Ashburn, Va. - Washington Redskins rookie Patrick Ramsey will start Sunday's game against Philadelphia, the fifth quarterback change this season by coach Steve Spurrier.

Ramsey replaces Danny Wuerffel, who sprained his throwing shoulder in the third quarter of Sunday's 27-21 loss to the New York Giants. Ramsey finished the game, completing 12 of 27 passes for 204 yards and a touchdown.

Spurrier said Wuerffel will be sidelined "a week or two," but he indicated he plans to stick with his first-round draft pick the rest of the season.

Panthers' Morgan to undergo surgery

Charlotte, N.C. - Carolina Panthers linebacker Dan Morgan needs surgery to repair his left shoulder and could miss the final three games.

Panthers coach John Fox said Monday that Morgan was in Birmingham, Ala., visiting Dr. James Andrews for a second opinion. Fox said Morgan would make the final decision on whether to have surgery.

Two, maybe three, Cards out for season

Tempe, Ariz. - As he praised his injury-depleted team for its effort in Sunday's victory against Detroit, Arizona coach Dave McGinnis added at least two names, and probably three, to the long list of Cardinals' players lost for the season.

Center Mark Gruttadauria and outside linebacker Rob Fredrickson are definitely out for the season, and outside linebacker Levar Fisher probably will not return, McGinnis said Monday.

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