Monday, September 14, 2009

Giants’ Nicks and Ware Out at Least Two Weeks

Giants receiver Hakeem Nicks and running back Danny Ware will probably be sidelined at least two weeks with injuries sustained in the opener.

Coach Tom Coughlin indicated that the time frame was a minimum; the players may be out longer.

Nicks, the team’s first-round draft pick, sprained his left foot in the fourth quarter of the Giants’ 23-17 win over Washington. He spent the final minutes of the game sitting on the sideline with crutches at his side. Nicks caught two passes for 18 yards.

Coughlin said his understanding was that doctors had ruled out a more serious sprain that could have knocked Nicks out for the season.

“Let’s face it, any time you take a player out, it doesn’t help,” Coughlin said, noting that Nicks, a rookie from North Carolina, will miss the opportunity to practice and to continue developing a rapport with quarterback Eli Manning.

Ware, the third back behind Brandon Jacobs and Ahmad Bradshaw, dislocated his left elbow returning the opening kickoff. He stood on the sideline in the second half with his arm in a sling.

With only three running backs on the roster, Coughlin said that the Giants might have to consider a player move.

Cornerback Kevin Dockery is feeling better after missing the game with a hamstring problem.

His fellow cornerback Aaron Ross, last season’s starter, is probably not going to practice again this week because of a hamstring injury sustained in training camp.

Linebacker Michael Boley, who was suspended for the opener because of a domestic violence issue when he played in Atlanta, returned to the locker room Monday. He had offseason hip surgery and Coughlin was uncertain whether he would be ready to play against the Cowboys in Dallas on Sunday.

GOOD NEWS FOR POLAMALU This might be the first time Troy Polamalu is happy to hear that an injury will keep him out from three to six weeks.

Polamalu, a two-time All-Pro safety, does not need surgery to repair the tear in his left medical collateral ligament, which occurred during a scramble for the ball after a blocked field-goal attempt Thursday.

“Regarding an injury to the knee, this is the best-case scenario,” Polamalu said as the Steelers returned to practice Monday. “There’s no question that I’m very blessed that this scenario has come about rather than any worse scenario.”

For now, Polamalu will rest, and hope there are no complications in his recovery — just as there were not when he needed only three weeks to return from a sprained left knee in 2007.

Still, Polamalu’s injury means the Steelers (1-0) and the Bears (0-1) will be without two of the N.F.L.’s best defensive players Sunday in Chicago. Bears linebacker Brian Urlacher dislocated his right wrist Sunday and is out for the season.

Polamalu will be replaced by Tyrone Carter, who is in his ninth season and sixth with Pittsburgh, partly because he can fill in at both safety positions. Carter made five starts in 2007 when Polamalu last hurt his knee.

PANTHERS ADD FEELEY The Carolina Panthers have to come to terms with the veteran quarterback A. J. Feeley and have placed the backup Josh McCown on injured reserve. McCown injured his left knee and ankle Sunday in a loss to Philadelphia in relief of the struggling Jake Delhomme.

Feeley, who was released by Philadelphia this month, can provide a veteran presence behind Delhomme, who has 11 turnovers in his last two games. Coach John Fox said Delhomme would start this week at Atlanta. Matt Moore is the only other quarterback on the roster.

49ERS DISCUSS CRABTREE Coach Mike Singletary said the San Francisco 49ers had discussed changing their offer to top draft pick Michael Crabtree. Singletary was not sure whether the franchise had formally reached out to Crabtree.

Crabtree, the 10th overall pick in April’s draft who turned 22 on Monday, has not accepted the 49ers’ offer for about five years and $20 million with a reported $16 million guaranteed. He is seeking money comparable to the higher picks. Oakland Raidersreceiver Darrius Heyward-Bey, the No. 7 choice, signed a five-year contract that will guarantee him at least $23.5 million. Jacksonville Jaguars top pick Eugene Monroe, taken eighth over all, signed a five-year, $25 million deal that includes $19 million guaranteed.

JAGUARS LOSE HAYWARD Jacksonville Jaguars defensive end Reggie Hayward will miss the rest of the season after breaking his left shin. Hayward, a team captain who restructured his contract in the off-season, broke his fibula on a fourth-down play Sunday at Indianapolis.

THREE TO DONATE BRAINS Three N.F.L. players joined a growing list of former professional athletes who have agreed to donate their brains after death to a Boston University medical school program that studies sports brain injuries.

Center Matt Birk of the Baltimore Ravens, linebacker Lofa Tatupu of the Seattle Seahawksand receiver Sean Morey of the Arizona Cardinals announced they had donated their brains and spinal cord tissue to the Center for the Study of Traumatic Encephalopathy so researchers can better understand the long-term effects of repeated concussions.


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