NFL Players in the News

by KFFL Staff on May 11, 2006 @ 16:00:00 PDT



QB | Carson Palmer | Cincinnati Bengals | Injury News, Fantasy
Chick Ludwig, of the Dayton Daily News, reports Cincinnati Bengals WR Chad Johnson believes QB Carson Palmer (knee) will be ready for the team's season opener. "I'm not supposed to say that," Johnson whispered during Wednesday's open locker room, May 10, "but I think so. He's walking around, running and lifting (weights), doing everything everyone else does. So I think he's going to be ready to go. When you watch him, you'd think there's nothing wrong with him. You wouldn't know he got hurt."

QB | Marc Bulger | St. Louis Rams | Fantasy
Bill Coats, of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, reports St. Louis Rams offensive coordinator Greg Olson feels one of the team's keys to offensive success is keeping QB Marc Bulger, who missed a total of 10 games over the past two seasons because of injuries to his throwing shoulder, on his feet. "We're going to address how many situations we're putting (Bulger) in where he's vulnerable to being hit," Olson said. "Any time you put in a game plan, those are the first things that come about, protections. How are we going to protect our quarterback? Obviously, that will be a priority." Bulger will be allowed to audible, a luxury he didn't have under former head coach Mike Martz. That should allow him to check out of some perilous situations.

QB | Byron Leftwich | Jacksonville Jaguars | Fantasy
Vic Ketchman, of, reports Jacksonville Jaguars QB Byron Leftwich said he's tired of hearing criticism of his pass-release. "I'm tired of it. It's not going to change. You have to go through something. My throwing motion is going to be my motion. That's the way it is. My throwing motion won't change."

QB | Joey Harrington | Detroit Lions | Free Agency News
The Detroit Free Press reports Detroit Lions team president Matt Millen hasn't given up on trading QB Joey Harrington. "There are still a couple teams that are interested," he said. Harrington insists he will only accept a trade to the Miami Dolphins. Miami head coach Nick Saban has told the media he is still talking to the Lions, but the Dolphins appear content to wait for the Lions to cut Harrington so they can sign him as a free agent.

QB | Brett Favre | Green Bay Packers | Fantasy
Rob Demovsky, of, reports Green Bay Packers QB Brett Favre discussed his career-high 29 interceptions from the 2005 season and how he will change for the upcoming year. Favre said, "Maybe I should have made some different decisions at times, but we had to try to win the ball game with whoever was in there. When you're down, when you're in that situation week in and week out, you have to take chances. Sometimes you take chances and you know the odds are against you, but I'm not going to sit there and throw 3-yard checkdowns and let the clock run out. I'm going to take chances. There's going to be people who agree with that and people who don't, and I don't really care. I think I played 15 years a certain way — aggressively and not pretty at times — but there's been a lot of guys out there who were prettier who are out of the league right now. I don't regret the way I play or the way I approach it, and I don't feel like I should change."

QB | Trent Dilfer | San Francisco 49ers | Transaction
Mike McLain, of the Tribune-Chronicle, reports the draft pick traded by the San Francisco 49ers along with QB Ken Dorsey to the Cleveland Browns in exchange for QB Trent Dilfer was a seventh-round draft pick in the 2007 NFL Draft.

QB | Daunte Culpepper | Miami Dolphins | Injury News
Miami Dolphins head coach Nick Saban said QB Daunte Culpepper (knee) has been participating in nearly all of the team's offseason program. "His straight-line running is fine. He's throwing the ball. He's dropping back. He runs the plays and does the handoffs. He wears a knee brace and he probably does it about three-fourths speed, but we're very pleased with his progress." Saban was not sure when Culpepper will be 100 percent healthy, but noted that Dr. James Andrews graded the quarterback at an A-plus in terms of where he was in the rehab.

Running Back

RB | Clinton Portis | Washington Redskins | Fantasy
Gary Fitzgerald, of, reports Washington Redskins running backs coach Earnest Byner believes the best is yet to come from RB Clinton Portis. The addition of WRs Antwaan Randle El and Brandon Lloyd to go along with WRs Santana Moss and David Patten should prevent defenses from putting eight men in the box, as they've done in the past. Byner said, "I think we'll have some real opportunities to exploit the talents, at every position on offense, but especially the running backs perspective. You have Randle El, and Moss, and Patten, and Lloyd, and when you have those guys, then the defensive safeties have to really take that into account. It's going to provide some additional room for us to run."

