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IDP Notes
Week 13

Quick Hits (Details in individual team notes)
  • No byes Week 13, set lineups for early (Thursday) game
  • MLB Ray Lewis returns for sack party by D
  • MIA MLB Thomas continues remarkable, and remarkably consistent, production
  • GB MLB Barnett inactive with broken hand, rookie Hodge has standout debut
  • CIN LB Miller emerges as new MLB
  • ATL DE Abraham and MLB Hartwell return
  • PIT SS Polamalu has MCL sprain
  • DAL SS Roy Williams back to being a playmaker
  • CHI LB Briggs has dominant day
  • SD OLB Phillips rolls on and OLB Merriman set to return
  • NE LB Seau season, and likely career, over
  • Injuries and a rookie mistake kill NYG D
  • CIN SS Kaesviharn born-again playmaker in increased role
  • TB DE Rice done for season, and likely as a Buc
  • KC OLB Johnson returns, plays little
  • TEN CB Jones makes headlines for right reasons
  • NE CB Samuel has pick party against CHI QB Grossman
  • STL rookie DE Adeyanju breaks arm
  • WAS SS Archuleta sits in favor of Fox with Vincent out
  • DET DT Shaun Cody done for year
  • MIN CB Smoot demoted, rookie starts
Week 13 Injury Report (available Wednesday PM)

IDP Depth Chart

OLB Karlos Dansby continues to frustrate owners who are trying to figure out when to start the sporadic performer. After posting just 3 solo tackles and 1 pass defensed in his previous game, he led the team with 10 tackles (7 solo) and had 2 sacks to tie his career best of five for a season.

SS Adrian Wilson had 9 tackles (7 solo) and pulled his team back in the game in the fourth quarter when he picked up a fumble by MIN RB Chester Taylor and returned it 99 yards for a TD. MLB Gerald Hayes (7 solo) and CB Antrel Rolle (8 solo) each had 9 tackles, as well.

As expected, Antonio Smith started at RDE in place of Bertrand Berry, who went on the IR last week. Smith had 4 tackles (3 solo). Former first round pick Calvin Pace has moved back to DE from LB, where he converted to in the preseason, to provide depth.

The return of DE John Abraham and MLB Edgerton Hartwell wasn’t enough to stop NO QB Drew Brees from getting his fifth consecutive 300-yard game and the Saints from embarrassing the Falcons at home. Abraham was a non-factor in his return, failing to show up in the box score. Abraham started on the right side with Chauncey Davis staying in the starting lineup with Patrick Kearney done for the year. The defense frequently went small to try to apply pressure faster on Brees, without success. Pass rush specialist Josh Mallard was replacing Grady Jackson and SLB Michael Boley replaced Davis at end. The Saints reacted well to the change, exploiting it with the running game.

Hartwell resumed his starting spot in the middle, sending Demorrio Williams back to the bench. Hartwell had 7 tackles (4 solo), including his first sack of the season. Keith Brooking returned to WLB and led the team with 8 tackles (6 solo), including a sack.

CB Jason Webster (torn groin) remained inactive as expected and rookie CB Jimmy Williams (LB, CB, CB) continues to be unable to capitalize on the opening as he missed another game with an ankle sprain despite practicing most of last week. Allen Rossum continued to start opposite CB DeAngelo Hall. Reserve CB Derrick Johnson broke his arm Sunday in the third quarter and is done for the season.

The Ravens tied a franchise record with nine sacks as they shutout the Steelers and all but eliminated their chances of making the playoffs, much less repeating. DEs Terrell Suggs and Trevor Pryce led the way with two sacks each. Pryce temporarily left the game with an apparent leg injury in the fourth quarter, but returned to the game. After six games without a sack, Suggs has three in his last two games. Suggs also tied Ray Lewis for the team lead in tackles with 6 solo each. OLB Bart Scott returned being a playmaker, posting 4 tackles (3 solo) including a sack and a half, and got his second pick of the year. Scott temporarily knocked PIT QB Ben Roethlisberger out of the game on his sack. It was the first time since October 1st Scott had a sack or pick. Lewis returned after missing two games with a back injury. He had his second sack of the season.

