NFL Week 7 News: Jerome Harrison, Brett Favre, Injuries, Updates and More
NFL Week 7 has arrived and a day after threatening retirement and missing practice, James Harrison returned to the field and told reporters he would not retire. The All-Pro linebacker offered an apology, but stuck to his earlier statement that his hit on Browns receiver Mohammad Massaquoi was completely legal.
"I am all for player safety and I agree that some of the rule changes that have been made are good for the game," Harrison told reporters. "As far as my situation, I believe the hit against Massaquoi for which I was fined was legal and well within the scope of the rules. I feel the reason for the fine was the statement after the game wherein I said that I try to hurt people, not injure them."
While the controversy surrounding defenseless receivers continues being debated, Brett Favre will try to prepare for this weekend's matchup against his former team. With tendinitis in his throwing arm and limited mobility, Favre will be dealing with a wealth of on-field and off-field problems.
What else can we expect from this week's slate of games? Read on to find out.
Brett Favre Faces Off Against Former Team
Yesterday, Deanna Favre made an appearance on ABC's Good Morning America to promote her new book, The Cure For The Chronic Life.
While many hoped for some sort of comment on the Jenn Sterger scandal, Favre remained mum on the subject, instead preaching the value of faith. Brett Favre's Vikings teammates may need faith in spades if they hope to make the playoffs this season.
Since injuring his arm, Favre has looked like a different quarterback. In a 24-21 victory over the Cowboys Favre threw for only 118 yards, albeit against a top-ranked pass defense.
Once renowned for his howitzer-like arm, Favre's passes have not had the same zip as in years past. Favre's 196 yards/game is the lowest of his career, and his 72.1 QB rating ranks second worst among his 19 seasons as a starter.
If Favre struggles again against a mediocre Packers pass defense (215.5 yards allowed/game), it may be time to rest the AARP-eligible QB and bring in Tarvaris Jackson.
This Vikings offense has all kinds of talented play-makers. It will be interesting to see if Favre can utilize them.
Steelers Owner Defends James Harrison
Count Steelers owner Dan Rooney among those who disagree with the $75,000 fine levied against linebacker James Harrison.
Rooney characterized the hit at being legal and said,"I think the play was a legal hit. It's on the borderline, though...I understand the part about not launching yourself. I think that's the part that was on the borderline. I mean, did he lunge at the guy to make the tackle or did he launch himself?"
Certainly a fair question. He did appear to launch himself, but he was simply trying to make a play on the ball. Is that something we really want to discourage a defensive player from doing?
Why he received a greater fine than Brandon Meriweather who made helmet-to-helmet contact on Todd Heap after the ball was already out of Heap's hands is baffling to me.
Magic Johnson Bringing Football Back to Los Angeles?
After selling his shares of Urban Coffee Opportunities to Starbucks and unloading his ownership interest in the Lakers, Earvin "Magic" Johnson is sitting on around $100 million. Apparently, he wants to spend that money bringing an NFL team back to Los Angeles.
L.A. has not had a professional football team since the Rams left for St. Louis in 1994, but the Hall of Fame point guard has been vocal about delivering a new franchise to L.A.
In an interview with the Los Angeles Times, Johnson spoke about bringing Ari Gold's dream to life. "Would I be interested? Of course I would be interested. Have I talked to anybody about it? No. But I would love ... I would do that in two seconds."
Both the Angels and Dodgers finished among the MLB's top five in attendance, while the Lakers consistently pack the Staples Center. With Magic's name recognition, he may be the perfect candidate to bring football back to Los Angeles.
Controversial Agent Josh Fuchs Gets Decertified
After admitting to Sports Illustrated that he paid more than 30 players (including former No. 2 overall pick Ryan Leaf) in his six years as an agent, Josh Luchs was decertified by the NFL Players Association.
In a statement, the NFLPA said, "“Under the regulations, Luchs has the right to an expedited appeal to an arbitrator if he wishes to challenge the committee’s action. Meanwhile, the NFL and all of the clubs will be notified of the CARD Committee’s action.”
The action comes as so surprise after Luchs' tell-all, no-names-spared interview with SI's George Dohrmann.
