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Packers, Rams, Ditka and more

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 NFL News - Tuesday, December 12,2007
... Packers, Rams, Ditka and more...
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Packers DT Jolly goes on IR with shoulder injury

Packers defensive tackle Johnny Jolly was placed on injured 
reserve Tuesday with an injured shoulder. Jolly, a sixth-round 
draft pick in 2006, started seven of Green Bay's first 10 games. 
He was hurt in the Packers' victory over Carolina on Nov. 18.
Last week, Coach Mike McCarthy said the results of an MRI on 
Jolly's shoulder "didn't look good," and he might have to sit 
out the remainder of this season. The coach didn't elaborate 
on the specifics of the injury. Jolly had 31 tackles, 14 solo, 
one sack and five pass deflections this season. The team also 
announced it signed defensive tackle Alfred Malone to the 
practice squad and released tight end James Adkisson from 
the practice squad. Malone appeared in four games for the 
Houston Texans during the past two seasons and had 13 tackles.


Rams owner Frontiere hospitalized in Los Angeles

St. Louis Rams owner Georgia Frontiere has been hospitalized 
in Los Angeles with an undisclosed illness, a family spokesman 
said Tuesday night. "Our mother has been in a hospital for some 
health issues and is feeling better," Frontiere's son Chip 
Rosenbloom and daughter Lucia Rodriguez said in a statement 
read by family spokesman Gene Schwam. Schwam said he was unaware 
of the exact nature of Frontiere's illness or how long she has 
been in the hospital. He also wouldn't say what hospital she 
was in. Frontiere, who turned 80 last month, has had health 
problems for several months, team spokesman Rick Smith said. 
She has not attended any of the team's games this season, 
although Smith said he believed Frontiere had been feeling 
better in recent weeks. Frontiere has been in charge of the 
franchise since her husband, Carroll Rosenbloom, died in 1979. 
She moved the team from Anaheim, Calif., to St. Louis in 1995, 
and has homes in St. Louis, Sedona, Ariz., and Malibu, Calif., 
Schwam said. The Rams won their first Super Bowl after the 
1999 season and lost to the New England Patriots after the 
2001 season. But the franchise hasn't had a winning record 
since 2003 and is 3-10 this season with three games remaining.
Team president John Shaw said on Monday that the franchise 
would retain coach Scott Linehan for a third season. Linehan 
led the team to an 8-8 record last year but the Rams have 
been decimated by injuries this season with 11 players on 
injured reserve and quarterback Marc Bulger and running back 
Steven Jackson both missing significant time. 

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Ditka's fund to dissolve after critical USA Today report

Mike Ditka will dissolve his Hall of Fame Assistance Trust 
Fund in the wake of a report that the charity had given only 
a small amount of money to needy former NFL players. USA 
Today reported last week that Ditka's fund had collected 
$1.3 million since it was formed in 2004, but netted only 
about $315,000 after expenses and distributed just $57,000 
to former players. Ditka disputed part of the report, 
saying the trust has actually given away $159,000.
Ditka said Tuesday the fund's balance of more than $600,000 
would be divided equally between Misericordia, a residential 
facility for developmentally disabled youth, and Gridiron 
Greats Assistance Fund, another fund that helps former 
professional football players in need. Ditka appeared in 
Minneapolis with several former Vikings stars to publicize 
the Gridiron Greats fund. Ditka, a board member for that 
charity, said he would focus his future efforts on that 
fund. He made a personal donation of $25,000 on Tuesday.
Ditka is among retired players who have feuded with the NFL 
Players Association over how disability benefits are 
distributed to former players. Jennifer Smith, a spokeswoman 
for Gridiron Greats, said the infusion from Ditka's fund 
would "make a major impact" on her group's efforts. 

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Bills lose another key defensive starter

Bills safety George Wilson will miss the rest of the regular 
season with two broken ribs, but the team has no immediate 
plans to place him on injured reserve while it remains alive 
in the AFC playoff race. Coach Dick Jauron said Monday the 
first-year starter was scheduled to be released from a Buffalo-
area hospital later in the day after he was held overnight for 
observation. Wilson was hurt when he was hit hard trying to 
catch a short kickoff late in the first quarter of Buffalo's 
38-17 win over the Miami Dolphins on Sunday. Wilson, who 
muffed the kickoff, returned for a few defensive plays in 
the second quarter before missing the rest of the game.
Rather than place Wilson on season-ending IR, Jauron said the 
team -- already thin at defensive back -- will keep its options 
open with him on the active roster. Wilson is a converted 
receiver who made the switch to defense this offseason. He took 
over at free safety in Week 5 after starter Ko Simpson (broken 
ankle) was placed on IR and backup Jim Leonhard missed three 
games with a calf injury. The Bills (7-6) have won six of their
past eight and prepare for a critical game at Cleveland this 
weekend. The Bills sit one win behind the Browns (8-5), who 
currently hold the conference's sixth and final playoff spot.
In his third year with the Bills, Wilson has shone in his new 
role. Earlier in the game against Miami, he scored on a 20-yard 
fumble return after quarterback John Beck had the ball slip out 
of his hands. It was Wilson's second score this season, the 
first coming in his debut as a starter when he intercepted 
Tony Romo and returned it 25 yards for a touchdown in a 25-24 
loss to Dallas on Oct. 8. Wilson is tied for second on the 
team with two interceptions, and has been credited with 40 
tackles in 12 games, including nine starts, this season.

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