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NFL : AROUND THE LEAGUE

Heimerdinger to call plays, begin chemo

November 26, 2010|Associated Press

Tennessee offensive coordinator Mike Heimerdinger is back at work and will call the plays Sunday when the Titans visit the Houston Texans before starting his treatment for cancer.

Coach Jeff Fisher said Thursday that Heimerdinger met with his doctors Wednesday night and will start his treatment Monday.

"So obviously he feels good enough to finish up this week and call the game, so we're very, very excited for that and to have him back and keep him involved," Fisher said. "We're praying for him, and it's been a very, very emotional day, but it's been great to get him back. Guys were happy to see him this morning."

Heimerdinger isn't talking with reporters this week. He walked out to practice and went to work. Cornerback Cortland Finnegan ran by and patted the coordinator on the back at one point.

"It means a lot for him to come out here," Finnegan said. "Dealing with what he's dealing with, it speaks volumes the kind of man he is."

Gates in pain

San Diego Chargers star tight end Antonio Gates was in pain as he tried to practice in a limited role Thursday.

Gates has sat out the last two games because of a torn plantar fascia in his right foot. He said Wednesday that he wanted to practice in the days leading up to Sunday night's game at Indianapolis to gauge his progress.

Thursday was his chance, as he participated in individual drills and a select number of team plays.

"I wanted to see how I would respond to defenders' being in the way and making unexpected cuts in the flow of a route," Gates said. "Everything has been controlled to this point. I didn't finish, but I'm incredibly sore."

Gates was clearly in pain after practice, grimacing through an interview session. He said was able to move well but wasn't optimistic. He said he'll wait until Friday to determine whether he truly took a positive step toward playing Sunday night.

Injury updates

Terrence McGee missed practice Thursday a day after aggravating a knee injury, leaving the Buffalo Bills cornerback questionable to play against the Pittsburgh Steelers this weekend. On the bright side, rookie running back C.J. Spiller has a chance to play Sunday after practicing for the first time since hurting his right hamstring in a 14-12 win over Detroit on Nov. 14. ... Receiver Roddy White and defensive end John Abraham returned to practice Thursday for the Atlanta Falcons but did not fully participate in the two-hour session. ... Washington Redskins safety LaRon Landry (Achilles' tendon) and running back Ryan Torain (hamstring) have been ruled out for Sunday's game again the Minnesota Vikings.

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