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NFL roundup: Broncos' McGahee out 6-8 weeks

The SportsXchange

Denver Broncos running back Willis McGahee is out six to eight weeks with a torn medial collateral ligament in his right knee and a broken bone in the leg.

Coach John Fox announced the injury during his weekly press conference on Monday.

McGahee will be on crutches for about a month, according to ESPN.com.

McGahee will not need surgery. He believes he can return in four to six weeks.

"He's a fast healer," Fox said. "We wouldn't want to prolong it that far."

The injury occurred in the second quarter of the Broncos' 30-23 win over the San Diego Chargers on Sunday. McGahee was tackled by defensive back Quentin Jammer and did not return. He ran for 55 yards on seven carries.

Ronnie Hillman, Lance Ball and Knowshon Moreno are expected to fill in for McGahee, who leads the team with 731 rushing yards. He also has four rushing touchdowns.

--New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski had surgery on his broken forearm Monday, according to ESPN.com.

The team is not sure how long Gronkowski will be out, but a source told ESPN that he will miss "probably a few weeks."

Gronkowski said Sunday night that it would be four to six weeks, which could put him out for the remainder of the regular season.

The tight end broke the forearm during an extra point with 3:55 left of the Patriots' 59-24 blowout over the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday.

Gronkowski had seven catches for 137 yards with two touchdowns against the Colts. For the season, he has 53 catches for 748 yards with 10 touchdowns in 10 games.

New England is waiting for tight end Aaron Hernandez to return from an ankle injury. He has missed six games so far.

--Free agent wide receiver Plaxico Burress, who has been trying all season to find a team that would sign him, may be signing with the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Burress, 35, is expected to travel to Pittsburgh to take a physical, ESPN's Adam Schefter reported Monday, and Schefter figures the Steelers probably would not be bringing Burress in for a physical if they did not intend to sign him.

The Steelers have injury problems at wide receiver, and Burress played his first five NFL sh.

--Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Byron Leftwich suffered two broken ribs in Sunday's game against the Ravens and is unlikely to play in next Sunday's game against the Browns, ESPN's Chris Mortensen reported on Monday.

With regular starter Ben Roethlisberger also unlikely to play the next few weeks because of rib and shoulder injuries, the Steelers may turn to Charlie Batch, or they may sign another quarterback.

Batch, 37, last played in Week 16 last season, when he was a starter and the Steelers beat the Rams 27-0.

--Washington Redskins safety Brandon Meriweather will miss the rest of the season after tearing his anterior cruciate knee ligament in Sunday's game against the Philadelphia Eagles, Washington coach Mike Shanahan announced Monday.

The contest against the Eagles was Meriweather's first game of the season after being sidelined with injuries to his knee.

Meriweather, who is in the first year of a two-year, $6 million deal, was a starter in Sunday's game. He had an interception, but injured his knee in the second half without being hit.

--- Atlanta Falcons center Joe Hawley was suspended for four games for violating the league's substance abuse policy, the NFL announced Monday.

Hawley's suspension begins immediately, and he will be eligible to return on Monday, Dec. 17, after the Falcons' game against the Giants on Dec. 16.

Hawley, 24, started 12 games last season, but did not start any of the six games in which he played this year.

Hawley's agent, Kevin Omell, said in a statement that Hawley tested positive for Adderall.

---Monday Night Football will be a battle of the backups pitting Jason Campbell and the Chicago Bears versus Colin Kaepernick and the San Francisco 49ers.

That's because both starters have been ruled out due to concussions.

49ers quarterback Alex Smith was declared out after being evaluated by team medical director Dr. Dan Garza.

The Bears ruled their own quarterback, Jay Cutler, out because of concussion symptoms.

---Baltimore Ravens safety Ed Reed is suspended without pay for one game for repeatedly violating the NFL rule that prohibits hits to the head and neck area of defenseless players.

The suspension was imposed by league vice president of football operations Merton Hanks, according to NFL.com.

Reed cannot practice this week nor play in the Ravens' game this Sunday against the San Diego Chargers. Also, he cannot be at the Ravens' practice facility or stadium for any other activities during his suspension. He is eligible to return on Nov. 26.

He has three days to appeal the suspension.

---Philadelphia Eagles coach Andy Reid said Monday that running back LeSean McCoy's concussion is not as bad as quarterback Michael Vick's, but it is not clear when either of them will return, NFL.com reported.

Reid said both players are still in Stage 1 of concussion testing, which means that their baseline tests are not normal.

---Jacksonville Jaguars coach Mike Mularkey said Monday that Chad Henne is the starting quarterback, according to the Florida Times-Union.

Henne, who took over for injured starter Blaine Gabbert early Sunday against the Houston Texans, will start the Jaguars' next game against the Tennessee Titans.

Gabbert left in the first quarter with a bruised right elbow.

Gabbert is considered questionable for this week, but Mularkey named Henne the starter for this Sunday based on how he performed against Houston.

---Despite missing two more field goals on Sunday, Green Bay Packers coach Mike McCarthy said Monday that Mason Crosby is still the team's kicker.

One of those misses was a 50-yarder in the Packers' 24-20 victory over the Detroit Lions.

---Hall of Famer Mike Ditka told ESPN radio Monday he is fine just days after having a stroke.

"I feel good. I felt good before I had this thing," Ditka said.

Ditka was released from a hospital Sunday after he received a clean bill of health from doctors.

---Lions wide receiver Titus Young was told by Lions coaches on Monday to go home because of bad behavior, and he will be inactive for the Thanksgiving game against the Texans.

Coach Jim Schwartz didn't explain the precise reason Young was told to go home, but said Young's behavior was affecting the team negatively.
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