OLB/DE/DT/S Adalius Thomas had his team-leading ninth sack of the season among his 4 tackles (2 solo) and recovered a fumble he returned for a TD. Peter King of SI had a great look at the multi-talented, multi-positional Thomas in an online article this week:

After being active for the first time in his career the previous week, reserve DE/OLB Dan Cody left with a torn PCL in his knee in the first quarter. He could be done for the season.

After a slow start in which he failed to make the impact expected in the front four when signed as a free agent, DT Larry Tripplett has produced some big plays the last two weeks. He had a sack and a half on Sunday among his 4 tackles (2 solo) and forced a fumble. He has had a sack in two straight games. DE Aaron Schobel shared the half-sack with Tripplett, giving him a team-high 8.5 for the season. Reserve DE Tony Hargrove, acquired in a trade with St. Louis earlier this year, had his first sack as a Bill.

MLB London Fletcher led the team with 11 tackles (6 solo).

MLB Chris Draft (7 solo) and OLB Thomas Davis (6 solo) led the team with 7 tackles. Draft also had a sack, giving him 2.5 in his last two games, and forced a fumble.

CB Ken Lucas was active, but did not play with a lingering thigh injury. Rookie Richard Marshall started in his place, posting 4 solo tackles, a forced fumble, and grabbing his team-high third INT of the season.

WLB Lance Briggs might have earned himself a few more million on Sunday afternoon, as he was a one-man wrecking crew. He forced two fumbles and recovered one, all inside the red zone. After a long drive by the Bears offense that resulted in a blocked FG, the Pats quickly drove down the field and with first-and-ten at the Chicago 11-yard line, it was not looking good for the Bears. As NE rookie RB Laurence Maroney took a handoff up the middle, Briggs wrestled the ball away from him before he went down. Early in the second half, NE TE Ben Watson took a pass deep in to Chicago territory when Briggs caught him from behind and popped the ball out. NE WR Reche Caldwell recovered it, but FS Danieal Manning stripped it and recovered the fumble. Briggs also led the team with 13 tackles (7 solo). Manning had 5 tackles (4 solo) and also forced another fumble. In total, the Bears defense forced five turnovers, but it wasn’t enough as their QB struggled and their own offense turned it over four times.

In addition to another bad day by QB Rex Grossman, the absence of a pass rush was an equally bad problem. The team had no sacks and the closest they got was when rookie DE Mark Anderson forced a Tom Brady pass to misfire.

MLB Brian Urlacher was dinged early in the game, but returned and finished the game, posting 11 tackles (7 solo). The injury of most concern was a sprained right ankle by SS Todd Johnson in the first half. He left the game and did not return. Chris Harris replaced him and had 7 solo tackles. Johnson’s status for this week is uncertain, but HC Lovie Smith seemed confident it wasn’t too bad (reading between the lines, probably not the dreaded “high” ankle sprain). Johnson had a huge hit on NE TE Ben Watson that jarred the ball loose and straight up in to the air. CB Charles Tillman came down with it for his first of two picks on the day. Tillman is tied with nickel CB Ricky Manning Jr. for the team lead with four. Manning did not play as he served his one-game suspension for a legal incident in the off-season. The vital cog in the secondary is expected back this week.

Thanks to five turnovers, the Cinci D notched their first shutout since 1989. S Kevin Kaesviharn led the way with 3 tackles (2 solo), including a sack, and two picks. SS Dexter Jackson returned from his Achilles’ tendon injury, but Kaesviharn still played extensively and is now the primary SS on passing downs. After missing two games, Kaesviharn is on a tear the last two games since he returned. He has 14 tackles, 2.5 sacks, and 3 INTs in his last two games. He has six picks on the season and a share of the NFL lead.

