Campbell hurt, but expected to play | NevadaAppeal.com
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Campbell hurt, but expected to play

Associated Press

ASHBURN, Va. (AP) ” Jason Campbell’s stumble left him with a sore groin Monday, but the Washington Redskins quarterback isn’t expected to miss any practice time.

“He got treatment today, and I think he’ll be ready to practice Wednesday,” coach Jim Zorn said.

Campbell was hurt Sunday when he stepped awkwardly while throwing a pass in the first quarter of a 14-11 victory over the Cleveland Browns. He didn’t miss a play, but the injury appeared to affect his performance.

“I think it had a little impact on his game,” Zorn said. “He was noticeably inaccurate on several throws that I felt like he should hit, that he felt like he should hit.”

Campbell finished 14-for-23 for 164 yards and one touchdown. He remains the only starting quarterback without an interception this season.

Zorn said Clinton Portis required treatment on a shin, an ankle and the neck as well as the sore hip flexor that caused the league’s leading rusher to miss two practices last week. Portis might have to miss more practice time in order to play in next week’s game against Detroit.

“He’s carrying a big load, so he may need a little bit of a rest,” Zorn said. “I’m willing to give it to him, that’s for sure.”

Cornerback Shawn Springs appears likely to miss at least one more game with a calf injury, while defensive tackle Cornelius Griffin might need a game off to deal with a nagging shoulder injury. Cornerback Fred Smoot is still nursing a sore groin and might have to miss some practice this week.

Zorn also announced that Jon Jansen will remain the starting right tackle. Jansen was supplanted by Stephon Heyer at the end of training camp, but was given a second chance when Heyer sprained a shoulder in Week 3. Portis has rushed for 100 yards in each of Jansen’s four starts.

Bills

Reserve linebacker John DiGiorgio could miss the rest of the season with a right knee injury.

Coach Dick Jauron said DiGiorgio was having further tests to determine the severity of the injury. Jauron previously said he wasn’t optimistic about the player’s status.

A special teams standout and versatile reserve who can play all three linebacker positions, DiGiorgio was hurt blocking on a punt return in the second quarter of a 23-14 win over San Diego on Sunday. He was carted off the field and left the locker room on crutches after the game, unable to put any weight on his right leg.

An undrafted free agent out of Saginaw Valley, DiGiorgio is a third-year player who had 14 starts on an injury-depleted unit last season. He’s appeared in six games this year, mostly on special teams.

Buffalo is already down two linebackers. Starter Angelo Crowell (knee) was placed on IR before the start of the season and rookie fifth-round draft pick Alvin Bowen sustained a season-ending knee injury in training camp.

Jauron did not provide further updates on starting guard Brad Butler, who sprained his knee against San Diego.

Colts

Tony Dungy exudes consistency. It’s why the Colts’ stoic coach is so frustrated now.

One week, Indianapolis plays like a Super Bowl contender, the next, it reverts to its sputtering, mistake-prone ways, making Dungy weary of the inconsistencies that have suddenly jeopardized Indy’s five-year reign atop the AFC South.

“We’ve been up and down, done some good things but not consistent enough,” Dungy said Monday. “The penalties, obviously, were a big part of it, some little errors that that you can’t afford to make against a good football team that’s playing well …”

The Packers’ offense produced 116 yards rushing, Indy’s second-lowest total of the season; 20 points; and had only a couple of long plays. Ryan Grant needed 30 carries to top 100 yards, a marked improvement over Indy’s early-season woes, and the Colts’ own ground game was more effective, too.

Normally, that’s a winning combination for the high-scoring Colts. Not this time.

Pro Bowl receivers Marvin Harrison and Reggie Wayne combined for only four catches and 35 yards, and two-time league MVP Peyton Manning was just 21-of-42 and threw two interceptions that were returned for touchdowns.

The Colts drew 12 flags for 110 yards at Green Bay ” the most penalty yards Dungy has had in a game since joining them in 2002 ” and now have 22 penalties over the past two weeks. A year ago, Indy finished the season with a franchise-record low 67 penalties, and, under Dungy, have usually ranked among the league’s least penalized teams.

“That’s probably the No. 1 concern right now,” Dungy said. “You just can’t afford to give good teams second chances. You can’t afford to make yourself go longer than you have to score, and that’s what we’ve done the last two weeks.”

Buccaneers

When the Tampa Bay crowd cheered lustily after the Buccaneers failed to convert a third-and-short inside the Seattle 10 early in a 20-10 victory on Sunday night, linebacker Barrett Rudd paused to take a look around.

Then he heard the crowd start chanting, “Let’s go Rays!” and he looked at the scoreboard to see his MLB neighbors had tied Boston 1-1 in Game 7 of the American League championship series.

