Quarterback out for several weeks
Coach Jack Del Rio said the gash Brunell got on his throwing elbow when he slid on the artificial turf in Indianapolis on Sept. 21 resulted in a swollen bursa sac that got worse over time.
Initially the injury needed five stitches. A week later, Brunell was listed as questionable on the injury report. He told people he was fine and could take over for Byron Leftwich, who had taken his starting spot. Del Rio didn't agree with Brunell's diagnosis, however, and last week, Brunell conceded the injury had gotten worse.
Del Rio said he "didn't believe" Brunell threw in practice at all last week. He was listed as the emergency quarterback in Sunday's 24-10 loss to Miami.
"He hasn't been back," Del Rio said. "He proclaimed himself healthy. But I was never given the green light on Mark being healthy, and he remains unhealthy. We just hope this comes out OK, and he'll heal quickly."
Del Rio said Brunell would have to go through a few weeks of inactivity before he could begin rehab.
The surgery was the crisis du jour for the Jaguars, who enter their bye week after an unusually difficult couple of months.
Last week, it was punter Chris Hanson whacking his leg with an ax _ Del Rio said he was scheduled to be released from the hospital Monday. The log Del Rio had placed in the locker room remained there Monday.
"I don't have any immediate plans to take it out," Del Rio said. "I took out the `weapon,' as some people have called it."
Before the ax incident, Jimmy Smith spent six weeks in drug rehab. In the preseason, three players succumbed to the heat. Leftwich had a 19-day contract holdout.
Then, there's the losing. Jacksonville is 1-5 for the first time in franchise history.
"We've just got to go back to basics," said Del Rio, who gave the players the day off Monday.
The coach said he had no immediate plans to place Brunell on injured reserve and hopes he can return for the end of the season.
"It's two or three weeks before he comes out of the stitches, and then we'll see where he's at," Del Rio said.
For now, Del Rio will keep only two quarterbacks, Leftwich and David Garrard; he said he had no plans to elevate Quinn Gray from the practice squad.
Leftwich, who took over the job when Brunell was injured, is 60-for-106 for 823 yards in his three starts. He has thrown six interceptions, including three against the Dolphins.
Also injured in Sunday's game was cornerback Jason Craft, who was diagnosed with sprained ligaments in his left knee. He underwent an MRI on Monday, and the injury was not deemed season-threatening.
Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press
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