Archive: September 2007

Chargers, At Least So Far, Paying Price for Schottenheimer Firing

It's looking more and more like the worst move of the offseason was the decision by San Diego Chargers President Dean Spanos to fire Marty Schottenheimer as the team's coach because Schottenheimer couldn't coexist peacefully with General Manager A.J. Smith. The Chargers initially decided to retain Schottenheimer on the...

By Mark Maske | September 30, 2007; 7:19 PM ET | Comments (4)

Eagles to be Without B. Westbrook Tonight

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J.--The Philadelphia Eagles will be without tailback Brian Westbrook when they face the New York Giants tonight at Giants Stadium. Westbrook, who has a strained abdominal muscle, was on the Eagles' inactive list for the game, along with four other injured would-be starters--safety Brian Dawkins, cornerback Lito...

By Mark Maske | September 30, 2007; 6:57 PM ET | Comments (0)

Back to Grossman, Anyone?

The quarterback switch from Rex Grossman to Brian Griese didn't exactly pay dividends for the Chicago Bears. Griese threw three interceptions as the Bears lost today to the Detroit Lions, 37-27. The Bears' record dropped to 1-3 and their status as an NFC contender is in serious jeopardy....

By Mark Maske | September 30, 2007; 6:34 PM ET | Comments (0)

C. Killings, Again Able to Walk, Leaves Hospital and Visits Texans Teammates

Houston Texans defensive tackle Cedric Killings walked out of the hospital today and visited his teammates at the team's practice facility. The visit came five days after Killings suffered a fractured vertebra in his neck while blocking on a kickoff return during last Sunday's game against the Indianapolis Colts....

By Mark Maske | September 28, 2007; 7:06 PM ET | Comments (0)

Bears Beat Up on Defense

The Chicago Bears made a quarterback switch this week, from Rex Grossman to Brian Griese. But Coach Lovie Smith's biggest concern might be his lengthy list of injuries on defense. Defensive tackle Tommie Harris, linebacker Lance Briggs and cornerbacks Nathan Vasher and Charles Tillman all sat out Thursday's practice...

By Mark Maske | September 28, 2007; 10:37 AM ET | Comments (1)

P. Burress to Keep Playing on Ailing Ankle

Wide receiver Plaxico Burress told reporters Thursday that he plans to remain in the New York Giants' lineup, playing on an ailing ankle. Burress received a second opinion this week from Charlotte orthopedist Robert Anderson, who told Burress the injury is a bad sprain. Burress has practiced little since...

By Mark Maske | September 28, 2007; 10:30 AM ET | Comments (0)

Bengals Will Be Without R. Johnson Monday

The Cincinnati Bengals officially ruled out tailback Rudi Johnson for Monday night's game against the New England Patriots because of a hamstring injury. Kenny Watson probably will start in Johnson's place....

By Mark Maske | September 28, 2007; 10:26 AM ET | Comments (0)

Carr Seems Likely to Start Sunday for Panthers

David Carr likely will make his first start at quarterback for the Carolina Panthers on Sunday against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Usual Panthers starter Jake Delhomme missed his second straight practice Thursday after suffering a strained right elbow last weekend. Carr was signed by the Panthers in the offseason...

By Mark Maske | September 28, 2007; 10:24 AM ET | Comments (0)

Wilfork Fined for Hit That Injured Losman

The NFL fined New England Patriots defensive tackle Vince Wilfork $12,500 for a low hit last weekend that injured Buffalo Bills quarterback J.P. Losman. Wilfork was penalized on the play. Losman suffered a sprained knee and is to miss at least two weeks. Rookie Trent Edwards has taken over...

By Mark Maske | September 28, 2007; 10:20 AM ET | Comments (0)

Week 4 Picks

Local Teams Ravens at Browns The Ravens are rounding into form but need to settle their QB issues. Pick: Ravens Lock of the Week Rams at Cowboys The Cowboys are the NFC's best, and the Rams are an absolute mess. Pick: Cowboys Upset of the Week Packers at Vikings...

By Mark Maske | September 27, 2007; 11:30 AM ET | Comments (0)

Winslow's Status Unclear Because of Partial Shoulder Dislocation

Cleveland Browns tight end Kellen Winslow suffered a partially dislocated left shoulder during Sunday's loss to the Oakland Raiders. It's unclear if Winslow will be able to play this weekend against the Baltimore Ravens, although he vowed to reporters Wednesday that he would play. Winslow didn't participate in the...

By Mark Maske | September 27, 2007; 9:23 AM ET | Comments (0)

Bulger Playing Despite Two Broken Ribs

St. Louis Rams quarterback Marc Bulger has been playing with two broken ribs since being sacked six times by the San Francisco 49ers in the opening game of the season. The Rams are winless and are one of the league's bigger disappointments, but Bulger told reporters Wednesday that the...

By Mark Maske | September 27, 2007; 8:56 AM ET | Comments (0)

Vikings Probably Will Go With Holcomb Again

Kelly Holcomb probably will make a second straight start at quarterback for the Minnesota Vikings. Usual starter Tarvaris Jackson still is bothered by a groin injury....

By Mark Maske | September 27, 2007; 8:48 AM ET | Comments (0)

Burress Has Ailing Ankle Examined

New York Giants wide receiver Plaxico Burress was examined by an orthopedic specialist Wednesday in Charlotte because he continues to be plagued by an ankle injury. Burress left the team to be examined by Robert Anderson. Burress has played in all three Giants' games but has practiced little since...

By Mark Maske | September 27, 2007; 8:45 AM ET | Comments (0)

Raiders Likely Turning to Culpepper

Daunte Culpepper's first start at quarterback for the Oakland Raiders could come this weekend against one of his former teams, the Miami Dolphins. Josh McCown beat out Culpepper for the starting job entering the season but is likely to be sidelined for a week or two because of a...

By Mark Maske | September 27, 2007; 8:38 AM ET | Comments (0)

NFL Had Record Number of Minority Assistant Coaches Last Season, Study Says

NFL teams had a record number of minority assistant coaches last season, according to an annual study of the league's diversity. The league's 165 minority assistant coaches last season represented a 4 percent increase over the 2005 season, according to Richard Lapchick, the head of the University of Central...

By Mark Maske | September 26, 2007; 3:14 PM ET | Comments (0)

Delhomme Misses Panthers' Practice

Quarterback Jake Delhomme sat out the Carolina Panthers' practice today because of the strained right elbow he suffered last weekend against the Atlanta Falcons. David Carr replaced Delhomme last weekend and would take over as the Panthers' starter this week if Delhomme is unable to play....

By Mark Maske | September 26, 2007; 3:04 PM ET | Comments (0)

D. Hall Fined $100,000, Might Be Benched for Part of This Weekend's Game

The Atlanta Falcons fined cornerback DeAngelo Hall $100,000 for an outburst during last Sunday's loss to the Carolina Panthers and might suspend him for at least a quarter of this weekend's game. Hall told reporters the details of the penalty today at the Falcons' training facility. He indicated he...

By Mark Maske | September 26, 2007; 2:59 PM ET | Comments (0)

Vick Reportedly Tests Positive for Marijuana

Atlanta Falcons quarterback Michael Vick reportedly tested positive for marijuana this month. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported that, according to court documents, a probation officer requested that U.S. District Judge Henry Hudson impose stricter pretrial release conditions on Vick because a urine sample submitted Sept. 13 by Vick tested positive...

By Mark Maske | September 26, 2007; 1:44 PM ET | Comments (0)

Grossman Benching Is Official

The Chicago Bears made it official today and announced that Brian Griese has been elevated to the starting quarterback job, ahead of Rex Grossman. Griese is to start Sunday's game at Detroit. Grossman was benched after throwing six interceptions and only one touchdown pass in the Bears' first three...

By Mark Maske | September 26, 2007; 1:41 PM ET | Comments (0)

Bengals Could Be Without R. Johnson Monday Night

The Cincinnati Bengals could be without tailback Rudi Johnson for Monday night's game against the New England Patriots because of an ailing hamstring. The loss of Johnson could be a severe blow to the Bengals as they try to keep pace with the Patriots in what could be a...