The other player capitalizing on his increased playing time is LB Caleb Miller. Rookie Ahmad Brooks, who started five games in the middle, was active after missing the previous game with a groin and shoulder injuries, but Miller has replaced him as the starting MLB and had a huge game. Miller led the team with 10 tackles (6 solo), including his first career sack. Miller now leads the team in tackles on the season. Everyone who rushed out to pick up Brooks can replace him with Miller in redraft leagues and may want to take a look at who else they can drop to pick up Miller in dynasty leagues. I’d hang on to Brooks in dynasty leagues. Despite practicing all week, SLB Brian Simmons (neck) remained inactive, so Rashad Jeanty remained the starting SLB. Jeanty had 6 tackles (5 solo), the same as WLB Landon Johnson, who also had a sack among them and forced a fumble. Simmons is questionable this week.

CB Tory James also had two picks in the game. James had been showing his age, giving up big plays and failing to make them himself. If not for the injury to CB Deltha O’Neal (shoulder), first round pick Johnathan Joseph may have replaced James by now. Instead, Joseph started in his place of O’Neal again and James gets a temporary reprieve with the strong performance on Sunday. O’Neal is questionable this week.

DE Robert Geathers had a sack, he leads the team with 8.5 this year.

DT John Thornton is doubtful this week with a knee injury. DT Sam Adams, who has been battling knee problems, says he has felt better recently and the improved Bengal run defense shows it.

As the Bengals dominated time of possession in their rout of Cleveland, there were plenty of tackles opportunities. Rookie ILB D’Qwell Jackson led the team with 15 tackles (11 solo, including one on special teams). SS Sean Jones (9 solo) and ILB Andra Davis (7 solo) each had 11 tackles.

Rookie OLB Kamerion Wimbley continues to be the edge pass rush threat the team expected. He had 3 QB hurries and a sack among his 4 tackles (2 solo). He has had at least one sack in the last four games and leads the team with 7.5 on the season. On the other side, Willie McGinest had 2 sacks, giving him three in the last two games and five on the year.

CB Leigh Bodden remained inactive with a high ankle sprain and Brodney Pool continued to start in his place.

DE Orpheus Roye left in the second quarter with a knee sprain. Simon Fraser and Nick Eason saw more work in his absence. Roye will have an MRI this week.

Although on pace for a career-low in tackles, SS Roy Williams had returned to turning in the big plays he did as a rookie. He got his fifth pick on the season on Thanksgiving, tying the most he has had in a season, which was as a rookie in 2002. Also with two fumble recoveries on the season, he leads the league in takeaways. Williams also had two assisted tackles on defense and a solo tackle on special teams.

ILB Akin Ayodele had his second pick of the season on a tipped pass. ILB Bradie James led the team in tackles with 8 (2 solo) and leads the team for the season in tackles. Al Singleton and first round pick Bobby Carpenter continue to rotate in place of OLB Greg Ellis, who went on the IR last week.

CB Darrent Williams continued his strong play, leading the team in tackles with 9 solo and grabbed his third pick of the season.

DE Ebenezer Ekuban had 7 tackles (6 solo) including a sack to increase his team lead to 4.5 on the season. However, Ekuban made a costly mistake in the second quarter when he drew a roughing the passer call on a failed third-and-four by the Chiefs deep in Bronco territory. KC went on to score their only TD of the game with new life from the penalty.

Cumrome Cox replaced Nick Ferguson at SS with Ferguson out for the rest of the season with a knee injury. Cox had 3 solo tackles. Quentin Harris was signed to add depth at safety.

SS Kenoy Kennedy was an unexpected scratch after suffering an ankle injury in practice last Wednesday. Kennedy returned to practice on Monday. Rookie Daniel Bullocks got the start and posted 11 solo tackles and forced a fumble. Fellow rookie OLB Ernie Sims (10 solo) shared the team lead with 11 tackles. Sims also shared his first career sack with DT Cory Redding. The rookie leads the team in tackles by a landslide so far this season. Redding remained at DT as Shaun Rogers was inactive. Rogers came off the suspended list on last Monday, but has not sufficiently recovered from surgery on his right knee he had while serving his four-game suspension for violating the league’s substance abuse policy. Redding will continue to see time inside and Marcus Bell will remain involved more as the team put DT Shaun Cody on the IR last week.

