Player News and Notes

<b>Miami Dolphins</b> <br><br> QB Sage Rosenfels may make his first NFL start Sunday against Buffalo.

Dolphins coach Dave Wannstedt said he wouldn't know the status of starting quarterback Jay Fiedler ribs and backup A.J. Feeley concussion until Wednesday's practice.

K Olindo Mare's status for Sunday's game against Buffalo is unknown because of a strained calf. Dolphins coach Dave Wannstedt said he would know more about Mare's status by Wednesday's practice.

RB Travis Minor could be active for the first time in four games Sunday at Buffalo. Minor hasn't played since a season-opening loss to Tennessee because of a sprained ankle.

LG Jeno James struggled in Sunday's 24-10 loss to New England, Dolphins coach Dave Wannstedt admitted Monday when asked. The Dolphins' offensive line allowed three sacks and hits that injured QBs Jay Fiedler ribs and A.J. Feeley concussion.

QB Jay Fiedler's status for Sunday's game against Buffalo is unknown because of a rib injury. Dolphins coach Dave Wannstedt said he would know more about Fiedler's status by Wednesday's practice.

QB A.J. Feeley's status for Sunday's game against Buffalo is unknown because of a rib injury. Dolphins coach Dave Wannstedt said he would know more about Feeley's status by Wednesday's practice.

DE Jay Williams hopes the Dolphins are psychologically able to bounce back from an 0-5 start.

"You are really going to see on Wednesday when we come in for practice," Williams said. "That's going to tell the truth. If some guys come in moping around and still thinking about the loss, that's not the mindset we want."

New York Jets

RB Curtis Martin took plenty of hard hits as the Bills focused on him and the Jets' running game, holding him to just 77 yards on 22 carries. Despite the constant pounding, the Jets never gave the 31-year-old Martin a break as backup LaMont Jordan, once again, didn't register a carry.

"Whatever the coaches decide to do, I'm fine with," Martin said. "You're going to have some games that you get more beat up in than others and this was one of those games. I feel fine now but I'll probably be a little sore."

CB Derrick Strait did not play Sunday due to a foot injury and is questionable for this week as well. Strait had played as the team's primary nickel back and was replaced by veteran Terrell Buckley.

C Kevin Mawae continues to snap left-handed while his right hand remains heavily wrapped because of a broken bone in the hand. The game marked his 100th consecutive start with the Jets and 159th of his career.

CB Terrell Buckley sealed the win against Buffalo last week with an interception on the final play of the game. Buckley is playing as the Jets' primary nickel back with rookie Derrick Strait out with a foot injury.

MLB Jonathan Vilma got his first career sack Sunday as he continues to start for the injured Sam Cowart sprained knee.

Indianapolis Colts

CB Donald Strickland is out for the remainder of the season. The Colts placed Strickland on injured reserve prior to Sunday's game with Oakland. He has been bothered by shoulder and hamstring problems this year and may have to undergo surgery on his shoulder.

OG Rick DeMulling suffered an ankle injury in pre-game warm-ups Sunday but played the entire game. A post-game x-ray was negative and the results of an MRI were also negative.

WR-KR Brad Pyatt sprained his right ankle on the opening kickoff Sunday and did not play the rest of the game. Pyatt underwent an MRI Sunday, which was negative.

LB Cato June sprained his shoulder in the fourth quarter of Sunday's game with Oakland. He was able to finish the game. June underwent an MRI, which proved to be negative.

TE Marcus Pollard did not play against the Raiders due to a bruised bone in his left knee. Pollard's availability for the Colts' Oct. 24 home game with Jacksonville will be determined later.

PK Mike Vanderjagt expects to be fine for Indianapolis' game with Jacksonville. Vanderjagt was held out of the Oakland game with a grade one hamstring strain

Denver Broncos

CB Willie Middlebrooks will miss the next four weeks after he partially tore his hamstring in Denver's game Sunday.

RB Garrison Hearst seems to be an odd man out of the Broncos running game. Hearst didn't play on Sunday even with Quentin Griffin out with an injury, and he could find himself inactive on game-days when Griffin is healthy.

RB Tatum Bell was Reuben Droughns' backup on Sunday. He only got two carries for five yards. With Droughns establishing himself as a threat at tailback and Griffin likely to still see playing time, Bell will have a tough time making a major contribution as a rookie.

DE Trevor Pryce said he's coming along better than expected after having back surgery on Sept. 22. Pryce could be back to the Broncos for their Oct. 31 game against Atlanta, but he didn't know for sure.

"Someone said 'What are you going to be for Halloween?'" Pryce said. "I said, 'I think I'm going to be a Bronco for Halloween. Dress up in a Bronco uniform and pretend I'm playing football.'"

The Broncos have the top-ranked defense in the NFL even with Pryce only playing in one of five games this season.

"I have to re-evaluate my contribution to this football team," Pryce said with a laugh. "Am I really worth this fuss?"