RB | Steven Jackson | St. Louis Rams | Fantasy
Bill Coats, of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, reports St. Louis Rams offensive coordinator Greg Olson feels one of the team's keys to offensive success is getting starting RB Steven Jackson at least 20 touches per game, with able support (10 to 12 touches) from backup RB Marshall Faulk. In 2005, his first season as the team's primary back, Jackson got as many as 20 carries just three times; he averaged 129 yards as the Rams went 3-0 in those games. Their record was 1-3 when he had 12 carries or fewer. "If you can get the ball to him 20 times or more, he seems to get better," Olson said. "We think that's a good number to shoot for. He's one of our primary weapons that needs to get (more) touches."

RB | Mewelde Moore | Minnesota Vikings | Injury News, Fantasy
Kevin Seifert, of the Star Tribune, reports Minnesota Vikings RB Mewelde Moore (wrist) will be somewhat limited at this weekend's minicamp, which begins Saturday, May 13, and concludes Monday, May 15.

RB | Ahman Green | Green Bay Packers | Injury News
The Associated Press reports Green Bay Packers RB Ahman Green (thigh) is not expected to suit up until the latter part of training camp. Green resumed running last month.

RB | Najeh Davenport | Green Bay Packers | Injury News
The Associated Press reports Green Bay Packers RB Najeh Davenport (ankle) is "in negotiations" with team doctor Pat McKenzie to get cleared to participate in organized team activities in June. There is a possibility that Davenport will not be ready for action until late July when training camp starts.

RB | Brian Westbrook | Philadelphia Eagles | Injury News, Fantasy
Bob Grotz, of the Delaware County Times, reports Philadelphia Eagles RB Brian Westbrook (foot) says he's recovered from the Lisfranc sprain that cost him the last four games of the 2005 campaign, and that he's a full go for minicamp this weekend. When the offseason is all said and done, he expects to be in the best shape of his professional career to shoulder the new and increased load and to avoid the nagging injuries that shelved him here and there through the years. "Coach (Andy) Reid said he was going to hand the ball off a lot this year, so I'm trying to get ready for that," Westbrook said. "And I'm definitely working forward to it. I've always said the more I touch the ball the more I get into a rhythm, and the better I will be as a player. Last year I didn't touch it as much in the run game as I wanted to."

RB | DeAngelo Williams | Carolina Panthers | Fantasy reports Carolina Panthers head coach John Fox was asked about rookie RB DeAngelo Williams' performance during their weekend minicamp and he replied: "He looked good. He picked things up well. He did well in his pass protection. He looks to have the quickness and elusiveness that we thought he had."

RB | Frank Gore | San Francisco 49ers | Injury News
The Associated Press reports San Francisco 49ers RB Frank Gore (shoulder) has been held out of team drills after having offseason surgery.

RB | Julius Jones | Dallas Cowboys | Fantasy
The Star-Telegram reports Dallas Cowboys head coach Bill Parcells denied a report that the Cowboys were trying to trade Cowboys' RB Julius Jones during the NFL Draft. "No, we were not trying to trade him," Parcells said. Jones is coming off a disappointing year that began with high expectations. "Now durability is a big deal at the running back position," Parcells said. "So he's had a little tough luck. But I think things will get better for him."

RB | Eric Shelton | Carolina Panthers | Fantasy
Pat Yasinskas, of the Charlotte Observer, reports Carolina Panthers RB Eric Shelton has a lot to prove this offseason to make the Panthers roster. Shelton was a second round pick in last year's NFL Draft, but struggled in the preseason to pick up the offense and pass block. He spent the season on injured reserve after suffering a foot injury late in preseason. Shelton could be on the outside looking in, if he doesn't prove his value to the Panthers, who selected RB DeAngelo Williams in the first round this year and already have starter, RB DeShaun Foster. The Panthers depth at the position includes KR Jamal Robertson and FB Nick Goings, who have both proven they can play the running back spot.

