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IDP Notes
Week 8
10/27/04

Quick Hits (Details in individual team notes)

- Week Eight Bye: CLE, NO, STL, TB
- WAS LB mess: Arrington aggravates knee, Barrow done?
- TB DE Simeon Rice sighting!
- JAX Greg Favors thrives in converting from LB to DE
- TEN DLine a mess: Carter back to DE, LaBoy steps up
- DEN CB Champ Bailey toasted, but provides hot stats
- BUF DE Aaron Schobel on a tear after slow start
- GB DT Grady Jackson returns, Sharper and Harris dinged
- CLE Crocker replaces Little at FS
- JAX add LB Jason Gildon
- BAL CB Deion Sanders comeback paying off
- LB shakeups in CIN, CLE, KC, NO, STL, and SEA
- DET DLine continues to produce

Week Eight Injury Report (available Wednesday PM)

Arizona

The Cards flew out of the bye with a significant upset of Seattle, led by several huge individual efforts, including four interceptions. Each of their top three CBs had one. After the offense turned over the ball deep in Seattle territory on the first drive of the game, Renaldo Hill got his team the momentum back picking off Hasselbeck three plays later. Arizona put of the first points of the game with a TD on the following drive. Duane Starks and David Macklin had interceptions to end each of Seattle's last two drives, and preserve the victory. Rookie LB Karlos Dansby also had an interception.

FS Ifeanyi Ohlatete led the team with 6 solo tackles. SS Adrian Wilson had 3 solo tackles and two passes defensed. He leads the team in tackles for the season.

LB Ray Thompson had the only sack for the team. Reserve LB Gerald Hayes also had a key play. With Arizona trailing for the first time in the game in the 4th quarter, Hayes blocked a punt that went out of the end zone for a safety, giving the Cardinals a lead back they never relinquished.

Recently released FS Dexter Jackson could be the subject of a bidding war by several teams if he proves he is healthy in workouts. In deep leagues if he's still on your roster, you might want to wait another week or two, if you can afford to, before dropping him.

Atlanta

The Falcons entered Sunday's game with the number one rushing defense. 185 minutes, 271 yards, and 8 TDs later, they weren't. Some injuries contributed to their demise, but mostly they just plain got beat up. MLB Chris Draft missed his second game due to a toe injury, he expects to play next week. Jamie Duncan replaced him and posted 3 solo tackles. Rookie Demorrio Williams saw significant time and posted 8 solo tackles. DT Rod Coleman also missed his second game, still recovering from a knee injury in his car accident. He had arthroscopic knee surgery is expected to miss 2-4 more weeks. Rookie Chad Lavalais started in his place with a cast on his broken hand. FS Cory Hall was inactive with a back injury and Kevin McCadam started in his place. 1st round pick DeAngelo Hall didn't start, but saw some action in his first game. He finished with a pass defended.

Baltimore

With Jamal Lewis gone, the defense stepped in to provide the fire-power for the stagnant offense. Nickel corner Deion Sanders returned an INT 48 yards for to give the Ravens the lead in the 1st quarter. It was the first of two INTs for Sanders on the day, and his third on the season. While he only has 4 tackles on the year, Sanders is a great comeback story. The man and the team knew the value he could add, but were realistic about his limitations, and he was put in a position to succeed and has done so. Reserve S Chad Williams crushed the Bills' hopes for a comeback by picking a pass at Baltimore's own one yard-line and returning it 94 yards to set up a FG, putting the game away, in the 4th quarter. SS Ed Reed also had an INT, in addition to 5 solo tackles. Reed and Sanders lead the team with 3 interceptions.

LB Terrell Suggs had 7 tackles (6 solo) and 2 sacks, as well as forcing a fumble on one of the sacks. Suggs now has 4 sacks in his last two games, had his third multi-sack game, and has 7 on the season, putting him second in the AFC. LB Adalius Thomas and DE Anthony Weaver also had sacks, the second of the season for each. MLB Ray Lewis led the team with 12 tackles (8 solo).

Buffalo

Coming off a career-high 11.5 sacks last season, DE Aaron Schobel was shutout the first three weeks of the season. He had 2 Sunday, giving him a team-high 5.5 on the season (third in AFC), all in the last three games. He forced a fumble on his first sack, the second play of the game, that was recovered by Jeff Posey and led to a FG. Schobel had 2 other solo tackles, as well.