Detroit Lions

RB Artose Pinner gained 68 yards on 23 carries -- the most by a Lions back this season -- in the 17-10 victory Sunday at Atlanta, and head coach Steve Mariucci says it is an indication of good things yet to come. "We are going to get the running game going here," Mariucci said. "It's very important for our long term success, so we're going to remain stubborn with developing the run. I sense that is improving, I sense we're getting better at it."

QB Joey Harrington isn't posting gaudy numbers, but he is distributing his passes, avoiding costly interceptions and making the best use possible of a varied set of receivers since losing WR Charles Rogers in the season opener. After four games, the Lions are 3-1. Harrington has completed 61.1 percent of his throws with seven touchdowns and only two interceptions, good for a 92.4 passer rating.

WR Roy Williams is being listed as day-to-day after suffering a sprained ankle in the Lions' 17-10 win Sunday at Atlanta. There was immediate concern that the injury might have been a high ankle sprain but an ultrasound examination revealed it to be a routine ankle sprain. A high ankle sprain generally means a longer recovery period. Williams leads Lions receivers with 20 receptions for 295 yards and four touchdowns.

FB Cory Schlesinger is right back where he was two weeks ago, recovering from a hamstring injury. When he injured the hamstring in the Philadelphia game Sept. 26, however, he had the bye week to rest and recover. He won't have that luxury after re-injuring the hamstring in Atlanta, and it appears there is a good chance he won't play next week against Green Bay.

CB Dre' Bly was close to playing Sunday in the Lions game at Atlanta and, barring a setback in practice this week, should be ready to play against the Green Bay Packers next Sunday. Bly, a Pro Bowl selection last year, has been out of action since suffering a sprained left knee in the season opener at Chicago.

RB Kevin Jones is moving into the second phase of his recovery from the high ankle sprain he suffered Sept. 26 against Philadelphia. He is expected to begin jogging this week, but it appears likely he will miss the game Sunday against the Green Bay Packers.

Houston Texans

DE Gary Walker underwent a MRI exam on Monday, which showed no structural damage. Walker was diagnosed with a mild left groin strain and likely will not practice when the team resumes workouts on Wednesday.

RT Todd Wade is unlikely to play Sunday against Tennessee after suffering a high left ankle sprain in Sunday's overtime loss to the Vikings. Marcus Spears, who signed as a free agent in the offseason, will likely start at right tackle.

RB Domanick Davis, who returned to the lineup after missing two games with a sprained right ankle, was taken out of the equation with an ineffective first half performance and a 21-point deficit that forced the Texans to abandon the running game. No coincidence the Texans' best offensive showings have been with Davis playing a limited role. With Davis, the Texans have become one-dimensional and predictable. Davis touched the ball on the Texans' first six plays of the game but was rarely heard from again -- he did have a one-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter -- as the Texans finished with 52 yards on 17 carries, the fourth-lowest total in team history. Davis said the ankle did not bother him, but he lacked his typical burst and cutting ability.

CB Aaron Glenn said there was a miscommunication in the secondary on Randy Moss' 50-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter Sunday with Glenn and FS Marcus Coleman in pursuit. "There was a communication error and that just can't happen," Glenn said.

FB Moran Norris has missed three games this season with shoulder and knee injuries. That has opened the door for backup Jarrod Baxter, the starter during the Texans' inaugural season in 2002.

QB David Carr has three career 300-yard passing games, two coming during the first month of this season. Carr had career-high 372 yards in Sunday's loss to the Vikings. He did not throw an interception for the second week in a row and seemed to get better with the pressure on his shoulders.

WR Derick Armstrong recorded his first 100-yard game and continues to establish himself as a legitimate option in the passing game.

Arizona Cardinals

WR Kevin Kasper was signed a few days before the Dolphins game and stepped in to return two kickoffs for 40 yards while filling the No. 3 wide receiver role. Kasper did not have a catch in a game that saw Brady complete only seven passes, five of which went to two wide receivers with one each going to the tight end and running back. Kasper is the seventh active receiver on the Patriots roster.

New England Patriots

LT Matt Light had a solid day against the Dolphins' aggressive defense. He allowed two pressures to Jason Taylor, one of which ended in Brady stepping up into a sack. But Light had key blocks on two Dillon runs that set up touchdowns. His block on linebacker Junior Seau set Dillon off on a 12-yard run to the Miami 2-yard line in the first quarter and he also made a key block on Dillon's 36-yard run to the Dolphins 4-yard line in the third quarter.

RB Patrick Pass had the most extensive backfield work of his five-year career, carrying 10 times for 37 against Miami, but he was more inclined to talk about the improved special teams performance a week after the worst effort in the kicking game of the Bill Belichick era. "I take pride in special teams duties. When you have the head coach say he's not pleased with the special teams from the week before, you try to look at a little extra film and see how you're going to attack the opposing team. We did that," said Pass, who finished with a team high three special teams tackles.

