NFL player ticker

News, notes and happenings regarding players throughout the NFL after divisional playoff weekend:

25 Alexander, Shaun (Seattle Seahawks) (01/17/2006) ---------------------------------------------------------- RB Shaun Alexander is expected to practice this week and start Sunday after suffering a concussion in the divisional-round playoff game. Alexander carried 32 times for 195 yards during a home victory over the Panthers last season. 1557 Roethlisberger, Ben (Pittsburgh Steelers) (01/17/2006) ---------------------------------------------------------- QB Ben Roethlisberger is listed again as probable on the injury report with a thumb injury. Although doctors worked on his arm during Sunday's game, coach Bill Cowher would not comment on any possible problem there. 1114 Locklear, Sean (Seattle Seahawks) (01/17/2006) ---------------------------------------------------------- RT Sean Locklear, who spent Monday in jail after being arrested on a domestic violence charge, was released Tuesday. It is still unclear what his status for Sunday's game will be. He would be replaced by Floyd Womack. 896 Jackson, Darrell (Seattle Seahawks) (01/17/2006) ---------------------------------------------------------- WR Darrell Jackson has proven to be a big-game threat for Seattle. He has 21 catches for 271 yards and two touchdowns in the Seahawks' past two playoff games. Those numbers aren't far behind what Panthers WR Steve Smith has done in his last two playoff games (22-302-3). Jackson is expected to play this week despite back and knee issues. 528 Engram, Bobby (Seattle Seahawks) (01/17/2006) ---------------------------------------------------------- WR Bobby Engram is a bit banged up. His body has taken a beating this season but Engram has fought through the injuries. Look for him to start against Carolina in the NFC title game. 595 Foster, DeShaun (Carolina Panthers) (01/17/2006) ---------------------------------------------------------- RB DeShaun Foster, who ran for 372 yards in his final three games prior to breaking his fibula on Sunday against Chicago (he's out for the season), is due to become an unrestricted free agent and could command big money in the offseason. "Sure he's a guy we'd like to have back. But as far (as contracts talks go) we're not talking to anybody until after the season," GM Marty Hurney said. Foster will have surgery on the ankle, but Hurney said it's only about a two-month injury. Nick Goings will start at running back for the Panthers in the NFC Championship game against the Seattle Seahawks. "It's an injury that we feel better about with surgery," coach John Fox said. The fibula is the smaller of the two bones in the lower leg. Fox doesn't consider Foster's injury something that will keep him out long term and Hurney said it would be roughly two months before he's able to begin working out again. "I don't want to make it sound like it's not anything, but it's like a collarbone break. You put the bone back together and it heals," Fox said. Foster will be ready to play for the Panthers next season if he re-signs with the team. 1408 Peppers, Julius (Carolina Panthers) (01/17/2006) ---------------------------------------------------------- DE Julius Peppers has a shoulder injury but said he hopes to play against Seattle. 1283 Morgan, Dan (Carolina Panthers) (01/17/2006) ---------------------------------------------------------- LB Dan Morgan made it through most of Sunday's game, although he did come out briefly. Morgan has played through a painful shoulder injury most of the second half of the season. 780 Harrison, James (Pittsburgh Steelers) (01/17/2006) ---------------------------------------------------------- LB James Harrison will be listed as doubtful for the second straight week with a high ankle sprain. He is their No. 3 outside linebacker and special teams whiz. 789 Hasselbeck, Matt (Seattle Seahawks) (01/17/2006) ---------------------------------------------------------- QB Matt Hasselbeck has been red hot down the stretch. After setting an NFL record for December completion percentage, Hasselbeck carried Seattle to a divisional playoff victory over Washington by posting a triple-digit passer rating for the fifth consecutive game. He is the key to Seattle's offense even though RB Shaun Alexander gets most of the media attention. 1937 Wallace, Seneca (Seattle Seahawks) (01/17/2006) ---------------------------------------------------------- QB Seneca Wallace has gotten some needed playing time this season, but he still lacks the experience to inspire confidence should Seattle lose starting QB Matt Hasselbeck for any period of time. 1784 Strong, Mack (Seattle Seahawks) (01/17/2006) ---------------------------------------------------------- FB Mack Strong is enjoying the finest season of his career at age 34. The offense has matured around him and Strong is flourishing. His clutch 32-yard run against Washington in the divisional round marked a career long by 11 yards. Strong remains most valuable for his blocking. 