LB Takeo Spikes led the team 11 tackles (8 solo) and had a sack. MLB London Fletcher had a sack to go with 9 tackles (7 solo).

CB Troy Vincent remains inactive, and is not expected back this week, but SS Lawyer Milloy returned and played in his first game of the season. Milloy had 6 tackles (4 solo).

Carolina

LB Mark Fields returned and DE Mike Rucker was back after leaving with an irregular heartbeat last week, but it wasn't enough to prevent another loss for Carolina. Rucker managed only a pass defended, continuing his nightmare season. Fields had 3 tackles (1 solo).

MLB Dan Morgan remains healthy and his breakout season continues. He had 6 solo tackles, a sack, and recovered a fumble forced by SS Mike Minter. CB Ricky Manning led the team with 7 solo tackles.

Travares Tillman started at FS in place of Colin Branch, who has a broken thumb. However, Branch was forced to return when Tillman suffered an arm injury. Branch finished with 5 solo tackles and a pass defended, while Tillman had 2 solo tackles before leaving.

Chicago

Another decent effort by the bend-but-don't-break Bears defense was ruined by more offensive ineptness and penalties. After a potential early lead was erased by an offensive penalty, the Chicago defense suffered from two questionable defensive penalties that turned the game. Buried deep in their own territory early in the game, Tampa Bay was in trouble on 3rd and 7 when 1st round pick Tommie Harris went offsides. On his way passed the line, Harris pushed QB Brian Griese, who took a Vlade Divac flop, and drew an Unnecessary Roughness call, giving the Bucs a 1st down and keeping alive a drive that ended with a FG, the first score of the game. Other than that, Harris had a strong game disrupting the middle and contributing 4 solo tackles and a sack.

Then, the first play of the 4th quarter, Tampa Bay had a 3rd and 6 at their own 12 yard-line. WR Michael Clayton slipped and R.W. McQuarters intercepted a pass. The official behind the play assumed contact from McQuarters knocked Clayton down, and flagged him for Pass Interference. The penalty sustained the drive and took away the chance for great field position with the Bears down by only 6 at the time.

MLB Brian Urlacher, put up decent stats, 8 tackles (6 solo) and forced a fumble, but is clearly still hampered by his hamstring injury. He had a limp in his run as he tried to keep up with Michael Pittman on a wheel run out of the backfield completed to the open Pittman for a 46-yard gain. FS Todd Johnson continues to produce and display good instincts. He took the angle to catch Pittman and prevent a TD on the reception Urlacher was beaten on and also recovered the fumble Urlacher forced. In addition to the fumble recovery, Johnson finished with 8 tackles (7 solo). At SS, Mike Green recovered a fumble, as well. After SLB Hunter Hillenmeyer came down from contain to make an impressive hit on Mike Alstott, ball came loose as Alstott twisted in pain from a knee injury occurring on the play. Hillenmeyer was credited with the forced fumble and Green recovered it before Alstott went down. Hillenmeyer continues to impress, also having 7 tackles (6 solo).

DE Adewale Ogunleye was inactive with a leg injury. While Ogunleye informed the media it was a small ligament tear, HC Lovie Smith either refuted that, possibly upset Ogunleye revealed such details before the game, saying he knew was it was a muscle strain around the ankle. Ogunleye also said he'd been suffering from tendonitis for a few weeks. This could be attributed to him sitting out all of camp and preseason while a holdout with Miami. No timetable is given for his return, but it doesn't appear to be serious. It was the first game Ogunleye missed in his career. Former 1st round pick Michael Haynes started in Ogunleye's place and finished with 3 tackles (2 solo). On the other side, Alex Brown was applying good pressure, but was held multiple times and failed to register a sack. He finished with 6 tackles (4 solo).

Cincinnati

CB Deltha O'Neal, a former Pro Bowler, never understood why he was run out of Denver by HC Mike Shannahan. Regardless, on Monday night, he got a chance for a little revenge. While Denver's new favorite CB was getting abused by the Bengals offense, O'Neal contributed 4 tackles (3 solo), intercepted one pass and knocked away another against his old team. His interception was returned 29 yards and set up a FG. He also safely handled 4 punts, an area in which fumbling caused part of his move to the doghouse in Denver. Finally, on a play heading out of bounds, he unintentionally(?) ran into Mike Shannahan, knocking him down. That doesn't show up in the box score, but O'Neal had to enjoy it.

