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Leftwich Expected to Make First Start

September 27, 2003|From Associated Press

Quarterback Byron Leftwich of the Jacksonville Jaguars will probably make his first NFL start Sunday against Houston because Mark Brunell has been downgraded to doubtful for the game.

Brunell injured his elbow in the first quarter last weekend against Indianapolis and needed five stitches after the game. He has not practiced this week, and was listed as questionable when the team's first injury report came out Wednesday.

Jaguar Coach Jack Del Rio wasn't available Friday but told a national radio audience it is "very unlikely" Brunell will start.

Leftwich, a first-round draft choice from Marshall, has taken most of the snaps in practice this week, with third-string quarterback David Garrard getting the rest.

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Daunte Culpepper was upgraded to questionable by the Minnesota Vikings, meaning there's a 50% chance the injured quarterback will play Sunday against the San Francisco 49ers. Culpepper and Coach Mike Tice said it will be a game-time decision.

Culpepper has three small broken bones in his left lower back and a fourth that is partially broken. He practiced for the first time this week, splitting time with Gus Frerotte on the first team.

Wide receiver Randy Moss, who has back spasms, also practiced for the first time this week. He was upgraded to probable.

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Running back Travis Henry of the Buffalo Bills might be unable to play Sunday against the Philadelphia Eagles because of torn rib cartilage. He is listed as questionable and did not practice this week. The Bills had hoped he would be able to work out Friday, but that did not happen. Coach Gregg Williams said Henry's status will be a game-time decision.... Rookie linebacker Scott Shanle of the St. Louis Rams was suspended for four games without pay for violating the NFL's policy on anabolic steroids and related substances.

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