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Pro Football | AROUND THE LEAGUE

Mathis Injures Spine, but Is Out of Hospital

January 01, 2002|Associated Press

New Orleans Saint cornerback Kevin Mathis was released from a hospital Monday after injuring his spine against the Washington Redskins on Sunday night.

Mathis, who started all but one game for the Saints this season, was hurt tackling Ki-Jana Carter in the third quarter. Replays showed Mathis' head snapped back on the play.

"When he was on the field, all of his extremities went numb, but they came back," Saint Coach Jim Haslett said. "In the hospital overnight, his legs came back. His arms are still a little weak. He'll be out this week."

Mathis never lost consciousness, Haslett said.

After being released from the hospital, Mathis returned to Texas, where his wife is due to have a baby.

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An incensed Arizona Coach Dave McGinnis said he called NFL officials to complain about what he considered two cheap shots by the Carolina Panthers in the Cardinals' 30-7 road victory on Sunday.

McGinnis said that Gene Washington, the league's director of operations, assured him that Carolina end Brentson Buckner and center Jeff Mitchell would be punished.

"I was satisfied with the response I got," McGinnis said. "I knew that they were going to look anyway, but I felt it was my responsibility to my players to call and voice my opinion about what went on."

Buckner gave quarterback Jake Plummer a forearm to the throat and Mitchell hit end Fred Wakefield from behind below the knees. Plummer was not seriously hurt, but Wakefield had to leave with an ankle injury.

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The Jacksonville Jaguars will reinstate R. Jay Soward to their roster this week, but Coach Tom Coughlin said the receiver will neither practice this week nor play Sunday against Chicago.

The Jaguars suspended Soward for violating team rules Dec. 7, two days before their game against Cincinnati. Coughlin called it an indefinite suspension, but NFL rules state no player can be suspended for more than four games at a time.

Since he has been out four games, Soward must return to the roster. It means the former USC standout will get his game check, but will finish the season without playing a down for the Jaguars.

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Panther receiver Isaac Byrd will sit out the season finale against the New England Patriots because of a concussion....The playoff-bound Miami Dolphins filled the final spot on their active roster by signing guard Anthony Cesario from the practice squad....The Philadelphia Eagles signed end Uhuru Hamiter to a one-year contract, replacing injured starter Hollis Thomas.

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