NFL Week 9 News: Randy Moss, Shawne Merriman, Brad Childress and More

Elliott Pohnl@@ElliottPohnl_BRFeatured ColumnistNovember 4, 2010

NFL Week 9 News: Randy Moss, Shawne Merriman, Brad Childress and More

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    Jeff Gross/Getty Images

    NFL Week 9 has already featured plenty of intrigue even before the games have actually begun.

    Randy Moss has been claimed off waivers by the Tennessee Titans, bringing an end to a tumultuous 48 hours filled with uncertainty.

    Moss's former coach took the podium today at the Vikings' complex in Eden Prairie and faced reporters hungry for answers.

    As usual, Brad Childress didn't offer many revelations when asked about the state of his team or what led to the divorce between Moss and the Vikings.

    Another waiver claim is making news today.

    Shawne Merriman is taking his talents to Buffalo after being claimed by the Bills.

    The former All-Pro should get plenty of chances to show he can still play after three lost seasons due to an assortment of injuries.

    Turning to the injury front in Week 9, the Eagles are getting healthy after a much-needed bye week.

    Michael Vick is slated to start against the Colts Sunday, and he likely will have the services of his top wide receiver.

    Here's a closer look at those stories and other news from around the NFL Wednesday evening.

No. 10: Randy Moss Heading to Music City

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    Jim Rogash/Getty Images

    Randy Moss has found a new home in the NFL just days after his return trip to the Twin Cities came crashing to a close.

    Wednesday, the Titans made a waiver claim on Moss in an effort to boost a receiving corps trying to cope with the loss of emerging star Kenny Britt.

    21 teams passed on the chance to add Moss before Tennessee staked a claim.

    Interestingly, no other teams below the Titans in the waiver priority made a move to add Moss.

    Both the Rams and the Seahawks had been rumored to have interest in Moss.

    St. Louis reportedly discussed adding the future Hall of Famer, but opted against it out of concerns he might not report to the team following the waiver claim.

    The Titans have a bye in Week 9 before traveling to Miami to face the Dolphins November 14.

No. 9: Shawne Merriman Ready To Report to Buffalo

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    Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

    Shawne Merriman is slated to join the Buffalo Bills this week after the team claimed him off waivers Wednesday afternoon.

    Merriman, was placed on waivers by the San Diego Chargers after he had been given the "minor injury" designation while recovering from a nagging calf injury.

    The former All-Pro linebacker is expected compete for playing time immediately in the Bills' 3-4 scheme.

    Although the Bills are still searching for their first win, the move to add Merriman makes a great deal of sense.

    The 26 year-old is owed less than two million dollars this season, and his skills as a pass-rusher should help a Buffalo defense that hasn't pressured the quarterback on a consistent basis this season.

    ESPN's Adam Schefter reported the Buccaneers and Dolphins made claims for Merriman.

No. 8: Brad Childress Scrambles For Answers Regarding Randy Moss

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    Brad Childress looked like a man who wanted no part of talking to the media regarding Wednesday.

    It was no surprise when the tight-lipped coach reluctantly dodged questions from the press after opening by saying he wouldn't get into specifics about Moss.

    Despite his evasive tactics, Childress did manage to shed a little more light on the situation.

    According to his comments, he initially expected Moss to return to the team Tuesday after remaining in New England following Sunday's loss to the Patriots.

    Childress said Moss had been granted a short leave to spend time with his family.

    Interestingly, he also admitted the team had already begun discussions about parting ways with the Hall of Fame receiver as early as Sunday.

    The most telling statement came early in the press conference, when he said acquiring Moss in exchange for a 3rd-round pick was a mistake.

No. 7: Sidney Rice Activated From PUP List, Percy Harvin Questionable For Week 9

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    Chris McGrath/Getty Images

    Randy Moss is gone, but Sidney Rice is inching towards returning to the field for the Minnesota Vikings.

    At his press conference, Brad Childress announced the team had officially activated Rice from the PUP list.

    Coming off by far the best season of his career in 2009, Rice has been sidelined after undergoing hip surgery prior to the start of the 2010 campaign.

    Childress also said Rice has yet to resume those infamous "football activities" and refused to speculate on a date for his return.

    All signs point to him being at least a couple weeks away from returning to the lineup.

    In the meantime, Brett Favre will have to lean on what has suddenly become a fairly weak receiving corps.

    Percy Harvin is a big question mark for Week 9 after suffering a sprained ankle against the Patriots.

    Childress said the Vikings will look to work journeyman receiver Hank Baskett into the mix Sunday against the Cardinals.

    Any contributions from high-priced bust Bernard Berrian would be a bonus for the Vikings at this point.

