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IDP Notes
Week 7

Quick Hits (Details in individual team notes)
  • Week Seven byes: BAL, CHI, NO, SF, STL, TEN
  • CAR DE Peppers leads NFL, and now team all-time, in sacks
  • ATL DE Abraham returns, then leaves again; others hurt on DLine
  • PIT LB Porter out, LB Chad Brown signed, has success in homecoming
  • JAX retools LB: Smith in middle, rookie Ingram at WLB
  • CAR MLB Morgan on IR, OLB Davis hurt
  • BUF SLB Spikes returns, DE Kelsay on the rise
  • CIN LB Brooks gets surprise start in middle
  • PHI SS Lewis benched during game
  • Former PSU teammates Short and Arrington on divergent paths in NYC
  • DET DL wakes up, DE Hall has career day, then DT Rogers suspended
  • IND acquire DT Anthony McFarland from TB
  • SF S Roman replaces long-time starter Parrish
  • WAS signs vet DB Vincent after BUF releases him
  • STL trades DE Hargrove to BUF
  • HOU CB Buchanon released, signed by TB
Week 7 Injury Report (available Wednesday PM)

IDP Depth Chart

The Cardinals took beat up the Bears offense, but couldn’t capitalize enough on the turnovers they forced. They picked off CHI QB Rex Grossman four times. The most interesting INT was by DT Darnell Dockett. A deflected ball landed in his arms and as he rolled over another player, no whistle blew and he headed for the end zone with a convoy. The TD was erased on instant replay, as he was ruled down. Dockett also recovered a fumble off a sack by SS Adrian Wilson. Wilson also had 6 solo tackles and broke up a pass.

DE Bertrand Berry finally had his first sack of the season. He forced the fumble and recovered it, as well, on the blindside hit. OLB Karlos Dansby appears the turf toe is sufficiently healed, as he started for the second straight game. He posted four solo tackles.

MLB Gerald Hayes had his second pick of the year and led the team with 7 tackles (6 solo).

DE John Abraham made his long-awaited return on Sunday. He picked up where he left off Week One, registering a sack and forcing the fumble on it late in the second quarter. However, the groin began to bother him again after about 20 plays and he sat out most of the second half. HC Jim Mora said they expected to limit Abraham to about 20 plays, and with the Giants running over the Falcon defense, there wasn’t much use for him in the second half anyway. Abraham should play this week, but again have his plays limited. The DLine was hampered by other injury problems. DE Patrick Kerney left the game with a left hamstring injury that the team is concerned about, although he says he’ll play next week, and DT Rod Coleman had a toe problem that took him out in the third quarter. He returned after treatment, but was ineffective. Coleman is having further test on the toe, so there is some need for concern. Jonathan Babineaux would likely replace Coleman if he can’t play this week. Kerney had a sack before leaving.

MLB Edgerton Hartwell (knees) remained inactive after saying he’d be ready this week. The team missed his support in run defense, but WLB Demorrio Williams, who effectively replaces him in the lineup, continues to produce. Williams tied SS Lawyer Milloy for the team lead in tackles with 11 (9 solo). Williams also had his first INT of the season off a pass tipped by Coleman. CB DeAngelo Hall also had a pick in the game. Hartwell says he is sick of sitting and definitely ready to play this week.

CB Chris McAlister had his third pick of the year and rookie SS Dawan Landry had his first of his career. Their counterparts in the secondary had a significantly less enjoyable individual performance. CB Samari Rolle and FS Ed Reed blew coverage on CAR WR Steve Smith on what would be the decisive TD in the loss. Landry’s day took a bad turn when he had to leave the game with a sprained knee. The team is on a bye this week, so keep an eye out for his status next week.

MLB Ray Lewis led the team with 9 tackles (8 solo) and recovered a fumble forced by DT Kelly Gregg. Gregg also had 8 tackles (6 solo). SLB Adalius Thomas had his team-leading fifth sack among his 7 solo tackles, and also broke up a pass. It was the only sack of the day for Baltimore, who has at least one sack and one pick in each game this season.

DE Terrell Suggs had 3 tackles (1 solo), a pass defensed, and a QB hurry as he continues to play through tender hamstring.

