How's this for going to the bullpen? Last week against the Lions, the Bears started two sixth-round draft picks, LB Joe Odom (No. 191 overall) and RB Brock Forsey (206). But there's more. Second-round pick Charles Tillman (35th) and third-rounder Lance Briggs (68th) also started. And what of first-rounders Michael Haynes (14th) and Rex Grossman (22nd)? Neither has cracked the lineup.
The Saints have not exactly busted out of the gates, but they can point to injuries as one of the reasons, especially on defense. The Saints have not played a game with their projected starting defensive lineup. They have missed at least two starters in every game.
By comparison, new Bengals coach Marvin Lewis should be knocking on wood. The club has stayed healthy. In the last three months of the 2002 season, eight players were placed on injured reserve. In 2003, that number, so far, is zero. When TE Reggie Kelly sits out today's game against the Cardinals with a stress fracture in his left foot, it will be only the second game missed by the 22 starters due to injury.
The Vikings are 9-2 against Brett Favre at the Metrodome, but Packers coach Mike Sherman said it has nothing to do with the stadium: "When we throw the ball, it doesn't hit the roof. When we run, the fans don't tackle us."
_ Compiled by staff writer Roger Mills with information from other news organizations.