Broken legs sideline tackles for Jags, Rams

Posted: Monday, October 14, 2002

The St. Louis Rams and Jacksonville Jaguars both lost offensive tackles to broken legs Sunday.

Left tackle Grant Williams was carted off the field during the second quarter of the Rams' 28-13 victory over Oakland. The team said he'll have surgery as early as Monday to repair his broken lower right leg and a dislocated right ankle.

Jacksonville right tackle Maurice Williams broke his right leg in the first half of the Jaguars' 23-14 loss at Tennessee.

Injuries have hit the Rams' offensive line hard. The 6-foot-7, 328-pound Williams was filling in for All-Pro left tackle Orlando Pace, who tore his left calf during practice on Sept. 25. Guard Adam Timmerman has a strained left knee, and tackle John St. Clair has had a strained hip flexor.

''It's been this situation for the past three weeks,'' said Tom Nutten, who shifted from left guard to right tackle after Williams got hurt. St. Clair went from right tackle to left tackle.

''Whenever Orlando got hurt, I knew that I was going to be the third tackle in emergency situations,'' Nutten added. ''Obviously, I guess I held my point today, and hopefully Orlando's going to be back next week.''

The Giants took a huge loss when defensive tackle Keith Hamilton tore his right Achilles' tendon in a 17-10 loss to Atlanta. He's out for the season.

''To lose a guy that's respected like he is, it's tough on everybody,'' said New York defensive end Michael Strahan, who saw only limited action after developing back spasms on the same first-quarter series in which Hamilton was injured.

Not only were Strahan and Hamilton injured on a 17-play, 88-yard touchdown drive by Atlanta, but so was safety Omar Stoutmire. He sprained a knee but returned.

Two quarterbacks -- Jacksonville's Mark Brunell and Carolina's Rodney Peete -- were knocked out of games with concussions.

Brunell left in the first quarter of the Jags' 23-14 loss to Tennessee after getting hit near the sideline by cornerback Samari Rolle. Brunell returned on the next series and completed two passes before he had to leave again because of the pain.

Brunell said he plans on playing next week against Baltimore, but his concussion is worrisome because he had one just over a year ago against Cleveland.

And he said this one hurt worse.

''Overall, everything was just a little bit more severe, foggy,'' he said. ''My head is pounding pretty hard, and it wasn't as clear as it should have been, as far as getting the plays called and seeing the defense.''

Peete was hit after completing a pass late in the second quarter of the Panthers' 14-13 loss to Dallas. Coach John Fox said Peete would have an MRI exam on Monday.

Peete was 9-of-15 for 84 yards and a touchdown. His replacement, Chris Weinke, was 7-of-12 for 114 yards.

In the late game, Dolphins receiver Chris Chambers had to be helped from the field after taking a vicious hit to the head from Denver safety Kenoy Kennedy, who was hit with a personal-foul penalty. Chambers had a concussion.

Among other injuries, Chiefs defensive tackle Ryan Sims, the team's first-round draft pick, dislocated an elbow in a loss to the Chargers; Lions tight end Mike Ricks injured his groin in a loss to Minnesota; New England offensive tackle Chad Clifton possibly hurt his right knee in a 28-10 loss to Green Bay; and the Saints had two players hurt -- linebacker Charlie Clemons (groin) and cornerback Michael Hawthorne (lower leg) -- in a win over the Redskins.



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