SLB Takeo Spikes played for the first time since the season opener, finally over a hamstring injury. He didn’t have much of an impact, posting 4 tackles (3 solo) and seeing less than a full workload. Spikes said he is still lacking “burst” and “explosion”.

DE Aaron Schobel had a sack for the second straight game, his third of the season. On the other side, DE Chris Kelsay had his team-leading fourth sack of the season. With a career best of 4.5 sacks, Kelsay is having a quiet breakout year. He is on track to put up the best numbers of his four-year career across the board. MLB London Fletcher had his first sack of the season among his 7 tackles (6 solo).

First round pick SS Donte Whitner led the team with 8 tackles (6 solo) and also had a pass defended. Fellow rookie FS Ko Simpson grabbed his first career pick, the only turnover the defense forced on the day. CB Nate Clements, who left the previous game with a deep thigh bruise and wrist injury, started as usual. After a career-high 99 tackles last season, he is back on pace for his normal 60-70 range and doesn’t have a pick yet, so his value is way down. The team is reportedly shopping him, as his is a UFA who cannot be franchise-tagged again after the season. Rookie CB Ashton Youboty would finally see some work if Clements is moved.

Veteran DB Troy Vincent was granted his request to be released from the team’s IR. After injuring his hamstring four weeks ago, Vincent was placed on the IR due to roster limitations, despite the injury not being season-threatening.

First round pick DT John McCargo was placed on the IR with a broken foot. DT Jason Jefferson was signed off the practice squad to take his roster spot. The Bills acquired STL DE Tony Hargrove, infamous for his AWOL incident earlier, for a fifth-round draft pick. It was a bit of a curious acquisition, as Kelsay is emerging and Ryan Denney has shown flashes, while their pressing need is at DT up front. HC Dick Jauron’s only comment is that he is happy with his current ends, but Hargrove was too good of a player to pass up. So Hargrove retains some dynasty upside, as apparently Jauron like him. However, unless an unexpected shake up comes at end or there are injuries, Hargrove appears to have little value the rest of the way this year.

Reserve LB Josh Stamer was put on the IR with a knee injury.

DE Julius Peppers became the Panthers all-time sack leader on Sunday. His second sack in the game gave him 48.5 for his career, passing teammate DE Mike Rucker. Rucker was at 47.5, but finally got to the QB for the first time this season in the game, sharing a sack with MLB Chris Draft. The sack knocked BAL QB Steve McNair out of the game with a concussion. In addition to two sacks, Peppers had six other solo tackles, including forcing a fumble on one that Draft recovered.

If you need help at LB, check if Draft is still on the waiver wire, because it looks like he will starting in the middle for Carolina the rest of the season. Dan Morgan is officially done for the year after being put on the IR last week. The team has more injury problems at LB to worry about Thomas Davis had to leave the game Sunday. The former first round pick left in the third quarter with bruised ribs and did not return. Rookie James Anderson replaced him and looked good, although he posted just one solo tackle. Third DE Al Wallace also left near the end of the game and did not return after an injury to his forearm. X-rays showed no break.

After returning his first career pick for a TD the previous week, rookie CB Richard Marshall had another INT on Sunday. He also was the primary kick returner with RB DeAngelo Williams inactive with an ankle injury. Marshall is a great looking dynasty prospect and shows the big play ability that should make him one of the more valuable third corners this year. SS Shaun Williams missed his fourth straight game with a hyper-extended foot. Williams had practiced all last week until suffering a setback on Thursday. Colin Branch continues to replace him and had his first INT of the season.

With a bye week on the horizon, DE Adewale Ogunleye was inactive for the second straight game so he’ll have three full weeks to rest his hamstring after the bye this week. Rookie DE Mark Anderson got the start and responded with the momentum-shifting play of the game. The Bears were down 20 on the last play of the fourth quarter, when Anderson blindsided AZ QB Matt Leinart, knocking the ball loose. SS Mike Brown snatched it up and cut the lead to 13 to kickoff an amazing comeback. The sack was number 5.5 for Anderson, putting him second in the league. Brown suffered a sprained foot shortly after the TD. He left the game on a chart and didn’t return.

