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Terrell Davis could be contemplating retirement

Posted: Wednesday, August 14, 2002

Terrell Davis, the NFL's premier running back of the late '90s, is so discouraged with the lack of progress on his injured knees that he's contemplating retirement.

''I'm taking everything in stride, and whatever way the wind blows I'm fine with it,'' said Davis, who has been plagued by injuries since 1998, when he became just the fourth player ever to rush for 2,000 yards in a season.

''I've reflected on a lot of things I've done and things I'm going to do. and it's not everything in life. I mean, it was fun while it lasted and if it was meant to be the end, then hey, it was meant to be the end.''

Davis seemed ready to start this season as Denver's No. 1 back. But his right knee began to swell during camp and recent tests found no basic reason for it.

At some point in time, Terrell has to look at himself and ask, 'Does it continue?''' tight end Shannon Sharpe said. ''At some point, you have to realize that, 'I've had a great career. Maybe it's time to focus my energy on something else.' That's a hard decision because it's something you've basically been doing all of your life, and suddenly you aren't doing it anymore.''

Lions

Offensive tackle Stockar McDougle will be out 2 to 3 weeks with an injured left knee.

McDougle, a former first-round draft pick who has been hampered by injuries during his two NFL seasons, was injured during a practice on Monday, but was able to walk off the field.

''It's a little worse than we expected,'' Lions coach Marty Mornhinweg said.

Packers

Right tackle Mark Tauscher injured his right elbow, worrying coach Mike Sherman for a while, but X-rays were negative and Tauscher only had a forearm bruise.

Sherman initially feared a fracture or a torn ligament.

''He hit a nerve going up to his arm and it scared him a little bit, scared us a little bit, but he's going to be fine,'' Sherman said.

He said he didn't know how long Tauscher would be sidelined, ''but knowing Tauscher, it won't be very long.''

Tauscher's right arm was hyperextended when a running back slammed it while he was locked up with defensive end Vonnie Holliday during team drills.

Rookie free agent Kevin Barry replaced Tauscher.

Colts

Wide receiver Marvin Harrison and kicker Mike Vanderjagt did not practice Tuesday morning with the Indianapolis Colts. Harrison returned for the afternoon practice.

Both players were excused by coach Tony Dungy so they could attend to personal matters in their hometowns of Philadelphia and Toronto.

Neither Dungy nor Harrison would elaborate on why he missed the morning session. Harrison has had three straight 100-reception seasons and is trying to become the first player in NFL history to have four straight seasons with at least 100 receptions.

In Harrison's place, Reggie Wayne and Qadry Ismail worked with the starters, but it was not the kind of practice Dungy or anyone else anticipated.

Redskins

Just one week after joining the team, Daryl Gardener had his first spell of back trouble.

The defensive tackle, who has had two back surgeries in the past two years, felt spasms while putting on his warmup suit before the morning practice.

He was sent to Northern Virginia for a precautionary exam and was scheduled to return to camp Wednesday, but he is expected to miss several days of practice at least.

Gardener's chronic back problems were one reason the Redskins gave him only a one-year contract. The team has already lost defensive lineman Santana Dotson for the season with a ruptured Achilles' tendon.

The swelling has started to subside in tackle Chris Samuels' sprained ankle, but it's too early to fine-tune the prognosis for his return.

Tight end Zeron Flemister missed practice with a calf strain. He's questionable for Sunday's game against Pittsburgh.

------

Steelers

With left tackle Wayne Gandy nursing an ankle sprain, there's been plenty of movement this week along the Steelers' offensive line, giving some of the younger linemen a chance to prove themselves with the starters.

First, Oliver Ross moved to left tackle to take Gandy's place. That allowed first-round draft pick Kendall Simmons a chance to move into the starting lineup at right guard.

Then, Simmons injured his hand on Monday, sending Ross back to right guard and giving second-year player Mathias Nkwenti a chance to play with the starters at tackle.

Through it all, the coaches are getting an opportunity to see how the younger players perform next to more seasoned linemen and against last year's top-ranked defense.

''I just look at it as a chance for me to get better. Going against the starters and stuff like that gives me a chance to improve myself overall,'' said Simmons, who said he wasn't satisfied with his performance with the second team offense in last week's preseason loss to the Jets.

------

Broncos

After struggling in the red zone last season, Denver has spent a good deal of time working inside the 20-yard line during training camp.

Denver scored 28 touchdowns in 54 attempts inside opponents' 20 last year and coach Mike Shanahan said he would like to see that number improve.

''What you try and do is put emphasis on some plays. We've always done the red zone,'' Shanahan said. ''We try to put them into situations that we are going to have in the game. The more you emphasize something and work on it, usually the better you get.''