SS Rogers Beckett remains a scratch recovering from a concussion and Kevin Kaesviharn continues to start in his place. Rookie Madieu Williams, who has slowed down after a fast start, saw some significant time, as well. He finished with 4 tackles (3 solo), including being the last man left to stop Reuben Droughns on couple of runs, and recovered a fumble by Droughns forced by LB Brian Simmons. Simmons had a big day, in addition to the forced fumble, he led the team with 9 tackles (5 solo) and had a sack. Williams and Simmons are tied for the team lead in tackles with 32.

DE Justin Smith laid out Jake Plummer with a couple sobering sacks, knocking the ball loose on one and posting 6 total tackles (4 solo). It was his first two-sack game since his rookie season.

The revolving door at MLB landed back on rookie Caleb Miller. After assuming the job when Nate Webster was out for the season, Miller failed to impress and fellow rookie Landon Johnson got a shot last week. Johnson left the game early after a blow to the head, and Miller was back in. While Miller got the start Sunday and finished with 4 tackles (1 solo), Johnson was active and replaced him during the game, posting 3 tackles (1 solo) and a pass defended. It looks like Johnson gets the start this week.

DT Tony Williams suffered a dislocated ankle on a typical cheap Denver cut block by OT George Foster. Williams is believed to be done for the year. Carl Powell is likely to replace him.

Cleveland

Chris Crocker will replace Earl Little as the starting FS this week.

After thriving in a reserve role the last few weeks, LB Kevin Bentley moved into the starting lineup ahead of Chaun Thompson and did nothing.

CB Daylon McCutcheon led the team with 9 solo tackles. MLB Andra Davis had 7 tackles (6 solo) and an INT, the only turnover the Browns forced in the game.

DT Gerard Warren had a sack, giving him one in back-to-back games since returning after missing 2 games with a pectoral injury. DE Ebenezer Ebukan also had a sack for the second straight game, tying him with Kenard Lang for the team lead.

Dallas

As Marcellus Wiley continues to under whelm, reserve DE Eric Ogbogu, of "We Must Protect This House" Under Armour fame, saw more time. He had 3 solo tackles and a sack.

MLB Dat Nguyen led the team with 9 tackles (5 solo) and FS Roy Williams had 8 (6 solo). Williams briefly displayed some of his explosiveness and playmaking ability blowing up Ahman Green for a loss on a second quarter carry. Both assets have been restrained this season as he helps cover for deficiencies in the secondary brought on by injuries. More duty in pass coverage has not allowed him to spend as much time around the line of scrimmage and left him without a big play (sack, INT, ff) so far this season.

Denver

Denver parted with their franchise RB to bring in Champ Bailey with a big contract to be the shutdown corner they've lacked. On Monday night, they didn't get their money's worth. Despite looking good in winning a battle with a nice break on a ball to cut in front of WR Chad Johnson and pick off a pass deep in Denver territory, Bailey was destroyed in the war. Locked on Johnson all night, Bailey was toasted on two 50+ yard completions and allowed Johnson to finish with 7 receptions for 149 yards and a TD. Having to tackle Johnson all night did allow for some nice fantasy production, in addition to the INT, Bailey tied for the team lead with 8 tackles (7 solo).

It wasn't all Bailey's fault, as the Bronco defense failed to get much pressure on Carson Palmer. MLB Al Wilson had the only sack of the day. He also had 8 tackles (5 solo). The team's leading tackler for the season, 1st round pick D.J. Williams had 8 tackles, as well, including 3 on special teams.

CB Lenny Walls, who dislocated his shoulder for a second time this season the previous week, was inactive. Replacing him at the nickel, Willie Middlebrooks did some nice work, particularly in breaking up a fade in the end zone before the half, helping Denver hold Cincinnati to a FG after a 1st and 10 at the Broncos 14 yard-line.

