NFL Players in the News

by KFFL Staff on August 10, 2006 @ 16:00:00 PDT



QB | Drew Brees | New Orleans Saints | Injury News, Fantasy
The Associated Press reports New Orleans Saints QB Drew Brees (shoulder) wants to play in the team's preseason opener Saturday, Aug. 12, against the Tennessee Titans and claims to be looking forward to getting tackled. Brees says he is not exactly 100 percent healthy, but feels that he is close. He claims his longest throw so far is about 55 yards and that his entire rehabilitation process has gone according to plan, if not better. Brees added, "I've actually gotten stronger every day and it was just as I've anticipated it. I've had a plan for this offseason for each stage of this rehab. It's been that or even exceeded my expectations from day to day."

QB | Michael Vick | Atlanta Falcons | Injury News
Steve Wyche, of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, reports Atlanta Falcons QB Michael Vick (hamstring) will start the preseason opener Friday, Aug. 11. He is not expected to play more than two series.

QB | Mark Brunell | Washington Redskins | Injury News
Gary Fitzgerald, of, reports Washington Redskins QB Mark Brunell (calf) returned to practice Wednesday, Aug. 9. He sustained a minor calf injury during practice early in the week, but downplayed the injury as the reason for missing practice Tuesday, Aug. 8.

QB | Rex Grossman | Chicago Bears | Fantasy
John Mullin, of the Chicago Tribune, reports the Chicago Bears depth chart at quarterback remains unchanged with QB Rex Grossman atop the chart. The team realizes how volatile a quarterback situation can become, particularly with a quality veteran sitting behind an unproven commodity. "You definitely have that in the back of your mind," offensive coordinator Ron Turner said. "You have a couple of guys who are highly competitive (and who) have to have an ego. It has to be handled the right way." The team has made it clear that Grossman is ahead of QB Brian Griese on the depth chart. Playing mostly against second units in the team's preseason games, Griese is likely to compile better statistics than Grossman. But this team expects to be playing in late January and is unlikely to make a switch unless circumstances are dire. Only if the Bears stumble early, and Grossman struggles against three decidedly underdog NFC North rivals, will there be a realistic chance for tension to build. The Bears, obviously, want Grossman to succeed, but their commitment to him isn't so great they stubbornly would cling to him as the starter.

QB | Carson Palmer | Cincinnati Bengals | Injury News, Fantasy
Mark Curnutte, of the Cincinnati Enquirer, reports Cincinnati Bengals QB Carson Palmer (knee) will not play in the preseason opener Sunday, Aug. 13.

QB | Chad Pennington | New York Jets | Injury News, Fantasy
New York Jets head coach Eric Mangini said he is not curious to see what will happen when QB Chad Pennington (shoulder) gets hit for the first time since injuring his rotator cuff last September. "I'm not curious about that," Mangini said. "I'm curious about how those guys block for all the quarterbacks. I honestly would much prefer that none of the quarterbacks get hit. I really don't want any of them to get hit."

QB | Charlie Frye | Cleveland Browns | Injury News, Fantasy
Patrick McManamon, of the Akron Beacon Journal, reports Cleveland Browns QB Charlie Frye (thumb) said his thumb is fine, and he will be fine Thursday, Aug. 10, when the team opens their preseason schedule. Frye hit the thumb on a helmet a week ago.

QB | Ben Roethlisberger | Pittsburgh Steelers | Injury News
Ed Bouchette, of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, reports Pittsburgh Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger (head) would like to play one series in the team's preseason opener Saturday, Aug. 12, versus the Arizona Cardinals, but his status remains undetermined, according to head coach Bill Cowher.

Running Back

RB | Marcel Shipp | Arizona Cardinals | Injury News, Fantasy
Tom Rock, of Newsday, reports the New York Jets have been linked to Arizona Cardinals RB Marcel Shipp, but Shipp's agent, Brad Blank, said he doubted such a deal was in the works. The Jets are looking for running back insurance in case RB Curtis Martin (knee) is sidelined for all or part of 2006.

RB | Tatum Bell | Denver Broncos | Injury News, Fantasy
Tom Rock, of Newsday, reports the New York Jets have some interest in Denver Broncos RB Tatum Bell. The team may need a running back if RB Curtis Martin (knee) is sidelined for the start of the season.