MLB Brian Urlacher also had a huge strip that CB Charles Tillman would return for a TD. Urlacher also led the team with 19 tackles (11 solo), breaking up 2 passes and hitting Leinart 3 times. WLB Lance Briggs had 15 tackles (13 solo).

Nickel corner Ricky Manning Jr. had to leave the game with a hamstring injury.

DT Tank Johnson has replaced Ian Scott as a starter.

After Odell Thurman’s suspension was increased to a year, Brian Simmons appeared locked in the middle for the rest of the season coming out of the bye week. However, after he practiced all last week through a sore neck, he woke up and felt he would be unable to play through the pain. Supplemental draft rookie Ahmad Brooks found himself unexpectedly thrust into a starting role at Tampa Bay Sunday. He responded with a game-high 11 tackles (10 solo) and broke up a pass. He seemed comfortable and apparently did a good job with reads and assignments. His quick success could shake up the LB corps again, returning Simmons to his natural role outside. Simmons is questionable this week. This could mean feel-good story SLB Rashad Jeanty is out of a job when he returns from injury. Jeanty missed his second straight game with a bruised foot and is questionable again this week. Landon Johnson moved over from WLB to replace him and Caleb Miller got another start in place of Jeanty. Johnson (6 solo) and Miller (5 solo) each had 7 tackles.

Injuries were a problem in the secondary, as well. SS Dexter Jackson (ankle sprain) remained inactive, as expected. Kevin Kaesviharn continued to start in his place. He had 4 solo tackles and a pick. CB Tory James left the game in the second quarter with a knee injury, but returned and finished with 4 solo tackles.

DE’s Robert Geathers and Justin Smith (DE, LB) each had their fifth sack of the season. Smith’s sack came on the eventual game winning drive and was offset by a Roughing the Passer penalty, for which I join the chorus of those booing the call and wondering how you can rough the passer on a sack. Instead of second-and-long from the Bengal 40, the Bucs had first-and-ten from their 25-yard line. Geathers also had a Roughing the Passer flag on the Tampa Bay’s first TD.

DT Sam Adams started Sunday, but continues to be plagued by knee problems. It was announced last week he’ll need surgery on the knee after the season. This likely means the end of the road for the 13-year veteran. If the Bengals season goes bad, he could be out of the lineup sooner.

HC Romeo Crennel expects both CB Gary Baxter and CB Leigh Bodden back from injuries and in the starting lineup, as well as FS Brian Russell. Baxter has missed three straight games before their bye.

CB Anthony Henry and OLB Greg Ellis each had their first INT of the year. It was just the third career pick for Ellis, a converted DE, and first since 2002. Henry also broke up four other passes and tied for the team lead with 8 tackles (all solo). ILB Bradie James also had 8 tackles (6 solo). They had no sacks and forced no fumbles, unusual for a team facing HOU QB David Carr, but they didn’t need to as the game became a blowout in the second half.

FS Pat Watkins started, but Keith Davis again saw time. Watkins was benched in the fourth quarter the previous week after struggling against Philly. Neither was productive, as Watkins had just one solo tackle and Davis didn’t appear in the box score. Marcus Coleman could factor in to the picture. He was released after his return from a four-game suspension for violating the league’s substance abuse policy, but was resigned. The move avoids having to guarantee his salary for the rest of the season.

First round pick LB Bobby Carpenter was inactive after getting some time the previous week. He has been tried inside and outside, but hasn’t shown enough at either spot, as well as on special teams, to consistently be active.

DE Jason Hatcher injured his ankle in the game and is not expected to play this week.

After connecting with OAK WR Randy Moss on a 51-yard pass earlier on a drive late in the second quarter, OAK QB Andrew Walter went back to the well too quickly. CB Champ Bailey ran a better route than Moss and thwarted the Raiders best scoring opportunity with a pick at the Denver one-yard line. The Broncos would move on with only allowing one TD through five games, the best such effort since 1934. It was the second pick of the year for Bailey, who also had 6 tackles (4 solo).

Rookie pass rush specialist DE Elvis Dumervil was active for just the second game and posted his first two career sacks. Dumervil, the 2005 NCAA sack leader, was an outstanding collegiate pass rusher who fell to Day Two because he is undersized.

