NFL news of October 19, 2002

Photo: Jeffrey Boan | Miami Herald

The NFL season has not reached its midpoint and already injuries are taking a heavy toll.

Injuries to quarterbacks always get the most attention. There’s something foreboding about them.

Carolina’s Rodney Peete is out with an injured knee, and Cleveland’s Kelly Holcomb also has a sore knee. Washington’s Danny Wuerffel (shoulder), Atlanta’s Michael Vick (shoulder), Chicago’s Jim Miller (elbow and shoulder), Jacksonville’s Mark Brunell (concussion), and Kansas City’s Trent Green (ankle) are ailing, too.

Doesn’t it make Eagles fans cringe when quarterback Donovan McNabb gets hit so much? We saw the St. Louis Rams’ chances of salvaging their season disappear when Kurt Warner got hurt. Now the Miami Dolphins, who have been surging, are dealing with the loss of their starting quarterback.

The Dolphins (5-1) will play host to Buffalo on Sunday with Jay Fiedler sidelined by a broken thumb on his throwing hand. Ray Lucas will start, and nobody knows how the Dolphins will respond.

“I believe I have a little stronger arm than Jay does, but our game is similar,” Lucas told reporters. “The way I lead, though, is a lot different than Jay. I’m definitely more vocal. I’m definitely up in your face. I don’t know how the guys are going to respond, but we’ll find out shortly.”

— Mike Bruton, The Philadelphia Inquirer “Quarterbacks taking heavy hits.”

How that worked out for Lucas:

One guy. Six turnovers. Many questions.

He began by using “embarrassed” in three consecutive sentences to describe his feelings. He labeled his day “awful” four times and “terrible” five.

…On Sunday afternoon, Lucas got his first start in three years and showed why it took so long. Four interceptions, all of them awful. Two fumbles, both on bungled handoffs. And a curbside-service 26.3 quarterback rating.

— Dave Hyde, South Florida Sun-Sentinel “Lucas leaves Dolphins in a crisis mode.” (October 20, 2002)

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