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Alexander breaks bone in foot

MVP will be out at least two weeks

League Most Valuable Player Shaun Alexander cracked a bone in his sore left foot and will be lost to the Seattle Seahawks for at least a couple of weeks.

Alexander has had soreness and a bone bruise in his left foot since the season opener at Detroit. Coach Mike Holmgren said yesterday that Alexander cracked a bone sometime during Sunday's 42-30 win over the New York Giants. Holmgren said the bruise in Alexander's foot led to the crack and Alexander was walking around team headquarters yesterday on crutches.

``You lose the MVP for a while, it's a hit," Holmgren said. ``Let's face it, he's the MVP. We're not going to sugarcoat it."

Alexander has started 69 of the last 70 games for the Seahawks but has yet to rush for more than 100 yards this season.

He had just 47 yards on 20 carries Sunday, and didn't play in the fourth quarter.

Last season, Alexander rushed for 1,880 yards and 27 touchdowns. Maurice Morris will start for Alexander when the Seahawks face Chicago Sunday night.

Simms endured pain
Chris Simms took hit after hit Sunday, responding the way football players are taught. He endured the pain and kept playing.

``In the huddle, he was gasping for air," Buccaneers receiver Michael Clayton said, a day after the Tampa Bay quarterback's spleen was removed following a 26-24 loss to the Carolina Panthers. ``He'd call part of the pass routes, then gasp for air and finish it. Everybody was saying: `Chris, are you OK?' You could tell he was fighting it."

Simms is out indefinitely after an emergency splenectomy, although coach Jon Gruden has not ruled out his playing again this season. Rookie Bruce Gradkowski becomes the starter, Tim Rattay will be the backup, and the Bucs will explore signing a veteran to fill in as the No. 3 QB until Luke McCown comes off the physically-unable-to-perform list.

The Bucs initially thought the 26-year-old son of Super Bowl-winning QB Phil Simms had difficulty breathing because of sore ribs and dehydration, but rushed him to the hospital when it became apparent the injury was more serious.

Thurman arrested
Cincinnati coach Marvin Lewis expects middle linebacker Odell Thurman to be suspended for the rest of the season following Thurman's arrest early yesterday on a drunken driving charge, making him the sixth Bengal arrested this year. Thurman, already serving a four-game suspension for violating the NFL's substance abuse policy, could get an additional one-year suspension from the league. The arrest came less than a week after commissioner Roger Goodell visited Cincinnati and reminded players of their responsibility to stay out of trouble. ``I am not pleased," Lewis said. ``It's not right, it's not what we stand for, it's not what the National Football League should represent." . . . The Indianapolis Colts' usually boisterous locker room was filled with thoughtful reflection as players offered support to their grieving receiver, Reggie Wayne. Wayne's older brother, Rashad, was killed in an automobile accident Sunday -- something Colts players didn't learn until after Sunday's game. Wayne flew to Louisiana to help make funeral arrangements.

Shockey contrite
A seemingly contrite Jeremy Shockey said his emotions got the best of him when he ripped Tom Coughlin and his New York Giants staff for being outcoached in the blowout loss to the Seahawks in Seattle. Coughlin talked with his Pro Bowl tight end and the team yesterday, but he would not discuss what was said. ``It's between the player and I," Coughlin said less than 24 hours after the team fell to 1-2 heading into the bye week . . . While Cardinals coach Dennis Green didn't say rookie QB Matt Leinart would replace struggling veteran Kurt Warner for Arizona's next game, he also didn't dismiss the possibility. Warner had an awful performance in Sunday's 16-14 home loss to the St. Louis Rams. The 35-year-old was intercepted three times -- once with the team at the Rams 1-yard line and another at the St. Louis 14. Warner also fumbled a snap at the Rams 18 with 1:46 to play as Arizona was positioning itself for a winning field goal . . . San Francisco 49ers tight end Vernon Davis, the sixth overall pick in the draft, will be out four weeks with a broken bone in his right leg sustained in Sunday's 38-24 loss to the Eagles . . . QB Trent Green (concussion) will not play in the Kansas City Chiefs' game Sunday against the 49ers . . . Rams defensive end Anthony Hargrove, who skipped two days of practice and meetings last week while dealing with personal issues, was reinstated to the team by coach Scott Linehan.

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