Vick to start against Pats

Posted: Tuesday, October 04, 2005

FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. — Michael Vick is expected to start against New England this week after an MRI confirmed Monday that he did not seriously injure his right knee Sunday in Atlanta's victory over Minnesota.

''It confirmed that it was just a mild sprain of his MCL, and he is day-to-day,'' coach Jim Mora said. ''That ought to put that to rest for a least two or three minutes from now when someone asks another question about it.''

Vick was injured when Minnesota rookie defensive end Erasmus James knocked him to the ground and fell on his leg in the second quarter of Atlanta's 30-10 win.

Matt Schaub replaced Vick and played the rest of the game. The Falcons had a two-touchdown lead when Vick walked slowly off the field with a slight limp.

Warrick Dunn's 37-yard run on Atlanta's next possession put the Falcons ahead 21-0 and all but eliminated the chance that Vick would return.

''Just because I got injured doesn't mean that my confidence level is going to go down,'' Vick said. ''The same thing happened to me against Seattle, and I came back and had one of my best games against Buffalo. Injury doesn't scare me.''

Vick tweaked his left hamstring at Seattle in Week 2 and left the game on each of the final two drives. The Falcons lost 21-18, but Vick played all four quarters in an eight-point win at Buffalo the following week.

Tagliabue: Cardinals-49ers game bolsters NFL's Mexican credibility

MEXICO CITY — Expansion to Mexico still is a generation away despite the success of the NFL's first regular-season game staged outside the United States.

Commissioner Paul Tagliabue said the Arizona Cardinals' 31-14 victory over the 49ers in Mexico's capital lent credibility to the league south of the border. A record 103,467 fans packed cavernous Azteca Stadium on Sunday night, the largest regular-season crowd in NFL history.

But Tagliabue said the size of the crowd wasn't the key factor.

''I think this game lets the fans here in Mexico, the athletes here in Mexico and businesses and everybody else know that we're for real,'' he said during a question and answer period Monday before the American chamber of commerce in Mexico City. ''It was an element of legitimacy.''

Cardinals lose Rolle for season

Antrell Rolle, the Arizona Cardinals' first-round draft pick this year, will miss the rest of the season because of a left knee injury.

Rolle had arthroscopic surgery Monday.

No roster move was immediately made, but coach Dennis Green didn't expect the former University of Miami cornerback, the No. 8 pick in April, to heal and complete rehabilitation in time to return this season.

Rolle played in three games, making 18 tackles (17 solo) before tearing meniscus cartilage during a 37-12 loss at Seattle on Sept. 25.

David Macklin, Arizona's other starting cornerback, aggravated his left hamstring injury Sunday and had to leave the 31-14 win over the 49ers in Mexico City. Raymond Walls, who started at left corner in Rolle's absence, strained his left groin and also was sidelined.

Rams lose Williams for season

Tight end Roland Williams will miss the rest of the season with a knee injury.

Cam Cleeland, who played for the Rams in 2003 and 2004, may return. He was expected in St. Louis by Tuesday, but coach Mike Martz wasn't certain if Cleeland would be ready for Sunday's home game against Seattle.

''I'd love to have him back on this team. I know what he can do. He can make a lot of plays for us,'' Martz said.

Bengals place Moore on injured reserve

The Bengals placed Larry Moore on injured reserve after the backup center dislocated his right knee during a 16-10 victory over Houston.

Cincinnati improved to 4-0 despite a series of injuries to the offensive line. Rich Braham strained his knee in the second quarter, forcing him to the sideline for the rest of the game. Moore replaced him and hurt his knee in the same quarter.


Center Jake Grove underwent arthroscopic surgery on his right knee and will likely miss three to four weeks.

Grove tore cartilage in his knee in the third quarter of Sunday's 19-13 win against Dallas. With Oakland (1-3) having a bye this weekend, Grove might only miss a couple of games. He will be replaced by Adam Treu, who finished the game against the Cowboys.

''Adam brings a lot more experience,'' coach Norv Turner said. ''I think some of the things that at times have gotten to us, some of the calls in terms of protection and all that, Adam's a lot more comfortable with.''

Treu, the longest-tenured Raider in his ninth season out of Nebraska, has appeared in all 132 regular-season games since coming into the league in 1997 and has started 34. He also started the Super Bowl in 2003 after Barret Robbins disappeared before the game.

Treu started all 16 games at center last season, while Grove started the final eight games at right guard in his rookie season. But Grove moved to his normal position of center this season, sending Treu to the bench without complaint.

''Adam is a really good center, so we didn't feel like we missed a beat when Jake went down,'' tackle Barry Sims said. ''He came in, knew all the calls to make and did a good job.''

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