Detroit

CB Chris Cash had a strong debut as a rookie in 2002, but injuries cost him 2003. With the addition through free agency of Dre' Bly in 2003 and Fernando Bryant this last off-season, Cash has been in a reserve role this year. On Sunday, Bryant was inactive with a sprained ankle and Cash had his first start since 2002. He made the most of his opportunity with 5 solo tackles and a key INT. With the Giants leading 10-7 and deep in Detroit territory in the waning seconds of the first half, Kurt Warner took something off a pass to Amani Toomer in the end zone to make it an easy catch for Toomer. Instead, thanks to an excellent close and athletic dive, it was an INT for Cash that kept the game close and swung the momentum heading in to halftime.

The Lions defense, particularly the front 4, were getting after the QB and hitting people. They totaled 6 sacks and forced 5 fumbles (3 of them on sacks), but they weren't quick enough to the ball, recovering only 1 of those fumbles. Breakout DE James Hall had 4 solo tackles and a sack on which he also forced the fumble. Hall leads the team with 5.5 sacks. Reserve DE Kalimba Edwards had the fumble recovery off Hall's sack, in addition to forcing one of his own on a sack that ended the Giants' last possession of the game. It was 1 of 2 sacks on the day for Edwards. DE Cory Redding also had the first sack and forced fumble of his career. Redding is a DT/DE tweener and at close to 300 pounds is better suited as an anchor end on run situations. Edwards should continue to earn more time on passing downs.

DT Shaun Rogers was carted off the field in the 2nd quarter with a calf injury, but he returned in the second half and registered a sack, along with finishing with 5 tackles (3 solo) and knocking down a pass. While Rogers was out, reserve DT Marcus Bell produced well, totaling 4 tackles (2 solo), a sack with a forced fumble, and batting down a pass. He could see some more time at the expense of Dan Wilkinson, who is little more than a space-eater at this point in his career.

Green Bay

The return of DT Grady Jackson from a dislocated knee gave the Packers D the boost they needed to end their home losing streak. His presence clogged the interior and helped the D hold the Cowboys to 66 yards on the ground. He had 3 tackles (2 solo) and batted down a pass. His presence didn't help the pass rush much, as SS Mark Roman and reserve DL Cullen Jenkins produced the only sacks. Larry Smith was released to make room for Jackson.

FS Darren Sharper left the game in the 2nd quarter with a knee injury and did not return. It is diagnosed as a torn PCL in his knee, and he could be back this week or miss 2-4 weeks if the soreness is hard to bear. It's apparently a rare injury, so there is no solid timetable. Bhawoh Jue replaced him and led the team with 7 solo tackles. If he misses much time, Jue should enter the starting lineup. CB Al Harris also suffered a knee injury. Michael Hawthorne would likely return to the starting lineup if he can't go this week.

Houston

Eric Brown (knee), rookie Glenn Earl (hip), and Jason Simmons (concussion) are coming off injuries and were helped by the bye week, but none are yet 100%. DC Vic Fangio said Simmons would have started if they had a game Sunday.

Indianapolis

Neither the return of SS Mike Doss and CB Joseph Jefferson to the starting lineup, nor the 2 sacks by the previously dormant Dwight Freeney was enough to stop another fourth quarter comeback by the Jaguars.

Despite the return of Jefferson, with Donald Strickland on the IR, rookie Jason David continues to see significant minutes. He grabbed his second career INT and has one in back-to-back games. He also had 4 solo tackles. He was needed after Jefferson's return lasted one play before he was hurt again.

Reserve DE Robert Mathis had his team-leading fifth sack. He has at least one in the last 3 games.

Jacksonville

Converted LB Greg Favors remains the starter at RDE and continues to apply much needed pressure up front. He had a sack for the second straight game since moving to end. At 6'1" and 245 pounds, Favors lacks size to be an every-down end, but will see significant time there as long as he continues to produce.

SS Donovin Darius forced a fumble that the Jaguars converted to a TD and recovered a fumble that led to a FG. He also led the team with 8 tackles (6 solo). MLB Mike Peterson recovered the fumble Darius forced and had 5 solo tackles.

Jason Gildon was signed this week to try to add some pass rush. The Steelers all-time sack leader was last seen in the Bills camp, released at the end of the preseason.

