NFL news of November 18, 2002

The perilous occupation of N.F.L. quarterback took a toll on two top performers in Week 11. Yesterday may be remembered not so much for who won and lost, but for who was battered and how that will affect the remainder of the season.

Donovan McNabb is an indispensable part of the Philadelphia offense, and Tommy Maddox has been a most unlikely savior in Pittsburgh. Neither team can do without its quarterback, and now both may have to.

McNabb played virtually the entire game with a broken right ankle as the Eagles defeated Arizona, 38-14. Coach Andy Reid said McNabb could be out six to eight weeks.

Maddox was injured during the third quarter of Pittsburgh’s 31-23 loss to Tennessee when his left shoulder collided with the forearm of Titans linebacker Keith Bulluck. Last night, a Steelers spokesman said Maddox had sustained a concussion and a bruised spinal cord.

Maddox and McNabb were not the only quarterbacks injured yesterday. Denver had to call on Steve Beuerlein after Brian Griese left the game in the third quarter with a sprained left knee. Beuerlein threw two fourth-quarter touchdown passes to help lift the Broncos past Seattle, 31-9. A team spokesman said Griese could miss a month or he could return for next week’s game against Indianapolis.

— Bill Finley, The New York Times “With Quarterbacks Falling, Seasons Are Changing Fast”

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