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Warner, Driver, Ferguson Hurt in Week 1

September 8, 2003

Kurt Warner was hospitalized with a concussion after the Rams lost to the New York Giants on Sunday.

Coach Mike Martz said the two-time league MVP would return to St. Louis on Monday.

Martz said the injury may have occurred in the first quarter of the 23-13 loss when Warner was sacked in the end zone and fumbled, with the ball recovered for a touchdown by the Giants.

``He didn’t seem the same after that,″ Martz said. ``A lot of times he didn’t seem to understand the plays we were calling from the sidelines.″

Warner complained of an upset stomach after the game and lay in the trainer’s room before Dr. Bernard Garfinkel, the team physician, made the diagnosis. Garfinkel said the concussion was ``mild to moderate.″

He finished 34-for-54 for 342 yards with one touchdown and one interception. He was sacked six times and fumbled six times. Also in the game, Giants left tackle Luke Petitgout left in the second quarter with back spasms.

The Green Bay Packers lost two of their top receivers on the same drive in a 30-25 loss to the Minnesota Vikings.

Pro Bowler Donald Driver strained his neck in a scary fall in the fourth quarter.

Driver went up for a high pass and came down on his right shoulder and helmet with 8:40 remaining. He was down on the field for several minutes before being wheeled off on a stretcher and taken to the hospital, where all X-rays and scans were normal, according to trainer Pepper Burruss.

Driver never lost consciousness or experienced paralysis, but the Packers took every precaution to immobilize his neck ``due to the high level of pain he was describing on the field,″ Burruss said.

Driver was to be kept overnight in the hospital for further evaluation Monday. Barring a setback, his playing status is week-to-week, team doctor Patrick McKenzie said.

Shortly after Driver was hurt, the Packers’ other starting receiver, Robert Ferguson, tore ligaments in his right ankle and knee when he was hit hard and twisted by cornerback Ken Irvin.

Coach Mike Sherman said Ferguson sprained his medial collateral ligament, but that the ankle was hurt worse.

Also, wideout Karsten Bailey pulled a hamstring. For the Vikings, cornerback Denard Walker left in the second quarter with a mild concussion.

New Orleans Saints defensive end Darren Howard will miss up to three months after dislocating his right wrist against Seattle. He was hurt while rushing Matt Hasselbeck, collapsing on his wrist after colliding with 315-pound Seahawks tackle Walter Jones.

Saints coach Jim Haslett said the injury may require surgery, which would put Howard out up to three months. Howard will be evaluated again after the team returns to New Orleans.

Also, Seahawks rookie FB Chris Davis left in the second quarter with a knee injury.

Atlanta Falcons receiver Brian Finneran broke two bones in his left hand against Dallas and will be out four-to-six weeks. Finneran was Atlanta’s leading receiver last season with 56 catches for 838 yards and six touchdowns.

Tennessee kicker Joe Nedney sprained his right knee as he tackled Ronney Jenkins on a kickoff return midway through the second quarter against the Oakland Raiders and left the game.

Two of the Dolphins’ defensive backs were injured against Houston. Backup DB Shawn Wooden strained his right hamstring and broke his left hand, while CB Sam Madison twisted his left ankle, but said he expects to practice this week. Also, Houston LB Antwan Peek sprained his right knee and missed second half.

Carolina linebacker Mike Caldwell injured his knee in the first half against Jacksonville and is likely out for the season.; Arizona G Leonard Davis and WR Larry Foster left the game against Detroit with ankle injuries; Chargers CB Tay Cody hurt his left hamstring early in the fourth quarter against Kansas City and is day-to-day; Bears starting right guard Chris Villarial sprained his knee in the first quarter against San Francisco.

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