Jaguars receiver Walker hospitalized with knee infection
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Jaguars receiver Mike Walker spent the last two years trying to recover from a left knee injury. Now, he's having problems with the other one.
Walker was hospitalized Saturday because of an infection in the joint surrounding his right knee, a setback that could sideline him a few games.
Walker, who has 12 catches for 161 yards this season, sprained the medial collateral ligament in his knee Oct. 5 against Pittsburgh and missed practice all last week.
Coach Jack Del Rio said Walker remained hospitalized Monday, receiving antibiotic treatments in hopes of reducing the infection. Del Rio said Walker did not have surgery or an open wound.
"There's nothing more substantial in terms of ligament damage or cartilage damage or any of those things," Del Rio said. "He just has an infection. They're treating that aggressively. Hopefully that will settle down, but until it does, he's not going to be available."
Del Rio said Walker likely won't play Oct. 26 against Cleveland and could be out even longer, especially with his history of knee problems.
Walker missed all of last season while recovering from surgery on his left knee, which he injured in November 2005 during his junior season at Central Florida.
A third-round draft pick in 2007, Walker had a breakout performance against the Steelers. He caught six passes for 107 yards despite spraining his knee early in the game.
The Jaguars aren't sure when he will return.
"Until I see him, until he's cleared to come back, it's going to be week to week," Del Rio said.
With Walker sidelined and fellow receiver Matt Jones (felony drug charge) possibly facing a suspension for violating the league's code of conduct policy for players, the Jaguars might need to get more production from Jerry Porter and Troy Williamson.
Porter, who signed a six-year, $30 million contract to be the team's go-to receiver, missed the first three games because of a hamstring injury and has just one catch since his return. Williamson, a former first-round pick brought over in a trade with Minnesota, has two receptions for 11 yards.
Del Rio cautioned anyone from expecting too much from Porter.
"He's just not a major part of our plans right now," Del Rio said. "He's been practicing. As a team we've been forced to move on, and we're not just going to force him back in the flow. He's working at it. He's had a couple good weeks of practice. ... It's not about any one guy. It's about the team."
Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press