------

Cowboys

Derrick Harris had his first practice with the Cowboys, a day after signing with them to bolster Dallas' depleted fullback corps.

Rookie Jamar Martin suffered a season-ending knee injury on the second day of camp, and converted linebacker Scott Zimmerman was lost for four weeks with a high ankle sprain sustained in Friday's preseason win over Oakland.

That left the team with only one player at the position -- Robert Thomas, who himself is coming off an ankle injury that limited him to only five games in 2001.

''I've got confidence in Robert Thomas,'' coach Dave Campo said Tuesday. ''We had the opportunity to bring in a veteran guy because we want competition there.

''(Harris) does some things that we like,'' the coach continued. ''It's good for Robert (Thomas) to see that.''

------

Titans

Wide receiver Derrick Mason gave the Titans a brief scare when a teammate kicked his right leg during practice, and the receiver temporarily lost feeling from the knee down.

Mason, who had 1,128 yards receiving last year as the team's first receiver over that plateau since 1991, grabbed at his knee, and said he was worried when he couldn't feel anything in his lower leg. But a team trainer checked him out and told him the nerve near the knee had been stunned.

The feeling started coming back within a minute, and Mason said he felt fine three minutes later.

''Obviously, there were a lot of deep breaths for a little bit, but Derrick is fine,'' coach Jeff Fisher said. ''He'll be fine. He could've practiced.''

The injury was reminiscent briefly of a practice collision in September 2000 in which receiver Kevin Dyson tore an ACL and was lost for the season.

------

Panthers

Cornerback Dante Wesley will miss at least three to four weeks after suffering a hernia that will require surgery, head coach John Fox said.

Wesley, a fourth-round pick, had been competing with several Reggie Howard, DeRon Jenkins and Fred Vinson for the starting job opposite Terry Cousin. He had a rough outing in the first preseason game against Washington on Saturday, getting flagged for a pass interference call and giving up a touchdown pass.

The procedure will be performed Thursday at Carolinas Medical Center in Charlotte.

''Obviously this will set him back quite a bit,'' Fox said. ''He was a rookie player who was coming on -- a guy who were depending on.''

Fox said that Wesley's injury could open a door for cornerback Brad Franklin, a seventh-round draft pick who was slowed earlier during training camp because of a pulled hamstring.

BYLINE1:By The Associated Press

Terrell Davis, the NFL's premier running back of the late '90s, is so discouraged with the lack of progress on his injured knees that he's contemplating retirement.

''I'm taking everything in stride, and whatever way the wind blows I'm fine with it,'' said Davis, who has been plagued by injuries since 1998, when he became just the fourth player ever to rush for 2,000 yards in a season.

''I've reflected on a lot of things I've done and things I'm going to do. and it's not everything in life. I mean, it was fun while it lasted and if it was meant to be the end, then hey, it was meant to be the end.''

Davis seemed ready to start this season as Denver's No. 1 back. But his right knee began to swell during camp and recent tests found no basic reason for it.

At some point in time, Terrell has to look at himself and ask, 'Does it continue?''' tight end Shannon Sharpe said. ''At some point, you have to realize that, 'I've had a great career. Maybe it's time to focus my energy on something else.' That's a hard decision because it's something you've basically been doing all of your life, and suddenly you aren't doing it anymore.''

Lions

Offensive tackle Stockar McDougle will be out 2 to 3 weeks with an injured left knee.

McDougle, a former first-round draft pick who has been hampered by injuries during his two NFL seasons, was injured during a practice on Monday, but was able to walk off the field.

''It's a little worse than we expected,'' Lions coach Marty Mornhinweg said.

Packers

Right tackle Mark Tauscher injured his right elbow, worrying coach Mike Sherman for a while, but X-rays were negative and Tauscher only had a forearm bruise.

Sherman initially feared a fracture or a torn ligament.

''He hit a nerve going up to his arm and it scared him a little bit, scared us a little bit, but he's going to be fine,'' Sherman said.

He said he didn't know how long Tauscher would be sidelined, ''but knowing Tauscher, it won't be very long.''

Tauscher's right arm was hyperextended when a running back slammed it while he was locked up with defensive end Vonnie Holliday during team drills.

Rookie free agent Kevin Barry replaced Tauscher.

Colts

Wide receiver Marvin Harrison and kicker Mike Vanderjagt did not practice Tuesday morning with the Indianapolis Colts. Harrison returned for the afternoon practice.

Both players were excused by coach Tony Dungy so they could attend to personal matters in their hometowns of Philadelphia and Toronto.