By Mark Maske | September 26, 2007; 10:46 AM ET | Comments (0)

Vick's Defense Team Claiming Double Jeopardy

After Michael Vick was indicted today by a grand jury in Virginia on dogfighting charges, Vick's defense team issued a written statement in which it said it would examine the state charges and "aggressively protect his rights to ensure that he is not held accountable for the same conduct...

By Mark Maske | September 25, 2007; 9:52 PM ET | Comments (0)

Decision Made: Bears to Bench Grossman

The Chicago Bears are poised to bench Rex Grossman, the wildly inconsistent quarterback who helped them reach the Super Bowl last season. Bears Coach Lovie Smith has decided to sit down Grossman and elevate backup Brian Griese to be the team's starter, two people familiar with the situation said....

By Mark Maske | September 25, 2007; 7:32 PM ET | Comments (0)

Quarterback Switch for Bears Coming Wednesday?

The Chicago Bears are to announce Wednesday whether they're sticking with Rex Grossman as their starter at quarterback or switching to backup Brian Griese. Grossman threw three interceptions during Sunday night's lopsided loss at home to the Dallas Cowboys, and fans at Soldier Field chanted for Griese late in...

By Mark Maske | September 25, 2007; 3:32 PM ET | Comments (0)

Raiders Keeping Four Quarterbacks For Now

The Oakland Raiders have four quarterbacks on their roster now that they've added rookie JaMarcus Russell, whose roster exemption following his contract dispute and late arrival has expired. Russell joins Josh McCown, Daunte Culpepper and Andrew Walter on the roster. Walter is likely to be traded or released. But...

By Mark Maske | September 25, 2007; 3:19 PM ET | Comments (0)

MRI Confirms McAllister's Knee Injury Is Season-Ending

An MRI exam confirmed the New Orleans Saints' fear about tailback Deuce McAllister: He's done for the season because of a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee. It's the second time in three years that McAllister suffered a season-ending knee injury. He missed most of the 2005...

By Mark Maske | September 25, 2007; 3:11 PM ET | Comments (0)

Saints Fear McAllister Has Serious Knee Injury

New Orleans Saints officials fear that tailback Deuce McAllister suffered a season-ending knee injury during Monday night's loss at home to the Tennessee Titans that dropped the Saints' record to 0-3. The Saints feared that McAllister suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee. He's scheduled to...

By Mark Maske | September 25, 2007; 2:00 PM ET | Comments (0)

Vick Indicted

A grand jury in Virginia indicted Atlanta Falcons quarterback Michael Vick and three co-defendants today on state charges related to their admitted operation of a dogfighting ring. Vick was indicted for beating or killing or causing dogs to fight other dogs, and engaging in or promoting dogfighting, the Associated...

By Mark Maske | September 25, 2007; 1:23 PM ET | Comments (0)

Week 4 Rankings

It's tempting to move the Cowboys higher than fourth after their dominating performance in Chicago. But they'll stay there, for now. It's time to start believing in the Packers, who crack the top five. The Lions were proven fraudulent and get the lowest ranking of the 2-1 teams. The...

By Mark Maske | September 25, 2007; 11:00 AM ET | Comments (0)

Virginia Prosecutor Indicates He Will Present Evidence to Grand Jury Today in Vick Case

A Virginia prosecutor said he plans to present evidence to a grand jury today, seeking indictments of Atlanta Falcons quarterback Michael Vick and his co-defendants on state charges related to their admitted operation of a dogfighting ring. Gerald Poindexter, the commonwealth attorney for Surry County, Va., told the Associated...

By Mark Maske | September 25, 2007; 9:51 AM ET | Comments (0)

Losman's Sprained Knee Leaves Bills With Rookie T. Edwards Starting at Quarterback

Buffalo Bills quarterback J.P. Losman is to miss at least two weeks because of a sprained knee. Rookie Trent Edwards takes over as the starter, and the Bills signed Craig Nall as a backup. The team placed rookie linebacker Paul Posluszny on the injured reserve list, ending his season,...

By Mark Maske | September 24, 2007; 7:31 PM ET | Comments (0)

Texans' Killings Has Fractured Neck Vertebra

Houston Texans defensive tackle Cedric Killings suffered a fractured vertebra in his neck during Sunday's loss to the Indianapolis Colts. Killings, however, has regained movement in his arms and legs, according to his doctors....

By Mark Maske | September 24, 2007; 7:30 PM ET | Comments (0)

S. Alexander to Continue Playing With Broken Wrist

Seattle Seahawks tailback Shaun Alexander has a cracked bone is his left wrist. Alexander is expected to continue playing with a protective cast....

By Mark Maske | September 24, 2007; 7:28 PM ET | Comments (0)

Winless Rams to be Without S. Jackson

St. Louis Rams tailback Steven Jackson is to miss at least a week. Jackson has a partial tear of his groin muscle....

By Mark Maske | September 24, 2007; 7:27 PM ET | Comments (0)

Leinart Keeping Cardinals' Starting Job Despite Warner's No-Huddle Success

Ken Whisenhunt, the first-year coach of the Arizona Cardinals, said after Sunday's loss in Baltimore that he's sticking with Matt Leinart as his starting quarterback. Veteran Kurt Warner replaced an ineffective Leinart and completed 15 of 20 passes for 258 yards and two touchdowns, leading the Cardinals to 20...

By Mark Maske | September 24, 2007; 2:26 PM ET | Comments (0)

Panthers Say Delhomme's Elbow Injury Not Serious

Carolina Panthers quarterback Jake Delhomme has a strained right elbow that won't require surgery, Coach John Fox announced today. Delhomme was hurt during the Panthers' victory Sunday over the Atlanta Falcons. An MRI exam showed no serious structural damage and it's possible that Delhomme could be ready to play...

By Mark Maske | September 24, 2007; 2:13 PM ET | Comments (0)

Petrino Says Falcons Plan to Discipline D. Hall

The Atlanta Falcons plan to discipline Pro Bowl cornerback DeAngelo Hall for a sideline tantrum that followed a series of key penalties during Sunday's loss to the Carolina Panthers, Falcons Coach Bobby Petrino said today. Hall had three penalties, including an unsportsmanlike conduct for verbal sparring with Panthers wide...

By Mark Maske | September 24, 2007; 2:02 PM ET | Comments (0)

B. Westbrook Has Strained Abdominal Muscle

Philadelphia Eagles tailback Brian Westbrook has a strained abdominal muscle, making his playing status this week unclear. Westbrook was hurt during Sunday's 56-21 triumph over the Detroit Lions at Lincoln Financial Field, in which he had 110 rushing yards and 111 receiving yards. Westbrook left the game with what...

By Mark Maske | September 24, 2007; 1:47 PM ET | Comments (0)

Grossman's Play Raises Quarterback Issue Again in Chicago

Memo to Lovie Smith: It's time. The Chicago Bears rode their unwavering support of erratic quarterback Rex Grossman to a Super Bowl appearance last season. But Grossman has crossed the line from erratic to simply bad this season. He threw three interceptions in Sunday night's 34-10 loss at home...

By Mark Maske | September 24, 2007; 11:24 AM ET | Comments (6)

And Then There Were Five

The number of unbeaten NFL teams was cut in half Sunday, from 10 to five. The Patriots, Colts, Steelers, Cowboys and Packers won to remain undefeated. The Redskins, Lions, 49ers, Broncos and Texans tumbled from the ranks of the unbeaten. The Patriots and Colts still seem to be a...

By Mark Maske | September 24, 2007; 11:13 AM ET | Comments (0)

Lions' Performance Not Embarrassing to Marinelli, But Maybe It Should Have Been

PHILADELPHIA--The Detroit Lions were exposed here Sunday as a pretender. After beating the Oakland Raiders and Minnesota Vikings for a 2-0 start, the Lions had a chance to prove with a victory over the previously winless Eagles--or at least a highly competitive performance--that they're for real. They're not. At...

