Running back out at least two weeks

Originally Published: September 27, 2004
Associated Press

Detroit Lions: Running back Kevin Jones is expected to miss two to four weeks after sustaining a high right ankle sprain in the first quarter of Sunday's 30-13 loss to Philadelphia.

"High ankle sprains can be two weeks or they can be 12," Lions coach Steve Mariucci said Monday. "He's had these before, and he was back in a couple weeks both times, so that's what we are hoping for."

Fullback Cory Schlesinger pulled a hamstring, but the Lions hope to have him back for their Oct. 10 game in Atlanta. Detroit has a bye this week.

The Lions also hope to have cornerbacks Dre' Bly (knee) and Andre Goodman (hamstring) back to face the Falcons. Both have missed the last two weeks.

A third cornerback, Rod Babers, is expected to miss the rest of the season after breaking his collarbone against the Eagles.

Miami Dolphins: Running back Lamar Gordon is unlikely to play Sunday against the Jets because of a shoulder injury, compounding the team's offensive woes.

The injury forced the Dolphins to turn to their fourth running back since Ricky Williams retired in July. Leonard Henry, a third-year pro who made his NFL debut in Sunday night's 13-3 loss to Pittsburgh, carried 21 times for 41 yards and may start against the Jets.

Gordon hurt his left shoulder in the first quarter. The Dolphins didn't specify the nature of the injury, and Wannstedt said Gordon was undergoing tests Monday.

"It's very doubtful he'll participate this week," Wannstedt said Monday.

Sammy Morris, a backup at running back and fullback who missed Sunday's game with an ankle injury, may be available against the Jets. Travis Minor, who started the opener, hurt his ankle in that game and remains sidelined.

Fullback Rob Konrad, a five-year starter who has yet to play this season because of a thigh infection, may return this week.

"We could use him, that's for sure," Wannstedt said.

The Dolphins (0-3) have scored 23 points this season while rushing for 142 yards in 69 carries.

Cincinnati Bengals: Middle linebacker Nate Webster will miss the rest of the season with a knee injury.

Webster had surgery Monday to repair the patella tendon in his right knee, torn during the closing minutes of a 23-9 loss to the Ravens on Sunday. The Bengals will place him on injured reserve later in the week.

Webster's loss is a major setback to a defense that's been run over. The Bengals (1-2) have given up 196 yards to Jets running back Curtis Martin and allowed 186 on Sunday to Jamal Lewis. Opponents are averaging 5.7 yards per carry, the most in the NFL.

Coach Marvin Lewis was noncommittal about how he'll juggle the linebackers to cope with the loss. Kevin Hardy played middle linebacker last season before moving outside this year, and could move again. Outside linebacker Brian Simmons also could be shifted to the middle, where he played his first five seasons in Cincinnati.

Webster, 26, signed with the Bengals as a free agent last March after four years with Tampa Bay.

Cleveland Browns: Linebacker Ben Taylor will miss the rest of the season after tearing a tendon in his chest during Sunday's game against the Giants. Taylor played in just one series in the 27-10 loss before getting hurt.

Browns coach Butch Davis said the three-year veteran will undergo surgery Tuesday to have the tendon reattached to his pectoral muscle and will need four to six months to recover.

Taylor, the team's starting strongside linebacker, is the Browns' eighth starter to be injured this season. On Sunday, Cleveland played without three offensive starters and four on defense.

Taylor is also the second starter to be lost for the season. Defensive end Courtney Brown tore a ligament in his foot and will need six months to recuperate.

Minnesota Vikings: The Vikings will probably be without three more starters, linebacker E.J. Henderson, linebacker Chris Claiborne and center Matt Birk, for their next game on Oct. 10 at Houston.

Henderson sprained his left knee, Claiborne strained his left calf and Birk sprained his left ankle in the Vikings' 27-22 victory over Chicago on Sunday.

There's a possibility the bye week will allow them to heal fast enough to be ready for the Texans game, but the team is preparing to play without them and wait for their return on Oct. 17 at New Orleans.

The news on Henderson was promising, since coach Mike Tice said initially he could be lost for up to six weeks. Tight end Jermaine Wiggins, who broke his left hand Sept. 20 at Philadelphia, is also expected to miss another game and be back to play the Saints.