“That happened a lot,” Rudd said. “Every time it did, I’d looked at the scoreboard, and the Rays had scored.”

Rudd could be forgiven for getting a bit jealous. But after owning the Tampa sports scene for so long, the Bucs weren’t about to begrudge the Rays their moment of glory. The Rays have parlayed their first playoff appearance into a berth in the World Series, making the NFC South co-leading Bucs somewhat of an afterthought in a town suddenly baseball crazy.

“We were the minor league game in the town tonight,” quarterback Jeff Garcia said.

Players and media crowded around the TV sets in the locker room after the game. In the stands after the final gun, several thousands hung on every pitch broadcast on the large screen at both ends of the stadium. Coach Jon Gruden spoke for less than 4 minutes about the Seattle win, and then waxed excitedly about the lift the Rays have given the entire town.

“We’re all excited,” Gruden said. “We all ran back to see if we’d won.”

Receiver Ike Hilliard has been released from the hospital after being treated for a concussion and pinched neck nerve when sandwiched on a first-half tackle. His status for Sunday is uncertain.

Redskins

Jim Zorn and the Redskins have remained grounded in their early-season success.

In a surprise move under the first-year coach, the Redskins are as smashmouth as ever, relying on a strong running game and stout defense in their 5-2 start.

But wasn’t Zorn supposed to turn the Redskins into a pass-first team? Wasn’t the West Coast offense supposed to be full of high-risk plays, with the hope the touchdowns would compensate for the turnovers? Weren’t the scores supposed to be something like 35-31, regardless of which team had the 35?

Instead, the Redskins have the league’s leading rusher in Clinton Portis. They have more runs (234) than pass attempts (204). They’re outgaining opponents on the ground by a stunning 1,107-605 margin for the season, a differential surpassed only by the New York Giants.

And the scores? The last three have been 23-17, 19-17 and 14-11. They’ve yet to play a game in which either team scored 30.

“I don’t think anyone expected that,” tight end Chris Cooley said. “And I don’t think Zorn expected that we would be running the ball. But it’s what’s working. It’s what we have the most confidence in. We’d like to score some more points, but we’re going to take the wins as we get them.”

Ravens

What’s the story with Chris McAlister?

The three-time All-Pro cornerback did not start Sunday and was used in only a handful of plays in a win over Miami. Although McAlister had seven tackles one week earlier in a 31-3 loss to the Indianapolis Colts, he appeared to be beaten twice by Marvin Harrison for touchdowns.

So, with Samari Rolle out with a neck injury, the Ravens’ starting cornerbacks against Miami were Fabian Washington and Frank Walker ” even though McAlister leads the team with three interceptions.

“It’s a football decision,” Harbaugh said Monday. “We’re always going to put the best 11 players on the field. That’s what we did. … We had the corners out there in those situations that we wanted to have out there.”

The 31-year-old McAlister missed eight games last season with a knee injury, but Harbaugh insisted health wasn’t an issue. The coach also said the decision to keep McAlister on the sideline for the majority of the game was not a disciplinary measure.

“We don’t have a doghouse out here,” Harbaugh said. “We don’t tie any kind of a punishment with pulling a guy off a field. How much a guy plays is based specifically and directly to what gives us the best opportunity to put our best players out there in every given situation.

“Chris is still very much in the mix. He’s part of our plans. He’s going to be a part of our success or failure as we go forward,” Harbaugh said. “We’re counting on him to play good football for us.”

49ers

J.T. O’Sullivan hasn’t exactly been worth the wait.

O’Sullivan has been through nine stints with eight NFL teams during seven seasons in preparation for the chance to be a starting quarterback. But his propensity for game-changing mistakes is a big reason for San Francisco’s four-game losing streak.

His array of fumbles, interceptions and missed targets aren’t totally unexpected from a player in just his seventh NFL start. But coach Mike Nolan staked the 49ers’ season and his own job on his belief O’Sullivan was more game ready than the average rookie starter.

Nolan and Mike Martz are sticking with their 29-year-old project at least through Sunday’s game against Seattle. When the 49ers (2-5) break for their bye week after that, nobody has a secure future ” certainly not Nolan, who knows he might be in for an early end to his fourth disappointing season in San Francisco.

“I have no choice but to be confident in things I surround myself with,” Nolan said Monday. “No choice. Just the way it is. That’s my job.”

With yet another round of rumors circulating about Nolan’s possible midseason dismissal, the coach confirmed O’Sullivan’s job is safe despite throwing two interceptions and fumbling four times in the 49ers’ 29-17 loss to the Giants. While going 16-of-28 for 256 yards, O’Sullivan also was sacked six times, adding to his league-leading total of 29 sacks. He continued to make the same glaring mistakes in coverage reads and pocket awareness that have plagued him throughout his first NFL campaign as a significant player.