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McNair's bone spur might keep him out

By wire services
Published December 10, 2003

NASHVILLE - An MRI on Titans quarterback Steve McNair's left ankle revealed a new problem: a cracked bone spur that is causing most of his pain. Titans spokesman Robbie Bohren said the exam also showed a sprain.

McNair injured his ankle Sunday. Coach Jeff Fisher said Monday McNair will not practice this week and did not know if he will play Sunday.

McNair has injuries to both legs. He strained his right calf Nov. 23. When McNair went in for treatment Monday, Fisher said his quarterback had "significant swelling" and trouble walking on his left foot.

But McNair told trainers his calf was no worse than before Sunday's game. Still, Fisher said McNair's mobility will be a factor in if he plays Sunday.

"It's way too early in the week to be able to determine how he's going to be," Fisher said.

Spurrier to remain coach

Redskins owner Daniel Snyder said he will retain Steve Spurrier as the team's coach next season. Spurrier said despite this season's struggles, he intends to return.

With the Redskins on their way to a second straight nonwinning season under Spurrier, rumors have circulated that Snyder could fire Spurrier, a buyout could be negotiated or Spurrier could quit to take a college job. But both said Spurrier will become the first coach to begin a third season with the Redskins since Snyder bought them in 1999.

BENGALS: Carson Palmer, the top pick in April's draft, has been dropped to No. 3 quarterback behind starter Jon Kitna and Shane Matthews. If the Bengals fall out of playoff contention, Palmer likely will get a chance to play.

BROWNS: Defensive end Courtney Brown and three other starters sustained season-ending injuries Monday. Brown ruptured his right biceps tendon. Running back James Jackson tore a ligament in his right knee. Kicker Phil Dawson broke his left arm, and guard Chad Beasley broke his right ankle. Cornerback Lewis Sanders, who did not play Monday, also was put on injured reserve with a groin injury.

COWBOYS: Owner and general manager Jerry Jones gave quarterback Quincy Carter an endorsement for next season, saying, "Based on how far he's come, how he's evolved, I don't have a veteran quarterback in my mind." However, Jones qualified all of his statements with phrases such as "as of today." He added he will be disappointed if the Cowboys don't make the playoffs.

Meanwhile, running back Aveion Cason was placed on injured reserve after surgery to repair a torn ligament and cartilage damage also showed a torn ACL in his right knee. Cason, who was injured last week during practice, has 220 yards and two touchdowns on 40 carries and 17 catches for 142 yards. Recovery time could be up to nine months.

JETS: Receiver and kick returner Jonathan Carter was placed on injured reserve with a sprained left knee. Carter leads the AFC with a kickoff return average of 28.7 yards. He was injured returning a kick Sunday, and an MRI revealed extensive damage.

RAVENS: Linebacker Terrell Suggs was charged with assaulting one man with a rod and attacking another in a parking lot at a basketball event. The charge stems from a March 29 fight outside Phoenix Municipal Stadium after a three-on-three tournament.

VIKINGS: Owner Red McCombs said he is not happy about the timing of defensive coordinator George O'Leary's hiring as coach at Central Florida. "I sure wish it hadn't happened until the season was over," he said. "He's under contract with us, and he's obligated to us." Asked if he will keep a close eye on O'Leary, McCombs said, "You'd better believe it." O'Leary said he will begin recruiting when the Vikings' season ends but no sooner.

MINORITY HIRING: In a memo released Tuesday, the league's diversity committee reiterated all teams must interview at least one minority candidate for coaching vacancies and banned telephone interviews of candidates. It also mandated owners get involved in the final interviews for coaches.

OBITUARY: Peter Spivak, interim commissioner of the U.S. Football League at its founding in 1981, died late Monday of heart complications. He was 70.

[Last modified December 10, 2003, 01:34:25]


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