Right tackle Mike Rosenthal (right foot), tight end Jim Kleinsasser (right knee) and cornerback Ken Irvin (right Achilles' tendon) are already out for the season. Rosenthal was scheduled for surgery Monday, and Kleinsasser will have surgery on Tuesday.

Running back Michael Bennett, however, has been cleared to practice at full speed and will return next week at Houston after missing the first three games with a sprained right knee.

New York Giants: Running back Ron Dayne was scheduled to have an MRI on his left calf to determine what caused it to swell just hours before a game with the Cleveland Browns.

The Heisman Trophy winner, who was the Giants' first-round draft pick in 2000, had to sit out New York's 27-10 win on Sunday.

"Dayne right now is still sore, and I think we're probably going to run all kinds of tests to see where that is," coach Tom Coughlin said. "It was really a strange reaction when it occurred, and it was one of those unpleasant things on game-day morning that you don't want to hear your trainer tell you."

Dayne, who has been splitting time with Tiki Barber, woke up in the early hours of Sunday morning because his calf was "throbbing," Coughlin said.

Trainers tested the calf muscle hours before the game, and Dayne was scratched from the lineup when he could not perform some of the tests.

Dayne hurt his calf against Washington on Sept. 19. He practiced all last week, but the swelling prevented his playing on Sunday.

Indianapolis Colts: Safety Idrees Bashir's injured groin could keep him out of this week's game at Jacksonville.

Bashir left Sunday's game against Green Bay early in the second half after trying to play through the injury. Colts coach Tony Dungy said he was still waiting for MRI results before announcing Bashir's status against the AFC South-leading Jaguars.

The Colts secondary has been hit hard by injuries.

Indianapolis' other starting safety, Mike Doss, hasn't played since the opener because of a pulled right hamstring and may miss a couple of other weeks. Cornerback Joseph Jefferson, who battled for the starting job with Donald Strickland, hasn't played this season after having knee surgery in late August.

Strickland played Sunday despite a sore right shoulder, and Dungy said the Colts' other starting cornerback, Nick Harper, got banged up in Sunday's 45-31 victory over Green Bay. Harper is not expected to miss any time.

The Colts' top draft pick, Bob Sanders, still has not practiced with the team after a lengthy holdout. Sanders did not participate in the Colts' offseason workouts because he was recovering from surgery for a stress fracture in his right foot.

San Diego Chargers: Philip Rivers just got a lot closer to taking his first snap with the woeful Chargers.

Rivers was promoted from third-string quarterback to No. 2 on Monday, a day after Drew Brees was ineffective in a 23-13 loss at Denver that dropped the Chargers to 1-2.

Coach Marty Schottenheimer said Brees remains the starter. But if Brees were to get hurt -- or get the hook -- Rivers, the $40.5 million rookie, would get the call over 41-year-old Doug Flutie, who's now No. 3.

"I'm not sitting here all fired up like I've achieved something," Rivers said. "I'm pleased that I've made some progress, obviously, and shown them such, that they feel that I'm ready to be in that position."

Schottenheimer said he made the move to give Rivers more snaps during practice. Rivers had been directing the scout team against the No. 1 defense, running the plays that the upcoming opponent is expected to run. Rivers said he's gotten virtually no snaps with the No. 1 offense during practices so far.

Buffalo Bills: J.P. Losman could be cleared to begin practicing within five weeks based on the progress the rookie quarterback has made recovering from a broken left leg.

Now walking without crutches or a protective boot, Losman is scheduled to have an MRI exam this week to better determine his status.

If all goes well, Losman's agent Gary Wichard said his client could be practicing as soon as Nov. 1, the day after the Bills play their seventh game of the season, hosting Arizona.

"We come back that week on Monday morning. I hope he's cleared to go practice," Wichard said. "Yeah, he's doing great."

Bills President Tom Donahoe was unavailable for comment, but he referred to Losman being "way ahead of schedule" in answering fan questions on the team's Web site Monday.

Losman is the Bills' second of two first-round picks, selected 22nd overall, and being groomed as veteran Drew Bledsoe's successor. After two promising preseason performances, Losman broke his fibula during a training camp practice when he fell awkwardly following a collision with teammate Troy Vincent.

The initial prognosis was that Losman would miss between eight and 12 weeks. There were fears, however, that he could miss up to 3 months, the time Atlanta quarterback Michael Vick missed last season after sustaining a similar injury.


Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press

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