Griese's injured shoulder 'looks bad'
Updated: Wednesday November 15, 2000 9:28 AM
Griese's injury is officially listed as a separated AC joint. The Broncos said they aren't likely to know about their quarterback's availability for Sunday's game against San Diego until later in the week.
Griese was injured in the first quarter of Denver's 27-24 win against Oakland on Monday night, but he returned to the lineup and helped engineer the victory.
"We won't know for a couple of days the exact extent of the injury," head coach Mike Shanahan said. "We'll wait to see how sore he is."
Broncos owner Pat Bowlen said Griese could be out a "significant period of time," adding, "It looks bad."
Asked after the game if he expected to play against the Chargers, Griese said, "I don't know. I can't tell you what's going to happen, what my availability will be for next week. I've never had an injury like this, but I'm going to do my best to come back and play."
Griese already was playing with torn cartilage in the same shoulder, which will require off-season surgery. He insisted the two injuries are unrelated.
Steelers bench first-round pick Burress
PITTSBURGH (AP) -- Plaxico Burress, a $9 million wide receiver bust in his first season with the Pittsburgh Steelers, was benched Tuesday by head coach Bill Cowher and replaced in the lineup by Courtney Hawkins.
Burress, the eighth pick in the April draft, has largely disappeared from the Steelers' offense in recent weeks, making only four catches for 45 yards in their last four games.
"The play has just been too inconsistent," Cowher said Tuesday.
Burress left Sunday's 26-23 overtime loss to Philadelphia after being hit hard by linebacker Jeremiah Trotter on a throw over the middle in the second quarter. Hawkins, like Burress a former Michigan State receiver, came in and made a team-high four catches for 71 yards after making only one reception previously this season.
Hawkins, the only Steelers receiver left from quarterback Kordell Stewart's standout season in 1997, survived the final roster cut in August only when the Steelers waived fourth-round draft pick Danny Farmer. Now, he and Hines Ward are the starting receivers.
"He is a guy who had to come in and accept a [backup] role he didn't particularly like, but he accepted it as a true professional," Cowher said. "He went about his business and worked very hard and when he had an opportunity, he came in and performed."
The move means the Steelers now have two of the NFL's highest-paid backup receivers. Their last two first-round draft picks, Burress and Troy Edwards, have lost their starting jobs since the season began.
Between them, Burress and Edwards have only 37 catches -- none for touchdowns -- and have drawn criticism for not running precise routes and dropping passes. Last year, Edwards tied with Ward for the team lead with 61 catches.
Dolphins put Thomas on injured reserve
The team signed offensive lineman Jason Andersen.
Thomas, 34, tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee during the Dolphins' 17-7 victory at San Diego on Sunday.
He appeared in nine games and was third on the team with 136 yards rushing on 28 attempts this season. He also had 16 receptions for 117 yards and a touchdown.
Thomas starred with the Buffalo Bills for his first 12 seasons and was voted the NFL's Most Valuable Player after the 1991 season. He has 12,074 yards, 46 short of Franco Harris, who is eighth on the career rushing list.
Thomas missed 11 games last year with a bruised liver, and after Sunday's game said he might think about ending his career.
"It's a concern for me if I'm looking at 10 months of rehab," he said. "I might have to consider retirement."
Andersen, 25, was New England's seventh-round draft choice in 1998 and played 11 games with the Patriots last season, all as a reserve.
The Dolphins also signed linebacker Nate Hemsley to their practice squad. Hemsley played six games with Dallas last year.
Test reveals Gibson has severely sprained shoulder
Gibson was knocked out of Sunday's game against Atlanta with a bruised right shoulder late in the first quarter. Although the weekly mandated injury report is not filed until Wednesday, the Lions said Tuesday that Gibson was considered doubtful for Sunday's game at the New York Giants.
The second-year player, who has started every game this season, missed all of last year after having surgery on his left shoulder. Detroit drafted the 6-foot-4, 380-pounder out of Wisconsin with the 27th overall pick in the 1999 draft.
Broncos waive Brooks; Schlereth may go to IR
DENVER (AP) -- Veteran wide receiver Robert Brooks, who returned to football this season after a one-year retirement, was waived on Tuesday by the Denver Broncos.
The Broncos also waived offensive guard Jon Blackman off their practice squad.
Veteran offensive guard Mark Schlereth, meanwhile, said he expects to go on injured reserve after recurring problems with his left knee.
Brooks, a Pro Bowler with the Green Bay Packers in 1995 after posting 102 receptions for 1,497 yards, retired during training camp in 1999 because of back problems.