By Mark Maske | September 24, 2007; 10:42 AM ET | Comments (5)

McNabb, Eagles Bounce Back

PHILADELPHIA--Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb threw for 332 yards and four touchdowns Sunday. And then the second half started. That quickly, McNabb and the Eagles are back from the also-ran pile. After a week in which McNabb was scrutinized closely because his play had been suspect during the Eagles'...

By Mark Maske | September 24, 2007; 10:24 AM ET | Comments (0)

Eagles to Face Lions Minus B. Dawkins

PHILADELPHIA--The winless Philadelphia Eagles will be without one of their defensive leaders, veteran safety Brian Dawkins, when they face the undefeated Detroit Lions today at Lincoln Financial Field. Dawkins is on the Eagles' inactive list. He missed practice time last week because of muscle spasms in his neck and...

By Mark Maske | September 23, 2007; 12:00 PM ET | Comments (0)

List of Unbeaten Teams to be Pared Today

PHILADELPHIA--There are 10 unbeaten teams in the NFL entering today's play: the Patriots, Colts, Steelers, Texans, Broncos, Cowboys, Redskins, Lions, Packers and 49ers. Barring ties, there will be, at most, eight undefeated clubs when today is done because the 49ers play the Steelers and the Colts are at Houston....

By Mark Maske | September 23, 2007; 11:44 AM ET | Comments (1)

Is Grossman Playing for His Job?

PHILADELPHIA--It could be a big night for Rex Grossman. Chicago Bears Coach Lovie Smith and his players have turned their support of Grossman, their erratic quarterback, into a virtual badge of honor the past couple seasons. The more glaring the mistakes that Grossman made, the more fervent Smith and...

By Mark Maske | September 23, 2007; 11:32 AM ET | Comments (0)

Eagles to be Without Tight End After Surgery for Groin Injury

Philadelphia Eagles tight end L.J. Smith underwent surgery today for a groin injury. He'll miss Sunday's game against the Detroit Lions but it's unclear how long he'll be sidelined after that. Smith suffered a strained groin muscle in training camp after undergoing offseason surgery for a sports hernia. He...

By Mark Maske | September 21, 2007; 3:49 PM ET | Comments (0)

Z. Thomas to be Sidelined By Concussion

The Miami Dolphins will be without linebacker Zach Thomas this weekend after tests showed he has a mild concussion. Thomas complained of headaches and missed practices all week after saying he felt lightheaded following last Sunday's loss to the Dallas Cowboys....

By Mark Maske | September 21, 2007; 3:38 PM ET | Comments (1)

State Charges Against Vick Might Not Come Until After Federal Sentencing in December

A Virginia prosecutor reportedly plans to pursue dogfighting charges against suspended Atlanta Falcons quarterback Michael Vick but might not do so until after Vick is sentenced by a federal judge. Gerald Poindexter, the commonwealth attorney for Surry County, Va., told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution it's possible that he might present...

By Mark Maske | September 21, 2007; 11:39 AM ET | Comments (0)

Holcomb Probably Will Be Vikings' Starter

Kelly Holcomb likely will take over for the injured Tarvaris Jackson as the Minnesota Vikings' starter at quarterback this weekend. Holcomb appears to have moved ahead of Brooks Bollinger, and Jackson missed practices Wednesday and Thursday because of a groin injury....

By Mark Maske | September 21, 2007; 11:10 AM ET | Comments (0)

Z. Thomas Undergoes Concussion Tests

The Miami Dolphins expect to know today whether linebacker Zach Thomas will be able to play Sunday against the New York Jets. Thomas underwent tests Thursday to determine if he has a concussion after complaining of headaches this week....

By Mark Maske | September 21, 2007; 11:05 AM ET | Comments (1)

Everett Being Moved to Houston Hospital

Buffalo Bills tight end Kevin Everett is being moved today to a Houston hospital to continue his rehabilitation from the life-threatening spinal cord injury that he suffered while making a tackle on a kickoff during the opening game of the season against the Denver Broncos. Everett lives in Houston...

By Mark Maske | September 21, 2007; 10:59 AM ET | Comments (0)

Patriots Case Appears Closed

NFL officials are saying they don't expect any further penalties against the New England Patriots for using videotaping equipment to steal opponents' play signals. The league announced Thursday that the Patriots had complied with the NFL's request to hand over all materials related to their videotaping program, and league...

By Mark Maske | September 21, 2007; 10:47 AM ET | Comments (0)

Week 3 Picks

Local Teams Giants at Redskins The Giants are on their way to an awful season. Pick: Redskins Cardinals at Ravens As long as the Ravens don't have their quarterback and tailback run into each other to lose the game, as the Seahawks did last weekend to hand a win...

By Mark Maske | September 20, 2007; 12:00 PM ET | Comments (2)

Westbrook's Knee Is Newest Worry for Eagles

The winless Philadelphia Eagles have a new worry: The health of tailback Brian Westbrook. Westbrook suffered what's being described as a strained knee during Monday night's loss to the Washington Redskins. He was examined by doctors Wednesday, and his status for Sunday's game against the unbeaten Detroit Lions at...

By Mark Maske | September 20, 2007; 8:11 AM ET | Comments (1)

Authorities Reportedly Find Link Between Slain North Carolina Man and Vick's "Bad Newz Kennels"

According to broadcast and print reports, including one in the Charlotte Observer, law enforcement officials have found a link between a North Carolina man found shot to death in his home in April and the "Bad Newz Kennels" of suspended Atlanta Falcons quarterback Michael Vick. A friend reportedly found...

By Mark Maske | September 20, 2007; 7:30 AM ET | Comments (0)

S. Jackson Tells Rams Teammates He's Sorry for Sideline Tantrum

Tailback Steven Jackson apologized to his St. Louis Rams teammates today for his sideline tantrum late in Sunday's loss to the San Francisco 49ers. Jackson let his frustrations spill out during the Rams' second straight defeat and was restrained by an assistant coach. "I told them there wasn't going...

By Mark Maske | September 19, 2007; 10:23 PM ET | Comments (1)

Childress Mum on Vikings' Quarterback Situation

Kelly Holcomb and Brooks Bollinger are splitting the practice-field snaps with the Minnesota Vikings with the club's starting quarterback, Tarvaris Jackson, probably sidelined by a groin injury this week. Coach Brad Childress isn't saying which quarterback would get the starting nod this weekend if Jackson is unable to play....

By Mark Maske | September 19, 2007; 10:14 PM ET | Comments (0)

C. Pennington Practices

Quarterback Chad Pennington took part in the New York Jets' practice today, although his participation was listed as limited. Pennington is attempting to return to the lineup this week after missing last Sunday's loss at Baltimore because of a sprained ankle. Kellen Clemens had some impressive moments late in...

By Mark Maske | September 19, 2007; 10:08 PM ET | Comments (0)

McNabb Sticks By Comments

During his weekly news conference Wednesday in Philadelphia, Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb stuck by his contention in an HBO interview that aired this week that African-American quarterbacks are criticized more harshly than their white counterparts. McNabb said the comment was blown "way out of proportion" but also indicated it's...

By Mark Maske | September 19, 2007; 10:03 PM ET | Comments (3)

Texans to be Without Top Receiver Against Colts

Houston Texans wide receiver Andre Johnson told reporters today that the sprained knee he suffered last weekend likely will keep him out of Sunday's game against the Indianapolis Colts. His absence will put a big dent in the upset hopes of the unbeaten Texans. Johnson had 14 catches for...

By Mark Maske | September 19, 2007; 9:53 PM ET | Comments (0)

T.O. Fined for Touchdown Celebration Inspired By Spying Scandal

The NFL truly has no sense of humor. The league fined Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Terrell Owens $7,500 for his touchdown celebration Sunday that made reference to the spying scandal involving the New England Patriots. After scoring a touchdown against the Miami Dolphins, Owens stood by the goal post...

