09/24/04 — OPINION -- The NFL's injury list

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OPINION -- The NFL's injury list

By Gabe Whisnant
Published in Sports on September 24, 2004 1:56 PM

Don't fret too much Carolina Panther fans -- you aren't alone.

No, I'm not talking about that 1-1 record and being bunched with that group of 18 NFL teams currently sitting at .500 after two weeks.

Carolina, much like a lot of potential contenders, took an early-season hit with a few key injuries.

Field-extending wide receiver Steve Smith is out indefinitely with a broken leg, suffered in week one against Green Bay. Pro Bowl running back Steven Davis, the backbone of the Cats offense last year, is out at least two weeks with a knee injury.

As if that was not enough, the Panther defense took a knock when Kris Jenkins hurt his shoulder last week at Kansas City.

The bright side?

One, Carolina drew an anemic Kansas City defense last week and took advantage of it. Second, back-up back Deshaun Foster and wideout Keary Colbert shined in their time in the limelight. Foster rushed through and around the Chiefs for 174 yards on 32 carries with a touchdown. Colbert also had a score and caught three passes for 46 yards.

Another good sign -- Carolina has a bye week to heal for an Oct. 3 meeting in Charlotte with Atlanta, now 2-0.

Whether or not the Panther reserves continue to step up remains to be seen, but I especially wouldn't worry too much about Foster. He looks poised to be a starting and premier NFL back -- in Carolina or elsewhere -- and he is out to prove it.

What about the rest of the league?

Maybe they don't have the quantity of bruises as the defending NFC champs, but there are still plenty of big names that will be missing time.

Starting in the NFC South, New Orleans running back Deuce McCallister is out four to five weeks with a severe ankle sprain. Tampa Bay (0-2) will have to overcome the loss of its only deep receiving threat, Joey Galloway, who will miss close to a month with a groin injury.

Anybody else's fantasy football team taking a beating?

By no means is it a complete list of injuries, but here is a run down of the banged-up big names.

Remember folks, it's only week three.


Chicago -- Mike Brown (safety), Achilles' tendon, out for season

Washington -- Mark Brunell (quarterback), hamstring, doubtful Sunday

Detroit -- Charles Rogers (wide receiver), broken collarbone, out for season


Baltimore -- Todd Heap (tight end), ankle injury, 2-4 weeks

Cleveland -- Kellen Winslow, Jr. (tight end), broken leg, out indefinitely

Denver -- Trevor Pryce (defensive end), back injury, 4-6 weeks

Kansas City -- Priest Holmes (running back), ankle, doubtful Sunday; Eddie Kennison (wide receiver), leg, doubtful Sunday

Pittsburgh -- Tommy Maddox (quarterback), elbow, six weeks

Indianapolis -- Edgerrin James (running back), hamstring, doubtful Sunday

New York Jets -- Sam Cowart (line backer), knee, 4-6 weeks

* Former Goldsboro High and University of North Carolina standout David Thornton is currently second on the Indianapolis Colts with 15 total tackles. Eleven of the tackles came last Sunday at Tennesee.

The six-foot-two, 230-pound linebacker has 10 solo tackles and five assists for the Colts (1-1), who host Green Bay on Sunday. Thornton led Indianapolis with 158 tackles in 2003, exceeding the next best tackler on the team by 53 stops.