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Foster: 'It was within the scheme'

10/28/2004

Denver Broncos: Tackle George Foster defended himself
Thursday after critics suggested he went out of his way to injure
Cincinnati defensive lineman Tony Williams in Monday night's game.

"I just want people out there to know that I'm not that type of
guy," Foster said. "I would never do anything like that on
purpose."

During Denver's 23-10 loss, Foster came back on a play and took
Williams out by diving at his legs. Williams had surgery for a
broken ankle this week and will be out for the rest of the season.

"It was within the scheme. You want to get the backside
people," Foster said. "You want to get the backside people down.
That's the only reason for the cut block."

Denver's offensive linemen for years have avoided talking with
reporters once the season begins. Foster said the criticism left him
no choice but to break the code of silence.

Foster said he was concerned about what happened to Williams.
And concern for his own well being.

"My concern would be if somebody takes shots back at me
physically," Foster said. "It was something I would not do to
anybody intentionally so I would hope they would never do that to
me."

The NFL issued a statement that the block was within the rules
and that Foster would not be fined.

Green Bay Packers: The club's top three offensive
performers missed practice again as quarterback Brett
Favre
, running back Ahman Green and lineman Marco Rivera were on
the sideline.

Favre's right hand is swollen and black and blue after he
sprained it Sunday against Dallas.

Rivera has a sprained ankle, and Green a sore Achilles tendon.

Favre decided another day of rest was better than trying to
practice, and he only threw on the side.

"They put some tape on it today and he was going to try. He
threw a little bit and was thinking about taking some snaps. But I
think it's still too tender," offensive coordinator Tom Rossley
said.

Rossley said the Packers are concerned that taking snaps would
aggravate the injury, which could prevent Favre from playing. Favre
hasn't missed a start in more than 11 years.

Rossley said it's imperative, however, that Favre practice soon
because he needs to get ready for the heavy blitzing the Washington
Redskins are expected to employ Sunday.

Minnesota Vikings: Receiver Randy Moss definitely will suit up for Minnesota's game against the New York Giants
this weekend despite a hamstring injury, coach Mike Tice said.

Tice still wouldn't say what kind of role Moss would play. Moss
strained his right hamstring Oct. 17 at New Orleans. He made a
token start last week against Tennessee to keep his consecutive
games streak alive at 102, but was limited to two snaps of decoy
duty.

But Tice was encouraged by Moss' progress in practice this week.
He was held out for portions of practice Wednesday and Thursday.

"Randy looked very good in the things that he approached and
the things that he did today," Tice said. "His approach is much
more focused and (he'll) definitely suit up this week and not just
to keep the string going."

Chicago Bears: Rookie defensive tackle
Tommie Harris was fined $5,000 for knocking Tampa Bay Buccaneers
quarterback Brian Griese to the ground Sunday during a dead ball
situation.

Harris said he plans to appeal the fine, his second of
the season.

"I don't understand how the NFL gives me a 15-yard penalty and
then fines me $5,000 for that," Harris said.

Harris was offside on the play and officials whistled action
dead when he came in unabated toward Griese. Harris pushed Griese
to the ground and drew a 15-yard penalty for unnecessary roughness,
a penalty that helped lead to a Bucs field goal.

It was the second fine of the season for Harris, who leads the
Bears with 2½ sacks

He drew a $2,500 fine for an incident on Sept. 26 against
Minnesota.

San Francisco 49ers: Quarterback Tim Rattay didn't practice and his status is in doubt for
Sunday night's game at Chicago.

Rattay continues having pain in his throwing forearm, an injury
that surfaced before the team's Oct. 17 game against the New York
Jets.

The soreness remained when he began throwing again after the
49ers returned from their bye week Monday.

Rattay wasn't on San Francisco's injury report Wednesday, but he
appeared on that list Thursday as questionable.

Coach Dennis Erickson didn't seem as optimistic as he was
earlier in the week that Rattay will be able to play against the
Bears.

"It bothered him today," Erickson said. "We just have to wait
and see how it is. It's a day-by-day evaluation. If he can play,
he'll play. If not, then we go with Ken (Dorsey)."

New York Jets: Defensive coordinator Donnie
Henderson has seen his secondary give up way too many big plays
this season.

So he decided to fix the situation by working more with the
defensive backs this week, during meetings and in practice. A
former defensive backs coach himself, Henderson wants to curb the
"explosion plays" that have plagued his defense.

"We give up explosion plays, that's our issue," Henderson
said. "If we didn't give up explosion plays we'd be sitting up
there in the upper echelon of defenses in this league."

As of now, they rank 11th heading into Monday night's game
against Miami. In addition to helping the defensive backs more,
Henderson has decided to use safety Jon McGraw more often in a
rotation with Reggie Tongue and Erik Coleman.

That might help solve the problems. The Jets have given up 19
pass plays of 20 yards or more. In five of the six games, the Jets
have allowed a pass play of 40 yards or more. In all, the defense
has given up nine pass completions of 30 yards or more, including
three for touchdowns.

A big reason is all the new faces. Three of the four starters in
the secondary were not with the team when the 2003 season began.

Jacksonville Jaguars: Running back Fred Taylor
returned to practice and expects to play at Houston this
week.

Taylor sat out drills Wednesday with a strained quadriceps
muscle. He was listed as questionable for Sunday's game.

Coach Jack Del Rio said he expects Taylor to start against the
Texans.

Taylor suffered the injury in the second half of last Sunday's
game at Indianapolis, pulling up at the end of a long run and
limping back to the sideline. He returned to finish with 174 total
yards: 107 rushing and 67 receiving.

It was his first 100-yard rushing performance of the season.