By Mark Maske | September 19, 2007; 9:29 PM ET | Comments (1)

Problems Piling Up for Giants

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J.--As if the winless New York Giants don't have enough problems already, now they have to worry about wide receiver Plaxico Burress's sore ankle. Coach Tom Coughlin said that Burress would be limited during the Giants' practice today, if he practiced at all. But Coughlin said he's...

By Mark Maske | September 19, 2007; 1:20 PM ET | Comments (4)

Some of Backlash for Spying Scandal Aimed at Mangini?

One of the curious after-effects of the New England Patriots' spying scandal is that part of the backlash within the league seems to be aimed at New York Jets Coach Eric Mangini. Several people within the league said in recent days that there is anger within the NFL coaching...

By Mark Maske | September 19, 2007; 6:48 AM ET | Comments (12)

Falcons Get Leftwich, But Shouldn't They Have Gotten Him Sooner?

The Atlanta Falcons signed quarterback Byron Leftwich on Tuesday. The question is: What took so long? The Jacksonville Jaguars released Leftwich before the season. The Falcons went into the season with Joey Harrington and Chris Redman as their top two quarterbacks. Did they really think that Harrington was going...

By Mark Maske | September 19, 2007; 6:00 AM ET | Comments (0)

Everett Reportedly Could Be Transferred to Houston Hospital

There reportedly are arrangements being made to transfer Buffalo Bills tight end Kevin Everett to a Houston-area hospital so that he can be near his home for his rehabilitation. The Associated Press reported that the move could come by the end of this week. Everett grew up in Port...

By Mark Maske | September 19, 2007; 5:50 AM ET | Comments (0)

League Investigating Leak of Patriots' Spy Tape

The league office is conducting an internal investigation to try to determine how a copy of the New England Patriots' spying video was leaked to the Fox television network, an NFL official said. A copy of the tape was aired by Fox on Sunday, showing the New York Jets...

By Mark Maske | September 18, 2007; 9:56 PM ET | Comments (0)

J. Harrison Cleared to Play for Steelers

Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker James Harrison has only a stiff neck and was cleared to play this week. Harrison was taken off the field on a stretcher during Sunday's victory over the Buffalo Bills....

By Mark Maske | September 18, 2007; 6:06 PM ET | Comments (0)

Jets Returner J. Miller Reportedly Done for Season

The New York Jets reportedly will be without cornerback and Pro Bowl kick returner Justin Miller for the remainder of the season. He suffered a knee injury during Sunday's loss at Baltimore....

By Mark Maske | September 18, 2007; 6:04 PM ET | Comments (0)

Cowboys Sign T. Johnson

The Dallas Cowboys signed defensive tackle Tank Johnson to a two-year contract. The Cowboys need help at the position but Johnson first must complete the serving of an eight-game suspension for violating the league's personal conduct policy. He served two months in jail, while a member of the Chicago...

By Mark Maske | September 18, 2007; 4:33 PM ET | Comments (2)

Leftwich, Falcons Have a Deal

Quarterback Byron Leftwich, the former Jacksonville starter who was released by the Jaguars before the season, has agreed to a contract with the Atlanta Falcons, an NFL source said. The deal is for two years and can pay Leftwich as much as $7 million, according to the source. Leftwich...

By Mark Maske | September 18, 2007; 4:10 PM ET | Comments (0)

Week 3 Rankings

It's tempting to just put the Patriots first (after their dominating performance against the Chargers) and the Colts second (after just getting by against the Titans), and just say that none of the rest of it matters. Is anyone else any good? The Steelers look pretty solid. But the...

By Mark Maske | September 18, 2007; 3:01 PM ET | Comments (0)

T. Jackson's Groin Injury Could Produce Quarterback Change for Vikings

The Minnesota Vikings are sticking with struggling young quarterback Tarvaris Jackson as their starter but a groin injury could keep Jackson sidelined this week. Brooks Bollinger or Kelly Holcomb would take over as the starter if Jackson is unable to play....

By Mark Maske | September 18, 2007; 3:00 PM ET | Comments (0)

Jets Planning to Go Back to Pennington as Starter This Week

The winless New York Jets plan to go back to Chad Pennington as their starting quarterback this week if he's healthy. Pennington sat out Sunday's loss to the Baltimore Ravens after suffering an ankle injury during the Jets' season-opening defeat to the New England Patriots. Kellen Clemens, in his...

By Mark Maske | September 18, 2007; 10:51 AM ET | Comments (0)

McNabb Tells HBO that African-American Quarterbacks Are Criticized More Harshly than White Counterparts

Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb said in an HBO interview that African-American quarterbacks are criticized more harshly than their white counterparts. "There's not that many African-American quarterbacks, so we have to do a little bit extra," McNabb said. McNabb also said: "I pass for 300 yards, our team wins...

By Mark Maske | September 18, 2007; 10:44 AM ET | Comments (0)

T. Johnson to Undergo Physical for Cowboys Today

Former Chicago Bears defensive tackle Tank Johnson is scheduled to undergo a physical for the Dallas Cowboys today. The Cowboys need help at the position after losing Jason Ferguson to a season-ending injury. But Johnson wouldn't provide any immediate help. He's serving an eight-game suspension by the NFL for...

By Mark Maske | September 18, 2007; 10:25 AM ET | Comments (0)

Leftwich Likely to Sign With Falcons Today

Quarterback Byron Leftwich is scheduled to undergo a physical for the Atlanta Falcons this morning and likely will sign with the team if all goes well. Leftwich remained in Atlanta after meeting Monday night with Falcons officials. The Falcons are winless after two games and are in desperate need...

By Mark Maske | September 18, 2007; 9:26 AM ET | Comments (0)

Falcons Considering Signing Leftwich

The Atlanta Falcons are considering signing quarterback Byron Leftwich, the former Jacksonville starter who was released by the Jaguars before the season. He was scheduled to meet with Falcons officials tonight. Earlier today, the Falcons re-signed 47-year-old kicker Morten Andersen....

By Mark Maske | September 17, 2007; 10:16 PM ET | Comments (0)

Kitna Calls Return to Game After Suffering Concussion Miraculous

Quarterback Jon Kitna told reporters today it was "a miracle" that he was able to return to the Detroit Lions' triumph over the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday after being knocked from the game with a concussion. Kitna left the game in the second quarter and returned in the fourth...

By Mark Maske | September 17, 2007; 7:56 PM ET | Comments (0)

Everett Has "Some Movement" In Both Hands, According to Bills

Buffalo Bills tight end Kevin Everett has regained "some movement" in both his hands, according to the team's medical director. "When examined Sunday evening, Kevin demonstrated increased strength in the muscles of his legs," John Marzo said in a written statement released by the Bills. "In addition, he was...

By Mark Maske | September 17, 2007; 5:45 PM ET | Comments (0)

J. Fisher Reportedly Agrees to Contract Extension With Titans

Tennessee Titans Coach Jeff Fisher reportedly agreed to a four-year contract extension with the team that runs through the 2011 season. Fisher's contract was to expire after this season and there had been speculation that he might be a highly coveted coaching free agent. His salary will be raised...

By Mark Maske | September 17, 2007; 1:00 PM ET | Comments (0)

Chargers Sputtering on Offense

FOXBOROUGH, Mass.--Two games into their season, the San Diego Chargers are 1-1 and they're yet to get their offense in gear. But after Sunday night's 38-14 loss here to the New England Patriots, Chargers tailback LaDainian Tomlinson attributed the struggles to playing the tough defenses of the Chicago Bears...

By Mark Maske | September 17, 2007; 11:45 AM ET | Comments (0)

A Circle-the-Wagons Night for the Patriots

FOXBOROUGH, Mass.--When it was over, linebacker Tedy Bruschi and quarterback Tom Brady hugged Coach Bill Belichick on the New England Patriots' sideline. The fans at Gillette Stadium cheered Belichick wildly as he exited the field. Patriots owner Robert Kraft gave Belichick a game ball and players offered testimonials to...