999 Jurevicius, Joe (Seattle Seahawks) (01/17/2006) ---------------------------------------------------------- WR Joe Jurevicius isn't getting as many touches now that WR Darrell Jackson is back from injury, but the Seahawks still count on him in clutch situations. Jurevicius came through with a 31-yard reception against the Redskins on Saturday. The play required an on-the-fly route adjustment that showed how Jurevicius and QB Matt Hasselbeck are closer to being on the same page. 1762 Stevens, Jerramy (Seattle Seahawks) (01/17/2006) ---------------------------------------------------------- TE Jerramy Stevens caught only two passes for 13 yards against the Redskins on Saturday. The passing game went through WR Darrell Jackson for the most part. Stevens remains a threat who can emerge depending on how defenses attack Seattle. 221 Brown, Josh (Seattle Seahawks) (01/17/2006) ---------------------------------------------------------- K Josh Brown made both of his field-goal attempts against Saturday, remaining under the radar against the Redskins. Back in October, Brown missed a 47-yarder that would have beaten Washington. He attempted only four field goals of 40-49 yards after that miss against the Redskins. Brown made three of them. The reduced opportunities stem from Seattle's league-leading red-zone offense. 55064 Tatupu, Lofa (Seattle Seahawks) (01/17/2006) ---------------------------------------------------------- MLB Lofa Tatupu has proven his critics wrong by becoming an impact player and team leader as a rookie. Tatupu made a stunning play in deep coverage against the Redskins on Saturday. He is also the team's most instinctive player against the run. He lacks size but opponents have a hard time getting their mitts on him. 564 Fisher, Bryce (Seattle Seahawks) (01/17/2006) ---------------------------------------------------------- DE Bryce Fisher had a big game against the Redskins on Saturday after coach Mike Holmgren challenged his defensive front to bounce back from a slow finish to the regular season. Fisher had five tackles, one sack and a forced fumble. 2080 Wistrom, Grant (Seattle Seahawks) (01/17/2006) ---------------------------------------------------------- DE Grant Wistrom was effective against the Redskins on Saturday after coach Mike Holmgren challenged his defensive front to bounce back from a slow finish to the regular season. Wistrom had four tackles and a fumble recovery. 1446 Plummer, Jake (Denver Broncos) (01/17/2006) ---------------------------------------------------------- QB Jake Plummer has never played in a game as big as the AFC Championship Game in his pro career. However, Plummer has had a very good season and responded well when he was given more responsibility against New England. Against the Patriots, the Broncos' running game wasn't effective so Denver had to pass the ball more often. The Broncos might face the same situation against a tough Pittsburgh run defense this week. 1897 Van Pelt, Bradlee (Denver Broncos) (01/17/2006) ---------------------------------------------------------- QB Bradlee Van Pelt did not play against the Patriots last week. 52 Anderson, Mike (Denver Broncos) (01/17/2006) ---------------------------------------------------------- RB Mike Anderson's last 100-yard game was on Nov. 20 against the New York Jets. But Anderson picked up some tough yards against New England, including a pair of one-yard touchdowns. Anderson is very good near the goal-line and in short-yardage situations. 127 Bell, Tatum (Denver Broncos) (01/17/2006) ---------------------------------------------------------- RB Tatum Bell is one of Denver's big-play threats but he hasn't broken loose much in the second half of the season. Since the beginning of November, Bell has only two runs longer than 20 yards. Bell won't have an easy time breaking a long run against Pittsburgh's front seven. 1714 Smith, Rod (Denver Broncos) (01/17/2006) ---------------------------------------------------------- WR Rod Smith was often double teamed by New England. He still got open and had 96 yards receiving. Smith has had a fantastic year. Not counting a meaningless regular-season finale in which he sat out the second half, Smith hasn't caught fewer than five passes in a game since Oct. 23. 1085 Lelie, Ashley (Denver Broncos) (01/17/2006) ---------------------------------------------------------- WR Ashley Lelie's production has increased late in the season. He had a season-high six catches in Denver's second-to-last regular-season game. Then he had five catches against New England in Denver's first playoff game. Lelie is becoming a more consistent option on underneath routes. 9 Adams, Charlie (Denver Broncos) (01/17/2006) ---------------------------------------------------------- WR Charlie Adams returned punts and kickoffs against New England but was cautious. He made two fair catches when he had some room to run on punts. On kickoffs Adams averaged 18 yards per return. 