No. 6: Ernie Sims Fined $50k After Illegal Hit In Week 7

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    Leon Halip/Getty Images

    Thanks at least in part to Charley Casserly's watchdog tactics, Eagles linebacker Ernie Sims has been fined $50,000 by the NFL for a hit on Tennessee's Lavelle Hawkins in Week 7.

    Interestingly, the league initially took no action against Sims, who was not flagged for a penalty on the play in question.

    After CBS reported Sunday the league was investigating the hit, and today the league announced a fine would be handed down against Sims.

    The fine against Sims is the first since the NFL officially began its crusade against excessive hits in October.

    Since the former Florida State star has already been fined twice in his career after incidents while playing for the Detroit Lions, another penalty would almost certainly result in a suspension.

No. 5: James Harrison Meets With Roger Goodell To Discuss Illegal Hits

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    Karl Walter/Getty Images

    James Harrison met with Roger Goodell Tuesday to discuss the NFL's crackdown on illegal hits.

    According to reports, Harrison claimed the meeting was somewhat productive and was glad to have his feelings heard on the issue.

    The Steelers' linebacker was fined $75,000 for a hit on Browns' receiver Mohamed Massaquoi and promptly threatened to retire after the NFL issued the directive against illegal hits.

    After spending a day thinking about his future, Harrison quickly returned to the Steelers despite his displeasure with the league's new rules.

    His latest transgression could draw another fine from the league.

    In Sunday night's loss to the Saints, Harrison was called for a late hit against Drew Brees.

    Replays showed Harrison clearly led with his head to Brees' back, opening up the chance for him to be fined.

    One of his teammates is also none too pleased with the NFL's crackdown...

No. 4: Troy Polamalu Says Roger Goodell Has Too Much Power

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    Karl Walter/Getty Images

    The great and powerful Roger Goodell has been on a mission to clean up the NFL, both on and off the field.

    His tactics are ruffling one NFL star's flowing mane.

    Troy Polamalu spoke out against the league's crackdown on illegal hits and on Goodell in general, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette first reported Wednesday.

    According to the report, Polamalu was adamant Goodell simply has too much power.

    "You know, he's got all the power," Polamalu told reporters in Pittsburgh.  "That may be part of the problem, that there needs to be some type of separation of power like our government."

    It remains to be seen if the NFL will fire back at a fine against the hard-hitting safety, who has stated he worries the league is becoming a "pansy game" by trying to crack down on hits.

No. 3: DeSean Jackson Passes Concussion Test, Dunta Robinson Cleared to Practice

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    Dunta Robinson and DeSean Jackson are on the road to recovery following one of the most violent collisions in recent memory.

    According to multiple sources, Jackson has passed numerous concussion tests and is likely to play Sunday when the Eagles host the Colts.

    Meanwhile, Robinson has been cleared to practice and plans to play Sunday when the Bucs come to town in a battle for supremacy in the NFC South.

    Robinson was fined $50,000 for his hit on Jackson on October 17, which helped fuel the NFL's crackdown on illegal hits.

    Both players sat out games in Week 7 and had bye weeks to rest in preparation for returning to the field.

No. 2: Bo Scaife Welcomes Randy Moss With Open Arms

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    J. Meric/Getty Images

    At least two Tennessee Titans are excited about their new teammate.

    Tight end Bo Scaife joined Sirius NFL Radio's Movin' the Chains program Wednesday evening an offered a simple statement of how he feels about Randy Moss' arrival in Nashville.

    "Thank you, Jesus."

    Following his glowing expression of gratitude, Scaife came back to earth and said Moss should help open things up for Chris Johnson.

    The dynamic running back is well shy of his stated goal of 2,500 rushing yards on the season and has struggled against defenses stacked to stop the run.

    Scaife wasn't the only Titan to welcome Moss.

    Cornerback Cortland Finnegan joined ESPN's Sportscenter Wednesday evening and said Moss will give opposing defenses something to think about for the remainder of the season.

    Finnegan also added he would be happy to cook for his new teammate if necessary.

No. 1: Brett Favre Talks About Randy Moss, Says He Is Healthy

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    Did you really think you could get through a B/R slideshow without reading about Brett Favre?

    Favre spoke to the media Wednesday in Eden Prairie and addressed his health and the Randy Moss situation.

    Echoing the sentiments of many of his teammates, Favre said he had "no idea" why Moss was released and added he wasn't given a reason for the move.

    He also had something to say about Moss' behavior last Friday at the Vikings' team dinner.

    Favre wouldn't criticize his former teammate directly, instead simply saying "I wouldn't have done it" when asked about Moss' reaction.

    As for his health heading into Week 9's must-win against the Arizona Cardinals, the 41 year-old said he has "felt worse" and expects to start.

    It should be very interesting to see exactly how the Vikings manage to circle the wagons Sunday.

    NOTE: Favre's comments begin at the 1:45 mark of this clip.