Wide Receiver

WR | Donald Driver | Green Bay Packers | Transaction, Fantasy
ESPNews reports Green Bay Packers WR Donald Driver has signed a four-year contract extension with the team. No financial terms of the deal were disclosed.

WR | Jimmy Smith | Retired | Transaction
Vic Ketchman, of, reports WR Jimmy Smith, who is arguably the best player to suit up for the Jacksonville Jaguars, retired Thursday, May 11, at a press conference attended by many former teammates. Smith retires as No. 7 in career receptions in NFL history with 862 catches and No. 11 in career receiving yardage in NFL history with 12,287 yards.

WR | Deion Branch | New England Patriots | Fantasy
John Tomase, of the Boston Herald, reports agent Jason Chayut said there has been no progress towards a contract extension between his client, WR Deion Branch, and the New England Patriots. Branch is in the last year of his five-year rookie contract and is slated to make just over $1 million this season. "It's too early to put a timetable on anything," Chayut said.

WR | Troy Williamson | Minnesota Vikings | Injury News, Fantasy
The Associated Press reports Minnesota Vikings WR Troy Williamson (hip) will miss the team's minicamp May 12 to May 14 after having an abscess removed from his left hip, according to head coach Brad Childress. Childress said the infection was in the area of a skin graft Williamson received when he was 10 years old. He is expected to be ready for training camp in late July.

WR | Javon Walker | Denver Broncos | Injury News, Fantasy
Denver Broncos WR Javon Walker (knee) discussed his 2005 season-ending knee injury during his press conference Wednesday, May 10. Walker said, "I feel good. We're still just taking our time with it (knee). (The) scheduled date is training camp, be ready to go. There's no need to even rush anything right now, but I'm still working out hard." He added, "I haven't done anything to find out if I'm a step slower. When I get to full-speed ahead then I'll realize where I'm at. I don't think that's going to be even a factor. I think I'm going to come back faster than I was before."

WR | Terrell Owens | Dallas Cowboys | Fantasy
Nick Eatman, of, reports Dallas Cowboys head coach Bill Parcells made it clear Friday, May 5, that the team's biggest concern is WR Terrell Owens' ability to pick up the team's offensive system. Parcells said, "The big thing with Terrell for us is he's been in the West Coast offense his whole career with San Francisco and Philadelphia. Now we don't run that, so he's got a whole new offense to learn. So prior to (June) mini-camp, probably for about eight or 10 days, we're going to have meetings with him with our (wide receivers) coach, Todd Haley. He's going to meet with him and we're going to take him out and get him through our offense and hopefully try to catch him up to speed because this will be a transition for him from an offensive standpoint." Parcells isn't worried about him making the adjustment, but hopes he's ready to not catch 100 balls.

WR | Charles Rogers | Detroit Lions | Fantasy
Rob Parker, of the Detroit News, reports Detroit Lions WR Charles Rogers could be given the chance to become the featured wide receiver for the team.

WR | Braylon Edwards | Cleveland Browns | Injury News
Mike McLain, of the Tribune-Chronicle, reports Cleveland Browns WR Braylon Edwards (knee) said Friday, May 5, that he watched the NFL Draft and was impressed with the players selected by the Browns. Asked if there was anything he's been told about his rehabilitation from Jan. 3 knee surgery, Edwards said, "I've been told to keep quiet." He then left the locker room at a slow trot, showing no ill effects of the surgery. Edwards won't be cleared to practice until September, at the earliest.

WR | David Patten | Washington Redskins | Injury News, Fantasy
Casey Husband, of, reports Washington Redskins WR David Patten (knee) is working hard to recover his form after suffering a knee injury in 2005, which cut his season short. Patten had 22 receptions for 217 yards through nine games before suffering the injury. The previous year, Patten had 44 catches for 800 yards and seven touchdowns for the New England Patriots. Redskins head coach Joe Gibbs said; "Losing David in the middle of last year was big blow for us."

Tight End

TE | Jim Kleinsasser | Minnesota Vikings | Fantasy
Sean Jensen, of the Pioneer Press, reports Minnesota Vikings head coach Brad Childress said there would be plenty of room for Vikings' TEs Jim Kleinsasser and Jermaine Wiggins in his offense. "I think you have to keep throwing fastballs at the defense," Childress said. "If you're standing with that personnel package on the field, I think you can become predictable."