DE Courtney Brown’s season is over before it begun. He had another microfracture surgery on his knee and was put on the IR. He hadn’t played yet this season. Kenard Lang and Ebenezer Ekuban are now locked in as starters.

After two weeks without a QB sack, the defense turned it up a notch against the Bills to finally get HC Rod Marinelli his first win. Like in their season opener, the pressure came from the front four. DE James Hall led the way with a career-high 3.5 sacks. Hall leads the team with 5.5, a half-sack more than he had in a disappointing 2005 after posting double-digit sacks in 2004. Hall also totaled 7 tackles (4 solo) and forced a fumble on one of his sacks, recovered by DT Shaun Rogers. Rogers also had a sack among his 3 solo tackles. DT Cory Redding shared one of the sacks with Hall. Redding started at DT in place of Shaun Cody, who was inactive with a dislocated toe. Cody has already been ruled out for this week. Kalimba Edwards moved in to the starting lineup at DE with Redding sliding inside. Edwards ended the game grabbing a lateral for a fumble recovery as the Bills pitched the ball around in desperation on the final play of the game.

The team also doubled their interception total with a pick by FS Terrence Holt. Holt returned to the starting lineup after missing the previous game with back problems. CB Dre’ Bly dropped a pick thrown right in his chest. CB Fernando Bryant led the team with 8 tackles (6 solo). Kennoy Kennedy missed his fourth straight with a foot injury. Rookie Daniel Bullocks continued to replace him as the starter at SS. Kennedy is doubtful this week.

LB Ernie Sims left the game in the fourth quarter with what appeared to be a leg injury when his right ankle was rolled in a tackle. However, it was reported he injured his left elbow. He did not return to the game, but said he was OK after, although he is having an MRI this week.

DT Shaun Rogers was suspended four games for violating the league’s substance abuse policy.

LB Teddy Lehman is expected to come off the PUP this week. The Detroit Free Press thinks he could step right in to the SLB job, but journeyman Paris Lenon has played well.

Green Bay
After the bye, CB Charles Woodson is still bothered by knee and rib injuries. He did not practice on Monday. The Green Bay secondary is extremely thin after releasing Ahmad Carroll, but fourth round pick Will Blackmon has returned to practice.

OLB Ben Taylor is expected back from a hamstring injury. He miss their last game before the bye. Backup LB Abdul Hodge is doubtful with a knee injury

Rookie MLB DeMeco Ryans had a sack among his 9 tackles (6 solo). First round pick DE Mario Williams had 6 tackles (5 solo).

FS C.C. Brown had his first career sack among his game-high 11 tackles (10 solo, including one on special teams). SS Glenn Earl left the game in the fourth quarter with a strained neck, but the injury is not believed to be serious. He is expected to play this week.

DT Seth Payne, who handled the conversion from 3-4 NT to 4-3 DT well, tore his ACL and will miss the season. The Texans run defense becomes a bigger liability without him. They signed DT Lionel Dalton, last seen doing little for KC, to replace Payne.

DE Antwan Peek was expected to return from a groin injury, but was inactive after being added to the injury report late last week with a hamstring. Despite practicing last week, CB DeMarcus Faggins (broken foot) missed another game. He should bump Lewis Sanders from the starting lineup when he returns. His return seems likely this week because the team released CB Phillip Buchanon. The former first round pick was acquired for two Day One picks in 2005 by former GM Charley Casserly and has now been a huge bust for his second team. LB Kaliee Wong is expected to be activated off the PUP this week. CB Dunta Robinson needed an IV for cramps during the game, but he returned.

The Colts acquired DT Anthony “Booger” McFarland from the Bucs for a second round pick. Losing Corey Simon, the team needed to again try to address the need for a space-eater to help their run defense that Simon was supposed to be.

FS Bob Sanders said his knee still felt “unstable” after working out, but not practicing, earlier this week. His status is very questionable for this week. CB Nick Harper is still hampered by a groin injury, but Marlin Jackson recovered from his concussion over the bye and will likely start in Harper’s place.

The Jaguars LB corps has regrouped after the bye, having to restructure after losing MLB Mike Peterson. Daryl Smith is expected to move to MLB. He was a standout at the position as a four-year starter at Georgia Tech. Rookie third round pick gets the biggest bump, as he moves in to the starting WLB role to replace Smith. Nick Greisen remains the SLB.

