NFL: Week 13

Giants lose their top rusher

Ward breaks leg, is out indefinitely

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Associated Press / December 4, 2007

Derrick Ward, the New York Giants' leading rusher, suffered a broken leg Sunday against the Chicago Bears and will be out indefinitely.

Ward fractured his left fibula, the thinner of the two bones extending from the knee to the ankle, in the fourth quarter of New York's 21-16 come-from-behind victory. He rushed 24 times for a career-high 154 yards.

"At this point in time it doesn't appear to be surgical, but he will be out," Giants coach Tom Coughlin said yesterday.

When asked if he thought that meant for the rest of the season, Coughlin said, "That's the way it appears."

Ward, who is in his fourth year, leads the Giants in rushing with 602 yards despite missing the previous four games with ankle and groin injuries.

"It's tough to deal with," Ward said. "I'll bounce back from this like I bounced back from all the other ones."

Brandon Jacobs, the opening day starter who has missed the last two games with a hamstring injury, could replace Ward Sunday at Philadelphia.

Lions' Williams out

Detroit Lions wide receiver Roy Williams is expected to miss the rest of the regular season because of a sprained knee.

Lions coach Rod Marinelli announced Williams has a sprained posterior cruciate ligament in his right knee and that he will miss "several weeks."

Marinelli said the injury was similar to the one sustained by cornerback Stanley Wilson in the Thanksgiving Day loss to Green Bay, after which Wilson was put on injured reserve.

Detroit also lost reserve safety LaMarcus Hicks to a broken ankle, while cornerback Travis Fisher was undergoing tests on his wrist.

Worrell tears ACL

Miami safety Cameron Worrell tore his ACL in the Dolphins' 40-13 loss to the New York Jets Sunday, coach Cam Cameron said.

Worrell is the latest in a string of safeties Miami has lost to injuries this season.

Yeremiah Bell tore his Achilles' tendon in Week 1, which put him out for the rest of the season. Travares Tillman started in Week 2 and was sidelined by a knee injury.

Cameron said he was not sure when a surgery to repair Worrell's knee would take place, and said the team is still discussing possible roster changes.

"It's not what you want. I don't know that frustration is the right word," Cameron said. "It's what we do - that's the business we're in. You deal with injuries." The 0-12 Dolphins play at Buffalo Sunday.

Russell impresses

JaMarcus Russell's debut lasted 16 plays, moved 85 yards, and yielded no points for the Oakland Raiders. It did generate more excitement at the Coliseum than the Raiders had seen for years.

The question the day after Russell finally got to play in the NFL was how much more of the No. 1 overall draft pick will people see in the final five weeks of the season.

Coach Lane Kiffin said he hadn't decided how he would split the quarterback duties this week in Green Bay, but was pleased with how Russell's debut went in a 34-20 victory over the Denver Broncos Sunday.

"What's really good is we got a chance to get him to play, we got a chance for him to play well, experience some good things happening, and we won the game," Kiffin said.

"Those things aren't always easy to do. You're playing a really good team in Denver, and you put in a guy who really hasn't played any football in a year, and you're still able to win. It worked out as good as it could have."

Josh McCown got the start Sunday in place of the injured Daunte Culpepper and matched his career high with three touchdown passes against the Broncos.

But both veterans know their job is to groom Russell and bridge the gap until he's ready.

Garcia may play

Buccaneers coach Jon Gruden said there is a possibility quarterback Jeff Garcia could play this week against Houston. Gruden said there is nothing structurally wrong with Garcia's bruised back, and despite backup Luke McCown's big game in Tampa Bay's 27-23 victory over New Orleans Sunday, his 37-year-old starter will be back in the lineup as soon as he is medically cleared to play . . . Atlanta Falcons coach Bobby Petrino benched quarterback Joey Harrington in the fourth quarter of a loss Sunday to the Rams, and backup Chris Redman threw touchdown passes on his first two possessions. After being out of football last season, Redman could make his first start since 2002 with Baltimore Monday night against the New Orleans Saints. Petrino didn't announce his starter yesterday but said he may have news later in the week, after he talked to his players.

Favre SI Sportsman

Brett Favre's standout season for the resurgent Green Bay Packers has earned him the title of 2007 Sports Illustrated Sportsman of the Year, making him the fourth quarterback to win the award in its 53-year history. The 38-year-old Favre joins fellow QBs Terry Bradshaw (1979), Joe Montana (1990), and Tom Brady (2005) as recipients of the award, given to an athlete who symbolizes the ideals of sportsmanship . . . The Packers board of directors unanimously approved the appointment of Northwestern athletic director Mark Murphy as the team's new top executive, ending the search for a successor to longtime leader Bob Harlan. Murphy, 52, is a former NFL player who has a law degree and an MBA in finance . . . Rock 'n' rollers Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers will perform during halftime of the Super Bowl.

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