Stringer's widow wants answers

Posted: Tuesday, August 21, 2001

BLOOMINGTON, Minn. -- Kelci Stringer doesn't speak as if she's recently been widowed.

Her husband, Minnesota Vikings offensive tackle Korey Stringer, died from heatstroke following an intense practice in stifling heat and humidity less than three weeks ago. Yet Kelci Stringer is full of energy and filled with peace despite her loss -- and still searching for answers.

''Nothing in my life has run smoother than they have the last few weeks,'' Kelci Stringer said Monday, relaxed on a couch in her home in suburban Minneapolis and talking about her husband as if he were still living.

''Maybe until you lose a person can you only feel their spirit,'' she said. ''Korey's working. A lot of things are just coming to me.''

Stringer said she has not ruled out taking legal action against the Vikings or the NFL if the investigation into her husband's Aug. 1 death reveals something could have been done about it. But she stresses she's not out to get anyone.

''I'm not looking for a fight,'' she said. ''I'm not the big, bad widow trying to bring down the NFL because her husband died.''

Stringer doesn't fault the Vikings coaching staff, but she wondered if more could have been done. She saw a videotape of the practice and said she could tell her husband was in bad shape.

''I don't blame anyone, but I do want to know why,'' she said. ''It's not his job to supervise himself medically. What was going on? What did they see? Why didn't anybody do anything? Couldn't they see the man was dying?''

Faulk returns to Rams practices

ST. LOUIS -- Running back Marshall Faulk returned to St. Louis Rams practice Monday after being sidelined for almost three weeks with a bruised knee.

''He brings so much into the huddle,'' coach Mike Martz said of Faulk, the NFL MVP last season. ''Now we can start to practice things that we've got prepared for Philadelphia and Atlanta, the first few games of the season. And it allows us to get into our getting-game-ready phase.''

Faulk was given an extra week to rest the knee, and had not practiced since Aug. 1 and sat out the Rams' 23-10 loss Friday night to the Tennessee Titans.

No further damage to Boselli's knee found

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Doctors and trainers found no further damage to Tony Boselli's knee, and the Jacksonville Jaguars expect their Pro Bowl left tackle to be ready for the season opener.

Boselli twisted his surgically repaired right knee in practice Sunday, and had to be taken off the field on a cart. But a thorough examination showed only a bone bruise.

Asked if he expected the five-time Pro Bowl lineman back for the Sept. 9 opener, coach Tom Coughlin said, ''Oh yeah. I hope so. We'll see. Again, no one has told me any different.''

Coughlin also said receiver Jimmy Smith will see his first action of the preseason Thursday, when the Jaguars play host to Kansas City. Smith had two abdominal operations in the off-season and has only returned to full practice this week.

Receiver Keenan McCardell is out for at least three weeks after a hernia operation. Right guard Zach Wiegert still hasn't fully recovered from his knee surgery last year.

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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) -- Carolina Panthers quarterbacks Jeff Lewis and Chris Weinke were so bad in their last preseason game that they have earned more playing time in the next one.

Lewis and Weinke struggled in a 23-8 loss to New England on Saturday, combining for three interceptions and just 89 yards.

Both will see more action Thursday night against Baltimore as coach George Seifert continues to evaluate his top two signal-callers.

''They will definitely get more time,'' Seifert said.

Lewis, the starter, was 5-of-9 for just 37 yards and had one interception. Weinke was 5-of-13 for 52 yards and had two interceptions.

Lewis and Weinke had shared time with Dameyune Craig and Matt Lytle in the first two preseason games, but will now likely play the entire game against Baltimore.

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WESTMINSTER, Md. (AP) -- The injuries are beginning to mount for the Baltimore Ravens, who will begin defense of their Super Bowl title with a battered offensive line blocking for a substitute running back.

All-Pro left tackle Jonathan Ogden, who sprained his right ankle in Saturday's 16-3 loss to the New York Jets, will not play Thursday against Carolina.

The Ravens, already without right tackle Leon Searcy for the next three months, expect Ogden to be ready by the Sept. 9 opener against Chicago. Cornerback Duane Starks, who hurt his knee against the Jets, will probably miss the final two preseason games.

The champions have been tormented by injuries since the first week of training camp. In addition to Searcy, running back Jamal Lewis (knee) is out for the year and defensive tackle Tony Siragusa is being held out of the Carolina game after undergoing arthroscopic knee surgery last week.

