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NFL roundup: Giants' Wilson getting second opinion on neck

The SportsXchange

New York Giants running back David Wilson said he fears he may miss the rest of the season because of a neck injury but is seeking a second opinion.

Wilson said doctors told him he may have spinal stenosis, which is a narrowing of the spinal column. Season-ending surgery may be necessary depending on several factors, including where on the spine the condition is present and if the condition is creating constant discomfort.

According to Wilson, one of his vertebrae is situated too closely to his spinal cord. However, he said he is not feeling any pain. If he is cleared by doctors, he could play Oct. 21 against the Minnesota Vikings. He is visiting spinal surgeon Dr. Robert Watkins in Los Angeles on Monday.

"Best case, I'll be back after the second opinion," he said. "That's what I'm hoping and praying for because I feel perfectly fine. It really doesn't make sense to me right now. People say, 'Oh, but it's the neck,' but I feel like I'm fine. I'm willing to go out there and sacrifice and play with my team, this is what I love. That's my choice."

Coach Tom Coughlin disputed the season-ending scenario.

"That's not the way it was presented to me," he said.

Coughlin said his understanding is that Wilson may be out for three or four weeks.

Wilson left last Sunday's game against the Philadelphia Eagles in the first half and missed Thursday's matchup against the Chicago Bears. Brandon Jacobs filled in for Wilson on Thursday and rushed for 106 yards on 22 carries with two touchdowns.

---Tampa Bay cornerback Johnthan Banks might be able to play against the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday.

Banks, who was diagnosed with MRSA this week, was being examined by team doctors and an independent expert, sources told ESPN on Saturday.

The NFL, the players' union and Banks were expected to have a conference call to discuss options, sources told ESPN.

Banks, a rookie, is the third Tampa Bay player to be diagnosed with MRSA, a severe staph infection that is resistant to some antibiotics. Kicker Lawrence Tynes and guard Carl Nicks were previously diagnosed with MRSA.

Tynes, who was placed on the non-football injury list, is still being treated. Nicks, who did not play until Week 3, is unlikely to play Sunday due to a recurrence of the infection in his left foot this week.

Banks reportedly became worried about a sore on his body Thursday and alerted team doctors. A culture was taken, and it revealed MRSA.

---Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Michael Vick will not play Sunday against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers because of an injured hamstring, ESPN.com reported Saturday.

Vick was injured during last Sunday's game against the New York Giants. He practiced on a limited basis Wednesday and Thursday but was a full participant Friday. He was listed on the team's injury report as questionable.

Vick indicated Thursday that injury was improving.

Nick Foles replaced Vick after he exited the game and will start, despite being listed with a groin injury. Rookie quarterback Matt Barkley was inactive for the first five games, but is expected to back up Foles on Sunday.

---New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski is unlikely to play Sunday against the New Orleans Saints, according to ESPN.

Gronkowski practiced all week, but the team had not cleared him as of Friday. He is recovering from multiple back and forearm surgeries.

WEEI.com reported that there is growing concern over his first forearm surgery, which was performed by team doctor Tom Gill. He was injured last November.

When Patriots coach Bill Belichick was asked Friday about his confidence in the team's medical staff, he said, "As it relates to our medical people, we have confidence in all of them. They do a good job."

According to the report, "serious concerns" remain about the integrity of the bone in the tight end's arm where an implement was placed, as well as the surrounding nerves.

If the bone healed on its own without the implement, there may not have been an infection. The concern is that an abscess developed, causing infection and likely weakening the bone. Gronkowski had three more surgeries on the forearm.

Dr. Jesse Jupiter, who performed Gronkowski's most recent forearm surgery, has not cleared him to play.

Dr. James Andrews, whom the Patriots hired as an independent physician, also did not give Gronkowski clearance to play as of Friday. Andrews did not operate on Gronkowski.

Gronkowski has been practicing for several weeks but has not played this season.

---San Diego Chargers running back Ryan Mathews is probable for Monday night's game against the Indianapolis Colts, according to the San Diego Union-Tribune.

Mathews sustained a concussion last Sunday night against the Oakland Raiders. He was held out of practice Thursday and had not been cleared to play at that point. Apparently, he has improved in the last 48 hours.

"I'm looking forward to seeing him out there," coach Mike McCoy said Saturday.

Matthews has 67 rushes for 234 yards this season.

---New York Jets cornerback Antonio Cromartie is expected to play Sunday against the Pittsburgh Steelers even though he is listed as questionable with a knee injury, according to ESPN.

Cromartie did not practice Friday, a day after hyperextending a knee. Coach Rex Ryan said Cromartie's playing status would be a game-time decision.

The injury occured during a portion of Thursday's practice not viewed by the media. Cromartie said it was a non-contact injury. Ryan said the team was initially concerned that the injury was serious but an MRI later revealed only a hyperextension.

Cromartie, a two-time Pro Bowler -- including last season -- has not missed a game due to injury in three-plus seasons with the Jets.

---The Cleveland Browns officially placed quarterback Brian Hoyer on injured reserve on Saturday.

To fill Hoyer's spot on the roster, the team signed rookie wide receiver Charles Johnson from the Green Bay Packers' practice squad.

Hoyer tore an ACL in his right knee Oct. 3 against the Buffalo Bills. He was replaced by Brandon Weeden, who will start Sunday against the Detroit Lions.

Weeden and Jason Campbell are the only quarterbacks on the Browns' roster.

Johnson was a seventh-round pick of the Packers in this year's draft out of Grand Valley State. He was waived Aug. 31 and signed to their practice squad Sept. 2.

---The Kansas City Chiefs officially placed rookie tight end Travis Kelce on injured reserve on Saturday.

Kelce, 24, had microfracture knee surgery this week.

Kansas City took Kelce in the third round of the draft out of Cincinnati.

To fill Kelce's spot on the roster, the Chiefs promoted rookie safety Bradley McDougald from their practice squad. McDougald, out of Kansas, has played two games but has spent the majority of the season on the practice squad.

---The Seattle Seahawks announced Saturday that they released center Jason Spitz and signed wide receiver Bryan Walters from the practice squad.

Spitz signed with Seattle on Sept. 25 but did not play in the last two games.

Walters originally signed with the San Diego Chargers as an undrafted rookie free agent in 2010. He sent time on the practice squad that year and played four games in 2011. He had three catches for 27 yards and eight punt returns for 45 yards. He spent part of last year on the Minnesota Vikings' practice squad before joining Seattle's practice squad in December.

---The Indianapolis Colts announced Saturday that safety LaRon Landry and outside linebacker Bjoern Werner will not play Monday night's game at the San Diego Chargers.

Landry is out with an ankle injury and Werner has an injured foot.

Landry had 26 tackles in the first two games of the season but has not played since then. Delano Howell has played in place of Landry.

Werner, the Colts' first-round draft pick this year, has five tackles in four games as a backup.

Colts coach Chuck Pagano said fullback Stanley Havili (foot), defensive end Ricky Jean Francois (groin) and outside linebacker Erik Walden (elbow) are expected to play.
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