NFL: Week 13

Feathers flying: Eagles go back to McNabb

DONOVAN McNABBWas benched Sunday DONOVAN McNABBWas benched Sunday
Associated Press / November 25, 2008
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Donovan McNabb will start when the Eagles host the Cardinals Thursday night.

The five-time Pro Bowl quarterback was benched for the first time in his career at halftime of Philadelphia's 36-7 loss at Baltimore Sunday. Second-year pro Kevin Kolb played poorly against the Ravens, and coach Andy Reid said yesterday he's going back to McNabb.

"Sometimes you have to step back to step forward in a positive way and Donovan will do that," Reid said. "This has nothing to do with Kolb's performance or Donovan's performance."

The Eagles (5-5-1) are on the verge of missing the playoffs for the third time in four years since losing the 2005 Super Bowl. No matter how they finish, this could be McNabb's last season in Philadelphia.

McNabb, who turns 32 today, is signed through 2013, but there's no chance the Eagles will pay him $9.2 million next year to be a backup. He's 22-21-1 as a starter since leading Philadelphia to four straight NFC Championship Games from 2001-04.

"As I sit here right now, he's my starting quarterback," Reid said. "I need to coach better. Donovan needs to play better, and the guys around Donovan need to play better."

McNabb was 8 for 18 for 59 yards with two interceptions and a fumble in the first half against Baltimore. But the Eagles only trailed, 10-7, when Reid decided to have quarterbacks coach Pat Shurmur tell the veteran he'd be replaced.

Last week, McNabb threw three INTs and lost a fumble in an overtime tie with Cincinnati. Overall, he's completed 58.8 percent of his passes for 2,770 yards, 14 touchdowns, 10 interceptions, and a passer rating of 81.1

"I think I know Donovan McNabb . . . " Reid said. "I know [seven] turnovers, that's not him."

Pacman practices

Suspended cornerback Adam "Pacman" Jones was back at work with the Cowboys in Irving, Texas, going to meetings and a practice even though he can't suit up until Dec. 7 against Pittsburgh.

Jones is allowed to do everything but play in the next game - Thursday against Seattle - as he works his way back from his latest suspension, a six-game penalty for violating the league's player conduct policy.

He previously was suspended for the entire 2007 season and coach Wade Phillips said yesterday it's reasonable to believe another slip-up would get him permanently banned from the NFL.

"We've got to hope, for his sake really, that he has cleared all that up," Phillips said. "All the pressure is on him, really, to do the right thing."

Jones did not come into the locker room during the 45 minutes it was open to reporters.

A team meeting followed, then an extended walkthrough that was closed to media. The Cowboys will be without left guard Kyle Kosier (foot) and rookie cornerback Mike Jenkins (hamstring) Thursday.

It'll be tricky for Vick

As Michael Vick appears in a Virginia court to answer state dogfighting charges today, he has reason to hope his aim of returning to the NFL could be realized.

Dozens of league-wide interviews conducted by the Associated Press in the last week found a commissioner willing to consider Vick's case and players who would welcome him back.

The trick may be finding a team ready to take a risk on the former quarterback.

"I hope they're prepared to face the dog lovers of America," Chiefs president and general manager Carl Peterson said of a team that acquires Vick. "There are going to be a lot of problems. There will be protests, people expressing their thoughts - even though he's served his time.

"He will have been out of football a long time," Peterson added, noting he wouldn't have an interest in adding Vick.

The only NFL team for which the 28-year-old Vick has played, the Falcons, still has him under contract: He received a record-breaking, $130 million, 10-year deal in December 2004. But Atlanta owner Arthur Blank made clear late last month the three-time Pro Bowl selection won't wear that team's uniform again.

The AP contacted all 31 of the other NFL teams last week to gauge their interest in Vick. While most refused to comment on the record, citing league tampering laws, a half-dozen did not shut the door on the possibility.

Two NFL front-office officials, speaking to the AP on condition of anonymity because Vick is still under contract to the Falcons, said some teams probably will consider him - but at a position other than quarterback.

"Just like any other American citizen, he deserves a chance to work. I think that's first and foremost, and his employment was football," Tampa Bay linebacker Derrick Brooks said.

Still, Vick could face extra time away from the NFL because of a post-imprisonment suspension handed down by commissioner Roger Goodell.

Titanic altercation?

Titans coach Jeff Fisher yesterday tried to explain away postgame comments made by LenDale White Sunday as a player frustrated by Tennessee's first loss of the season.

And what about a possible altercation between the running back and assistant coach Earnest Byner on the sideline?

"There was stuff that took place on the sideline," Fisher said. "It's over. Everything's fine."

White touched the ball only twice in the 34-13 loss to the Jets. After the third series, he spent most of the rest of the game on the sideline and wasn't happy about it.

White was not available yesterday with the Titans holding a closed walkthrough because of a short week and a game Thursday at Detroit.

Camarillo out for year

Dolphins wide receiver Greg Camarillo will miss the rest of the season with a knee injury, coach Tony Sparano said.

Camarillo left Miami's 48-28 loss to the Patriots in the second half Sunday and did not return. He underwent an MRI yesterday.

"You don't want to lose a player like that," Sparano said. "He's been really productive for us. The guy's been exactly what you're looking for on your football team. I'm disappointed for him. I know how important it is for him."

That concludes Camarillo's breakout season. He leads the Dolphins with 55 receptions for 613 yards and two touchdowns after catching eight passes in his first two NFL seasons.

Crennel not worried

Amid speculation his job is in jeopardy, Browns coach Romeo Crennel said he isn't worried about his future. Also, Crennel said quarterback Brady Quinn has not lost his starting job after being pulled in the third quarter of Sunday's 16-6 loss to the Texans in favor of Derek Anderson. Crennel said he plans to have Quinn under center when Cleveland hosts Indianapolis this week, although Quinn, who broke the tip of his right index finger in a win last week over Buffalo, plans to see noted orthopedist Dr. James Andrews today . . . Bengals QB Carson Palmer will throw in two weeks and then decide whether his passing elbow needs reconstructive surgery. Palmer acknowledged yesterday that the ligament and tendon in his right elbow are partially torn from the bone. He has missed the last six games, doing rehabilitation in hopes the elbow will heal without surgery . . . The Lions signed Drew Henson off the practice squad and the former Michigan star is expected to serve as the No. 2 signal-caller to Daunte Culpepper Thursday.

Viking is outraged

Vikings defensive end Ray Edwards called his $25,000 fine for hits against Tampa Bay two weeks ago "ridiculous" and "outrageous." The NFL docked Edwards Friday for a late hit on Bucs quarterback Jeff Garcia and what the league called a leg whip on an offensive lineman. Edwards is appealing the fine, and although he says he respects the league's ruling on the late hit on Garcia, he says he doesn't even know what a leg whip is and there was no maliciousness in either play . . . The league officially announced that the Redskins-Ravens game Dec. 7 in Baltimore has been moved from 1 p.m. to 8:15 p.m. and will be televised by NBC as part of flex scheduling. That game will replace New England at Seattle, which now will be played at 4:05 p.m. and be seen on CBS . . . The NFL quietly changed its policy this season to allow more fans to see games assigned to its network. The shift affects a relatively small number of viewers who live in outlying areas to the cities of the teams playing . . . Credit-rating agency Fitch Ratings gave the NFL several A grades for its debt. Fitch announced that its rating outlook for the league was "stable."

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