Tonight is the possibly historic Patriots-Giants game on NFL Network, NBC, and CBS at 8 P.M. ET. Going into week 17, the final regular season week, there are a few headliners. Here's this week's headliners:
- Denver Broncos WR, Rod Smith's career may be over. Smith will have to undergo hip replacement surgery on his surgically repaired knee.
"It has not healed," said Smith, who's been out all season. "It's not healing at all.
"Honestly, I don't even like walking on it," he said. "It's that bad right now to me, and it's a matter of the hip socket has been bone-on-bone for a while. That's [difficult], especially trying to play pro football on it. And, honestly, I think I did for a while without knowing it was probably doing more damage to it than good."
"I was always told you play this game as long as you can and if I've played my last football game, I did that," Smith said. "And so I'm OK with that."
- Indianapolis Colts safety, Bob Sanders, becomes the NFL's highest paid safety in the NFL. Yesterday Sanders signed a contract extension worth $37.5 million over 5 years, which includes $20 million guaranteed.
"I got a call late in the evening yesterday from my agent and he said he was hoping to get it done, Sanders told the AP. "I'm excited, very excited about it -- knowing they want me around here makes me happy.
- The New England Patriots offensive line will be without Guard Stephen Neal (shoulder), and Tackle Nick Kaczur (foot), who are both out for tonight's game. Russ Hochstein will likely start for Neal, and second-year OL, Ryan O'Callaghan is the likely starter for Kaczur. These injuries are key for NE, who will be matched up against the NFL's best pass rush team, who has 52 sacks on the year which is the most in the NFL. NE will also likely be without TE Kyle Brady (foot), CB Willie Andrews (elbow), RB Kyle Eckel (stomach), and maybe even TE Benjamin Watson.
- Colts wideout, and future Hall of Famer, Marvin Harrison practiced Friday, and will likely start against the Titans on Sunday. Harrison suffered a knee injury against the Broncos during their week 4 game, and hasn't played since week 7 against the Jacksonville Jaguars. Right now he's listed as questionable, but Dungy says he'll play.
"But he'll start the game and we'll see how it goes," he said before the practice.
- NFL Official, Jim Quirk, was fined his game check ($8,150), for hs inappropriate contact with the Green Bay Packers LB, Nick Barnett last week during the Packers game against the Chicago Bears.
"I'll tell you what, I've never seen anything like that in all my years," Packers coach Mike McCarthy said. "I didn't see the whole thing but I thought the official was totally out of line the way he grabbed Nick around the neck and pulled him out of there.
"There was a lot going on throughout the game on both sides of the ball after the play was over. Their offensive line was getting after Nick a bunch down the stretch. And that goes on in these types of games. I didn't see all of it but I saw the end of it. I thought it was totally unprofessional. I thought it was totally out of hand," McCarthy said.
- Cornerback Terence Newman (knee), Center Andre Gurode (knee), NT Jay Ratliff (knee), and Terrell Owens (ankle) are all inactive for the Dallas Cowboys game tomorrow, which is a very meaningless game against their arch rivals, the Washington Redskins. backup safety Patrick Watkins is also ruled out for the game with an ankle injury.
NFL QB CAROUSEL
- The Oakland Raiders rookie QB, JaMarcus Russell will make his first career start on Sunday, and San Francisco 49ers backup QB Chris Weinke, the 2000 Heisman Trophy winner, will make his first start this year against the Cleveland Browns. The Pittsburgh Steelers second stringer, Charlie Batch, could possibly make his first start since the '06 opener, replacing a beat up Ben Roethlisberger, who will rest up for the playoffs.
With the Russell, Weinke starts this weekend, the number of different 2007 starting QB's reaches 63, the highest in a non-strike season since the NFL changed the regular season to a 16-game season.