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NFL briefs

By Compiled from Times wires

© St. Petersburg Times, published September 11, 2000

McNair in hospital after hit to chest

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Titans quarterback Steve McNair was hospitalized for tests Sunday after injuring his chest on a hit by Kansas City defensive end Duane Clemons.

McNair, who had been hit repeatedly by the Chiefs, was scrambling on third and 12 in the fourth quarter when he was knocked to the ground by Clemons. McNair walked off the field, then laid on the ground for several minutes.

"It concerned me when I saw him laying on the sideline, and I hope that he is not seriously hurt," Titans running back Eddie George said.

McNair was helped to the bench, where he sat for a couple more minutes before being carted off for X-rays. But the X-rays were inconclusive, and McNair was taken to Baptist Hospital for further tests as a precaution.

"He actually took a helmet to the chest," Titans coach Jeff Fisher said. "He was having troubles taking deep breaths."

Neil O'Donnell replaced McNair. O'Donnell, who went 4-1 filling in while McNair recuperated from back surgery last season, said he has been trying to teach McNair how to slide.

"Steve's a tough guy, and he'll bounce back from it," O'Donnell said. "We just have to wait and see. I've been trying to teach him for two years how to slide."

SIMMS HAS APPENDECTOMY: Phil Simms, the CBS analyst and former Giants quarterback, had an emergency appendectomy Saturday, forcing him to miss the Indianapolis-Oakland game.

Simms, 44, was replaced by Todd Blackledge on the nationally televised game. Blackledge is the network's top college football analyst.

CBS said Simms is expected to return to his New Jersey home today.

BENGALS: Linebacker Brian Simmons, the team's leading tackler last season, will be sidelined at least 10-12 weeks after injuring his right knee against Cleveland. An MRI exam revealed torn cartilage in the knee, which will need surgery.

BRONCOS: Kicker Jason Elam left the game against Atlanta because of a lower back injury. Elam, who shares the NFL record with a 63-yard field goal, was injured while trying to make a tackle during Darrick Vaughn's 100-yard kickoff return late in the second quarter.

Johndale Carty sent Elam flying with a hard block along the sideline, and Elam had to be helped from the field by two trainers. He was unable to put any weight on his right leg, and his foot dragged on the ground.

Injuries have hit Denver hard in the past week. Starting running back Terrell Davis did not play because of a sprained left ankle, and his backup, Olandis Gary, is out for the season with a torn knee ligament.

49ERS: A halftime celebration honored former greats Joe Montana, Ronnie Lott and Dave Wilcox.

PACKERS: Right tackle Earl Dotson reaggravated a back injury on the second play from scrimmage during the game against the Bills. Dotson, a six-year starter, left after having trouble straightening his back.

NFL Injury report

STEPHEN BOYD: Lions LB, strained back, did not return.

JAJUAN DAWSON: Browns WR, broken collarbone, did not return.

EARL DOTSON: Packers OT, aggravated back injury, did not return.

ANTUAN EDWARDS: Packers LB, strained knee, did not return.

JASON ELAM: Broncos K, lower back injury, did not return.

SEAN GILBERT: Panthers DT, injured groin, status unknown.

QADRY ISMAIL: Ravens WR, sprained ligament in left knee, did not return.

STEVE McNAIR: Titans QB, injured chest, hospitalized for tests.

JIM PYNE: Browns OL, sprained right knee, did not return.

JERRY RICE: 49ers receiver, back pain, status unknown.

TONY SEMPLE: Lions G, sprained right knee, did not return.

BRIAN SIMMONS: Bengals LB, torn cartilage in right knee, out 10-12 weeks.

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