CB Fernando Bryant, who recovered the fumble forced by Bullocks, suffered a concussion in the game, but was able to finish the game. FS Terrence Holt had 7 tackles (6 solo) and an INT. He leads the team on the year with three picks.

Other than Sims, the Lions linebackers were a non-factor in the game. None posted more than a solo tackle. Boss Bailey started at SLB and rotated with Alex Lewis. Lenon remained the starter in the middle and rotated with Teddy Lehman.

Green Bay
MLB Nick Barnett was inactive Monday night after breaking his hand in the previous game. Rookie Abdul Hodge started in his place and didn’t disappoint. Hodge had 6 tackles (5 solo) and broke up 2 passes, but his biggest play came when DE Kabeer Gbaja-Biamila knocked the ball out of SEA QB Matt Hasselbeck’s hand as he was trying to throw. Hodge picked it up and returned it 29 yards for a TD. It was the second sack in as many games for KGB, who has his sack total up to just five. KGB had to leave the game due to dehydration, but got the IV in the locker room and returned in the third quarter.

First round pick WLB A.J. Hawk led the team with 15 tackles (10 solo).

CB Charles Woodson had two picks in the game and just missed a third. He has four on the year, the most he’s had since 2000. Woodson injured his forearm in the game, but returned. He has been questionable for the last few weeks, but has played, and mostly very well, so expect the same this week.

FS Nick Collins had to leave with a hamstring injury. He is questionable this week. Rookie Tyrone Culver replaced him.

A much-anticipated face-off with NYJ first round pick OT D’Brickashaw Ferguson by first overall pick DE Mario Williams was a one-sided affair as Williams continues to battle plantar fasciitis. Williams posted just 3 tackles (1 solo). Meanwhile, rookie DeMeco Ryans continued to make his case for DROY as he led the team with 14 tackles (13 solo).

OLB Morlon Greenwood had 9 solo tackles and CB Dunta Robinson had 6 tackles (3 solo), forced a fumble, and had 2 passes defensed.

Gary Brackett returned from a hamstring injury and resumed his MLB role. He led the team with 8 tackles (6 solo), as well as breaking up a pass.

DE Robert Mathis had two sacks, forcing a fumble on each, and recovering one of them.

SS Antoine Bethea left late in the first half with a shoulder bruise and did not return to the game. Dexter Reid replaced him. The Colts are already desperately thin at safety with Mike Doss on the IR and Bo Sanders inactive for the third straight game, and eight of the season, with ongoing knee problems. Marlin Jackson started at FS in place of Sanders and had 3 solo tackles. Bethea had 4 tackles (3 solo) before leaving. Bethea is expected to play this week, but Sanders is still an uncertainty.

CB Nick Harper played through a hip injury. Harper grabbed his team-leading third pick on an ill-advised throw by rookie WR Hank Baskett off a double-pass trick play. SLB Gilbert Gardner was unable to play through a rib injury. Rocky Boiman started in his place.

After sweeping through the front seven, injury problems have caught up to the secondary and made a difference in Sunday’s loss. They lost SS Donovin Darius to the IR with a broken leg, and then they had CB Brian Williams (hamstring) and third corner Terry Cousin (groin) both inactive on Sunday. The result was rookie Dee Webb got his first career start at CB. He was beaten multiple times by BUF WR Lee Evans, drew a PI penalty, and after a rare good play, his first career pick in the first quarter, gave the ball back with a fumble on the return. Webb was benched in the second half and replaced by second-year reserve CB Scott Starks, who was beaten on a long pass that set up the game-winning FG for Buffalo. Gerald Sensabaugh started at SS in place of Darius and posted 4 tackles (2 solo). He should remain the starter there the rest of the season.

Rookie WLB Clint Ingram led the team with 6 tackles (3 solo) for the second consecutive week.

Kansas City
With DEN QB Jake Plummer’s job in trouble, he got off to a bad start when he couldn’t connect with TE Stephen Alexander on the first drive and a pass was tipped to CB Ty Law for his third pick of the year. Law also broke up another pass, forced a fumble and shared the team lead in tackles with OLB Keyaron Fox. Each had 7 tackles (6 solo). Fox remained a starter, although Derrick Johnson was active. Johnson played sparingly on third downs after missing two games with an ankle injury. Johnson is expected to be active and see his role increase to his normal number of snaps this week.