DT Marcus Stroud rested lingering ankle and groin injuries over the bye. He practiced Monday and is expected back in the starting lineup this week after missing the game before the bye.

Kansas City
In a game where they were dominated by KC, a few individual performances stood out. MLB Kawika Mitchell had been frustrating fantasy owners so far this year after his breakout 100-tackle year in 2005. He had his best fantasy game of the season with 10 tackles (7 solo) and a fumble recovery. The recovery came off a fumble forced by first round pick DE Tamba Hali, who had 9 tackles (7 solo). CB Ty Law had his first sack since 2002 among his 3 solo tackles.

MLB Zach Thomas (7 solo) and WLB Channing Crowder (5 solo) led the team with 10 tackles. The team had no sacks and forced no turnovers.

CB Andre’ Goodman started with Travis Daniels inactive again with knee problems. However, Goodman hurt his shoulder in the third quarter and did not return. The status of both is uncertain for this week.

Fourth round pick rookie DE Ray Edwards has been a key piece of the Vikings defense this year. He has replaced situational pass rusher Lance Johnstone and his role has grown after Erasmus James went down for the year. He has two sacks and has flashed his playmaking skills at other times that haven’t shown up in the box score. Edwards had Day One talent, but fell to the fourth after declaring early when he became disgruntled at Purdue after losing his starting role due to his work ethic, and eventually left the team.

New England
FS Eugene Wilson is expected back after missing two straight games before the bye with a hamstring injury.

New Orleans
SLB Scott Fujita continues to be the team’s IDP MVP. He led the Saints with 8 tackles (4 solo), including his third sack of the year, and grabbed his team-leading second pick of the year, as well as another pass defensed. DE Charles Grant also had his third sack of the year, among his 3 solo tackles, surpassing his 2.5 total from an injury-plagued 2005.

DT Hollis Thomas had a big game against his former team. The long-time Eagle had 6 solo tackles and his first solo sack since 2000. After going five years without a sack, Thomas has 1.5 so far this year.

Omar Stoutmire got the first shot at replacing rookie SS Roman Harper, who went on the IR with a torn ACL last week. Stoutmire had 5 solo tackles and broke up 2 passes.

New York Giants
Despite a deep front line that was expected to terrorize opponents, the Giants were struggling to get to the QB the first three games of the season. The previous week that more than doubled their season total against WAS, and they did that again Sunday, getting ATL QB Mike Vick seven times. DE Osi Umenyiora and WLB Brandon Short led the way with two each. Short continues to replace Carlos Emmons who is inactive with a pec strain. Emmons’ status this week is uncertain. Short forced a fumble on one sack, that Vick was able to recover, and also led the team in tackles for the second consecutive week, posting 8 solo. Umenyiora now leads the team with four sacks. Rookie DT Barry Cofield had the first sack of this career and shared another with fellow DT Fred Robbins. CB Corey Webster has his first career sack, as well.

SS Gibril Wilson lost the nail of his right big toe on Friday and was inactive on Sunday. While I have no doubt that is an extremely unpleasant situation, the pain threshold of players today seems a far cry from the days of Ronnie Lott and Hacksaw Reynolds. Jason Bell started in place of Wilson, with James Butler also seeing more work when Bell suffered a concussion in the game. The team missed Wilson’s run support help, as Vick and ATL RB Warrick Dunn ran wild again. Wilson’s status for this week is uncertain. CB Sam Madison was involved in two turnovers, recovering a fumble and grabbing his first pick as a Giant.

While Short had another big game for the Giants, and may have replaced Emmons permanently, his former PSU teammate Lavar Arrington is still looking to make an impact. He posted just one solo tackle for the second straight game. Arrington, who hasn’t had a sack in over two years, is still not past his knee problems and seems unlikely to be an impact player this year, if ever again. He said his suffered a knee injury during the game, and Chase Blackburn saw some work in his place, because of a chop block by the Falcons’ OLine. MLB Antonio Pierce also complained of chopping blocking, and took his frustration out on ATL QB Mike Vick with a late hit.

