Faulk could play against Jets

Posted: Tuesday, October 16, 2001

ST. LOUIS -- Marshall Faulk hasn't been ruled out of Sunday's game against the New York Jets despite a bruised right knee.

''He really could possibly play this week,'' coach Mike Martz said Monday. ''We're not going to rule the possibility of him playing completely out.

''At this point, he's listed as out. We'll just see where he is.''

Minutes after the Rams' 15-14 victory over the Giants on Sunday, Martz said that Faulk, the NFL's MVP last year, probably would miss 3-to-4 weeks. But that was because the team believed he had strained a ligament, which has had two operations since last November.

An MRI test after the game showed a bruise and no ligament or cartilage damage. Martz said he'll probably have to talk Faulk into sitting this one out.

Martz said Faulk can't further damage the knee, but that it would be an issue of pain tolerance.

''It's going to be hard to restrain Marshall,'' Martz said. ''It'll be very difficult to hold on to him and try to convince him that he needs to rest this thing a little bit.''

Martz said Faulk told him he felt ''pretty good'' on Monday. Faulk came back two weeks after arthroscopic surgery on the right knee last November.

Faulk had a season-worst 63 yards rushing and receiving and fumbled twice against the Giants. The second fumble set up the Giants' go-ahead touchdown in the fourth quarter.

Faulk's backup is Trung Canidate, the team's first-round draft pick last year. Canidate caught a key fourth-down pass and drew an interference call in the end zone a play before he scored the winning touchdown on a 1-yard run.

Boselli's surgery successful, but he's out for season

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Jacksonville Jaguars left tackle Tony Boselli had successful surgery on his right shoulder Monday and is expected to miss the rest of the season.

The Jaguars have not placed Boselli on injured reserve yet, but with a four-month rehabilitation period, he would not be ready to play until February. The Jaguars said a decision on his roster spot is expected in the next few days.

Last week, the Jaguars signed Todd Fordham, who is scheduled to start at left tackle Thursday when Jacksonville plays Buffalo.

The Jaguars made public Boselli's injury Sept. 27, listing him as questionable for their Sept. 30 game against Cleveland. He sat out that game and played at much less than 100 percent Oct. 7 against Seattle before deciding on surgery.

Holmgren going back to Hasselbeck

SEATTLE -- Trent Dilfer is going back to the bench as soon as Matt Hasselbeck is completely healthy. That figures to be in the Seattle Seahawks' next game.

''That's my role and I promised Mike Holmgren that I would do whatever role he asked me,'' Dilfer said.

Dilfer is 2-0 as the Seahawks' starting quarterback and 13-0 going back to last season with Baltimore. That streak includes a Super Bowl victory.

Dilfer, who has 86 career starts to Hasselbeck's three, led Seattle to a 34-21 victory over the Denver Broncos on Sunday, but Holmgren reaffirmed after the game that he will go back to Hasselbeck as the starter after Hasselbeck's pulled left groin is 100 percent.

Hasselbeck replaced Dilfer in the fourth quarter of the Denver game after Dilfer experienced groin problems himself.

Holmgren traded to the Green Bay Packers during the offseason to get Hasselbeck to be his No. 1 quarterback and he said he's seen nothing to change his mind although Hasselbeck struggled in lopsided losses to Philadelphia and Oakland.

Griese questionable for Sunday with sore shoulder

DENVER -- Denver Broncos quarterback Brian Griese is questionable for Sunday's game against the San Diego Chargers, although tests on Monday showed no structural damage in his right shoulder.

Griese complained of shoulder soreness after a hit against the Kansas City Chiefs on Oct. 7, and he aggravated the problem Sunday when he was slammed to the turf by Seattle Seahawks defensive end Lamar King.

Although the tests came back negative, the Broncos are unsure if Griese will be able to return to practice Wednesday.