RB | Thomas Jones | Chicago Bears | Injury News, Fantasy
Larry Mayer, of, reports Chicago Bears RB Thomas Jones (hamstring) ran on the side without a limp during practice Wednesday, Aug. 9.

RB | Antowain Smith | Houston Texans | Injury News, Fantasy
The Associated Press reports Houston Texans RB Antowain Smith is expected to start the team's first preseason game because RB Domanick Davis (knee) remains OUT with a knee injury.

RB | Willis McGahee | Buffalo Bills | Fantasy
John Warrow, of the Associated Press, reports Buffalo Bills RB Willis McGahee is leaner, having dropped about 15 pounds from last year, more outgoing with fans and reporters, and happy with the team's new running back-friendly offense. Combined, that has McGahee focused on putting aside what he acknowledges was a tough season for him and for an offense that was divided by distractions and disputes, contributing to Buffalo's 5-11 finish in 2005. Last season McGahee was faulted for not hitting his assigned holes properly. Initial glimpses of offensive coordinator Steve Fairchild's offense have McGahee running more to the outside, which was his strength in college at Miami, while also being used as a receiver.

RB | Jerome Harrison | Cleveland Browns | Fantasy
Patrick McManamon, of the Akron Beacon Journal, reports Cleveland Browns rookie RB Jerome Harrison will have a chance to be the third-down back for the team. If Harrison has a good preseason, it might not bode well for RB Lee Suggs or RB William Green.

RB | Steven Jackson | St. Louis Rams | Injury News, Fantasy
The Associated Press reports St. Louis Rams RB Steven Jackson (Achilles') took part in all of Wednesday's practice, Aug. 10. "He'll be ready to go on Thursday," head coach Scott Linehan said about Jackson.

RB | Tyson Thompson | Dallas Cowboys | Fantasy
Nick Eatman, of, reports Dallas Cowboys RB Tyson Thompson has been getting work behind the No. 1 offensive line the last two days. Head coach Bill Parcells said Wednesday, Aug. 9, he wants Thompson to get involved in the running back mix that will include RB Julius Jones and RB Marion Barber III.

RB | J.J. Arrington | Arizona Cardinals | Fantasy
Matt Simpson, of the East Valley Tribune, reports Arizona Cardinals RB J.J. Arrington has drawn praise from head coach Dennis Green in his second pro camp and is listed as RB Edgerrin James' backup heading into Saturday's preseason opener, Aug. 12, against the Pittsburgh Steelers. Green has said he won't make a decision who is officially No. 2 until the end of the preseason. Arrington has to beat out RB Marcel Shipp to win the job. Finding playing time for Shipp and Arrington, both of whom are expected to contribute on special teams, is made even more difficult by James' versatility. While many starting backs are replaced by a better receiver on third downs or a bigger back in short-yardage situations, James is probably the team's best option in all situations. That could make offensive snaps hard to come by for Shipp and Arrington.

RB | Ahman Green | Green Bay Packers | Injury News reports Green Bay Packers RB Ahman Green (quadriceps) did not participate in the morning practice Wednesday, Aug. 9. Head coach Mike McCarthy said Green has not suffered a setback in his rehabilitation.

RB | Laurence Maroney | New England Patriots | Fantasy
Albert Breer, writing for the Boston Herald, reports New England Patriots RB Laurence Maroney took some reps with the No. 1 offense during practice Wednesday, Aug. 9. During a short period of 11-on-11 work, Maroney would go in with QB Tom Brady while RB Corey Dillon worked with QB Matt Cassel.

RB | Brian Westbrook | Philadelphia Eagles | Injury News
Philadelphia Eagles head coach Andy Reid said Wednesday, Aug. 9, during his press conference RB Brian Westbrook (foot) will not play against the Cleveland Browns Thursday, Aug. 10. While the coach said Westbrook's foot has been healing and the swelling has gone down, he would not give a timetable for his return to action.

RB | Fred Taylor | Jacksonville Jaguars | Injury News
Vito Stellino, of the Florida Times-Union, reports Jacksonville Jaguars RB Fred Taylor (hamstring) returned to practice Tuesday, Aug. 8.

