Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Polamalu’s Hair: Week Eight Notes

Ankles and Answering Machines

The Brett Favre circus of 2010 continued this week with news that the 41-year-old could miss next week’s game with the New England Patriots because of a pair of breaks in his left ankle.

While it was a foot out of the end zone that kept the Vikings from winning on Monday, Favre’s surgically repaired ankle could be what hurts them this week, whether he plays or not. There’s a bit more at stake for Favre too – his current streak of consecutive starts is at 291 and he says he’s going to do whatever he can to help the Vikings win.

NFL.com reports that Favre is in “considerable discomfort” and is trying to keep the swelling down by staying off the ankle as much as possible and wearing a walking boot. It’s also being reported that Minnesota coach Brad Childress isn’t “overly optimistic,” but that if anyone can play through whatever pain he’s in, it’s Favre.

If he can’t play, Tarvaris Jackson will get the call. To me, that means Favre will probably start, because every time it looks like Jackson will get to play, number four shows up.

Meanwhile, New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick says he expects Favre to play and says they’re preparing as if he’ll be under centre.

The title of this section of the blog is “Ankles and Answering Machines,” so you had to figure that I’d be touching on the other Favre storyline here – and there’s been an interesting development:

Fox Sports reports that Favre has admitted to leaving messages on Jenn Sterger’s voicemail but still denies sending lewd photographs.

Jay Glazer says a source confirmed that Favre made that admission during his meeting with NFL security last Tuesday – the league is investigating whether or not he violated its personal conduct policy while he was a member of the NY Jets.

This whole thing could really blow up if Sterger were to get involved, but so far she is staying out of it. The host of Versus’ “The Daily Line” has yet to decide if she will meet with the NFL to discuss the situation – which I guess would now just be a question of did Favre send you gross pictures of himself…

As for Deanna Favre, she responded “I’m handling this through faith,” when asked about the situation on Good Morning American last Thursday.

Injuries, Injuries, Injuries

Lots to report on the injury front this week – and I’ve got some good news and some bad news…

Lets start with the bad news – if you’re a Bengals fan, you’ll have to get used to life after Adam Jones, at least for this year, after he went down with a neck injury that’ll keep him out for the rest of the season.

Jones had 14 tackles, one forced fumble and one interception so far this season, but a herniated disc in his neck that might need surgery has ended what was supposed to be a comeback season for the one-troubled player. Thankfully for him, reports say that surgery won’t necessarily end his career.

Now, for some good news (if you’re a Jets, Saints or Eagles fan):

After that long holdout and a slow start to the season, NY Jets cornerback Darrelle Revis says his hamstring is now at 100% after a bye week spent in rehab. “It’s 100 percent, so you all shouldn’t ask me about it no more,” said Revis to reporters.

New Orleans Saints running back Reggie Bush says he’s been cleared to test the leg he broke in week two. Bush has missed five games for the struggling Saints. He says he’s not sure if he’ll play this weekend, but the clearance means he’s one step closer.

Michael Vick will be back for the Philadelphia Eagles next game, which is next weekend against the Indianapolis Colts. Vick missed three games with cartilage damage after a crunching tackle back on October 3rd in a loss to the Redskins. Kevin Kolb has done well with the times he’s had in the starting position, but Eagles coach Andy Reid has said Vick is his guy (for now).

America’s Got Talent?

If America’s Got Talent, it doesn’t seem to be playing for America’s Team…

The Dallas Cowboys dropped to 1-5 on Monday with a loss to the NY Giants. They can recover from that loss this week, but they also lost QB Tony Romo in that game and his broken clavicle will keep him out for about the next eight weeks – a huge blow to an already hurting club.

ESPN's Matt Mosley pushed the panic button with all his might on Tuesday when he wrote “The Dallas Cowboys’ 2010 season effectively ended with 12:20 left in the second quarter of Monday’s 41-35 loss to the New York Giants.”

Is their season really over? I guess losing your starting quarterback can do that to a team, especially one that is already 1-5…

High Praise

A week after warning players that they would be suspended for dangerous hits, the league was out with some praise for its players and their clean hits last weekend – but not everyone is taking the compliment.

The NFL’s executive vice president of football operations, Ray Anderson, said players should be lauded after no flags were thrown for illegal hits to defenseless players in week seven’s 13 games.

Anderson singled out one play where James Harrison, who was fined $75,000 and contemplated retirement last week, pulled up when he could have crushed a running back – but Harrison made a point of saying that he was just playing the same way he always does, the way he was taught to play since the age of 10.

Others, like Harrison’s coach Mike Tomlin, took offense to the comments by the league. He was upset that the players were criticized initially, but he seems to be even more riled up at the suggestion the 5-1 Steelers “let up” even a little bit in week seven.

“I didn’t see anything of that nature. If I appear short, it’s because it’s something insulting to me to assume that we’re doing anything under any normal circumstances other than trying to play within the rules. That’s how our guys play, that’s how we coach. Number one, first and foremost, is it conducive to winning? That’s what our intentions are when we step into stadiums to play, whether it’s last weekend or three weeks ago or a month ago, or a month from now.”

Tomlin also suggested that if the on-field officials blew their whistles closer to the end of a play, we’d see less injuries to players. Someone asked him if his players are taught to play to beyond the whistle, to which Tomlin replied that there has been a “de-emphasis on the whistle,” saying that officials don’t even blow whistles at the end of the play sometimes.

He raises a good point, if that’s actually true. In all the sports I played growing up, you’re taught to play to the whistle, and if you didn’t hear a whistle, you kept grinding away.

I don’t know what to make of this whole dangerous hits thing – I’m pretty sure the game was a lot dirtier back in the old days than it is now. It almost seems like the big outrage over the ‘dangerous hits’ was because a handful of them seemed to happen all at once and the league felt they should say something from a PR standpoint.

Unfortunately though, there will be head injuries in a game where the primary objective of half the players on the field is to drive an opponent into the ground – that’s just how it is!

Other stuff…

Bleacher Report columnist Cole Tessler asks the question we’re all pondering – who is worse, Tiger or Favre?

The Pro Football Hall of Fame is getting a new addition after a four-interception performance by Washington’s DeAngelo Hall last week, which tied an NFL record…

Tennessee Titans receiver Kenny Britt was suspended for one quarter by his coach after he was allegedly involved in a bar fight before last week’s win over the Eagles…and after some detective work by Jeff Fisher

Joe Flacco is a QB you can depend on in any situation…and especially if it’s The Situation and you’re talking about the Baltimore Ravens Halloween Party…

Game to watch: This week’s game to watch has to be Monday night’s tilt between the AFC South’s Houston Texans and the Indianapolis Colts – that’s one of the tightest division in the league right now and both clubs are a win back of the Tennessee Titans for top spot. The Titans face the struggling Chargers on Sunday, but they could easily lose that game because you never know what to expect from San Diego. Another game worth flipping back and forth from will be the Buffalo Bills and the 4-2 Kansas City Chiefs…why? Because the Bills are 0-6, the only winless team in the league.

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