''We're all very happy there's no structural damage,'' coach Mike Shanahan said. ''The question is, 'How long will it take him to get back?' I don't know that answer.''

Griese was the NFL's top-rated quarterback last season, but missed Denver's final seven games because of a separated right shoulder that required reconstructive surgery in January.

After throwing four interceptions in 2000, Griese has thrown six in five games this season.


SEATTLE (AP) -- Matt Hasselbeck is the likely starter at quarterback for the Seattle Seahawks' next game on Oct. 28 despite Trent Dilfer's 2-0 record this season and 13-game winning streak as a starter.

''That's my role, and I promised Mike Holmgren that I would do whatever role he asked me,'' Dilfer said.

Holmgren, the Seahawks' coach, said he wants Hasselbeck to start when he is completely recovered from a groin injury.

Dilfer, who has 86 career starts to Hasselbeck's three, led Seattle to a 34-21 victory over the Denver Broncos on Sunday.

Hasselbeck replaced Dilfer in the fourth quarter of the Denver game after Dilfer experienced groin problems himself.

Holmgren traded with the Green Bay Packers during the offseason to get Hasselbeck to be his No. 1 quarterback. Hasselbeck struggled in lopsided losses to Philadelphia and Oakland.

The Seahawks (3-2) have a bye before facing the Miami Dolphins (3-2) at Husky Stadium on Oct. 28. The Dolphins have a bye this week, too.


FOXBORO, Mass. (AP) -- After an NFL record 1,187 punts, Lee Johnson was cut Monday by the New England Patriots, six weeks before his 40th birthday.

The move was announced late in the afternoon, a few hours after he said he had ''no clue'' whether he'd be with the team for next Sunday's game at Indianapolis.

Johnson said he wouldn't rule out going to a fifth team in his 17th season, but ''I don't think anybody would pick me up right now.''

He was in his third season with the Patriots after spending 11 with Cincinnati. He previously played with Houston and Cleveland.

The Patriots filled his roster spot with defensive lineman David Nugent, who was on the practice squad.

They have no punter, but coach Bill Belichick said Dan Hadenfeldt, an undrafted free agent from Nebraska cut in training camp, would be brought back for a tryout.


CINCINNATI (AP) -- Cincinnati Bengals receiver Chad Johnson will miss about six weeks with a broken collarbone.

The rookie was injured making a diving catch Sunday in a 24-14 victory over the Cleveland Browns.

Johnson, a second-round draft pick, had five catches for 68 yards. The final one was a diving 16-yard catch on third-and-8 that set up Corey Dillon's decisive 5-yard touchdown run early in the fourth quarter.

''From my experience with Chad, I think he will be back sooner than most,'' coach Dick LeBeau said Monday. ''It's a pretty ordinary fracture, so we're looking at the more optimistic side there.''

The Bengals (3-2) have their bye week Nov. 4, which will give Johnson an extra week to recover.

The injury to starting cornerback Rodney Heath is much more severe. He tore his left hamstring while assisting in a tackle and might need surgery.

Heath started nine games last season before a shoulder injury sidelined him. The 5-foot-10 cornerback was in his third season with the Bengals after playing for Minnesota of the Professional Indoor Football League.

''Rodney's had a life of people telling him he's too small to play football, and he's always overcome that,'' LeBeau said. ''He's one of the toughest guys on our team. I know he will make a complete recovery.''


KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) -- Kansas City Chiefs coach Dick Vermeil, hungry for a shred of good news for a 1-4 team, said Monday that offensive tackle Victor Riley is not necessarily lost for the season with a broken leg.

''There is a chance he could come back this year,'' Vermeil said. ''The broken bone is in place. What they want to see is how injured the ankle is below the break.''

Before Riley's injury, the Chiefs lost cornerbacks Ray Crockett and William Bartee on the same play. Bartee was able to get back into the game, but Crockett, their best and most experienced defensive back, has a broken hand.