RB | Joseph Addai | Indianapolis Colts | Fantasy
John Oehser, of, reports Indianapolis Colts QB Peyton Manning thinks rookie RB Joseph Addai will benefit from getting time in the preseason games and getting into some live action, "As many reps as he could get with the first group would be beneficial to him, to see what the tempo is like, to say, 'Here are some of the checks,' and to get used to cutting off blocks from (offensive tackles) Tarik (Glenn) and (Ryan) Diem."

RB | Reno Mahe | Philadelphia Eagles | Fantasy
Ashley Fox, of the Philadelphia Inquirer, reports Philadelphia Eagles RB Reno Mahe is currently the team's No. 1 running back, given the injury situation the team is facing at the position. When asked whether the Eagles have enough running backs to have an effective rushing attack, offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg said, "We'll see." "We think we have some pretty good backs on this team," Mornhinweg said. "That's one of the great things about having five preseason games. We're going to find out." During a goal-line drill Tuesday, Aug. 8, Mahe was unable to find any running room and a couple of times was stuffed for what in a game would've been lost yardage. Mahe is smart enough to know he isn't the answer.

RB | Michael Bennett | Kansas City Chiefs | Injury News, Fantasy
Adam Teicher, of the Kansas City Star, reports Kansas City Chiefs RB Michael Bennett (hamstring) is not being hurried back to training camp by the team. Bennett will sit out the preseason game Saturday, August 12, against the Houston Texans and may not return to action until next week. The team wants to protect its newest running back because they know Bennett's speed will bring an added dimension to the offense.

RB | Cedric Benson | Chicago Bears | Injury News, Fantasy
The Associated Press reports Chicago Bears RB Cedric Benson (shoulder) said Tuesday, Aug. 8, that he expects to only miss two to three weeks with a sprained left shoulder. Benson underwent an MRI and said results showed he had suffered a minor dislocation. He is undergoing rehabilitation and added, "They feel like it will be back to normal by the time the regular season comes."

Wide Receiver

WR | Michael Clayton | Tampa Bay Buccaneers | Injury News
David Murphy and Stephen F. Holder, of the St. Petersburg Times, reports Tampa Bay Buccaneers WR Michael Clayton (toe) will play in the preseason game Friday, Aug. 11, according to head coach Jon Gruden and Clayton.

WR | Donte' Stallworth | New Orleans Saints | Injury News
Chris Pika, of, reports New Orleans Saints WR Donte' Stallworth (groin) is questionable for the preseason game Saturday, Aug. 12.

WR | Koren Robinson | Minnesota Vikings | Injury News
Adam Doctolero, of, reports Minnesota Vikings WR Koren Robinson (quadriceps) barely practice Wednesday, Aug. 9, with what appeared to be a quadriceps problem.

WR | Roy E. Williams | Detroit Lions | Fantasy
Tom Kowalski, of, reports Detroit Lions WR Roy E. Williams is using St. Louis Rams WR Torry Holt as the standard and is hoping to match the five-time Pro Bowler's production. Offensive coordinator Mike Martz believes Williams has the ability to become an elite receiver. Martz added, "He's a real student of the game and he's getting in great shape. He understands he's not going to come out of the game and that we're going to keep throwing him the ball. That type of stress and pressure is unusual and he understands that and he's really trying to get himself ready to play."

WR | Hines Ward | Pittsburgh Steelers | Injury News
Gerry Dulac, of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, reports Pittsburgh Steelers WR Hines Ward (hamstring) missed practice Wednesday, Aug. 9.

WR | Rod Smith | Denver Broncos | Injury News
Andrew Mason, of, reports Denver Broncos WR Rod Smith (hamstring) will sit out the preseason game Friday, Aug. 11.

WR | Roddy White | Atlanta Falcons | Injury News
Steve Wyche, of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, reports Atlanta Falcons WR Roddy White (hamstring) returned to practice Wednesday, Aug. 9.

