Gross' concussion puts streak in peril

Jordan Gross has started every game for the Carolina Panthers since he was drafted. Now the streak is in jeopardy as he recovers from a concussion.


Gross and Jeff Otah were held out of Thursday's workout, increasing the likelihood that the Panthers will have a patchwork offensive line this weekend when they play host to the Kansas City Chiefs.

Gross' streak covers 84 games over eight seasons.

In his first interview since he was knocked unconscious during last week's win against Atlanta, Gross acknowledged the streak matters to him because "it's something you're proud of."

REDSKINS: Likely will be without defensive starters Shawn Springs and Jason Taylor for Sunday's NFC East game against the Philadelphia Eagles:

Springs, a cornerback, didn't practice because of a strained calf muscle.

Taylor, a defensive end, underwent emergency surgery last week to drain blood near his ankle.

Carlos Rogers , a former Butler High School standout, and Fred Smoot would be the starters if Springs can't play.

BEARS: Suspended defensive tackle Tommie Harris for Sunday's game against Detroit.

Coach Lovie Smith said that Harris broke a team rule, but he didn't immediately explain what it was.

VIKINGS: Bryant McKinnie has completed his four-game suspension for violating the NFL's personal conduct policy, and the left tackle is eager to re-establish his presence on the line and make up his absence to his teammates.

He also claims a different approach to what he does and who he's with.

"I changed some phone numbers and got rid of some people I feel like weren't for me," McKinnie said.

- The Vikings will probably be without standout middle linebacker E.J. Henderson this week.

The swelling in Henderson's two dislocated toes has not subsided since he suffered the injury to his left foot in Sunday's game against Tennessee. He is wearing a walking boot to immobilize his foot and was not at practice Thursday. Vikings medical staff can't properly assess his condition until the swelling goes down.

Minnesota visits New Orleans on Monday night.

SAINTS: Starting defensive tackle Sedrick Ellis left practice to have his right knee examined.

If Ellis cannot play against Minnesota on Monday night, it would be a blow to a defense expecting to be tested by Vikings running back Adrian Peterson .

Ellis was picked seventh overall in this year's NFL Draft and has started the first four games.

RAIDERS: Quarterback JaMarcus Russell was caught off-guard by a claim by owner Al Davis earlier this week that former head coach Lane Kiffin was against drafting Russell last year.

Russell, the first overall pick in 2007, felt he had a strong relationship with Kiffin and said the two often joked with one another.

But Davis, the Raiders' 79-year-old owner, accused Kiffin of not wanting to draft Russell, a charge Russell found surprising.

"It just kind of came out of nowhere," Russell said Thursday. "I really don't think myself or coach Kiffin or anybody else were looking for that to come out that way."

FILE/ASSOCIATED PRESS Panthers offensive lineman Jordan Gross lies on the ground after suffering an injury Sunday against the Falcons. His streak of 84 starts in a row is in jeopardy because of a concussion.



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