Practice Report

The road to recovery has been long and winding for <b>Brian Ross.</b> Thankfully, it carried him back to where he belongs. Ross, who suffered a broken right leg during spring drills, practiced for the first time Tuesday as the 'Noles Seminoles continued preparations for Duke. There's also plenty of other news, from an updated injury report to yet another parking ticket for quarterback Chris Rix. "He's not above the rules and he apparently hasn't learned that yet," Bobby Bowden said.

The road to recovery has been long and winding for Brian Ross. Thankfully, it carried him back to where he belongs -- on Florida State's practice fields.

Ross, who suffered a broken right leg during spring drills, practiced for the first time Tuesday as the sixth-ranked Seminoles continued preparations for Saturday's game at Duke.

Ross, who has been moved from defensive line to center, is hoping to see action against the Blue Devils. FSU coach Bobby Bowden said Ross is in the mix behind David Castillo and John Frady.

"I'm definitely going to play this season," Ross said.

"I'm not sure when. I'm hoping to get some action on Saturday, see where I stand, see how well I can do. I'm definitely prepared to be a part of the line and help the team."

Ross has undergone a grueling rehabilitation, one that tested him both physically and emotionally. During preseason drills, Ross nearly suffered a setback when he slipped in the rain-soaked parking lot leading from the practice fields to the locker room, aggravating his leg.

"It was definitely a task, getting healed and being able to build strength back into the leg," Ross said.

"It was very challenging, physically and mentally. The position change is not so bad. I've played this position before. I've just got to make sure that I learn everything, every defense, every call. I don't want to be the cause of a broken play or anything. I feel pretty solid about the position."

Bowden also had updates on other key players who have been hampered by injuries. Here's the rundown.

Tailbacks Leon Washington (elbow) and Lorenzo Booker (ankle/knee) "Leon and Lorenzo both worked today. (Kendyll) Pope didn't. But they only worked about half way. They look like they are running pretty good. So our decision has not been made yet as to their status for Saturday night. Our plan is to take them and then see what happens."

Tight end Matt Henshaw (knee): "He went back to Nashville to get looked at by the Titans doctors. And I think they did something on his knee. It might have been cartilage or something like that. He won't be available this week."

Center Matt Heinz (back) "We need to get Heinz back, too. Probably any day now. Maybe we will be able to get him back, maybe for the Miami game."

Fullback Torrance Washington (knee): He's out here but he has not (practiced). He sure could (help) because he's a natural short-yardage runner. A natural. He's really a natural down there (goal line). You really miss him. He has something there that a lot of fullbacks don't have. I think the question now is whether your redshirt him or not."

Linebacker Kendyll Pope: Did not practice. However, coaches and Pople have indicated he will be ready if needed. A.J. Nicholson will start if Pope is held out.

Offensive guard Bobby Meeks: Meeks was scheduled to have his tonsils and adenoids removed Wednesday but has been delayed. Eric Broe will start in his place.

Of course, FSU quarterback Chris Rix was in the news again Tuesday. He was ticketed for yet another parking violation, this time for leaving his vehicle in a spot reserved for patients at the school's regional rehabilitation center, university police said.

The story was reported by the Associated Press.

Rix was ticketed last week for parking in a handicapped-only spot and fined $100. Tuesday's offense was reported by a professor who took several photos of Rix's vehicle, university officials said.

"We have no explanation," said vice president for university relations Lee Hinkle. "Ask Chris Rix."

When approached by the media Tuesday, Rix declined to comment. Bowden released a statement regarding Rix. It's not clear if it will impact his status regarding Duke.

"He's not above the rules and he apparently hasn't learned that yet. Obviously running him every morning hasn't helped it sink in, so we'll use a stronger method to get the point across."

Back on the field, there were plenty of highlights:

After special teams and work against Duke scout teams, the Seminoles wrapped up practice with 11-on-11 scrimmaging, according to FSU sports info.

The No. 1 defense dominated the No. 2 offense as Kevin Emanuel had a sack and Bryant McFadden broke up a pass. Travis Johnson, Leroy Smith and Ray Piquion added tackles for loss. The No. 1 offense had its biggest gain of the day on a 25-yard pass from Rix to Craphonso Thorpe.

Additionally, Bowden said the Seminoles can't afford to overlook the Blue Devils.

"No matter who you play, you still have to go out there and do it. And they are usually fired up, especially when we come to town," Bowden said.

"There's no sense of them looking ahead. No chance of them looking ahead. So, you are going to catch their best shot. So you have to solve the riddles. And you just don't walk out there on the field and solve them. The thing we did against North Carolina, I can't remember the last time that ever happened. And it hasn't happened since. And you always love for it to happen like that. They've got, I think they might have 11 starters back on offense, seven or more on defense. They battled us even out here for a quarter. I think somewhere along the line our depth has to take over. Somewhere along the line."


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