More injury woes for Panthers

Posted: Tuesday, October 12, 2004

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) -- DeShaun Foster joined Carolina's growing list of injured offensive stars and will be out six to 10 weeks with a broken collarbone.

After remaining fairly injury-free last season en route to the NFC championship, the bumps, bruises and breaks have piled up early this year for the Panthers (1-3).

Star receiver Steve Smith is out indefinitely with a broken leg, top running back Stephen Davis has missed three games following knee surgery and kick returner Rod Smart, also the No. 3 running back on the roster, is out with a knee injury.

And next up is Philadelphia in a rematch of last season's NFC title game.

''I don't think there is any quit in our football team regardless of the circumstances,'' coach John Fox said Monday. ''We've still got three quarters of the season left, and whether there is injuries or not, nobody is going to come rescue us, so we've got to bow up and compete.''

Fox said Smart definitely won't play against the Eagles, and Davis is uncertain. That leaves him eyeing Joey Harris, an undrafted rookie from Purdue currently on the team's practice squad, to possibly start in Philadelphia.


DAVIE, Fla. -- Injuries to Jay Fiedler and A.J. Feeley left Miami's unsettled quarterback situation more muddled than ever.

Fiedler was sore after aggravating a rib injury in Sunday's 24-10 loss at New England, and he's unsure whether he'll to play when Miami visits Buffalo in a matchup of the NFL's only winless teams. Feeley suffered a concussion on Miami's final offensive play against the Patriots, but he said he felt fine Monday and would be ready against the Bills.

Coach Dave Wannstedt said that both would be re-evaluated Wednesday, and that Fiedler would start if healthy. If neither Fiedler nor Feeley is available, Sage Rosenfels will make his first NFL start.


NEW ORLEANS -- Deuce McAllister didn't mind the soreness he felt Monday. What really hurt the New Orleans Saints running back was watching himself fumble.

''I thought about them and looked at the film,'' McAllister said. ''But there's not anything drastically I'd go change as far as my running style. I'll just hold on the ball better, be more conscious of it in traffic.''

McAllister, who was expected to miss up to six weeks with a sprained ankle, returned after a two-game absence. He ran for 102 yards on 21 carries, but one of his fumbles was returned for a touchdown by Ronde Barber.


SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- Tight end Eric Johnson, the NFL's receptions leader, has a cracked rib that probably won't prevent him from playing Sunday against the Jets.

The 49ers are uncertain when Johnson was injured. He played with what were thought to be bruised ribs in San Francisco's 31-28 overtime victory over Arizona, but a new examination Monday revealed a broken rib that could have occurred last week.

''I don't know that that changes anything as far as whether he'll be able to play,'' coach Dennis Erickson said. ''You could reinjure it or hurt it a little more, but we'll see how it goes during the week.''


ALLEN PARK, Mich. -- The Lions sacked Michael Vick six times and forced four turnovers in Sunday's 17-10 victory. Vick threw for only 196 yards and rushed for just 29.

''Michael Vick had never been sacked six times in one game in his life,'' Lions coach Steve Mariucci said Monday. ''We hit him inside the pocket and outside the pocket and harassed him all day.

''To contain him like we did was phenomenal.''

Atlanta also entered the game with the league's leading rushing attack, but Detroit held the Falcons to just 94 yards.

''Our front four has just been dominating people,'' Mariucci said. ''There have been 49 players to run for 100 yards in a game this season, and none of those have been against us. A lot of that is coming from our team speed on defense.''

Mariucci also was encouraged that standout rookie receiver Roy Williams does not have a high ankle sprain. Williams leads the team in every receiving category.

''It feels pretty good -- I was on crutches before, but just as a precaution,'' he said. ''We'll just have to see what happens. Not a lot of guys can come back from a sprained ankle in one week, but I think I can do it.''


EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) -- After their fourth consecutive win, the Giants got more good news: no practice Friday, meaning more rest in their bye week.

''They earned that by virtue of their play, and I rewarded them with that,'' coach Tom Coughlin said Monday. ''That had not been planned.''

The Giants (4-1) matched last season's win total on Sunday with a 26-10 victory over the Dallas Cowboys.

Coughlin believes the team is building confidence, but is not overconfident.

''I'm not worried about that. As a matter of fact, I'll be on very, very serious guard against that,'' he said.

The four teams the Giants beat -- Washington, Cleveland, Green Bay and Dallas -- now have a combined 6-12 record, while the team that handed them a season opening 31-17 loss, the Philadelphia Eagles, are 4-0 and lead the Giants in the NFC East.

''We talk about the records in the division literally every week,'' Coughlin said.


CINCINNATI (AP) -- Peter Warrick left practice early Monday for more X-rays on his troublesome left shin. The shifty receiver sat out most of the last two games because of the leg injury, originally described as a deep bruise. Warrick rested over the bye weekend and hoped to be back Sunday in Cleveland, but that now appears unlikely.

Warrick left the field a few minutes before the end of practice, tossing a football from one hand to the other with his head down and a discouraged look on his face.

''It's frustrating, man,'' he said, in a downcast voice. ''It's getting better, just not as fast as I want it to.

''I'm ready to find out what it is. Not knowing is the hard part. I could handle it if we were winning.''

They aren't. The Bengals are 1-3.


BEREA, Ohio (AP) -- Looking over his right shoulder, Kellen Winslow Jr. smoothly backed his motorized scooter down a narrow path and through the open doors of the Browns' locker room.

Nice move. Just not one Winslow planned on making as an NFL rookie.

Winslow, who broke his right leg and tore ligaments on Sept. 19 in Dallas, undergoing two operations, said he should have his cast removed soon and expects to be walking in a few weeks. Winslow is also taking comfort in his father's recovery from a similar injury the Hall of Famer suffered during his rookie season with the Chargers.

''My dad had the same injury his first year and he came back and led the league in receptions the next two years,'' Winslow said.

The younger Winslow had just five receptions for 50 yards in his first two pro games when he sustained the injury while scrambling for an onside kick in the final seconds. Winslow said he has no regrets that the injury came while he was on special teams.

''You put your best players in there to try and get the ball,'' Winslow said. ''I love rushing the punt. I believe you put the best players out there.''


JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) -- After starting the season 3-0, winning close games against Buffalo, Denver and Tennessee in the waning seconds, the Jaguars have dropped two straight and haven't led in either.

They trailed the Colts 17-6 in the fourth before tying the game, and were behind 21-0 against the Chargers on Sunday until scoring a touchdown just before halftime.

The Jags haven't scored any points in the first quarter all season.

''We haven't played with the lead yet,'' coach Jack Del Rio said. ''We want to start fast. Statistically, it's proven that if you can do that, your probability of success goes way up. We're having to fight from behind or even, at best, after the first quarter.

''That's an area we will continue to address. In order to be the kind of football team that we want to be and will be here, we're going to have to be better in that phase of things.''

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