DT James Reed suffered a groin injury during the game and had to leave. Former first round pick Ryan Sims replaced him. Reed is expected to miss this week.

After going four games without a sack, first round pick DE Tamba Hali had his first two-sack game. He forced a fumble on one of the sacks and finished with 6 tackles (4 solo).

Joey Harrington’s teammates on defense did their best to help the former Lion get redemption in his first return to Detroit. They piled up eight sacks on DET QB Jon Kitna, including two each for MLB Zach Thomas, DT Vonnie Holliday, and the first two of the season DE Matt Roth. Holliday recovered a fumble forced by Roth on one of his sacks. DE Kevin Carter and David Bowens each had one sack. DE Jason Taylor, who leads the AFC with nine sacks, was shut out of the box score as the Detroit OLine focused on him.

Thomas, who led the league in tackles coming in to the game, had six solo tackles in the game and went over 100 in a season for the tenth time. He has only failed to do so one season (99 in 2000) in his 11-year career, despite playing only 16 games four times. His two sacks in a game were also the most in a game for Thomas, who already matched his career high for sack in a season with three this year.

DT Keith Traylor returned from a knee injury, sending Jeff Zgonina back to the bench.

For the second straight game, FS Renaldo Hill had a game-breaking play. He grabbed a tipped pass and returned to the Detroit nine-yard line late in the second quarter. Three plays later, Miami had their first lead of the game. Hill broke up two other passes and had two solo tackles. CB Will Allen was out with a groin injury suffered in the previous game, so Travis Daniel returned to the starting lineup. Daniels led the team with 7 solo tackles and also broke up a pass. Depth is a huge problem in the secondary. CB Michael Lehan, who stepped in to the nickel role with Daniels in the starting lineup, was forced out in the second quarter when he reinjured a broken nose. Surgery is likely necessary, but he may not miss time with the long break until their next game. Backup S Travares Tillman was inactive after surgery on a hand he broke in the previous game. Norman LeJeune was activated off the practice squad to provide depth.

After a furious fourth quarter comeback attempt by the Cardinals, the game ended on an interception by FS Dwight Smith in the end zone. He had another earlier in the game and has three on the season. He also 6 tackles (2 solo) in the game. Smith suffered a shoulder sprain in the game, but the injury is not believed to be serious.

Battling a groin injury and the death of his brother, CB Fred Smoot was replaced by rookie Cedric Griffin in the starting lineup. As the Vikings started in their nickel package on Sunday, both were technically starters, but Griffin ran with the first team in their base package. Griffin had 7 tackles (6 solo, including 1 on special teams) and broke up a pass as he played through neck and shoulder injuries. Griffin also had to leave to get a dislocated finger popped back in to place. Smoot had 4 solo tackles and recovered a fumble, but had to leave late in the fourth quarter with a shoulder bruise. CB Antoine Winfield led the team with 12 solo tackles and also had a pass defensed.

Rookie third DE Ray Edwards had his third sack of the season. SLB Ben Leber had 2 solo tackles in the game and forced a fumble on both.

New England
Among the all the positives of the victory over the Bears, came one big negative, the loss of ILB Junior Seau. Seau, who was leading the team in tackles heading in to the game, suffered a horrific-looking injury to his right arm early in the game. The Pats, as usual, failed to provide details, but it is believed he broke both bones in the forearm. He was placed on the IR and his career is probably over, for the second time in one year. Mike Vrabel moved inside to replace Seau and Tully Banta-Cain replaced Vrabel at OLB with the base D. Expect the Pats to add a veteran street free agent LB soon.

CB Asante Samuel was the hero as CHI QB Rex Grossman continually tested him and lost more than he won. Samuel had three picks in the game, including the game-clincher on an ill-advised deep pass right after the Bears got the ball back for a last chance to win. Samuel, who moved in to a tie for the league-lead with six picks, also led the team in tackles with 9 solo.

