NFL News And Notes

A potpourri of NFL news, courtesy of The Sporting News:

*Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford and wide receiver Calvin Johnson sat out practice on Friday and are listed as questionable for the team’s game against the Green Bay Packers on Sunday. Stafford has missed four of the team’s 5 practices; he injured his knee during the Lions game on October. Johnson, on the other hand, hurt his right knee during last Sunday’s contest against the Pittsburgh Steelers. Unless he miraculously recovers, expect Stafford to sit while Daunte Culpepper makes his second start.

*It looks like Oakland Raiders owner The Crypt Keeper Al Davis, despite his team’s struggles at the QB position, will stick with JaMarcus Russell – for now. He cited examples of QB’s from the past – John Elway, Troy Aikman, Terry Bradshaw and others – and their “struggles” early in their NFL careers as a defense of Russell. But at the same time, Davis may be finally realizing that Russell needs to improve soon, saying:

“JaMarcus, he’s got to do better. Forget the cast around him. He knows it. But we’ve got to fight through it with him.”

Take that any way you want to, but I don’t recall Aikman or Elway struggling to the degree that Russell has. I do realize that young QB’s in the NFL do struggle. Yet I do not know of any QB in recent that has struggled as badly as Russell.

*Baltimore Ravens coach John Harbaugh admitted on Friday what I think knowledgeable people within the league have known all along: they need a WR – badly. The rumor these days has the Ravens acquiring Kansas City Chiefs wideout Dwayne Bowe for a second-round pick. Now that Baltimore has something resembling a passing attack, getting Bowe would make sense as Derrick Mason needs a foil.

*Call it a quarterback controversy. Call it indecision. Call it anything you want, but one thing is for certain: it is anyone’s guess as to who will start at QB for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers this Sunday when they face the Carolina Panthers. The team’s 0-5 and their schedule gets decidedly more difficult as they also play New England on Week 7. So the $64,000 question is which Josh starts Sunday – Freeman or Johnson?

*What everyone knows is that the New England Patriots recently signed linebacker Junior Seau (again!) to a contract. What isn’t known is that Seau, for 11 games, will receive $1,145,000 – which is $300,000 above the veterans minimum salary. Which proves that the Patriots didn’t have to work hard to bolster their already thin linebacking corps.


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