New York Jets
DE/LB Bryan Thomas led the team with 11 tackles (7 solo). He is just six tackles shy of his previous career best. OLB Victor Hobson had a pick and recovered a fumble. He has been more of a playmaker this year than in previous seasons.

CB Andre Dyson had his team-leading third pick. Rookie sixth round pick Drew Coleman got the start opposite Dyson for the second straight week. He had 7 tackles (5 solo) and broke up a pass. David Barrett, who has battled injury problems all season, was inactive with a hip. Justin Miller was limited to mostly special teams, as Hank Poteat, who the team signed last week after he was released by the Jets, worked in the rotation. SS Kerry Rhodes had 9 tackles (7 solo, including 1 on special teams) and a pass defensed.

DE Derrick Burgess and pass rush specialist Lance Johnstone each had a sack. The team forced no turnovers.

CB Fabian Washington was inactive fore the second straight game. Stanford Routt replaced him again in the starting lineup.

DT Tommy Kelly led the team with 7 tackles (5 solo) and batted down a pass.

The biggest news here is the benching of SS Michael Lewis on Sunday. After lapses in coverage on both of NO WR Joe Horn’s scores, Sean Considine replaced him on the first team in the fourth quarter. HC Andy Reid has not ruled out replacing him this week, but it is more likely just a wake up call. Lewis, a Pro Bowler in 2004, is a monster in run support and Considine would be a step down there. However, Lewis is biting on everything right now and exposing the team to the big pass play too often. I consider Lewis a buy-low candidate right now in dynasty leagues.

WLB Matt McCoy aggravated his hip pointer during the game, which was already impeding his running, and eventually had to leave. The team seems negative on his outlook for this week. Further hampering their LB situation was Shawn Barber, McCoy’s backup and the primary nickel LB, had to also leave the game with a stinger. Barber was also playing through a hip pointer from the previous game. His status is also uncertain for this week. With both out of the game, rookie Omar Gaither saw significant work in a crucial stretch at the end of the game. For better or worse, the rookie could see a starting role this week if both McCoy and Barber cannot go. MLB Jeremiah Trotter also left the game in the fourth quarter with an apparent leg injury, but returned on the next play. Trotter led the team with 10 tackles (8 solo).

The team had no sacks as the NO OLine did a good job against Philly’s front four. The “hockey line” rotation concept has been a whole lot less successful since Jevon Kearse went down and the second line lost the disruptive presence of Trent Cole. While injuries have allowed him to keep getting another chance, it may be time to cut their losses with former first round pick Jerome McDougle. DT Darwin Walker got his first career interception on a ball tipped up by DE Juqua Thomas. CB Lito Sheppard had a more conventional pick, giving him three in the last two games.

DE Darren Howard suffered a groin strain against his old team. He had 3 solo tackles and batted down a pass in the game.

Nickel CB Rod Hood missed another game with his heel injury. Joselio Hanson continues to replace him.

After some early season struggles that had pundits questioning their playoff chances this year, the Steelers went out and reminded everyone who the defending champs are. They dismantled KC on both sides of the ball. KC replacement QB Damon Huard, who had not thrown a pick as a starter this year, had three picked off on Sunday. SS Troy Polamalu’s was the most interesting. After a 49-yard return, he was dragged down by the flowing hair sticking out of the back of his helmet by KC RB Larry Johnson. If you were wondering, that action in and of itself was not what drew a penalty. The flag came because Johnson held on to Polamalu’s hair as he got back up, effectively dragging him back off the ground. Former NFL referee Jerry Markbreit weighed in on the play in the excerpt below from an October 17th Chicago Tribune column where he answers questions about NFL rules:

“The television announcers were incorrect in assuming that a foul was called when Polamalu was tackled by his hair. The foul was for unnecessary roughness, which occurred when the same player who made the tackle continued to fight with an opponent after the whistle had blown. Tackling a player by any hair that is sticking out of a helmet is still fair game.”

Polamalu was fine and, in addition to his second pick of the year, broke up two other passes and led the team in tackles with 10 (9 solo). CB Bryant McFadden had his first pick of the season. McFadden moved in to the starting lineup to replace Deshea Townsend, who was not expected to play with a hamstring injury. Townsend did see action in dime packages. The third INT was returned 30-yards for the first career TD for LB Rian Wallace.