The safety tandem of Eugene Wilson (hamstring) and Rodney Harrison (broken shoulder blade) remained inactive. Artell Hawkins (FS) and James Sanders (SS) continued to replace them. Wilson remains questionable this week and Harrison will still be out. CB Chad Scott (groin) also missed the game.

DE Richard Seymour blocked a FG, the first miss of the season for CHI K Robbie Gould, and also had the only sack of the game.

New Orleans
They forced no turnovers and allowed 281 yards rushing, most of that was due to ATL QB Mike Vick running for 166 yards, but held tough on third downs and only allowed one TD.

CB Fred Thomas was inactive with a broken thumb. He underwent surgery last week and is expected back to return with a cast this week. Jason Craft started in his place and had 7 solo tackles, tying OLB Scott Fujita for the team lead. Reserve CB Dejuan Groce sprained his neck and injured his jaw blocking on a punt return. X-rays were negative.

DE Will Smith had 2 sacks, forcing a fumble on one, among his 5 solo tackles. He leads the team with 8.5 sacks this season. Smith has five sacks in four November games. Smith had to be helped up a couple of times and was replaced regularly by Willie Whitehead, but no injury was reported after the game. On the other side, DE Charles Grant had his fifth sack of the season.

New York Giants
Once again the Giants were without three of their top four ends. First round pick Mathias Kiwanuka continued to start in place of Osi Umenyiora (hip flexor) and DT William Joseph once again slid over to DE to start for Michael Strahan (Lisfranc foot sprain) at LE in the base package. Strahan has already been ruled out for this week and Umenyiora’s status is still in question, but he may return to practice this week. DE Justin Tuck had foot surgery and was placed on the IR, so the depth for the rest of the year still takes a hit whenever Strahan and Umenyiora return. DT Fred Robbins has been the biggest beneficiary of the increased reps required to compensate across the rest of the DLine. He had another sack giving him 5.5 on the season, almost tripling his previous career high for a season.

After shutting out the Titans for three quarters, the Giants defense was unable to stop a furious comeback led by TEN rookie QB Vince Young. Kiwanuka had the chance to end it, but a combination rookie mistake/impact of the league’s overprotection of quarterbacks made him the goat instead of the hero. With Tennessee still down seven and less than three minutes to go, it was fourth-and-ten deep in their own territory. Kiwanuka got through and wrapped up Young for what should have been a sack, but let him go and Young sprinted for a first down. The Titans would tie it up that drive and, after an interception, win it with a FG. Kiwanuka said after the game he thought he felt Young complete his throwing motion, he could not see with his head down in Young’s body, and didn’t want to draw a roughing the passer penalty, figuring the pass was off.

In addition to their two starting ends, the Giants were missing their two starting corners. Sam Madison missed another game with his lingering hamstring injury, while Corey Webster was a game-time scratch due to a toe injury. Nickel CB R.W. McQuarters started in place of Madison and Frank Walker got his first start of the season in place of Webster.

Brandon Short (quad) missed his fourth straight game, despite practicing most of last week. Carlos Emmons remained the starter at WBL with Reggie Tobor at SLB again. Short is likely to return to WLB and Emmons move back to SLB when Short returns, probably this week. MLB Antonio Pierce had 8 tackles (5 solo), including his first sack of the season.

FS Will Demps (5 solo) and SS Gibril Wilson (6 solo) led the team with 10 tackles each. An assist for Wilson came on special teams.

New York Jets
SS Kerry Rhodes (8 solo) led the team with 12 tackles, including an assist on special teams. Rhodes continues to be one of the top playmaking DBs as he also grabbed his third pick of the season. OLB Victor Hobson had 11 tackles (7 solo).

DE Shaun Ellis had a sack and a half among his 5 tackles (3 solo). OLB/DE Bryan Thomas had two sacks and took over the team lead with five for the season.

CB Andre Dyson started despite a neck injury and finished with 7 solo tackles.

DE Derrick Burgess and DT Tommy Kelly shared a sack, the only one on the day for Oakland. Burgess upped his team-leading total to 8.5 on the season.

