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Saints, Longest QB Gap Between Starts and more

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 NFL News - Thursday, December 13,2007
... Saints, Longest QB Gap Between Starts and more...
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Reggie Bush isn't ready to give up hope of returning this season.

With New Orleans still in the running for an NFC wild-card 
playoff berth, Bush said Wednesday that his injured left knee 
might be healthy enough for him to play again before the Saints 
pack up for the offseason. "It's really frustrating because 
obviously I want to be out there with my teammates and help 
them get to the playoffs," Bush said after Wednesday's practice, 
which he sat out. "Every game from here on out is (like) a playoff 
game. So I'm looking forward to getting back as soon as possible 
and hopefully before the season is over." The Saints (6-7), who 
trail Minnesota by one game for the final NFC wild-card spot 
with three games to go, could have put Bush on injured reserve, 
meaning Bush would miss the rest of the season. Such a move also 
would open up a spot on the 53-player active roster. The team 
discovered last week that Bush has a partially torn posterior 
cruciate ligament, which does not require surgery but likely 
will require about a month of rehabilitation. The Saints will 
play home games against Arizona and Philadelphia before finishing 
the regular season at Chicago. If they win all of those games 
and Minnesota loses once, the Saints could find themselves 
playing a postseason game about a month from now. "Obviously 
you don't want to rush or risk anything," Bush said, but added, 
"I plan on coming back as soon as possible, hopefully by Chicago."
Coach Sean Payton said the Saints haven't made a final decision 
about Bush. "The decisions we made today were based on our 
current players and our injury status today," Payton said.
Payton rarely releases information on injuries before league 
rules require it because he doesn't want to offer future 
opponents any advantages as they prepare for the Saints.
Bush became New Orleans' featured running back after Deuce 
McAllister went out with a season-ending knee injury in Week 
3, but his production was as inconsistent as his team's 
performance. Bush has scored six touchdowns with 581 yards 
rushing and 417 yards receiving. His longest run was 22 
yards and his longest reception 25. He also had 10 dropped 
passes and fumbled eight times, losing three. With Bush out of 
the lineup during New Orleans' 34-14 victory at Atlanta on 
Monday night, the Saints rushed for a season-high 145 yards.
Bush said his knee has been bothering him since New Orleans' 
victory over Jacksonville on Nov. 4, but that there was no 
sign of a ligament tear until he had an MRI last Thursday 
night, only hours after he had participated fully in practice.
"I told them that I want to play. I don't want to be on IR," 
Bush said. "It's not about the pain because I've been playing 
through it. I have a pretty high tolerance for pain. ... It's 
about the high-risk factor and risking further injury."

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Trying to avoid infamy, Dolphins go back to Lemon at QB

When Cleo Lemon saw the Miami Dolphins' game plan for this 
week, he had a hunch he was back in the starting lineup.
The list of plays was longer and more varied than in the past 
month, when rookie John Beck started. Lemon will be a threat 
to roll out and run Sunday against the Baltimore Ravens, and 
his mobility should buy him more time to throw downfield.
Maybe he'll even lead the Dolphins to their first win.
On Wednesday, coach Cam Cameron announced he is changing 
starting quarterbacks for the third time this season.
"It gives us the best chance to win this game," Cameron 
said. The Dolphins are 0-13 and trying to avoid becoming the 
first team to finish 0-16. Lemon went 0-4 as a starter earlier 
this season before losing his job to Beck. "I think we can 
get this thing rolling," Lemon said. "I think we can get our 
first win." Miami lost the past four games with Beck as the 
starter. He's the highest-drafted quarterback by the Dolphins 
since Dan Marino, but he failed to lead the offense to a 
touchdown. "John knows his job is to get us in the end 
zone," Cameron said. "We had struggled in that area."
Beck was benched after only eight snaps in Sunday's 38-17 loss 
at Buffalo. He was sacked three times, tripped and fell for a 
4-yard loss on another play, and lost a fumble the Bills 
returned for a score and a 21-0 lead. Lemon's first play was 
a 54-yard completion to set up Miami's first offensive 
touchdown since Nov. 11. "We have a lot of confidence in 
Cleo," guard Rex Hadnot said. "He came in and provided a 
spark. It's up to us to feed off that, which we didn't do."
Lemon threw two interceptions and lost a fumble against the 
Bills, but the Dolphins' 17 points were their highest total 
in six games. 


Key game ahead, Bills could get lift as DE Kelsay practices

Bills defensive end Chris Kelsay practiced Wednesday for the 
first time since spraining his left ankle more than two weeks 
ago and could be ready to play at Cleveland on Sunday.
Coach Dick Jauron said he's optimistic Kelsay will play, but 
trainers want to see how the ankle responds through the rest 
of the week. Kelsay, a four-year starter, has missed two games 
since he was hurt tripping over a teammate during a 36-14 loss 
at Jacksonville on Nov. 25. The Bills (7-6) have won six of 
their past eight games to remain in playoff contention and 
are preparing for a key showdown against the Browns (8-5), 
who control the AFC's sixth and final playoff spot.
Kelsay ranks seventh on the team with 53 tackles, is second 
with two sacks. He also has an interception, which he returned 
for a touchdown, and a fumble recovery in 11 games this season.
Reserve linebacker Coy Wire also could be ready to return after 
he practiced for the first time since sustaining a neck injury 
against Jacksonville. Starting free safety George Wilson is 
out indefinitely after breaking two ribs in a 38-17 win over 
Miami last weekend. Wilson said he feels fine after spending 
two days under observation in a Buffalo-area hospital.

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DT Toeaina joins Chicago Bears

The Chicago Bears signed defensive tackle Matt Toeaina to a 
three-year contract Wednesday. Toeaina was a sixth-round 
choice of the Bengals and spent the first 14 games this 
season on Cincinnati's practice squad. He played in college 
at Oregon. The Bears just signed defensive tackle Jimmy 
Kennedy on Tuesday. Chicago's defensive front has been 
depleted with injuries to Dusty Dvoracek, Anthony Adams, 
Antonio Garay and Darwin Walker. Dvoracek, Adams and Garay 
are out for the season.


Longest Gap Between QB Starts

Todd Collins, the projected starter for the Redskins on Sunday, 
will have the longest gap between starts for an NFL quarterback 
since 1970. (x-if starter):

Yrs Days Last Next

x-Todd Collins 10 2 12-14-97 Buf. 12-16-07 Was.

Tommy Maddox 9 298 12-12-92 Den. 10- 6-02 Pit.

Doug Flutie 9 3 10-15-89 N.E. 10-18-98 Buf.

Tony Adams 8 354 10-15-78 K.C. 10- 4-87 Min.

Gale Gilbert 7 362 11- 9-86 Sea. 11- 6-94 S.D.

Tom Owen 6 364 12-21-75 S.F. 12-20-81 N.E.


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