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Gleason regrets punch

Posted: Tuesday, December 07, 2004

NEW ORLEANS - Saints special teams captain Steve Gleason expects to be fined by the league after being ejected from Sunday's game against the Carolina Panthers for throwing a punch.

Gleason was tossed with 1:26 remaining in the first half after punching Panthers defensive end Kemp Rasmussen in his groin at the end of a kickoff return.

''There was really no justification for what I did,'' an embarrassed Gleason said Monday. ''That's not my character, not the way I play the game. I'm humiliated.''

Gleason was on his knees after the play and Rasmussen was standing in front of him. There was a slight pause and then Gleason threw the punch.

''It's a violent game and I was frustrated,'' Gleason said. ''I felt like the play was over and they had kept blocking me.''

Gleason said he had never drawn a personal foul before, let alone been ejected. He had not talked to coach Jim Haslett about the incident.

''I should apologize to everyone,'' Gleason said. ''My opponent, my team and my coach. I'm just sick about it.''

Coach Jim Haslett said after looking at the film he thought both Gleason and Rasmussen should have been penalized.

Raiders

ALAMEDA, Calif. - WR Ronald Curry tore his left Achilles' tendon and is done for the season.

The receiver was hurt during Sunday's 34-27 loss to Kansas City and will have surgery soon, Raiders coach Norv Turner said Monday. The team hopes to have Curry back at full strength by training camp after what's expected to be six months of rehabilitation.

Titans

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Cornerback Samari Rolle had surgery on his left knee Monday and will be out two to four weeks. The Titans also lost linebacker Rocky Calmus for the season with a strained left hamstring.

Rolle tried to play through pain in his knee, which forced him out of an 18-15 victory at Jacksonville on Nov. 21. He also played in the loss at Houston on Nov. 28, but was sidelined for Sunday's loss to Indianapolis.

Coach Jeff Fisher said there was a chance Rolle could return before the season ends Jan. 2 against Detroit.

Calmus had missed eight games with nerve problems in his lower back that caused weakness in his left leg. But Fisher said Calmus had significant damage to his left hamstring after he got confused on a defensive call Sunday.

Jets

HEMPSTEAD, N.Y. (AP) - Jets defensive end John Abraham will miss Sunday's game at Pittsburgh with a sprained ligament in his right knee.

Coach Herman Edwards said Monday that an MRI exam revealed the injury to the lateral collateral ligament, and Abraham is week to week. The injury could be a big blow to a defense that has been playing extremely well.

Abraham leads the team with 9 1/2 sacks and has improved his play against the run, while maintaining his role as the team's best pass rusher. The defense has allowed the fewest points in the league, and shut out opponents in the second half in six games this season. Former first-round pick Bryan Thomas will start in place of Abraham.

''When you lose a great player, you always suffer one way in the fact that you don't have his ability to change games,'' Edwards said. ''So you compensate different ways. We lost him in the first half and they did a great job in the second half of shutting them out. You have to rally.''

Abraham has a history of injuries. Last year, he missed eight games with a groin injury, and missed most of his rookie season with a sports hernia.

The Jets have lost several players on defense this season, from cornerback Ray Mickens and tackle Josh Evans for lengthy periods to end Shaun Ellis for one game. But this is the biggest loss yet, and comes when the Jets (9-3) play a crucial AFC game with the Steelers (11-1).

''We've lost some guys, good players, but we don't make excuses when players get hurt,'' Edwards said. ''We just continue to play. You continue to play and still try to win with players you have.''

Rams

ST. LOUIS (AP) - For at least another week, the offense will be in the hands of 39-year-old Chris Chandler, the backup to the injured Marc Bulger. Luckily, he doesn't feel his age.

''I feel very much like I always have, since I first came into the league,'' Chandler said. ''I'll tell you what, you only get one chance to play this game and when it's over, it's over.

''I'm getting close to that time, so every time I'm out there I just try to have fun.''

Bulger sprained his right shoulder on a sack by Bryant Young with 1:40 left in the first quarter of Sunday's 16-6 victory over the 49ers. The injury is identical to one he sustained at Miami on Oct. 24, when he would have missed one week except the Rams (6-6) had a bye.