CB Nnamdi Asomugha grabbed his fifth pick of the season. He also broke up 2 other passes and had a solo tackle.

MLB Kirk Morrison led the team with 7 tackles (6 solo, including 1 on special teams).

Expecting IND QB Peyton Manning to attack them through the air, the Eagles spent a lot of time in their nickel package and ended up getting destroyed by IND rookie RB Joseph Addai. As they were missing nickel LB Shawn Barber, who was inactive with a knee injury, even the nickel package wasn’t at full strength when Manning did pass.

MLB Jeremiah Trotter (8 solo) and SS Sean Considine (7 solo, including 1 on special teams) led the team with 10 tackles. Trotter left the game briefly in the second quarter, but returned and finished the game. Rookie Omar Gaither replaced him in the middle while he was on the sidelines.

DT Broderick Bunkley was inactive after missing the team flight. He paid his own way to get there, but was suspended for the game as a disciplinary action.

CB Lito Sheppard had his team-leading fourth pick in the game. The team had no other turnovers and no sacks.

As their playoff hopes dwindled after being shutout by the Ravens, the Steelers suffered more bad news when SS Troy Polamalu suffered an MCL sprain in his left knee and he’ll miss at least this week and likely two or three games. The injury occurred in the third quarter and Polamalu still finished leading the team with 10 tackles (6 solo). Tyrone Carter is likely to start in his place.

The revolving door at CB continued as Bryant McFadden returned to the starting lineup and Ike Taylor was demoted. Deshea Townsend, back on a healthy ankle, started on the other side. McFadden had 9 solo tackles.

St. Louis
FS O.J. Atogwe sealed the victory that ended a five-game losing streak with his third INT on the final play of the game. Atogwe broke up two other passes and led the team with 9 tackles (5 solo). CB Tye Hill got his third pick of the year, tops among rookies, before leaving in the second half with a strained quad. Ronald Bartell replaced him.

MLB Will Witherspoon had 4 solo tackles on defense and a fifth on a punt in the second quarter on which he forced a fumble. The Rams recovered and scored their first TD on the next play to go up 10-0.

Rookie DE Victor Adeyanju left the game in the first half with a radius fracture in his right forearm. He is expected to miss at least three weeks. This is a huge hit to DE for the Rams, as they traded Tony Hargrove, who Adeyanju replaced as a started, to Buffalo earlier this season. Brandon Green replaced Adeyanju and will likely move in to the starting lineup.

San Diego
OLB Shaun Phillips had a sack and a half among his 9 tackles (6 solo), leading a barrage of five sack against Oakland. Phillips not only passed suspended teammate OLB Shawne Merriman for the team lead, but leads the AFC with 9.5 sacks this season. After missing just one game with a calf injury that was feared could sideline him for a while, Phillips had 20 tackles and 3.5 sacks in his last three games. Merriman’s four-game suspension for violating the league’s substance abuse policy is now over. He returned to the team on Monday and is expected to play this week, sending Carlos Polk back to the bench and decreasing the role of Marques Harris, who had his third sack in the game. The team went 4-0 in Merriman’s absence.

ILB Randall Godfrey had his best game of the season. He led the team with 13 tackles (12 solo), including three TFL and his second sack of the season. Fellow ILB Donnie Edwards had 11 tackles (6 solo).

DE Luis Castillo remained inactive with a high ankle sprain. Jacques Cesaire continued to replace him through an ankle injury of his own. Castillo is doubtful to play this week. FS Marlon McCree (calf) was inactive and Bhawoh Jue started in his place. McCree should be back this week.

Rookie reserve CB Antonio Cromartie strengthened his case to be the top kick returner with a 91-yard return that set up the team’s first TD.

DE Igor Olshansky was fined, but not suspended, for punching DEN C Tom Nalen after Nalen launched at Olshanky’s knees. Nalen was fined more, but not suspended either.

Reserve CB Cletis Gordon was arrested on suspicion of drunk driving on Monday. He is the sixth Chargers player to have a legal incident since the spring.