Cornerback James Trapp has been sidelined by a dislocated shoulder and rookie cornerback Gary Baxter is expected to miss 2-to-3 weeks after hurting his knee against the Jets.

At Monday's morning practice, guard Edwin Mulitalo remained on the ground after a running play, grabbing his knee before helped to the sideline for treatment.

The injury was not serious, and Mulitalo expects to play Thursday.

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CARLISLE, Pa. (AP) -- Former All-Pro guard Dave Szott signed with the Washington Redskins on Monday, rejoining coach Marty Schottenheimer, with whom he played most of his career in Kansas City.

Szott's only negotiation was over an extra day off so he could spend it in Morristown, N.J., at home with his wife and a 6-year-old son who has cerebral palsy.

For Schottenheimer, it was a deal worth making -- because the Redskins needed another offensive lineman.

Szott, 33, was one of the top linemen in 11 years with the Chiefs, but he tore his left biceps in the first game of the 1998 season and did the same to his right biceps in the first game of the 2000 season. Meanwhile, he and wife decided that it was best to move back to their native New Jersey to find the right school for their son, Shane.

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ST. LOUIS (AP) -- The St. Louis Rams' revamped defense keeps revamping itself.

The Rams filled a hole at defensive end Monday, signing former Tampa Bay starter Chidi Ahanotu to replace Cedric Jones, lost for the season with a hip injury.

The 6-foot-2, 285-pound Ahanotu started 104 of the 113 games in his NFL career. He was drafted by Tampa Bay in 1993.

In eight seasons, he has 385 tackles and 31 sacks. Last season, Ahanotu had 3.5 sacks, 63 tackles and three forced fumbles. His best season was 1997, when he had 65 tackles and 10 sacks, both career highs.

Ahanotu was released by Tampa Bay in a salary-cap move in April.

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HEMPSTEAD, N.Y. (AP) -- New York Jets nose tackle Jason Ferguson will miss the season with a torn rotator cuff.

Ferguson underwent an MRI on Monday that indicated he would need surgery on his right shoulder. Jets coach Herman Edwards said Ferguson would have surgery later this week and would be placed on injured reserve.

Ferguson was hurt on the first day of training camp. He was placed in a harness as the team hoped the tear would heal, but the MRI showed otherwise.

Ferguson signed a four-year, $12.7 million contract in the off-season to stay with the Jets. In switching to a 4-3 alignment, the team expected Ferguson to be their main run-stopper in the middle of the defensive line.

Now, they must go with untested players Jason Wiltz and Maurice Anderson, plus rookie James Reed. Only Wiltz has appeared in a regular-season game.

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EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. (AP) -- The Minnesota Vikings released Gabe Northern, who had been expected to start at outside linebacker.

Northern, who started two games for the Vikings last season, wasn't productive enough in the team's first two preseason games. Coach Dennis Green said Northern and another veteran, long snapper Mitch Palmer, were let go early to give them a chance to catch on with another team.

Lemanski Hall will take over for Northern in the spot that Dwayne Rudd -- now with the Cleveland Browns -- held last year.

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OXNARD, Calif. (AP) -- Chris Brazzell, who was battling to be the Dallas Cowboys' No. 3 receiver, could miss up to three weeks with a neck strain. Brazzell was injured in the second quarter of Saturday's game against New Orleans.

It's yet another obstacle in the Cowboys' quest to find a dependable third option to play behind and alongside receivers Joey Galloway and Raghib Ismail.

''All the guys I wanted to evaluate have gotten hurt,'' coach Dave Campo said.

Third-year receiver Wane McGarity is returning after spraining an ankle in the preseason opener.

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PITTSFORD, N.Y. (AP) -- Buffalo Bills starting right guard Jerry Ostroski is out indefinitely after undergoing surgery Monday on his broken right leg.

Although coach Gregg Williams could not provide a timetable for Ostroski's recovery, preliminary indications are that he will not miss the entire season.

Ostroski was hurt two plays into Saturday's 6-3 preseason victory over Philadelphia. Pulling right to set a block, Ostroski broke his right tibia when he had his leg cut out from under him by Eagles cornerback Troy Vincent.

Without him, the Bills face opening the season with three inexperienced linemen, including veteran backup center Bill Conaty, who has two starts in four seasons, and rookie draft pick Jonas Jennings at right tackle.



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