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NFL ROUNDUP | News and notes


Published: Tue, November 2, 2004 @ 12:00 a.m.


Broncos: Safety John Lynch will be sidelined at least two weeks and perhaps for a month with a fractured tailbone. Signed as a free agent after Tampa Bay let him go, Lynch has been a steadying influence on the Denver defense. But the Broncos struggled in a 41-28 loss to Atlanta on Sunday and Lynch went down after being hit in the side by receiver Brian Finneran. Angry about the hit, Lynch walked toward the Atlanta huddle and started yelling at the Falcons before leaving the game. He wasn't available after the game, but several Broncos said Lynch felt Finneran's block was a cheap shot. Denver coach Mike Shanahan said the block appeared legal, "but it was one of those blind-side shots that kind of catches you off-guard." Nick Ferguson will start for Lynch next Sunday against Houston and then the Broncos have a bye.
Vikings: Randy Moss might miss his first career game because of a lingering right hamstring strain that isn't getting much better. The team will decide later this week whether they should rest the All-Pro receiver next Monday night at Indianapolis. Since being hurt before halftime at New Orleans on Oct. 17, Moss has been limited to 11 snaps over the last 10 quarters. Though he leads the team with eight touchdown catches and his consecutive games streak is alive at 103, he's gone the last two games without a reception.
Lions: Robert Porcher retired Monday, ending a 13-year career as the team's career leader in sacks. Porcher, who has 95 1/2 sacks, already had announced this would be his last season, but he ended his career early after being inactive for Detroit's first seven games.
Packers: Brett Favre's injured right thumb is just sprained and not broken. Coach Mike Sherman said Monday he doesn't anticipate Favre's sprained thumb or swollen right hand "being an issue for the Minnesota game" on Nov. 14. The Packers (4-4) have a bye this weekend. Favre has played this season with a loose left shoulder, a concussion, a softball-sized bruise on his left hamstring, a sprained right hand, a sprained right thumb and a heavy heart over the death of his 24-year-old brother-in-law and the breast cancer diagnosis of his wife, Deanna, last month.
Panthers: Linebacker Dan Morgan is being monitored to see if he suffered a concussion against the Seahawks. Morgan was plagued by postconcussion syndrome last year, missing five games and parts of four others. Once completely healed, Morgan acknowledged he suffered dizziness and fatigue while trying to play.
Titans: Defensive end Carlos Hall had surgery on his right knee Monday after the Titans gave him a week of rest, hoping he would heal. Hall couldn't start Sunday in the Titans' 27-20 victory over Cincinnati and was replaced by rookie Travis LaBoy. Backup quarterback Billy Volek, who started in place of Steve McNair, suffered a mild concussion and has a sore knee. Cornerback Andre Dyson has a sore shoulder, and cornerback Samari Rolle has a sore foot.
Redskins: A review of the tape didn't change Joe Gibbs' mind one bit: He still thinks his team got robbed of an apparent touchdown pass. Gibbs was still rankled over an illegal motion call on James Thrash that negated a 43-yard touchdown pass to Clinton Portis in the fourth quarter of Sunday's 28-14 loss to Green Bay. The touchdown would have given the Redskins a one-point lead with 2:35 remaining. Thrash went in motion and turned to face his body forward an instant before the ball was snapped. Gibbs said his team did the same maneuver three other times in the game without being flagged, and that he will be sending tapes of those plays to the league office for an explanation.
Also, kick returner Chad Morton and safety Andre Lott are out for the season, and Pro Bowl linebacker LaVar Arrington could miss another month because of his knee injury. Morton tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee while returning a kickoff in the first quarter of Sunday's loss to Green Bay. Lott tore a pectoral muscle while stretching his arm to make a tackle on a kickoff just before halftime. Arrington has already missed five games since having knee surgery Sept. 23. He aggravated the injury in a running drill last week, and a subsequent examination revealed a bone bruise that was there all along. Morton will be replaced on kickoffs by Ladell Betts and on punts by James Thrash. Kicker John Hall will probably miss a third game because of a strained groin.
Bears: An MRI confirmed that running back Thomas Jones has a sprained left foot and also a painful toe. Coach Lovie Smith said he assumes Jones will be able to play Sunday against the Giants. Smith said defensive end Adewale Ogunleye and guard Mike Gandy, who didn't play Sunday against San Francisco because of injuries, might be able to return against the Giants.
Seahawks: The receiving corps is in disarray after Darrell Jackson, Jerry Rice and Alex Bannister were injured against Carolina. Jackson, the team's leading receiver, finished the game but Rice and Bannister couldn't. Jackson hurt an ankle injury, Rice sprained his right ankle, and Bannister -- a Pro Bowl special teams player last season -- broke his right collarbone and will miss eight weeks. Coach Mike Holmgren said he might place Bannister on injured reserve, which would end his season. If Jackson and Rice can't play Sunday at San Francisco, the Seahawks will be down to one healthy receiver, Koren Robinson. Receiver Bobby Engram is already sidelined with a sprained ankle. Pro Bowl guard Steve Hutchinson also sprained his right ankle.
Source: Associated Press


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