Cornerback Lenny Walls went from a starter in Week 1 for the Denver Broncos to effectively done with the team by the middle of the season.
Walls, who has a strained groin muscle, was placed on injured reserve under a rarely used classification for a player whose injury will keep him out for a period of less than six weeks. Walls will be placed on waivers once he is deemed healthy, which should be soon.
Walls can sign with another team if he clears waivers but he can't be re-acquired by the Broncos this season, including the playoffs.
"I'm perfectly fine with it - the way the season's been going, why not?" Walls said. "A guy loses his starting job after basically Week 1, you tell me what I should be thinking or how I feel."
Walls' season started going downhill from the first game. He struggled in a season-opening loss at Miami, was benched in favor of rookie Darrent Williams, then slid behind rookie Domonique Foxworth on the depth chart.
Walls injured his groin and was inactive for last week's game against Philadelphia. Shanahan said the severity of the injury wasn't the reason Walls was put on injured reserve.
"That had nothing to do with it," Shanahan said. "It's just the play of some of our younger guys on special teams."
The Broncos signed safety Hamza Abdullah off of Tampa Bay's practice squad to take Walls' place on the roster.
--QB Jake Plummer played through a sore left shoulder last week. He also was bothered by a sore knee earlier in the year so he'll use the bye week to rest.
--QB Bradlee Van Pelt did not play against Philadelphia and hasn't played this season.
--RB Mike Anderson's hard running style has impressed teammates. Anderson usually gets an extra yard or two as he's being brought down because he initiates contact.
--RB Tatum Bell won't see 25 carries a game unless Mike Anderson gets injured. The Broncos want to make sure Bell doesn't get worn out because he has rare breakaway speed and gives the Broncos a big-play threat.
--WR Rod Smith is on pace to pass 1,100 yards this season. He is also on pace for 84 catches. Smith isn't showing any signs of slowing down and should have a good second half of the season.
--WR Ashley Lelie's three best games this season are his last three games. Lelie didn't have more than 62 yards in a game through five weeks. He has had at least 64 yards in each of his last three games, although he hasn't had a true breakout game yet.
--WR Todd Devoe didn't have a catch in his NFL career before Sunday, when he caught a 44-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter against Philadelphia. Devoe is a good athlete who showed big-play ability and good speed during the preseason.
--K Jason Elam didn't get a chance to break out of his slump against Philadelphia. Elam hit all seven of his extra-point attempts but didn't attempt a field goal.
--LB Al Wilson is having one of his better seasons. He is the leader of the defense and has been effective against the run and on blitzes.
--S Sam Brandon should return after the bye week. He will probably continue in his role in Denver's "big nickel" package because he can cover tight ends.
--CB Champ Bailey is confident that he'll be back to 100 percent at some point this season despite a hamstring injury that has bothered him for weeks. He said he would play in Denver's first game after the bye week.
AROUND THE LEAGUE:
Recent speculation about running back Shaun Alexander's contract situation makes for good copy, but it's unlikely much has changed. Upon returning from the team's bye, Alexander said he hadn't even spoken with his agents in close to a week.
"The last time I talked to my agents was right before I left (for the bye)," Alexander said. "I was like, 'Hey, we've got the plan, we're good. I'm going to Alabama, going to Kentucky, I'll talk to you when I get back.' I haven't called them yet. I don't know anything."
One report suggested the Seahawks and Alexander's agent had exchanged contract proposals for the first time recently. Alexander made it sound like nothing much has changed.
"I trust my agents and they also know I'm a patient person," Alexander said. "I'm not really worried about whether it is there. If they offered the contract that I would want and everybody was under agreement and they were happy and I was happy and we were all happy two days ago, they would still be happy today.
"So, no big deal."
The major players in negotiations are declining comment, from Seahawks president Tim Ruskell to agent Jim Steiner. Sometimes that means things are heating up. In this case, there is no rush. Ruskell has said previously that he was taking a wait-and-see approach.
Alexander is scheduled to become a free agent in March. He is already the Seahawks' career rushing leader.
Voice your opinion on our Broncos Hardcore Message Board