QB Tom Brady's interception on the Patriots' first possession was a rarity. It was only the second interception Brady has thrown in his last 10 home games. He did not throw an interception at Gillette Stadium in 2003 and had a string of 288 consecutive regular season passes at home without an interception snapped in the season opener against the Colts. He now has two in two home games.

NT Vince Wilfork had easily his best game of the season, finishing with seven tackles, a sack and a pass deflection. The Florida native and University of Miami alum admitted having a little extra fire in his belly playing against the Dolphins. "I think I was over-amped because it was the Miami Dolphins," he said. "Being from Florida, playing against the Dolphins, a division game, all that stuff played a big part along with my preparation in me going out and playing ball today."

CB Ty Law limped off the field during Sunday's game and seems to be nagged by bumps and bruises that have forced him out at times this year. He missed very little time before returning to the game. He has not appeared on the injury report this season and has started all four games. He didn't talk about his health after the game.

Pittsburgh Steelers

WR Plaxico Burress maintains Pittsburgh and not Baltimore is the team to beat in the division, something he said early in the season.

"I would say so. On the offensive and defensive sides, I think we have maybe the best team, collectively playing together, since I have been here."

CB Chad Scott led the Steelers with six solo tackles against the Browns, but he also was beaten for a 50-yard reception by Andre Davis in the fourth quarter.

RB Jerome Bettis has only 56 yards rushing and a 1.8-yard average, but he has six touchdowns rushing.

S Mike Logan, who has been playing in their dime defense, has a pulled hamstring muscle that coach Bill Cowher said looks serious. Russell Stuvaints replaced him in the dime defense on Sunday.

CB Ricardo Colclough is starting to come into his own as a kick returner and dime corner. Colclough returned the opening kick Sunday 48 yards to set up the Steelers' first touchdown Sunday.

Denver Broncos

WR Darius Watts made a largely unnoticed play that helped the Broncos win. On a third down and three with a little more than five minutes remaining, Watts reached high and made a great catch for a 14-yard gain. The Broncos got a few more first downs and ran out the rest of the clock after that play.

CB Champ Bailey is showing why he's one of the best all-around cornerbacks in football. Although Carolina didn't throw his way much, Bailey made a few excellent open-field tackles. Bailey has said he takes pride in his ability as a tackler.

WR Triandos Luke was active on Sunday and returned punts for the Broncos. He made one mistake, calling for a fair catch when he had room to run, but his biggest contribution is not making any egregious errors while relieving veteran Rod Smith of punt return duties.

Philadelphia Eagles

P Dirk Johnson has punted just 12 times in the Eagles' first four games. At this pace, he'll attempt just 48 punts the entire season. That would be the fewest by the Eagles since the league went to 16 regular-season games in 1978. Last year, Johnson punted 79 times. "Hey, I'm not complaining," Johnson said. "If I'm not punting, it means our offense is playing well."

CB Dexter Wynn, who suffered a hamstring injury against the Bears, wasn't well enough to practice Monday and probably won't play this week against Carolina. Wynn was the Eagles' fourth corner in their dime coverage.

CB Matt Ware is expected to be activated for the first time this season against Carolina on Sunday. Ware, the club's rookie third-round pick, likely will replace injured Dexter Wynn as the club's fourth corner.

FB Josh Parry, who sprained the medial collateral ligament in his right knee against the Bears, expects to play Sunday against Carolina. He returned to the game against the Bears after the injury, playing with a brace. He'll likely use the brace the rest of the season.

TE L.J. Smith, who had 10 catches in the Eagles' first three games, didn't have a reception in the Eagles' last game against the Bears. He was playing with a shoulder contusion, which is much better after the bye-week rest.

Buffalo Bills

LB Jeff Posey's fourth-quarter interception of a badly thrown Chad Pennington pass was the first by the Bills in their last eight road games. The last pick away from Ralph Wilson Stadium was by Nate Clements against Miami's Jay Fiedler in September 2003.

LB London Fletcher had taken some heat for penalties and undisciplined play but he responded in a big way with a 21-tackle performance against the Jets. That tied his career high. He also had 21 stops against San Francisco while playing for the St. Louis Rams in 2001. Fletcher's most impressive tackle from a hustle standpoint was chasing down Jets WR Santana Moss to save a touchdown 41 yards down the field. The next play, the Bills forced a Jets turnover. Said Fletcher: "You don't give up on a play. It's one thing we stress around here. You make the tackle because you never know what's going to happen afterwards."

WR Lee Evans, the team's top draft pick from Wisconsin, is really getting warmed up. After a 65-yard reception against Oakland and a 55-yarder against New England set up two scores, he caught a 46-yard pass against the Jets for his first NFL touchdown. "Lee's going to be a good player in this league," QB Drew Bledsoe said. "You're going to see Lee make a lot of plays as we go forward. Every time we've given Lee a chance to make a play, he's come up with the ball so we probably need to give him more chances."

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