Originally created 11/05/04

Lynch's injury draws criticism



DENVER - Before Denver safety John Lynch limped off the field, he started yelling toward the Atlanta huddle, upset that he got hurt on a block made 30 yards away from the play.

Falcons coach Jim Mora's response: "What goes around comes around."

It was a subtle dig at the Broncos, who for the second consecutive week find themselves embroiled in a debate over the fine line between what's legal and what's moral in the NFL.

"I don't think etiquette and football really go together - but there's a code of conduct," Lynch said. "Thirty yards away from the ball, I don't think that's necessary."

At issue was receiver Brian Finneran's block on Lynch in last week's game. Finneran broke the bone above Lynch's tailbone when he hit the safety on the side. Lynch conceded the hit was legal, but maybe not necessary - a conclusion that was easy to figure simply by seeing his reaction after the play.

The Finneran-Lynch imbroglio was a continuation of last week's debate, when Broncos offensive lineman George Foster was accused of a cheap shot on Bengals defender Tony Williams. Foster cut blocked Williams, broke his ankle and ended his season. The block, while legal, also was away from the play and was made while Williams was looking the other way.

A number of coaches around the league weighed in, chiding the Broncos and saying the play was unnecessary. Among those not chiming in were the Falcons, who use the same blocking technique under the tutelage of former Broncos line coach Alex Gibbs. No cut-blocking injuries occurred in last week's game.

ANOTHER MILESTONE: Emmitt Smith is approaching another milestone - 18,000 career yards rushing. No one else has made it even to 17,000.

Smith needs 59 yards against Miami on Sunday, and the way the Dolphins are defending the run, the goal is reasonable, even on an Arizona Cardinals team that has lost 17 straight on the road.

"That means I've run a long ways," Smith said. "It means a lot. Heck, there has not been a back in the National Football League to go over 18,000, so that's pretty special."

PANTHERS: Panthers running back Stephen Davis practiced for the second consecutive day, leaving Carolina hopeful he can play this weekend.

Davis had arthroscopic surgery to repair cartilage damage after Carolina's season opening loss to Green Bay. He missed the next three games, but tried to come back against Philadelphia in Week 5.

He rushed for 66 yards on 15 carries, but developed swelling after the game that forced him to sit out the past two weeks.

JAGUARS: Starting linebacker Darryl Smith has a partially torn ligament in his left knee and could miss Jacksonville's Nov. 14 game against Detroit.

Running back Fred Taylor, meanwhile, should be ready to play after being sidelined with a knee injury.

VIKINGS: Minnesota linebacker Raonall Smith will miss Monday's game at Indianapolis due to lingering effects from a concussion.

Also, running back Mewelde Moore might miss Monday's game with a sprained left ankle.