Wallace saw action because of two injuries. Top reserve LB James Harrison was inactive with a high ankle sprain. Joey Porter was inactive with a hamstring injury he suffered in practice last Wednesday. Porter is doubtful this week, as well. The loss of Porter prompted the Steelers to bring back an old face last week. Chad Brown, released by the Patriots earlier this year, was signed and wasted no time picking up where he left off in 1996. Brown had a sack among 3 tackles (2 solo). Reserve LB Arnold Harrison actually started in Porter’s place, with Brown seeing work as a pass rusher.

St. Louis
DE Leonard Little had the number of SEA RB Maurice Morris the whole game. All five of his solo tackles were on the Seahawks’ back. His final tackle was the biggest. Late in the fourth quarter with the Rams down 27-21 and the Seahawks deep in their territory, Morris went up the middle and Little was there again. Little was credit with the forced fumble, but the ball appeared to pop out more off Brandon Chillar’s knee. DT Jimmy Kennedy recovered it at the St. Louis 7-yard line. It was the only turnover of the game for the Rams. A quick strike on the subsequent drive should have given the Rams a 28-27 victory, but with less than two minutes left, they lost on a long FG. After a couple years in which his playmaking production dipped, he is once again on track to be among the league-leaders in sacks and forced fumbles. He leads the team with five sacks and three forced fumbles. Kennedy also had four solo tackles and although a scoring change took away his sack last week, he continues to improve. After a slow start to his career, the former first round pick continues to improve as a real and fantasy performer. DT La’Roi Glover and rookie DT Victor Adeyanju also had a sack each. It was the first career sack for Adeyanju, who should now be locked in the rest of the year as a starter with the departure of Tony Hargrove. Hargrove was traded to the Bills for a 2007 fifth-round pick.

CB Fakhir Brown missed his second game with a high ankle sprain, so it was rookie Tye Hill in the starting lineup again opposite Travis Fisher, who played through his own groin and thigh problems. The team signed vet journeyman Dwaine Carpenter for depth at safety.

San Diego
OLB Shawne Merriman hit SF QB Alex Smith multiple times and sacked him once, among his 7 tackles (6 solo), giving him 5.5 sacks for the season. On the other side, OLB Shaun Phillips had two sacks to take the team lead with six. DE Luis Castillo surpassed his rookie season total with his fourth sack. Castillo also had his first career INT off a tip by Phillips.

CB Drayton Florence led the team with 8 solo tackles, including one on special teams.

San Francisco
A week after having a career-high three interceptions, CB Walt Harris was inactive after injuring his hamstring in practice on Thursday. Sammy Davis started in his place against the team that drafted him in the first round in 2003 and traded him in the offseason. He had 6 tackles (5 solo) and broke up a pass. More changes in the secondary as Mark Roman replaced Tony Parrish at SS. Parrish, an All-Pro in 2003 when he led the league in interceptions, has not been the same playmaker since breaking his leg last year, but has never seemed to have a fan in HC Mike Nolan. Roman, who arrived from Green Bay in the offseason, began to share time with Parrish early in the season, culminating with replacing him on Sunday. Parrish had started every game he played in prior to Sunday. Roman had 3 solo tackles and broke up a pass in the game. Nolan said the situation would continue to be evaluated.

Another shake-up was on the DLine. Ronnie Fields replaced Anthony Adams at DT on the first line. Fields had 5 tackles (4 solo) and was in on the rush that drew an Intentional Grounding penalty in the San Diego end zone, resulting in a safety.

Nolan indicated there could be more changes to the defense over the bye week.

LB’s Derek Smith (7 solo) and Jeff Ulbrich (5 solo) led the team with 8 tackles. The team had no sacks or turnovers.

After 204 attempts without an interception, STL QB Marc Bulger was picked by MLB Lofa Tatupu deep in Rams territory late in the fourth quarter. With a six-point lead at the time, the pick should have secured the win. However, the Seahawks gave the ball right back and the Rams quickly scored. It took a long Josh Brown FG to finish an incredible comeback. Tatupu broke up another pass and had 6 solo tackles in the game.