San Francisco
Rookie OLB Manny Lawson flashed the athleticism that made him a first round pick when he made a leaping interception at the sideline on a pass intended for STL WR Torry Holt on the Rams first drive. It was the first of Lawson’s career. He also had 3 solo tackles. Lawson suffered a rib injury in the game, perhaps on the landing after his pick, and was taken in for X-rays, but returned to the game. On the next St. Louis drive, CB Walt Harris appear to have forced a fumble after a Holt catch that he picked up and returned for a TD. The call was reversed on a questionable decision after replay. Harris broke up 2 passes and had 6 solo tackles in the game. CB Shawntae Spencer was inactive with an ankle sprain. Donald Strickland started in his place.

FS Keith Lewis led the team with 9 tackles (7 solo). DE Bryant Young had a sack and a half, giving him five for the season.

Tony Parrish was a healthy scratch for the second straight week.

Rookie CB Kelly Jennings got his first career pick among three by the secondary. Kelly Herndon and Marcus Trufant each had one, as well. OLB Julian Peterson led the team with 6 tackles (4 solo). Rookie DE Darryl Tapp had his third sack.

Tampa Bay
DE Simeon Rice has probably played his last game as a Buc after he was placed on the IR last week. Rice, who has been impaired by shoulder problems most of the season, finished with just four sacks. It is the first time since 2000, his last year as a Cardinal, he didn’t have double-digit sacks. With a big cap number for next year, the team in a rebuilding mode and the guy primed to replace him, Dewayne White, an UFA, Rice should be somewhere else next year. White remained the starter at RDE last Thursday and should continue his audition the rest of the way. White had just one solo tackle and a QB hurry in the game.

DT Ellis Wyms (ankle) and MLB Shelton Quarles (knee, ankle) were both inactive for the third straight game. Both are questionable again this week. DT Jon Bradley and LB Barrett Ruud continue to replace them. Ruud (6 solo) tied FS Will Allen (7 solo) for the team lead with 8 tackles.

DT Chris Hovan had his first sack as a Buc, the only one for them in the game. The team forced no turnovers.

OLB Derrick Brooks started his 184th game as a Buc, a new team record. He 4 tackles (3 solo) in the game.

The furious comeback in the fourth quarter would not have been possible if not for two picks by CB Pacman Jones in that period. The first set up the team’s first score and his second, with less than a minute remaining, set up the game-winning FG. Jones broke up another pass and had 3 solo tackles, as well. He now had three INTs on the year.

With DE Travis LaBoy (concussion) and DE Antwan Odom (knee) already set to be inactive, Josh Savage hurt his hamstring in practice last week, so the team was forced to not only activate UDFA rookie Sean Conover from the practice squad, but start him in his first career game. Conover posted 4 tackles (2 solo) and a pass defensed. LaBoy is likely to return this week, but Odom appears out for a while.

OLB David Thornton continues to be limited by a torn supra-spinatus tendon and rotator cuff in his right shoulder. Peter Sirmon got the start in his place, with Thornton seeing limited work. Rookie Stephen Tulloch continues to play well in the middle. He had 9 tackles (8 solo, including 1 on special teams).

SS Chris Hope led the team with 11 tackles (8 solo).

It was one thing when a cagey former Pro Bowl vet like Troy Vincent replaced Adam Archuleta at SS, even if it was after he was cut by another team. However, with Vincent (hamstring) inactive on Sunday, it was journeyman career back-up Vernon Fox who started in place of the highest paid safety in NFL history. Fox grabbed his first pick of the season, and first since 2002, on the Panthers first drive. He finished with 5 tackles (3 solo). FS Sean Taylor sealed the victory stopping CAR WR Drew Carter short of a first down on a fourth down pass on the Panthers second-to-last drive and picking off CAR QB Jake Delhomme in the end zone on the Panthers final possession. Taylor broke up another pass and finished with 5 tackles (4 solo).

MLB Lemar Marshall led the team with 8 tackles (4 solo). DE Phillip Daniels had the only sack of the game, his third of the season, among his 4 solo tackles. He also broke up a pass.