Turf toe sidelines runner

Updated: December 17, 2004, 8:43 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

Tennessee Titans: Running back Chris Brown will not play Sunday against the Oakland Raiders because of a turf toe injury.

Brown went to Birmingham, Ala., Friday for an appointment with Dr. James Andrews. Brown has worn a walking boot on his left foot this week because of the injury that has limited him to playing only the first half of the past two games.

Titans coach Jeff Fisher said the team had been sending information to Andrews but wanted the doctor to examine Brown's foot.

"We are hopeful he will be able to return, but we are going to hold him out this week because he is sore and we want to get the doctor's opinion," Fisher said.

Brown is ninth in the NFL with 1,067 yards rushing even though he has been playing through the injury for nearly two months.

Miami Dolphins: Miami Dolphins defensive tackle Tim Bowens has received clearance to return next season after playing in just two games this year because of a herniated disc.

Back specialist Frank Eismont determined the injury has healed nicely, said Bowens' agent, Drew Rosenhaus.

"There has been some speculation about whether Tim would retire," Rosenhaus said Friday. "He definitely will not. He absolutely will play again next year, hopefully with the Dolphins."

With the Dolphins' impending coaching change, it's uncertain whether the new regime will want to retain the 31-year-old Bowens. He can't play in Miami's final three games because he's on injured reserve.

Minnesota Vikings: Vikings cornerback Antoine Winfield will miss his second straight game with a high ankle sprain, sitting out Sunday's contest against Detroit.

Vikings coach Mike Tice said the coaching staff didn't want to risk a setback.

Winfield, who was injured Dec. 5 at Chicago, participated in a walkthrough Thursday but hasn't practiced since the injury. He was listed as questionable on Friday's injury report.

Tenth-year veteran Terrance Shaw will start in Winfield's place. Center Matt Birk (sports hernia) and reserve cornerback Ralph Brown (eye) also are out for Sunday's game.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers:The Tampa Bay Buccaneers released defensive tackle Jon Bradley on Friday and replaced him by activating defensive tackle Keith Wright from the practice squad.

Bradley played in six games, finishing with six tackles and one sack.

The Bucs also signed defensive end Corey Smith to the practice squad. He was released from the active roster Wednesday.

Denver Broncos: Defensive tackle Luther Elliss will miss the rest of the season because of a herniated disc in his lower back.

Elliss has missed Denver's last four games with an injured calf. On Thursday, he sat out practice with major back spasms. On Friday, the team announced he was through for the year. The Broncos (8-5) trail San Diego by two games in the AFC West and are tied with Baltimore for the second wild-card spot.

Elliss' injury is similar to the one that has sidelined Trevor Pryce for most of the year, trainer Steve Antonopulos said. Elliss will meet with Dr. Robert Watkins in Los Angeles soon to decide when to have surgery.

Elliss, who was picked up as a free agent in the offseason after nine years in Detroit, also hurt his pectoral muscle late in the preseason and was limited because of that. He finishes the year with six tackles and two sacks in eight games.

Also Friday, the Broncos placed defensive back Willie Middlebrooks on injured reserve with a leg injury. The team did not announce their replacements on the roster.

San Francisco 49ers: According to the San Francisco Chronicle, Tim Rattay could be done for the season.

The quarterback missed last week's game with a torn tendon at the bottom of his left foot and isn't scheduled to start Saturday's game against Washington.

This is the fifth significant injury this season for the quarterback, who has also suffered a separated throwing shoulder and a strained forearm. Only two of the injuries -- the shoulder separation and the foot problem -- came from being hit. Rattay thinks that altering his throwing motion as a result of his groin and shoulder injuries could have led to the forearm strains.

Oakland Raiders: A judge set a competency hearing later this month for a former Raiders kicker charged with shooting at the home of entertainers Siegfried and Roy.

Cole Ford waived his preliminary hearing Friday. He wasn't asked to enter a plea to felony assault with a deadly weapon and other charges in the Sept. 21 shooting.

Las Vegas Justice Court judge James Bixler told Ford to cooperate with a psychological evaluation and bound the case over for a Dec. 28 competency hearing in Clark County District Court.

Ford said he'd like to get his case resolved. His public defender has said he might seek an insanity defense.

He could face up to 27 years in prison if convicted on all charges.

Ford kicked for three seasons with the Raiders after being drafted out of USC in 1995 by the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Detroit Lions: The Lions signed rookie offensive lineman Sean Bubin from Jacksonville's practice squad on Friday.

Bubin was selected by the Jaguars in the fifth round. He allowed just one sack while starting the final 36 games of his college career for Illinois.

Bubin fills the roster spot opened when linebacker Boss Bailey was placed on injured reserve Wednesday.

Information from The Associated Press and SportsTicker was used in this report.

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