Outstanding pressure by Seattle contributed to Bulger finally giving one away. The team had six sacks and hit him at least as many times. DE Bryce Fisher and OLB Julian Peterson each had a pair of sacks, as well as two other solo tackles each. Peterson leads the team with four. DT Marcus Tubbs returned to the starting lineup and shared a sack with DT Rocky Benard. Tubbs had missed the game prior to their bye last week after minor knee surgery. The other sack was by the guy who continues to be the story of the defense, FS Ken Hamlin. His return from life-threatening, much less career-threatening, injuries from a beating he took last year has been amazing. He had his second sack of the season, tying his career-best, and led the team in tackles with 7 solo.

Tampa Bay
DE Simeon Rice played through shoulder and knee problems to post four solo tackles. He didn’t have sack, but put some good pressure on CIN QB Carson Palmer when it counted, including forcing a pass early to help hold the Bengals on the final drive. Reserve DLinemen Ellis Wyms had both sacks for the team on the day. His second sack was huge, as in came on the final drive and forced the team to use a timeout. They gained 17 yards on the next play, but would have been short of a first down even if they had time left. They were forced to try a 63-yard FG, which was missed.

Jermaine Phillips started at SS and was more productive than Kalvin Pearson, with whom he rotated with. Pearson suffered a ab injury in the second quarter, but was able to return to the game. X-rays after the game showed a possible tear and further tests will be done this week. CB Brian Kelly was inactive again as he continues to battle turf toe. He has missed three games and is said to be considering surgery. Juran Bolden, who is playing through his own hip problems, started in his place. Torrie Cox moved to the nickel in Bolden’s place. Cox left with a lower back injury, but returned.

MLB Shelton Quarles led the team with 8 tackles (5 solo) and forced a fumble that the Bengals recovered. Quarles left the game in the third quarter with a knee injury, but returned soon after.

The team claimed DB Derrick Strait off waivers when he was released by the Jets last week. The 2004 third round pick was inactive Sunday, but should provide depth to a dinged secondary this week. They also signed CB Phillip Buchanon, who was released by Houston. GM Bruce Allen made Buchanon, who has been a bust for two teams, a first round pick when Allen was with the Raiders.

DT Anthony McFarland was traded to the Colts for a second round pick. Ellis Wyms likely moves in to the starting lineup with Dewayne White seeing more time inside on passing downs.

SS Chris Hope didn’t have a pick for a third straight game, but recovered a fumble forced by CB Pacman Jones. SS Lamont Thompson sealed the victory with his his first INT of the year.

DE Antwan Odom replaced Travis LaBoy in the starting lineup, but it didn’t matter much in the pass rush department, as the team failed to get a sack for the third straight game. LaBoy is battling back and elbow problems, but his biggest problem, and reason Odom will get a look, is his inability to get to the QB.

OLB Keith Bulluck led the team with 7 tackles (5 solo).

CB Shawn Springs made his first appearance of the year in a game, finally over ab and groin injuries, but he couldn’t help his team stop TEN RB Travis Henry or some key passes from QB Vince Young. Springs played the slot, while Kenny Wright remained in the starting lineup. Second-year CB Carlos Rogers had his first career sack, but also broke his thumb in the game. He had surgery on it Monday, but could still play this week with a cast. However, he may have some problems tackling and holding on to any potential interceptions that come his way.

The team signed five-time Pro Bowl DB Troy Vincent shortly after he was released by the Bills this week. The 15-year veteran will try to help a poorly ranked pass defense and injury-plagued secondary. He started as a corner in Philly, but played safety with the Bills. The Redskins lack depth at both spots.

DE Phillip Daniels started, as usual, after leaving the previous game with a stinger in his shoulder and neck. He and DE Andre Carter each had their second sack of the season. Daniels forced a fumble on his sack, but the Titans recovered it. DT’s Cornelius Griffin (hip) and Joe Salave'a (calf) were inactive. Two rookies - Anthony Montgomery and Kedric Golston – started in their place and shared their first sack. The run defense was negatively impacted, as Tennessee put up 194 yards on the ground. Griffin and Salave’a are both expected back this week.

FS Sean Taylor led the team with 10 tackles (8 solo) and broke up a pass.