517 Elam, Jason (Denver Broncos) (01/17/2006) ---------------------------------------------------------- K Jason Elam hit both field-goal attempts against New England, including a 50-yarder near the end of the first half. Elam is one of the best pressure kickers in the NFL. 1954 Warren, Gerard (Denver Broncos) (01/17/2006) ---------------------------------------------------------- DT Gerard Warren had a good game against New England. He'll have to be at his best against Pittsburgh. The Steelers' guards are strong and key their powerful running game. 2031 Williams, D.J. (Denver Broncos) (01/17/2006) ---------------------------------------------------------- LB D.J. Williams had his playing time cut this season because of the addition of Ian Gold, but he had a productive game against New England. He is fast and physical and because the Broncos probably won't see a lot of multiple-receiver sets against Pittsburgh, Williams should see a lot of playing time this week. 673 Gold, Ian (Denver Broncos) (01/17/2006) ---------------------------------------------------------- LB Ian Gold is known for his speed at outside linebacker. He showed it against New England when he ran down Corey Dillon on a screen pass. But Gold is also not easy to run over, and is one of Denver's best all-around defenders. 918 Jansen, Jon (Washington Redskins) (01/17/2006) ---------------------------------------------------------- ROT Jon Jansen will have his fractured right thumb repaired on Wednesday. 1595 Samuels, Chris (Washington Redskins) (01/17/2006) ---------------------------------------------------------- LOT Chris Samuels will have his right knee and elbow cleaned up after he plays in the Pro Bowl on Feb. 12. 1487 Rabach, Casey (Washington Redskins) (01/17/2006) ---------------------------------------------------------- C Casey Rabach will have a shoulder scoped soon. 1504 Raymer, Cory (Washington Redskins) (01/17/2006) ---------------------------------------------------------- C Cory Raymer will have a shoulder scoped soon. 228 Brown, Ray (Washington Redskins) (01/17/2006) ---------------------------------------------------------- Retiring RG Ray Brown will remain with the Redskins in as-yet undetermined capacity. 1812 Taylor, Sean (Washington Redskins) (01/17/2006) ---------------------------------------------------------- S Sean Taylor's trial in Miami on a felony assault charge and a simple battery misdemeanor is on March 20, the first day that NFL offseason workouts can begin. However, coach Joe Gibbs said he might not ask his players to report then since their season went two weeks later this year. In any event, Gibbs expects Taylor, who skipped the offseason program in 2005 to the coach's chagrin, to be on hand for conditioning. "We're counting on Sean being here," Gibbs said. "We had a good talk about it today. We're both on the same page." Taylor declined comment as the players left Redskin Park for the winter. Receiver Santana Moss, also a University of Miami teammate, and strong safety Ryan Clark, Taylor's closest friend on the defense, expect him to return if his legal situation is favorably resolved. "Sean knows what's best for him and for whatever reason, things happened the way they did last year," Moss said. "I'm sure he's learned from it. We live in the same area (of Miami) and the trouble he got into -- he didn't ask for it, it found him. Knowing what the coaches expect of us, I'm sure Sean will accept those tasks and be here." Running back Clinton Portis, another ex-Hurricane, said Taylor showed he could thrive in 2005 without the offseason program. But defensive end Renaldo Wynn said Taylor should be at Redskin Park. "We've already been putting a little something in Sean's ear about being here," Wynn said. "It can only be beneficial for him." 1391 Patten, David (Washington Redskins) (01/17/2006) ---------------------------------------------------------- WR David Patten, who went on season-ending injured reserve on Nov. 18 following knee surgery, said that he could have played the past three weeks. Patten caught 22 passes for 217 yards while starting seven of the first nine games. James Thrash and Taylor Jacobs caught just five passes for 65 yards in Patten's place the past three weeks. "I've been ready to play for three weeks," Patten said. "It was frustrating to see us go down (when) I felt 100 percent and I couldn't play." Coach Joe Gibbs said Patten's expected absence for 4-6 weeks after surgery made it too hard to keep him on the roster but unable to play when every loss could've kept the Redskins out of the playoffs. 857 Hoover, Brad (Carolina Panthers) (01/17/2006) ---------------------------------------------------------- FB Brad Hoover will see more carries and perhaps a few more passes thrown his way this week with DeShaun Foster out. 287 Carter, Drew (Carolina Panthers) (01/17/2006) ---------------------------------------------------------- WR Drew Carter continues to be involved in the offense and impress. Although he does have to work on his hands, he's a legit deep threat. Carter caught two first down passes against the Bears and nearly came up with a deep touchdown pass, but was interfered with, although officials didn't make the call. 623 Gaines, Michael (Carolina Panthers) (01/17/2006) ---------------------------------------------------------- TE Michael Gaines has been used primarily as a blocking tight end in recent weeks. 