''I've coached a long time, but this is the first time I ever lost two cornerbacks on one snap,'' Vermeil said. ''You just can't imagine what that does to your defense, especially when they go to four wide receivers. We're not using that as an excuse, but that really hurt us.''

After a week or two, Crockett could be fitted with a cast that allows him to play.

Bartee, who had been alternating with right cornerback Eric Warfield, will step in full time for Crockett.


FOXBORO, Mass. (AP) -- Drew Bledsoe's return is far from imminent as the New England Patriots quarterback recovers from a chest injury that has sidelined him for three games.

''Drew is just making steady progress,'' coach Bill Belichick said Monday. ''I think it's going to be a very gradual thing.''

Belichick said originally that Bledsoe would miss at least two weeks. After that time passed, Belichick said last week the quarterback would miss at least two or three more weeks.

Even that looks optimistic now.

''The next step for Drew is for him to do some light workouts, jogging, maybe light throwing,'' Belichick said. ''The next step would be to maybe get up to more full-speed type of workouts. Then, at some point, contact will come in there. So it's just a gradual progression.''

The Patriots were 0-2 under Bledsoe, who was injured late in a 10-3 loss to the New York Jets on Sept. 23 when he was hit by linebacker Mo Lewis. He spent four nights in a hospital as blood was drained out of his chest cavity through a tube.

In his absence, the Patriots are 2-1 under second-year pro Tom Brady.


EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. (AP) -- Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Randy Moss is listed as questionable for this week's game against Green Bay because of an ankle injury

Vikings coach Dennis Green said Moss slightly aggravated the ankle Sunday against Detroit.

''He's been dealing with it most of the year,'' Green said. ''I think it just gets a little bit worse at times. He did not play as many plays as he normally plays, and he did not play as well as he normally plays, either.''

Moss, who signed an eight-year contract extension worth $93 million this summer, has just 21 catches for 321 yards and one touchdown in Minnesota's first five games. He dropped a touchdown pass and let the Lions' Todd Lyght wrestle an interception away from him on Sunday.

''It's clear that he doesn't have his full speed, his full range of motion,'' Green said. ''I think that Randy Moss doesn't normally drop passes. One thing you can always tell, if a guy is hurt, his concentration level is not there. It's very difficult to play at your best if you are not 100 percent healthwise.''

Moss, in his fourth season, has not missed a game in his career. He totaled 226 catches, 4,163 yards and 43 touchdowns in his first three years -- all NFL records.

Rookie running back Michael Bennett sprained his ankle against the Lions.

''I don't think it's real serious, but it could be anywhere from 1-to-2-to-3 weeks,'' Green said. ''Ankle injuries are very difficult to be able to predict.''


CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) -- Carolina linebacker Kory Minor, coming off his first career start, will miss four weeks with a sprained knee.

Minor sprained a ligament in his left knee during Sunday's loss to the New Orleans Saints. He started the game at outside linebacker because of injuries to Dan Morgan, Hannibal Navies and Dean Wells.

Coach George Seifert said he expected Navies and Wells to play this week against Washington. Navies was out with a rib injury and Wells was limited Sunday because of back spasms.


ALAMEDA, Calif. (AP) -- Oakland Raiders running back Tyrone Wheatley, the team's leading rusher last season, hurt his right knee during Sunday night's game against the Indianapolis Colts.

Wheatley was expected to have an MRI on Monday, coach Jon Gruden said.

Wheatley, who led the league's top rushing offense with 1,046 yards last season, was not available for comment. The Raiders, coming off a 23-18 win over the Colts, had Monday and Tuesday off as they head into their bye week.

''He did miss some time early in the game. I believe it happened early in the first quarter, when he missed a couple series and came back to play,'' Gruden said.

Wheatley had been listed as questionable for the Colts game with a sore wrist. He finished with seven carries for 24 yards, including a 1-yard touchdown run in the third quarter.

He was also responsible for the Raiders' lone turnover.

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