WR | Terrell Owens | Dallas Cowboys | Injury News, Fantasy
Jaime Aron, of the Associated Press, reports Dallas Cowboys WR Terrell Owens (hamstring) ran hard, made cuts and came to some quick stops while catching passes Wednesday, Aug. 9, but did so during two post-practice session with a fourth-string quarterback, not with the rest of the Dallas Cowboys starters. did more of the same in the afternoon, then said he's feeling "81 percent" healthy. "I'm close," said Owens, who wears No. 81. "I play a skill position. My legs are my livelihood. I have to be smart in this situation." Owens missed two practices Wednesday, the ninth and 10th since he first felt the twinge Aug. 2. He still considers himself day-to-day and reiterated that he doesn't expect to play in the preseason opener Saturday night, Aug. 12, in Seattle. Owens said he and head coach Bill Parcells still haven't discussed his injury. He did talk about it with team owner Jerry Jones. Owens has never had a hamstring problem before. An MRI taken Saturday showed no damage, but he was concerned enough to have flown in his own doctors, trainers and an oxygen chamber that speeds recovery.

WR | Steve Smith | Carolina Panthers | Injury News
The Associated Press reports Carolina Panthers WR Steve Smith (hamstring) ran around cones, made quick cuts and lateral moves Wednesday, Aug. 9.

WR | Chad Jackson | New England Patriots | Injury News
Mike Reiss, of the Boston Globe, reports New England Patriots WR Chad Jackson (hamstring) missed the afternoon session Wednesday, Aug. 9. He missed both practice sessions Wednesday.

WR | Marcus Robinson | Minnesota Vikings | Injury News, Fantasy
Sean Jensen, of the Pioneer Press, reports Minnesota Vikings WR Marcus Robinson (neck) left the team's morning practice Wednesday, Aug. 9, with a neck injury.

WR | Jerry Porter | Oakland Raiders | Injury News, Fantasy
The Associated Press reports Oakland Raiders WR Jerry Porter (calf) returned to practice Tuesday, August 8, and practiced with the second-team offense.

WR | Javon Walker | Denver Broncos | Injury News reports Denver Broncos WR Javon Walker (knee) returned to practice Tuesday, Aug. 8.

WR | Anquan Boldin | Arizona Cardinals | Injury News
The Associated Press reports Arizona Cardinals WR Anquan Boldin (hamstring) sat out practice Tuesday, Aug. 8, with a sore hamstring. He might not play in the team's preseason opener Saturday, Aug. 12.

WR | Brandon Lloyd | Washington Redskins | Injury News
Gary Fitzgerald, of, reports Washington Redskins WR Brandon Lloyd (hip) sat out practice Tuesday, Aug. 8, with a hip flexor.

WR | Ashley Lelie | Denver Broncos | Free Agency News, Fantasy's Len Pasquarelli reports the Chicago Bears apparently have a renewed interest in Denver Broncos WR Ashley Lelie. Although the Bears still don't appear ready to trade RB Thomas Jones for Lelie, they may be ready to trade DL Michael Haynes for Lelie. Published reports indicated that the Bears recently offered a fourth-round draft choice for Lelie, but that the Broncos are holding out for more, with several other potential suitors interested in Lelie. However, adding a player to the trade mix like Haynes, a player who seems to have fallen out of favor with Chicago coaches, might get the Broncos' interest. League sources said that the Bears might be willing to deal Haynes as part of a package to acquire Lelie. Denver may no longer need to acquire a running back, having seemingly unearthed another gem at the position, with head coach Mike Shanahan this week elevating undrafted free agent RB Mike Bell to the top of the depth chart. It is believed that Haynes would welcome the opportunity for a fresh start and that Chicago officials are hoping he plays well early in the preseason, to perhaps enhance his trade value.

WR | Deion Branch | New England Patriots | Fantasy
Albert Breer, of the MetroWest Daily News, reports New England Patriots WR Deion Branch (holdout) was absent from practice Tuesday, Aug. 8.

WR | Mark Clayton | Baltimore Ravens | Injury News
Jamison Hensley, of the Baltimore Sun, reports Baltimore Ravens WR Mark Clayton (hamstring) acknowledged following his first workout Monday, Aug. 7, that he is only at 70 percent right now, but that he would be fully recovered by opening day.

