Sports Sportsin partnership with NESN your connection to The Boston Globe

Bad news, good news for Denver

Sapp is lost for season; positive signs on Wilson

Broncos fullback Cecil Sapp will miss the rest of the season because of a broken left leg, but linebacker Al Wilson could return to practice this week after injuring his neck in the Broncos' 23-30 loss to Seattle Sunday night.

Sapp was hurt while returning a kickoff with about three minutes left in the game. He was tackled by Niko Koutouvides and Lance Laury and was bent backward in the pile.

One of Denver's top special teams players, Sapp was placed on injured reserve and will have surgery sometime this week.

Wilson was immobilized and carted off the field after spraining his neck going for a fumble. Coach Mike Shanahan said Wilson still had some numbness in his shoulders yesterday.

"I was obviously happy to hear the MRIs were negative, the X-rays were negative. He was released out of the hospital last night around 11:15. That was a good sign," Shanahan said.

After a 10-minute delay while doctors tended to Wilson, Nate Webster took his place and the Broncos surrendered three straight scoring drives.

"You could feel it on the sideline. I mean, I was affected by it," Shanahan said.

The Broncos coach, whose team fell to 7-5 and has lost three in a row for the first time since 2003, was kicking himself for listening to his kicker.

Jason Elam suggested a fake field goal at the end of the first half, and the call backfired when Elam gained just 2 yards and strained his left hamstring on the play.

"I always have regrets," Shanahan said. "How many fake kicks have I had since I've been here?"

Zero, in 12 seasons.

"And part of the reason [he relented] was that Jason assured me that he would not be hurt," Shanahan said. "That's why he's probable this weekend."

Grossman staying
Let the fans boo and the critics ramble. Bears coach Lovie Smith refused to budge. He's sticking with Rex Grossman as his starting quarterback. A day after the Bears wrapped up their second straight NFC North championship, Grossman's lowly performance in a 23-13 win over the Vikings was still the main topic. A 1.3 quarterback rating and three more interceptions increased the clamoring for a change to veteran Brian Griese. "We are not making a change . . . Rex didn't play as well as he needed to [Sunday]. It was a bad game for us, bad game for Rex," Smith said. "I'm thinking too much, trying to analyze things too much and making it more complicated than it is," Grossman said after completing 6 of 19 passes for 34 yards. "It's a lot easier when you just go and play and react." In his last seven games, Grossman has 14 interceptions and eight touchdowns . . . Nick Novak was cut by the Redskins, leaving Shaun Suisham as the team's only kicker despite an inauspicious debut. Suisham, signed from the practice squad Saturday, missed wide left with his only field goal attempt -- a 50-yarder -- and hit several line-drive kickoffs in Sunday's 24-14 loss to the Falcons. Novak made only 5 of 10 field attempts this season.

Bills' Crowell done
Bills starting linebacker Angelo Crowell is expected to miss the rest of the season because of a broken left leg suffered in Buffalo's 24-21 loss to San Diego. Crowell broke a bone in his lower leg on a run by LaDainian Tomlinson on the Chargers' first possession. Crowell has started all 12 games for the Bills. He entered the weekend ranked second on the team with 95 tackles . . . Derek Anderson, who replaced injured quarterback Charlie Frye and rallied the Browns to an overtime win against Kansas City, may have to make his first pro start on Thursday against the blitz-happy Steelers. Frye hurt his right wrist early in the first quarter against the Chiefs. The Steelers also may be shorthanded, as the status of wide receivers Hines Ward and Cedrick Wilson, and safeties Troy Polamalu and Ryan Clark is unclear. Ward and Polamalu sat out the Steelers' 20-3 victory over Tampa Bay on Sunday, when Wilson (ankle) and Clark (groin) were hurt . . . 49ers linebacker Derek Smith (hamstring) and offensive lineman Adam Snyder (knee, ankle) will be out for Sunday's game against Green Bay and perhaps longer, said coach Mike Nolan.

Police blotter
Bengals rookie wide receiver Reggie McNeal was arrested in Houston and charged with resisting arrest after being refused entrance to a nightclub early Sunday. Houston police said McNeal approached two officers who were standing near the entrance of The Red Door and became unruly when the officers told him the club was closing. McNeal became aggressive before walking away, then approached the officers again and elbowed one of them in the chest. Officers detected "a strong odor of alcohol" from McNeal, police said. The Bengals had the weekend off after playing Thursday night against Baltimore. McNeal is the seventh Bengals player arrested this year . . . Rams rookie tight end Dominique Byrd was charged in St. Louis with allegedly hitting a bar patron in the face with a drinking glass. Byrd was charged with second- and third-degree assault and armed criminal action . . . A judge in Columbus, Ohio, dismissed misdemeanor charges of domestic violence and assault filed against Steelers wide receiver Santonio Holmes. Prosecutors requested the dismissal after concerns about evidence and because Holmes had received anger management and domestic violence counseling, a city prosecutor said.

Today (free)
Yesterday (free)
Past 30 days
Last 12 months
 Advanced search / Historic Archives