Out for season, Seau wants to play in '06

Nfl Notes

November 25, 2005

Miami Dolphins linebacker Junior Seau knows an injury has ended his season again but doesn't want that to be how his 16-year career fades into history. So he hopes to play in 2006.

Even if he has to change uniforms.

"The plan for next year is that I'm going to be healthy and ready to play with two legs rather than one," Seau said when it was determined he will be placed on the injured reserve list for the second straight season. "So I'll be back. It might not be here, but I'll be back."

Seau, 37 in January, has not played since Sept. 25 with a calf and Achilles' tendon injury that has become so unmanageable, he risks tearing the tendon if he continues to play.

Instead, he hopes a month or two of inactivity will heal the injury.

The Dolphins will be without Seau and middle linebacker Zach Thomas on Sunday against the Oakland Raiders. Thomas separated his right shoulder Sunday against the Cleveland Browns.

By the end of this season, Seau will have missed 17 games his past two years in Miami after missing nine his first 13 seasons in San Diego.

Eagles -- The Eagles, already without star quarterback Donovan McNabb and All-Pro cornerback Lito Sheppard, could be without three starters on their offensive line Sunday against Green Bay. Left tackle Tra Thomas, left guard Artis Hicks and right guard Shawn Andrews missed practiced again with injuries. Thomas (back) and Hicks (knee) are doubtful while Andrews (shoulder) is questionable. The Eagles (4-6) announced earlier in the week that McNabb (sports hernia) and Sheppard (ankle) are out for the season.

Steelers -- One week after they couldn't win a game in which the Ravens' Kyle Boller was the opposing quarterback, the Steelers will be challenged by one of the most prolific passers in NFL history in Peyton Manning of the unbeaten Colts. Naturally, it could be assumed defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau is trying to find a new wrinkle in the NFL's most blitz-heavy defensive scheme for Manning - something different to slow an offense that has scored 30-plus points in five consecutive games. Steelers linebacker Joey Porter said it simply isn't so. "As a defense you want to confuse the quarterback, you don't want the quarterback to confuse you," Porter said. "We've got to stick to what we do best, and try to get him out of his rhythm as much as we can."

Chargers -- Tight end Antonio Gates practiced, his first workout with the team since spraining his right foot last weekend. Gates, injured Sunday in San Diego's win over Buffalo, was upbeat about his chances of playing Sunday at Washington.

Redskins -- Defensive tackle Cornelius Griffin practiced for the first time in three weeks. Griffin has missed three games with a hip injury, which sidelined him two plays into a loss to the New York Giants on Oct. 30. He is listed as questionable for Sunday's game against San Diego.

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