Kansas City

MLB Monty Beisel left the game in the 1st quarter with a calf strain and did not return. He had 4 tackles (2 solo) and shared a sack with DT John Browning before departing. Kawika Mitchell replaced him and did little. There has been some talk that Beisel is falling out of favor, but Mitchell has done nothing to impress either. DT Ryan Sims was active, but did not start, returning from a hamstring problem. Browning looks to retain the starting job for now.

Reserve DE Jared Allen, an undrafted FA, had 2 sacks and leads the team with four.

CB Eric Warfield grabbed his 4th INT, which leads AFC and is tied for NFL lead. Opposite Warfield, William Bartee led the team with 5 solo tackles, adding a sack and 2 passes defended. He has taken the starting job from Dexter McCleon.

Miami

Already with the worst start in team history, the 0-6 Dolphins did enough on defense to get their first win of the season. They only forced one turnover, but it was a big one. With the Rams deep in Miami territory and threatening to tie the game in the 3rd quarter, SS Sammy Knight picked a good time to have his first interception of the season, grabbing a ball intended for Torry Holt in the end zone for a touchback. Knight's nose for the ball and ability to create turnovers had previously been absent this year. After averaging almost 5 INTs a year during his 6 years in New Orleans, Miami expects more of this from him. The secondary removed Holt from the equation all game long, limiting him to 1 reception for 4 yards, his worst day since Week 5 of his rookie season, when he had no receptions. Rookie nickel corner Will Poole was an important part of the effort, turning in 6 tackles (4 solo). Arturo Freeman started in place of Antuan Edwards, who was inactive, at FS and had 5 tackles (2 solo).

MLB Zach Thomas led the team with a game-high 12 tackles (6 solo) and also had a sack. He leads the NFL with 82 tackles.

While there was a lot to celebrate, the defense left the game with some injury concerns. Rejuvenated veteran LB Junior Seau sat out the second half with a groin injury. Fortunately, the Rams obliged by attempting only 7 runs the second half, despite the game still being close, allowing the Dolphins to run more nickel and dime sets, where the quality of depth at DB is better than at LB. Seau is expected to play this week, however. Run-stuffing DT Tim Bowens, in only his second game back after missing the first five, aggravated his back injury, leaving in the 4th quarter and not returning. He'll see a specialist this week to determine the extent.

Minnesota

CB Antoine Winfield, not a big (literally and figuratively) ball hawk all his years in Buffalo, had an interception for the second straight game. He'll continue to benefit from the high-powered Viking offense that forces opponents to the air, but his game has elevated, as well. He once again led the team with 6 solo tackles, and leads them for the year, as well.

MLB E.J. Henderson returned to his MLB spot, posting 2 solo tackles and a forced fumble. Demoted back to a reserve with Henderson's return, rookie Dontarrious Thomas had a sack and another solo tackle. As feared, LB Chris Claiborne was out due to his calf problem, and Raonall Smith continues to get the call at the weakside over Thomas. Smith had 5 solo tackles and an interception.

New England

LB Ted Johnson is an old school run stopper who began his career as the regular MLB in New England almost a decade ago. The last several years, he's been plagued by injuries, and since HC Bill Belichick arrived, has also seemed to lack the versatility to be a consistent regular in his schemes. This year he's been healthy and had more of a role, culminating with displacing Roman Phifer in the starting lineup. Sunday he had his best game since the 2002 season, tying for the team lead in tackles with 10 (7 solo) and forcing a fumble. Fellow ILB Tedy Bruschi also had 10 tackles (4 solo), and so did SS Rodney Harrison (7 solo). Harrison also sealed the victory knocking away a 4th and 8 pass on the Jets final possession.

New Orleans

DE Charles Grant had a sack in five straight games, and with another one Sunday, would have broken a club record. However, he was dominated by rookie Robert Gallery most of the day, finishing with just 1 solo tackle and knocking down a pass. Grant still leads the NFL with 8 sacks. DE Darren Howard was inactive, as expected, after a minor knee surgery. 1st round pick Will Smith started in his place and posted 4 solo tackles.