By Mark Maske | September 17, 2007; 1:04 AM ET | Comments (0)

Goodell Defends Patriots Sanctions

FOXBOROUGH, Mass.--NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, criticized by some observers for failing to suspend New England Patriots Coach Bill Belichick, defended the sanctions that he imposed on Belichick and the Patriots during an interview tonight on NBC. Goodell called the potential loss of a first-round draft choice "unprecedented" and "terribly...

By Mark Maske | September 16, 2007; 10:03 PM ET | Comments (0)

Remember When M. Lewis Was a Defensive Genius?

Didn't Marvin Lewis used to be a defensive genius? Lewis has done an often-commendable job as a head coach in turning the Bengals from laughingstocks into perennial playoff contenders. But they've been unable to take the step from pretty good to very good because Lewis, the former coordinator of...

By Mark Maske | September 16, 2007; 6:24 PM ET | Comments (0)

Early-Season Desperation for Giants?

It seems like a bit of a desperation move for the New York Giants to have started Eli Manning at quarterback today. You would expect a team to err on the side of caution when dealing with a shoulder injury to its young franchise quarterback. But the Giants were...

By Mark Maske | September 16, 2007; 6:18 PM ET | Comments (0)

R. Williams Reportedly Will Seek Reinstatement Next Month

Miami Dolphins running back Ricky Williams reportedly will seek reinstatement to the NFL when he's eligible after Oct. 1. Williams is under suspension for violating the league's substance abuse policy. "He sounds wonderful," David Cornwell, Williams's attorney, told the Associated Press. "He sounds like he's in a great place,...

By Mark Maske | September 14, 2007; 7:17 PM ET | Comments (0)

E. Manning Practices But Playing Status Still Uncertain

Quarterback Eli Manning took some snaps with the first-team offense during the New York Giants' practice today. It was the first time all week that Manning had participated in full team drills. Still, it remained unclear if he would play Sunday against the Green Bay Packers at Giants Stadium...

By Mark Maske | September 14, 2007; 7:02 PM ET | Comments (0)

Goodell-Vick Meeting Not Scheduled Yet

The expected meeting between NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and Atlanta Falcons quarterback Michael Vick hasn't been scheduled yet, two sources familiar with the case said today. Goodell suspended Vick indefinitely after Vick entered a guilty plea in a federal dogfighting case. According to sources, Goodell plans to meet with...

By Mark Maske | September 14, 2007; 4:41 PM ET | Comments (0)

Is It Unthinkable that Belichick, Patriots Could Part Ways After This Season?

Is it totally, completely unthinkable that this could be Bill Belichick's final season as coach of the New England Patriots even if he wins another Super Bowl title? Perhaps not. Belichick is the finest coach of his era, with three Super Bowl triumphs with the Patriots. He has been...

By Mark Maske | September 14, 2007; 12:21 PM ET | Comments (0)

Giants Likely to Go With Lorenzen, Ward in Backfield Against Packers

Backup quarterback Jared Lorenzen worked with the New York Giants' starting offense for a second straight day during Thursday's practice. It appears that Lorenzen is likely to start Sunday's game against the Green Bay Packers at Giants Stadium in place of Eli Manning, who hurt his right shoulder during...

By Mark Maske | September 14, 2007; 12:30 AM ET | Comments (0)

Belichick Responds

New England Patriots Coach Bill Belichick issued a written statement tonight after being penalized by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell for last weekend's spying incident. Belichick, who discussed the incident with Goodell earlier in the week, said in the statement that he accepted "full responsibility" for the incident but blamed...

By Mark Maske | September 13, 2007; 11:18 PM ET | Comments (0)

Belichick Fined $500,000, Patriots Stripped of At Least One Draft Pick

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell fined New England Patriots Coach Bill Belichick $500,000 and stripped the team of at least one draft pick, possibly its first-round selection next spring, for using videotaping equipment to try to steal the New York Jets' play signals during a game last Sunday. The Patriots...

By Mark Maske | September 13, 2007; 9:19 PM ET | Comments (0)

Eagles Wonder About Super Bowl Loss to Patriots

PHILADELPHIA--With the New England Patriots accused of using videotaping equipment to steal defensive play signals from the New York Jets last weekend, some Philadelphia Eagles players said today they wonder if they might have been cheated out of a Super Bowl title three seasons ago. The Eagles lost the...

By Mark Maske | September 13, 2007; 4:58 PM ET | Comments (6)

Week 2 Picks

Local Teams Redskins at Eagles (Monday night) The Redskins have a chance, but the Eagles need this one and they're pretty good at regrouping. Pick: Eagles Jets at Ravens The Ravens take advantage of young quarterback Kellen Clemens. Pick: Ravens Lock of the Week Falcons at Jaguars Why haven't...

By Mark Maske | September 13, 2007; 10:00 AM ET | Comments (0)

Jets Set to Give Clemens First NFL Start

The New York Jets reportedly will go with Kellen Clemens as their starting quarterback Sunday against the Baltimore Ravens. Several New York-area media outlets reported that Chad Pennington is expected to be sidelined by the high ankle sprain he suffered last weekend. It will be Clemens's first NFL start....

By Mark Maske | September 13, 2007; 8:37 AM ET | Comments (0)

It's Looking Like E. Manning Will Miss One Game, and One Game Only

It's looking more and more like the New York Giants won't have quarterback Eli Manning in the lineup this weekend against the Green Bay Packers because of his ailing right shoulder. Jared Lorenzen would start in Manning's place. The Giants do seem confident that they'll have Manning back against...

By Mark Maske | September 13, 2007; 12:30 AM ET | Comments (1)

Everett's Doctors Guardedly Optimistic But Say He Still Has a Long Way to Go to Walk Again

Buffalo Bills tight end Kevin Everett has regained some movement in his legs but little in his arms and none in his hands, his doctors said today, indicating they didn't expect him to walk anytime soon but were guardedly optimistic he might be able to do so someday. The...

By Mark Maske | September 12, 2007; 8:22 PM ET | Comments (2)

J. Russell Participates in First Practice

Just-signed rookie quarterback JaMarcus Russell today participated in his first practice with the Oakland Raiders since agreeing to his new contract. Russell, the top overall selection in the NFL draft in April, finally agreed to a deal with the Raiders late Monday....

By Mark Maske | September 12, 2007; 3:47 PM ET | Comments (14)

Goodell, Upshaw to Testify Before Senate Committee Tuesday

Commissioner Roger Goodell, Players Association chief Gene Upshaw and former Chicago Bears coach Mike Ditka are among those scheduled to testify before the Senate commerce committee during a hearing Tuesday. The hearing deals with benefits for former players....

By Mark Maske | September 12, 2007; 3:46 PM ET | Comments (4)

Hearing Over Vick Contract Scheduled for October

An Oct. 4 hearing has been scheduled in the Atlanta Falcons' attempt to retrieve bonus money from suspended quarterback Michael Vick's 10-year, $130 million contract. The hearing is to take place before Stephen Burbank, the University of Pennsylvania law professor who is the NFL's special master, charged with resolving...

By Mark Maske | September 12, 2007; 3:14 PM ET | Comments (13)

Bucs Release D. Boston

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers released wide receiver David Boston. The team announced that it had reached an injury settlement with Boston, who sat out the season-opening game because of a foot injury. Earlier this week, police released test results showing that Boston had a depressant, the "date-rape drug" GHB,...

By Mark Maske | September 12, 2007; 3:03 PM ET | Comments (0)

E. Manning Does Some Light Work During Giants' Practice, Playing Status Still Unclear

Quarterback Eli Manning took some snaps during the New York Giants' practice today but it remained unclear whether he will play Sunday against the Green Bay Packers at Giants Stadium. Manning handed the ball off during the practice and was to throw later in the day. Coach Tom Coughlin...

