Shockey partially tore the posterior cruciate ligament in his knee on Nov. 9. He was originally expected to miss six to eight weeks, but practiced on a limited basis last week and hopes to return to action against the Bills. "We will see whether or not he can go," Fassel said. "A lot depends on how he feels and how he reacts to things."
* Fassel spoke to return man Brian Mitchell, who complained in Newsday about a lack of communication with the coaching staff and being made a scapegoat.
For the first time this season, Mitchell split the return duties with Delvin Joyce. In his recent news conferences, Fassel has repeatedly defended Mitchell, who is 17th in the NFC in punt returns (4.-yard average) and 18th in kickoff returns (20.5-yard average).
"I had Brian in my office and talked about that," Fassel said. "A little bit of it is always a byproduct of where we are right now. Everybody is a little frustrated, everybody is looking for answers and everything else. But Brian needs to know - and he knows - that I have not fingered him in any manner and I have defended him in this room (when) the questioning was why I did not replace him. What I did was I gave another guy an opportunity to go in there. There may have been some miscommunication between he and Bruce (Read, the special teams coach) at that time as he explained it to me. We got some things straight. I think that is the end of the matter."
Fassel said Mitchell and Joyce will continue to split the return duties.
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