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McNabb advised to have surgery

By wire services
Published November 18, 2005

PHILADELPHIA - Donovan McNabb's next important decision won't be calling an audible at the line of scrimmage.

McNabb was told Thursday to have surgery for a sports hernia that probably would end his season. It's likely the Eagles quarterback will seek other opinions before making a final decision.

Mike McMahon, who had been the third-string quarterback, will start against the New York Giants on Sunday.

McNabb has played through injuries most of the season. He re-injured his groin while trying to tackle Cowboys safety Roy Williams after an interception on Monday night. Williams returned it 46 yards for a touchdown with 2 minutes, 43 seconds remaining to lead Dallas to a 21-20 comeback victory.

Dr. William Meyers recommended McNabb have surgery now to correct the sports hernia after an examination Thursday morning.

McNabb had planned to have surgery after the season, but he said Wednesday he wasn't sure if he'd do it sooner.

Meanwhile, it's still highly unlikely that suspended receiver Terrell Owens will return for this or any other season.

Owens' grievance hearing against the team is scheduled for this morning.

It is believed the Eagles were trying to cut a deal with Owens and the players' union in an attempt to keep the case from being ruled on by Richard Bloch, the arbitrator assigned to the hearing.

If Owens' case goes to a hearing today, it will be argued by lawyers from the union and the league.

Richard Berthelsen, the general counsel for the NFL Players Association, has said the union would argue the Eagles' punishment of their star receiver for conduct detrimental to the team was excessive.

Berthelsen said the offense has a four-game suspension limit and the Eagles have said they plan to deactivate Owens during the final five games of the season, which the union will argue deprives the receiver a chance at earning incentives and a trip to the Pro Bowl.

BENGALS: A pair of players fought during a lunchtime brawl at Paul Brown Stadium. Defensive end Carl Powell (6 feet 2, 278 pounds) picked up safety Reggie Myles (5-11, 195) and body-slammed him in the equipment room before teammates rushed to separate the two. Both players refused comment when asked what triggered the fight. Neither appeared to be injured, although Myles was seen leaving the stadium with a member of the medical staff shortly after the incident. Myles returned to the stadium, but didn't practice. He was listed as probable with an illness. Asked about the fight, coach Marvin Lewis smiled and said: "What fight?" "This is how you get hyped-up for Indy," wide receiver Chad Johnson said.

DOLPHINS: Quarterback Gus Frerotte tested his sprained right index finger by throwing on the side but didn't take part in team drills, and his status remains questionable for Sunday's game at Cleveland.

GIANTS: Linebacker Reggie Torbor will miss two to four weeks with a hernia. ... Punter Jeff Feagles will play in his 282nd consecutive game Sunday against Philadelphia, tying former Minnesota Vikings defensive lineman Jim Marshall's league record. Feagles can break the record the next week against Seattle.

PATRIOTS: Left tackle Matt Light, one of three injured starters on the offensive line, was upgraded from out to doubtful though he has not returned to practice.

STEELERS: Tommy Maddox will start at quarterback against Baltimore. With Ben Roethlisberger and Charlie Batch sidelined by injuries, Maddox will make his first start since losing to Jacksonville in overtime on Oct. 16.

VIKINGS: The widow of lineman Korey Stringer hit another, probably final legal roadblock when the Minnesota Supreme Court refused to let her pursue a wrongful death lawsuit against the Vikings and several employees. Siding with two lower courts, the Supreme Court's 4-2 decision - Justice Alan Page, a former Viking, recused himself - exhausted Kelci Stringer's avenues in state court. Tackle Korey Stringer died in training camp four years ago. ... Coach Mike Tice, unhappy with the play of the offensive line, said Toniu Fonoti will start at left guard ahead of Chris Liwienski Monday night at Green Bay.

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