TE | Eric Johnson | San Francisco 49ers | Injury News
Chrissy Mauck, of, reports San Francisco 49ers TE Eric Johnson (foot), who spent all of 2005 on the Injured Reserve, will have to prove himself in the offseason in order to keep the starting job away from the team's first-round pick, TE Vernon Davis. However, offensive coordinator Norv Turner may choose to keep both on the field at the same time in place of a wide receiver or a fullback in order to put as many playmakers on the field as possible.

TE | Itula Mili | Seattle Seahawks | Injury News
Mike Sando, of the Tacoma News Tribune, reports Seattle Seahawks TE Itula Mili (Achilles') tested his sore Achilles' tendon during practice.

TE | Anthony Fasano | Dallas Cowboys | Fantasy
Rob Phillips, of, reports Dallas Cowboys TE Anthony Fasano will be used with TE Jason Witten in one-back, two-tight end sets.

TE | Desmond Clark | Chicago Bears | Draft Information, Free Agency News
Fred Mitchell, of the Chicago Tribune, reports Chicago Bears TE Desmond Clark said he can be the tight end the Bears need. The team did not draft a tight end in the NFL draft, but they have signed several rookie free agents at tight end. "We all share the blame for not getting the tight end the ball last year," said Clark, referring to himself, the quarterbacks and the coaching staff. Clark said the team asks their tight ends to do more than catch the ball. "We're asked to do more than catch the ball, and that has been the big issue," said Clark, who caught 24 passes for 229 yards and two touchdowns in 13 games last season. "We need a tight end that catches the ball. That's how I make my money—by catching the ball! When I came into the league, I came in as a receiver. So I'm what people are looking for. We just have to get more of it."

Place Kicker

PK | Robbie Gould | Chicago Bears | Fantasy
Gene Chamberlain, of the Daily Southtown, reports Chicago Bears head coach Lovie Smith discussed the format he would use for the battle at place kicker between incumbent PK Robbie Gould and rookie PK Josh Huston. It won't necessarily take the shape of a day-to-day field goal battle during training camp. "We're just going to do it like every other position," Smith said. "We'll let both of them get their kicks each day, then we'll make a decision during the game who will get the majority of the reps. We just want to put the guys in a situation for them to prove exactly what they have, whether they can help us or not." Huston said his agent had sought out the Bears initially, but didn't target them out of a lack of respect for Gould, who became the starter last year.

Defensive Line

DL | Justin Tuck | New York Giants | Depth Chart Tidbit
Mike Garafalo, of the Star-Ledger, reports New York Giants DE Justin Tuck could see extensive action at defensive tackle on obvious passing downs. The Giants have four excellent pass-rushing defensive ends and will have to find a way to get them all on the field.

DL | Grady Jackson | Free Agent Players | Free Agency News
Bill Coats, of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, reports St. Louis Rams head coach Scott Linehan said the Rams remain interested in free agent DT Grady Jackson (Packers) and free agent DT Jason Fisk (Browns). "We're still talking to those guys. It's just a matter of making (a deal) work," he said.

DL | Michael Strahan | New York Giants | Fantasy
Michael Eisen, of, reports New York Giants DL Michael Strahan believes the Giants defense for the 2006 season could become the finest he's played with in his career. Strahan said, "If we can play the way everybody is capable of playing on this defense, it's lights out. We have four or five Pro Bowlers on defense now. We've never had that. We've had some great defenses. It's going to be hard – we have to show it before I'll say that. But potentially this could be the best, when you look at what guys have accomplished."

DL | Manny Lawson | San Francisco 49ers | Fantasy
Dennis Georgatos, of the Contra Costa Times, reports San Francisco 49ers DL Manny Lawson will likely line up as a rush end opposite the left tackle on passing downs. The team hopes Lawson can provide the them with a consistent pass rush, something they've been lacking for years. "You can do a lot with a guy that has that kind of speed coming of the edge," teammate DT Bryant Young said. "He'll be able to force plays, force fumbles, even if he doesn't get there. He can make the quarterback scramble and force him into other people. It's going to do a lot for everybody across the board."