Courtney Watson started the year looking like a Defensive Rookie of the Year candidate. He missed Week 5 and Orlando Ruff made a lot of tackles, but was also burned on 45-yard TD when he failed to pick up the TE. Watson returned to the starting lineup last week, but between that game and Sunday morning, HC Jim Haslett has apparently soured on his play. It was announced Sunday morning that Orlando Ruff would start at MLB over Watson. Ruff led the team with a game-high 10 tackles (8 solo), while Watson contributed on 1 solo as a reserve. No word on if this is a permanent move or was simply related to some disciplinary action.

With Ashley Ambrose were inactive, CB Fred Thomas was passed over for a return to the starting lineup by Fakhir Brown. Thomas was bumped from the lineup last week when Mike McKenzie was healthy. While quietly successful the last few seasons and a leader on the team, Thomas has been plagued by multiple injuries he attributes to not playing at his established level. This has led to dissatisfaction with him by the staff this year. He did have 3 solo tackles in a reserve role, but was knocked out of the game in the second half with a rib injury. Ambrose is expected to return after the bye.

The Tebucky Jones Revival Tour continues. He had 5 tackles (4 solo) and his first INT of the season Sunday. He leads the team in tackles.

New York Giants

MLB Kevin Lewis came off the bye week with his best game since the season opener. He had a game-high 10 tackles (9 solo), regaining the team lead. After being late for a meeting, LB Barrett Green was benched and limited to special teams work, missing the opportunity to contribute much against his former team. Nick Greisen started on the weakside in place of Green, and posted 7 tackles (4 solo). He also had a sack erased due to a penalty on Carlos Emmons away from the play. While the late meeting was the official reason for Green's benching, there's no guarantee he'll be back in the starting lineup next week. He hasn't been outstanding as a FA addition and Nick Greisen impressed the staffed while holding the vacated MLB job through most of the preseason, before ultimately being passed by Kevin Lewis. HC Tom Coughlin said he'll meet with Green this week to discuss his status and talk about it with the media on Wednesday.

SS Gibril Wilson added more to his resume for his Defensive Rookie of the Year campaign, finishing with 7 tackles (5 solo) and a sack. He is third on the team in tackles, despite not starting the first few games, and has 2 sacks and 2 INTs.

DT Fred Robbins was inactive with a sprained shoulder, giving former 1st round pick William Joseph got the start. Joseph had 2 tackles (1 solo). Fellow DT Norman Hand, normally known as run-stopper, had a sack, as did reserve DE Osi Umenyiora. Umenyiora forced a fumble that Detroit recovered on the sack, and also had 2 other solo tackles. DE Michael Strahan had an off-day, recording on 2 solo tackles.

New York Jets

LB Eric Barton, perhaps sensing his job being in jeopardy as Sam Cowart's return nears, led the team with 12 tackles (7 solo) and recovered a fumble forced by DE John Abraham. In addition to the forced fumble, Abraham had 3 tackles (2 solo) and shared a sack with DE Shaun Ellis. Abraham's 7.5 sacks lead the AFC and are second in NFL. He's had at least half a sack in four consecutive games. Ellis had another solo sack on the day, giving him 3 this year. Coming off a career-year in 2003, Ellis got off to horrible start, but now has 12 tackles, 2.5 sacks, and a forced fumble in his last two games.

Cowart is Questionable for Week 8, but with reserve LB Jason Glenn out 4-6 weeks after suffering a broken arm in Sunday's game, Cowart's speedy return becomes more important.

Oakland

Like the rest of the team, their IDP production is a mess. LB Danny Clark had 8 tackles (4 solo) and leads the team on the season. He continues to be the only consistent producer, but only provides tackles. In his fifth year in the league, he has 3 sacks (1 this year), 2 forced fumbles, and 1 INT. So he can tackle, but he's simply not a playmaker.

They are so desperate for a spark in the front seven, undrafted FA Tommy Kelly suited up for the first time and produced a sack, the only one of the game for the Raiders. Kelly had highly-rated tools at DT out of Mississippi State, but questions about his attitude and consistency left him undrafted.

CB Charles Woodson suffered a hip pointer during the game and will have an MRI to determine the extent of the injury. LB Travian Smith was inactive, continuing to be plagued by a knee injury. DT Ted Washington bruised his ribs during the game, but the team thinks he'll play next week.

Philadelphia

MLB Mark Simoneau was inactive with a foot sprain suffered in the game the previous week. He was listed as Questionable last week. Jeremiah Trotter started in his place and finished with 9 tackles (8 solo) and a pass defensed.

