Broken finger good omen for Muhammad?

Updated: August 7, 2004, 4:16 PM ET
Associated Press

Carolina Panthers: Wide receiver Muhsin Muhammad has a compound fracture of his right ring finger that is expected to keep him out of several practices.

Despite the pain, Muhammad said it may be a good omen.

In 1999, Muhammad had the same injury to a finger on his other hand. He came back to catch 96 passes for a career-high 1,253 yards and eight touchdowns and was named to his only Pro Bowl.

"Maybe it's a sign of good things to come," Muhammad said with a laugh.

Muhammad, who has started 87 games over the past six seasons for the Panthers, left practice Thursday afternoon after a ball deflected off his right ring finger.

"It's something I can play with, but right now I'm going to let it heal up and rest it for a while," Muhammad said.

New York Jets: Santana Moss will skip practice against the New York Giants in Albany, N.Y., on Saturday with a sore hamstring.

Moss didn't practice Thursday or Friday, and coach Herman Edwards said he was holding Moss out for precautionary reasons. Moss had a breakout year last season, catching 74 passes for 1,105 yards and 10 touchdowns and averaging 11.1 yards on punt returns.

Safety Reggie Tongue (left calf) and linebacker Eric Barton (left hamstring) are still out with their injuries. Both signed as free agents in the offseason and are expected to start on the Jets' revamped defense. Josh Evans will be able to go against the Giants after sitting out a few days with a sore left knee.

First-round pick Jonathan Vilma is questionable for the practice with a sore left calf. Vilma was injured Tuesday, and Edwards also wants to be cautious with the rookie middle linebacker.

Minnesota Vikings: Chiefs backup quarterback Damon Huard got to experience first hand what it feels like to be bodyslammed by a pro wrestler.

Brock Lesnar, the former World Wrestling Entertainment star who turned down a lucrative contract for a chance to play in the NFL, picked up his first sack. The victim: the 31-year-old Huard.

During morning drills between the Chiefs' offense and the Vikings' defense, Lesnar broke through the middle and nailed Huard low, knocking him on his back. The play drew a loud cheer from the crowd.

"I'm just here to prove myself," Lesnar said. "I've got to play hard every play and make some plays to really establish myself. That's just how it is."

Washington Redskins: Linebacker LaVar Arrington didn't practice Friday morning because of a bruise on his lower left leg. He spent the morning session walking gingerly, with the leg wrapped.

"It's sore," Arrington said. "I've been fighting a little sprained ankle and the bruise to my shin kind of made my whole lower region kind of worse. They felt like, for whatever reason, they didn't want to let me go today, but I'm always prepared to try."

Linebacker Mike Barrow aggravated an injury to his left knee in the morning practice. Coach Joe Gibbs said he expected both linebackers to be fine.

Kansas City Chiefs: Backup tight end Billy Baber injured his left knee during a joint practice with the Minnesota Vikings in Mankato, Minn.

Baber was sandwiched by Vikings safeties Corey Chavous and Brian Russell after catching a pass from Trent Green. Baber came down awkwardly on the knee after Russell drove his shoulder into him.

Coach Dick Vermeil said preliminary examinations show a sprain.

Baber, a special teams regular entering his fourth NFL season, caught one pass last season for 20 yards. He has played in 29 games in three seasons with Kansas City.

New York Giants: Linebacker Carlos Emmons missed his third straight practice because of pain in his left leg, the same one he broke late last season while playing with the Philadelphia Eagles.

Emmons downplayed his absence, noting that doctors told him he would occasionally have swelling in the leg. The nine-year veteran who signed with the Giants as a free agent said he wasn't even supposed to practice during the first week of camp, adding he probably did a little too much work.

"It is nothing out of the ordinary, it's part of the injury," Emmons said, adding there is a chance he might do some work in the practices with the Jets on Saturday.

New Orleans Saints: Second-round pick Devery Henderson signed a four-year deal, ending his holdout from training camp.

Henderson, a receiver from LSU, practiced with the Saints later in the day.

In 2003, Henderson had 53 catches for 861 yards and 11 touchdowns. He was considered one of the fastest players available in the draft and was a sprinter on the Tigers' 2001 indoor track and field national championship team.

Henderson had 89 career receptions with the Tigers for 1,411 yards and 19 touchdowns. He added 433 yards on 73 carries in his first two seasons at running back. All six of the club's draft choices are now under contract and at training camp.

Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press