9-on-9: Ronnie Brown to IR, JaMarcus Russell to the bench

Teams are back to work and there's plenty of important news to discuss, so settle in.

Ronnie Brown(notes) landed on injured reserve Wednesday – that's it for his season. Obviously Ricky Williams(notes) gets a major boost from the news, but there's a broader angle to consider here – what becomes of the Dolphins Wildcat package, which basically used Brown as the triggerman? Scribble down the name Lex Hilliard(notes) as a possible deep sleeper; he's expected to get his first carries of the year Thursday night at Carolina. And look for more Pat White(notes) involvement in coming weeks. [Miami Herald]

The Raiders are finally making a chance at quarterback – Bruce Gradkowski(notes) will start Sunday against Cincinnati and head coach Tom Cable says the plan is for Gradkowski to keep the job for the remainder of the season. You know all about JaMarcus Russell's(notes) lost season, so there's little need to elaborate on that. [Associated Press]

Clinton Portis(notes) (post concussion) is considered "very doubtful" for Week 11 according to Jim Zorn, so get ready for more Ladell Betts(notes) against the Cowboys. As for Chris Cooley(notes) (ankle), check back early next week – he's scheduled to see an ankle specialist on Monday. [Washington Post]

Julius Jones(notes) (lung) has already been counted out for Week 11's trip to Minnesota, but he has a shot at returning next week. Justin Forsett(notes) gets the tap to start against the Vikings, with Louis Rankin(notes) the change-of-pace option. [Seattle Post-Intelligencer]

It will be interesting to see how the Giants handle their backfield down the stretch now that Danny Ware(notes) is healthy. Ware is the best blocker of the Giants running backs, which means he could easily take away third-down work from Ahmad Bradshaw(notes). Running lanes should be available for someone this weekend, as Big Blue goes up against a struggling Atlanta front seven. [New York Daily News]

Ryan Fitzpatrick(notes) will start for the Bills at Jacksonville, if that matters to you, but the move is not considered permanent. The Bills are also expected to run a few Wildcat snaps. It's going to be an ugly 2009 finish here, but perhaps a better day is coming soon – the team is going to talk to Mike Shanahan about its head coaching position. [BuffaloBills.com]

DeAngelo Williams(notes) (knee) skipped Wednesday's Carolina practice while Jonathan Stewart(notes) (Achilles) was a full participant; this might not mean that much as teams generally don't do a lot the day before a game (John Fox said Williams was "just resting). Both running backs are officially listed as questionable for Thursday's home game with Miami, but it looks like both will go (just check back before kickoff to be sure). [Charlotte Observer]

Kyle Orton(notes) (ankle) is hoping to start Sunday's divisional showdown with the Chargers but he's still playing catch-up – he wasn't available for Wednesday's early practice session. "I'm going to do everything I can to be on the field," Orton said. Chris Simms(notes) is the fallback for the desperate Broncos. [Denver Post]

The other cleat finally dropped with Steven Hauschka(notes) - the Ravens have kicked him to the curb (wide left). Billy Cundiff(notes) takes over. Baltimore hosts the undefeated Colts on Sunday. [Baltimore Sun]

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