Eagles' DeSean Jackson Inactive Against Tennessee
DeSean Jackson, who suffered a concussion after a massive hit from Falcons cornerback Dunta Robinson, will not play in the Eagles' next game against the Titans. Robinson was fined $50,000 for the hit, but he will appeal the fine.
The concussion is Jackson's second in less than a year and leaves Philadelphia without their top receiver. Through six games, the former Cal Bears standout had 19 receptions for 395 yards and three touchdowns.
Fifth-year pro Jason Avant will take his spot in the starting line-up.
Vince Young Doubtful Against Philadelphia
In other injury-related news, Vince Young's chances of playing on Sunday look to be diminishing by the hour.
After injuring himself in a Week 6 win over the Jaguars, Young said he could have played if necessary. Apparently not.
Young has been walking around with a limp all week and has yet to practice. His knee and ankle sprains have left the former Texas star too sore to practice.
While Young is listed as day-to-day, expect Kerry Collins to get the start this weekend against the Eagles.
Chris Cooley Expected To Play For Washington Redskins After Concussion
One player who will be suiting up is Redskins tight end Chris Cooley. After he suffered a mild concussion in last week's loss to Indy, many doubted whether Washington's second-leading receiver would play against the Bears. Cooley practiced in full pads on Thursday and was reportedly symptom-free.
With 28 receptions for 340 yards on the season, Cooley has been one of the league's most productive tight ends this season. Washington will need him against a Bears defense that has been beaten all year by opposing tight ends.
Chargers Could Play Without Top Four Receivers
The San Diego Chargers average a league-best 336 passing yards per game and the New England Patriots secondary has been torched all season long. So why might SD struggle passing on home this Sunday? The team could be without multiple key receivers due to injury.
Vincent Jackson recently reported that he will sign his tender, but will be ineligible to play until Nov. 28. Meanwhile, leading receiver Malcom Floyd has been ruled out with a hamstring injury and Antonio Gates hasn't practiced all week due to a toe injury.
Buster Davis and Legedu Naanee are the projected starters for San Diego, but even their status is in question. Neither Davis (ribs) nor Naanee (hamstring) practiced yesterday and their injuries could leave the Chargers receiving core very depleted.
There is a good change Rivers will be throwing a lot to Cowboys castoff Patrick Crayton and undrafted rookie Richard Goodman, who has yet to record a reception this season.
Who Is The Most Overrated Player in The NFL?
A recent Sports Illustrated poll of 269 NFL players revealed that Terrell Owens was the most overrated player in the league. While I've never been fond of Owens over-the-top showboating, this label seems entirely undeserved.
Owens has 476 yards and two touchdowns through just five games including a beastly 10-reception, 222 yard performance against the Browns. Owens may not be the player he was five years ago, but nobody thinks he is.
Calling Owens overrated would be like calling LaDainian Tomlinson overrated; the only difference is that people actually like LT.
This is a player who didn't sign a contract until practically August. No team coveted the future Hall of Fame receiver after a disappointing season in Buffalo where he lacked a quarterback who could throw the rock effectively.
Now Owens 95.2 receiving yards per game rank fifth in the league, so how is it that he is overrated?
Is Wade Phillips Job on The Line This Week?
Wade Phillips' job could be on the line this week as the Cowboys host the Giants in a crucial Monday night game.
Already on the hot seat with a disappointing 1-4 record, a division loss at home under the spotlight of Monday Night Football could easily cost Phillips his job.
The 'Boys have been the league's most penalized team, and that lack of discipline is traditionally blamed on the head coach. While it's impossible to know exactly what goes on behind the scenes, there have been other more obvious coaching flaws.
Despite a career 6.0 yard per carry average from Felix Jones and a stated desire to run the ball more often, Jones has only been given 51 carries through five games. Contrast that with 206 passing attempts for Tony Romo, and you see how one-dimensional the Dallas offense has been.
Against a terrific New York pass rush, Dallas should capitalize on the Giants aggressive nature with draw plays and screen passes to the under-utilized Jones. If Dallas fails to do so, perhaps Phillips deserves to lose his job.