NFL Notebook: Harrison out of Thursday's game
The NFL notebook …
Colts receiver Marvin Harrison will miss tonight’s game at Jacksonville with an apparent hamstring injury.
Team spokesman Craig Kelley said Wednesday that Harrison, who has been listed on this week’s practice report with a knee injury, did not travel with the team. Coach Tony Dungy said earlier Wednesday that Harrison “actually has a hamstring issue” and underwent an MRI.
Kelley did not provide additional details about the injury.
Harrison has been one of Peyton Manning’s favorite targets over the past 11 seasons. The two have combined for more completions, yards and touchdowns than any other tandem in league history.
And Harrison is No. 3 on the NFL’s career receptions list with 1,095 after passing Tim Brown for third in Sunday’s victory over Detroit. Only Jerry Rice and Cris Carter have more career receptions and Harrison needs seven more receptions to pass Carter for second.
But Harrison has not played as prominent a role in the Colts’ offense this season. He had four straight seasons with 100 or more catches from 1999 to 2002, when he set the league’s single season record with 143 receptions. This year, after returning from offseason knee surgery, the 36-year-old has 53 catches for 605 yards and five touchdowns.
A streak that has been one of the keys to the Panthers’ success is in jeopardy ahead of their biggest game of the season Sunday at the Giants.
Defensive tackle Maake Kemoeatu missed practice Wednesday with a sprained right ankle, making it possible a defensive starter will miss a game for the first time this season.
All 11 defenders have started all 14 games, but Kemoeatu was seen on crutches on wearing a protective boot on Monday. A key to Carolina’s run defense, Kemoeatu’s absence would hurt as the Panthers (11-3) face the run-oriented Giants (11-3) with the No. 1 seed in the NFC playoffs at stake.
“We’ve got guys on the team we feel good about that have played a lot of football all season long,” coach John Fox said. “It’s not like Maake or anybody out there plays every play. We’ve got guys out there that have made great contributions and we’ll expect the same thing this week against New York.”
Fox, always secretive on injuries, would only say that Kemoeatu is day to day. If he can’t play, veteran Darwin Walker could get the start.
Walker was on the inactive list for last Sunday’s game against Denver. So when Kemoeatu went down in the second half, defensive end Charles Johnson moved to his tackle position.
The Panthers also have an injury concern on the offensive line. Right guard Keydrick Vincent, the only offensive lineman to start every game, missed practice Wednesday with a groin injury. Jeremy Bridges would likely get the start if Vincent can’t play.
Reserve defensive end Hilee Taylor (calf) missed practice. Linebacker Adam Seward practiced for the first time since missing three games with an ankle injury.
Quarterback Trent Edwards is ready to make his first start in three weeks since being sidelined by a groin injury, and former starter J.P. Losman has likely taken his last snap for the Bills.
Edwards returned to practice Wednesday and is expected to start at Denver on Sunday. With Buffalo out of playoff contention after losing seven of eight, Edwards will try to spark a bumbling offense and prove he’s capable of shedding the inconsistencies in his game before he was hurt.
The same can’t be said for Losman, who’s been relegated to third-string behind Gibran Hamdan.
Brandon Jacobs practiced, an early sign the big halfback would be back in the lineup this weekend for the NFC showdown against the Panthers.
Jacobs missed the game against Dallas last weekend after aggravating his left knee in a game against the Eagles the week before.
“This game is very important,” said Jacobs, who has rushed for 1,002 yards and 12 touchdowns.
Indignant over another Pro Bowl snub, middle linebacker London Fletcher stepped out of character and vented his frustration, calling himself “the Susan Lucci of the NFL” and deeming his career “Hall of Fame worthy.”
“I don’t know if it was because I wasn’t a first-round draft pick, I don’t do some kind of dance when I make a 10-yard tackle, I don’t go out and get arrested,” Fletcher said. “I believe in playing the game the way it’s supposed to be played. You line up each and every week, each and every play, and you go out and get the job done.
“You look at my body of work and I’ve done that for 11 years, but because I’m not going out causing a lot of controversy, holding a private meeting with the coordinator saying this, this and this, causing a lot of strife on my team, I don’t garner a lot of attention.”
Launched over cocktails by two fed-up Browns fans, the Web site has bloomed into a full-born movement by thousands to bring Bill Cowher back to Cleveland.
“We knew we had to do something,” said Ryan Martz, co-founder of Cowher09.com, designed to “unleash the power of Cowher” and make the iconic chin the Browns’ next coach. “After years and years of losing and seeing the same bad product, we deserve a winner in Cleveland. Fans have had enough.”
Since its debut in September, Cowher09.com has grown into a home base of support for Cowher, believed to be at the top of Cleveland’s wish list to replace Romeo Crennel.
Browns owner Randy Lerner is waiting until after the season before deciding on Crennel’s future. But it’s safe to assume he’ll replace the former defensive coordinator who is just 24-38 in four seasons.
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