DL | Dan Cody | Baltimore Ravens | Injury News
Jamison Hensley, of the Baltimore Sun, reports Baltimore Ravens DE Dan Cody (knee) is progressing well from last preseason's knee injury. Based on Cody's strong comeback, team officials expect him to not only be ready for training camp but also to play an expanded role in their defense. Cody, originally slated to be a pass-rush specialist this season, is on track to play outside linebacker. Without a second legitimate safety, team officials have projected that the Ravens could start four linemen, four linebackers and just three defensive backs (two cornerbacks and one safety) - a formation that would allow Cody to get on the field as a starting linebacker. Playing that position is an on-going transition for Cody as he only played defensive end in college. Cody is scheduled to participate in minicamp next weekend, but there is a chance his play could be limited. "I feel like I'm 90 percent," Cody said. "The strength is there. It's just a matter of endurance."

DL | Bertrand Berry | Arizona Cardinals | Injury News
Darren Urban, of the East Valley Tribune, reports Arizona Cardinals DL Bertrand Berry (pectoral) is fully recovered from his torn pectoral muscle.

DL | Kris Jenkins | Carolina Panthers | Injury News
Brett Borden, of, reports Carolina Panthers DL Kris Jenkins (knee) said his torn ACL is harder to come back from than the shoulder injury during the 2004 season. Jenkins said, "The knee has been harder than the shoulder to come back from simply because the knee affects you in more ways on a daily basis." Jenkins has made it through the hardest part of his rehabilitation, but it asking for advice on how to get back on the field. "I've asked some people about their experiences and how they felt when they got back. And knee braces. I asked about those, because I'm not too big on wearing them. But everyone has been giving me a piece of advice and it's been real helpful," said Jenkins.

DL | Tank Johnson | Chicago Bears | Injury News
Brad Biggs, of the Chicago Sun-Times, reports Chicago Bears head coach Lovie Smith said DT Tank Johnson (shoulder) is not expected to be ready for the team's veteran minicamp next month.

DL | Grant Wistrom | Seattle Seahawks | Injury News
The Associated Press reports Seattle Seahawks DL Grant Wistrom (shoulder) will return for the team's training camp. Head coach Mike Holmgren said, "Exactly what part of training camp I don't know yet."

DL | Warren Sapp | Oakland Raiders | Injury News
Jerry McDonald, of the Oakland Tribune, reports Oakland Raiders DL Warren Sapp (shoulder) was limited in practice Friday, May 5. He said he would be ready to go full speed for the June minicamp.


LB | Courtney Watson | Miami Dolphins | Transaction
Updating previous reports, reports the Miami Dolphins have officially acquired LB Courtney Watson from the New Orleans Saints in exchange for LB Eddie Moore.

LB | Brandon Chillar | St. Louis Rams | Depth Chart Tidbit
Bill Coats, of the St. Louis Post Dispatch, reports St. Louis Rams LB Brandon Chillar has the inside track to fill the team's weakside linebacker vacancy.

LB | Chase Blackburn | New York Giants | Injury News
John Altavilla, of the Hartford Courant, reports New York Giants LB Chase Blackburn (neck) is eager to get back on the field having recovered from last season's neck injury. "Now it's all about letting (the injury) go. It's all a part of the game. Everyone's had some type of injury. Then you figure out where to go from there," said Blackburn.

LB | Cato June | Indianapolis Colts | Injury News
Tom James, of the Indianapolis Tribune Star, reports Indianapolis Colts LB Cato June (hernia) is recovering well from a pair of surgeries in February to fix a sports hernia. He expects to be fully healed by training camp. "[The operations] were like two weeks apart. But I should be okay by the starting of training camp. I should be ready to go," said June. He hopes to be able to participate in the teams upcoming minicamp May 19-21.

LB | Robert Thomas | Oakland Raiders | Transaction, Free Agency News's Len Pasquarelli reports the Oakland Raiders have signed free agent LB Robert Thomas (Packers). Thomas was released last week by the Green Bay Packers after the NFL Draft. Thomas has started at both the strongside and weakside spots in the past and his versatility could be valuable to a Raiders team seeking depth and experience. Terms of the deal were undisclosed.

