The middle-Atlantic region of the eastern seaboard would appear to have two quarterback debates. But it seems like in order to have a QB controversy, you have to have two good quarterbacks, and neither the Baltimore Ravens nor Washington Redskins have one.
Steve McNair left Baltimore's loss to Carolina on Sunday with a concussion and was replaced by Kyle Boller, who went 17-for-31 for 226 yards, three touchdowns and one interception. Not bad, right? Well, kind of.
Two of the touchdowns (both to Mark Clayton) were the result of tipped passes, which means that Boller had the luckiest game of his pro career on a day when the Ravens suffered a heart-wrenching defeat. He played, as Boller so often has done over the past couple of seasons, just well enough to lose. That pretty well describes a lot of McNair's lustrous career, too.
Face it, Baltimore: McNair is an aging, gun-shy, injury-prone signal caller with a QB rating of 64.1. Will Boller replace McNair? Probably not. Will it matter? Probably not.
Meanwhile, in Washington, D.C., Mark Brunell (whose name you won't find below) tore off a toenail in the Redskins' loss to Tennessee, but he didn't miss any time. But maybe he should have.
Is the Titans' defense getting better? Maybe. Did Brunell throw a bevy of picks. No. But does he inspire anything resembling confidence? Absolutely not. His 16-for-30 for 180 yards, a score and an interception was Brunell at his milquetoast best.
Washington is now 2-4 after handing Tennessee its first win of the year. Those of us who've been saying that Jason Campbell should've started the season as the Redskins' starter certainly feel smart right about now, but the truth is that had Campbell shown enough in training camp and preseason, he'd be out there now.
Washington has to find out what it has in Campbell because it's going nowhere this year. Unfortunately, a torn toenail isn't going to be enough to get the job done.
Let's look at the week's other injuries:
Steve McNair, Ravens – A first-quarter sack by Mike Rucker and Chris Draft knocked McNair loopy and caused him to miss the rest of the game with a concussion and a wrenched neck. Tests indicated that no serious damage was done, so McNair will probably be back after Baltimore's Week 7 bye. Whether or not that's a good thing depends on whether you root for the Ravens.
Willis McGahee, Bills – McGahee seemed dinged-up twice in Buffalo's loss in Detroit, and both instances were pretty clearly related to hits he took on his back. He returned both times, though, and his status will be updated throughout the week.
Deuce McAllister, Saints – McAllister hurt his right hamstring in the win over Philly and missed several plays while he was being wrapped and taped. He looked limited, but he did return later in the game and referred to the injury as a "hamstring cramp," not a pull.
Shaun Alexander, Seahawks – Peter King of NBC Sports reported that Alexander wouldn't play for "at least another two weeks" because of his broken foot.
Justin Fargas, Raiders – Fargas suffered a shoulder dislocation on a fourth-quarter punt-coverage play and didn't reenter the game. NBC's cameras showed Huggy Jr. pads-less and in a sling on the sidelines.
Kyle Johnson, Broncos – Denver's starting fullback suffered a severe high-ankle sprain in the second quarter and didn't return. His replacement, Cecil Sapp, dropped a sure touchdown later in the game.
Ronnie Cruz, Chiefs – Cruz, the only fullback listed on Kansas City's roster, left the game late with what looked like a bad right knee injury. He had to be carted off the field and will undergo X-rays on Monday.
Madison Hedgecock, Rams – The NFL player with the name most similar to an adult-movie star suffered a broken thumb. He'll undergo surgery Monday, but he isn't expected to miss any time.
Dan Kreider, Steelers – Rough day for fullbacks. Kreider left with a sprained ankle in the second quarter against the Chiefs.
Brandon Jones, Titans – The fleet Oklahoma product scored a three-yard TD from Vince Young, but later fell on a football and injured his chest, according to The Tennesseean. He didn't return.
Roscoe Parrish, Bills – Parrish was on the receiving end of one of the day's prettier TDs. J.P. Losman avoided potential sacks at least three times on the same play, scrambling like his hair was on fire before finally launching a 44-yard bomb to Parrish, who scored for the second time this season. Unfortunately, Parrish later injured his hamstring, and didn't play in the second half of the Bills' loss in Detroit.
Kelley Washington, Bengals – Washington suffered what appeared to be a pulled hamstring in the fourth quarter of Cincinnati's loss in Tampa and didn't return.
