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Jewelry, cash stolen, but police nab suspects

1/3/2005

Pittsburgh Steelers: The town house of wide receiver
Plaxico Burress was burglarized by three men accused of taking
nearly $63,000 in jewelry, cash and other items before the team
played the Buffalo Bills.

About 90 minutes before Sunday's game, a neighbor called police
after he saw a man ring Burress' doorbell, climb onto a
second-floor balcony and forcibly enter the home, police
spokeswoman Tammy Ewin said Monday.

The man went inside and let in two others, Ewin said. The men
ran away, but police caught them in a wooded area near the
Allegheny River a few minutes later.

Police identified the suspects as Gary Dollman, 24, of Lower Burrell, and two 21-year-old men from New Kensington -- Alfred
Collymore and Victor Jones. They remained jailed early Monday,
unable to post bond, and face a preliminary hearing Jan. 10.

The team had no comment Monday, Steelers spokesman Ron Wahl
said.

Cleveland Browns: The Browns have begun to interview candidates for their vacant general manager post, ESPN's Chris Mortensen reports.

Browns' owner Randy Lerner and president and CEO John Collins have traveled to Baltimore and Jacksonville recently to interview the Ravens' director of player personnel, Phil Savage, and the Jaguars' director of pro personnel, Charles Bailey for Cleveland's GM job.

Falcons assistant GM Tim Ruskell turned down an opportunity to interview for the position.

It is unknown whether or not the Patriots were called about vice president of player personnel Scott Pioli. Pioli said last month that he would remain in New England through the length of his contract, which expires in 2006.

Green Bay Packers: Pro Bowl wide receiver Javon Walker and
tight end Bubba Franks are expected to play in Green Bay's
wild-card game against the Minnesota Vikings after being injured
Sunday in Chicago.

Walker had his head slammed into the ground and Franks jammed
his left knee.

Coach Mike Sherman said Monday that backup running back Najeh
Davenport, who missed the regular season finale with a strained
shoulder, also is expected to play against the Vikings next Sunday.

But wide receiver Robert Ferguson is unlikely to play after
missing the last two regular season games following a hit Dec. 19
by Jacksonville's Donovin Darius that left him temporarily
paralyzed. Sherman did not yet rule him out entirely, however.

Sherman said Walker likely suffered a mild concussion but will
practice Wednesday when the players return from a two-day break. He
said Franks has a bruised knee.

Backup linebackers Paris Lenon (hyperextended elbow) and Steve
Josue (bruised hip) and backup fullback Vonta Leach (shin bruise,
sprained ankle) also were expected to practice this week. Lenon
will be fitted with a splint.

Ferguson, the Packers' No. 3 wide receiver and kick returner, is
still dealing with weakness on his left side and Sherman said he
would have to "come a significant way" to be cleared to return.

"But I think once it comes, it comes. From my understanding, he
could wake up today and be markedly better," Sherman said.

Tennessee Titans: With Steve McNair's return next season
still in question while he recovers from surgery, the Titans are in no hurry to put his trusty backup under the knife.

Billy Volek separated his throwing shoulder Sunday in the fourth
quarter of Tennessee's 24-19 victory over Detroit, and coach Jeff
Fisher said the quarterback would have an MRI on Monday. Results
were not available, but an exam prompted doctors to consult with
specialists.

McNair had surgery to graft bone to his sternum last week, and
the Titans are anxiously waiting to hear if the NFL's co-MVP in
2003 is confident enough in the repair to return for 2005. That is
why they want to make the right decision for Volek.

He started eight games this season in place of McNair, and
finished seventh in AFC passer rating. Volek threw for 2,486 yards,
18 touchdowns and 10 interceptions. He became only the fourth
quarterback in NFL history to throw for at least 400 yards in
consecutive games.

Volek separated his shoulder where the joint meets the clavicle.
Fisher said that impacts the throwing mechanics and rotator cuff.

Washinton Redskins: Mark Brunell is uncertain whether he would
be content to return the Redskins as a backup.

Brunell, who was benched in favor of Patrick Ramsey in November,
commented Monday for the first time on coach Joe Gibbs'
announcement two weeks ago that Ramsey will be the starter next
season.

"I want to play, there's no question," Brunell said. "I'm
confident that I can still play, no doubt about that. It would be
hard to be a backup as it has been the last few weeks."

Brunell, 34, ranked last in the league in completion percentage
when he was benched during the first half against Cincinnati on
Nov. 14. Brunell's stats were the worst of his 11-year career, and
he failed to throw for 100 yards in five of his nine starts.

Ramsey led the Redskins to victories in three of their last five
games as the team finished 6-10.

Brunell said he came to Washington expecting to start when he
signed a seven-year, $43 million contract after being traded from
Jacksonville for a third-round draft pick. He said he was surprised
when Gibbs announced that there wouldn't be an open competition for
the 2005 starting job.

Indianapolis Colts: Three Colts -- tight end Dallas Clark, linebacker Rob Morris and wide receiver Troy Walters -- were
being tested for concussions Monday.

All three still are expected to play in Sunday's first-round
playoff game against Denver.

Coach Tony Dungy said the Colts escaped Sunday's 33-14 loss at
Denver without any serious injuries or losing additional players
for this week's playoff rematch with the Broncos.

Clark was the most significant player added to the injury list.
A starter in the Colts' standard double tight end formations, Clark
was hurt in the first quarter when Denver safety John Lynch
delivered a bone-jarring hit. Lynch was called for a penalty on the
play.

Walters also was hurt during Sunday's game, but Dungy did not
appear worried about his availability.

Morris sat out Sunday's game after suffering a concussion in a
victory over San Diego a week earlier.

"We made it through without any serious injuries," Dungy said.

Detroit Lions: Lions offensive coordinator Sherman Lewis will retire at the end of the month, Detroit coach Steve Mariucci said Monday.

"He has coached one year of high school, 14 years in college
(at Michigan State) and 22 years in the National Football League,"
Mariucci said. "He has been excellent. Sherman and I go way back
to Green Bay, where he and I joined Mike Holmgren in 1992.

"He's going to take time with his family and his wife, Toni,
and enjoy himself a little bit."

Lewis, 62, joined the Lions in 2002. He was Minnesota's
offensive coordinator from 2000-01 and Green Bay's offensive
coordinator from 1992-99.

His NFL coaching career started in 1984 with San Francisco. The
former Michigan State standout halfback was a Spartans assistant
from 1969-82.

Minnesota Vikings: Strong safety Corey Chavous broke his left elbow in the regular-season finale against the Redskins and is not expected to play in Minnesota's wild-card game Sunday at Green Bay.

Chavous was scheduled for an MRI on the left elbow he hurt in Sunday's loss to Washington, and coach Mike Tice said it's probably broken. Chavous said Sunday he would not play.

Wide receiver Kelly Campbell separated his right shoulder in the
regular-season finale against the Redskins, and nickel cornerback
Terrance Shaw sustained an unspecified rib injury. All three
players are questionable at best for this week, Tice said.

Special teams captain Willie Offord will replace Chavous, and
cornerback Rushen Jones will move to safety to back up Offord and
free safety Brian Russell.

The Vikings (8-8) have lost seven of their last 10 games, and
were beaten twice this season by the NFC North champion Packers.
Green Bay won the division by beating Minnesota on Dec. 24.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.