By Mark Maske | September 12, 2007; 2:07 PM ET | Comments (2)

Belichick Issues Apology for Spying Incident

New England Patriots Coach Bill Belichick issued an apology today for the incident in which his team is accused of improperly stealing signals by New York Jets coaches during a game last weekend at Giants Stadium. Belichick also indicated that he'd spoken to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell this week...

By Mark Maske | September 12, 2007; 1:49 PM ET | Comments (0)

T. Johnson Could Resurface in Dallas

The Dallas Cowboys are considering the possibility of signing defensive tackle Tank Johnson, the Dallas Morning News reported. The Cowboys need help at the position after losing Jason Ferguson to a season-ending biceps injury and Johnson is available after being released by the Chicago Bears. But he couldn't play...

By Mark Maske | September 12, 2007; 9:23 AM ET | Comments (0)

Clemens Could Start for Jets at Quarterback Against Ravens

The New York Jets could be without quarterback Chad Pennington this weekend against the Baltimore Ravens. Pennington hurt his right ankle during last weekend's season-opening loss to the New England Patriots. Backup Kellen Clemens would make his first NFL start if Pennington can't play....

By Mark Maske | September 12, 2007; 9:19 AM ET | Comments (1)

Eagles Could Have New Punt Returner Against Redskins

The Philadelphia Eagles likely will have a new punt returner Monday night against the Washington Redskins. The Eagles re-signed returner and running back Reno Mahe today and released J.R. Reed. Eagles returners mishandled two punts in Sunday's loss at Green Bay. The second one, by Reed, led to the...

By Mark Maske | September 11, 2007; 11:15 PM ET | Comments (2)

E. Manning's Playing Status Remains Unclear After Second Opinion on Shoulder

The playing status of New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning remained unclear today even after he received a second opinion on his injured right shoulder from Birmingham orthopedist James Andrews. Andrews studied the MRI exam of Manning's shoulder, according to an NFL source. It does not appear that Manning...

By Mark Maske | September 11, 2007; 11:12 PM ET | Comments (1)

J. Russell Travels to Bay Area to Sign New Contract With Raiders

Rookie quarterback JaMarcus Russell arrived in the Bay Area today and is expected to sign his newly completed contract in time to participate in the Oakland Raiders' practice Wednesday. The representatives for Russell, the top overall selection in April's NFL draft, completed the deal with the Raiders late Monday....

By Mark Maske | September 11, 2007; 11:02 PM ET | Comments (0)

Rams' Wroten Reportedly Suspended

The league suspended St. Louis Rams defensive tackle Claude Wroten for four games without pay for a violation of the substance abuse policy, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported. Wroten is eligible to be reinstated on Oct. 8....

By Mark Maske | September 11, 2007; 11:00 PM ET | Comments (0)

Dolphins Sign Darius

The Miami Dolphins signed safety Donovin Darius, a former standout for the Jacksonville Jaguars who most recently was released by the Oakland Raiders. The Dolphins also signed safety Lamont Thompson, formerly of the Cincinnati Bengals and Tennessee Titans. They placed safety Yeremiah Bell on the injured reserve list after...

By Mark Maske | September 11, 2007; 10:55 PM ET | Comments (0)

Prognosis Reportedly Improves for Everett

Buffalo Bills tight end Kevin Everett had voluntary movement in his arms and legs today and was experiencing only a small amount of swelling in his spinal cord, a Buffalo television station reported. "We may be witnessing a minor miracle," orthopedic surgeon Andrew Cappuccino said, according to WIVB-TV. The...

By Mark Maske | September 11, 2007; 7:52 PM ET | Comments (0)

Goodell Prepared to Strip Patriots of Draft Picks

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell is prepared to strip draft picks from the New England Patriots as punishment for Sunday's incident in which they allegedly used videotaping equipment to steal the play signals of the New York Jets, two sources familiar with the league's investigation into the matter said today....

By Mark Maske | September 11, 2007; 7:20 PM ET | Comments (3)

D. Anderson, Not Quinn, to be Browns' Starter at Quarterback, For Now

The Cleveland Browns announced that Derek Anderson, not rookie Brady Quinn, will take over as their starting quarterback this week after today's trade of Charlie Frye to the Seattle Seahawks for a sixth-round draft choice. Quinn becomes the No. 2 quarterback for now. Ken Dorsey was signed to be...

By Mark Maske | September 11, 2007; 7:10 PM ET | Comments (0)

Frye Trade Makes Sense for Both Browns, Seahawks

Today's trade of quarterback Charlie Frye from the Cleveland Browns to the Seattle Seahawks works for both teams. For the Browns, the path is now cleared for prized rookie Brady Quinn to take over as the starting quarterback. The first-round draft pick had a good preseason, and there were...

By Mark Maske | September 11, 2007; 4:19 PM ET | Comments (0)

Texans Sign W. Demps for Help at Safety

The Houston Texans signed free agent safety Will Demps, formerly of the Baltimore Ravens and New York Giants. Demps was released by the Giants before the season. The Texans needed help at the position after losing starter Jason Simmons for the season because of a torn patellar tendon....

By Mark Maske | September 11, 2007; 4:10 PM ET | Comments (12)

Jaguars Sign Carney to Sub for Injured Kicker Scobee

The Jacksonville Jaguars signed veteran kicker John Carney today. Carney was released by the New Orleans Saints after last season. The Jaguars' kicker, Josh Scobee, is plagued by a strained quadriceps muscle and might not be able to play this weekend....

By Mark Maske | September 11, 2007; 4:04 PM ET | Comments (1)

Week 2 Rankings

The Colts and Patriots clearly were the two best teams in football on the opening weekend. The Colts' showed impressive speed on defense, and the Patriots showed their offense might be potent enough to compensate for the early-season absences of Rodney Harrison and Richard Seymour on defense. The Chargers...

By Mark Maske | September 11, 2007; 1:56 PM ET | Comments (0)

Browns Agree to Trade C. Frye to Seahawks

The Cleveland Browns and Seattle Seahawks have agreed to a trade that will send quarterback Charlie Frye to Seattle. The Browns apparently receive a late-round draft pick in return. The move gives the Seahawks the backup quarterback they'd been seeking, and perhaps means that the Browns will turn to...

By Mark Maske | September 11, 2007; 1:38 PM ET | Comments (0)

Raiders, Russell Agree to Deal

The Oakland Raiders and the representatives for rookie quarterback JaMarcus Russell, the top overall selection in the NFL draft in April, reached a tentative agreement tonight on a contract that will enable Russell to join the team this week, a source familiar with the negotiations said. The deal was...

By Mark Maske | September 10, 2007; 11:15 PM ET | Comments (2)

Quinn Could Get Starting Nod for Browns

The Cleveland Browns are contemplating a starting quarterback switch this week from Charlie Frye to prized rookie Brady Quinn. Quinn put himself in position to take over the job with an impressive preseason....

By Mark Maske | September 10, 2007; 11:11 PM ET | Comments (0)

O. Pace Done for Season

St. Louis Rams left tackle Orlando Pace will miss the rest of the season. He suffered a torn rotator cuff and labrum in his right shoulder Sunday....

By Mark Maske | September 10, 2007; 11:10 PM ET | Comments (0)

Giants Deny Manning Has Separated Shoulder

New York Giants officials said tests taken today confirmed that quarterback Eli Manning suffered only a bruised right shoulder during Sunday night's loss to the Dallas Cowboys in Irving, Tex., and they expect him to be sidelined no longer than a week. According to the Giants, it's possible that...

By Mark Maske | September 10, 2007; 11:09 PM ET | Comments (0)

Surgeon Says Everett's Injury Is Life-Threatening and He's Unlikely to Walk Again

Kevin Everett, a reserve tight end for the Buffalo Bills, suffered a life-threatening spinal cord injury when he collided headfirst with a Denver Broncos ballcarrier while making a tackle on a kickoff during a game Sunday in Buffalo and is likely to be at least partially paralyzed, the orthopedic...

