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NFL Notebook: Lions’ Culpepper injured

Associated Press
The NFL notebook …
Lions quarterback Daunte Culpepper had an MRI on his shoulder, leading to doubt he will play next Sunday at the Indianapolis Colts.
Detroit coach Rod Marinelli said Monday the team would wait for results of the exam before exploring other options for a starting quarterback.
After Culpepper was hurt, Drew Henson was sacked on the final play Sunday.
Dan Orlovsky hopes to be healthy enough to play this week after being out for a month with a wrist injury. Drew Stanton has been sidelined for two weeks with a concussion, but is expected to be ready to play, if necessary.
The Lions (0-13) will close at Indianapolis, against New Orleans and at Green Bay hoping to avoid being the NFL’s first 0-16 team.
PACKERS
Veteran right tackle Mark Tauscher will miss Green Bay’s last three games of the season because of a serious left knee injury.
PATRIOTS
Bill Belichick isn’t shedding any light on the Patriots growing injury situation.
New England’s coach said he had no update on any of the players who missed most of Sunday’s 24-21 win at Seattle after being hurt. Linebacker Tedy Bruschi injured his knee, nose tackle Wince Wilfork left with a shoulder injury and safety James Sanders hurt his ribs.
STEELERS
Beating the Cowboys the way they did, and when they did, may help Steelers as much in January as it does now.
Consider this: If the Steelers (10-3) hadn’t staged one of the best fourth-quarter comebacks in franchise history by rallying from 10 points down in the final 7 1/2 minutes to win 13-10, they would be going into Baltimore on Sunday tied for the AFC North lead.
If that had happened, the Ravens (9-4), winners of seven of eight, could have seized a one-game division lead by winning on their home field ó with Pittsburgh playing at AFC leader Tennessee (12-1) a week later.
Instead, the Steelers can wrap up the division by winning Sunday.
BENGALS
Bengals quarterback Carson Palmer will throw for longer distances this week, an encouraging development as he tests his injured passing elbow.
Palmer hasn’t played since Oct. 5 because a tendon and ligament in his right elbow are partially torn from the bone. He rested the elbow for two months and resumed throwing last week, hoping the elbow has healed and won’t need surgery.
Coach Marvin Lewis said Monday that Palmer will increase the throwing distance this week. He started by throwing the ball about 15 yards, and has increased the distance a little more as he went along.
“He did well in everything he’s done thus far,” Lewis said. “He’s had none of the issues he was dealing with before. He’s excited about it, so we’ll continue to allow him to throw farther and harder and with more regularity, more throws.”
SAINTS
The Saints placed kick returner Courtney Roby on injured reserve and waived cornerback David Pittman, a necessary move following a federal judge’s decision to block the suspensions of Will Smith and Deuce McAllister.
REDSKINS
Right before the Redskins opened their locker room to the media, a member of the team’s PR staff escorted Clinton Portis out a side door and to the off-limits-to-reporters training room.
Portis already had said enough the night before to stir things up, complaining about being benched after only one second-half carry in Washington’s 24-10 loss to the Ravens.
Jim Zorn played down the player’s postgame mood ó “I mean, nobody was happy,” the Redskins coach said ó but he also made it sound as though a lack of practice finally caught up to Portis, who was on the field for only one possession after halftime.
VIKINGS
The identity of Minnesota’s starting quarterback this week will remain a mystery for now.
Coach Brad Childress said at his news conference that Gus Frerotte is “very sore” after hurting his lower back in the win over the Lions on Sunday. Frerotte was injured trying to make a tackle after throwing his second interception.
The 37-year-old QB left Ford Field on a cart after getting hurt late in the second quarter.
Tarvaris Jackson got his old job back for the second half and helped rally the Vikings to victory, but Childress says Frerotte is still the starter if he’s healthy enough to play. The coach declared Frerotte’s status day to day.
Jackson went 8-for-10 for 105 yards and the go-ahead touchdown pass.
RAIDERS
With their latest loss, 34-7 to the Chargers, the Raiders joined Tampa Bay (1983-94) and Detroit (2001-06) as the only teams in NFL history with double-digit losses in six straight seasons.
With one more loss the Raiders will become the only team to lose at least 11 games in six straight seasons.
49ERS
The 49ers don’t know whether running back Frank Gore will be able to play Sunday in his hometown against the Miami Dolphins.
Gore, who wasn’t around to speak with reporters in the 49ers’ locker room Monday, injured his left ankle while straining to get a first down on the second play of the second half against the Jets. He went to the locker room for X-rays, but returned to cheer on his teammates.
“We just have to watch him closely this week and see how healthy he is,” coach Mike Singletary said.

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