PHILADELPHIA -- Eagles running back Correll Buckhalter probably will miss the season after tearing the patella tendon in his right knee in the first quarter of Philadelphia's preseason game against the Baltimore Ravens on Friday.
The fourth-year pro sat out the 2002 season after tearing the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee in mini-camp. The Eagles were counting on Buckhalter and third-year pro Brian Westbrook to share the running duties after Duce Staley signed with Pittsburgh in the offseason.
Buckhalter collapsed to the ground, writhing in pain after a 2-yard gain. He left the field on a cart and X-rays revealed the torn ACL.
A fourth-round pick from Nebraska in 2001, Buckhalter had 586 yards rushing and averaged 4.5 yards a carry that season. He ran for 542 yards and eight TDs last year.
ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. -- Running back Willis McGahee has asked the Buffalo Bills to trade him if he is not their starter on opening day.
McGahee's request was not issued as an ultimatum, but the player made clear he won't be happy playing backup to incumbent Travis Henry, said the source, who is close to McGahee, and spoke on the condition of anonymity.
Bills spokesman Scott Berchtold said, "There is no truth to that whatsoever."
Team president Tom Donahoe later denied the report, too.
"There's nothing to it," Donahoe said. "Willis is making progress and is very happy. We have no intention of trading him. We need them both."
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. -- Show up to play or pay.
That is the message the Dolphins have sent to Ricky Williams, who faces having to repay $8.6 million in NFL earnings following last month's abrupt retirement.
An NFL source said the Dolphins have sent Williams a letter demanding he report for the 2004 season or the franchise will begin initiating the recoupment process.
According to terms of the restructured contract he agreed to two years ago, Williams would have to repay the Dolphins roughly $5.3 million he has earned through incentives since joining the team in 2002 because of his early retirement. Williams also would have to return another $3.3 million in signing bonus paid to him by New Orleans as part of the eight-year deal he signed in 1999.
Williams' agent, Leigh Steinberg, did not return a call seeking comment.
The Dolphins' leading rusher the past two seasons, Williams informed coach Dave Wannstedt of his decision to retire just before the opening of training camp. Williams' decision came on the heels of a third positive drug test for marijuana, which would have resulted in a four-game suspension.
Even if he were to report, Williams would be facing a one-year suspension. Because Williams filed retirement papers with the NFL earlier this month, an attempted return before a one-year period has passed would count as a fourth failed test. That punishment is an automatic one-year suspension.
HOUSTON -- Houston Texans tailback Domanick Davis did not make the trip for tonight's preseason game at Pittsburgh, although coach Dom Capers said Davis is close to returning to practice.
"If we were in the regular season, Domanick would play," said Capers, who left nine players in Houston before the trip.
Davis has been sidelined for the last two weeks with a sore left ankle. Straight-ahead running doesn't affect the injury but cutting side to side, Davis' specialty, hurts him.
With third-string running back Jonathan Wells (knee) also not going to Pittsburgh, Tony Hollings will get a lot of action as the starter against the Steelers. Two tailbacks who joined the team Monday, KaRon Coleman and Adam Matthews, also should get significant carries.
The only other starter among those not making the trip is nose tackle Seth Payne, who is recovering from offseason surgery on both knees. He remains on schedule to start the regular season opener, however.
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