Neither Dungy nor Harrison would elaborate on why he missed the morning session. Harrison has had three straight 100-reception seasons and is trying to become the first player in NFL history to have four straight seasons with at least 100 receptions.

In Harrison's place, Reggie Wayne and Qadry Ismail worked with the starters, but it was not the kind of practice Dungy or anyone else anticipated.

Redskins

Just one week after joining the team, Daryl Gardener had his first spell of back trouble.

The defensive tackle, who has had two back surgeries in the past two years, felt spasms while putting on his warmup suit before the morning practice.

He was sent to Northern Virginia for a precautionary exam and was scheduled to return to camp Wednesday, but he is expected to miss several days of practice at least.

Gardener's chronic back problems were one reason the Redskins gave him only a one-year contract. The team has already lost defensive lineman Santana Dotson for the season with a ruptured Achilles' tendon.

The swelling has started to subside in tackle Chris Samuels' sprained ankle, but it's too early to fine-tune the prognosis for his return.

Tight end Zeron Flemister missed practice with a calf strain. He's questionable for Sunday's game against Pittsburgh.

------

Steelers

With left tackle Wayne Gandy nursing an ankle sprain, there's been plenty of movement this week along the Steelers' offensive line, giving some of the younger linemen a chance to prove themselves with the starters.

First, Oliver Ross moved to left tackle to take Gandy's place. That allowed first-round draft pick Kendall Simmons a chance to move into the starting lineup at right guard.

Then, Simmons injured his hand on Monday, sending Ross back to right guard and giving second-year player Mathias Nkwenti a chance to play with the starters at tackle.

Through it all, the coaches are getting an opportunity to see how the younger players perform next to more seasoned linemen and against last year's top-ranked defense.

''I just look at it as a chance for me to get better. Going against the starters and stuff like that gives me a chance to improve myself overall,'' said Simmons, who said he wasn't satisfied with his performance with the second team offense in last week's preseason loss to the Jets.

------

Broncos

After struggling in the red zone last season, Denver has spent a good deal of time working inside the 20-yard line during training camp.

Denver scored 28 touchdowns in 54 attempts inside opponents' 20 last year and coach Mike Shanahan said he would like to see that number improve.

''What you try and do is put emphasis on some plays. We've always done the red zone,'' Shanahan said. ''We try to put them into situations that we are going to have in the game. The more you emphasize something and work on it, usually the better you get.''

------

Cowboys

Derrick Harris had his first practice with the Cowboys, a day after signing with them to bolster Dallas' depleted fullback corps.

Rookie Jamar Martin suffered a season-ending knee injury on the second day of camp, and converted linebacker Scott Zimmerman was lost for four weeks with a high ankle sprain sustained in Friday's preseason win over Oakland.

That left the team with only one player at the position -- Robert Thomas, who himself is coming off an ankle injury that limited him to only five games in 2001.

''I've got confidence in Robert Thomas,'' coach Dave Campo said Tuesday. ''We had the opportunity to bring in a veteran guy because we want competition there.

''(Harris) does some things that we like,'' the coach continued. ''It's good for Robert (Thomas) to see that.''

------

Titans

Wide receiver Derrick Mason gave the Titans a brief scare when a teammate kicked his right leg during practice, and the receiver temporarily lost feeling from the knee down.

Mason, who had 1,128 yards receiving last year as the team's first receiver over that plateau since 1991, grabbed at his knee, and said he was worried when he couldn't feel anything in his lower leg. But a team trainer checked him out and told him the nerve near the knee had been stunned.

The feeling started coming back within a minute, and Mason said he felt fine three minutes later.

''Obviously, there were a lot of deep breaths for a little bit, but Derrick is fine,'' coach Jeff Fisher said. ''He'll be fine. He could've practiced.''

The injury was reminiscent briefly of a practice collision in September 2000 in which receiver Kevin Dyson tore an ACL and was lost for the season.

------

Panthers

Cornerback Dante Wesley will miss at least three to four weeks after suffering a hernia that will require surgery, head coach John Fox said.

Wesley, a fourth-round pick, had been competing with several Reggie Howard, DeRon Jenkins and Fred Vinson for the starting job opposite Terry Cousin. He had a rough outing in the first preseason game against Washington on Saturday, getting flagged for a pass interference call and giving up a touchdown pass.

The procedure will be performed Thursday at Carolinas Medical Center in Charlotte.

''Obviously this will set him back quite a bit,'' Fox said. ''He was a rookie player who was coming on -- a guy who were depending on.''

Fox said that Wesley's injury could open a door for cornerback Brad Franklin, a seventh-round draft pick who was slowed earlier during training camp because of a pulled hamstring.



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