Originally created 08/22/06

Philadelphia could put Davis back onto field



PHILADELPHIA - Stephen Davis might not be unemployed much longer.

The Philadelphia Eagles brought the four-time 1,000-yard rusher in for a physical and interview Monday to see whether the 32-year-old and his creaky knees can bolster an undersized running game hit with injury and inconsistency.

"He's been very productive in this league," coach Andy Reid said. "We just want to investigate it."

Davis was released by Carolina in March after finishing the season on injured reserve with knee injuries that affected his final two seasons with the Panthers. He missed all but two games in 2004 with microfracture surgery and lost his starting spot last season to DeShaun Foster.

But the 6-foot, 230-pound Davis wouldn't need to carry the load in Philadelphia. If he has anything left on those legs, he would add the size the Eagles desperately need in the backfield and fill a power back role held by veteran Dorsey Levens on the 2004 NFC title team.

The Eagles could use the help in the backfield. Starter Brian Westbrook remains sidelined after he sprained his left foot in the preseason opener and is unlikely to return until the regular season.

GIANTS: Linebacker LaVar Arrington had to leave practice because of swelling in one of his knees.

Coach Tom Coughlin did not say which knee was bothering the three-time Pro Bowl linebacker, who signed with the Giants in the spring, but Arrington missed the opening game of the preseason because of problems with his right knee. He made a short appearance against the Chiefs on Thursday. His status for Friday's game against the Jets is uncertain.

STEELERS: Hines Ward was doing this exactly a year ago: rushing to fit several weeks of training camp into a few days and squeezing an exhibition season's worth of playing time into half a game.

The four-time Pro Bowl receiver practiced again Monday with the Pittsburgh Steelers after being out since Aug. 4 with a sore left hamstring. He has missed both of their exhibition games, though the Steelers' skill-position starters played little in either one.

COLTS: Jim Sorgi's shoulder injury might force Indianapolis to bring in a new backup quarterback. Coach Tony Dungy said Monday the team was still awaiting results from Sorgi's MRI before deciding whether to sign another backup quarterback.

BROWNS: Cleveland running back Reuben Droughns pleaded not guilty to misdemeanor harassment and assault charges that stemmed from a disturbance with his wife. A trial was set for Feb. 5 in Arapahoe County Court.

Droughns is accused of throwing his wife, Kellie, to the ground and onto a bed before throwing her outside and locking the door during a May 12 altercation at their suburban Denver home. He could get six to 18 months in jail if convicted of assault, and six months if convicted of harassment.

PACKERS: Green Bay released punter and Ray Guy award winner B.J. Sander, bringing to an end a stint that came to symbolize the disappointment associated with former coach Mike Sherman's brief stint as the team's general manager.

GUMBEL IN TROUBLE? The job status of Bryant Gumbel, scheduled to be the play-by-play broadcaster on the eight late-season games on the NFL's in-house network, could be the subject of a discussion by NFL officials after his suggestion that commissioner Paul Tagliabue show his successor "where he keeps Gene Upshaw's leash."

Tagliabue said Monday that incoming commissioner Roger Goodell and Steve Bornstein, who runs the NFL Network, will discuss the remarks after Goodell takes office Sept. 1.

Gumbel addressed his closing remarks on HBO's Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel last Tuesday to Goodell.

"Before he cleans out his office," he said. "have Paul Tagliabue show you where he keeps Gene Upshaw's leash. By making the docile head of the players union his personal pet, your predecessor has kept the peace without giving players the kind of guarantees other pros take for granted. Try to make sure no one competent ever replaces Upshaw on your watch."

Tagliabue called the comments "about as uninformed as anything I've read or heard in a long, long time."