CB Lito Sheppard led the team with 10 solo tackles and also had an INT. It was his second straight game with a pick and he leads the team with 3 on the season.

FS Brian Dawkins had 8 solo tackles, as well as a forced fumble on a sack. He just missed another sack late in the game and was flagged for a questionable roughing the passer on 4th down that kept the Browns game-tying drive alive. DEs Derrick Burgess and Jevon Kearse also each had a sack. Kearse leads the team with 4 sacks.

Jerome McDougle was inactive this week after having an irregular heartbeat at practice during the week. After spending the night in the hospital last Thursday, his heart rhythm was quickly returned to normal. Further tests are trying to determine what caused it, and although he is back to normal health, he was held out this week as a precaution while they monitor his return to football activity.

Pittsburgh

LB Kendrell Bell finally practiced Monday for the first time in the regular season. The team is hopeful he'll be active this week, but he just had groin surgery a couple weeks ago. He is likely to be a reserve at leasst a week behind Larry Foote. Foote has been solid in his place, totaling 33 tackles (third on team), 2 sacks and a forced fumble in starting inside all six games for Bell.

SS Troy Polamalu leads the team with 40 tackles.

Willie Williams is expected to start at CB with Chad Scott out 4-6 weeks with a slight tear in his quad. Rookie Ricardo Colclough should see his time increase, as well. With Pro Bowl NT Casey Hampton on the IR, Chris Hoke start at NT and Kendrick Clancy is back for depth. Reserve S Mike Logan was also placed on the IR with a serious hamstring injury. Journeyman Tyrone Carter was signed to add depth in Logan's place.

St. Louis

DE Leonard Little's hot and cold season continues. After starting slow, he had three consecutive games with a sack, now he's gone two without one, contributing only 3 assists on Sunday. Opposite bookend Bryce Fisher was having his best game of the season, with 3 tackles (1 solo) and 1.5 sacks before leaving the game with a chest injury. With top reserve Tyoka Jackson inactive for the second straight game with a strained hamstring, rookie Tony Hargrove stepped in and had his first big game. Hargrove posted 7 tackles (6 solo) and his first career sack.

Adam Archuleta appears to be recovered from nagging leg and back problems. He started his second straight game and no longer is limited to certain package. He led the team with 9 tackles (6 solo) and shared a sack with LB Tommy Polley, who had 7 tackles (4 solo). While Polley has been hot statistically lately, he still shows tendencies that briefly cost him his starting job earlier this year. He had a costly late hit penalty and missed a tackle he should have made on a TD run by Travis Minor.

CB Travis Fisher returned to the starting lineup from a broken arm, pushing DeJuan Groce back to the bench. Kwame Lassiter was released to make room on the roster. Fisher felt he aggravated the forearm during the game, and will have tests on it this week.

Robert Thomas suited up, but did not play, missing his second straight game with an ankle injury. Rookie Brandon Chillar got the start again at MLB. However, Chillar came up lame with a pulled hamstring early in the game, forcing the Rams far down the depth chart to Trev Faulk. He responded with 8 tackles (4 solo). The former undrafted FA is already a journeyman just three seasons into his career after being an All-American LB at LSU. Despite excellent collegiate production, questionable measurables and off-field baggage prevented him from being drafted.

San Diego

Breakout LB Steve Foley had his worst game of the year, posting on 2 assists. Reserve DE Shaun Phillips had a sack, his third of the season, and another assisted tackle.

SS Terrence Kiel led the team with 9 tackles (8 solo) and had an INT.

Drayton Florence replaced Sammy Davis as the starter at CB opposite Quentin Jammer. However, Florence left the game in the 2nd quarter with an ankle sprain. He returned, but then left again for good in the 4th quarter.

San Francisco

With plenty of health issues, especially at LB, the staff grows increasingly weary of Saleem Rasheed's injury problems. A 3rd round pick in 2002, injuries cost him most of his rookie season and stunted his development last season. This year, problems with a knee resulted in an arthroscopic procedure last week. He has tremendous athleticism and potential, but can't stay on the field enough to translate it into production. He isn't expected to be back this week, and the team has signed Raymond Wells for depth.