LB | Brady Poppinga | Green Bay Packers | Injury News
Rob Demovsky, of, reports Green Bay Packers LB Brady Poppinga (knee) could push for a starting spot at strongside linebacker if he's healthy in time for training camp, but that could be a long shot. Training camp will open in late July, less than eight months after the injury. General manager Ted Thompson said it's possible Poppinga will start the season on the physically unable to perform list, which would mean he wouldn't be eligible to play the first six weeks of the regular season.


CB | Kelly Herndon | Seattle Seahawks | Injury News
Danny O'Neil, of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, reports Seattle Seahawks CB Kelly Herndon (knee) did not practice Wednesday, May 10. He underwent knee surgery after the season ended, and experienced some swelling last weekend, which is not uncommon when returning from that type of surgery.

CB | Devin Hester | Chicago Bears | Depth Chart Tidbit, Fantasy
Brad Biggs, of the Chicago Sun Times, reports Chicago Bears second-round pick CB Devin Hester already has the inside track to be the team's return man next season. ''It's just a special talent,'' said Hester. ''I'm a person that has real good ball instincts. I'm able to field the ball, No. 1, and then I let my natural ability take over. There ain't nothing stopping me from catching the ball. You could throw three hats at me, and I'm still going to catch the ball.'' Right now Hester is fifth on the depth chart at cornerback and is looking to make his mark on special teams.

CB | Ty Law | Free Agent Players | Free Agency News
Terry McCormick, of the Nashville City Paper, reports the Tennessee Titans remain interested in free agent CB Ty Law (Jets), but still need to firm up a visit with him. General manager Floyd Reese said, "We've got to talk to them and figure out a time to bring him in." The team currently does not have enough salary cap space to sign Law, but would if QB Steve McNair was off the books.

CB | Mike Rumph | San Francisco 49ers | Depth Chart Tidbit
Dennis Georgatos, of the Contra Costa Times, reports San Francisco 49ers CB Mike Rumph has been working out with the second team in his bid to return to the cornerback position after a failed year at safety. "I understand the coaching staff, hasn't seen me at cornerback so I don't have the credibility with these guys," said Rumph. "I'm just going at it like I'm a rookie. I want to be here. Right now, I'm running with the 2's. I just want to get better."

CB | Darrent Williams | Denver Broncos | Injury News reports Denver Bronocs head coach Mike Shanahan recently said there will be an open competition for the starting cornerback spot opposite CB Champ Bailey. The leading candidates are DBs Domonique Foxworth and Darrent Williams. "It was Darrent's position until he got injured (on Dec. 11). Domonique came in and played very well and there are a number of situations where you're in nickel and dime coverage and you need more than two corners. Many times are you facing three- and four-receiver sets where you need some help there. There'll be competition at cornerback."

CB | Nate Clements | Buffalo Bills | Transaction
Updating a previous report, the Associated Press reports Buffalo Bills CB Nate Clements re-signed with the team Friday, May 5. Clements accepted the one-year, $7.2 million contract offer the Bills made after designating him the team's franchise player. The deal was completed in time for Clements to attend the start of the Bills' three-day minicamp.

Strong Safety

SS | Jim Leonhard | Buffalo Bills | Injury News
Chris Brown, of, reports Buffalo Bills SS Jim Leonhard (hamstring) was in attendance, but did not participate in the team's minicamp. Head coach Dick Jauron described the injury as a twinge.

SS | Tony Parrish | San Francisco 49ers | Injury News
Chrissy Mauck, of, reports San Francisco 49ers SS Tony Parrish (leg) is still out with a leg injury.

Free Safety

FS | J.R. Reed | Philadelphia Eagles | Injury News
Dave Spadaro, of, reports Philadelphia Eagles KR/S J.R. Reed (leg) has been cleared to join the team at their post-draft minicamp, an amazing turnaround for a player that was told recently that he might not ever play again. After an impressive rookie season returning kicks for the team, he damaged the peroneal nerve in his knee in the offseason, causing him to have trouble using his right foot. However, with extensive rehabilitation, combined with a custom brace that gives more support to the foot, Reed feels that he is finally able to play football again.

FS | Ken Hamlin | Seattle Seahawks | Injury News
Gregg Bell, of the Associated Press, reports Seattle Seahawks FS Ken Hamlin (head) returned to the field Friday, May 5.

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