Indianapolis Colts: Team president Bill Polian has long been a proponent of instant replay, but after DE Chad Bratzke's interception in Panthers territory was overturned after replay review, Polian, who a member of the league's competition committee, now has a different view of the system's effectiveness. "I think it's safe to say in March, when replay comes up to a vote, our stance will be obvious," Polian said, according to the Indianapolis Star. "We'll be proponents of the doing-away with a system that simply doesn't work."
Green Bay Packers: DE Joe Johnson will need to undergo surgery to repair a torn quadriceps muscle and is expected to be placed on injured reserve as early as today, when the team signs a replacement. According to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, the Packers had seven mostly young defensive linemen in for tryouts Tuesday, and another option is T Terdell Sands, a raw 340-pound giant on their practice squad. Green Bay could also move T Larry Smith to end, or switch T Kenny Peterson to end. It's also possible that undersized DE Jamal Reynolds could take Johnson's spot, or LB Torrance Marshall could see some time as a down lineman. Johnson has been a monumental bust and while his NFL career may be over, his Packer career is certainly kaput. If the Packers cut Johnson before June 1, 2004, they would have to count the remaining portion of his $6.5 million signing bonus, or $4.333 million, against their '04 cap. If they cut him after June 1, he would count $1.083 million in '04 and then the remaining $3.25 million in '05.
Washington Redskins: CB Fred Smoot was diagnosed with a sprain of the joint connecting the collarbone to the sternum, as well as a deep bruise, and is expected to miss three to four weeks according to the Washington Times. Second-year CB Rashad Bauman will replace Smoot in the starting lineup.
Atlanta Falcons: No defense in the league is giving up more yards a game than the Falcons (401.7), and from a player personnel standpoint there's no knight in shining armor that is coming to its rescue. But a schematic change might be in the offing to t least slow the blood flow. "I think if we keep losing linebackers, there's a chance [they'll change to a 4-3]," coach Dan Reeves told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. LB Will Overstreet's season ended last week with left shoulder surgery, and weakside LB Sam Rogers undergoes arthroscopic knee surgery today. But even such a switch might not make a difference. Defensive coordinator Wade Phillips summed up his unit's deficiencies by saying: "We're not getting enough [pass] rush to play man to man [in the secondary], and [in other situations] we're not playing good enough zones." Other than that, they're locking down opponents.