James could miss Colts' next game

Posted: Thursday, September 25, 2003

INDIANAPOLIS Edgerrin James did not practice Wednesday because of a bad back and the Indianapolis Colts running back could miss Sunday's game at New Orleans.

James also was held out of practice Monday because of the injury, and Colts coach Tony Dungy said the team was closely watching the two-time NFL rushing champ.

''Hopefully he'll be ready to go, but we'll see how it goes,'' Dungy said. ''He was a little more sore today than we expected. We had hoped that he would be farther along. Right now it's 50-50, but we're hoping that he'll be back and we'll see if it loosens up in the next day or so.''

James, who has 263 yards and a touchdown on 72 carries this season, was injured Sunday against Jacksonville. He had been listed as probable on the team's injury report, but Dungy said the injury was worse Wednesday, and James was downgraded to questionable.

Browns' Holcomb hobbled but wants to play

CLEVELAND Kelly Holcomb shuffled along like an old man, not an NFL starter.

Wearing protective braces on both ankles, bound by yards of tape for support, Cleveland's quarterback walked slowly onto the practice field Wednesday.

He didn't appear ready to play Sunday against Cincinnati, but after waiting seven years for a starting gig, Holcomb's not about to let a broken right leg and sprained left ankle stop him.

''I'm playing,'' Holcomb said before practice. ''I mean, you have to think that way.''

Last Sunday, Holcomb refused to give in to the pain and rallied the Browns to a 13-12 win at San Francisco while playing with a hairline fracture in lower leg.

Robbins to start against Chargers on Sunday

ALAMEDA, Calif. Troubled center Barret Robbins will start for the Oakland Raiders on Sunday for the first time since he went missing before the Super Bowl.

The 30-year-old Robbins, who disappeared the day before the Raiders' 48-21 Super Bowl loss to Tampa Bay in San Diego in January, has recovered from arthroscopic surgery on his right knee and will start in Sunday's home game against the Chargers.

He had three pain-free practices last week and told offensive line coach Aaron Kromer on Friday he was ready to return to the field.

''That was a quantum leap,'' Robbins said Wednesday. ''I know I'll be a better football player because I'm a better person. I was a big part of what we did last year.''

Chargers send Boston home for disciplinary purposes

SAN DIEGO The San Diego Chargers sent wide receiver David Boston home before practice on Wednesday as a disciplinary measure. Boston was sent home after a morning meeting with coach Marty Schottenheimer. Schottenheimer was guarded in his comments about Boston, who signed a $47 million contract as a free agent in March.

''David and I had a discussion and in the course of the discussion, thought we ought to have this day (off), and he's been excused for a matter that is not related to the medical part of it,'' Schottenheimer said.

General manager A.J. Smith wouldn't be more specific, but did say that it wasn't one incident that led to Boston being sent home, but rather, ''it's several things.''

''Let's just say we've got some guidelines here to adhere to,'' Smith said. ''And David wasn't meeting them to our expectations.''

Club officials planned to discuss Boston's situations in meetings Wednesday night.

''There is no suspension yet,'' said Smith, who expected Boston back on Thursday.

Mitch Frankel, Boston's agent, did not return phone messages Wednesday.

Boston, a Pro Bowl selection with Arizona in 2001, has made nearly as much news off the field as on it since joining the Chargers.

He raised eyebrows when skipping the Chargers' second game with a bruised heel, then was caught leaving the bench area before the end of the 37-13 loss to Denver. He also declined to join his teammates in the locker room for Schottenheimer's post-game speech.

Last Sunday he returned to action and caught six passes for 91 yards. But before the Chargers' 24-10 loss to Baltimore, he was involved in a shouting incident with injured wide receiver Reche Caldwell.

Following that game, he declined to speak to reporters, and the Chargers said he wasn't available to reporters after Monday's light workout.

It was Smith who signed Boston to a seven-year contract, which included a $4.55 million signing bonus and $550,000 in base salary this year. Smith hoped Boston could supply balance to an offense which features Pro Bowl running back LaDainian Tomlinson.

While with the Cardinals, Boston pleaded no contest to a charge of driving under the influence of drugs. Police said he tested positive for cocaine and marijuana.

Schottenheimer expects Boston to play Sunday in Oakland.

But to do so, Boston needs to practice Thursday or Friday, which is one of Schottenheimer's many rules. Boston didn't play in the home opener because of his bruised heel, after not practicing in the week leading up to the game.

''He would certainly have to be a part of one of those days,'' Schottenheimer said.

Also Wednesday, right tackle Vaughn Parker was put on injured reserve after having surgery Tuesday to repair two torn ligaments in his left knee. The team brought back free agent wide receiver Dondre Gilliam, signed rookie offensive lineman Alex Tuttle to the practice squad and released kicker Mackenzie Hoambrecker from the practice squad.

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