1143 Mangum, Kris (Carolina Panthers) (01/17/2006) ---------------------------------------------------------- TE Kris Mangum dropped a pass against the Bears, but later caught a touchdown in the end zone, although he was a little shaky on that catch. 724 Gross, Jordan (Carolina Panthers) (01/17/2006) ---------------------------------------------------------- OT Jordan Gross gave up one sack against the Bears, but that was an improvement over the last time Carolina faced Chicago. 1991 Wharton, Travelle (Carolina Panthers) (01/17/2006) ---------------------------------------------------------- OT Travelle Wharton held his man without a sack on Sunday in Chicago and is turning into a solid left tackle, although he probably will never be a Pro Bowl guy. 1007 Kasay, John (Carolina Panthers) (01/17/2006) ---------------------------------------------------------- PK John Kasay is an incredible 23 of 25 on field goal attempts in the postseason, 92 percent. He made three extra points on Sunday on a bad field, but he did miss one extra point when he slipped on the grass. 83 Baker, Jason (Carolina Panthers) (01/17/2006) ---------------------------------------------------------- P Jason Baker had three punts inside the Bears 20 and has been very consistent in the second half of the season. 1547 Robertson, Jamal (Carolina Panthers) (01/17/2006) ---------------------------------------------------------- KR Jamal Robertson had his best game as a kick returner averaging 25 yards per return against the Bears. He consistently gave the Panthers good field position. 283 Carstens, Jordan (Carolina Panthers) (01/17/2006) ---------------------------------------------------------- DT Jordan Carstens had a sack on Sunday and continues to be a force in the middle for Carolina. 1127 Lucas, Ken (Carolina Panthers) (01/17/2006) ---------------------------------------------------------- CB Ken Lucas didn't have one of his better games against the Bears, but came through in the clutch with an interception at the end. Lucas should be jacked up to play his former team this week. 627 Gamble, Chris (Carolina Panthers) (01/17/2006) ---------------------------------------------------------- CB Chris Gamble played one of his better games against the Bears, but he will face tougher receivers this week in Seattle. 106 Batch, Charlie (Pittsburgh Steelers) (01/17/2006) ---------------------------------------------------------- QB Charlie Batch still has not played in a post-season game. He was injured the one year the Detroit Lions went and he has never gotten into a playoff game with the Steelers. He remains No. 2. 1947 Ward, Hines (Pittsburgh Steelers) (01/17/2006) ---------------------------------------------------------- WR Hines Ward led the Steelers with eight receptions for 81 yards the last time they played the Broncos, in Denver in 2003. 1495 Randle El, Antwaan (Pittsburgh Steelers) (01/17/2006) ---------------------------------------------------------- WR Antwaan Randle El caught his second touchdown pass of the season Sunday in Indianapolis. His first and only other one came in the regular-season opener against Tennessee. 2067 Wilson, Cedrick (Pittsburgh Steelers) (01/17/2006) ---------------------------------------------------------- WR Cedrick Wilson, who had his first 100-yard game with the Steelers when he caught three passes for 104 yards in the playoff win at Cincinnati, caught no passes against the Colts. 54518 Miller, Heath (Pittsburgh Steelers) (01/17/2006) ---------------------------------------------------------- TE Heath Miller's five receptions for 76 yards are the most by a Steelers tight end in the playoffs since 1994. 1878 Tuman, Jerame (Pittsburgh Steelers) (01/17/2006) ---------------------------------------------------------- TE Jerame Tuman has caught two passes in two playoff games. In the regular season, he caught only three passes. 144 Bettis, Jerome (Pittsburgh Steelers) (01/17/2006) ---------------------------------------------------------- RB Jerome Bettis, who rushed for 368 yards in the regular season, leads the team with 98 yards rushing in two playoff games. 797 Haynes, Verron (Pittsburgh Steelers) (01/17/2006) ---------------------------------------------------------- RB Verron Haynes, the third-down back, averages 10.8 yards a carry after two playoff games (five carries), higher than his 7-yard average per catch (two). 544 Farrior, James (Pittsburgh Steelers) (01/17/2006) ---------------------------------------------------------- LB James Farrior, who had 2.5 sacks of Peyton Manning, leads the team with 14 total tackles in two playoff games and also has an interception and a pass defensed. 1512 Reed, Jeff (Pittsburgh Steelers) (01/17/2006) ---------------------------------------------------------- K Jeff Reed has not missed a field goal try since Nov. 28. He's 7 for 7. But he also has not attempted a kick in two of the past three games.

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