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NFL briefs

Compiled from Times wires

© St. Petersburg Times, published November 13, 2000

Saints RB Williams busts ankle

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Running back Ricky Williams, for whom the Saints traded their entire 1999 draft, broke his left ankle in two places late in Sunday's victory over the Panthers.

The injury left the Saints, who have won six in a row, in shock. Coach Jim Haslett was near tears when he told the media of Williams' injury.

The injury occurred on a 2-yard run with about six minutes left that gave the former Heisman Trophy winner from Texas 1,000 yards for the season.

Haslett said Williams, who leads the NFL with 30 touches a game, likely will be lost for 6-8 weeks, meaning he may be back for the playoffs.

"We've got to find a way to keep it going," offensive lineman Willie Roaf said. "We're going to keep fighting."

Williams, on crutches for the first time since he was 10, greeted the media with a smile.

"I was talking to Coach Haslett, and he said you can't control things like that," Williams said when asked how he could be smiling. "What's done is done, and I have to keep working hard and hopefully come back for the playoffs."

BROWN KNOCKS TEAM, CLINIC: Former Cleveland lineman Orlando Brown said team doctors and the Cleveland Clinic hid information about the severity of the eye injury that led to his release.

Brown also told the (Willoughby) News-Herald that the Browns did not properly respond when referee Jeff Triplette's BB-weighted penalty flag hit his right eye Dec. 19, 1999. A teammate drove Brown to the hospital.

Team president Carmen Policy called Brown's accusations "absurd." The hospital declined comment.

THOMAS MULLS RETIREMENT: Dolphins running back Thurman Thomas, ninth on the NFL's career rushing list, said he will consider retirement if his sprained right knee requires lengthy rehabilitation. Thomas was hurt after a 12-yard reception midway through the second quarter against the Chargers.

BILLS: Bob Kalsu, the only pro football player killed in the Vietnam War, was added to the team's Wall of Fame.

EAGLES: Brian Mitchell broke the record for career kickoff return yardage with a 32-yarder late in the second quarter against Pittsburgh. Mitchell has 10,269 yards on returns, breaking Mel Gray's record of 10,250.

49ERS: The long-pending NFL case against the team and Policy, its former president, for violating the salary cap could be settled this week. The discipline is believed to be a fine of around $500,000 for Policy and a forfeiture of draft choices.

RAIDERS: Sebastian Janikowski, the rookie kicker from Florida State, was released from a hospital after treatment for a bacterial infection in his left foot.

CFL: The British Columbia Lions defeated the Edmonton Eskimos 34-32 in the West Division semifinal and play at Calgary on Sunday for the West final. The Winnipeg Blue Bombers beat the Hamilton Tiger-Cats 22-20 in the East Division and play at Montreal in the final Sunday.

Injury report

OBAFEMI AYANBADEJO: Ravens FB, turf toe, did not return.

JIM BUNDREN: Browns G, broken right ankle, out for season.

BEN COATES: Ravens TE, bruised thigh, did not return.

BRETT FAVRE: Packers QB, sprained left foot, likely out a week or more.

WILLIAM FLOYD: Panthers FB, broken ribs, out 2-4 weeks.

AARON GIBSON: Lions T, bruised right shoulder, did not return.

JOHN JACKSON: Bengals OL, injured hamstring, did not return.

RYAN LEAF: Chargers QB, injured left hamstring, did not return.

JIM MILLER: Bears QB, torn left Achilles' tendon, out for season.

MOSES MORENO: Chargers QB, strained left knee, did not return.

ADRIAN ROSS: Bengals LB, sprained ankle, did not return.

THURMAN THOMAS: Dolphins RB, sprained right knee, did not return.

BOB WHITFIELD: Falcons T, neck burner, did not return.

RICKY WILLIAMS: Saints RB, broken left ankle, out 6-8 weeks.

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