By Mark Maske | September 10, 2007; 11:04 PM ET | Comments (0)

Bears Lose Two Defensive Starters for Season

The Chicago Bears lost two starting defensive players, safety Mike Brown and tackle Dusty Dvoracek, to season-ending knee injuries. Both were hurt during Sunday's loss in San Diego....

By Mark Maske | September 10, 2007; 6:00 PM ET | Comments (1)

League Investigating Charge that Patriots Improperly Monitored Jets' Play Signals

NFL officials are investigating an incident in which a New England Patriots employee who was on the field during Sunday's triumph over the New York Jets at Giants Stadium was accused of videotaping Jets coaches on their sideline signaling play calls to players on the field, a league source...

By Mark Maske | September 10, 2007; 3:24 PM ET | Comments (0)

J. Russell Should be Practicing With the Raiders By Midweek

Rookie quarterback JaMarcus Russell's representatives were back to negotiating with the Oakland Raiders today as the two sides tried to complete a deal for the still-unsigned top overall selection in April's NFL draft. The sides made progress in negotiations Friday and Saturday and hoped to finish a contract agreement...

By Mark Maske | September 10, 2007; 3:04 PM ET | Comments (0)

Everett to Remain Sedated in Intensive Care While Doctors Try to Determine Extent of Spine Injury

Kevin Everett, a reserve tight end for the Buffalo Bills, is to remain sedated in the intensive care unit of a Buffalo hospital for another day or two while his doctors try to determine the severity of the spinal cord injury that Everett suffered during Sunday's game against the...

By Mark Maske | September 10, 2007; 2:57 PM ET | Comments (0)

Cowboys Could Be Without J. Ferguson for Rest of Season

The Dallas Cowboys could be without defensive tackle Jason Ferguson for the remainder of the season. Ferguson suffered a torn biceps tendon during Sunday night's triumph over the New York Giants. He is to be replaced by Jay Ratliff....

By Mark Maske | September 10, 2007; 2:23 PM ET | Comments (0)

Eagles to be Without L. Sheppard Against Redskins

The Philadelphia Eagles will be without two-time Pro Bowl cornerback Lito Sheppard when they face the Washington Redskins on Monday night at Lincoln Financial Field. Sheppard suffered a sprained medial collateral ligament in his left knee during Sunday's loss at Green Bay. It's not clear how long he'll be...

By Mark Maske | September 10, 2007; 2:21 PM ET | Comments (1)

Phillips Hasn't Fixed Cowboys' Defense Yet, But He's Unbeaten

IRVING, Tex.--When Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones hired Wade Phillips as the team's head coach following Bill Parcells's offseason retirement, the aim was for Phillips to repair a Cowboys defense that never got fixed during the Parcells era. Phillips and the Cowboys still have a long way to go,...

By Mark Maske | September 10, 2007; 9:43 AM ET | Comments (0)

E. Manning to Undergo MRI Exam on Injured Shoulder Today

IRVING, Tex.--On Sunday night, Eli Manning looked like the quarterback the New York Giants hoped he'd be this season. Today Manning and the Giants could find out if his sore right shoulder will enable him to continue being that quarterback in the coming weeks. Manning played brilliantly in the...

By Mark Maske | September 10, 2007; 9:33 AM ET | Comments (0)

T. Glenn Weighing Options For Injured Knee

IRVING, Tex.--The Dallas Cowboys were without wide receiver Terry Glenn as they opened their season here tonight against the New York Giants. Glenn is weighing whether to undergo season-ending surgery for a knee injury. Glenn has cartilage damage, and he could undergo a minor surgical procedure and try to...

By Mark Maske | September 9, 2007; 7:37 PM ET | Comments (0)

J. Russell Deal Should Come This Week

IRVING, Tex.--The Oakland Raiders negotiated Friday and Saturday with the representatives for the still-unsigned top overall choice in the NFL draft, quarterback JaMarcus Russell. The two sides didn't complete a deal. But they made progress, and people familiar with the negotiations said they think it's likely that a contract...

By Mark Maske | September 9, 2007; 7:27 PM ET | Comments (1)

R. Wynn Agrees to Deal With Saints

Defensive end Renaldo Wynn agreed to a contract with the New Orleans Saints, according to his agent, Peter Schaffer. Wynn was released by the Washington Redskins during the preseason. He provides some depth to a Saints defense that was exploited Thursday night in a 41-10 loss at Indianapolis in...

By Mark Maske | September 7, 2007; 6:53 PM ET | Comments (1)

NFL Rescinds Rucker's Suspension

The NFL overturned a one-game suspension of Cincinnati Bengals defensive end Frostee Rucker, according to Rucker's attorney. Rucker had appealed his one-game suspension for a violation of the NFL's personal conduct policy. The penalty had been imposed after Rucker pleaded no contest in April to charges stemming from a...

By Mark Maske | September 7, 2007; 6:47 PM ET | Comments (1)

Cowboys to be Without T. Glenn Against Giants

Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Terry Glenn is to miss Sunday night's season opener against the New York Giants because of a knee injury. The Cowboys haven't indicated how long Glenn will be sidelined....

By Mark Maske | September 7, 2007; 6:30 PM ET | Comments (0)

Falcons Elevate Bramlet to Roster

The Atlanta Falcons elevated quarterback Casey Bramlet from the practice squad to the 53-man roster. He gives the Falcons a third quarterback on the active roster behind starter Joey Harrington and backup Chris Redman....

By Mark Maske | September 7, 2007; 6:15 PM ET | Comments (0)

Fomer Players' Lawsuit Against Union Dismissed

A federal judge in California dismissed a lawsuit by former NFL player Bernie Parrish accusing the players' union of unfair competition. The lawsuit by Parrish and two other retired NFL players accused the union and its licensing arm, Players Inc., of inadequately representing 3,500 former players. U.S. District Judge...

By Mark Maske | September 7, 2007; 5:08 PM ET | Comments (0)

Saints Say Season Is Far From Lost

INDIANAPOLIS--The New Orleans Saints were the sport's feel-good story of last season. The early returns this season aren't promising, as they were overwhelmed by the Indianapolis Colts, 41-10, in the NFL's season-opening game Thursday night at the RCA Dome. The Saints' postgame locker room was downcast, but players said...

By Mark Maske | September 7, 2007; 3:00 PM ET | Comments (0)

Colts Pick on Former Teammate

INDIANAPOLIS--The Indianapolis Colts obviously knew something about Jason David. David left the Colts for the New Orleans Saints this past offseason as a free agent. The young cornerback made one big play against his former team here Thursday night, returning a fumble for a touchdown. But the Colts more...

By Mark Maske | September 7, 2007; 2:59 PM ET | Comments (0)

Colts Show They're Still Formidable

INDIANAPOLIS--The Indianapolis Colts sent an early message to the rest of the NFL tonight: Watch out. For the Colts, the offseason was about losing players, especially on defense, on the heels of their Super Bowl triumph. But they opened the new season with a gem of an all-around performance,...

By Mark Maske | September 7, 2007; 12:57 AM ET | Comments (4)

Russell's Agents Scheduled to Meet With Raiders Friday

INDIANAPOLIS--The representatives for quarterback JaMarcus Russell, the still-unsigned top overall selection in the NFL draft in April, are scheduled to meet Friday with Oakland Raiders officials. There have been hints of progress in the negotiations, with the two sides apparently about $4 million apart on the crucial issue of...

By Mark Maske | September 6, 2007; 10:13 PM ET | Comments (0)

Goodell Says He Thinks League Emerged Mostly Unscathed from Controversial Offseason

INDIANAPOLIS--NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said as the new season got under way here tonight that he believes the league emerged from its turbulent offseason, filled with controversies that included Goodell's crackdown on player misconduct, with its reputation basically intact. "In talking to fans, in talking to our business partners,...

By Mark Maske | September 6, 2007; 9:01 PM ET | Comments (0)

Boller Extension Could Take Ravens Out of Running for Leftwich

INDIANAPOLIS--The Baltimore Ravens' signing of quarterback Kyle Boller to a one-year contract extension today might take them out of the running for Byron Leftwich. Ravens officials had been in contact with the representatives for Leftwich, the former starter in Jacksonville who was released by the Jaguars last weekend. With...

