49ers Barlow expects to play

Updated: September 23, 2004, 12:11 AM ET
Associated Press

San Francisco 49ers: Running back Kevan Barlow has a sprained ligament in his right knee, but the 49ers' leading rusher is expected to play Sunday.

Barlow hurt his knee during the third series in Sunday's 30-27 loss at New Orleans. He played the rest of the game, rushing for 114 yards and two touchdowns. An MRI on Wednesday revealed that Barlow has a sprained MCL.

He left Wednesday's practice early, but wasn't concerned about being ready for Sunday's game at Seattle.

"It felt like regular soreness, and I thought I'd run it off," Barlow said. "But I was out running, and I couldn't explode like I wanted. I felt like I could have practiced, but we were just being safe."

Barlow won't practice Thursday, but should play Sunday, team spokesman Jason Jenkins said.

Atlanta Falcons: Atlanta running back Warrick Dunn didn't practice Wednesday and was questionable for the unbeaten Falcons' game against Arizona.

Dunn sprained his left knee in last weekend's 34-17 victory over St. Louis. The Falcons are 2-0 for the first time since 1998.

"It was pretty stiff on Monday, but it feels pretty good today," he said. "I'm pleased that I was able to walk and jog around a little bit. We'll see how it goes tomorrow."

Dunn, who has rushed for 106 yards and four touchdowns, will probably do some limited work on Thursday, according to coach Jim Mora.

Detroit Lions: The Lions signed cornerback Vernon Fox and released cornerback Chris Kern, one day after cutting running back Olandis Gary, who was on injured reserve with a shoulder injury.

Detroit signed receiver David Kircus to its practice squad after cutting him from the active roster on Monday.

Gary rushed for 384 yards and two touchdowns last season after joining the Lions in a preseason trade with Buffalo. He ran for 1,159 yards as a rookie for Denver in 1999 but had the next two seasons ruined by injuries.

Fox, who played the past two seasons with San Diego, was released by the Chargers on Aug. 31. Kern made the Lions this year after being signed to the practice squad toward the end of last season.

Cleveland Browns: Tight end Kellen Winslow Jr. will miss at least two months with a broken right leg, but coach Butch Davis is still optimistic the first-round pick will be able to help this season.

Winslow had surgery Tuesday and Davis said while doctors inserted screws to stabilize the fracture, they did not find any ligament damage. If all goes well, Winslow could be walking in two weeks and Davis is holding out hope he'll have the former University of Miami star back in November.

The Browns have discussed placing Winslow on injured reserve for the rest of the season, but want to hold off as long as possible.

Browns banged up for Giants: Nine players missed all or some of Cleveland's practice. A new addition to the Browns' injury report was cornerback Anthony Henry, who sustained a concussion in Sunday's loss at Dallas.

Henry is listed as questionable for this week's game against the New York Giants, as is cornerback Daylon McCutcheon, who had three pins surgically inserted on Tuesday into a broken middle finger.

McCutcheon didn't practice on Wednesday, but Davis said he has been cleared to play.

Houston Texans: Quarterback David Carr missed practice with a case of the stomach flu that has made the rounds at Reliant Park, coach Dom Capers said. "We felt it was important for him to stay home," Capers said. Carr is expected to return Thursday.

Right tackle Zach Wiegert (elbow) and running back Tony Hollings (knee) both were upgraded to questionable from doubtful, meaning there's a 50-50 chance they'll play. Hollings, Domanick Davis' backup, did some running Wednesday.

Tennessee Titans: The Titans finally got some good news about an injured linebacker Wednesday.

Starting middle linebacker Rocky Calmus was deactivated in the Titans' 31-17 loss to Indianapolis last week because of a back problem and weakness in his left leg. But Calmus visited Dr. Craig Brigham in North Carolina, and the specialist agreed with the Titans' opinion that the injury is only minor.

"He's just got some minor nerve issues that are starting to clear up," coach Jeff Fisher said. "He could be better tomorrow. He might be better in a week from now. We just have to keep treating him the way we are."

Green Bay Packers: The Packers can't keep their nose tackles healthy.

