Knee injuries cripple Packers, Panthers

By wire services
Published September 13, 2005

The Packers and Panthers already have serious injury problems after Week 1.

Green Bay lost its top receiver, Javon Walker , for the season, and Carolina will be without its best defensive tackle and run stopper, Kris Jenkins . Both tore right knee ligaments in losses Sunday.

Walker, a former Florida State standout, tore his ACL in the third quarter of a loss at Detroit when he pushed off safety Terrence Holt on a 55-yard catch that was negated by his offensive interference.

With Walker down, Robert Ferguson will start alongside Donald Driver , who will move from split end to flanker.

Jenkins missed all but four games last season with a shoulder injury that required surgery. Now, the 2003 All-Pro is gone again, with a torn ACL in his right knee. Jenkins said he is better prepared to handle a season-ending injury than a year ago, when depression and alcohol temporarily took over his life.

"They've let me know I have a support structure here and anything I need to get I can get," Jenkins said.

'SKINS MAKE QB SWITCH: Mark Brunell will start Monday night against the Cowboys, taking the quarterback job from Patrick Ramsey . Brunell came in to lead a season-opening victory over the Bears.

Joe Gibbs had prepared for nearly a year for Ramsey to be the starter, but the coach changed his mind after Ramsey threw an interception and fumbled twice before leaving with a mild neck injury.

"This is something that is extremely hard," Gibbs said. "You don't like doing this."

The team also is looking for a kicker after John Hall strained his quads muscle on a kickoff.

LIONS: The team feared cornerback Fernando Bryant broke his jaw in the win over Green Bay, but X-rays were negative.

SEAHAWKS: Quarterback Matt Hasselbeck was stiff and sore, but didn't get bruised until after Mike Holmgren talked. Seattle's coach had stern words for his offense - Hasselbeck in particular - a day after a loss to Jacksonville. "I probably bruised him ... myself," Holmgren said. "I didn't think we played very smart on offense." Leading 14-13 at halftime, the offense went stagnant in the second half, gaining just 100 yards and turning over the ball three times in the fourth quarter, all by Hasselbeck.