By Mark Maske | September 6, 2007; 8:15 PM ET | Comments (0)

P. Williams Agrees to Contract Extension With Vikings

INDIANAPOLIS--Defensive tackle Pat Williams agreed to a three-year, $22 million contract extension with the Minnesota Vikings that will keep him off the free agent market next spring. The deal runs through the 2010 season. Williams would have been eligible for unrestricted free agency after the season....

By Mark Maske | September 6, 2007; 4:29 PM ET | Comments (0)

The Season Is Almost Here

INDIANAPOLIS--It's a gray, drizzly afternoon in Indianapolis, and the NFL season is almost at hand. It opens here tonight with the Colts hosting the New Orleans Saints at the RCA Dome. The Colts are to unfurl their Super Bowl championship banner during a pregame ceremony that follows a concert...

By Mark Maske | September 6, 2007; 2:00 PM ET | Comments (0)

Raiders' Starting Quarterback Job Going to McCown as Russell Negotiations Drag On

There are indications that Josh McCown will be named the Oakland Raiders' starting quarterback. Two NFL sources said they expect that, but Raiders Coach Lane Kiffin isn't announcing his quarterback decision yet. The Raiders open the regular season Sunday against the Detroit Lions. McCown and Daunte Culpepper were competing...

By Mark Maske | September 6, 2007; 11:37 AM ET | Comments (0)

Week 1 Picks

Most weeks, we'll do the picks on Thursday. This week, with the season starting Thursday night, we'll get an early start. Thursday Saints at Colts The Super Bowl champs lost a lot in the offseason. But they still have Peyton Manning, Marvin Harrison, Reggie Wayne and Joseph Addai, and...

By Mark Maske | September 5, 2007; 11:30 AM ET | Comments (0)

Strahan Practices With Second-Team Defense

Defensive end Michael Strahan worked with the second string during the New York Giants' practice Tuesday, his first since ending his holdout and rejoining the team Monday. Justin Tuck continued to practice with the starters, and Strahan might be limited to situational pass-rushing duties in Sunday night's opener at...

By Mark Maske | September 5, 2007; 7:35 AM ET | Comments (0)

Goodell Says Vick Should Be Focused on Legal Troubles, Not Return to NFL

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell is making the television rounds as the new season approaches, but isn't saying much about the indefinite suspension that he imposed on Atlanta Falcons quarterback Michael Vick after Vick pleaded guilty in his federal dogfighting case. Goodell basically avoided the subject in separate interviews with...

By Mark Maske | September 4, 2007; 8:47 PM ET | Comments (0)

Week 1 Rankings

Many observers have all but awarded the Super Bowl to the Patriots. But they'll begin the season minus suspended safety Rodney Harrison and end Richard Seymour, who's on the physically unable to perform list after undergoing offseason knee surgery, on defense and perhaps could struggle a bit early. The...

By Mark Maske | September 4, 2007; 12:45 PM ET | Comments (0)

Olsen's Knee Injury Not Serious

Rookie tight end Greg Olsen sat out the Chicago Bears' practice Monday. His status for the regular season opener against the San Diego Chargers is unclear. But he told reporters he won't be sidelined for an extended period after suffering a knee injury in the Bears' final preseason game....

By Mark Maske | September 4, 2007; 11:30 AM ET | Comments (0)

Strahan Expected to Practice Today

Defensive end Michael Strahan is scheduled to practice with the New York Giants today after rejoining the team Monday, as expected. Strahan agreed last week to end his holdout. He amassed more than $500,000 in fines but the two sides agreed to reduce that amount significantly, perhaps by half....

By Mark Maske | September 4, 2007; 9:52 AM ET | Comments (0)

S. Rice to Denver

Free agent defensive end Simeon Rice, cut by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers just before training camp when he reportedly refused to accept a pay cut, signed with the Denver Broncos. Rice signed a one-year, $3 million deal that includes another $1 million in possible incentives. He also had drawn...

By Mark Maske | September 3, 2007; 9:47 PM ET | Comments (0)

Patriots Cut R. Caldwell

The New England Patriots released wide receiver Reche Caldwell. Caldwell was the club's leading receiver last season. But the Patriots spent the offseason bolstering the position by signing Donte' Stallworth and Kelley Washington as free agents and trading for Randy Moss and Wes Welker. Those four, plus Jabar Gaffney,...

By Mark Maske | September 3, 2007; 9:35 PM ET | Comments (0)

Trotter Agrees to One-Year Deal With Bucs

Free agent middle linebacker Jeremiah Trotter agreed to a one-year contract with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The former Pro Bowler was released by the Philadelphia Eagles this preseason. He is to compete with Barrett Ruud for the starting middle linebacker job in Tampa....

By Mark Maske | September 3, 2007; 8:20 PM ET | Comments (0)

No Other Drug Suspensions Stemming from Albany Probe Pending, According to League Officials

NFL officials say they've been given no more names by drug investigators of players or coaches in the league possibly involved in obtaining and using performance-enhancing substances. The league suspended New England Patriots safety Rodney Harrison and Dallas Cowboys quarterbacks coach Wade Wilson in recent days after being alerted...

By Mark Maske | September 3, 2007; 10:09 AM ET | Comments (0)

Falcons Not in Hot Pursuit of Leftwich, At Least Not Yet

According to an NFL source, the Atlanta Falcons have demonstrated only moderate interest thus far in free agent quarterback Byron Leftwich, who was released by the Jacksonville Jaguars over the weekend. The Falcons are short on quarterbacks, with Michael Vick on indefinite suspension and D.J. Shockley sidelined for the...

By Mark Maske | September 3, 2007; 10:00 AM ET | Comments (0)

Kiffin Not Divulging Winner of Raiders' Quarterback Derby

Coach Lane Kiffin is telling reporters that he's picked the Oakland Raiders' starting quarterback but he's not planning to divulge the choice publicly until just before the regular season opener. Kiffin previously indicated that Daunte Culpepper and Josh McCown remained in the running for the job....

By Mark Maske | September 2, 2007; 7:10 PM ET | Comments (0)

Bucs Keep Four Quarterbacks on Roster, At Least for Now

The league-wide trend is recent years has been, increasingly, for teams to keep only two quarterbacks on their 53-man rosters instead of the traditional three, freeing up a spot for a player who might be more useful on game days than a third-string quarterback. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are...

By Mark Maske | September 2, 2007; 7:04 PM ET | Comments (0)

Shorthanded Patriots Will Face Some Early Tests

Many NFL observers already have all but awarded this season's Super Bowl to the New England Patriots. It is a distinct possibility, but there could be some early bumps in the road. The Patriots will play the first month of the season without two key defensive players, safety Rodney...

By Mark Maske | September 2, 2007; 6:54 PM ET | Comments (0)

Jaguars Release Leftwich

The Jacksonville Jaguars made it official today and released quarterback Byron Leftwich. The former first-round draft pick becomes an unrestricted free agent. The Jaguars, not surprisingly, were unable to trade Leftwich after announcing Friday they would trade or release him....

By Mark Maske | September 1, 2007; 8:29 PM ET | Comments (0)

J. Bloom Among Eagles' Cuts

Wide receiver and kick returner Jeremy Bloom was among the players released today by the Philadelphia Eagles. The former Olympic skier failed to impress the team's coaches in training camp after missing all of his rookie season last year because of a hamstring injury....

By Mark Maske | September 1, 2007; 8:28 PM ET | Comments (0)

NFL Suspends Cowboys' Quarterbacks Coach

The NFL announced its second suspension in two days for use of a performance-enhancing substance, this one of Dallas Cowboys assistant coach Wade Wilson. Wilson, a former NFL quarterback who is now the Cowboys' quarterbacks coach, was suspended for the first five games of the season and fined $100,000...

By Mark Maske | September 1, 2007; 3:30 PM ET | Comments (0)

 

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