James Lee, who made his first NFL start last week after Grady Jackson dislocated a knee cap in the opener, had surgery Wednesday to repair torn cartilage in his left knee and is expected to be out four to six weeks.

Cletidus Hunt slid over to nose tackle at practice, with Cullen Jenkins replacing him at tackle along with Kenny Peterson, who returned to action after sitting out both of Green Bay's games with a sprained ankle and sore knee.

The Packers might activate Colin Cole off their practice squad or take another look at free agent Larry Smith when he's recovered from a torn thigh muscle as they await the return of Jackson, who guesses he'll miss another three weeks.

Arizona Cardinals: Coach Dennis Green has brought in old friend Carl Hargrave as a consultant to help revive the moribund offense of the Cardinals.

Hargrave was an assistant with the Minnesota Vikings from 1994 until Green left at the end of the 2001 season, working as running backs coach most of that time. He also was an assistant to Green at Northwestern from 1981-85.

Green has been upset with his team's lack of offense in a system he says he invented with the Vikings.

"I don't think we are implementing I think the best offensive system in the National Football League like we could, and I don't think we've been playing like we will," Green said. "So to do that, I brought Carl Hargrave in."

New York Jets: Jets defensive end Josh Evans had back surgery and was placed on injured reserve, ending his season.

Evans got hurt about three weeks ago and played sparingly in the season opener against Cincinnati before missing last weekend's game at San Diego.

The Jets also signed center Drew Caylor, who was drafted by Pittsburgh in the sixth round in April, as insurance should starter Kevin Mawae not be able to play next week against the Dolphins. Mawae broke a bone in his right hand, and his status is questionable.

Minnesota Vikings: Right tackle Mike Rosenthal and tight end Jim Kleinsasser were placed on injured reserve.

Rosenthal broke his right foot in Monday night's game at Philadelphia. Kleinsasser will have surgery to repair damage to his right knee sustained in the opener against Dallas on Sept. 12.

The Vikings now have seven players on injured reserve, including cornerback Ken Irvin -- who ruptured his right Achilles' tendon while warming up before the Cowboys game.

Tight end Sean Berton, who made the team as an undrafted rookie last year but was cut in training camp, was signed to replace Kleinsasser. Berton, a reliable blocker, will share time at the position with rookie Richard Owens. Rookie Jeff Dugan will back them up.

Minnesota also filled three vacancies on the practice squad by signing safety Oliver Celestin, tight end John Paul Foschi and guard Brandon Newton.

Backing a candidate: Running back Mewelde Moore (shoulder) was added to the injury report, and he's listed as probable. Running back Michael Bennett (knee) and running back Moe Williams (ankle) are both questionable, but Williams is expected to play and Bennett isn't.

The Vikings would rather give their starter an extra week to heal, with their bye looming on Oct. 3, and bring him back full speed against Houston on Oct. 10.

"Obviously you'd love to be out playing and helping your teammates," Bennett said. "I can't say that I'm 100 percent, but I'm progressing well. Things are looking good for me, and that's all I can hope for."

Adding one to the ring: Bill Brown, the third-leading rusher in Vikings history, will join the team's Ring of Honor in a halftime ceremony on Sunday.

Brown, who played for the Vikings from 1962-1974, becomes the 13th person to be recognized with a banner on the facade of the Metrodome's upper deck. The Ring of Honor was started by owner Red McCombs when he bought the team in 1998.

"It's really appreciated, and I think I'll enjoy this," Brown said.

Brown was a star at Illinois who was drafted by the Chicago Bears -- Minnesota's opponent Sunday -- in 1961. He was traded to the Vikings the next season and wound up rushing for 5,757 yards -- behind only Robert Smith and Chuck Foreman on the team's all-time list.

Cincinnati Bengals: End Carl Powell had arthroscopic knee surgery, leaving the Bengals thin on the defensive line that needs to contain Jamal Lewis on Sunday.

Coach Marvin Lewis didn't give an indication how long Powell will be sidelined.

Powell is part of the Bengals' defensive line rotation. He appeared in their first two games as a reserve and started three of their 16 games last year.

The Bengals' priority against Baltimore will be containing Lewis, who has rushed for at least 100 yards in each of his six career games against Cincinnati.

Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press