WR | Lee Evans | Buffalo Bills | Injury News
Chris Brown, of, reports Buffalo Bills WR Lee Evans (shoulder) returned to practice Monday, Aug. 7.

Tight End

TE | Kris Mangum | Carolina Panthers | Injury News reports Carolina Panthers TE Kris Mangum (foot) missed practice Wednesday, Aug. 9.

TE | Jerramy Stevens | Seattle Seahawks | Injury News
Gregg Bell, of the Associated Press, reports Seattle Seahawks TE Jerramy Stevens (knee) returned to practice Wednesday, Aug. 9, for the first time since surgery on his left knee April 25.

TE | Jeremy Shockey | New York Giants | Injury News
Michael Eisen, of, reports New York Giants TE Jeremy Shockey (concussion) will not play in the preseason opener Friday, Aug. 11.

TE | Alex Smith | Tampa Bay Buccaneers | Fantasy
Chris Harry, of the Orlando Sentinel, reports the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have big plans for their tight ends in 2006. TE Alex Smith isn't the only person in the blueprint, though. "In my mind, I believe I'm one of the best blockers, if not the best, in the NFL at my position," said Anthony Becht, a seven-year veteran preparing for his second season in Tampa Bay. "Whether that speaks to my abilities, I don't know. But it definitely means something to me." When Becht showed at One Buc Place in early March, he was seven pounds heavier but also faster, quicker and more explosive. It has carried over in training camp, where Becht is making catches in the flat and releasing for throws down the middle. And he still moves the pile when asked to block. "We brought Alex in for specific roles, like stretching the field," said Becht, who turned 29 Tuesday. "But I have a role that's my own, and I'm comfortable and confident with what I can do. I think we're going to be a great combo."

TE | Eric Johnson | San Francisco 49ers | Fantasy
Dennis Georgatos, of the San Jose Mercury News, reports San Francisco 49ers TE Eric Johnson wants to regain his play-making role he displayed during the 2004 season. Johnson missed all of last season with a torn plantar fascia in his right foot and he was sidelined for all of 2003 after suffering a broken collarbone while making a catch in the exhibition opener. "I'm not looking to the past at all, but I haven't played in a game for a long time," Johnson said. "I'll be nervous. I'm nervous before every game. But once you're in there, that focus just takes over and you just play. It'll be a good test." On several occasions last season, head coach Mike Nolan questioned Johnson's durability. At the end of last season, Johnson told the coach he bought into his program and promised to toughen his body. Nolan noted this week that Johnson was one of about a dozen players who attended every offseason workout. The coaches have taken note. There is increased talk about using two tight-end formations to get Johnson and rookie TE Vernon Davis on the field at the same time.

TE | Alge Crumpler | Atlanta Falcons | Injury News reports Atlanta Falcons head coach Jim Mora said he will not play TE Alge Crumpler (knee, shoulder) during preseason games.

TE | Todd Heap | Baltimore Ravens | Fantasy
The Associated Press reports Baltimore Ravens TE Todd Heap is delighted QB Steve McNair is the team's new starting quarterback. "Todd Heap is going to love playing with Steve, and Steve is going to love throwing to Todd," said former Titans tight end Frank Wycheck, one of McNair's favorite targets during his tenure in Nashville. With McNair everything seems to be setting up well for Heap and a Ravens offense that finished 24th in total offense last season. "I've been watching Steve for a long time and you can see that he does like the tight end, but you can also see that he just goes through his progressions," Heap said. "It's not like he's looking for one guy out there. He's going to hit the open guy. That's really what we need to focus on: taking what the defense gives us, hitting the open guy."

TE | Benjamin Watson | New England Patriots | Injury News
Albert Breer, of the MetroWest Daily News, reports New England Patriots TE Benjamin Watson (undisclosed) was absent from practice Tuesday, Aug. 8.

Place Kicker

PK | Mike Vanderjagt | Dallas Cowboys | Fantasy
Todd Archer, of the Dallas Morning News, reports Dallas Cowboys PK Mike Vanderjagt missed three more attempts during practice Wednesday, Aug. 9. He missed from 33 yards, 38 yards and 43 yards. All of his kicks missed to the right, with the final kick hitting the upright.

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