Coach Mike Martz said Monday that Bulger, who had led the NFL in yards passing before Sunday, didn't completely recover from the earlier injury until last week.

''There is a little bit of swelling in the joint, but there's no damage evidently to the ligaments that hold the joint together, which is terrific,'' Martz said. ''Hopefully we'll get him back in short order, but we'll have to see.''

Chandler was 18-for-27 for 216 yards and his first touchdown pass in more than a year. He'll be making his 151st career start for an NFL-record seven teams, and that includes an earlier stint in 1994 with the Rams when Martz was the team's quarterback coach.

Eagles

PHILADELPHIA (AP) - Defensive end Derrick Burgess will miss the rest of the regular season with a chest injury.

Burgess first injured his chest last week against New York. He left Sunday's victory over Green Bay in the first half after aggravating the injury. X-rays were negative, but a CT scan and MRI on Monday revealed a separation in the sternum that is expected to keep Burgess sidelined four to six weeks.

Veteran Hugh Douglas will replace Burgess in the starting lineup, with defensive tackle Darwin Walker also shifting over to end at times.

A fourth-year pro, Burgess could return for the playoffs.

Vikings

EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. (AP) - Cornerback Antoine Winfield is doubtful for Sunday's game against Seattle with a high ankle sprain. Winfield, who leads the Vikings with 94 tackles and three interceptions, injured his left ankle in the first quarter of Sunday's 24-14 loss at Chicago.

''It's going to be tough to get him back this week,'' said Vikings coach Mike Tice.

Bills

ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (AP) - The Bills are suddenly banged up and could be without two starters, right tackle Mike Williams and tight end Mark Campbell, against Cleveland next weekend.

Coach Mike Mularkey said Monday that both were having further tests on right knee injuries sustained in Buffalo's 42-32 win at Miami on Sunday.

Backup tight end Tim Euhus also is having tests after hurting his knee Sunday, but he finished the game.

Williams, Buffalo's first-round draft pick in 2002, has started all 12 games this season and been particularly strong in the Willis McGahee-led running attack.

Campbell was hurt after missing a catch midway through the first quarter. Campbell is third among Bills receivers with 17 catches for 203 yards and five touchdowns.

Dolphins

DAVIE, Fla. (AP) - Tight end Randy McMichael is displeased with his role in the offense.

McMichael came into Sunday's game as Miami's leading receiver, but he was upset after catching only two passes for 14 yards in a 42-32 loss to Buffalo. He said after the game he went from being the go-to-guy to out the door.

''I don't take anything I said back,'' McMichael said Monday. ''I said it. I meant it exactly.''

The third-year tight end has caught only 11 passes in the last four games after having 42 receptions in the first eight.

McMichael followed a similar pattern in his first two seasons in the league. As a rookie in 2002, he had 26 catches in the first eight games, only 13 the rest of the way. Last year, it was 29 catches in the first half of the season and 20 in the second half.

''It's a really difficult time for me now because, you know what, this is the third year in a row this happened,'' McMichael said. ''Start out so hot and then all of a sudden I become an offensive tackle and it's really frustrating.''

Interim head coach Jim Bates said he was concerned any time a player publicly expressed his displeasure, but he understood McMichael's frustration.

''We know he's a go-to-guy,'' Bates said. ''We have to try to work him in and get him more touches.''

Falcons

FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. (AP) - Backup guard Martin Bibla will miss the rest of the season with a broken ankle. A third-year player out of Miami, he was used primarily on special teams.

DT Ed Jasper has a fractured hand, but he should be able to keep playing with a cast.

Coach Jim Mora accused Tampa Bay S Dwight Smith of spitting on receiver Peerless Price during the game.

''I saw it as clear as day,'' the coach said, adding that he didn't plan to make a formal complaint to the league.

Broncos

DENVER (AP) - The Broncos lost backup WR Nate Jackson for the season with a broken ankle. Jackson has eight catches for 73 yards this season.

Rookie Triandos Luke will probably get more playing time because of Jackson's injury.



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