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NFL: Week 11

A batch of bad Steelers news

Roethlisberger backup hurting

Ben Roethlisberger was hurt on this play in overtime Sunday, hit by the Chiefs’ Andy Studebaker and Derrick Johnson. Ben Roethlisberger was hurt on this play in overtime Sunday, hit by the Chiefs’ Andy Studebaker and Derrick Johnson. (Charlie Riedel/Associated Press)
Associated Press / November 24, 2009

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The defending champion Steelers lost quarterback Ben Roethlisberger in Sunday’s 27-24 defeat to the Chiefs to a possible concussion.

They found out yesterday that his backup, Charlie Batch, sustained a left wrist injury filling in for Roethlisberger and may need surgery that could keep him out the rest of the regular season.

Roethlisberger couldn’t finish the game after a knee to the head left him with the possible concussion. He underwent tests yesterday, but the team didn’t immediately update his condition and his status for Sunday’s game against Baltimore might not be known until later in the week.

The Steelers also lost left guard Chris Kemoeatu for at least a couple of weeks with a sprained knee ligament.

Stafford ‘sore’
Lions coach Jim Schwartz said rookie quarterback Matthew Stafford was “extremely sore’’ after sustaining a separated left shoulder on the next-to-last play of a 38-37 victory over the Browns Sunday, and that he won’t play against Green Bay on Thanksgiving Day unless the pain subsides. Stafford was injured while throwing a desperation pass into the end zone as time expired. The Browns were called for pass interference, and after a timeout, Stafford came back to throw the winning touchdown with no time on the clock . . . Rams quarterback Marc Bulger will be sidelined 3-6 weeks with a fractured left leg sustained in Sunday’s loss to the Cardinals. The team said it would not place Bulger on injured reserve. He underwent two MRIs yesterday, one on his groin and hamstring and a second for what the team believed was a swollen knee. He also was to be tested for concussion-related symptoms today after the physically demanding loss . . . Arizona coach Ken Whisenhunt says he had a long talk with Kurt Warner on the flight home from St. Louis, and the quarterback was “very upbeat and alert’’ following a blow to the head in Sunday’s victory. Still, Warner’s availability to practice this week or play Sunday at Tennessee will depend on how he does in the mandatory “baseline test’’ of his cognitive functions. Whisenhunt says the test probably will be administered today . . . Cowboys coach Wade Phillips said he is confident quarterback Tony Romo will be ready to play on Thanksgiving against Oakland despite the soreness from taking a knee to the back Sunday against the Redskins.

Ferguson out
Dolphins nose tackle Jason Ferguson will miss the rest of the season with a quadriceps injury, coach Tony Sparano said. Sparano said he was unsure if Ferguson, who turns 35 Saturday, will need surgery. He declined to elaborate on the specifics of the injury, which occurred in Miami’s win over Carolina Thursday . . . Packers cornerback Al Harris and linebacker Aaron Kampman both will have season-ending knee surgery after being hurt in Sunday’s win over the 49ers. “Not seeing them in the huddle, it’s going to be different,’’ coach Mike McCarthy said. “It’s a challenge to our players, they’re going to have to step up and get ready in a short week for Detroit.’’ . . . The Redskins have lost three more players for the season to injury. Running back Ladell Betts (torn ACL and MCL in his left knee), right guard Chad Rinehart (broken leg), and fullback Eddie Williams (broken leg) were added to the injured reserve list. Also, running back Clinton Portis may not return from his concussion for at least one more game, and cornerback DeAngelo Hall has a sprained knee that could cause him to miss this week’s game against the Eagles . . . Ravens cornerback Fabian Washington is expected to miss the remainder of the season after tearing an ACL in his knee during Sunday’s loss to the Colts . . . Bills starting right guard Eric Wood, a rookie first round draft pick, is recovering after surgery to repair a broken left leg that was so severely damaged CBS elected against showing replays of the hit. The operation to repair two broken bones was performed in Jacksonville Sunday night, hours after Wood was hurt in an 18-15 loss to the Jaguars. Buffalo running back Marshawn Lynch’s status is uncertain after he hurt his left shoulder and did not return to the game.

Mangini upset
Browns coach Eric Mangini is questioning whether the Lions faked injuries to slow down Cleveland’s no-huddle offense Sunday. Mangini, who bemoaned the final, chaotic seconds of Cleveland’s loss, noted the Lions had several players leave the field injured, only to return. Mangini was specifically asked if he was accusing the Lions and Schwartz, whom he worked with previously in Cleveland, of faking injuries. “I’m just saying there were a lot of them,’’ Mangini said. Schwartz disputed Mangini’s claims. “He’s way out of bounds on that,’’ he said . . . The Cowboys released kick returner Allen Rossum four weeks after he injured his hamstring the only time he touched the ball for the team . . . The Saints, who host the Patriots Monday night, have brought back former starting cornerback Mike McKenzie. McKenzie, an 11-year veteran, was released in the offseason following serious injuries to each knee in consecutive seasons. New Orleans has been short on cornerbacks because of injuries to Tracy Porter, Jabari Greer, Randall Gay, and Leigh Torrence.

Doctors approved
The NFL and its players union have approved independent doctors to evaluate head injuries for about half of the 32 teams so far as part of a new program. The NFL Players Association medical director, Dr. Thom Mayer, said “the quality of people brought forward has been first rate’’ and none of the doctors proposed by teams has been rejected so far. Mayer and the NFL’s medical adviser are vetting the doctors jointly. The NFL said Sunday it is requiring teams to find outside experts in neurology to aid their medical staffs when players get concussions . . . San Diego police are investigating a claim that Chargers defensive back Antonio Cromartie hit someone in the head with a champagne bottle at a bar early yesterday morning . . . Federal prosecutors in Philadelphia say a man has pleaded guilty to sending letters to Giants coach Tom Coughlin in which he threatened to expose a fictitious sexual tryst among the coach and two women. Prosecutors say 30-year-old Herbert Alex Simpson of Philadelphia pleaded guilty to two counts of mailing threatening communications.

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