He had 306 career catches for 4,225 yards and 32 touchdowns. After electing to resume playing, he signed with the Broncos on Aug. 14.
Bothered by a persistent hamstring injury, Brooks, 30, was inactive for five games this season. He played sparingly in four games and had only three catches for 51 yards.
Blackman, waived in the final cutdown by the Philadelphia Eagles on Aug. 27, was allocated to the NFL Europe League, where he played with the Berlin Thunder.
Schlereth, who has had 28 operations in his career including 14 on his left knee alone, most recently had arthroscopic surgery on the knee on Oct. 16 and missed two games.
He started Monday night's game against Oakland but re-injured the knee.
Frustrated by his inability to recover, Schlereth told KUSA-TV in Denver he did not want to tie up a roster spot that could be given to a healthy, productive player.
Patriots' Lane out for season
FOXBORO, Mass. (AP) -- Patriots offensive tackle Max Lane will miss the rest of the season with a broken left leg.
Lane, who started the last three games, was placed on injured reserve Tuesday and faces surgery. He was hurt Sunday in the loss at Cleveland.
New England drafted Lane in the sixth round of the 1994 NFL draft.
Also Tuesday, the Patriots released Tony Gaiter from the practice squad.
Browns place Bundren on injured reserve
Cleveland filled Bundren's spot on the 53-man roster by signing rookie cornerback Todd Franz.
Bundren underwent surgery on Monday and will be out for the season. He is the team's fifth offensive starter to be lost to a season-ending injury.
Franz, who played at Tulsa, had been on the New Orleans Saints' practice squad. He was drafted in the fifth round this year by the Detroit Lions.
Vikings sign receiver, place Sauer on I.R.
Sauer, a standout on special teams, recently re-aggravated a foot injury that forced him to miss the Vikings' exhibition games.
Kent played three seasons for the Tennessee Titans, who selected him in the second round of the 1997 draft. He caught 13 passes for 159 yards in 30 games for the Titans. Kent spent four games with the Indianapolis Colts this season before being released Oct. 3.
Redskins move Fletcher back to active roster
Fletcher was moved down Monday as the team tinkered with its roster after the decision to keep two kickers, Eddie Murray and Scott Bentley. Fletcher is seen as insurance in case the Redskins suffer another injury on an offensive line that has lost two starters this season.
To make room for Fletcher, the team released receiver Derrius Thompson, who has played in three games this season with no receptions.
Smaller rating for Monday Night Football in Week 11
NEW YORK (AP) -- Another tight game did not generate a big TV rating for Monday Night Football.
The Denver Broncos' 27-24 victory against the Oakland Raiders, decided by a field goal on the final play, drew a 12.4 national rating and 21 share on ABC Sports.
That's 5 percent lower than the Week 11 rating a year ago, also for Oakland at Denver, and a slide of 15 percent from last week.
Even with a string of close finishes -- before Denver's narrow victory, two of the past three Monday night games had been decided in overtime -- ABC's program is averaging a 12.8 rating, down from 13.8 through 11 games last season.
Monday Night Football, though, is the top-rated prime-time program among men aged 18-49 and 25-54, ABC Sports said.
Each rating point represents a little more than 1 million television households. Share is the percentage of in-use TVs tuned to a program.
Perry pleads innocent, trial set for April 3
GRETNA, La. (AP) -- New Orleans Saints safety Darren Perry pleaded innocent Tuesday to charges of driving while intoxicated, careless operation of a motor vehicle and hit and run driving.
Kenner Police arrested Perry on Aug. 13 after he allegedly rear-ended a car with his sport utility vehicle. Police Lt. Steve Caraway said in August that Perry had failed a field sobriety test and refused to take a breath-alcohol test.
Perry has not commented on the specific charges. Shortly after the incident, he publicly apologized to his teammates and Saints officials "and all the people that were instrumental in getting me down here, for basically just bringing this kind of embarrassment to the situation."
His trial was set for April 3, 2001.
Perry was convicted of DWI and hit and run in connection with a 1996 accident in Greensburg, Pa., while with the Pittsburgh Steelers. He was sentenced to one year of rehabilitation and ordered to pay almost $1,200 in damages.
Giants re-sign TE Young to practice squad
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) -- The New York Giants re-signed tight end Adam Young to the practice squad Tuesday.
To make room for Young, wide receiver Anthony Tucker, who was signed to the practice squad on Nov. 8, was waived.
Young originally signed with the Giants on April 13 as a rookie free agent out of Dartmouth. He was waived after training camp, then signed to the practice squad on Aug. 29.
Young finished his senior year at Dartmouth with a career-high 39 receptions for 433 yards and two touchdowns.