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NFL roundup

Compiled from Times wires

© St. Petersburg Times, published February 4, 2001

Faulk puts off surgery

ST. LOUIS -- Rams running back Marshall Faulk, the NFL's MVP, is holding off on further knee surgery for now.

Faulk is skipping the Pro Bowl because the knee that forced him out for two weeks in midseason is bothering him again. But after a meeting with the team's orthopedic surgeon, George Paletta, he's taking a wait-and-see approach.

It was determined Friday that scar tissue from Faulk's surgery on Nov. 6 to remove loose cartilage was causing the problem.

"It's just a very minor thing," coach Mike Martz said. "It's healing the way it should, and he's got no pain there or no irritation. Everything's fine."

CHMURA TRIAL: Prosecutor Paul Bucher began closing arguments in Mark Chmura's sexual assault case, urging jurors to focus on the former Packers player's conduct.

Bucher conceded there were inconsistencies in the testimony jurors heard. "Perfect cases don't go to trial," he said.

"But ladies and gentlemen, when you bring it all together . . . you are going to find guilt on the part of the defendant."

In the defense's closing argument, attorney Gerald Boyle started off comparing Chmura's teenage accuser to Susan Smith, a South Carolina woman who drowned her two sons and then said they were kidnapped. He said Chmura's accuser made up the story.

Jurors were expected to begin deliberations Saturday afternoon.

JETS: Maurice Carthon, the respected assistant and running backs coach of the Jets, agreed Friday to join new Detroit coach Marty Mornhinweg's staff as a "backfield-coach-plus."

"(Marty's) going to lean heavily on me, and that impressed me," Carthon said. "It gives me a chance to keep advancing my career, and that's the main thing I was concerned about."

HOUSTON TEXANS: Chris Palmer, the longtime offensive assistant who was fired as Cleveland's coach, joined the expansion team as offensive coordinator.

"I think building something from scratch from the ground up is exciting," Palmer said. "It's rewarding as far as being a coach is concerned."

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