Gridiron Headlines for Wednesday, September 17th


1. Indianapolis Colts SS Bob Sanders is expected to miss 4 to 6 weeks with a high ankle sprain in which he injured during the team’s victory last Sunday over the Minnesota Vikings. “He will be back, that is for sure,” Team President Bill Polian told WISH-TV. “At this point we are not sure of the severity, but four to six is the reasonable assumption at this time.”

Impact:
Sanders could also have arthroscopic “cleanup” surgery on one of his knees while he’s recovering from the ankle injury. The defensive player of the year and captain of the Colts will be replaced in the starting lineup by either 4th year pro (4th round, Cal) Matt Giordano or Melvin Bullitt. Indy loses its leader and one of its best players in what has been a shaky start to an injury-plagued season. Hopefully the team can have Sanders back in time for their tough October road trip (Weeks 7-8 @ Green Bay, Tennessee).

2. ESPNews reports Chicago Bears WR and return specialist Devin Hester (ribs) is expected to play Week 3.


Impact:
This comes as excellent news for Chicago, as Hester was re-scheduled for an MRI either today or tomorrow. I had a feeling the Windy City Flyer would be ready to go against Tampa and that the injury was not that serious. The biggest concern now: Whether he will make an impact on the offensive side of the ball. Will the team implement him more in the game plan? Along with his non-existence offensively, Hester has not produced a return of 30 yards or more (high: 28 on KR).



3. Jacksonville has re-signed veteran OG Chris Naeole to help boost a struggling offensive line. He spent the past six seasons with the team before being released in March.

Impact: Any help is welcomed for a banged up Jaguars line. The 34-year old and 10th overall pick in ’97, should be expected to make an appearance this week at Indy. Naeole ruptured his quadriceps tendon and missed the final eight games of the ’07 campaign. This was a “must” pick-up for a team that is desperately searching for answers on offense.

4. Former Bear RB Cedric Benson has been reported to have signed with the Detroit Lions. According to Austin, Texas, city council member Mike Martinez:

“Unfortunately, but fortunately, Cedric Benson is not here today,” (referring to Benson’s charity work in helping children get winter coats) he said. “He is actually signing a contract today to get back in the game with the Detroit Lions and the reason why that’s a good thing is that the foundation will continue to grow as long as Cedric continues to do what he does on the field.”

Impact: Well, Matt Millen is at again! What a shocker! The team also brought in Shaun Alexander and Vernand Morency. After replacing Tatum Bell with Rudi Johnson, the “Motor City Kiddies” found a need to give Benson another try. Why would the team do this? They need help on defense and I know this is not the answer. What ever happened to developing rookie RB Kevin Smith? Maybe this is why the Lions are the laughingstock of the NFL.

5. Kansas City has named QB Tyler Thigpen their starter for Week 3 on the road against Atlanta. Thigpen set passing records as an All-American at Coastal Carolina.

Impact: The Chiefs are better off going with a young gun than the injured Damon Huard (concussion). Thigpen has the physical tools and skill set to thrive, but right now KC’s offense doesn’t possess the talent at WR and consistency at OL for him to succeed. It’s good for him to get his first NFL start against Atlanta. The role players/supporting cast will have a large part in determining how he plays. Look for Thigpen to connect with Tony Gonzalez for at least 7 completions.


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