9-on-9: Barber 'doubtful,' Gore strained, bad teams shuffle QBs

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Here's the short version for those of you who can't spare three minutes: MBIII is likely to sit on Monday. Make the Glen Coffee(notes) waiver claim. Try to pretend the Browns, Bucs and Dolphins do not exist.

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It sounds like Marion Barber(notes) won't see the field in the Monday Night tilt with Carolina: "Just caught up to Jerry Jones at Gilley's in Dallas and he said it is doubtful Marion Barber will play tonight against Carolina. … Jones said the Cowboys would be 'conservative' with Barber with a long season still to come." No word on whether Jones rode the mechanical bull, so that's a pretty disappointing update, all things considered. [Dallas Morning News]

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The Niners apparently object to the use of the words "high" and "sprain" in any description of Frank Gore's(notes) injured ankle: "Tests revealed no break and the 49ers described the injury as a strain, not a sprain. The NFL Network reported that Gore had a high-ankle sprain, but the team called the report untrue." But good luck finding anyone who thinks Gore will be able to face the Rams in Week 4. Rookie back Glen Coffee is the add of the week. He's not as talented as Gore, but he's still a guy who's in line for 25 touches against St. Louis. That works. [49ers Hot Read]

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Cleveland head coach Eric Mangini will reportedly wait until Wednesday to announce his starting quarterback for Week 4. Smart strategy. This way the Bengals won't know until mid-week if their interceptions will be 10 yards or 20 yards downfield. [Cleveland Plain Dealer]

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Chad Pennington's(notes) shoulder is definitely dislocated, and there might be more bad news on the horizon: "'I'm going to hope for the best and expect the worst,' Pennington said. … Depending on what the MRI this morning reveals, Pennington could be out as little as three weeks or up to 12 weeks, which would effectively end his season. If the injury – regardless of whether it's a separation or dislocation – is acute, it might require surgery." The early returns on Chad Henne(notes) were not promising (10-for-19, one INT). Avoid if possible. [Miami Herald]

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More deck chairs being rearranged: "The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are benching quarterback Byron Leftwich(notes) and will start Josh Johnson(notes) at Washington on Sunday, Coach Raheem Morris announced today. Rookie first-round draft pick Josh Freeman(notes) will be the backup." Johnson was just 4-for-10 passing on Sunday in garbage time against the Giants, but his 15 rushing yards accounted for 17.4 percent of Tampa Bay's total net yardage. (Seriously). He's more mobile than the monolithic Leftwich, though not ownable for fantasy purposes unless you're in a painfully deep league. Tough break for Leftwich, really. His setup wasn't exactly the best. Can we make him a Dolphin? [The Tampa Tribune]

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The Lions just won for the first time since the Scott Mitchell era, so no one feels like discussing Kevin Smith's(notes) injured shoulder right now: "Lions coach Jim Schwartz wouldn't comment on the severity of the injury but said Smith would undergo further tests today." Maurice Morris(notes) scored a short-yardage touchdown in Smith's absence on Sunday, though he rushed for just 10 yards on eight carries. Speedy rookie Aaron Brown will emerge as a player of interest if Smith misses time. [MLive.com]

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Marc Bulger's(notes) shoulder injury is apparently not too severe: "'It’s a bruised rotator cuff,' coach Steve Spagnuolo said Monday afternoon. 'We're not sure on (Bulger's availability) this week. We'll see where he is tomorrow and Wednesday, and if he'll do anything at all. But that's what it is. It's not torn; it's a bruised rotator cuff.'" Predictably, the comments attached to this particular link are not kind. [St. Louis Post-Dispatch]

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We return to the Post-Dispatch for brutal news on receiver Laurent Robinson(notes), who was off to an excellent start in '09: "Robinson will undergo surgery after suffering a lower-leg fracture and a high ankle sprain. Coach Steve Spagnuolo hinted that Robinson’s season might be over. [More Post-Dispatch]

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Rough news here for the Bills: "A team that has been decimated by injury in the first month of the season saw another starter go on the shelf for an extended period of time Monday with the announcement that cornerback and kick returner Leodis McKelvin(notes) has a broken leg. There's more: starting strong safety Donte Whitner(notes) was scheduled for surgery Monday afternoon on a thumb injury." Fortunately, Buffalo gets a pair of winless teams in the weeks ahead (at MIA, vs. CLE). [Buffalo News]

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