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Scoring, enthusiasm missing for Shockey

Playing for Tom Coughlin has taken the fun and the big play out of football for Giants two-time Pro Bowl tight end Jeremy Shockey.

Shockey has seven receptions for 75 yards and no touchdowns in two games, and the things that made the Miami product the Giants' emotional leader have been absent.

There is no yapping at opposing players, no interplay with the crowd and not even a first-down signal after a catch to help the officials. Coughlin's offense features him more as a blocker and a motion tight end than a game-breaking deep threat.

"I am not having as much fun as I had in the past, I'll tell you that," said Shockey, whose voice featured more discouragement than the normal swagger.

"I don't know really what it is," the 2002 first-round draft choice said. "I can't get into a rhythm right now like I had been in the past. Hopefully, that will change. I don't want to force something on myself to fake like I am having fun."

SANDERS 50-50: Deion Sanders hopes to play for the Ravens on Sunday, though he knows it might be prudent to rest his strained left hamstring. Playing in his second game after a three-year retirement, Sanders hurt his leg in the second quarter against the Steelers. He was held out of a portion of practice and is questionable for Sunday's game in Cincinnati.

BEARS: Cornerback Charles Tillman will miss seven to 10 weeks with a right knee injury, a blow to a secondary already stretched thin by injuries to Mike Brown and Jerry Azumah.

BENGALS: Defensive end Carl Powell had arthroscopic knee surgery, leaving the team thin on a line that needs to contain the Ravens' Jamal Lewis on Sunday.

BROWNS: Courtney Brown already is planning another comeback. Hours after surgery to repair a torn ligament that will sideline him for the season, the defensive end told coach Butch Davis to plan on seeing him soon. Brown is on injured reserve for the fourth straight year.

CARDINALS: Coach Dennis Green has brought in old friend Carl Hargrave as a consultant to help revive the moribund offense. Hargrave was an assistant for Green with the Vikings from 1994-2001 and at Northwestern from 1981-85.

CHARGERS: Quarterback Drew Brees was cleared by the team's medical staff three days after sustaining a mild concussion and took his regular number of snaps in practice.

CHIEFS: Larry Johnson reacted sharply to Dick Vermeil's comments that the seldom-used running back "take the diapers off" if he plays this weekend in place of injured Priest Holmes. Johnson, a first-round draft pick out of Penn State, might be pressed into action Sunday against Houston if Holmes is still hobbled by a sore ankle. "I don't need no motivation," Johnson said. "If I need motivation, I'll talk to my father. I don't need another grown man telling me I need to take the diapers off."

COLTS: Running back Edgerrin James was upgraded from doubtful to questionable for Sunday's game against Green Bay despite missing practice with a strained hamstring.

FALCONS: Running back Warrick Dunn didn't practice and was questionable for Sunday's game against Arizona. The former Buc sprained his left knee against St. Louis.

49ERS: Running back Kevan Barlow had an MRI exam on his sore right knee, but the team's leading rusher expects to play Sunday. Barlow hurt a knee ligament during the third series against New Orleans.

JETS: Defensive end Josh Evans had back surgery and was placed on injured reserve, ending his season. Evans was hurt about three weeks ago and missed Sunday's game at San Diego.

RAMS: Injuries in the secondary have forced Aeneas Williams to move back to cornerback, at least temporarily. Williams was a seven-time Pro Bowl player at the position before switching to free safety last season, where he made his eighth Pro Bowl. Coach Mike Martz said he expects Williams to fill in at right cornerback for a few weeks, until starter Travis Fisher (broken forearm) and DeJuan Groce (sprained knee) return.

TITANS: A specialist determined Rocky Calmus' back problem and left leg injury were minor, and the starting middle linebacker might play Sunday.

VIKINGS: As expected, Minnesota ended the seasons of right tackle Mike Rosenthal and tight end Jim Kleinsasser by placing them on injured reserve. Rosenthal broke his right foot Monday night at Philadelphia. Kleinsasser will have surgery to repair damage to his right knee sustained in the Sept. 12 opener against Dallas.

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