Jerramy Stevens, Seahawks – Stevens was rumored to be ready to start Sunday against the Rams, but he didn't even play. According to the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, Stevens told Mike Holmgren Saturday night that his knee was "feeling a little odd," so Holmgren made the decision to hold him out of the game.
Levi Jones, Bengals – Jones suffered what's being called a "sprained knee," though it didn't look good. The Bengals' offensive line is already banged-up, and if Jones is going to miss any time at left tackle, it could spell serious troubles in Cincy.
Melvin Fowler, Bills – Buffalo's starting center was knocked out of the third quarter with an injured quad.
Zach Wiegert, Texans – The decimation of Houston's offensive line appeared to continue, as Wiegert sprained his left knee. But the AP says "the injury isn't considered serious."
Shane Olivea, Chargers – San Diego, already down to two healthy offensive tackles, lost Olivea in the second quarter with a sprained right knee. It looked bad at first, but the San Diego Union-Tribune reports that Olivea said, "If it was a close game, I would have got back in there." The Chargers can't afford any more injuries on their offensive line.
Langston Walker, Raiders – Oakland's starting right tackle left in the first quarter with a concussion and didn't return. In his stead, replacement Chad Slaughter committed four false-start penalties and allowed a sack, while NBC continually showed pictures of Walker on the sideline grinning sheepishly, with his mouthpiece tucked behind his ear.
John Abraham, Falcons – Abraham hadn't played since his explosive effort in Week 1 against Carolina, which seems like a long time ago. Abraham's perpetually balky groin had bugged him for a month, but he pronounced himself healthy after Atlanta's bye and made several fine plays, including a sack and a forced fumble, before having to leave in the fourth quarter with, you guessed it, a sore groin.
Patrick Kerney, Falcons – Kerney also had to leave the game against New York with a sore hamstring. Kerney, who accounted for the Falcons' other sack, was held out in what the Atlanta Journal-Constitution called a "precautionary measure."
Seth Payne, Texans – The Cornell alumnus tore his ACL against Dallas and will miss the rest of the season. Houston's already-thin defensive line officially now borders on pathetic, Mario Williams notwithstanding.
Al Wallace, Panthers – According to the Charlotte Observer, the Panthers were worried Wallace had broken his arm late in Sunday's game, but tests were negative. He's week-to-week.
Shawn Barber, Eagles – The Philadelphia Inquirer reports that Barber left the game in New Orleans with a neck stinger and didn't return. Defensive coordinator Jim Johnson seemed to think that Barber would be OK to play this Sunday against Tampa Bay.
Matt McCoy, Eagles – The Inquirer also reported that McCoy suffered a hip pointer, and he is far less likely to play against the Bucs.
Brian Simmons, Bengals – One of Cincy's only remaining healthy linebackers isn't so healthy anymore. Simmons surprised his teammates when he was declared inactive Sunday morning; Bengals.com reports he woke up with a stiff neck.
Thomas Davis, Panthers – Davis suffered a rib injury, according to the Charlotte Observer. His status will be updated this week.
Carlos Rogers, Redskins – The Washington Post reports that Rogers broke his thumb, an injury that doesn't bode well for a player who's had trouble holding onto the ball numerous times already in 2006. Rogers is expected to be able to play with a cast this weekend.
Dunta Robinson, Texans – Robinson had to leave the field in the second half in Dallas because of very bad cramps and needed IV fluids in the locker room. The Houston Chronicle reports that the Cowboys scored two of their touchdowns via the air while Robinson was out.
Tory James, Bengals – James was yanked down viciously by Tampa QB Bruce Gradkowski on an interception that wasn't an interception, but it was a bruised knee that knocked him out twice. James tried to return, but had to come out again in the fourth quarter. He didn't return.
Dawan Landry, Ravens – Landry corralled his first career interception but suffered a sprained MCL and didn't return. He'll have tests this week to determine the severity of the injury.
Glenn Earl, Texans – Earl strained his neck in the fourth quarter of the Texans' blowout loss in Dallas and didn't return. According to the Houston Chronicle, the injury "isn't considered serious."
Andre' Goodman, Dolphins – Goodman injured his shoulder against the Jets in the third quarter and didn't return. Replacement cornerback Michael Lehan was hurt on a special-teams play in the third quarter, according to the Miami Herald.
Kalvin Pearson, Buccaneers – The Tampa Tribune reported that Pearson walked off the field in the second quarter with an "abdominal strain." X-rays revealed a possible tear in his left side. Ow.