VIKINGS: Koy Detmer made $90,000 last week, which isn’t staggering for an NFL player … unless you consider he did little more than stand around for three Minnesota practices. The Vikings signed him as a reserve quarterback because they weren’t sure Tavaris Jackson and Kelly Holcomb were healthy enough to back up Brooks Bollinger. But when Jackson proved he was OK, Minnesota cut Detmer. He didn’t leave empty-handed. He received a game check of $42,352.94 and termination pay of $48,000. Not a bad gig.
COWBOYS: As good as they are, the Dallas Cowboys have been flagged for 10 personal fouls. And Wade Phillips is not happy about it. So the coach has gone to unusual lengths to curtail the problem. This week, he asked his players to sign a pledge they will not commit any more personal fouls. Although Phillips told his players they didn’t have to sign it, they all did. “I want their word they’re going to try to do the right thing,” he told reporters. “It may be silly. I was serious about it, and I think I feel like I needed to do something they’re going to respond to.”
BROWNS: Cleveland nose tackle Shaun Smith will not play in today’s game against the Baltimore Ravens because of a knee injury.
TITANS: Tennessee defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth and cornerback Nick Harper missed their fourth practice Saturday and are game-time decisions for the game in Denver on Monday night. Haynesworth has not practiced since hurting his right hamstring Nov. 4 in a 20-7 win over Carolina in which he had a career-high three sacks. Harper suffered a concussion in last week’s 28-13 loss to Jacksonville and has not practiced.
PANTHERS: Carolina waived DE Otis Grigsby and signed DT Gary Gibson from the practice squad.
CARDINALS: Arizona activated cornerback Michael Adams and released defensive end Bo Schobel.
COLTS: With all their injuries, the Colts have had to tap into special-teams players to fill the holes on offense and defense. That’s made their shaky coverage teams even more suspect, as the football world saw last Sunday when San Diego’s Darren Sproles returned a kickoff and punt for touchdowns. Since the start of the 2006 season, the Colts have given up seven returns for touchdowns. In the last few years, the Colts ranked 31st, 30th, 32nd and 20th in punt coverage, and 30th, 21st, 11th and 20th in kickoff coverage.
STEELERS: Pittsburgh is ranked No. 1 in defense and No. 5 in offense, but Coach Mike Tomlin doesn’t need to look far to find a sobering weakness. The Steelers’ special-teams units are not good at all. Or, as Tomlin delicately put it: “One thing that is for certain: We stink as a kickoff coverage unit.”
CHARGERS: In a conference call with Jacksonville reporters this week, San Diego running back LaDainian Tomlinson used the same kind of nifty moves he usually reserves for the field when asked whether he misses fired Chargers coach Marty Schottenheimer. Tomlinson didn’t give a firm answer. “I have always been a person that doesn’t dwell in the past,” he said. “So for me, there’s no reason to miss them or talk about them not being here, because they are not here. That won’t do anything for the team and myself. I try to focus on what we try to do out here (now).”
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