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Zeke Mowatt is activated as probe continues

Tight end Zeke Mowatt, who has spent the season on injured reserve and in hot water, was activated Wednesday by the New England Patriots. His week begins Sunday with a game against Buffalo. It could end with a report by an NFL special counsel on a locker room incident in which Mowatt and three or four other Patriots are accused of sexually harassing a female reporter.

Philip Heymann, a Harvard law professor named Oct.

1 to investigate the incident, is expected to issue his report by the end of the month. He reportedly has interviewed all the Patriots players in addition to club officials and reporters.

Mowatt, a former Florida State player, is the only player disciplined in the incident. He was fined an estimated $2,000 by the team.

He and New England coach Rod Rust said Wednesday they weren't concerned how fans would treat him. "I don't care about that," said Mowatt, who rarely agrees to interviews. "I have nothing to say."

"I'm not talking," he said when asked about his injured left hand. He had a ruptured tendon in his left little finger.

Mowatt took the roster spot of strong safety Brian Hutson, who went on injured reserve with a sprained right ankle.

Mowatt, signed in the off-season as a Plan B free agent from the New York Giants, had a strong training camp and was a legitimate contender for the starting tight end job.

Second-year pro Marv Cook got it after Mowatt was hurt, but now Cook is having problems. During last Thursday night's 17-10 loss in Miami, he suffered a severe nose bleed.

Rust also said there is "a legitimate chance" that former Tampa Bay guard Sean Farrell, on injured reserve all season with shoulder problems, would be activated before Sunday.

Steve Grogan has been named to start at quarterback for the first time in five games. Rust is moving closer to using rookie Tommy Hodson, a third-round draft choice the team had hoped to keep on the bench all year while he learned.

Injuries may force Quick to retire

PHILADELPHIA _ Mike Quick, a five-time Pro Bowl wide receiver for the Philadelphia Eagles, may be at the end of his career.

Quick has been besieged with injuries the last three seasons. His latest is a tendon tear in the right quadricep that has relegated him to the injured reserve list for at least four weeks.

"I'm going to have to wait until that time," Quick said, looking to the end of his four-week layoff. "I don't want to say right now what would happen at that time. I don't really know. I don't know how I'll be feeling then. My main concern right now is to get myself healthy again.

"If I can't come back and be productive," Quick said, then drifted off in another direction. "Every time I would open up, put it in fifth gear, try to run full speed, my tendon would swell up again. Even after the two weeks (off) when I really felt good and thought everything would be fine as soon as I got in the game the tendon problem flared up again."

Around the league

49ers: Nose tackle Fred Smerlas was placed on injured reserve due to a pinched nerve in his back.

Oilers: Teddy Garcia is the likely replacement for kicker Tony Zendejas, who has a broken leg, said coach Jack Pardee.

Jets: Wide receiver Al Toon, who broke out of a slump last Sunday with five catches for 98 yards, had played the previous three games with a fracture on a transverse process _ a portion of the vertebrae attached to the ligaments and tendon _ coach Bruce Coslet said.

Lions: Former Dolphins cornerback William Judson was waived, along with safety John Miller.

Chargers: The San Diego district attorney's office has filed assault and battery charges against three men who allegedly attacked and severely beat nose tackle Joe Phillips.

Broncos: Rookie running back Blake Ezor is scheduled to appear in a Michigan court next week to answer to charges of retail fraud for trying to buy a compact disc player with the wrong price tag. Ezor denies the charge and said he'll sue the East Lansing department store that raised it. Ingham County chief assistant district attorney Kim Eddie said Ezor can't be extradited because the charge is not a felony, but could be arrested if he returns to Michigan. The Broncos play the Lions in Pontiac, Mich., on Nov.


Cowboys: Cornerback Issiac Holt, who intercepted two passes and returned one for a touchdown against the Bucs on Sunday, has been named the NFC defensive player of the week.