LB Derek Smith practiced this week and is expected back. DE Andre Carter has not practiced, but may return, recovering from back problems.

Seattle

A depleted Seattle LB group took another hit as Isaiah Kacyvenski was carted off the field in the 3rd quarter with a sprained ankle and did not return. It appears to be a high ankle sprain, so while he'll miss at least a week or two, it could be longer. Rookie Niko Koutouvides saw significant time with Kacyvenski out, finishing with 6 solo tackles. Niko was in the running for the MLB job right to the end, and the team is high on him. While they apparently have not soured on Orlando Huff as the MLB, Niko could see his time increase. However, that will be offset by the expected return of Chad Brown this week from a broken leg. He'll step back into the job Kacyvenski was keeping warm for him. LB Anthony Simmons was ruled out 2-4 weeks earlier last week after undergoing shoulder surgery. Tracy White started in his place and led the team with 9 tackles (7 solo), as well as adding a sack.

CB Ken Lucas returned an INT 21 yards for a TD that gave Seattle their first lead of the game, which they promptly surrendered in the loss. He also had 6 solo tackles. Lucas has 4 interceptions to lead NFC and tie for NFL lead. Lucas's starting job appeared in jeopardy when Seattle brought ex-Eagle Bobby Taylor in the off-season, but Lucas retained his job in the preseason and it looks like that was the right decision.

Antonio Cochran replaced the injured Grant Wistrom (fracture in leg) as starting RDE, as expected. Cochran had 6 tackles (5 solo) and had an IDP hat trick on the Cardinals first drive, sacking QB Josh McNown, forcing the fumble, and recovering it himself. Opposite Cochran, Chike Okeafor had another sack, his fourth in the last three games. He leads the team with 5.5 on the season.

Tampa Bay

With the incompetent and statuesque Jonathan Quinn, and then the first NFL appearance by rookie Craig Krenzel, for the second straight game the Buc D pinned their ears back and went after the QB. DE Simeon Rice, a Chicago native, finally showed some signs of life against his hometown team. Rice had 2 sacks, his first multi-sack game and giving him at least one in back-to-back games for the first time this year. Bears LT Qasim Mitchell was seriously outclassed, and in addition to giving up the sacks, he had several False Start penalties, trying anything he could to slow Rice down. Reserve DE Dewayne White saw work as NT, and responded by knocking down 2 passes and tallying his first career sack. A second round pick in 2003, White was the first draft pick of the Gruden era and this season has shown the front four could use some help. His development would be a key building block for a late run or at least next season. MLB Shelton Quarles returned to the lineup and had a sack to go with 4 tackles (1 solo).

CB Rhonde Barber had 6 tackles (5 solo) and an INT, the only turnover by the TB D. FS Jermaine Phillips looked strong, filling the hole fast on runs and leading the team with 9 tackles (6 solo).

LB Derrick Brooks had 8 tackles (7 solo) and leads the NFC with 60 tackles.

Tennessee

With pressure from the edges a problem at DE, Kevin Carter slid back to his former position from DT. He posted 2 tackles (1 solo). Rien Long moved into a starting role at DT alongside Albert Haynesworth, and rookie Randy Starks saw significant time there, as well. With Juqua Thomas already inactive, the Titans were further depleted at end with Carlos Hall (knee) and rookie Antwan Odom (chest) both leaving the game with injuries. Hall may need minor surgery to clean up his knee and miss a week or two. However, rookie Travis LaBoy stepped up and impressed, posting 6 tackles (5 solo) and his first 2 career sacks in his first extensive game action.

LB Keith Bulluck had a game-high 13 tackles (9 solo) and a sack. Rocky Calmus remained inactive, so Brad Kassell continues to start at MLB, finishing with 5 solo tackles. Calmus is expected to return to practice this week.

Washington

There is concern coming off the bye week that MLB Mike Barrow may not return this season from a knee injury. He'll be reevaluated on Wednesday regarding Week 8, and a decision for the season could be made then if it's not looking good. Antonio Pierce has excelled in his absence and would remain the starter, but this would be a big hit to their depth. LB Lavar Arrington and DE Phillip Daniels have missed the last four weeks. Arrington hopes to play this week, but had a setback straining his injured knee in practice. More on his status should be available Wednesday. Daniels practiced this week and is expected to play.



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